Thursday, 29 October 2015

Addressing the challenges

London has got a scent of possibility in the air.

As soon as you leave the house, this aroma fills you with hope. It whispers in your ear: “Everything is going to be fine; you will have a wonderful day…” 

It’s good to be back here and be surrounded with the inspirational views, sounds and scents once again.

I am currently staying in London absolutely free. Yes, free! Living here for free is possible if you are housesitting – and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. I am staying in a lovely two bedroom flat, quite close to Clissold Park in the Stoke Newington area of London. Yes, I have the flat to myself (not counting two furry animals I need to look after), located in the central London, and I don’t pay a penny to stay here.
How did I become a housesitter? First of all, I wasn’t even aware of this kind of possibility before I decided to go travelling. Only then I began reading blogs and tips by other travellers. One of the subjects I was particularly interested in was of course accommodation, especially when being on the budget. Housesitting turned out to be the most recommended solution when looking for a free place to stay. 

So what exactly is housesitting? It’s looking after the property (house, flat, farm) while the owners are away. They might be gone for a night, few days, or even a year. Quite often there are animals left behind that need attention – feeding, walking or giving medications. The owners cannot take their animals with them, so there’s a demand for a housesitter. This role is ideal for somebody who loves to travel, has a digital lifestyle (makes money online) and plans to visit few countries without the colossal budget.

I found plenty of house sitting opprtunities through this TrustedHousesitters site. 

Ok, so here are the plush sides, but what about the other, more trivial ones? After you choose to live a nomad’s lifestyle, you quickly come to notice the first obstacle – lack of a permanent address. I have never before speculated on the subject of a fixed address and the positive sides of having one. But, just as good health is only appreciated once it’s gone, the fixed address is something we usually take for granted.

Filling up the form in the bank, having a parcel delivered or obtaining the ‘proof of address’ is suddenly problematic. Yes, especially the ‘proof of address’ is vital in UK, as without it you cannot open a bank account or even go to a doctor. How do you get this “proof of address”? By having a letter or utility bill directed to you and delivered to your place. But, it cannot be just any letter. It has to come from a government institution, such as HMRC, local council, or establishment like bank or a solicitor.

This is something I am battling with at the moment. Fortunately, there is plenty of companies happy to ‘rent’ a mailbox for you, providing the official address, and not a PO Box (not acceptable by official institutions). Yes, you can get the letters delivered to their address and then redirected, for a fee, to the current address you’re staying at. Alternatively the letters can be opened by the mentioned company, scanned and emailed to you to save on posting it by the snail-mail. Perfect!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

How Can Meditation Fight Anger?

Meditation is a wonderful and healing process. By taking the time to distance yourself from the outside world and focus on the spiritual side, you gain the inner peace and confidence. I love meditating and would like to be doing it more often. 

I try to meditate in the mornings or afternoons, whenever the time allows. It cleanses my soul and gives me a right perspective in each situation. It keeps my moods at bay and allows a positivity to take over. I try to be optimistic and have a positive outlook on life; meditation creates a base to sustain these attitudes. 

It is easy to be affected by a rude person you meet on your way and have your positivity fly out of the window. Meditation gives you a distance in a negative situation; it lets you get the right perspective. You have the strength to choose which feeling you are going to allow taking over. Are you going to let a rage dictate your actions, or will you take a step back and let the negativity slide over your skin like water over a duck? It is your choice, that very moment. Allow a rage taking over and you spread the negativity. It is contagious, just like flu. Once you let it inside your mind, you will be itching to let it out. And guess what? You’re going to do it by bursting at the next opportunity – perhaps having a road rage when a senior driver hesitates on the crossroads? This will only create more anguish, as the other person is going to get upset and itching to burst too. A dead circle.

But there’s another way. Take a deep breath and smile at someone’s burst of anger. Don’t give them the satisfaction of upsetting you. They want to hurt somebody, as they have been hurt themselves – and it’s got nothing to do with you in particular. You’re just a convenient victim that happened to be on their way. By smiling and remaining calm, you show them their own reflection. By facing someone calm and happy they see themselves by a stark contrast – with angry eyes, filthy language and crooked face. They have nothing more to do but feel silly and calm down. They don’t want to be the ‘Ugly Kid Joe’ on the block; they want to be liked as any other person. It’s just they’ve been temporarily taken over by the rage, and they don’t know how to control it yet. Smile and show them the way. Maybe next time they will do the same and heal somebody else?