Not Secrets.  Just Happiness.

What a ride the roaring 20’s has been so far am I right? 2023 started perfectly for this former human hurricane. We were snuggled up and sleeping well before midnight down in Rakiura. My husband and I are annoyingly well suited and very happy and loved up. We live a quiet life after two terrifically OTT and public careers and countless personal struggles took a very big toll.

Having a rest on New Year’s Day on the remote motu (island) Rakiura. No hangover, no expectations, no stress… just nature and my beloved and me.

We are happier than a couple of pot belly pigs in mud, living long luxurious lives on a vegan small holding. Life has literally never been so wonderful for either of us, and we have no intention of ever being as stressed, anxious and miserable as we were before we met. HOWEVER! We had done incredible amounts of work to heal and improve ourselves in the months and years leading up to us actually becoming romantically involved. It wasn’t simply a case of finding each-other and everything being fabulous.

Working… doesn’t feel like work when you like what you do and who you do it with
Husband taking quick nap on my lap before we caught the Milford scenic boat tour.

Came to a bunch of scary realizations very early on in the pandemic, while putting together a presentation on my new-found obsession with boundaries and the word NO!  

That was early 2020. Not everyone would enjoy the life I lead these days. Quiet. Considered. Steeped in temperance most of the time. Still very busy setting up and growing our exciting and rewarding regenerative agriculture and tourism business. Surrounded by few but truly fabulous friends. Working on (and frequently failing at) zero waste living, carbon neutral travel, mindfulness, connection, radical accountability, and generally being obnoxiously authentic and hyper aware of our hypocrisy.

So, to kick of the year of the Rabbit 2023, on today, the first day of the new moon of this lunar calendar year, here are 23 absolutely random thoughts/learnings from my life on earth this round.  In no particular order whatsoever.

Take and leave whatever you like from the meanderings.  I have expanded on each of the points in a longer blog I’ll post on our Deemon Creative page.  

Big Love to you whatever you are up to this week and wherever you are up to it.  

  1. You may never know the impact an act of support or kindness has had on someone, but it is entirely probable that choosing kindness has absolutely changed or even saved someone’s life – and you may or may not ever know this, but every genuine act of selflessness and support kicks off infinite ripples of hope in a world that is weary from an overload of fear and aggression.
  2. I was once a genuine carbon criminal, galivanting globally and parading as a climate change and carbon divestment activist. Guess I will be working the rest of my days to assuage the guilt attached to that realisation.
  3. Horrible, angry, sad, ignorant, loser people are capable of pretending to care for/support you when you have something they want, and those same smiling assassins/snakes in the grass are going to be the key to your burnout/downfall/tough lessons if you are not vehemently protecting your boundaries and actively living your truth
  4. Most people are actually quite lovely, and fighting their own battles which you generally and genuinely cannot imagine
  5. None of us have space or the ability to maintain more than a few meaningful and trust-based human relationships.  
  6. It is not just okay, but necessary to let people go.  That can include, and sometimes has to start with toxic family
  7. Happiness means being sad sometimes
  8. Being brave and genuine may mean you lose some shit you thought you wanted; however, you will gain infinitely more peace and fulfilment when your priorities are aligned and you are ready to be honest with yourself first, and the world generally
  9. There are few things that annoy people who dislike you or are jealous of you more than you just being generally okay.  Even worse being truly happy.  That’s the best and only revenge – work on you – Love you – Cherish and celebrate you.  Haters fucking hate that shit and they probably got all bitter toward you in the first place because they’re stuck in a sad grumpy hungry ghost cycle.  Wish them well and keep on shining, crying, grieving, laughing and growing.  Best. Revenge.  And you don’t have to plot or scheme or anything, just be fabulous
  10. I was once, absolutely surrounded by assholes.  There were lovely wonderful people there too, but I got stuck helping, supporting, trusting and championing the wrong people on far too many occasions.  Now I am left with a few fabulous friends who celebrate my successes while I cheerlead and champion them unashamedly and OFTEN  
  11. I am a fucking amazing friend, and being that attracts genuinely fucking amazing friends too. Virtuous cycle.  Damn… being able to just write down how at ease I am with the people in my life right now feels great and took a serious clean out back at the start of this pandemic to achieve
  12. Choosing a good partner is integral to comfort, happiness, success, and peace.  Humans are definitely better on our own pouring love into a pet or hobby than in draining, toxic or untenable romantic relationships
  13. Rest is VERY important
  14. Laughter is medicine
  15. Ask for what you need/want
  16. Not following the royal shenanigans at all, but this morning’s news program the “Royal Commentator” (that’s a fucking job??? Oof… She seemed quite well paid at a glance too… anyway I digress…) this PROFESSIONAL royal commentator said:  “And let’s face it, isn’t life just far better and more meaningful with our families around?” To which my response is:  ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NOT!  I kicked my abusive white trash family to the curb years ago, and while it is not simple and there’s always going to be aftershocks… it is hands down the most important, healing and intelligent decision I ever made for myself and my incredibly well adjusted children.  If something is actively destroying you, you need to remove that thing. Even if, perhaps ESPECIALLY if that thing is biological family.  As complicated as it all may be if people are hurting you – you deserve to feel safe.  No idea what will happen to Harry and his over-sharing. He has successfully made even me cringe and I simply don’t follow or much care about the royals, and am a serial over-sharing blogger myself.  Hope some good comes out of it all, aside from and on top of the HUGE paychecks that couple are collecting now that they’re off the royal payroll.  Whew… I got a bit ranty there eh…

MOVING ON

17. Stop caring what others think and put that wasted worrying energy into caring and mindfully doing fun, cool, brave, interesting, impactful, meaningful stuff instead.  When you do you will end up surrounded and lifted by the very best people who want to see you thrive and you will be doing the same for them.  It’s fucking beautiful!

18. You can do everything “right” and research/plan/prepare and still fall flat on your face.  Falling is okay, but you have to get back up and THAT is what will ultimately spur on and help you find your superpowers

19. Never been a better time to say… Fuck this shit! I am out! And pursue some crazy and amazing new projects or endeavours that fill you with joy

20. Maybe you aren’t the problem.  Then again… maybe you are. We all have to do the shadow work and really look at the part we play when things go wrong.  

21. Love the vessel you are in.  Love your senses, your scars, curves, edges and silhouette.  Move to music, rest purposefull, laugh loudly.  Challenge and cherish your beautiful mysterious super-computer that is a human brain with puzzles or meditation.  Learn new things.  Be curious. Be playful.  

22. Cry more if you can.  I have a friend who cannot cry because of her meds and I think that is just the fucking worst.  I cry several times a day, as in salty water leaks out my eyes.  It can be sadness, grief, frustration, joy, excitement, hope, empathy or any number of other big feelings that trigger those tears but it always feels great and I do it unashamedly whenever and wherever I want to.

23. Today we are younger than we are ever gonna be (thank you Regina Spektor) so get doing something – anything – if that is rest or work or play – today is as good a day as any to do something.  So get on your way!  

Thank you so much for reading!

2023 – A Year to Be

The Pandemic completely changing my career, lifestyle, trajectory and perspective has had so many unforeseen advantages.

Gemstone beach near Riverton. Beautiful 🤩 rest stop on our way to Te Anau

Exploring our beautiful island nation as a guest and seeing places through a sustainable tourism lens rather than as a spoiled b’ness bitch has been such a joyful experience to say the very least.  We have been all over Aotearoa from Great Barrier Island to Franz Joseph seeking ideas and guidance on our new sustainable tourism and regenerative agriculture retreat project.  

2020-2022 saw us have whole facilities more or less to ourselves and we enjoyed drifting down nearly empty roads and enjoying long chats with business owners who only had a tiny fraction of the guests passing through their doors while borders were closed.  

Yesterday evening in Te Anau verified that those days are long behind us.  It was with mixed feelings we watched establishments heaving with human activity and wait times of 2 hours for meals as staffing issues and shortages continue.

We got to overhear lots of North American accents complaining.  “Next time let’s go to Thailand Geoff.  This place looks just like Oregon and it’s expensive.  Not sure why we bothered”. Well Geoff, you and your wife can fuck off.  I do hope if you choose to go to Thailand you are more gracious guests there.

There was a time when I absolutely adored people and craved interaction with strangers and friends alike.  I would have overheard Geoff and his wife and convinced myself it was my job to turn them around and shine a light on how beautiful my chosen homeland is. These days, I keep my nose out of strangers conversations. Pretended not to hear them.

Something huge happened inside my soul and brain after my second nervous breakdown. That event transformed me forever, from quintessential extrovert to practicing introvert.  I still Love people.  These days though, rather than craving interaction humans generally scare me and annoy me where they used to fascinate and energize.

Being sucker punched, betrayed and disappointed by so many people was in hindsight a blessing. The fallout of watching people I was kind to, championed, and trusted over the years being creeps and cowards made me a bit of a hermit.  That fear/annoyance at humanity has been the acorn that has grown the idea that is slowly but surely turning into a mighty oak of sorts.  

As you read this, I hope whatever phase you are at in your journey, you know that it’s never too late to start over. Changing direction can be scary, but you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. We have been.

Falling deeply and completely in Love with my now husband, and also starting to Love and appreciate myself happened after unplugging and mic dropping. Finally feel like I’m whole again after being fueled for decades by serious self-loathing and a need to prove myself. So many women just like me are hyper vigilant over-achievers after being gaslit, neglected, sabotaged and shat all over by people who ought to support and protect them. My story is not unique.  While figuring all this out and finding my voice and boundaries was definitely unfun and probably nearly killed me, the view from the other side is incredible. Now that I am safe and happy, perhaps I feel like it was all even worthwhile.  

Lush green bush at Matakana retreat

Anyway.  I found hope and happiness in serene isolation on a 50 acre neglected, weed and predator infested, block of topographically challenging clay just outside of Matakana village.  I was safe from the outside world as there was no internet or phone coverage. We had to drive town to the end of the road to send the kids messages. The car was Damon’s office where he sat on the phone for hours that first few weeks. We lived simply and naturally, pulling weeds, preparing food from scratch, and planning what we might do with this all but forgotten piece of dirt I fought so hard to hold on to through my recent divorce.

Nothing that had happened to me until that point in my life created quite the same level of peace and comfort as being left the fuck alone for a few weeks on that hill.

It’s nearly three years later now, and we’ve poured Love, time, and resources into trying to create a place that is inviting and safe for Aotearoa’s native biodiversity first, and people who just want to be left well enough alone for a bit second.

There are countless other things going on and limitless options for what we will do with the place now and in the future.  Today though, I’mm hiding in a hotel room in Te Anau reading the absolutely stellar feedback from guests at our solidly booked retreat. Feeling fucking fantastic about my life choices and the opportunity we have just had to see in the new year on the isolate Rakiura.  We heard the hoopla down the hill at the pub, but were tucked in bed snug and sober after a lovely day of bike rides and beach laying with precious few other humans anywhere in view.

The world outside our door is falling to bits in many ways. Moving into 2023 I accept that I can’t save the planet. Instead I choose to be.  Be gentle and curious and kind.  Be busy enough to keep our beloved farm improving at a pace we can pay for and handle.  Be grateful for my few fabulous trusted friends.  Be in Love with my spunky monk. Be joyful as he actively and vocally adores me daily. Be brave and stand up to bullies and their bullshit. Be gentle to myself and champion my beloved witchy women and wonderful many other magical friends as they face their own challenges.

2023 is a year to be.

And I hope you get to be the very best you throughout and don’t be too much like ungrateful Geoff and his wife even when things don’t go as planned or don’t meet your expectations.

Thanks for reading.