Monthly Archives: December 2014

Which way to go?

We often hear: “Follow your heart!” or “Listen to your heart!” and “This is the clue to a happy life.”

But how does one’s heart sound? How do I recognize that I follow my heart?

Yesterday I discovered a quote that gave me a clue:

“Welch eine himmlische Empfindung ist es, seinem Herzen zu folgen.“
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


„What a heavenly feeling to follow one‘s own heart.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

So this is how it is! Following my heart is not the condition for me to be happy. It is rather vice versa: when I feel happy, satisfied, blissful, when I am in the moment and enjoy my life, then I truly follow my heart.

This seemingly minor change, just change of sequence within a sentence, brings another interesting perspective. If the well-being is the indicator for following one’s heart, then it becomes clear that following one’s heart is not the same as following one’s dream. We often mistakenly attribute following one’s dream to following one’s heart. Dream is something in the future we hope to achieve. And we do have many happy moments before we achieve this far away dream.

Just a few days ago, I felt tired and considered all I did during that day as something that I thought I didn’t want to do. As a result a thought kept coming: “I am not following my dream. I did nothing for my dream today!” The dream being to be a published novelist. But the fact is that these thoughts were not true. I did do something for this dream that day, by editing some of the chapters of my novel. And I did also many other things, including for a dream that already came true: having a family.

It is quite funny how easy we can forget the dreams, which already came true. They fall out of our focus line. But weren’t they supposed to make us happy in the first place? Why do they fail doing so?

Or was it just my inability in that moment to look around and see the beauty of what is already there that made me unhappy? Oh, now I SEE! This is where my heart is! It is right here, right now. I don’t have to go anywhere, if I want to follow it! If I want to follow my heart, then I just have to be here with all which makes part of me, including my eyes, my ears, my brain, my thoughts, me.

Happy New Year 2015, dear readers, dear friends! Happy Being!

Picture: Our surroundings are a great teachers of being. They don’t hurry anywhere, they just are. I like the expression: “this is where the heart of things lies (or is)”. We never say, that it is going somewhere, the heart of things just is. The picture shows a beautiful park just a few minutes from where we live.


Thank you!

One year ago I have written about Christmas trees and Christmas traditions I learned over the years (/born-in-a-forest/).

New Year’s Eve in Soviet times and later Christmas in Moldova can be described as a combination of a family gathering, Christmas and Thanksgiving, all in one.

And this is how I feel shortly before Christmas this year. I would like to say: Thank you!

Thank you to all readers of this blog. Thank you to all who commented and liked various posts here and on Facebook.

Thank you to all the dear friends for support and encouragement, especially to those who read all or parts of my first novel. Your cheerleading and sincere critique are simply invaluable!

And the biggest thank you goes to my family, embracing my husband, my two sweet children, our children’s grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, …! For absolutely everything!

I would like to wish all wonderful and magical Christmas holidays and all the best for the coming year!

And I would like to finish this post with a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert from “Eat, Pray, Love”:

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely for as long as we have voices.”

Pictures: our little, cute Christmas tree this year, and the most wonderful Christmas gift in my life: my little, sweet Emma.

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Lessons taught by a newborn

To my birthday this week I got many wonderful presents. One of them was a notebook for my writing, given to me by one of my dearest friends, my mother-in-law. It contains the following quote on its cover:

“Das Glück ist ein Schmetterling. Jag ihm nach, und er entwischt dir.
Setz dich hin, und er lässt sich auf deiner Schulter nieder.“
Anthony de Mello


„Happiness is a butterfly. Try to catch it, and it escapes.
Sit down, and it settles on your shoulder.”
Anthony de Mello

Going to the hospital for a planned C-Section meant a lot of sitting and lying down for me. Physically. My thoughts were racing. At least part of the time. During the other part, I was discovering people and surroundings around me, and my own experiences. And during this other part was when I felt most satisfied and happy. And excited about what I was discovering.

Did you know that when you haven’t eaten and drunk anything for some time, you first become hungry and only after that thirsty? And that when you become really thirsty, the feeling of hunger goes away or at least steps into the background? I might have read or heard about this before, but this time while waiting for a planned surgery, first surgery in my life, I experienced this as something completely new to me.

I had many discoveries and realizations during this stay at the hospital. The largest share of them, which was also the most beautiful, was after Emma’s birth and made together with her.

One of the most impressive experiences was the realization that Emma could teach me how to be present, to be in the moment and to be led by one’s instincts. Because they, the instincts, rule her life now, and not any, even the slightest of thoughts. Emma sleeps when she is tired, cries when hungry or needs a diaper to be changed, or simply unsecure and needs protection and being held in her father’s or my arms.

She is like a beautiful flower, robust and fragile at the same time, depending on the strength of the winds blowing at her. Like a flower, she is fully unaware of her beauty and her innocent wisdom.

This impressive experience mentioned above contained a sweet and wise behaviour on Emma’s side, which I was lucky to observe. After a meal and with clean, dry and warm diaper and clothes Emma lied contented in my arms and watched me. On that day I changed the hospital robes to my private clothes. I had a white and navy striped shirt on with a navy cardigan on top of it. At some point I noticed, how my daughter was looking at my shirt, at my cardigan and finally at the white wall behind me, then back again. She did this many times in various combinations of these three points of her interest. I realized that she was observing the contrasts in front of her. Since the hospital clothes where all white, these contrasts were new to her. So she took a long and good look examining them again and again.

In her comment to my previous blog post /true-wealth/, my dear friend Marcy has referred to the advice her doctor gave her one day:

“Stop, and smell the roses!”

What a wonderful advice!

And my sweet little daughter added another by her ability to be curious about something and study it thoroughly. This is how I imagine Emma formulating her advice:

“Go back and smell the roses again!”

Picture: the most beautiful flower in the world. My sweet Emma.

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True wealth

“Wahrer Reichtum besteht nicht im Besitz, sondern im Genießen.“
Ralph Waldo Emerson

„True wealth is not measured by what we possess, but by our ability to enjoy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

My Mom loves telling the following story. When my sister and I were small, she used to worry whether we as a family had enough resources to live, or enough money to live a satisfactory life. My father’s answer to this was to nod in my sister’s and my direction, and say: “They are our wealth! What else do we need?”

I agree that children are the true treasure and that pleasure and fun are the best indicators of wealth.

It is quite funny that I discovered the above quote this week, when the episode “The Art of Being Wealthy” of my favourite radio show hosted by Ariel and Shya Kane is aired. If you are interested, tune in on coming Wednesday or listen to it in archives starting with the following day. You can find the link connecting to this the episode by clicking the title of the episode above.

Picture: I used to think that my home is not very elegant and a bit cluttered. Today, I still see what can be changed and done differently, which I do bit by bit in many moves of creative inspiration. At the same time I enjoy it more often than before. Today, I agree with many of our guests, who say that it is cute and cosy. Here is one of its characters, which make it sweet and cosy: my son’s big Teddy borrowing Niklas’ hat.