What happened to my country? What happened to Russia? What happened to this beautiful world?

I was born in a beautiful world, in a beautiful country, in Russia. The country that saved the world at some point in human history. It is sad that it isn’t mentioned enough in history books, while it should be the case, of course, all the time. If you don’t know about it, I will tell you. It was during the Second World War, during the fight with the fascists.

My grand-parents fought in that war, and so many people suffered, too many. An incomprehensible number for a true human mind. 56 MILLION. The Jewish, the different, the Slavic race, and other beautiful souls. How could it have ever happened, is a question that I do ask myself each day, because history does matter, and it does matter to KNOW.

My family was absolutely amazing. I had a loving, very curious mum, a wonderful farther, and beautiful set of grand-parents on each side of my charming parents. I spent my summers in a Cossack village, because I have beautiful Cossack genes from my farther, and I travelled to St-Petersburg, called Leningrad at that time, with my mother, who came from aristocracy ancestors (a real catastrophe, that most of them they killed, but some of them survived, thanks GOD). She showed me beautiful museums and powerful paintings, and taught me history and maths. Maths wasn’t my favourite subject, but thanks to my mother I kind of survived the test nightmare of algebra and the like they impose on children in our modern schools.

The idyllic picture of my childhood was broken when something bad happened in my land. We can blame the capitalism (and easy prey), or we can skip all that critical thinking analysis and simply aim at the truth: bad people got greedy, and sold their souls to deprive my Russia from its true meaning: an amazing land, guided by goodness and God. Jesus watches this land, and so do I.

Gorbachev, the kind, beautiful man, tried to create something even more beautiful. He announced some important changes: freedom of speech (extremely important), Perestroika (I still struggle to translate this dilemma), etc, etc, etc. He wanted more good, he had a vision of communism, a term that we started to believe to fear, but in simple language, it just means: everyone is equal, everyone has the same rights, everyone should receive free medical care, have food on the table and receive education for free, and isn’t it wonderful?

Gorbachev wanted even more: he wanted to wake up people and show them that everyone can enjoy theirs jobs: be you a cleaner, a clerk, or a president. It doesn’t matter WHAT you do, what matters is that you enjoy what you are doing. With my extra superiors efforts in this life to survive, I think I deserve more money than a bad-mouthing former ‘neighbour’ who learned to envy success, but it means that I have even a better vision than Gorbachev,more in the lines of Tolstoy, our beautiful Russian writer. Leo Tolstoy, was a true aristocrat, a philanthropist, who wanted to see beautiful Russia, where kindness would rule, and everyone would have food on the table, and lead meaningful lives. If you haven’t yet read his books, I strongly advise you to correct this mistake rather urgently, and start with his diaries, and only after proceed to Anna Karenina, and leave ‘War and Peace’ till the end, once your master your French. It’s a read I successfully skipped at my literature lessons at school, because I didn’t speak French yet properly, and the rest what was left in Russian (‘War and Peace” is written in both Russian and French), told us about long war narratives, that I found boring. But the love story was amazing, and I read all parts related to that, and passed my literature exam with outmost distinction. At nights I was absorbing his diaries though,-  beautiful notes, that I discovered by accident as it seemed, but of course, it wasn’t an accident, because good books always find their reader.

The dilemma of Perestroika resulted in a brain-damage. That’s the only term in English I can find to describe what happened next to my beautiful, unique country. But I will try to explain it in more accessible words.

There were kiosks at first, ugly corner shops selling Coca-Cola (the only nice thing), snickers, and cigarettes. My best friend and I, bought our first cigarettes there when we were just thirteen. No one was checking for age, and no one cared, as long as you had money and you could pay.

Then,  even bigger things happened. Vouchers came out from the state companies for ordinary people to get their chance to own some assets in their own country. But the country was starving, because Boris Yeltsin was in power, having chased Gorbachev out of the regime, and out of Russia. I want to know how it could happen, and I tried, because I was watching what was happening to my country with a disbelief of a twelve, and then fourteen, and then fifteen, sixteen years-old mind, and I was watching how Kashpirovsky was allowed to go on the state TV and hypnotise the entire nation via a live transmission. I tried to warn my grand-mother, who, as many others, was watching that nonsense, an act of black magic, coming directly from those in power then. Kashpirovsky was telling: ‘everyone will be fine, and everyone won’t be fine’, confusing the entire beautiful land, and how this was allowed is beyond my beautiful mind, but I want to know how it was even possible. I want to KNOW the truth. Because history DOES matter, and we can never forget, in order not to repeat the mistakes of the humanity.

My grand-mother got gangrene after watching it, and died in pain and suffering some years later. That was the moment, outside the church when we said goodbye to her, that I run out and shouted to the sky, to God: ‘’what the fuck? How is it possible? Where are YOU?’’

But of course, God was watching, as he always does, because at the end of the day, goodness always prevails, otherwise, it isn’t possible to continue living, and the universe is doomed. And this simply can’t happen.

The vouchers were immediately bought back by what you know now as OLIGARCHS. Everyone was starving, no one had enough food. There was some promise of American food aid, that they send sometimes to deprived troops in the army, and we got it at school. I tried the sausages and dry milk, and it was disgusting. But it helped to live.  I brought all my ‘American’ packages to my grand-mum, because she was starving, and she had sold her voucher back to the oligarchs because she didn’t have any money, as the rest of the nice, not that ordinary Russian population, for a penny.

Oligarchs were made, together with parlours of bad witches. It was all around Moscow, you have to believe me. Everywhere you looked, there was some advertisement: ‘a curse to ban your enemies’’, ‘I will help you to make even more money’, ‘I will bring you your lover back’. That was the moment when I vomited from my first cigarette, because it was the only thing that could help me to cope, with what was happening to Russia. People were shouting and people were crying. And I was shouted at and I was crying. My beautiful mother was in Italy then, because of some strange set of circumstances. I rejoined her when I went to study in Brussels, in French, at the age of nineteen.

Christian churches were opened though, including my favourite church, and it should be amazing and it should be unique, but money was being made on them too, and I almost stopped to believe, but I am not allowed, because God doesn’t let me. And I want to believe, because the idea to the contrary can’t be processed by my inquisitive mind. People were dying then in Russia, and everyone was miserable and upset, and it seemed like a fog, had embraced my beautiful land. Everyone was after apartments, where to get what one wanted, they were ready to put their relatives inside the psychiatric hospital. It was a legal procedure: you pay the ‘doctor”, he signs the letter, and then the poor distressed individual (usually an older relative) is driven inside a psychiatric hospital to disappear. Other schemes were created, and it was all about money, it was all about how to get even more rich.

I want to know how did it happen, and I want to know who was behind all that, and what was said, and understand the incomprehensible dilemma of oligarchs now ruling the world, from their perspectives of offshore brands, stealing money from innocent people, stealing properties from other countries, stealing all the goodness what is still left in this world.

They call it Psychosis. That’s how my quest, my incomprehension about what happened to Russia, and as a result, to the rest of the world, is defined in medical, psychiatric terms. It struck me shortly after September 11, right when I landed working as a financial analyst of banks in a beautiful company in Amsterdam. I saw the image of crushing planes when I was at my gym. I even tried to go to my step class like some other members. But I couldn’t stay there. Instead I run outside and I vomited, and then I watched how stock markets made billions on the sake of the human distress, because I worked in finances, and it was in front of my eyes. And I remember thinking: ‘but that’s exactly what happened back in Russia’, and it was hard to process, and I couldn’t understand how people could laugh, and continue living, and not just cry, like I was doing after that day. I, obviously, couldn’t return to the gym after that day either. I hate all the gyms now.

You know what happened next: Saddam Hussein was publicly executed on a stage. Apparently you could even ‘enjoy’ a place on a stage to watch that awful act. Apparently, it was even filmed, like some sort of Big Brother, that is presented to us as something that we should enjoy and be entertained with, as if it is normal. Amelie Nothomb, my favourite Belgian writer wrote about a similar story in ‘Sulphuric Acid’. I read it in French, but you can get it in English. All her books are more than amazing, they are unique. If you haven’t read her yet, I urgently advise you to do so. Start with ‘Stupeur et Tremblements’ – a beautiful, enjoyable read, a comedy, and then move to her other books, in the order that she wrote them, like I do.

One day, when I came back to Brussels, after my spell in the Amsterdam city for good seven years, I woke up in one of my lucid dreaming, crying. I was standing in front of Saint Basil Cathedral in Moscow, one of the most beautiful churches, the real, and I was crying and I was in terrible pain.

And now I know, I was crying for Russia, and I was crying for my beautiful land, and I was crying for what happened to Jesus, and I was crying to what had happened on our planet earth.

But they call it psychosis, because some people tell you that you should just be happy and enjoy your life.

And of course, one should be happy and enjoy one’s life. But I don’t know how to be happy when such terrible things happen on this earth.

How is it even possible, can someone explain??? How can one dare to feel happy when so many other beautiful people are in so much pain?

Standing at the Waterfall. Believing in the change for the better

It was in December last year that I discovered a beautiful waterfall in Sheffield, the day before my departure from my beloved city to another town, in another land.

I remember how surprised I was to see the waterfall because I didn’t know that it was there, despite the fact that I lived in Sheffield for 11 years. It was well-hidden, and I discovered it by accident. We had a climbing good-buy party organised for my son and his friends at a small sport centre, and the waterfall was right next to it, in the area called Heeley, an area situated among numerous hills of the beautiful city of Sheffield, in the UK.

I made some pictures of me standing at the waterfall, because I could understand the significance of the moment: I was about to totally change my life, and for the better. A month ago I was offered an amazing job in a truly picturesque town in Friesland, in the north of the Netherlands. It involved moving with my son and my cat and starting a new life. And waterfall symbolised, of course, all that changes. I remember my feeling when I stood next to it: I was daring to radically change my life, and while I was, obviously terrified, I was also very excited. I could feel that the change would be good for me and my family, but as with all new changes, the feeling of fear is natural: what if it doesn’t work? Will I miss my old life and especially, my friends, and the comfort of knowing? Knowing that each day will bring, knowing your favourite cafes and places, knowing how your day will enfold, which brings a certain stability and security?

All these feelings were rushing through my mind, but I knew that I was making a right choice. Sometimes, radical solutions are needed to radically change one’s life. There are needed when there is stagnation on all levels, where nothing furthers and sometimes, it can result in not just a new job, or a new hobby, but even a new city, and a new land.

However, I noticed that many people are really afraid to make even small changes in their lives. I remember a friend who was once stuck in the same job for many years and when I asked why wouldn’t she change it since she was so obviously, unhappy, her reply was that she doesn’t like changes and is afraid of making them. The same job, or the same place of living, or even the same relationship even if very unhappy, provides the routine, and delusions our mind into a fake feeling of comfort and security. You might wake up each day feeling miserable, hating your job and your husband, but you are afraid to step out of the comfort zone of your own misery because of the fear of the unknown. What if I won’t have any money if I leave my husband? What if I won’t not find another job? What if I will never find another love and stay on my own?

What if…what if…

What ifs, I noticed, are the biggest stumbling blocks in our life, preventing us from achieving our full potential. And our potential lies in feeling happy and joyful and being grateful each day for the gifts the universe bestows on us when we feel happy, truly happy, and live a meaningful life.

A friend of mine left her husband two months ago, after a miserable relationship of fifteen years. She had no money, no job, living in a city where she knew no one. The husband emotionally abused her, was never present, was unfaithful, and can be referred to as a total despot. My friend was afraid to leave him because she didn’t have her own money, no job, and no place where to go.

But something happened that made her reach her break point. One day she just packed all her stuff and her two children and left, into real nowhere. She had nothing on her or with her, no money, no security, no place where to stay.

And you know what? The most amazing thing happened next. A long forgotten friend called her, and once she learned what had happened, invited her and her children to stay with her, in a house in the same city. Then her other friends called, offering her money. Another acquaintance transferred her money so that she can repair her car. All these things didn’t happen out of the blue, of course. It was a way of the universe to show her that she finally made the right choice, that she had to tap into her inner power and not be afraid of the unknown. Now it is up to her to recognise all these signs from the universe, and start working into reaching her full potential and build a happy life for herself and her children.

I was unhappy in Sheffield in the last couple of years, even if I truly loved the city and the comfort of knowing many places, and having beautiful friendships. But I knew that something had to change, and especially in my professional sphere, even if I worked already at three universities. But there was no stability anymore in the zero-contract reality built under the Tories, and I needed stability to be able to fully enjoy my teaching job, and liberate as a result the space for my other activities, such as creating, writing and working as a light worker.

But if I were afraid I would never make the changes I really needed. I would never follow the jobs ads, including in other countries, and apply for the wonderful job I have now. I am sure that some other, maybe even better candidates saw the ad, but didn’t apply, didn’t apply out of fear, of fear of the unknown. Moving into another country is one of the biggest leaps one can dare, but this is probably an extreme example, although I am not so sure.

One can start with smaller steps: today I will start looking for a possibility to retrain, today I will start learning a new language, today I will finally read a book in self-development, today I will summon my courage and start changing my life.

It all starts with desire, and not letting go of it. If it is a right desire, a right wish, then the universe will make it work, provided you listen to its signals, to its sometimes unusual manifestations of your wish. But if something feels right, something that you know will make you happy, then let go of that fear and walk into the next door to a happy and meaningful life.

Manifesting a life you truly wants starts with believing that you can change things in your life.