When I was 21 years old, I was working as a Bar Manager in Double Bay, Sydney, Australia. I felt my life was empty and meaningless, though I had what most young men equated with a happy life (money, girls, etc.). Slowly I started questioning where my life was leading and I realised that material things could never satisfy my soul. Finally I discovered God and realised that I was not put on Earth for the purpose of making money, but for the purpose of loving others and living a meaningful life. After reading the Gospels I found that Jesus taught that to you should “sell everything you have and give the money to the poor” (Luke 12:33). This was indeed a radical teaching to me, as I had never heard it preached or practiced in any Church I knew of. Then, I decided that being a Christian meant following in Jesus’ footsteps, so with the help of some friends I sold up everything I had and gave it all away. My life has never been the same since, and I never want to go back to the rat-race-money-seeking-system. I started my new life by living in a tent and travelling around with some new found friends, a married couple and their 3 year old son who were living in a small Toyota Van. Soon after this, I was invited to go to India to do some volunteer work teaching English and encouraging a non-materialistic lifestyle. I spent two years in India, then travelled around other countries, experiencing meaningful adventures along the way. I did this without earning a single paycheck. I am currently living in Kenya with my wife. We have been here for about four years. We run a free Volunteer Centre where we provide food and accommodation to anyone who wants to lend a helping hand. We mostly focus on teaching English at the local schools and working on a Permaculture Garden. I can only, but recommend to anyone and everyone to think deeply about what life is all about and to not be sucked in by the pressures of a consumerist society. Mortgages, bills, credit-cards, I-pods, DVD players, etc. can never bring you lasting happiness. That is not to say that if you give up everything you currently have, you will never have access to such technology. But take access when offered and feel truly thankful for this access as opposed to feeling tied down by it.
After a couple of years of looking, searching, trying to find a way out of a black hole of depression, I applied for a job in Alice Springs as a Resort PA and fortunately for me – got it! If I thought living in Canberra and Sydney was different from where I was brought up in Brisbane, I was in for a rude shock. Being isolated in the middle of Australia was challenging. It is not like changing jobs where your friends are just nearby! It was a life changing experience for me. Relocating to a place where you know no one AND starting a new job! It was a little scary at first, but then on the first night when I sat back on the sand dunes and witnessed my first sunset over Uluru – it was breathtaking! That black hole of depression – What black hole? All my worries seemed to fade away. The views and people I met while sitting on those dunes or sitting on my verandah made the transition to
Alice Springs so much easier. It was a place of endless opportunities. There were so many experiences to be had. The cultural side of Alice fascinated me and I learned and shared so much with resort guests. Driving to Alice Springs for a shopping fix and being tested by the locals on the drive home was a little nerve racking, but I also avoided dingoes, snakes and hopping mice! I could go on forever. The opportunities I received, I accepted and treasured are something I wish for everyone about to embark on an adventure. Have Fun!
Almost four years ago I found myself with a five week old baby and all alone in the world when it became apparent that my husband had emptied the equity out of our home loan so he could buy a new home with his girlfriend. I was left holding a new born baby and with little money I felt a life changing experience thrust upon me. I cried alot and worried about the next day and then the next. I am glad to say that four years later I am glad that I am no longer in that marriage. I put into backup financial plans to make sure that I will never be caught out in that situation again.
I was the CEO of a finance company and my wife worked in Accounts Section. In November 2008, we packed in our jobs, rented out our house and we are now travelling around Australia with our Caravan. We have two children aged nine and ten, who attend school through distance education. This transient lifestyle we live has been absolutely fantastic for all of us as individuals and as a family unit. Australia is a special place with many places and people of interest – it could take a lifetime to really experience what this country can offer, but unfortunately, we will have to return to the rat race.. one day!
Last year my wife, Sheila and I, after a lot of discussion, decided it was time for a change. We both had secure employment. My wife as a Sales Representative and I as a Systems Specialist for the same telecommunications company. We discussed the idea for quite some time and decided that we would sell everything and move from Bendigo in Victoria to Mareeba in Far North Queensland. When we told the Manager of our plans we were given a very bad response, which made us think our decision over again as he is also a very good friend. However we made our decision and so we would stick to it. We planned to leave on 14 March 2009. We decided we would first get rid of our accumulated junk which was squirreled away throughout the house. Man we found stuff we had forgotten we had. Our resolve was strong and soon I was tasked with the job of putting items up for sale on EBay. Sylvia had the job of going through all the stuff in the house and deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. It was hard, there was so much to remind us of the past, both good and bad. I found this part of the plan to be the hardest. Not to get rid of things but convince Sylvia to get rid of things. In the end we sold a lot of our stuff on EBay very cheaply. People who bought our items commented on how cheaply they had got the item. That was a concern at first as we knew we would need all the money we could get to make this happen. However after a while our attitude changed toward the whole process. So what if some people got a bargain, good luck to them because we were doing something these people would never contemplate doing (except in their dreams). On the appointed date (14th March) we left. We had not sold our house like we wanted to because at this same time the world economy decided it would go on holiday. So we organised with a real-estate company to rent out the house for us. This turned into a nightmare! The people who wanted to rent the house wanted more from it than what we ever had. They didn’t want a home they wanted a mansion. Gold for the price of dirt! So after spending a lot of money to make everyone happy, we finally rented the property out. With our caravan in tow we headed north. Myself, Sylvia, sons Joshua 8 and Tyler 18 years old and his 18 year old girl friend and our 13 year old dog Toby. We took 14 days to travel from Bendigo to Koah just outside of Cairns. We had a great time seeing lots of sights and having lots of fun. We took time out when we reached our destination to do some of the touristy stuff, but also to go off the beaten track. We finally moved out of our caravan in June when we managed to find a lovely farm house for rent in a very quiet spot. We converted our caravan into a mobile workshop and I started drumming up work at caravan parks looking after the grey nomads computer needs. We have met some really nice people up here and we have also come across stories that we are not welcome, but mainly from those who see us as a threat to their business. We finally sold our house in Bendigo for the price we wanted and last Monday we opened our office in Mareeba and am starting to feel as though we are getting somewhere at last although it’s like one step forward 3 steps back. Many of our friends in Bendigo asked us why? I can’t tell you why except for the challenge and the change of life. Now Mareeba people ask us why did we move from Bendigo and we look around and say “for this!”. For us this has been a stressful and exciting time. To say we have put ourselves out of our comfort zone is an understatement! We are still out of our comfort zone. We know a few people here although not really anyone we can relate with as yet. We had to go out and get things done not because we wanted to, but because we had to, there was no choice. This what we expected and this is what we decided to put ourselves in for. This is the short version of our story. There is so much more to tell, but not enough time to tell it now.
Bryce and Sheila
Thankyou to the Australian Life Change Experiment for the above stories.
Names have been changed.
This is compliments of the Blog of Christine Greig see www.changeitallnow.com.
“ I have been working through my Beyond Freedom Evolution course (which is a 12month success education course) and today the subject was on “Do I like Change”.
To tell you the truth I had never thought of it before but that is the problem with most of us we are not aware of what we think of any situation until we become involved in Personal Development and through self education we do learn to be more in touch with our feelings even to the point of journaling about them.
Just to go off topic for a minute..I hated journaling when I first started but after studying successful people I know they all keep journals.
I think I hated journaling because I had become very clever at having a very thick brick wall built up around me so even I didn’t really know what I was feeling. I had built these walls to protect myself well that is what I told myself anyway. It was easier not to deal with things just let them bounce off my walls and get on with what I thought was more important. Boy was I so wrong.
(but I think that could be another story)
So if I could share with you some of what is written in our Beyond Freedom Evolution course about Change.
“As human beings on this planet, we are all born into a system of change: time passes beneath our lives whether we choose it to or not. We are not given the option to remain unaffected by events throughout our day: we wake up, we get hungry, we eat, we move from one place to the next, we process countless thoughts throughout the day, we act through countless actions and activities, and eventually we get tired and we sleep. It is an integral cycle and process in our lives that never ends.
SO, it is little wonder that we can become very frustrated, anxious, unsettled or unhappy if we don’t make an effort to navigate and direct this naturally occurring process for our good and the good of others.
This was the Exercise to make us think about how we thought of Change
Q…Make a note of how you feel when you think of change.
A…I did think I was happy with change which I am when I have instigated the change and I think it is a good idea. But while sitting down and really thinking about DO I LIKE CHANGE
I don’t think I like it at all when someone else suggests the change. So now I have to sit down and work out WHY..is it my ego because I think my way is better. I suppose what I’m doing now is embracing CHANGE because before becoming involved in my personal development business I would have said who cares what I think of change.
I now know that I will need to embrace change so I can continue to grow as a person on the inside and of course work on that ego thing.
Too often people fight change because they fear the unknown. But for those who are unhappy or unfulfilled in their life, change is the only way out. If you don’t change you will be stuck in the same place for ever.
It may help to think of CHANGE as a friend or ally.
ONE THING TO BEWARE OF …As you become more comfortable with change, you will often meet resistance from those close to you. Being aware of this makes it easier to recognize.
****THE IMPORTANT CONCEPT HERE IS TO UNDERSTAND AND EMBRACE THAT CHANGE IS NECESSARY FOR SHIFTS TO TAKE PLACE IN YOUR LIFE*****
So now for your exercise ….For the next 7 days think about (and write about) How you feel about CHANGE. How you react to CHANGE
I would love for you to share your thoughts about CHANGE now and after you finish the exercise in 7 days.
To your CHANGE and mine
1. when I first started to read that your blog was on change I thought, “Well I embrace change I love to change things in my life to make it better.” I then thought ” however this is only when I instigate the change, when its someone/something else doing the changing I feel quite uncomfortable.” Now I know that you felt the same.
I will endeavour to keep a diary for a week when changes occur in my life and get back to you next week and hopefully I can move on from there!!!!
I am like my routine and things have to be done in the right order I am not so good when my planned day goes wrong and I have to have my light switches the right way up!!!! Tea at 5, bath for my toddler at 6 bed at 7 etc and if anyone/thing “changes” my routine I feel I cannot cope very well.
Ok so it is becoming obvious that I am not so good with change!!!!!
Brilliant blog then Chrissy as it has obviously made me think. Watch this space.
2. I checked out your site. I haven't finished reading all of it but did read enough to understand "change". Yes, change is something that we all must realise that is just going to happen whether we like it or not. Change is a positive thing....then again it can be a negative one if you don't keep your head up!! So I guess it is an ongoing thing. Almost too much to talk about. It never stops...
When a big change occurs in your life it forces you to change direction. The new path may not be easy, but you can be certain there is magnificence for you on the new path. It contains things that you couldn't have experienced otherwise. Looking back at a negative event that occurred in the past, we often see how it transformed our life, how it directed us toward a life that we would not change for anything.
BEIJING (AP) - An earthquake toppled more than 1,000 houses and apartment buildings in China's southwest near the border with Myanmar on Thursday, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 200, officials and state media said.
Photos from the scene showed buildings that buckled, crushing their lower floors. Police, firefighters and soldiers rushed to the area to pull out people trapped in the rubble, including a man and girl stuck in the stairwell of a four-story building.
Parts of a supermarket and a hotel caved in, while sidewalks were lined with injured on blankets, being shielded from the sun by large vendor umbrellas. The official Xinhua News Agency reported that 24 people had been killed, including four students, citing the Yingjiang county government in Yunnan province. Another 207 people were injured, 33 of them in critical condition.
Pod-gers on the Huffington Post posted the following
"The Chinese response is always quick, and they provide plenty of manpower, rescue workers. security, doctors and nurses, along with tents, quilts and cots. It really is quite impressive. It makes me wonder if we are prepered to respond this way here in the US?"
Japan has also been pounded by a massive tsunami after being struck by one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, which was listed by the USGS as magnitude 8.9.
The powerful tsunami swept away cars near the coast and news networks have been broadcasting footage of waves sweeping through farmland normally many miles from the coast.
Japans death toll tops 10,000.