SOCIAL MEDIA LOCKDOWN

Yesterday I saw a post from a vague acquaintance on Instagram which said:

‘If everybody likes you, you have a serious problem my friend!

No matter what you do, people will always judge

So why stop being you?’

And went on to ask everyone if they were interested to hear about the experiences on Instagram.

Are we all actually interested? I asked myself. I found it a strange post to be honest, because isn’t that what we all want, to be liked by lots of people. It’s good for our self-esteem isn’t it? We used to think that was so important … but is it really?

It made me think that in these difficult times, when social media has actually become so popular because we want to share our lives with literally everyone, then aren’t we making ourselves so much more vulnerable and opening the doors for even more judgment?

I think so, because that is human nature. Welcome to Planet Earth anno 2020. This is what life was all about. I say ‘was’ because I can see that everyone is changing so much because of the worldwide lockdown. I have written in previous blogs about being judged on our success and status as opposed to the person we truly are.

I think the thing that struck me the most about the comment above, was, ‘so why stop being you?’ Yes, why indeed and why should you? I think a lot of people are coming to the conclusion that you ‘take me as you see me’. People do not want to be judged anymore by anyone on their so-called social status. All that rubbish is becoming less and less important each and every day. If there is one thing we have learned from this crisis, it is re-evaluating ourselves big time. Acting out our own little play in life, doesn’t seem to count anymore. Everyone was suddenly confronted by their own drama and even more so, by their vulnerability.

Where it used to be important to be ‘liked’ and have some kind of social status, the bigger the better, now we are all on the same spot. We are vulnerable and in the same position. It has been hard, even if not nearly impossible for some people to get off their little rosy cloud and come back to earth. The feeling of being better than someone else. No, that is all over now. Because we came to the very hard realization that there was only one thing that was important and that was our health!

Sometimes I actually wonder what life would be like with a social media lockdown. Why do we all have the feeling that we have to share so much. I know personally even I do, but more as a promotion for my work as opposed to a daily gallery of what I am eating, where I am going and who is with me. I really dislike all these ‘posed photos’ which appear in the thousands every day. Then get liked by literally thousands and even worse, thousands feel obliged to comment. Why? Is their life so totally boring they have nothing else to do? It’s a full-time job for some people sifting through their social media. When one post multiplies to thousands of likes and comments.

But does it make you any better a person, by the number of social media likes? I don’t think so. 

When I was a small child, keeping in touch with your relatives and friends was by letter. Yes, there was a postal service, we had sort of moved on from the ‘pigeon post’. But practically no one had even a phone at home. There were telephone boxes here and there and you could call up people from there. 

We had never heard of anything like the Internet, WiFi or smartphones. And the next generation up from me have grown up with this from childhood. Now small children have their own Ipad pre-school and you are not part of the in-crowd without a smartphone at primary school. 

Don’t misunderstand me I am all for progress and such like, but sometimes I think, isn’t it all a bit too much sometimes? Why post something like the comment at the beginning on social media and then spend your day, making meaningless replies, and being literally inundated with total crap comments from people who come across as being totally brain dead!

Oh dear, such judgement from my side, but I am trying to make the point here.

Where are our true values? They should be our family, our loved ones, our friends, colleagues and neighbors, in other words ‘our fellow man’ and actually caring for each other. This is the way forward as I see it, working together, changing what was happening in the world and coming back to what is actually important in life. Creating much more respect for one another for starters.

Each and every time I read or hear on the news about the latest internet hack or scam, I really think we do this ourselves. We share far too much in far too big circles. Now don’t get me wrong, it is good to share, but make sure you share the right things. The important things.

The post I mentioned above got 16.772 likes and 469 comments within one single hour!

Sort of puts things into perspective doesn’t it. I wonder if the person who posted thinks the same? Probably not because then you have to ask the question: why did I post it in the first place. Because it boosts the ego. And living from the ego is over. There is no place for ego anymore. Of course we will always have an ego, but there are so many positive ways to feed it, in a proper way. Self-esteem and self-love are important when put in the right perspective.

So that is my question to you all today? Could you cope with a social media lockdown?

Could you actually put your smartphone, Ipad, tablet, laptop or whatever to one side for a whole day? The answer is probably not, because we have this fear of missing out on something. I know I try and discipline myself when I am working to not constantly either pick up my phone or even answer it, but it is not an easy thing to do. But we should. We should spend more time doing things together, it is so much more rewarding and important than some stupid post on the social media circuit.

I remember back in about the year 2000 having lunch with a friend and a representative of a local bank about investments and he sat and said that the future lay in mobile phones. At the time, there was only the famous Nokia mobile phone. Smartphones had not arrived on the scene just yet. I remember listening to him and thinking, yes sure… and he described that we would be able to do with a smartphone soon. But guess what we can, he was right, you can virtually ‘organize’ your entire life with such a gadget.

To my mind this takes away a lot of personal contact. I find myself often typing short messages into WhatsApp as opposed to picking up the phone and having a proper conversation with someone. Do you?

Maybe that is one of the things we can literally move from the word CHANGE TO CHANCE (see my last blog).

The big question we all need to ask ourselves is am I worth it? If you can answer that with a resounding YES maybe it is time to re-evaluate?

So there is not a need to stop being you, but a need to makes a new and better version of yourself ?

Images: Google

CHANGE

It’s Monday morning (again) and as usual wanting to start my week (and I have a list of things to do) in an organized way. From being at home for weeks and weeks, literally hardly ever leaving the house, this week I have two things to do away from my home.

I could not get started this morning with the other things I have to to do, as I knew I would not be able to, until I had sat down and written this blog, as my head is full of thoughts …..

So, pushing everything to the side for a while, I want to write about: Change.

Literally everything seems to have changed since the outbreak of this virus a couple of months ago. First of all, we have all been confronted about our vulnerability when it comes to something the majority of us take for granted: health. The one thing in life you cannot buy.

Suddenly there was a worldwide panic, we all had to stay in the confines of our own homes, avoiding people and places to stop the spreading of said virus. Schools were closed. Children were at home, no day care and a lot of us were working at home. No more coffee breaks or lunches with our colleagues or even more, the after-work drinks sessions. No, we were all at home and it was not easy for many.

Personally, for me, it was no different to be honest that the last 2 years of my life have been, when for other reasons, I was confined to being at home. I actually like to be at home. I was never a person who craved for busy shops, restaurants or such like. I like peace and quiet. My head is constantly full of ideas for my passion: writing. That is what I love to do and each and every time I hope that whatever the subject is that I choose, that someone somewhere will read it and be inspired to maybe have a think about things.

But CHANGE IS THE KEY WORD HERE.  Because we all have whether we realize it or not. Change has happened in all of us. We were not asked if we wanted to change, it was more or less forced on all of us. But it is good to look at this in a positive way.

Because as the picture shows above, just change one simple letter and Change becomes Chance.

Of course. many people have been ill with this virus and a lot have lost their lives, people have lost loved ones, so I don’t want to rush on without mentioning this too, briefly. Because that is change as well. And I feel intensely sad for all those people.

What I want to talk about is this: The fact that the past few weeks have made us all stop and think. Think about ourselves and suddenly a lot have come to the realization that things that seemed so important before have become insignificant now. By this I refer in the main to the sort of role we were all playing in life. How successful we were. How important our status was in society? How we portrayed ourselves to the outside world. How many material possessions we have, or had? How we more or less competed with one another, always striving to be better. Higher up the what is often referred to as the ‘greasy pole’. This is just an English phrase, not about a literal greasy pole, but more about how high up you placed yourself on the steps of success, as opposed to how you got there. Because competition and duality are the key words as to how we all were living. Whether you agree with me or not, this is really how it was and maybe you should think about this.

Suddenly we all find ourselves in a world where we are being challenged to be different. We have to. Change is happening all around each and every one of us. Many influencers are saying that the world needed change, and I agree with that. We could not go on as we were. We were lost along the path of life, constantly over-stretching our boundaries to keep up with all of those moving in the fast lane of life. But what about those, who did not want to be in the fast lane in the first place. What about the people who already realized that status and a position in life, wasn’t really that important?

Many people all over the world, already looked to the more spiritual side of life. They understood what was actually happening. They knew that it was inevitable. Others of course, as many people cannot connect with spirituality at all, are the ones we often refer to as the critical masses. The ones who really need to wake up and change. Because they were like many just following the herd of success (and status too). They really did not have time for form an opinion at all.

So, what are we actually being asked to look at? And how can we change? Well I could probably go on and write a whole book on this subject but as this is a blog and meant to be kept short, the one big question you have to ask yourself for starters is: Are you living the life you dreamed of? Are you really doing what you want to do? And even more so, who are you really? That is enough to be thinking about for the time being.

But one thing is for sure, this current worldwide situation is literally asking everyone to change. Do you honestly believe that the world would have survived the way we were living? Polluting and plundering this planet and then all moaning on and on about all the things we could not have.

I will give you a simple example: We never had enough. We always wanted more.

And now we are severely confined in what we can and cannot do and the end result of that is that we all spend time on reflection. Either we all go into the negative spiral of what we cannot do, or we go the other way around and think about all the positive things we can do. I mean, how many people in your own circles complained about having ‘lack of time’. Were always too busy? The majority, I guess.

Now we have to look inwards, into ourselves and really ask the important questions. How can I change my way of thinking to be ready for what people are calling (and I agree on this) the biggest evolutionary leap mankind is actually making right now? You may be thinking what is she talking about? But think of all the things you suddenly could not do, like for example air travel. Not being able to go on holidays because of worldwide rules and regulations. Did you really miss it, or did you actually enjoy a few days at home in the peace and quiet? Maybe if you have one, just sitting reading a book in your own garden, enjoying the Spring? Yes, it’s a question isn’t it? Just being in your own little unit (family for instance).

But change is what we all will have to do. That is if we want to move on in this said evolution. A lot of things that have been ‘swept under the carpet’ for years are coming to light, and we are all being challenged in that respect. Some of the things that are surfacing are shocking, really. I don’t want to go into details.

For years we have lived in a society of the ‘have’s’ and the ‘have not’s’ and then comes the realization that the one and only thing you cannot buy, even if you have millions on your bank account, is health.  Confronting isn’t it?

So, this is what I mean about us having to change. We have to go back to the basics and decide for ourselves what is actually important. What are your priorities. Slowly and surely the rules are being lifted and we are being given back a little bit of our freedom. What is the first thing the majority do then, rush off in huge numbers to the shops, to have something to do I often wonder. Personally, I never liked shopping at all, much preferred the online version, when it gets literally delivered to the door. Much more convenient and in the time I have I can do something else. Something that enriches my life in a better way. It can be anything too. It does not have to be re-inventing the wheel. It is all about re-inventing myself. To be someone who maybe changes her thought patterns completely. Want to have the breakthrough we all dream of having. Actually, living the life, we all desire. Without all the obligatory trimmings …

Really thinking hard about what is actually important and what is not. The first word that comes to mind is Love. We should have more of that in this world and less of the judgment. Remembering that we all soul beings who came here for a reason. Not everyone knows the reason, or maybe even thinks about it.

But one thing we are all being asked to do is: Change. Change our way of acting, being, doing, thinking, breathing, living, interacting with one another, our mannerisms and so the list goes on.

Ask yourself one simple question: Do you want to change? And if so what?

Then just do it.

A wave of change which in the end will literally change everything.

Images: Google

HUMANS ARE STRANGE CREATURES …. WHY?

Humans are strange creatures…. Sometimes and especially when there is a major issue about fear in the world. The big question is why?

I have noticed during this ‘crisis’ how quickly people tend to judge. Literally everything. Jealousy about what another has. What they themselves are lacking. Desiring. Wanting. Wishing for.

The thing is that at the moment we all live in a 3D world, where literally everything is governed by duality and competition. Everything is based on the idea what you have (material possessions) status, your job, your house, your car and if you are successful you are well up the social ladder. Everything you do is based on the two criteria mentioned above: duality and competition. 

And is it fun? Are you leading the life you truly desire? Or are you, like virtually everyone struggling at this moment. Because you have more time to think about things and then things that seemed so important don’t anymore. Things that totally stressed you out before, like deadlines at work, have faded away into the background. Why? Because you are concerned about other matters. Coping under rules and regulations. For our own safely I would add.

Well, it’s because at the moment mankind is making an evolutional leap into something new. We are all on a journey which is leading to the 5D. Sound all a bit too far-fetched for you? Read on …

We cannot go on as we were. If one thing, this crisis has taught us, or is teaching us, it’s that.

Being away from people and stuck at home, working or coping under difficult circumstances, has shown us all, that the things we made such a fuss about before are so unimportant. Only one thing counts and that is our health… Something that all the money in the world cannot buy or any competition and duality. We are all vulnerable. Simple as that. 

And then comes the big question, are you going to keep repeating patterns, going up the same ladder of 3D or are you going to come on a journey into 5D? Yes or no? 

I know what I am going to choose, 5D for sure, because I feel the world, we live in right now, needs a lot of change. It is, as many say, a crazy world and totally controlled too, by two things, the oil industry and the pharmaceutical industry. I don’t want to go into this right now, this is all old news, what I want to talk about is the NEW. And of course, MONEY. The more you have the more you can control others.

So, if I ask you what you choose, what it is? Love of fear? Pretty simple.

And more important if we are moving into a new 5th Dimension, how do we cope? That is a whole new ball game, but first of all the words are releasing and committing. How far will you go to commit to a new and better life. 

One thing is certain, this ‘crisis’ has taught us all, that things reached such a peak, that change was inevitable.

The time is over where we constantly judge others, we only have to look at ourselves in a gentle way and think about: who am I really? What do I want more than anything else? What do I want to change? How do I do it? What are my dreams and desires? 

And then forget everything you knew until this actual moment. 5D is not going to be  anything like what we knew in 3D. This is all going to be new. 

About a new way of living… Being more aware of synchronicity (that is the signs and symbols we thought were coincidences) and working together instead of creating our own little islands, like we did before. Cooperating with one another, even with those you may think you have nothing in common with at all. Love is the key. Love for all. No more rubbish about color, creed or belief. That is over now.

We have been shown in this ‘crisis’ that no one has a special dispensation, we are all vulnerable and then suddenly in this situation, people start to think and think properly. Joining forces, working together, respecting one another. We don’t have to take the leading role anymore to be considered worthwhile. We are all worthwhile.

It would be wonderful if literally every single human in the world would think about this too. And the only way is for people to write about it in the hope that it gets read for starters and people start telling others. Word of mouth is the best way of getting a message across. You remember the old ‘tam-tam’ works excellently.

So have a think about things. What is your personal opinion? Start by asking yourself a very simple question: Who am I? Do you know the answer? Really? 

It’s about making a choice, whether you want to carry on along the same old journey, the same old pattern, the same old boring things, or are you willing to stand up and make a choice for change?

I recently read something which I think is really prolific at the moment (from Deepak Chopra) 

They asked: ‘what is freedom’?

She answered:

‘Freedom is mental clarity, combined with inner peace. Freedom is when you can see without projecting and when you can live without causing yourself unnecessary mental tension or stress. It happens the moment you are not craving anymore. Happiness and freedom are one’.

Could not have said it better myself! So, who wants to come on the journey to 5D. You? Me? Or Everyone? The collective joining together to make this world a better place. I know what I choose. Do You?

Simple the choice is between LOVE or FEAR !!

IMAGES: GOOGLE

Quote from Deepak Chopra

LET’S GET PHYSICAL !

A lot of you have asked me over the past few weeks how things are going and how in the ‘intelligent lockdown’ (Corona Crisis) in The Netherlands, how am I managing to keep everything moving.

Well even though it may seem unfair to others who need physiotherapy, I can still go every week. On my own, gloves on, with my own physiotherapist (Michelle) in the room. All apparatus and us at a social distance of 1.5 meters and we work on keeping my new joints moving. Other patients do receive online training and schedules to do at home, but I need the equipment and I notice that if I miss a week, everything feels stiffer.

This August 2020 it will be a year since my fourth and hopefully final operation a new knee joint as I told you in previous blogs, and my sessions run under a so-called ‘chronical indication’ until then.

Sometimes when we are working I often think how incredibly amazing it is that I have two joints in my body. The scars have faded and I hardly ever think about it anymore, unless I sit for a long time in one position and get up. Then everything feels stiff and I need to bend and stretch a bit before undertaking anything physical. For a writer who spends a lot of time behind a laptop, this happens a lot!

When I look back on what I could do when I started (which was virtually not a lot as everything was so painful) and what I can do now and how much the pressure and effort increased each and every week. Where I started doing a thing 10 times on a piece of apparatus, this is now more times, more pressure to keep stimulating the muscles. You know, so many times, rest and repeat so many times.

One quite painful session is the straightening of my leg. Michelle does this by applying the majority of her body weight (lucky for me she is not that heavy) onto my knee and pressing it down to make the leg straight. A huge improvement has been made for sure and I think we are virtually at the stage that it is as straight as it is ever going to go. My ankle has much more movement too having been held in one position for so long last year.

I suppose to summarize I can do virtually everything now. Not signing up though for the next marathon anywhere, but in moderation all is possible, apart from getting down on my knees. We have had to adapt things here around the home and make them higher up. A sure sign of getting older. But it just doesn’t put so much pressure on the joints when getting up is easier. So why bother and it does not matter. Better to admit to things that are more difficult than keep plodding on regardless just to keep up appearances.

Shorter blog than normal but just wanted to share a couple of photos taken last week at Fit & Fysio. Just me, an empty room, all apparatus free and enjoying a burst of lovely spring weather, hence my colour.

So determination, will power and a lot of help from Michelle, getting there and improving all the time. I really enjoy these sessions and will continue, I think, after August with a once a week training group session.

Huge thanks to Michelle Roos and Fit & Fysio.

Images: private collection Jill Kramer (copyright).

A LITTLE BIT OF RAIN …

Saturday 18th April 2020

My goodness what a shock after days of brilliant sunshine and warm days, it is raining!

But nature needs some moisture, they were only saying the other day in the news, that the ground is so parched and dry. Well here it is: rain and it will be well and truly soaked after this little rain depression has passed by. And make the most of it because tomorrow will be sunny and warm again.

Actually, I thought this is so wonderfully refreshing and outside it smells exactly like that. As if the heavens have opened to clear the debris, the dust, the pollen and anything hanging in the air which needs flushing away. Back into the earth. Mother Earth was thirsty.

I just love these subtle messages because each and every one is telling us something, even though a lot of people will miss it entirely.

I actually went out earlier today, only in the car and not into the shops and I was really surprised how lax people have become. We are supposed to be hanging in there and keeping the social distancing going to ensure that this dreaded virus does not spread any more, and I watched as people went into some shops together, which is not allowed. People pass far too close by one another and one thing I saw which nearly made me feel sick was a woman coming out of the supermarket with a trolley, bags of shopping in. Nothing wrong with that of course, unless you then put your hand into your mouth and then take hold of the trolley again. The majority in the beginning were regularly disinfected by someone, but now it’s voluntary. My goodness, lesson one in how to spread a virus: well exactly like that! Sigh! The next person takes the trolley and bingo, a virus spreads just like that.

But this blog was not meant to be about Corona, viruses, victims, illness and death. But about the idea that as always Mother Nature comes to the rescue. The rain will cleanse the air, give us all a fresh breath of Spring. Which is after all the loveliest time of year I always think. Because it symbolizes new life, after the winter period. Everything begins to bloom again and grow.

So, what are you all doing today? Under present circumstances. Maybe it rained to keep us more at home and stop us craving to be out and about? I am not sure. 

I just know that if you allow yourself to go down into the spiral of despair and thinking negative thoughts, then that is where you will end up. And get horribly stuck and have great difficulty getting out of such a feeling.

On the other hand, you can think well, what can I do now that is different?  Yes! What? That is a big question because at the moment maybe we cannot all do what we want to do. So how can you make a compromise. When you think we all spend the majority of our lives complaining about how much lack of time we have to do things. And now we all have all the time in the world! Crazy isn’t it? 

Personally, I think we are being given this time for a special reason. Maybe to work a little bit on ourselves. Let’s face it we ALL live in the fast lane, rushing from one thing to another, juggling about 100 balls in the air at the same time and then suddenly … we have been told to break and slow down and stop. Life has changed considerably for all of us, over a very short period of time. And no one asked for it, it just happened. And no one anywhere was different.

So now as we spend, maybe for some, frustrating times in an (as they call it here in Holland), an ‘intelligent lockdown’, but others see this as a great opportunity. It is food for thought isn’t it?

And just like the fact that the weather can suddenly change, maybe we all can too. Maybe we are being asked to think about what is really important in our lives. Status? A good profession? A big house? A flash car? Lots of social media followers? Endless list of materialistic things…

But what is really important and the one thing in the world that money cannot buy? The answer is: GOOD HEALTH. Something I think maybe a lot of take for granted. 

Maybe it is time to stop literally complaining about everything because worldwide everyone is in the same boat. We are being forced into something (lockdown, social distancing etc etc) and that is final. It then gives us time to reflect when you push all your negative thoughts to one side and go within. By this I mean, going within into your source, your core, your soul.

Paying more attention to signs and symbols instead of constantly carping on about what you cannot do, turn the energy around and think about what you CAN. Believe me this approach changes everything and even though you may be thinking : ‘yeah, sure, right!’ It works if you want it to. It is like thinking about what the thing is you want most in the world, and this can be anything, your dream. How do you make it happen? How indeed? That is a big question!

Well for starters when you think about this fact, is this the biggest thing? My biggest dream? The thing that will make me happier than anything else. Then just give this thought positive energy and tell yourself that if you put your mind to something, it is possible. Now be sensible, just saying words like: ‘I want to win the lottery!’ is much too vague for the universe to pick up the signals. You have to personalize it. Be clear and speak your truth. This is not about having a fast flash car, or a wonderful exotic holiday, this is about your deepest desire and dream. So, on the one hand, dare to dream big and on the other, be sensible. Be realistic.

And if necessary get help from others. A lot of people think that only they can realize their dream alone, but often when you team up with someone else and dare to ask for help, from the most unexpected places, then the puzzle finally gets finished, because you have found all the pieces.

So, spend the next few days, weeks, months, having a good think about things. You actually have the time right now … and maybe it would be better to spend this time in a more productive way?

Today, as predicted is a glorious sunny day with brilliant blue skies, so have a great Sunday everyone.

Images: Google

SIGNIFICANT ASTROLOGY, WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE TELLING US?

COPYRIGHT ERICA WEEDA

Well, we have just enjoyed a supermoon in the star sign Libra. The moon was the closest to Earth as it will be this year. Lots of amazing photos on social media. An interesting thought is that Libra is the sign of balance. The scales.

Also being an ‘air sign’ Libra is often referred to as the ‘winds of change’. And we sure need this in these strange times.

Air signs are all about action, ideas and motion. As I said, ‘winds of change’. So, imagine when a strong gust of wind hits you, you cannot help but move. Air brings literally a ‘breath of fresh air’ when things are stale. Like a cleansing breeze something you just cannot catch, and you never know where you might end up, when the air brings you somewhere else. It will always be an adventure. Always.

And isn’t that what life in general is about. An adventure. We only actually know what is happening at an exact moment. We know what happened yesterday because that has passed by, but what will tomorrow bring? What will happen in a few hours from now?

I am sitting typing this blog, just before I leave for my weekly session at the physiotherapist, so in that light, I know what I will be doing from 12.30 until 13.30 today, but as I am not there just yet, I can only confirm what is happening in the moment of now.

A lot of people watch astrological happenings, but I was a bit surprised that something quite spectacular passed by earlier this week, when the star Venus was right in the middle of the Pleiades. Or as they are more commonly known: The Seven Sisters. This is a constellation of 7 stars. Venus is the first star we can see in the morning and evening skies. Always one of the brightest stars too. Easy visible, without a telescope.

Venus is in actual fact the second planet from the sun and gets its name from the Roman goddess of love and beauty. The second brightest object in the night sky after the moon. It can cast a shadow but is not often visible in the daylight to the naked eye. Venus lies within the Earth’s orbit so close to the Sun and can be easily seen in the dawn eastern skies and the dusk western skies. It orbits the sun every 224.7 days. A Rotation period of 243 days. Venus is actually a hostile planet, no moons, a distinction only shared with Mercury in our solar system.

Would you be surprised to know that Venus is often called the sister planet of the Earth because of their similar size, mass and proximity to the sun? I did not know that! And Venus is hot. The hottest planet in the solar system. Don’t get confused, the sun is actually a star!

Venus is, as you can probably guess by now, the brightest object (star wise) in the sky. And humans have enjoyed it for many centuries. Made sacred by many cultures and inspiration for writers, poets, artists and lovers.

No human has actually been on Venus, but there have been explorations there. Visited by the spacecraft Mariner 2 in 1962 (that long ago?) and again by Venera in 1970. There are thick cloud formations in Venus’s skies, so we did not have clear images of her surface until the Magellan orbiter in 1991. Any further plans have been hindered by the hostile conditions there.

But there is something quite romantic about Venus and I think it is because we all have heard about it being both the ‘morning and evening star’.

Well something interesting happened as Venus went off to visit the Seven Sisters and could be clearly seen in the constellation. 7 sisters and Venus making the number 8. I have spoken before on the meaning of the 8, the never-ending infinity sign. And this sign means energy.

Another name for the Pleiades is the Messier 45 and it is a cluster of so-called hot B type stars located in the earth sign of Taurus. A star cluster close to Earth and one that can also be seen easily with the naked eye at night.

Dominated by hot blue luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years! 

Computer simulations suggest that the Pleiades were probably formed from a compact figuration that resembled the Orion nebula. Astronomers estimate that the cluster will survive for another 250 million years and then will disappear due to gravitation interaction with our galactic neighbors. So, who of you out there thinks we are all alone? Not true, we have no information about who else is out there in the universe. But believe me there are other galaxies and other beings. The universe and the galaxy are so vast we have no idea whatsoever about its size.

I saw a magnificent photo of Venus with the Pleiades taken in Italy by an Italian photographer, so this is a copy right photo and all credit should go to him for such an amazing image.

COPYRIGHT STEFANO MARAGGI (ITALY)

But I wonder why nobody has talked about this on social media. To me, in these strange times, it does seem significant that Venus should be in the Pleiades cluster and make a number 8. Why? Not sure. Could we see this as some sort of sign in the times we are living in right now. I have not been able to find any information if this is a regular occurrence or not, so any astronomers or astrologists out there, do you know?

The thing I like about this comes back to the symbol of the number 8. Because this is a symbol with no beginning or end, it just flows continuously.  Could we see this as a special sign, of maybe hope, in these times.

One thing I have noticed too with the clearer skies (because of the lack of planes etc.) is the incredibly cloud formations that happen every now and again. I saw this one on the way to the DIY center this week and it looked almost like a spiral. I asked people: ‘what can you see?’ and someone wrote, the flame of freedom? 

I know its Easter, a time when we think about birth and renewal and for many of us at the moment, this will just be another day in ‘lockdown’. Wherever you are in the world. But this does not stop us thinking about the significance of things, just because we are more confined than usual.

Try to notice small signs and signals that we are being given. They come in many forms, shapes, sizes and from all directions. It can be something really simple like repeating numbers on your clock. Take this as a sign (if you can), that ‘upstairs’ are trying to give us hope and help. Reminding you that there are much more important things in life in general than competitiveness or materialistic possessions.

REFLECTIONS CLOUDS/SKY IN MY GARDEN (PHOTO JILL KRAMER)

Maybe we should all breathe, meditate (I do this each and every single day) and simply enjoy nature. Even though we are somewhat restricted in our movement, we can still see the moon at night, or the stars in the sky. Hear the birds singing, which seems much louder than usual. See how nature is awakening, new leaves, blossom on the trees. As I said, symbolic to Easter too. Birth and Renewal.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter. Keep safe and well and remember the best choice is love over fear! Help fellow human beings if you can and take joy from that. Just enjoy the simple things in life for once.

Pear tree blossom in my garden: Photo Jill Kramer

Images: Special thanks to Erica Weeda and Stefano Maraggi for their photos (copyright)

Other images are from my own private collection (copyright)

HOW IS EVERYONE?

Hallo dear readers how is everyone doing out there?

Hope that you are all keeping safe and well and sticking to the guideline’s issues by the Government and experts about what you can and cannot do in these trying times.

I don’t want to write yet another blog about Corona as it is the only topic of the day (which is understandable) but maybe it is time to mention other things.

I noticed actually that my own ‘fuse’ was getting shorter. Irritation with others about why they do not do what they are advised to do. And I think, even though I spent the majority of last year at home, that the sudden feeling engulfed me that I want to go out and about. Enjoy the beautiful spring nature, where new leaves are appearing on trees. Blossoms are in full color and glory. The first new lambs are darting about in the fields and the famous spring daffodils and tulips, blowing in the wind. 

I was reminded of a very famous poem written by William Wordsworth many years ago:

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills

When all at once I saw a crowd

A host, of golden daffodils

Beside the lake, beneath the tree

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of the bay

Ten thousand saw I at a glance

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance

It’s lovely isn’t it? And maybe time to try and think about other things than the continual flow of depressing news.

In some of the social media groups to which I belong, I saw a lovely initiative begin in the USA of people decorating their windows with colored paper hearts. The most amazing creations have appeared. There are so many posts now, it’s impossible to keep up and like them all. But each and every one is charming and how much fun children and adults have had being creative and decorating their homes.

And there is certainly a lot of initiative and creative ideas for people who are at home. People are playing cards again, doing puzzles, coloring in patterns, knitting. embroidery and crochet. The list of ideas is endless. One thing I do think is important is to try and keep some sort of routine going. With children at home from closed schools and adults working from home it is very easy to get into ‘bad habits’. There have been endless discussions and suggestions and I notice myself that we are getting up later than usual, but for me, this means that my day has been shortened considerably and I get very little done.

I started a sort of ‘baking trend’ with my daughter. She is stuck at home working and looking after her one year old which is a very busy task. But she was baking biscuits and such like. I did the same and we had a sort of exchange at the makeshift ‘gym in the garage’ where her husband trains daily, together with my son. Pieces of cake, biscuits, quiches all get shared and even though we are only in contact on video social media, it’s fun.

The whole point is with all these creative ideas is that it takes your mind off the news and the doom and gloom scenarios. It is bad enough but every now and again it is a good idea and therapeutic too, to do something completely different. Baking or whatever, anything you can think of, just means you are doing something else. I tend to only watch the news selectively and not have it on all day. And once I have heard it, then watch other things. Binging on Netflix and such like as you reach a certain point where the normal programs are so boring and full of adverts anyway.

I also think a lot about the huge respect we all must have for those working on regardless. People in many walks of life who continue on giving care and attention to others. Enormous gratitude to all of them in all sorts of work. From doctors, nurses, delivery men, people in shops, online shopping, policemen, firemen, people who collect our garbage and to each and every person who has come up with an excellent idea to help in these trying times. Local flower growers who sell their produce at the gate, tulips, plants for the garden. A sort of drive in garden center. In fact, for all those who despite the dangers, carry on regardless. We should all think about this and remember it well.

I heard an interesting line of thought last night in a webinar in which I was one of the several thousand participants. The host talked about keeping positive and said to look at children for inspiration. They are so pure he said, they play on regardless, happy in their own little world, where the connection between body and soul is so much stronger. I thought about my own little granddaughter who is now 13 months, oblivious to what is happening in the news, just happy to be at home with her toys. She has three old mobile phones and whilst her Mum is working at home, she is happy to just pretend to call people too, chattering on in her own little language into the phone. She has made herself a sort of chill-corner with all the cushions on the floor and sits there talking to all her teddies and other stuffed toys. It is a joy to see, albeit it on video call only. Maybe we should all follow her a little bit and re-find our own inner child. Make your own little ‘chill corner’.

Here in The Netherlands, people placed teddy bears in the windows, for children to go out into the fresh air, having a break from being indoors, on a sort of treasure hunt to find all the bears. There were 70 I was told in my village alone. Another great idea. Especially for younger children.

And so, you see, when you get creative and think about other things, there is a lot we all can do to keep ourselves amused in these trying and difficult times. I personally find that when I am doing something else, I am not thinking about the news at all. That must be therapeutic in itself, just the break, even if only for a half an hour or so.

Another thing I think we are all noticing is how people are helping one another so much more. People are becoming more supportive and showing more empathy for their fellow man or woman.

Finally, we have a lovely date coming up soon, April 4th, 2020 when this will be a 444 day. In numerology the number 444 means ‘manifesting mastery’ A sure sign, they say, when your dreams, ideas and visions manifest into reality.

On that note, let’s all get manifesting!

Keep safe, sensible and well.

IMAGES: Google

STAY AT HOME !!

Sorry have to have a rant about how people are behaving during this Corona crisis. Please someone out there enlighten me what is so difficult to understand: the advice to keep any contact to a minimum and stay at home. And why do you all think we are being told this?

Now here in The Netherlands, the Government are taking daily decisions based on the advice they are getting from experts. Virologists, doctors, professors to name but a few, and each and every day so far, the rules have been adjusted. Despite the pleas to stop this ridiculous hamstering, it still continues. However, people over the age of 70 have their own shopping hour (7-8 am, which to be honest seems a bit early for the elderly). Online shopping is easy and now free from all postage or delivery costs, so to me that seems the obvious choice if you really need something say from a shop like Boots, do it online and get it delivered to the door. Simple. We all have smartphones, Ipads (or other tablets) and computers. WiFi and internet is still working. So shop online.

Schools, Universities, shops, nail studios, hairdressers, gyms etc., all closed down until further notice. So be inventive, do exercises at home. A simple elastic gym band means you can do lots in your own environment, and I saw that people are offering free subscriptions for training programs. Be inventive and stay safe.

These are times that many of us have never experienced in our lives, I know I can say that, despite the fact that war, famine and lack of clean fresh water, continues all the time somewhere in the world. But, and please take this to heart readers, when advice is given to try and cut down unnecessary situations to avoid the spread of the Corona virus, then JUST DO IT.

A lot of people to my mind are not taking this seriously and to be honest it makes me really cross, how stupid people can be. Yes, it was lovely cold spring weather, but this was not an open invitation for people to flock to the coast or visit the Blossom Park in Amsterdam. The actual border with neighboring country Belgium is closed. And I sincerely hope that they do the same with Germany. Spain and France also in total lockdown. It just has to happen to stop people being so blasé about the spread of a deadly virus.

Despite everything, I was flabbergasted to find out that some Germans travelled here this weekend to spend time in their holiday home! WHAT???? The local mayor had issued a statement to ask people not to do this. For people with boats in local harbors, to stay away and definitely not spend the night on their boats. But still they came and then they are surprised when the people who live here, react so crossly. I just wonder what planet some people are living on. The news is updating hourly and yesterday there was a national NL Alert to every Dutch citizen –  to STAY AT HOME. Keep at distance. Do not stand in queues at a snack shop. And I could go on and on. By not paying attention and still doing this increases the opportunity for the virus to spread and brings people in high risk groups into even more danger. I mean how dreadful is that? It is more than dreadful it is thoughtless and selfish! We must all have more respect for one another to overcome this.

And that means paying attention to what experts say. Most people are working from home when they can, but think about those who are working, say in hospitals, the police and fire services and those who have a so called vital job, for all of us, not for themselves and then I say, respect for them too. Do not put people who are so badly needed at even more risk just because you think you have some sort of personal immunity. You don’t and neither do you have a special certificate that says you will not be affected. No one is safe and we are all at risk and that is why there is so much information and the reason we are all being asked to stay at home. It is not that difficult really. Health is the one thing that money cannot buy and if we have to adapt ourselves for our own safely, then those who don’t are mad in my opinion.

We are all being asked now to re-evaluate our priorities and to give more respect to one another. Maybe we will all look back at some time in the future and think, yes, this was exactly what mankind in general needed. A wake-up call to what is important and what is not.

Come on everyone, let’s get sensible and think. Not only for ourselves but for others too. Be kind to one another. Follow the advice and by uniting with one another, a wave of positivity flows across the globe. It just has to be and is it too much to ask of anyone to make a small sacrifice now, for the sake of others. I don’t think so.

Stay at Home, please, everyone. Don’t flock to areas and put others at risk. Sit in your garden (or on your balcony) and enjoy the spring at home. 

Last night one of the best programs on Dutch TV was devoted to this subject and their slogan was good.

1.5 meters distance = less deaths

It is as simple as that. Respect!

Images: Google

HUMAN HAMSTERS

Hamsters, squirrels and other creatures that go into hibernation ensure that they have stockpiled their nests with food to help them over the winter period. Other creatures overeat (like bears) to ensure that they can survive with extra body fat (by eating copious amounts of salmon for example). This is nature and how things are done. Going with the natural flow of their winter sleep and the colder weather.

But now we have Human Hamsters who despite everything have gone completely mad and are stockpiling beyond all comprehension. It is a very much ‘me first’ way of thinking with little compassion for other people. And they stockpile the strangest things. Corona is a virus which affects the lungs and respiratory tract, so please someone explain to me why you then stockpile huge amounts of toilet paper? I had to smile at something on social media, that someone wrote, with a great sense of humor that: ‘If I sneeze near anyone, everyone around me poops their pants’ ! 

But come on everyone. Where is your empathy for others? We are just all behaving like a herd of sheep. You know follow the leader and do not think for yourself at all. I mean how dumb is that.

And it is so easy to allow the spreading worldwide panic to make us all fearful. Of course, the things I read in newspapers and see on the television affect me. I then start to worry about the older generation who is not so mobile, often at home alone and how are they supposed to beat their way through the overcrowded supermarkets for their small amount of shopping. They probably only use a small amount of toilet paper on a weekly basis, but the shelves are empty. 

My son told me that our local supermarkets were so incredibly busy. You could hardly park your car anywhere and people were in the shops, far too many as the limit was 100 people maximum in one place at a time (Governmental rules) and my husband stood behind a person yesterday who had 20 loaves of bread in his trolley. People are pushing trollies about that are overflowing, stocking up on pasta, rice, tinned foods, toilet paper of course, hand soap (now this is sensible to may be have a little bit more in house), but the rest is completely ridiculous.

Supermarkets have issued page full statements in the national press that there is plenty of supply in the warehouses and that shops will be stocked again as soon as humanly possible and yet the ridiculous overbuying continues. People are just not listening and only thinking of the ‘me first’ attitude.

I have to think now (as I type) about the Albert Heijn chain of supermarkets here in the Netherlands, who often have campaigns like you all know: buy 2 get one free! And we all do it. The thought of getting something for nothing is something no one can resist. This is actually called here: ‘hamsteren’ which refers of course to the beginning of my blog.

It seriously worries me that people are behaving in this way. There is no thought whatsoever for people who are working and maybe want to do their shopping later, finding the shelves plundered, empty and nothing available. These are people, like our Prime Minster said this week in a press conference, who work in hospitals and care homes. That is why shops are open longer hours these days. So that people who work in shifts can still go to the shops. People doing important jobs, like police, firemen, doctors and nurses, process operators, people in the food industry and so on, ensuring that companies keep going to keep stocks up.

What I really found scandalous was that some shops had put up prices by several hundred percent. 3 bottles of hand soap for Euro 41, something which normally costs Euro 2-3 a bottle.  How much crazier can it get! But hey, there is always someone who looks for the opportunity to make money at another’s expense. And then I think about the more vulnerable groups of people, people with handicaps, chronic illnesses and the elderly who are confined to their homes.

Even online shopping has been affected. The enormous demand means that there are delays and again people are stockpiling. Isn’t it time to install a limit to the amount people can order? 

To my mind the most important advice is be sensible and do not blindly follow the herd. Think for yourself and make up your own mind. Think about what is important and what not. Of course, if you feel ill and have symptoms, stay at home, do things that you never have time to do. This is a common human courtesy not to infect others. Follow your own intuition. And follow the rules that governments and experts have advised. 

Is it really important at the moment to go out for dinner, when in actual fact now a lot of restaurants and cafes are closed? One really good initiative I saw was that restaurants were still cooking and offering a free delivery service. At least some people are thinking.

Yesterday I just happened to be working on a blog translation for a good friend of mine. It was another totally different look at the panic about the Corona Virus. You can find this on his website on this link if you are interested to read. Whilst working on this some strange things happened around me. I won’t go into too much details as there are many sceptics who will comment, but I just know that when this happens, there is a special message coming through. It has happened to me before when I was working on other things for him.

In English and Dutch

Summarizing: I can only say, let’s stop reacting in such an irresponsible and stupid way. Be sensible and also think about other people. This is not a virus to test our ego’s it is, to my mind, a learning moment to actually think about others. Cupboards full of toilet paper, pasta, rice and tinned goods will in no way protect you from catching the virus. But by taking note of rules and decisions made by experts will. If everyone listens to the advice and actually does it, it might be possible in the next three weeks to stop this pandemic going even further. There are a lot of vulnerable people out there. It is just tough luck if sport events are cancelled, tough luck if you cannot do things you might like to do, this is all about thinking of others and respect.

Remember you are not a human hamster. You are not in winter hibernation. Tomorrow there will be more stocks in the shops. There is no point fighting with one another who is going to get more rolls of toilet paper into their trolley. There is no point overfilling your cupboards or larders. You do not need 10 packets of painkillers, one or two is enough. Leave the rest on the shelves so that other people can buy it too. For those of you who need yet another confirmation. Corona is a virus which is spread by coughs and sneezes and through minute droplets of moisture in the air. It is a virus similar to influenza which is a normal thing. It may be a new strain, but we are literally feeding it, by being so ridiculous. Stop right now!

Have we all gone mad? Is this the side effect of the Corona virus?

I hope when you have read my blog, and perhaps Janosh’s too, that you are encouraged to stop and think.

We are neither hamsters nor sheep.

Think for yourself and respect too for others. This is empathy and compassion.

IMAGES: GOOGLE

CORONA PANIC

Do you like me, feel that you cannot hear another word on the news about the dreaded Corona Virus? Not that I am in any way suggesting that this is not something we have to take seriously, but sometimes news reporting is so totally over the top! Like for instance the hoarding of simple household items, like Toilet Paper. Please will someone enlighten me why we should be hoarding this? It might be better to ensure that you have a normal number of painkillers (like Aspirin or Paracetamol) to perhaps, if you suddenly get a high temperature, be able to bring this under control.

There have been many influenza panics over the years (Swine Flu, SARS to name but two) and of course every single year people get flu. A common virus which is spread through the air by sneezing or coughing on droplets of moisture. 

All of a sudden something that the majority of people do many times a day, washing their hands, has become a major issue. Normal people do that all the time don’t they?

Also shaking hands is now banned on a worldwide scale and it was nice to see the Dutch royals yesterday on a State Visit in Indonesia using the Namaste hand sign to say hello. We should do this more often don’t you agree? Thank goodness air kissing (besides someone’s cheek) is a ‘no no’ too, now no one is going to miss that are they?

I just happened to have to go for my heart check up at the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven when the news broke that morning (5th March) that one of the nursing staff had been affected by a patient and was now at home in quarantine. Weeks before my visit I had received an email that the hospital was taking all the precautions they could in preparation for an outbreak in Holland. In the meantime, the entire county seems to be on lockdown. Many people have become infected.

The entire hospital was fitted out with hand sanitizers but sitting in the waiting room as far away from others to be as polite as possible, I noticed about 5 people coughing nonstop into their hands. For goodness sake, how many more times do they have to inform us not to do that and keep hands clean. I was flabbergasted when one of the doctors came out and greeted his patients with a handshake, including those who had been coughing into their hands. Are we then surprised that the virus is passed on and rages on like a forest fire? Are people so stupid. Yes, I am afraid they are!

My own cardiologist said, it’s all about common sense and hygiene and it is good to wash your hands regularly and if you feel feverish or unwell, then stay at home. In these times, everyone can work from home, well people who work in offices can for sure, and others should stay at home. No one is indispensable. No one!

One story that I found really disturbing was a family who had all the symptoms and had dreadful problems trying to arrange for a proper Corona test. Everyone knew once the outbreak had happened in Italy, it was only a question of time before it spread all over Europe, which is now the case.

But aren’t we all going a bit over the top about things? Isn’t it really just like my cardiologist said: common sense?

If you think you have the symptoms then call the special telephone numbers, don’t go sitting in your GP’s waiting room infecting all the other waiting patients and coughing and spluttering the virus germs into the air.

I had to smile yesterday when the evening news suggested that you need to keep a circle of around 2 meters between you and others when you are in open public places. The reporter had made a sort of hula-hoop around himself and guess what, 2 meters away from other people is a lot. It is virtually impossible to move around the shops but if you feel uneasy going out to shop, use the online service and get it delivered to your door. That is easy!

We all know without any doubt that making and creating so much panic and fear is all about power. Power to make people afraid, even in their own families. Of course, there are numerous examples about people who are so totally ridiculous, like the 900 students from Groningen in Holland who went on a ski holiday in the affected areas in Italy. How damned inconsiderate is that? Especially when an official code red had been announced not to visit Italy unless you absolutely have to. A lot of flights between European countries and Italy have been cancelled, but hey the 900 students could not miss their vacation could they now?

I notice that the news only tells you the negative things. They don’t mention the number of people in China who were infected and are now better do they? 

Here in Holland there is a major panic about the planned Eurovision Song Festival and even worse the Dutch Grand Prix in May. I mean, just imagine if these events have to be cancelled because of possible epidemic virus infections? It sort of puts things into perspective doesn’t it. We would rather spend time worrying about that.

One thing which I do think is despicable is that many companies have put up prices a lot for things like mouth masks, or sanitizing gel, you can hardly buy it anywhere. And laboratories are running out of test sticks. Why on earth isn’t something thinking ahead and ensuring that sufficient stocks are there. It is now weeks since the first confirmed Corona victims in China.

Our daily papers were full of course, about the economic effects too. The AEX stock exchange in Amsterdam took heavy economic losses yesterday and already the pension funds are warning of financial problems. Isn’t this just the usual excuse? You know it rains in some vague place in the world and the price of potatoes goes up overnight. As I said any excuse.

However, my heart goes out to all of the people who have been affected. To families who have lost loved ones. To those who are feeling really ill and the only advice is stay indoors, keep warm and drink as much as possible? Ensure high temperatures are kept under control by analgesics and just like the common cold, which is a virus too, stay at home until you are completely better. There is nothing so urgent that cannot wait, in any walk of life. 

Just use your common sense. Shame there are so many influencers in the world who seem to have lost theirs.

Saw this funny cartoon on social media today, which I want to share…. And we all know Bob’s always knows, best doesn’t he?

Just another avenue of thought is that the word Corona means a ring of light around the sun. It is actually an aura or plasma (hot ionized gas) that surrounds the sun and other stars. The Sun’s Corona extends millions of kilometers into outer space and can be best seen during a solar eclipse. The corona around the sun is actually hotter than the sun itself, by a factor would you believe of 150 to 450 times. Average temperature people say is 5800 kelvin. The Corona is also 10 (-12) times as dense as the photosphere and produces about one-millionth as much visible light. The word Corona means a glowing circle of light around an object. Coming from the Latin word for crown or garland.

Just saying!

Images: Google