Keep calm.

I know it’s dangerous to tell a lady to keep calm, but in certain circumstances it’s not only allowed but almost mandatory, weddings are definitely one of those circumstances.

Keep calm because, I promise, the day will be perfect with or without every single detail being so.

Eat!

Please beautiful bride, keep eating! I understand – well not really- that you want to be the skinniest of them all, but won’t you rather be the most glowing? the most serene? and don’t worry, if you should gain some weight pre-wedding or not be at the weight you wish you had, you can still pretend to be pregnant! (or wear spanx !) 

Do not fight for God’s sake!

I am not talking about a fight with just anyone, I am talking about your maid of honor! You guys have been friends for years, this is not, I repeat: this is NOT,  the moment to give her a speech about her tacky taste in terms of outfits and even tackier taste in men. You have kept these thoughts to yourself for so many years and, if you don’t want a maid of honor dressed in white giving drunk speeches, you better not start sharing your opinions now.

Be comfortable.

Plan ahead to have a post dinner dress and comfortable shoes, or you won’t remember anything about the day only the pain in your feet and the difficulty breathing.

Take good care of yourself.

a couple of weeks before the wedding stop doing sports, it enhances the level of the stress hormone cortisol, double the yoga and the breathing techniques.

The days and the hours before the wedding day get a detox body and massage and a facial so your face won’t be puffy or swollen, treat yourself to a great mask with a glow effect (my favorite is from Sisley)  and enjoy …. remember that everyday, but especially on this one, your best beauty ally is a smile!

I’ve always loved reading.A lot. If something as reading too much can possibly exists, then there was a time when I was probably reading too much.

I was a slightly introvert child who preferred spending time with adults, preferably elderly people, rather than children my own age.

Since a young age, I used to earmark the illustrated versions of the great classics at the local town bookstore and, growing up, I remember the phases I fell in love with entire cathegories of authors: those from russia and eastern europe in general, then those who from Israel or from Jewish diaspora, then I fell in love with French authors and many oth-ers…

You’re probably thinking I was a bookworm and, believe me, I’m sorry I wasn’t, above all in high school, with my innate love for everything to do with literary studies… but life is complicated and I was also somehow a wild-child and I didn’t want to miss out on any-thing.

Then the cancer years arrived and everything went dark. And I stopped reading.
I don’t know why, it just happened. My passion for literature was only equalled by my great love of yoga and, while the written word too often demanded to ask myself too many questions, yoga only asked me to be myself, to jump on my mat and stop thinking.

Then, time passed by and, while with a poetry book in my hands, and while being in the process of publishing my first novel I started to think there were gaps to be filled.
An aspiring author who hadn’t seriously read anything for at least ten years was just un-thinkable. In addition, I realised the more I spoke and read in English, the more my Italian became impoverished, slipping away from me.

Then it happened, winter had come – a particularly painful one – at the end of which, like an animal in its den, I wanted to shut out the external noise and just read. What book can you read when you’ll feeling totally broken?

I started with the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Because I really needed to escape from reality: “stop the world, I want to get off”; even such a phrase becomes an option thanks to this gem of a Guide.

From there, I discovered Kindle, together with the expediency of a long vacation and I read a series of wonderful books: “Il Corpo Docile” by Rosella Postorino, “Se Ami Qualcuno Dillo” by Marco Bonino, “Tutto Tranne Il Cielo” by Eleonora C. Caruso, “Un Cuore Tuo Mal Grado” by Piero Sorrentino, “Una Vita al Giorno” by Massimo Vitali – a good read and really funny, too – “Educated” by Tara Westover, and a book I fell in love with and that helped me rediscover myself: “La Misura Eroica” by Andrea Marcolongo.

The book paraphrases the adventure of the argonauts, considering us, people today, and our contemporary journey only to resurface…How? Where? The answers are very differ-ent from the ones that Jason and his companions would have given, but I believe the rea-sons that drive us are the same.

I have always been fond of the saga of Jason and Medea, even if is the next part of the story that has fascinated me more … I have always had a deep interest in Medea as its told by Euripides. I find it a masterpiece of psychology and demagogy. Medea kills her own children with the sole intention of causing pain to their father, Jason, while knowing that she was inflicting the same pain on herself and, in an ultimate gesture of spite, she also deprives Jason of the chance to mourn them, by depriving him of his children’s corpses, and as you read this gruesome story there’s a moment where the power of the words makes you forget about the “moral laws” and you start being on Medea’s side, thus knowing she doesn’t deserve mercy.

While hoping that this fervour as a reader will last, I’ll do my best to be back soon with more views on new books …

love&light

Lisa

“ we don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engeneering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for”

WHAT DO YOU STAY ALIVE FOR?

I asked my self this question when I had my first recurrence of breast cancer. I was 28 years old and had been diagnosed the year before, so I when I was faced with the reality of a second surgery and having to face chemotherapy for 8 months I was really disheartned.  I remember asking my cousin Eloisa – at the time we were living together.

“how and why do I have to do it all again, if the results won’t change, why should I fight it all over  and maybe it will just come back stronger ?”

I’ll never forget how she answered to me, so calmly

“ you do it for the things you love, for the people you love and for what you want to achieve in your life”

I mean, don’ get me wrong I had dreams before as well but at the same time… it was never a metter of life or death after all.

Now I know really that if we don’t live for something we’ll die for nothing, it makes a completely different sense.
I live for love, for my husband, my family, my friends…. And I live for myself. To enjoy a nice breeze on the first days of spring
So, let me ask you once again but most importantly ask yourself… what do I live for ?

I am a bit late with this post about the finishing year… You’ll have to forgive me, I have been late answering messages, buying xmas gift, even my thoughts are coming to my mind slowlier than usual.

This year confirms a universal truth, maybe bitter, ma all in all extremely honest: in life you don’t get anything if you don’t give something in return.

It’s not meant to be one of those mad quotes that belong to those who believe that life owe them something,  it’s just what it is, a simple truth in front of which we all have to bend the knee.

This year I’ve met the love of my life, in the most romantic way I could ever dream.

As every cynical person I dreamt about a perect love without even dare to say it out loud.

I called that perfect love, I thought about it, without even realizing it I described it in every word I wrote. When he arrived I realized that I didn’t need many of the notions I thought I have regarding love, I don’t need to quest my feelings  anymore I just need to be.

Then what was supposed to be a romantic vacation for two people automatically turned into the wedding of my dreams, there were only our truest friends, people that were happy to share that moment with us and that knew how much life has cost me so far, I wanted to share that moment with people that knew the value of moments over the value of objects.

2018 ended with a big, huge silence. I faced another battle that I am happy to say I won, there will be other battles I know, I have no delusion. But whatever forced me to radiotherapy is gone, and that’s victory enough for me today.

Now I will spend almost a month in the beautiful California and I want to turn all the silence of the past months in words and emotions.

Lisa

I disappeared for a while, I am aware. It has been a tough couple of weeks for me, I am working on two different books, I am fighting cancer again… the regular stuff, right?

Jokes aside, I have been doing a particular annoying kind of radiotherapy but I’ll be done thursday and I am not ready to talk about it yet, I need to talk about something lighter!

So today I would like to discuss the shining world of instagram with its pros and cons, but mostly I would like to shed some light on how, as always, it is not what we face but how we face it, instagram can be both magical \or a torture instrument it all depends on how we approach it.

Personally I love instagram, I think I have the number one requirement to thrive in that enviroment: I do not take myself too seriously, I don’t want to look cool, I don’t particularly care, I honestly have fun sharing cute\funny things and, as I am starting to share my thoughts more and more with new tools such as stories and live videos, I am also enjoying the answers I get.

The biggest critic that is moved against instagram is that it portays a false reality, guess what: people are fake! …. uhm, duh!! Isn’t it the same as when we go out on a saturday night everyone is excited, well dressed, they just want to drink a glass of wine and talks sex or sports? no one wants to tell you how miserable they are feeling since their kids aren’t sleeping for days or their spouse is not talking to them currently (yet again). I want to defend these folks, they don’t owe you shit and honestly a little bit of self respect in these times and days would be much appreciated! Also people some times just mind their fucking business, you know the saying “ if you want to live up to hundred just drink a cup of shut the f**k up” !
I am saying this because honestly I’d like to ask all the people complaining about others being fake that the problem is not the gorgeous lady that take selfies with make up on the problem is YOU, you think she’s like that all the time and you cry why you don’t wake up like that…

This takes us to the other big problem of instagram. Nowadays girls keep watching these pictures of beautiful women and they feel so bad, first of all let’s all face something: we are not the prettiest of them all, now please watch yourself in the mirror and repeat it a hundred times. We cannot be the prettiest of them all, first of all cause there are too many of us, and second because the concept of absolute beauty is stupid, and third… who gives a fuck? I want to be the most talented of them all writers, and if on top of that I can be cute with a nice style I like it, if not… guess what?

BUT I realize that saying this from my experience might be “easier” (  which is a paradox but hey guys, life is a paradox) so if you really cannot survive the gram without self doubting yourself please keep in mind it’s all staged!

there’s a beautiful italian model Alice Basso who took a selfie of herself with the “wrong” lights and the “right” lights, she’s still gorgeous in both but you can see her going from a 10 to a Victoria Model’s Status in no time.

Bottom line: to those who say I make cancer look easy, I don’t want to. It is in no way my idea to make those going through this path insecure because they are dealing with it differently. It is a nightmare, I am tired, I am fed up, but I think it’s nobody business and portraying this on a public platform would only bring me a kind of simpathy that I am honestly not at all interested in. I want to keep fighting and keep aiming high, and when I’m too tired to do that I shut down on the couch privately with my family, as everyone should do, instead of vomiting their hate or frustration on the internet. It is what I call self love or self respect (or mainly just some good sense!) and we should all use it a bit more!

So guys use instagram to have fun, be more active on it, and just don’t give it, or the people you see in it, too much importance!!!

With love always

-XX-

La Lisa

I recently came across two philosophyes that i knew nothing about: minimalism and the slow living revolution.

The fact that i accidentally found these two movements via an hashtag might be considered  by many a coincidence, while others might call it fate, personally, i think it’s serendipity.

So… what is minimalism?


I did some researches and i have found numerous answers and i guess it’s because there are numerous ways to be a minimalist, it can be as radical as owning only 100 objects and living in a tiny house or it can be just something you “add” to you every day life ( kind of ironic since you add to your life by subtracting … ) the definition that most resonated with me is that minimalism is about simplicity.

To me it can be as easy as asking yourself “do i need this?”

It’s easy but actually revolutionary.

Do i need this fabolous pair of shoes? (who are you kidding, yes you need it ! Go fucking buy it!!!)

Do i need this person in my life? Does this person add to my life ?

(and by add of course i don’t mean anything material but, does this person help me in my personal growth? Does this person bring joy or laughter or positive energy to my mind? Or does this person only complain or criticise? Please be aware your mind is not a bin and no one should ever be allowed to put their trash in it)

Slow living revolution:

This is also a complex multi-faceted subject, i actually discovered just today that it all started in italy (my country) with the slow food movement and from there stemmed the slow cities movement, there are about 75 slow cities in italy and numerous others around the world ( 17 in poland, 11 in south korea and… 2 in the usa, just saying… )  the concept of slow cities is relatively easy: they use technology to improve people’s lives rather than make them more complicated, they have to respect the traditional geographic resources, one of the major exponents of this concept is carlo petrini who is the mind behind the slow food project.

Beside the slow food and slow cities movement there is something called slow living revolution. Living slow doesn’t mean to be lazy or not to have goals but it means, as author and main exponent carl honore put it, living at the right pace.

I think in the past year, after my third cancer diagnoses ( i have been in complete remission since last october, but my life has drastically changed as i am now living taking lots of pills and medicines ) i moved toward those philosophies without even knowing it, and it has help me a lot.

Of course going through such big adversities forces you to prioritize, you find yourself with increasingly less and less phisical energy but more and more enthusiasm towards life, this means that you need to know what you really want to do, who you really want to meet, and let go of all those events, activities, people, you were once meeting just because ( i am sorry to tell you: just because you didn’t want to be stuck on the couch with your spouse or, even worse, with yourself )

It started with a lot of people decluttering and events decluttering ( i used to be a creature of the night and now i dare you to find me anywhere past 10 pm and if you do so it means it’s something kind of special or that i am having a blast!) And after a while i also started to sell some of my (too) many bags&shoes with rewards both economical and spiritual in a way, let me be honest though and say that i started when my husband moved in with me and i realized that i had no space for his stuff, but i wanted him to feel as welcome in what was now our home as he was (and still is!) Welcome in my life, now ours.

Decluttering felt really good and i want to do more and more of it, without exagerrating of course…

If you could ever saw my make up area ( not bag, not bags but area) and the number of skin care products i own you would understand i could never own 100 objects nor less, but i do not think that is the point… to me the point is: schedule time for naps, and just laying down, schedule time to think and wonder, schedule time to watch a cake baking in the oven, and let go of all of that doesn’t serve a purpose in your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post that was especially meaningful to me!

In love and light

-xx-

Lisa

Isn’t that the ultimate question?

Yet people bring it up around the table like it was an easy talk

I can not ask myself if I believe in God without hearing an interior voice going: ” cancer, cancer, cancer”

( imagine that in a fire alarm kind of sound )

Yet, I believe I’ve found myself closer to God after last year, when I found out that my cancer had spread yet another time.

Most people think (and I was one of them) that the closer you are to death the more you need a Powerful God that can either save you or promise you a better world ahead.

That is one of the reasons why I refused God for so long and with a certain strength, I didn’t want to be weak and naive, I wanted to be the strong person that walked into, literally, nothing without a sugar coating it.

But then I had a taste of fire and I’ve seen people burned down to their fucking ashes and I’ve found grace there.

I never thought there could be grace in such desperate places.

Grace comes from God. There’s a peaceful state that I believe can not be entirely human.

Yet I do not claim to have found any truth, I am only saying that I understand that I do not understand, but there’s a power out there and I am willing to talk to that power and ask it miracles for me, and for all those that need it.

That doesn’t mean that when it will be my time, as late as possible cause I have a lot to do on this journey, I won’t be like

“Hey dude, I know you are almighty and everything but I swear, there’s room for improvement on earth!”

I assume he’ll look at me, check my receipt and be like:

“GUUURL! What ya doing up here? You’re supposed to be in hell! Guards!”

(Yes, God talk slang. Y’all got a problem with that?)

Where do you stand in this God thing?

Love and light,

-xxx-

Lisa

This is a little experiment
A video of me reading my latest poem
It’s in italian, and I can’t really translate it but I wrote beneath what the poem is about,
I hope you guys will enjoy it !

Xx

Lisa

Quanto ci somiglia questo pianeta
Con i suoi movimenti lenti
I suoi sconquassi improvvisi
Parte terra parte mare
In mezzo roccia,
quanta ne puoi contare
Il mare stesso coi suoi colori
I suoi turchesi tranquilli
E quei petroli impetuosi
Siamo fatti a immagine e somiglianza
del mondo in cui viviamo
e ne portiamo l’impronta
Nel palmo della mano
Ogni suo elemento ci appartiene
Acqua terra
Fuoco e vento
Portiamo tutto dentro
Tutto questo tumulto
Nel nostro spazio così angusto

We are so similar to our planet, we carry within us the calm of the desert and the caos of the earthquakes, we are so similar to the sea that can be so placid and so tumultuous at times, every element of the earth we carry within us fire and wind, water and earth everything in this little body of ours.

First of all: for all non cancer people and all the care givers… why do we get scanxiety?

You get into the hospital take a ticket and wait your turn,. after checking in you go underground, it gets cold. You seat in a room with people that are waiting to confirm if they have cancer or not, if it has come back, and if it has how bad it is this time.

Ok so now you are seated in a tiny room. Everyone is silent, and as messed up as you, but for some reason they think it’s a good idea to share all the worst stories someone has ever heard about cancer and recurrences. Now there’s no way you can avoid the thought (the thought you have tried to avoid all the week, if not month): in an imprecise amount of time you’ll be in a closed machine, with a plastic armour on your chest and face, unable to move, with a loud noise to constantly remind you what’s going on, claustrophobic yet?

What do you do?

Before the scan:

1) while you wait bring your headphones and listen to some cool music

2) Bring crossword puzzles, it will give you something to do

3) Do you knit? It’s time to start. You are a man? I don’t care, do it anyway!

4) try to list five things you love or you are grateful for

5) Express yourself. You will be dealing with technicians, not doctor or nurses. Their goal is to get you in the machine as fast as possible, have you not moving while in there and get you the hell out of there. Remind them you are a human being. I perfected my puppy eyes, I tell them I am scared of the machine, I tell them I have had cancer 3 times and I am in my thirties, I ask them to tell me when we are pass the middle of the exam ( which to date they never did but hey ????????‍♀️ ) … it’s my way to resist the system and still feel like a human being, find yours!

6) take some xanax! Ok maybe this should have been number one, but guys … it won’t work alone! You also need a lot of good thoughts!

7) think about your wonderwall. It might be a special place, a special moment, a special person. For me it’s the ocean, the sea, the waves. I am a yoga teacher in training so… I know it’s hard. Try harder.

8) when you are in the machine you’ll think about all the place the cancer might be this time I want you to visualize you kicking this thought and replacing it with number 5 or 7 you will need to do this 600 hundreds times.. fine, first of all it will keep you entratained and remember: a winner is nothing but a loser that never gave up, so when you fail, try again… and then try harder.

9) when in the machine try to think about something you know by heart: a mantra, a prayer, a song, and repeat it. Lose yourself in that.

10) once you are out I hope you live in a country where weed is legal and get some! If not … netflix, pizza and wine should do the trick! Relax and try to forget about it

I guess you have noticed a pattern here, it’s hard guys. It’s fucking hard. But I believe you can choose, you can choose to be tougher than all this crap and power through it. It’s the only way and you have to do it for yourself. Crying won’t help you, a mental breakdown won’t help you, complaining the whole day won’t help you. Fighting harder will make the trick, it will carry you through.

I don’t mean it will heal you, that’s a combination of treatments and luck, but you will live the best life possible under harsh circumstances… that is the best victory/revenge possible!

ALSO how about you give your friends facing treatment a real card? I am in love with these by Emily McDowell

I can’t wait to hear your tricks to deal with scans, and what care-givers think about this!

With love and light

-xx-

Lisa

Here’s 5 things to do for your bestie when organizing her bachelorette and 5 things to avoid !

1) DO prepare a nice kit for the group as the coordinated swimsuit the girls got us or a nice “hangover” kit, you can find those things on my best friend: amazon !

2) DO book tables and clubs for the group, no random last minute decisions !

3) DO Find a stripper, even if she says she doesn’t want to !

It’s just for the memories and it doesn’t have to be something tacky or gross, just a guy dancing and your girl super embarrassed

4) DO play some group game, maybe an alcoholic one.

I know school time is over but it can be nice to go back being teenagers and gossipping about guys with a shot of vodka going along !

My friends downloaded some question about my relationship and they also had my future husband’s answers.

And yes the wedding is still on 😉

5) DO Organize a girls beauty moment:  some cucumbers to depuff your eyes and a nice mask. Just a chilling moment since the rest of the time will be on a tight schedule!

1) DON’T stress the future bride unless you want to see a Bridezilla moment !

2) DON’T go running to her with problems spoiling the surprises ! The temptation to do so will be great but try and resist

3) DON’T be indecisive, give your opinion freely !

4) DON’T fight with the others, a cat fight? Seriously?!

5) DON’T let the maid of honor be the only organizer, cooperate for your girl.

She will appreciate the extra love ❤️???

HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED AT MY BACHELORETTE:

I had my bachelorette party last weekend with 10 of my faves girls, it was in Costa Smeralda Sardinia.

My favorite place to party is actually Mykonos, Greece, but since my recent health issues I shouldn’t really be drinking so I figured Mykonos would have been to much of a temptation for me… therefore we compromised with Sardinia.

And these are just my kind of compromises ???? !!!

Can you see how sad I was ? 😉 !

So it all started with me booking a place for 11 girls in porto cervo last friday evening, only to arrive there at 10 PM and find out I didn’t book there but somewhere else ( I still haven’t figured out where! ). They were not expecting us but serendipity came in handy as I actually new the owner of the place vert well so I got a really nice treatment ????

I ended up having a couple of glasses of wine more than I had planned …still better then Mykonos though

We got there, had some nice pasta, drank some good Vermentino ( typical sardinian white wine ), smoked some Hookah, danced the booze away and … at the end I was surprised with a chest-naked guy that brought us a bottle of champagne, now that’s what I call gender equality!

Day one gone, I woke up on day two with a huge desire to drink a gallon of water, at least.

Around 11 AM though my friends all gathered in the swimming pool and urged me to sit on chair… when the music started to play I knew what was about to happen, or so I thought at least !

What I didn’t know was that the neighbors would have started to spy us from above, cheering and encouraging the dancer ( two ladies with their grandson that looked about 11 years old! ) making everyone super uncomfortable including the dancer ????????!

My friends afterwards complained (because the stripper got shy and didn’t dance, but still asked for those Sardinian kind of money!) and the poor guy almost cried ???? !

I am sorry for him but this makes for a great story… gangster girls that made the stripper cry ???? !

The party ended at ” Phi Beach ” a really nice club on the beach with great view on the sunset … that night Skin from the Smashing Pumpkin was playing, I went home earlier because I was super tired but my friends told me she was amazing !

I hope you guys enjoyed this little story !

XX

Lisa