2016 has been hard work. Most times I wasn’t sure if I was running in circles pursuing wasteful ventures. At another point I didn’t know if I was being encircled by sharks. A particular struggle the last 3 months that felt like an onslaught.
Is this a pattern in nature? Another cycle to teach me something new?
Admittedly it’s left me realising that things are not as I would like them to be. I’m needing to reevaluate things on a more serious level with respects to where I’m putting my valuable energy. It feels like I’m putting out a lot of effort into generating an income but somehow the efforts seem thwarted and it’s led me to feeling very frustrated. I’m obviously doing something wrong. I’d firmly committed myself to working hard this year with the land connection service and I was clear with myself that I didn’t want to go back to Oz to work for cash. However, it’s seriously challenging to cope with here. Making a living is not so easy in outback Portugal and dealing with the local people can be quite complicated. Nothing is ‘straight up’, and things rarely go as you’d expect them to. Don’t get me wrong. It’s been a year of great learning for me but it’s been complicated and dealing with people is not always easy, especially when you’re doing it ALL THE TIME! I also started feeling the disease of being busy, and my patience started running very low. All this activity in pursuit of what? An answer perhaps, to the question of how to live my life so that I can pursue what I love while living in abundance?
I’m not really sure what I can tell you about abundance. I’ve got a lot to learn obviously. I know what I can tell you about my life recently – and it’s a been a bitch. Literally (and litter-ally)! We called her Abundance (or Bunda for short). She was a wild one (and still is) who strayed onto the land. She never came very close to us, but she was always wily for food. If we had our backs turned she would walk right in through the front door and help herself to whatever she could find. At first I kept chasing her away, thinking that she would leave at some point but she liked hanging out with my boys, Willi and Jobi, and they liked her, so it was difficult to take measures to stop them from mingling. Before we’d even knew it, she was pregnant. It wouldn’t have happened if my two boys had have been sterilised in the spring, but alas money (or lack thereof) made things complicated. I guess I never expected to be living hand to mouth. I know though, through speaking with others that this is also part of the struggles on the path that many of us have chosen here. Regardless of this, we accepted this wild thing into our life and took responsibility for her care. We named her Abundance (Bundancia in Portuguese), as a metaphor for what we were desiring in our lives. Little did I know what Bunda’s presence would lead me to learn about abundance.
Yes, some of this journey through 2016 has been quite novel and some of it was very enjoyable without a doubt, but underlying a lot of it I would feel a kind of overwhelm and it ultimately led to me feeling like as if life was throwing things at me from behind a wall, built of frustration, teasing me with every attempt I made to get over it. It all came to a climax during the 13 Bundles of Abundance saga, with one of the 13 puppies (yes, that’s right, she had 13 of them), Tai, breaking his leg, resulting in costly surgery. Then a few days after having got back he started looking unwell and just couldn’t hold anything down. I thought the surgery had infected him, so I rushed him back to the vets to soon discover that he’d contracted the potentially fatal Parvo Virus. That not being bad enough, while he was interned the other 6 puppies that we’re waiting to be rehomed with their new carers in January started showing symptoms also.
We had no money for any of this, and we’d already set up a Go Get Funding Campaign to keep the 13 Bundles of Abundance fed and cared for until December when we had aimed to have found homes for them all. Well, we successfully reached our target and found homes for all 13 pups. That was a mission in itself. Then because of Tai’s broken leg I did a special shout out on the same campaign and was twice lucky to receive so much so soon, so much more even than we needed. We thought we’d even be able to cover the costs to have the wild mother Bunda’s neutering operation and my two boys as well, but then this!? At that point I felt like I was reaching my limit, and edging towards breakdown. I started feeling paralysed somehow, mentally. What was I going to do? I knew that we couldn’t afford to take them all to the vets. So now I just felt completely overwhelmed, Was I going to ask again now? For more? We’d already received over 800 euros in kind donations from friends and people we knew, and now. I need to go out there and ask for more? To save these pups that I’ve raised and because I never had my dogs neutered in the first place? Are you kidding me? Now I have to subject myself to the assault of all the righteously indignant and opinionated folk out there who are going to tell me how irresponsible I’ve been (even though really that was the least of my worries)? I felt like a heavy weight in my heart. What I was concerned about most was that these pups that we’d spent caring for over 3 months were going to die if I didn’t take action, and I didn’t even feel equipped to deal with it.
It was of some comfort that there was three of us in the house. Fran, Amy and me, and we’d all done some research to indicate that it was possible to cure the disease at home, so we came to a group decision that we were going to try and save the remaining 6 without taking them to the vets. We did our best to equip ourselves as best we could by reading articles such as the ones we found on Dogs Naturally Magazine and Earth Clinic for example. I put all my work on hold so that I could give this my fullest attention and fight this battle to the end, right here at home. We armed ourselves with colloidal silver (which we already had), activated charcoal, electrolyte solution and because we couldn’t get an IV kit due to it being new years eve, we opted for enema bags which we read could be used also in case of no IV kit available. I thought we were prepared, but we weren’t …
It was heartbreaking when we saw how horribly aggressive this virus was. Tatanka (aka Chunk) and Buddhi (the biggest and the smallest) died within 2 days and I quickly realised that we really weren’t fitted out to give them the best care they needed, so we immediately brought the remaining 4 to the same vet hospital where Tai was being treated in Viseu. That was in the early morning of January 1st. Yeah, Happy New Year (one I wouldn’t forget)! Taking 4 sick pups to the vets who we didn’t even know were going to make it, yet knowing, that it was going to cost us something that would be way over our limit. I was bewildered. Before they could be admitted, I had to sign on the dotted line to have them interned. Can you feel the oppression in that? Not feeling like you can even pay to care for your loved ones?
So I humbled myself again. I had to find a way to do my best for them. It was a final act of compassion and love for them. I had to bow down and eat humble pie and ask people for more, so that we could pay our dues. This time I started another campaign on Go Get Funding as an SOS for the remaining of the 13 Bundles. During the campaign 2 of the pups (Bob and White Paw) died while interned at the vet hospital. We never expected it, we thought they were stronger than the others, but I guess that strength and resilience are not the same. Only two of them came out as survivors. In the end the costs for just those 4 totalled like something around 1400 euros (sigh).
The response of kindness we got from the second campaign just bowled me over. I really didn’t expect it. I ‘should have’ felt jubilated, yet all I could feel was some kind of anger, shame, pity and heaviness. Why am I having to be asking like this? Why must I be suffering this kind of poverty and oppression? Why am I not even feeling lucky and happy that people are being so kind to us? Am I a manic depressive? Is there something wrong with me? Come on Millo, look on the bright side of life. It’s not all bad. No? OK then. Yeah, maybe I am just a depressive. That doesn’t ring true for me either though, because nobody knows my life, my experience, my circumstances, my internal what’s going ons. All I know is what my experience of oppression feels like and it’s not pleasant. That’s why when I hear people ‘out there’ try to tell me (or someone, or everyone) ‘how it is’ and ‘how it should be’, and what’s right and what’s wrong then I feel like they really don’t understand. Everyone is a guru and everyone has something to say in this age of awakening, yet still somehow few seem capable of simply being still and listening. Fewer even that are capable of asking the right questions to help others with finding their own answers. It was only by the fire that night, on January the 1st as we cremated Buddhi and Chunk, that I received some answers with any meaning for me …
I have more than I need.
Let it all burn,
The anger, the doubts, the fear.
Into the fire, Let it all burn.
That’s why I need to write this down. So that I don’t forget these powerful ‘teachings’. These teachings that come from within and not from listening to external sources. The truth is that nobody can teach me how to grow, in the same way that no one can teach a seed how to grow. I am a seed, in the same way that we are all seeds. Seeds of change. I guess the question is if we have the courage to face our demons that appear out of the firey hell to burn us down as we rise up out of the soil, our womb, and into the light (the path of our dreams and inspiration). The seeds of abundance are in my hands.
So what’s my 2017 resolution, to break my ‘pattern’ of anger, fear and doubt?
I’m going to retreat, find some peace and silence so that I can refocus again on finding a way to live an abundant life doing what I love. I’m going to learn to say NO to things instead of saying yes all the time. I’m going to start by not taking any visitors here for a while, not atleast until I feel that I’m strong and ready again. Maybe I’ll go away somewhere quiet. I need some alone time to nurture my souls needs and my inner seeds.
Stephanie &AartJanuary 17, 2017 at 11:02 am
❤…..we hear you….Steph and Aart
milloJanuary 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm
Ludovica ValentiniJuly 22, 2018 at 6:58 pm
Dear Millo, I have just read this story and it’s humbling. You remind me that I have no right to try to teach anybody anything. At the same time, I marvel at the determination you found in yourself while going through all this. Thank you for being such an inspiration. Ludo.
milloJuly 23, 2018 at 11:50 am
Hi Ludo, Tai is now my dog. He’s remained as a resident at Quinta das Moitas. He’s the most gentle guy. A big bear. Love him so much. xxx