What’s in a home- A journey of finding a place of my own.

A Home is Where We Can Be Ourselves.

I always saw myself and often describe my life as somewhat rootless. A friend recently described me as somewhat bohemian, (a term I don’t particularly care for). Despite the romantic idea of moving around from place to place as being appealing, the logistics are often cause for reflection. I’ve moved house over 30 times; worked, loved and lived in three different countries. I’ve set up and taken down so many homes, it’s become a distorted hobby, and with every move I’ve made, and through my staunch defense of impermanence, I deeply long for a place to call home. The feeling of moving my life, my memories and my base once more is becoming a more daunting experience than I thought in the past. Every move, every packing of glasses, and books, and precious personal items, becomes more and more difficult.

With every move to another home, another apartment, and another space, I pick up new memories, new stories and new pieces of the puzzle. This idea that my childhood home would always be my home really was never a concept I subscribe to, and neither does my family. We are nomads, travelers, explorers of sorts; each a part of the never ending puzzle. Athens to Massachusetts to New York to London to Athens to New York to…. It’s a circle of connections one more interesting than the next.

2001 Leaving South London

I arrived in London from New York in September 2000, and while I had a soft spot for this great metropolis since my early childhood, living and studying there was an eye opening experience I would recommend to anyone. London is a city deeply rooted in history, art, music, theater, and cultural revolutions; it oozes tradition, yet the same stuffy London is host to the most progressive dance parties and groundbreaking art scene in all of Europe. Going toe to toe with Berlin, and Amsterdam; London is a pretty crazy diverse, interesting, experimental city, with some rad royals. Some of my closest, truest friendships were born there, my passion for the arts and culture was cultivated there, and my 20 years ( plus) yoga practice was minted there. Some 20 years on, I still connect with people I love and cherish in London. Their lives woven with mine, creating a tapestry and a life spanning more than 25 years.

Athens wasn’t and didn’t feel like home at the time. I had been away from Greece for over 10 years; moving as a family the first time in 1991 to live near my American Grandmother. A crazy experiment my family thought prudent at the time. I would stay a year, and go to an American School and then come back in a couple years for high school.

Returning to Athens 10 years later as a 23 year old was a like a punch in the face for this starry eyed idealistic Greek kid with an American upbringing. London served as a happy medium for “freaks” like myself. There are many (too many to count) Greeks living in London and like the countless Greeks who live abroad for many years, we think, maneuver and live differently. As a Greek American I felt more normal there than I did in Western Massachusetts, New York or Athens.

After living and studying in London for nearly two years, I packed my boxes for what seemed like the millionth time, while preparing to leave a friend’s apartment in North London. (My third move in almost 2 years.)

I moved from North London, to South London (Oval), back to North London (Angel) and even further North east; while frantically trying to finish my dissertation for my Masters Degree. I worked odd jobs to make ends meet, practiced Ashtanga Yoga at an amazing school and was living my life London Style. Which means flat broke but loving it, getting experimental hair cuts and dye jobs at the Vidal Sassoon School and hanging out at some of the best dance clubs in Europe.

One of my many homes at the time was the home of a still dear friend in North London near Angel. I spent the bulk of my year there, writing my dissertation, falling in love with a hot guy, who liked me so much, I thought he was crazy, and going to seedy underground clubs in Shoreditch and Hoxton (before it became popular).

When my studies were complete I packed up my life, with not the faintest idea of what I was going to do upon returning to Athens. Going back to New York seemed like a bad idea after September 11th, so in October 2001 I was on a plane back to Greece for what seemed like a permanent stay. I was leaving everything I had focused on in London to return to Athens; with no better excuse other than this deep need to be back near my family and my birthplace. After 10 years away in America and London, I was deeply changed, but eager to embrace my roots anew, and figure out the next step. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting into; but I was open to pure adventure, chaos, disappointment, new beginnings, and of course many many more apartments, houses and more houses where bits and pieces of my life’s puzzle were created. I don’t regret moving from place to place. I find that each place has something to teach us, but sometimes the lessons are harsher and harsher.

A House is Not a Home

The picture will be complete when it is ready, each piece so significant and unique in its own way. A home is where you can be complete, a home is not only where your heart is but where you are. The journey of discovering where is your home takes time. For some it is exactly where they started, and for others a journey to a whole new place. What remains true through every move and every journey is the mantra ” όπου γη και πατρίς.

The idea behind this Greek nugget of wisdom is that wherever you may find yourself on this earth/land, that is your home. And you carry your home wherever you may be. I take my home in my heart in my memories in my family. The ones I love who are closest to me are my home. Greece is my home, America is my home, New York is my home, Brooklyn is my home and this apartment I will soon leave from; was my home.

The next home awaits and the chapter begins. Boxes, memories, stories are packed carefully, so as to not break and the journey continues.

Please feel free to share your story:

Where do you feel most at home, and have you left your home to find another?

Afrobeat – A poem

Afrobeat, on a street corner where we meet

the sway of my skirt catches your eye,

oh my surprise!

Spring is here baby, you smile.

Tap tap tapping my foot to the rhythm so divine.

I closed my eyes and dreamt of cascades rising above me.

It’s our secret our special place our little paradise.

So nice… as my hips sway from side to side, I glide towards you, shake my head, snap my fingers and close my eyes and there I am dancing… dancing…

romancing the skies with my thighs.

This sublime rhythm of mine

caught your eye

as I sway from side to side.

Hey you!!!

I open my eyes. Rude awakening in a long cemented corner of my mind. Cracks letting in the light.

The past transgressions and obsessions faded into the night sky. Planted in the cosmos as reminder of my self hurting lines.

Past lives.

Unrequited reflections.

No longer eager to waste my time.

Settled in the rhythm of my own life.

as I sway my hips from side to side

A sense of pride.

as you slide your arm down my thighs I devise a plot to envelop you around my mind.

we’re dancing, dancing romancing the skies.

Mother’s Day

An intimate portrait

My mother thinks I’m strange and a little weird and that’s alright with me. She’s a woman who raised me to be independent and to think for myself. She often makes fun of me since apparently I remind her of her mother. ( in a good way). Her mother before her raised two children on her own and didn’t bat an eyelid she was uncompromising and completely determined to do well by her children despite the fact that she barely had a high school education.

My mother is a woman who left her very poor little town in western Mass and whole heartedly with incredible courage embraced another culture defying her circumstance and upbringing. Despite her seemingly limited resources she showed me that she’s capable of anything. A woman of sharp wit and immense beauty, she faced her demons head on and became much more than just another white poor American. She grew through her connection with not only another culture but a language absolutely foreign to her.

My mother is my hero and I have often made it my duty to protect her. She’s been an inspiration and also a voice of reason. She’s baffled by my obsession with cleaning and over the top tidiness ( a little OCD anyone??) but also accepts my very quirky not normal side with the love that only a mother can give. She’s my most honest critic and my biggest fan and that is what made me what I am today.

I’m a strange breed and she still allows me to be who I am without restriction or malice, she lets people unfold and has mentored and lifted many others who found their path with her guidance. Above all Christine Jackson Counelis is a badass, a woman of cunning intellect and superb humor.

A woman of incredible courage and deep knowing. She constantly reinvents herself and as she gets older she explores avenues that other women her age would shy away from. Intrepid traveler and ever curious soul.

Happy mother’s day mama Christina.

The End Game- a poem

REUTERS/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout/File Photo

Sometimes I lay down and wonder what it would be like to be your wife…
Fuck no.
Thank the universal beings and celestial forces you are as far away from me
as possible.
Undoubtedly so.
You did me a favor
With your razor sharp wit.
I must admit, I thought you were hot shit.
But then the reality hit SMACK DAB in the center of your fantasy of me.
You see?
God is in the details they say and you’re just murky
Trust me.
It’s apparent.
I gave you consent over my body.
Not my mind.
You played that one of a kind,
pimp game.
The lie folded into half truths and lead me to assume
that you loved me.
It was all above me like a noose.
I get goosebumps when I think of the shit I would have done to lower myself to your level.
It’s undeniable how unreliable
The pussy is compared to the gut.
And in you strut,
like a homing device for my weakness my vice.
You slice precisely like a surgeon, my heart into a cavernous hole.
But then you underestimate my soul.
And here I am Whole.
Compete without distinction or defeat.
I spit at your feet.
Don’t deplete my space
I have erased you from my memory.
click — delete
complete without distinction or defeat.

Day 23&24. The Art of Letting go

How to live and thrive in permanent impermanence.

Some people, never leave their childhood home, their street or their country. There are thousands more, who blissfully spend their lives, gathering memories, living in the same neighborhood they grew up in since childhood, and never have an impulse or desire to go anywhere else. I unfortunately (or fortunately) am not one of those people. I have moved into and out of almost 20 houses and apartments, 3 countries, and two continents, ( and counting) since I was a child, and currently call New York my home. After arriving here and sleeping in and on every bed and couch I could find; I settled in (it found me) a place I could really call home. This to a person who lived out of suitcase for almost 2 years upon arriving in New York was like an oasis in a real estate desert.

I’ve made my home here, I’ve made and lost friends here and after six years I realized (again), that absolutely nothing is permanent. Much like nature sheds its winter coat and welcomes spring; newness, renewal and re- calibration happens in our lives every day whether we notice or not. There will be moments (too many to count) where what was; is no longer and the more accepting we are of that reality, the less painful transitions and changes will become.

Yet we know that impermanence is allusive. Within our understanding that nothing is forever, we still get attached, connected and dependent on the idea that what is here today will absolutely be there tomorrow. Having grown up in Greece, where impermanence is our “soup du jour”; as part of our national identity we’ve learned to deal with massive and often destructive changes in our lives, and most recently in the last 10 years. What comes to mind when grappling with the lack of permanence in my life I tend to consult sage Greek sayings.

Greeks often sum up the permanence of impermanence with this phrase: ουδέν μονιμότερον του προσωρινού (nothing is more permanent than impermanence) . I find that for the uncertainty that has become the norm, keeping a healthy understanding of Non- Attachment, while enjoying what we have in the present moment, can alleviate the idea of “forever”.

Till then enjoy what you have now and don’t take anything for granted.

Featured Image by Filmmaker/Photographer: Alexandros Maragos

Day 3 & 4 Aging Challenge Challenged Part 2.

How to deal with an aging body- not just an aging face.

Age ain’t a number at all. The changes we undergo on the surface like the wrinkles, the grey hair, the change of our outer “look”; is only part of the complex and quite revealing aging story. I’m not talking about getting old, because we all grow older; that’s inevitably what occurs to our cells after our bodies reach their apex; but building awareness, and becoming wiser, not only mentally but also in terms of how our body works or doesn’t; alludes us.

The folly of youth affords us the illusion that the body is going to last and carry us forever; on the other hand the wisdom of age brings with it the understanding that the body will carry us as far as it’s able, and as far as WE carry it.

As we age, we have to contend with a whole new set of rules; mentally, emotionally and physically. As our body undergoes the slow and then rapid process of aging, we can’t afford to be aloof and callous; so we have to find ways to understand and communicate with our bodies in ways we may not have imagined. As a young athlete and practitioner of yoga; I did pretty much everything my body allowed me to do, and whatever it didn’t do naturally, heavy handed adjustments took place. I loved them. I loved being pulled placed, and adjusted. Over the years I found that deep adjustments needed superior knowledge and listening abilities from the teacher as well as the student. Having been in, and as I continue to explore both of those roles; I’ve started to approach my personal practice and teaching in much more well rounded approach.

knowing what our limitations are is key to aging well versus growing old.

Our Bodies tell us things all the time. They change temperature when fighting the common cold, pain and how we react to it plays a vital role to understanding our nervous system, and hormones play a very important role in how we feel and react to the inside and outside world. What happens when the muscles start to fail us, or when old injuries we had long forgotten come back to haunt us? Our bodies take many beatings over the years; it’s no surprise that the well oiled machine we may have relied on in our youth, is taking its sweet old time in middle, and in old age. Yet with all the “limitations” our bodies face as we get older, and the time we need to recover and heal may be far longer; with that comes a deeper knowledge of how to cope, manage pain, create space for our bones and muscles to become stronger and live a life based on quality not quantity.

Folly gives way to wisdom and communication is key.

These are some of my go to “body listening” techniques that have helped over the past few years.

  1. Meditation- I can’t say enough good things about it. Quieting the mind and connecting with our breath is probably the most important tool for aging, stress, anxiety and a host of ailments that come with an aging body.
  2. Exercise- Endorphins rule. Weight training, yoga, stretching, swimming and any body activity that doesn’t cause further damage. As much as I love more physically demanding exercise regimes (and I’ve participated in a lot of them) some of them do more harm than good, and knowing when to stop is probably the hardest lesson to learn when you’re physically active.
  3. Change of diet. This is probably one of the most important aspects to understanding aging and the body. Anyone who wants to slow down, and or manage aging and pain has to take nutrition very seriously. Diet and super food fads aside (no more KALE!) a proper nutrition consultation is key to managing and caring for our aging bodies. Diner consisting of four dry martinis and a pizza isn’t really a healthy meal.
  4. Body work, acupuncture, pilates, yoga ( again).

Change is never easy and witnessing our bodies as they age can be a very difficult reality to compute. I for one plan to keep this engine running for many years to come; but knowing what our limitations are is key to aging well versus growing old.

Στην υγεία μας.



What have you noticed about your body over the years and what have you done to adjust, manage and live with its many changes over the years?

The 27 day challenge 2019

Last year I started a daily writing challenge for myself, not only to share more stories with my ever loyal but small audience ( I thank you, all of ya!) but to dive deeper into why and how I want to write this “blog”.

It’s become a truer mirror and an open door into my life here in New York more than any other time of year. My birth month was my first choice for the challenge because despite what we all say; every year that passes we come closer and closer to the deep realizations of our purpose, existence and goals for this one life we are given. ( could be more but I’m not here to argue reincarnation)

In the year prior to reaching 40, many things shifted for me personally and professionally so I find this month long daily posting challenge is an excuse to write about many more things that rattle in my head in a daily, monthly and yearly basis.

Quite a large number of things I read about, think about and research don’t often make it on this blog, quite simply because I don’t have enough information to go on, I write from my heart, and I write because I love it, so I invite you to join me on this month long journey.

I certainly hope to see many of you along this road. At midnight each night I’ll release the post for the next day, and welcome discussion and cometary. Some surprises will come as well, with small previews of new poems I’m working on and a project that’s taking shape.

Next up:

Day 1: Your First Memory.

Random thoughts on: Procrastination

Why do we put off things we could do today?

Life happens. We oftentimes set things aside for another day, and that day turns into a month, and that month turns into many months and so on. I have found there are two main reasons (excuses) we use to put things off: a) We believe we have infinite time to finish, b) we’re eternally ill prepared to tackle any or all our lofty goals. But life tends to show us that neither reason is lofty enough to warrant constant postponing. Recent events and not so gentle life reminders have me thinking what a complete waste of time procrastination is; and with that grand introduction:

I would like to introduce you to the queen of procrastination….. Me.

I have been writing a piece on street art for the past 2 months and I have yet to sit down to finalize it. I have also recently put off working on my personal spoken word project that I have been working on for the past year. I have also not taken French classes that I promised myself back in September I would commit to. I have neglected to call friends I terribly miss, and I haven’t finished a small script. Why? There is no sugar coating this one.
Hello- My name is Eleana and I’m a serial procrastinator.

Next week, tomorrow, this weekend for sure, when the weather is nicer, when I’m not so depressed, when I get laid, when it’s summer out, and I can go to the beach, when… I have enough money, when I’ve paid off all my debts, when the trains run on time, when… the gods will allow. You get the idea right? When do we actually get up off our asses, our ill fitting comfort, our complacency and self doubt, and do whatever we’ve committed to? When we have no other choice.

All this talk of putting things off, reminds me of a Greek colloquialism often used when committing to something knowing full well that we won’t follow through with or will ad infinitum neglect, forget or put off until someone reminds us.

From Monday.  (Από Δευτέρα)

The Monday next, I’ll start a diet, next week I’ll quite smoking, next Monday I’ll totally take advantage of that gym membership I’ve been paying for and talking about. From Monday next, I’ll start writing that book I’ve been meaning to start. The list is endless. All these lame excuses always lead me to an amazing line from one of my favorite books about writing, creativity and living life to the fullest, and this can be applied to anything that we set our minds to do.

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

Steven Pressfield- The war of art

What does it take to live a full life without putting off the things that we are most passionate about? When is the time ripe for the taking? Does it take illness? Does it take the death of a loved one? What does it take for any of us, ALL of us to wake up and realize, life is not about next Monday, it is about the present. Life is about now.

From a serial procrastinator….

Resistance defeats us. Don’t let it.

2018 reflections- 2019 visions

The Greekrabbit in NYC and the year that broke all the records.

2018 didn’t suck (oh It did but not as much as years past)

I say this in order to preface any loudmouth, bitch slapping I’m going to do to 2018 and how I do hope 2019 picks up the slack.

My shit list and wish list is simple. These are not regrets and resolutions. Regrets are for people who are ashamed at their blunders and wrong turns and mistakes. I don’t regret anything I’ve done (ok except that one thing, with that guy who was a total douchebag), because each set back, fuck up, wrong idea, bad idea, and pure crap shoot is something that will eventually lead you towards a truer version of yourself. IF you’re actually open to change and learning from your mistakes.

Resolutions on the other hand, constitute finality and if we’re being honest with ourselves and the #lifegoals we set for ourselves, we never stop learning from mistakes and evolving, so if I don’t get to it in 2019, I guess I wasn’t ready. We take the good and the bad and make an assessment as to what we can keep from years past as lessons and what we can let go of and NOT REPEAT in the year ahead. 2018 overall was a step up from years past if people want to read last years list please feel free. There were some slip ups, mistakes, ridiculously toxic people that I thankfully learned lessons from and also thankfully no longer have in my life, there were goals reached, and others not so much but overall, I would say 2018 gave me many more gifts than it did head aches. Although I still miss my travel and writing hero Anthony Bourdain. So without further delay here you go…

Shit List 2018 TOP TEN

  • No more second guessing. Original instincts are usually the ones, you should follow. When someone tells you more than once what a narcissistic, asshole they are; believe them. ( They did you a favor)
  • Some friends are there through the thick and thin, others only when it’s to their advantage. (reminds me of a brilliant lecture I attended earlier this year by a cool football player turned motivational speaker named Trent Shelton — check his spoken word on friendships here. )
  • Not all people are worth your time, money and passion. (pick wisely)
  • Don’t give expecting to receive.
  • Saying no is absolutely necessary. Do it more often. (pick wisely)
  • Don’t sacrifice your truth for someone else’s lie. ( Lies are like cobwebs they trap you like a fly)
  • Fame doesn’t mean credibility.
  • Don’t take anyone’s word for your own comfort, taste, or knowledge. (build your own and often)
  • Convenience isn’t friendship, companionship or love.
  • ok this is a bonus from me to you — Small Penis, Large Ego (never fails)


  • Give someone who has shown they have earned it a second chance to be in your life. Redemption is more powerful than absolutism.
  • Love is complicated but also absolutely wonderful to experience in all its forms. More love please.
  • Have the audacity to live your way, love your way, dress your way, and express exactly who you are. (Life is short)
  • Spend much more time with people, than looking at them in a fucking screen (Life is too damn short)
  • Write a letter to your future self to remember the stupid shit you put up with in the present and to show yourself how much you’ve grown learned and developed (hopefully) in later years.
  • TRAVEL (life is… you get where this is going right?)
  • EAT– Eat good, healthy, amazing food and preferably with others
  • Art, in every form, with love dedication, focus, discipline and community. Make it, buy it, make some more. Because when we’re all gone art remains.
  • Shitty people come into your life to remind you of how long they will last before you tell them to fuck off. (sorry to the swearing but I don’t think anything else is appropriate here)
  • Bonus…. Piss people off more often, by being exactly who they tell you not to be. YOURSELF… But be kind, to those who make valiant, imperfect efforts to understand who you are.

Happy Fucking New Year.

Privilege–Crisis and Migration

One invaluable lesson the financial crisis in Greece taught me, is that one can’t take anything for granted.

There are few incredibly wealthy Greeks who remain untouched by the financial crisis. I am not going to talk about them in this blog post.

Countless young Greek professionals like myself, have had to leave their lives, their homes and their families behind for a another and very uncertain life elsewhere. I uprooted my life, (again) and migrated to another country, not only for a better life but essentially to survive. If all goes well and I’m able to build a life here in the U.S, or anywhere else; I hope to move beyond surviving, and to ultimately thrive and succeed.

Going back to Greece to live and work; is not a viable option for us who left. 

At least not yet.

I am far luckier than most.

With all the strides, that I have made living in New York the past five years; it has not been without its challenges. I attribute the general malaise of my fellow country men and women, not only to nostalgia or missing our homeland, but to the crude realization of having to prove ourselves somewhere else AGAIN, after having fought very hard to establish a life in a far less conducive and accepting environment.

I built a successful career in my field, and was afforded a relatively stable family and personal life, but most importantly Greece was my home. I LOVED living there. I had in general terms a good life. Despite all its craziness and complete chaos; I love Greece. Yet….most young people, (myself included when I first moved back after my studies), are endlessly discouraged by Greece’s pure lack of any provable organization, shitty public services, corrupt governance, disorganized and badly outdated infrastructure, nepotism, greed … rampant sexism, and most recently a newly emboldened racism and nationalism; the list is endless.

We all have complained, and continue to do so about how badly everything runs, how our corrupt politicians are stifling growth, entrepreneurship,  and innovation. Many of the people who left, wanted to make it work in Greece. We wanted to bring our knowledge back to our homeland. I like many of my contemporaries, have had the privilege of being educated in good schools, have had contact with some amazing minds in all the fields I have worked at;  (the Arts, Dance, Wellness and beyond), and have had the good fortune to be able to choose where I would like to live, but above all…. I had the ultimate “golden ticket”; an American Passport.

My privilege is not lost on me.

It has afforded much needed headway when coming to the United States to work and live after living in Greece for most of my adult life. Yet…. I am still seen as a bloody foreigner. Despite my many difficulties proving myself again as a yoga teacher, arts administrator and overall capable professional; this little title “American Citizen” protects me from far worse treatment and marginalization that many of my compatriots feel having never lived in the U.S, or any other foreign country for that matter.

When observing the difficulty my friends face when coming to the U.S for the first time, I feel immensely grateful to be able to navigate through “the system” as well as having a better understanding of the intricacies of living, operating and decoding how “the little things” work in the U.S. This is an obscure list of unwritten rules; it’s handed to us upon arrival and, we all have to follow them.

A rude awakening, to a new life.

Whatever life I left behind in Greece; losing the comfort and ease I was used to, was quite daunting at first glance. What I learned upon arrival to the U.S is that nothing of what I knew or was used to is applicable here. If I am going to survive, I must play the local game and all but forget how things worked for me “back home”. I had to go through the same “schooling” when I moved back to Greece at 22, after my studies in the U.S. The American way of life does not apply to Greek chaos… so I was called to re-calibrate how I worked “the system”, in order to survive and ultimately thrive.

This I find is the biggest gift, no matter how hard of a transition it has been. I am now fortified with the tools to be able to negotiate a productive way of life both here and in Greece. The local rules and “how things are done” are no longer a mystery, because doing things by the book in New York is only the first step to a long education about making it here, or anywhere else.

And the story continues….