In the moment

You know it’s about those moments; Those times when you are absolutely and without a doubt; content with who you are, what you’re doing and where you need to be.

Everything else melts away and you are here, now, present.

Those moments when everyone else is in slow motion and all you hear is your breath and the quiet spaces in between.

Those moments when all the negativity, the passions the complications, the half truths, and unfinished business of life; are all irrelevant, because they are not that important after all.

The only thing that matters is now. Everything before and after, is a need to remember and a wish to know more.

We long for the past, we wish it turned out differently, lament its absence and struggle to let go. Then we plan for a future; something we know nothing about, we worry about things that haven’t happened yet and set goals for what may happen; and only thing that really matters is our daily participation in our present; that is the only guarantee.

In these moments meditation happens. We let go of our senses we let go of our expectations we let go of our need to survive and just exist. We shed our masks, our personas, our ideas of ourselves and others and connect with nature, connect with ourselves, connect with our breath and actually pay attention, to the NOW.

Those are rare moments, and they shouldn’t be.

Next time you are at that place, take a step back, take a breath and be present.


The art of saying NO


What if you said NO instead of YES?

We all have found ourselves there. Those countless times, saying YES, agreeing, going along with, and acquiescing to something we ultimately wanted no part in. I often wonder if I said NO to someone or something that ultimately was not good for me, what lesson would I have learned. And how much time I would have saved. I have often agreed to go along with situations, relationships, jobs, projects or ideas when ultimately I realized they were not a good fit. That realization sometimes comes at a great cost, after a lot of lost time, and energy, emotional and physical.

Saying NO is hard, very hard.  We want to agree and be agreeable, we want to make everyone happy by saying yes to any number of things that ultimately we regret partaking in. We want to be open to possibilities; Carpe Diem and all the philosophical positivity of it, but let’s be honest… Half the YES’s are most likely not worth any seizing of any day. Oh I have regrets… plenty of them. And anyone who says they don’t are not being fully honest with themselves, because let’s face it hindsight is 20/20.

Saying NO is like removing another roadblock to your path of doing exactly and whatever is best for you. 

I regret many of my YES’s of the past but hardly any of the NO’s. I realize now, quite late in life that saying NO, is incredibly freeing. You release all expectations, you gently and without remorse refuse to partake in anything that doesn’t work for you, and ultimately you save much wasted time. There is no unpleasant back and forth, no unfulfilled expectations, and in the end you save your YES for something, someone, and somewhere that truly matters.

I’ve begun this experiment of saying no thank you, not for me, not right now, not at this time and at times when necessary a hard NO. That last one is the most challenging because it usually comes after much effort and coercion on the part of the recipient to hear something different. Those have become the most satisfying, like removing another roadblock to your path of doing exactly and whatever is best for you.  Recently I’ve discovered that by saying NO more often, I’m getting much better at it and more decisive about how to use it.

The next time you feel you have to say YES, don’t and see where it takes you.



Day 27. – Paris is Burning

Post 27 of 27.

View from the Pompidu Museum- Marais

I am posting with a small delay as I was in transit between Paris and London and I wanted to take the time to write about this last day of my 27 day challenge, and what it meant to take this much needed journey.

London Bridge 
Street Art in the London Bridge neighborhood of London

This year I celebrate my 40th birthday. It’s a milestone of sorts, as I’m sure it is for all who cross that threshold. I never knew what to expect of this day, whether I would have a family by now, whether I would be living in a big house or a small cottage in a village somewhere, or what I would be doing for a living. I remember when I was 18 or 19 calculating the year I would turn 40, and it was way beyond my comprehension at the time; but now here we are. For better or worse I’ve arrived… and new challenges and paths are beckoning to be explored.

Street Art in the Les Halles neighborhood of Paris

I was speaking to my mother, who reminded me of a memory she had of me when she turned 40. We were in northern Athens, at our then home, in what you would call an “affluent” neighborhood now; but back then, it was in an area no one wanted to live at. I was riding my pink and white bicycle with its training wheels; it was 1982 or ’83 and my mum had just turned 40 that December. I clearly can picture her memory; my mother was slender, as always, with a beautiful smile and a determined gaze, short curly light brown hair and big square glasses. My father good looking and in his late 30’s, a hit of seventies sideburns still donned his face and he wore aviator glasses. A year later we would take our first trip to Paris as a family.

The magic of Paris through my 6 year old eyes, will never match any other trip I’ve taken since. I was in awe. We would visit many times after that, but that first trip was like new world had been revealed. I had never seen such beauty in my life. Glimpses of the Louvre museum before the pyramids were built, the clock of the Muse d’Orsay from up close and the smell of the Parisian air, as we walked through Montmartre and the “dangerous” artistic neighborhoods of the 18th Arrondisment.

I remember still the taste of rich chocolate and french food at a small restaurant in Place Dauphine, now probably long gone. I visit that same little park every time I go to Paris. I sit on a bench; eat a pain au chocolat, and dream of my six year old self walking up the stairs of this larger than life Brasserie with sumptuous deserts lining each step.

Today I celebrate my 40th year, in one of the most poetic, beautiful places in the world, with some of my most treasured memories, and most treasured friends. Cheers, santé, Γεια μας. Onward to this next chapter.

Where, do you remember your most fond childhood memory, and where would you travel to next?


Day 22. Flight

Day 22 of 27.

Caught in flight.


The thing about flight is that it signifies freedom and direction. It’s full of possibility and promise. Traveling, seeing the world, being connected, being reunited, is a gift that gives us many returns. Whether we are flying away from something or towards something, is a fine line.

Escape or Destination?

Exploration towards, or walking away from another. The need for travel is about the realm of possibility and change. It’s a way to escape and embrace. A way to connect to a place and disconnect from a place. A dear friend asked me when I was leaving Greece five years ago, whether I was escaping something or going towards something.

At that time in my mind I was very clear; I’m going towards my future, a better life, a dream explored. Now after five years; I am not as sure as I was then. This questioning we all have of why we choose to travel and leave the familiar behind is a constant in my thoughts. But for now I’m caught in flight, and enjoying the ride.

What do you love about travel?  And where does your heart lead you?

Day 21.5 — Perseverance

Day 21 of 27.

When you’re determined to get somewhere even a snow storm won’t get in your way. Today, yet another snow storm covers New York in white. The streets of Soho where I took this picture were eerily quiet, as I have seldom seen them. Shops were closed for the day and a few brave souls were out and about ( mostly tourists!) Yet this image of a man on his bicycle, undeterred by the snow or the slippery streets; steady and determined on his path; reminded me of how much we will all go through to get what we want, to get to where we want to go, and to achieve our highest potential.

Sacrifice is inevitable and often necessary and even though we will lose friends, comfort, and sometimes our sanity; if we are sure of our goals then it’s all worth it.

I sat with a friend who’s a gifted photographer for a quick impromptu coffee. We weren’t supposed to meet and I had not seen him in months. I said this to him, because like him I lose my steam and my determination when faced with self doubt. I reminded him as I do myself over and over again ( yes I talk to myself all the time ); keep focused on the destination, and keep steady on the journey despite the mishaps and the trials along the way.

Our goals are only as far as we are willing to go to fulfill them. On this first day of spring and the beginning of Aries season… keep going and even if you fall, you will get there.

What is standing in the way of your goals and your path to them?

Day 20 – Time Alone

Day 20 of 27.


The blank page…. Every night for the past 20 days I’ve come home and written about a small snapshot of my life;  I share observations, ideas and thoughts, and about the matters that mean the most.  Tonight marks the first day of spring; another snow storm looming, my radiators popping and hissing resisting another cold, hard night.

I have had the house to my self these past few days, my quiet moments are mixed with music, the soundtrack of the city, and the sound of my creaky floors. These moments of solitude  I cherish deeply, yet these are the same ones, where I feel most alone.

There are those days when we are alone far away from everyone who we share our space and time with, that we take a moment to reflect on our path in life. Tonight, I will share only one thought with you before I prepare my next observation for the 21st day.

Sometimes time alone is the best time to find yourself. Time away from those who despite their best intentions may steer you away from your path because of their own insecurities, concerns and fears. Sometimes the chatter outside is the most distracting to finding your true self. In those times, step away, take a breath and ask yourself what matters the most.

For me tonight being alone with my thoughts has helped me realize how much I cherish this exchange with you, some of you I know some of you I may never meet, but writing this blog for the past 5 years and counting has been the most fulfilling experience of my time here in New York.

Many of my closest friends read my blog and don’t understand or don’t care about what I do here, but for me it’s a gateway to exploring stories, writing down memories and finding a voice. For some of you this voice has been a comfort and nothing gives me more joy than to know that what trials, thoughts, concerns, joys and pain I share finds another person and let’s them know that they are NOT alone at all.

Alone time is seldom lonely, because it connects us to who we really are, instead of a reflection of ourselves from others. I used to deeply fear time alone when I was younger, and now it is a most valuable commodity


How do you spend your moments of solitude?

Spend some time alone this weekend and see where it takes you.


March 20th, 2018– New York City to the world…

Good night

Day 19. Art as agent of change

Day 19 of 27.

James Baldwin’s quote struck a deep cord in my heart this morning. For as long as I can remember, art and artists have played an integral role in my life. From the day I was born, I was surrounded by writers, painters, poets, musicians, actors, photographers and architects. I would even go as far as to boldly state:  Art is the noblest of causes, and not for the faint of heart. I don’t consider myself an artist by any stretch of the imagination, because I have not served the cause for a long time, yet I still feel most at ease in the presence of artists. There is no more powerful weapon than the reflection of Art back to society. I write Art with a capital A because Art and Artists are deserving of the highest respect and also the most staunch criticisms.  Artists are agents of change, and as James Baldwin so aptly put it; here to disturb the peace.

Peace in most cases is seen as a positive state of mind, being at peace, feeling peaceful, is akin to what many teachings of yoga aspire to instill. Achieving Moksha (liberation-emancipation) from suffering and ignorance is one of the basic principles of yoga study; self realization and self knowledge being the ultimate goal.  I for one have a long way towards liberation, so I continue to search and refine my practice.

Art and Artists in the very same light, are here to liberate, disturb, question, disrupt and uncover and heal a society; It’s not just meant to be pretty to look at. Artists like Baldwin are answering a calling; a Dharma, to become the disruption of our ignorance, our complacency; our plastic bliss. This is a service true artists don’t take lightly. It takes a brave soul, a self realized person to become and live the life of an artist, especially one that reflects upon what may be wrong or untrue about society.

Of course the more controversial and argumentative artists become the more they disturb the peace and cause friction, discussion, and ultimately change. And hate them as we might; they are the ones we remember. It isn’t a matter of taste or ability. Its a matter of dedication to the art form, and its impact. I am often saddened when artists choose to play the game or play it safe and not use their amazing gift as a force of profound change. Disturbing the peace is not easy, but it is the reason most art is created. WE heal through art and artists break open the facades and the masks that society stands behind.

Support artists who you believe bring upon that change in society, in you and in the communities they work in. Because true artists ARE instruments of change, and ultimately peace. And as Steven Pressfield states in his Book War of Art:

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” 

What artist or artists inspire and move you to create change in your life?

Day 17 & 18. Perspective/Spring Cleaning

Post 17 and 18 of 27.

It’s a very quiet Sunday night, and I thought a lot about what I wanted to highlight at the end of this very productive and exhausting weekend. Perspective was one thing that came to mind this morning. Our perception of ourselves and other people has mainly to do with our perspective in life. If we see all things in a negative light, only negative reactions will follow each action we take. In stark contrast however I find that, even if something negative happens, we can either choose to see it that way, or to discover the positive outcome in an unfortunate situation.

There are moments when I get lost in the exhausting unfairness of the world, and in the disproportionate mishaps and unforeseen twists to my plans, as opposed to things working out just as I imagined them. In the end there is something to be gained from each situation; despite its original intent. My perspective shifts because I choose to alter my perception. These two go hand in hand in how we can navigate our lives.

I’m not here to preach about some amazing trick to positive thinking, but to put it in the context of an awareness that will get us out of a lot of dead ends, which brings me to my second topic of spring cleaning.

Spring cleaning as a concept is pretty straightforward, but in the light of changing perception and perspective, it helps to do a session of spring cleaning with our patters, our theories on life, and our perception of the world. When you clean a dirty mirror; your images will be clearer and you won’t have to make assumptions based on false or inaccurate information. I do this not only with my own home, which I consider my sanctuary and my place of peace but also with the people in my life, and the internal and external set of moral codes I’ve set for myself.

Spring cleaning allows us to not only see what we have; but what we may not need any more.  Ideas, things, belongings, our use of time, space, and mental focus. De-cluttering, re- evaluating, unpacking, rearranging our perceptions and perspective will make space for new, fresh and more valuable things to come in.

Clean house, clean mind, clean heart.

Just a little before the first day of spring.

What will go let go of, during your spring cleaning?

Day 15/16. A Room with A View

Photo by Robert V (@3rd. night)

Day 15 & 16 of 27

Today the phrase “your home is where your heart is” is my topic of self conversation.

As I get closer and closer to the end of this experiment of daily postings about my observations, thoughts, emotions, opinions, and ideas; this phrase came up and it’s the only thing that seemed important for me to talk about.

I’m the daughter of an expat American woman who grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts; but spent most of her adult life (45 years to be exact) in Athens, Greece; and a Greek man born in Athens, who despite all his protests has moved between Greece and the United states twice. I’m the amalgam of one true roamer and one homebody (nope it’s not my mum). I have moved house 20 times since I was born, and have moved and lived in Athens, Western Massachusetts, London, upstate New York, New York City, London, Athens, Mykonos and again New York. (if you’re not dizzy; I am!)

What comes to mind is a phrase in Greek which loosely translates to “the land you live in now, is your homeland). “Όπου γης και πατρίς” which is originally attributed to the politician and orator Cicero. This encapsulates the whole way in which I’ve navigated my travels and my many “homes”.

Πατρίδα-in Greek means homeland (fatherland to be more precise); the place where you were born; which is very different from Χώρα-Chora or country (also referring to the village/the countryside) which can be seen as a place of residence or nationality. In recent years I’ve seen myself as a nomad with no country, no homeland and no place to call home. I come from Greece, I was born there, I lived there most of my life, but as of now it is no longer my home.  I no longer have a family home that I grew up in, I don’t have a bedroom with all my childhood memories. I carry that childhood, and those memories with me wherever I go. I’m somewhat of an exile, having chosen to leave my home in Greece, and come to New York “for a better life”; and not really wanting to. As most exiles I feel uprooted, and this idea of connection to where I now live is quite frail.

This fragility of course does not come without a better understanding of oneself in connection to identity and belonging. A house is just a roof over our heads, but a home is where we feel comforted, protected, familiar, and at peace. I’ll bring two more Greek words to the mix to show the complexity of meaning and feeling.

οικία (oikia)– means house or home

οικεία (oikeia) — means familiar or something you find comforting

For now my house is in New York City, but it does not feel like my home, so the heart keeps roaming, and if my life is any indication of a pattern, it will roam again.

So when you close the door to your home tonight make sure that you feel at home, comforted and safe.

So… Where do you feel most at home?



Day 14. Motivation

Day 14 of 27

What gets us up in the morning? What excites us and motivates us to keep going even when times are tough and life gets in our way? I’ve been pondering motivation, inspiration and what keeps me going, especially during these very unmotivated winter months. There are things that I want to and strive to do every day, in order to keep going, keep creating and keep moving forward towards my goals. These things may vary for each of us but for me; these are my top three.

  1. Exercise/ Yoga/ and Meditation– This has been one of the top on my list ever since I was a young dancer. Movement, exercise, mind body connection keeps me going through very tough mental, emotional and spiritual difficulties. We all face our proverbial mountain of shit, we all deal with worry and stress and unfortunate circumstances, but I have an escape, a release and a way to let go of what my body can hold on to at any given moment. The release and comfort I feel when I practice yoga, meditation and dance all stems from the satisfaction that if all else fails I have my body and mind intact.
  2. Writing/ Creating and Art– My movement and dance performance days may not be what they were when I was younger, but I have moved my passion for expression in space, to expression on the page. It always seemed to be a part of my life. I either moved my emotions and expressed myself through movement or I wrote about it, and as of late writing has become an integral part of my daily, weekly and yearly contribution to something artistic.                                                                                    (One day I’m going to publish a book — I promise!)
  3. I am a yoga teacher and a massage therapist (feel free to book me any time!) and what I love doing more than anything is helping others find their bodies mend, get stronger and spread their wings. In every aspect of my life I’ve been seen and described as a healer, by others who knew more than I. I have never called myself that and I can’t say when this came about, but if I am going to be useful I would rather be able to serve these practices at the best of my ability and guide others to their self healing. This gives me great satisfaction and purpose.
  4. This is a bonus extra motivation… If I’m able to help another person become unburdened by their situation in some way big or small; this gives me further motivation to be more aware of other people’s needs and desires in connection to my own.

What what keeps you inspired ?

What is your motivation?