New Year’s Eve

christmas-tree-544960_1280Last day of 2014… As I ‘m siting at my desk many memories come to my mind. It’s a day with mixed feelings. On one hand I am happy that a new year comes and I feel grateful for all the experiences I had during 2014. On the other hand, I have a feeling of attachment to what I lived in 2014. For me, New Year’s Eve feels like the borderline between the past and the future, and while future and every new beginning is always intriguing, the past has already left its marks in your life.

In a few hours a whole new chapter in our lives begins. It’s time for giving us the opportunity to start anew anything we wish. More than that, it’s an opportunity to give our best to improve our relationship with our self and the people around us. It’s not always easy to move on in life, letting go of the past, but this is our chance to make a further step towards our happiness. So, irrespectively of whether you have organized your goals for this year or not, be here and enjoy what you have now. It’s the only way to fully enjoy every single moment.

I wish you all Happy New Year! Let’s celebrate this passage to a new state of mind and a better attitude towards life!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   HAPPY NEW BEGINNINGS!

Music therapy

These last days, I’ve been quite busy and I didn’t have enough time to post my thoughts here, but now… here I am! Recently, I have started exploring a new wonderful field that I wasn’t very well aware of….the field of music therapy. Music therapy, which is the healing through music, and more specifically the healing through our interaction with the kind of music we like, is a very interesting and promising approach to a more holistic way of therapy.

The rhythm and the melody of music are some excellent tools that can be used very successfully for therapeutic reasons. Music therapy, above all, helps us realize and reconnect with our deepest emotions and thus understand many of these hidden “why’s” of our actions. One of the exercises of the course I attend was to find pieces of music that have a relaxing effect to us and to start become more focused on the sounds that exist around us. A simple question such as “What can you hear right now?” for many people might seems to be meaningless.

However, I think it’s extremely important to realize what sounds exist in our every day life. Sometimes, some sounds can literally exhaust us while others can rejuvenate us. When we are able to evaluate how we feel from the sounds that we are surrounded with, we can make crucial decisions that affect the quality of our life. Knowing whether we are in an environment with sounds that bring us calmness or stress is of vital importance for our general well-being.

What’s your thoughts on that? For example, is this music relaxing for you or does it provoke other emotions, like sadness…maybe happiness?…

PS. Part 2 of Writing and dancing is coming next week. 🙂

IS WRITING LIKE DANCING? part 1

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Undoubtedly, our way of writing reflects our way of thinking. Being able to communicate effectively through writing, regardless of whether we are professional writers or not, is crucial for our self-development.

Since reality, according to psychological studies, is just the subjective understanding of all the factors that create our environment, it is vital to find all those bridges of communication that will allow us to share our perceptions of reality with each other.

Writing can bridge the gap of communication among people, but most of all, it can help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings. How many times, for example, haven’t we all written down our emotions or thoughts in a diary, trying to open up our heart and to analyze a situation that we have been involved in?

Sometimes, writing can become a quite daunting process, as it brings to the surface feelings and thoughts we didn’t know that we have. Nonetheless, it is also a rewarding experience, as it helps you reconnect with yourself and recognize your inner voice better.

We could claim that in some ways writing is like dancing. You need to know the right words, like the right steps in dancing. However, that’s never enough. On the contrary, this is only the first stage, a first glimpse on what writing or dancing promise to give you in the future if you continue your efforts.

One of the most precious moments in someone’s life is when he feels that he can harvest the fruits of his labor. It’s the exact moment when a dancer transforms into an ethereal existence while dancing the Swan Lake. It’s the exact moment when a writer becomes master of words and creates a new reality, which will then share with his readers. This is when readers and writer start to share a secret world – their common reality.

Image courtesy of ponsuwan/FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

Our World Suffers From Arrogance

ID-100231622A few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend about relationships and the way men and women approach each other. In a nutshell, what he was telling me was that he couldn’t find a woman good enough for himself, because most of them turned out to be selfish, arrogant, and insanely in love with themselves.

Yeah, you probably think that he might have been unlucky in love, but the truth is that I am not sure if it ‘s a matter of being lucky or not. That conversation made me think that arrogance is probably the number one ingredient for the absolute failure in relationships of any kind. The problem is that many people have a difficulty to clearly understand the fine line that exists between arrogance and confidence.

Having genuine confidence makes you attractive and also makes people want to spend more time with you. On the other hand, no one enjoys the company of arrogant people. Mainly, because arrogant people will never accept that they can make mistakes too, like anyone else. They feel that they have some special “super-power” which gives them the right to behave as “superior creatures”.

I have noticed that, nowadays, more and more women in an attempt to show that they are confident, cool – especially because they want to impress others – become arrogant. It is not a secret that men often feel confused and annoyed with that kind of behavior.

Of course, the same goes the other way around. We have all met men who are overconfident and arrogant. The more they try to attract the interest of other people, the more people run away.

Arrogance derives from the fear of what others may think of us, while confidence derives from feelings of love and acceptance of who we truly are.

Our world suffers from arrogance. Let’s free ourselves from that attitude and work with ourselves to gain genuine confidence, which will eventually liberate us from our fears.

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Why Do You Write?

freedigitalI have to confess that I have no idea how followers of a blog become followers. I have read many articles on how to attract your audience, but it seems to be a quite difficult concept for me to understand. I mean, when I like reading someone or when I can identify with a certain situation or a particular writer, I immediately click that “follow” button. But the truth is that now that I am on the opposite side too, the blogger’s side, I don’t have the slightest idea about all the prerequisites for having a popular blog. At the end of the day, I am wondering, should we really agonize over who and how many read us?..

Yes, of course I want to be heard and have discussions with people all over the world. The desire for communication and connection with each other is one of our natural characteristics as humans. But I think that, first of all, what all writers should care about is to stay connected with the reasons why they write.

If they write having as their only goal or ambition to gain popularity with all means, to make money or to add one more qualification to their CV,  it’s something that in the long-term will be exhausting for them. Everyone who writes for an audience, or even just for himself, should stay focused on why he does that and what writing means in his life.

For example, many people write because it’s a liberating process- with healing properties as well. Other people like to write because they have the opportunity to connect with people and communicate their messages to them. For others it’s a way to create a different life, where greater opportunities can appear literally from “nowhere”.

Whatever the reason of your writing might be, just keep it in mind every single time you write and you will never be disappointed, with or without followers.

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Daring to Dream

Despite the challenges of today, dare to dream!

Dream a better future for you, for your family, for the whole world and then every single day of your life take small steps towards your dream.

Many people don’t believe in dreaming. These are the people who often call themselves “just realists”. They claim that dreaming is equal to illusion, but what they forget is that they too used to have dreams in the past. They used to believe in the numerous possibilities that life gives everyone to change his life. But at some point, for several reasons, they stopped believing that their dream could ever come true…

Dreaming is, first of all, a source of inspiration. It gives us the power to overcome many difficult situations, to surpass our limits, to get out of our comfort zone. Dreaming has the power to motivate us in our every day life. It gives us the energy that is required to take action.

The first part of dreaming has to do with the actual dreaming, namely contemplating on how the situations could be different. The second part of it, though, has to do with us taking action. The most important stage in realizing our dreams is to make the transition from the theoretical concept to tangible reality. In other words, what is really important is to find ways to make true what we wish for.

So, dare to dream the life you want, the life you deserve. Don’t hold back! It is only a first step, but it ‘s not a secret that everything starts with a dream, a hope, a wish, a vision.

Photo © Konstanttin | Dreamstime.com Art Christmas Lights on blue background

Lunch with the Family: A Blessing or a Nightmare?

When was the last time you had lunch with your family? Yes! Lunch, not dinner! Nowadays, more and more people have their lunch in their working place alone or with their colleagues instead of lunching with their family members. If they have strong family bonds they might have a dinner time all together, but generally, it seems that the old structure of a “traditional” family is gone for good.

Lunch could be the ideal time for a family to be united and discuss all the daily changes that happen in each member’s life. It ‘s the time that kids have just returned from school. When there is a family hour for lunch, they don’t have to wait so many hours – sometimes days – to share with their parents their news. Why is this important? Because as you might have noticed, people generally when they postpone to say what they think, they usually don’t say it at all or if they do so, it ‘s much later. When too many feelings have been accumulated for a long time, one day, most people just can’t help it anymore and they explode towards everyone, unleashing all these suppressed emotions, without a second thought.

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Lunch gives us the opportunity to deal together, as a family, any problems that have appeared in the morning for each member. The more experiences we share, the more we feel like a real family. Kids don’t hesitate to share their school news and whatever else they may think and the couple – when there is one – can spend some beautiful time together, enjoying the family they have created.

However, this is not always true for all the families, as this world is far from the ideal. If a family meets for lunch and everyone instead of communicating and listening the others remains more focused on himself, then that lunch becomes an unpleasant one, especially for children. The adults can play a crucial role in creating the right atmosphere for lunch. When children feel that there is love in the way their parents talk to each other, that there is love in the way the food was made for them and that they are really welcomed and connected with the other members of the family, they are much less prone to develop eating disorders in the future.

So, lunch can be either a blessing, uniting the family with tighter emotional bonds or it can be a nightmare, when the family’s members instead of opening themselves to the others prefer staying quiet and focused to themselves, just letting this valuable family time to pass by.

Photo © Simone Van Den Berg | Dreamstime.com Picnic table setting

Happiness For a Lifetime?

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Indeed, it is strange how much every single of us tries to be happy in his life, yet very often happiness seems to be elusive. We all use the word “happiness” easily, but what is also easily understood is that each of us doesn’t mean the same thing.

For me, happiness is a personal achievement, through a long journey filled with unexpected obstacles. Yes, we may be temporarily “happy” with all the pleasant surprises and situations in our daily life. We can feel “happy” with our partner, family, friends etc. But being REALLY happy is much more than that.

Happiness is not caused by certain situations we experience. It is rather a permanent, underlying feeling, a feeling that comes as an assurance that we have been walking the right path for us in our lives. I would say, it is a sign that despite all the difficulties we may face, we haven’t lost our purpose of our existence and we are in alignment with our inner voice. That is actually an achievement that very few accomplish throughout life.

The reason for the latter is that since our childhood, we learn that the best way for achieving happiness is to do everything else but listening to ourselves. We learn how to please others and accepting mostly what is “normal” and “common” socially. This is unavoidable to a certain extent, but when someone starts to lose his real purpose in life because he is disconnected from his truth, nothing else matters, even if he is the most successful person in the world.

Pleasure is a different concept from happiness – and happiness results only from within. Many people have the imperative need to be always surrounded by people who are happy to feel happy too. Others only try to satisfy someone else to feel satisfied themselves too, because they have forgotten that happiness is a personal achievement. Have you ever noticed parents who cling on their children and drain them emotionally? In my opinion, this is a sign that these parents have forgotten how to be happy alone, without their children. They are happy only through them.

Happiness may be the result of a lot of pain and disappointments. Nonetheless, it ‘s the natural condition of human. Nowadays, most people instead of being happy, they are depressed. Why? Because they have missed a piece of their life purpose puzzle. They have missed a vital piece that would lead them to their fulfillment and therefore to their happiness. At some point, they got completely lost. This is why in many cases, psychologists can’t be a great help. The missing piece can be found again only by the person who lost it. No one else can find it for him.

So, it is important to have a perspective in life. It is easy to get lost if you get distracted by what other people do to be happy. But happiness comes from awareness of your inner needs and from the fact that you are not suppressing your inner voice, irrespectively of the obstacles you may have to overcome during your journey. Life is not easy, but it is rewarding. We can all find happiness. This is why, we should all try to live life to the fullest.

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How to Deal With Toxic Relationships Before You Become Totally Exhausted

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If you have never come across so far the terms “toxic relationships” and “toxic people” you might be wondering what they mean… However, if you ever felt that you are in a relationship that instead of helping you enjoy life even more, it was an emotional disaster, you may have been dealing with a toxic person without realizing it. These people are everywhere! In life, you simply cannot avoid them, but it is important for your own health – physical, emotional and mental – to learn how to protect yourself and if you are currently in such a relationship how to escape from a typical dead-end.

  • SO, WHAT IS A TOXIC PERSON:

A toxic person is the one that has a “toxic” behavior. What does this mean? It means that he is someone who has adopted a behavior that is affecting himself and people around him in an extremely negative way. For example, toxic people have deeply rooted emotions, like hatred, fear, negativity, pessimism, jealousy and they are so full of them that they spread them in everyone else.

Have you ever noticed that you were in a very good mood and suddenly you feel down, tired, maybe depressed and exhausted by the presence of a person? He may well be a very close relative, a friend or even a partner! Toxic people directly affect the energy you have and they have the “capacity” to lower your positivity very easily in one way or another.

Normally, people who are healthy emotionally avoid this kind of contacts unconsciously, but sometimes we all get involved in situations we don’t really want. The problem though with toxic people isn’t only that they lower your energy. Long term presence of these persons in your life can have a huge damaging effect in your emotional life. You start losing trust in yourself, the meaning of the life and you reach a state of desperation, without always understanding that it’s because of that particularly person. So, how can you find out if you are close to a person that is harming you even if it seems that you two have the best relationship for years?

  • WARNING SIGNS OF TOXIC PEOPLE:
  1. Oh! They love drama! How could they live without adding all the necessary drama in their lives and of course in your life too?! For them, drama is a form of art. They can make drama out of anything: Did you accidentally split the milk on the tablecloth? Their reaction is something like that: ” And now? How can we clean that? Will the stain leave? Oh my God! I wish I hadn’t put this tablecloth here. I am sure I will need to spend hours to wash it by hand because machine won’t clean it that well. That is a total mess! You should have been more careful. You know how important this tablecloth is for me!” (even id it’s the cheapest and most common tablecloth on earth..) You get the idea.
  2. Feeeeeeeeear! Fear for everything! They are sickly worried about the most natural things of every day life. They fear that they will be cheated from their partner without any real sign, they fear when they have to get out of their comfort zone, they fear to live how they want. The problem with that is that they try to install fear in you too. Misery always wants company, doesn’t it? After years and years of work from their part you start to fear too what you used to so with so much ease.
  3. You have growing feelings of anger without a real cause. You were fine before meeting them, but now with them, you feel frustrated and vulnerable in other negative feelings, like being ashamed for yourself for no reason. Oh yes! It is a strong sign that something is not going well here!
  4. You feel disconnected from your needs, your inner voice and you become more passive than you actually are. You stay around them without even wanting it. Why? Because you spend so much energy, that at the end you don’t have enough to leave them and you just surrender…
  5. Toxic people consider themselves as the only persons who are right, and above all, the only persons that are realists. The idea of realism for them is identical with negativity. They are interested in the negative side of life because they actually feel much better about themselves when they know others suffer too.
  6. You feel that unless you pay attention to every single need they have and respond very carefully and thoughtfully in what they say, it will come the end of the world.

Every toxic person has his own toxic habit, so you may have to face other challenges that leave you with a strong negative feeling. You have to discover that habit in the person you are suspecting that is stealing your energy.

So, what can you do if you are already in a relationship with a toxic person? Everyone has to follow his path, so even if it tempting I won’t say to you: “Run Forrest, Run!”, but my advise would be evaluate VERY carefully if it is worthy to stay in the relationship. Because at the end, undoubtedly, you will many issues that will leave you emotionally and physically exhausted.

  • HOW TO DEAL WITH TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS
  1. When you are with a toxic person, you feel responsible for his bad mood. The biggest mistake is to make efforts to make him happy. It might work for a while, but after he has gained all this attention from you, next time, he expects that you will do the same and that you will give constantly and forever your good energy to him. Resist and understand that these people have problems that cannot be easily handled by anyone even if you have the best intentions.
  2. Your stomach says the truth! Do you have a difficulty in understanding the “why” in your mind, but you react strangely when you are near that person? Do not stop listening to your inner voice. If it doesn’t feel good to you, it’s probably because it isn’t! So, try to avoid spending much time with them especially when you are trying to recharge your batteries and you already feel tired.
  3. It’s pointless to lose life time by being in this vicious cycle, where you will always have to offer help and instead of witnessing things going for the better, they remain the same. Do not lose your life and live it to the fullest by having an active behavior. Choose wisely the people around you and test them before you come too close to them.
  4. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries! If you have to be surrounded by toxic people, like for example in a work environment, do set firm boundaries from the beginning and stick to them. It’s very important not to get trapped in their behavioral mechanisms and start behaving to them like you do with everyone else. Be always kind, because they are not always aware of their vibe, but in any case do not get involved personally and emotionally.
  5. In more intimate relationships, you have to struggle to listen again to yourself and understand why you are with that person. What makes you stay in a relationship, even if it is not healthy for you? If you love the person with your heart, knowing that you cannot change him, is it worthy for you? Will you be able to be close to that person for years? If not, go away the soonest you can.
  6. Always have creative ways to transform negative energy into positive. Did that person had a jealousy crisis without any reason and started to questioning everything? Go for a walk in the nature. Breathe, relax, meditate, exercise, eat something colorful! Always do an activity that increases the levels of your good energy.

So, what would you add from your experiences? Have you ever found yourself in a toxic relationship and how did you escape, if you did? It is important to leave our lives with excitement and to meet people who can inspire us to become the best we can be. Life is too short for intoxicating it with negativity!

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THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING STARTED

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GREAT TOIn the past, I used to be one of those people who were postponing whatever I could postpone. I was thinking “why doing this today, since I can do it tomorrow?”. Have you ever been too lazy to complete your work? Or maybe have you started with enthusiasm, but you felt that at the end you didn’t have the energy to finish your project? If this has happened to you a few times, then it ‘s normal. Everyone has his ups and downs. The problem begins when at some point there are so many unfinished works that they become overwhelming.

Feeling overwhelmed is a very intense feeling and difficult to handle in order to reach a solution. Why? Because when you are feeling overwhelmed, you are psychologically paralyzed and you can’t do anything to change that. A change requires first of all realization of the situation and then willing and strength of character. But the most important key for dealing with any problem you may face in life and make any change is the ability to act even under situations that leave you overwhelmed.

There are many reasons for someone who doesn’t act proactively: laziness, fear, lack of willing etc. But without action you cannot grow and live a fruitful life. I ‘m thinking of the very common phrase: “Life is too short”. I think that life is too short for those who don’t act but instead of that, they just wait passively to see the puzzle of life completed without any effort. The truth is that we have to be proactive. Life is not guaranteed and we should be mature enough to take fully the responsibility of that gift which is called life.

Living just waiting that everything will be magically solved is just an illusion. Many of us might not want to destroy this illusion, but since we only have one life on earth and one chance to make the best out of it, we shouldn’t be passive observers of our lives. Taking action shouldn’t scare us more and make us feel overwhelmed. If every person tries to take action on a daily basis, step by step, he will be pleasantly surprised with the results. Of course, every person has to take different actions in order to be happy. There are no recipes. This is why we should never compare ourselves with others to see if we are as successful as them. We should stay focused on our own life path.

Sometimes, my writing might seem to have an instructional tone, but the last thing I would ever want is to preach anyone. One of the reasons I decided to start writing here is because sharing our experiences with others can save valuable time in life to those who are willing to open up and actually listen to someone else. So, if I am writing this post is to tell you from my heart:

Let’s not waste time until everything in life is perfect to act and live the life we want, because things will not always go our way. We have to be flexible enough and act in alignment with our path. If you expect to be great before you start, most probably you will never start acting. Because unavoidably, becoming great requires you to start without being great. We are all here to learn. No one learned swimming outside the water and no one became an expert in his field without failures and obstacles.

What is important, though, is never to allow fear to paralyze us. This is life. We are here now. You are here now. Don’t miss the opportunity of starting whatever will make you grow, whatever will make you happy now. Not tomorrow, not in ten years, not when you will have money, not when you will have the perfect partner. Live in the present and act in a meaningful way to create the beautiful life you deserve!