The Journey

Sometimes the signs are clear and it’s easy to know where to go, but often there’s confusion and a sense of trepidation too.  Since deciding that I would give up my safe and secure job with guaranteed income back in June 2013, life has been an interesting journey.

In all of it, I have had to really work my trust and faith in believing that everything would “turn out” just fine.  Interestingly of course, there is no end in sight to tick off “turn out” turned out just fine, as it is an ongoing process called living!  My life’s “car” can have the tyres pumped, tank filled, oil checked, water in the wipers and the GPS connected, but if I don’t put the key in the ignition and start the engine, I’m not going anywhere!  And when I do start the engine, what if there are road works and I get diverted?

Life is as simple or as complicated as we make it and there are times when I just want to turn off the engine and park for a while.  Then there are the times when the road is clear, it’s long and straight and I like to fly down the middle of it, hair flowing in the wind, a song on my lips and joy in my heart!

I keep moving though, slowly in heavy traffic or zippy and pumped when the road is clear to enjoy a sun shining kind of ride!  If I break down, what am I going to do?  Sit and cry?  Forever?  No, I find a solution, maybe I do sit and cry for a moment, but then I fix the problem and get going again.

I think I have realised that it is so day to day this thing called living.  Next year really doesn’t matter if I can’t appreciate today.  Tomorrow is always going to come, in its own way.  I have to keep my car ready but at times I may leave the doors open and things will fall out and get lost.  And some days I might just want to pull over, stop for a while and contemplate the horizon.

My life three years ago was busy, at times stressful, with no time to just be.  In the three years since, I have done so much that I’m proud of – The Happiness Café weekly radio show; providing meaningful ceremonies for weddings and funerals; facilitating a monthly Death Café in my village; volunteering at a local hospice ward; writing my blog; being at home with my boys and my animals; connecting with interesting people at home and abroad; even starting a Peace Centre for a while and all along, being me.  I may be financially poorer for now, but I am creatively and inspiringly richer.

I am happy I made the decision to search for something different as the difference has been clear – I have more time for me and more time to be, something I value greatly in this busy world

 

Down to Earth – a journey to inspire

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I was delighted to attend my favourite cinema in Palma recently, Cine Ciutat, for the pre screening of Down to Earth, a film described as a mirror to humanity.  The film was made by Rolf Winters and Renata Heinen and their three children and is about their journey around the world meeting indigenous peoples charged with keeping humanity’s wisdom alive.

The film was inspiring in its simple message – live in the now, take only what you need from Mother Earth and stay connected to her in nature.  Perhaps the message of “slowing down” could be the starting point for those of us fortunate to enjoy the film yesterday.

This beautifully made film, shot on location around the world from the Amazon, Ecuador to the Northern Territory in Australia, covered the family’s journey across six continents and the young family learned from the elders, those wise ones, about the importance of connecting to nature.

Afterwards we were treated to having the family – bar Zoeli, the eldest child – answer questions and give us their thoughts and reflections on their journey.  The two younger children, Skye, some 15 years and Levy, 11 years now, impressed everyone with their maturity and natural wisdom and it was a delight to see them comfortably growing up.  As the questions could have gone on all night, it was suggested we take our message from the film home with us and I did so, with great consequences!

For me the film was a reminder of the importance of staying connected with nature and I am blessed to not only live on a beautiful island, but also in a small town surrounded by nature where it is easy to get out into her on a regular basis.  I feel I am blessed as quite frankly the idea of living in a city or having a regular 9 to 5 scares me witless.  The best thing I ever did was to give up my job two and a half years ago and start my own journey, albeit here in Mallorca!

I will take the message of staying in the now, not dwelling on the past or focussing on a future of what if’s and maybe’s, something I have been trying to do these past couple of years.  I shall also persevere with letting go and what better result of having done that this week than having four more weddings confirmed as soon as I did so!  I had decided that I was willing to let what needs to come into my life and bam, the magic happened.

Down to Earth is a beautiful journey with an important message.  There is nothing we need except what is our human right on earth – safe shelter, food and water.  The Earth Guardians are simple in their living and wise beyond their years.  Why?  Because they are connected to God, to Mother Nature, to their source and to themselves, something so many of us find hard to do.

Thanks to Christer Soderberg, another Earth Guardian here in Mallorca, responsible for being inspired by Renata and Rolf and for filling the cinema to bursting!

Down to Earth – http://www.downtoearthfilm.com

Living and dying

I recently went to an event at the people’s cinema in Palma, Cine Ciutat, organised by Dona Sana Feminista.  Various clips of films showing different dying scenes were shown.  The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro), based on the true story of a man who spent 28 years fighting for the right to end his life was shown as well as The English Patient, One True Thing and Whose Life is it Anyway.

The event, “La muerte forma parte de la vida” (death forms part of life), also heard the views on death and dying from two eminent and respected doctors.  Dr Carlos Barra, member of the Spanish association Derecho a Morir Dignamente (the right to die with dignity), and Dr Enric Benito, senior consultant in palliative care and in charge of the Balearic palliative care units.

What struck me about the clips and the debate afterwards was firstly that the topic of death is everywhere.  From Death Cafés taking place all over the world in which the subject discussed is death – my own participation in this has monthly meetings well attended here on the island – to end of life care, soul midwifery, green burials – it’s become a 21st century concern and a one that is changing perceptions everywhere.

Dr Barra talked about freedom of choice, democracy and dignity whilst Dr Benito talked about spirituality and transcendence almost promoting healthy dying.  They agreed on dignity and that things need to change in terms of care and support as well as choices.  I felt that whilst it is important that dignity and choice are paramount for people in moments of pain, what wasn’t discussed is how we live life.  Dr Benito did touch upon this by suggesting that people die like they have lived.  The room seemed to take an in breath at such a suggestion but I liked what he said.

What does that mean, to me?  Choose a life of happiness is a start.  Choosing relationships that allow me to grow, choosing to learn from challenging moments in my life, choosing good health over medication – the list goes on.  I chose home births for my two boys.  Why?  Because I could.  I had healthy pregnancies and I wanted them to be born to people they knew, in a setting that was calm, quiet and above all, stress free.  I could have chosen a hospital birth with strangers, maybe the same doctor who would have seen me throughout my pregnancy might have been there.  Along with bright lights, forms to fill out, questions to answer – but that wasn’t for me.  My list of choices affects the education of my children preferring small and alternative to big and standard; my working habits at this age of my life have also been chosen with me in mind.  In fact I have never been poorer financially as I am now, having chosen to give up a well paid job some years ago to forge ahead in a new direction – one that is satisfying, one that is helping others and one that fulfils me.  When I die, I shall chose to die in a healthy way, whether I am ill or not.

I remember my good friend Rufus who died of cancer some years ago.  He was well supported by his partner, my good friend Jo, and lots of friends besides.  The weekend before his death, we friends gathered at his home to support him and Jo.  We knew that Rufus wanted to die there and we wanted to respect his wishes as much as possible, but at the same time, this was a decision that affected Jo too.  It was decided that he would go to Hospital Joan March, up near Bunyola, where they have a specialised, palliative care unit.  He was admitted on the Saturday.  The care there was excellent.  It was attentive, it was peaceful, it was accommodating and it was filled with love and light.  Over the next days, Rufus received many visits and Jo was supported at all times.  Between the friends and the hospital staff, the end soon came.  When I arrived there in the middle of the night a few minutes after Rufus had left his body, I entered a room with Jo at his side and a nurse in the background.  I shall always remember her name – Consuelo (comfort) – and I shall always remember her, not for anything she said but for all that she did by being there, close to Jo to support her in that moment and allowing Rufus to go to sleep, forever.

I want to die like Rufus should ever I become ill.  He was dignified whilst ill, conscious to the last whilst ill, medicated for the pain whilst ill and above all, alive and happy whilst ill.  He never complained and I think his acceptance of what was going on in his life helped him.  He died like he lived – as himself and with a greater wisdom and a dignity which was all his.

 

8 years on…

Father and sons

Father and sons

Can you believe it?  Eight years ago I was about to embark on a most terrifying journey – divorce!  It was the most crushing summer of my life, nothing compared to the pain I went through and my immature way of handling things.  I hurt, wow did I hurt.  I was angry and that’s not a nice state of being to either experience or to witness.  During this journey my parents were my rock.  Although I never talked in depth to my dad about things, he was the one who initiated all the telephone calls, handing me over to my mother to go deeper into things.  I got through through all of it thanks to their unwavering support – to me, the boys and to the boys’ father too, they never stopped respecting him as their father.

My best friend Lana, godmother to second born, was also my rock.  She was between living here and back home in Croatia that year but she was there at the end of the phone or right by my side when she would visit.  She was the voice of reason, the voice of calm, the voice of practical common sense and thanks to her I was able to make sure that on a practical, financial level, everything was taken care of for the boys.

It is now eight years since and I rejoice at having received the gift of final separation of a relationship which had fallen dead on its feet without either of us realising at the time.  The journey has been intense and so worthwhile.  I have learned that I do eat more when stressed and I envy all those women who lose tons of weight when they separate, alas it was not meant to be for me!!

I also discovered some really good girlfriends who have been there for me during those hard times and since.  Interestingly enough most of them have left Mallorca since and whilst I miss them very much, I recognise that they were here at a very important time of my life and I thank them from the bottom of my heart – they helped rebuild me.  I am learning to reconnect with people again, slowly but I am getting there and I am starting to see a way forward.

I have done a lot of great things since that summer of 2007.  I went back to work and enjoyed five and a half years in the best job I ever had, working for Planet Space.  I still enjoy connecting with my old bosses and colleagues from time to time, taking along a cake for them to enjoy or just popping in.  I started a Peace Centre which was an ambitious project, stalled but not forgotten.  I have my own weekly radio show, “The Happiness Café” every Monday morning at 10am on Mallorca Sunshine Radio – there’s a plug you can’t ignore!  I am proud of that show and what it stands for and invite you to follow.

The best of all is now, 8 years on, as my ex, our sons’ father has come to live next-door-but-one!  Yes he has taken number 2 in our street and there is only number 4 between our houses.  I am so happy, my hand on my heart, this is the best thing to have happened to our family and no words can describe the joy I feel at having Rob living nearby.  To see how happy the boys are is to feel that Rob and I have come a long way since June 2007.  He still annoys the hell out of me but I am doing his washing until he gets his own washing machine.  The laugh I had with first born when he realised I was hanging out his dad’s washing is priceless – you should have seen the two of us in the garden with me begging him not to tell his friends!  Second born is just a happy bunny, he doesn’t like us arguing but hey, we’re still learning, his father and I!

 

Energetic Wisdom – Yes Please!

energetic wisdom; Tony Mills; healing; Mallorca

The Soul Whisperer

That is the face of an incredible man!  I had the pleasure to go see him yesterday for an appointment in Energetic Wisdom work and arrived promptly for my appointment at his beautiful cottage in the countryside of Lloseta.  The backdrop to the house when I arrived was stunning, the Serra de Tramuntana which never fails to uplift me.

What did I expect?  Well first of all good friend Marsha had been going on about him any chance she could, so I knew he must have something.  I was looking forward to having someone sort out my ankle and shoulder and knowing that he trained originally as an osteopath, I thought, if nothing else he could have a quick tweak for me.

As it turned out, I just had to get comfortable in my chair and take in this lovely, kind Welsh man’s wisdom.  He told me about geopathic, underground water and electro-magnetic stresses and the negative effects they can have on us.  As a way to handle this, Tony has developed some beautiful jewellery to help combat such stress and is available for house harmonising work too.  I remembered that the electricity company changed all the meters last year and I don’t like having it in my house so I think I shall need to purchase something soon.

He began with a quick look over my body and with his tools of the trade he rebalanced what he could.  It was then onto what I thought I needed to deal with.  As my appointment earlier in the week had to be cancelled due to a migraine, we decided that this was as good a place to start as any.

My earliest memory of my migraines was the day I started my drama course at Middlesex Poly, back in 1986.  I had trekked across London to Golders Green and what with the excitement, nerves and basic stagefright, I ended up crashing in the basement and missing out on most of the day.

With Tony yesterday I made a decision.  I no longer need to hide from myself and take to my bed which is the physical requirement for my migraines – pills don’t work for me.  It’s time to let them go and so we talked in depth about their meaning and then did some work.  This is where my mind has gone blank.  I can’t clearly remember what we did and what I can remember I cannot explain.  I do know that there were words spoken and energy work done.  The words provoked something in me which was positive and uplifting.

The session was over too soon although it seemed like hours that I was there when infact it was just over an hour.  I was told to drink lots of water and that I might have some reactions such as tiredness or even some emotions might come up.  Well I was immediately shattered.  My mind was blank.  I picked up second born and a friend from school and they had to get their own lunch as I went for a siesta.  I was out like a light.

I took the dog later for a walk and remembered something from the session.  I had had an idea for a theatre play and as I walked the dog, ideas started forming.  Today I meet with two women from my improv group to discuss the way forward, perfect timing!

The most amazing thing of yesterday’s session is that whilst I mentioned my ankle and shoulder to Tony, we left it aside.  This pain in my shoulder and the one in my ankle have been there since last autumn which has also been the poorest economic time in my entire life, giving me many a sleepless night and panic attack in the day.  Guess what?  No pain since yesterday afternoon!

Tony Mills – Soul Whisperer and Energetic Wisdom worker talks a lot of sense.  He’s also meant to do what he does.  I look forward to this next phase of my life – thank you Tony.  See you on stage!

 

Tony Mills                                                                                        www.energetic-wisdom.co.uk

Hasta la vista Juan

Juan Correa

Gone but not forgotten

Today we said goodbye to Juan Correa Maturana, 40 years young, a son, a colleague and a friend to many.  I had the pleasure of working with Juan during my time at Planet Space.  He was a hard worker, meticulous in all that he did and a collector of anything about to be thrown in the bin!  His desk was a collection of interesting bits and pieces and Juan was always the one to save useful rubbish from being thrown away by our customers.

He drove the van the way he approached work – hard and fast!  He listened to the radio, tuning into rock, heavy metal, anything loud that went with driving a van fast.  Many a sleepy morning when I would have to take the van out of the warehouse, starting the engine and having the radio kick in would jolt me into the day with the blare of Juan’s music choice from the day before.

No job was too hard for Juan.  He had no time for fools either so many a time Juan would step in and finish a job with the forklift that I was capable of botching up, luckily before I would.  He liked my cakes, always saving his slice for when he would really take the time to appreciate and savour every last morsel.

I bumped into him in Binissalem one day last November when he had come for the day to check on his beloved dogs.  It was raining, the day was pretty grim and Juan was below energy, par for the course with his illness.  I took him back to my place as it was lunch time and Pau and I were going to eat.  Juan stayed for a while, eating taking as long as Pau normally takes – another virgo.  But this time eating was not the same as it had always been for Juan.  He asked me why I had not been to visit him in hospital in the preceeding months.  I can’t remember what I said but I did say sorry and I did say I had no excuse, it was what I do best, bury my head.  I am glad he asked me though.

I last saw Juan this past Saturday at the Hospital General in Palma, in the palliative care unit.  His mother was there and his dear friend Jan, former girlfriend and an incredible woman.  These two women were with him to the end.  Friends and colleagues came daily to see him although by now he was not able to acknowledge them but he was aware of us all.  One such visitor was like a father figure to him – owner of Complete Marine Freight and Planet Space, Peter Sell.  Peter told me how he had said goodbye to Juan some days before his passing.  Juan managed to squeeze his hand even though by this time Juan was out for the count.

I know Juan would have been happy with the gathering today.  He would have loved seeing STP maintenance department being represented as well as longtime, faithful customer Noel Dyne.  Old colleagues were there and Manu, our faithful every Wednesday sales rep too.  We were all there, his CMF compis led by his work bff Lucy as well as his PS buddies.  His mum, bless her, kept her dignity and welcomed everyone of us and along with Jan and a primo-hermano, the family was complete.  The only one unable to be there of course was Juan!

Juan, I’m sure you’ve got a brand new van to drive where you are now, music blaring!  Along with a motorbike, boat, the open air and your hair flying in the wind, you must be rocking!  We will miss your collection of bits and pieces around your desk.  Packing crates and pallets won’t be the same without you.  Seeing you show up looking snazzy for a night out will truly be missed.

Juan, que sepas, todos te queremos y todos te echaremos de menos.  Descansa en Paz brother – we love you!

Harmony

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Happy family!

We’re getting there, the ex and I!  It’s coming up to 8 years this summer that we split up in a manner befitting a Mexican soap opera but that’s all in the past now.  I behaved badly in the beginning – and how – but gradually I learned things about myself and started to grow up and take responsibility for me first.  It was my mid-life crisis – if I live to 90 that is – and now I am happy to know that I don’t need another mid-life crisis, one was enough!

This week I have appreciated my ex’s kindness as out of the blue yesterday he showed up at the door with wood he had cut for the fire.  It’s little things like this that really create a good atmosphere.  Without thinking therefore, I offered dinner that evening and we sat with second-born and enjoyed a meal together.  First-born, as often happens, was out!!

This week I have also appreciated first born´s efforts to make up for leaving the cake out on Sunday.  Resident diva-cat Miss Mypenny Mishau very delicately ate one half of the carrot cake I had made for a customer!  I think it was worth losing the business because my older son has been making smoothies for the family before he rushes off to work at 7am.  How lovely it is to get up to that every morning this week.  I even forgive the dishes in the sink although I wasn’t amused at the fruit in the general bin instead of bringing in the organic bin from outside!  Oh well, I am getting there, slowly.

The topic for the show this week is on harmony so I have been thinking a lot about what that means to me.  It’s all very well that I ask our listeners to comment but I too have to have some thoughts.  So I have been remembering when I used to go and visit my brother and his wife when I was in my 20s and their house was always so harmonious.  They never watched tv, infact they went without tv for over a year once because they believed it to be broken, or was that what they told the kids!  We would visit and the children would be busy playing or doing arty things if the weather was bad and always the atmosphere was a peaceful one.

I think harmony has to accompany silence, quiet, it’s the peaceful moments that create harmony.  The vibrations we pass onto each other can be harmonious or not, just like a music that has harmony can create a stillness in our heart but if the music grates away, that too can grate upon our soul and disturb us.

I enjoy my life very much.  I am happy that I am growing up and learning more and more as each year goes by.  As my beloved father used to say to me on my birthdays – it’s not another year older, it’s another one wiser.  It’s true.  Opening my heart, my eyes and my ears to all around and listening for the music, the harmony, life is so much easier.  For sure, I have moments in which I cannot hear anything except the noise of my mind and my heart beats faster and my eyes blink and doesn’t see much.  But the soap opera way of living in my 20s and 30s is slowly leaving me.

Being the better side of 50 is a wonderful experience so far.  Sure my body flops in yoga when teacher Eva effortlessly shows us another posture but the fact that I do yoga now is a plus.  I am learning to relax a bit more each time I get up and get creative, the dry throat and racing heart are still there but the mind is a little better.  Maybe by 80 years I shall get up and do improvisation with no hang ups at all!  By the way, first show with my improv class is on Sunday 8th March, International Women’s Day and in Spanish so I hope to see you there!

So harmony, welcome into my heart and my home – I enjoy having you as part of my life and I look forward to having you more and more.  Where does harmony come from?  I believe the first step is love, in loving myself I can experience more and more harmony in my life.  If I love me, I can love others more easily.  It’s not been easy at times in the last 8 years to love my ex but I wasn’t loving me enough.  Don’t get me wrong, he still drives me insane and I can make up a list as long as both my arms with complaints and criticisms when I get going.  That’s why harmony is so important in relationships and with love as the foundation, anything is possible.

Listen out to my show The Happiness Café next Monday at 10am.  Download the app and take me with you.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on harmony too!

The Happiness Café Radio Show – http://www.mallorcasunshineradio.com

“Improv Show” with Estudio Gori Artieda Sunday, 8 March 2015 6pm in Teatre Lloseta, Mallorca

El paso doble

Olé!

Sunken eyes, deep in the black hollow face, dream of home.
Escaping from himself took him by surprise to the white man’s land – olé.
Mami said goodbye to the man-child she’d borne, never to see again in these lands.
I look upon his sadness and feel that the next dance is mine.

The laughing policeman in the next room surrounds himself by hope drowned in sorrow,
wishing away today for tomorrow and his dance finally comes.

Paquita, oh Paquita.
No words, no songs, only stories told from her eyes,
she dances all the time in the place we cannot share and then she too is gone.

You.  You went to bed and bumped your head,

man, he gun cum get yu!

You danced your way, every day, to the rhythm of the paso doble – olé!