Letter from a reader

Hong Kong pollution

It is still smoggy outside. My throat is less sore though. I have no idea if that is a good sign or a bad sign. I have understood from people who have been living here a long time that the body gets used to the smog. They don’t get irritated eyes and clogged sinuses anymore. Not something I look forward to.

When I was in China I received a question from a reader. I just decided I will take a shot at it. It is a tough and complicated one but I will do my best.

Before I start I want to say how much it keeps amazing me how these things work. I would have never expected such a letter to come in. But I see something or live through something and write about it and then it opens up a thought, pattern or issue on the other side of the world.

Riding the wave of not-knowing

Machu Picchu

I decided to make a very unconventional move. I decided to ask the higher powers for help. Now is my connection with the higher powers not extremely clear. I feel tested and challenged over and over again. Often I feel that I am sent the hard way just to see if I will make it. So I asked people around me who have a clearer connection with ‘upstairs’ to plea for my case. I realized how fortunate I am to be able to select 10 exceptional persons from my address book. Writing the email alone was already both humbling and empowering. It is the strength of surrender; admitting I can’t do it alone gives a sense of strength paradoxically. Within hours I received a couple of heartfelt responses that brought tears to my eyes. Then I received a few emails from New York and Hong Kong that gave me the idea that I was behind the wheel again. Things started moving.

About psycho bitches from hell

monster1

There is nothing outside of us. We don’t posses only a certain amount of human features, we all posses all of them. But are expected to cultivate some and suppress others. We are not supposed to express the complete spectrum of our humanity. So we create a survival mechanism that serves us best: our identity or our ego. With this mechanism we try to control our lives as good as we can. We hide vulnerability, anger, fear, desire and many other aspects according to our individual personality structure. We are all looking for love, security and approval. As men we can choose to blatantly pursue power and money to hopefully make us feel safe and loved. Most women don’t have that option.

Wisdom of nature

Altar with ayahuasca

This region is known for its lively shamanism. After the retreat in NabiNunhue I went here, hunting for answers and experiences. The experiences are abundant but the answers are really few. Last two nights I participated in first a Peyote ceremony, led by Navajo Indians and second an ayahuasca ceremony led by Taita Juan Batista. It was quite a rare and special meeting of two traditions and two medicine plants.

You are not alone

Chief Iktomi Sha

In the afternoon there was a Sun Circle: a meeting for men. The women had their Moon Circle. I was not exactly looking forward to this meeting because I thought we would go into the ayahuasca experiences. The thing is: I can’t lie or pretend anymore. I physically can’t. So if I am asked to share my experience I will do that. I can only hope that I won’t be put on the spot. But the meeting took a different turn: it was about masculinity and relationships. Initially it didn’t sound too exciting: I am single and have not so much questions or doubts about my masculinity. But to my surprise I heard a couple of interesting stories: stories that resembled mine. Ok, they had happier endings but the struggle seemed to be very similar. Again: I felt not alone.

Down the elevator again

Beginning ceremony

What helped was that I chatted with one of the shamans and he told me that some people are more gifted in certain areas than others. He gave me the feeling that I was perfectly fine, even if the Universe doesn’t open up to me in ceremonies all the time. ‘The Creator all makes us uniquely different’ he said. Later that day he said in a talk that he blesses the spirit guides of people because he happens to be in touch with those guys and makes them (the spirit guides) feel good. It made me remember how many blessings I received this year from dozens of people from all religions and how many mind blowing experiences I already have under my belt. So I felt some simple inner peace. I shouldn’t really complain, should I?

A sparrow vs the USA

Outside my bedroom in Joshua Tree

I am in the USA! On Monday I arrived in L.A. The client I am doing the retreat with picked me up from the airport. We walked around Venice Beach, had some food and went to the movies later. I was very tired from the flight but couldn’t really afford too give in to my jetlag so I made an effort to stay up till a ‘normal’ bed time. I made it in the sense that I am going to bed and waking up at normal times but I still feel a bit weird. I left Sydney in the afternoon of Monday the 22nd and 14 hours later I arrived on Monday morning 10 am but I felt like Tuesday morning 5 am. Confusing.

Not a rant against consumerism

Whitehaven Beach Viewpoint

It is raining very hard outside. It is 18.18 (auspicious timing) and it is getting dark rapidly here in Airlie Beach. I found a spot to write in an internet café. Only thing is that the internet is not working. But at least I can charge my laptop and my phone.

I have 45 bites of sand flees on my right calve alone. I didn’t bother to count the amount of bites on other places on my body but trust me: I have many bites. The bites are very itchy but I have Tiger Balm next to me: to put on the spots where I want to scratch. Tiger Balm relieves the itching. Best tip I had in a long time.

A chewy first course of yoga

Sunset from my beach house

I am on the veranda of my little hut on the beach. It is dark but I can hear the sea. The tide is high, the water is 20 meters from here. It is quite warm – I am only wearing shorts – but there is a small breeze. My stomach is full from the red curry I just ate. It wasn’t as good as the curry I had yesterday but still ok.

My legs are tired and my calves are sore. This morning I was picked up by my new yoga friend at 06.00 in the morning to go for a run. In Hong Kong I bought Vibram Fivevingers and this was my chance to break them in