Fucking 40. Getting ready.

It’s done. I’m 40 now and there is no way back. My youth has gone. My mind and my body are strong. Now it is time to get ready, now it is time to start making some serious meaning. Everything until now was just warm up.

The start of the journey that I have been envisioning is getting closer. Everything I do is about preparation. I feel my focus increasing. As if I went over the tipping point. First I put the plan in my mind but large parts of my system were resisting. I felt fear, insecurity and denial. Often I felt paralysed. But it’s changing. More and more pockets of inner resistance are surrendering. It literally feels like my body, mind and spirit are getting ready.

I turned 40 on the 24th of November, a week ago. I was reluctant about celebrating my birthday. A dear friend persuaded me by putting her wel aimed finger on my sore spots. She felt that underneath my reluctancy was a fear of being ignored or rejected and that deep down I would really like to do something nice that day. She was right of course and I decided to face my fears and start inviting the people whose rejection I fear most: my friends. What I didn’t know then is that it would turn into a special event and that the organization would be taken out of my hands by two women who both are playing a very special role in my life. Instead of being rivals they joined forces to create a beautiful, warm and memorable event for me and my other friends. I cannot think of an act that would impress and touch more than to publicly conquer jealousy, fear, insecurity and judgment to let let kindness, courage and love prevail. I am very grateful and it feels humbling too that on the occasion of my 40th birthday such a special thing could happen. It was the most beautiful gift ever. It allowed me to acknowledge that sometimes magical things happen in my life.

So now I’m 40 and my obligation towards life is to create magic. My intention is to go travelling, to share as much goodness as is given to me by offering myself and my skills and to find ‘21th century warriors’: beautiful and inspiring specimen of the human race. I want to research them and write a book about it. Not only because it is cool to make this year into an awesome rite of passage but also because the human race is in dire need of a new, less greed driven and more awareness driven paradigm for living.

By now I know that I will travel to Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. What the next steps will be I don’t know yet. Japan sounds tempting and I also want to study with shamans in Columbia and visit the USA. Then there is also a list of people I want to meet who live in Europe.

I need 3 things now. I need a small group of people who have the means, the vision and the trust that with their financial support we can create a book that is meaningful to a large audience and help many people in the process, I need a list of the most inspiring citizens of the countries I’m going to visit and I need like-minded connections in every new place to get me started there. If you want to help with any of these things: please do. I’m putting my life in the hands of the Universe, and the Universe, that’s you.

It’s all getting physical and tangible now: I need real cash to visit real people in real cities. Asking for financial support publicly is most difficult for me and I realized this morning that I should do it because it is way outside my comfort zone.

I’m not the only one who finds that difficult terrain. It’s not only hard to ask but it is also hard to give. Many people told me they find my project noble, inspiring and courageous and they all wish me luck. But nobody offered to help me financially but one man. It made me realize that in Dutch society (can’t speak for other countries) it is almost considered wrong to give. The underlying notion is that giving away money makes you poorer. We only dare to give when a reward is guaranteed, prestige or emotional wise. The sad truth is that our fear of sharing our wealth is a sign of our emotional and spiritual poverty. Another sad truth is that I don’t know how to get that insight across without raising suspicion.

I don’t like rejection, fear humilitation and I hate to beg but I feel that I am surrendering. Earlier in the process I figured out a deal and when people weren’t very eager to take my offer immediately I dropped it and decided to travel lowbudget and let the Universe take care of me. Until this morning I thought that this route was even more courageous and therefore better. But now I see I was copping out and I realize I have a battle to fight here. By trying to find funding I have an opportunity to leave my comfort zone, put myself on the line, face my fears and learn something. I know that honesty and openness can create magic. There must be people who want to help me spread that magic. Therefore I must give it a shot. Realizing that feels – strangely enough – very empowering.

Contact me if you want to help and have ideas.

Comments

  1. Pausha Foley says

    I would love to donate some money to your adventure but I do feel that I have so little myself that whatever I could share would hardly make a difference, however, have you heard of http://www.kickstarter.com/ ?
    It is a founding platform for all sorts of artistic pursuits, book writing included. It might be of use to you. It is a good place for people who only have $20 to give to give it, and know that it has made a difference.

    Also my husband and I are going to leave California, where we’ve lived for the last 11 years, and move to France in April of next year. We have some connections here, and we will have some in the south of France soon enough, so if you ever find yourself in either area and in need of place to stay, or any other help we could provide, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Frankly I believe that I would very much enjoy meeting you in person 🙂

    • says

      Ahh.. how sweet! And no, I couldn’t take your money if you have little yourself. Thank you for pointing out Kickstarter. I know them, they have turned my project down unfortunately.

      Let’s stay in touch. Maybe I need your help one day finding my way in the USA, maybe we meet in France. My zen teacher Genno Roshi lives in Paris by the way. I go there regularly.

  2. Pausha Foley says

    Yes, let’s stay in touch 🙂

    You know, another thing that came to mind is the raising of the mala practice that Bernie propagated. I raised a mala to go to the Auschwitz retreat when I first moved to Santa Barbara, and it was a truly wonderful experience to meet people and talk to the about the retreat, about myself and what I wanted to create. And it worked – I got plenty of donations 🙂

  3. Panna says

    Lieve Atalwin, dankjewel voor je mooie woorden over je verjaardag. Toen ik je blog las en je verzoek om bij te dragen, dacht ik eerst: “hij heeft het niet tegen mij want ik heb helemaal niet veel geld, ik heb geen duizenden euro’s” maar toen realiseerde ik me ineens dat je het wel degelijk ook tegen mij hebt! Dus ik ga je per maand sponsoren met dat wat ik per maand kan missen. Het zal niet veel zijn, maar alle beetjes helpen. En ik vind het een heel fijn idee om zo aan het project en het boek bij te dragen en je te steunen. Ik hou van je, ik ben trots op je en ik geloof in je. Kus

  4. says

    Dear Anna, thanks again for giving my best friend such a great and well deserved birthday party. Thank you too for putting into words what I was also thinking when I read this post;
    Dear Atalwin, not being able to sponsor the whole trip does not have to keep me from sponsoring your brave quest completely.
    Every month that you’re gone, I will choose 1 special ‘Atalwin night’, and stay home, think of you, focus on sending you love, support, strength, creativity, luck…and €50,-, kind of symbolic, but also hopefully covering your costs for that day.
    Now go, and write! and then come back
    x

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