Life 2 The Limit 2010

In April 2010, ten ordinary people will leave behind family, friends, and the comforts of home, and embark upon an extraordinary journey of self-discovery. Armed with nothing more than the contents of a five-litre backpack, they'll set off for the raw beauty of the Asia Pacific archipelago, and 30 days alone on a remote island. Except they won't be entirely alone: they'll have snakes, insects, and thick tropical jungle for company - and, most challenging of all, each other.

There are no evictions, no immunities, no surprise luxuries: just one month learning to adjust to an alien environment, to make the jungle home, and to somehow survive on the island's fresh water, and whatever food the jungle and ocean offer. Food that will need to be hunted, trapped or caught. Hunger, sleep deprivation, and a range of emotional challenges - for the ten people involved, surviving the island could be their greatest achievement ever, as they discover exactly what it means to live Life 2 the Limit.

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AngiAngi Stanford
Angi's life philosophy is about balancing her 7 Fs: family, friends, finances, faith, ...
HuenuHuenu Solsona
Huenu is an entrepreneur with a big passion for adventure. She is the founder of ...
JoeJoe Starke
Joe is from Cape Town, South Africa. He enjoys playing frisbee, reading philosophy ...
JonoJono Marcus
Jono is a born and bred Joburg man currently working as a private banker. He pushes ...
KristenKristen Kaethler
Kristen is a 30 year old event planner living in Calgary. She is constantly on the ...
LisaLisa Duthie
Lisa is from Vancouver, and loves how close her city is to nature. Described by her ...
MattMatt Atkinson
Matt is from Calgary, Canada. He lives for fly fishing; when not on the river he ...
MayaMaya Blix
If travelling was an Olympic Sport, Maya Blix would be a gold medal winner. 'Ask ...
NickNick Bennett
Nick is an aspiring mountain bum from Cape Town. As the youngest member on the island, ...
SaulSaul Kornik
Saul lives occasionally in Johannesburg, South Africa. He can never quite sit still ...

Meet the commentators!
•  Adelle (the photojournalist)
•  Neil (the clinical psychologist)
•  Hein (the expert survivalist)

After April 2010 ...
20 May 2010
Post April 2010
Looking back on a life-changing month...
Read more


Listen, the moment speaks and is wise beyond measure

If I have taken anything of lasting value from my time on the island, it is this notion: that by consistently paying attention in the arising moment, we give ourselves the opportunity to appreciate a situation or experience for what it truly is rather than expecting it to conform to our pre-conceived notions. I found that by doing this in the face of the many challenges we encountered during our self-imposed isolation, the most appropriate course of action or “best” response was able to reveal itself more clearly from within the problem because I was taking the time to see things for how they really were as apposed to pushing ahead based on a partial or poorly formed first impression and/or perception.

This was a hard lesson. I am someone who likes to imagine that my way of seeing and doing things in the world is inherently right and that things should unfold the way I want them to from the word go. But discovering that better solutions are to be found through presence and patient attention within the moment of my life that is before and around me right now (whatever its components and demands) has liberated me from this enormously arrogant notion.

Perhaps an example will illustrate what I am saying. One of the things I enjoyed the most on the island was having (and taking) the time to build things by hand from whatever we could scrounge along the beach. My largest project was a 2-seater bench built into a tree-stump. At the outset, despite the obvious obstacles of limited materials and tools, I had a clearly fixed idea of what I expected the end result to look like and a precise plan for how I would make it so. And I hit my head against reality for 2 days trying to manifest this fixed mental projection. When things where obviously not going the way I had intended, my frustration finally brought me to what turned out to be a far more successful approach: letting things unfold with only the most basic pre-conception: to build a bench with what was available in full collaboration with the situation and to the full extent that it suggested and allowed. The difference was remarkable! Over the next 2 days, I began to work within the constraints of the situation (the building of a bench in an unusual environment); to accept rather than resist the difficulties that confronted me and, progressively, to find what can only described as the “flow” of what I was doing – a cliché of course, but one that (through this experience) I have come to appreciate as genuinely profound. And slowly, with acceptance, flexibility and patience, the bench took shape. I was “stuck” several times having reached a sort of wilderness woodworking impasse whose resolution I could not quite perceive and then…through moments of simple observation, contemplation and a sort of cross-entity “discussion” between myself and the growing bench, the next step would emerge, often accompanied by internal and sometimes external exclamations of the modern-day equivalent of the well-worn “Eureka”.

The bench slowly evolved, a process that continued throughout the remainder of our time on the island with various additions and modifications. After the bench, I moved onto other projects and other ideas but I tried to hold the same focus, the same “welcoming of the moment” that I had re-discovered (within myself and the world) during that first project. I continue to try (with variable success) to hold this focus even now and feel that doing so is the highest tribute I can pay to my experience on the island and, indeed, to the island itself as a small component of the larger “Gaia” that provided the crucial context for that experience.

And so, that is perhaps the most important thing of value that I took away from my L2L experience. There were certainly others, but this is the one I feel I wish to share above the rest.

In closing then, I would advocate most highly the pursuit of so-called “flow moments” as, potentially, one of the most fascinating ways to re-synchronise with the magnificently elaborate network that is our existence/reality/the-life-force-which-surrounds-us. Get out there (or perhaps I should say get in there) and find the ways or things that allow you to experience this yourself, its awesome.

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