Donnerstag, 29. November 2012

Mid-week Full Moon...

Well, I have passed the point of no return! That is, as far as the week at work is concerned - Wednesday has passed, and it's now just two days left until the weekend. And yesterday was full moon, too. Plus: the chance to watch a penumbral lunar eclipse, as well.

But, that was invisible to me, since clouds hid the moon. A pity. But still: it's now the time to have the moon do some healing to body and spirit.

The day started like a typical November day, with cool air (4°C/39F), clouds and a slightly chilly breeze... despite the coolness, I did performa my nuddhist morning exercise as usual, powering up with good vibes, sending some out with prayers and wishes for healing to the dear ones who are in need of it (such as my dear friend - see my previous post for the reason), and continued the intake of positive power by being in touch with Mother Nature on the way to work, barefoot as usual.

So far, so good. And even though the day's highest temperatures were just above 5°C/40F and I followed the social expectations by donning closed shoes at the office (also due to one of our client's employees visiting), the day at the office went by without stress - although my feet were imprisoned in closed foot coffins (my closed Birks), I did not feel too miserable.

But as soon as work was over, I was glad and grateful to shed those contraptions and make my way to the bus stop happily barefoot again, recharging and relaxing.

On the bus ride to the central station though, I had a little mishap happening to me, as the driver took a little sideways motion, paired with hitting the brakes very suddenly, just before reaching the bus stop. I was holding fast, standing near the exit, but the sudden motion caught me unawares, and I twisted my left knee a little, resulting in slight pain and a little swelling. Arriving at home, I applied some pain-relieving salve, which has helped. Now, on the morning after, I feel a feeling of pressure inside the knee, and I find that walking barefoot around my apartment feels OK... I hope that won't change much, when I'm donning my office shoes.

During my nuddhist morning meditation today, I stood skyclad on my balcony, the full moon winking through gaps in the clouds occasionally, and I also asked for some healing energy to enter my knee, too... Tapping into my autosuggestive powers, I told myself "I want this to be over soon" a few times. Crazy as it might sound, but affirmations of that kind help in triggering the body's self-healing powers, too.

So, now I'm looking at two more days at the office, until I have a weekend ahead to rest myself and do some more healing.

Dienstag, 27. November 2012

Farewell, Frau Katze!

A dear friend of mine is mourning the loss of her cat Eirene (also known as "Frau Katze") today.

Frau Katze had an inoperable tumor, but was responding well to medication, and had good days until the very end, even playing around in the garden, chasing butterflies.

She will be missed.

Yay! I survived Monday!!

OK, now that's a marketing idea, too, since I could use that post title as a slogan to make t-shirts and sell them!

Or this: "I survived Monday and all I got was this #*$!*# t-shirt!"

Actually, I was ready to face a Monday, after having had a good night's sleep, after making sure to gather positive energy on the weekend as well as on early Monday morning, when I gazed at the stars twinkling in a clear sky, during my nuddhist morning exercise.

Making my barefoot way to the office, while seeing Venus shining in the sky, before sunrise, was another good mood and positive vibes booster...

Looking up, just before entering the office...

...and looking down, seeing my bare feet aglow in the street lights.

Sunrise presented me with an outlook onto what the day might be later on: nice at first, but with a few grey and raindrop moments later on...

But since it was still quite mild, the promise of rain was - once again - not a threat to my good mood, but a source of anticipation of cooling down nicely after my stay in "The Matrix!" of office work.

And, as it turns out, a little rain fell over the day, leaving the paved ground nicely wet, when I left work. And so, even a more than ten-hour day at the office did not affect me too negatively, although it was a little hectic now and then. I even plunged into some grocery shopping afterwards, dodging the consumerist zombies shuffling through the mall, as I made my way to the ATM and then into the supermarket, accompanied by the occasional gapes and open-mouth reactions of disbelief from those people who seemingly never saw a pair of feet before...

After arriving at home, I literally and symbolically shed the skin of the artificial realm of work and mainstream society by taking off my clothes and be my naturally nude self again... it's not just a quirk or spleen when I get naked - it's about leaving the artificial, mechanistic, sometimes frightening as well as scared "normal" world behind by getting rid of the clothes I wore when moving through it. Most people are scared to do that, since it means opening up fully to others, the world at large and becoming vulnerable. To me, it's a great source of strength and positivity - which I use gladly and often to power myself up for the next tasks ahead.

And the next task lying directly before me is called: Tuesday!

My nuddhist exercise has provided me with the first positive power surge already, assisted by a nice, large mug of strong and sweet coffee. Next: my barefoot way to work, when I will gather some more good vibes from touching Mother Nature with my bare soles...

And the count-down continues, too... nine work days to go until I have a solid week of leave to do some more recharging and powering up positively by being in touch with my favourite part of the world all the time...

Sonntag, 25. November 2012

Have a Happy Nude Sunday!

Today is another of those nice days when I can enjoy the freedom of not wearing a thread on my body and happily enjoy the freedom of bein naturally nude.

It's Skyclad Sunday again and just like last week, I will only don some clothing for taking a barefoot walk later on to be in touch with Mother Nature and recharge and relax, gathering positive vibes for the office week ahead...

Samstag, 24. November 2012

A surprisingly short Saturday shift...

Getting up early, facing a Saturday at the office... I braced myself for a whole eight-hour stay at the office, powering up the usual nuddhhist way in the morning. On the upside of things, Saturday shifts mean that I can dress up like my hippie self and leave any office footwear at home.

The morning was typically November-ish, including a little fog rising from the river Ruhr, as I was waiting for the bus to take me to the office. Before entering the office, I enjoyed the different textures on the way underfoot: grass, soil and fallen leaves...

Getting ready for the office day, I powered up my computer, only to find, that our client's CRM systems (which we access to process customer inquiries) had gone offline... we waited for the system to come back, but after calling the IT department there, and getting the message that they most likely won't fix it this Saturday our boss (who dropped by a bit later) decided, that the shift was over and sent us all home. Of course, we're going to get paid for the hours spent there - but it feels almost like sabotage... after all, we came there to work off some of the backlog I previously wrote about, but couldn't work at all.

It feels a little like the classic "Peanuts" pun, with Lucy holding the football and Charlie Brown always trying to kick it... this time, our client was Lucy and pulled the ball away before we could even start running. But I'm sure, that at some point we will kick that ball sky-high!

Before it was clear, that the computer systems won't be fixed today, I took a break, enjoying the barefoot Saturday freedom...

So, my office day fell shorter than planned and so I could leave at 11 am instead of 4 pm... I once again enjoyed different textures on the way back home, including puddles and again fallen leaves... even though the day was still looking like typical November, I felt happy and went home to use that extra time to do some relaxing, reading and spending a lazy afternoon...

Sunday is forecast to be a mostly cloudy and windy but mild day... Still good enough conditions to take a nice barefoot walk, powering up before facing the next week... and the countdown to my leave continues... 10 work days to go until my one-week leave...

Long-term weather forecasts tell me about frosty temperatures due to arrive here at the beginning of December... At some point by the end of next week, my bare toes might receive frosty kisses from Mother Nature. Let's see what will happen.

Freitag, 23. November 2012

TGIF! - And the work day wasn't as bad as I feared...

Well, even though I have to work a Saturday shift tomorrow, no one can stop me from celebrating the fact that it's Friday again!


And I started the day with my usual nuddhist morning exercise, doing exactly what is recommended in a nice image I later found on Facebook:

And after feeling a cool breeze wafting over my nude body, as I inhaled deeply, only the occasional star winking through on a mostly cloudy sky, I told myself to use all of the good and healing energy left after exhaling the good wishes and positive vibes to my beloveds as my power reserve for the day ahead...

Another image, this time coming from a wise and serene man, and his quote coming with it was another wonderful source of power and resolve not to let stress or a hectic day at work get the better of me:

"Do not encumber your mind with useless thoughts. 
What good is it to brood over the past and fret about the future? 
Dwell in the simplicity of the present moment. 
Live in harmony with the Dharma. 
Make it the heart of your life experience. 
Be the master of your destiny."

-Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

At the office, I shared the photo above and the quote (translated in German by me, since not everyone there is that good at English) with my colleagues, when reporting the previous day's results of processing mails... which were very good results, too. The threat by our client has resulted in people putting the pedal to the metal and work harder and faster. I just hope, that they don't burn out too swiftly. Perhaps Dilgo's wisdom can help them in taking a step back, have a break, take deep breaths, relax and power up a little, before getting on with the next part of their assignment.

I prepared myself with some extra external power source, too, adding sweetness to my caffeine supply, by having some caffeinated chocolate with me:

"Scho-Ka-Kola" is a classic German product, made of dark chocolate containing coffee and cola nut powder. "Pocket Coffee" are dark chocolate sweets with a liquid-filled center... the liquid is pure espresso. So, I combined the invigorating effect of caffeine with the happiness induced by chocolate... and, to be sure, it helped!

And as if She wanted to add an extra optical boost to telling me "here's some more power, you can see it in the sky...", Mother Nature seemed to have dipped her paintbrush into the fiery dye pots and painted totally wild and bright pictures into the clouds at sunrise...

Definitely "Wow!" moments...

And even though the sky closed up only an hour later, and the day turned into the typical and trademark November grey, I felt good. The work day itself was taxing, to be sure, but not exhausting me. And when it started to rain - another typical November thing - I did not feel glum or sad... I was looking forward to splashing my bare feet in puddles and the wet fallen leaves on the sidewalk felt very funny, squelching beneath my soles.

So, now being at home, relaxing, I am not feeling bad about having to work tomorrow... the power gathered at the beginning of this week, after my decision to concentrate on positive things, still holds up. And I will make sure to use every free second after tomorrow's shift to carry on with that recipe:

Have a happy weekend - barefoot, nude, any way you like it.

Donnerstag, 22. November 2012

Uh-oh... bad vibes ahead!

Starting this work day, I didn't know, that there would be negative vibes on my way... the day started very nice, with a cool, clear morning, which I enjoyed the usual nuddhist way on my balcony while gazing at the stars, doing my usual breath meditation, drawing up positive powers, exhaling troublesome thoughts and - as soon as I was filled up with a good mood - drew up some more positive vibes to send them out into the world with prayers and blessings, good wishes and loving belly-feeling to the ones dwelling in my heart and everyone in need of some healing energy.

I felt really nicely powered up and happy today.

As soon, as it was time to leave my apartment and go to work, I put on some clothes, and looking out of the window spotted something that might have been a coincidence, or an act of solidarity performaed by Mother Nature: the stars were hidden by thin clouds. I chuckled inwardly, since She must have felt my slight feeling of sadness which I suffer every day, when stupid societal taboos require me to hide my naturally nude body. OK, granted, the current cool season is not ideal for being naked outdoors for a longer period of time. But the feeling of losing freedom prevails.

At least, it's still mild enough for my taste to walk barefoot - the minimal nudity and direct contect with Mother Earth enabling me to draw up more positive vibes on my way to work.

At the bus stop, I once again played around with the fallen leaves, including some hide-and-seek with my bare toes...

Boarding the bus, I heard the "C-question" from the driver - first time in a while, that someone asked it...

Driver: "Hey! Aren't your feet cold?"
Me: "Nope..."
Driver: "Not even in winter???"
Me: "Nope!"

And with this, the dialogue was over, as I proceeded to the middle of the bus. That was not the first negative vibe, but merely the typical disbelief reaction of the shod world.

The real "Uh-oh" hit me, when I had arrived at the office, started up my computers, checked my mails and read one marked "Urgent", with the typical red exclamation mark !

The mail dealt with our client being very unhappy about the current backlog of mail inquiries to process that had piled up due to more people reporting ill as well as our client running a campaign, to inform customers of rising costs... Since I can't go into details (non-disclosure agreements are in place here), I can only tell, that it's triggering lots of customer responses, and we have a few thousand mails, dating back up to three days. We have to observe a service level of two days, so, we're running behind, indeed. When that happened, our CEO asked for voluntary overtime to get this done. Now, our client is threatening to issue an order for mail processing to other service providers, cutting down our exclusive service, thereby cutting down our company's income... that could lead to jobs being in jeopardy now.

We have been given a deadline of two weeks, and our bosses are now not just asking for overtime, but demanding it from everyone in our team (at least one hour per day and the Saturday shifts becoming mandatory now). Of course, that is tuning up stress meters among the whole of the team a few notches, and I am now in the situation to put my newly-found healing and good vibes to a true test...

I just hope, that I won't get entangled in stress and overwork, as I did the weeks before. I'm praying for strength and more positive power.

Mother Nature did her best, by pulling her veil of clouds off the sky just after sunrise, presenting me with the gift of a sunny day again. I was able to bask in sunlight during my breaks outdoors, and thereby recharge during the office day.

* * *

The second bit of negative vibes originates in one of the places, where the original spirit of hippie freedom and the Summer of Love had its home and where diversity is still celebrated: San Francisco.

Recently, a district supervisor named Scott Wiener (I love the irony) proposed to ban nudity in public places in San Francisco. And city officials now voted 6 to 5 in favour of that ban. In the last weeks, nudists have protested the proposals, also by disrobing in front of the city hall, but to no avail.

So, there it's not just a feeling of losing freedom, but the real thing. Nudity is an expression of naturality and freedom. And San Francisco city officials have decided to take this freedom away from nudists. Another negative vibe, since I believe in nudity being natural, healthy, spiritual, beautiful and a major source for gathering positive energy, especially when meditating naked in Nature, being fully in touch with Her.

It's sad to know, that my fellow naturist and nuddhist friends in the SF Area are now barred from that and forced to do something illegal in order to pursue their freedom and happiness.

At the moment, I not feeling as if this is dragging me down too deep. I shake my head, inwardly, at the foolishness of the City of San Francisco's stupid decision, and I sigh inwardly a little about the extra work ahead... but I'm still sure, that I can cope with it.

I have found picture on Facebook, which I also shared on my timeline there, which looks nice to make into a poster to hang up, sit in front of and use as a focus to unfocus in meditation... since cool weather is going to bar me from longer nude meditation sessions outdoors, this looks like a good replacement for gathering positive power indoors:

And this picture also triggered the desire to listen to a certain album by The Alan Parsons Project, too...

This is me, being happy...

Indeed, I feel fine at the moment... not only because I just decided to be happy, but because of that recipe I described in previous posts working out really well.

Seeing a very cute picture of a happy Ganesha on Facebook, I did not hesitate in sharing it:

And I keep walking that happy road, very much in  the spirit of that classic quote "I don't know where 'm going, but I'm on my way!"

By the way it's from an unknown author. This quote is *misattributed* to Carl Sandbug, Carl Sagan & Voltaire. Original source: 'The Pharmaceutical Era, Volume 41' (1909)

And as I wrote in the comment to the picture above (also found and shared on Facebook):
"Yeah, I can relate to that quote, really... and I try to walk that way as happily as I can, sometimes pausing, taking close looks at what's on the wayside... sometimes straying off the road to feel that soft grass beneath my feet... I will arrive at some point. Wherever that may be..."

Let's stay curious, whatever will wait for me at the end of that road... if it ever ends, that is.

More barefoot November delights...

Wednesday morning felt quite cool, with temperatures at 4°C (39F), but that did not keep me from observing my nuddhist morning exercise, even though a slight breeze added a little chill to it. Walking barefoot on the way to work was delightful, too, since I was able to play around with the fallen leaves on the sidewalk near the office: barefoot hide-and-seek was the morning's game, followed by a refreshing walk on dew-wet grass.

Warming up my feet under the desk, after entering the office, I did my first chores there, gazing out of the window every now and then, and witnessing, that Mother Nature was playing with fire today, as far as Her sky painting was concerned.

Such a sunrise is very impressive to look at, to be sure, but it also holds the promise of hazy or even wet weather to come... the day stayed mostly cloudy, but the rain predicted on Tuesday did not arrive by the time my work day ended...

After-work barefooting was less magic and more of the regular sort, since I had to do a little shopping. While I don't think that shoes are a necessity everywhere I walk, some supplies should be restocked every now and then... as can be seen after I brought my shopping bag to the tram stop, making the rest of my trip home on public transport, while being gaped at (in the usual way, when people see a barefooter in cool autumn weather).

Oh, and by the way: shopping went by without accidents. The rear wheels of shopping carts can hurt, when the small pinky toes connect with them unwantedly. Unlike some discount price supermarkets, the one I went to didn't have oversized, wide-load carts.

And now, the week at work has reached and passed its peak, now it feels like going downhill towards the weekend (a short one, this time, with a Saturday shift ahead). But, this time, I'm not feeling any dread about it, since my recipe of concentrating on the happier things in life (small and silly as they may seem to mainstream people) works perfectly well.

Mittwoch, 21. November 2012

It used to be a gloomy, brooding holiday today...

Well, over here in Germany, the day reserved for penance and prayer (called "Buß- und Bettag" in German) has been turned into a normal work day in 1995, to relieve the employers of the increased cost of the newly introduced long-term care insurance.

One holiday had to go, and the federal parliament decided that it's this one...

OK, that's one less day of a gloomy, brooding sort... reflecting on sins past and praying really befits a normally dark month like November, doesn't it? After all, there already are three holidays this month, all centered around the dead and deceased: All's Hallows, the Sunday before Advent commemorating the dead (called "Totensonntag" - The Dead's Sunday - in German) and the National Day of Mourning...

No wonder that many people feel glum and sad in November. Not only is it a month of typically grey, clammy and cold weather, with its thick fog and most often grey skies, when days never seem to be fully alight at all, but it's also filled with morbid ceremonial days, when we're traditionally supposed to be sad and depressive.

I would love to have the old times back, when autumn was mainly the time for harvest, celebrating the fruit of the fields and forests, giving thanks to Mother Nature for Her gifts to us.

And the recently very bright, mild and sunny weather has done its best to dispel the dull and grey reputation of this month. It feels, as if this year Mother Nature is actively fighting to make it a happier time.

And although She is blowing thin clouds over the sky this morning - looking as if she took a thin veil, torn it to wispy shreds and now sends them flying over the clear, dark sky - I am looking forward to this day unfolding... feeling a slightly chilly breeze blowing over my nude figure, I powered up once again in my usual nuddhist way, gazing at the start twinkling between the gaps in the clouds (the brightest ones shining through them, too), inhaling the cool morning air (4°C/39F), bringing good vibes, while exhaling and expelling any stress or worries from the past day with the breath leaving my body. Although, there wasn't much to expel, really, since the last days were easy and soothing to my mind and spirit - despite being very busy at the office.

My recipe of just not allowing stress and hectic to affect me and to concentrate on the things making me happy is working just fine. And charging myself with positive energy and good vibes the way I do helps me a lot, indeed.

Therefore, even the forecast of possible rain today is not bringing me down... on the contrary, I'm looking forward to puddles to splash my bare feet in.

Dienstag, 20. November 2012

Thank You very much again, Mama Nature!

Another sunny and mild day, perfect to spend my office breaks outdoors, soak up some sun to counterweigh the artifical lighting of the work space and feel the sun's warmth on the paved parking lot by means of my bare soles...

Mother Nature has decided to give me another wholesome dose of nice healing energy today.

After work, leaving the office at 4 pm, the waxing moon had taken the place of the sun, almost exactly in the same spot where the sun shone on my second break outdoors...

The western sky was again tinted orange-golden and I enjoyed the feeling of moist leaves, soft grass and soil and the carpet of fallen leaves on the sidewalk on my way to the bus stop.

Until the end of the week, the days are forecast to stay mild (around 10°C/50F)... and even though there is a little rain predicted for tomorrow, that's not going to dampen my current good spirit. And I'm counting down to my one-week leave with ease... thirteen work days to go... OK, 13.75, to be exact, since I have one office Saturday ahead this week... but that's going to be a 100 per cent barefoot office day... therefore: not too bad.


It's not just World Toilet Day, but also International Men's Day, too...

Montag, 19. November 2012

Thank You, Mama Nature...

...for making this Monday a sunny one. Even though at first You cloaked the clear and starry sky with a veil of cold mist before sunrise, You wisely decided to remove the veil, once the sun had risen.

The cool sensation of wet leaves underfoot at the bus stop and while walking on grass on the way to the office helped me a great deal in waking up and collecting more positive vibes to start the working week.

On boarding the bus barefoot, the driver tried being funny by asking "Forgot yer shoes?"... I just shook my head, went in and thought "If I had gotten a Euro for each comment of that kind, I would have retired years ago!"

The day went on smoothly, even though I was quite busy with my fact, figures, reports and spreadsheets, since I was able to once again take my breaks outdoors, basking in sunlight, feeling the sun-warmed pavement of the office parking lot with my bare soles again... Hadn't it been for thos stupid social taboos, I would have sought a place shielded from wind to take off my clothes to sunbathe and recharge in the nude, meditating... but, alas, in that industrial area, there's no such nuddhist refuge nearby. So, I had to stick to standing in the sun barefoot, doing a little breath meditation, followed by short meditative walks.

All in all, that was helping me in powering up positively, too.

As soon as the office day was over, I again enjoyed the warm light provided by the sunset, while enjoying the moist leaves on my way to the bus stop...

On my way home by tram, I enjoyed reading in one of my favourite books, while wiggling my toes... and this time, there were only the usual gapes of disbelief by other passengers, no jocular remarks from bus or tram drivers...

All in all, it was a really OK Monday... Unlike Grumpy Kitty, I have no reason at all to complain, really...

If the week goes on like this, my countdown to my December vacation will be an easy one.