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.

 

Fantasy world

Just playing with my old painting and the imaging software. This could be a good illustration to a children’s book. A fairy city perhaps…

Dallas2

© monika mraovic

and one more…

Bird2

© monika mraovic

Eye in the Sky

EyeintheSkyEye in the Sky

Oil on canvas, 24″ by 36″

Self-worth.

I wasn’t raised as a confident person. My parents didn’t buy into new-fledged doctrines that are so popular now that children need to be given their voice and deserve unconditional love. Instead, they just tended to their business at hand and hardly chose to spend quality time with me. I don’t recall hearing them praise me, it was rather opposite, I often remember being told I needed to exercise more, get better grades and follow the rules. As a child I didn’t develop strong self-confidence, although it was most likely a combination of many factors and not entirely my parents fault. In a way, they did their best given the circumstances. Growing up into a womanhood I was suffering typical woes of a teenage girl. I was looking in the mirror and not liking what I had seen. Even though I knew my self worth had nothing to do with those extra pounds around my waist I still couldn’t manage to feel radiant, powerful and confident.Tree2A

However, my major lapse in self confidence happened when I got married and decided to be a stay at home mom. Somehow, over the years of being financially dependent on my spouse and aggressively depreciated verbally I felt I was losing my ground. My levels of confidence dropped significantly, I started seeing my worth only in direct correlation to services I was performing for my family. I no longer felt I deserved anything at all because I wasn’t bringing in the money. I was under impression that my worth depended on usefulness and not just my mere existence. I think this happened so gradually that I didn’t even notice how low my confidence was and how deeply it was affecting me as a person.

Only later when I returned to my regular practice of meditation was I able to realize the miserable state of my affairs. I became a shy, withdrawn person. I lacked not only confidence but also enthusiasm, energy and the spark in my eyes was gone. Slowly, ever so slowly I started emerging as a whole person again. I started redefining my own self, my life, my mission and the sense of worth. I stopped seeing my worth in terms of accomplishments but rather how I felt inside.

That’s when I tried to look around and see how other women felt about themselves and where they drew their confidence from. I was stunned to see that majority of American women had it, it seemed they were born with it. This innate gift was something fascinating to me, a person who clearly was somehow deprived of it. Upon closer examination I realized not only they were born with it, American women were encouraged to cherish it, to build their self-confidence and be proud of who they are. Although, later, I noticed with dismay, that sometimes it really had to do with their financial status, profession and their wardrobe. That left me puzzled, how confident would they be if all of that was lost? I was wondering to what extent their self worth depended on money brought in by their significant other?

I was starting my new life from scratch. I had been a stay at home mom for over 10 years with not up to date job market skills. I was driving a 15-year-old car and hoped it would not break down because I would have no money to fix it. My daughters and I hardly went to eat out. We were grateful for the food stamps. I shopped goodwill. We had no extra money in my bank account. I felt sometimes uneasy having to explain to my daughters we were already lucky and rich to have each other, safe and warm place and good food. But a bug of envy could occasionally hit even me when I would see other people enjoying their summer vacation and we had to stay put.

However, amazingly, I started noticing that it wasn’t the money anymore that had an influence on how I felt about myself. It wasn’t my ambitions and plans for the future either, although I developed some amazing business ideas and was pursuing them. It was finally the feeling of self worth that came from the inside, from knowing that I was important no matter what. It was so liberating and intoxicating that I started to perceive myself in a whole different way. This internal change soon brought on the external one. I started holding my head high and I walked confidently with a smile. I was now enjoying talking to random people I would meet around the town. I also rediscovered I was an attractive woman with a newly found feminine allure. This in itself was an eye opening experience. The more I enjoyed the woman inside me the more I was able to open to receive love and loving care, something I hadn’t imagined possible.

This transformation was making me realize I was stronger than I thought. I was more resilient, powerful and creative than I had ever imagined. Just looking back at where I had been and where I was now was intoxicating and mind blowing. As I looked at it I could clearly see that I was the force behind all the changes, I was the one who initiated them. This simple realization was paramount.

To conclude, I believe the feeling of self-worth needs to be internal and should not depend on prestige, professional or marital status, money or any external factors. True self-worth comes from knowing inside your heart that we are worthy and created to be loved and respected. If we base our self-worth on anything else we might be for a rude awakening as the universe likes sometimes to try our sense of worth by removing all the things that mean so much to us!

Embracing One’s Darkness

There has been a lot of talk lately about embracing one’s own darkness and in all honesty, I have found this concept too vague to comprehend. What is that darkness the gurus are talking about? And how do I embrace it?

As always my mind was quick to come up with variety of answers to prove I am truly an enlightened and well versed in new age lingo person.

Moon9-16-14

© Monika Mraovic 2014

We humans are divine beings created to experience our sacredness through different aspects of physical life. As we descend into material plane we arrive in our new bodies pure and innocent. Yet, throughout life, our light becomes mudded by earthly conditioning and layers of pain and misunderstanding. Especially when we are very young we aren’t always able to understand the root of our pain. It can be because we don’t know the motives behind the grown ups decisions and perhaps we can’t really comprehend what exactly and why is happening to us as children. Often the physical or emotional pain is so intense the only way for a child to cope with it is to use a defense mechanism known as denial. This allows child to move on with life without a need to deal with it, however, a painful experience is often buried deep inside and never looked at until it possibly resurfaces later in life.

These dark and painful memories become our shadow that we don’t want to confront. We are beings of light and shadow, a classic yin and yang dichotomy.

This was something I could understand and agree with. I could see the idea of darkness taking a solid shape in my mind. Now I had to dig to find out what MY darkness was. And here I encountered a problem, in fact, lots of problems. Because to touch a deeply buried memory and bring it out of the shadows is an extraordinary task. It takes courage to admit that I am not perfect, that there are flaws in my nature and that I am ready to accept my own self the way I am. Hard, really hard.

I looked back at my past, my childhood and tried to remember. I sifted through my memories and didn’t dare to go deeper out of fear that I would come across something so disgusting that I wouldn’t be able to face it. Slowly, ever so slowly, memories started flowing. I was flooded with feelings of guilt and disapproval. I remembered the times I was told to be always polite, to move out of the way, to please others, to give in. Not to be angry, loud and bossy. My real feelings were repressed and hidden inside. My real me wasn’t accepted by my parents so I learned to be who they wanted me to be to deserve their love. All this at the expense of losing my own identity. Somewhere in meantime I became a little lost child. A girl who often feels unloved and insecure. She needs a lot of encouragement to come out of her shell and craves positive attention. She still lives inside me. She comes through in my dreams or in moments of rage when I suddenly remember her and let her speak through me.

Then I confronted the image of myself with who I really am.

I was stunned to see how angry I could get with my daughter who was challenging me as a parent. I was replaying the same scenario my parents used years ago. I was trying to silence her, shush her down because of the words that still echoed in my mind “Be quiet, my child.”

and…

I was trying to be perfect and felt horrible for falling short of it without realizing no one is perfect. Perfect mother who homeschooled and was looking for exciting opportunities for her children to impress their minds. Perfect housekeeper and perfect cook (not so perfect wife perhaps but one who kept quiet and didn’t like confrontation.) So perfect – that again, I lost who I really was and became what others expected me to be. In my mind I had to be perfect to be loved. So I worked hard to deserve love without realizing that love cannot be bought, purchased and deserved. It should be freely given and received. I became aware it was OK to show my true colors and be still accepted by those who love me.

I was trained to be nice and saying NO was never an option. I feared speaking my mind because it often led me into trouble. I preferred to give up what I wanted rather than to risk disapproval. I had had sex because I didn’t know how to say NO to men. And I did some other things I rather wouldn’t had I been more confident. I did all these things because I feared rejection and loss of love. This deep conditioning still rattles loud in my head from time to time causing me to have another sleepless night…

Now on to the next part that is acceptance of my dark side.

I had to admit to myself that I needed to work on myself, my fears and my demons. At forty I was a grown up woman and I knew exactly who I wanted to be. I rewired my ways of thinking and perceiving the world, people and their actions. I made a commitment to be a woman who follows her dream, is bold, speaks her mind and yet is compassionate and loving. Woman who doesn’t care to please others unless she wants to, one who is passionate about people and things she loves and fierce and protective about them as well. Free woman not bound by fears and misconceptions and societal norms.

As I am writing this I am having a profound realization that I have achieved quite a lot in the past two years since I had made up my mind to follow my path. I dared to do and say things I wouldn’t before and changed fundamentally on so many levels. But the downside is that I am still having moments of self-doubt. I am questioning myself often because becoming who I truly am is a learning process for me and takes courage as I meet my own needs and desires and go up against the societal programming I had received earlier in my life.

I find that even choosing my own wardrobe is an act of courage because I used to wear plain and non-fitting clothes to suppress my feminine side. Oh, now I even remember why. My parents told me that it didn’t matter if I were pretty or not, they valued only how well my mind was cultivated. So to please them I had my hair very short, too. Only recently I found out that I enjoyed being flirty, sexy, attractive and there was no reason to conceal my beauty. I realized I had a beautiful body and that celebrating my physical valors was rather therapeutical to me. I needed to rediscover that side of me, sensual, physical and sexual after years and years of denial.

 I guess, life is never ending process of finding our true identity. It never stops and that’s probably the essence of life.