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Sun Kissed

I don’t know how the weather is wherever you are, but here, in Romania, we are melting. With over 40 degrees Celsius (over 100 degrees F), the air is close to unbreathable; so, on a supposedly beautiful Saturday, here I am indoor with the A.C. at its maximum (and I don’t like A.C.) thinking about sunflowers. It is that time of the year when these flowers are blooming and the fields are turning from green to yellow as far as the eye can see. It is extraordinary how nature comes to life every year over and over again, just as beautiful and as impressive.

Tan lines, wavy hair, long days, and warm nights. We are refreshed.

 

Summer means to me gathering your friends and go on road trips. If one thing I absolute love is to take our cars and drive; drive as much and as far as we can; discover new places, create memories, take pictures, and make videos. Document the journey. Impregnate it into your soul.

I close my eyes and I see the sun kissed fields riding along my side in this experience we call life and I realize time flies just as fast. It is a moment in life that has already passed as I was writing these words down. And I smile.

Music blasting in my ears that send me to a different world and I open the window and let the heat invade my room. I stop the A.C. No wind, just hot air and I take a deep breath. Summer is deep impregnated into my soul. The sunflower fields are leaving me behind and making room for the white beaches and crystal clear water. I am home…

 

What is normal and how to overcome this nonsense

I have to be honest. I dislike the word “normal”. What is normal? And why should I follow some rules just because the society says so? I am not the type to fit in a certain group of standards. I am who I am and I always had a problem when hearing the words “because this is the society we live in”. No! I have the freedom to create my life by my own ground rules. I like to think by myself based on my experiences so far and who I am as a person.
Growing up in a small town where everyone knows everyone, I always had to be careful what I say or do because “people are talking”. As a shy kid and with well impregnated good behavior, I didn’t understand why I have to be so careful, considering I would never misbehave or treat people with the wrong intentions. So why did I have to be even more careful? Well, as I found out later, I didn’t! Because people will talk, no matter how good your intentions are. I discovered that these events have to be treated with some sort of ignorance. If deep down in my heart, I know my thoughts and actions are in sync with my inner self, I will be happy with whom I am becoming. Some people like to talk about others and criticize because they are missing something in their lives and by doing so, they feel better about themselves, not to mention it is a really damn hard thing to be honest with yourself and accept you for who you are, goods and bads. It is a lot easier to look at others than yourself, isn’t it?
The switch for me happened later on, when I was in the university. Very far away from the people I knew I ended up in a place where no one knew me and the first thing that struck my mind was “I can do whatever I want here! No one will know!” Guess what? Nothing changed. I was still the person who liked to study and play tennis. I graduated with
honors and left the university with the best feeling ever. So, what did change? My way of thinking! By accepting me for who I am, I managed to leave all the bad influences outside of myself.
Accepting my good parts was the easiest thing I ever did. The struggle came when I had to manage my downfalls. But, as Daiana mentioned in her article Everyone shines, given the right lighting , perfection does not exist and it is stupid to believe so. We strike for it, but let’s face, as human beings, will never get there, because we are not built that way. It is that easy and hard at the same time. So, I eliminated the word “normal” from my language. That gave me immense power and confidence.
We are built to grow and develop. And that is the greatest success I can strive for – The achievement of being happy with me.

Everyone shines, given the right lighting

It is very interesting to me how 95% of our decisions are made by how we feel in that moment, where we are, and who we are with.

As a tennis player, world traveler and  overall highly sensitive and emotional person, this seems to be the single most important factor in setting my mood for that particular day or moment. It is our choice to decide how we feel, even though “things” happen to us all the time…it is in our own power and judgement how we decide to deal with them…choice is less about what happens than it is how we deal with it! So if we hold the key to our happiness, why can’t we find THE emotional attitude to just be happy all the time?

All life forms strive to reach their maximum potential except human beings…how tall does a tree grow? As much as it possibly can!
However, things are not that simple. It is in our own power to decide our happiness… but life IS chaos! Everything moves towards entropy…it takes an incredible amount of effort and energy to bring order to that!
Back in my university days, when I was taking a History of Art class, we talked about this concept of Entropy, which is associated with the idea that the Universe tends towards disorder. As Murphy’s law states, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong!”
As I said before, reversing this constantly increasing tendency toward disorder takes a hell lot of energy! We all know that energy flows where attention goes… However, as we talked in The Art of Simplicity  ,the energy put into preventing disorder in one place simultaneously increases it somewhere else, creating a force which will measure how close a system is to equilibrium, as well as a measure of a disorder in the system.
Since I am a tennis player, everyday I experience highs and lows, uncertainty, frustration, disappointment, excitement, hope, all of them almost at the same time! 🙂 During the period of a match, which can last from 1 hour up to 4 hours, the emotions are almost immediate…we miss and we win the point in a matter of few seconds! On a funnier note, as GSA’s founder Javier Captaine says, “in strict controlled conditions of arterial pressure, cardiac frequency, blood lactate, chatelaines, respiratory dynamics and rigorous planning, taking in consideration even the most minimal detail, the organism of a tennis player reacts exactly he way it pleases!” Funny… but so true!
We all say we want equilibrium, constancy, perfect balance, we say we are perfectionists, but how can that be possible if, as the Universe is constantly expanding, we are ever changing beings, open to be designed and in a permanent fluctuation?
We are stuck on experiencing bliss, extreme happiness and perfection, but oh how much energy we are wasting! We might achieve a temporary ecstasy, but then on Monday we are back to where we were…I believe it is easier than it has ever been to achieve bliss, but it is as hard as it has ever been to stay that way!

This takes me to my final thought: there is no such thing as perfect transfer of energy…no such thing as perfect state! We cannot control our emotions, as frightening as it sounds… We strive for perfection and to me, perfection is not only about control, but more about letting go! Finding that particular “light to shine”, where you can expand, grow and evolve on the edge of chaos!

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Life Is a Competition with Yourself

We are athletes into our own world.

Sometimes I watch these amazing tennis matches and I wish at the end of it both players win. But this is not the case. Only one lifts the trophy over their heads.

Compared with the life of a professional athlete, where there will always be just one winner, life gives us the opportunity to win no matter what the person next to us is doing. As a former professional athlete, competition was a permanent feeling deep impregnated into my soul. And life is similar up to a point. During this successively line of events, we compete hard to get what we want in life. Talents always help, but it is not enough. And sports have been proving that to us over and over again.

Nothing is given to us and everything is earned. Everyone starts from zero and grows based on their willingness to work hard and not let anything stand on their way, not related to what the person next to you is doing. Be aware! Life is a sport, but not everyone plays and wins the same. So, let’s stop looking if the grass is greener on the other side and start looking into you own courtyard.

The more you look at others, the more you lose sight on yourself. Realize the competition but don’t make it your own focus.

Focus on yourself! Work your butt off for your success and not to overcome others, but to overcome the person you were yesterday. When you start doing that, you will learn and develop as a human being. Set that bar high for yourself. Be human. Live a life based on integrity and respect, because life does not have only one way of winning and what you consider winning maybe someone else will consider it a downfall; so, find your definition of life and follow that!

 

Photos via DanzaSphere Pinterest

The Art of Simplicity

We begin with a clean slate…everyday…
We declutter our homes…
We declutter our minds…
We clean our bodies, we clean our souls…
Lately this seems to be the latest trend. We learn how to organize and let go of unnecessary stuff, to travel light, to clean our perception and to select our friends. It is all about learning what’s important…when you don’t know what’s important, everything’s important. We have to learn where to put our fucks; as the book, The subtle art of not giving a fuck, teaches us. So should we not give a fuck about anything, go our own way and speak our minds? This wouldn’t be a problem if we wouldn’t live in a world where human connections are priceless. We simply have to select our fucks and use them to create better, deeper and more meaningful connections. We can’t live isolated; not giving a fuck about what people say is ideal but not real. Of course we are hurt when we hear stories about us, rumors that most of the times are untrue…but as we agreed, we learn not to put our fucks there…No matter what, we always have a solution…our ability to choose… We feel upset, betrayed or disappointed because we choose to feel that…Without denying the pain, we can chose to deal with it and move on! No situation lasts forever and no one person is as important as you let it be…let the pain and the unconfortability be, it will make you stronger!
As a rule in life, whenever something bad happens to you, something good happens to another person…when you loose, somebody else wins, when someone dies, someone is born and so on…it’s the law of life…there will be great and tragic situations…is up to us  to define their power…
So I say, learn to live with simplicity, transparency, love, and help anyone you can, as it will somehow come back to you in a different form, maybe a person, maybe an experience, and maybe if you dig deep enough, you will find ikigai…the drive that will forever change the way you feel about life… your PURPOSE!

Life Trains

I come to realize that all I want is at the bottom of my fingertips. Yes, it is not there to just take it. I have to be ready for different experiences. As I look back at my life, there are some trains I lost and that maybe because I was not ready for them. I talk here about both personal and professional life.

All matters have a timing. And I feel that today is my time. At the age of 29, I am happier than I have ever been and more mature than I was yesterday and less than tomorrow. One feeling I love! Because it makes me realize I still have to grow as a person and develop into the human being I aspire to become.

I am no rush to grow older like I was when a teenager, when all I wanted was to be on my own and get out of my parents house (don’t we all had that feeling?). Now, I cherish more than ever the moments spent with my family and I always want them by my side. Parents are always right and they are the ones who will stay beside you no matter the problem. We should all listen to them more often!

But getting back to my thoughts about life trains. How do you know when the train will arrive and which one you should hop into? Gut will give you some hints and if you are in contact with your inner self, you will know when the time is right. As for which one you should jump into…well, that is a different story. This is when risks come into discussion. Every new chapter in your life will mean new risks, some you can predict and some you will have no idea about until they will hit you straight in the face. Are you ready for them? If the answer is yes, then jump! Go ahead and take a leap of faith. There is so much you can gain and what you have to lose? Time? Time is relevant up to a point. You can change your life no matter the age. No one stops you. If you consider your life is ready for the change, than just do it. The ones who trust you, will be there to support. The ones who don’t, well..who needs them?

I always trusted myself. Even when I didn’t see it. Just like everyone else, I have my doubts and fears, but fear will never stand in the way of my decisions (or at least I hope it won’t).

My thoughts always spin around developing as a person. I know that if I get to know myself better, I can make better decisions and my life will only get brighter. I am also aware that life is not always black and white and there will be struggles coming my away but what is life without some bumps on the way?

Be honest and happy with yourself. Cherish your good parts and work on your weaknesses.

 

Photography: 1 // 2 // 3 // Ashley Judd