Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | MIND - MIND YOU WORDS: ROWENA HARDY Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­

Fol­low­ing on from Nick’s ar­ti­cle last week about jour­ney­ing back to Cen­tral Aus­tralia where we met and visit­ing some of our favourite lo­ca­tions, we are now com­ing to the end of our ad­ven­ture and we’ve had a won­der­ful time ex­plor­ing again 25 years on.

I’d for­got­ten how re­mote the re­gion is. It cre­ates a sense of dis­con­nec­tion from the rest of the coun­try and the world com­pared to “nor­mal’’ life, par­tic­u­larly as we had lim­ited in­ter­net or phone sig­nal for a few days. That can be a con­cern when you run your own busi­ness but it also of­fers the per­fect opportunit­y to slow down, switch off and re­flect. It was bliss!

That dis­con­nec­tion al­lowed us to truly re­con­nect with the land we both love but

also catch up with old friends, in­clud­ing a visit to the learn­ing centre in a com­mu­nity near Kings Canyon set up by a tour guide friend through his foundation to sup­port school­ing for Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren within their own com­mu­nity.

And then there was the un­ex­pected. An­other ex-tour guide friend who we hadn’t seen for 19 years hap­pened to be in the area and we briefly caught up with him. While chat­ting to him, Nick saw some­one he had trained with in the NZ po­lice force 40 years ago. Just like that, he and his wife hap­pened to be walk­ing into the re­sort at the same time – what are the chances. Fast for­ward to Alice and check­ing into our ho­tel there was an­other tour guide friend who we hadn’t seen for many years – serendip­ity at its best.

Serendip­ity or “the oc­cur­rence and devel­op­ment of events by chance in a happy or ben­e­fi­cial way’’ is like that. None of that could have been planned, it was one of those mo­ments which are just sup­posed to hap­pen.

The other un­ex­pected and re­ally sig­nif­i­cant thing for me for this week was the depth of feel­ing and con­nec­tion I had at seeing and be­ing in the pres­ence of Uluru again af­ter so long. I couldn’t im­me­di­ately express why I felt so moved, but in ret­ro­spect I re­alised the enor­mity of that morn­ing 25 years ago when I sat on top of that ex­traor­di­nary red rock at sun­rise con­tem­plat­ing my life and won­der­ing what lay ahead. I knew that I had to make some ma­jor changes in my life but had no idea where they would take me.

An­other serendip­i­tous mo­ment.

Clearly I was meant to be there that morn­ing and be­ing there changed ev­ery­thing in an in­stant in a way I had never imag­ined. When I look back at all of the choices and de­ci­sions I made along the way that placed me there that morn­ing and con­sider that Nick was not plan­ning to climb that day, I re­alise things could have been very dif­fer­ent.

We all ex­pe­ri­ence mo­ments and in­ter­ac­tions that are just meant to be and many are fleet­ing. We can’t plan them and we aren’t aware of them in ad­vance yet they make all the dif­fer­ence to our life and that of oth­ers.

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