Dedication. In my 25 years on this earth, this is one of the most important word I added to my vocabulary.
To be dedicated to an idea, a dream, a person, a purpose. That’s what makes or breaks a person.
As defined by the dictionary, the noun ‘dedication’ means:
But I think the definition does not make the signification of the word enough justice.
Being dedicated means giving yourself completely to that something or someone you believe in.
It means not giving up, making sacrifices and staying up late at night trying to make it happen.
Dedication means blood, sweat and tears. And smiles, being kind, embracing your flaws and making the best of what you’ve got.
It’s the thing that makes the difference between living an ‘ordinary life’, being complacent with how things are going and doing something great, something that will be of benefit to others. Something that will inspire you and others around you.
I just want to mention here, I don’t really think there’s such thing as an ‘ordinary life’ – if we think about it, we’ve been through so many karma cycles, we’ve been reincarnated in so many species over the course of the thousands of years, that by simply being given this human life – that’s only fact alone is extraordinary! And I think we should be more aware of that when we oversee the little things that make life so much more worth it.
The way I do it..?
I dedicate time. Or I try to. I dedicate time to the people I care about. I dedicate time to make myself aware of how important all those small things are. I dedicate time to pray. To dance. To listen my favourite songs. To speak about causes I care about. To smile.
I’m talking about the day-to-day mundane things that sometimes we take for granted and ignore.
Like making tea for your colleagues at work,.
or helping someone with directions.
or your sister letting you have the last piece of cake because she knows how much you love that last tiny bite of cake,
or finding a book that you love in an old bookstore,
or the smell of your favourite dish,
or clean socks at the end of the week
or being able to fill the sunshine on your face
and feeling satisfied after dinner
or being able to share snippets of your soul with another human being.
It’s that easy, but so hard.
I hope you dedicate some time this new week to something that makes your soul smile and your belly filled with butterflies.. even if you have to fight hard to ‘find time/ money/ motivation’ to do it. I’ll leave you with this brilliant quote from the late Jack Kerouac:
“That’s the message. Nobody understands it, nobody listens, they’re all running around like chickens with heads cut off. I will try to teach it, but it will be in vain; s’why I’ll end up in a shack praying and being cool and singing by my wood stove making pancakes.”
May it be of benefit,
“All you have is your FIRE and the place you need to reach.” ~ Hozier
The last few weeks have been tough. Pressure all around, so many decisions and all I’ve been able to do mostly is read books, drink loads of coffee and watch crime TV shows.
And you know what?! Procrastinating is good sometimes. Learning this the hard way, but it is nonetheless an important lesson to learn.
Today I’m sharing with you something that reminded me how fragile a human life is, and how limited our time here actually is. I spend my days sometimes actually doing nothing, complaining that I don’t have this and that, and that I look like this and not like that or just wishing time would go by faster.
But what will happen when the time will actually move faster? What happens when I’ll wake up one day with no hope and no TIME to do all the things I’ve been writing down on my countless lists?
What will happen when I’m not going to wake up?
I will tell you what will happen. Nothing. That will be it – my chance in this life, in this body will be over. No more ‘time moves so fast these days’, or ‘I’m so bored, Ive got nothing to do’. No more time for complaining or actual living. No more.
It is in those moments that I panic and I look into my soul.
I am lost yes, but maybe that’s because some of us need to stay lost in order to help others find their way back to themselves.
It is in those moments that I remember to breathe, to Dream, to Hope, to LIVE. I remember that I’ve got this spark and that I don’t want to loose it. I remember that playing it Safe or Small is just something people invented in moments of FEAR.
And this next poem reminded me of who I am and why I’m here. I’ve mentioned it here, and today I’ll explain my motivation and my love for the words and ideas it contains, and how it’s been inspiring me to go back to myself.
Someone asked me if the poem impressed me, because I had tears in my eyes when I was presenting it. I said Yes, and one of the reasons why they got to me was because I saw the looks and tears in the eyes of some of my students.
I saw how important human connection is – how important spilling your guts and dreams into the world and let them inspire other people. I understood how important is to stand for what you believe in and that sometimes you just have to take a leap of Faith.
This poem moved me because it talks about just this: Life, Death, passing On, being true to oneself in a world that is constantly trying to shape us into a fitting form one way or another. It talks about remembering that we are all awesome, flawed, unique and different at the same time.
It talks about remembering that the most brilliant part of us is inside of us – not on the outside.
It reminded me that we are all Vessels, put on this earth for a reason, with a mission too.
Michael Lee – Pass On
He reaches down my soul and touches it with this poem. I get goosebumps every time I hear him perform it. I feel the pain in his words, but I also feel the hope and the fight. My favourite part of the whole poem speaks to me on a different level:
“We are not created or destroyed,
we are constantly transferred, shifted and renewed.
Everything we are is given to us.”
Every second of this short existence – we are transforming, we are changing. I am not the person I was a year ago, even though that person made me who I am today. I was given this life to do something, to create other life, but also to inspire creation and expression. And that’s what I plan to do.
Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live
Death comes, because the brilliance inside us can only be contained for so long.
And at the end of my days, I will remember that I tried my best here, and I will embrace that next change as gracefully and as hole-heartedly as I will be allowed to.
I’ve learnt that when you feel at your lowest, and you feel lost and scared out of your mind – that’s when the true fight really begins.
That’s when you need to strip away all the things that aren’t really you, and you start giving way to your Dreams and Hopes. That’s when you spread your wings and you pick yourself up from the dirt.
That’s the moment when you get real with yourself and with your Time left on this earth.
And I hope you’ll do it sooner than later. I do try my best every day.. And yes, some days is harder to remember that, but even in the darkest moments, you’ll find Hope and Light in the most unexpected places. All you have to do is to TRY.
I am here because I want to leave my life a TESTAMENT.
I want to dance, paint, scream, fly, claw my way out of dirt, dream, drink, jump, write, suffer, be scared. I want to live RESTLESSLY. I want to squeeze the life out of my soul.
I want to say, at the end of my days that I did all that I wanted to do, I kissed the lips of people I loved, I’ve given my all and never settled for OK. I want to say I did all those things I wrote down on bucket lists. I want it ALL.
P.S.: If you want the entire transcript of this beautiful piece of work, click here.
Peace & Love,
Also, after watching the last Dove campaign, I realised that this whole ’empowerment girls thing’ should be discussed more and not put into a corner. Of course, this Guardian article is real as well – from the point of view of adverts – advertising campaigns should really be inspiring, but we should not forget that at the end of the day, they are actually promoting products.
But what we should actually take from them is humanity.. Is the fact that we are all flawed and that that’s perfectly normal. That we need to trust ourselves more.
Of course this kind of campaigns need to exist – how else would we beat those unhealthy magazine covers, diet pills and all the paraphilia?
There’s always going to be two sides to a coin, let’s all remember that.
So today, because I needed some inspiration, and because we ALL need some inspiration from time to time – I present to you my list of Women that Rock. Some of them you know, some of them, they’re the women in my life that have held my hand and thought me something about life.
1. Maya Angelou. This phenomenal woman has been featured few times already on my blog.
She inspires me because of the way she lived her life.
Because she never let anything or anyone to put her in a corner, and she faced all the adversity in the world, but she never gave up.
She had a dream and she fought for it.
She taught me that to forgive someone, especially your own blood, is an important step in your development as a good human being.
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”
Yes, yes she is a fictional character. But she is my all-time favourite characters. Ever.
She embodies the woman that I want to become – strong, kick-ass, but with a very soft side for the good of the humanity.
She reminds me so much of my mother and my two grand-mothers..
I think of her like my super-hero. Always willing to do everything for her family, always saying things as they are and always right.
My favourite Quote:
“An inch every ten years. That’s the way the Rocky Mountains were formed, and that’s the way the world changes. Not by stamping your foot to get your way. Not even by the bang of a gavel. It’s by the choices that we make, you know, all the time. You do what you think is right, every time. Slowly, the world starts to change. That’s how we leave our imprint on life — an inch every ten years.”
This girl. Changed the scene from the brainy nerd in Harry Potter to the UN stage, where she advocates for equality(link). She is trying to make a change. And she keeps it real.
She showed me that smart is the new sexy, and that you can have whatever you want, as long as you work hard for it.
She has been named one of Time‘s Most Influential People in the world this year, and while I don’t agree with some of the people that made the list, she deserves it. You show them, Hermione!
“I’ve had dark times – this voice in my head that makes me pretty hard on myself. I really don’t let anything go. I’ve been learning that I have to try and be a bit kinder and take care of myself a bit better.”
This woman is all I want to be as a writer.
She created this world that lives on, that we all grew up with, and even if you never read the books, chances are that some(most) of your friends have and you were still touched by magic through them.
I have so much appreciation for this woman and for her work. Harry Potter is part of my life now more then ever. Whenever I have a sucky day, that’s my oasis. I put on one of the movies or I just re-read one of the books. And then I know everything will be ok.
“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
5. MUM. I would be a bit superficial if this woman would not make my list.
My everything. The woman that taught me everything I know today. The woman that showed me how important is to work hard. The woman who showed me how to cook, sew and draw. She kept nagging me most of my growing up about small chores and why is important to do them Mostly, I kept ignoring her or I used to argue with her. But now, so many years later, I realise that she was right. Mum is always right. No matter what.
And the most important thing that she taught me? To ask myself the question: if not me, then who..? If I’m not going to do it, who is going to work for my dreams? Who else knows exactly what I want in my heart?
She is always there for me, always supporting me (even when I chose to fly thousands of miles away), always saying the right things. And for that, I love her.
My list is way longer, but I thought 5 is a good enough number and a good enough inside in my life. I would also include Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, my cousin, Coco Chanel and few others that don’t come to my mind right now.
I think it’s very important to have few models in your life. Not to long their lifestyle, or their lives – but for inspiration – through what this great women have achieved, they showed me that anything is possible. They showed me that as long as I work hard, I can do whatever I dream off. No matter what others think or say to me.
And that’s important.
It is also important to have few great people in your life that can guide you and accept you for who you are.. I am blessed enough to say that I have few people like that in my life. But I know everyone’s situation is different. So, if you think you are alone, and you don’t have anyone to pull you up when you’re down.. think again! You have Yourself.
You have the power to be the kind of person you want to meet. You have the power to change the course of your life.
And that’s even more important.
Peace & Love,
“Feminist:a person who believes in the social, economic and political equality of the sexes”. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Yesterday I spent my day in bed, doing absolutely nothing besides watching Harry Potter, eating chocolate and drinking coffee. And it felt amazing. But I also watched a movie called Thelma &Louise. So old school of me, right?
And while watching this great movie, about two bad-ass women, few ideas came to my mind. First one was obviously, that I need to figure out a way to make my overdue road trip around America happen. But also, I had this nagging feeling about feminism and how girls are portrayed in the society today.
Of course, people that live in a civilised country and were also born in a modern society, will jump up and say, but women are actually treated as equal – look at all this women in leading roles, and all these women doing whatever they want.
I do not deny that there has been progress made in our society.. But has it really?
I’m talking now of course, about the over-sexualisation of girls in the media. I recently watched this TedX talk on Morality and in the talk, Sam Harris discusses about how different cultures portray women, and how different cultures have different expectations of women.
And it gets to the point where this guy makes a comparison between how women in the Western cultures are portrayed, and how Muslim women have to act and how not to act.
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are. ~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
And obviously, because of superiority, we will say that Muslim women have no freedom, they cannot decide anything for themselves and they have to cover their bodies. And that’s all very bad and negative, right??
But in our Western society – we advise girls how to get into shape, how to get the hot body, how to feel great in their skin.And they can only do that if they buy the products and if they follow the strict regime imposed by the society. If they do not fit the category, they cannot be beautiful, they cannot feel good about themselves and they cannot for any reason, feel like a million bucks if they do not achieve those standards that were shoved down their throats.
And then, years or months later, we put them to shame, because they developed eating disorders and they became obsessive about how they look. Instead of helping them feel empowered, we put girls to shame, because they tried to achieve the standards that we obliged them to follow in the first place.
And I ask myself … How is that not negative? When did all became so wrong? When did we forgot that we are all human beings and that we were created to be different?
Of course there is still sexism going on in our modern society. And racism, and bullying. And obviously, there is feminism too.And organisations that fight for equality. Some people actually decided to step up for those ones that cannot do it for themselves.
But we have a long way to go, and that is because most of us, in our daily lives, when we get put in this kinds of situations, we choose to turn our heads or pretend we didn’t noticed. But they do happen. People that do it, they just get better at masking it.
But if there is one thing that I’ve learnt from this wonderful journey called life, is that if I do not decide to speak up, to try and make a change, no one will do it.
I am a feminist because I choose to speak my mind, bear children, demand to be paid the same as men, kick ass and paint my nails pink.
I am a girl and I like to express myself. I want to be able to do what I want. I want to do a job that I want, not the one that I’m expected to do.
I am a feminist because you love labels. But in my head and heart, I am only a human being who’s asking for the right to be whoever the heck she wants to be.
This talk always inspires me:
“I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.” ~ Dele Olanubi
We all need a a bit of craziness. We all need to be inspired sometimes. We all need to get out of our heads, and see the world through each others eyes.
Allow yourself to see the world and life from a different perspective. Try spending a day at a daycare. I assure you, you’ll be overwhelmed by how children see life – so, so simple. They’re not afraid of asking questions, they’re not afraid f trying out new things. They’re not afraid to laugh out loud. Or cry out loud for that matter.
So when, during over ‘growing up’, did we lost that simplicity?
Why not do what we want to do?
Why not …
Paint your world in colours.
spend a day in bed.
sing out loud.
rearrange your room.
I think this world needs us to do it.
And it’s all for love. For the love of God, for the love of ourselves and for the love of others.
“We are not on our journey to save the World, but to save ourselves. But in doing that, you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalises.” ~ Joseph Cambell
“Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.” ~ Carol Saline
I decided to start the week with something very personal to me, but also inspired from one of the creative prompts I’ve been researching.
The picture you see above is the last picture me and my sister took before I left for China, few months back.
And obviously, it means a lot to me because it’s a picture of me and one of favourite person in this whole entire world, but also because it defines my relationship with my sister.
It goes something like this: I got her back always, and she’s got mine. No one understands me or keeps me grounded like she does.
Those who have siblings to whom you’re pretty close will understand. We’ve got our inside jokes that most of the times no one gets (duh!), we share those little things from childhood.
This chick knows me better than anyone. And it’s so funny because we’re always been so different: when we were young, she was the blonde one, I was the brunette; she is good with numbers, I am good with words; she keeps me grounded in reality, I help her dream. We complete each other.
And I think it is very important to have someone who you know you can count on no matter what. Even when you fight, or get angry with each other, you know it won’t last. Because there’s a bond there that it cannot be broken. This is how trust looks like. This is how love looks like. And I do love her with all my heart and soul. I would bring her the moon if she asked.
I owe this to my mother – she was the one that always made sure we were close, we shared and took care of each other. Like a Family. And that played a big part in the person that I am today.
I learnt to take care of others, to listen to others and that sharing is a very important human trait to have.
“We hug, but there are no tears. For every awful thing that’s been said and done, she is my sister. Parents die, daughters grow up and marry out, but sisters are for life. She is the only person left in the world who shares my memories of our childhood, our parents, our struggles, our sorrows, and, yes, even our moments of happiness and triumph. My sister is the one person who truly knows me, as I know her. ~ Lisa See
I hope you all have someone to share this kind of love with. If not, I hope you find them.
Peace & Love,
.. Just Be.
Let go of whatever you thought you knew.
Live your own Truth.
Start Today. OR start right NOW.
Be the person you always dreamt of being.
Raise yourself up. Stand as tall as a TREE.
Raise others from the ground.
Be your own GURU.
Be your own INSPIRATION!
And listen to this while you do so >>
TODAY is all we have. the only guarantee there is.
But sometimes we get so caught up with daily problems and making a living that we forget that.
We forget to just stop for a second and take a deep breath.
We forget to look up at the sky and be thankful that the Sun is shining today.
We forget to give thanks for all the good food we eat every day.
For all the friends and family that surrounds us.
So, my friends, today I challenge you to stop for a minute and reflect on all the good things you have in your lives:
be thankful that when your alarm went off this morning, you were still alive.
some people did not got that chance.
be thankful that you can smell that marvellous cup of hot coffee that’s waiting for you in the kitchen.
smile at the kids on the bus. or in the street.
be kind. just stop for a minute and realise how BLESSED you are.
Pay it forward. Even if it only a smile, a small deed. Anything. Happiness comes from small things.
True Happiness that is.
Be Present. Stay in the Moment. Today is all you Have. Make sure you make it Count.
I found this video few days ago, when I was planning my lessons for class. I have showed it to my students, and I want to share it with anyone that reads this blog.
I also want to say thank you for stopping by.
and a lot of people have been judging and analysing it over the past few years.
Of course, i had ups and downs, goods and bad.
But the most important thing I have achieved in this matter is that I have learnt not to care what the others think about me. Or think they know.
the thing is, we are Different. We are Unique. And we should really try not to fit into patterns.
Patterns were made to put creativity into a box. To make us all the same.
But being different is Beautiful. Is what makes us us.
So, as a new week begins, I urge you the following:
Do NOT apologise for who you ARE or who you were at a certain point in time.
Don’t copy anyone, it’s okay not to FIT in.
Just be YOU.
Be your Crazy, Beautiful, Weird, Loud, Quiet.
Be Spiritual if you want.
Be KIND. Always. with others, but most importantly, with yourself.
YOU are ENOUGH.
and when worse comes to worse..