Skip to content

Posts from the ‘happiness’ Category

How to get ahead with your life: encouraging and warning signs

Can you change events which happen in your life?

Yes, you can if you are observant and if you pay attention to directions and hints universe sends us and makes us aware of.

You could prevent a situation which potentially could cause you stress and trouble.

As I mentioned before, what happens with us and our life is the result of our belief, emotions and things we are confident with. That also includes everything we are strongly convinced about. We come from different internal states: from anger or joy, from hate or love, from grief or satisfaction, from envy or feeling-well. The dominant emotions and beliefs quit frequently will dictate your way of action.

The surrounding world reflects us

The surrounding world is our world which we have created together with other people, nature, other constituents of universe and God. The world in our direct vicinity reflects us, just as we are, what we think and what we believe in. This also refers to things we do not believe in, we do not assume as worthy or true and we do not think about.

Not knowing that something exists doesn’t make it non-existent. Therefore, if you are not aware of the importance your subconscious mind has, it doesn’t mean, the subconscious mind loses its role in decision making and preferences.

Universe wishes us well

The world, God and universe wish us well. The only person, who can punish us, is we ourselves. It’s not fate; it’s not God and definitely not the universal mind and the universe itself. Help is always within a reach. Whether we get it or refuse to take it, depends on us. That also depends on the part we have assigned to us: do we choose to be a victim of circumstances, bad luck and other people or do we choose to step in and start doing something to change the flow?

Signs we receive

We receive encouragement and warnings on a daily and even hourly basis. Do we pay attention to them? Do we even know what to pay attention to? It’s most likely we do not. When somebody is addicted to scrolling through numerous stories and pictures, they lose the understanding of what matters and what doesn’t. Rushing from one place to another and one task to another doesn’t allow taking distance from events. It becomes a flow of events and situations that can be so overwhelming that we lose ourselves in this flow. We basically get where we are taken, and that isn’t always the place we intended to be.

Encouraging signs

What are the signs that notify us about events in our life? There are many and all kinds of them. They could be categorized from very distant and approximate to very close and direct.

When somebody close to us or somebody at our workplace is doing well or getting promotion, we should be happy about it because that means good things are in the way for us also.

How do you react when your colleague gets promoted, but you do not yet? Is your pleasure genuine or you rather bite your teeth and hardly congratulate? Is there a shadow of envy in your eyes or are you proud about him or her? The reaction might change the flow of future events. Universe might get that you are not happy with that, and that means it is either not important for you or you do not want that.

When somebody around you is doing great, that means you are also on the right path, and being happy about their success will attract luck and good outcome for you also.

Destructive emotions

If you are envious and feel frustrated that your success did not happen, you just push it farther away. Grudge and envy, especially, if they are present frequently, destroy a person from inside. Internet facilitates feeling that we are not doing fine by putting in our face all the achievements the humanity has managed to accomplish while you just slept for the last 7 or 8 hours. We cannot go down that path. Our way is what we have chosen and we have to stick with our personal plan.

Warning signs

There are also numerous warning signs. They come in all shapes and through all kinds of means. Many people see dreams and these dreams sometimes are very bright and impossible to forget. Nightmares do not fit in this category because they are caused by some interactions in the brain of rather chemical or mental origin.

There are warnings delivered by situations and people we meet. Every person we have met has been placed there for a reason: to make us understand something, to make us change our mind and similarly.

Trusting our guts or subconscious mind

When we are facing some bad issues and terrible outcomes, it is often that we knew this is going to happen. We just silence the internal warning system or shut it off completely by alcohol, strong medications or drugs. It is so that you know clearly something is on its way, but you do not dare to believe that. We sometimes get a change to change the chain of these events, but sometimes it is too late.

Do we have to break the wall with our forehead?

No, we shouldn’t because there is a door not far away. We might not notice it yet, but sooner or later we will. If we have a problem, that means, we have to take some steps and change our behavior, the way we assume others and our tasks, or we might need a whole new strategy and approach. Things not happening right indicate that something is wrong not with us, but with our goals, intentions and the methods we have decided to use for pursuing them.

Do not miss warning signs

Post Scriptum

I had taken a longer break from blogging because I had to straighten out house after moving, plus, all art classes started and that is a big undertaking with sorting out hundreds of packs of materials and almost 1,700 of my own paintings, small and big. There was a need to re-arrange and find new desks and other furniture, set up classrooms and showing rooms, deal with garden and plants which have to come indoors and the daily chores. I hope I will be posting more regularly as the weather gets cooler and I will have more time.

 

Love yourself passionately: how and why

You are manager and boss of your life

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.

Who or what runs your life

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.

Problematic matters

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!

Next time more.

Midsummer, Latvian style

Latvia celebrates Midsummer or in Latvian “Līgo”. It is a difficult to translate word because it is way more than “sway” or something like that.

It is an ancient tradition, with traditional foods, traditional beer as drink and wreath. Men wear oak leaf wreath, especially these ones whose name is “Jānis”. We could refer to this name as John probably in English. Women, girls and older ladies wear a flower wreath. Options are endless, but there is definitely an attempt noticeable to compete for the most beautiful wreath. The wreath is supposed to also make the lady who wears it looking great, attractive and beautiful. Midsummer night calls for making love and finding your match. The ferns are said to blossom with golden blooms at midnight tonight, and whoever finds that bloom, has found a never ending love. So, it’s said, couples go bloom chasing in the middle of night and pretty much in the forest. Where else are you going to find a ferns blossoming?

My options in Canada are way fewer.

I used to make my own caraway seed cheese and hoped it would be like the Latvian. Cabnadian milk is not real milk, so it was tough, but taste was quite fine.

This year and today, I am moving. We have been moving things for quite a while, but we hope to finalize the move today.

Midsummer

Not much celebration today, but it will be nice afterwards.

I won’t also have internet until it gets re-connected at the new place. I will catch up with everything some time next week.

Midsummer

Have a great summer!

Who and what runs your life: the matter of responsibility

Who or what really runs your life?

Is it parents, children or spouse?

Is it disease or health problems?

Could it be an addiction or dependence?

Maybe, it is your phone and social media site that keeps you in a tight grip?

Reasons for being not in charge of our own life can be many and various.

We usually think that we are in control of our own life.

We should be.

However, when we look at problems that majority of people share, ask about and try to fix, we can clearly see that this is not the case.

We frequently see ourselves as a victim of circumstances or fate, as a sufferer, a guilty or offended person who has a reason to believe that life and world treat them unfairly.

We frequently start identifying ourselves with the disease or health condition that takes over every single day of our life and our plans, goals and start to depend on that.

We sometimes cannot break free from a controlling parent, and very often that is a controlling mother. There are parents who believe children belong to them as a property and, therefore, are for ever obligated to return the good things parents have done while kids were growing up.

There are extremely many distorted spousal relationships that cause not only mental and physical suffering, but make one’s life unlivable.

Internet is addictive, so are devices which enable using the internet. When somebody claims they have no time for anything, do you really believe that with all household help we get nowadays, with everything getting faster and speedier, chores and duties take much longer than they used to?

Big part of our valuable time is wasted. Thanks to addiction to internet.

Abuse can be hidden, as well, and it can take long time to identify it, however, identifying abuse is much easier than resisting a person who manipulates with you by being kind and nice, but always making you feel guilty about something. You have forgotten to do something, you have not visited them, you have not responded as they expected. That goes on and on.

Every time when somebody points finger at you saying that you are the reason their life is not happy, not fulfilling, not rewarding, that you cause them problems and so on, you must not believe that.

This is, in fact, a matter of responsibility. They want to put the responsibility of their issues on you.

Once you become responsible for what you do, say and how you act, there is nobody to blame. You did what you did and you made that choice even if it seems there weren’t any choices. Blaming life, other people, diseases, health, relatives, friends, enemies, government or money issues is shifting the responsibility to them.

Since day one of your conscious life whether you realize that or not you are the only one responsible for what your life was, is and will be.

That means running your own life and not depending on counselling, doctors, diseases, parents, kids or spouses in a responsible way.

A person who feels like a victim will always blame something or somebody.

The first step towards a better life and resolution of problems is to stop being a victim or feel like one.

It also means to stop identifying oneself with their disease and problem.

Nobody is a disease or a problem.

The second step is taking responsibility in a very serious way.

It is a very important step. It is much easier to rely on somebody else’s advice and later blame them that you failed because the advice was wrong. It is much easier to always complain that the reason your life is miserable is because the root of all evil is somewhere outside you and you cannot do anything about it.

Taking responsibility means becoming aware of you. It means, finally starting to accept you as you are and being fine and satisfied with that.

It is much more difficult to admit: I am the one who got me in this situation. I am the one who made possible this chain of events. I am the one who experiences the sequences of all millions of decisions I made or did not make. I am the one who made these things happen or allowed something or somebody to destroy me. I am the one who made the disease the most important part of my life. I am the reason people behave towards me as they do. I am the cause of all good and bad things in my life.

This is because everything is in us: our past, our today and our future.

Take responsibility

The subconscious mind of every person holds the key and answers to anything we face. Subconsciously, we not only know everything about us, but also other people. We have just lost the key to our subconscious mind and it takes a severe emotional, mental or physical experience to be shaken so deeply that we gain access to this universally engaged subconscious mind.

Why counselling services are so popular nowadays?

It is clear that practically every single person has some kind of problem. Life is not a smooth ride over blossoming fields in a clear sunny day.

If we believe that the answer is somewhere, but unavailable to us, we eagerly turn to counselling and we start taking advice since it is much easier than to take responsibility.

The next step will be taking control of your own life if you already haven’t.

Take responsibility

Next time more, it is a long story. It is an ancient story which many of us can recall in our subconscious mind.

The family album

I got this album in 1959. An inscription on the first page says that this album was given to me on May 18, on my Angel’s day when I was 1 year old. What a great gift! 60 years have passed, this photo album has been traveling with me, and my mom had preserved and saved it for me while I was away or couldn’t take it with me.

People who are old enough remember how we couldn’t snap a picture as many times a day as we wish.

Photo taking was a big even back then in Latvia. One had to prepare, get dressed and have an appointment made. When one got to the photo studio, there were lights turned on, arrangements made and quite a few pictures taken to get the best result. Photo film was developed and later we got real pictures on a photo paper. Judging by quality, I must say some of these photo papers were excellent.

This year on Mother’s Day, I’m not celebrating, but looking through old pictures and thinking back in time when I was just a small kid in the world which I genuinely and passionately had come to love.

My family album

We lived outside a small town in Latvia, which was Latvian Socialist Republic in 1961. I was 3 years old. I look at this picture and I absolutely do not regret that there are not many hundreds of pictures, but just one. That makes it a treasure. That makes it very special.

I can clearly visualize all blossoming trees and fields and the old building where we used to live back then. In my memories, I never see my mom and dad that young. I always see them having fun with daily chores and endless duties because we used to treat work as something we value and love, not as a burden. I sit there in the middle. I can recall the dress I am wearing, the stripes were pink and there were kind of illustrations and they also had bright blue and light green. Mom’s dress was sea green-blue. I do not recall the color of dad’s suit. Well, it was 58 years ago. My mom used to wear a lot blue and blue-green outfits which she had sewn herself because her eyes were strong blue color and it went so well with her light hair.

I enlarged this picture after I scanned it (I should have scanned more of these old pictures) and I realized that I have never seen my dad this young. I would imagine mom was very worried before the photo session because she always cared a lot about all small issues and things. I think she was a perfectionist, just as I have been for the most part of my life.

Mom and dad were married for 48 years. Such a short time before the 50-th anniversary! I think my mom was never the same very energetic and tireless, always busy with something person after dad passed away in 2005. No, I cannot imagine how hard that struck her. I think also when somebody has spent practically an entire life with some other person; it is almost as losing a crucially important part of oneself.

I with my mom and dad in 1961

I do not smile, but I look like my daughter in later photos. I love my very smart eyes and very thoughtful look in pictures. People have always asked me to smile when taking pictures, but I am trying to have a kind face with no silly smile on it. That’s how I like it. It’s way better than weird smiles.

I had a very saturated, mentally and physically balanced and good childhood. I spent it all out there, surrounded by nature, flowers, trees, fields, forests, pets and animals. I think I never left that place in my thoughts, in my mind or in my memories. I keep it alive in my paintings.

It was a great life without internet, TV and without internet. I believe, we had some ancient radio. We ate only food we had grown in our own orchard, vegetable and grain fields and vegetable garden. We kept a few cows, and some other creatures. I loved chickens most. Nobody ever told me when we had chicken soup made from chicken which was walking around the yard recently. I wouldn’t have eaten it; that is for sure. We also rarely had any sweets, except jams we made and some home-made pastries or home-made desserts. However, working as much as my parents had to, that was rare and mostly on some special events. I do not recall any birthday parties or similar things. It must be that they were unimportant to me.

I spent most days outdoors. I helped whatever I could, that included gathering flower heads, leaves and roots for herbal tea, and I was weeding long rows of potatoes, sugar beet and other vegetable rows. When I was 5, I was weaving baskets, too.

I never stopped adoring everything that grows, but I also tried to draw multidimensional drawing. I tried to show that table has 4 legs, and that was kind of difficult to reflect in my drawing. I never drew profile or animated things. I tried from the first drawings to implement dimensions, perspective and values, even though, I had no idea how to do that.

We did not have medicine cabinet and any pharmaceutical products. Our medical supplies were all home-made and collected and picked up outdoors or grown in the garden. I do not recall going to the doctor when I was a kid. I don’t think we even had any pharmacy there, maybe in the central part of the town there was one. I never had or knew about allergies and many issues which are so common nowadays.

I developed my own value system very early on. Honesty, respect and trust were extremely important constituents of it. It is still the same, although, it is 58 years after this picture was taken. As I go through more pictures, I might share a few other memories about life in Soviet Latvia more than half a century ago.

Well, I was happy where I was and things like anxiety, fear, depression, feeling of loneliness or being misunderstood, bullied or attacked never crossed my mind. It was a life absolutely perfect in its balance. There was no internet or even phone. That may have been the best part of it all because it is so much nicer to talk to people in person when they visit your place. It was definitely childhood with a capital “C”.

My old family album

That is what I found today in the album I have had for 60 years.

Seasons of life and the forgotten knowledge we all have

If we want to feel like a magician and creator of our life we have to understand how everything is connected in the Universe. Time has a very relative meaning in different space locations or in different situations of life.

Age and aging is a relative thing, too: it literally depends on our attitude towards ourselves, the amount of love we give ourselves, the degree of devotion to life and living because not everybody is even interested in living or being alive: why would they do numerous destructive things to themselves if that is not the case?

Aging is a natural thing, and we can witness the seasonal cycle of life in nature every year. Aging scares many people, but we cannot escape it, therefore, we must find things that keep us young longer: physically, mentally and emotionally.

Just like anything in our life, our aging process reflects our values, personal attitude, fear towards aging or lack of it, or excessive obsession with measures that make one look younger. Outside does not always reflect inside. We can look splendid on the outside, be well dressed, well-behaved, but the inside tells a different story.

Fear, insecurity, feeling sorry or regretful, as well as having feelings, such as envy, grudge, inability to forgive, inability to let things go, inability to adapt to the current situation and habit of residing in the past when one was young, good-looking and full of energy, eats up some people from the inside.

Every person experiences seasons in their life, however, every person in particular can experience mostly spring, summer, fall and winter or have them in a mixed order: some children are very mature, and some adults never grow up.

My life has had a long spring, stormy fall and extra early winter which turns into summer when I am past 50, and this summer never ends. Amazing, right? To have my knowledge, insight and skills I have spent big part of my life studying, learning, researching and exploring, I do it every single day.

Childhood is innocence and curiosity. Youth has spark and flame that needs to be turned into useful energy. As much as I love spring, I also love the mature beauty of summer and the wisdom of women who have seen it all: the calm wisdom of an orchard which gives us fruits; the deep calm under the transparent September sky.

I can survive winter; I just do not want to stay in it for too long. We are all equipped with abilities which allow adjusting to many conditions, whether internal, or external.

Therefore, we not only create our destiny and life, but we should be actively managing it. Playing with it? Maybe even playing with it.

The less obsessed we are with not getting old and older, the better we’ll be aging. Fear alone is such a strong destructive force. We attract things that take over our mind and subconsciousness.

Whatever we worry about and do not want to happen, definitely will in case we cannot stop thinking about that. It is very difficult to abstract our controllable mind from worries and fears, but we can let the subconsciousness help. Will it? Yes, it will as soon as we will start thinking about things that we enjoy and which bring us closer to a good outcome and away from troubles.

Do you have any idea how many people convince them that they are sick? The illnesses can range from mental to physical and also include physical conditions when no doctor finds anything, but the person just isn’t well. If it did not depend of our deeply hidden mind to a great extent, there weren’t any placebo effect. However, there is a very well observed placebo effect frequently and in many situations, and it can be so powerful that people sometimes speak about miracles.

Theoretically, we know everything. We have the understanding of many things even if we never knew they existed. It is because this knowledge is hidden so deep that our normal state of mind always dominates, and we are trying to trust only decisions we have made consciously, not the ones which we see in a dream or perceive as vague notions.

I believe that having no doubts in ourselves and courageously doing our best is already an achievement. If you had to define yourself only by the amount of self-care and self-love, where would you stand?

I have discovered summer inside my deep hidden mind. It is there, and it takes nothing much to be in it.

It is new path I am taking, and it is quite controversial to everything I have been taught before, but, nevertheless, it feels promising and it already has results.

 

There is no good way to move easy, and bye-bye Whitby!

The only good way is if you have enough courage, money and opportunity to trust the packing and moving somebody else. I am such a person who cannot trust sorting out my art and belongings to another somebody and especially to pack it.

We did that before: only one time the moving was acceptable, but all other times it was a disaster. I could find nothing for many months; the packing was done without any common sense and logical approach. It was simply bad, and it cost a lot.

I decided to pack everything mostly by myself, and so I did. It took me 3 weeks so far, and, unfortunately I am not completely done.

The limiting issue is pain, and when it gets too bad, I have to stop. I have to also stop every time when blood glucose gets low, and it takes a while to be back on track again.

I have been doing this quite slowly and meticulously, however, when I pack things, there is absolutely no problem finding and locating anything.

Well, the move is tomorrow, I am really tired of seeing boxes all over, as well as mess. That is mentally painful!

I will be very much relieved once we are finally out of here. We will have helpers tomorrow, and I am a bit worried about the weather, but it is what it is.

moving house

I have not disappeared from WordPress, I was just totally tied up with packing endless things, paintings are close 1500, all prepared canvasses, papers, drawings, sketches, templates and so on make another pile, not to mention all paints, extremely many brushes, pencils and pastels. I have abnormal amounts of clothes because I am also a fashion designer and I have been sewing since age of 12. Therefore, I have lots of fabrics, lots of books, lots of shoes, many purses, lots of smaller things and my husband has music room with numerous speakers, instruments and other musical and recording stuff.

It could not be easy, and it is not.

moving house

I was not happy in Whitby, Ontario. I arrived with huge hopes and great expectations, and nothing came true. It is a snobbish and ignorant place. Most people who walk or drive by every single day have never been here, not even once within 8 years. They most likely though what possibly could such a gallery offer? I had so many free events, but not much interest from the local community. Well, my immobility might be to blame, too, but that does not justify the cold and ignorance. I don’t really care now; I know that I will be better off in some more human and more engaging neighbourhood. I believe South Ajax will be fine. It is a great location, and I will have a garden.

 

I am taking off to Latvia next week, so, I most likely won’t be blogging much until I am back in Canada, in the middle of September.

moving studio

However, in the light of so much stress and work still ahead, I would love to wish everybody good time until the fall sets in and drop me a line!

Flow of time: where does it take us?

I arrived to Canada in 2004. I did not know what to expect, but I was very impressed by greatness of many things, and everything felt to me huge. I mean everything. Latvia where I came from is a small country, and, therefore, the endless wide roads, the high-rise buildings, the downtown Toronto with its busy streets and, especially, the size of any province was so different from what I was used to.

Well, time flew absurdly fast then, and I got married in October 30th of the same year. It’s very amazing that it is my daughter’s birthday on this day, too, which I hadn’t even realized when we made all arrangements. We stayed in Niagara Falls in a newlywed suite which had number 3010 on the door. Something else, or what?

Well, we got married in The Small Wedding Chapel in Niagara Falls. My family was in Latvia, so, my fiancé decided not to invite his family also, just to be fair to each other. Very tactful, I’d say. Therefore we headed out to Niagara Falls the day before wedding. The weather was mild and sunny during the day, although, it was the end of October. These pictures were taken by the numerous by-passers who all kept congratulating us, so, it felt wonderful actually.

I cannot believe it’s been 13 years. The flow of time is very different from what it was back then. The best part is that my daughter is 38 today and we celebrate the 13th wedding anniversary. So much fun together (over the internet because she is in Latvia).

Everything worked out quite well. My husband has proved himself to be the best, most loving and most honest person ever and he is still the same excellent man who I met back then. He has had a lot of patience and understanding in the situations when my health really gave up. When we are saying “…in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part” at the wedding, we rarely can be aware of what is ahead in reality. It has not been all that smooth, but, thankfully, we are managing everything.

We got married in Niagara Falls

Signing …

Happy me, well, we tried to take each others pictures first, and then the by-passers helped

This is us 13 years ago

While we are still very young we believe that nothing really changes as we get older, except it is a larger number. We assume we will have the same ideas and the same attitude, and the same capability when executing different things. That is so wrong! I just now have started to understand how my parents felt at older age, and I am very lucky to have my daughter as my best friend because my top energy levels matched time of her being young and very energetic and passionate.

We are a lot smarter. Life teaches us if we are willing to pay attention and to learn the lesson. We find out that some ideas were simply silly and that the world isn’t there to please us and make miraculously our wishes come true without any effort. We have learnt that lots of things require fighting for them and that path can take a lot of turns, too. It’s never as if going from point A to point B. There are always obstacles and problems, and all kinds of disturbances.

The most important things for a family are love, trust and respect. If any of these are missing, marriage is going to have cracks. The most important thing for an individual is the mental and physical health. While I have a lot of brain power, excellent memory and very strong willpower, the physical side is somewhat suffering. Well, I hope the future is friendly and has some better things for me and us.

Being an older white, legal immigrant in Canada is not quite the same as being a refugee. Refugees are treated very well here and receive extreme support. I haven’t received any smallest or tiniest support whatsoever. My only support has come from my husband so far, and I am happy and grateful for that. Other than that, my expectations did not come true: I wasn’t met too friendly wherever I turned to in Canada, and I haven’t made too many friends locally, as well. Realistically, I was already 46 when I relocated to Canada; so, it’s not the same as when one is 16 or even 26. I have turned from a very social person (I worked at publishing houses, high schools and colleges in Latvia, it was work with and among people) to a very isolated person. My lack of health has contributed to that also, a lot actually, but still, I did not expect such ignorance from the local community and people. It has been as if approaching some unbreakable brick wall: there is very little interest about what I do and offer. I suppose one has way better chances if they have classmates, schoolmates, University time friends, childhood friends and obviously relatives in the country they work and live.

Well, I have only my husband.

Cheers to our 13 wonderful years together! I want to thank my husband and God for this great time and I certainly believe that the best times are still ahead of us.

P. S. I have to apologize to fellow bloggers for their kind and numerous comments and likes to previous posts, as well, as thank you to all who keep following my art site https://inesepogagallery.com/ I will approve everything and I will return all likes as soon as get a bit better and all my stuff is sorted out. That won’t be today because it is our wedding anniversary. Thanks to everybody!

Looking for wild things in the wild

Before I fly home, I definitely had to make some mushroom picking trips.

It’s something I miss a lot in Canada and which is plenty in Latvia.

It’s a land which has maintained its ecological integrity. Forests are quite wild and frequently not that much walked or travelled, although, large number of people would enjoy them, pick wild berries and mushrooms there. These natural forests are extra clean compared to highly developed countries.

It might sound like a walk in the park, but it actually isn’t. It’s not that easy to get over the fallen tree trunks and branches, bushes, thick young firs, aspens, birches and bushes. There is no path usually and one goes led by intuition or guess since wild mushrooms do not grow everywhere, but they are friendly neighbors of some particular tree and moss combination, as well as they like some grasses and dislike or never grow near others. King boletes love outskirts of the forest and can be also found near old roads. The orange-capped boletes grow rather in long grasses, but every forest is different and one has to figure out where they might be hiding.

It is a sporting activity that carries a lot of excitement, hence, finding a bunch of king boletes makes one happy and also proud.

The rainfalls and pretty warm weather this September definitely helped mushrooms grow fast and almost in every forest.

I regret I do not know such places in Ontario, but one should most likely drive for many hours in order to find a clean place where wild mushrooms love growing. It was just slightly out-of-town in Latvia, but we made lots of stops. Every ditch that separates road from the forest was full of water, and getting in the forest was a challenge.

I personally enjoy to a huge extent picking mushrooms, I like eating them, as well, but still: nothing compares to overcoming all obstacles and getting a full basket of nice and valuable mushrooms. King boletes belong to the most nutritious wild mushrooms and they are pride of everybody who takes a walk in the forest. It is believed they help conquering even cancer, not to mention that their protein content can exceed the amount of proteins in meat. Dried king boletes contain more protein than meat.

It is a wonderful food and can be prepared in very many ways: Latvians make mushroom sauces, soups of mushrooms; we dehydrate and dry them and use afterwards either as powder or spice; dried mushrooms can be added to broth, soup and any other dish. We pickle them and prepare delicious salads. Wild mushrooms can be prepared with salt for winter and then eaten any way one likes. They go into pies, and it is not only a snack, but a very delicious main course on many Latvian dinner tables.

Enjoy the pictures! Well, some picture-taking was very tricky since I had the basket on one arm, it was heavy, not less than 4 kg, I balanced myself on some small dry patch and here and there it was almost impossible to place the phone so that it would take a picture.

Golden chanterelle

The poisonous beauties: fly agarics or fly amanitas

The bright red poisonous mushrooms frequently signal that king boletes are not far

Small king bolete getting out of moss after rain

To get the close-up, I pushed moss down, a bit  larger king bolete

Orange cap aspen boletes, so lovely!

This family of orange cap aspen boletes was hiding in long grasses

Full basket of orange cap and king boletes

Absolutely delicious and extraordinary beautiful

They were so firm and so fresh

I took like 100 pictures, I couldn’t resist because I rarely have such an opportunity

I will catch up with my blog friends once I am back home. My trip will take some time and, unfortunately, there is large time zone difference, and that will require adjustment from my side.

 

Think pink: how to return to life after a long treatment

A few suggestions which work for me

If you just took the last pill, are still struggling with the treatment medications, are just getting in or out of a long treatment, I know where you are coming from.

The treatment of my current health issues lasted for 1349 days so far. It hasn’t ended yet, but I am getting back to life and back to normal everything. 1349 is just a number. It is just a number that has resulted from many months, weeks, days, hours and minutes spent trying to feel better. Did you know that every minute in pain lasts longer than an hour doing pleasant things?

I have tried everything. I am not saying that my personal experience is going to work for everybody, but some parts might.

The inevitable side effects

Many people go through very long treatments and use medications that also destroy them along with a cure. Side effects manifest on our body and on our mind in many very different ways. The cure of bad issues and severe conditions always comes with undesirable effects. Always, that is the nature of chemicals which can be extremely harsh at times.

I just downloaded some beautiful pictures of flowers and could not resist sharing them. I attached them below text.

Looking at, thinking of and seeing beauty in nature helps me relax and makes me forget pain and bad feelings. Does the beauty have the same effect on you?

If it does, you should put yourself together as much as you can and get out there and look at flowers, trees, listen to bird songs and watch wild animals like squirrels or rabbits, chipmunks or similar creatures. Watching undisturbed flow of a very simple life supports the weak, recovering body and certainly gives more strength.

The first suggestion is: do not put pressure on yourself. Just don’t do that. Treatments are always accompanied by strict schedules, doctor’s appointments, nurse visits, meal times and sleep hours. Everything is scheduled. When we start feeling better and when it seems we are strong enough to do absolutely anything and embrace the globe, we should take things easy. Especially at this moment. We should move step by step, not rushing, not exhausting ourselves even more.

With recovery and as the undesirable effects wear off, we are experiencing unusual additional energy. Small bit of willingness to open our eyes. A desire to breathe very deeply. An intention to walk without concerns about getting dizzy and shaky. Wow! That is success!

That is the hugest success we can only imagine. We never think it is such a pleasure to simply walk without pain. Well, it is. I know how it feels to suddenly wake up after long months of being in a subdued mood, blundering around half-asleep, having no willpower to even want something. Recovery after a long treatment is similar to being reborn.

Colors regain brightness. Sounds become clear. Light is blinding. Sun is so intense. Yes, we probably have to wear sunglasses.

The other suggestion is as follows. Many medications require specific approach: staying out of sunlight, not consuming some particular foods or drinks and so on. We cannot forget about these warnings after the last dose of medication because its activity may continue way beyond this point. Being cautious is a good habit when starting or discontinuing medications. Alcohol does not work with any medication: it either inhibits the positive side or enhances it. I believe staying away from alcoholic drinks is a basic when recovering or while using meds.

The most often observed side effect must be nausea and feeling sick. It is unfortunately that our body wants to alert us, and we know we are wrong and the body is right, but we have to continue with meds. I had extreme episodes of nausea. To the point when I could not even think clearly. Nausea did not allow sleeping or resting either. I somehow found aloe vera juice. The stuff that worked for me was with pomegranate flavour. I am extremely sensitive to any substance, and regular anti-nausea pills never did what they were expected to, but with aloe vera juice I achieved a state when I was feeling practically normal. I took it after quite a lot of water on empty stomach and then as prescribed: 4 full large spoons.

The third suggestion is moderation. Moderation in everything. No extreme foods or entertainments, no extreme physical loads or exercises. Living around the neutral zero isn’t that bad at all. Overdoing with physical exercises can through you back, so can eating out too much or having too many drinks.

It’s a heavy work for the body to return to normal daily routine without strong pills, injections, i/v pumps or i/v lines. While it is such a relief to get off meds, there is an in-between period. It is better to get back to life slowly than destroy everything that was achieved through so much suffering.

Meanwhile, the last suggestion is think pink! Soft and dreamy colors in the environment work their magic. Pictures drawings and paintings of beautiful things in calm colors do the same: relax the tension, make our mind happy and that’s when we are really back on track.

Think pink: create happiness

Think pink: troubles go away

Think pink: send and receive love

Think pink: beauty has so many faces

Think pink: recovery is just a step away

Think pink: no other color speaks so loudly about feeling good

Think pink: this is how we win

Think pink: it is a good color to make face and soul look fresh

%d bloggers like this: