Posts tagged ‘introspection’

2016, February 5

The power of small steps

Last January, during my year of following the 52/52 e-guide‘s assignments every week, I wrote a Life List. Even though I started out with the list looking more like a to-do list in the beginning, I quickly switched to dream-mode and thought of the things I’d really really want to do in this lifetime.

Now, my boyfriend is very realistic. He doesn’t like to make plans too far ahead, if at all. And it sometimes drives me nuts because I believe that the things that we focus on are the things that will surround us.
If we only focus on today, then weekend plans might fail because we’re not making an effort to think about them and make time for some things. Or if we only focus on having bills to pay and not having enough money, then that will be our reality. And we won’t be able to shift that reality until we start looking beyond our present, and start believing that things will get better. (I am quite bad at this one, after years of being in debt!) Then, we need to decide what it is we want, and take small steps toward those things.
For this reason, the other day I wrote a list of things we need to fix in the apartment, or stuff we need to buy. I’m hoping that being on a list will keep them more in focus as opposed to just in the back of our mind and never getting around to even think of them.

There are quite a few things on the Life List that I still need to start taking steps toward. Like turning my year of photo challenges into an e-book – I still need to sit down and work on it. Little by little, even if it doesn’t have to be done in one day, I ended up avoiding this item. Not sure why. But I fully intend to finally sit down and start assembling the e-book.

However, as I read it the other day, I realized that I actually achieved several things off my Life List. Also, I achieved quite a few things off the My purpose for money list that I wrote four years ago, when I had a total of four jobs at the same time by the end of 2012. It’s interesting to me how many similar items there are on both lists.
I traveled more in Romania and saw places I’ve never been to, alone and with loved ones. I re-visited places I loved (both in my country and across the border), and wrote a few travel articles. I visited friends from Great Britain and tried a lot of new kinds of food while traveling. I made a couple of my home-decor ideas reality decorating our small apartment, learned a bit how to drive, and saw the fireworks in Budapest, Hungary this New Year.

My most important item on the Life List and also on the My purpose for money list was by far to “Earn a living being a full-time writer/Turn writing into a priority and a steady income”. And you know what? I made that come true!

With a lot of support from my boyfriend, and learning more, I am now a technical author and love love love it! I recall writing a letter to myself talking about this when I was only applying for the job. It leaves me creative enough to write on my blog, too, and is still about writing, and editing and re-writing, etc. which I love doing as a full-time job. It gives me the chance to sometimes take the afternoon for reading, research and learning even more about the field.
It also gave me the opportunity to travel to London. Twice.
It pays better than any job I ever had before and now I can actually set money aside for travel and vacationing even if it takes a couple of months to save up. But I am finally out of debt.

Sure Life still gets in the way of things many times, but it doesn’t bother me quite as much as before. Because I am doing something I love and it made everything else much easier. I am definitely happier and more enthusiastic.

So if you ever stop and think about something you’d like to do as it being “unattainable”, please don’t. Try to break it down to small, achievable steps. Take one small step after the other, and it will all work itself out.

2015, September 15

Find the gold

The assignment for last week in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly was to Find the Gold. To take the time. Try to find the gold in everyone we met. Or met up with.
This is something that comes naturally to me. I usually try to find something good even in the people I don’t click with right away.

Last week, in an effort to get to know two people better, I decided to ask them out one evening after work. I figured this would tie in so well with my week of finding gold, because we don’t get along too well.
We’ve had our differences in the past, but given we will eventually go out together with a larger group of friends, I wanted to see if we could go past our differences. To see if we could go past simple, polite chit-chat. We all get to choose if we make the first move when it comes to connection or if we’re going to be a further part of misunderstandings. We have control over whether or not we’re going to reach out.
So, I reached out even though they’ve never tried to. If there was gold in there, I was intent on finding it!

I think that one always have the right to express their opinion and discuss an issue further. But only if it serves a purpose and helps one move forward. Meeting up with these people did help me move forward.

However, Thursday evening came and went without much changing in our relationship. We won’t get past talking only about the weather and other small talk. I am doing my best to understand that some people are not meant for complex conversations, or contemplating the meaning of our existences, or helpful in nursing wounds back to health.
To be honest, I half-expected this, so I am not too surprised. On the other hand though, I went into the whole thing with such a positive attitude (after freaking out for half a day, because let’s face it, I was indeed worried, too!), that I was even more disappointed when we said good night. More disappointed than I felt before trying this.
Their attitude and actions were beyond anything I expected, and the whole encounter just exhausted me. I still feel depleted. And, I don’t even think I was too coherent when my boyfriend asked me about it. I couldn’t find to right words to express myself properly when trying to tell him about my evening.

So why am I even telling you about this? Because finding the gold is hard!
It takes much more than one evening, it definitely needs for unnecessary attitude and past poo not to get into the way of things, and you know what? Sometimes… that gold is simply nowhere to be found no matter how hard you mine for it!

The assignment for Week 37 is to Stretch Every Day. 
To stretch bodily, mentally, spiritually… every way you can. As j said in the 52-52 guide, “The goal for this week is to reach, always, for what lies just beyond your grasp, whether it’s your toes…”
I am stretching my back even as I type this, so let’s see how this week goes… beyond stretching my body.

How was your week? Did you find gold in the people you met, or met up with? Was it hard to be conscious of finding the gold, or you didn’t have to remind yourself often?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

2015, September 9

Add More Love to the World

The assignment in the year of loving ourselves fearlessly this past week was to Add More Love to the World. It was from Alex Franzen’s blog, Unicorns for Socialism, and covered seven specific ways to add more love to the world.
Here’s what mine looked like:

1. Commit to one snark-free week
Well, I definitely had some issues with this one and needed to rewind quite a few times the way I thought, or when my mouth talked before my mind completely caught up with it. By the end of the week though, I managed to catch my words before they got away from me, and was all the happier for it.
2. Be actively appreciative
The place I buy sandwiches from when I don’t bring lunch with me has the nicest staff! So last week, I left an extra tip, and I offered to buy a different sandwich because they were down to the last few and a lady who was really undecided wanted the same as I.
3. Assume only excellence – until proven otherwise
This one comes naturally to me; I tend to assume the best and then usually end up being disappointed. In the field I am working in now however, people are truly good at their jobs and do want to help me when ever I have questions.
4. Mine for gold – in everyone
Again, this is something that comes naturally to me. I usually try to find something good even in the people I don’t click with right away. Even though the clicking thing doesn’t prove my first instincts to be wrong. But that’s another story. (This point ties in perfectly with the assignment for this week, so read more below.)
5. Say grace
I didn’t say grace. I’m not as religious as I was brought up to be. However, I did take moments of silence to be grateful for a wonderful morning, great company, time spent with loved ones, yummy food and so on.
6. Be shattered
Luckily, I was all good last week, no need for being shattered. I understand the validity of this suggestion though, because I have real issues with expressing my feelings and I do tend to bottle everything up. I must remember to give others the opportunity to cradle me.
7. Don’t delay
I’ll quote Alex on this one, and add that I believe this to be so true, especially because we tend to put ourselves last. That needs to stop. We should start doing it all at once, and both will be easier to manage.
“And adding Love to the world doesn’t start once you’ve cared for yourself ‘enough’. It starts at the same time — and it is the same thing.”

The assignment for Week 36 is to Find the Gold. What j said about this week’s assignment in the 52-52 Guide, is from the time she was fortunate to participate in a production of “The Vagina Monologues.” She was the theater group’s gopher-photographer-blogger.
“A young woman with a story that broke my heart said what saved her was realizing that everyone has gold inside them. “Everyone,” she said, “has something inside them that will astonish and touch you. You just have to take the time to find it.”
I believe that’s true, so this week, take the time. Try to find the gold in everyone you meet.”

Since Friday last week, I kept thinking how to get to know two certain people better. To see if we could get along more than just exchanging pleasantries when we’re in a larger group of friends.
So, I asked them yesterday and decided on an outing just the three of us (tomorrow evening). I figure this way even if we’ll remain at the surface level of niceties after our outing, at least I’ll know I tried; which is something they certainly didn’t even think of.
Maybe that last one should tell me something. Or maybe I’m reading too much into their actions, or lack thereof. Hope it works out though. I like it better when there’s at least one thing I like about/have in common with people.

How was your week? Did you add more love to the world? Was it hard to be conscious of what you say and do in order to cover all seven of the above? Or did you find it easier than you originally thought?

PS: If you’re interested in joining us, you don’t have to have the e-guide to play, but if you’d like it, you can buy it in the shop.

2014, March 3

Just offer people a glimpse into your soul and hope that they can see and feel what you see and feel

For today, a quote from one of Cristian Mihai’s blog posts which really got me thinking. It got me thinking, and then striving to follow the message within the line I’ve used here in my blog post as my title.

 

“Don’t you feel sometimes that certain human experiences can’t really be expressed? Certain depths of the soul can’t be put into words, no matter how much we try? Yes, it feels at times that words are simply bleeding out of our hearts, and, yes, we do come close to revealing the essence of the human spirit, yet we fail. Time and time again.

Time and time again we come close to finding the answer to all of life’s profound questions, and yet… the answer finds its way to our ears as a soft whisper, only to dissipate into meaninglessness right before we capture it.

We want to say more than we can, more than we are capable of saying. Words are our greatest achievement. Language has made all our dreams possible. Without the ability to express certain emotions in the way that we do, without the ability to pass them on, to instruct future generations, to leave something behind, we would have never achieved such technological breakthroughs.

Yet, sometimes, words fail to express what our heart so desperately wants to say. We feel in such a way; the fire that burns bright inside our chests is threatening to shatter the world. We are powerful, yet we feel weak, because we want to be able to contain what we are feeling within punctuation marks. We want to string a few sentences together and define who we are and what we want.

But what if we just let it go? What if we simply chose to accept this as a fact? Just offer people a glimpse into your soul and hope that they can see and feel what you see and feel? Why wouldn’t that be enough? We are all similar in nature. We all express universal truths and longings.

That’s it, actually. Art, all of it. That’s the meaning of life. We are alike, you and I. We share dreams and ideals, and we love with the same passion, and we feel just as lonely on cold nights.

Words make us feel less alone, and let us know there is someone out there who’s just like us. Who thinks and acts and feels like us. There’s great comfort in that, in knowing that you are not unique.”

2013, November 4

Capturing an image of “joy”

This past week has been a handful as I tried to properly balance work, writing a few letters, chores, more work and playing with friends.

Small things have given me the desired feelings of joy, but I haven’t particularly thought about this until catching up with my blog reading.

Danielle LaPorte prompted me to take a minute and look through my phone camera pics more attentively. I have quite a few shots of joy. Here’s the one that stands out most.

Walks (and nature, and colors, and details, and…) :)

walks

 

What does joy look like for You?

 

*Blog post inspired by this question from Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map for Life column.

2013, October 28

My relationship to destruction

True explicitness comes along sparingly in my blog posts.

After reading a friend’s blog, her thought on everything in her life being there for a reason, otherwise she’d be smart and destroy it (which she found not true), got me thinking. There are some things I could/need to destroy in order to stop feeling stuck.

And how do I feel about destroying what must be destroyed in my life? Quite comfortable with them, actually, or I’d be facing some changes I’m not convinced I’m ready for.

  • Some physical clutter around me
  • Impatience
  • Being upset for small things, usually out of my control
  • My ability to procrastinate
  • The fear of asking for what I want

 

Mirror street

It’s interesting how life works sometimes.

Without realizing it to be said action, I’ve recently destroyed one of my major issues when, biting back my fear asked if I could go back to my old job, in a new location. The boss was surprisingly nice when I brought it up and let me know she was thinking of bringing another person to the shop I asked about. Perfect timing.

The whole shift needs some time to adapt, but being closer to the work place, the much better schedule, the small shop and its not being in a mall, liking what I do and the welcoming colleagues – are all making it a pleasant experience and easy enough transition!

Plus, I get to say “I work on Mirror Street”. What an awesome sentence to use! ;)

 

What is your relationship to destruction? How do you guys feel about destroying what must be destroyed in your life?

 

*Blog post inspired by my dear friend Trisha’s list, whose blog post was in turn was inspired by Danielle LaPorte and her post on Your relationship to destruction, Goddess Kali, and Fridays with desire.

2013, August 5

Thoughts from places –Weekend getaway

My thoughts from places, while on a weekend getaway in July.

 

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Most of the time it’s hard to find my way, hard to find the “right” way. I know the path I need to take, but most steps are made on the sides. I try to find good trails, but even when I am on them, I seem to forget how to walk. However, I believe that even the smallest attempts are “seen”, felt, and there, I find signs to guide me. I haven’t asked, not consciously, I do not make demands in clear and precise words. But they are there in my mind and in my heart, and the Universe sometimes listens and points towards a new path.

~~~

I am content. Happy with what was, with all the good in that. A dramatic final farewell isn’t necessary here.

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Many things are like riding a bike. You never forget the “how to.”

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I hope everyone knows how important they are in contributing to the "all things are exactly as they should be" concept, on this very day.

Because without you, they wouldn’t be.

~~~

Thank you for the advice, and answer to my unasked question.

~~~

I’ve been thinking, and the one conclusion of my meditation is actually two. The first is that ignorance is bliss and second that the truth always hurts. I never tried to make my blog a place of just balloons and cake and smiles, it’s often where I throw my baggage. If it’s good or not, I have no idea. Should I apologize in advance if I might upset someone? Only write about topics that concern me only myself? Should I not write about anything else but happy things? Hide the truth because it is difficult to face? What to do? In the end I think that it is not mandatory for anyone to read my writing. They have a choice. We all do.

~~~

Details are irrelevant. But paying attention to signs, all you have to do is to be open and you will see them. People can heal; and a touch, a smile, a pat on the back can produce such a powerful exchange of energy and direction and force that an indestructible bond can be formed.

~~~

trees

It is possible  to travel to a city and dislike it the minute you step off the bus. But only if you give it a second chance and discover even at least one thing you love about it, can your trip turn around and you’ll experience it as something magical.

~~~

On days like today, how could I not smile with my whole being? How could I not be convinced that the message coming from all different sides, is the same one? And why, why do I still find it extremely difficult to do what should I do? Why can’t I turn away from the bad, why can’t I ignore, forget, forgive? Why bother with the ugly and not look around to see miracles? During this whirlwind of madness and malice and gossip and anger and selfishness, a secret that escaped from under cloches today brought me happiness and peace. To know that from a hundred people one appreciates me for me is enough. I take one step, then another, and slowly figure out the path.

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