“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Like in Hong Kong, in Cape Town as well you can experience 4 seasons within a day. Not right now as the Summer solidly keeps the degrees above 25 degrees constantly, but I’ve learned something about the wind lately, that can truly blow you by surprise. This happened to me yesterday when I left home in a flowy red dress, about to walk for my lunch date, since I don’t have a car anymore and I love to explore by feet. But there was no way, I had to take an uber to avoid running around with my dress in ears. Note to self: never leave home in a dress without checking the wind. It is quite high chance these days that the wind is really powerful, as I later yesterday witnessed while hiking up Table Mountain. Which is  a different story…

 

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We tried out a new lunch place Sexy Food, which I cannot describe with enough superlatives. The owner has suffered cancer, tried chemo for years, and then finally decided to give up with Western medicine and instead heal himself with food. He succeeded and once again proved that dood truly can be your medicine. Sexy Food describes themselves as:

“WHERE ANCIENT METHODS MEET MODERN MINDS

Sexyfood is the Nelson Mandela of Modern Day Eating Habits: A Lifestyle of Multi-Food Culture. It’s where Herbivore and Carnivore meet for lunch, where eco-awareness exists behind every food choice. Its a flexible mindset measuring ingredients that work best for individual.

THINK: DIGESTIVE, BLISS, HEALTHY ATTITUDE, FULL CIRCLE, ZERO WASTE AND THE RIGHT TO FEEL SEXY.

If you don’t recognise the ingredients or feel good about the way it was prepared, neither will your tummy or metabolism. You might be an eat-everything kind of person, animal eater, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, fruitarian, breatharian, but the real deal is the conversation you have with your body. Listening to the body is key when mastering the sexy food lifestyle.

LEARN TO LOVE THE PLANT KINGDOM AND EMPHASISE FOOD THAT IS FRESH AND ALIVE. BE AT THE PLACE WHERE BUSHMAN AND BUSINESS COME TOGETHER AND CONTRIBUTE TO A NUTRITIONALLY NET-POSITIVE VIBE.

Mission: The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

 

With experience I can tell that this is not exaggerating. The lunch buffet consists of living fresh foods, prepared with care and consideration. You feel nourished and alive having eaten kimchi, sprouts, greens, veg patties, beans, organic vegetables, essence bread and so much more… The dressings are probiotic ranging from miso to pesto and gazpacho an many more that I didn’t manage to squeeze to my plate. They serve buchu water, a South African herb leaf. As always here I had trouble choosing between the raw desserts which all looked divine. I ended up with peanut butter brownie.

Wishing these kinds of places built with love and care will spread around elsewhere as well. ❤

Chakra system

My notes of Anodea Judith’s great book Chakra Yoga that I am currently reading.

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If the outer world is to be transformed, the process must begin within. If the inner world is to be transformed, it must be understood in the light of the outer forces that shaped it. These realms are interconnected, yet we lack a way to tie them together. Understanding the chakra system, you learn to ingrate your body, mind and spirit.

Eastern and Western cultures can both learn something from the other. East possesses a vast spiritual wealth. Yet despite the spiritual wealth, there is a predominance of material poverty in many of the Eastern countries. In contrast, most Westerns live among material wealth, but spiritual poverty. Greed and violence dominate our news, burnouts and heart attacks take place within our circle of people and we consume mindless material without further thought. I believe it is possible to have both material abundance and spiritual wealth. My finding balance in our body and mind, we can transform ourselves and find realm happiness, joy and peace from within. By transforming ourselves, we transform the world.

 

 

A chakra is a center of organization that receives, assimilates and expresses life force energy. There are seven chakras in the body from the base of the spine to the top of the head. Chakra patterns are programmed deep in the core of the mind-body interface and have a strong relationship with our physical functioning. Just as the emotions can and do affect our breathing, heart rate, and metabolism, the activities in the various chakras influence our internal processes, body shape, chronic physical ailments, thoughts and behavior. By using techniques such as yoga, breathing, bioenergetics, physical exercises, meditation and visualization, we can influence our chakras, our health and our lives. The lower chakras, which are closer to earth, are related to the more practical matter of our lives – survival, movement and action. Physical and social law of our bodies and our societies rules them. The upper chakras represent mental realms and work on a symbolic level through words, images and concepts. Each of the seven chakras represents a major area of human psychological health: 1. Survival, 2. Sexuality, 3. Power, 4. Love, 5. Communication, 6. Intuition, 7. Consciousness itself

 
In order to understand a human being, we have to examine the flow of energy through the system. We can think of this energy as excitement, charge, attention, awareness or simply the life force. Every one of us has a unique and dynamic energy process that shapes our bodies and behavior, and consequently our environment, life path and relationships. Understanding and addressing imbalances of our chakra system can be used to find balance, health, peace and happiness from within.What activates any and all of our programs is the energy we pour into the system. Hunger centers are activated when the stomach is empty and sexual centers awaken with certain stimuli. In order to run any of our programs, we have to activate our energy currents. Our major energy pathways run vertically while subtler currents run in other directions, leaving us with two essential poles: the pole of consciousness, which we experience through our bodies, and the poles of consciousness, which we experience through our minds. Between these poles runs a dynamic flow of energy that we experience as our life force. Grounding happens when our body makes energetic contact with the earth, making us feel safe, alive, centered in ourselves and rooted in our environment. Consciousness, the other pole, comes through mind. It is our inner understanding, our memory, our dreams and beliefs. When consciousness is connected to the body, we have a dynamic energy flow throughout our entire being.

 

 

The seven chakras are created by the combination of consciousness and matter. The downward energy flow can be called as the current of manifestation. Manifesting is the process of turning our thoughts into visualizations, then words, and finally into form. The upward current, moving from dense earth to consciousness, is the current of liberation. As we move upward through the chakras, we become less restricted and more liberated. Human being needs a balance between both of these currents in order to be whole. If we cannot liberate, we cannot change, grow or expand. Unfortunately, both currents are affected by negative experiences. Physical pain, childhood traumas, social programming, and environments or activities can cut us off from the ground. Fortunately, information and experience are stored in both physical and mental states. Bringing consciousness into our ground activates various memories and experiences that reveal the lies and misunderstanding blocked from memory. Likewise, sensation can return to the body when attention is focused in certain mental material – the elements of a dream, characters in a novel, or images in a picture. Integration of mind, body and energy makes healing possible.

 

 

 

What blocks a chakra? Childhood traumas, cultural conditioning, limited belief systems, restrictive or exhausting habits, physical and emotional injuries, or even just a lack of attention. For each one, we develop a coping strategy, which then become chronic patterns, anchored in the body and psyche as defines structures. Eventually these defences create holding patterns in our muscular system that restricts the free flow of energy. It affects our posture, breathing, metabolism and our emotional states, as well as our perceptions, interpretations, and belief systems. Obviously, since the body-mind system is affected, we see manifestations in our relationships, work, creativity, and belief systems, all of which tend to perpetuate the pattern. It is important to recognize the blocks we carry, find ways to understand their source and meaning, and develop tools to heal them. Unblocking a chakra requires:

 

  1. Understand the dynamics of that particular chakra
  2. Examine the personal history related to that chakra’s issues

For example, someone who grew up in isolation and neglect may not have learned how to create relationships and will close down their heart chakra and withdraw socially

  1. Apply exercises and techniques
  2. Balance excess and deficiency

 

As we develop through life we are likely to become excessive in some areas and deficient in others. If a person is deficient in their first chakra, it is likely they will be excessive their upper chakras. If they are excessively attached to power over others, they will have trouble in relationships. Both excessive and deficient chakras restrict the flow of energy through the system, and block the complete expression of both the liberating and manifesting currents. Eventually, they both result in dysfunctional behaviour and health problems. These imbalances can be approached verbally through discussion, physically through work with body and movement, spiritually through meditation, emotionally through exploration of feelings, visually through images, aurally through sounds, and actualized through outer world tasks that strengthen certain areas of our lives.

 

In honoring the full spectrum of human aliveness, this book is a contribution toward the restoration of your wondrously divine potential. With map in hand, may you enjoy the journey”

 

 

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.”

 

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“Let the world say you are crazy, then you are free to do what you want.”

 

“Paint the sky, make it yours.”

 

“Freedom is the oxygen of the soul“

 

“True detachment is not a separation from life but the absolute freedom within your mind to explore living”

 

“The root of suffering is attachment.” –Buddha

 

Universal Human Rights about Freedom:

 

Everyone has a right to liberty and security. Liberty means the power to act as one pleases without restrictions set by authority on your way of life, behavior or political views. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, home and communications. Everyone has the right to the protection of her personal data. The right to marry and the right to found a family shall be guaranteed. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. The arts and scientific research shall be free of constraint. Academic freedom shall be respected. Everyone has the right to education and to have access to continuing training. Everyone has the right to engage in work and to pursue a freely chosen or accepted occupation.

 

The more I have been exposed to different environments and cultures, the more I have learned to appreciate my freedom. In the Western culture, we are often fortunate to enjoy freedom to high extent. In Scandinavia, we are given equal opportunities in just about anything, from education, occupation, choosing your partner, living environment… This is a tremendous gift, and I pray similar freedom for every one in this world. We all should be entitled to choose our own path, make choices based on free will, detached from outside pressure or restrictions. We are meant to build our own reality. To make choices that serve our passions. We are entitle to get to do things that we find meaningful. To get to feel ourselves appreciated and loved. To live enjoyable lives. Yet, it is up to us as individuals to do choices that serve our deepest wishes regarding our lives. The range of opportunities are endless.

 

Which topics do you want to study? How do you want to make your living? Where do you want to travel? Where do you want to live? With who do you want to share your life?  How do you want to spend your time? What do you want to eat for dinner tonight? What would you do for living if all occupations would be equally appreciated and they were all realistic?
For me, freedom is about….

 

Choosing how I make my living, pursue an education and choosing how to use it

Expressing myself freely

Choosing how and with whom I spend my time, and giving others the freedom to do the same

Saying yes when I feel like it, saying no when I feel like saying no

Eating ice cream for dinner, because I can

Detaching myself from the virtual world whenever I feel like it

Not having to explain my actions for those whose business it is not

… And so much more. Freedom is there all the time, it is a state of mind.

 

 

Someone whom I admire for her internal and external beauty, Sofia Ruutu, writes about freedom:

 

Freedom. As an adult I’ve come to realize I have the freedom to do almost anything I want. Realizing that is something that has changed my life. It’s like the realization opened up doors that I never imagined possible for me. Freedom is of course not to be taken for granted, which is why I appreciate all the opportunities and choices I have. I have the freedom to build my own life, and even though it might be hard or almost impossible to get where you want, most things are possible and starts between your ears and within yourself. Changes and goals might take time to reach, and sometimes requires re-arrangement, hard work, giving up other things and a lot of faith and discipline. However, just knowing you have the possibility is freeing itself.”

 

How beautifully expressed, I cannot agree more.

 

“And so, she decided to start living the life she’d imagined.”

 

“As I walked out of the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela

 

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela

 

“When you come to the point where you don’t need to impress anyone, your freedom will begin.”

“There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? I did, and will continue doing. I love to set goals and write down dreams… That way they start to concretise in your mind and you make gradual, conscious or unconscious steps towards realising these visions. My resolutions consists of abstract things as well as concrete goals. Some of them are too personal to share, some not 😉

 

I want to keep growing as a person. Get to know myself better, and understand my closed ones better. Be happy and only let people leave from my company more inspired than they were. I want to be more present in the moment. I will cut time spent on my phone. I’m not afraid to go to flight mode. I don’t need to be available virtually all the time, instead I want to be available to people I’m surrounded by. Showing respect by listening is so important. I want to learn to recognise, accept, respect and embrace personality differences. We are all built differentially, communication is the key. I realise that I can learn something from every single person. It doesn’t mean you need to keep spending time with people that don’t energise you. Also realising when its time to let go and say no is respect towards oneself. I love the quote “You’d love everyone if you knew their story”. Let’s show compassion to everyone around us.

 

 

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My more concrete resolutions have to do with doing more what I love such as surfing and yoga, getting better at them, deepening my relationships,  exploring my current home city more thoroughly, travel to new as well as already been places, and start new work related projects. I want to take meditation to my days again, get more often to a creative mode, encourage others to pursue their dreams and do the same myself. In fact there is really no real line between concrete and abstract. Abstract becomes reality when you believe in it and build it gradually through small actions.

365 days. Let’s decide that this year will be the best one so far.

 

 

The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.

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I never thought I’d develop such a relationship for surfing, especially here in the waters with sharks, but it happened. I crave for the Ocean, catching the waves and developing my surfing skills. Even if the conditions are more often too rough than favourable, every session makes me feel more free and connected to the earth. Surfing for me is the best form of exercising – you have to be totally present, dependent on how the earth has decided to serve you the waves on this particular day.

 
I don’t know if it’s my new wetsuit, new beach with easier waves (Muizenberg), or simply making progress, but I can finally actually surf on the waves. I always loved going out there, but it was often more about surviving through the waves.  Though I know the self-confidence I have now might change and your performance is dependent on so many things, I now feel like I am able to take the wave as it comes and choose to stand up and surf. This feeling makes all the inconvenience related to surfing (driving and sitting in traffic mostly;) so worth it. The Ocean really makes you realise how small you are, and how little you can control. For me, surfing and yoga are the best forms of therapy for the mind and body. There’s no way you can come out of the Ocean and not feel more free, more happy than before going there.

 

In Cape Town, the best spots for beginners are Big Bay and Muizenberg, in Stellenbosch, Strand. I also look forward surfing at Clifton, Lladudno, Hout Bay… one day 😉

My practise is my time to feel alive, loved, free.

I never forgot yoga, but facilities in Stellenbosch made me focus on other sports like gym and pilates past months. I guess it is good to rotate sports as well to find new passions and rediscover old ones. Now it is time to rotate again – new city and season, new sports. In Cape Town I am focusing on surfing, yoga and barre. Maybe some running and outdoor gym whenever my PT is involved. 😉

 

Yoga I want to keep in my life throughout though. Never have I stepped out of mat after a session and felt somehow better than before doing it, be it clarified mind, relaxedness or the endorphin of challenging your body physically. Here in Cape Town I can recommend the power yoga classes in Yoga Life. The feeling when you’ve given your everything and sweated like a pig, and realised the progress you’ve made since last time is just worth it, every time. As with surfing.

Also, we started doing short classes with Satu at home from yogaglo.com whenever short in time for exercising. I cannot praise this service enough. Last Winter, I did yoga almost every day at home from yogaglo. It was the perfect balance for the Kayla Itsines workouts I was doing back then. Some days I took a 20-30min morning yoga to wake myself up, or a 60 minute as the main workout of the day. I love that you can filter a class suitable for yourself based on what kind, how challenging, how long, held by who, and what part of body / mind needs attention.

 

My favourite kind of morning starts with a 30min Better Than Coffee flow by Kathryn Budig. I try to finish yoga with a short meditation.

My favourite classes so far:

What Do You Value Most? Chelsey Korus Level 2 45min Vinyasa Flow

Better Than Coffee Kathryn Budig Level 2 30mins

Deep Breath, Calm Mind Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 1-2 60min

Smooth It Out. Vinyasas Flow with Elena Brower. Level 2 20min

Outward Vision, Inward. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. Level 2 60min

Learn Dancer’s Pose. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. Level 2 15min

Focus and Flow. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 45min

Love For Your Lungs. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 60min

Your Strong, Innate Grace. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 45min

Connect & Create a Beautiful Day. Vinyasa Flow with Jo Tastula. Level 2 45min

Creative Core. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 2-3. 30min

Inner Stability, Outer Fluidity. Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus. 60min Level 2-3

Twist for Rejuvenation Vinyasa Flow with Chelsey Korus Level 1-2 30min

Rediscover Your Heart. Hatha with Elena Brower Level 2-3 60min

Cultivating Presence. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 90min

Liberate Your Breathing, Strengthen Your Body. Hatha with Elena Brower. Level 2 90min

My favourite teachers are Chelsey Korus, Jo Tastula, Elena Brower and Kathryn Budig

 

My inspiration. The whole setting. 😉

 

 

Live for the little things, they will make you realise that they are what life is about. This is what it means to feel alive.

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I met Leeni last Summer at Jenna’s bootcamp, and we quickly learned that we share similar interests and mindset. She is here in South Africa for few weeks now with her husband so we met up for lunch at Plant cafe, a new spot for me. Their raw pasta with avocado, basil, cucumber dressing and tomatoes was divine, as well as the chocolate brownie… I need to take A and others here asap as well. Was really good catching up with Leeni and we’ve shared many more lunches since. I also got a million dollar tip from her and headed to Rip Curl store to “just take a look”. As said, I’ve been hoping to a miracle happen and find myself with an own wetsuit and board to be able to join A for surfing at closely beaches. Well, I tried on a wetsuit and I immediately knew that this is the one.

It fit perfectly and is the thickest possible with an inside ‘fur’ as the Atlantic Ocean is freezing, and as a cherry on top it was on great discount already. After a quick calculation with the (extremely weak) rand exchange rates, I decided that this is the best possible Christmas present I can give for myself. I was a bit nervous of the feedback I’ll get at home of the spontaneous purchase without consultation, but it proved to be unnecessary worry. As we have some plans to hit the Atlantic coast at Norway later this spring, I also made sure that my suit is suitable for the ice water. Wifey, what’s the status of your suit? 😉

The next morning we hit Bloubergstrand for AM surf. I’m still very much a beginner, the waves were quite huge but I enjoyed the ocean as always. I simply loved to wetsuit as well. So warm too. Afterwards we headed to Oranjezicht market for breakfast with Leeni and Paul, A and Pia stayed for another surf session. This market… Everything a health foodie can hope for. Choosing a cake among the most delicious healthy option was the toughest choice I had to make. I went for chocolate quinoabanana cake and brought a chocolate brownie home. Both were divine and even mr liked the sugar and gluten free version. Me happy 😉

xxx