Category Archives: enlightenment

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

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Where we’ve been, where we’re going

I am not the same woman I was on this day a year ago as I set forth in a 20150106_101627-2.jpglittle red car from the Dalmatian coast near Trogir to drive to Zadar and then onto Velika Plana in the Velebit mountains of Croatia. I have spent more time outside of the United States than within it these last 12 months. I have given up worldly possessions, my things currently residing in a 10x10x10 storage unit. As a result of studied consideration I am without an address while not a refugee, though some might argue that point, rather a wanderer as I wanted to take what little time remains on this planet for me and to live even more fully than I ever have previously. I have created a new (virtual) communications consultancy with my dear friend Ken, and together we generated more than 28million impressions on various social media platforms for the Istrian Tourist Board. I have now visited Israel, a country never on my bucket list unlike the genuine longing I feel for Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. On my first morning here I was welcomed in my friend’s garden 20151230_132038-2by the sound of the Muezzin’s voice as it rang out over this mixed neighbourhood in Jerusalem. After gently quelling Christians (pushing, shoving and being rude in their frenzy to kneel before God) in the Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity I spent Christmas Day eating Arabic street food in Bethlehem. I now wear an (energetically powerful) deep turquoise 2000 year old piece of Roman glass as a result of being here – the silver palm leaf as emblematic of my journey as the blue glass which mirrors the Adriatic Sea I have been engaged in protecting this last year. 

Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth. ~  St. Augustine of Hippo (A.D. 354–430)

Today is 02 01 2016. My birthday is 16 02 2016. I know nothing (substantial) about numerology but I like the synergy of those numbers. I like to consider that they represent within this infinitely tiny window of human history (45 days, or 4+5 = 9) something amazing and inspiring which is about to happen in my life, perhaps even for the world, that will fundamentally alter e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

After writing the above sentence I did a Google search of “numerology + 02162016” and the following came up as a result – posted by someone using the Avatar of Santa Mann on October 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm

The date is Feb.16th 2016 …
0216 = 9
2016 = 9 ….
02162016 = 18 = 9
9+9+9=27 = 9
If my calculations are correct this is a major date may even disrupt
elections for 2016

I will settle for something a bit less dramatic as I think the ripe New Year is full of promise and because how much more can we take of natural and man-made disasters as well as the wearying hate and destruction wrought by those whose lives are grounded in fear.

The New Year had has this ‘affect’ on me for a very long time – probably even longer than the loss I suffered thirteen years ago yesterday (where once again on New Year’s Day I was hit hard). Since childhood I have not made resolutions. I am reflective about the past and then it is time to move on. I have always believed that my journey was meant to be a singular activity and while that might sound a bit egotistical, aren’t all of our journeys singular? There are people who I hold in my heart more dearly than they can possibly know, but there is something about me (as my friend Kirstie points to my 7th House as the culprit) lacks ‘stickiness when it comes to relationships’ – all relationships, but in particular those forming romantic connections with men.

This morning 7575 miles away from where she and I sat at our respective computers, me at a rough hewn table with Narcissus picked from the 20160102_130834-2garden this morning their heady fragrance as much a balm as the cup of tea I was drinking, my childhood friend Mary dropped me a note on Facebook “…more comes from this time in your life than any other, be Faithful to yourself and know that all comes when least expected! I send love and Light my friend and embrace you across the miles…Namaste”.

Recently two very different men from two different cultures shared prophetic words with me. Both, whether they realised it or not, provided me with substantial gifts in doing so.  The first man, whose voice I have yet to hear, told me that I might be the woman he has searched for his whole life. Okay, whether I am or not if you are single isn’t it nice to think that ‘someplace out there’ there is one person who is keen on finding you?? Yet there are astonishing, and highly unlikely from a statistical perspective, synchronicities between his life and my own which would point to some reason for our (eventual) meeting including his having an important ‘life moment’ on my birthday last year.  The second man stood before me telling me that he had a message from God for me. Now before you pshaw that idea let’s recall that there is a long list of historic figures that the Almighty has spoken to, and plenty of contemporary false prophets spewing ugliness in His name from podiums tied to the politics of virtually every nation.  But I think Muneer is tied into something ‘older’ and somehow more authentic to our collective human condition.  There is love.jpgno way to explain, given the pure randomness of the way we met, how in posing his statements, subsequent questions and of his words (from God) he could be quite so accurate as to foster resonance in my heart chakra to the degree that my eyes filled (and spilled) with tears. The image at right PERFECTLY synopsis’s Muneer’s message.

I have been reflecting on all these words expressed to me, turning them over in my head and heart, recognizing the truth found and opening myself up to the path to set forth upon with their accompaniment. These words give me something to ponder and have renewed my hope in possibilities just as the clean slate of the New Year always seems to promise.

My friend Mary says that as I walk fully in Faith I inspire her to do the same. I had never considered that my actions inspired others but perhaps that is what love is. We are loved because we are God’s light carried within our souls, not separate, but ‘at-one-ment’.

We are loved. We are love. Happy New Year.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the “price of a cup of tea” in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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A private, connected, chakra-coloured light show

magic coin“Magic is not so much something which you do occasionally behind closed doors or in the space behind your closed eyes, but a way of living your life — a way of approaching the world you move through and everything in it.” ~ Phil Hines

When we are little someone teaches us that if we press our fingertips to our eyelids (while closed) we will ‘see’ amazing colours; I have always thought this is rather like watching fireworks light a jet black sky on one of those ‘held forever’ memories of a warm summer’s night.

‘This’ is not about ‘That’. ‘This’ is (initially) about what I see in the state of orgasm, then it will be about something more.

dreamerAn orgasm. Oh sheesh don’t make that face, we’re not children and we should be able to talk about the subject without withering like an erection lost. (From a purely physiological perspective) an orgasm is defined as:

“a climax of sexual excitement, characterized by feelings of pleasure centered in the genitals”

A deep, delicious, shake-the-cobwebs-out, the quintessential make you shudder, laugh or cry from pure joy orgasm. Sigh. Giggle. Moan. Yes, they can be all that, but I have always believed that orgasms can (and should be) something more than the end result of falling into an uncontrolled, writhing state of passion with another human being, something much more than release and pleasure, more than the result of artful masturbation.  I believe with every hyper-stimulated nerve ending of my body (and yours) that an orgasm is another means of achieving connection to universal love, to the Divine, to God – however your belief system defines such – and a means to the attainment of a Higher Self.  Regardless of whether these are entered into as a solo effort or with a committed partner, my sexuality combined my sensuality – the gifts of awareness, expression, sensitivity and eroticism – all these are variables to this ascension within this heightened state and climatic end and this can only happen when our limbic systems are successful at communicating with the rest of our body.

In yogic theory, Kundalini is a primal energy located at the base of the spine – the root chakra – that, when ignited, travels up through the spine to the crown chakra touching and igniting each of the 7 chakras in turn – for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment.  For those who see auras, or connectionpractice meditation or Reiki, those who have a baseline understanding of the various chakras and ‘tuning’ them with a knowledge of awakening Kundalini it is the colours associated with each chakra (green and violet tend to dominate my ‘field of vision’) that I see ‘behind my closed eyes’ during my heightened level of sexual stimulation ultimately resulting in (when I climax) being bathed in, and emanating, white light. While no prude (obviously as I am having this conversation with you) the truth is I have embraced celibacy for most of the last nine years because my expectations of coupling means that I will bring all of this spiritual practice to lovemaking – this does not make me an ‘easy lover’ (as the song goes).

One view of this video set to Enigma’s Temple of Love will confirm that something powerful exists beyond artful expression, of overt sensuality, or of the interplay of dance as a metaphor for the Tantric; like Ravel’s Bolero there is a poignant building to orgasm – unrealised – and so, as with any great art, we are left breathless and moved, and hungry for more.

Spirituality is derived from the word ‘breath’.  A Norwegian legend says that before a soul is put into a body it is kissed by God so that throughout our earthly existence the soul retains a dim, but powerful, memory of this blessing.  David Whyte  writes that beyond the busyness of our superficial working lives, there is a deeper world of vocation that “leads us to an older, intimate, and more human sense of belonging.”

There is lots to be said of endorsing the principle of  “use it, or lose it”. In practice, the human orgasm can lead us to that “older, intimate” connection where the kiss of God is actively remembered, carries us through our days slightly levitated and lighter (metaphorically and literally).  We are nicer with the regular practice of connectedness to the universal love – however such is achieved (and no, you won’t go blind).  Just as Cathars and Lutherans alike bypassed priests to have a direct conversation with God I am of the opinion that this ascension is what fundamentalists in all monotheistic faiths fear, to make a sin of orgasmic connection to Divine (pagan faiths) by debasing our sexuality is a means of controlling ‘the conversation’. With or without a partner I prefer to have my bedroom serve as a temple to universal love rather than a religion of any kind. Good luck with ascending to your own chakra light show!

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Unconditional love, be part of the stars

Sometimes writing feels like a moral imperative. It wakes you in the middle of the night. Beckons you from sleep, and your dreams, to rise, dress and pull a ‘blank sheet of paper’ from vibrational energyyour computer and capture the ephemeral. I am in that state now. You could argue this makes no sense – couldn’t it wait until the morning? Technically it is morning, it’s 2AM as I start this. I was soundly, peacefully asleep after two nights of dousing rains, lightning and thunder; the unique acoustics of the Adriatic and the surrounding islands and mainland of this peninsula of Croatia where I am living terrorizing me and playing my vibrational energy like a drumbeat. Everything has a reason.

With the differences in time zones between where I am, and where I am from, there is a duality to my existence at present – frustrating though it might be at times. To date I realise that I am neither fully here emotionally and spiritually, nor am I physically there. Resolution, I think, of this conflict inexplicably came at 1:35 AM in ‘just for a moment’ turning on my phone to check messages and Facebook in the place I left behind. Two things stood out in my newsfeed. First my friend Amy’s quoting Wayne Dyer:

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”

I won’t even comment but leave you to consider how frequently our egos get in the way of truly understanding the full spectrum of information and interactions with other people we encounter each day.

The second was a blog posting, the blog being used by its author, Don Shapiro, to frame his forthcoming book entitled Life Is a Fork in The Road. There’s a lot to take away from this piece I ‘woke to’ and might have missed (had I not done as bidden) as I do not stalk my friends online presence. I highly encourage not only a thorough read but for you to bookmark the page and come back to it because what Shapiro writes of, unconditional love, is important to everyone.

“True unconditional love is not a choice.”

Shapiro’s story is one I have lived – the one “released” and the one releasing. My love remains unconditional for both men. I know the truth of this writing and the bitter-sweetness of knowing that these loves (and all our human life connections) are impermanent. Here’s something else I just realised in the middle of the night – both men have been ‘body guards’ to me. They have protected my physical being as well as my energetic one. Their connection to me, and mine to them, allows me (still) to ascend to my fullest potential. You MUST release attachments, you must grieve, but the truest path to our own heightened soul comes from embracing the gift of love as it touches us and as we gift it. Over, and over, and over again I am monsieur-ibrahimreminded of the charming French film starring Omar Sharif as Monsieur Ibrahim (from the French play Mr. Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran written by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt) and Pierre Boulanger; not the least is the life lesson Sharif’s character imparts to his protégé played by Boulanger about the value of loving being a gift you give yourself whether or not the other person accepts that love. Our vibrational energy must be higher than our ego, our being must at least attempt to attain awareness beyond our physical wants so that we elevate in the state of loving – in spite of pain, in spite of human desire – that is unconditional.

Convegno by Antonio Ambrogio Alciati, 1918

And when, by the mere chance that the universe conspires to provide a connection so powerful energetically between yourself and another that you would travel to the ends of the Earth to test the connection, the reality of it, physically then you must also do this. You must explore and define the ‘star crossed’ aspect of such energy, take and give to it liberally and with every fiber of your being and then gift it back. Treasure what remains.  As human beings it is all too easy to cling desperately to the idea that we can alter the predestination of certain elements of our lives. We (as I am most likely to express) “hold the bouquet of flowers too tightly” and it withers and dies as result. To ‘love’ in such an environment is not love, it is fear. Love cannot flourish in the space where fear reigns. Love, the highest form, the universal love from which we are created, which we will return to when our physical being is no longer capable of sustaining (or containing) our souls, needs room – lots of it. When you connect energetically to another human being their presence in the same room isn’t necessary – although it is preferable from a human desire perspective to be sure. Our energetic connections are something truly magical. They transcend our limited physical existence and allow us, if only briefly, to reconnect with something higher than either party involved. We can give and receive pleasure as if the person were in the same room with us, even before we ever experience meeting them. And when we release, or are released, that universal love is part of us, it never dies, it goes on and on without the physical connection. It can nourish and sustain us, as well as provide for the other when you remain attuned to them.

Be part of the stars. Love as one ever-expanding cosmic force and do so without hesitation, light withinwithout encumbrance or tether, oh, do love unconditionally.
Namaste.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the price of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Re-learning to live with purpose

So much of our lives revolves around movement – and is usually not accomplished in the most ProstratingTibetanpositive of attitudes, by that I mean rushing. To languish over a task in our lives is somehow perceived as being lazy instead of purposeful. Think about the slow passion of a cellist drawing his or her bow across the strings – how achingly beautiful this is. Or how Buddhists prostrate themselves hands and knees sliding the length of their bodies along the Earth for hundreds of miles – with joy in their hearts – as they make their pilgrimage to the most holy sites of their faith. A kiss that is precious for its beginning, and its end.

Dawn 14 November 2014 CroatiaTo capture the special nuances of a pre-dawn breathe of air caressing your skin as your hands cut through the sea, and later, the sun glistening on water as sea birds lift into the expanse of blue. I call this mindful-sensualism. This is different from hedonism – this is awareness of self and environment without reckless abandon, without willful expenditure of obscene amounts of money (largely spent to ‘feel good’ which fades all too quickly). I am thinking about the pilgrimage of living well, in truth that is precisely what I am doing here in Croatia. I am relearning the art of absolute quietude.

On the balcony of the flat I am renting my down comforter hangs airing in after-the-storm morning sun and breeze. When you live next to the sea you come to have a new appreciation dscn9861for things not being damp and fully capitalise upon such weather as you have the opportunity to do so. In my adventures into Trogir yesterday I sat on something so also hanging outside is the freshly hand-washed sarong my girlfriend Jennifer brought back from Bangkok for me – its shades of aqua a brilliant contrast to the green-y blue of the sea and the lavender of my duvet cover. Across the mouth of the bay into Split there are two small islands (you can see them in the photo above), the larger has a lighthouse on it. Right now there is a small open boat tethered to the island and the lighthouse keeper or some intrepid and curious soul has claimed this small rocky space as their own. I see this person standing at the edge of the island pulling the rope in so as to gain the boat. A metaphor for tending – small, deliberate actions realising what we most require from life.

courtyardWhile exploring Grad Trogir Croatia yesterday afternoon I found a magical courtyard filled with living but absent of humans. UNESCO writes that “Trogir is a remarkable example of urban continuity.” No truer words. Shortly after having my breath catch for the simple beauty of laundry hanging in the open air an ancient, diminutive woman walked toward me, and as I smiled, nodded and said “Dobar dan” she gave me a breathtaking series of smiles in return, and five minutes of incomprehensible conversation. Admist the stones worn smooth from the footfalls of hundreds of generations of Croatians living in this warren of narrow alleyways one, perfect, semi-ruined detached house with a garden no bigger than the average American bathroom. Within its surrounding stone wall was a very old fig tree, a feral kitten, garbage, debris, weeds and a rose bush still lush with full pink blooms.  Wistfully imagining the possibilities (as I have done for nearly a year with every old stone house I have seen online in Croatia) a man in his eighties approached, plucked a rose from the vine and made a sweeping gesture in his gifting it to me. Someone very wise once wrote that music begins where language ends. I experienced this yesterday in adagios so sweet as to break the heart in ten thousand pieces.

As I walked away I realised the truth of Anaïs Nin’s words: rose

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

We struggle against this growth instead of embracing such. If we remember we are connected to everything in the universe and the person standing beside us then the growth seems more organic and authentic. There is no end, no beginning there is only – now. Embrace what is before you. Let beauty find you and then dwell in it.

If you enjoy my blog please consider sending me the value of a cup of tea in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and please share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my first book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Journeying to your own Ithaca

There is nothing greater, more humbling, than to be truly seen and to have someone bestow the blessings of a long journey upon you ‘to Ithaca’. (And yes, I cried tears of gratitude as I was gifted with the video embedded below.)

How fragile our hold on living and life that we often neglect the supreme beauty of self found along the twists and turns of roads unknown and in navigating seas that awash decks with spray and waves which threaten to swamp us; these travels that make us more of who we are at our most essential until we arrive home. Buddha’s words resound throughout Homer’s The Odyssey and certainly are found in the ‘modern’ Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis (1863-1933) both “What we Odysseus-Sirensthink, we become” and “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” As my girlfriend Deborah so clearly understands my character, I dwell in the sensual and I fail to consider that there might be a Cyclops intent upon destroying me on my journey (so none appear).

And so, where you stand today, allow me to ‘pay it forward’ and share Kavafis’ (aka C.P. Cavafy’s) Ithaca words so eloquently read by Sir Sean Connery. That is all.

P.S. I received a message from a lovely (unknown) man from OKCupid who lives in Thessaloníki, Greece this morning. He graciously sent Ithaca, Ithaki, as read by a well regarded (and I believe deceased) actress which in the interest of authenticity I feel compelled to offer. I don’t know his name just his avatar but, thank you NnTt22.

Ithaca
When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the angry Poseidon — do not fear them:
You will never find such as these on your path,
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and your body.

Kastelli Hill

Kastelli Hill, Atheras Bay, Cephalonia, Greece

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
if you do not carry them within your soul,
if your soul does not set them up before you.Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptian cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

odysseus

Map of The Odyssey

Ιθάκη
Σα βγεις στον πηγαιμό για την Ιθάκη,
να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος,
γεμάτος περιπέτειες, γεμάτος γνώσεις.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον θυμωμένο Ποσειδώνα μη φοβάσαι,
τέτοια στον δρόμο σου ποτέ σου δεν θα βρείς,
αν μέν’ η σκέψις σου υψηλή, αν εκλεκτή
συγκίνησις το πνεύμα και το σώμα σου αγγίζει.
Τους Λαιστρυγόνας και τους Κύκλωπας,
τον άγριο Ποσειδώνα δεν θα συναντήσεις,
αν δεν τους κουβανείς μες στην ψυχή σου,
αν η ψυχή σου δεν τους στήνει εμπρός σου.

Να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος.
Πολλά τα καλοκαιρινά πρωϊά να είναι
που με τι ευχαρίστησι, με τι χαρά
θα μπαίνεις σε λιμένας πρωτοειδωμένους·
να σταματήσεις σ’ εμπορεία Φοινικικά,
και τες καλές πραγμάτειες ν’ αποκτήσεις,
σεντέφια και κοράλλια, κεχριμπάρια κ’ έβενους,
και ηδονικά μυρωδικά κάθε λογής,
όσο μπορείς πιο άφθονα ηδονικά μυρωδικά·
σε πόλεις Αιγυπτιακές πολλές να πας,
να μάθεις και να μάθεις απ’ τους σπουδασμένους.

Πάντα στον νου σου νάχεις την Ιθάκη.
Το φθάσιμον εκεί είν’ ο προορισμός σου.
Αλλά μη βιάζεις το ταξίδι διόλου.
Καλλίτερα χρόνια πολλά να διαρκέσει·
και γέρος πια ν’ αράξεις στο νησί,
πλούσιος με όσα κέρδισες στον δρόμο,
μη προσδοκώντας πλούτη να σε δώσει η Ιθάκη.

Η Ιθάκη σ’ έδωσε το ωραίο ταξίδι.
Χωρίς αυτήν δεν θάβγαινες στον δρόμο.
Αλλο δεν έχει να σε δώσει πια.

Κι αν πτωχική την βρεις, η Ιθάκη δεν σε γέλασε.
Ετσι σοφός που έγινες, με τόση πείρα,
ήδη θα το κατάλαβες η Ιθάκες τι σημαίνουν.

Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης (1911)

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschi. To order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 
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From darkness to light – lessons in living well

This is part of what my horoscope said today (thanks so Servane!): “Should your mood evolve further into dark reflections or doomsdayish daydreams, your best antidote is to step back Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Imagesand unashamedly laugh at your own melodramatic tendencies. The dark will always be here, periodically shadowing the light with its ever-impending scythe of mortal impermanence. Greet it, then: ‘Hello, there, dark. No, I haven’t forgotten you’re lurking. I just already have plans to be stupid and silly and rebelliously not-serious for this next little while. I’ll get back to you when my schedule permits. Later, dude.’”

I have to admit that even my friend Ken called me out on my “last post as being heavy” but tornado rainbowtoday we’re going to an inspiring and happy place, a place where deeds are based in fairness and personal integrity, an awe inspiring place where double rainbows come out and bird song accompanies symphonic compositions devoid of painful dissonance, and beauty clears away the dark ugliness that is draining all of us.

A year and a half ago a cross-country race was being run in Burlada, Navarre. Basque athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was running second, some distance behind race leader Kenyan Abel Mutai – the bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics – who mistakenly pulled up 10 metres ivanfernandezshy of the finish line, presumably thinking he had already crossed. Fernández Anaya could have easily exploited Mutai’s mistake to claim victory yet he guided the latter to let him cross first. That Fernandez Anaya is 24 years old is only important in the possibilities of his examples of good conduct will offer all of us in the future. His words after the race resonate in a sportsmanship all too lacking in contemporary society: “But even if they had told me that winning would have earned me a place in the Spanish team for the European championships, I wouldn’t have done it either. I also think that I have earned more of a name having done what I did than if I had won. And that is very important, because today, with the way things are in all circles, in soccer, in society, in politics, where it seems anything goes, a gesture of honesty goes down well.”

And so I dug around the life moment playground known as YouTube for other examples of gut wrenching, heart tugging personal integrity and humanity (shedding lots of good tears in the process) and offer you these three additional videos:
This, from the Barcelona Olympics and this one from a football (soccer) match between teams in the Ukrainian Premier League and this one, not of sports but of a boy in Oslo, Norway and ‘just like the rest of us’ Norwegians doing the right thing (and some clearly not).

We think heroism is a vague concept assigned to people with larger than life lives – that’s not respecttrue, each of us are extraordinary in our own way, and the tiniest gestures have impact – the pebble in the pond of goodness.  My friend Servane, in one of her TEDx Talks here, says something really important – something easy to remember and act within –  “Love is a political weapon.” (Whoa), and because of her words I thought of this meme that is making its rounds, of another athlete doing something political because he and his teammates see the suffering in Gaza and can make a grand gesture to draw attention to the plight ordinary Palestinians experience everyday – even as we all know that $9 Million USD is a drop of water against a desert of despair caused by Israel’s apartheid policies.

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@albapro/Instagram

Fernandez Anaya mentioned the future gains for his name in the context of branding in his post race interview but in the visceral moment doing the right thing wasn’t a strategic business decision of “if I do this, I will get that” but humanity shining through brightly like a beacon of hope, of kindness, of how we wish to be treated and simply doing. It was the 4th of July in the United States yesterday – the celebration of our nation’s birth (something like the Arab Spring but 238 years ago).  The last line of the Declaration of Independence reads: “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The best that we as Americans once had to offer the world were these ideals, every man, woman and child across the human experience should be free from ignorance and self indulgence, the destruction of our world and each other from greed, anger and fear. So today, (and tomorrow and all the next days after those) no matter where you call home, no matter where you aspire to live remember that without our mutually pledging to each other our lives we should not think ourselves as living well but merely existing.  To whatever God to whom you pray may s/he watch over and keep you in the light.

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