Yesterday was a very beautiful day and I decided to make a bicycle trip from my brothers house in Amsterdam to my parents in law in Zeewolde. And back of course. It was a considerable distance, 55 km one way! I started at 9:00 in the morning and an hour later I was already in the picturesque town of Muiden. I had a nice breeze pushing me and making the ride very nice. The sun was shining and I even took my jacket off since it was becoming too hot. One hour later I had crossed the town of Almere Haven and from that point on I had to follow the dike until I reached my destination. Very nice, water on one side with the sunlight reflecting in it and endless fields on the other side and a nice push from the wind in my back.
On the other had I realized what this wind in my back meant for the trip back… A lot of kilometers against the wind. After three hours I had again a short break and started to feel my legs and butt. The last half hour was tougher than the three hours before and I knew why! Not only physical strain but also my mind telling me I was almost there! I did some sf on that of course.
I ate a nice and healthy lunch at my parents in law and prepared myself for the trip back to Amsterdam. Since I knew the wind could be a problem on the long run I considered to eventually shorten my ride a bit by aiming at Almere and taking the train for the last 30 km.
It was very fascinating to see how the mind is working in situations of physical strain. It can be tempting to go in the mind by starting to have thoughts about anything so you do not have to be conscious all the time here and now facing the reality in which your physical body is undergoing physical stress. So I checked this point constantly to make sure I was not going in the mind. I saw myself projected in the future and saying to myself that in a short while I will be at my destination, something of any help to the actual situation I was living: move the pedals of the bicycle in a seemingly endless movement.
So, instead of giving the mind the opportunity to fuck me I started observing the scenario I was crossing. I started to see there was a lot to see indeed, even when just looking a few meters ahead while pushing hard against the wind. While riding on small secondary roads across farmers land I saw onions and potatoes that apparently dropped from a trailer. But most of all I saw an endless amount of plastic bottles, cans, plastic bags and other waste. I saw the waste along the side of the highway and that I could understand since it is commonly known that really anything is thrown from a car’s window. At least this rubbish is cleaned regularly. But where did all this rubbish along this small road come from I asked myself? Since it was mostly bottles and cans I guessed it was left there by the people working on the fields. Apparently they forgot that nobody is going to clean this on a regular base.
All this was quite shocking to me. Until now I had the opinion that a country like Italy was filthy with litter and rubbish to be found anywhere in nature. I never considered a country like The Netherlands could have the same issue. It has been a little different. Not so much the amount of people just throwing stuff anywhere but less cleaning is taking place here. The typical Dutch model of a welfare state that takes care of everything is fading since it is most probably unsustainable. I had to get rid of this opinion about the difference between the two countries.
While observing the road and the landscape I progressed slowly to my destination that seen the circumstances being a strong wind and painful legs that tended to go into a cramp if I pushed a little more was set to Almere so I could do the last bit by train. I continued to be challenged by the mind that was projecting myself at my brother’s place taking a nice hot shower and having a nice warm meal. At the same time I found out it was getting colder. Even in the train later I had the next challenge. Although I was sitting and relaxing I kept seeing myself having a shower and a meal until I started wondering if I had put the keys back in my bag after I used them at my parents in law’s house. Without these keys I was locked outside and would have to return to pick them up. A quick check in my bag was enough to see this was another mind fuck.
I monitored carefully the state of my body and did not push myself over the limit. Even though I still had enough strength in my legs to do another 30 km I had to consider the cramps and unnecessary muscle strain I would have regretted the next day. The result is that one day later I have no muscle pain and no extra fatigue even though I made a trip of 80 km in total. And my butt? No saddle pain either.
It is now many weeks ago we had some rain. The grass on the fields turned brown and the plants in the vegetable garden need regular watering in order to survive drought and heat. It has been unceasingly hot for over two weeks now with temperatures above the 30 degrees. The 2400 liter rainwater I use to water the vegetables lasted until a couple of weeks ago, since then I have to use tap water.
Yesterday I was reading an article in a local newspaper that was commenting about the fact the local administration prohibits to use tap water for other purposes than personal hygiene and drinking. If you are caught watering your garden or washing your car you risk a fine from € 25,– until € 500,–. I was surprised because, besides the long period of heat and no rain I was still seeing water in rivers and smaller streams. The local administration is pointing at the water used by the many gardens that people hold on the river banks as the main reason for water shortage.
It is true there is little water in some rivers but nature is greener than ever, the drought is superficial. Last winter we had huge amounts of rain and snow and most springs are working normally which was not the case last year when the rivers where dry and the more superficial springs ran out of water. But no limitations to the water usage since it kept raining regularly, only delivering very little quantities of water.
The article continues to make a point on the maintenance of riverbeds. Instead of cleaning the beds from natural debris like trees, mud and stones the only thing that is done is rising the river banks, not giving sufficient protection when there is really a lot of water coming down. This year in early spring the rivers caused several floodings even though the water amounts were not extremely huge. Apparently the main reason for the river beds not showing any water is not the shortage of water caused by the gardens (having the same issue since there is no water to be seen) but the fact for many years now there had been no maintenance to the river beds. The water is flowing deep under the rocks and eventually pops out somewhere mere downstream.
The writer is clearly questioning the starting point of the water usage limitations. It is very possible that the water company responsible for the water delivery to not only the inlands where I live but also the cities on the Adriatic coast is afraid of water shortages. Water is a power business here in Italy. A week before the Italians voted against water being managed by private companies the water management of the whole area went over to the company already responsible for natural gas and electricity delivery. Dirty game. Since money is coming from the coast area the inland is less important and is asked to reduce water consumption on behalf of the bigger cities only because they fear a water shortage.
To me this is a clear example of political power games that serve no purpose than making sure a small group of people is making money. There is absolutely no common sense nor equality to be found here. If we were managing the available water in the interest of all and with common sense applied by everyone there should be never a real water shortage. The truth is that water is spilled every day, both consciously as unconsciously due to ignorance. Ignorance as in giving your lawn so much water that is floods out of the garden over the street or while sweeping your house and dumping the dirt in the toilet, flushing it up to ten times until finished cleaning.
The average amount of water used per person per day is 191 liter. For our family it equals 23 cubic meters a month. Being ware of the water we use we managed to lower our consumption from 20 to 14, including watering the garden when there is no rain water available. During summer we take almost a shower a day, we use the washing machine normally, we use the dishwasher once a day. We do not water the grass, the trees and the vegetables with more than necessary, we try to avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, we close the tap when brushing our teeth and we limit shower time to what you need to clean, shave etc. No big deal and no discomfort at all. Only for our small town a reduction like our would lead to almost 28 cubic meters of water saving a year per person. That is a reduction of billions of cubic meters in Italy alone. All water that does not need to be filtered, pumped, distributed and paid for. As long water is privatized water consumption reduction is not economically interesting so please keep on using your water. Do not consider that all these billions of cubic meters are polluted by soap, chemicals and medicines and need to be cleaned again.
What a waste! Lets take our responsibility. As you can see in this example the effect of normalizing your personal water usage on a large scale is huge. Lets use our common sense for a better world and not only with water consumption!
A while ago read an article about the fact ecologists have a hard time in predicting ecosystem collapses like seismologists are not capable of properly predicting natural events like the earthquake in Japan.
I had several reactions while reading the title and the article itself. I just see people focusing on how to predict events so we can calculate or evaluate how to deal with these events. Researchers monitored and studied the impact of adding a different fish species in a lake to find that it caused the local ecosystem to show huge fluctuations in for instance the algae. But why should we need to research this in the first place? We need it to know how far we can go altering our environment in our own interest (intensive fish breeding in this case).
One could see it as a positive trend that there are people out there that apparently care and start doing research. But if I see what the industry is doing when it comes to evaluating investments and profit, there is very little chance environmental aspects are going to be taken into account. The research is funded by the same companies that want to make profit the whole research and the eventual results are a nice cover up to keep everybody quiet or even better, to work on their image as caring companies or multinationals.
If we just avoid this kind of abuse there is no need to predict anything since the ecosystems is left as it is and will maintain its balance all by itself. The solution is simple but it is not what we apparently are looking for since it means that we need to take responsibility for the way we consume and keep on buying the products made by the multinationals who on their turn are only interested in profit.
Meanwhile we should work on a system that is allowing real research to be done that will assist us in restoring the balance of the planet and help us in being effective in supporting nature instead of abusing it.
All this is only possible if we eliminate the power of money, the greed and the blind run to profit and start doing and developing things in the best interest of all. The Equal Money System will make it possible to eliminate all abuse just by providing the right to live for every living being on the planet.
In the last couple of years I developed a sense of fear in specific driving conditions. Where in the past I was very self confident about myself mastering perfectly how to handle a car even in heavy weather conditions or on slippery roads, it seems this confidence has faded. Since I live in Italy I found myself sliding on very slippery roads in a couple of occasions. Once the car just turned 180 degrees on its axe while slowly driving over an icy road. On another occasion I started sliding on a wet road in a bend where I was surprised by how slippery just a wet road could be (I had very bad tires on a second hand car I just bought).
In all these occasions I had the right reflex and managed to put the car back on track with no damage. The result though is that I start to feel uncomfortable if I suspect the road might be slippery. As soon as I suspect the car is slightly loosing its firm grip on the road I have this fear going through my body. In these occasions I slow down to a safe speed and just go on wondering how others can drive so ruthless and risking so much just because they are not aware of the road conditions or because the don’t mind their car sliding a bit. I do not understand how people driving two wheel drive cars, are driving the way they do while I drive an AWD car.
On one side I know my fear is not funded in any way. I am confident in how to handle the car when it starts sliding, I am aware of the road conditions and I am driving a car that gives me a high level of security. Maybe there is an experience in the past that is causing me to react this way. I remember one episode where I was with my family as a small boy on our way back from The Netherlands to Italy. It was winter and somewhere in Germany we had extreme icy weather conditions with very icy roads. The highway was blocked and we decided to take secondary roads, extremely slippery due to the layer of ice left by the frozen rain. My father managed to drive the car safely and we arrived home in one piece. I can’t remember if I experienced fear on this occasion. I did experience fear in many other occasions while my father was driving, in my perspective always too fast and barely paying real attention to the traffic, counting apparently on his very quick reflexes. Maybe here I developed some fears and I am projecting this now on other people I come across while driving.
In a couple of occasions I asked myself if in some way I try to feel more than these other drivers that I consider being unresponsible. I found myself regularly thinking about how well I was driving compared to others on the road. I have always felt a kind of competition on that matter, doing my best to drive in such a way that an eventual passenger will experience a nice and smooth drive. Of course the aim is in succeeding to do so and have the passenger thanking me for the nice drive and feeding my self esteem giving it energy. I have been working on my driving techniques for many years in the past only for this purpose. Happily enough this came in handy when I happened to have children that were very sensible to driving, forcing me to adapt my driving style into a super smooth one just to prevent them to throw up after a curvy road.
Another typical driving related thing that comes up now is the fact I get very irritated if someone is driving too close to me. It can really make me mad. I managed to control this madness by breathing and look for a way to give the person behind me a quick occasion to overtake. Here also I have to find out why it is causing such strong emotions.
The more I dive into this matter the more complex it seems to become. It is really fascinating to see how all connects to each other. Well, this is again one of the points I will work on in the next future.
In the first place we have this persistent fixation with Christmas. For some reason a picture has been created making us all believe that Christmas is not perfect if there isn’t any snow. Already searching on internet on “why” there should be snow on that day only returns results stating that there SHOULD be snow, but nobody asks why. OK, “why” isn’t the best question to ask oneself, so let’s have a closer look at this. This apparently common conviction there should be snow is a picture that makes us longing and hoping for something that in most of the places we live is not going to happen very often if ever. Many of us are hoping during this season, day in, day out for the snow to come. And once it is there it will make just a few people happy.
There is a reason I want to write about snow. For me snow has a special meaning and only recently I managed to start freeing myself from the feeling, emotions and pictures that came with the word snow. Still today and even a couple of minutes ago I have been checking out the weather forecast in order to check out how much snow they predicted was going to fall. I even started adding up the numbers to know how much snow we might find ourselves in by the end of tomorrow. For what purpose did I do so? I used the weather forecast to decide doing groceries today instead of tomorrow so we could avoid a difficult drive trough lots of snow. No reason to go further and check out on webcams how much snow has already fallen in places around us and no need to constantly check different weather forecasts for the latest news. I’ve never done that for rain…
Ok, the forecasters are smart and are using this snow mind construct excellently to draw our attention to their shows and sites, more views/visits, more money! Well done. Since I’ve become aware of this I found out that even the best forecasters never managed to predict the right amount of snow on the middle and long term. In most cases data is corrected on the short term and values are lowered (the only exception being today where they did the opposite (I am excited! See how strong this is?).
It is fascinating to see how this whole snow ‘thing’ is able to distract us and let us associate emotions to it and creates polarities; there are as many of us that love snow as there are that hate it. Only a few will consider snow as snow and will act accordingly in the moment they will have to deal with it. Nothing more, nothing less. I am not yet there although I am aware and working on this point. Nevertheless, over the last couple of years I have been manifesting some snow-blowing scenario’s where on a series of occasions I helped people by towing their cars back to liberty. Here I now see clearly that thoughts and images I already created as a kid in my mind eventually managed to manifest in reality. As if a dream became true :-).
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to have the thought of snow excite me instead of seeing the real thing.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to feel the urge of searching the internet for data that is going to still my hunger of snow related information and news.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to seek for emotions of sensation triggered by the picture of snow just to get the good feeling while ignoring other issues in the here and now.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to use my time to nourish my snow mind construct instead of using it for practical, life supporting activities.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to picture myself as the rescuer of others that underestimated the physical consequences of dealing with snow.
I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to manifest situations in which I could confirm myself in the role of a rescuer of people having troubles in snowy conditions.
(Still missing some directives to write proper SF sentences… )