On Cycles and the Meaning of a Voyage

Definition of pilgrimage? (part one)

Memento <3

“A disciple…can never imitate his guide’s steps. You have your own way of living your life, of dealing with problems, and of winning. Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.” Paulo Coehlo

(Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the world pilgrimage as 1- a journey of a pilgrim especially one to a shrine or a sacred place – and 2- the course of life on earth.)

Five days have passed since the official ending of the project I have been working for almost a year now. It is strange to say but it got me melancholic for all this time, for this place I call home, for the children I got to know better than I ever did before, for the beautiful people I met on the way…

Learned to travel light!

It was the longest project and my longest stay – at one place alone. I became comfortable with this lifestyle and playfulness was the word that would rule my days – as I was learning how to get to that place of encounter with the kids, as I would try my best to be better, more patient, more creative and fun. And as much as I would like to keep that fresh in my heart, I know that I have to internalize it, learn my lessons, keep my eyes wide opened and above all be grateful for this huge opportunity that I was offered.

Pay attention and learn from your fellow pilgrims!

I did not come here to visit a shrine or a sacred place – that is true- I came here in order to put my heart into something, to give my time to those that were in need, to explore their universe and to give a grip of mine. Like two travellers that meet on the path, walking in different directions. Pilgrimage for me is more than a visit, it is an actual course, it is a state of mind. It is the awareness itself, its probably also the fact that you know, way before you even started on that path, that things are not forever, that everything has an ending, but that there is much more to come after that.

Learn to create!

A cycle started and that cycle ended now, leaving place for another new one to take its place. One year ago, I was a bit sceptical about living in one place for so long, I was a bit worried about what it could inflict on my future projects, as I never saw myself in a place, but always around, moving from one place to the other. However, not after long I have understood that yes, it is good to welcome routine, stability and normality in your life. It is good to taste a bit of it before you refuse it altogether, same as everything else! It is good to try something new for a change, in many aspects.

Oh yeah – and learn to have a goal!

You know a cycle has finished when you feel that you need some time to reflect when you feel enriched and eager for more as well as when you are melancholic and maybe even a bit disoriented. So what do you do with that disorientation? Well, you refocus and redirect that intention, your higher purpose. I have to admit I have faced this empty moment before as well, after finishing university, after quitting my job, and even after other projects I was so into – that I would eventually find myself next day on my way home without really acknowledging what has happened with me.

All was difficult till I have created my little heart box – it is basically the place where I keep all the beautiful moments, people and experiences lived – but most of all – there is a special place only for kids and their joyful little faces. Will always be a child at heart – and will always look up at children as the real teachers. After all, what else is a man’s life if not a series of cycles of growth? And what else to do with them if not cherish and learn from them as you best see fit?

Never stop dreaming and aiming for more!

The end of a cycle should never stop us from dreaming, from that urge to become better, the curiosity and the passion for life. Remember always to take that next small step. It will lead your way, and by the time you know it, you will understand.

I shall give a huge thanks from the heart to Il Cesto ( literary means ‘the nest’) that slowly became my family and accommodated me among many others – and of course, provided the instruments and helped me fulfil this cycle. Will surely find a place for you guys in my heart box!!!

Learn to be thankful, learn to give!

Keep on Walking – Or the Power of the First Step

(long time since I wrote my last article – however, gotta say I am enjoying my last days in Italy and even if it sounds like an excuse, I know that once I will internalize everything, it will come out in a big fat boom of an article :D)

We all have good days and bad days – sunny/ grey, joyous/gloomy – right? Good days become better and bad days turn out amazing when we actually get out there and explore, show up. Now, this particular one was sunny- even more than normal. I was sitting in front of the sea, with a friend, both waiting for these overpriced expressos – still, enjoying the shade – and thinking …how lucky we are that at least we don’t have to pay for the view!

The sun was up and no clouds were disturbing its majesty (!) The beach was vibrating with colours and people from everywhere looking for a tan, for their kids to have fun or simply to get some peace of mind. Liguria is a real beauty. A part of Italy that unfortunately is a bit undervalued, however, its long coast, rocky beaches, turquoise water and stunning colourful houses (check out the pictures) – not to mention exquisite cuisine will leave you impressed. Hence, if you are willing to explore, do some trekking and take a bath in these waters, I definitely recommend this route.

This morning, we took the train from Genova to Santa Margherita Ligure, alongside Portofino National Park, walked from there around two hours and we were now in the middle of our way, in San Fruttuoso. We decided to have a short tapas for lunch and a well-deserved, vigorous bath. After that, a well-deserved coffee and we would be on the go for the most difficult part – up to Camogli. ( A good way to go as this time you have some time to rest in the midway and that definitely helps a lot during the hot summer days!)

With the sun and all, I have to say that five hours of walking was a challenge – we still did it and in the end, we felt more than fantastic. Probably due to my East European origins – and the fact that I have a weak heart could add to that – I can admit I am not a keen fan of the heat, especially with such high levels of humidity – and I only go out if I must. But I guess that I had a lot of energy to release so 30 degrees were not that bad after all.

Of course, I am a big fan of walking in nature. I rediscovered the easiest way there is to reflect and forget at the same time, of being in nature and with yourself. I never thought of walking in such philosophical terms, but I guess it does – it has a certain philosophy. It also gives you that peace of mind, that rush of adrenaline all at the same time. There, with the trees, the sea breeze all surrounding you, while you try to catch your breath and feel your heart pumping in your head, it is there that you feel this strong urge to scream of happiness – your body feels independent and uncontrollable – your feet don’t seem to listen and all around you is connected so beautifully.

If you think about it, this is life. You choose the direction and with every step that you take, you dwell on the next and next, and the next – that eventually you reach the destination. For every step is a step into the unknown – you jump from one rock to the other, from one doubt to another, hoping that you won’t fall, hoping that you will remain standing. From ups and downs, from shade to sun and from thirst to quenching it – it is all a continuous change, of trust and to a deeper sense, of faith that eventually it will turn out well.

Then again, we mustn’t forget to respect and learn from nature – we have all the answers we need if we know how to listen, if we give ourselves that chance and if we quiet our chatter in our minds. It is really that simple.

dav

Even that overpriced coffee, in the end, was worth its money, because of the view, because of the breeze under the shade and mostly because of a sacket of sugar that I found on the table that had the following message on it :

‘being pleased doesn’t mean to give up but to enjoy even the small things’

*(following article – On cycles, beginnings and endings!)

On Monsters and Educating Our Thoughts

‘hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something’

/The whole idea of writing an article about thoughts came to me when I remembered a particular moment from my childhood. I was probably around five when watching Cartoon Network was my favourite part of the day. Even if I did not understand what they were saying in there, I was trying to get their faces, to understand their expressions and why they were fighting, jumping over each other and running around like crazy?

Then, of course, I got introduced to the world of monsters, where all kinds of zombies, skeletons, humongous animals will horrify me to the point that it would make it difficult for me to fall asleep. I have had terrible times after I saw a movie which name I am happy I don’t remember hehe- where this monster was coming out of the bed and dragging the victim in terror with it. ( although I must admit I was not supposed to watch it but heh, guess my parents were a bit late on that!:P) After I have watched it – and of course checked the bed- for two or three nights I had difficulties falling asleep, overreacting at small sounds, imagining scenarios where I would just jump on the piano and off the door (like a real Xena I was of course).

But then, after these two almost sleepless nights ( obviously I suffered in silence like a real hero!) and as my imagination was kicking in, seeing all those characters I just saw on TV- I thought they might just pop out in my room as well. It was then when I have figured for myself that the dark will be dark with or without being scared. That if I would not think of the monsters under the bed, those sounds will still be there, and my imagination could still go wild. If I wanted to.

This was really my first grip into actually making a conscious choice of whether being afraid – or just letting things be, as they naturally are. I understood that if I fed on that thought – if I went along with more reasons on why I should be afraid, it will really happen. I understood that I have to give in, let it be, and at a point, I have to be honest, it even went to I’d rather fall pray on the monster than missing one more hour of sleep!

The same reasoning applied when flying or when being in public transportation. I would analyse the pilot’s voice, again inventing scenarios and if consecutive abrupt moves would follow, it would be enough to put me on fire, and I would start being anxious and thinking about reasons why I am not yet ready to die. Hence, ever since I realized that it is not in my control to actually do something and I should rather relax and ut in the positive vibes for the driver/ pilot, I have come to terms with myself. I know I am doing my share. What else can one ask?

Of course I could go on and on with situations where I felt uncomfortable (a whole bunch of snake species and fluffy, big-mouthed mammals and let us not forget – the ocean!) but still, the conclusion would be the same. I have gradually learned to have a good relationship with being uncomfortable, of breathing in that fear. At the end of the day, it is all a matter of self-discipline and reflection on your own thought-patterns, and once observed, accepted, because it is only through acceptance that we can overcome that limiting self, that self to which we hang on so tightly.

Just think about it

‘to lean toward the discomfort of life and see it clearly, rather than to protect us from it’

On Letting Go

(one of those sparks)

-It is some time since I have discovered something really ubiquitous about myself – the eagerness to be in control –  to have things as I want. I realized I lack patience and that I should be more self-reflexive in order to understand it better.

The whole idea of letting go might sound to most of you such a cliche – to learn to let go is somehow the unattainable in a relationship, the dream of detachment, something that it’s perfectly depicted in love films but so difficult to put into practice.

When we are bombarded with instances of toxic relationships, when we only hear songs of longing and of incompleteness – we want to own – we want to have something we can call ours – our creation – our relationship – our ideal man/woman.

We want to be complete! In a world that perpetually lacks.If, on the other hand, we look at it as a concentrated drop of wisdom- and as the Buddhist Philosophy concludes – it is craving and ignorance that are the roots of suffering.All one’s disappointments are rooted after all in unsatisfied desire.

We suffer terribly when we should actually reflect more, inquire about the object of this suffering- what is this desire? does it make me miserable? and eventually – what will happen when I will have control over it?Because we do – we want to control everything.

To create flowers that never fade, fruits that don’t rot, faces that don’t grow old…But what we actually want is to stop time. We can’t cope with time very well, with the passing of time, with change and what it can bring – loneliness,  misery…And it is a given that once you know you control the present you can predict the future.

Now – your future looks like your past – you lived it and you know it very well. You are not interested in reliving it – but what you want is a surprise – a pleasant surprise if possible! You are eager for the unknown – for that which excites your heart.

Therefore it is that moment when you give up to that intention of power – that it will be replaced by compassion – understanding that by renouncing control we actually evaluate ourselves in terms of the other.

That when we accept our vulnerability in front of the other, we basically state we are the same – humans, sensitive, half-crazy and with so much to give.What you ‘re really asking from them is for them to be. To give and to live you.

It is when you mirror yourself into the other person that you understand so well which are your flaws, weaknesses and where you should pay more attention.

As Alan Watts very well puts it – ‘After all, the more you give up, the more you get it- but you should try more often to let yourself be lived. You will instead get the sensation that everything else is living you.’to be continued)

On Beauty and Empowerment

“Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

For those of you that do not know yet, I am currently volunteering for a social centre in Genova, working with children from six to thirteen, doing workshops and creating the space for learning, equality and inclusion. Since I have started this project, I learned what it meant to be inside of a small community, a place where we can share, learn and make mistakes while trying to actually inspire, to create, to change and exchange for the better, to welcome and include every participant.  

I have learned that any individual can actually make a change and inspire others through thoughtful action. With the interest comes the energy. So there I was, organizing, according to my knowledge and humble experience ( must say I have learned a lot on the way), a workshop for the teenage girls, a workshop which  I did not want to  name but was opened to model and see on the way – since I was opened for discussions on many topics, according to their interests.

That is how we started to talk about topics such as beauty, puberty, sex, falling in love, being bullied and self-confidence. Truth is, it was not rare to see that they were struggling with situations which they do not know how to handle (and why not admit – there were also situations when I also did not know how to J) and of course that they had lots of questions.

 I thought to myself how lucky they were to have someone to share their queries and ask for advice – not many of us did when we were their age. So I started to feel responsible,  do my best and, as they say –try to ‘show up’ – authentically. Times have changed and these days teenagers are assaulted with so much information, where cultural standards brought from their home country stand in sharp contrast with the European ones and of course, create insecurities and lack of confidence. Or if from Europe, they sometimes are coming from families that do not have the time and the attention required to listen or guide. Because yes, sometimes just listening can do miracles. Furthermore, seeing that your opinion counts- is a first step in creating that strength.

At the same time I realized that so many other girls might just need the same, and that we are responsible, each and every one of us, to tell them – that one day – they will become someone, that life is not a fight, but an act of love, and most importantly that they are not alone. Us women sometimes are too harsh on ourselves, we tend to always compare, evaluate and even rival with other women. Where it should be just the opposite. Now more than ever we should support and sustain each other, to understand that making mistakes is a process of learning and that questioning and sharing ideas on beauty and life in general – could only lead to one conclusion – to learn to be ourselves.

And of course, that is strongly linked with knowing, accepting and loving who you are. It is easy to say – love yourself – it is more difficult to put it into practice. And how do you even do that when you are at an age when there’s a revolution starting inside of you, where beauty ideals are so rigid and influenced by media and where you only want to have that perfect hair and body, those cool clothes and the attention of the boys in class?

I believe though that education is key here and not education in the strict, rigid sense, listening, allowing and teaching girls to trust in being themselves, to find their own voice, in spite of what others might say or think.

Finally, I guess the lessons I wanted to share are – to take a break, to play, to experiment, to connect and learn from each other. I also know that these workshops have helped me see that I have my share of responsibility – to give back and to align who I am with a higher purpose. I think this is something that each of us could do – if we have the intention and if we want a better future for the next generations.

On Words, Meaning – and Mindful Speaking

Straight to the point

It has been a while now since I have started to reflect and observe my ways of expression through words. Even in writing, I tend to simplify what I have to say, I use fewer words in order to express something ( I have become a bit bored of polemics) and at times even overthink what I am about to say – so that I eventually end up not saying it – since I feel it really doesn’t matter. In all this process, I understood that previously, I wasn’t always listening to myself when talking – and I have reached a personal conclusion – that using words wisely is an act of self-observation and actually improves and brings clarity to our relationship with others. Also, it is more time-effective to be brief, straightforward and precise when speak or write as only in this way we would give real meaning to words.

Think twice

So yes, coming back to myself, I believe that it is good to slow down a bit and think twice what I am about to say. Also, it is quite useful to reflect on my talking patterns, on those small talks and those comments that maybe will not be received well, or even, will not be considered as relevant as I might intend.  I am thinking here even at that random ‘how are you’… It is true – some people just use it as a kind of intro to what they have to say ( so disappointing though) however when I actually expect some answer in return, somehow I feel that it was not taken seriously, or even I get the impression that I am actually considered superficial, along with the first category. That is why I try to choose my words carefully as each and every word is a symbol, that translated through someone else’s experience might have a different impact and paint a different colour.

We make language

Language doesn’t make people – people make the language. Sometimes we forget that we are the creators, we have the power to decide and control what comes out of our mouths. How many times we just couldn’t help it and, in the heat of the moment we said something we shouldn’t have and we hurt the other?

Furthermore, I believe we are not out of examples of people who talk for the sake of hearing themselves, that go round in circles and elaborate in so many words that the substance, the meaning, remains still a question mark. Now, just draw the line and think – how time-consuming is our failure to express what we really feel, in having to readdress what we have just said or apologize for the hurtful words?

Listen to understand first

It is true, it is also important to listen, as many times I found myself being wrongly understood yet the problem was with the listener not with the message per se. Unfortunately, so many times we are swept in these ‘societal’ currents of friends, education, work and generally, mundane matters which completely turn ourselves into machines, into characters in our own life like ping-pong balls.

It is not only that we don’t participate in our own life, we even create situations that reflect that and at a closer look, support the superficial, the frugal and the perennial. That is how we are constantly indulged into this kind of defensive listening which is not REAL listening since the essence is missed – but which is only focused on the answering back, on who has the last word. It’s like an ego contest.

Remember – Silence is a blessing

All in all, I guess it all comes to asking ourselves – ‘what is it that I want the others to think,  to understand  – from what I have to say?’ and ‘how can I make the message accessible for the person in front of me?’ (the fact that you have a top-notch vocabulary does not mean that you have to expect everyone else to understand your academic language)

Having clarified that once and for all – you have taken the first step to giving value to your speech. Then, you can actually start to appreciate and see silence a bit differently. Of course, there are moments when being silent is not the best of ideas (interview, oral exams or maybe even your in-laws heheh) however still! I feel that nowadays, people are underestimating the power of silence – and this might be again because of the fact that we feel the utmost need to impress, to show-off – and to have the last word. Still – how would you feel about doing a silent retreat? I am telling you – after an experience like that you would definitely appreciate words much more than before.

Practice makes perfect

It is a day to day work though, this self-observation, however, once you will get your head around it, you will understand what – indirectly speaking – is meaningful to you when hearing someone talking. You would most probably look for honesty, for authenticity and for that positive vibe without which we would be a bit discouraged or maybe lose interest in a conversation. Now, as any skill, you might need to allow time and effort for this, but mostly awareness. So take some time and train yourself. Begin to see language as the projection of yourself.

On Experience – and the Duty to Ourselves

[ it has been a while since I last wrote and here is a portion of it – I have been to paradise, lived the eternity in two weeks (gotta say I was even lucky  for that!) and in all this have learned to be better at accepting the fact that moments come and go – long-awaited encounters leave you empty-handed and with a bittersweet taste in your mouth – it was yesterday when you had looked up at the sky and thanked the universe with all your heart. yet – you were aware that time has a duty – it goes fast when you don’t pay too much attention – and even when you do, it teaches you to be grateful for every moment – including for yesterday -even if today your universe is falling apart. sometimes we learn in a hard way but the important thing is that the lesson is there – that love is within and everywhere – eternity is now –  and the sky is the witness of our echo – an echo as an act of love. and love has no end – it flows through storms and drought. ]

‘The flute of the infinite is played without ceasing, and its sound is love.  When love renounces all limits, it reaches truth’. Kabir

It is true that things are transitory. It is also true that in a Disquieted Universe where we lose ourselves in roles, thoughts and external forms, where we are sucked in an avalanche of possibilities and games of power – we tend to identify with them and lose our true perception of what REALLY matters. We lose perception of the truth.

Learn to remember

We forget – we forget to look inwards, to connect and once that connection is lost, we are stuck in this vicious circle where we search for approval, for meaning and ultimately for love and completion.

We forgot that these things did not matter. In our pursuit for happiness, we have dropped the only thing that mattered and that we have unconditionally- to experience, to understand ourselves.

There is a common misconception that we have lost something, that we are incomplete hence we are looking for the missing part. Yet it is not clear to us that in this search we mirror what we lack and hence we will get back the same.

Evolution of Self

Evolution means to understand who we are and to let go of all the conditioning,  see behind the identities and roles we are taught to play since we are toddlers.

It can be the ability to have a self-fulfilling answer to ‘Who am I’ – that ranges beyond looks, rank or status and above nationality, colour or religion. Once you are free of all these social constructs – you are left with one sole thing – love.

Yet, you cannot know love unless you live it. Same as you cannot have a profound knowledge of something you only know at the theoretical level. Here, by love, I don’t intend the search for the ideal, perfect union or partner – but the experience of it inside out. On the outside, it is in the small things, daily, as an act of perpetual curiosity, faith and good-will. On the inside, it is the patience, the support and the compassion that we should nourish ourselves with, regardless of how society or others’ expectations might rule.

Experience and freedom

Experience in this sense is (at least for how I understand it) also the space you allow yourself to deal with that baggage you are carrying – it is the making of it light again and the ability to make small steps every day in that encounter with yourself. Because yes, when we want, we are our worse enemy. Yet when we create that space within, when we are capable to rule our universe, when we are aware of our emotions, roles and work towards not identifying with them – that is the true experience of the self. Then we are free.

‘To see the world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower – hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.’ William Blake

On Disquiet – and Feeling Alive?

 

Any of you heard of ‘The Book of Disquiet’ by Fernando Pesso? A very much acclaimed modernist book (am not going to say the contrary – it is a masterpiece!). So far, for what I have read, I guess it mirrors a lack of spirit in this modern world, a lack of identity and a sense of purpose which I will comment on a bit.

It is basically the last book I have tried to read and simply couldn’t finish it. (maybe later?) I guess the thing that stroke me was the fact that there were many passages where the author would express a deep sense of futility,  lack of meaning and purpose – a feeling that I also felt when I would read Cioran or Sartre – although maybe with the last two the feeling was more acute and eventually got me to a sense of revolt where I concluded that I should not read books on this tone since they tend to be too winy and I don’t like that feeling anymore…(and eventually discovered Camus muhahah)

There’s a passage at the beginning of the book – couldn’t read more than 30 pages or so, where the main character when hearing the presence of some girls singing,

‘a feeling of sorrow for them impressed itself on my heart. For their future? For their unconsciousness?Not directly for them, and perhaps, after all, only for me’. 

When lacking the eyes to enjoy the beauty of life, as well as the capability to feel – we allow ourselves to be ruled by a universe where intellect and thoughts are our eternal friend and enemy. We rise and we fall again, victims of our thoughts and opinions, pleasures and pains and the whole business goes on for too long.

‘but to say its a nice day is difficult, and the nice day itself passes on’

So my question is simple – how can one live in a world like that? Sincerely speaking, I stopped reading it since I felt I have passed that stage, I did not feel I could identify with the character (not anymore).

‘Perhaps it was just taking me a long time to feel alive’…

Then – what does it mean to feel alive? What does it take? Besides the fact that our heart is pumping and we go on breathing, to keep alive (independently of our wish)…But how are we truly aware of that feeling?… Many have written songs and poems about it – but can we truly EXPERIENCE it?

Recently, I have been reading a lot on mythology – Campbell and Jung mainly and the fact is that so many cultures and indigenous people share their views on the ‘spirited’ world surrounding them –  which means that they believe that everything around has a spirit. I remember I read about a tribe of native Indians that were dancing every morning for the sun to show up. They really did believe that if they will stop that ritual, the sun will stop rising.

Their purpose was so easy yet so vast! Needless to say that there is no place for futility or intellect or thoughts. It is the most natural, simplistic and courageous thing to do. It shows that there is a strong connection between all living creatures and the land that provides for us.

Then – coming back to the initial aspect – why disquiet? Maybe because we lost that connection, eventually we lost that gratitude and started to take it for granted (and all the scientific mumbo-jumbo that follows). In our individualistic world, there is no space for the sun, as we live in cages with air conditioning and artificial light (and could go on with the list of ‘artificial’ stuff). There is no REAL connection even if we are overconnected with invisible wires and devices that promise us happiness. As Jung very firmly puts it:

‘Our present lives are dominated by the goddess Reason, who is our greatest and most tragic illusion’.

So stop and remember that there is more than the roles you are given…That throughout the day there are different versions of you – that keeps you on the run and eventually you will touch with the real, authentic you. Understand that it is not the society that will save you – but exactly the opposite. (People always look out for ways to heal themselves when we are our best and most instructed healers we can find). Instead of complaining, understand what you need and ask for it. Pray, meditate and write it. It will help be centred and focused.

Remember – there will be storms – can’t be sunny all the time, right? But you have the power to create your PERFECT umbrella and be above the storm.

As Max Planck beautifully said – ‘when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change’.

On Creativity – and Living Your Dream

 

For some time now I have been trying to ‘cook’ an article in my head however it did not want to come into form. Not that I did not find a topic nor that I could not put my thoughts together – but because it was not yet time. As a really great woman I have met put it – ‘ you need to nurture in order to create’. Creation needs food. So I have decided to let my imagination and my thoughts play a little. Maybe this article is for you, or maybe you have surpassed these moments. Either way, it is a good time to remind you of the well-known words of William Ernest Henley in his poem – ‘Invictus’:

“It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul. “

Everything has its time, its season – and as long as you are faithful and you are trusting yourself, it will come. Writing for me is that – a sort of release, like something that grows day by day and eventually, needs to be let out. In a way, it is a sort of duty to myself –  it is the ‘creation’ I want to see into being since I like sharing my thoughts. Maybe it could be also that I cannot see myself NOT writing – that keeps me gathering all this nurture I feel sharing. It is, after all, an act of inner freedom – it renders me peace and builds my strength and self-confidence. It makes me the observer- it is indeed, my way of meditation.

Now, I wanted to ask you a question – have you ever thought about your dream? Or maybe I should first ask – do you think dreams come true?  How about LIVING your dream? How about maybe seeing yourself as THE creator of your dream-life – and not let yourself be taken from one day to the other as if waiting for something to happen?

I am not talking about miracles here. I am only underlining that it is all a matter of attitude. It is just as easy as that- how about you wake up and decide that it will be THE day for you – that whatever you will have to put up with, however common and monotonous your days are – you will do your best to notice the small things that you never noticed, always took for granted and got used to? How about you smile more often, take more pictures, talk to strangers, caress a cat or simply admire the sun? You know, like when you watch a series and you cannot wait to see the next episode. Can you see your life like that? Can you jump out of bed in the morning and think how lucky you are for the life you are living?

Maybe all these questions may seem too much altogether, however you should start with small steps. Me – I learned that I should first look for what is not working, make sure I understand it and then maybe accept what needs to be changed – and then see where that leads me. (one good example is smoking – which I am working at right now – it has been a long process yet I am progressing heheh). We all have our ins and outs, good days, bad days and THE worst days, however, I learned that complaining or bringing in the negative will not lead me anywhere. I also learned that doubt is normal, and so is everything else that we would so much want out of our lives – such as pain, anger, despair, loneliness or injustice. Still, despite the fact that we are all humans, we should know how to address these aspects of ourselves and feed only the ones that are positive.

One thing I would love to have is a magic wand to deal with doubt – when there is that need for certainty, when that seed of doubt comes into the picture, when there is that voice in my head that does not answer to my questions – and sometimes I have to admit but I have doubts whether I should start another book or just jump in the next train to…somewhere. Well – there is good news about this. I guess that we only learn while doing. So I have decided to make errors. I have decided to be sure of something rather than wonder ‘how it would have been like?’. While you act on your inner drive, when you will make mistakes or maybe you will discover the best thing that could have happened to you – just keep these in mind – ‘ who are you ‘ and ‘ what are you doing here?’

Oh – and I have to tell you something else- you know what is the best practice to get better at this ‘question – answer’ thingy? It is silence and being with your thoughts. Meditation (in any of its forms) with no distraction. Indulging into your thoughts, you will slowly start working on your intuition and short insights will come to you as an answer to matters that have been occupying your mind. It is the sort of mental hygiene that each and every one of us should do. Indeed, if we would do this as often as we tidy our room or our working desk we would most probably lead a much more happy life.

It takes time, of course, it takes time, patience and determination – yet – I have to remind you again – you are your own creator.

You Are The Creator of Your Own Life. 

Trust that you will do a good job at it.

Until next time,

alex

Prendersi per mano – riflessioni sul significato dell’essere umano

Oggi volevo riflettere su che cosa ci fa pensare la parola umano? In questo mondo veloce dove viviamo, sembra che la parola ha perso significato per quanto dalla mattina fino alla sera le notizie abbondano di atti inumani – niente di nuovo, direi. Vero. Sfortunatamente, niente di nuovo. La indifferenza pero, il fatto che abbiamo la impressione che non possiamo cambiare nulla perché siamo troppo piccoli per farlo. Ecco questo e il risultato della globalizzazione.

Comunque, uno quando vede questo succedere ogni giorno, finisce ad accettarlo…quando uno chiude gli occhi a quello che succede intorno, ammettere, senza resistere, si ritrova credere senza avere nessuna idea pratica di quello che implica, arriva a essere indifferente e ancora a giustificare la sua posizione. Il senso morale del bene o del male di una persona cambia tanto con il tempo.

Questa società consumista, capitalista, hi-tech ci fa dimenticare di cosa significa veramente essere umano. Perché alla fine che cosa vuol dire un essere umano se no guardarsi nei occhi del altro, identificare, empatizare e assumersi al posto del altro? Quando un altro non ha niente ed e arrivato alla fine, guarderesti e cercheresti i colpevoli, a chi dovrebbe prendere cura della situazione o spiegare perche non sei risponsabile per questo? O ancora peggio, prendere tutte quelle persone come se fossero una palla di tennis e buttarla sopra il muro-ribadire che non e la tua problema e poi dimenticare tutto.

Siamo vivendo dei tempi istorici- per quanto consapevoli o no- siamo vivendo dei tempi dei grandi catastrofi umanitari e fallimento collettivo. Si, sto parlando ancora della crisi dei rifugiati – in quanto il Mediterraneo diventa un cementerò tacito dove I numeri dei morti e sempre in crescita ma ormai incerto.

Ancora c’e una speranza pero, ancora ci sono alcuni combatenti per I diritti umani, quelli que hanno messo al silenzio ogni voce che li diceva che non possono. Si, volevo scrivere sul quelli che oltre tutte le dichiarazioni, legi, regolamenti, trattati e convenzioni che sempre prometono RIsoluzioni – loro in fatti sono solo fedeli alla loro coscienza, a quello che un essere umano dovrebbe fare per un altro senza aver bisogno di un contesto.

Poco fa ho guardato un documentario che mi ha impressionato tanto che ho promesso di scrivere qualcosa su questo, di condividere e magari anche chiedere opinioni. ‘Iuventa ‘ e uno di quelli documentari che in un modo molto staccato e obiettivo ti porta la luce su quello che succede oggi al mare. Diretto da Michele Cinque, tratta su un ONG iuventa che hanno voluto fare un cambio e con il aiuto del finanziamento collettivo hanno comprato una nave e cosi hanno concluso vari operazioni di salvataggio dei migranti al mare. Hanno cominciato in 2016 e fino al‘anno scorso in agosto hanno salvato 14000 persone in quindici missioni.

Hanno cominciato a domandare perché l’ Europa non fa nulla in questo rispetto ( la iniziativa e stata per fare notare il bisogno di un progetto tipo Mare Nostrum ma fondato dell’Unione Europea) la nave e stata confiscata e i volontari accusati di tratta e violazione della legge italiana su immigrazione. Quindi, mentre l’Europa stava cercando di camuffare la situazione e spingere la ‘problema’ indietro ad Africa, questi giovani idealisti provavano il contrario, e dovevano essere fermati! Fino a oggi la nave e ancora in sequestro nel porto di Trapani.

E
chiaro allora che il scopo del’Unione Europea e di fermare i corridoio umanitario, di criminalizzare e accusare a quelli che vogliono un cambio. Mentre i ONG provano di stare dietro al influsso dei migranti, Europa si volta la spalla e acceta tante violazioni ai diritti umani, ignorando la legge internazionale e permette che un massiccio di persone sono detenute in condizioni catastrofici.

Il stesso documentario menziona anche Mediterranea –  mediterranearescue -una piattaforma che unisce diverse organizzazioni che hanno in comune un scopo solo- di dare priorità alla vita. Mentre l’Unione Europea rifiuta di considerarsi risponsabile per il numero di morti sempre in crescita, dopo Iuventa e altre ONG che sono stati fermati, accusati falsamente quando la unica cosa che volevano fare era di mostrare che si può, Mediterranea e un progetto ancora vivo, che dimostra questo. Il loro scopo e di monitorizzare e osservare quello che succede, d’intervenirenel caso sia bisogno a salvare e portare le persone in un posto sicuro, come prevede la legge internazionale. Dopo di che, certamente, i migranti saranno soggetti della legge del respettivo paese.

Italia, come la maggior parte del’ Europa, segue una strategia molto chiusa nel riguardo dei rifugiati. Tanti paesi passano per un declino morale e sfortunatamente quando si parla di un ‘straniero’, la reazione e sempre in difensiva, impaurita e molto medievale.

Alla fine, ci manca riflettere un po’- non e che il modo in cui affrontiamo la questione dei rifuggiti e un rispecchio al modo in cui potremmo anche noi, cittadini, essere trattati? Guardare come i governi, la opinione pubblica affrontano la situazione e il riflesso di una società che prima o poi perderà la sua umanità in riguardo ai propri cittadini. Abbiamo dimenticato di cercare dove e la moralità in questo assunto, ma siamo molto concentrati sul lato economico, politico…Abbiamo dimenticato che tenere solo al suo tribù o gruppo e ancora un ‘residuo tossico di secoli di schiavitù e segregazione’. Questa non e una UNIONE come ci piace a chiamarla.

Dobbiamo creare una società che prima di tutto deve essere morale inclusiva, dobbiamo – a questo punto, essere capaci di vivere en un modo umano, amorevole e saggio – en una società in cui la vita e più importante che il capitale ( e ci abbiamo anche dei modelli, anche se i contra modelli sono molto imponenti – SUA).

C’e bisogno di narrazione, di dialogo, di smettere di semplificare un problema che non e per niente semplice. Dobbiamo ascoltare, condividere e fare la nostra parte. Prima dobbiamo cominciare a guardare dentro il nostro cuore – e dopo possiamo aspettare un cambio di coscienza al nivelo sociale. Dobbiamo riflettere di più su che cosa vuol dire essere Umano per no – di smettere di prendere le cose come sono ma sempre mettere in dubbio, avere quel sguardo critico. Più di tutto, dobbiamo ricordare che siamo noi i creatori della nostra vita e che anche siamo i attori principali!