A blog about...


Thursday, October 28, 2010

World 1 & World 2

Suddenly being the writer, feels to be living in 2 worlds. Or, when taking into account all of what I’m juggling, each day, I might be living in 3 or 4 worlds. This is probably what most people experience each day of their busy lives and therefore it may simply be ‘the way of the world today‘. But, to keep my focus, I’ll enlighten the main task I’m undertaking, which is the writing. It creates a world different than to the one I’m living. It’s world number 2. And I live in world number 1; which is where I met you guys “)

It took quite some weeks to actually feel like I’m where I need to be - in terms of WHERE I’m writing (my place of peace) and HOW I’m writing (the concept and form the book is taking). And when both of these feel to be so good, then WHAT exactly comes to life in world number 2, can ONLY be good! Then all that’s needed is to keep in mind what exactly the purpose is of each step, or chapter, as the book unfolds around the concept I‘ve created; this is the thread that needs to be followed. And whatever else comes to life is an added bonus which stimulates me even more to keep going and most importantly, the keep on flowing.

How brilliant is that! Logic and rational to most, but to me, a big breakthrough! It’s like the perfect formula I’ve found, all by myself, and now it’s a matter of trust in my ability to pursue this dream and trust in the process of creation. I‘ve also realized: when there’s no urgency inside of you caused by the lack of peace in your surroundings when trying to write, then there’s nothing distracting or steering you away from what you’re eagerly bringing from that deeper place within, to the world. To put it more simply: When world number 1 is clinging on to you and bringing you feelings of discomfort and uneasiness then how can world number 2 ever be fully brought to life in the desired manner and become something that at least one person on this planet can class as a beauty? The ‘not so great’ feelings within world number 1 are brought into world number 2, and the creation can be influenced negatively and become something you may not have wanted it to be.

Finding my peaceful place to write has brought an ease; it’s within world number 1. This ease is strengthened due to the 2 guaranteed senses I have: I am always apart of world 1 (but have the ability to take my ‘leave of absence’ and enter world 2) and I will be able to expand within world world 1, once the expansion of world 2 is complete. So both guarantees bring so much ease; meaning world 2 gets all the energy and devotion it requires and the magic unfolds in whatever way it’s meant to.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The search...

For the past 2 months, I’ve been trying various methods to bring this “madness” into perspective; the “madness” of my days which would seem so very bland to an outsider who’s witnessing me conquer my dreams all within this small body with an un-styled head of hair. I’ve been trying to create many things and finding the balance between “them all”. It’s one between ‘writing-in-a-peaceful-place-and-totally-absorbing-myself-in-a-painful-part-of-my-past’ as I work eagerly to create my book, getting myself ’established’ as a travel writer and doing research and study on particular things that I need at this moment in my life. Along side, I engage with the commotion that comes with living in a full-house that feels a little fuller because of my precious 1-year old godson Cian, who is currently cutting some teeth.

But, it’s all so exciting. Because I’ve cracked the code for now! Finally I create a world of magic each day, when I step into my workspace. I no longer sit in the libraries, which have such depressing, cold and unfriendly vibes sparking off both the exterior and the interior of the buildings - especially the library here in Arklow. Up until 10 days ago, I was forcing myself to stick it out, in that cold and, most definitely, haunted building. It was torture and I felt like I was being punished. The clock was all I could see, instead of the story I was trying to write. The time was something I wasn’t embracing, which is what I usually do when I write. Usually I want time to stop because the moments are so precious. However, I was instead wishing them away. This was a tell-tale sign that the pleasure in creating, wasn’t all mine. So I had to find a different space for creation. A warm, homely, inviting yet peaceful environment is what I would wake-up each day longing to have. There had to be a special place! Where or where would I find that special “there”?

I searched high and low to find that place somewhere in this town. To search, I left the house each and everyday. Each morning for the past 2 months, I started my search from the front doorstep of this home, in search of home and warmth, all so I could create a book to help others and so I could fulfil what I feel is my purpose at this moment in time. So I actually left home in search of a peaceful home! Was I blinded by the bright green fields that I see when I open the front door? Or was I driven by the travelling energy within me, that simply needs reassurance that she’s still apart of the amazing world and still feeling to be “on the go” and always accepted by the community wherever she may go, as she engages with her town of origin? My answer to both is a definite yes.

The search forced me to constantly reassess my methods. It’s all apart of the learning process, and as I’m only starting-out as a writer (!!!!!), I need to experience this process. And I’m extremely grateful. Because when reassessing my methods and following my feelings, I was led back to the place of homely peace, from where my search started out: home.

So, the surroundings are stable and it’s all I need. There’s just enough background noise coming from the kitchen with Cians’ wee screams keeping me driven, motivated and feeling to be still in a place of recognition, plus an endless supply of green tea! This is now where I’ve managed to find my workspace; at home. Last week Monday was a big day, the 18th, when my “office” opened it ’s doors to me for the first time. I don’t have to clock-in with my employees’ pass “). I only check-in with my body-clock, that urges me each morning at around the same time of 08.30, to fill the pot with green tea, take my laptop upstairs and close the door to world number 1in order to open the door to world number 2. And then the magic has to happen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

2 dreams merging

After 10 weeks of being here in Ireland, the pause-button is still being pressed. It’s proving to be so many things; one word simply isn’t enough. It’s been revealing, enlightening, fulfilling, inspiring, relaxing and full-on. It’s also been occasionally uneasy, providing me with itchy feet and 10min minor panic attacks with tears of desperation - all with the belief that these feelings would speed up the process I’m going through and keep me on the road. Because I was fearing that to not focus on travels, I’d be letting my dreams slip and fade away into the distance.

So now, with the connections within the world, which are slowly becoming my world, I’ve been reassessing my situation. The question came to mind: how can a person follow one set task through, that takes so much time, motivation, dedication and love when there‘s something else brewing which is needing just as much time, motivation, dedication and love? This one set task is writing my book; which is a dream in the making. And the other dream in the making is travel. I so eagerly was and still am wanting both.

After going through a state of confusion, as you can imagine, I’ve realized that travel is my life. This is a given. I’ve realized that writing is my life. This is another given. I’ve also realized that if I’m so dead-set on both of these aspects to be all that my life is to revolve around, then there’s no need in crying tears of desperation to get myself moving as soon as possible. Because the travel will happen, sooner or later. When the time is right the ticket will present itself. The ticket to that amazing place in the world where my 2 dreams will merge into one. My dream of travel and my dream of writing will become one. And in order for that to happen, this period in Ireland is first a process I need to go through. It’s a process of writing and learning. And the lessons I’ll take with me on my travels and I’ll benefit from them forever.

The calling of the world which is telling me to “get a move on” but really is nowhere to be heard in my surroundings, will be answered once finishing this task. One dream is making the other dream happen. By answering the call, the 2 dreams will become 1. I’ll never need to neglect a part of what I feel is my purpose in life. When the call is being answered, there will no longer be a yearning for another dream to be lived. Because that other dream will be accomplished and it will be taking me higher; all through the amazing opportunities within the big wide world..

Worldly connections

To have a connection with certain people who are scattered around the world, is so amazing. Having daily meetings through email with dear friends who have their origins in places near and far - from India to France, from Thailand to England, from Holland to Japan, from Belgium to Ecuador, from America to Germany - keeps the heart so open to still and always feel and be apart of that big wide world. It really doesn’t matter how near or far these places are, from you current position on this planet. We are all within the world, apart of the world, of the world. The world is yours, is mine, is ours, if we so wish to keep our hearts so open to it all and embrace it.

Taking all the opportunities to connect with the world and the people within it, means to be apart of the bigger picture, no matter how insignificant we may feel or how small a space we occupy on earth. We then have the potential to belong anywhere and everywhere. Even if a place doesn’t feel to be the place where you 100% belong. Through connecting and embracing the world and the people, the place you belong will sooner or later be stumbled upon.

Life is about connecting and networking with the family, the community, the country and the world, to the extent each person feels comfortable with. The individual chooses a network around which to revolve their lives and it's what creates their world. It’s up to them to make their world as big or as small as they wish; filling it with friends, acquaintances and likeminded individuals. Feeling comfort with those connections, gives that opportunity to always belong; regardless of the piece of earth upon which they presently stand. It no longer matters; not now that the airwaves provide such a thing that lets time and space feel to be non-existent just by the necessary click of a few buttons. The airwaves that are able to almost “magically” send and receive the messages, the words, the vibes and the connection for maintenance of the lives of every individual and, ultimately, the world. The messages still travel the same distance as they once needed to travel, before there was such a thing as email. Before such brilliance however, the speed at which the mail travelled differed immensely. How privileged we are to have this connection with the world so large, yet increasingly smaller - due to this speed!

A world of opportunity and unlimited potential awaits; behind just one computer screen. It’s all there for us. The friends, the networking, the lives. We have access to it all and life suddenly has possibilities of being far more than we ever believed it could have been.

At the moment, I may be sitting in Arklow, Ireland, behind the computer screen, typing away. I may be back in a place I initially didn’t want to return to, for fear of getting stuck and getting down on life and for fear of seeming like a failure to the rest of the world and to myself as I’m not on the road and travelling physically. I may be here a lot longer than I anticipated. But none of these factors seem to matter. Not when my vision of the world is ever expanding. The way in which this chapter is unfolding, is making me feel to be just as much a part of the big wide world, as I did when I was moving from place to place. I didn’t think this was possible. But it is, due to the connectedness with certain people and the position I’m giving myself within this world from my “base“ of Arklow. Such a simple thing is offering me this amazing world.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Living" put into perspective

Opening your email can sometimes reveal things you never could have imagined. From one moment to the next, your perspective can change, be it for the good or the bad; depending on the news that is brought.

The email I received last night was from a friend of mine, who I was teaching with in India, Paul. He wrote to tell me that another English teacher we both worked closely with, has suddenly come to pass away. His name is Cliff, from the States. A middle-aged jolly traveller, with an approach to life that absolutely everybody could have learnt from. We worked together at the last school I was teaching in (Ebenezer) for 3 weeks. Cliff was one of the reasons I decided to stay for the length of time I did and Paul was another reason. Together we were the 3 musketeers, supporting each other whilst working and living so closely.

The length of time we were working together was relatively short. But when you’re travelling, and when you connect with someone, the level of friendship that evolves is far deeper than many friendships can ever reach, compared to when you’re living a settled life with security in your familiarized surroundings. When you’re travelling, the security is sought in the people you relate to; especially when there’s the instant connection due to a like-mindedness that isn’t always experienced.

He was such a wise man. I looked up to him in many ways and thought about him so often. The words he spoke to me and the advice he gave, never left my mind and they have proven to help me in more ways than he ever realized. He had big dreams and was ever evolving as a person and still so eager to find out how his personal life could serve the larger picture of life in general. He was a big dreamer, and with his 50 years he had enough experience and capabilities to make those dreams a reality. And that’s what he was doing. Yet he reached his fullest potential without even realizing it, by lives he's touched along his many many travels.

Cliff was in Thailand when he passed away. I haven’t heard how it happened. All I know is, he was working as yoga teacher in a resort one of the islands. He was a representation of pure life, of pure soul and of pure freedom. The peace he would unknowingly project would ground anybody is who doesn’t have the natural ability to keep their own 2 feet on this earth. He was rooted into the earth and others couldn’t help but follow suit, in his presence.

Many dosas we ate, many chai we drank, many hours we chatted. I remember the last words I spoke to him when I said goodbye on the morning of the 4th of July (which is when I moved from the school to the ashram he advised me to visit) and those were: “you made my time at Ebenezer complete”. He was shocked to hear me say that. And, quite frankly, so was I. But it was the simply truth. He then gave me the warmest of hugs I ever received while I was in India. I’ll never forget that embrace.

Last night, shock was all I felt. And then I felt suddenly so blessed. I felt so calm and lucky to have spent those weeks with him. That our paths came to cross was something extra special. It’s almost like a loss that I’m privileged to experience, no matter how strange that may sound. Leaving the sadness and the frustration behind when questioning why so soon, why him and why this unfairness has to be felt by the loved-ones he's left behind, I know that the spirit he connected so deeply to has brought him to some amazing place. Because he was simply amazing and had amazing travels, that will definitely not stop now. His presence may no longer be physically here on earth, but he surely left footprints in the sand due to his grounded nature - those footprints have even been set in places he never managed to walk along, Arklow amongst many others.

How precious this life is, and it feels like a smack in the mouth. How precious each day is, and it feels like awareness is rising. How precious each moment is, and it feels then so soothing. So short this life is. When relating this to the quote: “life isn’t measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away” I can only take along with me the following lesson: aim for every moment to have the potential of taking your breath away, and continuous magic is your life. So, as Cliff did, I shall practise what I preach. He has set an example and I will lead by it.

Paul also said something in his email: "He was one of the best human beings to have walked this earth.."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Being challenged patiently

I occasionally wonder why I can struggle to keep my focus here in Ireland, and on what I’m doing. Most mornings I wake up and am so full of beans of what this day will bring me. I get excited about where this road is heading. I cannot see the exact hurdles or the challenges that I’ll be brought to experience along the way. Because it’s unknown. But that’s what makes it exciting I guess. However on other mornings I wake up with ideas as to how I can move as quickly as possible through this process. The process of creation is never to be forced. How can it be? But that’s what I do. Often times I know that the urgency to move, will help me to get things done. Because so easily I could float through each day and trust that I’m doing all I can and let one week roll into the next. It’s too easy and feels like the "lazy-mans-approach". But it can actually be an amazing way to approach life. If I switching-off the urges I have to the force things along, then I'll be letting it all come to a “stop” instead of the simple “pause” I’m currently pressing. I am reminded of my dreams as the impatience and the eagerness to leave, comes on a regular basis. This is so good!

So those urges are what keep me going. They keep on reassuring me everyday, to sit and give at least a little or preferably a lot, to this process of change I’m going through. The process of change, is the writing. To devote a few hours each day requires me to focus on something that’s new. And what is the new thing I‘m focussing on? I’m throwing myself into a world of books, of research, of illness and of emotions. It’s showing me a change in everything. Every moment feels like one I should be learning from. Everyday is one that should be a step towards creating the bigger picture. Each step is what’s needed in order to bring the creation to the hands of those in need. Those who are suffering and who may need guidance.

To call myself a writer, is to be a writer. That’s what I’m doing. And creating is now my life. My life needs to flow, as does my writing. It’s one and the same and that’s the way it is and will be. I tell myself each day that my writing is my freedom. No matter where I place myself on this earth, writing lets me experience any kind of freedom I want.

To attain freedom though, there’s still a need to focus on what’s here. My travelling is being put on pause because of this. Am I sacrificing one dream for the other? Will this dream lead me to experience the other?

The world is full of opportunities. It’s unreal. If I really wanted, I could take the jobs I’ve been offered in India as a teacher. I have the contacts still and they are urging me still to come back. I could go anywhere in the world and teach. It’s all out there. India however, is where I need to return to. But, right now, how could I get up and leave, when I’m smack-bang in the middle of something I knew I always needed to pursue? How can I choose to now suddenly let that go, just to press “play” again and show the world that I’m a free spirit? I could do this. Sometimes it would be far easier for me to pack my bags and leave. If doing this, I'd carry my dream with me. I’d turn-off the tap that is becoming a constant flow of words. Some days the tap only provides a drip, not nearly enough to quench my thirst, other days it provides enough to fill all the glasses that are on display in Ikea.

To speak about the writing so openly, I sometimes wonder if it’s wise. Am I trying to be someone I’m not? Am I jinxing everything by telling people what my priorities in life are, right now? Am I putting extra pressure on myself, by speaking of it? Does this pressure create doubts? Yes it does. But I need to tune-out to the expectations others have from me. This is MY journey. People are interested and I want to share. But that doesn’t mean I have to use their thoughts as a way to swamp myself and as a negative force that will encourage me to go against what I truly need to do in my life, at this moment in time. I can use the expectations of others to drive me along. Because I too expect certain things from myself. And without others around me, I would leave the expected travels to fill my dreams each night.

Travel isn’t just a whim for me any longer. It’s a must. It’s my life. So I am leaving so soon. And this certainty is what keeps me sane. It keeps me focussed, even when I get swamped and am convinced I’m not doing nearly enough to create the life I want. It keeps me focussed when I have the tendency to float through each day. I already have the life I want, because I have my words and so I have my freedom. Wherever I go in the world, the words will flow. This is a simple dream that is becoming a fact through the process I’m now keeping in motion.

So patience is what I need. I can rise to the challenge of keeping my feet on the Irish earth and when I rise to this challenge, I can be as happy and free to be doing what I am each day..