To change or not to change….

determination, dedication, celebrant, mallorca, spain, binissalem, education, values, ceremonies

This week has been a week of looking within, going within and above all being happy with what I have found there!  It was a week of decision making, not easy and the doubts loomed large but faded gradually into the distance as I made up my mind.

I felt my father’s presence and whilst I am not sure if I got his blessing, I certainly got my mother’s stamp of approval and her good wishes for whatever I was going to decide.  It was a silly thing but also huge.  It was a moment of stubbornness which transformed into determination, although those it impacted on might not see it that way… yet.

I am no longer English language assistant at my local high school.  Why?  Because I refused to get one form and that was the deal breaker if I was to continue.  The one form was not necessary last year when I was employed on the same job.  I had the equivalent form through the Spanish authorities last year and that was deemed more than sufficient for them.  Had I been looking at doing a different job this year, this form might have made sense although it was a form required by the British authorities to whom I had mistakenly applied to continue in the same job.  Confused?  So was I until the end!!

You see, bureaucrats do things differently to sensible people.  They follow orders, don’t seem to question a lack of logic and they certainly aren’t going to look upon people as individuals, oh Lordy no!  If you are a bureaucrat reading this, please tell me how you treat people as individuals because your colleagues referred to me as Dear assistant when they wrote me – and no, I wasn’t their dear!

I could have forked out sixty quid and applied for the ICPC (International Child Protection Certificate) and I could have spent hours working out the addresses of where I had lived 25 years ago in the UK along with the jobs I had back in the late 80s and early 90s.  I could have then spent more on translating the document into Spanish and getting an official stamp.  I chose not to.  Not because of the cost although what I would be earning is not a fortune!  I chose not to because last year I was not required to.  Last year I worked with the same young people amongst the same colleagues in the same institution and I was deemed okay to work with children by a certificate that the Spanish authorities required.  I was stubborn and refused to take instructions and apply for the form when asked to by the British authorities.

Mind you, I thought I was home free when, after months of reminding me, telling me, cajoling me about the form – to which I always informed them that I would not be applying for it – they finally wrote me in September and told me where I would be working come October 1st!  Home free I thought!!  I returned to my local high school on October 2nd, having prepared a digital presentation for the new 1st year students and another digital summary of how I spent my summer for the returning students I had taught last year.

Whilst the first two weeks nearly killed my soul and spirit, I rallied round after hearing César Bona speak at an educational conference.  He was voted Spain’s best teacher and one of 50 best teachers in the world.  I was inspired by his message – make it different for the students.  I went back on the Monday morning fired up and I was off.  It was a great week, hard work but rewarding in a weird sort of way too.

However, by the end of the week I was told I had been withdrawn from the programme for not complying with requirements of the ICPC.  Fair enough.  The Spanish local education authority were going to give me a second chance and if I applied for this form, they would keep me on.  I have not applied for the form.

Have I let the kids down?  Yes.  Have I let my colleagues down?  Yes.  Have I let myself down?  No.  It may appear to be a act of stubbornness or even pigheadedness – it certainly looked that way to me during the decision making process – but I am determined that I will do something worthwhile and not get side tracked by bureaucracy.

I am not a teacher is one thing I have learned.  The teachers who are great teachers actually impart their knowledge.  I entertain, I think I inspire a little bit and I generously share what I know.  I hope I get kids thinking when I’m with them, but I really don’t think I have anything to teach them.  I’ve been told the kids loved me and one colleague told me that “people like me are badly needed in the schools” whilst another told me “they won’t have your creativity and spontaneity and everything you transmit“.  Two students told their mother “I like her classes, tell her that she won’t be able to come to your yoga classes anymore if she leaves” and “tell her she can’t go, it’s thanks to her that English is so much fun“.  Those were moments when I doubted if what I was doing was the right thing and being swayed by my ego took all my strength not to back down.

On the day where I had to make my final decision, I had my last wedding of the season.  It was just the couple who had eloped from Canada.  I was more daring with these two than what I have normally been for a wedding and I chose not to give them the ceremony to approve prior to their big day – they agreed to this.  After the ceremony, they were so delighted and the groom was so amazed with my work that when I went to leave, he placed a tip in my hand.  To say I took this as a sign that I am doing the right thing is exactly what happened.  To say how much I appreciate his gesture means that words are not enough.  His generosity exceeded his showing me my worth with his act of kindness and for that I am truly grateful.

I made a decision at 16 years of age that I was not going to choose money over happiness and I am so glad I did so.  Whilst money is our right in order to live within the constraints put out by our society, it certainly is not going to have power over my choices for the trying to be the best I can be.  I am not at the school anymore but it doesn’t mean that I am not planning my next move.

Youngsters, you haven’t seen the last of me, but the classroom is not where I want it to happen – watch this space.

Advertisements

Sisterhood

Girlfriends' get together; sisterhood; best friends; support; fun

Girlfriends’ get together

We somehow manage to be our own worst enemies, women that is.  I see it all the time, that sneaky, down the nose look at another woman, generally a woman who is attractive and most often from another good-looking woman!

Not all women appreciate the health benefits of getting on with each other – some of those benefits are laughter, support, advice, being there when things get tough, the list is a long one.  I see how men compete with one another on many levels but they don’t waste time bitching about the other, it’s not personal for them.  I remember when my friend, before she became my ex-friend along with my ex-partner, proudly boasted how much better she got on with men.  I should have seen the writing on the wall then but blindly I thought she was joking!  Nothing would stop her in her goal to have men all around her, including my ex.  Women like her are the obvious ones at a party and it is guaranteed that nothing will stop them going after the good-looking guys, perhaps moving on if he’s married, perhaps not!  They are the ones who don’t look another woman in the eye if she is introduced to them, especially if the other woman is attractive.

I have always been a bit of an idiot by giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, naively hoping that they will change and see how wonderful women really are.  Then I realise that as long as we women don’t appreciate each other first and foremost, then we shall always be competitive of other women and lose out on the huge and amazing benefits.  The life-long friendships, support, picking up when we haven’t seen each other for years at a time, the beauty of having girlfriends goes on and on.

I actually prefer the company of women, always have and imagine nothing will change that now at my young 53 years. I come from a family of matriarchs – impressive women, intelligent, good-looking, kind, funny, just downright gorgeous women. I went to a girls’ boarding school and had the best time ever.  I look back with very fond memories of my time there and thank facebook for getting us back together again over the past few years.

I am also lucky that my girlfriends are truly amazing women and I am blessed with a fair few of them, from all over the world and scattered all over the world.  They are all good for so many things and all different in their way but the common thread weaving them together is their maturity and ever growing wisdom – I love them!

I was back in England for Christmas and I got together with a few.  On the Sunday between Christmas and New Year I had lunch with Diana, it has been about 10 years since we last saw each other and it felt like yesterday.  Then the next couple of days I spent with Anna, Sabrina and Daniella and what a feast of joy that was (our Mandy unfortunately couldn’t join us).  I was so proud of what my girlfriends have been achieving with their lives since we last saw each other.  Brianne is always there for me but sadly this time, I was full of flu and so just saw her briefly.  I use skype as another way to stay in touch and Lana, BFF is often there for good advice and cheer.  Sylvia is always on the end of the phone and dependable Virtu and Cati around the corner.  Ones I don’t see for years on end – the list is really long, believe me – are caught up with sporadically and we always feel like it is yesterday since we last spoke!  This list includes cousins and I have the best cousins in the world!  Of course top of the list of women in my life who are there for me include my mother and my two sisters!

So sistas, take a look around you and appreciate all the amazing women in your lives including the ones who haven’t realised it yet.  To my ex friend I say thank you for going off with my ex partner.  At the time it wasn’t nice, but it taught me to appreciate the women in my life and they helped me get through that dark chapter.  I don’t know what she’s doing right now as they are no longer together but I hope she has found some girlfriends that she trusts and can rely on – life is too short to do it on our own.

BTW, I really respect my friends’ husbands – they truly are some best friends worth having and I say thank you to them for allowing me time with their wonderful wives and never complaining when Glynny comes to visit!

 

 

 

 

Wasting no time

Tick box

Tick box

As you know I joined a dating site recently and had to prepare my profile which would hopefully interest would-be suitors.  So far, from a profile to profile point of view, I don’t see the connection and the few enquiries I have received are far off the mark.  I have therefore prepared a list of questions for would-be dating potentials!  Why?  Because I am going to cut to the chase and not waste my time or their’s.  And rather than a massive surprise later on down the road when I have invested time and energy to realise that this person is not what I expected him to be!

The questions I have in mind would go something like this:

What kind of car do you drive?  This is not because I am a car snob, in fact my favourite cars are the old Fiats and Seats.  No, this is because I want to know if you drive from nought to 120km and like an arse!  I want to know if you’re the driver who is up my backside in the fast lane when ahead there is a line of traffic and no-one is going anywhere either fast or slow!

Do you think that foreigners should go back to where they came from?  By this I mean black people!  If your views about people are based on the colour of their skin, I want to know now so that I don’t have to waste my life with you.  Too many of my younger years were spent being polite when white people got racist and I haven’t got the time or energy to deal with that now.

Do you get on with your mother?  I really hope so and that you respect her and show her so.  I hope she is the woman in your life for whom you drop everything to make sure she is okay and if she doesn’t live near by, you call her a couple of times a week and see her whenever you can.

Do you have a healthy relationship with your ex, the mother of your kids?  It’s not for me to become her best friend but if you have a negative relationship with her and you have kids together, then what does that say about you?

Do you have any money problems?  Yes, many of us struggle and I am right now, but I am paying my bills every month.  I don’t need or want anyone else’s financial concerns and I especially don’t want to see a man not paying his part in his life.

Do you smoke, do drugs, drink alcohol and get drunk easily and regularly?  Get a life, get help and grow up!  It impacts on everyone around you, never mind it not being healthy.

Do you watch porn or use porn to get it up?  Hmm, fantasy is a good thing but subjecting women to be servers of sex for your gratification….  nope, not interested!

Do you throw your litter away?  Do you recycle?  No?  Why the hell not!!

Do you find kids in general interesting?  This is a good indicator of whether it’s all about you or whether you are taking part in the bigger picture of humanity.  I like kids, all ages and especially teens.  I find them curious, interesting, alive and I am full of hope for them and their future.  If you are mentoring any then you’re the man for me!

Do you cook and do you enjoy it?  If you love your food and enjoy sharing and preparing, you’re the man for me!  And if you are concerned about what you put in your body and are conscious about source and are considering the feelings of all beings on the planet, I can’t wait to taste your cooking!

Do you dance?  Then I want you to me in your arms and hold me tight.  I want to feel your confidence and your strength exude through the music and fuse us together.  I want to feel your smile on my cheek and hear you whispering sweet nothings in my ear.  I will melt to be on the dance floor with you.

Do you have audacious plans and dreams for your future?  Yes?  Well so do I and they include you by my side.  I will support you, cheer you on, dream with you and enjoy having you by my side supporting me, cheering me on whilst still doing your own thing and going for it!  And you will never hold me back with petty jealousies and insecurities, wondering where I am and why I am not at home waiting for you!

In all of this I remain positive and especially love it when some awesome male friends remind me that there are some great guys out there.  One such message of hope from my good friend and brother, Eugene Skeef:

“Please don’t change, Glynis! Your guy is meditating out there somewhere in the hope of your ripples overlapping in the rhythm of true love…  You know, I imagine the world is heavily tipped to the side of poor sex/love. The poetry of making/forming/creating/sustaining/generating/envisioning love is mind-blowing!!!!!!! Your moment is just around the corner”

I look forward to meeting you!

 

 

 

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

 

Summertime

School gets out 20th June till 15th September, how awesome is that!

School gets out 20th June till 15th September, how awesome is that!

I love summer holidays!  Admittedly when I was a working mum it was tricky to juggle work and the kids but this summer I am not working and thus have time to relax with second born.  We have been easing into it with a bit a summer school last week and lots of hanging around the house with no rush to get up in the mornings or go to bed at night.  In fact, he’s still asleep now and I have peace and quiet for a little while longer.

The past year has been one long holiday since I gave up my full time job and I have never been happier.  I have taken this time to plant seeds and I don’t know about you but sometimes, once you’ve taken them out of the packet, it’s easy to forget what they were!  That’s how it’s been with me.  I have been putting out my dreams, planting them and watering them, most often forgetting about them and then suddenly, there they are – a little reality!

This is how it now is with the radio show, “The Happiness Café”.  The seed was planted in a conversation with someone over a year ago and this week I have just recorded the 5th programme with many more to go.  It was my dream to have a radio show but I didn’t know anything about radio and so how fab is it that Insel Radio are giving me the chance to make mistakes and hopefully put together something that people will want to listen to.  I have enjoyed five interviews with some wonderful inspiring and interesting people and I have a long list of many more to come!

First born is off to Vietnam in a week or so.  He is going for a month and visiting Thailand and Cambodia too!  He will travel with two friends who luckily seem more sensible than he is ie he’s too wrapped up in playing his guitar and having a good time to remember the basics!  I am nervous about this month long trip but can’t wait to hear his stories when he gets back and hopefully he won’t mind coming on the show and telling us all about it!  He wants to play his guitar with as many people as he can on his travels and he has decided that the time has come to move away from Mallorca and immerse himself in his music.  He is talented, focussed and determined, I can only wish him lots of joy and fun on that journey!

I think second born and I shall take in some day trips and go to places on this island that we don’t really know, lots of beach days with friends and then visit my mum in August and hopefully see the rest of my family too.

I shall enjoy more weddings, immerse myself in happy times and above all relax on this island of calm!  Vivan las vacaciones!  Enjoy your summer folks!

 

 

Keeping positive

Which direction?

Which direction?

It’s all go in my head and the voices don’t stop chatting, so much is going on!  I cannot believe that January shot by and yet what a great start to a new year.  I came back from London and spending quality time with my dear mother Patricia.  I celebrated 52yrs young.  We had our St Antoni bonfire and mud abounded in my house for days afterwards.  The Peace Centre project wounded down slowly but morphs into something new, something mysterious, can’t quite pin my finger on it though.  However, I can see for now that I am due elsewhere and so say adieu.

We celebrated a special new moon at the end of January and I felt it’s power propelling me onto the road ahead which after decades of “road closed due to road works” is open again.  My car has a half tank of petrol and there’s a gas station up ahead ready to fill me up for the next journey.  How exciting is that!  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better I realised that yes it can,yes it can!

What I am realising is that the chorus of voices (yup, I know, I admit it, I hear them loud and clear) can cheer me up or tear me down.  It’s up to me to choose which ones I listen to and I know which ones I prefer.  The tearer downers can have their space as they give a little comedy to it all and I like comedy.  “Useless old cow” is one of their favourite expressions but the cheerer uppers shout them down with “sassy and sexy bird” and I’ll go with that!  If I’m going to be likened to a creature then I want to be the one that soars above all this and gets the birdeye view of what is possible.

I am sharing a TEDx talk by Devon Harris, Jamaican athlete and member of the bobsled team that took Jamaica to the Winter Olympics in 1998.  The voices were not only in his head but all around when they decided to compete in a sport with no history at all on my island of birth.  They were loud, obnoxious voices at times, deriding and sneering when they felt like it.  He and his team mates heard them, most probably cowered from them, possibly even believed them at times but it didn’t stop them from training, competing and going back for more in other years.  What an inspiration he is!  He has six rules by which he lives his life and I have these printed out now:

1.    Decide what you want

2.    Take responsibility for your life

3.    Be clear about your why

4.    Believe it is possible

5.    Take action

6.    Keep pushing

Thank you Mr Harris, I am going for it.  This year of the horse is to see me graceful in all that I do, strong and focussed and in control of my life and my head.

Keep those thoughts positive folks – the other voices can hang out there, maybe in time they’ll start to listen!  Good journey to all!

Talk by Devon Harris – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2WVuxtuEdc

 

 

Life on holiday

Away from the madding crowds - keeping it a secret!!

Away from the madding crowds – keeping it a secret!!

It’s now a month since I parted company with my wonderful old employers at Planet Space.  I have since been to London to celebrate a year on from my dad’s passing.  We held a special memorial in Clapham and it was great to meet so many new siblings!  He was a father to many and to hear young adults remember their first meeting with him when they were young teens was an honour and a treat.  My mother was a natural comedian and had us all in stitches recounting some of his early life stories when we weren’t even a twinkle in their eyes.

First born played a Bob Marley song on the guitar and sang and brought the house down and all in all, the week’s trip to UK was a time to heal and get closer to my real sibs!  Thanks to my sistas for some powerful moments.

I came back to Mallorca with the intention of taking it easy in July and August but life has a way of changing your plans.  My first powerful example of manifestation happened on the 12th July when I received an out of the blue email with a most precious and generous gift – use of a finca to set up my centre for self transformation through learning!  This project was scheduled for September onwards and included looking for a finca in which to set up a centre.  As that manifestation was so easy, I had fun playing around with other requests and so far I have found some amazing people who are eager to get involved.  The quality of people who are coming into my life right now are bright, creative, positive, focussed and I am excited with what’s ahead.

I had the stand up comedy course last weekend and what fun we had.  Logan Murray came over once again to facilitate the course and although we were 9 signed up, 2 dropped out at the last minute.  That didn’t detract from spending a weekend with 6 other creative people and having so much fun.  It was a great group and although this was the 3rd time I have done the workshop, this group differed in that the connection was instant from the word go.  Thanks to them for a great weekend and we certainly had fun putting on another great comedy show on the Sunday evening.  The setting was perfect, the crowd was adorable and I look forward to more moments on stage.

Mallorca was on fire in more ways than one and a significant part of the island was affected by a huge fire last weekend.  Luckily no one died but there was alot of personal losses to many.  It has been an interesting observation for me – it wasn’t in my part of the island so I watched from afar.  It was inspiring to see collaboration and teamwork not only from the professionals who are trained in that but from the locals who were ready to step in and help at any time.  The powers of prayer surely helped although rain didn’t come down and temperatures didn’t drop.  My thoughts are with the man who started the fire through his carelessness and I think I will take a lesson from him to be attentive and careful with my actions – in word, thought and deed.

Enjoy your summer!

Freedom

Time to wait

Imagine living in a fragile cage.  Anger, frustration and lack of reason are your house mates.  Living on the edge of sanity and reason your daily experience, trust and confidence unknown to you.  I recently had my first visit to the prison and that was my impression.  It’s a mad world! Fragile because it was like visiting a house of cards, a matter of time before it all tumbles down.  There was a feeling of false cheer, wives and girlfriends were dressed up, the few children on great behaviour, parents and grandparents resigned.  The workers were respectful, I even bumped into someone I haven’t seen for years who was surprised to see me there but relieved when I said I was visiting a friend, he even saved me using a euro for the locker by holding onto my keys!  A neighbour done for drink driving was luckily on the outside doing time but sympathised with the state of the place – cockroach motel as my friend has renamed it.

We all make mistakes but is the justice system in Spain fair?  I can’t speak for other places as this is home to me.  Whilst the corrupt and wicked are running this country along with the banks and corporations, the misguided are doing time in prison.  A day of cold showers, bad cooking, pointless wanderings and too much time on their hands to ponder their situations.  Rules, rules and more rules occupy their minds and keep their families and loved ones in place – not much more for them to do.

Freedom, what’s that?  It has to be the choice we make on dealing with our situations; our attitudes towards what’s happening all around us.  Am I grateful that my life experience doesn’t include this lesson.  It’s a hard one and my sympathies are with the wives and mothers on the outside.