Τρίτη 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

You Can Do It Too

This was my body in my early twenties, exactly 20 years ago. Picture below is proof that we can get a better body as we age, if only we set our hearts and minds to it.

Almost two years ago I decided to become fit and slim to my heart's content. 

Picture below is my body after seven moths of working out almost daily, training with weights and cardio for 1 hour five or six times a week. Bear in mind that this is the body (https://www.facebook.com/Eirini.Haritou/media_set?set=a.476721939018202.114792.100000412007511&type=3
of a 40 year old woman, whose metabolism has slowed down considerably, who' ve had four kids and no time nor money to spare in a gym or fancy dieticians or whatever else is there to aid in weight loss.

During this last year I got slack on my routine , due to lots of shit going on in my life, my mother who's bedridden and critically ill for months, trying to reestablish myself as a teacher of Enlish after having lost my business to recesssion ( more likely, catastrophe of the economy here in Greece), ongoing trouble at home I'd rather not go into right now -though my nearest and dearest know all about it- and resentment and criticism from my environment about myriad of things.

But still, I know I did it and I can do it again, this time with less effort because I know how to go about it which is exactly what I intend to it and have started doing already.

WHY am I telling you this?

Not for showing off, that's for sure ( ok, let's be honest, that too, I'm only human after all!).

One of my reasons for being here on facebook is to inspire.

Inspiring is one of my pet peeves ( you've probably noticed, if you've been around for sometime now). Because i firmly believe that what goes around, comes around. Inspire and be inspired. Give and you shall be given.

It is never too late to be who you really meant to be. Maybe working out isnt your thing. That's ok. The world is full of many wonderful inspring things to set your heart and mind and body into achieving.

You can do it too! if I got the fit body of my dreams, a 40 year old woman with four kids and practically no money , imagine what YOU CAN DO!

Start exercising today.
Or, pick up one goal.
And do it.

Yes, you can

Yours lovingly

Πέμπτη 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Be Careful Of What You Daydream Of

When I was a young girl, school bored me to death, maybe because I could read and write by the time I was three -the curse of being a 'gifted' child- and when I got to the first grade and everyone else was laboring and panting and struggling with reading in my class, I was looking forward to go home to read  Dostoyevsky( true story). 

So school? 

Yeah, dead boring for me.

 Plus, every single student there seemed to not like me for being, you know ,me, gifted and know it all-I couldnt help that part, I swear- and therefore every fecking teacher's favorite which would be enough in itself to secure everybody's resentment of me ( except for a girl who did like me for me and became my best friend either because our star signs were a good fit, as she insisted or, more likely, because nobody liked her much either, for three reasons a/ she was from Athens, so an outcast naturally up here north b/ she was the teacher's daughter, so duh and c/ she had her hair in a bob which was considered extremely snobbish of her. But this is so another story).

But even that best friend had to move to Athens after a couple of years so I was left with nothing but my boredom in class. I tried to phantasize about my teacher whom I had a prepubescent crush on, (probably because he insisted I'd be a famour writer one day and he had already secured a dedication of my first book to him ) but even that wasnt powerful enough to save me from acute boredom in class.

So I did the obvious thing.

I started living in a phantasy world of my own.

Daydreaming to my heart's content.

I couldnt get enough of it. Making up entire scenarios during Maths class or elaborating on one hero's or another's character during Geography class. 

The funny part was, that despite my glazed expression as I was sitting there on the front row of desks, no teacher could ever catch me red-handed on being absent minded and off to my own private world, because the back of my mind was always paying attention , even when I wasnt, and as soon as the teacher asked me anything or I was told to repeat what he's been talking about, I could either provide the correct answer or quote them verbatim. Yeah, it was a handy trick. It never failed to confuse them, so after a while they learnt to ignore that glazed, lost-to-the-world expression on my face and left me to my own devices. And made up world.

Even long after I was out of a boring classroom, my habit of losing myself into a world of my own, never left me. Yes, of course as an adult too. Imagine me being in the early stages of labor in that cursed clinic I gave birth to my firstborn and in my mind reviewing an interesting twist in the plot of my latest story. Or talking to a hero in my head throughout a long trip to another town. Yeah, it never failed to provide comfort, I swear.

Now here comes the funny, interesting part:

Every single one of the things I made up as a story in my mind, especially the ones I phantasized about again and again, came true.

Every single one of them. No exceptions.

Some of them materialised much sooner than others.

But they all did. I swear.

I had this strange epiphany a few days ago when I was looking back on those childish phantasies and it hit me like a thunderstorm:

Every fecking thing I dreamt or phantasized of with enough intensity and passion has come true. Even and especially the ones I thought were too weird or  out there to ever become a reality.

Be careful of what you wish, it might come true on you?

More likely, be careful of what you daydream of.

You might end up making it your reality....

Πέμπτη 13 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

The Red Dress Challenge Completed. Or not?

Four months ago I committed to myself to 
The Red Dress Challenge.  

The Red Dress Challenge.

Work out hard enough every day for the next four months.
Sweat again.
Get back in real good shape.

Then show you the results, red dress-clad and all.

Which is exactly what I did.

 It is still cold around here, so I chose to wear it with a black cropped top over it that buttons up and can be less or more revealing accordingly :)

 Now, the working out part. 

 To say I'm pleased with myself would be a lie.

 I cheated horribly on my schedule,  I only worked out twice or three times a week. Sometimes, not at all. And as for dieting, lol, forget it. Too many bad things happening that just weren't helping me towards that direction. Like breaking my arm and wearing a cast ( of all days on Christmas Day!). Or my mum being seriously ill and bedridden and taking a turning for the worse.

But I never gave up. I'm on my way. 

I can do this! I know I can, even if it takes me longer than four months. Progress is still progress, no matter how small.

                        Here's to more challenges to come!

                                    Love,hugs and kisses

Τρίτη 11 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Why Loving Yourself More Is Not The Answer

Love Yourself First

Of all the nonsense going on out there, this one is the most widespread and the most dilusional. ''Love yourself first and then everyone else will fall in line''.

I hate to break this to you, but there is no single person on the face of this planet that does not love themselves. It is innate and deeply ingrained in you and if it wasnt for this, you'd starve yourself to death or commit suicide or be a saint or a hero or all of the above combined. 

Since- hopefully-  none of the these are happening in your life right now, let us assume that you and me and everyone else on this planet love themselves dearly and normally and that what we falsely attribute to 'not enough self love' is simply a case of 'not enough confidence', not enough drive' or 'not enough guts to go out and do stuff'. 

No, you don't need to 'Love yourself first', because you 're obviously doing that all your life and you'll keep doing it until the day you die. You cannot simply recycle the love you already have for yourself because at a certain point you are bound to run out.

Nor do you need to 'Love yourself more', because as we've seen we're all born with innate feelings of self love and adding more on to what's normal means you'll end up being a narcissistic asshole at worst, cut off from reality at best. 

We need love from other people, my friend. 


No matter our age, sex, status or ideals, we need love from other people. Period. See what happens to kids who are unloved and have all their other needs met. They wither. And sometimes die out of pure lack of love. Ditto for everyone else, young and old alike.

Love is our fuel. And if we cannot or won't get it from other human beings, we overcompensate with our pets.

So this means we just have to wait until someone or many come along and fill us with love? Or, if that's not happening, get ourselves 67 cats and be done with it?

No way. (Though the 67 cats part sounds like great fun to me!)

 The answer is going out and loving some! 


First off, because it's fun and immensely fulfilling.

Secondly, because it's the only way we can get some of the love we need back. That's how it works. You outpour love , not just to the world in general, but to particular people that show up in your life, then you get the love you need back.

Wait a minute, you're saying. ''I've loved and loved all my life and yet all I got back is assholishness, bitterness and broken dreams  and tears. Where's the getting back part?''

My friend. Again, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but usually what we deem as love is selfishness and/or codependency cloathed in the cloak of love. What most of us mean by 'loving' is rarely unselfish and certainly not altruistic, but simply a means of trying to fulfill our own needs through another being, then naming it as love and getting pissed off for not getting back what we'd have liked to receive in exchange for what we are offering.

That's not love. That's bartering. And there is a reason bartering became obsolete and got replaced by money currency exchange; one of the parties always felt being taken advantage of.

Love has nothing to do with bartering.

Love means giving knowing fully well you might never get it back from the same person and yet going on loving.

Then why should I do it?

For the fun of it.

 Because it gives you pleasure to love.

Because you get happy doing it.

 Because the more you love, yes, even the undeserving, 
the greater your capacity for love and the happier you get.

And because eventually what you give out will get back to you fivefold, even if it's not from where you initially outpoured your love ( no bartering, remember?). 

The more you love, the more you'll be loved back, 
but sometimes not from where you wanted to. 

Don't get overattached as to where love will come from.
 Don't be a controlling freak. Let love and let life.

And that's how loving works.

Κυριακή 9 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Why Valentine's Day Sucks for everyone

Valentine's Day sucks for everyone.
Single and taken alike.

Guaranteed to make you feel miserable.
Before, during, or after said holiday.

Sure it is a great way for florists and greeting card companies, confectionary shops and restaurants to make extra cash. 

But for most other mortals, it sucks big time.

Υou single? So thrilled watching that colleague proudly strutting to her desk with a dozen roses on tow or the other one discussing her hot date and reservations for 8 a.m. You look around you and the world seems swamped in a sickening aura of couples who can't wait to copulate.

Just because you are solo on this particular day of all days, you can't help but feel utterly lonely and completely unlovable, being the involuntary witness to  all those public exhibitions of affection around you.

 And then the inevitable self-pity that washes over you:
 ''What's wrong with me? Why am I so unworthy of love? Why am I such a loser?'' 
Or ,worse yet, you start pining for your ex, wishing you were back together.

You in a relationship? You have it even worse than those singles.

Every February 14 you' re expected to join your sweetheart in a day resembling a douche commercial and porno movie combined - to come home from work to find your bed strewn by dozens and dozens of red roses and him or her reading Rumi by candlelight, all of this topped off with hot sex.

Women in relationships go around carrying that secret expectation that their man will make them swoon with their romantic actions on that day.  Think of red roses adorning white tablecloths, fine wine in crystal glasses, a long evening spent staring into each other's eyes by candlelight and him so hot that you have no choice but to roll under the covers until dawn. 

And men, poor men! Men in a relationship on Valentine's day, you got to pity the creature. 

Gift giving on that date is fraught with danger for any guy. How much is enough? You don't have to come across as unfeeling or unromantic, just the right dose of romantic and sexy . You dont want to give her the wrong impressions, but also want that gift to be the right kind and style for her, a sort of test of how much you love her. 

Enough to send a man into panic attack mode.

And what of those that are in the relationship for sometime now -read 99 % of couples- and no longer feel that ''touch-and-faint' feeling of the first time they started dating? 

Valentine's day can send them into a bout of obsessive examining of their feelings: 
 ''Do I really love him/her? It's not as good as it used to be/doesn't lead anywhere/doesnt make me swoon with passion, do I still wonna be with him/her?'' ''Why cant we be like this any more? Does'nt true love mean that your stomach does flip-flops when your partner walks through the door? And if we no longer feel like this, maybe we're with the wrong partner?'' 

Yes, when we're under the massive cultural illusion of romantic love, Valentine's Day is a set up, whether you are single or not.    

We all admit it and yet every year we fall under the same self-delusional trap of stupid expectations.

 And end up depressed and disillusioned. 
Single and taken alike.

Here's a trite suggestion: 

Let us all free ourselves from the obsessive tyranny of Valentine's Day expectations.

The first step:

Recognise that Valentine's Day is an illusion created  by media and commerce and mass consciousness that we are all choosing to believe in.

There is no special meaning or special energy on Valentine's Day other than what we project into it.  

Can we all recognise the eroding influence of advertising to our souls, of making us hold impossible, unrealistic expectations of love and still hold ourselves accountable for buying into it?  

 Just as neither fashion magazine editors nor supermodels should have to feel guitly about us not feeling happy with our bodies, Valentine's Day crap is not responsible for our disempowerement about and around love. 

We get to decide what the day means to each one of us.
Let us make it our own celebration by OUR definition.

-If you are single, love your singleness. 

Think about all the marvelous benefits of being single, from not fighting over the TV remote control to being able to keep your living space to youself to not having to go through terrible fights. 

And realise that feeling lonely when single is far, far better than feeling lonely in a relationship you cant get out of ( having been in an emotionally and at times physically abusive relationship I can personally attest to that).

 Don't fall for the hype that everyone who is paired off is happy. You know it's not true.

 Divorce statistics and the stories of unhappy marriages seem to attest otherwise for a large group of people. 

So, rather than feeling down on Valentine's Day, celebrate the strengths and achievements that testify to you being a whole and healthy person, a person who has space for love should it come along but who does not need such a relationship to create self-worth and happiness right now.

On Valentine's Day spend time going out with friends and celebrate the shit out of a great night.

Alternatively if you can't go out at all, think of all the love moments in your life till now.  Appreciate the love you have or had. Appreciation is a surefire way to have some of the same show up in your life. Appreciate and thank God or the universe for all the love that you've had in your life.

 Love comes and goes in cycles, because she's a female force. Nourish the memories, not in bitterness, but in humble gratitude and happy anticipation for yet more of those moments to come. Life is a wonderful adventure with surprises on every turning. 

-If you are in a relationship, vow to prove to each other that your committed hearts are richer than your wallets.

Don't feel like you've failed your sweetheart or that your sweetheart failed you because you're not having dinner at the most expensive restaurant in town or because you're not swamped in material tokens of affection

Realise that giving something special to our most beloved or even a small gesture of love and a dose of extra kindness are greater tokens of love than all the expensive gifts in the world when given with a cold, unfeeling heart. 

And please, no expectations.

 No expectations to feel a certain way, to feel an overwhelming sensation of love on this 'magical' day. 

And appreciate, appreciate him or her, appreciate the shit of them.

True love can be about doing the shopping or getting out the rubbish or clearing the driveway from the snow as much as it  is about getting up 10 times at night to care for a crying newborn,vacuuming the house although tired or preparing a tasty meal for everyone. 

True love can be giving her directions via text messages -because you cant reach her any other way at the moment- on what homeopathic stuff to take to get rid of crippling period pain coupled with terrible flu symptoms that are giving her the shakes,  when she's out of painkillers and too weak to go out get some (true story).

True love is truly in the moments, not on some mandatory, commercialised ,public exhibition of a date on the calendar. 

And deep down we all know that.

Valentine's Day is supposed to be about love and tenderness, but it has turned into a holiday riven with competition, hyper-consumerism and dashed hopes. 

Fuck that.

Every day is the perfect day to appreciate and show love to ourselves and to the ones we love.

Down with Valentine's Day tyranny!

Κυριακή 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Everything under my control?

We've all been fed that lie.

The lie that each and everyone of us is totally and completely responsible for what happens to us all the time.

Our successes and failures?
All come down to how lazy or hard working you are.
(bullshit leftover from our school days).

Our happiness and misery?
All comes down to our own outlook on life.
(bullshit leftover from new age era)

It's not how horrible I am to you, raping you, stranggling you,
robbing you shitless, mentally abusing you, whatever,
it's how you choose to view my actions, so it's ultimately your fault really when you feel abused, hurt, etc.

Yes, all of it your fucking fault. No exception.

Even your accidents and mishaps.
Bad karma from previous lives.
(bullshit left over from buddhist dogma that isnt even part of your culture).

 ''if you fail it is because you didn't try hard enough.''

Yeah, tell me about it, notable example the way the economy goes. All my fault really. And yours.

If it fails, it's not because banks and corporations are greedy and  scheming and manipulating the economy, it's people's fault. 

Of course.

I call this a big , fat, soul-degrading lie.

Success and failure in life is and can be dependent on individual effort and drive.

But it is also  dependent on other, subtle and not-so-subtle forces.

Like, a drunked fuckhead crushing on your car on the highway.

Or a maliscious retard talking behind your back and setting off the wheels of nasty in motion, at work and elsewhere.

Or a greedy gang of politicians controlled by bankers controlled by corporations all over the world fucking up the world's economy.

My point?

Things happen. Good and bad.

Some of them are almost entirely your fucking fault.

Some of them almost totally earned by your hard work/efforts/dedication .

And most other stuff are a combination of the two: your own actions and the actions of some other force that interracted with yours.

No mantra-repetition, talisman-wearing, sage-burning or twice a day repetition of affirmations can change that.

 And people, it's good to know.

You know, there are mainly two kinds of people in this world:

a/ the go getters, who believe everything is under their control( yeah, including you)

b/ the let-it-be-so-ers, who believe nothing is under their control
(and they baptise their laziness 'a laid back' attitude

The truth is always in the middle.

Take anything to extremes and you are bound to meet depression and gloom, because both ways ultimately lead there, in case you haven't noticed.

Here's the middle way: 

Believing in our ability to achieve stuff and believing in our ability to handle whatever comes our way 

is far more effective in dealing with life's challenges than believing that every outcome is solely dependent on us. 

You are not the sole determinant of your fate
( think external forces).

But you are the most important contributor.

And even if your life's scenario is actually not entirely written by you, you can always enjoy the acting so much that it actually becomes irrelevant whether you're the only writer in the team.

Don't be a controling freak.

The magic of life is unpredictability.