Question your habits.
Challenge your perspective.
Shatter your resistance.
Dance it all out.
Appreciate the unconcsious.
Raise your vibration.
Set yourself free.
What would happen if you would pursue the thing you are the most interested in? What if you would choose the one thing you really want to have learnt at the end of your life?
Just imagine it for a moment. How would you feel? And now imagine you wouldn’t pursue this goal?
Yeah, you might fail. Yeah, maybe you will loose all your money, but what if you wouldn’t ever have tried?
What is holding you back from doing it? Is the voice in your head telling you that you don’t have time? You are not good enough? You were never good at it? You don’t have money? You are too old? Your friends won’t like you anymore?
“Your thoughts become your reality.” Yeah right, we’ve heard this a hundred of times.
Only now I understand how fundamental this impact is. If I think negative about myself, if I don’t trust myself, if I continuously think I’m not good enough I will never achieve anything. I will never feel content or satisfied with myself.
More than that: Self-hatred is what manifests. If I don’t change these thoughts I will never manifest self-worth. This is something I have to generate from the core of myself.
You might ask: ‘What does self-worth have to do with pursuing your passion?’
Everything! I have an example for this: Since some time I’m offering coaching in the field of my profession. I give storytelling and video production workshops.
But the beginning was rough. I thought “I’m not good enough.”, “What if I don’t have an answer to all the questions?” The first time I was really fucking nervous. I thought I can never master this. I can never carry the audience. I can never teach anything.
Now, nearly two years later I did it five times and my perspective changed completely.
The other day one girl from a course last year honoured me with the best compliment I’ve ever received in my entire life: “I learnt from you because you are so passionate about it.”
What did I do? I helped her editing a video. Together we shortened a four minute clip to 40 seconds. She told me the way I did it was so inspiring – so calm, with patience and sure instinct.
This blew my mind.
How did I get there? Yes, I learnt the software in university. Yes, I did a lot of internships. What happened? I just liked it. I started to experiment. I edited as much as I could and over the years snipping moving images became a second nature.
But how did this happen? I liked editing, so I edited.
“Make your passion your addiction.”
Now that I write it down here it sounds like a romantic life story. But I tell you what: There are dozens of skills I haven’t started learning yet, because I think I’m not good enough.
How could I not understand this? It is just about doing it. Doing one step at a time. Of course you are not a Mozart from the moment you are starting to compose music and you are not a Picasso the first time you wield the paintbrush. But you are getting there eventually (or at least a bit closer).
Your mind will find thousands of reasons not to aim for the things you really want to do. Is it a lack of money or talent. There will always be something else to do. Something more convenient, something easier or socially more accepted.
The secret is to just get started, to do the first step, to make space for the things you like, to make your passion your priority.
And what happens if you do something you like? You feel joy. So why not make it your addiction?
Make Your Passion Your Priority
Yesterday I was speaking with some people about this topic. There was a guy who just went through a similar learning experience like me.
Our question was: “What do people do differently who are always on ‘doer mode’?” Or my interpretation: What do people do differently who immerse fully in an activity? What do they do to not have these big walls of self-doubt? How do they make the critic shut up?
The secret is that they just follow their intuition. They don’t listen to these voices in their head.
And – if we want to hear it or not – we have the choice if we listen to the voices in our head or not.
What would happen if you would turn all the “I should’s” into “I do’s”? Your life might finally moves into the direction you want. You might discover joy within yourself.
If anybody tells you “follow your passion” is bullshit please don’t believe them.
Go on! “Follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell would say.
“Finding your passion is the natural outgrowth of healing.”Margaret Paul, Psychologist
Find your bliss or you will never find joy in your life. Be as passionate as you want. But be passionate. Make it your life mission. What else is this life about?
Life is about feeling alive. So do what makes you feel the most alive.
If you have other suggestions let me know. I’m open minded, but I prefer to do what makes me feel most alive rather than anything else.
“It is not a luxury to pursue this experience [passion], but a necessity. Without this special experience that gives meaning to our lives we tend to wander about, aimlessly looking for someone, something, or some substance to fill the void within us.,” says Margaret Paul. The author of the book I’m studying currently. It is called “Healing Your Aloneness: Finding Love and Wholeness Through Your Inner Child.”
When we are passionate we forget our problems. We are in the flow. We feel content. We get in touch with our true nature. If we manage to fully immerse in an activity there is no future and no past. We arrive in the present moment.
Is there anything healthier in this life than this feeling? I doubt it. By not pursuing our passion, we exist, but do we live? Come on…
Please double check your “I should’s”, your “I always wanted’s” and your “As a kid I always liked to do’s”.
It is up to you to fuel what you are passionate about.
If you can’t find anything it is might be a sign that you are caught up in self-hatred. Then this is might be something you want to deal with?
Go on. Aim for healing, but be nice to you. Give yourself time. Whenever you are impatient ask yourself, why you are in such a hurry to get through your life.
Be patient. Feed your body and nourish your soul and the rest will come.
Start with small changes. Surround yourself with people who do something completely else then you are doing. Get inspired. Don’t resign the battle.
Observe. Soak in the positive vibes of the people who found their bliss – without envy or resentment.
Just be happy to have the chance to be a part of it.
Go ahead and find your happy place!
“The ego is concerned with getting something while the inner self is creating. In this way creation is the motor for unconditional love. “
Yesterday I fell asleep before I could post anything. The casual pre-tooth-brushing-five-minutes-nap turned into a six hours pass out. I woke up when the dawn was already breaking.
But now I’m happy, because it inspired me to post something more meaningful.
The topic of my heart turned out to be healing. Cultivating self-love, spiritual growth, personal development, overcoming pain, reclaiming compassion – in the end it all comes down to the same thing: Healing.
Yesterday night after a two days storytelling coaching job I’ve decided to have a piece of pizza and a glass of red wine at this tiny pizza bar near Rosenheimer Platz in Munich. “What’s this?,” with childlike curiosity the guy behind me in the queue pointed at the pizza ‘salsiccia spinaci’. The spark in his eyes resonated with my wave-length. Unhesitatingly I sat down on his table to share a moment of company.
Immediately he opened up and told me the story of his past weeks. “I just came back from fusion festival,” he reminisced and reassured unintentionally that we belong to the same tribe.
It turned out that he just dropped his medicine studies. Becoming a doctor collided with his worldview. According to him being beneficial for humanity and working in the – irritatingly called – ‘health sector’ is a contradiction in this society. “We learn medicine for 70-year-olds,” he complained with a last trace of disillusionment. “Modern medicine is more about ‘interfering’ with the human body than about maintaining health,” he summed up.
You decide to be sick.
I could totally comprehend what he was saying. Taking responsibility for our own bodies should be something we learn in school, but instead we rely on a dubious system to keep us alive when we are sick.
“You decide to be sick, ” he advocated for our ability for self-healing. Through his words I found myself releasing a lot of tension that had built up during the past weeks of traveling and working.
Things like meridian lines, qì or kundalini energy are referred to in human history since decades. So, why would I not feel what is happening inside of my body if I learn to pay attention to it?
Dis-ease is what’s causing illness. And what is the state of health? ‘To be at ease’. Only when we find relaxation we find health.
I soaked up every word of the conversation – well aware that this encounter was a once in a lifetime one.
I smiled at the universe pondering the lessons of my past months: Healing takes time and not constant action. By re-acting all the time, by planning, by overdoing I’m ruining my (karmic) energy and in the end my physical and mental health.
“When you change your perspective things change automatically.” Briefly we’ve started talking about politics, but this quote applies one to one to the good old habits.
There doesn’t have to be a direct cure for everything. As soon as we are making an effort to change a small thing, e.g. what we eat, how much we sleep or how we work we eventually find great results:
Things fall into place automatically. We find the time for the things we love, our stress-level drops and in the end we might even become healthier.
I need a practical example for this: Since I’ve started to seriously reduce processed foods and industrial sugar my overall ability to focus had improved tremendously. Automatically I’m getting more stuff done (like this writing experiment). THIS is healing on a higher level.
It doesn’t take as much as I thought to become the human I want to be IF I’m willing to honestly change my point of view, question what I thought was ‘me’, if I’m willing to seriously try new lifestyles…
Through these changes I rattle the fundament of my thinking patterns and eventually the truth reveals.
By nature our body will heal if we choose to.
When we are planting a seed we just need to water it. If we are looking at it all the time and try to convince it to grow faster nothing will happen, but we will stress ourselves out.
Our body is a living entity of organs, chemical processes and microorganisms. It is a part of nature. An autonomic system of nerves and neurotransmitters takes care of it. I don’t need to ‘be aware’ of it all the time. It is better to let it be sometimes. By nature our body will heal if we choose to.
“We grow when we are sleeping.” – I woke up with this sentence in my head this morning. It really made me smile as normally I would have been disappointed that “I got nothing done” last night. Instead my body decided to get some rest before I could even tell him to do so.
There is a built in regulation system that protects me if I let it. By trying to control it all the time I hinder it from doing its job.
I can’t believe it took me such a long time to understand the connection between my stress level, my immune system and my productivity.
Again it became obvious to me: If I want to grow I need to let go.
We can only heal ourselves from the inside. There is nobody, who could ever heal us apart from ourselves. We have everything we need already within us. We have the power. All we have to do is to choose to heal.
But how? Some brief reminders:
- Look into the mirror with all honesty. Do you see you? Can you see your true self? Are you ok? Are you bullshitting yourself? If yes, are you willing to change? Do you really know what you want and what you need in life? If no, are you willing to find out?
- Listen to the signs of your body: Is there anxiety, aggression or even panic? Are self-doubts sucking your energy? Are you in physical pain? What is itching and aching?
- Give yourself time – rushing doesn’t lead you anywhere. Like a wound doesn’t heal within one day also your inner wounds need time to heal.
- Allow yourself to crack. Crack like a seed. Every new beginning starts with destruction. A seed has to crack before the seedling can follow the sun.
- Do the clearance work – clean out the debris of former destruction. Clean the pathways of your energy before you are starting something new. This is a sweat inducive process. You might need a couple of runs, check the dark corners again and again and maybe consult an expert in order to move along. But it is worth it. How do you want to build something new without a solid foundation?
- Trust your intuition and release. All of a sudden help will be naturally given. Like a plant you start growing as soon as you follow your intuition. The energy comes from the inside. It is already a part of you. If you are willing to listen to your inner voice you automatically start to heal. A plant doesn’t ask for permission to grow, it just grows.
Alright, the process of renewing is continuing. I can literally feel the shell bursting. Before I started this article I thought “Okay, this will be short but intense.” – A fertilizer for my growth – a brief reminder of how far I’ve come. But there is so much more to it: Welcome to the story of my life.
“You don’t take yourself seriously” – A few months ago a friend of mine put a finger right into a wound. A wound I didn’t even know it existed.
“Love yourself more” – This is a phrase I heard a lot over the past few years. “Put yourself on number one”, only recently a couchsurfing host pointed out to me – witnessing my struggle to find my own priorities.
It made me think. Within the past five years I’ve tried hard to live my life up to my own believes. Maybe too hard? I’ve changed jobs, rooms, cities and countries. I’ve ended relationships. I’ve started new ones. I’ve tried new things, I’ve travelled, I’ve improved my physical fitness and so on and so on. Some of my changes you might witness on this blog.
“Do what you love.” – This expression too became omnipresent in our highly individualized world. Well, so I did! Everything was supposed to be good. But it wasn’t. I stressed myself out. I stressed myself out, because I was struggling to meet my own expectations. Was I happy in the meantime?
Of course not. I always felt like there is something missing. Even if I thought I had all I wanted, I felt this numbing anxiety. But where was it coming from? I had to dig deeper.
What I found was a hole – a hole I was always closing my eyes from. I filled it with a lot of things. Temporary pleasures like partying, alcohol or sex gave me a superficial satisfaction. Working hard gave me a feeling of purpose. But at the end even sports and physical challenges just seemed to be a substitution. But a substitution for what? Only when I started to observe the dark corners of my psyche the cover-up crumbled. The process is still ongoing.
The more honest I become with myself the more the truth discloses: Now I know that I was looking for love in the wrong places. I had to find it within myself. What I have been trying to pad was a lack of self-love.
I was looking for love in the wrong places
To be honest with you, it was only about five years ago, I was 25 years old and I didn’t have the slightest idea who I was or who I wanted to become. I thought I had, but I hadn’t.
Self-doubts were shadowing any future prospects. I couldn’t see myself or anything else clear. I didn’t know what I’m passionate about. I wanted to write, I wanted to hike, I wanted to travel, but I couldn’t find the motivation to do it. I was scared. I always found excuses.
Now I know that I felt obligated to follow a beaten track. A path that wasn’t mine. I thought I would have to find somebody to walk this path with me. Slowly it dawned me that I have to find myself in the first place.
I always had the feeling there must be more to life, but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was. In the past there was always something missing – with or without a boyfriend I was unhappy – neither physically nor spiritually satisfied.
A long time (actually all of my life) I thought I have to change. There must be something wrong with me. I must be mentally sick or something. The truth is that I didn’t take my personal needs seriously. That’s why I felt like shit most of the time.
Five years ago I did not know my journey will be about self-love. I would fight my fears and expand my comfort zone in the name of (self-) love.
Love is in the air and stuff. But how do I receive it?
How to foster self-love
So far so good – apparently I was looking for love. The question was how to cultivate love in my system? This is only partly an “How-to” guide, but more an arbitrary list of thoughts and assumptions that crossed my way during the last months. I’m curious what you have to add.
1. Stop lying to yourself
Before I started my journey of self-love I kept up an idealized image of my self. Disregarding my own nature I tried to be somebody else. Painfully I learnt that this leads only to physical and mental suffering.
Don’t try to be somebody you are not. Look into the mirror and see your true nature. Be true to yourself. Be authentic, but most of all be honest with yourself. Acknowledge your roots and be proud of who you are.
2. Stop looking for approval by others
A long long time I was aiming for acceptance instead of striving towards my own goals. I was hoping to find somebody to “fix” me and help me with my life. In the meantime I was living somebody else’s life not mine.
If you are looking for approval by others you are losing credibility. You give away responsibility for your well-being and slowly you are losing your self-esteem. Stop being a people pleaser and please yourself first.
3. Lower your expectations on yourself
Harder, faster, better, stronger – this is the slogan of our time not only when it comes to technology. Self-optimization became common courtesy, but the slavedriver is only in your head: The inner judge – your chatterbox – is the one who is convicting you for being insufficient.
Don’t get me wrong – self-discipline is required to make changes. But what you have to optimize is your way of thinking from “I have to become better” to “I’m okay how I am”. Self-criticism is the opposite of self-love.
So please, please you chatterbox in the back of the head – stop judging. Instead of heightening the expectations on yourself accept who you are: A human being and not a robot.
4. Accept your flaws and shortcomings
I’m still working on examining my strengths and weaknesses. During this process I learnt something essential: When you are able to give yourself a warm smile as soon as you discover weaknesses then you are able to transform them.
What you consider as your negative traits are might be ulterior talents or advantages? As soon as you take a look at your personality characteristics these supposedly negative attributes convert into your personal gifts.
5. Appreciate your individual gifts
In order to love yourself more you have to honour these personal gifts. You have to say yes to your uniqueness. Take a moment of appreciation and gratefulness – it is worth it. Believe in yourself. The world needs you how you are.
6. Give yourself time to heal
This is a tough one. Up to today I’m asking too much of myself. Most of my life I was busy beating myself down for not meeting my own expectations.
Over and over my body told me to stop, but I wasn’t listening until recently. I found out that I need the time to lick my wounds and recover from life-changing events like breaking up with my boyfriend or changing my environment rapidly. Allowing myself to heal is essential in order to achieve anything in my life.
Walk your own pace and household with your energy. Take your time to make the steps that are required to become the person you want to be. You only have this one life – so why rush?
7. Take your personal needs seriously
If you don’t take your needs seriously you end up suffering. Imagine a dog who can’t go for a walk or doesn’t get fed? Will he lead a happy and healthy life?
We can only nurture one another (friends, partner, family or even society) if we satisfy our own needs first.
I was standing in my own way by not taking myself seriously until I realized, that only I know what’s good for me. As soon as I started listening to my inner voice I found out about my personal needs. It is important to mute all the distraction and start listening.
8. Be compassionate
I don’t say you should feel sorry for yourself. No, actually self-compassion is the opposite of self-pity. Self-compassion is being warm, kind-hearted and friendly towards your inner self. When you are able to put a warm smile on your face, when you encounter negative feelings, fears or unsatisfied desires, then you are starting to love yourself. It is being supportive like you are to your friends.
9. Relax every day
Take a break. Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Meditate or just breathe in and out consciously every day for five minutes or an hour. Carve out this time for yourself. It will help you to clear your vision. (Note to my distracted self.)
9. Trust in the Process
Like every plant, every animal, every river and every cloud you are a part of nature. It is already taken care of you. Don’t worry too much. Just trust.
What I am really saying is that you don’t need to do anything, because if you see yourself in the correct way, you are all as much extraordinary phenomenon of nature as trees, clouds, the patterns in running water, the flickering of fire, the arrangement of the stars, and the form of a galaxy. You are all just like that, and there is nothing wrong with you at all.
~ Alan Watts
Yes, I’m struggling.
Yes, I’m lonely at times.
Yes, I don’t know, where I’m going.
But at least I’m free.