Micro Habit Challenge 5.2: Every Thought Is A Judgement

Okay, another week of this micro habit challenge had passed. I have to admit that two weeks are a bit short to really understand what is going on. But something is going on – and it is something big.

I figured out that I’m mainly judging myself – and not other people. What gnaws away my energy or leads to confusion are the voices in my head that are telling me what to do, what to want and how to act. Yeah, it is probably not even one voice, but many. (And yeah, I’m seeing a therapist;)

Instead of asking myself what I really want from a situation or – and that is very painful to admit – from my own life I’m already assuming things that I should want. Or after a situation I judge about myself and tell myself how I should have behaved or reacted.

Hm, okay, here we come to the difficult question: Who is the judge in my head and how can I make him shut up? (Thanks, Alan Watts;)

Well, first I thought this is a very tough question. I could study this question from all perspectives – from a psychological, a spiritual, a neuro-scientific point of view. But in reality it is that simple: I just tell this speaker to shut up. I have to jam the judge.

And this is what I’m doing right now. As soon as a thought arises I tell my brain to shut up. This sounds a bit weird – to me too. I’m trying to understand with this blog and on this whole life journey where the pain is coming from and then I’m telling the voice inside of my head to shut up instead of listen to it? It is a bit of a contradiction.

But only on the first sight. Since I’m able to think it seems I’ve been thinking quite a lot. I gave my mind the permission to define my status quo and my mind doesn’t do a good job. It was a long process to come to the conclusion that my thoughts are might be not very helpful when it comes to live and prosper.

My thoughts are telling me so much bullshit that it is more work to separate the wheat from the chaff than turning them off completely and switch into ‘doer-mode’.

I reached a point where I’m going this far: Every thought is a judgement.

I was listening to Krishnamurti the other day. It was one of those casual super chill sundays when the way between bed and couch is the largest range of motion of the day (Well, I have these days potentially at every weekday.).

Krishnamurti asked: “When was the last time you looked at a mountain without calling it a mountain?” – Honestly I didn’t know this challenge is going to get this deep. By putting something in words we are already judging.

We project our definition of reality on the outside world. This definition is based on which language we speak, which senses are accessible to ‘make sense’ of reality and if we ‘feel’ comfortable, angry or sad. We are MAKING sense of the world by judging.

Our thoughts are created by the words we have learnt. These words define how we see the world. But is this the world or is it just a paper cut of the world?

Imagine you are a lizard. What would the world look like for you? You might live on a clearing of a forest. The furthest you see is to the edge of the woods. Would you say a lizard is not fully alive? Would you say a lizard needs more to be alive? No. The life is right there. The lizard is alive. The life is within the lizard. And so it is in us.

There is definitely no truth behind our words if we are telling ourselves that we need to do more, be more, be better, be stronger…. At the maximum there is interpretation of what could be useful for us (Whatever that means.).

And what does this have to do with judging? Everything. Judging is interpreting our behaviour or the behaviour of others and valuing it according to ‘our’ worldview.

When we judge we are clamping reality into the vice our own worldview. We trap ourselves if we are only listening to our mind.

Of course – on many levels the ability to judge helps us to live. We are able to cross a street without being hit by a car. We are able to buy food that keeps us alive. We are able to drink water when we are thirsty, because we are able to connect the dots.

We interpret the signals of our body subconsciously in order to satisfy our physical needs. But which needs do we fulfill if we interpret every signal that our mind flungs out? The need to impress? The need to prove something? How many times are these needs really our needs? And are these needs crucial for our survival?

I can answer this only for myself with a clear ‘no’. The only secret is to let life be as it is – imperfect, full of struggle, but at the core pretty basic: live, love, sleep, eat.

Okay, now I got a bit far off. Back to the challenge: I figured out that this type of examination on a “conscious level” helps me to cement all these ideas in my mind. My subconsciousness does the rest. It conveys the idea of “not knowing” to the core of my being.

This life is not about following an ideology, but about observing my own point of view. The problem is that we are getting lost in concepts instead of thinking for our own self. We are trying to fit ourselves into the right box. And this is how we are getting lost in confusion. Because all these boxes don’t fit properly, because they are only cheap replicas of reality.

If we look at things, including ourselves, like we look at it for the very first time of our life these things get a complete new dynamic. So the key would be to recognize every second, every moment of our lives as a unique moment that passes. And in this moment we need to do what feels good for us.

We only struggle if we interpret all the time, if we take things personal all the time, if we want more or if we put everything that we see in relation with our own life.

It absolutely doesn’t matter what other people do or think and when I say other people I mean ALL people, the whole society, the rest of the world…. Even what you tell yourself doesn’t matter. Without judgement there is no struggle.

Nevertheless: This whole judgement thing is so freakin’ hard. Just now I am facing the toughest challenges ever. This cage in my head is not created by me. I’m conditioned. I can change it to a certain extend, but I can’t escape from it completely.

But what I can do is ignoring it or – even better – using it for higher purposes. But for this I have to dig deeper.

The question is: Am I really prepared to look deep down into the nature of my own psyche? Am I willing to keep walking into the dark corners of myself? Am I willing to keep changing?

 

Micro Habit Challenge 5.1: Who Am I Judging?

“Am I ready to stop judging?”

One week ago I heaved out this question. The first part of my micro habit challenge is over and I can formally announce: “Nope, I’m not ready to stop judging.”.

Nevertheless it is astonishing what I have learnt only by asking myself this and other fundamental questions about judgement. For example who do I judge, what and when do I judge?

The answer to “Who am I judging?” is pretty straight forward: mainly myself. I was never really good at ‘having an opinion’. Also ‘putting people in boxes’ was never quite my thing. Well, congratulations Uli, pat yourself on your shoulder.

But what I do from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep at night is squeezing myself into boxes. Yes, I’m not even putting myself in one box – no, I pull, I push, I haul and I squeeze myself violently into several boxes. What do I mean by that? I have this perfect image of who I would like to be in my head, but the reality doesn’t quite meet my expectations. What I don’t realize is that I don’t fit in these boxes – I can do whatever I want.

More clearly than ever I can see the source of my negative thinking patterns right in front of me: It is ‘judging myself’. I nearly have to laugh about how much I’m disparaging my own self by jamming myself into those boxes. I judge myself for nearly everything I say or do. This is what this challenge shows me. It is (nearly) ridiculous.

At the same time – more than ever I can see clearly what I need to change in order to liberate myself from this prison that I create in my head: I need to free myself from judging.

What did I really learn?

I’m imposing these massive expectations on myself. My whole self-worth relies on meeting unrealistic goals. And my only real goal is nothing else then being a flawless human being. I push myself to do everything in the most effective way. I’m telling myself what to want. I’m not allowing myself to just be how I am – full of mistakes like every other human being on the planet.

Before I even ask myself “What do I want?” I’m already judging myself. I’m telling myself what is the right thing to do or to want instead of doing what feels right.

“I’m supposed to be well-balanced.” “I should speak more italian.” “I should really call this friend.” “I should apply for this job.” “I should really write this article.” And if not? “I suck.” “I’m the worst.” “I’m a loser.” “I’m weak.” “I’m a narcist.” “I have zero emotional intelligence”… This is what I tell myself day in and day out.

What’s the key? Accepting what is instead of creating these weird ideas about how something (me) can or should be.

Judging is over-thinking. This is what happens when you have nothing to think about but thoughts. (Thanks Alan Watts for making me use this phrase.)

Man, I knew I’m self-centred, but my self-centeredness is astounding! The only good thing is – I can change it. And now that I read it here black on white I don’t even think I am that far off…

I’m creating barriers between me and the real world. And I’m going to break them down. All the past years I thought “I just haven’t quite find the right guy to start a relationship.” “I haven’t quite find my tribe.” “I haven’t quite find my purpose.”

Reality is that I’m the one who is closing herself off by pre-judging. How can I expect to be liked if I don’t accept myself? How can I expect to do what I really want if I don’t take the time to really listen to what I want deep deep down inside of me? It is so important to be true to myself.

With every judgement I reinforce self-doubts and create a negative image of myself. By ‘not-accepting’ what is inside of me or outside of me I’m creating a barrier between me and the outside world. I can only allow things to evolve in a natural way if I don’t judge them with the cruel voice of perfectionism in my head.

What is judgement? It is making a conclusion before there is even an outcome. It is labeling yourself. Why is judgement bad? Because we can only put our own experience in consideration. We make conclusions based on what we know. But what we know has nothing to do with reality. It is maybe a part of it, but nothing more than a bunch full of ideas about what reality could be.

If we want to get in touch with reality, the world, the truth or however you want to call it, we really have to take the time to look long enough, before we make a move.

Also – judging oneself can be a good thing. But it is only a good thing if we turn our self-judgement into something useful – self-discipline or the motivation to learn more or the willingness to change oneself.

What am I going to do?

So far I took a bigger step back from my thoughts and looked deeper into my innermost self. What am I going to do next? Of course, looking even deeper. I’m planning to write down where and how I judge myself in order to find out about some deeper layers.

Beyond that I want to transform these negative energies into positive ones. As soon as I find myself contemplating about what a great person I ‘could’ be I’m transforming this negative energy – into something positive or productive. I make creative energy out of judgement and self-justification.

Because this is what happens after judgement – We are starting to justify ourselves. And all this together is a big waste of energy…

Let’s go.

 

Micro Habit Challenge 5.0: Am I Ready to Stop Judging?

Before it is getting even more quiet here it is time to announce another challenge. After a successful social media challenge a couple of weeks ago I proclaimed that it is time for another level of challenges.

Recently there are a lot of topics I’m working on simultaneously: attachment, observation, judgement – these are subjects I’m studying next to happiness, pain and fear…

After all I found out that it all comes back to self-love. If I don’t love myself enough I’m not able to create a gap between me, my thoughts and the rest of the world. I take myself so f*cking serious, but I don’t love myself (enough). What is self-love again? It is accepting your mistakes. It is appreciating you peculiarities. It is the opposite of judgement.

So, what I really have to learn is to not judge myself. Of course – two weeks are a very short time to change your way of thinking. It is impossible. Some people say it takes 60 days to establish a new habit in your life. To be honest – I’m not even sure if ‘thinking negative’ is just a habit or a personality trait. But at the end it doesn’t really matter.

Why am I doing this challenge stuff?

What I learnt since I started this blog and what I learnt from my micro habit challenges is that it changes my thinking. At least it is a start, an initial trigger to question my behaviour.

By writing about it I’m forced to dig deeper. It helps me to get to the core of my quirkinesses in some areas of my life. These challenges became my tools. They are like verbal manifestations of positive change.

Why do I come up with this challenge now?

I’m beating myself up again for not focussing on ‘what needs to be done’. Doing this there is something that came into my mind – no something that revealed to me in front of me.

How do I come to the conclusion of ‘what do I have to get done’? Mainly I judge – I’m busy telling myself which things I have to do. Hahaha it is so ridiculous. In reality I don’t even have a real goal. So, there is nothing to aim for and therefore nothing to judge really – judge on which measurements?!

What if I just don’t judge for two weeks?

So, what am I going to do?

  • I don’t judge other people. I don’t judge them based on the way they look. I don’t say anything judgmental – neither to anybody in person nor to anybody else about anybody.
  • I ask myself before I open my mouth if what I’m going to say is a judgement or not.
  • And the hard ones: I don’t judge myself. If I do mistakes I won’t identify with them. If I think negative about myself I will stop that immediately and instead I will tell myself: “I’m okay how I am and everything is fine.”

This is basically it. I’m curious what I will learn within the next two weeks. In one week from now I will tell you about my first insights.

 

Reclaiming Happiness

On a random morning a little girl grabbed my hand in the hallway. She was neither my daughter nor related to me in any other way. “Mama, unten”, she pulled my arm pointing down the stairway in anticipation. Her mom was waiting for her in front of the door together with her sister. We proceeded down the stairs with care. It took a few minutes until her mother could welcome us with a warm smile.

A “dankeschön” from this two-year-old and the blink of gratefulness in the eyes of her mother would make this start of the day a special one.

These little fingers squeezing my hands reminded me of what real happiness is. It is connection. It is understanding. It is trust. It is this feeling of being in the right place at the right time.

Happiness is being in the flow. It is merging into the presence. Being one with the moment – without any obligations. It is a moment of unity in this highly individualized world.

When was the last time you experienced a moment like this?

In Wrong Pursuit of Happiness

How many times are we wrapped up in our head? In our personal reality?

We are busy ticking off to-do-lists, achieving the next career level, finding the right partner or financial investment. We network, we ‘do business’, we socialize, but are we happy? Are we really connecting with each other? Or are we so caught up in our bright future?

“We have been taught that freedom is the freedom to pursue our petty, trivial desires. Real freedom is freedom from our petty, trivial desires.” I stumbled upon this quote the other day. Adam Curtis is talking about addiction here, but isn’t our obsession of pursuing material (or immaterial) wealth also some kind of addiction?

Instead of pursuing our real needs we are misleading ourselves with substitutions.

Are We Slaves to Our Desires?

We mistaken ‘fulfilling our petty trivial desires’ with ‘happiness’. And this is what makes us feel discontent: As long as we are only longing for satisfaction we are pursuing happiness from an ego perspective.

What do I mean by that? We are compensating our search for meaning / figuring out what we really want with substitutions. ‘Making a living’ on this planet seems to be a very big issue for us whereas an ant can easily subsist.

But ants are might be a topic for another article. Back to us: Pursuing our desires – that means we value what is ‘of use’ for us. With this attempt we bound our ability to connect with the people around us. And where we are meant to find connection we are closing ourselves off.

This is addictive behavior. All we do is consuming fast food for our soul. We fill ourselves, but we don’t nourish us. We are so busy ‘creating’ ourselves that we don’t conceive that we are already here. We think we are freeing ourselves, but in reality we trap ourselves.

Everything that is accessible has to be achieved as fast as possible. Delay of gratification outworn its significance in our society. Like an addict always looking for the next thrill we blur our senses.

In the end our desire ‘to be happy’ is what holds us back from being happy.

The Circle of Happiness

What we don’t understand is that we find happiness only by connecting with each other in the real world. Life is what happens in the hallway or on the street or at the dinner table. Life is real time experience.

The circle of happiness starts in the presence. It starts with being aware of the small moments. Being ready to connect with the outside world and the people around us at any moment in time.

Instead of aiming for a certain lifestyle we should re-discover our true values: sharing love, cultivating a sense of community, being ‘there’ for each other. ‘Creating ourselves’ should be replaced with ‘self-care’ or ‘creating healthy relationships’. This is what makes us happy.

It seems like the circle of happiness becomes a thing on this blog.

 

Every Moment is an Opportunity

Every moment is an opportunity to set yourself free.

 

24 Hours

I have 24 hours to be my best self.

24 hours to sit with my feelings.

24 hours to settle in with every breath I take.

24 hours to connect with myself first – and then with the world.

24 hours to shine my light.

24 hours to be in service.

24 hours to live my life.

 

The Circle of Happiness or Why Self-Care is an Obligation

“When are you going to honour yourself?” During my morning meditation on my 31st birthday it comes crashing down on me.

My construct of negative thoughts can’t sustain itself anymore.

Like an avalanche boulders of anxiety, self-doubt, misgiving and hesitation fall off my back. Lightness captures my whole body.

My energy level rises headspinningly quick.

The ‘doer’ is taking over. There is only flow – no fighting, no dispute. The imprisonment is over. Finally the refreshing breeze of freedom is rejuvenating my senses.  

All the tension is released. The vibration amplifies apruptly. There is nothing but sympathy and concord. I’m expanding. Tears of gratefulness turn my face into a riverbed. The salt water washes away the remains of my resentments.

Every fiber of my body screams “FORGIVE YOURSELF”. Release is imperative.

Happiness updates its definition. Destiny welcomes me with open arms. I saw it coming, but it doesn’t downgrade my reverence.

It is here – doubtlessly: The reward of my journey.

For a long time I was obsessed with improving my productivity. A long time I tried to learn as many skills as possible – I still do to some extend. I wanted to read one book a week, learn two languages at the same time, learn coding, web design, improve my motion design skills, produce music and get better at writing, public speaking, coffee making, barkeeping and so on and so on.

‘On the side’ wanted to volunteer, learn sailing and in the meantime I was trying to meet my friends, find a boyfriend, eat healthy, start a business, travel… Hahaha, now only writing this down I feel dizzy. How could I think I would ‘succeed’ with this ‘attempt’? And how could I think I would be beneficial for others? And at the end – beneficial for the planet? (This is what I’m modestly aiming for.)

Nowadays my life choices maneuver me further and further away from the work-hard-play-hard mentality.

After all the ‘paradigm’: “If you are not stressed out you are not working hard enough.” still dominates the heads of us westerners. This applies to all areas of life. ‘Having time’ for oneself doesn’t seem to be worthwhile in a society where any activity is always on our fingertips. If you are not busy, you are doing something wrong.

Our time is scheduled from the day we are born. Isn’t it crazy!?

Anyhow: I ended up being completely exhausted with my attempt to do as much as possible. I’m surprised my nervous system hadn’t collapsed yet (Knock on wood!).

Beating the Torturer

“Before you can save the world you need to know who you are.” This was a piece of advice by a friend I couldn’t get a hold of in years. He addressed my – let’s be a bit pathetic here – desperate try to ‘do good’  in this world.

What he meant was that I always searched for the me in the outside. By achieving or doing something what I considered as meaningful I expected ‘to move along’ the path of self-discovery.

In reality the opposite was the case: The more I did the more I moved away from my path. I moved away from the core of my being.

Instead of finding out about my deepest needs I jumped head over heels from one challenge to another. Don’t get me wrong – challenges are good in order to find out what you are capable of. But by being obsessed with challenges I only distracted myself. I wanted to proof myself that I’m strong enough to accomplish everything. If I wouldn’t succeed I would beat myself up.

There was this voice telling me: “You are not doing enough.” – every single day. A voice that kept beating me up with reproaches all the time.

Something big had to change. Taming the torturer in my head – this became my real mission instead of being my own punisher.

“We better be nice to ourselves. Nobody wants to hang out with assholes.” Unfortunately I don’t know who this quote belongs to. Maybe I flung it into my notebook myself.

In any case – the message is clear: Be nice to yourself. Have self-compassion. Love yourself more. How many times have I been repeating these phrases? How long have I been trying so hard to cultivate this compassion with myself? I even wrote about it many times.

Become One With Yourself and then Become One With The World

Before you can connect with the world you have to connect with yourself first. And how can you connect with yourself if you are your hardest critic?

In order to spread love and positive energy on this planet you have to love yourself first. Treat yourself like you want to be treated by others – it sounds so simple and platitudinous but yet it is crucial.

We can only make a contribution to this society if we attempt every action with a positive mindset. If we want to make the world a better place we better be happy. Happiness is contagious. Malcom Gladwell explains it very well in “The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.”

“We normally think of the expressions on our face as the reflection of an inner state. I feel happy, so I smile. I feel sad, so I frown. Emotion goes inside out. Emotional contagion, though, suggests that the opposite is also true. If I can make you smile, I can make you happy. If I can make you frown, I can make you sad. Emotion in this sense, goes outside-in.” Malcom Gladwell

Demasking Your Desires

Recently I found out that in order to cultivate this compassion I have to go through the process of what I call ‘demasking my desires’. My journey is re-conditioning. Back to root level. And only from there I can carry out something.

The process of learning about my needs is a painful one. The pursuit of carving out my personality provokes disappointment and loneliness. Like a snake I’m peeling myself as I grow out of my old skin. Over and over I shuffle off one layer at a time. Every layer requires its own technique. I really need to take the time to learn about these techniques.

Why is it such a long and complicated process? If I don’t take the time to question my desires I eventually won’t find out about my real needs. I need an example for this:

If I have the desire to get drunk every weekend or I’m obsessive about my relationship then I might distract myself from something. To be more precise: I distract myself from connecting with my own self and fulfilling my own needs.

I might want to ask “Where I am avoiding life at the moment?” This process requires honesty and courage. It is not easy. It’s time-consuming and there are a lot of forthright questions to answer.

Self-compassion is crucial for this process. Self-compassion is nothing else than self-care. And self-care is another word for self-love.

Self-care is not just treating yourself once in a while, it is nurturing yourself with what you need for your survival. And what do I need? I need to do what makes me feel the best version of who I am. It is my obligation to take these needs seriously.

Repeat after me: “My Energy Resources are Limited.”

I only have a certain amount of lifetime and according energy to spend on this planet. It is important to spend it wisely. Okay, pseudo-hyper-human, repeat after me: “My energy resources are limited.”

So, in which area am I going to invest my energy? In the area where I’m not good at? In the area where I have the most deadly learning curve? Haha, ‘nice try’ the universe is laughing out loud.

When do my eyes sparkle the most? What parts of my job do I enjoy? Who do I admire and why? When do I feel myself the most? When do I feel the most alive?

The answers to these questions are the ones that are pulling us in the right direction. What draws our attention smoothly is where we find fulfillment.

When our eyes sparkle the most we are able to connect with each other and share our gift. When we feel the least exhausted and the most alive we are able to share. And this is also when we are able to be in service for other people.

So, it is my obligation to make sure that my glass is always full. Nobody can benefit from me when I’m not my best self.

Yes, it is that simple. This is following your bliss. This is self-care. It sounds pretty straight forward, but getting there is the challenge of a lifetime.

Since I started to invest in my strengths, I manifest positive change in my life. I become the change that I want to see in this world. The circle of unhappiness had ended and this is the beginning of a new circle. The circle of happiness.

Finally I’m following my excitement and the excitement is following me.

Treat Yourself with Not Giving a Fuck

There are always people who disagree. People who are disappointed, because I don’t do what they want me to do. It took me an disproportionate time to understand that it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of me or expects of me.

I want to be my best self and this is why I take care of myself. I can only serve a higher purpose if I’m in peace with myself. It’s not that I want to not give a fuck, no, I have to. It is healthy for me and necessary in order to live up to my own values.

Self-care is crucial in order to fulfill our purpose on this earth.

So, “When are you going to honour yourself?”

 

The Beginning of Darkness

Like a monstrous burden anxiety suspends me from aliveness.

Sensory input turns into an impenetrable nebula. I can’t distinguish between me and the rest.

A painful transformation disrupts my being. My existence morphs into vacuum.

This time I don’t resist. I sit and breathe. There is only black. I stare into the nothingness.

Is this the beginning or the end?

A void is clearing my chest. The fated moment of surrender has arrived.

Something cracks with a bubbly sound. The next level is here. Subconsciousness ruptures into recognition. Presence reciprocates.

I thought I won’t make it. I thought opium would be the only tranquilizer for my perturbed brain.

But life has other plans. Effortlessly I’m peeling off the old layer. Experience updated its metaphysics.

Life had started again with a new sort of darkness.

 

Learning to Unlearn

At the beginning of this blog in summer 2017 I thought this is all about ‘learning’. My aim was to expand my toolbox in order to be more productive, more balanced, more happy (Whatever that meant to me at this point in time.). I thought: “If I’d just learnt this lifehack.” “If I’d just be able to master my mind like successful person xy.”, everything would be perfect.

I failed adapting most of productivity hacks. I couldn’t develop these ‘healthy routines’ that supposedly would project an undreamt-of-degree of happiness into my life. Nothing improved. I might got slightly more stuff done, but my overall well-being hadn’t improved. And: I didn’t have the slightest idea how I wanted to feel.

“Why do you only think black and white?”, my therapist during this time called upon my lacking self-compassion. I didn’t have a proper answer. There was only this massive wall of perfectionism sealing off my potential. I could touch it, but I didn’t know how to demolish it.

I had to dig deeper. This was for sure. What I found was a lot of pain buried deep down under my obsessive will to ‘improve myself’. Under the pain there were my strengths downtrodden by my negative thinking patterns and destructive behaviours.

My mission was not to add something to my personality, but to reveal my individual traits. These characteristics are my weapons. These are the tools that help me to fulfill my purpose in this world. Happiness or let’s call it contentment is what comes naturally with accepting and integrating these peculiarities.

My task in this lifetime is to eradicate toxic habits in order to root up my real me. This requires commitment and courage. I can’t just ‘adapt’ other peoples methods of being productive, creative or self-disciplined. I have to develop my own strategies.

What I found out was that my bad habits and my thinking-patterns are not my own. I adopted them. I’m conditioned to think in a certain way. I’m conditioned to judge, to react, to be afraid. The good news is: I have the power to change.

But how? How do I unlearn? How do I re-condition? By pausing. By observing and by questioning my behaviour and my thoughts. The following to-do’s are not necessarily consecutive, they are interdependent. You will understand why:

1. Observe Your Behaviour

The first step in our process of unlearning is to observe. By observing we create a gap between us and our actions. Things change aggregate state as soon as we look at them. Habits lose their power as soon as we catch them unattended. They move from a subconscious level to consciousness.

This is something we can integrate into our daily life. “Again I wasted my energy for some stupid shit.” So what? This realization is the type of observation we need in order to create a gap.

It doesn’t only apply to actions, but also to thoughts. If the immoderate perfectionism is lurking, we just ask him what he wants. And there it is again: The gap. As soon as you look right into the eyes of your perfectionism it loses its power.

2. Detach From Your Conditions

If I keep telling myself “Stop this stupid perfectionism” I’m narrowing this gap again. I become a victim of the characteristic that I want to eliminate.

By punishing myself my mind becomes my enemy again. My whole body gets tight. I’m falling into subconscious behaviour.

The only option is “to let go”, to detach from it. To not see it as my trait, but as something that occurs every now and then. This way I look at my supposedly mistakes and surrender. If I take them lightly I don’t get trapped again.

3. Question Your Desires

Questioning became my tool to explore my needs and get to the core of my being. I found out that I can’t know what I want, but I can feel it – if I ask honest questions and take the time to find the answer.

To stay with the example of poisonous perfectionism: I asked myself. “Why am I such a perfectionist?”. The answer is that I’m not allowing myself mistakes, because I’m afraid to not be lovable. So, the desire under my desire to be perfect is to be loved. This reveals a complete different need. My need is not to be perfect, but to be loved.

More and more it becomes obvious why all my attempts to live happily failed. By following all these notions and desires blindly I distracted myself. I cured the symtoms, but I didn’t try to heal myself.

4. Connect With Yourself

I didn’t question if what I wanted was what I really wanted or just what I was told to be wanting or what I thought could fix my lack of self-esteem.

I wanted to become somebody instead of accepting who I am. I was not able to connect with myself and find out about my real qualities. It is not possible to find purpose anywhere else apart from at the very core of my being.

5. Alter Your Habits

There is always this thin line between not being too hard on myself and becoming the person who I want to be. But after all it is inevitable to start walking on the tight-rope of self-improvement.

In order to unlearn there needs to be the willingness to change. That’s the only reason why we should look at our behaviours, question them, detach from them and finally connect with ourselves. The next step is to do what is good for you – for your real you. And then DO IT. Alter it. Don’t do what doesn’t serve you anymore….

Through this whole procedure we reach a complete new layer of consciousness. This is how we are diving into the unknown – how we connect with the divine of our existence.

 

The Urge To Create

“I don’t have this urge to create.” This is how a conversation I’ve had at a New Years party started off and swiftly ended.

After all this product designer and I didn’t have that much in common. “You need some sort of pain in order to create something.” This we both agreed on in our short examination of “What makes a creative person?” Whereas an artist I spoke to the other day disagreed strongly when I asked her about her growing pain during creation: ”Art doesn’t have to hurt. Only because you are creative doesn’t mean you have to suffer.”

I would love to agree with Chandra, but I can’t. This incoherent incomprehensible unrooted urge to express myself doesn’t let me sleep at night. This is suffering. Maybe the ‘creatives’ are just a bit of masochists.

In order to create something there must be some sort of discomfort. Something that pushes us towards the finishing line of a project – is it a job deadline or a personal goal we are aiming for. There needs to be some sort of necessity to create. If it doesn’t hurt at least an unease needs to be eliminated.

‘To create’ something means to build, design, construct or initiate something that hasn’t been there before. Some sort of invisible hole needs to be ‘filled’, a gap closed, a thirst quenched.

You can only create if you are willing to go beyond the existing. ‘A creative’ is brave enough to face the unknown.

Everybody is creative in one way or another. It’s a human trait. Life itself demands a level of creativity: When we are communicating we have to read between the lines, we have to ‘make sense’ of the world around us. We need to be creative when we cook, when we want to date someone, when we want to book holidays, when we post something on instagram. (pahaha!)

Creativity in the sense of ‘doing something with an artistic merit’ is commitment to walk into the unknown. It is ‘not being afraid of the empty page’. It is ‘not stopping to create’ until the creator is satisfied. Creativity is dedication.

It is an inexhaustible force that won’t stop pulling until we are done or something close to done.

For me this doesn’t go without any sort of pain. Sometimes the pain is hard to stand, but there is only one way: to keep creating.