Here’s to control freaks

4 01 2013

I have been thinking a lot about people with control need recently. I understood one thing: their minds are great. They are fast. Their thoughts shift from wishes and ideas to worries, from past to future, from here to there. Very fast. There is incredibly much energy in those brains. Wild horses. They compensate the inability to master the whirlpool of their thoughts with the need to control at least the outside. To tidy, to order, to plan, to do stuff all the time. This ability can be very useful and appreciated not least for certain (most of the) jobs. It’s good to take care of it and sustain it. It can be an advantage to carry such a mind. But very often it is not. It frustrates, it bothers, it causes sleepless nights and days full of worries, it brings anxiety, it distracts and the only moments keeping one sane are those of some kind of control over the external happenings. Pseudo-peace.

The thing is that to me the “problem” is not solved by plans and order or by doing something all the time or by switching the mind off by staring into the TV. It’s a temporary solution bringing no peace as it is impossible to control everything in the outside world. There will always be something or someone new coming. The variety of possible alternatives for developments of each situation is endless.

Have you ever talked to a friend? A friend, you can ask everything. And you also tolerate a friend more than others. For a friend you have understanding. And patience. A friend you could take everywhere with you. You are honest to a friend. It’s easier to be open minded with a friend. A friend, you trust. A friend makes you feel free. A friend is there for you and you are there for a friend.

Make friends with your mind. With your thoughts. They appear for a reason. No no… do not say “but” and ask “why” instead. You can ask why and find honest answers. As they come from within. The answers are also there. Blaming others or the past is never the final answer. Dig deeper.

You can take your time with your mind and thoughts. You can just let them be as you would let your friend just be, if needed.

Trying to block a thought, you know it will be there anyway. And it will come back. It is better to let it in and understand where it comes from instead of fighting it. When you understand it, you can do something about it or you will find out that there is no need to act upon it.

Your mind will make you feel free when you accept it with all its fabulosity, imagination, variety and alterations. And learn to harvest them instead. The weaknesses will become your strengths.

Another aspect of it all is another choice we can make. All the thoughts that we have come from what we know, experience, see and hear through our own filter. Imagine how much we see, hear, experience and know and how little of it we run through our mind. What do you choose? And how? Does it make you feel good?

This one is to you my dear dear control freaks. Your minds are so powerful! And you can choose between fighting the external Quijote fight with new and new things to control or make friends with its energy to create and develop.

 





Life is not short at all

25 11 2012

It was my birthday recently and it was a wonderful day. I have spent it surrounded by people I love! Not all of them were at the same place as I was but they were with me in one way or another and I know it. It was a usual beautiful day.  Dear dear family, friends and acquaintances – THANK YOU for this day – for every single message and thought – they are written in my soul now.

This year I have been given a wonderful present – insight that each day I can love more than I did yesterday. And I celebrated it by being close to the closest one though he is so far away these days.

This year I have been given a wonderful present – friendship. And to celebrate the friendship I got to spent the day with a friend.

This year I have been given a wonderful present – love for running. And to celebrate it I went running on my birthday morning with my friend.

This year I have been given a wonderful present – new job. And I celebrated it by going to work and do what I love and believe in.

This year I have been give a wonderful present – inspiration. And I celebrated it by turning it into a concrete action.

This year I have been given a wonderful present – dreams. And I celebrated it by going to a musical where the dreams were nourished by amazement.

With my birthday yet another wonderful year has started and the kick off “party” included Cirkus Cirkör – the waterfall of creativity, playfulness, self-distance, perfection, art, beauty and wisdom.

Here is one song from the performance:

What to do with all this
time I have been given
all the opportunites?
I want to feel all
I can start all over
pack my belongings and
get on a train go somewhere else
I want to see all

But life isn’t short at all
I´ll get back on my feet if I fall
If i start looking the world isn´t small
Life isn´t short at all

The skies have shapes of strange
objects and animals
The sound of the ice melting
on the first day of spring
A pair of brand new red shoes
soaking in the rain
I´m perfectly drunk and calm
I want to be right here

´Cause life isn´t short at all

I have lived for 13 000 days
All the people i´ve meet on my way
All the billions moments i´ve felt joy
Not to mention all the times i´ve fallen in love





Two equations of the day

23 07 2012

My collegue has exposed this picture in the office and as I am familiar with his sense of humour and the way of his thinking, I was neither shocked nor terrified but the sentece made thinking a lot. “Don’t work hard, work intelligent”.

I have no problem with the second part of the sentence! One should work smart, of course! I say “Bravo!, to all those using brain when working. The first part of the sentence was more of a concern. “Don’t work hard”.  Yes, if you can do something easy way, do it that way! And do not make something hard on you just to work hard and feel satisfaction that you have done something. But that, those examples, they are not examples of “hard work” to me. They are more of an example of doing something too complicated even when it’s not. Or it’s just doing something without thinking about it.

Working hard, for me, means putting heart into the work. Being aware of what I do and why. Leaving my footprint (soulprint) in the work. Or as Oxford dictionary says: “Hard working = tending to work with energy and commitment; diligent”. And in that case, I do not understand why would someone encourage people not to work hard. And why does the author of the statememnt opose those two: hard and intelligent?

While discussing the message with my collegues, I made a new picture:

2 equations of the day

Hard work = heart ❤ work

Hard work is not complicated, long, overtime, dumb. No. It’s work with heart.

And while thinking about it and drawing it, I came to another equation that expresses what I feel when I hear people saying “but, but, but…” just oposing something without trying to find better ways/ solutions and more importantly also act upon them. Seeing problems but not to search for solutions, negating whatever is said without trying and putting more energy into “but” towards other’s ideas than into doing or coming up with a better idea, that is pretty much waste of energy.

Too much but = butt





Blog after a good day

18 07 2012

It happens to me pretty often that I feel for writing something – either here or in other channels available but then I don’t. One reason is simply time. Another reason is that I run my thoughts through internal censure and dismiss them mostly cause they do not sound that appealing after some rethinking. Today is different. I feel that I will just write even though I don’t have anything huge to share. Huge for others. For me, the current feeling is huge. For small reasons. Like a friendly encounter. Moment of creation for someone dear to me. A nice song (playing round and round). A walk with Dante in the middle of the night. Dancing while walking (yes to the same song). Finding words of wisdom.

The feeling of liking someone that pure and unconditional way, that the only expression of that feeling is to give freedom to the person by not expecting anything in return, wishing only the best not involving myself in it necessarily.

I finished a video for which I recorded material one month ago. I enjoyed every second of making the video. It’s amazing how many details are recorded and I was witness of without noticing them. This video is a present and I hope it will help to recall magic moments also many years later. It’s a video of a wedding. Making this video I realized what’s so special about weddings (I have never been very keen on having a wedding). It’s a wonderful celebration where only love is present and everyone celebrates it. Nothing else matters for some hours. The two people who decided to honor their relationship by inviting others and letting them witness the promise of endless care for that fragile feeling that when taken care of can grow stronger and greater far beyond the borders of the two individuals.

Ok I can share the song: 

I looove the melody and the dynamics of the song. It’s a great one to jump to (also in the middle of the night outside while walking Dante).

And here we go with the words of wisdom – a perfect summary for an approach to life that will make it good.

Basic rules for being human





How much would you pay me so I won’t get corrupted?

10 01 2012

I have been thinking and planning to write this blog for some weeks now since I saw a FB status discussing “prevention” of corruption. The author asked whether a ceratain sum of money as salary politicians (or judges – I do not remember now) should get would be enough so they are not “corruptable”. The interesting thing that happened in my mind then was that I started thinking about the sum – whether that’s enough or not but then I reflected again and came to another conclusions:

1. Salaries should value people’s work – meaning what people do and not what they do not do. Politicians are supposed to do their job and be paid for it and not to be paid for not cheating on their states. Teachers are not paid for NOT teaching wrong facts. They are paid to do their job – passing on correct information. I could continue like this with all the occupations. If a builder builds wrong  – s/he gets fired and does not get even higher salary to start building correctly. That would be a kind of blackmailing (“I will do good job only if you pay me more”)

2. If I understand the argument to pay politicians more so they do not tend/need to take money from other sources correctly, then it means to me, that the amount of the money they receive is exactly the amount of money that makes the life good and prevents all the other craving for more. This is actually a message that all the salaries that are under that amount do NOT provide this standard of living – are not sufficient for providing a good life for people which leads to MANY underpaid people.

3. Resistance to corruption is not about the salary. I was in Slovakia for some days recently and I got to hear every single evening in the TV news that someone from “high circles” got corrupted regardless how much money they already have. To get corrupted is about moral and not about the height of the salary. If a person does not have a moral, then none will prevent him/her from getting involved in “private” businesses with the intention for personal profit (More money is always better than less). And if a person has principles that do not support corruption, the salary does not matter. Mostly if the salary covers food and living (which when it comes to the salary of politicians, usually does)

To make things clear, I am not against politicians getting good salaries. In the ideal situation, they carry lots of responsibility and make decisions that carry their country and fellow citizens and for that they deserve life worth living exactly as teachers, doctors, cleaning ladies/gentlemen, builders, architects, bus drivers etc.





Little bit about 2011…via TED talks

10 01 2012

When I think about my 2011, I think of various moments, situations, songs, movies, people who were dominating those 12 month. This blog is about TED talks that I listened to and went back to several times as after listening to them I felt inspired, rich, motivated, amazed, impressed, challenged – and those feelings are the ones that drive me forward.

First of all: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity. I love that woman. I like her opinions and I enjoy her narration – the choice of words, her wit and of course – the message. I have heard this TED talk long time ago, but I returned to it several times during 2011 and her words in the last part of the talk guided me several times. If I want to create, whether I feel inspired or not, “it’s just to pop up for my part of the job and the inspiration will come (or not)” It’s in a way a cool thought that makes me independent from inspiration thus I do not end up frustrated that I am not inspired. I had a use of it several times in 2011 when I wanted to go out and photograph or wanted to illustrated something but I actually did not know what. I just knew I like doing it but I did not have anything concrete that drove me. But then I went out/took a pencil and just started shooting/drawing. Usual stuff. Nothing revoutionary. But in the end of the process I was on a completely different level than in the beginning. The “vision” came – just because I had my mind open and alert for creating something new and I was there – ready (having the camera or the pencil) to transform it into something concrete.

The next one that really got under my skin is the one with the title: “Use art to turn the world inside out”. I watched it several times. It inspired me even so long that I wrote a project for Active and we carried out 8 months long campaign driven by the idea from this talk. I was focused a lot on photography during 2011, I was reading about it much more than I used to, I took some courses, I listened to podcasts about it and in this talk I also got to see the beauty of it in practice when it (photography/art) serves a higher purpose.

The next TED talk I saw for the first time somewhen in the end of November. It came to me at the time when I really needed to see it. It partially inspired the content of my workshop I held in Thailand and it made me feel better about the world. I think it brings hope but at the same time it is a bit scary to realize that the human race knows everything to be able to live worthy life, friendly to the planet and to our human fellows BUT we still go for the worse solutions served to us by the industry.

Yet another older TED talk that I stumbled upon again in 2011. It moves me to tears and moves me forward at my work and in my life.





Little bit about 2011..warm up!

7 01 2012

I am going around summing up my 2011 and I will soon share it here as well. Just to warm up, I can mention one thing already: 2011 was the year of drawing and graphics. 2011 was also a year of my 30th birthday which means it was 30th birthday of several of my friends who I have known since kindergarten. I did not organize a birthday party to celebrate my day but when I was in Slovakia in the end of the year, me and my friends met to celebrate our friendship and the tradition we used to have as teenagers – celebrating birthdays together. Knowing I will meet incredible important people to me, my need for drawing just grew as drawing and art are my way of dealing with emotions. So I sat down and made a collage of words that bring back our history. It was a great exercise that felt almost like meditation. One memory brought another and I was back in time watching all situations I remembered, with distance and possibility to reflect and understand what and who made me the person I am now.

memories





My summer 2011

19 08 2011

Howdy!

As I can not do much about the pictures that are waiting in my camera for being edited and some technical problems are really in my way, I have some time to summarize my summer. It was amazing and it was rolling. One experience just replaced another and I hardly had time to understand all the beauty, amazement, insights, reminders and love I encountered.

I guess it all started rolling by Human Rigths Generation going to Poland. Human encounters are unpredictable and this one was unpredictably strong for me. To work for a European non-profit organisation means to work with long term goals, often hardly measurable results and tasks that we do not know the exact impact of. That is why coming to Poland and seeing almost everything going according to the plans was incredibly rewarding.

From Poland directly to the IOGT-NTO Congress in Åre – to the place where sun never sets (at least not around the time when we were there). Surrounded by miraculous nature and very inspiring people – what else could one wish?

20110819-224340.jpg

Åre by night

Coming back from Åre meant to catch up with the emails and work in the office, clean everything and check out for 12 days of holidays. My wonderful parents have come for one month to help me out with Dante so me and Maik could go out and see the world =) Yessss New York was the destination and a separate blog with pictures will come no matter what.

Coming home from the Big Apple, overcome jetlag and yet again catch up with all the work that was put on hold for the 12 days was easier by having my parents around and having possibility to show them a bit of Stockholm. The highlight (besides the warm and stunning swedish summer at the sea) would be watching DN – galan (athletics) live and seeing sport wonders such as Jelena Isinbajeva or Ussain Bolt. Isinbajeva’s warm up kept me staring at her most of the evening. Besides few warm up jumps in the beginning of the competition, all she has done was putting on several layers of clothes and laying on the ground having her face covered for like an hour. Then, when most of the competitors were out of the competitions, she entered with two jumps (one fail and one successful) and went back to her hibernation for yet another 20 minutes. Then she jumped once and won the whole thing =)

Another stop on this ride was our road trip to Örebro to meet two friends who, if it was possible to choose a family, would definitely be part of it =)

And yes..time for Active camp in Latvia and meeting friends from all over the Europe, combining work with volleyball and just chitchatting. This week also brought me a totally new experience as I joined PJ, Sofia, Andrea, Aron and Vidar flying. An amazing amazing amazing feeling. For my part, I was not that excited about flying high or low. I loved the moment when I understood what to do to keep myself in the air. I felt it was all about trust. Trust into the whole system (huge blowing machine) and my body that it knows the best how to hold the balance. Worked pretty well =)

Learning to fly

Flying

While I was in NY and in Latvia, my father managed to walk around Stockholm and discover places I did not have clue about. One of those was the possibility to rent a kayak and go paddling. So we did go. Magic. In the middle of the nature and yet in the centre of the capital. So calm and so much happening around – trains, cars passing, people jogging, motor boats meetings us while we were just paddling and swinging lightly on the waves of the water and of our thoughts. Almost a transcendental experience. That I got the chance to repeat two more times since then (within one week).

20110819-224806.jpg

Paddling with my father

20110819-224824.jpg

Paddling accompanied by ducks

20110819-224906.jpg

..with Maik

And rolling like that I have come to this weekend when I am learning a bit more about photography, especially street photography. So I got to reflect a lot upon what I want to work on this time: motivation or taste or vision or method? And what is actually my motivation to take pictures? Is the the process itself? Or a specific object? Or maybe the final pictures themselves. Or it’s the confirmation I feel when someone likes the pictures I take. There will be a separate blog about that and my reflections too. Tomorrow I go out to the field and shoot…





That’s how it works

10 05 2011

Solar energy

Solar energy cont.





Power of expectations

25 02 2011

There were 3 journalists on today’s morning TV program discussing Oscar gala that is going to happen in all its glamour in some hours. The discussion was about the awards themselves, about tips and hottest candidates, estimations and presumptions.
And then there was a very important moment to me when one of the journalists questioned the whole event. She said that it is interesting in what an extent we await the event every year despite the fact that the previous year was not that wonderful. Actually. And it is every single year like that. In the end, a huge part of the programme are speeches, most of them long and very predictable with few interesting or unexpected moments.
The journalist said, that we often remember that we had enjoyed watching the event more that we actually had done. Why is it like that? The journalist also answered her own question. She said that it is more our expectations than the real happening that make the event so great.
It is all the talks before the event and it is all our associations we have connected with the celebrities that attend. It is not just the event itself. I was very happy to hear the journalist’s words because as a person who is very sensitive on the topic of the power of social constructs, I believe that our minds and our collective mind are very powerful. Our mind setting shapes our experience of an event that can in general be considered neutral. The journalist’s statement made me think of a project ran by UNF Sweden called Fake Free. The project is inspired by prevention method from Sri Lanka that builds exactly on the power of social constructs. To understand the essence of it, it is just to see this picture:

eller (swe) = or (eng)

Alcohol is a substance that has certain impacts on body’s physiology. It is a central nervous system depressant (!!!). In spite of that, when you look at pictures (mostly commercials) connected to alcohol – you see action, party, joy. If you ask people what they associate with alcohol you will hear partying and fun. Not fatigue for example (which is a natural consequence of drinking). Hangovers, headaches and all the problems come later in the association chain. There are many experiments showing the placebo effect of various substances which is very strong when it comes to alcohol. The thing is that thanks to our alcohol culture, people know exactly what to expect from drinking and that’s why they even do not need to have alcohol in their drinks but they behave according to their expectations as long as they are convinced they have drunk alcohol. When they are sad – they will drink. When they need to boost their self-confidence – they will drink. When they want to tear down some mental barriers or social walls – they will drink. The most interesting is, that they will drink both – to calm down AND to cheer up. Miracle? Not at all. The good part about it is, that it is not alcohol that is the magic drink that solves all the problems! It is actually people themselves and their expectations that change their mind settings and turn them into social, funny, stronger or whatever they wish to be. It would be even better if they just knew it.