Moving through limiting life circumstances

GirlJoy’s physical support system had crumbled again, and the way ahead in her life remained blocked. Gino, who shared Joy’s need for a subtle balance between movement and stability, recognised her struggle. “Remember that you can find strength from spiritual sources,” he said to her compassionately in one of her moments of deep disorientation. “You yourself have told me that the physical is transitory. When your exoteric support structures have disappeared, you can access your power from the esoteric.”

Although Gino’s words revealed no new perspective to Joy, they greatly aided her to find a point of balance. Gino was aware of the subtle dimensions of life. His support was crucial to her because he was able to advise and encourage her without dragging her back under the veil of illusion.

Joy found her breakdown hard to accept because she had believed that she’d learned to hold the high ground over her emotions in any situation. Instead, she discovered that the vicissitudes of life were still able to provoke bitterness and depression in her. Maybe breakdowns are always a part of life? Perhaps what’s important is how we respond to them? Joy was aware that even in the depths of this current crisis a feeling of purpose lay just below the surface of her gloom. She recognised that her faith was growing stronger, enabling her to reorient herself more quickly after a breakdown than in her younger years. Continue reading

Swiss Bubbles Saving Lives & Livelihoods

Hotels have been advocating the responsible use of towels for years. Hang them up if you’re willing to use them again, or leave them on the floor for a replacement. But what about the complimentary soaps? The ones hotel guests leave behind after checking out even if they’ve hardly been used?

SapoCycle SoapsThanks to the Basel-based SapoCycle Foundation hotel soaps throughout Switzerland are now being recycled in a way that not only benefits the environment, but also saves lives and provides jobs. That’s definitely amazing enough to put a smile on my face!

Dorothee and Rudolf Schiesser set up SapoCycle in 2014, and already more than 40 hotels across Switzerland are contributing solid soap bars to the program on a regular basis. Moreover, 25 Swiss hotels from the AccorHotels Group have just joined the scheme.

Participating hotels are responsible for collecting the used soap bars and sending them on to SapoCycle partner WohnWerk. This organization takes care of the recycling, thereby creating jobs for disabled people in Switzerland.

The recycled soaps are then distributed to countries with high child morbidity and mortality rates caused by acute lower respiratory infection and diarrheal illnesses. Did you know that more than 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from these illnesses, which could be prevented by hand washing?

For full article, click: Swiss Soaps Saving Lives and LivelihoodsSapoCycle in Country.jpg

Article by Sam Red for Newly Swissed Magazine

Photos c/o Idit Kobrin and SapoCycle Foundation

 

Joy as a response to suffering

I struggled for years with feelings of guilt around being joyful. Although I’ve always felt tremendous gratitude for the life I’ve lived – all the interesting experiences I’ve had and the love I received firstly as a young child, then growing up, and now as an adult – I’ve often been caught in the trap of wondering how I can feel happy when so many children, men, women and animals in the world are suffering, mistreated and in pain. In addition, there’s all the damage inflicted on the plant and mineral kingdoms, often at the hands of ruthless human beings. I’ve come to the conclusion that precisely because of this painful reality it’s part of my life purpose to be joyful – in the sense that it’s not only my right to be filled with joy but rather also my goal. It’s my task to smile, to bring positive energy to my exchanges, to be centred and believe in Love – the Love that is the essence of each human being. Smiling, laughing, enjoying each and every moment is a great gift I can share with the world. Continue reading

Walking on the fire of an unmet need

For young people, it’s easy to project hopes into the future because time is on youth’s side. However, as we get older, the future has less appeal, perhaps, because it also means aging with the health concerns and psychological challenges that might entail. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to find a way of feeling hope in the present, even if we have a need that’s unmet, maybe one that’s been unmet for a long time already. So how can we feel hope and fulfilment in such circumstances?

One technique – from what I label the way of the warrior because it requires copious amounts of courage – is to walk on the fire of the emptiness of your unmet need i.e. to look your need square in the face. A pitfall to be aware of is the unconscious act of projecting your needs onto a person or thing as a way of finding relief when a need is being unmet. Projection oftentimes sooner or later brings suffering, when/if the person or thing identified as filling the need does not in fact do so, and this truth eventually becomes undeniable and has to be acknowledged. Continue reading

Smiling – an indicator of spiritual success

Can you smile even when you’re hurting inside? If you can smile in the midst of your own personal storms then that’s a huge victory in your day; something immeasurably worthwhile.

Let’s consider what we give value to. If we want to live an inspired and empowered life, we need to give value to our inner work and its application in outer circumstances. If we continue to give priority value to outer aspects like job, possessions, physical beauty, then of course the small inner victories – like a beaming smile or empathic hug – will ring hollow. Instead, these small gestures have the potential to be indicators of true authenticity and spiritual success.

Excerpt from “She Who Is Unto Herself”

Rejoicing in the Earth and giving back to Mother Nature

Both Tantra and Taoism point to the power of Mother Nature as a spiritual doorway, a healer and a part of our intrinsic identity. The globally renowned photographer Sebastião Salgado[1] captured the suffering of humankind and the Earth in his various photo collections. He used photography as a medium to document starvation in the Sahel region of Africa, genocide in Rwanda, the plight of internally displaced persons in various countries, and the burning oil fields of Kuwait – to name just a few of the hugely distressing subject matters he covered. Following years of photographic documentation of these kinds of human and environmental tragedies, Salgado was at the point of giving up his work. As a result of all the horrific situations he had witnessed and experienced, he felt worn out, deluded, depressed, without hope. Fortunately, he eventually regained a sense of inspiration. His salvation came from Mother Nature. He decided to photograph the outstanding beauty of the Earth – wildlife, landscapes and seascapes – as well as the joyful and meaningful existence of indigenous peoples. He remained true to his calling, namely, the raison d’être of his photographic documentary work was to raise public awareness about critically important global issues, in this case the environment and climate change; however, he chose to do this through the lens of the blessing that nature provides to humanity, rather than to focus on the destruction of the Earth through human ignorance, greed, etc. Continue reading