On Being Real

If you have been following me at all up here, you know I’m taking this three-month course called Abundance Group, where we aim at developing our talents and gifts into abundance. It’s amazing. And it’s challenging to see that our acquired sense of self is often the jailer for all that we could be. That’s what I want to talk about today.

What I’ve come to notice is that I didn’t have any problems stating who I was. This is the question I’ve been dealing with fort he past decade:“Who am I, really?” And I’ve come to definitions and I’ve come to conclusions and I’ve come to internalize a set of beliefs about me that I hold dear to my heart and that make me feel right. For example, ever since I came to know the hippie movement from the late 1960’s in my early teens, I just knew: “Mom, I’m a hippie.” What got me about the hippies was their FREEDOM, but what made me stay was the prison that kept my mind believing: “It’s alright if I’m penniless, at least I’m free.” Excuse me, mind, but having a child and being penniless is no fun. Even the freedom, which was the reason that I signed up in the first place, turns to anxiety and rage when my son needs winter boots and I am in no way capable of buying a pair. I wasn’t, but luckily I always had family and friends who were. 

And then I started asking myself whether this was really who I was supposed to be? “Honestly, I’m here to be broke?”, I asked myself and paused.

The voice of the wise answered for me: “Well, if you’re buying this, I’m certainly not.” It was time to acquire a new sense of self. This sense of self made me describe myself as I did a few days ago.

I’m a woman and a mother who is aiming at balance of body, mind and soul. I am a researcher of life whose job is to find pleasure in every little step on the way. I am here to tell the truth about the way and I am here to be REAL.

Seeing the world that is fake and the people who fake in order to please or reach some sort of standards,  lights the fire on my way, because I’m here to question: “Whose standards?”. If you know the answer to this, right you are; if not, go deep inside and look for them for the answers always await until you come inside. We are our own standards and once we’ve caught a glimpse of ourselves, of our true light in being … that light is loyal enough to never let us go. Whatever we sense, or see, or feel, or hear, or touch inside – it’s all good. And if your mind can’t categorize that as good yet, know that that exact thing is a call for love; your love.

We are here to do pure magic, get it?

We are pure magic! From head to toe.

But in order to let the magic shine through, we must love and accept ourselves first. We have to come to terms with all of our pieces because none are better then others. None! Sure, we have come to accept the light and the dark, the up and the down, the left and the right, and yes, even the right and the wrong. But we have only come to know these because we live in a dualistic reality, where it’s easier to understand our different pieces as contrasts. There is no harm in that – as long as we also keep in mind that all of these contrasts can only apply to our particular viewpoints (that are unavoidably the products of our upbringing, education and experiences).

Try not to label your contrasts as right or wrong. If you do that, you will show the world only the pieces in you that you think are right and hide the rest. And that’s fake. And not only is it not REAL, but it will make the unloved, unappreciated pieces of you either sink in and hold a grudge – or (if you’re anything like me) rebel.

All of our pieces are right, because they are ours and because they are real and thus make us REAL. And if they’re showing you a part of yourself that you don’t like or try to ignore or deprive of love or starve to death … they are here because of that alone: to point the finger.

Today bathe the parts that you don’t accept in yourself with love. And let them be.

They make you REAL.

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I am RICH

The past ten days were quite intense. I know, I am fully aware of the fact that I often say this. It’s because I often feel this, too. And I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the decision that I made many a year ago: I will never be bored in this life. And although I still agree with this, I reject the notion that if’m not bored, I have to feel the exact opposite of »bored«. I reject the notion that we live in a boring, linear, either-or reality, because the world that I want to experience is jucier, richer, vaster, deeper, more abundant than that.

I have felt the need to dig deeper for as long as I can remember. The »why’s« seemed to have no end. And although I looked for answers in many places, I was more often than not – dissasitsfied. I didn’t conceptually know the answers to my questions, but the answers I was getting didn’t seem right; they didn’t click. They were what was know nor accepted within this linear society, but they weren’t the answers to my questions. In this society we are taught to see things white or black, good or bad, light or dark, up or down, and we are taught to favour only one: the white, the good, the light, the up. We are taught, many would argue, right, while wrong would mean … seeing things for what they really are?

Shakespeare said: »Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.«

It is time to learn ourselves subjectivity. Things are what they are, it’s just that. Yes, they stir emotions inside of us. Yes, we are here to feel all of the feels … but we are not here to dwell in them. We are here to use them as guidelines. If something stirs a feeling within us, let it come, for it’s here for us to gain from it.

No, I will never be bored in this live, I’m a single mother after all. What I will be is RICH with all of the abundant feelings that a powerful, creative, passionate woman’s life can be.

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Taking Responsibility

The past week has been a roller-coaster.

Do you know the feeling when you know you’re doing the right thing, but everything you keep bumping into are obstacles upon obstacles upon obstacles? I sure do. I sure know how to feel sorry for myself. My mantra used to be: »I knew something was gonna go wrong.« I really liked that mantra. For a long time, it served me, because it saved me from responsibility. I hated responsibility and I never learned how to take responsibility … for my life. What does that even mean?

I liked my mantra, although the statement wasn’t actually true. I didn’t literally know what was going to happen, but I did always happily consider everything that could go wrong before everything that could go right. I was in the state of mind that Sara, my dear teacher, calls »God’s mercy«: when you think about the obstacle and you realize you really don’t want it to happen, but you feel like there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. You feel like somebody else is navigating your boat, while you sit silently under the deck; you’re small, yet you’re safe. And if the going gets rough, it’s not your fault.

I fell into that state a few times this week. I just stopped something and launched something new. I oh-so-know that what I started is the right thing. I can feel it in my body; I feel twinkles of excitement whenever I think about this project, and rushes of excitement when new ideas unfold and upgrade and reveal. It’s so right that it scares me.

So I go on … showing up late, not handling things, manifesting Svarun’s one-night-stand diseases, spilling chamomile tea all over the car, forgetting my laptop, forgetting the essentials, buying the wrong camera that the program doesn’t accept. There were approximately a million things why I could give up. But strangely my insistence seems to override my resistance. There have been a million instances when I could simply say: »The Universe is testing my persistence.« But I know that’s not the case. And another thing I know … I am responsible for my life. I take full responsibility for my life by always being in tune with what I feel. And I know that the obstacles I created are just my inability to accept … abundance. Abundance does not have one face alone. All that happened and nearly made me cry but in the end made me crack up open, is colorful and varied and very abundant. Oh, yeah.

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Renewal

This moon’s cycle is all about Renewal. Renewal of Trust.

Yesterday I spiralled down to the place where I felt hopeless. Is everything I used to believe a lie? Is this the kind of world where I want to raise my son? I went to bed with my mouth full of bitter ash and I had a hard time sleeping with all these pictures running through my mind. I didn’t want to feel what I felt but I knew I had to feel it. Once a month I allow myself to take the pains of the world as my own; I drown myself in the scars and sink deep … only to rise again stronger and lighter then before.

Today I rose again. I was blessed with time and space for me, as my boys were away. I was working on an inspiring project that I’m preparing for all of you, guys. Reminding myself of what I stand for, what I believe in, and what I praise and preach towards instilled in me a new sense of Trust. Trust into the World that I doubted yesterday. Trust into My World. This meant: no, I didn’t feel like cooking. I felt the way I feel every menstruation, and it is to spiral down, cuddle up and dig, dig. No, I didn’t feel like cooking, but instilled with the new sense of Trust into the world that wants to caress us … I knew we would be fed.

So I finished work, and went for a ten minute barefoot walk on my meadow before picking my boys. I followed the sun’s invitation and cuddled up with golden grass beneath the top of the hill, where the Bora couldn’t get me, and soaked in the last autumn rays … when my mother called. She seemed excited to invite us all for dinner because she was blessed with beginner’s luck to find three big mushrooms on a walk through the woods.

Mushroom pasta for dinner? Thank you, heavens, for guarding my descent to renew my Belief into the world.

I knew we would be fed. And I knew, even in the darkest hour, when I had trouble sleeping, that everything would be okay. Everything is always okay, if there’s Trust in the okay. It’s the same kind of Trust that the story will come; even if it is 8 p.m., when I slowly unplug myself from the World.

If I Trust that there is a story to come, the story will come.

If I Trust that everything will be okay, everything is always okay. The question is … are we okay with the okay, or are we aiming at something else?

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Buttons

Svarun has the ability to press all of my premenstrual self’s buttons. If anyone, he has a gift of finding those hidden ones that catapult me into a wretch. One such button that really opens up my head is obeying. Or rather, disobeying, his tendency to do the exact opposite of what I tell him to. Of course I can thus conceptually understand that what I should do is tell him to do the opposite of what I want him to do and make a joke out of it, but it’s like this non-behaving thing puts my roof on fire. I know I should invite more easiness into this situation, but it still has me in its claws. I don’t believe in punishment as a way to cease the unwanted behaviour. I don’t believe there is anything about Svarun that is to be fixed; he’s perfect as he is and a perfect mirror of what he sees most. Me.

I mean, how can I expect my child to do what I tell him to if he’s never seen me do anything anyone else told or even advised me? How can I expect him to trust me if he’s spent his life watching me “fight” my parents for what I believe in? How could he even know how to obey without struggle if the only thing he’s ever seen is me opposing the supposed authority?

I don’t believe in fixing the child. I believe in fixing me and fixating me upon peace in relationships.

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A Ten Second Ritual

I remember mentioning up here already that I have acquired a new habit of doing my morning sādhanā outside in the meadows of our Karst prairie. It’s the best decision I’ve taken in a while because it grounds me like nothing else, connects me to everything else and our beloved, loyal Bora blows all the negativity away. There were times when deer and rabbits were jumping not far away from me, and the top of the cliff with the view of the valley underneath, wrapped up by the immenseness of the Adriatic Sea is sure to reinforce the feeling of freedom within.

I started doing my Peace work outside when Svarun was away on holiday with my parents, but noticing how much better I felt if I started the day out in nature, I decided to keep the habit even when Svarun was back. So the weekends, when he doesn’t go to preschool, mean we’re out and about soon upon waking up, taking the breakfast that was prepared the night before, alongside.

But today was one of the days that we went out really late. My dearest spiritual running buddy came over first thing in the morning for the last chat, hug and a cultural culinary experience (as she put it) while visiting her homeland, so we didn’t manage to get outdoorsy until  almost noon (good thing the Bora was so strong today, so we didn’t feel the heat as much). I did my yoga, whereby Svarun used my Downward-Facing Dog as a bridge to go under, but I didn’t get to meditate; not because Svarun likes to use my silence as a profoundly valuable background for his powerful Bella Ciao* chanting, but because it was time for him to go to bed.

When we were leaving, it was very late, so Svarun’s stopping me every few steps didn’t help my keeping up the pace. First he needed to go pee and then he would order me to close my eyes and look away a few times. Although I knew he was doing that to bring me surprise gifts from the nature, I had been feeling a bit stressed out. I mean, I didn’t get to meditate in a few days’ time and all I wanted was some Peace of Mind. But when he told me to close my eyes and look away, a split second happened. Suddenly, I knew that I had a choice! I could either go on fussing around and wondering what time it was or I could take these ten seconds of time to my benefit. Right there and then, I was offered ten seconds of Peace for me. Peace is what I had longed for but my mind was telling me it was aiming at half an hour, as opposed to ten seconds. I chose to shush the mind.

As Svarun walked away, I closed my eyes and noticed my breathing. Immediately I felt Peace. And I felt teased by the sun that was warming up my face that was softening from the crankiness. And I felt my bare feet on the ground and the weight of the bag, the yoga mat and my flip-flops I was carrying. I checked in, and I felt me. I felt happy I accepted the invitation for this ten-second Peace ritual, and even happier when I realized I was given such invitations all the time. Every hour of every day, we are invited to take moments of Peace, just to plug in more often. Do we accept the invitations? Do we even notice them?

When we know that ritual is not something that requires a specific amount of time, but even seconds … we can make no more excuses.

Svarun returned smiling and shouting: “Surpriiiiiiiiiiise!!!”

He was holding a few flowers in his chubby little hand, and a juniper berry in the other. I felt royal and regal, not just because my soul flourished at the sight of the flowers that were picked for me, but because I had taken the moment for my little Ritual, which made life nothing short of Sacred.

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The Need for Rituals

I’m not a creature of habit, and I have never really made friends with routine. If anything, I found it scary because I usually felt so comfortable with change. But one thing is change, and the other is chaos and I was definitely leaning more in the direction of the second.

My best friend once told me: “Your middle name should have been Chaos, you know!” I don’t actually have a middle name, nor do I think Chaos would sit exceptionally well beside Tamara. However, if I take into consideration the meanings of both names (Chaos and Tamara, which in Hebrew means “date”, the fruit of the date palm), I come to think that I might just be here to find the sweet spot within my thunder, the calm within the storm.

*How do I do that? Daily rituals.

I’m not necessarily only talking about the morning routine, but a night one, and maybe a midday one, and before and after meals. What I’m talking about is Sādhanā. The word comes from Sanskrit, where it means “spiritual exertion towards an intended goal”. I have witnessed Hindus make poojas several times per day, each day, but I never really thought about the whys, until recently. It’s to keep the connection with God/ the Universe/ all that is/ Earth/ yourself/ life at arms’ length. It’s just that. No matter what your religion or no religion is, everyone’s “intended goal” is to be happy, right? In other words – peaceful.

There are certainly different paths to happy. In fact, I will go thus far as to claim that there are as many ways as there are people. It’s true. Blessed be our uniqueness, blessed be our equality.

I said Sādhanā was a spiritual practice. What that means is it’s a life practice, because all of life is spiritual, even taking out the trash, washing the dishes, freaking out, crying out loud, having sex. This only goes to prove that your rituals might include a warm cup of tea drank before going to bed, a blog that you read daily right before you start working, the walk that you take over to the grocer’, a stare at a night’s sky, a massage of your breasts at dawn, listening to that song, pulling those oracle cards, looking yourself in the mirror and saying out loud how much you miss yourself, going to pick up wood for fireplace, a green smoothie, a combing of your hair, a dance to the dark goddess. It may be anything and everything. The only thing that’s important is that you recognize it, and cherish it for it’s here to aid you.

It’s not like we lose the connection if we don’t pray/ meditate/ do breathing exercises regularly. The connection is always here because we are a part of all that is and that cannot be undone. However, if we don’t keep our rituals regular, we tend to forget about the connection more easily because there’s less (no) things reminding us of the sacredness of life.

I think that is what brings us peace in the first place: seeing, and feeling, and smelling, and touching, and tasting the sacredness of life and of ourselves.

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