Rainy Baku

39911573-AF53-485F-BD70-EF3E88B8E612I started walking / running exercise routine in October when the weather just started getting colder. On some days the weather was still so nice that I walked in a T-shirt. Then gradually the temperature decreased. Baku is a windy city and our winds can make it unbearable to be outside. Even when the temperature doesn’t drop below zero, it feels like -10. I needed to adjust to these conditions somehow, so I started walking in the Old City. Inner part of Baku is protected by thick walls that date back to 12th century and they hid me from the wind. I loved walking there and exploring it’s labyrinths and I loved that no walk was as the one before. Each time I was changed a route and I always came across something interesting and beautiful, like suddenly noticing a beautiful ornament on the wall or a door made to look like a giant backgammon set, or meeting an old lady that was so loving and kind that she invited me, a stranger, to her house for a tea.

When the winter kicked in, I thought to myself, so how am I going to do this now? I have to admit that getting out of the house wasn’t easy on some of the days. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover the willpower and determination in me that I haven’t noticed before. When I set a goal and I have a plan, I will go out and do it no matter what. And I’m proud of myself for doing this. Another thing that I came to discover is that it’s only the first few minutes when you leave the comfort and warmth of the house or a car that are difficult. After 10-15 minutes body seems to adjust to the temperature outside and it’s not so cold anymore. And the more I build running / walking into a habit, the easier it became.

Isn’t the same process valid for everything else in life? When we have to do something new, something we haven’t done before, it seems scary. In our day-to-day life we often try to run away from problems and challenges. But what if we saw them not as threats, but as opportunities to become wiser and stronger? I saw somewhere that fear was described as False Evidence Appearing Real. So, what if all the things we fear in life, are nothing but illusions that our brain created to keep us ‘safe’ in the comfort zone? But is my purpose here on Earth to be safe? I’m not saying that constantly putting your life at risk is what we all should do, however I want to live and experience this life to the fullest and I don’t want to be captivated by my own fears and limits I put on myself. What about you? Are fears holding you down from doing something you really want in life? Would you like to join me on my endeavor to become fearless, bold, unapologetic me?

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Bird’s-eye view Azerbaijan

Few days ago I stumbled upon gorgeous bird’s-eye view photos of my homeland, Azerbaijan. It’s truly amazing how familiar places can look so different when you change the angle and your perspective!

Icheri Sheher, Baku
Icheri Sheher, Baku

Images are courtesy of Gapp.az and Bakcell.

Flame Towers, Baku
Flame Towers, Baku

I go to sleep and then I wake up in a strange and beautiful dream. I open my eyes and I see that the sun has lit my room and painted all things in bright colors. There’s so much light everywhere around me! It must be a warm and sunny day. I get up and I walk to the living room. It’s is also illuminated by the light. I open the door and now I’m standing on the porch smelling the flowers and filling the lungs with fresh air.

To this day I never felt this way before! I feel life running through my veins! I see myself as strong and gentle being, passionate and calm at the same time. I’m going with the flow of the Universe, trusting the Divine. I feel lightweight. In fact, I feel so light that I can easily take off the ground and touch the sky, fill the sky and be one with it. In a flash of light, I remember my childhood dreams. I was sitting on the balcony watching birds. How they slowly flap their wings to gain height and then glide so gracefully, so effortlessly, like they are one with the sky.

Is it possible? Can my childhood dream come true? Cautiously I climb on the balcony railing and I feel wings on my back. I spread the wings and I push off the ground. Flying seems so natural! As if I was meant to! As if I always knew how to fly, just haven’t used this gift for a while! Gliding and rising above the trees and roads I watch people, cars and buildings become smaller and smaller.

I head towards the sea. Then I fly above the city. Everything seems so different from above! Then I head even further toward the mountain tops. I watch the rivers and roads framing the beautiful green land. Such a masterpiece! Creator is the greatest artist! Earth as a canvas, I imagine him mixing  colors, letting them flow one onto another, creating steady strokes, carrying over passion and love upon the painting and smiling at the beauty of his creations.

Like an eagle, I swirl effortlessly, one with the wind, I pause only to notice how all the problems, concerns, everything that seemed so large and important is nothing more than a dot in the vast Universe. I remember that infinite happiness I felt when I was a child. I remember my true self, my infinite nature and limitless capabilities. I will wake up from this dream, but I will always remember.

National Flag Square, Baku
National Flag Square, Baku
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku
Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku
International Mugam Center, Baku
International Mugam Center, Baku
Fountain Square, Baku
Fountain Square, Baku
National Flag Square, Baku
National Flag Square, Baku
Georgian church
Georgian church
Kurkosa island, Neftchala
Kurkosa island, Neftchala
Mingachevir reservoir
Mingachevir reservoir
Ismailli
Ismailli
Kurkosa island, Neftchala
Kurkosa island, Neftchala
Zaqatala
Zaqatala
Nabran
Nabran
Mingachevir reservoir
Mingachevir reservoir
Neftchala lake
Neftchala lake

For more beautiful pictures, please visit azerbaijan.gapp.az

Replay happy events of your past

I’m naturally very positive and optimistic person (or at least try to be most of the time:) and have read all types of material and doing all kinds of practices related to self-development. However, from time to time when I’m busy doing something rather routine, my brain goes into an auto-pilot mode, takes a negative direction and replays events in my mind that I would rather not remember.

The moment you realize this ‘negative’ movie from the past is on, it is usually too late to turn it off. It looks like the brain searches for similar unpleasant events and shows them at a speed that could really make Google jealous.

Then I got a hint from a sentence I read in the book – “Happy people focus on happy events”. This sounds like a great habit to introduce to the daily routine – Each day to remember one happy event of the past.

If we must return to the past, why not make it positive? And, by the law of attraction, the brain should get used to replaying more of those events in the future.

Thought of the day

You don’t have to agree with everyone and everything you come across, but you can always find something new and meaningful if you look without judgement.