When on holiday in New Zealand in February we went to the Poor Knights. Named by Captain Cook, these fingers of rock poking out of the sea 22 km off shore are the remains of a volcano. They are like a local Galapagos.
The islands are the home to the dinosaur relative, the tuatara reptile, and many sea birds. There are wonderful arches, one that our boat with 50 people on board squeaked through.
And there are small caves to snorkel into.
Now I don’t really like caves, the idea of them being a dead end, the tons of rock above you, they freak me out a bit. I wouldn’t have gone into two small caves at the Poor Knights unless the guide hadn’t urged us to and assured us it was OK.
Even so, with Shark’s Cave (the shape of a fin), you’re looking at a narrow opening in the virtually sheer rock wall. There’s a bit of a swell and you wonder if it will bash you against the walls or ceiling.
But with the idea that it’s worth doing, you take the plunge, you kick hard and pass through the narrow opening. My husband said “my shoulders won’t fit through” but they did. Inside, the walls open out and there’s more space, but it’s still so dark you feel blind.
Only when you turn and look back do you get it.
Light floods in from the opening and illuminates the fish inside the cave and bathes everything a pearlescent turquoise. And if you regain your calm and stay for a while, your eyes adjust and you can see about you overhead, too.
I burst out of that cave with the thrill of being alive and filled with wonder at nature’s magnificence.
Contrasting caves Strangely enough, the moment I got home I went into a cave of a different kidney. The metaphorical kind where joy as well as light seems absent. A few business things I’d planned had fallen over and I lost my energy and drive. Admitted I was starting a cold and the usual comfortable homecoming seemed dismal instead.
More than just a holiday hangover, I felt black for few days. What’s the use, I thought? Why try at all? Nothing’s going to come of it and all the effort in the world isn’t going to make a dead horse go.
You might know this cave, it occurs with many of us from time to time.*
Even in this cave there are ways of approaching it. At first, I was just in it. If I looked at all I saw nothing of inspiration, only the dead end. After a couple of days of coughing on the couch I viewed some pix from our holiday and recalled the wonder and fun and exhilaration we’d experienced.
Gradually I took a couple of steps. Sent a couple of emails. It wasn’t all bad. The equivalent of growing accustomed to the dark, perhaps. Then I turned myself around and reestablished some connections with fantastic people, and did some learning to build new opportunities for myself and my clients.
Sure as in Shark’s Cave on those offshore islands of New Zealand, that ‘looking out’ perspective began to shine.
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*Fortunately I don’t go there for extended periods and my thoughts go out to those who do. These actions are not about tackling that depth of blackness.
Go the New Zealand! It’s an amazing place full of spectacular nature, not to mention great people, food and wine.
Seriously, if you’re feeling dark and “in a cave”:
- Don’t rush straight out, necessarily. It might not be comfortable, but the ideas you have in there may in time be seen to have lead you to totally new ways of understanding your situation.
- Revolve. Look at where you’ve come from, how far you’ve come. What courage it’s taken to get there.
- Observe the glory of the cave’s contents, details illuminated by the light.
- Get out of there when you’re ready, and with a direction to aim for.
Being off line I was virtually off-line for two weeks recently in New Zealand.
In a way, being so disconnected for a time was fantastic. It was refreshing and left me very open to take in what was before me then and there. Apologies if this left anyone hanging.
A couple of bods have had to drop out of my Tea Party Retreat in Manly on March 21.
That means some spots have opened up for you to get your gorgeousness on and to experience just how magnificent you are.
Once you have that in your bones, your relationships and income can’t but improve, providing you’re one of the appropriate candidates to try this work.
Wanna join us? Call me on 0413 610 350 – I promise to answer this time!