My ego wants something the whole time.
It wants to get better.
It wants to feel better.
It wants to be recognized.
It wants to defend itself.
It wants something different.
It wants me to be different.
It wants to hold on to something.
It wants company.
It wants distraction.
My intuition only wants peace.
I found a treasure in my heart and I will never let go of it again.
I’m taking my teachers serious. I treat my body as a temple.
I’m communicating clear.
All the lows are temporary.
What other people think, want or do is none of my business.
Nobody apart from myself knows what I need.
Nobody apart from myself has to understand me.
I’m not responsible for other people’s feelings nor am I responsible for their decisions.
My inner joy is my strongest force.
My playfulness is my power.
My love for life is stronger than anything else.
I don’t need to be perfect.
I don’t have to take advice.
I can just sit and smile.
With ease I welcome every situation and every encounter.
I’m pioneering my life according to my own rules.
Society is the last thing that can impose pressure on me.
As long as I feel joy I will guide my own way.
Nobody can take the life away from me apart from life itself.
I’m owning my experience of the world.
I’m owning my power.
I’m a child and I’m able to adjust to every situation.
I accept life as it is.
I’m finding comfort in the eye of the storm.
I’m not turning blunt.
I will feel even more.
It was one of those early summer days in the beginning of June. I went for an extensive walk to cherish the long afternoons.
The sky was clear and the sun still gentile over the hilltop of this tiny village in Tuscany that I called my home at this point in time.
I passed a field of barley. Effortlessly the ears were dancing in the wind. In awe I watched this spectacle.
The ears were not thinking about the direction they were moving. They seemed to be touched by the essence of life itself.
I noticed the trees swinging in conjunction with the grain. The sun was showing her last warm rays of the day. It seemed like the whole environment was in peaceful communion.
Watching this organic play soothed my turbulent mind. All of a sudden I was projected into the present moment.
And this is what observation does. It maneuvers us into the presence.
What happens when we observe?
It forces us into the now, because the object we look at can only be in the now.
Observation doesn’t allow yearning for the future or longing for the past.
Registration doesn’t allow judgement. We detach from opinions and assumptions. It holds us back from overinterpreting.
What happens if we look long enough?
We are able to create a gap between us and our reality.
Looking longer allows us to get a new perspective on something.
If we look deep into the things we discover something new. We discover the details. We discover the edges of something – or the softness.
We discover the things that are invisible. And eventually the blur clears. And this is how we reach a new layer of consciousness.
We get to see the world how it really is. By observation we see the real connection, the real relation of things – without unnecessary entanglements.
We are giving up the power of our mind. By giving up this power we start to not-control things anymore.
We finally get to relax. But first we need to sit still. Without stillness we will never be able to create this gap that allows us to be the observer.
The registration of ‘what is’ directs our actions in the right way.
By observing we find out that we don’t have to react all the time. It is a way of meditation.
We can go with the flow just like the cereal ears.
Inspired by Nyanaponika, buddhist monk for 57 years.
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.
It is nearly midnight. The chatterbox is rattling in my head. I’m revolving around my self-consciousness – far off from any real connection to my true self. An obscure nebula of uncertainty is surrounding me. Negative thoughts are traversing like thunderclouds. Anxiety is rolling over me like back-breaking waves. Sleep is beyond the bounds of possibility.
This is how I would describe my interior on a lonely night during my travels. I finished an intense video project at the cultural center of a friend at Camino de Santiago in Spain. I walked for a couple of days. I met incredible people. Inspiring conversations changed my view. A whole trip full of life-changing events came to an end (If I find the time I will write about it on uliquitous.com Update: I found the time to write about it.).
For the last days of this journey I booked an airbnb for myself – next to the spectacular shore of Peniche at the coast of Portugal. I decided to let all my amazing experience sink before I’m making my next move to Lisboa from where I would flew back to Germany. These previous weeks had been full of social interaction. All of a sudden I was alone in my head again – without any mission or entertainment. I felt a mix of contentment and gratitude, because of all the blissful events of the past six weeks, but that one night this feeling yield a cold emptiness.
When the emptiness became unbearable, I remembered something I already proclaimed multiple times: “I’m not my thoughts”. Something inside of me rejuvenated.
Controlled by an external force I lit a candle and sat down in front of it on the carpet. Automatically I settled into a lotus position and took one deep breath. Motionless I took one breath after another until I could feel the tension releasing.
Heavy boulders are tumbling down my body. Suddenly there is an imaginary force errecting my spine. An invisible connection is linking me between the ground and the sky. And there it was: This gap between me and my thoughts. For the very first time I could literally see my thoughts vanishing in front of me. The flame of the candle burnt them.
When the time was right I came back to reality. I felt refreshed and relieved. I was looking forward for a good nights sleep. All I could say was “Thank you.” I checked the time. 45 minutes had passed. I didn’t set any alarm.
This whole experience changed my perspective on meditation completely. In the past I thought there is something to “learn”, something to “do”. But it’s the opposite. During the past year my thoughts became a barrier for me, but during this night this barrier incurred a massive crack. And there it was: The drain for my thoughts! The off button for my chatterbox.
What do I do with it? Nothing. I will just sit and wait and I use every free minute to catch a glimpse of this crack in the wall.
“One day, suddenly, you will find a window opens, and a fresh breeze with new rays has filled your heart. Again, don’t commit the same mistake! Be thankful for what is happening, but don’t ask for more – more will be coming. Don’t ask, “Come again!” – your asking will become the barrier.”
Osho, “Learning to silence the mind – Wellness through meditation”
Every channel on receive. <3 life
Alrighty, the second week of my challenge is coming to an end. Honestly, sugarcoating is not my style and not the purpose of this blog. I just have to be honest with you – even if it hurts. Well, what had changed? Not much compared to last week. The meditation challenge faded into mediocrity, but at least I started to collect tomatos. But I won’t pull myself down into the pool of self-pity, instead I’m pointing out my learning – which are reasonably powerful. 😉
What had changed?
- I refined my individualized pomodoro method: Basically I started to use the traditional pomodore concept in order to tally every task of my day. Every day I collected between three and twelve tomatos. These 25 minute-slots helped me to stay focussed. The timebox proved to be one of my favourite tools of effectiveness since I heard the word “agile” for the very first time. 😉 But the good old pomodoro technique is even better: The concept includes my hobby “procrastination” – a five minute creative break is scheduled after every high-concentrated working-slot. Finally time management became fun for me. Sometimes I extended the slots and sometimes I shortened it a bit, but there was no excuse not to finish a slot without interruption.
- Again I screwed the meditation challege. This time I meditated only three times before I went to bed (if you include dancing as meditation than five times 😉 BUT: I made “meditation” my energy boost during the day! How? When I reached the afternoon low or a peak of my “priority-confusion” (Wwaahh, I don’t know where to start!! The panic monster is beckoning over…) I decided to get off my desk and go for a walk to the roof top terrace of the office building next door. I climbed the stairs and set the alarm for a ten-minute-open-air-meditation (The weather did it’s bit last week, because it was unusually warm and sunny).
- As I mentioned last week I wanted to set a weekly goal: My aim – finishing some backend tasks (e.g. photo editing, SEO measures) on my blog uliquitous I accomplished successfully.
At the end of the day I’m still a chaotic person and I have to admit that this kind of stuff requires a lot of discipline of me. But as I can see small steps into the right direction I will stay motivated. Tiny “bites” of focussed work let my to-do list shrink. The next week(s) I will definitely continue with the simple but yet powerful pomodoro method. And meditation? As a support I ordered another book of Osho, which will hopefully provide some guidance on my way towards the silent mind.
This challenge didn’t look hard to me in the first place, but somehow it turned out to be demanding. To make it short: I failed – at least in the meditation challenge I couln’t cheat my weaker self. I meditated only on 4/7 nights due to a lack of motivation or tiredness. But to be fair – I mastered the second part of the challenge with flying colours: Finally I managed to find time slots to get something done. And actually this challenge even pushed me to integrate more of these 25 minute slots into my day. So finally there are a bunch of tasks I completed which I postponed since weeks or even months. I understood that I can achieve things, if I just do one step at a time.
What had changed in detail?
- My downgraded pomodoro method (25 minutes slots) actually helps me to get in the flow. I finally stoped postponing.
- I learned that it is hard to integrate routines if I don’t have any other routine. The solution: I find flexible times during my day to integrate a small meditation. For example at lunch break or during the afternoon low.
- Plus: I was more aware of my breathing during everyday activities like driving in the subway, just sitting in the sun, walking or even working. During my day I tried to go for short walk, which helped me a lot to stay energized during the day.
- Finally: I learnt that meditation is not a practice, it is actually a state of mind. Every action can be meditation.
What do I want to make differently this week?
- Still keep trying to meditate to finish my day – additionally to every type of relaxation I’m doing during my day.
- Setting goals for the next day before I go to bed.
- Setting a weekly goal I want to achieve.
- Keep growing!
The new year is already in full swing. The new years resolutions are not forgotten yet, but the activism is fading with everydays madness. Basically not much had changed: I’m trying to harmonize my work-life-balance, find the time to realize my own ideas, live up to my own beliefs and in the meantime I’m trying to stay calm.
What can I say? My brain is still tickling me with a thousand ideas and focussing on my goals gets hard sometimes. Today is Monday, the calender already shows the end of January. I decided that this month can’t pass without another challenge.
This one is another experiment. On the long run I’m hoping to find the best routine for my meditation practice.
1. I will work on my goals for 25 minutes every morning
Either if it is working on my blogs, writing in my journal, excercising or reading a book. Every morning I want to invest 25 minutes into my personal development. This implies a bit more discipline in the morning – getting up a bit more early and not getting caught in distress already before the day even really started. The idea is to think of what I want to do in the morning, the night before.
2. I will meditate for 10 minutes at night
Basically my only new years resolution is to chill out more, because I’m still stressing myself with my own demands. It’s getting less, but it is still there.
Everybody is talking about there morning routine. But I don’t have one – sometimes I get up at 5.30 because I have a videoshooting, but sometimes I work until seven in the morning at the bar. To be honest with you, I tried to integrate meditation into my morning routine, but it was impossible for me.
Also I found out that sometimes after a working day my brain is full of clutter. This clutter holds me back from calming down at night and I assume from a healthy sleep. So, instead of morning routine I will try to cultivate an evening routine, a really nice procedure to finish my day.
There is something that I learnt from last year: Pressuring myself doesn’t lead to anything besides slowly burning out. So I decided to change my approach a bit and practice more and more to “let go”. Hopefully I’m not over-stretching this phrase in this blog. But “letting go” seems to me more important than anything else in order not to strain my nervous system more than it already is.
So, I go for small steps and I try to do the possible in order to reach the impossible.
I already started with this challenge this morning. And this blog post is the result of investing roughly half an hour into my personal goals. Crazy, isn’t it?
Week two is over and so is the Micro Habit Challenge 1.0. What had changed? Actually more than I expected had changed. It seems like tha first week was dedicated to “becoming aware of my body” and the second week “becoming friends with my body”.
After these two weeks I have way more trust, that I can actually reach the goals I’m setting myself. My level of happiness had increased (not sure if it is due to my meditation practice or due to external factors, but I like the idea, that happiness grows within me:). Well, the downsides of this week are that I didn’t write much into my diary, but the insights I gained are powerful! Happy scrolling.
My Habit Diary
Day 1 9:39 am – Meeting an Acquaintance
Okay, new week new luck. I meditated this morning on a matt on the floor, which worked quite well. I thought about my breath as my friend. When I’m meditating I’m caring for my breath, I have some warm thoughts about it and I’m really thankful that he is always there for me. Thinking of my breath as a very close friend does make it a bit easier for me.
Day 2 8:22 Uhr Deep Conversations
I consider my breath as a good friend now. Normally I don’t listen to him closely. Even if he demands my attention from time to time. Today he’s a bit angry and he shouts: “Come on, you expect me to care for your every day, in every situation, even when you are very stressed out I provide you with oxygen and you are not able to listen to me?” So I promised him to listen more closely from now on. 🙂
Day 4 21:52 Uhr Empty Brain
What can I say? I’m so so tired and I need to go to sleep immediately.
Day 5 6:32 am – Is it Love?
Okay, I practiced meditation everyday – yesterday I cheated a bit, because I was at the physiotherapist. So I was laying down during my fango packung and enjoyed the silence to meet my friend – my breath.
It seems like this is a very strong way for me to connect with my body – to consider my breath as my (growth) “buddy”. And even if the meditation doesn’t work out well, I’m trying to meet my friend the breath in my daily life more often, every now and than during a short break from work I’m practicing meditation to calm my thoughts down. That works better than I thought.
Two days ago, when I didn’t write something in my diary, I had probably the best day in the last six weeks – jobwise and also emotionally. I had an outdoor shoot with the fleet of BMW. The sun was shining the whole day – it was an incredible day. And somehow I felt like finally I’m able to show my real me. I think it was due to my meditation practice. But now I got to take a shower, I have a long day of work ahead.
Day 7 Final Conclusion
Well, this week had been a very intense week workwise. I didn’t only finish three video editing projects, but I also had two days of video shootings. I didn’t have such a productive week in a long time – also due to some tough deadlines. So it was an extra tough week to cultivate new habits into my daily life.
I step right into the conclusion of the week for you.
What did I Do?
- I meditated 5/7 days, 4/7 days on the matt in front of my bed
- I kept my phone on flightmode more often during work automatically
- I was happy 7/7 days – at least most parts of the days (probably the happiest week I had during the last 6 months – EVEN if I was on holidays inbetween)
- I didn’t work out much, but went for extensive walks of 8-12 km on 5/7 days and included stretching before I went to bed
What did I Learn?
- Happiness is a state of mind (nothing really new, but I “experienced” it the first time)
- meditation/working on my goals helps me to feel more satisfied and grounded
- Loving myself means loving my whole body
- I don’t miss much, if I leave my phone on flightmode
- writing a diary is helpful to manifest insights (as it is my biggest issue to have an overview over my insights AND keep re-reading them to seed them into my subconsciousness)
What about the Future?
- I gonna keep writing a diary on a regular basis and in ONE document
- I will keep meditating regularly for two more weeks to extend my personal tool set
- Keep not being a “victim” of my devices (including my beloved Thinkpad – no offence :*)
Final Words with Love
Well, after my two weeks Micro-Habit Challenge a few surprises had happened. I didn’t forsee to find a new friend within me. 🙂
I believe, that I can learn to be happy, if I become friends with my “companions”. In this case of course my breath is not my enemy, so companion seems to be a more appropriate phrase. All the last times I tried meditation, I just couldn’t focus on my breath. Sometimes it even felt like he is working against me (or I’m working against him.)
Giving my breath a personality helped me to focus. Probably this is not the same for everybody, but it helped me a lot – even during my day to day life.
When I was in a stressful situation for example during a live-videoshooting with an audience of 1400 people, I remembered that my breath is here to support me. As soon as I became aware of it, I already started to calm down. My heart rate started to decrease.
I believe, that this strategy could help me in several situations. Also it helps me to ACCEPT my body, if I consider my whole body as a loveable friend:
The phrase “love yourself” gets a different meaning for me and it adds much more value to my day-to-day life as it means, that I have to actually love my whole body. It sounds logical, but somehow I never considered my body as a part of this “self”. So from loving my body, I discover love for my weirdness, love for my odds and weaknesses…. If I don’t love myself, who else will do?
To be continued…
Here comes the ugly truth about my first week of the Micro Habit Challenge 1.0: Not many things had changed. This is not a surprise applying the rule of the ”three r’s” – repetition, repetition, repetition.
Well, I don’t consider the first week as a failure, but definitely not as a huge success. It just motivates me to keep going, to work on my personal goals with slightly more discipline.
In the first part I’m presenting you my diary as promised. The second part concludes my learnings and insights.
My Habit Diary
Day 1 – Throwback
Well, on day one I had this valuable insight about changing my habits in manageable steps. I felt so much wisdom growing inside of me. This was probably one of the most succesful days I had in a long time.
Day 2 – 12:02 pm – Fragile Relaxation
This is Micro Habit Challenge Day two – right after meditating:
Okay, to be honest – my meditation practice didn’t worked quite well so far – I couldn’t really find a comfortable position, but at least I found motivation to “just sit” and listen to my body: I can feel that the right side of my body is totally stiff and strained and uptight. It starts at my head: It feels like my right ear is somehow plugged and I feel a pressure in the whole right side of my head. This feeling of tight pressure goes through my jar into my neck, where it puts screws on to the area of my shoulder. My right shoulder nearly burns, when I’m starting to relax. It feels like I never let the pain be felt, which is kind of ironic because I’m dealing with pain so often. Well, from there this uptight feeling goes deeper to my upper back, where I feel especially one vertebra blocking my whole spine from pain-free moving. From there the dark stress wanders down next to my spine towards the area of the kidneys. From there it transforms into diffuse feeling of uneasyness in the area of my hips, but than it manifests again in the sacroiliac joint. From there it slides down unremarkably down to my calfes and down to my foot, where it stiffs my ankle a little bit.
All this tension already became obvious during my first rounds of meditation, when I reached fragile states of relaxation.
Day 3 – 10:04 pm Hungover Excuses
Alright, today was a bad day. Well, I didn’t meditate yet, due to a massive hangover from Oktoberfest yesterday, but I will do a meditation session before I go to bed. My plan for the next days is to do it in the morning in order to start relaxed into the day. Anyhow – even if it was not the most successful day, I feel motivated to make another meditation before I fall asleep. Anyway I had some insights today: I kind of felt an acceptance for my body. I understood that I have to take care of my body in order to balance my mind.
“A healthy mind lives in a healthy body”
This is what I learned from my hangover today – I really need to recover regularly – not only, when my body is completely exhausted.. The last months or better say years – I have always lived to the fullest, pushed my personal boundaries to the limit until I really needed recovery as I was so exhausted from living. – This has to end. I need to find a little relaxation everyday.
Day 4 – 21:31 pm Energy Household
As I found out yesterday householding with my energy is something I have to learn. Today I meditated two times already. And I tried to integrate more deep breathing into my day. And I just “let go” and decided to enjoy the sun one hour longer than usual. What happened? Today I felt a bigger boost of energy than ever before (at least more than within the last weeks). Well, this showed me how much a little change already can help to improve my day.
Update: 00:13 am
Well, it is already late now, but I decided to insert a short qi-gong session before I go to sleep. I did the same two days ago. And tonight I understood, that I really have to calm down before I go to sleep – no matter what time it is. Just before the qi-gong I felt still agitated by the day – in a positive way, but also I felt this stiffness in my back, that I always feel, because my body is strained most of the time. After the qi-gong I feel an inner quietness and relaxation, which makes me just want to go to sleep with my hot water bottle. FINALLY, I’m learning what it takes to relax my thoughts – FINALLY I feel, that I can learn the strategies – EVEN ME, I thought I need to run a marathon, walk for ten days, travel for 15 months – fuck no, I just need to practice qi-gong and meditation and that will do the job. (It won’t stop me from the desire to reach physical and mental limits. But I already feel, that it will improve every single day of my life from now on…)
Day 5 The Heartfire keeps burning
Somehow, the last two days have been strange days. I can’t really express why. On the one hand I was more relaxed than in a very long time, but on the other hand I felt a little bit over-motivated, strained, “heartfired”… I think finally I understand the difference between fatigue and tirednes. When you are tired you should go to bed, against fatigue you need to relax and settle your chi. 😀
To be honest – I can’t quite write today, I feel very uninspired and exhausted – even if I didn’t have a tough day. It just reminds me that I have to keep going.
Good night, now I’m just tired.
Day 7 Resolutions
Well, I have to skip day 6, because I didn’t write into my journal yesterday. I had to work in the morning (luckily after a good nights sleep.) and than I went to a barbecue/housewarming party out of town. I meditated in bed in the morning, which felt like a slight cheat..
The Payoff of Week One
Well, I did my “excercises” everyday, but the way I did it was not perfect. Successfully I abandoned my smartphone from my morning routine and before I went to bed I turned it on flight mode as early as possible. (When I came home late sometimes I missed the 30-minutes rule, but in general it worked quite well.) And did I feel any differences? Too be really really honest with you: Today I’m not sure if anything had changed.
What did I do?
- On 2/7 days I felt more relaxed than normal (okay, it was a special week due to Octoberfest)
- I practiced the 8 brocades video 4 times this week
- I listened to much more music again
- I felt fatigue and physical exertion
- I started dancing and working out, when I felt very stressed
What did I learn?
- Qi-Gong is good for me and really regulates my energy and helps me to find ease
- Dancing improves my mood 100%
- Listening to my body can be quite helpful (Ok, this is understated: It is fucking important!)
- It’s a loooong way
What do I want to change next week?
- I’m going to intensify my meditation practice by determining a fixed time (or time of the day) and by sitting in one spot in order to train my mind more specifically
- I’m going to integrate another small change – exercising daily in order to reduce my stess level much more
- Keep doing what I do with the smartphone, might add more timed smartphone breaks as I have to work a lot next week
- Not getting drunk
I will keep up the fight – throwing the towel is not my style anyways.
“It doesn’t matter, how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop”