Building blocks

you like to live a creative life? Would you prefer rather to feel
inspiration in every little aspect of your life than to merely exist? To
feel like your life is an endless adventure even if you are just
staying at home today?

Are you a dreamer? Do you love fantasy but also have great respect
for science and reason, the great tools of our future survival? Do you
think that a common perception of a creative person as somebody talking
to mysterious spirits or given supernatural gifts is wrong? You would
rather think of yourself as somebody working hard and doing what you

Are you curious and open-minded? Would you like to be unique, to be
free, to be true to yourself, to have your own style of living –
independent of common fashion?

Do you despise violence, injustice and cruelty? Do you love freedom
and honesty while hating traditional, ideological and political
pretence? Are you concerned about the fate of wild nature on this planet
and of the humankind deprived of natural resources?

My name is Alexandra Cook aka Linandara, I am an artist, a scientist,
a humanist, a wife and a mother who is trying to live creatively on a
shoestring. I am British, Russian, Ukrainian and a tiny bit Gypsy, an
INFj. I am often off my course, shy, worried, depressed, disorganized  
and I am definitively not a genius. I may contradict myself – life is a
complicated story. But still I am inviting you to join me on my perilous
journey (or on my mission if you would like) and to try to make all of
us better, happier and to help this world to do at least a tiny baby
step towards the brighter future.

is one of the most important questions for each of us: What kind of
life would I like to live? Let’s not talk about farfetched plans based
on winning a lottery or inheriting a large sum of money. No, it is
really about my (and maybe yours too) present day situation: not much
money, family, work. Could anything be changed to bring more beauty,
meaning, adventure, happiness to this ordinary life?

I am not one of the people who would give up on personal happiness
for the sake of all humanity. But I think if everybody on this planet
would strive to be happy in a   right sort of way  that
would be of greatest benefit to the humankind. For me (and, probably,
not just for me), the ideal living could be described through the
following key words.

Bohemian living. This broad term describes open minded,
unconventional, artistic lifestyle. Don’t keep up with Jones! Be
yourself, be a wanderer seeking wonders. You don’t necessary need to
travel to Chile to find inspiration and broaden your horizons, but
visiting different places certainly helps. It is often said that unlike
proper bohemianism, “bohemian style” is just a shallow imitation of some
celebrities. Well, there are lots of styles to choose from. I think
that the people who prefer boho clothes of interiors do this because
they dream to live proper bohemian lives, even if they don’t quite can
put this to words! Living our lives the way we want, finding and
creating beauty around us would bring happiness, the sense of
fulfilment. Content people don’t go to wars with each other! So, let’s
try to release an inner romantic nonconformist vagabond in our day to
day life.

Creativity  is the next essential element of my
dream future-friendly lifestyle. Our intelligence encourage us to create
new things, ideas, original ways of creating even more new stuff. Being
social creatures, we love giving something of value to fellow humans.
It gives great satisfaction to a giver, and benefits to a receiver of
gifts. The way our civilization grows allows us to have more and more
possibilities to be creative, to open up and blossom. Slavery is
disappearing in the mist of time. Machines learn to do boring jobs. If
we manage to keep peace and preserve the environment, the future
generations should be even more free to create according to their
talents and inclinations. Let’s help that future happen today. To many
little mundane tasks, let’s add our treasure trove of creativity and
ingenuity and let’s share the results with the world. Let’s generate new
ideas and, who knows, maybe future generations will be grateful for

Eclecticism  is an approach when nothing is
rejected unnecessary. This planet is bursting with things discarded just
because the fashion changed. On a home level, if you are eclectic, you
don’t throw away a perfectly good table. You may repaint it or cover
with another tablecloth. You learn to cherish and appreciate. You also
learn to arrange things (and ideas) in your own unique and satisfying
way without giving much regards to popular trends (which are often plane
useless). Let’s pick and choose to our mind’s shopping cart the best in
everything. Nobody can force us to conform to somebody else’s style,
ideology or worldview.

Eco-friendly living   (also known as
environment-friendly, nature friendly, green, sustainable or simply eco)
is about making reduced, minimal harm upon the environment. These words
are over-used and often associated with the “green wash”. But it goes
without saying that we all doomed if we make our Earth uninhabitable. We
also all would lose enormous amount of inspiration if we destroy the
beauty of the natural word. We need stretches of wilderness to roam, we
need to watch big or tiny wonders of Nature to feel whole and happy.
Let’s care for our environment – starting with a little piece of land
around our homes. Let’s encourage wildlife and let’s not poison or harm
it in any other ways.

Ethical living  in our case implies doing right
things to fellow humans. The tricky thing is that there is no book or
wise man who would tell you what this exactly means. Moral standards
change and evolve all the time. You are free to do as you like as long
as you are not taking freedom from the others. Our civilization is glued
by empathy: it hurts to see (or even imagine) others suffering. When we
help and our help is appreciated we rejoice. Another important moment
is always to think about possible consequences of your actions. E.g.,
what is more important in this particular situation: to tell the truth
or to keep the relationship?  In the long run, would it feel better to
be honest? What action will bring more happiness to more lives? I think
to live ethically, you really need to “marry” the heart and the mind, to
be a compassionate thinker. This leads to proper kindness and let’s
bring as much of it as possible to this word.

Freethinking  means that opinions are formed on the
basis of logic, reason, and experience, rather than authority,
tradition, or any other dogmas. Dogma is dead. It leads nowhere, it
freezes minds and turns hearts to stone. It doesn’t care. If we want our
future to be better we should fight dogmatism everywhere we can. Let’s
live considered lives, thinking ahead and judging every step. It’s like
crossing the turbulent river of life stepping on slippery stones, it’s
not easy but we don’t want to be swept by the current!

Frugal living  is savvy, thrifty, economical in the
use of resources such as food, time or money. It means avoiding waste.
This is good for us and this is good for the environment. We have seen
the standards of living improving for the most of the world and
obviously we wish this to be true for everybody. But it might happen
that when all humans have a decent income, the price of the commodities
currently made by cheap labour will increase. Tea and clothes, for
example. It also may happen that our civilization will run out of the
resources before we figure out how to find some new ones. So it would be
a life saving skill to be frugal and to find original ways to use what
you already have. Apart from that, crazy consumerism is also bad for us.
It doesn’t teach anything useful. It only makes people more and more
greedy. Let’s be frugal in our demands and show bohemian extravaganza in
our creativity!

So this is the way of life I want to embrace and I am inviting
everybody to join the quest. It won’t be easy. But it should be very
rewarding on many levels and (if practiced by many) it should help all
the people on this planet to get a better future.

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