In this video I discuss some dimensions that opened up for me while reading Caroline Myss’ – Anatomy of the Spirit book. We all go through various traumas, injuries and injustices throughout our lives. And while it’s important to process these events, it can be easy to remain stuck in the process and to not resolve them inside ourselves. As much as we may feel disempowered within being a victim, in many subtle ways we may use our victims status to control and manipulate those around us. Have you ever used your victim status to excuse yourself and not take responsibility for something? Have you ever been overly compassionate with people whom you know have gone through trauma, where despite your best intentions, your consideration and ‘support’ actually keep them locked in a lesser version of themselves and not giving them the space to move on and expand?
Cesar enjoys feeding the parrots. Here we cut up some apples for them and Cesar is giving it to them through the mesh. They can get pretty excited about food and Cesar is still busy learning how to work with them inside the aviary (they really like playing with toes and shoes…)
When we feed the parrots we give each parrot a ‘turn’ as we hand out the apple pieces to make sure they feel equally considered and don’t feel like they’re missing out. Food is a central point in most animals’ lives – and if they feel like they are ‘missing out’ in relation to other flock/herd/pack members it can shift the interpersonal relationships amongst one another. If they see a friend getting something while they don’t – it can breed jealousy where they later bully or pick on the one who got. If they’re the more introverted type, they can go into anxiety and nervousness which many animals see as a weakness, and get picked up on by others.
African Grey parrots are highly intelligent birds and are known to be the best ‘talkers’ of all parrots. In their natural environment their intelligence is an absolute must to forage in various challenging environments and finding a wide variety of food.
Unfortunately often when African Greys are kept as pets, their intelligence goes unchallenged and their food source remains simplistic. Even worse – often times the parrots are fed a diet consisting mainly out of sunflower seeds which are high in oil and fatty content – which is the ‘sugar rush’ equivalent for humans. Their dietary requirements go unmet, they are hyperactive and don’t have a medium to challenge their intelligence. While well kept African Greys can live on average for 50 years, and wild ones even to 80 (!) – many die as early as 5 to 8 years after purchase… That’s only a mere 10% of what they should be living.
This leaves many parrots with a lot of health issues and self-destructive behaviour, where they end up using their own intelligence against themselves.
At the Desteni Farm we strive to give the African Grey parrots a wide variety in food, space for exercise and play with they fellow flock members – and ways to engage their intelligence.
We started making our own parrot toys after we did a big pruning ‘spring clean’ around the farm, where we ended up with many branches from trees which are parrot safe (such as guava and mulberry). This gives Cesar and I an added activity to craft and play – and the parrots get toys to play with = win-win!
You can support the African Grey Parrots and other animals at the Desteni Farm by becoming a Patreon Here.
Cesar decided to test out the pool waters in winter season… Just before we went to Europe the sun was out a lot and we’d swim in the pool practically every day. When he saw his blow up crocodile in the laundry room, he excitedly asked if we could go for a swim. I explained to him that the water was going to be much colder than we are used to and that I am not going to swim, but that if he really wants – he can give it a go. Down we went, to the pool – armed with towel and crocodile. He put his feet in the water and said ‘Woooah, ok that’s very cold’. For a moment I thought he was going to back off then and there. But nope, he followed with ‘Ok, put my crocodile over me’. Another deep breath followed as he pushed himself off the step to float into the water.
‘Oooh, too cold, too cold – I only want little bit of cold’ he says and peddles back to the step to get out. He does this whole process one more time to make that indeed, the water is too cold for him.
Cesar has surprised me and many others in his ability to withstand temperatures and climate conditions that no other ‘sane’ person would consider to face naked – or with very little clothes (only because he had to of course, if he could do things his way he’d go out in public spaces naked).
The moment he could express his choices more, certain things started happening. With increased motor function, came increased ‘tap’ control. No more nice warm relaxing co-baths for us – ice cold baths became the norm. (Needless to say, we soon started taking our own, separate baths and showers – occasionally sharing a lukewarm version we could both kind of agree on).
Diapers? Clothes – why wear them? I don’t see the dogs wearing any – and besides, it limits my movement!
We go out to play in the fields around midday. I put a hat on myself and Cesar, which has become pretty futile because he keeps taking it off. Fine – get a sunburn and heatstroke so you can learn the dangers of the sun! (Never gets heatstroke or sunburn…. In evenings I suffer from headaches and dehydration even though I covered myself up, used sunscreen and drank plenty of water).
Cesar really started pushing all my ideas about the limits of my physical reality and whether they were really limits or conditioned beliefs that I simply went along with.
I started playing with putting on less layers, going into the pool when it’s just a tab bit below my comfort level, stop complaining about whether it is too hot / too cold and see whether my experience changes as I change my attitude.
What I have found is that my ability to be comfortable in a wide variety of weather conditions depends a lot on my internal ‘weather’ system. Meaning that, if I am going through an emotional storm, I’m in conflict, I am tense – and I’m so consumed about what is going on inside myself and my head – where I am pretty much oblivious to my surroundings; that I am a lot more ‘sensitive’ to weather conditions. It’s almost as if in the act of being so internalised and self-absorbed, you’re literally creating a wall of separation between yourself and your surroundings, where you not being here, WITH your surroundings – GROUNDED in your environment – friction gets generated between yourself and your environment where you become more ‘sensitive’ towards your environment, where in a way you experience the conditions in your environment as more ‘hostile’ in having a greater influence and effect on you.
I also noticed that when Cesar starts wading through ice cold pool water – he doesn’t make a sound. Whereas I am going in all ‘AAAAah! HMMMM!!!” Desperately holding in my breath in the hope that somehow holding my breath will produce an invisible power shield that makes the transition less noticeable. #FAIL
Instead I tried going in with release my breath as I enter the water – and to in that moment completely let go of all the tension and stress stored in my body. Much better.
I started to realise that Cesar lives and breathes this letting go. Not so much letting go, as an inner peacefulness – he doesn’t have anything to let go of in the first place, he doesn’t hold on to anything. He’s just here, alive, exploring and learning. He doesn’t have any baggage that he walks around with – whereas I have stored many thing inside myself over the years which I have been holding on to. I’ve been living in conflict with myself, with my environment.
Whenever I see Cesar in absolute contentment with himself and his surroundings – I am remembered by a passage from ‘The Message from the Horse’ by Klaus Hempfling:
“Humans are strange beings, even though we are the crowning glory of God’s creation. For a start, we seem to have no natural home. Certainly there’s one we no longer share with animals: the direct attachment to the forces of nature. In your search for the message of the horse you will come up repeatedly and painfully against this barrier. In the course of human development we have extended the area of our actions and gained greater freedom, but at what cost? The loss of our close connection to the natural world. We have to wear clothes, live in protective dwellings, and cannot survive without fire. We heat our food and feed principally on cereals and grains that we have to cultivate. An animal, by contrast, lives in the immediacy of his world and survives by his instincts. In other words, he is in direct contact with nature.
“Consider humanity! How do we live?”
And it reminds me that I’ve been losing myself in so many things and that it’s time to settle down with and in nature – both getting in touch with my own nature and striving to live my utmost potential and to slow down and ground myself with the pace of nature.
It could have been easy to brush Cesar’s behaviour off as an awkward quirk, or to force him to conform to the standards most of us have gotten used to. I’ve been challenged many times on his clothing topic (well, lack thereof) – been promised many times that he will get sick. There have been times that doubt overtook, that others are probably know better, the fear of making a terrible mistake – budging Cesar to please put some clothes on for the sake of the comfort of knowing that I am going with the stream.
But then I wouldn’t have gotten to these lovely insights. I wouldn’t have realised that there is much I can learn and integrate from seeing Cesar’s living. That there’s such a vast potential still left unexplored – or perhaps explored, but given up on – which is still ever so present in our children, if we foster it, nurture it and let it grow.
I am standing by as Cesar runs off to the playground in total excitement. An occurrence which has been taking place rather frequently while we have been staying here in Spain.
Cesar starts to tackle the playground, climbing up and down, running from side to side, sliding down and wrestling his way back up the slide, stubbornly resisting gravity and the lack of friction between the soles of his shoes and the slide.
He goes up to some kids and soon a game of chase develops. I am perplexed at his outgoingness and what seems an abundant, never-ending supply of energy and zest in whatever he participates in. I catch myself in a lie, as I realise I’m not all that perplexed – I can remember my own childhood, where bedtimes were plain evil. Why do I need to go sleep?
What do you mean, ‘I am going to be tired if I don’t go sleep now’? I went to sleep at the exact same time yesterday and look! I am still not tired.
I contrast the experience of defeat and sadness of having to go lay in bed as a child, to the longing experience I have now towards my bed – a yearning for the welcome warm embrace of the blankets whose subtle weight help sink me into a state of total unconsciousness and oblivion.
I wonder what happened between now and then. All the eagerness to explore and meet the world has been replaced with a fear and desire to get away from it all. I know it used to be much worse. That I used to live in paralysing fear and loosened up quite a bit. Even though the fear is less, it still bothers me in quite the same way as it always has.
I make another commitment to learn from Cesar. To use my practical experience and knowledge I’ve run up in the years, but replace my apprehension with the same innocence and wonder of a child.
As I make this decision, Cesar calls for me. He wants me to engage with his play in the playground. Dread, resistance and fear rise up from inside me and clasp my body. I don’t want to. I am perfectly content standing still right here, where only my eyeballs move around to track Cesar’s whereabouts. Now he wants me to move. Bah.
I recognise the mood I’ve just placed myself. Where it feels like I have no energy, that everything’s just wrong – a flame that’s been muffled and dampened by sand being thrown over it, slowly but surely, having lost most of its oxygen to breathe and grow. The dull flame of adullthood.
As I am about to give in to the dreariness, I remember the commitment I had made a fraction of a second ago. Wow, a fraction of a second and I had almost immediately forgotten, like a dream you had forgotten about until it suddenly comes back to you in the middle of the day, not being quite sure if you really dreamt it or are making things up.
I let a deep breath out. I had felt so inspired when I made that commitment, and it only took a simple request from my son to throw it all out of the window. It’s easy to make a commitment, but a whole lot harder to actually follow through. Right, let’s get at it.
As I breathe in I activate every single part of my body and walk up to him with a face that’s ‘gonna come get him’.
He sees me and his sparkly eyes get even bigger. He knows I got the message and smiles.
How many times a day do we forgo a certain decision or action based on how much energy it will take? How many times do we decline an invitation because we already project ourselves into the future and how exhausted we will be? How many times a day do we imagine all the things we need to do – and the very thought of it makes us feel drained?
As a parent, I’ve come across these scenarios many times. I’ve only got so much energy, I better use it well and sparingly – I can’t expend it now, I need it for the future!
Witnessing my son Cesar – I’ve been forced to reconsider my logic. At three and a half years old – he has shown me that his limits far exceed mine. That what I thought was careful planning of my energy expenditure, was actually costing me more and leaving me with less energy to do all the things I want to do.
Cesar lives in the moment.
Cesar doesn’t care about how much energy he is going to expend for the rest of the day or whether something will tire him out or not. He sees an opportunity and he seizes it. Full on – no holding back. Rather than his activities depleting him, they replenish him.
When I see an opportunity, I first see all the things that can go wrong, what a mistake it could be. I discourage myself. I might give up on the task completely or do it half-heartedly. The result is less than what it could have been and I confirm my sense of inadequacy and lack of self trust.
It’s not that the actual task at hand depleted my energy – it’s all the thinking, imagining, stressing and worrying about it that drains. I may do very little and yet feel as if I’m done for the day. Being frozen like a statue by the playground, would have probably tired me out more with all my idle thinking than running and chasing Cesar for fun.
Whenever I think I am being cautious and ‘practical’ in my approach – are the moments I am wasting the most energy. The fearful thinking in the decision to not do something, like joining Cesar in playing on the playground – because ‘I might be tired later’ drains me more than the actual act of joining him.
When I am constantly on the lookout of what to do and what not to do, a mind set of ‘conserving my energy’ and ‘treading carefully’ – I am consistently and continuously affirming a state of lack within myself. The very act of ‘saving my energy’ – costs me more energy than freely expressing myself and giving it away.
Like a body of water that becomes stagnant – it becomes a breeding pool for parasites and bacteria. When we hold on to our energy it provides the breeding ground for other miserly behaviour and thinking patterns.
Every day I now challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone, from my energy saving zone. It can be as small as getting out of my chair and picking something up for him from underneath the table – which he can probably do himself, but he insists I do it – and most of the time, he has a good point asking me – because I don’t want to do the effort of getting up and getting down on my hands and knees into a small space underneath the table. But once it’s over and done with – it’s not that big of a deal. Or perhaps I push myself to run around the farm, as we play ‘super fast train’. Or perhaps I take on a project I’ve been hesitant about, thinking that I can’t do it, that it will be ‘too much’ – to rather do it and afterwards come to a real conclusions – rather than speculating and assuming to know the conclusion beforehand.
Just as I’ve surprised myself with seeing how much energy I can actually expend, and how there always seems to be just a little more left – I’ve surprised myself with tasks and responsibilities that I didn’t think I would be able to complete or handle.
Challenge yourself a bit every day, don’t be afraid to give yourself away freely – and you might be surprised just like me!
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I grew up in Belgium close to Brussels, the capital city. I had a somewhat normal childhood, despite some abusive and traumatic events that took place. As a child I loved nature and animals even though nature and animals aren’t very prevalent in Belgium.
During our summer holidays, we would visit Spain where nature and sun was bountiful. The pace of life in Southern Spain was more relaxed and in tune with the cycles of nature.
I remember telling my mother when I was young, that one day I would live on a farm, somewhere warm with at least 10 dogs. And that I wanted my own horse. My mother laughed and scoffed, saying that when I was 18 and moved out – I could do all that; assuming that this would never happen and that I was being naïve. Some 15 years later though – I was living exactly that haha, and my mother also remembered our conversation and admitted with much disbelief that ‘it really happened’.
Anyway – when I was 12 I moved on from primary school to high school. The highschool was part of the same institution which ran the primary school and I ended up with most of my old friends in my new class. I studied Latin for two years – and even though I enjoyed and was pretty good at it – I didn’t enjoy the level of maturity of my fellow classmates. My mother then proposed that if I was getting miserable there, perhaps I should change schools and go to the high school my brother used to go to – which was an Art high school – known for people to be ‘more mature’. I wasn’t as good at art or drawing as my brother, but I figured it was something that I could develop.
This for me – was actually quite a big deal, because I was a very shy and reserved person. The previous move from primary school to high school had been easy since my entire friend group essentially migrated with me. I still made new friends, but mostly cause other friends made the move first and so I would make new friends ‘through them’.
I was lucky that other people were not as reserved and shy as me and approached me, and eventually got a friends base started there.
The students there were more mature on some level, but on another level they were also more superficial. Because it was an art school, where everything you do is all very visually based, a lot of attention was also placed on looks – and many girls were anorexic or bulimic – trying to turn and shape into a visually appealing ‘art piece’ themselves.
I too fell for this trap for a few years but was able to get myself out of it. I felt purposeless in my life and disempowerd, hoping that if I change my physical appearance, perhaps I could overcome a lot of feelings of inferiority, shyness and what not – and get some control and ‘grip’ on my reality. During this period, I learnt how powerful our words are, in thought, word and deed – as I placed myself in a position to create an eating disorder quite deliberately – and then used the same process to get myself out of it. What we think, what we speak and our behaviour – the way we channel our attention and energy into these media, was clear to me, that this creates and shapes our character.
When I was around 16-17 I really didn’t know what to do with my life. While I had always envisioned myself to go to university and study something like languages or history – thinking that going to University would somehow ‘change my life – I got hit with quite some disappointment after spending some time at the university my sister was attending, to ‘check out’ what it’s like.
It was just more of the same that I had been going through, it’s not a different world – it’s just more the same of what I’ve already been in contact with. I hit a wall, because I didn’t know anymore what I wanted from life or where I was going to go. What’s the purpose of life? Is growing up, going to university, getting a job, getting married and starting a family really all there is to this life?
I started playing around with alcohol and drugs and was basically setting myself up to have a destructive life with a short time span.
Then at some point my brother came home one day (he was staying in Brussels during the week and would come back to our hometown during the weekends) and started sharing some things he had discovered about 9/11. From there, my brother and I went deep down the conspiracy rabbit hole. Going through David Icke, Alex Jones, Jordan Maxwell, Michael Tsarion, David Wilcock, etc –you name it. From there – we plunged into Spirituality and ended up in place where we were simply waiting for 2012 to arrive for aliens to come and save us while we practice ‘raising our vibrations’.
At that point, 2012 was still 5 years away. Five years that I didn’t know what to do with myself.
One weekend I was browsing around on the internet and decided to check out this ‘YouTube’ thing everyone was talking about. I decided to put in some spirituality stuff that we were into at the time, which was Orgone Energy by Wilhelm Reich.
I watched a video and saw a thumbnail on the side that caught my eye. It was a picture of a young little boy with short, white blond hair. I wondered what the hell a young kid would have to say about Wilhelm Reich and Orgone Energy.
I played the video and it soon became clear that this boy was supposedly channelling Wilhelm Reich from the afterlife. I was skeptic and fascinated at the same time. I went to check out the channel from which the video was from, which was Desteni Productions. There were about 400 more videos – covering a whole lot of topics and people coming through.
At first I thought, ‘the parents of this kid must be forcing it to memorize scripts’. The more I watched, the more unlikely that became. All the videos were done in a very short time span, which would be too much material to memorize. Too many of the videos made sense and resonated with me on a deep level. Especially the videos on thoughts, feelings, emotions, and the power of words – as I had experienced this first hand in my experience with eating disorders.
I checked out the website and started reading up on the forum. The boy, was not a boy after all, and not a child either. It was a 20 something year old woman, who back then was going by the name ‘Winged’.
To be continued
Don’t believe a thing she says!!
Otherwise you will remain a follower – borrowing someone else’s truth without having made it your own. You’ll be in conflict with yourself, because you haven’t actually tested, investigated and applied the words for yourself. Overtime – resentment builds. You start to question, get angry, rebel! Because you know: I’ve been blindly following. I’ve been living and doing ‘because she/he said so’.
When we are angry and rebel at perceived authority figures – are we really angry at them? Or are we angry at our own lack of integrity and investigative abilities? Where are you not taking responsibility for yourself and instead place all the power in the hands of another?
Cesar running to the new goaties with some leafy greens we picked up on our way to the fields. Unfortunately Cesar’s excitement gave them a bit of a fright and got them running away. Since we’ve been frequenting the chicken coop to drop of our organic waste, which the goaties get excited about just as much as the chickens – they’ve been less weary of us and greet us when we come into their sight.
It’s always a challenge to acclimatise Cesar to new animals. He gets overly excited, they’re skiddish – have to keep reminding myself to be patient and take it one moment, one day at a time. To not let one bad experience determine how all future experiences will go, to keep seeing every new moment and day as new.