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!

Fun-d raising!

fundraising; CEN; London; cycling; Prudential London 100

Brother Deuan

My brother Deuan is an awesome man, he is 56 years old and the oldest teenager I know!  Why a teen?  He has an incredible energy that is exhuberance personified and coupled with his spontaneity about everything happening around him, he is never still for long.

My brother Deuan is someone I admire very much.  He has many talents and he is someone that people love to meet and know, so great is his energy that he uplifts wherever he goes.  He also walks his talk and when he puts his mind to do something, he always follows through.

My brother Deuan works in the charitable sector in England in the world of education.  The organisation our father Gerry German started over a decade ago is Communities Empowerment Network and Deuan is Strategic Director there, responsible for fund raising amongst other things.  Communities Empowerment Network or CEN as it is also known provide “Free Independent Expert Advice, Support, and Representation to parents and to carers of children who are at risk of exclusion or have been excluded”. They also provide excellent training in dealing with exclusion for both the community and professional organisations.

CEN do the work they do by relying on donations and funding and so on the 2nd August my brother Deuan will be cycling the Prudential London Surrey 100 to raise much needed funds for this organisation.

At times it can be useful to think beyond our own lives and families and commit ourselves to being part of the global family.  We are the village raising our children and some of those children here in the United Kingdom, excluded or expelled from schools need our help.  CEN is the organisation with an incredible wealth of knowledge, who are committed to supporting and providing information to the more than 1000 children and young people who come to them every year in a moment of crisis.  Most cases should not have come to the desks of CEN but as we live in a world of reaction and intolerance coupled with confusion and fear with a system that doesn’t always benefit a child who might be different, the cases continue to pile up.

Your child might have been lucky in a number of ways with the school you chose for them and that is great news.  I am so happy with the choices I made for my sons and my second born enjoys an alternative education in an eco school in Mallorca.  However, all of the children today are tomorrow’s adults and our companions, colleagues and collaborators of the future.  Where one is failed, we all have failed.

If you are interested in knowing more about CEN and what they do, please visit their website and contact my brother Deuan there – volunteers always welcome and any professionals wishing to offer pro bono work too (lawyers, educators, social media, marketing, fund raisers, event planners etc).  If you can donate to this particular race then please visit the Just Giving webpage to do so.  If you wish to tithe a part of your salary or income in a more sustainable way, then CEN would love to hear from you.

In memory of our father Gerry German, a man who had many children – 5 were biological and hundreds of thousands were his soul children – “believing is seeing” and he saw the very best of each and every one of us!

 

Communties Empowerment Network            http://www.cenlive.org/

To donate, London Surrey 100                        https://www.justgiving.com/Deuan-German4/

School trip

Serra de Tramuntana, world heritage, sa llavor eco school, sa llavor foundation, mallorca, spain

World Heritage – La Serra de Tramuntana

I dropped second born off yesterday for his end of year school trip!  Whilst lots of kids in Mallorca have been nipping over to the mainland to stay in hotels and enjoy adventure parks, the kids at his school are on an adventure of another sort!

As you may know, second born goes to an independent, alternative school called Sa Llavor.  It’s an eco-school which means that they base their education on the main principals of sustainability within an holistic educational setting, integrating nature and character amongst other fine practises.

Yesterday should have started for him first thing with departure from school up to the UNESCO recognised World Heritage Site of the Serra mountain range of the north west of Mallorca.  Unfortunately he woke up at 6am with stomach ache which turned into vomitting quickly!  Nerves were beginning, after all 4 days without wi-fi was a daunting thought!  He asked for rescue remedy but as first born had needed it for a performance the previous week, I didn’t have any to hand!

I sent him back to sleep knowing he would feel fine later and knowing that he would go on this once-a-year adventure that the school organises for the last year primary kids and the older secondary children.  I was already down for the car pool later in the afternoon to pick up from the excursion and take them back to the hostal so I knew he would be joining them, come hell or high water!

We set off in a hurry when we suddenly got a call bringing the time forward as the rain had been torrential up there and everyone was soaked.  Off we went in a caravan of cars, dad in the van at the end of it.  We arrived with the sun coming back out and a cheer from the kids and two adults when they saw that second born was there.  Happy faces, albeit soaked bodies, were taken up to the refuge that was to be their home for the first and second nights and wow, what luxury!  If you are going to stay there with a school apparently you don’t pay!

At this point the five lucky parents who got to be part of the end of the first day were pointedly shown the door and there we left them!  Their itinerary looks wonderful, we were sorry to leave!  They’ll take in two more days of Puig de Tomir, Sa Calobra and Torrent de Pareis and on the third day take the boat to the port of Soller to stay their last night in another refuge.  The last day they’ll catch trams and trains home and I’m sure that second born will be more than happy to kick off his walking boots and share his stories of this special school trip with us!

Sa Llavor eco school                 http://www.sallavor.es

Serra mountain range              www.serradetramuntana.net

Walking & refuges                    www.conselldemallorca.net

 

5 Rhythms revisited

 

Jessica Howie; 5 rhythms; Mallorca; Wild Honey Oxford; workshops

Jess

You may remember that I translated a 5 Rhythms workshop last autumn with the very fabulous Jessica Howie.  Well this past weekend, she was back in Mallorca and I once again was her translator of choice for the weekend 5 Rhythms workshop so beautifully organised by Tracy Courtney-Wills.

Twenty people, mainly women, gathered together to dance and move their way through the 5 rhythms and I was able to witness and partake at times in this most liberating of experiences.  My arrival on Saturday was a little bit hairy as I had had to bake two cakes first thing and I was a bit stressed getting to the venue.  No problem as it seemed that most of us there were bringing “stuff” to the session and Jessica quietly suggested that we just let it be and let it go.  I found the first hour or so challenging, in that the little voices in my head were telling me what a rubbish translator I was.  It’s not easy for me knowing that over half the room of English speakers have an excellent level of Spanish.  I felt invisible eyes on the back of me for a long while but then remembered comments from the last workshop from the Spanish participants who complimented me on my translating as they got exactly what they needed!  So from then on I enjoyed myself catering to their needs.

Jess and I have an amazing connection and this was proved at the last workshop and confirmed again this weekend.  She and I work well together and I really enjoy being by her side and being part of this incredible journey.  She manages to create a space for everyone to just be themselves and she allows absolutely everything to be what it is, just right.  As this is only my second 5 rhythms experience and along with the fact that I have not really participated due to having to translate, there was a moment when I truly got lost in movement.  Luckily Jessica noticed and catered for that by being aware that no words were needed just then.  As I came back to earth I noticed my hands as if for the very first time and wow, they were amazing!  Opening my eyes and looking through the window was like seeing the world for the first time.  The freedom to be myself in the 5 rhythms was truly liberating and I can’t wait to participate properly next time.

Jessica’s music is also excellent and the choices for us to move and dance to are truly an exciting mix.  The five rhythms are flow, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness so you can imagine what a mixture of music is presented.

Sadly on Monday I had the opposite of what I had experienced throughout the weekend and that was a massive downer!  I moped around most of the day, unable to get a handle on myself.  I had to force myself to go to improvisation in the evening and how glad I am that I went as that brought my spirit back to life!  A funny thing happened to me on Tuesday though and that was when I popped into the gas station.  Whilst waiting my turn in the queue, the radio was on and without prompting I began to move and sway to the music.  I realised that on Monday I hadn’t listened to any music and my body automatically went into rhythm whilst standing behind a gentleman who tried not to look at me as I began to move my arms and body in time to the beat.

5 rhythms is a must, for everybody and anybody!  I am going back for more so hurry back Jessica Howie, this woman needs you!

 

Visit Jessica’s web page                                                                        http://www.jessica5rhythms.com/

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

 

 

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

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

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/

Living without Facebook

descarga

I suddenly had the thought a few days ago to go a week without facebook!  This idea occurred to me in the early, waking hours of Saturday, a day in which I was going to be out of the house for most of it.  I had a renewal of vows ceremony to perform and then I was off to translate a weekend workshop on 5Rhythms.  The thought came out of nowhere, or did it?  My first born is the first to criticise the amount of time I spend on facebook and it’s true, I do spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of the computer especially with my cyber family.  When the thought came to me, it seemed so right and here I am, nearly half way through my week of living without facebook.

Surprisingly, it’s been quite easy!  I set things up on Sunday evening because of course I had to up-date my status and let people know I wasn’t going to be there!  Need I have bothered?  Interestingly, it seems that nobody has missed me!  I informed people as to where they might find me ie telephone numbers and email address but so far, all is quiet.  What did that tell me?  I realised that I had allowed my real relationships to fall by the wayside.  Simply put, I have not been good at maintaining my friendships.  We are so busy, or are we?  I certainly have no excuses!  I am blessed to not be working this year so I don’t have the excuse of a 9 to 5 job!  How is it that I spend most of my time locked away in my home, sat in Binissalem, preferring to communicate with a laptop and connection via WIFI?!

Day one started off well.  I met a couple of the mums at school drop off and had tea.  As I only do the school drop off once a week, this was quite a treat!   The mums at the school are wise women.  Petra is a creative and giving woman whom I have known for years and it is so special to make time to catch up with her.  She is a grounding energy but light at the same time, always ready with a reminder to not sweat the small stuff!  Irene, a new contact for me, is an interesting woman from Argentina and we talked about playfulness, childhood and education – subjects quite dear to all of our hearts especially given that we have chosen to send our children to an “eco” school.  Then I went home and I did what I had promised myself to do and that was to write my blog finding time still to have my weekly catch up phone call with great friend Sylvia!

Mondays is also the day to look forward to improvisation classes and this week was class number two.  I was very nervous this time, more nervous than the first time but once there the nerves settled.  However, the insecurity didn’t!  What is it about playing that can be so difficult for so many of us?  Mind you, this is a journey for me so I am going to keep plugging away until I find what it is I am looking for which is freedom to express myself without fear.  On my way to improvisation (I take the train) I chatted with Alexandra, a Dutch teacher in the Spanish public system and how refreshing to hear her news.  She was at the Education for Life conference recently and inspired by the speakers, she has introduced meditation to her 9 – 11yr olds at school.  The shocking thing she shared with me is the fact that she doesn’t actually have the time to do this within the structure of the school day so hats off to her for making the time.

Tuesday’s deep and meaningful conversations with were Estrella, another mother from the school who introduced me to Ariella, an American woman living in Holland and visiting Mallorca with her daughter.  Estrella will be my new teacher.  Tomorrow I have a rebirthing session with her and I hope to remove some blockages and nonsense that I don’t need in my life anymore – more will be revealed later!  Ariella hopes to come and live in Mallorca and we spoke about midwifery and soul-midwifery amongst other things.  I hope she comes back.

My whatsapp group of the Goddesses always keeps me filled and I hope to catch up in person with them before too long.  An amazing bunch of women from all over the world and currently residing in Mallorca – all the beautiful brainwave of Cloe Collette, a talented artist.  She, Ruth, Emmeline, Anna, Aleid, Daniella, Rita and many more interesting women share events and ideas via this application and next week there is a creative get-together to which I am not sure if I can go yet but thinking about it now, I think I shall make the effort and join them!  It’s time to learn to sew as I keep seeing things that need mending.

Today Wednesday, I come from yoga with Eva and I am so thankful and grateful for these classes – twice weekly and thrice needed!  Eva is a dedicated, caring and inspiring teacher.  Her soft voice encourages me to keep trying and although a lot of the postures are still a goal to reach, I am getting there slowly.

I shall also record my weekly radio show for the Happiness Café and I am delighted that I shall be speaking to a man who is preparing for an interesting weekend conference on energy, economy and ecology!  More about him on the show so don’t forget to tune in next Monday at 10am!

Well, now I am not on facebook I have time for other things like cleaning my house so I shall crack on with that!  Have a great week and talk to someone today!

Improvisation with Gori (Spanish)               goriartieda@gmail.com

Eco school Sa Llavor                                         www.sallavor.es

Yoga with Eva (bilingual)                                emdemiguel@gmail.com

The Happiness Café                                          www.mallorcasunshineradio.com

Education for Life                                              www.pocapoc.org

Sacred Valley Dialogues conference on Energy, Economy and Ecology 24 – 26th October 2014 Soller contact Christer Soderberg (christer@sacredvallydialogues.org)

5Rhythms Dance – Workshop Mallorca

Jessica Howe, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher

Jessica Howie, 5 Rhythms Dance Teacher

 

What a weekend!  When life does its twists and turns and leads you to places you normally wouldn’t go, be prepared for surprises!  That’s what happened as to how I found myself at the 5Rhythms weekend workshop with Jessica Howie.  My friend Helen Burns saw a post on facebook asking for a translator for the weekend and recommended me – thanks Helen, so appreciate the synchronicity!  Tracy Courtney, organiser of the weekend and a very good one too, arranged it all and even though I was going to be late for joining, show up I did and just in time.

I arrived and immediately felt a deep connection to teacher, mother, instructor, inspiration – Jessica Howie.  What a presence, what a woman and what a connection between us, it was immediate and intense and so began this journey to a place I now wonder why I’ve never been there before!

5Rhythms is a dynamic movement developed by the late, great Gabrielle Roth and is an invitation to anyone, regardless of age, to join in, and if you have a beating heart and a willingness to move, then this is a practise for you.  So what did I expect?  Well, I was nervous about translating as that is not a talent I associate with myself and I busied myself with finding out new vocabulary (apologies for mistakes) and to be honest, I really didn’t give much thought to 5Rhythms itself but I was open and willing to share myself to the experience.

My first impressions were liberating which I believe is the whole experience of 5Rhythms – there are no mistakes, there is no right or wrong and how wonderful is that?  I loved the fact that the floor forms part of the experience of dance as strange as that may sound.  It gave me such freedom to feel that space needn’t be the air around us but what we can touch too.

The five rhythms are flow, stacatto, chaos, lyrical and stillness and during the weekend, participants explored all of them.  Apparently joining them together is a wave (lots to learn still).  The experience is full on participatory and everyone spent the weekend moving, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast, sometimes pausing, sometimes connecting with another.  It was a powerful connection to self and to the tribe.  The music chosen and put together by Jessica touched every cell in me – she has hundreds of songs and sounds so getting a song list from the weekend is not going to be easy!  Each rhythm has it’s choice of sound from dance music, to drums, to piano, to voice and all the sounds uplifted, stirred something, connected, moved – it was a feast of the senses.

Jessica’s presence as maestro during the weekend was central to the experience.  She was soft, caring, present and instilled a sense of security right from the start.  Everyone there was safe to explore, secure in themselves to be, experience, connect, discover and how beautiful was it to witness.  I was the observer and I felt at times a deep longing to join and lose myself in the dance and I was  fortunate to have moments in which to do so, and none so precious as the moment of flying with Jessica inside the sacred circle of the group.

When we ended the day after 13 hours of intensity, the group (22 participants) had moved into a close space together.  They had worked on incredible heart connection over the weekend, especially the second day and by the end were ready to be physically close to each other.  Time to finish meant that Jessica felt that she could share words with the group and as we walked towards them, she and I, I saw a mother walking towards her children to share her appreciation and her love with them – touching, beautiful and so powerful.  And in the sharing at this time, Jessica’s real mother, allowed for the first time to participate on one of her workshops, shared how she felt as a mother, having her daughter be her teacher.  I agree – there is a teacher in all of us and sometimes the teacher remains hidden.  In the case of Jessica Howie, the teacher is very much alive and I know that she is there for this lifetime.  Jessica and to all the participants – Tracy, Lynne, Helen, Debbie, Alice, Ana, Chique, Maria José, Alex, Habiba, David – too many to name or even remember right now – thank you for the connection, the true and sincere connection for our hearts, it was a pleasure to dance the 5rhythms with you.

 

For more about 5Rhythms with Jessica Howie – http://www.jessica5rhythms.com

For more about 5Rhythms Dance Mallorca – dancemallorca@gmail.com