Can people change?

Surely there are things about yourself or about others you do not like….Or maybe there are things that you want to improve or get rid of…. All what matter is that you already are conscious about the problem. Once you are aware and accept the challenge then you can start hopping for changes, I mean real changes in your life for yourself and others. But you can’t just clap the fingers and hope that old patterns will go away.

It takes time and patience, dedication and discipline. It takes the will to actually move forward or change a direction that does not suit with your life. However we don’t change because someone want us to. We change because we want to.

The secret is to be positive and think positive, statements like: it’s too hard, or I can’t do it, it’s not in my DNA… Such mindset will sabotage your efforts before you actually begin. Even taught “you are who you are”, and “it is how it is”, there are ways to modify and to alter aspects of your behavior and attitude.

Like I said earlier, the first step is being aware is what we start with. Not so simple as you need to open to your own weaknesses and recognize them. How can you change if you blame others for your mistakes? how do you know for sure that your thinking process is right and not conflicting with other people’s believes?

With meditative session, you can observe your taught without judgment and try to understand it. Why this happened? Why did I say this? how can I make this situation better? get to know yourself is the second step. Lot of efforts and patience are necessary.

If you are aware of your taught and know your bad habits, is it enough to change? No… You need to be committed to make the necessary changes. You acknowledge what you want to change, you stay focused on your goal, you exercise daily with self-discipline and give yourself a chance to grow and the opportunity to be a better you. When you start to see things in a different dimension, life can be incredible. Change moves in the positive direction, so is your life, your career, your relationships, change can happen, dedication and faith will pay off. You will feel self confident, capable of more then you can imagine, it is like changing the station of your radio. Small frequency wish makes all the difference.

If anyone would like to share his own experience, you are welcome to do so in the comment bellow.

NAMASTE.

Ayahuska Journey.

A most incredible and cleansing trans-formative and spiritual Ayahuaska journey with the true master and indigenous Indian Shaman from “Cofán tribe”, in southern Columbia, has come to Europe to provide and introduce westerners with this beautiful and ancestral medicine.

Shaman Andres Criollo, comes from a lineage of shamans and has learned the secret of the medicine from his ancestors, grand father, and father. His own grand mother is also the protector of the aye (Ayahuaska). The tribe collect the Chacruna and the Vine from the source in the profound and protected amazonian forest.

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I had the honor to meet Andres, son of the famous “Jaguar Shaman”, the most respected elder shaman man in Colombia and the highest spiritual authority of the Cofán people. The Ayahuaska brew is prepared with care and dedication, with love, songs and prayers for long hours and even days in the jungle until it is ready to consume.

The ceremony takes place in the Maluka, (the ceremonial room) is usually dark with only few candles lightened during the whole evening. The ceremony starts around 10 pm and finishes early morning. The last shot of  the Aye is taken not later then 2 am.  A small prayer is always held before the ceremony starts.

A little glass is enough to feel the effects of the sacred medicine and the effects will last hours in your system. The spirit of the aye contained in the medicine depends of the nature of the vine, some of the rarest are called the “Jaguar Yage”, others the “Lucero Yage” or bright star, and also the “Gold Yage”.

The ceremony is often guided by the shaman whistling, songs, prayers, and music instruments are used such as the harmonica, the drums and the guitar. The shaman uses the Guaira to cleans the body and mind of his patient or disciple after the ceremony and brings him peace and protection.

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After a long conversation with shaman Andres, it is estimated to be around 2000 Cofán people left (compared to 15.000 people since the 16th century) and about an average of 2800 ethnic tribe members residing in Columbia and in Ecuador. The majority of the natives tribe has been decimated with mining and oil exploration and exploitation, as well as disease and violence.

Local communities and humanitarians efforts eventually gained control over nearly 4000 square meters of rain forest insuring legal protection and created local school infrastructure for their young.  The Cofán tribes remain the authentic and unique guardians of the forest today.

Thank you Shaman Andres Criollo and Sandra Fragoso for introducing me with the sacred medicine of Ayahuaska and purifying my soul and my body. Thank you Lisa Marie Robinson  for guiding me to him. Finally thank you Frank Neubert for sharing the experience with me and for your care and support along the way.

Bless light and most of all LOVE.

Salama Ayurveda & the Fortified Ksar of Ait Ben-Hadou Morocco.

THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS.

Salama Ayurveda is a holistic center located at the base of the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The scenery and the area is beautiful quiet and this is a place where we can breathe fresh air all year around. Winter can be very cold with snow falling occasionally on the mountain slopes. Summer is wonderful, a great possibility to clean the body and the mind close to the river falling close by and listening to the birds singing while you are having a full body massage or a meditation course.

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The establishment is made of a Berber style. Khalid the owner of the centre has a magnificent spirit focusing on using all tools such as Ayurveda cooking, massage, yoga, silent walks, meditation, chants, to uplift the mind, and to make you tuned with yourself, so you can truly find the purpose of your presence on earth and understand the principles of equanimity. His aim is to make every traveler, a unique journey, with excursion in the Moroccan desert Merguza and Zagora. Options to visit the city of Marrakesh and its Medina as well as Ouarzazate and surrounding Berber villages close by other services the center provide.

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The experience this year has been one of its kind, close to nature, silent walks to waterfalls, and other trip such as camping in the desert, practice yoga and eat lot of Tajines! I was hoping for more Ayurveda type of food, and a more intensive program to detox my body and mind.

The Excursion was nice, the 4 of us, our guide, a girl from Holland and a men from Germany and myself. First camel ride for about an hour and a half felt like a full body workout! My legs started shaking and my back sore, so I decided to continue the journey walking and following our guide. Arrived at the camp we had more Arabic mint tea and a Tajine with vegetables and meat. The evening was clear and the stars shining above our heads.

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The next morning, we dealt with a little disagreement, when the weather changed to blow sand on our faces most of the day and therefore we had to cancel the yoga classes and head back to Ouarzazate that same day. The time we spent driving hours was animated by deep spiritual talks and listening to powerful sounds of music.

A good rest, a shower and a light meal and we were on the way back to Salama Ayurveda in the morning. We stopped on the caravan trade route to visit the ancient Ksar Ait Ben Hadou, the famous fortified village or Ksar in Arabic. This village is made out of natural material, covered by red mud plaster, and surrounded by high walls. I was able to take impressive shots from the UNESCO heritage site, renowned for it’s natural and cultural importance but also a site where many films have been made, such as “The Mummy”, and “The man who would be king”.

Apart from villages, public establishment such as a mosque, and a saint school and a public square where built. The trans-Saharian route connected Europe and North African coast. Because of such a traffic on the road with merchants transporting gold, salt and also slaves, gave no choices to locals but to build towers and high walls to protect the customers living on the site as well as local inhabitants.

The beautiful day became cooler and heavy winds have started to blow in this month of March. We kept driving toward the Mont Tishka in 2260 m altitude where snow started falling. We were driving slowly on this wet road slope after slope, turns after turns, until we arrived in the beautiful valley of l’Ourika. I conducted a yoga class the next day at Salama Ayurveda under the soft sun and with beautiful people.

Reference of the KSAR ofAIT Ben Haddou UNESCO World Heritage Site.

NAMASTE

Travel Marrakesh.

This is an insight about my hometown Marrakesh. Here you will discover some of my photographs of Marrakesh Medina, oriental market, places to eat drink and spend a great evening.

I have always been distracted by the unique vibration and energy the Medina has to offer. Only an hour tour would be enough for me to appreciate it’s variety, art, smell, music and people.

One of the dinning restaurant is single of it’s kind, the Narwama, a family owned restaurant, fusion of Moroccan and Thai food. Located in the Medina, in a splendid riad dating from the 19th century, heritage world of UNESCO.

From 2012 and 2013, I managed the restaurant following previous steps of my father until I flew to Australia.

The experience of working in Morocco was one of the most challenging I had. Not always easy to mix feelings with a parent who has a different approach in regards to establishing ways for the development and success of the restaurant as well as keeping the line of one of the most famous and recognized dinning place in town.

I have always known Khalid and Brahim. Both fellow employees, dedicated  hard workers, bartender on the left and chef de rang on the right, serving for years in our restaurant.

Today Narwama is under the management of a couple and a whole new team keeping up with the hard work, since the owner decided to focus most of the past 9 months for the opening of a new business in the heart of la Medina. “Soukine” is due to open in the end of the year 2018.

More photographs of the umber city of Marrakesh.

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Surfing – Breathing – Meditating.

I have been teaching yoga 5 years and surfing 10 years and I am still learning. When you are out there in the surf line up, you are fully tuned with your surroundings and completely focused on what’s going on around you, if you don’t, there are chances where you could easily lose control of your balance, control over the board and control over the mind.

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I use this example as an example for life. Steady rhythm, steady breath, steady mind and therefore steady life.

Yoga is a great example and find equanimity (balance) with the breath but also with the flexibility, the strength and focus. If you clear your mind from fluctuation you will progress more.

When I am surfing, I feel like my thoughts disappear and no other emotions evolve except full awareness, the sensation of the slide on the lip of the wave.

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Just like meditation, the visions and the sensations flowing from my chest through my arms and my spine are magical, a feeling of calm peace and freedom holds me.

“Yoga and surf are naturally flowing, one by the rhythm of breath and body and the other gets you tuned with the ocean and the waves. You can’t force it but only go with it, and fully be in the moment”.

Life…. you make it. With faith, hope and discipline in your practice, you will be the King or the Queen of your own century.

Enjoy the journey.

 

 

 

What people wish for in life?

What people wishes for in life? It is simply being happy. I think we all agree on that. We search for joy, contentment, desire for feeling good all the time. If you want proof, ask yourself that question: What do I want in my life? … Most of all, I want happiness. YES?

I want a big smile on my face every day. I want healthy relationships in every areas in my life. I want to be seen as a human being. I want my perspective and my beliefs to be respected and understood. The best way to start happiness is that simple gesture of compassion and love. So when you have something, share it, don’t be selfish. When you do not share, you lose your inner peace.

Another way to make things work for you, is the practice of meditation. Select one practice that suits best your temper and stay with it. Keep doing it until your mind becomes totally absorbed and focused in that practice. This is called Samadhi. Your mind comes to a well-balanced state, in equanimity. The mind is pure, with no fluctuations or changes.

“Blessed are pure in the heart”. Yoga sutras.

In India yoginis seek for inner peace, meditating hours and do rigorous Tapascharya (meditation of self-discipline).

When you work with purity in your heart, things work better for you. When you only see darkness and complaining, it is just a waste of time. You are simply ruining your life. Days, months, years, pass by, then one day you realize all that you have done was being miserable.

There are ways out of that spiral, you must keep having faith and believe in yourself. What should you do to keep a positive energy? Stop complaining now. Purify your mind with positive and affirmative statements.

If you can watch the way you think you can change your taught”. 

Train your brain few minutes every day. Just do it. Soon you will notice that your thinking process is different. We have the power to make a change, this change start within each one of us. I would like to refer to the concept of self in the Upanishads, who explains great philosophical truth. The concept of self and identification with Brahma (the creative source of the universe).

 “He who sees all beings in his Self and his Self in all beings, never suffers because when he sees all creatures within his true Self, then jealousy, grief and hatred vanish.”

 You must look for happiness in the right places, inside yourself, not outside. We carry love in our hearts, a powerful tool to return to every time you feel down. Do not wait and hope for external situations, outside factors or people to make you happy. If you think like: “I would be happy if I had a boyfriend or a girlfriend”, or “I would be happy if I could get a Dior handbag”, or “I would be happy if I had enough money”.…. If I had X, Y, Z, I would be happy. –Wrong! Happiness starts within yourself. Focus on learning about your weaknesses and your qualities. Connect with yourself by studying who you are. Connect your human side with the spiritual side, the union of the body and mind, which is the meaning of YOGA.

Love shines on everyone, it is your choice to open or close the path in being happy.

The choice is yours.

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Happy mind, happy life.

We humans are a big family. Instead of killing and disrespecting each other, feeling jealousy, greed between each other, why can we not be happy for the other person success or wealth? Why so much competition? Why so much sadness? Why so much violence? Is this being civilized? Educated? Cultured? – No.

Think and make a test for yourself. Can you understand the people who think differently then you? Test of life? We have to ride each other waves to understand who we are, we are gifts for each other, and we can learn from each other, we are all student and teacher. With communication, understanding, compassion, love, we are capable of everything.

The choice is yours.

In Yoga we often say “Namaste”, what does that mean?

I see the soul in you, you see the soul in me”.

It is a form of deep respect for the other being, coming from the heart. Practice in a way your mind doesn’t go over you. If a person has been nasty to you, tell “Namaste” and walk away. This person does not deserve your energy. We can’t always match with certain people, but that’s OK. We are civilized, respectful, let it be, and go. Focus on the goodness, the darkness doesn’t work.  Constantly remind yourself on who you are. I am spectacular or I am miserable.

The choice is yours.

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Yoga is about living your life fully. I struggled myself in keeping that in mind, too busy worrying and questioning. I realized it was a waste of energy, and I could use that energy for best results. Happy comes from within. Nobody is going to make you happy. Nobody can make you happy. Whatever the condition is, don’t forget that. It is temporarily. When you learn enough lessons in your life there is no other way for you but to go back within yourself.

The world is there to teach us:

Don’t come to me for happiness, because it is within you”.

Be independently happy, not dependently happy. Allow your mind to always see the positive in all things and beings.

You are the image of God, you carry God in you, you carry love in you and love transmits into healing, do not let anyone still your love. The divine energy is in us, it is in all of us. We all have the power to make things right for us the right for all beings, for the animals, for the earth, for the plants and for the trees, for the lakes, for the mountains, for the oceans, for the sky. Love yourself and love all beings.

“Be happy first and see the world unfold in front of you”. 

 Bless you all.

Overcome failure.

People reach their dreams by trying hard, and making it happen. Failure is also part of our lives, but what matters is the way we overcome challenges and use them to our advantages.

First you will need to accept the challenge or the result as it came, and keep in mind that this particular problem has been given to you because you are capable and strong enough to overcome the issue.

Once accepted, you can start with keeping a positive mind to get passed the pain caused by that failure. You will  have to practice healing techniques, until you can set yourself free. Recognize your capabilities. Think positively and understand this is not your final destination.

Be honest with yourself, reflect on why it happened then let it go and move on. It is Ok to feel unbalanced, disappointed, frustrated. You may tumble down like a babe who is learning to walk, but you will have to rise up again with a smile and a cheerful heart. This is a quote from spiritual Upanishads lectures:

“Failures are not stumbling blocks, but stepping stones to success”.

Life is full or turns and blocks, but you have the capacity to give yourself the chance to be closer and closer to your success. Do not repeat your mistakes, learn from your experiences. We can choose to handle obstacles in life and make necessary arrangements.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • How can I adjust my course to avoid making the same mistake again?
  • What can I do differently the next time?
  • What can I learn from this and how this issue has affected my being?

It is important that you answer these questions with honesty and a calm mind. Be constructive and stop being caught in empathy. Make a plan of how you want changes to happen in your life, and be grateful for all the wonderful experiences that are yet to come. Keep away from procrastination, nothing is perfect, nobody is perfect, do your best for you, and for the benefits of all beings.

If some of you would like to share your practice with me, please feel free to leave a comment.

Light and Love.