Silence heals

Listen to the silence

Stop the noise

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

Silence as a healing factor

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

The silent environment

Take a breath of freshness

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

Uninterrupted break from noise

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

Dreamy infinity

Keeping sensory organs in balance

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

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

Recharge in silence

Noise interference

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

Life is loud

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

Thanks for reading, take care

Accepting errors, moving on

Importance of accepting errors and moving on

Universe does not call them errors

For universal mind and for that matter, for universe, there is no such a thing as error. It is what you do or don’t do, what you have put in motion, what you desire or do not want and who you meet or never get in touch with, although you should have. Every action and every word cause small ripples in the universal space and, thus, trigger the next events, they could be even impossible to observe, or they could be global. It really does not matter. We usually are how we see ourselves because we act in accordance to that and our thoughts are our own reflection.

The deeply implanted fear of making a mistake

From early childhood on, we are told not to make any mistakes, not to act in a way that would be viewed by others as erroneous. The fear of not making a mistake or causing an error is deeply implanted in our conscious mind. In fact, that is the way we learn. We make a mistake and we do not repeat it the next time. That would be if we consciously try to better ourselves. Many times, we won’t start doing something because of fear getting it done wrong, because we are so scarred of making a mistake even with simple things. However, taking risks cannot be avoided even when they result in an error.

Errors come in wide range

Whether we can accept the past errors and move on or not, will greatly depend on what we define as a mistake or error. Was it a ruined dinner, missed deadline, damaged relationship? We cannot generalize any failures or mistakes because somebody will refer to them as their daily small-task-execution failures and some other person will mean an event that turned their life upside down and caused an avalanche of sequences. Errors range from just a small error, like when writing a text or doing a test to fatal errors with very disastrous sequences.

Leaving past in the past

Regardless the error and mistake, we have to leave what happened in the past. That is tough, but we can manage. Never feeling as a victim helps. Taking responsibility for what one has done helps also. Forgiving oneself for the intentional or unintentional actions, is the absolutely best we can do. You cannot go back and straighten out things from today’s’ perspective; therefore, we deal with sequences and live on.

Regrets lead to depression

This is our only life. Letting some mistakes and failures eat us up from the inside is a terrible thing. Deep regrets are even worse. Some people like talking about their mistakes, and some do not. The counselling usually focuses on talking and doing assessments with help of person’s disclosure and observation. Does it always help? Apparently not because we have numerous people who are dwelling on their past wrongdoings and who get more and more depressed every day.

We should learn, but do we?

We could find ourselves in the same situation again and again if we do not learn from our previous experience.  It is usually suggested that you change your behavior, get rid of bad habits and avoid things that trigger you making the same errors again. Here is how Universe sees it. Everything happens according to you. The sequence of events and people you meet literally depend on you. We get what we wish for, and the events in our life are what create and shape our future.

Keeping worries at bay

Small example: people, who see themselves as victims, sooner or later become victims again. If you are constantly worried about something and definitely do want that to happen, it will. It will happen because you are preoccupied with that. It repeats in different scenarios and runs as a movie on the back of your mind. Not getting sick does not mean taking flu epidemic lightly, for instance. Normal precautions, observing personal hygiene and using decent nutrition and exercising is fine. However, being afraid of flue and obsessed with it all the time will bring it on.

No enemies, but people who teach us

Seeing everybody as enemy will certainly put you in a situation where you meet them face to face. Therefore, we do not identify ourselves with diseases, disasters, troubles and problems. We deal with them, but we do not have to make these unfortunate things the only content of our life. Nobody is their disease or condition, nobody is their damaged past or their errors. That is why it is important to become free: to free our mind and make space for something better. Learning from the past allows us to develop ourselves, refusing to learn causes stagnation.

Universe does not call them errors

The plan of universe for you

Universe wants you to learn and become a better person, friend, parent, employee, boss, manager, teacher, student, kid and so on. However, it is always as you wish. It will always be actually on your terms whatever they are. Bad habits come from wrong assumptions and decisions. We are most often aware of what is bad and what is not, but we just refuse to take responsibility, see the true situation for what it is.

Stepping on the same rake

Stepping on the same rake again and again is a very common thing. It happens as long as we won’t change not our behavior and reactions, but the way we see the world around us and our place in it. That means changing our thinking at all levels, down to the most hidden thoughts we might have. It is also very common that people would do anything not to face truth and the true circumstances. We shouldn’t say we are fine when we are absolutely not. Our subconscious mind remembers more than we are aware of, therefore, we can prevent future mistakes if we listen to our physical body, to our conscious emotions and to the gut feeling. However, the most important thing is to take everything as a learning experience, pay attention and move on to a better outcome.

My mom loved flowers

Lilac, poem, and giving my blog a new direction

Lilac

 

Lilac blossoms blending with twilight:

Purple passionate scent of eternal,

Feeling of everything fading away.

 

Being beautiful without a purpose.

 

Lilac scent melts in the night air,

Twilight calm will fall down very soon

To end this moment with a period mark.

 

The day is so tired, too, time to rest.

 

The night sky uses blush, a lot of it

And the purple scent becomes a shadow.

It is always twilight in some places.

 

It is so complete with the lilac scent.

 

Morning finds birds sipping the morning dew

From tiny cups filled with sunlight pearls.

I paste this moment in my good memories folder.

 

Scents will evaporate, just like us.

 

My personal recovery experience

People, who read my posts, know that my health issues have been resolved completely thanks to my new skills and change of dominance in my mind..

I have learned a lot from my past experiences, and I intend to move on very healthy, with good reasons, not allowing anything to offend or disrupt my intentions.

I am doing much better because I rely on myself and I have learned that by becoming a much better person I am helping not only myself, but also people around me.

I will explore a wide variety of topics that relate to staying young, fit, healthy, stress-free, active and satisfied with my new life.

I am 60 this summer. Apart from the bad accident in 1992 and chronic pain because of that, I have been very fine so far. I took the previous experience as an important lesson. I realize that something in my behaviour, thoughts and intentions was causing it. I will use my experience as a stepping stone in order to bring more light in this life.

I have learned that being kind, nice and good to others and oneself is the most  important thing in our life as we attract the same attitude, the same type of people and the same type of response.

I pay special attention to these 5 most important aspects:

  • healthy weight and ability to be active and pain-free;
  • effective metabolism and well-performing digestive system;
  • daily and hourly stress relief and efficient coping mechanism;
  • natural, simple and rich nutrition that takes minimum time;
  • excellent memory and powerful cognitive function.

How nature is always our best advisor and supporter

Whenever something goes wrong, the easiest way to fix this problem is turning to the nature.

I have written already about that and I will be writing even more.

Gardening is a huge part of it. People sometimes say, they do not have enough space, yet, all the backyard and front yard consists only of grass and a few flower pots. Every vegetable and herb one grows in their own garden is about 100 times better than we can buy at a grocery store. Even with organic produce, we get vegetables, fruit and herbs which have been sitting on a shelf for a while. You will always know what your vegetable is consuming if you grow it. Tiny and small gardening does not require any weed killers and pesticides. We can live extremely well using just some natural things to get rid of bugs. However, they rarely happen in a small garden because you can prevent bad things from happening quite easily.

Nature is always on standby for our mental comfort and stress relief

No gym can ever compare to gardening and walking in fresh air. Many people take exercising way too far and cause premature wear and tear of their joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments. Our heart is also a very specific muscle that takes loads with its own attitude.

Upset mood and over-excited brain can be always fixed with breathing in fresh air and simply walking amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. Your brain loves bird songs instead of loud music; your thoughts get organized and are easy to sort out when the brain has enough oxygen.

How we look and how we dress

Aging does not mean one gives up the good looks they had when they were younger. Daily facial and body routine is a must. I am naturally blonde, so I have been using make-up from its early days, for about 45 years now. I do use some make-up even if I am alone at home. I do that to keep myself satisfied with the way I look.

Make-up helps to prevent skin diseases nowadays. There are wide choices and huge selection out there.

I learned sewing when I was 12. I did so because I always wanted to wear clothes that suit me, fit me and make me stand out. There have been periods when I have been sewing a new outfit every day, and there have been times when I have sewn something just a few times a year.

I am returning to more sewing and dressmaking again because the things one can buy at a store do not satisfy my demands and they are generally very low quality. It is also much more practical. We can recycle everything, but fast and cheap fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the Earth.

Artistic living for brain health and pleasurable life

If you read and follow my art website, you know that I have been a passionate art instructor for about 40 years, and I am as passionate about my own creativity. I started drawing at a very young age, and gradually added to that watercolor, acrylic and pastels. I became sensitive to oils, so, I had to forget about painting with oils. Drawing is a part of my excellent memory maintenance process. Having very well-performing visual memory definitely makes life easier. It always has: studying was easy, learning was easy and starting any new thing was easy.

Art, writing, journaling, outdoor drawing and painting: that is a daily feast for our soul. One can always find a suitable artistic way of self-expression. Art gives one the time for self-care. We forget about any problems while drawing and painting. We immerse ourselves into eternal and limitless.

Lilac, how to stay young

My Angel’s Day was a few days ago. The Angel my mom gave me is always watching over me.

Apple blossoms, how to stay young

The short spring brought us intense blossoming, the beauty was almost touchable.

How to stay young, nature, blossoming apple trees

I will definitely miss this old apple tree after we move to another place, it always greets spring with clouds of wonderful blossoms.

These are the themes I will be mainly focusing on.  Please follow me on Facebook

I will start a new artistic community page soon. This page will be primarily devoted to keeping our brain young and flexible with daily artistic challenges.

Please also check out my art website:  http://inesepogagallery.com/  It offers my own art and also numerous articles about how to start and keep drawing and painting.

I will miss the old lilac tree, as well, it has been my inspiration numerous times!

Lilac, poem, giving blog new direction

My plans are huge. I hope  everything goes according to plan, especially because we have to move soon to another place and that involves reorganizing life to be happy with the new beginning.

From the past to the future

We all come from our past and we are all going to our future. The small while in between is our present where memories and dreams meet. That is also the short, sparkling moment when the art is born, poem is written and story told.

Our creative potential is huge and very often extremely neglected. It is quite often that people leave their artistic intentions to the moment when house will be paid off, kids have gone to study, garden is planted, retirement has started, recovery has happened and so on. It is supposed that only these things that cost a lot of money or pay a lot of money are worth doing and everything else can wait.

How many of you have advised your kids and your spouses or parents to pick a pencil or brush and pursue something simple and rewarding like drawing or sketching? Even if you have, how many of you have helped them with suitable and supportive environment for creativity to blossom? Kitchen table isn’t the place when the best art is done. In order to return to drawing and painting, art requires a specifically designed space. Basement is a bad choice if there is no daylight. Drawing and painting needs daylight, bright and undisturbed, just as we do.

I have seen the statistics for the recent years: the potential of keeping memory flexible and brain active is not in favor of most people, especially these over 50.

While everybody knows all the risk factors for absolutely any disease which there only exists: overweight and obesity, heart and blood vessel damage, high blood pressure, diabetes (these are all body stressors), lack of exercise or any movement, bad, highly chemical or modified food, especially if it has been already processed, artificial food, food with added or removed ingredients, GMO sources of food, contaminated water and air, alcohol and drug use, smoking either tobacco or cannabis because of toxins that occur in burning process, abnormal stress levels with zero coping ability, long-term stress without a rescue plan and social isolation and self-removal from any social activities and mental states that involve huge anxiety, severe depression and severe, systemic disorders, very few people ever pay any attention to the brain fitness and brain cell exercising. Meditation is fine, but it is supposed to make one rather stress-free than activate the brain to the impossibly high activity level. We are talking about an active brain involvement, the state when we would say: the brain is steaming.

If you are doing everything right, but you rather think it is better not to worry about learning and studying or scientific research after you are out of school, you are so wrong. Only very active brain which is used to  tackle challenges and make thousands of decisions, as well as resolve problems is able to create new brain cells, at any age actually.

In one of my previous articles I wrote about the trial that compared physical exercise group, group which did crosswords and similar brain games, and the group that started doing drawing, although, students did not even seem to like or be interesting in drawing from reality. The drawing group excelled and outdid both other groups in all target indicators.

Why is that? It is because when we look at some object and try to recreate it with all dimensions on a flat paper or canvas we use all of the brain. We use all kinds of mechanisms and synaptic pathways to get the job done. While it is something meditative and pleasurable, it is also very challenging and a very active process. If you do it in a group, you add socializing to this activity.

Healthy brain

We all come from the past and we are all heading to the future. This is done much better by maintaining our cognitive abilities, memory and brain flexibility. The one thing that means a lot more than all the money and power on the Earth is our brain. Losing our brain, we lose everything. Therefore, let us do something useful and keep it flexible, sharp and well-performing. You do not know how to get started? Please find all kinds of advice on my art website which is solely devoted to art, creativity and learning drawing, sketching and painting: http://inesepogagallery.com/

Freelance work

Being a freelancer: the tough ride

How easy it is to be a freelancer

Let us just say it is not easy at all. I certainly cannot talk about any freelance work, but only about that I have been doing for longer than 35 years. I am a medical writer and translator who takes on some interpreting, as well, if there is a good opportunity since I speak, write and understand 4 languages at a native level.  I have completed also numerous art projects either as commissions or individual design and decoration projects.

Nowadays, there is not much money in this type of freelancing, I mean in the areas of my specialization. The best years ended for me some time back in 2009, 2010.

The per-word rate between 2004 and 2018 has gone down a lot, hence such writing is paid by word count usually, unless, it is editing, and that is paid by hours. This rate went down from 0.18 US per word in approximately 2005 to 0.08 US per word at the moment. It should be straight the opposite, shouldn’t it? All prices and expenses have gone up big time, and my freelance earnings have decreased abnormally.

The problem is working globally. Every job is available for anybody, located anywhere, that includes countries with not that high living cost and countries with extremely high living cost, like Canada. My work requires huge knowledge and insight in medical matters, conduction of clinical trials, knowledge in chemistry, biology, physiology, anatomy, as well as lots and lots of understanding of human genetics, brain function, including cognitive function and any mental disorders, pharmaceutical mechanisms of action and all kinds of dosing rules, medical interaction of pharmaceutical ingredients and things that apply to clinical indications, such as contraindications and also exceptions.

The main problems and requirements of medical writing

This is not something one can learn within one day or even a year. It took me about 5 years to get to the top of people who work in my respective language pairs, and it certainly was a very intense work. It can be physically difficult to type up to 100 pages of a very complex medical text intended for specialists in just 4 days. Deadlines are tight, sometimes the job is urgent, meaning, I am expected to put off anything I am doing and to start typing right at that moment. That includes skipping meals, forgetting completely about any blog posts, TV or social media sites. It can be typing for 12 to 16 hours a day for quite a few days. It can feel like a real slave work. It drains one enormously. I am not supposed to have any mistakes or errors in my texts, and I must comply with requirements of all medical standards, European Medicines Agency regulations and FDA requirements, as well as provisions of any national regulatory agency. It is tough.

What are the advantages of being a freelancer?

I can work from home; I do not need even to get dressed to start working.

I eat at home; I do not sit in traffic delays.

I can work any time of the day or over the weekend if it happens to be the case.

I learn every single day of my life and I do extremely demanding mental work.

My memory works like a computer with so many new units added every day, it has to use and manage lots of information.

I am free to choose which project I take on and which I reject, I certainly can refuse to work for some company and collaborate with some other.

My end customers normally are billionaire medical companies.

Why the pay is so small for somebody who contributes so much in order they would be able to sell any of their stuff anywhere because of all kinds of regulatory provisions and regulations? Well, just like anything else, this type of work involves a middleman. These are agencies that get in contact directly with the end client because the end client is busy producing pharmaceuticals and conducting clinical trials. Agency grabs much of that what the end client is willing to pay. These prices got really lower once India and China got involved.  I’ve never worked with either Indian or Chinese agencies because among them are many pathological non-payers.

What are the difficulties of being a freelancer?

I cannot do any planning. I have absolutely no idea when a new work arrives and from which country it will come from. My most frequent clients come from Germany, the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Poland, Latvia and the USA. The least jobs I am getting from Canadian clients.

People who do high and very decent quality job can be at disadvantage.

It is not always that a particular project manager knows a lot about the project, and sometimes anything goes as long as they can mark the project done.

Competition is huge and insane. It is also frequently so that the job will go to a person who possibly provides with lower quality, but cheaper. Cheaper is the god of this century. And think: the billionaires-end clients.

Isolation

One sometimes does not get paid regardless of all precautions they have taken. I am very cautious, but still did not get paid twice: a genetic research company went out of business or so they made it to look and the second times was very dishonest client from Tennessee, USA who actually paid half, but then started to send really rude and nasty messages in style: how do you dare to ask for more and you should be happy you got paid for something.

Art projects and art commissions and medical writing and translations are activities that one does alone. I do not pick up even phone when I am in the middle of something complex, I do not interrupt my work for meals, I do not interrupt it for nothing quite frequently because timing and deadline can become a very stressful and demanding issue. It is work that is related to isolation. Focusing is extremely important, and that excludes any disturbing factors like social media or TV, or simple talk at times.

That is the reason I haven’t been able to post anything on my lifeschool blog for more than a month.

Being a freelancer

Prioritizing and managing time

Prioritizing and managing time is of utmost importance.

Freelancers do not enjoy any benefits like real employees do; there are no paid sick leaves, no benefits, and no additional pay for weekend or late night work.

There is a lot of uncertainty regarding workload: I can be overloaded today and have nothing to do and absolutely no income for next 3 months. Last year was pretty much the worse ever for me, even worse than the bad 2016. If one has lots of bad years in a row, they are pretty much broke financially. In my case, that matched the health issues and resulted in a personal disaster.

Multitasking

Freelancer does everything: from accepting the PO, researching the client’s ability to pay for services to providing oneself with tools and facilities. One has to be their own CEO, floor manager, hard tasks performing worker, advertising manager and public relations officer, as well as accountant and bookkeeper. This can mean multitasking at times, for sure because some of these activities are inevitable.

One has to pretty much become a workaholic. I personally never rest or take breaks just because I feel tired. I have to push myself to the limit very frequently and regardless of bad pain or feeling exhausted. Working is all I am doing. Has it resulted in a ny decent income? Not really while all middlemen are having million dollar apartments in NY or LA, Monaco and Paris, traveling the world and enjoying luxury.

Issues and concerns

Who is to blame? Nobody in person, but the system that enables a lot of advantage taking for sure. It is also freelancers themselves: some are so desperate for work that they will do anything for hardly any money. Well, 20 bucks can mean some money in some countries, but certainly not in Canada, and that is the aspect the unfair freelancer market system is exploiting: if you are desperate and poor, you will work for peanuts and praise us.

Freelance work is an option for people who are not living in their native country, have some disabilities or problems finding real work. I know there are freelancers who make mega bucks since they work in IT and all kind of marketing and advertising area. That is not what I have specialized in and I also love my work. I have achieved extremely high level doing it. The fact that it is not remunerated in a proper way is a global problem of advantage taking because realistically: one has to underpay somebody in order to boost their profits. The bad part is that actually the person who creates the result is the one that suffers.

I would advise anybody to rather be employed than do freelancing. Benefits of good employment and building up a real career outweigh to a big extent freelancing of the type I do, which is art, design and decoration and medical writing and translations.

Freelance work

Would I still do it if I had a secure income?

Most likely, not to extent I am engaged now. However, like other people go to exercise to the gym, I push my brain exercises to the limit every single day. I can remember and learn insane amounts of new information at a very short time. I have practically photographic visual memory. That makes me happy and keeps my brain very active, and that also allows me painting and drawing without any photos or pictures.