Wanna do something cool? Do it today.



Inspiration-today




On one sunny fall day, I called my best friend. “I saw the forecast. It might be raining next week. Why don’t we go for a walk today? Maybe this will be the last nice day this fall.” She agreed. We walked for hours, talked about ice cream, relationships, global warming, guys, how when you block all the crazy folks on Facebook your feed becomes boring, meaning of life and that jazz. It was one epic long walk.


Next day my best friend called me. Continue reading

This idea will help you write more (and better)



Write-more




One of the best projects in my creative life was the “Soulful Journal”. It is a month long journaling practice, where you dig through your past, present and (imaginary) future, prompted to follow the calling of your soul.


What made this project so powerful for me was the time when I did it. “Soulful Journal” was one of the first creative endeavors I tackled after years of creative inactivity. After being hyper-active, distracted, unhappy, over-worked, running from one party to another, after I lost my job, in one of the worst periods of my life, I started the “Soulful Journal”.


After the first exercise, I became obsessed. Continue reading

Why was I jealous of a dancer?



Jealous




She was able to do amazing things. Handstands, headstands, tricky samba-like steps; she was fast, flexible, elegant, attractive. Her movements were impeccable. She was an outstanding Capoiera dancer. Stunning. Jaw-dropping. I was impressed. (What a euphemism.)


We were at the concert of a band Shokoto (music from Ghana) and she was a guest. The dance she performed was Capoiera, combined with elements of samba and African rumba. Wonderful synergy. My cup of tea. I enjoyed every second.


However, I was jealous. A lot. My throat was burning. My eyes filled with tears. I know that feeling. Jealousy. Capoiera dancer made my night and ruined my night. But why? What made me feel envious?

Creativity in 10 words


One of my favorite topics. Creativity. Described in 10 crucial words. With explanations. And nice quotes. That are tweetable. When you read it, you will know exactly what to do.


You already are endlessly creative. Here are the instructions how to start using your inherent skills. BLABLA. Let’s get started.

1. BLANK


Blank page, screen or canvas. Silence. Fear behind it. Freedom to choose. To challenge the status quo. Feels awesome. Feels intimidating.


Blank space can turn into anything. Love poem or manifesto. Satire or SF. Deepak Chopra says that the blank space between the two thoughts is the field of infinite possibilities. ((Tweet this!)) Any thought can pop up after the blank space. Blank space is powerful. It is the promise of creation.


“Music is the space between the notes.” Claude Debussy ((Tweet this!))


2. IDEA


Sparkle in the dark. New thought. New relationship between well known entities. The truth. Said in different voice. Something crazy. Something useless. Something smart. Provocative. Sincere. Something that everyone knows but no one says out loud.


Ideas will oftentimes startle you at weird places (yoga mat, shower, drive). But it can be overestimated. Ideas are not rare luxury. Ideas are the currency of 21st century, claims James Altucher. ((Tweet this!))They are not the privilege of chosen few. You can train yourself to become an Idea Machine. Start making ideas today. Share them. Lighten the world with your sparkles.


“Be less curious about people, be more curious about ideas.” Marie Curie ((Tweet this!))


3. RESISTANCE


Steven Pressfield writes the word Resistance with capital R. The ultimate enemy of creativity. You know the feeling when you sit down to write and all of a sudden you notice that you need to clean your room, check facebook, twitter, email and call a friend to see if she still needs help with dog grooming. That is Resistance. Procrastination, rationalization, overeating, time wasting on social networks, TV, fundamentalism, criticism, self-doubt, drama, fear. Resistance in many shapes and forms.


Resistance is the very thing that shows up when we accept the inner calling for creative, selfless, spiritual project, anything that requires courage and anything that has even a slight chance of failing. Resistance infallibly shows up. It is good to be aware of it. Enemy is the powerful teacher.


“If you’re are paralyzed with fear it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.” Steven Pressfield ((Tweet this!))


4. WORK


You know what is your work. (Not your job and not your household chores.) Your inner calling. The thing you were brought here for. The very thing that you would do if you didn’t worry about money and time. That! Creative process tends to be seen as romanticized. In fact, it is a work. Labor. Getting your hands dirty. Showing up again and again.


Your mind will tell you that you are not ready. That now is not the good moment. That everything has already been said or done. That you need more practice. BS. Resistance. Don’t believe. Steven Pressfield allows you to read 3 books on the topic. That is enough. Start working. Work is indispensable.


“Nothing works unless you do.” Maya Angelou ((Tweet this!))


5. TIME


Creative process takes time. Yes, ideas can sparkle in shower, on yoga mat, during the walk, but creative process itself requires time. Devotions. Yes, the Muse exists, but she has to find you working, said Picasso. Meaning that you have to devote time. Not every now and then. Consistently. Every day. In order to be able to produce good work, you have to do a lot of it. 10 000 hours. Maybe more.


Time for creating won’t just appear miraculously in your calendar. You have to make it. Creating is not urgent but rather important task. No one will chase you to do it. It’s not as the bill you have to pay until the certain day or deadline that your boss imposed. Creativity is all about self discipline and creating time. One hour before work and one hour after dinner. Or something similar. Muse has to know where and when to find you.


“Forever is composed of nows.” Emily Dickinson ((Tweet this!))


6. NO


Powerful word. Above mentioned Altucher even wrote a book about it. Danielle Laporte has a theory that every NO hides bigger YES. No to distractions, energetic vampires, mindless time wasting, endless social obligations. Yes to non distracted time, devoted to the act of creation. It is not easy to say NO. Blank page is scary. Resistance has already awaken. Self-doubt chatter is ringing in your head. Facebook is crying your name……


Say NO. Mindful, graceful NO. You know what is your work. Say NO to everything else. Invest in the future.


“A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” Mahatma Gandhi ((Tweet this!))


7. SOLITUDE


Western culture glorifies team work. However, creative work happens only in the solitude. Yes, brainstorming and idea exchange happens in team, yes, artists have to cooperate. But the very core of creative process happens in solitude. No one will do your work for you. Being alone is scary and uncomfortable for most of the people. But there is no way around it. You will never meet your Muse and find creative genius if you are running from one event to another or with consistent TV noise in the background.


Don’t let it scare you. There is a catch. Time devoted to creating is magical. When you turn off all of distractions and let yourself immerse, time will warp. You won’t be alone. You will be with your work and with your Muse. Don’t get surprised once you look at the clock. Dinner already?


“In order to understand the world one has to turn from it on occasion.” Albert Camus ((Tweet this!))


8. ABUNDANCE


I didn’t understand this aspect of creativity for a long time. I was afraid of running out of the ideas, things to say, ways of expression. I had a fear that I will catch all the fish from my tiny pond. Opposite is true about the creativity. The more you create, the more ideas you have. The more ideas you produce, the more of them will be generated in your mind.


“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw ((Tweet this!))


9. PERSISTENCE


One of the big creative blocks is self doubt. And question “Is this good enough?” How can you know in the middle of creation are you actually doing something worthwhile? And the truth is YOU WON’T. So relax. Be happy that you have beaten the Resistance. Be happy that you have created the time. Acknowledge yourself. And continue.


Your success will be determined by the way you acted in crisis. Choose to persist. One step at the time. The quote that helped Steve Chandler greatly to deal with the addiction was :”Just today.” Don’t let the big picture paralyze you. Do your work today. Persist.


“It’s not that I am so smart. It is that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein ((Tweet this!))


10. SHARING


I will admit, this is the hardest part for me. Press the PUBLISH button. Show it to everyone. And you might be criticized. People might not get your point. They may openly disagree. Or they may not care. At all.


But there might be that one person. Sad. In pain. Alone. Waiting to hear just that. Waiting for sparkle of love. You might make her day. Will you steal from her? Hell no. Publish now!


“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles on it.” Margaret Fuller ((Tweet this!))

That’s it. Did I miss any important word? Please let me know in the comments bellow!


XXX


MISS stRANGELOVe

The best thing you can learn in 10 seconds


New topic has a lovely name GO OUTSIDE! Besides of my insatiable passion for hiking, climbing, walking, working in garden, sleeping in tent, peeing outside and warm recommendation to incorporate all of above into your life, this week I want to talk about something else. GO OUTSIDE! is a powerful tool that will change your life forever. Let me illustrate the concept with a few examples.


Sometimes I feel as if the family is the group of people that knows me best and uses it exclusively to piss me off in very efficient ways. Love and hate, war and peace. I make many mistakes. I am impulsive and incentive. And proud of my Southern-European temper. I think quickly. And my reactions follow. In other words, I explode easily. To make it even worse, the same thing can piss me off again and again. I react in nanosecond. Then I hate myself. If I know better why can’t I DO better? Does it happen to you?


Good news. I have found the solution. Read carefully and try to implement it. In all types of communication, first try to slow down. Listen what the other person has to say. Whatever it is, try to feel the emotion it causes IN YOUR BODY. Then take a deep breath in and ask yourself silly (but yet bombastic) question:


“ISN’T THAT INTERESTING?”


The whole point of this exercise is to observe yourself phenomenologically. Anthropologically. As the scientist, observing a member of some exotic tribe in Polynesia. Don’t think, don’t judge, just observe.


WRONG WAY TO DO THIS: “OMG, I am such a dummass, I cannot believe that my grandmother has just pissed me of with the same stupid story about my biological clock 151st time!!!! I am such and idiot, but first I’m gonna tell her: $#@$^%$….”


RIGHT WAY TO DO THIS: “When grandmother mentioned Milena’s biological clock, Milena has felt rage spreading all around her body as a light tension starting at upper part of her lungs reaching all the way to her hands and fingers. Like a feeling that she wants to hit a punching bag. At that moment she thought: “Hmmm, isn’t that interesting?” “


You’ve got the principle. In first case grandmother would get big fat $#@$^%$, don’t make me explain more vividly. In second case, after 10 seconds, she would get the response: “Thank you for your care, but I really don’t want to talk about that.” Everybody happy. (And, believe me, your grandmother has 10 seconds to spare on waiting.)


(By the way, this example is original, from my life. And my reaction was wrong, most often.)


When I practiced this principle a little bit more, I found out a number of interesting ways in which emotions manifest in my body:


FEAR is always choking me, I feel it in my throat


-I feel SADNESS as a pressure at the bottom of my belly


RAGE is the tension that starts at the upper lungs and spreads through my arms and my hands


ANXIETY manifests as the pressure in my head or as tension in my stomach. I loose appetite.


EUPHORIA stretches my lungs like a chewing gum, makes my body straight and I have a feeling as if I am weightless, as if I can fly


-there is no right or wrong way to feel the emotions in your body, everyone is experiencing the emotions in his way


-generally speaking, positive emotions are stretching your body, while the negative emotions are constricting it


When negative emotions strike, don’t try to swallow them. Try to feel them in your body. Breathe deeply and focus on the present moment. This is the quickest and most efficient way of “digesting” low emotions. They don’t teach this in school. Unfortunately. But that’s why you have me!


At the end, a little bit of physics. I am an engineer, at the end of the day. Every action has equal and opposite reaction. The more you resist certain emotions, the more they will attack you. What you resist, persists. So let the emotions flow. Process them and let them be.


Your turn. Try this exercise and share with me how do you feel emotions in your body.


XXX


MILENA stRANGELOVe


P. S. The Cookie of Wisdom: “When things go wrong, don’t go with them.” Elvis Presley ((Tweet this!))