Nepal 2016

Monday, 24 July 2017

Balancing The Scales

22nd July 2017 (Day 12)

Its interesting that those that embark on a get fit campaign more often than not throw away all sensibility and sense of who they are on the inside.  There is so much that makes up our multifaceted lives and so much that needs to be considered when lifestyles changes are occurring.

I for one love to enjoy a red wine, I love yoga, I love being a busy Mum to two young minds, I love gardening, being outdoors, working, listening to live music, going to the gym, being a friend, study, horse riding, researching new things, writing and so the list goes on and on and on.

Day 12 Enjoying a wine after a three hour yoga release.

In amongst all of these magnificent things we set our minds to in our days there needs to be balance between who we are on the inside and who we are on the outside, sometimes its hard to balance those scales.  Not only are we all of the labels we designate ourselves but as the famous Cooley expressed in the looking glass self we are a reflection of who we perceive others see us to be.  This makes our social interactions pretty complex when you think about it.

“I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind.” Charles Horton Cooley  (Vogt Isaksen 2013)

How is it we can balance those scales when there are so many interjections into life now that give us an indication of how we perceive each other?  Has it made it harder or is it that telling our own story through social media or use of technology gives us some security in how we assume to be perceived.  And whether that interaction on social media is for yourself, for others or for some kind of alternate reality, we as individuals who choose to engage probably need to consider the reasons why, removing some of our egos and being real with ourselves.

Who we are on the inside is a reflection in some sense of who we wish to be and by projecting our innermost feelings onto a social platform are we then trying to balance a scale that may be a little out of wack?  For instance even though I may be on a health kick and others perceive this to be because  I am overweight, its possible that it doesn't stop there, there is so much more to the story!

On the inside I feel like a really exuberant person.  I have a deep empathy for many things and feel I would like to give freely in life anything I can manage.  I feel as though I am capable of love that is uninhibited, that I can impart a great wealth of knowledge when I am able to maintain a feedback loop in conversation.  I feel I love to absorb and can absorb new information, I feel like I have a boundless energy, a passion for adventure and and ability to smile, laugh and play with all those around me.  Yet on the outside I see myself as overweight and inhibited due to the story I tell myself that has been created by the society I live in.   Don't get me wrong, knowing this I have still made my own choices over the years whether these be right or wrong, but it is still the social construct I live in that has given me these tools of choice,

Day 10 A little exhausted, literally spent all day in bed!

So you see balancing the scales so to speak goes further than my weight, goes further than what I perceive others assume me to be, goes way further than what  in the short term I feel I can do to improve my physical health.  It goes so much further because what I am made of is all the things that are on the inside, so while I work toward a healthier version of me I hope to impart some of my exuberance that is stored on the inside to support anyone that is interested in joining me to balancing their own scales holistically and with and enthusiastic healthy love for themselves.

Day 9 Hopefully I can inspire you to balance your scales :) 

Vogt Iskasen, J 2013, 'The looking glass-self: how our self image is shaped by society', Popular social Science: Bridging the gap, viewed 24th July 2014, http//:http://www.popularsocialscience.com/2013/05/27/the-looking-glass-self-how-our-self-image-is-shaped-by-society/.

Image 1: Day 12, 2017 K Waddell 
Image 2: Day 10, 2017 K Waddell 
Image 3: Day 9, 2017 K Waddell 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

On My Terms

18th July 2017

Yesterday day 8 ticked over and what an interesting eight days it has been.  I have found the struggles of getting out of bed very, very real. I have found a friend that wants to meet me at the gym so this has certainly been an inspiration to get out of bed. My moods have been completely all over the shop however each morning after getting up and hitting the sanctuary of the gym I have walked away feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.

This past week has intrigued me as for the first time I have felt a desire to share this personal journey with anyone that will listen.  As though a need to share is important to feel congruence within myself.  I have had friends facing challenges the past week but have had a separation from these challenges emotionally as I have never had in the past.  Previously in life I have been swept up in the emotion of whatever has been going on for them and felt a need to be a presence to support and repair issues.

Its an odd thing for me to care so deeply but not get swept up in it any longer.  It is the difference I guess between empathy and sympathy.  I have come to recognise the true difference in these now within myself, as I have discovered that the sympathetic drain me to my core and never left any room for me to grow and move forward.

I needed to find a space on my own terms, a space that provided me with the boundaries of life I needed for me to function in a healthy way, a way that allowed my heart to be open however did not drain all my reserves.  I have always maintained that people do not necessarily need to climb fences with me, but the boundaries I have in place around what motivates and inspires me to engage are much clearer and more focused now.

I feel this will assist me in continuing a cracking pace that allows a degree of success I have not experienced prior.  There is only so much an individual can give and let out over a period of time and eventually you become spent and find unhealthy ways to relieve the strain, difficulties or stress.  I guess I have come to this conclusion after years of listening to those that have had personal issues and watching the actions they have taken to relive the burden.

Over the last 9 weeks I have been engaging in acupuncture sessions.  It has been really interesting not only the changes in my pain response and physical change but the change in my mental patterns and they way I have been reacting.  Its as though some of the band aids are finally being ripped off and I am re-configuring some of the processes I have laid down over many years.  And that's not to say it is the reason for this progression to changing my lifestyle but that sometimes it takes a change in action for a change in emotion and unhealthy practice to change.

Graphic (http://gooddailyquotes.com/g/girls-funny-dp-quotes)

"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you"

14th July 2017

So sometimes in life it takes numerous set backs and many hurdles to recognise the opportunities in life you have in front of you and move forward.  Grab it with both hands and move forward.

Over the last six years I would say I have actively engaged in a journey of my life and understanding what it offers me.  And for the first time in my life I see a path openeing up that dosen't seem a never ending exploration but a definitive opportunity to create a version of myself that no longer floats but has found terra-firma and started to build a foundation of self-love, grattitude and an overwhelming desire to be the best I can be for me.

It has all seemed like fluff and white wash but for some reason I woke up four days ago, as I had been for some time at 4am and laid there with this overwhelming feeling of finally being free of the mud.  I got up and I went to the gym!

I can tell you that with the weight I had accumulated this is no easy feat.  I got up, got dressed and left the house and now 4 days later I haven't looked back.  I have struggled these last four days and I have found that my body is screaming at me, not so much in terms of pain but simply breaking a habit of staying in bed and not getting the day started.  Its a tough gig having to drive into town 16km at 5am but if I don't change it, I never will.  I have gained 16-20kg since my foot was operated on 15mths ago and I think I have finally flicked a switch back on that requires me to start the cogs turning.

I decided I just don't want to be tired any longer, not tired or sick or whinging about any of it. I want to get up, feel great, eat well and move more.  It truly is as simple as that and I have started.

Day One

Day Four
I guess I am hoping that by detailing a little of my journey, shaking off some of the mud, I might be able to track a progress of self development that until now has been a very personal experience.  It might help keep the momentum and it might not but if I can inspire myself to keep moving forward by doing so then it can only be a positive.

People ebb and flow through life and no two journeys are alike but time to start the momentum rolling on mine in a lighter way, starting with my health and fitness.  What I hope to achieve through this blog is not only a fitness aspect but sharing details of the holistic approach I am trying to take through the many things I have learned over the past 40 years from many professionals, friends and acquaintances.

I look forward to using this knowledge and many wondrous experiences I have had to share my gratitude with you and develop a love of new opportunities to grow and learn.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Women The World Over

Women the world over.

Every day I am in contact with the most magnificent women.  These women come into all our lives in so many different ways.  Some run non-government organisations, some run their family households.  Some women are co-ordinate educational programs for the masses around the globe, some hold space for others that just need a moment of time to be heard. Some connect children around the globe creating opportunity of community connection, some knit beanies that keep heads warm in the cold.  Some highlight the needs of cultural sensitivity within high context communities, some hold cooking classes teaching niche skills.  All of these women every day make a contribution to our global community in their own unique ways.  

 Women knitting socks in Bhaktapur Nepal.
 (Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Women at the paper making factory in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Indira caring for children in Kathmandu, PA Nepal.
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Nepal although somewhat patriarchal in nature and caste system very evident, showed the important role so many women played in the communities visited.  For instance Anita working at Seven Women, ran a cooking class gave so much thought to those that were in her care and created nurturing environments for women that were marginalized in her surrounding communities.  

Indira who helped to create environments of culturally sensitive nature at Prisoner Assistance Nepal.  Giving children a change to first step out of incarceration through no fault of their own and then step out into society educated and with a work ethic to carry them through life.

The countless women that were witnessed ensuring their families were catered for and supported regardless of life circumstance and difficulties.  These women were the ones working hard to ensure their children were clothed, their families fed and their culture respected.

Women learning new skills at Seven Women in Kathmandu, Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Anita teaching a group of students being taught Nepalese cooking skills, Kathmandu, Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Preparing grain for making morning porridge at the Eco-village in Pokhara, Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Women the world over participate in all of these tasks and more in countless ways.  Its nice to occasionally consider just how the women in your family support one another, and more so, how embracing women in your tribe, community and culture can help to address some of the changing needs of the environments we live in now and into the future.  

What's your perspective?  Please feel free to leave comments below.
Eco-village, Pokhara Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

 Eco-village, Pokhara Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Eco-village, Pokhara Nepal.  
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Eco-village, Pokhara Nepal.  
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Lumbini, Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Lumbini, Nepal. 
(Image Kristy Waddell, Warragul Australia)

Tuesday, 19 January 2016


You know, I often wonder when I people watch on holiday, just what it is someone is thinking or how their day is? Quite often I come across other tourists who have made themselves very at home in the places I might have set up camp myself. Inadvertently not considering what has brought us to the same place.

I have thought many times, why do people come all the way to a new country if they are only going to sit by the pool in a hotel resort, find a way to loose themselves in alcohol or spend all day shopping at various locations for things they may never wear or use again or throw away when they return home.

This recent trip to Nepal has made me consider this practice, and the trigger has been the one thing I have tried to avoid, animals.

Animals seem to be a universal token or symbol it seems throughout this trip. The global symbol of what animals represent has been both familiar yet a little tedious to me. My worldview I feel to be exceptionally skewed due to my roles in animal related industry over the years. Although I have found myself not only wondering about the interaction that the locals have with other species that reside here, but also about the way in which tourists interact with them. The way they find familiarity in them and find comforts of emotion that resemble home. It seems that exploring these feelings is beneficial as it begins to allow bridges to be built into the communities we are visiting.

  If we choose to embrace the feelings of familiarity, are we actually building connections with the cultures we are visiting? Does it give us an opportunity to find intrigue and ask more questions?  It would be nice to explore the benefits of opening your heart a little further when you find familiarity in a foreign environment. It not only makes you more comfortable but provides an opportunity for the local to connect with your familiar emotions and together more bridges can be built.

What's your perspective?
Kristy Waddell, Pokhara, Nepal.
(Image, Henry Kramer)

Monday, 18 January 2016

Feelings of peace in Nepal

Let the practices of those in Nepal help you find a space of peace and enlightenment. So many opportunities to see, hear and feel your own soul.

Pashupatinath, said to be the beginning of pilgrimage to Buddhism. The beauty of walking through this space was mind blowing. The wailing and noise that was created by those returning the dead to the afterlife was both enchanting and beautiful. The smell of smoke that filled the air, filled your lungs with a sense of life that has left the chests of those that gave their lives back to the water of the sacred river. Getting lost in the sea of people there to connect to Shiva, gave a sense of the depth of culture that makes Nepal. Being lost in the crowd was not possible as the compassion and gratitude that fills the air holds you in it's arms and carries you through the new process of understanding.

Even after the earthquakes that rocked Nepal, the magnificent energy that flows through you as you walk around the stupa of the Boudhanath, and consider the thirteen steps to enlightenment, not only flows through you but connects you to all living beings residing within the walls. Looking down on the stupa from above provides you with a vantage that reminds you of the magnificent mandalas that dot the shop fronts. The Tibetan influence of the dragons a reminder of the historical significance of Tibet in Nepal. The steps of enlightenment no longer adorn the top of the stupa, however this only reflects teachings of Buddhism, nothing in life is permanent.

The next stop through the streets of Nepal, was a visit to Bhaktapur, until the 15th century, the capital of Nepal. It holds many unique and historical places of worship, and museums. Even the Kamari princess resides within her palace walls in Bhaktapur, tucked away until she reaches puberty. So many early century pieces to take in and historical buildings to behold. The city that will capture your heart, not only for it's treasures but for the beautiful people that reside here.

"Born as a Sakya Prince, Buddha analysed the mysteries of life. Through meditation he attained enlightenment and preached the realities of the world to the rest of the world." Suyog Prajupati, Glimpses from Nepal and Tibet.

Do you find a space that you can feel the energy of those around you, uplifting you and allowing you time to be held by love and compassion? We all need these spaces in life, how do you achieve these moments of peace in a hectic western life?

What's your perspective?

Saturday, 9 January 2016

The heritage rich and the culture huge, Kathmandu.

Walking through the streets of Kathmandu opens your eyes if you choose to look to the rich heritage of the unique place. Many travel to Kathmandu, Nepal, and have their minds opened to the world of possibilities available.

Moving away from the tourist hub of Kathmandu, Thamel, the rich history of it begins to unfold and Hindu and Buddhist way of life emerges. Not as an individual but as collective belief systems and customs that create an energy that gives Kathmandu a vibration that can be felt and infects your soul with a peace, excitement and wonder.

This is the oldest Buddha in Kathmandu
The 15th century stupa in Thahti Square, the intricate passage ways that lead to the 9th century stone depiction of Shiva, or the statue of Buddha only about 60cm high and remaining in one of the many intersections since the 5th or 6th century. In the same intersection and very at peace sits a Ganesh depiction, ornately adorned with marigolds and dye from numerous offerings. Needless to say there is an eclectic mix of vendors selling spices, pottery, sweets, and clothing among other things in every direction.

The streets are adorned with prayer flags and so many stupas and temples it is hard not to become curious about the way in which the Nepalese practice their unique way of life, merging a belief in themselves and what will be provided for them if they practise a true and just way of life.

The place is truly unique, a value on the way of life of the people here and the meaning of all the sacred and distinctly historical value of the temples, shrines and symbols of devotion give a beautiful opportunity for anyone to find the value in the culture as it is and in the now, an opportunity for reflection about the space we may find sacred at home and how after leaving here if things will be in a new perspective.