Keep smiling, show emotions!

Living in the virtual world is full of emoticons, and some of them are really weird! It’s easy to push the key on a keyboard and send the picture with a mood because nobody can watch your face and real emotions. Do we really laugh or love as much as the emoticons show?

I don’t have anything against emoticons! I’ve been using them since Windows had not yet existed, and we had to do it with alphanumeric characters only. It has always been a way how to make a cold computer communication more human.

However, it seems to me that we have already come to a strange extreme. We are using emoticons in the virtual world abundantly and often thoughtlessly, while in the real world we carefully hide emotions and, unfortunately, often even in front of ourselves. Are we giving so much effort to make computer communication more human, that we don’t have enough humanity or emotionality for the living outside the keyboard?

So I draw a picture to remind the importance of emotions, all kinds of them. Finally I have seen what I somehow know, that emotions are like water. They are deep and strong, flowing one to another, quietly or in turbulence, usually without warning.  And to survive as humans, we need emotions as much as water. Don’t you think so?

With love, Ivana

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Keeping courage

This week I drew a picture for myself, for my own encouragement and clear mind. I took color pencils into my hands and there began a strange heart to be formed, one heart from two opposite parts. There was a wide mixture of feelings – courage with hope, fight with faith, will with love, male with female. And it was their mutual cooperation which created the certainty that even impossible thing could be done.

Cooperation of the opposites is the key. In our everyday life we are naturally attracted into the groups on the basis of similarity. And it is also natural, that individual groups are opposed to each other. Sometimes it is only on a joke level and sometimes it can escalate into more serious fights. The same principle works in the big world of politics and adults as in kindergarten among children. Permanent focus on competition and rivalry gives the impression that nothing else could shape our identity.

And that’s why there must be an earthquake or other disaster from time to time. It’s an opportunity to check if malicious rivalry didn’t yet eliminate pity, mercy and solidarity. If there is still somehow kept the balance between Ego and Heart, if the common humanity is alive.

I pray in order to prefer voice of my heart to the cry of the ego and leave what is not essential. I hope to do it before some kind of disaster come also to my life. Unfortunately there are plenty of them worldwide.

With love, Ivana

P.S. I’ve been already told that the picture looks more like an ass than a heart….

Myrtle: Freshness of Love

In the place where I live, myrtle doesn’t grow except of gardens because it needs human protection during the winter months. Myrtle comes from southern countries around Mediterranean Sea and belongs to plants that were significant from ancient times.

Myrtle contains a high percentage of volatile oils mostly based on camphor, pine and lemon. Together it makes a very fresh scent to which you are almost magically attracted. That fact has been used for ages in fragrance oils for both, religious and secular purposes.

The ancient Greeks dedicated myrtle to the goddess of beauty and love, to Aphrodite. They had number of rituals with myrtle about purity, love and marriage. Some of them are still alive, they have become a tradition. In my country, no one can imagine a wedding without myrtle.

The newlyweds, each of the wedding guests and even the wedding cars are decorated by myrtle along with a white bow – both as a symbol of purity and fresh love. In some families, newly married couples put a young myrtle tree at their home. They say that marriage will be successful as long as the myrtle grows well.

Sometimes, myrtle grows too well, and then it’s better to shape it by trimming. The relationship should be also shaped, right?

Do not throw away what you cut. You can easily prepare the fragrance oil at home when you put myrtle into the carrier oil (olive, kernel apricot, etc.) and let it macerate for a few weeks. Later, when you have the myrtle oil on your body, you will feel the power of beauty and love like Aphrodite and no one will resist you 😊

Do you have any experience with myrtle – as a plant or as a symbol? Do you have any tradition with myrtle in your country?

With love, Ivana

Nobility and wisdom of Spruce

A tall and noble tree, which likes to live friendly with other trees of the same species, this is Spruce (Picea abies). Despite of its vulnerability to pests and regardless of the softness of its wood, Spruce is kind of forest’s High Priest.

Spruce belongs to the old trees, whose original homeland is Europe, especially its mountains and foothills. It seems to me, that the higher positions give to Spruce its natural overlook. Spruces domesticated in lower areas are somehow impoverished.

Spruce is tall and spiky, but not proud. It has always willingly offered wood and cones to people for heating and later also for industrial processing. It was people, who became proud and greedy, so they almost devastated some locations.

My most striking experience with Spruce is a few years old, but still very vivid in my mind. I spent holiday with friends in local mountains and all the roads were lined with spruces. Their branches rumbled in the wind and kept whispering me: Don’t forget your nobility, don’t forget your nobility. And the more I defended myself from listening, the more loudly they called.

When I finally opened my heart to their message, I realized that nobility doesn’t mean pride. It was more like: Stop to underestimate yourself! It is not a shame to be soft and vulnerable because this is exactly what spruces are. It is important to take and use benefits that sensitivity brings. You cannot make oak from what was born as a spruce.

I also realized that I can happily live with all my opposites. I don’t have to choose between them. Like Spruce, I can enjoy the juicy sweetness of the young and inexperienced shoots, being protected by sharp prickness of the old needles. It’s important to learn how to merge the opposites or let them live side by side.

And then, one of those old and spiky spruces gave me a very personal advice on the level of a real high priest: Stay in your heart, you will find there everything what you need. And try to merge the wisdom of desert with the wisdom of forest.

And so I do.

With love, Ivana

Happy and Healthy New Year!

While drawing the picture of the tree of wishes, which finally looks more like tree of turbulences, I’ve been receiving a list of advices from the Universe which I would like to share:

Don’t ignore new impulses and fill your cup of love by creative moments according to your preferences.

Be open to change your mind. Let the others to inspire you, but stay yourself. This is the only way how to inspire the others. Let the inspiration’s channel always open in both ways.

Don’t stay alone more than necessary. Tell the others you want to share your moments with them. There are millions people alone, so don’t give up and continue in case you’ve been refused.

Don’t try to do all the work yourself. Let the others to help you even you consider them weak or useless. Such result is not going to be perfect but more realistic with higher chance to survive.

Let joy to enter into your life more often. You couldn’t organize it. Let it simply come inside your heart.

None of us is alone in the Universe and each of us is surrounded by love in many forms.

So enjoy the Life and Love in the New Year 2017!

The Night of Miracles

Whether we celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, we celebrate the night of miracles. Each of us may need to believe in miracles, because we live in a cynical age when wars, suffering and death of thousands are watched on TV at breakfast.

Belief in miracles brings hope, that one day we ourselves are going to become part of a miracle. It encourages us to overcome obstacles and not to be indifferent to the surrounding life. Belief in miracles doesn’t mean to wait for them at home and doing nothing.

So let’s celebrate! Happy Christmas and Chanukah!

Heart, love and trees

With autumn progress I feel forest as a place of evening hygiene. Trees put off unwanted dresses directly on damp ground and some of them are completely naked, ready to put snow pajamas on. Just conifers remain proudly green as if they ignore the cycle of life.

Today’s walk brings me to think about linden (Tilia). I realized that a strong linden tree needs space. To prosper, it cannot be squeezed in a tight crowd. Linden tree is wide and noble, needed a place for its majesty. It can grow on the edge of forest or in the alley, but other trees must maintain a respectful distance.

Since childhood, I was taught, that linden is our national tree. Never ever I had any idea what does it mean. I just honestly admired huge linden trees, which survived centuries. Centuries of peace and wars, centuries of children’s games and lovers’ kisses.

I remember two old linden trees in my hometown beside the church. Big sign proclaimed that they are the trees protected by the state. When you come closer, you could see huge metal belts around the trunks. And to make the protection perfect, they poured concrete into cavities. I didn’t feel any pride at all, either personal or national. I felt only sympathy for the living thing that grows despite the protection provided by the people and the state.

Today, I realized my respect and love for linden. It has nothing to do with the nation, it is a matter of heart and humanity. It responds to patient love and gifts, supplied to us from linden trees through ages. It’s no coincidence that the leaves are shaped like big hearts. Fragrant blossoms attract thousands of bees in order to produce equally fragrant honey. Tea of linden blossoms is an effective tool against fever and colds. And linden wood is an excellent inspiration for carvers of any nation to make our world more beautiful.

What are your experiences with linden or its products?