Eps 4: The Beauty of Workouts

Wouter having fun

One of the young guns I hired is named Wouter. He has been my housemate too this summer. I just asked him if he had some sort of question because I knew I had this piece of writing coming up. He asked me how I experience training in general. He had a Dutch word for it that I find hard to translate (trainingsbeleving). He refers to the transition of going from everyday mode into ‘the zone’. He feels the excitement and anticipation flowing through his body when his body tells him it is time to hit the gym.

How to lose money and grow at the same time

Atalwin and Josie

I am on the road now for 14 months and 1 week and I am finally starting to feel like a traveler and an explorer. Not that ‘learning how be a traveler’ was a goal of this journey but it seems like a logical side effect to me. It took a lot longer than I would have predicted if you had asked me before though. What is it that makes me say that I feel like a traveler? I feel the North Pole pulling at me. I feel curiosity. I feel I want to set foot in that cold emptiness. For a long time I pushed myself to places but I wasn’t drawn to them. That is changing. Maybe I have lived outside of my comfort zone long enough to not be uncomfortable anymore.

Wishing you a happy end of the era of ego, fear and greed!

From Caterpillar to butterfly

Imagine people all over the world literally waking up to a new paradigm. In the morning they open their eyes and they realize that the world is the same only they see it differently. Instead of threats they see beauty, instead of greed they feel a desire to share, instead of a need for validation they feel moved to serve others. And this would happen to people all over the planet, from shoe shiners in Delhi to entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, tribesmen in Ghane and housewives in Philadelphia. It would happen to Vladimir Putin, Robert Mugabe, Mitt Romney and the Pope. It would happen to skinheads, inmates, criminals and prostitutes. Media from all over the world would be busy reporting cases of spiritual transformation. Former enemies would enter in constructive dialogue and come up with compassionate and selfless solutions faster than television could cover.

Coming to Cali

Salsa on streets of Cali

My first priority is to learn Spanish (all tips and tools are most welcome). And it is made clear to me that I should learn how to dance salsa too. ‘No bailar, no mujeres’ I think they said: ‘no dancing, no ladies’. And it seems pretty clear that dancing is part of life and part of the culture. So I must learn. I am not a bad mover on the dance floor but do feel somewhat self-conscious about the idea of being surrounded by all those Latinos and Latinas who have been doing this since they can walk. And the way I learned to dance in clubs was not restricted; anything goes as long as you follow the beat. Salsa asks for specific moves and steps that require taking lessons. But people here are proud of their culture and like to share it. They really appreciate when strangers try to learn their ways. So I have been told that I can expect plenty of help.

The Angel of Hippie Camper Rental

Hippie Camper Angel

So I owed you another story. I normally don’t tell stories from ‘the past’ and this one happened last Wednesday, almost a week ago and therefore pretty much ancient history (time flies). I wanted to write it down last Friday, the day the weekly update goes out to the people on my mailing list (please join if you would like to keep updated).

I had paid the family in Buderim another visit, said goodbye and was now on my way back to Sydney. I would come pass Brisbane in 45 minutes and I remembered that the head quarters of hippiecamper.com were in that city. The problems that I had with them were never really settled.

Let’s go to Thailand

Abbot Phra Khru Bah

It feels strange to leave Hong Kong. Yet again I will go to a new country to create a new adventure. I have no clue what will happen. I will miss my luxurious hotel room with over the top service from the student staff and realize there will be many cheap hostels, huts, couches and stretchers ahead of me with it’s own charm. And us usual I have no plan at all, I have not even looked at any map and have no idea if it will be hot, cold, dry or wet. But in my mind two things are different: I had a valid excuse this time (I was busy) and I don’t feel guilty or scared anymore. I remember how stupid I felt when I found out after arriving in Israel that there were no buses to from Jordan to Lebanon. This time I don’t mind: I am sure I will improvise something and something good will come out of it.

The collective heart

Mystery Cafe

My naivety makes me laugh; I can feel compassion for my oh so well-meaning deluded self that really believes in miracles. Every time when I feel and witness the power of connection between the one heart and the other I am convinced we have the potential to change the world and I never get tired fantasizing about the possibilities. And it is true: the power of love is limitless. But I forget how much continuous hard work it is even for myself to stay connected to that source and I barely manage. Creating an ongoing practice is hard, creating the space for a group to grow is even harder.

Every day a brand new day

After meditation still alone

When we are open to it our days are filled with all kinds of little surprises and miracles. Who would have guessed an hour ago that I would sit outside writing my blog (now with two dogs trying to play with me. Ah, the dogs kicked sand all over my precious AirBook. That’s it, Mr Adventurous is going back inside). Where was I? We have a choice. We can either try to control, manipulate, avoid or decrease our experience (as we generally do, just observe your inner commentary on everything if you don’t believe me) or we can embrace it as it is presented to us. We can open up to the moment. It is not a nuisance that the moods of your co-workers can differ every day; it is a miracle. The sun comes out: people start to undress and flirt. It rains: people become moody. Isn’t it fascinating? The world becomes a field of play.

Taking a deep plunge into Jewish tradition

Wedding - Signing contract

I arrived on a Friday afternoon, a couple hours before Shabbat. Shabbat is a day of strict rest. The religious Jews are not even allowed to switch the light on or off. Which means they have found all kinds of clever solutions like leaving the light on and have special plates that keep the food warm for the next day. The hours before Shabbat are very hectic; everybody is rushing. If feels like rushing to your massage appointment, as somebody put it.