Phone lover

At home alone and so much to do,

and yet out I go, in search of you,

Who you are, I do not know,

But find you I will, wherever I go,

My wants are small, my needs not much,

I look, a smile if not a touch,

a passing gaze, to show we exist

a look in the eyes, as if we have kissed,

But you passed me by, you saw me not,

Your phone is your love,

and that I forgot.

The Mindful Travelor

I will quickly add that this has nothing to do with how we can reduce “Global warming”, through the burning of less fossils fuels, or reducing pollution and waste caused by global transportation and tourism. Or maybe it could have some influence on how much we fossils fuels we still would burn when we get there??

Just thinking out aloud again, writing personal observations combined with one or two famous quotes and a change in thinking that has been embraced by some. Its based on a simple observation how SOME people seem to be ticking of their bucket list of “must see” travel destinations before they ….

“kick the bucket”

I repeat SOME travellors seem to have raced around the entire globe

“in 90 days “

while actually not taking the time to really experience being there.

This is combined with another observation how SOME people live their journeys to their destinations. The do not seem to understand or appreciate the very wise words of

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Its the not the Destination, It’s the journey.

I think he is telling us that instead of transporting ourself several hours ahead of time thinking about everything we plan to do and when we get there that we should come out of that mental state of thinking and return to the present moment at hand, the journey. Although we are in motion, moving forward we should try to stand still in the moment that is currently taken place before us.

Yes its based on the philosophy of “Mindfulness” that encourages us to live in the “now” moment observing, savouring and fully engaging in every positive experience that is crossing our paths.

Yes our vacation actually starts right from the moment we leave our home.

We need to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Take the time to enjoy the scenary passing by, if its a night flight or journey and we are really tired then show gratitude even if it is only to ourselves for the opportunity of sleep. If we can’t sleep then lets try and connect with our fellow passengers on board, spouse, siblings, our children, best friend or even that complete stranger sitting next to us. So many interesting and intriguing conversations have developed from such spontaneous interaction with each party sharing their own personal unique life story and experiences. These conversations have sometimes lead to the development of long lasting friendships, friendships that were established hours before the the plane landed at the airport or the train or bus arrived at the station.

And when we do finally arrive at our destination do we take the time to savour that specific moment. We are at the starting block of the destination part of our vacation it is still not over, we have several days or weeks to look forward to. Its a wonderful moment to remember savour and store in our heart and mind.

Admittedly it can be very difficult to fully relax when this is probably our first and only visit to this particular “Port of Call” We may have a huge list of and places to visit and activities to do in a very limited time scale.

We have one of three choices;

Stick to the plan, do not get side tracked, do not slow down or rest up, there is no time, we must be determined to keep to the timetable. We have to get the maximum value of money spent and time sacrificed in relation to the number of monuments, landmarks, breathtaking scenaries and action packed activities that will take place and that will all be perfectly recorded, stored and shared on our Instagram accounts.

But don’t worry because when we get back home we will have a whole year to relax, view and savour the moments on our smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Or maybe we are a simply a inbetweener. (I know I just made that word up) We want to see some of the local attractions and landmarks but we have very limited interest, enthusiame and involvement because all we completely shattered and all we really want to do is “crash out” with only every now and then making some physical effort to get up, stagger to the pool or sea to experience some form of partial or complete liquid submergance. Its either that or we just wanted to go for a pea. We could have stayed in our own country or county and just booked into Sunparks. However Sunparks backgrounds just don’t “cut it” on Instagram, thats just “not done”

Or we can choose to ignore a large part of our “to visit” and “to do” list and just “visit” and “do” what my so called Minimalistic method of travelling allows. When we visit or do something we open our heart and minds fully to that place or experience being fully present.

When we are standing in that Roman Arena or Aztec Temple or Egyptian Pyramid we close our eyes (figureratively speaking) traveling back in time ( yes now we can leave the present for a moment) and imagine ourself actually being there surrounded by spectators that are cheering on the gladiators, we imagine the smell of fear of the prisoners and can feel the suspense in the air. Or maybe we imagine the hustle and bussle of an ancient market packed with produce, livestock and ornaments spread out on tables and stalls before us.

We slowly climb that one cliff at sunset and embrace the panoramic master piece being painted across the horizon in front of us.

We strip half or fully naked and dive into that one laggoon despite the fact that there are several more unique laggoons and waterfalls to see further up the trail that we will never get to see because we could not resist the first one we encountered . But we simply don’t care because we have this one laggoon all for ourself at this moment in time, today, now.

The fact is, the vast majority of us will never get to travel and experience even one tenth of this planets natural wonders and beauties and I question even those that did if they were really had enough time to fully be present preserving those moments in their heart and mind, instead of just on their smartphones or cameras.

However I do recognise and acknowlegde that everyone is different. For some thousands of brief moment is enough and fully satisfying for them.

Which leads me to the following;

“Each to their own”

“If thats what makes you happy then continue doing that way”

And in fact “who am I” to question anybodies way of doing things?

And admittedly this alternative slower pace of travelling means one will see even less of this beautiful planet.

But I will purposely choose this method of travelling because,

according to the Minimalistic lifestyle,

Less is more!!

From breakfast cereal to spirituality

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I do not consider myself a health freak or a sport addict but when I learn that something is good for you I try it and when I learn that something is bad for you I endeavour to avoid it. My eating habits have changed over the years and will probably continue to do so and as regards sport I think I engage in it on a daily basis in one way at work because it’s not about extremes but simply about keeping yourself active on a daily basis. However I do engage in real sport as well on a regular basis. Although no guarantee in itself I do believe it helps in reducing the risks of certain types of illnesses.

There are other equally important factors involved that if ignored can adversely affect our chances of long term health. Study and research in these additional areas is an ongoing journey of discovery but also a realisation of things that we subconsciously already knew and  already applied in our daily lives.

Why do we find it so important to satisfy this internal desire to be socialble and connect with other beings that starts with our own parents and siblings and develops into searching for even more connection outside that circle with friends and relatives and finally resulting in searching for that special relationship of love and connection generally satisfied in the opposite sex. When these fundamental needs our not adequately satisfied we tend to suffer health wise with one aspect generally leading to another, from emotional to mental to physically issues.

If you have found a good relationship do not take it for granted. Unfortunately many of us do not entertain that luxury but we still have hope.  We can still endeavour to maintain good ties with our existing family and friends that can bring out the best in us and our self worth in a positive way.

Also the satisfaction in the act of giving and helping others as a opposed to the ‘selfish me’ first lifestyle has really helped ones to find a positive up building purpose in their lives that in turn contributes to good health. It does not always have to be something spectacular though, even just ‘giving’ some of our precious time and personal attention can do wonders for another human being. It seems fairly obvious that the results we witness and the gratitude received from our efforts can only produce positive health benefits in ourselves. The inner emotional joy in our soul can only have positive effects on our mental well being which in turn can only be good for are physical health even though we may at times be exhausted from the physical exertion involved. I am thinking of that expression ‘Hard work never killed anyone’ .

These things can help us in our goal to build and maintain a positive emotional and mental attitude in life, whatever are situation maybe while at the same time growing instead of stagnating in self pity, continually endeavouring to move forward making positive changes in our lives.

 Art, music, culture, traditions, travel, dance or sport. Have you discovered your personal passion yet, something that touches your heart and soul every time you see hear or actively participate in it? Even if we discover and start these things later on in life the benefits to our health our invaluable due to the deep inner joy and satisfaction experienced. 

And then there is ‘Spirituality’ something that everyone has to decide for themselves whether they choose to recognise it or not and respecting everyone else’s choice in this matter. For many it has played a very important role in their general well being in addition to the positive effect they radiate to those around them.

I don’t know how I got from sharing a photo of my breakfast cereal to talking about basic spirituality. I guess I just wanted to say;

“Take good care of yourself, your body, your life and well being but remember that there is a lot more involved than just a healthy diet and frequent exercise.”

Serious facial expressions in salsa dancing

Recently a friend of mine commented on a photograph that was taken of me dancing at a salsa party. He said that I had a very serious expression on my face while doing something that should actually make you smile profusely,……dancing to rhythmic Latin music with a beautiful woman.

Although I do actually smile very profusely in general while dancing I had to agree with him on this occasion that I did have a very serious, none smiling exrpession on my face.

But as usual I have an answer for everything and I felt like sharing it with with you briefly

Yes Koen its true. My colleagues at work are continually teasing me about all the beautiful women that I dance with at these parties , but I always reply defensively saying;

‘yes I do dance with some very beautiful women but I have to concentrate on executing my salsa turn patterns in such a way that I can lead them properly, keep in time with the rhythm and be prepared for my next pattern combination so that the dance remains a pleasant smiling experience for them in such a way that they will be prepared to dance with me again in the future.’ “

Hence that moment ot intense serious concentration caught on camera………but even then I my heart beams with joy inside while I am enjoying the moment of at least being able to do at least one thing right with a women.

Who is my brother? Who is my neighbour? Who is my friend?

Mixed feelings about this last minute trip to England. as regards friends, family and even strangers.

Sometimes we connect, get help and encouragement from the people we least expect.

A friend of my late mum and myself that I have not seen for decades insisted that I stay to eat a meal with them despite me just popping in unexpectedly.

My cousin exhausted from a hard days work still took the effort with her equally tired daughter to pop by on the bus to her mums where i was staying just to greet me.

Complete strangers connected, smiled and danced with me last night and changed an otherwise boring lonely evening into a great night out.

An old school mate from 38 years ago has just spontaneously decided to come and fetch me from the train station on my journey back down to London for breakfast.

The moral of this story? Who is my brother? Who is my neighbour? Who is my friend? Well its not necessarily the initial meaning of those words.

Even seemingly small and insignificant acts of kindness and attention can have a very big, powerful impact.

Make time for people because we might not get a second opportunity in this uncertain world and life of ours.

True love and its chemistry, who can really explain it?

I actually know quite a few women in real life that I think like me. In some ways they are ideal dating candidates as regards character, personality, attractiveness, age, geographical location, family situation, independant financial standing and our shared passions and interest. I really enjoy my friendship with them and engaging with them in our shared passions and activity. But despite all of this I don’t feel that special chemical attraction towards them.

Those few women that I do feel attracted to are everything but ideal candidates for me. Its either their age, where they live, their family situation, their real interests and passions. This is even without mentioning their character and personality. The “love at first sight” relationship that I experience in my infactuation with some of them soon wears off once I got to know them a little better and see their true character and how they interacted ……..or how they did not interact with me.

Why do so many of us have this tendency to “fall in love” with the wrong type of person. The type of person that is not really suited to us. The type of person that instead of uplifting us into becoming better persons actually break us down and bring out the very worst in us?

Why do so many of us always keep searching for this mystery, magical person on the other side of the planet when there is an ideal but simple match literally next door, or in the same village or town or at least in the same country, just waiting for us to ask them.

Yes maybe love is a bit overrated sometimes and maybe we should not always let it have the complete influence on our final decision in who we decide to share the following years of our lives with.

But for those of you who did find someone through the “instant chemistry of love” that turned both of you into better persons, that made you both a complete unit in soul, body and mind, treasure what you have and never let it go, because you have found something truly rare, unique and remarkable.

True love and its chemistry who can really explain it?

CSSF Rovinj, 2016 My experience.

What an amazing festival and I only experienced a fraction of it. The last four days, and I did not enroll in any of the workshops, or any of the sunset dance cruises. But what I did experience , the early evening town square open party with Top Cuban Salsa band Maykel Blanco, the afternoon beach parties, the main Sunday afternoon Pool party and the late evening parties in the Old Tobacco Factory complex just blew my mind!
I started dancing again from scratch about two and half years ago learning primarily Cuban Style Salsa, and a limited amount of bachata. So I still felt like a beginner. The more I learn the more I realise how little I actually know.
I did have the privilege of dancing with many highly experienced dancers and they seemed to elevate my own dance level. They finished of perfectly every move that I initiated. The interaction with the dancers was amazing and despite the fact that they were clearly far more advanced dancers than myself they were still humble, smiling hugging and squeezing my hands full of gratitude as we departed, mind blowing. (I finally realised later that they were probably applying stuff they had just learned in one of the many amazing workshops), (Next year I promise I will attend a few workshops……no really!)
By the last two days I felt as if I was dancing in another dimension. It was not that I was executing more complicated figures but it was how I was dancing. I really felt as if I was starting to transmit my feelings and emotions into my dancing, and that especially the experienced dancers seem to capture my feelings and convey them in their moves. A truly amazing experience.
Also just watching others dance was a real pleasure. With no disrepect to the top artist that performed at this festival I seemed to have more pleasure watching the spontaneous and improvised dancing that was taking place before my eyes every evening and into the early hours of the following morning where the “die hards” still kept on dancing. This was no fixed choreographic sequence of moves. I was watching a unique dance sequence taking place that will never be executed in that exact same way again. A combination of the leader and follower intepreting the music and rhythm of a particular song into their dance combined with how they feel at that given moment.

This is the stuff that is not given so much attention when the festival is being promoted or discussed but for me this is what this festival is about;

“People coming together from all over the world to connect, to hear and enjoy latin and afro Brazilian (Kizomba) music and express themselves in the beautiful art form of dance.”

Thank you so much for making this possible for us.

.

Back in Jamaica first Impressions

Back in Jamaica visiting my parents my first impressions.

Dirt cheap rally driving route taxis, very expensive charter taxis driving at slightly slower speeds, hotel receptionist without internet access because their owners don’t trust them, clear salt sea water fish infested white sand beaches, plastic bottles, tourist, churches, poor Jamaicans street sellers trying to sell cheap souvenirs, rich foreign owned gift shops employing equally poor Jamaicans selling expensive beach towels, the Knutsford Express Coach service, amazing scenary, Chinese supermakets, more churches, sun sinking into the sea sceneries, potholes, Kingdom Halls of Jehovahs Witnesses, mansions, brick build huts, cochroaches, brightly coloured drinking bars, sunshine, goats, every possible model of Toyoto, Church of Pentecost, Palm trees, cheap Chinese clothes and household store, sunrises, mosquitos, Seven day adventis church, wasps, super luxery 4 x 4 jeeps, old bangers, gorgeous woman biting on the tongues so that they don’t show any type of emotion and avoiding any type of eye contact as they walk slowly past you, Top of the range Honda darkened glass SUV, the night echos of reggae music blasting thru the rural valley countryside with just three people actually attending the party in the local bar, very big loud loudspeakers, very very big loud speakers, the senior citizen rastaman, school uniform dressed children, bread fruit, the machete carrying freelance agricultural labourer, half built concrete mansions with flat concrete iron rod sticking out roofs, coconuts, roof top standing black plastiek round 100 gallon water tanks, loose dogs, petty crime, beggars, serious murderous crime, wind mills, more churches, tourist, beautiful beaches, more potholes, poverty, riches, quiteness, the ghettos, completely iron fenced off remote controlled gated villas with matching German shepherd gaurd dogs, noise, potwa, singing, friendly people, sunshine, yes lots and lots of clear blue sky sunshine.