Day 20 & 21 Springtime Poetry

Committing to the daily writing and posting challenge this year, more than any other year, has been of utmost importance. A sense of continuity for myself but also for you few but lovely loyal readers out there. It will probably continue to post thoughts, stories, poems, as I will not stop on the 27th of March; which was the original deadline for this daily posting challenge. Until then here’s a small catch up on the slightly interrupted flow.

This past week has undoubtedly been a strange, stressful and unexpected for us all. I’ve been remiss the last two posts so I am making a delayed submission with some extras before proceeding as scheduled with day 22.

March 20 marks the official day of spring. March 21 we celebrate world poetry day and in light of those two very special occasions I sat down and leafed through my favorites; to pick a poem that I love dearly and want to share with you all. Spring is when in Greece we dawn our march bracelets and count down the weeks and months till summertime approaches. March is known as a complicated month; unpredictable; precocious; unstable, and this time it’s reached a spectrum of unpredictability and fear of the unknown that has gripped me as I am sure many of you out there. Despite that I can’t not write and share and communicate that this is not just about fear. I took a walk in the park near my home today for what may be the last time before New York completely shuts down all non essential travel. There is a peaceful and eerie quiet in the streets. There are less people out than would have been on a sunny day but I captured some moments on my walk around the block and meditated on what I’m truly grateful for. What I felt more strongly than ever is the need to keep going.

March 20, 2020

We must encourage art and writing and story telling to continue and hold a place for creativity to flourish even through we’re all faced with these incredibly uncertain times. A daytime breeze is still beautiful, a walk in sun is healing, a beautiful song uplifting and a poem re-connects us all. I’ll keep posting and do hope to hear back from some of you wherever you might be.

Till tomorrow: A poem by one of my favorites E.E Cummings

Day 19. It’s the simple things.

It’s day 7 of voluntary social distancing here in New York and staying at home has been a challenge and a blessing. Now we have all the time in the world to focus on the things that we could never catch up on before. Time has become a loose and fluid entity these past few days. Hence why I’ve taken a couple of days off the daily challenge to just reflect and connect with my breath and my thoughts and write something different.

I’ve slowed down so much from my previous rhythms, that I’ve had so much more time to reflect on what really matters here and what doesn’t. There are opportunities in this global health crisis we can’t afford to miss. We’ve been either forced to stop what we were doing before but also take stalk of what the hell we’ve been doing to our planet to each other and ultimately our own health. We’re nothing next to this enemy within.

We’ve been told to stay home, help the collective good for once instead of the personal gain. We’re going stir crazy in our forced solitude, and all of a sudden it’s become a reflection on the little things. That is all that truly is on my mind these days. The grind has stopped and sharing a cherished moment talking to a loved one has taken ultimate priority over anything else.

I ( hope) know this too shall pass but we’re at a pivotal point in our existence and the space we inhabit and no amount of analysis will change it. Here’s a few things I’ve taken from the past

In the past week, I’ve cooked a home made meal for me and my housemate every night. I’ve listen to music and read a book with so much attention I forgot to stop at 2 am. I’ve stretched and moved with my friends in Athens who are also cooped up in their homes without any clear idea of when this will end. And all that I am craving is the little things that make life worth living.

The delicate and personal, the memories and the things we share with those we most cherish. The beauty of this planet and the connections we build. The smell of a home cooked meal and the clink of a glass of wine with friends in a shared tavern table just at the foot of the Agean sea. The crisp folding of a page from a book I can’t put down and the feeling of clean air against my face. Quiet mornings sipping a cup of coffee with my family before the day unfolds. No amount of technology can replace it although taking to friends and family daily is of utmost importance. The list of little things is like a treasure trove that we nibble at when all the supplies have been depleted. And here we are cherishing all that we took for granted. Living what we thought was a given and saying all we thought was understood.

Let’s hope we share on those small joys more often.

Onwards to day 20.

Day 6 & 7 Saturdays

Saturdays in New York.

The little things matter. Saturdays are about the small morsels and the unique little corners of New York. Life here is rushed, frenetic and fast paced. The quiet moments are few, but it you take to notice; this city is just as much about the grand story as the snapshots and little secrets of our lives. Today is all about Saturday.


The crisp air of an early spring has finally arrived in New York. The usual characters are out in my neighborhood in their usual style. The light in the morning sky is just little softer, just a little kinder, yet it’s still too cold to walk out without a heavy coat. I walk to my neighborhood coffee shop, and grab my usual before heading to a client in the East Village. Today seems like the self isolation of the winter is starting to slightly loosen its grip. Kids are dragging their parents to diners in the city and young boys are racing each other down the street. Amidst the insanity of the political, social, and world health turmoils; sits a quiet life that doesn’t stop for anything.

Saturdays have a special ease for me. I let the day unfold, unrushed, and unscripted. Every other day has an early start, a schedule, a task, a job, a time line. Saturdays are open, lazy, and as the springtime comes; perfect for long walks. Taking strolls in New York are the best way to see the city, it’s a city of neighborhoods, and the people who represent them. Morning in my neighborhood is like no other in the city, and afternoon in the East Village, especially on the first sunny warm days of the season are defined by two things; Day drinking and loud conversations.


Walking through the East village is quite possibly one of my favorite things to do in New York. I love this part of the city, it’s rawness, it’s unapologetic New Yorkness, and the more I get to know it, the more I notice the little things, the secrets that this neighborhood slowly reveals. I walked into Tompkins Square Park off of 10th street just as the sun was at it’s peak warmth before giving in to the crisp early evening. The locals, the ones that have always been in the east village, before it became cool for everyone to be there have gathered in the entrance of the park, to share stories, smoke a joint and play chess. Hard faces, with a slight sadness in their eyes, share stories and lingered glances, as spanish is the official language of the square. It’s an unspoken rule, that the old guard owns the park. It’s their place of gathering, their living room, and I would not dream of interrupting them. I sat on a bench, closed my eyes and allowed the sounds to fill the air. Kids running near by, a small food market closing it’s stalls after a long day and the influx of loud young voices of the people leaving the bars near by. I steal a few more moments to listen in on the lively conversations, before I move on to Canal street Market for a quick chinese pancake. The delicate spell is quickly broken after I walk away from the park, I notice the noisiness of the city start to rise in preparation for Saturday Night. I take a few more moments in the cold sun before disappearing into the next subway towards home.

Saturdays are my date with the city days. Daily life, can get in the way of the intimacy needed to sit and savor the moments the little things, the little details that only reveal themselves when the city is allowed to exist without expectations. New York is still stretching out her wings, perched up on a rooftop somewhere observing the landscape before everyone else steals her quiet moment. There is nothing casual about New York life, except on an early saturday morning, after the previous night’s escapades have been cleaned up with the shop owners and the street sweepers prepare her for the tourists and the visitors and the ones who won’t ever see her little hidden gems. Saturday is the day when the city is just for us “locals” to enjoy.

Till tomorrow, by the skin of my teeth and on the eve of a bright Sunday morning. Goodnight and Good luck.

Day. 2 – Connected distance

How to be present and disconnected at the same time.

I often find myself getting lost in a story of me. I find that creating stories about myself is a creative coping mechanism, because sometimes it’s just easier than actually being yourself. Mind you dear reader, as you’re browsing the online version of you to see who liked it, ( as I am completely guilty of doing so as well) I see you.

I don’t consciously try to be someone other than exactly who I am. Yet! ( yes there is always a yet) the “naked”, unfiltered, version of ourselves; if we are lucky, is seen by the very few, trusted people who deserve to REALLY know us. ( even more than we know ourselves). That version is most likely hidden under layers and layers of personalities, like layers of paint on doors that don’t shut properly after the 10th coating of acrylic. We therefore create personas that make a composite “acceptable” public image.

On this second day of my writing and personal challenge, I took it upon myself to be more self aware and more self accepting. Yes I know this sounds like some Goop article but bear with me. Spending time being focused on what is within rather than around me and on my phone, gave me an opportunity to quiet the chatter, the endless discussion, debates and arguments I have with myself and allowing for me to be just me, without a reflection of a self I aim to create.

Like many of us addicts weaning myself of this insane device and the image of myself I try to portray on it; is quite often a Herculean task at best. Hell I am on a daily open, very public vulnerable writing experiment on this blog for fucks’ sake! But as I pull back the curtain to my inner world; one of my current daily practices of mediation focuses on not sticking to any one narrative or version of myself, but rather allowing for all to coexist without explanation or refinement.

We should not have to owe anyone an explanation of why or who we are. We don’t have to be any certain way, and we certainly don’t have to show anyone else a version or versions ( public or private) of ourselves that are convenient, pleasing or comforting.

To be present is to be accepting of what is at any given time, because the present is our only certainty. Disconnecting from the story or narrative of who we are at any given time is never easy. Wife, best friend, teacher, student, political activist, girlfriend, woman. Experiment by taking moments away from your public life and see what you can discover in you that no one else knows.

More on the flip side.

NYC State of Mind

A story about finding and rebuilding a home.

Falling in love with Gotham is not an easy love. It’s not a quiet love it’s a passion unlike any other.

I’ve fallen in and out of love with New York City, its culture and its people for as long as I can remember. First in 1999 and now 20 years later. It was and is a place where you undergo change in order to survive, you must evolve in order to thrive and you must find yourself before you get lost.

This place is not for the faint of heart, and most importantly it’s not for the faint of mind.

Finding myself, my purpose and identity in NYC is the deepest journey of self knowledge I’ve undergone in recent years. Very few cities I’ve visited or lived in have had the same effect. For those who are natives, lifers, and full time residents; it’s a daily chess game of willpower and focus. You have to stay ahead of the monster and the game.

Yet the city has changed.

Whatever bohemian, free, society New York once was; has now been transformed, altered and deeply changed. For the better, or for worse , only time will tell.

Part of me liked the dangerous, mysterious Gotham to the fancy free NYC full of kombucha, beard oil and gluten free butter biscuits. New York at its core is not hip or cool, it’s subversive, loud mouthed, deeply spiritual, proud, driven city. It’s a city of newcomers and visitors, a city of passage and immigration and a city who’s pulse is in the hustle.

The give and take and heartbeat of nyc is on its streets. It’s not a romantic place. I’ve written about the lack of eros in this city since I first stated writing this blog. It lacks the finesse, and the flirtation of older cities but makes up for it with a true heart.

New York is not a place for the faint of heart. The love here is fierce, possessive and demanding. She’s drunk in the middle of the night with mascara running down her face. She’s messy she’s unforgiving she’s crude. She’s remembers everything. Yet hers is a love that teaches you first and foremost to love yourself.

Cheers to New York Fucking City

How to Gain Perspective

How we see things is not how they really are

Have you ever looked at something through your left eye and then through your right? Playing a proverbial game of hide and seek with our point of view often reveals what images we choose to see over others. Our vision is as reliable as our brain allows it to be. In most cases our minds have already shaped the reality we see ourselves in and being able to see differently, let alone change our perspective is as hard as changing how our brains are wired.

Perspective is an illusion.

Never trust people who say they are open minded. There is no such thing as a mind that is fully open to a new experience or point of view. Most of us are stuck in patterns of behaviour minted in our subconscious mind from our early childhood. As adults we reinforce behavior, point of view and frame of thought in an ever ending cycle of erase and repeat; thinking we’re growing or experiencing our world in a different way, but our minds have to work twice as hard to really, REALLY see the world and our place in it, in a different light.

We see what we want to see.

To see things as they are is different for each and every one of us. I will always gaze at a blue sky with the mind of someone who grew up near the Mediterranean sea. That shade of blue is unique only to that part of the world and no matter what; blue skies everywhere else will be compared to that, even though we’re all under the same sky as some neo-hippies would like to repeat, we aren’t.

Bringing Awareness into Seeing

Having perspective and being aware of your place in this earth is as primal as knowing how to kill our food before we eat it. Our instinct is for survival but our logical brain and our analytical brain is built to see beyond that. When people say “Use your Brain”, it’s literally making us look within, to control, discover and understand your patterns of behavior in order to alter what we see.

One Step at a Time

It’s not easy, no one ever said that perspective changes over night but if we don’t use these muscles, they will atrophy and then make us more stiff, physically and mentally.

Today make a committed effort to take time to observe further, stretch your brain as well as your body.

How Not to Fit In

Be a square peg in a round hole.

There is nothing more worrisome than predictability or more damning than fitting in.

If I were to start an advice column that would be its title. It would advise against prudence, predictability and letting things slide. Although anyone taking advice from me should probably check with their therapist first. I have never, ever fit in, and I have never had the desire to try. There was a very brief time in my early puberty when I convinced my mum to buy me a pair of Timberland boots and a puffy down filled jacket, because for whatever stupid reason, that was in fashion with the IN kids at the school I attended in Athens.

A year later I left the school to move to Western Massachusetts. To a fault, and deliberately I clash with the status quo, in ways that simply aren’t very forgiving at this stage of my life, and yet (there is always a yet); I am deeply in awe of people who are good at conforming, making due, and getting along. Sometimes I wish I could do that, but then I slap myself like Cher does and snap out of it.

I come from and was raised by a long legacy of women who world sacrifice everything instead of accepting their circumstance for the sake of convenience. Even though fitting in, going with the flow and just getting along would have been happily accepted by those around them; they broke the stereotype, every, single, time.

And here I am in my empty living room, boxes all around me; with the sound of a fan humming in the background; knowing full well, that living the life of a simpleton is not my cup of iced tea.

It took generations of women, ( and some men) before me; some still going against the grain, to instill in me the strongest desire to do better than what’s expected of me, differently, and often. Be something, and someone bloody different. The times of the what if’s and how comes are a waste of breath.

At the end of the day, our defining moments as humans are paved when we dare to transcend expectations. What saddens me the most about people and the choices they make, is not when they act differently than expected; because defying ones expectations of us, should be our greatest motivator; but when they react, respond and end up exactly as you thought. I’m more inclined to like someone when they defy society’s narrow view of them.

Men and women who have broken the stereotypes and moulds handed to them since the beginning of time, are the people I aspire to be like and learn from. What pushes you to move beyond the norm?

It’s been a while , since my last blog post, but I’ll defy expectations and get right back to that keyboard. If you care to see what I’ve published in the past feel free to pass by the posts section of the menu.

I’d love to hear your stories of defiance, small or large.

Be the Lion among the kitty cats lovelies.

Letting go isn’t about giving up

Knowing when it’s time to leave things behind.

Timing is everything. We conjure up timing for our lives, loves, career choices and major life decisions. Timing is also important when choosing to let go of patterns, and self imposed identities, that no longer fit our narrative. Yes it is a matter of choice. Keeping things around that don’t fit, don’t represent who we are, and don’t add to our lives; is clutter, and we have the power to either allow them to exist without checking them or removing them from our sphere of influence. Knowing how to sift through what we need and what we don’t is a very personal and sometimes painful process.

What to keep what to let go

We all have a tendency to hold on to ideas, people, things, clothing, habits, and relationships; a little passed their due date. We get rid of food that can possibly poison us if we consume it, why not everything else? I will include myself in the Emotional Pack-rats, Memory Hoarders Anonymous (EPMHA) group. The notion that we are connected, or defined; by our stuff, our memories and our habits has been a constant source of curiosity for me in the last few years. I have held on to beliefs that no longer serve me, defined myself in a way that no longer holds true, and stuck to habits just because that’s the way I learned. In recent months I’ve shed a very harsh light on those stale stories of me and it has not been a pretty sight. (think uncooked chicken that’s been left out in the sun for a day)

Stop the Insanity

When we stop collecting and keeping up with worn out, and overused possessions, and reflections of ourselves; we make room for the ones we underestimate or undervalue. Undervaluing is also something that requires assessment when releasing old narratives that we cannot sustain or make room for any longer. Cleaning the closet, throwing out, putting away and airing out our lives is a difficult undertaking, but it’s far better than keeping shit around that no longer works. That being said; old doesn’t mean bad, and new doesn’t always mean good, but doing the same thing expecting a different result is… INSANITY.

Get a Grip/ Helping hand

Loosening our grip on our self imposed ideas, pain, and played out narrative, requires a little (a lot) of patience. Getting a strong hold on that which serves us and takes our lives to the next level; requires focus. We are the only ones who can let go of our old script, but this is not a monologue. We co-exist with others, and allowing others to lift us up, direct us towards the light and help find our inner guide; is the only true way to let go and become a better version of ourselves. One that we can be proud of, one that we can stand by, one that can thrive. Holding on to old, long debunked beliefs is often traumatizing and knowing that we can hold on when we lose our balance is absolutely imperative to finding that balance again. The beam doesn’t get any easier but deep knowing, and self knowledge comes with a community of like minded people who can give us a nudge when we need it the most.

I for one am thankful for that net (work) of hands available to hold me when I fall. Letting go isn’t about giving up; it’s about landing solidly on our feet when we fall and knowing that we can walk gallantly towards out best self.

Day 25. Independence

How do be carve our Independence within an increasingly controlling world.

Rebels with a cause. We want to make a difference, we want to break free from the shackles of conformity, get away from normalcy and shatter the feeling of imprisonment within our own lives. Everyday we are told that Freedom is a state of mind. But it’s clear to me that being truly Independent, free, non bound takes an enormous sense of responsibility and personal effort. True Independence is a lonely and often treacherous path. We claim we are free, we are individuals, we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do with our lives, yet we increasingly depend on others, we want someone to take control and fix things, we want someone else to be responsible for our freedom. And we all know where that leads.

Fighting for Freedom, means doing things on our own without any, ANY help or assistance from others, yet in the highly connected, dependent and “who do you answer to” society we live in, Independence (with a capital I) from the powerful and the controlling has increasingly become a stigma, a stain in the “shut up and put up” mentality .

we want someone to take control and fix things, we want someone else to be responsible for our freedom. And we all know where that leads.

We all need to better understand (myself included) what weight and what importance personal responsibility, and integrity entails. It’s not a burden many choose to carry lightly. Let’s be honest when the shit hits the fan, we all want to blame someone else, and when our independence (with a small i) is giving us gifts, we stand alone on that mountain top thinking we’re kings of our own kingdom, when in reality; shaky ground builds a shaky structure. When we truly access our Freedom, we have to understand it’s gravity and importance; not only in how we see ourselves, but in how we project our Freedom on others. Screaming independence while acting occupied, has been tried all too often as a substitute for the real thing, making it a very confusing message to base our “freedom” on.

See what Independence means to you and how can you really carve a path of Freedom in the eyes of occupied minds.

Want to read previous posts? Check out the links below !

*FEATURED IMAGE BY: Robert Valenzuela check out his work below:

Day 22. Know thyself.

How it can take a lifetime to rediscover who we really are.

For the past couple of years, a week before my birthday, I sit down with myself in a very introspective way and have a conversation; to figure out “where I’m at” and where I’d like to go. This is more commonly passed around as taking stock of the year that’s passed (in these lovely self help kind of circles). I prefer to see it in a different light. If you were to have a more literal approach, it’s like emptying out your backpack, doing some spring cleaning, and seeing what weighs you down and what you still need to take with you in the next year, and if you need the backpack at all.

I’ve transformed birthdays from being this morose realization of aesthetic and body aging, to more of a celebration; I’m glad I’m alive and healthy to have a go at whatever dreams, projects, ideas, and insane firsts I’ve not tackled yet. I’ve written a lot about aging and “getting” older recently because frankly it’s something that concerns me; and not in the way it concerns most people.

I find that each year we get to create, evolve, try something new, rediscover who we are, (if we really knew in the first place), and take risks to expand and remap our horizons.

I was never a fan of: “well that’s it I’ve done it all, time to hang the towel.”

In the days approaching my birthday I sit down and do a litmus test of my path so far and where I’m headed; while asking the hard questions of myself that many others would not dare ask. This process brings out some guideposts for: How to get to know yourself better.

Upon learning ourselves better, we then establish what we’re capable of. All too often we adopt labels, philosophies, societal constructs, norms and limitations (self imposed or otherwise), causing more confusion and far less clarity about who and what we want and who we really are. Without making a huge fuss, I write down what I want to work on and what I feel has run it’s course; be it with work, passions, relationships, projects, ideas, philosophies, and personal traditions. In the past I’ve taken up reading books like

The Bhagavad Gita

The Four Agreements

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Ancient Greek mythology and philosophy

and the list goes on and on, but at the end of the day these are just mere suggestions. We have to look within for our own wisdom and truths and not be pushed or pulled in directions that we don’t fully comprehend. Knowing something and really understanding it, has been my focus for the past few years, because a lot of the philosophies or ideals that I’ve adopted over the years either don’t serve me anymore or have become a roadblock to further self discovery.

I’ve written a lot about aging and “getting” older recently because frankly it’s something that concerns me; and not in the way it concerns most people.

Self knowledge and self study, requires patience, practice, risk and above all willpower. We have to want to know ourselves better to take the first step. Sort of like admitting you’re an addict is the first step to combating addiction. Getting stuck is part of the human condition, but what we possess is the innate ability to question, rephrase, recapture and reassess, in the ever winding journey to knowing ourselves fully and not just better.

This technique of course isn’t just for once a year. Taking the time to take stock, find a quiet space and reconnect with who we are (rather than who we want to be); will lead us much faster to letting go of who we are NOT.