Use the summer to reflect, rest and plan
AS the alarm goes at 4am, my mind, body and brain are reluctant to stir. I wake my kids and we dress upwarm to get into our Takacat dinghy. The motor is sluggish to start aswe head across a remote Stewart Island beach under a full moon to look for kiwi.
The beach is covered in kiwi tracks, the stars are out and there is not a cloud in the sky. As we sit, watch andwait reflecting in our thoughts the eastern sky brightens with the rising sun.
We were shepherded here by a pair of oystercatchers who did not want us near their nest. We retreated as their calls became less and they and us could relax and await the approaching dawn.
As we sit, my daughter comments that ‘‘every sentinel being is the centre of its own universe’’. The flock of gulls that were drinking from a sandy stream may have been thinking, ‘‘I had better get home to the chicks’’ or ‘‘I need to drink more water’’ orwhatever was passing through their consciousness.
I wonder what the tiny fish I notice in the salty sea feeding in the shallows are thinking. The strong twisted southern ra¯ta¯ standing sentinel for hundreds of years looking at the same view, the only changing view is the weather and those that cross its path. They know nothing of Donald Trump, mymortgage or plumbing issues.
Being away from the office on these summer holidays gives us a chance to reconnect with the nature that we have become disconnected with. A chance to chill out and reflect, rest and plan. To take notice of other sentinel beings and how we relate to them. While all sentinel beings may be the centre of their own universe, not all have insight. In clinical medicine we use the word insight.
It is the ability to reflect on how our actions affect others. How our behaviour may impinge on others and cause ripple effects. It’s an important aspect of our consciousness and a tool to see where we fit in, and how we can add value.
As the moon sets on 2018 and the sun begins to rise on 2019 it is time to reflect onwhat a year we have had, some of the highlights and some of the things we could have done better, how our sentinel selves have impacted on others and insight into our thoughts, feelings and actions.
What will we do differently in 2019? Most of uswill want to be fitter and healthier and many New Year’s resolutions will be made and some will be broken. As our thoughts create our feelings and actions, controlling your thoughts is the key to behavioural change.
In 2019 instead of saying to yourself I have to go to work, I have to exercise I have to take my dog for a walk, try swapping the word ‘‘have’’ to ‘‘get’’. I am lucky I get to go to work, I am fortunate I amable to exercise, I am grateful to get to walk my dog. There are many who would TOM MULHOLLAND love a job, can’t exercise and would love to have a dog.
Feeling sorry for ourselves can impinge on our wellbeing, feeling sorry for others can improve it. As the moon sets over the inlet and dinghy it’s time to head to the boat and the new day and the new year that awaits. Dr Tom Mulholland is a GP with 30 years’ experience in New Zealand. He’s currently on a mission, tackling health issues around New Zealand.
Being away from the office in remote Stewart Island has given Dr Tom Mulholland a chance to reconnect with nature and reflect on his year.