The “unbearable lightness” of saying NO

I trust Milan Kundera will not bear a grudge against me for borrowing this powerful expression from his masterpiece. In effect, saying “no” (which in Italian, my mother tongue, I would translate with “basta”) reveals to be light as a feather only  once you have done it.

The DigitalNomad Kit @ Patnem Beach, Goa, India

Six years of progressive experience in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in the expats hub of multicultural and multilingual Geneva (Switzerland) have been an exciting time. Yet, I decided to take a break from daily routine, job, university degrees, friends, family and unhealthy relationships (ok, I admit the latter counts for most of the things I wanted to take distance from) to realise my dream: going to South India to study yoga and meditation while exploring the cultural and colourful side of this magic, yet super chaotic country!

Et me voilà! Here I am, where the fascinating – now super trendy – yoga discipline was born thousand years ago, doing Surya Namaskar (aka “Sun Salutation”) on a warm sandy beach in Kerala and in Goa, the smallest state of India.

Practising Setubandhasana aka “the wheel pose”

So far, I have never realised how deeply strengthening muscles and building physical endurance affect soul and mind – this is for real! – although I acknowledge that practicing in a Shala (the hall where students gather, “school” in Sanskrit) shaded by palms while looking at the sun swallowed by the ocean certainly helps.

To make this unique experience memorable and to share it with my loved ones and the community I have started blogging. I have always been an “aficionado” (… no, I didn’t write “addicted” …)  of social media and the “sharing-is-caring” pop culture. The first time someone told me: “Francesca, you should start a blog” it was in November 2014 during my last class of Corporate Communication at the Universtity of Lugano.

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My inseparable pink bike accompanying me throughout this journey

Here in India I have finally found the perfect recipe!

  • 1/2 cup of great inspiration
  • 10 cups of time
  • a pinch of courage
  • 2 teaspoons of pictures
  • 2 bowls of experiences ready for sharing

Preheat at 300 degrees, stir all ingredients, bake it and sprinkle with colourful pictures.

Shebelievesincolors is ready to be served combined with Instagram account and Facebook page. Now spread it all around.

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The sunset and the self

Charlie Chaplin and The Self

It was my second yoga class with Amala at the yoga retreat I joined early January in Goa, India. What I have always been trying to achieve with intellect and reflection, it came by surprise, on a Hatha yoga afternoon practice.

My inseparable bike waiting outside the Yoga Shala

The Shala (the place where students gather to practice yoga, litterally “school” in Sanskrit) in the forest was lightened gently but progressively by sunset sun beams with an orange-like color. Amala started the class by taking us through breath techniques, known as “Pranayama”, from the Sanskrit words “prana”, breath, life force and “yama”, channeling, expanding.

Wandering barefoot. “Orange” is the warmest color.

The purpose of the asanas/sequence of Hatha yoga poses we were asked to perform after the breathing exercises is to “create Space” in the sacral area, above the pubic bone and below the navel, to subsequently work, through quite hard body postures, on what is commonly referred to as”the second Chakra” or the “Sacral Chakra”, from the lumbar-sacral area of the body where it is “located”.

Well, I don’t believe in “supernatural” forces, but I do believe that we can experience ourselves not only as a mixture of meat, water, intellect and emotions, but as a wholeness.

The need for “Space” and “Centeredness” I was seeking, it just happened.

I had never felt so grounded to earth, full of creative energy and experiencing the empowering effects of Hatha Yoga at its fullest – I think I (re)found my SELF – CENTERNESS.

Down to earth 

“The day I truly loved myself” is a poem attributed to Charlie Chaplin, probably written on his 70th birthday On April 16, 1959. Amala read us the poem on December 31st during the evening meditation.

Amala reading aloud the poem @ Yogamagic Eco Retreat Goa, India

“When I Started Loving Myself
I Understood That I’m Always And At Any Given Opportunity
In The Right Place At The Right Time.
And I Understood That All That Happens Is Right – From Then On I Could Be Calm.
Today I Know: It’s Called TRUST.

When I Started To Love Myself I Understood How Much It Can Offend Somebody
When I Tried To Force My Desires On This Person,
Even Though I Knew The Time Is Not Right And The Person Was Not Ready For It,

And Even Though This Person Was Me. Today I Know: It’s Called LETTING GO

When I Started Loving Myself
I Could Recognize That Emotional Pain And Grief
Are Just Warnings For Me To Not Live Against My Own Truth.
Today I Know: It’s Called AUTHENTICALLY BEING.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Longing For Another Life
And Could See That Everything Around Me Was A Request To Grow.
Today I Know: It’s Called MATURITY.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Depriving Myself Of My Free Time
And Stopped Sketching Further Magnificent Projects For The Future.
Today I Only Do What’s Fun And Joy For Me,
What I Love And What Makes My Heart Laugh,
In My Own Way And In My Tempo.
Today I Know: It’s Called HONESTY.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Escaped From All What Wasn’t Healthy For Me,
From Dishes, People, Things, Situations
And From Everyhting Pulling Me Down And Away From Myself.
In The Beginning I Called It The “Healthy Egoism”,
But Today I Know: It’s Called SELF-LOVE.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Stopped Wanting To Be Always Right
Thus I’ve Been Less Wrong.
Today I’ve Recognized: It’s Called HUMBLENESS.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Refused To Live Further In The Past
And Worry About My Future.
Now I Live Only At This Moment Where EVERYTHING Takes Place,
Like This I Live Every Day And I Call It CONSCIOUSNESS.

When I Started Loving Myself
I Recognized, That My Thinking
Can Make Me Miserable And Sick.
When I Requested For My Heart Forces,
My Mind Got An Important Partner.
Today I Call This Connection HEART WISDOM.

We Do Not Need To Fear Further Discussions, Conflicts And Problems With Ourselves And Others Since Even Stars Sometimes Bang On Each Other And Create New Worlds.
Today I Know: THIS IS LIFE!”

Lemongrass tea after morning meditation @Yogamagic Eco Retreat

I LET GO. Present tense

Getting rid is a common desire that most of us experience.

This year I had the most beautiful “turning” into New Years Eve ever. In Goa, India, I sat by the open fire experiencing a mindfulness presence of mySELF, like only meditation allows you to do, with a piece of paper to write down resolutions. The day after, on January 1st at 8 am., after the morning meditation, I burnt them into the orange of the fire, watching it disintegrate and disappear from our hands.

By the open fire on December 31st @yogamagicecoretreat, Goa, India
By the open fire on January 1st, 2016 @yogamagicecoretreat Goa, India

This was the best New Year’s Day waking up I can remember.

Since then, I use the present tense for every single intention I want to turn into resolution. Use the present tense, like you do when working in customer experience to manage customer expectations.

Use the present tense to manage your own. Allow your intentions for the future become your present.

I let go of what I don’t like, I create space for myself and new experiences. In the end, it all starts by creating space. Isn’t it?

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