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Entries in rehabilitation (2)

Thursday
Jul182019

Interview with Trent Banyan

While recently attending an Esoteric Accupuncture event facilitated by Alison Clarke-Daly, I had the pleasure of meeting Trent Banyan.  Feeling his uplifting vibes and hearing about the range of natural therapies he offers, including a unique approach to rehabilitation, prompts me to interview him.  Thanks Trent for sharing these insights.

Thanks for the opportunity! As we say, "peace and chi!"

Who is Trent Banyan? What led you to where you are today?

There have been many key life experiences that have supported my growth, but the one that stands was in 2010. I was in a month-long meditation centre in Guatemala. I would meditate daily, perform yoga and learn esoteric studies. Daily, I touched the surface of spiritual practices of numerology, lucid dreaming and astral travelling, the hindu chakra system, sacred geometry and the Kabbalah. It was actually here that I found my calling to be a healer and later, to find this place planted the seed that started my yoga journey.

What you highlight is a concentrated experience of life-changing spiritual awakening. We often hear of people learning one modality and later complementing it with others. It really strikes me as exciting that you invited it all in as you did and continue to do.

Please identify 2 key experiences that shifted your life focus. 

Since graduating from university, I have been working primarily in a private rehabilitation setting. To support people struggling with mental health and addiction concerns, I offer acupuncture, yoga therapy and mindfulness trails. This experience has brought to light how supportive I can be in a number of ways.

Using natural therapies as part of an approach to rehab feels very valuable. Kudos for taking the intiative.  A former yoga teacher of mine became a yoga instructor in an Australian women's prison.  Her very presence and this peaceful practice completely shifted the energy and morale of participants.  You demonstrate we each have the power to share our gifts in ways that invite others to see and experience the world differently.

The second experience that shifted my focus was having a child. Easily the birth of my daughter is the closest I thing I have felt to source. The whole room when she came into this world was a divine portal. Being a father shifted my focus to stepping up as a provider, protector and to be the best partner and father to my wife and child. It put everything in perspective and my family its strength is one of my main focuses in my life.

Can definitely relate to how parenthood changes lives. I had my children later in life when we were ready for each other. Being around children blesses us in so many ways.  Theya re teachers in their own right for all those who are willing to be open to this.  

What would you describe was your Dark night of the Soul?

Short version would have been my experience meeting Ayuahuscua.  This was my dark night of the soul. I felt there was no return back to what I felt was normal. Throughout the experience I was fighting it and trying to break my way through the discomfort and ability to be in control. I was spiralling deeper into darkness and I sat with fear. Fear I would not be able to come out of it and won’t be able to see my daughter again. At times I was having full dissociation of my body and space I was in. The medicine was strong and I was burning up. I stripped fully naked and had continual feelings of paranoia. I remember even saying goodbye to my wife and daughter. The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The support of a dear brother’s words of ‘sovereignty’ and ‘surrender’ came through. These words acted as a mantra and supported the ability to fully surrender. I broke through not by fighting but by surrendering and feeling sovereign in my being. I felt invincible and that I could create anything I put my attention to. It was a long night where I went into the abyss and came out the other side with a death of a part of my ego and a new sense of awareness that will live on inside of me.

The intimacy of this sharing is very touching.  You may be familliar with ethnobotanist Terence McKenna.  He blatently says that "Ayahuasca loves to take prideful people and rub their nose in it. I mean it can make you beg for mercy like nothing..."  He reminds us "to approach it humbly," as it sounds like you did th best you could. 

 Share some of your most difficult choices. Any resulting shifts in priorities?

The most difficult choice was to opt to not stay in construction and take up an opportunity that was financially-driven. It was at that point I reflected if this was the path I wanted to pursue and see myself in a career for the rest of my life doing. I saw clairvoyants, palm readers and sat in meditation with this decision. Finally, I came to the conclusion I was to take a redundancy instead and travel around the world for the year. A few weeks in I found the meditation centre in Guatemala and my life’s trajectory was then completely changed for ever.

Wow! From rugged construction worker to trusting clairvoyants and your true self. Love the message that what suits us in one moment can alienate us in another. When willing to listen to the heart, big shifts tend to happen.

Share your greatest joy(s). In which ways do they take shape in your life?

My greatest joy is going on adventures and spending quality time with my wife and daughter. We have a day each week called adventure day and we get out of the house, into nature and explore.

Making the most of every moment with those we care about is an endearing message. 

Tell us, what is High on Chi? Why this 'umbrella phrase' of your endeavours?

High on Chi was created for people to learn to get in touch with the infinite potential and power of chi (energy), that they have available to them. Many people are chi deficient and this is caused through living a lifestyle out of balance and that is too yang in nature. High on Chi uses the 8 Pillars of Chi Flow as a blueprint to identify areas of one’s life where they are wasting/leaking their chi and how they can improve it. When you are high on chi you are in the flow of life, you feel incredible and your beliefs, perceptions and mental state feels more balanced. The yin and the yang of the body is in more balanced and you feel like you are able to achieve what you desire. It’s the highest of highs and the purest.

And how does this relate to emotions?

There is no side effects or emotions such as shame or guilt. You are simply tapping into ancient traditions of living to promote good health and longevity. There are a growing number of people relying on drugs and extrinsic rewards to feel good and receive a short-lived high. Rather than using chi practices and cultivation techniques such as breath, diet, exercise, chi cycle living, connection to nature, meditation, sleep hygiene, acupuncture and having a sense of purpose and meaning.  All these pillars when improved upon will cultivate and dramatically improve one’s chi levels. Thus, supporting a life that is full of abundance, balance and a feeling of being high on life.

Many people reach for abundance, balance and natural highs.  Sounds like you respond to the call.  What led to working with rehab clients? 

I was fortunate that a student in my yoga class was working for Noosa Confidential a leading private rehabilitation centre and informed me that there was a conflict of interest as the regular acupuncturist knew a client personally who was coming into the program. I went and did a few acupuncture and yoga therapy sessions and before not to long 75% of my business was working for Noosa Confidential contracting. Its been nearly 4 years since and I have provided support for 100s of people struggling with mental health, addiction and other concerns.

What do you love most? What do they teach you?

What I love most is observing the change in someone who has hit rock bottom or even on the brink of suicide and then to witness the journey and growth. They inspire me and also remind me of my own journey and how far I have come. I also become reminded from time to time of my core values and principles by which I live. One lesion I am constantly reminded of is how many clients I see have an abundance of money and material things and yet suffering from depression for example. A reminder of the old age saying money doesn’t buy happiness. I still feel I learn just as much from my clients as they do me. Sometimes I get triggered and it’s an opportunity to observe what that is, so I can do some work on myself that’s perhaps unresolved. 

How did you develop and integrate such a diverse skillset in this rehab setting? 

It was working in a rehabilitation centre that acknowledged my versatility and allowed me to provide a range of services to their clients. From yoga therapy private sessions, acupuncture and mindfulness trails, I was able to see a wide range of clients with various concerns and build my experience.

Now, that is trust in action! You know the saying, the more we trust the universe, the more the universe gives us new reasons to trust...

Who inspires you as your mentors? What wisdom do they impart that you take to heart?

My mentors are my wife and my close brothers that are in my life. I have been with my wife for nearly 16 years and we got together while I was a heavy pot smoker and drug taker and with a lack of purpose. She has been such a solid support for my continual growth and I owe her lots of credit to helping me become the man I am today.

Not everyone has the courage and strength to support a partner through addiction.  We hear about celebrities like Nicole Kidman who supported Keith Urban during rehab but we never really know the extent of Keith Urban's addiction. Regardless of the news, the support of those closest to us as we go through hardship matters.  Love of others helps to heal us but ultimately loving ourselves is the key to everything.

I have a group of men I regularly meet up with and we meet for sunrise, climb a mountain, connect over a brew and have good yarns. These men are an incredible source of inspiration for me. We help keep each other accountable and there is a huge amount of trust between us. They are all innovators and system changers doing incredible things out there to help all of humanity.

Bonding is so powerful for men and women.  We hear about men;s Circles and Sisters Circles like that run by Julie Cardillo that create a supportive healing space for growth.

Describe your 5 core values and how your bigger life vision is evolving to nurture this.

My 5 core values are ;

1.            I value being a respected trustworthy man in my community

2.            I value being the best father I can possibly be for my daughter

3.            I value having a well-balanced lifestyle between self-care, family, fun, friends and work

4.            I value travelling and exploring different places and cultures

5.            I value time spent in nature and sitting around a fire with close friends and family

I value these core values as well as many other I have so much that when I don’t give one attention for a while, I can feel my yin/yang harmony out of balance. Touching on all these values regularly maintains my self-worth and belief I have as well as stay connected to have a sense of purpose and meaning in my life.

That definitely invites us all to reflect on our own values and whether we are consistently living or truth, walking our talk, being in harmony with thought, word and action which Gandhi describes as the key to happiness.

If you could leave some advice for people, what would it be?

Go and challenge yourself. Ask for help and support when you need it and take full responsibility for your life. Be the master of your own destiny, don’t wait or rely on others.

Taking full responsibility for our live choices and consequences is indeed life changing. 

How can people contact you? Upcoming events? How can people work with you?

w. www.highonchi.com.au

e. trent@highonchi.com.au

p. 0429044187

Facebook: HIGH ON CHI -  https://www.facebook.com/highonchi.com.au/?ref=bookmarks

I have my own clinic called High on Chi in Noosaville on the Sunshine Coast and available for 1 on 1 sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

I have a bunch of events and workshops coming up. I will be back in Bali next month, this time to facilitate 3 events at The Pyramids of Chi in Ubud where I will also be providing some 1 on 1 private sessions in the Pyramids.

Monthly there is the Community Acupuncture and Sound Bath events held on the Sunshine Coast and in Brisbane monthly. For more info and book, see website or contact me directly.

Thanks again Trent for being so open.  Imagine what life would be like when people feel more open to choose to live based on love rather than be driven by fear. We are shifting in that direction.  Our own lives are our message. 

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.