2015 was a year of awakening and of choosing a different path – we "escaped" from the United States and we moved to the Netherlands (a friendlier environment, where we could count on support from my wife's family), in order to recover from the stressful situations we had been through and to start recovering our physical and mental health. It was the start of a journey to get closer to our real selves. Folks kept asking if this was a 'final' move – and, to be honest, we didn't know what to answer at the time. What is 'final' anyway? It felt more like a stepping stone, a purgatory of sort, where we learned new things and we started sharpening our claws for a new adventure. We have been increasingly aware of how nothing in life is ever 'static' nor 'final', and the only constant in life is that everything changes, all the times.
It wasn't until 2016 that circumstances were ready for us to really explore and get started on new paths. This was a year when many famous people died, old patterns really fell apart, great restlessness drove changes in ourselves and throughout the world and society. Some people considered this a 'bad' year, but at the end of the day, it has just been a year of ending a cycle which had started in 2008 and of preparing for a new one: myself and Jyothi started the Sanctuary of Joy initiative, and we have been healing ourselves and spreading words of hope and light to try to illuminate the darkness that lingers out there in many people's lives. We had to fight our own – and other's – daemons fiercely; visions and nightmares were intense; we learned to follow our hearts in the midst of criticism and doubts from society, to tell our egos and fears to shut the fuck up and to ignore every temptation to fall back in the old ways, trusting that the universe would lead us onto our new path, all in divine timing.
Spring was a timid start but when Summer came, it gave us more confidence. Jyothi made great progess on her naturopathy studies, she stepped up her Reiki skills, we published a book on Tarot and I kept improving my wood-working and luthiery skills at the Dutch School of Guitar Making. This had the side effect to confront me with how hard had I been with myself in the past, when dealing with 'standard' daily jobs and workplaces where I unconsciously picked up everyone else's emotions and stress, suppressing my own emotions. I didn't just learn about wood and guitars but about what it takes to stay centered when you are a psychic.
In fall things became clearer: we got guided to find a piece of land and a country house in Italy that will become the Sanctuary of Joy's headquarter. Things have just started in this sense – there is a lot of work to do to clean up and prepare the place, but at every step the signs have been clear that we made a good choice: doors and opportunities kept opening to us in miraculous ways, and 2017 is going to be the 'real' start of a new life that is off the grid, close to nature, and dedicated to light up the way for others who are also starting to realize how much human beings actually need a lot less 'things', a lot more air, plenty of silence and space to meditate and think outside of the box, to connect with each other in meaningful ways and to think with their own heads rather than living up to all the same cliche's they get brainwashed with by corporations and they hear in the news.
PS – The activities of Plank Guitars are on hold until I'll have a new workshop setup.