Yoga Monday: Big toe stand
Just like that! 55 kilos (okaayyy 57 kilos) balancing on one big toe (okaayyy, on 5 toes). Not as bad as it seems; cause crazy enough when doing the big toe stand you are supposed to use all five toes. And consequently I’m a 5-toed squatting tree (this pose is one of the ‘tree pose’ family) amongst all the other trees in Amsterdams’ Vondel Park. Or well, let’s call it a bush, I felt like I looked like one of those a lot more. 
My big toe stand looks pretty sturdy, I happily concluded. What you guys can’t see however is that I fell down, full speed to the right (your left) 10 seconds after this picture was taken; the big toe stand (in Sanskrit the ‘Padangusthasana’) is quite difficult. 
Whether you think so too has everything to do with your balance and the muscle in your feet. For those of you who have muscled feet (I don’t even know what those look like) and great balance, this pose won’t be very hard to do. For those of you who don’t have this, the big toe stand is a great exercise. It doesn’t only strengthen your feet; it also gives your abs, hips, knees and ankles a great work-out. And because you have to focus really hard on keeping your balance, this pose is a great way to practice your mindfulness too. You simply don’t have a choice; if you lose your concentration, you tip over. And you don’t want that.

You start from the ‘Mountain pose’. Shift your weight to your left foot, lift you right knee and place your right foot on you left thigh. Now slowly lower your right knee until it’s pointing towards the floor and place your hands together in prayer position. Now slowly bend forward and touch the floor with your fingertips, while keeping your legs in the same position. Tighten your abs and let your entire body come down by bending your right knee until your butt cheeks touch your left heel. Keep your back straight and bring your hands back into the prayer position (hands in front of your chest, palms together, like saying ‘Namaste’). Hold this pose for about 90 seconds (if you can) and then come back up the same way as you went down and do the other side.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Yoga Monday: Big toe stand

Just like that! 55 kilos (okaayyy 57 kilos) balancing on one big toe (okaayyy, on 5 toes). Not as bad as it seems; cause crazy enough when doing the big toe stand you are supposed to use all five toes. And consequently I’m a 5-toed squatting tree (this pose is one of the ‘tree pose’ family) amongst all the other trees in Amsterdams’ Vondel Park. Or well, let’s call it a bush, I felt like I looked like one of those a lot more.

My big toe stand looks pretty sturdy, I happily concluded. What you guys can’t see however is that I fell down, full speed to the right (your left) 10 seconds after this picture was taken; the big toe stand (in Sanskrit the ‘Padangusthasana’) is quite difficult.

Whether you think so too has everything to do with your balance and the muscle in your feet. For those of you who have muscled feet (I don’t even know what those look like) and great balance, this pose won’t be very hard to do. For those of you who don’t have this, the big toe stand is a great exercise. It doesn’t only strengthen your feet; it also gives your abs, hips, knees and ankles a great work-out. And because you have to focus really hard on keeping your balance, this pose is a great way to practice your mindfulness too. You simply don’t have a choice; if you lose your concentration, you tip over. And you don’t want that.

You start from the ‘Mountain pose’. Shift your weight to your left foot, lift you right knee and place your right foot on you left thigh. Now slowly lower your right knee until it’s pointing towards the floor and place your hands together in prayer position. Now slowly bend forward and touch the floor with your fingertips, while keeping your legs in the same position. Tighten your abs and let your entire body come down by bending your right knee until your butt cheeks touch your left heel. Keep your back straight and bring your hands back into the prayer position (hands in front of your chest, palms together, like saying ‘Namaste’). Hold this pose for about 90 seconds (if you can) and then come back up the same way as you went down and do the other side.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

We interviewd singer Shishani Vranckx, a great musician and an amazing woman on what being true to yourself means to her, about the message in her music, about being a woman that loves women in Afrika, about living in love and chasing dreams.
What means being true to yourself to you?To listen to myself and my feelings. Often we already know what we’re thinking, feeling and wanting before we dare to admit it to ourselves. Intuition is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given and I’m learning to listen it more and more.
What was a real ‘Taj moment’ to you; a moment on which you chose to be completely true to yourself?I think our lives exist out of many of those moments. To me it was: choosing to be a musician despite of what my parents expected from me, to embrace my love for women and to accept myself in this, to go to Namibia to chase my dreams and music. Now it is: doing exercise every day, trying to take care of myself well, taking my rest and being honest in everything I do.
Being in Namibia and Africa a lot as a lesbian woman, that can’t be easy…I was born in Namibia, but I grew up mainly in The Netherlands. In 2011 I went to Namibia for the first time in a long time with my girlfriend at the time. Exciting, because I only found negative news on the internet. Because of my performances I ended up in the ‘’art scene’’ of Windhoek city (Namibia’s capital) and the opposite appeared to be true: everybody thought be were a great couple!
Is Namibia changing it its ideas about homosexuality?  In general homosexuality is still considered to be something bad in the press. Also the president is still against it. But luckily there is a lot of activism these days by different organizations, there are gay parties and there is a ‘Mr. Gay Namibia pageant’ ’; a lot is happening.
I have never had negative experiences myself, the opposite even. I get Facebook messages from girls who come out of the closet and tell me first. I give them advice about the existing organizations in Namibia that can help. My colleagues, fellow musicians…everybody knows it, but nobody has openly harassed me because of it.  Also not in the media. I think my status as a musician makes that it’s a little different for me than for every other ‘’Namibian girl or boy in the village’’ for whom it’s very difficult to be openly gay.
What is your message to the world, that you want to share through your music?Truth. Honesty. The truth; that we dare see that truth, beautiful or ugly. To accept yourself in all that you are and all that you aren’t and mainly to be conscious of everything around you. My wish is that we would all try to live in love and to give love - in all her forms – wherever we can.
The ultimate ‘Taj woman’ is to you…My mother. She is unstoppable. She has always works hard to make her dreams come true and she has always taught me to be myself, no matter what other people might think. This has been one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned in life.
What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever written (and should our readers really listen to!)? “Minority.” (You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyAndKWzro ) I wish we’d learn to ‘live and let live’. We will never be able to understand everybody and everything, and that is okay for it is impossible to do so if you haven’t been through to absolutely everything yourself. But to respect each other despite of our differences is what ought to make us human. Because we are all different, but we are all equal. I’d wish that we would all look at another persons heart and value, and not at color, sexual preferences, religion or culture.
Do you have any other inspiring ‘Cult H’art’ tips for us? I have some great names for you: Lize Ehlers, Erna Chimu, Hishishi papa, Jackson Wahengo, Tonetic – all amazing artist from Namibia!

 

We interviewd singer Shishani Vranckx, a great musician and an amazing woman on what being true to yourself means to her, about the message in her music, about being a woman that loves women in Afrika, about living in love and chasing dreams.

What means being true to yourself to you?
To listen to myself and my feelings. Often we already know what we’re thinking, feeling and wanting before we dare to admit it to ourselves. Intuition is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given and I’m learning to listen it more and more.

What was a real ‘Taj moment’ to you; a moment on which you chose to be completely true to yourself?
I think our lives exist out of many of those moments. To me it was: choosing to be a musician despite of what my parents expected from me, to embrace my love for women and to accept myself in this, to go to Namibia to chase my dreams and music. Now it is: doing exercise every day, trying to take care of myself well, taking my rest and being honest in everything I do.

Being in Namibia and Africa a lot as a lesbian woman, that can’t be easy…
I was born in Namibia, but I grew up mainly in The Netherlands. In 2011 I went to Namibia for the first time in a long time with my girlfriend at the time. Exciting, because I only found negative news on the internet. Because of my performances I ended up in the ‘’art scene’’ of Windhoek city (Namibia’s capital) and the opposite appeared to be true: everybody thought be were a great couple!

Is Namibia changing it its ideas about homosexuality?
In general homosexuality is still considered to be something bad in the press. Also the president is still against it. But luckily there is a lot of activism these days by different organizations, there are gay parties and there is a ‘Mr. Gay Namibia pageant’ ’; a lot is happening.

I have never had negative experiences myself, the opposite even. I get Facebook messages from girls who come out of the closet and tell me first. I give them advice about the existing organizations in Namibia that can help. My colleagues, fellow musicians…everybody knows it, but nobody has openly harassed me because of it.  Also not in the media. I think my status as a musician makes that it’s a little different for me than for every other ‘’Namibian girl or boy in the village’’ for whom it’s very difficult to be openly gay.

What is your message to the world, that you want to share through your music?
Truth. Honesty. The truth; that we dare see that truth, beautiful or ugly. To accept yourself in all that you are and all that you aren’t and mainly to be conscious of everything around you. My wish is that we would all try to live in love and to give love - in all her forms – wherever we can.

The ultimate ‘Taj woman’ is to you…
My mother. She is unstoppable. She has always works hard to make her dreams come true and she has always taught me to be myself, no matter what other people might think. This has been one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learned in life.

What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever written (and should our readers really listen to!)?
“Minority.” (You can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCyAndKWzro ) I wish we’d learn to ‘live and let live’. We will never be able to understand everybody and everything, and that is okay for it is impossible to do so if you haven’t been through to absolutely everything yourself. But to respect each other despite of our differences is what ought to make us human. Because we are all different, but we are all equal. I’d wish that we would all look at another persons heart and value, and not at color, sexual preferences, religion or culture.

Do you have any other inspiring ‘Cult H’art’ tips for us?
I have some great names for you: Lize Ehlers, Erna Chimu, Hishishi papa, Jackson Wahengo, Tonetic – all amazing artist from Namibia!

 

The high ponytail
Lovely-ish 90s style/Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but oh soooooo pretty. If you don’t make a slippery greasy coupe out of it that is; an important ground rule in the’ land of tails’. This way you wear your hair tail boho and classy.
This simple classic is too often being forgotten but so lovely and easy to make.
1.       Take a hair elastic in the same color as your hair and make a high pony tail.
2.       Brush your tail well to make it full and voluminous and back comb it a bit at the start near the elastic. 
3.       Take a tuft of hair from the bottom of your tail and twist it around the elastic till it ends at the bottom of your tail again and pin it down with a bobby pin. Too ordinary? You can also braid the tuft first.

4.       Done! Tail not full enough? You could save the tuft of hair and tie some fake hair around it. Or a lace thong even. Uhm, thong? Yes, a thong!

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

A

The high ponytail

Lovely-ish 90s style/Fresh Prince of Bel Air, but oh soooooo pretty. If you don’t make a slippery greasy coupe out of it that is; an important ground rule in the’ land of tails’. This way you wear your hair tail boho and classy.

This simple classic is too often being forgotten but so lovely and easy to make.

1.       Take a hair elastic in the same color as your hair and make a high pony tail.

2.       Brush your tail well to make it full and voluminous and back comb it a bit at the start near the elastic.

3.       Take a tuft of hair from the bottom of your tail and twist it around the elastic till it ends at the bottom of your tail again and pin it down with a bobby pin. Too ordinary? You can also braid the tuft first.

4.       Done! Tail not full enough? You could save the tuft of hair and tie some fake hair around it. Or a lace thong even. Uhm, thong? Yes, a thong!

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

A

Pity isn’t love
We have both been blessed with love. That’s quite the cheesy opening of a blog, but it’s true. So what have we got to say about this subject? Well, plenty. ‘’Pity isn’t love’’, our mother always says. This little sentence had changed our lives drastically at one point and boy are we happy we changed our course. Time to pass it on.
In many religions (think: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism) pity and empathy are great virtues. They are considered to be part of love, considered humane. And that is true, of course. Who doesn’t know empathy and compassion, misses an essential human emotion. But empathy may need to love to come into existence; pity and love are not the same thing. 
How often do people stay in a relationship out of pity? Out of fear that the other one won’t survive a break-up, would never be happy again, would never find another love or would collapse and breakdown? We dare bet the statistics are fearfully high. Maybe you’re not even aware of the fact that you’re staying with someone out of pity. Maybe you need for someone to tell you one simple thing – ‘’pity is NOT love’’ – so you can tell the difference from that moment on.
Cause it doesn’t only hurt you (staying with someone forever out of pity, even if this is your own choice, means giving up on a part of your happiness), you also deprive your love of something essential;  the chance on equal love; the chance to find someone that wants to be with him 110%. Who are you to deprive him of his chance on true love? On someone who wants to be with him as badly as he wants to be with you now?
And besides, what does it say about you? About how you feel about yourself and what you think you deserve? In ‘The perks of being a wall flower’ is a beautiful quote: “You accept the love you think you deserve.” Does the person you’re with deserve true love more than you do? You may be his great love, but don’t you have the right to find yours too? 
Friedrich Nietzsche even compared pity to bad manners. Instead of pity he therefor came up with ‘joined-joy’. What a simple and beautiful idea! For all women who pity to much; try to exchange some of that pity for joy. See the positive side of choosing for yourself, for this way your love gets a change on an equal relationship and finally isn’t considered poor anymore. Every human being deserves the dignity to be taken seriously, to be seen as strong and independent. And everyone deserves a chance, a moment, no matter how painful, on which he/she can chose to be such a strong person him/herself.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Pity isn’t love

We have both been blessed with love. That’s quite the cheesy opening of a blog, but it’s true. So what have we got to say about this subject? Well, plenty. ‘’Pity isn’t love’’, our mother always says. This little sentence had changed our lives drastically at one point and boy are we happy we changed our course. Time to pass it on.

In many religions (think: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism) pity and empathy are great virtues. They are considered to be part of love, considered humane. And that is true, of course. Who doesn’t know empathy and compassion, misses an essential human emotion. But empathy may need to love to come into existence; pity and love are not the same thing.

How often do people stay in a relationship out of pity? Out of fear that the other one won’t survive a break-up, would never be happy again, would never find another love or would collapse and breakdown? We dare bet the statistics are fearfully high. Maybe you’re not even aware of the fact that you’re staying with someone out of pity. Maybe you need for someone to tell you one simple thing – ‘’pity is NOT love’’ – so you can tell the difference from that moment on.

Cause it doesn’t only hurt you (staying with someone forever out of pity, even if this is your own choice, means giving up on a part of your happiness), you also deprive your love of something essential;  the chance on equal love; the chance to find someone that wants to be with him 110%. Who are you to deprive him of his chance on true love? On someone who wants to be with him as badly as he wants to be with you now?

And besides, what does it say about you? About how you feel about yourself and what you think you deserve? In ‘The perks of being a wall flower’ is a beautiful quote: “You accept the love you think you deserve.” Does the person you’re with deserve true love more than you do? You may be his great love, but don’t you have the right to find yours too?

Friedrich Nietzsche even compared pity to bad manners. Instead of pity he therefor came up with ‘joined-joy’. What a simple and beautiful idea! For all women who pity to much; try to exchange some of that pity for joy. See the positive side of choosing for yourself, for this way your love gets a change on an equal relationship and finally isn’t considered poor anymore. Every human being deserves the dignity to be taken seriously, to be seen as strong and independent. And everyone deserves a chance, a moment, no matter how painful, on which he/she can chose to be such a strong person him/herself.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Yoga Monday: Childrens Yoga
How wonderful would it be for a young child to be able to already create that quiet place to go when it all gets a little bit too much; to be raised mindfully; to be taught to mediate at a young age;  to be taught to keep balance and – also great – to touch your own toes by doing yoga.
Yoga and mindfulness help children with their physical and mental development. Their little heads get to so many impulses daily, so much to digest every day. We get used to this yes, we learn to cope…sort of. But stress in an uninvited guest in many lives and wouldn’t it be great if dealing with it were easy to you cause you had already learned this a toddler or child?
Mindfulness could also help children to let go of their fears and sadness. For children with psychological problems therapeutic children’s yoga can make a big positive difference. Mindfulness can help children focus, to do better in school and to deal with things like divorce or being bullied.

Because we wish we had learned mindfulness and yoga when we were little we would therefore like to say to you: if you have the opportunity, do yoga with your kids, teach them mindfulness and help them to deal with tress actively. You can do it yourself with the help of books or find a great practice near your home.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Yoga Monday: Childrens Yoga

How wonderful would it be for a young child to be able to already create that quiet place to go when it all gets a little bit too much; to be raised mindfully; to be taught to mediate at a young age;  to be taught to keep balance and – also great – to touch your own toes by doing yoga.

Yoga and mindfulness help children with their physical and mental development. Their little heads get to so many impulses daily, so much to digest every day. We get used to this yes, we learn to cope…sort of. But stress in an uninvited guest in many lives and wouldn’t it be great if dealing with it were easy to you cause you had already learned this a toddler or child?

Mindfulness could also help children to let go of their fears and sadness. For children with psychological problems therapeutic children’s yoga can make a big positive difference. Mindfulness can help children focus, to do better in school and to deal with things like divorce or being bullied.

Because we wish we had learned mindfulness and yoga when we were little we would therefore like to say to you: if you have the opportunity, do yoga with your kids, teach them mindfulness and help them to deal with tress actively. You can do it yourself with the help of books or find a great practice near your home.

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

The do’s en don’ts in panty hose land
There are quite some pantyhose variations on this earth: the knitted panties, the fishnet panties, the hole panties, the seam panties, the brightly colored panties, panties with a low ‘denier’, panties with a high ‘denier’, white panties, summer panties, peep-toe panties…You would almost need a college degree for it. We are a little bit panties-tired. So today: a roadmap for dizzy making pantyhose land.
Unless you work at a bank, are having tea with the queen of England or are attending another occasion that requires full-throttle old-school etiquette, pantyhose are really not a must. Bold, white and bare legs in the winter however, aren’t quite ‘it’ either and some pantyhose simply give your look that little bit extra. So pantyhose are okay, IF you consider these big don’ts.
1.       White panties are NEVER a good idea (you’re not Gossip Girls queen bee Blair)
2.       Nude panties in summer – even if they say ‘summer panties’ and it says on the box that they’re invisible – are also NEVER a good idea; you’ll definitely see them anyways. Rather go for an airbrush spray for your legs; a body-lotion-meets-make-up for your legs that makes bruises invisible, makes your legs perfectly toned and gives them a subtle bit of color (Sally Hansen’s Airbrush legs for example: http://www.sallyhansen.com/skin-body/airbrush-legs
 
3.       Still going with panties when it’s peep-toe weather outside, make sure you wear peep-toe panties. Seams that are visible on your toes are not okay. The same goes for shoes with open heels. It’s really not done.
 
4.       Choosing nude panties in winter? Go for panties that match the color of your own legs. Nothing is worse than fake orange-ish legs in the winter.
 
5.       Black panties in autumn/winter can be beautiful! But do chose panties of at least (!) 30 denier.
 
6.       Love decorated panties? Don’t chose panties with patterns on them if you don’t have slim legs – even if you wish you did. Your legs look bigger when wearing patterned panties. 

7.       Fishnet panties: they can be awesome, but only if you chose the subtle kind and combine them with a classy outfit. NEVER wear them with shorts for example, ugh. And don’t wear them to work (unless you work at a fashion magazine) and if you do so anyways chose a subtle color. 
 
8.       The seam panties: we love these! So 50s and sexy. But again, make sure you combine it in a classy way. With a mini skirt: bad idea. With a long skirt to above the knee: classy and gorgeous. Also make sure the seam is straight at all times.
 
9.       Colored panties> Chose the ones that match your wardrobe. But be careful with brightly colored ones; they really make people focus on your legs which you don’t want if it should be all about the dress or if your legs aren’t stunning.
 
10.   And this goes for all panties: chose quality and buy your panties at a special store. You can tell the difference from miles away and quality panties will stay beautiful a lot longer (you don’t have to throw them away after having worn them only once). Eventually, this even makes it even cheaper to buy good ones.

ALSO IN DUTCH  @ www.taj.nl

The do’s en don’ts in panty hose land

There are quite some pantyhose variations on this earth: the knitted panties, the fishnet panties, the hole panties, the seam panties, the brightly colored panties, panties with a low ‘denier’, panties with a high ‘denier’, white panties, summer panties, peep-toe panties…You would almost need a college degree for it. We are a little bit panties-tired. So today: a roadmap for dizzy making pantyhose land.

Unless you work at a bank, are having tea with the queen of England or are attending another occasion that requires full-throttle old-school etiquette, pantyhose are really not a must. Bold, white and bare legs in the winter however, aren’t quite ‘it’ either and some pantyhose simply give your look that little bit extra. So pantyhose are okay, IF you consider these big don’ts.

1.       White panties are NEVER a good idea (you’re not Gossip Girls queen bee Blair)

2.       Nude panties in summer – even if they say ‘summer panties’ and it says on the box that they’re invisible – are also NEVER a good idea; you’ll definitely see them anyways. Rather go for an airbrush spray for your legs; a body-lotion-meets-make-up for your legs that makes bruises invisible, makes your legs perfectly toned and gives them a subtle bit of color (Sally Hansen’s Airbrush legs for example: http://www.sallyhansen.com/skin-body/airbrush-legs

 

3.       Still going with panties when it’s peep-toe weather outside, make sure you wear peep-toe panties. Seams that are visible on your toes are not okay. The same goes for shoes with open heels. It’s really not done.

 

4.       Choosing nude panties in winter? Go for panties that match the color of your own legs. Nothing is worse than fake orange-ish legs in the winter.

 

5.       Black panties in autumn/winter can be beautiful! But do chose panties of at least (!) 30 denier.

 

6.       Love decorated panties? Don’t chose panties with patterns on them if you don’t have slim legs – even if you wish you did. Your legs look bigger when wearing patterned panties.

7.       Fishnet panties: they can be awesome, but only if you chose the subtle kind and combine them with a classy outfit. NEVER wear them with shorts for example, ugh. And don’t wear them to work (unless you work at a fashion magazine) and if you do so anyways chose a subtle color.

 

8.       The seam panties: we love these! So 50s and sexy. But again, make sure you combine it in a classy way. With a mini skirt: bad idea. With a long skirt to above the knee: classy and gorgeous. Also make sure the seam is straight at all times.

 

9.       Colored panties> Chose the ones that match your wardrobe. But be careful with brightly colored ones; they really make people focus on your legs which you don’t want if it should be all about the dress or if your legs aren’t stunning.

 

10.   And this goes for all panties: chose quality and buy your panties at a special store. You can tell the difference from miles away and quality panties will stay beautiful a lot longer (you don’t have to throw them away after having worn them only once). Eventually, this even makes it even cheaper to buy good ones.

ALSO IN DUTCH  @ www.taj.nl

(Mini-) me
This is probably one of those things you don’t nearly do often enough: watch home videos and pictures of when you were a little munchkin. It may seem sentimental, vain or even something for uncomfortable moments - like when your family shows your book of baby pictures to the guy you brought home for the first time. But watching yourself as a child – chasing ducklings, wearing your mothers’ pumps and eating a cake way too enthusiastically – can give you valuable insights about the life you’re living.
Looking back at your mini-me with a grown-up eye; it’s the perfect moment on which you can press pause and take a look at the path you’ve chosen. Our innocent, little self that you can – strangely enough – almost see as a different person, makes you feel certain things. What would you want for that little thing? Is she on the right path? Can you still get her back on track? What doesn’t fit in her life? And what should she have in her life that is missing now?
Have you really lost track of the path you wanted to be on you might not even feel comfortable watching old pictures. Maybe you even guilty: is this all that little munchkin has become? Isn’t there more in store for her than this; this job, this relationship; this existence? What happened to her dreams? Doesn’t that little girl deserve the best of the best? And why do we stop seeing that for ourselves, wanting that for ourselves and fighting for it? Is it our mistakes? Our weaknesses? Things that have happened? Disappointment? Or simply getting stuck in a daily grind?
We wouldn’t want to see that little cutie smoke under any circumstance – you would probably want to beat the cigarette out of the hands of your previous mini self. But yet, maybe you do smoke now. You would stand up for the little one if she were bullied, mistreated or unseen. And yet again: we do accept it when these things happen to us as grown-ups. You would tell her that everything is possible if you want it badly enough and are prepared to work hard for it and fight for it. Life is too short and too special to stop believing in that.
Mini-me as the perfect repair tool for your life’s compass; time to let that compass point at your true North again. Is it already doing that? Good for you! But still then we advise you to watch home videos and old pictures, just because it’s so much fun!

 ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

(Mini-) me

This is probably one of those things you don’t nearly do often enough: watch home videos and pictures of when you were a little munchkin. It may seem sentimental, vain or even something for uncomfortable moments - like when your family shows your book of baby pictures to the guy you brought home for the first time. But watching yourself as a child – chasing ducklings, wearing your mothers’ pumps and eating a cake way too enthusiastically – can give you valuable insights about the life you’re living.

Looking back at your mini-me with a grown-up eye; it’s the perfect moment on which you can press pause and take a look at the path you’ve chosen. Our innocent, little self that you can – strangely enough – almost see as a different person, makes you feel certain things. What would you want for that little thing? Is she on the right path? Can you still get her back on track? What doesn’t fit in her life? And what should she have in her life that is missing now?

Have you really lost track of the path you wanted to be on you might not even feel comfortable watching old pictures. Maybe you even guilty: is this all that little munchkin has become? Isn’t there more in store for her than this; this job, this relationship; this existence? What happened to her dreams? Doesn’t that little girl deserve the best of the best? And why do we stop seeing that for ourselves, wanting that for ourselves and fighting for it? Is it our mistakes? Our weaknesses? Things that have happened? Disappointment? Or simply getting stuck in a daily grind?

We wouldn’t want to see that little cutie smoke under any circumstance – you would probably want to beat the cigarette out of the hands of your previous mini self. But yet, maybe you do smoke now. You would stand up for the little one if she were bullied, mistreated or unseen. And yet again: we do accept it when these things happen to us as grown-ups. You would tell her that everything is possible if you want it badly enough and are prepared to work hard for it and fight for it. Life is too short and too special to stop believing in that.

Mini-me as the perfect repair tool for your life’s compass; time to let that compass point at your true North again. Is it already doing that? Good for you! But still then we advise you to watch home videos and old pictures, just because it’s so much fun!

 ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Samsara 
A group of monks is sitting on the floor - in an almost meditative state - making a mandala out of sand, somewhere a child is born and somewhere else an old soul dies. Samsara is the most beautiful journey around the world you can make, right from your own couch. You’ll visit 25 cultures in less than 2 hours. In silence, your thoughts guided by breathtaking music.
Samsara is Sanskrit for ‘going around in circles’. In Buddhism and Hinduism Samsara symbolizes death and rebirth, the endless cycle of reincarnation; the endless circle of life.
Director Ron Fricke en Producer Mark Magidson (known from their amazing movie ‘Baraka’ from 1992) came together once again to make this beautiful story of ‘Samsara’. For five years they gathered images from all over the world. With more than 100 minutes without spoken word, the images give you all the pace for interpretation – this was the intention of the dream team Fricke and Magidson. With the harmony between the images and the music, Samsara takes you on a visual, auditory and emotional journey.
Samsara takes us to sacred places, disaster zones, industrial grounds and natural wonders. She shows humanity, her magic, her spirituality and the soul of people around the world. She shows how all is connected; humanity with nature and nature with the Universe. We are all turning in one wheel, inextricably bound with everything and inextricably bound with each other.

You can watch the trailer here:  http://barakasamsara.com/samsara/about
ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl

Samsara 

A group of monks is sitting on the floor - in an almost meditative state - making a mandala out of sand, somewhere a child is born and somewhere else an old soul dies. Samsara is the most beautiful journey around the world you can make, right from your own couch. You’ll visit 25 cultures in less than 2 hours. In silence, your thoughts guided by breathtaking music.

Samsara is Sanskrit for ‘going around in circles’. In Buddhism and Hinduism Samsara symbolizes death and rebirth, the endless cycle of reincarnation; the endless circle of life.

Director Ron Fricke en Producer Mark Magidson (known from their amazing movie ‘Baraka’ from 1992) came together once again to make this beautiful story of ‘Samsara’. For five years they gathered images from all over the world. With more than 100 minutes without spoken word, the images give you all the pace for interpretation – this was the intention of the dream team Fricke and Magidson. With the harmony between the images and the music, Samsara takes you on a visual, auditory and emotional journey.

Samsara takes us to sacred places, disaster zones, industrial grounds and natural wonders. She shows humanity, her magic, her spirituality and the soul of people around the world. She shows how all is connected; humanity with nature and nature with the Universe. We are all turning in one wheel, inextricably bound with everything and inextricably bound with each other.

You can watch the trailer here:  http://barakasamsara.com/samsara/about

ALSO IN DUTCH @ www.taj.nl