Solving The Wrong Problem

One of my oldest memories as a child is cleaning the house. I remember clearly how I started to use a broom – which seemed like a giant toy – and how I slowly gathered together piles of dust from all areas of our small apartment. It was something new and exciting. Although I was … Read more

To Have Versus To Be

Our modern society has only two major mindsets, and those are: “to have” and “to be”. “To have” is the mindset which favors acquisitions, possessions, control, disruption. “To be” is the mindset which favors enjoyment, detachment, freedom and continuity. Throughout our lives we bounce back and forth from one mindset to another. At some point, “to have” seems more important and it’s preferred. Sometimes we chose more “to be” rather than “to have”.

The world we live in has a huge shift towards the “to have” mindset. Every social structure is designed in such a way that it will support acquisition or a form of control. Every definition of success is based on a number of possessions. Almost every form of value creation is based on a form of control and disruption. The “to have” mindset is ubiquitous. It’s so present that we forgot how “to be”.

Limited Versus Continuous

When you have something, you have it only for a limited period of time. The moment you started to have that thing, time will start its destructive action and the thing will start to decay. Every economic theory will state the fact that there is a devalorisation of things based on the time we’ve had possession over them. You can have a thing only for a limited period of time.

On the other hand, being is continuous. By choosing “to be” and not to have, you detach from the time bounding and enjoy your present second. If you obey to the “to have” mindset, you can have a beautiful thing for some time and then try to recreate the feeling by buying another similar one. But if you’re in the “to be” mindset you can be in joy regardless of any other external hook. You don’t need “to have” material incentives if you are just being. Happiness is not bounded.

Past Or Future Versus Present

When you have something you have it only in the past. You may have the illusion that you have it in the present moment but each second that thing will change. Mostly to decay. You cannot really have something in the present moment, it’s impossible. All of your possessions are in the past. All you have is in the past and all you will have is in the future. In the present moment there is only a presence, you.

When you chose “to be” you chose to live in the present. You can’t live in he past or in the future, you can only be in this present second. This second is all you have. You can’t be in the past, because the past doesn’t exist anymore and you can’t be in the future because the future doesn’t yet exist. Having something is always in the past, being is always in the present.

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The Trip To Japan, What To Read And More

Tomorrow I’ll leave for Japan. It will be a 7 days trip followed by a two days stop in New Zealand. I always wanted to go to Japan. As a teenager I was fascinated by martial arts, by the samurai life code – bushido – and by the Japanese culture all together. As a student I started to learn hiragana and katakana by my own although my chances to go to Japan were nearly zero at that time.

Despite the fact that I had this deep wish to go to Japan, something always seemed to interfere and I had to postpone this. I postponed it so much that I barely thought I will always step foot over there. But one month ago I decided it’s time to do it. No more delays, no more excuses no more nothing: just buy the tickets, book the hotel and go. As part of my goals for 2009 this trip was suddenly simply unavoidable.

The main reason for going to Japan, apart from my all life wish, is to stretch myself, to pursue my personal development path. If you’re new here you may want to check out a full post I wrote about travel as a personal development tool. After I got back from the trip to Thailand I was so dismantled, so puzzled yet so refreshed and energized that I just couldn’t avoid to travel anymore. It’s part of my lifestyle now.

What To Do In Japan

I don’t plan my trips. I usually book the plane tickets and the hotel and this is basically all I know for sure in advance. Sometimes I take one or two guided tours just to get a glimpse of what they can offer. In Thailand, for instance, I booked a guided tour for the Floating Market in Damnoen Saeduk and I was pretty happy with it. In Japan I will only have a one day guided tour to mount Fuji, the rest is at my will. I will stay in Tokyo for the most part although I don’t exclude some one night stops in other cities, especially Kyoto.

I would really like to get some of the sakura zensen feeling (the cherry blossom celebration) but it seems I will be a little on the edge with that, from my information the climax of this was last week. Sakura zensen is one of the most interesting things to see in Japan, both from what I read and from what I heard from other people who were already there.

I will definitely visit everything would raise my interest and I won’t limit myself only to Tokyo, although I have this feeling that Tokyo itself will be really overwhelming.

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The Guardians

Don’t stay up late in the evening! Don’t start a fight with your boss! Don’t buy that expensive car! Don’t walk on fire! These are all powerful affirmations which share a strong point: they’re all interdictions. These are sentences performed by a bunch of interesting guys inside us which we are too often ignoring: our guardians. In today’s post I’ll share some of my thoughts about how I deal with inner interdictions.

Meet The Forbidders

It’s amazing how much we define our environment by interdictions and limitations. If you take the time to assess for one day how many interdictions you are obeying you’ll be surprised. I know I was.  There are so many unconscious NO‘s we’re performing every minute. Don’t climb on the walls of your house! Don’t wear a sock on your hand! For god sake, don’t scream out of nowhere, with no reason at all, or you’re neighbors will be horrified!

The Forbidders are a very big and functional team inside ourselves. They’re very organized and experienced, and they almost never forget anything. They know what they have to do and do it with amazing precision. The Forbidders are responsible for keeping us safe as well as for keeping us bored. They’re responsible for our physical integrity (don’t jump off off that building, please) as well as for our cowardice (don’t try something new today, it’s risky).

The Forbidders are on a deep love / hate relationship with our true self. They are loved for maintaining a functional status-quo of our being by keeping us out of potential dangers. They are hated for maintaining a dull status-quo of our being by forbidding us to take risks and evolve. The Forbidders are brilliantly playing a double role: they’re as much protectors as they are limiters.

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A Raw Food Diet For Your Soul

By now it should be no secret for the readers of my blog that I am a raw vegan. At this specific moment I have more than 6 month of eating only raw, unprocessed and uncooked food. My health has improved dramatically over the last 6 months. I lost 14 kilos in the process and I sleep like a baby. I had a nail problem at my left hand, a tiny exfoliation that started to slowly aggravate in the last 3-4 years. Never knew the reason, just observed helplessly that my nail started to lose consistence. In the last 2 months this condition has been completely reversed, my nail is practically complete again. During May last year I had a horrible cold, with more than 5 days of high fever (40 degrees Celsius). I never had the tiniest cold since I started the diet, although I was exposed to viral contexts.

The main reason for that dramatic change in my “physical layer” is my diet, without any doubt. It’s the way I eat that improved my physical health in such an incredible way.

Overloaded With Toxins

After more than 6 months of observing my body reaction to my raw food, I can affirm that my main improvement area is in the toxins speed elimination. I can feel that my body is having less toxins than before, and when it happens to have more than normal, it eliminates the extra toxins much faster. I can’t explain exactly how it does, I can only tell you that I experience states of lightness and elasticity. I feel like I’m cleaner and more functional than before. It’s not only my weight and my body elasticity, it’s like my whole body mechanism is functioning at a better rate.

Our divine machine, the body, it’s a sublime project. We humans could only aim to create substances as complete or as functional as our human tissue. When we can create something good, we do it incompletely. Every food supplement out there, a part from providing you with a list of  allegedly needed ingredients, insert into your body loads of incomplete, toxic structures. Each thermal modification of our food (apart from allegedly making it available for more time) fundamentally affects its base molecular structure. Every “improved” food contains in fact much more harmful substances, making your body working extra hours to eliminate them. And this extra stress weakens your sublime machine that you call your body.

I guess there is some point from where we don’t feel this effort anymore. After this point we’re actually overloaded with toxins. Our body surrendered and it’s only a question of time until the weakest link will fall apart, creating an illness. I’m not a doctor nor do I intend to pose into one. I can only speak from my firsthand experience on this topic and this is what I do.

A Raw Food Diet For Your Soul

Well, the other day I had out of the blue this thought: what if my emotional layer would also be fed with only raw, unprocessed emotions? What if I impose a raw food diet on my soul? What does that actually could mean? What would be the obstacles? What would be the expected results?

Without claiming that I already started such a diet, I will try to write in this post my possible answers to all those questions from above. So, let’s start it:

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Raw Food Primer

It seems that I’m not the only one interested in keeping a raw food habit around here. Not only the twitter reactions I got after publishing my last article on raw food, but even a comment on my blog seem to show quite an interest on this topic. So, I decided to write a post in which I’ll describe the basic requirements for starting a 30 days raw food challenge.

Please keep in mind that I’m not a nutritionist, I’m only sharing my personal experience here, which may or may not apply to your situation. If you are going to start a raw food diet in order to overcome a medical condition I highly recommend you to consult a doctor first. In this post I’m assuming that you are already a moderately healthy person, with a normal emotional balance who’s trying to improve something in his eating habits. This disclaimer in place, let’s get started.

Raw Food Goal

If you’re starting a raw food challenge please make your goal really clear. Not only in terms of duration, but also in terms of raw food / cooked food balance. I am on a 100% raw food diet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have it the same way. Maybe you’ll want a 75% raw – 25% cooked diet, which may be a little easier in the beginning.

The milestones described in this post are for a 30 days challenge on a 100% raw food diet, so feel free to adjust them downward if you’re going to have only 20 days 100% raw, or 30 days on a 75/25 diet.

Having a clear raw food challenge goal is very important. You’ll know every moment how far or close you are from the finish. You will also know how to evaluate the changes.

This goal will include the initial assessment of your situation. This assessment contains a realistic image of your current eating habits (all meat, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, etc) and your current health condition, including your current weight. It will be important to re-evaluate your assessment after the challenge. Take the time to write this in a secure place, even if it will take you an hour or two, it will pay off well in the end.

Raw Food Gear

Eating raw doesn’t mean you don’t process your food. You just don’t cook your food by exposing it to high temperature. But you will cut it, blend it, mix it, whatever. And for that you will need some gear. It’s possible to make it without those modern appliances but it would be quite difficult.

You will need at least one big blender for making smoothies, and a mixer for chopping roots or sauces. I call blender the one with the knife inside the recipient, and mixer the one with the detachable knife and handle. Maybe they have different names in your culture, but I guess you got the idea. You can also use an all-in-one tool, as long as you can chop, blend and mix together fruits, water and vegetables. You will also need a juice maker, but that’s pretty straightforward.

You don’t need to have super professional tools, but keep in mind they will be used a lot so if you don’t have them yet, please buy on the higher price scale. It’s easy to get caught in a “this juicer is broken again, I won’t continue this silly raw food diet, coz I don’t have the tools” pattern, so make yourself a service and buy good stuff.

You will also need a lot of storage space. Eating raw means eating fresh and eating more. I had to bring in another refrigerator after I realized I won’t go back to cooked food, only to accommodate the produce for my own meals. I also conquered around 1 square meter from our kitchen space for storing fruits and gear.

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