From Greece to NZ and back during a Global Pandemic
From Greece to New Zealand and back during a global pandemic
Why did I go to New Zealand in the first place?
I looked back at my journal before I left Greece.
For almost two years, my spirit felt restless.
Externally, in the eyes of the world, I ‘had it made.’ I was renting a lovely apartment close to the sea in the south of Athens, and I had friends in Marathonas, who rented their apartment to me inexpensively during the summer months.
Greece had endowed me with an abundance of good friends, delicious foods, a sunny, warm climate, and very kind-hearted people all around.
It was here that I had the privilege of awakening to channelling. The Pleiadians first came through in my apartment in Athens. Creatively, the painting and music were blossoming, and my work and business growing. What more could one want you might ask?
I kept asking myself that very same thing. Time and again, I got a similar answer.
‘Bracha, you need to make a huge shift. You are in a rut.’
This was the last thing I wanted to hear. It had taken me several years to build up the kind of social connections and loving friends I’d always dreamed of and to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Long before Covid, the murmurs of my soul were calling to me. ‘Bracha, it’s time to move. Pack your bags. Get ready for an adventure. It’s not too late. You’re just beginning…’ These were the kinds of messages that repeatedly came in.
The big question was, where to move and when?
Then along came Covid. As soon as Greece went into its first lockdown, I knew I had to move to New Zealand. It was clear. The question was, did I have the courage to move through all my fears?
Flying during a pandemic scared me greatly, especially being in my sixties and, supposedly, in a ‘more vulnerable sector of the population.’ The thought of the very long flights was daunting, and I had nightmares about it for several weeks. On top of that, a strict managed isolation for fourteen days upon arrival was equally terrifying.
As I am on a very restricted diet, arriving in an unknown place and hotel, without knowing the food I would be given, was impossible to contemplate.
It took almost two months to persuade the NZ government to allow me to stay in a managed facility with my own kitchen. As soon as I received that approval, I knew it was time to make my move.
Booking a flight was relatively easy as so few people were travelling at the time. Airlines had all kinds of special offers, and I was able to get a great deal.
Nonetheless, the fears plagued me right up until the very last minute. With just 90 minutes before my first leg of the journey to Dubai, I was still dithering.
My dear friend Eirini was driving me to the airport when I said to her:
‘I’m not sure if I should go…’
She responded, ‘no problem at all. I will drive you wherever you like. Take your time and breathe.’
I did just that. Within a few minutes I realised that I needed to take the leap.
We hugged, and off I went.
The trip to the southern hemisphere was much easier than I had anticipated. Everyone was friendly and attentive. Because I was so emotional, much to the coaxing of the flight attendants with various tasty morsels, I couldn’t eat a thing. It was probably good that I fasted for three days en-route, because I had virtually no jet lag once I arrived.
The plane arrived in Auckland and within no time, I was whisked away in a minivan straight to an isolation hotel. After showing my passport to reception, someone pointed to the lift and instructed me to go alone up to my room. I was told I had to remain there for at least the first five days until I had my first negative Covid test result.
The room was dark, the windows very dirty and although I felt quite scared, tiredness overwhelmed my monkey mind and numbed my emotions. Someone dropped my cases outside my door, and I had to drag them inside myself as no one was allowed into the room. I was treated as though I already had Covid, and I had to abide very strict guidelines. Nurses came daily to take my temperature and ask me a long list of health questions.
Food was delivered daily to my room, and I was fortunate to be able to cook it for myself.
After day five, and thankfully a negative Covid result, I was allowed to book on a walk. What joy! The thought of getting outside for forty-five minutes was overwhelming after being in a ‘prison’ for the first 5 days.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. On that first ‘free’ day, Auckland council decided to stop the walks until further notice. I was dreadfully upset. The next day, however, they were reinstated and I was permitted to go on a walk.
A huge bus arrived, we had to board one by one, supervised by an army cadet, sanitise our hands and sit several seats away from one another. All wearing masks, we were scrutinised intensely by army personnel as we walked up and down a small area near the docks. I was so grateful for this ‘outside time’ and it soon became the highlight of my time in quarantine.
You couldn’t book another walk for the next day. Instead, you had to wait until the day after. Never before had I lived in such a restricted environment. And yet, even with all the challenges, every single person was kind and helpful. This is my lasting memory of those two very long weeks in quarantine.
Once out of ‘prison,’ I had to find a new home for myself. I still didn’t know exactly why I’d come, but I felt relieved to have faced and survived the fears of the journey and the isolation.
Every day I had to find reserves of courage I never knew I had. I stayed in a hotel for a couple of weeks as I began to find my feet. Many people generously reached out from all over New Zealand offering me a place to stay.
I had some very dear friends who lived in Christchurch who repeatedly invited me down. However, after living through the earthquake in Christchurch in 2011, my heart really didn’t want to revisit.
One invitation, however, piqued my interest, but I didn’t do anything about it straight away. When another email came from the same people, I decided to call them and see if we could chat firstly and meet on WhatsApp. It was a young couple with a beautiful doggie.
We hit it off instantly, and within a couple of hours we had agreed to meet that weekend when they could bring me to their place and show me where I could stay.
It was a joyful and inspiring time together and we agreed that I would come and stay with them for a week or two and see how things went.
It ‘felt’ right, and they came all the way into central Auckland to pick me and my cases up and take me to Whangaparaoa.
The place was beautiful, I had a bedroom, an office, and a bathroom. We shared the rest of the house, including the kitchen.
Keep in mind that I had been living happily alone for over 25 years and had not shared a kitchen in a very long time. They were very welcoming and said we’d find a way to make it work.
I had my reservations, which I didn’t listen to, but instead, decided that as I’d been ‘stuck in that rut’ for over two years perhaps it was time to stretch into some new experiences.
They were loving, caring and helpful, but inside, I still felt restless and wanted to find a place of my own.
First, I drove up to Kerikeri, about 4 hours north. I had lived there prior to leaving NZ and it’s a glorious part of the country. Warm climate, not over-populated with its own little airport.
I booked in a little B and B and explored the town. Although I visited all the estate agents, there was very little on the market for rent. I did find something that I thought would work, but I was rejected after applying. I did not get a big yes to stay there. I kept looking for several weeks after, but nothing came up.
Another place I considered was Tauranga. I made 3-4 hour driving trip from Auckland to investigate the area. Within a few hours of exploring, I didn’t get the feeling that this was the place of me. I checked out some of the outlying areas, but nothing there excited me.
In the end, as nothing was working out in other areas, I decided to stay with the young couple for a little while longer. We ended up finding a big house that we were excited to share together. It had its own basement floor with a separate entrance, seemingly perfect for all our needs.
However, from the outset, everything ‘went wrong.’ The energies of the house were heavy, the carpets smelled of cat pee, and from day one, I struggled to make it a home. For several weeks, I tried everything. Nothing seemed to work.
One evening, we had a talk, and I could tell they were relieved when I said I needed to move out and find my own place.
From that point onwards, everything began to fall apart. I searched daily for accommodation. I moved from AirBnb to AirBnb. Whenever I requested to stay somewhere for another week, the answer was always no.
Within the space of a few weeks, I had moved seven times!
It was distressing, exhausting, and demoralising.
Added to that, I had a sad falling out with the young couple as I made my exit. This was very unusual for me as I prided myself on keeping amicable connections with almost everyone from my past.
With each move, my energy depleted further, and I knew deep inside that it wasn’t going to work out for me in NZ.
It was a very difficult admission to make after everything that had gone into the preparation, the quarantine, the move to the other side of the planet, but I was growing weaker all the time and I needed to make a clear decision.
An angel reached out to me and was available whenever I needed to talk in those last crucial couple of weeks. She encouraged me to make the move.
The trip back to Greece was much more difficult than the outgoing one to NZ. My health was delicate, my energy very low, and Covid rules were even stricter. I had to have several Covid tests, and everything was more emotional and stressful.
In my heart, however, I had no doubt that the move back to Greece was the ‘right’ one and I was finally coming home.
It took several months to get my strength back, and it is only now, almost six months after returning to Greece that I have been able to complete the story and share some insights with you.
NZ was an ending of an old Bracha.
Fortunately, I hadn’t burned all my bridges with Greece. I could still in the apartment in Marathonas with my friends. I nearly lost the apartment by the sea in Athens, and it was at the eleventh hour, when my landlord had already taken a deposit from a future tenant, I rang him and asked him to keep it for me, which, after a nail-biting 24 hours, thankfully, he did.
Anastasia, my dearest friend, while I was in NZ, had emptied out the Athens apartment, packed all my stuff and moved it to her family’s storage place. A few weeks ago, when we met up and unpacked everything and put it all back again.
‘This will be something we will laugh at in our old age!’
What were the great burning learnings that came from my time in NZ that might be valuable for you too?
- My fears are surmountable: The journey, the quarantine, the ten moves of home in less than six months, the ending of a close relationship. Having walked through the fire, I survived and came through renewed and stronger than before.
This quote from Winnie the Pooh summarises it perfectly:
‘You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and stronger and smarter than you think.’
- Trust your inner voice. When in a vulnerable position, it can be tempting to take the ‘easy way out.’ To stay where you are out of comfort or fear of making a mistake or a big change. It could be in a marriage, a relationship, where you live, your work, your health.
Right from the outset, knew it wouldn’t be ‘right’ for me to live with other people I had just met, yet I went against that internal knowing. This had extremely painful consequences for all concerned.
Are you trusting your inner voice in all life areas?
“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
The intense and painful times in NZ strengthened me internally. Although in Greece I had the external comforts, I still needed to stretch and grow more on the inside. Now, I consciously live life from the inside out and it feels so much more authentic and in alignment with my true nature.
- Don’t rush headlong into new relationships, no matter how ‘wonderful’ someone may seem. Take time to experience the person in different situations and on ‘good’ and ‘less than good’ days. Do they discuss issues, or do they avoid them? Are they willing to stay through the rough times as well as the smooth ones? How do they react during a time of crisis and pressure? If something doesn’t feel quite right at the outset, trust that message.
- Don’t speak out when you are emotionally distressed. The falling out with the young couple came at a time when I was extremely stressed. The burning learning is: NEVER to utter a word to someone feeling out of balance, off centre and deeply upset.
If I have learned just this one lesson, the trip to NZ will have been worthwhile.
If someone is pushing you to respond when you are upset or angry, and you don’t want to talk, either remove yourself physically or shut your mouth and don’t speak until you have had time to calm down. Words said from a place of heightened emotion can be misconstrued and very painful for the recipient.
- Honour your own needs and respect your boundaries. If you know you must have plenty of time alone and you need your own space, don’t relinquish it, especially if the relationship is a relatively new one. Sometimes things may have to explode in your face if you’re not getting the message that your higher self is trying to communicate to you. I’ve learned to tell the truth about a situation when I know in my heart it’s not working.
- Know when to move on.
Once I was dealing with cat pee, stinky carpets and drains, I should have moved out immediately. Instead, I tried to make compromises and excuses.
I dragged out the agony instead of knowing when to let go and move on. Face your fears and don’t run from them.
‘Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.’
- Even during the hardest of times, there is always help, there is always a light. I learned to trust and to be willing to reach out and ask.
Despite the challenges, I met some beautiful people with whom I have strong and enduring bonds of affection. I met a wonderful healer who has imparted much of his wisdom which has added a great deal to the depth of my work.
Now that I am back in Greece, I appreciate everything on a much deeper level.
I calmer inside having faced so many fears.
I appreciate having a home more than ever before.
My determination to learn Greek has intensified and I am taking regular lessons.
If you are stuck in your life, or hearing similar messages about another life area, listen. You’ll be so glad you plucked up the courage to make a move, to speak out, to change career, to walk your spiritual path.
As our world continues to go through immense shifts and changes, we are all going through huge adjustments and learn ing how to step through our fears.
Can you trust? Will you take the leap? Will you face your biggest fears? Will you honour your essence?
My heart is with you and cheering you on!