We are halfway through our mandatory isolated state in Spain. All of us started to realise, that it is very likely to be extended, yet for now we don’t want to allow that thought slowly creeping into our minds. We are halfway through it, that’s what is in focus.
You somehow get used to the surreal reality. You learn how to swap certain things in life that previously we haven’t even noticed that were choices.
You will instinctively swap:
Smiling at blurry faces looking back at you through the screens of your devices instead of rolling your eyes at people.
Throwing virtual kisses towards your camera instead of feeling the warmth of your loved ones’ skins.
Eagerly waiting to watch people walk alone past your balcony with their grocery shopping bags instead of getting annoyed at a group of teenagers being loud while having fun at the restaurant across the street.
Browsing through a multitude of face mask types on Amazon in all different styles instead of clicking through cute dresses, shoes and cool T-shirts.
Cooking your dinner with the type of pasta that was actually available in the supermarket instead of deciding to choose between five brands of fusilli.
Organising with excitement an evening of sharing some wine and giggles with your friends via video chat instead of arguing which bar is too far, to crowded , too something.
Scrolling through your old photos and reminiscing about your travels, feeling grateful that you got to visit those amazing places instead of complaining how some cities have lost their authentic touch due to over-tourism.
Ending your messages with “stay healthy” instead of “have fun”.
Day 15. I simply can’t describe with words how much I miss nature, to sit under a tree, to walk along the beach, to hike through muddy rocks in a forest. How I miss giving a long hug to someone, to get cosy being wrapped around someone’s arms, to touch an arm, to hold a hand, to absorb the warmth of a gaze.
Those of you, who are able to still enjoy any of these things, I urge you: make them count and cherish them. These are the little things that make us human, that fill us up with undervalued joy that becomes our fuel. Instead of complaining that you are stuck with your loved ones, just imagine for a moment, how much you would miss their entire being, even including the little annoying habits that might be driving you a bit crazy right now.
Day 15. Now as I’m sitting on my balcony on this sunny, delightful Sunday, with the smell of spring in the air in Barcelona, I simply can’t resist anymore. This unconquerable urge to join these people on their supermarket trips, passing by my balcony, strictly walking alone adhering to the rules. I will make sure I pick a supermarket as my destination that is at least 20 minute walk from my home, to be able to soak up as much of the outside world on this beautiful Sunday in Spain.
Learn to swap seeing fear with noticing beauty in the little things around us. Learn to swap the feeling of uncertainty with an opportunity to reflect and re-align yourself. Learn to swap your mindset.
“As long as your mind is free, your spirit is strong.”
This was the sentence that made my mind shift back into positivity during these strange times we are experiencing globally right now. This simple yet powerful advice came from someone who spent a substantial amount of time in confinement, most of it in a maximum security prison.
I asked him to share his experience in light of our current situation and by sharing some of his story, maybe we can find some answers how to cope. He also reminds us that even though we are quarantined we still have small liberties; we have technology and the internet to entertain ourselves, to keep our minds occupied and to stay connected to our loved ones.
We might be physically confined but the most important thing is: not to be confined mentally. Having some of our freedom suddenly being taken away from us can definitely take its toll on our mental health. I wondered how this compares to being incarcerated?
DOES THIS COVID-19 LOCK DOWN HAVE SIMILAR EFFECTS ON OUR MENTAL HEALTH AS BEING LOCKED UP?
I decided to ask this from someone, let’s call him Diego, who had spent a significant amount of time in confinement, majority of it being in a maximum security prison. Since he finished his sentence, he started a new life and left his old ways behind him to appreciate the second chance that life threw him.
I was curious to find out two things:
What advice can he give to people during these times to keep our mind strong and healthy?
What is that one thing he learnt to appreciate when he got his freedom back?
First thing that became very quickly clear to me was that no, our current lock down is not even half as bad as being completely deprived from all the important things in life: speaking to our loved ones, having our meals when we want to, being able to go for that walk to the supermarket whenever we need to. Being able to open our front door when we feel like, that freedom of movement we still have to take care of our essential needs.
As Diego explains, most people have never been confined of their freedom so it’s a lot harder to deal with it as compared to someone who has been conditioned from a young age and became prepared for it mentally. Also someone who is more of a social, extrovert character, who needs regular social interaction in life, can find this situation even more challenging than how it really is. So as a side note, think about those people in your lives who are extroverts and maybe give them a call a few times in these coming weeks.
It was interesting to hear some of Diego’s tips on how he kept his mind sane while also improving on his own self-development during his time in confinement. For us, during our quarantines these tips and advice can come in useful especially if you feel like that your mental state and emotions are already going through a roller coaster. For me personally, it definitely has been the case and I’m only on my 10th (or 11th?) day of our lock down here in Barcelona.
You will need to train yourself to have some self-discipline.
Introducing a new routine, a new schedule will give you some certainty during these uncertain times. It creates a structure in your mind.
To stay mentally strong:
“I practised a lot of discipline, I meditated, I worked out. You have to make a schedule right around your circumstances. What you create is a program, you’re programming yourself.”
“I used to be a very disciplined individual to withstand and outlast my conditions of confinement. I read a lot and the books that I read were the tools for me to be able to withstand anything mentally.”
How your mindset effects your physical health:
“Of course, none of us like to be confined but it’s either you remain strong mentally or you don’t but then you break mentally. And then you end up having all these other mental handicaps that could probably lead you to your demise. Anxiety, is one of the main ones and from anxiety you will build panic attacks and from panic attacks it could lead to health conditions.
Once your mental state is broken and your spirit is done then your physical well-being will go after it.”
Learning to appreciate what’s important in life:
“What I appreciate in life is the small things, the joys. Health, freedom, those are the things to me that mean the most. Family, love. Everything else can come and go. Money comes and goes, success comes and goes but as long as you have what you stand on, what you believe in, and at the end of the day you have the ones that you love and then you love yourself, that’s what matters the most.”
“During our last conversation when we met for a coffee, I told you how grateful I am and how I’m not in the pursuit so much of being successful financially. Because I’m so grateful being free. I was disciplined and confined for so long and I even confined myself in a way of restricting myself of pleasure. I would do that purposely to become strong mentally. Like I would fast or would limit myself from being able to eat things like chocolate and stuff like that, that could bring small joys. Because if you don’t have something, you don’t want something then you don’t miss it”
I wondered by facing all these restrictions to our freedom through this lock down, has triggered any past traumas for him. Has it brought back some of those negatives memories, emotions or flashbacks?
“So far, I’m dealing with it quite well, it hasn’t triggered anything but then again I’ve been out of that situation for quite a long time. And I understand that this is for my own well-being and for humanity as well. Being a caring person, I don’t want to put other people at risk or myself at risk so you know, I have to be a law abiding citizen.”
If someone who had spent a tremendous amount of time being locked up in prison can understand how important it is to stay at home and complies with the lock down rules, then so can you. You really have no excuse.
Passionate motivator on a mission to help people turn their spiritual calling into their careers. Currently living in Barcelona after having called the following countries here home: Hungary, UK, Malta and Sri Lanka. Brainfused is her platform to translate some of her deep rooted thoughts into the shape of words.
I loved so many times in so many different ways. I loved until it hurt, I loved until it shone, I loved until I travelled to different dimensions, I loved until I went back to the past, I loved until I smiled, I loved until I remembered, I loved until I hoped, I loved until it went quiet, I loved until it went loud and I loved until I loved myself. And now I just love. I love everything and everyone, I love the joy, I love the pain, I love the light, I love the dark.
I love all parts of me which are all of you around me. I love the doubting thoughts in my mind and the reassuring mantras that spread calmness all over my being. I love how your voice takes over my whole existence, my breathing, my heartbeat, my belief system.
I love how you, out of this big crowd became a singular beam of energy. I don’t love all of these things because of you, but with you in my light and my shadow, I learnt to love all of this around me even more. You are my amplifier. Because of you, I sharpened my vision, I enhanced the exposure, I coloured in the grey areas.
My mission with you is clear to me: to show you how magnificent you are, how powerful and ancient you are but most importantly to just let you be. It’s not my task to show you any of this, my task is to be there with you, supporting you on your journey while you realise this. To create a home for you and me where we can take a relaxed breath from all of our missions in life. I want to give you roots, give stability and the safety of home.
How ironic is that we feel more connected to humanity by being isolated from one another? The little things in life that we took for granted now really teach us their true value. A walk along the beach or in the park, the hugs from your loved ones living abroad, the excitement of planning a weekend getaway. It never crossed our minds that these could be luxuries.
It’s only been 7 days for me since I’ve been in complete lock down and the first few days were actually a bliss like for so many of you as well probably. We could enjoy a bit of calmness in the madness, especially if we live in a city that usually would be bursting with life. For me, that’s Barcelona. But all we see now is empty streets and we started to recognise some familiar faces on the balconies across the street from us. We started waving over to those people during our morning coffees or throwing them a smile while another neighbour is entertaining us with some music to keep our spirits up. Or when we are clapping in unison at 20:00 sharp every evening to show our gratitude to all the incredible people working around the clock in health care, trying their best to safe as many lives as possible.
But as soon as we retreat from our balconies or windows, we are left with our own realities. Either you are sharing your 24 hours inside those walls with your family or living completely alone, it does take a toll on your mental state. It stirs your soul up. It makes you question everything in your life, all of your priorities, all of your time you have been dedicating to something.
Does any of that truly matter? What are those moments that now you realise that you honestly cherish? What are those little life-snippets that make you feel that are creating some kind of value, some kind of meaning?
You start reaching out to people you haven’t talked to for a while, you start reading those books that have been collecting dust on the shelves, you start opening that expensive bottle of wine you’ve been saving up for a special occasion. You suddenly start expressing gratitude to those people that connected with you and showed you something positive, that taught you something meaningful, that stood by you during your darkest days.
This global quarantine is no longer about just putting people into isolation who might be infected with this coronavirus / COVID-19 whatever you want to call it. We are creating a whole different meaning to that state, what this quarantine really means and what it brings out of us.
I see the light and positivity in all this devastating times. I see people reconnecting with themselves, I see people telling their close ones how much they love them, I see people being more compassionate, more helpful, more humane. I see people trying their best to form communities, to strengthen their existing tribes, to care for each other. We needed to be isolated, quarantined to feel more connected than ever before. That’s the biggest quarantine irony and it is the best way to experience this together. Not in fear, not in worrying and not panicking. But by being there for each other, keep lifting each other up, shining a bit of happiness in others’ lives whenever we can.
I encourage all of you to use this strange time to become more connected. We are in this together and remember, this is temporary. It will pass and once we are on the other side, we will have a much different community, society and overall system. We will rebuild our economies together but most importantly we will rebuild ourselves together. We are all one. This is the time to really put that into practice.
So keep smiling at your neighbours, keep entertaining people around you, keep that light shining.
I’m on a mission to build a community, to help people who are working within the spiritual, esoteric and holistic industries reach their potential by truly focusing on their spiritual calling and turning that into their vocation. Learn for free how to start to turn your spiritual mission into your career.
Time was not supposed to go this way Behind the veil you know that it’s astray Those countless times, could you really ever count them? Twice the pleasure but how many times the truth: 8-9 or 10? When you grasp the reality that comes with an expiration date And no matter how much you fight it, you can’t escape your fate
This might feel a bit too dark so maybe I should stop
Stop showing you that you need to embrace the darkness Because without it you can never see the brightness Shining through the black background. That’s how you see the light. Light up my face When you embrace Your hidden parts Are divisions of art. Articulate your desires in life It just might Bring it to surface And you can surf through this.
This whole experience called life Will show you what you’re really about.
So how did we end up here analysing our actions? Starting to feel so deep about the consequences of life’s fractions Maybe we are just too out of this world to explain our feelings And restricted by words to tell everyone the real meaning. I don’t mean to annoy you with my thoughts And there are so many of us Feeling the same way When we say mayday.
Where is the rescue to save us from our visions? To keep us grounded in our ambitious missions?
Time was not supposed to go this way Behind the veil you know that it’s astray We are impatient because we feel the change knocking on our doors And we’re not sure who will fight with us during these upcoming wars.
So many thoughts are swirling around within a pool of heavy emotions within me. How can something get rooted so deep inside your soul in such a short amount of time?
I guess you had no idea just how deep those roots really were. I can’t blame you, I’m not exactly vocal when expressing my feelings. But my emotions were there for you to see: when I closed my mouth and just listened for hours to absorb some of your pain. When I opened my mouth and told you how powerful your soul is and how much potential you truly have. When I got un-comfy just to get you a glass of water because that was what you needed. When I covered you in a blanket when you were fast asleep already with the AC still on. When I watched those documentaries with you to try to understand you better. When I took a backseat to let you be in control. Those were the moments that made my soul light up, that made my heart shimmer and made my mind stop.
I guess you had no idea just how much I really enjoyed our philosophical debates. When you set my brain on fire, you made me feel alive and more attracted to you than you could ever imagine. I felt your intelligence making its way through my bloodstream making my heart pump faster. Those were the moments when I felt the closest to the raw you.
I guess you had no idea how impatiently I was counting down the hours to be spending time with you. To do nothing in particular but just to feel your energy. Just to play with your hand between my fingers or to get lost for a moment in your gaze.
I guess you also had no idea how much I struggled to make this work. How much pain you caused me while pushing me away unintentionally. How many chances I had given this to work is beyond my rational mind. That’s how I knew that my feelings were truly real and raw. They conquered my logic countless times. Shutting me out from your vulnerable space made me feel that I was not worthy for you to enter that sacred place. Slipping back into your bad habits made me question if we are ever going to get really aligned. Were we even looking into the same direction? I’ll never know. What I do know is that these few months have shaped my life and despite the pain, I also got a different level of caring from you. I’ll be ever so grateful for those moments.
I guess I had to experience multiple heartbreaks with you in such a short amount of time to love you even deeper. And to eventually to love me even deeper. To realise that when two people love each other that might not be all what it takes to build a healthy partnership.
So J, what you meant to me was something I’ve never had before. Something so strange, so intense, so painful, so full of drama and so fiery. So satisfying yet so not enough. So ambivalent and so confusing.
When I walked away from you for the last time I was hurt but mostly I was angry at myself that I let you make me feel worthless. The way you talked to me was not something I could shove into one of those ‘guess you had no idea’ boxes.
(When trying to find myself meant loosing myself.)
As I was sitting on the terrace of our jungle home, surrounded by beautiful nature I couldn’t understand why I felt so empty inside. Not just empty but I couldn’t really feel anything at all.
I wasn’t sad nor was I struggling with depression. I knew too well what that felt like as I battled through it in my early twenties when I still lived in the UK. But that’s another story. This time around I just felt sort of numb emotionally and it really frustrated me mentally. I knew that this is not the real me, not the cheerful, life-loving, always-a-bit-too-excited me. So who was me? Why did I allow myself to sunk into this mental state?
One thing you probably need to know about me: I tend to live too much inside my head. Even though I would like to think I function based on intuition, that’s just a side effect of when I truly commit to working on myself. In reality I’m in a constant battle between logic and feelings. And by feelings I mean that little stomach-turning gut feeling we all have inside us that we know we should really listen to. Sometimes we refer to it as the voice in our head. See why it gets confusing?
Gut feeling = voice in our head. Thinking = feeling. Thinking vs feeling.
We separate the two when in fact they are the same. Depending on your belief system you might feel comfortable with one or the other. And a lot has to do with it in spiritual terms as well, sorry to break this to you. If you resonate more with consciousness, metaphysics, eastern philosophies you are most likely locate your “inner guidance” somewhere near your brain, your mind, your thinking. If you are more aligned with the principles of ancient teachings or mainstream religion then you’re likely to feel closer to that gut feeling ideology.
Let me say one thing as a disclaimer here: I definitely have no evidence on this theory, I haven’t done any research nor there is any scientific proof of this. It’s nothing but what that little something inside me is telling me. You decide if it is my gut feeling or the voice in my head. All I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t need to fully understand what that thing is. If it sits well with you, then go with it. Don’t care what others will think about it, no one else is going to live your life the way you do. It’s yours to play with.
So there I was, surrounded with palm trees, sunny days in winter time, watching monkeys jumping from one tree to another, yet I felt nothing. I have to tell you, I really tried. I tried to admire all of that, to notice the beauty in the little things, they were just not getting through to me. I had some kind of a shield that kept away joy from bursting through into my emotions. At the time I didn’t understand the reason, it took me about 4-5 months to be able to realise what was happening within me. Let this be a little reminder that life works that way. We tend to understand its events backwards, once they are in the past is when we truly get where certain things were leading us to or what they were teaching us. What I realised those crucial 4-5 months later was that my entire mindset was pulled into another state by the influence of an another human being. Unintentionally. He didn’t mean to bring me down with him however it still happened without me realising it at the time. Was it his fault? Not at all. I choose to be there and I allowed him to drain the fun out of me. Now I understand why but this is where this story gets important for you. What you surround yourself with will have a major impact on your life. Be it a friendship, a relationship, a situation, a job, a location, whatever it is, it will contribute to how you feel about yourself and how you look at life.
The good news is that you have all the power to remove yourself from certain environments. If something is not serving you, you can make adjustments to be where you really want to be mentally and emotionally. Is it scary? Hell yes. Is it worth it? Only if you want to have an enjoyable ride on this planet. So choose carefully.
She wanted to run towards her shadow. She wanted to run straight through it, to be able to finally see it behind her. She wanted it so badly that she failed to realise just how absurd this plan was. She ran, she jumped, she crawled, she tip-toed, yet it was always unreachable. Untouchable. It was part of her and wherever she went it was attached to her. The only time she came close to conquer this mystical shadow of herself was in the darkness. No Moonlight, no lamps, no candles just pure blackness. She didn’t see it, wherever she looked. At first, it didn’t matter to her that she saw nothing else either. Yet deep down within herself she knew it was still there, with her. She could feel it.
There’s something you need to know about her.
Not succeeding at getting what she set her mind on was her biggest dislike. Her determination was dangerously dancing across the lines of stubbornness. She truly believed that our limits were meant to be pushed and extended.
So when she couldn’t see her shadow in the darkness, she instinctively wanted to check off this task in her mind as a successful completion. Then in that exact moment the heavy clouds of the night sky suddenly moved along uncovering the bright Moon and all the shadows that came with it. She looked up with a frown on her face and then she saw it. That luminous lonely star slapped onto the black skyline shining its way through the darkness. Who knows how many light years away from her, it was somehow smirking down at her.
There is one more thing you need to know about her.
Just as much she disliked not succeeding, just as much she adored the sparkly stars of the Universe.
She wanted to run away from her own shadow, her own darkness, when she realised it was the same darkness that made it possible for her to see the beauty of the night sky light up. That one star in particular she saw that night.
Looking back on my last few years, even I feel a little surprised how much happened to me. I went through so many experiences and my life changed so often that most people don’t experience this much change in an entire lifetime. While I was in the middle of the process of each situation that was shaping the path of my life, I didn’t realise just how transformational these events were. We need to stop every once in a while to evaluate what we went through and how we improved or what we achieved.
I used to have a tendency to not recognise my own success, to not pat myself on the back occasionally. It didn’t feel right for me to do that. I didn’t want to put myself on the pedestal as I was constantly fighting against my ego and I was consciously trying to dissociate from it, to shatter it into pieces. Once I understood that our ego needs to be understood and managed, not completely destroyed, I realised that I didn’t give myself enough credit. I didn’t know my real worth, I repeatedly ‘undersold’ myself. Knowing your worth and the value you can bring is vital in every area of your life. Be it a job, a relationship or a social commitment, you need to understand where you can position yourself. Not from a superficial point of view as in how others see you and what you portray yourself as but to fully understand where you are standing along your journey. How much knowledge you have, how much value you can add and how you can serve best.
At the end of the day, if you live your life to the full then it’s all about service. That doesn’t mean you need to be in a subordinate role, no not at all. Serving others, serving a community, serving a cause and most importantly serving to fulfil your own desires. These are the things that matter. Either from a business point of view or a personal inspiration, prioritising the service aspect of the process, you will achieve long-lasting results. For example, a business that truly puts customer satisfaction first will thrive within its competition as it will have happy customers who will not only return for more business but will also recommend the service or product happily to others. But hold on for a second, I got a bit side tracked with my story. I wanted to share with you how much happened to me in these past few years, that triggered my need for becoming ‘homeless’ for a while. To have no fixed address and just to go with the flow of life for a while. How I went from having the perfect life (on paper) to living out of a backpack because of that one thought on 4th April 2018. I was a CEO of a start company, I was living in a beautiful 2-bedroom apartment on my own, driving a BMW, ate in restaurants pretty much every day or had my food prepared and delivered to me, had some really good friends yet one day I said I’m not happy and threw my lifestyle away to seek some kind of meaning.
I was looking for some sort of revelation, a lesson, the ultimate purpose.
I was not happy with the ‘successful’ life that so many people only dream about. I had it all laid out in front of me yet it was not enough for some reason. It was lacking a mission, a purpose: what do I leave behind? What do I contribute? How do I inspire? How am I making this world a little bit better? My mind and soul were seeking answers, searching for something. Even I wasn’t sure what it was I was seeking. I just knew I had to change. I wanted to go into the opposite direction and start looking for something that I didn’t know what it was.
You think I need the superficial
For my loyalty to become official
You think that you amaze me with stories
of brands and luxury but they just bored me
I never needed any of that
And every time you did that,
My lips just frowned uncontrollably.
That sad second influenced this poetry
Reflection. Realisation. Sobering.
The times you really made my soul smile
Were when you put on a vulnerable style
When you showed me your insecurities and pain
Your real desires for happiness you couldn’t attain
Those gentle touches on my shoulder to make sure I was not cold again
Those sacrifices to see me smile and not have a reason to complain
When you gave me (without asking) the last piece of chocolate
When you showed me your favourite songs under the blanket
When you thanked me for taking the seeds out of the watermelon
When we quietly watched cartoons and laughed in perfect unison
When you asked me how I could be so patient with you and your concern
When you told me you exactly knew I’m not getting enough back in return
Then the structure shifted. Then you would say something superficial again. You got stuck in your past. You kept on reminiscing of how you once lived. None of that impressed me. I didn’t care about the photos of expensive cars and watches. I cared more about your photos of silly faces. This is obviously not a poem as you can see. Don’t let the structure fool you.
It’s just a superficial illusion, nothing else.
Mostly what this whole life-sharing experience meant to you.
So that in a few years, when I’m established,
You can say that you lived together with this girl.
To me it meant a whole lot more. I gave you my authentic self.
I showed you my hidden parts and I loved you deeply.
I played no games, no tactics, no illusions.
I truly loved you. All of you. The real you, behind the superficial illusion.
I wish you nothing else but to learn to love yourself the way I did.
Behind the scenes, away from the stories. For who you really are.