Walking To Wellness

Yesterday was a little like ripping off a band-aid – and not for the first time, either.

The ‘tinana’ (body) is a strange and funny thing, despite all its awesomeness.

And to be utterly fair, the key is in knowing your own one intimately enough to be aware of where yours is at – be that in some state of recovery (*currently me, in this second official month of winter here in NZ), or in your very best shape despite the odds, or the season.

Recently I chose to abandon all social media except Instagram, and damn if that wasn’t both personal and purposeful.  To be honest, I have been well over the negativity and crap that comes with Facebook for a while now, so the decision to finally say “fuck you” and leave was simply a matter of ‘when’, and not ‘if’.

I also did my absolute best to experiment with Snapchat (for the #EverestNoFilter campaign, solely), but once Ballinger et al. were done, I was too.

And, what I’ve since found is, there’s so so much to be gained in the way of wellness simply from being – becoming – less available.  Sure, some will struggle to wrap their mind around the many mental/emotional benefits of leaving the land of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ behind – in this day and age of the ego-driven selfie-groufie-groupie, the notion of others not being driven to the depths of self-loathing due to the/their “lack of” is confusing af.

Life is, after all, a permanent popularity contest – right?

But: what if, in all that newly-discovered, unhindered stillness, lay the opportunity to do something – anything – on the daily, just for you?

And, not even from a place of ego – yeah, nah.  What I’m talking about comes from an angle of ‘aroha’ – of compassion, and empathy, kindness, self-acceptance, and of mindfulness, and turning those very things on yourself, unconditionally, no matter how tricky or strange that might feel at first.

Just, walking your own walk to wellness, eh.

For me, ripping off said band-aid is in fact one way of doing this; ultimately, hiking and (of course) connecting with Papatūānuku is how I manifest and live my existing relationships with both my māmās – my Earth Mother (who nurtures and sustains), and my Mum (now in spirit).

I love the route to Belmont Trig – even post-face-lift, which has clearly served to make the bush-walk portion more accessible to/for more of the surrounding community, be they ‘tamariki’ (children), dog owners, runners, or bush-lovers like me.

Belmont Trig (457 metres) – the highest point in Pōneke.

Despite now feeling slightly less “intrepid” in those initial phases (*starting at Oakleigh Street), the throat of Te Mana still feels sufficiently steep in others – I was certainly marvelling with my mate about our capacity to “deal to” mountains one minute, and then huff and puff our way up a hillside – this fucking hillside – on an entirely different day.

But, that’s real life.

To conclude on the whole “wellbeing” note: one thing that’s along this particular route in abundance is our native ‘kawakawa’ (pepper tree, Macropiper excelsum), whose leaves you can pick to make a tea-brew that’ll not only enhance your personal connection to/with Papatūānuku and ‘Tāne-mahuta’ (atua/deity of the forest and all forest creatures), but add some honey, ground ginger, and turmeric for a pretty bloody superb tummy tonic that’ll also rejuvenate, and energise:

  • Three kawakawa leaves;
  • Three servings/tips of ground ginger (MasterFoods’ shaker);
  • Quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric;
  • One teaspoon of mānuka honey.

‘Haere pai atu, hoki ora mai nei’ (or: Go gently, and return safe and well), always;

IM.

The Push To Belmont Trig: Busting-a-Gut Up The Throat Of ‘Te Mana’

Should you happen to be on-the-hunt for a half-day-walk here in Wellington that’ll make you gasp (*with awe, I mean – although you’ll likely be left with empty lungs and a suitably busted gut, too), then the push to Belmont Trig is “it”.

Continue reading “The Push To Belmont Trig: Busting-a-Gut Up The Throat Of ‘Te Mana’”

Cannon Point Walkway & Birchville Dam: Dem Astronomical Akatarawa Views (Also: Happy Matariki, Whānau)

First things front-and-centre: ‘Ngā mihi o te wā nei, ko Matariki’ (or simply, “Happy Matariki”), whānau.

As-of the start of June, ‘Matariki’ – aka, the “Pleiades” star cluster – is now visible in our hemisphere, thus heralding the Māori New Year.

Without a shred of doubt, Matariki is, and means, many things to many people.  For those of us who dedicate ourselves to this particular time of year life, we are inherently drawn to the usual array of New Year’s traditions.  Key kupu like “remembrance”, “fertility”, “life”, “death”, and “gratitude” all assume their rightful place/s alongside the purposeful, necessary act of celebrating everything we are, as Māori.

Matariki’s our time.

Continue reading “Cannon Point Walkway & Birchville Dam: Dem Astronomical Akatarawa Views (Also: Happy Matariki, Whānau)”

Wainui Water Collection Area: A Free Guided Tour

*Nov ’16 (update): This post comprises the beginnings of my volunteering career with ‘Greater Wellington’.  Basically, I buddy’d-up with one of the fabulous volunteers on this tour, met the ranger and really liked him too, and decided to tag-along on a regular basis.

I’ve since been into the heart of the ‘Mainland Island’ that I mention in this piece, and my first official “gig” as a volunteer involved exploring this total taonga-of-a-place at night-time, with glow-worms and everything.

Continue reading “Wainui Water Collection Area: A Free Guided Tour”