1 Year of intermittent Intermittent Fasting

No, no, it’s not a misspelling. This is all about my 1 year experience of intermittently doing intermittent fasting. Last year in the beginning of May, I came across some information about fasting on YouTube. I knew a bit about fasting and what it does and what it means to the body from the religious point of view. Yes, and the food you are supposed to eat and not eat during the fasting period. However, intermittent fasting was something new to me at the time. At least the concept or the name given, because in a way I had been practising it when I was younger before going to uni.

What is intermittent fasting? It’s the same question I asked myself. It is a regular fasting by which you eat in a specific eating window daily, letting your digestive system to breathe for 16-18 hours per day. During those 16-18 hours (or a bit less, if you are just starting, let’s say 12-14 hours) you do not eat anything. You just drink water, tea or coffee (with no sugar or milk). Because I was hooked with the idea of cleansing the body and having a better digestion and charmed by the release of the growth hormone that occurs during the fasting period and its wonderful anti-aging effects, I jumped onto it. From eating all day long, every 2 hours for 16 hours a day, I moved in one night to eating 2 times a day during 8 hours. The opposite of what I was doing up until that point. I had no issues in adjusting to the schedule of eating. In fact, because I was expecting to experience the hunger effect in the morning, I went on with the expectation that I will be feeling hungry, but I will drink more tea. Clean even more my body. It was very easy to me to do it. Contrary to what I expected it to be, a bit harsh, not very easy to adapt but it will be worthwhile, it was extremely smooth in my experience. Probably because I wanted it to work so much. I was enthusiastic about my discovery and about Dr. Berg’s YouTube Channel. It was also Kinobody Channel that I discovered and a few others after digging more, Thomas DeLauer (who is more into ketosis) and at the time, I was watching Jon Venus for a while also, and realised that he had a video on fasting a while ago too, but at the time, it did not click anything in my head. Probably because I was associating fasting with something radical and too sudden, like dry fasting or religious fasting as it is in my religion. So, researching more and more with each day I was fasting, I realised how natural it comes to me to do it, but at the same time, was doing some exercises because I wanted to tone up my body. Kinobody entered my frequency for that scope. Little by little, I learned more about the process and realised the deep changes that were taking place inside and outside my body. The first week went off quite fast. And because I was pleased with the easiness of it all, the flow of the experience, it’s probably why I carried on. The first few days, the first main difference occurred.

intermittent fasting 1 year experience
Photo credit – Olu Eletu

I realised just how much clearer and focused I was compared to the times of the past when I would eat every 2 hours to have energy and enough drive to go through the day, to cope with the multitude of tasks and customers over the phone in a very demanding and challenging fraud department of a call centre. I realised just how my concentration improved, I was able to deal with the situation so much smoother and I had a better mood overall to deal with stress. I believed that you need sugar and glucose in your blood and brain to have energy. I was so wrong. You need the lack of that to be focused. To have determination. Perseverance. To avoid procrastination and to be dynamic and energetic. 

Intermittent fasting made me realise just how much I was addicted to food, and sweets to believe that I needed it to go through the day. To actually work well. My brain was foggy and addicted to food. I was eating every 2 hours because that’s what some doctors and health specialists recommend, to eat often and less. But that triggers your insulin levels every 2 hours. Those mood swings? That insulin going up and down every time you eat was the main reason I had mood swings. And they were powerful, I was so mad, angry and upset on myself for my job. I hated my job. I thought that the reason I felt so up and down was the work I was doing. Maybe it played a part too, but then, how come after this intermittent fasting, the game changed completely? Little by little, I realised it was not the job itself. It was my lack of focus, my lack of presence in dealing with the tasks and customers situations was the reason I felt I did not enjoy what I was doing. I was caught in a carousel of emotions every minute because my brain needed more sugar to have the energy necessary to deal with frustrations, stress and challenges, and deadlines and timescales. I believed you need energy to cope with a demanding job. I was wrong. What you need is focus, a clear head and a peaceful mind. Those mood swings caused by this insulin swing and insulin resistance were not making me feel at peace. My mind was scattered in thousands of directions and I could not focus on one thing, because I did not wish to focus on what thing. I was actually wanting to deal with the feelings I had at the time. Those feelings of frustrations and feeling stressed, overwhelmed, annoyed with customers and annoyed with life for being forced to have that type of job (which I still do, but I have a so much better, peaceful and mindful approach towards). I had my brain injected with poison every day, every single hour and my brain only wanted the sugary thing. My brain could not focus on the task at hand. It had to deal with its addiction. I, on the other hand, had to deal with my brain addiction and its lack of focus to cope with my job. I was torn apart because I was upset on myself for not being able to cope with the chocolate addiction and for not being able to handle my job fulfilment. Too many emotions. So much chocolate drama. Food drama. I was constantly thinking at my next break and what to eat. I was always thinking of food and what I could eat. All the time, my brain and my mind were located in the food paradise. It is overwhelming for the conscious mind. It was not sustainable and anyone reading this, understanding what I say, feeling alike or glimpsing, yeah, it kind of feels like me, my God, you have no idea that life does not need to be like that.

Intermittent fasting has changed my life. I have also learned lots of stuff about health and mostly about myself and about my mind. Not my brain. My brain does what my mind tells him. The brain is an engine that we need to use for our mind’s use. It’s not the other way around, as most of the people live by, and as I lived by not long ago.

After the first month of intermittent fasting, I lost my period. I lost it for around 2 months, and then freaked out and stopped the 16-18 hours of fast. Went back to eating around 3-4 meals a day without skipping breakfast, but this time, it was different. Eating regularly felt different. I was more aware of what I was experiencing when I wanted to eat something in particular. Especially if the food desired was chocolate. I knew I was craving that because I felt unloved. I felt unfulfilled professionally. I felt I was not using my gifts or my talents and I would need sugar to compensate me for my failures. It was as if my brain was telling me, but you have this, eat this now and you will feel better, you’ll see, life is better after something sweet, life is sweeter after sweets. I realised I was not my brain nor my mind. I was more than that and I was not a reflection of what I felt I should eat. I understood the differences between what my brain is, what my mind is, and what my consciousness and spirituality is. I felt free of the burden of my brain addicted to food and free from thinking all day long of food. I felt free to actually focus on what I had to focus on. Things were so much clearer in my head and they transpired in my work. I was getting better at focusing at my day to day role. I felt less the stress that a couple of months ago I was experiencing. I was more at peace with myself. This was such a great realisation to me. Like an epiphany. Something like, so that’s why this happened. So that’s why I was doing that. It was like suddenly knowing something.

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My chocolate cravings diminished hugely during and after the intermittent fasting period. I went on after the 2 months intermittent fasting to a one month let’s say normal eating, but I was still eating in a eating frame window of around 12 hours. I was letting more time between meals before jumping to another one and I felt less and less the need to eat every 3 hours. I felt relieved. I mean, if this is what rehabilitated people from drugs or alcohol feel, I do understand why they would fell off track. It’s the emotional side of the addiction that needs cure, not the biological one. It’s very easy to make your brain understand it does not need something you are addicted to, but it is hard and it takes time to make your heart understand a trauma or an emotional conflict and how to overcome it correctly without the involvement of addictive substances. Because sugar is a substance if you did not know. A toxic one. It’s poison. POISON. TOXIC. Then during that time, my period came back. So I decided to adjust my fasting window to one more hour. But it turned out it was actually 15-16 hours, it’s just that I did not realise how easy it was for me to forget I needed food. I was not feeling hungry and when I was eating I was enjoying food SO MUCH MORE THAN EVER BEFORE. I could sense and taste more. My experience with food not only changed but improved in terms of sensations. It’s weird. I realised I was actually doing intermittent fasting without knowing in early November. I think I had a flu or something because in November my period did not come. But at that point I was not as concerned as I was in the first month. Because by that time I thought I just need to stop this for 2 weeks and it will flow again. Which it did. but then, I met a health consultant and I realised just how wrongly I had been eating all that time. Even though my sweet cravings have diminished a lot and the sweets that I was eating were more natural or better, and I was anyway and still am into organic food and wholefoods, I was making mistakes which I hope you will not do. Eating sweets after main meals, no matter what label of natural and better for you they have, is still sugar and sugar combined with any other food is alcohol to the liver. It’s more than sugar toxicity. It’s damaging for the liver, especially in the long term. The second mistake was that I was not consuming enough of greens, I was eating vegetables and I love them, but I enjoy more peppers and tomatoes and radishes and onions. I love onions. Very little greens like salads, kale or spinach. And that’s a huge mistake on a ketosis (high protein diet or lifestyle) or an intermittent fasting lifestyle. When you fast, the body releases lots of toxins from the body and they go through the liver to be cleaned out of the blood and the body. Not having enough of greens and its nutrients an other chemicals that help the liver to stream them out of the body is quite heavy for the liver. It’s like unpaid overtime. After a while, the performance will diminish. Why bother when there is no pay? I stopped that non-sense I would say in time. But that does not mean that the years before that, when I would eat a bit of desert after each meal, which is like alcohol after every single meal for more than 10 years-15 years, have not marked some difficulties for my liver to clean myself and itself. If the liver cannot heal itself through the greens we consume, then it won’t have the capacity to clean toxins and waste from our bodies. And that’s when I finally understood why parents said to us when we were young that we must consume vegetables and we must eat our greens. They must have heard it from their parents too and maybe in the past it was simply put out as for health benefits because vegetables have lots of nutrients and vitamins. But the reason we need it, is because those vitamins and nutrients help us live. If our liver would not perform as it’s supposed and expected to, then it would not have much life, and neither would we.

So, bottom line, eat your greens daily. In November last year, I did change a bit my lifestyle and my intermittent fasting became even more drastic. I stopped eating sugar. Little by little, I had since December last year to April this year a sugar free diet or lifestyle. And it felt amazing. I did lose a lot of weight (2 kg for me, being quite skinny, is a lot) mainly because I stopped consuming those foods which were high in sugar and hidden sugars and because sweets were expelled for a while from my diet. I talked about my sugar free experience in this post here, if you are curious how that made me feel and what I learned from that.

intermittent fasting 1 year experience
Photo Credit – Phi Phi

The reason I called this post intermittent intermittent fasting is because my whole year was intermittently an intermittent fasting. I had 16-18 hours of fast. I had 12-14 hours of fast and also I had 10 hours of fast. But I did not once had a fast lower than 10 hours. In the last month, being April at the time of this post, I had intermittent fasting for around 12-14 hours. Which seems to work best for me now. And I started including a bit of sugar too. The recommended sugar per day should be 20 grams max. If you take a look at a package of biscuits you will realise, the whole package if eaten, and most of the times, by most people it is, it contains 40-60 grams of sugar. Can you imagine how much toxicity is in your body if only one package of biscuits has that amount and you would consume your coffee with sugar, you have a fruit yogurt or you eat a piece of cake as desert? And that’s without counting the hidden sugar in bread, sometimes meat, precooked meals etc. It’s unbelievable.

When I started intermittent fasting, I did not want it to lose weight. I am skinny anyway and always have been. I was interested in the long term benefits such as anti aging effects due to release of the growth hormone, no more insulin resistance, detoxifying my body naturally, better focus, improved sleep. I actually forgot to mention this, but I experienced a diminished need for sleep. And when it comes to sleep I am a koala bear. I would sleep A LOT. This aspect changed since doing IF. I am not needing to have 10 hours of sleep. I am able to cope just above fine with 7-8 hours. Which is an extra benefit to me. I am no longer tired and dreading to wake up in the morning. The attitude towards that changed also probably because my moods are now constant. And not up and down. I have lost weight even though my purpose was not that, but I am comfortable getting it back too, I would simply need to switch off the IF for a couple of months and eat regularly like 4 times a day. I noticed that when I was fasting and training I had seen an improvement in my muscles, in the sense that I was a difference before when exercising and not doing IF and after. It was more vivid the change. IF also is said to actually maintain your muscles and contrary to the believes that if you do not eat, your muscles will lose their weight. Actually, that happens when you are starving, but during IF you are not starving, you simply are not hungry because your body naturally does its job and it provides the energy it needs from the fat stored in your body, without the need to ask your brain to manipulate you into giving a treat. Cause, we are not dogs, are we?

In conclusion, my intermittent fasting thought me the following 5 important things:

  • I am not my brain and its thoughts. I am consciousness and I am human.
  • Mindfulness is very powerful and you understand it better through intermittent fasting, being much capable of practising it in other areas after an IF experience
  • Your focus is on your food or on your present moment. It’s one of the two. If you are not experiencing the present moment, it’s because you have a food addiction and an insulin resistance issue.
  • Peace truly comes from within. I have found peace and the opposite of this peace is called insulin resistance and its twisted mood swings and impulsive actions and consequences.
  • Do not underestimate your brain nor its power to dominate you. You have no idea how clever you are. You sabotage yourself daily and you don’t even know that it’s your brain doing it to you, because it’s the brain controlling you instead of you controlling your brain. And it’s really not that hard to manage it.

Intermittent fasting is part of my lifestyle now, I am also considering ketosis, however that is something that in my opinion should be tried out a couple of times during the year, like a couple of months. Do more research into that. Do lots of research into intermittent fasting if you are going to try it out. Do not jump into an 18 hours fasting period because, even though at first I thought it was easy, it was not easy to my body, my period disappeared. A hormonal imbalance does not equal health. Do it gradually, from 9 hours of fasting to 10 and so on. I am now doing 12 hours simply because my body is a machine. It serves me, but I need to take care of it. Sometimes you take your car to repairs. Sometimes you need to be loose. Experiment with balance. This is what I want to do. Not too much of anything but not too little either. A bit of everything in equal parts. Intermittently.

That’s how life is. Intermittent times of great fulfilment and deep mad disappointments. What we need, is to learn to jog with the two and bring the positives from a negative experience and think of the bad things in a good thing. Insulin resistance should be stopped in emotional situations too. Going from high to low is devastating and rising from low to high can be to euphoric sometimes and too much adrenaline may cause issues. Equilibrium. Intermittent equilibrium.

intermittent fasting 1 year experience
Photo Credit Remi Yuan – @remiyuan

 

What I learned from my sugar free experience

Last November I had an encounter with a health consultant and something simply clicked in my head with regards to sugar and sweets. The health consultant was mentioning about specific foods which should not be consumed as per my blood type, if I remember correctly. We were discussing the fact that I don’t cope very well, well not me, but my body, does not cope very well with dairy. Particularly milk. We went on to discuss about the fact that dairy should not be consumed with anything else. At that point in time, I already had enough info about certain food combinations, but for some reason, dairy was never something that I considered that much, probably because I do not really eat dairy on a daily basis and when I do consume it, I am very particular about what I can eat because over the years I have learned how to listen to my body and its reactions to what I put in it. And, maybe because I am not that much into dairy, that I never really put that much effort into it, as the only thing that I would eat would be butter, meaning on a regular basis. And, it got to that point that this health consultant said to me that dairy products are not to be eaten with anything else as they digest very slow or cannot be digested if mixed up with anything else. Not sure how the conversation went to sweets, well, I do, it’s because I used to have a strong addiction towards chocolate, and he mentioned that sugar consumed with any other type of food ferments in the stomach, causing indigestion and moreover, alcohol. Oh, wait, I remember, it’s because I had done some analysis for my liver.

my sugar free experience lessons
Photo Credit Liana Mikah

And my liver came back as if I was a bit of an alcoholic. But I am a particular alcoholic. The last time I remember having a sip of wine was ages ago. I don’t even drink on New Years Eve or on any special occasions, not because I have something against it, but because it is extremely dehydrating to the body and of course, because I do not wish to put my liver to do overtime. It’s not like it pays off. If you get the joke. My liver does enough of taking care of that huge amount of sweets I used to do. And it does a lot now, trying to clean up the mess left behind from more than 30 years with that lifestyle. So, when I heard that my liver believes I am an alcoholic, a little light popped up around my senses as if it was the emergency line screaming OMG. But, why? It turns out my sweet tooth is the culprit. So, naturally, it determined me to stop even more the cravings. I was already doing intermittent fasting, and my sweet tooth already was vastly diminished to what it compared to be, and was already switching to more so believed at the time “natural” and “organic” sweets. But that is still sugar. No matter what other beautiful or green label you add to sugar, that is still sugar and it will behave in your body the same way a non organic sweet or an artificial sweet would do. Sugar is the most toxic thing ever invented and we consume it daily. The sugar was transforming me into an alcoholic. I care about my liver very much. My liver is very important to me. We have a strong connection, I mean, it cleans my body of harmful things I eat and it is the most important organ in the body, having to deal with producing protein, breaking down old and damaged blood cells, breaks down the fats and produces energy. You name it. It is a detoxifying organ as well and it metabolizes drugs. No, not that kind of drugs. The medicines or supplements we take. How can I not be careful with it?

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I did not stop sugar right away as with my addiction, I would have probably went into chocolate withdrawal. I ate less and less every day and payed more attention to the sugar and how I felt about it, I was becoming more mindful around my thoughts about sugar and sweets. After around 2 weeks, I completely gave up pastry, cookies, biscuits, sweets, organic sweets, natural sweets, or fruits in high amounts of fructose. I was not consuming sodas or any other things like that anyway, when I was drinking my tea, it was without sugar and I rarely have coffee, like once in a couple of years. It was especially hard the first few days but then, the more time passed, the better I felt and I realised how free I had come to become. Free from the prison my brain crayoned for me, telling me, I need a bit of sugar to deal with this, I need a bit of sugar to care for myself, to love myself, I need a bit of chocolate, my brain is foggy. It was foggy because it was too much sugar. Not because it was too little of it. I had become free of the thought what type of organic natural chocolate to buy,  or when should I eat that piece of chocolate, or when is the next break to have a sweet snack to cope with today? Free from drama. Free from chocolate drama and all its aftermath: OMG, I ate so much, OMG I am fat, OMG cellulite. ETC.

I have been sugar free for around 4 months. I have to say it was amazing. I am back on sugar now, but do not imagine I went into a sugar free type of an experience for a detox period (even though I know this is how it may sound like), I wanted to do this to stop having days in which everything I ate was sugary no matter if that was gluten free and organic. Due to this, I am able to control my urges far better than before and that’s because I am more mindful of the sugar and its consequences and of the brain’s addiction or maybe of my brain’s lack of something and I start analysing what is making me feel this need of sugar. During these 4 months of sugar free, I realised that whenever I was craving sweets, it was not because I was in the mood for something sweet, which was what my brain was manipulating me into believing, as the brain was manipulated by the toxin called sugar, it was because there was 1 possibility out of 3 options: 

  • -emotional lack of some sort of a feeling, usually not feeling loved or lack of perception of love
  • -being bored and my brain needing something to get it stimulated
  • -inertia from past habits to have something sweet or social copy paste of some sort (if a colleague was having a snack, the habit of eating snacks together, or even by myself, as a form of caring for myself, you know, the idea that you need time for yourself and you would treat yourself with something to enjoy the experience more, to carpe diem shit, but this time, really harmfully twisted, it’s like a sort of live today to die tomorrow)

Sugar when consumed with bread, dairy, pastries, meat, eggs, ANY TYPE OF FOOD, it converts in alcohol in the liver. ALCOHOL. Eating daily like this will more than likely bring health issues and I bet that if you also consume alcohol regularly, it will be even more harmful. Sugar is dangerous. It’s an assumed type of danger we all take, a risk if you want. But with all risks, we need to take precautions. The precaution in the case of sugar is to eat less, consume it mindfully and understand that it is a toxin. It’s toxic. No matter what your brain is telling you now, because it’s actually the brain that is addicted rather than your body, and your brain is confused, it is toxic and you must engrave that in your brain. You must associate sugary things with toxicity. And not just any type of toxicity, it’s the type that will kill you for sure, but obviously, slowly, so that you won’t know it was its fault. 

White Round Sunglasses Marc Jacobs

To stop your sugar addiction, I recommend watching the documentary That sugar Film. It will bring a bit more clarity to your confused brain. And I am sorry if I am a bit harsh. So, is sugar. Harsh, but sweet. I can be sweet too. And tell you that you can do it like I do, consume maximum 20 grams of sugar per day. Even though I do make sure I have lots of days from the 7 days per week, sugar free. And by sugar free I mean free from the artificial sugar, and the hidden sugar. There is a lot of sugar in bread, in salami, in hummus, in milk, in pre-packaged food, in yogurt. I cannot think of anything else now, not because there would not be a zillion other products that have sugar, but because I stopped consuming lots of them, and I cannot name any now, since they’re not on my radar. I should have written this when I still did have them popping my brain each time I was hungry. Months ago.

If you do eat bread, ham, salami, pre-packaged food, lots of sandwiches, Subways, or Macs or whatever else you have, let me tell you something, you are consuming sugar. Sugar is also a great so-called “natural” preservative. You can find it in canned foods. Everywhere. It’s everywhere. It’s really everywhere. It’s very, very hard to actually find something with no sugar. Maybe those food products on which it is especially written SUGAR FREE. And most of the times, some of those, do have sugar, but it has the scientific name of other type of sugar: xylitol, corn syrup, inverted corn syrup, maize syrup, and all sorts of other chemical artificial sugars. It’s still sugar. This even worse, as it is more chemical. You really have no idea what you put in your body. Then you wonder, why you are sick, why you gained weight, why you are not losing the weight, why you’re moody. Why. Why. Why. Lots of whys. Because the answer is SUGAR. If food is the main culprit of all diseases, then by logic, since all food contains sugar, and sugar is toxic, sugar is the main culprit of all diseases. Remove sugar and you will gain clarity of thought and of body weight. You will be healthier than ever before. Sugar and sweets is so toxic that the body needs to take the vitamins and minerals and nutrients to actually clean up the body from the toxic waste it leaves. By using our vitamins and nutrients to remove the sugar, we are left with no vitamins and nutrients for our main organs so that our bodies can show health. That’s how harsh sugar is. The sweeter it is, the more it endangers your health. 

Sugar free means health. Clarity of thought. Clarity of moods. Less ups and downs in happiness and sadness. More mindfulness. Sugar free comes with a better understanding of one’s self. With a deeper meaning and a greater comprehension around the brain and the differences between the brain and the mind and the consciousness. You will realise you are more peaceful when you are sugar free and the one thing that will probably remain the rest of your life after a sugar free experience or treatment or detox, whatever you want to name it, is the blunt fact that you do not think all the time about food and you are not the food you eat, not in that sense, that what you eat is what you look like. You are not defined by food. You do not live to eat. You eat to be able to live. See the difference. Better, taste the difference with your own sugar free experience. I dare you! 

And if you did do it, let me know in the comments below, I am interested in how you feel or have felt 🙂

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

 

 

 

White & Blue

I was writing about our colour preference and its subconscious meaning in this post last year and I remember very well that at that specific point in time, my 3 choice colours were green, turquoise and blue, I even confessed it in the blog post, and now, taking the test again, I selected green, turquoise and red or violet. This means my objectives and goals have shifted directions. They are different than September last year. But I did not reach this important fact by taking the test again. Actually, I just took the test now, while writing this blog post, as I wanted to include that article here, as a reference.

And if you want to learn how to name all colours correctly, try bookmarking this page here and discover your favourite colour name. 

personality life live
Photo Credit – Ryan Graybill

I reached this conclusion a couple of days ago, when I realised most of my clothing wish list *temporarily being held on my tkmaxx folder on my laptop – are ranging from the colour palette turquoise, white, hints of deep reds or magenta, some pink and obviously my top preferred greens.

Would you like to have a sneak peak?

Here … they are! 

However, most of my fashion likes from tkmaxx website incorporate blue and white.

If you love the items and colour choices, you might benefit from reading further! I would love it, if you would do!

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Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

I found this website quite recently, and having a scroll through my favourite colour at the time of the browsing, I realised the insights and knowledge and info contained in it, is worth being bookmarked – again initially, after discovering it, green was my first choice. And today, I decided to read why am I attracted to blue and white garments. It turns out, corroborated with the colour personality test you can also take here and of course, on this website I said about bookmarking, the deepest need for a turquoise colour personality is to create emotional balance in their life, to be able to express their hopes and dreams no matter how idealistic they may be and to make their own way in the world under their own terms. Yes, I find myself in this depiction. The deepest need for a white colour personality is to create simplicity in their life and to be independent and self reliant, so that I would not need to depend on anyone else. There’s a special note about white and I quote: “Rarely is this colour a favourite colour from childhood – white tends to become a favourite at a time when you are going through a transitional period in your life, preparing for new beginnings or seeking a new direction in one or more areas of your life.

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Photo Credit – Lyndsey Marie

Well, remember my last update on my About, now Hello page? – I was confessing I am actually deciding whether I still want to go ahead with this blog and if so, how. Colours do work. Reading more about turquoise, I find that it means open communication and clarity of thought. Which in a way, is what happened with me when confessing my perfectionism struggle through my Hello page, as at the bottom of this desire to make it better or the deep subtitle of me, even sharing that, lies a hidden thought that I have not achieved the stability I desire through doing what I want to do in life and earning money from what I love doing. Then, I will follow with this phrase: “In colour psychology, turquoise controls and heals the emotions creating emotional balance and stability. … Turquoise encourages inner healing through its ability to enhance empathy and caring. It heightens our intuitive ability and opens the door to spiritual growth. It is the colour of the evolved soul. Turquoise has strong powers of observation and perception and can be quite discriminating. It has the ability to identify the way forward, the way to success, balancing the pros and cons, the right and wrong, of any situation. It is a good colour to use when you are stuck in a rut and don’t know which way to move.

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Photo Credit – Nilton Oliveira

White – it’s the colour at its most complete and pure, the colour of perfection. Obviously, it reiterates what I have been feeling like lately: “In colour psychology white is the colour of new beginnings, of wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon. While white isn’t stimulating to the senses, it opens the way for the creation of anything the mind can conceive. White is a colour of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets. It creates a sense of order and efficiency, a great help if you need to de-clutter your life. White may indicate the completion of a cycle in your life – you may find you have a desire for white clothing or white in your surroundings at a time when you are moving in a new direction in your life.” I am only sharing a bite size of the insightful powerful information discovered along my way to understand my recent change of perception in choices made whether buying clothes or other items, such my Avene Hydrance Serum (whose bottle is transparent and the white, creamy moisturiser or hydrating serum can be seen – white again) or a book, whose cover is white, or light green or hints of magenta – my recent book haul, (I have uploaded a picture on my instagram, also, below, now that I am writing this, realise, the colours are impacting my life in a big way!).

book haul colour
Instagram – @georgya.na

This stuff really works, imagine this – your subconscious goes through updates, and maybe upgrades, and it reflects outwards through our colour choices, which you could say, it’s just what I like, and actually, it reflects your true colours – so, what if, when you want to change something or you would like to upgrade your skills or improve your status quo, you would start incorporating more the specific colour that can help you attain that “goal”. You can listen to each colour subconscious meaning here, by the way.

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Photo Credit – Lucas Silva Pinheiro Santos

Those deep hints of red or magenta (and by the way, did you also notice, I uploaded an extra photo with magenta leaves & trees in my Hello page, between the lines explaining what I am doing with this blog?) also say something about me. Magenta is actually the colour of universal harmony and emotional balance. “With magenta as your favourite colour you seek harmony and balance in every aspect of your life; physically, emotionally and spiritually – magenta helps to release old patterns of thinking and behaving that no longer serve you, helping you to grow and move forward to greater balance. With a vivid imagination and creative ability, you are a non-conformist who sees life from a different point of view. This will show up in artistic pursuits … With magenta you also love to surround yourself with beauty as it inspires your creativity.” And now the cherry on the cake when speaking about the deepest need of a personality colour magenta – Your deepest need is to have a perfect balance in your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual attributes to become totally aligned and at one with yourself.” Then, reading about the red, as we all know it is the colour of energy, passion and action, I do feel I am dynamic and actively trying to figure out how to do my own thing, and the deepest need for choosing red is physical achievement, fulfilment and satisfaction and to experience life through the five senses. I do find myself, as I was mentioning money a bit earlier, that I do want to experience all the senses and what they can offer. And that’s through financial satisfaction too, because money can buy you things which can fulfil you and your next needs for life upgrades, such as moving in a new house, having new furniture, new clothes, a new lifestyle. A new you, physical and spiritual. Just, what I am striving to attain and what the colour choice white has pinpointed out to me.

I don’t know about you, but I am yet again, astonished by the profound understanding I am getting from knowing my colours, literally and figuratively speaking. 

Photo Credit Sammy Harris
Photo Credit – Sam Harris – @hammy.sarris

WHAT ARE YOUR COLOURS? 

1 week 0 bread

Yeast is a fungus. Yeast is found in bread. Consuming too much bread can have a negative impact on your health because, first of all, it is a carb, and carbohydrates transform in the bloodstream into sugar, which in turn, can cause issues to your overall health (taking that into account plus, nowadays, people have a desert after each meal, and in between meals as a snack, because, hey, stress and modern world, can you imagine how strong your body must be to be able to process so much sugar?). Sugar is the most toxic substance that exists out there for the human body and that we intake unknowingly. Therefore, reducing the sugar intake as well as being more mindful about consuming carbohydrates is my main priority. Because health is my main priority.

alisa-anton- my experience of eating no bread
Photo Credit: Alisa Anton

I used to be the type of human that consumed a bread in one day. I used to eat bread everyday, almost at every meal, although I have to say, I RARELY combined it with meat, as you might know by now, that’s something we should never do, because carbohydrates and protein cannot be digested by our stomach, due to different enzymes being involved in the process and when both eaten, the enzymes neutralise themselves, leaving the food in the stomach to rot, adding the yeast in it and all the other sugar cravings, you can imagine what a killing bomb there’s inside. Yeast is something we should avoid because it is a fungus. It is something that feeds itself out of the nutrients you have, leaving you unhealthy and craving for more sweets, as this is what it makes it grow and survive. I became conscious about this because someone in the family developed a sort of candida in the stomach and, that started to be visible on the surface of the body too. The physical beauty part, let’s just say, it’s not an issue, but that created more health issues inside the body. Mucus, infections, inflammation inside the body, which ultimately leads to other diseases. It’s so important to be mindful of the food you eat, especially how you combine it to make sure there is no way the food stays in your body undigested, to be able to actually use the nutrients from it and to have your health bloom, and not slowly, killing you from inside out. Discovering this, I immediately started finding alternatives to bread with yeast. Yeast free bread is usually the soda bread or the buttermilk bread or the sourdough bread, which is believed to be the best bread out there, due to its natural content of just water, flour and sourdough starter, which again is made of flour and water put together to ferment for a couple of days. Finding these alternatives on the market is extremely difficult. Big brands cannot invest in making sourdough bread as it is supposed to be created. Instead they add yeast to it and call it a sourdough bread. I find that deceptive and not to mention, the price they put for such a bread, which is ultimately not a sourdough bread, a lie, a marketing trick, a bullshit. So, what’s left, if you cannot find alternatives to really eat bread? Apart from making your own bread, which takes time and obviously we are all living a busy lifestyle in these modern days, well, the answer is: ditch it.

5 steps I am changing my lifestyle and health habits in 2018

This is what I did. I decided to stop consuming bread or any other yeast free breads that I could possibly find to be more healthy options, and I have to say, it was hard. The first few days, I felt hungry all the time. But, I did continue and after that week off, when my system adjusted to the “no bread mode”, or better, my brain, I ate a bit of bread from the one brand that I really loved and had no yeast, but it was a buttermilk soda type of bread, unfortunately not gluten free, but hey, that had a very, so very delicious taste.

What happened after that only one week of no bread after which I decided to eat a slice of my favourite bread? 

I did not feel the same way about bread as I did before. The taste did not feel as I felt it initially or before this experiment. I realised, bread is just another addiction and my brain was simply addicted to the taste, which after ditching it, it realised there is nothing special about it. It’s not something I cannot live without. It is not something I need on a daily basis.

It’s funny how after stopping eating bread for only one week, that my entire brain structure in reference to the bread taste changed completely. It’s incredible the impact it had on my life and it is incredible to realise that it’s actually the same with any other food addictions or maybe even other types of addictions. You may not even realise you have an addiction until you stop eating that product for a long period of time and then decide to have it once again, maybe as a treat, maybe just a little bit more or to start again consuming it. I promise you, you will never again have the same feeling or taste as you had initially. Period.

I stopped consuming bread for one week and this is what happened
Photo Credit: Andisheh A

This can leave you either free of the burden of fighting with that addiction (known or unknown), whether it is chocolate, sweets, bread, carbs, whatever, or it may also leave you with a feeling of missing the initial feeling, the taste you tasted, that delicious thing that made you happy for a little while (which in its essence, it’s an addiction). Missing that feeling, in my opinion, can be seen in 2 ways: you are still addicted and if you miss that, you will probably end up consuming again the addictive product (and not in a mindful way) or you are mindful of the experiences and you start appreciating more the taste, which will make you more careful of how much you eat of a certain product and how exactly you feel about food in general. I find this one week no bread experience that it was more than just an experience of health and becoming more conscious about bread and its impact on my health. It was an experience of life. Giving up attachments will leave you free of the burden of actually having and hanging onto that attachment. It will leave you free to experience something else. It will create a different lifestyle, a different and better love of life, a sort of gratefulness and it does bring a more candid and kinder approach towards your self and ego. You become more aware of the differences between your ego and your self. You become more in touch with your higher self and start domineering your ego. You become more aware, more open to life and more mindful overall.

You realise you are more than just the food you eat. You get more in touch with your self. You become aware of the fact that you are not what your brain wants. You are not your brain or its addictions, you are not the same as your brain’s needs. You are a higher self that can manage its brain. And when you manage that, you are able to manage your whole life in the direction you want to go.

I stopped consuming bread for one week and this is what happened
Photo Credit: Anna Sullivan

5 New things I am trying to do every day

You probably heard that thing about making sure to change your path to the way home from work every now and then as it helps the brain to maintain a healthy activity and it stimulates it to remain vigilant and alive. The brain grows and enhances its capabilities when we feed him with new things every day. This year I decided to try to do 5 small things or changes every day to make sure my brain stays fit.

5 new things I do every day

Spend at least 10 minutes per day with one course (at a time) from FutureLearn.

I love the platform much more than Coursera as I feel the courses are more attractive, the website is so much accessible and easy to browse on. It does not have lots of information all over the place as Coursera does and it feels more fun to be on. I have subscribed to multiple courses on Coursera over the years and have failed successfully at completing them. Not all of them, but definitely a huge part of it. I decided to impose myself a schedule in which I put only 10 minutes a day and follow through one course at a time to make sure I learn something new every day and month.

food diversity
Photo Credit – Brooke Lark

Make sure to have a diversity of plants, fruits, vegetables and foods every day.

Just as the brain loves new information and is happy to be taken out of the box with new stimuli, our bodies have a special pleasure in receiving new nutritional food on a daily basis. The body is stimulated by lots of vitamins, nutrients, minerals and when you offer that from a variety of food sources, the body has plenty of resources to function properly. It also has the possibility to heal you much better and I want to make sure my body has a bank of vitamins at its or my disposal whenever an emergency occurs. Hopefully, no more flues or colds for me this year. I had enough of that in the last years and I have learned what my body wanted to let me see: more vitamins, more variety in food. I think you already know how I am changing my eating habits this 2018, if not, please have a read here.

create more flow at your current workplace
Photo Credit – Daria Shevtsova

Do (& CREATE) more of what I enjoy doing (writing) at my current workplace. 

Having to work in a call centre is quite hard to actually get a different status than call centre representative as I am not interested in becoming a team leader or manager. But as with most call centres, the one I plant my brain and focus on a daily basis, has an intranet where I can actually write about stuff I am interested in. I can blog there too and CREATE SOMETHING. Something made of me, of my thoughts, of my knowledge, of my expertise. I can also put into practice more my core character strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence, as when I share insights and posts, I like to do it to the best of my capabilities. This is a small thing to do as I would not change my job or my daily activities, rather it is something on top of it, however it is something I find pleasure in and that pleasure releases tension, stress and anxiety and that’s the best thing I can do for my wellness and to improve my productivity at work. I am sure that if you dig deep you will be able to find something that brings you in the state of flow at your current workplace without being forced to actually abandon your job because you feel it does not satisfy your needs or character traits.

meditate how to mindfulness mindful
Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

Meditate 

Now, meditation is a highly popular topic now and it is so for a reason. Meditation improves your general well being, your gratefulness, your wellness and your productivity. Scientifically proved and researched. Meditation can take lots of forms. I do not need to tell you what or how to meditate, I simply want to pinpoint the fact that this is on my daily task list and my wish list and the reason I need to incorporate more of this in my lifestyle is determined by my lack of presence and concentration at work. I am starting to become less and less interested in being competent and that happens simply because I am tired and exhausted and bored with the job. You might say, find a different job, the one that motivates you, that inspires you and that makes you get up in the morning and smile to everyone on the streets. But I am the type of human that needs security. At the moment, this is the job that brings me stability. I am torn apart if I do not have that and to maintain it, there are some sacrifices. I still have plenty of time to do what I love to do and obviously I am trying to build something to one day be able to live of my creativity and blog, hopefully. To fulfil this need to become more present at work, I intend on practising meditation and on incorporating some writing and sharing of tips and tricks totally unrelated to the work subject at my job, so that I immerse myself in some form of positive vibes and start attracting more the opportunities I dream of. Meditation will help me anyway, independent of me sticking with my current job or leaving for a better, more satisfying one. Meditation is more of a skill that I feel more and more in the future will be demanded (maybe not in the workplace) but the employer will ask of a human (which I do not believe will ever be mentioned in the job description, rather be a bullet point that the interviewer will tick for you) but to display its ability to meditate (which can actually be tested through personality tests, interviews and surveys), because the future, in my opinion, will require more mindful people, that are calmer, saner and more emotionally intelligent. Employers want rational healthy and mindful employees. No one wants to work with chaotic creatures, especially if their lives are torn apart.

annie-spratt minimalism declutter less buy less purchases
Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

Minimise costs, clutter and stop buying more things

Efficiency of resources has never been one of my strengths. Luckily over the time, with trial and error and with loss, I understood the lesson of efficiency. A bit late, but hey, you know what they say, it’s never too late. I am a minimalist at heart, however, I get easily distracted with beautiful things, partly due to a strength I have, my core character strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence that I discussed about here, and another cause it’s the lack of flow in work. Not getting the personal satisfaction from the work I put all my efforts into, and that is most of the time, quite energy draining (first because, I cannot really say I like what I do for a living, and secondly, because when you don’t like something, you need to put double focus to actually do the job properly, which in turn creates exhaustion even more), not enjoying it is making me try to compensate that through different mind techniques – such as defence mechanisms, such as over indulgence in material things or beautiful things that I believe I need. It’s actually a form of sugar addiction too, because you feel the need to try to create yourself in a different way, if it did not work on a professional level, and that is true one’s image. That way, confidence is boosted too and a bit of satisfaction tries to prevail to the surface. Quite confusing? No, it is the logic of the human needs and not having them satisfied. I am hungry for creativity, for expressing myself, for working creatively and in a smart manner, for having an easy life as I see lots of my peers experience. Minimising purchases and making sure to only invest in the pieces that I truly need to display my interior (as mentioned here) will literally save me time, time to use for something else, for meditation, for Future Learn, for reading, for exercising, for being creative in the kitchen. For so much free time to do more of what I love to do.

Do you plan to do anything at all new on a daily basis?  

 plan to do anything at all new in 2018

 

There is something you can do better than anyone else

“Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” Rumi

I realised today that I am well equipped to spot new ideas, new concepts, new notions, new strategies or better, to handle them in a realistic way, however, I find that most of the times, some of those new things that I would like to implement are ahead of their time. They are from the future, and I discover that people are not ready for massive changes as I was expecting or hoping that they would want to put into practice to also enjoy its benefits, and together to actually create the world that we love living in. The example in this case consists of me discovering the concept of character strengths belonging to Martin E.P. Seligman and the concept of PERMA for well-being. The contribution Seligman brought to the field of psychology impacted it a lot, reminding us all that people are not just labels of mental illnesses but also humans who display their character in the world and who have emotions and lots of strengths. The volume “Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification” written by the founder of positive psychology, Martin E.P. Seligman and researcher Christopher Peterson presents 24 character traits which consist of 6 groups of virtues classified in 24 character strength. You probably know by now that my core character strength is appreciation of beauty and excellence as I wrote about it here.

soul river

When I discovered these character strengths it was the summer of 2012, and it had passed up until that moment 8 years since their discovery and lots of sources to apply the survey or read about them and understand yourself better. And still, that was such a brand new thing that people should focus more on their strengths than their weaknesses. I remember I wanted to get involved in the HR Department for the company I was working at the time to have an influence over how the company was selecting its employees at the time, but the concept was so innovative and different and scary to only care about the strengths and not put such effort into discussing the weaknesses, that my idea failed as ecstatically as it emerged in my head. But just because people were not ready to use an idea at one point in time, it does not mean it is a bad idea or that you should stop pursuing what you wish to become in life. Many years after this incident, and I find myself at my new job toying with the way to handle it so that it gets the real attention and it truly impacts not just me and my well being, but all my colleagues and other colleagues who probably need this but they do not have a voice yet or are quietly waiting for someone to promote it for them.

"Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.

This is one example that I can think of now. But obviously I reached this conclusion because I have payed special attention to my needs and to my self over the years and I know who and how I am, even though I might play it around that I am not entirely sure, just to have game ahead when confronted with enemies. I am a creative strategist in life and in all life’s small tasks. This thing that I can do something ever so small as to promote the information I come across brings me excitement and I do not really remember when was the last time I experienced this in a workplace environment. This is the first sign that you owe it to yourself to chase the fire that ignites your spirit. Because this exploration and pursue of interests will likely bring more inspiration to you, as it does to me, and not just inspiration but insight into who you really are. It will guide you to forge your determination to plant the seeds and expect the flowers. To smell the blooms and to celebrate the colour that’s arrived in your life.

"Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart." Rumi

This appreciation of beauty and EXCELLENCE is actually a strength which contains this skill I have to foresee the possibilities of changes. I am always looking for the novelty, I am always in the run for the newest information with regards to my passions and hobbies. Always seeking new horizons where I can glance over. Where I could be alive. The appreciation of EXCELLENCE is portrayed through my constant vibrant calling towards avant-garde-ist notions, products, services and abstract information or knowledge.

how to build your character strengths
Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

When you let your passions show and you work with them, you experience well being. When you know your core character strengths, you are able to cope with making every single second a powerful well being act show, because you know what to focus on. You know what you need. And when you know what you need, you will find yourself in the position of the author holding the pen to his life being written down. It’s not someone else holding it, it is YOU.

PERMA concept stands for this new theory of well being – Positive emotions, Engagement, Positive Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment. Now, the path to this well being is reflected through feeding your spirit with character strengths activities that bring you more in connection to your soul and boost your self esteem and self confidence to the point that your overall productivity gets enhanced and this mirrors back in your workplace, your accomplishments and eventually your well being.

how to build your character strengths
Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

To nurture your character strengths you need to first discover them. Do the free survey online here and find ways to incorporate activities to feed your character strengths in your work environment. Since my core character strengths is appreciation of beauty and excellence, it would not mean I will start collecting art at work, unless I am working for an art gallery, it means I focus my attention on developing further this skill in recognising excellence in everything that is new, futuristic maybe even, and beautiful through its significance, in the meaning it plays out in the world.  And that’s true sharing knowledge and wisdom through posts, feeding in ideas to improve services, products or businesses or getting involved in any activity that makes me express my appreciation of beauty and excellence.

One way of taking responsibility means to take action by taking small steps every day in order to make your dreams come true. Your first small step is figuring out what are your character strengths. Your second step depends on what those strengths are and how you feel you can become that which the strength is calling you to become. Then, all the other steps will fall into place.

how to build your character strengths

And remember this:

“Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” Rumi

Nourish your MUST – Did you read this?*

*should and must in the pursuit of passions and dreams 

would you hire me link

 

What truly makes me feel accomplished, successful and happy

I remember working for someone many, many years ago and reaching a point when I received a sort of promotion in the form of more money towards my salary. Even though I appreciated receiving more for the work I was putting in, because I did deserve it, as I am extremely reliable, serious and hard working, that did not make me happier or feeling more accomplished or believing of myself to be successful. And that’s because success to me translates to something totally different than what might signify to you or to other people.

success

I find success to be something personal and the word itself means something different to another person. Even to you, reading this out, success might come in the form of a huge following online, getting lots of clients or customers, achieving a specific level up, going up in the walk of life or simply more money, more power to buy certain things or services.

what makes me feel successful

I realized that this definition we all have for success comes from our core values and our character strengths. Every single one of us is different and we all have different values and character traits and strengths. A couple of years ago, when discovering the positive psychology field, I read the basics of it and where it all started and that was through Martin Seligmans books. One of them explored the idea of the science of our characters and a survey he created along with late Dr. Christopher Peterson, changed my world.

what makes me feel successful happy accomplished satisfied with my work

I discovered that what would make me happy in work so that I can tell the world the well known affirmation I am successful, accomplished and happy with my life is made up of 6 character strengths put into 4 core values categories. Understanding these concepts, makes it easier for me and for you as well, if you would like to take the survey (VIA classification survey) to cope with your personal story of the meaning of success and to be happy in life.

digital detox plan 2018

These character strengths I owe are as follows: ranking first place – appreciation of beauty and excellence, second place, creativity, third place honesty, forth place, love, fifth place judgement and sixth place love of learning. These concepts which in their own significance explain so much more about what success and happiness in life is, make me who I am and how I am. Appreciation of beauty and excellence is something I work with through my blog, through all the small (or large) businesses I follow and enjoy shopping from as beauty is not just being beautiful, beauty is something from within too, beauty is being eco friendly, beauty is shopping ethically, beauty is being kind, compassionate, beauty is spirituality and appreciation of art, nature, music, writing, dance, everything that is beautiful in my own realm of beauty. And if you have this character strength, then whatever you are attracted to, that is your way of displaying appreciation of beauty and excellence. I find excellency comes from that beauty, as beauty is something close to perfection and perfection is very hard to attain, it is connected to doing your best in everything you do to obtain that excellent job. And that is beauty too. I am sharing my appreciation of beauty and excellence in this post here. Find out what I appreciate, follow and to whom I would like to collaborate, who inspires me and what composes my human nature and being.

creativity what makes me feel successful

Creativity is my second character strength and something I need to use to be happy with the work I put. Growing up, I always attempted to learn how to be creative and to actually display creativity and to make sure I would become a formidable human being, much like an artist that changes the world, failing to recognize that I am already creative and you are too. We are all creative already. Doing exercises to improve or enhance or boost our creative natures is helpful and advisable especially for the brain, that always seeks new food, however, exercising it needs to go more on the side of practicing rather than just reading about it. I like to be creative. I like to do things in a different way, I find this is something that makes me stand out. That forces me to be put into the light. But I want to be creative not for the sake of it, rather to bring something useful, meaningful and enjoyable to humanity too. Maybe this is why I am writing on this blog, maybe this is why I studied psychology and have always wanted to work in a field of psychology that is new, different, more creative and have always found that positive psychology is something I am passionate about, ecopsychology is a new field I am interested in, graphotherapy, which I find extremely useful and easy to put into practice or color therapy that is so wonderful to work with, art therapies and everything in this modern world that is innovative, such as video therapy or the blooming of Virtual world and devices, that will probably come up with a way to do virtual therapy too. I am all into that. Love is and would be something I would look forward to contribute with. And to do that, I have the other character strengths to help with, one of which would be the love of learning and judgement. These last 2 concepts are valuable to me just as much as all the others are, because I am a life long learner and I enjoy finding new things out, I discover that this trait makes me very open minded. Being open minded is very important for the present time and it will be for the future as well, because lots of innovations will come to us and we need to be open to learning and to judge its need into our own inner worlds. Judgement is a character strength I currently work with actually, because I am working in the Fraud Department in a call center, and this along with the other core strength which ranks third, that is honesty, is making me resist in the job I do, even though it is a call center. Honesty is also connected to appreciation of beauty and excellence. Excellence can only be attained through honesty, through love. Love of people and of truth. And then we end up this self centered speech (although sometimes, we need to be self centered to make sure we do know ourselves and we are able to find out right place in this world) with my most important character strength that I do not believe finds much place in the workplace, rather in my personal life, which is love. Family life is the one that matters mostly for me and love is needed for me to maintain my balance, my purpose, my vision. And love is included into appreciation of beauty and excellence as well, because it can speak of humanity, of spirituality, of wisdom, of life. What would life be without love?

what makes me feel happy successful and accomplished

The core virtues are composed by all your character strength and they mention a notion that encompasses it all under one name. My core virtues are transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. What does this mean? It means that under these names falls everything that will make me happy, will make me feel successful, will make me feel and be accomplished. I am working on all these aspects, and based on Martin Seligman’s approach, if you work with only 4 of your character strengths (at your current job), you will feel happy in work and ultimately that brings happiness into your life, as you feel successful since you are working with your character strengths. With your strengths, which I believe show your passions, show where your talents are and portray your vision of life, and maybe your mission, if you dig deeper.

What are your character strengths and do you use them in your work life? 

what are your character strengths.jpg

My appreciation of beauty & excellence character strength

Well, hello there! This post is all about my most important character strength based on VIA classification survey by Martin Seligman, which is appreciation of beauty and excellence. What is this, you might ask? It is what would make me love my job. Having the opportunity to work with brands or within a company in which I find that appreciation of beauty and excellence of the product or service is there. That, together with other core values I have, that I find, fall under this magic fundamental pleasure I have in appreciating my kind of beauty in the world, and the other core values are: transcendence, wisdom, courage and humanity. So, I will share with you here, some of the everything that I am passionate about, that I find useful, meaningful, enjoyable to me and that I believe is to the world as well, as it can influence it to the better, making everyone having a better life in the end. If you want to understand more this vision, read this post here.

appreciation of beauty and excellence character strength martin seligman VIA survey

I am probably writing this post more for me than for any other reason. I am writing it to get a clear road on the brands that I would like to work with, to get a bigger picture of the area where I am more focused on, and it seems I am concerned with the body, mind, spirit fields, and I have a focus on environmental friendly, eco and bio products and/or services. I also feel, a lot of this character strength I have is linked with what I wrote in this post here.

With no specific order, I appreciate and enjoy tea. Is there a job where I can live to taste tea and maybe get involved in creating blends? I would love that. I have fallen in love with tea because my grandmother used to drink it a lot, having had her own yard and growing her own herbs and medicinal plants, and also being very close to a hill/mountain where together with my grandfather they would climb it for fun and also in search of wild medicinal plants and berries. I was in those expeditions too when growing up and I guess, that’s how I have given birth to this love of nature and natural products and nutritional foods. That is a beautiful thing to me, I appreciate a company that does products or services that are in alignment with our natures and with nature, not disturbing the environment. I myself, try to be as eco-friendly as possibly. So, tea. There are several tea companies I follow and bought tea from, that I believe are worth the money. I sometimes wonder if, whenever I discover a new small brand of tea, is good to make more awareness of it or not, because that small biz is small because that’s how it can actually remain organic, natural, wild and eco friendly, as an example. If more people would buy from it, the company might need to start exploring more ways into bringing the product or service to the needs of the market, which might mean compromising on the quality or on the quality of suppliers. If you know what I mean. There had been lots of products or services I really loved and once they became bigger, the quality dropped. To fulfill the need. But I am not sure that is really a sustainable way of doing good business. And let’s remember that businesses initially were set up or at least their very definition was suppose to be related to helping the community. Or maybe that’s just a modern concept of green responsibility. But every business should have it. My master degree (as I studied Knowing and Combating Crime) focused on Corporate Crime, and I believe a corporate crime is not having this social responsibility. Going back to tea, the brands I really love and their teas are so tasty, natural, good, healthy, again, in no specific order, as I am unable to compare and it would fail the purpose of the post, are:

JingTea – they focus their sourcing efforts on what they consider to be the best tea regions in the world. A large proportion of these are in South and East Asia, which subsumes countries and regions with hundreds if not thousands of years of history of producing the finest tea. The teas I bought from them, which were so delicious are:

JingTea Organic Green Tea Dragon Well (fair trade and single gardened) – so what do we have here? First, it is organic (I do not need to explain the importance of this, do I?), second, it is fair trade, which means, people working at it were paid a fair price and are able to live good, those communities being helped (humanity, doing good in the world) and third, is that it comes from a single garden, not from multiple places, mixing the tea. This makes it better at taste, and at micro-nutrients and minerals. Healthy. Also, can I mention that the packaging is so beautiful and so good for tea to maintain its characteristics. It is also a good caddy to use in the future, after you have finished the tea. You can use it for something else to deposit into.

Jingtea organic green tea
Another tea from JingTea I loved, but I purchased it in a different format when I bought it, and I cannot find that they have it now like that, is Morrocan Mint Tea (which is made up with green tea). I really liked this, because it was naturally sweet, and you could sense the mint and the green tea. Apparently this happens, because they use Chinese steamed tea, than the traditional gunpowder tea (which is commonly used when making this tea blend).


LalaniandCo Tea – well, this is a luxurious tea, in taste and price as well. But so worth it. The one I have is The Winter White Tea which is a vintage white tea, a rarity, from 2011 and I take special care of it, I only drink it with special occasions. You can actually drink multiple times from the same cup of tea used, with the condition to dry the leaves back or use it for various cups the same day (if having guests, as an example). I chose it because of this (taken from lalaniandco website): “Young, boutique and family run, LaKyrsiew was planted in 2001 on fresh organic soil and produces a total of just 1,500kg of tea per year with a passion for flavour.” When I read fresh organic soil, passion for flavor and the rarity or the plant, of course, I went for it. I seek quality, luxurious tea. And this is definitely worth it, especially if you enjoy tea as much as I do. It is a treat. The tea is so soft when you drink it. It is not hard as most teas. It has a scent of some kind of alcohol. But it is not. This January if you want to stay away from alcohol, but wish to enjoy a wonderful taste of something rich, why not try this great tea? Being organic and since 2011, each year, I find that its taste improves and it is truly something to hold for the years to come. It ages too. That is spectacular. Not to mention Lalaniandco teas are a family run company and they specialize in finding extraordinary small-batch teas, choosing from the most talented gardens, going even into the detail of the varietals of tea plant used and the making process for the batch, the best, made as a luxury craft, with the same artisan skill as with a family vineyard or a small whisky distillery. That is excellency. And I appreciate that very, very much. Would love to travel to those places to see it being made. To really taste those regions, the nature.


LovOrganic Tea – I bought from here a very dear tea I enjoy, which is linden tea, which is not very common in the UK or maybe not even in other parts of the world, apart from my home country, Romania, which tastes like a cookie, if I had to describe it. The authentic taste I know for the linden tea was close to the linden tea sold by LovOrganic, having organic teas, which as you might expect, again are the best to drink, to really take in the vitamins, nutrients and minerals it has. I do not have the packaging for these LovOrganic teas I bought, and the Linden tea I was mentioning, at the time I purchased it, it had the Linden logo (possibly this one to be very authenticLinden Rose), I am sure it is still enjoyable, along with some other teas I purchased at the time, such as Vanilla Rooibos Tea and Lov is Good Tea, but something did remain, apart from the sweet memories, and that is the mugs I purchased, one which is green made from ceramic and transparent one made up of glass. Perfect for my teas!



Moving on, to something more beauty related. I also make sure when I purchase beauty or skincare products, to choose natural, organic, cruelty free as much as possible, because it does matter, to the planet and to our health. I do not use that much make up, if I even use it on a daily basis, but when I do, I reach to RMS Beauty products, that I mostly purchased through another beauty related brand I follow and enjoy, LoveLula, a website that holds and promotes and sells products that are natural, organic, vegan, cruelty free and where you can discover new brands in those areas. RMS Beauty stands for certified organic ingredients, feeding the skin with nutrients, vitamins and enzymes and the products are formulated to be as pure as possible, keeping skin healthy and promoting anti aging benefits for long-term beauty. That again is something I appreciate, doing beauty that does not last only for the day, but that in time, still shows, through the hidden natural benefits of the products. That is true beauty products. The ones I use and you might be interested in (if you’re a woman) or your partner might be (if you’re a guy reading this) are:

RMS Beauty Brightening Brush – I use it for defining my eyes actually

RMS Beauty Luminizer Xquad – these four high-impact luminizers can be worn alone, blended for a custom glow or mixed into any product for super luminosity.

my rms beauty

RMS Beauty Vintage Liner – for defining your eyes with the RMS Beauty Brightening Brush

my rms beauty

RMS Beauty Skin2Skin Foundation Brush – This brush is free of animal hair and is completely vegan. Designed with a dual technology that has never been seen before, the skin2skin foundation brush uses varying length bristles that are tightly layered in a swirl pattern to effortlessly and instantaneously blend your foundation. This is very good looking too on your vanity table.

my rms beauty

Baggu bags – which I discovered through the website RedRubyRouge (focusing on supporting budding designers who are forward thinking and offer something utterly unique and RedRubyRouge also believes in the ethos and the ethics behind the brands they promote and that is something I really appreciate). So Baggu makes bags based on the construction of the plastic grocery bag, the Standard Baggu is durable, lightweight, and can hold 2-3 times more than a traditional grocery bag. The ones I have are 2 – one, which is back at home, in Romania and I do not have a picture of it here with me, but this is the one I chose (link) , and I actually wear it as a work/casual day out bag as it fits lots of stuff in and the other one is this fat cat black bag for transporting or storing (let’s say when travelling, either clothes or cosmetics or books, or notebooks, etc, you can use it for whatever you need it to). It is a bag that you look at and it instantly makes you smile.

fat cat close up pouch baggu

fat cat close up pouch baggu

Moisturisers – Vegan Cruelty free natural skincare from Vision VIP Group. I wrote about it a lot on my other blog. More info on this here and here.  I also use the products I mentioned in my most current minimalist skincare routine – link here.

moisturiser 1001 remedies close up

I use Vision products because they use ingredients from the finest regions on Earth, that are organic, wild, natural and unaltered by humans or technology. The ingredients are gathered at specific times in the year when their nutrients are at the highest level and can increase our or boost our health.

I like Oskia Skincare products which I discovered initially, through LoveLula, I read their philosophy and I appreciate their honesty. Oskia uses only naturally derived, clean ingredients that are kind to the skin and to the environment and they do not use potentially harmful synthetic ingredients. Oskia products also work with our skin to provide a long term skincare solution. All this along with their other parts of their mission has made the brand to reach my heart. What I used from the brand was Eye Wonder cream, PURE MSM beauty supplement, Get up and Glow, an awarded serum to be used before and after make up, bringing glow and brightness to the skin and the Renaissance Hand Cream. All these products are BEAUTIFUL.

Wantfeed platform – there is not much I can say about this one now, but this is a platform developed by Stefan Michalaks, a youtuber, where you can upload your favourite products from the online and share them. I have a tremendous list, but it seems wantfeed is in the beta version now and even though the links used to work a couple of months ago, at this point in time, it seems they do not. You can see what I have included in my wantfeed here until the website will be up and running. I support their work so I bought a make up bag in which you can actually hold various other items too. I do not have that much make up to use. And the pattern is so alive and so feminine. A bit of art. Which again, I love.

the michalaks bag

Why do I enjoy all these I shared here so far? Because their visions, missions and plans relate much to a form of beauty that I appreciate and to which I want to associate myself with. It’s like gathering the things you like, much like a collection of beautiful stuff. It just makes you happy. Because it relates to something deep inside that feeds your soul, your values, your character, your true nature. All these brands and services and products I write about are in a way or another shaping the world we live in, and the owners, their creators are pursuing their dreams; the fact that they do that, transforms our lives in better, brings something good into the world and inspires me and hopefully you too, to change something in your life, to pursue your passions too, in order to be able to help people in your own way. That’s what appreciation of beauty and excellence stands for in my humble opinion.

Mapology is another small biz, a creative one that I would really like to collaborate with.

mapology maps creative

I am thinking of designing myself a map. If that project will come alive, I would be so happy to share it with you. I have written about the creative maps Mapology makes here and here.

what is mapology guides maps creative

I think for now, this has become too long. I will keep some for another post if that is what you would be interested in, share your comments down below. Have you heard so far of any of these small (and big) creative businesses? 

Are you spiritually fit ready? 

People train their bodies to look good, and to be healthy. But how many train their spirits as well, to be fit? The next step in our evolution is spiritual fitness, which according to Jeffrey Allen, a spiritual teacher and energy healer, is a measurement of our progress in our spiritual growth. What is this spiritual fitness you may ask? It is the answer to the the following:

Why, giving the same spiritual training and coaching to groups of people, some integrate the knowledge easily and put it into practice smoothly and can gain considerably from it, whilst others seem to struggle practicing what they were thought? 

The answer to that resides in this concept “spiritual fitness” – as with all new learning there is the stage in which you put a lot of energy, time and struggles, pretty much comparing it to climbing a mountain to reach the top, then once there, going downhill, it’s easy and much more enjoyable, exactly how it feels after you have learned something and you practice it with joy and self esteem that you can do this – that’s how spiritual fitness manifests when you are fit. You can easily learn new concepts and grow better and easier if you have reached the top and you go downhill (new information, spiritual insights, teachings are better learned and practiced) than if you go uphill. When you are up already, therefore spiritually fit, it allows you to reach your highest potential. If you are not physically fit to run a marathon, you will not finish it. If you are maybe a dancer or a football player, chances are, you will cope better with running it.


Just as in the past physical fitness seemed something weird, yet now it is something normal and even expected, spiritual fitness is a global movement and if a couple of years ago, meditation was seen as way too hippie or out of this extroverted world, now it is accepted, embraced and it moves the world towards a global spiritual movement. It is needed. 

For this reason, spiritual fitness is a lifestyle choice, just like being a vegetarian or a vegan is. And we will all have to bring our level of spiritual fitness up so we can operate at our heighest selves. So we can enjoy the many benefits such as a life where synchronicities happen all the time, where life flows easily and we can enjoy ourselves so much more being in tune with the universe, with this new energy that arrives. 

Being spiritually fit means that all the things that bothered you so far, simply do not do it anymore as you understand better yourself and the world, it also signifies that if you find yourself in a situation that up until that moment you could not cope with, now, embracing the spiritual fitness concept, you discover it’s easy to move yourself out of it gracefully. 

How up is your spiritual fitness level? 

What’s your color? (Personality test)

The pleasure of seeing color is undeniable. But did you know that color preference reveals subconscious secrets, complex individual mental and emotional characteristics? The following color test will allow a deeper exploration of your personality and it will put a name for what is happening in our subconscious, shedding light to profound and subtle insights of your self. Take the test and discover more about yourself!

How does it work? 

First, take a look at the following 8 colors.

Colour personality test

The choice of certain colors can reveal emotional and physical deficiencies and imbalances as well as powerful positive aspects of the personality of which the individual may not be aware. It can provide guidance as to how to take responsibility for overcoming problems and make the most of potential strengths.Choose 3 colours in the order that you prefer at this moment. It is important to pick your colours intuitively, without allowing mental evaluations and judgments to interfere. Forget about your favorite colours, or anything that a particular colour may remind you of. Choose without too much thought.

Now have your 3 chosen colours separately in order of your preference. First, Second and Third. 

personality colour test color me

The first colour represents the essence of an individual. It expresses who you really are, reflecting your basic personality and suggests how you would normally respond to everyday situations. It is the expression of your True Self. It can also represent the predominant colour you are expressing at any given time.

The second colour speaks of the present. It relates to your current condition on all levels of the here and now: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. This colour is usually the colour you need to work with immediately and reflects your deep, subconscious needs, deficiencies or weaknesses. It also represents your main challenge.

blue color personality test

The third colour stands for your objectives, and tells you how to achieve them. This is the colour which reflects your innermost hopes, visions, and dreams, pointing to the direction of your destiny, and indicating the next step to take. Growth is possible here, if you are willing to take full responsibility for satisfying your needs. The colour of the third choice shows you what kind of constructive action you need to take in order to bring about a new, fresh perspective.

So now, listen to each interpretation for each colour and its choice position to understand yourself better. Enjoy!

Red in the first position

Red in the second position

Red in the third position 

Yellow in the first position

Yellow in the second position

Yellow in the third position

Orange in the first position

Orange in the second position

Orange in the third position

Green in the first position

Green in the second position

Green in the third position

Turquoise in the first position

Turquoise in the second position

Turquoise in the third position

Blue in the first position

Blue in the second position

Blue in the third position

Violet in the first position

Violet in the second position

Violet in the third position 

Magenta in the first position

Magenta in the second position

Magenta in the third position

Curious about what my colours were? First position I am Green, second position I am Turquoise and third position I am Blue.

choose your colour color test personality                                                     This test should be taken every 3 months as your colour choices will probably change. There is a definite correlation between the colors which people react to and particular traits of personality, which holds whether they react positively, negatively or with indifference. I believe this personality color test has proved this to you as well.

What are your colours