12 Essays 2019, Bits of wisdom, Inspirational, Journal of a dreamer, Shorts, writing

The Story of Change

The Story of Change – September Essay

I could not think of a theme for this month, even if I circled about a half a dozen. Mornings, Autumn, Self-acceptance, Emotions, Awareness and a few others seemed to be the one at the moment, but I could not commit to any. And since I did not want to plan 12 themes, allowing my creativity room for meandering, some months were a real struggle.
But there is this freedom of choice and of writing out of the plan, the exact opposite of writing the novel, so I welcome the struggle and the inspiration of the moment, I accept it and I love it.
It is the main change from my daily writing work, and despite it all, it is a good change. And since this month somehow the winning theme is change itself, let us dwell on it for a while. More exactly for 1000 words.
Last month we (a Creative Writing Workshop Alumni) published a short stories anthology and, to be honest, I was expecting a somewhat emotion on seeing it online, available for purchase, especially the “I am a published author” part.
That was a change I did not experience, even if I wrote two short stories (one of which you can read for free in my Short stories page: An Oxford Story). Perhaps I wanted to see a change in my life, in my writing, in my life or anything, let’s say, tangible.
Anyhow, feeling the change or not, things are not the same. Now vulnerability kicked in and I am more prone to keep my writing to myself. Quite counter-productive, I would say, but – on the self-acceptance topic mentioned earlier – I take it.
Another change that I can actually feel, is the beginning of autumn, and I am thrilled. We’re one season away from Christmas bliss and I so ready for it. I write this now with the window still open, a soft violin is playing somewhere outside, but there’s a crisp in the mornings and in the evening that makes my heart flutter and invite the change in.
I have survived summer this year and I am grateful. My writing is going well and I am grateful. My everything is uncharacteristically fine and I am grateful.
But things have changed. Friends have come and friends have gone, even really good-old friends, relationships have evolved or devolved, and even my own self has changed to some extent in the past few months of 2019.
When I have started 2019, I felt it in my soul that it will be a Phoenix year, and talking to my friends, there was some sort of mutual feeling of an upcoming change. It is rather weird to take a step back and watch things evolve (or devolve), starting with your own personality. There are traits that have grown, others that have diminished to the brink of extinction. The planet is changing, people feel more aware and more awake, the struggle for fighting for the greater good has felt rawer and more powerful. People of all ages are coming together to make their voices boom over the static of daily life, some are kids, some are elders who transform their land in a bee sanctuary, some are refusing plastic in all its shapes and some started composted piles, to try to reinvigorate a parched and torn piece of land. We have planted this spring more bee-friendly flowers and used little to none toxic pesticides, and – even if the crops have suffered –  somehow seeing again bees and butterflies made it all good. I believe this change was imminent. People were to wake up at one point or another, I just pray we woke up in time.
We have hope. And they do say that hope begins in the dark, and if we, as humankind aren’t at the moment in the darkest of the darks, then I may be a more pessimistic person than I have thought.

 

“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
― Anne Lamott
Change is a powerful force. There is a strength there that does not lie in stone. It is found in the fluidity of water and wind, allowing things to shift accordingly.
When growing organically, life changes are not going to shock or block or give anxiety. Growing organically and strategically, we can take life to the next level without the perils of anguish and torment.
But what is to be done to the change thrown upon you, the change that you did not control, or plan, or think, or, worse… wish for. Like when you’re losing a friend. Or a loved one. Or your own self, your health and your desire to move further? What’s then to be done, when you’re forced to face the change as it is, without the possibility to reverse it?
One strategy is to relinquish control and relish in it. Just go with it. See where it will take you. What challenges it possesses and what direction will it take. The other might be to step out of the game and just take a breather to recenter yourself and make some adjustments. Okay, this second one is not always available. The last one is to fight with all you have against it and be it leaving you exhausted and frustrated, you’d know you’ve done everything in your power to stop it. Not so sure how will that help, as you will have to still live with that change.
The wise said that, by living your life the way you should, without expectations, just freely, you will feel no change but growth and you will welcome it every single time.
I believe there is truth in that, as well as in every other saying. I am just not that wise to say I experience change without a pang in my heart. Perhaps someday. I look forward to that, at this moment.
Love,
Roxana
This post has in full 1000 words, as I have promised in January, all mine, without quotes, P.S. included, though, as by how WordPress knows to count.
12 Essays 2019, Bits of wisdom, Inspirational, Journal of a dreamer, Shorts, writing

The Story of The Simple Life

The Story of The Simple Life – August Essay

If you would please imagine this:
You wake up with the sound of birds and a gust of fresh air coming from the open window, at the first light. You’re tangled up in the blanket and the house is quiet. Getting out of bed, you wrap in the blanket as in a cape, and tip-toe to the window to take in the day. The sun is rising above the rims of the mountains and the entire valley is under a thick layer of mist.
The trees are coloured, and the river rushes through them to the valley, happy to be part of the green lake.
The air is crisp and your breath forms little puffs, making you smile and crave a hot cup of coffee. With that thought in mind, you get down to the kitchen and start brewing the coffee, blanket-cape still on your shoulders. As the floors are cold, you find yourself the pair of torn but comfy slippers from last Christmas.
As the coffee drips and the eggs boil, you put the bread slices in the toaster and push the button down.
A scratch at the door tells you the cat arrived and a loud thud that also the dog is there. Before an argument can start, you let the cat in and scratch the dog’s ears promising her a treat. Now you have a soft and furry tail wrapped around your leg and the meowing gets louder.
You feed the cat, give the treat to the dog, and then you sit down to have your breakfast.
You feel something is missing so you end up in the garden, cat and dog on your tail, blanket cape well wrapping on your body. You pick up some zinnias, some dahlias and some tiny chrysanthemums until you have a colourful bouquet. As you come back to the kitchen, you find a nice glass and put the flowers in, and set them in the middle of the table. Now you can enjoy your breakfast. Coffee is hot and smells delicious, the bread is crispy as you spread butter on it, and the eggs are just the way you like them.
As you take the first sip of coffee you smile. Life is perfect the way it is. Simple things are important and memories are made of these small moments suspended in time when you’re well aware of the world around you and the world inside you.
It doesn’t take much to make your heart content.
You pen down your thoughts in the torn notebook you carry with you all day long and, by the end of it; you have there a page of emotions and little things, some flowers, a cat’s paw imprint, some coffee stains and even some dirt and seeds. Each day differs from the other, and each day is like the other when it comes to living a simple, meaningful life.
Also by the end of the day, your hands are dirty and your clothes are wrinkled, and there’s even a spider web in your hair. But the flowers are cleaned, the pumpkins’ patch is cleared and there’s also some apple pie in the making in the oven. The smell of caramelised apples and cinnamon is heavy in the air, and the entire house smells like autumn.
Tomorrow is another day. The trees will need pruning, some shopping is in order as the family and friends will gather around your table for a feast.
They say that life starts again in autumn as if during summer all is set to stop, to not move, grow or change. And to some extent it is understandable. When it is too hot, one stops.
But then, life moves again with the first rain cloud or the first gust of chilled wind.
Every year you take your time in saying good-bye to summer.
And you welcome the change. The nights get chiller and the mornings crisper; the wind does not blow with the same fiery air, and you finally breathe evenly. Coloured leaves pop here and there and autumn’s flowers fill your gardens. Clouds loom above our heads and the dry patch is over.
People wake from their summer daze and start changing their dusted lives. School starts, vacations end, big life changes happen, people move near and far, they begin new paths and explore different roads.
All living their lives in simplicity and utter amazement. Season after season, enjoying the little things, the quiet mornings, the busy days and the relaxing evenings.
There is a joy that only this simple life can attain it. The joy of making bread, and of picking up or buying colourful flowers from the farmers’ market, the joy of trying your hands at that apple pie recipe you enjoyed so much at Aunt Mia’s house when you were a kid. Or experimenting with flower seeds. Mixing and matching textures and colours, heights and angles to create the garden of your dreams, where you’ll await the first bloom in spring, have picnics in summer, pick up apples later on and decorate the Christmas tree. As the year passes by, so do you. In the rhythm of nature, an ancient tale known to man, and deeply ingrained into everyone’s soul. And you grow to be happier and more relaxed, freer and more creative with every season that passes by.
Now tell me, friend, doesn’t your soul yearn for this simplicity? Doesn’t your heart flutter at the thought of breathing freely and living in touch with nature?
I know I am. I know many of my friends are. And our gatherings around a table prove just that.
As you grow older and get more in touch with yourself, you’ll find simple things to be what your heart needs. And that a simple life is beautiful and worth living.
This post has in full 1000 words as per how WordPress knows to count and as I have promised in January.
Love,
Roxana
12 Essays 2019, Bits of wisdom, Journal of a dreamer, Shorts, writing

The Story of Nature

The Story of Nature- June Essay

If you’ve ever been to a big city, you saw those manicured row of trees, lanes millimetric planned, not a leaf out of line, those curated gardens where every plant has its place and does not overlap, those 24/7 blooming plants, so there would be no time for a respiro. You saw the people tending to them, plucking out the weeds and cutting each and every leaf daring to crawl above the fence, or between its grates. Everything is fenced in, everything is off limits and no, you cannot sit on the grass, you cannot pick up flowers, you cannot and will not in any way dare to open the garden gates, for fear that you will disturb the tamed nature contained behind them.
We have lived like that for decades, not sitting on the grass, not daring to touch the flowers or pick up the sour fruits, keeping to the paved paths and sitting on the benches, while our eyes glanced yearning at the green pasture and colourful and scented buds.
Nature was tamed. And fenced. And so were we. So were our souls. So were our lives. On the “right” paths, the cemented ones, not able to roam freely.
These days the parks are welcoming you with invitations. You may sit on the grass. First time I saw that sign I laughed and cried in the same breath. It was a decade or so ago. In a park from where we were called down by a guardian and scolded for a quarter of an hour for we dared to sit on the grass and touch its green spikes.
That was a while ago. No there is a trend to open the gardens, to encourage people to be in touch with nature and to feel their souls again.
We’re sick of “no touching” signs, we’re sick of fences and barriers, we’re sick of looking from a safe distance and yearning.
As humans, we were born free and wild and we were then trained not to be free and wild, but hang around with “no touching” signs around our necks, we were trained to become distant and lonely, to look but not touch.
Nature is to be in contact with, to be touched, to be felt. Roses to be smelled and grass to be stepped on with bare feet and trees to be climbed on and rivers to be bathed in.
And yet we’re not. We’re looking at all of this and still maintain our distance. That’s why we’ve gotten so tired and overwhelmed in the steel and brick and mortar and cement cities. Nature is being held hostage behind walls and fences and we cannot charge from it. We cannot charge our souls. We’ve been running on empty for so long we forgot what it’s like to be whole. To feel whole.
This is a petition to free nature again. Our own nature. Human nature.
So, child, please sit on the grass. Please make yourself a flower crown. Please leave away the noise made by man and step into the forest. Please breathe in the fresh air of the mountains. Please bathe your body in the ocean’s water. Please forget a little about your struggles and come watch the birds learning to fly. Please come back to yourself, you’re not made of brick and mortar, of steel and rods, of glass and plastic.
Rivers, untamed rivers flow within your skin and stars shine behind your eyes. There are galaxies in your soul and flowers grow from your fingertips. Salty waters run from your eyes and stars shine behind your eyelids. Your laughter booms and echoes with the thunder and there’s magic flowing in your veins.
Run back to your roots. And find yourself again. If you’re nowhere to be found, or there’s nothing that you like, then make yourself from scratch. This time take your time and only add what makes your whole being happy.
Come rest your weary bones on fertile soil and wet your chapped lips into a stream of icebergs.
Lay your body on top of mossy fields and cover yourself with a blanket of stars. Lay your body on sandy covered beaches and cover yourself with a blanket of salty waters.
Get down on your knees and give thanks for the scented jasmine and prickly roses, for the salty seas and icy rivers, for the eternal snow laying on top of the highest mountains and for the fruits of the earth. Let your fingertips touch the blades of grass and breathe in the cool air of the summer morning. Walk barefoot on the autumn’s fallen leaves and cool your hands in the freshly fallen snow.
Allow your heart to be open and your mind to wander. Set yourself free and resist the sheltered life.
Close your eyes, my child. For you are safe tonight. You’re where you belong.

You are home.

How do you feel? How does your soul feel inside? Does your heart beat faster? Does your blood run freely? Is your mind less troubled? How is your breath? Is it deeper? Lighter? More powerful? Does the weight on your soul feel lifted?

How do you feel, now that you’re home and you’re whole?

P.S. This post does not in any way encourage trespassing, destroying, ruining protected parks, plants; and in any way disturb the natural order of things! This post encourages to help protect special areas and support the work of rangers, by being in touch with our own nature and lending a helpful hand in teaching others to be free without in any way disturb other’s freedom. Your freedom ends where the other’s begins.

 

P.P.S. This Essay has 1000 words in full, as per WordPress count, as promised in January. It took me a while to write it, even if I started it mid June. I guess it is hard sometimes to be as free and wild as your soul craves to be. Doesn’t it?
Much love,
Roxana
12 Essays 2019, Bits of wisdom, Inspirational, Journal of a dreamer, Shorts, Wisdom, writing

The Story of Vulnerability

The Story of Vulnerability – May Essay

Well, now things get serious. We talked about Time, Communities, Travelling and Inspiration. All in the light of being creative and living that creative and authentic life that most of us strive for. Have been struggling with this month’s theme, as I looked at the list of topics I wanted to talk about for a while, feeling like none of them would suffice. Or be good enough. Because, oh, yes… I was feeling vulnerable.

Don’t we all?

Anyhow, here I am, end of the month, a fresh-brewed mug of tea with mint from the garden and linden from some friends’ garden, windows open, listening to the outside noise, happy it is all nature sounds, even in the midst of a bustling city.  Evening, just ended the workday and am ready to relax, but not too relaxed as this essay is getting on my nerves, because if there is something I am good at is not showing any signs of vulnerability. It is always kept in check, packed under millions of other layers, ignored and frowned upon as we all do.
Since the beginning of this month, I have been part of a lovely project on Instagram (a wonderful project that I totally encourage you to try) organized/inspired by Juliane from @onebouquetperday. Juliane started it in 2013, so it has been going on for a while, but just this year I have found it. When I began, I thought it would do me a lot of good to go in the garden early in the morning and pick some flowers, as everything was in bloom and looked amazing, and to capture that moment of peace in a single photo. I also thought it would last for a week. Little did I know. I am going (strong) in my fourth week now, and totally loving it. It just adds that little something that was missing from my morning strolls at sunrise in the Garden of Eden, as I call this little sacred space we tend to.
How is this tied with the vulnerability you ask. Well, since you ask… Every project you do with other people makes you put yourself “out there”. You know, in the real world. And everything you create or do or think or say in such environment leaves you open for criticism, ironies, bullying, comparison, and all the other things that made you – an introvert- NOT put yourself out there.
Therefore, I encourage you to try to find a small project, anything that may bring you out of your shell, and damned be the fear that will try to silence you. Dare to be vulnerable. Show your heart to the world. Do not hide your gifts.
I still say it as a whisper that I am a writer. And still, try to disguise it and explain it and justify it by adding- well, I try… well, I’d like to think I am... and so on.
But allowing myself to be open to criticism and showing my soul to strangers has brought me more joy and happiness than bad vibes.
So, do it. Be vulnerable. Be authentic, tell people about your thoughts and wishes, about your ideas and allow your creative part to be free. Unleash that vibrant energy that fills your lungs and raises your spirit high to go “out there”. And accept your vulnerability. Care for it. Talk about it. Understand it. But do not let it control your life and do not live your life out of fear of what would people say or think. That is their problem, not yours. Yours is to be true to yourself, no matter what.
Go to group therapy. Talk about your soul and your fears. Play and allow yourself to be present. Tell people about your creative side. And about your desires and thoughts and feelings, especially.
Or write stories for your friends. Taking Neil Gaiman’s writing course in the past month (oh boy, what a treat!!) I have started to really enjoy writing short stories. So much that I decided to write 10 stories this year for 10 of my friends based on one photo of theirs from either Instagram, or blog or another social platform of their choice. Mind you, most of my friends have a gift for photography and I would like to thank deviantArt for meeting most of them back then. Oh, the glorious days of dev. I miss them sometimes. Now, back to writing and being vulnerable. I have already written two, started the third which will be posted really soon. You can read them in the Short Stories page of this website. They are different as the people I write for are different. They have a piece of soul from me, from them, and some mystical inspiration that was captured in that photo.  Here’s yet another way of being vulnerable- telling your friends- Hey, I wrote a story about this picture of yours. Or even worse- hey, I think about writing a story about this picture of yours– worse because then you have informed them and they will have expectations. (yes, hard to live with that, I know. hahaha)
Try to be more present and do more “out there” for the people to see, allow yourself to be vulnerable and step by step you’ll learn how to do it, how to trust people and how to believe in yourself. There is this book that I’ve been reading for a while now, “Hardwiring Happiness” by Rick Hanson about experience-dependent-neuroplasticity (try to say that three times fast) which discusses retraining your brain to think and act positively by changing its wiring in response to experience, repeated stimuli, environmental cues, and learning. And how to learn from good and positive experiences. I believe that is an experiment worth doing with yourself. Learning how to see more good than bad and how to give more impact to good experiences.
Don’t you?
This month’s post is also delivered in 1000 words in full, as promised.
Roxana
12 Essays 2019, Bits of wisdom, Inspirational, Journal of a dreamer, Shorts, Wisdom, writing

The Story of Inspiration

The Story of Inspiration – April Essay

It only takes a moment. Or a lifetime. To get inspired is what we all crave and to find meaning is what we’re all struggling with. Inspiration hits when we least expect it and it may hit hard without consideration. It may come when cleaning the house and we find ourselves in a pile of clothes searching for NASA pictures to print for the new office. Or when driving far away on an orange code for storms and we end up in a coffee shop surrounded by drenched strangers sharing a cinnamon bottle. Or when we’re reading. Oh, I love that one. Reading is the best way to get inspired. We just witnessed someone else’s inspiration. And then there are times when one has to write 1000 words essays, and gets to 122 and is just stuck. Uninspired.
The advice I have received and follow (or try to) is that inspiration comes when we’re actually doing the work. Then inspiration will come. One way or the other. The magical thing is that we cannot plan it, change it, store it or manoeuvre it as we wish.
People are a constant source of inspiration. People-watching is a well-known activity for creatives. We just spend hours watching people, on the streets, in coffee-houses, buses, in museums, wherever and whenever possible. Not in a creepy way, but in a way that will inspire Art. People equal Art. The purest form of art is humankind. One would argue that nature is, but hear me out. Humanity in itself is magical. We live and breathe and create and destroy, love and struggle with the same passion. And this passion is the fuel for inspiration.
There is something extraordinary in the way people live their lives, and there are stories everywhere we look. As long as we keep our eyes open and soul open, it is impossible not to get inspired.
But, hey, let’s assume we’re stuck, uninspired and we know not where to look. What do we do when we’re in the middle of a project and there’s nowhere to go anymore? I have listened to Neil Gaiman’s inspiring words on writer’s block. And he talks about two steps. One is to take a breather. And the second one is to retrace our steps and, by doing that, we will find where the story went off course.
Long walks help. This is my go-to breather. Regardless of where my steps may take me, different city, different country, a park, a library, a bookstore, a church, a forest, a coffee house, the simple act of getting out of my head is, most of the times, enough to get me back to the writing table. Not necessarily cured, but willing to try again. And to tell the story.
The weeks I spend most inside are the weeks where I feel most uninspired. Stuck. Truly empty. And so I grab my coat, my shoes, and my bag and get out. Some days I have to force myself to get out. Some days it works, some others it doesn’t. Some days are harder than others. And we all know them. The days when we’re too drained to even move from the bed, desk, sofa. The days when the gloom is clouding all our thoughts and slithering deep in our bones, leaving us fatigued, breathless, and weary. I do not use lightly the word “depressed”, as it is too close to home, but we all know this kind of days.  When we’re unable to move. And then sleep helps. A long shower helps. A decent cup of green tea helps. A good old book helps. A conversation with a friend helps. Journaling helps. Music helps. Gardening helps. Ironing, dusting, cleaning the house, rearranging the shelves, the sock drawer, repotting some plants, lighting a candle. It all helps. Action beats inaction at any time. Action is the only answer. Even, or perhaps, especially when it is so damn hard.
Another place I find myself wandering when things get tough is a museum. I can go alone, not talk to anyone, marvel at the art, get inspired, drink a good cup of coffee, buy some flowers and some fresh bread and some fruits for home afterwards. They’re usually not crowded (do not think at the Mona Lisa room now), extremely airy and with great lighting, very well curated and truly truly inspiring. Best part of it, we can take your time with ourselves. With art and with our thoughts. All in one room. Boom, inspiration comes!
One of my dreams is to write a road-trip book. Adventures, friendship, love, heartbreak, discoveries, coffee shops, and the long road in front of you. Have been gathering material for some time now, took some epic road-trips in the past and day-dreaming about a longer one across America, from one National Park to another, with a bunch of good old friends, just wandering the world and seeing the majestic beauties of the giant sequoias, the Joshua trees, the Grand Canyon, Glacier Bay, Yosemite, Zion… even the names sound fabulous. There’s so much beauty in this world and there’s so much to explore, and to see to get inspired, that even keeping a Pinterest board with these wonders will do the work for the moment. And then, there’s Japan. Calling me louder and louder. And Iceland. And the Hymalaians. And Africa and India, and Peru and Brazil… There’s no place in this world where I wouldn’t want to go. Last month I wrote an Essay on Travelling.
This month’s essay is a mess. Ideas came at me all at once and none, in particular, stayed long enough to actually develop it. That only proves the above idea that inspiration hits in mysterious ways. Chaotic ways and we should grab it while we can. When I started these essays, I promised myself they will be raw, no rewriting. Just thoughts on paper on some topics I care deeply about.
This is the result.
Roxana
12 Essays 2019, Shorts

The Story of Time

The Story of Time -January Essay

Time is a weird concept. It can be measured in seconds, minutes, moments, memories, breaths, feelings, laughter, words, songs and books. The best spent time, however, is that one we do not measure. We do not feel passing.
Time well spent is the one that turns into memories.
Remember that time when…I wish I could turn back the time… Time waits for no man…
But it does exist. As in nature’s course, there is time for different activities. There is a time for everything.
To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
It is important to recognize where we are in every moment while we are alive. And respect it. Perhaps for some is a time of growing or of planting, maybe sowing, for others is a time for dancing, laughing or perhaps breaking down. We must acknowledge that time and honour it.
We must not await time out.
Some of us have been waiting for something all our lives. For a sign, a certain day, a certain season, or even for a certain mood. For something exterior to validate and motivate our internal wishes and desires. Oh, how much time have we wasted waiting for the weekend. Or for money, love, inspiration, summer, a better life, a better exchange rate.
And how frustrated we’ve become with every second waiting and waiting and seeing nothing changes.
Nothing will change, however, with that mindset. Because time is our own commodity of our own making.
Pondering now on how January is almost at the ending and New Year’s Resolutions and wishful thinking started already to dull their light, and we find ourselves again at our old antics, again on the run, again restless, at war with ourselves. Or even worse, stuck, uninspired, unmoved, cold and lifeless. Feeling unworthy of goodness. Undeserving. Fake. Impostors. Not good enough. Simply not enough.
There is a reason for that. And it is simple. The time for resolutions, wishes upon a star, on the New Year’s fireworks, on a birthday cake, on a dandelion, on a shooting star (and so on) is over. All gone!
Some very wise men once said- The time is gone, the song is over. (check it out here). To paraphrase them I would say that the time is gone, the waiting is over!
That time is over.
It is done!
We’ve dreamt it. We’ve wished for it. We’ve longed for it. We’ve even prayed for it and manifested it. That is great, but enough.
Now it is the time to do it.
Good, but…how?
We should start with what we can. Changing that mind frame. Working on an idea, or a seed of an idea. With the first step- be it a word, a flower, a 5 minutes meditation, a 76-form Tai Chi routine, a sequence of Sun Salutation, 10 minutes walk, an apple, a healthy dinner, ironing 1 shirt, 6 cycles of deep breathing, calling 1 person, 10 min hike, writing 2 emails, texting back, throw away just 1 piece of junk, recycle 2 papers, plant a tree, say no to one plastic straw or even just by saying Hi to someone we’ve been meaning to get in touch with again.
Without pressure, without expectations, without analyzing (or overanalyzing- hey, I’m feeling your pain, my friend!), without beating yourself up, without guilt.
Start our first month of this blessed year with a word. Chosen wisely. And enwrap ourselves in it. Build around it, plant around it, dance around it. You get my point.
How can we make the most of this year by reporting all our actions around a word? By calling it a call to action. A hope. A dream. A wish…
Picking our theme for the year and then working towards that goal. With small steps, with big leaps of faith, with both.
As long as at the end of the year we will have something to “quantify” and measure our growth, we’re on the right path.

Food for thought and soul:

  1. Do you feel restless (go to the thesaurus and pick any of the following: antsy, agitated, anxious, fidgety, UNPEACEFUL) or perhaps, au contraire… you are just stuck, uninspired, humdrum, indifferent, desolate, dulled, LIFELESS? Do you want to change that? Then pick your dream word. It can be a word, a phrase, a saying, a chapter, an entire book series if you want. Write it down. (disregard this step if it is an entire fantasy trilogy concerning hobbits or a seven book series with muggles in it)
  2. Do you want more, something else, something different, anything at all? Even if it means to shake yourself a bit. (*the correct answer is YES!) Can you link it somehow to your dream word?
  3. Thinking about what you want to achieve (you know what it is), what would be the first step?
  4. Why aren’t you doing it? (*list your fears, worst-case-scenarios, insufficiencies, motivations or lack of them)
  5. What would it take to convince you to do it? (*insert any type of bribe here- I suggest you think big! I mean, you’re only trying to convince yourself. So you have to be smart and creative and use all the arsenal you have. You know yourselves so it will be easy. I know bribing only goes this far, it is sometimes frowned upon, even considered the bane of our own existence, but- hey, I said no guilt, haven’t I?)
  6. Breathe. Deep, for at least 6 cycles. Repeat if necessary.
  7. Ignoring, or in spite of step # 3, take step #2+ step #4 and START.
  8. Keep going. Until you’re done. Or moved. Or calmer. Or happier. Then, on to the next step. It may (or may not) get easier with every step.
  9. Optional -tell your friends about it. You can start with me. Afterall we’re a part of a small tribe, right? We’re building here a small village fit for a tribe of awesomeness.
Sending my love out there to you, darlings.
Until next time, let’s keep in touch!
Roxana
Post Scriptum: For those counting words, I confirm my essay has now 1000 words as WordPress knows to count.