I hesitantly set off to the base of the big hill this morning – the pain in my calf muscles a lot less but a general heaviness in my legs and body that I wondered if was partly brought on by staying up too late after my English Language Class to have a couple of glasses of Sav in the spa on an empty stomach – even though it was one of the recommendations for relieving muscle tension when I had earlier googled about it!

For the longest time a big fresh dog shit smack in the middle of the track was the only sign of life.  I was thankful I spotted it as the thought of it accompanying me for the journey was not pleasant.

I heard a happy, chattering party long before they came into view and just past the landing three women were making their descent.

I put my legs into automatic and got to thinking that even though we’re in the shit and the current climate in the dairy industry is dire for some people – we were blessed to have some amazing support from mentors that we were matched up with from the DairyNZ, Dairy Connect scheme.

One such angel left a card after her visit – www.depression.org.nz/rural.  A few days went by and I checked out the website and ended up doing the quiz and it came out that I was moderately depressed. It did make sense when I thought back over the last few months and the big melt-down I had at my cousin’s wedding when I thought I had completely stuffed up her wedding photos and along with the overindulging in food and alcohol and the going back to bed between the morning and afternoon milking;  but l was adamant that I didn’t  want to take myself off to the doctor to get pills to numb myself any further – I vowed then to work through the crap and my Mount Everest ten-day Mount Te Aroha Challenge was one of the ways to kick-start the process.

So feeling a little fatigued I kept on going – doing it for all the hurting cow-cockies out there.  The ones that have taken their own lives because they lost all hope and the ones that have had to leave an industry they love and the only means of income they have ever known.

As the incline increased I caught up to a couple – he was quite a bit further ahead than her.

“I went up to Bald Spur yesterday,” she said.  “My calf muscles are burning!”

I just smiled and sympathised with her.  She didn’t get very far along and she sat down. “I, need the plasters and they’re in HIS pack.”  I said if I managed to catch him up I would send him back with the plasters.

Not too much further he was patiently waiting.  “She needs the plasters.”  “She wants the sit-down,” he muttered.

With knees feeling a little wobbly I stopped to catch my breath at a spot with a nice view if you peaked between the branches.

A guy on his way up suddenly appeared and I let out a startled noise then immediately felt embarrassed.  “I knew you weren’t a tree when I spotted your pink top,” he said.  Hey I know I have Ponga legs, I thought to myself –  but to only realise I wasn’t a tree once he glimpsed my top!

“You’re not scary,” I replied.  “You can get a bit lost in your thoughts up here.” My way of explanation for screeching, reminiscent of a time we went to Spookers, the horror theme park in Auckland.  We had finished our tour through the haunted mental asylum and been chased through the maize by chainsaw wielding lunatics but back in the cafe a random guy walked past me, no costume, no make-up or fake blood in sight, and I screamed.  “It’s alright lady, I’m not that scary looking I hope!”

I arrived making the same time up as yesterday even though it had felt harder work and wandered up to the trig station and passed the maintenance guys from Kordia.  “You back again!” called out one of the guys as he was slipping into his safety harness.

“Yup,” I said.  “Gonna do it ten in a row and today is day five!”

“Fuuuuuuuuuuck,” he said.


I just managed to click off that “proof of mission accomplished selfie” as I stared into the glaring sun and a gentleman joined me on the summit.

“The views worth it aye,” I said.  He agreed but said we should have come up yesterday as that looked to be a clearer day.  I just smiled.

As we both ate our snacks and chit-chatted he said I guess you don’t get up here much with working around your cows?  I couldn’t just answer that with a smile and my confession that this was day five and my little story tumbled off my tongue and then I was suitably impressed that he was suitably impressed with my mission – him being a super fit, ex marathoner, Merrell amphibious shoe wearer and all!

He sympathised for all the hurting dairy farmers, wished me all the best with my mission, then headed off to Dog Kennel Flat and I set off back down the way I had come up.

I met the couple I passed earlier on – plaster in place she made it after all – proof that we can push through the pain when we really want to accomplish something bad enough.

I jig-wobbly-jogged my way down and  two red-faced chicks gave way to me on a bend.  “The view will make it all worth it,” I called out.  “Good,” they retorted in that “I hope we are nearly there” voice.

As I got closer to the Horseman’s Track turn-off I heard voices floating through the air then it was solitude again all the way back to the Domain and I was treated to the Mokena geyser – the only natural soda water geyser in the world – doing her every forty minute eruption.


Mai i toku ngakau,




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Feeling like the fatigue had set in for the time being on my stiff legs, but wanting to attempt climb number four with achieving a better time in mind, I set off once again.

The beginning of the track I met a rather large man trying to coax his dog to join him up the track – the dog clearly wanting to hang in the park rather than climb the steep path.  The man gave up in disgust and headed up the track without Buddy so for the first part of the mission I could hear him a few meters behind me breathing loudly which made me push on a little harder.

I called out “hi” to the two ladies admiring the view of Te Aroha from the landing and then wound my way up in solitude again.

I have begun naming little landmarks along the way  and marking spots off in my mind as I pass them – “Root wall one”, “slippery fern alley”, “the spiral staircase”, “root staircase”, “the waterfall”, “the bog”, “first glance”, “exposed ridge” and “a jolt of energy” – the spot where I can see the zig-zag electricity symbol on the side of part of the building below the transmitter.  It never fails to spur me on those final few steps up and out of the bush.

Yesterday I was treated with my first view from the top – and after one hour and fifty-six minutes of climbing, it was certainly worth it!


Mount Te Aroha – the grand sentinel watching over the Manawaru farm where I live, reminds me of growing up in New Plymouth.

No Whakatu āhau

Engari, ko Ngāmotu toku ngākau.

I am from Nelson but New Plymouth is the home of my heart.

It was my parents that instilled in me the love of tramping and getting up into the bush on Mount Taranaki and the photo is me sitting between them on my first summit climb on the fifth of March twenty-seven years ago!


I tried to up my pace on the way down – with the track beginning to dry out from all the rain my tentative steps became a little more confident and I was soon one step after the other, to the left, to the right, dancing my way down the hill – the more tired my legs became the more alive I felt.

I met a weimaraner dog on a bend and a few paces behind his owner steaming up the slope – for now the Ridgies can stay at home, their time for getting up in the hills again with me will come soon enough after I have completed my Mount Everest, 10 day Mount Te Aroha Challenge.

Winding my way back down I met a husband and wife – she desperately wanting to know if they were nearly there yet and her husband getting in fast to say they were – not wanting to let me say anything otherwise to dishearten her.

Jig-jogging and side-stepping the rest of the way saw me back down the hill in one hour and seventeen minutes – an amazing feeling to achieve it nearer to the three-hour mark than the almost four I started out with!


Off to milk the cows,

Ka kite!

Mai i toku ngakau,




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I arrived at the base of the big hill determined that my sore, stiff legs were not going to hold me back.

Pushing on the blood started to flow through my veins and loosen everything up and I strode it out up past the landing greeting half a dozen people on the way and a small group of women hiking up by Bald Spur.  Such a difference to the previous couple of days where no one had seemed to want to venture out into the swirling grey mist.

Nearing the summit the clouds closed in around me so the anticipation for an amazing 360 degree view was no longer present but I pushed on some more and clicked off the obligatory selfie, buffeted by a cold wind.

The ancient big rock deciding to hide her head in the clouds for the third day in a row.


The third day conquering the Mountain of Love had me contemplating that very subject.

Ernest E Bush wrote, “It has long been the trysting place of Māori lovers, made so by the spirit of love innate in the mountain.  It is also where Spring no.22 or the Honeymoon spring resides – a place where newly married couples would dip their wedding rings to ensure a long happy marriage.

Part of my heart belongs here with special memories spent with loved ones past and present and it has also been a place where my relationship with God as deepened.

We all know that love is one of the nine basic human emotions – fear, anger, shock, disgust, sadness, guilt, love, joy and curiosity – but then what?

Dale Carnegie said most people want health and preservation of life, food, sleep, money and the things it will buy, life in the hereafter, sexual satisfaction, the wellbeing of our children and a feeling of importance.

But why is love the deepest yearning of the heart for the majority of people?

My first tattoo at the age of eighteen was a heart with wings which symbolised to me that love was elusive.

Dr John Townsend says we are designed to know and be known and it summed up a part of what love means to me.  He says we need to explore these aspects with each other:

Your emotions

Your values

Your character

Your competencies

Your losses and injuries

Your preferences

Your past

Your future

Your relationships

Your quirks

You two.

Phew….. I don’t want a lot do I?!!

All said and done we all crave unconditional love which is kind of impossible for mere mortals.

It has only been since I began detoxing from toxic religion and took a break from my usual Sunday morning routine, that I have even begun to grasp a little of God’s love.

A God who longs for our heart and is not so concerned about all our acts of service and dogmatic rule keeping – where the measure of your welcome into the fold and love and support is dependent on how often your bum is on a pew or how many days of the week your rushing out to to do your part for “the kingdom”.

So for now The Mountain of Love is my place of solitude, contemplation, beauty, love, grace and redemption – a far cry from all the shalls and shall nots, and the western traditions of man contained within those stuffy four walls.

Looking out the window up to the giant watchman it looks like I’ll be rewarded with a view up there today!

Mai i toku ngakau,



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This morning I got up onto extremely stiff peg- legged, screaming with pain calf muscles and now I’m reflecting on yesterdays mission with the smell of Slack balm assaulting my nostrils and stinging my eyes.

Ten minutes up the hill I encountered a trail runner making his way back down and on a large horse-shoe bend where I gave way to him we exchanged the usual “hi” then I wondered out loud “hey, are you that personal trainer from Morrinsville gym?”

“Nah mate, I’m local…… this is my gym”

“The best kind of gym aye!” I replied.

“For sure” he said as he disappeared around the corner in the light drizzle.

Once the blood started pumping through my stiff legs I upped my pace and wound my way up past Whakapipi Landing, Bald Spur then pushed past the Horseman’s track turn-off.

With a mouthful of cobwebs I realised I was probably the first one to head up this part of the track that day then not too much further the rain began to fall again.

A Kereru chaperoned me for a while – the noisy beat of his wings encouraging me on and only managing to steal a glance of him just before he handed over the guard to a pair of Piwakawaka who cheerfully called me on in exchange for the insects I kicked up for them along the way.

Nearing the summit I received a ticker-tape welcome of red,orange,yellow and green, first day of Autumn leaves falling down around me.

I was lashed with stinging rain as I made my way up to the trig station for the selfie to prove I had succeeded in my mission for the day.



As I tentatively made my way back down over the slippery tree roots, clay track and slimy rocks, side-stepping the soggy clumps of leaves and trying not to stand on the decaying fern fronds that tend to send me skating, I got to thinking about the little orange trail marker triangles.

If only we had little orange trail marker triangles on our journey through life!

Then I pondered some more…… we actually do – we just get so caught up and busy in our day-to-day lives, head down – bum up, that we don’t look up and notice them.

Or maybe we’ve just got off track or lost our way?

Sooner or later those little orange marker trail marker triangles come back into view again.









Some parts of the journey we walk in a large, chattering party, crashing our way through the bush.  Other times we go the trail alone.

Sometimes we need to walk the trail of life with a more experienced guide showing us the way.

Either way – as long as we’re moving forward and not just resting-up on a log we are getting somewhere.

My Mount Everest 10 day Mount Te Aroha Challenge is just as much a mental challenge as a physical one.

The downturn in the dairy industry has hit us hard.

May 31st sees us looking down the barrel of a bank balance in the red, no, home, no job and potentially no marriage gun.

So for now as I seek clarity and direction I just have to keep those little orange trail marker triangles in view and just put one foot in front of the other.

I know the view from the top will be worth it!

And on this clear morning that is what spurs me on to lace up my shoes and get this “carrot up bum” waddle on up that hill!

Ka kite!

Mai i toku ngakau,


Go to www.facebook.com/theoasisofwellbeing for more pictures of this adventure.


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Mount Te Aroha – The Mountain of Love.

The Arawa and the Ngati-Maniapoto both have legends about the naming of this 952 meter high point in the Kamai Range – both which speak of affection for their people in far away places.

The Māori have tales of enchanted people or the wild people of the bush, said to be fugitive tribes, as the hills were a refuge for defeated and hunted tribes.

My accent yesterday from Te Aroha Domain was slow going in the pouring rain on the misty mountain and once the talking mouths on tanned skinny legs were left well behind at Whakapipi Landing it was just the mountain and I.

Slippery tree roots, sharp rocks and water streaming down the track so it looked like a water fall in parts but I took my time and tried to walk mindfully and soak up my surroundings and not get lost in the swirling thoughts in my head.

With next to no visibility at the summit and no view to reward my efforts it was still a magical place to stand with the mist swirling all around and the rain falling.


Now home to a 126 meter transmitter owned by Kordia, a New Zealand and government-owned broadcast and telecommunication company – even that was swallowed up by the swirling grey clouds.

Erected in 1985 to replace the original 413ft mast that a team of Italian construction workers assembled in 1965. In times gone by tourist operators have driven bus loads of tourists up to the summit once the transmitter was operational.

One such operator was the Mountain Turtle Bus which ran for 17-years.


Mountain Turtle Bus – how fitting!

Perfectly sums up my overweight, lung-gasping, muscle-screaming, cautious-stepping accent up the misty mountain!

So with sore legs and tight calf muscles and a peg leg kind of walk – its time to go milk some cows then I’ll get my trail shoes on and do it all again!

Mai i toku ngakau



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My last post I shared that the best medicine when you’re in a slump was word medicine from Dr.Seuss and in “Oh the places you’ll go” he nudges us onwards with:

“You’re off to Great Places

Today is your day

Your mountain is waiting

So… get on your way!”

With a friend recently completing The Mount Challenge – climbing Mauao (Mt Maunganui) thirty-eight times in four days – equivalent to Mount Everest, for charity, I looked out from the cowshed up to Mount Te Aroha and my own personal challenge was born.

If Mount Everest is almost nine kilometres high and Mount Te Aroha almost one – ten climbs would be equivalent.

So for the next ten days, I will climb Mount Te Aroha once a day and share the journey with you.

I have not trained for this – I am unfit, the twenty plus kilograms I worked so hard to lose this time last year all back on from binge eating and wallowing in self-pity and soothing myself with too much booze.

It took Dr Viktor Frankl to point out that the primary motivation of humans is the search for meaning and when a person cannot realise his or her “Will to Meaning” in their lives they will experience emptiness – the frustration of the existential need for meaningful goals will give rise to aggression, addiction and depression.

So my hope is that this mountain challenge will kick-start my body physically and mentally as I re-examine what is important and meaningful in my life and with God’s help figure out how I am best to contribute to the world and show up each day.

I look forward to sharing this adventure with you – “Your mountain is waiting – so…get on your way!”

Off to milk the cows now,

Mai i toku ngakau


Go to www.facebook.com/theoasisofwellbeing for pictures and videos of this adventure.

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Twenty days into the New Year and I still haven’t set aside time for my annual goal setting and soul-searching.

What’s the best medicine for when you’re in a slump?   Word Medicine from none other than the doctor himself – Dr.Seuss that is!

His profound words in “Oh the Places you’ll go!” totally summed up my 2015 and the start to this year.

“You have brains in your head.

You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself

any direction you choose.”

The beginning of 2015 began with goal setting and clarity and passion and high hopes.

“Except when you don’t

Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so

but, sadly, it’s true

that Bang-ups

and Hang-ups

can happen to you.”

From feeling motivated and strong and passing the 20 kg weight loss mark,  the middle of the year saw everything around me crashing down.

“And when you’re in a Slump,

you’re not in for much fun.

Un-slumping yourself

is not easily done.”

I had never been so low.

“Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”

The chaos consumed me.

“You can get so confused

that you’ll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place.”

And this is where I stayed as days turned into weeks and weeks into months.


That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape

all that waiting and staying.

You’ll find the bright places

where Boom Bands are playing.”

And I did….. for a short time…

“Oh the places you’ll go!  There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored.  There are games to be won.”

And there was some fun – and some games –  I won.

“Except when they don’t.

Because, sometimes, they won’t.”

The darkness returned.

“But on you will go

though the weather be foul.

On you will go

though the Hakken-Kraks howl.

Onward up many

a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your sneakers may leak.”

I resorted to old mind and heart numbing strategies to get through each day.

“So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life’s

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

I began to step a little more carefully…

“And will you succeed?

Yes!  You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 per cent guaranteed.)”

I held on to the glimmer of hope.

“You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So… get on your way!”

And today it begins.

I will stop numbing myself.

I will not let the “un-knowing” drown me.

Fear and uncertainty are not going to pull me under.

It’s time to start moving forward again – even if it’s just crawling on my knees … until I can run again.


Mai i toku ngakau





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When you have set some time aside and considered your values and narrowed them down to identify your core values the next step is to think about your dreams or passions.

To begin, take a hard, honest look at your life right now.  Think about your everyday life and jot down what fires you up, makes you feel more enthused and energised or at peace but also take note of the things in your life that are draining and pulling you down mentally and physically and write them on the other half of the paper or in your journal.

For example good things in my life might include; my outdoorsy job, eating healthy meals cooked from scratch, bush walking and getting out and about on my bike, fishing, reading a good book, giving back to my community, spending time with my daughters and my Rhodesian Ridgebacks dogs.

Draining activities in my life are things like not eating properly, too much junk food, not a lot of time off work, seasonally busy workload, not telling people how I really feel, disappointments, staying up too late at night, not communicating properly and lack of intimacy.

You then have to work out the best course of action for you to minimise the negative aspects in your life – either do what is in your power to change the set of circumstances, work on yourself to adapt to it or leave the situation.

I really like this Eckhart Tolle quote:

Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. 

Now capture in your journal all the things that would make you feel fulfilled and balanced as a person – attitudes, habits, activities, material things.

To be fit and healthy, no binge eating, not addicted to things, connected to God and nature, real, open, understanding, a good listener, grow an awesome veggie garden, natural living – more sustainable,  uncluttered and free of material possessions, supportive of family and their personal growth, more tramping/mountain biking/cycling/running/walking dogs, travel – Africa, Scotland, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, India, volunteer my time and services, personal growth and development.

Now dream bigger – how would you choose to fill your day if money wasn’t an issue and you didn’t have to work a 40, 50, 60 or 80 hour week?  What seemingly simple to you thing have you done that other people have gone “wow” over?  If you had a lot of time to kill, what sort of book would you be reading or what would you be looking at on the internet? What do you want people to say at your funeral?

This is where your exploration should go a little deeper.  Scott Dinsmore, Live Your Legend  Passionate Work Toolkit, includes 27 Questions To Find Your Passion.


We must live our live purposely – not just getting swept along and bounced off the rocks as we go – we have to get in our waka and start paddling.  Now a waka is not just a one-man boat – it has an 18-22 man crew (and as many as 80!)

Deliberately seek out the people who are heading in the same direction as you – your waka crew is your success team and you will only move forward if you are all paddling in unison.

Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe;
e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta. 

Don’t paddle out of unison;
our canoe will never reach the shore.

So like Mark Twain said –  sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mai i toku ngakau,


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Over the years I have enjoyed taking time out of my busy life to connect with God in a deep way spiritually. I have locked myself in my room, stayed in a hut up in the Kaimais, checked into funny little cottages and attended more structured retreats.

I went to my first Seek Me Retreat facilitated by Margaret Smith at Houchen House in Hamilton towards the end of 2013. There was something special about being with a group of other like-minded women but with the privacy of our own rooms and a no talking rule, you didn’t have to engage in small talk and were given the space to look deep within yourself and connect with God.

The first morning I woke up I read through Psalm 23.

Psalm 23 (MSG)

23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

I contemplated this and looked at my life; I like to be my own boss, I am rebellious, I’m always thinking about the things I don’t have, I have lots of anxiety, I go down wrong paths, I get depressed when things go pear-shaped in my life then do self-destructive things and get full of self-loathing.  I sometimes doubt my faith and just hope like crazy that the eternal life thing is true.

I then decided to claim the promise of Psalm 23 and changed my thought pattern to; You Lord are my shepherd, I lack nothing, you refresh my soul and you guide me down the right path.  I don’t need to fear dark times.  Goodness and love will follow me.  I will live with you God forever.

It was extra special to come across the sheep when I ventured out into the garden after spending time in these verses and also the connection with my name, Rahera meaning lamb in Hebrew.

That first year God spoke to me through verses like;

Romans 12 (MSG)

12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Some versions refer to it as the renewing of your mind.

Isaiah 43 (MSG)

43 16-21 This is what God says,
    the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
    who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
    they lie down and then can’t get up;
    they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
    It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
    rivers in the badlands.

This spoke to me in a way that I needed to stop beating myself up over my past choices and that God had exciting plans for me.

Mathew 7 (MSG)

12 “Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.

For the longest time I have been desperate for a spiritual mentor – this verse is telling me to be that person to others then mine for come into my life at just the right time.

Houchen House has amazing gardens with lots of little hideaways to sit and enjoy nature and the solitude.  The labyrinth is also a unique addition to the garden, designed in March 2003 and influenced by the ancient Cretan design and taking into account the slope of the land and its hill-top location.

There are two additional circles added to the labyrinth before entering the seven circle pattern. These extra circles allow time for the walker to establish focus and a rhythm of movement before entering the central pathway.

The gazebo beside the labyrinth provides a place to sit and review the experience either in solitude or with companions and flaming torches can also be provided to illuminate the labyrinth for night-time use.

My first experience with the labyrinth I thought I had done it wrong somehow, it felt like I was coming to a dead-end and you ended up traveling further away before you got close to the centre.  Once I made it to the middle I found a little cactus nestled amongst the plants and flowers and God showed me that this was like my heart – sharp bits protecting anyone from getting too close and hurting me again.

The time came to a close all too soon and we all had to venture back into the busyness of our lives but it was a profound experience and something I endevour to do on a regular basis today.

Mai i toku ngakau,






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My second Seek Me Retreat began with Margaret Smith, the facilitator reading Psalm 62.

Psalm 62 (MSG)

62 1-2 God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I need comes from him,
    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
    I’m set for life.

3-4 How long will you gang up on me?
    How long will you run with the bullies?
There’s nothing to you, any of you—
    rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters,
Anthills plotting to bring down mountains,
    far gone in make-believe.
You talk a good line,
    but every “blessing” breathes a curse.

5-6 God, the one and only—
    I’ll wait as long as he says.
Everything I hope for comes from him,
    so why not?
He’s solid rock under my feet,
    breathing room for my soul,
An impregnable castle:
    I’m set for life.

7-8 My help and glory are in God
    —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—
So trust him absolutely, people;
    lay your lives on the line for him.
    God is a safe place to be.

Man as such is smoke,
    woman as such, a mirage.
Put them together, they’re nothing;
    two times nothing is nothing.

10 And a windfall, if it comes—
    don’t make too much of it.

11 God said this once and for all;
    how many times
Have I heard it repeated?
    “Strength comes
Straight from God.”

12 Love to you, Lord God!
    You pay a fair wage for a good day’s work!

What spoke to me most was:

  • I’ll wait
  • Solid rock – He toka tū moana
  • Breathing room for my soul
  • Hope
  • Strength
  • Safe Harbour
  • Trust
  • Man as much is smoke

The following is was I wrote in my journal back then…

Was going to have a big sleep in, ended up waking up early and tried to doze then got up showered, made a coffee then thought I would wander around the garden – strode off to find the sheep which was where God first spoke to me last year, but before I came across them the first thing that caught my eye was a bumble bee – I smiled to myself as only yesterday I had used a bee emoticon in a text to my daughter saying “bee good” – was God telling me to “bee good”? But I got the impression it was “just bee”, so I slowed down my steps and became more aware of everything around me and went and sat down on a park bench.

I saw the sheep, a monarch butterfly, heard a train off in the distance, the cattle over the way, smelt the pine tree and watched Tui feeding on nectar.  I put my coffee cup down and thought I’m here I may as well walk the labyrinth again.  I got to the centre and looked around trying to decide what stump or rock to sit on then thought nah, I will just stand for  bit then go get another coffee!  Then another bee flew up and over a stump and I got the impression “just bee” again and sat on it (the stump, not the bee!)  As I had walked the labyrinth I had asked God that my imagination wouldn’t attach  meaning to everything so I couldn’t twist it to fit what I hoped he might be telling me.

After some time talking to God I just sat and looked around and watched a Kingfisher in the pine tree for ages – they are one of my most favourite birds but I only ever catch the most fleeting glimpses of them so to watch him for a few minutes was cool.

I thought of the Be still and know that I am God verse (which had the bee in it as well!).  I saw a tiny blue flower which I thought was a forget-me-not and felt God was saying that I had gotten too busy and forgotten to take time out to connect with him.

I walked the labyrinth back out and on the last circle to the exit through the rocks another bumble bee flew past and I decided three bees God was definitely trying to tell me something – Just bee.

Be still, and know that I am God. (NIV)

Attention all!  See the marvels of God!  He plants flowers and trees all over the earth. (MSG)

Another verse that really spoke to me during my retreat was:

Colossians 2:2-4 (MSG)

2-4 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”

That retreat back in 2014 I also wrote a page of ‘questions for God’  – a lot  still haven’t been answered today but I guess it is a reminder to be patient and wait on God’s timing.


Mai i toku ngakau,





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