Why Feeling Feelings Is Important

Since quite some time I’m trying to write an article about taking responsibility for one’s feelings. About three months ago at a writing meetup I’m attending every so often I thought ‘Okay, this article is nearly done. Just the final touch and off we go.’

Well, things turned out differently. An honest self-confession brought me to the realization: I don’t really have an idea about what I’m feeling, so how can I write about it?! 

Yes, it sounds bizarre – to me too. How can I not know what I feel? 

There was something going on, yes. There was anger. There was rage. There was excitement. But what did these emotions want to tell me? And is there anything that lies deeper?

The Seven-Minutes-Experiment

So, I started off with the Seven-Minutes-Experiment. Now I have a slightly better idea about what I feel. But this is an ongoing process. Every day I have to remind myself to take the time to feel.

What I did find out is that there is not always a necessity to act. It is the opposite: I obtain peace of mind by non-acting. By just observing I’m automatically detaching from my feelings. Because feelings are like thoughts – they come and go. They don’t define me.

Okay, where to start? I might feel cold or tired, agitated, overwhelmed or nervous. By nature these feelings are not connoted in a negative or positive way. They just ‘are’.

Our mind likes to label our feelings. It marks them as good or bad. This way our mind creates its own version of reality. And this version of reality dictates how we experience the world, how we make decisions and how we interact with our environment.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is important that we categorize. The problem arises when we overrate our own judgement and we identify with this perspective of reality.

This causes stress. The mind takes over. It judges and judges. 

This way we create a barrier between ourselves and reality.

This is a difficult one. On the one hand I have to feel my feelings. Feelings are something natural. They give me a hint of what I need or what I am supposed to be doing in a given situation. They show me a direction.

On the other hand I have to be careful not to over-interpret them. Many times I would be better off by stoically ignoring them instead of labeling them and ‘acting out’ – verbally or ‘operatively’.

But let’s go a step back:

What Is The Difference Between Feelings And Emotions?

Oh boy, do I really want to open this jar? This is a huge topic. It is so complex and there are several approaches and even contradictory explanations of the relation between feelings and emotions. So, please research yourself if you want to draw a wider picture.

Etymologically the word emotion comes from the french word ‘to move’. Something is ‘in motion’ whereas a feeling is considered more as a state.

While an emotion passes quickly, a feeling can persist or better say reoccur over our whole lifetime when triggered for example by an emotion.

As you see – emotions and feelings are interconnected, but still something different.

The only way to really understand the difference between feelings and emotions is through neuroscience.

And this is pretty down to earth.

Emotions are a biochemical response – mainly brought on its way by the Amygdala and other subcortical regions of the brain. They originally helped us as a species to react quickly to possible danger or reward.

A feeling on the other hand is subjectively influenced by our former experience. They are processed in other areas of our brain, but as they are influenced by cognitive input it is hard to really locate them. 

While an emotion is a physical reaction of the body to a stimulus a feeling manifests psychologically through our experience. This process is very complex. It can be more described as a psychological conditioning.

If you imagine a theatre play emotions would be the scenes whereas a feeling would be the genre.

You could say feelings ‘plot’ emotions on the canvas of our mind. 

How Do Feelings Find Their Way Into Our Lives?

I summed up two perspectives:

Our background: What we have experienced as a child conditions us and our feelings. It determines how we act in relationships, what we think about ourselves and about others. It determines our whole experience of the world. Freud and his disciples knew that if we want to understand ourselves fully we have to go back to our traumatic experiences and feel the emotion that we faced during this traumatic event. This helps us to process and integrate the marks of our journey. Getting to know these ‘old’ emotions helps us to understand why we react in a certain way in a given situation.

Our needs: Rather our needs are fulfilled or not conditions the way we ‘feel’ about ourselves and the world. What are our needs? Yes, there is maslow’s hierarchy of needs. When we are tired, hungry or alone we lose our balance easily and we might react emotionally. Rosenberg extends or better say elaborates the list of needs even more: Next to physical nurturance every human has the need for autonomy (following own goals and values), the need for ‘celebration’ (celebration of the creation of life and its fulfillment, and also the celebration of losses, e.g. of loved ones), the need for integrity (authenticity, creativity, meaning and self-worth), the need for interdependence (community, appreciation, intimacy, emotional safety, contribution to the enrichment of life, honesty, support, trust,…), the need for play (fun, laughter) and the need for what he calls ‘spiritual communion’ (beauty, harmony, order, inspiration, peace). 

With the definition of these needs and which feelings arise rather they are met or not Rosenberg lies the foundation for nonviolent communication: “The intend is to remind us about what we already know – about how we humans were meant to relate to another – and to assist us in living in a way that concretely manifests this knowledge.”

So what is there? We have a body and we have needs that make us feel one way or another. And we have things that happen to us that make us feel one way or another. And in the end we have our thoughts that influence the way we feel.

So far so good. Life should flow smoothly if we would just listen to our feelings. But a lot of times it doesn’t, because we distract ourselves.

How Do We Disconnect From Our Feelings?

A lot of times what we call ‘our feelings’ are just projections. We make other people responsible for not being heard, not being loved, for not being sufficient. More than anything they are often reponses of our old conditioning. Our little hurt self that wants attention. 

Rosenberg explains: “Judgements, criticism, diagnoses, and interpretations of others are all alienated expressions of our own needs and values. When others hear criticism, they tend to invest their energy in self-defense or counterattack. The more directly we can connect our feelings to our needs, the easier it is for others to respond compassionately.”

At the beginning I thought: Okay, I’m aware of this. I will just change it. I don’t judge. I don’t re-act. I only observe and take the time to understand my needs.

I found out that this is easier said than done. As I explained earlier – there is a fundamental biochemical process going on in our body. We don’t change that easily.

Sometimes we deny feelings subconsciously. Most likely we deny the uncomfortable feelings, because our brain can’t be bothered with finding a solution for an unsatisfying situation. 

Why? Because it wants to protect us from discomfort. We make ourselves vulnerable by confessing our deepest needs, because they might not be met. This is called coherence. Our brain likes convenience. It wants us to experience our life as ‘comprehensive’ as possible. This is why it prefers to stick to behavioural patterns that ‘work’. And a lot of times these patterns are not very useful.

Most of the time we are craving for something or we lack something and we are trying to find a ‘quick fix’.

A quick fix can be work, our phone, sex, drugs, TV or any other type of entertainment.

The problem is that these distractions lead us further away from ourselves. I don’t say they are generally bad, but they can be if they help us to avoid confrontation with our feelings.

“Avoidance is never an option in order to live a happy life,” said Margarete Paul, author of the book “Healing your aloneness”.

By avoiding our feelings we deny ourselves.

‘Not taking part’ can also be a form of denial. By avoiding new experiences we prevent ourselves from failure – but also from feeling ourselves.

Why Should We Better Connect With Our Feelings?

If you detach yourself from your feelings you will never fully feel yourself. You will never arrive in the present moment. You will never know what it means to be alive.

The more you become aware of your feelings the more confidence you get. If you are able to accept your vulnerability you have nothing to be afraid of. Social anxiety won’t be necessary anymore as you are not looking for approval.

Your nervous system relaxes if you are honest with yourself. Confess and accept anger or rage or sadness and automatically you will find release.

Additionally your body starts working in its natural power, because energy is being released.

The Real Homework

I found out that this is what it’s all about. I get to know myself by coming to my senses, by feeling myself.

Daniel Coleman, expert in emotional intelligence, expresses why this is so crucial for all of us:

“To understand human nature in general it helps enormously to first understand ourselves, which takes self-awareness. With emotional self-awareness, we recognize our feelings and how they impact us, which helps us, for example speak from the heart in a way that resonates with other people. Self-awareness also underlies effective emotional mastery, as well as empathy– we can only understand other’s emotions if we understand our own.” 

About six years ago, when I ended a toxic relationship, I started off with my journey of self-discovery. 

The following years were only about ‘toughening up’. I thought I have to get stronger. I thought I have to toughen up and this is the only way to get through this life. 

I was wrong. What I had to discover was my vulnerability. 

Through a lot of painful experiences I finally realized that I have to do my real homework. I have to learn to manage my emotions, I have to deal with my feelings instead of numbing them.

Stop creating yourself. Be who you are.

 

About The Physical Aspect of ‘Being Preoccupied’ – A Personal Report

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?

 

The Emergence Of Excitement or ‘Can You Feel The Burn?’

I’m standing there – embracing the rush.

Love is running through my veins.

A stranger smiles at me – twice.

Another stranger is glancing gently.

It is this moment when I realize that I have found what I had been looking for.

Finally the fire in my heart is burning beautifully.

Where there was repulsion there is passion.
Where there was tension there is lightness.
Where there was envy there is compassion.
Where there was emptiness there is love.

A massive burst erupts the shell.

There is nothing to achieve.
There is nothing to detest.
There is nothing to desire.

All of a sudden I realize that there is no resistance left.

There is only “surrenderance”.

I breathe out everything. I give my lower belly another press to get rid of the last trace of resistance. And then I release my muscles completely.

“Germany is one thing: various,” says the advertisement of the German Government in the subway.

A tear is generously watering my eye.
I realize how much my perception had changed.

I practiced to see.
I practiced to learn.
I practiced to surrender.

All of this became a part of my life. I co-exist. I create energy from a magical place within.

I can easily breathe away the tension. The mentor is within myself.

Have I learnt to utilize my tools yet?

I can see beauty everywhere I go.
My ego is not being busy ‘getting’.

I can fully perceive. I can fully immerse if I’m fully perceptive of my environment.

How can I be fully perceptive?

By not taking things personal.
By not being busy fulfilling needs.
By observation instead of judgement.
By opening the heart and shutting down the mind.
By dropping prejudice, disbelief and compulsive behaviour.

What can happen?

Absolutely nothing if I stop controlling and finally allow imperfection.

I have to replace motives with sympathy, moral with truth, intention with action and hesitation with trust.

It is the recovery of authenticity.

Where does it all start?

It starts with a fire within.

When are you going to understand that the world owes you nothing, but you owe something to the world? – Your excitement.

 

Follow Up – Feeling Feelings

An update of my “Seven Minute Experiment” is long overdue. Honestly – this is much more than a Micro Habit Challenge. My whole world literally comes crashing down on me – in a good way. I’d like to call it a healthy disillusionment.

What did I do? I started a small diary of my feelings in my notebook. Everyday I write down which emotions I felt on this day. In moments of extraordinary joy or pain I take the time to sit for seven minutes with these feelings. Afterwards I’m documenting it.

This helps me tremendously to get a better understanding of what is going on inside of me. It helps me to get a realistic image of my emotional state – this is the healthy disillusionment. I’m starting to face my reality.

It is crazy what kind of process this experiment had started. And how something so simple can be so fundamental. Actually I have to go a couple of steps back. There was a challenge that I called “Am I ready to stop judging?” The answer was “no”. But the only person I’m judging is myslef. And I found out why.

Yeah, there is a lot of perfectionism and blaming going on. But most of all. The reason why at times I feel so detached from myself is a lack of connection with my gut feelings, my core, my inner child – however you want to call it. A lot of times instead of recognizing what I actually want in a given situation I rather judge what’s best. My mind makes a decision before I can even listen what my inner self wants to tell me.

As soon as I take the time to listen I’m accepting these feelings as they are – without judgement from the mind.

I’m trying to sum up some insights:

Boost Of Positive Emotions

When I started this experiment I thought I would go through all my negative emotions. The idea was that I would ‘sit with the pain’ and see how it evolves. What I realized was that I don’t allow enough space for my positive emotions. Once I’ve started to allow myself the seven minutes in moments of exuberant joy I’ve started to raise my energy level. Even thinking about these moments now boosts my energy level.

I’m Actually Quite Happy

Through ‘watching out’ for my feelings I get a better – and more realistic – image of how I feel today and in my life. Also it made me realize that I’m not as depressed as I thought I am. And if I have negative emotions, anger or rage these seven minutes help me to see the source of the pain. Actually I have moments of joy and pleasure (from the small things) every day.

Feelings Are Normal

It might be a bit early to point out but I can feel my emotional intelligence increasing. The better I understand myself the better I’m able to understand what other people go through. In the end we all go through the same stuff in our lives. Looking at my feelings helps me to integrate moments of loneliness, confusion or pain without judging them.

Arrival in the Now

As soon as I observe I arrive in the presence. This doesn’t only apply to things, but also to emotions. It is incredible which aspects of my life are changing through watching my feelings.

 

Seven Minute Experiment – Setting The Stage

Personal development is a matter of constant effort. It is a learning process that requires constant work.

I fell in love with this process, but recently I had been neglecting it a little bit.

Luckily the universe provides me with the lessons that I need to learn – over and over again.

I understood that these lessons are the process. There is no final solution. Or to put it differently: There is a constant solution.

These lessons are the solution. Or to use the words of Ram Dass and Timothy Leary “We don’t have a problem. We have a plan.”

Recently I’ve been a bit stuck. Trapped in my own perfectionism I was trying to force purpose. I was so busy ‘uncluttering stuff’ that I forgot to keep doing the work (which is part of the plan).

“Making an honest inventory.” “Writing my heart out.” – Helping me to grow. This is still the idea of growthbuddy.rocks. And on the way I’m trying to inspire a ‘growth-mindset’.

Right now I feel like I block my own progress with all the ‘intellectualizing’ and the pressure to finish hundreds of articles.

I’m working on articles about resilience and taking responsibility for oneself’s feelings while building up resistance against my own truth.

What do I mean by that? My own truth is my direct connection. It is my ability to connect with the world from a natural point – without trying to control or to be somebody.

I behaved like I arrived at this point. Like I mastered it. But in reality my confusion reached a new level and also my perfectionism and my addiction to predict the future was still holding me in chains.

I’m just a kid playing with the universe, with the world, with other people, with my own potential – without understanding the rules.

Once in a while it is good to get an outlook to the mountain without peak, but now it’s time to do my homework again.

Back To Work

I noticed it when I tried to finish my article about ‘taking responsibility for one’s feelings’:

I can’t feel feelings. In many situations I don’t know what I need. Probably because I am so distracted with organizing my life and stuff. And also because I’m so busy thinking of other people’s needs and what I can do for them. (Codependency)

I’m out of touch. Out of touch with reality. But mainly out of touch with myself. And this is why I can only express my confusion.

“The Seven Minute Experiment”

My work for now is it to get back in touch with my feelings. It is funny, because I’m talking about love and heart a lot.

In the last few days during yoga and at the climbing gym I found out that I have absolutely no connection with my heart. Well, not absolutely, but definitely I’m not acting ‘from the heart’. The muscles around my ripcage are so tight, there is absolutely no room for me. No room to enter. And this is the source of all other pain that I’m experiencing in my life.

As some of you might know I like challenges. It is time for another Micro Habit Challenge. This time it is more a Macro One:

Ha! And there we go. I was trying to define the difference between feelings and emotions. And I couldn’t. There are different definitions of it.

As far as I understood an emotion is something caused by the external. Some event we react too. This emotion can also access our deep rooted fears or desires and all of a sudden it causes a feeling within our chest.

Feelings are something we have learnt. Feelings that we feel are conditioned. For example some events trigger an old child memory and all of a sudden we feel a certain way in a certain situation without doing anything about it.

I don’t remember where I read or heard it, but apparently it takes seven minutes to ‘go through’ a feeling.

In the next 30 days I want to have a closer look at myself. This is really basic work and I’m hoping to get more clarity around the topics of ‘integration’ and ‘needs’.

Acutally I’m already a few days into the challenge. I started a diary for my feelings about a week ago. The starting date of the challenge is September 12th.

Trust in the uncomfortable.
Trust that everything that doesn’t belong to you will leave you.
Trust that everything that belongs to you stays with you.

 

Honouring The Past, Anticipating The Future or ‘A New Dawn’

The red of the early morning sun brightens up the facades of Munich.

It is 6:28 am.

The Olympiaturm shimmers in the distance.

A heavy warmness soothes my heart and my whole body.

Tears roll down my cheek.

What a great miracle is this life?

And I’m a part of it. I’m a part of something much bigger than myself.

A humble gratitude comes over me.

As the day is dawning it dawns me what an incredible opportunity this life is?

All these challenges. All these obstacles. All the confusion invites me – like this day is inviting me – to keep exploring.

Opportunities open up every single day in my life.

It is up to me to only focus on the obstacles or to focus on the possibilities.

And what is possible? Basically everything that I can imagine and everything that I want to afford.

Everything I’m willing to pay the price for.

Why would I spend so much time deciding which direction to go? There is only forward. Okay, I might take detours. I might ‘waste’ some time.

But hey. I’m trying new things nearly every day. I’m getting more and more inventive when it comes to ‘making a living’.

Maaaaan, I thought I lost it. I was looking for my excitement for months.

Yesterday night I was sitting at the campfire at my favourite campground in Munich. This year and last year I spent a couple of weeks at “The Tent”, but for some reason this place feels like home.

There were some italians sitting next to me. “Di dove siete?”, I started a one hour conversation with this couple.

“Why do you speak italian?”, the german guy next to me asked me.

In this moment I realized what I had learnt in the past two years. Not only italian language skills, but essential knowledge about life.

I am so fucking grateful for every person who dipped my nose into my own truth.

“You have to take off your mask.” “Put yourself on number one.” “You are lost.” “Breeaaaathe in and out and in and out and in and out.”

More than ever before I realize that this is all the process of non-stop-learning.

Most of us think there is a goal. Most of us think there is something to reach – on a spiritual level, but there is only the expansion of our own consciousness and the daily work.

I read a headline on Medium the other day. It said something like “Get Out Of The Start Up Porn”. I haven’t opened this article, but I can liveley picture its content.

We are creating the perfect business in our head.
We are creating the perfect relationship in our head.
We are creating the perfect amount of money on our bank account.
We are creating our dream job.

“I did the most when I didn’t have money.”, Nicolas, a talkative italian guy told me in the kitchen of ‘The Tent’ a couple of weeks ago. “It stretches my inventive spirit not to have much money.”, Kunal, a soccer street performer, reflects his situation.

“Yeah, but it also limits your imagination of what is possible.”, the german “But” replies.

Well, I get it. Money is a means of transport, a source of energy. We can’t survive without it. But does it really set us free?

I doubt it deeply. The happiest people I have ever met, the ones that unwittingly infected me with their life energy, they didn’t have money or they are not ‘doing it for the money’.

Money is not their major propulsion.

What are they doing? They are just following the invitations. They are not trying to create their dream life – they just live it. Now. They play the game. They follow their excitement. They actually take the opportunities instead of contemplating about them.

This is what it is all about. It is about taking opportunities and they are paving the way. It is about honouring the miracle of life – every single day.

I have to follow my own vision. I have to believe in my own survival strategies. Yes, I need help, but what I really need is trust and excitement in order to stay motivated.

Today’s morning sun was my invitation to keep going, to keep learning, to keep encountering, to keep listening.

Every opportunity that I have in my life is exclusive to me. I am invited to follow my own path and so are you to follow yours….

 

You Can’t Challenge Reality

You can’t challenge reality.

No matter how hard you try. You can’t control the world.

All you can do is to accept what is. Accept whatever situation arises.

Welcome every moment with open arms.

Become one with every sensation. Become one with joy and delight. Become one with loss and aloneness. Become one with your fears and your desires.

This is how they dissolve.

This is how you reconnect – with yourself and with the planet.

You can’t change the circumstances. You can’t change other people’s minds.

You can only adapt and ease in.

Release all tension. Relax all tightness.

This is how you will find relief.

This is how you free yourself.

By surrendering.

 

Desiring The Non-Desirable

I’m desiring the non-desirable.

I’m wanting the non-wantable.

By desiring desirelessness I’m getting more trapped in the entanglements of my own mind.

By willing to un-control I’m debilitating my power.

My senses are numb and my heart is tight from all the wanting and needing.

The day-to-day struggle: ‘Am I finding release today?’ becomes the biggest burden.

Can I disrupt my will with the tools I discovered? Or will I keep winding myself in my own misery instead of welcoming the mystery of life (with open arms)?

I can control my mind, but I can’t control life. I understand this but I lack the humility to embody it. I can cope with life but I can’t rule it.

By trying to ‘understand’ it ALL I’m blocking my connection.

I still think I’m freeing myself, but I entomb myself in the depths of my skull.

Detachment is as far away as on day one.

But you know what?

I’m not going to give up. I will keep asking. I will keep suffering until I finally find rel(ease).

Yes – I’m learning to relax.

Yes, I’m finding trust and comfort within my own self.

I will love myself and everything around me in the most humble way – like a child loves her mother and a mother loves her child.

The devotion to the essence. – This is not a mission, this is my real life purpose.

I will stick to the places where the magic happens.

I will pour myself out there until there is nothing left inside of me.

 

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’ I 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 that 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.