On wildness, spontaneity and the present moment

Hey beautiful you!

The following words come from a different me since the last time we’ve met. ( The green shots have such a huge impact on me hehe ) For almost a month passed since I left the ship and an environment that triggered so many buttons inside me. ( in such a short time so many different lessons learned…)

Seems like I needed some time to integrate them, to give them space and to ground a bit more. What do you think I did for that!? Ran with my dog through the wild fields and laughed and played like a child-

when was the last time YOU did that? Not with your dog but with yourself? 

One of the biggest things that happened to me this last period is also to learn to be spontaneous and to flow- what is a FLOWer? Do you think a flower aims or makes a purpose from it being beautiful? If it turns out to be less, do you think it punishes itself with thousand of thoughts of not being, not doing enough for its beauty?  No! A flower is- and through its being – is beautiful. 

I found that I cannot plan for next month if now is what occupies me fully. So I am glad to see what it brings me and that’s that. I meditated and contemplated. What a joy to be back!

For sure I am sometimes stuck in an unpleasant place where I don’t really want to be any more. But instead of running from something- anything or anyone- shouldn’t I just accept it, look it in the eyes and see its changing nature? I tend to always go back to this-change is the only thing it’s permanent. However it is what we make of it that matters. How opened we are to see things differently from now on? Stop letting ourselves down! 

That heaven and hell are here now- we are the main director of this movie and we still don’t fully acknowledge it. Let us remember that. Let us take that responsibility of Choice.

let that wild being buried inside of you come out and play, smile and dance in the rain- enjoy yourself now, now is the time.

Going Home – 7 lessons in 70 days of quarantine (onboard cruise ships)

‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light

JK Rowling

Life is fair, normal, usual, routine-like when everything goes as planned, everything falls into place and you get what you wanted. Life is fantastic when you surprise yourself and do even better than you thought! Hey- I probably deserved it – you’d tell yourself. 

It is when life surprises you to the point where you don’t know where to turn to -this is all new to you- and you look up to the sky and ask ‘ why me?’ – ‘why now?’ – ‘why this?’ – that you actually start growing. That there is a shift, that you start questioning yourself, you stop taking things for granted. ( dunno why but Fight Club comes to mind)

Its once we get out of the confort zone that we finally realize that we are at some level a bunch of control freaks, that we cannot master everything and even if we would try- we would fail miserably. Fail to change the un changeable, that which is beyond our power. It’s then we would most probably be still and give ourselves a pat on the back with a disappointed ‘at least I tried’.

Today is the 71st day since my control-free process started- since we entered the quarantine, basically since it all began. Feels like a lifetime. Today is also the last day on the ship!!!!  (For a while) as tomorrow I am supposed to fly home- this time for good ( one more controlling lesson since my last flight cancellation- and with the biggest smile on my face now I will just say- never trust anything till you step into the damn plane!  🤪)

In these past weeks I have filled two notebooks of thoughts, impressions, affirmations, anger, frustrations and practices compassion for me and others. However here you will find just a short outline of what this whole time meant to me. 

In an effortless moment, after packing ( deja vu all over again), I sat on the couch, grabbed a coffee and pondered on what I lessons I am taking home with me tomorrow. 

I know that it has been forever since I saw the world, connected to the land, walked barefoot, played with a dog, hugged a tree (yes I do that sometimes!) and of course saw my loved ones – especially now after the whole virus hysteria.

This is not about the difficulties though- but the overcoming, the process. Slowly, when you’re facing the same situation over and over again, your system starts to defend itself in some ways and starts doing things differently with the aim of lowering the impact and making it easier on yourself. You want to find your own space, your shelter, your bubble (first lesson) and so you feel more like yourself , you find your own element.

For sure the invitation to introspection was something that we all were aware of since the beginning. We observed that finding that space within really helped coping with what’s going on these days, raising your vibration and keeping your mood up became top priority ( at least for me since otherwise hey, had days I didn’t know why I should get out of bed!) 

Hence, maybe we picked up some confidence with meditation, realized it is something we can actually do and it does magic! Talking from experience -meditation (along with writing) were the instruments I knew I had to help me build this shelter, in coping with my emotional fluctuations. (And if you haven’t done yet, you should try it now! I recommend insight timer app for meditation- it’s free, full of options and it even has a timer! As for writing, there are tons of journaling courses, just get a notebook and a pen and let it out!)

On the other hand, when the shit hits the fan, when you are told your flight got cancelled you won’t get on the yoga mat and blissfully close your eyes mumbling ommmms ! No! You simply can’t. You will be angry, dismissive and to hell with everything! What’s the point? Temperature, masks, gloves, washing for the 10,000 time and then repeat? 

Hey I am telling you- it’s normal! You are not alone! We reach the point of fighting it, the rebellion, (2nd lesson)for sure as we want things to be as they used to. Especially because it’s not like we can track it and know at least for how long it will still go. 

We have no idea what the future will look like, we have all these question marks in our heads and nobody can answer us. Damn right we’ll be furious. You know why? Well you got it right- we don’t do well with uncertainty. And once again- you gotta let that out. You have to stop and breathe. Just breathe. 

 It’s been a great lesson of adaptation (3rd lesson) wasn’t it? Not to mention creativity (4th lesson)– how much more obvious can this be for me and you to understand that we create our own reality? Building new habits, unlearning other less useful ones, find that movement is such a great privilege- get out of that confort zone, pay attention to those excuses, whether you create your own workout plan, do some online yoga or take long walks wherever.

After so much resistance and struggle we learn to slowly let go and in the event of even losing more of our freedoms- we learn to do the best with what we have and appreciate simplicity.

Simplicity (5th lesson)- what’s your relationship with simplicity? Didn’t you notice how simple life is and how little you need overall? Self-sufficiency, mindful consumption and constant appreciation (6th lesson) are key here. 

What is there to appreciate? I am sure that during these past weeks we have changed our connection to the world surrounding us- to the elements,nature, animals – we are more appreciative even for the little time we have outside and then of course- our home ( which now became our little universe full of possibilities 😌), food and last but not least connection!. 

If you would ask me what’s my biggest intake in this whole period I will undoubtedly say – friendship ! ( 7th perfected lesson) connected with friends  People that speak my language – and I m not talking about linguistics here – so that you don’t have to translate your soul ( as a saying very well puts it).  We shared, laughed, recollected those good old times and completely forgot about space and time! ( reminds me of this romantic Croatian term ‘pomalo’ which means free from time!) 

Life is made of moments and I must say that these times have warmed my heart and helped me go through those sleepless dark nights. Hardship and adversity is part of the process of learning- but how incredibly interesting it is to see how different we are- how perspectives change, as if we have different set of eyeglasses to reproduce the world around us. 

Each from our own bubble, yet being there for each other, celebrating togetherness, find ourselves in others’ fears, longing for normality, hoping for a better tomorrow. I can say that I mostly cherished this beautiful, compassionate human connection and found that the answer is not only within us, it is also between us!

Tomorrow is my moment – I am finally going home! I have been there for long in my imagination- felt the warmth of my mother, the smoothness of my bed, the green trees and the birds singing. Tomorrow a new chapter begins – for I will step out of the ship- grateful to have received me for all this time, for the people I shared so much and that became my family. Tomorrow I will finally see this new world, real world! Wish me luck, for I haven’t stepped in the plane yet!🤪😁 ✈️ ☀️

On Earthing and Interconnection

Today I ‘ celebrate’ two months since I last touched soil. It was the 10th of March, we were in Key West, US and me and my friends went out for shopping and a well deserved lunch. Coming back I looked a bit melancholic as I took the last glimpse over the place, as if a part of me would say ‘ cherish it now for you won’t get this soon’. 

If you follow my posts you already know that since then we have been on an ongoing quarantine on the ship- even the transfer from one ship to the other was with the tenders hence still floating. (Not that there s a problem with that- still better floating than sinking -one thing I know for sure-  I am pretty much cherishing the floating too at least till we reach our destination 😆)

earthing is first when it comes to things I miss and learned to cherish in this period of time. 

Used to be anxious with every crossing or long periods of time ( mostly two weeks) that we were stuck on board. And what a sweet feeling that was- the moment you get to jump around like a wild animal, take deep breaths, walk around and explore the full experience of being on a steady ground. 

it makes sense that nature grounds us and surrounds us with positive energy and helps you raise your vibration. Hence being on land, connecting with the trees, the flowers, the animals around is so precious that maybe at times we take for granted. Sadly, we learn to appreciate thing when we no longer have them.

Of course, floating has its benefits as well as we have created here a bubble. 

On the ship this last period wasn’t easy but I learned to connect in a unique, novel way – I took baby steps and learned in the process the importance of movement– haven’t worked out so consistently ever before – admitting to myself that it is something my body as well as my spirit needed most. 

The sun -and generally sunlight meant a lot especially when you have no access to a window in your cabin. Then the rain– couple of times we were blessed with it and always felt like dancing as if I embodied the beloved Zorba, dancing and seeing the miracle of the skies! 

The people – and how they looked at it- made me realize how we are different yet the same. I have once more understood the meaning of the Mayan ‘Lak’ech’ which is ‘I am another you. Like shopping- we all have the set of products available to buy yet we make decisions according to our own preferences, needs, set of values, vibration.

In this I got better at setting healthy boundaries, and allowed myself the space I needed to be. Oscillating from one mood to the other as unpredictable as the weather, you learn to just step back and do a restart.

Based on this and correct me if I’m wrong, surely you have felt the same at a point – Isn’t it that when faced with change, when living in uncertain times, you tend to feel alone, to feel left aside, you question your decisions and choices and even judge yourself for arriving at such an uncomfortable point. 

Change is frightening. All great things start from there though. ( just thinking back at all those times when I stepped on a foreign land in incredible countries such as India, Peru, Egypt, Iran! – places I always wanted to be yet couldn’t really refrain from asking myself – what have I done? Am I ready for this? Have I gone mad???:))

And then out of the blue, this voice would tenderly whisper – you are not alone Alex! Our biggest human trait is the need to connect– and here I am surrounded by likeminded people- same as me- fearing, hoping, being anxious and even saying thanks for the same opportunities we all get- to be part of each other’s story. 

What storyline you are following is completely up to you ( and here we go back to my previous article) – you are the creator here. You might even need some space to figure it out,  reminding yourself that the best psychiatric in the world is the one inside you! Allow that space to sit and observe and when in doubt, just remember that we are In this together. Look around and learn to re-connect!

From control to surrender & living your dream

( things do happen- and as I am writing from my comfy balcony suite, cruising on the Atlantic on the way to Europe and eventually home soon… was wondering) …

Have you ever noticed how when someone asks you ‘ how’s your day so far’ – whatever you come up with you’ll eventually start believing it and what’s worse, prove it to be true?

These past weeks have made it clear to me that with more you allow yourself to feel lousy, to let your guard down, chances are that you will be dragged in this swirl of negative stories, attracting more and more that confirms it. It took me a time to actually get it – in real time experience mind you- that I was writing my script every day and according to that my day will go. 

Can you let go of your stories for a moment and decide to start your day on a different line?

It wasn’t that I had to lie to myself – I understood that I cannot. Things I was missing in my life were still missing. Furthermore, the list will go longer day by day. Uncertainty was still there. It was about finding the good, the right, the beauty in things. I invited in an old pall – gratitude and as a workout line I used to here very often- got comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

‘ if you want to live a life you never lived, you have to do things you ve never done!’

(Just in case you are the planner, the one obsessed by lists and plan b’s like me…)

Once more I got that I am the victim of the rules I live by. You are the result of what song you’re playing to yourself every morning. So set in for a change. Arise at a different hour, do something you haven’t done before and Ask yourself:

What to do today for a better tomorrow!? For a better me?

As I was enjoying the sun this morning ( used to say that I love the sun but Sunbathing for me is just too much) – realized that we are all going through a process of metamorphosis. We need to heal. To reconnect and reconcile. We have to look into how are being taught to see things from a perspective that maybe we never considered. 

I managed to stay two hours in the sun, meditated, did some work- and while my brain was saying something, my body had a different stand in this. I was controlling instead of flowing with it. I got over the sweat, the heat, the heart pumping in my head – just because I couldn’t refuse myself the warmth- and the cool ocean breeze. Just because I did it differently.

surrendered

my goal became mastering surrender till it becomes my second nature, till I learn to accept it with more grace and ease, till I am ok with not knowing but with the ‘how it feels’.

I think that everything around us is a proof of this simple and basic idea- to surrender, to let it be, to flow, to live the present. The sea and its waves, never the same, in a constant move and rhythm. The wind. The birds flying around. The puffy clouds. The rain and the tiniest snowflake. 

Once you do that you will allow to see life smiling at you in every moment- you will be surprised and recognize the miracle of each step, look, touch, sound and smell you are taking. You will learn to celebrate rather than adapt. 

Look around you and see it yourself. Maybe you should consider it. Learn to be better at surrendering. 

Living with uncertainty- lessons in quarantine (on a cruise ship)

What is the Intention?

As much troubled these times are, I am sure that all of us can find some good , easy to pin aspects that we can draw attention to, one of which could be a more genuine lifestyle and a definite reverence for the simple things in life. Hope we can at least agree on that!:p

It has been a time to reflect and take it easy for me too, and slowly slowly to align and adjust to the current situation. Align innerly and adjust outwardly. and remember to be grateful even for that which was not there for you. Yeah… good luck with that!:))

On another hand, I observed how easy it is to fall in the trap of victimization– and wherever you look at a point, on the social media, you would see people complaining about how critical they are living and how devastated they are that they cannot go to the mall, honor their vacation tickets or go for a walk in the woods ( random examples-) not that I don’t miss these things yet I have other basic needs to meet before those. 

Yes, we all refer to this isolation differently and chances are that you that are reading this article now have a higher level of expectations from life than an Indian mother of six from the slums of Mumbai.  Therefore let us not undermine the needs we have and try to rapport to them accordingly. With patience and awareness, compassion and understanding- for maybe the universe has been more kind to us than others.

remember things are not like they seem

So what is the life on a cruise ship these days? Of course situations can differ with the company, the health status onboard, position, even background and life expectancies- as we ourselves are the ones that set the tone to how we perceive the 🌍 so keep that in mind…!

And to make it clear- just because you see photos with sunsets and smashing wavy blue horizons, that doesn’t mean we are at the beach or that we are roaming the city – as I have heard that as well ( although I must admit Miami would have been much more on my taste now with less people/ traffic/noise around- Too bad- it wasn’t meant to be for us, Miami. Maybe next time?)  😆 

What was the Focus?

On staying healthy, positive, creative with food, get proper sleep and workout in the open deck whenever possible ( much needed vitamin D). Here I should add that while I have a great respect for the simple pleasures in life, when it comes to food I might be a bit picky- given the available resources- pssst once brought my espresso machine in the jungle and learned my lesson:))) suffice to say that I had to make some slight adjustments. Therefore had to say goodbye to the vegan, gluten & sugar free Alex – she had to bite her tongue and adjust to the situation. The Motto became- adapt or starve 😏 Survival mode on.

Hence yes. Besides the fact that one we were safe ( no case on board), two we were in this together and three had the space to at least walk around and take fresh air ( even if with limited time) there was also free internet that made such a big difference as life for so many days without being able to get in touch with the loved ones would have definitely been a nightmare! And oh- talking about nightmares- kept on dreaming cookies for a while so you Should know what I ll do when this will be over. 🤩

Quarantine therefore also meant social distancing, strict rules and limited provisions. Add to that the vague information, living from one day to the other with no news (basically the situation of the sailors stuck on ships is not that clear to you because the media doesn’t talk about it much -guess it’s just a tiny fraction of the population so just adds up to the general hysteria) and you are actually practicing – uncertainty– the biggest lesson in this past period of time.

Why uncertain ? mainly because of the fluctuations of the spreading of the virus, here in the US – depending on the mood of the CDC ( center for disease control and diagnostics) changing decisions from a day to another- then of course the local governments, closedown airports and the discouraging news from home- wherever home is for you, chances are you were still stuck. 

Now let’s take a moment and let’s reflect together on this- when you thought of uncertainty, did it ever cross your mind that you will ever reach this point? Unsure of what tomorrow can bring, of your health and well-being depending on others, on all this external net that now is visibly so linked to your course of life? On your loved ones- when and where you will be able to see them yet not putting them in danger? On your job, on your summer months vacation and all this time you planned for this NOW that suddenly is … cancelled/ postponed until ‘ further notice’ – haven’t heard this expression so many times ever! For the fact that you don’t know where to turn or to whom to get some answers? 

I have read this somewhere and it really makes sense to transcribe it here: 

‘There is no need to create precise plans because the one who creates is your fixed and limited personality, which relies on your past experience- therefore will bring more of the past into your current life.’

Let us reflect on that and until next time, take a look at your relation with uncertainty and how easy it is for you to let go of controlling the outcome, planning and searching for answers. How easy it is for you to flow like a leaf on a river – a metaphor I use quite a lot these days to remind me ( I admit I am a control freak eh!)) of the natural flow of life.


(Ps. Miami at different times of our stay in port. )

Quarantine Time- On Resilience

:the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. 🤓

Hi there! It’s been a while since I last wrote and due to the unfortunate events it feels like forever. You know me, I need time to process life and it’s been a tough period as I believe for all of us. Keeping a diary though and started my second notebook 📒 ☕️ ☀️

I am now writing from my windowless cabin on the ship that became my home for almost two months now. Haven’t gone out for one month though and honestly speaking I miss stepping on land, especially on grass. ( and the trees, and the birds, and the flowers well you get the picture)🤯

Being in quarantine on a ship has its ups and downs however just the same as everyone, you really reach a point when it’s all a matter of attitude. You forget the world situation- you become selfish and the child within starts whining and complaining and demanding. Because you have to be honest- we are all used to a level of confort ( which is of course according to overall situation we are in at the moment. Maybe once home some have to face hunger yet while still here, basic food is nothing to worry about).

On top of that, we all want our families and loved ones around in this harsh situations. We all need warmth and a motherly voice that tells us it will turn out well ( imagine I dreamed I was hugging a dog and I woke up so charged with this wonderful, unconditional energy 🙂

So yeah. In these conditions and now, Adding up the social distancing did not stop us from finding humanity in our rapport. Because yes, it is now when you see the person behind the rank, it is now you see how people cope with frustration, crisis and change. In spite of the difficulties, people will be people. It is not hard to find that we are all the same, have the same fears, same worries, same needs. And once you see that, you will see beyond the ordinary incidents, you will see that at the end of the day, we are all in this together, trying to deal with every day, with every change and turn of events.
( here we know nothing of when we leave- every day basically it could be THE day)

I practice gratefulness daily, I do journaling, meditate, run and still- at times I surprise myself of my thoughts, of this constant need to plan, to hold onto things, to dream, to even get what I want when I want it.

I was doing my journaling assignment today and the topic is ‘ what are the lessons drawn from this past month?’

guess the answer here is resilience- I learned to actually be more mature, more realistic, to be more self sufficient, to be more aware, consume more mindfully and know through experience, once again, that it’s Us that decide what to make out of a situation. As they say- if you receive lemons, make a lemonade.

what are your lessons this past month ?

be safe – be mindful- be loving 🥰

ps. Writing from my phone is not that bad after all 🙃🙏

Empowerment comes with Responsibility

Previously – ‘We need to open the window and let fresh air before we light our best-scented candles. Once we have done that, gratitude will enter our lives in a more natural flow, it will spark more vividly from our heart and it will certainly stop being just another practice for self-care, recovery or understanding. Only then it will be a conscious, self-aware practice that will elevate our spirit and heart.

If you were to think and answer honestly – when was the last time you said no to yourself? No to time – time to be with yourself, time to do something you enjoy or just time to be true to yourself (not the usual denying techniques that take your mind away and distract you)? To acknowledge what bothers you, what gathered there and piled up into a lot of rubbish that needs to be thrown away?

It will take time, work, cries and staying up late to get it over with and throughout the process you will change a lot. But what is most important is that you will get yourself back. With instruments such as meditation, writing or any kind of self-reflection in fact – even a walk in the park will do – you will get yourself back slowly, and you will learn to face what is uncomfortable, to see the bad and the ugly in the eye and deal with it. Day by day, you will change and not that you will become a completely another person – but you will learn to see when this other side of you takes over again – and will be able to handle it better, smoother this time.

This self-reflection will bring awareness and eventually, responsibility. Responsibility to deal with your own – to accept that maybe you have been misled in the past, maybe there were situations, people, habits that changed the course of your life or just distracted you from your course (all with a reason of course). But today, well, today you have the power. You took your power back because, with awareness, you learned to be more gentle with yourself. You learned to see how utterly humane you are – how weak, pitiful and miserable you are at times – just so you know, we all are. But that makes us beautiful. It will be easier to forgive yourself and to have more compassion next time you will make that smart remark on someone. We learn that every day. How we are all on. What you should be looking at is to progress, not to perfect.

Acceptance, self-forgiveness and responsibility are the major steps that will guide you towards empowerment. You don’t have to search for empowerment in others. Of course, role models and guides are always there for you as inspiration, with advice and stories that work for them! You should just see what works for you!

In the long run, you need to be your own coach. You need to set your standards high and compare with who you were yesterday. Empowerment is a job that requires your undivided attention on a day to day basis, with how you create your life, what your thoughts are and of course, your rituals. All these done by you only, my dear one.

pampam

(To be continued 🙂

Gratefulness and How to Begin Healing – an Intro to Freewriting

So much has been said about being grateful, as a way of therapy, of actually working at the root and bringing your attitude from a negative state to a positive one. of being happy with what you have in life and eventually work for better (accept that with the right effort you will attract more.)

Don’t get me wrong – I do think that gratitude helps when you find yourself unsatisfied, when you don’t have any motivation or feel that your lack of satisfaction is proportional with higher you get professionally, personally or emotionally – when still there is something missing and so you find yourself out of sorts, with nowhere to turn, probably getting into this well-known modern series called ‘oblivion’, losing touch with yourself. The Sunday morning syndrome, right? When you are finally off and still cannot find a reason to get out of bed.

So yes, being grateful does help you see the half-full glass – so you go get some gratitude journal prompts, gratitude affirmations and schemes that nowadays are almost a trend for a complete, thorough self-care routine, along with meditation, yoga and a healthy diet.

But wait a second. How about why you feel grey – why you feel out of energy – of motivation? Do you explore that part or you just slip it under the rug and clean the surface? Or even worse, are you among those that think that there is something wrong with you? Because I have to say a big no to that. You are not alone. We are there with you. We’ve been there at some point in our life. That point indicates that there is something you should change, that you should start doing different, maybe there is something you should work at. But first and foremost, understand that it is ok to feel the way you do – and sooner or later you will figure the way out of it.

It has been a while since I introduced in my morning writing routine 15- 20 minutes of freewriting. I have found that it helps a lot! It is more than my counsellor, it is free, it is always there, and it is definite support for me to open up. I honestly feel lighter and even my inner critic seems to have become quieter ever since. So, during these sessions, I have come to realise that I have so much unwanted, forgotten luggage that I keep inside. So many negativities, so many things I didn’t say, things I have accepted, stuff I said yes to although I just wanted to snap, and instead just screamed inside.

And it made me think – Weren’t there so many people in our lives, situations that made us be different, not ourselves, situations where we couldn’t identify? What about all these? Did we let them out, or we just left them there and covered them in dirt, hoping to forget them, ashamed or maybe afraid to admit to ourselves that we were weak, that we did not know? Are we going to let them build up in there without no sign of looking them straight in the eyes?

So, just to make things clear, we’ve all had people in our lives, whether they were our parents, our friends or loved ones that wanted ‘our best’ and in this doing, they kept telling us stories of who we should be or how we should behave to be better – for them, for this world – whatever that is – better here is not who WE might have wanted to be. So there we were, nodding while it was not polite to answer back, saying yes when we wanted to say no, changing, adjusting when internally, we felt so wrong. What about all these stuff?

I tell you what – now I write every time I remember something that disturbed me, and I give myself credit for who I wanted to be then, I accept myself while being aware that then I was not knowing what I do now. Then I was not who I am now – and yes, all these experiences helped me in becoming who I am today, of course, however, I strongly believe that these frustrations, disappointments, fears of not being enough, right or perfect have to be released. We have to come to agreement with our inner child, for letting ourselves down and not standing up at that time. (and I don’t know about you but my list is long)

We need to open the window and let fresh air before we light our best-scented candles. Once we have done that, gratitude will enter our lives in a more natural flow, it will spark more vividly from our heart and it will certainly stop being just another practice for self-care, recovery or understanding. Only then it will be a conscious, self-aware practice that will elevate our spirit and heart.

Hope it helps! will be back with more on the subject! 🙂

Finding Stillness through Vipassana

Hi everyone! Some time has passed since I last wrote in here – my daily routine does still include some short thoughts in my diary though. (I can say since this meditation retreat I have realized I am a bit addicted to it heheh)

Around two weeks ago, I have finished my forth Vipassana retreat. It was my second time as a server and I can say that my biggest intake this time was to progress in separating my mind from work – and consequently the ‘monkey mind’ which brought to surface fears of inadequacy, of rejection , of not beeing enough – and the meditation hall, where you have to find stillness, equanimity and acceptance. (in case you do not know, once you have done one seminar you are eligible and even encouraged to serve)

A Vipassana retreat creates an environment where you learn that true meditation is not something that you do at a particular time, in a particular way, in a particular posture and condition. Here you see that your body has to adjust to a continuous cycle of days in which al your physical and mental states appear in front of you – wide variety of personal experiences. 

There is a wide misconception that Vipassana is focused on the pain, the suffering, that it rejects the pleasure at the experiential level – sort of taken from the buddhist philosophy- however, it is not so. Vipassana doesn’t tell you what to think – it just tells you to observe. What you will observe is the adaptations and mal-adaptations of certain conditions. The key is not to identify with your observations – the key is to observe and let go. 

One more thing I have realized is that we are most of the time looking outside for music, where the music lies dormant inside of us. We expect others to switch it on – as we forgot where the switch is or maybe we forgot there is even one switch we can access. Giving will always have a positive outcome, and as Paul Fleischman beautifully puts it – 

‘ The only treasure we take with us is the compassion, wisdom and peace. Good life is life that produces in ourselves and in those around us a feeling of joy, peace and compassion so do what helps others and purify your heart.‘

All in all, Vipassana is the only model that actually suited my needs as someone that never meditated and considered it as an act of spiritualism. I was strong on my position that I was an active person and won’t need to sit to be aware. I was so wrong. We are like rivers. We are flowing and every moment reveals patterns, sequences, meanings, memories that we have put away, that we have negated and forgot they were there. 

In this respect and related to my experience I can only say that I have ever since walked this path and realized that real egolessness is indeed one’s ability to learn. I learned to deal with conflict by practicing the ‘pause’ technique – where instead of responding with angry speech, you learn to ‘act’ with the right one, which means you stop the vicious cycle of action-reaction. My search was done. I have finally arrived!

It is with great joy that I share my experience with you and hope that you will be able to take what suits you and drop what doesn’t. The bottom line here is that you will seek, be curious and try to change, to improve, to be more peaceful.  
Please feel free to go here to find out more!
https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index (needless to say, drop me a message in case you have further thoughts slash questions! Will love to hear from you!)

Until next time then! 🙂

Align, arise and rewake your inner fire

dav

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves…” Virginia Woolf

October is here and with it, seems like the trees are more beautiful than ever! I like to see autumn as a time of letting go what is out worn, faded and old. I see it as the best moment of the year to meditate on change and how to make life easier, better and more fulfilling.

After a sunny, warm and humid summer, filled with activities, September came and with it – change made its way as well. One chapter was done and of course, some time was needed to recollect and ground myself.

Being home of course is so delightful! Forgot how conforming it is to just be home and slow down. To continue simplifying, be present and do the things I wished doing with the loved ones. This only means so much to me- it is like feeding your soul.

Simplifying, staying present help you align your body with your mind and emotions become something we observe and separate from. Then, of course, focusing on the next step means going back to the question – what kind of life do I want to live? (when was the last time you’ve asked yourself this by the way?)

With more time passes, more I understand that the life I wish living is one that allows me explore my dreams (my writing, my yoga practice, being in nature and helping others – a bit like Tolstoy’s heheh) , one that I can prioritise my mental and physical health and slowly getting rid of everything that doesn’t feed my soul.

A life that allows my music come out in notes that have upper and lower tones as well, but that is mindful and creative, and with intention, helps me grow.

A life where I can practice gratefulness till becomes part of my moment to moment view of the world and helps me see through the little things and make a miracle out of every sunrise.

Observing the changing seasons is a perfect time to look inside and work at constructing unity ‘between the head, the heart and the hand’ – yoga.

Because happiness isn’t a moment in the future. Happiness is here and now. And remember! You are not your emotions, your thoughts, your ego. You are an infinite being, you are light and nothing can change that.

Till next time 🙏🌿🌼🌟