If you lose focus, what do you think?
If your eyes are shut, what do you see?
If your senses are numbed, what do you feel?
If you keep on running, how do you ever reach home?
If you can’t feed yourself, how do you want to nourish others?
If you are walking on eggshells, how do you root yourself?
If you are crawling in darkness, how are you going to reach the light?
The illusion can’t sustain itself forever. These are the rules.
When you finally hit rock bottom, you get the chance to stand up for yourself.
You are the one who judges yourself. You are the one who overcomplicates your life. You are the one who is projecting. You are the one who pulls the trigger. You are the one who is using other people as an excuse. You are the one who is using force. You are the one who is building up the walls. You are the one who has expectations. You are the one who ducks down.
Do you remember?
“Get the fuck out of your head,” this has been my message from the universe – not only on this mornings’ walk, but all the past two months…
The ‘lockdown’ forced me into my head. My body forced me to get out of my head.
To be fair – for me it was not really a big difference as I chose to retreat or ‘cocoon’ for the past five months. (I have learnt this term recently from my beloved youtube mentor “The Heart Alchemist” Christina Lopes.) Finally I had an excuse to stay at home.
It’s been rough. My thoughts became so heavy that I literally had to start running. I was in ‘fight and flight’ mode nearly every single day of the past two months.
Panic attacks and emotional flashbacks – from more than one lifetime – shook my bones. I ran and I cried. There were days when my tank of tears was empty. There was nothing to cry anymore.
So, I started walking and drumming and singing instead….
After travelling India for two months I had spent two months at my parents house. My nomad life forced me ‘home’ – how ironic, isn’t it?! And this was probably the hardest journey of my life. I had to look at my old wounds. I had to look at it all. The wounds of my whole family…
Healing became essential. I was forced to train my thinking. I was forced to transform grief into gratitude, frustration into positivity, anger into love…
Now I know: I have to do it! I have to turn everything that doesn’t feel good into love.
I always thought this is a hard thing to do, but in reality I was only looking for excuses and for shortcuts. I didn’t understand that this is a skill that I already inherit.
My addictions had taught me a lot about ‘excuses’. It is the time now to become addicted to love.
Go and play your roles lightly again.
Go and be happy.
This is just an illusion.
Don’t ask for permission to love.
Don’t be somehow, but be who you are.
Understand that you are a physical body that consists of biochemical processes. Take care of this body. The vessel of your soul.
As simple as that.
“This is not about the destination. If it was, what would you do when you get there?,” thank you Sarah Beth Yoga for making this morning an even more remarkable one…
This morning rattled me. Yesterday I was in a state of paralysis. I thought now it must be the time to go to the psychiatric clinic. My past two months were that way, but now the momentum is coming back.
The shift becomes so obvious, I can’t be scared anymore.
The astonishing fact: I asked for it.
I asked for every single lesson. There is always something to learn. Always. I don’t know what my life would be without these lessons? What would my life be without change? Would it be a life?
I’m not talking about physical change here… I’m talking about the change of perspective, the change of habits, the change of thinking. Because this happens when you learn. You rewire your entire brain… This is why I always travelled. It was never about seeing places. It was about learning.
Why not go for a walk in the middle of the night instead of lying in bed sleepless? Why not using your energy appropriately? Why not singing it out instead of being angry? Why not running it off?
This world is a playground and we are here to play. Of course we have to work fucking hard. Me too. Everybody does. But that’s what it is all about.
This is an incredible opportunity to learn. This is seriously the only thing that keeps me going. The moment when I understood this changed my life forever. The moment when I understood how much I love learning.
I don’t remember if there was a moment, but I know that there was always this force in my life. This force that told me that there is ‘something else’ to life. Something ‘more’.
Up to now I didn’t even know what I was talking about.
Now I know that this is all about awareness. This is all about being able to sense, to appreciate what is happening around you. This is the oldest practice of all times. The practice of being present.
When I went for a walk this morning I asked for guidance. Where should I go? I passed a field and I saw a spider hanging in the grains, hidden in a tiny cobweb. The spider was holding on to the grains with her acrobatic legs.
“So, this is your little home?,” I smiled at her.
All of sudden I realized that I am already there. I am able to see the small things. I feel a rush of love when I see the sun rising over the fields – the fresh morning breeze in my ear… Even writing it down here brings tears into my eyes. This is how moved I am by the beauty of nature – time and time again.
But there are the times when I forget about it. There are the times when I’m eaten alive by my fears and my self-doubt. Indecision paralyzes me in these moments – desperately waiting for a sign that never comes when I expect it…
On these days I get so anxious that I don’t want to see people at all if I don’t have to. On these days I forget that I am in control of my life. I am in control of my happiness. Nobody will make me happy. Nobody will make a decision for me. Nobody will be happy for me…..
But some people are a little bit more happy, when I am happy. So, why not just walk around and be happy?
How To Play A Role Lightly?
So, what does this have to do with playing roles? Everything! Because the roles are the masks that keep us trapped…
“How to play a role lightly?”
Ram Dass printed this question into my notes. I’ve been collecting notes on this question for quite a while.
Only today when I watched this spider it came crashing down on me how everything is related so smoothly: My negative thinking patterns are my roles.
Or actually it was the opposite: It felt like all the roles were taken from me?.
I had this sensation quite a lot in the past two years, but more and more I can cast it into words.
More and more I can look out for ‘patterns’ to drop – because this is a massive process. It’s truly like peeling an onion.
I was blaming myself for my massive ups and downs, for my heavy emotional flashbacks. Slowly it dawns me that every breakdown is another layer…
I’m learning my tools and they are so simple.
This is what fills my heart with gratefulness nowadays and it manifests my desire to get this knowledge out to everybody who needs it. I want to make the knowledge accessible. (“Hm, maybe sharing more on social media would be a step, right?”:)
So, what is a role? A role is not only the role you play in society (mother, employee,..) or a role you play in your head (author, artist,…:), it can also be a trait or a feeling. What do I mean by that? For a long time I didn’t realize how much pressure I put on myself by assuming that I am ‘depressed’ or I am not normal or ‘I am an over-improver’. These anti-mantras became my personality traits.
You become your thoughts. You become what you think about. It is worth it to consider this – every single day.
What do you identify yourself with? What is the first thing you are telling yourself in the morning? What definitions and standards are you holding on to? Are they yours? Are they helpful or not? Do you need them?
Now that I took the time to spend so so much time in my head the voices become clearer and clearer…
The judge became louder and louder – until I’ve started to scream back. More than that: I’m laughing at her. I’m laughing out loud when the huge, dark, negative thoughts come and cloud my view.
Of course I’m not ‘fully there’. I guess we are never fully there – and this is the beauty of it. It’s a neverending process.
Because if we were ‘there’ what would we do, right? What happens when we reach the destination?
It is better to enjoy the journey – and travel lightly. That means playing everything lightly.
…and because a list might comes handy, I have worked up my notes about “How To Play A Role Lightly” a little for you.
- Do not consider your job as your passion. Just do it with pleasure. Do everything with pleasure.
- Do what needs to be done. Do the best job you can, but don’t get lost in perfectionism. “Doing” is an outside experience, while being is an inside experience. What does that mean? You do things in the outside world, but inside you remain quiet.
- Stop being driven by deadlines and results. Just ‘do’ one step at a time and detach from the outcome. It takes the stress away. Otherwise you will get lost.
- Have rules, have boundaries, but don’t freak out when they are being crossed. It means nothing.
- You have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Keep it easy.
Know that you are capable of transforming every negative event into a positive one. Rewrite your story easily.
When you realize that what you do doesn’t define you and what you say is without meaning, then you are truly free.
Enjoy your crisis.
Be proud of it.
This is what your soul called upon.
This is not the time to give up. It is the time to build up your strength.
The crisis is not the challenge – it is the preparation.
Now, drop your convictions.
Drop the story that you had been telling yourself.
Keep up the work. In hard times it is even more crucial.
Transform your despair into love. It is possible. This is what you are here for.
You won’t die.
Your soul won’t die.
Chaos is expansion. Devote to it.
You can save your physical body only by surrendering.
Feel it all. Yes. ALL. Don’t stop.
Appreciate it all.
Let go of it all.
Let go of the blame, the anger and the guilt.
Hold on to nothing.
Celebrate the unanswered questions.
In between the pieces there is a little gem called silence.
Allow silence and peace will overtake your stirred-up mind.
If you wait long enough bliss will come and invigorate you.
I promise you.
Take a break.
And another one.
And another one – if you need it.
Let everything die that wants to die.
As long as it takes…
I used to be allergic to compromise until I understood that it is essential for our survival…
‘To compromise’ originates from the latin word compromittere – ‘to make a mutual promise’. The prefix ‘com’ means ‘with’ or ‘together’. Precisely the word ‘promittere’ signifies ‘to let go’, ‘to send forth’, ‘to assure beforehand’.
‘Let go – together’ – I like that one.
Okay, what is compromise really?
To compromise means to consider everybody’s needs.
As human beings we all have the same needs.
Unfortunately we live in a society with strong narcissistic traits. We deny our needs with powerful defense-mechanisms. These mechanisms became so strong that we lost the ability to feel what we need – as humanity and more and more as an individual.
As a collective we are taking on masks that cover up our trauma – the trauma that needs to be solved in order to proceed to higher levels of consciousness. And this is where we want to go if we want to align with nature.
With other words – we live in a society that denies life.
Overcoming this conditioning became the challenge of my life. I was raised to function – nothing more. How can I be okay with that?
“You are seeing this a bit too pessimistic,” a friend recently called upon ‘my lack of optimism’.
Don’t get me wrong. I love life and I highly believe in life. That’s the reason why I am so passionate about transformation – because I believe in change for the better.
So, what does this all have to do with compromise?
The possibility of growth derives from exchange. This is a fact I become more and more certain about under current circumstances.
By not-compromising we are getting stuck in our own perspective of reality.
This is dangerous. Why?
What we call ‘our perspective’ are just thoughts.
No matter how certain we are about our own point of view – it is just our thoughts.
They are nothing – if you look at it sober-minded.
By clinging to our perspective, by always bringing up the ‘but’ (But this is me. But this is what I think. But you are not right.) we obstruct the pathway towards harmonious coexistence with righteousness.
And righteousness definitely belongs to a spectrum of lower frequencies which causes all the suffering in the world.
We are not allowing flow – the flow of life. If we are holding on to our arguments we are closing ourselves up to possibility.
We don’t ‘solve’ our collective misery by arguing.
We solve it only by establishing human values – mutual values around the whole globe.
We are ‘out of alignment’. Compromise is our means of transport to go back to human nature.
And how do we do it?
Lao Tzu says: “Knowing the other is intelligence, knowing yourself is wisdom.”
It starts with ourselves.
Crisis is a great opportunity to get to know ourselves better.
A real crisis is a turning point. It is about life or death. Am I willing to change for the better or do I prefer to stick to outworn habits?
Our relationships are an invitation to learn more about ourselves. And how do we relate to fellow human beings?
By being open about our needs.
If we are aware of it or not – our needs are the only certainty in our lives. Our basic needs are the same, so why not talk about it openly and find solutions that serve us all?
This crisis is our chance to find a mutual promise again.
The known is dead.
The unknown is alive.
Don’t let your rebellion become your resistance.
Have a little more patience than yesterday.
It is finally the time for some stream of consciousness from the verge of (in)sanity.
I’m going through an interesting phase of my life right now. A couple of weeks back I would have said “I’m going through hell”. But this is not true. I’m still on the surface – probably more grounded than ever before. Later on (within the next twelve months;) I will give you a bit more insight.
For now I would like to share a bit more intuitive writing here. In times of doubt I level up my inner dialog. It is the most valuable tool for a reality check. There are these mantra-like sentences that come flowing out of me into my keyboard – the result of years-long-learning:
Release everything that doesn’t belong to you. You are not supposed to carry all this luggage. Why are you over-complicating your life? Why are you holding on to anger, rage and frustration? Does it belong to you? Why are you still trying to carry the whole world on your shoulders instead of proceeding your way – lightly not with lightning speed.
Go grow your roots to resist that storm! Trust me – it will pass. You are allowed to let it all go… What has passed is gone – forever. You are not responsible. You are not in charge for every single event.
When are you going to understand this? How are you planning to continue if you travel with this heavy baggage?
Don’t be afraid of losing your love. Don’t be afraid of losing your will. Don’t be afraid of losing your hope.
Don’t you feel how your heart opens? Don’t you feel the expansion of your chest if you let it? Why are you suppressing it? Why are you holding your heart in chains? Why do you still control?
You are contracting. Can’t you feel it in your body? You are taking on too much. Are you crazy or what? (just kidding, of course you are)
You are taking things on and on and on and onto your plate. WHY? Your to-do-list is getting longer and longer, but is this what you have to do? When are you going to take care of yourself? I’m not talking about a vacation…
When are you going to trust in life? When are you going to trust in your abilities? You keep talking about trust, but deep inside you do know that you are not there. You don’t trust. You are still trying to control. Trying – because it is impossible to control.
“But it’s not me,” you are starting to scream. “It is my conditioning,” – “Ahahaha,” the universe is laughing out loud….
Don’t you see that this is the point??? THIS is your fucking problem. This is where you are not responding to your abilities. You did pretty good my dear. You gave up a whole lot of bullshit already. You gave up things and even people. Unfortunately you gave up a little bit too much. But don’t worry about that. You will keep g(r)o(w)ing.
Your path had been radical. And it is going to continue radically.
What do I mean by that?
Now your path is called radical healing – and nothing else. No people pleasing, no ‘being brave’.
You are living the adventures of other people’s dreams, but this is not your life. Pa! Here it is – the bitter truth.
“Okay, okay, I got that one. There is no need to yell at me in that arrogant manner. Tell me instead: How do I do it? This radical healing thing… ,”
First of all: You don’t DO it. Secondly: You’re gonna stop defending yourself completely and one hundred percent. There is absolutely no defending anymore. But you will realize how easy it gets. Now it might seem hard to impossible. Now you can’t imagine yourself ‘not defending’ yourself.
“But….,” I can see the constant concern in your head.
You will just stop it – automatically. It caused you so much pain in your life. You wasted so much energy by defending. What you defended was your mask, your story, the image you had of yourself.
Basically this is what caused you all the pain that you have ever felt in the past. You were ALWAYS trying to please others. You kept defending yourself – non-stop. Yes, it was involuntarily. But now that you know it, you have the opportunity to do better…
These days you wish so badly that you wouldn’t ‘know better’, right?! You would wish to continue the well-trodden path.
Well, that’s unfortunate, because the path is gone. There is no maintained path anymore – there never was! You made it up….
There is only the path you follow by walking it; and guess what – you have absolutely no choice but walking it.
The ironic bit is – this is not scary at all! You chose the path. Your soul chose it and you are totally capable of walking it. You have the abilities – even though you are still closing your eyes from it. You prefer to be groping in the dark. You prefer to predict the unpredictable. You prefer to waste your energy on examining uncertainty.
Do you sense the paradox?
Who am I without the stories that I’m telling myself?
Who am I if I give up searching?
Who am I if I’m not defending myself?
Who am I if I don’t create?
Who am I if I’m not brave?
Who am I if I just am?
Who am I if I’m not trying to impress?
Who am I if I don’t have a plan?
Who am I if I don’t know the answers to all these questions?
Who am I if I’m losing it?
Who am I if I’m not being pathetic?
Who am I if I look into the mirror with all honesty?
Who am I if I’m only me?
The awakening is like an earthquake at the bottom of the ocean and you are like a vessel on the surface.
The bigger the eruption the greater the impact.
You really learn to sail on these rocky waters.
Don’t stop breathing.
Keep quiet and steer.
Trust your inner compass.
You know the tools. Be ready to apply them.
Yay, the threesome is back – ‘just in time’ in ‘these days’.
What is the secret to personal growth? More and more I come to the conclusion that it is all about consistency. The consistency of doing one step after another.
Self-discipline became a fundamental component of my life. Not only in order to circumvent procrastination or to regulate over-thinking, but in order to basically get anything done.
Of course – change doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes there are these massive fall-backs.
At the beginning I didn’t get this straight. I couldn’t establish discipline. It frustrated me. In the end it even increased my anxiety – the thing I wanted to learn to manage.
Until I understood that this whole personal development thing is not a straight line. I had to learn to set my intention right. I had to learn to focus. And I had to learn to get up – again and again and again after every single fall-back.
Also I had to learn to household with my energies, because I pressured myself so much.
It’s like running a marathon. If you burn all your energy at the beginning of the race you won’t be able to finish.
There are these punchlines circulating in social media: ‘Change comes in an instance.’ Yes. It does – but only after a long training period. You might read these quotes by inspirational speakers (Is this still a term?) like Tony Robbins or Simon Sinek (just as an example). But did you ever study their whole story?
Every success story is a rocky road. No matter if it’s the story of a company, an artist or a thought leader.
It is the incremental change that paves the road to self-mastery.
For me personally everything in my life became an act of balance. I can cope with the adversities of life only (and just about), because I made the decision to practice self-discipline at the beginning of this blog in 2017.
Before that I was not able to make a living.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but seriously my life was a mess. Slowly (!) the fog is lifting and there are things that I can share confidently with you now…
Let’s start very practical. I established meditation, yoga, writing and language learning in my life – step by step. On this path the timer became my best friend. For some time I used a method called ‘pomodoro method’ to keep me going. Check out this threesome to find some more inspiration.
2. Cold Showers
Probably you read this already – maybe even on my blog. In my opinion cold showers are still highly underrated. I mentioned it earlier as a trick to reduce stress. It doesn’t only support the immune system, but it also helps to develop self-discipline.
If you manage to turn the tap on ‘cold’ in the morning every challenge of the day becomes easier. Additionally to that cold water can function as an antidepressant. How? Apparently a cold shower triggers our peripheral nerve ends. This trigger could drive forth a series of impulses that help to rewire the brain. My theory is that you receive such a shock moment that you forget about all your worries.
3. Practice ‘Delay of Gratification’
What do I mean by that? We are animals and as we can train our dog we can train ourselves.
This is indeed as easy said as done – if you are committed to change.
For example: If you don’t want to relinquish chocolate completely from your life, but you want to reduce sugar and at the same time you wish to exercise more – then set yourself some rules.
You are allowed to eat a piece (or a whole bar) of chocolate if you go running for 30 minutes.
My example now would be: I finish this article right here and then I will make my third coffee of the day and listen to music.
I don’t believe in super tough measurements anymore. This was one of my major lessons after my numerous self-imposed micro challenges. I can’t just apply the productivity tools of others. But what really helped me to integrate my own tools was the practice of self-discipline.
There is a thing that startles me a lot right now: Some people seem to expect ‘change’. Some people seem to wait for the moment when ‘things get better again’. But only very few individuals understand that it is about us – especially in ‘these days’. It is about us to take positive action towards a better world. And this requires some sort of discipline – especially in times of chaos.