(Eco) Confessions.

Ever doubt your goals or what you strongly believe in, works or is actually true?

We are evolving beings and ideas we had before can change over time. Because we have accumulated more knowledge and experience or our priorities in life have simply shifted. 

I love the tiny house lifestyle: to live on a small surface area, off-grid, sustainable, debt-free. You know, these small, cute houses you see on the internet, videos on social media, all very Instagrammable. All looks just perfect and the owners are happy people, telling in front of the camera how they built the place, and how they enjoy their free life, as there’s no more mortgage to pay. You know that Everybody Loves The Sunshine kinda atmosphere. 

Broken glass

Truth is, living tiny isn’t always sunshine and reggae. A pan I don’t know where to store, so I put it just quickly on the floor while cooking dinner. A broken glass that fell of the kitchen counter, as it is actually too small to do the dishes well. Actually I need to wash up every time after I have used cups and plates. Clothes I store in big boxes under the bed. Not having a generous fridge. 

But also true, our converted shed (into a tiny home) is still in progress and not finished yet. Dorus will make cupboards in the kitchen part to store all our jars with dry food (oats, chickpeas, beans etc) and installs sockets in the walls, etc. 

Carpenters’ homes are always full with jobs to fix, but the carpenter is often too busy with other people’s homes. They say, patience is a virtue, right? Is it wrong to just want things NOW? 

Green Gorillas

It doesn’t make any difference though, as Dorus is just completely occupied by other projects at the moment, such as our Green Gorillas project.

We both put a lot of time, money and effort in this project and some weeks ago I was about to give up, as I see hardly any revenues (bookings for our Eco courses). That isn’t surprising as we are still in the midst of Covid. This virus and restrictions don’t seem to end. Of course, these times aren’t the easiest to earn money with something you believe in. 

Therefore I decided not to give up. It’s too early to draw conclusions. It both excites me (what if it truly works and we get dozens of bookings?) and worries me (what if after two years we still have too few bookings?)

@navigateontrust on Instagram

My dream

It’s funny; a girl commented to one of our posts on Instagram “you guys are living the dream”. The truth is, my ultimate dream is to write. And I must not forget about this. Writing came last these past weeks. Last, as it didn’t happen at all.

Also because at times I struggle with myself and everything I do, goes with lots of effort. Truly nothing is effortless and goes smoothly then. It’s like I have to move mountains, just to achieve some small, stupid things, such as buying a watering can for the plants. Once a month I have these struggling times with a body that hurts and moods that swing rock hard. I have come to the conclusion it’s PMS. I am very lucky I have a man who’s understanding and sweet on those bad days and makes me cups of herbal tea.

Amazon

For years I took evening primrose oil tablets each day to relieve these ailments. I haven’t took them since we moved to Mallorca. Lately Amazon is my rescue for things I can’t buy in and around this village. Not particularly ecological and supportive of the small and local businesses. But so practical — and lazy. Amazon sends it to the post office in the village and I get a notification as soon as it arrives. So evening primrose oil tablets I’m about to order. It always takes a few months before the effects are noticeable (less belly cramps, less mood swings).

Flow

Yes, I’m going to dedicate more time to write, because that really puts a smile on my face. Only as I write I feel moments of flow, these timeless moments. Aliveness it is. Pure energy. Why wasn’t I listening better?

What are your (eco) confessions? 

Con Amor,

Eva 

Photo by Luke Stackpoole/Unsplash

A Ship Without Direction

A relationship, a friendship, a job or project needs time before we learn its worth and the ability to build on. It needs patience. It’s like climbing a mountain where you experience uncomfortable moments. For writing goes the same.

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination” ~ Don Williams Jr. (American novelist and poet)

A relationship, a friendship, a job or project needs time before we learn its worth and the ability to build on. It needs patience. It’s like climbing a mountain where you have uncomfortable moments, fogginess and uncertainty of which path to take. These moments are succeeded by times of pure bliss when views are clear. It’s a pulling and pushing force when it doesn’t seem to flow. For writing goes the same.

Lost

The end of last week I felt quite lost. I was not only questioning my writing activities, but all choices I had made and still make by living simply on Ibiza. I was critizing myself. Worrying what family and friends are thinking of my choices in life. As a result I felt a lack of inspiration – which really sucked – asking myself: am I on the right track?

I don’t regret quitting my job here on Ibiza last July. After three years it was the right thing to do and this is the time to build on my relationship with writing. These past months I wrote whatever I wanted to write. I approached some magazines and online-media to offer my articles to. Some of them were replying and accepted my pieces, others didn’t. However, I feel like I just started to climb that mountain, so maybe I should be more patient with myself while I work on new articles and also poems for a book I wish to publish.

Life knows its ups and downs. If we have more time on our hands, like I have now (and it’s a true luxury to have time!), it often means time to over-think questions and events in life. “Am I on the right track” is such a question. “I don’t know” is an answer too.

Sushi

However, this isn’t new for me. Before we moved to Ibiza and I used to work as a legal consultant, later freelance, I asked myself this question too. But it occupied me less as I didn’t have the time to think about it seriously. I just woke up each morning and did what I had to do earning more than enough money to live a comfortable life and eat sushi every Friday evening.

Role

Those with labour or freelance contracts or those who are entrepeneurs might question too if they’re on the right track, but keep doing what is expected as the mortgage, billls, cars, holidays and children clothes have to be paid. Besides, it feels safe, having a jobtitle or occupation. For most of us, it does. It’s a role. To say that I was a legal consultant made things clear. I identified myself with this role which felt safe and distancing myself from that role have resulted in being a ship without knowing its direction. But like I said, having that role didn’t prevent me from questioning my direction in life.

Thankful

It’s a beautiful sunny November day while I’m writing these contemplations. I walked this morning on the beach and among these days on which I feel like a rudderless ship, I’m super thankful for my life here with the man I love. I adore the beauty of this island this time of year and know this is my home I love.

Those who might feel lost too, remember this: You don’t always have your answers ready and that isn’t something to be ashamed of. “I don’t know” is an answer too (thanks D). You might not know your destination, but you’re travelling knowing that your steps finally tell you the answers you were looking for. Be patient with yourself and your journey.

Con Amor,

Eva

 

 

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A Minimalist Life – part I –

My life is simple, I’m not afraid to confess that.

In this life where things are complex -the world is far from simple- how can we lead a “simple life”?

ALL YOU NEED IS LESS 

It all began three years ago when my love and I moved to the Spanish island, Ibiza. We wanted to live our lives more slowly and free under the Mediterranean sun. The long Dutch winter months we started to detest and going abroad, where the sun wasn’t hiding under layers of thick, grey clouds for many months of the year, had been on our minds for several years already. We loved to live our lives in Amsterdam and it certainly was a beautiful and abundant life, but we felt it was time for some change. A sabbatical year ended and now after three years we still feel very much committed to stay on Ibiza. Our lives have become simpler here on the white island as we experience we need less than before. We have a roof over our heads, a little beach-studio which we rent from an Ibizian family. It has the tiniest kitchen – in a closet! – and no bedrooms, but enough space for us. Actually, the terrace with a dream-view at sea is the reason why we fell in love with this place.

We work and earn way less, but meanwhile we experience more freedom, for example to do things we love: to be outside, bike in nature, to write poetry and start that novel, to become an eco-builder and start building a tiny house. We don’t need to work and earn money for buying the stuff we think we need. Besides, we are together without kids. I guess that makes the difference, although I have seen couples with kids leading a minimalist life on Ibiza too.

LESS STUFF, MORE TIME AND CONSCIOUS CHOICES 

I’m honest when I say that I feel happy without having many things. I don’t need them to be happy. I’ve never been a material girl anyway, that has made it probably easier too. I still have my old iPhone, never replaced it, and yes, I enjoy having a new laptop (granted by my employer :). It gives me possibilities, like doing one of the things I love most (to read & write). I think I have become more selective in what I buy and keep. You have to declutter and make choices what to bring or not when you move house or in our case emigrate to another country. I found that both hard and relieving. Especially the boxes with books I had to give away was hard and something not to dwell on for too long. Anyhow, I find very much comfort in the thought that somebody else is enjoying them now!

That I call my life simple is not only about having less things, it’s also about having more time by having more control over my time. Before we needed to earn money to be able to pay the mortgage of our house and bills and to save some part as well. Therefore we had to work more hours without enough time for other important things in life. Furthermore a simple life for me means lifestyle choices and making them more consciously, like buying local food, use the bike instead of the car (our van) and by doing this supporting the miserable oil-industry as less as possible, say goodbye to television and learn more about philosophy and spirituality and other subjects that enrich my soul, add happiness and meaning in my life.

MATERIAL WORLD

Last weekend we watched the documentary “MINIMALISM” http://minimalismfilm.com on our laptop at home. Yes, we can call ourselves minimalists.. I recognized much of it (never made the 6-figure salary before having started my minimalist life though 😉 ). Yet the documentary was a bit of disappointing, didn’t hear anything new and the price (15 US dollars) to watch it was quite overrated too, but I do believe this documentary has an essential message of truth. It says we don’t need all the things we consume in order to lead happy lives. We don’t need so much stuff in our lives and to believe owning so many things makes us happy is a misconception. We live in a material world where we over-consume and on top of that the media are feeding that material desire in us big time. Don’t we need that new dress, trendy bag or beautiful sofa in our lives to feel (more) happy? Didn’t we work so damn hard for this and don’t you think we earn it? Of course we do! And we got to have it, the sooner the better. The famous scene where you see hundreds of people waiting in line to be able to buy the newest iPhone and running across the store like maniacs to get one is quite sad and embarrasing, but shows the greed in us which, I believe, characterizes modern life.

THE POWER OF CHOICE  

However, we have a choice. Always. We can choose ourselves to do it differently and if you want to, step by step. We can choose to become more aware of the consequences of buying certain things, like, for example, clothes which are made under unworthy circumstances. The fashion-industry is huge, especially fast fashion, and we all need something to wear, don’t we? So supporting fair trade and ethical clothing is already an important step. I have bought just a few new clothes the past three years. It absolutely doesn’t mean that I don’t care about clothes anymore, but what I have bought most I bought second-hand at a market here on the island so these clothes get a second life. In summer you hardly need any clothes anyway as the sun don’t let you wear that much; having less clothes works absolutely fine here. On top of that, I work from home and nobody sees what I’m wearing so most of the time this results in wearing a few favourite pieces over and over again. I suppose being “nonchalantly” dressed in a modern office in Amsterdam like I am here on Ibiza would be less simple and possibly not appreciated.

Yes, I believe we can choose to experience more freedom and happiness in our lives by making our lives simple(r). It works for me and I’m still learning.

Don’t be afraid to make your life simple(r)!

Stay tuned for “A Minimalist Life – Part II -”!!

Con Amor,

Eva

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