I’m writing to you from Brisbane, Queensland.

Today my professor said, “Conservation is both an art and a science. We have brought together scientists and artists and it has the undercurrent of both.” It’s so crazy because I am REALLY considering going to graduate school for something either in the earth sciences or anthropology now… And I want to go abroad to do it. This is so radical for me because I’ve been studying theatre for so long. No matter what, my roots and people are in the arts. Having my artistic background is actually what is currently propelling me into considering these new paths. The course and experience wouldn’t be resonating with me in the same way.

It’s pretty cool because there is only one other person on this trip who is in school for an art and she and I are quickly becoming very good friends. We both love art — and we are good at what we do. I want to do my art now because I love it, but I also intuit it will lead me to other places. My friend told me statistically people will have aprx 6 different careers in their lifetime… And I’m so young!! There’s so much time to indulge my curiosities!

What is really hitting me lately is that the earth holds both practical and metaphorical knowledge. It holds the law and lore of the people living on it. You can’t study the earth without the people on it — it’s interconnected and they ebb and flow with one another. I am a storyteller… and I am broadening my definition of “story” through this trip.

I am finding it encouraging meeting people from all over the world, many of whom have uprooted their lives to just GO and TRAVEL! And I find they are like-minded to me. There’s so much out there… I have only been here a few days, but it’s already changing my life.

On another note, last night my friend and I went to a bar and were chatting with the bar tender. When I told him about this project he scoffed and went on a rant about Aboriginals. It was fascinating to watch!! I have the perspective of my professors, who care deeply to conserve Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, whereas this man literally said “98% of them are scum living off the government.” Good material for my project… It’s cool because I have people as resources for information, but observing the person is another dynamic element of study for the project.

On another-nother note, I have an accent!!! All of these things are relative. I never thought of myself as having an accent until these Aussie men started impersonating me and asking me about America. An Aussie guy asked me “is LA near NY?” Crazy putting it into perspective..

Tomorrow I leave for a five day camping trip, so you won’t be hearing from me until next week. I can’t wait!! My trip is guided by Aboriginals living in the national park.

Spending all of this time in nature is the most healing and self-aligning thing I’ve ever done.

Hope you’re all well on the other side of the world!


Secrets of Aboriginal Healing

“It doesn’t matter what we call the energy force that delivers the message, the important thing is that we listen to it.” 

In preparation for my studies abroad I read a beautiful book, Secrets of Aboriginal Healing, by Gary Holz, D.Sc., with Robbie Holz. The book is Holz’s retelling of his experience with a remote Aboriginal tribe. The story starts when he is diagnosed with chronic progressive multiple sclerosis, during which your nerve cells are disrupted and your body slowly goes numb. Western medicine has not yet found a cure for the illness. He is a successful physicist who is failed by western medicine, so he decides to try another approach. Although he is resistant to the ideas at first, he ends up embracing the Aboriginal healing techniques, recovers from the multiple sclerosis, awakens his own healing abilities, and even returns to the US to teach the techniques to others.

If you know me, you know this is exactly the type of story I love. Although I am beyond excited to start my academic journey, this book makes me want to study exclusively with a remote tribe. Maybe during my next visit down under.

What I appreciate most about this practice so far is that although it acknowledges intellectual pursuits as valuable, it recognizes that the pursuits of the heart far surpass what the intellect can achieve. The path of the Aboriginals is a journey to the heart, a path to go inward. Already, this is a fundamentally and radically different way of life, relative to that of the West. Although I have been drawn to spiritual paths that hold similar core concepts, these specific techniques, used to access those “higher” parts of the Self and achieve wholeness and healing, are both uniquely beautiful and totally common sense, in my opinion.

This book has introduced me to a few core ideas of the traditional Aboriginal spiritual life. The book discusses in detail the six steps to healing, which are all intertwined:

  1. Connectedness
  2. Willingness
  3. Awareness
  4. Acceptance
  5. Empowerment
  6. Focus

One of the more controversial ideas in the book is that we attract and create our own realities. While this could understandably be interpreted as inhumane, at the same time I am somewhat convinced. Though it implies you have created something negative in your life, it also gives you the power to destroy it and create something else for yourself. Holz comes to realize that it is his set of beliefs and mindset that are literally creating the disease within his body. Western medicine treats the diagnosis, whereas these techniques heal the whole person. This tribe believes the root of any physical symptom is the result of a spiritual or subconscious problem. In the book they find the root of Holz’s disease by discovering that he has trained himself to emotionally numb and distance himself from life’s circumstances and relationships, which led to his nerves literally choosing not to feel anything. When I say his nerves “choose,” that is because the book also explains that every cell in the body has it’s own consciousness, another radical and impossible thought for most Western scientists.

Another concept I found helpful for myself is using the power of your words for good. In the book we learn that words and thoughts contain our energy and they are what we send forth as the manifestation of our realities. It’s not as simple as changing the words we use though, it has to be on a subconscious level as well. The book goes into detail about how to access those parts of yourself and utilize them to give yourself positive results.

Although I could write about this book for hours, one of the last things I will bring up is the idea that we not only carry our own emotional baggage from this lifetime, but we have psychic programming, left over from past lives and even our ancestors. I was so excited to read more about this, because I was first introduced to this notion during research for a solo performance piece I wrote and performed last year. According to Aboriginals, so much of healing is linked to releasing ourselves of this programming.

Although I won’t be traveling to study with remote tribes in the outback this summer, I do feel there is a great spiritual and life journey that awaits me at the other side of the world! This book has sparked excitement and inspiration for that adventure. I can’t wait to contextualize this information more by taking my course and doing my own exploring!


Thanks for reading my first post! 4 days until I take off…

– Ariana