... please go to www.NepalNow.blog, the platform where I post regularly!
1: The Crowd Cheers (My first prompt ... and my last, too, haha):
You walk outside and there's a crowd of people standing there, cheering your name. As you stare at them, they cheer louder and more people join in. What are they cheering for?
… one last look in the mirror of the elevator, check lipstick and sigh at the little wrinkles between my eyebrows and going down from the sides of my mouth to my chin. Seems since I recently turned 60 the wrinkles have become more visible – or am I just more aware of them?!? Did I never quite see them before? Oh, well, just keep treating my face lovingly with the recently purchased “healthy” cosmetics and not think about it too much!
The elevator reaches the ground floor and I prepare to go outside, enjoying the sun during my lunch hour, even though it’s a cold day. Huh? Why are there so many people crowded before the entrance of the building? Will I be able to push through this crowd to get to my regular sushi joint?
What are all these folks doing there in the middle of the day, stopping pedestrian traffic? They are chanting?!? What are they calling?
Beata, Beata, Beata – oh my goodness, why in the world are they chanting my name, cheering ME? Me of all people, but I am just a normal, happy person?
Stepping outside I see banners – noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, I seem to have won some kind of award for the work I have been doing for my artist friends in Nepal and my preschool there. This is in-cre-dible! An official recognition of the work I have done for “modern art & modern life of Nepal”?!? For having created the Facebook page for the NepalNow Project and the blog www.theartofencouraging.com, and for all the money I put into the preschool?!?
A warm glow begins to build inside of me, I let the cheers envelop me and let them wash through me – aaaaaaaaaaaah, this DOES feel kind of nice. With tears in my eyes and a simultaneous big smile on my face I begin to thank the people around me and hug those I know … no more thoughts of grabbing my sushi, this is the moment to share the joy with all the people who have made the effort to come and surprise me in such a wonderful way …
Anyone wanting to join this challenge? If you think it would be fun for you, too, you can sign up here!
... happy with my dear friend JaniMa at an extended brunch and lots of good, deep, and fun talk at the cutest café in Cologne!
As this is the last day of this series of "geluksmomenten" or "moments of happiness" I challenge Carol Williams to share her very own happy moments of the day in the week to come. Can't wait to hear from you, Carol :-)
... today just words, no pics (just the opposite from yesterday): happy about absolute quality time spent with my colleagues from the mindfulness teachers training. Wonderful to hear about all the precious work everyone has done with MBSR in the past year and nine months since graduation. Thankful for the friendships. What a gift!!!
... no words, just pics! Happy in the hill country between Cologne and Olpe in Germany at the reunion weekend with my colleagues from the Mindfulness Teachers' Training 2011-2013!!!
... my happy moment is NOW: the light is fading, I just got home in Almere after an extended meeting with two dear BFFs. Turned up the heating, lit some candles, put my new CD with dinner jazz (birthday gift to myself) on the stereo - and I intensely enjoy my home. Feel warmed by my surroundings and bathed by lovely music. So much to be thankful for, aaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Happy in the early morning, taking the train into town (to meet the tow-truck for my car, see yesterday's post) and seeing Duesseldorf waking up. Felt good to have a change in routine, even though for the wrong reason. When you are in your own town at an odd time you get to appreciate it all over again, almost as if you are on vacation:
But the "happy moments" just added up as the towing action went so incredibly well. Perfectly on time, perfectly cordial and competent people coming to get my car, smooth and quick action to make life easy for me and even get to work ahead of time instead of being late.
I am absolutely grateful to live in a country where things work!!! Like clockwork, with quick calls on the mobile to prepare everything in an optimum way, with appointed times being met perfectly, with friendly and easygoing professionals who do their very best to ease any nervousness on the customer's part.
Now just hoping the repairs won't cost too much ...
... now, that was a bit of a difficult day:
Overshadowed by my car that wouldn't start and sat like a lame duck in the underground parking garage smack in the center of Duesseldorf. Arranged for ADAC (the German automobile club with its emergency system) to come look at the car after work. It was not the battery, not the sparks ... but they couldn't get it to start either.
As it was too late to have the car towed to a repair place we arranged to have this done in the morning and then came my pretty much only happy moment of the day (aaaaw, poor me!): the ADAC guy took me home in his little truck!!!! He wanted to be extra-nice to a lady who had her birthday messed up by a broken-down car ....
I was nominated by my friend Sabine Klencke to tell about a happy moment in my day for the next seven days, so here here goes my first try:
Today's happy moment was a very early one, namely right after my morning meditation when I jolted awake from a brief nodding off (ha, again!). It's my birthday, and that made me intensely happy and - most of all - intensely grateful that I am still here to enjoy it. It is now 7 1/2 years after my breastcancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. And on the one hand these 7 years have flown by in little more than an instant, but on the other hand they have also allowed me great travels, interesting projects, wonderful meetings with old and new friends and much love and happiness.
So today`s moment is both happy and filled with intense gratefulness.
Did you even know there WERE contemporary artist in this small Himalayan country, the Shangri-la for trekkers and mountain-climbers, wedged between India and Tibet? That you can find hip hotels, great coffee, and a vibrant art scene in Kathmandu? (Check out www.nepal-now.net !)
So you are actually interested in modern art, ready to buy original art maybe for the first time, not the rich collector (yet) but on the look-out for professional works at a good price. Then contemporary art from Nepal is exactly what you are looking for.
Five reasons why buying modern art from Nepal will make you feel good:
1. You get great works at a great price - even though that may be kind of obvious when you are buying stuff from a developing country with a whole different income level.
2. You support young artists in a chaotic country with lots of problems - but still a country which allows for great creativity in the midst of a struggling economy.
3. As the art scene is still rather manageable in size, chances are high that you get to meet "your" artist personally, may that be virtually or actually face-to-face on a trip to Nepal.
4. You get to feel a real "patron of the arts" as one of the first Westerners to become involved in acquiring works from outside the country - and instead of being an anonymous buyer you will be personally valued and cherished.
5. Your support can really make an impact as artists tend to spread their new "wealth" from international sales by setting up own art projects with community activities (e.g. lectures, discussions, workshops for street kids ...)
And last but not least: the art is great!
And if it’s the charity aspect that you are after: this can also be satisfied, as a number of artists now donate their works for fundraising to a young German charity www.dana-arts.org specializing in “art& giving”! Which means proceeds from art sales will go directly to community art projects, schooling and training.
So let me help you to buy your first piece of contemporary art from Nepal. After 20 years of visiting Nepal again and again, and a good decade of immersion into the young art scene of Kathmandu I can be the link between you and my artist friends in Kathmandu via www.beatawiggen.com and www.nepalnow.net .
Two and a half weeks in a totally different world, full of bright colors, strong smells ... and wonderful people. I spent a very large part of the time with my "family", yes, it really feels that I have family there now:
There is Shekhar, who is now director of "my" preschool in Imadole, a suburb of Kathmandu (see www.kinderhaus-lalitpur.com), and his wife Sujana (a superb cook and the academic director of the school), and their little son Sudhan.
I meanwhile have a loooong history with Shekhar, we've been friends for almost 20 years - ever since we met during my first trip to Nepal, a Langtang-trek, when he worked at the reception of my hotel in KTM. Two years ago we founded the school together and it is now running well with 29 children from nursery to UKG (upper kindergarden) classes.
For me it was the first time to be in KTM during the big holidays and I hadn't expected that the impact of the 15-day rituals would be quite as extensive: the city was practically empty, the traffic was so sparse that it seemed to be "bandh" (total shut-down of traffic due to political strike actions, something which happens regularly) - a very high percentage of the population seemed to have fled the city! With the wonderful result that there was much less dust and exhaust fumes ... which hit us just the harder on the last few weeks of my stay when life in this megalopolis turned back to normal.
Due to the many rituals and the family-orientation of the holiday I couldn't really meet my artist friends for quite a while. So I got to participate in rituals at our house, such as the "vehicle puja", when both the trusty little motorcycle and the school-van were blessed:
And we actually went on a small vacation with the family to Pokhara, 200km (but a full day's drive) from KTM, on lovely lake Phewa, where we enjoyed clean air, great food, boat-rides on the like, a fine hotel, and watched for hours as the paragliders took off for tandem jumps high up on the hill above Lakeside. And I changed my opinion: after a steadfast "no" to this suicidal seeming endeavour I might now try to jump myself on one of my following visits!
After the holidays were over I shifted to my beloved TINGS LOUNGE HOTEL (www.tingsblog.com) to be able to move around town more independently and I DID get to meet most of my artist friends. After an extensive studio visit there was a yummy lunch with my Kasthamandap Artist Collective friends at Bricks Restaurant, thanks Asha/Erina/Pramila/ Bhairaj/Binod for always being there for me ...
And I got to see many more artists like e.g. Chirag/ Bidhata/Hitmaan/Mekh/Saroj/Mahima, visited the brandnew Kathmandu City Museum with its clean-line architecture, the new Childrens Art Museum, several galleries, enjoyed helping with a fundraising event for Bikalpa Art Center ... and ... and .. (more pics here: www.nepalnow.net/2014-ktm).
I still haven't quite figured out why I am so happy in Kathmandu: it certainly has to do with the warmth (both climate-wise with 23-30 centigrade and much sun every day but also the warmth of the people extended towards me), the chaos (which is absolutely maddening at times but also great fun), the good food, the wonderful encounters and the general sense of "ke garne" or "what can we do", a shoulder-shrugging attitude that takes a lot of stress out of life - while it also can be maddening at times when things just don't seem to get done!
But for me being in KTM is ONE BIG EXERCISE IN SURRENDER - surrendering to not being able to control the schedule of the day, surrendering to not having electricity when you need it, surrendering to just being... and that does me good! Much good. I relax, I rest, I don't take myself so seriously, I let go of any (or at least most!!!) attempts to control. And I am better for it ... and happier.
Now the big question is: HOW TO HOLD ON TO THIS IN MY EVERYDAY LIFE?!?!
It is hard to believe, but already a month has passed since graduating from SCHOENAKER AKADEMIE in Genemuiden! What a wonderful last weekend of the training did we have and what a fine ceremony and celebration. We DID it, all 8 of us: Andrea, Haleh, Femke, Janny, Lilian, Ruth, and yours truly. With great thanks to our teachers Julitta Schoenaker (and Theo Schoenaker, the founder/creator of the "encouraging trainings) and the wise coaching and supervision of Katja Goepfert.
7 times we got together since September last year, for whole weekends and some Saturdays - time filled to the brim with new insights, lots of learning, sharing, openness, heartfulness, some tears and much laughter!
We all did a first run-through of the ten-week encouraging cursus with friends and/or family from out of our own livingrooms and then dared to to a second run-through with "real participants" outside of our homes. How much we learned, how much we were gifted with by the participants during the process! Both run-throughs were supervised and we had to write up all sessions and got valuable (and loving!) feedback on our work every single time.
Some more slowly (myself) and some more quickly did we grow into the role of being a facilitator to help people re-discover how they can encourage themselves and others, how they can become their own best friend, see again how wonderful they already are, unearth treasures of self-discovery, and always, always also direct their loving, constructive attitude to those around them! Encouraged beings, in the world to encourage each other ...
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO YOU, THEO SCHOENAKER, FOR BRINGING THIS GEM OF A COURSE INTO THE WORLD, and thank you for your wisdom and sparkle and laughing eyes and for all you were willing to share with us during this journey!
Love After Love
Beata, all-round encourager:: of art and artists of Nepal, of a preschool in Kathmandu, of the great work of encouragement based on Adlerian psychology and the Theo Schoenaker's concept!