November 29, 2015 § Leave a comment
The skies are still cracking open making room for a new morning to unfold. I’m already up and sipping my lemon water, feeling the bliss of the day with every ounce of my being. I lit a candle and wrote down the intention for the day:
to give love and peace and understanding to every human being that will cross my path today. to do good. to create and nourish my body and my mind. to nurture a sense of safety, belonging and kindness in my home, with my loved ones.
With this I take a sip of coffee, lace up my shoes and run out the door. Our house is in the heart of the woods, somewhat secluded but still easily accessible. This place is everything I really wanted – I get so much inspiration from being in nature every day! From the terrace I can see the mountains and it takes me exactly 10 seconds to be with my beloved pine woods.
I run every day, for at least an hour. I wake up early because I need this time to myself – this is when I create, this is when the world shows its magic. I’ve come a long way with exercise – from not being able to run more than 8 minutes at a time, I now run at least 2 marathons per year and lift weights. We’re still in the habit of playing squash once per week and I can tell I have gotten so much stronger and agile! Very often I find myself on the mat doing yoga – and what joy this is!
When I’m back home, I finish my coffee and smile. Yes, smile. My life is perfect with all of its imperfections. I am grateful for everything. So, so grateful! So I sit down and write for a good 40 minutes, without stopping. I just let it all out, like a big breath out. Sometimes the breath is a sigh, sometimes it’s a yawn, sometimes it’s a shout. I let it all out.
I’ve established a coaching practice. I doubted myself so much but I still made it happen. The foundation for this is solid: to allow the person in front of me to open up, to listen without judging, to create a safe environment where they can say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. I’m there to listen, to hold a mirror, to ask questions, to be quiet, to serve. Clients come to my ‘office’ – we have coffee or we go for a walk. Sometimes they want to do gardening with me, sometimes they just want to sit on the floor in my office. I’m pretty casual. Sometimes I’d have a coaching call while lounging in my PJs. 🙂 I lend my clients books, or sometimes offer them gifts. A gift could be a dozen freshly baked cookies, or a spa voucher, or my shoulder to cry on.
I also travel; I’ve always loved going places and meeting new people, but I’ve learned my limits early on and I respect them making sure to balance travelling with being at home. I get invited to conferences as a guest speaker or I give key notes at universities. I also work in the corporate world – something which I know consider a house of cards. It makes me smile when I enter an office in a skyscraper; what used to intimidate me now makes me laugh. I’m going easy on myself and it’s probably because I’m so relaxed and happy-go-lucky that I’m also very successful and well respected. Money is not an issue, so it just comes to me and I’m really good at managing it. I have a great executive presence – when I enter the boardroom I know I am being noticed immediately.
Being a coach in my private practice or in the corporate world allows me to touch lives, to hold people’s hearts in my palms even if for just a brief moment. I crave that intimacy, the moment when we both ‘know’. I’ve learned that when people feel you ‘get them’, that’s when they start opening up their wings and living to their maximum potential, extending it every day. Sometimes though I can’t do much because the person in front of me is a rock and it would take years for my ‘water’ to be able to carve out anything in them. And that’s okay, I no longer take such instances as a personal failure. I don’t take it personal anymore.
In fact, both success and failure are external to me. I don’t judge my life or others’ life in this binary fashion. Rather than that, I ask myself and them: ‘Are you living according to your own values? Does your heart sing with joy or wallow in sadness? What needs to change in your life so that the melody of your heart can change too?’. I’ve learned that achieving balance in life is one of the most difficult, but also most beautiful quests. I no longer struggle in that quest. I simply live.
I’m writing a book. In my head I’ve been writing books for a long time. I don’t entertain the thought of my book being a best-seller (but it might as well as be). Instead, my intention is to create space, allow oxygen, encourage expansion of the heart and mind. With a little bit of kick and sassiness, because after all that’s who I am, and a whole lot of mystery.
Life has been and continues to be so good to me – an outpouring of love, chances to learn and stretch myself. What a priviledge to be alive and marvel at all this! Slowly being born with each passing moment, slowly dieing, so I lift my head up to the sky and give thanks for everything.
November 26, 2015 § Leave a comment
De exemplu, atunci cand intri pe usa dupa o zi lunga la serviciu, el tocmai pune pe farfurie o mamaliga aburinda. Si apoi in cateva minute va povestiti unul altuia intamplarile zilei printre imbucaturi de mamaliga cu branza si ceva smantana. Apoi el o sa spele vasele in timp ce tu intinzi rufele pe care tot el le-a pus la spalat. Distributia muncii in familie: chestie de baza si totusi complicata.
Sunt foarte recunoscatoare atunci cand pe masa ma asteapta o mancare simpla si calda. Cand cineva (el) imi face viata mai simpla si mai frumoasa. De exemplu, imi cumpara flori asa, fara motiv, si dimineata pune apa la fiert pentru cafea (insert big smile here).
Observati repetarea cuvantului ‘simplu’ aici? De multe ori o femeie nu are nevoie de cine stie ce favor sau dovada de iubire (desi uneori merge si asa ceva, de ce sa mint :)…) ci pur si simplu de o mana de ajutor care sa ii usureze viata si sa i-o coloreze.
November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment
Two nights ago I was feeling a little ‘bleah’ about going for a run. It was like I was missing inspiration, so while Elvin was working on our wedding ‘Save the date’ invite (I know, great man!) I put some music on – it always gets me going. I spent some time warming up and visualized myself running pain-free and enjoying the feeling. It was about half past eight when I laced up my shoes and went out the door.
The first 3 minutes were not easy; they never are as my body seems to be having an amazing time trying to beat inertia. But I paced myself and moved on… and on… Soon I came to the point I had reached the last time I went running with Elvin and decided more was in for me. I made a turn, passed the church and kept running. I couldn’t believe how amazing I was feeling! Sure, there was that nagging pain in my calves but I breathed into it and let it go. There were a few moments I was dreading – such as hills. But I took it easy on the hills and did.not.stop. Soon I made a turn towards Terrain Jakobi and passed through a pitch-black patch. This wasn’t very cool, as it’s by a construction area and I was fearing someone could… you know, harm me. I remained vigilant and kept running. I think I could watch myself from afar, watch how my body kept moving at a steady pace harbouring fear and dread.
Soon there was light again. I was thankful and imagined how I could be running this route in the winter mornings. I visualized myself running on a chilly winter morning when the world is still asleep and loved the thought! I checked in with my body, it was going strong – my God, what a feeling! I remembered how last Saturday I went for a run through rain which turned into sleet which soon turned into snow. That run made me so much stronger! The fact that I didn’t abandon the run when every ounce in my being said ‘go home and have a hot cocoa, no one should be running in this weather’ built up my resilience in ways I’m still discovering.
Our bodies are so much stronger than we think! Our minds are so much more resilient than we imagine! We only need to keep at it, keep pushing, be persistent. Have patience and the result will come. Keep being inspired and you will make strides. I feel that after some time now I am finally making strides again in my life. I’m doing something good for myself.
That night the neighborhood was almost empty and all was chilly and dark. My body felt light as a feather and my heart was awash with joy. Something in my brain was sparkling; perhaps some neural pathways that were just forming? I felt like I could keep running much longer but didn’t. I’m containing my energy for an amazing adventure that will unfold soon enough.
November 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
.. that I just couldn’t keep to myself.
Does a woman who is sharp, hard-working, swift and agile lose her femininity? When you are smarter, deeper, faster than a man – does that make you less of a woman?
And now I guess the answer to this question depends on who you’re asking…
November 24, 2015 § Leave a comment
Our lives are filled with more question marks than we care to admit. We don’t know a lot: when we’ll die, what life holds, what our husband is thinking about the dinner we just laid on the table, what decisions the Bilderberg group is making, when life as we know it will be over. Heck, sometimes we have no clue what we are feeling! Don’t know where we are, don’t know where we’re going, don’t know our values. Yet we live and practice and put one foot in front of the other. We hurt, we love, we cry, we die, we hope, we dream. We marry and make babies and work and eat and die. Over and over again, in this carousel that never takes a break. Well, perhaps the world stopped turning the first time my boyfriend kissed me. I really believe the world stood still then. I held my breath. I knew.
You see, we carry a lot of beliefs with us – about ourselves and the world and other people. God knows I judge. A lot. But most of the time we really have no idea what’s going on beyond our own skin. This is an encouragement from me to me to:
- become more curious – ask questions without thinking ‘I know it all’ (I’m so guilty of this!)
- be genuinely present to the struggles of others; listen more
- put judgements of others and myself in a bracket, at least for a second
- do less, be more – action is informed by belief, but when you suspend your beliefs you might also choose a different path, just this time
The only truth we do know is the one of our bones and flesh.
November 20, 2015 § 3 Comments
Back when I was living in London green smoothies were my breakfast of choice. I had a cheap blender, and a lot of spirulina and chlorella to gobble up (who am I kidding?). In the mean time I’ve given up on the spirulina and chlorella but kept the cheap blender (and have been eyeing a Vitamix for some time now…).
This autumn the weather has been incredibly forgiving – it doesn’t look or feel like November, more like early October, which means I don’t crave hot breakfasts yet. I find that green smoothies are incredibly versatile, can be made ahead and pack a ton of nutrition leaving me feeling nourished and ready to go-go-go.
Like this kale – pineapple – Greek yogurt smoothie for example.
What: 3 handfuls of kale (without the stem), about 150g pineapple, 150g Greek yogurt, 2 tbps. hemp seeds, and some buckthorn (which Elvin’s parents kindly gifted us on our last trip to Romania), a splash of lemon juice.
How-to: start by blending the above, adding water to thin the smoothie as needed. Adjust the taste by adding honey or more fruit. If you have a mediocre blender like me make sure you blend until you can’t feel the kale anymore.
This is what you get:
So this is how you make breakfast for 2 days in 5 minutes flat. I added some more hemp hearts and 1tbsp of chia seeds on top of today’s breakfast and placed both servings in the fridge. I love green smoothies for the energy they give me and how portable they are – in fact since I woke up late this morning I poured the smoothie in a jar and brought it to the office. Success!
What’s your favourite recipe for smoothies?
November 19, 2015 § 3 Comments
We’re getting married next year. Naturally, I’ll be wearing a dress. 🙂 I’ll be honest: yes, I want my dress to be beautiful and I want to look stunning. However, I just don’t get the whole hysteria around wedding dresses (and weddings in general). I’ve started doing a bit of research to get some inspiration and see what others have done for their weddings and let me tell you: I get SO exhausted by all the décor, the millions of details, the show. Is a wedding a show? Or perhaps a show – off? I don’t have anything against telling a story through your wedding (this is what we also plan to do), but when artificial details overpower the bride and the groom, when it feels like the wedding venue is a museum (so much to see, and do and touch and experiment with!)…
Brides start looking for their dress at least one year ahead. Anything less than that is considered late and coutouriers look at you with sheer horror when you show up at their salon a few months before The Big Day. Everything about the dress, the make-up, the hairstyle choices is hysterical. So much preparation, so much effort, so much money going into… what? A wedding is a few hours of having fun, of being together with friends and family, of celebrating your love. And I simply don’t see the love and the raw emotion between the million décor items and the show itself.
Instead I’m opting for simplicity. Yes, there should be an element of surprise and unexpected, some sort of anticipation and butterflies in the stomach. But they all come when you create space for them, when you allow for intimacy and some sort of spontaneity…
More on this to follow. 🙂
P.S. What if I tell you that so far, between hundreds of wedding dresses I saw on the Internet none stole my heart? I do have an idea for how my ideal dress would look like (spoiler alert: nothing completely out of this world) but unfortunately none of the couturiers I followed make that kind of dress! Can you believe it…? Because I can’t!