top of page

By Dan Williams

I am writing this from quarantine in a Sydney hotel as W.A undergoes a 3-day snap lockdown (with the potential of it being extended). Before I carry on with this random blog post, I assure you that my short time in Singapore was very restricted and all business under strict government guidelines. A country where the virus situation is extremely well managed and over the top in policing. Hence the approval to travel where I basically spent all my time there in quarantine also, doing plenty of unpleasant covid tests, virtual media obligations, and a trip to the national stadium to compete professionally under the Australian flag. There I was in Singapore, competing in an empty stadium. I thought to myself, imagine telling someone 20 years ago that there is going to be sporting events with no one there, yet more people will see it… 2021! Another year of ongoing uncertainty and although I didn’t come home with the gold I hoped for, I kept my spirits high in preparation for the real challenge. 2 weeks in Australian hotel quarantine. I have had a few messages that are along the lines of "I bet you cannot wait to get out of quarantine!" Funnily enough, I can wait. As crazy as that sounds there hasn’t been any complaining whilst in here. Now it’s coming to an end, the experience in our 2 weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine has been anything but a bad one. In fact, I was loving it. It went super quick. Most likely due to the amount of sleep I was getting. Truly immersing myself in what I preach, and that is to rest more. I can see how the experience in mandatory hotel quarantine (or any quarantine) could be awful depending on your personal situation. Thankfully, I was in a position where I didn't feel sad, like if something happened back home where I would feel helpless and miserable. I never felt trapped, and I knew I would be out to see the people I love. I also got to speak to my partner every day who was doing exceptionally well with her areas of work which made my environment a lot easier to deal with. To add to the environment my coach Brett was in the same boat and was working from his hotel room and keeping busy. The self-proclaimed 'logistics king' was doing full workdays from his laptop and headset, optimizing supply chains for Shell on the first day of his quarantine stint. Our rooms had absolutely no nature present in them. No fresh air or greenery and a window view leading to more concrete buildings. Thankfully Peggy our massage therapist at Altered States Float provided me with the right essential oils and infuser to keep my room fresh. The room layout itself was spacious with bathrooms that included a bath. WIN! And we could roam into each other’s rooms and see each other, another big WIN!... Although maybe not so much for Brett's sake… When the nurses would do their daily routine calls to check up on our health, all I could hear was "yeh actually can you send me up some Panadol, my roommate is giving me a mad headache!". The nurses would laugh at the joke (He probably wasn’t joking…) with the next joke being "Have I got a joke for you... What’s the difference between a dirty bus station and a large-breasted lobster? …One’s a crusty bus-station and the other a busty crustacean " Bahaha got me every time. I bet the nurses thought he was going ISO mad. I was basically stuck in quarantine with a walking comic and a man who can punch through Uber eats like no other. The first week of quarantine, I got stuck into my daily routine and the checklist I wrote out during my first night here. I was enjoying an Epsom Salt bath (I haven’t had a bath in years) and although not quite like a float tank, it was similar in terms of feeling relaxed which led to positive thoughts and the right mindset to be in when planning my next moves. Then it hit me, I could practice my own variations of Floating, Infrared Sauna, Neurofeedback, and Massage whilst in here. Epsom salt baths for Floats, hot baths to sweat like Infrared Saunas, naps for Neurofeedback, and foam roller for Massages. Not quite the same in terms of full benefits but still the same principles when it comes to rest & relaxation, keeping the body & mind healthy and working with what you got. By week 2 of quarantine, the meals got progressively worse. One example was a rice paper roll with olives sticking out of them that looked extremely suss. Not to mention the horrid-looking fish and rice they were bringing out on several occasions. It really was plain food catering. At this point, I think the hotel staff became sick of our annoying chants every time they delivered the food (maybe we were going mad in ISO) and maybe they got one back on us by what Brett described as “delivering sh*t that looks like a dog’s breakfast”. We didn’t let them win as the unpleasant quarantine food only led to a better outcome… food delivery apps.

We immediately got hooked on the food delivery apps. Uber eats got an absolutely hammering which gave us excitement and hope for the day. The four walls we’re stuck in were not defining us!

We got to experience the Sydney CBD dining options like kings, and I reckon we got through all the best-rated surrounding restaurants. Our physical health took a little hit and 7kgs later, the morning/afternoon workout routines started getting shorter to non-existent, the alcohol consumption increased, and the bank account was shrinking with absolutely no regrets. I mean it’s all about balance, right? They may have to roll us out of here, but we were pretty proud of our effort. We even got certificates for completing our ‘covid 19 quarantine’ that is just the icing on a cake. The way I see it is I’ve had 2 weeks of eating, stretching/mobilizing, working on the business, plenty of sleeping and minimal responsibilities, or having to be somewhere. A wealth of mental abundance. It's moments like these that are becoming few and far between in our fast-paced society. For many resting is not an option or a main priority let alone a regular practice. Yet for me resting is the answer to stress and is my foundation to a positive mindset. Quality rest = positive thoughts, positive thoughts = positive actions, positive actions = positive outcomes. After a hectic month prior it was great to do ‘nothing’ for 2 weeks. Don't get me wrong I wouldn’t want to do it again anytime soon, but what came from making the most of the forced rest was all positive. I had new ideas, I wrote out new personal goals, and got stuck into ways to develop the operations of the business. My mental health was sweet, and I had plenty of time to connect with loved ones over the phone. Overall, I was relaxing more yet becoming more productive, and I knew I would be back home soon. Reassuring my belief that great things really do come from simple living and lots of rest & relaxation. I guess it all depends on how you view it.

By Sharon Pegrum

For many people there comes a time in their life when they start to explore different ways to heal their spirit. This comes in a variety of forms – discovering religion, exploring healing modalities, working through issues with counselling….whatever forms the end goal is to live a more fulfilled and meaningful life.

But the one thing we discover along the way is that it is not about the end goal but more importantly about the journey and the layers we strip off along the way.

Whether you start this journey in your 20s or 80s we have all accumulated stuff along the way. Some of these are our own baggage picked up during childhood, teenage years and adulthood. There is also a theory that says we hold onto the limiting beliefs and behaviours of our ancestral lines. The science to back this up is outlined well in this article.

It’s no surprise then that whatever form our healing takes we are unlikely to be “fixed” immediately and in fact, the idea of a solution that corrects all our human tendencies learned over years, and perhaps generations is not usually possible.

In the start of any spiritual journey it is normal to start searching for an answer to all the questions we suddenly have. When we explore different avenues it can be disheartening to feel like these “solutions” either don’t have any impact or wear off after a while.

The thing is we are looking for a consistent answer to a human question and as we know humans are complex and ever changing. Therefore, the answer you seek is often changing and never simple.

I have heard this healing journey likened to peeling away the layers of an onion and for me that is one of the best descriptions. The only thing lacking in this description is change in the way you approach each layer.

I like to think of it more as your evening meal. Each evening you most likely eat something, the end goal is always the same – to nourish your body and assuage your hunger. However, if every single evening you prepared the exact same meal in the exact same way, chances are you would get bored pretty quickly. Even if it was your absolute favourite meal, there is only so long you will be enjoying that meal.

It’s exactly the same when we take a spiritual journey. Each time we peel off a layer we need to reassess where we are now and what we need. Each strategy that we use may last us for a week, a month or forever but there will always be things we shed that are no longer working for us and new things that we need to pick up and hold for a while.

So, how do we know when to pick up something new and when we should keep hold of something? There is a simple answer to that – ask yourself. One of the most powerful things you can do is take some time every day to check in with yourself and question what it is you need at the moment.

We live such fast paced, busy words that unless we purposely take time to consider our needs we can go long periods without actually connecting with our core self and listening to it.

When you are meditating on this question of what you need, it is useful to consider the current strategies that you are using in your spiritual journey. Just observe how each of these make you feel. You may discover that they are things that no longer serve you but you are holding onto them because they used to work or you feel committed to them in some way. Or you may realise that you need to commit to them more.

It is also a good time to just sit and let new concepts flow to you. It’s useful here to use the idea of “let go and let God”. This doesn’t have to be about religious faith but think of God as whatever universal force you believe in – the universe, mother earth, source…anything that is meaningful to you.

Take the challenges you are having in your spiritual journey and give them over to a greater power with faith that the answer is there and will come to you in time.

Along any spiritual journey staying open and receptive as well as connected to self and whatever universal power you believe in is vital. This requires space and time and a commitment to self as the most important thing in your journey.

We are all on a spiritual journey but each is unique and individual, it is important that you tread the path that is right for you, right now.

By Danial Williams

After a day of traveling, airport stopovers and a flight delay, Carla and I finally arrived in Ulaanbaatar (UB), the capital of Mongolia. Having a float booked was the perfect way to settle into the country. I do this everywhere I visit because it’s a great way to settle into a new environment and get over jetlag, its something I highly recommend! We visited Mongolia's only float centre. The MUS floating centre was 3.3km from our hotel. That's the same distance from home to Altered States Float (unit 3/33). It was around -30 degrees Celsius outside and a good friend once told me the number 3 means divine protection. That’s a lot of 3’so we thought f*** it lets walk there. Our float wasn’t booked until the afternoon, meaning we had all day to explore UB. We ended up walking around like lost un-acclimatised tourists the whole day, in the coldest place we have ever experienced. By the time we got to the float centre it would have been 5 plus hours walking outside and by the end of it we couldn’t feel our toes or noses. I suppose that didn’t matter, maybe it would speed up 'letting go' during the float since the water set at body temperature aids with losing sense of the physical body (haha). Finally it was time to slow everything down a little. The staff were extremely welcoming and a lovely lady named Erika looked after us. After our float we had blind masseurs give us a soothing massage which was pretty cool. Then at the end we sat down with Erika and spent a long time talking about our stories and the introspective side to floating. The centre housed 6 custom built float rooms designed by the young owner who unfortunately was away during our visit. The good thing is I still keep in contact with him online and we share a lot of the same interests and both want to see floating evolve in the future. I hope to join him on a trip to explore Mongolian shamanism in the near future. I highly recommend a float at MUS floating centre if you ever visit Mongolia, in fact it should be mandatory!

The next chapter of our journey consisted of a 7 day dog sledding tour down frozen Lake Terelj. About 3 years ago I started talking to the experienced French musher Joël, who started the tour company ‘Wind of Mongolia’ many years ago. Joël, his Mongolian wife Bayaana and her family run winter dog sledding tours from December to April. They treat you like family and are very laid back. As you would expect from a couple who spend a lot of time with their loving dogs trekking through peaceful landscapes. Everyday the routine was wake up, have breakfast, pack the sleds, harness the dogs to your sled, then spend the whole day sledding to the next destination with a lunch stopover by a fire. The dogs are mostly Alaskan huskies as well as big powerful Greenlanders. They are all loving and love a good pat and hug. I liked some of their names which included Angus & Young, Bowie, Sid, cocaine, cannabis & poppers. One dog was called Carla and our Carla got quite the fright every time Joël yelled at Carla the dog (HAHA). Most nights we stayed with the nomads in Mongolian Gers (tents) and the rest were spent camping on a mountain. You would here wolves at night, see vultures circling areas and wolverine prints scattered along the track. To sum it up, the trip is basically a very raw camping trip without the necessities of western life, including toilets and showers. We drank a lot of vodka and ate a lot of meat the nomads prepared for us. That’s just what they did and too bad if you don’t drink, they will force it down you... I liked their thinking. I will save most of the details on what we ate but to give you an idea, one dish was a full sheep’s head on a plate.

We absolutely loved being isolated and surrounded by peaceful silence. It’s our kind of holiday we thrive on rather than the hustle and bustle of a noisy city. Everyday just picturesque landscapes, lots of wildlife and a night sky filled with shooting stars. A culture so rich in history and a nomadic lifestyle that has hardly changed from the Khan Empire, the longest contiguous empire the world has ever seen. I’m trying to remember what my thoughts were during the journey and to be honest there weren’t many at all. That’s the beauty of it, just being in the present, no distractions, picturesque views, surrounded by animals and nature with not a care in the world. Studies have shown that exposure to quiet natural environments will enhance immune function and lower key indicators of stress… or in layman terms, studies have shown you wont give a f*** for a while. Its true and we have heard of people dealing with problems going on the trip then changing their whole outlook on life for the better. So if you love dogs, don’t mind eating meat and are seeking adventure then this trip may be for you. Oh and the cold you have to not mind the cold! Age also shouldn’t be an excuse. The oldest person that has participated on the tour was a 91 year old French guy and it was something he wanted to experience before he died. How cool is that! Although Bayaana did say it was quite stressful because she couldn’t sleep properly, constantly checking he was still breathing when he slept. Apparently the oldest Aussies they have had were a couple in their early 70s, and the husband holds the record for eating 80 Buus (Mongolian dumplings) in one night which still baffles the tour guide to this day who loves to share the story.

Next time you’re at Altered States Float play the ancient Mongolian fortune telling game (Shagai) out in the back area. It was given to us by a nomadic family as a Mongolian new year gift, be aware though the fortune telling can be quite brutal.

bottom of page