Self Love A Very Hard Learnt Lesson

Self-Love

Would you say that self-love is common knowledge and easy-peasy for everyone to adopt as a life policy? You just wake up one day full of love for yourself and take a long bath with an amazing view, some chocolate, a glass of red wine and that’s all you need, right? You are from now a person that knows how to take care of yourself and you are in charge of your happiness. I really would like to be so easy and all we need is an aha moment in the bath to nail self-love. Maybe I was the unlucky one to be born in a spot where self-love was the last of least of needs to be fulfilled.

I remember a memory from my early childhood that has been a long trauma in my life. I was really small in height and fragile for my age and my main problem then was that I seem to not be seen. I was not the popular child, but the one that was really shy and always chosen last on the teams’ games, unless no one else was available. Maybe because I wanted to much to fit in and to belong, I was less attractive as I believe small kids feel this instantly. Anyway, it was this big boy that was my enemy as he liked to make fun all the time of my shortness. He used to give me a nickname that I used to hate – Mammut (a big size elephant) and pretty much all the neighborhood started to call me like this, especially the male side of it. I was so embarrassed by the nickname and my shortcoming that it never crossed my mind that he might be wrong. I could not choose my growth rate, obviously, but he was not kind by far.

Sometimes when we have no clue how we can stand up for ourselves, we ask others for help. In this case, I went upstairs, home, crying my eyes out about this boy. My mom, she went like a storm downstairs in the yard to give the boy a moral lesson and a threat that he should not mess up with me ever again. She meant really well of course, like any mom will do for her child, but in my case did not help me to love myself more, au contraire. I was not assertive enough to say that I don’t want to be helped but to understand a way how I can become more confident and not be hurt about facts I cannot change.

Well, I become more and more a hermit, I’ve closed myself more and more my friends become the books. If you read my previous post you would know by now that I started to read early in my childhood and this was somehow my help. When I was around 15 years old, in 1994, I read my first self-help book “The Art of Success For Romanian” by Pavel Corut. I was impressed and hooked by the possibilities described by that book to work with your self and change into an upgraded version. I become soon his biggest fan, read almost all his novels (science fiction with self-help mixed, where his hero was a Romanian international spy that can communicate with extraterrestrial life). I was so inspired by that book that I start to do experiments with myself and look for other self-book from international authors.

I continued my research during my uni, but slowly slowly understood that if I want to be happy I need to find a way to become good enough on my own. It was tedious to dig inside and to understand why I felt unwelcome and unworthy. The outside world becomes a little better, I have decided to offer my friendship than to wait for it to be served on a silver plate. I was analyzing my hurts all the time and tried to see how I can handle them so that they will not manifest on others. I met wonderful people then and we shared special moments, but in parallel, I continued my research on how I can love myself more. In my case, that was to forgive myself for not being able to speak about the things that were difficult for example or to cry in front of others (still on progress with this one).

After years and years of self-inquiry, I am not saying is a walk in the park. After more than 25 years from my first book and a lot of self-testing, doubting, trying and implementing and then repeat, I might be able to say I am a bit more close by. I have reached an agreement with my body and I love it as it is, I managed to be in peace that I am weird and I can now dance even on social media without the fear of being rejected or unfit. I can even admit to my friends when I feel week or not whole and be more ready to accept suggestions without feeling my base attacked. I tend to allow more time to think and not to react from anger with a sharp voice. All these are small, tiny baby steps towards self-love. I meditate more, surround myself with friends that can be supportive but can also help me see when I am turning the wrong way. I pay more attention to what I eat, say, not let the noise of media too much inside my head.

Spa, massage, body healing, festivals of awareness, meditation all these helped me, even more, to realize that “I AM ENOUGH”. Sometimes this -I am enough- could be I feel sad and my world is gray and outside is raining and not feel like moving from the bed. Otherwise could be that I am ready to start a blog and let everyone know what are my struggles so they maybe feel more self-love. Either way, self-love is an endurance process and not an achievement. It is a lifetime goal. One of my favorite eastern gurus is a funny one, OSHO and one of his quotes that I love is that

“Life begins where fear ends.”

Self-love is not an easy task, it needs effort and constant work. It is less about instant gratification and more about consistency, perseverance and sweat. It is a day to day journey and very easy to slide away. So it is a miracle that I am still on the path. I am glad for my journey so far and I am confident that I am going to maintain my practice until the end. How has it been your self-love journey?

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Love,

Teodora

Why I Believe We Should All Travel More

Do you remember the first time you pack your bags and felt ready to go out there and see the world through your one eyes/perspective? We can sit at home and travel with our dreams too, but the action is what brings us the adventure and the filling that we actually learned something by experience. I grew up in Romania, in a small town in the north-east and I had no idea how big was the world until I have read my first adventure book. It was the Romanian writer Constantin Chirita and his series “Ciresarii” that inspired me to beg my parents to allow me to go to summer camps since I was maybe 10 years old. Then Mark Twain was the next on my list and I discovered that they are oceans to see, different cultures and my imagination was on fire.

I start to dream a kind of life for me far from the small place I have lived, not because is something wrong with it, but because I become soon an experience junkie. I still remember the summer camp in my very early years with a big fire-pit and with wild horses that were so excited about our presence there in the middle of nowhere that they started to kick our door during late night. I loved everything about that trip, the small poems we used to recite by the fire, the friendship, the connection we had with the other kids in the camp. All this was possible because I am blessed with an amazing family and they believed I can take care of myself on a new environment and would not be scared about the head lice I might come back with – as a gift from them 😀

My first travel outside the country was when I was 19 (could sound so late for many of you) but considering my context and age I was an early adopter. I had to apply for a Schengen visa at the Greece embassy and luckily my lovely auntie, that I was visiting, send her man inside to have a chat and issue the visa on time for our journey. I have seen marvelous places and those 3 months were another beginning for me. One of the places I really recommend from that trip is Vouliagmeni lake, you can see some pictures on the link below:

https://www.inlovewiththemed.com/athens-lake-vouliagmeni-in-the-athenian-riviera/

As per today, I have seen around 61 countries (count made by a friend that we have some sort of competition) and I am always in the mood for new discoveries. I like to travel alone and mingle with locals, to taste strange food (like some awful spicy donuts in a Divali festival in New Dehli), to be inspired by musicians and follow them in strange places. I trust people wherever I go and that is my gift and reward at the same time. I have seen hidden treasures, sunrise in the desert with receptionists, tea on the mountains with simple people but warm-hearted. I really believe Earth is a safe place and fear is just a tool we need to work so that we can overcome it.

I have tried scuba-diving in the best seas of this world, paragliding on the mountains, snowboarding, sand-boarding, kite-surfing, paddle-boarding, flying in helicopters and small planes, down-hill cycling from 4700 meters and one of the biggest zip-lines in Peru. If there is a new activity I have missed I probably tried or is on my list. I believe fear is now my constant friend and even some of you might consider me crazy I believe is better to live your fears than constantly wondering how they are going to be overcome. I have a bit of claustrophobia, so toilets in plains used to be a challenge until they become just a bit annoying. I like to discover parts of me that I did not know in different situations and to push the limits around my personal walls. I am not a hero of any kind, just a very keen learner and I tend to believe that the biggest gift we have as humans is to adapt to new situations. But remember we need to put ourselves in new situations, otherwise, we are going to be in the same place for a long time.

I don’t have a favorite country from the ones I have seen, I love them all with their particularities and with their people and eccentricities. I felt that more I travel more I meet people like me, everywhere on this planet. People that mean well, curious to allow you as you are in their different culture, society, mind perspective. You should never trust the news-media and go see it on your own and feel it with your own gut. We are all the same with good and bad. Of course, I have been robbed in Chile but at the same time, in Romania, at least 3 times and friends from South-America were robbed in London, so everywhere are some bad seeds. But in my case, those people never put me off traveling or enjoying the rest of their country.

So I guess I am a strong advocate of my favorite passion and is sad for me when people choose to go every year in the same sea resort, with food similar to the one home and plenty of alcohol to help them forget why they are even there in the first place. But could be that some of us expand their world in different ways than mine and jugging is not helping either of us. There is a big world out there and my case today for it, is that is beautiful because is different but then again so much alike.

“Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” – Michael Palin

Do not forget to use my comment section as I like to read your thoughts on this subject. How do we make people travel more and feel safe when they do?

Love,

Teodora

La Paz, Baja California, Mexico

Change Of Plans, How We Handle The Unexpected

I just found out that British Airways canceled my trip to Japan. I waited for this for a long time, always planning to get there for hiking but somehow was never the right moment. Last year me and my friend Larisa we actually made plans to visit Tokyo, Osaka and the northern island Hokkaido. We dreamed about a long camping trip, she upgraded some of her hiking gear. She is a great companion on the mountains and I would dare to say we are both experienced enough to make the journey easy and alow for some unplanned events on the trail. I was really thrilled about her coffee-making skills and we talked about cooking vs buying ready-made meals. I draw a map of the main points on our journey and she made fun of my planning skills. We were on track to make our dreams a reality.

If you live on the same planet with us, you would know by now or guess why our journey has been postponed. A so-called virus is spreading fear among otherwise reasonable human beings. It is difficult to stay apart and not take sides on this matter, especially if you appreciate a good debate as an exercise. I must state my position (as is my blog and I can say what I want for now in here), that for me this virus hype is overrated. Viruses have always been part of our life and for me is weird that for this one we have taken measures without precedent. On the other side, democracy is still an emerging state around here and we have not learned our lessons how easy is to be taken away from us. I am born in a communist country and the measures worldwide today remind me of that time.

I am more ready now to embrace changes as I tend not to fight with them as in the past. I used to be a very keen and objective-goals oriented person, but later in life, I learned that what makes me happier and fulfilled is the flow. Of course, I am sad that my plans will not become reality this early June, but I am sure that in the end, I will have another journey that was meant to happen. I am disappointed and is sad that we don’t live in our ideal worlds, but I chose not to submerge into this energy and to see the positive aspects of this postponement. I will have more time to build other dreams and to work on other substantial aspects of my beloved character.

I dont really believe in 7-steps recipe to heal your life, so for me was a long adventure to get here. I had my ups and downs, I struggled to understand how I can get better. One of the funniest exercises that helped me, I discovered maybe 10 years ago and is very simple. I dont remember where I have read it, maybe a self-help book or maybe just a novel.

Write a letter to your future self at least every 6 months and only read it two years after. As I was always tech-savvy of course my letter was an email.

So the first letter I wrote made so excited and I detailed how i believed my life will be in the next 2 years. I remember to write about my predictions on my professional life, love life and general hints regarding new trends in society. Well it was one of the most thrilled adventure I launched myself in. My first letter was 3 pages and I really really thought I was going to be so right…..

The second one, over the 6 months, my enthusiasm sink a little bit. I still had my fingers on fire to read the first one ahead its term, but my mom did a good job and I am a well-trained individual so if the stake is high enough I can postpone my immediate desires. Well back to the second one, only one and a half page more structured and less dreamy. I was more ready to realize that if my life will not meet my expectations I will be still ok and alive and smiling.

For the third one, I almost missed my term as I remember I used to travel with friends on the mountains and back then the mobile phone had not the same features and capabilities as they have now. I manage to forgive myself for being late and I went straight to my dreaming about the future. I learned to dream different from one letter to another and to think about why this exercise was becoming more and more important. It was not the thrill of reading the result but the acknowledgment that I will be happy with either of the options: if my reality will become true or if I was really far away.

When the time to read my first letter finally arrived I already have forgotten the content of the letter. My heart was filled with butterflies and I made myself a tea and took a cushion to support me. It was how I expected somehow, naive, emotional, and brave at the same time. I pay attention to understand why I dreamed about those things and how I felt when I interacted with me and my desires in the past. It was a mix of emotions that burst into the present and I felt it was a tiny step to understand myself more. I did cry (yes is my secret as i am a strong confident woman) and accepted that from that moment I will not be the same. I had to embrace the fact that life is and is going to be unexpected and find my way to deal with this resolution.

My point with this story is that no matter what we think, our life is going to change. I would say you can, of course, fight it and then be miserable or be humble and embrace it and many tiny steps in between. For me is helpful to know that I can be wrong with my predictions and still be happy, how do you take it?

Love,

Teodora


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Blog reborn

Today is the day!!!! I have decided after a long processing time that I am reopening my blog and I am quite thrilled about it. No idea why is now the best moment as we are facing some interesting moments with the Corovirus flu-like virus that put our beautiful world under the key. We are not allowed to travel, meet friends or family and just enjoy faraway places that i used to like





This picture is from the pyramid in Teotihuacan near Mexico City and is the place I had a touching spiritual experience. I felt so inspired by that place that i was resting in a yoga pose (child pose) and once i felt full in heart and at one with a place I met an old man. He stood in front of me and said “I feel you are really at home today”

Maybe it was the perfect time for me to start my blog and to test if this time is gonna stick with me for a long time. For the moment I set a personal 21 days challenge to write a post daily. First one is on air, 20 to go.

I have a strange relationship with commitment in this life and rarely I manage to do things with consistency. Apart from my work domain that is more almost the same, the rest of my life is somehow fluid. Is not a complaint, au contraire.

I love trying new things and I am fully committed to change and reinvent myself as often as possible. Sometimes this could mean to set difficult goals like learning a complicated skill or being more kind in my approach to certain individuals. I tend to agree that I could be described as a ego-eccentric individual but is good to play and surprise.

My first post does not seem to have a central idea but could be that my energy tonight is not necessarily structured as I wish. I started from scratch this blog around 7.30 pm this Monday and for now, is as good as it gets. Optimization and a more fancy look from tomorrow onwards.

Love,

Teodora