Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Back to Basics

Hello my dear friends!

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My, my, my! How fast does the time fly! It's been sporadic writing for the blog in the last couple of months... and I had some letting go to do! And after a rather successful few sessions it's time to get "back to basics". You had a short introduction to the concept early in the year and we will get to more details shortly. But for now I have few questions for you.

As we approach the end of 2015 it is typical to think about closing the old year off and start preparing for the new one ahead. Are you one of the people that makes resolutions, or list of things to accomplish in the new year, or you simply raise the glass to welcome the start of the new year and just take one day at a time? Well, I've done all of the above in the past and at this point leaning more towards the last two. Resolutions are great and exciting but at times lack the purpose, at least in my case.

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And this is the time when I would like to extend my introduction of the concept of going "back to basics" to you and why sometimes it is required for all of us. This might sound like a very simple statement and it really is. It might be presented in many different ways but the meaning does not change. The meaning is to start over. In my case, it sounds a little different - starting all over... again!

Yes, this is not my first re-start and I have a feeling will not be the last one. When you are at my age it sounds scary since  the shake up is needed in all aspects of my life: personal, physical, spiritual and business. I'd like to look at it as a rise of the Phoenix! And I am extremely excited about the opportunities ahead!

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Thus this sounds like a perfect opportunity to tell you more about my approach to going "back to basics" but it will have to wait. All in good time...

But you did not think I will leave you just with that, did you? Of course not! You know me well enough! Instead of talking about me (I can't believe I just said that), we will discuss the scenarios when "back to basics" approach  might be required and discover the steps to take in order to push the "re-start button". Let's get to it!

We will open by exploring the re-start of your physical being. It seems the most appropriate since a lot of people will be committing to more healthier lifestyle and gym membership numbers will increase immensely in the first month of the new year. But before jumping onto that wagon ask yourself following questions:

1. What is the purpose of your commitment?
2. How much time will your commitment require?
3. Are you prepared to dedicate that time?
4. Are you prepared to make adjustments as required?
5. Do you have a time frame for completion?
6. What is the end result expectation?
7. Are you being realistic?

Pretty clear, isn't it? Trust me, I have been there few times myself: making a new year resolution only to get disappointed few month into the year because life got in the way. And being a former "control freak" it was all or nothing.

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Now, let's have a look at your personal life expectations for the new year. It can involve your family life with children or without, your love life - either you're single or not, and of course your extended family relations. What are the questions to ask yourself here? To be honest, I suggest to look at the ones above. This might be a different aspect of life but the approach should be the same. If you are about to make a commitment to something in your personal life, it is still a commitment that will require time, consideration, adjustment and the end result expectation.

As a matter of fact the same approach will apply to the other two aspects of our lives - spiritual and business/work. They are all commitments that make up our lives and develop us as human beings. Does this make sense?

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So, where does the concept of going "back to basics" come in?" you may ask. Look at the list of questions above? Do they sound complex to you? Do they remind you of a new start, new project, new page in your life? Try to remember yourself as a child wanting to learn, experience and be more like grown up? You started at the base and by asking these questions or being asked these questions by a grown up, you stuck to your commitments and accomplished them.

I hear you, as adults we have more responsibilities and at times it is difficult to see the commitment through. I know, life gets in the way! That is why I had to re-start so many times! But don't make it complicated! Review the questions above again. Do you see the one about adjustments? Yes, you can do that! Actually I recommend you do it in-order to stay true to your commitment. Either it's time, result or approach, if adjustment is required go for it!

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There is one VERY IMPORTANT thing to remember - BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF! We all want the best outcome for ourselves and our commitments. But we are not in control of external factors of our lives and that is okay. If that happens, scrap your original plan and make a new one or make adjustments. Go "back to basics" and an honest end result is guaranteed!

Here is just a small example of my approach. The winter has finally arrived in Ottawa! Big snow storm with hauling winds, windchill of - 21C and up to 25 cm of snow expected. Well, it really messed up my few hours of work commitment outdoors today. But I am not going to give up. Instead of heading out at 8 am, I am waiting for the weather to calm down a little and adjusted my plans for the day (if you see me walking in your neighbourhood, say hello to your neighbour!). "Back to basics"!

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Another item to remember is to please, please, please don't get stuck in the past. It is gone, there is nothing you can do about it and you most certainly cannot change it. Learn a lesson and let it go! Move on and go "back to basics"!

Hopefully this post helps you to understand the concept of going "back to basics" better and perhaps even helps you to look at some of your complex commitments in the different more basic light. I know for myself, we as adults make things quite complicated at times, so this concept certainly helps me. To end this conversation I would like to sum up "back to basics" approach:

1. Make a meaningful commitment.
2. Do not make things complicated.
3. Make adjustments as required.
4. Let go of the past approach if it failed.
5. Be realistic.
6. Be honest with yourself.

That's it, that's all! Very basic! Imagine yourself as a kid as you endure on a new adventure - time of innocence, time of "I can do anything" and time when nothing stood in your way! And go for it! I know you can do it!!!

Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your day and the rest of 2015! Have fun, stay safe, healthy and grateful! And remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Are Holidays Stressing You Out? Part Two

Hello my dear friends,

Today is the day when I will share with you the tips that help me to avoid holiday stress. As the discussion started yesterday, perhaps you need a little reminder how we ended the first installment. Well, the best way is to visit Part One. This will definitely help you to follow my thoughts.

So let's begin! I will follow the pattern I created in Part One post and hope you can follow with me:

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1. If you are staying in town or leaving town - DO NOT STRESS OUT! If you are hosting a party or family diner or heading out to number of parties - DO NOT STRESS OUT! All you have to do is remember couple of little things - no matter what you do, YOU WILL DO YOUR BEST and what is in your control, whatever happens besides that IS NOT IN YOUR CONTROL! This is VERY IMPORTANT to remember! You cannot control outside factors such as weather, traffic and of course other people's behavior! You are just a human, as wonderful as you are!

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2. If you have special family traditions or special dinner plans - DO NOT STRESS OUT! If you have special plans for dinner your are cooking or contributing to a special dinner, or if you are or you have "special eaters" - DO NOT STRESS OUT! All you have to do is remember couple of little things - YOU WILL DO YOUR ABSOLUTE BEST and the rest is NOT IN YOUR CONTROL!

3. If you are connecting with people over the holiday season either they are family, friends or special people - DO NOT STRESS OUT! And remember the important factor - they are on your list and it already shows that you care and YOU WILL DO YOUR BEST to visit everyone! But you are just one person and there are just so many days in the holiday season. And sometimes THINGS BEYOND YOUR CONTROL get in the way.

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4. If you have children or large family or special projects and charities that you would like to contribute to - DO NOT STRESS OUT! In this case you are the one IN CONTROL of your spending and yes at times outside factors might ruin your plans (this is my Christmas this year). But once again THIS IS NOT IN YOUR CONTROL! And if you did not get everything everyone wanted, the important part to remember YOU DID YOUR BEST! And the best part is that you can share your time with all of the above (believe me, kids will understand, if they don't.... it's another post).

5. And now, this is a VERY IMPORTANT - this is "you time". I cannot emphasize enough to make sure you take few hours to yourself before, during and after holidays. With amount of preparations, activities and after-mass it is very easy to get stressed out. So I ask you - DO NOT STRESS OUT! YOU ARE IN CONTROL of "you time" and yes there could be some outside factors that can interfere but unless someone's life is in danger, I suggest that YOU LET THINGS BE.
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That's it! Those are my tips! Are you disappointed? I hope not! These are very easy to remember and there are only two - DO NOT STRESS OUT and YOU ARE ONLY IN CONTROL OF WHAT YOU YOU CAN DO! Very simple!

Sure I can expand on how to please everyone and make everyone happy; how to make the best meal and consider everyone; how to find the best dress to the party and throw the best party; how to budget properly to make sure everyone got a great gift, etc., etc., etc.. But I do not want to waste my time right now for two reasons:

a) There are plenty of articles on-line that can teach you all of the above. You will read them and some of you will try to follow them to the letter. And when it does not work out as suggested you are going to say: "Well, they don't know what they are talking about."

b) My post is a remind for you - DO NOT STRESS OUT! I understand that it is easier said than done so I ask you to remember only one things that can help you - FOCUS ON THINGS THAT ARE IN YOUR CONTROL! That's it!
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I am very grateful and consider myself very fortunate to understand that and know that my son is learning this simple concept as well. Yes, I am not perfect and few of these are still on my "not done" list but I am work in progress. My goal is to help people to recognize what's IMPORTANT DURING THIS TIME of the year - TO BE HAPPY! And if you are stressed out I do not believe you or anyone else around you will be. I hope that you help me by sharing this post with your crowd to make sure more people understand this simple concept.

To conclude this post I would recommend to give yourself time to prepare for holidays. The length of time depends on your personality and  the level of control you like to have (just remember outside factors, Plan B might be a good idea). I suggest you take about an hour or two 30 minutes of quiet "you time" in mid or late November (or the year before for some of you, few of my friends, just remember Plan B) and make your plans for the holidays.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post and hopeful that you take the main idea of this post and work with it! It took me sometime and I believe I am pretty close to perfection, well in my own "perfection way" (we are all different!). Please share it and DO NOT STRESS OUT!

Thank you for stopping by and remember

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Are Holidays Stressing You Out? Part One

Hello my dear friends,

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It is difficult to believe by looking outside that we are just few days away from Christmas Eve! I am really not sure what to compare this weather of rain, frost and thaw to. And the little snow we got early Saturday morning is gone! Some will agree with me that having mild spring temperatures at the end of December is nice but it will be great to have some snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day! We live in Canada after all! Well, all I can do is to put a good word with the main man himself, Santa?

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And since during this time of the year we are bombarded with TV and Radio ads and questions from family, friends and others about our readiness for Christmas, I would like to ask you just one question
- are holidays stressing you out?

Of course I know there will not be one answer to my question and if you know me well, you know that discussion is in-order. Maybe a little one-sided for now but I am sure you'll have something to add. So, let's begin!

Christmas is my favorite time of the year! I grew up in Russia and during that time we did not celebrate this holiday, New Year was the BIG one! This was the time when we decorated the tree and the house, spent time with family and exchanged presents. It has changed now and Russia celebrates Christmas just like Canada. A little trivia for you - it is celebrated on January 7th. So, I'll be off till the mid-January, but perhaps this is another post... Back to our story now.

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I was however introduced to celebration of Christmas in 1995 - my first year in Canada. It was a magical and exciting time: it was my son's and my first Christmas - "Canadian" Christmas. There was a beautiful and fragrant live tree, lots of pretty lights and of course many presents. It was time to learn Christmas and family traditions, try a lot of new food and open lots of presents. It was fun!!!!

But as years went by, I had a slightly different and confused sense about the celebration. I still loved Christmas time with the tree, the lights and the presents, but I also noticed that there were a lot more grumpy people. They were complaining about the traffic, the lines in the stores, the fact that they could not decide what to wear to the next Christmas party, the fact that they had to visit their in-laws, the fact that they ate too much at the last Christmas party and of course the fact that they spent too much money. And there was only one word to describe all that was happening to them - holidays were stressing them out!

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It puzzled me for years! And yes, at some point I fell into that trap as well. But I was lucky enough to realize that this was a wrong approach to the holidays and Christmas spirit. And what I though in the past was a disadvantage for my son and me, now recognized as blessing in disguise.

You see, since I am not your "normal" person, there were many financial struggles over the years. That of course always added some stress during Christmas time. The other fact is our family is very little - it consists of my son and me. Yes, Daniel has his Dad's side of the family of course but it is not that big either. And my family is still in Russia and has been reduced over the years as well. So, I mostly did not have to make many choices but work with what I had.

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Some might say: "Lucky you!". And you know what, I would agree! Those disadvantages taught me what are the most important aspects of Christmas. To me it is not about getting or giving the biggest and most expensive present, it is not about hitting the hottest parties in the hottest spots wearing hottest attire. To me it is about giving, appreciating what you have and reaching out and spending time with your family and friends! It is about LOVE! And LOVE should not be stressful!

So, I would like to share few tips on making your Christmas a little less stressful. We are going to start with a list of things to consider before Christmas:

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1. What are your plans? Are you staying in town or leaving? Are you hosting a party? Are you hosting a family dinner? Are there number of events that you have been invited to?
2. Do you have special family traditions? Do you have special plans for Christmas dinner? Are you cooking Christmas dinner or a contributor to one? Do you have "special eaters" in your dinner party?
3. What people on your list you would like to visit or connect with before, during and just after Christmas? Are they family or friends? Do some need a special visit this year?
4. What are you plans for presents this year? Do you have children? Do you have a large family? Do you have any special projects or charities to consider this year?
5. What are your plans for "you time"?

I believe those are the most important items to consider. They cover plans, food, people, presents (aka budget) and "you time". If I have forgotten anything I am sure you will quickly remind me. And thank you!

"Well, this is all wonderful and fantastic," you might say: "but what about your tips for dealing with all of the above?". They are on their way and you can read about them tomorrow.... I believe I've already dropped a lot to consider on you today!

So for now, I hope you enjoyed reading first installment. Here is my request, please send me other questions or items to consider. If I have not covered them yet, I will do my best to include them in tomorrow's post. In the meantime please share and remember....

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Let It Go Part Three

Hello my dear friends,

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The publication of this post could not have come at a better time! As the new moon and partial solar eclipse upon us, this is a perfect opportunity to continue our Let It Go discussion. And so, as mentioned in Let It Go Part Two, I will elaborate on the tips that have been provided in the last post.

So, I believe I'll jump right into our discussion without my regular prelude. And of course we will start with tip number one:

1. Always focus on positive! Remember the good times! 

I would like you to read the above and really think what it means to you. It is very easy to do the above if it was a positive experience that you have to let go off (remember that time at the party?). But what if it was a negative experience, where is the positive in this case? Well, if you are letting it go that probably means that you are no longer in that negative situation and now you are in the process of working through the consequences. You are alive and hopefully healthy and moving on! An example can be a serious illness that you overcome. The positive would be the support and care you received during the time of illness that brought you to today. Remember the good times! 

2Think of the lessons you've learned. All the negative has positive!

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Does this even need a more detail explanation? I believe the above sentence says it all. But I will expand  a little. Even if you think there is no way that one particular negative experience has absolutely nothing positive to offer, there is a lesson to learn from that experience. And so with that, I will take an example from my own life (and this might apply to many of our children or us). At his second birthday, Daniel's grandmother made him a beautiful cake and it was decorated with some new toys (small cars) and candles. As he sat in the highchair, the group of adults sang Happy Birthday and brought out the cake with lit candles that was placed in front of Daniel. Being a little boy who was fascinated with
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cars he automatically reached out to grab one of them and to the horror of all the adults burnt his little hand. The poor little guy started crying and all of the adults were trying to figure out how could this happen. It was not the most pleasant experience for my son or us, his family, and all of us would like to forget that.  But we all learned lessons: Daniel learned that if you touch the fire with bare hands you get burned and we, adults, learned that when presenting a cake with lit candles to a very young child, you have to take more control of presentation and placement of "special effects". This is a very simple example but it shows you that all the negative has positive.

3. Take time to analyze/rest/grieve, but don't get stuck! Life will not wait for you! 

It will be rather cruel if I am to say just forget about it and move on. It is not that easy! We are human beings and no matter how emotionally developed or undeveloped we are, we get
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attached. We get attached to things, people, feelings and sensations. And it is only normal to take time with the act of dis-attachment. So, take your time to analyze, rest or grieve. But try to  put a time frame on this process and do few things each day to help you progress towards that deadline. It could be very difficult to do so in case of a death of loved one or someone close to you but it is important to work through this. You have to remind yourself everyday that you are still here and there is a reason for that. Perhaps, you might be the person who has to continue the legacy of the deceased and it will not work so well if you're stuck. 

4. And finally LET IT GO! It is past! You cannot change it!

Once again, I believe the sentence above says it all. The only item I would like to add is for you to watch your "would have" and "should have".  Remember, you "might have" and "could have" but for whatever reason you "did not". And at times the decision or outcome was
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not even in your control. So, whatever happened happened. And at this time we do not have a time machine to take us back and fix whatever it is you would like to fix. But also think of the effect it might have on your future life if you had the ability to change things. Think "Back to the Future"! I know that I would not change a thing in my life. Yes, I have been through a lot but I am very pleased with the person I am today. And I thank my past experiences for that! So, think twice before you start building that time machine. And let go of the "would have" and "should have'. These phrases have a negative ring to them. Focus on "I will" and "I should".

So how do you feel? Was my elaboration helpful to you to decipher the Let It Go tips? A penny for your thoughts! 

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I really hope that this post helped you to continue your journey of clearing your life of things, people, feelings and emotions that are no longer serving good to your human nature. They are in the past. Respect them and let them be. They are just that, your past experiences, that are part of your life. And you can always revisit them for the purpose of sharing your lessons learned but please DO NOT GET STUCK! You already let them go!

Thank you once again for stopping by and your valuable time. And please do not keep me a secret! We are on a constant road to personal growth and development. So let's make room for new experiences! And with new moon upon us make that list of things you desire, it's time for new beginnings! Just watch for that Mercury retrograde!  In the mean time....

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Let It Go Part Two

Hello my dear friends,

Today is the day to follow through on my promise. Today I will be sharing few tips on how to help you LET IT GO.

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We will get there shortly but first I would like to say thank you to someone that we lost just over a week ago. We lost a friend, a husband, a fighter for freedom and justice, a life loving man! He was not famous but well known, he was not rich but shared all he had, he was not a superhero but helped many, he was not a big man but he had a giant heart!

He is missed by many and all are still unable to comprehend the fact that he is no longer here with us, among living. He fought till the last moment. I remember the last time I saw him, his body was frail but his spirit was tough. As I was leaving, I said:"Stay strong!". He raised his arm with a tight fist in the air as if he was a MMA fighter encouraging his cheering fans. He was a fighter till the end!
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So, I would like to thank this man for being part of our lives, teaching us how to be just, how to live life, how to be generous and most importantly how to be humble. We are forever grateful for the fact that we knew you! Rest in peace!

It is rather funny, as I am writing this post he is telling me that it's too much praise for him! And yes, I will elaborate on my comment about "hearing voices from beyond". But that will be another post.

So, back to today's topic - LET IT GO. Although I was not very close to this person and did not know him that long, but I am close to someone who did. He considered him as his brother and this was the closets person he had in Ottawa. This death hit him hard! He is having a tough time LETTING GO.

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I understand, it is not easy and I had to deal with untimely death of my Dad (I could not even make it to the funeral) and my son's Dad. Both happened within eight month. This was a hard hit! And I am still feeling it from time to time.

But enough about death. As mentioned in part one there are other aspects of life that require to exercise the LET IT GO concept. And two other great examples will be a loss of a job and breakdown of a relationship. I am sure most of us have been through that grinder!

I know, I know, you are probably saying:"Can we get to the tips already?". I respect your wishes so here they are:
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1. Always focus on positive! Remember the good times! 
2. Think of the lessons you've learned. All the negative has positive!
3. Take time to analyze/rest/grieve, but don't get stuck! Life will not wait for you!
4. And finally LET IT GO! It is past! You cannot change it!

Short and sweet and seems simple enough. Yes, it is but it takes time to master. Although I am not ready to call myself a Master just yet, there is a comfort to think that I have helped few people already with these simple tips. Just please remember I am not a professional psychotherapist or a grief counselor.
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Now, the tips above might require further elaboration and of course it will be my pleasure to do so. However, I also value your time and do not want you to stick around for another hour to hear what I
have to say. Perhaps this can be another topic for discussion. Let's make it LET IT GO Part Three! So, LET IT GO to be continued....

In the meantime, I would like to thank you for stopping by. I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any questions and do not want to wait till "elaboration post" please contact me and I will be happy to have a discussion. Also, if you have some of your own tricks that you would like to share, comment away!

As for now,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Let It Go Part One

Hello my dear friends,

It's been over a week since my last post and it is amazing how much can happen in just one week. There were happy times and there were sad times but all as equally important in our lives.
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But for the last few month (actually last few years for me) there was one constant whispered by the Universe - LET IT GO! Okay, lately, it has been rather loud and thus the CAPS had to come out.

Where do I start with explaining all of the above? How about the beginning!

It is another stunning sunny and hot day! I am very fortunate to sit on the deck, look at the river, hear the wind wrestle tops of the trees, hear a frog, the grasshoppers, watch the hummingbirds enjoy the
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sweet nectar and do all of the above as I am writing this post. Yes, I am on vacation (sort off)!

This morning I had a chance to meditate on the dock while being gently touch by the wind and the sun, relax my body and mind and jump into my beautiful day. It was a great start to the day and future looked very bright!

However, after having a conversation with a friend, something changed. I got sad, few tears were shed and my mood changed. Of course, my first reaction was to figure out what happened since it is very important for future development. And after taking a little time to think about it I came back with a response - LET IT GO!

You see, in the last few years I have been exploring my spiritual self and been trying to help others to find or develop theirs. One of the things I learned (and confirmed for myself) that we as humans hold on to certain situations that drag us down, do not help our development and make us sad. We do not
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have control over most of such situations and so the best solution is to release then or LET THEM GO.

It seems simple enough but unfortunately it is not. It requires daily reminders and paying attention to your state of mind and listening to your thoughts (you know that little voice in your head?).Even with the time I have spent trying to master this skill I still find myself stuck at times. Today is a prefect example! Did something new came to my life to upset me? Not really! I simply have not really LET IT GO!

I have not realized the affect that certain matters have on our lives if we keep thinking about them and letting them stick around. You might not think about these matters every single day but they are there, just sitting in the background and watching you go about your day. And they seem to like to bother you at the most inconvenient time.

Yes, I will share few tricks that I use to make this happen or at least to try to tone the "bother" down
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but it will take place in the second part of this post. Solution is on its way but not today. Today, I would like to focus on helping you to discover and understand what those culprits are.

We all have problems in our lives. It might be money related, work or business related, relationship related, family related or health related. All of us, well most of us, think that we have control over the above. I guess in some instances we do. But all items that I mentioned usually involve outside factors. And guess what, we do not have control over those. We think we do but really think about it:

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- Money is usually related to our jobs, businesses or banks. Do we have control over them, not really. There is no longer such thing as job for life. You do not have control over the prices that businesses we deal with charge. And do I even need to explain the bank situation? I think not.
- Work or business are mostly related to our education and ambitions. Yes, there is some control but we do not have any over the decision makers of the job you applied for or the following of your business.
- Relationships are created by two people. Although you might have control over your feelings, emotions and likes, you do not have any control over how the other person feels.
- Family is supposed to be our castle, however we do not choose family and thus have no control over how some family members act or live their lives.
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- When it comes to health our doctors, governments and media always seems to have an idea what's good and what's bad for us and we try to follow the standardBut sometimes that is just not enough and no medication or drug can help you - no control.

Yes, I have been working on mastering the LET IT GO and it is work in progress. Like in any development there are ups and downs in this course. And of course I will provide you with some ideas that work for me. But that will be in Let It Go Part Two.

For now, thank you for visiting, listening and considering... remember,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Did You Know That You Are in Sales?

Hello my dear friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I certainly was very fortunate to enjoy a lovely hot summer days in Ottawa! While I had some down time, I got together with a new friend and we had a great chat (thanks Kamla!) We chatted about few things including business.
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You see we are both self-employed and very entrepreneurial. We exchanged few of our experiences and while we were chatting business challenges this one thought crossed my mind. This is not the first time it came about and I believe it is a good time to share it with you.

There are many types of people in the world and that means there are many different personalities. We will focus on two major groups today. We do not necessarily have to look at the world, we can just look at our circle of influence - family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc. And as you know some of us are introverts (my son will be a great example) and some are extroverts (do I really even need to mention this about me?).

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So, this brings us closer to the point I am trying to make in this post. Extroverts are simply out there!
Hey look at me! Did you see me jump this high? Why are you not paying attention to me, I am right in your face? Well, you get the idea... we are not really shy! We are the first ones to raise the hand in the classroom, we are the first ones to express our opinion and we are the first ones in line (pretty much any line). Based on the above, we are born to be in sales.

Now we will explore the other group. They prefer to stay out of spot light, speak mostly when spoken to, and they do not jump on the dance floor as soon as the
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first note of their favorite song is played. All in all, they are a little shy. And yes, sales might not be the best place for this group. As my son likes to respond to my invitation to join me in real estate: ``Sorry Mom, but sales is not for me!``

But here is the interesting development in the story. I can honestly say that no matter which group you belong to, you are already in sales and have been since early childhood!

Of course I will elaborate. You see, as mentioned in the third paragraph, we all have circle of influence. So, despite the fact that you might belong to the ``shy group`` you made friends, created a family, got a job, etc. And how did you do that? By selling yourself!

Yes, you are a real sales person! You were born, went to kindergarten and made friends. Next you went to school and made new friends. Then came the university or college, new friends, relationships, jobs. And you got it all by selling yourself!
Photo credit www.salesforcesearch.com

Of course you understand that I am talking about selling your personality. You figured out what people were looking for, you figured out what you had to offer and you figured out how to put ask and bid together (I`ll take 100 of that please) to make it work. And it did not make a difference what group you belong to - the ``all eyes on me`` or ``please don`t pick me`` group. Congratulations!

So, here you are have been selling yourself all your life and I bet you did not even know about it. All I have to say is good for you and you are a great sales person!

Photo credit www.sn50andbetter.com
In conclusion, next time you are applying for a new job, looking for new friends or relationship, remember that you can make it happen with ease. You have done it before! The trick is to think what
worked in the past and what lessons you`ve learned about yourself or the situation. And just like that you made another sale! Time to celebrate yourself!

One piece of advice to the rowdy group - tone it down a little, not everyone as enthusiastic as we are. There is an appropriate time for our excitement. And this is coming from the expert of our kind - me!!!! But that is a whole other story, maybe even a book! Okay, I am toning it down now!

That`s all I wanted to share with you today. Of course you know that I do not mean to offend anyone and all of my posts are filled with love for all. So, it will be great to see if anyone has their own story to share or comments to make. I will be waiting to hear from you. In the meantime,

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Are You Normal?

Well hello,

Your long lost friend is back and has a sack full of new and exciting posts, ideas and news. But all in good time!

Today I would like to ask you a very important question - do you consider yourself normal?

Okay, right now you are probably thinking:"Is she normal?". To answer your question:"Absolutely!". You already know that there is a twist, so please let me explain.

Lately there has been a lot of talk in my circle about people being normal or abnormal. I also discovered that it is not only my circle that questions "normality", most of the population does (at least that what it looks like to me). And so, came the idea for this post.

Let's discuss, shall we. I am sure all of us (yes, I am guilty as well) used the following expressions few times in our lives:

- This is not normal!
- She/he is not normal!
- Why can't you be normal?

But have you ever asked yourself - what is normal? Have you ever really thought about it? Well I did and for awhile now.

My life has been very interesting due to many challenges. And looking back I came to conclusion that the challenges were created  due to my desire to be "NORMAL". You might say:"What's wrong with that?". The answer is absolutely nothing. But here is the trick, it was not my "NORMAL".

After living on beautiful plant Earth for many years my conclusion is that everyone has their own
"NORMAL". It is your own, unique and beautiful and it is important to embrace it!

So why do we still use term - this is not normal? Very simple! We live in a society that established "NORMAL" for us all. Don't get me wrong, it is important. We need laws, policies, economic standards, business practices, and such. Otherwise, we will live in anarchy.

But don't forget that without your "NORMAL" society will not be able to develop. Think about all of the discoveries over the years, think about all of the great novels that were written over many centuries, think about all of the beautiful pieces of art that has been created
since the beginning of time. Most of the people that made these discoveries or created these masterpieces were not the "NORM". Some were outcasts and considered out of their mind (Michael
Jackson or Vincent Van Gogh anyone?).

What I am trying to say is that although we are expected to live a certain "NORMAL" life, do not forget the "NORMAL" you. You are here for a reason and you are a significant part of the societal development. And in my opinion as long as it does not endanger people around you, you are totally and completely "NORMAL"! And the next time you are about to say:"That's not normal!", please stop and think. You might be offending someone or someone's action; put yourself in that situation.

In conclusions, I would love to encourage you to celebrate yourself and love the "NORMAL" you!

Please let me know your thoughts in regards to this subject! In the meantime have a fantastic day and don't forget

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

HELP! I am drowning!

Another day, another frustration, another unresolved issue. Does this sound familiar? Well, if it does not you should read this anyway. It might help someone you know.

So, what is it this time? I am feeling overwhelmed. There seems to be too much going on and I feel like I am loosing the grip once again. Things to do, items to read, research to conduct, paperwork! And then there is my lovely family that or so precious, supportive and understanding but they need my time and there does not seem to be much. It's been eaten buy a Great White! It all looks like an endless ocean. HELP! I am drowning!

Not so fast, I know how to swim! I've been there before, many times before. There is help: life ring, boat, orrs, motorboats, submarines....... You get the drift.

But seriously, let's discuss this. As women, we carry many, many, many responsibilities (no offence gentlemen, Girl Power). We are expected to be smart, beautiful, loving, maternal, gentle, powerful, courageous, brave, creative and simply amazing. We fought for our rights for many years (still fighting for some) and now most of us enjoy the freedom of being who we are.

I love being all of the above and more but sometimes it feels like I am drowning in being me. Observation of my life taught me few things and one of them that most of the time I create this drowning situation myself. I am the problem you see. I push myself, I load myself, I frustrate myself, I drown myself. Yup, it's my doing! It does not help to be an Aries, we tend to start many things at the same time with great enthusiasm but not finish them (well, at least these are the Aries that I know, and I know quite a few).

So, how do I help myself? Is this disease curable? Can I be helped?

Absolutely! But how? Is there a doctor? Is there a machine? Is there a magical wound? Is there a special swimming instructor? Yes, yes, yes and yes!

Let's begin the saving process:

1. Take an hour (tough to find time? how about 30 minutes) out of the day (preferably day off) and try to find a quite place where you can be alone. This will allow you to relax your mind and get in touch with yourself.

2. Settle your mind and think about where the real issue lies (you are most likely overloaded).

3. Think about the possible solution and if there is a need for help.

4. Prioritize, apply the solution and seek help (if needed).

Sounds simple enough but I know it is not. Been there many times myself and the toughest step is number 1. You might say: "I wish I had an extra hour to sleep, never mind an hour for myself!". But ladies, trust me, it is so important.

You are oblivious to the fact that most of us have that 30 minutes or an hour in a day. Did you have a chance to see the new episode of "Scandal"? There is your hour! Sure, this is your relaxation time but will it help to make a difference in your life in the next six month? One month? A week?

I am not suggesting taking away your TV time all together. It just a little time away from TV land that can make your life more balanced and peaceful and get you out of the dark waters of "OMG, please throw me a lifejacket!". Does this make sense?

This might sound like a very simple thing to do. But it really is not. Most of us have a group of friends and colleagues that are up to date with the latest episode and you feel almost obligated to follow. Do not be afraid to be different! I given up TV first time back in late '90 early 2000. It was a super busy time in my life and TV was not helping me to make a difference. And at the same time movie and pizza on Friday nights were very special for my son and I.

Years went by, I got back into the TV mix and once again things got very messy. Now, I have taken control over my time and what a difference it makes! And with the advance of technology I am not missing a thing about happenings in the world, it is all at my finger tips.

You see, I also found that with ever changing world structure and constant unrest, watching the news was very depressing. There is so much injustice in the world that it was overwhelming and adding to my already full plate. I want to help but what can I do on the big world scale. And then I figured it out, less outside distractions and more focus on smaller task and finding the way of being helpful to myself and others.

The result is amazing and I am proud of the fact that just recently several people commented on how much I inspire them. That is the best outcome for me! Sure I am not perfect and my drowning struggles occur once in a while but I can see that the few steps above made a difference in mine and other people lives.

I hope you try this method and let me know what you think.

And in the meantime remember

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Battle, Round 1

I think it is very appropriate to talk about battles right at the beginning of the year. Violence is not my thing so there would not be a discussion about which AK is better, or who started the fight, or who is wrong or right for that matter.

The battle we will be discussing today is our internal struggle with who we are vs who are we trying to be vs fitting into a societal standard.

You might go like: "Say whaaaat?" and of course I will go like: "Here girlfriend, let me tell you all about it."

Hmmmm....Where should I start? How about my identity: Tomboy vs Girly Girl. Yes, for those who know me well have come to accept the fact that I changed. Growing up I was always looking up to my cousin Misha (I actually consider him my brother since we grew up together and were very close, hi Cuz!). He was year and a half older than me and so experienced everything before me: riding a bike, staying up late, going to school and of course learning English. I wanted to be like him! So it was not a surprize for my parents when I had numerous injuries doing boys things and then wanting boys toys (Doll? No thank you! But I would like that toy gun please!) and not particularly liking to wear a dress. And then came school years and my Mom always knew where to find me when she came back from work - playing soccer or hockey in the yard with boys.

Years went by and here we are in 2015! If you ask me now if I want to be like my cousin my answer will be: "Hell NO!!!!!"(no offence Cuz) Sure men do not have to deal with many things women do (women got a short end of the stick in some areas of physiology) but do we have some power! Just think about it: get your hair done, get your nails done, wake up those eyelashes, paint those lips red, push-up bra, stockings, little black dress and four inch heels! Girl I like to be you right now!!!!

And how about powerful business suites? Angela Merkle and Hillary Clinton - thank you ladies! Did someone say GIRL POWER?

I realize that there is nothing wrong with being feminine. I am still the same courageous person that I was when I guarded the net playing hockey with boys. I am still the same tough person that I was when I was falling out of the trees. I am still the same smart person that I was when I was winning physics competitions in school. And yes I am still the same strong person that I was when I was beating boys in various sports activities.

It is funny, I did not like to play with dolls when I was little and growing up in Russia did not know anything about Barbie. Now, I collect Barbie dolls (well, not the ones you can play with, they are still in the boxes). There is something very powerful about her! Yes, some ladies might suggest that I fell of the roof and hit my head because her and her life style are very unrealistic.

But ladies, she is a doll! So, it is all about the presentation! I see drive, ambition, confidence, determination and of course some "Oh my God! Totally!". And we all can use some of the later, it will help us to relax because let's admit, we work damn hard for everything in life! And don't get me started on things we have to put up with!

How about the dresses? Barbie has her own closet full of clothes! Brilliant! What a great idea for a young girl to learn dressing up! And what about creativity? Fantastic way for a girl to find her style! If I had a daughter I would most certainly buy her a Barbie and introduce the doll in the appropriate way.

So, who won you ask? Did I kill the Tomboy in me? No, he is alive and well and does come out to play once in awhile.

What I am trying to say here is that I finally feel that I am in balance with my identity. Society is very quick to place us in one group or the other. But I disagree. We all have different sides to us and I do not see the reason to choose one over the other. Trust yourself and get to know you. And then each personality will come out at the appropriate time.

With this I confirm that Round 1 is completed and it is a tie. Difficult to believe that highly competitive person like me is not calling a winner but I realize that life is about balance.

I would love to know your thoughts on this battle and hear about yours.

Round 2 will not be far behind, so in the meantime remember

Be Active! Be Involved! Be a Current Woman!