Oh, my G(ardening)!

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It’s funny that as much as I like gardening now, I used to hate it that much when I was a child. It was a hellish activity not only because I really didn’t enjoy it at that time, but because I was told to do it. You see, everything you do that doesn’t come from inside and from your own will might become the thing that you hate doing the most. In my case, that thing was gardening. My parents needed help and of course they didn’t understand why we said we didn’t like it. For them, who were raised in other political circumstances, working the land was something that you needed, it wasn’t about liking it or not. Maybe if they didn’t told us to do it so often, we could have enjoyed it. Maybe if the approach was different, we could have understood why is it important and how you can work without feeling you are working.

After many years and more diverse experiences, after becoming an adult and getting to learn more about life, when I came back to the house where I grew up, gardening and chores didn’t seem so much of a burden. They weren’t hellish also. I had changed and so did my way of thinking. Instead of feeling annoyed and bothered when I went gardening, I felt I can actually do something for the environment. I felt I can give back a small portion of what I receive, and I felt as a part of something bigger than I ever knew before. I became healthier and I gave up on some of the bad habits that were replaced with nice and relaxing activities that also helped me growing as a person.

Gardening is my happy time. You know why? Because when I work in the garden, I don’t really think, I don’t analyze, I don’t overthink. You know how important it is to have silence inside your head as an overthinker? It is absolute bliss! Even if I think, I organize my thoughts, or I imagine things. This is something I can’t really control and I don’t even try to. I let my mind do whatever it wants. I want to let it be free at least in these moments. From what I have seen, I was never stressed when I did gardening work. My mind is at ease and my heart is at peace.

A funny thing I observed in the last weeks since gardening has become the main activity after work is that I found myself smiling while weeding and do my thing in the vegetable garden. No wonder gardening is used as therapy for depression or Alzheimer. Nature has its own unique power of healing us, humans who are busy working against it. I feel sorry for Mother Nature every time I see stupid people destroying it and not caring about it. I wish we could all see how harmful is human greed, indifference and selfishness for the environment. And I wish we could all become active in making small efforts to be a real part of this big place called Earth.

This is all for today. I hope you all have peaceful and sunny days.
Thanks for reading!

The magic of waiting

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I became impatient again. In some cases I wish that results could appear quicklier than usual. Even if I put a lot of work and effort, sometimes time is the most important ingredient in the recipe of my success. Like dough needs a certain period of time to rest and grow, my work and efforts need time to mature. But nowadays, because we live in the era of speed and technology, and because we can obtain things easier than 50 years ago, we tend to forget more easily and more frequently how important it is to wait.

Actually, I almost forgot this too. I became impatient about many things like professional development, personal growth or building the house of my dreams. I know how important it is to wait and build small habits in order to get big results. However, there are days when I wish things to come my way a little faster.

Today I woke up at 5:58 because I wanted to see the sunrise. On the Internet it was said that the sun would rise at 6:03. I really wanted to see the sunrise, but it’s been a while since I have last seen the sunrise; thus I didn’t know exactly how it works. The thing is that the information on the Internet regarding the time the sun rises is relative because it’s not possible to tell the exact hour the sun rises. I was very sleepy and a bit cold, but I was waiting impatiently like I was trying to quickly check another thing on my to do list. Guess what! I had to wait half an hour to see the sunrise. I thought I missed the big moment, but after 30 minutes, with sparkling eyes and a pounding heart I would watch how a big ball of fire rises from behind the forest. I instantly had an aha moment and I realized that because I had to wait more than I thought, I actually enjoyed seeing the sunrise a hundred times more than I would have done it at 6:03, 5 minutes after waking up.

Here you have it! Sunrise of May 9th. The photo is a bit unclear, but I still wanted to share it with you.

I believe that those 30 minutes of waiting were in fact the reason I smiled the whole day today. Not only because I enjoyed seeing the sunrise so much, but also because that half an hour reminded me the importance of patience and perseverance. I actually thought of giving up and going to sleep a few times, but I guess I was more determined to see the sunrise. I am so glad I stayed until the end, and I shall do so with every project in my life.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Did you have a similar experience that reminded you how important it is to wait?


It’s been a while since I have last shared my story with you, but I am so happy to be back.
Always thank you for reading.

Why I love living in the countryside

For some, countryside is the place where you want to go only to escape from the city from time to time, to take a break from your routine and see something different. Some of us might like only visiting the countryside but we can’t imagine ourselves living in a village or in a more remote place. The city is the only place we know and it is what we love: the noise, the agglomeration, having all the facilities close to us, the cafes, the restaurants, the clubs, the museums, the events… Everything is right under our eyes.

For the rest of us, countryside is our whole life. We went to the city and experienced a new lifestyle. It was difficult and we missed so many things. But we learnt to enjoy what the city can give us: a big university, new people, new experiences, job opportunities, cultural events, parks, eating with friends in fancy restaurants etc. However, when we went back home to our little apartment the world seemed so big and we felt lonely sometimes. Some days we opened our laptop and watched that Korean show, House on Wheels, and we dreamt about travelling around the world or going to the forest, to the mountain, to a beautiful village where you can breath the nature. We felt like living again while watching so much green on that little screen. We were so thirsty to feel as part of the nature, to see flowers and to be us the ones who plant and grow them. We dreamt to make barbecues or picnics in our back yard or to go read or study in the orchard. We were tired and we needed to rest. And so one day, we went back home where our hearts longed going.

It wasn’t going to be easier to live in the countryside, but we loved the peace and the things we could do for the nature and what the nature had to give us. We went to the mountain and we became part of the huge world called nature. We grew the food we ate and we became more responsible and more intentional in everything we did. We did yoga in the yard when the weather was nice and we took sunbaths that made our day. We were surrounded by flowers all year round and even when it was difficult weeding and digging we were happy to do something that would create beauty and peace. We ate fruits from our garden and orchard and we promised to work harder the next year. We enjoyed listening to the birds singing and we felt the peace after the rain stopped while watching huge colored rainbows. We could see the stars and we promised that one day we would learn more about stars and constellations. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner outside when the weather was nice and we drank coffee on the balcony in the morning. We worked so much during the day and we had not the time or where to go to see a movie. We had no restaurants or cafes but we enjoyed our peaceful life and we did our best to develop ourselves, to change and grow even here where we had not so many things, and yet we had everything and more.

The countryside is beautiful in any season and I personally learnt to accept and love all the aspects of living in the countryside. Living in the countryside has advantages and disadvantages as any other thing. But if you choose to listen to your heart and to go in that place where your heart wants to go you will embrace the difficulties and you will learn a lot about yourself because this is what hardships do to us humans. Today I want to share with you the main reasons I love living in the countryside and to share a few pieces of the spring we have around here. Let’s go 🙂

1. The air. I live in a village quite close to the mountain and I have to tell you that the air is so much cleaner and I felt this way the first day I came back from the city where I used to live. I love the freshness of the air especially after a short rain or when I go to the mountain or the forest. I am grateful that we have clean air (as clean as it can be these days) and I learnt to appreciate so much the things that we cannot see but that are so much more important than everything else that we can actually see.

2. Birds singing. I am in love with this beautiful music and I can’t describe my feelings and the peace I feel when listening to their chirping. In the city it is not possible to hear the birds singing, unless you live in an area that is far from the traffic and it has more trees or a park close to it. What I couldn’t hear when I was living in the city is the birds’ singing during the night. After so many years I could hear the birds singing even at night. I was mesmerized and I think it is one of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.

3. Spring. Countryside in the spring is one of the most beautiful things that exist. The trees put their most refined outfit and they send out the sweetest perfume that cannot be reproduced even by the most renowned perfumers. The mountain is still covered in snow, but here in the village you can see the trees blooming, the grass growing as green as ever, and the flowers confidently coming out to show their beauty. Spring is the time when the whole world becomes a festival: a festival of life and beauty.

4. Flowers. If you read my articles, you know that I am in love with nature, with trees and flowers, and that I have waited for spring to come especially because I wanted to see and to smell the flowers again. I have friends that love flowers as well and guess what our main subject of discussion is nowadays :)) We send each other photos with what we’ve done in the garden and what new flowers we’ve planted. I love to plant trees and flowers and I feel like this way I can somehow contribute to the environment.

5. Surrounded by nature. Well this one is pretty obvious, but I feel like I can travel even if I go up on the hill or to the mountain because there are so many places I have never been to before. There are so many places to explore and they all look different depending on the season.

There are so many things you can do around the house, in the garden, in the orchard. I am extremely active and there are a lot of things to do, a lot of beautiful things to create or to grow. I became more creative and I feel less stressed compared to when I was living in the city. I feel I can do more and feel more useful to this world and to the environment. I can do something new everyday and I am able to create the change that I want for myself. Life is simpler in the countryside so you become more creative in finding new things to do and new experiences to try. However, the most important things for me is how the time slows down here. What I mean by this is that you can enjoy more the little things that would have passed unobserved otherwise and they become your happiness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour I have created for you and I hope your days are filled with sun and flowers. Let me hear from you in the comments.

Have a lovely spring, dear readers 🙂

Building a habit – meditation

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I added meditation on this year’s bucket list. After experiencing journaling and its helping and healing effects and wanted to try meditation as a way of escaping stress and anxiety.

I tried meditation in the past but it was a failed attempt. Maybe I wasn’t ready, maybe I didn’t know how to do it. Even if today it became a habit, I still don’t know if I do it right or not. But for now I decided that it’s not important.

I was already a fan of master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, but this year in January, in a nice winter day, I was so exhausted after work and I felt so lost. Like someone who can’t find its purpose. It started to rain like in fairytales and thus I felt like listening something calm trying to ease my mind. I was watching how the snow touches the earth while listening the teachings of master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. I must say, he is very funny and a good teacher. Slowly my heart became calmer and calmer. That day I started meditating. At first, I felt I couldn’t concentrate at all. I felt that all my thoughts waited for that exact moment to come and make my mind a mess… but I tried not to give up this time. I did so the next day. And then I would forget about it a day or two and then continue.

In February I decided to meditate daily even if I was too busy or too tired. And that is how meditation became a habit. Day by day I learnt more about me and it became easier to concentrate, to accept the ambush of my thoughts and the fact that I was still inconsistent concerning the time of meditating every day. One day I would meditate more than the other. Today 5 minutes and tomorrow 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter. Not stressing about it was the bet thing I could do. It was my method of reaching out to me, my method of distressing. Why stress about something meant to distress? No way. By doing this, meditation became my everyday joy. Not only something I do as a habit in order to distress, but something I look forward to doing everyday.

Thanks to meditation I also learnt how to breath and how to focus on breathing. I use breathing technique whenever anxiety kicks and it helps. Why didn’t I find this quicklier? Meditation is also a great way to slow down and to be mindful of your acts and of your thoughts and completing it with journaling is a great combination.

This month’s goal is to increase the time of meditation from 10 minutes to at least 15. What I also do, even if I don’t know is the right thing to do, is to alternate yoga with mediation. I took a break from yoga this winter but staying seated for so long on the chair at work brought me so much back pain. I started yoga again to relax and to recover from back pain, and it works wonders.

I am really satisfied I succeeded starting again meditation and yoga. I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer and to start doing yoga outside in the garden or in our front yard.

What about you? Do you guys meditate? If you do, please share with me any thoughts or advice you might have on this. Thanks for reading and stay safe.

Until next time,
Maria

Mukbang and chill

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No matter how strange it might sound, there are some people who relax while watching mukbang on YouTube. Others try to control their need for snacking or their appetite trough this well-known mukbang. I am one of the people who enjoy watching mukbang videos because it is relaxing and it helps me release all the stress accumulated from work or other problems.

If you are not familiar with mukbang, let me tell you very quickly what it means. Mukbang (read as meokbang) is a Korean word and it basically means eating broadcast. Mukbang is a video where people usually eat large amounts of food (but not in all cases). In some cases, this broadcast is live-streamed and the person in the video eats and answers to the comments and questions of the audience. Sometimes, the vloggers also cook the food they are going to eat, which is also very interesting to me because I get to learn about Korean cooking as well.

Mukbang first appeared in South Korea and it became famous in 2010. Since then, a lot of vloggers tried this concept and it is still very common and very famous. The concept expanded to other countries as well so you will find a lot of videos with this kind of content. One of my favorite mukbang channels is [햄지]Hamzy‘s channel. I like her content because she is very natural and she doesn’t exaggerate with comments or gestures. I also like SIO‘s channel because he is funny and I like the way he edits his videos.

However, mukbang could also annoy some people, especially those who hate to hear noises when eating (my sister simply hates mukbang, so I always use earphones when she is around), because mukbang can be seen as eating ASMR. Strangely enough, while I don’t really like noises when eating, I am not annoyed by this kind of content. I actually find it interesting and relaxing. Maybe I became extremely comfortable with Korean culture. Noodles are not like pasta. Noodles are made to be slurped, and believe me, slurping your noodles gives them a different and special taste. So do not expect to see people eating elegantly like they would if they went to eat pasta in some fancy restaurant. I like mukbang videos because people become so sincere and comfortable in front of their food and that is something I really like seeing. Maybe that is the reason so many people find mukbang videos relaxing.

So what do you think about this kind of content? Do you like watching eating videos or you are rather annoyed by them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also, if you like watching mukbang videos, do you have any favorites?

I hope you all have a nice spring. I should continue watching my mukbang videos in this chilly spring day.
Thank you for reading and stay healthy. I’ll see you around.

When spring comes

I feel it’s been ages since I’ve written my last article and talked to you guys. I was very busy these weeks because the weather was surprisingly warmer so I decided to help my parents and do some cleaning in the yard and the garden. Actually I really wanted to do this for a long time now as I felt extremely inactive during the winter. Moreover, March is the perfect time to clean the garden and prepare the plots for planting vegetables.

March started with unexpectedly nice and warm weather. I say unexpectedly because February was extremely cold. However, we expect some cold days next week which is also the reason we wanted to finish cleaning our garden. Living in the countryside is all about timing. At least this is what I have learned until now from past experiences. Being organized and doing things on time is extremely important, especially if you live in a region where the weather is very unpredictable, like in my case.

However, spring doesn’t equate to only work. That would be awful. Spring means also happiness, joy, the revival of nature, flowers, singing birds. I love everything about spring. I enjoy the evolution of nature and how everything revives from zero. I try to enjoy spring and to relax as well in order to appreciate even more the results and efforts of my work. What I like to do the most when the weather is nice is drinking coffee or tea on the balcony from where I have a wide view over the yard, the garden and the street. Also, I enjoy a lot sunbathing and the balcony is the perfect place for it.

What I also enjoy doing when spring comes is cleaning. Cleaning and decluttering are extremely necessary for my peace of mind. So I try to empty the things we don’t need anymore, to organize the shelves, to reconsider what we need and what we don’t need in order to avoid overspending etc. When it comes to decorations inside and outside, I am trying to keep a balance. I don’t like over decorating, but I like the effect of flowers as decoration for example. They become nature wherever you put them, so decoration might no be the right word, but you got the idea.

As this is the first spring I spend in the countryside after 6 years of living in the city, I am continuously overjoyed and I am trying to stay as much as possible in the nature and observe the transformations, the changes that occur everyday. Thus, I took many pictures these weeks and I will share some of them with you hoping they will bring you joy as they did to me. The photos are not professional, I took them with my phone so they might not be perfect. However, the essence is still there.

I love this one especially because this is a small tree that my father planted last year. I usually love trees and being around them. I have waited so much for spring to come and now I will be waiting for this little one and his brothers to bloom. I shall show you their beauty when they bloom as well.

I don’t know about you but I was mesmerized at the sight of ”little flowers” sunbathing calmly and harmoniously on the branches and the trunk. Also, when I was choosing the photos for this post, I loved the way the sky is shyly showing in the back and still giving great balance and color effects to this photo. Watching this photo, I remembered just how beautiful the sky was that day. I love taking photos of the sky, my phone is full of sky photos. Here, my intention wasn’t photographing the sky but the sky came out pretty nicely even so. I will show you next the last two photos of the first flowers that bloomed even since February. You might have guessed, I am talking about snowdrops. They are not only beautiful, they also smell great. Shall we great them?

Only by looking at them, my day becomes better and I find myself simply smiling. These photos are taken before I managed to clean all the little branches and old leaves from the garden, but I still find them very pretty. They glow on no matter stage, like some people. They are two different species of snowdrops, each showing unique beauty.

Today’s post ends here. I hope this post will make you smile today, or at least bring you some peace of mind. This month will be extremely busy and I already have a lot of projects in mind. There are many transformations I want to make and to share with you, a lot of vegetables to try planting and most importantly, a lot of stories to tell. Finally, my source of inspiration, spring, is here and thus a new journey begins. Stay tuned.

My 5 tips to find inspiration and start writing

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I am this kind of person. I need to feel inspired in order to be able to create something good. This is especially valid when writing for the blog. However, even before my decision to start this blog, what I wanted to build the most trough this blog was consistency. I really want to do this for a long time, but only for as long as I feel joy.

The truth is that I mostly write when I am inspired to write. But in order to be consistent, I know I have to find a solution to keep myself inspired more often. Fortunately, I have discovered that this is possible in my case. Yes, I can find inspiration from simple things and I can make myself stay in front of the screen and write passionately even if I didn’t woke up feeling inspired. Inspiration doesn’t fall from the sky. You have to continually search for it. At least, this is how it is in my case. Thus, you could call it progress. Every time I search for inspiration, I learn something new.

I believe that the things that inspire us the most are the things we like and the things we naturally have an interest in. For example, I love music and I find comfort in music. Thus, listening to music is often a powerful weapon that helps me find my inspiration. Once you know what you really like, you will have found the perfect way to keep yourself inspired and grow. It doesn’t have to be something big. You might find inspiration in the simplest things, but that is the beauty of it.

I always try to stay organized when I try to build a new habit, in this case, the habit of writing regularly. But it could be anything, even meditating daily or exercising regularly. You need to build a plan, a routine. When it comes to writing, I follow a few steps that help me be consistent. If you like lists, here you have it, a list of 5 important steps that work for me when it comes to writing and staying inspired.

1. Keep a list with ideas. I have to admit that I don’t have the time to write every time when inspiration hits. Fortunately, I keep my phone with me most of the time. Thus, when inspiration hits, I always write down that idea in a list on my phone. The advantage of keeping such a list is that if you keep doing it every time a new idea pops up in your head, you will have in no time a bunch of ideas that will be your plan B for when you have absolutely zero inspiration. At the moment, I have 17 new ideas in my list, so I won’t have to worry for a long period if I don’t feel inspired.

2. Declutter your working space. In my case, every single object on my desk is another thing to worry about. Thus, before starting to work, I like to clean my desk in order to feel I am creating a new atmosphere for me to concentrate in. However, there are people out there who feel totally relaxed when they work in complete mess. If this helps instead, just let your messy desk be your cozy nest and start doing what you have to do.

3. Listen to your favorite music. As mentioned above, music is what helps me in most of the difficult periods. Sometimes, I could concentrate on writing even while listening to music with lyrics. Other times, I only write with ASMR or instrumental music in the background. As I was writing this article, I could concentrate perfectly while listening to my favorite Korean songs with beautiful lyrics. I felt I was writing at my favorite café where I could also choose what music to listen to.

4. Watch a YouTube video you like. I love watching YouTube videos, and, as I wrote in my previous post, I use YouTube as a source of learning and inspiration. Whenever I have a bad mood, or when I feel like rewatching the videos I like or watching new ones from my favorite youtubers, I go to YouTube. This winter I regained my good mood with videos filmed during spring or summer for example. I missed so much the green grass and trees that I started feeling better even after watching videos on YouTube. Even if I don’t necessarily have a bad mood, if I feel I want to recharge my inspiration storage, I go to YouTube and take energy and inspiration from beautiful people around the world. People can become other’s people strength and inspiration.

5. Just start writing. You don’t know what a beautiful and creative article you might write until you start writing the first word, the first line, the first paragraph. I only had the idea for this article and a few words written on a piece of paper when I started writing. I didn’t really know what shape I should give to this article but after the first line and with the help of these steps, my article came to have this form and structure, and I feel quite satisfied with the result. Starting writing means you’re already closer to the end.

This is it for today. I really hope this article can be your source of inspiration for the next time you might feel uninspired. Also, if you have built your own writing routine, please feel free to share it with me in the comments. I am always willing to learn from others.

Stay inspired and I will see you around.

Korean YouTube vloggers who inspire(d) me

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It has been quite a long time since I started to use YouTube as one of the main sources for study and self-improvement. I can easily find quality content and I choose what I want to see further. I have used YouTube as a secondary study source even for exams (I got a 10 in my Philosophy exam thanks to the videos I watched to understand difficult philosophical principles that I didn’t understand well in class). Last year I started to search for Korean channels that could help me improve my Korean, and this is how I actually found out about minimalism. I could easily find very nice channels made by Korean housewives or single women, who shared their advice and experience on minimalism. The videos helped me learn a lot of things related to how to live a better life, and at the same time my Korean improved because I chose to watch original content which is very enjoyable, and it relates to the subjects I am interested in.

Since the beginning of 2020 I have kept on watching this kind of content, and lately I have also discovered Korean videos about gardening which I have a great interest in. At the same time, I have learnt Korean vocabulary related to gardening, housekeeping and so on. I am extremely grateful for the content created by these great people, and this is why I have decided to dedicate today’s post to the people who inspired me to become better in many areas. These are my personal perspectives and the scope of this post is only to express gratitude and to recommend nice content related to simple life and minimalism to people who are interested in these subjects.

꽃피는 산골 (read as Kkot pineun sangol, meaning The mountain valley where flowers bloom) is a channel about flowers, gardening, sustainable life and people living in harmony with nature). I have found this channel quite recently but I came to love it, not only because I learned a lot of things about gardening and cooking, but also because I feel so much at peace whenever I watch its content. The videos show the life of a Korean couple who live in a remote mountain area, working together in the garden and enjoying the fruits of nature and of their hard work. This is a channel about life that can be easily enjoyed when you slow down, when you understand the meaning of life and when you work with nature, not against it.

오느른onulun (meaning today but written phonetically in Korean) is a channel run by a Korean TV producer who bought a house in the countryside, and who learns to enjoy a simple and slow life while renovating her newly bought house. This is a channel I have only discovered this year but I came to love its content so much. I love how this 32 years old woman is brave enough to buy a house on her own and how she shows her experiences with living in the countryside, how she learns from scratch skills like gardening, how she shows her clumsiness as a natural human characteristic and how she gets to know the people in that region while asking for help, while trying to learn how to live simply and beautifully. A truly inspiring and healing journey.

냥숲nyangsoop (which could be translated as Cat forest) is one of my favorite channels. It shows the daily life of a Korean woman who lives in the countryside with her cat. I like how she makes everything look so simple and enjoyable. She cooks a lot, and I find myself inspired when it comes to cooking every time I watch her videos. I also like the way she made her small house extremely practical and cozy. Our house can become that Little Forest where we feel the most comfortable, a place that we can call home sweet home.

해그린달 haegreendal. This is one of the first Korean channels I started watching, and I fell in love with the content and with the storytelling of the videos. The videos are made by a Korean housewife and mom, and she often shows her daily life as a mom, recipes she enjoys cooking and so on. What I like the most about her videos is the way she arranges her videos, the way she films, how she tells the story of the video. I found myself interested in video editing thanks to her beautifully arranged content. I hope I can watch her work for a long time.

슛뚜sueddu. I really like this channel because the videos are neatly edited (I learned a lot from this YouTuber as well in this area), and the content is simple and very enjoyable. I also learned a lot about minimalism from these videos, and I love to see the evolution of this channel’s owner as a freelancer. Also I find inspiration and motivation whenever I watch the videos on this channel, so this one is a keeper.

Kimi Life and 키미 Kimi are two channels created by the same person, but they have similar content. The videos are mostly about cultivating vegetables and cooking with what we produce by ourselves. I learned a lot about Korean cooking from these vlogs, thus is always a pleasure to watch and learn. I love the opening of the videos on this channel, and I find the editing quite professional. The videos usually start with the view of the mountain village filmed with a drone. Absolutely beautiful and healing.

보통엄마jin (read as Bottong eomma Jin, meaning Ordinary mom, Jin) is a channel run by a mother of two boys and a woman who is very active and tries to live her life while being a mom and a wife. I find her videos very inspiring. I love how she makes efforts to be a good mom while taking care of herself. I remember watching her video where she decided to exercise in order to become healthier and she inspired me to do the same. I was ashamed that I made less efforts, even if I had not a husband or kids who could have made things a little more difficult. Inspired by her I also started to exercise, and I lost 6 kg that year. I also learned a lot about cleaning in a sustainable way and I gave up along the way on many chemical and beauty products that are harmful for us and for the environment.

Who would have thought that one day I would find my biggest passion, Korean, and that that passion would bring the best in me? One journey leads to another. Every decision that we make leads us to live our life in a way or another. Every decision leads to another. Every little thing that we do connects to something that we will do in the future. In my case, through my passion for Korean I got to know about minimalism and to be inspired to practice it, and later on, through minimalism I got to practice journaling, and through journaling I got to practice meditation. These small dots connected and created a better me who is interested in personal growth and who will learn something new everyday.

Today I am grateful I got to write this post. I hope you find your inspiration like I found mine.

Stay inspired, and I’ll see you around.

Little forest – a journey to self

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This is the first time I write a movie review on the blog or better said my personal view and feelings about this wonderful movie called Little forest. After watching the movie, I found myself wanting to make the feeling of happiness to last longer. Thus I decided to write about what I felt and to share with you the reasons why you should give this movie a chance.

I cannot say I have a particular style when it comes to movies. I like well played roles, actors who can transmit feelings and stories that can inspire me. Little forest is this kind of movie. Maybe I am biased. It is true that I mostly watch Korean productions. However, I think you would like Little forest even if you are not into Korean cinematography.

Little forest (리틀 포레스트 in Korean) is a South Korean movie released in 2018 and directed by Yim Soonrye. Actually there is also a Japanese version of the movie which is in fact the original one and it was released in 2014. I plan to see the Japanese version as well and I hope it is as good as the Korean version.

The movie tells the story of a young woman who leaves Seoul and returns to her hometown, situated in the countryside. At first she says she only came down to her village for a few days and when asked by her friend why she came back, she says that she came because she was hungry. This line was so moving and I felt it so well because like the protagonist I myself moved back to my hometown in the countryside in order to find myself and to find what I really want to do with my life. While this line is a metaphor for one who doesn’t feel satisfied with his/her life, the young woman also missed the simple life she had in her hometown, the simplicity and the tranquility that one can find in a place such as a village or a small town.

Her house brings her back in the past when she lived with her mother who used to cook delicious meals. Her mother left when she was a student in order to find her own little forest, a metaphor for self-discovery and finding ones true self and happiness within oneself. Only later, after many years, the girl who became a woman would understand her mother’s thoughts and feelings.

Days pass one after another, but the young woman doesn’t go back to Seoul. She came down in winter, then spring comes again and she learns to produce her own food. She spends time with her childhood friends while cooking good food, working in the fields and enjoying the gifts of nature. Then summer and autumn come. The young woman lives the entire process of healing and learns the true way of becoming fulfilled and happy. Then winter comes again and she goes back to Seoul only to return in the spring for good.

I found myself smiling the whole time while watching this movie. I felt its warmth, the completeness that comes from small things, the happiness that comes with simplicity and tranquility. I enjoyed the beautiful sceneries and I remembered why I love the color green so much. Living in the countryside feels like you can slow down time. There’s nothing more beautiful than living closer to the nature and enjoying what it has to offer to us. Also, trying your best to preserve it is as beautiful and as meaningful as enjoying it.

Little forest is a movie about finding one’s little forest, one’s true self and what happiness really means to each and everyone. It is about small acts of kindness, friendship, simple but delicious food and slowing down. It shows the beauty of every single season and the importance of each. A truly wonderful and healing movie.

I am curious if any of you watched this movie and if you did please share with me in the comments your thoughts on it.

Until next time,
Maria

The importance of one free day per week

This is an era where we mostly talk about productivity, getting the best results and working hard. And we love reading and talking about these subjects. Because this is what everyone else does. We have to become productive, we have to be promoted, we have to work the hell out of us to be observed, to be appreciated. Well, this is how things work. And don’t get me wrong. There’s no problem with working hard, with trying to be as productive as possible, with getting the best results out of your work. This is in fact the way we can measure progress. It’s all fine. However, working the hell out of you while forgetting how to take care of yourself… are you sure about that? Well, I’m not.

I am the type of person who doesn’t like to do something because she has to. Thus I actually get quite unproductive when I do something because I HAVE to. That could be because when I have to do something, I have to force myself to find external motivation to make it work. When I do something because I want it, because I like it, the motivation is internal and it doesn’t feel like work. So yeah, you could say I don’t like work :)) and boy, I get stuck at work so often.

I often feel like we work almost all our life and we have less time to enjoy it. Work is what we sometimes talk about after work when we meet with friends over drinks to forget about work actually. How ironic, right? Work is what we do almost all our life. I myself learned so hard until now just to get a good job. While I am proud I did it, it didn’t make me as happy as I thought I would be. What makes me happy is actually the time I disconnect and forget about work. It’s not that I hate my job or working in particular, I just love more the time I can do the things that I like. Well, I guess this is valid for almost everybody.

In my case, as it wasn’t already enough to deal with a full-time job during the week, I worked also part-time, if I can call it like that, as a tutor during the weekend. I also had a small part-time for 2 years during the week as a teacher, which I think exhausted me. Being a teacher is great and I also found friends while teaching. I did it because I loved it and I wanted to have more experience, but I neglected myself in the process because I didn’t really have the time for it. I guess I overworked myself. The result was a me tired all the time, always busy and stressed. The worst thing was that I was getting tired by the things I enjoyed. This is something I try to be careful of. Therefore I decided to stop getting involved in so many projects and start making time to take care of myself. This is how I thought of establishing the one free day a week.

You might think that one free day per week is not much, but trust me, it works wonders. I usually take that day on Sunday. Sunday is my day and I do whatever I want with that time. I like to do activities for my mental and physical health like meditation, journaling or walking. I also like to relax while listening to music or watching my favorite Korean series. I put a lot of effort in preparing breakfast and coffee for me an my family as my effort to give a good vibe to others and to myself. But what I love the most is the care I give to my skin and to my mind. Sunday is the day I become the VVIP in my life. I am extremely lucky to have a talented sister who does my hair, who gives the best relaxing massage, who does my manicure and my pedicure. On Sundays I become prettier and calmer. This free day is the treat I give to myself after a hard week, and it also helps me start my week with less stress and less worries.

It’s important to work and to improve ourselves, but I think it’s even more important to know when to stop so we can take care of ourselves. Being an active part of this rat race is not something we can be proud of. However, getting to learn how to escape from the rat race is way cooler and you can show off with your skills of nurturing yourself.

What about you? Do you have a day only for yourself? Or maybe you have other methods to relax that you can share with me? I’m curious to learn other ways of slowing down and taking care of ourselves. Let’s talk in the comments.

As always stay healthy and positive and I’ll see you around.