HOME IS WHERE JIVAMUKTI IS

HOME IS WHERE JIVAMUKTI IS

“It is like coming home” a travelling Jivamukti Yogi told me last week. I don’t think there is a bigger compliment you can get as a teacher. Especially because this wonderful lady actually goes WAY back, to the early 90’’s where she practiced Jivamukti Yoga In New York with Sharon and David co-founders of this wonderful method I teach, she even knew all about the 2nd Avenue Studio. After her first class here in our tiny little yoga shala she just fell into my arms telling me how wonderful it was to be back, you could see the jiva sparkle in her eyes. I am just so proud of what we have build here, how we can provide travelling yogi’s with that ultimate feeling of coming home. But let’s take away our space here, take away Lisbon, take away Portugal, take away place and space in general, let’s just look at the core of it, JIVAMUKTI YOGA on it’s own is for many people COMING HOME. It truly was for me. I still remember my very first class, hearing the words: MAY ALL BEINGS EVERYWHERE BE HAPPY AND FREE, that’s all I needed to change course, to change the direction of my life and right there and then is where the huge transformation started, I was coming HOME. So when someone says to me it’s like coming home I don’t take that lightly because I truly know the essence of that feeling. To find REFUGE, home is where JIVAMUKTI is. AUMEN!

Thank you for your love Claudia! Bless you!

open heart 1

Mijn vader

Lieve vaders,

Ik mis onze gesprekken. Al heb ik het idee dat onze gesprekken voor altijd voort duren is het toch anders dat het niet daadwerkelijke gesprekken zijn. Hoe je soms 20 x belde en ik dan een telefoon had vol gemiste gesprekken alleen maar van jou. Dat die er nu niet meer zijn is een ontzettend gemis. Toen was het van ja die bel ik morgen wel hoor en nu is het kon ik hem nog maar weer eens bellen. Was hij maar weer even hier. Weer even samen in de auto, in het vliegtuig, lopend door New York. Konden we maar weer even die fijne gesprekken hebben. Gesprekken die ik alleen met jou had. De leegte die ik elke dag voel door jouw fysieke afwezigheid in mijn leven is iets wat ik niet in woorden kan beschrijven. Hoe onwerkelijk het nog altijd voelt nu bijna een jaar later. Zonder vader verder. Het blijft een vreemde bedoeling voor mij maar het is wat het is. Dus ik zet het gesprek bij deze voort vaders. Het gaat je goed. Ik mis je.
IMG_3477
Dear dad,
I miss our conversations. Even though it feels like our conversations will always continue it is different when these conversations aren’t actual conversations anymore. Those times where you would call me 20 times a day and the i would have all these missed calls on my phone from you. The fact that those missed calls have disappeared now is such a huge loss. I remember thinking oh well i call him tomorrow, and now i am thinking i wish i could call him again right now. I wish you could just be here again, just for a day. We can be together again, just for a minute, together in the car, in the plane, walking around New York. To have those nice conversations again. Conversations only you and i had. The emptiness i feel to not have you present in my life in the physical form i cannot describe in words. How surreal it still feels even after nearly a year. To move on without a dad. Such a strange reality for me, but is is what it is. So i continue our conversation. Right here, right now. Bless you dad, may you be well, may you be happy. I miss you.

2017 i am so ready!

2016…... 3 more days of this year which was full of grief, pain, suffering, death, mud and more mud. BUT it was also in all that mud, in all that grief a year of such learning, so much growth, so much self growth, so much reflection, so much love, so much about resting and understanding what inner healing truly means. To all of you who have supported me through this horrific times i went through this year i say THANK YOU! I bow to you all for believing in me, for having my back, for understanding and seeing things i was not able to see…. but now with 17 (thank FUCK for 17) just around the corner i can see it all….. oh sweet 17….. i embrace you with my arms wide open!

WITH GREAT LOVE ALL IS POSSIBLE!

3 more days. Time for some reflection, for looking back. To be honest sometimes i think how the hell did i pulled through, how the hell did i survive this intense, hardcore, death year? My dearest teacher Sharon Gannon, who i consider one of the wisest beings on this planet says it so well: “WITH GREAT LOVE ALL IS POSSIBLE” and it is that great love which pulled me through, which pulled me out of that mud. I remember holding my dad’s hand for the very last time, looking at his beautiful face for the last time, being in the room with him for the very last time all i felt was….. LOVE of the most purest, of the most REAL kind. That love is not gone just because his body is gone. That love is always there, everyday. It is that great love that pulled me through crisis after crisis this year, especially the financial ones, it’s that love that opened my eyes, my heart, my arms. That love is always there at the core.

love-my-heart

And here i sit, in a beautiful space i co-created from the bottom of my heart with my best friend Lisa Dickmann, we are creating LOVE here, we are spreading LOVE here. Every breathe i take is for the animals always, so no matter what i am going through, mo matter what sad sub story i tell myself, the animals need me and for that i roll out of bed everyday at 5.30am, for that i stand on my feet all day everyday, for that i LIVE!

Because indeed with great love all is possible, the impact we are having with FOODPRINTZ CAFE only in the 5 weeks that we have existed is INCREDIBLE! The impact i all by myself am having with GOPAL VEGAN CHEESE is total madness and i am so proud of how far i have come in this year, through it all. So i say 17…… we are going to rock this. For the animals. For my dad. For the LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

EAT CAKE! LOVE LIFE! EMBRACE EVERYDAY!

Sharon Gannon-070

 

High vegan five, Vivian!

So i received a super nice message from an incredible lady who is fighting the fight HIGH VEGAN FIVE! in Berlin and who has written such a wonderful e-book: A SHORT GUIDE TO VEGANISM. I congratulate her and i highly recommend you all to read this!

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-16-26-48

First and foremost high vegan five to a divine vegan sister through space and time, Vivian Penelope Alvéz . What she has accomplished with this guide really is incredibly valuable. I’m an educator, facilitator and animal advocate myself and I can tell you education is where it’s at! Showing people in a very refreshing, organised and extremely wide ranged way how to be vegan, how to live vegan and how to feed your dog vegan, this guide really has it all. Yummy recipes, to hard facts, it’s all there an absolute must for all vegans, past present and future and all non vegans past present and future, because one day we will all see it and a guide like Vivian’s just takes us a step further to that reality.

Playlist December

Here is my playlist for this month! Massive thank you to fellow yogi Danni Pomplun for showing me the ropes, now i can actually share my playlist with the world! How cool! It’s been a crazy month so far… with so many events, so much CHANGE, so much shifting and rearranging and getting into a brand new flow….. it has been incredible… talk more soon! Come and join a class this month at FOODPRINTZ CAFE!

 

Trumped out

TRUMPED OUT

My dear teacher Sharon Gannon taught me that you should always go to the ROOT of a problem, of a cause, of suffering. To be RADICAL and dive in deep. I see a lot of rage going on about what happened a few days back and I totally get it, I truly understand it But and listen to me carefully what if we really look deeply here, what if we look at the ROOT of this, the essence. We should all take a moment here to look at the root of al this, instead of judging, instead of pointing fingers at “those” people, “those” who voted. Because how did he get there in the first place, how did that happen, the fact that there even was an opportunity for him to entertain the idea of campaigning, to even think that we have given him so much space, so much freedom to do so. The truth is that this is the world we live in, where a man who advocates hate, war, sexism, racism and all the other power play he is about to embark on and surprise us with (this is not my judgment, or opinion but stated facts as he has openly expressed his views on these particular matters) exactly got given the power to do so.

The desperation, the fear, the disconnect, the frustration, the anger, the anxiety, the not knowing, that is what I see in the ROOT of the problem, of the suffering. The world is suffering, the world is in such need of change of the radical kind so the world thinks that maybe a man like Trump could bring them what they need, could end their anger and frustration when really the hatred in that man’s heart will only bring them further from it. What I see is disconnect, as always the root cause to all suffering and what I see is an absolute need for EDUCATION & INTEGRATION. I also believe like my dear teacher Sharon Gannon that with great love all is possible, because where is the love? Love will save the day, love will save the world, with great love we will concur all.

I also really believe in leading and living by example. To not judge others but to be humble, be kind and be the best you can be in your life. My father (god bless him) was a huge Bush fan, I am certain he would have voted for Trump if he had a chance to do so, he was right winged and strong about his political choices and views, did I agree with him? Of course not. Did I judge him? Of course not. Because he is my father, he has given me life, he has given me this vehicle, the opportunity to live and be the activist that I am today. I have a lot of American friends, most of which I am pretty sure left winged and liberal BUT who knows maybe some of these friends also voted for Trump, I absolutely don’t see the point of wasting energy to pointing the fingers at people, according to FB polls (not too sure how accurate and true they are) 46 percent of the US did NOT vote, so that’s pretty much nearly half of the country.

together

Instead let us revive and stand together, more then ever there is a need for togetherness, to gather together. To be in this together. TO UNITE, because only then will we WIN. Because let us not forget that the power of the individual COUNTS more then any vote.

To quote Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The naked truth.

So i have been talking about nakedness (which is the JIVAMUKTI YOGA Focus of the Month) and taking off the layers all month in class with the students i teach here in Lisbon. I touched base this last week on SATYA, the practice of TRUTH, telling the truth, living the truth, shining a light on the truth and i really feel the need to actually share the TRUTH. Shine a light on what is REALLY happening with me. I am one of the most positive, powerful people on this planet, of that i am sure so i really battle with these feelings of anger, frustration, grief, pain in all of its manifestations. But they are there, that is a fact.

My whole life i have fought for what and who i believed in and i am and always will be utterly committed to my work as an animal rights activist fighting for those who cannot defend themselves. My heart is in that, my whole being is just that. And yet here i am POWERLESS. Without boring you all with details i can tell you this i have travelled the world, lived in many places all over the world, never have i faced such bureaucracy and such total bullshit then here in Portugal. It seriously blows me away everyday. And it makes me sad, it’s such a wonderful place and i have found such love and happiness here, of the kind i thought didn’t even exist. Thank you, Miguel.

It has come to a point that it is actually causing severe suffering and financial distraught (for so long now), i am always tense, i am always stressed, i can hardly breathe and just getting through the day is a battle. What hurts me the most is not the fact that i can’t pay rent or bills, i can live with that, but that i am not a spokesperson for those who need me te most, the animals! I am not cooking, i am not showing people how incredible amazing my food and the plant based life style is. I am not doing what i am supposed to be doing. I have been doing what i do for so long, all over the world, i know what i am worth and this is not it.

So there you go, the naked truth. No layers, no filters.

This too will pass……

I hope.

 

 

Papa’s Roots

Papas roots

So we’re getting closer and closer to opening our cafe a project that has taken nearly two years from initiation to realisation. So much has happened in this time. So many events mustered up, so much work done. On an emotional level I feel a massive void, a hole, emptiness. Because the one person who I would want to be there when we open our doors, the one person who truly understands the feeling and desire to start all this, to open a cafe of our own, is my dad. His dream was exactly this. His own restaurant. Where he could thrive in the kitchen getting the world to taste his own creations. Roots of Amsterdam is what we both decided to call it. And it’s those roots I feel so deep inside of me. Papas roots. His sudden death, his sudden departure from this world, him leaving his behind way before his time, it feels even more painful now. The incredible loss of not having him present on the day that will change my world forever. So let me start this amazing new journey with my dads roots deeply rooted inside of me, with his love, his pride, his strength, his joy for cooking. Or as Sarah Bettens (K’s Choice) sings in the song dad, what else do I need I have a dad who’s watching over me.
pa-als-kok

Food for thought: an interview with Barbara Berger-part 1

A few months ago while i was at my parents house in front of the many books in the book cupboard (see my last blog about you are what you read) i found a book which attracted me like a magnet: THE ROAD TO POWER/ FAST FOOD FOR THE SOUL by Barbara Berger. A book on mindfulness practices, written in a very practical, refreshing way, i read it in one go. Truly inspired by the book and the writer i wrote a blog about it: MIND MAPPING. 

Fast Food for the Soul by Penguin-Putnam

Barbara and i started connecting, i started reading more of her books and i even had the pleasure to do a life coach session with her. Her approach to life coaching is as practical and refreshing as her writing, i highly recommend it to anyone. Barbara keeps it real, she tells you how it is and gives you a mental “toolbox” how to deal with your life and your thinking. Her teachings and her divine spirit has certainly transformed me, she is such an inspiration to me.

I have had the pleasure to interview Barbara and share this all with you. This is just the first part of the interview. Enjoy.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT- an interview with Barbara Berger part 1 

“So it’s important what you put in your mouth. That’s what everyone says. It’s important to eat healthy food and exercise and stay fit. And I say yes indeed! Eating healthy food and exercising is all well and good because it shows that you love and appreciate your wonderful body and your wonderful life. But what about what you put in your mind? What kind of food are you feeding your soul? What kind of thoughts you are entertaining from morning to evening about yourself, other people and the world? Are these thoughts healthy? Are they life- giving, are they uplifting and kind and generous and compassionate? Are they an indication that you love life and are grateful for all the amazing gifts we have all been given? In other words, are you as careful and deliberate with your mental diet as you are when it comes to your physical diet? I truly hope so!” Barbara Berger

 

You recently shared this post on your FB page (see above) you ask the following question: are you as careful and deliberate with your mental diet as you are when it comes to your physical diet? And my question to you is, Barbara are you?

BB:

Absolutely. When we truly begin to understand the amazing, awesome power of our minds and how the focus of our attention determines our experience of life – in every situation – we also begin to understand why it is so important to be mindful of our mental diet. And by this I mean, being mindful of the thoughts we are entertaining throughout the course of our day. This being mindful of our mental states is, in fact, what all true spiritual practice is about. When we are on the Spiritual Pathway – we are continually asking ourselves: What is the focus of my attention? Am I consciously choosing to focus my attention on the highest and best I can envision in every situation and person? Am I loving and kind to myself and to others? For a detailed exploration and explanation of the Power of our Minds, see my books “The Road to Power / Fast Food for the Soul” and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”.

How would you compare a mental and a physical diet and which of the two do you think is most important?

BB:

In the late 70s and early 80s, my former husband and I had one of the first health centers in Copenhagen. It was located in the center of town – on Gothersgade right across from the King’s Park. We had a health food store, a restaurant, and several teaching rooms. We sold only organic food, I taught cooking classes, and we gave private consultations to people who wanted to heal themselves by changing their diet. It was a Macrobiotic Center. So I spent many years of my life working with food and diet, teaching diet, doing cooking classes, writing cookbooks, etc. I even wrote a book called “Eat Brown Rice and Make Revolution”.

After 10+ years of doing this, I started to realize that something more than diet and exercise were involved in attaining good health. I began to notice that when working with people who had the same diagnosis, some people healed themselves through diet and others did not. So I began to ask myself, what other factors are involved in living a healthy, joyful life besides diet and exercise? That was when I discovered the power of the mind and realized that mental and psychological influences are, in fact, far more important than diet and exercise when it comes to health and happiness. Since then, I’ve written many books describing the mechanism of mind, the power of mind, and how it influences our well-being.

Do you feel like you are a “mindful” eater? Do you feel like you practice mindfulness also at the dinner table, do you take your time, say grace and express gratitude?

BB:

Yes, I practice mindfulness at the dinner table and always say Grace and express gratitude for the food we are blessed with. It is such a gift. Just think how abundant our lives are….

Speaking of Grace, do you have a God in your life?

BB:

Yes indeed. When we look around we can all see that the sun comes up every morning and that the planets are revolving around the sun in perfect harmony every day and that the plants are arising and growing and the animals are there – and that a million billion amazing wonderful things are happening all around us and that something is making all this happen and it’s not us. I personally am not making any of this happen, and you probably are not making any of this happen either. But Life is unfolding all around us anyway. And the same goes for us and our amazing bodies. We are not making ourselves happen and yet we are also just happening, without us doing anything to make us happen! It’s just amazing when you think about it! And from observing all this, I think most of us can conclude that there must be some greater Force or Greater Intelligence that is doing all this. Some Greater Intelligence that is creating, manifesting and organizing this amazing Web of Life, this amazing dance which we are part of. So yes, I am aware and amazed at and grateful for this Greater Intelligence or Force which is creating and orchestrating all of Life. And I can see that it’s always with us, right here and right now – always operating – whether we call this Force the Great Universal Intelligence or God or our Higher Power or Source. We can call this greater creative Force or Power or Intelligence any name we want, but there’s not doubt in my experience that it is there… That there is something which is organizing and coordinating the unfolding of Life all around us. It’s obvious and amazing! What a trip!

 

In your book THE ROAD TO POWER/ FAST FOOD FOR THE SOUL you talk about not eating too much, is this a practice you implement in your own life when it comes to eating?

Yes, I find that traveling light makes the journey easier and a lot more fun!

Do you follow a certain diet?

BB:

After so many years on a strict Macrobiotic diet, I still prefer simple food. Rice and vegetables mainly but I’m no longer a vegetarian. I find eating a little animal protein works best for me.

But let me add here: My definition of health is when we are living in harmony with who we truly are. So I define good health as a mental / emotional/ psychological state – not a physical state. When there is balance and harmony – and a person is in “flow” with in their life, then the physical body reflects this and the person also experiences good health.

My new book “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass” (which will be released at the end of 2016) is an exploration of how we can live in harmony with who we truly are and realize our deepest dreams, desires and passion. In my experience, when we do this, the physical body reflects this and we experience more ease and flow in our physical bodies.

 

About Barbara Berger

_B4N8143authorphoto25%

American-born Barbara Berger is the best-selling author of “The Road to Power – Fast Food for the Soul” (published in 30 languages), “Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life” (published in 20 languages) and “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”. Barbara’s new book, “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload” will be released at the end of 2016. Her books can be ordered on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com or on her Web site. Barbara lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and works as coach, helping people around the globe come into alignment with their own true power. For more about Barbara see her website.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE!

Milestone.

In the Jivamukti Yoga FOTM (focus of the month) Yogeswari writes: “compassion is often deeply understood through great suffering and spiritual challenges.” This is indeed true. I am about to open my very own vegan cafe & yoga basement in the heart of Lisbon with my dear friend and partner in crime Lisa Dickmann: FOODPRINTZ CAFE. A huge milestone in my life, i have given up so much for this, worked so hard for this and through it all accomplished so much already, i cannot wait for us to open. A new adventure, a new phase in my life. With pain in my heart this milestone will be without the physical presence of my father, who himself had the dream of starting his own restaurant. The sudden loss of my father has had an incredible effect on me, i feel in my heart exactly what Yogeswari writes, understanding compassion through the hardship. My dear friend & soul sister Vee who is suffering with her own grief but yet always brings such light to me wrote me:

“That is amazing about your cafe my soul-sister. Well done and congratulations. How proud your dad is of you. His warrioress daughter, through the pain of his departure you have strived onwards. Hes with you. Hes giving you the strength. Hes loving you and oozing love and joy around you ms. Karo.”

That’s it, through the pain you gain. I know my dad would be incredibly proud of me achieving a dream he also had, my dad and i always talked about his dream of starting a Dutch restaurant in Australia called: ROOTS OF AMSTERDAM. I have now decided that i will publish a small zine with that title for his birthday on the 18th of October and the zine will be for sale in our cafe and my website. In dedication to the man who chased his dreams and encouraged me to do the same.

Always here with me.

12961458_10153428701887097_5887104283895674767_n