Brain is spilling out with heartfelt experiences about what I learnt from my trip to Portugal. There’s honestly soo much to write about! This will be one of many Portugal inspired blog posts.
First off, let me take you back to my past…
Childhood trauma haunted me.
I couldn’t escape, because it was me.
It swallowed me into a pit of depression.
Little Naomi didn’t know how to handle it,
She was a child,
She couldn’t hold the darkness,
It built up,
until it exploded into panic attacks.
I’m now realizing how strong little Naomi is.
I love her soo much.
The saving grace,
The holy vibrations,
Music saved my life.
Got lost in the rhythm.
Took me to another reality.
A sweet surrender.
Dancing like a flame,
Singing at the top of my lungs.
In those moments,
I was free.
My demons melted away.
I would dream of seeing my favourite artists live. One year I got hyped up about Lollapalooza, a music festival in Berlin. But little Naomi lacked confidence, friends and money to go. I was living in a place of fear.
The last few years I’ve been healing my trauma wounds. My spirit guides assure me that this world has beautiful things for me. I trust the universe. I am open to receive the miracles life has to offer.
In 2019, I let go of what was dulling out my light; left a shitty relationship, left my job, my house, gave away most of my possessions, bought a one way ticket to Greece and tickets to the 2020 Porto Primavera festival.
Due to covid the festival kept being postponed but finally it arrived!
Thing is with trauma is that it keeps coming up. Its a constant battle, but once you make friends with the demons, it gets a lot easier to reason with them and not let them take over your reality.
They started whispering thoughts of fear
“Everyone will be drunk with their friends, and you’ll be the sober loser on your own”
We came from the Earth Mother, Plants that turned human.
Consider how alike we are to plants:
Just as roots draw up nutrients from the Earth. We eat food that’s from the earth.
Our bodies do the work of balancing the life giving energy from the sun, with the purity of water.
Plants thrive when they’re in a community; picture a lush forest. We also need each other for friendship and support.
Plants require a home. Some form of stable ground where they can spread their roots.
Houses are like pots, A safe space, where we feel comfortable to spread our roots.
After travelling, I came back to my childhood pot. The shadows of my roots welcomed me back. Reconnected with my past self, Honouring the younger version of me. Thankful for how much I’ve grown and learnt.
As the plant grows, the roots take up all the space that’s available. A pot bound plant needs more earth to take in nutrients, but most are resilient enough to survive being pot bound. When they’re eventually repotted into a bigger home the plant experiences stress, until they have adjusted to their new home where they can thrive once more.
I liked my childhood pot, but had outgrown it. I felt a call to live in a totally new place. So I made myself homeless again. With a handful of my belongings on back, I drifted through England.
Uprooted, living in hostels, no stable ground to claim as my own, it dulled my light. I was in survival mode, didn’t have it in me to do what I love; create.
After relentlessly messaging landlords, I eventually found a pot I could call home in Exeter.
The first few days I was feeling down in my new home. The air was really thick and muggy, which added to my blues. Sleeping with the windows wide open, but no breeze graced me.
One day I was woken up at 5:30 am by heavy rain. A wide smile spread across my face. Thank you beautiful rain! I ran outside dancing, singing “FEEL THE RAIN ON YOUR SKIN…”
I looked up the song, and the lyrics resonated so well with my situation. The universe is always talking to us. I’ve linked in the version with the lyrics so you can dance and sing to it too!
Thanks for reading! Expect more regular posts as I’m feeling the divine creative energy run through me.
It’s been a while since I wrote something and actually published it on here!
Mainly because I’ve been dealing with my own shit. When certain negative emotions arise, I like to take step back, analyze my brain, by asking myself questions; to find the root of the problem. This is called Shadow work.
So if you want to know how my brain works, and probably yours too, as we’re all pretty similar, carry on reading…
I was out in the fancy part of Rome.
The people were like the buildings; ozzing elegance and class.
Look down at myself, stain on my top, worn out boots, no make up, hairy armpits.
Feelings of inadequacy start bubbling up inside.
When we feel jealous of someone,
There’s two paths our mind can take.
Either, strive to be “better” than them.
This might sound like a healthy mindset, because this is what society encourages. But seeing others as competition is toxic. It can create an addiction mentality, because they’ll always be someone “better” than us.
Instead of looking within ourselves; we are taught to look outside. This mindset underpins capitalism. Which explains why depression and anxiety are prevelent today.
I call myself out, when I notice my mind going to dark places, for example with negative self talk.
“Oi thought! This mind is a place of LOVE.”
Although I’m an anti capitalist badass, we live in a capitalist world, where the conditioning is clever, we don’t even realise it. It can easily infiltrate our minds. Becoming a constant self love battle.
My initial feelings towards the fancy people was completely the opposite of striving to be like them…
“Bourgeoisie bullshit” I huffed to myself. “These people are soo fake, they only care about how they look.”
Why can’t I admire someone’s beautiful outfit, without it triggering something within me?
For me, it triggered hurt feelings, of not being able to fit in with others.
The phrase “If you can’t join them, beat them” shows how both mentalities come from the same place. Both see others as competition. Shaming others, becomes a survival tactic.
Not only does it alienate people, but it puts people into boxes, based on how they look/what they do. We like to put labels on things “good” “bad” but it’s not soo black and white.
We cannot be defined by our choices, by how we look, or even our thoughts. We are much greater. I believe we are all connected to the divine; source energy.
Basically we’re all gods and goddesses walking the earth, that have forgotten how much power we have.
Okay so we’re part of a capitalist society, but we can protect our heart and mind from toxic behaviours.
Let’s stop shaming each other.
Admire differences. Empower others.
Thanks for reading! Do you relate to anything that I’ve written? Does your mind go through similar thought patterns?
I’m going to be writing more about how internerlised capitalism affects our minds. Stay tuned…
Cycling through Greece, during the summer, isn’t the best idea! I’m glad I did it though. Gaining wisdom through experiences and anecdotes to write about!
I was staying at this cafe for four hours, reading my book, charging my phone, using the WiFi. Avoiding the 32° heat!
The Serbian waitress face lit up, when she found out I was from England.
“You’re from England! I love England!” she shrieked
As I’ve spent most of my life in England, I don’t appreciate it as much as a tourist would. I find it a bit boring. Especially comparing it to the rich Greek culture.
She went on to ask me loads of questions about where I lived, London, what my favourite boy bands are!
I reeled off some nostalgic boy bands that I would scream out the words too when I was a teenager and occasionally now and then haha.
“The Kooks, Scouting for girls, The Hoosiers”
She diligently wrote these down, then stated “Mine’s One Direction”
Of course is was, I thought. I was at school when they were on X factor. Whether you like them or not, Harry Styles was a common lunchtime topic amongst the girls.
Although the Serbian waitresses was enjoying my company. Most people don’t stay in cafés for four hours. I was trying to read the energy of the owners, are they thinking “when is this girl going to leave already”
The thing is, I would have love to get back on my bike and continue my route, but it was just too hot! I started cycling from Loutraki and was planning on cycling to Patras where I could get a boat to a Greek island or to Italy.
As the land curves round, I could see Loutraki, where I started off! “I was over there, now I’ve managed to get here, by pedalling myself, well done Naomi!” I proudly told myself.
The first night of sleeping out in nature, I kept passing potential places to set up camp. “There’s gotta be a better spot” lying to myself, I was nervous. As once you’ve found a spot and claimed it as yours for the night, it becomes real!
As it got later, darkness crept in, which made me worry even more! I settled for an abandoned area in Corinth, it really stank of poo, but thought “oh well at least I’ve found somewhere.”
You don’t realise how loud the outside world is, until you sleep in it. Sirens, dogs barking, cars, mosquitos. If you focus on the noise you’ll never get to sleep. Focus on your breathing. I started deep breathing.
Felt relaxed, until I heard footsteps, coming from the abandoned house. It was a middle aged man. My eyes widened. I darted straight for my pen knife. He saw me. He slowly started to undo his belt. Fuck! This is it! I shoved my feet into my shoes. Then looked over, to see him squating down, having a shit! Then he just sauntered off, as that was the most natural thing to do!
That smell of poo, was his! It grossed me out, so I ended up getting a hotel room.
This was a message from the universe, gently reminding me of what I already knew. Our thoughts become reality. I attracted that situation. I was already in a state of fear, before the man arrived. So naturally more fearful situations are prone to happen.
When I tell people my plans, some well meaning people project their fear on to me, I don’t discredit them, but I don’t hold on to these ideas.
Actually, the statistics show that you’re more likely to be murdered by someone you know. SOOyeah!
After this slightly scary situation, I became alot more chilled out to camping. There’s loads of vineyards in Greece, where trees are a perfect distance apart to hang a hammock. You might be gifted by falling fruit during the night!
Crickets sing through the night. Olive branch silhouettes illuminated by the stary sky. Gently rocking myself to sleep, was soo in love with those moments.
Although the birds woke me up at 5am, how could I be annoyed? They’re celebrating a brand new day! I’d wake up full of pride that I’d manage to sleep outside.
I managed 3 nights outside and 1 night in a hotel room, covering a distance of 27km. Okay, it’s not a huge amount, but I’m happy I gave it a shot! I was wasting alot of time just avoiding the heat. I’m now on a ferry to Italy! Looking forward to new adventures ahead!
I still have a few unfinished posts about Greece that I may finish and publish! So don’t be confused if I’m still talking about Greece!
My main reason why I love Athens is in my other blog post so if you haven’t read that then… Go read it!
Okay, now thinking about it, perhaps this is the top reason why I love Greece…
Gosh you lot are quite something! I don’t like to generalise, but hey I’m going to generalise. I feel like I’m allowed to, since I’ve lived here for a while now and notice significant differences between Greeks and English people.
I feel like there’s two main type of Greek people.
The religious Greeks.
If you’ve read my other posts, you might have come to the conclusion that I dislike religion. Although I have a lot of constructive criticism to give to the churches. I won’t go into that now… I’ll save it for another blog post.
This is a Love story after all!
What do I love about religious people?
Spirituality gives people purpose and direction.
As Buddhists and Meeseeks say “existence is pain.”
When bad situations enter our lives, we might see this as a test from God/Universe.
How do we show up? How does our experience shape us? Do we let our past decions define who we are today?
The use of rituals is prehistoric.
Many of us partake in rituals without realising, whether it be celebrating a wedding, new year, birthday or grieving someone at a funeral. These events help us connect with our emotions and reflect.
Our busy lives take over, and often these events become the only rituals we observe.
While religious people, who often pray; to give thanks, ask for strength and forgiveness with whatever they’re dealing with. Surrendering what they can’t change to the universe/God. Giving all that weight and power to a higher being, with the belief that they will help you overcome it, is a mindful practice.
The act of positioning your hands in a certain way, for example bringing the palms together in a prayer position “connects the right and the left hemispheres of the brain and connects with spirituality/god/divinity. It promotes respect for oneself and others. It is considered a natural remedy for stress and anxiety and is useful for entering into a meditative state.” (from kooshoo.com)
It’s common to see people praying and making the sign of the cross on themselves, when they touch the head, the chest then both shoulders. The act of connecting a physical action with a spiritual belief is powerful in itself. Mind, body and spirit are connected. Practicing these rituals daily, help us connect with our higher self/intuition/god.
The Greek spiritual art work has its own unique style. The artist sees their creation as a part of their worship, therefore take time to make something beautiful. Rich jewel tones are a common theme: gold, emerald, marron and of course the classic Greek blue.
I said there was two main types of Greek people…
Can you guess the other group?
Anarchists! Of course!
Christians and Anarchists, polar opposites right?
It may look like that on the surface, until you look deeper and it becomes apparent that both groups are very similar.
Anarchism is derived from the Greek root anarchos meaning “without authority. ” They reject hierarchy structures and call for abolition of the state.
So do they want complete chaos? No
Instead of goverment, they think that people should work together to create a society in any form they choose. The belief that we can take care of each other without a government, is to have faith in humanity.
What do you think would happen, if we didn’t have governments? Do you trust people or governments more with your wellbeing?
Questioning and rebelling against authority goes back to ancient Greece. Philosophers that dared to share their controversial thoughts were put in prison and executed for “corrupting the youth.”
You can find Socrates prison in Filoupapou Hill, where he was held and killed. His friends and followers planned on setting him free, but he denied their help, choosing to martyr himself.
Imagine his followers at these bars begging him to leave, he nonchalantly replies “We don’t know what the death is, it’s not reasonable to be afraid of it.”
Would you call him brave or stupid?
In modern Greek history, a fascist junta military dictatorship took power in April 1967. Those who stood against them were tortured and killed. Freedoms were restricted; elections abolished, demonstrations and strikes forbidden, only church gatherings were allowed.
This led to the growth of Anarchist and Anti fascist movements in Greece, led by mainly students.
On November of 1973, students and citizens came together holding a massive demonstration at the Polytechnic University. The dictatorship retaliated by crashing a tank through the gates of the University, brutally murdering 24 people and leaving many injured.
Emotionally looking through pictures and footage of the uprising. Reminding me of the countries that are currently under oppressive rule.
Courageous people, that know how dangerous protesting is, but because they have soo much love for each other and what is right, they put their lives on the line. Rest in peace.
The same anarchist chants echo through the streets today. “Our passion for freedom is stronger than any prison.”
My favourite anarchist value is that no one “owns” land. We are all citizens of the earth and we should be allowed to go wherever we please. Sadly the ruling class have divided the earth with imaginary borders. Imagine the first person to ever draw maps. How would they know what seperates one country from another?
Anarchists offer support towards refugees, providing food at solidarity kitchens. They also are invited into squats. There’s even a squat only for women and their children.
Can you find any similarities between Christians and Anarchists?
They’re both about humanity and solidarity.
Which explains why Greeks have hearts of gold. Many that I’ve lived with would often cook me food and check in on me. One Greek lady would always end our conversations with “if there’s anything you need just let me know.”
The white cross in the Greek flag represents the Orthodox religion. While the 9 white and blue stripes represents the amount of syllabus of the phrase Ελευθερία ή Θάνατος’ (Eleftheria I Thanatos) which means “Freedom or Death.” Perfect symbolism for the general Greek attitudes.
Thank you for reading till the end!
What did you learn from this article? Are you Greek? Do you agree that Greeks have beautiful souls? I’d love to know your thoughts!
I still have soo much more to write about magical Greece!
I’m grateful for the gift of writing. It really helps me process traumatic periods in my life and uncomfortable feelings that arise from them. By reflecting and retelling the story you can learn so much about others and yourself.
My wise friend told me to “Run to the darkness. ” Explore your emotions, rather than bottling negative feelings. Although it will be hard, you will grow soo much.
Lepon… So… Here’s my growth Story.
I’d never felt so at home before!
There was no pressure to: clean, work, cook ect…
I’d be on the balcony smoking weed and gardening all day. Going on bike rides with my flatmates. Making art.
It was a sweet life.
I felt happy in my little sanctuary. The only problem was when I went outside.
A shaddy authoritative figure holds out their hand.
“bla bla speaking in Greek… “
“Yassas I don’t speak Greek”
“Show Me Your ID”
I was in total shock. I own up to my white privilege, in the whole 25 years of being alive, the first time I was stopped and asked for ID was in Greece a few months ago. Verbal randomness started flowing out of my mouth.
You know when you’re a kid and you just keep asking “why though?”
Well I’m still a kid and like to ask alot of questions.
But seriously though
“Why do you need to know who I am?”
“Have I committed a crime?”
Then they start to get funny and say something like
“Do you want to get arrested?”
I go all Lauren from the Catherine Tate show ( look it up if you can be bothered 😉
“Can I not just ask a question tho? Can’t EVEN ask a question? Are we living in a dictatorship tho? Are you going to arrest me for asking a question? Am I Bothered? Look at my face. Am I bothered? Not Bothered!”
(exaggerated the situation obvs 🙂
Or the classic.
“I’ll show you my ID if you show me yours Officer”
(sounds soo pervy lol)
“As how do I know you would give it back? I don’t know you, and certainly don’t trust you. “
Surprised that I actually got a cop to give me his personal ID.
It is perfectly within your right to ask these type of questions. I think it’s important to do so.
It reminds them that We Are Equals.
Just because they’ve been given a shiny badge by the government, does not make them superior.
They start to identify with their job title and lose who they really are.
If no one challenges them, then they’ll keep thinking they have the power.
It is also perfectly within your right, to flim the police or someone else in a public space. Be aware that some police also have cameras and mics inbeded in their uniform.
At the start of the year I went into the Athens Police Headquarters to complain about how rude and aggressive the police are.
“We’re not like England!”
This activated me into Mary Poppins…
The super Nanny for the Kako cops…
“Young man, I’m seeing alot of unacceptable behaviour around here.”
As the government tighten their control, on the protests showing solidarity for Dimitri Koufontinas. (link explaing about Koufontinas). The police displayed more aggression towards the people. Despite this, Greek people showed solidarity, and fought back.
My room mate showed me horrific videos of police abusing their power and ganging up on individuals. At my nearest metro, the police pushed people into the station and threw tear gas in an enclosed space.
Going out felt like a warzone.
I’d go past a cop I’d be like
Under my breath.
Silently praying that my friends are Daxey Laxey (okie dokie)
If any police are reading this please would you email me your answers to these questions:
What is your duty?
Who do you work for?
Are you serving the people?
Or serving the Government?
What do you Stand for?
Who Are You?
For Growth to happen you need to undergo trauma and run towards it screaming!
You might get brusied (emotionally) but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right!? Stand a little taller… Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone… ;D (you’re gonna have that stuck in your head now)
Lepon, the traumatic incidences with the police.
We were exercising our right to protest, but the protest didn’t happen as the police dispanded everyone. So we went for a coffee, sat on some grass by the side of the road.
I got comfortable.
Took my shoes off.
Having a good time when…
A group of at least 6 Team Drassi officers pull up on bikes next to us. They start encroaching on our personal space. One officer kicked my bag and scarf.
I felt threatened.
When this happens your body goes into Fight or Flight mode.
Animal instincts kick in.
This is our body’s natural way of protecting itself. This is useful, when fleeing from other animals or attacking them.
But we’re not wild animals in the jungle. Although it sure feels like it sometimes!
We can’t simply run away from our problems. We are told we have to talk to the Malaka police and give them our ID.
Your body fills up with energy. If you don’t use it, it comes out as a panic attack.
Okay, so this time, I was with my trusted Greek friends. I could see they where rationalising with the officers and that everything would be Daxey.
Wasn’t soo Daxey when I was with my friend, cycling down a road in Athens. We passed loads of riot police, we went the wrong way and had to pass them again.
Menacing black uniforms surrounded our bikes. I suggested some fresh fashion advice.
“I’d love to give your uniforms a make over. I’d put a red heart on your sleeves, to remind you to be loving and to show the people you care.”
The officer got soo pissed at this!
“We wear Black! This isn’t a game! We are at war!”
At War with Who?
Yourself I think.
Police non stop asking questions.
A lot of questions…
“Where are you going? When is your birthday? Where were you born? Where do you live? How long have you been here? Why are you trembling?”
“Because We’re SCARED!”
I’ve worked on my mental health alot recently. I can spot a panic attack coming. I ground myself using my breath. I can calm down.
However this time, I had a full hiperventaling panic attack in front of the cops.
I was scared that they were going to hurt me. I didn’t care if they took my ID. I just had to leave the toxic situation.
Some of them started to laugh at me.
How Dare they!
Disturb my peace of mind!
Make fun of someone vulnerable!
Got home, cried, shouted, made soo much art about it. But no matter what I did. I couldn’t shake out all the rage. It’s there for a reason. To be explored…
I had been triggered. I was acting out, to express my pain, calling out for attention and comfort from my loved ones.
However my friends didn’t like this behaviour and it made them react and push away from me. We’d argue. As you might imagine, I’m a good talker and stubborn. I always defend myself and my actions. It’s hard to see other points of view.
Especially, when most of us live by toxic values, that we’ve been conditioned to follow, by the system.
“Put a brave face on. ”
“Don’t show your weakness.”
“Don’t be the odd one out.”
Body shaming, sex work shame, putting others down, seriously the list can go on for ages…
Let me know what toxic value you’re un-conditioning yourself from!
I decided to follow my intuition and leave the beautiful sanctuary flat and my gorgeous little cat.
“If they can’t handle me at my worst, they don’t deserve me at my best.” – Marilyn Monroe
Moving out was incredibly hard. There were a lot of tears! As there were many good memories in that flat.
I hope that my friend sees that there was no bad intentions in my behaviour and we can move past this.
I acknowledge that we are not are thoughts or actions. Any moment we can change the narrative of who we are.
Anyone read till the end? If you have thank you soo much for your support and love! I hope you got something, from me explaining my story.