“To exist is to dare to throw oneself into the world.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir
Life is seasonal, impermanent and unpredictable. Simple and obvious, yet not always easy! I wrote this poem some time ago, while I was going through a transition phase. Back to square one: more changes are ahead of me! I feel happy-sad, grateful and curious. I trust that life will bring me more beautiful surprises and that the best is yet to come. Or rather: the best and only way is to enjoy here and now to the fullest, until you feel the urge to move again. It is like a dance, shall we? 😀
“I love rainstorms… the thunder, lightning, wind, all of it. So much going on at once, so many emotions… just like me.” ~ April Mae Monterrosa
In between moments
When you leave xyz behind
Saying “merde” and “merci”
(or the other way round)
And slowly but surely
You open the door
To the wild emptiness
Where there is no thing
No projects, no intention, no tension
Joyful, unpredictable NOW
Some wishes and hopes
Loosely attached to your open heart
You let yourself be burned
By the caring transition fire
And then you allow the fresh shower of sorrow
To cool you down a little
You clean, declutter and surrender
You have no choice
But to jump in trust
Eyes wide open
You are ready
To let the old go
And slowly let the new
Sink in nicely
You can rest now
And have a soft
(Or a hard) drink*
You simply are
Experiencing, expressing and allowing
*Let’s say Polish vodka!
“Honour the space between no longer and not yet.” ~ Nancy Levin
As always – BIG thank you for reading, sharing and for your precious feedback! 😀
Paris -> Vilnius ->Eišiškės ->Trakai -> Kapadokya ->Istanbul -> Paris
« Before you cross the street take my hand. Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. » ~ John Lennon – Beautiful Boy
This was THE trip: 11 days, 5+ cities, 5 flights, 8 kg of luggage, a small cabin backpack and nearly the same outfit during the whole trip (too chilly to dress like a queen haha). For me, it was one BIG adventure. 😀 I was scared to death before leaving my cosy Parisian apartment as I have never travelled alone for more than a few days and without a full plan. I still cannot believe that I did it! What happened was magic and it was the best present I could have hoped for. I feel lucky and grateful.
Lithuania – back to the source.
« Life is more beautiful than prudence » ~ Abbé Pierre
My journey started in charming and green Vilnius – city of angels who fly at low altitude and (of course!) high speed. My goal was to learn more about my roots.
I rented a car and travelled to the city where my dad was born – Eišiškės. I made a tour of the village, asking questions, meeting locals and searching for a distant cousin or at least some more information on my dad’s childhood. One encounter leading to another, I finally end up in a small house, sitting on a couch with a lovely old couple. The lady’s mom’s maiden name was the same as my dad’s surname. I was a total stranger to them, coming out of the blue, but they treated me like their own daughter, gave me a big-long-warm hug and a kiss. They patiently answered all my questions, showed me a few family pictures and wished me the best of luck for the rest of my trip. I felt honoured and welcome.
I also (finally) understood the meaning of my surname. Indeed, in Poland, where I was born it sounds awkward. In Lithuania, however, it carries a sense. A deep one, haha. “Be dugno” means “without bottom” and “bedugnė” translates into “an abyss”. Hmm, let’s jump in, shall we?! 😀
I even learned (totally by accident!) that there was a village called “Bedugnė”, 60 km from Eišiškės. I did not go there, next time! Who knows, maybe my father’s family comes from there?
I also travelled to Trakai, a pleasant town near Vilnius, famous for its beautiful lakes and a castle. Is also known for the Karaims – people speaking the Turkic language, who have lived there since the 14th century and have preserved their traditions, including food. The most popular dish is kibinai – a small pasty stuffed with minced meat or vegetables. I tried it, of course! It offered me a perfect foretaste of my imminent trip to Turkey.
My stay in « the Jerusalem of the North » was a real treat! I tasted 3 totally different beetroot soups in 2 days, ate the best pancakes ever, drank delicious local beer, discussed about life, sang polish folkloric songs and was touched to tears by a beautiful poem of a lovely Ukrainian artist and graphic designer, who was in love with Vilnius and kind enough to be my companion and private paparazzi during my trip to Eišiškės. Arita, you rock!
Lithuania smelled, tasted and felt home, ačiū and hope to be back soon!
Turkey – from Kapadokya to Istanbul.
“And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” ~ Erica Jong
Turkey was a totally different story. I started my trip by booking a domestic flight to Kapadokya, a historical region in Central Anatolia known for its unique rock-cut temples, houses, beautiful valleys and underground cities. I stayed in a pleasant hotel near Göreme, recommended by Moroccan Nomad – very good travel website in French.
My dream was to participate in a hot-air balloon flight. I did it! At first, it was scary. Indeed, the balloon itself is HUGE, the basket, on the other hand, is pretty small and you fly high! Hopefully I was not totally conscious of the danger as they woke me up at 4 am. However, I fully trusted the pilot as I had a competent local guide who recommended a good company and offered a very competitive price. Teşekkür, Umut, yourself and your wife made my stay in Kapadokya relaxing and enjoyable, not to mention the delicious food!
I visited a few valleys and the Derinkuyu underground city. It felt so peaceful and liberating to see real open landscapes, instead of a casual open space in my office, regardless of how high tech and well-designed it is. Eating a breakfast on a sunny terrace with a view was priceless!
The next and final stop was Istanbul. I visited Hagia Sophia (under reconstruction, yet still impressive!), the Blue Mosque and the Galata Mawlavi House Museum. This is the oldest Mawlavi house in Istanbul or a temple for Islamic Sufi believers, also known as tall hatted Whirling Dervishes. Sadly, I did not see an authentic Whirling Dervish dance performance. Next time in Turkey I will make sure to come to Konya to check it out! I so much enjoy visiting sacred places, in both Vilnius and Istanbul there were plenty of them.
That being said, while in Istanbul, I also went to the business district, where I had a lunch with my colleagues. Video conferences are good, but face to face meetings are better! I proudly used my access card to enter the local office. I also grabbed a snack from the pantry. 😀
During the whole travel, I came across many great free spirits from all walks of life. The people I met and the time spent together made this trip truly memorable. I learned so much. It opened my eyes and gave me a fresh and totally new outlook on my current situation (which is pretty good, thanks, God!).
I took every possible mean of transportation (ships rock!). I walked like crazy, climbed every hill and entered every cave I could (the more difficult it was the better!). I enjoyed delicious food and drinks in charming company. I went to Turkish baths (unique experience, especially the bubble wash!). I laughed so much, I felt like a joyful, adventurous child discovering the world for the very first time.
Parisian jungle – going back home.
« The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. » ~ Marcel Proust
Coming back to work was not that bad. My Italian boss knows how to talk to me: “you were missed”. Oh, merci! I am very grateful to have a decent and interesting job so that I can spoil myself with such magic moments. Actually, I will need to check, but it did not cost that much. I mainly stayed in youth hostels (Downtown Forest & Orient) and had very good prices, especially in Turkey where people currently travel much less due to political reasons. 🙁 I can only say that I felt safe and had no issues at all, except being invited to every single restaurant I was passing near to, as, of course; it was absolutely the best in town and I could expect a special personal discount! 🙂
Words cannot express the joy, freedom and peace I felt during this trip. I was touched many times by the beauty of nature, architecture and people’s stories. I connected to the wild, adventurous and brave part of myself. I am a nomad. We all are. We are not meant to stay in front of the same screen, regardless of how high-tech and big it is, for 10+ years, checking e-mails and resolving tickets (those who work in big companies will understand!). Again, I am very grateful to be a part of an international team in a solid firm that offers great opportunities. Yet, my soul yearns for fresh air, new experiences, adventures and surprises. While looking back at this short and intense trip, I would not change a thing; maybe, I could only be a bit braver, crazier and trusted life and people even more? I consider myself curious and sociable; however, I am still learning to have both my heart and mind open to different people, ideas and experiences.
If you hesitate and are afraid of going somewhere new, then it may be the very exact thing you should do. Be alert. Act prudently, especially that sadly terrorist attacks become common in various destinations globally. Gather all the pieces of information you need ahead of time and then simply trust that everything will go right or even better. As it will!
Please find below more pictures from my trip. Enjoy, thanks for reading, sharing and your precious feedback!
It has been a long time, since my last article! I wish I had something witty, wise and important to say, but this is it! Hope you will enjoy! 🙂
If it does not match how you presently feel, especially, if you are going through a tough challenge, I am with you, you have my full support.
I am simply sharing my current experience. Expressing my feelings nourishes my soul, makes me joyful and brings me peace.. 🙂
Thank you for passing by.
« The road to enlightenment is long and difficult, and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines. » ~ Anne Lamott
What if life was a big joke?
(Be aware – Big Brother is watching you)
What if God had sense of humour?
What if you had a starring role in a comedy movie?
So let’s playfully play fools
And with a light-open heart
Cherish each moment
Let’s pretend we know the script
Let’s have principles and then break all the rules
Let’s boldly play with fate
Have both fun and faith
With a peaceful pinch of craziness
(It is vital for your mental health)
Show must go on so let’s go baby
Put on your best suit and let’s dance
It is your surprise party
It is your stage-time
The audience is waiting
The music is playing
If you feel nervous
Follow my advice
Get a little tipsy or better – really drunk
I promise, it is worth trying
(In case you have never done it)
At some point, by magic
You will start giggling
Without being able to stop
Your laughter will get louder and louder
And will spread like a wildfire
Gently dissolving every obstacle on its way
Finally, one day you will die quietly
You laughed and you loved
It is a happy-sweet-predictable-end
We are all the same
Please find below a lovely video from one of my dear masters – Mooji. I love his warm, cheerful energy. Relax, this is not too serious, just enjoy the laughter! Watch out, it is contagious! 🙂
“It doesn’t matter how you pray – with your head bowed in silence, or crying out in grief, or dancing. Churches are good for prayer, but so are garages and cars and mountains and showers and dance floors.” ~ Anne Lamott
P.S. Thanks for reading, sharing, writing a comment and for your precious feedback! 🙂
I was born 31 years ago. I was born with dreams and high hopes.
I left Poland, my home country, to pursue freedom, love and beautiful adventures.
I found everything I wanted. I am hungry for more.
Then I got sick – not something dramatic, but it keeps me alert to my own physical limits.
I feel vulnerable. I also feel passionate about my job. I want to give it all I have. It looks like it is not sufficient. I feel overwhelmed. I see tired and stressed faces of my colleagues and suppliers. I see a tired face when brushing my teeth in the morning.
I feel frustration, sadness and anger. I feel fear.
Yesterday I went to see fireworks with two crazy, lovely Moroccan ladies. (Girls, I love you!)
I liked everything except the crowd. It made me nervous.
I took a taxi to get back home: “Did you hear about the terrorist attack in Nice?”
“Hmm, I beg your pardon? No, I did not (!!??)”. Loads of swear words followed.
I was unable to go to sleep straight. I watched the news. I cried.
“31-year-old French-Tunisian driver killed dozens of people.”
My boyfriend is 35-year-old and originated from Tunisia. He became French a few months ago, a few weeks after I did.
France is not the only country suffering from violence. It is everywhere. It happens all the time.
Millions of people survive each day with less than 2 dollars. I feel lucky to have a flat, a job, something to eat and beautiful people to laugh with.
Today I feel tired, sad, and anxious.
I want the world to be safe, joyful and full of love: for myself, for others, for future generations.
Today I went out to buy a camera to register video interviews with inspiring people.
When I was going back home in the hot and crowded Parisian subway, I could not stop my tears.
I felt embarrassed and pathetic. I looked like a depressed Cocker Spaniel. My big blue eyes got wet and red. I was trying hard to stop crying. I could not. I had nothing to dry up my tears.
A middle aged woman sitting in front of me was searching for something in her bag. Just before I rushed to get out at my stop, she gave me a few paper handkerchiefs.
When I was heading to another subway line, I read on the packaging: “Freshness. Mint.”
It was written in Polish. I was stunned. My compatriot saved me from drowning in my own tears.
I have Polish roots, a magic French passport and nothing to declare.
I dream of travelling around the world and giving birth to multicultural crazy babies. 🙂
I have always considered myself ambitious and strong. Today I am vulnerable and I need a hug.
I feel sad and it is fine. I am OK.
My hunger for new experiences got bigger and my joy of being alive deeper.
God bless us all. Tomorrow is another day. With a little luck, we will still be breathing.
As long, as I am breathing, I am safe. And I feel love. Oh yeah!
Byron Katie invites us to question our beliefs, turn them around (good exercise for those who are curious and like to play with the language!) and be willing to consider the new statements as true. Feel free to fill in “Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet”. You might be surprised with what you discover.
I only begin to practice “the work”, yet I sense that this path brings miracles. I already feel relieved and more peaceful. I still have times when I am in pain, angry, sad and looking for love like a desperate housewife. 😀 At the same time, as per Byron Katie’s guidance, I am looking forward to feeling rejected. This is my biggest fear and it will surely happen. It will not be pleasant but it is part of the healing process. I want to grow, experience both love and freedom, my two biggest values and aspirations. They are not conflicting, rather complementary: “freedom is everything and love is all the rest”.
My experience depends on my perception. It gives me my power back. I learn how to surrender to what life offers me here and now. What is in front or inside me, is exactly what I need. It is just another experience of being human so vulnerable. Yes, I want to live an intense, passionate and adventurous life. When I am doing something, I am committing fully. I take risks and open my heart. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes I am the happiest woman in the world. This is my nature. Hmm, is it my Slavic temper? Thank you, Mom! 😀
I still feel ashamed of over-reacting (maybe others just under-react? 😀) to some behaviours and events. I try to keep a poker face. Usually I fail, regardless of how hard I try. Arguing with my emotions does not work so now I am trying to accept and express them. As it fortifies my connection to myself, it gives me faith to make the next step. Letting myself being moved helps me to move forward.
The more we accept the world, the more we are able to enjoy it and influence it positively. The exact same paradox applies to every single (or double for twins! 😀) self /soul on this beautiful planet.
Life wants to experience itself through us. Let it be, let is shine, let it blossom.
Please find below the poem about being in love and free. Enjoy! 😀
You are like a wave
Coming back and forth
In an endless dance
You are free like a wind
I will never catch you
I will never grasp your essence
I can only enjoy being with you
When you happen to be around
Short sweet while of pure ecstasy
Feeling grateful for your presence
Even if you are far from me
Forever in my heart you will stay
My soul is coloured with your crazy eyes
I am deeply touched
To the point of losing balance
I gently fall down
And it feels good
Thanks God angels’ wings
And give me faith
To love again
And to fly high
As I finally made friends with the wind
Some say it is called freedom
P.S. You can learn more on “the work” in French here.
“I am a lover of what is, not because I’m a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. No thinking in the world can change it. What is is. Everything I need is already here now. How do I know I don’t need what I think I need? I don’t have it. So everything I need is always supplied.” ~ Byron Katie