Track Your Life with Boyd Varty

Track Your Life with Boyd Varty

Boyd Varty
May 15, 2020 11 min

Notes on Reentry

Notes on Re-entry Bedrooms are strange. I look at the thatch roof with gratitude and a touch of contempt. Before I get to that I would like to tell you something that happened on the last evening. I was on a crest, the land fell away and 3 rhino we feeding in a clearing. It was beautifully serene and I felt so still. I was ready to leave the tree. Far away from me a lion roared and I had to go and look. Quickly the clearing gave way to a sandveld bush. I let myself stop thinking about where that lion may be and let my body go where it wanted. Purposeful action towards and unknown purpose. The lion was my purpose. Purposeful navigation towards and unknown destination. I don’t know where I’m going but I know exactly how to get there. It takes so doing to walk in a straight Line through a thicket but it takes some doing. One quickly gets subtly off course. Eventually the bush gave way ti riverine vegetation. A little bit before sunset I suddenly broke out of the thicket. IN front of me was a thickly reeded marsh that gave way to golden grassland. My body stopped and my mind felt incredibly quiet. Something inside of me said this is the place. For a time there was nothing but stillness. I thought I had gone mad but then across the reed bed a dark maned lion rose across the golden grass. I was taken by joy, the presence. For six weeks in the tree everything I was searching for was there in a moment. The mystic, the tracker, the lion and me. I tell you this because everything is astoundingly different. It’s really hard to describe how to walk back into your life with more awareness. Lockdown is a state of mind. The truth is we can’t really plan. We don’t know where this thing lands or ends. There is so much uncertainty as to how to proceed. The art of re-entry from what a tree teaches us is to go slowly. Track moment to moment. Make everything in your day an event, mindfully tending to it. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 11, 2020 7 min

Day 40 - Searching for the Spirit of the Great Heart

And then all of sudden we were there. The face of the people I love. Saying goodbye with immense gratitude to the tree and this beautiful place on the river. The last dawn from inside this experience on the river. I know this is not the end but the beginning. You will be hearing from me. There is so much life for us all to live. I’m not going to try and summarize of sign off well. I have said what I need to say. I will leave you with an anthem by the late great South Africa Johnny Clegg. Volume up, listen to the words: The world is full of strange behavior Every man has to be his own savior I know I can make it on my own if I try But I'm searching for a great heart to stand me by Underneath the African sky A great heart to stand me by I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart To hold and keep me by I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart Under African sky Sometimes I feel that you really know me Sometimes there's so much you can show me There's a highway of stars across the heavens There's whispering song of the wind in the grass There's the rolling thunder across the savanna A hope and dream at the edge of the sky And your life is a story like the wind Your life is a story like the wind I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart To hold and stand me by I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart Under African sky I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart I see the fire in your eyes I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart That beats my name inside Sometimes I feel that you really know me Sometimes there's so much you can show me I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart (Guka 'mzimba, sala 'nhliziyo) I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart (Guka 'mzimba, sala 'nhliziyo) I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart To hold and stand me by I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart Under African sky I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart (Guka 'mzimba, sala 'nhliziyo) I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart (Guka 'mzimba, sala 'nhliziyo) I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart (Guka 'mzimba, sala 'nhliziyo) I'm searching for the spirit of the great heart Songwriters: Jonathan Paul Clegg Great Heart lyrics © Rhythm Safari Pty Ltd https://www.johnnyclegg.com Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 10, 2020 11 min

Day 39 - Reflection

A ceremony is a place to remember to remember. As I walk through my last 39 days I have a lot to reflect on. I remember the resistance that arose before leaving home. I remember the anxiety of the first few days when six weeks seemed like an eternity. I must remember to sit with anxiety with compassion. I remember the feeling of a shell being taken off after one week. How do I work with this after I return back? Optimization for me comes out of consistency. I must remember to sometimes just start. All through the day I intend to reflect on all these moments. In my experience re-entry is its own journey and art form. You have to remember that in change processes we spiral forward. We sometimes go back but on a different rung on the spiral. The key is to notice yourself, watch yourself and pay attention without judgement. That will create the awareness to shift from. Our inner world shapes our outer world. Imagination, creativity, enchantment, tracking, storytelling and pattern interruption. Nature is the deepest teacher. The gratitude I feel for the land here is impossible to put into words. Beauty to the point where I feel overwhelmed. Elephants, rhinos, leopards, starry skies, storms. I will miss the elephants mid-morning arrival at the river. And of course the tree is a love story all of its own. I have been a part of its ecosystem all on my own. This tree has taught me so much. It has been the host of one of the most transformational experiences of my life. In native cultures everything is alive, it is a being and I understand that now. This tree has been a true friend and will continue to be. In gratitude I also turn to all of you who came along for the ride and sent me notes of support. To be able to do this alone and with you was perfect. We are all connected. We know why we are here. To learn to heal to bring back the new old ways. To have fun and reach out and not let it all be too serious and to remember what living actually is. What if what we made here is the real world. The most natural scape is the real world. Its just a deep sense of the sacred which makes me reflective. Jesus is often depicted with his eyes open. Buddha is often shown with his eyes closed. In truth we need contemplation in action. No enlightenment has any power unless it is lived. I am also full of a very simple desire to do the best work I can do towards the transformation of consciousness. Today I am going to run as far as I can. Slowly relishing the feeling of the land under me. I am going to swim in the river and sit by the fire. There is a time to reflect on our reflections and PS its probably good I’m close to the end as I have a tooth that is killing me. I guess the lasting question is that in a matter of time, all of our lives will go back to normal. What do we want that normal to be? The treehouse is like a nest, my books tarpaulin, clothes and yoga mat is all around me. It’s quiet in the way of nature where the sounds make the silence rather than break it. Covid has been so hard for so many people but it also gave me a glimpse back in time. This reserve has been an empty Eden and I am Adam. What will it mean in 30 years to have lived with wild animals? Will it all be gone or will be wake up? Would you find it very hard to understand if I said that I’m learning to be at peace with both? Wherever we land, it will be there. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 09, 2020 9 min

Day 38 - Push

If you think 6 weeks is long you should try two days. The moon rises here have been truly epic. Last night as it rose a small pearl spotted owl was perched on a Marula tree silhouetted for a moment. An astounding truth that the moon controls the tides and fertility in its cycle. The night was so bright I didn’t even need a torch. You know you are so hungry when everything looks like food. A huge pancake, a wheel of French cheese and a ripe peach. It’s not that I’m tired but rather how you would feel at the end of a long experience. It’s a head space. I really want to shower, I really want to talk to my friends. Drink pints at the taps and get cut mercilessly before they turn on each other. It’s the things that play on your mind like warm anticipation. You can’t do that early on as it would just derail your whole sense of presence. It makes me think of Renias and how any tracker worth his salt is just wired this way. On a prior retreat the tracks had been tricky but were fresh. Part of the art of guiding is being able to read where people are and know where to push and when to let them go. Renias, however couldn’t leave the tracks. It offended something in his nature to let the lion tracks go. A few days ago I left the trail of the lion when the sun climbed high in the sky and the light grew flat and white. I needed to go back on the track and be certain the trail was lost over the border which it was. Courage is knowing when the hold on and knowing when to let go. I need to be here all the way until the end. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 08, 2020 12 min

Day 37 - The Two Paths

Wow we made it to day 37. In so many mythological stories there is an idea that when you were born a twin was born with you. It was thrown out the cot and becomes your wild twin. It’s a scallywag, an outlaw, a rogue. IT slips chocolates to your nieces and nephews before supper. It’s willing to act outside the bounds of the rational. It doesn’t give a hoot about what anyone else thinks and can be relied upon to do something totally essential. It knows how to grieve, it does not control the longings of the heart. Jung had this idea of there being two paths. The right path and the left path. The right path is the one of society. A structured path forward that is laid outside and with its pursuit comes a position in the world with pursuit and structure. The right path is beautiful. The left path is different. It is the path of creation. You look into the world and you don’t see anything that is for you. It’s like living towards a feeling of aliveness. It requires a lot of reaching for the wild twin. Joseph Campbell says of the left path, it’s a challenge because you will not be respected by society by you will be in our own authenticity. Right pathers do very well until the age of 46. Then they start to wonder if its what they really wanted. They come to a place where they feel they are missing something of themselves. Left pathers struggle to ground themselves in the world, the options are paralyzing, the money is tight. Some can’t get through the drift of constantly drifting. But those who learn their process emerge around 46, after a harrowing run, fully alive and autonomous. I’ve always wondered if there is a path between? Where both pathers got in touch with the other somewhere in between. The only way a central path becomes available is through mentorship. Rates of download can be incredibly high between people who have integrated aspects of the other path. Mentorship is truly magical when it spontaneously occurs. Often in true mentorship there is no explicit instruction. Real mentorship is a shared presence. I was lucky to be mentored by Alex and Renias until I would go out tracking a lion thinking about what Alex and Renias would be doing in that particular situation. To be either a Mentor or a Mentee takes inner work. We can cultivate the ground in ourselves to create more sharing in our work and community. To be a mentor you need excellence, confidence and a map of having done it. You need to have a passion for what you do that is beyond you. A love for the art form itself. This requires a personal sense of abundance as you will give away some of what you have. This can be a challenge but when I have been shared with like that I knew something sacred was happening. The source never needs to really claim its the source. The Mentee needs humility, to be real with themselves as to where they are at and respect of what has been given. The role of a true Mentee is to learn it and evolve it. That is the responsibility bigger of you. So what does it mean to be wild. It certainly doesn’t mean doing whatever you want and asking to nobody. Dimensions of self come from attention. You have unconsciously found and expressed your talents and gifts. You have met your wild twin and are friends. It means your nature is not clouded by layers of other peoples rules. You have to pay attention and listen to what is being asked of you by life. The more you do your inner work the easier it gets. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 07, 2020 11 min

Day 36 - Never Punch a Monkey

In the silence by the fire I suddenly heard growling. It was so constant I thought it was a generator on the breeze. It was the sounds of cats mating but without the specific sound that leopards make at the end of copulation. Lions mating. In line with my family tradition I walked in the moonlight down the road to the camp. The moon was so bright I cast a shadow. I knew if the lions were mating I only need wait a bit and I would hear them again. I stood in silence listening to the Scops owls call all around. Then the sound again. I moved fast towards the lions as I knew they would not hear me. Then I saw them. The air was very cool and the cats stood and began to walk away from me on a hippo path towards the river. Watching them in the night and to be alone was something astonishingly private. No one would every understand how close I felt to them that night. I went back to the fire and just sat there for sometime. As I do this I become aware of how distracted I was before. This kind of empty fire sitting is a way of being with your own being. Afterwards I went up to the tree and the branches were shadowed on the tree. I have been reading Bourdain’s books. Little did Bourdain and I know what lay ahead of us that night. At 2am I was awakened by something landing on the deck. A flat thump then a spray starting hitting my face and I got out of bed shouting. You never know when you will get pissed on by a monkey. The things you worry about never happen, it’s the things you never thought about that actually happen. Finally when dawn broke I made a cup of tea and got on the trail of following the mating lions which went on for ages. I lost the tracks but kept persisting until I found their tracks crossing the border eventually. Technically Im entering a phase now of this ceremony which you might think of as dismount. I need to integrate the ceremony and make sense of it to share with the world. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 06, 2020 12 min

Day 35 - Enchantment

I think of this experience as the slow removal as a shell. As the days went by I felt more myself. I felt the creativity coming back in, co-creating the story with nature. My energy levels return to new highs. My relationship with beauty was revived. I feel like so much of what I was trying to do before was trying to tune out, now I am trying to tune back in. I felt I was absorbing tons of information but my minds own capacity for dynamic movement was slowing. It’s like a fasted state, you know you are much much leaner. Things I used to eat I can no longer touch. When I eat something that I shouldn’t I get an instant no. After a long run I will crave exactly the kind of salt I need. I feel that with my mind. I relish the stillness and the silence now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m watching myself and sometimes I get into bursts of frustration and rage. In some way what I’m learning is that mystics went to nature as a set of bars. In nature you reset the bars of harmony, stillness and present. It shows you where you were, it shows you where you could be. It plants a flag. Stillness produces right action. Solitude teaches you about connection. Simplicity gives you more. Everything you want with the world is inward. How often do you meet someone who is enchanted with life? Its pretty rare isn’t it. Out here I feel like I’m touching that at moments. Utter enchantment. The bateleur is a long standing totem of my family. The spirit of guidance. The ways we naturally make meaning when we stand close to nature sustains us. Our relationship with life itself comes to life. That’s enchanting. I climbed high onto a single large boulder on a hillside and watched the land below me. My mind was empty of thoughts and watched with empty perception. All I could do was take it all in. I was actually there. That’s what it takes to be enchanted…to actually be there. Eckhart Tolle says that there are 3 levels of enlightenment. 1. Acceptance 2. Enthusiasm 3. And I forgot the third one I spent five weeks thinking about how long it was to be alone and now I have five days left wishing it was longer. Here is some homework, free write for at least a page on the following. Where do I see beauty? Where in life am I enchanted? What makes me feel the most alive? When was the last time I was totally on track? Who really sees me? What’s my mission? What do I complain about? Who do I complain about? What am I doing out of a sense of duty? If you bring back to life enchantment in yourself you can awaken it within other people in your community. Enchantment is a type of activism. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 04, 2020 11 min

Day 34 - So Many More Elephants

At dawn I awaken breathing misty breath up into the branches of the tree. At midday a dust devil skids across the water spreading a rainbow across the sky. At night I am still visited by a lone firefly. In Jungian dream analysis, everything in the dream is a symbol of the self. The way to interpret the dream is to speak as it. I imagine everything I encounter is a symbol that I talk with and let it answer. Who are you I ask? I am the wind on the water. Describe yourself with three adjectives. What is your purpose? How are you trying to help Boyd? I always find the language strangely particular as you answer as the symbol. In this way your own subconscious feeds the information to you. I decided to walk in the afternoon with a water container. Immediately I realized it was much hotter than expected. When I was friends with the soldier Irwin, we would go on a 40km march with Irwin just sucking on a stone to keep the saliva in his lips. There were many elephants which required a certain type of bushcraft. What had meant to be a stroll through open clearings had turned into a tactical maneuver. In the outdoors dangerous situations often happen long before the danger. They happen through unexpected sliding variables. Assumptions you had made no longer fit the moment. Experience in some ways is the ability to arrest the preconceived ideas and assumptions to make new decisions out of those assumptions. My post lunch stroll had once again educated me about any post lapses of concentration. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 04, 2020 9 min

Day 33 - Sinking In

A lonely day missing people. In a week I will be complete and its starting to stir up the mind. It feels close and creates a bout of anxious immaturity. I want to talk to them now but also I don’t want to leave this tree. I have come to ride the ups and downs of how the mind uses time. I sit in my chair and listen to the sounds of nature. A kingfisher hitting the water, elephants flapping and nyala browsing. Time to have time, who has that? Johnny Clegg: The world is full of strange behavior And every man has to be his own savior I know I can make it on my own if I try But I’m searching for the great heart to stand me by Underneath the African sky A great hear to stand me by I’m searching for the spirit of the great heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g48_fqX7KJc https://www.johnnyclegg.com/ Searching for the spirit of the great heart I certainly am. And here when I end up singing to myself I may have found it for a moment. The river has cleared and I splash for a moment. I don’t hang out too long on account of the many leathery sleeping bags I have seen. On my run I glance to the right and see a herd of giraffes running next to me. Elephants cross the river almost continuously. How do I go back now? How has what I learnt here shape my life moving forward? I’m learning to sink in. The tree is teaching me how to put down a root into myself and into this place. This is what I have learnt. I do want to connect people with this. I do want to live with this mind. In the afternoon I take my bag of rubbish to be collected. Its an absurd looking pile of packaging, coming from the necessity to store and sell food. It was the Egyptians who put food against lock and key. I once read a study about Chimps who got given food which was shared and distributed. They then removed the food and introduced tokens which could be traded and all hell broke loose. At the most primary psychological level, when you take away food you change everything. Ghandi was a huge believer in the village because he understood that in shared production of food you could produce enough to be free from colonial rules of survival. I don’t think small food gardens can be underestimated. And surely as markets continue to globalize in a world of radically accelerating uncertainty, you couldn’t do better than a back to basics insurance plan than small decentralized food gardens. Put the gardens at the center of your pocket of light. The respect I have for natures efficiency has grown exponentially. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
May 03, 2020 11 min

Day 32 - Being Elephant

The days are shortening and there is a distinct chill on the air when I open my eyes onto the branches of trees in the morning. I feel saturated with natural beauty. Winter is the time my ancestors used to come to this land back in the hunting days. It is the time when many tribes would sweep off the escarpment. I cross the river just after dawn moving on instinct to where I though the sound of the lions roaring is. I would need time to crack this code as the tracks go in all direction. But up on the crest of the clearing, impala are alarming. Then a lion roars. I walk up to Ximpalapala koppie and then see a big black maned lion up on the hillside. The plains below them are full of zebra and wildebeest. In front of me steam is billowing out of a chimney spout like breath on the morning air. Underground the work of thousands of termite is causing the termite mound to release energy and heat. Every elephant’s foot is cracked like a fingerprint. But it’s too difficult in a mess of tracks. The key with elephants right now is freshness. If you get onto a bull and the tracks are less than an hour or two old and you may have a chance. Sometimes I just speculate on a direction, full of doubt but going for it nonetheless. Today I am right, a bull feeds in the clearing on a termite mound. He walks through the ground and then lopes through the grass. He feeds almost continuously, sleeps standing during midday in the shade. He will live to about sixty, chew his way through multiple sets of teeth, cover thousands of miles, pollenate plants, cause awe and fear and still there is a different between what something does and what it means. What an elephant’s presence means in our world is utterly impossible to say. In the late afternoon another herd comes through camp, close to the fire pit. It’s like they expect me here. Two young bulls wrestle with each other. I walk out with my cup of tea in my hand, they look at me and move forward but with no intent. In late January I tracked a small elephant bull with a group of close friends. We tracked the bull for a few hours, seeing his huge tracks and into the dry riverbed. At different times a different person tracked. Each of them acquainted themselves with the elephant. As each member of the group trailed that elephant we became harmonized in perfect unfolding. We feel into intimacy with the elephant and each other. Where he had rested in the shade so did we. As we followed we started to know each other. Whatever happened after that day, there was an elephant we knew. We found him at sunset and not a word was said. Connect with Boyd Varty: Website | https://boydvarty.com/ Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/boyd_varty/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/BoydVarty Find out more about Londolozi Website | https://www.londolozi.com/en/ Impact | https://londolozi.africa Instagram | https://www.instagram.com/londolozi/ Twitter | https://twitter.com/londolozi Facebook | https://www.facebook.com/londolozigamereserve/
Track Your Life with Boyd Varty
Genre
Religion & Spirituality
Episodes
43
Frequency
Daily podcast
Website
boydvarty.com/
Social
PodLink Premium Get a vanity URL, additional app badges, and an ad‑free page for only $10 per year.