Uncommon Wisdom: Velina Veleva
“Uncommon Wisdom” is about sharing those habits or stories that we wouldn’t normally think to share. There’s so much talk about morning routines and self-care practices these days but a lot of it can seem kind of superficial or maybe just predictable and repetitive. This is why we asked a bunch of high-performing creatives and entrepreneurs a few questions about awareness, energy, and productivity. We wanted to learn something a bit more unexpected, and here’s what we found out.
Who is Velina Veleva?
Velina Veleva describes herself as a seeker and writer, innovations enthusiast, and lover of life and adventures. She has been living between London, Hong Kong, Bali and Sofia for the last 7 years. Stepping into fintech and then venturing out towards tech, sustainability and innovations, she has worked for various startups and has lead their business development into emerging markets, as well as more mature environments. Velina is ever curious about ideas deployment, routines, and performance. And about everything human.
#1. What's something unexpected or uncommon that made you more aware?
Sound. When I first started meditating, a big notion was observing sound – how it comes and goes, how you can’t hold onto it. It’s the same with thoughts – they come and go, you don’t have to hold onto them, you don’t need to be defined by them. You can observe their flow, just as an audience observes the main act. And through practice, you can navigate and influence this flow.
#2. What's something unexpected or uncommon that gives you energy?
Time spent alone. I’m a social creature and I find great value in exchanging new stories with people around me, sharing thoughts and experiences, and spending special moments with my loved ones. But then I need to turn 180 degrees and retrieve back to my den. There I get to reflect, let my mind flow freely, read books, and connect with myself. Also, afterwards I’m a much more pleasant person to be around, believe me!
#3. What's something unexpected or uncommon that makes you more productive?
Sometimes, when feeling like I’ve hit a hole and am in need of a burst of productivity, the best thing I could do is step back. Do something else, work on another task. Usually I come back to it the next day. Sleep, combined with a short morning meditation or a workout as a start to the day sets my engine running, and I find much more creativity in addressing whatever I was working on. Productivity follows straight after.
#4. What does your morning ritual look like?
Mornings are sacred to me. How my morning starts is how my day shapes as a whole. I am usually an early riser, unless I’ve had a bad sleep. Waking up between 7 and 8am, I first have my warm water with lemon and my black coffee whilst journaling, followed by a 10 minute meditation. I try to squeeze in a workout – be it a more intense HIIT or a juicy pilates session. On perfect days, I don’t touch my phone within at least the first 1 hour of waking up, though there are moments when I struggle with that self-imposed rule. Before I get on with my tasks, I do a mental list of things I’m grateful for. This changes the quality of my energy and helps me to tackle all upcoming to-do’s with positivity and motivation.
#5. What does your evening ritual look like?
I am more relaxed about my evening ritual as it varies. On nights when I’m out for dinner or socializing, I come back and if I’m tired, I simply take off my make up, brush my teeth, and happily snuggle into my covers. On cozy nights at home, I try to wrap up my day with some reading – usually fiction, as it allows my mind to quiet down. I finish with a little self-reflection on things I’m grateful for which have occurred during the day.
You can find Velina at @velinavv
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