I am so favoured. And the more I count my blessings, the more they keep appearing. This is how I happened to fall into one of the best trips I’ve ever had.
If ever a good friend starts talking about an amazing wedding they are going to, that is going to be 3 days long, in a gorgeous coastal town called Weligama, on the south coast of Sri Lanka – always ask them if they have a plus one. And this is how I got myself to a country that was on my bucket list.
Your next step is send smoke signals to 6 of your friends, who used to live in Melbourne but have left, and see if they could (with very little notice) meet you in Hoi An, Vietnam, for a reunion. Voila! Another bucket list experience occurs. What the? Was this really happening?
And so begins an incredible 2 weeks that I reflect on with such joy and gratitude. Here are some of my reflections.
Love is so generous
Glen and Cam married in Germany, since Australia did not recognise same sex marriage at the time, so this was the celebration of their union with over 100 of their closest friends (and new ones like me). Their love was beautiful. Truly. Although, the love I am talking about, is what they extended to all their guests.
They chose to spend their time, talent and treasure on the people they love and lavish us with experiences that blew our mind.
Day 1 started with sailing in Catamarans along the coast, then dinner on the beach with local curries, fireworks, a live band and dancing all night long in the moonlight.
Day 2 was the celebration in their home with a lavish array of food, drinks, a DJ and beautiful beach views through the palms trees.
Day 3 was the after party. Their home was completely re-decorated with a new theme, including new cocktails, a whole pig spit roast, juice stands and even flamingos in the pool! With 30+ staff looking after us the whole time.
Glen and Cam love each other deeply but they wanted to show how deeply they loved those people around them too. It really felt like they made their celebration all about us.
Another thing I observed over the 2 weeks was, so many healthy relationships. I watched couples treat each other with respect, allow each other to just be and not control what they say or do. They loved each other with generosity and openness. It was a pleasure to be around. It reminded me of what good relationships are supposed to look like. I’m gonna get me one of them.
Friendships grow your soul
I met so many beautiful new friends in Sri Lanka. Many of them were my good friend Matt’s work colleagues. These guys are good souls and I am so appreciative of how quickly they adopted me into their tribe. My sense of belonging was strong and as a result my heart grew. Thank you and namaste my new friends. A good reminder to make sure I do this for anyone that enters any of my tribes.
I am part of a group of people we call #themassive. We are from all over Australia and the world. Collecting each other over 10 years. We love and support each other through all the rollercoasters of life, no matter where we are. It’s an extraordinary friendship group.
Being around people that feed your soul, care about your welfare and generally do life with you, no matter what colour you are feeling… is what it’s all about. If you don’t have them… invest in people around you that might look like them. Show them how to love rather than waiting for it to happen to you. We don’t wait. We just love all over each other. It grows my person, deeply.
Laughing makes you so so happy
I got a six-pack stomach from laughing so hard and so often. I snort laughed every – single – day. I even wet my pants several times. Oh bless, those non-existent pelvic floors.
One of my good friends, Angie Douglas, is one of the best pursuers of laughter I know. She is such a pleasure to be around. I realise that I’m drawn to people who find the funny in life. Not because I am avoiding dealing with the tough stuff but because it’s so healing, hilarious and makes me happy.
I’m gonna keep finding the funny in as much as I can. Those ‘Captain Serious’ pants don’t serve anyone.
Comparison is the killer of joy
The property we spent the 2 days on, for the wedding and after party, was next level stunning. It was right on the beach and it was massive. The people looked like hired crew from the Bold and the Beautiful. It was a chic crowd.
One of the places we stayed in Sri Lanka was a restored British Governor’s home but now home to a gorgeous host, Nuwan. Well one of his 50 properties anyway. It was like being in paradise.
My mate Matt travels around the world for work, many of his colleagues do and they spoke about all the countries they travelled to and their stories.
I could go on about all the things and experiences that other people have but then I would become focused on what I don’t have compared to what they do.
I know how easy it is to be jealous or frustrated watching someone else’s life, especially on social media. Watching mine in those 2 weeks may have spurred these feelings for others. Most of us know that ‘comparison is the killer of joy’ but it’s not always easy to know this. This life I am living is not without struggle, trauma, risk (lots of risk), anxiety and tears. I have not avoided them.
We are all blessed with good stuff but the problem is that many of us still count our struggles and obstacles instead.
I smell the roses every – single – day. Even the dying ones. Because at least I had them in the first place. Matshona Dhliwayo has such wise words;
“Contentment is the art of counting your own blessings, not someone else’s.”
Ok, back to creating feedback cultures and strategic planning for clients. Poor me 😉
Massive thanks to the best travel buddy in the world… Matt x