The moment my feet landed upon the shores of beautiful Byron Bay, something shifted within me. That shift was the beginning of a journey. A journey that has allowed me to be my most authentic self, intimately connecting with every new person I meet. As I breathe deep into my belly, taking in the fresh ocean air, I can’t help but be perpetually inspired by this unique place and in a constant state of blissed out gratitude for the beautiful environment that I’ve landed in. I call this the Byron Bay Magic.
Almost three years ago now I threw in my corporate city job to pursue a new life in the Byron Shire. The moment I made the commitment to Byron, she made the commitment to me. We struggled a little at first, awkwardly dancing and flirting. It took us a while to find our feet together. But once we did, all else flowed effortlessly and we knew it was the beginning of a long and magical friendship. At first I was surprised by the spiritual philosophies that permeate the shire. The teachings were handed to me on a platter and impossible to ignore.
My first lesson was that of transience. I’ve never felt quite so flighty and for a moment I thought that meant Byron didn’t like me. She seemed so cold as she pushed me to my limit. But she was just gently pointing out that nothing is permanent. Our internal and external environment are in a constant state of flux and if we resist that and fail to live in the present, then Byron will push us back to our former life of perceived stability and security. She’ll send us back to the concrete and the nine to five. She’ll willingly let us go back to our high rise where we spend our whole life in transit and rarely experience the bright light of day or the salty wind in our hair. But if you stay with her – If you snuggle close and let her know that you’re not afraid. Not afraid to fall in love with people from afar and achingly watch them leave. Not afraid to gather all your material belongings and move house many more times than you feel like. Not afraid to trust that the universe will provide you with everything you need. Not afraid to throw yourself into the ocean, blind to what lies beneath and always unsure of what lies ahead. If you stay with her she will reward you by letting you in and watching over you, allowing you to be here now and making sure that you’re always taken care of.
My second lesson was that of allowing and trusting, or at the risk of sounding a little Byron Cliché, going with the flow. Since moving to the Shire every time I push against the natural flow of something in my life, everything seems to fall apart. When you struggle against the grain Byron will let you know you’ve got it all wrong. She’ll hold you as you watch the world crashing down around you and gently guide you back to a place where you’re dancing in time with the rhythm. Not resisting. Not forcing. Not trying. As soon as you let go of the pushing and striving, she’ll put all of your pieces neatly back together. From that place of trusting that she’s got your back, you move back into a space of flowing effortlessly along the river of life. Sun beaming down on your skin. Glad to be back with a sense of knowing in your heart. Knowing that everything is exactly as it should be.
My most recent lesson is of following my heart. When you’re held in the arms of a loving community, it’s impossible not to do what makes your heart sing. Byron brings together so many inspiring and beautiful beings. She calls them to her and watches as they blossom into the most spectacular version of themselves. She provides the space for people to meet their soul mates and she sits back easily watching the most magical friendships unfold. Every interaction with a stranger is as cozy as one with your best friend. She brings us all together and observes as we encourage and support each other in finding the most creative, spontaneous, miraculous ways to express ourselves.
She creates a synchronicity that’s hard to ignore and draws so many beautiful souls near. She reminds us every day how fortunate we are to be a part of something so magical and never fails to impress us with her ability to shake us to our core, whilst gently guiding us towards our own, unique bliss.
Words by Jessica Humphries for Common Ground Byron Bay – Images by Kirra Pendergast