All posts by ArtByHeart

How to Protect Earth

Join me in my mission and learn how to protect earth!

Green Ambassador
The Green Ambassador

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we
share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds,
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

Native American Saying

Q: You are personally engaged in many pro-ecological activities, responsible for green initiatives in your companies and your love for the turtles is widely known to public. What does it mean to be environmentally-friendly to you? What was your personal motive to become engaged in green projects?

A: I grew up living in places surrounded by beautiful nature and was a very active girl scout all my youth. I was taught both to respect and love the nature by my family as well as the scouts group.
 
As long as I remember, my family and I participated in projects such as cleaning garbage which people threw outside, collecting paper and cardboard for recycling. I have fond memories of planting trees and putting in some time and efforts to protect lynxes.
 
I was also taught about what kind of waste you can easily dispose of in nature by the means of composting. I learned how to minimize once impact on the nature, how to avoid polluting by the use natural products for cleaning and washing.

I learned how walking, bicycling, roller-blading and skiing can be great alternatives to cars as we lived in rather remote places. If the distances were too large, in my youth this meant 15 km or more, I went by boat, bus or train. These were very valuable lessons for which I am deeply grateful.

Q: That sounds like good life lessons indeed! I know you are active Greenpeace Eco-warrior, which projects are you involved in? Which other projects do you currently personally support or engage in?

A: Over the years I have come to conclusion that I no longer want to pay money for large organizations, such as WWF, who claim to protect nature or animals, as I sadly realized how much of the money they collect goes into organizational costs and other overhead.

Instead, I got active withing the local Greenpeace organization and take part of their actions when ever I can and also support their campaigns on the social media by sharing and commenting on posts making people aware on those issues.

Recent years I have concentrated in the fight against the wildfires of the peat-land and rain-forest in Indonesia and Malaysia. These wildfires at instigated by the palm oil industry, in order to get more farming land.

Wildfires
Wildfires destroying pristine rain forest in Borneo, Indonesia

This creates huge amount of pollution that both people and animals suffer from. The fires kills endangered animals either by burning them alive or making them seek refuge in areas inhabited by people, who then kill them out of fear or for food.

Therefore it’s important to boycott product that combine palm oil. Greenpeace has action where they use drone technology to hunt down the people who set the wildfires. I have been personally involved in practical field work to support this important project.

Secondly I have been actively protesting against the oil industry, who in it’s reckless manner destroys our water sources with fracking, pipelines and oil leaks. I have been collecting signatures for appeals and drafting newsletters.

One of the most recent actions by Greenpeace is the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. Indian tribes have gathered from all over to peacefully protest against the building of the pipeline in order to protect their drinking water and surrounding nature from oil leak!

Dakota Access Pipeline
Native Americans protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline

About 10 years ago I started supporting smaller conservation projects and personally helping out with projects such as reforestations of industrial areas and deserts.

I was blessed to meet a man who single handedly stopped the spreading of the Sahara desert. His name is Yacouba Sawadogo. His passion influenced me greatly!

 

Last 7 years I have also been involved in fight against food waste, which is  a really big issue nowadays. To be honest I wasn’t even aware of this before I met a wonderful person called Talley Hoban, who is one of most respected Eco-warriors in Germany.

She and her Back To The Roots organization arrange “Schnippelparties” where people meet to cook and eat food make from discarded ingredients. My friendship with her though me how supermarkets as well as individuals can reduce the food waste. There really is enough food for us all, we just need to learn to share it!

Q: You are also supporting many activities to clean up our seas, why do you feel this is so important? How about your passion to the turtles, how did it all start?

Mosaic Turtles
Mosaic turtles from Barcelona, Spain

A: I have always felt an unexplainable draw to the sea, maybe it’s my name Mira, which means Ocean in Sanskrit.

What comes to the turtles, I have always been fascinated by them, for me they really represent the sea! I have a collection of miniature ones, made from all sorts of materials, brought to me by my friends from around the world!

Sea turtles have been here for 10 Million years and the oceans are where they belong. Unfortunately they mistake floating plastic bags, that we throw into the sea, for jellyfish, eat them and choke in them. They get stuck into fishing nets and hooks.

I have been involved in several activities to clean up plastic waste from the oceans and beaches. I have also helped with the fund-raising of the Seavax project.

Turtle nests are also in danger as their eggs are still poached for delicacy. I have been sitting on beaches at midnight to catch the people who sell the eggs to the restaurants.

When people think of sea turtle protection projects, they automatically think of Asia. However I have also volunteered several times with Archelon project in Greece, which is the only sea turtle action in the Mediterranean.

Besides this, I have also been helping out turtles babies, which are in great danger when they hatch as the lights from the resorts and housing confuse them and instead of heading to the sea towards the moonlight, they head away from it.

Q: Have you made any changes in your life to reduce your CO2 footprint here on Earth?

A: I have made some small but important chances in my own lifestyle. I built my own house in a forest without cutting down the trees surrounding my house. I built a rainwater well to collect water and use it later.

Grapevines
Grapevines I planted along my driveway 10 years ago

I have used energy-efficient and clean methods for heating my house and water. I established a compost and planted plenty of fruit trees and berry bushes so we would have fresh produce without the need to transport it.

I mostly eat vegetarian food with some fish and seafood for extra protein as I know that meat production is number one CO2 producer on this planet, besides I love animals and don’t want to eat my friends.

I recycle everything carefully. I use skin and hygiene product that are not tested with animals and only contain natural, biologically grown ingredients.

I have taught my children to do the same! I cannot claim I am perfect but I aim to be very conscious about the products and methods I choose for me and my family.

Windmills from an airplane

My biggest concern are my frequent air-miles and driving around the Europe in my car, both for business and pleasure.

I try to take train when ever possible and I am looking into buying a Tesla!

Q: What changes would you recommend for people to make in their lives to become more eco-conscious?

A: Chancing your lifestyle can be difficult and therefore I recommend a step-by-step approach. Start with something that you feel strong about, something you would really like to change.

For instance if you feel bad about the toxins in your environment, look for more natural alternatives for skin care products and start introducing biologically grown food into your diet.

Teach your children to respect the nature. Don’t let them throw their trash on the streets and destroy any vegetation. Teach them not to waste food. Lead by example!

Q: The problem of climate changes, global warming and protecting the planet is very complex. What are the  priorities for companies when it comes to preserving natural environment?

A: First thing that comes into my mind are massive building projects which destroy nature on a long radius around them, in order to create free time facilities such as, sometimes even temporary, sporting arenas for large international events, offices or residential buildings, roads, commercial centers or even plantations.
 
I think all companies should act more responsibly when it comes to the nature and after the building projects finish engage in activities such as cleaning up the soil and reforestation in these areas.
 
We should also stop building in protected areas or places in which the deforestation or the building activities put endangered species in jeopardy! If we build tourist facilities to these places, they should be eco-friendly and we should make sure to disturb the nature as little as possible.

Ruhn industrial area in Germany
Smoke stacks in Ruhn industrial area in Germany

I also believe all companies have to think long and hard about their internal policies and see where they can make changes when it comes to pollution, direct CO2 emission, waste disposal, waste production, energy efficiency of their buildings, transport and storing of their goods.
 
Though should be given as well as small things such as excessive use of paper in the office, building lighting and garbage recycling. We all share the responsibility of taking care of our home!

That sounds like really solid piece of advice that everyone can learn from. Thank you very much for sharing your green vision with us! Keep us updated on your future activities to save our oceans and protect our earth.

As always with love,

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Ayurvedic Haircare

Looking for a way to improve your connection with Earth? Why not try out one of my favorite meditations: Loving Kindness Meditation to Open the Heart

How To Do Yoga and Meditation Anywhere

YogaDownload.com is your own personal yoga studio, open 24 hours a day. A collective of students and teachers, YDL boasts a 100,000+ membership base, and offers exclusive access to world-renowned teachers, which will teach you how to do yoga and meditation anywhere you desire! Our library of audio/video yoga and meditation classes are available for both download and streaming, via four different membership packages.

I don’t often recommend a product or service on my blog, but when I do it’s simply because it deserves one. This is one of those times I am going to make an exception to the rule, based on my own wonderful experience with this program.

What does Yoga Download offer?

I have plenty of customers, who like me have a very busy lifestyle and want to keep up with their advanced yoga and meditation practice on the road.

I recommend that they get a yearly elite yoga subscription at Yoga Download. It allows them an unlimited access to all the yoga and meditation download of videos and audios, together with live yoga and meditation classes, theme workshops and music for yoga practice.

This site simply has it all, their classes are starting from yoga and meditation for beginners to ones dealing with specific health problems, weight loss and pregnancies.

My clients have had specially good results with their program for helping people with back pain. Yoga For Back Pain  introduces you to the ways yoga can help you to regain normal posture and rid yourself of aches and cramps.

Find the Perfect Style of Yoga for You allows beginners to explore different types and yoga styles in order to find the one that best suites their physique and needs. I often use this class when my students are doubting if Hatha, kundalini yoga and meditation, Vinyasa flow yoga sequences or Ashtanga yoga practice and philosophy would best fit their needs.

Their yoga program also includes a lot of advanced yoga videos. For people with busy lifestyle  I would like to highlight gems such as:

Dana Damara Yoga Class – Be Still and Reflect: Evening Yoga – An Amazing way to quiet down after a busy day

From Frustration to Focus online yoga class with Dia Draper – A 5 minute session that will help your to focus at work.

What Sets Yoga Download Aside From Other Online Yoga Programs?

I also really recommend participating in their special programs and challenges such as Beginner’s Journey, 14 day Class Yoga Program.

camel asanaHowever my absolute favorite is the 7- Day Heart Opening Program which was in fact my first program on this site. It includes both daily yoga classes and meditation sessions that will release tightness and tension in your chest area and increasing the flow of energy into your heart chakra, making you feel lighter, happier, and more open to receiving the love that surrounds you. I follow this program over and over again and have dubbed it: My Honeymoon With Yoga And Meditation.

Have you always wanted to become a yoga teacher, but was not able to spend the time or the money to do so? Yoga Download has developed their own Online Yoga Teacher Training Certification!

This a unique set of courses specially planned to take you from student to teacher. I have followed this training myself by the request of my students and can testify it follows the same structure as the classroom led teaching methods and gives you the knowledge in:

  1. Anatomy and Alignment
  2. Vinyasa, Sequencing & The Subtle Body
  3. The Art of Adjustment
  4. Teaching Techniques, Building Business & Being a Professional
  5. Philosophy, History and Theming
  6. Meditation, Myths and Mantras
  7. Final Teacher Culmination

At $1495 this training is amazing value, as for a classroom led trainings you have to shell out up to $5000, without the transportation and board.

The courses can also be purchased one module at the time, in case you are not able to make the initial investment for the whole amount.

My Personal Favorite Yoga Download Content

Besides their video content, presented by many different instructors, I am especially in love with their audio classes.

YogaDownload ProgramThese amazing podcasts allow you to take your yoga practice truly anywhere, all you need is a smart phone or mp3 player.

I personally hate doing yoga inside and getting to classes  can be a real challenge with a busy lifestyle and remote location. When I’m home, I do yoga outside in my garden, when I am on the road, I do yoga anywhere where the inspiration strikes me!

Tell me, would you prefer to do yoga at the beach, while the waves gently caress you, or perhaps int he park, in the shade of your favorite tree? Sit an mediate on the mountain top or perhaps at the busy airport while waiting for your flight? This is my favorite meditation to listen to in a forest:  Loving Kindness Meditation to Open the Heart.

Yoga Gift Cards For Every Occasion

One of the nicest marketing strategies they have is the ability of buying someone a gift certificate to their online yoga classes! I have used this on numerous occasions for family members and friends. Every time it was received with the same delight and excitement!

Yogadownload Gift CertificateImagine what a wonderful gift it would make for bride to be to get in shape for the wedding or someone who has just had a baby to get rid of the extra kilos gained during the pregnancy without embarrassing her by talking about it directly.

Or just a hand your girl friend a beautiful gift card at Christmas instead of starting yet an other argument about all the burritos she is drowning. Is your husband sprouting  a beer belly? How about you purchase a gift that will help you to bond and get started with yoga together with you in the comfort of your home.

They pricing is either by package or monthly/yearly subscription. The yearly subscription is of exceptional value, costing only $99, the monthly ones start from $10.

YDL occasionally have discounted offers for yearly subscriptions, for Earth day and other special events, but their bestseller is the ongoing 50% off promotion on monthly elite yoga subscriptions. 50% Off Monthly Elite Online Yoga Packages

I cannot recommend Yoga Download enough and will continue to offer the benefits it offers and suggest it my clients for the times when they are unable to attend my classes!

You can read more about the beginnings of yoga in my own articles Starting Yoga Practise, Yoga Sutras and Surya Namaskar.

As always with love,

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Walking Meditation Benefits – Gratefulness

Most of the times I meditate sitting on my meditation pillow or laying on the floor in a dimly lit room, either with soft soothing music, or in complete silence. Sometimes however both my body and mind need something more. Join me discovering the walking meditation benefits!

Join Me in My Walking Meditation

Some days I really struggle to find motivation to continue with it all. Yes, we all know those days;

When we are too tired to even get out of bed

When our bodies hurt so bad that we are wondering how we will ever be able to not to cry

When have so many worries weighing down our minds

When the weather sucks, wind blows and rain makes everything look gray and dark

And when everything we have to accomplish that particular day looks like Mount Everest…

On those days, instead of just walking around like a Zombie, trying to just get through the day, I choose to do something controversial instead. Something that feels like such a chore and I can barely motivate myself to get started, but I know from experience has the power to turn my day completely around and give me a fresh new start.

First I push aside what ever tasks I set out to do that day and dragged myself out of my warm and comfy bed in the early morning hours. Instead I get dressed and drink a quick cup of tea to warm me up from inside, bundle up warm and set out in the cold morning breeze with my dog.

Muffit on the beach

Instead of dwelling on my problems, which has never really resulted into anything good or attempting to drown my sorrows by listening to some of my favorite music, I empty my head of worries.

I set myself a task. In my mind, I write down a list of everything I am grateful for at that very moment. You know the things we all normally take for granted. I let my mind wonder on those thoughts.

I go on until my mind is once again clear and free of doubts. Until I am able to think clear once again. Until there the happiness once again inhabits my heart.

Things I am Grateful For This Morning

This morning was one of those moments. I woke up with thumbing headache, my throat felt like a sandpaper. I could barely open my eye, that’s how swollen my whole face was. My whole body was aching and I felt like it had been driven over by a truck.

But I knew I had so much to do, so I had to get going. My first few steps felt so unsure on my swollen feet, I just wanted to collapse back into the madras and pull the covers over my head.

Instead I headed over to the bathroom, splashed some water over my face, avoiding looking into the mirror. Somehow I managed to put my clothes, even though tying my shoelaces felt like an impossible task as my normally agile body refused to bend down.

Finally I was ready and called for my dog, who had in the meanwhile given up on me ever getting going and had simply fallen back asleep by the stairs.

I walk at brisk pace over the wet fields, into a nearby forest. My dog is running ahead of me chasing birds, enjoying the exercise, sensing I am not in the mood for a play.

I start to feel how my body slowly rids itself of the nervous energy, the frustration of my daily life always charges me with. I continue until I feel the fog lifting from in front of my eyes and the weight on my throat, which was choking me slowly releasing it’s grip.

Once my mind begins t clear, I start with my list,  my reasons to be happy and grateful this particular morning:

grapes

How happy my children were last night to greet me at the train station after a week of separation and how their smiles and hugs warmed my heart.

How nice is was to open a fridge and eat something healthy instead of eating in the mediocre business restaurants.

How good it felt to open the door to my atelier and see my half finished painting, just waiting for me to pick up the brush and continue the masterpiece.

How amazing it felt to take a hot bath with my beloved rubber duck and soak my body aching from the travel and the stress.

How tasty my favorite loose Chinese Jasmine tea really is compared to tea bag variants.

How soft my dogs fur felt under my fingers, when he woke me up this morning, excited for me being back and eagerly anticipating his morning walk.

How lovely social media messages and emails are waiting for me from my friends and family and how I can spend my morning answering to them before anyone else wakes up.

How sweet the grapes I planted 10 years ago on my drive way tasted, when I stopped to pick a handful to savor on my way.

How relaxing it is that my whole company has Monday and Tuesday off next week and I can get some well needed relief for my work related stress and do something nice with the kids and concentrate on my blogs.

How wonderful it is that my kids have a holiday next week and they can join me to Poland where I need to do some work next week.

How amazing it will be to celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, tomorrow with some home made floating candles over a lake with all my children, yoga and Hindu friends.

How well the message, ‘My soul is carrier by the power of truth’, I found this morning in my beloved Love Chocks fitted into my mindset.

lovechocks

By the time I come back, the sun has broken through the clouds and it’s rays are gently warming my skin, I am full of energy and ready to start my day. The dog runs inside for a drink and I join him for an other cup of my favorite tea.

I change into my yoga gear, roll my yoga mat out in the garden and perform my Hatha session outside, enjoying the fresh cool morning air.

I always seem to concentrate on one Yoga pose, which particularly speaks to me that particular morning hop over to these guys. This morning it happens to be one of my very favorite, the bow pose, or rather the Dhanurasana.

Why do I love this Asana so, besides the wonderful graceful appearance it gives any body performing it? It has so many wonderful benefits and I have personally witnesses them all!

It has a wonderful strengthening effect on the back and abdominal muscles.

It stimulates the reproductive organs, good tip for ladies out there looking to get pregnant.

It opens up the chest, neck and shoulders helping anyone who suffers from the keyboard syndrome or is feeling tight after traveling.

It also tones and stretches all the leg and arm muscles.

It helps your back to get more flexible, hence reducing back pains.

It is an amazingly good stress and fatigue buster

It is also know to relieve menstrual discomfort and constipation.

It really helps people with kidney disorders by stimulating the endocrine system.

It is one of the top yoga poses in providing relief from headache.

Dhanurasana

Half way through my teenage daughter joins me without a word, she picks up the rhythm and we work through the poses in wonderful harmony. After finishing up, we eat breakfast together while she chats about her week.

My mind is filled with deep content and I feel a deep smile spreading on my face. I realize I’m stress free first time for days. My headache is gone and thoughts are flowing clear once again, I feel ready for the new challenges of this particular day.

Art By Heart

Afterwards I sit in front of my computer and write down the many wonderful new ideas I have for this blog dealing with art, yoga, meditation, healthy living and travel. Things that I hope anyone will be interested in reading and find some value in.

swans_painting

This means I will write about everything my life consists of and not in any particular order. I want anyone who stumbles across my blog to be able to pick up a particular story or interest, not having to scroll to the beginning.

What I will NOT write here about is my insanely demanding job as a chief technology officer of a start up company, except maybe in comparison to the life style I now actively crave and strive for!

I created this website a month ago eager to get started and yet once I finished creating the framework and the outlines for my blog, I stopped.

So why have I been neglecting my brand new website the last few weeks? After all I was so happy to finally get started! Why has it’s been so difficult to get started writing?

It feels funny because the words normally flow out me and my fingers dance on the keyboard. So I couldn’t understand how come it has been so difficult to write down my stories as creative writing, just like art, normally comes so naturally to me.

I could partially say it was because of my workload and the fair bit of traveling I did the last month. Or the fact that I felt the urge to concentrate on my art. I am sure partially my other, rather technically oriented blog is to blame, as it was much easier to write about something that was not so very personal.

But this morning I realized it was mostly it has been because I really am rather scared of what people think of my posts. I was going lay myself out there, bare my soul and show the flaws of both my body, my art and my life. Accepting criticism has never been my strong side. I will lay my heart out there, please be gentle with it.

my_heart

I have also always been a perfectionist, so it’s not easy knowing that doesn’t matter how hard I was going to strive for supremacy, I was going to fall short by some people’s standards. My spelling, my grammar, my choice of topics, my chosen pictures and my way of thinking. I would never be able to please everyone.

But this morning I feel ready for the challenge and will take the plunge, jump into the deep with my first finished blog post, with many others to follow.

If you have enjoyed reading my post, I’d love to head from you! If you reply to my post, please reply with what you are grateful for this morning…

As always with love,

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Hair Care

P.S. If you are unsure about how to start with yoga or meditation, take a look at my page  Starting Yoga Practice – Beginners Guide

How To Celebrate Yourself Every Day

The Japanese say you have three faces. The first face, you show to the world. The second face, you show to your close friends, and your family. The third face, you never show anyone. It is the truest reflection of who you are. Join in my journey to discover all your different aspects and  learn how to celebrate yourself!

So who are we really? Which face is the true one? Why do we need to choose? Take a look at me and decide for yourself!

When people look at me, they see a successful woman in technology. Strong and opinionated, like one becomes when working in the mans world for more than two decades. A business owner dedicating all her time and effort into becoming a leader in her field.

MaskedIf we are lucky, we meet in our lifetime few people who really want to learn to know us. To understand our deepest thoughts and desired, to touch our soul.

For those we open up and expose ourselves as never before. We search the depths or our soul and discover truths of our core being. We eagerly lay ourselves out in the cold, naked, hoping not to be judged, but loved and accepted for whom we truly are.

This is how I too spend my days, fooling and hiding behind a wall I built around myself. But I am tired or acting and playing games. My heart struggles to comprehend the need of the pretense and detests the lies. I do not like this person, she fills me with frustration and sadness.

Via my blog I invite you for a journey to start to learn to know me, the real me without a mask and filters, raw and unedited, with all my flaws and short comings.

Learn To Know the Real Me

Relaxing at the beachThose who know me well realize this is not all I am. Deep inside me lives an ancient soul. A dreamer who craves to lay on a beach feeling the soft sand under her feet.  A deep thinker who likes spending her time pondering about the word while watching clouds creating patterns on the bright sky.

A meditator who craves for silence and enjoys only hearing the seagulls screaming above and the music created by the waves crashing into the shore.

A romantic who finds beauty in every cliff  wall and grass leaf. The explorer who stays until the sunset wanting to touch every stone and trace the shape of every seashell collecting only the most beautiful ones to take home and base her art work around.

Yoga by the sunset, Bali

A truth seeker  who wants to meditate and study ancient texts on top of the highest mountain and feel the wind playing in her hair.

A yogini who wants to practice yoga until she masters every asana by the sea feeling the waves caressing her body. A teacher who wants to show the others the joys of balancing the body, mind and soul by practice and dedication.

A wanderer who wants to travel to far out destinations and learn about new cultures. An explorer who likes to discover ancient cities from donkeys back and cross the desert on camel.

A sensitive woman who is hurt by all the lies, deception, inequality and the political correctness in our society. A child eager to grow up without biases and hate.

By The RiverA nature lover who hikes through the jungles, sails the seven seas just to watch amazing scenery passing by and glides her skis through the powder snow on remote mountains.

A thinker who wants to ponder upon every mystery in the universe and solve all the problems which have puzzled the man kind from the beginning of the time.

A teacher who is eager to enlighten and guide others to find their true calling in life and lead by example others out of the darkness.

Rocker Girl

A rocker, who wants to loose herself in the music, loose all her inhibitions and scream out her frustrations to regain her inner calm!

A mother who wants to embrace and love love the life which she created. Protect, love and teach her offspring!

This is me, who I always was and who I will always be. An ancient soul trapped into a less than perfect body, seeking for enlightenment in this lifetime.

Here is a movie clip of me celebrating all aspects of me and my life

Join Me In My Journey

I would like to teach you to know yourself and celebrate all the aspects of your life, so feel free to leave me a message and introduce me to the real you.

We can take it slow, I am in no hurry. We have this life time and the ones to come to learn to know each other. I promise I will not judge, laugh or ridicule, but rejoice together with your soul.

I love my life
I am powerful, I am beautiful, I am free
I love my life,
I am wonderful, I am magical, I am me,
I love my life.

Robbie Williams

ॐWith all my love,
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