Yesterday my sister and I took a day off working on our project. We needed to re-fill our buckets with inspiration, so it was the best decision we could have made.

Oh wow, what a day! We went with two Italian friends to a secluded beach, where we spent the day drinking smoothies, climbing palm trees and laughing. Then they (who works as chefs) made us an amazing dinner before we went to dance salsa.

Both of them are very carefree. They talk with everyone they meet “Hola mi amor!” (people here call each other “my love”) and they focus on the positive aspects of every situation.

When I asked one of them yesterday if he’d always been so carefree his response was: “Whyyy Mariaa should I foocus on the probleeem? If I foocus on the reaalityy of this woorld I will just be saaad“.

His answer is probably the most sane answer I’ve heard. Sometimes it’s easy to think that very positive people are a bit naive and stupid (I’ve heard this about myself too), because they don’t acknowledge “the reality“. They just see the positive parts.

I felt so stupid after my question. Of course! Why should we ever focus on the problem when we can decided to see the positive aspects of a situation. Also, the solution is never where the problem is anyway, so that makes it even more useless.

So about speedos, which is the topic of this blog post. Ehuum. One of them was wearing speedos, which is from my culture, something you never ever wear. Ever. It’s considered sleazy, too much out there and unsexy.

When I told him about this, his response was: “In Italy it’s something you wear if you can pull it off. I can so I wear it.”

My beliefs about speedos got crushed right there and then. His answer made me re-consider my own view point. Who was I to think that my point of view is the correct one?

I can’t say that I’m a bigger fan of speedos after the statement, but I stopped judging those who wear it. Judgement is never good. It keeps our minds narrow minded and hinders us from growing.

My sister and I call our time with these two a ‘crash course in happiness’. Exactly what we needed!

Rid yourself of guilt once and for all

My sister just asked me “did you feel like when you were a kid today?”. I started the day with telling her that “I need to spend this day in my own world“, only to talk non-stop (and bother her), do handstands, laugh at stupid jokes, play with the dog and cry. I was very intense as a child, so yeah, I guess I did.

I had a day of liberation today. Liberation from almost two years of guilt from my past relationship. When we went through the breakup I was not my best self to say the least. I was cold, short-tempered and frustrated in general. Why? Because that was the only way I could deal with the pain of breaking up with this amazing person.

I couldn’t be my normal self in the process, even I didn’t understand my own behavior. After the break-up I booked 10 weekend trips the following months, I partied until 5 am two times per week and I tested things I never thought I would try in my life – all while posting pictures on social media about it. 5 months later when I got really sick, I got my wake-up call. My body was tired, my liver feed up with all the alcohol I had consumed and I was exhausted mentally. Who did I think I was fooling?

I realized that I had tried everything in order to forget what had just happened. Now, it was staring me right in the face and I had no other option than to deal with it: the pain in my heart.

I hurt him and I hurt myself. I know I handled the situation far from perfect. I’ve apologized several times, he has forgiven me and moved on. Even though I’ve also moved on, I’ve felt that there still has been a small part left, unwilling to leave. It was the guilt. Guilt over what I did towards him, but also towards myself. The guilt made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be happy, that I needed to suffer due to my mistake.

Today I forgave myself fully for what happened. It was time to let go, to move on completely. I did the best I could, from what I was capable of doing at the time. Feeling guilty doesn’t help anyone, it just leaves you in a position of feeling stuck.

We can apologize to others, but it’s not until we forgive ourselves that we can fully let go of the guilt. 

Truly forgiving yourself for something that happened, where you didn’t act as you wish you would have done, isn’t easy. Our mind believes, that by holding negative emotions, it can go in and change the situation. We imagine that if we only would have done this or that, things would look different. Well, it is what it is. Feeling guilty doesn’t help anyone, it doesn’t help the person affected and it certainly doesn’t help you.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned on how to rid yourself of guilt once and for all:

1. Accept the situation 

Realize that what happened has happened. It cannot be changed. If you need to mentally go through it one last time, do that. Simply observe the situation as it came to pass and let any emotion come up. Then release yourself from the guilt of what happened – know that you did the best you could at that time. Holding on to the past will not serve anyone, it will only keep you from not being fully present and happy.

2. Don’t judge yourself

When we act in a way we don’t appreciate about ourself, it’s easy to be judgemental. Don’t be hard on yourself. You learned something from it, something that in turn can help others. Trust that everything happens for a reason and that you’ve also felt this way for a reason – maybe it’s so you can learn to easier release negative emotions in the future? Know that going through this had its purpose. Find the blessing in disguise.

3. Practice forgiveness

Apologize, ask for forgiveness from the other person and from yourself. If you find that it’s difficult to talk about it, something I’ve found very helpful is to write about it. Be honest and speak from your heart. Decide that from today, guilt will no longer have power in your life.

Give yourself permission to move forward. Life’s too short to be wasted on negative emotions.


Meditation and yoga every damn day

I start every morning with meditation and yoga, which takes about 40 min in total. Some days, like yesterday, I feel some resistance to doing it so I skip it. It happens about once every two weeks and when I do, my day is never the same. I feel off-balance, my thoughts are on a much lower vibration and my day turns out to be rather mediocre. Towards the end of it, I can’t wait to go to bed because I’m just exhausted. Lately, this happens every single time I skip it, no exception.

Meditation helps me find my inner focus, to stabilize myself for the day and to set my thoughts on a higher frequency. In it, I can quiet my mind and connect to my inner-self. Yoga helps me to feel my body, control my breathing and energize myself. I can’t stress enough how much these two things have changed my life. They help me to re-connect to myself, to follow my intuition and to trust that I’m on the right path.

Days I do meditation and yoga, I feel that the world is on my side and I know that everything will work out for the best.

Yesterday I got reminded again why I need to do my morning ritual. I lacked energy, I had thoughts that made me doubt this whole journey my sister and I are on, and when I went running I had to force myself (when I normally just run feeling strong and happy).

Sometimes you just need to experience the contrast in order to know that you actually DO want the positive side of coin. Even if it requires overcoming that bit of resistance in the morning.


My definition of true success

When we think about success we often think about in terms of materialistic things, in measurement of power or that perfect body. We can then prove to ourselves and others that we deserve to be listened to and be acknowledged – that we are worth something. If people don’t know it they will see it by the house we live in, the expensive car we are driving or our job title. Yet, many successful people aren’t happy. Some even choose to take away their lives. Why is this? Didn’t we get it right when it comes to what success in life is all about?

Let’s step back for a moment. Being successful really comes down to one thing: a desire to be happy. We tell ourselves that if we only had that body, more people working for us and more money – we would be happier. The problem is that all those things (that obviously are great things) only give us short-term happiness. They can’t help us with our long-term and sustainable happiness and that is why, after a while, we always want more. We want a better car, more power, a bigger house, more customers, a better body and other things money can buy.

But money can’t fix our anxiety, fear and feeling of loneliness. That new home won’t help in controlling those destructive and condescending thoughts. Having more power won’t result in us feeling better emotionally. Achieving more sales for our business won’t make our mind quiet its noise. Abundance isn’t the answer to success.

What true success is, from a completely subjective standpoint, is being able to align with your true self. It’s about being able to control your thoughts, letting your feelings guide the way and having the ability to create the very best version of yourself – a version that you adore.

That is what I call success in life.