HEADING BACK HOME
Now sitting in the Stockholm airport, contemplating the completion of five weeks of teaching in northern Europe, covering Denmark, Holland, Belgium, and Sweden. It's been an eye-opening trip, but travel weary, I am glad to be heading home.
Five workshops, four countries, and a blur of planes, trains, and hotel rooms, what stays with me most is the light on people's faces as they discover new aspects of themselves, opening up to their inner Shakti, to dance with the Divine.
Leaving behind tools for healing, manifesting, and climbing up your chakras, I also take away many images and impressions.
Chief among them is the "smaller ego" factor among most Europeans. It seems there is less competition, more laughter, less gap between the rich and the poor, and a more cooperative and collaborative society in general - more emphasis on being and sharing than on doing and getting.
Government - though still far from perfect-actually exists for the benefit of its citizens. For example, in most countries we visited, we heard about government paid "Burnout leave," for those exhausted by job stress, in which your salary is paid for months at a time. In Sweden, we learned the government pays for up to 450 days of child care leave. This can be split up in any way between husband and wife, provided the husband takes a minimum of 60 days to bond with his newborn child. In Denmark, the government pays for up to five years of college - making it one of the better educated countries of the world. All countries we visited had public health care. They were amazed that our country is so far behind in this matter.
Of course they do pay higher taxes, but our friends in Sweden reported at their income level it was only 30%. The result - a more sane and more humane culture all around. Smaller cars and houses, more conscious recycling, longer vacations, better health care, more support for children - we have much to learn here in the ole' US of A.
Still I will be glad to be back in my own language and surroundings, and settle in for a week before heading back east to Kripalu, for this year's only presentation of our core course: Psychology of the Chakras. Hope to see you there or at one of our upcoming workshops rounding out 2012.