My Cyprus (renaissance) story…

… or how you too can choose to find opportunity in the current coronavirus situation

I have to be brutally honest. 🙊

I love my life right now. 🥰 I feel reborn. One could say, I’ve experienced a personal renaissance. (French: [ʁənɛsɑ̃s], meaning “re-birth”, from renaître “to be born again”)

I have an almost unlimited amount of energy, elan, and motivation. My willpower is strong. I’ve been waking up at 3 am lately and feeling disappointed that it’s not 5 am yet because that would be a more reasonable time to get up. Sometimes, I get up anyway. It’s not like anyone is watching me to see my borderline insanity. Is it? 👽

The day is too short for all the things I want to do. Not long ago, I was taking multiple naps per day because I was bored and uninspired and really had no wish to do anything at all. 🦥 (<- If you can’t tell, this is a sloth).

Those days seem like a distant memory and it’s almost like I’m a completely different person… or maybe a different soul in the same human body. Come to think of it… I might be possessed. 😲

In this time of high risk and uncertainty, I am aware that there are far less people who are feeling how I’m feeling… than there are those feeling worried, stressed, overwhelmed, scared, anxious… 😔 I am not here to boast nor do I feel superior in any way whatsoever. I hear and understand your distress; feeling any type of negative emotion under these circumstances is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. You are absolutely not the only one… and in spite of what I wrote above, I feel negative emotions too. I notice them, I allow them to exist and choose to not let them influence me (too much).

(Btw… If you are feeling any negative feelings and need someone to talk to, feel free to get in contact with me. 📲 I mean it.)

You see… I really do believe that we all have a choice.

“What kind of choice are you talking about?”, you ask. I will get to it… soon. Or maybe not so soon. 🤪 You might want to skip this next kilometer of text and pick up with the wise words at the very end.

My not so short trip to Cyprus (the story so far)

Edro 3 Shipwreck

I originally planned to visit Cyprus for a week; to run a half-marathon with my dad and to explore the island’s many treasures. In the days before our departure date, the COVID-19 situation in Slovenia (but not really Cyprus) was already becoming serious and most people advised me against traveling. To not travel would have been a logical decision. A safe one.

I had doubts, of course, but there was a stronger inner voice reminding me that I really wanted (and even needed) this trip.

Being the very rational person that I am (What? 😁), I analyzed all the possible scenarios and while some weren’t the brightest, none of them were dark enough to tilt the scale in favor of staying home strongly enough.

So I listened to that inner voice, I trusted my instincts and on March 13th I was off ✈️ to start my adventure… or possible disaster. Alone. But no risk, no reward, right? 🤞

Little did I know that it would actually turn out to be such a life changing experience (and it’s not even over yet).

I spent my first day traveling from Larnaca to Paphos… and while it was obvious that the Cypriots were already scared and reserved towards foreigners, they were still very polite and accommodating. I knew then that I would soon feel at home here. 🏠

Nature

Meanwhile, the marathon event got canceled. I could have used this as an excuse to be lazy but instead, I decided it was time I got back into a regular exercise routine. I hadn’t worked out regularly in a loooong time, especially not since my pneumonia in January. At the same time I also decided to start some other healthy/beneficial habits (overachievers, raise your hands ✋):
– to wake up at 5 am every morning
– to start my day with meditation
– to journal my thoughts, feelings and daily occurrences
– to use my phone as little as possible
– to end my day with reading.

With the exception of using my phone (I might be addicted after all 💉… but I still believe I use it for justifiable, work reasons and not abuse it), I have ticked all the boxes in my compliance sheet (ya, I know… OCPD at it’s finest) every single day since then. Without exception. 23 days straight.

They say you have to do something for 21 days straight for it to become a habit. I guess I’ve made it, baby! 🎉

Nah, it’s actually far from done. Being compliant while your motivation is high is the easy part. When motivation runs out, that’s when the work starts. But I do believe that…

Discipline is one of the strongest forms of self-love.
It is ignoring current pleasure for bigger rewards to come.

Sachchidanand Tripathi

I am feeling the rewards already. But first, the rest of the Cyprus trip story. (You are still free to skip it if you so wish 👇 and go to the really wise part at the end. 🦉)

I stayed in Paphos for 3 nights, mostly keeping to myself as things were becoming more serious here in Cyprus as well. It was time to make a decision; catch one of the last flights back home or stay here, for an unknown period of time. In Slovenia, gyms had to close, MaxxFIT included. I knew Klea was safe and enjoying her stay at my mom’s place (for which I am immensely grateful to you, mamuška 🙏). I knew that I would miss my family, my dearest friends, and my clients (most actually fall in 2 or more of these categories)… but I also knew that I would appreciate their company even more after returning.

I booked an inexpensive hotel outside of Paphos for 18 nights. My reasoning was that things would surely go back to normal by April 3rd (namely, the day I am writing this post).

After spending one night there, I was told the next morning that all the guests (all 4 of us! 😅) would be transferred back to a hotel in Paphos because on March 21st, all hotels would close. No exception.

Huh…

Our new hotel in Paphos was pretty much a disaster. I spent my days outside, in nature, walking, resting & thinking/looking for solutions to my soon-to-be homelessness. ⛺

I had become friends with one of the other 4 guests (the other 2 had returned home) and we decided to rent a house together. To cut costs but also because we are both really cool individuals and get along great. Besides, having friends is niiice. 👫

Since all the hotels were closing, we couldn’t find any appealing options online. So we rented a car for a day, drove around looking for an area removed from the crowd (by today’s standards, I mean) but with access to all the necessary facilities. And so we found Coral bay.

Home away from home

We then literally went door to door, asking if anyone was willing to lease a small house in the area. Being that there are very few tourists here now, we got some unbelievable offers. One of them, a luxurious villa by the beach that usually costs 720€ per night (!)… offered to us for a reduced price of 70€ per night. A 90% discount. A bargain! ?… For some, I’m sure.

Obviously, with me being on a shoestring budget we had to pass that one up… and booked an equally amazing bungalow a little outside Coral bay, for less than a half of that price. Win! 🥇

“Why not rent an apartment? It would be cheaper,” you wonder.

Yes, for sure. But sometimes you need to pay just a little more to gain a whole lot more. I know myself and that I function at least 3x better when I have the possibility to spend a lot of time outside, preferably in the sun. We also didn’t want to stay in the “crowded” city center and there aren’t really any apartment buildings in these “rural” areas… mostly villas and, here and there, a farm. I guess we could have chosen a farm… but it’s a responsibility I’m not really comfortable (nor competent) taking on. 🐐

We left the hotel in Paphos a day early (it was that unbearable… and with 2 dogs at home, my standards are not even that high). Luckily… nah, actually with a lot of effort, I was able to get a refund from booking.com for the 14 remaining nights I had paid for. Guys, persistence does wonders, I tell you.

Found a treasure

The first few days, I would (of course) wake up early and go for a run up the hill behind the house. I started learning Hebrew (my housemate is Israeli) which I’ve always wanted to do but never found… took the time. I started posting more workout videos which I really enjoy but is very time-consuming. Also, I was working on a borrowed laptop that is super slow (sorry, Yaron, I still appreciate it a lot! 🙏). I think I noticed some new grey hair on my head. Not to point fingers but… 😸

Shesek

We looted nearby fields for fruit (lemons, oranges, pomelo, shesek, avocado…) and some veggies. Well, not really looted (we had permission) but it just sounds more adventurous and I have to retain your attention somehow. 🤷‍♀️

All this time, I also made it a priority to eat healthy (although it wasn’t really as strong as my other resolutions). Not super strict but a good combination of (gut) healthy meals and the occasional treat (90:10 approximately). I actually felt/feel my physical and mental state improving tremendously each day. The recipe is simple.

-> eat healthy
-> exercise daily
-> get enough sleep
-> don’t stress

Everything was going so smoothly… I was seizing my days to the fullest. 🔋

Unfortunately, a week or so ago the government of Cyprus adopted new measures, limiting outside movement to the vicinity of one’s residence with only a few exceptions… for which you must obtain permission. They even took it a bit further 2 days ago, setting a limit of outside movement to only once per day and a 9 pm – 6 am curfew. Movement around the house is limited to a 100 m radius (if I’m not mistaken). For our own good, of course, but nevertheless not too much fun. 🥱

These new limitations could have had a very detrimental effect on my mood (as I really grew to love my new daily routine) but I took it as an opportunity to start focusing on possible means of income. I felt rested and ready… and was running out of money (which is also not something one can simply ignore). 💸

After attending a live workout led by my dear Eva, I knew it was what I wanted to make possible for my existing clients and anyone else interested as well.

Eva is an amazing trainer, coach and an exceptional human being. Go check out her Boost you! program.

To be able to work as efficiently as possible (inefficiency drives me mad), I took my dad’s offer (thank you so, so much, fotr! 🙏) to lend me money and used it to buy a new (refurbished) laptop. I got such a good deal for it, I feel like I practically stole it. 🤭

Asking or accepting money (or any kind of help for that matter) has always been a huge challenge for me. I’ve always felt ashamed to do it (and many times the situation got much worse before I was willing to admit it). But I am slowly changing this mindset. I am slowly learning to accept the help offered without feeling guilty or like an utter failure.

I myself love helping others; it fills me with genuine joy. So why not give the opportunity to feel joy to others too? 😝

You might think: “You’re lucky you have family you can rely on. I have no one to help me.”

Yes, I am truly blessed in this regard, to have family and friends who are always there for me (you know who you are and I love you very mucho! 🧡). But here’s what I believe…

Help is always available, in some form or other… You just need to not be afraid/ashamed/”insert your reason” to express your needs and ask for it. The universe is listening. 👂

If you feel like the universe doesn’t hear you, I’m willing to listen. I am here for you. If it’s in my power to help you, I will. If not, I will help you find someone who can. Please, feel free to message me at any time.

So yeah…

Happy Birthday to me
& to my new project!

On March 31st, which also happens to be my birthday, I launched my online training project, called Maxx>WEB.LIVE. I feel strongly about it (probably the strongest I’ve felt about anything in a long time) but still…

The response exceeded my expectations. I am deeply grateful to all of you who have already joined the program and our community, as well as those who have expressed their support in other ways. 💖

We are a couple of workouts in and I’m having soooo much fun. I’ve been told I’m not the only one. 🤸‍♀️

Each day I wake up with excitement. I start working on my never-ending to-do list. New ideas are flickering in my brain all the time.

I want to do this. I want to do that. Oh, and that 3rd thing too! 🤯

People say this lockdown and the slower tempo of life is boring. I honestly, for the life of me, cannot understand this. I say there still aren’t enough hours in a day.

If you are bored, though, and/or at least slightly curious about our Maxx>WEB.LIVE program, don’t hesitate to send me a message and I will gift you a workout 🎁, free of charge and any obligation. Read more about MaxxLIVE here.

But the purpose of this long ass story isn’t to promote my business (although I hope it won’t hurt it either as some of the things written here are quite personal and could disappoint / change the image some of you have of me). What I actually wanted to say is:

… here comes the wise part … 📑

I believe in every situation we have a choice. We can either focus on the negatives and see only the obstacles (your plan collapsing, people not understanding or even judging your choices, having limited resources etc.)…

Or you can choose to see the opportunities this same situation offers:
⭐ – to do things differently than how you’ve planned or how you’ve been doing them so far (especially if this approach hasn’t been giving you the wanted results)
⭐ – to step out of your comfort zone, face your fears & challenges and come out stronger
⭐ – to accept obstacles as an opportunity to tap into your imagination & resourcefulness and find solutions you wouldn’t think of right away (because they’re always there, waiting to be found by those who at least try)
⭐ – to change (in my case, very detailed) plans last minute and be spontaneous (I struggle with this a lot… I’m a huge control freak)
⭐ – to take into consideration other people’s well-intended advice & opinion but ultimately choose what feels right for you (getting in touch with your inner wisdom)
⭐ – to come up with new ideas (that don’t show up when your mind is busy dealing with the craziness of your everyday life)
⭐ – to start new projects (that you haven’t taken the time or found the courage to start until now)
⭐ – … and most of all, to take the time for self observation, to figure out what truly makes you happy, to “self remember”.

By self observation, you can also see your shortcomings, but by accepting them (which doesn’t mean you can’t work on them) you learn to love yourself, exactly as you are at this moment. ? Believe me when I say this:

You are worthy of your own love and respect.


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