Connect with me

Hello and welcome to my blog formerly called Gypsy-K. Please note that I am only updating this blog while I am walking from Rome to Jerusalem from September 2015. My online home and permanent blog is at You can also sign up for pilgrim postcards and newsletters here. Thank you for being here and supporting my journey. With love and courage, Kym xx

Monday, 24 June 2013

Savouring Sunday's Sweetness | And it was all yellow

When I chose unemployment for the first time back in April 2008, I fell in love with the slow life.  After years of working full-time, studying part-time and trying to balance personal relationships, health and fitness and domestic chores, the only time I really had to myself in which I was not rushing was the time I was sleeping and even then I never seemed to be able to get enough.  I was always tired.  With work out of the picture, I no longer had to rush between engagements and activities.  I started to move more slowly.  I checked in with myself to see what I felt like doing in any given moment. I began to savour life deeply.  From sleeping in, to drinking coffee slowly, to walking along the beach, to sitting in a park and just watching.  When I slowed down, I started to notice the world around me more.  The clouds.  Budding flowers.  Leaves changing colour. The way the intensity of daylight changed as the weeks passed by.

Sometimes less is more.

In Christian traditions, Sunday is the sabbath, a day for rest.  However, just like me in my old life, most people tend to race around cramming it full of activity, chores and social engagements.  Time is not spent slowly.  It is rushed.  Often too rushed to be fully savoured.

What if you left the day free to spend intuitively and slowly?  What would you do?  What would you see?  How would you feel?  Even if you are busy, can you find an hour to do something spontaneous, intuitive, outside, slow?  If you can't find an hour, can you move through the day paying attention to what is around you and looking for beauty?

Today I savoured sleeping in and lying warm and snug in bed encased in a very still and silent house.

I walked through Fitzroy Gardens dazzled by shimmering yellow.  Winter is slowly undressing the trees but they are not yet bare and the leaves dazzled beneath the sun's unrestricted glare.

I sat at the base of an English Elm, my spine supported by her strong, still trunk as I soaked in the sunshine and talked with a dear friend.

I connected with my family.  We shared stories, bubbles, cake and love.

Sunday.  Sweet.  Savoured.

Maidenhair Tree, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

English Elms, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

English Elms, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

Fallen leaves, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

The Fairies Tree by Ola Cohn, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne, Australia

More English Elms, Fitzroy Gardens, Melbourne

Me, resting against an Elm, Fitzroy Gardens.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

A return to dreaming

Be patient where you sit in the dark. The dawn is coming ~ Rumi

This is week three of my current period of unemployed life. There are days I am so happy to be free that even without a job I feel there is great purpose to my life and reason to get out of bed in the morning. Then there are days when I have no commitments and no idea of what I am going to do next. Anxiety takes over and my bed holds me tight.

Last week I had brunch with a friend. She resigned and finished from her job the same day I was effectively made redundant. As we chatted about her plans, she told me she hoped to be retired by November this year.

Retired by November. That’s a dream. A big, out there, unconventional, clearly-stated dream.

I wondered if it were really possible that she could retire in just under 5 months from now. I mean, she’s in her early thirties. Was she being realistic? Then a-ha hit me and tripped me over.

Dreams are for dreaming. It doesn’t actually matter if the dream can be achieved or not. Dreams can be as big or small and creative as we allow them to be. But we need to allow ourselves to dream first and then think about how we can achieve them later. If we qualify our dreams based on our initial assessment of how achievable we deem them to be then those dreams never make it out into the world in the first place and they never have a chance to be lived.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

These words found their way into my life when I was 8 years old. They were on a sticker along with Will the Koala dressed in green and gold tracksuit, Australia’s mascot and motto for the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. I stuck it on my wardrobe much to my mother’s dismay. They are simple words but they speak a great truth. If we want the dream enough then we will find a way to make it happen. Our authentic desires are more powerful than we realize.

My conversation with my friend reminded me of my own dreams, the ones I have hidden away out of sight. Practical Me. The one who wants to keep me safe and secure and wishes I was a little more conventional than I’ve turned out to be. She put my dreams in the wardrobe. Literally.

I created a beautiful vision board earlier this year that I had on display in my bedroom for months. Then when I came home from my holiday I rolled it up and put in the wardrobe, very respectfully on the top shelf, then closed the door where it has stayed out of sight. I needed to de-clutter I told myself. What Practical Me was really trying to do was keep those wild dreams in the dark in case I actually followed them out of my comfort zone and into another unconventional, unknown world. Ah thanks Practical me. I know she cares and plays an important role in keeping me grounded and safe it’s just that she just gets a little over-zealous at times.

I am sitting with a blank page in my life. No job, no debts, no kids, no partner and my current living arrangements coming to an end. A blank, blank page I can do anything with. But where do I start? I worry about drawing the wrong picture or more to the point creating something messy and ugly and having to start again. Stuck on the idea that it needs to be perfect, I freeze, unable to decide which colour to start with or how to mark the page. I am scared that whatever I try to create will be too small and insignificant. I worry that decorating the page the way I really want to will exhaust my resources and negatively impact Future Me when I promised I would never do that to her.

But I have these dreams, big, small, specific and vague. When I think of my life without them, without trying to realize them, it feels like an empty shell. A collection of minutes spent just passing time until death comes. My dreams are waiting for me to step towards them. Their call is stronger than my fear.

I’ve had blank pages before even as blank as this one. It’s just starting that’s the hard part. Starting and letting go of preconceived ideas about what the resulting picture should look like. Trusting the process of creation. Remembering I can start over at anytime if I choose to. Remembering I can colour over the top or outside the lines if I choose to. There are no rules.

When I sit quietly and listen within, I know what to do. Start with the dream.

Right now I am reconnecting with my dreams, the feelings and desires behind the dreams. Allowing them to blossom, to give shape to their own form and call me forward to meet them. I am sitting patiently, in the semi-dark, until the dawn finally comes.

You cannot make a mistake. You can only make a decision that will be your next best step ~ Neale Donald Walsche

The perks of unemployment, time to walk in the winter sunshine.  View of Melbourne CBD from Morrell Bridge.

Melbourne Botanical Gardens in winter sunshine

Coffee and writing in a favourite cafe, BookTalk Cafe on Swan Street in Richmond.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The making of my first underwater video (and how it almost never came to be)

"Cazzo, I forgot to bring the Go Pro camera," David announces as the dinghy we are in with our dive guide and three fellow divers slows down, nearing the drop off point on the dive site in Komodo National Park.
I am annoyed, more than annoyed. I am angry and disappointed.
"How could you forget? I reminded you on the boat before we left."
"Mi dispiace."  I'm sorry.  It's all he can offer.  It's too late now.

Our dive guide suggests we can go back to the main boat to get it. I tell him not to worry. I don't want to delay the dive for everyone else. We put on our masks, put some air in our buoyancy vests, and when our dive guide counts to three, simultaneously roll back into the sea and a minute later descend into its clear blue depths.

Halfway through the dive, David swims over to me and pushes his Sony video camera in its solid black marine housing into my hands. I push it away from me. I am still annoyed with him for forgetting the Go Pro.

"Dai," he says in Italian through his regulator, sounding like 'die' and meaning 'come on.' I shake my head side to side and push it away. I can be obstinate and slow to let go of my anger.

"Dai," he says once more and pushes the camera firmly into my hands. I  take it. Reluctantly. David nods and then starts showing me what I need to know. How to turn the camera on and off. How to white balance. How to zoom. To make sure I always zoom at least one click so I don't film the sides of the housing. How to hold the camera to keep it steady.

I start looking for things to film. Surgeon fish. A moray eel. Wide angles of the coral reef.

There is current pushing me sideways, first one way, then the next. I am shaky. I focus on the camera more than my buoyancy. I move up and down. I get frustrated but keep trying. I am completely engrossed and captivated. I am determined. I want to capture the wonders of this world.

We finish the dive. My tank of air is almost empty, not the half tank I normally finish with.

I am addicted. I want to film more. I take David's spare camera and underwater housing on the next five dives.

Once we arrive back in Phuket from Bali and Komodo, I import all my footage onto my computer and start editing. David teaches me the basics of iMovie. How to select and shorten clips. How to adjust the colour of clips. How to stabilise. How to transition between clips. How to use slow motion.

I am absorbed by my project. I spend more than 16 hours engrossed. I give it my whole heart. I want to make something that I am proud of. Something that I can share with others to show them how beautiful and how filled with wonder is the sea.

I am grateful to David for ignoring my tantrum, for persisting and insisting that I take his camera. I am proud of many things in my life. This is one of them.  It is not perfect.  I can see the wobbles, the incorrect zooms, the incorrect frames when I watch it.  But it doesn't matter.  I have captured and immortalised moments that I was in love with this world.  And I get to share my love with you all.

Here it is.

Diving Komodo from Kym Wilson on Vimeo.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Manifesting my redundancy

A week ago today I was made redundant.  Two days back from my holidays and one day before my birthday, I was told my services are no longer needed.   “You’re off the bus,” my CEO confirmed for me as I helped her pack up her office; she had just been made redundant five hours earlier and had managed to find out for me so I didn’t have to wait out the night for the group presentation.

It was swift and severe.  Half of our small organization were let go upon the instruction of the new owners and given 15 minutes to pack up their belongings.  They were not allowed to say good-bye to their colleagues whose services were being retained and who had been rounded up at the new owner’s offices in another building.   They were not allowed to return until everyone made redundant had left the building.

A story can be told in many ways.  I could tell you that it was unfair to be treated as a label and not a person, to not have a chance to show them who I am or what I am capable of, to be made redundant the day before my birthday.  But that’s not my real story.

I wanted to be made redundant.

The takeover was announced three days before I started my holidays.  Having been part of many mergers and acquisitions, I was able to quickly surmise the situation.  It was unlikely they would need my role in their structure.  My job was at risk although there was a chance they could offer me something else.  Good people are valuable and often retained.

I watched and listened as the new management team commenced their due diligence and interacted with our team.  I was highly unimpressed and in many instances appalled with statements that were made.  It was evident very quickly that they did not share our values.  Our people-oriented, cooperative, compassionate and progressive culture would soon be shattered by an old school, dictatorial, money and power-driven, masculine-dominated one.

This change was inevitable.  Unless a significant issue was identified during the due diligence process our business would be sold and we would be changed forever.  In the face of this change, I had two choices.  I could decide I wanted to stay or that I wanted to go.

I didn't want to work for the new organisation. The values clash was too great. The opportunity to grow non-existent. I wanted to go.

So I started my holidays and as the topic of work came up with people that I met along the way I told them all, “I’m hoping to be made redundant. It’s better to be paid to go than have to resign.”  I said it often.  The more I said it, the more I believed it and welcomed it into my life. I felt peaceful and believed it would happen.

I received what I asked for.  I am happy and grateful.  I am swimming in a world of possibilities.  I have time and space to dream the future.  I have a back-catalogue of experiences that remind me; anything is possible if I desire it to be so and that there is nothing that I cannot do if I put my mind and heart to it.

I am fiercely proud of what we created over the last twelve months, of the magnificent team of diverse, vibrant, positive people we pulled together who wanted to do good things in life, who wanted to help others, who wanted to learn and grow.

I am fiercely proud of our (now ex) CEO who lead the company back from the brink of combustion and negativity with zero budget, short reins and involuntarily blind-folded.  It was sinking.  She made it float with sheer magic.  She lead with her heart, compassion, belief and trust.  She is more brilliant than I think she yet fully comprehends or judges herself to be.

Life is full of beginnings and endings.  Impermanence.  Our human hearts often struggle with that concept. The endings can be painful when we cling to what has been and refuse to let go when it is time to let go.

And so when change comes and you can’t change the change, what choice will you make?

Reeling against the past only causes you angst and dis-ease.  Once you accept the present moment, you will see your choices more clearly and that you always, always have a choice.