Posted in Acting journey, Insight & perspective, Uncategorized, Writing journey

“It takes a village to create a successful Artist” – Selma Danculovic

I had a meeting with my agent. I had finally met her and felt instantly connected.

What I took away from the meeting is that having a clear and strategic plan may assist you with taking the correct steps towards the right direction.

For the first time, I don’t feel alone on this journey. The wheels are in motion.

Yes, at times it may appear that you are travelling on this path, scattered and trying to land some traction, but I truly believe that,

“IT TAKES AN VILLAGE TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL ARTIST.” – I am coining this quote.

It takes time, trial and error, learning, tears, fears and utter enjoyment.

I work in an industry that a degree doesn’t guarantee a job. Being in a long-running drama doesn’t guarantee you will be employed again.

But I am in an occupation that when one of us passes away, millions mourn the world over. Our work can move a stranger to tears/laughter/anger/nostalgia etc. Our work entertains. It allows us and the viewer to imagine and can make a massive and significant impact on our world.

Artists out there – enjoy your journey. Don’t be too concerned with time and goals. Be more mindful of your impact. Your legacy. How has your work effected another – and that’s including yourselves.
We are creators.

 

Posted in Insight & perspective, Uncategorized, Writing journey

Consistency & Contribution – a creative journey

It’s been a month and half or so since I signed up to the Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing. However, it has been 4 or so months (since January 1st 2017) since I decided that I am going to write every, single day.  So, how has my overall writing journey been so far?

It has been a slow & steady, wins the race kind of journey but I feel that everyday I am growing as a writer. I consistently write. Sometimes I may miss a day, but if I’m not typing away on my laptop on some personal piece, I assure you I am crafting a well-scripted email to something important.

What I’m discovering in this journey is that the more I write, the more my ideas flow outwardly. I feel my creative and writing muscles are becoming more pliable and well-developed.

When I say “writing’, I do mean, typing away on my laptop. (If I actually put pen to paper, no one would be able to decipher my work.)

I think what I am learning is that being consistent with my writing on a regular basis, allows a more free-flowing approach to my ideas. Waiting for a divine moment of inspiration is just not enough.  I will give you an example. I tend to type in a journal almost everyday. As I am typing random jibberish an idea for a script or a short story tends to pop in my head. Without hesitation, I open up a new document and type away. In a month’s time I may go back to and cringe, but at least I am working that writer and creative muscle. Each and every day that I do this, tends to build upon my confidence. I’m starting to trust my ability to be able to write.

The empowerment I feel and am experiencing is something unlike anything else so far.

To those reading this piece, who are going on a journey of any magnitude, each and every day you contribute to your growth, across various levels of your self, you contribute to your greater goal. Regardless of how small or large your contribution may be has nothing to do with how well you achieve it; it’s the strength of the intention behind your contribution.

Happy creating my loves x

Posted in Insight & perspective

Setting a new course in life.

So I have recently signed up to do a Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing course via Open Colleges!

Now, this decision was not made on a whim. I have been in much deliberation for quite some time. In fact, I had originally queried with a helpful staff member late last year. I finally followed up with them in February of this year and they said that that particular course was no longer available. They suggested the above course mentioned and here I am.

I consider myself someone who often makes quick yet sound decisions. However, for something like this, I had to think it through. The reason? Lack of confidence. Stemmed from? Failing often on other pursuits in my life.

I have won and failed with diets. I have won and failed with career pursuits. The list goes on. Yes, I should have a more “positive” viewpoint on things and I do, don’t get me wrong. But you do get to a point where when one has their sights on yet another potential opportunity, you find yourself taking a step back and questioning it. You pull out your fine tooth comb and search for nits.

There I was, presented with some information about the course. I went back and forth with some questions with the lovely staff member. I then sat with it. I sat and pondered. I tried to weigh up the pros and cons. It actually brought about an unnecessary amount of anxiety. Then I asked myself, not “why” I was doing it but more so, “what was holding me back?” “What was stopping me?”

Fear. Fear of failing again. Fear of not finishing. And fear of not making an expected lucrative career out of it.

Then I asked myself, why? “Why are you doing this?” No, Selma, “why are you truly doing this?”

It took me a while to search and determine an answer.

I then realised that everything I have ever pursued and seemingly “failed” at was because the results I desired were not strong enough to fight for. Yes, they were results-driven, yes, they were tangible but they were generalised. They were carbon copies of others hopes and dreams.

I really looked within myself. I discovered that I am someone who needs to “feel” good about what they are doing. I need to “feel” that what I contribute to the world will be for its “betterment”. “Things” and “statuses” and “facade” are not enough for me,  I need more.  They are too fleeting and empty.  But, that “feeling” you experience when you are happy with what you have created is something you can’t really see and hold but has such a profound and lasting effect on so many areas of your life; including those people you encounter and the world and its beauties you walk amoungst.  That’s what will fulfill me.

So, why am I truly doing this course?

I am doing this to gain confidence and skills that may have a ripple effect in so many areas of my life. KNOWLEDGE emits POWER .YOUR POWER is confidence in yourself.

Posted in Insight & perspective

What do you owe?

I thought I would take you on a more, I guess you could say, an insightful journey. I’ll try anyway. Something came to mind a while ago and has always lingered. I’ve always wanted others’ opinion on this and what better way to receive it is via a blog post.

The whole notion of giving back and helping one another has always intrigued me. Yes, the act of giving is humbling and fulfilling in varying degrees. What I’m intrigued with is the give/take and vice versa equation.

What I’ve noticed, with a perceptive microscope, is the following,

‘When you continuously take from something or some being and not give (back) in return, the universe will somehow take what it’s owed to balance the ratio.’

The disclaimer* It may not necessarily be of equal value. It may even be unrelated.

This bold statement is not scientifically proven nor is it a fact. It’s most certainly interesting to ponder. It’s simply a thought, nothing more.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures Reach for the Stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Papakittens-Adventures-Reach-Stars-ebook/dp/B00IKYEH7U

#paleosuccess #primal

Posted in Weight loss journey

Motivation in the form of a trip to Hawaii.

So I have arrived back from Hawaii after a much needed holiday with my darling.

Prior to our holiday my boyfriend and I decided to go on a diet to lose a ‘few kilos’ just to look and feel a little more ‘fitter’. Through some hard work and dedication we achieved a combined weight loss effort of approximately 12 kilos (he lost a little over 7 kilos, I lost a little over 5 kilos).

Now you must be wondering how we did it? A magic pill? A vibrating belt strap thingy wrapped around our waist and hips while standing there and doing , well, nothing? I’m sorry to disappoint you but it was just good old fashioned HARD WORK!

Diet, exercise and determination! Yes I sound like a broken record. You’ve heard it all before, what’s new right?

It started off when we invited a lovely lifelong friend over for dinner. She always looks fantastic but what I had noticed in this instance was that she had a bit more of a bounce in her step. She had mentioned she had recently embarked on a, what I would refer to as a somewhat ‘sugar-free diet.’ She went on to explain what that exactly involved. I’ll paraphrase what she had mentioned.

  1. The obvious was to eliminate adding sugar to your diet. That’s easy, no sugar in your coffee and/or tea. This is something that I took to quite easily like a duck to water.
  2. To eliminate complex carbohydrates such as rice, bread and pasta. Oats are allowed and so are sweet potatoes however I find that I eat sweet potatoes sparingly and I’m not a massive fan of oats. It’s best to limit these to a few times a week.
  3. No cakes, biscuits, ice cream, chocolates, custards, basically all sweet treats.
  4. Yogurts with sugar (Greek Yogurt is preferred).
  5. Eat fruit and vegetables. Reduce the consumption of the following fruits and vegetables such bananas, pumpkin and carrot although I do eat these and I will explain my reasons later on. The preferred fruits are pears, berries and kiwi fruit (just to name a few.)
  6. You don’t need to count calories.
  7. Dairy is allowed. It’s best to go for the full fat option as opposed to the skimmed variety as these options tend to have added sugars.
  8. Eat regularly.
  9. Drink plenty of water.
  10. No soft drinks.

These are some of the many pointers.

As mentioned in a previous post, my boyfriend and I had previously embarked on a Paleo/primal/low carb diet early last year. We had a small amount of success. We teetered off and gained most of it back.

So whilst my friend was still there my boyfriend went out and bought some Greek yogurt, berries and walnuts. To tell you the truth, I didn’t enjoy it at first spoonful (I acted like I enjoyed it) and I didn’t think I could continue on. But I had decided that come Monday I would give it a go. The only difference is that I decided to tweak it slightly.

So that’s where the watered down Paleo/primal/low-carb/sugar-free diet began.

So here are the tweaks. My boyfriend and I implemented the above points but we allowed the following:

  1. One or two cheat meals per week not full days. The idea of this is when you allow yourself a full day to eat anything you wanted you could easily consume more than what’s required. That than could result to regaining what you had lost (by eating less and/or exercising off) previously. Also, your meal tends to taste a lot nicer therefore you have an appreciation of what you are eating even if it’s just good ol’ fish n chips.
  2. When we prepare steaks, chicken breasts (without skin) or any other cuts of meat we do like a little flavor so we allow ourselves to include some gravy or barbeque / tomato sauces. (We try to control the amount.)
  3. We do eat bananas, pumpkins, carrots, peas, corn and other starchy fruits and vegetables. My reason for consuming them is because I’m quite active with relation to going to the gym regularly. My gym workouts tend to vary in intensity so I do need those extra carbohydrates to fuel my workouts. I do however limit the amount of these types of foods daily.
  4. P.S. Don’t get me wrong  we occasionally fall of the wagon but we try our hardest to get back up on again.

These are only a few tweaks. I’m sure there are more.

Now while embarking on these new diet changes it wasn’t all sunshine and lolly-pops (obviously no lolly-pops). The first week or so, my boyfriend and I felt lethargic at times (well, I got hit the worst. My boyfriend? Not so bad.) I would often stay in contact with my friend. She would ensure me that it was normal. The key is to continue to drink a lot of water and to eat small regular meals (protein rich with veggies and the like -paraphrasing of course.) I found that this transition from my old way of eating and readopting this new way was a very slow progression but after a couple of weeks my body began to get used to the changes. This phase tends to vary amongst people. Just be aware of it.

Blood, sweat and tears? No just SWEAT, SWEAT and SWEAT!

You’ve heard it all before. Exercise is very important. It truly is. For a number of years I had embarked on so many weight loss ventures. Regardless of the amount of time I put in I would lose a little then it would creep back on and then some. This is what I had found worked for me this time around.

  1. Workout 5-6 times a week.
    1. I would usually workout 6 times a week on average. The sessions would go around an hour at a time. I would incorporate weight training and cardio work (skipping, running on a treadmill, X trainer, stepper, stationary bike etc)
    2. I increased my sessions a few times a week where I would attend the gym twice a day.
    3. The key seems to be consistency and variety (I.e with exercises, intensity etc)

I started this diet and exercise regime around mid March 2014 and finished it by late April 2014. My boyfriend had only started working out towards the end of the time frame a few times a week for around 45 minutes – 1 hour at a time. Most of his workouts were cardio based. Although he didn’t workout regularly he did lose the weight, however (now here is a disclaimer) he tends to lose weight quickly (if he puts some effort) but on the same token he can put it straight back on if he is not careful.

Now where to from here?

We had arrived back from our holiday a couple of weeks ago. Both my boyfriend and I had put on a few kilos during our holiday but to date we have lost most of it. I have ever so slowly gone back to our diet and exercise regime. My boyfriend hasn’t gone back to the gym but he too is slowly incorporating the diet, we had previously embarked on, back into his life.

Last week I went to the gym 6 times (1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes) each time. This week I will be visiting the gym 4-5 times. I will aim to add two extra sessions onto two of those days. I also have a 5km MS charity fun run I will be competing in this Sunday.

I guess my next goal is to continue what I had done to lose the last 5 kilos and aim to lose another. Let’s see if it will work this time around.

We have had quite a few slip-ups but all in all we are slowly getting back on track. We are finding it a little harder to stay motivated as I guess we don’t have a tropical island to visit as our first mini goal/incentive. What keeps us going and learning from our mistakes is staying focussed on our major goal of losing the excess we have accumulated over the years and to change our damaging eating habits we had adopted. It takes time and trial and error but I guess if we work together we will get there.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures: Reach for the Stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Papakittens-Adventures-Reach-Stars-ebook/dp/B00IKYEH7U

Disclaimer* This is in no way diet advice but our own personal journey and experience. I’m not a dietician. Please seek professional advice when embarking on any diet and/or exercise regime.

#paleo #lowcarb #sugarfree #dieting #success

Posted in Weight loss journey

Breaking up with my excess weight is so hard to do.

This is interesting. As a writer I tend to write a bit and then think, ‘wow! this is a brilliant piece!’ Mind you it’s often 3am or so! I keep telling myself I’m not that tired but really who am I kidding? If my keyboard inflated into a pillow my head would drop like lead straight onto it!

So what I then do is I tend to save the piece, then months later refer to it and think, ‘what on earth was I thinking?!’ Now, I don’t know if what I’ve just posted below will be ‘one of those instances’ but I figure, I really should have published it a couple of months ago when I first wrote it, also it’s better late than never.

Meh, I will leave it up to you to decide. I first wrote this on the 17th of March 2014. Another reason as to why I decided to post it today was because well, I think you might find it slightly interesting to see the contrast between what I’ve posted and my next post (which I’m currently writing.) P.s. I’ve slightly tweaked this post today. Enjoy!

Breaking up with my excess weight is so hard to do. March 17th 2014.

Excess weight? Listen, we need to talk. It’s been, I don’t a few years now and right now, I don’t think this whole thing is going to work. I mean, at the beginning I thought it was ok, you know, we would spend a lot of time together. It was fun. Eating out quite a lot and indulging in chocolate blocks on cold winter nights, while watching an old movie.

Years went on and you know what, as this living organism kind of mass thing just kept growing and it didn’t bother me so much. I just masked you with strategically placed clothing items and we were happy as pie. But then you started to drain my energy which is, well, it’s a no-go. I mean, after all I’ve giving you, you have to do this to me?!

You drain my energy, my moods are completely out of whack, I can’t sleep well, and I honestly just can’t be bothered anymore.

This relationship is just not healthy! OK! I’ve said enough. This relationship is just not happening right now. And us?…well if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

Break – ups are never really easy…

I looked at the scale today and I dropped either 2.4kilos or just .4 kilos. Why so vague? Well when I weighed myself last week on Saturday I weighed a certain amount. After a weekend of indulging I put on some weight but had officially started my diet on the Monday and so I had weighed myself again and low and behold, I put on a couple of kilos. But in saying that, It took a few long days to reduce it back down to the original weight amount on Saturday (like 5 days!) I’m not too sure which one to go by? You know what? Either way, it’s some sort of win or loss in this case.

What I’ve discovered from my experience above is that it is incredibly hard to loose the weight FULL STOP! PERIOD!! In my last post I had mentioned my boyfriend and I had embarked on a pale/primal/atkins etc kinda

diet. https://selmadanculovic.wordpress.com/2014/03/16/so-here-we-go-again/#respond

My boyfriend seems to be going super well on it. I’m now (barely though) getting used to it. Last week I felt like a little tug boat that could trying to navigating through the thick brain fog I was experiencing. But I decided to take charge of the situation because I know it is only temporary. How you might ask? Through working on changing my mind set? Yes, that’s one of the many reasons. But in actual fact when I decided to start blogging I thought that this is just another form of looking at my weight-loss journey in a more objective and a somewhat logical manner. Trying to lose weight can often be emotionally draining. Blogging is another form of pulling myself out of that and viewing my challenges from an ‘almost third person perspective’. I guess blogging is just another form of accountability and a vehicle to vent.

So in saying that, we’ll start off slow, you know, just to get to know each other’s quirks. Then we’ll go from there. Let’s just see how long this relationship will last.

Selma Danculovic

Author of The Papakittens Adventures Reach for the Stars

http://www.amazon.com/The-Papakittens-Adventures-Reach-Stars-ebook/dp/B00IKYEH7U