DRAMA

A Way of Meeting Life

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – LE THÉÂTRE – Une Façon de Rencontrer la Vie

6 min read

I feel like this story didn’t have a begining, as if it always has existed or began long before I was born.

Today’s article is dedicated to my passion, that which has always lived in me and which has never ceased to vibrate inside me, theatre.

Let me take you and embark with me in a fiction more than real.

At the end of the article, you’ll want to be part of the adventure.

BEFORE EVEN WALKING

I can’t remember this. When I hear my family speak about those stories, they make perfect sense and might even explain why this passion is a part of me. « Your grand father took you in his arms to bring you to worldly parties » « Before you even were one year old you’ve been hanging out behind the scenes of several theaters with your parents. »

I like those ideas so much that they take place as a memory in my head. A memory or maybe a dream that always has existed and that would repeat itself night after night.

DRAMA AS A THERAPY

In the schoolyard, I was often the one who was alone with his book or just skipping around without knowing who to talk to. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy, but I always had a certain anxiety whenever I had to speak in public. And the public could also be other comrades.

As much as I wanted to play with them, for some reasons I didn’t go or if I did, I was so reserved and anxious to speak in front of them and to ask to play that I spoke at such a pace that they understood me only once out of two.

So I played with them once out of two.

One might think that to play in a drama play it is rather necessary to love one’s body totally, to trust one another and to be rather extroverted. What if it’s the other way around? What if, in order to do theatre, one had to go through those moments which are perhaps embarrassing from the point of view of a child but also necessary for learning?

Continue to read and you will understand what I mean.

MEETING MY FIRST DRAMA TEACHERS

I took theatre classes very early on. Because I knew it was my passion, very early on. But it wasn’t until I decided to dive into it that I really evolved. I decided to take theatre as an option for my high school degree and at that time I was also enrolled in the conservatory of my region.

At a hectic pace, I was following the classes I had in high school, I would run in a theatre class the next day to take a singing class after that and then the day after a dance class followed by a theatre class, then several other theatre classes and even more dance classes. All this was accompanied by rehearsals for projects that we had between students.

I had about 10 hours of theater, 10 hours of dance and 2 hours of singing a week, in addition to my high school classes. All these hours of hard work gave me the opportunity to stage plays, to direct a musical, to play on regional and national stages.

With so many classes, I also remember all my teachers, each of them and the things they taught me. I remember a show where I had to choke on an apple to help me articulate, another show where I had to – like my other classmates – wear garter belt, or shows played in the streets.

It is not necessarily easy to accept criticism from one of you own teachers. Or just not easy for a teenager to agree to be put in garter belts. And yet, this is where you learn to digest things and follow instructions, when you realize they’re being followed by others. And one even realizes that this single instruction, the one that was harder to accept, is actually the one that teaches one the most and makes one grow.

Show on garter belts

Just like in life, the most difficult hardships are the ones that teach us the most on ourselves or even on life itself.

During rehearsals in drama, I found myself crawling to the ground. I was a clown – properly speaking – and found my clown character that I still remember today. His name was Musy, one of his friends was Linobu. Oh how much lines of text I learned, how many competitions or theater exams I passed.

Because this is also the role of a theatre teacher, to push his student to go meet his flaws to exceed his limits and to exceed himself. Or as one of my former theatre teachers would say:

“Never should suffering and humiliation rise to a stage… What makes an artist a unique being are his modesty, his limits, his faults… Trust is necessary…  » To put oneself in danger » on a stage as they say, it is for me to know these « flaws »… and to accept them little by little, to love them as qualities, unique qualities, and to let them « to see », « to give », « to share »… never to cross them… Like jumping over a high hedge, you hit it, you get tired, you give up, in pleasure, in the game! Not in force, not in the challenge… We try, we try again, why not, in the game, because we want to… If we want to…”

Karine Vuillermoz

Of course, you can’t do everything in life, and even though I was in the process of finding my vocation at the time, I was still a teenager, and unfortunately this is not compatible with the preparation of a diploma. That’s why I had to retake my high school diploma the following year so I would pass it.

Some of my drama teachers are no longer in this world, with other things ended with a bang. But anyway, I’m grateful for all the teaching they’ve given me.

One teacher will never be the same with another and that is where all the magic lies, that is where one makes one’s own identity. You take what you need and you change to perfect yourself and move forward.

And then we go again. We train, we dress up, we fall, we learn, we repeat and stress comes back before going on stage.

BEING ON STAGE

I came through the artists’ entrance. Armed with my 2 suitcases and my backpack, all my belongings were ready, all I needed was to prepare myself quietly.

Quietly is a big word; behind the scenes of such a large stage can accommodate many artists and the basement of the theatre swarmed like an ant hill. I would repeat my lines and, as the stress went up, I would run to the bathroom and get carried away by the excitement at the same time. In those moments, I cannot help myself, I do not hold in place, I laugh for nothing and I annoy my colleagues who need calm before the show.

Here we are.

Everything is ready.

This time we are behind the scenes of the stage, we can see the public already enthralled by what is happening on stage.

It’s almost our turn.

We must give eveything we got. We start shaking a little but don’t have to think about it. We must let go and have fun.

It’s up to us. The moment is so busy that it passes in a few moments. There are some mistakes but nothing that the public can notice. After all, it doesn’t know the lines. So we continue to give everything. That’s it, the moment I feared has arrived. I made it to the last rehearsal.

And it’s already over.

The stress is down, we drop the character and go back on stage to receive the applause of the audience. In such a big stage, the applause almost generates gusts of wind as the audience is so numerous. I still have shivers.

We leave the stage and we still hear people clapping. In the business, that means we have to go back on stage, they want to see us again. And how much more do I want to see the faces of these strangers smile and applaud us. We did a good job. We also remember to make a sign to the governance, they also did a good job, we turn around and disappear behind the scenes.

We applaud each other, we hug each other, we laugh, we cry with joy. That’s it, the stress is gone. Some will go home because they are too tired and others will go for a drink to celebrate! We’re playing tomorrow, but it’s okay, it’s important to keep the group together!


Bring out one’s feminity

Drama is kind of like a drug. Once you tasted the stage, you want to go back. Again and again.

Theatre teaches you to talk, to listen, to ally with others, to surpass yourself, to feel things ; it helps you to apprehend yourself, increases your general culture, makes you creative and helps manage stress. I certainly forgot some of them, but these are all the benefits theatre has brought me.

When you’re in the heat of the moment and you do little shows that for some will get big and just bring you joy, you don’t realize the exploits and it is by writing these lines that I realize how lucky I have been to play in so many shows. And that’s what theatre is all about: creating opportunities, going out to meet the right people and facing the wrong, learning and recovering from mistakes.

MEETING PASSIONATED PEOPLE

It’s when I see the professionals playing that I want to play even more. To see them move on stage and live from their passion is so encouraging that it almost gives wings.

The last great theatre lady I met left us a few months ago. I played in a play with her, that’s how I knew her. She always wanted to do theatre, but she couldn’t do it until she retired at 60. From that age she did not stop, lived like an Edith Piaf to wear herself out on stage and came to rehearse no matter the physical pain, the stage was her remedy. She left at the age of 87, I knew her at the end of her life and she taught me a lot.

Seeing her give herself in this way to her art shows that age does not matter and that we must continue to believe in our dreams. The role she played had been thought of for her, who could no longer walk very long, she had what can be called an electric scooter for the elderly that she drove during the show. So, she couldn’t use her body to play and help her pass emotions. She didn’t need it, she was so in her game that her voice was enough to pass anyhting she wanted. Great art.

This lady reminded me that we must fight to the end to do what we love, that we must go forward and never give up. Always believe in it. Life takes care of the rest.

This is the kind of lesson we learn when we do theatre. Life lessons that mark us and makes us new people. People able to transmit and give life to a little love, joy and tears, the time of a representation.

Thanks to it, you will be able to collaborate with people who share your passion, create infinitely and integrate everything you want into your art, circus, dance, cinema, puppets, cooking or whatever…

MEETING ONESELF

It is thanks to my passion that I was able to meet great names of theatre and cinema, that I was able to practice playing in front of a camera, sneaking into film sets, go back in time in a 10th century castle, perform outside or even direct actors.

It is thanks to all these experiences that I was able to find myself and apprehend myself to better grow and make my place in this life and this world. Today, I know how to play my own role with sincerity and serenity.

drama will help you see life differently and no longer take yourself too seriously.

As I was explaining in my article, Yoga as a Pah to Transformation, drama is also like an allegory of life. We work there as a « community », or as we say, in « company ». It’s not a coincidence that we call that a theater company and that is the whole principle ; it is a playground for real life.

If I go to the theatre and suddenly realize that my body is no longer leaning against the seat and that I have my mouth open in front of the stage, then I am sure that the play I am watching is a great artistic piece.

I don’t know if you agree with me, but the magic of life is in these moments and it can be appearing to all of us.

Image by Libracesp Hey! 

And you, what is this passion that carries you away, that transforms you and revives a flame within you, that only it can revive?

Have I made you want to go on stage?

Don’t hesitate to comment!

Did you like this article? Want to bring back some magic to your life and discover every week a new aspect of what the world has to offer? So do not hesitate and subscribe to the newsletter below!

« Play well, or play badly, but play truly. »

Constantin Stanislavski

Want to keep reading?

One of the ways you can manage stage fright might be with meditation, read my article Is Meditation Really Helpful?

We can also learn a new language thanks to it. I explain more on my article Tips for Learning a Language

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Requiem for the United States

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : Requiem pour les États-Unis

6 min read

We can all agree that 2020 is a crazy year. No matter where you look at or where you look from. Many lives have been changed this year.

It is one of the reasons I decided to open this website. I did it right before the pandemic and I already wanted to uplift you by showing you what the world has to offer.

In my last article, I said this week’s article would be about our series on the mind-body connection and specifically about our scientifically proven bodies’ healing powers.

Considering some recent events, I decided to change my plans and to write an article I had on my heart to write for many months now. 

Today, we will take an imaginary plane together to one of the best trips I had in my life. This trip happened on July 2019 where life led me to the state of Oregon, United States of America.

This will be our way of sending love, hope and rainy vibrations to this country, that is suffering from severe wildfires as you read this. As a matter of fact, 3 states in the country are currently burning

A requiem is originally a religious tradition, we’re taking it today to remember all the lives and lands that have been destroyed. All the pictures you’ll see in this article come from my trip to the States. Some of you might even recognise some of them from previous article of mine.

4 million acres have been burnt according to the New York Times that entitled their article « ‘It Is Apocalyptic’: Fear and Destruction Grip the West Coast ». For further informations, I invite you to look at their article or find the information available online as this article will only be centered on positive facts.

Deschutes National Forest, Oregon, United States

Let’s remember today what makes Oregon a magical state

Wishes

The story begins 25 years ago when I first dreamt about travelling to the states. I always had this idea that it would be an amazing country to visit and that is welcoming anyone who step foot in their home.

Since then, I grasped every opportunities I could find for knowing more about the states, seeing if this country would be a good fit for me and asking all the questions I could think of.

Every time someone told me about the States, believe me when I say that my eyes were glowing in hope for a trip that would send me to this dream world. 

« You won’t believe what I just heard about the States » would I say to a friend on the phone after having one of those amazing conversations. They were enough for me to believe that a trip to the states would change my entire view of the world.

I had to wait but I didn’t know how much I was right by then.

Of course, some people would say to me that it is a great country but that it is not original to go there and certainly not safe since « everyone has gun there ».

I don’t like prejudices. I didn’t then and I don’t like them now.

I actually believe that those people are the ones that would benefit the most from travelling. Especially since they don’t like opening their eyes and mind.

The Cove Palisades State Park, Oregon, United States

The chance of a lifetime

For 25 years I wanted to visit the United States of America. I never stopped dreaming about it. I never stopped hoping that one day I would have the perfect opportunity to go there, especially since I never found the money to go visit the country properly.

One day, as I was working in a middle school, I received a call from a friend of mine. I remember that day perfectly. She called me thrice in a row and even if I was at work I took time to understand why.

« Oh good, you called me back Ben! You won’t believe what I just found for you!! You can have the opportunity to travel to the States, all expenses paid ; your only job will be to take care of 16 teenagers during their flight! During your stay, you will be hosted by a host family and the children will too, you’ll just have to call them twice a week to be sure everyone is doing well, otherwise you’ll be free to enjoy your stay! »

1 week later, I was flying to Portland, Oregon for the first time in my life.

Greenland seen from the plane

Entering the dream

When I say that I have been wanting to go to the States for a long time, I mean it. So much that I decided to learn English by myself – I explain how in my article Tips for Learning a Language – to know more about the American culture, I even organised many Thanksgiving dinner at home and another one at church with 110 people!

When I stepped foot in the States, even when I entered the plane, I couldn’t realise that I was actually flying there.

Indeed I was, and that is when I understood fully what “all things come to the ones who wait” mean.

Because I believed it for so many years and because I never stopped believing in it, I was finally able to enter my dream. Furthermore, I didn’t have the money to go but life just decided to answer my prayer.

Here I was, landing in Portland and spending one night in a hotel with 16 teenagers that were looking up to me for guidance.

On our way to our host families, we were all amazed by the landscapes we had in front of us. The 3 hour bus ride felt like minutes. That time allowed us all to realise exactly where we were.

Somewhere on the way from Portland to Bend, Oregon

I realised the chance I had to be there. And I wasn’t finished to be grateful.

Living life as an American

What they say is true. Americans aren’t that easy to be close to. But trust me, once they open their door to you, they also open their heart.

Waiting for us with balloons and welcoming signs with our name on it, it was heartwarming to see them welcoming us like this and jumping on the arms of some students of mine made me realised that some must have been coming for several years in the same family.

Imagining all those people having to stay indoor right now because of all the smoke due to the fires just breaks my heart.

My dream didn’t stop there! It was only the beginning. I couldn’t have wished for a better family than the one I had. I will never be able to thank them enough for the way they welcomed me and how they cared for me. They were a perfect fit, vegan, loving yoga and meditation, out of the box and open to new adventures. They opened their home, their heart and family to me. I can now say without a doubt that I am part of their family and that they are part of mine.

They knew I loved going to festivals and organised a visit to a near festival the day after my arrival. That’s when I realised once more that what they say is true. Americans are “full of themselves” (in a good way), you come as you are and you’re free to enjoy your time wherever you are.

Festival in Bend, Oregon

And since the life there is quite similar from the life in the movies. (in some extent), it’s not that much difficult to  acclimate yourself to the country. 

Visiting Central Oregon

When I was living in Paris, I loved talking to every American I could meet. My favourite question to ask them was “What do you think about Paris?” They often answer “We loved it! But everything is tiny here, the streets, the roads, the hotel rooms!…”

Now I understand why they said that. Everything in the States is big. The way they fully embrace who they are, their view of the world, their trust in you when they adopted you, their shops, their roads, their landscapes, the dangers they can face (we won’t be face to face with a puma or a bear if we walk by ourselves in the countryside in France but they will if they do it in Oregon or California).

Smith Rock State Park

When you’re an European, you’re not really aware of all that the United States can offer you. You mostly know of New York City, California, Las Vegas, Miami and let’s say, Texas. Oregon wasn’t on my list because I didn’t really know about it. I’m grateful that life led me there.

Central Oregon is the perfect place for discovering the countryside. Be sure to have about a month to visit everything.

You can be driving from a warm place in Bend where you can Kayak to a cold place next the 3 sisters and maybe hike on them since they are volcanos.

When you take the road, you’re able to visit many things and encounter many different beautiful places.

Such as water falls.

McKenzie Bridge, Central Oregon, United States

Beautiful people.

Drake Park, Bend, Oregon, United States

And amazing events.

Outdoor event in Smith Rocks, Oregon

This one was actually a classical music concert, Hunter Noack had this amazing idea to bring people outdoor and play them music. I like classical music since this day and thanks to him. It was a precious moment. And I thank you again my family from another country for giving me the opportunity to attend.

I advise anyone who’d love to visit the courntyside, anyone who wants to get off the beaten track or want to be breathless by what they see to try and visit Oregon. If you like hiking and wandering in nature as well as visiting some beautiful cities, this is the place to be.

And again, people will be warmly welcoming you.

Somewhere in Central Oregon

Of course not everyone will be welcoming. I remember taking this picture telling myself « even this dog can see I’m French » because you can see some old republicans (mostly) not being really happy you’re stepping foot in their little town. But apart from that, you have so much to discover, share and receive that it is truly a part of this country I’m going to visit again soon.

And you can be sure of that, United States of America, once this crazy pandemic is over, once you have recovered from the worst fire season you have faced and once you have reopened your frontiers ; I’ll be ready to come back and live as an American once again.

I’d like to thank everyone who welcomed me there again. All those memories – be sure that I didn’t have enough space to share them all with you here – will stay in my heart forever, you changed my view of the world.

Thanks to everyone of you, I finally decided to step into my power and to be an example for everyone around me and for myself as well. They will recognize themselves when they read this. Thank you for your trust, love and kindness.

I hope this article gave you a clear idea of what Oregon has to offer. Let me know in the comments if you already have visited or what you would do there if you go.

Next week we will continue our series on the mind-body connection so be sure to stay tune and if you haven’t alreay, register to the newsletter at the end of the article to receive all the news from the website on your mailbox.

Until then,

« Once a year, go some place you’ve never been before »

Dalaï – Lama

Want to keep reading?

Here’s my article about my visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands : I AMsterdam

You also have my articles about a travel documentary project of mine, the last one is On Being Childlike

And if you want to receive all the latest news about the website, don’t hesitate to fill in your email address below :

Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

You can follow me below @ Ben Gananda

Don’t Believe This Ad

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : Ne Croyez-Pas Cette Pub

3 min read

As I am on the internet everyday, like I’m sure most of us are, I come accross around 20 offers about courses I should take depending on my profile.

Discover with me how to step off those precious advices offered by what I call the knowledge merchants.

Of course, thanks to all those beautiful algorithms which direct the web, and that might be coming handy sometimes it’s true, we are all always offered exactly what should be good for us. And since I am running a blog, dozens of people offer me to write better, market better or take better pictures. I guess you are also offered to be better at what you do.

As if we needed to be better.

Online marketing by Mediamodifier

Don’t you feel the same?

No this won’t be an article about how awful commercials are. Instead you will be encouraged to believe in yourself. In this article, you will have a tool for stopping believing in the last ad you saw

“Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.” 

Roy T. Bennet

Actually, I don’t like commercials but I’m ok with them because when you work by yourself and especially since I used to working in the TV industry, I understand that they can help. In fact, without ads some industry might not even exist.

Let’s say you’re an actor playing in a show next week and you don’t have any contacts in the town you’re going to play in. That was the case for me some months ago, before this crazy pandemic happened. Wouldn’t you be ready to go in the streets to tell every person you meet about your show that would be played the next day? That could help but if you don’t use some ads, you can be sure that almost no one is going to come to watch your show. And if nobody comes then you’re not working.

Imagine being on stage, alone with the members of your company, in front of an empty room. You’re all dressed up, you were in the backstage full of stage fright, ready to jump and play as if it was your last role and there you see no one in the room. Imagine how awful you might feel. It just gives me a stomach ache just to think about this.

Empty stage by David Mark

It’s like saying that if you don’t use ads, all the hard work you gave, all the rehearsals you went to and all the lines you forced yourself to learn are just lost since you cannot show what you worked on.

This is why I put up with commercials. Not because I like them, we have way too much of them but because they can help an entire industry.

But I feel like nowadays we are all adviced to run a course that will change our lives.

Every course will if you listen to them.

Of course, we are all here to learn, I believe it is why we are all incarnated here, but aren’t we enough with what we know? Do we really need to enroll in the last brand new online academy?

I just feel like this is making people believe that they are not enough and that they won’t be fully themselves until they take a particular course.

I am saying this because I already enrolled in 3 classes, paid for 2 and used about 3 months of free trial. All for what? Yes I did learn many things but this took so much of my time that I just realise now that we need to focus on what we have, what we know and who we are spending our time with.

This is where I remember about an article I wrote, Stop Running and Listen to Yourself. My first article about meditation.

Ben Gananda doing yoga

You see, every teacher you will have also have to learn everyday about the very thing they are teaching. Even if it is just being aware of the news and new laws for a lawyer for instance.

All I’m saying is that we all have to learn eveyday but eveything we are learning is taught to us by life itself. All the lessons we need to learn will be taught to us, in a way we might not even expect.

Didn’t you make a mistake that someone warned you about? Like start smoking cigarettes or lend money to someone who didn’t deserve it? Your loved ones warned you but you had to make the mistake so you would learn the lesson.

Isn’t it exactly why you always come accross the same problem every now and then?

Simply because you didn’t learn the lesson and life is teaching it to you again and again, until you understand and learn it well.

So next time you think about enrolling in the last online course you saw, be kind enough to ask yourself : « Do I really need this? » If you don’t have time, if other issues needing to be worked on are awaiting you then it means that you should already focus on what you have and come back to it later. You might even realise that you don’t even need that course anymore.

We will talk about how life has a way of directing back to you the same issues over and over in a later article.

I hope this one encouraged you to believe in yourself and to trust the skills you already have. If it did, you should be interested in next week’s article which will be about our series on the mind-body connection and specifically about the healing power of our body.

You are enough.

You are good.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

You are love.

So be sure to stay tuned and to subscribe to the newsletter below to receive the next article in your mailbox.

Until then, remember that life has always something to teach you, everyday. Even if it is about opening a door for an elderly.

See you next week.

Ben

Want to keep reading?

Want to know more about the benefits of yoga? I have an article for you : Yoga as a Path to Transformation

Curious to know how our body can ingest energy? Then read 4 Different Ways Our Body Ingest Energy

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Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

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Thank You

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : MERCI

2 min read

We all have a reason to be grateful for something.

I believe it is a duty we have. We have to remember who life offered to us. Moreover, it is an act that encourages it to do it again. The more you are grateful for something that happened in your life, the more you tell the Universe that you want more.

Today I am grateful.

I opened this blog 8 months ago, at the beginning of 2020 and it’s been a wonderful adventure since then.

« Life without liberty is a body without spirit »

Kahlil Gibran

Of course, it is never easy when one starts on the path to building its own independence. Last week I decided to start to run a brand awareness marketing campaign so that people would get to know the blog even more.

Communication by Gerd Altmann 

The principle is simple, invest some money – not a lot since I’m not earning anything from the blog – to boost a post and invite people to connect with me, Ben Gananda.

Everyone who already follow me know this but I do have profiles on various social media networks. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin – the links are below the article. 

Since I didn’t have a lot of money to invest and that Facebook and Instagram are from the same company now, I decided to run a 3 day campaign on Facebook that would also be shown on Instagram.

I am thrilled to announce that the post that boosted my last article Togetherness was seen more that 15 000 times and liked more that 4 500 times both on Facebook and Instagram at the same time.

Screenshot of the result of campaign on Instagram

To everyone that follow me, to everyone that liked that post and that started to follow me right after that, I say THANK YOU.

Thank you for being here and for believing in my message.

Having so much feed back makes me want to go on.

I had to dedicated an article to thanking YOU.

Now that this is done, I can properly tell you that I am currently working on different projects that will come to life in a month or two. I cannot say more already but be sure to stay tuned.

I believe in the power of each and everyone of us and I want to be here for anyone who is in search of truth and purpose.

I will be able to show you more about the movie project I told you about in two of my articles, the first one is called Docu-Project : The Internal Change Happening Within and Outside of Us and the second one is On Being Childlike and I will also have 2 other secret products that will be launched soon.

The website will be updated soon as well.

And of course I will always be writing a weekly article.

So, for all those reasons, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter below the article to receive all the latest news.

Again, thank you.

See you in the next article.

Namaste by Artem

Until then, be sure to stay grateful for each presents life has to offer you. Remember, it can also take the form of a smile.

Love,

Ben

Want to keep reading?

Interested to know Why I Stopped Eating Corpses ? Then click on the link.

Need some more explanation about Ayurveda ? Here is my article Ancient Science

And if you want to receive all the latest news about the website, don’t hesitate to fill in your email address below :

Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

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Togetherness

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : Unité

3 min read

Recent events have – let’s hope so – brought everyone to think a little more about their choices considering what they consume and about the value of the actions that lead the world.

Once upon a time, there was a world where everyone were helping each other. People used their given free time to think about their neighbours by playing music on their balcony, by offering to go grocery shopping to protect them or even a time where we were applauding healthcare services at our windows – at least that was some time ago in France. (check this article from Reuters to know more about this).

But this, was before.

Today, we are queuing 3 hours long to get a Macdonalds menu, eat it cold or even alone in our car. We wait at least the same time to spend money in our luxurious clothes store we missed so much, making sure we bare our teeth if the person next to us isn’t respecting its distance.

I don’t know about you but after everything that happened, I feel even more close to humanitarian causes, those that are important and that bring surplus-value to our world.

Didn’t we have the example we needed to believe in a sense of togetherness?

Father and Son walking by 4144132

This article won’t be about making you act for a humanitarian cause, it will be about showing you examples on how, by working together, we can achieve greatness.

« Man is by nature a social animal. »

Aristotle

Aristotle, greek philosopher who lived in the years 300 BC, already saw that and explained it really well. This famous quote doesn’t stop here as he also says that « anyone who does not partake in society is either a beast or a god ».

Of course this can be interpreted wrong but he does have a point. We are better if we act for the world and for the people that are in our world.

Do you know of someone who spent his life all by himself and was doing great?

If so, I would be pleased to meet that person and chat with them.

Isolating someone is a form of punishment in jails.

How many stories did you hear about an old person loosing the love of its life and then dying from grief or simply loosing its head?

Does anyone of you watched the movie Into the Wild by Sean Penn? A movie about a young man who decides to leave everyone and everything to hitchhike and live in the wilderness. I advise you to watch it if you haven’t already.

Into the Wild poster

I don’t know about you but those kind of story inspire me to always be on the lookout to work with my peers and my loved ones.

Alone we go faster together we go further.

In 1993 a study was conducted to measure the benefits of meditation. Washington had a high crime rate and conducted this study. A group of meditators came into the city to meditate during an evening. Criminal rate decreased by 23.3% that same evening.

It seems like a group of people meditating and raising the vibrations of the city was enough for crime to slow down. If you’re interested to know more about this, you should read my article 4 Different Ways Our Body Ingest Energy.

« Washington crime study shows 23.3% drop in violent crime trend due to meditating group »

Find the article of the same title in the worldpeacegroup.org website
Balance by Ralf Kunze

This is one of the reasons why I started to talk to you about meditation in 3 different articles already. Here are the links if you are interested. The first one was written to show you how it is beneficial to slow down Stop Running and Listen to Yourself. The second one was written with a guest about mantras Meditation Series : Mantras with Carrie Grossman. And the most recent one, from last week was designed to help you more understand what it is Is Meditation Really Helpful?

Alone I’m powerless. Together we are powerful.

Sometimes, we even want to help but we are unfortunately too weak if we face the problem by our own.

In Mauritius recently, a ship leaked so many oil in the ocean that a « state of environmental emergency » was declared. In order for the ocean to be cleaned up, Mauritius residents were cutting off their hair to soak up the oil. See the article about it here.

Would it have the same effect with the hair of only one person? I don’t think so.

Here we have another example of what people can do when they work together.

Hands forming a heart by Pexels

Those are the 3 examples I wanted to share with you this week. Because I think we should all start to believe in each other again. In order to do that, we should always cultivate our awareness. Something I told you about in my article The Mind-Body Connection.

And you, what do you think about all this? Is Aristotle crazy according to you? What do you think about the story about the mediation group in Washington? Does the story in Mauritius have an effect on you and which one? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!

I hope you liked that article and that it encouraged you to search for that help you so deeply need.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter below to receive a new article each week in your mailbox. We will soon, in the continuity of this article, be diving into Hindu traditions and the philosophy brought by this civilisation.

Until then, be well.

Love,

Ben

Want to keep reading?

Please find my article where I explain Why I Stopped Eating Corpses

And you also have my article about Ayurveda, Ancient Science

And if you want to receive all the latest news about the website, don’t hesitate to fill in your email address below.

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Is Meditation Really Helpful?

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – La Méditation Est-Elle Vraiment Utile?

3 min read

Are you used to feeling anxious? Scared? Does anyone tried to help you in this matter but did quite the opposite?

In the last article The Mind-Body Connection introduced the subject of always being connected to what we do. This means being aware of our own emotions and desires and acting upon them.

I can assure you that meditation can be a powerful tool for addressing those issues.

Brain balancing heart by ElisaRiva

Why?

Because I have been practicing meditation on a daily basis for 7 years now.

People fail to help you because they are not in your shoes and might address the problem from an angle you don’t really need and therefore, the problem still exists.

Meditation can be your medication.

It can help you overcome your issues, if you know how to use it.

How does meditation can help me?

Why doesn’t it work on me?

Is there a simple tool I can use for helping me meditate?

Those are the questions we are addressing today.

How does meditation can help?

Meditation is simple and practical. 

Research shows that simply by sitting down and closing your eyes you can access a level of relaxation that is deeper that deep sleep.

It reduces stress hormones by 30 to 40% where a good night sleep reduces it by 10 to 12%.

It increases serotonin, prolactin, oxytocin and reduces blood pressure. It even increases the production of anti-aging hormones.

It is more effective that any other relaxation techniques.

brain connection by Gerd Altmann 

Research also shows that it makes new connection in the brain. If you scan the brain of someone that is meditating, you will see connection happening in the left and right side of his brain as well as in the back and front of it.

Which results in making us make better decisions, have better judgment because we allow the part of the brain responsible for this -the pre frontal cortex- to be well fed in oxygen particularly.

Meditation helps us become our best self.

When I was starting meditation, I encountered a wonderful teacher that helped me understand that I was embodying letting go thanks to meditation.

After a 45 minute mediation I had with him, we all shared our experience. At that time I had a hard time staying still, I always had to readjust my position or even just was disturbed by my own clothes. I explained him that I finally was able to tell myself during that single meditation that it could wait, that for this moment I was able to stay still and wait for the end of the meditation for moving or even for thinking about something else I had in mind.

He congratulated the effort and showed me that my meditation journey was on the good path.

Meditation doesn’t always work

Meditation can work for everyone, but it can also worsen the very thing you’re trying to meditate for. This is because there are several types of meditation.

Of course, if you look online, everyone is going to tell you that their technique is the best one there is but this is just a lie. Unfortunately those are the ones that are going to be the closest to sectarianism.

As a matter of fact, you can choose what type of meditation you want to do according to what you’re doing it for.

meditation by Gerd Altmann 

Before choosing the type of meditation you’re going to dedicate yourself to, you should ask yourself those questions :

  • What is the goal of my mediation? Do you want to feel more free, let go a situation in particular, understand something …
  • Which sense do you prefer? Some meditation will be more visual when others might be more auditory …
  • Which aspect do you want to develop the most? Patience, love, spirituality, memory, focus …

We will go through the types of meditation in a later article but for now I would suggest any beginner to try and start with those types of meditation :

  • Yoga nidra : this is actually the simplest one I was given to try. You just lay down on your back and let yourself be guided by the voice of your meditation teacher.
  • Spinal breathing : which will help your anxiety as well as mantra and mindfulness meditation.
  • Inner silence : lead you to know yourself, deal with your confusion or restlessness.

Now that you know of some meditation techniques, remember that the key to finding peace with mediation is consistency. We talk about this with a guest I had in the blog in the article Meditation Series : Mantras with Carrie Grossman.

Learn to overcome your fear thanks to a simple tool

I’m using fear as an example here and the tool I’m going to share with you can be used with any emotions you’re having difficult times with.

The tool I’m sharing with you comes from another meditation teacher I had and uses the technical memo RAIN.

Tiger under rain by ArtTower

RAIN stands for Recognise, Allow, Investigate, Nurture.

Recognise : name your fear.

Allow : do not judge it but instead allow it to be here. 

Investigate : feel where it lives in your body and what sensation it brings you.

Nurture : use your own kindness and care to begin being present with the fear.

After the rain, feel the shift that has happened from the fearful self when you started to that space of compassionate presence.

Want some help?

I can now tell you that soon, an online meditation course will be available on the blog. It is a 21 day challenge designed for discovering meditation where I teach you the fundamentals of mediation in a progressive way. The first day of the challenge will include 1 minute of meditation the second day 2 minutes, the third day 3 minutes and so on until 21 minutes of meditation for day 21.

Be sure to stay tuned, more information about this in a few weeks.

I hope you enjoyed this article and that it gave you a clearer idea of what meditation can do for you.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter at the bottom of the page to receive all the latest articles.

In the meantime, remember that everything you do can be turned into meditation, from sitting to making dishes and running. It only takes conscious presence in what you are doing.

Love

Ben

Want to keep reading?

You must ave noticed that this blog was bilingual. If so, you will certainly be interested in this article : Tips For Learning a Language

Do you know what Ayurveda is? Come discover more about it in my article Ancient Science

If you want to receive all the latest newsletter about the blog, it’s down here :

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The Mind-Body Connection

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – La Connexion Corps-Esprit

2 min read 

Do you always feel connected to what you’re doing? Do you wish to be more connected and aware?

As promised in one of my last articles, On Being Childlike we’re going to start talking about this mystical connection that is always available to us…

The mind body connection.

When you’re used to driving the same road everyday, you might find yourself being caught up in driving, it can even sometimes happen that you forget the way you just drove through.

Take a deep breath with me.

Hold it.

And then release it.

Here, you’ve just made a step further into connecting your mind with your body.

Connecting your body with your mind have many meanings. One of them is to bring life into some parts of your body that you tend to forget.

Your tongue for instance. If you think about it, you’ll realize that you have a tendency to keep it up on the roof of your mouth. You do this without even thinking about it

Just like when you’re used to driving on the same road everyday. And it is proven that what is happening is that you are hypnotizing yourself for a short time. That’s called auto-hypnosis, which will more likely happen when your mind isn’t connected to your body.

You will tend to loose focus on yourself.

Take another deep breath with me. 

Bring your attention to your mouth now, are you able to relax it even more than it already is? Where is your tongue? Up or relaxed at the bottom of your mouth?

Don’t you feel more relaxed now?

The first step into connecting your mind with your body is simple. Breath and realize that you have a body, notice all the parts of it and learn to relax it more and more everyday.

That’s called meditating.

Meditation deserve a whole new article but you can still discover the first one I wrote about it, Stop Running and Listen to Yourself.

If one looses focus on oneself it is more easy to stop controlling what one is doing. I told you in the article 4 Ways Our Body Ingest Energy that I stopped smoking. What will happen if I’m not in control of what I do? 

What will happen if my mind isn’t connected to my body?

I will forget the benefits of stopping smoking, I will loose myself into listening to the voice that tells me to enjoy things and to loose the benefits of my efforts. 

Which takes us back to saying that when we loose our mind-body connexion we stop being our best self, we stop stepping into ou power and therefore loose our time, efforts and energy.

The next article will teach you more clearly about meditation and its benefits. You will also learn about a new meditation course that will soon be available on the blog.

Thanks for reading this article, I hope it introduced you well to this topic and made you even more curious to know more.

Being more aware can be considered as being magical in so many ways. We’ll see that soon enough.

You can subscribe to the newsletter to receive all the new articles at the bottom of the page.

In the meantime, stay connected to your surroundings by simply trying to notice all that exists in your field of view, all that you’ve never noticed before and more specifically all that is alive around you, from plants to humans and animals.

Love

Ben

Want to keep reading?

Please find another article about meditation : Meditation Series : Mantras with Carrie Grossman

You also have this one : Yoga as a Path to Transformation

If you want to receive all the latest newsletter about the blog, it’s down here :

Traitement en cours…
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Don’t Take Anything Personally

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – NE FAITES JAMAIS UNE AFFAIRE PERSONNELLE DE QUOI QUE CE SOIT

2 min read

Have you ever had that moment where you thought someone was upset about something you did ? Did this very thing happened not to be about you but about something else ?

I know I did ! And not just once.

We have a tendency to think that we did something wrong.

Instead of thinking that why don’t we just try and ask the persons what they think ? They might just tell us that what they said wasn’t about us at all but about something they experienced earlier with someone else.

That might save you a lot of trouble.

I learnt that teaching from the book The Four Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz.

He explains that if we take things personally, we necessarily take everything into account. We take into our being the trash of others, that becomes our own once we agreed to it.

If we don’t take anything personally, we become immune to the poisoned words of others.

What others think about me do not concern me but them.

And we don’t waste our time worrying about others.

This book really changed the way I used to see things and I really advise you to read it.

It teaches us about 4 guidelines we must all follow in our everyday life.

  • Be impeccable with your words
  • Don’t take anything personally
  • Don’t make assumptions
  • Always do your best
Image by Realworkhard

4 guidelines that seem difficult when you didn’t read the book but that are really easy when you read it and when you understood what they mean. So easy that there also is the same book available for children. As we saw in the article On Being Childlike, we must actually follow and listen to the children.

It is really well and easy said and I think most of us should take time to read that 120 page book! I read it in 3 days.

Your life is the manifestation of your dream, it’s a work of art.

Don Miguel Ruiz

That it all for today, I hope you enjoyed reading this and that it spoke to you. Best thing would be that it gave a a little idea of what The Four Agreements are about and pushed you to read it.

Be sure to stay tuned so you don’t miss the next articles, as said in the last one we will dive deeper into the mind-body connection by developing the Ayurveda subject and many more at the same time.

In the meantime, don’t forget to take care of yourself, you are the only one that exactly know how.

Love,

Ben

Want to keep reading ?

Here’s my article about Ayurveda : Ancient Science

And you also have this one : 4 Different Ways Our Body Ingest Energy

If you want to receive the next article in your mailbox it’s down here :

Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

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On Being Childlike

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : AVOIR UNE ÂME D’ENFANT

4 min read

Do you always try to keep a childlike eye to what happen in your life? Are your constantly trying to see the good parts of life? Or do you just start worrying every time adversity arise?

According to many teachings, religions or even philosophies such as Taoism for instance, we must all have a childlike spirit.

Stay childlike and be one with Heaven

Lao Tzu

I remember once, I was able to teach my little sister to ride a bike. She’s 10 years younger than me and when she finally decided to take the training wheels off her, I was here to help her. I actually gave a her what I called a potion so that she would be able to ride her bike by herself.

I believe, by focusing on what children have to say about the world, that we can learn a lot. This is why the documentary project The Internal Change I told you about can finally say publicly that it will make a difference in the world during its filming by helping children in need in South-Asia.

Remember about the project I told you about, you can read the first article about it here : Docu-project : The Internal Change Happening Within and Outside of Us. To say it shortly, my team and I are currently preparing the filming of a documentary from Australia to India that will criticize our consumer society and take example on the children.

Our society is based on possessions, having a lot means succeeding ; which leads to imbalances. But, when we look at ancient civilisations and knowledge, we see that simplicity and sustainability are two words that go hand in hand. In short, focus on the past to understand how to move forward in the future.

As adults, we have a tendency to see the glass half empty, to worry about tomorrow and to always ensure our health and safety. What if, by simply taking inspiration from children’s  temperament, we could grow and blossom again?

One of the secrets to a healthier life is then a simpler life. Or, to use a term known by some, a life that goes toward minimalism. Without saying that we should all live in a minimalist way, it is a way of living more conscious developed by more and more festivals of all kinds that are part of a sustainable approach and from which it is possible to draw inspiration to change little by little our habits and strive towards inner balance.

By focusing particularly on the habits of the children of the countries we will visit, we will be able to realize more clearly where humanity tends towards. We will see that poverty often makes a country rich in its humanity and that children of poor countries will fill the gaps of our western societies.

My sister I told you about earlier in this post, she drank my potion. Guess what, that’s how she learnt to ride a bike! Do not worry, the potion was only water, but I simply told her that this was a potion that would give her enough self-confidence so that she would ride perfectly. And that’s what happened, that day was the day she was able to take the training-wheels off.

Thanks to this movie we will show how, simply by deciding to stop being guided by society and by changing gradually our habits, one can be affected by the problems of the world less and less. One person at a time, it is possible to go toward a sustainable future. It will help raise the vibration of the earth and awaken consciousness.

More explanations on the page of the project on GlobeDreamers.com

In each country visited by the movie, we will engage in an associative and volunteer way. We will visit big cities to witness this consumer society and poorer towns for their wisdom. We will focus on those smaller towns, which at first glance might not be so attractive but that can teach a lot more than touristic places. We will visit monasteries and learn about customs and traditions so that we would open our horizons and always go forward into more understanding of our world and ourselves.

Problem is, the miracle solution doesn’t exist, everything takes time. I would therefore like, with this project, to show to the public how much it is so necessary to start to take care of oneself, bit by bit.

1 – Lines of work 

After two years of research in this field, it is necessary to go on the ground to clearly realize the situation. This is why we will ask 3 questions in each countries we’ll visit :

  • What impact does the consumer society have on the environment and the well-being of the population?
  • What are the customs of this country and in what measures can they be beneficial to us?
  • Does the wealth of this country make its greatness? (or does its poverty make room for the richness of relationships?)
Image by Sasin Tipchai 

2 – Associative work

To do so, the team of this movie is currently preparing it and looking for one project for each country visited. In fact, in order to be sufficiently imbued with countries, to leave our mark and to touch a maximum of subjects specific to the values of the film, the project is still under construction and we will be back soon with a clearer idea of which project will motivate our stays.

And because the children are a major point of the evolution of everyone and of humanity, and that is the subject of our film, we are looking for an association helping children in need in one or more countries we will cross. We are already in contact with an association which teaches English to children and teenagers in Laos and fights for the preservation of the environment there.

We will also stop in monasteries to better understand the minimalist philosophy of life conveyed by the serenity of their residents.

We will also stay with locals, mostly in exchange for lodging to enter into their daily lives and understand precisely what are the impacts of over consumption on their everyday lives. We are already in contact with locals in Bali, Thailand and Cambodia.

3 – The children’s cause

Image by shekharchopra85

According to ILO (International Labour Organization), at least 250 million children would be working in the world, of which 61% would be in Asia.

However, a law dating from 2006 prohibits the work of children under the age of 14 in India. But with few controls and very few laws enforced, an estimated 12.5 million children are working in this country.

UNICEF is also sounding the alarm in a new report released recently. The Covid-19 pandemic, says the organization, « is destroying decades of progress in health, education and other areas for children in South Asia. » Projections show that over the next six months, an additional 120 million children could fall into poverty and food insecurity, adding to the more than 240 million children already in poverty.

India had to order a new lockdown a few days ago. Imagine the damage this could be for so many people there.

Unfortunately, child labour is not the only violation of children’s rights in South Asian countries. India, after Bangladesh in child marriages, still celebrates 40% of child marriages worldwide. The sound girls, promised in marriage at their birth are given to a man older than her around the age of 11 years. Young girls and boys are therefore deprived of normal development and even of proper education, their mental and physical health are hindered and therefore their future. Although child marriage is prohibited by India Law, 47% of girls are married before the age of 18.

The story of my sister tells us about the power of children’s imagination. They just have to believe in something to make it happen. Many more reasons to take care of them and take their point of view into account.

Together with this movie, we’ll go through the biggest megalopolis of the world, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, Bali, Jakarta, Singapore, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Chitagong, Dhaka, New Delhi, focusing on humbler towns on our way.

We’ll see that simplicity does help happiness to come through.

More explanations on the page of the project on Globedreamers.com

If you too want to be part of something greater, that you want to show up for the world and more specifically for the children of the world, I invite you to take a look on the project. It is supported by a platform for sustainable travel projects called GlobeDreamers.

You can click on the image below to be redirected to the project on their website.

Image by Ben Gananda

Or simply click on this link : https://globedreamers.com/en/crowdfunding/travel/6717-le-changement-interieur-qui-sopere-en-nous-et-tout-autour-de-nous

One way you could start helping the project would be to like and share it on your favorite social media, this will help A LOT the project to be heard!

If you are interested, I will also be interviewed on a live with GlobeDreamers on their Instagram page (in French) on Sunday 19th at 7 pm (GMT +1).

Stay tuned, as said in my previous article, we will dive deeper into the mind-body connection in the next article. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter below!

In the meantime, take time for yourself and your loved ones.

Love,

Ben

Want to keep reading ?

Interested by India’s philosophy ? Have a look on my article about Ayurveda : Ancient Science

Interested by meditation ? Then read this one : Meditation Series : Mantras with Carrie Grossman

If you want to receive all the latest news in your mailbox it’s down here :

Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

You can follow me below @ Ben Gananda

Tips for Better Sleep

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 – Conseils pour Mieux Dormir

2 minutes read

We all need to sleep better. Because sleep is what help us recharge our batteries. But did you know that we often don’t sleep well enough because of habits we have?

According to what Dr M. Breus said, we don’t sleep well because our bodies are not able to attain that deep sleep state where they can properly rest. I’m talking about REM sleep and this is actually essential for us to wake up rested in the morning.

Do you also feel like you have enough time to sleep but still wake up tired, no matter the time you go to bed? Then, continue reading to discover the 5 tips Dr Breus advises us to follow to perform at our best everyday.

Image by Pexels

1 – One wake up time

You need to choose one wake up time. No matter the hour, you have to be consistent with yourself.

Image by Monoar Rahman Rony

Yes, only one. Even on the weekends. Your body needs to have that routine to properly adapt to your environment.

Only then will you be able to even wake up without any alarm. By choosing to wake up everyday at the same time, you will even find yourself planning your day in the good way. And even be consistent in your everyday life.

2 – Caffeine

We almost all drink coffee. And everyone knows that coffee, as almost everything in life, can be harmful if we drink too much of it.

Image by Christoph

As a matter of fact, our body needs about 6 to 8 hours to eliminate coffee.

So, we have to stop drinking coffee by 2 pm if we want to sleep well.

3 – Alcohol

Basically, in the same sense as coffee, if we want our bodies to eliminate alcohol properly, we should drink one cup of water for every glass of alcohol we drink, and wait one hour before going to bed.

Image by Michal Jarmoluk

Actually, in order for alcohol not to affect the physical restoration of the body during sleep – because it does affect it, alcohol make your body skip REM sleep and even lead you to snore sometimes – we need to be aware of our consumption of it.

If you have more than 3 glasses, Dr Breus advises you to simply stop drinking alcohol 3 hours before going to bed.

4 – Exercise daily

We all understand that exercising is essential to a healthy lifestyle but we should also choose when we exercise. In fact, exercising increase our body temperature and brings the wrong signal to our brains in order to sleep.

Image by Free-Photos 

Dr Breus also advises anyone with problem sleeping to try and have a warm bath before going to bed. This will cool off your body and then send signals to your brain that it is time to go to bed, because our body temperature decreases once out of the water.

Tip # 4 is then to stop exercising 4 hours before bed.

5 – Water and sunlight

Usually, when we wake up, we don’t necessarily need more sleep, we are tired because our body needs to be hydrated and feel the sunlight.

Picture by Ben Gananda

And guess what, if you take time to go outside in the morning, you actually taking time to yourself and then you have time to dedicated to your daily meditation. Check my article about meditation if you didn’t have time already : Stop running and Listen to Yourself.

As soon as you get out of bed, drink about 20 ounces of water and get 15 minutes of sunlight.

I guarantee you, if you follow those tips, you will have a better sleep and then a better life. Only when you listen to yourself can you be productive and creative in your everyday life.

If you want to know more about Dr M. Breus, I invite you this visit his website.

I hope you liked this article, if so don’t hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter below.

Be sure to stay tuned, as we are going to continue talking about the mind-body connection and how this can be a game changer in your life.

Thank you for reading me and I’ll see you in the next article.

Stay tuned.

Love

Ben

Want to continue reading?

Interested about meditation? Look out my article Meditation series : Mantras with Carrie Grossman

If you like this article, you might also like another one of mine : 4 Different Ways Our Body Ingest Energy

If you want to receive all the latest news in your mailbox it’s down here :

Traitement en cours…
Terminé ! Vous figurez dans la liste.

You can follow me below @ Ben Gananda