Entering community life

Sunset from the new spacenet one of the volunteers had build.

After having spent 4 weeks on Carlos his finca, the time had come to move on to community life with my friends at La Catalina.
Lotje had been gone for about 2 weeks, to get the gearbox fixed, which in the end didn’t need fixing because that had already been done 1.5 ago… It had more to do with the stick for changing gears that doesn’t go as fluently as it could. But besides that it had been time for big maintenance and new tires anyway. So now, she is all happy and clean again. Ready for adventure, which we’re not really going to do any time soon. But who knows, now that the borders are opening up more and more, a week away could be nice to do.

My new home location!

The time at Carlos had been interesting and different than expected. He had been busy with computerwork and I had been a bit all over the place with my training, not knowing when my van would be back and when I would move again and arranging a postal address and bank account (which is still underway…). There were also several days with heavy Levante, the strong eastern wind that can blow here, which affected me more than I’m used to. I guess it is a lot less intense between the trees at Charlies finca, and 3 months of Holland kind of made me forget about Levante and what effect that has.

Being back in Spain, I was hoping to be able to physically connect a bit more with Carlos and friends, and work more outside on the land or helping build. Instead I ended up spending quite some time by myself. Turned out that time was useful to finish up some practice videos I had lying around and hadn’t finished yet. Also I had a lot of time to practice and explore my yoga therapy work. I did however struggle with that desire for more connection that was not being met in the way I had expected and hoped.

Behind my van I have my chair with a view of the ocean and the sunset!

After getting Lotje back, I packed up again and moved to la Catalina, the finca of my friend Andrew. I had, sort of, volunteered 2 years ago at his other project where I’d met Aude, with whom I’m still good friends. And they had now started a bigger project on a beautiful new finca, next to the one they already had. They had asked me if I wanted to come over to stay there a while, help out and learn. And now the time had finally come. I had always felt a bit hesitant to join such a big project. Being surrounded by many people and the way that community life can also turn into a bubble that can disconnect me from the rest of the world. But you never know what it will be like until you experience it for a while. They gave me a beautiful spot in the corner of the finca, where no one needs to be if they don’t need me and where Levante doesn’t blow. A big tree gives me shadow early afternoon and when I want to I can sit in the sun and have an ocean view. It’s perfectly peaceful for me!

Every weekday form 9.30 to 14.30 we work and finish with a shared lunch. Afternoons, evenings and weekends are off, unless something has been organised that you can join. In the weekly meeting on Monday we fill in the planning for cooking, dishes, events and other general chores that need to be done. Besides those chores, there is also the work in the gardens, watermanagement (general water supply and irrigation), changing the terrain (making terraces, wind breaks, paths, swales and lots of mulching) and improvement of the caravans that are there or the space around it. Sometimes there are bigger projects, like the mandala garden they made last year, where I came over during the week to help out. There is always lots to do! Fortunately, I also have the time and space to work on my yoga therapy training, getting my case studies and even working with some people here in person. They are very flexible, I just need to share my needs (which is still challenging).

One of the jobs the past weeks was putting driplines along the swales where they had planted little trees.

There are about 15 people living and working here. A few who had been living here in a caravan have just left. They came in with a certain wish for this project, which over time was not going to be realised and so they chose to move on. A challenging decision that I know all too well. As everywhere, life is pretty dynamic here too. The difference for me is, that I’m not so in the middle of it, as I was at Charlies finca, where it was just the 2 or 3 of us. Even though these are quite some people, I do feel pretty peaceful here with enough me-time. It took me some time to land, to get to know the people, the place and the routines and ‘rules’ a bit. The intention here is one of ‘living from abundance’ though, which is a beautiful space to be in. In a way it feels also unfamiliar. Feeling the freedom, with the need to be productive, but also spending enough time by myself to relax and take care of my personal needs. I’m still looking for the balance and tend to want to do a bit too much. The interesting thing is, that stress still shows up as the corners of my mouth cracking. So that has been coming and going these past months.
I also finally managed to get myself back into the water with my surfboard and some friends. It had been such a long time! With one of the first waves I caught, I fell and the board quite firmly got me in my left floating ribs. That really hurt. I first thought I was ok-ish and could continue, but keeping my balance just sitting on the board was very uncomfortable, so after a while I had to stop. At some point I was feeling worried about my left kidney, but I wasn’t peeing blood or feeling weird or anything. It did however became a bit more of a challenge to work on the finca. So for that moment, no heavy work, because sideways and twisting movements were not really an option. It was however a very fascinating yoga therapy experiment on myself. What could I notice, was I bracing/breathing/compensating? And also realising that in this moment now, it was probably a very good idea to brace during certain movements, to protect the rib area, as long as I could let that go afterwards. However, after 2 days it felt like I had a basketball stuck in my left waist. So much tissue had tensed. Fortunately, breathing was fine to do.

Back in the water, waiting for the waves to come.

On the 3rd day, I got a phone call from the UPS that they had a package for me that they wanted to deliver. Here in Spain I don’t have an official address (I do have a postbox :)), but since many people live in rural areas, the delivery people are used to not having an exact delivery address. They will call you to meet up somewhere to hand the package to you.
I had ordered a Bemer system through my aunt, who has been working with it for many years. This is a device with a matras and a smaller (more intense) spot, that creates an electomagnetic pulse field. These pulses can be at different frequencies that correspond with the different frequencies of your organ systems. This then stimulates the microcirculation, the mobility of the tiny vessels of your body. And with a better microcirculation, there is improved oxygenation and waste removal around the cells and thus more potential for healing.
I had ordered it to use it for my kidneys. Maria, my nephrologist knew what Bemer was, but had no idea of it’s functionality for IgA patients. But thinking about how it theoretically works, we both figured it would be interesting enough to try. If it doesn’t directly help my kidneys, it can help me recover quicker when I have an infection and ease the burden on them, which is a big win too!
However, I now had my bruised rib and all kinds of compensatory/protective tensions in my body because of that, which would be a great way to see the Bemer in action! I got the spot and put it on a light program and after 3x using it in 1.5 days, my basketbal of tension had reduced to just the rib and its immediate surroundings feeling sensitive. Allowing me to do so much more without getting into the bracing patterns. The incredible thing is, with the spot on an affected area on a higher intensity, I can really feel that there is movement happening. It is quite sensationful (not painful) and really reduces the swelling and stickiness sensation.
A few days later I joined a yoga workshop of a friend of mine who had invited me. There, I did notice that the left side didn’t have much mobility and was painful quite quickly. So it wasn’t healed by all means, but it wasn’t as stuck as it had been. That workshop was a very good practice in doing less and following my own advice. Although, I do have to admit that my yoga teacher ego was struggling with that… The next they I noticed that, even though I had been quite conscious and slowed down, I had still done too much. Fortunately, with the Bemer that was easily improved.

My next door squatty potty toilet, love it!

So 3 weeks down the line, the rib is still not 100%, some therapeutic yoga movements are not available to me in a way that I can be relaxed in it, but I’ve had my fun with my surfboard in the water again. I have my balance on the board back and I can do pretty much all the work again on the finca. So I’m very happy with the timing and the results. Now, I really hope that my test results for my kidneys in July are also a bit better. Although it would be hard to say if that would have been the Bemer. I’m now back in Spain again, moved to a new place with a different daily rhythm, started with a mushroom supplement, yoga therapy on myself and more regular intermittent fasting. Time will tell…

I’ve also started with my case studies for my yoga therapy training. This has been a beautiful adventure so far. My insecurity is slowly starting to transform a bit and my ability to see and listen is increasing. And through this ability I also notice that the people I work with are discovering so much more about their bodies, their movement and in the end themselves and me about myself through them as well. I feel so fortunate to be able to grow my knowledge and ability in these practices. Having created a life that can support that and will hopefully support that even more in the future. Whenever after a mornings’ work and lunch with the group I feel a bit tired and empty and I have a session, either online or live, I feel really energised after. So that is again confirming that I’m on the right path!

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