༻❁༺ Our thoughts and emotions are by nature impermanent, they arise then they pass. I have always used writing as a way to release these free flowing aspects of myself and to document realizations and lessons that have come to my conscious awareness. I have decided to share some of them with all of you, I hope you enjoy the insights into my inner world ༻❁༺

“Rather than being your thoughts and emotions be the awareness behind them”   ~Eckhart Tolle~

We are stronger than we think we are

The stench of piss and feces hangs low in the air. A boy, no older than us, crawls on the filthy floor, scrubbing it’s surface with a determination that can only be survival.

As he looks at up, his eyes tell a different story; one of desperation, sorrow and pain. Handing him what remains of our breakfast, I am overwhelmed with the harsh reality that has just looked deep within my soul.

I stare blankly through the bars of the train window, trying to comprehend what to think or feel. I feel ashamed, incomprehensibly consumed by guilt. A guilt that whispers stories that are not fair for me to torture myself with. Another voice enters my mind. You deserve this, it is your responsibility to know. You cannot hide. Are you a coward?  The voice hisses at me, it’s harsh words echoing inside my head. I have everything, but I still cannot help the millions who live without. What kind of person does that make me? 

Sadness fills my heart as I think to all the times I have felt hard done by, to the occasions where I have wanted more. I didn’t know and I still don’t, but at least now I see a little.

༻❁༺If there is anything omnibenevolent in this remarkably bizarre world, it is love; shapeshifting, all encompassing, unconditional love. True love begins within, it begins when we learn to fully love every little part of ourselves in all moments of this crazy journey. Only then can we emanate a love with no expectation of reward or reciprocation, a love so full that it spills over onto all who cross our paths. The array of pieces and posts below will all be centred around this theme, representing love in all its many shapes and forms༻❁༺

“Where there is life, there is love”    ~Mahatama Ghandi~

All is love

There are only two foundations for everything that is happening in this universe; love and fear. Every other emotion is generated from these two bases. The path that leads us to action is first sensory, then mental and finally leads to a physical act. Therefore not only our emotions generated from either love or fear, but our doings too. In essence it is impossible to be acting from both a space of love and of fear. One either responds through love, with feelings of compassion and kindness, or through fear, projected hatred, jealousy and anger into the world.

Since the two are complete opposities they are both one and the same, opposing ends of the very same spectrum. When they appear to be of the utmost contrast they are in fact woven with the same thread. For two things are one when you cannot have one without the other. Say, for example, if the contrast did not exist, we would not be able to distinguish love for love.

This apparent dual nature is evident everywhere in reality. What we must learn is to generate our feelings, thoughts and actions from a place of love. This orientation can only begin once we find that love within ourselves; the single most important thing in all of our lives.

Only then can we begin to spread our love to all beings in this universe. Only then can we work together for the positive transformation of all life on earth.

Sawai Modhopur

The rubbish, the chaos, the toxic fumes, everything is more intense here. Poverty stares you in the face. This is the harsh reality of life for so many millions of people, it can no longer be ignored. It is not some far off distant world, it’s right here right now; the only thing that is real.

The electricity goes; fan off, WiFi gone. The comforts of home are replaced with thick muggy air that consumes me, causing droplets of perspiration to trickle down my face.

Grateful is all I feel. So fucking grateful for everything and everyone in my life, for how lucky beyond imagination I am.

With privilege comes responsibility, duty to use what I have been given wisely. I honour those who do not have, by striving for change in a world of unequal opportunity.

༻❁༺ Traveling broadens your perspective, opens your mind and allows you to travel the depths of your own heart&soul away from all expectation. Wandering is a space where I will be exploring the lessons and realizations that have come to me through travel. It is also a place where I will be documenting and sharing some of the skills I have learnt along the way. ༻❁༺

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~Miriam Beard~

A wonderful recipe for natural soap

This revitalizing, organic, biodegradable olive oil based soap is a beautifully simple recipe that I learnt from a dear friend during my 3 weeks at the Saja project in Sicily. She makes these incredible soaps from scratch, with all locally sourced ingredients; mostly homegrown or from close friends, and sells them to order for super affordable prices. Be sure to check out her page in the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/Erbalista-Sicula-341373459779336/

Ingredients

  • 280g (20 days) -300g (30 days)  demineralized or distilled water. The days next to the measurements point to the amount of time it will take for your soap to set properly. The water can be bought or distilled at home.
  • 134g Caustic Soda  DO NOT TOUCH, BREATHE OR SMELL.
  • 1kilo raw extra virgin olive oil
  • Any desired coloring; Bay leaves, tomato paste, nettles, Spirulina etc.
  • Desired scent; any amount and scent of essential oils up to 20ml is recommend (for 1kg of oil). 
  • Extra herbs for scent or decoration; lavender, rosemary, mint etc.
  • 1 teaspoon of flour.

What you need

  • A table or surface that can be dirtied / cover with a plastic table cloth
  • Scales
  • Measuring jugs or containers for oil and water
  • Moulds to shape the soap
  • Electric mixer
  • Special cup for caustic soda
  • Something to smooth the soap at the end
  • Goggles, gloves and mask for handling the caustic soda

Step 1.

Measure out desired amount of water and the caustic soda in separate containers.

A specific cup is designated for the caustic soda to keep the toxic powder separate from the other ingredients

Step 2.

Pour the soda into the water. NEVER pour the water into the soda as the chemical reaction can be explosive. At this stage it is important to be careful that the soda doesn’t get in your eyes or nose (goggles & mask are recommended). At first the mixture will be extremely hot, so set it aside to cool. While the soda is toxic at first, when it mixes with the oil later in the process its fatty acids transform into salt; the soap.

Step 3.

In a small cup, mix the flour with the essential oils. The flour helps to store the scent of the essential oils, infusing the soaps with a lasting fragrance of your choice.

Dried lavender from the garden

Step 4.

Measure out the oil in a large container and collect water and caustic soda. By now it should have cooled to around 40 degrees. To check the temperature, touch the outside of the container, if it is cool enough to keep your hand on then it is ready. Add the mixture to the oil and mix with electric blender until consistency is almost thick.

Oil, water and caustic soda ready to blend

Step 5.

Add any colouring, herbs or extra essential oils. The extra oil will give the soap a beautiful smell when you smell it as well as when you use it. Continue to blend till it is thick.

Step 6.

Pour liquid into moulds and shake gently to settle the mixture smoothly. Use tiny spatula or smoothing device to get soaps as even as possible. Leave to set for 48hrs.

Soap mixture freshly poured into the moulds (the little spatula is used to smooth them out)

Step 7.

Remove from moulds and shave any rough bits, then set aside for 20-30 days as the reaction fully takes place.

Soap shaving time

Step 8. Take a long overdue shower with your incredible home-made soaps;)