Dare to leave your comfort zone

If your are an observant reader of my blog (of course you are:-)), you might have noticed that I have had a rather Poetic start of the new year. Unleashing my inner poet, and (re-) discovering others. The flow in poetry gets to me a lot these days... It's like words on a low gearwords in slow motion, words like in a song. I have simply enjoyed it so much.

Writing poetry is a bit of a new territory for me, and publishing my poems is definitely moving out of my comfort zone. But hey, that was a part of my own promises to myself for the new year. To be brave, to take responsibility for my own life like in Caged bird no more, and to Be your own boss, to just go for it if it feels right, and to dare to be brave, even if it means leaving my comfort zone. Sometimes we can even use a gentle push, just to make us dare, to take that first step, to go there. And sometimes life has a plan of it's own, and before we know it, life is turned upside down. Still, there is always hope, healing, and a plan B:-) Yes, you will get through it and you will come out in the other end, you might have to leave your comfort zone and take a chance or two. If you want to go for it, do it. Life is too short for regrets.

One of my favourite poems about this was written in 1924, by the Swedish poet Karin Boye. Her style of writing makes her poetry just as relevant today. I hope you will like this one as much as I do:

You shall thank your gods (by Karin Boye. English translation by David McDuff)

You shall thank your gods,
if they force you to go
where you have no footprints
to trust to.

You shall thank your gods,
if all shame on you they pin.
You must seek refuge
a little further in.

What the whole world condemns
sometimes manages quite well.
Outlaws were many
who gained their own soul.

He who is forced to wild wood
looks on all with new sight,
and he tastes with gratitude
life's bread and salt.

You shall thank your gods,
when your shell they break.
Reality and kernel
the sole choice you can make.


This moment

The blue blue hour
before the sun will go
the pale pale beauty
all silence in the snow

not even a bit of wind
disturbs this harmony
it's all so quiet
oh how magic life can be

I hold my breath and smile
and look up at the blue
this moment, I embrace it so
and if I can, so can you

embrace it, live it now
suddenly its history
so grab it, make it yours
wherever you might be 

I leave the cold behind 
and wander back inside
a candle, cup of tea
perfect moment, in my mind:-) 

What did you do today, with your moments? Please share:-)


Be your own boss

No, this is not a new crazy business idea of mine, but a result of one of many talks with a good friend. You see, I wrote about New Year's Resolutions, and we ended up discussing what it really means to be responsible? What does it take? Can it be hard? Do you maybe have to make some tough choices?

The answer is YES. You will need to be brave. It will take some courage. You might have to move out of your comfort zone. But if you do not take control over your own life, you can be pretty sure that someone else will try to. So the best way of making your life yours (again) is to be your own boss. How to do it? No miracles, no magic, just a bit of new thinking and some action.

So: take responsibility for your life, for your own choices. Accept that you can not control what other people say about you, plan or what they do. But you can choose if you will allow it to affect you.

To make it a little easier for yourself you can:
- Remove toxic people from your life. Yes. You are the boss of your life so you are free to let go of the ones who do not belong there anymore. It can be hard, especially if you are a people-pleaser or an empathic person, but it can be necessary.

Some times, in extreme cases (like if you have a narcissist/psychopath in your life) you need to completely remove them in order to save yourself. That means: No contact. Including blocking them on emails, social media, phones. If you have lived with a person like that close to you, you need to break the trauma/dependent bond, and start to heal and to find yourself again. No contact is the only way, as the other person will just interpret what you say into fitting his/hers false fantasy world anyway. When they can not control you any more, be prepared that they might try to stalk you or try to control how other people look at you. Let it be. Focus on your life and your healing. You can read more about why it's important to stay no contact and how to break free here.

As for the less extreme cases, try to surround yourself with "your people", the ones you feel good being with, the ones you feel yourself with, the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones you laugh, cry, talk and do stuff with. The ones you want to see again. And again and again. You know who they are.

I know it isn't easy. I know that sometimes you have to relate to toxic people whether you like it or not. But then remember: you can choose if you will allow them to irritate you, get to you, ruin your mood. You got this. You can control your mind. It is your choice, your responsibility.

Make room in your life for the people you enjoy spending time with. And try to spend your time on what you would like to spend your time on. Yes. That simple. Be in charge. Be your own boss.  

For life is here and now. This is what we have. This is what we know. By taking responsibility, you have the power over your life in your hands. Do not give it away, to anyone. You are strong. Now dare to be brave: follow your dreams and your intuitions. Live your life. If something feels right, go for it. Do it. Life is too short for regrets.


Caged bird no more

So, I had a long break recently. A break from TV, and from The Internet. Yup, I went offline. I wish I could say totally offline, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, right. No miracles. Let's just say I was mostly offline, and a tiny bit online. Yes, I realised: it is actually do-able to be offline for quite a long time (we are talking hours here, even some whole days!). And as shocking as it might sound: I confess: I enjoyed it! So did. It was this feeling that it was me... and the world, you know. And some real people. And it felt good that hardly anyone knew where I was or what I was doing. I didn't need to show or tell. The world and I - more than enough.

So, no tv, no internet, what did I do instead?


I went for walks to clear my mind,
for exercise, and to be kind

kind to my soul and body too
An offline day! Now what to do?

A chance To Be, to sense and see
the sky, the wind caressing me

To smile, feel free, just like a bird,
my own voice: only one that's heard

It tells me that it's Here and Now
that life is great, I told you so

Choose to be happy, strong and free
only You decide your destiny

oh, and go on -  take time to read a poem too!

Yes, that is what I did on my offline days. Feeling free, strong, happy. I socialised, And I did read some poems. The sense of freedom overwhelmed me. I did made this promise to my self: not to be caged. Ever. To always stay free, to think, act, laugh, love, talk, cry and make my life as I want it. That is freedom and that is what making friends with yourself is all about. Do always listen to that inner voice of yours. Choose your life and your freedom. Choose to be happy. Choose You.

One of the poems that I rediscovered was Caged Bird by Maya Angelou. May we always be free birds, with no cages even in sight:

The free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

Have a lovely weekend - maybe an offline one? Then what will you do? Please share:-) 


Love is

I woke up this morning smiling, with my own promises for 2016 so fresh in my mind. I got out of bed, wrapped myself in a soft robe and went to the kitchen to put on the kettle. I sat down at the kitchen table, sipped my cup of green tea (oh, am I healthy) while looking outside the window. The big tree looked grey and dry, but I could see a sparrow, right there by the red nesting box. I heard someone laugh from the street, a small boy and his mum was walking by. A car passed. I took some deep breaths and closed my eyes. Yup, still smiling:-) How rich am I, I think, to have my tea, to wake up to yet another day and to feel so loved by friends and family. Not all my days starts off in this way, but I am grateful that this one did. And I follow my own promise: I am in the moment, and I practice gratitude. Today, for some reason, I feel especially grateful that I have so much love in my life. Grateful that I love someone and that someone loves me.

What is it about love that makes us go all crazy? Unconditional love where you want only the best for the people you love, Not to trap, control or possess them, but just feeling happy for them because they are so dear to you. You want good things for them. That's that healthy positive love - that love should be, I think. And is it just a coincidence that my most popular post ever is my poem In love (more than 3 times more read than the second best). I guess we can't have enough of that loooooving feeling? So, let me finish with the cute poem, love is, by Adrian Henri:

Love is feeling cold in the back of vans
Love is a fanclub with only two fans
Love is walking holding paintstained hands
Love is.

Love is fish and chips on winter nights
Love is blankets full of strange delights
Love is when you don't put out the light
Love is

Love is the presents in Christmas shops
Love is when you're feeling Top of the Pops
Love is what happens when the music stops
Love is

Love is white panties lying all forlorn
Love is pink nightdresses still slightly warm
Love is when you have to leave at dawn
Love is

Love is you and love is me
Love is prison and love is free
Love's what's there when you are away from me
Love is...

I am also grateful that YOU are visiting my blog:-) What are you grateful for today? Please share. 


Hello 2016! - New Year's resolutions anyone?

And bye - bye to you, 2015! It was ok to let you go, you know. You were a rocky year. A year with some gloomy downs I never thought I'd come out of, but also with some amazing ups that brought hope, love and brightness into my life. Life at it's worst and life at it's best, that was you. But the heavy storms did pass, and here I am, a stronger person, because of you. And I feel grateful. I got to live you and I got to learn from you. Now I have left you behind me. I bid you farewell, while taking with me whatever you taught me, good and bad.

And then, like a red balloon, I sent you away, up towards the blue sky. I waved farewell to you and I welcomed 2016.
A new year. A fresh start. And what about those New Year's resolutions? I was sitting giggling, while reading some old blogs of mine -  it was a lifetime between then and now. A few years back, when I was living in India, I had made a quite long but interesting list of resolutions for myself:   

1. Do good for others. Based on the work I did at an NGO I had as a resolution to continue to volunteer. I experienced how, with just a little support, peoples lives changed for the better. And my own life changed for the better by being a part of it.

2. A body in balance. A resolution was to continue to practice yoga and meditation, as well as stay fit in every way. I had learned better how mind and body are connected. India taught me well, but I am still a humble learner....

3. Be curious, explore and learn new things. A resolution was to improve my photography skills, maybe give Hindi a second chance (!), travel to places I had never been to and strive to always keep my mind curious, open and positive....

4. Nurture my cultural side. A resolution was to do more of reading, writing, taking pictures.... art, music, theatre.....

5. Be in the moment. My final resolution was to always be aware to Live Here And Now, enjoy the little things. Whether it is reading a letter from a dear childhood friend, making pancakes on a Tuesday, see the flowers blossom, give or receive a smile or to feel the breeze in my hair...

WELL, it was amusing to read that list, and I realise that I have taken lots of that with me, and made it a part of my life. This year, I did not made any resolutions for 2016. But I made myself some promises. Some thoughts, based on my experiences, which I know adds a positive aspect to my every day life:

1To Be in the moment. Yes. Then and now. This moment is what we have. It will never come back. Embrace it. Let the past go and let the future be. Let go of whatever or whoever you can not change, and accept that. Here and now. Life. Do not miss it. 

2. To be grateful. Gratitude. The source. No matter how dark and gloomy life seems, there is always something to feel grateful for. This year I will continue with my daily routine: to reflect on what I am grateful for today. Every day. It gives me strength, happiness, calmness and a peaceful mind.

3. To be responsible. For my own life. For my own happiness. I can not control what other people say about me, but I can choose if I will allow it to affect me. Do not blame others. Take responsibility. It is empowering and it makes you brave too. Brave to explore life. To dare to believe again. Believe in yourself, in others, in life, in love. Believe that it can be possible. That it can happen. That you can do it. So Be Brave. If something feels right, go for it. Life is too short for regrets. 

If you, like me, would like to make gratitude and positiveness a part of your new year, an idea is to make a jar like this:  

I wish you a happy new year, and thanks for reading! Did you, by the way, make any New Year's resolutions this year? Please share:-)