I'm sure you feel it, too. The world is burning and we are standing here not knowing what to do. For me this last month was very challenging in this regard. I felt the pain of this world like I haven't in a long time, deep in my soul, sometimes even physically. Covid, Afghanistan, wildfires, climate change, homophobia, racism and the list could go on for pages and pages.
One night I turned towards the sky, like I do whenever I don't know how to go on. Where does this all head to? What can I do? Why do we not see that it's time to change something?, I asked the stars and over the course of the next days I got some answers, I would like to share with you.
Somewhere in the depths of the internet I came across this story by Andy Stanley:
Andy meets an 87-year old man who lived through many horrible things, from polio to the Vietnam war, but who yet was still enchanted with life. "This year must be tough for you", Andy said. But the man replied: "No, I learnt a long time ago to not see the world through headlines, but through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realization that we love big. Therefore I choose to write my own headlines: Husband loves his wife. Family drops everything to be with grandma." And patting Andy's hand he added: "Old man makes new friend."
This story was quite soothing for me, in a moment of increasing covid-cases and crammed cargo airplanes, and it showed once again that energy flows where my focus goes. It is not my intention at all to deny the affected their narrative; what is happening is horrible. But negative, shocking news just sell better than news of happiness and love. Due to the evolution our system reacts much stronger to danger than to calmness. But I can always choose if I want to expose myself to this or if I rather read a book that inspires me and brings me joy.
For years I haven't read or watched the news anymore because I noticed that it doesn't sit well with me. I choose consciously what and when I catch up on them. I don't want war and devastation to be the first thing I wake up to and I also don't want to end my day with it.
But this causes me to contemplate, too. Here I am, writing on my computer, a roof over my head, in my beautiful mountains and I don't do anything to directly put out the fires of this world. On the contrary, I'd rather decide not to hear of them. Do I shut my eyes to the world's problems? Do I therefore consciously choose not to do anything against these injustices? And I can immediately feel my guilty conscience stirring. Because I have the possibility to dedicate myself to other things than bare survival. I have the incredible privilege to be tending to the fulfillment of my dreams and not having to care about my next meal. I live in a world where I can deliberately choose to not consume any animal products, to plant my own food, to shape my days to my taste, while so many others don't even receive an education. And these thoughts break my heart.
But the stars (or whoever it was) sent me an answer to this dilemma, too. In the shape of an airplane. The security instructions on an airplane say that you have to put on your own oxygen mask first, before you help others. I think the same applies to our lives: when I'm not doing well, I can't help others. Yes, I have this privilege to pursue my own happiness, to fulfill my dreams and I want to use it. Maybe I won't directly help a girl from Afghanistan, but my neighbours, my friends and family, you, feel it. Happiness spreads, exactly like a fire and I'm convinced that more and more privileged humans will recognize it and do their part in healing this world by following their hearts.
For all of you who need to hear this: YOU matter. YOUR happiness is important, because it's the only way to truly help others. Don't shut your eyes to the problems of this world, take them as your fuel to take your life, your oxygen mask, into your own hands.
Rose blossoms, non-treated
1. Pick the blossom apart and put the petals into a pot.
2. Pour distilled water over the rose petals, so that they're just about covered. You can also use normal tap water, but the rose water won't be as durable.
3. Put the pot on high heat and let the water simmer for a few minutes.
4. Set the pot aside and let it sit for about 1 to 2 days.
5. Pour the rose water through a sieve and fill your spray bottles with it.
You can use rose water in many different ways. Sprayed onto your skin, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and regenerates the cells. It protects the hair and the scalp, when you don't rinse it.
Rose water's scent is soothing for headaches, stress and sleeplessness.