How I Use Art for Mindfulness

I’m so excited! I haven’t written here for so long and I’m thrilled to write a new post! I was inspired to share with you how I use art for coming back to myself since I tend to spend way too much time in my head. It’s a great way to bring me back to my body, to my heart and to the present moment. It allows me to get in touch with my feelings, creativity and inspiration. This is the space of non-resistance which is where the healing happens. This is also where the magic happens. :) Since stress has been a big part of my journey in these last couple of years, this is one way I use to get back to myself and out of my controlling mind.

This one I just finished and it inspired me to write this post.

This one I just finished and it inspired me to write this post.

What made a huge difference for me, was the way I approach to making art. I use ‘making art’, because I don’t just paint, but I like to try different things like drawing, doodling, geometry etc. The way I ‘traditionally’ create art is different from what I use for mindfulness.  Generally I would have some kind of idea before I start or I would use others’ art as an inspiration, sometimes I copy from another painting/doodle or from a photo. If this is the case, I’m very much attached to the outcome and sometimes adds more stress to the process than necessary, which is also fine, but that is not my intention when I use art for mindfulness, for coming back to the present moment.

When my purpose is to come back to my body, come back to my heart with the tool of making a painting, for example, I have no strings attached to the outcome. My intention is to let the brush flow freely and keep my mind out of it as much as I can. Every creation is different, I like to look at it as a journey. If I paint something I don’t like, I paint over it or transform it into something else, it’s like fixing an old tattoo. :D The inspiration kicks in and I just know what to do next. That’s the flow! There are no rules to this!

You pretty much do what ever you want. The purpose is not create a piece of art you want to put on your wall or exhibit in a gallery, but to feel peaceful within the process. And in my experience, this happens, when I’m not attached to the outcome.  If it doesn’t matter what the outcome is like, you might as well enjoy the process.

And by peaceful I mean accepting. I may have strong feeling arise which are far from the concept of ‘peaceful’, but observing and accepting those feelings and then focusing my attention back to the activity. This is awesome for stress and anxiety, because I have a focus point outside of myself, but at the same time, it takes me back to myself. Because it takes me to the here and now, I don’t really distract myself from myself. Sometimes thoughts and feelings can be overwhelming, but when you put your focus on something you enjoy, it gives your mind and body time to relax.

This is the difference between relaxing and relaxing. Let’s say you sense something unsettling in your inner world and instead of being curious of that feeling, you choose to ‘relax’ by watching some episodes of Family Guy. This is usually an unconscious choice if one has not practiced mindfulness.  It can also be a conscious choice and that’s fine too. That means you are resisting a feeling, which causes that feeling to get bigger or transform into a more intense unpleasant feeling so that you have no choice but to pay attention to it eventually. This is abandoning yourself, but it is so easy to do. I’m no angel, I still do it and that’s fine. You don’t really relax when you are in the state of resistance, even when watching Family Guy can fully consume you. ‘What you resist, persists.’

But when you choose to relax by expressing yourself through art, you can’t really get away with yourself, you are faced with all of with that chooses to surface in you today and you will practice allowing which has the power to transform negative emotions. You stop resisting it and it ceases to persist. It might or might not stay for a while, but it doesn’t really matter, you don’t allow it for it to leave, you allow it to allow it.

Allowing brings me back to the flow of life. I allow my emotions to flow like they’re supposed to, there is movement in that word e-motion! This is where all the creativity and inspiration creeps in, which is the opposite or resistance and control that cause stress. I love it!

I’m so happy to be writing in such a long time!



Yoga Makes Me Cry

Every time I go to a yoga class I see people smiling and telling jokes to each other, it’s like they came here to have fun?! Or when I hear people talk about yoga, they’re like “oh, it’s so relaxing, I love doing yoga, it makes me feel so good.” I have NEVER understood those people, because for me, yoga has been a struggle most of the times.

I have had great classes, when my body is more flexible than not, when my energy is moving freely and my mind is calm. But most of the times, honestly, my body fricking hurts and I don’t remember a class where I didn’t want to cry.

I’ve practiced yoga more than six years now, but I have never been very consistent with it, mostly because it just hasn’t been very pleasant for me. I started doing yoga in the first place, because of my spine – I don’t know English word for that condition so I’m not even gonna try to explain it, but my spine wasn’t the way it was supposed to be and something needed to be done. I started attending yoga classes two times a week plus I got an indivitual 10-minute sequence for my spine to do every day. Of course I skipped a lot of days, but I still kept doing it for a while, a year maybe? And it really worked. So I must have some kind of positive memory of yoga that is keeping me from quitting it for good.

My yoga practice when I first started was, like for most people, far from mindful, I couldn’t wait until the lesson was over sometimes, but sometimes really enjoyed twisting  and turning my body. Right now, I would do anything to be where I was with my body then.

Right now and the last year at least, all I wanna do in yoga class is to go home and cry. (You guessed it, I’m not going there very often.) It was approximately a year ago when I started going to the classes regularly again, since I had quite a long break from it. I noticed that almost every class, I wanted to cry. Wether there was pain somewhere in my body, or the posture seemed too hard or just for no reason, I wanted to cry.

So I managed to keep it up until Savasana, where instead of laying on my back and relaxing my body and mind, I kept wiping my tears so that nobody could see that I’m crying in a yoga class for no apparent reason. It kept happening until I just didn’t really feel like attending anymore. I took my breaks, but I still went back and experienced the same thing.

This summer I had a break from it again, until I went to a yoga retreat which was 3 days. Oh my gosh, doing yoga three times in a chilly August a day with an upset stomach, yeah you guessed it, I cried, A LOT! Of course I didn’t let myself cry, because it would be akward, but I did run out of a class one time because I just couldn’t bare it anymore.

I wish a yoga teacher would have told me before, that crying in a yoga class is normal and actually highly beneficial. Your body moving the way it usually doesn’t and deep breathing can release emotions that you’ve kept within yourself during your lifetime. It doesn’t need to be understood, it just needs to be released. Crying is said to be one of the highest spiritual practices and I couldn’t agree more. In these recent years I’ve become a very emotional, I cry a lot. I used to be a very, very cold person and the more I practice mindfulness in all of it’s aspects, the more I release emotions, and thus, cry. In my experience, it really is one of the mind-clearing things one can experience.

I may cry with no reason and it is painful indeed, but it is also very liberating, to finally release emotions that have been stuck for so long. So everybody, don’t be afraid to cry in a yoga class, don’t hold it in, it feels good to let it go, it really does.

But as far as yoga is concerned, you are not supposed to feel pain or discomfort during your practice. Yoga is all about being present and who likes to be present when your body is hurting you? Every decent yoga teacher knows that every person is different and all the poses can be accustomed for ones personal capabilities. If you’re hurting or feel discomfort, let your teacher know (I wish I listened to my own advice, for once.)


My Thoughts on Healthy Eating

I read an article of what one of my favourite health and lifestyle bloggers thinks of cheat days. People are really into fitness and eating clean these days and it’s awesome. It is important to provide your body with nutrients and get some excersise. This is essential for feeling good and staying healthy and lean.

I talk from my own experience, I’ve passed many stages of eating, but I must say I don’t agree with this article at all. I think every person is different and what works for one doesn’t work for others. We all have different past, behaviours and environment.

There are so many tasty foods over there and I would say that most important thing is to enjoy every single bite of what ever you’re eating. Obviously, most of the worlds foods is not a food anymore and healthy lifestyle advocates have invented recipes to make “unhealthy” foods with healthy ingredients.

The fact that you’re eating healthy all week and allow yourself to have one considered unhealthy, but very tasty, meal on Sunday, doesn’t mean that you’re ruining everything you’ve achieved. Our bodies are really smart, and trust me, they can handle it. If you don’t have any severe health condition, then you don’t have to worry about it.

One down side of reading all these health blogs and websites is that they make you think that you have to be 100% clean and natural. There are tons of different people writing those articles, one thinks that milk is bad for you, the other think it’s essential.

There are vegans who only eat plant-based foods. They will tell you that all dairy is bad, not to mention meat. They have tons of recipes substituting foods that originally we’re not vegan, for exapmle making creme sauce with cashews. And it’s totally okay! It’s probably very good thing and I really think that eating like that makes them feel good.

Then there are vegetarians who don’t eat meat, but eat mostly plant-based foods with some dairy and eggs. Most of them seem to eat fish too. They don’t like to eat meat and they’re fine with that.

Then there are people who eat clean, they try to get organic foods as much as possible and the meat is grass-fed, cage-free, hormone-free and what ever. They don’t like to harm animals, but they like to eat meat, it makes them feel good and gives them energy.

These are the main types of people writing health blogs, they are probably very happy the way they are eating, otherwise they wouldn’t be writing about it. But the things is that they are all telling you that how they eat is right. I’m not saying that they really think that everybody should eat like them. I’m telling how the articles look to people who are still discovering the world of healthy living.

When I first started to educate myself about raw foods, I sincerely believed that this is the only way to go. It didn’t last a long time, but I thought that everything I put in my mouth must be plant-based and RAW. It gave me a lot of vital energy and made me happy for a while, but my body didn’t like it at all, I felt hungry all the time and all days I spent thinking about food, which lead to not-so-happy state.

Found this post from my drafts and decided to publish it, because that’s how I think about food and eating. I put as much healthy, nutritious food to my body as possible, but I won’t ever think that I’ve ruined it all when I decide to have a piece of cake. ;) That’s how I was thinking when I had an eating disorder from which I am recovered now.

Enjoy the Ride

The day that you stop running, is the day that you arrive.

I love this song – Morcheeba “Enjoy the Ride.” I feel those lyrics like they’re my own.

We are in need for more people to be present and aware.

Being present as much moments as we can.

Being aware of our thoughts, emotions, sensations, feelings.

Without judgement, just being aware of them.

Let go and roll with what ever is under you at this very moment.

This is when we can use our inner power to create.

Focusing Energy on Important Things

I encountered an interesting thought today which I will quote directly from the website down below. I realized that some people (including me) tend to hide behind their physical challenges so that they shouln’t have to look into themselves and see the darkness which is part of every human being on this planet. We tend to think that life is all about happiness and when something is not going well, we think it’s bad, because this is how we are brought up, we think negative emotions are bad.  Our subconcious mind finds a way to get away from the “real life” by trying to get well from physical issues. It’s an easy way out from bigger lessons we have to learn about ourselves and each other.

When we feel well, we have more energy, and a clearer vantage point from which to take a look at what is and is not working in our lives. When we don’t feel well, we do our best to just get by. – See more at:

Everyone of us has a dark side and a bright side, ying and yang, qi and gong. No matter what, we all do. But aren’t we being a little hard on ourselves? We would forgive our good friend if they are being crumpy at you, but you know that he’s really having a bad day. Wouldn’t you forgive that? You would, and you actualy would feel compassionate, because you two communicate and you know what’s going on in his/her life. Why is it so hard to feel compassion for ourselves? We are all the same, we all have positive and negative emotions, feelings and life events.

Most  of us don’t want to see the dark side, because it’s uncomfortable and frightening, it’s something you aren’t familiar with and it can turn your image of world upside down. Nope, don’t want to see that. We don’t want to see that so we get stuck in illness, depression, addictions etc which are just chemical reactions in our body and they are starting to change before we start feeling that something in our body isn’t quite right. We are changin our bodies biochemistry with our concious and subconcious thoughts, while our brain is trying to figure out ways to stay out of realization that everything you ever knew might be wrong. So it creates the illness and you’re giving all of your energy to it, while you’re missing out of life lessons for your soul and  you only focus on your physical well being.

That’s why I find it so important to take care of my physical body so that I could feel well as much time as possible, to learn my lessons in life, to leave energy for challenging myself instead of trying to make myself feel better.  It is so easy to feel well and then “make something happen” in your body that would make you feel bad and to deal with this instead of the important things. That’s why I find it important to eat well and move your body in ways that make it stronger and feel better.

Two years ago getting well was major part of my life, it’s alomst nothing now, compared to what it used to be. Over time, I learned to listen to my body, I’ve made experiments on myself to see what works best for me and I still continue to do that so that I could always give my body what it needs the most. The body is constantly changing, so it’s needs are constantly changing. That’s way it is so important to listen and keep up with it, so that you could feel the best you can feel and live your life, instead of struggling.

It’s a two way street, you discover your soul while trying to live healthier life. Many spiritual lessons are learned to achieve healthy physical body… or if you are very spiritual person and learn your lessons easily, you will find that your body wants healthy, nutritious, real foods. I am so thankful for my experience and I wouldn’t turn back time, nor would I change where I am right now, physically, mentally and spiritually.

This is what I’ve realized over the years and can say that I’ve gone a long way since I first started having issues with my health. I’ve been worried about my body since I was a little kid, I remember thinking that I have brain cancer and all kinds of different tumors… I’ve “had” everything I could think of. I was a little kid, I didn’t realize that maybe I am doing this to get attention, or maybe I want to sneak out of something I didn’t feel comfortable doing… it could have been what ever. Now, I am 22 years old and realizing that this is all my creation and it’s time to leave it all behind.

Thank you for reading and see you next time. Feel free to post into comments what is your experience like and how this realization has changed your life or how it could change your life. Take care and have a wonderful day! IMG_2056

Why Exercise Mindfully

Sometimes I feel really silly when I write, because some things seem to be a common sense. People didn’t use to live like we do and I would think they would never come accross with problems like we do.  We live in our houses, work, go to the gym, go out with friends etc.

Today I want to talk about mindfulness during a workout. It’s about focusing on the present moment while working out. Our lives are so busy sometimes that we fit the workout into our schedule, but a lot of times we actually don’t take that time for ourselves.

Either we worry about other things or just want it done quickly, because you don’t really enjoy doing it. I am the perfect example, I’ve gone to the gyms a lot not actually focusing on what I am doing.

It’s mostly because I’ve always been focusing on the big goal – the reason I stepped in to the gym for the first place. I was expecting to get results fast and often burned myself out. This was when I started. Now I learned my lessons and know that results do no come fast, I’ve learned to be patient.

The next reason for not being in the moment is because I just never lived in the moment. I was always rushing and when I wasn’t, I didn’t feel motivated enough to go to the gym, I was just burned out, but didn’t even realize it until I had a chance to lay down.

Have you ever wondered why imaging yourself working out and sweating feels awesome, but actually doing it feels so unpleasant sometimes? It’s because you’re not present while doing it and you’re just not listening to your body.

Sometimes your mind wants to get ahead of everything and it leaves your body moving automatically without realizing that this weight might be too heavy for your muscels or this speed is too fast for your heart or your legs. You just don’t realize it, because you are just not listening and you can hurt yourself really bad. And you almost never enjoy it. I’m not saying that everybody does that all the time, we all have had really good workouts and some people only have good workouts.

So when we get that good workout, our brain gets the signal that working out is good and maybe makes us excited about it. So now you have a mindset that working out is good and you go for a run next day and speed up until you’re out of your breath and can’t really think of anything else than how you are running. (If your brain gets foggy it’s definitely a sign to stop!) This is just one scenario. What ever you do, you can do it without really being present.

So if you are already taking that time for yourself, you might as well be present and get the most out of it. You will learn to be present and you can put that into use in what ever you are doing. It can be hard to be present sometimes, so practising that skill in the gym or where ever you work out is something you can put to use in your everyday life.

Benefits of a mindful workout

  • One big benefit of being present while working out is that you get better results. It’s about quality not quantity.
  • You will enjoy your workouts more and more, because you are not harming yourself and you are enjoying it more. It reduces stress, because your body releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Working out without being present actually makes stress levels increase.
  • You’ll work out more (because you’ll enjoy it more) and achieve your goals faster.
  • You’ll reduce your chances to get injuries.
  • You’ll know when it’s time to stop or have a rest day so you won’t burn out.
  • You will learn to be present in the gym and put that skill into use everywhere else.

It can take time to really be present so it’s always good idea to take babysteps if you feel you’re not there yet. Some days it might be easy, but somedays it can be harder.

What ever is the workout you are doing just feel your body doing it. Engage your core, open up your breast and work that body.


Vegan Lentil-Potato Salad

I’m trying out new recipes so thought it would be fun to share some of those here. Y’all know the banana pancakes (1-2 banana, 2 eggs), but I need to get some diversity to my kitchen table so I better start preparing new meals.  I know that there are tons of websites out there like that, but the thing is, you never know which one you’re going to end up surfing on, so I might just share some of what I’ve tried too, so that my readers could get some ideas. :D

Vegan lentil-potato salad

For those who don’t know, vegan is no animal products what so ever. Vegetarian may include animal products like dairy, eggs etc.

What do you need? (4 servings)

  • 6 potatoes, cooked, cooled, cut into cubes
  • 250 g green lentils, soaked, cooked
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • vegan mayonnaise (you can make your own or buy some from your local helath food store)
  • sea salt or Himalayan Pink salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 pickles, cut into cubes
  • parsley (to garnish)

Mix! It might be a good idea to let it sit in a cold for a while.