Reflections

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Serenity (2)

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The space between us

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– I took the picture earlier today, it’s from Opal Beach on Santa Rosa Island, Florida, where I’m currently loving life. Tomorrow it’s back to the wonderful city, New Orleans :)

Multitudes

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at any given moment

a multitude of thoughts are fluttering through the mind

a bright intention singing from the heart

translated into a thousand directions

always almost becoming

nearly in existence

butterflies ready to shift reality

into multitudes

Prayer of presence

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Today I spent all day in a workshop, examining assumptions about inner power and limitations to happiness. I mean, that’s the short version. The very short version. It was very Anthony Robbins’ish, which is to say a little hyper with lots of catch-phrases, and a fair amount of shouting YES! I’d received this workshop as a gift from a friend and had decided to just show up with an open mind and see what might happen. I definitely left feeling enriched – and also a little amused with the whole show of it.

Anyway, this Sanskrit prayer was hanging in the hallway, and in a way it did the exact same job in just a minute that the workshop was doing in a whole day; reminding me to be present, and live my life well. Now.

sanskrit prayer

In love and reflection of a year gone by

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it’s almost time to say goodbye and let go, in gratitude, of yet another year..

newyearit seems, at least for me, that this year has been all about letting go. and now that the end of the year is close, I sit in silence and reflect on everything that has happened.

it’s been a rough year, so intense and full of challenges forcing me to mobilize all my strengths more times than I can count. and it’s been a year so full of purpose and insight that I can only bow my head in gratitude and feel blessed. no matter what next year will bring, I know it will be magical. probably not easy, but definitely magical.

this year more than ever, I hope we only carry with us the things, and people, that brings us joy and inspiration and love – that serves our progress. so with only one day left of 2013, it’s the last chance to find peace with any conflicts in our lives. don’t carry it into the new year. it’s time to let go and leave behind everything that is no longer serving us. let go of anger and hurt, let go of regrets and doubts. only bring with us the thoughts and feelings that makes us smile, that warms our hearts and gives us hope. I’m sure we all know exactly what to let go of and what to bring with us forward in life.

however you’re wrapping up the year, I hope you will be happy and feel loved and that you will shine like the beautiful person you are.

Happy New Year ♥

~Charlotte

Until then..

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I’ve never met you.

but I miss you.

Privilege – curse or blessing?

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I live in a country where I’m able to enjoy the security of free healthcare, free education and a democracy with minimal corruption. For that I’m contributing 40% taxes of my income and I endure long and dark winters. I’d say that’s not the worst deal and even though I’m not loving the winter, I consider myself very privileged. According to the UN’s World Happiness Report I live in the happiest country in the world and if privilege equals happiness, then I would agree. The problem is, I actually don’t agree.

The same way an organization or any kind of group can have a culture that doesn’t necessarily reflect the complete nature of the individual, a country develops a certain culture as a whole; a general atmosphere or collective mindset. In my opinion, that mindset around here has developed into one of privileged ignorance. Sure there are problems here with unemployment and decreasing quality of education, which should be addressed properly in the public debate as well as politically. But then there are other problems being articulated, issues regarding how to protect the country’s wealth from those less deserving i.e the people who needs it the most. It seems there’s a general assumption when it comes to social support; if you really need it, you probably don’t deserve it – doesn’t matter if it’s a refugee or any kind of immigrant or even a native citizen. Why is it that we work so hard to establish a financial comfort zone and then do everything we can to keep others out of it?

It seems that the more people have, the more they forget how it is to have less, and their main focus settles on how to protect what they have while they get more. And when they’re no longer affected by the bigger problems of life, they start bitching about the voting system of Dancing With The Stars. And believe me, that’s a heated debate around here these days.

My intention at this point is not to dissect the whole social system or list all the narrow-minded opinions out there. I’ve just been thinking that it seems the level of privilege doesn’t equal the level of compassion we have for each other. In my mind it would be obvious that the less you have to worry about, the more energy you would have to share; to love; to help the people around you; to spread some happiness, but most of the time it looks like the opposite is more accurate.

So what if privilege doesn’t equal happiness? What if most of the time it just equals an ignorant sense of entitlement, widening the gap between rich and poor, and strengthens them vs. us mentality. Not because people are a**holes but because that’s one of the potential psychological and social effects of privilege.. If the voting system of Dancing With The Stars is your biggest problem, then you’re probably going to confront it with as much force as possible.

Yesterday I did an interview with someone who spend most of his adult life working in war and disaster zones, witnessing horrors unimaginable to most people, and more than once being close to being killed himself. However, what was most vivid in his stories, was the determination he had met to be kind and happy and helpful even in the midst of tragedy, and the gratitude he felt for being able to help; gratitude for his expanded horizon.

Because of my fortunate citizenship I’m able to cut this winter short and travel for a few months, visiting some of the people I love around the world, and I’m incredibly grateful for that. I’ve come to take my circumstances for granted, and I don’t know how it would feel to live even a week with the amount of uncertainty that a lot of people endure for the entirety of their lives. But I hope that I at least will continue to let my perspective be challenged, keep my eyes and my heart open, and always let my privilege be a blessing instead of a curse.

As the very wise Nowan Zen just told me (in regards to his impressive amount of wisdom but I think it applies to privilege as well); if it smears like crunchy peanut butter, you gotta spread it.