My Body

My body is not me and yet it is. The fact is, I get to use it and enjoy it for a lifetime. It can give me an immeasurable amount of joy and pain. My body gets sick, tired and feels flawed sometimes. Then, it dances to the music only my soul can hear. My body can be on cloud nine and jump for joy. It likes doing yoga and walking on the sand. There are times it is curled up on a couch in agony. It is able to experience a symphony of sensations and I am grateful for it.

030c5b23ff9327f53789c8ce41f1620eMy body didn’t use to be like that. I didn’t see it as beautiful, I didn’t know it was. It belonged to me and I took care of it but didn’t really experience it fully. I wasn’t aware of my body in the sense I perceived myself in terms of intellect only.

Yet, I was meant to come across my sensuality sooner or later. It was a pleasant surprise to get to know my body eventually. And as I made a connection between it, my spirit and my mind, all elements of puzzle suddenly fell into place. Now that I consciously own it, I celebrate it as much as I can. I take glimpses of it while passing the mirror and I admire it and love it.

I am more beautiful than I ever have been. I am more aware of my body, my sensuality and in tune with myself. No, I am not narcissistic, just aware of who I am. My body is the seat of my soul and I perceive myself as an expression of God. As such I am not flawed, just perfect and beautiful.

My body is not me and yet it is. It does not define me. How I relate to it defines me. In the past, I perceived myself as unattractive and not worthy of love. This choice, albeit not conscious on my part, shaped my concept of self for many years.

Today I know better. I choose to see beauty in me. I determine how it affects me in relation to the outside world. I use my body to my advantage just because I can. When I walk in my high heels I know I turn heads. Does it make me happy? No, but it amuses me how important body image can be. Going from self-conscious to self-confident was a process all inspired by my relationship to my body. Now, in my forties I am more happy than ever. I am also grateful for the gift my body is to me.

Sometimes life gets so busy I am on an autopilot and forget about my body. It literally carries me throughout the day and I don’t even spare a thought to express my gratitude for doing so. Only when I find myself sick or in pain I refocus on it again. Its fragility frightens me and at the same time feels me with wonder. It reminds me of passing and death. Yet it is not death that scares me but leaving the loved ones behind.

My body is my temple. I am thankful for it every day.

On being a single mom

There is no right way to tell a story of being a single mom. There are as many unique stories as there are single moms. I will just attempt to tell you mine. I am not looking for pity or compassion because becoming a single mom was purely my choice with all the joys and tribulations that come along. But, I want you to pause for a moment and maybe reflect that so often we really don’t know what is happening in other person’s life. Maybe by reading this you can embrace the idea that life happens in so many varied forms and none of them is better than the other. My life isn’t less desirable or valuable than yours, just different.

Getting divorced was easy; getting custody was more of a battle. My-now-ex and I both knew we wanted to be divorced, at some point. But for me there was no question whether I wanted to share custody of our children with him 50/50. One of the reasons I wanted to divorce was that I knew he wasn’t capable of neither taking care of himself nor providing home for the girls. He insisted that he was perfectly sane and able to do so. The court didn’t think so and thus I landed full physical and legal custody. Our children live with me and he gets to spend a couple of hours with them during the week. He hasn’t held a job in over four years and lives in his car.

7dd475bb3c5d1bff173af8991fcc6335The responsibility of raising our children, providing them with a shelter, food, clothes, paying for their hobbies and pleasures falls entirely on me. As a matter of fact I feel proud of being able to pull this off; I am a woman after all. By saying this I admit it is harder to make money for a female when your most recent years were dedicated to raising the kids. No, I don’t feel inadequate, I am just painfully aware that my nurturing talents, my mothering skills don’t get recognized by potential employers and don’t translate into a nice executive salary. Instead, I sense that society would want me to feel guilty for the fact I hadn’t been pursuing a career while being a mom. I chose to be present in my children’s lives but at the expense of my own marketability.

I am a single parent who relies completely on her own financial, mental and spiritual resources to raise two young daughters. While exhausting it is also hugely gratifying. There is an undeniable bond that the three of us share. We don’t have any family in the US. In a way we are really as close together as we can be. There is beauty in it and sadness. I know my daughters through and through, I sense their moods and can guess their thoughts. It is extremely powerful, this attachment we share. Yet, sometimes I feel drained and lost. I am the only parent they can rely on. I am their sole mental, emotional and physical support and they have no one else to go to. I need to be extremely strong even when I am vulnerable like never before. I feel the burden of raising two humans who have an absolute trust in me.

I realized long ago that there is no point in comparing myself to moms who have the financial and emotional support of their spouses because I don’t. I am the moneymaker, the decision-maker and the one who gets up in the morning to get them ready for school. And I am a woman. I find myself sometimes awake at wee hours wondering how all this will work out. I have my fears and insecurities. I cry and the next morning I wake up and continue my solo dance in front of God’s eyes. I stumble and fall and I get up. Each time I rise I am wiser and stronger.

With all that I realize my happiness doesn’t depend on money or lack of it; instead it depends on relationships with the people I love. Most importantly it depends on my own relationship with the Universe and myself. The more I live my life surrendering myself to the divine the easier eventually it gets.

So this is my story. I also know a woman who has been abandoned and left without any resources to raise her two young sons. I know a woman who chose her own self-esteem over the comfort of a nice salary her husband was bringing home. These women go on living their lives and struggle often. They appear strong and composed even when they are falling apart. All we know is that they somehow manage. They laugh and cry, like all of us. I am telling you this story because I am one of them. It is bittersweet. I love my life. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Forties

No way I could have known this in my twenties when I thought I knew it all. In my thirties I was sure I had an intimate knowledge of life and yet even being a mom didn’t quite cut it. Now, in my forties I am confident I finally am close to embracing the truth but something is telling me I might have a different perspective once I hit my fifties. Truly, life is an amazing adventure of self-discovery and I am an avid pursuer of its all flavors, bitter and sweet, intertwined for the purpose of our eternal amusement.

In my twenties I believed life was about an adventure, passion and an untamed potential I perceived in every living thing. I savored life’s essence dancing my way through the effervescent white nights in Norway when the day would never stop and the sleeplessness was a badge to strive for. I danced barefoot on the floor of a pub with broken glass on the floor to a loud music with the stars in my eyes. I drunk to my delight and let my amber-red hair sway to the rhythm of eternal youth that ran through my veins. I slept on the beach by a bonfire, my body drenched in a sweat, smoke and an aroma of love, My dreams were full of wonder and the life just seemed to be opening like a flower’s bud in the palm of my hand. Each day I woke up feeling happy and ready to just be. I was drunk from the mere possibilities that awaited me.

c51ede2376b6e83d476546b37e2e62b1Thirties came with a baggage of motherhood; a mellow and definitely more subdued type of an experience. I was a life bearer, a giver and a personification of mother goddess. This time the sleepless nights were of a different sort and they didn’t leave me ecstatic, just exhausted. I cut my hair short and I forgot how to dance to the tune of the Universe. My music was that of lullabies and nursery rhymes. The rare moments I could remember who I was were defined by my newly found peace in meditation and writing. In fact, writing was the force and the passion that was a reminiscence of my fiery and wild twenties.

Then came my forties when I found my beauty again. I grew my hair longer and started spinning new dreams. I yearned for a passion and life that would be meaningful. It all came to me in a sudden flash, in a moment I will never forget. It was in a smile, the eternal allure of new love, intoxicating and powerful. At the same time I realized I had a dream. I wanted to be a writer. This dream was so hard to believe in. I would tell myself that it was brazen to think I could even aspire to write because English is not my mother tongue. I would rather give up before I started. Yet, it is beautiful to dream… And so I kept on writing.

I love forties. I definitely find it easier to be just myself and not to give in to what other people think of me. I think most women discover that around this age. Life is too short to live it up to someone else’s expectations. I am only curious what the fifties will bring.

Life Is A Mystery

Life is a mystery. It has taken me on a journey I would have never imagined was laid out for me. Now I am here, sitting in my English 100 class and am marveling at the miracle that has brought me here today.

Tree2AIn my early twenties I went to college and studied like everyone else did. Then my nomadic spirit got the best of me. I was tempted to taste different flavors life had placed on a plate in front of me. Suddenly, my education was not on my agenda any more. I travelled across Europe, worked different jobs, moved to United States, started a family and was raising my daughters. Sadly, over the course of time, I observed I had become more of a mom and less of myself. My vibrant self was lost in an array of activities for my kids and rarely was I doing something I loved.

The only time I felt like my old self was when I could write. I savored each moment I could put my fingers on the keyboard of my old trusted Mac and I let them do their magic dance. The words like flowers would spring from under my fingertips. I felt alive again. The year when my youngest daughter turned one, my blog was conceived. I would journal my days and write about mundane things. Slowly, ever so slowly, my blog entries morphed into a plethora of sophisticated studies of human nature and cross-cultural observations.

Then my reality shifted again and I felt lost. I was in an abusive relationship; my partner’s mental illness was quickly getting out of control and taking its toll on all of us. Each morning I would wake up without any hope, scared and depressed. I would only get up because I had to be there for my daughters. The fear I felt was agonizing. I so wanted to leave the hell I was confined to and yet I was paralyzed to make a move. To make things worse, I couldn’t even write, sorrow was my only companion. My muse has abandoned me.

And then something miraculous happened. I found myself starting my life over, beginning from scratch. I rented an apartment and moved in there with my daughters. Bit by bit, I found a way to support just the three of us. And I was able to write again, to share my deepest and most profound thoughts. My passion was alive again. Then one day, an unorthodox thought crossed my mind. “What, what if I could go back to college and make my writing better?”

Once I decided to follow my dream there were people, some of them strangers, who offered me their help. One time, I was walking on the beach when I observed an unknown, older woman coming my way. The most genuine smile in her sea-green eyes warmed my heart as she handed me a white, sweet smelling flower. “To your dreams,” she said and walked away.
So here I am, in this class, knowing that this is what my heart truly desires and where I am supposed to be.

Life is chaos

“Life is chaos, build a temple of peace in your heart”

I was born a Capricorn and as such I thrived on creating my reality in a predictable way. Already as a child I liked to know what to expect. I enjoyed making plans and was anticipating special events as long as they were scheduled and announced in advance. I felt safe and secure knowing what was ahead and needed to know the exact details of any adventure to enjoy it. Certainty was the spice of my life.

In my late 30’s my guardian angel decided that I was ready to experience some new flavors and served me a plate full of surprises. Gone were my stability, predictability and a sense of knowing where I was heading. All of a sudden I was hanging by a thread, unsure what future had in store for me. I spent a couple of years not knowing how I was going to move on with my life. From that moment I only could TRUST that things would work out for me but I had no idea HOW this would happen.

My transformation was long and painful. I thought of it as the darkest hour of my life. I remember waking up in the mornings and not wanting to face the day. I was scared and could only pray for the better outcome. Slowly, ever so slowly things started moving forward and I could finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

As I am finding a new footing in my life I am more aware that I am not the same person I used to be. My understanding of the life process is different than 5 years ago. I revel in the fact that I am a part of the perfect creation that we call the Universe and even though my part is small, it is still an important one. With this in mind, I feel protected and supported in all aspects of my being. Just that single thought puts me at ease and lets me open up a little more to be who I truly am.

I admit, it is not always easy to have an absolute trust in the process of life. My mind still gets in the way as it wants to convince me that being open and vulnerable is fundamentally a risky business. I see my mind or ego as an extension of what makes me a unique person, though. In contrast to my soul, which is eternal, all knowing and doesn’t experience fear, ego’s purpose is to keep my body alive. Ego is not a foe but a vital force that sets me in motion to reach for the stars. Most of the time I remember who I am, a timeless soul with a body and mind. Sometimes, though, I forget my boundless splendor and identify myself with my ego. I think it likes to play games with me. Whenever I believe I finally found peace I am proven wrong. Somehow, life has its way of throwing new obstacles to help me yet again revisit my fears and insecurities. Each time shit happens I need to go deep within, find my core and rebound.

12122793_885487184868410_2219852046682920422_nWhen I enter my heart I find my peace. Never there has been a time when I wasn’t able to find the answer to my questions, doubts or insecurities once I consulted my trusted and loving heart. My heart is my strength. It knows who I am, it is my essence. It knows no fear and is the seat of my soul. Naturally, when I go deep within, I find myself in my purest form. While it sounds easy, it takes practice to reach the heart.

Listening to my heart has not always been effortless. The mind often interfered and tried to convince me that my heart based choice was not sensible, that I would end up regretting it. It took a lot of nerve to defy the dispassionate logic of my mind, especially in the world where the success is measured by status, money and power.

Following my heart’s subtle motion, I relinquished control over my life and allowed it to flow and unfold in front of my eyes. The hardest part was to let go of it and trust that my path is unique and can’t be compared to anyone’s.

My last five years were rocky and the last two, even though less painful, still proved to be far from peaceful. I am still in transition: building a new relationship, watching my daughters grow, going back to college and figuring out my career options. This process of gaining equilibrium has been extremely long for me. I crave a little bit of stability in my life, a plateau of sorts. Starting on new adventures is exciting but it is also taxing and I simply want to rest. Apparently, it is not time for me to rest, yet ;-).

Dallas

“You have an accent!” I heard again. I smiled politely and replied, “Yes,” in my thick Eastern European accent. Some people said my accent was lovely, some didn’t care and some obviously didn’t like it. That was a part of my heritage, a curse or my ace, depending on how I wanted to look at it. Surely, having an accent meant I was a stranger. I felt at times like I did not belong to this country and culture coupled with a strong desire to fit in. Surely, I was getting used to it and growing my roots. I came to United States in my late twenties with high hopes and I embraced this New World with an open heart and faith for a better and happier life.

It was year 2000 and I was in Dallas, Texas trying to adapt to this amazingly different environment. It was a mind-boggling place for a European like me with huge ten-lane freeways, enormous mansions, big cars, big hair, scary bugs and an interesting mix of people from all over the United States. Dallas was a crucible, a melting pot of sorts since this was a mecca of all telecom engineers from around the world as telecom companies were sprouting around each corner of freeway 75. Living in Texas, of all places, proved to be an interesting challenge to me, an Eastern European gal, who had an affinity for refined things like art and literature. Not that Dallas lacked any of these things, quite contrary. Dallas was a multifaceted conglomeration of various styles and profiles including quite an interesting portfolio of modern artists and a wonderfully well-appointed Dallas Museum of Art. However, it was also populated with people who loved roosters as the art on their walls and thought bigger was better. Well-off families who liked their suburban lifestyle inhabited the North area of Dallas. Men were making a 6-figure income and women happily spending it. Prior to coming to Dallas it never occurred to me that a woman’s goal was to have a perfect hair and make up and stuff her enormous room-size closet with the newest fashions. I was rather amazed to discover that so many Dallas women would spend their time going on extravagant shopping sprees to yet again redecorate the entire house. This was a new idea to me. After all I came from a family that would rather buy me books for my birthday than a make up. My parents’ favorite pastime was taking daily walks in nature with me and shopping was just a necessity. Here, life was different.

So different that I made so many faux pas simply because I didn’t know any better. I was embarrassed not once for breaking American rules and I made people laugh at me, too. Here, I recall some of the funniest mistakes I made.

Once I needed to deposit some money at my bank but it was past 5 pm and the door was closed. I was about to turn back and head home when a security officer advised me to go to the drive through. Now, there were no drive through banks in my country and I had no idea what that meant so I naively asked him how far it was. He said it was around the corner and to take my car. I smiled and thought, “these Americans don’t ever walk, they always choose to drive, I am sure I can get there by means of walking.” And I walked only to find myself facing three lanes of cars waiting their turn to deposit the money. As stubborn as I was, I kept waiting behind one of the cars feeling the absurdity of the situation I got myself into. I felt I should not be there, inhaling the exhaust and looking as dumb as I probably was at the moment. Yet, I stayed there. When it was my turn to make a deposit, I didn’t know how. There was a plastic tube in front of me but for the life of me I had no idea how to use it. I gestured to a driver in the car next to me and asked for help. That’s when I heard a thunderous laughter coming from all the cars in the drive through and I knew I was hilariously funny and ridiculous. But I finally figured it out and gracefully walked away from my scene of humiliation.

Next time I made a fool out of myself was at the Dallas Country Club. I thought it was a public park, naïve me. I managed to enter through a rear gate and unnoticed by security guards or anyone I kept walking and enjoying the grounds. At some point, I heard one of the golf players shouting to me to stay safe and watch out for the balls. Even this didn’t give me a clue that I was doing something wrong. As I continued on I noticed a cart. A rather stout man jumped out of it and with a heavy Spanish accent asked me if I were a member. “A member of what,” I asked. He starred at me with a disbelief and then explained I was at the Dallas Country Club and needed to have a membership. Flamboyantly, I assured him I was going to purchase one and asked him for the price. The smile on his face was priceless. I left the grounds and researched it, only to find that prospective members don’t approach the club seeking admittance—they can only be invited in. Even then, it can take seven years on average for an application to be accepted with the fees reaching $100,000 and more. I guess I wasn’t ready to apply at that moment ;-).

You are the master of your destiny

“Everyday you have an option to create your life the way you want it to be”

Yes, I have heard this phrase millions of times. The spiritual gurus’ newsletters I subscribed to have flooded my inbox with this or similar messages for months if not years. And yet, I always deleted them without a moment’s hesitation because I thought that this wisdom didn’t apply to me. I thought I had to be special, have a special life path and circumstances to be able to get what I truly wanted. I didn’t think I had a power to change my life and have it all.

12122793_885487184868410_2219852046682920422_nIt always seemed impossible and I was hurting just at the thought that there were others more capable of transforming their life and attracting the good. Sadly, I believed, I wasn’t one of them.

Then, one day when the heaviness of the existence seemed impossible to carry on any more I realized I had a single thought only, to remove myself from the source of my misery. It came from a deepest and utmost corner of my heart. I knew I had to be free again. Free to be myself and free to be happy. The predominant thought was to create a life free of drama and hurt for my daughters and myself. Once I knew what I truly wanted I DREAMED about it, I WROTE and TALKED about it. I was visualizing my new future and prayed for it each night before sleep.

Of course, I read “The Secret” as well as many other books and online resources on the subject, however, the way I was starting to shape my life now was a direct result of my inner readiness and certainty that I was right. There were days when I succumbed to the fear that I would fail. After all I was a stay at home mom without an income. Yet I dared to envision a new life without my husband. I knew I wanted to have my daughters with me and I foresaw the three of us living a carefree life together in the future. It took me two years from a moment I had that one single thought to get a divorce to a moment I moved out with our daughters. It took me a year to find strength and resources to file for the divorce and one more year to get it.

In the meantime I went though moments of doubt and moments of extreme clarity. Whenever I let my mind take over I was losing my inner peace and would start to question my sanity. In fact, the fear of losing my daughters was paralyzing. The only panacea for my fear was meditation and walks in nature. Each time I connected with the source I had an instant download and I knew I could do it, I could carry on my plan and succeed. This was not a voice of reason that urged me to carry on against all odds but my intuition. Over the years, I started to nurture that quiet and soft whisper of my soul so it became louder and louder. Eventually, I moved from a fear-based reality and learned to trust the universe was supporting me as long as I was following my heart.

Yesterday, I got divorced. I got full physical custody of my daughters even though I haven’t paid a penny to the lawyers. People whom I hardly knew and friends of my friends helped me. I only had to stick to my plan. The universe was on my side.

Now, every now and then I wake up in the middle of the night, it is still dark and cold in the bedroom and I am able to feel the softness of my daughter’s arm next to my body and a random toe pressed against my ribs. Our huge bed is cozy and my thoughts are too. I feel so grateful for the fact that my wish to be with my girls came true, that the connection and affection we have for each other is supported in the most safe and natural way. I am thankful upon waking up that they trust me and still like to sleep next to me. I feel blessed that we have this option and are together.

With this in mind, I know that I am capable of anything. If I could dream that out of the darkest and most desperate moment, if I could envision our life the way it is now, it only means I am perfectly able to push harder and achieve even more. And more is coming my way as I am now aware of my strength.

The Bell Jar

I haven’t felt like that in a long time. Worthless and meaningless. There is that shroud of sadness and incapability that I can’t seem to shrug off.
Waking up numb and not understanding why I am awake and alive. Getting up to get my daughters ready for school, yes, there is still enough in me to do that. Yet when they are gone I come back and crawl back to my bed trying to reach the fleeting shadows of the divine I was once able to embrace. My whole being is subdued and I feel like blood is literally draining out of my veins and with it all life force I have had. My ambitions are nil, my motivation is gone. I feel trapped and lost. I can still use logic and get up from my bed but do I want to? I am not lazy, I am demotivated, perplexed and disillusioned about the purpose of my life. The thoughts of hopelessness are keeping me shut up and isolated from other people. It’s like being in a glass jar or a bell jar as Sylvia Plath described so well. I know there is life beyond that but I am totally incapable to leave my trap.

7dd475bb3c5d1bff173af8991fcc6335I remember I used to laugh and smile and live my life to the fullest. Today this seems more like an illusion, or a life that belonged to someone else. That happy and confident person I once were is absent now. The bubbling with energy and perky woman who used to get high on listening to the loud music and dancing all alone in the middle of the night. The woman who used to stay up late to blog and make art. Woman who enjoyed getting dressed up and get the looks from men. Who would go rollerblading and then walk on the wall where no one else dared to walk and get a kick out of it.

Now I still get up in the morning and get myself ready for the day and my room still looks pretty spotless (I know, I am miss perfectionist) but that’s just a facade. Behind it is an empty, withdrawn look, and I keep looking down to avoid the eye contact with other people. So how did I get myself so low?

The feeling of lowliness comes as a result of failing to find my purpose. I have been on the spiritual path for many years and followed the call of the divine. I have prophetic dreams and meditate regularly. I can get in tune with the whispers of the universe and yet I feel as detached from it all when I look at my life. The worst is comparing myself to other people. The feelings of incompleteness and financial ineptness overwhelm me. Even though I know better not to look at myself through the lens of what other people achieved I still do it, and I feel so inadequate that it terrifies me. But lack of money or social position isn’t the worst. It’s the path I am on, the path where I risk everything that society values and go against the tide.

Occasionally I feel like an outcast and that weighs on me. Following my intuition I have left behind some of the safer and socially acceptable roads to financial and emotional security. While mostly I feel guided, today I feel like a loser. My fears surface and I feel let down, lost and trapped. The thoughts that prevail are those of being powerless, foolish and naive to trust in the powers other than my own intellect.
As I write these words I realize that there are many like me who are suffering, too. People on spiritual path who are authentic and listen to the whispers of god but somehow got overwhelmed and scared. I know some of them. We are functioning in the society to a certain degree but we are hardly getting by. We manage to appear normal but we are not.

The reason I am writing these words is to perhaps make it more known that these feelings are common and normal. That being a human means facing the fears and doubting your own self. Falling and losing. I am 44 and still looking for my purpose…

Am I a modern witch?

MoonRecently I went to a party where among other guests was my ex-husband. As I was striking a conversation with one of the visitors he noticed my accent and asked me where I was from. After I satisfied his curiosity he admitted that another person he had just talked to got very offended by that very same question. I glanced at the room and I smiled as I knew who that other person was. My ex would always get irritated if someone asked him where he was from. Looking at my conversationalist I casually mentioned that I knew who the man was and that he was my ex. At this point he started staring at me with an obvious curiosity and admitted that he never had a pleasure of talking to a witch. I thought I was about to burst into laughter and asked him where that came from. His response was that he just talked to my ex and he had mentioned that his ex-wife was a witch and cast spells. I was completely taken aback and didn’t know whether I should laugh or be offended. The man’s tone was partly serious and partly lighthearted but he wouldn’t elaborate any more.

I was baffled. I knew my ex wasn’t exactly enjoying the fact I left him. But to talk to strangers describing me as a witch? That was new and really puzzling. I sat alone thinking about it and realized that perhaps his definition of a witch was different from mine. Maybe he simply thought that women who are in charge of their lives are witches. Perhaps he despised the fact that I had enough power to live a happy and successful life without him and was a happy free spirit. If this is what defines a witch then I am one.

I am a tree hugger and I gaze at the moon frequently. I stand in a tree pose at the sunsets on the beach and watch the waves crushing down on the shore. I walk barefoot and watch the sky. You can find me often lost in my thoughts staring into the horizon. I let the rain drench me. My walls are covered with my own paintings and writing is my passion. I certainly use my own judgment and am discerning. I know I have strong opinions and I enjoy my independence and freedom. I feel sexy and love the body I am in. If these traits make me a witch then, heck, I am one. Many men fear independent, free-thinking women because they aren’t easy to manipulate and control. It’s amazing how many men prefer women to be submissive and not only in the bedroom. Women who think outside the box, who live their lives to the fullest and are in charge can attract only certain kind of men. Confident, brilliant, sexually active and emancipated women are often a threat to majority of them. It feels safe to label these nonconforming women as witches as this takes away responsibility from men to tame them, they are the evil forces of nature and can’t be curbed after all.

I learned to be free. I said no to being dominated, shunned and put down. It didn’t happen overnight but I believe my spark was always there. I only needed to unearth it, to bring it back from the deepest and most utmost corner of my heart. But once I reclaimed it nothing could stop me from being happy, loving, passionate and confident. I guess following my bliss and listening to my heart make me a witch. And if that is what defines one I am ready to fully embrace it and make the best out of it.

It’s OK to divorce

It’s OK to divorce.

I know that to bring up this topic in a conversation is an excellent way to polarize the group into two opposite and competing sides.

First will argue that everything that goes wrong in marriage can be fixed given the fact that both partners are ready and willing to work it through. The supporters of this opinion often view the divorced single people as failures who hadn’t tried hard enough, gave up and chose an easier solution. These people were most likely blessed with a partner who is open to negotiation, will do his or her share of self-improvement and is committed to them.

Now, I belong to the other group that believes it OK to divorce. Naturally, when we say our love vows we believe it is forever and for good or worse. But sometimes life is unpredictable…

sunset-476465_1280Not always your partner will be open to work on his challenges and not always things between two grown-ups can be repaired.
When I chose my husband I didn’t know he was controlling… He used a variety of controlling techniques that I didn’t know at a time were just his tools to get what he wanted. I felt often belittled, small and guilty. It started really early on in our relationship but I haven’t put two and two together. One of his favorite ones was, “I will divorce you if you don’t…”

He was verbally abusive. Nothing can be done if the other person thinks he is fine but you are the one who is always wrong. He won’t believe you when you are trying to negotiate or work things out. He will tell you it is your problem and not his. That you need to change or perhaps visit a psychiatrist. In my marriage I was guilty for everything, no excuses. I didn’t even know often what my spouse would view as wrong and when. It felt like walking on the eggshells all the time. My husband could explode any moment, he was like a bomb with a detonator, you never knew what would trigger him. And things certainly triggered him…

He was insane. At some point one of my neighbors pointed out to me to research bi-polar disorder. Interestingly, so many things suddenly started making sense to me. When I confronted him and offered to look for some medical help he turned the tables and accused me of being crazy. Talking to him didn’t seem to help as he would often not recall what we already agreed on and it was always like starting from zero.

There was no way I could ever raise two happy and socially adjusted beings and remain sane at the time with the man who was clearly destroying himself and us. The abuse was getting worse. After almost 15 years I felt like a shadow of a person I used to be. I vaguely remembered the vibrant and confident me from before the marriage. I became a meek, submissive and listless woman with a forlorn look in my eyes, looking much older and unhappy. Though I believe there had to be a spark of my former self buried deep inside my soul as I slowly started realizing that I could change my life.

Sometimes the only solution to saving yourself is to leave the other person. There was no way I could work things out while I was being systematically destroyed. In my case it was a verbal and emotional abuse and it left me degraded, bereft of my self-confidence, humiliated. I can only imagine what physical abuse can do to other women…

This leads me to say that if you haven’t been in my shoes you won’t know what toll it takes to live with an abusive partner. You won’t ever understand how it destroys you, demeans you and puts you down. Clearly, if you are able to fix your marriage it means you haven’t been in my predicament. Be happy and pat yourself on your shoulder for doing the right thing but don’t go around condemning others for not trying hard enough.

Love Letter

I love you. You know this if you can read my eyes.

My love to you is like an ocean. It’s deep; it’s immense and has its ebb and flow. It’s ever-changing, multidimensional and many layered. Sometimes I want to just hold your hand and gaze into your eyes which are like millions of galaxies holding the creator’s secret to life. When I look in your eyes I am intoxicated and full to the brim ~ they are the mystery of complexity and simplicity, all in one – the art of what makes us human. I look into the windows to your soul and I am in awe as I can see the stars that you and I were created from eons of years ago. When you smile I tremble because in your smile I see the love you hold for me, the passion and the childlike innocence you have buried behind the layers of your hurt. I love that boy full of mischief that is still there. When I gaze at your naked soul I can see clearly the glorious and wounded you. And I know you are as perfect as I am with your flaws and imperfections. You are every inch as human and god-like as I am.

LoveImage

When I run my finger through your hair I feel an electric spark running from my palms through the rest of my body. It’s magical. It’s as if our bodies and souls are connected at the core of existence and we recognize each other so well. It’s enough for you to touch me, play with my hair and I am sent to the stratosphere. I die each time you take me in your arms. When we make love I lose the sense of who I am and I cease to exist. The cosmic dance of our bodies, the blend of our breaths, the passion and tenderness all come together. So deep and so potent our love is that we become one for that short moment in time. The moment when we forget anything and everything and the time stops. We breathe in the eternity and exhale the now.

Because of you and for the sake of both of us I am ready to discard what the world has taught me… The dogmas and the rules. Now the only truth that matters is the light of our love. The light that can lead us to discover new worlds. This luminescence is freeing and suddenly I feel I can fly and I dance and create new realities, more brilliant and dazzling than ever. Holding your hand I dive into the ocean of physical and nonphysical realms where I stand liberated and tall. That’s where I meet my goddess self, all-knowing, radiant and compassionate. I am united with the universe, I remember the moment of the Creation and the moment of the Destruction and you are there too. This moment last both forever and hasn’t happened yet. Yet, the fleeting feeling of it is etched in my memory now. I still hold your hand and am back to Maya, the world of illusion that we humans call the reality. Yet this time I remember who we truly are. I look at you again and smile…

Metamorphosis

There is a basket with yarn in the corner of my room. It’s filled with crochet hooks, knitting needles and of course skeins of yarn of different colors and texture. For quite some time I have been intentionally avoiding looking in this corner simply because what once used to be a promise of possible knitting projects was now a tangle of yarn. Somehow bit by bit once carefully placed skeins became a mess. As I was looking at it I was aware they were a pretty good representation of what was currently going on in my life, too. A tangled mess of unfinished projects, a sad reflection on my life.

A postponed meeting here, an unfinished piece of writing I was preparing to publish but never got around to doing it, a divorce in the works with plenty of paperwork to be completed. As I was looking at the basket I was more and more aware that certain things always take priority. That was the case with my own life. As long as I was struggling with finding a sense of financial and emotional security some other projects were put on a back burner. I was truly in a transformative stage for over two years and I was getting exhausted by it and looking forward to finding some balance.

Life has its sense of humor and has offered me some surprising lessons. One of them them, in particular, was to never expect I was done with my share of spiritual learning. Over the period of last couple years I have learned more than in my entire life. Which meant many nights I was wide awake tossing and turning with pressing thoughts rambling in my head. “Have I made the right decision?” or “Will I be able to pay the rent?” “Can I love and accept another person with all the bad and good stuff?” and “How to love a person I am?” were some of them. For over two years I was feeling as if my life was upside down and felt like living on the edge. This is when I found out about the dark night of the soul. As I searched to answer some of my questions related to the intensity of the experience I was going through I finally understood that I was just waiting to emerge from my chrysalis.

butterfly-332355_1280This reminded me of a caterpillar held captive inside its cocoon and its painful transformation that takes time. The caterpillar doesn’t know how long it will take and neither what is happening during the metamorphosis. It always takes time, I kept reminding myself. The universe works its magic while I am in the state of suspension, miraculously unaware of what new person I was going to emerge. I truly felt it was a never-ending process of keeping the faith.

Sometimes all it takes is the right time and life shifts to make certain opportunities available. Yet, even armed in that knowledge I was sometimes miserable and on the verge of losing my trust. The only thing I really needed was trust and not the logic. The cold-hearted logic was my enemy. If I relied on my mind I would be scared to death. My choices during this two year process of shedding the old were purely based on the whispers of my heart. How else would I ever dare to move away from my husband with my two young daughters even though he threatened to destroy me. Then again, I followed my path fiercely when I found love again even though my head was telling me it was not the right time. During that time I often found myself questioning my choices immensely simply because they were flying in the face of my upbringing and the values I acquired throughout my life.

Then, one day I woke up and looked again at the dreaded basket with the yarn. This time, however, I picked up the skeins and carefully separated one from another. Then I sat down and slowly and patiently untangled all the knots. I was surprised, it wasn’t that difficult as I have imagined. All it took was the right state of mind and a will. Coincidentally, that very same day I got news that changed my life. I finally was moving forward and in the direction I was happy with.

The Art of Manifestation

The art of manifesting may have seemed like a witchcraft, a taboo practice perhaps reserved to a kooky magician in a black cape or a witch quietly brewing her magic potion in a huge cauldron. It may even invoke a sense of fear if you consider it a closed society practice taught by few to their carefully selected apprentices.

Yet, today it is a buzzword so widely and flamboyantly used in media. Not only this, it seems to attract quite a following, judging just by the amount of books that are selling the secrets to improving our life by applying the art of manifestation. It’s this New Agey thing and the most fundamental basic law of the Universe. Even so, it is widely misunderstood and requires some examination.

I have unknowingly practiced the art of manifestation in my younger years albeit without realizing what I was doing. Here the adage “Be careful what you wish for” takes on a real life meaning. I am sure many of you have done exact same thing, wished for something so much it came true only later to realize it wasn’t really that good. I clearly remember in my early twenties I had wished to have my own small apartment and a dog. Guess what, I got it 4 years later as a result of an abrupt divorce and even though I loved my apartment I didn’t like the fact that I was so alone in it and my only companion was my Saint Bernard. Similarly, I wished for some smaller things that came to my life too late or not exactly in a way I wished for.

That was in my twenties… Now, later in my life I have come to better understand the principle of the art of manifestation.

Here are some ground rules:

New1. Find out what it is that you really want. Make sure this will make you happy. Look at it from as many angles as possible. Imagine unknown factors that can influence your wish. Take into consideration if your wish is a positive force that will benefit others as well rather than make them miserable.

2. Now once you chose your wish, you need to focus all your thoughts on it. This is your intention. Imagine it, dream it and breathe it. Meditate on it.

3. Talk about it, as words are an incredible energy, too. They are a vibration. Write it down. When I had my wish I chose to write it down with a stick on the sand at the beach and wait for the wave to erase it. I wrote it with a chalk on the concrete and with a pebble in the dirt. I spoke my words to the wind. Putting your wish outside your body, vocalizing it gives it additional energy. Meditate on it. Sing it. Remember to use positive words like “I will,” “I can” instead “I don’t want” or “Never…”

4. Believe in it. KNOW it will happen. Don’t just hope. You need to truly believe in it and know. In other words, if you chose to have doubts you will be sending a mixed message to the Universe and it will slow down the manifestation of your wish or cancel it. I know it is hard sometimes to be always positive and I have had my moments of doubt, too. I recall times when at night I would be starring at the ceiling above my head and wondering “What if my wish is too selfish” or “Perhaps the Universe has something else in store for me.” Yet these were just few instances and overall I knew deep in my heart it would come true.

5. Let it go. As hard and absurd as it sounds it is really how it should be done. You can still keep it inside your heart and whisper it to the wind but by letting go  you allow your anxiety for a particular outcome go away. It means you need to stay committed to your wish but while doing so you relax and don’t obsess about how, when and where it will manifest. If you choose to let it go you don’t need to run all these possible scenarios in your head. Remember that your mind knows its limits while Universe doesn’t. You may not be able to envision the way your wish is to come to life because you have not seen the vast expanse of the Universe and all the options that are available. Once you stop worrying about it you will allow the Universe to work its magic.

It works. Sometimes it takes longer and many people give up after trying for only a little while. One particular wish of mine took me 18 months to take shape. From the moment I conceptualized it to the moment I could see it happening was a long way. Yet, every morning and every minute of those 18 months I knew it was going to happen. I prayed and I thanked the Universe for it even before my wish was granted.

New beginnings

There is an overwhelming and quite riveting sense of new and unknown coming to my life. It is waiting to manifest itself and I am profoundly aware of its presence even though I cannot tell yet what it is.

94478297ba5134deec1134b1be12fc79I have been waiting for a sign, I have been praying for the new to come into my life for a long time. Being in transition is not the easiest thing. I felt like I moved on in many aspects of my life over the past two years and yet there is so much more that needs to undergo a change … So I waited for the slightest hint, I meditated and chanted. Waking up each morning and not having a desire to open my eyes, getting up only cause there is a rhythm to the day that needs to be followed. Each passing day was hard, as I didn’t know where I was going, I felt like I was floating on the river of life allowing currents to move me along with the flow of the universe. There were days when I felt at peace knowing and trusting that I was on the right track. Feeling blissful and happy.

And then there were days when I was facing my own fears, the demons of the past conditioning whispering into my ear about possibility of failure and lack of security in my life. The more I feared the more it was a struggle to stay positive and embrace my new life of not knowing where I was being led. The strength I needed to remain focused on the light and to keep an absolute trust in the universe came from many sources.

Love was definitely the most powerful force that kept me going. Love for my daughters and love of life itself. Even in my darkest hour I was still able to remember that my children are the light of my life. Life itself is also very forgiving, one day I was smiling and laughing and the next in my dark mood contemplating what’s to come. I felt the journey through the unknown territory of life was intoxicating at times. And scary…

Today I finally made a breakthrough … I realized that all my expectations mean nothing, that all I am trying so hard to envision and manifest is just my illusion ~ or Maya because I don’t know the grand scheme of things. I sense but I don’t really know what is the best for me. I, a Capricorn, like to plan ahead, this gives me a sense of stability and security. Yet, as I am attempting to follow the less trodden path, I am unlearning to rely on all these things we usually depend on to feel a sense of worth. Money, recognition coming from having money and fame, social status – these things surely make life easier when we have them. Try to lose them and see what is left…

With my new awareness I sense that it is OK to live life without these things. Last two years I was shedding my preconceived notions of what a person needs to be confident. Instead I started seeking the courage and worth within myself, in my heart. It was right to lose my expectations, too. Because with my somehow limited vision I am not able to comprehend the complexity of possibilities that are available to me on a cosmic level. Stubbornly I prayed for things my mind could grasp and never for the ones that are outside the scope of my narrow experience. Not that I am narrow-minded but simply because there might be more to life than I know.

From today I promise myself to be open to endless possibilities life has to offer and stop envisioning self-limiting scenarios. I will be more grateful for what I already have and especially for the love and the people who are on my journey with me. I will stop defining who I am and who I am not. Choosing words to describe my life and myself is like setting my future in stone.

~ with gratitude,

Monika

Trusting the life, again…

Tonight is the night of new moon and I am struggling to put my mind to rest and stop looking for solutions when all I truly need is to give in and trust. That one simple truth that I have been trying to master for a long time somehow eludes me tonight. I am all worked up and tense, trying to envision, foresee and guess what the future might have in store for me.

Yes, it is hard for me as, I like to have a plan, and a detailed one at that. It gives me security and peace of mind to know what’s ahead. And yet, here again, my life is throwing the same difficult lesson at me. It feels so hard to navigate in the murky waters of existence without a compass. Why is it so hard to let go?

Why do I have to doubt my own intuition now? I have been toiling for years to make that quiet yet insightful voice of my heart really strong so that I could hear it well. It proved to work well under varying circumstances. I have heard it in the midst of my self-inflicted dramas when I was agonizing over the choices of my love life and the path I need to choose. Every single time I listened to my heart and followed its advice I was on the right track. So why tonight?

I have heard the answer to my question many many times. It was whispered by the wind, spoken to me by the tree I hug so often and I could read it in the cloudless sky. I have heard the voice inside my heart telling me that it was all right and still… I cannot let go of my distrust… Is it because it is so against the logic? Because I am going against the rules?

It is shocking to see so many signs pointing to let go of my doubt. I see them everywhere. I talked to my best friend and he suggested to relax and just be. He knew what my tired soul is going through and offered a heartfelt piece of advice – the same I heard in my dream. Then I opened my Facebook page only to see the same message right in front of my eyes:

“Listen to your heart, don’t allow fear to dictate your choices.”

So now I decided to make a conscious choice and be a little lighter and a little more relaxed and trustful. I will burn the candles and incense tonight to celebrate the new moon and dance away my fears and doubts.