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Late November

The rusty gold of leaves and rushing winds

Majestic clouds race in the brilliant blue.

Late November. Still sparkling, but

The winter will erase the colors.

The human nature –

It wants to hold, to keep, stick tight,

To grab, to hug and have it safe

And never say good-bye or part.

Yet, by design it all is

Loosing, letting go, releasing,

Forgetting, giving up and separating,

And making space.

Late November. I’m picking up one leaf.

All glory of the fading colors in just one maple leaf.

I place it in a book. I am so human.

I know I can’t, but I am trying to preserve the beauty.

My Life School blog was never only about gardening, green living and growing our own food. I actually started it to publish my writing, life philosophy and stories about surviving aging in a great way, for instance, never gaining extra weight, maintaining bright and good memory and doing things in spite of some health conditions which crawl upon us after 60.

I paint beautiful and light-filled art because my life has been very difficult and painful at some stages back in Europe. That’s to keep everything in balance.

I write thought-provoking and visually-perceivable poems and reminiscent stories since I’ve spent almost 50 years in Europe and the recent 17 years in Canada. Life was very different back in Europe from what it is here in Canada. My articles frequently compare many sensitive areas of both lifestyles.

I dealt with medical research for 4 decades, and these discoveries, too, find their way into this blog. Finally, my strength is visual art and I’m trying to always publish great photos. You can find all of these specific areas if you look at the menu and choose one particular item.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a good transition into late fall and winter.

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Life in grey scale with fall colors on mind

Most days of our lives do not have the lovely sparkle of happiness, and, luckily, they are not spent in the dark gloom of troubles and desperation either. Most of us go on, catching up with the ever-changing world and local developments. Neutral is good because it spares you stresses and saves from extremes. However, we sort of do not want to admit it and do not want to be there, yet, we are. It says, no news is fine, as long as there is no bad news.

The daily duties, the daily chores: it would be so much easier not to do the same over and over again. Last year around this time, it felt even more upsetting because we have some resolution of the pandemic coming our way now. Hopefully.

Red maple leaves

My motivation is low these days when it comes to blogging. I noticed how my old blogger friends post also not that frequently. The article we post gets some attention one or two days, and then nobody cares any longer. It feels like if it isn’t posted straight this moment, it’s not interesting, it’s lost importance or any actuality. That’s not true at all since good articles are meaningful and worth re-reading any time.

I have run in big website issues with people trying to harm it. Therefore, after getting in huge trouble two times when I thought I’d just follow back somebody who followed my sites, I don’t do that now. Especially, that refers to sites which want to post links and as if invite you to check out their site. The addresses looked ok, and, yes, they were on WordPress platform. For how long? Who knows, maybe just long enough to catch more trusting people.

So, I’m sticking with these bloggers who I have known for more than a decade since I started blogging. I’ve never had any great success with this or the other blog because I could never push publishing to the point of posting every second day. As you know, I have two blogs to attend, and the art blog definitely takes priority. It’s not that I have made much money off it, but it still gives me visibility in the broad and extensive art scene, especially the local one. To create new content for art blog takes me about two weeks, sometimes longer since I’m trying to always post new images and updated content.

Last fall blooms

Life is very fast moving ahead. We have fewer and fewer moments to just sit back and enjoy the day’s accomplishments. I still get done a lot because I’m not hooked on scrolling through the internet for hours or checking the very boring social media sites. Ever since they started adjusted the content to what one liked before and what gets most attention, it became almost intolerably one-sided story. There are by any means better ways to stay in touch with people who are physically far away.

This brings me to masses and public engagement. I’ve never been the one to like what some million of others have already liked. I will rather leave my comment under something good which hasn’t got any attention. I do that because good content slips through cracks thanks to engagement-based display of everything on any site. It makes me upset to no end sometimes.

The only print-on-demand site where I have my art is Fine Art America. I joined about a decade or so ago. The first art I posted certainly has gotten more views, but the sad part is that because of engagement rating, no new paintings and art get seen, only the old ones.

Autumn trees

I also do not know why there are viral posts or images, I’ve never seen one. It’s probably because I intentionally skip whatever is thrown at me and definitely don’t join the massive numbers of followers.

I’d love everything to be unique. Unique as our finger prints, DNA and iris of the eye. Unique as pattern of veins on a leaf or every single bloom. I’d love that individual and one-of-a-kind remain the most important. I’d love that we can stay who we are without being flown down the pipe with numerous others who is called “everybody”. It’s never true that everybody does this or that, watches the same, consumes and wears the same and enjoys it, too. But it is the main approach.

Late autumn leaves

Well, we have a choice. Always.

Good weather, bad weather, great outcome or none at all, it really matters very little if we have our own life assessment system and our self-worth doesn’t depend on the opinion of others. In case of things we cannot change, – we are able to change the way we view them. We are in the driver’s seat when deciding what’s of great importance to us.

The images show late fall colors in Ontario. Bright beauty before it all becomes the past. Enjoy while you can! Thanks for reading.

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Under the blue September sky

What does your world look like today?

Is it bright and sunny, real nice end of September day or nothing good to talk about?

We cannot choose the weather, unfortunately, if we must stay where we are, live in a place which we might not even prefer, but that’s the reality: all doors are open, but not everyone of them takes us to a place we want to be.

Did you wake up in a hopeful mood and the day kept its promises?

Good things sometimes happen when we don’t expect them, too, as if out of nowhere. However, it’s the combination of all elements which has worked out in our favor whether we knew about that or not. The bigger success we expect, the more upsetting might be the disappointment.

Does that mean we don’t strive for more, don’t try achieving more and reaching for higher goals? We always do attempt to succeed in something currently out of reach, we should at least. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Until we experience tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, volcano eruptions and other nature disasters, we might say that every weather nature throws at us is a blessing. That’s changing now, and we might wonder how bad it is going to get? Thankfully, the area I live has been spared from nature’ s anger.

September was a very beautiful month in Ontario where I live. The simple pleasures are readily available for everybody, we just need to set aside a moment for these experiences. The sky is so transparent today, no wind, bees still work in blooms, and there’s almost overwhelming beauty of the late fall flowers. It’s a good moment to be in.

When you have gone through millions of small disappointments, tiny and big accidents, betrayal, losses and some calmer periods of life, it feels there’s nothing that can surprise one any longer. I’ve been sticking to my principles of honesty, truth and generosity for many decades. They get tested, too, these old-fashioned principles and morals. Competition is a normal way of existence now with any means being justified. It’s not enough to know, be able and have experience, you have to prove your self-worth and value of your skills every day from new. Every single day it’s some kind of competition, feeling of being pushed and rushed. If you do not post anything on social media or website, people forget you, forget who you are, what you do and so forth.

For how long am I supposed to be competing for the social media attention?

There is nothing stable in the universe of public opinion. I noticed that blog reading is down, too. The number of views goes up, but the actual interaction is down. Shorter attention span? Sure. The amount of information avalanching over the viewers head is also remarkably larger. While I love creating art, sewing, designing new outfits and other items, gardening, nature and its mystic ways, I’m not huge about throwing this into everybody’s face: look what I have! Nevertheless, I must do just that if I ever want to have more students in my art classes or sell my art.

Early fall for dreamers? Definitely.

September calm might be ending soon, in a few weeks or so. It’s a good time to regroup, recharge, put in vegetable preserves, take a short walk, collect new colorful leaves for the next nature-painted projects. The calm before the storm or maybe just time to think about what’s ahead, to dream a bit about things unfolding my way and according to my plans. The path, however, was created a long time ago. The ripples in the universal interaction ocean cause situations which we are living in now, at this moment. We have created our today as it is together with other people, nature, universe and our actions or inactivity, with our features and our thoughts.

I hope your day is as good as you expected it to be!

Stay in touch and thanks for reading!

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It’s a brilliant day

Today, it is. The heat has decreased and the humidity torture is less depressing, as well. My blog posting gaps have increased, though, thanks to all kinds of unexpected issues. It is a time when I am aware of all things I still have to tackle and bring to some conclusion, yet, I don’t do anything here and there. The privilege of older age is that you can mentally sort through the urgent things and make a reasonable decision: there’s hardly anything that cannot wait for a bit longer. For instance, posting a new article which won’t be seen by that many anyway.

It’s a wrong decision from the point of being present on the internet, but a very beneficial from the view of general feeling-and being-well-aspect. Ever since we became billions on every social media site and every blogging platform, the importance of one single post lost its meaning. Life is not long enough whatever way you look at it. I’d prefer much longer stretch of feeling like in 35-50 period. I find that around 50 it was when I had still huge energy and motivation to fight every internet battle and to squeeze myself out like a lemon to grab attention. Over time, the need to be present everywhere has really lost its attraction.

Being present in moments which matter for me personally has become more important. Sooner or later, we all realize that there will be things which we aren’t destined to do, learn or pursue. Time limits our ability to perform everything at the same level of devotion and achieve the same level of success in all areas which appeal to us. It takes huge time to achieve adequate skills in any area nowadays. However, the abundant numbers of experts and people who do counselling means there’s too much advise about everything. 

Let’s talk about how-to posts. Mainly, there are 2 groups. The first group, usually, in technical aspects of using software, app, social media or blogging platforms, writing or drawing and painting tools are helpful. The second group is where the heading says “how-to”, but the article lists reasons why and immediately takes you to the button to purchase something. We already know why, if we are looking for the practical application of this new whatever it is. I’m really interested in finding examples of using a tool, a strategy, I want to see how it looks in reality, but that’s not possible. There are immediately ads and all kinds of offers to buy. Food takes very much space on the internet, as well, too much for me personally. I stick to the old and extra simple recipes, better yet, the ones which consist of a few ingredients. That’s also very beneficial for our digestive system.

Then there are the numbers articles: 10 things what to eat and 10 what not to, 7 ways to wear an outfit, 6 ways to relax, 5 ways to prepare a particular food and to exercise. Very often it is “how to be happy” in numerous ways. It’s usually a list of things which we all know, have or do not intend to have, do or do mind doing. It’s something which we are aware about, but we have a reason not to engage in it, or we are already mastering that aspect. This type of list provides with no discoveries. One advice can never suit all. The most interesting articles for me are about personal experiences, the diverse ways we live.

Today, it is a really brilliant day. Just with the right amount of heat and sunshine. With well-formed attractive clouds sailing the bright blue sky. With bees still working blooms and butterflies hurrying from one flower to another. With tomato branches almost touching the ground because of the heavy fruit. With fantastically orange and perfectly round pumpkins. I also saw hummingbird 2 times this year. That’s so cute for my location!

The summer has been too short as always. It was too hot, we had too much rain, it was too dry sometimes, too stormy here and there. And it will be definitely too cold in the winter. No perfect weather for us, and here I laugh a little. Our feeling of entitlement has spoiled us. I personally do not complain, I take summer over winter any time. The virus has had big impact on our life here in Ontario, as I suppose, in the place where you are at. We thought it will be a fairly swift battle and we would be done with it. Maybe you have lived as you wanted, but I here couldn’t. Restrictions are still all in place, except, there is no lockdown.

I have such insanely huge amounts of produce, I’m not sure what to do with it. We are giving away part of it to husband’s colleagues, sometimes to anybody who will take it. I am seeing all benefits of growing vegetables and flowers from my own seeds. These plants are very strong, they practically do not suffer from the regular plant diseases. It makes a lot of sense to take care of your own seeding material. Since I haven’t been anywhere, only at home (almost 2 years already!!!), I am attaching a few pictures of my garden. It can be enough, but dreams and memories take me to other places; where I have been, which I will visit and what I’m not going to see. Well, the Earth is small and big at the same time, just like this life: so uncomplicated and manageable one day, but absolutely stunning or overwhelming the next.

Have a good September which is just around the corner! Thanks for reading!

The rainy July, uncertainty and assumptions

Summer never disappoints, even when there’s more rain than in the fall or more heat than in Mexico. Just knowing, that the days are long, and light stays on longer is so satisfying. Recurring certainty gives a feeling of stability, but we are not yet 100% there in Ontario. We are fairly uncertain also about the length of vaccine efficiency and what happens next and so forth. Questions which will clarify themselves as time passes by.

The last 2 years have been a huge test: they have tested our patience, endurance, tolerance and self-efficiency. I am usually aiming for predictability and certain order of upcoming events, just like in nature: summer comes after spring, and then there’s fall, and winter. Clarity, simple sequence of events. During this period, it’s been knowing nothing about what to expect, misinformation, lies, doubts and promises which often didn’t turn into actions.

Time doesn’t take into account whether we like being in this mess created by virus or not: it just runs away and, in some cases, – out. This time period will stay in our memory for quite a while. Is the pandemic over yet? In some places and countries, it seems we are winning, and then, a new variant occurs, and we start losing. It looks like this is not the end of pandemic yet. I wish it were, though.

Are you also so much used to wearing a mask that it will seem strange leaving house without it? Or disinfecting surfaces and washing hands for hundred times? I’ve heard that people are having more anxiety attacks, more upsetting days, spending more time doubting themselves and the future. I’d say that is normal taking into account the circumstances. We feel very much entitled to many things and we often take them for granted.

Maybe this is a time when we simply allow the flow to take us? I’ve been always against the flow, against the rules, against demands, commands and external control. However, I find that most current requirements make sense and I comply with them. There is a lot of scientific evidence on how we survive. I’m happy that after spending more than a full month on a computer and on the phone, we finally got both vaccine doses. It’s three weeks now. It is a relief. Some feeling of order? I’m not saying that I feel very safe now, but it’s somewhat reassuring that, most likely, nothing bad is going to happen.

We are not back to any normal yet, although, we’re trying to pretend everything is ok. It will never be the same as it was pre-pandemic. Globalization has its plusses and minuses. One of the biggest troubles: any disaster affecting health becomes global in no time. Unfortunately, global trade is fine, global pandemic – not at all because it is handled inefficiently and as bad as only possible. Do two doses of vaccine ensure you’re done with the virus? Probably not. We’ve already heard Pfizer saying they detected the immunity was weaker after 6 months.

Depending on where you are, you might be fine or not at all. We in Ontario are trying to return to life without virus. I hoped people would love to attend the outdoor art classes now, after almost two years of everything online. It doesn’t seem so. Not much response because there’s also no place where to get attention, not even one specific place. Facebook just wants me to spend more money so that they would show to somebody what I publish. Well, Facebook, it’s been two very tough years, so nothing goes to you. I won’t even mention other media sites. If you’re not an influencer, post whatever you want, hardly anybody will see it. The problem is also that everybody is selling something, and buying happens mostly from the huge global outlets, go outcompete those.

I was reading how a marketing expert said she just made a million giving advice. Have you also noticed that teaching somebody to make money always results in high profits? Everybody is attracted to read about “make-money-quick”, or watch it, or listen to it. Unfortunately, it will always depend on your location, digitalization level, type of thing you do, demand for what you do and the basic mindset of your potential customers. However, it will mostly depend on how much you can invest in what you do, how much you can spend on advertising, help and specialists and creation of your product. Do you think I’d had any problem if I could run my ads every hour on numerous TV channels or have them everywhere sneak up on you on the internet?

The presence and visibility are the biggest problem.

When I started writing this blog and created the other blog and art website, I thought it would result in some extra attention. I’ve got blog friends, nice people to talk to online, that’s true. I spend a lot of time posting, returning likes and answering to comments. For art blog, a post usually takes about 2 weeks in making because I usually have to paint what I’d like to show, then take photos (what a hassle!) and then, putting it up is easy, but, altogether – very, very time-consuming. Basically, I’ve spent abnormal hours dealing with both blogs, and return is great when it comes to online following and friendships, but financially, it’s practically nothing to show for. It still makes sense compared to spending many hours on social media and not getting any traction. Well, it is like this: whatever you do, be influencer and famous, and then even dumb things you say or publish will get lots of publicity.

Global pandemic, global competition, global trade, global profits or losses, – but the effects of all that are very personal, very individual, very painful frequently. I do sometimes long for the time when somebody just drops in, they are happy with what I have to offer, they do not run around to 100 other places before making decision, and life is so simple because everything is in balance, everything happens. I am just wondering how could life become so complex? Getting a simple “yes” or “no” is practically impossible. It takes numerous emails, text messages, back and forth, numerous explanations and waste of time, and then you still don’t know whether you achieved what you wanted.

As always, I will post this very delayed article with a few pictures from my garden. Just like summer, garden never disappoints. Even when I don’t have time, plants just do their thing: they bloom, grow and bring fruit. Compared to everything else, it’s such a winning and rewarding effort. I do take great care of my pictures, but I suppose since I’m not emphasizing the photography aspect, they go unnoticed. As you know, I used to post more frequently, but cannot right now: life is too complex. I am re-opening the studio, moving art classes outdoors, preparing materials, and that takes about 10 hours a day or more.

Wishing you to recharge and rest during the summer! Thanks for reading if you did!

June, the Midsummer thoughts

Nothing can stop flowers from blooming! Not pandemic, not wars, fights, struggles and bad economic times; not even people who are not fine with where they are and what they are. The symphony of colors flows over the backyard making the adorable petal shapes the best artful creation there ever was. To hold one’s breath and to simply adore something which is way better, more complete than humans. The nature.

Midsummer and June: the fantastic time of the year. Although, flowers were rushing, the rich and lush green is embroidered with bright colors of scattered blooms under the pure and clean sky where white and happy clouds sail towards the sun. Standing in the middle of it, my heart says to just stop doing whatever I am busy with, and look around.

So many summers have blossomed away! Latvia is always in my memories when June comes around. It would be great to spend this time over there, more than 8 thousand miles away, across the ocean.

We went a few times to the Canadian Latvian community place called Sidrabene which translated would be like “silver lined spot” on this earth. We wanted to see what Midsummer celebration looked like there, and it was interesting, but not the same what people can experience in Latvia. Singing, dancing, beer and the special caraway seed cheese were included. Singing in the second part was mostly in English, and the Latvian accents of those who at least tried to say something in Latvian had a strong English note, too. Well, obviously, many of these Latvians have lived in Canada since early childhood or are even born here.

Latvians have numerous folksongs which have travelled to nowadays mostly verbally without writing them down. In the 18th century, enthusiasts started to categorize and collect them and eventually compile in enormous volumes. It is said that every Latvian has his or her own folksong. As I have explained in previous years, Midsummer celebration in Latvia is probably the most fantastic event with traditions going back for many thousands of years, so are the folksongs. We can sometimes wonder what does one or another thing actually mean, so unusual it sounds.

Wherever I would live, whatever I would do, I remain in my heart a Latvian. Part of this tiny (all Latvians, scattered around on the globe, would not fill even a third of city of Toronto), tough, hard-working, wise nation which stays very close to nature, opening its ancient soul to song, dance, arts and everything that is beautiful.

Our roots go deep, and in this technologically advanced century we still are admirers of ancient traditions, handmade outfits, jewelry, herbal medicine and help of the Universe as we walk through the life. The knowledge which comes to us from people who lived many thousands of years ago and whose names remain unknown, makes Latvians very specific, very charismatic and talented people. If one comes from a tiny nation, they simply have to master many languages, many skills, and to stay determined, or otherwise the big global forces will smash us.

I will attach a few links from the most unique event which will celebrate 150 years in 2023: the Latvian Song and Dance Festival where tens of thousands of people from kids to very old ladies and senior citizens join in songs and dance. Every region has its own colors, costumes and they all shine during this festival.

The famous Latvian song and dance festival, a few glimpses
To my native land, watch at piano, the best Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls, lyrics by Janis Peters, a very much loved Latvian poet

Enjoy the midsummer and stay close to nature!

The waiting game

Expectations

Real life, unlike virtual displays of it, frequently requires waiting. Waiting for something or looking forward to it, takes time which can be considerable. If you have been around for many decades, you already know that the period of expectations can turn out to be more pleasurable and more amazing than the event or occasion itself. The wonderful thrills of expectations and the anticipation of whatever you desire can be illusive and lead one to disappointment. That is when we overvalue the potential result or our role in it. We frequently do just that.

Patience

I believe patience is a virtue, and in times like right now when waiting is inevitable and it lasts for extremely long period, patience and understanding that some things cannot be rushed, makes life easier if you are used to wait for something and if you have acquired, learned along the way or simply got naturally the ability to be patient. You won’t go mad, get frustrated, angry, upset and depressed because you have to wait. Wait in line for vaccine, wait to book a vaccination appointment, wait to meet your relatives and friends, wait for normalcy to return.

Protesting

Nobody gives us back the time we have wasted. Protesting lockdowns, closures, vaccines, masks and stay-at-home orders is pretty much wasted efforts and time. The reality has shown that the best way to avoid any troubles is not being around anybody else. That’s the worst part of airborne respiratory viruses: they are everywhere where there is air, and as humans we cannot stop inhaling air or exist without it. We’ve been in lockdown in Ontario for a very long time, we still are. I read somewhere, it’s the longest lockdown among the developed countries. I noticed, however, that people are taking this fairly lightly. It is spring finally here, as well, the second warm week is happening, it’s 18-23 Celsius, and this warmth feels excellent compared to what it was just a while ago. So, people have visitors, no masks obviously, there’s partying, too.

The blooming

Once the gates are open, we are flooded with waves of blooming. Almost all trees and spring flowers are in bloom. They, too, have waited impatiently when the weather will turn mild and allow them to come up with their beauty. I don’t think there can be anything more relaxing and enjoyable than quietly watching a garden or trees. For my Angel’s day, lilac is always in bloom. I’m not sure how that can happen, but it does, year after year. Birds are busy, their shadows shoot across the lawn and their voices make one listen in awe how the nature beats it all. If you ask me, that’s the best party ever. Everybody is invited, no preparations required. This time I’m sharing pictures of my giant tulips.

Lesson

We sleep away and spend in waiting big part of our life. Unfortunately, there isn’t a chance avoiding that. Waiting might drive somebody crazy and angry, but the truth is we have probably learned something during the last one and a half years. If we haven’t, then we are failing to manage the biggest challenge the globe is currently facing. The other interesting aspect of the global pandemic is that every single person is involved. The outcome is the sum of collective human actions, inactivity and reactions. It makes one also wonder how greed and wars never stop.

Whatever your personal situation, I hope you are in the driver’s seat. More than ever, one needs to be in charge of their own life and their own decisions. Enjoy the blooming and thanks for reading!

Doing nothing or nothing much

Here is what our family does this Easter: Nothing!

It’s such a cool thing to do nothing for a change. We are just two of us here at the moment, no kids, no other relatives coming over. It wouldn’t be advisable anyway even if my relatives were not across the Atlantic Ocean. Therefore, we can take our time and just stretch it out over the long and lazy weekend. I used to cook all kinds of food just for the sake of cooking some years. The question I later asked myself was: how much can actually two people eat? We are not big eaters; we do not bother often with 3-course meals. If I go for big cooking, the largest part has to be discarded before we get around to consuming it all.

My purple Easter lily

How about eggs?

I boil a few eggs, they contain good nutrients, and when you have organic eggs, it’s really food which makes us feel better. Eggs are one of those products which cannot be too much modified or enhanced with extra chemicals, I mean shouldn’t be via feed. Somehow any advice on diets misses the part that everything close to its most natural state is good, not chemically improved, at lab fortified or grown through tubes under artificial light. Organic eggs fit excellent nutritional value demands. I’ve never experienced any raises in cholesterol levels or any weight increase due to eating eggs with butter and salt. We eat eggs a few times a week, not only at Easter.

They are not real and don’t go bad, ever

Keeping decorations at minimum

I don’t bother with that because for decorations I can use the artificial colored eggs which I bout maybe some 7 or more years ago. I have numerous room plants all year round. They create nice background and add a bright touch of green to our settings.

Our Easter menu is very simple: oats for breakfast (I have them every morning), eggs for lunch and pancakes with strawberries for dinner, that’s all we can handle, I might add something more as the day gets older.

I can use some of my own illustrations as decorations

Doing nothing

Doing nothing does not really mean one sleeps for 24 hours. For me, that means doing nothing important, urgent, mandatory or otherwise demanding. My husband plays guitar and sings when he has free time, he just went for a long bike ride, too. I usually spend a few hours outdoors or read. Sometimes, I look at old photos, the real ones, not on computer. Doing nothing means relaxing and lazy sitting in the backyard, listening to silence or birds and watching spring walk around and take over. In the overachievers’ society doing nothing is a sin, but who cares? I’m past that. Hopefully, our weather gets warmer soon, that would be much appreciated by everybody in Ontario.

All comes together nicely: we do love simplicity

If you have kids and big family

If you have kids and a big family, you have your hands full. I’ve been through that, too, just many years ago. You also have more fun, more tiredness in the evening and plenty more to think about. However, you still have to make some time for doing nothing. Depending on the area you’re located, it might be warm, cold, sunny, stormy, who knows, but doing nothing with and in the nature is the best. The most inspirationally killed time. We should always add something rewarding to the day, so it might be a relaxed walk or just staring out there.

I hope you have nice start of April and happy Easter to those who celebrate!

Silence heals

Listen to the silence

Stop the noise

We are almost always surrounded by background noise. If it were only bird voices and wind in the trees, that would be still fine. However, more and more often I want to stop the noise of devices and TV and pollution of mind which leaves a permanent residue. I turn off the news and TV, and I don’t scroll that much through social media sites if at all. How social are they? I just looked at Facebook, it is like this: ads, ads, ads, a hundred times repeated quote, a nice picture, ads, ads, more ads. Quite frequently, it seems there’s noise everywhere and for no good reason. Thankfully, we can tun the sound off. We can leave all angry discussions alone and head out to the park, or garden, or simply get out and turn devices off, too. Which is what most people won’t do. There are always good reasons, business call or request, kids needing something, or friend wants to talk and so forth. However, we deserve a moment of silent relaxation, and not only in sleep.

Silence as a healing factor

Listening to silence should be big priority in our life which is attacked by numerous influences every single moment, every time we look at a screen. Many people admit they meditate. Nowadays, meditation is understood very broadly as simply devoting time for going deep inside oneself and removing noise of disturbing thoughts and our internal reactions to external events. Lots of people don’t even know how to meditate or do it in a way which is not the mainstream concept of this activity. I personally think we can only benefit from detaching ourselves for a moment from active external attacks and whatever way we do that. Therefore, being in a silent environment becomes a healing experience which allows recharging.

The silent environment

Take a breath of freshness

The one advantage of COVID pandemic is being able to listen to the silence. I sit outdoors or on my veranda late at night watching stars and sky. Eternity seems so close, and the universe is straight before my eyes. I take a breath of the sky, and stars sparkle in the huge dark dome of extended purple-blue infinity. It’s very easy to get lost in this silence and forget about all troubling matters. Not a sound. In the morning, nature sounds wake me: birds, wind or rain. For a moment, there was hardly any traffic, and I thought that was terrific. What a relief! Air is so clean, the sky so pure that one cannot help but assume: we do produce and manufacture too much, and many of them are useless things. This all deepens imbalance and causes disturbance of the natural equilibrium.

Uninterrupted break from noise

We need silence from time to time, complete silence which is not interrupted by shriek alarms, screams, rude language, car and heavy machinery noises and sounds of never-ending rush. Switching from loud environment to soft and mild sound environment makes one breathe much easier. Freeing the body from chains of all-surrounding noise gives the brain the much-needed break. Remember how walking in a park or forest put you in elevated mood? That refers to moments when the only sounds are nature-related. Just like our eyes require diversion from screens, our ears need the same. We should leave specific time for music and specific time for listening to podcasts and other audio material.

Dreamy infinity

Keeping sensory organs in balance

This life is loud already; we might say, much too loud. Living life in headphones contributes to anxiety, nervousness, insomnia and restlessness. If we use some sensory body parts too much and abuse them in a violent way, the balance is destroyed. No human is supposed to listen to something 24 hours a day, that’s why we need sleep. We need it in order to recharge and heal. During sleep, our immune system fortifies our defense mechanisms, the brain clears out pollution and resets its processing ability. Sleep is the time which we absolutely need, and, especially, because the sounds and visible disturbances are turned off.

Mental problems Internet can facilitate our exposure to foreign influences so much that people start suffering from chronic confusion, lack of focus, forgetfulness, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue, fear, dreadful nightmares and misinterpretation of reality. The latter is especially dangerous because we lose touch with reality and blunder into misconceptions. Turning off sounds allows us to think, make conclusions and look into ourselves. Not everybody is the same, but when I have to do a complex work which requires strong focus and maximum concentration, I have silence or just the nature sounds from backyard around me.

Recharge in silence

Noise interference

Lots of people or big part of global population live high above the ground and are surrounded by never-ending noise. If it’s only a distant background noise, the interference won’t be too harsh, but for those who intentionally live in a loud environment or have no other choice for the lack of better living or work conditions, it has a big impact. Yet, we often don’t pay any attention to that and we should.

Life is loud

This life is loud, but we have tools to preserve ourselves. Mind pollution is one of the important aspects which requires solution. It might be something different for different people, but, like all types of pollution, mind pollution accumulates and becomes an issue. Turning off destructive noises is one of ways we help ourselves. In always present noise, we won’t be able to hear the things that matter. Whenever possible, we have to choose natural environment, and that includes the level of noise.

Thanks for reading, take care

Red color of flowers

The price of joy

What are the things you enjoy a lot?

Is it food, fresh air, freedom, a hobby or are these things that cost a lot of money which will make you happy or so you think? Such as, new dress, shoes, boots, designer purse, perfume, new car, great vacation, superb house?

Maybe, you get most excited when you have managed something which seemed impossible before? For instance, speaking or understanding a new language, being able to play a new music instrument, or a successfully written poem or story, creation of new artwork?

Joy is the most direct way to happiness. We should save happiness for the very special moments and have plenty of joy at other times.

Do you still recall how little you had to spend when you were kid 30, 40, 50, 60 or more years ago? And, imagine how much one needs to spend nowadays to make a kid happy.
Lots of questions with all kinds of possible answers.

The truth is, however, that the price of joy has gone up a lot and keeps doing so. That is what we have come to believe in: if we cannot buy everything that somebody else has, we are somewhat less and worse.

Let us reword the question:

what is the one thing that would make you happy for the rest of your life?
Do you know the answer?

I guess it could be many different pleasant things and experiences.

You are only allowed to give one answer, however. Tough, right?

Majority most likely will choose “love”, “health”, “wealth”, “staying young” and any of these choices are great, but being rich is simply the best. The joy costs a lot nowadays.

Who says you cannot experience the joy for free?

You sure can, for example, watching sunsets and sunrises, blossoming trees and rainbows and so on; yet, you still need to satisfy the basic necessities to feel happy, to have peace of mind and to experience the joy. Nobody will be too joyfully watching all the most beautiful things on Earth if they are hungry, sick, in pain, lonely or depressed. I dare saying, that having the basic things are probably a good base for having a joyful life.

Being alive is already great

Many of us are very happy to be simply alive and that is a joy to start a day with, realizing that you still have this day and you woke up ok. I’m at such age that it is definitely a great experience.

People like me feel perfect if they can have their morning coffee. Try not to give it to me!

Lots of people do not care what the place is or where the place is, they live at, as long as there is a place.

Lots of people don’t give anything about how the food looks and how healthy it is as long as there is some food.

Ultimate joy

So, what’s the deal with tiny portions of extra special food served on golden plates at a crazy cost? The deal is that this is supposed to make somebody really happy, give them the ultimate joy.

Lots of people go out of their way to make their totally boring life somewhat exciting.

We need some joy regardless of its price, and there are these advertising guys who tell you to just buy and buy more, and maybe you will have a flash of joy for a tiny moment, too.

Joy from recreational stuff

People in Canada are able to turn themselves into cannabis lovers also. So, to speak, add a little healing joy to the boring day.

It is supposed to be recreational marihuana that one can eat, drink, vape or smoke, and all of a sudden smoking is presented as something good when you listen to people advertising it. The truth is: everything that burns and is inhaled has the same effect. Medical marihuana is supposed to cure and treat numerous conditions which nobody has ever proven for a few reasons: there is no point to prove something using a substance or its products that are available everywhere, and there is no long term research data available also because using cannabis was a crime before. Just like with everything, cannabis use has many aspects and not all of them will be beneficial.

The price of joy became the price of addiction at some point.

When the kid has fallen on the floor in the store and screams from the bottom of his or her lungs, that is an attempt to violently achieve the feeling of joy. Well, mom buys that stuff kid wanted and kid’s smile stretches all over the face now.

When we get what we want, what we believe we want or need, or what we are addicted to, we are experiencing the ultimate joy which almost equals to happiness. So, the price of joy will vary. If you can buy it because some joyful things are not for sale.

As it appears, the price of joy has a huge range: from no cost to any money imaginable and unimaginable.

Our experience shows that most things we can buy, and their price will be the cost of our joy: new face, new body shape, excellent outfits, excellent living conditions, new devices, extraordinary cars, outstanding vacations and so forth.

Our experience also shows that one cannot buy true love, respect, trust, passion, talent, skills, knowledge, memories and experience. I think this is more than we need to be happy because we can have that all if we are willing to put in some effort.

Thankfully, nobody can buy talent so far. With genetic engineering developing at a fast pace, it is probably a near future, too.

Red color of flowers

True joy and purchased joy

We need them both. We need lots of things to simply live, but when it comes to true and long-lasting joy, let’s look for it in ourselves. We should find there plenty, and especially love, respect, trust, passion, talent, skills, knowledge, memories and experience as I mentioned before.

I’m using for illustrations the bouquet my husband just gave me. Excellent source of joy!

Wishing you plentiful joys regardless of what the day (or night) has served you so far!

Thanks for reading!