Magic and the secret garden

Some of you may recall that I “won” the Euro Millions recently, a nice little amount of 15 million euros and that I spent it in a flash – this all happened in my head in a 30 minute drive from Palma to school pick up!  I bought a load of property, gifted it around, including my favourite building of all time which I turned into the Binissalem Peace Centre!  I also bought my lovely eco café people Javi and Elena a building and also my son’s eco school a building, amongst other things!

Today, I discovered that the building I had ear-marked for the Peace Centre is the new location for my son’s school! I am sitting writing this with the biggest smile on my face as I enjoy the wonder of magic and knowing that believing is seeing and even if I do see it slightly differently, it all works out!!  I shall have to relocate my Peace Centre but what a result with the win!

Just before I heard the news, I had parked my car and seen a sign saying “Euromillones – 63 millones” and what do you think I did!  I went and “won” it again!

I spent it in the 12 minutes it takes to drive from the school back home and you’ll be happy to know that the following got 10 million each – Mallorca based not for profits PermaMed, Ondine and Fundación Sa Llavor and London based Communities Empowerment Network.  They will be able to carry on doing what they do so brilliantly already and this money will help them take the pressure off, to get really stuck in and take what they already do so selflessly to a new level.  From promoting permaculture to a wider audience, to keeping our seas and oceans clean and also devloping new ways of holistically educating and caring for our next generations.

I also put aside 5 million to create old people communities including making sure that there is a healthy support for the dying and a million of that was donated to the awesome people at Capsula Mundi to help with their development of the burial pod.

Eight million euros was used island wide for culture and the arts and lots of projects, existing and new, got lucky by being gifted money to help promote culture and the arts.  First born is well happy with the new studio and jazz appreciation school!

I’ve got 10 million left over but I want to go abroad and go back to my roots, Jamaica and Wales, and see what I can do there with the money.  Watch this space.

I’m happy and content – 63 million euros well spent!

Seeds and watching them grow

Whether you like it or not, things are changing

Whether you like it or not, things are changing

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” ― Leo Tolstoy

I feel like a sloth!  Moving slowly and only when necessary.  That’s how it has been so far this year, one step at a time, slowly does it.  I have been busy with many different things but at times wonder what it is I am doing.  I have had moments of panic, imagining that there was something I needed to do, something to prove but that passed into a dreamlike state of acceptance that all will be revealed in time.

I paused the project at the Peace Centre due to the owner wanting to come back but I continued looking after the property (she’s not back till later this summer).  People have been using the beautiful, sacred space in return for a donation to cover the various bills and we have had a few things going on: courses in comedy, improvisation, healthy vegetarian cookery and social events such as the menú del días and coffee mornings.

I have managed to do some stand up comedy – on a bus from Inca to Sa Pobla, at the International Women’s Day event and in London and Montreux.  I didn’t think I was particularly good at some of those gigs but I am learning.  It’s a scary place to be, up there on my own with just a mike and an audience.  I wonder why I put myself through the torture especially as the naturally funny me is not there yet and this awkward, insecure woman who trashes herself in her mind with a series of “could do better” type school reports is.  Discipline was never my friend and that’s what it’s going to take, once I get over the sloth phase – I hope!

I have also acted as a wedding celebrant which I love and this season of summer weddings is going to be a great one!  I truly love marrying couples and being part of a day guaranteed to be positive from start to finish.  I get to know a couple in love, they all have different stories and they all impress me again and again with how simple life can be, if we let it.  I hope to add to this work by doing funerals, namings and comings of age and anything else that needs a celebration!  I believe that for those big events in life, we should stop and acknowledge and celebrate them.  By the way, I will travel anywhere to help you celebrate!

I have also been using my voice this year and have done some voice overs for various things.  If you switch on local television, you might hear me telling you all about Mallorca!  I also proposed a radio show at the beginning of the year and this was finally accepted.  Next week I shall be recording my first show for transmission very soon.  You will have to listen to Mallorca Sunshine Radio on 106.1FM and join me with your comments, questions and information on what’s happening and what’s on in Mallorca.  The show is called “The Happiness Café” and I shall be interviewing inspirational people locally and globally.  If you want to join me, please drop me a line, call or even introduce me to someone you think we should speak to!  As I am blessed with so many amazingly, positive friends who inspire me I have no shortage of interviewees and you will get to know them too.

I even managed a two day trip to London to translate for my hairdresser Cristina who will be bringing back a new line in hair products for the island.  It was an intense two days but very exciting and lots of fun!  I felt like a tramp when I saw them at the airport – three glamourous, sophisticated women and hubby David looking dapper.  (Not hubby to all three mind you!)  But so much for them being professional hairdressers – I was the only one carrying a hairbrush with me!  The good news is that this new product is really a big deal and Shiro Beauty Salon in Binissalem will be the first to carry it.  I’ll let you know when it gets here so you can enjoy chemical free products that do a good job with your hair!  Now I am dreaming of being a hairdresser when I grow up.

I am busy, I am in the midst of change, I have no idea where it is taking me but I am living my faith that I am on the right path.  Will I know when I get there?  I don’t even think that’s important anymore because the fact is, it’s how I am today that counts and right now I am happy to be where I am.

Letter from the heart

The volunteers who came to stay, give a hand and leave their mark

The volunteers who came to stay, give a hand and leave their mark

Happy new year!  I hope you have started 2014 in a manner that brings out the best of you with any resolutions, ideas and plans to keep you positive and energetic in all that you do!

I had some surprising news just before Christmas that gave me an opportunity to look within and take a lesson.  The news was that the owner of the property in which the Binissalem Peace Centre is situated wished to come back and live there once again.  She did give me the option to keep the Peace Centre in a small part of the house but given the nature of the project and all that it entailed I have decided not to.  I am therefore relocating the project and shall leave there at the end of this month.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have started something new and I have learned a great deal in the last 4 months.  I believe that the essence of the project is transferrable and actually see that it would be even better to be always flexible and not at the mercy of people or of buildings.  The way forward I believe is to provide the possibility of transformation through learning anywhere and at any time!  I have some new ideas as to how this could be done but first I am going to take a step back and see what Glynis needs first.  I will take some time now to process all that I learned, which believe me has been plenty!

I am grateful to you all for your support and special mention goes to my mentor in this, Betty Steinhauer.  She has been fun, uplifting and positive throughout.  To the volunteers who gave their time and energy to cleaning up, fixing things, always being on hand to throw their hand to anything especially Catalina Pons, Claire Bryan and Mark Barton who were there from the start and who generously left their mark on the Peace Centre – your support and hard work is treasured.  There were many more volunteers including Eva Sepulveda, Ruth Lavan and Judit Cabello who believed and supported too.  To my dear friend Sylvia Baker for her translations of everything into Spanish.  To Horacio Camperi for his donation of the web page design and creation that we are now having to readjust and to Marc Masmiquel for the beautiful logo.  To Kimberly Hunn, another of my mentors for being there for me and believing in me.  To lawyer Juana Jimenez for her services with the contract and to BK Ramon Ribalta also for his input.  To my cousin Rod Bell for his generosity and support from afar.  To all too many of you to name here – your support, your encouragement, your enthusiasm with me and especially your belief in the project – transformation through learning –  I say thank you.

I also hereby acknowledge the generous donations in cash, in furniture, in items (bedding, books, etc), in time and in services and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  Please know that anything that was donated ie furniture, bedding, etc is being sold off to go towards the next venue.  Thank you again to those of you who supported every event, every class, every workshop that we held there – Cara, Ruth, Carolina were just some of the teachers there.  And to the regulars – it was always great to see your face and share a cup of tea!

And last but not least to my family.  To my dad Gerry German who surely from the heavens is listening to me and granting me my wishes.  To my firmest and fairest supporter of all – my mother BK Patricia German, the wisest woman I know.  To my siblings and siblings in-law Sian, Roger, Bryn, Bo, Deuan and Lisa, to my nieces and nephews and finally my beautiful sons Noah Angel and Pau Indigo plus their father Rob Orchard – for putting up with me at home during the whole process!

Again thank you.

Watch this space – I have lots planned for 2014 not least comedy, weddings, celebrations and constant learning!

Autumn news from Binissalem Peace Centre

 

Photo Permacultura Mediterranea

My new best friends!

We are more than halfway through Autumn, almost into Winter, the rains are still with us and what a season it has been.  We had long and sunny days till the clocks fell back in October.  We saw the collection of the olives and managed to press 13kgs collected into 1ltr of virgin olive oil – we’re saving that for a special occasion!  We saw the departure of some volunteers and veteran volunteer Claire and I decided the time was right for study.

Our first course saw us sign up for Amics de la Terra Mallorca’s morning workshop on vegetable gardens and composting!  The course was truly the start of a new journey.  The organisers had gone to great lengths to make it as enjoyable as possible and I was struck by the family atmosphere they managed to create with the 20 or so participants who previously had not known the other.  The course facilitator, Lynda, was knowledgable and informative and Rebeca from Amics de la Terra a treasure!

From that Claire and I signed up for a weekend permaculture course organised by Permacultura Mediterránea and what a weekend that was!  The course facilitator was the world reknowed permaculturist Rosemary Morrow from Australia so a double treat was had as the course was also in English!  I spent the weekend with knowledgable, interesting, fun and giving people – these are my new best friends!  I was so excited to go back on the Sunday that I was giggling and acting like a kid in a sweet shop on the way there, armed with home-made ginger cake to win their favour!

The wealth of knowledge shared over that weekend, not only by the course facilitators and members of Permacultura Mediterranea but also by the talented participants was impressive.  So many initiatives and interesting projects are happening in Mallorca and over half the people on the course were either launching their own project or were well established in an alternative way of life here on the island.  Educators and teachers are introducing permaculture in schools and there are now vegetable gardens becoming part of the school way of life all across the island.

Mallorca is an exciting place to be right now!  There is so much happening here that it’s a pleasure to be part of it.  It is refreshing to meet people who are committed to giving back to this island and who are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge.  I know that when I put the word out to my new friends to come help clear the acequias – irrigation ditches – the response will be positive!  Watch this space!

So Claire is busy mulching and preparing the lasagne market garden as well as collecting firewood and keeping the fires stoked up at the Peace Centre.  I am putting structure to the project, rewriting the mission and vision, working on the content of the web page and organising courses.  This weekend we are launching the first meeting of the New Woman’s Alliance Mallorca with the aim to look at ways to embrace this emerging alternative world whilst making a commitment to move away from a competitive world for the good of all.  I look forward to sharing news with you again soon!

 

For courses and for replanting Mallorca: Amics de la Terra Mallorca http://www.amicsdelaterra.org/es/

For courses: Permacultura Mediterranea http://permamed.org/

Books on permaculture by Rosemary Morrow: http://www.green-shopping.co.uk/books/pp/rosemary-morrow-1.html

Getting there, the journey…

A journey starts with a single step!

A journey starts with a single step!

It is a sign of wisdom to be able to set goals and then, having done so, to let them go. All that is required for success is a vision of the destination. The journey itself will reveal the means to take you there.  (Brahma Kumaris)

It has been just over a month now that I took on the use of a huge finca here in my spiritual home of Binissalem.  I was joined on that day, 21st September, by three volunteers or workaways as they are also known.  Two are still with me till the end of this month and we have been joined by two more over the month as well as local volunteers who pop up to give a much needed hand.

As you will recall, I left my paying job at the end of June to do something worthwhile with my life and the use of a finca was given to me out of the blue in July.  Although the idea for a centre of sorts had been with me for some years, in April I had properly planted a seed in my mind to open a centre of excellence and well-being.  Watering this seed has now seen the Binissalem Peace Centre be born and what a journey I am on!

I am realising so much and I am also being tested so much.  I have been very blessed that good people have stepped up to the plate and got on with their own part of the project and the physical presence of volunteers has been an awesome blessing.  Claire and Mark who have been there from day one have shown such amazing qualities of hardwork and respect as well as lightness and fun and have dealt with my ups and downs with good humour and positivity!  Victor and Katherina who came and stayed for a short while left their mark and without them, there wouldn’t have been as much done, that is a given.  Now we have Cara staying who is a blessing in her petite way and can wield a brush with the best of them.  Then the day workers who come and give a hand – Cati from the village with her immense knowledge of the land, Ivan and Judit, two students on a gap year wishing to improve their English and then Lucy and Luciana who popped up to clear the little woods one Sunday and our favourite regular Eva who is transforming before our eyes and brings us smiles and love and is like the sister we all want to have.  Charles and Maria who insisted on coming and their only knowledge of the project was through first-born who is my ambassador for goodwill.  Without the volunteers, all that has happened in the past month on the physical level would not have happened – I am grateful to them.

There are others too.  Horacio who is working on the webpage and not charging for this labour of love.  His partner Kimberly, my friend and mentor there to give me a positivity boost when I most need it.  And Betty, on her nomadic journey, stopping in Mallorca for a couple of months has stepped in to help me with the structure of the project and with her experience and expertise, I feel in good hands.

I have to mention too those of you who through your own blood, sweat and tears are reaching out to me with your economic support and the amounts from 10€ to 500$ are so well appreciated – they have paid for the palm trees to be pruned and treated (dreaded red palm weevil hit them); the well to be made secure using the local dry stone tradition and technique; materials such as oil, paint, electrical items; web page domain and hosting to name but a few of the expenses that need to be paid.  You are my dear family which includes my cousin Rod from Canada (I love you guys);  Joanne Rogers over in Saudi who is deservedly on her feet after proving to herself and all of us who love her that hard work, dedication and talent bring rewards; Kay Newton, Sue Sell, Roo Hughes, Anita, Catherine & Diego, Chetana from Bodhana; Andy and Anna from Gong Didgeridoo Mallorca and all those who have attended our first event and paid for the pleasure!   Also Alex from SanaPalm and those professionals who are doing their much needed repairs at a lowered price.

This week I reached my first fever pitch but I managed to stand back, observe and bring my mind back into a positive place.  I panic from time to time with the overwhelming size of it all and that’s not the 895m2 house or 26000m2 land it sits on!  I am stepping away from frustrating myself with all there is to do and am learning to take baby steps and not sprint like Usain.  The end is there, I can see it in my vision and that is enough for me to leave that where it is.  The journey is where I am now and each day brings a new lesson and one I look forward to learning.

Faith is tested daily but as I remind myself always, God would not have given me this opportunity if I wasn’t going to learn from it and learning is the reward.

Thanks for your support!

For spiritual inspiration: http://www.bkwsu.org

For volunteers: http://www.workaway.info

Stormy September

They're a big bigger now!

Sons – they’re a bit bigger now!

It’s that time of year again in Mallorca, summer suddenly over and the rains are here.  Or maybe not!  I love getting caught out every year – the rains come down and that’s it, summer’s all over.  Then the heat starts up again and just as we are packing away the summer gear, by the end of September it’s sweltering again.  This year I am forming a deeper relationship with patience and shall not rush to imagine that summer is over, yet.

The true stormy nature of September is quite subtle.  The long school holidays which I enjoy every year end almost abrubtly even though we know to expect this.  Then routine and discipline start asserting their presence and school beckons.  First born doesn’t have to worry about going back to school or uni.  He started a new job last week and was quite gutted to stop camping at the beach, guitar and hammock accessorising his look, surf board and friends at the ready always.  He has a great opportunity to learn in a new job and his total optimism on life certainly impressed me.  When I asked him how much they would pay him, he informed me that they hadn’t actually discussed money at the interview!  My horror expressed itself but he stopped me and said “mum, I trust the boss to pay me well”!  And what is the outcome?!  He has a great new salary for one so young but more importantly, by expecting only the best possible outcome – that’s what he got – positive thinking, positive outcome – good luck son!

Second born and I are nervous about the vuelta al cole as there are going to be big changes and of course, we don’t know what to expect.  However, I am taking on the role of mama wolf and am doing the best to prepare him for the new – more on this in a week or so but please pray for me to keep calm, focussed and strong for the both of us.

Alongside with the cares and concerns of mothering, I am also giving birth to a new project in the form of a peace centre in my village.  The owner, out of the blue, wrote me and offered me use of the finca – in her words:

“to create something there, whatever you can imagine, but you as a special woman, I feel that you are the right one to raise the power of the place”

I have of course said YES!  My vision for a centre of excellence, transformation and well being is about to become reality and I have enormous gratitude to people like her in the world!  Her generosity and trust are powerful indications of how we can all come together and inspire change and the Binissalem Peace Centre is going to be opening soon.  I was fortunate to have eleven friends pop up last week for a little cleaning party – it is 800m2 of finca on 26000m2 of land!  We prepared the small apartment within the finca and they worked hard and enjoyed themselves at the same time – thank you to all of them for taking the time to come up, mops and brooms too!

The end of summer is nearly with us but as Mallorca moves into it’s second spring now, we can see so much growing around us and not only our young!  This is the time for new projects, new lessons and seeds can be planted or harvested.  I know what I’m going to do, do you?