WHY special places matter

POWER PLACES

Have you ever been to a place where you felt that there was something special about it?
I’m not necessarily talking about sacred sites like: Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, the Pyramids…
But simple places that give you a feeling of renewed strength and energy, that remind you of your true self?
Like your home, a park nearby, a church, a city, the library, the dunes, your grandmother’s house?
Have you ever wondered: What is the key to the special power of this place?
We are travelling or passing through places all the time, not always aware of their power.
But maybe we should be more aware of our environment
because it can either lift us up or tear us down.
Space matters.
Sometimes we have a great, unexplainable attraction for places…
Why is that?
What does it mean?
What can we learn from it?
And can we teach ourselves to become more aware of
positive environments that can be incredibly uplifting
And raise our consciousness?
Places and spaces activate things in our soul and in our hearts
They remind us of things and themes
That we forgot about long time ago
Places and spaces can and eventually will be
A mirror
Reflect what we are
(in case we don’t know)
They will bring along people and energies
That could change us for the better
Or that could leave us
Feeling homeless
Feeling weary, discouraged, alone
I would like to invite you to
Follow your intuition and
Go to a place or a space
that makes you feel happy
a place
of peace and power
To embrace the power of this place
To be surprised by its unseen intangible powers
to restore your soul

To come home!

On the POWER of spring cleaning YOUR SPIRIT, and HOW to do it!

WASH YOUR SPIRIT CLEAN

Spring cleaning can be more than just a chore.
It can actually be exciting if you start off with the most important space: your soul.
Our souls might have become a little messy lately
and might need some fresh air.
Spring cleaning your spirit is a cleansing from within — inside and out.
It’s a type of housekeeping that is invisible at first sight.
It’s deep and silent, requires strength and faith, a lot of love for life and a warm heart.
Let’s start off there…
the rest should follow.
First, we might want to take an honest look at what’s no longer useful in our life
and blocks us from growing
this might include
trying to say goodbye
to all the things that have been managing our emotions so far…
perfectionism
narcissism
fear of rejection
the urge to proof ourselves
time after time
We might want to look at our distractions
Our relationships
And what interfered with our plans
To make them top priority

Then we might build ourselves an altar
To celebrate the things we believe in
Every day
And renew our minds
Feed them differently
We might want to open the windows
As we open our lives
To let something in
Something that we don’t know yet
And that might change everything
Or at least something
We might want to dust off the small moments of our lives
And the big moments
And look at them with new eyes

Rearrange your life so you can dream new dreams
Clear out your own agenda and invite a new power into your life
that can help you make better decisions as on how to spend your precious time, energy, talent.

Train your mind in recognizing the difference between
what’s important and what seems urgent.

Make small rearrangements
Check your progress

Ask for help

Why do we need daily rituals?

RITUALS

Most of the things we do, we do unconsciously.
We have formed a habit that we tend to repeat every day.
We brush our teeth, go for a walk, make coffee or a cup of tea, read the papers.
We need habits.
Habits support daily life.
But there’s something that we need even more.
Rituals.
There’s a difference…
Habits can become rituals, but rituals can never become habits.
The difference lies in the awareness
It’s not the action but the intention behind the action.
Rituals demand a conscious process
Rituals ask from us to do things with intent and purpose.
They demand a conscious choice every time.
Habits serve daily life.
Rituals celebrate daily life.
Every morning when I wake up I practise gratitude:
I’m grateful for life, for the people in my life, for the mysteries of my life
Every day I light a candle
Every day I read something meaningful.
Something that touches my heart, that makes my soul sing.
I silently celebrate small victories
These rituals have changed my life profoundly.
My habits anchor me in daily life
My rituals give me a sense of belonging to something greater

They make me feel a little less powerless
They comfort me
They give me focus
Rituals lift up any event or moment in my life
Any given day
Without them I would be free floating…

On the importance of finding a Marvellous Mentor

HOW TO FIND A MENTOR

I would like to share some inspiration, drawn from a book I’m currently reading:
The Treehouse, Eccentric Wisdom from My Father on How to Live, Love, and See – by Naomi Wolf.
The book is about the wisdom and life lessons of Leonard, Naomi’s father.
Leonard believes what I believe: that every person is an artist in their own unique way.
This faith has changed his life and the life of all the people with whom he has come into contact.
Reading all these inspiring stories about Leonard, made me realize – once again – the importance of true en genuine mentors in our lives.
So what are the characteristics of a good mentor?
A good listener?
Someone who’s accessible and available (has time and energy to devote to mentoring)?
Desires to help others succeed?
Gives advice based on experience?
Leads by example?
Sure!
But from reading all the stories about Leonard, I learned even more interesting qualities:
From my understanding a mentor should be
Authentic
A continuous learner
A visionary
Someone who sees poetry in everything
And encourages you to find it
Makes people grow in his/her presence…naturally

Someone who has a developed and strong imagination
Sees beauty in everything
Has the courage to follow heart’s desires
Is somewhat impractical maybe…
But who cares?
Mentors are to be found everywhere
Rooted in daily life and … elsewhere at the same time
Have an open mind
Are always in search of a life force
Profoundly believing in
What they alone can see
Have the ability and the talent to surround themselves
with people and things that make perfectly sense
Always.
They are to be found anywhere
But not until YOU ask the question
How can I learn from you?
Not until YOU have asked yourself:
Am I willing to grow, to change, to commit?

ODE TO MY LOVED ONES

I LOVE YOU

They are willing to offer the most precious thing
Concentrated time
Concentrated attention
Concentrated willingness
To understand something
Of life
Of their own life
Of my life
They show the world as it is
And bring life to it
By saying and doing things that really matter
They build a house
Brick by brick
One which I never ever
Could have built for myself
And the door is always open
Maybe there has never been one
I don’t know
They are willing to explore reality
And by doing so… they create another one
Another reality
That is built on a language that we understand
an understanding that has grown over the years.

There’s no coming home
Because we never left
We always belonged
Even when I’m alone in a quiet room
They connect in a magnetic field
And something clicks into place
Each and every one of them has the extraordinary talent
Of being just as present
In the present
As in the past
Or in the future
They all understand something of life
That I don’t
That’s why we are growing together
An unknown life force or a beautiful coincidence
Brought us together
Right were we should be
Reaching out to something
The sun?
The source of life
You know who you are…and I love you.
What can I give YOU?

Are You Tired of being You?

SO TIRED

Have you ever said to yourself…I’m so tired of being me.
Me self-conscious
Me ashamed
Me…who could have done better…and more
Me who could have had…
A family
A career
Peace of mind
A more structured life
A more adventurous life
A partner
A dream
A passion
Me who…should have turned left
But turned right instead
Me
The witty one
The one with the right words
At the right time
Me the responsible one
Me the good one
The decent one
The ever understanding
Me
The one in control of my emotions
Me
The one with the clear view
The plan
The possibilities
The great solutions
For myself and
Mostly…for others
Me, the one with
Weekly routines and habits
Fresh laundry
Broken dreams
Me the one with
Expectations
Me the superstitious one
The faithful
Me the master
Me the servant
Me tired…

Remember: we could be nobodies…just for one day!

Just be nobody.
Be no one.
It’s easy
It requires no work

Just start your day and
stretch your mind by telling it:
There’s no one to be. Today.
Who is it that wants to be somebody?
What does it mean to be somebody?

Be anybody.
No one in particular.
Just for one day!

New declarations of existence

SIMPLE AS POSSIBLE

We couldn’t begin to describe how we live
Yet, we do
We operate all day without knowing how to do it.
We trust our life to be alive
And we do a lot of things
We also seem to like to record a lot of things
We take pictures and we post them
We fill out reports
We write blogs
The record of what we do
seems sometimes more important then what we do.
Living without a trace
Seems simply just unbearable
A lot of people might even don’t believe they exist
Unless they see their activities reported in the newspaper or elsewhere.
We want to express ourselves in something bigger than ourselves.
Maybe that’s the nature of life?
This reaching out
This longing for a bigger meaning
For visibility
We simply don’t want to be invisible.
We want to matter
To shine, to have an influence at things.
We need to express ourselves
But the thing is…
our lives are more complicated than any form of writing or picture could express.
We all know that
But still
A lot of us seems to lack trust
That we still matter
That we are worthy
That we belong
Even if we are seemingly invisible
Even if nothing special or exiting is going on in our lives.
So where can we find some New Declarations
that help us find the balance, the courage and the trust that we need?
We might need to surround ourselves by a limited number of people and things
that are beautiful and genuine
Then we can try to take small actions…every day
and try to share them with the people we love
that might notice them..or not
that might like them …or not.
And to experience we will still be alive at the end of the day
That in order to live a creative life we don’t necessarily need
To paint bigger pictures of ourselves.
So, let’s move in the direction of
unseen perfection.

Instructions for a Good Day!

TODAY IS A GOOD DAY

So where do we find inspiration on HOW to live a good day?
Sure, we can draw inspiration from the contemplative and mystical traditions
for insights, guidelines, spiritual practices, ideas .
Or follow some obvious steps in order to have a good day:
Smile and be kind, exercise, have a good night of sleep
Drink enough water, eat breakfast (always), meet friends
Do spontaneous things, don’t concentrate on the negative
Be respectful and have good manners, be patient, find balance.
What else?
Flowers, sunshine, fresh air, a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves?
A nice cup of tea?
Especially when you “drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future,” as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh would suggest.
Sure, that can help to start off well.
Or should we : “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.”
Or: “Find delight in your own resources, and desire no joys greater than your inner joys.”
As Seneca, the Stoic philosopher, suggests.
So…WHAT is a good day for me?
For me, as a disciple of life, what makes me happy
or why I would have a good day is
that at the end of the day when I look back
I know that I have lived as a disciple of life
That I listened…to life
To the whispers of my spirit
And to all that I don’t understand
To realize that I’m able to listen and hear something
That might surprise me
An idea, a word, silence
To know that…
There’s a way to go
A bad day – for me – is not a day where things don’t go the way I want
A bad day is a day
Where my ability to listen to life is lost
A good day for me is…
a training
To work with myself and others
To see passed the situations
To know I have lived to what I understood so far…of life
And to be able to listen to what it wants to tell me more
To realize that
I can change day by day
I can get instructions out of unexpected places
And obey them
For me a good day is
To wake up
And realize that
Every day
You and me
we are engaged in a miracle
which we don’t even recognize

WHY LIFE IS STILL OK WHEN DREAMS…DON’T COME TRUE!

DREAMS

So…
Every day I take the train to work. I see people reading the papers, checking their smartphones, listening to music, sleeping, looking tired and bored,…daydreaming. I often wonder…This man next to me: what would be his dream(life)? And that woman over there (looking sad and exhausted): what secret dreams does she hold in her heart? What dreams do I have?
All these questions trigger something in my brain. It sometimes even gets worse when I’m reading a biography or listening to a song…let’s say of Cat Stevens: “ Oh, very young”
“Oh very young, what will you leave us this time
You’re only dancin’ on this earth for a short while
And though your dreams may toss and turn you now
They will vanish away like your dads best jeans
Denim blue, faded up to the sky
And though you want them to last forever
You know they never will
(you know they never will)
And the patches make the goodbye harder still.”
And then I stop myself for a moment, I wake up and become aware of how crazy making this ‘dream-chasing’ can be. Could there be a different take on dreams?
Do dreams always serve us?
Of course it’s nice to dream away about a future that doesn’t exist.
But there’s one tricky thing: dreams take us away from the here and the now. They take us away from ourselves. They often make us disappear. They disconnect us from our life as it is this very moment.
Dreams can both inspire and drive us forward. And the can leave us feeling stressed out.
There is a quote from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that says:
“The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.”
And then, this is what I want to say:
Often, no matter what we do or don’t do:
there’s always a possibility that our dreams will come true
and…there’s always a possibility that our dreams won’t come true
And you know what? That’s ok.
Because life is often just that:
Being blissfully normal and part of society
or a community
and having a purpose of some sorts
Sitting in the train, gazing at people, see the sun coming up.
Seeing the mystery in the visible.
To notice the possibility of a possibility.
A never ending story.
And I listen and think to myself: yes

An Unexpected Lesson…from a Master

LIFE IS AN EXPERIMENT

Life can feel overwhelming…sometimes
All these choices to make
the constant information overload
our ambitions and plans and hopes for the future
our fast paced lifestyles
new jobs and job losses
family life, working life, personal needs
our striving for improvement (every day).
And we end up…
Never being self-confident
Never good enough
Never content
Never comfortable with ourselves
There are plenty of tools, websites and books out there that can help us overcome
this feeling of being overwhelmed and how to improve ourselves
Some tips are very useful, some are funny, some of them only create even more stress.
So let’s have a look:
Downsize your life (even to the point where you feel as though you have nothing much to lose)
I like this one!
What else?
Say no
Don’t take on too much
Don’t put pressure on yourself
Give up control (and ego)
Prioritize
Ask for help
Why NOT?
Let’s ASK FOR HELP!
HOW can we step away to be able to view our circumstances from a fresh perspective?
With new eyes, from a place of curiosity and a with sense of adventure?
We might find an answer in the words of Buddhist meditation master Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
He said:
“Live your life as an experiment.”
I’m currently reading Pema Chödron’s book: Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change.
In this book she writes about Chögyam Trungpa’s suggestion.
It is something along these lines:
Take on an attitude of:
I’m not sure what will help in this situation, but I’m going to experiment this.
And sometimes things will work out, and sometimes they won’t.
And we will have learned something. And we can try something else.
We probably learn more from our failures than from our successes.
” At the end of the activity, whether we feel we have succeeded or failed in our intention, we seal the act by thinking of others, of those who are succeeding and failing all over the world. We wish that anything we learned in our experiment could also benefit them.”
So…
Let’s try to keep this commitment:
To live our lives as an experiment
To learn together and fail together beautifully.
To be thankful.
Start over
Again and again.
With a smile
Nothing personal…