This is how we roll. Yallah!

I feel sad. Tomorrow I am leaving and today I am meeting with people to say goodbye to them. It touches me more than I expected. I have tears in my eyes as I type. I really wish them well. I wish I could have done more. But I have a feeling I will stay in touch with a few of them and that I will come back in the future.

Tomorrow I will fly to Cairo where I might stay at the place of friends of friends or I might have to find a place through or stay at a hostel. But I am aiming for cool people who want to hang out with me for a couple of days. Then I will fly to Baghdad and stay there for 3 weeks. The plan is to work intensely for 5 to 10 days with a group of around 20 young Iraqi’s, to help them find inner strength and peace and to create strong bonds founded on honesty, respect, honor and integrity. I hope to contribute to the creation of honorable and integer leaders. The planet needs Noble Warriors everywhere but certainly in Iraq.

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Deep down we are all Warriors

Workshop Beirut III

So what have I learned? I have learned that human beings are very much the same. It doesn’t matter if they are Dutch, Greek, Israeli or Lebanese. It doesn’t matter if they are wealthy or less wealthy. We all experience loneliness, separation, suffering, doubt and sadness. And we all have the potential to embrace ourselves.

Another lesson is that it seems that the weight of every day life is heavier in a small community with quite a few social restrictions. That sounds like an open door when I write it down but it felt humbling when really being present with it. I saw quite a few caged people here, locked up in palaces, literally and metaphorically.

As I come almost to the end of this post I realize that I hope that people don’t see me or my journey as somebody or something exceptional but as something within their reach too. We can all identify our fears and then do the work to overcome them. Deep down we are all warriors. The only thing we need to do is start acting accordingly.

The eternal dance of giving and receiving

It feels as if I rediscovered the eternal dance of giving and receiving. It is like our breathing. If we just let it happen, it feels so good, natural and relaxing. When we inhale universal love enters our body, when we exhale our personal love flows back into the universe. The more we surrender to that rhythm, the easier our life goes. The challenge is to really trust that what we give will come back to us. We are afraid of giving too much and as a consequence we give too little, trying to make a love-profit. And a way to create such a challenge is by going on a mission to make a difference with little money. Then there are no other options then letting the goodness of the universe work on us. Trust me. 😉

Why open up

Byblos harbour

What I am finding over and over again is that honesty heals. I didn’t realize that my post on the war of 2006 would be a relief for my Lebanese friends, not when I was writing it. I also didn’t count on readers to respond in such beautiful way. I am just busy figuring out what I am doing on this trip. I sometimes feel incompetent and frustrated that I can’t do more than bear witness. And I criticize myself for not being more outgoing and independent and too shy and money-conscious to go snowboarding all by myself.

When the young Syrian showed me the horrible footage, I realized he is trying to tell me a story he has no words for. Then I remembered an incident in a bus in the Philippines where I spent holidays with my first girlfriend, long before my spiritual journey had begun. The man next to me, who worked as a night watch told me about the corruption in his country. He was unable to send his son to University. He was clearly intelligent and overqualified but lived in an unfair system. I never forgot him or his story.

The eyes of goodness

Beirut sunset

This morning I felt somewhat nervous and depressed. I get that feeling when I don’t feel useful and limited. Here I feel physically limited by the city. I miss exercise and tried running a couple of days ago but the exhaust fumes of the traffic make it uncomfortable to breath (just walking outside feels already unhealthy). Second is that I don’t get the amount of work done because of limited access to the Internet. I am starting to feel guilty and to feel I am losing control over my project: things are not going as I hoped and expected. I was very easy to make appointments but they were cancelled and postponed just as easily.

I would like to make a contribution but I don’t want to intrude. People are working here. I feel frustrated, I feel sad. And I’m getting angry because this post is taking it’s own direction. I don’t want a sad post.

What can I do? I can accept, surrender and start all over again. I can stop taking myself so fucking serious. I can overcome my embarrassment to offer something and I can take no for an answer. I can be flexible. I can be less ambitious and more sensitive to what is needed.