Help. Self help

I don’t think that i have ever seen in bookstores such a big offer of books touching feminism/gender equality/self help – topics as much as I see these days.

You don’t believe me? just take a trip to any bookstore and convince yourself. It’s amazing. You would think that with such a variety we are all equally tolerant, equally good and LGBTQ+ aware and understanding, less judgemental, perfectly educated having the best emotional intelligence and empathy etc etc.

But, nope. Yet, in the same time, I have never seen displayed so much hatred, intolerance, fear, frustrations and violence against a particular minority for the simple reason that they are different. Different sexual orientation, different beliefs, different values, different skin colour, different continent, different anything. And you would argue that was there all along, except we couldn’t see it as clear as we see it now due to the mass of communication channels that make that possible.

I mean discrimination is discrimination and we cannot place one form of discrimination above another, yet I just want to focus on a particular aspect: Hate speech against women. I have never seen so much hatred towards women as I can see in today’s news, political propaganda, blogs, forums, any form of media you follow – online or offline. Everywhere you can find a piece against women. Either directly or indirectly- women are treated with contempt, condescension, humour, disgust, or ignored all together. I mean, let’s not forget in some countries, like Saudi Arabia – women had no right to vote until 2011! Yes, you read that right, 2011 – just a few years back. You will argue that Saudi Arabia is not the best example. Because of the politico- social cultural religious background etc etc. Ok, you are right. What about Portugal? where all restrictions were only lifted in 1975. 1975. All right? That’s only 43 years ago exactly.

You will say that, ok, humans are learning their lessons slowly and it takes time to move to utopia world where we are all equal and where cultural coutumes are broken to reach a perfect state of equality between genders. That some countries are slow in adapting to the new world and we carry our cultural burden within, without even being aware. And I agree – still why the opposite of the good is faster to disseminate and take over? Is something deeply wrong with our ancestral DNA? Yes, I am actually asking this question.

Ok. I am happy about the great selection of books out there, also I would hope that more and more of us get access to self educating literature. I would also hope that we get some serious self doubt and questioning our deeply imprinted Cultural DNA. But seeing the internet of all things pouring with hate speech, propaganda, ignorance and fear – I truly believe we are in minority. Seeing my own people (as in Romanian government) holding a referendum to define the family (????) in the constitution hence also indirectly towards women ( i said also) – and the followers that go by that agenda, oh well, it’s a sad, sad world. And even more ignorant than 40 years ago.

Otherwise, all good, namaste.

Trier – The Roman Augusta Treverorum

Trier is a little city in southwestern Germany on the top of the Moselle valley (wine region) and near the Luxembourg border.

I said wine region – enough said. But wait, there is more, so much more.

Trier, also known as the oldest city in Germany was founded by Augustus in 15 B.C., and it was the Roman “Augusta Treverorum” for 500 years. So you see Trier is so Roman at the core that it feels even some thousand years later. For most of the fourth century, this city was the favored residence of Roman emperors. Checking the distance from Rome to Trier – about 900 km’s – wow, that’s impressive even for the Romans. The Roman feels is everywhere in this little city and you can easily understand – I love it. One look at Porta Nigra and i was: oh why! Hello! Why I only know you now?

And then, if I want to be boring and get all academic I will share another fact here: Trier is the birthplace of Karl Marx which makes it packed with Chinese tourists searching for the roots of the anti-capitalism Guru. If you don’t know Marx – shame on you (or rather, good for you?) – here it is the grossly simplified dictionary definition of his work: Marxism. noun. The political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in which the concept of class struggle plays a central role in understanding society’s allegedly inevitable development from bourgeois oppression under capitalism to a socialist and ultimately classless society.

I would say more about Trier but you will all think that I am biased by the wine , the elixir of gods they produce here. Or the Apfelstrudel and/or Apfelkuchen. And you would be right.

Just go there.

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Walk the walk. Talk the talk

I should start this post by mentioning that I am not a Certified Therapeut or psychologist/psychiatrist so don’t take what I I write here for granted. However, I declare myself (by the power I got invested by Captain Planet) specialised in drama.

Since I am a specialist in that, I can write whatever – hence the following.

I know (for a fact) that grief comes in different stages. You never know how much you can take until is coming to you and somehow you deal with it. So it appears when you least expect it and sometimes you just know that is around the corner waiting for you.

There is no formula on how one deals with pain, anxiety and/or depression. Each individual handles it differently. However, I feel, that absolutely everyone is trying to avoid it before really letting it unfold.  It makes sense since no one want to face their darkest, most deeply hidden fears. That’s why, when the darkness arrives, there is the incredible resistance to it. Resistance, however, is causing even more pain. Because it’s a fight with a feeling that is impossible to avoid therefore it’s a fight of you with you.

Equally, there is no magic formula that makes it disappear. Ok, there is Xanax but that’s not really sustainable on long- term. So each one of us has their self proclaiming system that might work (or not). I am writing about this because today I came across this topic and I discovered that people have a lot of creativity and self sustaining methods to cope with their own darkness. Also, what I was surprised to discover is that a great amount of people think and act (hopefully more often than not) about it. Unless you re Lykke Li and you think that “sadness is a blessing” (https://youtu.be/Xu-b3u5jDiU) – you, for sure, want to have it under control.

So do your yoga, meditation, mindfulness, reading, cardio or pottery class, whatever works for you – just do something and get that mojo of yours right where you want it. You are not alone and, I promise you, talking about it with someone you feel at ease, is already a big step in feeling better. Do whatever, the main thing is to act upon it. Do that little walk, listen to a podcast (about impressionist painters if you like), cook that dish, even though you are a total disaster in the kitchen, move yourself from one couch to another. Anything that works for you. I don’t know. One small gesture can mean a lot and your thoughts will be steered towards something else.

It’s always so surprising to see how open people get when this topic is on the table and mostly, how much they care about one another. Some hope in humanity is restored.

Namaste

LAGOM – when less is so much more

Malmö->>Göteborg->>Marstrand->>Vadstena->>Uppsala->> Stockholm

Or the impossible cool Sverige tour.

For those of you that know me, you already know my absolute weakness for All Things Sweden. My latest trip to the land of Vikings started in Malmö and ended in Stockholm with all kinds of experiences. In the land of the most beautiful people and the moose I biked, I hiked, I eat crayfish, I’ve seen some stunning nature sceneries, I got to understand a bit of the history and culture , I walked some more and it was every bit what I expected and some more unexpected.

Living harmoniously with the nature, they respect it and protect it religiously – as we all should. There is no denying that Swedes are beautiful. Inside and outside. And very much cool, the inventors of hipsterism probably. Casually displaying their perfection in sports attire usually, almost no make up (maybe just some pretty boys), with gadgets hanging from their pockets and the never missing coffee on the go, the Swedes show that LAGOM is the secret.

LAGOM – just the right amount (no less and no more)

OK – maybe less with their coffee or the addictive lakrits – liquorice, since It got me hooked I cannot judge them for it.

Here it is Sweden. Be like Sweden.