Storytelling your life

Few years back, in an attempt to extend my stay in Belgium after my Master’s, I took a course in Visual and Experimental Anthropology, the purpose of which was to teach us to produce our own ethnographic films. That, of course, included the learning of video production techniques. During the first video production class, our trainer, and later on my mentor, Stef, gave us a presentation on the power of storytelling.
He explained the importance of a strong narrative in movie making, relating it to the fact that stories are the easiest way to convey messages, to trigger emotions, to teach and to implement a system of values and beliefs into people. Stories are relatable and simple to understand and internalise, since they appeal to human empathy and they are the tool by which children learn about the world, creating their behavioural and ethical matrix.
I was never a fan of learning as preached and practiced in the academic environment, simply because my mind works in a very simple, empirical manner, I usually learn by doing or I learn by relating to human stories. I remember very little of the vast knowledge I accumulated throughout the years in school. I do however remember books I read, I remember movies I watched, I remember folktales and anecdotes, I remember jokes, song lyrics, paintings, landscapes and faces that have touched my soul, and I remember feelings.
Unsurprisingly, I also interact with people in an anthropological manner. My close friendships, my new acquaintances, are ethnographic works, in which I humbly, respectfully, curiously, religiously receive, cherish and preserve information about another human’s feelings, habits, system of beliefs and consequently actions, which are reflective of this inner universe and reflective of how my fellow humans choose to experience life and the world.
Oftentimes, when people ask me for advice, I relate to examples. I tell them a story, which I associate with the situation presented, and I explain the solutions found and the outcomes of that specific instance, as a possible alternative to the issue with which they are struggling. More often than not, this form of personal coaching through storytelling has worked for those around me.


When my mind finally opened to the scientific reasons why storytelling is such a powerful way of communicating and interacting with peers, I understood that storytelling is something we also use to visualise, to attract and create our own version of reality. Many of us find it difficult to believe in something that we have never seen; therefore, envisaging a hypothetical reality can be a difficult exercise to put into practice.
As surreal as it might seem, the movie “Groundhog Day” is what most people call “life”. The other day, I saw an article about a photographer shooting commuters for 9 years, only to disclose the dehumanising level of routine that people are often trapped in, to the extent to which they perpetually wear the same outfits, take the same routes and practice the same habits.
The only difference being that their inner fire turns lower and lower, the light in their eyes dimmer and dimmer. We often get trapped in a time loop, in which our minds keep playing the same episode of life on and on, we continuously meet the same characters, have the same struggles, fight the same arguments, suffer the same disappointments and encounter the same frustrations.
I invite you to become the hero of your own story today. Turn the page, start fresh. There is a white sheet in front of you, go ahead and fill it with a good tale. Buckle up for a new adventure; use your hesitation and doubt as fuel, head off into the unknown with the sword of your heart’s Truth in your hand. It will help you slay that big, scary dragon called Fear. Fight selflessly, for the sake of the common good, but not compromising on your principles. Take allies with the superpower of Love, who will be there to heal you when you are hurt or wounded, and go bravely in the direction of your dream.
Find your Prince, charming in his honesty and silly quirks; your Cinderella turned Queen through hard work and resilience; your Kingdom of Eternal Life and Youth, which you build by remaining happy, positive and committed to your joy; your Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow, or maybe, just focus on chasing the rainbow. That will tune your soul into a frequency of abundance and limitless riches, and the material gains will not fail to appear.
Be the Hero that the whole of humanity needs. In touch with your emotions. Respectful of the sensibilities of others, ready to fight for a good cause and to vow your life mission to combatting injustice, stereotypes, inequality and hatred. Willing to go the extra mile for the sake of love, for the sake of happiness, for the sake of emotional and mental safety and balance. Brave enough to finish chapters which no longer serve you, and mindful enough to start new chapters in which you reach to a happy end.
And I hope that this story that you choose to write and live as of now will be filled with Love.

Love,
Vladiana

Family contracts

This past week, I had the chance of reconnecting with my cousin, whom I had not seen since he was a toddler. In the meantime, he has grown into a charming, smart, incredibly funny, brilliant teenager, who, like all teenagers, needs a safe and loving environment in which to expand, learn and embrace all that he is, as a social individual, as a young man, as a sexual person, as a romantic partner.
Before his arrival, I had a short-lived moment of panic, worrying about the logistics of hosting him, about the way in which each of us would manage to keep their autonomy and personal space, while sharing my flat for a few days, about the activities that we would be able to pursue together, given the age gap and different interests.
As you are well aware, the past few months have been an excellent occasion for me to get to know my desires and limits, and that has made me very protective of my private space, I do not like unwelcome guests, very few people have come over, and I have kept my house off-limits for people whose energy felt intrusive. Therefore, this new experience was challenging to my understanding of home, of family ties, of duty versus pleasure and of the way in which I respond to novelty and to the unknown.
Turns out, once your heart is open, things run a lot smoother course than you could possibly predict. I had a great time with my cousin, learning about who he is as a person, about his interests and tastes in music, fashion, food, travel destinations and lovers, his extra-curricular activities, his aspirations and life plans. We discovered we had so much in common, which was fantastic to see; we discovered we also disagreed about some things (namely, my fashion choices) and most importantly, we discovered that we were ready to get to know one another by sharing new experiences and pushing our limits beyond our comfort zone.
I was never one to put much emphasis on family ties, to me, the definition of family stretches as far as my sister, my mum and my granny, everyone else falling under the category “people whom I share the same bloodline with”. Nevertheless, I was always excited to hear my granny’s stories about her childhood home, parents, grandparents, siblings and extended family and always happy to be her fellow companion in her trips down memory lane. That way, I got to know a lot about my ancestry.


My friend is doing Family Constellations, and while I never really felt that the concept of family and particularly ancestry are more than simple storylines that we happen to find ourselves in, I have great appreciation and interest in knowing how sharing a bloodline and a family tree affects the day-to-day experiences of people.
I learned that traumas can be hidden in decisions made by some family member several generations up the line, that someone’s life choices can affect the whole system; that genetics are more than just skin-deep and understanding family dynamics can unleash one’s full potential, by setting them free from a paradigm, from a matrix of behaviour that is kin-specific.
There are cultures around the world that cherish their family ties to such an extent that ancestors become guardians of the family, having godly traits and manifesting themselves in the lives of the living, through protection, guidance and the inheritance of a governing principle of life and behaviour, to which the successors must comply.
Nevertheless, I am one to believe that “the vibe attracts the tribe”, and I am convinced that I share more common visions and life principles with my dear friends, that I have chosen after careful consideration, so we may guide each other, rather than with some great-great-great-great-grandfather I have never met. Although, wherever his soul may be, he probably has the best intentions that I strive and fulfil my potential. Furthermore, he is probably guiding my path; although there is no guilt and no responsibility attached to it, for, in my definition of “family”, you come together with the people who want the best for you.
Having gotten to spend time with my cousin, I realised that not only are we related, but also, I choose him as family. The sharing of love, of care, of thoughts, of experiences, of food, of laughter did not come from a sense of duty, did not come from my urge of being hospitable, did not come from trying to impress or comply to specific standards which are expected when being around family members. It came from a shared view of the world, from a shared approach to life, from shared principles and interests. It came from a deep understanding that bloodline is a matter of unconditional love and choosing what is best for one another.
Therefore, my fellow friend, I hope you choose the family that makes your soul bloom, the family that wants to see you happy, the family that allows you to manifest your spirit freely, the family that gives you the freedom to err, the family that forgives you unconditionally, the family that supports you no matter what, because they know you’d do the same for them. Shall you ever find yourself in doubt, choose love, knowing that a man is not where he lives, but where he loves.

Love,
Vladiana

The night when skies open

Midsummer is a magical time, a time of creation, a time of manifestation, a time when the boundaries between reality and desire vanish into the warm summer breeze. Over the past few days, “intuition” was the keyword, governing every realm of 3D existence, bridging between imagination and materialization of thoughts. The Summer solstice didn’t hold back from teaching me how infinitely powerful our minds can be, when we allow them to catch up with our hearts.
2 nights ago I woke up from a dream which focused on the power of co-creating with the Universe. As if depicted in stained glass, the storyline of this dream was falling together like pieces of a divine puzzle, in which there is no limit to how far one can go, in which everything you can imagine is real. My dream followed the story of two soul-mates, a man and a woman, who were actively manifesting and attracting each-other into one-another’s life. So powerful was their bound, that once they awakened to their desire, they were able to warp time, shift shape, teleport and transform reality with the omnipotent power of love, so as to come together into union.
Just a few hours later, I have come to realise that there is no such thing as a coincidence, and everything happens for a reason. The Universe has a funny way of turning people’s plans upside down, in a matter of minutes, so as to allow for the strongest storyline to manifest itself, to come to fruition. It patiently gives us clues of that which is expected to occur, and all we have to do is tune in to this same vibration. All forms of resistance are futile, and the stronger we try to cling onto an idea, the harder the Universe will work to bring us exactly where we have to be. Even when that place is a stone’s throw away from home.
Just like the pieces of the divine puzzle in my dream, the Universe showed me that you can take the mundane and familiar and change it into anything you want, by simply expressing an intention. The park next to my house became a fantastic realm of fireworks, marijuana and anti-fascist hip-hop, catering to the desires of the beautiful soul whom, for a couple of hours, I accompanied in this journey of “living life”. Turns out that, interestingly enough, life is exactly what we make of it.
As we get caught up in responsibilities, in fears, in doubts, in routines, in hesitation, in procrastination, we fail to understand that our intuition is our guiding star, that our path takes us to a destination which is aligned with our souls and all we have to do is be true to our heart’s calling, having the infinite faith that we deserve and we will receive everything that we want, when what we want is soul-nurturing, eye-opening and heart-lifting. Having hopes and desires of love, peace, harmony and abundance is not a selfish act. It is the very purpose of our existence, which we put on hold, because we mistrust that the Divine grace will grant us our wishes.


In Romanian mythology, tonight (June 24th) is a night of celebration, a night of mystical experiences, a night of magic, when heavens open, making all desires of love come true. Midsummer fairies dressed in bohemian white dresses, flowers in their hair, dance around bonfires in the fields, casting love spells, uttering those hidden desires and sending them out into the Universe, so as to bring the man of their dreams into their lives.
Faithful to the messages that the Universe kept sending me over the past few days, I am taking this moment to become a Midsummer fairy of love, wishing for myself, and for the beautiful people in my life: may tonight’s Moon cleanse away our fears, our sorrows, our pains and soothe our hearts, so we may allow ourselves to feel. May tonight’s North Star heal us and guide us towards the accomplishment of our mission. May tonight’s Air carry away the clogged, heavy energy of our day-to-day struggles and bring us peace of mind, confidence and inspiration to carry on. May tonight’s magical Fire light up the passions of our hearts, so we may allow the flame of love and the vision of a bright future guide our steps. May tonight’s fertile Earth ground us and bring us stability, strength and determination to pursue our dreams. May tonight’s holy Water nurture us with endless streams of fresh, clear, pure love, so that our hearts may know the calm and comfort of Divine, unconditional abundance.
May the Sun at dawn remind us that every day is a new chance to make a choice that will turn our life around, for the better. And may the Universe grant us the wisdom to see and accept and embrace all of its countless blessings. Amen.
Take a moment, beautiful soul, to connect to the desires of your own heart, take a moment, fellow friend, to understand who you are and where you’re headed, take a moment to take flight and to allow yourself to rest and to heal, take a moment to allow the Universe to surprise you with fulfilled desires. And may you desire for love.

Love,
Vladiana

The life you think you deserve

Sometimes, people need messages and Divine guidance, in order to know which way to turn, which choice to make. I recently confessed that I turn to “Sex and the City” for such clarity, because I love the series, because it tackles pretty much every shade of the spectrum of experiences that a woman my age can have, because it takes roughly 30 minutes before I receive my revelations, and it is slightly more entertaining than meditation. Soulful Revolution and Sadhguru, whom I referred to lately, are right there, next to Carrie Bradshaw.
They have taught me that the way to get what we want, is to co-create with the Universe. That Karma means action, and the action we must take is that of making mindful choices about the way we experience life. That implies manifesting, sending out a robust, well-defined request about our heart’s desires, so they may come into our path. It’s like ordering pizza, and knowing the delivery guy will bring it right at your door. Oftentimes, that doesn’t happen as a conscious process, but rather as a result of being fed up with the feeling of hunger, of lacking that which we know we need and deserve.
A few months back, before becoming fully aware of the concept of manifesting and co-creating, I was pouring my heart out to my friend, on WhatsApp, stating loud and clear what I wanted from a relationship with a life partner. This is what I wrote at the time:
“I want a Man who will kiss me. Passionately. Chastely. Who will hold my hand and not be afraid to display affection in public. Who will pull me in his arms and squeeze me so hard, as if to incorporate me in his body. A Man who will want me, and find me beautiful, and shower me with proofs of love. A Man who will call me just to hear my voice. A Man who will make me smile, because he likes seeing me smile. A Man who will put his face between my hands, because he wants to be caressed and touched.
A Man who will kiss my hands, and cheeks, and forehead, and tummy tucks, and neck, and who will massage my shoulders gently. A Man who will make me laugh hysterically, and run with me, and chase me, and play hide and seek with me, without hesitation or shame. A Man who’s not afraid to share the richness of his spirit. A Man who will like my family and friends, and respect them. A Man who, even when he is worried or upset or angry, is not mean and doesn’t punish me for his problems.
A Man who will want my children so much, that he will convince me it’s the right thing to do, no matter the circumstances… a Man who will assure me, and will be assured by me, and won’t second-guess my love for him. A Man who will know that people can make mistakes and be afraid at times, but Love conquers all. A Man who will caress my hair, and pride himself with me to the people he knows.
A Man who will understand me, and will encourage me to speak to him about what’s on my mind. A Man who is ready for the responsibility of building a relationship with me. A Man who will be willing to fall back in love with me, on, and on, and on, and who will tell me that he loves me, without thinking that would diminish his masculinity.”
That is what one might define as the Divine Masculine. An energy of intention brought to action, an energy that gives – taking pleasure, fulfilling its mission in allowing the Divine Feminine to receive, so that she may expand, grow, create, birth – whether it is the birth of ideas, projects, art, children, love, or life. The energy of a Man who is grounded and confident in his own capacities, in his own path, and knows that loving a woman doesn’t deter him from becoming his true self, but rather supports him in the journey.


A couple of days ago, my beloved Mary Jo of Soulful Revolution mentioned being a great husband to herself, meaning becoming, actively acting towards oneself with the love, care and consideration that one could expect from their significant other. It suddenly dawned on me that there is still plenty of self-loving that I must do, before I receive my delivery of the man I asked for.
How can I expect him to kiss my cheeks and tummy tucks, when I pinch them in the mirror, wishing they were smaller? How can I demand that he shows public displays of affection and prides himself with me, when I walk with my head down, not shining the light of self-confidence around me? How can I imagine that he would love me, before I love myself enough to deeply understand, and to remind myself every day that I am worthy of love?
What’s more, they deepened my conviction that I have the power to create my path and my experiences, to navigate them, allowing and welcoming that which brings me closer to my mission, and making sure that nothing goes unnoticed or unprocessed, while at the same time, making sure that nothing which is detrimental to my growth lingers for too long.
I have started praying more, talking to the Universe, claiming my right to Love, claiming my right to dignity and equality in human interactions, claiming my right to information, knowledge and awareness about the life I live. I also started asking the Universe to only facilitate those emotions, situations and encounters which I must come across in my path, in order to heal past wrongs and to create new perspectives.
And I am sharing this with you, because I asked the Universe to allow me to be, to my best ability, of service to those around me. It is my hope that you, fellow friend, can find in my words the lesson, the encouragement, the support, the strength and the love that you need to move forward and to continue tapping into that infinite source of Abundance, which is only a wish away from coming true.

Love,
Vladiana

SMART goals of happiness

I recently started noticing that hesitation is the verbal expression of fear. I often heard the phrase “I will try my best”, “I try to be happy” over the past few days, and I understood the profound element of non-action which is involved in this phrase. Trying is intention, doing is action. Yet in order to do, one must have that foolish confidence, that beautiful craziness of jumping right into the thing that scares them, which is also the thing that frees them, redeems them, brings them the joy, the satisfaction, the accomplishment, the abundance, the “wish granted”.
Furthermore, we are often tangled in our daily realities, and although our hearts make a wish, and our minds set the goal, in a firm and explicit manner: “I will do this”, “I will go there”, reality catches up with the thought, and throws in hesitation, in the form of temporal confusion. We then say “sometime”, “soon”, thus leaving our happiness hanging in a place of space-time non-determination.
Performance levels in most of our corporate or administrative jobs are evaluated following a set of parameters, which are based on the initial phase of setting SMART goals, with the purpose of helping us clarify our ideas and focus our efforts in a time-bound context, in order to achieve our desires. If we can do that about our jobs, why not about our lives? Why must we postpone our well-being? Why must we allow fears of all kinds to dictate the pace at which we live our life plentifully?


Life is a succession of choices we make, to either be happy or be miserable. It takes an enormous amount of effort to make the conscious decision of starting to live life in one’s own terms, pursuing one’s own path. Because what that implies, is to take action towards happiness, and our scarcity mindset throws us into submission, by repeatedly telling us that we cannot have it all. You cannot have the perfect job, you cannot have the perfect home, you cannot have the perfect relationship and you cannot have everything you ever wanted.
A few weeks ago, there was this one day when I actually argued with my Ego. I had recently begun to be aware of the concept of “the body’s memory”. Our skin, our corporeality is a database of memories and emotions connected to these, recalling every touch, every wound, every bruise and every moment of passion, every harassment, every orgasm, and every embrace. Listening to Sadhguru, I learned that you can consciously wash away some of these events which are stored skin-deep.
So I laid down in bed, relieving the memories of love and hurt that my body had experienced, and vowing my body to that “soulmate”, that one man who would know how to touch it in a gentle, considerate, loving way. As I was doing that, I heard my Ego whisper “But he won’t like you, you’re fat”. I fought back. “You little bastard, I may be fat. But I am beautiful and clever and I will love him, and keep him warm, and cook for him, and he will love me”.
That is when I realised that our fear, our Ego, works in subtle ways, making us doubt our potential, making us doubt our choices, making us doubt our very sanity, when we dare see beyond the reality of our experience and remember our inner voice and tune in to our heart’s desires. That is why I know that we actually can silence our Ego. All it takes is a firm voice, and a personal truth that is greater than fear. A truth as sharp and bold as a sword.
Therefore, my beautiful soul, my fellow friend, I summon you to take a moment to ask yourself “Who am I? Am I this fear, am I this doubt, or am I abundance, joy and love? What do I want? Do I want to live comfortably numb, or do I want to be bravely happy? What am I willing to do for my dream? Will I try to make it happen, or rather begin making it happen?”
This is a call to true action. When the SMART goal is one’s fulfillment, one’s true path, there is no time to waste, because the deadline is tight. It expands as far as this lifetime, and you are in the here-now to have this experience, as this individual that you are, as this soul that must live according to its own timeline, its own truth, its own love and happiness.
Embrace the opportunities that life throws at you. Make room for the experiences that you want to have by discarding those that keep you stuck in a place of fear and self-doubt, and go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Things might not always work out. Oh, but… what if they do?

Love,
Vladiana

Greeting the Inner Goddess

Namaste. A phrase which I fully understood only a couple of days ago, on Easter Day, after a discussion with my mum. Apparently, she and I have been talking about God ever since I was 3 of age, and together, we have made some important breakthroughs in the understanding of the Divine. Most of which have happened over the past few months, unsurprisingly, because that is when we became all the more aware of our inner sacredness, and we started recognising the Divine in one another, on a deeply intimate level.
A while ago, I found myself in the situation of having to explain Jesus’ divine and human nature to a remarkable young lady, process which, of course, meant that I had to understand and clarify my own thoughts on the topic. And I came to the conclusion that Jesus can be, at once, 100% human and 100% godly, with no contradiction between those two natures. There seems to be agreement among religious and spiritual people, concerning the fact that there is a seed of divinity in every human being. Therefore, while we are 100% human, we also have the potential of manifesting our divine nature. Whereas mere mortals may only manifest 0.1% of the divine in them, a spiritual leader of the level of Jesus must have manifested his godliness entirely, the full 100% of it.
Having this realisation, awakened the divine seed inside me. Since I believe that God is the name given to Infinite Love, the Goddess in me is very aware of the situations in which she is challenged on a level having to do with the free, unhindered manifestation of Love, in and around her. And there has been quite a lot of that in the past while, which only made my inner Goddess stronger.
Last week I struggled with something as trivial as a couple of jokes directed at my genitalia. While I happen to be very open about sexuality, and I rarely take offense when I am the subject of humour and entertainment, I found it very difficult to accept that a part of me which is so intimate, private, and delicate could feel so exposed, so vulnerable and so ultimately hurt by a bunch of meaningless words. Having to come to terms with the pain and disappointment that the respective remarks were made by someone I had put all my faith and confidence in, it got me thinking of my past experiences and concluding that oftentimes, sex is used as a weapon of the profane against the godliness of our bodies and spirits.


Which is why I started a debate with my mum on the topic of sexuality, and the fact that many people wrongly use sex to assert power, instead of that which it’s meant for: offering pleasure, enjoying a shared experience, cherishing and conveying affection to another fellow human, celebrating and adoring their divine nature. Getting someone to sleep with you is perceived as an achievement of sorts, as something to take pride in, which, in the minds of many, grants them power of domination over their partner. Therefore, a game of seduction that has the sole purpose of culminating with sex is entirely disregarding the sacredness of that act, the higher level connectivity which it creates between two people.
The power claim and the struggle it brings about are simply manifestations of fear, of powerlessness, of one’s own vulnerability, which they are trying to project on somebody else, in order to feel in control. It is why the bullied become the bullies, as a response mechanism to their own frights and traumas, believing that by inflicting the same treatment on someone else, they might regain their sense of self-value and establish their own status.
My inner goddess has always had an immense capacity to be loving and nurturing to everyone that has solicited that, to anyone that displayed honest vulnerability, to anyone that had put down their walls and allowed me to get to know their true self, humble, kind, beautiful and ready to love and be loved. Nevertheless, I have now come to the understanding that when people are hurt, they forget about their divine nature and dive into fear, and in those instances, they lose contact with their inner God. And while my inner Goddess may still be able to see and cherish someone else’s divinity, the fact that they don’t see and perceive their own godliness prevents them from seeing the divine in me, because we can only relate to things which we are familiar with from our own experience, we can only mirror what already exists within us.
And my Goddess, in her infinite love and infinite patience, knows better than to expect validation from anyone else. She knows her divine nature, and she is ready to manifest it in every instance. She will stand her ground, she will always remember that she is light and love, she will only allow in her Temple those who will treat her with utmost respect, gratitude, reverence, being ready to adore her, to appreciate her, to be humble and loving, for they know that I, in my turn, will recognise and bow to the Divine in them, creating harmony, perpetuating love, generating beauty and increasing the sacredness within us both. I am thus ready for a monotheistic relationship, in which me and my partner will only adore the Divine in one another. And live and love under the principle of this simple word: Namaste.

Love,
Vladiana

Cards you’ve been dealt

A few months back, my friend introduced me to Soulful Revolution, a YouTube channel for mindful, spiritual tarot readings which are meant to offer guidance to people who, like me, are trying to understand the free-flowing energy of love, and how we can channel it into our lives, by making emotionally educated choices about the way we think, feel, speak and act.
Around the same period, I became conscious of the concept of abundance, the unhindered manifestation of the Divine in all aspects of our existence, of which Mary Jo (the beautiful soul behind Soulful Revolution) often speaks in her readings, in a very simple equation: abundance is the result of acting out of love, as opposed to acting out of fear. And since God equals love, and love equals abundance, you do the maths…
While I may not know much about tarot, I have come to understand that the Devil card refers to karmic connections related to choices made out of fear and disbelief in the Divine grace and generosity. Since I am quite observant of patterns and storylines, I have recently started seeing the equation of love and abundance being put to the test, in and around me. I have become aware of the consequences that choosing out of fear may have in people’s lives, especially when it comes to relationships and intimacy.
Due to societal pressure, to unrealistic ideas of what one’s life should look like by a certain age, to the fear of never finding a suitable partner, or someone to love you, to the expectations related to having a family life, many people end up in relationships that make them feel trapped, unhappy, dissatisfied, or simply numb. I have recently observed two such people, dear friends, who are struggling to cope with partners they have chosen from a place of fear, from a place of not trusting that they could be happy – either single, or with another fellow soul who would vibrate at the same height of energy and spiritual development as themselves.
The discourse they used to justify their choice, or rather, to convince, to trick themselves into believing that a wrong choice is in fact a good one, was remarkably similar. Partly altruistic (“She’d suffer if I leave her”), partly idealistic (“She loves me”), partly pragmatic (“She’d make a great mother for my children”), yet entirely fabricated and imaginary.
And this process of going against oneself, of disregarding the red flags for the sake of compromising into a relationship which offers breadcrumbs of love is what makes so many of us miserable and untrusting of true, unconditional, limitless love.


As you already know, I have recently given in to the curiosity of exploring romance via Tinder. It was a very short-lived attempt, because I am all too aware of how people’s energies affect me and interfere with my freedom of existing, of allowing my soul to expand and take in the new experience. One of my Tinder matches, who had been invested in doing the consistent work of pursuing me, calling, sending voice messages, coming over, truly making me believe that he was being genuine – disappeared without a trace when I decided that sex on the first date is not something I am comfortable with doing at this point in my life.
Although I often tend to think little of myself, and this experience did shake me a bit, making me doubt my worth and attractiveness, I was relieved and proud to have listened to my intuition, to not have budged away from my standards, from my principles, from my belief that I deserve to be pursued in a manner which is respectful of my boundaries, which is gentle and considerate of the fact that love and intimacy are like bread, they need to take their sweet time to grow and develop into something beautiful.
Having let go of the disappointment and bitter taste of this experience, along with my Tinder account, I was surprised to see that things can be easily turned around, when my “last standing” Tinder match confessed to having gone through a creative and painstaking process of filming the screen of his phone with another device, so that he could get a glimpse of the millisecond preview of the conversation we have had before I deleted my account, in order to retrieve my phone number.
I am glad to report that we spent a lovely afternoon together, participating in all the entertaining activities that the Afrique en Couleurs Festival had to offer, singing, dancing, trying some of the snacks, watching a fashion show, each of us living the experience in his own way, at his own pace, freely and independently from one another, yet together, sharing a smile, an insight, a story, a moment.
So, to you, fellow friend, wanting to be loved, appreciated, cherished, valued, admired, pursued, cared for… as cliché as it may sound, start by loving yourself and by showing yourself the understanding that you need: understanding of your wants and needs, of where you find yourself in the journey to fulfilment, of where you want to go next and what kind of energy you want in your company. Start by being uncompromising about your desires and standards, start by respecting your values, your time, your body and your emotions. Abundance will undoubtedly follow.

Love,
Vladiana

Music within

The most challenging quest to achieve when healing from the shattered expectations of romance is to regain your sense of self as a sensual and sexual being. I had vowed my body and heart to a person who took no interest in them, I felt rejected and deprived of love, so the issue was multilayered:
I first had to re-establish my self-esteem, the confidence, the certainty that I, as a woman, am desirable, that my assets and gifts are capable in and per themselves, to bring an endless source of joy, pleasure, love, without any extra effort from my side. Simply put, that I am likable. Secondly, I had to open myself to the opportunity of encountering new people, with whom to build a connection based on mutual trust, appreciation, support and genuine care and affection, who would access those corners and nooks of my souls, who would touch my heart open in a way that will make me open beyond the boundaries of sexuality.
For about a year, my body was a barren, yearning for the touch, the attention, the love of that particular someone, like a land during drought, impatiently awaiting for the blessing of rain. I was appalled and disgusted at the thought of any other man touching me. Therefore, a shift was necessary. And the healing was based on self-love.
Over the past few months, blessings for the body and soul have been showered upon me, in such a generous display of Divine Abundance and Grace, that it became undeniable, even by the most sceptical, that I had no reason or excuse to be anything other than grateful, humbled and happy. I started a job I love, I moved into a new flat, I began treating myself to things I enjoy (movies, perfumes, walks, meetings with friends), I learned to spend quality time with myself and others.
It is said that you must love yourself before loving anyone else. While I don’t believe in selfishly prioritising yourself over others, I have discovered the importance of being true to your own wishes and needs, and unapologetic in listening to your intuition, your inner voice, your personal values, your heart’s desires, and of making your truth your priority. By this, I don’t mean clinging onto a superficial ambition of “having it your way”, but rather, the necessity of not depriving your soul of its peace, by acting against who and what you are.


And while I was learning to do just that, I was surprised to see that my sexuality, my feminine energy was also learning, alongside with me. I had the revelation of how wonderful it is to dance with a man. Truth be told, the man in question is no ordinary man. He is a fantastic human and a wonderful dancer, in that he listens to his own body and to that of his partner, and he has the patience, the kindness and the refinement of teaching his partner to do the same.
And with this simple thing, I learned that I can trust and let go, that being independent includes being respected and cherished, that being vulnerable and open is an under-appreciated form of freedom. That the Divine Masculine is in touch with his emotions, is kind, loving, supportive, confident, grounded, responsible, yet spontaneous and contagiously happy. That a man’s hand on my body shouldn’t aim to invade, to disrespect, to abuse, to harm, to use – but rather to guide, to protect, to shelter, to respect, to encourage, to share, to cherish, to comfort, to accompany me in exploring experiences, whether that means eating, drawing, dancing, riding a bike, cooking a meal or making love.
I decided to put my new found wisdom to the test by doing something as trivial as going on Tinder. I was amazed to see how quick my body and my heart are, at giving me signals related to how I feel in the company of people, whether I can relax and be myself, or rather tense up and feel permanently on the watch. And since I understood that my femininity needs a safe, warm, loving environment in order to reach its full potential, I have become much more uncompromising in choosing the people I want around, the people I invest my time and energy in.
All this soul-searching can be exhausting, so the other day I felt the need to lie down and connect to the Source and recharge energetically, while chanting the Green Tara Mantra, which I always find very calming and grounding. As I was moving my hands over my chakras, to nourish them with Divine energy, somewhere throughout the process, I connected to them on an intimate level, and they responded, by adjusting the manner in which I was chanting the mantra. I tuned in to the inner music of my chakras, observing the steady, soothing softness of my Heart chakra, the determined, confident, rhythmic strength of my Solar Plexus, the gentle, motherly, nurturing, lullaby-like humming of my Sacral Chakra, the powerful, masculine, military marching of my Root Chakra and the angelic, transcendental, religious chanting conveyed by my Crown Chakra.
I have never felt more in tune with myself, amazed by how meaningful life can become, when you feel safe enough to allow yourself to listen. To the Divinity of nature, of another fellow human, of your own self. And I wish you nothing more, or less, than to become better listeners.

Love,
Vladiana

Freedom fighters

One of the things I take most pride in is the story of my birth. And while I may deserve no credit whatsoever for the context and scope of the event, as a lover of good stories, I have always considered it a very fortunate coincidence to have been born on the day the anti-communist revolution started in Romania. December 16th 1989, two weeks after the due date, and with medical complications that kept me on life support until the political situation in the country had been stabilised, and the promise of freedom had been made.
And freedom has forever been my most valued and sought after life principle and fundamental value. Freedom: in all of its stages, all of its manifestations, all of its forms of expression, all of its ups and downs, as a dynamic, conscious, active process, because freedom is a verb. It is being created and conquered through our thoughts, words, choices and actions.
Reading my articles, you’ve probably noticed that one of the most recurrent words of use is “unapologetic”. To me, this word represents one of the many facets of freedom, that of ownership of one’s life, with all it entails, which could boil down to harmony between body, mind, and spirit, where everything we think, say, feel and do is aligned with our true nature.
After my birth, the task of keeping me alive was shared between my grandma and grandpa, with grandpa taking the morning shift, while my granny was going to work. It may not account to much, yet I do like to believe that during that time, some of his awesomeness brushed off on me, serving as a model of such perfect balance between the inner and the outer experience.
10 years after his passing, I continue to discover or understand anecdotes about his existence, which teach me lessons of conduct, morality, ethics, turning ideas into projects, tackling tense situations humorously and light-heartedly, living as transparently, charmingly and fluidly as an hourglass, allowing life to take its course, in a spirit of honesty, frankness, wit and joie de vivre.


While he was on his deathbed, tranquilised against the pain and sedated against being an annoyance to the medical staff, on Christmas morning, we called over a priest, for my grandpa to have a confession and a final communion. The priest started reading a long list of sins and asking my grandpa which of them he had committed, having, at the end, collected a rather impressive list of unlawful actions to which my grandpa had confessed. Since the prerequisite for receiving forgiveness is admitting to your mistakes, the priest asked my grandpa :”Do you regret what you did?”
Drowsy from his medication and weakened from his disease, my grandpa firmly, loudly and dismissively claimed: “I DON’T REGRET ANYTHING!” Although back then the statement made me gasp in fear of my grandpa’s afterlife prospects as an unrepentant, this morning I realised that, in fact, having lived his life in permanent awareness of his emotions, having always acted from a place of kindness, fairness, frankness, integrity, loyalty, morality, responsibility, self-respect, trustworthiness, genuineness, justness; having always been unforgiving to injustice, lie, deceit, laziness, immorality and dishonesty, my grandpa did indeed have nothing to repent, regret, doubt himself about, feel guilty or remorseful over, since throughout his existence he had achieved an unequalled freedom of spirit, by which he always found the courage and strength to be true to who he was.
It goes without saying that my grandpa permanently reinvents himself as a role-model to me, and I couldn’t be more grateful and humbled in cherishing his legacy and sharing his story, so that other people may be inspired to pursue their own path, knowing that breaking free from the shackles of guilt is a great power, which one must make use of responsibly and selflessly.
As I continue to pursue my own path to freedom, to truth and to justice, sometimes tripping, sometimes crawling, sometimes falling, sometimes stuttering, sometimes my voice shaking, I send a loving reminder to you all embarked on the same journey and experiencing the same struggles, that the key to happiness is to never apologise for who we are and what we do, when our actions speak our truth.

Love,
Vladiana

Big girl in a big world

Something nothing short of extraordinary happened this past Saturday. I have learned the true value of feeling appreciated, accepted, supported and encouraged to think, feel, say, do, be exactly what I want, wholly, unapologetically, confidently, femininely, genuinely, beautifully. And it felt like a flower bud blooming in spring.
Continuing my determined quest of doing things all alone, I surprised myself celebrating the arrival of spring and my successful shopping spree by taking a seat on the terrace of a pub located in the very centre of Brussels, steps away from the Brussels Stock Exchange, historical building and hotspot of Brussels’ social life, and ordering not one, but two drinks.
One might expect that in a city as colourful and diverse as Brussels, a woman having a drink by herself on a Saturday afternoon would be the one of the most natural things to see, yet judging by the surprised, intrigued, offended and downright judgemental looks I attracted during my one-hour stay at the terrace, I may have rushed to conclusions.
Just as I was about to feel uncomfortable and to blame myself for being too visible, for sticking out like a sore thumb, for being socially inappropriate, a charming lady in her 50s, sipping on a glass of beer at a table next to mine smiled candidly and asked me if I felt uncomfortable with the looks passers-by were throwing me. Suddenly, I found an ally, someone who related to and understood my desire to just sit outside and enjoy the lovely weather, in my own company. And I was no longer alone and exposed. I left back home tipsy and joyful to have unlocked one new experience, to have conquered one more fear.


Yet the greater surprise happened a few hours later, when my amazing friend, beautiful soul, brilliant dancer, fantastic father of two and the very definition of what a true man should be, took me out dancing. I never understood the hype for Latino parties, mainly because I considered them a breeding place for horny men who use dancing as a cheap excuse to grind behind a woman’s back.
“Close your eyes and listen to my body”, my friend told me, as he pulled me tight in his arms and gave me a crash-course in kizomba. You will understand my surprise when, feeling safe in my friend’s arms, being constantly reassured, kindly yet firmly guided on the dance-floor, patiently taught and enthusiastically cheered, I dared to release the tension and drop all defense mechanisms that my body had put up against being touched by a dance partner, and I allowed the music, and my friend, to take lead.
It was the most fun, liberating, enjoyable experience I can remember ever having on the dance-floor. In the time span of 2 hours, I was skillfully led through merengue, New York and Cuban salsa, bachata moderna and Dominicana, kizomba and reggaeton. And although I am far from being a good dancer, or even a good follow, I am however a woman who has, for the very first time, listened to what her body was saying.
And it said “I want to feel respected, appreciated, understood; I want to be touched in a kind, gentle, soft, considerate manner; I want to be led in a grounded, firm, manly, responsible way; I want to be free to be myself”.
Saturday presented me with two distinct situations in which I became more in tune with myself, and in which I learned that feeling uncomfortable, unsafe, exposed and ashamed of doing things I like, says more about the people who go above and beyond to make me feel that way, than it does about my worth, my value and my fundamental right to freely express my own being.
I want to extend my infinite gratitude to the lovely lady at the pub, and to my darling friend, for understanding me, for supporting me in my journey of self-becoming, and for empowering me to live according to my own rules, principles and standards. And I truly hope, dear friend, that you may surround yourself with people who make your soul bloom.

Love,
Vladiana