Growing wings

Once upon a time, there was a light, joyful and careless five-year old, whose mother – a free, bubbly and romantic fireworks display of a soul – had taught her to hum classical opera arias. She was happily giggling at the magnificent wonders that the Universe surrounded her with, and she had not a worry in the world.

One warm evening in early September, sitting around the kitchen table with the family, she watched as a moth had flown in through the small window, to which she spontaneously reacted with an enthusiastic interpretation of the resounding “Non più andrai” from Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro”.

The lyrics, in Romanian, loosely translated to “You’re no longer the butterfly in the Sun / Fluttering from flower to flower / Butterfly, you no longer have wings / The Count has chopped them off”. Little did she know that these same lyrics were the premonition of an emotional exodus of over two decades, through which she struggled to grow her wings back.

Annoyed and despaired upon hearing her chant, her paternal grandfather harshly told her off “Stop that, you are like a Devil”. Those words shattered her, although, for far too long, she could not fathom how severely they haunted her, like an open wound, each time the carefree Inner Child wanted to come out and play, each time the beautiful Wild Woman wanted to come out and love.

For as long as I can remember, I have carried within me, like a swirling yin and yang, both my light and my darkness. You may recall that my reconciliation with the Devil began several years ago. A few months back, a Tarot reading revealed to me that I was mistaking my Divine Feminine self, the Wife and Mother archetype, the Venus within me – for the Devil.

By a wonderful stroke of heavenly guidance, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place, and I relived every instance in which I was told or made feel – by teachers, colleagues or the men in my life – that I was “too much”. That I laughed too hard, that I was too noisy, that I was too enthusiastic, that I was too foolishly happy. Each of those times, I thought I needed to tone myself down, to quiet myself, to tell myself off, to dim my light, as not to make anyone uncomfortable.

I lived under the impression that I had built walls not to let people in, but instead, I had built a dam, not to let myself overflow. And it all boiled down to that one warm evening in early September, 25 years ago, when I was led to believe that me being my true, untamed, joyous and optimistic self was the worst transgression that I could possibly be capable of.

A couple of months back, lying in bed, my brave and daring Inner Child started singing the lyrics to the “Non più andrai” aria out loud, for the first time in 25 years. “Butterfly, you no longer have wings / The Count has chopped them off…” I was only 5 years old, when my song prophesized a life story. As those words echoed in my mind, tears started falling, for I understood that, all along, I had been the butterfly, the wings of whom were chopped off by spiteful words uttered by a broken man.

While my inner light began to shine – fearless, unhindered, untamed – it suddenly dawned on me that my grandfather’s wings may had equally been chopped by some Count of his own, and the reason why he shut me off was that my song reminded him of his own wounds, and the pain was too strong to bear. So he did the only thing he could think of to defend himself – strike right back.

Last year, I met a man to whom I declared that he was my favourite person of 2019 and that surely, he would remain my favourite person in 2020. He replied, “We’ll see about that”, which I found extremely hurtful at the time. Turns out, that was another prophecy. Over the past 2 months, undergoing numerous personal transformations and upgrades, I have come to realise that I am my favourite person this year, which is a relationship I look forward to continuing nourishing for all the years to come.

A butterfly flew into my house yesterday. His beautiful black-orange wings fluttered around, as he was looking for the way back out. As I helped him reach back to the window, I felt light and free. Last night, a man I cherish deeply (who happens to share a birthday with my paternal grandfather) told me that I most certainly come from Venus, for I am beautiful and feminine. With that, I knew that my wings had grown back and I had set myself free, right on time for Lionsgate.

Looking back to this whirlwind of emotions that has been my reconciliation with my Inner Child and, consequently, with my Divine Feminine nature, that had been cornered and unjustly blamed for struggle and sorrow within and without me, I hope and pray that, wherever he may be, my grandfather may rest in peace and love, while I live in peace and love.

Love,
Vladiana

Home away from home

Over the past few months, strong and inspiring women I was fortunate enough to cross paths with have challenged me to journey to the past and reflect upon the ways in which my international academic and professional experience have shaped me into the person I am today. The first time I received such request was back in March, in the context of an International Women’s Day project my friend was working on, highlighting the experiences of women she deemed strong and empowered, which, clearly, was a label that honoured me deeply. Back then, I wrote the following: 

“You have to lose yourself to find yourself, they say. As I was finishing my Bachelor’s degree back in Romania, I started catching a glimpse of what makes my heart ignite with passion. Anthropology – the science of humanity. My family encouraged me to pursue this passion and I found a Master’s programme in anthropology, in one of the most reputed European universities, in Leuven, Belgium.
That is how the process of “losing myself” began, in the best of senses. Anthropology taught me that our idea of identity is a social construct; we are taught to perceive our gender, our skin colour, our language, customs and religion, by comparison or opposition with those of others. I thus had the opportunity to learn how to deconstruct myself, in order to build myself back up in the form and shape that my Higher Self would approve of.
Belgium is a fantastic country to live in, in that its local culture isn’t aggressive or dominating, it is welcoming people coming from all corners of the world, who live together harmoniously, sharing a public space which is peppered with ethnic restaurants, cultural events, movie screenings, art exhibitions, music and dance shows highlighting the cultural diversity.


Being constantly exposed to this colourful social fabric has been a true blessing, because it has confronted me with my beliefs. My encounter with Islam has been particularly ground shaking and for a while, I considered converting, only to discover that I am leaning more towards philosophies such as Buddhism or Shamanism, and, am, in fact, an outcast to every religious system. I therefore took the path of mysticism and esoteric practices, such as meditation, divination, astrology and energy work, which have offered me more room to roam, only to discover that not all who wander are lost.
It has required a certain degree of maturity and ownership of my own personal and professional path in order make my stay in Belgium more permanent, because moving to another country, you find yourself alone, far from a family that can support you, whether financially or otherwise, in case of need.
It implies a struggle, learning to manage yourself and your resources, to find a steady source of income, to undergo all the necessary administrative procedures in order to benefit of all the advantages and privileges that the country has to offer. It implies learning to plan and to prevent, being careful and keeping yourself safe and strong, especially as a single woman.
Living alone abroad has given me a sense of agency and has allowed me to take my time to discover who I truly was, what I liked and what I believed in. I found that doing things alone, as a woman, still has a certain degree of taboo associated with it, and I decided to defy those restraints, by going out for drinks, lunches, movie screenings, concerts, dance classes and parties, by myself.
Furthermore, living in a foreign country, you don’t only represent yourself, but also your heritage and origin. As a Romanian, I still struggle when I hear people speak my language as they beg, curse or live on the streets of Brussels, vilifying the image of my homeland. It has thus motivated me to put my best self forward, to be hard-working, honest, open and kind to the people around me, in order to proudly represent my upbringing and the values I uphold, which have been instilled upon me by my loving family back in Romania.  
In my experience, moving abroad is the most effective manner to discover your true essence, not by regurgitating a social persona that has been fed to you within a society confined by borders, but rather, by blooming into a veritable citizen of the world, appreciating the vastness of cultural and spiritual possibilities and finding out who you truly are. Discovering that the “other” is not an enemy, that different is not evil, that the unknown is not scary, that home is not a place, but a feeling is the most precious gift one receives, upon saying goodbye to their country of origin.
It is instead nurturing, soothing, enriching, because it means building upon the roots you have, to grow into someone stronger, someone more beautiful, someone more like yourself. To me, it felt like being a seedling, which daringly pierces through the soil, only to open into the vastness of the Universe. It felt like spring.”

As seasons continue to change, I have moved into the summer of my reflections, when the wonderful Françoise Falisse invited me to share my experience for an episode of her new podcast, Women Abroad (which you can equally follow on Facebook or Instagram). I met Françoise a few years back, during an instant of bravery, as I reached out to an inspiring stranger whose website I had come across by chance. Little did I know that, over the years, I would be fortunate enough to be featured in one of her projects, being given the safe space and the platform to find my voice and stand tall and proud, the woman I am today. And from that standpoint, I humbly praise and thank the Universe for every opportunity it offers me to tune in and experience the overflowing energy of Love.

Love,

Vladiana

United we stand

Fellow friends,

For the past 3 months, I have been struggling to find my voice. I have always been a big picture thinker and the stories and insights I regularly share are the result of lengthy reflection, turning all of the events, coincidences, synchronicities and lessons inside out, in-depth analysis, tying all loose ends into a cohesive narrative and successfully finalizing life puzzles that help me better understand a specific period or life theme.

Nevertheless, if I am to learn anything from the recent global events, it is that in times of crisis, the big picture is not about telling a story, but rather about survival of the body and of the spirit. About taking conscious action, being mindful and purposeful, as well as understanding that we are all part of a community, of society, of a greater system, which needs us to fulfil our role and mission in order to ensure the harmonious cohabitation of all the elements.

With all the extra me-time since the beginning of lockdown came the great realisation that we alone are responsible for the way we choose to invest our time and energy. That indeed, as per Native American wisdom, within us are two wolves, one of ego, selfishness, fear and despair and one of love, kindness, trust and hope, and it takes the same amount of effort and energy to “feed” either of them.

I figured my good, tame wolf would be of more service to myself and to humanity, so I started feeding him gratitude, appreciation for the wonderful resources I benefit of, care for my environment and my plants, less time spent on my phone and mobile devices in the evening, as well as spiritual rituals, including Tibetan yoga, meditations and Tarot. I noticed that my body soon began to reject stimulatory and inhibitory substances, such as coffee, alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and even meat. 

A few days back, I enrolled for a tarot challenge, which promised to make me a better Tarot reader within only five days. While those expectations may have failed to be met, the challenge has taught me something valuable, which is that the world needs me to share my knowledge, talents and gifts, my unique touch. People out there may be seeking for answers, solutions and help, and they should know that I could be one of those options.

By telling me that the world needed better Tarot readers, Brigit Esselmont of Biddy Tarot brought upon the epiphany that, in fact, the world needs better humans, humans who are compassionate and loving, humans who show up for their fellow humans, humans who strive to serve and to support humanity in its awakening.

To my surprise, a fellow Tarot reader from the community has reached out to me. She took the time to read one of my articles, which happened to strongly resonate with her, and motivated her to write me the most humbling and heart-warming message, which said, “I bet you have light shining out of your fingertips”. They may not be shining light, but I remembered that my fingertips have the power to Speak Life, because they communicate the light within me. Which was enough to get me writing this. 

A Sufi proverb says that there are as many paths to God as there are souls on Earth. Nevertheless, the roles our souls take upon incarnation on Earth are divided into seven categories, according to the mission they fulfil. Therefore, each of us, throughout our existence, must take one of seven functions: server, artisan, warrior, scholar, sage, priest or king.

Some of us may be caring and nurturing, some of us may be creative and playful, others of us are loyal and protective, while others may be curious and objective, then you have those who are charming and entertaining, those who are inspirational and visionary, or finally those who are powerful and authoritative.

Whatever the gifts we may have come with, the duty and mission is singular. To love and support one another, to consecrate our talents for the sake of humankind, contributing, in our own, unique manner, to the elevation of the human race from mental slavery, from submission to ego; to the redemption of our fellow humans from fear, over-consumption and spiritual suicide.

A tiny virus has shattered all that was false, all illusions of immortality, of almightiness, any idea that people have any power to control and regulate life on Earth and made them face the imminence of their death, reminded them how vulnerable they are and how insignificant their journey on Earth. Nature has regained its might, Mama Earth has had the chance to breathe and renew, while people have retreated into their urban caves, running for their lives and dreading the biological apocalypse.

However, amidst the chaos, the voices of do-gooders and well-wishers of the Planet have become stronger, calling for patience, for resilience, for solidarity and compassion. In the dawn of a new era of consciousness, with major cosmic shifts happening right before our eyes, it is time to put differences aside and unite in the common mission of helping, supporting, and sustaining one another towards personal and collective growth and happiness.

Fellow friends, this is a call to action. It is the beginning of a reLOVEution. Spiritualists, believers, monks, light workers, mystics, witches, psychics, astrologers, clairvoyants, mediums, artists, hippies, and healers: Unite, share your gifts with the world, say nothing but the truth and spread your love and your light for the benefit and every sentient being. As we awaken to our higher potential, let us work together for the sake of the higher good and for the service of the highest purpose: Love.

Love,

Vladiana

Partner in creation

Co-creating. The secret to a harmonious relationship with Divinity and with a Divine Partner is equality. Equal involvement, equal participation, equal intention and equal accountability in the act of creation, preservation and growth. Divine Grace isn’t static, it is a perpetual flow of Abundance and Love to which we contribute with our faith, our hope and our gratitude.

The action of manifesting, of bringing our desires from the 5D to the concrete and tangible, in other words, the materialisation of our intent is a living process.

Imagine you’re making bread. You need a recipe, you need the ingredients, you need the creative act of mixing them together in the correct proportions, “kneading” it with determination, followed by the patient waiting for the dough to proof and the knowing and anticipation that the act of baking it at the right temperature and for the right duration will give birth to something beautifully soothing, filling and nourishing.

It takes clarity and precision, it takes the necessary tools and the knowledge of what your intended outcome is and how to achieve it, and it takes the “Divine catalyst”, the yeast, which brings it that autonomous, living character. To ignite the creative process, you must bring your own contribution to homogenise and harmonise your thoughts and efforts into the making of a prototype, which the Universe can then mold into the right shape and consistency, at the right time and under the right circumstances.

Co-creating with the Universe is at once an act of trusting and knowing, of faith and certitude. It requires at once control and surrender, impulse and response, acting and waiting, discipline and hasard. Co-creating with the Universe is a cosmic dance, in which you consent to being led through the music of your soul, listening to your partner, being at once surprised by the next move, and yet deeply harmonised with it, flowing naturally, smoothly, with a smile of joy and confidence, enjoying the process as much as its conclusion.

My fellow friend, my travel companion, my beloved, my better half, on the first day of the year, I bless you with the understanding of your divinity, of your limitless capacity to create and to attract love, abundance, health and success. I pray onto you, so that you may awaken to the clarity of your intent, so that you may recognise your potential, so that you may cherish your gifts, so that you may use them wisely and responsibly, to generate peace, harmony, communion, compassion and growth within and around you.

I wish you soft breeze and smooth sailing, as you navigate the infinite possibilities of togetherness, where you learn to be one with the One, with the world around you, and with the Divine partner of your choice. In the year ahead, be a Divine engineer, and construct the project of the life you’re most yourself living. Blessings and love be upon you!

Love,

Vladiana

Resolutions

The first words Curvy Buddha uttered, on January 1st of this year, were: “Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place”. For the past 12 months, love kept revealing itself to me, inviting me to come out and play, joining me into the depths of fear and insecurity, holding me when my heart was shattering, teaching me to unlearn everything I had thought I knew about it and re-learn kindness, patience, compassion, forgiveness, healthy boundaries and standards.

I thank you, fellow friend, for joining me on this journey of personal growth and discovery, for being a trusted travel companion, for doing your own work of walking the spiritual path, for allowing the Universe to carry you towards the fulfilment of your life purpose, guided by your North star and carried by your many gifts.

I want to start by sending some well deserved birthday love to the beautiful, charming soul who has been my dearest encounter of this year, and who has taken many of the forms and shapes of the love that I had the pleasure to experience. I want to thank him for touching my soul so deeply and honestly, for meeting me halfway, for being allowing of my imperfections, for letting me know he was getting home safely even when he was thousands of miles away, for telling me that hugging me reminded him of his childhood garden because of the henna in my hair, for taking me on a virtual trip through Monet’s paintings and more importantly, for reminding me of my femininity. I wish him the wisdom, the courage and the strength to fully manifest his most intimate wishes, and the love within and without, that will allow him to flow along with the energy of abundance, towards the accomplishment of his heart’s desires.

One of the greatest lessons of 2019 has been related to debts, the payment and reimbursement of any overdue physical and karmic debts, the release of any soul contracts I may have held, in order to make room for the energy of love and abundance to flow in. I have taken actions to free myself from strings of consciousness that were tying me down to financial or emotional commitments, to step into my new age and into the new year bare of the engagements weighing me down.

A few days ago, during a tarot reading, a childhood trauma was brought to light, yet again. I was advised to work with my inner child, in order to heal the emotional imprint of that particular episode. The way I went about it was fairly simple, starting from a state of calm and meditation, I went back to the traumatic moment, relieving it and healing it, by allowing little Vladiana to reach out, to feel listened to and understood, and to receive the compassion, the reassurance and the love she had so deeply needed in that instance.

Dissolving the pain with love, I realised how beautiful my inner child is. Pure and loving, sun in her smile, joyful, curious, brave, mischievous and free. I also realised how loved I was as a child, having my grandma to wipe away my tears and my grandpa to take me on adventures, such as sleigh rides and playground swings; my mother to allow me to explore in safety and my sister, the peaceful warrior, to comfort me serenely.

Finally, I understood that now, as a grown woman, I can fully rely on myself. I am here for myself, I can give myself the love and compassion that I need, I can understand myself and guide myself on a path of self-fulfilment, by using all of the tools and all of the lessons that I acquired in my three decades of life and more than a decade of romance.

Therefore, with only a few hours to go before we move into the grounding, healing and supporting energy of 2020, I would like to offer you, fellow friend, a Nahuatl blessing, a gift of wisdom from my past life, so that you may set yourself free onto this new path of love and fulfilment.

“I release my parents from the feeling that they have already failed me. I release my children from the need to bring pride to me; that they may write their own ways according to their hearts that whisper all the time in their ears. I release my partner from the obligation to complete myself. I do not lack anything, I learn with all beings all the time.

I thank my grandparents and forefathers who have gathered so that I can breathe life today. I release them from past failures and unfulfilled desires, aware that they have done their best to resolve their situations within the consciousness they had at that moment. I honor you, I love you and I recognize you as innocent.

I bare my soul before their eyes, so they know that I do not hide or owe anything other than being true to myself and to my very existence; that walking with the wisdom of the heart, I am aware that I fulfill my life project, free from invisible and visible family loyalties that might disturb my Peace and Happiness, which are my only responsibilities.

I renounce the role of savior, of being one who unites or fulfills the expectations of others. Learning through, and only through LOVE, I bless my essence, my way of expressing, even though somebody may not understand me.

I understand myself, because I alone have lived and experienced my history; because I know myself, I know who I am, what I feel, what I do and why I do it. I respect and approve myself. I honor the Divinity in me and in you. We are free.”

With this newly acquired freedom, I am ready to draft my life project for the upcoming year. Building on the good habits I learned for the past year, I vow to continue being true to my truth, to stay in my power, to be the embodiment of Divine love, grace and light, to be pure, joyful, loving, creative and free. Adding to that, I take inspiration from Sadhguru, and I vow to keep myself healthier and happier through these daily practices:

1. Be mindful of the water that I drink and use Prana to cleanse and purify the water’s memory, so that it may heal me, restore me and renew the life force within me.
2. Be grateful for the food that I eat, know where my food comes from, respect and cherish the ingredients and be mindful of my food intake.
3. Spend 10 minutes outside, breathing fresh air. Spend minimum 1 hour connecting with nature every weekend.
4. Spend 10 minutes outside, during sunlight.
5. Be mindful of the “fire” that burns within me, practice short meditations to recalibrate my energies and tune in to the Source of love, gratitude and abundance.

Finally, since 20 is a number of Divine communion, I send my wish into the Universe, that 2020 be filled with intimacy, understanding, sharing, compassion and love, with the joys of physical and spiritual union with a loving partner, that we may experience harmonious, soothing, groundbreaking, sexual-healing, passion-igniting, spirit-awakening, knee-shaking, heart-opening, mind-blowing, soul-lifting, mission-driven, tantric 3D partnerships with high-vibe soulmates, in a permanent manifestation of mutual service, mutual growth, mutual learning, mutual healing, mutual freedom and all-encompassing love.

Amen.

Decalogue of living purposefully

Fellow friend, for the past few months, you kept hearing about my turning 30. While I may have been a tad over-dramatic about this change of age, the anticipation has been peppered with shifts of consciousness and upgrades to the ways in which I perceive myself, as a sentient being, as a human and as a woman. Today, I am 3 days short of being 30 and I am fortunate enough to have a December birthday, which means that I can take this opportunity to draw a line on my lessons and achievements for this year as well as for this decade of my life.
In Romania, we call these milestones related to round-number ages “changing the prefix”, and just like a prefix changes the meaning of the word it is placed before, so does moving into another phase of our existences. New responsibilities, new possibilities, new opportunities lay ahead, and in order to be able to grasp them integrally, one must be in full mastery of the tools and skills they already possess.
While I have never been an adept of the one-size-fits-all attitude to directing one’s life choices, nor one to bother myself with the burden of complying with societal pressures, I must confess that turning 30 has made me put myself under torturous interrogation, with questions such as: “When are you getting married?”, “When are you having children?” and the likes.
Furthermore, I have undergone some interesting challenges concerning my relationship with men and with my body and I have come to realise that I wrongly perceived the two as practically overlapping, which has, in turn, generated far too lengthy turmoil and self-doubt, as I needed the validation of a romantic partner in order to feel beautiful and worthy of love.


Without further ado, allow me, fellow friend, to share my recent learnings about myself, the 10 commandments that I vow to commit to and wholeheartedly follow, in the eve of what is probably the most important change of age since I identify as a conscious and conscientious individual:
1. I am a believer in the Good in people, and while “one runs the risk of crying a bit if one allows oneself to be tamed”; I must always nurture connection and never stop allowing people or experiences (be they gifts or lessons) from reaching me.
2. I am just as stupidly and hopelessly romantic as I was 10 or 15 years ago, yet I must always stay grounded in my power, in self-respect and in living by my own rules and standards.
3.I am still struggling with body positivity, but I have learned that I must always be the storyteller and be in charge of the narrative of how my body is perceived and treated, be it by myself or by the people who are granted access to it.
4. I trust that Love is the answer to every question we have about who we are, where we come from, why we are here and where we’re headed next and I must always be, think, speak and act from a place of unconditional Love.
4b. I am here to contribute to the abundance, the flow and the love that my family, my friends, my community, my world and myself accept and experience, and therefore, I must always act with love, kindness, patience, compassion and forgiveness.
5. I must always listen to my intuition and follow the advice of my Higher Self and my Spiritual Guides, because they are there to protect me and to help me progress on the path to fulfilling my life purpose.
6. I must always forgive and understand myself and those around me, for all the hurtful, chaotic and low-vibe words, decisions and actions we take when we allow our egos to manifest their fear, insecurity, anger, violence and unawareness, and I must always keep the faith that healing and redemption will follow.
7. I am and I must always be a thoughtful, cautious, truthful, honest and responsible person and in no way should I consider that a flaw or hindrance to my capacity of enjoying life and be happy and spontaneous, on the contrary, an enabler to doing things in safety and comfort.
8. I must absolutely stop doubting, belittling or neglecting my primordial needs and personal laws of conduct, in an attempt to be a people-pleaser and to prioritise and accommodate other people’s opinions, beliefs or selfish desires.
9. I must always stand up for, speak my mind and be a defender of justice and equality, even when I am afraid of the consequences, because I am a messenger of Truth, Light and Love, and while I respect, protect and promote these Universal gifts, I will be protected and rewarded.
10. I must always proudly and worthily carry and represent myself, my family, my ancestors and my heritage, in order to contribute to the diversity, the richness and the beauty of humankind, so that we may all learn from one another and help each other grow and reach our utmost potential.
A few years back, my mother and I watched a remarkable movie, The Physician, and one quote has lingered with me: “May the Lord have mercy upon me. Bless me in my long and dangerous journey. Let not the waves engulf me, nor sea monsters devour me. Let not bandits slit my throat, or wolves eat me alive. Let me not starve or get lost in the dark woods or cold mountains. And please let Jesus forgive me that I shall deny my faith and soil myself with sin, to serve your creation and glory”.
As I set sails and embark on my own journey of being a full-fledged adult and a well-rounded (pun intended) woman, I bow in awe and gratitude and I thank the Universe for all of the people, gifts, travels and experiences; for the laughter, the cry, the joy and the sadness that it has thus far facilitated me to encounter.
I pray and I humbly ask for permission to make best use of all that I know, that I have and that I am. May I be of benefit to humanity and to myself, may I be a worthy channel of the wonders and the magic residing within the Universal Soul. May I be the living proof that peace and harmony exist, may I be an Ambassador of Heaven on Earth. May I be a loving daughter, sister, friend, mother and wife, and may I be Love.

Love,
Vladiana

Between compromise and surrender

About two weeks ago, I successfully finalised my 21-day Abundance Challenge, experience that has dramatically shaped my understanding of the riches and diversity of the world around me, has increased my sensitivity and perceptiveness to levels that I had been unable to anticipate and has made me more grateful and more connected to the available resources: Infinity.
Nevertheless, with every new lesson that we learn, comes a test that is meant to check how well we have internalised the Universe’s teachings and how ready we are to lead our life by a new set of principles. The durability and persistence of our knowledge must be proven practically, through the choices we make and actions we take in pursuit of our dreams and desires.
As such, I landed straight into a carousel of ground shaking experiences and emotions. With only two weeks to go before my dirty 30, my energies are all over the place. I thought I had finally reached a place of balance, of stability, of free flowing love and abundance, yet here I am, finding myself straying, going around in circles, tiptoeing around my basic needs, getting lost in my own fears and insecurities, neglecting myself, getting caught in mindlessness, pettiness, superficiality and people-pleasing.
The two previous weeks have generated a constant struggle of setting boundaries and understanding my own limits. With my sister moving in and my mother visiting, my small, intimate apartment no longer felt like home. Which has nothing to do with how much I love my family, but rather, with the fact that my daily routines and my personal living habits were instantly thrown out the window.
People who are getting to know me during this period were of the opinion that I am rather “rigid”, for refusing to compromise or enable new experiences, due to my desire to stick to my ways of doing things or hold on to certain beliefs. In truth, my beliefs are rightfully based on nearly scientific evidence drawn from previous life experiences and therefore, my coping mechanisms, my keeping distance, my need to take my time and analyse what I am getting myself into, or whether a specific event is making me uncomfortable is nothing but a natural reaction to things that strip away my power.


Accommodating other people’s wants and needs should be fairly easy, especially when you care about the people involved. Right? Wrong! Sometimes, being open, kind, considerate, trusting and loving to those around can end up being a struggle, particularly when your personal boundaries get pushed around and you feel nothing can be done about it. For a while, my soul felt like a slingshot being pulled far beyond its stretchability limit, whose only option at some degree of agency is to ricochet and hit you right in the face.
And hit it has. After a couple of days of restlessness, irritability and dissatisfaction, I realised I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I was eating too much meat and sugar and not enough fruit and veggies, I was spending too much time on my phone and allowing men to be far too intimate and personal, despite the extreme level of discomfort and distress that was causing.
Finally, it dawned on me that the only way by which I could regain my power was to be in my power, to be firm and considerate about my boundaries and to be the one actively asserting them. I started the week with a fresh outlook on things and the first thing I laid eyes on this morning was a quote from the Wizard of Oz saying, “You had the power all along, my dear”.
I was rather ashamed of myself, for having been tangled and trapped in victim mentality, giving away my power and subsequently complaining and being unrealistic about the external contribution to my misery, and failing to see that I had all the necessary tools to turn the situation around.
Nevertheless, understanding that spirituality is a full time job, I tuned back in to gratitude, I ordered some organic white sage to clean up the energies at my place, as well as a new deck of Oracle cards, so that I restore my witchiness and continue my journey of growth, peace, self-confidence and self-love.
On a more positive note, this period has been very beneficial for my body positivity, having determined me to fully embrace my sexuality, after nearly 2 years of emotional and physical retreat, to truly open up to the possibility of being intimate with a man, and by this, I hardly refer to intercourse, but rather, to being truly naked, truly vulnerable, truly living only in the present moment, not wanting to be a step ahead, not wanting to anticipate my next move, not wanting to play hunter chaser, but rather, surrendering to the connection established between two high vibrating souls and wholeheartedly believing in love.

Love,
Vladiana

Manifesting with the Universe

11/11. Described as a Master number, an Angel number, a Guidance number, a Soulmate number, 11/11 is an energetic portal through which dormant potential awakes into unlimited opportunities and generates new beginnings. Its vibration indicates a passage into a new dimensional frequency, a shift towards our Higher Self and the divinity within, towards our capacity of creating, of manifesting new beginnings of harmony, abundance, conscience and love.
11/11 is a reminder of the Law of Attraction, a notice from the Universe pointing out that everything we can imagine is real. A reminder that our 3D experience, our daily reality is a product of our own making and that we have the right and the power to change what no longer serves us and welcome new experiences that grow us into who we’re meant to be.
Two weeks ago, I embarked on Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Abundance Challenge and I was surprised to discover that all it takes to turn your life around is a little practice, a constant contact with your desires, a committed training of mindfulness that starts with a realisation. That you have the immense, unhindered capability of stirring your life in the direction of your choice, and the only thing stopping you is your mind saying: “I can’t”.
Self-doubt is so ingrained into our being, that we hardly ever realise the level of self-sabotaging we expose ourselves to… were we to understand that we alone are the enemies of our success and accomplishment, we would be far more careful about the negativity we allow our egos to whisper into our minds and poison us with.


I had the chance of starting my day with an 11/11 meditation and self-awareness exercise that I would like to share with you, shall you be interested to make the best of today’s beneficial energy and fill yourself with infinite possibilities, in a few easy steps:
1. Start by free-writing for 11 minutes about everything your heart dictates, that brings joy into your life, things that exist in your present and you want to bring into your life in the future.
2. Re-read what you wrote and identify the keywords and activities that stand out.
3. Pick three of the best keywords and activities that resonate with you and write them on a distinct sheet of paper. Put your right hand on your heart and repeat for each word: “I allow myself to feel/do (your words of choice).”
4. Close your eyes and visualise for 11 minutes on what your life would look like once you welcome this beautiful energy in.
5. In light of your meditation, write a clear and brief intent for what you want to manifest into your life, in one sentence.
6. With your hands in prayer position (Anjali Mudra), thank your Higher Self: “I am One; I create my highest life where all my desires are fulfilled. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
In the process, the three concepts that emerged as fundamental for my wellbeing and happiness were DANCE, LOVE and CONNECTION. Suddenly it dawned on me that the reason dance has become such an essential part of my life is the wonderful man I was writing about a few months back. By being such a gentle and considerate dance partner, he brought me back to my soul, helped me trust the connection established between souls in motion and triggered a profound change in my understanding of my body, of the 3D experience, and of Love.
Since I know he is reading these lines, I want him to know I am humbled and grateful for every experience he has enabled me to have, meeting him was a wonderful and transformational gift, received with much anticipation of my 30th birthday.
The life I envision to have as of today, November 11th at 11:11a.m. is one of soul-to-soul connections, of emotional transparency, of shared experiences, of togetherness, of joint contribution to the Universal Good, of celebration of life’s countless blessings, of boundless gratitude for the abundance that flows freely, in and around me. I am confident in my capacity to create this reality, I allow myself to experience love, I allow myself to grow my connections, I allow myself to dance to the sound of life happening.
It honours me to continue sharing glimpses of my journey with you, fellow friend, hoping that you will find the inner strength to silence your ego and to tell yourself “we don’t have time for this negativity”. When you realise you are worth the trouble of making a change, go ahead and embrace your deepest desires, listen to the yearnings of your heart and take that necessary leap of faith of transforming possibility into reality.
To conclude, I will share the outcome of my 11-minute free-writing, so that it may inspire you to begin your own 11/11 transformation and ascension to a higher version of yourself, where you are fearlessly moving in the direction of your dreams.
“I like to sing, dance, sit in nature, watch trees, hear birds chirp, smell the earth and the grass. My heart rejoices at the touch of small animals, birds, kids, and kind, warm and good people. I’m made happy by smiles, laughter, discovering something new, sitting in silence and being grateful for all of Universe’s gifts, for peace, for harmony, for hope, for love, for the present moment.
I like sharing good food with someone I love, telling stories, learning and exploring each other’s souls, establishing ties based on trust, balance, compassion, love, admiration, mutual support and respect; I rejoice when people open up to me and share what they feel, when they offer me the privilege of being by their side on their life’s journey. I am happy to feel useful and appreciated for my usefulness (we serve) and to experience the dignity of a profound and nurturing soul connection.
I like experiencing my body in motion, through dance, sex, passion, and dynamism, and through the senses and sensations that I am able to perceive, which make my heart and my life vibrate. I like feeling touch, hugs, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual contact, I like to enjoy life and to celebrate its gifts. I like to believe in myself, in people, in abundance and in Divine love”.

Love,
Vladiana

Meeting Mama Africa

Akwaba! The Akan word for “welcome”, the expression of a principle of hospitality every Ivorian I crossed paths with seems to be living by. As we were about to land, I could no longer sit still, and it had nothing to do with the 8 hours being seated on the flight. A majestic, spectacular city of Abidjan was opening in front of my eyes, with its luxuriant lagoon stretching under soothing yellow sunbeams, at sunset. I was overjoyed. I was in Africa.
Abidjan was colourful and vivid, bustling with life and possibility, yet peaceful and orderly. One of the first Ivorian spiritual mottos I learned were the words “Dieu dirige”, scribbled in white paint on the back of an orange cab. “God steers”, which is far from reassuring in traffic, yet essential when the faith of being directed onto a right path in life is one’s guiding star and source of hope. Which makes one very aware that he must cease every opportunity and make the best of every experience.
Mama Africa, a metaphor often used to describe the abundance and resourcefulness of the cradle of humanity, is the only right way to describe the rich, nurturing energy you are absorbed into, as soon as you set foot on the continent. A soft bosom of maternal love, translating into breathtaking sunrises, enchanting bird songs, tall and proud palm trees, bountiful rain, noble soil, the texture of brick-coloured ash, that fosters the most exquisite fruit one can ever hope tasting and the kindest, most welcoming people one can ever hope meeting.
Like any good mother, Africa encourages people to let go of fears and inhibitions and embrace their full potential. Whether street vendors, wood carvers, jewellers, painters, furniture makers, street chefs, filmmakers, interpreters, journalists, waiters, restaurant managers, receptionists, hairdressers, cab drivers, hostesses, conference organisers, teachers, academics, development workers, entrepreneurs, IT experts, musicians, dancers or fashionistas, Ivorians are extremely resourceful people, who, beyond their numerous talents and qualifications, also master the essential skill of getting ahead, ambitiously and proudly, despite hardships or setbacks.
This trip of course, didn’t come without the much expected life lessons and revelations. The first one was conveyed in the artisanal market, through the symbol of Ivory Coast, carved in ebony and displayed inside a shop whose vendor taught me the art of negotiation. A family of 5 elephants, aligned from big to small, representing the father, mother and their 3 calves, in order of age. I asked for the meaning behind this, and I was told that in a family, the man stands ahead, because he needs to provide for and protect his family, and has the responsibility of keeping everyone safe. “You don’t put your baby in front of you”, concluded the artist.


When your best friend does Family Constellations, you become familiar with the idea that, in a family, energies and resources are passed from parents to children, from ancestors to the newer generations, and not the other way around. In fact, any attempt to defy this natural flow is a transgression that causes much suffering and turmoil within the offender, regardless of his best intentions. Yet seeing that principle carved in wood resonated so effectively that I finally understood that each family member must take his rightful place, for that is the natural course of life.
Which leads us to lesson number two. Since the male has the natural, biological duty of providing for his family, the mating process of nearly every species consists of the male courting the female, through impressive displays of his might, whether that refers to his genetic inheritance or his capacity of building a nest or defending her, and their offspring, from intruders. Therefore, what I realised is that, in my attempt to be a strong, independent woman, I have constantly undermined most acts of service and displays of power from the men in my life, leading them to believe there was no want nor need of a man in my life.
Finally, since all good things come in threes, my understanding of my femininity required a shift of perspective. I never allowed or appreciated any flattering remarks about my physical appearance. I refused to accept that men found me beautiful or that they were aroused by my curves, because those were the things I failed to appreciate about myself. Instead, I chose to believe that they were attracted by my intelligence, my explosive positivity or my sassiness, which, in fact, have proven to scare quite a few of them off.
Nevertheless, Mama Africa was determined to put an end to that. For a long time, I was intimidated by African women, for they exude an immense confidence and a force not to be reckoned with. They don’t accept to be fooled around and disrespected, and they are not shying away from defending themselves, loud and clear. Being in Ivory Coast offered me the opportunity and the privilege of embracing my female energy. Several compliments, lunch invitations, admiring glances and marriage proposals later, I have come to accept that I can be, at once, strong and beautiful, sexy and sassy.
The greatest gift that Mama Africa showered upon me was an amazing bunch of remarkable people, whom I can now call friends, who have been nothing but loving and kind. After only a couple of days spent together, they showered me with the warmest, tightest, most comforting hugs I had the joy of experiencing, shared a homemade lunch with me, handfed me from their own food, offered me most unexpected and wonderful gifts and souvenirs that I cherish deeply, and honoured me with a local Ivorian name, Aya. All of this humbling display of care, just to show me that, wherever in the world we may be, once we open our hearts to the unexpected and embrace our true selves, we are safe and surrounded by unconditional love.

Love,
Vladiana

Emotional self-defense

Romanians have a superstition, according to which, if a young unmarried woman trips and falls on her knees, she will meet her soulmate and she will get married within the year. Now, for the past 4 years or so, I tripped and fell at least four or five times, and the only thing that did was to make me wonder when I had become so clumsy. That is because the men I met after each of these falls have been the kind of soulmates that bring out tough, ugly lessons about (self)love, standards and boundaries.
I took the last of these falls yesterday morning, on my way out from the metro, after having exchanged phone numbers with a man who has been very persistent in approaching me over the past month, each time we crossed paths on the platform, on our way to work. It made me realise that I may deeply be yearning for shared love and a healthy commitment, but at the same time, I am very closed off and wary of any romantic contact, for fear of being hurt.
You see, about two weeks ago I found out that my massive karmic lesson, whom I took two long years of my life to get over, was going to soon come to Belgium and would potentially want to meet me. Therefore, I embarked on an emotional rollercoaster of possible scenarios, in which I tried to break each single possibility down to the tiniest of details, in order to make sure I would get out of the experience with the least amount of hurt.
In Tarot, there is a card, the 4 of pentacles, represented by a man holding on to a coin tightly and fearfully, clutching it closely in front of his heart chakra, desperately defending some apparent feeling of security and safety that he gets from this small fortune, or else he would feel the earth running from under his feet. Soon I realised this was the energy I was channelling.
I have suffered so deeply from this past relationship, that now, not only was I terrified of meeting my ex again, but also, I was projecting this same fright onto any other potential romantic connection coming my way, for fear of encountering the same low-vibe interaction that would leave me depleted of energy and emotionally devastated. My desire to protect myself was not coming from a place of self-love, but rather, from a place of fear.


Thus, I understood that oftentimes, when we hesitate, when we protect the status quo, what we cling on to for we deem comfortably safe is actually a state of comfortably numb. We practically deter our own evolution and growth towards something better, we stop ourselves in our tracks from moving forward, because we linger onto the past hurt and disappointment, and we believe the only way to avoid learning another tough lesson on love is by avoiding love altogether.
Gladly, I have wise and rational friends, who shake me back into clear and sane reasoning. As I was exemplifying my struggles, my friend asked me a simple question: “What percentage of your expectations concerning a lifelong romantic partner are met by this guy? I am speaking about his concrete behaviours and actions, not his potential”. I soon realised he barely accounts for 20% of what I need in a relationship. My friend continued to say that, as a commitment to self-love, she had decided she would not become involved with men who score less than 80% of her standards.
In order to embrace such a strong and determined stance, it is highly necessary that we be cognizant of ourselves, inside and out, have full mastery of our emotions, and be in alignment with our intuition, and balanced in body, mind and spirit. When we act from a place of profound self-knowledge and self-acknowledgement, we can respond to our true calling, we can follow our North Star and truly use our talents and gifts purposefully, in a committed and dignified manner.
Walking away from incompatible energies that no longer serve our growth is the wisest and kindest decision we can make for our higher purpose. To make room for fresh and nourishing people and experiences in our life, we sometimes need to make the decision to break it off with the past entirely, whereas we cannot control other people’s negative behaviours, but we can control how long we participate in them.
I figured that in order to boost my personal development learning curve before I turn 30, is must learn to say “no” to the people and energies that do not meet me on the same level of emotional intelligence, spiritual evolution and height of vision. I therefore need to avoid love wastage by withdrawing my emotional investment from dead-end relationships and repurpose my resources to nurture myself, and those who appreciate the gift of love.
On a different note, a work colleague surprised me the other day, telling me she had accidentally come across my page, read and liked my articles, and urged me to promote it and increase its outreach, so that more people can benefit from the experiences I share. Therefore, fellow friend, if you count yourself among the beautiful souls who believe in the healing power of love, keep an eye for the upcoming surprises and spread the word if you enjoy reading my thoughts, so that together, we can further spread the love.

Love,
Vladiana