365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 157: When I Stopped Trying To Do What Others Expected Of Me…


… I became free to find my own way.

I carved my own path, according to my own desires and following my heart.

And I was right to do so, because where I am and who I am today would not have been possible had I continued on a path that was not mine to follow.

I guess it’s no wonder that I always loved Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way”. Here’s a link so you can listen to it right now: “My Way“.

So I say: it’s better to look back and know that you had the courage to do things your way, rather than having regrets and wishing things were different.

Are YOU doing it YOUR way?



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 156: How I Finally Got Accepted To A University


If you followed my last few posts you know about my struggles to get into a university. You also know that after many failed attempts I decided to stop trying to be something that I was not, find a job and forget about a degree in something that did not interest me to start with.

And so I moved to Bucharest and started my first job (what kind of job that was will make the story for another post). I felt free and happy and started earning money.

I forgot all about universities and acceptance exams and lived day by day, in Bucharest, surrounded by my wonderful friends, enjoying my life with my boyfriend, soon to be my husband. My daily experience was very different than theirs, as they were all university students. I enjoyed it nevertheless.

This was the time that Romania started to shake and brew great changes. I have many stories to share with you about the time just before the 1989 Romanian revolution and what happened right after (subjects for many posts to come, I am sure).

During the next couple of years following the revolution, Romania went through much upheaval and many struggles. There were many new beginnings and many opportunities.

I don’t really remember why, but my interest in pursuing a university was ignited in me again. There was a newly created program at the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest and I decided that I was going to TAKE THE EXAMS that summer. I also decided that I was only going to study for two weeks! I was very clear about it.

So, I took two weeks off from work, just before the exams, to brush off on my math and learn a little geography. The three exams were going to be: algebra, calculus and Romanian geography. I only wanted to study about half the geography material, because the other half did not interest me at all. And that’s exactly what I did.

I went and wrote my exams; without fear, without apprehension and with determination. My family and friends were worried and waited for the results to be posted. I believe that they were expecting another failure, given the fact that I had only studied for a couple of weeks. I did not expect failure and was not attached to the result either. I was relaxed. I knew I’d done a great job on the math exams and half a good job on the geography one (since I had studied only half of the material).

The results got posted a few days later: I got accepted. My acceptance grades were great: 9.6 and 9.4 out of 10 for algebra and calculus and 4.5 for geography. The math grades got me in. I quit my job and in the fall I went to school again.

So here’s the thing: when I decided to stop trying to do what others expected of me, I had no trouble doing what I wanted to do.

I love sharing all this with you!

Thank you for being here.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 155: I Kept Failing Until I Did This


After my many failed attempts to be accepted at a university, tired, worn out and disillusioned I announced my parents that I had had enough and decided to stop trying to be what I was not and to do what I did not want to do. Obviously – I told them – I am not university material and I will not make myself feel worse by failing again. I was going to get a job and accept myself just as I was. My parents, having watched my suffering year after year after year, told me that I could do whatever I needed do in order to be happy.

And so I stopped studying and started to think about getting a job. In communist Romania, the process of hunting for a job was somewhat different than what North America knows to be the norm, so I asked my mother to find me a job. She used her connections, she talked to her friends and colleagues and she did get me a job.

I felt free! FREE! For the first time, after the 16 years I had spent studying things that I did not care about, I was finally allowed to not study. With very few exceptions – languages and anatomy – I had no interest in any of the courses and classes I attended during all my school years.

I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I felt and how proud I was to have actually had the guts to make this decision. I moved to Bucharest, started my new job and felt like I was living for the first time in my life. I was 22 years old.

My life as ME started right then and there, through my refusal to stop doing something that I did  not want to do from the beginning: follow a path just because everybody around me seemed to think that it was the right one, even though it felt wrong to me.

Up until this point, I did not know that I had the power to say no to something I did not want to do and choose something else instead.

This is when I took the reins and decided to create my life according to my own vision and my own desires.

What happened next, only a few short months later surprised everyone around me, but it did not surprise me!

Stay tuned.

I’ll tell you what happened tomorrow!



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 154: Why I Failed So Many Exams


As I wrote yesterday, I attempted and failed to pass the university exams four years in a row. Despite the fact that I studied really hard, I failed over and over again. I always blanked out in front of the exam papers, only to remember all the correct answers after handing them in. I failed every single time for four years.

There are a few good reasons for my failures, so let me share them with you:

  • My heart was not in what I was studying; I could definitely understand the concepts well enough in order to be able to pass my exams, but I did not want to study Food Chemistry and Biochemical Technologies (first attempt), or Organic Matter Chemistry and Engineering (second attempt) or pure mathematics at the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science (third and fourth attempts).
  • I was without a purpose, since the only thing that interested me (helping people heal) was now off-limits (read about this in the blog on Day 152) my energy was not being directed somewhere I really wanted to be. I felt stagnant, so I stagnated.
  • After the first fail, I started to believe that I did not have what it took for me to go to university. All my friends and colleagues got accepted by the universities of their choice, so I thought that I was not good enough to succeed. As a result, I did not.
  • My feelings of inferiority were a continuation of how I felt during high school: all my close friends and classmates were really good at math, physics, chemistry and I always felt like I did not really belong there. Excelling at algebra, calculus and geometry was applauded and earned respect and praise. I was not that interested in math and so I never excelled. I felt inferior.
  • I did not know that I had the power to change my mind, the power to choose what I wanted. I really believed that forces outside myself were running my life.

So you see, for as long as I stayed in this frame of mind, I did not succeed. I was creating my own reality, according to my beliefs and how I felt about myself.

For as long I continued to feel like that, I experienced failure.

Until one year… when I created success.

More on this tomorrow.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 153: The Long And Winding Road…


To continue on my memories of adolescence, let me share with you how I ended up doing what I said that I did not have the emotional stamina to do. Work with people who are in physical pain, that is.

Once I decided that med school was not for me, I felt without purpose and really did not care what school I ended up going to. My indecision and loss of goals led to four years of failed attempts at being accepted to a few different universities. More on these experiences tomorrow.

But once I managed to get in, I started taking aerobics classes and for the first time in my life I learned to connect with my body. That was the beginning of my new path, which led me to where I am today. I wrote about it in my post on Day 17.

I enjoyed working with people and teaching them to feel better in their bodies. I loved it so much, that when I moved from Bucharest, Romania to Toronto in 1996, I decided to continue as an aerobics teacher and dreamed about having my own studio one day.

The dream came true and I opened my Pilates studio in 2002. I continued to study the physical body, emotions and thought processes; biomechanics, muscles, joints and connective tissue; healing the physical body and teaching methods; meditation and the power of the subconscious mind; therapeutic exercise and the innate healing power of the body.

The Pilates studio evolved into an innovative and leading edge centre. With its emphasis on complete and lasting transformation of body and mind, Mitrea Wellness Centre is leading the way in the wellness, healing and health industry.

The long and winding road… brought me here.

In my mind and in my heart, here and now is where I always wanted to be.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 152: Why I Decided That Medical School Was Not For Me


So why did I change my mind from my childhood dream to become a doctor like my godmother Paula to deciding that medical school was not for me? As I look back, I believe that the most important reason for my change of heart was that one day, when I was 15 or 16 years old, I had the sudden realization that I could not ever do what doctors do; that is, work with people who are sick, in pain, in distress or dying. I felt I just couldn’t do it and that I was not made of that type of material.

Now this recollection really makes me giggle!

I find this to be extremely interesting and somewhat amusing, because of how life led me to a place where I am doing just that, but not as a medical doctor. Over the last 25 years I have built a career that I love and that helps people.

As a Body Transformation Specialist I work with people who are in pain, who’ve had injuries that led to chronic pain; who are in distress and afraid that their discomfort will only get worse. And yes, I even helped relieve the physical discomfort of clients who were near the end of their lives in the physical body.

How I got where I am today from that teenage realization which was the exact opposite?

I’ll reminisce about that tomorrow.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 150: The In-Between Time


Whenever we are ready to create something new in our lives, to grow, to evolve and to undergo a great transformation, we put the process in motion by wanting it, by desiring it, by dreaming of it.

By the simple process of truly desiring something we send our energetic being forward, to lead the way and pull through the physical manifestation of our dreams.

In the world of pure potentiality we have already arrived to where we want to be. The physical, material world changes at a slower pace, so there is a delay between the moment of energetic creation and the moment of physical manifestation. The duration of the delay between the moment of desire and the moment when the desire becomes reality depends on the greatness of the dream; it depends on how great a transformation we want to achieve.

This  is the in-between time, the waiting time. What we do during this time will bring the change faster or will delay it even more. If we relax and trust that we will get there, we shorten our wait. If we worry and fear that our dreams will never come true, then we lengthen our wait and sometimes even reverse the process; and end up where we initially started to wish for something different. So then we have to start again.

It might seem quite complex to grasp, but it is really simple: we discover that we don’t like where we are right now and we desire something different; when we desire it, the world of pure potentiality creates it; we wait, feeling grateful for what is already in the process of arriving and we trust that it will happen; and then it does.

So, it is simple, isn’t it?

Can you do it?

Will you desire something right now and then trust that it will happen?

What will you do in the in-between time?



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 98: The Quiet Inside My Mind


Today I am grateful for feeling quiet inside my mind, inside my own being. I celebrate the calmness and ease that have become my internal state. It hasn’t always been like this. I lived the larger part of my life, like most people do, in worry, in fear, in emotional turmoil and anxiety. The transformation did not happen over night; it rather came in small increments over the past few years as the result of my continuous efforts to understand myself, to release the past and to allow faith to guide me.

I studied many different healing modalities and had many teachers. I read countless books on the connection between emotional health, subconscious programming and physical health. I attended seminars, workshops and learned about meditation. I continued to learn about the physical body and expanded my studies to the emotional body and the energetic body. I went on to understand the spiritual aspect of who I was. I welcomed new ideas and challenging thoughts.

You  might think that because of all that, I have reached this wonderful place of calmness. That isn’t true. Learning everything that I have learned expanded my horizons, but created no change; it increased my awareness of the countless possibilities and the very numerous paths that are available to all of us, but it did not bring about the sense of calmness and balance that I am now so grateful for.

What allowed the transformation to take place was not all the knowledge I accumulated or the intellectual understanding of specific concepts. The transformation did not happen because I worked with great teachers and facilitators.

It was my own inner work that made the shift a reality. The teachers and the books have showed me that there were doors to be opened, but I had to desire and have the courage to open them. I had to decide for myself  to actually take the first step after  opening one of these doors. And I had to find the inner resources to continue walking forward. I had to make the decision to not succumb to fear and keep walking; over and over I had to make this very decision.

Now, I want you to know that every once in a while I still have a day when my mind is cluttered and fear starts to get a hold of me, but I am not willing to spend any precious time in a cluttered and fearful place, so I use my knowledge to release fear and resistance, clear my mind and return to a state of inner balance.

Doing my own inner work was worth it. Still is.



365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE – DAY 19: Memory Banks Part 2 – The Thunderbolt


About 16 years ago, I was on a streetcar, going to teach my Pilates classes at a studio in Toronto. I was sitting down, deep in my thoughts. After a couple of stops, I became aware of my surroundings and looked out the window. And that is when a powerful moment of truth and awareness descended upon me.  What I saw out the window was the great catalyst for the transformation that started right then and there and that will continue until the day I am ready to leave my physical body. What I saw when I looked out the window was the most spectacular fall day: leaves of green and yellow, gold, red and burgundy, all dancing together in a calm breeze under the bluest of skies. There was a shimmer of divine beauty in the air and I gasped. The fall didn’t just start that day; for the leaves to have all their fall colors, it must have been going on for a while.

How come I did not notice? It is my favorite season after all, and that year I almost missed it. Why? Where was I? Did I miss last fall too? I tried to remember the previous year’s fall and could not. This defining moment led me to ask a deep question: “AM I MISSING MY LIFE? If I have no idea that it was fall already and I can’t remember last year’s fall either, what have I been doing?

I realized that I was being devoured by my own unhappiness, un-fulfillment, thoughts, emotions and fears. I was not living my life. I was being lived by how I felt inside. It was such a powerful moment of awareness and truth that I made a promise to myself to not waste any more time:

“I do not know how or why I am in a place inside myself that causes me miss my favorite season. What I know is that from now on I am committed to LIVE my life fully. I do not care what I have to look at, see inside myself and others or bring out from deep inside myself. I will face my fears and memories, one by one until there will be none left. I will face my hurts and my emotions. I will live fully as myself. I will create the life of my dreams! I will not miss fall again.” 

I felt like a thunderbolt had just ripped through illusion and allowed me to find a voice to ask for a great life. That moment on the streetcar on St. Clair Street in Toronto was a moment of choice, amplified by the intensity of my feelings and the power of my intention. As a result of this experience, my life started to change. It did not change overnight, all challenges and fears did not miraculously disappear, and I did not feel instantly powerful and clear, creative and free. But what I felt was a deep seated courage to listen to myself, to look inside my being and heal the wounds of the past; to face the coming changes with courage and patience and with more understanding for myself.