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Aug 5, 2010

My Unusual Request + Help with Writing a Book

I have a lil weird request for you all my funky blog readers. Feel free to take an approach that feels most comfortable for you:)
I’m not a religious person, but I’m pretty spiritual and I believe that positive thoughts work as blessings – they can actually influence people no matter where they are physically and the positive energy boost can be felt even though you don’t know what’s the source of it.

So here’s my lil unusual wish...whenever you have a moment of HIGH, send a blessing to me for finishing my book. Just a quick glimpse in your head visualizing me holding a fresh book in my hands, all proud and fulfilled about it. Or just hold the image while  dropping a comment under this post. Do it only when you sincerely feel like it:)

Here's the background of the story...

When I was living in Malaysia, I got an e-mail from a publisher in Estonia who had randomly passed by my blog and proposed to write a book. I was super excited, writing a book has always been a dream. There was only one catch - I didn’t want to write just a book about Malaysia and all the cool things that a girl can do in a paradise on earth.

So I thought that the story is gonna be about a hot career opportunity in a funky internet marketing company and all the out-of-this-world experiences that this brings along. However after months of taking notes it just didn’t feel right and I dropped the idea of the book until I got back to Estonia.

Being back helped me to see things from a new perspective and I realized that the real story wasn’t about making career, it wasn’t even so much about me or Malaysia.

It was much more about finding my identity as a single mom and fitting a role of being a mom in my life that according to the initial Master Plan was never supposed to be that much about family and parenting, not to even mention any hint of an upcoming single momhood.

So now I wanna write a story of a young woman (who happens to be me in this story, but hopefully inspires someone to take the next step in their life) and her son who are taken out of her familiar social environment and support system and will go through an experience of rebuilding the connection, courage and feeling of worthyness together. Hopefully these reflections will help someone else to have more faith in themselves and you know - just go for it:)

I would love all your blessings, cause it’s my first book and it sometimes feels a little overwhelming to actually finish it. There are moments when I have doubts if I’m able to actually capture the core of the story and find my genuine voice in telling it, so each little drop of good energy will help me to move forward, I know that:)

The script has to be finished by 1st of October and if all goes well, the book should be out in December.

Good thoughts coming over to ya,
Marjam

Jun 13, 2010

Top 7 unique gifts for your modern friends

I was recently invited to a wedding. And though the couple said they only want us, guests as presents, it still raised a question - what could be a unique present for someone who has it all already?

I know that when I was growing up a good present was wrapped into a nice box and contained SOME STUFF. And usually everyone was happy, because STUFF used to be The Thing that made people happy.

Not sure if you have noticed, but material things don't have a similar effect on many of us anymore (well, except new Apple widgets, of course:). We have enough - and too much - stuff already - and we don't want to "adopt" another toaster or espresso machine into our lifestyle.

What many of us really want is a sense of contribution, belonging, happiness, a stress-free lifestyle and many other things that you can't really fit in a box.

So what are the alternatives if we want to make someone feel really, really, really happy by making them a present? Besides treating our friends in an amazing, loving, caring way every day, of course:)

Well, in case your friends have also reached the modern era where STUFF doesn't excite them as much as it used to, consider this - a large part of the world is still living in quite a different era. Many people are in a constant need for STUFF - and quite often not for bare comfort or entertainment, but for survival.

And the good news is that thanks to internet it's easier than ever to make a real contribution and get a sense of meaning.

I ended up buying a goat to the couple through an Estonian NGO Mondo promoting ethical gifts (highly recommended for Estonians) - the goat will be actually delivered to a group of widowers in one of the remote villages in Ghana.

There are a lot of reliable organizations that co-ordinate the work with partners in Africa, Asia or even in well-developed Europe to bring relief to various issues and that also make a wonderful gift to someone who doesn't want more stuff.

So next time when choosing a gift to your friend consider this selection of a several reliable opportunities for quite unique gifts.

MY TOP 7 UNIQUE GIFTS

1. Adopt an animal in danger of extinction



2. Pay for doctor's monthly salary in Dominican Republic
...or vital stuff for any other country around the world through Christian Aid


3. Buy a goat for Sudanese or Bangladeshi family


4. Make a lifechanging mini-loan to a start-up entrepreneur through KIVA


5. Microfinance female entrepreneurs through buying their craft



6. Adopt an acre of rain forest


7. Educate a child in Africa


Any other cool ideas on how to use your monthly give-back budget?

May 26, 2010

6 Reasons To Love A Little More Each Day

This posting is for all the dedicated lovers of life and for all the enjoyers of everyday casual happiness (and for everyone who lose track every now and then, as the majority of us, the life-lovers-clan:). I'm writing in hope that this tribe keeps growing, especially here, in the dark North, where we desperately need more inner light to compensate the discrimination from the Sun.

Here's some statistics to get the conversation going...

I want love - 3,350,000
I want to love - 2,240,000
How to love  - 1,830,000

These numbers represent the searches on Google for these terms...every month. And this is only for these specific phrases - if you count all the related searches, eg "I want your love", "how to win love" together, you get easily tens of millions of desperate requests for love every month.

Yeah, to the search engine... Hoping to get some good answers. Or to be honest - hoping to get more love in their lives (all you Real World Life Lovers - doesn't that give a boost of motivation to show some love to yourself and your friends?:)

But why is there this huge lack of love that makes people turn to Google for sorting their lives out? Well, not sure about the reasons, but for sure I'd love to see more Real Life loving going on and less searches happening in internet...

Here's the thing. Love is available for free and only grows the more you express it. Yet there are so many lonely people, hiding behind masks of politeness, hardly faking it till the next lonely moment with themselves.

Well, I believe there's no better way to get more love than to love right now. OK, some people doubt if the person they're together with is the right person for them. So they hold back the feelings because they don't want to get hurt. Keep it cool, just in case, cause you never know. But why not to love even if you don't get married and have 10 children together? Why not to savor the moment, to get the full taste out of it and if needed, leave with peace in mind?

You can't run out of love by loving. Really -- you can just get better. So why not to love? Yeah, right now, whoever it is around you.

A friend of mine recently wrote me in an e-mail: "You are very important and dear person to me." Nope, he wasn't hitting on me, he's in a happy, loving relationship with his girlfriend or 3-years. He was just sharing his love - something I absolutely adore!

Why not to share the love with everyone, not keep it exclusively to your most, most, most intimate relationships?

Loving can't hurt, you can love even the people you don't get married with (right? Right!:).

Some people jump into relationships because they are afraid of the lack of love. Well, love isn't something reserved only for the most intimate relationships in your life. It's a decision, conscious choice of choosing to love life, yourself, the moments, the opportunities. And if someone comes along who fits in the picture -- you naturally expand and include that person.

So how do people become great lovers? Well, I've seen many people who study the theory of seduction and practice it diligently. I must admit I'm myself a curious reader of various seduction books and mailing lists, for the fun and for the better understanding of the tricks used on me:)

But really - you don't have to study anything to start loving. It's something we all know naturally - and the greatest lovers, I believe, are the ones who are the best connected with themselves. Cause after all - if love is natural, then not loving is unnatural and means you're not quite being yourself. So one baby step at a time - you learn to express your positive feelings towards people, world and yourself.

Now I admit - this posting is long and not really following the blogging rules. So to compensate that, here's a little list to create an illusion if Godly Structure. Here goes:

6 Reasons To Love A Little More Each Day

1. It gives your life a meaning - Victor Frankl, the jewish psychiatrist who survived Holocaust, says there are 3 ways to find meaning in your life: by doing a deed, experiencing a value and by suffering (in case no other option is available). The first ones are pretty much the core of loving. Through loving others you actually get more meaning - so in the end of the day it's win-win-win for everyone;)

2. Love, unlike sex, is not exclusive (guess it's an open subject to discuss, but I go with my non-cheating relationship model in this blog:). You don't have to sleep with another person to love them. You don't even have to flirt with them. Nope, you can just - love. Because it feels just so good and clearly there are so many people who need the feeling of being love (I mean -- everyone:).

3. It attracts more good things - loving helps you to notice all the things you can be grateful for in your life - and gratitude is the basis of growth. Once you appreciate the gifts in your life, you can attract more.


4. Everyone can do it -- loving is only a choice. You can be broke, ugly, sleepy, single and someone can yell at you, but you can still go to this place in your heart that's for love. And from this place you can love anyone.

5. You can choose it instantly - once I met a guy who told me at the first meeting that he wants to be a special person in my life. Well, he is till today - not sure if he would be if he had waited until he really "gets to know me". And leaving aside the mystery that happens between girls and guys - you can instantly switch from neutral state of mind into this loving place by choosing gratitude and blessings. Corny? Maybe, but it works:)

6. There are thousands of ways to do it - expressing your love is such a creative thing. You can choose simply sending positive thoughts towards someone or to cook a dinner for your mom. Gary Chapman, the author of "The Five Love Languages" describes 5 common patterns how people express love: through words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time and physical touch. You can expands these patterns endlessly and have tons of fun doing it.

Yeah, I like it too:)

Apr 19, 2010

How to overcome low self esteem?

I know a girl. She's one of these stunners that make the other girls jealous - glowing white skin, sparks in her eyes and dimples in both corners of her beautiful smile.

In addition of being blessed with great looks she's also extraordinary smart, an A-student, holding gold awards from several national science competitions.

She has all to be successful - have an outstanding career, great husband and life filled with love. Yet...

...she's been financially struggling to get by for years now, even more now as she just left a dis-satisfying job where her salary hadn't improved for several years. As for the relationships - her boyfriends not only look average and have below average jobs, but also give her average, sometimes even bad treatment. She's never quite fulfilled, yet whenever she ends a relationship, she's soon with a new guy who looks and acts almost as the copy of the previous dude.

And she's only many of the examples where people's potential is so much higher than the life they are living. What's going on here?

As many others she's struggling with low self esteem. She just can't see herself being worth more than she's getting.

Suggesting to this girl to set a goal to get more money and a more fulfilling relationship wouldn't help....why?

Because she doesn't believe nor see herself getting this, she believes that this reality is the only option available for her.

This invisible internal self image counts much more in being successful than the external looks that everybody else sees. And even though it's invisible, you can see other peoples inner self by looking at the results they have created in their life.

As Stephen Covey says in his inspiring book "7 Habits of Highly Effective People":
"All things are created twice. There's a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you've thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind."
One of my favorite spiritual teachers Abraham Hicks said this:
"Your choices of action may be limited--but your choices of thought are not."
Everything that we see externally is only a reflection of what we internally think is possible.

So start from the inner work. Like loving yourself. Respecting yourself as you are. Treating yourself kindly. Being grateful for what you've got. Also found a great video on the topic from Hicks, see below.


I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that low self esteem is theprimary barrier preventing most people from succeeding, moving forward, getting ahead and actualizing their true potential.
Quite a statement but I believe it's true. Everyone seems to have it in at least some aspect of their lives.

Following is a video from an Abraham Hicks workshop in which a participant is having a dialog with Abraham Hicks. Abraham addresses the issue starting at about 3:26 and teaches us how to build self esteem.

Feb 19, 2010

Reviewing Your Values: Have You Unknowingly Destroyed Your Family?


In the world of opportunities, careers, friends, celebrities, parties, money, sex, internet, traveling and personal growth -- where does the family fit in?

Well, the truth is that in most of the Western countries, including my own -- it really doesn't. For many people and even for most of my friends -- family comes as one of the last. OK, a girlfriend or a boyfriend might take the first position for a while, but overall -- going out with friends comes before a family dinner, getting a good career comes before having a baby, having fun comes before building a lifelong partnership.

Well, the key to the happiness truly lies inside, so pleasing your family is not the key to liberation. Yet life is all about balance -- I sense that our values are dangerously out of balance when it comes to family. Instead of seeing this as an asset and find a healthy relationship with it, we rather tend to isolate us from the family and run away fast when problems or demands arise.

Feb 9, 2010

How Are You Feeling Today? No, I Mean -- HOW Are You Feeling Today? Seriously...


"How do you feel?"

"I don't know. I feel good."

Ah, I hear it much too often. Till recently I was saying this much too often. When it comes to feelings most of us Northern people use a rather simplistic approach. We tend to have two categories: GOOD and BAD. The more advanced ones of us add perhaps ANGER, FRUSTRATION and BOREDOM, the ones in love add LOVE, which becomes GOOD a few years down the road into the stable relationship...

Perhaps too simplistic from my side, but there are thoughts to consider.

Got me thinking again today when I was watching a TV-show where a sweet elderly woman was trying to explain how she felt when she found out that her beloved family member could have been killed in the earthquake at Haiti. You could see from her eyes the intensity of her feelings: the fear, concern, desperation, love, hope and guilt all mixed together. Yet she had only a few words to express her inner world: worried and hopeful.

She just didn't have words to describe what she felt.

Jan 10, 2010

Getting Naked: Would You Become Less to Become More?


You know the saying "Being a big fish in a small pond"? I do hope you are feeling like a big fish in your life, because we all are meant to be big fishes. I'm a HUGE WHALE for my son and hopefully a big fish for my family. I do enjoy a big fish syndrome in some other areas of my life as well.

But here's the thing -- you shouldn't feel like a big fish in all the areas of your life. That just shows that your pond has started to limit you and it's getting critical to raise your standards or wave goodbye to a fulfilled life.

It might be a good time to see if your perception of yourself is really honest or is it just reflecting the limiting expectations that "your pond" is setting to you.

Before leaving to Malaysia I was enjoying a rather comfortable life in Estonia, had a rather strong self-image and even though I was challenging my comfort-zone regularly it never got to a critical point where my self-image would have got seriously challenged.

Jan 6, 2010

Happiness Guide for 2010

I want to start by thanking everyone I have connected through this blog! Thanks for showing up in my life and adding your unique part in the story, your positive energy and feedback have been a blessing.

A famous psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the author of the bestseller "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" (a great book, definitely recommend to read) says that the quality of your life is directly connected with the information we allow to enter into our conscious mind. Simply -- truly happy and fulfilled people have an ability to focus on the empowering information, things that strengthen their self image and build their confidence.

A year is gone and whatever you made happen in 2009, good or bad -- make it part of your strong and beautiful self image. All the events are neutral, what makes it meaningful is your evaluation. Csíkszentmihályi says that in order to become an truly fulfilled person you need to learn how to live in a flow. And a way to get there is to choose your own experience.

Maybe this exercise gives some inspiration. I just went through my personal evaluation of 2009, which I want to share with you. I wrote down all the wins from last year that first came to my mind and added in more details what I gained from these wins. Robin Sharma (thanks Aika for the recommendation!) also recommends to write down the things that you could have improved to get a clear picture on how you showed up last year.

Enjoy:)
My Wins in 2009