Sometimes the circumstances in our lives force us to take a seat back in our own movie theater, enjoy some popcorn while watching our past unfold, relax and appreciate before our eyes what the fuck just happened in the past couple of X days. Now, when I need this kind of “What the fuck just happened?” time, I choose to see me alone, in a cold, pitch black cave with either food or drink. The only “weapon” I have is a box of matches.

Now you may ask, what’s the motive to actually take this kind of time-off to reflect. Usually it happens consciously once we are in too deep, ROLLING in the deep in fact. And other times, things might seem so banal, that we choose to return to our caves to lick our wounds or take care of us or just to be alone from the world for once, to find some peace, where there are no expectations of us.

Yeap, sadly that’s the truth. Namely the motives to seek your inner cave are basically the deep and dark emotions of a great death or loss. The most common and true to the core deep and dark situations that have sent me to the cave have been: the death of a loved one, a breakup with a special someone, losing my health (physical, mental, spiritual), being violated or violating my values, having taken something from me unfairly or by force, feelings of confusion, nostalgia, mourning, scarcity, deep love and fear of losing it, fear of change, fear of growing older, fear of living a life with contrition and/or oblivion, fear of no belonging or being alone #INSERTFEARHERE. Now, you kinda get the picture, don’t you?

I cannot count enough how many times I’ve felt this way. And I’m sure there are more to come. Somehow I’m sure of that because unlike others, a part of me chooses to be a slow learner. It’s therefore only logical that I at times choose to enter my dark cave consciously before I hit a wall. There’s something frightening, lonely yet intimate, sensitive and courageous happening in there. Isn’t that fascinating?

And that’s when suddenly the bluesy, foot stamping “Rolling in the deep” Adele plays in the background, and the song becomes my anthem until I make it out:

There’s a fire starting in my heart
Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark
Finally, I can see you crystal clear
Go ahead and sell me out and I’ll lay your ship bare.

So, in the darkness, I tend to find my strongest Artemis- the Greek Mythology goddess of hunting, wilderness, chastity, protector of animals and children- and with the help of my other goddesses holding Artemis’ hand, she finds her way through. That’s what Aristotle meant I guess when he said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light”.

And my focus changes. I remember I’m still carrying a box of matches. All of a sudden, I’m reminded -and to my astonishment- I’m absolutely convinced I’m lighting a torch again, restoring light and getting myself out of the hell hole I got myself into in the first place- every single time.

And that’s what the first match symbolizes right there, all combined in one: HOPE, LOVE and TRUST

And indeed just the realisation that I at least have a part in this and I’m responsible for my circumstances is HUGE. Honey, even if you find the torch in the dark you got the matches to light it up.

And that’s your second match right there: AWARENESS.

And even if everything is dark, now you gain more clarity and know you can make light in that you actually light up a match. With that little spark you can see stalagmites and stalactites and start sucking on nature’s ice to smoothe your thirst.

These are the matches of INNER WISDOM, INTUITION, and FLEXIBILITY.

Now, you’re looking around for material to make or find a torch. You’re looking up and down, right and left, listening to your own heavy breath as you start feeling exhausted, you ‘re touching your clothes and realising they might serve you soon as the burning source of your torch.

Say hello to the matches of IMAGINATION, CURIOSITY and RELENTLESSNESS.

Through the process, you know that’s the way it was supposed to happen and you end up finding your way back to share your revelations and findings with the rest, with those who are ready to hear.

And so you use your matches of SHARING and BELONGING.



Advertisements

“Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear …, Happy Birthday to you!”

Some of us have heard this song, others not. The Birthday song might be important for you and or might leave you indifferent.

When I was younger I did not really like to celebrate my birthday. I would say that the only birthday party that is still engraved in my hypothalamus is when I was turning 18. Before that I do not remember making such a fuss about a birthday party, even though I saw evidential photos of a time during my birthday party I vaguely remember. That must have been when I was 8. I was not looking excited! lol

I was born during midnight so I am blessed (or cursed, depending on how you choose to look at it) to listen to this song and accept “Happy Birthday” wishes 48 hours in a row. My sisters usually start a week ahead and prolong them for another week and at some years they have been doing it for months after or before it! A part of me disliked having all this attention, it was kind of losing its meaning. So you can imagine how delighted I was to realise that in the last couple of years, new beginnings in their lives took the attention away from me. I am now able to have some peace of mind and can be left alone to celebrate my birthday for the time I get to define.

My birthday(s) is important to me and I am always a bit taken aback when other people are indifferent, do not care or are sad during their birthdays. When I ask why they are feeling that way some say they consider it just a day like others with a typical “It is just a day, Sabrina”, others choose to stay silent and look at the floor as if they are regretting something, feeling sad or sorry they are growing up (or as they choose to see it, “getting older”). And when I ask “What do you want to do for your birthday?”, the reply has more often than usual rather the same tone and a simple word, “nothing”. Inside I am thinking, “Is that really true or are you expecting a surprise? How can you do nothing and expect nothing? Is that so bad? ” I eventually accept their opinion and switch to another topic.

Nowadays I am not the person that chooses to make a big birthday party. I would rather spend my birthday alone or in the company of special few people. And this depends naturally on which country I am and if I am actually on holidays during that time. In the past couple of years I allowed myself to be on holidays during the week(s) of my birthday and I must say it was the most I have enjoyed it, whether I was alone or with company. I prefer to be in nature, be either close to the beach or walk in the woods, up in the mountains of an unexplored, new area for me. Experiencing something new on my birthday is the most beautiful present I can give to myself and I gladly share this with beautiful people.

This year my sister Stef and I took a road trip in Scotland. Before we even began the trip I was clear that there will be a lot of walking/hiking and eating mostly vegetables, nuts and fruits. I must admit I had my doubts whether she will be willing to go with it or not. Less than 24 hours from flying we realised that we weren’t actually traveling to Edinburgh, we were actually traveling to Manchester. We were both taken by surprise! But Stef was a trooper, she booked the tickets, and soon we were on our way! My doubts were alleviated 🙂

Scotland is a beautiful land. We had the chance to visit several sites, see beautiful lakes and enjoy breath-taking views and sites. We stayed active by hiking up to Ben Nevis and around the regions of Loch Ness and Loch Lomond. We stayed -this time rather inactive-in a castle/hotel for the first time, enjoyed a luxurious “Tea Afternoon” – one the Queen of England would drool over- and stopped spontaneously throughout the road trip to practice our photography skills (mine currently at 0) and take in the views. We also managed to misfuel our little black and red Citroen, which was retrospectively one of the greatest sister bonding moments. Oh! And we managed to lose our way on the first day. Waze saved the day, or as we ended up calling the male voice behind it, “Louis” did. Within the midst of the adventure we realised that my sister could be allergic to a pinkish flower in Scotland, the ones you can see below. Well, either that or she managed to get a bit sicky. Yes, it was a new experience, full of mistakes and lessons. I would not change anything about it! It was loads of fun and a great way of unloading!

 

Tony Robbins teaches the so called 6 Basic Human Needs:

Certainty/Security

Uncertainty/Variety

Love

Significance

Growth

Contribution

IMG_20180727_113412_HDR

I stand by them because so far I am able to recognize and identify why people do the things they do based on these 6 needs. You don’t have to be Tony Robbins though to understand how each of my needs have been fulfilled by simply taking this trip. And here is where I come to the meaning of birthdays. What birthdays really mean are connection, love, either with yourself, God or others, taking care of yourself -mind,  body, spirit- and learning through new experiences. Birthdays have been made to review, reflect, grow, act upon new beginnings or opportunities.

20180726_160651One was however missing: Contribution. Well, “What does even contribution mean to me?”, I asked myself. I am not sure I have a concrete answer yet but I knew I wanted to offer my services and knowledge for free, out of my heart. By offering people free coaching sessions I was able to start fulfilling this need. I guess, contribution is about transforming someone’s life because they choose so, because they are committed to do so, and you as their coach are there to support, accompany and help them see, touch, feel, hear and smell things they forgot how to, without expecting absolutely anything in return.

Personally I believe that birthdays are “The Celebration of the Self- Past, Present, Future” and shall you desire to experience it to the maximum, feel free to take the 6 Human Needs into consideration and take action in fulfilling each one of them, the best way you know possible.

Now, it is up to you! How do you choose to celebrate your birthday? How has the celebration of your birthday evolved or changed throughout the years? What could you do to fulfill all 6 basic human needs for your upcoming birthday?