Take responsibility

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.

My old family album

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 event back then in Latvia. One had to prepare, get dressed and had to make an appointment. When one got to the photo studio, bright lights were 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 real 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 the Latvian Socialist Republic in 1961. I was 3 years old. I look at the 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 recall 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 had bright blue and light green color. Mom’s dress was sea green-blue. I cannot remember the color of dad’s suit. Well, it was 58 years ago. My mom used to wear many blue and blue-green outfits which she had sewn herself because her eyes were beautiful 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 actually seen my dad very young. I can imagine my mom was very worried before the photo session because she always cared a lot about all small issues and things. I believe she was a perfectionist, just as I have been for the most part of my life.

My mom and my dad were married for 48 years. My dad left us short time before their 50-th wedding 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 must have struck her. I think also when somebody has spent practically the entire life with some other person it is almost as if losing a crucially important part of oneself.

I with my mom and dad in 1961

I do not smile on this photo, but I look like my daughter in later photos. I love my smart eyes and the very thoughtful look in pictures. People have always asked me to smile when taking pictures, but I am trying to have the kind of face with no silly smile on it. That’s how I like it. In my opinion, it is way better than weird and fake 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 TV, internet and any social media. I believe, we had some ancient radio. We mostly 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 that chicken which was walking around the yard just a while ago. 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 occasions. I do not recall any birthday parties or similar things. It must be that they were unimportant to me. They still are, in fact.

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 vegetables. When I was 5, I was weaving baskets, too. In the fall, we picked wild mushrooms, and that is still one of my most favorite things when I go back to Latvia nowadays.

I never stopped adoring everything that grows, but I also tried to draw multidimensional drawings. I tried to show that a table has 4 legs, and that was kind of difficult to reflect in my drawing. I never drew profiles or animated things like kids usually do. I tried from the first drawings to implement dimensions, perspective and values, even though, I had no idea how to do that. Well, I managed. My early drawings are not worse than the recent ones.

We did not have a 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 any 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. Those times, we didn’t have even phone. Having no outside influence, like TV or internet, 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. Thanks for reading!

We start with changing ourselves

We start with changing ourselves

We invite people in our life and attract them.

What people we attract, depends on how we are assuming and seeing life and everybody else. There is a positive purpose in any response from the universe. The universe is trying to please us and give us what we are asking for.

We do rarely look for answers within ourselves.

I mentioned in my previous posts that we have lost the ability to see, understand and interpret the warning signs and encouraging signs which our subconscious mind and the universe makes us aware of. We also do not try to access our subconscious mind which has the knowledge about us and about everything else.

We live with blaming circumstances, situations, other people and bad luck.

We sometimes blame parents and relatives.

We sometimes blame everything, but especially government, politics and politicians.

We blame doctors for our bad health.

We blame the century we live in.

We blame teachers for lack of kids’ success.

We blame other people who teach us for putting us in a bad situation.

In fact, we have to assume responsibility for what we do, what we say and what we think. It is us who made choices, even in situations when it feels we didn’t do anything wrong. It is difficult to understand what caused every situation, but it usually becomes clear after some time. That time might be shorter or longer, but the cause-and-effect chain will be visible from the distance.

Imagine you are watching a movie where somebody gets in all kinds of troubles. You hold your breath sometimes and beg: “Oh, no! Don’t do that!” or “Oh, my God! Don’t trust him!” If that were you, you would not act like that because you can see in a movie everything from the side and from a distant point. It is clear what everybody’s intention is, where it is going, and it is easy to understand where every action will take these people.

When it comes to our own life, we frequently tend to lose direction and purpose. We sometimes get lost completely, and we sometimes get off track, as well.

The truth is that nobody else is responsible for one’s lucky or unlucky life, but that person oneself. We only receive in our life what we believe in, what we believe we are and what we believe the world around us is. Neither the universe, nor God punishes anybody. When somebody feels guilty and blames him- or herself and carries the destructive feeling of guilt in themselves, the universe simply responds to that.

While most people want to change either themselves or their life, it is not that they always follow up on this desire. One can write thousands of positive affirmations, but if they go out and keep being angry, frustrated, envious and feel offended by everything, i. e., keep thinking the same old way, nothing will change. We have to start with changing ourselves instead of waiting for the world and other people to change.

Just try to recall how you say: “Thanks, God!” when good things happen. We simply have to learn recognizing opportunities for improvement, and the universe will respond to our good goals and honest attempts.

When bad things or situations happen, we frequently would say ”How unfair this life is!” In fact, something we did or did not, something we convinced ourselves about, and the way we acted and thought in the past, which might be a very distant past, eventually led to this situation.

When we keep repeating how unfair and bad life is, how terrible, mean and disgusting other people are, how poor, sick and unlucky we are, the universe can’t help, it has to respond to your desperate calls.

There are no coincidences.

We have to start with believing that everything we experience is a lesson. We are here to learn. When we do not get the lesson, the situation can turn bad.

When we say, we want to change; we have to start with ourselves. Waiting for somebody else to change is simply silly. I will repeat: we attract people who enter our life. It does not mean they are always great or good people. To change that, we most likely will have to change our opinion, our attitude towards other people and disposition towards the outside world. We will have to change the way we think about other people.

We start with changing ourselves

We are literally a reflection of our deepest belief and our thoughts. There are also hidden thoughts which we never show to others. It does not matter whether you put your opinion out or not: if it is deeply rooted in you, there will be a response.

Simple example. When a women complains that all her dates have been nasty and rude men who had no good intentions, means that either based on family experience or somebody else’s experience, she believes deeply in her heart that all men are nasty, rude, cheaters and liars. The universe will provide her with such a person.

Other situation. Somebody is at your door trying to offer you something, sell you something or get you in a shady deal. What’s your response? It is very often: “We don’t need anything’. Just pay attention how it looks and sounds: we don’t need anything.  The universe listens and delivers.

There are people who will sometimes ask you to help out financially and then there are people who beg for money on the street. What is frequently the response? “I don’t have any money”. “Sorry, I cannot help you because I’ve got no money at all”. “We have no money at all”. Universe definitely listens to that and depending on how frequently you love to repeat that, sequences will set in. Wouldn’t it better to just say: ”No, I don’t think I should invest in this”; “I’m not interested in this purchase, in this deal, so on”. “We usually do not give any money to drunk or high people”, that way.

These are lessons. These are also opportunities for us to change the way we see and react to other people and our world.

We should learn from everything: good situations and bad situations. We should take into account reminders, signs and warnings. We should also pay attention to encouraging and go-ahead situations. Some things will always trigger the same bad response. Why not learn from that?

Being nice to other people is good and useful, even when it is “just in case” or “you never know”.

Being attentive and observant is even better.

All the bad situations mean that we have to change a lot: our attitude, our assumptions, maybe our intentions and we have to rely on and make our subconscious mind guide us. Bad situations show that we are doing something wrong. All good situations mean that we are on the right path. Both types of situations are normal and needed in order we would keep developing ourselves instead of stagnating.

Blaming leads to no results. Instead, we have to start looking for ways to improve what we have and ways to make our life more fulfilling.

We start with changing ourselves.

P. S. This post was written initially as a response to a comment.

Learning life school lessons and recognizing signs

Learning life school lessons and recognizing signs

How long are we supposed to learn what life is and what we are? The answer is: as long as we live.

Life is fair

We frequently hear that life is not fair, that either God or universe has punished somebody. That is probably the first wrong assumption we have to forget about. Instead, we should try to understand that life is fair, universe treats as fair and God never punishes anybody. “But how so? Everything is wrong and nothing good ever happens, and people are so sick and unhappy,” you may say.

The smart subconscious mind

The truth is that we do not have the courage to become responsible for what we do, don’t do, what we think and what we say. Humans are so special because they have not only the conscious mind, but also subconscious mind. Are we aware of the fact that we subconsciously know everything, can change many things and can see our future and what we should do in order to live and feel better?

We used to have access to our subconscious mind when the human race was young, but small children and animals still do have it. As we became more and more civilized we grew a thick layer of pollution on top of our hidden and subconscious mind. The real life gets in the way: everything we were taught at school, everything we faced in our life, all TV, internet and social media news, anything we see, hear and experience cause us to lose the access to our hidden resources and the universal database where the knowledge and facts of the entire universe are stored.

Recognizing the cause

The question is: how do we help ourselves getting out of bad situations, crises, health issues, financial problems, relationship complications and many other unpleasant things?

First of all, we have to admit that the cause of anything in our life is rooted in us. Whether we like it or not, we are the source of good and bad things in our life. As soon as we manage to switch to a new approach, the universe is going to send different things our way. The fairness of universe’s response equals to our internal settings towards our personal reality. The sooner we stop blaming life, God or destiny, relatives, friends, competition or enemies for our problems, the better. The only person who is responsible for the way one’s life goes is that person oneself. They might not acknowledge or they might not realize it, but not knowing that something exists does not make it non-existent.

We are here to learn

For instance, every bad and nasty person in our life is to teach us something and make us understand something. That is still a distant learning, like a reminder, sometimes like a warning. If you refuse to understand the lesson, but get offended and angry instead, there will be more lessons. If you feel like a victim in this life, that’s pretty much what you get from the universe and God because they will try to please you by sending you more and more situations which correspond to your internal expectations.

If you feel threatened by situations and people and if you are scared most of the time that something bad might happen, you should be aware that is what the universe is going to give to match you with the real you.

 

How to live and feel better

In order to get better results and to resolve problematic situations, we need to become more observant and attentive. We need to change our attitude.

We usually receive directions and signs which should help us to either avoid bad situation or to pursue something great. That might be something somebody says you, something you suddenly notice, read or see in a dream.

An example: you are trying really hard to start a business or new company and there are plain obstacles. All things go against you. You cannot get a loan, papers do not get accepted, your lawyer does not show up at the most crucial moment, supplies do not arrive in time and so on. These are signs. They tell you that you’d be probably better off without the company or business. What about your subconscious mind? It might be so that you are starting the company in spite of something, just to prove something or simply because you have assumed you are a business person, but deep down you do not even want to do it and you doubt whether it makes sense to create the company, or you don’t have any skills and are scared about that. Therefore, the universe responds the way your subconscious mind suggests.

Another example: you have a date. You decide to have coffee just before leaving the house. Accidentally, the coffee spills all over your new outfit, it’s damaged beyond repair, or the car would not start, or no cab is available, or you cannot find the place. Universe, as smart as it is, might be seeing that this date does not fit you, and he or she will cause you pain and put you in a dangerous situation. It can be so that your subconscious mind which knows the future wants to prevent you from trouble. You might be even not sure that you want to date at this time since you doubt any good outcome. No need to get angry or frustrated. It is a sign and warning which you have to pay attention to. And so on.

Learning life school lessons and recognizing signs

How do we proceed with changing what we can?

We take responsibility for our actions, thoughts and words.

We start respecting and loving ourselves, we take a good care about ourselves.

We stop blaming anything and anybody, but look for things we did to cause the current situation.

We exclude feelings of guilt and fault from our life; that helps nobody, but destroys a person from inside. We forget about being envious and jealous, we stop whining and complaining; briefly: we start to look at solutions and we will find them.

We realize that the universe is fair, huge, unlimited and very smart. There is no such a thing as punishment unless you punish yourself.

We understand how resourceful and creative we are.

We start fresh with good intentions.

That is what I would wish everybody in the New Year.

 

Featured

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.

 

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/

Becoming an observer

It sometimes feels as if everything is simply flowing by.

There are lots of small distractive things to deal with, and they pretty much keep me away from doing something more meaningful.

Then, there is a feeling of pointlessness.

At a young age we are under impression that we have enough time to do whatever we will choose, to achieve whatever we have decided to and to engage in all kinds of undertakings that eventually lead us to the goal: a good, honest, happy and abundant life. This includes different things for different people. Some want children and some do not, some love studying and some would rather not, some of us see the importance of roots and family and some believe that family is holding them back.

When I was twenty, it felt like 60 years is eternity away: it seemed I have plenty of time to enjoy, to explore, to pursue real life goals and to correct mistakes which everybody makes.

My life involves much unexpected turns, very bad accident that changed everything 25 years ago and after that all a completely unexpected relocation across the ocean. I might not been ready for that. However, I am somebody who goes for an adventure or opportunity if there is one.

Years between 2004 and 2010 were wonderful, so full with life, so full with discoveries. I had huge expectations.

When I got health issues in 2013, lots of things slowed down and became hard to continue. I realized suddenly that nobody can ever regain the energy and the willingness to jump onto new beginnings we do so naturally at 20 when we pass the 50 line. That was the time when I had to push myself extremely hard to accomplish just simple everyday routine tasks, yet, I managed that.

I have become more an observer than an active participant.

I have always been a creator of situations, much engaged in the social scene. I was a high school teacher and college lecturer meeting literally hundreds of people every day. I loved my role as a smart, intelligent and well-educated person.

The one thing that matters to me is learning, studying and keeping the brain extremely busy and active.

I have always admired the brain power, the ability to think and find solutions, to make decisions and to act upon them. I do that still, I learn every single day. The medical writing job requires that. I am certainly thankful for the huge knowledge in any health-related matters due to this.

However, I miss the social engagement. I feel lost. Once you see that nobody actually needs you, you start to experience feelings of being abandoned. It seems that the big goals are also getting crashed. I have become a stranger in my native country and I am still a total stranger in the country to which I immigrated to.

This might be an issue of acceptance. I am quite frequently unable to accept some things here. I will never understand how mediocrity gets to the top because of their wealth. I will never understand how it is possible to idolize and adore some fancy person to the extent that people want to dress like that person and look and speak like that person.

I will never understand over-consumption which is the cause of most of our issues. I will never understand how people are lied to and cheated because of somebody making bigger profits. They get even praise for poisoning other people. That is awkward.

I am for fairness, truth and open-mindedness. Truth is not loved. Truth is frequently escaped using different means, would these be drugs, alcohol or convincing oneself that everything is great while it is far from that in reality.

I used to be a fashionista. I learned sewing very early: at 12. Ever since, I have designed and sewn plenty of designer-quality outfits not only for me, but for hundreds of other people, as well. I stopped doing that also because of pointlessness. How much does one really need? When I paint, I cannot wear anything good because it will have paint spots all over anyway. Fast fashion made it impossible to buy any good quality shoes or jeans or similar things. I just simply refuse to buy more low quality, made in China outfits. They are made of bad materials, they do not last and they do not fit either.

One more aspect became meaningless. So, most of them have.

It is more difficult to stick to the true you when there is no actual demand for being the top you. I am currently an observer. I will wait for a while yet until the troubles settle down to figure out the next steps. Where do I go from there? I don’t know yet. It is a process of re-inventing me. Will that be a better me? I do not know that either.

I do realize that these feelings might be caused by late and delayed spring. It has been a very long winter, and that can affect anybody with the seasonal affective disorder. I remember me hating winter ever since I was a tiny kid. That never went away. I cannot live normally in winter. I have lost many years of life due to winter. I believe these of you who also experience strong seasonal affective disorder know this very well: one only regains energy and willingness to be active once the weather turns warm and sunny again.

To trust and to rely on

One of the most human features is to trust somebody until they do not prove it otherwise. We want to trust things that we believe are fair; we want to rely on services that we assume are honest.

The recent Facebook issues while they are losing a lot of faces which were relying on and trusting their promises about keeping our personal information safe clearly show that we have been very silly and to reliable. Most likely, not all of us have done that, but the natural feeling of trust and reliability has fogged our eyes.

It was hilarious how Mark Zuckerberg tried to convince everybody in his speech that he had no idea about what was going on. They believed the personal user data were deleted. They just take somebody’s word for it and live happily ever after. It is like as if they do not deal with a huge number of people, but just have some school kid’s site that is running on its own. He literally looked like a kid who has not grown up yet, but he has certainly learned how to say sorry with an innocent look. He was sorry about allowing selling off and giving to whoever access to such data. We are so sorry. We hear that so frequently, way too frequently.

Well, we also hear about people deleting their profiles and pages from Facebook.

Basically, while it may help one in the future, the harm has been done. If you were using many apps and sharing all kinds of attractive images with unknown origin and these hearty “if you have a daughter …”, “if you have a mother …”, “if you have a sister or brother…” texts or images, you are already in. You’ve been tracked big time. The truth is that software that is intended to mask its real intentions is designed to appeal to people who do not have time or enough insight in order to realize what they are really doing. Some people are really hooked on this. I told one lady: could you please stop sending me these attachments, I told a lot of people: could you please stop inviting me to strange games and sites and activities that I am completely not interested in, but they ignore my requests. They believe everybody is in silly games and sweet attachment sharing.

It is not that I really love any of the social media sites. In fact, I’d rather not be on any of them, but just like everybody else I simply need access to larger audiences while being quite isolated in the real life. For me, it feels quite frequently like a duty: if I do not post any announcements or any updates of my studio, I become 100% invisible. It is not that I am extremely visible right now. I do not have time to be obsessed with posting even on my blogs, not to mention I could ever have enough time to review or read everything on Twitter or on Facebook. I limit my presence there to approximately 5 minutes a day or 10 minutes every three days. I do sometimes disappear completely from blogs and social media when I am having some large writing job, do not feel well enough or when I am struggling with my current pain attack.

I never understood people who congratulate their children or spouses who live together on Facebook. My question always was: cannot you say this personally?

Lots of people use such social media sites to show off, to get some “oh, my God you look so beautiful” when they actually absolutely do not, “you are so talented” when that is not the case at all, “your kids are so wonderful and gifted” when your kids are just simply kids and do everything normal what a kid should.

I am wondering how people are not alarmed or worried when they post all of their life on social media. They check in during the day and even night in all places they visit or stay, or work, they take numerous selfies and make everybody aware about what exactly they are doing and when. What a wonderful tracking experience that must be for companies that sell you lots of junk and useless things, as well as ask you to sign up for anything and register with anything! Plus, anybody can spy on your whereabouts.

If you think that deleting Facebook profile or business page is enough and you do not want to be there, you still cannot undo the past and take back your data from tracking and malware inserting sites that spy on you, your activities and are present in every step of your life. Instagram is owned by Facebook. You Tube along with multiple companies is owned by Google which is owned by Alphabet. As you watch You Tube somebody could be watching you. We all use Google maps, we are all certainly aware that somebody also knows where we are at all times.

Every time when you sign up for a new app on your smart phone, you should really think who you are allowing into your house, into your family and into your personal life. Tracking is not only what Facebook apps do. Every app has a potential to steal your data and use your data in the way they find necessary.

It might be a good moment to clean up the social profiles or to at least clarify what does what and where things you share go.

The more connected you are, the bigger threats you actually are facing. If you are an obsessive internet shopper, these tracking and spying apps adore and love you. Even if you just send a few messages and e-mails here there, even if you have signed up for a few sites that you believe have nothing to do with spying on you, you still cannot trust everybody and blindly rely on their promises.

I personally think a good principle is this: if you can show the content that you are posting or letting to appear on the internet to anybody including your children, parents, teachers, boss or coworkers, as well as law enforcement agencies and it does not disclose too much of your sensitive information, why not? It is just so that one has to really decide who and what they should trust and to what extent they are able to rely on their agreements about not selling out your personal information to third parties. Trust is something that must be earned. Do not give it out as added value to what you are already paying for the services some social or other online site provides you with. Trust, but check meticulously. Rely only on these who have proven to be worth your trust.

As I was typing this, Facebook’s stock was on a downtrend, it was down quite a lot actually, somewhere in the range of 150 US. Well, there were mentioned also other internet giants who pose a big threat to your privacy: Yahoo being one of the most affected in the past and the potential vulnerabilities of You Tube. When something is so big, there is always potential to miss some harmful bad guy and anybody unfair will use that. Therefore, maybe it’s time to switch your trust to somebody more reliable, such as the real people in your real life.

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.

Absence of shadows

We are shocked so frequently with extremely bad news.

We cannot be in a steady state of sorrow and grief.

I am focusing on the good things that surround me. These are mainly colors and the sunny backyard.

I used to cry for everything and I was crying a lot even reading books and watching movies. It seems I am in a place now where there are no long shadows.

It is much more peaceful since the entrance gate is locked. It’s not that I have built a wall around me, but I am carefully   selecting the things that get in.

When we allow strange forces and energies to take over, it can be very difficult to get back to oneself. Almost impossible since we are scattered all around like falling leaves.

I have to immerse myself in colors. The stunningly dark red and the blindingly bright yellow.

This is so refreshing.

I let my thoughts go.

I skip the sad pages and get back to colors.

It will be never so that everybody will smile and breathe easily. There is day and night. Light and darkness.

We are energy. We can be pure and clean energy and we can damage us allowing too many dark shadows cover up the light.

So, this is today.

I hope it is a good tomorrow.

I have no idea how the weather will be after that.

I am walking around live colors. I am inhaling them and they become a taste, too. What a relief! Meditation. Simply: I let the time disappear.

For it’s going to be a good tomorrow.

Beautiful picture gallery displaying fall nature, enjoy!

The red

 

The orange-red

The pink

The nicely pink

The yellow

The deeply red