September ABCs

Photo credit: Gratisography

Photo credit: Gratisography

Some of my favorite things this month:

 

A is for Around the web

Aerogramme Writers’ Studio

Electric Literature

Prince Ea

Zsa Zsa Bellagio

 

B is for Books to read

Spiritual Ecology: The Cry of the Earth

Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

 

C is for Coffee

How to make Turkish coffee

Maybe Organic – my favorite coffee

Pumpkin Spice Latte

 

D is for Design…

for.rest

 …and Dream vacation

Chumbe Island Coral Park

 

E is for Eating

29 vegan ice cream recipes, my favorite: Banana cherry Garcia soft serve

 

F is for Fashion

Marni S/S 2015

 

 

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A changing perspective

Photo source: littlevisuals.co

Photo source: littlevisuals.co

 

I recently watched an interesting documentary from PBS Nature titled Violent Hawaii. Try to see it if possible, you won’t regret it. You’ll see the islands from a completely different perspective. This beautiful place that most, if not all, of us see as a paradise has been shaped by brutal and unforgiving forces of nature. That made me really think. This island has endured volcanoes, mudslides, huge waves, tsunamis. These forces have shaped Hawaii, this amazingly gorgeous place. What if we thought of our hardships the same way? Would that give us a better perspective? Would we whine less about our bad luck or unfortunate circumstances? I don’t know, but I want to try. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I am going to think that all that I am experiencing, even the bad, is shaping and polishing me to be an awesome beautiful being. Instead of judging what is happening I will just accept it. This doesn’t mean I’m going to be complacent, but I will try to accept those things I cannot influence.

 

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Hope

Photo source: littlevisuals.co/

Photo source: littlevisuals.co

 

Hope is a meeting with wildness.

You walk through a deep wood,

And there you are eye to eye –

Nose moving slightly trying to get a feel,

Eyes innocent and pure,

A flicker of the ear,

A nod,

And she’s off with barely a sound.

Suddenly, you feel lighter

As if touched by the wing of a hummingbird.

You enter a different state of mind,

Entranced, transfixed, ethereal.

You begin to feel the connecting filaments,

The silky lightness

Almost impenetrable.

And then suddenly you are surrounded,

A whole welcoming committee.

This…

This is where you needed to find yourself.

 

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Margaret Atwood on Writing

Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite writers of all time. She is known for many works and is a prolific writer. An adaptation of her dystopian trilogy is currently in the works for HBO, with Darren Aronofsky slated as producer. She has also been selected as the first writer for the Future Library, which over the next 100 years will select one writer a year to contribute to the library. The catch: nothing contained in the library can be read until 2114. Cool concept!

MAtwoodPhotograph by Christopher Wahl, Source

Here’s some links to interviews and other cool things about Margaret Atwood:

 

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Time

Photo source: accuweather.com

Photo source: accuweather.com

You know, I was going to write about something else entirely today, but I had this strange experience and it got me thinking about time.

I’m not much of a religious person, I’m not an atheist per se. I call myself spiritual. Truth is, I don’t know anything with any certainty in this department and that makes it difficult to label myself in any way. That’s fine with me. I have some “practices” that make me feel spiritual, make me feel like I am communing with a higher power. But I don’t see it in a way that makes any religion or organized form of spirituality fit with what I believe or do. I think I may be closer to our pagan ancestors, but I don’t believe in little spirits or things like that. We do live in the 21st century after all. We have all these scientific discoveries. We can explain many things now that used to seem mystical to people.

Anyway, there are some people that subscribe to the idea of reincarnation, and I think there is something to that. I don’t know what, but the idea makes me think about time. Our time here. How time flows. There are some people who believe (and some even try to prove this scientifically) that time isn’t linear as we think of it. Or has this already been disproved? I’d love to have someone explain it to me. I don’t know if I get it, but I think I had an experience of time today that made me think it wasn’t linear at all. Is it possible that what happened to us in the past is actually happening to us now? Nothing happened. Everything is happening NOW. The idea boggles me, but it does make one think doesn’t it?

Today I was walking and I was 33-year-old me and simultaneously 7-year-old me, with all the thoughts and feelings of both those realities. It was bizarre and surreal. Before you write me off as a cuckoo or at the very least some weirdo. I wasn’t having hallucinations. I wasn’t hearing voices. Just some sensory triggers had me experiencing another time in my life. I had a specific memory of walking home from school and all that I was feeling in that moment on that particular day.

Of course, this could all be logically explained. These sensory triggers (visual and smell) had me withdraw a stored memory from the brain, which replayed a pattern of neural activity (the memory of an event). Even though it may not have been something I readily remembered, these cues made this reality quite real to me for a moment. I most readily accept this logical, scientific explanation. But I like to entertain the thought of what if? What if time really isn’t linear and I broke through to another point in the circle or cloud of time realities? Is it possible for me to be 33 and 7 simultaneously?

It is possible for us to cross paths spatially with our old selves. Of course, the physical body won’t be in two places, but so much of what we call reality is just in our heads. So much of it is just our perception of reality. How do we really know what we perceive as truth to be true? Empirically, we just can’t. No scientist has been able to prove it, because we must rely on our senses. And this problem calls our senses into question. There must be some point of reference. But how do we pick this point?

There are some scientists that believe that what we are experiencing is actually a hologram. That is just something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. But it definitely is fun to try. And of course, it’s all very Matrix-y.

I once read that our brain is like a super computer and at this point in human history most of us only have access or at least only know how to use the basic programming. Isn’t that a fun thought? I like to think about all these things we could do if we only opened up this area of our brain we currently don’t know how to access. We could self-heal. We could use our mind to move things across the room. We could teleport ourselves. Oh the possibilities.

What do you like to think about? What kind of what if scenarios do you play out in your head? Have you ever had a weird experience like that one I described?

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Fear not: chasing your dreams

You know that sportswear ad. You know the one with the athletes doing incredible feats, people running. The one with a simple message. And the swoosh. You know the one? The images, sports, people change, but the tag line and logo are always the same. I know you know what I’m talking about.

Sometimes it is that easy as the tag line says.

fears

Photo source: Facebook

 

As a little girl I had several dreams. One of them began at the age of about 11 (maybe earlier), I wanted to be a writer. The other, I am not sure when it came about, but possibly the same time; I wanted to move to Poland. I had many different motivations for this, but I think just like writing, it was a dream that chose me and not the other way around. There were times throughout my life when both dreams seemed closer or further away.

I think that little 11-year-old would be pretty proud of where I am now. I work with words every day. I live in Poland. Of course, there are still many things to accomplish, but I can say that in some part my dreams have materialized. It’s pretty neat.

Getting here took guts, but it was fairly easy. All it took was listening to my guts, my intuition, my viscera (as my favorite fashion mentor likes to say). And then I just leapt. Thinking back now, I had incredible trust that all will work out while there were thousands of possible things that could have gone wrong. Obviously, 30-something me could learn a thing or two from younger me.

But let me start at the beginning…

I had been dreaming for a long time and in May 2006, one year out of art school, I had a dream. Not in the Martin Luther King, Jr. kind of way, but in the I was asleep in my bed and had a dream kind of way. Some people may call this a nightmare. I call it a wakeup call. I dreamt of my paternal grandfather’s death. At the time, this grandfather was alive and well living in a small town in northeastern Poland. The regret I felt when I woke up for not having had spent enough time with him made me realize what I must do. Within days I purchased a plane ticket and in July I was on a plane. Very few people then knew of my intention to stay in Poland, and no one knew the why. I know how crazy acting out on a dream sounds.

Eight years later, it no longer sounds crazy. In January 2014 my paternal grandfather (the one I had dreamt about back in May 2006) passed. I had over seven years of seeing my grandfather more than I would have if I had been living in the US. He got to meet my husband and my son, who is named after him. We got to be in each other’s lives more. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I am so glad I bought that plane ticket after that dream. Had I not I would now be regretting it.

I didn’t realize though that in realizing one dream would make attaining another one easier. When I got to Poland, I quickly got offered a job teaching English, which soon enough turned to doing translations, proofreading and editing. While I loved teaching, this really allows me the lifestyle I’d always wanted to lead. And in my spare time I’m writing. I get to hang out at cafes during the day lazily sipping coffee watching people rush to work. I get to plan my work around my life and not the other way around. And most importantly, I get to work with words, my passion.

So what’s the point of me telling you all this?

I want to tell you to listen to your gut. What is your intuition telling you to do? It won’t steer you in the wrong direction. Don’t let fear stop you from going after what you want. When you’re going in the right direction, things seem to serendipitously click. It just somehow works out.

What I am saying is completely irresponsible. It is illogical.

Don’t listen.

Turn back.

 

But what can you achieve staying safe where you are?

 

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Staying Mentally Tough

I can’t help but think that athletes have a lot to teach us writers. There are so many things writing has in common with sports, but most of all endurance and discipline. My goal for myself is to stay in really good shape so I can be at my best well into my nineties because I just have so many things to accomplish. That is why I am reading and watching (and most importantly implementing) all that I can about motivation and how to do what needs to be done even if you don’t want to.

I recently came upon the following video that I thought I just had to share with you. Just click here to watch.

Source: MindBodyGreen

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