His birthday

Today is his birthday, the celebration of his life. 

After we had spent last Christmas separately, both of us with our family, we met at the airport in Faro, Portugal. He brought me the most useful and cute present: a lighter. A lighter for Christmas, you are wondering? Don’t get me started about our first Christmas together, he gave me a quick drying towel, but this is a whole different story, for another time. Anyway, the lighter was a small gift, a side gift, as we had the agreement we only give each other handmade gifts. Why am I speaking about this lighter, you are wondering? Because this lighter has a beautiful drawing of a girl, very simple, very easy, accompanied with the words “Real love is an ART.”

Real love is an art. Every time I use this lighter, these words get a different meaning. There are so many ways of interpreting the same words, views, ideas, so as well these words of the lighter. And from all the meanings this lighter had before, nothing comes close to what they mean today. 

This ‘intelligent lockdown’ is a blessing and a curse – like everything, two sides of the same coin. When we are thinking about where we would ‘like’ to be, it wouldn’t be here, it would be already in the next chapter, that we believe soon will come. Yet in the same time, this is a precious time, a time where we can be with my mother, who has been alone for many years. We have the time to be grounded, to work on our book, to work on our website, to enjoy the nature of my childhood, that I could never fully enjoy when I was younger, to create solid foundations in many areas of our life. Where there used to be a lack, a lack of space, a lack of electricity, a lack of time, a lack of stillness from within. 

All this is beautiful, but all have a counterpart. Being together with my mama is asking for different dynamics between us. We are sharing each other with my mother, beautiful, healing but also exhausting. We have loads of time to work on our projects, but what about investing time in each other? What about being together, connecting?

It seems so obvious, we are sharing the space together, we are (for many years) literally on each other’s ass. Of course, with fun, roaming around with a backpack & driving around with our home on wheels. Always sharing time and space together. Always debating where to sleep, what to eat, where to park. Always together, like two magnets, glued together. But that doesn’t  mean that we are also connected. Connecting – at least for me – has a different meaning than just spending time and space together. 

And so as the days went by, here in beautiful Den Helder, ‘locked’ in the house, no where to travel with the mind – as life stands still at the moment, I look again at the words of the lighter, and they begin to have a different meaning. “Real love is an ART”.

Real love is a different connection every day. Real love is not being stuck on the ideas that we have about relationships. Real love is setting each other free. Real love is eating the dinner I made by myself, while he is doing yoga in the same space. Real love is ‘ignoring’ each other for a whole morning, because one needs time to wake up. Real love is going for a walk together and speaking a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. Real love is kissing each other all day or not kissing each other at all. Real love is not feeling you have to do anything, just because your beliefs about relationships are like ‘this’. We all have the power to create. Create the life we want – create the relationship we want. 

My mom says: ‘We need to do something special today, it is his birthday.”
She hasn’t noticed yet that he left, that he took the van for a day in nature.
He needed space, time. A different surrounding.
And I.. I need to stay within, as I listen to the wisdom of my moon cycle, my bleeding.

Both of us felt guilty yesterday evening, while we spoke about this. He felt guilty that he wanted to go and I felt guilty I wanted to stay. We looked at each other and started to laugh. “This damn guilt, what a sneaky demon.”
“I don’t love you less just because I want to stay at home and honor my body,” I look in his eyes, with tears in my eyes. “I love you more for that reason. And as I love myself, I have to honor my feelings for wanting to go for a time by myself, but that doesn’t mean that anything changes within our love.”

The reason I share this, is because we have certain ideas about how a relationship should look like. And our inbuilt patterns will make us feel guilty when we do not live up to these ideas. But just because the whole world identifies a relationship in a certain way, doesn’t mean that you have to agree with this. We are here to live our own unique lives and what the rest of the world will think about it, doesn’t really matter, does it?

As with the ideas we have around birthdays, as in the comment of my mom: it needs to be something ‘special’. What about every other day of the year, shouldn’t those not be special too? Should we not live every fuckin’ day of this life with full gratitude, smiles and cakes? 

Today is his birthday, the celebration of his life and my present to him is a day by himself.
Today, I love him more than I have ever done before.
Real love is an art that requires communication, honest communication from heart to heart, to always express what you feel, even if you think it might hurt the other. Communication is the space where we kill demons (like guilt) and create space for love.
REAL LOVE IS AN ART and is always and ever changing, if you allow it too.

The joy of the secret

Yesterday I discovered something new, a thing that I saw as a taboo until recently (yet still working on removing the leftovers away from my being).

After reading the Tao book about our life/sexual/chi-energy within our bodies.

And the importance (the secret) of keeping this vital energy within the body, not to hurry to ejaculate. As I understood the importance of it, I didn’t know if I’m able to do it; to control this strong instinct of the body. Luckily the book is full of very precious and detailed information and gives the tools how to control and use this knowledge (e.g. by a simple external lock with your fingers, on the right spot)…

As I grew-up with a religious background, the separation between Sex and God was clear and sharp; one is holy and the other is a sin (at least until you get marrried). This could make sence, if we’re talking about casual sex without love & appreciation. Both the religion and the Tao mention that ejaculation is a waste of vital energy, precious life potential. 

Nobody taught me that you can combine this two; 
God = Love = Sex.

This time as I touched myself, when the sperm wanted to come out, I guided him gently with my breath to travel up my spine, to nourish my whole body and being with this pure life force. To describe this feeling in words, is like trying to put the ocean in a shoe-box. For me it was to find the joyful way to meet unity, to meet Yin & Yang. 

Fire & Water. The unity that creates Life.

No more beliefs of separation between holy & impure, heaven & earth. It’s all ONE, when you use it with Love & understanding.

Once the Ego goes back to its original size, a grain of sand, a lot of space gets created. A new space to our being to experience bigger things than oneself, bigger things than the mind-made ego can even imagine.

The birds in the sky

In this moments of social distancing, being isolated and being in separation we are faced with our needs and our deep rooted feelings. We’re going within and facing what is coming up.

In this days of social distancing we are realizing that we need to feel safe, and this safe place lays in our heart. Like the birds in the sky.

In this days of isolation we are realizing that our creative gifts need to be shared, that we have so much love to give to one another and we need to be grateful for whatever we are, have and do. Like the birds in the sky.

In this days of separation we are realizing that we need to be part of a bigger community, where we can share ourselves and our gifts with others. Like the birds in the sky.

In this days we are realizing that is not about you or me, but that it is us, the union that we long for. Like the birds in the sky.

Share yourself with the world and the world with share itself with you. Like the birds in the sky.

This is a message from love

We are granted this great gift of time, of being in the present moment fully. Questions that are arising: “How did it come to this point?” & “How do we go from here?”, are in the past and in the future. We have no idea what happened and what is going to happen next, yet these things don’t really matter, what matters is what you do with your present moment. It is that what the Buddha practices under his Bodhi tree, to be present, to be here, to be now. It is what the yogi’s are practicing during their yoga-practice. It is the state of musicians when they are playing. It is what artists are embodying when they are creating art. It is what lovers reach when two bodies become one.

It is what you and I are trying to run away from, being busy with reading or hearing opinions of others, and then creating our own opinion about this opinion. Yet, we are circling around, not being present.
Be grateful for what is happening. Yes, there is suffering and yes there is pain. Yet, these exist always. They are not something new, just suddenly our focus is on this. Instead of looking at the negatives, let’s have a look at all the positives. We are in a crisis, which is a great trigger for a REVOLUTION. I believe the revolution has been going on some years, underground, under the name of love. All these beautiful brothers & sisters spreading their smiles, their hugs and love for each other and for Mother Earth. All nature is radiating it’s beauty, calling us to come back home to her.This is the revolution where we return to our natural selves, where our needs and the needs of Mother Earth are the most important. Where GRATITUDE is the currency.

Where compassion and understanding is vital to survive. We all are genetically influenced by the traumas of our ancestors, consciously or subconsciously, relating to poverty. Our grandparents and maybe even our parents have lived in the time of the Second World War and all the fears are stored in our cells. How we react to the situation today is the sum of fears collected through all these years & lives. For this reason compassion and understanding is a necessity above judgement. Judging each other has never brought us nowhere, except to seperation, in which we live today. Releasing judgement is a lifelong practice and NOW is the perfect time to start.It is our human nature to judge, to distinguish between good & bad. Yet, good wouldn’t exist without bad and the darkness wouldn’t exist without the light. Personally it is lifting your self-esteem, saying that the other is ‘wrong’ – means equally that you are ‘right’, that you know better. Globally there is separation in nations, saying who can be in this part of the world, all the time, for some months or not at all.

Release your judgement to your neighbor. Be compassionate when you see the fear in his eyes while his mouth is covered with a mask. Practice understanding when you see the empty shelves in the supermarket. Feel the grief when you see the numbers of people who lost their lives. And be grateful to see fish swimming in the clear canals of Venice.

Connect to your mind. Use this time to deepen your knowledge about climate change, community life, different structures of the current economy. Deepen your knowledge about how our current consumption is affecting our earth, how to be sustainable, how to practice yoga or listen to the endless podcasts that are available. Watch the documentary ‘Human’ or episodes of ‘Planet Earth’. Connect to your nature.

Connect to your body. Feel your heart, observe your breath. Feel your legs that move you around the world, feel your seat bones on which you spend most of the day. Give your body some love. Be grateful for this beautiful vehicle that is carrying you in a physical form. Dance, run, exercize, SHAKE. Let the stress be carried out of your body through movements that are unjudged. Dance like nobody’s watching!

Connect to your soul. What is something you have always dreamed of? What is that secret wish lying in your heart? Something you ‘never had time for’.. You are given all the time: write that book, bake that cake, draw, paint, play that instrument, quit your job, start that project, follow your passion..
Connect to the people you are missing in your life and send them love. Connect to the people you are angry at and send them respect. Connect to the people that inspire you and send them gratitude.
Connect to yourself – your essence.
Breathe in, while you ARE in your safe space.
You are safe, all is within & everything is ONE.

A soulmate

We have to look. Look deeply inside when we come across emotions we do not understand. We can observe, we can see, and we can ignore. Or we can observe, see and look.

There is so much written, there are so many different opinions for self-discovery, there are so many forms of therapy for trauma healing, there is so much medicine from Pacha mama, there are so many coaches out there.. and all of these can help you on your path to enlightenment, on your path through life, on your path to a healthy, abundant existence.

But we can’t heal what we can’t see. So we have to open our eyes, and look at the darkest parts of our psyche. We have to really dive into what our emotions and head are telling us, and from my experience, they are both pretty smart and they know exactly where your weak parts are. Even though they are smart AF, soul is smarter & soul will always find a way to make you clearly see what you need to see.

It’s scary to walk down the dark path, to dig open the whole of buried feelings and discover all the experiences of you as a small being. Where you longed for unconditional love from your mother, and didn’t receive it. Or maybe you’ve never been taught how to receive it.

Ask for a brother, a sister, that can hold you through while you go down into the darkness. Feel the support of the brother/sister holding the string while you walk down the ladder into the dark.

Feel supported. Feel the unconditional love. And discover you.

Ask for a soul mate. Open yourself up to a soul mate. A brother or sister that will love you unconditionally. With all your darkness and all your light. Learn from this person as a teacher and hold him as a lover. There will be projections, misunderstandings, but that’s where we grow.

Show yourself, all your weaknesses. There is no reason to hide them anymore, you will be loved with all your resentment, guilt and shame.

Why teach if you can share?

Yesterday D and I were having a conversation. A conversation about our work, our reason, our destiny here on earth. While listening to him I could relate to his sharing and it was like if I was listening to myself. Myself from a few years ago, myself from a week ago and myself from the day before, different parts of myself, different parts of my thoughts. Always when I’m in a dialogue it feels like a monologue. I have the impression that whatever I am putting out into the world, I am trying to ‘convince’ myself with the same words. And this makes sense: it is just an expression of who I am and what I think I know. And in the end the other person is just a reflection of myself.

Maybe I need to break it down a bit.

Once I read the quote: “we can only meet another as far as we met ourselves”. To put it very simple: as a teenager we can’t give advice how to make love to our friend if we haven’t experienced it yet ourselves. And when we did experience it, we are telling our friend all the ‘secrets’ how to do it. But actually our friend needs to experience the lovemaking by himself, to really understand what it is to make love. And by us making love once or twice or a thousand times, does that really makes us an expert on this subject?

We are trying to give advice (asked and unasked…) because we THINK we know (better), or we have the solution. We are claiming the power of the other.
Or we are the one that asks for advice, because we don’t trust in our feelings, experiences and instincts. In this case we are giving our power to the external, to another, something outside ourselves.

In the end it comes down to the same thing: we are questioning ourselves or we are questioning the other. Another question for us: why?

As I sat with D, I tried to not give advice, I tried not to know better and I tried to be careful with the words I chose. Whatever I share I use the words: ‘for my belief’, ‘from my point of view’, ‘from my experience’. I do this because for me this reasoning might be right – but it doesn’t mean that for him it is as well. I want to share what I feel inside, I do not want to teach or heal, for I am JUST a human being, with the experiences that has been given to me. Every human being goes through his own experiences, discovering the beauty within. All the answers we are looking for are within, all the answers to our questions are buried in our heart and it is up to us to look within. I often have to remember myself that I do not even have to question, I do not have to seek as they are mind made processes. The heart always reveals the answers whenever the time is right.

Sharing as a lifestyle

Sharing, exchanging, trading, paying, taking a lone, paying rent, hiring professionals, pay checks, aren’t they all the same? We might forget. 

Nowadays in the ‘modern’ world we grow up in an environment where money is a trading tool. We as human beings chose somewhere along the history to use money as a tool to get what we need. And as we are born into this, we don’t question this, but we accept. 

Let’s look a little back in time, let’s say a few thousand years ago, or only a few generations ago, in the remote villages, or even now where they still live in tribes. They do not have money, it simply doesn’t exist. They show us that money is not the only and for sure not the most natural way of exchanging/trading. 

The first coin was created 600 BC. After more than two thousand years of using money we might be ready for a change. Do we still have to use money in any case or are we able to be above it sometimes? Is there any other or even more than one way? 

In the society we live in, in our current situation we cannot completely be free from this thing that we call money. But as we like to believe every small change makes a different. It might be in the big picture or even “just” in our small life.  

So, before money was our trade tool what did we do? How did we get what we want? Very simple and fair; energy exchange. For example, the amount of effort that the farmer put in his tomatoes was exchanged for the same amount of effort that his neighbour put in his chickens. 

What if we will start to bring the old school way to our modern-times? Would it save us some Euros? Would it make our human interaction a little bit deeper instead of only swiping a card on a machine in front of stranger’s face from the other side of the counter? Or even easier and more anonymous: to order something online and pay through the screen. 

It all might sound so far and complicated, but there are many ways to bring it to our daily life, even when we aren’t growing vegetables in our back-yard. We can help new friends building their houses and in return get an accommodation and food. We can ‘work’ in a guesthouse in return for food, a roof, surf and yoga. We can get a house of someone in return to feed his ducks and keep the house warm. There are many ways, we just have to expand our imagination. 

We are already doing it, sometimes we are not even aware to this! People offering a ride to Faro, or even to ask if they can bring anything from Lagos. If you’re driving to Faro, can it be a more interesting way down if you can drive together with somebody from the neighbourhood that is going anyway? 

We have such a fast way to communicate: Facebook, whats-up groups, “sharing transportation” groups. It’s a great way of energy-exchange, spend five min to check/publish your ride plan, you saved extra CO2 to mother earth and might have a cheaper ride. 

We are all able to do almost everything (knowledge & practice) or even just to give a pair of hands in what we really good at or want to learn. 

Cooperation vs. Competition  

Many people that I meet want to settle down around here, to buy a house or a piece of land. Most of the people I know that own a piece of land, don’t have enough hands to maintenance it and to bring the full potential of their land. If we are able to put aside the urge to possess something, and think more in the direction of cooperating. To embrace the differences between us: some of us worked and saved money to settle down, some of us are roaming around feeling at home everywhere and thrilled to give a hand to support in what we believe. Not to think that we are in a competition, but to see each other as a cooperation to reach the same goal (in different ways). To give and to get. 

What are the main expenses that we have? Probably something related to rent/buying a house – with lone. In my head it all narrows down to a delicate balance between security and freedom. 

So far, our society in the Western-world is built upon fear that leads to a strong craving to security. What made sense in our primitive life style, where we had no protection from the nature. Or even till our grandparent’s generation after the second world war, the world was in a crisis. People needed to be worried about the things that in our time are (thankfully) already obvious. 

In a way we are actually ready to change. What that has been told that is the best for us, is not necessary right anymore. There is abundance everywhere – at least in the part of the world that we are living in. There is a space to create more freedom and trust; It takes a commitment, if we want to change our paradigm, our life-style. Our needs and wants should change together with it, if we want a new way of living because we don’t want to work all year-around and run after money. The starting point is from “zero” to see what we really need, with how less can we be happy and satisfied and still manage to express ourselves and continue to grow. From there we need to shape our life-style, routine, work, education… 

An easy example that is already a “common” thing around here, is the alternative for rent. This is becoming to be a long-term contract of cooperation: someone has the space and the other has the will to work/maintenance the space. It saves the extra detour to the bank to get a lone. A fear that arises straight away: what if it doesn’t work out? It’s easy, when something doesn’t work out or is ‘finished’, something else will show up. It is trust and a different way of thinking

By following the cooperation way of living we are opening ourselves to many possibilities, saving much work from ourselves and opening doors to other people to express themselves. Projects will run smoother & faster. Big dreams will transfer to reality! One has the vision, the other one has the talent and the will, the third one has the tools and magic will start to happen.  

Mindful Consuming  

We are consuming too much, let’s be honest. We are living in a world of abundance, we are so used to this and still we want more. It’s too easy to consume nowadays. Two clicks on the phone and something from China is on the way to Europe. A few minutes on this app and the shop will deliver your package the next day to your door.  

Ok, we don’t grow our own vegetables so we still have to get it from somewhere. Let’s do this mindfully. Let’s think before we are buying. Let’s ask ourselves: how far does this product need to travel? How much energy was needed to bring it to our plate? 

According to Michael Pollan in a research in 2008, for every calorie of food that is produced in the United States, 10 calories of fossil fuel energy are put into the system to grow that food. 10 calories for every calorie that we put in our mouth. Makes sense when you walk in the supermarket and see fruit and vegetables that are flown in from the other side of the world. In opposite a well-treated garden will bring the opposite ratio of 1:10. 

From whom are we buying? Are we going to the big chain supermarket that is not even local? Are we buying our vegetables in the smaller super market where the workers take their time to talk to you? Or are we going to the Saturday farmers market and spend our pennies on the farmers small natural harvest from land that is close by? So grateful that we have the possibility to buy local vegetables from local farmers in a fair way. 

3th, 4th and 5th Dimension  

Don’t worry this is not about seeing symbols and angels down on earth; way better than that! A real story, viewed in different ways. 

My wife got offered to give a hand to a friend in sewing. For every piece that she will produce she will get a small amount of money. In the first seconds (3th dimension) it sounded ridiculous, maybe even insulting; so much work for this small amount of money? She could spend her time on doing other things and earn more money.  

In the second consideration (4th dimension) we are putting the money a little lower in priority, what is beyond the couple of euros? One of the biggest gifts that we can bring one to another: SHARING KNOWLEGDE. There might be a little payment, but she does get the opportunity to learn something new to expand herself. Now she will be able to sew almost everything. She could make her own clothes, bags, fix something that we might wanted to throw away. How much money will this knowledge safe her? 

Another aspect; to be a part of something feels great! To be a part of a sewing team that is making things together to create something bigger! To feel needed, to be able to go somewhere to work, whenever you feel for, to support each-other. Sometimes making things alone at home is not as satisfying as when when you go to work and bring some cookies for your teammates and you will talk and enjoy together while “working” make it to a celebration and pleasure instead of duty! And then come home satisfied after a days “work”. 

When we look to it from the 5th dimension; now that you learned something new; you earned a new skill and you can pass it on. To your kids, to your friends, to anyone who would like to learn! By this we are creating a wave of independence from consuming. We are starting to go ‘back’ to the time that we knew and did almost everything by ourselves. We are coming back to be powerful people that are freer and are expressing themselves in their own way. 

Power to the people, stick to the man! Have a wonderful trip out of the box.. 

All the love and believe, the revolution is us. 

Also published on Aljezur.life

Deep sustenance

Often we fall into a daydream and we are focusing on what we hope for. We have unlike to other animals, the ability to imagine. With this ability also the ‘fault’ comes that we are not in the present moment. We forget to be focused on realizing what we have.

Hoping and anticipating can deepen our experience of the moment, motivate us or act or sit still. It can deepen our experience because we are looking forward to something that might happen, so we will take the actions that are needed to change our daydream into a real life experience. It could make us sit still because we are scared of change. We fear the unknown, the new.

Living the present moment fully and having hope for what is to come next are not mutually exclusive. Sometimes when the moment at hand is difficult, having hope that it will change is what makes it possible to be present. And sometimes, there is no hope, but there is still faith.

Breathe into your heart and find the faith that sustains you. Faith that is fueled by the moments you or others are able to find what is good, funny, sweet and tender in life, despite deep wounds and overwhelming difficulties. It is the courage of the human spirit and the relentless persistence of life all around is that gives faith. Life will continue and it will conspire with its beauty to pull you back to hope.

Tell me, can you love life and let love find you when you are lost? What sustains you, what helps you sit and wait without hope? Opening your heart to love when you have no faith that love exists. Love will find you again. You will receive the touch of spirit, the wold and others again.

Have you been where hope & faith cannot find you? What sustains you when all that you have relied upon, inner and outer, falls away? How do you get through? How do you take the next breath?