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family reflections

Sharing your heart opens hearts…

Today would have been my brothers 40th Birthday. He was 27 when he died at home, with me kneeling over him on his bed, holding his hand for his last breaths with tears rolling down my face. Our family dog Harry was lying next to him, with one paw on his arm, my mother, sister and a couple of others were standing and sitting in the room quietly and sharing any last messages, mine was, that I love you and I will see you again. It was a sad day, but it was out of our control and he was at peace finally. He fought Leukemia on and off for 12 years and went into remission three times, the last time was when he was in London. Sam didn't give up on life easy, not till he was ready. Why would he, he was having a good time!!

Only a year before this our Dad had died also. He was a Tetraplegic for the last 5 years of his life after breaking his neck body surfing with myself and Sam. We pulled him to shore gave him CPR till help came. Not being able to breathe on his own, paralyzed from the neck down and needing 24h care it was a tough gig for a sporty person an entrepreneur, family man and someone who loved to travel.

The last 15 years for me personally have been a fun and hard journey. A few years ago I hit a wall not knowing what was wrong, I definitely wasn't the Ben Bowie I knew I could be. I wasn't happy, stuck in a business that drained my soul, stuck in my thoughts, hated my birthdays, couldn't hold down a relationship to save myself. All that cool stuff. It’s taken me 10 years and hitting a wall to really realise the impacts it's had on me combined with other factors to learn even down to a cellular level what it all means.

I have one lesson I want to share today while I write this from a local Sydney library with watery eyes thinking of Sam, realising how much I would love to see him again, hear his humour and brotherly advice. He was always a ‘little bit’ more mature than me...Maybe it's ironic I’m at the library.

If something is not feeling quite right (you will know), you are not bouncing out of bed in the morning, you haven’t been to the gym for 9 months but you know you want to, you are reactive, get upset about other people's opinions, full of self-doubt, low self-esteem, get anxiety, you don't keep in touch with important people in your life, you stopped playing that sport you love, trying to please everyone, you haven't started that business you wanted to because you're scared of failure or being judged, scared to quit your job, you don't eat healthy when you know you should, you, you, you… It's the micro-moments that lead to macro moments. These are signals that your body and mind are giving you. I blocked mine out thinking it was just life. To be honest, I didn't even know who I was most of the time, I was just living. Please don't ignore these messages, learn about them, understand them, reach out for help and get back on your game so you don't have to hit a wall before you realise 10 years have gone by. Fast track your learning, life has too much to offer to be bouncing around at 50%. If you don't change anything, nothing changes.

I know how many people need to hear this like I did because of the 100’s of people I meet and talk to. Everyone has their own battle, and each is as big or little as yours in his or her own way. Happiness is when what you think, what you do, what you feel and what you say are in harmony. The smaller the gap between them the stronger your flow.

Here’s to you, Sam.

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John Bowie
John Bowie
Sep 29, 2021

Good thoughts Ben and about a brother who is always with you . .

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