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

 

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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

Kreakolektiva Mallorca

palma de mallorca; tower of love; matthew clark; creativity;

I was invited to a gathering yesterday evening of creative people and so off to the Tower of Love in Palma I went! Matthew Clark, one of the founders and organisers of the event, works in the film industry and having known him for some time now, I knew I would be in for an interesting evening.  His co-host for the evening was the young and very charming Sally Fenaux Barleycorn who presented each and every speaker with contagious enthusiasm and excitement!  I thought I was a puppy dog extraordinaire, but here I have met my match!

This is the second gathering of Kreakolektiva and the idea is that twelve creatives talk for 5 minutes each about their work, any projects or just general lives.  There were of course twelve very interesting people speaking – amongst them a fashion designer, musician, yoga teacher, writer and artist.  There was also a woman who produces her wine with biodynamic principals, another couple who combine theory and practice in their vegetarian/vegan cookery courses and yet another couple who produce films and documentaries, touching upon fascinating subjects.  They are presently looking to crowdfund and finish a documentary on those Spaniards who were held in concentration camps in Germany during the second world war (will post link below).  Two more guys explained how they bring music and pieces of old films to create their own film experience and there was a guy working on the creation of a cultural centre in Inca, the town just next door to where I live.  A young woman presented her passion about olive oil and bringing that to the table literally by encouraging people to learn more about the benefits of using good olive oil.

It was an exciting evening to see what is happening in Mallorca.  The big plus to me of course is that I now have a good three months worth of guests for The Happiness Café radio show!  Added to the evening of course was catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones.  It was a pleasure to sit next to a young stylist and then find out she knows first-born, it’s a small island!

I sat with a huge grin on my face for most of the evening, absorbing new information about people and their projects. I was delighted that Matthew invited me and look forward to the next gathering of Kreakolektiva – I believe I shall be sharing some words about what I do then too!

For more information about this interesting initiative:                                                                     http://www.kreakolektiva.com and http://12x5bykreakolektiva.tumblr.com/

Help crowdfund “Mauthausen, L’holocaust espanyol”                                      http://www.verkami.com/projects/11131

Improv …. improve

comedy; stand up comedy; mallorca; glynis german; laughter

Born to perform!

Improvisation!  What a life saver!  I am so happy I signed up for classes with Estudio Gori Artieda last autumn as I have been learning and loving them.  And in Spanish too!

Last Sunday we had a show at Teatre Lloseta with the four courses that are held at this theatre school.  Not everyone participated, some couldn’t and some wouldn’t but when teacher Gori informed us in January that we would have a show on 8th March, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  As there were 28 students participating, I was dealt two improvisations – one with sentences in a box and the other called “zapping”.

My mantra in the weeks leading up to the show was “I love being on stage” and my face never tired of smiling when I saw myself there.  Impro has helped with my radio show too and I become more confident every time I go in the studio.

After every Monday evening class, sleep was hard to come by as I was buzzing with ideas.  The classes have helped me become more observant as now when I am out and about, I am taking in the moment and looking around rather than rushing through with my eyes closed.  Walking the dog has become a performance and people must wonder what on earth I am doing when I am waving my arms around pretending to be a tree or an animal!

The icing on the cake of this is that I have made a new group of friends.  We went out for dinner last week and I am getting to know some awesome women.  I want to start an improv group and I have a feeling I shall be having lots of fun with them in the months, years to come!  We are all types and all ages and are doing improvisation for different reasons and each and every one of us is meant to be there.

I feel I have climbed a mountain this past autumn and winter.  I was so scared and nervous of trying this “something new” but I pushed myself.  I am pushing myself every class by being the first on my feet to try something new.  I am not sitting down anymore, this is my time, it is never too late and this time it feels right.  I studied drama as part of my Bachelor in Arts degree all those years ago.  I would hide at the back of the theatre.  I got my degree but I never had the confidence to do any theatre, until now.

I was meant to be on the stage!  I am still not sure how or what or when or where but that doesn’t matter anymore.  I have a radio show I am proud of, I have my improv classes which are taking me some place I don’t yet know where.  I have my words on paper which help ground me and release me at the same time.

Sunday was a night to remember!  I was a cockerel, an almond tree, amongst other things!  I was a student, a colleague, a performer and an artist and I couldn’t ask for it to be any other way.   My friend Cati suggested I am still too much in control and she’s right!  Here’s to the next lesson and that is to lose myself in the drama, once and for all!

For drama classes in Spanish                     Facebook: Buffons Teatre

Harmony

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Je suis Ms. Nadia Lopez

Mott Hall Bridges Academy; Brownsville; HONY; Humans of New York; Brandon Stanton; education; scholorships; fund raising; inspiration; values

Principal Nadia Lopez, Mott Hall Bridges Academy (Photo Brandon Stanton)

Last week I was inspired by this woman!  Along with thousands of people around the world, I took note of her thanks to Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York blog.  If you have never heard of this blog, check it out now!  Brandon Stanton is living proof that we all have a purpose and he has found his purpose which is to allow people to be seen, heard, listened to and believed in!  It all started with him randomly stopping a young man, Vidal, last week and asking if he could take his picture.  What makes Brandon Stanton special is that he asks some quite meaningful questions to the subjects of his pictures and this day was no exception.  Vidal told the HONY world that his principal, Ms Nadia Lopez valued him, she has told him he matters.  Not only him but all the scholars at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brownsville New York.

I want to be like Principal Nadia Lopez!  I want to be a woman who influences others, who believes in others, who guides others.  This is where I want my life energy directed, to positively influence those around me.  I believe I am Ms Lopez, we all are, no matter how small our contribution to our world, we all matter!

I know another Ms Lopez, another influential being who believed everyone mattered and he was called Gerry German.  He was an educator too and he was a man who influenced the thousands of children who had the good fortune to cross his path.  He taught in Jamaica, England, North Wales and Nigeria.  He was one of the founder members of STOPP (Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment) in the late 60s. He was Chief Education Officer at the Commission for Racial Equality back in the 80s.  He was involved with the Working Group Against Racism in Children’s Resources in the 90s after his retirement as an activist.  His proudest moment was founding the Communities Empowerment Network, CEN, in 1999 an advocacy and campaigning service, working for equality and justice in education particularly with African Caribbean parents whose children had been permanently excluded from mainstream education.  He was a daring and innovative man, a concientious objector, he was also my father.

I am blessed to have been his daughter, I had the good fortune to be born to him and my mother Patricia, two hugely influential people, two incredible beings who have loved and guided me at every step of the way.  I attended one of the schools where Gerry was the head, or principal as you say in America.  I saw the love the school kids had for him, never more strongly demonstrated than when he was sacked from the Mold Alun as being too “much” for the establishment!  I was stopped by school bullies and told to pull up my socks and make my dad proud of me because they were proud to consider themselves his children.  I picked up the phone many a time whilst living with mum and dad or visiting them and many an ex student would ring to share their good news – graduating from school or university or just wanting to share what a huge influence Gerry had had on their lives.

Gerry passed away in May 2012 at the ripe old age of 84.  He passed in the night after having spent the day before at the office in Brixton where he met with a young man, recently excluded from school.  That day, my father had brought the first smile to this young man since he had taken on his case.  My father believed in him and that day proved to the young man that he mattered.  He went to bed that night satisfied with another good day, expecting to get up the next day to go back to work.  He left a legacy, he left behind an organisation that is relentless in providing justice and equality for all in education in Britain.  He left a team committed to this ideal, working together and now guided by my brother Deuan and joined by advocates, volunteers, trustees and many, many children needing their services.  He left his mark.

Ms Lopez is the same.  She believes in her kids.  She knows that everyone of them matters and she has high expectations of them.  She leads her team like my father led his team by being the example.  She is a woman with her heart in education, she is the teacher, the real meaning of the teacher.  I salute Ms Lopez and I say “Je suis Principal Nadia Lopez” – je suis in the sense of improving the lives of all, not trashing the lives of any!

Mott Hall Bridges Academy has now had over 700,000 dollars raised in less than a week and these funds will be used to form the Vidal Scholarship Fund, named after this young man who one day was stopped in the streets of his neighbourhood and asked by a stranger if he could have his photograph taken.  Brandon Stanton, Nadia Lopez, Gerry German – these are people who are proof that when we find our purpose in life, we are where we are meant to be.

We all matter, let’s never forget that!

 

 

CEN (Please consider donating)                        http://www.cenlive.org/

Humans of New York                                           http://www.humansofnewyork.com/

Mott Hall Bridges Academy                                http://www.mhbabrooklyn.com/

To donate to Mott Hall Bridges Academy        http://bit.ly/1JmIB8u

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!