March 25 – About loving life

 

I’ve written before about the art of loving and embracing life  that I deeply admire. I recently had another inspirational example of this. It was my 92-year-old neighbor that I met in the elevator and who complimented me on my outfit (the funny coincidence was that I was also super impressed by her classy look). She also invited me for coffee in her house. I couldn’t make it, but promised to go the next day. 

The day after I bought flowers and knocked on the door. She was dressed in a classy black and white dress and was wearing only one shoe. She told me a few months ago she had a stroke as a result of which her left side was very weak so she needed extra stability on the right side. That is why she wore her right shoe in the house as well.

As a result of the stroke she couldn’t do much on her own – not even dress herself, nor cook so she had help in the morning and evening. There was the option to move to a home but she wanted to stay at her own home (which she was happy to pass to her grandson after she is gone).

She told me that she used to work as a model and showed me her collection of Vogue magazines that her daughter in law was buying for her.

She was strong and beautiful, and supremely inspiring in so many ways. First, I was deeply moved by her acceptance of the situation as well as her dignity and gratitude for still being able to live as independently as possible.

And second- her appetite for life despite the fact that her body was failing her was just amazing!  She was a beautiful practical example of our reality in which our impermanent bodies are hosting our potentially forever-young spirits. So strong, so simple and so beautiful!

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March 24 – About making lemonade

 

I recently had a very good learning experience with a close friend who asked me to accompany her to the doctor as she needed to undergo an important and very unpleasant medical test. I really wanted to go and support her, so I took time off my work and made sure i am on time. To my biggest surprise she overslept and couldn’t make it.

 

So there I was, sitting at the hospital reception at 9 A.M. and feeling supremely frustrated. How could she do that to me?  I made such a big effort and what? It all went to vain? 

 

After continuously asking these questions i got two revelations. First, in my discontent i was really focused on myself and not on her. The truth was that my ego was hurt and it was screaming “Me, me, me!”. But the fact was that I did what I did to help her and not to put myself on a pedestal. So in the end there was nothing to be angry about because I made it as per my commitment. Being frustrated suddenly became a pointless and selfish exercise in which I didn’t want to engage any more.

 

And second- I had half a day off, so why wouldn’t I try to make the best out of it. In the end when life gives you lemons the best you can do is to make a lemonade. Eventually I had one of my best walks for this year and after which I was much more refreshed and focused than if I had stayed at the hospital.

 

Each experience that we go through can be seen as positive or negative depending on our perception. It is our choice to keep the bitter lemon, or to make lemonade out of it. That’s the beauty of life and also its biggest challenge.

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March 23 – The artist in us

 

A few days ago I got to know more about the incredible Salvador Dali, his life, eccentrics and artistic genius. His quote above made a big impression on me as I think it describes the essence or art very well. It also illustrates the fact that art can have many shapes and forms, but one sole purpose – to illuminate our lives and inspire us to unleash our creative selves.  And in that sense, we all have the capacity to become artists. Just how wonderful and empowering is that!

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March 22 – About winners

 

I recently visited the Banksy exhibition at the Moco museum in Amsterdam and was greatly inspired by the philosophy and work of this incredible artist whom I hardly knew before my visit.

Today’s inspiration is a quote from Banksy which is something that I deeply believe in and I can stand behind based on my personal experience – winning is about personal mastery and growth that can only be achieved through perseverance despite failings and setbacks. Every failure can be a lesson when there is perseverance, positivity and desire to learn from our mistakes. So let’s dream on and keep on following our dreams without fear. Because our mistakes are nothing more than stepping stones.

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March 20 – Spring celebrations

Today is the first day of the spring! The beautiful, uplifting season which is a never-ending source of inspiration deserves a celebration in the form of a poem 🙂 Happy Spring!

Its like the birthday
of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There’s crimson buds, and white
and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where
they fell,
And sown the earth with
flowers.
—Thomas Hood

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March 18 – The power of silence

Focusing on yourself is an art and a form of a self-care. One of the practical ways to do this is to explore the power of silence.

The conventional ways to perceive silence is as absence of external noise. But in its essence, it is much more than this- it transcends beyond the external to reach our core and to manifest itself into silence of the mind and a feeling of piece.

Spending time in silence is therefore not so much about staying in a noise-free place, but about keeping your mind silent.

Silence allows you to connect to yourself and to hear yourself. Silence also helps you to unleash your creativity and to generate new ideas.

It gives you the space to observe your thoughts, to take distance from them and to change the ones that are taking energy away from you, such as worry, fear and anger.

Spending time in silence is one of the most challenging endeavors- there never seems to be time, it makes us sleepy, and it is something that we need to do alone. Indeed, nobody can do it for us.

The power of practice is in your hands and it is also one of the best investments that we can make. Give it a try!

More about my experience with a ten-day silent meditation called Vipassana – here.

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March 17 – Be your own role model

 

In 2014 Matthew Mcconaughey received an Oscar for his role in the “Dallas buyers’ club”.  Upon receiving his award, he delivers one of the most inspiring speeches of all times which main message is to be your own model and strive to become a better version of yourself. Watch, enjoy and stay inspired! 

 

 

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