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Entries in joy (70)

Wednesday
Dec052018

Interview with Darron Eastwell

We each have a story. How we perceive ourselves and respond to events of our journey, enable us to grow and also offers opportunities enrich the world.  During a recent professional event, I had the privilege of meeting Darron Eastwell. This versatile author and speaker has experienced major shifts and its a delight to share our interview. 

In a nutshell, please describe yourself.

I’m 44 years old, married 20 years, father of 2 kids. I live in Buderim, on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Australia).

Of course, there is far more to you than initially meets the eye. Would you say you had a conventional career?

Well, my main work life was a 25-year banking career with National Australia Bank (NAB). Since leaving high school, this was my only employer. I'm originally from country Victoria.  However, due to my NAB roles, I relocated many times for different job opportunities.  While holding Business Banking management roles, I moved around Victoria, South East Queensland and Central Queensland before settling back on the Sunshine Coast in 2015.

Sounds like you come to thrive on change.  What has driven you through it all?   

Working for a large, corporate bank in demanding, high-pressure jobs consumed me. However, I really enjoyed the opportunities the bank provided.  After all, I never finished high school or gained any specialized education qualifications. I stuck with my banking career, worked my way up. I used to say I have a “Street-smart” degree.

Your life demonstrates that being adaptable enables us to respond well to whatever comes. Tell us how your work priorities have affected your family life.

I have always been a highly-dedicated family man with my family being my number one priority as I was the “bread-winner” for many years.  My wife and I chose to raise our kids so that they didn’t have to attend day care or after school day care. So, Bianca stayed home, looked after the kids while I went to work, traditional family compared to these days, we were very fortunate.

Sounds like you had your life pretty much planned out and the details were coming together. What caused your life to change dramatically?

Due to my mountain bike accident, our roles were reversed. Bianca had to be my carer then go out and work while I stayed home and continued rehabilitation and recovery.

How did your life focus and values change in all this?

I no longer feel that my high-pressured, corporate banking job is important. I feel like I was just a number to them. All I want to do now is gain part-time employment so I’m not consumed by work. Creating a healthy work-life balance enables me to enjoy the Sunshine Coast, all life has to offer. 

Share some key life challenges and how you respond.

Pre-accident, life was great. I didn’t have a worry in the world other than what most people would worry about. (i.e. how long would it last?) Yet, job satisfaction with NAB was nearing an expiry date and I still didn’t own my family home I had to work to pay the bills. 

My key life challenge was no doubt was on 23/05/2015 when I had my mountain bike accident, which changed my life forever. Even three and half years later, I still have zero memory of that day and the following 12 months after the accident due to the injuries. This is probably a good thing. Injuries sustained from the mountain bike accident were as follows: Fractured Skull, Fractured Neck (occipital condyle fracture), Fractured T7 Vertebrae Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (Diffuse Axonal Injury).  I was in a medically- induced coma for 10 days. I had a Glasgow Coma Score of 5 (GCS range from 3-15 -the lower the number, the more severe the injury; GCS of 3 equals a dead person).  Once I awoke from the coma, I had Post Traumatic Amnesia for 32 days.  Given the duration, this indicated a very severe TBI.

What you describe feels like a huge shake-up and perhaps a wake-up call on many levels. What else stands out for you?

I was in 3 different hospitals for a total period of 2 months, spending 6 weeks in the Princess Alexandra Hospital Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit where I had to undergo rehab Occupation Therapy, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Balance Therapy. It was full-on.

Wow! You are certainly one resilient spirit! As your experience points out, challenges may seem economic or physical on the surface, but beneath it all, it is our attitude, will, how we respond mentally and emotionally, that determine what plays out.  

Yes. I had to re-learn life's simplest of skills, basically relearn to live independently again.  But I was so focused on getting well, nothing got in the way. I felt I had so much to live for including; my family, where I lived, my house, the lifestyle we had set up for ourselves.  I just wanted to be healthy again. My drive for recovery came from my perseverance and 'never give up' attitude, which I still have to this day.

What you say here invites readers to quietly ponder what is really important, what they really want. Its not usually what first comes to mind. What brings you the greatest joy?

My greatest joy is that I now live a quality, healthy life with my loving family on the Sunshine Coast in our family home which we built 10 years prior. I’m living my dream. I am now able to spend more time with family, exercise more and play my guitars more.

Ahh! So, you are also a musician! Have you always played? 

Well, I did not make much time for that hobby before my accident. My wife and I always spoke about returning to the coast, not having to relocate again.  We wanted to live a simple, uncomplicated lifestyle, enjoying the beaches, the sunny coast, warm climate.  We feel motivated to be outdoors.  We wanted our kids get to grow up in such a beautiful part of not only Australia, but the world.

As the saying goes, ‘Ask and it is given.’ You have given yourself your most heartfelt wish. Tell us, in your own words, how setbacks can be seen as gifts.

Set-backs can be gifts as they can change how you think what's really important.   Without your health, you little to feel joyful about.

Many people who have Near Death experiences (NDEs) also have out-of-body experiences (OBEs).  My NDEs and OBEs have changed the way I see myself and the world. Consider also people like Dannion Brinkley- he died twice by lightning and wrote At Peace in the Light & Saved by the Light. We also feel the impact of OBEs explored in Interview with William Buhlman and others on this blog.  How did having an NDE and OBE change you?

Surviving my near-death experience (NDE) has made me a better person and appreciate life more and I now realise how life can change in a heartbeat.  My brain is empty now. I am noticably calmer.

My mind echoes: I am not going to be a victim. I am not going to be negative about what happened. I believe everything happens for a reason. Positivity is so powerful. Having a positive mindset can assist with overcoming the impossible. I wouldn’t change what happened to me for a second. It has enabled so many doors to close but more doors have opened.

This echoes that saying, "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window." Let us know what windows inspire you, what nourishes your soul?

I’m inspired to live the best version of this new Darron, inspired to remain happy & healthy and share my story of survival against the odds. My wife is the biggest inspiration. Without her support, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

What a heart-warming story of connection with your family, your deeper self to inspire the world. This is a perfect lead in to tell us about your new book.

My book is, The Day I Broke My Brain. Basically, this is what I did through my accident.

It reminds me of Proof of Heaven by and the implications explored in Interview with Dr. Eben Alexander and the the book and Ted Talk Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.

As previously shared, due to my injuries, post-traumatic amnesia and severed memory problems, my occupation therapist suggested that I start writing a daily journal.  This   improved my memory and fine motor skills such as writing. I began with my name, address and where I had lived, my family’s names ages.  Then, I wrote about my thoughts, emotions and anything that I felt like writing.  This went on for about 6 months before I thought of the idea that I could have a book on my hands about my survival and rehabilitation story. Thus, over a period of 12 months, the daily journal writing evolved to have greater detail.  I had longer and longer writing sessions, all by hand, to the point when I had finished my book in its manuscript version.  I still have the hand-written notes today.

Other than assisting in your rehabilitation, what is your hope for this book?

Besides writing the book to help me deal with or at least uncover what happened to me, my hope is to help other people impacted by brain or other severe injury, to provide inspiration or motivation for healing. My recovery is proof that you can recover, not always 100%, but at least to redefine a high-quality and independent life. I now see life is far more than what I thought is was before my accident. Having a book is the modern version of a business card. It provides creditability, paves the way for new connections, and new career opportunities.

 Your story is one of determination and empowerment. It reminds me of the attitude of quadruple amputee Kyle Maynard who wrote No Excuses. What do you foresee next?

My hope is that it continues to sell, provides opportunities for me to meet new people. Talking at public events provides more income and eventually help with me gaining employment. My ultimate goal would be if the book could be put to movie as I think its a great story a positive story of someone beating the odds and overcoming such an injury it changed his entire life for the good.

How do you envision your book can help people?

I think my book can help people not only impacted by brain injury, but it can help anyone who is lacking the drive, motivation to improve their life, change mindset to see that nothing is really bad.  We do not have to wait for tragedy or an NDE to trigger the change.

What else have you done and are you doing to contribute to a new level of well-being?

After 12 months of traditional rehabilitation in hospital, I had had enough of it and was screaming out to do something else to feel happy.  Hence, I thru myself into physical exercise, music therapy, meditation, yoga, and naturopathic supplements.  In addition, I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol for two and half years.  Now, I only drink very small amounts, changed my diet to try and eat more healthy foods, intermittent fasting and eat brain foods.

Congrats on reaching a new level of balance and well-being. Who is your book's intended audience?

My audience is brain injury survivors, their families and individuals in need of motivation due to challenges. It is estimated about 700,000 people in Australia are living with a brain injury and in America around 3,000,000 people are impacted by brain injury.  Clearly, many people impacted by a situation related to my own.

 Where can people obtain a copy of your book?

The book has been purchased in 17 different countries so far or reading my blog on my website www.darroneastwell.com.au

As the result of your bike accident, how has your outlook and life perspective shifted?

I love my family and extended family more than ever. I no longer fear dying.

I relate to other people who have survived near death experiences (NDEs), tragedies or overcome trauma, sickness and injury. I can relate better to these kinds of people.

I don't have patience for materialistic people who are not realistic or they show no compassion for others. In general, I feel I am a calmer, more relaxed person because of my experience and enjoy the simple little things these days better, especially chatting to people 

As you look forward, how do you see your life unfolding?

I foresee my life unfolding like this:

  •          I will continue to live on the Sunshine Coast with my family & finally can call it home
  •          I will continue to visualize making a difference and seeing ths happen as in The Answer by Allan & Barbara Pease (I have used this technique 15 years and know it works)
  •          I will return to working in 2019 in a part-time capacity
  •          I will secure a job for which I am training now  (as a barista within the coffee industry)

Like yourself, I can attest to the effectiveness of feeling my way into a new lifestyle and way of being. Our life focus shifts with our awareness and priorities. It happens with perfect timing. As Gandhi echoes: happiness happens when what we think, do and say, are all in harmony.  Bobby Davro says a measure of success is happiness and peace and mind. How do you view success?

I will be successful at what ever I'm doing as that is how I am programmed.  When I do things, I have to do it right and put in 150%. I have high expectations for myself.

If you had a piece of advice or a vision to leave with our audience, what would it be?

Never take life for granted, go for your dreams or what makes your happy and ensure you live a healthy uncomplicated life.

Please share anything else you would like to add, including events, websites, links, broadcasts or any other ways our audience can connect with and learn more about you.

Here are some links to articles about me. Invite readers to visit my website, and find information relevant to their own journey.

https://profilemag.com.au/darron-eastwell-survival/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8V19BhrUPo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLwWEupGWds 

http://surviving-brain-injury.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/new-tbi-book-introduction-day-i-broke.html

http://tbihopeandinspiration.com/May2017.pdf  (Refer to pages 16-19)

https://www.braininjuryaustralia.org.au/stories/day-broke-brain-darron-eastwell/ 

https://issuu.com/myweeklypreview/docs/mwp460 Refer to page 24

http://myweeklypreview.com.au/people/defying-the-odds/

http://www.booksofbuderim.com.au/events-galore-at-books-of-buderim

https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-day-i-broke-my-brain-darron-eastwell/prod9781548296902.html

https://www.facebook.com/tbihopeandinspiration/photos/pb.397557900320241.-2207520000.1497447898./1319116004831088/?type=3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8V19BhrUPo  

https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/life-threatening-accident-now-a-story-of-inspirati/3238030/


Thanks Darron.  We know you are an inspiring success and continue to enrich all thoe lives you touch. You invite us all to recognize blessings where we are, and to appreciate who we are and how we can assist each other. 

Notice our collective reality arises from what we choose to believe about information our elders leave us, and whether we choose to question it. If we insist on believing we are separate from God/ Source and each other, then life is about living in separation. Many people believe God condones violence as a means of conflict resolution and feel separate from what does not affect them personally. Behavior arises from belief. Our big challenge is to find ways to get people to see, feel, act collectively. The issue is we often seek to solve problems at every level except the level at which problems exist. What if creating heaven wherever you are and its the prime objective? Imagine a life without fear, guilt or anger. Imagine the end of frustration and anxiety, and negative feelings. Imagine experiencing awe and wonder, the impulse to give freely, all expressing itself through you due to your expanding awareness. We can begin to create this in lives of those we touch. It is a matter of making conscious connections. Internal shifts transform external experience.

Wednesday
Nov282018

3 keys to feel more joy

Many people seek more joy, wish to create it in the external world.  You may desire stronger or more intimate relationships, more reasons to feel happier more often. How to make this happen?

1.  Stop forcing the issue

It is always helpful to focus attention on activities that evoke joy, make you feel good. Yet allowing more joy into your life is not about what you have to do, but what it is helpful to stop doing. It is about raising awareness of where you interfere, prevent joyful experiences from happening, get in your own way.  When you wish to force something, you tense up and can no longer allow what is natural to happen by itself.

2. Get beyond the analytical mind

When you stop thinking about something, you stop attempting to control.  When the thinking mind is quieted, it moves into alpha or theta brain wave states, and this opens the doorway between the conscious and unconscious mind.  The autonomic nervious system then grows more receptive to natural, high-vibrational information.

3.  Feel the way here

By raising our energy though feelings and elevated emotions, we become less matter and more energy, less particle and more wave.  We flow with and as, the energy that is everything.  The bigger the field we can create with these energies ( as awareness and consciousness), the more the uplifting energy flowing through us is felt and reflected back in the world around us. 

Sunday
Nov042018

3 Questions to ask 

Now is the moment to step back and listen to the signs and signals we are giving ourselves.  Three questions we can choose to ask:

1) When feel anger arising within you, what is this really about?

2) When you feel sadness about something outside you, what/whom are you really grieving for?

3)  What does it take to recreate that joy you felt before you stopped smiling and/or dancing?

The universe is patiently waiting for our senses to get sharper.- Eden Philpotts

Friday
Oct122018

5 Tips to create your paradise

It is common to assume paradise is a place other than where you are.  What if you have the power to create your own sense paradise from this very moment? Reflect on these five tips;

1. Clarify what paradise means for you

Is paradise represented by a particular place, climate, vegetation, food, objects, state of mind, interacting with certain people, engaging in certain activities, a feeling of being 'home'? Whatever it entails, write it all down, draw images or collage it, to make the vision more real. 

2. Identify your passions

What you are doing when you feel joyful, loving, lose all sense of time, or feel connected to something beyond yourself?  Pinpoint what sorts of things you do already to evoke such feelings. This may include things like; vocations, sexual encounters, giving of yourself or surrendering to inspiration and giving that creative form in ways that enrich the world. 

3. See the external world as a mirror   

How you feel inside is reflected in your external experience. That is, if you are not experiencing your version of paradise in the external world, this is an invitation to do some inner work.  Clarify a new vision.  Every situation offers lessons in love and points to a flip-side.

4. Recognize the power of emotions

Emotions arise to guide us to our own unique feeling of paradise.  They let us know if we feel balanced or unbalanced, close or far away from our unique frequency of inner harmony. You might feel this as respect, light-heartedness (humor), appreciation, acceptance, self-love, self-confidence, calmness, gentleness, humility, or some combination of similar feelings.

5. Feel the way

As well as the metaphors and examples of heaven depicted in books and movies, paradise is a feeling that we create inside ourselves wherever we are.  As we ease into higher levels of self-love and acceptance, the external world mirrors this in different forms. People seem to appreciate us more.  We feel heard and validated. We act in ways that are increasingly intuitive, fearless.  We grow unafraid to be more fully transparent, candid and vulnerable. For example, you can say you are moving into an environment that feels more like paradise in relation to your vision, but this only happens as you love yourself more as you are, where you are .  Come what may, take responsibility for your creative energy.  Recognize you have unlimited power to live in joy.  Now, what do you do when you find paradise? What if its the moment to create ways to share it?

Wednesday
Jul182018

5 Tips to live whole-heartedly

Many people tell themselves they wish to change something about their external conditions, or change something about the external world.  Its also common to desire to change something about the behaviour or attitude of others. Who or what is really ever getting out-of-hand? What is the role of control and surrender in your life? Reflect on five tips to live whole-heartedly;

1. Live more joyfully

Wherever you are, whatever you do, allow yourself to feel and express more joy.  So often, a distinction is made between work and play, time to be serious and relax time to be light-hearted. What if you could laugh and play your way through life? What would this look and feel like? 

2. Model the behaviour you wish to see in others

The external world is a mirror.  As Gandi says, Be the change you wish to see. Imagine life experience is less about doing than being.  Thus, its not what you do or accomplish that matters, but rather, the vibration you send out with behaviour. How often are you fully present?

3. Nurture a loving and compasionate attitude

Regardless of what you encounter, reach deep within for forgiveness and understanding. The temptation exists to allow other emotions to hijack your attention and influence your behaviour.  Know you control how you respond to everything.  Growing mindful naturally shifts your focus, empowers you to reclaim inner power. you had unconsciously given away

4. Recognize every relationship is an opportunity

What if every relationship invites you to see the best in everyone? Only one relationship exists. How you feel about yourself is mirrored.  Be a living example love and acceptance. Do you choose to see and recall the best in everyone, even during moments emotions or illness take over?

5. Demonstrate and create the highest version of Who You Are

Some people feel they exist to learn lessons, climb a hierarchy, meet challenges, realize dreams. Come what may, rediscover what integrity or being true to yourself feels like.