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Deep and Awakened Dive on Waiheke

Written by Ishula Stuart, Data Science Group Lead, Inland Revenue Department

Ishula Stuart

As we ferry across to the tranquil shores of Waiheke, I am relieved to press pause on the bustle of a busy month and excited to finally reach my Airbnb. I am last to arrive for the night but complete the circle. A lot has happened at this table in this last month; new beginnings, loss, grief…. but we already know the rhythm of each other needs. I sit for a moment and hold the space for my whānau who in less than a year feels like the comfort of a lifetime! Relationships deepen. Argh I see you now and you see me!

Our Session Seven follows the theme of “Awakened Leadership - Deep Dive”. Deep dive - really? Having already sensed my own awakening or deepened awareness in last month’s retreat at Hanmer Springs, I wonder how much deeper it can get. I had a pang of something, a little trepidation I think as I go over my session pack and read those words “Deep Dive” again and I willingly dive into bed to hide under the covers. I am not used to that feeling but I find I am not the only one and I comfort my nerves with the enlightening midnight check-in.

By morning for the first day, I arrive feeling expectant. I feel like I am on my tip toes in excitement and leaning in awaiting with open heart and mind ready to charge. Boom! - straight in and Louise has us time travelling again! And this time I see her instantly: the eight year old little girl I had forgotten sitting in her room all alone, forgotten by the world.

This session was an opportunity to tap into my soul, spirit and the child. I feel what it would be like to heal old wounds and reconnect with my inner essence. Talk with my inner essence. Hear from my inner essence. Just for a moment…

I can’t breathe and as I feel the lightning bolt strike my chest I hear her talking back to me. “I am here,” she says. “I have always been here. You just need to let me in.” Then I breathe and the lightning bolt now warms my chest. There is no science I know to explain this movement of energy. I spoke to her. And she spoke back!

It has been no rapid immersion into this deep dive - it’s been a journey that started eight months ago in the summer of twenty eighteen!

Authentic leadership is about making an impact that truly expresses our values. But first you must get to know yourself to deepen your vessel of leadership. The potential of my voice is far more than I could ever have imagined. I unearthed my outer voice and heard my inner voice all for the very first time. I AM HERE!