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What spending time with other cultures taught me....

I have spent a hell of a lot of time living abroad... In case you don't know this.

I literally fled from England originally in my teens when i just couldn't get my head around what the hell this society was.... to fit in felt forced, I already witnessed an epidemic of addiction and escapism, and non of it felt healthy to me from top to bottom.

I didn't even wanna be around english people as it reflected back to me so much of my character that was confused and broken so I went off alone...

I travelled Asia, then Australia, lived in the states and Central America... and spent the majority of my time living and being with locals.

I didn't so much have the backpacker experience in hostels... a little, but I needed to get away from the western culture I was too familiar with. I needed to see another way... a way often more humble and community based.

I had been invited into the homes of filipino communities, Guatemalans, Indians, Mexicans... I had sat with locals in Bali and Thailand and Hong Kong... always preferring the conversations of those more local to the place. To stay with local communities rather than the traveller or spiritual tribes. Sometimes the language was limited - but I always found a way to communicate. I learned as I travelled, I travelled as I learned.

Early on I felt very drawn to Israelis. I felt something different about them.... something I have only felt similar, interestingly in more Arabic communities.

There was a sense of wisdom and solidarity, a connection than ran deeper than the shallows of the west. It ran deep with an old soul wisdom that could only be carried down through a cherished ancestry, traditions and even religion.

I would often just listen rather than speak... feel rather than think... learn rather than judge or assume.

Even when friends from the UK would jump online and criticise me loudly and openly for visiting Israel, I stayed open, I asked questions, I listened.

I learned so much being with such cultures, in the very contradicting and confusing world of India... at the tables of big Pakistani families and in the homes of Gulf babies. I learnt true respect, healthy communication, acceptance, intelligence, depth.... Interestingly things that we in the west are so sure we are the leaders of, yet I see so much on the whole lacking.

It pains me to see how fractured our society often is. How fake... how avoidant.

I felt a purity with these people that had survived beyond ego, perhaps through experiencing hard times, through persecution, displacement, poverty and war.

I feel the west has often been so mollycoddled and brainwashed into believing in its bullshit.... being told we are the safe, lucky, free ones. The advanced ones who know best.

When I returned I could see with fresh eyes a lot of the more positive aspects of England... the eccentricity, the creativity, the humour.... but I could also see where we as wounded individuals have lacked the traditions, wisdom and the community that is needed to support a healthy society.

Thats why I am back here.... holding space and supporting people to find their centre... to remember their wisdom and shine their light and put the fire back into our communities.

So just to end with one more perspective... relating to current days on this chaotic planet.

If the terror aimed at the West from the East is what's attacking and refusing to cooperate with Israel then it is sadly mistaken. Those people are more Arab than white. More Middle Eastern than western. And more like them than they could ever know.

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