Blogmas 12 – What I learned today

I was thinking recently about the content that I consume online. I was reflecting upon the teachings I obtain out of that. And it turns out, the majority is something similar to fast food – it tastes good, but it depletes you of energy and it’s not teaching me much.

So, I decided to stop consuming specific trendy or popular Instagram peoples that were not filling up my learning cup. Rather, it was taking me, my time, which I can use to better myself and to actually gain something out of that content consumption. So, here we are. I realised, much as I realised a couple of years back, when I was left stranded with no internet in the middle of the December holidays – Lessons of digital Detox link, that a lot of what I watch or see or read online is superficial. Super superficial. And in 2020, I want to make sure I consume content that makes me better or strive to be better, that teaches me something, that is helpful and useful, much as the content I want to produce and the mission this blog has, and not just content that is enjoyable, beautiful and catchy. Because, we all know, we are all, more than just, clothes, beauty and the so called “lifestyle” which concept, recently has lost its core. It is becoming increasingly connected to a certain luxury living and spa style life. Lifestyle is not what it used to be associated with, and the culprits are Instagram people and Youtubers that have transformed the meaning, because of what they promote or show through their videos and because of the perception we obtain based on that “show”. Unfortunately, we are all, also behind this lessening of the power of the word, because we are strongly condemning the concept in favour of other notions we are more close to, such as minimalism, and the reason behind that, in my humble opinion, is the fact that most of us relate to the normality of minimalism, daily struggle and frugal living, rather than a lavish lifestyle that we see portrayed everywhere around us, and of course, we desire it, it’s normal. But it’s not normal to stop relating to what truly deeply lifestyle is all about. It’s not just about food or healthy food or about exercising or about yoga and fitness, that we mostly define it by with, more and more, it’s about having a life that we enjoy, a life that we want, a life that keeps us going, that is sustainable to maintain and that keeps other people want to join in not because it’s “fashionable”, but because it is truly connecting us, as humans, it’s creating a community of like-minded people. But, it’s not this, which I have learned today.

Today I have learned that I get consumed by the content that I consume. And that happens because it’s easy to get in the “desire mood” of stuff we see online and we get fickle about things afterwards. I wrote about consumerism many years ago in this blog post named “A minimalist journey” and I realised that, once again, if you stay too much in the realm of people that are like that, you end up believing that’s what you need too. It’s the same as the saying “you are the quintessence of the top 5 people you most surround yourself with“. It goes the same for social media. Who do you constantly follow and how does that person influence you? The influence is subtle, is invisible, it’s clever. You may not realise but the coat you bought could have been triggered by a coat you saw at one of your favourite social media persons, and it does not need to be recent, it could have been seen 6 months ago. It’s still in your subconscious mind. Remember the trick with the subconscious mind and working pattern? It’s in this blog post.

I have learned today that there are people that lie and create a life based on that lie and they are able to live comfortably for a very long time. It’s hard to spot a faker because he has been faking it all his life. A faker is an expert in lie. He’s lied ever since he was younger. How can that person not be a professional in keeping up a mask that hides the fact they are not who they show the world they are, they do not have the knowledge or expertise of what they portray to have, and they are not the humans they say they are. It’s hard to see the missing pieces, because their flaws are hidden in plain sight. Sometimes so well, that you mistake the flaw with a quality. And the problem is this people are making YOU believe you have a problem, when in reality, it’s the other way around. Be careful, who you surround yourself with. You need an observatory spirit and you need lots of NUNCHI.

That’s the second thing I learned today. NUNCHI.

Nunchi is the Korean secret to happiness and success. The core of this view to life is reflected in a motto belonging to Arthur Conan Doyle and it goes like this “the world is full of obvious things that no one notices ever.”

Why people fail to observe these obvious things? Because people are more concerned with the rationals they hold in their heads and their cognitive distortions – see info on that here – link – and in this smartphone age we cannot notice it anymore because we have no time. Nunchi is something like a signal for intuition. Intuition is something we feel based on a variety of factors and brain shortcuts we have accumulated in time and that serve us as a life situations guide, more like a “how to” way of acting and behaving. Nunchi is from what I understood, a way of reflecting this side of the intuition in a mindful manner. If intuition happens more like a spark, something we feel all of a sudden and we interpret it as something we must or must not do (based on those factors appreciated briefly above), nunchi happens mindfully because we decide to pay attention, closely to things around us. If intuition is more like interpretation based on similar stuff that happened in the past (which is recorded somewhere in our memory and our survival brain is sending subtle signals to help us), nunchi is bringing this unconscious ability into the conscious realm.

When we experience intuition, is usually connected to a random situation in space and time, to subtle behaviours and words and non-verbal communication, to impulsiveness, in a way. When we want to feel nunchi and approach this on a day by day basis, we collide the intuition into constant present time, we force it to happen all the time, because we DECIDE consciously to be intuitive, to be observant, to notice, to care, to open our eyes and clearly see. I feel, nunchi is something we mindfully decide on experiencing.

It’s like the mindful version of intuition.

The third thing I learned today is in connection to nunchi and introversion. When I first read the book “The power of introverts” by Susan Cain, I felt that finally, here is something I can relate to totally. Well, in my opinion, nunchi is a form of power that mostly, introverts have acquired in their lifetime, due to their ability to be more patient with themselves, to be observant, to notice things that would normally be unseen by other people. An introvert is in a native manner more inclined to connect to his or her inner compass and that inner compass is this way of living, named by the Koreans “NUNCHI”. Nunchi is about understanding when to shut up, when to not disclose YOUR views, YOUR experiences, YOUR everything and why it is important to listen to the person that is giving you all these information. Observe what information you are being given. When you observe that, you will notice that you will be more careful with what you disclose, because you know what people can guess about you based on your disclosing thoughts. Nunchi is about being more present in the day to day life, about being mindful regarding our life experiences, about accepting the day to day “moods” and capturing in our inner compass all those subtle movements, words, gestures and sayings, maybe colours, situations, surroundings and details to better serve us for the future and to help us understand ourselves better.

When we pay attention, we select information. When we pay attention we are interested and when we are truly curious and interested, we remember better. Nunchi is about remembering all that and applying it every single second. It’s truly mindfulness overload. It’s living in the present moment. It’s more like Eckhart Tolle’s “the power of now”. Nunchi is the power of now.

Forth thing learned today is WORD OF 2019. Did you know that starting 2004, Oxford Dictionaries is designating one word per YEAR as the WORD OF THE YEAR? If in other years, words such as “selfie”, “vape” or “unfriend” have been on top, this year the first place was occupied by “climate emergency”. The oxford word of the Year is a word or expression shown through usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of the passing year, and have lasting potential as a term of cultural significance. So 2019 is marked by climate emergency. Read more about the reasons behind this decision here, although I am sure you can relate to the reason this has been selected, as we all have been impacted this year by the impact of the climate itself and can easily relate to its significance.

The main thing to culminate my learning for today is this quote I found on my curated social media following list:

“DON’T LET ANYONE RENT SPACE IN YOUR HEAD UNLESS THEY ARE A GOOD TENANT”

Blogmas 11 – Healing through thinking

Disclaimer – By no means, am I suggesting to ditch your medical advice or medicines, this is simply to give you more guidance and relief for your suffering, no matter what that is.

Each of us is able to control their own thoughts. This is the miraculous power by which all things become possible. If we think negative thoughts, we attract energy imbalances and, this is from where disease and illness is feeding. When we have positive thoughts, we welcome the well-being and health state of mind and of body in our lives. We need to teach ourselves how to regain full control over our minds, by ALWAYS supervising it and making sure it is helping us and it is not ran against our own selves. The big power thought has, is that it can cure diseases and it can make us happy again, full of life and strength. Our infinite healing powers are rooted in all people’s subconscious, and in your subconscious too. By changing our way of thinking we radically change our life.

Our thoughts are active and they represent the seeds we plant.

Our subconscious is not interested whether the thoughts are good or bad, rather it responds in compliance with the energy of that thought. Our subconscious will never try to contradict what we think, it will always accept for good whatever we say consciously. Therefore, we need to be decisive when it comes to our own lives, health and love. By giving up on our old thinking patterns that is deeply rooted in our subconscious minds, we will have earned a healthy life and lifestyle.

Thought is LIFE. Our thoughts create our environment and our worlds also. If we have healthy thoughts, we will keep our health and well being. If we feed unhealthy thoughts, not only will we not enjoy a healthy life but we will also be deprived of harmony and love in our lives.

We must not forget: our body is the product of our mind, and the mind is able to control our body. If we maintain ourselves on the positive side of our thoughts, the same will happen with our body. Love, peace, harmony, purity, idealistic thoughts promote radiant health. Our body is closely linked to our minds. If we have a toothache or stomach ache, our minds are affected as well.

When we stop thinking correctly, it means we are disturbed by something. If there is a state of depression in our minds, our bodies won’t function properly. Our mental health is far more important than our physical health. If the mind is healthy, the body will follow. If the mind is sending outwards pure thoughts, all illnesses will vanish from the human body. Every thought, every word and emotion provokes a vibration in every cell of our body and it leaves there a deep first impression. We must learn to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. As an example, courage thoughts would immediately serve as an antidote for any consequences regarding fearful thoughts.

It’s extremely important to note that every cell of our body grows, suffers and receives an impulse of death or life to every THOUGHT THAT CROSSES OUR MINDS.

When our physical body is intoxicated, it’s not just a consequence of poor eating habits, it’s also an effect of emotional factors. Being mad, sad, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, all these emotions and feelings affect normal functioning of the bile, of liver and it creates inflammation in the small intestines. Fear transforms large intestines. As a results, our abdomens get bloated and feelings of discomfort , insomnia, metabolic problems emerge. All these modifications determine an abnormal immune system reaction.

Negative thoughts are directly responsible for mental “poisoning”, and they reflect in our physical body. This is how diseases are being born in us. Negative feelings represent a poison and stress for our entire body.

Anger, rage, revenge all culminate to a malfunctioning of our gut and intestines. Nervous tension creates a blockage in intestines, making them inactive. If the person continues to be angry, this emotional negative download becomes chronic, and nutritional deficiencies which are specific to that disease become more visible. Sodium and water are retained by the human organism, while potassium, Vitamin C, magnesium and vitamins B are exhausted or consumed by the body to react to the stressful stimuli.

What’s very sad, is that we slowly do this to ourselves, by neglecting certain obvious slow downs of our organs, and this is how the following can appear: indigestion, collies, constipation, poor circulation, etc. On top of all this, stress, fury, fear, nervousness, feeling or being unhappy, worry, all these negative emotions affect our well being and accentuate an illness and premature ageing.

When our thinking becomes clear and pure, by affirming good in everything, such blockages mentioned above cannot appear. Immediately after we create a new way of life and a new way of thinking in our minds and hearts, it means we are willing for a soul change. The way we think, makes our bodies to release certain energies which will attract the same energy and we are the only ones responsible for the consequences of negative thinking.

One of the Divines laws to which human is supposed to adhere is the Law of cause and effect, which is known also as the Karma Law. Just as it can action in physical body, Karma has a way of being visible and active in the mental and spiritual body. This means, all diseases have a physical, a mental and spiritual cause. The human, to be able to take all life exams, must learn to correlate physical healing with mental and spiritual healing. Not always all life exams are passed by people, and for that we have to come back on Earth in a new reincarnation. Only in this way, will we progress spiritually, because this is how evolution happens.

So, every illness or disease has a mental cause as well as a physical one. Negative and bag thoughts, worries, fears, all evils and cruelty we show, produce in our bodies a mark which can transform in disease in the mental body as well as in the physical body. So, to heal or treat a disease, we need to know its origin. By using positive neuro-language programming, a person can heal herself or himself alone, unless there is a spiritual cause to that particular disease as well. In this case, this type of mental healing or treatment will have a reduced effect. The person that suffers from a specific disease has to suffer the consequences of his or her actions. That person can only get healed and well back again through suffering, pray and through the divine or the person in question will have to carry on the same illness in the next life or reincarnation because not all the times we finish our karma from past lives in one reincarnation. According to how many mistakes we need to correct, we can suffer from illnesses or types of diseases for many lives.

When we will be able to enter a harmonious, positive mental state of mind, old thinking patterns will dissolve and molecular structures of our bodies will alter, according to our new consciousness, as a normal reaction. The definite decisive factor in our healing is our individual perception reflected in positive thoughts and wishes for everyone around us.

Healing miracle emerges from our own positive health thoughts.

It’s a very long list to enumerate here on the blog, and I know I said in the previous blogmas – 10 (link here) that I would share the list, however I believe , before I can do that, there needs to be further insights revealed to make the access to the healing information possible. to open your eyes and minds.

THE LIST OF EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL CAUSES OF DISEASES IS HERE.

Will I see you reading my next Blogmas?

Blogmas 10 – Spiritual causes of diseases/illnesses

How many of us can accept the idea that disease is the result of a way of thinking that is not beneficial to us and can also be because we have accumulated a cocktail of negative emotions that weaken our immune system?

How much or how can we live with this acceptance when we are ill or confronting with a disease and its symptoms? Even though it may sound hard to accept that there is something else behind the disease and that this disease can actually help you to become a better person, to resolve certain wrong thinking patterns, to give up bad habits from the past – forced by the disease itself and forced by what this disease is limiting you to do – step by step, you start not only, to heal yourself but you also help the medicines to work much better and faster with your mind and your soul and after you overcome it, you become a much wiser person and have more harmonious relationships with people.

The more we live, the more we experience. We get a cold, a flu, viruses and bacteria, we hurt ourselves daily, as children we experience harm more often. The supreme cause of all disease can be found in the realm of the other dimension – in the same regions from which the disease extracts its initial power to harm us. For that reason, it is important to understand that it is not sufficient to just annihilate the effect of the disease, but to also heal the root cause of it, that is the spiritual and emotional cause. There are 3 classic causes of disease. These are interior negative moods, which appear in us because of our traumatic or negative life experiences.

The first is the lack of harmony.

Lack of harmony is what we experience when life suddenly loses its meaning, or when we lose the important connection with life itself. As an example, let’s think of an elderly couple. After a very long marriage, suddenly, one of them dies. It’s possible that they may not had had a perfect relationship. Even so, between them, there was a beautiful connection, the liaison appeared due to everything beautiful they both got involved into. The partner that survived may go into a crisis because they lost their partner, and shortly, he/she may develop an illness that would make them disappear from Earth too. This is lack of harmony.

The state of lack of harmony that people might experience as a reaction to these type of life experiences, results in a diminishing of personal power. This happens all of a sudden, on one hand, and on the other hand, it can also be catastrophic, because it’s shaken our foundation, as an example, when people lose their work place, and hence the means to live, to survive. When we experience the loss of power, our energetic matrix is affected and we become vulnerable to disease.

Second classic cause of disease is FEAR. A person that goes through life fearful is 2 times more prone to illness because the anxiety diminishes quite aggressively and progressively the good state of being, and this will impact on the feeling of feeling safe in the world. Well being is the state on which our health system is built on. When this foundation is affected negatively, our immune system capacity to function is weakened.

When our immune system is weakened, we are in danger. It’s easy to spot the connections: fear and anxiety produce a lack of harmony in ourselves, in our energy flow. In the same way, lack of harmony creates fear and both collide and they affect each other weakening our immune system. Disease is a natural cause of this weakness because it has a way in.

Another cause of disease, a classic one, is the loss of one’s soul. This is the most serious cause that can lead to premature death and severe diseases. This loss of soul is usually a reaction to a trauma. We often say “he lost his will to live etc”. It’s like someone lost their willpower over life. ANY TRAUMA IS A LOSS OF PART OF THE SOUL OR THE SOUL ITSELF. Post-traumatic stress syndrome is something that relates to this.

Some symptoms for this loss of part of the soul are:

1.the feeling that you are divided, that you are not entirely present in the moment time

2.memory blockages – unable to remember parts of one’s life

3.lack of capacity to feel the love from someone or to receive love from people

4.emotional ignorance/remote emotions

5.subtle emotions and feelings of apathy or non-attention

6.Lack of enthusiasm and initiative

7.LACK OF JOY remember my blogmas 2 (my illness and my spiritual cause – link ), 3 (more about joy or lack of it = meaning – link ) and 4 (How to feel more joy – link ) ?

8.Lack of ability to progress in life

9.Lack of discerning capacity

10.Chronic negativity

11.Addictions

12.Suicidal thoughts and/or behaviours

13.Melancholy and the feeling of being desperate

14.Chronic depression

Although this phrase “loss of soul” is not something you would hear all day long, we do usually use language that says or has the same meaning: “When I went through that, I felt like a part of me died” or Ever since, I had stopped being the same person I was before the accident” or “I feel like I lost something and I cannot be the same again”. When we talk about the loss of soul, and if you think about this yourself, if you had been through different episodes in your life that were hard or traumatic (trauma is experienced differently by all of us) , everyone says that “they have lost a PART OF THEIR SOUL”, and NO ONE KNOWS THAT THE PARTS THAT WERE LOST CAN ACTUALLY BE RECOVERED.

Simply reading and thinking about any of the above can be a huge step towards healing.

In the next blog post, I will be adding a list of illnesses and their spiritual cause. UPDATE – FIND THE LIST HERE.

Blogmas 9 – This Christmas buy something for yourself too, not just for the others

You probably have heard this millions of times: If you do not love yourself, how do you expect others to love you? If you learn how to love yourself, you will boost your self confidence and you will attract love on your side. If you love yourself, others will love you too. So what better way to start this and implement self care and self love rituals than before Christmas and on Christmas?

First, for you to be able to gift something to yourself, you need to think what is one thing you would like someone else to give you this Christmas? Is it something practical, is it something symbolic, is it something shiny, is it something food related? Is it something expensive? Is it minimalist inspired? Or is it handmade? Is it something that treats your soul, your mind, your heart, your spirit or just your physical appearance?

Second, decide, if you want to ask your family members and dear ones to select something from that list of potential gifts you would like to receive, and so, you know for sure, you will love it and you won’t have to put a mask that you enjoy it? Maybe you could do it in Secret Santa style and have everyone in the family write down a list of 5 desirable gifts of which to choose from and then when you get your Secret Santa, you know exactly what you could buy. Maybe you want to buy that gift yourself for yourself and that will make Secret Santa for you even easier.

Once you have decided how gifts are split this year, and even if you simply want a surprise gift, without revealing too much of what you really desire, you should still treat yourself with something solely for YOURSELF. It could be an event, an experience or a physical gift. However, make sure you decide on what type of gift you want and how you want this Christmas to be remembered. Maybe it’s the first time you ever considered yourself first as the one to receive a gift or have the privilege to be gifted first. It’s just like savings: imagine you need to pay yourself first every month, just like you pay rent or bills, you need to have a sum of money that you pay yourself every month and that you decide for yourself only what you do with the money. So, what do you really want to buy yourself?

Think about the questions you were dared in my previous blogmas 8 – link here – and see if you get more answers about yourself and a potential gift that will truly make your soul happy.

A lot of the times, when we work overtime and we do it maybe often, we get accustomed to working and when we do not work, we feel like we are wasting time. I feel it is the same thing with gifting ourselves first, then, the others, we get so used to thinking about the others FIRST, and what they want and what would make them happy, and we sometimes put ourselves second. In reality, if you always put yourself second, it will come a time when you will realise that, you have no more energy to work out for those priorities, for those people that always come first. If you constantly do overtime, you will get drained and guess what? Soon enough, you won’t be able to even work the single time as per your contract because you have come to this self consuming and energy draining stage of your life when you need to take care of … YOURSELF.

A lot of the times, we always think on caring for everyone else around us. When we need everyone’s help, it might come, sure, and especially from family members and dear ones, but there could be a time in your life when they may not be around, they might be busy, and unable to care for you as you have always cared for them. Not because they are selfish or self centred or that they do not care. It’s because the universe makes it in such way that you need to again deal with it alone, to give you space and time to teach you a lesson regarding priorities, mostly around this time of the year. If you are not well, you cannot cater for your special ones.

I urge you to gift yourself TIME to yourself. Time to read about things that excite you. Time to discover yourself. TIME to do that which you need to do or wish to do, no matter how silly or futile it may seem at first. That which you are attracted towards is what will bring you closer to what you need to become. It will give you all that you need.

This Christmas, the gift to give to yourself consists of TIME. No matter how you use that time, make sure it is time FOR YOURSELF ONLY. Not to buy the gifts for the children, not to buy the gifts for friends, not to think about the Christmas dinner, not to clean the house or do usual stuff. It’s time you loved yourself with TIME. It’s time you give time to yourself too, not just to others.

Maybe we all need to re-watch that movie Justin Timberlake played in, IN TIME, to remind ourselves of how precious time is. And that time is now.

Blogmas 8 – 35 Inspirational questions you want to answer/ask on Christmas Days – in preparation for 2020

What if you would use these questions to highlight your learnings about yourself and about your progress this year and use it in your advantage as a preparation list (if the answer is unsatisfactory for yourself) for what to accomplish in 2020 or what to focus on? But what if you would use these questions to start discussions on Christmas day with your family members and your dear ones and summarise what you most enjoy about each other through these questions?

I always enjoy watching Youtubers that I like, answering questions and I like when I read an interview in a magazine or online about a celebrity I resonate with or admire, and I thought I could put up a list of interesting and thought provoking inspirational questions that I sometimes think their answers might reveal much more about the personality than any creative video or content shared.

I also believe this questions are very inspiring for each of us to think through and answer to our own selves. It’s like a self-directed therapeutic speech. It should offer a perspective and bring us more gratitude for everything we have accomplished so far and make our way to 2020.

1.At what point are we good enough? When are we self-improved enough to accept ourselves?

2.What in life is beautiful to you? Where do you find inspiration?

3.When did you life change for the better?

4.What do you believe stands between you and your complete happiness?

5.What’s something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?

6.What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?

7.What is one mistake that you will never do again?

8.If you could have chosen your own name, what would you have picked?

9.What’s something that no one else knows about you?

10.Would you like to be famous? In what way?

11.Is there something you have dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

12.In one sentence, who are you?

13.In one word, what do you live for?

14.What does it look like to make the most of your life?

15.Do the people in your life bring the best out of you?

16.Is your life complicated by unnecessary things? If so, what steps do you need to take to de-clutter?

17.Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in life? Why?

18.Are you afraid of being your true self around others? Why? do you wear a metaphorical mask or your heart on your sleeve?

19.How often do your biggest worries and fears come true? Taking a realistic inventory of how your fears affect your life helps you to overcome them and see them in a different light.

20.What lessons in life did you learn the hard way?

21.What do you wish you did more of?

22.Are you doing what you truly want to do?

23.What’s the difference between you and most of the other people?

24.What would you do different with your education if you got a chance to start over?

25.If you had 5 minutes and the whole world was forced to listen, what would you say?

26.What was your favourite thing to do growing up?

27.If you could only speak one word today, what would it be?

28.If you could summarise this year in 3 words which words would you use and why?

29.What do you wish you had done differently this year?

30.What do you wish you would do less of next year?

31.What has changed your perspective this year?

32.What is one important lesson I learned this week or this year?

33.Are you making decisions that will add value to your life?

34.What would you like to talk about or what would you like people talked about more?

35.What do you want to do differently?

What question or questions would you want to answer but no one is asking?

What question or questions would you want to answer but no one asks?

Blogmas 7 – Cognitive Distortions to Restructure by the end of 2019

People will do anything, no matter how absurd to avoid facing their own souls, once wrote Carl Jung. We are all biased with different thinking patterns and brain shortcuts that we created in time to have time to cope with life and change. Sometimes these cognitive distortions make it hard for us to progress in life, and the universe keeps throwing at us the same lessons in different formats, and we still don’t get it. So, this December, and Blogmas, by the end of the year, let’s work together to restructure those mental biases we all deal with.

There are 13 common cognitive distortions that I will be briefly explaining and you could work on one at a time until the end of 2019 to make sure you step into 2020 with a new fresh thinking.

1.Overgeneralising – You see a constant, negative pattern based on one event. Maybe you think that if you did not get the position you applied for, you are not good enough and you think there is no point in applying to a future job ad. But, you base your future thoughts and eventually behaviours around a single event. Step out of your mind and don’t take your thoughts so seriously.

2.Blaming / Denying – You blame others for your problems or mistakes OR you blame yourself when it wasn’t entirely your fault. You could say that you did not obtain that job because you did not have connections or because the company liked a specific type of personality or that you did not prepare for the interview. If you indeed did not prepare for the interview, that’s easily fixed, next time, you know what you need to focus more on, since you passed the CV screening. If you believe that the company or another person is to blame for your failure, think again, maybe you should consider that when you put the blame entirely on others for something you did not achieved, it could be that you are avoiding to feel the real emotions behind your lack of success. The real emotion behind that could lie in the truth that you did not prepare enough, did not have enough experience, did not have enough of confidence to show it, and so on. Always try to see beyond the surfaced emotion and train of thoughts.

3.Shoulds – you have a rigid code of conduct dictating how you and others should behave. You criticise yourself harshly when you fail to follow these rules. Should lists are so dangerous to the mind. They are transforming you into a perfectionist, into a critic and that’s not at all equal to self-love and mindfulness and good judgement. On the contrary, shoulds are infectious and must be replaced with something more kind to ourselves: the right to make mistakes, the patience to learn from one’s mistakes and the determination to challenge an existing no-longer serving belief, such as the “should theory”. Also, to gain more understanding on the topic, have a read here on the crossroads between should and must in the pursuit of happiness.

4.All or nothing thinking – You see things as absolutes, no grey areas. This ties very well with the one above. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and to understand that all things come and go. There is no white or black, as much as we would all want to shortcut things that we go through, and categorise it to make our lives easier, life is complex, so, so is our thinking.

5.Negativity bias – You notice all the negatives, but fail to notice the positives. For this one, sometimes, our parents have raised us with their own biases as their own knowledge to keep us safe from the world and to protect our future reckless choices by implementing a fear emotion in us every time we might get attracted by adventurous thoughts or behaviours. It’s ok to let go of that. Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo and even if a positive attitude does not spare you of negatives happening in your life, you should know, we need negatives too to develop the positives. There is something good in every bad, and something bad in every good. There is no white or black.

6. Catastrophising – You always expect the worst. As much as this could be a self defensive mechanism, and sometimes it turns out to be good to have this idea in your head, as you actually get surprised by life, and something resplendent is thrown at you, this should be rarely thought or used. You cannot always expect the worst. You are made up of an energy of your thoughts. If you only believe bad things will happen, guess what will you be attracting in your life? Remember, you are energy. I will share with you a secret. Remember when you tell yourself or to others: “Don’t forget to… something?”. Do you remember what actually always happens? You forget or they forget. Why? Because you have trained your mind into a NO suggestion. Do NOT remember to do that. Instead, use the phrase “Remember to do this/ I will remember to….”. Use it and let me know how it worked for you in the comments! Also, to change this thinking pattern, I will give another example. Let’s say you think – “I can’t stand this” – to restructure this cognitive distortion you could say “I am severely distressed, but I will handle it. I can manage it!”.

ONLY GROW THOUGHTS IN YOUR BRAIN THAT YOU WOULDN’T MIND PUTTING IN A VASE.

7.Labelling – You label yourself negatively. You always speak of yourself with use of negative words. Sometimes we do this, because we lack confidence in ourselves and we tend to use less than positive thinking and sayings so that whoever hears us, can actually demount our beliefs. But when you are alone, there is no one to tell you otherwise. You never believe the mirror, and if you did, it would anyway tell you the opposite of what you want to actually hear, because you are saying it to yourself, in the hope you can cling to something that can save your day. Again, as Carl Jung pointed out, “people would do anything, to avoid facing their own souls.” Stop using bad words, such as poor, inferior, unacceptable, imperfect, defective, faulty, careless, miserable, rotten, incompetent, inept, awful, appalling, terrible, pathetic, useless, lousy, deficient and start replacing them with superb, jubilant, adorable, alluring, attractive, blooming, celestial, classy, dandy, elegant, divine, enchanting, exquisite (my favourite word) fancy, fabulous, gorgeous, incomparable, irresistible, magnetic, mesmerising, ravishing, splendid, sublime, top-notch. Because you are all of that and beyond. You are beautiful. And you deserve to live your life knowing that.

8.Magical thinking – You think everything will be better when … (you’re thinner, smarter, richer, get a new job, etc). You will not be better if you live believing something that has a potentiality to not come true because you are not acting upon it. Even if you do act upon it, a lot of the times, this magical thinking relates to not really being practical about what could lead you in the spot you believe it’s going to transform you into this queen of happiness. Again, you should refer to the above, but do not believe your thoughts, and don’t take them so seriously. All things come and go in life, and practising mindfulness and gratefulness is more achievable (see my Blogmas 3 – link here and 4 – link here ) and can break down these thinking patterns of magically becoming something you think you want, when deep down, there is something else you need to focus on. Remember Carl Jung: “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” What are you avoiding by making use of magical thinking?

9.Over-personalizing – You make things personal, when they aren’t. You believe other people’s opinions are facts. You think what other people do or say is in reaction to you. I used to be a daily user of this destructive habit. Working in a call centre, you get a lot of people annoyed at the service or product and they say things such as “You do not understand”, “You think you know it all”, “You must listen to me, I am the customer” and I would easily get demotivated, annoyed, angry and sometimes even believe of myself of being incompetent. But I guess, you need to go through it to get out of it. Just be aware of this cognitive distortion and distort it in your favour. Instead of thinking of yourself to do everything well because you cannot cope with another negative feedback, say something like “I would prefer to perform well, but it’s not a disaster if I don’t.”

10.Mind -reading – you make assumptions about what other people are thinking. And we all are culprits on this one. We make assumptions because we are judgemental. And this is hard to get rid of. To reach that though, you first need to acknowledge there is a problem. That way you are half way through. For this, you can train yourself when speaking to people by listening in a mindful way, being fully present, without trying to control the conversation or the person you are speaking to think your way or convince them of something and to be free of judging their perspective. Rather, try understanding their perspective and see through their glasses. What do they see? What would they want to hear from you? What would you like to hear if you were in their shoes?

11.Double standard – You hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else. I am the personification of this cognitive distortion. I am a perfectionist and I am still figuring out how to restructure this distortion in my mind. A lot of the times, people experiencing double standard demand a lot of themselves, are severe to themselves if they do not stand up to their own elevated expectations of what they should have accomplished and they may surround themselves with people who aren’t that professional. Sometimes they do, but they immediately feel the person and when they see that everyone that they’ve met so far fails their standards, they might start to overgeneralize and more biases are born. Be careful what you tolerate, you are teaching people how to treat you. If you demand a lot of yourself, and show this to others, they might start asking more from you, because they believe of you being capable of delivering more than anticipated. This puts you in a position of stress and pressure to accommodate your standard to even higher ones, because for a person with a double standard, nothing is ever good enough.

12. Fallacy of fairness – you think things should work out according to what you think is fair. People do not have the same standard as you do. People have their own level of fairness and correctness and consciousness. I get a lot frustrated by the fact that people do not see things as I see them and this thinking pattern falls into this category because I expect them to think the same way regarding specific general topics, such as cleanliness, as an example. The truth is, people are unique and so is their viewing on the world, and so is their behaviour. What you think is trash might be someone else’s treasure and vice-versa. That’s how you need to think all aspects of life to heal this cognitive distortion. Also, do remember that “everything that irritates us about others, can lead us to an understanding of ourselves” as Carl Jung said.

13.Emotional Reasoning – you think your feelings are reality. In fact, they only portray your perception of the world. They are unique and they do not mean they are highlighting the reality around you. If you feel crap, it does not mean you are horrible. That’s just your interpretation of an emotion. Step out of that behavioural pattern and be kind to yourself. Appreciate what you have and who you are and who you are becoming. To reconstruct this cognitive distortion of emotional reasoning, you have to start thinking that your mental health is to be treated with the same importance as your physical health. When you think “I am worthless/ I feel worthless” do believe that YOUR EMOTIONS DO NOT DICTATE YOUR REALITY and say it to you out loud: “My emotions do not dictate my reality”.

Be patient with yourself as nothing in nature blooms all year round.

More words to heal you and start the transformation process until the end of the year: GATHER COURAGE LIKE WILDFLOWERS. (Jak Major)

Sometimes, when you’re in a dark place, you think you have been buried but actually you have been planted.

I would like to end today’s Blogmas with one word, this is EQUANIMITY.

Equanimity is a mental calmness, composure and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation. I believe that all these cognitive distortions are ways we use to cope with life and the experiences we face. We need mindfulness and lots of self-care to achieve this equanimity thinking pattern and I am confident with enough information and explanation and exposure to uplifting content, we can all be examples of challenging our existing beliefs and restructuring our most common cognitive distortions that stop us from truly come to terms with tranquillity and peace and our own unique story of life or career success.

Which cognitive distortion do you find yourself hard to overcome?

Blogmas 6 – Top 10 – Interesting to know facts + 2 Fiction books

I purchased a book called Top 10 for Men this summer and the main reason was because at work we have some games we do on a weekly basis, and I wanted to inspire a colleague with information or notions she could put in her fun huddle, but in the meantime realised that these top 10 were dated from 2012, so not very applicable for 2019. However, some of the lists created, I believe could not have changed in time, so I thought it would be fun to have a little bit of fun together with these Top 10 Facts. This book was designed supposedly for men, yet I could spot a page which is named Self-made wealthiest women. So Let’s start with that!

blogmas vlogmas 2019

Top 10 Wealthiest Self-Made Women

  • 1.Wu Yajun – Founder of Longfor Properties – a journalist turned real estate developer, Yajun’s wealth has exploded to $5.7 bn.
  • 2.Sara Blakely – Founder Spanx – this Florida native designed stockings friendlier to hot-weather shoes.
  • 3.Oprah Winfrey – TV Star – The talk show host and media juggernaut overcame brutal childhood experiences to wield unmatched influence.
  • 4.JK Rowling – Author – When the author began the Harry Potter series, she was a single mom on welfare living in an Edinburgh flat.
  • 5.Doris Fisher – Founder, The Gap – fisher presides over a clothing empire that includes Banana Republic and Old Navy.
  • 6.Madonna – Musician – The world famous vixen once hustled cassette tapes of her demo in front of New York DJs until they agreed to play her music.
  • 7.Coco Chanel – Founder , Chanel – Born of French peasants and reared in a convent, this beauty plied her trade as a seamstress into the highest level of fashion.
  • 8.Josie Natori – Founder, CEO – The Natori Co. – After migrating from the Philippines to Westchester, NY to attend college, she abandoned investment banking to create high-end women lingerie.
  • 9.Shama Kabani – Founder, CEO – The Marketing Zen Gp – a social media marketer who has seen her worth swell 400% each year
  • 10.Deanna Jump – Founder – Teachers pay teachers – This Georgia teacher developed a way for her profession to share creative, engaging lesson plans. The first year she only made $300.

Top 10 Largest Constellations

1.Hydra 2. Virgo 3. Ursa Major 4. Cetus 5. Hercules 6. Eridanus 7. Pegasus 8. Draco 9. Centaurus 10. Aquarius

TOP 10 MOST COMMON METALS IN THE HUMAN BODY

1.Calcium 2. Potassium 3. Sodium 4. Magnesium 5. Iron 6. Zinc 7. Strontium 8. Rubidium 9. Lead 10. Copper

TOP HONEY PRODUCING COUNTRIES

1.CHINA 2.TURKEY 3.USA 4. UKRAINE 5.ARGENTINA 6.MEXICO 7.ETHIOPIA 8.RUSSIA 9.IRAN 10.INDIA

LONGEST BOOKS EVER WRITTEN

  • 1.A la recherche du temps perdu/ In search of lost time/ Remembrance of things past – Marcel Proust – 1,200,000 words
  • 2.Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady – Samuel Richardson – 984,870 words
  • 3.Ponniyin Selvan (The son of Ponni) – Kalki Krishnamurthy – 900,000 words
  • 4.Poor fellow My Country – Xavier Herbert – 852,000 words
  • 5.Sironia, Texas – Madison Cooper – 840,000 words
  • 6.Romance of the 3 Kingdoms – Luo Guanzhong -800,000 words
  • 7.A suitable boy – Vikram seth – 593,674 words
  • 8.War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – 587,287 words
  • Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand – 565,223 words
  • Il mulino del Po (The mill on the Po) – Riccardo Bacchelli – 559,830 words

since we are at the topic of books, I wanted to bring to your attention that in my Blogmas 5, I was mentioning about my 14 books on my reading list for 2020, and I briefly mentioned that they are all non fiction almost. Well, the 2 fiction ones, I would like to delight you here with their title:

1.The Plotters, by Un-su Kim, translated by Sora Kim-Russell

2.Costalegre, by Courtney Maum, Publisher Tin House

These 2 books were selected and I decided to include them on my list of reading because it seems whoever read them assumed Aquarius people would love them. Based on their descriptions, I believe they are something I would choose. “The Plotters” recommendation sounds like this: “I like to think of my Aquarius friends as secret masterminds: they seem shy, but they are actually deep thinkers – and plotters. Secret’s out, I guess, but it’s worth it to recommend this Korean literary thriller that centres on a shadowy organisation whose members dictate all the crimes in the city, and whose secret base is called The Library.” “Costalegre” recommendation sounds like this: “Any Aquarius worth their salt will thrill to wander into the world of Costalegre: that is, a group of avant-garde artists hanging around the Mexican jungle. It’s just the kind of oddball escape that progressive, independent-minded and artistic Aquarians live for.”

Very magnetic.

Will you be joining me for Blogmas 7?

Blogmas 5 – About my 2020 reading list plans

I used to read far more when I was back in my home town, ever since I moved to the UK, in 2014, my reading habits have dropped significantly, to the point that maybe this year I hadn’t read a single full book! I keep starting reading them, because I still buy them, but never finish them. I recently, not that recently, 6 months ago, got into the mode of learning new languages, particularly Italian and have been very good at it for around 3-4 months, after which, autumn knocked at my door, more hours at work had to be taken temporarily, rain and winter feelings of cosiness leaked in my daily routine and I eventually dropped my Italian habits and I realise now that what I have learned did not disappear, however the level I thought I had achieved, it’s not actually there anymore. I would need to revise everything all over again, which, in this point in them, is likely improbable. That’s why, I want to crayon my 2020 reading plans, to maybe think of a reading list and actually stick to it.

Reading has always been for me very relaxing, and has always calmed me in some way, reading is calming my restless mind and it’s forcing me to focus on one thing at a time. I guess this is the main reason I really struggle to read nowadays, because I want too much all of a sudden and I distract myself in too many directions, becoming actually, more directionless.

Apart from the fact that I want to re-group myself and introduce my daily foreign language learning habits, I want to write more on my blog, here, and I want to read more, because, firstly, reading is exceptionally creative, inspirational and can motivate you, or at least, it surely does this to me, to get inspired and if, I read about something interesting, I immediately get an idea and want to write it on my blog. So, let’s just do this. 🙂 Maybe this plan I have for myself will guide you to think of your own reading lists for 2020. I hope.

I get a lot of inspiration and joy from browsing specific websites, that I think I mentioned here before. I will start with the most recent one that I have looked onto, which is called lithub.com. I am always captivated by the quality and beautiful craft around writing there, and I actually discovered that literary platform because I really loved how one author or writer was creating content on flavorwire.com‘s books section, her name is Emily Temple and at one point, she left her position there and I kept trying to find out where else is she writing and that’s how I ended up on lithub.com.

So, when I select books I want to read, I usually go to different recommendations on websites that do this for a living, such as the lithub.com. I also check the publishing house of books that I read in the past and enjoyed so much that fell in love with the publishers and one example is Picador publisher company, or Pan Macmillan. Picador actually won the Imprint of the Year at 2019 British Book Awards. I also scroll their website in search of new books and interesting stories and different content than the one widely spread or suggested online.

I used to not really enjoy reading fiction because I did not think at that age (when I believed that) that one could learn anything from a novel, apart from life stories and events and get a plot and feel the rush to finish reading it, but that has changed when I read very good books recommended by mostly people who are in the industry and know what they are talking about. I like a good fiction book, however the latest one that I picked up, was in Spanish, by Paulo Coelho, called Veronica decides to die, and I cannot finish it, it is so depressing and it really affects my judgement. This means 2 things, I am very empathetic, I am too emotional and I am easily influenced by what I read and also, the author is extremely good at describing and making you feel like you could be thinking the same way. I think that should be a book suicidal people should read. I cannot finish it though, I found that it strongly affects my emotional state and makes me gloomy. I wanted to read it because first, it’s by an author that I know is exceptional and have read “The Alchemist” and it was life-changing, read my Blogmas 2 on the topic more, and second I wanted to maintain my Spanish language skills. But, I will not be doing that with that book!

I am also particularly interested and keen on discovering new sensations in the non-fiction realm of books actually. This may steam from the fact I studied Psychology and being given potential answers or reasons for behaviour and brain patterns is really helping me in understanding myself for, as I am on a constant “get to know myself” treadmill and it pushes me to follow my dreams. So, the books that I actually have on my reading shelf are mostly, if not, all, non-fiction.

1.How to be a dictator – the cult of personality in the 20th century by Frank Dikotter

2.User-friendly – how the hidden rules of design are changing the way we live, work and play – by Cliff Kuang and Robert Fabricant

3.Long Live Latin – the pleasures of a useless language – by Nicola Gardini

4.The finance curse – how global finance is making us all poorer – by Nicholas Shaxson

5. Winterlust – finding beauty in the fiercest season Bernd Brummer, translated by Mary Catherine Lawler

6.Genuine fakes – how phony things teach us about real stuff by Lydia Pine

7.Artificial Intelligence – a guide for thinking humans – by Melanie Mitchell

8.Crisis of conscience – whistle blowing in an age of fraud by Tom Mueller

9.The optimist telescope – thinking ahead in a reckless age by Bina Venkataraman

10.The fate of food – what we’ll eat in a bigger, hotter, smarter world by Amanda Little

11.The levelling – what’s next after globalisation by Michael O’Sullivan

12.The universe speaks in numbers – how modern math reveals nature’s deepest secrets by Graham Farmelo

13.How to do nothing – resisting the attention economy by Jenny Odell

14.Maybe you should talk to someone: a therapist, her therapist and our lives revealed by Lori Gottlieb

So, these are the few books I should be able to easily read next YEAR, as you can see they are diverse, different and give perspective on subjects that are of worldly interest and futuristic. Practical.

I have there 14 books, so I have been very kind to myself, one book a month should suffice for me to finish it and not leave it unfinished. Regarding my plans to incorporate language learning into my daily routine, I decided I want to go ahead with one language at a time, so my focus will remain Italian and as much as I am so interested in Estonian and their culture, I will need to prioritise to be able to reach my destination. If there’s anything that I learned this year hardcore is that you need to focus on one thing at a time, multiple diverse interests would only distract you and take you no where.

As to how I will do the Italian, I will do it passively through learning on the go, most likely by listening and following Youtubers in Italian, music and blogs. If my attention is mainly there anyway, why not make use of my passions and include tiny changes that can actually help me further down the line.

If you would like to read some Christmas related books, I recommend to follow these suggestions, they are from last year (10-new-books-to-enlighten-your-dark-december) , but they are very mesmerising. I also have my own December Christmas recommendations here, if you want something old, but gold.

Baby steps. how about you, what is your reading list made up of? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear about new books, different styles or ideas.

Blogmas 4 – How to feel more joy?

I was writing yesterday all about understanding joy and the difference it has with happiness and I was mentioning that I quoted parts of the article I was reading all the information about and I actually did a test yesterday regarding what is draining my joy and how to feel more joy, and it was spooky accurate, of course, because it is a quiz actually (briefly I will explain the difference to you) and I really think it would benefit you too, in case you missed the January 2020 UK Psychologies Magazine.

Regarding the difference between a quiz and a test, well, a test is usually something that is testing your abilities in something and it gives a percentage of how much you scored based on a majority percentage. A test is usually something that is more connected to our capabilities, whereas a quiz is reflecting something we know about ourselves but it is putting the spotlight on the actual things that we fail to see. A quiz is based on multiple answers and they are all right, they just highlight your personality at that point in time, your thinking and your mood. To be completely honest, from a psychological point of view, a quiz isn’t really that reflective of yourself as it is a test, but a test can only be completed in presence of a psychologist, someone specialised in this area, compared to quizzes that are open largely to the public because they are not clinical, as tests are. So, a quiz will capture alternatives which you choose and they reflect your inner being and mood at that point in time. If you take the same quiz in 10 years worth of time, the outcome could change, because , we as persons evolve every day, who you are today is different from whom you will become in 1 year. Your perceptions and ideas will have altered in time and formed you as you are into a more mature human being.

This quiz is very fun and I really wanted to include this disclaimer, it was not made up by me and it is solely taken from the magazine with the purpose of serving you as my reader and help you in your life, especially at this time of the year.

What you need to do: Select one option from each question and add up at the end of the 10 questions, the number of symbols you have selected, the more symbols of one category, the better, because that’s where you will discover you find your joy, as the outcome will also be included in here. Why is it so accurate? Because you are giving answers very close to something you already feel or know about yourself and adding it all up, the psychologist creating it, made sense of certain traits for the person choosing those particular options. So, let’s begin.

  1. To you, truly joyful people seem: a)alive and switched on b)calm and focused c)confident about the future d)clear about what really matters
  2. Which of these activities would you find the most therapeutic: a) a walk somewhere beautiful b)doing yoga or meditation c)laughing with a good friend d)listening to an inspirational ebook or podcast
  3. At the end of a challenging day, you often feel: a)numb b)frazzled c)worried d)restless
  4. On a group holiday, you’re the one who: a)feels disconnected from the group b)wants to try everything c)plans for all contingencies d)suggests a group activity
  5. You feel at your best when you: a)feel engaged by something new b)know you are making a difference c)are doing something that you are good at d)are doing something creative
  6. For you, joy is something: a)uplifting b)clarifying c)liberating d)spiritual
  7. You will feel more joy when you feel less: a)isolated b)fragmented c)anxious d)directionless
  8. What’s been your biggest time-waster this year? a)scrolling on your phone b)doing too many things at once c)fretting about things that never actually happened d)comparing yourself to others
  9. Your go-to mood lifter is: a)escaping into your fantasy life b)setting yourself a new and exciting challenge c)venting to someone who is supportive d)buying something new
  10. To you, a life well-lived means: a)making the most of every day b)making a difference c)taking every opportunity that comes your way d)being your best self

The outcome shows you what will help you feel more joy.

why we love specific fashion clothes why we wear certain clothes
Photo Credit: @BrookeCagle

If you scored a majority of a) -CONNECTION : Joy often comes in tiny packages that are easy to miss if you spend a lot of time on autopilot. Tuning into joy starts with being present. You may disconnect due to feeling overwhelmed; getting through the day rather than experiencing it. Low mood can be a trigger for retreating into a protective bubble and disconnection can be a survival strategy to make stressful situations bearable. Even daydreaming can mean disconnection if it’s a way of dealing with tough feelings. Designate regular times of day to be in the here and now. It might be on your journey to work, at mealtimes or when you go for a walk. Instead of clicking into distraction mode, bring your mind to the present and notice what you experience through your senses. What can you hear, see, smell and taste? When your mind wanders, bring your attention back by asking “How do I know what I am feeling?” At the end of the day, do a mental review of positive experiences, no matter how small. There are joyful moments everywhere but sometimes you need to train yourself to notice them.

intermittent fasting 1 year experience
Photo Credit – Phi Phi

If you scored mainly b) – SIMPLICITY – Your capacity for joy is diluted if your life is fragmented, or you feel as if you don’t have time to do things properly. You may postpone joy, telling yourself as soon as you’ve caught up, you can enjoy yourself. However, as soon as you get over one hurdle, another appears. If you feel as if you have lost direction, you react by seeking new challenges, when the solution is to do less, not more. Creating a more meaningful life can mean saying no to things that you want to do, as well as those you don’t , to allow space for joy to flourish. Embracing simplicity starts with a switch from living reactively to being proactive and thinking about how you want to spend your time. Happiness is under your control! Start small – swap an hour a day spent on an activity you feel indifferent about to one that you love to enhance your contentment. It can be a simple change – maybe go for a walk at lunch instead of looking at your phone. Bring your daily habits in line with your values and joy will follow.

do people really read blogs or just scroll through the photos
Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

If you scored mainly c) – OPTIMISM – Joy can feel uncomfortable and unsafe, as if you are tempting fate. Joy can be fleeting or may be followed by disappointment, but moments of joy will remain elusive if they are always countered with negative thoughts such as “this thing won’t work or won’t last”. Anticipating the worst is protective but undermines confidence. Trust that allowing yourself to feel joy won’t lessen your resilience. You deserve joy! If you have an insidious inner critic, it will find a way to make you feel guilty for feeling happy or pleased. Try to nurture your inner optimist. Make a decision to treat yourself with compassion and spend time with people who uplift you rather than drain you. Each day, think of 3 or 4 good things that could happen over the following week, however tiny – a conversation with a friend, reading something uplifting, enjoying a walk. It’s about being grateful for good things in advance. Experiencing joy is about training your mind to expect positive things, and to notice them when they happen.

why we love specific fashion clothes why we wear certain clothes
Photo Credit: @BrookeCagle

If you scored mainly d) – PURPOSE = You may seek joy in all the wrong places – external validation, possessions or achievements – but it’s hard to feel joy if you’ve lost sight of what gives you meaning. When you are driven or conscientious, you can do what’s expected of you, rather than what makes your heart sing, so live becomes a series of milestones. You will never feel joy if you are stuck on an achievement treadmill when what you really care about is being part of a community creating something meaningful or helping the world become a better place. Be sure your values and aspirations are truly your own and not imposed on you by others. Start by making time for awe and wonder. Immerse yourself in beauty, the environment or art. Find a way to explore and express your creativity and spend time with like-minded people who inspire you. Nurture the brave part of you that seeks a life less ordinary and try to consolidate your spirituality. Living a life of meaning is always a work in progress but there is much joy to experience along the way.

how to feel more joy quiz

All 4 options actually are great ways to start embracing your life and be more grateful so you can let yourself see the joy all around you. I think from each section, we can all take something and feel more mindful, peaceful and calm.

What score do you think I got the majority of? Which did you?

Blogmas 3 – How I find inspiration

For me, inspiration is something that gets me out of bed, that makes me do things and be active, instead of being passive. It’s joy. Pure joy, which I have mentioned in my Blogmas No.2 that I rarely express. I do feel it the most when I get inspiration and this need of sharing the idea I come across or something that I want to create because I need to express myself.

In my view of things, inspiration brings joy. I was seeing something funny the other day on Instagram, Frassy Audrey on her Instagram account posted a picture with each zodiac sign’s idea of wanting to “kill someone” figuratively speaking. For Aquarius, which is me, it was ‘being forced to work a desk job’ and this really made me laugh, both in happiness and tears alike. The reason, is that, I have worked all my life a desk job, and sure, it is comfortable and nice, and you can check my Blogmas 1, to see my view on that, but at the same time, it is something that kills me deep down, and of course, when your soul dies, you become very sad, mean and you weaken your love for people in general, because you are so consumed by what you despise that it is hard to find the joy. So, you can see, I am in this cognitive dissonance that I was explaining in my previous posts during this Blogmas, and I do not know how to get out of it and my only escape is, at the moment, the dream I have with this blog. So, I write.

Some years back, I read 2 important books that truly captivated me and made me see the fundamental meaning behind using your talents and passions to serve others, which is to inspire other people to do the same. I believe that if we, all, work and do with joy and passion and positive energy all that which we were created and planted onto this Earth to work on, we would truly make the world a better and peaceful place. When everyone is going to a job that they only do because it pays the bills and helps to maintain a certain lifestyle that we have all created around us and that is comfortable and secure, we do become numb to experiencing joy and passion, or the real, real interest and perseverance in something exciting, lively and creative, inspirational and motivational for others. When we inspire others to do beautiful things and to share their amazing talents, we grow humans and we expand our consciousness and we attract good vibes and abundance. I think, we lack the faith that, that is a very likely possibility, that’s why we keep our secured jobs. But anyhow, I am getting off track here. Those 2 great books are Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and Elle Luna’s “The crossroads of should and must, find and follow your passion”. I have discussed the impact these had on me here and here, respectively.

alisa-anton- do people really read blogs or just scroll through the photos
Photo Credit – Alisa Anton

Those books are very inspirational and motivational and make you feel like you can touch the sky. They are so positive and uplifting. I madly recommend you read them. I would need to re-read them to get a confidence and mood boost.

When I usually want to write on the blog, I am thinking what to write about, what to share, how to write it, when in most occasions, this fails to fulfil the purpose of actually sharing stuff. I have few people actually reading this now, and if you are reading this now, can you please leave me a comment? So, having a little following or maybe none at all, is in a way, useful, because I do not need to stick to content. However, the main reason, I am still in this situation is because I do not push myself to go further with this and leave it for tomorrow and so on. It’s been 4 years like this! With content going up every couple of months, whenever my inspiration strikes me and I want to put that idea online now, I mean, in that place and moment in time, that it happens to me. And because, I have a rather stressful and soliciting job, I use up all my energy for work purposes and I forget about myself. In rare occasions, when I actually find the time to “love myself” (take time to myself and to browse all those websites and fantasies online to get inspiration or to bring joy to my fade life) I get a shot of inspiration and I either use it straight away or wait until the next day, write something down in relation to it, and I say to myself, “I will write on it tomorrow”. And tomorrow, I never do. Some pieces of content make it to my blog, some end up on other blogs (because the idea is worked on by others more diligent in their passions who are more focused people). That is also true, because ideas don’t just come up to me or you. They are in the air waiting for someone to pick on them and act on them. A lot of the times, if you are the first one to collect it, you get a push from the universe and you are recognised by others for your idea because you dared to pursue your passions and the universe makes sure you are rewarded, one, to make you an inspiration for others to follow the inspiration or your vibe and energy of action and second because you deserve it. You have done something no one attempted to, even though they too, had all the ingredients.

bright blue monday positivity motivation inspiration mood uplif

So I guess, me attempting this late Blogmas, is a way of keeping track to myself and obtaining a result at the end of December. This result consists of being able to follow through something with no immediate reward. Being able to persevere. Being able to be consistent. Being able to divide my energy and attention or to keep part of the energy I give at work, to myself, to use it up along with my focused attention for something I enjoy more. Being able to be true to myself and just do it (blogging) and see if this is actually for me or not. Although, my thought is, it is. I am drawn to this. I feel this is where I feel at my best, so comfortable and so uncomfortable at the same time.

I am really curious about your blogging journey. Tell me, how have you discovered your path or have decided to stick to it?

For me, it’s always been about being inspired. As mentioned, energy creates this inspiration, not just photos or articles or stuff you discover online or hear offline or you read. You have a certain amount of energy and you have to make use of it in a sensible manner. Meaning, BALANCE. As much as I know I have read a lot and probably even shared a tone on the subject by now on the blog, I actually think, balance is what we need to actually achieve our goals. It is not sustainable to work non stop even though you have a vocation or job or career you are in love with or married with. You also need time off. In that time off, a lot of inspiration can occur. A lot of new things happen and the brain just gets a getaway from all the to-do lists and goals to attain and it’s able to be more productive after a vacation.

So, because I was mentioning in Blogmas 2 about my health concerns and my little obsession with healthy lifestyle, I have actually come to the extreme of it, and attempted too healthy, if that makes sense, with my daily intake of garlic, weakening my iron levels, which in turn is affecting my daily routines, making me very dizzy and tired all of a sudden. This also highlights the chaos I live in. Because, the truth is, it’s been quite hectic this year. Therefore, I strive for balance and mindfulness regarding equilibrium in life. The journey has to start with something I get joy out of, and this is coming from this blog. I am also getting inspiration from simply writing, sharing and then reading my old blog posts and realising, how much I still like them. And trust me, I am so critical, I mean, remember, I am a perfectionist!

31 lessons I learned in 31 Christmases

But I think, I have covered this before, I want to let myself to just write, with no fear of doing it, in the end, there’s not many critical voices here (since I have a little following – jokes!!!) with no judgements on myself, with no strings attached. Just explore this new “kind to myself” version a bit, since it’s also December, the kind month, jokes again. Explore my writing style, which I think it’s optimistic, positive, uplifting, introspective and funny, but can also be reflective and knowledgeable, useful but at the same time enjoyable.

31 mistakes I made in 31 years

Where else do I find inspiration? In nature, in new spots I have not explored yet, in different areas than the ones I am normally interested in. In conversations with people. In what people tell me about myself. I am actually scared of asking people their opinions on me. It may steam from childhood trauma because I was quite a shy girl and being introverted, only made it worse in teenage years, but, I think the main reason is that I fear people will say things about me that I fear facing, which are true, but deep down do not want to be associated with of embarrassment, because while growing up, those characteristics or traits were regarded as a deficiency in some way or another, as a weakness that defines me, as a stigma and it hurt. But, a lot of the times, sharing information about yourself to others, to new people, not just people that know you very well, can give you a different perspective, can heal the past trauma, can reveal a different side of yourself that you did not know you owe, and can turn your life upside down. As an example, the fact that I am shy and introverted can be seen as a disadvantage at work nowadays, because you need to have the leadership skills to progress on the job, you need to be vocal about your accomplishments, all of which is not my style. It’s very difficult for me to portray something I am not deep down, because it feels I am letting myself down, or better, I betray myself. And another cognitive dissonance appears. How can you obtain a position you know you are good at and can handle well, but the interviewer wants you to showcase attitudes and behaviours that are opposite of yourself ? That’s another blockage which stimulates your inner self to think, “oh, that job is not for me”. My manager recently said to me that, if she had a visitor, she would not feel confident in me explaining my job to them because she does not see me being vocal or visible as that type of person to be able to handle that “opportunity”. It hurt. But at the same time, this shows something about myself which is more profound and I should not be upset with my manager for making it visible to me. I am lacking confidence in my abilities. Because I do not have a good enough self esteem (being damaged through my perfectionism quest and self critique) I was not able to defend myself and stand up for myself and say “Hey, you are wrong, I am actually very sure of what I am doing here and the fact I am not telling everyone I am so good at, does not mean I am not, it simply means, I focus on my job, not on what other people think of me, but I will definitely be able and not just able, would love to have this chance to prove you wrong”.

31 mistakes I made in 31 years

I lack confidence in my own strengths. Writing it makes it feel like I will fix it, like it gets healed. But we all know it does not happen that fast. When I get inspiration, I feel extremely confident of myself and I am pure joy. I do not think of what others think of me, I simply am, I simply live. I love that feeling. It’s a lovely energy that is just love. So, to me inspiration is life. It’s the core of life balance. It’s like water or air. I cannot live without it.

Inspiration is my joy. And joy, I actually read a full article on this in the January magazine of UK Psychologies. And I would like to quote some insightful words on the matter of joy: “Research indicates that joyful moments are really powerful. Joy can improve our performance at work as well as change the way we interact with others, and it can make us 12% more productive because it improves our working memory, the part of the brain we use for complex tasks during which we need to focus. The truth is, if we allow ourselves to experience joy during difficult times, it helps us to combat stress. Joy allows us to develop more resilience and find more meaning and purpose in the midst of challenges. Research by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson reveals that if you allow yourself to experience small moments of joy, such as buying yourself a bag of sweets, you will be more likely to see the bigger picture when solving complex problems, as well as coming up with creative solutions.”

I really will like to include much more of this motivational article, because it helped me see how I mistakenly believed that if I limit myself and my joy, I will have time in the future to feel it. Well, not if you get dizzy in the meantime – :)))) I want to include this “joy research” and copy paste parts of the article because a lot of the times to experience the inspiration, we need to allow ourselves to be joyful. And the following paragraph will debunk it in more proper words to understand what I want to say:

“Society dictates that the busier we are, the more successful we are. And we sometimes confuse achieving our goals with joy, or mistakenly believe that one will necessarily lead to the other. Unfortunately, this leads us away from a state of being into constantly doing, and also comparing ourselves to others on social media. {Side note – and do you remember what I was writing about in my Blogmas 1 – link here} But it is only when we learn to spend time in the present moment and can be with ourselves that we are able to feel truly joyful. Joy isn’t about the fancy car, it happens on the inside.”

“Dwelling on how happy you were in the past or fantasising about how happy you could be in the future if a certain set of circumstances comes about … neither of those mental states is properly joyful. On the other hand, joy isn’t about having to create an Instagram moment of, say, a holiday with access to an enormous swimming pool. It’s about savouring the little moments, the small details. Another immediate issue when it comes to creating more joy is that it’s an emotion that is frequently used interchangeably with happiness, even though there are distinct differences between the 2. Happiness is a broad evaluation about how we feel about our life over time and it encompasses a complex range of elements. At times, the concept of happiness can feel quite vague. If someone, were to ask you how happy you are right now, on a scale of 1 to 10, you would probably struggle to come up with an answer. You would have to ask yourself – how do I feel about my work, family, health and relationships?”

Joy on the other hand, can be defined as an intense, momentary experience of positive emotion. We can measure joy through direct physical expression – laughter, a feeling of wanting to jump up and down. It differs for everyone but what’s important is to start to pay attention to what it feels like in the body. It creates a physical reaction just as, for example, we can identify when we’re anxious because we have butterflies in your stomach and clammy hands. The more we notice that joy is a physiological experience, the more we can start to catch hold of those moments in our day. It’s a chain reaction that unfolds in the moment instead of being this far-off thing.”

According to the American Psychological Association, there are 2 recognised forms of joy: passive and active. Passive joy involves tranquillity and a feeling of contentment with things just as they are. Active joy involves a desire to share one’s feelings with others. Both are associated with an increase in energy and feelings of confidence and self-esteem.”

These last words, cited, conclude my points. Inspiration brings me joy. I will stop postponing my joy and so should you. Inspiration is everywhere and sometimes it is the actual joy in the small detail or random stuff you come across or words you hear or thoughts you share with people.

But, what does inspire you, deeply? Tell me in the comments down below!