Archive for the ‘living life’ Category


Sunday, June 20th, 2010

As some readers might recall, last Autumn, I packed all my stuff in boxes, put it all in an old stable and not sensing where was my place to go next, I ended up living with Helen, in a Brussels suburb.

Actually this has been a most wonderful time, and out of her reorientation in life and my passion to live in a natural way, we now are just days away of getting the keys of a new house!

Actually it is a project on what we really want and what we are able to manifest. So we opened a separate blog for it to keep track of our learning and to share it with a wider audience, and you are welcome to read over there (both in Dutch and English!) Its name is Dorpsstraat, which is the actual name of the street and it translates as Village Street – just to be clear on how big the village is!

Part of the property is a totally grown over little apple and pear orchard, that we are unveiling of nettles and brambles… see how it was and how it is emerging…

Generation M Manifesto

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

This is a must read for all of us! A blog post with 256 comments so far!

Dear Old People Who Run the World,

My generation would like to break up with you.

Everyday, I see a widening gap in how you and we understand the world — and what we want from it. I think we have irreconcilable differences.

You wanted big, fat, lazy “business.” We want small, responsive, micro-scale commerce.

You turned politics into a dirty word . We want authentic, deep democracy — everywhere.

You wanted financial fundamentalism. We want an economics that makes sense for people — not just banks.

You wanted shareholder value — built by tough-guy CEOs. We want real value, built by people with character, dignity, and courage.

You wanted an invisible hand — it became a digital hand. Today’s markets are those where the majority of trades are done literally robotically. We want a visible handshake: to trust and to be trusted.

You wanted growth — faster. We want to slow down — so we can become better.

You didn’t care which communities were capsized, or which lives were sunk. We want a rising tide that lifts all boats.

You wanted to biggie size life: McMansions Hummers, and McFood. We want to humanize life.

You wanted exurbs, sprawl, and gated anti-communities. We want a society built on authentic community.

You wanted more money, credit and leverage — to consume ravenously. We want to be great at doing stuff that matters.

You sacrificed the meaningful for the material: you sold out the very things that made us great for trivial gewgaws, trinkets, and gadgets. We’re not for sale: we’re learning to once again do what is meaningful.

There’s a tectonic shift rocking the social, political, and economic landscape. The last two points above are what express it most concisely. I hate labels, but I’m going to employ a flawed, imperfect one: Generation “M.”

What do the “M”s in Generation M stand for? The first is for a movement. It’s a little bit about age — but mostly about a growing number of people who are acting very differently. They are doing meaningful stuff that matters the most. Those are the second, third, and fourth “M”s.

Gen M is about passion, responsibility, authenticity, and challenging yesterday’s way of everything. Everywhere I look, I see an explosion of Gen M businesses, NGOs, open-source communities, local initiatives, government. Who’s Gen M? Obama, kind of. Larry and Sergey . The Threadless , Etsy , and Flickr guys . Ev, Biz and the Twitter crew. Tehran 2.0. The folks at Kiva , Talking Points Memo < , and FindtheFarmer . Shigeru Miyamoto , Steve Jobs , Muhammad Yunus , and Jeff Sachs are like the grandpas of Gen M. There are tons where these innovators came from. Gen M isn't just kind of awesome — it's vitally necessary. If you think the "M"s sound idealistic, think again. The great crisis isn’t going away, changing, or “morphing.” It’s the same old crisis — and it’s growing.

You’ve failed to recognize it for what it really is. It is, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, in our institutions: the rules by which our economy is organized.

But they’re your institutions, not ours. You made them — and they’re broken. Here’s what I mean :

“… For example, the auto industry has cut back production so far that inventories have begun to shrink — even in the face of historically weak demand for motor vehicles. As the economy stabilizes, just slowing the pace of this inventory shrinkage will boost gross domestic product, or GDP, which is the nation’s total output of goods and services.”

Clearing the backlog of SUVs built on 30-year-old technology is going to pump up GDP? So what? There couldn’t be a clearer example of why GDP is a totally flawed concept, an obsolete institution. We don’t need more land yachts clogging our roads: we need a 21st Century auto industry.

I was (kind of) kidding about seceding before. Here’s what it looks like to me: every generation has a challenge, and this, I think, is ours: to foot the bill for yesterday’s profligacy — and to create, instead, an authentically, sustainably shared prosperity.

Anyone — young or old — can answer it. Generation M is more about what you do and who you are than when you were born. So the question is this: do you still belong to the 20th century – or the 21st?


Umair and the Edge Economy Community

On food and eating

Monday, April 13th, 2009

When is the food really to nurture myself, to make me able to participate in life fully?

When is eating a habit? “You have to eat for the hunger that will come.” Used to say my parents sometimes.

When is eating a way out of emotional discomfort?

All these questions have been with me these days. It is springtime and that is the normal time for some inner cleaning or fasting.

I have also, many times, realized that eating too much – resulting in overweight of course – is a sign of greed, or at least not being in balance. Why should we eat more than we need? I don’t see most animals or plants do that.

When I eat of emotional discomfort, like yesterday, I wake up at night and my stomach tells me I am/was not in balance. While awake, I took the decision to really sense deep into this pattern. Lying in bed I was totally relaxed but my stomach was not! It felt as if it was somehow hanging in the air and not resting on the mattress. As if it was – fearfully – trying to hold some stability. Which – of course – it was not.

Sensing deeper I realized that yesterday some uncertainty had come up around the piece that I am writing. This resulted in inappropriate eating. My sensing went on… what if I had relaxed in the uncertainty? Then it would have become just a not-knowing. No big deal! I just had to wait a few hours and connection with some friends and there came the answer!

What is living life fully?

Taking the food that is nurturing me, or eating unconsciously?

What makes you come alive?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

Great quote send by a friend a few dys ago. It is right into the question that I am holding these days.

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs
is people who have come alive.”

Howard Thurman, (born 1899 – April 10, 1981) in Daytona Beach, Florida) was an influential American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader.


Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Sounds, flowers, animals, spring…
I am almost overwhelmed…

The bees in the blossoming plum three,
the rooster from the neighbor’s house on the other side of the little valley,
seagulls far away near the shore,
an owl awake at daytime,
crows with their unique sound…

Two young dogs to feed and to take care of,
they are testing my leadership and unconditional love.
A pregnant cat who hides inside all day – mostly sleeping –
and goes out when it is dark.
Waking me up at dawn because she wants to come in and eat.

And flowers, so many!
Showing what spring is like:
the power of showing, of manifesting;
each with its own uniqueness.
My English vocabulary falls short here to describe the fragile colors,
to give you the names of the many wild flowers.

Am I fully participating in life, here?


Monday, April 6th, 2009

My first day of eleven of being on my own. I am in Axladitsa, in a house with no electricity, and when you are outside there is just silence. ‘Officially’ I am here to look after two young dogs and a pregnant cat, but for me it is more like a solo retreat.
Yesterday, on the plane, I was musing over what would be my guiding question for today. The final version is this:
How do I participate fully in Life, in Love – here – with all the dimensions of my being?

Most of the morning I was tending the place. Doing little jobs no one had time for lately, taking care that new trees can’t be ruined by the young dogs etc. A certain moment my question came along: Was I fully participating in Life, in Love, here? I was surely not doing big things! Most of it would go unnoticed by many who would walk by. Still I could answer my own question with a full Yes! I was in a conscious relationship with this place and its many beings and its material stuff. I was taking care of them, loving them in a way.

I know since long this is the way I like to start when being somewhere for a longer time: walk around, seeing the place, do a little tending… that is for me arriving. Simple things, noticing… no complexity…
wrong word…
no complicatedness…
doing simple things and being aware of the relationship between it all, the complexity indeed. These simple things are worthwhile, have value, because they make that the whole, the complexity can flow and go on.

There is a quality in simplicity; there seems to be stillness in it.
The quality of simple beauty.
Fully participating seems to be simple, maybe even in matters of much greater complexity?
The next minimal elegant step.

Paradise unpaved

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Yesterday, surfing on the net, following writings from friends, this is what I found: a truly, inspiring story, as much in the content as in the way it is published!

Speaking from Source

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Speaking from Source… what exactly does it mean?

At different times in our gathering I sensed that something wanted to be said – through one of us – and then I would hand over a talking stone to her. On this fourth day of Women Moving the Edge it happened again, and I supported Lisette in doing so. She could masterly describe how her thoughts would try to get her attention, instead of letting the words coming ‘through her’.

In our preparation before the gathering I named it in this way: “We have learned a lot in the world of Spirit, of concepts, of reflection, of meditation, of meaning making; but the world of the experiences, the subtle knowing, the subtle sensing… the phenomena, the experience of a phenomenon has had much, much less attention in our culture. … Goethe said: “Every phenomena, well contemplated upon, opens a new sensing organ in us.” That is the new what I am looking for. … There is a way of speaking, that is directly linked with your body, or the phenomenon of that moment.

What we did so far was: we have an experience and then we can reflect back ‘on it’, or we can make meaning ‘out of it’, or we can speak ‘about it’. And what we are doing now is: we can speak in that moment. There is a possibility – like when we are at the bottom of the U – that it happens in the same instant, that we are both at the same time: we are in the experience and we talk about it.”

This is what Lisette said:
I’m not somewhere else.
I’m in your body.
Live me, Be me as I am.
I am this glow.
Feel me I am always there.
Allow me to be there.
Allow me to show you the way.
Allow me to teach you there’s always a next step and live me by taking that next step.
I am right here. I guard you, I support you, I live in you.
It’s not big deal. I’m just life. Don’t make it too holy! It happens
anyway. I’ll find my way. I’ll have my way with you! I always do.

Stay with it

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

It is now two weeks ago, that third day of Women Moving the Edge. Of course I don’t remember everything, the memory isn’t that fresh anymore, but still I want to complete my harvest of this fascinating time together. With the help of my own and Maria’s notes and Helen’s and Judy’s blog I come a long way.

I remember that on the evening of the second day I was very surprised to hear so many stories from these women, which revealed lots of un-freedom, lots of pain held in the area of embodiment, the area of sexuality. I had forgotten that my own journey through years of emotional bodywork, 5 Rhythms dance, family constellations and trauma-work had freed me from a huge pile of inhibitions. And it isn’t a path that is taken by all the women! It made me think of integrating more of this experience maybe in the next gathering of Women Moving the Edge.

Now it was Sunday morning. Anne-Marie shared her story that she entrusted her little baby into the arms of her husband. Feeling the power she had as a woman to keep it with her, to hold on to it, to keep him out. Still she did it, she handed over the baby so that he could make his own relation with the little child, could learn how to handle it. This conscious act of ‘handing over the baby’ and ‘stay with it’, as she named it, seems so essential for us women, in the world of today. We must not assume that men know what we know; we must not blame them if they don’t know how to hold the baby; we must not turn our backs when they do it ‘wrong’. Can we ‘stay with it’??? Can we show by example? Can we walk our talk? Can we give attention to them, instead of the other way round?

Maria and Sarah arrived, having been on a grandma’s funeral. Effortlessly, they took their space in the circle and fitted in. We had invited them to join the circle, even if they couldn’t be on time. Death is part of life, and our gathering should be able to hold it all. It did. No problem at all.

This concept of Choice

Monday, November 26th, 2007
“I was almost blinded by it – this concept of Choice –
that on Earth I could have left this place I had known…
that I could have taken any day and made my life different…chosen another way…
that I could have gone anywhere I wanted to.
And I wondered then, was it the same in Heaven as on Earth?
Was what I had felt was missing in Heaven the wanderlust that came from letting go?
I realized then that what I had been doing by watching Earth was taking the time
to fall in love – in love with the sort of helplessness, not of death, but of being alive –
to feel as you go, groping in corners and opening your arms to light –
and I realize now that all of it, everywhere, is about navigating the unknown.”
“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold