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tao te king

29 May

Give up, and you shall receive.

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Bow, and you will stand tall.

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Be empty, and you will be filled.

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Let go of the Old, and let in the New.

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Have little, and there is room to receive more.

Wise Sayings

13 May

The curious Paradox is that

when I accept myself

just as I am

then I can change

When the Power of Love

overcomes the love of power

the world will know Peace

-Jimi Hendrix

You cannot stop Life

but you can stop

and Live

Travel Goddess Diary

30 Apr

It seems I am enjoying blogging so much, I had to had an other one! Sure this is symptomatic of our materialistic world – we’re never happy with what we have, haha. It’s true, isn’t it?

But I have an excuse 😉 No seriously, I eventually want to be successful with my blogging and one of the essential parts to do so is the focus on a subject. Though the title might indicate so, this is not a travel blog. This is a blog about personal transformation and a critical view on this world. And it shall remain exactly like this as I enjoy these subjects deeply and am sure to have much more to say on it!

For now I want to satisfy another desire, this is to meet the Goddess in every step and every breath I take. Maybe a bit exaggerating as I will be spending my time experiencing not sitting in an internet café. Anyway it is my desire to write a specific travel blog with a focus on encountering the Goddess. Let’s see where that takes me! If you are interested, PLEASE feel free to follow it also the new facebook page where most of the pictures will be posted.

Goddess Travel Diary Blog

Blessings

Gipsy Soul

Unplugging from the Matrix

19 Mar

Hello cyberspace

These days I’m feeling like Nemo in the famous movie scene of Matrix when he has to choose between the red and the blue pill…

I too choose the red pill and will set out on this adventure of the True Life, leaving my existence as a system slave behind me.

Tomorrow I will do the most important step of letting go my old life by quitting my job. Now I am about to choose but sometimes I think if I could just go back to the Matrix, stay safe at home…

In this mood I am vulnerable and when a good friend tells me “Oh I wish you wouldn’t go now, I will miss you so much sister of my heart” my Heart leaps and grieves the losses to come. For I know full well that friends and family are the most valuable “thing” one can have in life, so why leave them behind? Naturally being close friends I will not loose her friendship due to distance or part time negligence, so this is no excuse 😉 What I find though is that I crave to be needed. Needed as a friend, a daughter and a valuable working slave of my company. Haha yes pure ego satisfaction this. I’ll have to figure it out – the doubts, the loneliness and desperation. As I free myself from being needed (at least in my mind) I am looking to become useful (for real).

The illusion is I have to choose between freedom or security. That the one cannot exist without the other, but this is just a mental pretext, one that I hope to overcome. How? by realizing all is generated out of my inner center, the Security and the Freedom! The illusion and fear stem from the materialistic overlay of the psyche, because we fear for the wellbeing of possessions, rather than the Self. It is about Trust too.

In this beautiful and rich country I live most people are totally attached to security. I know it well, this is why it has taken me so long to dare this adventure, and it is the reason I doubt now, why I’m afraid. To let go of all attachment is my souls desire and this gives me the strength to go through with it, to liberate myself, to be free! And not just for a time and then go back to being a system slave. No, true freedom comes from the inside not the outside. And I am fully aware that much of my efforts will have to go into finding a new way of making a living! I want to dig the dirt and plant a seed, so we’ll never have to go hungry.

And just during these days of doubt drops an unbelievably uplifting and supporting message into my inbox from an old work buddy of all people 😉 For once there is actually a man interested in what I am doing and I appreciate this deeply. Besides all the support and good wishes what touched me the most was that apparently after reading this Blog he understood what I am trying to say! Wow now that’s really something I like to be proud of, because honestly so far my bubbling here seemed to me quite uncoordinated and experimental. But it is a fact that I do have a message and it seems to shine through in my writing, can you see it too?

“It’s true we’re all prisoners in this psycho race of economical growth, but only a few ever dare to create a different life. I want to break out too… but our society is not supportive and in the end the security thought prevails everything else. This egoistic greediness is really sick, together it would be so much easier!”

Yes my dear that’s pretty much what I am trying to say here, thanks for understanding !

Yours
YMT

Firebirds & the Goddess Lakshmi

26 Feb

Watching the red fireball settle into the ocean at night and grandmother moon raising from over the hills I feel connected to life again. New living qualities lurching around and offering fulfillment or destruction. The endless rolling of the waves shoots my strained nerves, my sick body, my broken heart. The wind is caressing my skin while my senses overload from feelings of numbness back to pain and joy again. The beauty of the sunlight reflected and carried on by the waves is what reminds me of a purpose – a duty. This little India adventure is coming to and end and I wanted to indulge you with some more transformation stories.

The Indians love the Goddess Lakshmi or Laxmi. Cafés, Shops, Restaurants, Hotels and Daughters are named after Her – all for good Luck!

In the Hindu tradition, Lakshmi is the Goddess of abundance. She is a bringer of physical wealth in the form of success and money, and spiritual wealth, such as intelligence, enlightenment and the awakening to the God within. On a deeper, esoteric meaning she is associated with immortality and the essence of life. She is often depicted with a lotus and an elephant. The lotus represents purity and spiritual power; the elephant, royal authority. She “shines like the sun” and “is lustrous like fire”. In her hand she holds a lotus flower. The flower represents the greatest treasure of all, the attainment of spiritual power and perfection through self-realization, or oneness with the Higher Self. Within the lotus flower, Lakshmi holds the key to the next stage of our spiritual development. Lakshmi is an embodiment of the Divine Mother. Her consort is Vishnu who holds the office of Preserver in the Hindu Trinity, parallel to the principle of the Son in the Western Trinity. Lakshmi shares Vishnu’s role as preserver. Her wisdom is revealed in blessings of prosperity and the precipitation of the abundant life.

I’ve met many old friends here in Arambol, beloved and missed. One very special one I want to tell you about, her name is Laxmi. One of many young girls selling souvenirs along the beaches, she does stand out. Not only for her extraordinary beauty but for intelligence even more. The blessings of the Goddess must indeed be hers as she single handedly lifted her family from plain poverty into having a family owned business at the age of seven. The family used to live in a tent on the roadside crafting baskets in endless hours of fruitless activity, bellies empty and spirits low. But not for her, it must be an ingrained drive for survival that made her first beg and then invest the first money she earned into things to sell, maximizing her profit. That’s the spirit of microfinance all over again and I must say I am deeply touched by it. But what made me finally adopt her as a daughter in a sense that I might never have, is the fact that she doesn’t only speak several languages including Russian in the manner of business, her English is so sophisticated she speaks science and all, I am deeply impressed. I met her parents to pay my respects on them letting her go to school, she is really destined for greatness and it makes my heart jump in joy to see her family supportive of her endeavours. Aged 13 now she is indeed the smartest kid on the beach, and with ambitions, she knows exactly what she wants and maybe there is hope she will not get married away soon. Something she doesn’t want now, because she wants to become a teacher. In any case this is out of my influence I did what I could by investing in her dowry. Wanting to make her a gift I was more thinking along the lines of school books, cloth or food for the family – but while at it we settled for earings made of gold and her first ever cotton dress. Driving 3 persons on a scooter through half of Goa to the commercial capital Mapusa to go to the Jeweller was quite a rewarding experience for me, as was the glow on her face when she got her presents. I know she loved me anyway but for this even more and I pray for her and her family that they are well and prosperous in the times to come, else they certainly have something valuable to sell now in dire need. The girl loves Sai Baba, he is here favorite God and she told me many stories as we drove through green fields populated with the blue shining kingfisher birds followed by fields of rotting rubbish – such is India.

As I was out there my culinary glands got activated a lot and the desire for these delicious Idly and Sambhar rose up again. Incredible that this is not sold in any restaurant at the beach, while Idly, a soft rice and daal composition, is actually the staple food in southern India! As it is popular for breakfast I gladly indulged in some other quick served local food, while looking forward to the next morning at the beach when they brought me fresh Idly from the countryside. Followed by my favorite Calamari dish specially prepared by my dear friends at Opinahl. Maybe one should not drive 3 on a scooter to go gold shopping in an Indian Market but I dare say all went well and beyond. Leaving my last day in Arambol to complete another important deed

In Hindu Mythology Lakshmi’s consort is the God Vishnu who often rides on a large mythical eagle like creature called Garuda. Garuda is known throughout Hindu and Buddhists mythology alike and some sources reference the great mythical bird also to the Phoenix, know from Egyptian, Persian, Greek, Sumerian and other occidental cultures. The Phoenix is said to live a thousand years and there is always only just one. Before he dies he builds himself a nest of frankincense where he is burned to ashes. From the ashes of the old bird rises the young again to live the next episode in the eternal firebirds story.

For me the Phoenix has always been the archetypal image of transformation. Something old dies so that something new can live. The cycle of life. Ouroboros, the snake that eats itself. I have a deep fascination with such symbolism including a strong urge to put them on my body in the form of tattoos! Tattoos are art that goes literally under the skin, making a statement of who one is. Last year I’d started my second big piece depicting my power animals and allowing the Eagle to become a Phoenix as my old self is indeed dying. I feel like I’ve lived this life for a thousand years and now is the time to be reborn! Unfortunately my dear Peruvian tattoo artist has moved to far away Australia and I was walking around with an unfinished tattoo, a fact that worried me to quite a big degree.

And I love love love how things turn out when I am in the flow of life!!! There’s a rather famous and peculiar tattoo artist in Arambol, by the name of Om. I’d known his brother from before and now through his other brother I got to know him, he seemed rather likeable, for I am always a bit hesitant to let those dark skinned intimidating and slightly dangerous looking Indian guys on my fair white skin… 😉 Of course, as with every sensible European girl I was concerned with sanity. I was rather dumbfolded by their response when I asked about it. “You white people clean your asses with toilet paper, we Indian people clean our asses with water, who do you think is cleaner?” For reasons of my own recent experience that made all my further concerns unnecessary and I can happy tell you now that the tattoo healed quickly and looks great. The phoenix has risen from the ashes indeed, there is no way back now anymore – I must attempt this big journey and TRUST that life provides. And it does, I got my first webdesign client, check it out at www.omtattoogoa.co.cc.

I am home as I post this but not for long, Barcelona is calling…. And in 4 month I am off!!!! Yeah

Lakshmi’s blessings to all of you.
YMT

the story of my life

28 Jan

Hello my dear two readers and a belated happy new year to You !

Since I seem not be getting around to write a proper article and since this Blog should be about Change, i.e. how to change (myself, yourself, the world, … you name it;)  I would like to look back at the last year and publicly list what I changed and what I didn’t, like a honest but friendly mirror.

Set up my new webpage
After 3 years considering the idea, finally it is ON! at least the design 😉 content will be added as I make up my new life!!! check it out at www.soulnature.ch

Write a blog
My thinking tended to: why should I write a blog while there are millions out there already? what is my contribution to meaningful free information on the internet? Well, part of my finally daring to go out there is my long lasting desire to become a writer (yes, I said it!) And the new media DOES have lots of opportunities if one knows how to leverage them… for now this is a personal story and travel blog an it IS out there, yeah!

Save money and quit my job
This is a looong story… For 10 years working I’ve not managed to save a dime 😦 Living my life, financing alternative education, travelling, partying and a very nice apartment I thought I could never get out off considering all the (meaningless) stuff I’d acquired, the (dreadful) costs repairing the damage done to it, the convenience of allowing my cat to walk outdoors and me growing my own plants and last but not least because of zero availability of free apartments in my city of choice.  But Zurich is changing as the rest of the world is and there IS movement going on. Gratefully destiny helped out! In early 2010 it came about that my employer couldn’t afford expensive offices in the city center anymore and I had to go work way out of town by the airport my commute becoming unbearable. This gave me the strength and desire to search for an apartment switch which indeed happened about 15 month ago. Since then, for the first time in my life, I have been able to accumulate some money. This is an ambivalent thing for me as I don’t belive in the future of cash as we know it, while I am desperately aware of how nothing is going to work in this world without the blessing of money… My new small and cheap place is enough for me. But my dear cat is growing uneasy that is why she will go into her retirement soon living with my sister in her new house. My travelling budget might last of a year only but hopefully more like two years without working. This obviously depending on my ability to stretch it and live a simple life. Which is exactly what I intend to do, even though the prospect still terrifies me…

Quitting my job (after 5 years with the company and 15 years with the industry) has not happened yet BUT I will do so in March, having to work until June 2012. This IS someTHING !!! Just now I am deeply troubled, because I have to live a lie and this doesn’t sit well with me as I am by nature a very honest person unable to hide my feelings (one of the main reasons why this kind of job is NOT for me). But this is how the business works, for just another two month  (one of which I am on vacation lucky me…) I have to pretend to be fully committed but really don’t care anymore. This really sucks. But it will pass. And there is just NO way I am going to change my mind. I cannot willnot darenot wishnot continue my life as it is. Good thing will happen!

Go travelling
Other good news 😀 Last year I have made a pilgrimage to Mayapan – the Maya country.  I went to Guatemala, Yucatan and Chiapas. Learning spanish while staying with a lovable family and then visiting 11 Maya temples in two weeks in total focus of finding love and transformation which I did!!! I’ve also been to England several times last year for my studies at the www.schoolofmovementmedicine.com and further pleasurable visits to places of power like Glastonbury which I enjoy more every time I go there. All this rounded up in 2011 with a good friends wedding taking place in the Spanish Balearian Island of Ibiza. An island long known for it’s hippie and party history, where I spent a couple of mesmerizing weeks back in my late teenage years… Dangerous place for me to be but lots of fun too to be sure! And this positive story continues as I head off to India tomorrow… you’ll hear from me on that one;)

Stop smoking and drinking
After so much good news guess there as to be a draw back. Addiction management has ever been my greatest challenge. Tobacco is a holy plant. And I misuse it. The short time I managed without it last year was deeply inspiring, but it has been my best friend the last 16 years and quitting is really hard 😦 This will need some deeper exploring like a purge/dieta with the Tobacco plant in the Amazonian rainforest, something I intend to do this year!!! It also worries me that by now again I am substituting alcohol for the usage of mind or emotion altering drugs and I must addmit I think I do have a bit of a problem here. I mean I don’t need it but I like it and it can get pretty messy. I go weeks on end without and then back again to the old habits. In the healing process this is normal though, one has to do a new thing a 1000 times to change the patterns in the brain and I am working on it but sometimes it seems there are just too many partys going on (3 of them I didn’t drink…) So continues my soul searching consciousness raising personal healing process.

Get fit and lose weight
Another ambivalent but fairly positive story!!! I could actually write a whole Blog on my diet and fitness insights but I figured I would not bore anyone on what information is already in the web if you just look for it! To be sure, loosing weight is no easy thing!!! Especially for somebody like me who was always a bit cheruby and having gone through several yoyo effects due to bad regimes I ended up severely (25kg) overweight just a year ago.  I’ve lost 16kg (35lbs) since last April and this is approximately a healthy 2kg per month which gives me a real chance to keep it and continue the way down slowly but surely. Exercise alone will never do the trick while you eat crap. Dieting hard without exercising will just throw you back sooner than later. Combining the two, as everybody should know, is the trick. But how exactly? I make it short for you if you want to follow it as I really think I’ve figured it out for myself with try and error, but note that one recipe doesn’t fit all. But still, here we go
– Eat all your healthy carbohydrates (no sugar & processed grains) in the morning = sprouted grains, oatmeal, fruits
– to loose weight just loads of vegis, salad & lean meat for lunch and dinner, adding some nuts as a snack, and lentils and beans for variation
– eat healthy fats, like nuts and avocados
– generally stick to non processed and organic foods
– obviously no sweat drinks like fruit juice, coke etc. and NO alcohol…..
– and most important: never forbid yourself anything, if you crave pasta or bread or pommes by all means have it. every once in a while this doesn’t hurt, except that once you started to eat clean this stuff will anyway not sit so well with you…
– 2-3 intensive strengths/body weight training, focusing on building muscle with full body exercises
– 2 hours of sweating your prayers per weeks, i.e. 5 Rhythms dancing
– 2x 20m interval training on the home trainer

easy, isn’t it? Oh wow I am SO proud of myself!!!! I feel so much better 😀 Now I just have to work on my condition…… the Himalayas are waiting 😉

So…

All in all I am really happy with my progress.  This is a good base for future adventures. Because really one thing I have learned: personal change cannot be forced or delegated. It will happen when it happens and is initiated by love and understanding not willpower, at least not if it is to last sustainably. And it is really impossible to change everything at once, like giving up smoking drinking chocolate junk food etc. AND starting to exercise write save etc. all at the same time? Come on this feels like an illusion it is too much the stone weights too heavy to carry and sooner or later one lets it fall. Considering this I am very glad I managed now to go through with at least some things as for sure I was ready to (try to) change everything at once last year. Something’s certainly changed within me 😉 Step by step change happens and when the way gets stony I just put on some good shoes!

Happy changing & Happy enjoying the fruits of it
Love
YMT

Microcredits part 1

6 Nov

Hello cyberspace

What is happening?

On 10/28/11 the Maya Calendar supposedly ended because the 21-12-2012 date was supposedly miscalculated. I celebrated this with a great communal trance dance and a healing prayer for the earth, but could not feel a specific shift in consciousness. Which is enforcing my believe that change is happening gradually (evolution) not instantly (revolution) but we’ll see!

On 10/26/11 my nephew, Noah, was born. This is the next generation, this is what I’ve been dancing for. This is where our hope lies in salvation and destruction.  He is in good hands, in a loving family so I extend my prayers once more to the healing of our Earth Mother so he will be able to experience the elements in their pure form, and become a caretaker as we are evolving to be.

The world has now 7 billions people. Humans have killed the Earth and She is still feeding us! How do we deserve this? It’s a big questions – I think by trying to be the best people we can, raising consciousness with every step we take forward or back.

With these stories I am illustrating part of my life and part of our life now on this planet. Now I would like to focus a bit on a topic that’s been occupying much of my thoughts these days.

As I am making plans for my new life, where of course the first plan is not to have a plan, many thoughts cross my mind. Next year I will quit my job, give up my apartment and most of my belongings. I want to be free. Free of possessions, free of a full calendar, free of to do lists, paying bills and especially the constant stress I am experiencing. I desire to create a space where I can manifest the deepest desire of what to do with my life, because now I have been unhappy with what I am doing for too long. Changing my life it is not an option anymore it’s a necessity.

I am going to have a plan-less time, but I am just not a planless person. I have soooo many ideas on what to do – in my new life. And I am soooo bored and pissed at my job, it is actually all I can do to bring me through my days more often than not, is making plans. So my latest obsession for a possible fulfilling future job is microfinances. It combines social and aid work with my experiences in finances, project management and web tool development (I am working now as a project manager and software designer for a big corporate bank).  I’ve been aware of this organization Kiva.org for a few months now when I’ve been researching charities to donate in connection to the Movement Medicine Summer Long Dance

Kiva is web 2.0 for microfinance. Microfinancing or micro credits have been around and helping in the 3rd world since four decades. Kiva now is bringing private lenders big scale into the game by providing a web platform where everyone can go and actually select a specific person or business to borrow their money to. I am quite enthusiastic about this. For example I have seen time and again that funds/help given freely is not appreciated or wasted. And unfortunately I am very critical about aid funds, like for the current crisis at the cape of Africa where millions of aid funds disappear into corrupt governments and violent guerrilla rather than feeding the poor starving kids. So the idea of going to and giving directly to the person in need appeals greatly to me, also and actually because the person does have to work in order to be able to pay the money back.

So I’m doing research now into this, because in the end I’ve decided that when I commit to something now at this stage in my life it must be the real thing for me. Something that builds up on what I already know and can do and something that will give me a future work that satisfies me personally, ethically and on a soul as well as financial level! Obviously I will need to make a living again at some point in time and preferably this time around it will be something „good“. I feel like I have wasted my energy for too long in an industry that is ethically incorrect. Back to my research: I’ve quickly realized that about Kiva there are a lot of controversies. Especially about the perceived direct contact between the lender and the borrower not being real. But in my opinion it is still real even though my money doesn’t go directly to, for example Maria in Guatemala but somebody else’s will and money in the end is all the same. Besides a money transfer is so expensive that it makes absolutely no sense to submit amounts of $25 to the Guatemala country side, but rather work with bulk amounts from Kiva in San Francisco to the local MFI (Micro Finance Institution). So I am still very happy about the Kiva concept and I am strongly considering applying as a Kiva Fellow once I get bored hanging around at the beach 😉

Now I am at phase 2 of the research, have ordered a couple of books and am taking a distance learning curse by the United Nations Capital Development Fund. Because my prime concern with the microcredits is the charging of interest in general and the interest rates charged specifically. I have long believed that charging interest is not just. There are a lot of favorable arguments why interest is necessary for a healthy economy. But we have all but a healthy economy today and I see how often it is misused and in the end somebody suffers and the bank only wins. The consumer credit crisis in 2007 has just emphasized this believe, as it has become clear that people in the 1st world tend to spend over their earning and living on credit because the advertisements of consumer goods draw them into the false believes they have to own stuff they don’t really need and even worse they define their personal value based on what the possess. In any case, the temptation is big and with this greed we bring over us a great disaster because at one point people are not able to pay back their credits nor their interest paydowns.

So I am asking myself truly, is microfinancing really ethically correct? Or is it actually making money on the poor? Or even worse, is it maybe indeed harmful and landing the already vulnerable poor in debt?

“After all, what could be more moral than NGOs that help the poor, particularly poor women, in a predominantly Muslim society to become disciplined, capitalist subjects working in the aid of a neoliberal global order (Microfinance and Its Discontents: …. by Lamia Karim)

So I am in a clinch. It might seem like I would want to become from a banker to the rich a banker to the poor . I even might be covered up as a voluntary aid worker, but in the end still work for some banksters. And what do banksters do? They steal, ehm sorry earn commissions, from their clients. So in a way it seems rather achievable to get a little bit of this unevenly distributed wealth by taking it from the rich, as I am doing now while I am sitting with my fat ass in front of a company owned wide-screen high-tech computer system writing my blog, earning good money, and feeling like Robin Hood because I have taken from the rich and given to the poor by donating to commercial aid organizations like Greenpeace, WWF, Amnesty International and Survival International.

Or I am out there in the field, working my fat ass off, and actually, hopefully, supposedly really helping one person, or even a whole family by giving them access to credit? Credit that makes some fat ass manager sitting comfortably in his air-conditioned office rich and maybe even happy – while I feel worse because I work (for free!) for an organization that actually earns from the poor!!

I am not that far in my research that I would imply this to Kiva. But when I read about the corporate like NGOs or the NGO owned Banks in 3rd world countries (like the BRAC Bank in Bangladesh) I come to doubt that Kiva as an organization that links all these (greedy!?) MFIs  is only interested in social justice, rather than its self-profit.

Yesterday I told my sister about my plans (not yet my doubts). And I said “because MFIs are not banks they have the freedom to take into accounts people’s personal stories and possible disasters and they are willingly to change payback plans based on people’s business success and are thus more humanitarian than banks” Hahaha – who am I kidding here? Yes I am a fucking romantic at least when it comes to my ideas about saving the world. I am an optimist, I want it to be the good way. But I am afraid it is not. Of course it is okay if the MFI charges interest, because first it has to pay employees who are entitled to a salary, then facilities etc. as well as calculating in foul credits, but it is not okay for them to make extra earnings. One of Kiva’s goals that I would certainly support is creating global standards for the MFIs how to conduct their business and because they have to power of providing money the have the power of enforcing rules!

Yes, I still want to work for Kiva, and until I have finished my research into microcredits I still think it makes more sense to enable people to take care of themselves rather than being dependant on foreign aid or worse just living in poverty (created by global corporations…). Maybe there is another way? I hope so! It’s certainly about creating social and economic awareness in a local context. About education, that has a real impact. Maybe there are some organizations in this field that work just for their own good but I do believe there are others who truly have the human community and progress in mind. And there is where I want to bring in my expertise by finding desirable business models, create local jobs and aid in sustainable living as well as fighting against corruption and exploitation.

So be it,

talk to you next time

YMT