12.11.2017

Life

"Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans." I came across this John Lennon quote a couple years ago. I found shocking the amount of truth in those words back then and I still do. 

I have studied to become a biologist. I find the diversity of the forms of life and life itself on this planet absolutely and magnificently intriguing. About a year ago I started my journey to become a yoga teacher, which is one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had and I get to rel
ive every time I teach a class, every time I invite people to breathe, to move, to bring life into their beings. In the meantime I have had the chance to live in a couple of different countries. To cross my Parisian dream off my bucket list. To discover a new species of a tiny little animal which some say it looks like a product of a spider-scorpion fornication, but which makes my heart skip a beat every single time I lay my eyes on one. I have made friends from all over the world. I have burnt out. I have cried pools of tears mourning over the wounds of my past. I have seen and heard and felt things I never imagined existed. I have both succeeded and failed miserably in science, in love, in family, in friendship.

This has been life so far for me. An unpredictable journey which often found me overwhelmingly anxious about what the next chapter was going to bring. You see, a little over a decade ago I had a very different plan in mind about how my life was going to turn out to be. Over the years I have spent a fair amount of time and tremendous amounts of energy resisting the changes that life brought into my path. I have finally come to acknowledge one thing: The only way to live your most honest and most authentic life is to remain open to what life has to offer while you keep yourself vulnerable to feeling what there is to be felt. Feeling is the third dimension to the equation of life. With the other two being thinking and doing, in my opinion. One cannot just think and do. Trust me. Actually, I cannot believe I am the one to be saying this. Me, the avoider of all things to be felt and the seeker of the things that can only be understood. 


If you find yourself overwhelmed by the unpredictability of the script of your own life, dear friend, do not be afraid. Take a leap into all three dimensions.  Life is a movie full of plot twists, but, hey, there wasn’t going to be much greatness in rewatching a movie that has already been played in your head, right? 


As Joseph Campbell beautifully puts it:


With a whole lot of love, 

Meli

P.S. I was inspired to write this blog by Brene Brown's book "Daring Greatly". I loved reading it and I highly recommend it to you guys too, in case you haven't already read it. 

11.01.2017

As abstract as I like it to be

There will be times 
when it will be too hard to bear this thing called living

There will be times when this so called reality 
will rip your guts wide open and will devour your heart with outmost gluttony 

And then a moment will come when your veils will be shed
and all of a sudden you will know that reality is nothing more than a never ending cosmic dance between one's brightest light and deepest shadow

As truthful to others as a battlefield covered by an invisible cloak

If in that moment, my friend, you catch yourself wondering "in the end who am I really?"

Then search for what lifts your being into serenity  

For me, as I speak on behalf of my soul, it has come to be the thought of God and Nocturne No. 1 in B flat minor. 

What's yours? 

10.13.2017

It's been a while

Hello dear friends, 

I am so happy to be back on the blog and to be meeting you again here on my sacred cyber space. A lot of things have happened since my last post. The most major change is that I moved out of Leiden and I am back to Crete- hello sun-kissed cheeks, hello chaos, hello mama land! This cultural transition won't be the subject of this blog post though, since there are other thoughts in more urgent need to be spilled out of the tips of my fingers. So let's set them free, shall we?

As you may already know in the past couple of years I have been putting a considerable effort to tame this mess called life. There have been bumps along the road of course, it wasn't going to be a smooth ride, but you know, life is life. Thus, according to my experience and after some rather sloppy calculations and repeated observations I realised that that there is at least one time in everyone's life when one or more major life changes take place. This can be due to a loss of a job or a loved one, a divorce, a burnout- insert painful event here. Ok everybody hurts we got it. So why am I telling you this? Because observing this pattern has helped me realise that life changes can be painful but they do not have to be tragical.

"The bird fights its way out of the egg. 
The egg is the world. Whoever will be born 
must destroy a world." - Herman Hesse 

It is fine if you lost yourself on the way. 
It is fine if you need time to grieve. In times like these which are difficult without a doubt we are called to shed all the parts of ourselves which no longer serve us. The parts which have been throwing us into false circles for years if not decades. Once you rise above this challenge you will be a different yet better person, you will be one step closer to your true self. The one that is not a people pleaser. The one that takes time for self-love and fills his/her own heart first before loving anybody else. You will be one with the child inside you. 

It is fine if you need time. It is fine if you cannot bear being just a cog in the machine. It is fine if you have feelings nested in a heart in the size of a planet. And you know why it is fine? Because life forgives and you, my friend, have already been forgiven 
for 
being 
only human.

With a whole lot of love,

Meli




4.11.2017

Healing

It has been four days since I got a decent night's sleep. You see, I always get a bit funky before a full moon. In times like this, it feels like I am a numb observer of my own life. I can just watch this girl being in places doing things as if I am watching a theatre play. I spent the weekend at my yoga teacher's training. It was rather intense, but in a good way. So today I took a moment to let everything that happened during the past few days sink in.

I realised how grateful I am for having made it this far, not only in my teacher's training but also in life. Just a few months ago I was lying in my bed, barely able to get up on my feet and walk a few meters. Yet there I was yesterday, fully engaged in my self-practice. I was there on my mat, breathing, moving, sweating, stretching. There were bodies moving around me too. Every one of them with its own story. I closed my eyes and turned inwards. I could feel their presence warming up the room, supporting each other through this togetherness.

My step was light and my body was warm. I heard the calls of my thighs and spine and I let them move. I let my body flow into the place that felt right. I got into a deep backbend. A wheel- what an experience. As I was bending my back, I could feel my chest open. I breathed in long, deep, cleansing breath. I returned to the floor and I imagined that in that moment my flesh was on the floor but there was another body, a black semi-transparent skeleton, floating slightly over my physical body. It was my pain body. I saw this other chest being wide open with black smoke coming out of it. It was the painful emotional energy that had been stored in my chest for a long time now. I took a deep breath in and I exhaled with force, letting it all go, allowing the remnants of my traumatic past to evaporate into the air.


In yoga, as in life, every day is different. Every day we let a different version of ourselves unfold. Yesterday I saw a version of me I had not seen in a very long time. Yesterday I opened up. No more hunching, no more self-pity, no more denying life.

I will leave you tonight with this song:

There's A Place In 
Your Heart 
And I Know 
That It Is Love 
And This Place Could 
Be Much 
Brighter Than Tomorrow 
And If You Really Try 
You'll Find There's No Need 
To Cry In 
This Place You'll Feel 
There's No Hurt Or Sorrow 

There Are Ways 
To Get There 
If You Care Enough 
For The Living 
Make A Little Space 
Make A Better Place... 

Heal The World 
Make It A Better Place 
For You And For Me 
And The Entire Human Race

If We Try 
We Shall See 
In This Bliss 
We Cannot Feel 
Fear Or Dread 
We Stop Existing 
And Start Living

Michael Jackson - Heal the World


With a whole lot of love,

Meli

3.03.2017

Set You Free

Hello dear friends,

I hope you are doing great and that life is getting sweeter and brighter now that Spring is just around the corner. I have been experiencing this change myself, too, and I am happy to be finally switching from winter-hibernating to spring-awakening mode. There is something I would like to share with you today. I spent a large part of the day writing a blog post yesterday, which to my surprise, and maybe yours, is not the one you are reading right now. In that other blog I talked about general truths and gave advice, I included philosophical quotes and motivational pictures. It all seemed quite promising, until it wasn't anymore. When I had finally finished writing I went through it once more, only to realise that there was no sign of myself to be found in all that extensive product of my hard work. So, the question is, what happened in the mean time? 

Fear happened, friends. Once again I had been taken over by this hauntingly nasty habit. The habit of being afraid to speak up, to expose myself, to share my thoughts and personal experiences. Most of the time I find standing up for my own self terrifying. It has to be the consequence of growing up feeling I did not really fit in with most of the people around me. You see, sometimes it is just easier to be nobody, than to be the one who stands out. Because if you make people see you then they might as well judge you and, if you are anything like me, it is going to go straight to the heart. This is why we keep on making small talk, hiding behind our own fingers, when in fact deep inside there's a whole different story to tell.


So as I am discarding yesterday's blog I am clarifying and letting go of the feelings that lead me to write it in the first place. I will honour my choice to be transparent, because how could I ever come to know myself, when all I am doing is masking it out of fear of being judged? Just imagine how different life would be if we dared to set free that bird we call soul for a change.

With a whole lot of love,

Meli

2.25.2017

Life


There is no other life than this, Meli.

It is the breath you are taking right now; your chest rising, your lungs expanding; your heart beating;

your lips forming a smile, unfolding around your bare crooked tooth

- yes, the one your mom thinks makes you self-conscious, but which in fact you love partly because someone once told you that imperfections define our charm.

Life was the moment when that salty drop courageously let go of the tip of your eye and dove all the way down to your toes out of happiness or sadness.

This is life, Meli, a collection of those tiny or infinite moments we call now. 

2.23.2017

On Circumstances

I have been wondering these days how a little seed would feel if it was born in the wrong climate.

What would it do?

Would it migrate or would it just settle for a suboptimal life?

And what if it doesn't make it far enough?

Or worse, what if it ends up in the right place without it ever knowing?

What a tragedy it would be, little potential flower, landing on the right land but never allowing yourself to blossom?