How to start meditating today if you don’t know where to start #happiness

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Reclining Buddha. Yuliya Glavnaya 

At some point a while ago (it’s been years) I promised a post on what I learned in the introduction to meditation course at the London Buddhist Centre. I then wanted to try out the techniques before sharing them, long story short – I forgot about it. Universe reminded me in an interesting way. This week I was approached for advice on how to start meditating. While I was sharing the steps and tips that worked for me, I realised that whereas nowhere near an expert, I learned a lot about meditating so below is a quick guide on how to start meditating today if you don’t know where to start. Continue reading

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To speak or to die? Call Me By Your Name #CMBYN #happiness

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Warning. This review contains spoilers. Also I have not read a book, I plan to. 

It is one of those movies – it blows your mind. You watch and rewatch it trying to grasp, understand how you got hooked, why it got under your skin, how it managed to create this instant recognition. Tears roll down your face to Sufjan’s softly voiced love ballad cast over shots of pure joy shared by two twin flames, two souls who incredibly found each other – you sob because you know that the end is near and the weight of impending loss is overpowering. You mourn having never experienced love so fully. You never walked the edge, so in love that you were free from gravity, fully alive. 

Mystery of love indeed. Scenes – beautiful, sensual, impeccably written, directed, shot and played – roll one after another weaving a familiar, yet not like any other love story. Look at these two. And sobs are back. 

You watch on the edge of the seat, Continue reading

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How has shamanic experience changed my life? Let me see… #happiness #amwriting

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Source: Tatler magazine, Jo Bowlby with a shaman in Peru. 

It’s almost been a year since I went through a shamanic ritual (I wrote about it here). I still have a one pager where I hungrily have scribbled down key insights and advice immediately after I left Jo’s house. Recently a friend asked me to have a go at ‘spiritually mentoring’ her in order to help her overcome a lack of joy she is feeling, the same reason why I sought a shaman in the first place. She asked me how my experience with the shaman changed my life and upon reflection I realised that the change has been significant in the last 8 months. I’ll narrow it down to 3 areas:

  1. I write more.
  2. I love myself more.
  3. I share more.

Continue reading

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Digital detox and happiness – putting ’smart’ back into phone #talk

Following advice I received from the shaman (bear with me), I did look at ways I could share what I learnt about happiness and mindfulness wider with the world. As a result, I am happy to report that I’ve been invited to be a speaker at the Focus Inside event which is an unusual, exciting one week pop-up in London aiming to experientially combine digital detox, mindfulness, mental health and art. What a combination.

I plan to talk about mindful use of devices which makes sense considering I am a marketer at a large mobile company and a blogger writing about happiness and mindfulness who recently went through a version of digital detox (I promise I will write a blog post on this in April). You would still need to pry my iPhone out of my hands and my phone is closer to me at night than my husband 🙂  but I did conquer some of the iDemons such as mindless scrolling, falling into content rabbit holes and what started to look like addiction.

The event is free to attend (some sessions require booking and nominal payment) so if you are in London on what I am hoping will be a beautiful spring Saturday of April 21st, come and say hello. The event programme can be found here, I am on a 2pm panel with some cool folks (how about the lady who created walk-in meditation studios for the City workers!). See you! 🙂 

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Fuck willpower. Let go instead #happiness #quora

Sometimes on Quora I find gems of insight and Daniel’s response below (to ‘What was your red pill realisation?’) is one of those. I’ve been beating myself up forever about not having enough willpower to achieve my goals (which I also was confused about). If only I had enough willpower! Well, as I have discovered, the secret all along has been to let go, shed and start from scratch, start by taking a step back, by understanding, finding and accepting yourself. Goals and their fulfilment will follow, no willpower required.

IMG_2624 Continue reading

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Spring! #happiness

There is that first weekend when it’s not yet spring but already bright and warm for the first time since November. And the scarf is suddenly too much and the shoes are ok. I spot first snow drops, stubborn daffodil stalks are piercing dry (dry!) soil, birds are singing and sunsets are basking in warm glow colouring everything in soft pink hues.

This is it! Spring is coming. Fresh abundant smells tantalise the nostrils. Everything, everything promises hope! Colours are brighter, nights are longer, nip in the air is gone for good. And that week of snowmageddon when everything was at standstill, plans were abandoned and everyone had bad fever or cabin fever is gladly over. Goodbye grey dull days and dark freezing nights and purple stiff toes and dry skin! Goodbye fireplace fires and radiator hugs and gloves and rich winter soups and heavy boots! Goodbye extra weight and hibernation. I am full of energy and overwhelmed with excitement.

Like nature I wake up in spring. Energy is surging and I feel like jumping to the sky and screaming Bring It On! I am not good with winters. I die a little bit. But I survived. Again. And I am back. And I am looking forward to long nights, warm breeze, garden chairs, cold drinks, light dresses, big dreams, friend hugs and smiles, smiles everywhere.

I am now unstoppable. I love you, spring!!!

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Helping others – Be My Eyes app

Thanks to Apple App Store newsletter, I found out about and immediately volunteered with Be My Eyes – an app connecting blind and visually impaired people with sighted volunteers. I myself have a bad eyesight and was at a point in my life several times where I could become visually impaired. It feels good to be finally doing something, no matter how small, for this cause. And I had my first call already! Here is a video from a creator of an idea for this app, very inspirational.

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