A Very Personal Day

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As I’m getting ready to welcome a new day, I have a vision of an untouched stretch of immaculate snowy terrain. All I have to do is gear up, start walking and enjoy whatever lies ahead.

But as I start moving, one of my feet sinks too deep and I lose balance. I fall, face flat, unable to breathe for a while. I compose myself and continue, but it’s not long before the snow starts melting before me and a totally different landscape appears. The ground is filled with large, chunky, rusty scraps of everything. Before long, what I thought would be a perfect day, becomes an obstacle race and I can barely catch my breath to get to the end.

For a moment, I stop and consider whether I should just turn back. After all, it’s all but fair that I should be misled to think it would be easy, that my day would just be a walk in a snowy fairyland. And who left all that crap there anyway? People should just clean up after themselves.

It doesn’t take me long to realise there’s no one else around. That junk that’s getting in my way all the time hasn’t been placed there by someone else. It’s a form of long-forgotten residue that has a particular signature – my own.

Very few things we encounter throughout a day that affect us deeply have to do with those around us. We walk our hero’s journey throughout an ordinary day in a uniquely envisioned space that we create and recreate within the boundaries of our own perception. When we encounter daily obstacles, instead of dreading the mishap, we can ask ourselves what have we to learn from the diversion.

We naturally tend to blame anyone but ourselves for everything that displeases or impacts us in an undesired way. With a small tweak in our perception, we can turn our point of awareness within ourselves, into the incredible inner landscape from which all outside reality is reflected. If we are able to learn how to navigate that personal maze and learn to understand ourselves deeply, our extrinsic environment will have no real power over us and will be much easier to cruise through.

Photo by Abigail Keenan

Small Dreams

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We dream big and we dream small. Big dreams push us forward, alluring, tempting, always out of reach, but surely there – winking, waving, smiling at us.

Small dreams make up our day to day lives. Enjoying that long-awaited conversation with your best friend, your cuddly bed on a dire morning, an unexpected raise, a good book, a breather…

I was a big dream addict and, in all honesty, all my big dreams came true. But there was a cost to pay. The cost was time. Every single big dream of mine took literally years to become a part of my reality. Many times, I talk about “cooking”. It’s still cooking, give it a while.

Looking back, that longing for the big dream was painful. You want it, you can’t have it now and all the wisdom in the world doesn’t lessen the itching wait. This crude longing for what we don’t have yet is a constant that not even age can tame. Yet, time did teach me something about the amount of focus I entertain my big and small dreams with.

Nowadays, with less energy to spread in all directions, I’m being calculative with how much time I spend dreaming big. What takes priority is what I am experiencing right now. The minor things I love come first. Once I’m in the middle of doing something seemingly insignificant, I’m happy. All the rest can wait. Gratitude? Necessity? It’s somewhere along those lines.

If you’re feeling like you’re racing with yourself and with life most of the time, I hope to inspire you to take a breather and observe what small joys you’re experiencing on a day to day basis. Stick with them and see what gifts they bring. Big dreams are always there, but it’s the small ones that can add value and meaning to being alive, awake, joyful.

Photo by David Marcu

Raw Conversations

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Authenticity is a word that is easily thrown around these days. When I first discovered this concept quite a while back, I got very excited and started a quest of finding what it meant to me. Although there’s always more to discover, I’m pretty content with the results of my searches and feel like being myself whenever, wherever is not an issue anymore.

Together with a desire to save appearances, I lost interest in having dry conversations just to fill the quiet space. I gained more room for listening and, even when I wasn’t, I could still hear more than I expected. Beyond every conversation lies a deeper one that talks about existential life issues. Often, there is a big question lurking in the background. It surfaces in different ways in the things we say and how we say them.

It’s sometimes a challenge to attend the spectacle of appearances where we say things without really saying them, draw a lipstick smile to cover up a grimace or speak incessantly and loudly weaving our hands as if to chase away anything too raw. There is a right time for all of us to go deeper and get real with our fears and desires, it’s not about how long it takes. However, being authentic can begin with small steps and what better place to start than casual social contexts.

It’s okay not to smile, it’s okay not to talk all the time, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable. As long as you are real to your moment, to your journey, to your deep fears and secret joys, that will transpire and a whole new type of conversation may arise.

Authenticity is an overused word nowadays. But the strong urge behind it is more necessary than ever. What’s the use of pleasantries when we’re bleeding inside? A happier, truer life awaits not in fixing everything that seems broken, but in accepting and being open about who we are, what hurts us and what we secretly long for.

Photo by Matthew Henry.

 

A Leap of Faith

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Being the artist of your own life implies taking constant leaps of faith. It’s a very personal journey that often those around you won’t be able to grasp. The last thing to do is to seek validation from outside.

I meet people who seem to struggle with how complicated their life has become almost every day. Things took a strange turn one faithful day and the opposite of the expected happened – peace was lost. What seemed like a wonderful, hope-filled decision, turned out to be the beginning of a partially-revealed nightmare.

You thought this was best for you, and although it’s not all bad, you are as far away from happy as can be.

You tried to get some support from those around you but you’re battling on two fields. On one hand, you’re trying to make yourself believe that what goes on in your life right now is somewhat normal and it’s somehow going to get better. You need people to tell you it’s going to get better. On the other hand, you want someone to tell you that you’re right. The situation stinks and the only way out is taking a step in a different direction and starting anew, no matter what complex choices and turns that would imply.

You spend so many hours of your day trying to fix things, fix things, fix things. Mostly in your imagination, talking to yourself, as in real life nothing ever seems to improve. You’ve been stuck in this situation for so long that nothing else seems like an option. You keep going, shouldering a nagging feeling that something’s not right. Every day, without a break.

You already know you’re not the only one. You already know life is tough in worse ways for many out there. You’ve heard those around you complaining about the exact same things and telling you this is it, work with what you’ve got. But you also know this is not you. This sad, fake, complicated situation is just not you. You created it, you pushed for it, you took the wrong decision. You didn’t know any better, but now you do. Now you can see it clearly. What next? What happens next? You have to make a decision supported by firm actions. Most probably it’s something your close ones will disagree with. It’s big and it’s messy. You’ll be alone for a while and there are no guarantees you’ll have any real support.

You know that no matter how long you’ll continue to drag things, this step is the real next step to be taken regardless of all the dances and hops you’ve distracted yourself with along the way.

Will you wait?

Will you do it?

Photo by Edu Lauton

A New Cycle of Life

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I can’t recall the last time I was unhappy.

Recently, I’ve had this odd feeling that life is compartmentalised. I recall my childhood, it feels like aeons ago. There was high school and uni. Working life started, but it felt seamless. What stood out was my complex relationship. Always on my mind, always seeking, never finding. Tagging along and moving abroad, a smooth adventure with many lessons. Culmination – a breakup. Starting over.

Then something changed, permanently. I stopped being unhappy. I looked at my new life from different angles and the result was always the same. I’m good. I’m feeling good. The newness of this state shook me. I started talking about miracles, synchronicities, angels and the likes. Everything was possible if feeling like this was possible.

Now, years later, the sense of wonder remains, yet I also get a new sense of moving on. Everyone is moving on. Ties to the past have blended into what feels like “old life”. They say this year marks the beginning of a new cycle. There’s something in the air and it hints to doingness. A universal voice is calling out, “Do it, do it, do it.” It talks about assuming the role of the artist of your own life, about being creative and putting yourself out there.

Whether we’re in search of happiness or finding ways to share it, this year has summoned us, loud and clear. Can you sense it?

While we’re figuring our way through the maze, I would love to hear about your plans and intentions for this year.

Love,

Diana

Photo by Alice Achterhof

 

Happy in the New Year

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Ian Schneider

 

Beginnings are wonderful, but this start of the year hasn’t been smooth on my side of the world. Nevertheless, I continue down my path with curiosity and a sense of acceptance, worshiping the power of the present moment and the wisdom it has to offer.

Now more than ever, I reflect on the purpose of relationships of all kinds that we weave into our life. None is random and none is senseless. This applies even more to our romantic relationships which take up a significant bulk of where we invest our vital energy.

I stand by a firm belief that happy couples make for happier people and a happier, more peaceful world. I’ve been gifted a unique relationship that has changed my perspective on all the notions that are commonly circulated about romantic love. Gifts are meant to be shared, and although my message may sound uncommon or too good to be true, I will persevere with sharing what I have learnt and strongly believe in.

No matter what stage of your life you find yourself in, there is a potential for you to be fully and completely happy. Happiness to me doesn’t mean always having a smile on your face. I see happiness as a state of feeling safe, loved, grounded and aware. If you’re not quite there yet, and if it’s relationship issues that are somehow in the way, I want to send you a drop of inspiration to remind you that, no matter what your situation is right now, your deepest desires can come true. I equate our desire to be alive with our desire to be loved. True, deep, authentic, synchronous romantic love is possible and waiting for you to be ready to receive it.

There is a person on earth who came here to love you as you know you ought to be loved. You may not be with that person right now and that’s okay. But just know that no one can fill that uniquely compatible person’s shoes. The lack you are feeling in your relationships now is and will be a constant till you meet your resonant partner. 

Fully embrace all lessons life offers in your current circumstance, no matter how painful, and you will ready yourself for enountering that unique love that you were molded after. 

It may not always feel that we are supported, but we journey together and all we need to do when we get lost is stop and reach out. I’m here to offer a listening ear and hopefully inspire you with my personal story any time you need it. I invite you to comment or shoot me an email to share where your journey has led you, what crossroads you have encountered and what your heart calls you to do forth.

With Love,

Diana