Posted in Challenges, Life

A world in pandemic

A world in pandemic has been a scary phase for most. Walking into the unknown, the uncertainty, and not having the facts, knowing we are vulnerable, without a cure and vaccination to effectively combat the virus has stimulated fear and heightened aggression everywhere. It’s almost impossible to watch the news and one wonders how much is actually fact and how much is blown out of proportions. Some think the media should be held accountable for instilling fear and hurt in people, while others simply despise the feeling of not being in control.

Compassion and mindfulness, consideration and thoughtfulness seem to have vanished overnight, leaving a “fend for yourself” environment. The elderly with preexisting conditions are at higher risk and are to be avoided. Scary times for sure. Not only at higher risk which can be scary enough, but also left to face it alone without immediate and direct support.

Overnight the world has changed, canceling schools, social events such a all sports, concerts etc. Doors to nursing homes have closed, prohibiting visits in avoidance to spreading the virus. Safety measures or chaos? Shelves are wiped at stores with basic essentials such as toilet paper, and worse yet, others try to capitalize on the crisis, reselling said products for high profits to themselves. People have reacted hostile towards each other and it’s scary to go into public. I for one who suffers with allergies am scared to be out and having to sneeze. Others crack jokes and try to brighten things with humor and smart memes, having survived the 10th end of the world crisis. I don’t know if that is the right attitude to send out to the universe either, and I won’t to it. I believe in karma and that the current situation requires respect.

I’m still unsure of how to feel and what to believe is true and what is exaggerated. Many fear that the worst is yet to come. With that said, please be safe out there and do your part. While much is out of our control, some things such as basic hygiene and boosting your immune system is within our control. 🙏🏼

Posted in Challenges, Life

Created by Storms – Truth

Today’s post goes out to my dear friend Marcus, the man behind the camera, pictured above. A fellow blogger and friend from the homeland (Germany), I was blessed to connect with Marcus back in 2018 and enjoy a shared photo shooting adventure in Schwäbisch Hall. It remains a very special memory to me, I will always hold dear.

Mom was very sick at that time, and I was faced with having to sign paperwork, and admitting her into a nursing home. Marcus was there every step of the way, offering great advice of what to look for, what to request from the government, etc. But even more he was there on an emotional level, helping me to breathe and bring a calmness to my anxiety and stress over everything. My worries while fighting the storm of truth, knowing what had to be done, and the inevitable, that was yet so complex and such a painful process.

It is often the truth of the situation that hurts us. Being in that situation, the knowing that we so often wish was different. Another side to that truth is the fact that strong men and women tell the truth, no matter how painful this storm is, no matter how harsh. Their hearts are filled with pure intentions. To them honesty is the best policy. That is why they’d rather hurt someone’s feelings by telling the truth than comfort them with a sweet, sugary lie.

Marcus never hurt my feelings and always found the most amount of compassion for my situation and me. After all he knew, because his own Mom was in a nursing home herself. I will never forget how important it was for me, that he shared his own truth with me. How painful the truth can be at times and how much we struggle with it along the way. Even when we accept the truth, it didn’t mean that we have grown to like it. They say the truth is painful but also sets you free. Today this post is to honor my friend Marcus who recently had to fight this storm of truth himself losing his beloved Mother. You are not alone my dear friend and I am holding the space for you. Hugs.

Posted in Challenges, Forgiveness, Life

Created by Storms – Forgiveness

Today’s post is a special one and it goes out to no other but my dear friend Mark . Thinking about the storms of forgiveness, how they shape us into strong men and women, his name immediately came to mind, and was perfect for this segment. Marks story is a story that touches so many of us. A story in search for the meaning of life, juggling the ups and downs, while trying to come to terms. Mark calls this restlessness a knowing, an understanding, and talks about the courage and confidence it takes to step into your truth once you realize that there has to be much more to life. It’s the journey to finding our true self, and it is huge.

To some Mark might have had it all, the career, the marriage, love, and children, and still the question “is this it” persisted and eventually turned into losing everything. The marriage, the house, friends, family, and much more. So where does forgiveness come in?

Forgiveness plays a big part in all of our life’s and how we feel about it when stuff happens, determines what path we ultimately end up on. I’m sure Marks story required much forgiveness over the years. Forgiveness for what happened in his life, it couldn’t have been easy, but perhaps also forgiveness about how he felt about his own actions, his choice to follow his truth. Coming to terms and understanding, unlearning the old and exploring the new, all while finding the meaning and peace within was a heavy emotional burden that did not only affect him, but also others.

I remember a recent comment from Mark to one of my posts. Someone wanted a reiki session, but I felt myself struggling to muster the compassion and love I put into all my energy healings. I simply didn’t know if I could do it. Marks response was to keep on doing my thing, to continue to shine my light and to be beautiful in what I do, because the rest, the outcome was really out of my control as long as I did my part. It was such a remarkable comment for me that put everything back into perspective and the healing went just fine. I still have my thoughts about this person and I doubt this was a turning moment where all negativity magically transformed into positivity, but because of Marks comment I was able to let go of that burden and just did my best. I found forgiveness and the storm dissipated.

Strong men and women that practice forgiveness have no time to hold grudges or plot revenges. These beautiful humans have pure and loving souls full of forgiveness. They don’t burden their minds with negativity. Instead, they choose to forgive. Because in the end, we all make mistakes. The only way to learn from them is by having a chance to try all over again.

Thank you for your support Mark and for being a great inspiration to me. You are fulfilling your purpose beautifully and your light is shining bright my friend. ❤️🙏🏼

Posted in Challenges, Life

Created by Storms – Respect

Ah yes, the live and let live concept. The karma effect where we get what we put out there. And yet it is so much more. It’s an understanding of what that looks like, a coming to terms, to execute it as such. To react properly when respect is denied, and to choose your course of action when it does happen.

The person immediately coming to mind is my beautiful friend Irene. My heart has been heavy to learn that Irene recently lost her mother. It hits home, and I know firsthand about this terrible storm. A storm we all face eventually in some form or shape, as loss is part of life. Unfortunately, Irene has experienced the same storm several times within a short time and today I wish to wrap her in a warm blanket of comfort and love.

It hurts beyond measure and yet it is the storms that made her one of the strongest and wisest people I know. Within her she carries the biggest heart, always giving back and taking care of others. Humble, yet confident in her abilities, and the lessons life has taught her, she shines as an example for us all. I can’t help feel inspired and tremendously grateful to have found this beautiful soul. You know what I think sometimes…if God rewarded us with the people that cross our path, I must have done something right, because I’m left with a big smile and feel blessed for you, people like Irene that make my own life brighter each day. Don’t get me wrong, there was a time that definitely brought enough of the other kind as well, but they no longer matter, and it is the good that remains.

I think strong men and women aren’t hungry for attention. They don’t need to be right all the time, or prove their point. They seek a place to be heard and respected above all. And even if they are not, they choose on who or what they spend their energy on. I never saw a strong woman/man begging for something. They accept what is, and don’t need to explain why they want to be respected. They don’t need to voice their opinions through quotes and Facebook posts, explaining themselves while giving society and whoever reads it a change to pay respect in return. That would be a desperate cry to be heard, to be accepted, begging for respect. I know I have been there, fighting this storm of wanting to belong. A storm that includes acceptance, being heard and respect going hand in hand. Eventually there comes a time strong women/men simply walk away from people who don’t give it to them. It’s sure is a long journey until then, with more storms and heartaches than we ever cared to fight, but here you are.

Posted in Awareness, Challenges, Life

Created by Storms – Awareness

A beautiful picture stolen from my dear friend Jack who today’s shoutout goes to. You didn’t honestly think I wouldn’t include you in this series of celebration, did you now?

Jack has long been a soul brother to me, an Englishman walking the warriors path towards the ultimate truth as he puts it into his own words. A path we have shared together on many occasions, of which I’m grateful for that he was there.

Sometimes the reasons as to why we find ourselves on that warrior path might be different from each other, but the path itself is very much the same. It’s a path that calls you to experience your emotions. To come to terms, feeling the good, the bad and the plain out ugly. It might even kick you off a time or two, distracting you with a false sense of being, confusing your identify, not knowing who you are in the end. A true warrior will not turn his head and live in denial. He or she will face the music no matter how hard, and get back onto that path. Further, they will evaluate these storms, try to understand their meaning, pondering what lessons they are here to teach. All this requires awareness.

I have seen dear Jack questioning a few things over the years, while fighting his own storms, but each time he did, he came back stronger and stronger. A true warrior, I am grateful to walk besides. None of this would be possible without said awareness, without recognizing the challenges, and the courage it takes confronting them. He might even have a few tips for you if you ask him, and yes I am hinting to visit his site.

There is no “one fits all” remedy and each journey is deeply personal. It starts with a soul searching, a choice, and keen awareness. To stare into the eye of the storm, and give it your best shot. Thank you for inspiring me Jack, for being my friend no matter how often we talk and find ourselves walking side by side, and simply for being who you are, because to me you are pretty darn amazing.

Much love to you always. 🙏🏼❤️

Posted in Challenges, Inspiration, Life

Created by Storms – Worth

This picture reminds me of a dear WordPress friend and his passion for Mother Nature. Although it shows a calm body of water, things can change quickly, and perhaps it is this calmness that I always wished to send his way.

I have watched a few storms pass in his life, and I have always tried to convey the worth I see in him when he struggled to see his own. In fact I think it’s something we all struggle with from time to time. Trying to find our way, ourselves and who we truly are beyond the name, our worth may not always be apparent. I have related so many times, and I’m sure it won’t be the last to come, when we question our worth and sense of place in this world. But our worth does not wear a label, it doesn’t know race, religion, likes and dislikes. Our worth is not dependent how well we fit into society and it’s norms and expectations of what makes a good citizen. Our worth is unique and strong women and men know what it is in between the occasional questioning. They know their strengths, as well as their weaknesses. They are aware of their limits, but they are also aware of their capabilities. That’s why they never care about comparing with someone else. They may not be perfect, but they just are, unique, beautiful and full of worth.

This one is for you princess, never forget your worth throughout the storms of life. There is no one like you. 🙏🏻

Posted in Challenges, Inspiration, Life

Created by Storms – Believe

I stole this picture from my friend Bernice, who I would like to give a shout out today. I have followed her blog from the early ages, starting my own journey here on WordPress, while embarking on the beginning of finding myself. I was at the beginning of my awakening, knocking at the doorway, asking myself “If this was all there was to life?”

We don’t always talk, but a profound connection was made as I was hanging on to Bernice’s every word. I was so inspired, but most of all she helped me to believe. Believe in myself, believe that I was not alone, and believe that there was a whole new world out there waiting to be discovered. A world that would bring a sense of belonging, a sense of fulfillment, feeding a hole inside of me that felt empty and dark. A world that left me yearning for meaning. I’m not sure if I ever told Bernice what profound impact she had, especially during that time, and if not, it’s about time I do.

Today’s segment of created by storms is about “Believe.” It’s about strong women and men believing in themselves. These souls know exactly who they are and what they want from life. They let their inner voice guide their way. That’s how they’re always on the right track.

Bernice has definitely been such a person for me, inspiring me, guiding me, and ultimately making me stronger while believing in myself enough to explore and tap into this new world. I look back with gratitude at this storm, both beautiful and painful at the same time, and I am forever grateful for the role model, the inspiration, and guidance I have found in Bernice. May we always have someone by our side during the storms of o or life’s, and when we need a little help believing in ourselves. 🙏🏼❤️

Posted in Challenges, Inspiration, Life

Created by Storms – Pain

A random picture of myself throughout the storms of my life. A painful smile, as this one was taken in Germany after a failed attempt to help Mom. Problem was, she didn’t want help and took it badly. This one was actually a few years back, and not the last time I was there. It’s been a long time and a long struggle until she finally did accept my help. Sometimes it still feels it only was because she had no other choice.

As I got to thinking about this little series called “Created by Storms”, a brilliant idea crossed my mind, yep I’m gloating lol, and at least I think so myself, and it’s my way of giving back, paying my own recognition to you. You the people that have impacted my life during those storms, you who I am forever grateful for. With each of the next 7 posts I want to celebrate one of these amazing warriors, men and women alike that I have witnessed overcome such hardship, felt pains like no other, might stand a little crooked today, but are still getting up to fight the best fight they possibly can. My first shoutout goes to Kris and I wouldn’t even know where to begin to tell you all about her. You will have to see for yourself visiting her blog, but I am forever grateful that our paths have crossed. Together we have shared in the same journey, caring for a sick, dying parent, and together we could lean on each other, easing the loneliness and pain, always wanting the best, but never quite getting the approval and appreciation from our parent. I see you my sister and I continue to walk besides you, always. 🙏🏼

The storm I am talking about today is called “Pain”. Pain shaped us and strong women wear their pain like armor. They are survivors. These strong and brave warriors don’t let life’s challenges bring them down. Instead, they learn from their mistakes and carry on. Their failures are their greatest stepping stones.

I will never look at my attempt to help Mom as a mistake or failure, but surely there have been moments I question if I could have done more. My stepping stone was realizing that people must also be willing to accept help in oder to be successful in giving help. I believe I was in the end, but so much time was wasted. Of course this is only one small example, and we feel pain in so many different ways. Pain so great that they leave cracks in our soul. Cracks where the light we carry within can finally emerges and make Ilya glow. I remind you again to use these cracks and don’t look at them as flaws. It took each and every single crack to make you who you are today and it took this kind of pain to make you whole in the end. 🙏🏼

Posted in Challenges, Life

Created by Storms – Intro

I came across an article from Stephanie Reeds that spoke to me and woke a few emotions. Not only do I feel it relates to my own journey, but I also feel that it needs to be shared and that you need this reminder.

Life is painfully difficult, but some women just have a way with it. Not all of us let life’s hardships bring us down and discourage us. Not all of us get hurt by the “fire.” Some women emerge stronger and wiser, spread their wings and fly higher than ever. Just like phoenixes, they are reborn from the ashes. They survive the hardships, learn from their past mistakes and let their challenges create a better, wiser, stronger version of themselves.

These women are known as strong, independent human beings. They are the inspiration that we seek. The strength that gives us hope. The motivation that helps us move forward. The loving proof that everything is possible if you believe in yourself.

We are in Mars retrograde and I am picking up the energies. I feel your struggle, constantly trying to stay above the stormy sea. I feel you reinventing yourself, emerging a new version of yourself. Sleek and better than ever, but I also see the toll it takes and the price we pay for it.

Stephanie lists 7 admirable traits that define you, the women that are created by the storms of their life’s. This is not to exclude my dear male readers as these can apply to you as well and if not, might help you understand a woman like that in your own life. This introduction post will be the first out of 8 total, where each day we open the floor to one of these traits for discussion, motivation, understanding and inspiration.

Here is to understanding these storms and how they can have a positive impact on us if we get past the hardship and look for the silver lining. By making this public, I hope to create a space where we can share our experiences, and in turn help each other. For there is surely someone out there who needs to read these admirable traits and find new hope. 🙏🏼

Posted in Challenges, Life

When trouble strikes

When trouble strikes it often requires us to be strong, to stand our ground and not budge, letting the current swirl around us, threatening to wash away, but yet hold on and remain steady.

My first real challenge for 2020 has arrived, and it is one that is forcing me to act, perhaps faster than I anticipated.

Two days later, I am still struggling to wrap my head around it, weighing possibilities and potential outcomes. Wanting to make the right decision, considering consequences and so much more. That in itself can become as stressful as we allow it to be. Listening and answering the voices in our heads that want to be prepared for every possible outcome, while the hardest part is making a decision, and is all that it takes. Once you’ve done that, it’s mostly downhill and a big part of the battle might be behind you already. But reaching that point, feeling good about your choice and committing, is the first challenge you will face.

Fact is…life is complicated. Mom used to say that it wasn’t in the cards to do too well, because something surely would come along to knock you down. I don’t really want to believe in that, but I’m not surprised to remember her words now. I know all will be ok and I can even see the silver lining. I know this is a result of things that have been long waiting to be addressed. Things that need to change so I can live my best life possible. Sometimes it requires a lot of dirty work, things we don’t like to do, so we can arrive at that point. This is such a time for me, with the difference that I now have the wisdom and knowledge to see it for what it is.

I found a little message for February 12th today and perhaps it can lend some inspiration to others like it did to me. It comes from a support group at higherperspectives.com, and here it goes.

Your low points don’t define you. The pressure and discomfort you’re feeling is bringing out the qualities within that need to grow. You’re becoming more productive, efficient and focused. Remember: you wouldn’t be going through this if you weren’t meant to grow from it.

May this message be as timely for you, as it was for me. 🙏🏼❤️🦋