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Posts from the ‘happiness’ Category

Share the joy! Help the miracle happen!

English proverb says: charity never made poorstealing never made rich, and wealth never made wise.

I can only agree with this proverb.

However, we rarely see this implemented in the real life.

The question is: why not?

It’s because thanks to technical advancement, human brain gets used less and less, and we are seeing lots of out-of-focus, forgetful, inattentive and not that sharp brain responses nowadays. Where is humanity going? Towards the artificial intelligence replacing the normal one?

It’s also because poor people donate something to other poor people while extremely rich make their donations to large charities which quite often sponsor their personal businesses.

It’s also because there are so many advantage takers, so many middle men who steal everything from the person who works, creates and does.

It’s because greed dictates to overlook anything not profitable, therefore, it’s ok to poison people with harmful chemical food and drinks as long as they bring in huge profits. Doing so for 50 years has caused epidemics of cancers, obesity, diabetes, heart and vascular diseases and all kinds of gastrointestinal and brain and cognitive function related disorders. I haven’t heard or seen anybody seriously pointing towards the huge internationally operated processed food or drink manufacturers that they sell poison and present harmful chemicals as good and healthy food. Well, there are a few people who write enlightening articles which soon disappear in the sea of distorted reality.

It’s ok to cheat, lie and spread out rumours, hence, that’s a very popular thing. Who cares about truth? In fact, we are noticing, how many cannot accept and take any truth. Not at all. The truth has to be decorated, sweetened and embellished in order it would become digestible for the most part of population. Just try saying something not flattering to somebody. Just try, you won’t be waiting too long for nasty responses. So, where is the respect to other points of view, to other opinions?

Great example is CNN: it’s hard not to notice how hard they try sticking to unproven facts, how many efforts they put in propaganda and popularization of assumptions. The news they call news are not really anything based on facts, but they always go like this: he thinks, we assume, she believes, etc. The views they express and represent are very one-sided and very biased. I personally have lost respect for many of them; maybe the most neutral is Anderson Cooper who doesn’t openly look like he’s going to personally attack everybody who disagrees with his point of view.

I am working extremely hard on implementation of the new perception: perception that does not idolize somebody because of their wealth or status, the perception that facilitates creation, creativity, independent way of thinking and being. Results? Quite poor so far because the toughest thing ever is trying to break some strong, old, dogmatic, widely supported, unfair and misguiding principles that dictate to respect the trends, trending people and trending habits, but have nothing to do with genuine and honest evaluation of human potential and human achievements.

100% commercialized Christmas also falls in the category of misleading naive and believing people who really think that it is true if it says: everybody is buying, eating, preparing, looking for and watching one thing, but not the other one. When I hear “everybody” I want to ask: who is everybody? 1 in every 10 or 100 people? 5 in every 1000 people on whom there are statistics?

Putting it simple: everybody is nobody.

Christmas gifts

Are you overdoing with gifts because otherwise somebody might think something bad about you? Or otherwise kids would respect you less since that girl received talking laptop and the other guy has a robot for Christmas? Or car? Or necklace worth a large house?

The truth is that giving gifts and giving to less fortunate people at Christmas was never supposed to be a competition, however, in the world led by greed, competition is the only way most people would understand.

What happened to the natural warmth of the heart, to cards that kids draw and paint themselves, to decorations all family make and put up on the tree together? What happened to simple, home-baked goods and treats that even kids can help with? What happened to nice, inexpensive gifts which were always supposed to show the good will and love of the gift giver, not their wealth and amount of available dollars? What happened to Christmas that was for everybody: for lonely, for not that well-off, for those who have disabilities, for every child, for every mom and dad, for every parent, for those without a family? Where are the events that invite all of us to come together and share the joy without the need to invest in large gifts and attractions? It’s good at least walking and watching fantastic store window decorations is for free. It’s nice that poor people donate gifts for other poor people because they understand that every single heart is expecting a Christmas miracle to happen. Will this wish come true? I hope it will.

Share the joy! Help the miracle happen!

Christmas gifts

The soothing Sunday thoughts: castles of sand

castlesofsand-1

I know they won’t be able to withstand the big waves and the stormy winds. I keep building them regardless. Lots and lots of marvelously shaped wonders made out of zillion sand crystals. Castles of pure sand.

I know very clearly, and it is so obvious that such buildings are for a moment and they won’t last. They never do. Why to bother? Why to put in so much time in something evanescent that only passes away in the moment it is created and is unable to survive? Did I think this would be an exception? Did I believe that our dreams can magically turn sand into gold? Steel? Glass? Concrete? Wood? I must have been really silly believing in the magic of imagination. I must have lost the thin line between daydreaming and reality.

I build them all day. Long rows of beautiful and tall sand castles. I get up in the morning; pack up my pain and depression so they can enviously stare at my creations. When the weather is smooth like a silk scarf and the sun just sends down the first beams to explore the coastline, I am ready to get to my never-ending work: I am focused, determined and extremely self-conscious. I don’t need any plans, I don’t care about schedules. I always hope this day is going to be better than the previous one. In fact, it never is. My castles are fine. Materials and place are wrong. If it only was some other place. If I only had something stronger for my castles. So the night sets in, waves rise and they level down my creations. When I look at the same place next morning, all I can see is an empty sandy coast. No sign of anything from the day before.

Well, it has come to the point when I have to make a decision. I have two bad choices to consider. Doing nothing is not a good choice and doing something might worsen the current situation. It is as if I am standing at the crossroads and neither one of four roads promises to end in a good destination. Or do they? There might be something hidden behind the hills, there might be a good news waiting. Meanwhile, the days have been quiet and fairly empty. Foggy, meaningless and painful. The only thing to hold on has been castles built of sand. Fragile, unsafe and only for a short moment standing. They cannot become a shelter. They cannot save anybody from the storm. Why to bother? Why?

I would say there is always still hope even with a hopeless intention and an impossible purpose.

castles-of-sand-2

The soothing Sunday thoughts: This warm August night

August garden 1

I would love to take this warm August night

that stretches like a soft fog over the garden

and preserve it as a green fragrant scarf

for the cold winter nights.

I would love to take this warm August night

when everything is still so good and we all are alive,

I would weave my dreamy thoughts like threads into this scarf

for all these days when nothing is in the color of sun,

for days when I am lost and floating in an unfriendly universe,

for days that happen to show up from nowhere

when something persistently nags my subconscious mind:

our life has so many broken dreams and forgotten promises.

I would love to take this warm August night

and fold it neatly as a green fragrant scarf

and put it away,

put it away so far that I hardly can find it,

so far that when I find it I can recall this warm August night

and believe our bad days disappear with the fading darkness of night

and this scarf feels again like a warm fog around my shoulders

to prevent from death and frost.

August night

The soothing Sunday thoughts: I refuse to go with the flow

To sit in the backyard and watch everything growing,

To see how blooms come up and how tomatoes get red.

Do you have time for that?

I refuse to be caught up in the trap of the endless rushing.

I simply refuse to burn out myself chasing a mystery.

Must haves and must dos, must sees and must becomes:

It’s a lost competition for me.

Growing 4

I have to be part of the growing:

To watch children growing,

To see the garden growing,

To witness myself growing old and then older.

And growing becomes a part of me.

Growing 2

The greens of the backyard: are they ever soothing!

Plants have no growing concerns and no fear from their fate.

The greens: such a miraculous, endlessly calming quietness!

This must be the secret of growing:

At our own pace, at our own terms.

At the end, we all become ancient cities:

Lost somewhere deep under happily growing greens.

Somebody will be watching this growing.

Who knows whether they realize

How many hidden treasures are underneath?

Growing 3

Scars from the past and fears of the future

Some people are definitely more intact than others, and I am referring to people who have experienced severe mental or physical injuries and traumas. Some have inherited or developed stronger defense mechanisms; therefore, they can withstand bad relapsing conditions and depression triggering events easier. I think our mental strength gets also affected with any physical trauma. I am not one of those people who write blogs about their struggles and suffering. I know that sharing a bad condition brings sort of relief and can possibly show the way out to others. It’s just possibly, because there are no two 100% identical cases, there are just similarities, maybes and huge inter-and intra-individual variations. However, as bad as my conditions and pain might be, I do not want to allow these disorders and pain to identify me.  I just refuse to be somebody who always suffers since that’s not what I am here for. I am here to protest, to oppose, to help, to teach and share some facts and my discoveries.

art of surviving disaster 6

Nevertheless, it’s been 3 very tough years. Again. I already had once 3 very tough years after I left the hospital which had become my home for almost a year. It’s very interesting how before the accident I didn’t even know what a simple headache was. After the accident, I learned everything about hospitals, pre-and post-treatments, medicines, their side effects and I discovered billions of new small bits about the human body and the ways it functions or dysfunctions. So far, I have spent 30 years studying everything from depressive and cognitive disorders to anything related to type I diabetes, heart and vascular, kidney, liver, lung and digestive diseases, and I am paying special attention to the brain activity and anything which affects it. While I can fairly well assess my own disorders, I cannot cure them on my own. Apart from being hard to tolerate, pain is also exhausting and drains me out of energy. It is capable of doing this to the point when I am almost always asleep. Pain is a bad and obtrusive companion: I wake up with it, I go to sleep with it, I have my lunch with it and it seems to be always around.

Those of you, who live with chronic pain for lengthy periods of time, probably are aware that pain makes us more vulnerable, more sensitive, more open to depression and desperation. Whatever somebody would say, whenever the pain attacks, we have to experience it on our own. If you are extremely sensitive to any chemicals and medicines as I am, you are aware how they make one sick even at doses which would be considered tiny and mild. So, that’s the issue, I am trying to be stronger than pain without much of medications. I would take them only when it is absolutely, completely intolerable. Even in these cases, I’m using only 200 mg or 400 mg Ibuprofen or Advil. Nothing stronger, nothing which affects the brain function and interaction of brain chemicals. I take pills rarely, as rarely as only possible. Instead, I am crying, tossing around on a couch and feeling how my willpower leaves me. Why? I don’t want to damage more than inevitable my kidneys, my liver and get ulcers, bleeding or holes in the stomach which can happen with prolonged use of potent pain relief medications. Unfortunately, when we have to rely on OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) covered care and treatments, the waiting times are insane. It can take about 6 months to see the specialist. In my case, it took 3 years to try getting something done. I am going to have a surgery very soon. I am absolutely scared because the results are not very predictable. In fact, they are much unknown, but since there aren’t plenty of choices, surgery seems to be the best option.

I do anything which I can, which I can at the moment. I certainly hope to return to normal life. I would love to have normal nice summers and winters again; I would love to go out here and there, to have some vacation, to see and meet people outside this place, to do anything which most people can do without any problem. Well, I hope to be there someday soon.

I also disagree with those who are convinced: once you let the past go you are like brand new and ready for a fresh start. How about the past not letting you go? This accident happened 24 years ago and that’s when I got quite a few new acquaintances: lots of pain, depressive episodes because I wasn’t able to cope with life as before, so on and so on. Whenever we are just fixed up after bad mental or physical traumas which happened in the past, we will never be the same. We will have anxieties and fear of so many things which were unknown before the trauma. We will be patched up and sewn together, but never again without cracks and scars. These scars might be invisible to others, but they are always there. Fears and worries are sneaking up on us whether in a dream or in reality.

Before your hand starts writing you are sorry (in case you decided to read this update since I was so bad, I couldn’t post anything for quite a while and most likely I’ve lost all followers), I would love to say I don’t want somebody to be sorry. It’s ok not to be sorry. I am a fighter, I always have been. I would appreciate much more you went to the gallery and art blog and checked out my Fine Art America link on the right side and the art for sale on the art blog. Ironically, when we are in the least favorable state and condition to make some money, we need the financial support the most.

art of surviving disaster 3

Yams

art of surviving disaster 4

More of my yams experiment

art of surviving disaster 2

Zucchini

art of surviving disaster 5

Cucumber blooms

The other thing which I am doing to get my mind off is my backyard and plants as you can see above. I have put something in the soil, just like always, and yams are absolutely experimental for me this year. Not much happening with painting, but the bits will be published on the gallery blog assuming I get to this before the surgery.

The soothing Sunday thoughts: what does he see?

Look at the old man,

He is so peacefully sitting under the apple tree.

What does he see?

Rivers rushing away like years,

Somebody’s face who he kissed

Under the blossoming apple tree?

What does he see?

No more urges, no regrets and discoveries.

It is all gone, but he finally has no need

To rush, to chase, to speed.

What does he see?

Nobody runs away from the death,

Nobody gets away with his sins.

He has time now, and he just dreams it away

Under the blossoming apple tree.

What does he see?

It feels like he has the answer,

It feels he has got the entire eternity.

Eternity 1

My Angel’s Day

May 18, usually a fantastic and very pleasant day of spring is my Angel’s Day or my name’s day. This day for many Latvians is almost more important than their birthday. It also is one more day to celebrate something beautiful, and we are honoring the person and their name on this day. Russians refer to this day as Angel’s Day, and I have to admit it sounds so poetic, therefore, I love using this description a lot.

Angel's Day celebration

Latvians got their name attach to particular dates since late 18th century. The church calendar probably gave the idea, and it became an extremely popular way to congratulate people who we love.

Statistics tell us that there are currently 12,713 Ineses residing in Latvia. Many Latvians have relocated to other countries, so there are definitely more Ineses out there if we take into account the entire world’s population. It has been one of the most popular names for at least 5 decades. I am proud I have this beautiful name and I am happy my parents chose this name since it suits me so well.

Angel's Day Angel

The small angel was given to me by my mom. She always gives me very thoughtful greeting cards and very interesting gifts. This small angel sits on the shelf very close to my desk to watch over me, to protect me and to always remind me about my mom.

Angel's Day Love

I don’t know how they do this, but lilac is always blossoming where I am on my Angel’s Day. My angel sits on my right shoulder and we are both extremely happy because it is spring, because there are flowers and because all summer is still ahead.

Inese’s song

We have a song which was composed by a very famous Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls. It was written for a musical play, but it became much loved, and it is always played on the radio and on the TV on May 18 when numerous Ineses will receive their guests with rich dinner. The most usual gift is flowers. One doesn’t need anything special, not even invitation. So everybody can make happy everybody. Happy Angel’s Day dear Ineses all around the world!

The soothing Sunday thoughts: rose whispers

The day was getting tired.

As I was about to walk towards my porch, I suddenly heard how the rose whispered: “You cannot go away and leave me alone. As the stream of time takes everything with it, it does not distinct between the trash and the treasure.

Everything flows away with it, so does the beauty, so does the ugliness of our despair.”

“I will return another day, just keep blossoming. My patience is short today and my pain takes me to a deep valley of suffering,” I said more to myself, but I had to experience this sad monologue:

“One day long, or one life long: the flow of time knows no difference. It is a glimpse; it is a short while for it whether you value that moment or not.

Stay with me, you cannot leave me alone.

The beauty has the shortest of lifespans. I have only this small moment from all the eternity. It will never come back.

Stay with me, you cannot go away and leave me alone.

The other day has other worries; there is never enough time for the beauty to blossom. There is always enough time to suffer, to cry and to despair.

So, won’t you leave me alone?” she asked fearfully.

“No, I won’t. I will make some time, I will stay with you.

Nothing ever returns, and it only leaves us. I have to make time for you. There is only this one moment from all the eternity. I will not go and leave you alone. I will make the time stop, although, it will last only a few hours.”

Rose whispers Mindful living

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. Author: https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness

I wish you love, appreciation and strength on March 8, the International Women’s Day

This day is permanently associated with the most beautiful spring celebration in my memories. It always was and still is widely celebrated in Latvia, Europe. Unfortunately, we inherited this great day from the former Soviet Union; it was a part of socialist understanding of praising women’s role and importance in the society. Well, it was supposed to be like that, but March 8 got transformed into a really festive day when every single woman was feeling happy, admired, appreciated and loved.

International Women's Day flowers 5

It’s hard to say what I understood with March 8 as a kid, but I certainly was happy to receive beautiful spring flowers on this day every year in my life until I moved to Canada. What’s celebrated here? Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, and we have begun hearing about the International Women’s Day, as well, but as a part of movement for women’s equality and as a part of feminists’ attempts to get society to understand how strong and valuable women are. Valentine’s Day never took off in Latvia, not to the extent it is celebrated in Canada, and Mother’s Day is a very personal day, so, yes, I am still for March 8, the most beautiful and democratic celebration of every single woman, whether married or not, whether with kids or not, whether famous, or not. Every woman who feels like a woman and is happy about that.

International Women's Day  beautiful daffodils

This day, March 8 never carried this feminist meaning for me. I’ve always been very happy as a woman because I am a woman, and would say this is thanks to the type of family I could grow up. My dad was an extremely handsome man, and my mom still is an extremely feminine woman who always paid a lot of attention to housekeeping, the way she looks, the way she dresses, the way she interacts with other people, although, she had to work hard and long hours. I could see that a real woman does not have to be like a man to show her strength and ability to perform complex and sometimes difficult tasks. A woman does not have to demonstrate she can survive well without support of a man and a husband.

I believe the happiest women have always experienced lots of respect, lots of admiration, lots of understanding. I know that I have. Women can be strong, and there’s nothing actually they cannot manage. However, if you would like to be respected and celebrated as a woman, you have to allow the society and other people to respect and understand you. If you push away a man who’s holding the door open, if you kick out of your way somebody who’s trying to give you a hand, that does not mean they think you are weak and couldn’t do it on your own. That means they want to show you their appreciation for a woman.

International Women's Day carnation flowers

When I was 12, I got a fashion magazine which was published by Aenne Burda edition in Germany. I spoke also German at that age, and I had learned sewing, so this was my most favorite magazine, it was just extremely difficult to get, just like everything else from abroad. There was a picture on the back cover of this Burda fashion magazine: family at breakfast. It looked like spring. There were 2 neatly dressed kids, the man was ok, but nothing special, and there was this woman. She was slim, seemed to be quite tall with long blonde hair and oval, very attractive face. She looked adorable! I absorbed this look, and I told to myself: when I get old and older I want to look just like her! Well, and I sort of always was since I had never any weight problems, my natural hair was always blonde, and later I kept it that color. However, the most important message was under the picture. It read: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS. I certainly remembered these words, too.

International Women's Day 7

I have had fantastic moments and extremely bad moments in my life since, but whenever I was walking down the street or whenever I was at some kind of event or party, and I got those looks which said: oh, you look so nice, I always cited these words in my head: WE WOULD LOVE THAT EVERY WOMAN EXPERIENCES HOW BEAUTIFUL AND ADORABLE SHE IS.

However, wearing a nice dress and high heels, as well as, being able to show off feminine body forms does not make woman a woman. There is so much more, a complete feminine universe, a brave way of thinking, a unique ability to handle and manage things and people. Every woman is different, and it is good that way, however, they all should feel appreciated and respected for what they do and what they are.

International Woman's Day hugs and greetings

Thankfully, life gave me plenty of chances to experience how appreciated I am as a woman. I wish you the same and more and I am sending you hugs and flowers on March 8!

Detachment from reality: when lies become the “alter ego”

Detachment from reality: when lies become the “alter ego”

Internet sometimes gets me. I’m having nausea after looking at Facebook stuff for longer than 5 minutes.

The understanding of being honest is so much distorted that I’m quite happy I could grow up without any internet. Without a need to constantly compare myself to others. Without a need to watch and analyze the reactions of others or lack of them. It feels totally absurd to me when I am seeing how much time is spent on self-analysis and self-observations. Some people analyze every single step and every single thought they had during the day, but it does not stop there. They analyze the social media reaction to every line and picture they have posted, and it is not surprising they come to conclusion there is something wrong with them quite frequently. Everybody would be convinced about the same if they kept endlessly analyzing everything and drawing conclusions which actually do not have any reason.

.alter ego detachment from reality

Does this relate to the obsession with selfies? The obsession of creating oneself in a way one doesn’t exist and would like to be perceived? The Internet certainly allows for that: one can create their online image and live with it until there comes along somebody who discovers they are not what they are pretending to be. I believe selfies and self-love; self-admiration; self-magnification and self-analysis are symptoms of the self-glorification epidemic. These are sprouts of the same root. How is it even possible one has so much time to take endless selfies, edit them, publish them, then follow-up on every single comment? Or just post in bunches whenever there is a chance to take out the phone. Afterwards, they quite often feel totally dissatisfied, disappointed and unhappy since there are so many others doing exactly the same and steeling their deserved love and admiration.

This is so phenomenally silly that it is fairly hard to get why anybody would want this to happen. Why would we want somebody else to define who we are, how we are, and sometimes even deal with awful misconceptions? What is the point to rely on somebody else’s judgement who most often does not even know you?

alter ego truth shines through

Whenever I’m reading about somebody’s struggles, I have to admit our struggles and sufferings are really suited to the greatness or nothingness of our personal perception. It is obvious that difficult and intolerable has hundreds of interpretations. Once I heard some famous girl telling on TV that it was such a disaster for her to choose the correct nail polish. One rich and famous person told she was facing extreme difficulties and hardships choosing outfits, it took like hours to choose a dress. Wouldn’t that be excellent if the most difficult thing I have to deal with was choosing an outfit?

What really strikes is that most people assume life is supposed to be smooth as an ice-cream in a cone.

That is the wrong message from social media. Things don’t change just because we call them differently. Cabbage does not become a rose if we call it “rose”. Some pictures so obviously scream “Like me, like me, like me!” Do I? Not really, and I do not post any likes under pictures if I think the look is rather bad than good. I usually avoid commenting on family pictures or other personal photos.

I was also reading how somebody thought they were ready now to fall in love, so this should have been happening shortly afterwards. They were very disappointed when it didn’t. It seems nobody told them it is by far not enough to write on the wall: I am lovable; I deserve love; I am beautiful, so on. Love is the most complex chemistry and it has so many ways of expressing itself. It never comes when we are asking it to. It’s more unpredictable than winning a lottery. The winner is rare and the time when this happens is unknown. Just like all good things in life. It is too bad there is so much fake stuff out there.

Stay calm

Addiction to social media and devices causes extreme detachment from reality and distorted evaluation of actual matters. Overrated and overpraised nothingness means nothing, as well. I’d say be careful with compliments. Be realistic towards yourself. We are so different, because our DNA is unique, our life, love and happiness are unique. Do not allow anybody to tell you who you are, what you should like, love or go for.

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