Blink of an eye

Blink of an eye

   Years pass in a blink of an eye. Just yesterday, I was a 7 years old girl with long blond hair and inquisitive eyes. I was dreaming of things that were coming in my life, I was anxious and had many questions unanswered.

   Then I blinked and I was suddenly 14, just starting high school, eyes wide opened and heart pounding, scared and feeling so alone in a classroom with other 14 years olds that I did not know.

   Another second later, and I was walking on the immense hallways of the university, almost running, trying to find the amphitheater for my first hour ever as a student.

   I blinked again and I was 25 and getting married, with my beautiful, yellow dress (yes, yellow, white is not me, not me at all!) with my bouquet of roses and a rosy smile.

   One more time and I was in the hospital, holding my little bundle of joy for the first time, happy that he was finally here after our shared 9 months journey; I was staring at that sweet baby face and was so infinitely overjoyed, so overwhelmed with love and so mesmerized by that frail being who was clinging to me instinctively and searching my heartbeat for comfort.

   And, in between those moments, there was a lot of growing up I had to do, there were moments of joy and there were tears. There were many tears, like when my mother died and I felt so lost, so angry and furious … so mad at the world.

   And so many memories … the first time I felt the new life growing inside me, visiting the old town of Prague, the sound of the waves and salted seawater, the fresh air in the mountains, when we were walking down the mountain trail, the taste of apricots and the smell of the freshly baked bread.   All of that seems to be crowded in a blink of an eye. Yet all of that – and more, since it would be impossible to capture it all with words – happened during 40 years – a lifetime or a second in the great scheme of things. All of the above – and all that still remains untold – define who I am today. It is my journey of becoming that I decided to share with you in my blog posts.

This is not literature. This is life, as I understand it.

  Lots of sunshine to you all!

  Near 40 Dana

Love!

Love!

   Hello there! It has been a while. Today I decided to talk to you about the main reasons that fuel humanity in times of joy, times of sorrow and hardships. The reasons that stand behind each decision, each step, each attitude. Love and hate – the two emotions that fundamentally shape our world.

   Hate is powerful destruction weapon. For centuries, it has fueled wars and to this day it still does. Hate also kills ideas, happiness, and relations and ultimately it can end the world, as we know it. Everything that springs out of hate has as an ultimate result the devastation of the human soul. Hate operates dissociation: you place yourself opposite to the object of your hate; you are always better, more worthy, more important. You judge.

   Lucky for us, Love is a powerful tool too. And love functions on associations. You and what or who you love are on the same part of the barricade.

   I remember realizing how strong love is the day I found out I was pregnant with my son. I remember each day of that 9 months, while he was happily growing, he was kicking and moving a lot and I was so in love, I was so fascinated by the journey of that that little cell that slowly was developing to create a brand new human being. That little cell was using the force of my love. To this date, the little human being is seeking my love and using it to grow, to mature and to become what he needs to become.

   People do incredible things out of love: you never realize how much you are capable of until you are tested and you will see that nothing is too much, too hard, impossible when the engine is Love. When life happens and we face its challenges, it is only love that can push us out of the mess and move us forward. Things that spring out of love grow, flourish and stand the test of time.

   Both hate and love can make you move mountains – it is just that you move them in opposite directions. So do yourself the biggest favor: Love!

 Lots of sunshine to you all!

 Near 40 Dana

The storyteller

The storyteller

   In a time when there were no TV’s and when computers did not exist, the most common entertainment was to be found in … words. The Storytellers. Those who brought tears and laughter, sadness and joy. Those who knew that words could make and break. Those who created magic. Those who understood our deepest fears and who explored our inner world of emotions.

   Nobody knows when the art of storytelling began. It is very likely that the origins of this irreplaceable and wonderful habit are very close to the moment language – as a form of human manifestation – was created. Storytelling happened publicly, in an opened space, usually the central market of a town or village – as it was the only place that could accommodate such a large audience. To this day, storytelling addresses the masses and it is accessible to them. Think about the all books and magazines that circulate freely and that are now readily available in all sorts of formats, from hard cover printed ones, to pdf and audio formats. Think about movies and plays. Better yet: think about YouTube, with its content creators from all corners of our Planet, each of them telling his or her own story to the world. Or bloggers. Yes, I am proud to say I am a storyteller. I hope to be a good one: each post I strive to get better in mastering the art of words.

   There is however a significant difference between the ancient storytellers and the modern ones and it resides in latter’s proximity to its audience, in that nearness to the human being that told the story. In ancient times, people gathered around the storyteller and then the magic began. Nowadays, the storyteller might be thousands of miles away. Still, somehow, magic happens.

   The stories are life. Life as it is, as we know it, with ordinary people and ordinary things. Life as it was – with princes, kings and queens, with battles for conquering distant lands, with animals the no longer exist and that, with passing of time, became mythical and began to embody our fears. With heroes that in the end save the day (and the world). They grew larger and stronger than they ever were. Life as it might be, life as an endless roundabout, which could stop at any moment. Life as transformation and life as possibility. Life as chance.

   This need for stories, for information, for things to believe in is not new. It has always existed within us. It defined us and it made us who we are today. This need for information made the medieval man seek troubadours in the market places, and what made the troubadours go from town to town in search of different stories. It is from this need of explaining things, of understanding them, of taming them somehow that we grow. I am a mother and I know how powerful a good story is. Kids know it as well: that is why, given the chance, they will ask for a story each night before bad time. Look at their eyes when you read them. Look at their expressions when they are older and they read stories by their own. It is priceless!

   The storytellers are not extinct and I hope and pray that they will never die. They know the fairies and monsters that lurk inside us. They still play the game. And we still need them to do their job.

   Lots of sunshine to you all!

Near 40 Dana

About the power of goals

About the power of goals

    Goals are very powerful weapons. They can make you or break you, if you let them. Goals need to be realistic – although if you do not push yourself a little, if you do not challenge yourself enough, your goals can be pretty useless. If something is easy to achieve, than it can hardly be qualified as an accomplishment, can it? Goals and challenges make you grow, drive you to move forward.

   But this life is crazy. Life as an almost 40, near 40 and I presume life as a 40 something individual is pretty crazy. Nothing is simple anymore. When I was in my 20s and even in my 30s, things seemed to come natural, effortlessly. Work, life, friends … everything was … cool. Now, two decades later, we are each on a different path, leading very similar and yet very different lives. Change has happened and not always in the right direction.

   Not all of us master the art of goal setting. Or not anymore … For some of us it has always been hard to set personal goals. For others, what happens in their late 30s and continues during their 40s is that they forget to set goals for themselves. They sometimes have been idealistic in their youth, they believed that they can move mountains, they did not and then they have stopped trying. Sometimes, having a family, kids, professions, jobs, busy lives in general, seems too overwhelming and we simply start delaying any goal setting in favor of chores, appointments, meetings and all that jazz.

   But goals are so essential for our growth and development! One day I realized that my life was a dull linear path of chores, appointments, meetings and all that jazz and I was so, so tired of all of that. Consequently, what I started to do – and I advise you to do the same – is that I set one goal for myself each week, one goal corresponding to each month and a couple of important, complex goals to achieve by the end of the year. Write those down in a note book, diary or even in your agenda. Having written goals helps you focus on them more. Then move forward towards achieving them.

   For example, my weekly goals are typically linked to my need to reconnect with myself, to take of myself and they usually generate a state of wellbeing. They are usually just little things that I do for myself – this week, for instance, I decided to start walking on foot more – thus increasing the level of my physical activity.

   As for the bigger goals, they relate to things that I want to achieve in this life, since it is the only one I have. This blog is one of my yearly goals. I usually treat them differently because I split my bigger goals into smaller actions and attach deadlines to those actions. This, I think, helps me to advance. I am not perfect; I still strive to get everything done for all the others (family and job wise) without neglecting my goals and myself. It is still hard at times – when I come home from work drained of all energy and exhausted. However, after having this system in place for while I can tell you that it works, even if the change is only psychological (so even if I walk more, my weight did not go down – and maybe it will never go down – but my state of mind has gone up).

   Tony Robins is seldom quoted on this one, and it is so, so very true: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” Goal setting, if used correctly, is an instrument of change. Life is change. Your 40s will not be the same as you 30s or 20s. And it is OK.

Until next week, lots of sunshine to you all!

Near 40 Dana