“What we focus on, grows”
I’m totally sure that our thoughts and feelings create our reality. I’ve experienced it so many times and successfully manifested good things (and bad things if I allow myself to dwell upon negative thoughts for too long), so these days I’m really conscious about what I think and what I focus on. I feel that most people way undervalue the power of words we say to ourselves and people around us.
Affirmations are the sentences/ideas that you repeat to yourself until they become your natural thinking and behaving patterns. It’s like a wishlist that you state to your mind again and again, until it fully accepts it as a true. And this is where the magic happens- once you believe in something you start to attract such things to your life and behave according to your new beliefs.
I knew about affirmations and tried them here and there for many years but until last year I never really gave them enough practice. The biggest change was when I read the book “The miracle morning” which suggested affirmations as one of the main parts of your morning routine. I’m always reading some personal development books and experimenting with different suggestions I find there and this time I really felt like I want to experiment with affirmations. I had a few themes I wanted to work with and chose my affirmations accordingly. For example I knew I want to become more feminine and intuitive and I was really bad at decision making. Now I feel like I already fixed the one with decision making and improved a lot on the other ones.
So how do you start using affirmations? The way I do it is this: whenever I read a book or article online and find an idea that I know I don’t fully believe or behave like that, but I would like to integrate it into my life and beliefs I write it down in my journal where I have few pages for affirmations. This way I’ve gathered a variety of different affirmations that I can afterwards read/tell to myself during my morning routine. You can also make your own affirmations when you want to create a certain changes in your belief system or behaviour.
For inspiration I will share with you some of my favorite affirmations, firstly from other people:
From “The Big Leap”:
“I expand in abundance, success & love every day as I inspire those around me to do the same”
From “The game of life and how to play it”:
“I’m always under direct inspiration, I make right decisions, quickly”
“Infinite Spirit, reveal to me the way, let me know if there is anything for me to do”
“Infinite Spirit, open the way for the Divine design of my life to manifest; let the genius within me now be released; let me see clearly the perfect plan”
“I have a perfect work
In a perfect way
I give a perfect service
For perfect pay”
“God is my unfailing supply and large sums of money come to me quickly, under grace, in perfect ways”
From Melissa Ambrossini:
“I have bountiful energy and vibrant health”
From Luise Hay ( these affirmations are from her book “You can heal your life”)
“I’m a Divine expression of life, I love and accept myself where I am right now”
“I’m a decisive person. I follow through and support myself with love”
“I now choose to make my life light and easy and joyful”
“I easily flow with the change. My life is Divinely guided and I’m always going in the best direction.”
“I trust the process of life. I easily ask for what I want, life supports me”
“Divine creativity flows through me”
“I trust my intuition and how it feels, and it leads me wonderfully”
Now how do you create your own affirmations? You can simply create statements that you want to believe in and which you want to be true for you. Another way to create affirmations which is supposed to be very efficient is this:
“I am committed to (precise action) so that I could (precise result) by the (precise date).”
For example: “I’m committed to running in the morning 3 times a week so that I could successfully run a marathon by the end of summer”
Though it’s often recommended and seems to be logical (there is a why and a precise, time-bound goal) but I found that for me personally this formulation is a bit too masculine and doesn’t evoke any feelings and therefore doesn’t inspire change. I need to imagine and feel the result when I’m reading the affirmation to make it work, but as everyone of us is different I wanted to include this approach, too.
Here are some of my own affirmations that I love to use:
“I allow myself to play, create and have fun”
“I’m wonderful at expressing myself, helping others and making a difference to the world”
“It’s safe for me to let my heart and inspiration lead”
“It’s safe for me to create my life exactly as I like”
Have you ever tried affirmations? What are your favorite ones? What would you like to believe and be if you could create anything?
With love & inspiration,
P.S. I want to share with you few other things this week.
A song I found and love so much (ah, those Icelandic people always have something magical) and also that there is a giveaway of a gorgeous Drop bottle (remember my post last week?) on my Instagram account until Monday! To be able to win you have to follow my account, Drop bottle account and comment under the Drop bottle picture in my IG account telling which colour of the 4 you would choose! I will announce the winner next Monday on my IG :) The give away is for Europe, USA and Australia.
Today it’s again 30 degrees here in Munich and this post is about how to enjoy such summer days in a new and creative way :)
We all know that about 60% of our bodies are made from water and that we should always keep ourselves hydrated to be healthy and youthful but most people still drink way too less water. I think our social conditioning really does us a disservice here- rarely are we told from childhood to drink pure water while coffee, tea or sodas are always encouraged… The other reason I think is that even those who know that they should drink water often find plain water to be well, plain and boring. I already drink a lot of water or water with lemon but when one day I saw this product on Instagram I was suddenly so freaking excited! How much fun it can be to mix your own tastes for the water, plus it just looks SO good! A health-nut and design-lover in me were equally excited :)
Of course you can find many different brands selling water bottles to make infused water or easily make a DIY solution, but I always love having beautiful & high-quality things. So when I saw bottles from “Drop Bottle” I knew I needed one (or not one…). These minimalistic, elegant bottles come in 4 different colours and are made from glass and stainless steel making them BPA-free (free from Bisphenol A, a known endocrine disruptor, a chemical commonly used to harden plastics).
Besides the design & quality materials I also loved the company’s vision:
“DROP Bottle is a functional bottle company with a goal: to revolutionise the way people drink water and stay hydrated while leading the way for socially conscious businesses.
At DROP Bottle the customer, the community and our shared environment are at the centre of everything we do. We’re proud to support our charity partners with a small percentage of sales going toward bringing clean water to the world’s poorest communities and helping to protect the environment. ”
I always have a soft-spot for Australian brands, in my opinion they somehow always make the best (most beautiful, intentional, inspiring) products and this brand was one more confirmation :)…
So how do you make infused water and what are the benefits?
Actually very simply. Select a combination of fruits, fresh herbs, berries or spices like fresh ginger, cut them in pieces and fill the bottle with water. Let them infuse for a t least few hours or over-night. Enjoy your own tasty water :) And the benefits are obviously hydration itself (we need to drink around 2L of water a day to allow our bodies to function well, keep the skin youthful and flush out the toxins) and you can have a drink which is tasty and chemical-free (not like the store-bought sodas). The added fruits, berries and herbs are alkalising and full of vitamins, anti-oxidants and make the water detoxifying. And lastly, I think it’s just such a creative and playful process to make them!
Some of my favorite combinations:
Fresh mint, strawberries & currants (squeeze them before adding)
Fresh mint, lime & cucumber
Oranges, nectarines & fresh mint or basil
Cherries, oranges & fresh mint or basil
Fresh ginger & lime
Have you tried making fruit-infused water? What is your favourite combination? Let me know in the comments below :)
With love and inspiration,
P.S. If we’re not connected yet I would like to invite you to follow me on Instagram- I share my inspirations and day-to-day stories there more often than here.
© All images are my own.
As I mentioned in the previous post I’m currently studying Reiki, a form of Japanese energy healing. There are certain rules one should keep in order to practise Reiki, like certain foods you should and shouldn’t eat, but today I wanted to share with you something else- 5 Reiki principles to live by. I find them so beautiful and wise and when I read them they always put a smile on my face :)
5 Reiki principles
- Just for today, I will not worry
- Just for today, I will not be angry
- Just for today, I will do my work honestly
- Just for today, I will give many thanks for my blessings
- Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing
Why do I like them so much? Because of many reasons. In a nutshell, they capture the recipe for a righteous, happy life. The last one encourages you to be good to every living thing, and as a vegetarian and nature loving person I really relate to that. And the part I love most is that they all cleverly start with words “just for today”. Let me explain why I think this is a brilliant framing. For our minds, it is very difficult to commit to some permanent decisions, especially when we know they can be difficult to sustain. You can’t easily make a goal for yourself to not be angry for your whole life- who knows what’s gonna happen in the future? So making such a goal instantly feels fake because we know we won’t be able to sustain it for the whole life, so it feels worthless to even start. On the other hand, aiming to do something “just for today” is easy- surely you can keep your decision for a single day. But the clever part is that you’re supposed to read/repeat to yourself those Reiki principles every morning and suddenly it tricks the mind. Suddenly, you can do it today, and the next day, and the next day, without the concern of committing to something long term.
And what’s most important is that such framing gives you a second (or third or fourth) chance. If you failed, you didn’t just make the whole goal unattainable, you simply made a mistake just for today, and tomorrow is a new day where you can start again. It’s such an empowering way to frame goals and such a beautiful way to guide you through your day. Think about how most people make big goals & New Year resolutions for the whole year feeling excited and determined but quit them after the first mistake because they feel that they already broke their promise to themselves, so why even bother trying further… And I can tell you right away- any big goal in your life will be reached only through continuous small steps, and you will “fail” and most probably many times…
So I encourage you to choose this empowering perspective- you don’t have to use these specific Reiki principles, but think what would you like to commit to, and just for today, go and do it.
With love & inspiration,
P.S. there is one more thing why I like those principles. I think it SO beautiful when they say “be kind to your neighbor”- I find it to be such a Japanese thing as in the west we usually even don’t know who our neighbours are or at best say a formal “Hello” when we meet them. This principle instantly reminds me various movies from my favorite artist- Japanese anime genius Hayo Miyazaki (from Studio Ghibli). His movies always show an authentic human connection, warmth and respect between all people, and there are many scenes showing kindness & respect between neighbors. If you don’t know Miyazaki- search for let’s “Spirited Away” and I promise- you’re in for a treat ;)
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu
I haven’t said anything here for a while. In general, I would say I had withdrawn from any self-expression for many months, working, traveling and silently doing spiritual practice, leaning more into what’s actually calling me, getting to know myself better and doing various psychological & physical practices to improve myself. I’m so used to constantly create and put things out in the world but lately it was only silence. The truth is that even though my work as a photographer is considered “creative” but I haven’t felt so uncreative in my whole life as I felt in the last few months. What was once my passion and playground somehow morphed into just work. And don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful that I learned all I needed and created this career. I can use my talent, work with really lovely people, earn well from that and still have much more freedom than most people have, but lately I feel disconnected. Or should I say I feel really connected to myself and what I want in life, but not showing that (yet) in the outer world.
For quite long I’ve felt that as a photographer, especially as one working in business to business field I have to be and behave a certain way. To be normal, so to say (isn’t it strange how we create limiting beliefs and restrict ourselves in life?). And I felt this disconnection from who I am and how I show up in the world, like I’m censoring parts of myself that are not suitable for my career. As much as I like expressing my vision and sharing inspiration through photography the current, really business focused direction that I’m going into doesn’t satisfy me on a soul level. At first, I REALLY tried to not notice that, I didn’t want to notice that. I mean, years ago I started from scratch and now I’m finally successful in my career, I live well and wasn’t that my goal in a first place? Shouldn’t I be super happy about that? I tried to deny those silent thoughts and feelings telling me that I should keep exploring, but they kept coming up and in the end you can’t deceive yourself. I know that my years in Germany and stable, “normal” career in photography is a phase that was (and still is) needed to pursue further goals and it gives me lots of valuable experience, but I now I feel it’s time for me to start slowly changing directions. To shed my limiting beliefs of how I should behave and to start doing and sharing what my heart desires, freely, even if that will be considered strange by some people. But we can never be good for everyone, can we? :)
So the first thing I crave to do is to get back to writing & sharing and to get back to creating things for myself, not only for clients. For more than 5 years now I’m studying various personal development tools & techniques, experimenting with various spiritual practices and ways to live a harmonious & happy life and this is the most exciting thing for me, so I decided that it’s finally time to share this with others, even though it’s not related to my current career. I did this before in some small ways in this blog, but it was still a censored version and I want to be able to fully share my thoughts & beliefs.
I really feel that life is changing in many subtle ways now, here are few (open) examples:
* I’m sure I don’t want to be a food blogger (at some point I thought I want). Yes, I love healthy food and I really enjoy photographing food, but there are other things that light me up more and that I find so much more meaningful (to me personally, I’m not saying that its not meaningful in general. Everything is if that’s your calling). To be honest, I don’t care so much about fancy recipes- I see food mostly as a fuel for body and mind. It’s important for me to eat food that is ethically produced, that nourishes me and is tasty, but I don’t crave new recipes all the time (not that good for a food blogger ;)… ) Also, recently I unexpectedly switched to a vegan diet, which even more simplified the way I eat, but increased my energy levels even more and fixed my skin problems that I had lately. I went to a holistic doctor to figure out what is wrong as my skin which used to be ideal all my life was not so ideal anymore. According to the doctor the main reason was too much stress, but my food intolerance test also showed that I would really be better off without any diary (and cacao… And I LOVE really dark, quality chocolate…). So without any planning and serious decision making I just gave it a try and so far I’m loving it. I’m vegetarian for almost ten years now and I always thought that for ethical and health reasons it would be better to be vegan. On the other hand, I also imagined that it would be too complicated, especially when going out or when you’re a guest. So far I find it surprisingly easy.
So though I won’t be focusing on food recipes that much, but I still will share healthy recipe here and there :)
* When doing my goal list this year I made a decision to finally study deeper the things that I’m interested in and get certifications, even though I’m still working as a photographer full-time. It took me literally years to start speaking openly about spiritual and unconventional things I believe in and practice, but here you go :) I’m studying to get a Reiki (a form of Japanese energy healing/alternative medicine) certificate and this year I also want to get EFT practitioner’s certificate. EFT (emotional freedom technique, or “tapping”) deserves a whole separate post and it’s a technique that literally is changing my life and which I’m really passionate about. I’m really excited to study it deeper and maybe even start teaching it to others as it’s such a wonderful tool to change your emotional state and remove your limiting beliefs. I really think this is something that should be taught in schools and everyone would be better off knowing this tool.
*As I’ve mentioned I feel that the current direction in life is not what I really want and I feel that time to move on is slowly coming. I don’t mean only/necessarily in career sense, but also location-wise. We’re currently exploring and discussing many options with my husband and it will depend on many things, but what I know is that we want more freedom and more going out of the comfort zone.
I would love to hear your comments: were you ever in a state that you know you need to change, but something is blocking you? What did you do and was the change worth it? What would you do with your life if you wouldn’t be afraid of change and uncertainty?
With love and inspiration,
For many years visiting Iceland was one of my dreams and this spring it should finally come to reality- I, my husband and our two friends are going to two-week long trip to Iceland. It will be one week of hiking through the most beautiful hiking trail and one week going with a car around Iceland, visiting waterfalls and camping (and for me personally- taking tons of pictures and searching for elves- I’m sure that if they are to be found somewhere- it’s in Iceland ;) ). We’re leaving just in the middle of May, so it might seem as a long time from now, but we understand it will be physically demanding trip with unpredictable Icelandic weather, pretty cold temperatures and all the physical activities, so we already started with some preparations. One of the things we constantly think about is food- most of our trip will be in the wilderness and no shops will be nearby, so we’re planning to take some food with us. With limited space and weight in our backpacks we’re searching for foods that are high in calories, very nutritious, easy to transport or prepare while camping and tasty. So lately we’re experimenting with sprouted seeds & dry fruit bars. Why sprouted? All nuts & seeds are very nutritionally dense and satiating foods but they contain inhibitor enzymes to protect them from sprouting which makes them much more difficult to digest. Soaking and sprouting deactivates those inhibitor enzymes and activates beneficial enzymes in them and allow our bodies to absorb nutrients from nuts and seeds much better. It may sound complicated at first, but all you need to know is that it’s always a good idea to soak or sprout your nuts and seeds :) These days we’re sprouting sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and buckwheats in big quantities, then drying them in dehydrator (you can use oven at low temperature for this, too) and experimenting in making nutritious and tasty bars. Actually, few years ago my husband and I were even contemplating a business idea- as a raw buckwheat addicts, we were wondering how is it possible that in Lithuania nobody makes healthy sprouted buckwheat bars. Dried sprouted buckwheat are quite neutral in taste, but very light and crunchy, very nutritious, naturally gluten-free and can make a perfect base for healthy energy bars. We ditched the business idea later, but I’m very happy that somebody finally made it a reality. I was really positively surprised when I found out about Lithuanian sprouted buckwheat bars called “Tundra” (they even sell sprouted dehydrated raw buckwheat, too if you want to avoid all the hassle of making them at home from scratch!). Currently, they come in two tastes- cinnamon and cocoa and both taste really great and what I love the most is that the ingredient list is really short and all of them are real, healthy food. No added sugar, no preservatives etc.
I think they will be a great addition to our menu in Iceland, but it can easily be used as a quick and healthy snack when you’re after gym, at work or when your kids ask for something sweet.
I also wanted to share with you a short & inspiring video I found some time ago- the concept really resonates with me :)
And lastly- some images from our “micro adventures” and preparation for Iceland- long bike ride by the lake Starnberg- beautiful nature and small villages & plenty of physical exercises!
What are your favorite snacks on the go? And what will be your next micro adventure? :)
With love and inspiration,
I know most people try to plan their new year and do their resolutions before the actual start of New Year, but I always do them in the beginning of January :) Of course I do start thinking when the end of the year approaches, but I find that holiday season is always too hectic, too full of things to do, people to visit and often includes a fair amount of travel (especially when you’re an expat). And my experience is that if you’re serious with your goals then you will need quality time to reflect, analyze and plan. You’ll need space and time where you could be uninterrupted and allow yourself to not only to think, but also to feel what is it that you want in life next.
As the holidays are ended hopefully things are calmer now (and the pressure of suddenly becoming perfect from 1st of January is gone, too) and I invite you to join me on this session- to peek into your dreams, allow yourself to think big and create some realistic steps to achieve what you want.
*A block of time where you’ll be uninterrupted (or you can do this with your partner or friend, that’s fine, too as long as you’re both focused on the process);
*Notebook/your journal & pen + colorful pencil/markers if you like to highlight/organize things;
*No phone/social media notifications etc.- though some ambient music could be useful;
We’ll start with last year’s review to see what have happened and to decide which things should change, then we will move to the goal setting for the following year. Read the questions and allow yourself to think about it with an open mind & heart and most important- be honest with yourself. In the end it’s your life and you should be fully happy with it.
Last year’s review & lessons:
1) What worked really well this year? Why? What made you feel alive, filled with joy, enthusiasm and inspiration? How can you add more of this into your life? Can you come up with at least 20 ways to add more joy/health/happiness to your life? What would REALLY make a difference in your life? Why?
Don’t think about limitations (lack of money, time etc.) at this phase, just think what would really positively impact your life. Things you want to add to your life can be big or small, they just have to be meaningful for you. Both things like having your nails done & wearing organic perfumes daily to make you feel feminine & beautiful and starting to volunteer at local shelter to feel connected & meaningful are perfectly fine, choose what YOU need at this moment in life.
2) What were the things that didn’t work well this year? That felt draining, stuck, stressful, forced? What should you do differently to avoid repeating these mistakes?
Where did you invest time with no/poor results?
Be willing to let go of things, even if it’s scary. Letting go makes space for new & better things in your life. We rarely think of that, but life is short, so always aim for what lights you up. Most of the “shoulds” we create ourselves and we can change them.
New year planning:
For the first step, let’s get the big picture. Let’s relax and let our imagination go wild and see what feels right & what would really excite you:
Imagine it’s the end of 2016. In one year, where do you want to be? What matters to you? Imagine that you thought really big this year and everything went according to your wishes- where would you be in one year? WHO would you be? Allow yourself to think and dream without limitations, I can tell you that since I started doing this few years ago most of the things came true, though they seemed wildly unbelievable in the beginning :)
Now when we have a bigger vision let’s move to more details. These questions were designed to get you more clarity in various areas of your life:
How do I want to improve? What books to read, courses to take, seminars/retreats to attend? What skills to gain? What mentors/coaches to hire? What habits to change/add?
What do I want to achieve in my career? How do I want to help & impact people? How much do I want to earn- monthly, yearly? Where do I want my income to come from (what type of work and clients)? What would I consider a “success” (not by society norms, but what would make YOU happy/proud/excited)?
How do I want to spend my freetime? What places to visit, things to see and experience? With whom I want to spend my time and how?
What are my health & wellbeing goals? What habits do I want to quit or add? What would make the biggest impact? What would feel right? What do you know deep there that you deserve, but don’t commit to?
How do I want my relationships to be? With my partner/family/friends? How do I want to feel & make others feel? Who is really important to me? How can I show them this?
Who can I help? How can I give? My time/resources/love/skills? What change do I want to see in the world and what can I personally do to achieve it?
Now go again through each category and ask this– what should I do to achieve this- daily, weekly, monthly? If that’s helpful, put specific things on the calendar (use Google calendar if you don’t have real one) Don’t underestimate small, incremental steps- this is what brings you closer to your goals, day by day. And just start doing them- order or take form the library the book you want to read next month, plan the gathering with friends you want to see but haven’t seen for months, put the blocks of time in your calendar for new habit you want to take. Or make a donation of old clothes to those who need it, or book a ticket to the conference you want to attend- you get the point :)…
I know it’s a pretty big exercise- if you feel it’s too overwhelming you can do it in parts- last year review, big vision and then different areas of live- this is how I personally did it, but then again I’m just really used to write A LOT and analyze all things in my life on paper, so that would be a huge exercise for me to finish in one go. The whole thing of dreaming & planning your life can feel strange at the beginning, but from my experience it brings so much growth, clarity and new possibilities to your life. Suddenly you’re not just blindly doing anything, trying to keep up with urgent (but not necessarily important to you) tasks of the day- now you have a direction and YOUR goals to make your life the way you want. With this and continuous everyday actions everything is possible :)
I hope this was helpful to you and I would love to hear from you at least one of your goals for next year in the comments bellow! :)
With love & inspiration,
Most of the times I start my day with few cups of warm lemon water, but when colder season comes I tend to switch to warming & detoxifying turmeric-ginger tea. I must confess that I’m a huge fan of ginger in all kinds of forms (in main courses and baked goods, drinks and sauces…), so this is just another opportunity to use it :) In this case it’s not only great because of its ginger taste, but it also has LOTS of health benefits and the bright orange color of this tea is perfect to balance the moody, sunless days of winter. Due to ginger’s energizing properties and spicy, strong taste this drink works well instead of coffee, too (imagine no side effects and plenty of benefits, each morning!). I love drinking it before my morning meditation and it helps me to start the day warm, fully awake & concentrated.
Both ginger and turmeric is highly used in Indian cuisine and many other Asian cuisines and they have been praised for centuries for their medicinal properties. Here are some of the healing properties of them:
Heating & activating;
Improves circulation and digestion;
Helps to fight certain kinds of cancer;
Detoxify the liver;
Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory
You can read more about ginger health benefits here and about turmeric health benefits here.
You can buy ginger and turmeric fresh as roots or dried and ground as powder. Fresh is always better, but turmeric in ground form works for this recipe, too. For fresh roots check Asian markets or organic food shops, though ginger is more common and usually can be found in regular supermarkets, too. Personally I really don’t like strong taste of dried ginger in teas, but some people like it, so you can try and and see for yourself. Powdered ginger works better for sweets/baked goods.
* 800 ml of water
* Fresh ginger root- 1-2 cm length piece;
* Fresh turmeric root 1-2 cm length piece or 1/2 tsp turmeric powder;
* Few pinches of black pepper, preferably freshly ground;
* Few crushed cardamon pods (optional)
* Juice of 1/2 lemon (preferably organic)
*1 Tbsp raw honey (or according to your taste)
* Small pinch of chilly/cayenne powder (optional)
If possible, use organic ingredients.
It’s very important to use black pepper in this drink because substance called piperine (which is found in black pepper) helps to absorb curcumin (turmeric’s main healing compound) properly. It enhances absorption of curcumin by 2000%.
Pour the water in a pot and bring to boil. Add pinches of black pepper, cardamon pods and chilly if you use them. Wash ginger and turmeric roots & cut them in thin slices and add to the pot, too. Boil for 7-10 min., then set aside to cool down. When the tea is not hot anymore (it should be still pretty warm, but not hot) squeeze in lemon juice & add honey, mix until it’s dissolved. Pour the tea through a strainer to cups & enjoy :)
Warning: turmeric has gorgeous color, but it is VERY staining, fresh even more than powdered. Your hands and nails will wash after some time, but be careful with kitchen surfaces & clothes. Strangely enough it doesn’t stain teeth and funnily enough some people even use it for whitening their teeth :)I’m heading to Morocco tomorrow- it’s my first time in Africa and I’m really looking forward to warm weather, new adventures and vivid colors. And as we come to the end of this year I’ll also be doing some last year’s reviews and planning for the coming year. I’ll share the framework I use for that in the next blog post. Until then- enjoy your holidays and I wish you happy & magical New year celebration!
With love & inspiration,