Nostalgia

Memories are like treasures buried in your mind.
The more you look at them and hold them,
The more polished will they appear, until they one day
Outshine the reality that birthed them.
To me, this is a reasonable magic that lets our life story
Shine just a little bit more beautifully.

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The Key to Happiness

A bit ambitious title, huh? Well, it was just meant to be a bit of fun. Obviously I am no expert or some guru who has all the answers. But whenever I learn something in life, I feel the need to share and perhaps even inspire others. So that is what I am doing here.

I will give you the answer I have obtained from my life experience right away. The key to happiness is flexibility. Let me explain. I sometimes get a bit frustrated with all the slogans and pep talks telling to you believe in your dreams and if you work hard enough they will come true. It sounds lovely. But we are not living in a perfect world and if we become too rigid in our dreaming we might end up feeling disappointment and let down. I think it is great to dream! I am a dreamer for sure. I think dreams are the way we envision our talents and gifts being fulfilled in the world, and that is what life is about. But we need to remember that the only thing that truly belongs to us is that which is without physical form. Even our bodies are not our own. They are borrowed and will at some point be given back to the earth. What we do take with us is our love, our lessons, our experiences…So let us focus on these instead of that which has only material value.

Say your dream is to live in a lighthouse. Most people might tell you that that is impossible. But is it really? Perhaps owning a lighthouse is impossible (do we really own anything at all?), but living in one certainly isn’t. There are many lighthouses around the world you can rent. Maybe you can only afford a couple of nights, but if you treat that time as the only thing real at the moment, if you truly live in the “now” and do not obsess over things like forever and ownership, then yes, you have fulfilled your dream.

Another example: say your dream is to travel around the world, but you are 80 years old and not physically fit enough to travel. You spent your life taking care of family and missed the opportunity. Well, it is still possible. You can go on a cruise! On a cruise ship you can sit on the little balcony attached to your room and watch the world go by without moving a muscle! A cruise ship has excellent medical care in case you should need it and bus tours at every port it docks in. Ta-da! Problem solved.

If you keep being flexible like this most dreams are possible to fulfill. You dream of being a grandparent but don’t have any grandkids, well there are a lot of kids without grandparents in the world. So join a volunteer “Grandparents wanted” program or start one yourself! If you dream of being a parent, but can’t have kids or don’t have a partner, adopt! There are so many children without parents. Or if you can’t commit to that, join a program that helps single parents, or assists parents with children in need of extra care, or help out in a children’s home or refugee center. If you want to publish a book, write it and publish it yourself! If you want to be a singer, record a song and upload it to a streaming service. If you want to start a vintage shop, but can’t afford to, source clothes from friends and family or your local thrift shop and set up a stall on the local Sunday Market! If you want to work somewhere, but don’t have the skill set, offer to work for free a couple of hours a week! If you want to live on a deserted island, buy a tent and get a local fisherman to take you out to one of the many uninhabited islands on our planet. If you want to have an art exhibition, start painting and find an abandoned boat house and make flyers to hang in the local supermarket announcing your exhibition, or if you are too shy, simply leave your paintings for Sunday walkers to stumble upon. If you dream of living in a castle, there are castles (for example in Ireland) you can rent, even for just a night. Throw a ball and be the belle you read about in story books when you were a kid!

You get the gist of this. If you learn to be flexible, to live for the moments, the experiences, instead of the illusion of ownership, fame, material gain etc, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from fulfilling every dream you have ever had. You just simply get creative and make it happen. All on your own.

The Lighthouses I keep – Kindness

I have many values I base my life upon. They work as light houses along the coast guiding me along. I have acquired all of them myself along the way, and I am also the lighthouse keeper making sure they stay aflame. I am not a preacher or a guide of any kind, or a life coach, but I do keep those light houses burning for anyone who wants to take inspiration from them.

I have never believed in money. Money started out as a practical currency to make trade easier, but look what it has turned the world into. Money is basically ruling the world.

I felt, ever since I was a child, that if the Universe wanted me to have something, to learn something, to meet someone, it would make that event happen without the involvement of money. I believe that what I need Spiritually will be provided for me as long as I keep an open mind and follow the clues. Clues can be anything from a word popping up several times in a day, or a message on a billboard, or a sentence in a book, or a stranger coming up to say hello. I always follow the clues.

I remember once, I was asked to buy some Spiritual books from a very nice man. I loved the books, but I declined, telling the man that I didn’t believe in paying money for Spiritual knowledge. The whole episode ended with the man giving me all three books for free. This is the only time I have explained why I won’t buy something of Spiritual value, like join a class or a workshop, but still, everything I have ever needed has always come to me at exactly the right time. Without fail.

All my teenage years this kept happening to me, I followed the clues and ended up with exactly what I needed.

When I was in college I learned about the term Earth Angel. I liked the term, but the definition was for me a bit too “Martian” for me, and precisely because of this I have started shying away from the word Earth Angel. But not the concept. I have just developed my own definition.

After many years of receiving clues from the universe I decided that it was time to give back. I wanted to be one of those who helped the universe plant those clues. And this is the most fun decision I have ever made in my life. For those of you who have followed my blog for a while you might have heard some of the stories. I have written encouraging letters to strangers, put messages in bottles, planted poems in library books, hidden little treasures on beaches and forests, left Angels in trees, drawn chalk drawings with encouraging messages in parking lots etc. etc. I have always sought the guidance of my intuition, the part of me connected to the universe, before embarking on one of these adventures.

This is why I have always hesitated to put my writing in books to be sold. I want my work to be available to all regardless of income. Otherwise I would not feel that I was doing divine work.

On one of my journeys around the world I met two beautiful ladies who ran a yoga center together. They gave all classes free of charge only with a donation box at the entrance for those who could afford to pay. I had a poetry exhibition there with a poetry reading. I did not have to pay to rent the place and I met a lovely young musician who played the sitar and volunteered to accompany me with his music.

I wish there were more people like that in the world, people who gave freely of their talents, their time and kindness. People who wanted no more payment than knowing that they had helped change someone’s life for the better. I see so many people, especially young people, in the world today searching for meaning. But there is so much meaning out there! Making a difference in the world has nothing to do with fame or recognition, it has to do with being everything you can be, with fulfilling your potential and spilling over unto the world your creativity, talent and love.

The Lighthouses I keep – Gratitude

I have many values I base my life upon. They work as light houses along the coast guiding me along. I have acquired all of them myself along the way, and I am also the lighthouse keeper making sure they stay aflame. I am not a preacher or a guide of any kind, or a life coach, but I do keep those light houses burning for anyone who wants to take inspiration from them.

I often hear people who have been close to dying speak about a new approach to life, a beautiful inspiration found after being confronted with death. I think about death all the time. That may sound sad, but that is not what I mean. I like to philosophize over what happens when we die. I have come to believe that when we leave this world all our actions, the good and the bad, are shown to us, we get to witness our whole life in retrospect, much like our own coming-of-age movie being played before us if you like. I don’t believe in karma the way it is presented to us today, even though my theory might sound like it. I believe when we are at that stage of transitioning we do no longer see our life through human eyes, we see our life through the eyes of the soul, and even though our bad actions will sadden us, the intention will not be punishment, but forgiveness. A forgiveness born from understanding and love. It is not easy to be human. A human is not pure soul, our hormones, instincts, biological heritage, psychological makeup and temperament all play a part in our behavior.

But what I want to talk about here is not the mistakes we make, but all the love, kindness and inspiration we share. Imagine all the love you have given out flowing back to you, covering you in softness and light. You have touched so many people with your life. Maybe just by saying hi to someone on the bus, or being a substitute parent/big sibling to the neighbor kid who has two working parents, or by giving food to someone on the street, or giving a compliment to a friend. The list goes on and on. Imagine if you didn’t have to wait until your dying day to feel all that love, imagine it being given to you all the time. What wouldn’t that do to your confidence, to your sense of purpose and self-love?

So that is what I do. Whenever someone has touched my life for the better in any tiny way I let them know. And this has led to some incredible experiences. Because I let everyone know. Whether it is a stranger or a family member or a shopkeeper or someone famous. The famous people who have touched my life are mostly authors. And if you think there is really no point in feeding the ego of these already celebrated characters, you are wrong. Perhaps their egos are being stroked all the time, but I am not talking about fan mail, I am talking about letting someone know they have made a difference in your life. I once received a three pages long handwritten letter from a very famous author who poured out her beautiful heart to me in words I will treasure for ever. A Danish poet, who is the one who inspired me to write poetry, sent me her entire collection of books (in the mail to India!) after I wrote her a mail thanking her for being such an inspiration to me. My point is, every single one I have ever thanked for making my life just a little bit better have appreciated it, and all of them have been surprised! Totally unaware of the beauty and value of their work, words and action.

I want to encourage everyone out there to do the same. To tell people, whoever it is, even if it is the super famous director of the film that inspired you to choose your dream career, what an impact they had in your life. Even if you don’t get a reply. A reply is not what you are after. Once you give something, it is out there, your job is done, and what you get in return comes from the light you have lit in this, often seemingly dark, world.

That is why I always say: create a path of light with your life. What you give away is yours forever, what you hold back is lost forever.

Be a Pathfinder

Be a pathfinder
Carving your way through days,
Releasing sunny seconds from dull hours.
Sometimes even summer days need decluttering,
Sorting through memories,
Mining diamonds in dark caves
To paint pathfinder marks on rocks,
Leaving a trail of light in your wake.