On the occasion of my one hundredth post, I shall permit myself a moment of reflection and publish what perhaps is my manifesto. En la ocasión de mi centésimo post, me permito un momento de reflexión, publicando lo que podría ser mi manifiesto. I bought the domain alteayoga.com five years ago. I was still in my teacher training and dreaming of wowing the world with my yoga teaching. I started the blog a year later, with a post for an introductory yoga course. No one signed up for the course. That was when the harsh reality of yoga teaching first blew me a bitter kiss bonjour. Since 2010, I have been offering yoga classes. It is now 2013. I have 8 regular students. I love them all. I have had people contact me through my website and by blog, but the commercial side of yoga teaching and an online presence seems to elude me yet. But you know what? I don't mind one bit. Because, in the intervening years, I have carried on my personal work and grown on so many levels. I have let go of a lot of stuff, too, so perhaps I have shrunk a little too. I internalized my belief that every student finds the yoga teacher they are meant to have. I realized that my teaching yoga is a vocation, not a job. It is what I am meant to do, and my students are the people who are meant to receive the message of yoga via me. That's all. Simple eh? I keep blogging because I love writing. I have always loved writing. Through all my moves, turmoils and travels, I diarised, rhymed and wrote. I have years of journals packed lovingly away. I still use pen and paper. A more sanitised and coherent version appears here and in my songs. It's been three years and I have less than 30 followers. And you know what? I don't mind one bit. Wordsmithing was my dad's job. It's my passion. I write this blog because I enjoy writing it, not because I have an audience. So, indulging myself some more, I shall now make a list of a few things I believe, and publish it, knowing that the world isn't interested in the slightest! 1. Living well is the best revenge. I haven't even bothered googling it's origin. In these times of savings-grabs and banks going bankrupt and houses sitting empty while families are turfed onto the streets, I realised that living well is, indeed, the best revenge. When wages go down and hours go up and everyone is on the dole, the thing The Man can never take away is your smile. No matter what shit they throw your way, shout back "show me the hoops!" And as long as you are not starving and sun-struck on a lost Saharan dune, vultures casting the only shadow for miles around, as long as all is not lost, LIVE WELL! There is always something good going on. Money doesn't stop you having fun...worry and fear do. The Spanish may be bad businessmen, but they sure know a lot about what I have just written. Viva la fiesta, que es la vida! 2. Hemp is God's gift to humanity. I eat hemp seeds, hemp protein and hemp oil every day. My daughter eats hemp seeds every day. Hemp grows fast and high and can be used for so many things. The use of marijuana is safer than the use of alcohol. I would rather meet a stoner than a drunk in a dark alleyway. I think that some of our current anxious depression could be eased by using more weed and less tobacco. 3. I believe in the family. I am lucky to be with an Italian, whose attitude to family is totally different to what mine was. Mine was all about fracture and trying to get away. Theirs is about love. It's simple. My Italian family takes love as the preface to everything else. Even when you fail, you are loved. I was definitely raised with the feeling that love had to be earned, and could be taken away without warning. Although I have strained and struggled to live in the confines of a mono(tonous)gamous relationship, through it, I have found a reserve of love far deeper and stronger than what I had known before. This font of love gives me strength. Family ties give us strength. Let's not get carried away here: some families are toxic, and some relatives have to remain at arm's length. But when there is sanity and fairness, families give us the roots we need in order to fly. 4. Always seek the middle way and trust in the path you are on. Don't be tempted by mountains to scale. Don't be frightened by valleys so deep. Just be patient, go as fast or as slow as seems right at the time. Don't be afraid to change gear, reverse, or even choose a different path from the one you've trodden all this time. Approach life with a curious. grinning enthusiasm. Leave room for uncertainty and error. You never know what the Universe has in store for you. That seemingly annoying deviation or delay might just lead you to the Nirvana you'd never have found on your own. Everything that is in your Path is there to teach you. So learn. 5. Take magnesium. Chloride. Salts. Every day. 6. I only have my own two hands. I yearn to change the world for the better, but spent years frustrated by my seeming inability to change anything about this mess we are in (or not, depending on your perspective. I actually believe we are in transition, not heading for disaster. But I think that I am in the minority...) Then I realised that what little I am able to do counts. I offer everything up to Ishvara, the universal consciousness. Every massage, every yoga class, every meal. I only have my own two hands. May my tiny effort tip the balance of happiness in this world. Ishvarapranidanah. 7. Creativity is key to good health. I play music. My guy does ceramic. My kid loves to draw. I bet you have your special little thing that you like to do - patchwork, card making, crochet, dj'ing, gardening, photography...Whatever it is that floats your boat is what you need to dedicate a bit of time to every week, if not every day. Creation heals. So, get your hands and heart engaged- now! - and marvel at what lil' old you can do! 8. Adopt an attitude of gratitude. Stop judging and start loving. 9. The European Union is a peace project. I moved to Europe from Canada to be part of this grand effort. I believe in in wholeheartedly. It has been derailed of late by banking woes and austerity programs, but at its core, it is a project designed to prevent the outbreak of war. It is unfashionable to voice pride in European culture and values. Well, I believe in our culture. I would much rather be a woman, raising a daughter, in Europe than practically anywhere else. The EU may be flawed in its execution, but the core is sound and I am glad to be a part of it. 10. We are antennae, not ants. It is easy to get caught up in the mundane rushrushrush of life. It is easy to think that we are only drones, with no purpose other than pleasure, pain and procreation. But this is not so. We humans are upright because we are the planet's antennae. Alone, we are specks of cosmic danruff. United, we broadcast the cosmic wave. When enough of us sit down to meditate, we shall connect with the Universal Consciousness and nothing will again be as it was. La traducción español en breve... 1. Vivir bien es la mejor venganza. No siquiera conozco el origen del refrán, pero no dudo que sea verdadero. En estos tiempos de incertidumbre que estan trascurriendo, nuestro único recurso es nuestra sonrisa interior. El Hombre no to puede quitar eso. Cuando te mandan mierda, grita fuerte "por cuanto alto salto?" Mientras que no está todo perdido y los buitres no se estan acercando, VIVE BIEN! Siempre hay algo de bueno. Falta de dinero no te quita la alegría...el miedo y la preocupación, si. Los españoles me han enseñado eso - viva la fiesta! 2. El cañamo es un regalo divino para la humanidad. Como diariamente semillas, proteina y aceite de cañamo. Mi hija come semillas de cañamo a diario. El cañamo crece fuerte y rápido y se usa para un montón de cosas. Creo que la marijuana es más sana que el alcohol. Prefiero cruzarme en una calle oscura con un fumador que con un borracho. Creo que nuestra ansiedad y depresión colectiva podría mejorarse emplando más verde y menos tobacco. 3. Creo en la familia. Los vínculos familiares, siempre mientras sean sanos y equitable, nos dan las raices que necesitamos para volar. Doy gracias a mi familia italiana por enseñarme que el amor antes todo es lo que más vale. 4. Busca el camino del medio y confia en tu camino actual. No tengas miedo de cambiar la dirección, poner marcha atrás y a veces incluso frenar. Deja espacio para cometer errores. A veces las equivocaciones nos lleva al Nirvana que ni siquiera esperabamos. Ten fé, respira honda. 5. Toma magnesio. Cloruro de magnesio. Sales. Todos los días. 6. Solo dispongo de mis dos manos. Aunque mis esfuerzos sean pequeños, los hago con humildad y entrega. Ofrezco todo a la conciencia universal - Ishvara. Ishvarapranidanah. 7. La creatividad es clave para la plena salud. Haga lo que hagas - música, dibujo, dj, jardinería, - hazlo sabiendo que tu arte es tu sanación. 8. La actitud de gratitud. Deja de juzgar y comienza a amar. 9. La Unión Europea es un proyecto de la paz. No hay otro proyecto de tal escala con pretensión de prevenir la guerra. Estoy orgullosa del proyecto europeo y orgullosa de ser parte de el. 10. Somos antennae, no hormigas. No te quedas atrapado en el día a día. Los seres humanos somos las antennae del planeta Tierra. Solos, no somos más que caspa cósmica. Unidos, emitiremos una frequencia cósmica que nos unirá a la Conciencia Universal y, entonces, nada será como lo era antes. AUM. The Guru is in you.