A well-known citation of William Shakespeare says:


“All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances…”


As you’ve undoubtedly discovered, the play of Life is often quite difficult. You will face unexpected challenges and long periods of frustration, depression and self –digging. You will often struggle with self-doubt, feel overwhelmed by helplessness and loss.


Yes, Life is hard, as the saying goes. But fear not, you should design yourself to complete your missions and complete the game at the highest possible level discovering the power and strength of your potential.


The goal of Life is simple: it is to Level Up as much as possible.

Each Level in life presents a particular challenge that you must overcome. Once you overcome that challenge, you get to move on to the next Level. The goal is to complete as many levels as possible. As you might notice the Life itself looks similar to a game. At the end of the game, the person at the highest level gets to have the best funeral with the family, relatives, friends and loved ones who really cared about the person.


My opinion is that each person, each human was created to do something that’s important and valuable to themselves and others.

It’s important to build relationships, finding the right people to love and the right people who love you. The ones who share their wisdom and knowledge, so that you can remove yourself up to the next level of personal growth and achieve something really significant. This sounds way easier and more fun than it is. Mainly because, as you’ve likely found out by now, most people suck. Navigating to the ones who don’t is a whole tricky matter that I’ll get to in a bit.


What is valuable now?

As my personal experience shows building up some skills or knowledge is on peak nowadays! The ability that adds value to the world around you and also makes you happy when you make kind acts towards people.


Life is a big and complex game. It’s the largest open world game known to date. We all begin with different starting stats and we’re placed into a wide range of environments that can either give us advantages or disadvantages.

But because most people have trouble conceptualizing Life, they therefore assume that they have no control over Life. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Life’s game is guided by a few basic principles that are designed to give the player an experience of a large amount of randomness.


Life is a never-ending stream of problems that must be confronted, surmounted and/or solved. If at any point, Life runs out of problems to give us, then as players, we will unconsciously invent problems for ourselves. Problems are what keep us occupied and give our lives meaning.


We spend most of our time preparing ourselves for problems that are expected. But it is because of this preparation that, by definition, the most difficult problems we experience in Life will be unexpected.

This steady barrage of unexpected problems gives the player a sense that she lacks control over her own Life, when in fact, the purpose of Life is not to control what happens to you, but rather control and choose higher level reactions to what happens to you.


You can respond to problems with either Solutions or Distractions. All of us must meet problems with a reaction (even choosing not to react to a problem, is itself, a reaction).

All reactions can be divided up in two ways: Solutions and Distractions. Solutions are actions and pursuits that resolve a problem preventing it from continuing or happening again in the future. Distractions are actions or pursuits designed to either make you unaware of the problem’s existence or to dull the pain the problem may be causing.


If you feel you understand a problem and are capable of handling it, you will pursue a Solution. If you are just sick of Life’s shit, then you will likely pursue Distractions to help them pretend the problem isn’t actually there.

The more often you use a Solution or Distraction, the easier it will be to use again, to the point where it will eventually become unconscious and automatic. Once a Solution or Distraction is unconscious and automatic, it becomes a Habit.


Habits are necessary because they prevent you from falling back to previous Levels you’ve already conquered. You as a player, once have found a Solution to a Level, must employ that Solution enough times to make it a Habit, thus mastering that level. If our Distractions become Habits, then we will become perpetually stuck at a level and not even be conscious of it.


Below are the five cheat codes to help you navigate your way through Life and reach the end fully satisfied and Leveled-Up.


You are responsible for this : You can always do something about the problems Life gives you. When you decide that there’s nothing you can do to solve a problem, you immediately limit your possible reactions to Distractions. And if you limit your responses to Distractions enough, pretty soon you will build a Life that is made up of nothing but Habits of Distractions. You’ll be running away from everything, and everyone, all the time.


Write down what makes your life of very poor quality: Separating Solutions from Distractions in your life is surprisingly difficult and complicated. This is because we have a tendency to lie to ourselves about our Distractions. We tell ourselves that we need our Distractions. We tell ourselves that our Distractions are just innocent fun. That we totally have them under control, and yeah, maybe I woke up under a bridge in my own vomit, but at least I remembered where I parked the car. See, I am responsible. But worst of all, sometimes we come to believe that our Distraction is actually a Solution.

we all need to develop an ability to observe our own thoughts. Psychologists sometimes call this “metacognition” or meta-awesomeness.


One common way to do this is to write down your thoughts regularly. This can be a journal, a blog (how do you think all this stuff started, anyway?), or even letters/emails to friends and family.

The important part is that you are actively digging into the problems in your life and looking at your behavior from a third-person perspective.

Therapy or meditation also work in this regard.



Complaining literally accomplishes nothing. Take a deep breath… and then hold it in… forever, because you need to shut up.

Complaining takes a problem and then prolongs it. People complain because they’re looking for empathy and to feel connected with those around them.

Unfortunately, complaining is maybe the least useful way to connect with other human beings. It’s like working on your cardio by swimming through raw sewage. Yeah, you’re getting a workout, but uhh, what’s that thing growing on your face?


Try to stop daydreaming in daily lives and let go of fantasizing in general. The human imagination is a powerful thing. But when applied to ourselves, the imagination can become another form of Distraction. It can be a way of avoiding what is real and true for us in the moment, a way to live vicariously through the images and ideas fed to us by others. It’s a way to feel a sense of accomplishment, all while sitting on our couch, alone. Fantasies are like any other Distraction – they are to be used sparingly and for nothing other than pure enjoyment. It’s when they begin to sustain your sense of self-worth, your desire for importance in this world, that you will be hobbling yourself, and you will never Level Up again in Life.


The best way to get rid of our Distractions and to reclaim the problems that have been haunting us since childhood is to expose them, to share them, and recognize that a) no, you’re not a freak, most people struggle(d) with the same problem, and b) that your Distractions are just that: unhealthy ways to compensate for how shitty you feel about yourself.

The only way to cure the darkest parts of yourself is to shine light on them.


Because that’s the real challenge: deciding what our own life is worth and then having the courage to go out and live it.


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Warm Up: Aerobic exercises for 15-30 minutes


Shoulders


Back


Cardio in the end of training : Stepper : 10-20 min + stretching.


Personal Notes:

I train mostly with light weights, focusing on the muscle contraction, and form. Training Routine: Monday - Saturday, Rest: Sunday.

Nutrition: it’s clear that cardio by itself isn’t enough to maintain a physique such as athlete. To achieve my impressive looks in future, I must carefully measures my macros; making sure that I never surpass my daily allowance in calories. I use MyFitnessPal

My very basic approach to nutrition –simply eat healthy, and cook meals at home as frequently as possible.


Competitive?

YES.

Always trying to be better than the woman I was yesterday.


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Current Plan : GYM 5-6 times / week & 1 day - rest.

Today I am planning to have Leg & Glute Workout. This workout will take 1 Hour and 20 Minutes I guess.


First things first - Warm Up:

10 min Sprint as per below scheme (there are three levels of sprints designed below, it's up to you what to try):

  • Level 1 - 20 seconds of work 40 seconds recovery x 10 *
  • Level 2 - 30 seconds of work 30 seconds of recovery x 10 *
  • Level 3 - 40 seconds of work 20 seconds of recovery x 10 *

+ light stretching after Sprint.

Leg & Glute Section:

4-5 Sets of 15-20 Reps.

  • One Leg Jump on a platform: when on top - put arms back
  • Sumo Deadllift
  • Body Weight Jump Squat
  • Single Leg Dead-lift
  • Smith Single-Leg Split Squat (additional)


Dumbbell Biceps Curl: 4-5 Sets of 10-12-14-16-20 Reps


Cardio in the end of training :

Rowing Machine (back & arms ) or Stepper ( legs and lower back) : 10-20 min

+ stretching .


Personal Notes:

Holidays mode is officially OFF!!

I like to focus on Staying Fit, Maintaining Full Body Strength, Cardio Endurance and Flexibility - to feel good from the inside out. I am consistent, my intention for fitness is on - so my body becomes a high performance machine. My calories - diesel fuel. I am happy about myself and thankful it everyday for work and dedication it shows me.

No chasing. And no comparing. 

True happiness begins when you focus on being your best self. And nourishing the energy you contribute to the world. That's why I train.


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Toledo is the heart and soul of Spain. This monumental ancient city is a captivating UNESCO World Heritage Site. Behind its daunting medieval walls, in a labyrinth of winding pedestrian streets, are some of most important historical landmarks in the country. Magnificent old stone buildings and quiet cobblestone streets whisper the legacy of the past. For centuries, Christians, Jews, and Muslims flourished in a "city of three cultures" and built a dazzling array of churches, convents, palaces, fortresses, synagogues, and mosques.

Puente de Alcántara: 13th-Century Moorish Bridge

Originally an ancient Roman structure, the bridge was completely rebuilt by the Moors in 866. The present bridge dates mainly from the 13th and 14th centuries. The Puerta de Alcántara gate tower dates to 1484, while the Baroque gateway was built in 1721. From the bridge, visitors enjoy magnificent views of the Alcázar and the town, rising steeply up above the river.

Catedral de Toledo

Toledo's cathedral is one of the most important Christian landmarks in Spain. The cathedral was built in the 13th century.

Alcázar

This ancient Moorish fortress, built on the site of an earlier Roman fort, was later renovated by the Christian Kings (Alfonso VI "the Brave" in the 11th century and Alfonso X "the Wise" in the 13th century). During the Spanish Civil War, the Alcázar was used as a Nationalist garrison and is considered as a monument to the heroism of Franco supporters. The Alcazar has been restored and now houses an Army Museum with excellent exhibits about the Civil War.


Iglesia de San Idlefonso

Near the cathedral in a charming square is the Baroque church of Saint Idlefonso. The church has an imposing twin-towered facade and an awe-inspiring bright interior with two paintings by El Greco. Tourists can visit the church for a small admission fee and may also climb the tower to take in sensational views.

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My second day being in Spanish capital was amazing as the 1st one!)) Tonnage of bright moments and warm feelings remain in my heart after the recent visit to Madrid!

Please don’t ignore Madrid on your next trip! I think there isthe best ham in Spain and churros !!

So... let's go)

My day started in the museum: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. The entrance fee for a general tour was EUR 8.00. I would highly recommend to plan a visit to any museum in advance, and consider high demand on weekends. I was lucky to arrive at the place at 10:00 AM, there was a small line.


By the way, when heading to the museum you can see Madrid Central Railway station. It;s very close.

After a portion of art inspiration I left for Plaza Mayor - historical center of Madrid. The Plaza Mayor’s origins date back to the reign of Philip III, architect Juan de Herrera undertaking the original design, it was completed in 1619. Unfortunately, it then suffered several bouts of flaming bad luck.

The Plaza Mayor wasn’t the original name. Its first name was the Plaza del Arraba, and the name was changed several times over the years to Plaza de la Constitución and Plaza de la República. At the end of the Spanish Civil War, it was finally given its current name: the Plaza Mayor.

Throughout the years, the Plaza Mayor has been used for a variety of different purposes. It was once used as a marketplace for food and other goods. It’s also been the site of many events like bullfights, public executions, trials during the Spanish Inquisition and crowning ceremonies.


The beautiful Mercado de San Miguel sits next to Plaza Mayor and serves a variety of pastries, snacks, and tapas. Locals and tourists alike flock here to sample fresh nibbles, and it’s a great way to see Madrid through the eyes of its natives.


Next stop was Royal Palace .

The works were carried out between 1738 and 1755, Carlos III established his residence there in 1764. Madrid's Royal Palace of is considered by many to be one of the finest palaces in Europe.

The Royal Palace (Palacio Real in Spanish) is not the official residence of his Majesty the King of Spain, but rather where state ceremonies, official banquets and other state functions take place. The King lives in Zarzuela Palace, which is just outside of Madrid.

Bronze sculptures of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza is located in the center of Plaza de Espana.

​As you guys might have noticed, I absolutely adore Spain. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I fell in love with traveling and my wanderlust hasn’t faded one bit. Spain is guaranteed to impress you any day of the week.

Hope sharing my experience would be useful & interesting for you :) 

XOXO

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Started to write the post on Saturday, last weekend and only today decided to complete it .. hehe))

Sometimes we get stuck, you’re not a hundred percent passionate about something. I know it’s impossible to wake up everyday feeling motivated when you wake up. I can compare it to the ocean. Sometimes you’ll wake up feeling like a tsunami, other time you’ll feel like just barely drifting to shore. When you feel like drifting to the shore, understand that it doesn’t always have to feel like there’s no hope. You can still feel inspired when there’s no motivation. And when it happens in my life, I revert to TOP modern mentors and their masterpieces. Why? Because, we tend to take inspiration from someone that has achieved considerable success in a particular field.

I have come across the citations of Robin Sharma, and picked them up, take a look below:

"Loyalty to others begins with fidelity to yourself.",

"As you grow more, you can see more. As you know more you can achieve more.",

"Life is short. Do big things.",

"Your habits are pristine reflections of your values.",

"Your "I CAN" is more important than your IQ..",

'Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus.",

'Be so good at what you do, that you become the Michelangelo of your industry,",

"Less ego, more excellence. Less talk, more do. Less gossip, more guts. Less busy, more productive. Less hate, more love."

"Your current conditions are echoes of your past choices.' and there could be more, but very these I liked the most.

The person who inspires me is Robin Sharma - he is truly gorgeous! I assume you would agree with me.

Robin Sharma is one of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery. As a presenter, Sharma has the rare ability to electrify an audience yet deliver uncommonly original and useful insights that lead to individuals doing their best work, teams providing superb results and organizations becoming unbeatable.

This person is a true global phenomenon for helping people do brilliant work, thrive amid change and realize their highest leadership capacities within the organization so that personal responsibility, productivity, ingenuity and mastery soars.

There are some of Sharma's famous books:

  • The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny
  • Who Will Cry When You Die? Life Lessons from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
  • The Leader Who Had No Title: A Modern Fable on Real Success in Business and in Life
  • Little Black Book for Stunning Success

My personal preference goes to the last one on the list. It's a wide range of things that can provide inspiration to you. Reading has been my favorite pastime since my earliest memory, and in my adult years books have become some of my greatest inspirations. Business, inspiration, and leadership top the charts in terms of what I spend most of my time reading, and I the reason I put so much of my energy into reading these particular categories is because books in this genre, again and again, have changed the way I think.

Q:

"Rough conditions can bring precious gifts. Life can be hard. We all have our good seasons as well as our difficult ones. But hard times bring many blessings. Like:

• Strength of character

• Self-knowledge,

• Courage

• Greater understanding and deeper compassion.

We grow the most as human beings during our roughest times. So why do we judge them as bad - when they bring such good? The challenging pieces of our lives just might be when we are most alive. And they always bring tiny miracles. If you are awake to them. "

"Talk is cheap. Actions speak. "

"Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results."

"Your expectations for yourself - and your life - become self-fulfilling prophecies. What you intend shapes what you become. So make a commitment, today, to be remarkable."

"Growth is the only evidence of life."

"Leadership and personal mastery is about rising above social approval - to self approval. Respect you. So long as you are living by your values, being authentic, running your own race and doing your dreams, who cares what anyone else thinks/feels/says about you?"

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The Spanish capital is a fantastic destination! Madrid has plenty of free sights and a walk around the city plazas and streets will show you some of its highlights. Personally me I don't like guided tours. As I'm the kind of girl who prefers to do some pre-trip internet research, grab a good guide book and go for a wander, I had avoided guided tours until earlier this month. One friend recommended to buy Madrid tourist map, so I decided it might be a good idea to get one.

The day started at Plaza del Sol and go for tapas and vino-fueled adventures across the city. Care-free and blissfully happy, discovering magical streets drenched in centuries of Spanish history and tradition. It was a wonderful way to fall in love with the city. Whether you’re traveling with your partner or travelling alone, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this elegant and unimaginably romantic city. ¡Vamos!

Puerta del Sol -the main square, in the heart of Madrid

This is Madrid's most famous and most central square, located just a short walk from the Plaza Mayor. Originally it was the site of one of the city's gates, which faced the east and was adorned with an image of the sun, hence the square's name. The square was originally planned by Felipe II and his architect Juan de Herrera, but was inaugurated in 1620 during Felipe III's reign, whose statue sits proud in the very centre of the square. Juan Gómez de Mora gave it its rectangular form, and after it had suffered three fires Juan de Villanova completed the work in 1853 by joining the four sides.

Directly opposite this building we would expect to see the most important of the 3 statues to be seen in the square, "El Oso y El Madroño" (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree).

The Oso & Madroño is the official symbol of the city although with an unclear origin - it seems that there used to be many bears in the fields around Madrid although the original symbol was supposed to be a female bear (osa). And the strawberry tree seems to be have actually been a hackberry tree (almez), which was once in abundance around Madrid.

Whatever the real history, this bronze statue is the work of the sculptor Antonio Navarro Santa Fe.

Madrid comes to life at a surprisingly slow pace. Nothing hits the spot like a strong cafe con leche (coffee with milk) and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.

El Parque de Buen Retiro (The Good Retirement Park)

Madrid may be a massive metropolis, but it has green spaces aplenty where you can escape the crowds with a picnic or a good book. Without venturing far from the center, spend an afternoon in Madrid’s glorious central park, the Parque del Retiro, once a retreat for the Spanish Monarchy.Vast and deceptively spacious, El Retiro is the perfect place to chill out and soak up the Spanish sun.

One of my favourite spot in El Retiro, apart from the Alice in Wonderland-style hedge sculptures, has to be the Crystal Palace ( Palacio de Cristal). One of the most beautiful buildings in Madrid, it’s a giant greenhouse built almost entirely from steel and glass, nestled away in a green city paradise. It was built in 1887 to exhibit flora and fauna from the Philippines, then a Spanish colonial possession. The architect was Ricardo Velázquez Bosco.

The Park is not only the lungs of Madrid, but also offers cultural, leisure, and sport activities to all people, those from Madrid and those visiting.

Buen Retiro Park is located very close to the Puerta de Alcalá and not far from the Prado Museum.

The "Alcalá Gate" (in Spanish, La Puerta de Alcalá) soon became one of Madrid's symbols and it is one of the most well-known monuments. It is now classified as a National Monument. It is a Neo-classical granite monument in the Plaza de la Independencia square. It stands near the city center and several meters away from the main entrance to the Buen Retiro Park. It was designed by Italian architect Francesco Sabatini in 1764 (with the King Charles III). Charles III ordered it to be built in the city wall, which marked the eastern boundary.


The Prado Museum

is Madrid's top cultural sight, and one of the world's greatest art galleries. Located in the eponymous street, El Paseo del Prado, its dazzling display of works by the great European masters such as Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Rubens, and Bosch (among other major Italian and Flemish artists), is housed in an 18th-century Neo-Classical building that opened as a museum in 1819.

Perhaps the collection's most famous painting is Velazquez's "Las Meninas," showing princess Margarita and her two ladies-in-waiting as well as the artist himself with paintbrush and palette in hand. Another of his famous works, "The Triumph of Bacchus," shows the god of wine with a group of drunkards.



The other major artist of the collection is Goya, whose depiction of nudity in the painting "The Naked Maja" led him to be accused of obscenity. His works make up such a large part of the museum, that his statue stands outside the main entrance.Another outstanding painting in the history of art is "The Garden of Delights" by Bosch, whose several other works are also represented at the Prado, as he was one of King Filipe II's favourite artists.


The Museo del Prado has the largest and most important collection of Spanish painting in the world, numbering more than 4,800 paintings and dating from the Romanesque period to the 19th-century. General price: 15 € for one ticket. The Prado is worthy of repeat visits, but if you are able to only visit it once, these are the major works you should not miss.

I thought I would not have to wait in line on Friday and I was right. As on the next day the line was mega huge, on weekends the museum is packed , so please take it into account when plan the visit. You can also buy tickets in advance online.

After the museum I went to Starbucks at Paseo del Prado to have my lunch and enjoy some cappuccino.

Palacio de Comunicaciones

The Cybele Palace (Palacio de Cibeles), formerly the Palace of Communication (Palacio de Comunicaciones) until 2011, is a palace located on the Plaza de Cibeles in Madrid, Spain. Currently the seat of the City Council, it opened in 1919 as the headquarters of Correos, the Spanish postal and telecommunications service. It was designed by Antonio Palacios and Joaquín Otamendi.

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The next and final stop after Amsterdam was Madrid Barajas International Airport on Thursday, March 23. The plane landed at 05:30 pm and upon my arrival I went to the bus station, that was closed to Terminal 2. The ticket fare was 1.50 euro one way trip. I took a coffee at the airport and departed finally.

Without a doubt, Madrid deserves a place on your European itinerary. The third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, it’s packed with museums overflowing with amazing art, restaurants and bars serving up tasty tapas and local cuisine. From the bus window I enjoyed lovely landscapes and pure beauty of nature. The weather was nice, sunny, not actually windy but very fresh air.

The bus I used was Line 200: Avenida de América - Airport. It goes to the subway station and then you can make a transfer to proper line in order to get to the address you need. Bus every 10-20 minutes. Later I went underground and bought a ticket to stop Rios Rosas. At the very beginning, it was pretty complicated for me to use ticket machine, some lady helped me to make a purchase. By the way, there are always free of charge metro maps on each station, you can actually use one or more if you need the city map. What I did before the travel is I downloaded the application Madrid Map on my phone and it works offline, really helpfull tool. 

The reason I came to Madrid was tourism of course, but also I have a friend, Mariano, and was invited by him in 2016. Definitely, when you have someone you know in a foreign country you are visiting for the 1st time, it makes you feel more confident and secured, although I was not that scared about my adventure. Additionally, I studied Spanish for a year in my university, and had a chance to practice the language.

The evening went fine, we had coffee and I settled in the apartment. As I left Kiev (Ukraine) in the early morning, and had sleepless night, was very tired, so no going outs took place that day. Deep sleep, like babies have.

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My first trip to Amsterdam, admittedly, was a bit of a disappointment. There were a few reasons for this.

The thing is I went to Madrid via Amsterdam, so the transit time between the points was about 5-6 hours. Obviously it's never enough time to learn something new, still I wanted to take a walk tour and not to stay at the airport for so long.

I was unlucky during the Immigration & inspection process at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. For the vast majority of passengers the immigration process only takes a few minutes- though in my case it was about 2-3 hours.

Depending on your nationality, you may or may not require a visa to enter the Schengen area countries. As I am Ukrainian, it's mandatory to have visa, that was obtained prior the trip for sure. Still, holding visa does not guarantee you smooth and quick immigration process check. The Officials reviewed my travel documents (passport, visa, tickets for flight to/back), letters of confirmation of booking hotel, etc) and asked questions (as deemed necessary by the process or official). I was asked tonnage of questions and they repeated everything for several times. it looked so strange, as I just had a tourism visa and my initial plan was to visit new cities and make site-seeing. But I was treated as some criminal, not pleasant experience in my life must note. Second-level inspection was conducted in a separate room. The timeframe of the inspection can vary greatly, and as I mentioned before mine took a few hours.

Approximately at 10:00-10:15 am they let me enter the city, the next flight was at 01:35 pm, same day. As you can see, limited timing and spoiled mood. Nevertheless, I was really excited to explore the city and bought two tickets for the train (to/back) for the price of 8.40 euro.

It took me about 15-20 minutes to get to Amsterdam Central Railway Station. It was opened in 1889 and is located in the heart of the city. The Centraal Station’s impressive Neo-Renaissance building is located at the IJ waterfront.

The Dutch are known for their biking, literally they are everywhere! Amsterdam is a lovely cute little city with less than one million people. But more than 1 million bikes. Seriously, I have never seen so many bikes in my life. How many bikes does one person need?

It’s easy to rent one and see the city like a local, but I chose to walk. The 1st building I saw was Beurs van Berlage. The building is constructed of red brick, with an iron and glass roof and stone piers, lintels and corbels. Its entrance is under a 40-meter (130 ft) high clock tower.

The Dam Square is the very center and heart of the city, and is the center of Amsterdam attractions. One of them is The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) which dominates the square, was originally used as the town hall and its classical facade and fine sculptures were intended to glorify the city and its government. In contrast to its turbulent history, the square is now a peaceful place and is home to hundreds of pigeons and tourists resting their tired feet from sightseeing among nearby Amsterdam attractions.

It was wonderful to see the historical city center with its enchanting canals, the countless illuminated vaulted bridges, the Skinny Bridge, Westerkerk, Anne Frank House... and all those beautiful old houses from the 17th century.

The weather in Amsterdam was awesome! I took a walk down the picturesque canal streets alone, immersing myself in the gorgeous weather.

The 'Bridge of Love': for those of you who aren’t familiar with this romantic bridge, it is famous for two things: its unmatched view of the slightly crooked Zuiderkerk; and the abundance of “love” padlocks that adorn its chains. These “love” bridges are famous all over the world, namely Paris’ Pont de Arts. Padlocks are typically locked to these bridges symbolizing a couple’s love and devotion to one another.

The number of canals have led this city to become known as “The Venice of the North”.

The Blauwbrug (literally, "blue bridge") is an historic bridge in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It connects the Rembrandtplein area with the Waterlooplein area. The bridge owes its name to a wooden "blue bridge" that was there from around 1600 but no longer exists and which was painted the characteristic blue of the Dutch flag. The stone bridge has three openings for ships and is richly decorated.

Rembrandtplein is one of the busiest squares in the city. Of course, Rembrandtplein is named after the famous Dutch master painter, Rembrandt van Rijn, who owned a house nearby from 1639 to 1656, creator of works such as the Night Watch, and in the middle of the square you can find a large statue of the man, gazing down on the late night revellers with a rather thoughtful expression.

The statue of Rembrandt was made in 1852 by sculptor Louis Royer and is of cast iron. It was cast in one piece and it is Amsterdam's oldest surviving statue in a public space.

Actually, these are all I managed to see during few available hours. Later I went back to the railways station and left for the airport to board on my next flight. The impression of the city remained positive, although It was full of the tourists. And became busy by the noontime.

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I landed at Madrid Barajas International Airport on Thursday, March 23, in the late afternoon. It seemed to be some raining for a while in the city, but then it was cloudy. The trip to Spain was long awaited and a huge excitement filled my heart and soul!

For real, so much internal and external transformations took place before I left home country and started the journey. For instance, the changes related to my appearance and taking care of the body with respect, keeping my eyes on the nutrition and the food I buy; there also was a transition from unconsciousness of actions and thoughts to the completely new level of self acceptance, appreciation and love. What I learned from those three months of my preparation for the travel is to be in harmony with yourself and the most important - to love yourself as if your life depends on it. Here is a secret of being happy and be available to share your love, happiness and wisdom with the whole great world.

There was a day, I vowed to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply - in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF. And this decision changed everything in my life. My thoughts became light and positive, thus the perception of the world transformed.

So what's practical, what's transformative, is to consciously choose a thought. Then practice it again and again. With emotion, with feeling, with acceptance. Lay down the synaptic pathways until the mind starts playing it automatically. Do this with enough intensity over time and the mind will have no choice. That's how it operates. As you love yourself, life loves you back. I don't think it has a choice either. I can't explain how it works, but I know it to be true.

Listen, there might be success and failure come and go, but don't let them define you. It's who you are that matters. Any personal experience is a gift, that should be valued and appreciated. This is the way to grow on the latest You. To become better than you used to be. I mean people stay focused on any mess and unnecessary, unimportant things more than concentrating on their lives and discovering who they are.

After years of self ignorance I found the way to stay in balance with ME: the only rule is that truth must empower you, make you better in every way possible. Find your own truth and live it. When we go all in, we find the answers. They're in us. And always were. It's up to human being what choices to make: remember that life is a series of choices and all we can do is make them. Mine was to be in peace with Myself.

The key, at least for me, has been to let go. Let go of the ego, let go of attachments, let go of who I think I should be, who others think I should be. And as I do that, the real me emerges, far far better than the Oksana I projected to the world. There is a strength in this vulnerability that cannot be described, only experienced.

If there's a definition of freedom, I think it's this: living life on your terms. And that what I started to do during my amazing trip. Its details are to be described in the blog gradually.

Sincere appreciation and love go to the Universe for the possibility to be here, to live and breath, to create my life and be a part of the world!

XOXO

P.S. next post is planned to be uploaded tomorrow, with focus on touristic and spiritual aspects of the travel I have recently had :)


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