A Cancelled Visa & a Lesson in Stillness


I knew it was coming; it was simply a matter of time. Ever since I walked out of my job at the end of January I’ve been in a state of flux, unable to work; not yet in a position to apply for defacto with my boyfriend – on a 457 visa; yet one that was no longer valid. What began as a trip to Bali to figure out my next move, ended up evolving into a new life here of sorts – albeit a temporary one that affords me a bit of financial breathing space that living in Sydney wouldn’t.

It came when I was least expecting it. Following a recent midday meditation that helped heal some inner wounds, I’ve been slowly but surely finding a sense of peace and comfort in among the uncertainties of life. I was in Canggu, and had spent a lazy afternoon reading under shaded palm trees prior to a massage when I quickly checked my emails. There it was. A notification informing me that my 457 visa had been cancelled with immediate effect. While usually a twenty-eight day notice period is given, due to my having left Australia in March not a single day’s grace was granted.

Alone and scared – themes that have been common during my time in Bali – I felt utterly helpless. I spent much of the subsequent massage in tears – of fear, uncertainty and overwhelming regret – of what, I don’t know, but the feeling was palpable.

The evening passed in a blur of strained smiles and forced conversation during dinner, while my mind tried to make sense of the day’s events. I escaped to the sanctuary of my room to attempt to meditate below the night’s full moon, praying for guidance, inner peace and a positive outcome. I drifted off into an almost entirely sleepless slumber before waking at 2am awash with a nervous energy that simply wouldn’t settle.

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Morning came, its arrival an achingly slow one – and with it  a downpour and looming grey skies that perfectly reflected my mood, and brought back memories of learning about pathetic fallacy as a student with an appetite for literature and the words that lay therein.

The rain continued as I headed out to yoga, overwhelmed, fatigued and dazed. I hadn’t checked the studio’s time table prior to the 7am class, and had presumed the class would be Hatha Yoga; instead I was greeted with a sunrise Pranayama meditation; my least favourite type of practice. Much of the meditation was spent in stillness and silence, and while my body ached to move, to concentrate on something – anything – other than my thoughts, I had little choice but to sit in contemplation for the best part of the hour.

And so: a lesson in silence and stillness that, understandably, got me thinking. I covet quick fixes. We all do; a one off workout that produces abs of steel; a life-changing book whose content will change your way of thinking; a solo meditation session that will impact your mindset for good. All of these are misconceptions; in the same way that a honed body takes months – if not years – of training – so too does a wise and peaceful mind. The mediation class – while it was the thing I wanted least at that moment in time – was probably the thing I needed the most. I left it no wiser, no more certain of my future or the wheres, whys and hows. I did, however clear the chatter from my mind and left with an element of peace – albeit a small one.

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18 comments on “A Cancelled Visa & a Lesson in Stillness”

  1. Beautifully written Lucy. It’s these moments that often spark magic. Stay the course and trust that gut of yours and remember no matter where you are, someone is thinking of you and sending you love. X

  2. Try to reflect on the fact that it’s just the door closing on a horribly tense time in your life. Now you can wait for another to open. And it will. You have a place to wait with me if you still need to avoid the expense of Sydney once you’re back. Courage, my lovely.

    1. Funnily enough I had a Tarot card reading this afternoon which really spoke to everything that had happened, and one thing he said was that I had no fear and a great deal of courage which was nice to hear as it often feels the opposite. Next step is to apply for the tourist visa and hope it gets approved! xx

    1. Very true Naomi – I know I’ll look back on this in time and see it as a great learning curve xx

  3. What a beautifully written post. I truly enjoyed reading this. I hope that you have more answers than questions very soon about your future. I know that can be terribly frustrating, but you should be very proud of yourself for being able to find peace in a very stressful situation. I am a new convert to yoga and meditation, so I have a very long way to go, but I can already see the good they are doing for my usually very anxious mind.

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for your lovely comment – meditation is definitely something I want to get more into as it’s something I struggle with! xx

  4. What a powerful post and such a difficult thing to endure. Life is so uncertain and so unfatjomable at times. Thank you for your candid posts because I so relate. I often times have no idea what I am going to do ne t in life, but somehow, it always turns out okay. Thank you!!

  5. You handled the situation with such grace and this was so beautifully written. I hope the future holds great things for you!

    1. Thank-you so much Sara! I should have an update soon on whether I can return on a tourist visa so am keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out xx

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