In our modern world, it’s easy to get caught up in a busy life spent running, where ‘relaxation’ means disconnecting from ourselves through distraction. Numbing ourselves through drugs, alcohol and buying more ‘things’. I am no stranger to this disconnection. From early adulthood I have grappled with trauma and circumstances where denial and distraction were my primary coping mechanisms. To escape, I travelled the world working different jobs in hospitality and management – always running away from the discomfort of the past.
After several years, I returned to Australia. Feeling the pressure of family to follow the conventional path of settling down and mapping out my future, I got that ‘proper’ job, fell in love, and soon fell pregnant with my first child. Over the next four years, I had two more beautiful children and became engulfed in the role of motherhood. With a husband who travelled almost constantly for work, my children became my focus. Forced to stand still, the events of my past caught up with me. My self-perception became one of self-loathing as post-natal depression took hold. Something remained missing, the authentic me.
A simpler life closer to nature beckoned. I returned to yoga and meditation and to my studies in counselling. After placing a note in a letterbox in a home in Jan Juc asking if the owners would be willing to sell, our family moved there in 2011. My dreams for Deśa began to take shape. My sense of self was returning and – recognising that we still barely knew each other – my husband and I separated in 2015, negotiating the terrain of shared custody of our children with care and love.