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Simply Free Minds

SimpleMentesLibres

We design creative language teaching tools that inspire mindfulness, social responsibility and compassion.

Morning Rituals

inspiration Posted on Thu, March 10, 2016 01:27PM

Hi Beautiful Beings!

Carlos and I hope that life is treating you kindly and that
you are enjoying every moment of this glorious life. J

Lately I have been starting my days with a nice morning
meditation
by Louise Hay that reminds me to direct my thoughts toward the
positive things in life and to begin each day focused on appreciation. It’s so
easy to get focused on the difficulties that face us, but that habit isn’t very
empowering.

By consciously shifting my attention to the fact that the
miracle of indoor plumbing blesses me every day and that I have working
appliances and body parts, I create a strong base of gratitude and appreciation
to construct my daily doings upon. I find it much more empowering than focusing
on whatever political news has emerged while I was recharging my physical self.

Often I will then sit down to write for a bit in my journal
about positive aspects. I will write affirmations for my own life and for the
beings and world around me. This helps me keep my attention on the positive
side of things when challenging moments arise throughout the day.

We would love to hear about your morning rituals and
anything that you have to share! Thank you all so much for your continued
support and inspiration!

Happy day!

Love,
Jaime



Memories of Močiutė, Part 1

inspiration Posted on Sat, February 13, 2016 09:49PM

February 11th was the anniversary of my Močiutė’s
birth. “Močiutė” is Lithuanian for “Grandma”. A couple of years ago, when I was
visiting her in Lithuania, she told me that she much preferred to be called “Bobute”.
She made her transition back into pure positive energy last September,
thankfully. The last few years of her life were painful, lonely and
challenging, to say the least.
I feel highly honored to have shared the bond and the time
that I did with this fine lady. She was one of my greatest friends and taught
me how to really care for others, especially for children. She is the grown-up that I
remember spending the most time with because she was fully present and focused
on me, reminding me that I was worth the time and attention. She interacted
with my younger sister Melisa, or better known as “Melisite”, and I all of the
time when she was watching us. I have other memories of grown-ups spending time
with me, but they are few and far between those with Bobute. And I am sure that
it has something to do with the quality of the attention that was given and
shared. Thinking back, the amount of physical time that we spent together in my childhood was not so great. The quality of time, on the other hand, was inmeasurable.

Bobute with Jaime in the back yard in Phoenix.

We had the privilege of living with her for a few months
when our parents separated. I was around four years old and Melisite was a year
and a half or so. We weren’t encouraged to watch television, which we protested
then, but now I can enjoy the countless images and feelings of creatively
filling my time back then. Močiutė helped us cover her floors in colorful
mosaics made from the plastic milk bottle caps she’d collected, she colored
with us at the kitchen table, and spent hours playing the card game that has inspired the
game that we are making today for the project. She sang songs, watched
us dance, played with us outside and let us climb her fig tree. She read books
to us before bed and always let us sleep on the proper parts of the two beds
that the three of us shared, as she slept in the “crack”. She bathed us, fed us
and nursed us when we were ill. She gave us frozen figs instead of ice cream,
and cucumbers with honey instead of candy. She also lovingly disciplined us
often, and taught us to “Think before speaking.”
Bobute with Melisite in her garden in Arizona.

She almost always spoke to us in Lithuanian when we were
little, and taught us to respond in the corresponding manner with more patience
than most other grown-ups ever seemed to have. I realize now that she was my
first foreign language teacher and this early experience in life is what likely
gives me a lot of strength and security while teaching and speaking a foreign
language today. I am so grateful that she and my father, (or “Tevelis”), found
it so important to preserve and pass on the culture of Lithuania to us and am
sure that my life has been greatly enriched for this reason. We were not only
exposed to a language that the Lithuanians say is right after Sanskrit on the
historical timeline, but to foods, customs and a history that many people never make
contact with during their entire time on this planet.

Bobute lived in the states for about fifty years, in
Chicago, IL. and in Pheonix, AZ. The story that took her five hours to explain
to me on one of my many memorable trips to Lithuania of how and why she ended
up in the states and escaped Russian soldiers three times is for another blog
post…This one is going to be quite lengthy as it is.

I used to imagine pushing Bobute around in a wheel chair in
the future when I was little. I’d wheel her to the park and back in my mind and
always told her that if she ever needed to be taken care of when she was old,
she could count on me. I never could actually picture her needing to be cared
for though. She was so strong and was always busy doing something physical. She
never let others pitch in with household chores, partly because she knew you’d
use more soap than was necessary, and she liked to be in control of her spaces.
She was always well groomed, fit and “on top of things”. She used to flex her
bicep, which I remember being like a gymnast’s, and tell me that it was from
drinking fresh carrot juice. She was always dressed nicely in one of the unique but
elegant dresses that she’d made.

She also took care of her husband, our “Senelis”, as he
disappeared into the dark world of Alzheimer’s. She endured this part of “in
sickness and in health” for twelve long years. She almost never left the house.
She maintained her sanity by channeling the creative forces of nature into
beautifully weaved traditional Lithuanian belts and book marks, and when she tired of that trade, she
took up patchwork and made over a thousand magical hearts and pinwheels of all
shapes and sizes to adorn the walls, beds and tables of homes across the world.
She even ended up incorporating some of her old clothing and material from her
dresses into potholders, bedspreads and pillow cases.

I can relate to her way of making art when I work the wire
and beads in my jewelry making and the colors in my painting. During the last few
years of her life in the homes where she resided in Lithuania, we had the
chance to work together in a way. We spent countless hours together at her
little table and she mostly watched me work my handicrafts, but every once and
a while she suggested a color or change in the pattern that was coming through
me. She often held on to some of my materials and passed them to me as a
fabulous assistant would. This way we were able to create together and share that
indescribable space of being. She even helped me prepare for my first trip to
Burning Man as I created different outfits!

Her cooking skills were definitely to be admired and I am
very thankful that I was always exposed to the curious, and mostly delicious
cuisine of Lithuania while in her home.
Beet soups and salads were probably the weirdest things for us as kids,
but I love them all and continue trying to pull them off. My favorite dish of
hers will always be her pancakes, or “blynai”, always accompanied by her
homemade berry, apricot or peach jam of course! I am so happy to have inherited
her knack for cooking and can usually swing a decent reproduction of them
(minus the homemade jam) for interested newbies or family members that are
craving a nostalgic and super-comforting treat. I think this is the only reason
that I will never completely take the plunge into a 100% vegan lifestyle. I am
so glad that I was able to learn how to make these foods by her side in Lietuva
(Lithuanian for Lithuania) when she was still able to show me how.

Now that you have been properly introduced to Marija Edelis, my sweet Močiutė, I hope that you’ll be interested to continue reading in upcoming posts. I have so much to share with you about her and the lessons she taught me. I’d like to let her live on through my writing. If you don’t already know her story, you might be curious to find out how she ended up returning to Lietuva and also how she winded up going to the states in the first place… Stay tuned to learn more very soon! Thank you for reading and I hope that this first part has inspired you to spend more quality time with the little people (and the not so little people) in your life! You’ll miss them when they’re gone, and creating lasting moments makes it happier to miss them because the connection you create is eternal.

May peace be with us all!
Būk laimingas! (Lithuanian for “BE HAPPY!”)

Love,
Jaime

https://youtube.com/watch?v=_0-XrxrjmV8



¡Gracias Por Existir!

inspiration Posted on Wed, December 23, 2015 11:10PM

Hola and Hello beautiful beings!

We are here again to let you know what we’re up to and to wish you all a happy entrance into the sweet season of winter! (For those of you that are experiencing winter, of course! 🙂 )

We have been busy as bees spreading the word about our project and we had the delightful opportunity to have a stand at Collaboration Station last Sunday and took part in a magical display of art and talent! We spoke with many different unique souls about what we are doing at SimpleMentesLibres and had the special chance to share the drawings for the cards with many people in person! We were also selling our handmade accessories to raise funds for our goal! Thank you to Abi and everyone who helped make the event happen!

We are in Málaga (and Sevilla) for the holidays with Carlos’ family where we plan to spread more awareness of our ventures with people! We’ll be in touch again after the holidays to update you all with our news.

We’ll leave you with our wishes for this holiday season!
We wish peace and happiness for the hearts and minds of all beings.
We wish equality and freedom for everyone.
We wish compassion and understanding for every person on earth.
We wish food, shelter, clean water and comfort in abundance for every living soul.
We wish healthy communication and emotional well-being for anyone with a heartbeat.
We wish good health to you and yours!
May all beings be happy and may our world reflect it in every way.
We wish you and all beings complete security and trust in yourselves and the universe.
May peace be with us all. We all derserve it!
Gracias por existir.
Merry Christmas!

Love Always,
Jaime and Carlos



HOME…Loving Life

inspiration Posted on Tue, December 08, 2015 01:21AM

Hello happy free minds!

We’ve been so busy getting back into the swing of things on this side of the planet! I am so excited to be back on schedule and sharing with you all once again, you beautiful beings!

I hope that life is treating you and your loved ones as well as it’s treating me. I am so happy to be back in my sweet refuge of a home after long travels. I hadn’t been back to visit my family in over two and a half years. That was the longest that had passed in my life without seeing and squeezing them in person. It was a bit too long. I try to get back for a visit every year, but some times it just doesn’t work out that way. I am ever so grateful that I could be there this year and with Carlos, spreading the good news of our heart’s work, this beloved venture of a project! JOY!


In this post I’d like to focus on gratitude and hopefully inspire you all to explore your own thankful hearts. 🙂 Oprah gave me the idea years ago to write in a gratitude journal. Since 1997/8? I have kept up that practice. I do it in my own way, but I have definitely adopted the extremely powerful practice of focusing on what I am grateful for on a daily basis. Sometimes before bed, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes first thing in the morning, I write down all of the things that come to mind that I am thankful for. I always have to stop myself at some point because the list is endless.

Sometimes the mind can play tricks on us and act like it’s difficult to find things to be grateful for. When you really sit with your heart’s voice, you can’t stop the flow of countless images, feelings, sounds, people, moments, etc.

I love teaching children the origin of their food and all of the things, people, resources, energy, thought, etc. that is involved in bringing that one salad to their table. When you really break it down, it seems ridiculous. It can be a really fun game having students name more and more things connected to the apple in their lunchbox. From the obvious tree, sun, water, soil and such to the almost always forgotten people who grew the fibers and greased the machines that the farmer’s clothes were made on and from…and so on. Imagine linking everything back to the original potato…??? You’d need many lifetimes just to make the list.

I’d like to say that coming home I have really been spending time focusing on how thankful I am for the prices and quality of fresh produce here. I am always reminded of how fortunate we are over here when I visit the states and the high prices for fruits and vegetables. It’s so tough for people on a budget to eat healthy and whole foods over there. We saw tangerines for $7.99 for 3 lb. in Idaho and we get them here for 99 cents to 3 euros per kilo! We also saw a five dollar artichoke and lemons that cost $1.69 per lemon! We are sooooooooooo grateful to live, cook and eat here!

(Those prices are all per kilo.)

I will leave you with a short list of things that I am grateful for. 🙂

Trees and visiting the really big ones in California,
Feeling confident,
Emotional balance and well-being,
Excellent health of my body and all of its parts and mind,
Silly moments with nieces and nephews,
Christmas lights that warm corners of rooms,
Healthy homemade veggie soup,
Low cost (and super tasty) tangerines 🙂 ,
Loving and supportive friends and family,
Dark and hard times that show me my strength and light,
Street cleaners and the ones who love and care for them,
Best friends who make dreams come true,
Loving messages from sweet family and friends,
Big brothers here and gone,
Life…

Thank you.

A dear poet master friend of ours Natalie Patterson, made a wicked video on gratitude last month. If you click on her name here, you can see it on her site! It’s really inspiring.

May all beings be happy and liberated!



PERSONALIDADES QUE ME INSPIRAN

inspiration Posted on Tue, October 27, 2015 10:05PM

Hola a tod@s,

Esta semana pensaba que sería interesante compartir con vosotr@s algunas personas que me inspiran. Tod@s son únic@s y tienen algo especial. Espero que te ayude a conocer un poco más de mí.

SERGI TORRES:

Es una persona que inspira a través de sus charlas y sus experiencias propias, una manera de ver la vida tal y como es, partiendo desde la honestidad y el aprendizaje constante de las oportunidades que te brindan la vida y todo un manual básico para tener una vida feliz desde nuestra propia experiencia.

PACO SENSEI y JUAN DIEGO SENSEI:

Mis dos grandes maestros de Budo taijutsu o ninjutsu, de los que me siento profundamente agradecido por encontrármelos en esta vida, de los cuales no solo aprendo a ser un artista marcial sino también son los que me enseñan a ser mejor persona y seguir ilusionándome con esta práctica milenaria japonesa

TAKESHI SENSEI:

Mi profesor particular de japonés, una persona que conozco desde muy poco pero con una gran capacidad para transmitir sus conocimientos del idioma dándole un toque de proximidad y sencillez.

DR.HATSUMI SENSEI:

Gran maestro ninja que ha dedicado toda su vida a la enseñanza del ninjutsu y gracias a él podemos entender la verdadera esencia del arte marcial, adaptando sus conocimientos a los días de hoy.

(image found on google search)

KIO Y RACHEL / Sintonizart:

Fundadores de Sintonizart, una empresa de espectáculos en Barcelona, que con su filosofía han llegado a ser muy sólida y de renombre dentro de la escena artística. Siempre tratando de dar la vuelta a sus propios espectáculos para mejorar y poder dar un servicio profesional y artístico de máxima calidad.

EMMA / ULTIM AVIS:

Es una amiga que me inspira por su capacidad de esfuerzo y cooperación, siendo la responsable de una cafetería bar en el centro cultural LA VIOLETA, ha conseguido cumplir su sueño creando un espacio lúdico para grupos, que trata de poner a prueba a los jugadores utilizando todo su ingenio para resolver los enigmas que se encuentran en juego en vivo.

LAURA LYA / TATUADORA:

Es una amiga que proviene del mundo de la salud y belleza, pero que no se ha conformado con eso sino que se ha especializado en el mundo del tatuaje. Su perseverancia y buen gusto le han convertido en una muy buena tatuadora.

INSPIRACIONES EN GENERAL JAPON MANGA ETC OR EEUU

Abrazos,
Carlos