When the going gets tough…

Over the past few months, I forgot to love myself. I kept running in loops, being disappointed in myself, feeling that I am letting myself down and constantly struggling to get myself re-focused and to get redemption, to forgive myself. I kept apologising to my body for mistreating it and consequently falling back into old patterns. I developed emotional coping mechanism of compulsive eating and I kept oscillating in weight, when, in fact, the only thing I needed was to feel loved.

So, what happened there? Oh, fellow friend, but you know already… the enemy of love is fear. And my fear over the past months was that I was still too far from my ideal weight and from my ideal partner. The further away from it I thought I was – the further from it I was getting. Tonight is the furthest I ever felt to be.

Yet an ideal is something imaginary, something perceived by the mind to be perfect and at once unattainable. Therefore, tonight, I decided that on this journey, I am no longer seeking an ideal bodyweight, nor an ideal man to share my life with. As of now, my only destination is reality, truthfulness and agreement with what I hold sacred and dear: the pure and loving voice of my own intuition and conscience.  

I may have met some delays, some bumps in the road, some detours and even some backtracking. Yet all those obstacles have brought me closer to truly understanding where I am headed: to my ultimately true, authentic, natural and perfect self. For I am perfect without being unrealistic and I am perfect without being flawless.

As I write these lines, a quote comes to mind: “Darling, you are much too whole to be loved in halves”. I have finally figured that this saying refers not only to love you receive from outside, from external parties, but also, and probably, above all, to the love you are capable to give yourself, day after day, moment after moment.

In a raw, radical gesture of self-love, I dedicate this publication to myself. It is 04/04 on the night of Catholic Easter. A couple of days back I was talking to my beautiful mum, with whom I permanently have wise debates, uplifting conversations and soul-nourishing insights, and I referred to Genesis 1:27, that says: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” I commented about how being created in God’s own image means precisely that we, as humans, also have the capacity to be creators, and co-creators of the Universe, together with God the Creator. The reality I envisage for myself, the reality I am creating for myself is one of beauty, peace, love, abundance and magnificence.

Therefore, before I await for any commitment with a man, I now commit to myself. I will be faithful to myself and honest with myself; I will respect, trust, help, and care for myself. I will forgive myself as I have been forgiven, and I will try to better understand myself, the world and God; through the best and worst of what is to come, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as I shall live. This is my solemn vow.

At the start of this week, I received an apology letter and I hoped that behind it, there was a secret message of love. I feel it is high time I wrote an apology and love letter to myself, straightforward and clear, so much so that I never have to doubt…

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My beloved Vladiana,

Keep walking, beautiful; the best part of the journey is ahead. You may have gotten lost for a while, but I am here to guide you to yourself. You may have thought that you learnt all the lessons of self-love, and that it was now time to be loved by someone else. You had transformed yourself completely, you were proud of yourself; you were filled with the satisfaction of your achievements and ready to take over the world, and you wanted to share that realm of love for Vladiana with another person. But you, see, my darling girl, the moment you made that decision, you abdicated your throne of self-love.

You forgot just how much hard work, dedication, determination and discipline it had taken you to reach your success. You assumed you could wing it as you went, thinking you were strong and you knew better now, after all that you had been through. Yet here you are – alone in bed at night, crying yourself to sleep because you feel you have failed yourself. But worry not, I am here to wipe your tears and to assure you that everything is going to be alright.

You have not failed, you were simply caught up in the thick fog of your own fears for a while, and that has derailed you from your path. You feared not being good enough, not being lovable enough, not being slim enough, nor beautiful enough to be loved, cherished, admired and appreciated. You then started fearing you would never find a partner, someone who would truly show up and be there for you, just like you were willing to be there for him. Yet, doing that, you forgot to be there for yourself. But worry not, I am here to show you the way back to self-love.

I am infinitely proud of you. Of how you stand tall despite the challenges, how you never surrender, how you are the living example that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. How you always remain kind and loving, even when people fail to see your worth and do not treat you as per your merit. How you keep your vision, your dream ahead of you and you do not budge in your limitless faith that good things can and are happening to you, every moment you are in alignment with your mission.

I am proud of how you are learning to love yourself every day, with small rituals of self-worship, such as your healthy meals or the way you but body lotion on, before bedtime. I am proud of how you stop to smell the flowers, listen to birds chirp, watch children play and observe people live their lives, gracefully or not. I am proud of how you are always ready to help, ready to serve and ready to welcome everyone into that immense and cosy space that is your heart, where one can find a warm meal, a warm blanket or a warm hug.

I love you. I love you and I wish for you to strive, to blossom, to shine your light so brightly that people around would remain in utter awe of your strength and might. I wish for you to fulfil your goals, to finalise the divine mission you were sent for, that of enjoying every single moment of your existence here on Earth, fear-free, guilt-free, carefree and sometimes, gluten-free.

I would love nothing more, nothing would make me a greater honour than if you were to trust me and allow me to be your teammate on this adventure. I will hold you, soothe you, cheer you on, comfort you, caress you, encourage you and treat you with nothing but supreme, devoted, constant, peaceful and life-giving unconditional love.

Love,

Vladiana

Red Thread of Fate

Fellow friend, let me tell you a story about fate. Today is the Chinese New Year. I had waited for this day so impatiently, thinking it would be bubbling with potential, imagining it would redeem me from all the failures and mistakes I made since January 1st, it would amend all of my wrongdoings and set me back on my path, on a timeline of self-love and wisdom.

About a month ago, I dreamt that I was in a Chinese store, where the shop woman was selling me a bracelet, made of a red string and adorned with seashells. She was explaining that I must wish upon this bracelet and renew my oath and commitment towards my wish every 30 minutes. Funnily enough, on the same day, two different people told me about rituals involving chanting or repetition of mantras every 30 minutes.

And while I was never one to relate to Chinese customs and traditions, this dream spoke to me. I started researching about wish bracelets, red string bracelets and the many traditions in which this simple red thread, wrapped and tied around one’s wrist, can symbolise love, union with a life partner, a lucky charm, a reminder of commitment, a protection talisman, or a wish-fulfilling token.

According to the omniscient Google, in the Chinese tradition, the Red Thread of Fate (also known as the Red Thread of Marriage) symbolises the invisible ties that bring together those who are destined to meet one another, for they are soulmates. In Kabbalah, a red string, worn on the left wrist (thought to be the receiving side of the spiritual body) is used to ward off the evil eye and protect the wearer of any misfortune.

I decided to get myself a red string, which I was planning on wearing on New Moon’s day, on the day of the Chinese New Year, in order to connect with my deepest, truest desires. Said and done, I ordered a package that, inevitably, came with two bracelets, as intended for any couple willing to tie the knot (of a bracelet, and of a lifetime). I thought I would wear one, and my sister could use the other. That, fellow friend, is when the Universe decided to come out and play.  

A couple of days ago, the eve of the New Moon, my sister told me that her boyfriend wanted a red thread bracelet as well, and asked me where she could get one. I directed her to the Chinese store nearby, where the sweet man behind the counter, his joyful and playful eyes and immaculate white hair and goatee informed her that such a red thread was not to be bought, but should rather be received as a gift.

Meanwhile, the energy of renewal was growing on me, ever stronger. I was determined to clear out all my weaknesses, all my addictions, all my compulsive behaviours (most specifically, binge eating), all of my self-sabotaging beliefs and attitudes, all that was keeping me small, all that was impeding my evolution on my Path.

I decided that I was going to welcome this breath of fresh air in a state of complete purity and cleanliness, and I started dusting my place (which was long overdue). As I got to the bookshelf and started moving things around, a red thread that I had used as a bookmark, fell from between the pages of a book. A Chinese bracelet, which I received as a complementary gift for a purchase I made, months ago, and which I had completely forgotten about.

That was the Universe’s way of setting everything into place. A perfectly orchestrated response to everyone’s wishes. My sister and her boyfriend were getting red string bracelets as a gift from me, to use as witness of their connection. I was getting a single red thread, as a gift all the way from China, to mark my oath to my wishes. Then, fear arose. What should I wish for, what should I commit myself to? To paraphrase a well-known song, “I asked the Universe, what will I be? “Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?” Here’s what she said to me: Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see”.

Well, in truth, the Universe did not respond in that many words. She simply made my red thread vanish, nowhere to be found, despite my desperate search, despite my turning the whole house upside down all throughout the day. Until about half an hour ago, after I had started writing these ramblings and my sister revealed it, right under my eyes, on my bed, with a simple flick of my duvet.

Now, fellow friend, let me tell you while I started writing in the first place. I began this year under Deepak Chopra’s tender guidance, drafting my vision for 2021, creating a vision board containing the spirit of how I wanted this year to look like, and redoing the 21-day Abundance Challenge, in the company of a beautiful man, who has been my travel companion for the past 2 months or so.

Slowly but steadily, I started visualising my toned body, my daily mindfulness and self-love practices, my future beautiful flat, with big, wide-open windows and flowy white curtains, filled with candles and incense, comfortable cushions, somebody to love (me), a cat, happy and loud friends over dinner and game nights, and my Prana patients and Tarot clients.

I equally re-connected with a beautiful soul and a creator of magic at Magic Roots, who selflessly offered to guide and support me in identifying my goals and building towards my spiritual business, a holistic place of love and non-judgement, combining coaching, tarot, Prana healing. She shared valuable teachings and insights, the most recent of which, last night, was about the feminine and masculine energies.

Technically, she reminded me that we are both the receiver and the provider, and that our inner masculine energy provides constantly. Therefore, whenever we are in scarcity, lack or poverty mentality, the imbalance is on the receiving, feminine side. All the more reasons to wear a red thread bracelet on my left wrist, on my receiving, feminine side.

Bombarded by all the information, I started doubting, wondering and going through a whirlwind of thoughts and fears, as to what best wish to wish upon my bracelet would be. Should I wish for an apartment? Should I wish for a prosperous spiritual business? Should I wish for a committed relationship? Should I simply wish for the harmonious and unhindered manifestation of my inner Empress, of my Divine Feminine?

As I continued being confused, I also continued becoming increasingly frustrated with the disappearance of my red bracelet. I consequently overate, which is what I have done very often lately, every time I felt scared, abandoned, dissatisfied, fearsome, insecure and alone in the face of big decisions and transformations. And that has happened more than I care do admit.

I was however saved by Netflix and a little film I watched this evening, called “Love beats rhymes”, a love story peppered with hip-hop and slam poetry, which I absolutely loved. The leitmotif of this movie were the following phrases:

“As you learn to love yourself better, teach me.

As you learn to forgive yourself for failing, teach me.

As you learn to accept strength and vulnerability, teach me”.

I stopped for a moment and decided to teach myself love and forgiveness, to accept my wrongdoings and my failures as part of a learning process, to accept my fears as a trampoline helping me break free of the shackles of my own self-imposed or self-accepted limitations. And to commit my bracelet to my one true goal: raw, honest, in-your-face, straightforward and can’t-live-without (self)love.

On this day of pure potentiality, I hereby commit myself to Oneness, I commit myself to seeing myself in all there is, I commit to seeing the Divine light in me, I commit to seeing my connection with Nature’s abundance, I commit to pursuing my mission, I commit to living plentifully.

And I commit myself to you. I commit to seeing myself within you, I commit to loving you, purely, honestly, calmly, freely, unconditionally. And I vow be here for you, fellow friend, just as I vow to be here for myself. I vow to pick myself up and continue every time I fall, to encourage and support myself whenever I am lost or afraid, to comfort myself whenever I am hurt, to forgive myself whenever I fail, and to perpetually shower myself with infinite forgiveness, abundance, harmony, healing and love.

Love,

Vladiana

Be in the Now

As it goes, the 1st of the year is when we do our personal and professional accounting of the 365 days that have gone by, adding up numbers of achievements, disappointments, successes and losses and figuring out what adventure we embark onto next, in the year ahead.

But, as it has been said and repeated again and yet again, this past year has not been like any other, for we have been confronted with a global-sized magnifying mirror that we had to face, showing us all our ugly sides, all our imperfections, everything that could go wrong and did, when we acted mindlessly, selfishly and dividedly.

Yet, to many of us, it has also been the God-sent answer to our desire of focusing on the essential, of appreciating what is important, of investing our energy in the thoughts, words, actions, places and people that make us bloom into love, peace and harmony.

I have been disconnected from writing for quite a while now, because I have been busy making sense of myself and of the profound metamorphosis that my body and mind have undergone since the world has been grounded and forced to reflect about its deeds and wrongdoings. Yet today marks the 2-year anniversary of Curvy Buddha, 2 years since my conscious journey of self-love has begun, so this day cannot slip into the past before I send some love and gratitude into the world.

Today, Curvy Buddha is curvy no more, but her soul is still full of roundness, of plenty, of richness. Being confronted with my fear (of death, essentially) has thrown me into the depths of my soul, making me inspect my self-limiting beliefs, attitudes and actions, and dissolve them, one by one. The secret for that, I learned, was to develop healthy and consistent routines that I integrated into my daily practice, until they became a quintessential pillar of my day-to-day life.

One of the mottos I attempted to live by over the course of this past year has been “Mens sana in corpore sano” – a healthy mind in a healthy body. Realising that my thoughts, words and actions must be aligned with my intentions, and that my manifestation into the world ought not to be incongruent with my image or idea of what I would like to be, I had to slowly learn how to be someone new.  

Having lost more than 43 kilos of weight has been particularly challenging to wrap my mind around, because I had to learn to be a new person, one that I had not been in longer than I could remember. This new person needed to be handled with love and care, because she was oblivious to many things, such as self-respect, self-discipline, self-commitment and self-accountability.

It takes 9 months for a human seed to develop into a baby. It has taken me the same amount of time to learn these forms of self-love, thoroughly nourishing them, integrating the scattered pieces of my multi-dimensional existence into one of wholeness, of mindfulness, of Oneness and Unity between the world and I, as well as between my physique, psyche and anima.

Two years ago, on the very first article I wrote, I was introducing the “Project Happiness”, the list of things I had to do in a day, in order to create and maintain my own happiness, as a self-replenishing and self-recharging source of joy and wellbeing. Looking back and reading through the items on the list, I can say, humbly and gratefully, that today, I am happy. Now, I will tell you how I do just that, in hope it might bring some inspiration for your own recipe of happiness.

Much of my day revolves around the teachings of the Prananadi practice, spiritual school whose disciple I am humbled and grateful to be. As of late, I have been observing a clean, organic, mostly plant-based diet, free from meat, alcohol, coffee and more recently, gluten. As soon as I wake up, I give myself an energy treatment, during which I convey my gratitude to the Source of all things, for my life, for what I am and what I have, as well as for the opportunity of seeing the dawn of a new day on this beautiful Earth. I make my bed, open the window to invite the day in, tidy my living space up, and then I wash up, brush my hair, moisturise my skin and put some clean, comfy clothes on.

I move on to doing my morning yoga (the 5 Tibetan Rites, Lu Jong and prostrations). I kick-start my body with a shot of aloe vera, a glass of water and daily supplements and make myself a beautiful and nutritious breakfast bowl, with the goal of eating 10+ fruit and veggies per day. I take the extra time for plating and snap a quick photo of it, as a testimony of my self-love rituals. Breakfast is regularly the time when I connect with my family, sending love, blessings and greetings in the family WhatsApp group. It is also the time during which I watch cooking videos and get inspired for new recipes and dishes to try.

It has been 3 months already since I started working out, 3 days a week, in order to tone my muscles and regain some firmness and elasticity, to combat the saggy and loose skin I got as a reminder of my transformation. Alternatively, I prance around the house practicing my dance moves and learning new ones, with loud music blasting around the whole joint.

Every chance I get, I thank the people in my life for existing, for sticking around, for their unconditional love and support, for the myriad of ways in which they enrich my spirit and I make sure to say it, loud and clear, so that they know at every moment that they are loved, cared for, appreciated and cherished infinitely. I show the same love to my houseplants and my beloved tree, Xaya, whom I am sure you know by now.

In the afternoon or evening, I do a quick grounding exercise or a meditation, in order to recalibrate my spirit and tune back in to the energy that flows through all things. I make sure to shower before going to bed, in order to purify the energies and wash off all the excess, the worries, the stress accumulated throughout the day. I end my day with another session of prayers, thanking the Universe for everything I managed to accomplish and for the protection, drive and purpose it has granted me with, for my endeavours.

In short, I live simply and plentifully, enjoying the little things, savouring the present moment, not planning ahead, allowing life to take its course and to take me where I am needed, sometimes back to myself, sometimes in that space of love and compassion where I can meet you, fellow friend, to remind you to cease the moment.

Therefore, my wish for you, and for myself, as we are stepping more firmly into this New Year, is to enjoy every second of every day, in every way that you can. Challenge yourself, move out of your comfort zone, confront your fears, become your best ally, shower yourself with proofs of love, discipline yourself into accomplishing your vision, forgive yourself for the times you fail to follow through, practice mindfulness, be accountable and own up to the ways in which you deliberately or unconsciously hurt yourself and others. Learn to say “no” to what harms you and “yes” to what nourishes you.

Finally, for the past few weeks, another reference has resurfaced in my life, that of The Four agreements, principles to live by in order to attain spiritual freedom and to life fully and happily. If you have not read the book, I recommend you try it out; it is an easy and eye-opening manual of holistic wellness. If you don’t plan to, just know that the agreements are:

1: Be Impeccable With Your Word.

2: Don’t Take Anything Personally.

3: Don’t Make Assumptions.

4: Always Do Your Best.

As you build towards a healthier, stronger, wiser, more peaceful, more abundant, more loving, more connected self, remember that the key to all closed doors, the medicine to every pain, the source of every success is Love. Therefore, fellow friend, in the year ahead, breathe love, think love, speak love, act love. Be love.

Love,

Vladiana

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