The Importance of Being Truthful to Ourselves

When taking an important decision in life, we go through a journey of self discovery and introspection, as we continuously question ourselves with what’s the best option for us.

The questioning could be conscious, but also hidden within our actions, our thoughts, our worries, our fears… If it is something that will completely change and revolutionise the course of our lives,  it is absolutely natural to go through a roller coaster of emotions… especially when you are thinking of abandoning  the ‘comfortable’ city  life, for a life style that you have just been imagining, for a life style that has always been nothing more than a dream :).

In this cases the most important thing is to be honest and open as much as we can with ourselves. The importance of being open and truthful, of being present without judgement, within ourselves and within the present moment, goes beyond what we could even imagine. We need to be brave to practice self compassion, to have a better relationship with our own and unique Essence, our deepest Self. We need to be courageous to admit when we are scared and confused, to become better beings and  therefore achieve personal growth.

We need to be able to recuperate that authentic and real Essence within us, going beyond egos, qualifications, social status and all the different masks that we have created throughout our lives, because when we truly ARE, all of these things won’t really matter anymore.

We need to be truthful to ourselves and be able to satisfy our inner space with simplicity, without forcing our surrounding, but just being and going with the flow, in honesty, with open heart. And in that precise moment we are able to BE, with no effort.

We can only enjoy the NOW and every little moment to its fullest, if we are willing to abandon that luggage of experience achieved in the past, while being open for the new one… because the experience of the present moment will be different, because WE will be different.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” – Heraclitus Of Ephesus

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England – London, Enfield, March 2018

Art as Meditation

The practice of Meditation has always been a very big part of my life, in many forms. I have been practicing Meditation for almost 20 years, and teaching from 5. Many people consider this practice to be extremely difficult, so they give up even before to start. So when someone tells me that they find it too difficult and don’t like the idea of sitting in silence as they become to restless, I always suggest to make art.
Creating art or dedicating your mind, body and soul to the creation of something, which could be painting, dancing, sculpting, etc. gives access to a meditative state, where our state of mind completely change and find peace. That’s the reason why Art, Music and Dancing are used many time as Therapy.
Not just as a way to express freely our feelings and emotions, therefore to liberate ourselves, but also as a way to heal ourselves, to feel better. It can give us the strength and the courage to reconnect with our inner space, as we reach a new state of consciousness where our monkey mind find peace and for once can keep quite. 🙂
This is why, in addition to meditating, I spend a very big part of my life creating things… as a form of freedom of expression, but also as a form of Meditation. Art for me is a pure methodical moment of joy of being truthful to your deepest self, appreciating that special connection, that we tend to lose and neglect most of the time.

 

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Painting by Cristiana Canzanese, Contemplating Contemporary Times n.1, Mixed Media on Paper, 2015
If you are interested on my art work you can visit my art blog:

Location, Location, Location

When you decide to change your life style, and to change your surrounding, you have to take in consideration many things, obviously depending on what your intentions are… As we are deciding to conduct a life almost off grid, our needs are based around the self-sufficiency aspect, but most importantly the natural aspect.

I feel the necessity to be surrounded by green, woodland, trees, hills stretching towards the horizon, where nature’s music is omnipresent, where you can breathe with open lungs without the worry of being intoxicated, where at night you look at the sky to gaze the thousands stars in blissful silence.

After living in England for 16 years, I cannot imagine my self being deprived by the fairy tale vivid green that you see around parks and woods on your doggy walks. Here the natural aspect is truly amazing, ‘there is nothing better than the English countryside’ they say…. and they say it for a reason… especially if you think about breath taking views, such as the Lake District, or the beautiful prairies in Dorset, just to name two.

It is very difficult to make this decision, as after living in London for a long time you are totally spoilt for choices. You have everything you need, anything… you name it, it’s here. A course you might have been thinking to do, a concert or an artist you want to see, an incredible variety of shops, for any needs, and for the anti shopper like me, you have the shop that comes on your door step… I can go on for ever. But as time goes by, we have to be brave and put things into perspective. Do we really need all these things? Or is it just a psychological comfort? I live in North London, and I barely go to the city centre… last time I have been there was months ago. So, sometimes we just like the idea of having something available, in easy reach, even when we don’t really need it anymore. And so it is with things… we collect stuff, that we don’t really need, but it comforts us in many ways; probably because we have a life style that lack in something, therefore we require comforts in materialistic things.

So, when we find the courage of letting go, than we are ready to change… and WHERE DO WE GO? (A million dollar’s question) Here starts the CONFUSION… Me and Hubby are both Italians, we come from the same town on the East coast in the centre of Italy, from the region of Abruzzo. Beautiful place, but not very lucky at the moment, due to earthquakes, climatic disasters and political corruption, which I prefer to avoid getting into. Italy is such a beautiful country, probably one of the most beautiful country in the world, for its history, its sun, its food, its art, etc. but at the same time it is also well known for its corruption and political disasters, unemployment, and crazy taxes! And believe me, if you are Italian and understand the language and the culture very well, you have a very different idea of what Italy truly is, and I can assure you it is not nice. So, as much as we like the idea of going back to be closer to our family and friends, we are also terrified by the ‘culture-shock’ that we might have going back, after living for so long in a country that is far more ‘civilised’ and fair, at least on the appearance :).

The English countryside is beautiful and magical, within its naturalistic scenery… but what inspire me and interest me the most here in England is the culture itself. What I love about it is that ‘pagan attitude’, that mental freedom towards life and that ‘easiness’ of people… something that I wish I had around me while I was growing up in Italy, it would have made such a difference. And you can really see after many years experiencing life somewhere else, how growing up in a catholic culture creates a mentally limited society, without even realizing. This is something that I always been against: the limitations that we create through judgement and fears, the fear of the New, the fear of the Diverse. In London the Diversity is celebrated, in Italy the Diversity is condemned, that’s the main difference.

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England – Cumbria, Lake District, Patterdale, July 2017

But although England has so many points in favour, when it comes to the emotional side unfortunately does not have the same strength as Italy. All our family and friends are there, and as the time goes by you start a process of self enquiring, that during your twenties and half of your thirties you didn’t think it was that relevant, but suddenly in your forties it becomes one of the most significant part during your conversations about the move. Being closer to the people that you love is probably the wisest of the decisions, and considering we are both Italians, and our loved ones are in Italy, it seems a bit silly to make the move towards the English countryside, completely on our own, especially after the Brexit.

The other thing that pushes the decision more towards Italy at the moment is that in England properties value are absolutely bonkers, and if you want to buy a farm house you need money, lots of money… in Italy properties are much more affordable, especially in the country/mountains side where no one want to live. This explains why many English and American people are buying entire abandoned villages. So in terms of practicality, if you could choose between living in England with a massive mortgage or living in Italy mortgage free, what would you choose? The answer is pretty obvious if you want to sustain a self-sufficient life style. But we still have to take many things in consideration… Its definitely not an easy decision to make!

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Italy – Umbria, Gubbio, Valdichiascio, February 2018

So although the debate Italy v England is on the table on a daily basis, from the last two years, it is fair to say that at the moment Italy is ahead. I would say 60% Italy, 40% England. Once there was also California on the game, but in fairness: a) – it is too far; b) – after Trump as president of the United States, all my fantasies have somehow vanished.

It is funny how many times you feel like a gypsy, that doesn’t belong anywhere, and every place you see could be a potential place where to live for a while, or make a permanent home. Sometimes I feel like a snail, looking for a lost shell…

A Soul in search of Simple Leaving…

Hey, Welcome to my Blog!

I have created this page with the hope to meet and exchange info and ideas with as many people as possible… As I am at that point in life where I strongly feel the need of a change, a Big Change, I thought it would be nice to be able to share this experience with others, and also to keep an online diary about the entire journey.

Both me and my husband feel that our Big Change is to move from the comfortable but sometimes meaningless city life,  to a more authentic, simple and ‘old fashioned’ life in the country.  I don’t hide that we have many doubts and many fears… but the Big Change does not happen if you don’t experience fear, right?!

So, here we are, planning to give up our flat in magical London, just before the Brexit, and move to the country… Risk takers?! I often think… but at the same time how can you break the city ‘rat race’ routine, without taking a risk? It is the only way…

Please, do not get me wrong, I love my life in London… I live in leafy north London, and I am a part time Art Technician in a college and Meditation Teacher, so I have a gentle and slow city life, and I really enjoy what I do… my husband life style is a bit more intense, but nonetheless he enjoys what he does… and guess what? This is exactly what makes it really difficult to decide to let go and take that step… it is really hard to leave all the comforts of the western society… the security of a wage, the myriad of possibilities that are available to you in a city like London, the 24h transports, the arts, the creativity, the energy of the city…  but than in the evening as we look at each other after a long day apart and think about what our lives could be in the country, surrounded by green and silence, we get that itchy drive of excitement and we feel like to say ‘F**K IT’, let’s go, and let’s see what happens…

A calmer, simpler and more authentic life in Nature, this is what we need to nurture our souls… and of course it will be extremely hard, especially at the start, but with few good books, and few tips from the more experienced one, we should be able to manage. Lets have faith in the Gods! Gaia, please be with us! 🙂

This blog is for any of you out there that resonate with our situation, for those of you that just dream about country living, and for those of you that already live the dream and feel inspired to share plenty of experiences. I really hope we can create a useful community together, please share your thoughts and leave a comment.

Thank You, Cristiana 🙂

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England – Cumbria, Lake District, Lake Ullswater, July 2017