Thursday, 3 October 2013

Life is not about settling into a safe routine but seeking out the cold corners of this world and asking, ‘How can I help?’

I woke very early this morning but so did the sun. It was light by 5.30am and I went outside wrapped in a blanket and found a place to settle for a peaceful meditation practice. It was only 1 degree and Howard was checking his weather machine to see how low the temperature had dropped overnight. Frost is a big concern now and can be very damaging to the crops.

A truck is ready to load the oats we are selling and Howard asks me to make the driver breakfast. I cook up a grilled tomato, egg and ham sandwich. The coffee machine is a bit noisy and I don’t want to wake the girls but I decide to make a good cappuccino as a part of our breakfast treat.

Our four daughters are at home at the moment and I love it! We went down to the Bribbaree Pub last night to celebrate John Coulter from Young who has cycled on a bike all the way from Western Australia (Bunbury) to New South Wales (Bribbaree) and will go onto Bondi Beach, a total of 4500km. John, his family and some riders who joined him along the way are raising money for Beyond Blue (Blues) the McGrath Foundation (Boobs) and the Young Hospital maternity ward (bubs). Tim Dowling rode with John most of the way too. An amazing achievement, having raised almost $30,000 already.

 I spoke with John and he said it has restored his faith in mankind. Right across Australia he found peoples stories and generosity very touching. I expected him to talk about the endurance and determination it took to cycle up to 300km a day but this was not what his experience was about. John said he would do it all again because of the people who showed him and his fellow riders such kindness and friendship.

John didn’t just step out of the square, he flew well beyond any boundaries and excuses. His family, support car driver Shaun O'Sullivan and the riders who joined him at times, are an example to us all of what is possible when you ‘do what you dream of doing.’ Johns dream was to make a difference in the lives of others. This was not a 5 star retreat, this was a full month of pure giving. I can only imagine the long hours of riding on Australia's vast highways , the high and low points, the body and mind wanting to stop and the times he was missing his family and friends. John broke through all of these barriers and the great thing is that when someone does this, it reminds us all that anything is possible.

I think about the square I live in and the barriers I have built up in my own mind. The beliefs, perceptions, excuses, reactions, habits and limitations, which have become ‘my normal’, that need questioning. We can all poke along in our routines and let time skip along or we can listen to the knowing, ‘you could be doing more,’ and just go for it like John has. I may not be able or willing to ride a bike across Australia next week but I feel inspired to become very clear on what my ‘Bunburry to Bribbaree’ is. Until I work it out I challenge myself each day to be a bigger, better, kinder and a more determined person than I thought possible.

Howard just called and said, ‘The truck driver wanted to you know that in all his years of driving no- one has ever offered him a home cooked hot breakfast and a coffee like that.’ Small acts of thoughtfulness can have a big impact on others. If we all do our bit on a daily basis and work towards all we are capable of, well beyond the square, what a different world we would live in.

Thankyou John for reminding me that life is not about settling into a safe routine but seeking out the cold corners of this world and asking, ‘How can I help?’

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