Tag Archive | spirituality

May We Be Seven Billion

Candles

I run a professional website, and every time I send out a newsletter against terrorism I get a few unsubscribes. Maybe these ex-subscribers simply wanted to only receive newsletters strictly related to the theme of the website.

Or maybe it’s just coincidence. Although I very rarely get unsubscribes on newsletters with new articles related to the theme of the website haha.

But at any rate, I also feel that, even if perhaps it’s not the safest way to live, we still have to take a stand about things in the world, and stick to our guns about whatever stand we’ve chosen. And not shut up about it.

Someone – I don’t remember who but perhaps it was Winston Churchill? – once said that the only thing that is needed for evil to triumph is if a few good men stand by and do nothing.

I DO believe in peace, and in striving for peace. But I’m also one of those who believes that in the world that we live in, sometimes we have to fight to get that peace. Sitting around and praying alone is not enough (although, of course, it’s also necessary and helps a lot hehe).

On a different subject, I’m very excited because soon I’m about to reveal some news which is very very exciting (at least for ME haha). So stay tuned for that!

So, as I said at the beginning of this post, may we be over seven billion to spread the light of good and peace, kindness, respect and above all, tolerance, around the world and fight back the evil of terrorism.

And also Happy Chanukah!

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FREE Ebook This Weekend Only!

Just a quickie to let everyone know that this weekend only, I’m GIVING AWAY my latest ebook, “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” FOR FREE.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship

Now, it’s not really my intention to start up a new and thriving career writing ebooks, so it will probably be a looong time before I ever have another ebook up for free. (Or even put this one up for free again – which I will probably never do again!)

You can get all the details on the Amazon page by clicking here.

Well, won’t get into the sales pitch and all that or anything here. You know if this is a subject that interests you. If it doesn’t, I’d still love it if you’d continue browsing through the rest of this blog. I’ve got lots of posts in it hehe!

And if you ARE interested, well, grab the day! Take advantage of this moment and snatch up your copy of “I Love Him, He Loves Me Not: How I Left a Codependent Relationship” for free. Before this promotion ends forever!

Once again here is the link.

How I Left a Codependent Relationship

I’ve Written a Book!

Oh yes it’s been a while since I’ve dropped by this blog. It’s been so long, I almost feel like it’s someone else’s blog hehe.

Most of the things I’ve been up to are things of no transcendence and that aren’t worth mentioning, like working long hours at dead-end jobs that don’t lead anywhere.

So I thought I’d write a book. Unlike a dead-end job, a book doesn’t have an end date or a best-before date.

A book is eternal, evergreen, always relevant to the human condition and to what it’s like to be human (as long as there are still human beings around, of course!).

And unlike in a dead-end job where you have to please your boss or, you know, get the sack, in a book you can be whoever and whatever you choose to be.

In a book you can be yourself. You don’t have to please anyone. You can say what you want to say. You can proclaim to the world what you really BELIEVE IN.

So without further ado, here is the book:

The Power of Loving Yourself

“The Power of Loving Yourself: 10 Simple (But Effective) Tips to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Self-Confidence and Self-Worth”.

(And don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize the subtitle!)

You can read more about the book by clicking here.

People do ask me what this book is about and you know, it’s like, ooogghh, how do you summarize a book? How do you condense 120 pages into a single paragraph (or blog post)?

It’s about…… when you’re at peace and in love with yourself, there’s no room in your heart for hatred, rancour, vengeance……

If all people were at peace with themselves WE COULD ERADICATE WAR in the world! But it’s not easy to find ways to feel peaceful……

So I’ve put together a set of PRACTICAL exercises to help people feel more at peace with themselves and in love with themselves.

To help people learn to LOVE, and RESPECT, and to be TOLERANT, of themselves and with other people.

If we ALL LOVED, and RESPECTED OURSELVES and other people there would be NO MORE WAR on earth! We would no longer need weapons.

There would be no more bombs. No more children orphaned to bombs and guns. No more mothers crying for children killed by bombs.

But first we must LOVE OURSELVES. So in my book I teach PRACTICAL exercises to help people learn to do that.

Because, you know, people do say, “It’s all fine and well and all to say that we should all be full of peace and joy and love and all that s**t, but the last thing I feel right now is joy! Or love! The only thing I feel like doing is griping! I can’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror! So what can I DO???”

Well, you can read my book.

Of course it’s got some chatter to help you change your mindset too. I mean, after all, hating yourself, or believing you’re NO GOOD, or believing in yourself, or not, are mindsets.

But it’s also got PRACTICAL exercises too.

Because sometimes it’s not enough to just, you know, “think you’re great” or something.

Sometimes you do need to PROVE IT to yourself, first, before you can believe it.

So. Try out the exercises in my book, and soon you’ll see how you, too, will find that you just CAN’T HELP but start to feel better about yourself, and to see yourself in a NEW LIGHT.

Even if you’ve always hated yourself. Or, like me, you’ve always been shy.

Once again here is the URL for more info: The Power of Loving Yourself.

Oh and by the way, I know it’s not a subject very much related to the subject of this blog, but if you Subscribe to the newsletter on the website, you’ll get a couple of gifts from me, with no strings of any sort attached, including two excerpts from the book.

So you can check it out a bit first, you know, see if it’s something you could be interested in, before you commit yourself and actually press the “Buy Now” button.

You don’t usually get a chance to read parts of a book before you buy it.

But I’m offering you the chance to do just that! All you have to do is Subscribe to the site newsletter at www.seasofmintaka.com. There’s a Sign-Up Box in the right-hand corner of any page on the site.

Enjoy!

I’ll end this post with a link to the page where you can read all about my new book and download it immediately, if you feel like it: www.seasofmintaka.com/the-power-of-loving-yourself.html

P.S. Did you check out the really horrid video from the last blog post? I saw TWENTY-SIX enlightened and lovely souls actually sat with their gaze TRANSFIXED on the screen staring at it since we put it up! The last time I’d checked (which was in April) only 10 people had looked at it haha. So…… it’s an interesting video, isn’t it, haha? Well trying to mix up some more horrid videos so when (if) we ever get them out, you’ll all be the first to know!

P.P.S. Oops gotta add, I meant, when you subscribe to my website, www.seasofmintaka.com, I’ll give you all these oodles of wonderful gifts. Here’s the link again: www.seasofmintaka.com.

But I’m sure chuffed all the same that so many of you are subscribing to my blog too!

If you’ve recently subscribed to this blog and you’d like to get my gifts, hop on over to my website and sign up over there, and you’ll automatically get taken to the page where you can download your gifts IMMEDIATELY.

Cheers! And thanks again for your interest!

A Celebration of Single Motherhood

Lately I’ve been going through blogs by other women where they talk about how they raise their children, and what everyday life is like in these typical family households. So I thought maybe I would do something similar. I expect that in some ways my life wouldn’t be like those of other families, because we’ve only got one “head” of the household – and it isn’t a man!!

But in so many other ways, life in a family with children always has certain similarities, no matter the individual circumstances.

However, I have to claim that I LOVE being able to wake up my children to go to school every morning in the way that I want. All the same, they HATE getting up in the morning to go to school. I’d like to remind them how lucky they are to get woken up with lots of tickling and stroking and kisses, instead of lots of screaming (although I do also do a lot of that, when tickling, stroking and kissing don’t work!).

It doesn’t make very much difference to them at 7:30 in the morning, though. All they want to do is turn over and go back to sleep!

Running a marathon with my kids to get into school on time is yet another new challenge every day. We got the tough luck of getting them assigned to a school about fifty miles away (okay, it’s more like just one kilometre, but try running one kilometre in ten minutes every morning!) because one year we arrived from Barcelona in the middle of the school year, and they didn’t get admitted to any other school.

I’m very pleased and happy with their school, though. It’s in a nicer neighbourhood than where we live, which means that the kids in their classes are generally from nice, well-educated, polite homes.

Being a single mamma means no lounging around in bed until a late hour, then ambling off to the local market for the day’s menus, the way I would probably do if I were a traditional Spanish housewife married to a working man.

No offense meant to stay-at-home Spanish housewives, of course, please don’t be offended! I know that housewives work veeery hard and here in southern Spain, still a bastion of machismo, even more so. However, I also believe that single mothers must still work harder than married ones, because we have to go out and win the bread as well as cook, clean and run the household.

We also have to pay the bills alone.

Having said that, I believe that we also enjoy a load of luxuries that married women most often can’t claim.

When the kids don’t have school, I can sleep until the hour that I want. Now that they are old enough to prepare their own breakfasts and entertain themselves……

I can cook what I want, and if I don’t feel like cooking, I can buy something frozen or ready-made at the supermarket across the street. I imagine if I had a hubby, he’d be roaring for specific menu items, and I bet Eroski brand Spanish tortilla just wouldn’t make the cut in his opinion!

We can do what we like on week-ends. Of course, being a “struggling single mamma” most often means that we can’t take luxurious outings, like going to theme parks, on a regular basis. But I do save up so that occasionally I can treat the kids to something a bit pricier, like a trip to the zoo for my son’s birthday.

Being single and a mother means that I have to go to work. That means that I can’t sit around every morning waiting for that slow-cooking pot of stew to boil, and lunch will often have to consist of something that pops into the oven and simmers there for just ten minutes. It means I don’t meander through the local marketplace every day, chatting leisurely with the merchants, and our routine usually consists of a once-a-week shopping excursion – except I’ve probably only got about half the amount of money to spend on these once-a-week shopping excursions than would a complete family with a working father and a working mother.

It also means, though, that I get to lounge around at home in the evenings and do what I please. I don’t have to give hubby a massage because he’s “beat from a long, hard day at work”. I don’t have to clean up hubby’s mess because his mamma never taught him to clean up after himself. I don’t have to give my son a shower every night if I don’t feel like it – after all, hubby will never know and be able to protest about that, because hubby doesn’t exist!

I also don’t have to put up with disagreements about how to raise our children. There are no forced catechisms for them, no boring masses on Sunday mornings when the bed and warm quilts are just soooooooooo much more inviting! I don’t have to leap up from the middle of a dream about “kissing Valentino in a crystal-clear Italian stream” in order to dash over to the in-laws’ for their traditional Sunday lunch.

So, all in all, I guess life’s tougher if you’re single with little kids.

But then again, if you’re married, you also miss out on so many small pleasures, like having no fights, playing what you want with the kids, feeding what you want to the kids and being able to watch all your favourite TV shows hehe!

Kids On The Beach

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Our Visit to Hare Krishna

Now, I’m not too crazy about religions of any sort, and I’ve got tons of friends who are friends of sundry and diverse sects, and each one considers his or her religion and god the one and true religion and god in the world. So it’s not a theme that attracts me all that much. But one day I saw a report on the news (not that I ever watch the news, must’ve been zapping that day) and it was about a girl who had grown up on a Hare Krishna commune here in Spain.

Hare Krishna - Public Domain Image

She explained that when she grew up, she moved out, got a job, rented an apartment, tried to live a normal life and do the usual thing, but she couldn’t. She found spirituality sorely lacking in the society that surrounded her, and young people her age only lived for the next alcohol orgy or the next drug-induced high, or for a roll in the hay with the first guy that they could pick up at the disco. How depressing and meaningless, no? That didn’t seem like real living to her!

She missed the warmth and friendliness of the members of her Hare Krishna community. She missed the daily prayers and chanting and most of all, she missed dressing up the Hindu gods in the morning.

She explained that every morning they dressed the statues of the gods and adorned them with different sets of jewellery. It was the highlight of her day to be surprised by the ever-new and creative manners in which the gods could be bedecked each morning. (I guess it’s a bit like a little girl dressing up her dolls, but with some religious nuances thrown in there.) So she left her apartment in the city and returned to the commune.

I thought that sounded really neat, and the truth is, I also agreed that there was a sore and noticeable lack of spirituality in general in the world that surrounded us. So I discovered that we were fortunate enough to enjoy a Hare Krishna commune right here in my own city. There aren’t too many in Spain, so I considered that a real lucky finding.

One rainy afternoon I packed the kids up and we set off in search of this elusive community. I knew which neighbourhood it was in, but not the address, since it wasn’t listed. Once we arrived in that neighbourhood, I found it harder than I expected to hunt down the commune. I had imagined that everyone in the district must know where it was, since this group is quite vocal in other cities. However, in my city, it just happened that they maintained a low profile, almost hiding away, as it was. In the end we located the commune out in the middle of a field, which on that particular afternoon was filled with mud, since it had been raining the whole day.

We went in for the Sunday chanting ceremony, which is open to the general public and which, I suppose, is intended to show lay people what they are like and what they do, in case someone is interested in joining them. True to Spanish custom, however, the ceremony actually began only about two or three hours after the time announced on their website. So we sat around in an empty hall just getting bored and twiddling our thumbs for a long time.

At last, people finally started arriving. I don’t know whether it was the weather, and everyone was feeling under the clouds, or if it was the damp and chill, but seemed that no one had much energy. People drifted about looking bored (like us). A few instruments, mostly drums and guitars, were spirited out. The statues of the gods (which, on that dreary afternoon, even they appeared out of sorts and drably arrayed) were lit up and the ceremony began.

There was some half-hearted singing, of chants I had never heard before and which I didn’t find particularly beautiful – so no lovely, ecstatic, melodic intonations by George Harrison over there – and then people formed a circle and twirled around a little bit. There didn’t seem to be very much sense to it, however, actually. No one went into bliss and no one received a divine revelation. No one even seemed to be enjoying it very much. Maybe they were just hungry, or cold?

After the chanting and twirling someone regaled us with a fairly lengthy, boring sermon. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I am not too interested in religious themes, so I didn’t find the sermon particularly transcendental or life-changing. A few members, with long, depressing expressions on their faces, asked some questions full of angst about their life challenges, but no one seemed to receive a satisfactory reply since in general the answers seemed to consist of a plethora of platitudes like: “I’m sorry but I can’t help you there, only you know what is the right decision to make.” “If you trust in Krishna he will light the way for you.”

At last the best moment arrived: the food! And if truth be told, the food was indeed delicious. There was spicy dhal soup and yellow rice, some Indian flatbreads with butter and a few vegetarian dishes, followed by sweet lassi. All right, the truth is, we didn’t go there for the food. I, at least, had personally hoped to discover that delight and ecstasy that the girl had described in the news report. But, well, if we couldn’t revel in spiritual delights, at least we got the opportunity to enjoy some more earthly delicacies!

All in all, I would have to say that the people are certainly very friendly and hospitable. But if you are hungering for some spiritual fulfilment, I, at least, didn’t find that this group in particular filled my plate very much in that respect. I suppose, like they say, in the end you must still search for your spirituality and spiritual meaning within, rather than without in the things of this world.

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How Much Do YOU Value Your Friends?

I was really down today because of…… friends! Not the inseparable kind, or the ones that are always there when you need them.

Today, I was really feeling down because of friends who don’t value friendship a whole great deal.

Optical Illusion Faces

I don’t know about you, but for me, a friendship is sacred. I think a friendship is, well should be, as important in life as family, more important even than a job, or your hobbies. I mean, after all, a friend is a PERSON. A job or a hobby are just things. And if you ever lose your job, well, you can always find another one.

But a friend? If you lose your friend, sure, you can go out and get another one.

But it won’t be the SAME friend. It won’t be that same person that you shared so many memories with, and had so many good times and laughed together with for so many years.

I’m finding that three things REALLY get in the way of a friendship: religion, politics and money. No surprise there, I guess.

Now, fortunately, I don’t tend to air my political views (if I even have any haha! I am really the queen of a-political thought! Most of the time I don’t even know who is ruling the country at any given moment……) a whole lot and therefore never have disputes with friends on that issue.

But now, religion, that’s a whole different bag of jumping jacks (or however that expression goes, after all after 15+ years living in a non-English-speaking country, I just can’t quite put my finger on the proper expression anymore).

Now, by religion, I don’t mean only the usual, established, traditional, centuries-old schools of philosophical and mystical thought generally referred to as religion such as Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc., to name a few. For me, religion is anything that a person is fanatical about. It might be your diet, a sect, a guru or even a fashion trend or brand name, for that matter.

I have two friends who consider their “religion” above anything else in the world. More important than friendship, more important than family, more important than their sentimental partner. Even more important than love.

One of them is a radical vegetarian. By radical, I mean that not only are she and her family very strict vegetarians, but also that in order to be her friend, you must also be a strict vegetarian. You cannot eat meat in her presence or feed meat to your children in front of her children.

Of course, being vegetarian is more than just food or diet. It’s a way of life. Therefore, her children can’t eat with other children if they are eating meat. They cannot attend fun events if other children will be eating meat there. She will travel half-way across the country in order to acquire certain exotic, hard-to-get vegetarian items, instead of for example spending that time going out with her family, or doing something to improve her mind or her character or even, for that matter, just relaxing around the poolside after a long, hard day of work.

No, after a long, hard day of work, she will happily get into her car and drive several hours across the countryside in order to go to a certain health food shop where she has heard that certain exotic vegetarian items can be found.

Now, I do admit, living in Spain is like living in Beeflandia and vegetarians here are about as scarce as blue fleas (a Spanish expression). But, well, personally, if I can’t find a certain vegetarian item within a certain radius of my home (let’s say, four blocks, for example), well, I prefer to just do without and find a substitute instead.

Now, I am not against vegetarianism, and I’m certainly not anti-vegetarian. Not by a long shot, I actually support it. However, I prefer to spend my time improving myself (and I can assure you there’s a lot to improve haha!), doing exercise or playing with my kids, rather than driving across the country in a car.

Long hairAnd of course, it’s hard to be friends with someone who is a radical vegetarian. It is very easy to offend such a person: if you feed your kids meat in front of hers, if you eat meat in her presence, if you don’t recycle (or you forget to do so sometimes and just toss your tin can into the general garbage bag), if your showers are too long (tsk tsk tsk, wasting water there! but come on, girls, I’ve got waist-long hair, if you have ever had waist-long hair, you must know what a pain it is to get all that gunk like shampoo and conditioner through all of it and out of it, and it’s not something that you can accomplish with just one little bucket of water……).

For that matter, if you don’t get up at the crack of dawn (you know, the early bird catches the worm and all that stuff) or go to bed when the birds do, if you prefer to read at night (like me) rather than have a heart-to-heart with your pillow at that hour, if you want to participate in an event where meat-eaters will be present, if you…… Well, you get the message. Very easy to take offense.

I have another friend who is a radical follower of a sect. Now, I totally respect her religious beliefs and preferences. However, she is often sending me religious propaganda, literally besieging me with it. She says it is “good for my soul”, and I need it. She says I can follow whatever religious beliefs I want (or none, if I prefer), but that I know deep down inside that her religion is “calling me”.

I finally got sick of that one day and tried to very tactfully suggest to her that, well, not everyone has the time or the interest to read her fifty million religious sermons that she sends to me all the time.

Of course, the predictable result: she felt offended. She’s one of those people who will smile charmingly at you as they throw spiked arrows, so she didn’t down and out get all huffed up and scream insults or whatever at me.

No, she just smiled and suggested that, well, if I had so little time and interest in her interests, perhaps she wouldn’t have the time or the interest to pay attention to my interests and any news that I might have to share about my life, either.

Well, it’s not like I spend my life beating her on the head exactly with news about my life, or battering her continuously with banter about my interests. But, well, supposedly we’re friends, and friends do every once in a while like to tell their friends about what’s going on in their lives. Don’t you think?

I’m quite a private and reserved person, I don’t like to talk about my life a lot. (And you can see this most clearly from the very sparse and much too widely-spaced contributions that I’ve been, ahem, ah, sort of contributing to this blog lately. Oops……) But occasionally, I do like to send her a little “tweet” about my latest.

And of course, since she is my friend, I do expect her to read it and at least show a slight interest in it. I don’t bombard her with religious messages. I don’t bombard her with any sort of message, for that matter.

But when I do send her a message, I kind of expect her to notice it.

Well, so much for fanatical friends. Now, I want to gripe about a different kind of friendship breaker: the big M word…… Yes, MONEY!

I lent 15€ to a friend about a month ago, so she could buy herself a bikini. (Not that she needed it, she already owns about 50, but then again, it’s a free country and everyone can buy what they like…… although preferably with their OWN money!)

Now, I’m not in a hurry for her to pay me back, although it WOULD be nice if she would pay me back SOME TIME!

However, the thing is, ever since I lent her the money, she has been avoiding me like the plague. There’s no way I can get to see her anymore. She won’t go to the beach with me anymore, she won’t go out for a coffee, she won’t get together with me to walk around…… And all because, I suppose, she hasn’t got the money to pay me back. (Or doesn’t want to pay me back.)

Does she really think a friendship is worth less than 15€ to her, or to me?

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Bringing Your Dreams to Life

Well, as a follow-up to the last post, I thought I’d go a little bit into some more practical aspects, what we can actually DO to put our dreams into action. Because, well, ah, yes, it’s all very nice and good – you might be thinking – the idea of putting our dreams into action and living them instead of dreaming them. But…… HOW??

Dreams and Dreaming

Most of us have NO idea what to do to make our dreams a reality. So I thought I’d share some ideas here and, of course, I welcome any ideas that anyone else may have on this subject too, and I’d be happy if you’d share them with us in the comments at the end of this post.

I guess the first thing we must do, if we want to make our dreams a reality, is to KNOW WHAT THEY ARE to begin with! If we don’t know what we dream of doing, having or being, how are we going to fulfil those dreams?

I am very lucky, I have always known what I wanted all my life, and the only thing that I was always lacking was TIME to dedicate and devote to my dreams, because I had to earn a living for myself from an early age (yes life can be tough!). But even if you’ve never given it much thought, you can still discover what it is that you really want. Let’s say you won the lottery right now. What would you do?

Would you travel around the world? Give up your job? Would you buy a new home? What would you do?

Perhaps you would open a new company, go back to school or study a new career. Or maybe you’d go out and get those babies and start that family that you’ve always dreamt about having.

So, now that you know WHAT it is that you want, I imagine that you would need some sort of plan as to how to go about getting it.

If it’s a new home or a trip around the world that you’re hankering for, then perhaps you could check out the possibility of saving up for it, starting right now. Go out less for dinner or don’t order that pizza, and save up the money for your dream. Get a second job. Sell newspapers. Walk dogs.

You don’t need to buy a new dress or new shoes every season. I only have one pair of shoes for the winter and one for the summer. Well, all right, I live in a warm place anyways and if I’m really stuck I can just go out and get some dollar store flip flops. I imagine that those of you who live in England, Ireland or Alaska probably don’t enjoy that luxury, but I guess you know what I mean, right? Quite simply put, if you don’t need it, then don’t get it. Put up the money instead, use it for your trip to Jamaica. What would you rather have, anyways? A trip to Jamaica or a new pair of pumps?

If, on the other hand, your dream involves doing something, then start right now jotting down ways that you can do it. Draught up a plan, get to work brainstorming. Do you want to go back to school, but you’re missing some credits or a high school certificate? Is there any way that you can get what you are missing? Most countries offer high school classes for adults.

And right from the start, get mentalized to the idea that we have to arm ourselves with lots of patience. Most dreams take a lot of work and time. It takes time to get a high school certificate. It takes time to get into a university. Whatever it is, it takes time. But if you really want it, you can wait. If you wait a year now, perhaps in five years you will be doing what you love to do. But if you can’t wait out that year, you will probably still be working at the same boring old job five years from now.

With a good plan, belief in your dream and the desire to fulfil that dream, of course, patience and the will to not back down from your dream no matter what, you can attain it. You can achieve your dream, fulfil your lifelong wish.

I don’t very often recommend other websites, but this is one that I have always found quite helpful: http://www.learnmindpower.com.

Peter KummerAnd for those of you who read Spanish or German, I thoroughly recommend a little book called “Nothing Is Impossible” (“Todo es posible”) by Peter Kummer. It is a real little gem, I find it absolutely amazing. For a long time it wasn’t available in English, but I believe that recently it has been translated. I’m pretty sure that if you follow the advice on the above website and in this little book, it won’t be long before you, too, are fulfilling and living your dreams.

In subsequent posts (probably two years from now! but anyways, as I said before in my previous post, since I’m so busy working on fulfilling my dreams, I just don’t have time to blog!), if I’m up to it, I will put up some details about what I’m doing, so that you can see on a practical level how to put these wonderful ideas into action, by showing you what I myself am doing, and how it is working out. However, I’m not much of a person for going on about “works in progress”, so you might have to wait a while before you can read about these things……