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

Living without Facebook, part II

Going gets tough!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Journey to Self

Grrr...

Grrr…

In my weekly radio show “The Happiness Café” I ask listeners for their opinions on the topic of the show and yesterday was no exception.  The topic permeating the show was “self-discovery” and the guest was an inspiring woman who is co-founder of La Akademia, an educational project aimed at 16 to 22yr youngsters and aimed at addressing their emotional education – free by the way!  It seems to me that all too often education forgets to nurture the emotional well-being of our children and youth and we have many damaged adults as a result of these issues being forgotten or put aside.

So what are my thoughts and opinions on self-discovery?  I loved the fact that yesterday’s guest told us how, when she was a child, her parents encouraged her to have an independence in everything she did and moving out of her comfort zone was something she thought all people did as that’s how her parents encouraged her to be.  My first thought therefore is that on the journey towards self-discovery, we are going to be accompanied by those meant to show us things at some point in our lives, preferably when we are young and then periodically when we need it when we are older.

I was blessed to have grandparents and parents who also encouraged independence and I can see how that has shaped me become who I am.  If I think back to childhood, I was very much left to my own devises a lot of the time and I remember a LOT of play always.  Play on my own but most often play with siblings and friends, outdoors for hours on end – free play – paradise!  And there was lots of reading, time to just sit and read and escape into my imagination.  There was a structure in place, very much a feminine one placed there by my mother who was the main organiser of our day-to-day.  That structure not only gave routine and comfort but it was about security in which I had time to be me.

From that safe starting point in life I have been able to continue my journey with highs and lows, successes and failures, gain and loss, adventure and home and throughout it with the belief that I was still learning and above all, becoming me.  At times I needed to fuel up and in comes those moments that remind us we are learning especially the tough ones, in my case divorce 7 years ago.  We are born naked in the sense that all the clothes we choose to wear throughout life are the colours and combinations we use in that moment.  The clothes I was lucky to wear as a child were laid out for me, clean and comfortable thanks to my parents and family – they were love, respect, trust, peace, happiness, joy, wisdom to name a few.  With those placed freely and wholly in my hands, I was able to grow and look for more outfits – university, employment, marriage, children, cultures, communities – and these were the reminders of my choices and where I was going on my map.

Now, I am older, still learning, still on the journey to self and the differences are that I lay my own clothes out every morning – gratitude, faith, trust, contentment, openess – and at the end of my day I look back and see how far I came.

Self-discovery – on-going, accompanied, alone, pain and gain, easy and fun but the map continues to open sending me in directions that are already printed but just hiding under the flap, waiting for me to peal it back.

Enjoy your journey folks – it’s not over even when you get there!

 

For more information on La Akademia in Mallorca, totally recommended if you have a young person in your life who is curious:

http://www.laakademia.org/

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!

 

 

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.