How do we move out of the energy of good and into great. In this powerful story of transforming betrayal through the power of energy medicine, Lou interviews one of the Council of Elders, David Brown, who shares with you: 1. What happened 2. What it was like before energy medicine 3. What is it like now after energy medicine? This is an excerpt from the book ‘The Power of Energy Medicine.’
Lou: David I would love for you to share a significant life experience where you worked with energy medicine to transform your life?
D-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d, the motorcycle was bouncing on the rev limiter (a device that prevents the engine exploding). The rear wheel was doing 200 kph. A mixture of black smoke and sand was making it difficult to breathe. Sounds like fun! Not really, because I was kneeling beside my motorcycle, on its side, knee-deep in sand, the throttle was jammed wide open, frantically digging my way to the kill switch. This happened twenty years ago at Cape York – Australia, on our unique motorcycle adventure. It was nearing the end of the trip, but it was the beginning of the journey.
Little did I know that the story of that moment would change my life forever.
There were four people on our trip. We were all friends from school, nearly a quarter of a century ago. I was riding the motorcycle version of a formula one car, the world’s most unsuitable vehicle for the terrain ahead. Using my well-developed engineering skills, I modified certain components so that it was remotely possible that both the motorcycle and I would survive at least some of the journey.
We went on the trip with no real intention. We mostly had businesses and were often exhausted by the daily grind. A motorcycle adventure seemed like a sure way to reset our minds and make life bearable again. With home video cameras we took video along the way. For me it was nearly a 5000 km ride from Melbourne, to get to the ‘start’ of our trip, the city of Cairns. We were all at different locations in Australia, so we travelled separately and met in Cairns. The trip to the Northernmost tip of Australia is a real outback adventure. North from Cairns, it’s 1000 km of extreme off-road and it winds through rainforests and crosses many rivers (did I mention the crocodiles)? It has millions of corrugations with patches of deep sand.
But once you are on the track, you are part of a community that is either travelling ‘up’ or ‘down’. People travelling to the tip have a concerned look on their faces, fearing the unknown, thinking of what may lay ahead, if it could possibly be worse, hoping they will survive the journey. People returning have a look of achievement and professionalism about them, with an abundance of advice for those still heading ‘up’. The bikes were loaded up with camping gear, tents, sleeping bags, food, cooking equipment and clothes.
As the trip progressed, we realised less weight meant more fun.
We began posting back home any equipment deemed unnecessary at the time. As the riding conditions deteriorated, we were having conversations along the lines of, ”It takes three hundred and sixty-five lentils to make a dish, we have four hundred and fifty-seven, that means we can post back ninety-two of them”. After several days in rough terrain, we really began to feel the remoteness of our journey, realising that we had to take total responsibility for our wellbeing. There were no medical facilities, no mechanical assistance, no mobile phone coverage.
In this heat and humidity, a few hours without water could be life-threatening. While danger was always lurking around the corner, it can mostly be avoided with the right mindset. Calmness under any circumstance was the only option. Some of us journaled every night to record those moments that would otherwise be lost forever. It also helped us work through the day’s challenges. Along the way, we set up our home video cameras and took footage of everything we deemed interesting. Bikes falling over in river crossings. Bikes falling over in sand.
Visiting tents in the evening capturing random comments about seemingly unimportant things. We even tried attaching the cameras to our helmets with adhesive tape to get some action shots, from the rider’s point of view. Not an easy task as the cameras weighed about 2 kg, so our heads would tilt to one side and our necks would ache very quickly, especially with the bumps and corrugations. After about a week we reached the tip and took the customary photos of us standing at the sign that said, “You are standing at the northernmost tip of the Australian continent”.
We had all made it.
We were feeling quite proud of our achievement. With a healthy touch of egotism, we thought not everybody could do this trip, it was quite a challenge. That night by the campfire we met a German couple who had done the same trip on motorcycles with their two children, one was five years old and one was three years old. They reset what we thought was possible. With business and work pressures looming it was time to focus on the return journey. At first, it was a bit daunting, another 1000 km of dirt, we were only halfway through our trip (then another 5000 km after that to get home).
Once underway we realised how much our skills had improved, things that we considered obstacles on the way up, went past almost unnoticed on the way ‘down’. This was our return journey. It was our turn to exude achievement and professionalism. It was our turn to offer an abundance of advice and tell our stories to those people on the way ‘up’. Cape York is certainly a place that is all about the journey. After we all battled the extreme conditions to reach the Cape, the remoteness and ruggedness of this part of Australia hit home. We all hoped that they will never improve the road.
Back Home to the New Normal. Once back at home, the busyness of life started to creep back in, the experience and memories of the trip soon began to fade. At that time, photos had to be sent away to be developed. Two weeks later they arrived back in the post. In some ways, we cherished those captured moments of adventure. In other ways they reminded us of how, at times, we resented how much of our lives we spent doing seemingly necessary but uninspiring tasks. For the next four weeks, random parcels from Cape York showed up at our doorstep containing dirty clothes, pet rocks and handfuls of lentils. A reminder that indeed the adventure did happen.
The stories would remain with us forever.
The Untold Story
We started watching our videotapes. Over time we worked our way through the entire twenty hours. We showed some of the tapes to family members and they laughed hysterically at our antics and mishaps. Most people in Australia have never even heard of Cape York, so they had no idea of what it was like. We would wind our way forward to various sections in the tape and show people the best moments.
Very quickly some of the tapes started developing a few glitches, from being played so often. We had no experience, but decided to work out how to use a simple video editing program, so that we could transfer the video to a computer, to preserve our precious moments. Over the next few months, we learnt how to operate the software and started collecting what we thought were the best sections, what people responded to the most, and placed them in the order of the trip. At the same time, I went through my trip journal using the same process.
Writing down the highlights and expanding on some of the moments. It wasn’t long before the story was quite a few pages long. We showed it to a few people, they loved it. We added some of the photos to the story and sent them to a few motorcycle magazines. People told us that you will never get an article published. We tried just for the fun of it.
Within twenty-four hours we had five magazines contact us.
They all wanted to publish the story. Ultimately it was published a few months later in a nationally distributed magazine, then in a book in the UK, effectively the worldwide bible of motorcycle adventure riding. Using the written story, we recorded my voice and added that to the video footage. This helped tell some of the ‘behind the scenes’ stories that you could not see in the vision. We had no idea how to construct a story, we experimented with sections, gauged people’s responses, then continued developing the storyline.
I used some of my solid engineering processes to give structure to the story, which helped guide me through what was then an overwhelming task. I had a full-time business but spent every spare hour for six months editing the video. Eventually, it was refined into a ninety-minute documentary. While the process was very laborious, it was worth it to see the response on people’s faces.
We could share our story and that inspired others to go on their own adventures. Once the video was finished, we got some DVDs burnt so that we could give them to friends and family. Some of our friends started chatting about the story online, before long people wanted to buy copies of the DVD. This was early days on the internet, online video quality was appalling. Somehow the motorcycle magazine heard about it, they got a copy and gave us a great review.
Over the next twelve months, it sold in twenty-nine countries.
We didn’t sell great numbers of them, but the fact that people all over the world connected to our story, astounded us. We received many emails from people who purchased the DVD. People were buying motorcycles and planning their own adventures. One email was from a father who had lost connection with his son. They had cut off communications. The father bought the DVD for his son’s birthday and sent it to him. They use to ride motorcycles together. The story was the icebreaker that rekindled their relationship. Later the father wrote back to us again and sent photos of their latest motorcycle adventure together.
By that time, I started to really get the power of storytelling. Not only could it make a connection with people, but somehow it could make a difference to people’s lives, even whole communities. People started to say to me, “Maybe you should do more of this”. From that point on, when I met people and they asked me the usual question of ‘What do you do?’ I started saying, half under my breath, “I am a Film Producer”. It was perhaps a little tongue in cheek, but it was true. I think it was a matter of convincing myself more than others.
Before long, a few businesses approached me to make television commercials. Not having any idea on how to use broadcast camera equipment, I borrowed some and did a lot of experimenting over weekends. I somehow managed to produce those first few television commercials. While I was proud of the result, telling the story of a product didn’t have the same appeal to me as telling the story of an experience. But local film industry people would say, “that’s what you must do to make a living.”
Make money doing this and do what you love in your spare time.
Through one of the television commercials, I met a local artist that was mentoring youth. They wanted to create a short film for a state-wide film festival. We gathered a few local artists and the project gained momentum. Before we knew it, some renowned camera people joined the cause, they all wanted to make a difference to youth. There was a lot of creative experience in the group, so for me, it was best to stand back and allow people to jump in and contribute.
I used my creative process to help weave it all together. At times I was criticised by more experienced film producers for not ‘controlling’ the production more. Their usual process was that everything was predetermined, and you just capture what was preconceived then go home, especially at the commercial end of the sector. For me, it was far more rewarding to give people the space to add their stories into the mix. Story elements that I did not know already.
Essentially my role was to weave them all together and create a collective story, I called it ‘the story between everybody’. Every weekend for three months we worked on the project. The five-minute film, later won at an Australia wide film festival. One day I received a random phone call from an aged care facility. They were leading the industry with their innovative model of social inclusion. They wanted to make a documentary so that others could see the difference their work practices made to the aged care residents. Unlike many facilities, that were just holding facilities for the elderly,
they would actively promote the residents to remain active and engaged,
both within their families and the wider community. They had programs where school children would visit the residents, they would ask questions about their life experiences. Later some residents would visit schools and actively participate in classes, share their stories. This is one small example. Social inclusion lifted their spirits and fulfilled many human needs to live a more joyful life. Over several months we interviewed residents and staff.
Their life stories were astounding. We created a sixty-minute documentary. We had the premiere in a local cinema. It was in a small country town but for some reason, it was busy that day. It took us a while to find a car park, we had to walk some distance to the cinema. On the way, it suddenly occurred to us, all those cars were people coming to see the film. The one-thousand-seat cinema was packed with residents, families, community groups, teachers, and schoolchildren. It seemed like most of the town was there. In the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. The resident’s story had been told and it connected. People commented that they had no idea what most of the residents had done in their lives.
The story in the film transformed the community’s relationship with its elders.
The documentary ultimately became part of training in the aged care industry Australia wide and won industry awards. This cemented my philosophy of how we can transform entire communities through telling a collective or community story. A story is more than a collection of words. A story is a way we share more complex ideas and concepts. Once a story is heard it can’t be unheard, it’s a permanent transformation.
Sometime later I was approached by an Australian Government Arts organisation to create a film documenting some elderly indigenous women that were traditional basket weavers. Ironically, they lived in a very remote region near the tip of Cape York, where we had gone a few years before on the motorcycle trip. It was like I was being called back there. Some of the four women were the last speakers of their language. The government wanted to capture the process of how they weave their baskets before they passed, so that they had a technical record of the process.
Because the area is so remote, you need to fly there in a small plane. The region was not surveyed until the early 1900s, these elders had witnessed incredible change in their lifetime. They were raised walking the rainforest on their traditional lands. The tribes had a forty-thousand-year-old culture with a strong connection to the landscape and traditional plant medicines.
When I met the elders, they were very suspicious of outsiders.
Without filming, I spent time with them at their favourite place, the beach. Without motive or intention, I slowly gained their trust over a period of weeks. One day when I felt we were all comfortable, I asked them to start making a basket so that we could capture the process. Basket making was a way that the women spent time with each other, talking about what was happening in the community. Within a short time, they started telling stories about their lives and the history of their community.
Originally there were five tribes in the area, they all spoke different languages and had their own cultural practices and traditional lands. Within their lifetimes, they had witnessed a mini-history of Australia. Their tribes had been kicked off their traditional lands by white settlers. Facing starvation and disease, missionaries came along and provided a new place for the tribes to live, a new community. They faced many challenges as traditional enemies and tribal members with completely different cultural practices were now living together in the one community.
They were forced to speak English, they would get beaten if they spoke in their traditional languages. At one stage the entire town was shifted from near the beach to an area in the jungle, further inland, close to the airport so that it was more convenient for supplies to get through in the wet season. People started crying for their traditional lands, many people were getting sick in the heat and humidity of the jungle.
The entire community was deeply traumatised.
Next came the era of the introduction of alcohol to the communities. The population of the community plummeted from six hundred to less than two hundred within a few years. One of the elders told the story that she had lost nine male members of her family within twelve months. Her sons, her husband, her uncles, all died from alcohol-related diseases. Domestic violence and abuse were widespread.
Over the following months, stories flowed from the elders. They wanted to tell their stories. Almost for their entire lives, nobody had ever listened to them before. One of the elders passed away only two weeks after she told her story. She said what she had to say and knew that it was recorded for eternity. The film was completed and screened in the local community. The young people had no idea of the lives the elders had lived. I will never forget, one of the elders came up to me in tears, thanking us for telling their story.
They saw it as their story. Their community story. In the following year, tribal members were elected at a local government level. The community was back in charge of its own destiny. Some traditional lands were given back. Communities created innovative ways to deal with challenges in their own communities. Since that time those models have been adapted to indigenous communities Australia wide. Often telling stories can be a catalyst for change or give change more momentum.
A community story or voice has more power than the sum of its individual stories.
For me personally, I felt like I was being called to all manner of causes, telling stories seemed to just create opportunities. It flowed naturally. I never went looking for work, one way or another the work found me. Not long after, I was called to Parliament House in Australia’s capital. Teaching one of the political party’s media departments. I started running film projects in schools and universities. Government arts organisations often hired me to tell the story of state-wide community arts projects. Those stories were used to gain funding for further projects or to expand the programs.
Often art was a way to deal with trauma in communities, there were always amazing stories being shared in these types of projects. One of my clients was heading to Nepal, one of the poorest nations in the world. Her focus was on women’s rights and educating girls. She wanted to start a social business in Nepal, based around education. She had no clear plan. Basically, it was a case of let’s go and see what happens.
At that stage, I had never filmed overseas before, so I was unaware of the magnitude of red tape involved to film in another country. To get your own camera equipment both in and out of Australia was complicated enough. If you didn’t follow the process, on return you get charged import duty for your own equipment, which could cost thousands. That and the batteries, by law, could only be taken in the carry-on luggage, but they were too heavy, which caused many problems along the way.
Once all the equipment was on board, then the next issue was the connecting flights.
Customs and police in that part of the world had a reputation of being incredibly corrupt. I wondered if I would ever see my $20,000 camera again. Having my occupation listed as a film-maker often causes issues getting into countries too. Immigration and government officials are very cautious about who they let into the county and what stories are told. The flight path flying into Nepal is parallel to the Himalayan range.
I will never forget flying at ten-thousand meters, looking out the plane window and being able to see Mount Everest. You look across, not down. Its peak is at the same height as the plane. After travelling for about forty hours we arrived in the capital, Kathmandu. Contrary to the stories we had heard, we got through customs and immigration without any hitches. Part of the government filming requirements was that we had to be escorted by an official twenty-four hours a day. He always had to be in the same room as me. If I went outside to the toilet in the middle of the night, he would follow. When we were filming, he would always be looking over my shoulder.
Although he was cautious, he never stopped us filming anything that we wanted to. He never looked at or confiscated any video files. Towards the end of the trip, we were high up in the Himalayas in a remote village. Our official by that time had turned into part of our film crew, often interpreting for us. He was starting to direct the locals for us, to carry out tasks so that we could film them. One day an elderly woman from the village came up chanting and dancing in front of the camera.
She kept repeating the same words over and over.
Not even the locals could understand her. After a while I turned to film something else, but she kept moving with me and chanting in front of the camera, it was like she had some sort of message for us, but we could not consciously understand it. During a filming break, I went on an adventure with the local children. They could not speak English so we could not understand each other at all. I just followed them on a tour of their favourite places.
They taught me the art of ‘terrace jumping’. The mountains have terraces cut into them so that they have a flat area for farming. The terraces have walls two metres high, they are like giant steps down a very steep slope. For us westerners to go down the terraces we tend to jump vertically which shocks our legs and back. The children smiled at me, grabbed my hands, we took a running leap and jumped off. The idea is to keep the momentum forward rather than down, this removes most of the shock.
You fall two metres, take a quick step, then jump off the next terrace, in a matter of thirty seconds, we were at the river hundreds of metres below. The children were all smiling at me when we arrived at the river. I don’t think an adult had ever dared to follow them before. We travelled back to Kathmandu and the official filming part of our trip was over.
We said goodbye to our government official.
Technically we then had to stop filming at that point. We were in a historic part of the city and the streets were full of life. We decided that now we were officially tourists we could go and take a few shots of life in the street, just so that we could share the experience with friends and family of what it was like on the streets of Kathmandu. There happened to be a festival on that day, the streets were full of colour and life. We wound our way through the crowd with our equipment.
Being focused on women’s rights, we decided to ask a few locals about the topic on camera. Before long women were lining up to have their say, they all wanted to tell their story. Through many conversations we found that about fifteen thousand girls a year are trafficked out of Nepal, to work as sex slaves. Some as young as seven. Most never return. We knew this was happening, but to hear it from people who had experienced it made it very real. What we found out next, astounded us.
At that time, once a month on average, a woman was still being burnt as a witch. The elderly or disadvantaged were the most vulnerable. It is still happening today in remote villages. Possibly, this is the message that the old woman in the village, was trying to tell us with her chanting. A few days later it was International Woman’s Day. There was a big march around the temples and through the streets.
Thousands of women from all walks of life were celebrating.
The streets were also lined with police that were fully dressed in riot gear and had automatic weapons. It was scary and we were unsure how far we could push it, but what was unfolding in front of us was too good to miss out on. We ran ahead of the march, dodging the police, getting incredible shots of women marching and chanting through the streets. Leading the march was a woman that we interviewed the day before, she had some other women escort me into the centre of the march, shielding me from the eyes of the police. I walked with them capturing everything I could on camera.
There were groups of women that had been burned by acid attacks and were blind. Other women were holding their hands so that they could join in. It was more of a celebration than a protest. There were trafficking survivors, often they are beaten and physically disabled, many have AIDs, and are rejected by their families and communities.
These women had survived the unimaginable and chose to use their story to contribute to others. Some have started international organisations to prevent trafficking and continue fighting to change their community’s stories around the treatment of women. Incredible courage. International Women’s Day was a time when they all felt safe enough to come together and celebrate their victories. On our return from Nepal, we edited a draft version of a documentary. Later my client used it to tell the story of the women to various groups and organisations in Australia.
It has assisted her in raising funds, creating projects, and social businesses in Nepal.
Empowering women, providing education, training and assistance so that women could earn an income or start up their own businesses. All in an effort to support and improve the lives of their families and educate their daughters. Their community story had gone full circle and was now creating change in the lives of women in Nepal.
I started getting more work overseas. Next was Cambodia, which is still recovering from the Pol Pot genocide in the 1970s, where around two million perished (one-quarter of the population). Cambodia had been at the centre of many international conflicts from the 1960s and it was only in 1997 that the war truly ended and locals could live their lives in relative safety. Landmines and unexploded bombs are the biggest remnants from that era and are still being cleared today.
I accompanied an expedition of an Australian volunteer organisation that travels to Cambodia every year with a fifty strong medical team. They carry out cataract operations and treat the eyes of Cambodians that live in the provinces. Because of the tropical sun and the fact that they mostly work outside, they have many issues with their eyes and often go blind. Over a period of a week, about three thousand people were screened, three hundred and fifty people had cataract surgery, many were given prescription glasses, sunglasses, and hearing aids.
I filmed an elderly woman on the operating table.
After her surgery, the moment her face was uncovered, she sprung up and did the two-handed traditional Cambodian thank you towards every medic in sight. One day doctors gave a man a pair of new glasses, it had the Australian price tag still on it. He literally would not have been able to afford them in a lifetime of his work. One girl was deaf and mute, the team gave her some hearing aids, she heard herself speak for the first time, she cried. I witnessed a grandmother see her grandchildren for the first time. It was an incredible experience.
Restoring sight not only makes a difference to the individual, but it also creates change in a whole community. When an elder in a village is blind, a grandchild takes care of her, so misses out on school or work. That means the family has the financial burden of taking care of two people. Multiply that over a few families and the impact is significant in a community.
Once the video we created from the expedition was used to tell the story of the organisation’s work, back in Australia, audiences and funders really got to experience the impact their work had. People generously donated and the organisation’s work continues every year. Thousands of people can now see the world around them and are again functional members of their communities.
One project led to another in Cambodia.
The next was a series of stories for the World Bank. For about ten years the World Bank, European Union, the United Nations, and other global organisations had been working on a massive nationwide project, rebuilding some of the physical and intellectual infrastructures in Cambodia. So that it could formally trade with the world’s economic system again, rebuilding the economy and helping to restore people’s lives.
Most of the infrastructure had been destroyed in the wars. They had projects in almost every industry. As an example of what they did, rice mills were systemised and had laboratories attached so that the rice could be certified locally, enabling Cambodia to trade with western countries and get a higher price for their rice. Lifting more people out of poverty. It was a very complicated story to tell, as the project had so many different elements to it. Even the people working within the project only had a feel for their part of it.
Over twelve months we put together the story of almost every industry in Cambodia in a series of twelve videos. We interviewed over one hundred industry leaders and government officials. We also wanted to capture the stories of the project implementors and beneficiaries. The people on the ground that worked in factories, on fishing boats, the people whose lives were impacted by the projects. We interviewed them as well.
Effectively it ended up being the community story of an entire country.
It was a challenge working entirely in another language. It meant that I was directing, interviewing, scriptwriting and editing, relying on barely understandable translations. As the director, it was ultimately up to me to ensure the result. Nobody else could do it for me. By having a strong creative process and providing the space for the locals to step in and do their part, we managed to complete the project on time. It was a miracle.
I was on my way on my motorbike to the press conference to present our work formally to the ‘Royal Government of Cambodia’. Two weeks earlier there was a political shooting, security was high. There were roadblocks and police officers with automatic weapons dotted along the boulevards in central Phnom Penh. A common occurrence, as there are many embassies and global organisations based in the area and motorcades full of officials are constantly moving around.
With my memory stick full of films in my pocket, I approached a roadblock on my scooter, the police officer held his arm up and would not let me through. This was a daily game of cat and mouse. Any attempt to ignore him and go past would see him symbolically thrust his gun at me. He could not speak English. I got out my Official Press Card for the Kingdom of Cambodia and thrust it in front of his face, in the hope that it possessed some magical powers. While the police officer was looking at it, I noticed his finger was nowhere near the trigger.
I accelerated and shot past the police officer and the roadblock.
The last thing that the police officer wanted was the death of a foreign journalist to his name. He had his family to look after. He just shook his head with a smirk on his face and turned to stop the next person. I arrived at the venue just in time. Including members from the World Bank, European Union and United Nations in attendance. Hundreds of people were there. I formally presented the work and took questions from the local and foreign press.
Afterwards, I had many people come up to me making comments. By this time, I knew most of the politicians and officials in the country. Many people said it was really the first time they understood what they were actually doing in the broader sense and the difference that they were making to peoples lives. For the duration of the project, people were relying on technical reports and often felt distant from the project. Many officials lived in the United States or Europe. The videos were later used to present the project in their organisations, worldwide. They gained further funding and are still working on new and related projects in Cambodia today.
By this time, I felt like I had discovered a storytelling superpower.
In every fibre of my being, I could see that telling stories of an individual, an organisation, a whole community or even a whole country could have a massive impact, with benefits for all concerned both in the short and the long term. One thing that was missing for me, and it probably came back to my engineering/business background, is that some of the impact of my work had become too subjective, too distant.
What I needed was to have a hand in projects in a non-film making sense, so I could interact more with the community story, practically get in there and contribute. As with all things, the universe soon provided the next step and that’s when I met Lou Reed from Energy Medicine Institute. Lou is exceptionally talented and had some incredible life experiences and stories. Our characters connected at a deep level. She has a big vision for her work, she was already having an impact on the world with her work around Energy Medicine.
Lou had tremendous courage in rewriting her own life story.
For years we worked together (along with many others) and shaped all the Energy Medicine Institute training and stories to create the current version of the Energy Medicine Institute. Her work has been life-changing at the deepest level for so many people around the world. Extraordinary. Through Tribal News, a division of Energy Medicine Institute, we have supported and created projects in Australia, Cambodia, and Nepal. Social enterprise projects that enable people to rewrite their community stories. Enabling people to create change in their families, communities, countries or even globally.
The last twenty years of my life has been a period of incredible change for me personally. It has been quite a journey. What I love about my life now, is the fact that I can go anywhere in the world, into any community, with any group of people, and know that I can follow a process and create a community story that makes a difference to that community and in the wider world.
I have made close to one thousand films, interviewed about three thousand people from all walks of life. I have physically worked on projects throughout Australia, in Tonga, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I am often working in environments that are completely foreign both physically and spiritually.
It has been a transformative period, my spirit is more alive and fully expressed now.
Lou: David what was it like physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually before energy medicine?
David: While my life before the motorcycle adventure to Cape York had always been interesting, and in many ways quite successful, I always felt that something was missing. My soul needed more. Over the years I had been involved in several businesses. While they were successful in a conventional sense, I never felt fulfilled. For example, in one business we were at the forefront in our field nationally and were exporting internationally. My work was engineering-based, I designed and built products, it was still a highly creative life, but at the end of the day I use to think “what was the point to it all”.
While I did not hate it, it wasn’t something that I could imagine myself doing for the rest of my life. The drive and passion just weren’t there. But that was true for almost all my working career up to that point. I could see myself looking back later in life and regretting the time I spent working in that field. Conceptually it was the end of the industrial age. The technological/information age had not gained momentum yet. Industry in Australia was in limbo.
The future did not look very exciting.
From a young age, I would often be creating these massive projects outside of school or working hours. At one stage I designed and built an entire racing car, then a motorcycle. We had a racing team and were close to an Australian record a few times. We travelled all over the country. There would often be a crowd of one-hundred thousand people.
There was a great sense of community within our team and the industry. It was exciting. It was far more fulfilling than my work at the time. In a way it didn’t make sense, as my work was similar, designing and creating. What was missing was the connection with people and community. While of course in business there is a lot of connection with people, but it all revolved around physical products and the management of people and things. It was very structured and relatively predictable.
Adventure was another element for me. For as long as I can remember, I would always be going on big adventures. I loved to travel. I really loved being in environments where everything was new, it was of no concern if I could not understand a word of what people were saying. I had the capability for taking on new ideas in new environments. For me, there was not much adventure going on in business at that time, and I could not see a way out of that, no matter how hard I tried.
Physically this was exhausting of course.
Sometimes before a race meeting, I would be awake for three to four days straight, getting everything prepared. That was on top of my day job. And then I had to finance it all. While I never got sick, it was only a matter of time before that lifestyle would take its toll. Emotionally it was very frustrating. What I loved doing, did not make any money, and the more successful I became at it, the more unbearable my daily life was.
I was strong minded and would always be responsible, I would force myself to participate in my day job, but every day that was getting more difficult. What made it worse is that I could not see a way past that, it was a complete mystery as to what I could do about it. Slowly my spirit was dying.
Lou: David what is it like now physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually after energy medicine?:
David: To say that my life is different now is of course a complete understatement. One of the major unexpected takeaways for me is life balance. While bigger projects sometimes tend to expand and spill over into other areas of my life, I do everything I can to avoid that. Finishing work on time, exercising, eating well and spending time with friends.
Balance allows me to be the most creative version of myself that I can be.
It allows me to achieve more. I love what I do for my day job now. I currently live in Cambodia, every day I am in a completely different environment and am living the adventure. Of course, there are times when this part of my life is completely stressful, tedious, or even boring. The difference is that I have the desire to get past the obstacles now. I want to improve and be the best storyteller I can possibly be. I am working on something bigger than myself now.
LOVE NOTE FROM LOU
David, Co-Founder of Tribal News Inc., is an advocate of human rights, the underlying theme of his work. David works with government organisations, businesses, individuals, community groups, and Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s) globally. Capturing the collective voice, the expression of that community story is fundamental in creating understanding and change.
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Founder, Energy Medicine Institute