I made all the right choices. I ditched a busy life in Melbourne for a more balanced, seaside existence. I worked less, walked more, swam in the sea most days. I fell head over heels in love and built a happy life in Torquay with the man of my dreams. And then my Chronic Fatigue (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM) returned with a vengeance. These two unwelcome companions failed to notice that I was doing everything right - they had to be beaten. Fate seemed to know this as well and, while I planned a silent meditation retreat, she organised a wake-up call.
My retreat catered for people with chronic illnesses, and I embarked on it full of hope. This was where I was going to find clarity, the tools I needed to thrive. I immersed myself in nature, exploring the grounds and watching the kangaroos as they grazed quietly in the distance, the joeys scampering around their mothers, the birds singing in the bush. It was everything I needed; peace, harmony...and a solid blow to my jaw.
I had been so focused on the scenery in the distance that I had completely ignored the ‘bruiser’ creeping up on me. And he was hardly a discreet creeper. Blinded by shock and pumped full of adrenaline, even I could see that this was no small roo; I should have seen him coming. Now he hissed into my face and rained down blows with all the finesse of Mike Tyson as I hesitated. I toyed with the idea of fighting back, but even my adrenaline soaked brain could see that he was already doing serious damage. I opted to run instead and he followed me; my hasty retreat giving him all the time he needed to bring his hind legs into the fight. My back, butt and legs took the brunt of this new attack and, in the end, all I could do was curl up and wait.
To this day, I have no idea how long I stayed like that. Time moves differently when you’re under attack, paralysed with shock and waiting for Skippy to get bored and hop off. He’d done some serious damage by the time he finally realised he had me on the ropes and disappeared. He left behind torn clothes, shredded skin and some of the most impressive bruises of my life as mementos of our little encounter.
As I dragged myself back to the retreat, one thought stood out through my shock; at least it was me. I was in the best shape of many of the guests there, and I doubted that those battling cancer could have walked away from a few rounds in the ring with a kangaroo. Of course, they would never have had to. This was my message. If it had been a random attack, I never would have been able to quieten my tired mind long enough to meditate. But it was my sign, and one evening's contemplation was what I needed to interpret it.
The kangaroo is a symbol of strength, stamina and balance, and he’d certainly shown himself capable of all three during our afternoon encounter. His special energy field meant that he was here to offer protection (my poor battered body begged to differ on that point), and he represented moving forward, never turning back; committing to a vision.
I knew then that my carefully balanced life away from Melbourne still wasn’t perfect. I had been putting Revitalize Lifestyle on hold, making excuses as to why I had yet to realise the full potential of my vision for my business. I needed more time, more money, more contacts, a bigger house. The reality was I needed none of these things; I needed the courage to commit to my vision. And it was a lesson only a kangaroo could teach me.
These animals have a lot to say, and every aspect of their message resonated with my life at the time. Symbolic of escaping a bad situation, my aggressive roo made me question why I was wasting my time working three jobs when only one of them played to my passion. I was stuck, I was bored, and I had everything I needed to make my life better. My vision was to inspire people, excite, motivate and educate those looking to enhance their wellness. This was my passion, encouraging others to seek out their own happiness, and I had turned my back on the person who mattered most in that equation, me.
So I committed to my vision. I resigned from one job and instantly created more time for Revitalize Lifestyle. I needed to fulfil my dream, to rebuild the business I had started in Melbourne. I wanted to make it better, to include Wellness Retreats and Wellness Programs for Schools alongside my existing Wellbeing and Happiness Programs. Once I reached this decision and put these steps into place, my CFS and FM symptoms improved dramatically. I moved through my life with ease, building a regular client base, running wellness retreats while I was pregnant with my first son. I revelled in the joy my success brought to others as well as myself.
In September, I fulfilled my vision, opening a new clinic and healing space that I am immensely proud of and which continues to be a source of inspiration, strength and excitement. And I owe it all to one antisocial marsupial who did what no one else could and knocked some sense into me. Literally.