Welcome to my "Kira's Blog"!
I thought that this would be an easy and helpful way of staying in more contact. I get so many emails I don't get to answer them all, or take so long in answering some people wonder if I am still getting their emails! So I thought I could share bits and pieces of interest here, post them as they come along into my life.
Goodbye 2011 … Welcome 2012 & Onwards!
For me personally, 2011 has been a year of reflection and re-alignment. As I write this short note, back once more in Berlin, it is New Years Eve, and I find myself reflecting on the past year – feeling immensely thankful. Grateful to myself for having the courage to keep following my inner convictions and grateful to so many other people in the world that have crossed my path this year and inspired me. Every time I meet, or hear/see someone who is following their heart and inner truth it acts as a catalyst for my own next steps. Deepening my own dedication to living from my deeper intuition and heart.
While in Australia I was interviewed by Richard Miller – it was a sweet meeting and an opportunity for me to communicate in a different way, I trust you will enjoy the viewing here:
What will 2012 bring? Ah, some more expansion and adventures I am sure!
I will be open to increasing collaboration in all aspects of my life – which is already starting even as the last year slides on by … the general chaos in the world (economic, political, environmental) will give most of us plenty of opportunity to grow, expand and be open to experiences past our normal paradigms!
May we all widely, and perhaps wildly (?!?) explore new options and opportunities that can bring about evolution on both personal and community levels.
With love, Kira
On the Occupy Wall Street Protests...
For several years now I have commented on the unhealthy state of our economic (& political) systems. However, I have not rested on the assumption that 'naming' what is unhealthy is enough. During the last several years I have immersed myself into exploring what can be possible positive options for us to extend into, individually and collectively. This includes very practical ways as well as in our attitudes, beliefs and general consciousness.
I heart-fully agree that we have some major and fundamental flaws in our current economic system. I also am a big advocate of bringing more awareness to these flaws and the consequent inequalities that it contributes to on a global basis. I personally consider that we need to have some major overhauls to our financial and global trade system and agreements.
However, I am not a supporter of simply saying 'down with Wall Street, the big Banks and the Politicians' and essentially complaining about the banking system and big business as if it is some entity in its own right. I don't see this as being helpful for constructive changes. Instead, lets be agents of change and support the transformation of these organisations into healthier action.
Protesting can have its place to bring about awareness – yes I do agree with this. But I do not see it as a helpful end in itself – in fact taken to extremes I see it being more destructive than helpful. Trying to build healthy oriented institutions in the midst of civil unrest is much harder than making constructive changes while communications and basic systems are in place. (I have personal experience of this having worked now in Nepal the last ten years, amidst civil unrest and currently still unresolved political systems) I am not saying to not protest – simply, please, be aware of the bigger picture and what is contributing, or not, to it. Personally, I consider many other ways as being a lot more effective and constructive. To continue the constructive point of view I make these suggestions:
Where and how we put and use our own money DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
1. We have power with how we choose to spend and use our own funds – choose to have your banking in ethical & sustainable banking that is community responsible. For example, I have my banking with Triodos bank (www.triodos.com) and GLS bank (www.gls.de) and am currently changing over my Australian funds to Mecu Bank (www.bankmecu.com.au). There are many more healthily oriented sustainable banks and savings & credit cooperatives around the world – for more healthy banking options here is a list below, although there are many more that I have not listed here, at least this can be a starting point:
1. Triodos Bank, Zeist, The Netherlands (also based in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Spain)
2. Co-operative Bank, United Kingdom
3. Reliance Bank, United Kingdom
4. ShoreBank, USA
5. RSF Social Finance, San Francisco and New York, USA
6. Cultura Bank, Norway
7. GLS bank, Germany
8. EthikBank, Germany
9. MagNet Community Bank, Hungary
10. JAK members bank, Sweden, interest-free bank
11. Citizens Bank, Canada
12. Crédit coopératif and NEF, France
13. The Alternative Bank Schweiz, Switzerland
14. Banca Etica, Italy
15. Umweltbank, Germany
16. BankMecu, Australia
2. The big corporations exist because we have supported them to exist. They do not exist because a small percentage simply created them – we have all contributed and are still contributing! Another way to make a difference is to look at your consumption – what do you buy, and do you choose to buy 'cheap' from the bigger corporations? It can help the whole system to be more conscious of what and where you buy – if there is not demand, there will not be supply. Additionally, we can be constructive as consumers in their transformation into more responsible product and service providers.
This short animated video gives a great insight to 'stuff' we buy and the consequences:
3. There are different business models that are newly in existence that can address some of the inherent problems of the current capitalistic orientation. Check out the 'Social Business' model advocated and implemented by Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace prize winner 2006). This model can bring about some healthy and constructive changes, especially to essential services that deal with our basic survival needs. I am actively involved in social businesses, both investing in and initiating them. As I believe this can support healthy infrastructure of both energy, financial and service flows in communities.
We can each be agents of change by talking about, advocating and initiating these ideas – in our workplaces, over coffee in staff-rooms, integrating additional material into our classes (for teachers/professors).
4. We vote for our politicians and they make the policies that affect our economic situation – we can make different choices and consequently demand more transparency in our political leaders. In world affairs of trade, food availability is affected strongly by the bigger global political players – especially from our 'A' class countries, giving us the luxury of full supermarkets containing a wide variety of choice, yet leaving developing countries in states of famine or high inflation making essential food costs exorbitant.
In general, if we consider the basic premise that we are all interrelated, every human being, animal, plant – entire environment – then it can be much easier to consider a bigger picture that can be fundamentally healthier and compassionate. I will write more on this soon!
For now, I wish you well in exploring healthier banking and business systems,
With love, Kira
Inspiring Talks From People ‘Living’ a Difference ...
I have recently written about the changing gender roles and a 'call to all women') to (www.kirakay.com/natural-born-woman) explore and expand into our full potential as women (and men!). In support of this I have collected a variety of talks that can be inspiring and encouraging. They can be helpful to review and reflect upon your current beliefs and attitudes to evaluate if they still reflect who you really are. What I like about each of these talks is they are real people, living their lives and sharing from their own experiences, not 'talking about' but actually living their own changes ... Enjoy these inspirations ...
From Women ...
An Inspiring and different view on women in business/education by Hanna Rosin
A talk by an innovative and different woman view from India – Kiran Bedi
Two women in financial business in Iceland – and their success by staying true to feminine principles and their survival in the economical crisis
Kavita Ramdas talks about inspiring women making a difference in their own countries amidst obstacles and following their heart ...
Kiran Bir talks about 'I can' infection ....
On dressing/consumption and dressing 'you', dress up with a difference & fun!
From Men ...
Tony Porter: A call to men: An uplifting talk from a Man about how not to stay limited in the 'man box'
Men creating their spaces, makes sense ;-) us women do often 'take over' the house for us & children!
Inspiring Women For Peace In Their Communities
As I write this, I am sitting on a roof-top in Kathmandu, Nepal, the full moon is rising over the mountains, the teeming city noise below … feeling immensely grateful for my life and the wide variety of experiences I have had (and am still having!).
The last few weeks have been rich with a variety of world news - I felt deeply moved and inspired by the recent announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to three amazing, powerful women – women who have dedicated their lives to bringing about peace in their country. Ordinary, magnificent women, each with a different story, each with a passion, each one having chosen to walk a positive path and make a significant difference in their community. Each of these women have faced, and still do, complex and challenging situations – yet they choose to make a difference.
Here are some links to various talks by these three inspiring women:
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
No matter our life situation, no matter how ‘difficult’ it might be – we can, each one of us, make a difference. We all have our ‘story’, and we can all be an inspiration for each other – we can each be that helping hand and encouragement to take next steps. Remembering that each one of us will make different steps. The wonderful myriad of different life experiences all contribute to the whole colourful weave of life.
Today I was reflecting on my own life path and the steps I have made along the way. I felt grateful, deeply grateful for the courage that I have had to over and over trust my heart and step forward. Often I have felt uncertain and at times downright scared! Yet some inner guidance and drive has always kept me taking one step at a time. I heart-fully encourage each of you reading this to follow your heart, to embrace courage in your own life, to step out of the limited paradigms and blossom into your unique potential
We don’t need to find a ‘cause’ – we have opportunities in our daily lives, in our communities, in our workplaces. It is up to us to both see them and respond. We have so much to gain and so little to lose!
Happy embracing your own courage!
With love, Kira
A world in which there are no secrets
This is something I have frequently contemplated and talked about. I consider it a fact that we
can all ‘read’ each other, situations and our environment all the time. However, it can be simply
stated that our conditioning of beliefs and attitudes does not support this view!
Think about it for a moment – how would it really be if we did not have to hide or pretend to be
someone we are not? If everyone knew our deepest shames, discomforts but also our visions,
insights and joys. If we all could know each other’s pain and hurts, and, consequently feeling of
empathy with each other. What might our world look like? If politicians and businesses did not
lie because we would already know the real situation. If we truly lived in a transparent world where
the unity and connectedness between every living (& non living!) thing was simply apparent.
I hypothesise we would have a different living reality here on planet earth! Imagine if all the
energy we use in dishonesty, in hiding, in being ashamed, in blaming others, judging and
comparing ourselves, was instead directed towards helpful creative possibilities – wow …. I
enjoy considering what that might look like ;-)
So it was with great delight I stumbled across a talk by scientist Michael Persinger, a cognitive
neuroscience researcher and university professor, entitled ‘No more secrets’ discussing exactly
this topic from a science perspective and presenting a range of experiments and conclusions
from studies in the parapsychology area.
This link will lead you to Michael Persinger’s talk:
In my own personal and professional life I frequently have experiences that I cannot technically
explain. How can I know something about a person I have never met, never seen, never heard
about – yet be able to speak about their life with intimate detail? I don’t spend so much time
‘trying’ to understand and have accepted long ago that I have developed the knack; the practice
to ‘read’ more simply what is already all here. It is completely ordinary in an extraordinary way.
I encourage each of you reading to practice for yourselves – play with the idea that you can,
right now, read more of what is going on around you … try it out!
With love & an uplifted feeling in this moment … Kira
April 9th, 2011
I am frequently asked about 2012 and the cataclysmic predictions - so I thought I would share some of my thoughts here for you to reflect upon.
One point that I note is that throughout the ages there has been in our mythology and religions the apocalyptical predictions – in practically every tradition, religion and culture that I have investigated (covering much of the world) there is references to something like ‘the end of the world’ or ‘the heavens falling in’ – some cataclysmic prediction. Predominately however, none have an actual time frame – although throughout the centuries some dates were tagged for example 1000 AD, 2000 AD (remember the y2k predictions?) in recent years 2012 has been tagged as ‘the’ date by many.
As I have uncovered, these references are often a symbolism of good/bad, reflecting the balance (or non balance!) of duality. The ‘end times’ heralded as a result of our lack of moral living – the bad/evil living. Then on the other hand we have the predictions of golden years or being ‘uplifted into heaven’ – the reward for good living and high moral standards.
Personally, my view is that 2012 is not a cataclysmic date/time.
In general I consider we are in changes – most certainly! And have been commenting on this fact for some years now. However I do not hold the view that the changes are relational to a time frame or specific event/catalyst.
We are noticing more of the earth events – I would venture to say due to our populations choosing to live in critical locations and our style of living – earth is shaking us up literally! The financial meltdowns and effects on our economies are predominately the result of our over focus on the ‘me’ mentality and the consequent consumerism capitalism. We have been investing in a gigantic ponsi scheme in our consumerism lifestyle. This is not sustainable indefinitely, as we are beginning to find out.
My hope and wish is that the shaking up and upsets can help people to refocus on a wider perspective and lead to different models of economics, politics and lifestyles. In general, to co-create a more balanced relationship with each other and the planet upon which we are living. It is possible; the seeds of change are already sprouting. I will write more on this in another blog entry soon! In the meantime you might enjoy this inspiring short talk by Rachel Botsman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpv6aGTcCl8
It is quite likely that further earth movements will cause massive disasters and consequently make us look collectively at how we are choosing to live. One recent example is the Japan earthquake and tsunami and the resulting nuclear disaster along with the general mass loss of life. This is a valuable opportunity to take action, to reflect and redirect our use of nuclear power. What we choose to invest in has consequences.
It is quite likely that further economic disturbances and global resource prices (including basic food items) will continue to fluctuate. – highlighting imbalances and a lack of fair-trading. It is also quite probable that political unrest in various places, especially in the middle-east, Africa and China will continue, reminding us that many people still live in repression.
As 2012 comes closer there is an increasing number of ‘prophecies’ circulating about, I really encourage you to be discerning. I consider there are a lot of ‘false prophets’ using this time and the natural fear in humans for their own use, for financial or egoist benefit. Please tune in for yourself, develope your own intuition and have the courage to listen for yourself. If an email comes in, read it through – get a ‘feeling’ for the style and form it is written in – is it dramatic? Giving certainties? Is it offering to protect you? Then likely it is a false prophecy! In my experience truth is often simple, ordinary and neutral.
As I view it, the most effective way to have clarity on what might unfold in the upcoming years is to become more self-aware. Develope and use your intuition in daily life – for yourself and others. I consider it a perfect time to take stock and review your beliefs and attitudes – are they serving and benefiting you or restricting? Stop holding thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve. Invest time and energy in living meditation (an excellent book on this ‘Why Meditate’ by Mathieu Ricard). Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions (& non actions!) and realise you are the driver of your own life – we are all together creating this world and reality in which we live.
Practicing gentleness and inclusion and exploring the potential of the changes – individually and collectively – is what I will be focusing upon! Join with me ;-))
With love, Kira
April 4th, 2011
I am sitting here in Kathmandu, Nepal reflecting on the fragility and magnificence of life. I find I often reflect deeply when I am here in Nepal as the opposites of life are presented in every day life – life and death side by side, often quite literally.
This city of Kathmandu has approximately 6 million inhabitants, it is located in one of the world's higher risk areas of earthquakes, and is currently 'overdue' for a major earthquake. When I consider the implications of such an earthquake here it is horrendous! The majority of buildings (including hospitals & schools) are not earthquake resistant, even though there is a plan to retrofit many of the essential buildings, the funding and action is not really happening. The consequences of a major earthquake will likely mean massive loss of life and injuries to perhaps a million or more people – hard to imagine the reality of such. Having been involved in disaster management trainings over the past two years, it has made me more aware of how unprepared Kathmandu is. And, in many cases most parts of the world are not truly equipped to 'manage' disaster scenarios!
It seems that us human beings keep choosing to live in vulnerable locations (earthquake, tsunami, volcanic action, floods, fire, hurricanes etc) – understandable on the one hand that we choose the arable lands, with aesthetic outlooks to live – on the other it seems we don't seem to fully appreciate the power of mother nature when she stretches herself or gives a shake – then we are like fleas falling off the back!
And mother Earth seems to be a little active this year, not necessarily 'extra' active, yet we notice it because indeed our main populations are in the affected zones – complicated by issues such as nuclear reactors in earthquake zones – very easy to say after the event that it is not a good idea! PLEASE – I advocate for nuclear free, we do have other options.
I am writing this as I hope and wish more of us can become aware of what we are creating. It is not 'them' who create the disasters and conflicts but our collective action and non-action. We all have a voice and most of us also have a vote – we can use this to effect changes. In addition to that, we have our own self-reflection to see within ourselves the choices we are making each day – is it contributing or taking? Building or destroying? Really consider this ... it has far reaching implications if you do.
Each of us has unlimited creative potential – are we allowing this potential to grow and be used for wider evolution and development? Or are we focusing on our own small personal world of what we can create for ourself? The 'we' vs 'me'. I am a big advocate of the 'we'! I consider that having a wider focus on the whole of humanity, the whole of the plant, enables a greater release of my own creative energy and supports my growth and development. It has lead me into interesting new arenas of learning and to meet interesting people tapping their own potential – very alive!
I leave you with a few things to contemplate – if a disaster occurred in your own home area, are you ready? How would you respond? If the electricity and water were cut off for days or weeks? Do you know your neighbours? Do any of them have special needs? Are any of them handicapped, have small children, or are elderly? Do you have any first aid knowledge? Or perhaps you have other skills that might contribute? Do you know you local emergency or disaster plans? And the appropriate contact numbers? Considering some of these points in advance can be a help to save lives, your own and others...
And, how are you using your own creative potential in your current life? What is calling you from within your own self into activity? Are you listening to that message? I encourage you to take the time to listen and have the courage to follow through the action – it might awaken within you a greater magnificence than you might have imagined for yourself!!
Happy awakening ... Kira
I have been following closely the events in the Middle East, the powerful cry for action and changes. I feel inspired by what is happening. And also feeling deeply moved. Listening to the live broadcasts (available via BBC world radio) and hearing real people in the midst of this, their surprise, fear, excitement and their vulnerability all-present.
It deeply touches me that this cry for change arises from something as basic as food crisis. This situation highlights basic survival - and in my view, we as a whole world, are simply not taking care of one another. How can this truly be when we indeed do have enough on the planet to feed everyone? Simply, the balance is out of order, grossly!
This 'something' I feel very passionate about. I do believe that we can make a difference. Every single one of us can, and does, make a difference. By following our intuition, listening to our heart as to what feels right and natural. If we don't listen and follow our inner guidance, we are affecting what is happening, by not doing!
I joined Facebook after hearing how it was a tool of support during these crisis events. And I have realised that this is another way we can share information and share of ourselves. I do think that us human beings are quite social creatures – and we benefit from the support of our brothers and sisters.
This talk captures the realness of this:
I recently watched a sweet movie called 'Pay it Forward'; in essence the theme was doing something positive for someone else, and then inviting them to do so for others. In other words, spread goodwill, helping one another in an exponential way.
Wishing us all new beginnings, and more togetherness, easiness .... Love, Kira