I just read this blog post. I think it is particularly powerful and worth reading. Also I feel that this woman deserves to be heard. Charlotte Kitley has been blogging for the Huffington Post UK until she passed away 3 day ago. This was her last blog, published the day after she left us. Only 36 years were given to her and she leaves behind 2 young daughters and a husband. It is a good reminder of our mortality and an invitation to celebrate our existence. to anyone who is not on a Warrior diet: please savour some expensive chocolates and send some good vibes to her mourning family. And if you are on a diet; your love alone will do.
Life can take such unexpected turns and it doesn’t matter if you are born in a privileged royal family, are an amazing F1 champion or have model looks. It brings up many thoughts. Do I live in a meaningful way? Am I spending my time wisely? What if I get hit by a car tomorrow? Did Shumi and Friso tell their wifes and children that they were loved before they went skiing that day? I have no idea; I don’t know these guys. I hope so, though.
Eran Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem. After graduating high school he enlisted in the IDF, where he served as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. He spent most of his service in Hebron and throughout the West Bank. In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.
The world is on fire. Three days ago a plane filled with primarily Dutch tourists was shot out of the sky by pro-Russian rebels in the Ukraine, a week or so ago Hamas and the IDF went to mini-war against each other and ISIS is doing their best to cause death and destruction in Syria and Iraq. Due to the new function on Facebook to play videos without clicking on them in combination with the many contacts I have in the Arab world and their habit to show death from close up I can now see beheadings and executions first thing in the morning, today combined with dead Palestinian children and the bodies and body parts of my countrymen in a desolate field somewhere in the Ukraine.
This is Yulia Marushevska. She is filmed by Graham Mitchell in front of Maidan Square in Kyiv, captital of Ukraine. The video was posted on February 10th and went viral. Yulia is a warrior, risking her safety to contribute to the freedom of her people, the people of the Ukraine.
My mission in this life is to contribute to the awakening of the warrior heart that is in all of us. Most of us live quite cowardly most of the time. We rather feel safe than vulnerable. It is not easy to overcome our fear of vulnerability.
But sometimes something happens in life that is so unjust that the decision is made for you. You become courageous overnight. I don’t know Yulia but to me it feels that her Warrior spirit has taken over. Perhaps she had always been brave or perhaps it were the circumstances that pushed her through.
Nelson Mandela said: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” When you watch Yulia and hear her voice you can hear she is terrified but determined and angry. It is hard not to feel touched and spoken to. And that’s when it becomes inconvenient. I invite you to watch the video and to mindful of the way your body and mind responds. Observe 2 moments especially: the moment when your heart opens and you want to reach out and the moment when it closes and you go back to business as usual.
Yesterday I saw a documentary “In de rij voor Anne Frank” (Cueing For Anne Frank). I live close to the house where Anne Frank and her family spend 2 years in hiding during WWII and I see the long line of visitors almost every day. A documentary maker interviewed people in the cue, asking people what Anne Frank meant to them. The result was moving, fascinating, inspiring and impressive. 70 years after her unjust death in a concentration camp the hope filled diary of a 14 year old Jewish girl in a hopeless situation still has a powerful impact on thousands of people.
In the article I found an interesting piece of information regarding the changing perception of what PTSD is. It says: “For decades the model for understanding PTSD has been “fear conditioning”: quite literally the lasting psychological ramifications of mortal terror. But a term now gaining wider acceptance is “moral injury.” Writing something thoughtful about that would probably reach more people and possibly reach psychologically or spiritually wounded people who could really use some healing. I know I can do it. Do I take up that responsibility? Is it wrong if I write about something more mundane? Both topics are on my mind right now, they are both just as real. And then I am not mentioning the fact that I also found out that my posts about the gym and my body transformation get a lot of traffic.
Apparently I am carb intolerant. I knew that a ‘low carb diet’ was good for me but it seems to be going in the direction of a ‘no carb diet’. That will be just eggs, meat, fish, nuts, seeds and veggies for me. No pasta, no bread, no sugar, not even a bit of brown rice. Look, I love my buddies at Evolve and I really respect the vast knowledge of the human body of the founders Mike and Sander. But I hate the casualness with which they squeeze in my back, look at each other and say ‘yup, carb intolerant’. ‘With your body type you can’t eat any carbs for nine months. That way you can completely wean of carbs and then perhaps slowly reintroduce them into your diet.’ What? Nine months! That feels like receiving a prison sentence! It is not that I am such a sweet tooth but it requires a lot of discipline. And I just love breaking rules.
Bradley Manning is a brilliant intelligence analyst in Iraq. He is also an utterly lonely, isolated and misunderstood human being. Not only is he lonely in the army or in the outpost in Iraq where he is stationed, he is lonely inside himself. He doesn’t have a sense of his true identity; he feels he is living in the wrong body.
Manning uploaded hundreds of thousands of files onto a CD labelled ‘Lady Gaga’. In one particularly gleeful digital sequence, soundwaves of Lady Gaga’s voice transform into lines of code and then into text from secret documents.
These thousands of glowing secrets are a fuse that ignited the Arab Spring, pushed Iceland’s banking system to collapse and put American diplomacy on the backfoot around the world.
The effects of the chemical campaign against the people, the land and the animals of Vietnam are still lasting. You can see many disfigured people crawling over the markets or children lying drooling in the back of a shop. Dioxins are made to last, if poison that is used against people and nature would be biodegradable it would be useless, wouldn’t it. Luckily companies like Dow Chemicals and Monsanto have understood such things and made sure they delivered poison of the highest quality.
I saw a letter on the wall of the exhibition and I found it in the internet too. I want you to read that letter. It is written in 2009 by a Vietnamese women of 23 back then, 27 today. I feel she deserves it that we read her letter.