All You Need…

…is LOVE. Not a mushy kind of love where you wait for someone to say ‘I love you’ so you can feel better about yourself. The biggest love of your life must be YOU being in love with yourself – first and foremost. Loving ourselves starts first with accepting ourselves for who we […]

By |October 22nd, 2015|Acceptance, Gratitude, India, Living Yoga, Love, Personal Baggage, Uncategorized|1 Comment

This Airplane Better Not Crash

Another winter storm was on the way and the airline notified me that I could change my flight from Monday to Tuesday.  I thought about it, since it would give me more time in the city with my friends.  However, the snow did not come so I decided to leave as planned.  Plus my intuition was not saying yes or no to either day and when it comes to changing flights around, I prefer to stick with the original plan.

I boarded the plane, sat down, started to read, thought about exchanges I had with someone throughout the weekend.  I was annoyed, had opinions, and was certain he needed to know exactly how I felt.  The fiery side of me came out and I was intrigued to go back and forth with him via text messages.  Damn right.  Deep down, I knew it would have been better to take the high road, but the drama of the exchanges kept me engaged.  I do try to end interactions with others on a positive note, since you never know what can happen.   I did not do it this time. […]

By |March 3rd, 2014|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Courage to Throw Spaghetti

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”  Maya Angelou

 

Acceptance

I left my apartment at 9:45 to make it to Lisa’s 10:45 yoga class in Hell’s Kitchen.  Plenty of time.  Not today.  2,3 not running so I take a ‘packed like sardines’ 4 train to Grand Central, run to the Time’s Square shuttle, jump off the shuttle and TRY to run to class. I cannot move.  There is a people jam. I begin deep breathing exercises and have a ‘what the hell am I doing’ moment.  How ironic, I am completely stressed on the way to yoga.  At this point I stopped pushing my way through a maze of people and realized that I will never find peace in NYC.  Since moving here three years ago I have been determined to master the ‘city of indulging’ by balancing it with yoga, running, swimming, and eating well.   […]

By |January 14th, 2014|Uncategorized|5 Comments

Somewhere over the Atlantic

A Few Days to a Few Months to a Changed Life

I left the island.  My heart is heavy.  There will be a time to return again, but for now, I am on the ferry to Athens and heading away from the port.  I can see Folegandros getting smaller and can still see friends waving from the dock.  Lefty and I are standing on the upper deck and wave back.  I cannot see them anymore.  The wind is blowing, the sea is rough, it is no longer summer, and I have tears in my eyes.  There is something romantic and painful about departures.  I remember those movies where people board the train and wave the white handkerchief out the window.  Loved ones on the platform wave until the white disappears.  The island disappeared. […]

By |October 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

When the Water Gets Cold

When the Water Gets Cold or the Day After Tomorrow

Back up to July 24.  I left the island that day. It was a rash decision to satisfy my curiosity to see more of the world and other seas besides the beautiful Aegean.   The night before I left was a long one as I said goodbye to my friends.  Some did not say goodbye, since they knew I would be back. I smiled and said “Of course, I will see you later in August.” Deep down, I was not sure I would ever come back. Lately when I go places and the experience is beyond wonderful then I prefer to keep it that way.   Coming back to the same place, one expects the same, and often the second time around, one is disappointed.   This time I came back.

No expectations, just an open mind and an open heart. Everything changes.  Nothing is the same as it was one second ago.  We logically know that, but often we have expectations based on past experiences.  When we expect someone to do something, since he or she did it in the past, then we are often angry and upset when the person does not follow through.  When we attach to a person or an outcome we often set ourselves up for disappointment and we blame something or someone else for ‘making us feel bad’.  In the end it is up to us to change our perspective.  So, as I made my decision to return to Folegandros, I consciously told myself to not expect anything, there will be something else to see and learn, and it will be equally as fabulous as the first time; just in a different way. […]

By |September 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|7 Comments

Om, Shanti, Peace, Namaste, This Sucks

Om, Shanti, Peace, Namaste, This Sucks

“How do you feel this morning?” she asked the class.  The first thing that came to my mind after five days of intense heat, hard yoga classes, no meat, only grains, was “I want eggs!”  The next day we had eggs.  They must have squeezed the chickens to lay eggs, as these were the first eggs I had all week.

I joined a weeklong yoga retreat and typical of my ‘new approach to life’ I did not research much, did not read the website, and pretty much just showed up.  I participated in many yoga retreats so of course had a base level of expectations.  Bad idea.  To avoid disappointments, the best approach is to not have any expectations.  The day before coming, I did complete the registration form.  It asked what I wanted to get out of the yoga week.  All I wrote was – open to anything. […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Searching High and Low for Ignac

Searching High and Low for Ignac

By magic and choice, I am in Karlovac.  Karlovac is both a city in central Europe and central to my life.   This is the town where my great grandfather, Ignac Lilek, came from.  I wanted to come here and to Ludbreg to learn more about my family.

I have about 15 people here helping me think of ways to find information on the Lilek family.  Everywhere I go, I stop, sit down, tell people why I am here and they all point me to some church, priest, city hall, or archives. I attempt to find each place only to arrive when they are closed.  I phoned Mr. Miro who is very old and ‘knows everything’.  He told me about a Draco Lilek born in 1933.  Draco or maybe a relation to Dracula.  Anyway, he was not home today. […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Lightness of Being…on a Greek Island

Just Be

I have been all over the place – not only in terms of countries, but also in terms of my energy.  I cannot decide anything.  I don’t know how to handle this new freedom to go wherever I want.  Most people think, oh I would love to take time off from work and travel and do anything I want.  Well, when it happens it is overwhelming and a different story from when I daydreamed about it while sitting in a dark cubicle.  My decisions are mine alone and no one will be traveling with me once my friends leave.

The only book I brought is the Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.  I feel like Sabine when she discovers that she finally reached her ultimate goal.  Her burden and drama that came with this were not one of heaviness but of lightness.  Sometimes the lightness is too much to handle and it becomes unbearable. That is what I feel like.  The lightness of being free is too much.  I can do whatever I want to do. There are no limits.  I can sit in the wonder of some of the most beautiful places in the world, but I am not happy right now. […]

By |August 13th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bliss on the Aiguille du Midi

Desire Conquers Fear

Olivier texted this morning – “It is clear up at 3800 meters so I will meet you at 8am and we will go to the Aiguille du Midi and climb the ridge out of the ice cave.”  Shit.  A dilemma.  I was secretly hoping for bad weather and then we would just rock climb in the valley.  I could then blame the weather on not doing the ridge.  Even though I dreamed about doing the ridge out of the ice cave, since I first saw it in 2008.  Now was the time and I had to decide fast.  Fear told me NO.  Desire and a lot of adrenaline told me YES.  I tried to explain all this via text and asked Olivier to call me.  He called and told me it was my decision only.  I said, “Let’s go.”

He roped me tight and kept me close. Each step down and each step up, he guided me.  Sometimes we sang songs to distract and sometimes I used my mantras – ax, pole, step, step, ax, pole, step, step.  We had a rhythm.  He encouraged me and when I would start to panic I would ask him to talk to me.  He would.  At 3800 meters on a narrow path there is no room to become weak and lose focus.  This is when accidents happen.  Throughout the day Olivier continued to ask, “Ca va?”  Often I answered, a few times I did not.  He knew I was panicking.  Then he asked,  “Where was my smile?”   He touched my lips and made them move to be in a smile. We made it down the ridge and back up and guess what I felt?  Kefi.  True bliss, joy, happiness, my spirit was alive. […]

By |August 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Step by Step to Tete Blanche

Step by Step

3500 meters, blowing wind, feels like minus 20.  It is June and this is the first stop on Pam’s summer of discovery and fun.  Olivier is in front, ropes tied to each other in case a crevasse appears on the glacier and someone falls in.  This has been a dream of mine, or maybe to some sounds like a bad dream.  I made it to the top of Tete Blanche.  My first mountaineering experience and I feel great at 3500 meters.

By some standards, an easy one to climb, by my standards, well, let’s say challenging enough for now.  It is funny how things work out.  I went to the Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix to meet my guide the day before the trek.  I met Jacques.  He was a very nice, older gentleman.  Secretly, I was really hoping for a young, fit, good looking guy.  Jacques and I met, we talk about the hike, and it turns out, there was a mistake in the booking and Jacques cannot go with me on Wednesday as I had planned.  Within ten minutes, Olivier greets me.  Point taken, you get what you need and you don’t even have to try.  Olivier is hot. […]

By |August 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

It Started with a Whisper

It Started with a Whisper

“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” –E.M. Forster

Life is about finding our Kefi and living it as much as we can.  Life is not about being happy everyday as we need to experience the low to feel the high.  Life is about discovering something inside of you that moves you to a place where words cannot describe, but the feelings can.  It is in this place that we experience true bliss.  It is in this place that we are living Kefi.

My life prior to May was not about living Kefi.  It was about achieving, climbing corporate ladders, making more money, getting more degrees, working long hours, thriving on stress, buying homes, saving for retirement, etc.  You get the picture.  I was doing everything right; the way society accepts and defines ‘how to live a successful life’.  I am very gracious for the abundance that 18 years of working brought me and the experience gained while working in top consulting firms, travelling the world, and engaging with some of the world’s largest corporations.  To some, this might sound like living the American Dream.  For me, it became a living nightmare as I dragged myself out of bed each morning to go into the office and sit in my dark cubicle. […]

By |August 11th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments