Achieving Calm through all the Chaos

I just gotten used to writing 2019 and, in a flash, it already flew by, taking with it milestones and achievements, forgotten plans and stolen moments with my family. Life is faster, we work harder, have more plans, higher goals, yet we are busier than ever before. I grasp at the meaning of calmness through the chaos that my present day translates to. My heart knows it before my mind, achieving some state of calm through all this chaos is a must. Deep breath now…

Some say we are addicted to stress, that our neural pathways thrive on it, on back to back meetings and the adrenaline rushing through our bodies. But is pushing ourselves actually making us more productive?

Is more, always better?

Perhaps spreading us thinner through juggling numerous projects at a time – ours, a co-workers, the kids’ – is not a measure of how much we can achieve. Perhaps doing less, resisting the urge to focus on other’s business, focusing more on our needs, on what really matters, is the true way forward. Being able to say ‘no’.

Asking ourselves: do I really have time for this? Do I need to add this to my schedule? Am I the one that has to do it? – is just as important as the skill needed to solve that extra issue.

achieving calm through chaos

Achieving Calm through all the Chaos in 5 Steps

Prioritize: life before work

Ask yourself, which are the most important people in your life? To me is my family. What manners next? Perhaps work, a hobby. And then? Friends, sport, social life?

These are aspect of your life you need to prioritize at the beginning of each year. Put them in your calendar first: birthdays, anniversaries, school holidays, family gatherings, dates.

Do not worry to leave the leftover time for work – it will still be plenty available!

Create a path through all that clutter

I am not talking about desk clutter, but all the bullet points on your daily ‘to do’ list. For some, an Excel spreadsheet works well, for others, a daily planning stuck on the fridge door will do. Start with that.

There you go, now you know in what order to prioritize your daily tasks. Focus on only one task at a time.

Plan, prioritize, but also make time to breathe – every day.

achieving calm through chaos

Know your personal and your career goals

If you make them clear to yourself at the beginning of each year, you would have reduced most of the clutter from your daily planner. They say, if you know your yes’s, then your no’s are easier.

Keeping your goals in mind makes it easier to prioritize on a day to day basis and it makes your decisions a lot easier.

And family time? Sharing daily, joyful moment with your family keeps you connected, thus making it easier to keep your personal goals in sight.

Face it, head-on

Often, solving the top issues, the most stressful ones, and reshuffling the rest can remove most of the daily stress our minds deal with.

Next assess these issues that seem to be constantly moved from one day to the next and ask yourself: will I feel a sense of accomplishment if I finish them? Are they important? If you think yes, then schedule one a day, prioritize it and finish it. If no, then they were just cluttering your daily schedule.

achieving calm through chaos

Meditate and Sleep

Maybe not for everyone, and I am the first to admit that I have a problem with both – I find them equally time-consuming. But when I do meditate – I realize that my objectives are clearer, what was a conundrum is clarified, I know how to approach a problem and, in conclusion, I feel less stressed.

Sleeping is a whole other issue. Beneficial for all and it does improve the immune system. And, yes, a good night’s sleep does give us a performance-edge and increases our mind’s agility.

It is easy to allow small worries to become big issues, but achieving that sense of calm through all the daily chaos is doable and can be a positive aspect of your 2020. I hope it will!

And read on. Poetry, in particular, calms the mind. Poetry is as good as gold 🙂

Follow this blog:
error

Fastest Route to Mona Lisa, Louvre, Paris

the fastest route to Mona Lisa, Louvre Museum

It is possible to see the Mona Lisa with (almost) no one else around. The fastest way, the quickest way to see the Mona Lisa (Gioconda, or LA JOCONDE as the French name her) by Leonardo da Vinci and located in the 1st floor, DENON wing, room 711 / room 8: “LA JOCONDE” in the Louvre Museum, Paris, is shared here, step by step.

With a bit of planning and following these steps, if you wish, you can enjoy your one minute of fame, alone with the Mona Lisa. Then visit the Louvre Museum at your leisure.

Fastest way to the Mona Lisa:

  1. Buy an online ticket for the Louvre Museum for the 9:00am time slot.
  2. Be at the Pyramid, main entrance, at 8:30am.
  3. Choose the GREEN entrance line for e-ticket holders.
  4. You will enter the Louvre through the Glass Pyramid (ground floor). Escalator takes you down (lower ground floor).
  5. You will see Information Desk / Information “Musee du Louvre” in front of you. Turn right. Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower ground floor to ground floor).
  6. You will see the signs for DENON wing in front of you. Go right. Take the lift ahead of you. Go up to 1st floor – elevator panel is marked with “La Joconde”.
  7. Out of the elevator, ahead of you, there will be a long hallway with artwork. Look for the signs towards “La Joconde”. Well marked.
  8. Enter room 711 (or room 8), also known as Salle des États. You are in a small antechamber with paintings.
  9. There are two doors ahead, left and right. Go further through one of them.
  10. You will enter a very big space. Ahead you will see the biggest painting in the Louvre, The Wedding Feast at Cana. Turn sideways to face the wooden barrier and see The Mona Lisa, La Joconde, La Gioconda, the Great Lady of the Louvre.

1. Buy an online ticket for the Louvre Museum for the 9:00 am time slot

You can buy your ticket from the Louvre website here. Best a few days in advance. Choose the top option: Individual tickets for the Museum. The cost is 17,00 € per person (2019) – as opposed to 15,00 € if you buy at the Louvre – and, choosing the 9:00am time slot, it will guarantee you entry in the Louvre as soon as it opens – which is:

Musée du Louvre opening hours
Monday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Tuesday: Closed.
Wednesday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m.
Thursday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m. 
Saturday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
On the first Saturday of each month, the museum is also open from 6 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. and admission is free for all visitors.
Rooms begin closing at 5:30 p.m., and at 9:30 p.m. on night openings.

Louvre Museum opening hours

Note: Free admission with no ticket (it will NOT guarantee you entry at 9:00am) for: under-18s, under-26s living in the European Economic Area, people with disabilities and the person accompanying them (these DO enter first), and people on income support. On presentation of proof of eligibility, full list on  Louvre.fr

2. Be at the Pyramid, main entrance, at 8:30am.

Louvre Museum, Pyramid Entrance - fastest route to see Mona Lisa
Louvre Museum, Pyramid Entrance – fastest route to see Mona Lisa

You might see him:

Military Dogs at Louvre Museum - fastest route to see the Mon Lisa
Military Dogs at Louvre Museum

3. Choose the GREEN entrance line for e-ticket holders.

Green line - tickets with time slot reservation
Green line – tickets with time slot reservation

4. You will enter the Louvre through the Glass Pyramid (ground floor). Escalator takes you down (lower ground floor).

The Glass Pyramid was designed by IM Pei and inaugurated on 1st April 1989!

Louvre Museum, Glass Pyramid detail
Louvre Museum, Glass Pyramid detail
Louvre Museum. Glass Pyramid - down the escalator (ground floor- lower level) - fastest route to see the Mona Lisa
Louvre Museum. Glass Pyramid – down the escalator (ground floor- lower level)

5. You will see Information Desk / Information “Musee du Louvre” in front of you. Turn right. Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower ground floor to ground floor).

Information desk on lower level, Louvre Museum
Information desk on lower level, Louvre Museum
Turn right. Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower  ground floor to ground floor). Fastest route to see the Mona Lisa
Turn right. Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower ground floor to ground floor).

Same image, from a higher point:

Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower  ground floor to ground floor) - upper view. Fastest route to see the Mona Lisa
Go up the first escalator. (You travel from lower ground floor to ground floor) – upper view.

6. You will see the signs for DENON wing in front of you. Go right. Take the lift ahead of you. Go up to 1st floor – elevator panel is marked with “La Joconde”.

Signs that you have reached the DENON wing - fastest route to see the Mona Lisa
Signs that you have reached the DENON wing

Take the elevator ahead of you – sorry about the blurred image, we were in a hurryyyyyy 🙂

The elevator in Denon wing taking you to La Joconde - Mona Lisa, fastest route
the elevator in Denon wing taking you to La Joconde

The road to La Joconde, the Mona Lisa, is very well marked:

signs leading to La Joconde Mona Lisa - fastest route
signs pointing you to La Joconde, Mona Lisa

7. Out of the elevator, ahead of you, there will be a long hallway with artwork. Look for the signs towards “La Joconde”. Well marked.

You will first reach Salon Denon. You want to walk through the door that is opposite the windows.

Salon Denon - the big windows. Use the door opposite. Fastest route to Mona Lisa
Salon Denon – the big windows. Use the door opposite
Salon Denon - go through this door to Mona Lisa - fastest route
Salon Denon – go through this door to Mona Lisa

8. Enter room 711 (or room 8), also known as Salle des États . You are in a small antechamber with paintings:

You enter Room 711 (room 8) of the Louvre Museum, Denon Wing, where the Mona Lisa is located. Fastest route to see the Mona Lisa.
You enter Room 711 (room 8) of the Louvre Museum, Denon Wing, where the Mona Lisa is located.
where to find Mona Lisa in the Louvre
where to find Mona Lisa in the Louvre

9. There are two doors ahead, left and right. Go further through one of them.

On the far wall you see The Wedding Feats at Cana by Veronese, depicting Jesus’ miracles, the biggest painting in the Louvre. Left and right is the exit towards the Grande Gallery.

room 711, Denon wing, Louvre Museum, Mona Lisa is behind this wall. Fastest route.
room 711, Denon wing, Louvre Museum, Mona Lisa is behind this wall

10. You will enter an very big space. Ahead you will see the biggest painting in the Louvre, The Wedding Feast at Cana. Turn sideways to face the wooden barrier and see The Mona Lisa, La Joconde, La Gioconda, the Great Lady of the Louvre.

Mona Lisa. La Joconda. La Gioconda, Denon Wing, room 711, Louvre Museum, fastest route
Mona Lisa. La Joconda. La Gioconda
Salle des États -Salle_de_la_Joconde_-_Musée_du_Louvre_-_large.jpg
Salle des Etats – Mona Lisa seen from the opposite wall, where the painting of The Wedding Feast at Cana hangs.

Going out from room 711, using the exit near the painting of The wedding Feast at Cana, you will get here. If you stand in Grande Gallery, the statue of Artemis marks the door to the room 711, where La Joconde is. (At least when we visited, it did): see the entrance on the right?

Artemis statue in Louvre, in the Grande Galerie, in front of La Joconde room - 711
Artemis statue in Louvre, in the Grande Gallery, in front of La Joconde room – 711

This plan of 1st floor Louvre Museum might help:

Did you know that some say Mona Lisa was a rich Florentine business woman, Leonardo da Vinci’s neighbor. Some say she was his mother. Some say it is a well disguised self-portrait or the portrait of da Vinci’s secret lover. Some even say it is the portrait of the only girl da Vinci was ever in love with.

Certain is that Mona LIsa is one of the Three Ladies of the Louvre, together with Venus de Milo and Nike, The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

the Three Ladies of the Louvre: Mona LIsa, Venus de Milo and Nike,  The Winged Victory of Samothrace.
the Three Ladies of the Louvre: Mona LIsa, Venus de Milo and Nike, The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Mona Lisa was one of the period’s largest portraits, painted on a single, very thin (12 mm) poplar board.
It reflects Renaissance interest in Platonic theory, when the beauty of the body was seen as that of the soul.
It is not an ostentatious image of a rich bourgeoisie lady: through pose and attire and the absence of eyelashes and eyebrows (in line with the fashion).
Gioconda, in Italian, it means happiness.

NEW: Meeting the ‘Mona Lisa’ for an Intimate (Virtual) Rendezvous

Visitors to the Louvre will experience Leonardo da Vinci’s world through a virtual-reality tour that brings them closer to the masterpiece than ever before. Read more here.

Follow this blog:
error

5 Simple Steps to Turn Your Boys into Bookworms

Find coolest ideas for things to do, eat, see and make with your kids

Raising a boy who takes pleasure out of reading books just as much as from a soccer ball or a Play Station might sound easier said than done, but, in the long run, it’s all worth it.

There are lots of books there that can stand on their own two feet and win the battle against a Nintendo, a Xbox or… even Minecraft!

Here are five easy steps to get your son to enjoy reading.

1. Visit the local library together.

Let your son wonder around the library, see a book and sit down to page through it. Don’t rush him. Find books with little text and lots of images geared at what your child is interested it. Then slowly move to books with short chapters.

If your child struggles to read himself, then read to him, aloud, every day. He’ll still get to enjoy the story without feeling frustrated and books will still be a positive experience for him. Until he’ll enjoy them by himself.

2. Leave reading material around the house

Be it a picture book on his favorite topic, a magazine or a comic book, you want him to pick it up and enjoy a page or two at a tiem. How-to books on sport are a great place to start getting a boy interested in reading.

Never make reading a chore. Rather surround your child with books, rather than forcing it on him. Place a bookshelf in his room and allow him to choose a few books to place in it.

3. Read yourself.

Children often mimic what they see and we, as parents, are our children’s mirrors.

Kids, especially boys, love silly books. Books with jokes are a great way to get them reading, sometimes even without them even noticing they are doing it.

4. Get Dad involved.

Get Dad to read too if your son struggles with reading. Even better, try a father-son book club and perhaps get involved with other dads and their sons. Book clubs are not only for girls – have a BBQ-Book Club, for example.

Remember, having positive role models help both boys and girl staying interested in reading.

5. Start a reading list by writing down what your son read and what he would like to read next. Allow him to rate the books. This way you can both see where his interests lay and he can feel more in control over his reading.

Studies show that children who have been introduced to books from an early age have a positive attitude towards reading and a greater chance to become successful readers. But a successful reader isn’t only someone who devours one book after another. A successful reader will also understand what the story line is about, will get its meaning and will also be able to focus on the task at hand for a longer time. For this is what reading entails, being able to focus indefinitely. Or at least until Mom or Dad come to switch off your light and forceful y remove the book from your hand because… tomorrow is school.

Five great books for boys:

1. Captain Underpants series is a great place to start and a Best Seller in Children’s Chapter Books;

2. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has over 10 000 reviews;

3. The Boy’s Book of Adventure: The Little Guidebook for Smart and Resourceful Boys  a fun book packet with facts on outdoor and nature;

4.The Book With No Pictures if you’re brave to say out loud everything that’s written on each page;

5. Joyful Trouble a fun read about a real dog and World War I, Best Gifted Young Adult book in UK.

Originally written for Red Tricycle here.  

 

 

Follow this blog:
error