Positive Diary #21 – Books on demand

22nd November – Our bedroom and my study room, for purposes of studying, writing and now working from home as well, in one seems to me pretty cozy. As I have already said in one of my previous diaries, I live in an old house which is far from perfect, yet for years it feels perfect to me. In my study room, there is all I could possibly need. Lots of table lamps for darker days like these, cozy bed with lots of blankets and cushions, two desks for being active when the inspiration kicks in and tons and tons of books to get inspired in the first place.

So, let’s talk about those precious wonderful books today!

What are books to me? Ever since I started to write, or even before that, when I was only an eager reader, I saw books as tiny portals through which we can jump into other worlds and other people’s lives and that just felt awesome. I loved books as a child, and I read deliberately. It had also some taste of rebellion against the unwritten rules of my peers since reading was already back then seen as boring and too time consuming. I was so proud to be one of not so many who had their pass to local library, and I loved my label of a bookworm. Reading at that age gave me so much! 

Some time has passed and we, as students at high schools and later at universities, were told which books to read. It was also slightly implied to us which books are not that elevating. It is not like anyone would say – you read those, you are rubbish, but it definitely felt like it. And also, reading the recommended books takes more time then reading the books you actually like, so it somehow shifted my attention, took my time and deprived me of my love for reading for a while.

A long while.

It was only until this year, when I rediscovered my passion for reading. I jumped back into one of the urban fantasy series I stopped reading years ago, ordered all of the pieces I missed and dived into the frantic story of werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters and faes. But that’s not all. I finally ordered some of the books from brilliant Neil Gaiman whose books I always only borrowed from a library, and some other books about wiccan sabbats. I went berserk with buying new books this year and I don’t regret a single penny.

Books are elevating. No matter what you read, if you read enough. Through books, we can widen our perspective, feel what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes or visit places we only dare to dream of. 

When we are kids, we built our world around everything we process. Adding imagination and empathy via reading is immensely enriching

And when we are adults, reading a good story can take us beyond our day-to-day life and help us to rebuilt or adjust our lives according to our deepest wishes. Nicely written historical book can explain to us problems which we are facing today. And half-forgotten philosophical essays can remind us of different perspective and approaches.

I love books. 

I love reading. 

And I love how these can make us better human beings. I cannot be more grateful for a fact that we live in a system and an age, when we can have whichever book we want on demand and we do not have to worry about persecution for reading anything.

It is for sure one of our beautiful freedoms we should take advantage of more often.

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Positive Diary #19 – Rain

31st May – I know, it might seem pretty basic. Rain, water, breeze, we tend to take all of these things as granted, although our ability to take advantage of them can change pretty rapidly. I can see it in the long-term change of weather, or maybe let’s say climate itself, in Czech Republic. I vividly remember every spring because I love them so hard. You can see all of the changes, you can feel them, touch them and mourn for them. But not this year. This year we are lucky and that is what I got to say today.

Springs in my country used to be fabulous. Blue sunny skies were often replaced by mild rainy days; the trees, grass and flowers were racing to sprout, all spaces were buzzing with life and there was enough of water in the exact perfect amount that you didn’t even have to think about it. It was a paradise, marking the soon-the-summer-comes time and eyes and hearts of patient spectators were drowning in unwitting amazement. Those times, those colors, sounds and smells, all of that taught me how to love nature. They made me who I am.

However, in recent years, those lovely spring days disappeared. And not just them. Snowy days of winter and the joy from seeing sun rays dancing on a fresh layer of frozen white water was replaced by dirty, dry and lightless short days; and warm summer days changed into almost never-ending waves of heat, leaving you wonder where have we all made the mistake and pray for this desert to go away as fast as it came. And between those two wrecked seasons – nothing. The sweet springtime suddenly became compressed into two-day season and that was it. From long, brown and grey winter quick jump into the never-ending heat of summer, thank you very much.

This year is different. And it fills me with joy, happiness and even hope that not everything has been lost. This May was far from all of those previous years. It is raining every other day, but mildly, lovingly and with kindness, don’t mistaken it with the already well-known relentless flooding cloudbursts. Herbs on the garden thrives again, birds sing, all is green and fresh, buzzing. Everything seems to be back in normal.

We still fight the exceptional drought in Czech Republic, but seeing the wonderful power of nature, still loving and kind, despite those terrible acts we commit to her on everyday basis, fills me with surge of gratitude

I hope that more and more people will realize how profoundly beautiful and important nature is; that more and more people start to believe in her and that more and more people start to do what they can in order to protect her

The thing with nature is simple – she doesn’t need us. But we certainly need her.

Let’s be grateful for all of her gifts. And let’s start to give something back.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Wicked and Clever

Šárka

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The Positive Diary #17 – Spring, here and now

12th April – I know. This year started with many obstacles. For many people around the world, this has been a nightmare. And still is. Whether you lost someone to the virus, or you are struggling with money during the time when everything is closed in order to slow down the pace of virus’s spreading, I feel for you and I am truly sorry you have to go through this.

For me, personally, my biggest fear coming from the current pandemic situationis a worry about losing freedom, losing basic human rights, and relying on politicians who can easily bring us back to the dark ages.And for a long time… But I don’t want to talk about it now. Maybe, I will get back to it soon. This space is dedicated to enjoying bits of happiness, focusing on the things we need to be grateful for, even in the darker times. For me, this situation, when we are all being forced to stay at home, has brought many benefitsas well.

And today, I want to talk about the most basic one. It is one of the things which our profit-centered, capitalistic society is stealing away from usand also, one of the things we can fully appreciate now, when we are not allowed to chase after money and business-importance every day. There is quite few of those stolen aspects of life and I hope I will get back to all of them soon. Today, I want to talk about spring.

How many times in the last couple of years you felt the desperate need for summer, for spring, for sun rays, at the end of a long winter? It is always there. We are forced to sit in the office, the blinds on the windows are closed because we wouldn’t see on the monitors otherwise, and the day light is so rare. We are thirsty for vitamin D; we are thirsty for light; we are thirsty for fresh air. Right? But then, when the spring finally sprouts, we are still forced to live our fast, meaningless lives and before we know it, the spring is gone.

I don’t know about you, but for me, spring is undoubtedly the most favorite season of a year. Those smells, those colors, those sounds! I think I can be forever in love with spring. Everything is fresh and new and you yourself can clean up some things inside you that have been bothering you for some time. Especially for those, who are not entirely disconnected from nature herself, it is a time of new beginnings, new adventures, new reconnections, because this is how it goes naturally, outside of our human world as well.

If I say our civilization deprived us of spring, I’m not exaggerating that much. But now, the situation is different. Even the privileges of our civilization had to step aside and the concern over public health took over. And since we now prioritize our collective health, why won’t we include this? Spring. Going outside, even with the mask on, for a walk between the fields, to the forest, sitting on a garden, balcony or even just next to an opened window; and seeing all the leaves sprouting out, hearing all those bees and bumblebees, being able to smell the blossoming cherry trees – that is something almost invaluable in terms of our usual way of thinking. For me, it even makes up for the canceled vacation we were supposed to take off to in one week.

I am not saying the world situation is easy right now, I know it is not. But I am grateful for the lemonade I can make from those lemons life is throwing at us. Focusing on the better side of things will help us to make it through the tough times, let’s not forget that. That is why I am hoping to restore my positive diary writings and to add even more value to my blogs.

After all, it is spring. The time of new beginnings and new reconnections.

So, if you can, enjoy this time and make the most out of it!

 

Yours,

Wicked and clever

Šárka

 

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The Positive Diary #16 – Ability to step back

9th March 2020 – What am I grateful for today? I’m grateful for many many things, as usual. For my health, my job, my loving and caring boyfriend; for all those possibilities to grow through my past mistakes or just through experiences. There is so much to be grateful for. But what am I grateful today, what am I grateful specifically on this day?

Let’s talk about our ability to step back today.

As a person who is constantly overthinking everything, I find this ability very helpful. It is a feature I’ve been rediscovering for the last couple of days and it gives me what I was searching for thoroughly for the last couple of months.

I’ve been through a lot last year. It was essentially a storm year – for my personal life, for my work life, for the way I used to see myself. It gave me as much as it took away from me. But eventually, I managed to find my way out of every trouble, with a little help and also with a sense that none of what happened was a mistake. These were only experiences. Not necessary only pleasant ones, but still – just experiences. Just this shift, to see what we did without the constant judgement of ourselves and without that constant comparison with what could have been instead of what actually was, is freeing.

Another step is a simple realization. It is the moment when you realize, you are going to heal, with time. It is about learning that you need to be patient with yourself the same way you are patient with others. It is a promise of hope. You are on the right path; you just need to persist.

But even with knowing all of this, there are certain moments of weakness. It goes hand by hand with overthinking and the trigger might be almost everything. Moreover, with overthinking, it is not just our old scars and experiences that can start to exhaust us. It can be the most teeny-tiny problem you are dealing with in work, minor problem with people at school, basically, it can be anything. But with a little ‘help’ of overthinking, the problem can grow in your head really quickly really big.

So, what then? Learn to acknowledge that you are overthinking and learn to take a step back. Get distance in order to see the problem with fresh eyes, from a new perspective. It can be a guided meditation that will teach you how to become aware of this. It can be a person, who notifies you that you are thinking too much. In the first, second or even a third time. It’s okay to have help. And trust me, eventually, you will learn how to realize that on your own. And when you do, there are different rituals that will help you to take a step back.

Like breathing. Focusing on your breath and on your inner voice can help to take away the outside noise and redraw your attention to something worthy. What helps me, right now, is my imagination.

I lighted two candles in my bedroom this weekend. Those helped me to get rid of my negative thoughts or memories during the time when they burned. It was my safe space, a shelter where I can be happy, finally, and enjoy time with my special one. So now, even when I’m not there and the candles are not burning, I can picture them in my mind, see their light and feel their warmth. I can easily tune back into that feeling of safeness and harmony and use this feeling to repel those unnecessary negative ones.

That is magic. On some level. It must be.

And that is what I am grateful for today.

 

Happy Monday, everyone!

The Positive Diary #15 – The music memory

24th February 2019 – This February was very enriching, surprising and empowering in so many ways that I cannot still properly comprehend. It all started with the most emotionally tensed 1st February I’ve had in a very long time. It was all about passing one of the hellish exams we have on my master program in the morning, having an argument with my younger brother during a lunch and accidently meeting someone I thought I forgot about a long time ago in the evening. I have to say, meetings like this one make you wonder about your past. You might find yourself thinking about the decisions you made in your life, reckoning.

 

When I got home after that exhausting day, with a slight hangover, I started to search for my diaries from that time of my past so I could bring some of my memories back in order to revise them. Because it is all almost forgotten history to me (everything happened almost ten years ago and all of it resemble more a dream than an actual history) I needed to dig deep to find my rather modest diary excerpts in my many personal notebooks. As I found it, I realized with horror that I hadn’t written much about my experiences from those days. I also went through some stories and unfinished novels from that time, but I haven’t found a lot. I felt a little disappointed, but I let it go, eventually.

 

But today, as I was listening to some random playlist on Spotify, one of the tracks struck me with a memory and reminded me what music I had listened to back then so intensely that it had become a part of my memories of that time. I rushed to listen to it as a whole and I couldn’t be more astonished! As I was listening to these songs, many memories were brought back to a daylight. So many pictures I thought I have forgotten already, so many contradictory feelings, so much joy and sorrow at the same time!

 

I know it can be viewed by many rather as a tool of torture because we sometimes want to forget about certain things that happened in our lives. That is totally understandable and even I have to confess there are some songs that I prefer to avoid because memories which are brought back to life by them are still too heavy to carry. But in moments like these, when you want to remember something in order to gain some clarity over a problem you are solving right now, or in case you want to remember how extraordinary and happy you felt once in the past, this kind of memory is just remarkable. And it always hits me and surprises me when I realize how powerful these memories can be!

 

So today, I want to express my endless gratitude for being able to remember such intensive feelings through beautiful music and songs. I am also very grateful for living in the time when all we want to listen to is just within arms reach. I simply cannot imagine how dull, lifeless and sad my life would have been without the possibility to plug my headphones in and surrender to sounds only I decide to listen to.

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, my friends!

 

With love

 

Wicked And Clever

 

Šárka

 

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The Positive Diary #14 – The air and the clarity

18th February 2019 – Today, I want to talk about something we take so very often for granted but it still remains one of the most crucial bases for the life on Earth itself. I want to talk about the fresh air and the various ways it can help us through difficult times. I have to admit I am always that one annoying person who complains about a bad air in a room, especially when there is lots of people or in case there is no possible way to give the room a good airing. It seems to me that many people don’t even recognize there is something sneaky and unhealthy going on when we breathe such a bad air. To me, lack of a fresh air starts to feel like a great tiredness and continues with feeling dizzy, powerless and almost sick. But in the moment I leave the room and grasp my breath, all of this suddenly disappear. That is also the reason I cherish every single moment when I can take a deep breath in and out.

Focusing on one’s breath is one of the techniques that can help us to reduce stress, ease anxieties and repulse panic attacks. It can also be used as a technique to help you fall asleep faster when your brain is overwhelmed by the number of thoughts spinning inside your head after a stressful day. Maybe the reason why I feel so weakened by the lack of the fresh air is the fact that I use these techniques so often, sometimes even without acknowledging it.

But there is also another part of me that loves the air. My less rational but the more loving part. Even as a child, I was always attracted by the strong wind during summer thunderstorms. And even as an adult, I just can’t help but to love the mild breeze ruffling my hair on a quiet walk through a forest. It is an inseparable part of my deepest admiration of Nature itself and every conscious breath I take is not only my ally for fighting my inner demons but also a reminder of this love.

So yes, no matter how silly it can sound, today I am the most grateful for every breath of chilling air I took outside today and for every other I will take in the future.

Take a deep breath and enjoy your evening, my friends!

With love

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

The Positive Diary #13 – Warning signs

25th November 2018 – I am an expert especially in one thing and that is taking too much on. Well, I would say comparing with others, I don’t take on that much but maybe that is the problem, that we tend to compare ourselves with others and then make our decisions based on these comparisons. While all we ought to do is just ask ourselves: is this really good for me? Am I going to make it through with my health and sanity left? I usually forget to ask and then, in the middle of a semester, I usually end up thinking about how I will manage to survive until it ends. I’m no good at managing stress, I have to admit.

 

When I was finishing my bachelor’s degree, I somehow got this job offer I couldn’t dismiss so easily. It was a position of an editor in one of the most renown Czech magazine for kids. As my first job ever, I couldn’t wish for anything better. So, I accepted it. First two months, it was a joyful ride – I didn’t have many classes at school, I was content with my co-workers and I felt important. I felt how my self-confidence is growing, slowly. It was a dream. But then, first warning signs started to appear.

 

My strong immunity went to zero and I was sick all the time. With that, I ceased to enjoy my work, I ceased to enjoy my classes, my marriage, my life – everything was consumed by the dullness of everyday stress. I stopped managing my time schedule, I didn’t have time to do my home works properly and neither to do the job assignments. I remember this dark and cold emptiness from that time which I was trying to fill with the music of one of my most favorite bands, All Time Low. I decided to ignore all the warning signs until the point when there was a huge chance, I wouldn’t finish my bachelor thesis on time. Only then, I decided to execute the plan I had already dreamt of for several months and I finally quit. It has been the roughest few months in my modern history.

 

Since that time, I’ve always tried to avoid myself from getting into such situations again. And the reason for that is not that I would like to spoil myself but rather the fact that it was not worth the effort. We basically live in the age when workaholism is considered to be trendy and the one who is not as obsessed with gaining power and money as the rest of a society is usually considered to be weak, even lazy. I don’t think these people, and me among them, are lazy. We just value our lives more than money, we value our time more than showing off with a new super-fast car or super-expensive watches. When you think about it in this perspective, who is the fool in this story now? 🙂

 

So, today I want to express my gratitude for being able to recognize and also being able to respond to those warning signs I have been experiencing for some time now. Based on my old experience, I have decided to slow down a little bit. And I have to admit that during the last couple of days, much of my happiness and calmness has returned.

 

I believe these are the crucial things in one’s life that are worth the extra effort. Just find yourself time to rest properly, to feed your body with nutritious food, to exercise the body with fav YT yoga video and to calm your mind with the guided meditation that always brings you the tears of joy. With that, everything else will surrender and you will be able to see the meaning of your life again.

Think of it tomorrow, as the new week begins.

 

With love

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

 

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The Positive Diary #11 – Grandmas and wine

16th November 2018Work weeks can be harsh. Especially when you have to go against your natural biorhythm in order to secure yourself an extra free Friday. I am a born night owl and therefore waking up at 5 A.M. means basically that I have to wake up at the same time I would prefer to go to bed instead. Thus, the first half of a week doesn’t work well for me – I am basically too tired to do anything – to study, to write, to create, even just to post on Instagram. I usually only focus on surviving these hours between the time I wake up and the time I jump back into my bed. It feels like a complete waste of time and it makes me feel distorted, useless and lost.

And then, the Friday comes.

Fridays are usually these only cheat days on which I let myself rest for a while. For example, I usually hate when I spend too much time on social media or when I watch a TV show the entire day but on Fridays, I try not to freak out about it so much if it happens. But luckily, today wasn’t that day.

I slept a great amount of time, just to wake up refreshed and happy, surrounded by my two chihuahuas. I made myself a healthy, nutritious and yummy breakfast and then I took a wonderful autumn walk through our two lovely villages in order to take a train. I wanted to visit my grandma after somewhat long time and enjoy the time and chat with her. I guess, when you have the coolest grandma, living in the most magical house with the most beautiful enchanted garden, there is no other place and no other person with whom you would rather spent your time and caught your breath.

I am so grateful for having such a charming and tough lady for a grandma. We always talk some old and well discussed stories through once again and I eat disturbingly too much of a cake she baked for us. And once we open a bottle of wine, I always learn something very new from my grandma’s youth. I couldn’t be more excited and fascinated by her stories! I listen with a great smile on my face and once again, I wish to borrow a Tardis from the Doctor so I could pick up my mum and my grandma when they were both seventeen and take them to party to Woodstock. That would have been something!

I am currently reading a book called Women Who Run the Wolves and I believe it is one of the main factors behind the great change of my attitude towards my feminine side. I also believe this change made me to see today my grandma not only as a caring energetic old lady, or a mother who lost her child, but also as a young rebellious girl and a grown-up self-confident young woman who isn’t afraid of anything. This mighty picture of my grandma gives me a pride stronger then ever that I, right me and no one else, am a granddaughter of hers. I am the one who bares the light and the resilience of women from our family towards the future.

While thinking about the life of my grandma, I always felt I wanted to be just like her. And I always wanted to be just like my mum, too. Now, when I’m older and I have a very different perspective than I used to have when I was fifteen, I can see that despite their quarrels and disputes, my mum and my grandma weren’t that different as it might have seemed in the past.

So, today I just wanted to express how grateful I am for being a successor of a feminine power in our family. I will hope I will manage to recall this pride and this feeling of belonging once the dark days come to me once again.

How do you honor your elders? Do you like to listen to their stories? Do you, too, imagine what a life must have been like when they were at your age?

Let me know and enjoy your weekend!

With love

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

The Positive Diary #10 – Re-charging with friends

6th November 2018 – Hey diary, I know it has been a while. Again. I guess it was very difficult for me to just think about gratitude in the last couple of weeks, let alone actually feeling grateful. But as it happens all the time, new days and new weeks come and once you are down, you can always be sure that the things will get better soon.

Today I want to talk about these crazy nights with our closest friends which somehow manage to make us feel weightless. No worries left, only happy memories of dancing as if it was the last dance and singing so loud as if we just got mad. We all need nights like these once in a while.

I am always very nervous when a new visitor is about to come to our house. Let’s be honest, it isn’t the prettiest house in the universe but still – I haven’t felt so happy, safe and whole nowhere else on this planet. That is of course the reason why I can’t resist inviting my friends to hang out and sleep over.

This Sunday I planned a meeting like that with my two friends from my master program. It all went so well that we ended up going to bed at 5 A.M. and our legs still hurt from the consistent dancing and jumping around. Why am I writing about it? Well, like I said, the last couple of weeks were pretty dull. Nothing made a real sense to me and I felt like an empty bag being dragged by a wind. This our little session changed everything and it was the day after that, when I had to cancel my work appointment in order to survive the day, when I realized how much I needed this!

My optimism and joy from life has return miraculously and I felt whole, grateful and full of love and understanding once again. So I am here today to remind you of your friends and of the marvels which only spending some time with them can bring you. You don’t have to dance, a little chat over a cup of tea will suffice. Even when you are not in a party mood, once you share your insecurities or pain with someone you can trust and rely on, it will make your pain more bearable.

But – sometimes the best thing you can do, even in those darkest moments, is to forget about everything and just to enjoy the night as if it was your last on the Earth. Whether it will help you to heal your soul immediately or whether it will give you just a time-out to gain some power back, it can do a miracle.

Think about it next time, you will feel so desperately in need of energy and purpose.

Take care!

With love,

Wicked And Clever

Šárka

Learning Tip #2: Gratitude as the Essential Key to Success

As you already know, I am putting a big emphasis on building gratitude through my Positive Diary series here on my precious blog. I feel like once you will master the ability of gratitude it can expand into every branch of your life and bring you the most unexpected joy and happiness. Therefore, I decided that this surprisingly free of charge, but invaluable ability should be covered as one of my learning tips for being more successful in what you want to learn.

 

My new YouTube video aims exactly in this direction. I shot it during the last week and since then, many things in my life has changed. But I still believe in what I say in the video and I sincerely hope I will believe it until the rest of my life.

 

Why, you might wonder. Well, I have to admit that while practicing gratitude on everyday basis through my positive diary, working hard on my projects and attending my favorite classes at school, I was the happiest I have ever been. Of course, some days are harder that others and it is so easy to forget about one’s goals and gratitude in a face of a life’s strugglebut what is important is that you always need to find a way back and a will to fight back. And again, remembering your practiced gratitude can help a lot with this comeback as well.

 

I hope you will enjoy my tiny video which captures one beautiful day in Prague and one important message. And let me know how do you power your dreams; how do you manage to complete your goals.

Happy Sunday, my friends!