Breathing the Air in Spain
We began the international part of the Do As One tour in Madrid, Spain and were excited beyond our jet lag. International One Day Ambassador, Jenna Grayson speaks Spanish rather well and so we had no issues getting around and mingling with the locals so as to find our way into the adventure we set out to create. An interesting thing was happening to us. Everything we would ask for would show up as we expected it, but at the same time we found ourselves learning a process.
The process of how to enter a country, authentically connect with the people, speak the language, find our way around intelligently and use their currency. These were all elements that would have to be quickly taken on and owned for us to be successful in portraying the vision of One Day to people worldwide.
Madrid was our classroom and attending class on jet lag was borderline delirious but we were up for the challenge. The conscious breath reveals things to us in our visual spectrum as we walk around our daily life. The level of presence and awareness brings moments that are even fun to just notice.
[Take a sweet, conscious breath]
Our Spain stop was one of the places that we did not have workshops planned nor were we visiting a festival or anyone in particular. So we relied on trust and as we did, we found ourselves connecting intimately with beautiful people. The old city of Madrid was such a melting pot and as one of the locals shared, “We have no problems between people of all races in this part of town. We live together, party together and find our way together because we are all in a similar struggle.” He remarked that in the big cities you could see the modernization of industrialization but in the smaller towns and outskirts, the village and community life of old still worked and people thrived…together.
We decided to visit the local yoga community and to ask them to join us on 11/11 for the One Day celebration happening worldwide. Many of our efforts led to just being able to contact the yoga studio owner by phone or email. But some of our interactions were simple, loving connections beyond the vision we were bringing. Being so welcomed by people felt so good in our hearts. The manager of an old book shop was so delighted by our vision and was willing to share some of his thoughts on video:
We had never had Senegalese food and had run into a seemingly popular place in an African part of town so we decided to give it a try. The African people in and around the spot were so colorful and full of life, that we found ourselves wanting to share our vision. The African accent in Spanish left us wanting to share with someone in English and hence we were led to a pub called, La Grandola, where an English speaking man from Burkina Faso and his friends were ready to receive us.
As we walked into La Grandola, we saw that the walls were lined with pictures of all the revolutionaries of history worldwide. Pictures of Che Guevera, Fidel Castro, Bobby Sands, Bob Marley and more. We received a simple statement about the power of breathing together:
After making friends with Adama, the pub owner, I found that I wanted to ask him about his revolutionary flair. He shared that he felt that our vision was an interesting version of revolution but in a peaceful way. This is when I was to receive the meaning of La Grandola and why he named the place after a moment in history. Adama told me that La Grandola was one of the only non-violent revolutions in all of written history. The people of Portugal united in 1974 and created something so beautiful that it brought me to tears. They chose to unite in the town squares with a cross-section of all the people in their society as opposed to just having adult rebels on the scene. They gathered children, mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers and they all came to the square with one flower each. When the army arrived and took out their guns, the people took out their flowers and stuck them down the barrel of each gun. This equalizer, this non-violent representation of humanity and this loving gesture extinguished the fire of these army men and a non-violent stand for unity was victorious. It was beautiful to know this about the people of historic Portugal as I knew we would be stopping there later in the tour.
As we walked the streets of Spain, breathing consciously, little signs popped out at us that reminded us that we are in exactly the right place. The word PAZ is the Spanish word for peace and historically this word existed first in Latin as PAX. It first surfaced in humanity in the Christian church and was a keyword in the liturgy way back in the year 300 A.D. It was part of a ritual called, conspiratio (It is also where we got the word ‘conspire’ which originally meant to breathe together.) in which the people shared the kiss of peace. This was a moment where they shared breaths and validated that they were ‘One in Spirit’. Today this moment still exists in the church. It is the moment in the Catholic Church and other sects in which people turn around and shake hands saying, “Peace be with you.” That is the exact moment when the people used to breathe together it as just reduced to a handshake and a word over time.
The words PAZ stood out in graffiti to remind us that we were in the right place and that peace was in our steps and our breaths as we laid the groundwork for this
Do As One tour of many wonders:
A picture with our new Ambassador of Breath, Manuel Atienza in Spain. He will be influencing events in his part of the world for One Day.