Mallorca Death Café

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Since last December, I have been hosting regular Death Cafés in the village of Binissalem where I live.  This summer I also hosted one in our capital Palma and last weekend another up in the beautiful mountains in the village of Deia.  To say I am happy I discovered the Death Café movement is an understatement – I am ecstatic!

As a bit of background first and taken from the Death Café website to make it clear:  “at a Death Café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. The objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’ and is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes”.

Every meeting I have ever hosted has been unique but perhaps one regular occurrence is that whilst I may try to suggest topics of discussion, my wonderful DC members prefer to do it their way!  If I were to give our encounters a quality, I would say that respect pours out of everyone at every encounter.  Some people’s opinions on death can be very different but the atmosphere of respect makes every opinion count.  I have learned a lot about myself too and see that my opinions are constantly challenged in the setting of my head whilst I hear what other people have to say about subjects about which I may have previously been quite closed.

Everything about the Death Café movement has me excited!  From the name itself – after all saying the word death generates so many reactions,  from horrified facial expressions to curious bemusement!  In all cases it does get people talking!  The guidelines suggested for hosting a death café are also entrancing!  Setting a death café in a tea room or eco café, enjoying tea and cake, how could I not enjoy conversation about death in this type of setting.  For my village to boast an eco café serving the best in tea and cake makes every encounter that much sweeter (plus the kilos have been piling on)!

Whilst the guidelines do advise that a death cafe is not a bereavement support group, even that has been questioned in one of my events simply because Mallorca is not yet set up to offer the recently bereaved a setting for support as I recently discovered.  Seeing the compassion and love so freely shared in a recent event towards a grieving widow made me proud of my fellow sisters and brothers residing on planet earth and I saw how the death café can help.

We meet to talk about death and through that we talk about life, about hope, about different cultures and we break down the taboo around death.  We challenge ourselves and our opinions and beliefs always in an atmosphere of respect and interest.  Our conversations are our inner most thoughts and reflections, shared perhaps for the very first time.  In short, these encounters free us up to get on with life and living and I am so glad to have discovered the Death Café movement.

Find a Death Café near you          www.deathcafe.com

Enjoy tea & cake near me              L’Exquisit, C/Rectoria 2, Binissalem, 07350 Mallorca

Mallorca’s Avalanche of Love

Santiago Stankovic Photography;

Generosity at its best

I have been blessed to meet some incredible people in my life and none other than this past week.  The powerhouse and inspiration behind Mallorca’s recent avalanche of love is none other than local councillor for Inca, Antonia Triguero.

At a recent gathering of Mallorca based group, Kreakolektiva, Antonia was asked by the hosts to speak about her visit to the island of Kos and why she had decided to collect for the refugees upon her return to Mallorca.  That she did shows the big heart she has and that evening, she inspired the hundred or so people gathered to get involved and none other than photographer, Santiago Stankovic, who immediately set about creating a Facebook event which spiralled out of wonderful control.

With these two souls putting their hearts out there for people to follow, the incredible result was almost overwhelming at times, with people coming from all over the island, donating thousands upon thousands of items to be sent to the refugees in Lesvos.

At first Antonia had secured one 40ft container, but a week of Santi driving all over the island inspiring people out of their houses with donations meant that not just another, but up to six more containers were needed and with people power, they have nearly all been secured with the original plan to leave for Lesvos in the next week or so.  There is a bank account into which anyone can donate to help with the transport, see below, as each container cost 4,500€ to send.

Unfortunately the European Union have just signed a sad and sour deal with Turkey and in the last 24 hours the situation in Greece is unclear, with refugees being turned away from Lesvos as well as being being turfed out of the inhumane camps they have been held in.  What faces Antonia now is  where to send these next containers and as soon as NGOs and colleagues on the ground in Greece can tell her, we shall spread the news as to what is happening with everyone’s kind donations.

All this got me thinking about many things.  One is that this could easily be me or you.  From one day to the next, our brothers and sisters, who now find themselves as refugees, were living in their homes, with their jobs and daily tasks, with their loved ones and their pets.  In a heartbeat, they were on their way with just enough to fill a backpack on a journey where they had no map and who knows if they will get to where they don’t know they are going.  Especially now, with the new ruling, no-one knows what will happen to them.

What Mallorca’s good people have shown this week is that we, the ordinary and the extraordinary people everywhere, know what is good and what is right and that is where our energies have been spent this past week.  It is NOT right that we have a situation whereby thousands and thousands of our human family are fighting for their lives on a daily journey with no clear destination in sight.  It is NOT right that our elected officials sit in their fine offices and wine and dine on the misery of our human families affected by greed, violence and outrageous ego.  It is NOT right that we continue to elect these self-same officious men and women who deserve to come down from their ivory towers and ask themselves “what if that were me”?  It is NOT right that the refugees have no safe passage to escape war and misery.  It is especially NOT right the recent and atrocious deal made on our behalf to turn back the refugees that even dare to think of setting foot in Europe.

Antonia Triguero, Santiago Stankovic, people of Inca, women, men, young people and children of Mallorca you are a force to be reckoned with.  You are people with heart, with a conscience, with abundant love and compassion.  You are a people I take my hat off to and thank you for being who you are.

Visca Mallorca!

To donate to Proem-Aid to send the containers onwards, please use “Contenedor Mallorca” as reference and donate to this account: ES49 1491 0001 2021 7549 1022

 

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

Us & Them

prostitution; brothels; European laws on prostitution

Anyone for shopping?

I caught an interesting documentary on television the other night, “Sex – Made in Germany”.  It seems that prostitution and all things related are legal in Germany and and the programme featured some very successful entrepreneurs and their businesses.  Apparently the state is bringing in some big bucks because of making the industry legal and along with them, private businesses are also raking it in.  However, as usual women don’t make as much money and some of the ways of earning a euro or two as a prostitute in Germany (or anywhere else in the world for that matter) are quite sad and shocking.

Prostitution is a big subject for me, much bigger than politics or religion about which you can hear me happily giving an opinion whenever you want!  For the record, I have voted and I have been to church so I have my opinion based on my experience.  I’ve not sold my sex for money and I’ve never been inside a brothel nor spoken to a prostitute so where does my in-built distrust and disgust come from regarding this age old industry?

I think this is where my matriarchal influenced life comes in, a place where women were their own bosses and no man told her what to do or how to do it.  My maternal grandmother stood her own ground against a patriarchal system and rose to the top of her profession in Jamaica back in the 30s and 40s, unheard of at the time.  My paternal grandmother was a busy mother of six, living on the breadline, but boss of her house and keeping everyone in check.  Has that influenced me?  For sure it has!  Men didn’t expect so little of women where I was growing up, they expected an awful lot.

I have had a blessed life in which education and values were bestowed upon me in all their glory.  As a girl growing up in the 60s and 70s, expectations were there, albeit it did seem limited at the time.  At 18yrs and leaving school the choices were university, teacher training, nursing or secretarial school – we were expected to do something with our lives.  I chose secretarial school as my cunning plan was to be CEO of a multi-national!  Unfortunately I read The Women’s Room by Marilyn French and things didn’t work out that way, but that’s another story!

The part of the documentary that really affected me was when the programme was interviewing the successful owner of one of the biggest chains of mega brothels in Germany.  Filmed at home with his four children who are privately educated in Waldorf and international schools, he is asked about them taking on the family business when they’re older.  His answer shows his pride of his children and he would be delighted if they took over the family business.  The interviewer then asks if he’d be happy with his daughters working as prostitutes and to see his face, appalled at the idea and then hear his answer jerked me back to reality!  Of course not was his answer!  What a brutal thought he shuddered!  Here is a man who would not want his own daughters to work as prostitutes yet his business celebrates prostitution!

Further disturbing facts about the documentary show how this type of establishment is considered the norm amongst men from all walks of life and they start going there when they legally can.  Here in Mallorca we have a lot of young Brits coming on holiday to Magalluf as a wierd rite of passage and in Germany, that rite of passage for boys is going to one of these mega brothels instead!  I can’t imagine my sons as clients in that sort of place.  First born never did a Magalluf rite of passage either!

How sad it is that the one of the most wonderful expressions of human love namely sexual expression can be turned into something so sordid.  Physical love, an opportunity to sexually connect and explore on another dimension but instead used as a service in which the man has the power and connecting to someone’s feelings don’t come into it.  I have nothing against prostitutes, facts show that many of them are there because of sexual abuse, poverty, violence or trafficking.  I simply do not understand how men can pay for sex.  There is nothing glamorous or sexy about it, there is nothing sweet or cute about it, there is nothing that I can see that makes it acceptable – nothing about exploiting women is right to me!

For the prostitute, things did get a little better with these new laws in Germany which allowed prostitution to become legal but it wasn’t enough.  As usual, elsewhere in the world, prostitution is alive and kicking and still benefitting men.

And for the father who expects so much from his daughters, how sad that underneath it all it’s about us and them at the end of the day.

 

Interesting reading:

http://s.telegraph.co.uk/graphics/projects/welcome-to-paradise/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26261221

http://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/jun/12/germany-now-europes-biggest-brothel

http://prostitution.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000772

 

 

Bigging it up for learning!

adult learning; teaching; education; blogging; writing

When we get home from school!

I have had the most fun weekend in a long time, I did two workshops – one I devised and facilitated and the other I attended.  Both were fun and today I feel fired up and ready to go!  Some of my friends spent the weekend doing some learning too.  At second born’s eco-school Sa Llavor they brought in leading UK Waldorf science educator Graham Kennish for the weekend to host a conference on “Towards a Holistic Science”.  It was well attended and enjoyed by many.  Bumping into one of the parents this morning at school drop off, it was wonderful to see how much she enjoyed it.  “I felt 13 years old again and would readily have gone back to school for more” enthused Petra about the weekend.

So what is it about learning as an adult that is different to learning when we are children?  Firstly, we enjoy learning about something we want to learn, not something that we are being told to learn.  We are independent and self-directing; we are problem solving and therefore discussions make up for a large part of our learning and as importantly, our learning has relevance on our lives and we want to apply it there!

That is what I wanted out of my weekend of further education and so Saturday’s workshop was on “Setting Intentions for a Life Changing 2015 and Beyond”.  Although I was the facilitator, I was also learning and this was enjoyed on many levels.  I managed to set some intentions in different areas of my life – career, health, wealth and creativity and I managed to gain valuable experience leading the workshop.  All in all, it was very enjoyable and I hope the participants thought so too!  Of course the setting where we held the workshop was the tranquil Binissalem Peace Centre and that was a plus.

On Sunday, I enjoyed the day with four other women and our teacher – the blogging and social media queen, Vicki Mcleod of Phoenix Media Mallorca!  It was a recap day to go over any areas we needed help with on blogging and it was the perfect day in so many ways!  Firstly, Vicki wears her crown with confidence and enthusiasm.  She loves what she does and this passion and energy was felt by all.  She is a willing teacher, and by willing I mean that she wants us to learn, she wants us to blog, she wants us to be successful and she will go the extra mile for us.

In just a day, I came out of the class with so much useful knowledge, a wealth of tips as well as enthusiasm that is now being put to good use.  I also met two other women I didn’t know and I caught up with Kay from the Universal Booksh0p who is always so kind and fun to be with.  I met Andreea from Signature Estates and was impressed by her determination to learn.  She is a busy working mother running her own company with her husband and yet she was there on a Sunday looking to brush up her skills and I was impressed that she even had time to bring delicious cup cakes – naughty!  Then there was Julie, the Anglican vicar’s wife and a woman in her own right.  Julie is from an educational background and we enjoyed a long talk on schools and education in general.  It was a pleasure to meet a teacher with such a respect and care for her students, especially knowing that the age she prefers to teach is that of teenagers, not always the easiest group!

All in all, I really enjoyed this past weekend.  I feel I have learned a lot about myself in the process.  I enjoyed being a teacher and being with the teacher.  I appreciated curiosity, enthusiasm, problem solving, sharing, support and above all, I came home happy with my achievements!  The boys came home eventually and second born had been to the cinema with some of his school mates and without the parents – he is learning to be more responsible and grown up!  First born went to bed with the laptop to watch his teacher, youtube, and take in a lesson on jazz, adding to his skills as a musician.

Never stop learning, it keeps us healthy in mind, body and spirit and I for one, want that!

 

Blogging & social media learning with Vicki Mcleod                               http://www.phoenixmediamallorca.com

Sa Llavor – independent, autonomous school integrating sustainable ethical principles in action and experience of sustainability as an integral education.                                                       http://www.sallavor.es