Gratitude

The attitude is gratitude!

The attitude is gratitude!

 

I have been adopting a new morning routine which incorporates being grateful.  This has been wonderful waking up every morning and spending 5 minutes taking time to centre myself and then write a list of what makes me grateful.  They range from my beautiful sons and what they may have said or done; the church bells; the birds outside my window – the list goes on.

Yesterday wasn’t the same though.  I was most ungrateful to have been woken by my neighbour and his hobby of knocking up bits of wood just before 7am and I was not impressed.  It’s interesting how one thing that’s out of sync can knock me back.  I groaned and tried to go back to sleep.  I have to say that my bedroom window is still open for another month and that my room gives over the back yard which is penned in by 4 other neighbours so one can hear everything.

Gratitude – how important is it and how easy is it?  It’s simple when I’m doing well and on top of the world but boy oh boy, it’s a hard slog when I am not feeling good about stuff.  So how important is it?  I realised yesterday that I really have to go beyond the sounds of my neighbour doing his woodwork at 7 in the morning and keep myself centred in me and not lose the gratitude thread.  If I depend on silence and sweet sounds of birds to feel grateful, then I am in trouble!

The day did get better.  I was grateful for the social security office to be efficient and give me the paper I needed.  I was grateful for Guillem in the bank to be enthusiastic about his job and love doing new things like my insurance claim.  I was grateful to dry my washing on the line.  I was grateful to be organised and leave supper ready for the boys as I went off to Palma.  And I was extremely grateful to have so much fun and laughter in my improvisation class in the evening.

I learned a valuable lesson in improv yesterday and that was to be present and trust in myself, my partner or situation of the moment.  I shall take that lesson with me today and the rest of the week and apply it to whatever situation I find myself in.  I am grateful above all for the lesson.

Enjoy your week and being grateful is the first step towards a better life!

And remember to smile, be grateful that you can!

 

Living without Facebook, part II

Going gets tough!

Last week I challenged myself to a week without facebook and I survived!  It was more difficult at the weekend when I am not so busy and I was excited on Saturday thinking that by Sunday morning I would be able to check my facebook again.  It slowly dawned on me during the day that no, Sunday couldn’t and wouldn’t happen as that would not add up to a week!  Maths was never my strong point!  So Sunday I spent anxiously wondering what was happening there in cyberworld of friendship and fun!

Monday morning, I had to do the school drop off but needed to post about the radio show before I left so on I hopped, facebook I was back!  99 notifications, 8 messages and 4 friend requests from people I didn’t know!  Hmmm.  This was not the welcome I had imagined as most of those notifications were unimportant and the messages I would have preferred to have received by email.

So what has it been like and what have and learned?  Well, for one it is easy to live without facebook but in my case I recognise that I need a lot of discipline if I am to go back on it.  I returned Monday, checked through things and then decided I would have another week without it.  Why?  Because I waste a lot of my time on facebook, there you have it – waste!  It’s not bringing me an income, it’s not teaching me anything new (some links can prove to be very interesting but they are not facebook) and if anything, it is taking up a lot of my time just scrolling through other people’s lives.

It is quite a useful tool in some ways especially for my radio show, The Happiness Café.  I always look for interesting events to share in my what’s up section.  I also find a way to get a response if I need to know something for my radio show as I do like to have people’s opinions on whatever subject I’ll be looking at.  From that point of view I do miss it but from the friendship point of view there’s nothing better than an in the flesh meeting of friends!  I have caught up with two wonderful and interesting mums this week, career coach Julie and yoga clothes designer Sue.  I will look forward to taking time out to do that on a regular basis – there are some fascinating parents at the school.  I am also realising that I can use the time I have in a more constructive manner and so I am now getting ready to write 50000 words for a story I want to tell.  This will start on 1st November for 10 weeks.  I was going to do the NaNoWriMo challenge which is to write that amount in 30 days but I am going to set myself a reasonable time frame in which to do it as this is something huge for me – I have a fascinating story to share.  Watch this space!

I am also pleased to have spent time in a one-on-one coaching session with the fun and focussed Happiness Strategist Carl Massy.  I was honoured to have him on my radio show back in August and he promised me this special opportunity.  Yesterday he brought me clarity and focus to quite a few issues so I shall enjoy starting some new projects these coming weeks.  My brother Deuan is also a great support and he has me focussing on some new agreements to make up some new and healthy habits.  He has persuaded me to get a buddy here in Mallorca to help me stick to the new agreements.  Welcome on board to my lovely “bossy” friend Marsha and we both agree that our bossiness will help this next venture!  I am looking forward to new morning routine, gratitude, to do lists and a lot lot more!

So leaving facebook has been a blessing.  I am more energised and more focussed.  I am also being more creative and above all, I am making time to connect to people.  I feel blessed to be living in a magical time right now, creating, connecting and caring!  I do recommend living without facebook – it’s fun!

I’m off then, off to Marsha’s for a cup of tea and an egg sandwich and supporting each other in our new habits!  I like this time!

Carl Massy, Happiness Strategist        http://www.carlmassy.com/

Tips for creating new habits                  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/18-tricks-to-make-new-habits-stick.html

The Happiness Café radio show          http://mallorcasunshineradio.com/

Rebirthing and rewriting “his”story

Conscious breathing

Conscious breathing

I had the most incredible session of rebirthing this week with one of the mums from the school who dedicates her life to accompanying people on this journey.  I must add that about 30 years ago, I spent a weekend in the company of old women at a rebirthing weekend workshop (I was in my early 20s and these women must have been in their 40s and above)!  That turned out to be a life changing event with two beautiful past life experiences.  However, from what this mother was telling me about her rebirthing work, it seemed to be slightly different, but I was open to going along to a session with her and I did just that and am so happy to have done so.

What is rebirthing?  It is a simple and gentle yet powerful conscious breathing technique as well as a powerful healing method which offers one an experience of freedom and mastery in their life.  Well, it opened up some major healing for me and extended to other generations of my family too.  To explain then.

Estrella the rebirther began the session having instructed me not to wear any perfumes or colognes and to dress comfortably.  She warned me to expect to be with her for about 3 hours.  I arrived at her beautiful and welcoming home in Mancor de la Vall with the sun shining through the open window of her studio where she rebirths her clients.  She began the session with a professional and informative introduction as to what she does and I immediately felt secure and safe as well as impressed by her confidence and knowledge.  She talked about the three pillars of rebirthing – conscious breathing, spiritual awakening and connecting to the elements, more or less that as I cannot remember very clearly as the rest of the session blew me out of this world!

I was ready to go and so we began the first part of the session which basically makes up most of the work and that of the conscious breathing.  I lay down for the beginning of this and even though breathing is something we automatically do every moment of every day of our lives, conscious breathing is an altogether different experience.  It was not so much as uncomfortable although there were moments in the beginning which were difficult but it was more liberating when I got into the rhythm of it.  It was a very peaceful feeling as I sunk deeper and deeper into the experience.  I then changed position to a sitting up one – I think I was tending towards deep sleep which is not encouraged – and this is where things started to get intense.

Suddenly I felt myself well up into such an emotion of pain that I couldn’t speak, words were stuck in my throat, they couldn’t escape!  The realisation of a family secret and shame that should never have been were there, trying to get out.  The story here spoke of my paternal grandfather, Arthur Lionel Clewes German, a man I never knew.  A man, born illegitimate, to a wealthy, adulterous couple, for they were married but not to each other at his inception.  Arthur Lionel, angry at his fate, never allowing his birth mother to step over his threshold although my own father’s memories of her had her arriving in her Rolls Royce laden with presents for her six grandchildren.  As I breathed and cried out in pain, I saw clearly my grandfather’s mistake – he was born in love, from love and his birth mother continued to always love him.  He rejected her as surely she had abandonned him to a humble and modest family with no money for education and furthering his career.  His work on the mines fed his anger and he worked tirelessly for justice for the miners and was a loyal and devoted husband and father.  I fed love into my breathing and took in forgiveness and recognition in same breaths.  Arthur Lionel, you did what was best although forgiveness didn’t play a part and you died suddenly at age 59 at work one day.

As surely as the pain gripped me, it subsided and I felt at peace along with incredible love for my parents and siblings, for my nieces and nephews, for my sons, for my aunts and uncles and cousins – in Wales and over in the Caribbean and Americas.  Love raced through my breathing, filling me, expanding within me and it felt good.  Of course, this is a journey and just as I had left behind Arthur Lionel, Stanley Leopold Bell, father of my mother, presented himself.  Tears mixed with laughter accompanied this meeting.  Oh the beautiful irony of the fact that just now, at this stage of my life, I realised I never knew my grandfathers and the one grandfather I knew and grew up with, Ernest John “Monty” Montgomery, had never fathered a child.  He brought me magic throughout my childhood along with adventure and curiosity.  The bittersweet irony wasn’t lost on me as I continued to breathe love and appreciation to all the men in my family who have been exceptional and present fathers to their children.  I forgave myself for my limitations, for my mistakes in love, for my fears of intimacy and I breathed life back into myself and my family.  All was good, everything was settled and realisations made their presence known.

Estrella brought me back to the room, to the present moment, settled me into a cocoon of blankets and love and left me to absorb this new energy, this clean and pure moment for myself.  After ten minutes, she came back to me and together we rejoiced in the complexity and simplicity of life and my rebirthing session came to an end.

And today, a couple of days on from this incredible journey to the past and back, I am settled and confident that I can bring to peace and closure to my past and to the past of my birth family.

Thank you.

Rebirthing with Estrella del Pozo (Spanish)                               http://mallorcarenace.wordpress.com/

British Rebirth Society                                                                        http://www.rebirthingbreathwork.co.uk/

Living without Facebook

descarga

I suddenly had the thought a few days ago to go a week without facebook!  This idea occurred to me in the early, waking hours of Saturday, a day in which I was going to be out of the house for most of it.  I had a renewal of vows ceremony to perform and then I was off to translate a weekend workshop on 5Rhythms.  The thought came out of nowhere, or did it?  My first born is the first to criticise the amount of time I spend on facebook and it’s true, I do spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of the computer especially with my cyber family.  When the thought came to me, it seemed so right and here I am, nearly half way through my week of living without facebook.

Surprisingly, it’s been quite easy!  I set things up on Sunday evening because of course I had to up-date my status and let people know I wasn’t going to be there!  Need I have bothered?  Interestingly, it seems that nobody has missed me!  I informed people as to where they might find me ie telephone numbers and email address but so far, all is quiet.  What did that tell me?  I realised that I had allowed my real relationships to fall by the wayside.  Simply put, I have not been good at maintaining my friendships.  We are so busy, or are we?  I certainly have no excuses!  I am blessed to not be working this year so I don’t have the excuse of a 9 to 5 job!  How is it that I spend most of my time locked away in my home, sat in Binissalem, preferring to communicate with a laptop and connection via WIFI?!

Day one started off well.  I met a couple of the mums at school drop off and had tea.  As I only do the school drop off once a week, this was quite a treat!   The mums at the school are wise women.  Petra is a creative and giving woman whom I have known for years and it is so special to make time to catch up with her.  She is a grounding energy but light at the same time, always ready with a reminder to not sweat the small stuff!  Irene, a new contact for me, is an interesting woman from Argentina and we talked about playfulness, childhood and education – subjects quite dear to all of our hearts especially given that we have chosen to send our children to an “eco” school.  Then I went home and I did what I had promised myself to do and that was to write my blog finding time still to have my weekly catch up phone call with great friend Sylvia!

Mondays is also the day to look forward to improvisation classes and this week was class number two.  I was very nervous this time, more nervous than the first time but once there the nerves settled.  However, the insecurity didn’t!  What is it about playing that can be so difficult for so many of us?  Mind you, this is a journey for me so I am going to keep plugging away until I find what it is I am looking for which is freedom to express myself without fear.  On my way to improvisation (I take the train) I chatted with Alexandra, a Dutch teacher in the Spanish public system and how refreshing to hear her news.  She was at the Education for Life conference recently and inspired by the speakers, she has introduced meditation to her 9 – 11yr olds at school.  The shocking thing she shared with me is the fact that she doesn’t actually have the time to do this within the structure of the school day so hats off to her for making the time.

Tuesday’s deep and meaningful conversations with were Estrella, another mother from the school who introduced me to Ariella, an American woman living in Holland and visiting Mallorca with her daughter.  Estrella will be my new teacher.  Tomorrow I have a rebirthing session with her and I hope to remove some blockages and nonsense that I don’t need in my life anymore – more will be revealed later!  Ariella hopes to come and live in Mallorca and we spoke about midwifery and soul-midwifery amongst other things.  I hope she comes back.

My whatsapp group of the Goddesses always keeps me filled and I hope to catch up in person with them before too long.  An amazing bunch of women from all over the world and currently residing in Mallorca – all the beautiful brainwave of Cloe Collette, a talented artist.  She, Ruth, Emmeline, Anna, Aleid, Daniella, Rita and many more interesting women share events and ideas via this application and next week there is a creative get-together to which I am not sure if I can go yet but thinking about it now, I think I shall make the effort and join them!  It’s time to learn to sew as I keep seeing things that need mending.

Today Wednesday, I come from yoga with Eva and I am so thankful and grateful for these classes – twice weekly and thrice needed!  Eva is a dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher.  Her soft voice encourages me to keep trying and although a lot of the postures are still a goal to reach, I am getting there slowly.

I shall also record my weekly radio show for the Happiness Café and I am delighted that I shall be speaking to a man who is preparing for an interesting weekend conference on energy, economy and ecology!  More about him on the show so don’t forget to tune in next Monday at 10am!

Well, now I am not on facebook I have time for other things like cleaning my house so I shall crack on with that!  Have a great week and talk to someone today!

Improvisation with Gori (Spanish)               goriartieda@gmail.com

Eco school Sa Llavor                                         www.sallavor.es

Yoga with Eva (bilingual)                                emdemiguel@gmail.com

The Happiness Café                                          www.mallorcasunshineradio.com

Education for Life                                              www.pocapoc.org

Sacred Valley Dialogues conference on Energy, Economy and Ecology 24 – 26th October 2014 Soller contact Christer Soderberg (christer@sacredvallydialogues.org)

5Rhythms Dance – Workshop Mallorca

Jessica Howe, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher

Jessica Howie, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher

 

What a weekend!  When life does its twists and turns and leads you to places you normally wouldn’t go, be prepared for surprises!  That’s what happened as to how I found myself at the 5Rhythms weekend workshop with Jessica Howie.  My friend Helen Burns saw a post on facebook asking for a translator for the weekend and recommended me – thanks Helen, so appreciate the synchronicity!  Tracy Courtney, organiser of the weekend and a very good one too, arranged it all and even though I was going to be late for joining, show up I did and just in time.

I arrived and immediately felt a deep connection to teacher, mother, instructor, inspiration – Jessica Howie.  What a presence, what a woman and what a connection between us, it was immediate and intense and so began this journey to a place I now wonder why I’ve never been there before!

5Rhythms is a dynamic movement developed by the late, great Gabrielle Roth and is an invitation to anyone, regardless of age, to join in, and if you have a beating heart and a willingness to move, then this is a practise for you.  So what did I expect?  Well, I was nervous about translating as that is not a talent I associate with myself and I busied myself with finding out new vocabulary (apologies for mistakes) and to be honest, I really didn’t give much thought to 5Rhythms itself but I was open and willing to share myself to the experience.

My first impressions were liberating which I believe is the whole experience of 5Rhythms – there are no mistakes, there is no right or wrong and how wonderful is that?  I loved the fact that the floor forms part of the experience of dance as strange as that may sound.  It gave me such freedom to feel that space needn’t be the air around us but what we can touch too.

The five rhythms are flow, stacatto, chaos, lyrical and stillness and during the weekend, participants explored all of them.  Apparently joining them together is a wave (lots to learn still).  The experience is full on participatory and everyone spent the weekend moving, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast, sometimes pausing, sometimes connecting with another.  It was a powerful connection to self and to the tribe.  The music chosen and put together by Jessica touched every cell in me – she has hundreds of songs and sounds so getting a song list from the weekend is not going to be easy!  Each rhythm has it’s choice of sound from dance music, to drums, to piano, to voice and all the sounds uplifted, stirred something, connected, moved – it was a feast of the senses.

Jessica’s presence as maestro during the weekend was central to the experience.  She was soft, caring, present and instilled a sense of security right from the start.  Everyone there was safe to explore, secure in themselves to be, experience, connect, discover and how beautiful was it to witness.  I was the observer and I felt at times a deep longing to join and lose myself in the dance and I was  fortunate to have moments in which to do so, and none so precious as the moment of flying with Jessica inside the sacred circle of the group.

When we ended the day after 13 hours of intensity, the group (22 participants) had moved into a close space together.  They had worked on incredible heart connection over the weekend, especially the second day and by the end were ready to be physically close to each other.  Time to finish meant that Jessica felt that she could share words with the group and as we walked towards them, she and I, I saw a mother walking towards her children to share her appreciation and her love with them – touching, beautiful and so powerful.  And in the sharing at this time, Jessica’s real mother, allowed for the first time to participate on one of her workshops, shared how she felt as a mother, having her daughter be her teacher.  I agree – there is a teacher in all of us and sometimes the teacher remains hidden.  In the case of Jessica Howie, the teacher is very much alive and I know that she is there for this lifetime.  Jessica and to all the participants – Tracy, Lynne, Helen, Debbie, Alice, Ana, Chique, Maria José, Alex, Habiba, David – too many to name or even remember right now – thank you for the connection, the true and sincere connection for our hearts, it was a pleasure to dance the 5rhythms with you.

 

For more about 5Rhythms with Jessica Howie – http://www.jessica5rhythms.com

For more about 5Rhythms Dance Mallorca – dancemallorca@gmail.com