Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012: The Year of Broadening Horizens.

I’m not overly sorry to see the back of 2011, just quietly...

I think I’ll name it the “Year of Being Pushed to Breaking Point”.

Really. I don’t think it’s necessary to re-hash the whole thing. But let’s just say, that for every challenge, there were some awesome lessons learned. And I closed out the year by turning 30!

My friend asked me how I felt about turning 30. My reply:” I’m excited to turn 30, and I’m excited to see what the next decade will bring.”

According to the Hunza tribe, who regularly lived to 150 years and above (that is...until Western diet arrived..), youth was 0 – 80 years, middle age was 80 – 120 years, and old age was over 120 years.

Makes you realise how limited we are by our paradigms, when it comes to age.

Here’s to another 50 years of youth!!

Looking forward to 2012... So much to look forward to!!

In two weeks we are due to fly out, to go and spend a year in Tonga. People keep asking me: “But, what are you going to DO there?”

What if I say I’m not going to do anything whatsoever?? I’m just going to BE. (I am a human being, and not a human doing, after all...)

But......I do have a few things in mind. I’m not going to call them “goals” because my ultimate aim is to enjoy the experience, and I don’t want to spoil it with my little “to-do” list fetish...

-I want to start a vegetable garden.

- I want to learn all about the local herbal wisdom. The older Tongan ladies tell me that there are plants growing wild which can be used to treat tetanus. Also, a plant used to wash the dishes. How awesome is that? The ultimate in sustainability! (I can already identify this plant – but I don’t know the English name for it, and it also happens to grow wild around Sydney nature reserves. )

- I want to encourage the Tongan people to return to some of their old practices, for the benefit of their health, and their environment. I have not yet figured out how to go about this, without appearing like a pompous “holier-than-thou” foreigner...

(For example: Tonga has an abundant supply of coconuts, and coconut oil is THE healthiest oil for cooking. Yet many of them will walk straight past the coconut tree, to buy cheap, imported (artery-clogging) canola oil from the local Chinese corner-shop.

Another example: the Tongans once used banana leaves to wrap their food, before placing in the hangi. Now they pay to use aluminium foil, imported from overseas.

You get the picture...)

- I want to become fluent in the Tongan language.

- I want to learn how to dance a Tongan tau’olunga, as written on my Bucket List. AND perform it at one of the regular village concerts. These dances, performed by a solo female are deceptively complicated. The movement of the hands and wrists – which look like graceful twirling to the untrained eye – actually tell the story of the song.

- I want to get back into health and political activism. I have to. I cannot know what I know, and do nothing about it. I took a break in the last half of 2011, for the sake of my sanity, but now, with spirit and passion restored, I am ready to delve back into the fray.

(This morning my cousin - aged just 32 - passed away. Cancer. Or was it the chemotherapy?

In the past year, I knew 5 people with cancer. Four of them had chemotherapy/radiation/surgery. And all four of them died.

One chose a natural alternative. Not only is he still alive...he is cancer-free.

Coincidence? Maybe. But I doubt it...How many people have to die before we are willing to look for answers beyond the radiation/surgery/chemotherapy options, which are absolutely horrendous for the victim patient. The treatment is worse than the disease!

Makes me so mad! I'm sorry, but I just will not, can not, stay silent about this stuff.

If you're interested, I wrote here about how my uncle beat prostate cancer, using bicarbonate soda.)

I’ve had a couple of offers to teach English in the schools over there. While part of me thinks this could be a really rewarding thing to do, another part of me practically squirms with the discomfort of being so far out of my comfort zone.

Oh. And I am looking forward to having the help of a large extended family to look after my children, and give them loads of attention and affection. In Tonga, the village really does raise the child. It is only us crazy Westerners who try to be everything, and do everything, ourselves...

My 14 year old stepson is also coming with us, and will attend high school there. This was a courageous choice on his behalf, and I hope it will be a positive experience that really expands his understanding of the world.

So....! Bring on 2012.

I'm ready.

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