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Metta Orientation

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Amidst all the confusion and exhaustion of Orientation our Middview trips made it possible for us to run away from shaking hands and urging to remember as many names as possible. This was an opportunity to ground yourself, reflect on what being yourself at this new place would be like and in the same time- spend time and get truly close to a small group of wonderful people.

Meditation, yoga, camp fire, marshmallows, sleeping in yurds, making a compost, picking herbs and veggies, sharing fears, sharing most personal stories all contributed to the magical experience we created during our long weekend at the Metta Earth Institute in Vermont. See the photos and feel the positive vibes!

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Creative Autobiography (Part 2)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

3214_1109644912344_7726818_nThis is the second part of my “Creative Autobiography” (CLICK here to go to Part 1), prepared for my Arts Course this fall semester, called- “The creative process”, led by Middlebury College professor Claudio Medeiros. He asked us to turn this in, so that he can get to know us through our initial creative experiences. Here is what I came up with…

19. When confronted with superior intelligence or talent how do u respond? I absorb it. Greet it. Try to share my knowledge of its presence with others.

When faced with impending success or the threat of failure, how do you respond? By giving the best of myself and not giving up.

21. When you work, do you love to process or the result? I love when I have both- the pleasures of walking the Way and the joy of reaching the aim and being able to both look back and decide where to head to next.

22. Does your reach ever exceed your grasp? Always.

23. What is your ideal creative activity? Creating something (book, organization, project) that will inspire people and create value.

What is your greatest fear as a creative being? Being shallow. Following patterns, but never succeeding to be truly creative and innovative.

25. What is your greatest fear in life? Not leaving a trace.

26. What is the likelihood of the answers of the previous 3 questions happening? Possible, but highly unlikely events.

What is your greatest dream? My 8th grade dream: To change the world.

28. What is your idea of mastery? When the skill you practice becomes a natural part of yourself and you see the whole world through its prism.

29. What medium would you like to be able to dabble in? Mostly creative writing, acting, dance and self-directing

30. What medium would you like to master? My confidence; self-containment. I don’t want to ever have a relationship which is not based on personal preference and selection, but on some sort of a need or fear.

31. What are you excellent at? Improvising.

32. What are you terrible at? There is not a concrete thing I can mention. I am excellent and terrible at different things at different moments. Even If I say a single thing, it might not be true anymore (as is the case with my being a great procrastinator)

33. Which answers would you most like to change?

None

Thanks for reading!


Creative Autobiography

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

DSC_0419This is my “Creative Autobiography”, prepared for my Arts Course this fall semester, called- “The creative process”, led by Middlebury College professor Claudio Medeiros. He asked us to turn this in, so that he can get to know us through our initial creative experiences. Here is what I came up with…

Creative autobiography
Of Maggie Nazer

  1. What is the first creative moment you remember? My first most meaningful creative act was creating a garden in front of my block of flats and getting everyone excited and willing to help me do it. The space was covered in long grass and trash and I succeeded to clean it all with the help of my friends  and we planted flowers and made table and chairs by putting stones together. This created a wonderful playground for us and also a great view for all the passing by people who lived in the block. I was in the third grade, when I started this very first project of mine and yet this garden is present up to this day.

2.       Was anyone there to witness or appreciate it? Yes, many people, in fact. It was clear that it had an impact as well as people appreciated the environment we improved and created.

3.       What is the best idea you have ever had? Starting a youth charity and volunteering organization and thus creating an active platform for exchange of inspiration, skills, service and more. Deciding to write a book including real life love letters or conversations about the nature of Love, relationships and more in addition to personal narratives which aims to show how my perception on Love had changed over the time- moving from pain-control-ownership-based relationships to alternative, conscious relationships in which partners are viewed primarily as individuals and not only as parts of a couple and love is viewed in the context of personal and mutual growth, unrestrained and free.

4.       What is the dumbest idea? I think there are no dumb ideas.

5.       Can you connect the dots that led you to this idea?

6.       What is your creative ambition? To finish my book soon and publish it (short term). To keep developing my creativity, intuition, my sense for arts, beauty, fashion; to be able to express myself better artistically, to develop my own psychological and therapeutic art instruments.

7.       What are the obstacles to this ambition? Lack of time and opportunities to work on it specifically.

8.       What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition? Creating agenda, watching out for opportunities…

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat? I used to travel a lot so I hardly had any repeating habits as every day used to be completely unique. Thought travelling often can also become a habit.

10.   Describe your most successful creative act? See N3.

11.   Describe your 1st successful creative act- See N1

12.   What are your attitudes towards:

  • Money- I do think that money are important. When people don’t have the money to meet their basic needs, they feel miserable, inconfident and restricted. They can not pay that much attention to arts or sports, literature or entertainment If their needs for food, shelter, etc. are not met (The hierarchy of needs, Maslow). Money are a great way to exchange value as well- in the present world money are the material form that your creative energy, diligent work and sweat transforms into.
  • Power- I believe in the power of human actions, inspiration and enthusiasm. As well as the power of intentions, positive thoughts and shaping your Universe through being able to find the lesson in every situation.
  • Praise- I don’t like praise, because I think it does not lead to anything constructive. What I have observed is that when people praise someone it is as if they look at him as a hero- a super human, rather than an individual who succeeds to overcome himself and create himself no matter of what he has started with.
  • Rivals- I used to be very competitive. When I was in the States for the first time on an exchange program in Wake Forest University, however, I experienced a massive decrease in my confidence- I felt despite all my emotional intelligence, experiences and skills, I could not compare to the factual intelligence of my peers, my English suffered as the more I tried to push myself to talk well in English (and I did have a high level of expression in English), I only sounded worse. I realized that If my confidence is based on the comparison with others, I will always suffer badly. Because there will always be someone better than me in one thing or another. I believe that each of us is a unique mixture of experience, characteristics, skills. And rivalry should be within- in your personal attempt to challenge yourself, your preconceived ideas, expectations, your very “natural” attempt to attach and secure yourself.
  • Work-is a great opportunity to develop yourself and practice happiness, If it is revolving around some passion of yours. Should be stimulating or made stimulating.
  • Play- you can play as you do almost anything. Depends on your attitude towards things.
  • The Divine- I believe that God is in each one of us and in everything that surrounds us at every moment and at any place.
  1. Which artists do you admire most? Robin Williams, Shimshai, Bob Marley, Vladimir Dimitrov Maistora, Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Lenny Cravitz, Ayn Rand, Oscar Wilde, Plato…

From the list you can see I do not really have much background in arts- but I want to learn and I want to become able to appreciate visual art and be deeply touched by it.

14.   Why are they your role models? I wouldn’t say they are my role models, but I am impressed by their being so authentic, revolutionary in their own ways, deep, sensitive, aware.

15.   What do you have in common with them? I am just aperson, yet I know that a single person can have a great deal of impact.

16.   Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?My mother, friends, poetry, music..

17.   Define muse. Someone who inspires you to create and express your Potential to the fullest.

18.   Who is your muse? Different people at different times- people with passion, and will, determination and positive aura. Many times I’m my own muse as well- I am proud of my achievements, of succeeding to practice the values I care about and tryong to be an open book and share as much as possible.

Thank you for reading! :)
CLICK HERE to continue with the second part :)
M.

 


God speaking through us

Categories: Midd Blogosphere, music

We shall lift each other upIt was a hot summer afternon and the city was sweating. It was my first time in Burgas since I was little, but I didn’t feel like sightseeing. I kept on pulling my suitcase after me as Tsvety and I searched for something to eat.

As we walked the main street we stopped to listen to some street musicians- two beautiful boys playing guitars and singing rock songs in Bulgarian. There was something different in their singing as they didn’t try to sound as the original performers, but sang as if they were the first ones to.

I put my suitcase on the ground and sat on it. There was a little crowd gathered around them  in a semi-circle. When they stopped playing we clapped and waited enthusiastically for the next song to begin. When it was over and I once again awoke from the trans I had fallen into, I asked them to play my favourite song.

I felt touched, unable to explain why. Same deep feeling of joy as when my friends and I gather and sing together, mumbling the words we don’t know and singing out loud the songs we love. And it always fels very special, very simple and authentic. And I never get bored.

Tsvety and I left quickly to grab some pizza for dinner and soon returned and sat again to listen. The boys smiled to us and we felt as special guests rather than strangers now.

As I was sitting on the ground, in the middle of the street busy with people, moving determined in all directions, I felt moved. My eyes were catching the eyes of the boy singing and we were both smiling, naked in the depth of the glances, in the song and the silence.

It was a most intimate moment between strangers.

With the end of the last song they asked us if we were waiting for the train and we nodded. They said they could finish a bit earlier this night and we all sat nearby to talk.

Within a couple of minutes, I was drоwning in dissapointment. Their voices were full with sarcasm and the music composed by their words was everything but inspiring. While the first boy was disparaging pretty much everything we tried to speak about, the other one was somewhat modest, but quite disilusioned. He didn’t seem to be happy with his life and referred to his being a musician as doing something for the sake of doing something.

As they talked to us about their fellow musicians, using them and people not caring about good music, the whole situation felt bitter-sweet. The joy was gone with the end of the last verse and was not coming back, at least not before the next performance. I felt sad and I felt offended. In the next few minutes I made the effort to give them something: my own, sincere feedback on their music and the atmosphere they created, which people DID value and appreciate. But it all felt as a cliche. Their souls if opened throughout the singing were now shut, scratching on the surface could only hurt me.

I said we had to go to catch the train and we left soon. No Facebook exchange done and no photos taken.

I can not have small talk, while I’m all naked.

*

The more I think about this evening, the more I try to find some sort of explanation to ease the pain I still feel remembering.

The pain is caused by the sudden intimacy born in the simple act of singing together and having each other in the hold of a gaze and the abrupt distance created right after.

This encounter shaked me somehow and made me think about being an artist and creating art- just as the noble men of Ancient Greece I expected that the beauty of the music created by the two boys was mirroring the beauty of their souls and intellect. And while this might not always be true, I have the feeling that there is more to that…

**

Last year when Carsten came to Bulgaria to be with me, but things did not turn out the way he expected them, I stayed speechless trying to figure out what to tell him to ease his pain. What I told him back then was that may be we have given each other what we had to give; we have learned what we had to learn from each other for the moment, and that we had to let each other go in order to be able to share intimacy and love again some day or not. I did not merely understand what I was saying back then. It took me about a month to realise its meaning. But while I was trying to fall asleep one night, I figured this is exactly what I had to understand myself months and moths ago after I broke up with my last boy friend who I kept loving insanely for about two years after. I realised that this is what it’s all about- meeting, getting to know each other, learning, raising each other up, not staying together for the sake of simply being together… And only then Love can be forever, even though still dynamic, evolving…

***

I believe there are these moments in which a power greater than us takes control of us and speaks on our behalf. Or sings. Or plays. Or draws. Or writes. God that is in us, whether we know it or not, speaks through us, and we ourselves are speechless in surprise. We only have to learn to live up to him.563798_10100475498289621_1349969739_n

♥Maggie Nazer is a social entrepreneur, activist, blogger and current Middlebury college student.


The road less travelled

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Although being completely flexible in my travel plans and adding more to my itinerary as the minutes pass, I had no doubt I wanted to do the Camino de Santiago- the medieval pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostella, where St James is believed to be buried.

In the end it all started insanely- it was a Friday afternoon when I learnt that my boss doesn’t need me for the next week. In two hours I managed to find an internet club (I had no phone, no camera or laptop!), call a couchsurfer in Leon who promised to give me his bike so that I could do the camino, get to the house of my current couchsurfer, get just a little bit of luggage and then leave for Leon.

966218_10201192897295529_1302176923_oCamino de Santiago is a great metaphor for Life, itself. You walk it alone, yet the people around you are your most valuable resource- people always help each other out, recharge each other’s energy and courage. You are more mindful, more present, more thankful. Despite I had no raincoat, no mountain equipment, no previous experience in mountain biking, no idea I had to cross mountains, no expectation it could snow in May, I did reach Santiago. With my own tempo and with my own lessons to learn. Going beyond my own stereotypes for myself and how far I could get.

♥Maggie Nazer is a social entrepreneur, activist, blogger and current Middlebury college student.


First video interview: Intro to Tantra

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

This is a video in which I interviewed my Tantra guru Marek Griks on questions related to Tantra and his own experience with it.

Marek is a very passionate activist and he believes Tantra as a practice is not only a key to personal enlightment, insight, improved love making, but also a tool for social change. Watch the video to learn more and check out his and his partner’s website.

♥Maggie Nazer is a social entrepreneur, activist, blogger and current Middlebury college student.

Interview with me from the Rainbow Gathering in Greece

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

This is a 6-minute interview with me, my dear friend and Tantra Teacher Marek made. Watch it to hear a bit about the place of tantra and Rainbow gatherings in today’s society according to me and more about what we learned, felt, experienced, brought back with us…

♥Maggie Nazer is a social entrepreneur, activist, blogger and current Middlebury college student.