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

The Story of Building Bridges

The Story of Building Bridges – February Essay

Everyone at some point in their lives feels disconnected. Isolated and even lonely without trying. And this solitude – not the creative one, or the one from which we build something, but the debilitating one, has only one known cure.
Meaningful connections.
Question: how?
Answer: Building bridges. If sometimes burning bridges to hurtful connections and bad places could be the answer, other times, building them is the only answer.
There’s a current movement now about finding your tribe and running with it, and I am very fond of the idea. A fit tribe will allow you to grow, heal, create and will accept your need for solitude when necessary, without even trying to understand it. Because we do not need to understand the other in order to accept him/her. Because of love. That pure and genuine love, in all its splendour.
Love one another. So simple, yet so confusing, so hard, so badly understood.
Love one another. 
-John 13:34
But hear me out. This concept of love that generates acceptance and opens the heart towards the goodness in others is what this world is built upon. Free and unaltered love.
Once we open up and start building bridges to connect with our tribe, we’ll feel our hearts starting to fill with love.
Finding our people should not be hard, and yet, most of the times it is a daunting task. A real challenge. However, once we’re opening up we’ll be attracting people with the right kind of vibe and sooner or later we’ll be finding our tribe. That I can promise you, and I do not make promises lightly.
But why this need for connection? People are not made to be alone. Okay, not all of us are made for big groups of people, socializing can be harder than self-imposed solitude. But a well-tailored group, of people with the same vibe, can bring a plus in our lives, a bigger plus than the solitude could ever bring.
In this -let’s call it – tribe, each person has something to offer, something so unique there is none other in the whole world able to even come close, something that would do an amazing job filling out some empty holes in our lives. Each member of the tribe has some lessons to teach, some ideas to spread and a beautiful story to tell. We can learn from every person in our life, that is true… Some are there to teach us hard lessons, heartbreak, sorrow and pain. And then there are those, those precious people ready to teach us about compassion, genuineness, love, growth, faith, surviving, hope, magic, truth, acceptance and little, but important things.
These people will open our eyes to see beyond the veil of the mundane world. With them, we will understand what this world is meant for, what our own paths are and our reasons for living are.
It can start with small things, like a conversation in the attic, tucked away in the Grund of Luxembourg, watching snow covering the houses and churches around us. It can start with a text sent with something inspirational following up an old conversation. It can start in tears and end in laughter, or the other way around. But at the end of it, when we’re all alone with our thoughts, we feel we grew a little. We feel a tiny speck of faith and hope born deep in our souls. A tiny seed growing in our minds.
And after a while, we’ll feel the need to follow that tiny speck of change or to crush it back into non-existence. Resist the urge to silence your conscience! That is a life lesson I have learned the hard way. Our conscience is so in touch with the wonders of this world so in tune with the vibration of energy surrounding us, part of the universal and one true truth, that we should never gag it. Instead, we should listen closely and follow it.
It will eventually lead to the need for meaningful connections. For people with whom we can talk without feeling judged, with whom we can share without feeling unheard. For people who will share their story dead on, without fear, guilt or worry, as they have been there, and, more important, they have passed it.
And then we’ll feel the urge to be better. To do better. To grow and to be happy with our lives.
Last month I wrote about Time. Finding the time, managing it and growing. And I mentioned choosing a word for 2019 and building around it. Have you done that? You so should!
My word for this year is Rebirth. There are many of us out there with the same need. Desire. Intention. And that without even knowing one another. What is even more fascinating is talking to your friends and finding out they somehow chose the same word as you.
Here’s the food for thought for this month.
  1. Allow yourself time to listen to your conscience. Listen hard. Listen without blocking your thoughts. Listen without judging your thoughts.
  2. Open yourself up. Let the light in. Let the good vibes in and breathe deeply. Allow yourself to have good thoughts and good vibes.
  3. Look around. See if there are people out there doing the same. Opening themselves. You’ll see them, you’ll know them.
  4. Reach out. I know it is hard. I know it may lead to another hard lesson. I know it may lead to heartbreak and sorrow. Do it anyway.
  5. Bask in that newly found connection. Test it. Talk about it. See how deep it can go.
  6. Repeat step 4 and 5 until you have a whole tribe vibing the same way.
  7. Bring the people together for tea and discussions. Something sweet will work wonders.
  8. Find discussions, activities, things you can do together and draw up a plan. Not detailed, leave room for that conscience to take the lead.
  9. Enjoy the results coming out of it.
I confirm this post has 1000 word, as WordPress knows how to count, of my own making.
Sending love,
Roxana