We (Jyothi and Daniele) moved homes and countries quite a few times in our lives.
We followed our hearts thru various learning detours and have lived together in the Netherlands, then in Italy, then in the United States, then back to the Netherlands – and now we are moving back to Italy, which is Daniele’s birth country.
We come back a lot different than we were when we left it, having learned a lot from all our past experiences.
We worked on ourselves a lot.
We turned many sorrows in growth opportunities. We took chances and risks. We got very hurt, and we healed.

We now see and feel new things, we have more compassion for situations that used to trigger anger, we have a renewed clarity of what’s good and needed for us in particular and for human beings in general – and how those needs are actually quite different from those suggested by the ‘standard’ view of society.
We now better understand the priorities and values required to live a fulfilling and joyful life, one lived from the heart. It takes acceptance of bad things, too. But more than anything, it requires that we change ourselves first, rather than expecting other people to change to meet our needs.

The change we all need is an inner one: a change that cannot be super-imposed, it cannot be revealed, it can’t be passed down as an order, it can’t be forced nor accelerated. This change is one of consciousnesses who need to awaken themselves and be willing to do the inner work required after they have awakened – because seeing is only the first step. Then, each person can only really change one person: him/herself. You can’t change what other people do or how they think, you can’t make them do things they don’t want to do; but you can change what and how YOU do, and plant seeds and ideas in their minds by your example.
Change yourself first.
Trust me, it takes a lot of effort, time and determination to change ourselves – but it’s time that you previously used to spend worrying, getting stressed and maybe even blaming others for your own or the world’s troubles.

The first practical step in your transformation is assessing what really matters and counts for your soul.
For us, we realized that we have very little needs, that we appreciate some level of comfort but can live perfectly happily in quite spartan conditions (in fact, maybe even better than when surrounded by too much ‘stuff’) and that, more than anything, we need quiet from the busy rhythms of the modern world and we need to be connected to Nature.
For this and for other reasons we have come back to Italy: we bought a piece of land with a small old farmer’s house, and we are going to make this place our home and the physical base for the Sanctuary of Joy in the upcoming months!
Stay tuned to hear about progress, or contact us if you want to come and help us.
More information on our main site
http://www.sanctuaryofjoy.org/en/sanctuary-of-joy-new-home-in-italy/

PS – The cool lady in the photo was Daniele’s grandmother. She was born in Sicily, she had to be separated from her future husband during World War II and then move to Venice to rejoin him again and being able to marry and start a life together. Moving from Sicily to Venice shook their cultural foundations and broadened their views – almost like moving abroad, for those times – given the fragmentation of Italian regions and all their dialects, sub-cultures and local traditions that vary so much from region to region. Later in life they also had the chance to move to Anzio, then to Rome, and they took them. She also mothered four kids. She smoked two packages of cigarettes a day and lived till 92. She basically kicked ass. Who are the people in your ancestry line that inspire you to be strong and keep going even through hard times?

PS2 – We don’t have electricity yet at the new place (and no kitchen, and no bathroom – they need to be built) but we’ll try to keep posting as much as possible from friend’s and public WiFi networks while we set up the place.