The things we can control in order to be happier

Lately I have focused only on what bothers me; I even developed a cult out of it. I would wake up in the morning reciting in my head what’s wrong in my life, especially what I would change about my fiancé’s behavior. It has become exhausting both mentally and physically, and our relationship suffered a great deal.
After re-reading ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ by Louise L. Hay, I first tried with positive affirmations. For my personality type it is very important not to criticize myself when I make mistakes. So I’ve been repeating and trying to adopt the affirmation to forgive myself, love myself for who I am and that I’m ready for a change.
Since I’m a visual learner (when I close my eyes, I can remember the page in the book where the specific content is…) I decided to make a list of positive and negative aspects of my man. I wanted to see things in writing and what would prevail. I was amazed when I saw that the left column (positive things) was filled by the very end of the paper, and for the right column (negative ones) I was able to think only of three things! And I’ve made the biggest problem in life out of those three things. The list was an eye-opener.
Finally, I reminded myself that I have neglected my creative side for quite some time. I love making polymer clay jewelry and beading, but I couldn’t make myself start creating. I realized that it’s true when they say that you should not wait until inspiration comes to you, but should continue to work and everything will just come to you. I remembered seeing the cutest rubber band bracelets all over the Internet, so I got myself several packs. FYI, inexpensive fun. Yesterday I spent few hours on playing with rubber bands and made a dozen sweetest summer arm candies (or anklet candies, if you wish). Since I felt all blissful and tranquil, I decided to name them Love Bracelets and give everyone I love several of them. My fiancé got it first, a gorgeous black-and-red one 🙂 He was happy that I’m back to things which fulfill me.

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As for myself, I am splashed with a new wave of energy to create something, and I’ve started focusing on my to-do list that I’ve been neglecting lately. And on top of that, I indulge in birthday cakes I got from my dear mother and my fiancé 🙂
The change of focus really has the capacity to change feelings and the way we experience life. Try to remember the things you love doing and plunge into some creative stuff!
I am interested in how do you deal with obsessive thoughts? How do you express creativity? What are the strategies you use to feel good instantly, and what do you practice to improve the quality life in the long run? I’m joyfully waiting for your answers 🙂

Šta možemo da kontrolišemo da bismo bili srećniji

U poslednje vreme sam se koncentrisala samo na ono što mi smeta, čak razvila kult od toga. Ujutru sam se budila nabrajajući u glavi šta ne valja u mom životu, a pogotovo šta bih menjala kod svog verenika. Postalo je opterećujuće i psihički i fizički, da ne pričam koliko je veza trpela.
Pošto ponovo čitam Lujzu Hej „Kako da izlečite svoj život“, prvo sam pokušala sa pozitivnim afirmacijama. Za moj tip ličnosti je jako bitno da ne kritikujem sebe kad pravim greške. Zato sam ponavljala i polako prisvajala afirmaciju da opraštam sebi, da volim sebe takvu kakva sam i da sam spremna na promenu.
Pošto sam vizuelni tip (najbolje pamtim nešto što vidim, kad zažmurim mogu da se setim stranice u knjizi gde se nalazi određeni sadržaj…), rešila sam da napravim spisak pozitivnih i negativnih strana mog dragog. Htela sam da sagledam situaciju crno na belo i vidim da li će prevladati plus ili minus. Zapanjila sam se kad sam videla da je leva strana (pozitivno) bila ispisana do kraja lista, a na desnoj (negativno) sam uspela da se setim samo tri stvari! Ja sam od te tri stvari napravila najveći problem u životu. Taj spisak mi je otvorio oči.
I na kraju sam podsetila sebe da sam odavno zapostavila svoju kreativnu stranu. Volim da pravim nakit od polimerne gline i perlica, ali mi se nikako nije dalo da uposlim ruke. Shvatila sam da je istina kad kažu da ne treba čekati da ti naiđe inspiracija, već treba nastaviti sa radom i sve će samo doći. Setila sam se i da mi je simpatično kad vidim da neko pravi narukvice od gumica za tegle, pa sam nabavila sebi par pakovanja. Jeftin sport, ako vas zanima. Juče sam se nekoliko sati igrala gumicama i napravila desetak preslatkih, letnjih varijanti koje mogu da se stave na ruku ili oko zgloba na nozi. Pošto me je sve to ispunilo blaženstvom i smirenošću, rešila sam da narukvice nazovem Narukvicama ljubavi i svima koje volim poklonim po neku. Moj verenik je prvi dobio crnocrvenu kombinaciju 🙂 Bio je srećan što sam se vratila onome što me ispunjava.

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Što se mene tiče, dobila sam novi nalet energije da nešto stvaram, a danas sam već uveliko bila koncentrisana na stvari sa „to-do“ liste koje sam zapostavila. Sve to sam zasladila i rođendanskim tortama koje sam dobila od mog dragog i mame i dan je idealan 🙂
Promena fokusa zaista menja osećanja i način na koji doživljavamo život. Prisetite se stvari koje volite da radite i pohitajte ka njima!
Zanima me kako se vi borite sa mislima koje opsedaju? Na koji način izražavate kreativnost? Koje su taktike koje koristitite da bi vam bilo bolje odmah, a šta praktikujete da bi vam život bio kvalitetniji na duže staze? Sa radošću iščekujem odgovore 🙂

 

Lovačke šnicle (bez odlaska u lov)

   U lov sad idemo mi… U lov sad idemo mi… Rano jutro. Sneg do brade. Posle ispijenog čaja u planinskom domu i prepričavanja dogodovština od prošle nedelje, uzimamo puške i užurbano krećemo ka vratima.  Pera, tokom nedelje portir u lokalnoj biblioteci, stavlja šešir sa veliki perom (kakva koincidencija, Pera sa perom), pa na prvi mah podseća na druga Tita u najboljim danima. Psi reže u čoporu iščekujući hajku, kao dete poklon 31. decembra. Mika, seoski agronom, glasom iskusnog generala podviknu: “Ajde bagro, neće se zečevi ubiti sami od sebe”.

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Ne pucaj šinko dok im ne vidiš beonjače,,,

Moram priznati da sam ceo ovaj uvod izmislio… U suštini mrzim lov. Žao mi je životinjica. E sad, to je komplikovano za objasniti. Poenta je da nikad ne bih mogao da ubijem životinju u lovu. Eventualno, ponavljam, ČAK i kada bih išao u lov, pucao bih u  vis da oteram životinje pre nego što neki lovac u maniru Bate Živojinovića isprazni rafal u krdo (valjda je krdo, ne liči mi na stado) bespomoćnih jelena.

Ipak, to me ne sprečava da pripremam i uživam u konzumaciji divnih lovačkih šnicli. Odmah da napomenem, ne koristi se meso divljači. Dakle, potrebno nam je:

4 – 5 šnicli od svinjskog buta,

brašno,

crni luk,

beli luk,

belo vino,

ulje,

krompir pire,

so i biber po ukusu.

Šnicle izlupati i usoliti. Ukoliko su veće, iseći na polovine. Uvaljati ih u brašno i ispržiti u vrelom ulju. Kada su šnicle skoro gotove, izvadimo ih, stavimo na salvetu da se ocede, a u ulje od prženja dodamo seckan crni i beli luk. Propržiti na umerenoj temperaturi. Dodamo 2 kašike brašna koje takođe propržimo. Vratiti šnicle u posudu, naliti vodu i krčkati 1 sat. Na polovini kuvanja, dodati belo vino po ukusu. Servirati i konzumirati sa krompir pireom.

Ostatak vina možete slobodno konzumirati posle obilnog ručka, možda dok se prisećate neke lovačke priče iz mladosti (ne, ne govorim o komšinici koju ste krišom gledali kroz prozorče u kupatilu). Sve u svemu, prijatno…

Milošanjice

It was a cold winter morning … Okay, it wasn’t morning, it wasn’t winter either… nor it was cold … it just sounds promising.

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It was spring, the month of May… pitch-dark… But even a thick cloud of smoke that just came from Kostolac could not hide the upcoming events. The sharp sound of stomach-churning erupted in the room. Although it was rather late, it became obvious that it was time for dinner. The brain switched from stand- by to turbo mode.
In a burst of Jelena’s hunger, and in order to avoid the act of cannibalism, creativity took place. As I was still fond of my hands, eyes, ears, and other body parts, I ran into the kitchen. I checked out the fridge, looking for something that does not require too much time to turn into a culinary masterpiece.
Simple enough ingredients and… voilà! So, you’ll need the following …
2 cups white flour
yogurt (approx. 1 dl)
oil
1 teaspoon baking soda
Vegeta (in Serbia) /salt, whatever you usually use

Mix all the ingredients and thoroughly knead dough. Make balls and form random shapes about 0.5 cm thick. Fry in hot oil turning them until they are golden brown on both sides. Consume while it’s hot. (Not too though so as not to ruin the tooth like I did.)
Extra touch: smear cream cheese all over Milošanjice and rub the other side with garlic (if you’re a fan of garlic, that is).

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Dinner was wonderful, I survived, and my hands are unharmed. As for Milošanjice… well, they were swept away. Tonight we plunge into new adventures. If you don’t find any posts on recipes soon, it means I failed in the kitchen and probably lost a limb… Enjoy.

Practice self-love when faced with difficult conversations

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We cannot avoid finding ourselves in the middle of tough conversations. Chatting is not always a warm summer breeze that refreshes us and makes our hair flutter as in shampoo advertisements. Sometimes we have to get serious, remove the masks and just be ourselves.
I was recently engaged in a serious conversation and since the solution was nowhere in sight, I began to feel physically ill. I felt numbness in my body. After a series of unsuccessful attempts, I’ve decided to postpone the finale for some other time. That is not typical of me, but here’s what I’ve learned from this experience:

1 Listen to your body signals.
The body signals that the conversation will not be productive, and that it’s time to drop it may include (but are not limited to): nausea, numbness, mild dizziness, fatigue, shallow breath, jaw tightening. When you recognize any of these symptoms, be nice to yourself and give your body a chance to recover. Maybe you are hungry, thirsty, or perhaps tired. You do not need to force yourself to tackle a difficult issue at hand. Just listen to what your body is trying to tell you.

2 Recognize other signals.
Lack of focus, not paying full attention, trying to prevail, high-pitched tone, a feeling that you’re running a marathon… These are all signs that judgment is likely to be clouded at some point. Suddenly, the conversation turns into a fight and you’re competing at who is right and who will provide a wiser solution, often airing the dirty laundry from the past. Give yourself time to get your act together and give the matter a careful thought, to realize what you really want to achieve, and only when you are ready re-engage in a conversation.

3 Accept that sometimes there is no immediate solution.
Often the discussions lead to more complex considerations and decision-making. We initiate the conversation because we want to get something off our chest, or for the sake of clarification, and it turns out that the more serious issue lies beneath. Subsequently, we find ourselves flooded with too many issues at the same time, and we don’t know where the start, let alone the end of the roller-coaster ride is. It’s okay to feel confused and admit that it might be that you are ready for a timeout in order to clear your mind or come to certain conclusions on your own.

4 Hear the other side.
I tend to listen to the other side during the talk, but not actually hear them, and I frequently interpret the words in my own way. It can be a slippery road which may lead to a pointless further discussion. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take your time to explain, but sometimes we go beyond digressions. It is important to focus on someone else’s point of view, listen carefully and not to rush to comment when we haven’t had enough time to actually process the information.

5 Be gentle and do not condemn yourself or others for the delay.
If you or the other side has decided to postpone the conversation, respect that decision. Think of it as a civilized way of communicating. Do not reproach them for not coming up with a solution. Love yourself even you failed the first time. Run yourself a warm bath. Sip a favorite tea or coffee. Listen to some chillaxing music. Watch a good movie. Read a book. Open the window, breathe in some fresh air and pay attention to the blessings of nature that surrounds you. Listen to the song of the nightingale (I have one that I named Happy Fella because it always sings under my window, even when the weather sucks and no one feels like singing). Do not take delay as rejection. It is okay to try again when you’re ready.

6 Do not start serious talks in the evening, especially not before bedtime.
Do I really need to go into further explaining? The evening is part of the day meant for relaxation. Soothing thoughts and positive affirmations, and remembering the good things that you’ve experienced throughout the day are the best preparation for restorative sleep. Your subconscious stores the latest information you have provided it with and processes them during sleep, and the output will be waiting for you the following morning. Turn off the TV, do not listen to the news, breathe deeply and think of nice things before you cuddle your pillow.

I would like to hear about your experience when it comes to handling difficult conversations. Do you always see it through? Do you ever postpone? How do you practice self-love when the communication is brought to a standstill?

Teški razgovori i ljubav prema sebi

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Ne možemo da izbegnemo da vodimo teške razgovore. Ćaskanje nije uvek topao letnji povetarac koji će nas osvežiti i učiniti da nam kosa zaleprša kao u reklamama za šampon. Ponekad moramo da se uozbiljimo, da skinemo masku i jednostavno budemo ono što jesmo.
Nedavno sam vodila ozbiljan razgovor i pošto rešenje nije bilo na vidiku, počela sam da osećam mučninu fizički. Čak je i telo počelo da mi trne. Posle niza neuspešnih pokušaja, odlučila sam da zaključenje odložim za drugi put. To inače nije tipično za mene, ali evo šta sam naučila iz tog iskustva:

1. Prepoznajte telesne signale.
Telesni signali da razgovor neće biti produktivan i da je vreme da se stane mogu biti: mučnina, utrnulost, blaga vrtoglavica, umor, plitko disanje, stezanje vilice. Kada prepoznate neki od ovih simptoma, budite dobri prema sebi i dajte svom telu priliku da se oporavi. Možda ste gladni, možda žedni, umorni. Ne treba da se silite. Ispoštujte poruke koje vam šalje organizam.

2. Prepoznajte ostale signale.
Nefokusiranost, nepotpuna pažnja, potreba da se bude u pravu, navođenje vode na svoju vodenicu, povišen ton, osećaj da si na maratonu. Sve su to signali da rasuđivanje preti da bude pomućeno. Najednom se razgovor pretvara u borbu i takmičenje ko je u pravu i ko ima mudrije rešenje, ponekad i izvlačenje starog prljavog veša. Dajte sebi vremena da se saberete i sredite misli, shvatite šta zaista želite da postignete i tek kad budete spremni, pa makar to bilo i za 10 dana, ponovo načnite temu.

3. Prihvatite da ponekad ne postoji instant rešenje.
Često su razgovori uvod u složenija razmatranja i donošenja odluka. Započnemo sa pričom jer želimo da kažemo šta nam je na srcu, šta nas muči ili nam smeta, razjašnjavanja radi, a ispostavi se da je u pitanju dublji problem. Onda se nađemo usred bujice suvišnih rečenica i načinjanja previše tema odjednom i ne znamo ni gde smo počeli, a kamoli gde ćemo završiti. U redu je biti zbunjen i priznati sebi i drugoj strani da je možda vreme za tajmaut da bismo razbistrili glavu ili sami došli do određenih zaključaka.

4. Čujte drugu stranu.
Ja imam tendenciju da slušam drugu stranu tokom razgovora, ali da zapravo ne čujem, a pogotovo da reči interpretiram na svoj način. To može biti klizav teren i može dovesti do dalje bespotrebne rasprave i razjašnjavanja. Ne kažem da je to loše, treba zastati i pojasniti, ali ponekad preteramo u digresijama. Važno je skoncentrisati se na tuđu verziju priče, saslušati pomno i ne trčati da ubacimo komentar dok još nismo ni obradili informacije.

5. Budite blagi i ne osuđujte ni sebe, ni druge zbog odlaganja.
Ako ste odlučili da odložite razgovor ili je to učinila druga strana, ispoštujte tu odluku. Shvatite to kao civilizovan način komuniciranja. Ne prebacujte sebi što niste došli do rešenja. Volite sebe i kad niste uspeli iz prvog pokušaja. Priuštite sebi toplu kupku. Popijte omiljeni čaj ili kafu. Slušajte muziku koja vas opušta. Pogledajte dobar film. Pročitajte knjigu. Otvorite prozor, udahnite vazduh i obratite pažnju na sve blagodeti prirode koje vas okružuju. Oslušnite pesmu slavuja (ja imam jednog kojeg sam nazvala Srećko jer mi uvek peva pod prozorom, čak i kad kiša lije i nikome nije do pesme). Ne shvatajte odlaganje kao odustajanje. Važi se što ćete pokušati ponovo kad budete spremni.

6. Ne započinjite teške razgovore uveče, pogotovo ne pred spavanje.
Da li ovo treba posebno objasniti? Veče je doba dana predodređeno za opuštanje. Umirujuće misli i pozitivne afirmacije, kao i prisećanje lepih stvari koje ste doživeli tokom dana jesu priprema za okrepljujući san. Vaša podsvest pohranjuje poslednje informacije koje ste joj servirali pred počinak i obrađuje ih tokom sna, i sve će vas to sačekati i narednog jutra. Isključite TV, ne slušajte vesti, duboko dišite i mislite o lepim stvarima pre nego što zagrlite jastuk.

Želela bih da čujem vaša iskustva kada su u pitanju teški razgovori. Da li uvek isterate stvari do kraja? Da li postoje situacije kada završnicu odlažete za drugi put? Kako pokazujete ljubav prema sebi kada dođe do zastoja u komunikaciji?

Milošanjice

Bilo je hladno zimsko jutro… Dobro, nije bilo jutro, nije bila ni zima… Niti je bilo hladno… Jednostavno, zvuči obećavajuće.

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Zimska idila… bez zime

Bilo je proleće, maj mesec… Mrkli mrak… Ali čak ni gust oblak dima koji je kao naručen stigao iz Kostolca nije mogao da sakrije ono što će uslediti. Oštar zvuk krčanja stomaka se prolomio kroz sobu. Iako je bilo relativno kasno, bilo je očigledno da je vreme za večeru. Mozak prelazi iz stand by moda u turbo…

U nastupu Jelenine gladi, a da bih izbegao čin kanibalizma, proradila je kreativnost. Kako su mi ruka, oko, uvo i ostali delovi tela još uvek mili, trčećim korakom sam otišao u kuhinju.  Pogledah šta ima u frižideru, a da ne iziskuje previše vremena da se pretoči u kulinarsko remek delo.

Jednostavni sastojci i… Voila! Dakle, potrebno nam je…

2 šolje brašna;

jogurt (odokativno, oko 1 dl);

ulje (takođe odokativno);

1/2 praška za pecivo;

vegeta/ začin C… šta god već koristite.

Pomešamo sve sastojke i dobrano umesimo testo. Od dobijene mase otkidati loptice, pa oblikovati u proizvoljne oblike debljine oko 0,5 cm. Pržiti u vrelom ulju uz okretanje, dok ne porumene sa obe strane. Konzumirati dok je toplo. (ne prevruće da ne bi upropastili zub kao ja).

Dodatni touch: premazati Milošanjice krem sirom, a sa druge strane utrljati beli luk (naravno, ko voli).

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Milošanjice.

Večera je bila divna, ja sam preživeo, ostale su mi obe ruke, a od Milošanjica… ništa. Večeras krećemo u nove pohode, ako ne pročitate neki moj post u skorije vreme, zakazao sam u kuhinji i ostao bez nekog ekstremiteta… Prijatno.