Sunshine award from the award bouquet


My dear friend-blogger Ajay kindly nominated me for the whole bouquet of awards that included the Sunshine Award. Thanks a lot, Ajay. Much appreciated. Check out Ajay’s inspirational blog with lots of wise quotes and beautiful images.

So, what is the Sunshine Award?

“The Sunshine Award is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers. The recipients of the Sunshine Award are bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere. The way the award works is this: Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them. Answer questions about yourself. Select 10 of your favorite bloggers, link their blogs to your post and let them know they have been awarded the Sunshine Award!”

What inspired you to start blogging?
I started my blog as an online collection of sayings, images, stories, poetry and songs that I like. Initially it was like an online treasure box for me that I could refer to whenever required. Over time however I discovered the pleasure of interacting with other bloggers so now blogging for me is more about exchanging ideas and experiences with other bloggers in the blogosphere – a long online conversation with amazing people from all over the world.

How did you come up with the name to your blog?
Otrazhenie means reflection in Russian language. That is the essence of my blog, which is a reflection of everything I see, feel or read.

Otrazhenie/Reflection also reflects my multicultural experience. I was lucky to live in different cultural environments and be part of a multicultural family. That allowed me to overcome some prejudices and stereotypes and get a deeper understanding of the values and beliefs that form the basis of those cultures. I learned to appreciate cultural differences as well as discovered some common core values that gave me the feeling of ‘oneness’. I realised that the core values in all cultures are very similar, as they underpin the survival of humans and ability to function in a group (e.g. family values – taking care of your family and children), while cultural differences can usually be explained by the environmental factors that shaped those cultures.

All cultures develop over time to match changing environment and people like me, who are living in multicultural families, have a unique opportunity to critically examine those cultures and preserve the best values and beliefs from each of them for future generations, while living behind all outdated cultural practices, which are irrelevant in the current environment.

What is your favorite blog you like to read?
Very hard to choose as I like a lot of other blogs. At first, I tried to follow all the blogs I like, which started getting a bit overwhelming, as I like so many of them. A few days I got an idea from Alistair of starting a new page with a list of blogs I like. I’ll set it up once I get a bit more time.

Tell about your dream job.
Blogging in the comfort of my warm and cosy bed would be my dream winter job, while tramping and sailing – my dream summer jobs. Unfortunately, none of these pleasurable activities brought me any income yet, so I’ll need to keep dragging myself out of the house every morning to a less-inspirational job to feed my family. I don’t mind it much however as without  a real job and interactions with real people I would probably lose my inspiration very quickly. I feel very lucky to have a dream work-family-fun-inspiration balance in my life. Hope to be able to keep it that way.

Is your glass half empty or half full?
Half-full so I could keep adding to it. And it is bottomless as well so I’ll never run out of space. 🙂

If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?
I would not go anywhere as I’m already here. I’ll just keep exploring my wonder land New Zealand. Don’t want to go anywhere else yet.

What food can you absolutely not eat?
Raw oysters, frog legs, snakes, caterpillars and any of those crunchy, slimy and squishy stuff consumed by Bear Grylls in his ‘survival kitchen’. If I ever get lost while tramping, don’t add insult to injury by sending this guy to my rescue.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Dark with lots of nuts – you can have the chocolate back once I pick out all the nuts 🙂

How much time do you spend blogging?
Less than I would, more than I should 🙂

Do you watch TV, and if so, what are some of your favorite shows?
Very rarely. I mostly watch documentaries. I like ‘survival in the wilderness’ shows like ‘I should not be alive’ or Bear Grylls’ adventures. I like a practical side of those films – how to avoid getting into a tricky situation in the wilderness and what to do if you got into one. Talking about a ‘practical’ side, I even got a flint after one of Bear Grylls’ shows and tried to make a fire with it for cooking dinner during one of our tramping trips. An hour of sparks and finally – whoosh, I got the fire going. I was very impressed. Unfortunately, my hungry family was not. Have not seen my flint since that dinner, cheeky rascals. 🙂

My nominations:
I was planning to nominate 10 bloggers, but as some of you might be too busy to participate, while others might have been nominated for that award already, I decided to leave it up to my awesome followers to self-nominate themselves. I nominate for this award the first 10 of my followers, who are keen to play by the rules outlined above.

awake to life...

soul connection

‘A soul connection is a resonance between two people who respond to the essential beauty of each other’s individual natures, behind their facades, and who connect on this deeper level. This kind of mutual recognition provides the catalyst for a potent alchemy. It is a sacred alliance whose purpose is to help both partners discover and realize their deepest potentials. 

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Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for happy life and successful career

EQ1From IZquotes

* * *

communication_j how goodFrom Communicating with Confidence

We probably all know people, who are really good listeners. No matter what kind of situation we’re in, they always seem to know what to say – and how to say it – so that we’re not offended or upset. They’re caring and considerate, and even if we don’t find a solution to our problem, we usually leave feeling better.

We probably also know people who are masters in managing their emotions. They don’t get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution.

People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence. They know themselves very well, and they’re also able to sense the emotional needs of others.

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is recognised by many psychologists as more important than IQ for the success or failure in life and career.


Components of the Daniel Goleman emotional intelligence model

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they’re telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. Emotional intelligence also involves your perception of others: when you understand how they feel, this allows you to manage relationships more effectively.

There are 5 key characteristics of Emotional Intelligence:

  1. Self-Awareness – ability to understand your own emotions.
  2. Self-Regulation – ability to control emotions and impulses.
  3. Motivation – ability to defer immediate results for long-term success.
  4. Empathy –  ability to identify with and understand the wants, needs, and viewpoints of those around you.
  5. Social Skills – ability to communicate effectively with others, build and maintain relationships.

 Dad's loveFrom ’10 Tips for Dad’s – By Men For Men’

How can you help your child to develop emotional intelligence?

Relationship with you provides the first step to developing emotional intelligence for your child:

1. Hold your infant when he/she wants you and respond quickly to his/her cries.

2. Calm your own anxiety. It has been confirmed that parents’ touch, voices, and movements can either soothe a child or stimulate anxiety.

3. Accept and acknowledge your child’s emotions. Teach children that they can’t choose their feelings, but they can — and must — choose what to do with those feelings.

4. Demonstrate empathy. Your empathy teaches your child that his/her emotional life is not dangerous, is not shameful, and in fact is universal and manageable. Your child realises that he/she is not alone and learns to understand and accept his/her feelings.

5. Don’t shame your child when he/she gets hurt (e.g. don’t tell your son ‘big boys don’t cry’) and avoid repressing emotions. Repressed feelings don’t fade away, as feelings that have been freely expressed do. Repressed feelings are trapped and looking for a way out. Because they are not under conscious control, they can develop into nightmares and nervous tics.

6. Active Listening helps to diffuse intense feelings. Accepting his/her feelings and reflecting them does not mean you agree with them or endorse them. You’re only showing him/her that you understand.

7. Help your child to come up with an appropriate way to solve a problem or deal with an upsetting issue or situation.

8. Handling anger constructively is one of the most important skills you can give your child. When he/she’s angry, look under the anger for the hurt or fear that his/her anger is defending against. Use words, not force. Don’t let anger escalate. Breathe so you can keep listening.

11. Model emotional intelligence. What your child sees you do is what he/she will do. Do you start snapping at people when you’re under stress? Have minor tantrums when things go wrong? Can you stay calm during emotionally charged discussions? Do you empathize when feelings are expressed? So will your child.

12. Don’t let your own feelings to get out of hand. If you end up screaming, your children just feel picked on. They learn nothing useful and much that is harmful about how to handle their own feelings when they watch you indulge yours at their expense.

13. Don’t undermine your child’s emotional self-knowledge. Respect his/her feelings about others. If he/she feels uncomfortable letting Uncle Herman hug him/her, teach him/her to shake hands. Affirm your child’s ability to trust his/her own feelings. Children need to make their own decisions about relationships from an early age.

Sounds scary? Emotional intelligence is not my strongest point and although I put a lot of effort into improving my communication skills and emotion control, I still have plenty of room for improvement. However I try to avoid being a perfectionist. I believe that if I get 90% of these points right, it is better than nothing. And when I get something wrong or lose control of my own emotions, I do apologise to my children for hurting their feelings and use that as an opportunity to discuss how we can help each other in controlling our emotions and expressing ourselves in a more appropriate way. I think it is good for children to see that adults are also not perfect, that adults have emotions too and controlling emotions can be challenging for them as well. None of us is perfect and improving yourself is a life-long journey.

fathers-day-dad-with-kidsFrom Who is your daddy?

Online Resources on Emotional Intelligence:



This is a very special award for me, as promoting hope, love, peace, equality, and unity for all people are at the core of my life values and beliefs. Thanks for nominating me, Ajaytao 2010, for that award. Much appreciated. Visit Ajaytao 2010’s inspirational blog which is sure to warm your heart and clear your mind.

The HUG Award© was initiated by Connie Wayne at A Hope for Today at

The HUG Award© is for people with an expectant desire for the world, for which they:  Hope for Love; Hope for Freedom; Hope for Peace; Hope for Equality; Hope for Unity; Hope for Joy and Happiness; Hope for Compassion and Mercy; Hope for Faith; Hope for Wholeness and Wellness; Hope for Prosperity; Hope for Ecological Preservation; Hope for Oneness.

Check out the HUG Award Guidelines at for more information.

After learning more about what the HUG Award stood for it really became more meaningful to me! Hope it will be a very special award to all my dear nominees too.

My nominees are listed below. I’ll be adding nominees to this list over time. Please visit these blogs and enjoy their inspirational messages for hope and peace on our planet:

With lots of hugs.

Otrazhenie 🙂

The Liebster Blog Award


It looks like this month is the award month for me thanks to my dear blogger friends. Thanks a lot, Cristi, for nominating me for that award. Check out Cristi’s blog for some inspirational photos and quotes.

The rules are:

1. You are not allowed to nominate the person who nominated you.
He-he, wait till the next one comes down my way 🙂

2. Stick a pic of the award.
Easy-peasy. All done 🙂

3. Write 11 new questions for your nominees to answer.

Sorry, I’ll be a copycat this time, so I’ll pass Cristi’s questions. 🙂

1. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
2. Have you ever been to see an opera?
3. What country do you live in?
4. Favorite song ?
5. What is your favorite TV-Show ?
6. What is your favourite flower?
7. Do you have any pets?
8. What colour is your carpet?
9. Do you prefer snow or sun?
10. What is the favourite holiday location you have been to?
11. Who is your favourite artist living or dead?

4. Post 11 random facts about you.

Sorry, ran out of ideas, so got only 3 facts this time. Happy to answer any additional questions instead. 🙂

  • I can forgive and understand almost anything except betrayal of trust and lies
  • I rarely watch TV – had no time for that for the last 14 years. Don’t feel to be missing out much though 🙂
  • Love outdoor activities

5. Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.

1. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?

The Hobbit (Cristi, I’m not copycatting you this time. It was truly the last film I watched. I watched it twice and loved it a lot, especially the beautiful New Zealand scenery and landscapes)

2. Have you ever been to see an opera?

Yes (lots and lots and lots, as well as ballet, as I was born in St Petersburg famous for its ballet)

3. What country do you live in?

New Zealand

4. Favorite song?

Lots and lots and lots. But for today it will be an old Russian song “Steppe, endless steppe”

5. What is your favorite TV-Show?

I watch TV very rarely. Probably, Myth Busters, as my children like it a lot.

6. What is your favourite flower?

I love simplicity. Any wild flower looks beautiful to me. I like living and growing flowers rather than cut ones in bouquets – don’t like watching them dying slowly in a vase.

7. Do you have any pets?

No, not any more as our lovely pussy cat died last year.

8. What colour is your carpet?


9. Do you prefer snow or sun?

Crisp snow on a sunny winter day – nothing can beat that.

10. What is the favourite holiday location you have been to?

New Zealand – I don’t want to go anywhere from here, even on a holiday.

11. Who is your favourite artist living or dead?

Leonardo da Vinci – one of the most diversely talented person ever to have lived on our planet. I find it amazing that one person could be so gifted in so many different areas.

6. Nominate 11 other bloggers:
With so many awards coming down my way this month, I am struggling  with the nomination bit. Therefore I would like to nominate all my followers. Thanks for following my blog, leaving your comments, sharing your thoughts and providing inspiration for me. I love your all. If you accept this award, please answer all the questions.