Bon viatge Jana

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Janaina enjoying a winter’s day in Palma last December

In December last year I had one of those meetings of like minds and what a pleasure that was.  I had missed meeting this Brazilian beauty when she had visited in the previous summer but December decided that it was time for us to share a coffee and get to know each other.  Janaina had come from London with the instructions from our mutual friend Maria Candida to get in touch with me.  She called me at an exciting moment in my life and I soon discovered that she too was at an exciting moment in her own.  In this conversation we connected immediately, like old friends do when they haven’t spoken for a long while.  That was her – easy to talk to, friendly, sunny, happy, just a great energy all round and of course I had to get to know her!

We met in Sta Catalina and sat outside one of the many busy cafés and chatted easily.  What I immediately loved about Janaina, apart from her stunning smile and easy nature, was that she was eager and enthusiastic about life and invested in the beauty of it.  I told her about my latest idea in which I was committing to losing weight from 1st January and how my idea was a little bit more crazy than just dieting!  I planned to invite people to donate food for the hungry in Mallorca every time I lost a kilo.  I was used to receiving all sorts of reactions to this idea, from loud guffaws, to support by pledging food but from Janaina she was immediately on board and going to support me from her learnings about nutrition and she was going to treat me like a client but not charge me – how awesome was she!  I was hooked by her enthusiasm and we arranged to meet again.

Boxing Day was our next encounter and I took her along to a little party at my boss’ home and she fit in like a hand in a glove there!  I introduced her to good friends – Jo, Sue, Sylvia, Daniela, Sam, Kay, Hayley – to mention a few and of course their husbands.  I remember my boss looking over at her and wistfully but jokingly say to his son “what do you think about your new stepmother?”  She was a beauty alright but that rare beauty that is not in the physical but in the ethereal sense – almost divine.

She met my sons and we came back to my home and read the Osho cards.  I am no expert of card reading but I remember how excited we both were at what lay ahead and she was positive and in tune with her surroundings in this new stage of her life.  We arranged to have our first consultation in the next days and I met her at her home in Palma.

At this consultation I was struck by her unwavering support.  She was different to other practitioners I had ever met in that she was invested in me and my path.  I remember feeling supported in a gentle way and at one point she gave me a valuable tip and one I shall forever treasure.  She told me that when out walking, when taking the time to meditate the nature around me, I could begin to see myself physically how I wanted to be ie losing the weight I was setting out to lose.  More importantly though she told me I could love the Glynis I was here and now.  She told me to see every bit of me and love it all and in loving me I could make room for a newer me, the slimmer me I wanted to be.

We made plans that she would continue to treat me, she would come shopping with me the following week, she would even be delighted to come and show me how to cook in a more healthy manner.  Janaina was there for the long haul of my weight loss and she was invested in me – the future was there in that moment on the 28th December 2012 – we were more than nutritionist and patient, we were friends.

We emailed over the next couple of days and on the 31st December Janaina had a heart attack and from that day until yesterday lay in a different state of being.  She garnered an incredible support of love and light from all over the world.  She was supported by the unwavering love of her family and friends.  People who had met her once meditated for her as they had been touched by that one, fleeting moment of her.  Even people who hadn’t met her felt touched by her.  She was love.  She is light.  She has left this place now, this earthly dwelling and I believe she has spent the last 8 months creating magic and wonder.  She touched my life for sure.  I lost weight without really trying because she taught me some basic nutrition but more than that, she invited me to look at myself differently, with love rather.  That was the Janaina I met briefly – an earth angel who was love and who shared that with all who met and knew her.

Janaina, thank you for your inspiration – you were a joy to be with, your smile lifted up a hundred thousand heavy hearts – be happy.

What’s in a name?

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Every name leaves a trail!

The thought occurred to me today that names are interesting concepts!  The dictionary says that a name means “a word or a combination of words by which a person, place or thing, a body or class, or any object of thought is designated, called or known”.  Pretty straightforward then I hear you say.   I therefore ask myself, up to what point are we free to change our names as we  see fit?

When women get married in Britain, traditionally they would change their maiden name.  This of course can make life hell on facebook when searching for an old school friend never mind the paperwork involved!  In Spain the woman keeps her maiden name and any offspring take on both parents’ surnames, male first followed by female, but mother’s surname is forever lost in any future offspring.

Modern day seekers of truth and spiritual happiness have been known to change their birth names with something wonderfully Indian and I always wonder why people get rid of their given names to do so.  My own name – Glynis German – bewildered me growing up.  Why were no new cousins named after me whilst my sisters’ names were used easily in new borns.  I took this to mean that my name wasn’t the most attractive option for cute girl babies and resented all the pretty names used in my family.

It was hard enough in the English language for people to get my name right and I have been called many names in my 51 earth years.  Gladys was the norm, another ugly name I felt.  Gwyneth was preferred later in life as that was made popular by a gorgeous actress!  Whiskey, Phyllis, Grimace even!  The worst was Clitoris, embarrassing really especially as the one calling me that asked her 3yr old son to say goodbye to me!  In Spain it got no better – Ines, Ingrid even Kleenex which caused great roars of laughter when I produced such an item mistaking someone actually asking me for one!

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I appreciated that my parents’ choice of name for me was perfect.  It is original and no-one ever gets it right first time so I always have an ice-breaker when I meet new people.  Plus it has not been repeated on facebook so I am easy for people to find!  German, my surname, is also  very special.  My illegitimate paternal grandfather picked it out of the air going back a century ago – who knows why.  I prefer to believe that his reasons for doing so were in its possible meanings of brotherhood.  Germà in Catalan means brother and German as a first name means brotherly.  Perhaps his disappointment as not being acknowledged by his birth parents paved the way for him to be a socialist brother to so many.  All in all I am blessed with a truly special name.

We are free to change our names – there is no law stopping us only paperwork enabling us to do so.  I love my name.  My late father named me after a great actress – Glynis Johns, talented and sexy who is a wise and wonderful woman still going strong at over 80yrs.  There are two clubs on facebook for women named Glynis – they are closed groups only sorry!  We were 313 at last count and hail from all over the world with Afro Americans, hispanics, northern Europeans, Asians and beyond, all sharing this great name with most of us named after Ms Johns !

So, would you change your name that your parents loved up for you?  Not me, I am GG, Glynny, Sista Gee – call me what you want but preferably with love!

Summer loving

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I do!  Words to make me smile and feel good inside.  When we say these words, we open ourselves to a world filled with possibilities and maybe we shouldn’t limit saying these words in a wedding ceremony for magic to happen in our lives.

I enjoy my work as a wedding celebrant in Mallorca and love being a part of a day in which the highest degree of positivity is guaranteed. I insist on meeting the couple beforehand as I like my involvement to be more than just the day of the wedding. This gives me time to personalise the ceremony to fit with their beliefs and characters.

Here is a sample from the ceremony and my thoughts on marriage:

“Marriage is a commitment where two people create and contribute to a relationship based on peace, love and happiness.  In such a relationship, it becomes easy for both to value themselves so that in their giving, they are able to receive, without expectations of the other.  Both partners have their individual freedom to make positive choices based on their values.  In this way, each is free to realize that their loved one is not there to fulfill their needs but to support their growth in an atmosphere of respect, trust, cooperation and joy.   Marriage is the journey to discover the ways in which to grow and appreciate that life is to be lived and learned”.

I see my role as a sort of advisor too. I warn them to expect ups and downs, moments when they can’t cope with themselves anymore and where it is easy to blame their partner. A good marriage has a solid foundation and I remind the couple that values applied to themselves and what they wish for opens all sorts of constant magic between them, no matter what the situation.

Love is in the air

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Looking good!

What makes summer the perfect time to flirt, fall in love or even tie the knot?  The days are longer, the sun almost always shines (if you live in Spain that is!) and people smile a lot more.

To escape from the heat, we spend long days in the shade but come night fall if you are worth your weight in village gold, then you take your fold up chair and place it outside your house and spend hours into the night chatting with your neighbours and watching the world go by.

One wouldn’t imagine that love was possible from outside your front door on a village street where cars pass by occasionally, but love is there if you look hard enough.

Love of the cooler night air, love of the bonding and community that makes up having the perfect neighbours.  Love even of the little snacks offered between homes and love of the different pets who sit with their owners, yapping if they so desire or an occasional growl if the need arises.

So no new summer romance for me… yet!  But loving to love keeps me sane and preparing for a wedding tomorrow makes me excited.  One couple are spending today nervously preparing to tie the knot and I shall be there as their wedding celebrant, filled with love and wonder!

Happy days – viva el verano!