Tag Archives: family inspiration

Aegean seachange…

– “What on earth made you move to an island in Greece ? ”
– “If I need t0 explain it to you… you’ll probably never understand ! ”

Its July…. the island is teaming with people from all over the world. All age groups, all kinds of people, seeking to enjoy a holiday on the Greek islands. For many its a holiday they had planned for years, or a dream wedding, or an island-hop adventure, or a second visit to an island they fell in love with years earlier. Each visitor has a story…their own personal story.

Many people have been visiting the Aegean Design studio since it opened. A surprising number of people actually. Some happen to walk passed, others have heard about it somehow and seek it out. Most are very curious as to how it came about and they will ask questions… many questions. They want to know how, when, why and what. They want to understand, they want to hear the story and listen to the rational behind it. However…it often makes me wonder if they really want to know “our” story or do they want to mentally compare it to the story/vision/dream they themselves have deep in their minds.

You see I have a theory… my theory is that there is a seachange lurking inside everyone. Its like a short movie that plays inside their heads, over and over. Sometimes it has taken years to create the movie, other times the movie was started as a result of a more recent event like travel, seeing a documentary/travel show, seeing an image in a magazine or a web site or a blog. Some read a book or they have a long conversation with a friend about an old movie made in an “exotic” location. Whichever way the short “movie” was created in their minds it is now their dream, their personal mental adventure, their ultimate “escape” plan.

According to my theory most people ask a question about life on the island and as soon as I start telling them the story I can see their minds drifting. Their own movie kicks in (so to speak). Its not me they are thinking about…its themselves. How does my adventure compare with theirs, is that what they would’ve done, is that how they would’ve handled things. Their thoughts often spill out and they will say things like “I’ve always wanted to do that” or “my dream is a house in …..” or “I see myself doing that one day”. Other times they say nothing. They just tilt their heads and listen with a broad smile on their face…. and you can tell they are dreaming.

Not everyone dreams of a seachange on an island or another country of course. Some people simply want to move house or change a job, or pursue a career or achieve a goal. The term “seachange’ simply symbolises a burning desire, a passion, a dream (at least in my mind). The interesting thing is that from all the people I meet and talk to its those with a clear dream, passion and/or desire that seem happiest. They may not have accomplished it yet… but they know what it is and they are somehow working towards it.

Having that “short movie” in your mind may seem (to some) as a luxury, an indulgence or a guilty pleasure. But I see it differently. I see it as a driving force, a reason for being, a lifeplan.

I think everyone should purposely become the director of a short movie called “My Life”. Write your own script, scout your own locations and “choose” the role you want to play in it, as well as the roles for anyone else you want in the movie. Choose the soundrack of your life, the scenes you want in it, the surprises and the highlights. Choose your co-star/s and set out to cast your own movie rather than leave it to chance. In short…. be the director  and star of your own movie/life. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up being an “extra’ in someone else’s.

 

PS: promise to post a lot more that I did this past week. Lots of pictures and stories next week ;-)

Advertisements

Oia Santorini – Change

Of all the things in life…. change is the only constant!

Of all the fears in life…. fear of change is the most common!

These are not quotes (well…maybe the first is), they are just personal beliefs. I don’t think that either are profound or particularly insightful., but I have seen enough evidence in my life to know that both these beliefs are valid. 

We are all creatures of habit and the longer we do something the harder it is to break away from it. We are all aware we do things out of habit… some are good and some are bad, yet we keep doing all of them… often for years, sometimes for a lifetime. Change is uncomfortable and therefore we avoid it…. often at all costs.

So we keep doing things, stay in places (jobs/homes/cities/countries), talk to same people, think the same way….yet, we somehow expect that things will one day change. A reasonably intelligent gentleman (as in Bert…. as in Albert… as in e=mc squared) told us that “insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”… he did have a knack for simplifying things to the point where just listening to that makes one feel like a total fool. We have all done it !

So… are we all insane? 

Lucky for us those clever munchkins, the head-mechanics, have a very valid theory. Its’ called “escalated commitment”. The more you commit to something, physically, emotionally/mentally, the harder it is to change it or at least break away from it (oversimplifying the theory here…forgive me). When you really think about that it explains so much of our lives. Our commitment to so many things has been allowed to “escalate”… often to ridiculous, even insane levels. We find ourselves so “deep” into things that we can’t break away. Sometimes it’s pride, money or emotion invested, reputation, or length of time that’s stopping us. Whatever the investment… it has escalated to the point where we become prisoners to it.  

Yesterday I got four different emails from people who said that they would love to live somewhere like Oia (you can fill in the place with any city/country/island you wish). Yet each of them mentioned that they had “commitments” they couldn’t walk away from… so “for now” they will just “dream” about doing it “one day”. It all sounded familiar to me…very familiar. You see, I used to say the same thing…for years. Until, I realised that there is such a thing as “positive escalated commitment”. By that I mean “aligning your life to your dream”. 

I figured that it can be good to escalate a commitment…. as long it is in line with what you want to do or experience or feel. Good things take time and you have to keep working towards them. If you make a start and you keep investing time/effort/emotion/passion, then soon you can achieve it. At least you are heading in the right direction. You are taking steps, albeit small at times, towards the dream…. whatever that may be !

When I started this blog I dedicated it to the “undecided”. I guess what I am saying with this post is that if you do have a dream, then make sure your “escalated commitment” is towards that. Turn it into a passion and invest a lot of you in achieving it  .:.

 

On a lighter note… the cacti on the front steps have actually flowered!

cacti

 

How is that for change…

Have a great weekend ;-)

Oia Sunrise & life decisions

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”  

–  Beverly Sills

 

These words can burn in your brain like a red-hot syringe. For years they ran through my mind.

This morning I woke up early and had a coffee outside. This is what I saw…

 

june09

 

Oia – Santorini.

Yep…. good decision!

 

 


Oia Santorini – Dare To Dream

So much has been written about people’s dreams in life. So much more will be written in the future. The gurus will sell books, the creatives will make us dream with movies, ads and images, the vendors will sell dreams and the masses will buy them. It’s one of the main forces in life.

For many a dream will remain nothing more than a wish. For others… escape. Many will dismiss their dreams as fantasy. Many will force themselves to stop dreaming and “just get on with life”. Others will not even allow themselves the sheer pleasure to dream and many more will be conditioned to think that dreaming is a “waste of time”. 

 

OIALAR~1

 

I did NOT take this photo. I wish I knew the name of the wonderful photographer that did so I could give him/her credit.
But I have had it for so long I can’t even remember where I found it. I used to collect lots of images of Oia before I found the cave. I used to look
through my image files and dream of living there. But this image was powerful…I remember thinking I want to see this view every night…it made my dream real and it made me keep going.

People are funny about life dreams. Some declare them openly whilst others keep them deep inside them. The world…it seems, is not kind to dreamers. There is fear and hesitation in sharing your life dreams because we have all been curiously conditioned to think that dreams are an extravagance. They are a luxury that we can’t afford…if we are to believe the self-proclaimed “practical” types. 

Yet…. without dreams we are nothing !

Dare to dream,
Because only by dreaming,
will you ever discover
who you are, what you want,
and what you can do.
                     – Julie-Ann Ford 

If it wasn’t for the dreamers nothing of what we deem wonderful, incredible, artistic, insanely beautiful or insanely daring would ever have been accomplished. If it wasn’t for dreamers the world would be without so many of it’s treasures and human kind would be without most, if not all, of it’s greatest accomplishments. If it wasn’t for dreamers life as we know it simply wouldn’t be the same…

Yet…the world frowns. Parents, teachers, leaders and societies tell us that dreaming is wasteful…its meaningless, its not reality. As people we become conditioned to believe that dreams are somehow separated from “real” life and there is “little point in dreaming”. Try telling that to the folks at NASA or Disney or the Wright Bros, or Henry Ford, or Thomas Edison, or Ghandi, or Martin Luther King, or….

The negative conditioning is relentless…its all around us. Those that dare to step out of the “norm” are frequently chastised and ridiculed. The pressure to stay within the accepted boundaries is enormous and omnipresent. Conformity and commoditisation are the order of the day. 

Yet…just imagine how boring and lifeless the world would be without dreamers….without the seemingly “crazy”, those that dared to dream and set out to make their dreams a reality. The explorers, the writers, the sculptors, the painters, the poets, the movie makers, the architects, the fashion & industrial designers, the builders of monuments, the engineers and Disney’s “imagineers”. Where would we be without them?

Its easy to scoff and ridicule and its far less time consuming to tell a child to “stop dreaming” than it is to sit down and share the dream, ask questions, try to see it through their eyes and offer your full support. Its much easier to find excuses, to procrastinate, to call others “lucky” or to not dare to dream. Its safer, its easier and its much less taxing to stay within one’s comfort zone. But to what end?

Moving to Oia was a dream…but by no means a grand dream. Hundreds of thousands of people (if not millions) have moved and will move, all around the world every year. They are not “lucky”, they are not “special”, they are not “extraordinary”. They are just people who dared to dream and set about making their dream a reality. They worked hard, they suffered setbacks and they no doubt got frustrated  and disappointed along the way. But they did it. They took the steps, they took the risks, they took the setbacks and they kept going. Their lives may often look idylic… but only they know what it took to make it happen. The point is… they dared to dream!

If this blog and all the others like it, do nothing else but convince you to dream about how you want your life to really be… then they have collectively done a great thing. Anything that encourages people to have positive life dreams can only result in greater personal fulfilment.
In this blogger’s humble opinion there is no mystery to dreaming, its not a special skill that only the “lucky few” possess. Its a pleasure you should allow yourself and not feel guilty about. Dream often, dream vividly and dream freely….and teach your kids to dream BIG, one day they’ll thank you for it! 

PS:  If some people can dream of flying, landing on the moon or building pyramids or the Eiffel Tower…surely we can dream of a better life !

PPS: To read about some other people who made their dream come true… visit Vicky here !

 

This page has been moved from it’s original place. To read comments made by readers click here !

 

 

 

 

Oia Santorini – looking out the window of life!

Depending on where you live, or how you live, you probably spend several hours a week looking out your window…we all have a window that we like to sit in front of and look out. A few of you have asked what it’s really like to live here…. “dont you get sick of the view?”, “doesn’t it get boring after a while?”.

I’ve always felt that looking out your window… you see your life. You see yourself essentially. The view from your window is either what you’ve dreamed about and achieved, or perhaps what you have to look at… till you make your dream come true. Some dream of looking at fields of gold, be it vines, olive trees or endless farmland. Others dream of a Tuscan countryside scene, or lavender fields in Provence, or a lake or a mountain-range. Others simply want to look at a glorious garden that they have painstakingly shaped over many years. Whatever the view is… it says a lot about you and where you are in your life. If the image you see is the one you have always wanted to see…you have made it happen. If it’s not, then you are still working on it. Either way the view you see out your own window didn’t get there by chance (with some exceptions). The choices we make everyday… place us in front of our windows. What we see when we look out is the result of our choices…or lack thereof.

Using our window view as a metaphor for our lives is, I think, quite valid. We all hear people say “I’d love to look out of my window in the morning and see……”. I used to say those very same words….”I’d love to”.

Then one day… I changed it to “I WILL look out of my window and see…..”.

So, to answer the people that asked “do I get sick of it” or “doesn’t it get boring”…. the answer is NO!

Along with many-many other reasons.. here is why:

sailship

at sunrise I see beautiful ships coming into the caldera….

 

white

all kinds of ships…. big and small 

 

ferry

in peak summer I see a dozen ferrys come and go daily…

 

fishing boat

and the local fishermen returning home at lunchtime
after selling their catch to the tavernas at Ammoudi…

 

 

princess

in the afternoon I watch the big boats leave…
this is the biggest of them all….the Princess 

 

izzy

at sunset I watch my kids watching the old sailing boats
giving visitors a taste of Santorini magic…

 

night

and often…late into the night, as I sit here and type this little blog,
I see the cruise ships leaving…lit up like Christmas trees !

 

If you look out your window and you don’t see the view you want to see, the view you have dreamed of seeing… its never too late.
If you really, really want to… you can make your window view everything you want it to be ! ! !

 

 

 

Oia Santorini – a postcard to mum

happymothers day

to mine, to yours, to all of you !

hey dad?

 

“The best inheritance a parent can give to his children

is a few minutes of their time each day.”
                                                                                                                    – M. Grundler

 

heydad1

 

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand million words !

 

***