March 7 – Be a guest

 

Let`s use our imagination today and remember how it feels to go on a trip and be someone’s guest. That feeling of having a relaxing experience, time well spent with people that we love and anticipation of something new. The influx of energy, the desire to explore, be active and enjoy. The gratitude and appreciation of someone’s hospitality. The feeling of respect to your host and their house. All these positive feelings!

And how about contemplating the idea of being a guest to our body? Of having it as our “guest house” for this lifetime? Wouldn`t that make you feel more respectful to it and to life as a whole?

And what if this “trip” ends tomorrow and today is the last day to enjoy it? How would you spend that day?  What would we do? Whom would we see?

And how about living in this way every day going forward ? Because in the end we never know. Let`s live with no regrets. Today.

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March 6 – Intervene

 

Yesterday I went to a concert and had an interesting experience. Next to me, in the crowd, there were two parents and their teenage son. I noticed that just like me he had scoliosis.

This triggered a wave of memories of my own back problems and the several years of physiotherapy and wearing orthopedic corrective (and quite painful!) measures that I had to go through and that could have been prevented if it had been discovered earlier.

It was clear to me that I had to speak to the parents and make sure they are aware their son`s problem.  Upon thinking about it I felt more and more insecure. What if they would not take me seriously? Or they would get pissed off for invading their personal space? Or perhaps they had been already doing something about it and my comment would be totally unnecessary? And in the end, who needs to have such discussions at a concert? Maybe it would be better to just forget about it..

And then I saw things from a different perspective. What if someone had noticed my back problem at an early stage and informed my parents? How cool would that have been and how many unhappy and painful memories would have been avoided? This realization triggered me to speak to the parents.

It turned out they also had some doubts, but as they hadn`t had any experience with such issues before they couldn`t grasp the severity of the potential consequences. Having heard my story, they got determined to see a doctor as soon as possible.

It made me think about the importance of not only helping others when there are in need, but also mustering the courage to intervene even when you are not asked for help but you still feel the importance of it. Think about how good you would feel if someone would have told you about that unzipped bag from which your wallet got stolen. And isn`t the best way to inspire such behaviors through personal example?

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March 5 – The spirit molecule

Today I watched a fascinating documentary investigating dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a molecule found in all living beings on the planet. DMT is and considered to most potent psychedelic on Earth and the authors of the documentary refer to it as “The spirit molecule”.

The documentary describes Dr. Rick Strassman’s government-sanctioned, human DMT research. The effects of DMT’s effects are considered from two at first sight opposing lenses that in this case actually complement each other – science and spirituality.

I am not planning to reveal the findings presented in the documentary as I would highly recommend you to watch it yourselves.

A very important insight for me was that it implies that we are actually capable of entering a “higher” level of awareness by going” inwards”. Of course this is something that has been widely communicated from the school of spirituality. However, backing it up from a scientific perspective and furthermore showing actual evidence through a scientific research makes it much more tangible, actually imaginable and extremely empowering.

Of course, similarly to other times when I`ve been sharing metaphysical and spiritual insights with you, my advice is to take it with an open mind and always- with a pinch of salt. In the end, we are the ones who choose what to believe in. The key is to have awareness and documentaries like “The spirit molecule” greatly contribute to this.

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March 3 – About perseverance

 

Today we Bulgarians celebrate the anniversary of  our  independence from the Ottoman empire which we were a part of for 500 years (from 1396 to 1898). This happened many many years ago, but the lesson is supremely valid and inspirational- perseverance,  courage and sticking to our own unique values are key in overcoming hard times. Enjoy this great Bulgarian song and always have the courage to stay true to yourselves! 

 

 

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March 2 – Happiness is Harmony

 

For me Gandhi is one of the most inspiring historical figures – starting with the huge impact that he made, going through his amazing approach to conveying his point and inspiring others (through non-violence and leading by example) and ending with his humble personality and desire for constant self improvement. His autobiography “My experiments with truth” is not just a smooth and interesting read, but a compilation of invaluable  lessons.  Gandhi has a number of simple yet incredibly deep and thought provokin thouhts – the one above is one of the two most favorite ones.

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March 1 – Spring is behind the corner ;)

 

On the 1st of March one of the most beautiful Bulgarian traditional holidays is celebrated. Its name is Baba Marta and it signifies the ending of the winter. 

According to the legend, on that day grandmother March (‘Baba Marta’ in Bulgarian) scolds her brothers -January and February and commands them to put an end to the harsh winter times.The legend also says that she is a quite short tempered lady and it’s important to improve her mood, because it determines whether the spring will be good or bad.

On that day, we wear and also gift each a thread in red and white – Martenitsa, with the wish to be healthy and happy. The thread is worn until we see a stork (symbolizing the upcoming spring) and is then put on a blossomed tree so it grows healthy and fruitful. We give each other red and white threads called Martenitsa with the wish to be healthy and happy 🙂 It is a really nice activity to make your own Martenitsas and make good wishes for the recipients while making them.

This tradition is a great example of the uniqueness of the Bulgarian culture and holidays and also brings back happy childhood memories. 

Happy first of March!

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Feb 28 – The Secret Continued

 

“The Secret” tells us that our current reality is the product of earlier thoughts and feelings. We are then shaping our future with our today’s thoughts and feelings. The conclusion is that the more we feel good right now, the higher the chances of usfeeling good in the future.

The book also describes a “framework” for accomplishing our goals:

  • Ask for it- make a wish for something you want to accomplish
  • Believe it will happen- it is important not to be doubtful. Replace doubt with faith
  • Receive- try to imagine a reality where you have already received what you wished for. Visualize it as detailed as possible and most importantly – try to experience the feeling of accomplishing your goal. Practicing this continuously will put you in the frequency that you want and will “attract” ideas and solutions that will help you to make it into a reality.

It may sound like a super easy thing, but visualizing requires practice, effort and persistence. Nevertheless, from my personal experience I can say that it works, so I can only recommend giving it a try.

 And here are a few more practical insights from the book:

  • Try not to dwell on negativity. As you feel you are “taken over” a negative loop, try to reverse it by doing things that you like- taking a walk, talking to a friend, playing your favorite song.
  • Expect good things to happen to you and they will.
  • Never beat yourself up if you fail at something- that will only attract more failure. Instead, affirm positive qualities and outcomes, for example -“I am calm, focused and successful”.
  • Create a vision board where you put images of your goals and spend time looking at them- for instance, your dream house, life in nature, family , etc. This is can be a fun thing to do and it will really energize you to visualize your goals.

So these were the main learnings that I gathered from “The Secret”. Once again, I can`t say that I am the biggest fan of the book for two reasons. First of all, the examples in the book are influenced by the very materialistic “American dream” – a car, a house, money and inevitably come across as simply shallow. Second, I don`t think that wishful thinking can solely make you accomplish your goals. What matters is action.

Nevertheless, the insights into the power of visualization are extremely valuable. Additionally, all the great things that we accomplish in our lives first take place in our minds, and the book sheds light to how this process work. I don`t see it as a solution, but rather as a tool. A valuable tool :).

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Feb 27 – The Secret

 

Today I was revisiting “The Secret” – a book that sort of “boomed” a few years ago and received a lot of commercial attention and that I have read myself and I believe some of its messages helped me a huge deal when I was struggling with a massive health problem with a very gloomy prognosis. 

The book is an interesting mix of spirituality and working with your mind. Something about it that initially turned me off was that the some of its lessons are focused on how to obtain possessions and wealth which in my view partially defeats their purpose. Nevertheless, it conveys important messages which could potentially make a big difference in one`s life that I think are very inspiring.

The main message of the book is that we have the power to manifest what we think and  as a result our thoughts have the power to  “attract” our reality – this is the so called “Power of Attraction”. For instance, if you are scared that something will happen, it is very likely that it will actually happen compared to a situation that you don`t think about it. The opposite is also valid- thoughts of prosperity, health and fortune will attract these to you. Following this logic our current reality is an outcome of our earlier thoughts and beliefs while our current thoughts are shaping our future.  Quite fascinating and empowering, isn`t it?

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Feb 26 – The Art of Life

 

While going through an old issue of the Amsterdam Enjoy magazine I came across the mesmerizing surreal paintings of the Russian artist Boris Indrikov. What further captivated me was a part of his interview that was also on the pages of the magazine:

“My painting process goes like this- first I use a random texture on canvas using a special technology. After this I read the canvas looking for shapes and patterns. These images will be the foundation of the future painting. This is similar to the meditation process. But instead of sitting with my eyes closed in the lotus position, anywhere on a top of a mountain, I am in front of the canvas. I scan the surface of the material for natural changes that occur on the canvas surface and transform them into a harmony of lines. The outcome of this is almost unknown, an adventure that is intriguing and exciting.”

Apart from being a fascinating art-making process I found this to be a great metaphor to getting the best out of life.

  • Life is a canvas that consists of seemingly “random” patterns that a great Artist made for us.
  • These random patterns form the beautiful paintings that are our lives.
  • It is up to us to transform the random patterns into to a harmonious structure, but its exact nature is always unknown.
  • We enable this transformation by exercising the greatest power that we have – the power of Love.
  • The key is not to lose hope even though we can`t imagine the final outcome – it is the adventure and the process that is intriguing.

The beauty of art and life lies in trusting and enjoying the process without being attached to the final outcome. And of course this is one of those things that are easier said than done. That is what makes inspiring reminders such as the paintings of Boris Indrikov so important.

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