“I don’t have enough of…” – How often do you actually say or think this? Often, yes, I know. Well, it only attracts more of “not enough”…

Have you ever thought that more often than not for many of us the first thing that crosses our mind when we wake up is  “I did not sleep enough“? And the second thing we often think and say is “I don’t have enough time“. Interesting?…or rather worrying I would say… No matter if it’s true or not, the thought of “I do not have enough” of something… automatically crosses our mind, without much questioning or real examination. It’s like this society we live in has programmed us so.

We spend a great deal of our lives worrying and wining that one thing or another is not enough. Before touching the floor in the morning, before standing up, we feel that things already don’t go at the pace as they should, that we are lagging behind, that we’ve lost something, that we miss something. And in the evening, when we lay in bed, our mind repeats over and over all the things we obtained or that we did not do that day. We fall asleep with the burden of our thoughts and we wake up thinking of what’s missing from our life…

It’s like we have an automatic feel for an internal discontent with ourselves and our lives, and this lays as foundation for feelings like jealousy, greed, intolerance, feeling of being fed up with this life. Anyways, nothing good in the long run actually comes out of this thinking. It’s negative vibes that we start our day with due to the hectic lives that we have. And actually, if you think about it, it all comes down to the feeling that “I am not enough…”.

But it’s ok. Admitting you are inclined to think as I described is the first step towards a shift in mindset. How about waking up each morning feeling gratitude for a new day, for all the good things in your life? And if you have problems identifying those good things, just sit down for 20 minutes and put them on a list. Start with health, body or the people surrounding you or the experiences life has given you to go through and so on. Nothing is for granted. Everything is a gift to be cherished. So be thankful for it every morning when you open your eyes. Block the “I don’t have enough, I don’t…” thoughts and replace them with “I am grateful for…”. You may notice, a glimpse of a smile when you do this.

Also, when you go to bed, think of the highlight of the day, the best thing that happened to you that day, no matter how grey or bad overall the day was. Be grateful for that one little thing (or big thing I hope :)) that was good. I am sure you can always find one.

Practice gratitude and positive vibes will just come automatically. It happens to me all the time. It’s not easy to train your mind to think this way. We have years of training into “There is not enough of…”, and coming from an X-communist culture myself, this thinking is very well embedded in our behavior. But it’s changeable, and when you manage to replace discontent with gratitude, your mood will change, the things that you attract will change and you will put a positive twist on your every day no matter how grim it may look initially. And it’s not overacting to say, it will change your life. It’s worth to try, believe me 🙂

 

Imperfect is real… The rest, well, is pure perception. And I have to ask: how would you rather live your life?

It’s been a while since I’ve actually used writing to express myself. I guess the last few months, when apparently my perfect image cracked and I was confronted with accepting and loving an imperfect self, made me do it again. Expressing is good, and guess what?, it will always be imperfect. Expect others to judge it! But every each of us should do it. I am the silent type. I do not counter fight, I do not defend myself, I do not speak, I don’t complain… I listen, internalize, sometimes grieve, feel guilty, apologize the most and find my strength to move on and live life. I am actually bad at talking about what I feel. But, in time, I understood this eats me up inside, it pills up, all the unsaid… and writing, well, in my case, apparently helps. And… I have to admit it feels good. So bare with me, if I spam your News feed.  I have no intention of using imperfection to avoid owning mistakes in general. That would be against what I am trying to write. I may not be the perfect writer, but that’s not the point. The point is to express what I feel and think, as imperfect as it is, and maybe grow in the process, while, if I am lucky enough, inspire others to do the same and not be afraid to show to the world their beautiful imperfect selves.

What I’ve learned lately is how to value the authenticity and beauty of imperfection. I don’t pretend to know it all, neither am I a model of living to follow, but what I know for sure is the importance of owning who you really are, with the good and the not so good, the highs and the lows, the strengths and the weaknesses. I’ve done right and I’ve done wrong, I’ve made people happy and helped them, and I’ve hurt some deeply in the process, I was a reason to smile, and a reason for tears. Complex, right? But this is what each of us does in a lifetime, every each of us, whether you like it or not. Think about it… This is actually how we grow and we never stop learning and growing over the years. But more importantly, the fact that we are so damn imperfect makes us unique. This is why in order to evolve happily and live beautifully (as I like to say), we need to own it, take responsibility for what we do, learn from it, understand who we are, accept it and cherish life in the process.

I recently started reading a great book I received from a dear friend – “The courage of being vulnerable” by Brene Brown. It really inspires me… with every page I read. Because, yes, it takes balls for a man and lots of guts for a woman to show their vulnerabilities to the world. It is so damn courageous to do so, to stand naked in front of everyone with all you are and feel, and own it. I have lived most of  my life avoiding being vulnerable. Though it is so natural, so human, so part of who we are. I have built walls around me not to get hurt, keeping a calculated distance from falling too deeply in love, maintaining control, acting flawless in school or at work, showing strength no matter the situation, and actually even being proud of my no-tear shed for anyone track record in my personal life. But this me, without vulnerabilities… wasn’t really me. This was ultimately pretending, a mask, hiding a more sensitive self. And I have missed a lot pretending… feelings, personal inner development, the beauty of loving with all your heart, the growth and motivation that pain and sorrow can arise from oneself.

When we act bullet proof strong, cold, in-control, we actually put a shield around us and pretend. It’s valid for everyone, and we all are all doing it at some point in time in a situation or another. It’s that pressure of being unbreakable and perfect… In the end, if you think about it, who defines perfection? Social media, friends, family, your network, media in general? Probably other people that pretend to be untouchable, so it’s all a perception in the end. Nothing real. What is real is YOU. The real YOU. Late at night, when you close the door, and there is just you, your thoughts and nothing else, does that uber-strength still apply? Does it really? And then I ask, who are we really? Who is the real YOU? It’s beautifully imperfect the vulnerable way we are. The best feeling is to embrace it, accept it and love ourselves for it. Because it’s real. It’s like living in the NOW. I would actually put vulnerability, together with imperfection, genuine love for oneself and others, and living in the present, as pre-requisites for living beautifully, peacefully and in content with us and the world.

To end this small monologue, I read about this 10 principles of living life to the fullest by Brene Brown in another book, and I thought they are worth sharing. I plan to follow them as much as I can. It may not be easy, but my newly discovered imperfection calls for it :).

  1. Develop your authenticity – don’t always think of what others say
  2. Develop your self compassion – give up perfectionism
  3. Develop your resilience – fight against feelings of being hopeless and incapable
  4. Develop gratitude and happiness – fight your fears and stop thinking of what is missing from your life
  5. Develop your intuition, your self confidence and confidence in others – give up the need for security
  6. Develop your creativity – stop comparing yourself with others
  7. Invest more time in playing and resting – results at work do not always define who you ultimately are
  8. Develop a state of peace and silence – give up anxiety
  9. Invest your time in what makes sense to you, don’t question yourself and don’t live by the expectations of others of you
  10. Don’t forget to laugh, to sing and to dance – stop pretending that you control every situation, it’s pointless

 

Midnight feel…

I decided to write only in the evenings. 

Because then stars start to appear and I try to pile them at the top of my pen and release them on the white sheet of paper creating meaningful words. 

I feel…

Then all of a sudden, as the moon lights up our souls and ignites our love, full phrases touch my lips, forming whispers that I put in your palms as a kind of gratitude. 

You love…

And this is how every day I can steal pieces of heaven and through every cell of my body create a story, a feeling, an infinite moment. 

Ours…

The sky, with his hands full of nights and mornings filled with love, surrenders, handing over to us all of his sunsets and sunrises. 

Out of love…

One day…

One day, I don’t know when,

you’ll wake up with a familiar taste on your lips,

but you will not remember whose is it

and you’ll breathe my scent

without knowing that it’s mine.

Your sleepy hand will meet among linens,

foreign forms,

that fingers do not know,

that do not match,

that do not blend with your skin,

with your breath,

as your bed

bares the shape of my body,

so naturally, just like your white shirt,

was made for me.

And a pair of lips will kiss you

but not slightly biting your lip,

for they do not know how you like it.

Your beard will have been longed shaved,

and all that will connect us will be:

forgetfulness

from the other side of the world.

Only your shirt

will remember

you loved deeply,

but you will not know whom.

I surrender.

In the city of time

The distances drain in gray seconds.

Trapped between two worlds

My words hidden in the clouds

Arise from silence…

Embracing the breeze of nude oblivion

I manage to decode the elliptic blue.

The one taking over my soul,

The one muting my being,

Whose pain

Finds meaning in my dream

And finds redemption in your arms.

I surrender to you and time…

How long before your embrace

Will heal the cracks of my broken soul?

Sleep your Emptiness away…

I feel like 

Writing down some bizarre 

Trivial simple lines…

What are they really?

Nothing.

Emptiness…
I can’t cry.
I wish salty wet tears,

Full of thoughts,

Would drain down my face

And liberate me.

But they don’t…
I am sleepy.
It’s really too early…
Usually at this time

I am in a dream,

In Paradise

Or in his arms,

Swamped in warm kisses.
I am smiling.
Randomly and often,

An optimistic depression.

Because of him

It is an unconscious blessing. 

I know…trivial

But ultimately mine and beautiful.
I am thinking.

A word has slipped

In the phrases that I write …

I feel

As my eyelids would want to close

From so much weight…

In a deep and dreamy

Sleep,

But the dream is empty.

It is deserted and bizarre.

Stolen by this reality nightmare.
I’m waking up.
I look around scared.

It was just a dream,

Such a waste…

It seems to be such a nightmare waking up.

The emptiness is still here

And the darkness is 

Still pressing my eyelids.

I close them and I see

A face,

That look… The one 

That keeps on saving me.

He smiles at me.
I understand.

It’s fully night outside.

Complete darkness.

I feel it taking over me,

So I’ll just sleep.

Let him shed light in a dream

And save me again…

Have you tried living the Perfectly Imperfect?

img_1029I was thinking the other day how that fact that I have been raised by my parents in the ultimate Disney culture left a strong mark on my personality. Watching fairytales and being inspired by happy endings really shaped my perspective on life. Funny, right? But ultimately true and those who know me can confirm :). So there you go: I believe in people, in breaking the odds, I am more than often too optimistic and of course I believe in happy endings and true love or the idea that two people can find each other and be truly happy together for the rest of their lives. And yes, until some time ago, I also believed in the one true love and the perfect relationship. The last two beliefs were shuttered with age, I must say.

There is one thing that maybe is not as accurate in real life as in fairytales: the fact that there is only one person in the world for us, and unless we find that person, we are doomed to a lonely life of romantic misery. In fact, what I learned through experience is just the opposite. There are actually a lot of people with whom we could experience a passionate love and a deeply fulfilling relationship. When we limit our search to that “perfect” someone, we foster a mentality of perpetual “window shopping” (if you know what I mean 🙂 ). Moreover, we’re very likely to give up too easily on what could be the “perfect” imperfect relationship. It took me a while to understand, but once I did, I was highly relieved and things changed for me: my relationship and the way I felt in general. Seeking perfection is tiring & pressurizing, and it is not at all fulfilling on a longer term. Those of you who are perfectionist know what I mean. It is a sacrifice to seek perfection.

Most of us were fed by fairytales, media, our friends or family that love should come and be easy, otherwise it is not love. II used to believe this, but not anymore. No beautiful or good thing comes easy. Think about it!

Whether, it’s during the first week of dating or the seventh year of relationship or marriage, all relationships will inevitably hit rough patches. These patches often send people running away, rather than staying around to try to work it out. I did this mistake, and most of us, women, do. We like building ideals in our head of the perfect man, perfect relationship, perfect house and so on. But it’s nonsense. I read an article by a psychologist who said “If I could make one change in how Western culture views relationships, I would change the perception that infatuation equals love. Love points out that the initial stages of a relationship often leave the brain flooded with “happy” molecules, a chemical reaction that heightens both emotional and physical attraction. Once these molecules subside, problems surface, leading to conflict and, sometimes, even break-ups.” This does not mean to settle for something that does not work, of course. People may end up realizing they are incompatible after the “love sparkles” go away. And going separate ways is the right and mature thing to do. What I am saying is just that one should deeply look into why he/she is are running away from when issues arise. Some things may be beautifully imperfect even though they are not how we have pictured them initially. You know it’s right to be next to someone, if you have many moments of calmness of mind and soul together. This should give you confidence that you are at least compatible. The rest can be fine-tuned. 

Because all relationships are likely to challenge us, the best relationship advice I can give is to find someone you really like and invest in that relationship. Stop looking for the perfect partner and start focusing on what you need to address within yourself in order to achieve a more ideal romance. A relationship is one of the best ways for developing yourself. There are many unexpected choices that could make you happy, but to make a relationship work means being willing to take the ride with someone and then looking inward. Imperfection may surprise you!

Real relationships are rarely easy, but they also shouldn’t be too hard or hurtful. Instead, they should be looked at as an adventure, so we shouldn’t expect a perfectly smooth ride. Every couple is made up of two independent people with two sovereign minds. This means, at times, the two  may see things differently. Struggles will arise, and when they do, what matters most will be our ability to get through the hard times. We can anticipate and face challenges with a combination of strength and vulnerability. Yet, to start this adventure, we must open our hearts and minds to the another person. It took me while to do so, but once I did things completely changed, for the good. Naturally, some connections are stronger and some choices more ideal than others, but any love can grow when we are willing to explore our own limitations and grow our own capacity for closeness.