Friday, 29 June 2012


Few weeks ago I went back to Spain to a event organised in Puig de la Balma by my Toastmasters Club, Prestigious Speakers, and I had to deliver a Speech After Dinner.

I decided there was not a better topic than talk about them, my friends, about our friendship; how much it mattered to me.

There is so much one have inside when talking about good friends, special friends, that you really need some time to deliberate what, and how, you want to express your feelings towards them.

I had prepared my speech very carefully, and felt my message was clear and expressing my sincere feelings towards them. I was confident that it was going to be a good one.

The first emotion came when seeing them at the meeting point to go to Puig de la Balma. Many questions about each other lives, many laughs, lovely weather, and all the excitement of a great time together.

We travelled to the place, and the entertainments started straight away: Music, drinks, and more laughs.

Dinner finished and there was my time to be in the spotlight. Our lovely toastmasters colleague Julia, made a wonderful introduction of myself, which I honestly was not expecting, and for my own surprise I was overwhelmed by emotion. And guess what? I forgot the speech completely. A full size blank mind!

I started apologising and our colleague Florian shout loud "oh please start over again!" And, as in any Toastmasters gathering, everybody started clapping and cheering up!

More claps, more yuhus...! I had to sit down, to take a deep breath - at this moment my mind was spinning around thinking "you can to do it, you have to find the way to start, c'mon Tulia!" - And after few seconds which lasted almost an eternity, I was able to get started.

I can say my delivery was far below of what I had planned. I forgot certain parts of my script, and was not happy with that at all just after I had finished. But then I thought, does it really matter? No, it doesn't. What really mattered was that even with blanks and blackouts my message came from my heart, and I know they could feel it. And I felt the warmth coming from everybody around.

I was amongst friends!

In the Middle Ages, King Arthur's Knights, congregated around a table - a round table. As the table had no head, it implied that everyone who sat there had equal status. The table was founded in patience, humility and meekness.

The Knights of the Round Table were well-known for their honour, honesty, valour and loyalty - for the strong bond of friendship amongst them.

Around the 5th Century, the Celts believed, "friends are the ones who would bring light where the soul could shelter. And where there is light, there is life. And, the soul awakens with light."

Taking the Celts and the Knights' wisdom, through friendship and with our friends, we should aim to learn to respect and accept our differences with patience, humility and meekness.
And, with that to strengthen our foundations, where throught giving we gain most.

Friends, my blog friends, your friends are the most precious assets you can ever have in this lifetime. They are your soul mates; they are your chosen family in this lifetime journey.

Cherish them, enjoy them, celebrate them and with them.

To you, to all my friends and to the honour of being called friend back!


Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Coming back from the Toastmasters Conference in Poznan - Poland - we had a stopover in Leipzig

A lovely medieval city in Germany where my favorite baroque composer – Johann Sebastian Bach, is buried. 

St. Thomas Church (Thomaskirche) was the place where he was choir director from 1723 until his death in 1750. And even now, the choir of the Thomaskirche, the famous Thomanerchor, founded in 1212, is one of the oldest and most famous boys' choirs in Germany.

I always find visiting churches a fascinating experience. The devotion and, in many cases, obsession of mankind with trying to reproduce God’s image and to reach Him through their art and music, can many times be overwhelming. However, none of those expressions can diminish the faith and artistic value of their actions.

Music, I believe, is the closest and purest communication with God -- and all invisible forces/energies -- that mankind has ever achieved, and Bach’s music is a perfect example of this.

Ever since an early age — I started playing piano when I was 6 — I felt connected with something when playing, or listening to, any piece by Bach. There is always a dialogue in his music — called counterpoint: the relationship between voices that are harmonically interdependent — which, on the piano, can be clearly felt with each hand.

Sometimes these dialogues are harmonious, other times they are not, but in most cases, despite all dissonances, the dialogues always finish in an agreement, in harmony, as if an inner and deeper peace is found.

I was absorbed by my thoughts listening to the Bach music that was playing in my mind, trying to imagine what it would have been like to be there, with him playing in that very church I was walking around at that moment; feeling the powerful energy emanating from the church (I believe all churches have a different energy), finding peace and enjoying the moment.

My emotions were already flowing through my body when I reached Bach’s tomb at the centre of the church’s altar. I thanked God, the Universe, for occasionally sending to this planet people who leave such a strong and beautiful legacy, as Bach did.

I was looking down at the tomb and thanking Bach for everything he left to us, when I saw a small note in a corner, almost hidden by the flowers people had left there. I couldn’t resist reading it:

“Barcelona 2012,

Gracias Maestro por ayudarme con tu música en uno de los momentos más difíciles de mi vida.

Ana X X X”

Ana, whoever you are, I have to confess that somehow I could feel your pain and… I couldn't control my tears...
This piece of music is for you.