Revolution of love

"The old world is over; the revolution has begun. So we have two choices now: create a revolution of love, or endure a revolution of fear."
- MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
A Photo taken by me in one of my favourite places on the planet: Huzur Vadisi in Turkey, a country I fell in love with five years ago and visited every year since. Most recently only a short month ago. Here's hoping for a bright future for this very magical part of the world.

A Photo taken by me in one of my favourite places on the planet: Huzur Vadisi in Turkey, a country I fell in love with five years ago and visited every year since. Most recently only a short month ago. Here's hoping for a bright future for this very magical part of the world.

I'm coming out of a year long writing hibernation as I believe that staying silent/private is not an option at this point in time. For anyone. The tragicomedy of current British politics was the first (of many) trigger for me. Following the shocking Brexit vote we got a new Prime Minister at a speed not many expected (this take on it made me laugh and cry simultaneously). Next, a clown was appointed as a Foreign Secretary and the Climate Change Department... Just great. To be fair though, the development is not all bad.

However, in the bigger scheme of things, the farce of our little island politics is really just a small problem. Elsewhere in the world, people are starving; people are being oppressed; people are dying unnatural and unnecessary deaths. Animals are dying unnatural and unnecessary deaths. Whole species are disappearing forever. The oceans are littered and toxic. But back to people. The shit is hitting the fan all over the place, incomprehensible violence erupting left, right and centre. Orlando, Nice, Turkey. Syria, Sudan, Iraq. To name a few. The refugee crisis in Europe. Politics around the world seem out of control and who knows what goes on behind the scenes that we never get to hear about. Things are being stirred in a big way.

Like many of my friends and acquaintances, I feel the call to action and I've been racking my brains about what to do now. More and more people are awakening to the grim reality and realising that something needs to be done. But what? We are a little lost there. What can the little me/you/us do to make a difference and contribute towards creating a world that we'd like to see? What tangible steps can I personally take?

For a while, I seriously considered joining the Labour Party (as thousands others did in recent weeks here in Britain) in order to get a voice in the public law making sphere. But then something stopped me in my tracks. It doesn't feel right, that is not my path. I had to think about it differently. Where does my true power lie? What do I do/have already that is of value?

I often think about the story of The Man Who Planted Trees, an allegorical tale by a French author Jean Giona published in 1953. It tells the story of one man's life mission to reforest a desolated area of land. Every day, he gathers 100 acorns and plants them on the land. That is what he does every single day with consistency, determination and unattached to the outcome. He just keeps on planting. Single pointedly focused on his life's work, he does it without a hint of doubt, undeterred by setbacks, completely trusting in the unfolding of things according to divine will. Decades later, the landscape is unrecognisable and completely transformed: water streams flow again, wildlife returns, everything thrives. All because one man kept on going. This is a fictional story but it illustrates the enormous power that every single one of us has to make a difference if we really want to.

I am a teacher and a healer. I teach yoga (and skiing in winter). I practice Reiki healing and I am currently studying other healing modalities. I make sacred one-off jewellery. These are all my loves and passions. How can any of this make a difference? My current conclusion is a threefold one.

On a personal level -- cliche alert -- I simply need to be the best version of me that I can possibly be every step of the way. It really is the true foundations of everything else, everything that follows, all of my subsequent actions. On the days that I start with my practice (meditation, yoga, a bit of contemplation) I tend to do a lot better than on the days that, for one reason or another, I skip the practice. So that is number one: practice every day.

On an interpersonal level, we make impact constantly. Every interaction we have has an impact, and we can choose whether the impact is positive or negative. Our attitude, our choice of words, our body language, facial expressions -- all of that determines the impact we make. Making an eye contact with a stranger in the street is an interaction and what we project in that split second makes an impact on the other person as well as on us, and on the course we both follow from there. Number two: interact with everyone and everything from a place of love.

This all comes nicely together on the professional level: how I am as a person and what impact I make on others determines the results of my work: as a healer and a teacher, I can't be very effective or useful and make a positive impact if I am not in a good place within me.

In my healing work with Reiki, so far I have been mainly operating in my vicinity. By that I mean that I have been using Reiki on myself, on my clients, on my home, on spaces I inhabit temporarily, on plants and animals. But Reiki doesn't know time and space in the way we humans do, and its power can reach people, places and situations in geographical distance as well as in the past and in the future. I have done some distant healing but I haven't really explored its full potential. Now seems like a really good time to dive into that. For sure. Number three: think big, aim high, act + trust in the outcome for the highest good of all.

And that is my manifesto + my commitment on my way forward. I am sharing it with you today because I need to say it out loud. It's like a promise: when spoken, it becomes binding. Whatever your cause, whatever your talent, tend to it. Step up and be the change you want to see. Like the man who planted trees, we have to keep doing our thing and trust that it will make a difference in the long run. This is what every single one of us can always do every day no matter what our circumstances.

WEEK IN MUSIC: THURSDAY

"Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?
Dear Prudence, greet the brand new day
The sun is up, the sky is blue
It's beautiful and so are you
Dear Prudence, won't you come out to play?

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny sky
The wind is low, the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won't you open up your eyes?

Dear Prudence, let me see you smile
Dear Prudence, like a little child 
The clouds will be a daisy chain
So let me see you smile again
Dear Prudence, won't you let me see you smile?"

 - John Lennon, Dear Prudence, 1968

Goodbye London: The Soundtrack

This is my Goodbye London soundtrack. It wasn't to begin with but it's a fit for sure. As I am packing up, packing away and generally sorting out my cocoon (i.e. my flat) and getting ready for the move next week, these tunes are playing on repeat.

It's a little on the melancholic side which seems appropriate as I wave goodbye (temporary or permanent... not yet sure, who knows!) to my home of many years, and a little cheerful too in anticipation of my upcoming winter adventure. Four and a half months in the mountains. Bring it on!

1. "Maybe Not" - Cat Power
2. "First Love Never Die" - Soko
3. "Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
4. "Carolina Drama" - The Raconteurs
5. "Howling Around My Happy Home" - Daniel Norgren
6. "The Akara" - Beirut
7. "She Brings The Rain" - CAN
8. "Fantasy" - Earth, Wind & Fire
9. "Nebraska" - Bruce Springsteen
10. "7 Seconds" - Youssou N'Dour + Neneh Cherry
11. "Safe From Harm" - Massive Attack
12. "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - Them

SPOTIFY

Requiem for a bird

I see her die right in front of me
run over, unsuspecting.
The wild bird's body lays there twisted but her head is held high, 
life still in her eye.
She looks surprised, but calm...
And then she is gone.

I cry tears for the life lost and wonder if she hurt.

Across the road,
in an aviary tucked away in the corner of a perfectly manicured garden,
tiny canaries, candy coloured and picture perfect,
flap about bewildered...
Caged.

I cry inside for the wild lives lost and wonder if they hurt.

AUGUST TUNES

In preparation for more wanderings... Heading to Scotland shortly for Writing the Wild Soul. Current soundtrack:

1. "Aloha Ke Akua" - Nahko and Medicine for the People
2. "Sugar" - Editors
3. "Livin' Thing" - Electric Light Orchestra
4. "Too Afraid To Love" - The Black Keys
5. "Laughing With" - Regina Spector
6. "Cherry Wine" - Hozier
7. "Baby Blue" - Action Bronson feat. Chance the Rapper
8. "Gimme All Your Love" - Alabama Shakes
9. "A Light In The Addict" - Action Bronson
10. "Running Up That Hill" - Kate Bush

SPOTIFY

ALOHA KE AKUA

Lend your ears, lend your hands
Lend your movement
Anything you can
Come to teach, come to be taught
Come in the likeness, in the image of god
‘cause you can be like that
With all that humbleness and all that respect
All of the power invested in me
Be it hard to love my enemies
All of the black bags over the heads of the dead and dying
The more I understand about the human race
The less I comprehend about our purpose and place
And maybe if there was a clearer line that curiosity would satisfy
Time-based prophecies have kept me from living
in the moment, I’m struggling to trust the divinity
of all the gods and what the hell they have planned for us
I cry for the creatures who get left behind
But everything will change in the blink of an eye
And if you wish to survive
You will find the guide inside

I go back and forth every single day
The clarity it comes to me in the choppy waves
The feelings and the places and seasons change
The galaxies remain
Energy fields pulling our bodies to space
The angels that are composting the spiritual waste
The hate that gets me distant from my spiritual pace
Tenfold the manna when the planets are in place
In polar alignment
We’re on assignment
Bodies on consignment
Return ‘em to the circus
And what is the purpose?
What is the purpose?
And would you believe it
Would you believe it?
If you knew what you were for
And how you became so informed
Bodies of info
Performing such miracles
I am a miracle made up of particles
And in this existence
I’ll stay persistent
And I’ll make a difference
And I will have lived it

Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana
Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana

Each day that I wake
I will praise, I will praise
Each day that I wake
I give thanks, I give thanks
Each day that I wake
I will praise, I will praise
Each day that I wake
I give thanks, I give thanks

And the day that I don’t wake up
And transcend the holy make up
I am capable
I am powerful
The day that I don’t wake up
And transcend the holy make up
I am on my way to a different place

I’m not a leader
Just a creature
Seeking the features of a teacher
Whether you follow
Whether you lead
All the mysterious ways of nature
And I’m into it
Changing management
And there are various ways to conquer
This monotonous metropolis
My stubbornness is bottomless
My fearlessness is talkin’ shit
And I’m wide awake
And I’m taking names

Do you speak to me like you speak to god?
All of the love and understanding
Between the father and the son
Do you believe in the perfectness of where you are?
These are my people
These are my children
This is the land that I would fight for
My solidarity is telling me to patiently
Be moving the musical medicine around the planet in a hurry
‘Cause there’s no time to wait
Gotta wake up the people
Time to stand up and say
We know what we are for
And how we became so informed
Bodies of info
Performing such miracles
I am a miracle
Made up of particles
And in this existence
I’ll stay persistent
And I’ll make a difference
And I will have lived it

Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana
Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana

Each day that I wake
I will praise, I will praise
Each day that I wake
I give thanks, I give thanks
Each day that I wake
I will praise, I will praise
Each day that I wake
I give thanks, I give thanks

And the day that I don’t wake up
And transcend the holy make up
I am capable
I am powerful
The day that I don’t wake up
And transcend the holy make up
I am on my way to a different place

Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana
Aloha, Aloha
Ke akua, Ke akua
Aloha, Aloha
Kuleana, Kuleana

___

Lyrics by Nahko Bear (Medicine for the People)

THE INVITATION

Brijesta, croatia

Brijesta, croatia

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life's betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
"Yes."

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

___

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

SUMMERTIME

Summertime. Adventures. Road tripping. Wilderness. Love. Music. Sea. Sunshine. Good times!

1. "What You Don't Do" - Lianne La Havas
2. "Ashamed" - Deer Tick
3. "American Daydream" - Electric Guest
4. "Blue Velvet" - Lana Del Rey
5. "Doo Woop (That Thing)" - Lauryn Hill
6. "Sink or Swim" - Deer Tick
7. "To KNow Him Is To Love Him" - Amy Winehouse
8. "I Need A Dollar" - Aloe Blacc
9. "We're Still Friends" - Donny Hathaway
10. "Mi Mujer" - Nicolas Jaar
11. "In This Shirt" - The Irrepressibles
12. "Salty Dog" - Cat Power
13. "Lullaby" - The Cure

SPOTIFY