What works for me, might work for you, as well. It just depends on what type of person you are. The global media invents some days when one supposedly has to feel really bad, and then, which days are going to be better. Really? What a nonsense. Lots of people do not like winter, the unpleasant winter – with strong, chilling winds, snow piling up to the window sills, sleet, ice, freezing rain and bitter cold. No, there’s nothing adorable about all of that. I am in Southern Ontario which is sort of across the lake from New York.
Winter snow shoveling
The Ontario Lake is what can cause all kinds of troubles or bring relief. Thankfully, we didn’t have any snow all January. That’s up to the last days. I’ve been shoveling for about 4 hours a day in average this week. And snow keeps coming, and I keep shoveling. One might see that as a disaster. I agree, there are better ways to spend our time. But then again – all the exercise I get and all the fresh air which enriches the blood stream with oxygen? The rejuvenating effect of movement, clean air and great mood?
For mood and soul
That’s what we get from doing something useful not only for ourselves, but everything and everybody else. Plants will thank me in the spring for care I took preventing them from freezing out. Everybody who arrives in the huge backyard, is happy they don’t have to get wet feet walking through high snow drifts. I am happy because of all the great views which, no, I won’t paint.
Immersing oneself in colors
Painting works for me in many different ways. During cold and snowy months, I paint spring, flowers, rivers, creeks and forest where the spring flowers come up. I think I was born as an artist and gardener. Everything else sort of lines up around these two main passions of me. I love green color. I adore blue color, and there’s nothing better than bright pink flowers. I create this uplifting reality in my art.
Reading for pure pleasure
The other things to take mind off, are books. I only read at night something thrilling, absolutely consuming. I do research and learning during the day, therefore, the relaxing reading involves authors which can do that: write something realistic enough, but with feeling of mystery, thrilling and suspenseful. The range of writers is huge; however, I do prefer male writers. Their perception of events and the ways they resolve crime stories and display personalities resonates with me better. I do read female authors, as well, but frequently some books leave me disappointed. I feel like, I was promised so much, but didn’t receive it.
The green air purifiers
Room plants are next in line of life improving things. I do not have enough space, and my potted plants simply cannot do gorgeously without enough light, but they still grow and make me happy. I stuffed some in the basement at two tiny windows, the rest is in the art room. As you know, some plants can live well enough with hardly any light. They purify and moisten air. They also require little attention, just some watering. Green onions are doing nicely in a small cup. Many Canadian houses are like that: no place for doing something and no place for plants. I should know since I’ve been moving so many times and living in so many houses. Small windows, low ceiling, a place to eat, sleep, watch TV and shower. A place for people who prefer doing nothing.
Cooking from scratch
Finally, I’m a very good cook, but I don’t usually make complex meals. I go Latvian style: few ingredients, preparation requires little time and effort. I see sometimes recipes which need like twenty or more ingredients. Definitely not for me. We also do not use ready-made, half-cooked, etc. stuff. It makes more sense to do everything from scratch. We love soups and vegetable salads in all kinds of combinations. Not the common things, but specifically ours, like beet, carrot, leak, bean, etc. We love layered herring salad with potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and egg.
Simple is good
I am Latvian, and I stick to my own recipes. Therefore, we do not have heartburn, stomach issues or digestion problems. We are pension age, but slim and energetic. The fewer and more natural ingredients, the better for digestion. We do not snack. We have 3 meals a day and don’t eat anything in between. I suppose, any adult can do that. I believe that lots of people gain excess weight due to snacking, consuming fancy drinks, adding all kinds of things to tea and coffee. There’s nothing wrong with black and strong coffee. To be honest, our digestive system needs longer breaks, like 12 hours and then 3-4 hours between the 3 meals. And nothing more.
Winter will end. Spring will come with its own chores. I’ve suffered so much from seasonal affective disorder all my life that I decided to just put an end to it. I changed my view at it. I made myself not feel sad and upset. I literally push myself outdoors and once I have the shovel in hands, I won’t stop until everything is clean. I sometimes have to make myself want to paint or teach an art class. However, after the reluctant start it all happens. The resistance is huge, but I am able to overcome it. At the end of the day, I list in my mind all the good things I have done. They can be small things, but I have managed to stay on top of them. Big achievement.
Many years ago, I wrote numerous good articles which make a lot of sense today.
The early spring, blooming spring, rainy days and sunny days: they all have passed by so swiftly that it’s almost the first day of June. I stretched the non-publishing time for so long, I’m practically annoyed how I couldn’t find any free hour to quickly post something. Well, I’m somebody who needs to think everything over, and then I just type.
Every season carries something admirable and worth experiencing, but the blooms of spring, they are like a fresh breath from another world: quiet and peaceful world where nothing makes us think of wars and storms, approaching troubles and old age. Blooms of spring and blooms of life, they are the mysterious messengers of the view behind the bend and life beyond the visible and perceptible world. Colors? Absolutely breathtaking, pure, clean, bright.
When we moved over to this old house, we didn’t even suspect how big is the parkland which surrounds it and how many old trees are growing here. I have wildflower fields on my own for the time I will spend at this place, and even quite a few wild strawberry patches. Moving isn’t the best part of life, but then again – every single day I’m discovering here something.
While park, plants, blooms and trees belong rather to a fairyland, life hasn’t been that easy. One task rushes the other, and the evening comes up with a total exhaustion. Getting fresh air isn’t bad and working in the garden or rather, digging soil daily to create a garden, assures I have lots of physical exercise. Too much at times. However, the seeds I not that long ago have put in the soil have started result in neat tiny seedlings and some have become almost teen plants.
I couldn’t help myself again, it’s that Latvian urge to always have a garden, always plant and harvest something. I was well aware how tough it will be to dig a forest practically. Yet, the visible results are very promising and encouraging. I have also many private classes this season, therefore it happens so that I’m too tired to write down a line. I am adding a few pictures, but most are left out because the post would become too huge. These are the blooms of my current life. Nothing extreme, but certainly endlessly beautiful.
I hope you are looking forward to a good summer. I know I am.
It’s not my regular posting time, but I know that I won’t have time during the day.
In my previous universe and subconscious mind related articles, I reviewed how seriously universe takes you. If you are not yet a responsible manager of your own life, you have to change things around so that you decide what happens to you, not anybody or anything else.
You have to become the one who creates the life you want to live by not allowing to be pushed around or told what not to do. Just floating with the stream also takes you nowhere or it takes you where the stream goes which might be a place where you do not want to be.
Difficult times should not stop us
This is fast-paced and complex time we live in. Pressure from social media, requirements from workplace, family necessities and the need to prove the society that you are a worthy and valuable person, obligation to compete and establish your presence can take one’s true identity swiftly away and dilute your personal goals and intentions.
Somebody told me how the life felt so immense and infinite to her in the age before the internet. There was definitely much larger personal space, there was much less need to show off or demonstrate one’s greatness. There was absolutely no need to invent your online personality just to be in line with everybody else and not to look bad.
Satisfaction with life
Loving ourselves is a huge part of a good and satisfactory life. There is also a tight association between satisfaction with life and loving yourself. We are the source of our own happiness, genuine pleasure and well-being. The only true harmony must also come from within us. It is pointless to look for it in diets or entertainment. In order to be satisfied with your life and the way things happen, you must start with loving yourself, honestly, truly and passionately.
Most people try really hard to be an excellent student, flawless employee, perfect wife and mother, as well as good child to their parents. They end up perfecting and developing their skills to exhaustion and try to do everything for their children, take care of older parents and become a superb wife or husband that always supports her spouse to achieve their life goals.
Put yourself first
The only social role which is quite frequently neglected is our own personality.
It is understandable how one wants to please everybody in order other people would say they are helpful, kind and good people to be around.
We have to put ourselves first actually. While pleasing others and taking care of everybody else’s needs, we do not live our own life. We start to depend on other peoples’ judgement and opinions. In that case, our well-being completely depends on what the others said, thought and how they viewed our actions or us.
What does it really mean to love yourself?
It first of all means to realize who you are. That means to become conscious of your own desires, goals and intentions. That means to be aware of your qualities and bad traits of character and still respect and love yourself for who you are and how you are. That also includes self-care and doing no harm to oneself.
Being selfish or loving yourself
There is a thin line between selfishness, extreme selfishness and loving oneself. We have to always focus on the golden middle. Your common sense should guide you and tell where a total selfishness starts and where you just say “no” to make your own life more pleasurable and satisfactory.
The less you love yourself, the more often you will come to conclusion that you must be fine with what you have and you are not entitled to strive for more. Quite frequently that also involves neglecting your talents, skills and abilities, because why to bother?
Our only life: here and now
In our current shape, we have only this one life. We do not know if, when and how we might live again. Therefore, we have to live consciously our own life without being a patch to others needs and goals. Gradually, we learn saying “no” to invitations, requests and demands. We guard our inner space and we do not allow anybody to deplete our energy. That means choosing between activities, deciding on entertainment and even more so on work tasks and different duties.
If you clearly know that you have to do a lot in order to genuinely love yourself which is not the same as publishing exciting stories about your success or selfies where you look the best on social media sites, you should at first identify the areas which require some change.
Most people will identify only physically visible things (too obese, too thin, too old, too many wrinkles, bad hair and so on), but we have to think about the mental part of us also. The satisfaction with life is born in our brain. Our brain and our head manage everything, and dissatisfaction with life causes neuroses, depression, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, tiredness, lethargy and mood swings which sooner or later manifest as physical damage to our physical body.
Loving yourself results in happiness
The happy people usually take good care about themselves. They normally love themselves also: with all they have physically and mentally. That does not mean only loving yourself when you are in a perfect shape, look great and life is kind to you. That means loving your wrinkles, your not-that-perfect body, loving you when you are sick and when crying, too. Your current body is all you have for this life, so love it! That also means loving yourself early in the morning and after a long workday. That means understanding why you feel the way you feel and figuring out how to change the annoying or upsetting matters.
Steps to self-care and loving yourself:
identify what you adore, love about yourself and are pleased with, don’t stop at only physical look, work, skills or relationships;
identify what areas need improvement and include all areas of life, as well as physical body, mental state and any conditions that bother you;
learn making decisions about what you need and what you absolutely do not, prioritize;
make a list of things you want to do, what you desire, what is necessary in order you (nobody else) would feel better, good and satisfied with your life;
implement and focus on purposeful actions: new hobby, new skills, attending courses, getting education, engaging in sports, spending time outdoors, doing physical exercise, changing eating habits, giving up bad habits, learning new things, creating garden, attending hairdressers or spa, massage, cosmetic or beauty treatments, changing home interior and so on.
The goal: pleasure and satisfaction with yourself and life
The goal is to experience pleasure and satisfaction with yourself (what you have achieved) and be happy with changes.
Thinking less of yourself causes numerous diseases and health problems, therefore: love yourself genuinely and honestly and from the bottom of your heart so that the soul can sing!
What people we attract, depends on how we are assuming and seeing life and everybody else. There is a positive purpose in any response from the universe. The universe is trying to please us and give us what we are asking for.
We do rarely look for answers within ourselves.
I mentioned in my previous posts that we have lost the ability to see, understand and interpret the warning signs and encouraging signs which our subconscious mind and the universe makes us aware of. We also do not try to access our subconscious mind which has the knowledge about us and about everything else.
We live with blaming circumstances, situations, other people and bad luck.
We sometimes blame parents and relatives.
We sometimes blame everything, but especially government, politics and politicians.
We blame doctors for our bad health.
We blame the century we live in.
We blame teachers for lack of kids’ success.
We blame other people who teach us for putting us in a bad situation.
In fact, we have to assume responsibility for what we do, what we say and what we think. It is us who made choices, even in situations when it feels we didn’t do anything wrong. It is difficult to understand what caused every situation, but it usually becomes clear after some time. That time might be shorter or longer, but the cause-and-effect chain will be visible from the distance.
Imagine you are watching a movie where somebody gets in all kinds of troubles. You hold your breath sometimes and beg: “Oh, no! Don’t do that!” or “Oh, my God! Don’t trust him!” If that were you, you would not act like that because you can see in a movie everything from the side and from a distant point. It is clear what everybody’s intention is, where it is going, and it is easy to understand where every action will take these people.
When it comes to our own life, we frequently tend to lose direction and purpose. We sometimes get lost completely, and we sometimes get off track, as well.
The truth is that nobody else is responsible for one’s lucky or unlucky life, but that person oneself. We only receive in our life what we believe in, what we believe we are and what we believe the world around us is. Neither the universe, nor God punishes anybody. When somebody feels guilty and blames him- or herself and carries the destructive feeling of guilt in themselves, the universe simply responds to that.
While most people want to change either themselves or their life, it is not that they always follow up on this desire. One can write thousands of positive affirmations, but if they go out and keep being angry, frustrated, envious and feel offended by everything, i. e., keep thinking the same old way, nothing will change. We have to start with changing ourselves instead of waiting for the world and other people to change.
Just try to recall how you say: “Thanks, God!” when good things happen. We simply have to learn recognizing opportunities for improvement, and the universe will respond to our good goals and honest attempts.
When bad things or situations happen, we frequently would say ”How unfair this life is!” In fact, something we did or did not, something we convinced ourselves about, and the way we acted and thought in the past, which might be a very distant past, eventually led to this situation.
When we keep repeating how unfair and bad life is, how terrible, mean and disgusting other people are, how poor, sick and unlucky we are, the universe can’t help, it has to respond to your desperate calls.
There are no coincidences.
We have to start with believing that everything we experience is a lesson. We are here to learn. When we do not get the lesson, the situation can turn bad.
When we say, we want to change; we have to start with ourselves. Waiting for somebody else to change is simply silly. I will repeat: we attract people who enter our life. It does not mean they are always great or good people. To change that, we most likely will have to change our opinion, our attitude towards other people and disposition towards the outside world. We will have to change the way we think about other people.
We are literally a reflection of our deepest belief and our thoughts. There are also hidden thoughts which we never show to others. It does not matter whether you put your opinion out or not: if it is deeply rooted in you, there will be a response.
Simple example. When a women complains that all her dates have been nasty and rude men who had no good intentions, means that either based on family experience or somebody else’s experience, she believes deeply in her heart that all men are nasty, rude, cheaters and liars. The universe will provide her with such a person.
Other situation. Somebody is at your door trying to offer you something, sell you something or get you in a shady deal. What’s your response? It is very often: “We don’t need anything’. Just pay attention how it looks and sounds: we don’t need anything. The universe listens and delivers.
There are people who will sometimes ask you to help out financially and then there are people who beg for money on the street. What is frequently the response? “I don’t have any money”. “Sorry, I cannot help you because I’ve got no money at all”. “We have no money at all”. Universe definitely listens to that and depending on how frequently you love to repeat that, sequences will set in. Wouldn’t it better to just say: ”No, I don’t think I should invest in this”; “I’m not interested in this purchase, in this deal, so on”. “We usually do not give any money to drunk or high people”, that way.
These are lessons. These are also opportunities for us to change the way we see and react to other people and our world.
We should learn from everything: good situations and bad situations. We should take into account reminders, signs and warnings. We should also pay attention to encouraging and go-ahead situations. Some things will always trigger the same bad response. Why not learn from that?
Being nice to other people is good and useful, even when it is “just in case” or “you never know”.
Being attentive and observant is even better.
All the bad situations mean that we have to change a lot: our attitude, our assumptions, maybe our intentions and we have to rely on and make our subconscious mind guide us. Bad situations show that we are doing something wrong. All good situations mean that we are on the right path. Both types of situations are normal and needed in order we would keep developing ourselves instead of stagnating.
Blaming leads to no results. Instead, we have to start looking for ways to improve what we have and ways to make our life more fulfilling.
We start with changing ourselves.
P. S. This post was written initially as a response to a comment.
Or did you have to work hard and go through lots of struggles instead?
I believe, everybody has seen these and similar ads: eat whatever you want, don’t even exercise, and lose weight. Just take our pill so that everything happens effortlessly.
Effortlessly is the keyword for everything. People, who want to make money using these empty promises, are quite successful.
Try our dating site and see how you find the right husband or wife right away, we do everything for you so that you just enjoy this person and are thankful for the rest of your life. To us.
Try our new outfit and see how effortlessly you get a new job because you make such a fantastic impression at the job interview.
Try our product and see how effortlessly you become the healthiest person ever, just one spoon a day, and you are like new and absolutely free of any digestive problems.
Use our cream and make your wrinkles and age spots disappear within one week. You will look just like her who’s undergone some 10 plastic surgeries and has daily beauty procedures in the most expensive clinic with the most expensive doctors.
Buy our book: positive thinking and positive attitude and see how your life improves within a few days. You are rich, healthy and happy. Problems disappear, and your mind is bright, focused, and sharp. Every day is a happy one, and nothing bad can happen to you. Effortlessly, just write down these sentences or repeat them in the morning and before you go to bed.
So, we could continue endlessly because all what one has to do is think positively and repeat affirmations and everything happens. They get the dream job, or even better, – don’t have to work at all. I saw on Facebook, one had to share a picture with piles of banknotes, and it said underneath: money flows to me effortlessly, and that was promised to become true. That sounds like a line from a criminal fairy tale. In reality, there is no such a thing as money flows to somebody effortlessly.
The next thing is usually health: repeat or write on a paper whatever times this positive affirmation and you will be surprised how no headache bothers you, you never get colds, heartburn, digestive disorders, anxiety, diabetes disappears, cancer resolves from itself and heart attack or stroke will never threaten you. It’s very simple: just be positive and pain will completely go away. Depression will turn into uplifting energy. Broken bones will heal and age related dementia is just a joke which may affect people who are not positive enough.
In the same simple way one can change the relationship, make bad marriage good just being positive about it, get hundreds of new admirers and therefore have no problem with choosing a spouse.
Here it finally is: somebody has discovered the secret of success in any area of our life. They know it, and you don’t. You definitely have to learn about that.
While there is a true connection between our thoughts, the way Universe acts and reacts to them, nothing happens effortlessly, but we cannot deny the factor of being at the right place in the right time.
That’s why positive thinking is attracting so many people. It is said it solves everything: from health problems to financial disasters and debts, from mental disorders to marriage solutions and personal improvement.
First of all, life is life, bad things happen to very nice and good people, too, and the biggest part of humans or almost everybody (whether they admit that or not) is unhappy or unsuccessful in some area of their life and time to time. Nobody can be absolutely happy every single moment, and anything we do can potentially have wrong or bad outcome, as well.
Secondly, when things go wrong or health gives us hard times, most people often look for causes in themselves and in their own actions, and after that they blame other people and life, government and their destiny. Bad diagnosis is mind-blowing and devastating, and we are ready to do everything to cure ourselves. That is how one initially feels: completely lost, desperate and helpless. Because we all instinctively hope that nothing bad can happen to us personally. When such book about positive thinking comes along or happens to be in our sight, that’s like something minor to buy it, possibly read it and possibly try to be positive when we are absolutely desperate, in pain and suffering. Maybe we should choose a better path to let the Universe know what we want.
The huge number of terminally sick, badly sick and suffering people proves that pure happiness approach does not really work. If it was so simple: why are there so many sick people who suffer from incurable or partially curable diseases? I am very sure many of them are aware of positive thinking and have tried it. We are actually overcoming our fear from the future not because we are positive we will survive, but because we have many protective mechanisms built in us and physical and mental strength to cope with such issues. That is called willpower and desire to live.
The huge number of homeless and jobless people also proves that there is no real connection between being positive and having everything one needs: safe home, well-paying job and enough of good, nutritious food. Everybody has positive attitude and positive expectations when they go to apply for a job, when they try to save money for a house. Yet, positive thinking won’t prevent us from global financial crisis which can destroy all savings and put us out on a street. How bad is that because we are positive, but people who have all the money might be not? Otherwise, they could just simply help us out. meaning, most people of this planet need help, especially financial because money solves numerous issues.
Although, millions of people have tried the positive attitude challenge and still do, that hasn’t had any impact on the decrease of diseases, that has had no impact on the global economy and that has had no effect on each and every family’s wellbeing.
Lots of people live or at least try to live believing that everything is fine and if they feel something is wrong, they blame themselves for not being positive enough.
Positive, negative and neutral thinking are simply distinctive ways of perceiving the reality, therefore, there is no reason to put emphasis on one of them. It is obvious that we must have a positive outlook when starting or doing something (otherwise: why to bother?), but this positivism has to be based on realistic evaluation of facts, and therefore, realistic optimism is much more valuable than plain positivism. We review our chances, we evaluate our goals and chances, and we realistically approach every problem.
Realistic approach also includes a healthy criticism. Well, that might seem to be too much down to earth, but I could list hundreds of examples when realistic optimism causes no disappointment, but overly positive expectations do, and that happens every time when there was absolutely no reason to hope for a good outcome.
Lots of people believe that they are entitled to everything, and to have this everything shouldn’t take them any efforts.
There is no scientifically proven correlation between positive thinking and perfect health, longer life, better income or better personal relationships. I could insert a long list of psychologists who proved how delusional positivism and obsession with seeing no downside in anything can have the adverse effect: from more severe depression and anxiety cases to people who got scammed out their life savings or got betrayed in other ways. I will not insert this list because I want to describe my personal observations and experiences. However, if you google “the negative effects of positive thinking”, very many articles listing psychological research will come up. That means, positive thinking does not constitute “a cause and effect” correlation because people who are already healthy, people who have no financial problems or are naturally inclined to explain everything from the trust and belief position (are born as a psychologically easy-going type) will definitely be more positive and maybe even less cautious than people who struggle with pain, are terminally ill, have broken marriage, don’t have a job, or home, have broken relationships, etc.
However, there is a strong scientifically proven correlation between willpower, personal integrity and perseverance and better health, better jobs resulting in better income and more successful relationships. Willpower is not the same as positive thinking. Willpower is neither positive, nor negative. It shows that the person has the strength to withstand whatever comes along and to stick to their plan. Willpower also allows implementing our intentions regardless of obstacles, and quite often that is all what matters.
Under the never-ending pressure to pretend and to show how positive and well we are, we do not want to admit any bad things anymore because that might be understood as a weakness, as a personal failure. We feel obligated to be positive and to show off our “everything is excellent” side. Nobody has cancelled troubles, diseases, disasters, failures, broken promises and broken hearts. That is life. The bad sides of our life have to be assessed and dealt with accordingly: black doesn’t become white if we think so. We have to paint it white and do this with internal strength from the position of our personal belief and willpower, without pretending, without lying to ourselves.
When somebody is seriously sick, they need a treatment. If one has tooth ache, they have to go to the dentist. When husband is cheating or beating up the wife, this wife has to divorce him. When small kid is rude, we have to react to it. When our house is dirty, we have to clean it: roll up the sleeves and get down to it which is not really exciting or entertaining.
Talking and thinking does not always help or do the job. We have to act instead of expecting a miracle. It is dangerous to expect we will have everything we feel entitled to without putting any efforts into it. That refers to absolutely any area of our life: being fit and good-looking, having a great relationship or long-lasting marriage, having financial stability, good job and improved global climate.
Neither this world, nor life is perfect. Humans have imperfections, too. It is good to strive for self-improvement, but this is not done only by thinking and attitude. The attitude should be realistically optimistic, but the main part is a positive action, or an action to implement all our positive intentions. It is not enough to think: I am beautiful, smart and healthy, while spending the entire time staring at phone or laptop screen on a coach and eating junk food. Is it?
In my experience, positive thinking gives results only if it is based on assessment of reality and it is followed by an action in the right direction. I am for realistic optimism.
Besides, one website offered free happiness training. Cool or what? Free. Free happiness for everybody. I told before, type in Dalai Lama’s quote about how man surprised him most because of not living neither in presence, nor future and dying as if he never lived, and this site will come up, but maybe don’t do that because Olga, a fellow blogger was embarrassed to receive messages every day, although, she didn’t sign up for anything on that site. This is just how terrible they are: you want a free happiness and they make you suffer for that.