April 30, 2010


On my way home from the gym I suddenly discovered that I've been daydreaming all my life. I remember denying this fact in the past, rationalizing that I wasn't fantasizing per se. But I think the definition is not that limited. Daydreaming is more like being somewhere else in my head, without fully being where I am at the moment or paying attention to details. It's like my body is here but my mind isn't.
Of course when I'm required to focus, I very well can. But when not engaged in particular tasks, I'm drifting away, nowhere in particular, leaving my body to move by itself.
Maybe that's one of the reasons why I haven't enjoyed life to the fullest. How could I if I haven't even been here? Everything around me has been passing by and the only things retained in my memory were perceptions, feelings, and emotions. Colors, shapes, sizes, places, people... gone.
Maybe it was my psyche's natural way of escape and rest. Regardless, if I want to enhance my life, I need to come back where my body is, paying attention to the life now, see the beauty and wonder right here. It's almost like an awakening that brings so much energy and joy.

April 28, 2010

Breaking To Pieces

Too much laundry to do this morning and I didn't know how to get it all at once into the washer. Something came up over and over and the laundry still wasn't loaded. Being annoyed by the amount of clothes, I unconsciously procrastinated. Eventually I figured that I didn't have to put all the clothes in at once. With three trips the thing would be done. Of course, I didn't want to make extra movements but it was the best option.
The situation made me think about my procrastination in certain life moments. I feel overwhelmed and while pulling my guts together to make a huge leap, I end up not leaping at all. Alternatively, I could break the plan down into small pieces and start completing it. After a while, the project would be half-done, then quarter-done and then done. Yes, it'd require extra movements but if we want to complete anything in life, we need to come to terms with it. The easy way is not always the best way. In fact, we learn that the small steps are much easier to make than a big jump. Much more things would be done in this world and much more contentment would happen.

April 27, 2010

Fatal Water

Have you ever thought about water in the following way?
We know that water is the essence of life. The planet is mostly water. Water sustains life. No water, no life. Our bodies are composed from water for the most part.
Yet, I am fascinated to observe how plants die from excess water. And if a human drinks too much of it, kidneys can fail.
That makes me reflect on moderation. Everything in moderation cliche actually makes sense. What gives life can take it away...
Life turns out to be a striving for that middle, while we're wobbling from side to side. While we're striving for balance, we learn in the process. Oh, how fun is that?

Time Release

When the song came on, I purposefully didn't turn it off this time. I wanted to see where I stood emotionally. So much time had elapsed and I wondered if there was any change, any progress, any improvement.
As the song played, all the memories came back and thus all the emotions. Tears covered my face once again.
But something was different. Even though I was immersed in the Old again, I was just immersed in it temporarily. I wasn't entirely there anymore because Time did fade some of it away. My Self was here, in the Now. I have a meaning and depth in my current life. I'm growing, learning and enjoying myself.
Ultimately, it's not about the past or that it still makes you cry. It's about the fact that the Present is as or more meaningful, deep and enjoyable as the Past. That's progress.

April 26, 2010

Thunder and Lighning

Last night I was laying in bed, looking at my room in flashing lightning. The rain started to bang against the window. Lightning, thunder, banging rain outside. But I was inside, in my small room, in my small bed, with the roof over my head and a blanket to keep me warm. I would probably not even notice it hadn't I not imagined myself with no roof, no bed, sitting outside in the rain after midnight. A surge of gratitude enveloped me. Suddenly I felt so happy having what I had and being where I was, even though at other times I would have been discontent.
To become a little happier, we just need to learn to notice small things that surround, sustain and support us on daily basis. Nothing has any value until we assign it one and that depends on the perspective we take after a comparison.
I made a choice to compare myself being either outside, wet, under a thundering sky, or my small bed and a warm blankie, as opposed to being either in my small room and a small bed or a spacious room, king size bed, and a place where the skies didn't crack.
I fell asleep with a smile on my face even though the outside was frightening. Contentment made me feel a bit safer. And happier.

April 25, 2010

Ups and Downs

The more I reflect on life, the more I see the pattern of opposites in its flow. Dark times follow bright times and then back to dark. Then back to bright. The neutral periods are just the transitions from one to the other.
But that's not the problem. The problem is getting stuck. Unfortunately, most often we get stuck in the dark periods, not able to get out. We clench to them so hard, believing that it'll never end or if it will, it won't be too soon. That perpetuates us sitting in the dark dump for longer than it could otherwise be.
If we make effort to notice that the ups are always following the downs, if we make effort to focus on that, it might give us some relief. Knowing that all things pass gives us hope. After a while, we learn to focus on the brighter part that is soon to come. How soon, it depends on us.
Even though internally I'm in total confusion and mess, and even though I've been there for longer than I would have liked, I refuse to believe and feel like it will never change because I know it will. Life doesn't stand in one place. I choose to keep in mind the picture I want to appear in my life scenario after the dark period is over so that I could enjoy it to the fullest.

April 15, 2010

Dare to Dream

Too many of us often aim lower because our logic or common sense tell us it's unrealistic or even impossible. We go about our lives, trying to convince ourselves that in actuality we don't even want something of that magnitude and that we could very well do without it.
I learned another simple thing recently - whom am I benefiting with such thinking? Whom am I harming? Nobody. And myself.
I'm not doing anyone a favor by thinking that something is unrealistic and by wanting less. Life doesn't need such a favor. Nor do other people. My disbelief doesn't make the world a better place. The last person to benefit from this would be me. How does that look?
Who cares if something is realistic or not? Even the notion of realistic is man-made. It's based on probability, which depends on a certain person. Why can't I just want something big without having this annoying voice on the background, bringing me down? It doesn't make any sense. So I'm revising my desires and dreams, listing them in detail, and then, while I strive forward in life - I dream and I dream. It makes me feel good when I research and imagine something that I want - be it a degree, a skill, a certain type of job, a house, an appearance, anything. It's not as much about it coming true or not, as it's about letting my imagination go and enjoying myself.
It's known that if one is capable of imagining something, they are capable of getting it. And the reason why we don't is because we don't believe in it and/or don't truly want it.

April 14, 2010

Fake Smiles

Fake things are annoying. I do not like fake. But how about fake smiles?
Coming to this country, fake smiles at every corner made me feel awkward. It took me a while to get used to. Six years later I visited my home and stopped by in Russia as well. There I worked for a while and soon I noticed how the gloomy environment started to take toll on me. After a brief analysis, I figured out the culprit: No smiles on people's faces. None whatsoever.
Yes, the people were authentic. If they felt blah, it showed on their faces.
Then I asked myself - what's better, to carry a fake smile or an authentic frown?
Psychologically, even a fake smile produces good-feeling hormones. So does looking at a smile. It doesn't negate the underlying pretense; however, visual cues have also a profound effect on human perception. The more we smile, the more we get used to it and the more natural it becomes.
I concluded that if I had to choose only between an authentic frown or a fake smile, I'd choose a fake smile.

April 12, 2010

Self-Made Bread

My step-father's beautiful and delicious creation. How many of us enjoy a self-made bread that's free from hormones, pesticides, and preservatives? And it's still warm! Yumm :-) I'm going to snatch a piece from its side right now...

The Ultimate Goal

I've been chasing after life's guarantees for so long. Never have I gotten close to that illusion. Only in my mind have I had an image of it, which had no essence to it. I knew that life was volatile, liquid, flowing, but my obssessed mind kept my nature in its tight and paralyzing grip, pushing me to bring it something that didn't exist.
Until I had enough.
The obssession turned into a physical hurt when my body started to let me know I was broken. What broke me was my perception of life, which created beliefs, behaviors, and expectations that rarely worked. I was basically poisoning myself, slowly.
Life has many great things to offer but singling out something particular and taking it out of the context leads to a fall. Obsessively wanting money and being blind to everything else in life leads to a fall. Obsessively wanting a career and the top spot and being blind to everything else in life leads to a fall. Yes, by the law of attraction in the Universe, we will get what we focus on. But unless other areas of life have also been attended to, we'll feel hollow. Something will always be missing and that will never make us feel good.
So what's the answer? What can we strive for that would not leave us feeling hollow? Something that will always make us feel good? The same answer that's been around for centuries. Thousands of years.
Life finally made me come to my knees and say: I give up trying to control every single aspect of my life; I give up trying to prove that I can make it all by myself; I give up chasing things that make me partially content. I can't waste my precious life anymore.
So, Joy. To strive for joy is to strive for everything good that we need and want. Joy opens up the channels to the Bigger and More Expansive. It clears the path between us and the Universe. Thus, according to my logic, since Universe provides us with everything, we invite whatever we want into our lives more efficiently.
When we achieve the state of Joy, things that are the most pertinent for our experience will start knocking on our doors. Our soul knows what it wants and it will attract that, uncontaminated by fears and negativity. Money will come because the Universe cannot abandon us when we're open. The right career path will come the same way. And everything else will come.
It all sounds great to me but I know that it'll take much effort to reach my goal. However, I'd rather have that goal, no matter how difficult it is, because it'll give much more profound results, as opposed to chasing something that takes as much energy (or even more) but will disappoint me in the end.

Small Things for a Happier Day

I'm going to come up with some random things right now to enhance my living experience today:
  1. It's a beautiful day today and when I go outside for 5 minutes and inhale, my lungs are happy and I have a smile on my face.
  2. Today I have more energy than yesterday and I'm happy about that.
  3. I will exercise today and just a thought of that makes me content.
  4. A bottle of water sits right next to me and I'm really happy that the Earth has still some pure water left. No water, no life. Yey to water!
  5. I'm glad I have my cell phone so I can keep in touch with those who I want to keep in touch with. And those who I randomly text, just to say hi.
  6. A book on the desk has information that I don't yet possess. I'm excited to read it to learn new things.
  7. Nothing hurts in my body. It did yesterday and the day before, but not today. Ahhh, nice.
  8. Even though many loved ones have either died or left, I still have loved ones now and they keep coming. Support, care, love, and generosity are vital to any human being.
  9. Mom has a dog and I scratch and pat it whenever I feel like it - touch is a stress reliever.
  10. I vacuumed the carpet in my room today and I feel much better about my life!
It took me less than 10 minutes to examine things my eyes spotted. The list is endless but right now it's enough for me to have a better day! Love to all.

Click here to Cherish Your Day!


It looks like water is a separate entity, once it acquires a certain shape.

Dog After Eating

This is my mom's dog who looks like this after consuming food. Priceless.

Wonderful Creations

These are my mom's gorgeous creations. She grows them in her backyard. Once they were nothing and then, tadaa!! Look! Isn't it just amazing?

April 11, 2010

Fire from Within

What would be the worst thing in human experiene? I can come up with several and add 6 billion other responses. But a thought of boredom struck my mind.
No, I'm not bored. I'm never bored. I don't know what boredom is because even when I don't do anything, my mind is always occupied.
But boredom is associated with lack of drive and that is my current focus. When you don't know what it is to not want anything at all, you won't understand how empty and hollow it feels. It's like you're dying. Slowly. The fire that you once had is withering away until it turns to white ashes, finishing their last glow.
I figure how important it is to have a drive. Any drive. Something that pushes you to live. It can be a drive to paint a picture or walk the dog, or read a book. But it's even better when you have a more expansive drive, pertaining to your purpose in life. You feel alive when you want to accomplish something.
Many don't realize the blessing of having that desire to do or be something. They are too consumed with the concerns about the process or complications or any other things. How many of you have sat down and recognized the fact that you actually want something? How many have been grateful just to have that burning sensation, the fire from within?
If you don't have it, seek it. Ask for it. It will be one of the most important things you've ever pursued.


After the Polish president plane crash yesterday, I reviewed my entire perception of flying, planes, and accidents. Not for the worse, but for the better.
Seeing so many people freak out about plane crashes didn't make sense to me in my heart, although in my head it did. "Another plane crash. See? It's so unsafe to fly!" is how it typically goes.
No, I couldn't just take it like that. Maybe my own inner fears pushed me to research objective information. I went online and read articles from various sources. There were many things I found out that definitely calmed me down. If I have a 1 to 9+ million chance to be involved in a plane crash and 1 to 56 million chance to be killed in the crash, then it doesn't make sense for me to fear every single take off and landing.
Or does it?
What are statistics anyway? How are they connected to life? A sentence in an article was a reason for me to pose this question. It said a simple thing: A person might fly for the first time ever and crash; someone else can fly their entire life and be perfectly fine.
Where do statistics fit in human life then? Clearly they do, but how?
My current thought process tells me this: Statistics is a separate entity that is by itself, still connected to the world because that's what they are counting, the worldly occurrences. However, the extent of a role that statistics play in human life depends on metaphysical factors, such as person's beliefs, faith, personal karma (if you believe in it), collective karma, person's current focus (thoughts on positive or negative), and more. Therefore, statistics are actually very subjective, since they are directly connected to a particular person.
Conclusion: I decide my own role of statistics in my life. I choose to play them to my advantage.

Find out more about how to survive a plane crash

April 10, 2010

Taking Risks

"If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down." -- Ray Bradbury

I saw this quote and at first, I concurred. Then, thoughts invaded my mind about taking chances. A question of balance emerged at the forefront. I understand the point of the quote but if I zoom it in, I wonder if we really "have got to jump off cliffs all the time." Taking risks is a great way to build a life of growth, learning, and strong emotions. But, is it about taking risks just because they are provided, or should we be more selective and use intellect to figure out what makes more sense?
There are many more questions I can raise but I will say only one more thing: There's a reason why humans were given the voice of the heart and the voice of the intellect. To neglect any of them would be unwise. Whichever speaks louder, should be the one followed.

Lily of the Valley - Convallaria Majalis

I've never grown a plant. Gardening? Yawwwwn...
But I got one in a pot and now I'm taking care of it. It's my favorite flower - Lily of the Valley.
At first the soil had four or five white, uncertain looking shoots. I've never seen Lily of the Valley like that. It didn't look like a flower. In fact, it didn't look like anything at all.
I read the directions and followed them by placing the pot in a bright light, dry place, and then watered the soil. Nothing happened for couple of days. Then, I noticed a green leaf offshooting right into the sky. Oh my god, it was a leaf I recognized! Lily of the Valley has long and wide leafs, surrounding the flowers on the stem. A smile widened on my face. I was so happy that I was cultivating a beautiful life in a pot.
The directions said it'd take 5 weeks to see the plant in its whole beauty and I can't wait. I'm taking pictures every 4 days to note the progress.
When something emerges, grows, and changes so fast, it's witnessing a miracle. I'm dazed.

Find out more about Lily of the Valley

April 9, 2010

Letting Go of the Result

For too long I've been concerning myself with the end result of whatever I was set out to do. That created so much pressure, that I lost the sense of joy in the process. There was no process because my mind dwelled blindly on the end.
I knew about the value of Now. In my head. But not in my heart. When it reached my heart, I confirmed that life was a volatile journey, not some place we reached in the end. So if we don't learn to enjoy the process, we won't enjoy life.
It's important to know where we want to go, to keep an eye on the prize, so to speak. But life happens now, not later. Learning to live now presumes learning how to let go of the mortal grip on the result. At first, it seems to be almost mutually exclusive. How can you let go of the end, if the end is what you're striving for?
I guess the only way is to change the perspective and understand that the process isn't less important or valuable than the result. Or to understand that the process is all we have, just like we have only today, not yesterday or tomorrow.
It isn't my business to make everything happen the way I want to. It is my business to do whatever I can to get there. However it turns out, life will decide. Once again, a humble reminder: Life is wise; it gives us the most appropriate things at the most appropriate times. Incorporating that in our minds gives us a huge sense of relief.

A Recurrent Word Might Matter

My question is: How do you know, if what you say to the other, has any effect on them? How do you know that it even matters?
Regardless how much you try, it seems like you're talking to a wall because nothing changes. The same issues arise and the same reactions are given. Then you talk to them again, hoping that maybe this time they will hear. Doesn't seem like it. Again.
Year after year it continues and eventually you're thinking of giving up. But there's no way for you to know what other person is thinking or feeling about what you've been saying over the years. Maybe a word or two got deposited, consciously or unconsciously, somewhere.
At some point, their guard may fall down, and you see that so many things you've said have been considered and thought about. But you also realize that the reason for you not seeing it was because of other's fear and pain. It's hard to see yourself flawed. It's hard to recognize that you've been hurting others, including the dearest ones.
All you can do is to express yourself to others. It's none of your concern how it'll be utilized and whether it will be at all. At some point, a word or many recurrent conversations may take a person from one level to the next.

April 8, 2010

Escape Into the Simpler

Recently, my behavior has raised a question for me: Where is my interest in Fantasy coming from? I've never read any Fantasy books nor have I ever been interested in doing so.
Then came Harry Potter. Later came Funke's Inheart and Inkspell (no money for Indeath yet). Now it's Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson stories. What's even more peculiar is the fact that all those books are placed in Kids section in bookstores.
After years of Wayne Dyer, Chopra, Gregg Braden, Miguel de Ruiz, Esther & Jerry Hicks, and other writers who talk about the fabric of existence, expanding the perception of life, I plunge into kids stories. Is that the way my brain is asking to chill and rest? Or to entertain itself? Or to escape...
I figured that in every area of life, our beings need balance. Too much thinking and analyzing, reflecting and pondering, needs to be balanced with something of different quality. It might be silence. Or reading kids books.
I'm amused to see myself addicted to monster fighting stories. Not everything has to be so serious.

Rick Riordan's fun way to get away

April 6, 2010

The Velocity of Emotion

I was annoyed. Then irritated. Then angry. Then furious. All in a matter of 15 seconds. I couldn't help myself because I let my button to be pressed.
It was something about accidentally deleting contacts from an email contacts list. I was interrupted in the middle of a phone conversation to help out with that. The screen clearly said "You have no deleted contacts." The button above said "Contacts" where a normal person would click and find contacts, and the "You have no deleted contacts" doesn't mean that all your contacts have been erased.
I asked my mother to tell me what the screen said. She said "So?" I asked her again, what does the screen say. "I know." Can you please tell me what the screen says? "I'm not a stupid puppet to answer this." My point was to have her read the screen and understand that the answer was right there. She never tries to understand what's written in front of her face, no attempts to explore and figure out.
I left the computer, telling her I was upset because she never answered any questions straightforwardly. Never. She has "So?" "I understand," "I already know," "What's your point?" and such replies in her arsenal. No respect for my request to get the answer. Forget it. How can you ask for respect if you don't give it? I kept speaking but she wouldn't listen. She didn't care to hear me. All that mattered was her being right and getting her point across.
I went to bed with such fury that the tears couldn't restrain themselves. I was ready to blow up an entire house. Destroy everything that my eyes touched.
After a minute or two, I reminded myself that staying in such rage actually harmed me. Just recently I spoke about positive thinking and awareness of our negative, irrational thinking. I wondered if it was possible to make myself feel better and how long it would take.
Her opinion has nothing to do with my life. Her being whatever she was has nothing to do with my life. My reactions to her stupidity is my own fabrication. I'm allowing her to affect my life the way she does. In essence, it doesn't even matter. The fact that she's the most important person in my life doesn't mean that I should merge my soul with hers and let all of her go through me.
I noticed that trying to step aside and observe my rage did calm me down a bit. But just a bit. Emotions have their own velocity. With clear mind we can affect that velocity but we can't cancel it. Time is a prerequisite.
If I didn't take effort, I would contribute much more negativity and toxicity into the atmosphere and my own body. But it takes time to deliberately lead emotions where you want them to go.

April 4, 2010

Odd Windows of Opportunity

I am a white girl, brought up in a secluded white culture, focused on Classical music education, playing my violin, talking about life and philosophy and growth, knowing nothing about sports, never coming in touch with drugs or violence or whatever else that's out there. To an extent, here's a limited me, that I've taken up to expand in all possible directions.
Then there's boxing. What do I know about boxing? Why would I want to know anything about boxing? Boxing plays no part in my life, like a Pluto that's not even a planet anymore.
I was taken to watch boxing last night. At first, my face was flat. Sure, I said, why the heck not? I can watch a boxing match. Who cares about me always avoiding seeing or engaging in any physical altercations? Who cares about the most irrelevant situation I was placed into? And who cares that the match started at 9pm when I was actually very tired?
It took me a moment to reframe the situation. Okay, I said to myself. If I'm already here, I might as well use it to my advantage. Let me just see what it's about and learn about something I never knew or saw. It's my choice to utilize this opportunity or reject it, just like I've done many times before.
Later, guess what? The match lasted for 3.5 hours and even though I was exhausted by the end, I never lost the thread of attention that bound me to the screen. I laughed and cringed and expressed my discontent, depending on what I saw. My mind never stayed at surface level. Does it ever? I saw more than the screen showed.
Did I expect to gather what I gathered when the match was over? No. I used an odd window of opportunity to learn and it envigorated me.
Repeated conclusion: Every situation has a world in it and even when it might look strange, it's often worth to plunge into. 

April 2, 2010

Knowledge is Control

Learning to uncover the reasons for our feelings always pays off. When we're angry, understanding the source of that anger will help us to stay clearer in thoughts and behaviors. It will dissolve the confusion in our heads that would otherwise make us even angrier.
It's not about the trigger situation, such as someone yelling at us, us losing something valuable, or whatever else. It's about the reasons for reacting to triggers the way we do. Why am I angry about a random person yelling at me? Or why am I angry that I lost my something?
Once we have our possible or definite versions, it almost makes our reactions comical. It's as if we're watching ourselves from the distance. And maybe the situation ceases to feel as serious as it was. We're observers now, not the only participants. That's how we regain a part of control that we almost lost.

April 1, 2010

Lost in a Disney World

In continuation to the previous post, I realized that most of us are actually lost in the Disney World. We were given maps upon birth but after a while we've lost them. Some maps are still in our hands but they are so faded that we can't see the directions anymore. Or, it might be, that we have a map but simply can't read or understand it. Regardless, we're lost.
We keep walking around, either following other people and their trajectory, or doing things that look engaging to us. But most of those things are either not that exciting or not what we like at all.
Some of us ask for help how to get to a certain place. We go, but then there's a chance to get lost again because we're surrounded by too many things. Time goes by and we still haven't gotten where we wanted to go. Or maybe we have and we take the same ride, over and over and over, until we're about to puke. Should we get off the ride or ride on? We don't know where to go next, we have no map, so maybe we should stay on the ride, even if it makes us puke...
In the end, many don't even know where they want to go. They might have a map but nothing looks too exciting. They try one ride after another and it seems sort of okay. Until maybe, hopefully, they see something on the map or the road that catches their attention: That's exactly what they were instinctively looking for!

Life, Like a Disney World

The other day, when I was contemplating about life again (!), an image popped in my head - an analogy of life. Like Disney World.
In Orlando, Florida, Disney has four major parks and two water parks. The vastness of the territory is indescribable. So is the activity selection in each park. It is massive. Each park has so much to do and to see that it's impossible to enjoy everything in one day, comprehensively. It's not even possible to run through all the stuff. And there are three more parks, plus water parks.
Life works basically the same way: We came here and were given only one day to enjoy the ride. We were also given general maps to orient ourselves, where to go and what to see. Then it's up to us to choose where we want to go. If we want cultural education and more chill atmosphere, we go to Epcot. If we want a fairy tale world with lots of characters, we go to Magic Kingdom. If we love water and want different rides, we go to Blizzard Beach.
We crave to experience all the parks and everything in them, but we know that we can't in one life time. So we look at the map, select the hot spots according to our personal liking, and embark on a journey.

Get lost in the Disney World

Bird Chirp

It's a gorgeous day outside! I woke up almost when intended and went outside for a walk. No one was around but me, telling myself the life scenario I intended to create.
Suddenly, my ears went sharp and heard bird chirping all around me. One bird was sitting on top of a tall street light, screaming away. I stopped, covered my face from a blaring sun, and watched the bird's beak open and close, open and close. That one bird had so many versions of a song! All different. I was fascinated. It looked like a monologue with the nature. So cute!
Other birds were doing the same in the distance. I realized how rarely I noticed their voices and how valuable they actually were. The chirping in the air made life more alive and colorful. Can you imagine the outside world, completely silent?
I stood by the pole for a while, with a silly smile on my face :-)


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