What risk are you ready to take?
Which barriers are you willing to break?
And sometimes life goes on in a way that we could not possibly foresee.
The work pays off when we least expect it.
Miracles happen that we could not imagine in our wildest dreams.
The puzzle is completing itself. We move on.
The darkest moments turn into our pivotal turning points of growth.
We know it deep down inside. We have done the work in a myriad of ways. And there she is: Life force. She was there all the way, but we could not receive her.
Alignment cracks us open. It happens. If we are ready or not. Things fall into place drastically.
We had no idea that it could be true.
What would your life look like if you’d remove the roadblocks NOW? Are you scared of the unknown? Scared of the light that is awaiting you on the other side of your fear?
Don’t be scared. Hit the road. It’s leading you home…
There is a subtle realization triggering my mind. It is around accepting mistakes.
What happens if you catch yourself making or having made a mistake? Are you committed to camouflage it? Do you stick to an old story of ‘being a failure’? Or are you willing to learn? Are you open to receive the lesson that is being placed in your way?
This is so sensitive, so subtle.
There is a thing about admitting mistakes… They can drag you down. Or they can lift you up.
The thing about that, and that is a hypothesis, is: Our reactions to perceived failure are conditioned.
What’s the cure for that? It just dawns on me now. It is my own recipe for (self-)reinvention that I discovered during a deep personal crisis: Do it differently! Go the other way – wherever that is…
Well, to be accurate here: The first step is to become aware of the automatic pattern. To shine the light on the reaction to ‘mistaking’.
What’s the first thought when you understand that you made a mistake? Do you feel ashamed? Do you blame yourself? Is there even shock? Paralysis? There might be a trauma present.
Or are you owning it? Are you ready to move on and learn from it? If so, great, go on.
If you are struck by self-doubt and resentment. I got you covered:
In this case a question to ask could be: “When in my life did I first feel that ashamed/afraid/worried?” “What made me feel that way and is that thing present in my life right now?”
Another question could be: ”In which way does it serve me to feel or think that way? Does it serve me at all to feel or think that way?”
If you reach a point where you are able to ask these or similar questions: Congratulations! In my experience awareness is the first step to change. It is already “the change”. Actions will follow.
A full-on awareness of a “self-alienating” pattern will leave traces in your way of thinking. It will leave a strange taste. The knowing that “there must be a better way” – a way that is more aligned with who you are – sneaks into consciousness.
And this is the starting point of a new you (and me).
It is uncomfortable.
Resentment comes up. Sadness about the harshness of your inner judge. Grief about the energy that you have wasted. And that is totally fine. More than that: It is part of the process of befriending your mistakes and transforming your life.
The yin gives up searching.
The yin is the full acceptance of the parts that still want to be transformed.
It is the knowing that there will always be parts that want to be transformed.
The yin is what comforts our discomfort.
She dresses the wounds.
She flares us open and yet she heals us.
The yin tells the long-forgotten stories. The stories that are still being lived through us.
The yin helps us to remember.
She nourishes the ground for us to stand on – and to eventually move on.
Text inspired by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Oftentimes we are so absorbed in our own story.
We claim our suffering to be so unique to us.
It’s historical suffering.
“First you have to understand that your are dreaming all the time,” I don’t remember the full quote of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements”.
But this snippet of wisdom captures it so well.
What we think is reality, is a creation of our thougths. Fully.
When you think about your past and your future? What are you thinking about?
You are thinking thoughts that are conditioned by your upbringing, by the media, by the story you have been told about what is possible and what is not possible…
You are retelling yourself the same story over and over again until you belief that this is reality.
If you’d drop these thougths, what would be possible?
Oh my god, there is soooooo much revelation taking place right now.
I know that you are experiencing the similar.
It is the removal of the roadblocks.
For some of us it is a painful removal. Like a surgical intervention.
For some it is smooth – the most natural process. Like the opening of a flower.
One has to deal with freedom. It can be painful to let go of the patterns.
Painful to understand that all the turmoil was created in your head in the fist place.
The anger and frustration is what comes up. But then there is the relief. Laughter. The dance of joy!
You freakin’ did it!!!
And yes, it was that simple.
Nevertheless there is no reason to shame yourself.
You had to live through it all in order to become aware of the lessons.
What is happeing to me?
I’m becoming aware of the lightness I am built of.
All density is created.
All trauma is imposed – partly self-imposed.
I am able to forgive myself and everyone around me.
Because we are all the result of our circumstances. And we are all lovable with everything we are.
There is no one to blame.
So I take action whole-heartedly.
I stand up. I stand in my power for once and for all. With you.
This question had been nesting in my subconscious mind for the past couple of days (or even weeks).
What kept my head in the clouds?
Why was I unable to make a decision?
A subtle fear of the fear kept creeping in…
Desperately I was pushing myself.
Towards an answer.
I found myself trying to figure it all out.
Two days ago, spontaneously, I went to a writing meet-up.
During this meet-up called “Shut Up & Write” we dedicate one hour to focussed writing.
In the introduction round I was all fired-up. For the first time in a while I felt super excited about writing my heart out: “I will finally give it ago and do some stream of consciousness today.” I announced with a solar smile. I felt the urge to just hit the keyboard and go for it…
When the timer started, I was not able to finish even one sentence.
From one moment to the other I tensed up and could barely type a thing.
I started to reorganize some past writing – and I tensed up even more.
“What’s the point of all of that?”
The casual question for purpose made me close my laptop.
The next morning I had a conversation with my boyfriend. I was ruminating about career decisions and life in general.
He said: “While you think all these thoughts, watch your breath.”
“I am not breathing at all,” I countered with a trace of outrage.
“Right, if you look that closely at every moment you don’t have time to breathe – and you don’t experience the moment either. Just let it flow.”
He left me in awe.
Open-mouthedly I starred at the wall.
All of a sudden I understood what was missing the day before – at the writing meet-up… And all these previous days when I felt trapped in my own head – waiting for release that never comes.
The flow of breathe – not despite but united with my thoughts.
I took a breath and finally surrendered to the moment….
“What’s harder? Accepting that you are happy and blessed or resonating with your trauma?”
This is a question that found its way into my notes at some point in 2021.
All of a sudden there was light at the end of the tunnel – after a dark period of loss and despair (Let’s call it “the year 2020”). I had a new job in sight and a relationship I was in (and still am) turned out to be a safe haven for…my chaos, my love and my growth….
Unwittingly I had arrived in a place where I am ‘allowed’ to flourish – in all shapes and colors.
“Yesterday it rained and today the sun is shining. One has to deal with that.”
This quote is written on the website of a coaching “agency” I had the chance to work with last year. I had the chance to get support by an art therapist within the framework of a ‘coaching & consultation for creatives and people who work in the media industry’.
The quote describes accurately the situation that I had found myself in last year. Even though things got significantly better, the self-doubt was lurking and fight-flight-freeze often the only response to stressful experiences.
The thing is: We humans tend to resonate with trauma and with worry more than we resonate with happiness.
It is incredibly hard to resonate with happiness if we have re-created and cultivated trauma-responses in our lives early on.
For example: If we are programmed to disregard our own needs or goals in order to protect or impress a parent and/or to harmonize the relationship dynamics within our family, most likely we will carry out self-destructive behaviours in our adult life. We might neglect our personal goals or our health.
Until we learn to prioritize ourselves…
How Far Did I Get With Displaying The Same Behaviours?
We all have developed mechanisms that help us to be accepted within our tribe, but there is a possibility that we have buried parts of ourselves and a whole lot of potential beyond these survival tactics.
There are Psychologists like Gabor Maté or Neuroscientist Bessel van der Kolk who devoted their work to understanding the dynamics of trauma. And how we can train our brains to move “through” the trauma.
I’m taking a short-cut here: What trauma research has shown is that trauma affects our brain physically and as a result it changes our behaviour.
The great thing about that: We are able to transform our coping-mechanisms to some degree – thanks to neuroplasticity.
And I experienced it first hand – basically by starting this blog (which still astonishes me!!!).
At some point I asked myself:
How far did I get with displaying the same behaviours over and over again?
Not that far – so why not try something else? The opposite, for example!
And this brings me to the first insight that helped me to change my relationship with self-sabotage:
1. Belief What Other People Are Telling You About Yourself
About two years ago I was in a state where I had no choice anymore. I had to ask for help.
The global crisis was incredibly aligned with my personal crisis: I reached rock bottom when the pandemic forced me to “go home”. Apart from travel life my whole idea about romantic love got smashed and my mom got cancer. I had no idea what to do next.
I knew one thing: I couldn’t trust myself, because I had been misleading myself very far off from my core… I did not know where I begin and where I end – boundaries still appeared to be a foreign concept to me.
How did this happen? Apparently I was constantly re-traumatizing myself! The more I learnt about trauma-responses, the subconscious and the biochemical processes in my body, the more I understood in which way I had created my own reality:
How do we create reality? We filter, segment and value the information that we receive – partly subconsciously.
I thought negatively about myself, because I never really learnt to prioritize my own needs. I always functioned as some sort of “emotional buffer”. Within my family and in friendships often times I found myself in the role of a rescuer – or mediator (best case scenario).
So, what did this do to my thinking? I filtered mainly the negative information out of every situation and every conversation that proved my self-image to be right. Subconsciously I programmed myself into thinking: “I am not worthy.”
This way my lack of self-confidence became a self-fulfilling prophecy… UNTIL: I had to ask for help, because I felt mentally and physically unprepared to deal with the changes that presented themselves in my life.
Slowly I opened up to coaches and therapists. I talked to my friends and other people who helped me to recover my own resources:
- my determination towards growth
- my willingnesss to learn
- my resilience
- my “spiritual tools” like yoga and meditation
- my love for nature
- and last but not least: My ability to relate to others and my compassion for all beings (connection to the planet).
Finally I experienced a sense of self-worth.
It dawned on me: What if I trusted? What if I’d believe in the positive things people are seeing in me or telling me about myself? (Much, much earlier in my journey I had started to cultivate a diary of compliments, which helped me to collect positive things about myself. Maybe I should start this again.)
2. Make a Different Choice – NOW
I had nothing to lose.
Looking back this sensation gave me a never felt freedom amidst a personal crisis. A freedom that gave me an opportunity to choose a different direction and at the end a whole other way of being!
Today, I made the choice:
“I’m going to press the publishing button – no matter what.”
This is what I owe myself – a commitment to my own writing journey, my own growth (even if it hurts).
And this is also what I did in the darkest moments of my life: I made the choice to think positive. To trust into the universe.
Sometimes we need to make a different choice – just for the sake of it!
Just for the sake of “trying something new”. As simple as that.
In my experience this is the way to go in order to live a different life.
Sometimes any action is better than no action – in order to get out of deep discomfort, the writer’s-block or in order to change anything in life…
It can be the tiniest step, but it will be a step in a new direction – towards a new life!
3. Appreciate Your Gifts
Retrospectively my willingness to open up to possibility led me onto the path of becoming a professional coach! (I will share more about that “right on time”.;) How? I had asked for feedback. I received feedback that helped me to start valueing my abilities. And now I am starting to implement the changes into my life.
All of a sudden my brain created the following questions: What if I had something to share? What if other people could benefit from my life experience? What if I’d drop the self-sabotage-agenda?
In the absence of thought there is only peace.
I walk towards S-Bahn-Station Berg am Laim.
As many times before I pass the two huge chestnut trees in front of the house I live in.
I did not consciously notice the first one.
The second one lays its branches around my shoulders like protective wings.
A few meters ahead I cross the street and I pass the bus station as I did many times before.
“Something’s changed,” a thought appears somewhere beyond my mind.
There is a void.
But this time it’s different.
There is no fear gripping, no doubt holding my heart hostage.
My legs are moving effortlessly.
The weight of my backpack does not drag at all.
“There is ground beneath my feet,” I observe clearly.
I share my contemplation with my friend Antje.
“This must be this famous now.”
There it was – “the now” – unspectacular but nothing less fullfilling than a cup of morning coffee.
Earlier this week I had a discussion with another friend on “judgment”.
She proclaimed: “While you are tasting a wine, what’s the purpose of labeling the taste?”
Right, what difference does it make? Dry or sweet? Red or white? If you made “the best deal” or not? If you chose right path or not? If you made the right decision or not? If you catch the next train or not?
Of course it makes a difference!!
But does it help you to arrive?
I don’t think so.
“You got to become your own person before you can do your job on this earth.“
I don’t remember the exact words of Maor, someone I met briefly at a goodbye party of a friend of mine in Hamburg in 2018.
Or something like that could have been my response. To be honest, I don’t remember if I countered anything. But I do remember that I was desperate. I was desperately searching and looking. I was desperate for adventure, for feeling feelings, for feeling something.
I was craving life. I was terrified of never finding what I was looking for – without knowing what I was looking for.
I was collecting memories and acquaintances – but did I know myself?
In the meantime I numbed myself. I filled the void inside of myself with all sorts of things. (substances, pleasure, party,….), but I had no clue what was really going on within myself…
This ‘unclarity’ crumbled away over time – like a crust of mud.
What I have learnt is that the mud has to dry first. The dust has to settle. And then the path clears eventually. The seeds can spring and the blossoms bloom…
I have been stirring up mud for quite a while. And I am pretty sure that I will keep stirring up mud. It is part of the journey (my journey) – to experience it all.
There is this big Why roaming around in the spheres around “personal development” – and yes knowing the why can be quite helpful.
Especially the “Why do I feel like shit most of the time?” over the “Why am I getting up in the morning?”
I did not want to question my feelings. Why? (Haha) Firstly: Because I didn’t even know this could be a good question to ask?! Secondly: I didn’t want to admit to myself in which areas of my life I had “lost it” or I supposedly “failed”.
“Find your why” – this has become an ever-lasting quest for a lot of people.
The realizations that I am sharing here with you stem solely from my personal experience. There is a huge probability that this self-development thing works different for you. Nevertheless I feel the urge to share this:
What I found out is that “the WHY” is not the holy grail… healing is!
What do I mean by that?
In 2015, when I was made redundant from my first work-contract, I was feeling the call too – the call that I translated into: “Find your why!”.
Over the years I have met a lot of people who put a mirror right in front of my face:
“You are lost.”
“You are the universe.”
“You have to prioritize yourself.”
“You need to find yourself first before you can make a difference in this world”
(Wo),man, I had no clue what this was all about.
Well, not no clue, but I was not able to deduce any action from all the mirroring I had (involuntarily) received from the outside-world.
Now I still don’t have a full picture, but I came to the understanding that I don’t need to have a full picture. I will never comprehend it all. This life is freakin’ unpredictable and I better embrace the unknown!
What is predictable is one universal truth: “Things WILL change” (I wrote about change many times in this blog. Actually every post is about change.)
And they did…. in my life over and over and over again. And I am more and more able to EMBRACE the unknown.
I was – and I still am lost – to some extent. But more and more this feeling of being lost transmutes into a state of floating (for some reason this is the word that emerged).
And I tell you: My mind is intervening – all the fucking time. Letting go is a permanent practice.
Thoughts, thinking patterns, limiting beliefs – they come back in circles, in arrays, in fractals, in seasons… (You choose which image works for you).
So. I faced a lot of (uncomfortable) truths about:
- My conditionings and where they are coming from
- To what extent I am influenced by toxic energies in my life.
- Where I am not taking responsibility for my own life.
The list is long….
What I have learnt over the years is that “the WHY” is slowly sneaking in.
I am growing into my why….
Our Wounds Are Our Gifts
First things ARE first: If I close my eyes from the areas where my body and my being demands healing, I will not find any useful “why”. The “why” will be a sugarcoated lie that I keep telling myself until I collapse.
Well, I do want to be radical here. First of all I have to define what I mean by healing.
Healing is the process of becoming whole again.
This is not really correct. We are already whole to be accurate. Healing is more a “fixing of the holes”, removing the dirt, dropping the unnecessary baggage, standing up on our own feet…
The healing process is sometimes a refurbishing, sometimes it is a surgery, sometimes it’s a sudden removal or a complete turn-over.
We are thrown into situations that tear us apart.
This is part of the human experience. These situations are here to teach us….
If we are torn apart the first step we need to take is to find the pieces that belong to us. The next step is to put them back together.
As long as I am putting myself together – this is my “why”. My healing is my “why”.
I don’t say you have to wait until you are fully healed until you are finally able to share your work.
The opposite is the case.
There is beauty in all of our messy healing procedures.
And there are people who benefit.
There are people who will embrace your experience.
There are people who will love to hear your story. This is what humanity always did – listening to stories and learning from them.
I am not cheesy here, this is what it is – and always used to be.
There are people out there whose healing depends on your healing.
The work that you put in matters.
Nothing you do is self-sufficient.
You will show-up in a way that is beneficial for others. Sometimes it’s only one person in the room. Sometimes it’s an audience of a million…..
So, you don’t know your why?
Don’t worry about it. Rest. Heal. Your time will come.
Healing is expansion.
Healing is the arrival in the present moment.
Healing is union with yourself.
Healing is completion.
Healing is meeting yourself where you are at.
Healing is doing one step at a time. Patiently.
“The why” can become a trap if you don’t take the time to really acknowledge where you are at right now.
And I tell you, I have been there. I am still rushing. I am still wondering very frequently: How do I set boundaries? How do I know what I want? How do I know that I am still on the path?
Then I remember to walk hand in hand with my heart.
This is what the hard times do to me.
There is this potential or let’s say a potential for potential stored within ourselves. This little seed that is resting there somewhere in our subconscious or in our brain.
When you heal you are able to reveal what wants to be revealed. And this is how you follow your purpose.
The hard times force us to walk hand in hand with our heart.
Let’s shed our old skin. Let’s forgive and heal.
Curiosity is rising inside of me. There is only clarity. There is nothing I can see. The appearances of life don’t matter beyond the realm of my mind.
I arrive in my body. And I do it with delight. I feel a sense of care for myself. There is a pure source of love within my heart and my breath is the key to that door that I had locked with distraction.
I feel compassion for my old self. I let the anger fade like the clouds in the sky on that stormy day. The wind is blowing away my resentment towards myself and the world. No doubt is blurring my sight as I allow time to pass. And this is what I do – sitting and waiting and entering that state of bliss with all of my being. That chamber of excitement – bright and colorful placed inside of me is bringing me to life.
At the bottom of my heart I can be at rest. There is only peace. There is nothing to run from and nothing to run for. Because everything is already achieved.
I am earth. No need to “earth” myself.
There is a common ground within myself. This is why I feel compassion for the entire planet and not only for the people who are close and dear to me.
Non-judgement is the true nature of my being if I allow my thoughts to drop like snowflakes on an icy winter-afternoon. Thoughts can be fun, but they can also cause a lot of turmoil.
All of a sudden I am able to tap into that powerful being that I am. And I knew it all along. I feel grateful that I am finally able to hold my own hand. I finally found my tools – within.