Sylvia's writing to freedom

Knowing when to end a dream within my reality 14/01/2012

I had a dream and many more, though I decided at a certain point in my life to manifest this one particular dream I had which would set me free from all that I experienced as limiting and which kept me bound to the system that I despised. It was like a wish, a desire that turned into a ticking time bomb inside of me, while I wasn’t aware of the ticking and not at all aware of the bomb that was the cause of the ticking. So I lived the dream and I walked the dream in order to escape reality and I found out that there isn’t something like escaping your physical reality if you do not want to end up dead. My physical reality can’t be ignored as hard as I tried, since my physical body is the only vehicle I have at my disposal to manifest and experience anything here on this earth.

To make this dream I’m speaking of more tangible I have to go back in time to see where the building blocks for this dream were formed and what emotions/feelings these building blocks consisted of. The dream I’m speaking of was escaping Holland to settle down in Italy and start all over, far away from the evil outside world. One of the building blocks was the urge for a “spacious” house, another was no longer dealing with compulsory education in regards to my kids, wanting to be self sufficient on a level of food and basic living, enjoying the fresh mountain air and escaping the petty Dutch state of mind.

I always longed for a “spacious” house and when I started opening up this point I had no idea where that urge ever started. It was simply there all my adult life, I didn’t question it, I simply followed it like a manual of how to live my life. Since ignorance isn’t bliss I had to dig deeper and find out more. When looking at my life I saw a life where I had been moving around the Netherlands  with my parents a lot. Always when my dad was able to get a better job we got a better house, that was the first imprint from childhood. Then we ended up living in a trailer for over a year with my parents, waiting for a house to be built. Living on such a small space with 4 people was doable, but not really enjoyable. As I’ve been suppressing most of my emotions/feelings throughout my life, always for the sake of something, I only have happy memories of this period. Though when I speak of this period I speak of all the inconvenient things that were inextricably connected to my life in the trailer and I was not really in peace with myself through suppressing all the negative. When we finally did live in the new “spacious” home it felt like a real relief, a feeling of “now I’m able to truly live”. So all that was negative turned now into positive and therefore a “spacious” house was the equivalent to freeing myself from the negative. These two imprints of “moving is improving” and a “spacious” house is “freedom”, which I allowed to  make me believe that moving into a bigger house would solve all that I was facing inside myself as negative was ignition for my ticking time bomb. Not realizing that I didn’t experience yet  this negative inside myself as something of myself, I experienced it as the evil outside world that was coming for me.

This meant that I made the effort to emigrate to Italy to find a “spacious” house and set me free of the negativity I experienced in my world as not being of me. I completely separated myself from my physical reality in order to not face this world as me. Once in Italy I fully experienced all the shit I had been resisting/ denying/suppressing, when I started my process and especially when I started my DesteniIProcess I knew that there is but only one solution; facing myself or going down with my dream. Only now, after almost 6 years in Italy, this point is opening up and getting clear to me.

Compulsory education is the foundation of the dutch education system, therefore homeschooling is not allowed by law. Back then I saw it as unfair, especially unfair towards me as a personal attack of the system which made me decide that I was going to fuck the system and let it know that I could fight it. How wrong could I be. Looking back at it now, I can see that I am the system and that I therefore was fucking myself big time. I was fighting myself and the system hit back with a judge and a fine. I was totally disillusioned and couldn’t see that it was simply cause and effect. I broke the rules of the system by homeschooling my kids for a year while the Dutch law forbade such a thing, so I was breaking the law and had to answer the system in the form of a judge and I was corrected by the system to follow it’s path again and paid my fine.

While taking this step of emigration I found out that also Italy had a compulsory education system and that only kids that lived too far away from the civilized world were allowed to be home schooled. Which made us look for remote areas where we could buy a ruin to restructure. On the brink of my emigration and wanting to escape the compulsory education system I knew there was a big chance that the kids had to go to school, which did already deteriorate my dream, but I didn’t want to face it. Instead I considered school all of a sudden as a good thing to establish the Italian language for the kids. Not that there was no common sense in this perspective, but it was the opposite of what I had believed in. What made me experience again only the positive and suppress the actual negative.

My partner P. and I have been talking a lot about being self sufficient and seeing it as the ultimate form of freedom. We considered collecting rainwater for the toilets/shower/washing machine and a cane field and anti bacterial Philips lamp to clean our own water to re-use it for consumption. We were investigating many ways of growing our own vegetable garden and building a house with straw and other ecological products. We searched for a place far away from any village to experience life as I thought it should be. There was one tiny little problem I didn’t oversee, I’m part of a whole and I was planning on separating myself from that whole. I thought I was strong enough to do it all on my own not realizing that I was allowing a polarity to play out at my own expense. I felt like I could handle the whole world and take a stance like, me against the world, surviving life on my own force, while in reality I was the opposite. I feared life, I was running away from life and therefore I was running away from myself, separating myself from myself and not willing to face myself. So the ideas I had about living self-sufficient were not bad or evil in itself, it was my starting point for wanting this dream to come true that turned life/me against myself. Where it were first thoughts and ideas, later I walked them in reality and experienced life as being against me while my starting point was one of self-sabotage.

I liked the idea of enjoying the fresh mountain air and made it into a highly prominent motive to do this emigration into the Italian mountains. We lived around Amsterdam where the air was polluted and my kids and partner experienced astma-like symptoms of it. My reference points for thinking that mountain air would be better than the air we were breathing at that time were nice travel pictures of mountains throughout my life, hiking in areas in the mountains where no one lived and my partner P. his stories about his Italian youth and the nice air in Italy. Looking at these reference points I have to come to the conclusion in common sense that I’ve manipulated my reality into fitting into my dream/ideas. If someone would suggest me to buy a certain product, because of pictures and stories of others, I would not even consider buying into it. In my own case I sold myself Italy because of it’s fresh mountain air based on pictures and hearsay and I didn’t ask myself questions. Which shows me my true nature and who’s my possible worse enemy.

Escaping the petty Dutch state of mind is the same as escaping myself and that’s what I did. I changed the Dutch pettiness for the Italian pettiness and kicked it till it was sore. All along I was the one who was sore, I was out of options to let myself know what I was busy doing to myself. And when that wasn’t enough I started to develop physical problems, the last option of my body to ask me to please take self-responsibility. I looped within my physical problems for 3 years till this winter, it became clear to me how I’ve been abusing myself throughout my life and that I have to put this to a stop. I developed shingles, food intolerances, a dust allergy, candida albican and hives. It felt like my body was falling apart, my entire life I’ve been healthy and now the opposite occurred. It’s my physical explaining to me how I kept positivity in place and how I wasn’t willing to see the negative that was there at the same time within me ready to be dealt with. Positive can’t exist without the negative so it was inevitable that this would happen.

So I cried which I hadn’t done in a long time and let a lot of the negativity out, to see who I am and who I had become while not denying half of myself. Within this process of letting go and processing I found out that I had pushed away a feeling of not being happy where I am now in life. Knowing that happiness as we experience it now isn’t a stable factor to rely on, it’s an energy and therefore the opposite outflow of being happy. And yes my whole 6 year stay here in Italy I convinced myself of being happy with my new situation while suppressing the fact that I felt displaced and not belonging anywhere. Searching for this self-worth outside of myself, that I was convinced of finding there. I believed that self-worth had to be brought to me through the fact of who I was for others. Instead of having this stability and self-worth inside myself. Though the others were not seeing me as someone that belonged there, they saw me as displaced and reflected my own belief back to myself which gave me this horrible feeling inside of being eaten away from the inside. And that’s what it was I was slowly letting myself die/decompose letting all life slip away. So I STOPPED and said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, till here and NO FURTHER. There was no escaping possible I had to continue facing myself and redefine my situation in common sense in the best interest of all.

I looked at my own created situation together with my partner P., knowing how our dream had looked liked back then 6 years ago. We had not been able to buy a house due to financial misfortunes already starting in Holland when selling our house. We had a stable job when we came here and within 2 years we lost the job due to the starting worldwide crisis and incompatibility with the Italian traditional way of doing business. We lost about 4 times jobs and tried all kind of little jobs on the side line facing every time the unwillingness of the Italians to use opportunities and to work with us. We’ve gone through winters of hardly having money to buy food let alone other stuff. Right now we lost again our jobs within an impossible labor market while trying to live out our Italian dream. My body is sick and so are the bodies of my family and there isn’t enough money to go and see all kind of doctors.The air we breathe is highly polluted by wood stoves and gives me asthmatic problems, schools are even worse then in Holland, food isn’t of a great quality, the costs of life are the same as in Holland only the salaries are way lower. So what the fuck are we doing here chasing a mindfuck?

I have to face myself as the only and ultimate solution and I’ve been busy doing so, yet 43 years of shit are not easily worked through. Step by step I understand who I am with my ugly sides included, though my physical reality asks for an immediate solution since having no job here in Italy,  means for us no money. And what is common sense? Staying there where you ran out of options without a big network in a country where one only get a job when one has connections and where others grant you with a job due to who you are and not what you are able to do? So we came to the conclusion that the best thing for us to do now is remigration to Holland and pick up the network that we left 6 years ago to which we kept more or less in touch with.

After the first investigations within the possibilities of remigration I found out that my remigration to Holland as a Dutch person means the same as emigrating to what ever country. First a job and a house then re-migration, welfare isn’t an option since they do not provide re-migrants with welfare. Holland is not welcoming their expats and re-migrants, it’s simply, once you leave your spot will be taken. When one Googles remigration the first searches are about non Dutch people who want to go back to their birth country, they can get compensation for their trip home and keep a monthly income from the Dutch State. I was astonished to hear and read about the unfriendly treatment of the Dutch State on several blogs from re-migrants, the same story over and over again. Though when we left Holland I remember that the official agencies were quite blunt and made it clear that they weren’t going to put much effort in my questions since I left. Also businesses are not welcoming people with foreign experience, they see them as a threat. Instead of seeing someone with a foreign experience and the ability to adapt they fear people like us.

So deciding to go back will not be easy when it comes to the practical procedure of it and it certainly won’t be a dream or a warm welcome. We will settle for a job and a warm home, instead of a living room at 14 degrees Celsius with the wood stove on. Sleeping in a temperature of 6 degrees isn’t really fun, so I’m basically looking for a dignified life where I can sort myself out and where I can be part of the whole instead of being separated from it. It’s time to end the dream and a second chance would be great, I’m granting myself a second chance I know I’m worth it.

I’m sharing here my Self-Forgivenesses that opened up through writing this blog. The Self- Forgivenesses that I already did over time are not included within this blog.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to see a dream or a desire as something that can be real without consequences, instead of seeing that dreams and desires are based in energy and therefore not real within the physical reality, it will cause friction between real and unreal.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be caught up in the mind and perceive my dreams as real as my physical reality without investigating my starting point.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to despise the system and judging it for limiting me, instead of seeing that the system is me and it’s always me that decides to limit myself.Therefore I need to direct myself and take self-responsibility for the limitations I bring on to myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to escape reality out of fear to face myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to abdicate my responsibility for life and longing for freedom to come and save me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to blame the evil outside world while in fact I was blaming my evil inside world for being existent. Therefore I didn’t want to be a person with negative sides I only wanted to see my positive personality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to separate myself from my physical reality in order to not face the world as me.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to resist the negative feelings/emotions inside myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to deny the negative feelings/emotions inside myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to suppress the negative feelings/emotions inside myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be angry at the system for fining and correcting me, instead of seeing that I broke the law and had to face the consequences.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to manipulate my believes in order to keep a dream alive. Instead of seeing that beliefs are not based in common sense and what is best for all and therefore not a solution to any problem to participate within.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to long for being self-sufficient without seeing that I’m separating myself from the whole and not bringing solutions in the best interest of all when being self-sufficient.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have a starting point of self-sabotage in life.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to experience life as a force that is against me, instead of seeing that life is me and being against myself is self-sabotage and therefore unacceptable.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to end up as my worse enemy.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not face myself and let myself loop within a tree year period where my health was the investment.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not face the negativity within myself and not wanting to take self-responsibility for the consequences.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not allow myself to cry and seeing it as weak.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that happy exist as something that is stable and real.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that self-worth comes from outside, instead of seeing that self-worth can only be allowed and accepted by me from the inside out.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to slowly die/decompose and not taking my self-responsibility for life.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to believe that changing the scenery will change me and gives me the freedom to not face myself.

When and as I see myself participating within this pattern of perceiving a dream as real and worth chasing. I stop and I breathe. Within this I realize that the energy of this experience is directing me and I am not the directive force here. Thus I stop this participation in this energy as living in my mind and escaping reality and myself  and do not participate, but breathe myself here in and as the physical.

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Hair 02/10/2011

Approximately 1,5 year ago I shaved my head to stand for world equality and to give my visible vote for an Equal Money System. I faced quite some fears and it took me almost 3 months to get ready and shave. Within those three months I looked at the fears I had and did Self-Forgiveness on them, but only within my physical reality I could face my own effectiveness within my application of SF and had to correct myself further within the physical. Since I’m living as a foreigner in a small Catholic village in central Italy my villagers were not really enthusiastic to say the least when I shaved my head. A woman here in rural Italy is one with long dark hair, high heels, cleavage and most preferred a short skirt. Not that I fitted in this description before I shaved my head, but at least I had hair and they could still refer to me as a woman. The day I shaved the speculations started and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people made some sort of a bet on it. I had just gone through an event of bullying at school with my daughter A. which was in essence rasism and people started to ask if I had too much grief about this event that I shaved my head. A nice one and really dramatic, I hadn’t thought of that one as a reason for shaving ones head. Then the rumour started that I was suffering from cancer and was refusing to wear a wig. Though the final conclusion was that I had lost it for most of the population and the few that really went in conversation with me admired me, but couldn’t see any salvation of our current world within the words I spoke. Lots and lots of people got neck pains, a national Italian disease, due to looking after me when I was passing by. The people that I could look in the face had always a look of intense disgust. I made flyers to explain myself, but basically I was stuck in a polarity between admiration and disgust of my villagers and I decided not to go along with that and therefore kept my head neatly shaved for 1,5 year.

A bald head was the first way of approaching my head and me in a way that it didn’t cause friction within me.The moment I shaved of my hair and I looked in the mirror I saw ME as I understand ME within my current process. No hair anymore gave me the opportunity to look beyond my personalities, who were still there, but couldn’t be connected to my hair anymore. With the hair also my clothes changed into more comfortable clothes. I even went for a walk today with a combination of a flower skirt and a flower t-shirt that totally didn’t match in colour and pattern. There were times that I would have bothered about such a thing and would feel insecure. For a moment I hesitated if it was the “right” thing to do. I concluded that it was bullshit to not go for a walk around the block in 2 garments that are really comfortable to wear and tested it out in my reality. I’m still alive and after the first meters I forgot all about my non stylish outfit. So the shaving is a statement , but it also helped me through a lot of issues within my physical reality. Therefore I had no intensions to let it grow again.

Till the moment that my sewing business was not really running well. My neighbor from across the street, who does the same work as I, said after I asked her how business was going, it’s a bad period for us all. Though here in Italy nobody is very direct in his/hers answers so it could mean that she had still enough work and didn’t want to hurt me and came up with this answer or she really had less clients. I saw how people were avoiding me in the village and the clients I still have do really not care about me having hair or no hair. So I decided to investigate this point within my physical reality and let my hair grow till a point that I felt comfortable with.

The first day that I went to my grocery shop with an almost crew cut, the lady of the shop suddenly started talking to me and making friendly faces. I  was surprised, I always perceived this lady as a grumpy woman that hardly looked me in the eyes. Then a friend of mine asked in this special way if she was right about me letting my hair grow, as if she asked me if I was pregnant, the same tonality was in her voice. It was as if suddenly I was again part of the zombies, my hair made me again part of the club of zombies. I knew that we humanity are hypocrites, but this was a firm confirmation.

I let my hair grow till it was about 1,5 centimeter long. I noticed that on top of my head the hair was growing in the air like little antennes and the hair on my sides and on my occiput was growing flat against my head. This gave my head this oval shape. I suddenly didn’t see ME anymore and a not deliberately hairstyle developed. I saw resistance within me and points that I hadn’t taken on yet about me having hair and being defined by my hair style. I no longer could rinse my hair without being grassy and  also resisted using shampoo again. So I had to make a plan about what I wanted to do with my hair and head. I decided to let it grow just a few millimeter which gives this idea of hair on my head, but it’s easy to manage without soap and makes people more at ease while being in my presence. It’s a decision I made in the moment and will be valid as long as I can be self-honest within it.

Perceiving myself as a person with hair again, I walked with my daughter A. in one of the nearby towns, wearing a skirt and t-shirt with cleavage. To me I was, without desiring it, dressed in an Italian adapted way. Till the moment that A. said to me, come on mom cross the street I’m already at the shop what is taking you so long? What took me so long was this retired man that started to walk towards me, over a distance of 500 meter, like a magnet. He was staring at me and couldn’t get his face in another direction and I had to step backwards to not been over-walked. I heard him mumble, a lady without hair? So I  hurried across the street and while I looked behind me to see how the man was doing, I saw that he almost did a 180 degrees owl turn to look after me. I was astonished, he said a lady without hair, so I was still considered as having no hair? We found out that we had gone to the wrong shop and had to cross the square where the retired man with his pels was hanging around in front of the medieval town hall. I heard them gossip and almost gasping for air while seeing a lady with hair that didn’t count as having hair.  It was all very entertaining to me and A. as these men revealed in one breath a long and rich tradition of how women should be.

I’m still one vote for an Equal Money System and world equality, nothing changed except I’m more with 2 feet on the ground again and traded guessing about how people would perceive me, with research within my physical reality. As my life and my process will develop so will my view on hair develop. For now the best approach, and still be able to reach out to most people, is to have a crew cut. And not to place myself outside the society I live in, due to inflexible opinions. I’m not going to fight the system, I’m going to work with the system and use the system to bring change. A change that we all know is necessary, but we’re too afraid that change never will happen. Investigate your reality and test your opinions and believes, you might be surprised about what you find.

 

Following my dream 11/03/2011

This time I approached my blogging and vlogging in a different way. Normally I wrote things out and when I decided it was time to vlog about it, I felt like I had already said it all. Mind fucks like: “I already wrote it perfectly how can I ever speak/voice it in the same well said manner?” So I figured since my mind is circumventing me, I should use the same tactic to circumvent the mind. Which common sensically means that I will first speak about it and then write about it. How easy can life be? So here it goes.

Lately I’m slowing down on the point of why I immigrated to Italy and the sentence that popped up was: “following my dream”. I was indeed following a dream I had formed together with my partner P. about 10 years before we actually immigrated. The dream to live in a country with a nice warm climate and beautiful houses. A country where food is appreciated and where life wasn’t like rushing all the time.

In reality it’s quite cold in winter here in Central Italy and the beautiful houses are so badly build that winter is compared to what I was used in Holland quite a challenge. A challenge to keep myself warm and not spend ridiculous amounts of money on heating a house that can’t be heated. The food that is so extremely appreciated here, is over valued and imbedded within traditions. Life here is as stressful as anywhere, people mostly work 2 jobs to keep clear from debts. Only the elderly live still the life of old without a lot of stress. So looking at the facts in real life and comparing them to the dream reasons I had, the dream reasons are inconsistant with the real ones.

When reality and ideas and dreams do not meet one can get frustrated. I on the other hand justified all the inconsistencies, which is in a way suppressing frustrations. It’s almost funny to see how a thought, wich is energy based, brought me within my reality at the other end of Europe and  still facing the same points I had to face while in Holland.

What is a dream really, it’s this romantic idea. A not realistic way of portraying an idealistic picture within my mind. It’s like chasing a ghost and every time when you think you caught it, the ghost disappears like fluid through your hands. If you do not awaken out of such a dream, you can easily keep chasing the ghost for the rest of your life. I wasn’t planning to, I saw what I created and stopped chasing it. I will simply work with what is here within reality, where I put myself into, and I will face the points that need to be faced.

I forgive myself that I have accepted an allowed myself to chase a dream.

I forgive myself that I have accepted an allowed myself to chase energy, instead of seeing that it isn’t real.

I forgive myself that I have accepted an allowed myself to get frustrated for the inconsistency within thought/idea and reality.

I forgive myself that I have accepted an allowed myself to not speak after writing out points to face.

I forgive myself that I have accepted an allowed myself to demand perfection from myself within speaking and not seeing that by doing so I was limiting myself and discouraging myself to speak.

 

Political clown or womanizer? 20/02/2011

Berlusconi, the oldster that directs the country that I live in is a man that represents the polarity of adoration and hatred. The majority of Italians adore him for the life he lives and the power he has and they long for the same kind of life. The minority hates him for destroying the country and the countries name on the world map. I may watch and have a whole lot of opinions, but my vote against him will not be heard as a foreigner living in Italy. I do not hate him nor adore him, I will only speak of what I see.

I see a man that is holding on to the memories of the good life he once had, still wanting to be the casanova of many years ago while his expiration date is since long expired. Buying all and everybody that is venal just to still this fear of losing his power. Fearing to lose his life where he pulls the strings, losing that what he determines as himself. Now life starts consuming him in a rapid way he grabs around him to take that what still reminds him of himself. He will always put himself first, he needs to be occupied with himself, consumed with himself in order to  constantly confirm himself that he’s still alive and not passed away in such a sneaky way that he didn’t notice the fact that he has diminished. What would you do when you were in the shoes of Berlusconi, driven by money, sex and power in order to feel alive? I would hate myself and fear the day that my people, the same people as where I am one of, would expose my fear of losing myself.

So by seeing how Berlusconi became who he is, I see that he isn’t capable of doing good for his country and the Italians in it, he’s incapable of doing good for the Europeans or doing good for the citizens of the world. The US thinks of him as a political clown and he’s aside from his sex scandals with minor girls being exposed on Wikileaks. He offended his European colleagues many times and is not really beloved around the globe. Although the man’s image is damaged nationally and internationally, he still thinks that he can be in office till the next elections in 2013. The majority of Italians that do belief the information they get from Berlusconi’s tv channels, newspapers and magazines keep on voting for him in parlement. In other words, we keep on going with this misery, only based on an image we have of somebody else and the image this person has of himself.

If we were only able to see why we think that we know a person by only knowing a few things about him, this world would not be the same as today. Whenever we are introduced to a new person we scan them in a few seconds and have a complete opinion and picture about this person. My picture of Berlusconi is coloured through my own memories and experiences. To me someone in his seventies isn’t the person that will lift up a country and isn’t still capable of being more then the sum of his memories. To me a person that needs validation from outside sources such as money, sex and power to be someone isn’t your man to rule the country. To me he’s a zombie who is ruling over zombies, which makes me a zombie too. So Berlusconi represents to me a nasty picture that I do not like, which makes every mistake he makes into a big misstep to me. If my picture of him was quite positive, a few mistakes wouldn’t have bothered me so much and I would give him a next chance.

We think we know each other while we not even know ourselves. Although I know 1 thing when I or someone else doesn’t pass the equality equation and isn’t acting in the best interest of all, over and over again, then such a person needs to be removed from the position he/she is in. Due to not knowing ourselves and all the others around us is disturbing enough in itself, but we may not let that cause situations of inequality. Several groups have gone protesting in the streets of Italy, making noise with pots and pans, but it will not change anything as long as we do not understand why our world is our world the way it is. Italy could be a potential candidate for riots, we already had some, but non as severe as Egypt and Tunisia. We are a 1st world country where a lot of people live in poverty and a minor group like our Berlusconi live in paradise or should I say: their home made hell.

 

Maybe a fake plastic Gucci bag? 15/02/2011

Since January this year the plastic bag is banned in the shops and supermarkets, here in Italy.The bio-degradable bags are not going to be banned and in reality it will not be a total ban of plastic bags before 2013. The 2 year transition period is to finish the plastic bag stocks, so in the stores nothing has changed and neither the streetscape. When I heard this news for the first time in December I thought somebody made fun of me. Italy and the plastic bag, it’s almost tradition. On forums people were arguing what to use instead, paper like in America but they didn’t think it was strong enough for the large amount of groceries people tend to drag on the street or on their scooter. A bag made out of fabric worried also a lot of people, they were convinced they would look stupid because it wouldn’t be a designer model. Amazing what people can bring to the table to justify the fact that they are polluting on a daily base. The plastic bags we use now are neither designed according to Italian designer principles and don’t go well together with a Gucci outfit. Yet everybody is using them and you can find them everywhere used for multiple purposes.

These plastic bags were already for many years an eyesore for many environmental activists. Expedition Med (Mediterranean in Danger) did research on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. They found that all the thrown away plastic has fallen apart into microscopical pieces of plastic and that about 500 tons of plastics are floating around on the surface of the Mediterranean See. Even with a ban on plastic bags the damage is already done onto the marine. Expedition Med only tested the surface so who knows what’s lying on the bottom of the sea. There has been estimated that about 80% of all waste in the oceans is plastic, a sad example is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch that’s floating around between Japan and Hawaii.

The fines that will be charged after 2013, if we get there with this law, will be between €25 and €250. That’s the same fine for smoking in a public space. In a way it’s hilarious that we need laws to make responsible citizens out of us. We are not able to think about the consequences of our actions when it comes to for instance environmental issues such as, what is plastic causing within nature. It takes years for plastic to decay and the decomposing of the plastic into planet earth isn’t the outcome we want at all. I also have been struggling with this issue, when I went with my own grocery bag to the shop they did put my groceries in plastic bags into my own bag. So I asked them to put it directly into my bag. It was really a struggle as if I had to break the tradition of years and as if I was asking for hot ice cream or burning water. For a while I took the plastic bags and reused them for all kinds of purposes, but it was still the same plastic bag that ended up in the garbage eventually. When I hadn’t got the plastic bags I bought bio-degradable bin bags and those are a lot more expensive and I do not know how degradable they really are. Now I’m back at bringing my own bags and I buy normal bin bags to keep the costs reasonable.

What is this all about? It’s about throwing away plastic bags into nature and not understanding that the consequences of this action is turning against you and me and nature. It makes me a bit desperate, the fact that we not even can come up with a solution that’s best for all, when it only is about plastic bags. I’m not talking about changing a monetary, educational, health or political system, I’m talking about a “minor problem” that every toddler can resolve within common sense. But look what a interconnection of problems it is causing. This law is delayed until 2013 because otherwise the plastic bags in stock have no use what so ever, the workers in the plastic bag factory would been unemployed right away and the factory would stop existing unless they are able to produce something else. It’s a good thing to say stop to plastic bags, but you don’t want to make your neighbor unemployed, that wasn’t your goal but that are the consequences in a capitalistic money system.

In an Equal Money System people will be taught to take their responsibility or are already aware of the consequences their actions can have. A total dependence/addiction of a nation on a plastic bag would not be the starting point, simple because it’s not in the best interest of all. And with all I mean all animals and nature. A factory that only makes plastic bags or plastic products is quite depended on oil, is such a factory an addition to society? These worker when they can not work anymore they have a hard time surviving, in an EMS these workers have still their basic income and are not depended on this salary. When money has the value of life there isn’t such a thing as making products against life, investing in products against life or making profit out of products against life. When something doesn’t work in society, such as the plastic bag, in an EMS it’s easy to adjust because there is no one depending on it, nobody looses profit and nobody is the victim of the situation, you just change it. You just adjust it till it’s in the best interest of all and that change can be in any given moment. You see there doesn’t exist  “a special moment” anymore, all is equal.

 

Living together 21/01/2011

It’s winter and it’s our fourth winter here in Italy. Our first winter wasn’t a cold winter, nevertheless the house was cold and we lived in a room temperature around 11 degrees Celsius. The wind blew through the walls and windows. We tried to heat the rooms which was a difficult task and basically meant that we were heating the inside and outside of the house. Our second winter started in this house and we decided to look for another place, the wood stove we used was an attack on our health and we were longing for a “normal” heated house.

 

Since we are living in Italy I’ve been really cold. In Holland I never bothered about the cold in winter as a grown up. It was as if the scale was blowing to the other side. In Holland I never wore really warm cloths in winter, now here in Italy I wear at least 5 different layers of clothing. As if it is a polarity that I’m  living out through which I’m now experiencing only the cold. Or when one grows older one becomes cold due to all that is accepted and allowed. In that case I can heat myself by doing SF and applying self corrective statements, just turning the process of ignorance and accepting and allowing. lol

 

We moved to an apartment, some sort of a barbi house. It was so small that half of our furniture had to be put away in the relatively big garage we had. That winter was a warm and cosy winter, cold outside while we were warm inside our little house. Due to lack of space and my business that was growing we had to find ourselves another home. We found a big house for a really low rent and decided to take it, it was spring and we didn’t think too much about winter. We knew that heating the house would be a problem, but we figured that it was better then our first home here in Italy. How wrong had we’ve been. The first year we literarily burnt our reserve money for a temperature of 16 degrees Celsius and we were still cold. This year we decided to approach things more in common sense.

 

Without a substantial job there was no money to heat the whole house. Last year we closed the big spacious living room due to the cold and not being able to raise the temperature above the 13 degrees Celsius. This year we looked at it again and we saw that when we took out the door between the living room and dining room, which is already connected to the kitchen, we had even more space than in our Barbi apartment. We decided to put a wood burning stove in the living room and with the fire place in the dining room we could maybe reach 18 degrees.

 

We were all used to having our own space/room to work or play. The most practical solution was to make a corner for all 4 of us and spend winter living close together. In the apartment although it was smaller we had different rooms to for a moment be able to separate one from the hectic of family life. My partner P. made his office in one corner, I installed my 3 sewing machines and my computer in another corner, my son J. took his desk and computer downstairs and my daughter A. who loves the couch and never works behind her desk decided to claim the big sofa to hibernate. The kids go to school only in the morning, 6 days a week and only very recently P. started to go to the office 3 times a week, so that gives me 3 mornings of total possession over the living room. Around Christmas we were all at home for about 14 days, but it worked well. We made certain rules and applied “what’s best for all” whenever there was a disagreement. It has been such a great experience, nobody can hide away, all is seen and all is in the open. When we as parents discuss things the kids discuss with us and we’ve been tackling a lot of topics due to the fact that we were together. We learned to function as a whole and frustrations were taken on right away. When spring arrives and we all will move back again in our own spaces we will probably miss each other’s presence. We already did visit each other regularly, but that will probably increase. Over all a nice experiment.

 

 

Fair Trade? 27/12/2010

In 2007 I started a little business within the black economy. For many years I was making handmade gifts for birthdays of friends and classmates of my kids. People asked me why I didn’t start a little business out of it and then I asked myself the same question. Why shouldn’t I? Back in Holland it was easy to start a business and taxes were quite fair, here in Italy on the other hand Berlusconi has made regulations wherein it is almost impossible for little businesses/free-lancers to survive. One pays easily more taxes than one earns, so one has to get a loan to pay ones taxes. The people complains, but Berlusconi keeps on being populair. Why the majority here in Italy so fateful, adoring the man who has all that they envy and all they want and they’re not willing to stand up and stop this man from destroying our country? I can only guess for the motives people have. So I started a business within the black economy, even accountants advised me to not register my business. For the law these businesses are not being properly labeled and therefore the tax box you’re belonging to is that of a normal size business and the taxes don’t fit the sales volume.

Moving within the black economy was moving within secrecy, something I didn’t feel comfortable with. I decided to stay low profile, organize Tupperware like parties at women’s houses with their own invited friends. That wasn’t easy, because it was something people are not used to do. Don’t go against the traditions and how people do things here in Italy, because one will fail. I wasn’t willing to give in so easily, but in the end I had to. When we moved into a bigger house I had my own space where I made a studio and I also started offering garments repairs and dressmaking services. I did exhibit my gifts in the studio where I received my customers for the garments repairs.

How did I start off? I launched my first product at a very low price and promoted it at the local stores so they could do some advertising for me. The grocery store did a lot of word of mouth and in one of the local wine bars I had my own glass case. My first product was a simple velt handbag with an animal sewed on it and the tail were the handles of the bag. My price was €14,50, the material costs were €5,- and the labour 8 hours. Here the price for such undeclared work is €8,- per hour, so in total the handbag would have been €69,-. I wanted a fair price to convince people buying my products. The question after 3 years I’m asking myself now is: was it a fair price? I didn’t count my own labour or cost of maintenance for my sewing machines.

I forgot a few essential points. The price of my product wasn’t that relevant in the end, if people want my products they’re going to buy it anyways. I was bribing my customers with the wrong bate. I was trying to do business outside the system with the wrong type of business. The black economy is for the big boys who sell drugs, white washing money, to go short; the Maffia. I was going against the capitalistic system and didn’t want to play along with the game for no reason at all, yes I wanted to fair trade, make a win win situation. But was I? I wasn’t paying any taxes, I didn’t get paid for my labour and made unrealistic prices. There is no common sense here.

Why was I abusing myself in such a way? I tried to survive and make a living. I was afraid that people weren’t going to buy my products, I accepted all requests and tried to think of all kinds of psychological ways to convince people into buying irresistible products. I was selling myself out and feared not being seen as good and kind and therefore not selling my products. People loved to watch my products and liked to try on my shawls, hats and bags just for the fun of it. That made me bitter while in need of money, it’s so easy to take these things as personal and get bittered.

Within an Equal Money System I would never consider to start such a business, I probably had continued making gifts for people because I enjoyed making these personal gifts. I participated within a system where we produce all kinds of products that are not of any use or purpose. Products that are only responding to the greed of people, what a waste of time.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to abused myself for the sake of surviving.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear not making enough money.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be preoccupied with money.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to find the soft spot of greed into people to work with while making new products.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to fear not being seen as good and kind.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to be dishonest in not paying taxes although I wouldn’t have been capable of paying them.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to go against the capitalistic system in order to fair trade.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to get bitter at people when they weren’t willing to buy my products.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to ask a ridiculous low price out of fear not to sell.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to feel bad about myself while trading within secrecy.

I forgive myself that I’ve accepted and allowed myself to participate within producing useless greedy luxury products.