Latest Love News From Spain :)
Posted by Joserra G. on Feb 17, 2019
Awakin Circles keep on and on in Burgos every week! And it’s because of volunteers like Arianna and Sylvia that we can make them possible! Now we are offering dinner every week and you can feel the magic of our interconnections growing!
Every circle is a chant to collective wisdom and transformation like this one where we listened to few incredible kindness stories! And many of them inspired by what happens in and around awakin circles! It’s amazing to see how initiatives like the circles change the culture of a place without having anyone say: ‘this is the way things should work’, ‘this is the truth’. It’s just by natural resonance that transformation happens. That inspires us all the time.
From people moving to Burgos, to people starting deeper meditation journeys, to people wanting to serve in a more generous way, to people opening their home doors for their neighbors, to people starting generosity based initiatives or people gifting their homes… The field co-generated by Awakin circles is quite unbelievable. And one of the keys I think is not to have any agenda to it, just to show up and give the best of your love and presence to each moment. We feel that labour of love sustained over time through small acts is the real engine of the re-love-ution, the humble leading by example that ends up rippling out in the form of other experiments of love and generosity :).
LA OLLA COMÚN
Our friend Fran is a person who is dedicated to the Common Good and is sensitive to the needs of society. A generous man of many talents and ideas! He is a university professor who works to empower others, to support their dreams and who always goes the ‘extra mile’ to contribute. A short while ago, when we were on a kind walk, sharing hugs and conversations with strangers, by ‘coincidence’ we met Fran, who without hesitation said, “In order to give you more time to do this, I would like to invite you to lunch. Don’t worry about it, I’ll handle everything”. In a few hours he had prepared a magnificent meal for 10 people.
From his generous spirit and his connection with the ‘collective cloud’ (here, perhaps the saying ‘being in the clouds’ loses its meaning) emerge ideas such as the “La Olla Común”. Celebrating his birthday a few months ago, in conversation with various friends, the idea occurred to Fran that he could open his home and invite others to do the same to eat together. The host prepares the main course in coordination with the other volunteers and the rest is brought by the other guests.
The simplicity of this idea does not take away its power. Of course, this is not a new idea, it’s a tradition in dozens of cultures around the world (the potluck in North America, Moais in Japan, or similar traditions in Chile or India), but even that does not detract from it. In a culture in which everything is sold, non-commercial spaces help to regenerate social tissue and the relationships based on all that is priceless. And it’s no mean feat. Loneliness and disconnection are pressing epidemics in Western societies today, with multiple complex causes and consequences.
The ‘Olla Común’ movement slowly begins to unfurl! There have already been 10 gatherings or so in Burgos and its surroundings and people from other cities have also shown interest. Building on the foundation of noble friendships and kindness that re-love-ution generates, people have felt confident enough to open their homes and offer these meals in the spirit of gift, with no other motive than to give space and company to others.
Here’s a photo of one of the Ollas!
“All our fingers are different, but together they give form and function to our hands. Many dream of a world in which all of us can contribute our talents, in which all of us are changemakers. Even then, to have that vision inside the structure of a hierarchical organization is like trying to put a square block in a round hole. This requires ecosystem thinking and takes time.”
CIRCLES OF ABUNDANCE
Pilar is one of the other volunteers who inspires us almost every day. A short while ago her bicycle was stolen and in an act of faith in humanity she decided to leave an empathetic note so that it would be returned to her, and it was! Later she left a note to say thank you :).
With her invaluable spirit of kindness Pilar decided to promote the idea of ‘Circles of Abundance’. Pilar had an Indian clothing store and with all the material from that project she decided to create a space without fixed pricing, in which anyone could gift objects, clothes or talents. “I don’t want to sell these clothes in just any market. Each item of clothing has a story, each has a value that goes far beyond its monetary price. Although this way I may earn less money, I prefer that they go to people who will value them”.
Following Pilar’s beautiful intentions, other volunteers joined and decided to share their belongings, soap, more clothes, time, workshops… It was wonderful to see how each person contributed what they could and knew, filling the hall with gifts, and not just tangible things… There were different conversational circles, children’s games, co-created murals, shared meditations… Jorge, another beloved friend from the ecosystem reflected, delighted, “I left for a while to do some things and when I returned I found that my son had began to meditate! I entered the hall and found him sitting in silence! Later he told me that he felt very good”. J
In this relove-ution of many forms, people ask themselves, What can I do? What is the altruistic revolution for me?
Quique is one of those untiring volunteers, involved in multiple projects and dedicated to social causes. A few years ago his firm downsized and he remains unemployed. But to Quique, unemployment is something very metaphorical. It’s easy to find him in four different places each day, meditating in a monastery in the morning, doing mudras for peace by midday, in the Solidarity Forum by evening and in an Awakin circle shortly afterwards... In a recent talk he told us: “I have decided to dedicate this time to what I like, to what my heart asks, and to learn tools and new visions with which to be happier”. One of his most recent innovations is to leave his home door open to connect more deeply with his neighbours and generate that sense of confidence which we sometimes miss in society today J . In a gesture that demonstrates a contrasting mindset, a different cultural story, removed from the separation and distrust which so often appear in the media. It’s worth asking, are those the stories that truly dominate our relationships, our day-to-day existence?
Quique and Pilar in the Circle of Abundance
“While traditional hierarchies tend to externalize costs, ecosystems require ladders (leaders focused on contributing) who want to externalize the benefits. Then a field is created in which everyone can be a changemaker”.
HOME OF WELLBEING
Another story which has recently nourished us is that of our beloved Sylvia. Sylvia is a Yoga teacher and has spent a life dedicated to self-knowledge. Years ago she lived with Mother Teresa in Calcutta and coincided with Mandela in the U.S.A. She is full of wisdom with an eagerness to keep learning. A few summers ago, inspired by our friends in the Urban Ashram in India, Sheetal and Khush, she decided to open her home permanently as a place of care, of internal and external r-evolution. And not only did she decided to open her home but she, along with her partners and other friends are offering many of their activities in the spirit of gift ecology.
In the last year the space has already been the epicentre for various gifts of personal transformation and social change. Awakin circles, abundance circles, talks, workshops… We have had the fortune to welcome and host living examples of re-love-ution such as Pavi Mehta, Nimo Patel or Liam Chai who visited us from the U.S.A., India and Spain :).
And it is these small gestures (and not so small at this point) and the small projects which are reflected today more than ever in the world. What we do here flies instantly to all corners of the planet. Thank you ServiceSpace!
“When we share stories, we are generating Stories, when we share personal narratives we are also generating collective narratives, new forms of understanding the world, and from those stories, other stories emerge, which continue to nourish the re-love-ution, in a virtuous cycle that has no reason to end.”
Symphony of Peace Prayers in Urrez (2018)
And finally let’s share a bit about our dear brothers Martínez! Bea, who has been an Awakin co-host during these years has recently gone through some health problems, but even that has not stopped the flow of her small yet generous gestures. A short while back, she, José Juan and their business decided to support the Smile Cards initiative and improve its design in Spanish (and their business name is not on the cards J). The cards keep generating magic wherever they flow through! A short while back a volunteer went to eat a vegetarian burger and the way he almost always does, he decided to leave something paid for the next guest. A few days later he went to his favorite hairdresser and at the end of the cut she told him, “The other day on Instagram I saw a photo of a friend of mine who had received a Smile Card! Someone had paid for her hamburger!” Small World, Beautiful World :).
José Juan, Bea’s sister, continues to facilitate changes in the business communities through projects such as the Healthy Business Zone, a platform that’s supporting mindfulness, emotional intelligence, servant leadership, conscious eating, and other initiatives in the biggest industrial estate in the city of Burgos. José Juan and his colleagues want the Villalonquéjar estate to be an example of care to people and the environment. And he emphasizes: “… this is not about producing more, that is not the ultimate goal. It’s about trying to put the focus onto happy individuals and on a new perspective that aims to improve our work environment. This involves retaining the talent of future millennials which have perspectives and priorities that are very different to those of the previous generation.” Go José Juan!
Thanks all for inspiring us with your little and big forms of expressing love!
Yay! Let’s keep dancing!
*Translated from Spanish by dear volunteer Roshan Daryanani who is going to volunteer with us translating DailyGood articles weekly to Spanish! :)