Posts related to 7. Personal Development
Its aim is to look into human beings inner dimensions – we don’t know more about you than yourself, so do contribute!
23 August 2016 - My birth story
Louis is now six weeks old and fast asleep beside me. He makes loud grunting noises as he sleeps, sometimes interspersed by soft squeaking and cooing. He’s lying on his back, tightly swaddled to contain his startle reflex. He frowns and smiles, letting out a little cry occasionally when the wind in his tummy gets too much. Last night he fed nearly every hour. We’ve been told he’s going through his first developmental leap, so he’s needing lots of mummy time and feeds. I found myself gently crying after a feed and toilet trip. I was tired. I had started thinking about my birth after feeling how tender my scars still are when I wipe after going to the toilet. I decided that today I would write our story, to process it fully and record it whilst still relatively fresh in my memory.
For nine months I prepared as much … Read the rest
08 March 2015 - I’m sick and tired of International Women’s Day
Today is International Women’s Day. I know we should celebrate this event but the truth is that I’m not in the mood for it. I’m a man, and I’m sick and tired of hearing horrible stories whichever part of the world I travel to, about how badly and unfairly women are treated in their respective society.
I’m sick and tired to know that 35 per cent (35!) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
I’m sick and tired that there are fewer women at the helm of top Australian and US companies than men named Peter or John sitting as chief executive and chair positions.
I’m sick and tired that good men all around the world are so much the slaves of their sexual desire that they end up groping, catcalling, lacking respect, hurting, hitting or raping a woman (or … Read the rest
01 March 2015 - How we silence sexual abuse
Sexual abuse has cast a shadow over my family’s life. My mother was abused as a child by her step father, the man I grew up knowing as my grandfather. My cousin was also abused by him (repeatedly, for years). Friends I went to school with were abused by him. Children I met when I was with my grandmother while she babysat them were abused by him. In fact, I have no idea how many children my grandfather has abused over his lifetime but I suspect the numbers are huge since he is still alive and in his 90s.
I am grateful that I was never abused but what has happened around me has still affected me deeply. My grandmother and grandfather lived very nearby and we saw them regularly – actually, we saw grandma nearly daily. They were an integral part of my childhood and I always held two … Read the rest
13 October 2014 - We all just want to be loved, especially by ourselves
We all just want to be loved, but how many of us truly love ourselves? I am on a constant journey to really love myself. Sometimes I do and sometimes I am far from it.
Back in 2011 I camped in a field in a region of France to build a house out of cob with a bunch of people I didn’t know. We called it cob camp. During this time I had little mobile phone network, no car and no internet access. For those months I would wake up with the sun, spend half an hour meditating, half an hour stretching and then half an hour with my coffee doing an observation exercise – all before anyone else in the camp woke up. An hour and a half of self development, in nature, every day for a few months was like medicine for me.
The observation exercise consisted … Read the rest
16 September 2014 - Bolivian Story: Gabriel Coimbra, bringing nature to urban Bolivians
I met Gabriel whilst volunteering at Red Monkey, a vegan restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia. At first I knew him as the guy washing dishes and tidying up but I soon learnt that there was so much more to this young man from the Amazon! One day he gave me some soapnuts he had collected… I hadn’t seen these since we were living in Europe, in the eco stores. I was so excited to use them to make soapnut liquid as an all purpose cleaner and natural pesticide for the white flies on my tomatoes. Another time I tried his Andean wild herbs bath salts as well as various other infusions and creations. Gabriel’s knowledge of plants, interest in all things natural and wonderful culinary experiments are impressive. I wish I could have stayed longer to learn from him. He is in the process of developing products and I’m thrilled … Read the rest
12 August 2014 - Life’s changing: we are settling in Australia
Jean and I are lucky we found each other. We have so much love that sometimes I wonder how it could possibly last. In November we’ll be counting 6 years of a surprising and beautiful journey together. I still remember the day we met. My heart fluttered and my knees nearly gave way. I had never been one of those girls so the feelings surprised me. I convinced myself that none of it was real and it was all in my head so I spent the remaining weekend of that meditation course avoiding him. Little did I know that he had just changed the course of my life. This wonderfully supportive, kind, intelligent, patient man has filled me with a deep, committed love I didn’t know was possible. He encouraged me to leave a career that felt unfulfilling and compromising of my values. He has always believed in me.
Wherever … Read the rest
26 March 2014 - Bolivian Story: Maria Calzadilla
One sunny day I went to a Mercadito Pop [a fair] and discovered an amazing electric blue felted hat I just had to have to protect me from the harsh sun we get here at the high altitude of La Paz. The lady designing and selling these unique hats was Maria. I noticed straight away she was a woman caring about design. You know those sort of people, right? They look effortless. They always have something ever so slightly different hanging from their ears or neck, but never too over-the-top or in-your-face. This is Maria – comfortable, unique, creative and warm. She’s the sort of person who wears what she likes and relishes in sorting through second hand clothes in El Alto to find a bargain. She follows international fashion trends but never through complete imitation like I have seen of so many people during my time living in London. … Read the rest
10 March 2014 - Bolivian Story: Sandra
Just two weeks after I arrived in Bolivia I began daily Spanish classes with Sandra. She didn’t want to be interviewed or have photos taken, which is also why I haven’t included her surname. This Bolivian Story is to tell you about why she has been such a big part of my life here.
My first year in La Paz was difficult for me. Jean was frequently travelling for work, I didn’t know anyone and most days the only other person I spoke to was Sandra, for 1 or maybe 2 hours… in Spanish. It was exhausting. Some days I couldn’t help the warm tears from tumbling down my face as I sat in front of her, my struggles with health, loneliness and another language overwhelming me. Other days I rode her energy and my confidence grew. Every single day Sandra was patient. Her high emotional intelligence meant she adapted … Read the rest
08 March 2014 - Bolivian Story: Daniela Lorini
One day we visited the Christmas fair at the American school and discovered some unique, beautiful mirrors, paintings and coat hooks being sold by Daniela Lorini. She was there with her partner, Arnaud, selling her art works which stood out among the collection of crafts there. We started talking and before we left Dani asked for our contact details. At the time I thought she was just being polite but they were different. They remembered us and invited us over for dinner in the new year. We instantly connected.
I started hanging out at Dani’s place one day a week – sometimes helping with her art and other times simply chatting but always sharing about various topics together. Dani’s art is done with a pyrograph. She burns her organic designs onto wood, as she writes on her website “designs drawn by the fire” and then paints in bright oils. When … Read the rest
28 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Enrique MacLean and Paola Recacoechea
Our first trip out of La Paz after we arrived in Bolivia was to Lake Titicaca for a long weekend away. We spent a couple of nights on Isla del Sol in an eco-lodge, which is where we met Enrique and Paola. They became our very first friends here. During that weekend on Isla del Sol we enjoyed dinner together each evening, laughing and talking about everything from heavy metal to politics. Back in La Paz our friendship grew, including pot lucks at our home and sometimes Enrique and Jean would ‘jam’ together – Enrique on guitar and Jean on his clarinet. We have been enthralled by their comments and opinions on religion in this strongly Catholic place, their perspectives on world issues and, of course, all things Bolivian. In addition, Enrique’s passion for intellectual property law in a country where it seems no one respects or even understands this … Read the rest