little update

18 Apr

Dear Ones

Just a little update on my adventures.

I’ve had my first true experience with Peruvian Shamanism. Wow! This is indeed El Mundo Magico. And did I maybe have a believe that is too romantic, or am I too easily blinded? For what about all the bad spirits preying on us? I know they exists but conveniently held them outside my worldview. Now I am working on my spiritual protection, after so long working with magic and energy a little bit of fear creeps in. This is a serious matter, not a game and certainly not a spiritual holiday. Well I signed up for it, purification, healing, shadow work & freedom!

Then a little update on my Microcredit research, as I am still totally committed to apply to Kiva. An interesting article from the original inventor of micro finance the noble price winner Muhammad Yunus. There is a lot of ambivalence here. Where are the studies that show banking for the poor actually does alleviate poverty and is not just a further spread of greedy materialism?  The problem essentially as I can see it is not the concept of credit, not even interest, which certainly in a revolutionary worldview are doubtful concepts. But as we can see far and wide in this world, the real trouble begun when speculation go involved! Do you know the banks (I mean the big ones, the bad ones 😉 actually do sell Funds and Options on Microcredits to diversify their rich client’s assets. If someone seeks to make profit out of this, it is clear this system will never work. Thus I trust in Kiva, with their global involvement with MFI’s and access to cash, they have power. Power that is used to prevent misuse and promote social standards, check out Kiva’s new social badges here. Kiva is making a valuable effort to provide social (vs. commercial) money and You can be part of this by becoming a lender here.

Hihi, listen to me, so excited sure with this attitude they just must take me as their fellow! Just wondering why they don’t have partners in my lovely India, mmmmh…?

So long
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

Little things…

14 Feb

Day 2 starts of way better as the little things make it. Got a newspaper into my hotel room and a really nice hot shower. The Indians are a funny folk, for one they seem either helpful or else not understanding. On the drive up to Arambol there where two boys walking side by side on one lane of a busy street where they could not be overtaken. Only after what seemed a very long time one of them looked back without showing any emotion on his face and continued walking. Overall they’re a nice folk I sometimes maybe even like them too much. Here now I experience the commerce again and what it makes out of people. It’s funny how I always befriend the locals when I am at places like this. The cute seven year old girl letting me promise 5 times that later I would look her shop and then I bought her a pepsi. Of course that was not enough, she needed to make some money, I couldn’t say no. Bargaining hard I could tell she was not that happy afterwards. I don’t mind them, not really. It is so that I feel obliged to spend some money in the local economy. It seems the least I can do, fretting over the inability to really do something to make things better. They have gotten worse actually. Now even the hippies have become commercialized, selling their hand made jewelry, healing oils, or travelling hammocks. The market you can find every day at the traditional creative people sunset gathering in Arambol. I could have cried when I saw this, I was sooo cool when I was there last time, free spirits gathering for celebration of life. But when there are more spectators than dancers, the event becomes meaningless sucked out a comedy. This called the comedy of the hippies of goa.

Arambol beach directly has now been overtaken fully by the Russians, 3 rows of sunbeds decorating the once so solemn beach. Again I was close to throwing up when I saw this. Further down to Marnem where I am, it is still just some little shacks with some sunbeds each, though it goes on now endlessly along the mile long beaches. The German Bakery seems no more, luckily Pacha still is. Already met some old friends, and new ones. The Pacha’s regaled by a Nepali family,  grandparents and all. Language is a real subject, so many languages spoken – again! Everywhere it is likes this. The Indigenous tribes having their own local dialects, and mostly a common language of the conquistadores per country, speaking it more or less according to their social status. Everywhere in the world! I tried to learn a bit Hindi but it is ah so difficult for me. Like for them English! Wow but they try, no shame anymore when they are out there and it is good. They have a right to take part in the world as well. Mostly the tribes have been tattered, intact societies only to be found rarely, the young wanting to go to the big cities. And there survival suddenly means something completely different from the village farm… alright I am diverting here into difficult terrain and strain thoughts, wonder what they might be;) So- the Hindi I learned rather easily is: “Makka Nakka”.  It means, I don’t want, or I don’t need anything. Very useful!

Namaste
YMT

Love and hate in India

14 Feb

This journey to Arambol has shown me once more why I hate travelling per se. People say about India, that you either love or hate it. I sure love it, else I would not have come again. But travelling in itself is an exhausting thing. As I write this, I haven’t slept within 30 hours more than 20 minutes at a time.

It started off alright, I was early at the airport and the lady at the check-in desk was really nice, assigning me good seats. On the flight to Istanbul I met a guy from Kuwait and had an interesting conversation. I felt good and in the flow. Good to be out there again, good to meet new people. But then in Istanbul things started to get a bit cranky. I did manage to find the smoking terrace and order proper Turkish coffee, but when they confiscated my two fresh bottles of still water just before the boarding gate, where new water could only be bought from the machine with Turkish lira bills which I didn’t have I was slightly pissed. The movie offering was really great though and since I didn’t manage to sleep I watched a couple of them, they even gave us a little bottle of water before the light was switched off, still I couldn’t sleep. Arriving in Bombay the baggage claim was really incredibly slow and I knew (and maybe that’s why it happened…) that if I miss my connection within the 2 hours I had, I could easily get a new flight a bit later. Then that’s what it is. Asking around the airlines for the next flights to Goa, prices varied from 13000 to 4000 rupees. I had originally paid 2600 (45$) for the flight I missed. So once I got that settled I enjoyed a really great original Indian breakfast, Idly & Sambhar, having my first but certainly not last culinary orgasm.

Having to wait another 6 hours at the airport I wanted to sleep at the gate, which was impossible because the seats there though nice and modern where made strictly for single person only, no way to lay down or at least rest ones head. So I afforded some extra money to go to the spa…

Certain thing, money wise really have to change! Yes I would always want to have the money to spontaneously book a new flight if necessary. But certain luxuries are not for me anymore, but not today. The Asian looking but Indian woman from Assam (tea!) had such strong hands she trigger point healed me of my travel weariness very easily.

At the next security check they let me my bottle of water and confiscated my lighter instead,  rounding it up with providing cigarette lighter services in the smoking lounge 😉 Eventually flying to Goa is as easy as it can get. They’ve even managed to govern the taxi services though they get ever more expensive. To me reliability is worth something, by not having to haggle after a 24 our journey. Now I am here in Panjin and the only reason I came here is to have seen something else of India than just the beach of Arambol… Well I have seen it, for sure, nothing really to be seen here. So happy when I am finally at the beach tomorrow.  Just two things to end this. I ended up in the best restaurant in town, the only one where the sunshine along the river can be enjoyed. The rest of the Riviera being rather wasted. I spent a couple of hours and 500 rupees, this is just 9 bucks!!! 9 bucks for 3 beers, one full dinner with fresh squid and a glass of wine. At home this would have cost 50 bucks, and this was expensive for India. It’s just that I must learn not to think in the comparative way anymore because I must learn compare prices within the cheap country I am travelling  in.

Then I did what you should never do. Walking home alone drunk in a foreign city in a third world country. But this is my trick: I knew exactly where I am going and I made the clear appearance I have been here before and to just not bother me, it worked well enough here.

So long
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

Micro Credits Part 2

30 Nov

When it comes to this topic, I am still at the beginning of my official research, meanwhile reading these books:

– Poverty Capital – Microfinance and the Making of Development by Ananya Roy
– Microfinance and its discontents – Women in dept in Bangladesh by Lamia Karim
– Freedom from Want – The remarkable success story of BRAC, the global grassroots organization that’s winning the fight against poverty by Ian Smillie
– What’s wrong with Microfinance ? by Thomas Dichter and Malcom Harper

Right now I just wanted to show you something I got from the Kiva Blog. In Georgia a MFI is using a Georgian comic artist to educate people about over-indebtedness.

I really love the idea and it truly seems this MFI’s intention is to really help people and not make their lives worse. And not just with comics of course, a lot of other valuable tools are used like the village council and support with balance sheets and other accounting necessities.

So long
YMT