art, health, inspiration, learning, love, motivation, self help, Uncategorized, wellness

Artful August

ferns

August is here with all the fun of summer and anticipated charm of the coming fall. This year it’s got to be inspiring and fruitful. How do you feel about it now?

I feel like it’s time to create and procreate (pun intended). Writing and painting is what I see myself doing this year, only 4 months left anyway. Trying new styles and techniques is a lot of fun, there’s so much to learn in the world of Art!

4 months is a relatively short period of time but when I start thinking how much can be done, my mind boggles. I want to learn, teach and inspire others. Thinking big is helpful most of the time, let’s hope the time has finally come!

Make the world of your art a priority and you will never have a bad day ever. It’s not as selfish as it may sound, think about it, if you are truly creative and happy you can’t help sharing it with others. If you inspire music there’s no way you will be dancing alone.

Start spreading good creative vibes and you will receive ten times more. It’s addictive I know but you should try. Send your love into the future…

art, experience, immigration, inspiration, learning, motivation, self help, Uncategorized

The Art of Living

IMG_20160913_204848[1]My journey started when I moved to a new country with a totally different culture. It’s like being born again, you have to learn about yourself and the world around you. It’s fascinating and risky sometimes but it’s fun.

The key to success is keeping your mind open. This is what seems scary first but later when you realize there is nothing to lose… Great changes take place, expect more to come. Be ready for miracles and failures!

Keep doing your thing whatever your passion is, experiment. Some will disapprove, others will envy but it’s okay, life is like that. Believe and pray, everything will come to you in its time. Some artists start early and go away before they even turn thirty. But why should it bother you when your goals are different and so is the timing.

When I think about all I want to master and create I realize that Ars longa, vita brevis. Learning is a life-long process, nobody was born able… Or maybe some of us were? Anyway, you will probably have to put your blood, sweat and tears in your labor of love.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, exercise persistence and faith.

 

culture, depression, experience, friends, learning, self help, Uncategorized

Tell me who

Tell me who your friend is and I will tell you who you are. ( Proverb )

How many people would you call friends? Some days it seems I have too many, when the weekend is so busy that my nose starts bleeding by the end of Sunday. Other times I want to ask, Where are you guys? And sure enough people have their own lives full of duties and commitments. And that’s fine.

Real friends are like unicorns. You have to believe in them. They will tell you the truth instead of flattering empty words. They will help you out by giving a new perspective. They will act when action is needed. I am so grateful I have them in my life. I hope you do too. And if not be that friend for someone. It’s hard to tell who is who sometimes. Here is a story I really like.

A poor bird fell frozen at the animal farm. He almost died but the cow pooed on him which warmed up a small body. Later a fox found something alive in the cow pie and ate it. It was a brave soul who didn’t make it home. The moral is: not everyone who poos on you is your enemy, not everyone who takes you out is your friend.

 

 

inspiration, learning, motivation, self help, Uncategorized

Design your life

What makes up your day? Mine consists of so many little things that I can hardly keep all of them in mind. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which one is a game changer. Think about

  • Food and exercise
  • People you deal with
  • Music, books and movies
  • Social networks
  • Living conditions

To make your life better you need to grab the bull by the horns and be responsible for your own happiness. Give up your fears and start living the dream!

  1. Buy / make decent food, plan a week in advance
  2. Walk / run 30-40 minutes a day, do other fitness activities if you like
  3. Minimize time with irritating people, maximize positive exposure
  4. Be selective with the books / movies you enjoy, pick the inspirational ones
  5. Hide / unfollow negative posts / people online. Time yourself while in cyberspace
  6. Make your home comfy: clean, fix and declutter as much as you can
  7. Love what you get, get what you love

The process of designing your life can take longer than you think. I started 2-3 years ago, some changes are obvious and some are still in progress, I wish it could be done overnight but it’s a process.

culture, experience, immigration, learning, motivation, self help, survival, Uncategorized

How to survive in a new culture

Working with American teens made me think about useful tips I can share with new teachers.

The culture I found myself in is a mix of Latino and African-American youth with a minority of whites and Asians. Just for your information I came from Ukraine where the population is very homogeneous.

The school environment is not usually conducive to making friends with students but I keep trying anyway.

  1. Listen to their music. God only knows how much I hate rap but this is what they love. I make myself listen to the lyrics, it’s quite weird for strangers like me.
  2. Eat their food. Teens love junk food, it never looks or tastes great. But you should be brave enough to try it. I also go to cafeteria once in a while to experience the agony they have to endure every day.
  3. Don’t ignore the things that matter. Two of them are mentioned above but figuring out the rest can be tough. One thing that I noticed is you have to pronounce their name right.
  4. Ask questions showing genuine interest. When doing this you should be ready to deal with their answers which are not always easy. Reflect on them.
  5. Be a good student. Take notes to remember new words and concepts, learning new language / dialect is always fun. You will be tried and tested a lot.
  6. Mind your body language more than anything else. Respect yourself and the people around you.
  7. Stay positive and keep learning despite making mistakes.

This list is not all encompassing but gives you a general idea. Good luck!

experience, job, learning, Uncategorized

Skills so much needed

When you start every day wondering what skill you will have to learn today it doesn’t sound like a dream job but maybe this is what it is. Pushing yourself outside your comfort zone is not a walk in the park and definitely not a piece of cake for all I know.  While the school is almost over and the freedom that summer brings is so near you keep asking yourself Am I ever going to graduate? School of life is a bit tricky, it makes you learn a new lesson when you feel that you are done, finished and ready to face the challenges.

So much to live, so much to learn. Isn’t it frustrating and inspiring at the same time? Ambiguity of this question brings us closer to philosophers and thinkers that devoted so much time to discover the truth trying answer all the Why – questions.

What skills do you have to survive or what skills do you think you have? Recently I learned that my arsenal is not big enough, it’s a steep learning curve for sure but the good news is it’s never too late to learn.

job, learning

Special Ed

I got a chance to co-teach kids with disabilities,  that was an eye-opening experience. There were about 16 young people who had different issues. Two kids were blind, one had a Down syndrome, one girl was in a wheel chair. I was surprised to learn how their abilities differed. Some of them were really good at Math, others at PE doing the school curriculum at their own pace. I looked at them thinking,  Are they ever going to become normal? There were 3 more teachers in the classroom, I admired their skills and knowledge. When I came home that day I thought a lot about the blind girl since I spent most of the day next to her. I wanted to talk about this and that but realized that one has to see to know this kind of things. How limited your life is when you cannot see! I realized I have to stop complaining, I am able to see.

The next day I was subbing in a regular class at a different school, and you know what I thought? Those kids with disabilities were way more normal than the ‘normal’ ones. Is it evil human nature or peer pressure, I am not really sure… And one day if special ed children become ‘normal’ will they fall into temptation and turn into monkeys?