Burn your agenda.
Drop your weapons.
Keep sharpening the knife.
Don’t force your power.
The fire of creation is what purifies your soul.
Real bravery is being in the eye of the storm.
Fight the fight, but fight it with dignity.
All of my life I tried to avoid conflict. I’d rather shut my mouth, than having an argument.
I’ve started to learn about nonviolent communication years ago. Only recently I found out that I still had a massive misconception around this whole topic in my head.
I connoted conflict in a negative way. I thought it is a bad thing, so I avoided it – especially in interpersonal relationships. I thought it is bad karma, negative energy, the beginning of the end…
It is the opposite.
It sounds a bit contradictory, but conflict is positive. It is the foundation of compromise. (The diplomats of you will smile at me.)
How? Well, what happens when conflict arises? Let’s assume there are two people who don’t agree on a topic. They blame the other person for not being right. In reality these people are not able to express their needs in a way the other person understands it.
But guess what? We are all humans. So, if we express ourselves in a grounded and compassionate manner most likely the other person will comprehend our point of view.
This is all there is. This is all that needs to be resolved. If everyone would be able to articulate their needs in any given situation a conflict would be part of the solution.
There will be some amount of discomfort involved – sometimes the problem is might be very complex, but in the very end things will smoothly fall into place.
The higher the highs the lower the lows.
The brighter the light the darker the holes.
The deeper the pain the greater the gain.
There is a treasure within ourselves.
We just have to find it.
The truth doesn’t come smoothly. It comes hailing down on you.
If it doesn’t hurt it is not the truth.
The truth isn’t a pre-cooked dinner of your mom. It’s raw. You will not find a recipe on how to prepare it.
Because there is nothing to prepare.
If you walk on the verge of insanity everything is about balance.
Sometimes a tree needs to grow deep roots in order to find the right nutrients.
I can be in my body.
I can breathe into my body.
I can allow my body to relax.
I can appreciate my body.
I can be one with my body.
When the pain gets unbearable the mind gives up explaining.
The transformative energy of pain is what will eventually make you take action.
This is what I call healthy disillusionment.
All of a sudden you have to find solutions to problems where you can’t wrap your head around.
Instead to intellectualize you have to internalize your experience.
The more things don’t work out the more you have to go within.
The collapse of your construct of thoughts levels the ground for something new.
This is the power of disillusionment.
Disillusionment is the gateway towards inner truth. It is ‘the path’.
Every challenge you overcome will increase your dignity and your self-respect.
It is up to you if you face the pain in order to find your path or if you distract yourself.
It is disillusionment that brings you closer to your own needs.
So, be welcome, dive in and appreciate the pain.
I occupy myself.
I’m occupied with myself.
I’m occupied with being myself.
I’m occupied with being occupied with being myself.
I’m occupied with an image of myself.
I’m standing on top of Hirschgarten Bridge in Munich. The traffic is buzzing around me.
I’m typing the beginning of a new article into my phone. Interestingly about ‘listening’.
To be honest, I was not able to listen to anything at all, because I was so harassed by my thoughts or let’s say ‘haunted by my own demands’:
“It’s really time to finish a new article.” “You have to prepare the photo project.” “And when are you going to practice italian again?!”
The circus of my mind blasted. My brain clutter occupied all my senses.
In a few minutes I would meet my friend Patrick to have a chat about a photography project in cooperation with some founders from Munich.
All of a sudden my stomach is contracting. I feel like I’m completely hungover – without having been drinking anything.
Something else happened the day before that drained my energy: After my first ever full-body Thai Massage I cracked.
The Thai Masseuse: “Relax your muscles.”
Me: “I can’t.”
My body: “What the fuck are you talking about?!”
The massage was very painful. I expected that. But what happened four hours after the massage blew my mind.
I was writing on my computer at a co-working space when my lower abdominals started to burn slightly. I just took a deep breath to ease the ache.
A few minutes later I could feel a stinging pain circling around my navel. It started from my diaphragm circumnavigating my ribcage down to the core of the muscles around my pelvis.
“You have to move your body,” Patrick who I was working with tried to encourage me. So I moved – even though all I wanted was to lay down.
The pain started to hulk up. I was whining and shouting at the same time while my legs could barely hold my upper body.
It became unbearable. Instead of the U-Bahn I had to take a taxi home. The driver nearly hospitalized me. “Fuck no, they wont help me! Drive me home!!!,” I protested loudly.
In cold sweat and tears – after a lengthy traffic jam – I finally reached home.
I needed help.
The only person I could think of was Ralf – the only fitness trainer I know. Despite the fact that we hadn’t talked in ages I dialed his number.
With self-evidence he examined the pain with me. “Your body releases tension. Of course it hurts,” he scotches my concerns.
Apparently a muscle tension or better say ‘adherence’ released amongst my inner organs. Finally ‘loosened’ they fell into place again. “Actually the masseuse did a good job, if this is the result…,” Ralf lifted my spirits pointing out that this tension must have persisted for years.
Just by talking to him I relaxed – as good as I could. I nearly had to laugh about myself now.
You might ask yourself: “What does this have to do with ‘being preoccupied’?”
Through this experience I realized HOW much I’m gripping. How much I can not ‘let go’ of the image I have of myself.
Back to Hirschgarten bridge:
I’m standing there with my phone in my hand trying to ‘get something done’.
It is a beautiful day. The blue of the sky covers the city like a cozy blanket. The sun gives her warmest warmth possible on this early November day.
In the distance I can see the famous twin towers of Frauenkirche. I turn my face towards the sun to catch some UV beams with closed eyes.
When I open them again I can see the tops of the mountains at the end of the street southwards. As the traffic lights stop the cars next to me this view let’s me repose too.
Gentle release is crawling up my spine. It broadens my chest and opens my heart. Smoothly my body is warming up from head to toe – and so does the expression on my face. Even my feet are warm now.
This was a moment of grounding.
This moment on the bridge reminded me that everything I need is right here. I can perceive the magic of the moment if I stop being occupied with ‘doing me’.
What do I have to do instead?
“Relaxxx,” the Thai masseuse would say.
“Open up to the moment.” “Allow yourself to be present in order to heal.” This is the advice I would give to myself.
Why is this all so fundamental?
I’m taking myself so serious that it hurts. Already during the massage I could feel the spots, where energy channels are blocked in my body. I understood how much I’m physically inhering my body. The clinging of my mind manifests in my physical body.
This is the opposite of surrendering to the moment.
I will never increase my productivity in a state of stress. I will never find connection with myself or anybody else in a state of stress. I will never be happy in a state of stress. And on top of it: I will never ‘be myself’ or ‘in my full power’ in a state of stress. Lao Tzu said: “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
And most fundamentally: Stress is the root cause of illness (dis-ease). If I compromise my relaxation I’m jeopardizing my health. There is absolutely nothing more important than my body.
I’m struggling with stress ever since. Already in the first grade I remember my sweaty feet. Nobody cared about it during this time. But now I have the power to care for my stress-level myself.
My body showed me several times that I have to relax. In the past I suffered from heart-burn. There were times when I could only eat grated carrots and apple because my body wouldn’t digest a thing without making my throat burn like fire.
A couple of years later I could barely move my chest, because my muscles had built a so called ‘armoring,’ how Wilhem Reich, the initiator of body-oriented psychotherapy describes it.
Since years I’m carrying these tense muscles around. Yoga, meditation and targeted exercises help me to constantly release this tension.
Maintaining my health – more than anything else needs to be my priority. But not in a way of “I have to eat healthy”. “I have to quit smoking.”
No, fuck no. Well, of course smoking is bad, but I don’t want to make my non-smoking my addiction. Otherwise I will become occupied with ‘trying to eat healthy’ or ‘being a non-smoker’.
It is more important to listen to the signs of my body, to allow myself rest, when I need it, to listen to what my body really wants instead of being occupied with what I think I need to want.
A couple of months ago I wrote a similar article. Please check it.
What you think is your ‘goddamn right’ is your prison.
What you think is your desire is your addiction.
What you think is your self-expression is forcing your will on others.
Will I finally shatter my resistance and surrender to the battle?
My ego wants something the whole time.
It wants to get better.
It wants to feel better.
It wants to be recognized.
It wants to defend itself.
It wants something different.
It wants me to be different.
It wants to hold on to something.
It wants company.
It wants distraction.
My intuition only wants peace.
Sometimes we are so afraid of the pain that we forget to live.
Contemplate it for a moment.
The past experience is gone. The future will never come.
Just you and the moment, you and your body and the person in front of you.
There would be nothing to expect, nothing to anticipate.
There would be nothing to judge, because there would be nothing to refer to.
Information would only be available in the very moment.
There would be nothing to be afraid of.
Why? Because there would be no threat to foresee.
Objectively we would observe every object, every plant, every human in front of us.
The world would be full of miracle and full of wonder.
There would be no fear of the future, no fear of missing out and no fear of missing the whole point.
There would be only you with all your senses.
There would be you and your body.
You and your perception.
Your thoughts would be clear because your memories wouldn’t interfere with reality.
There would be only the eternal knowledge.
You would stop living in your head.
You would focus on your action only.
If there was no time, would there be a destination?