Don’t let your rebellion become your resistance.
Have a little more patience than yesterday.
Burn your agenda.
Drop your weapons.
Keep sharpening the knife.
Don’t force your power.
The fire of creation is what purifies your soul.
Real bravery is being in the eye of the storm.
Fight the fight, but fight it with dignity.
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’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.
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.
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.
Sensory input is beyond perception. I’m not observing, I (sur)render.
Out of body, out of mind I’m hovering.
Above the ground or elsewhere my energy field absorbs.
All matter blows up like a balloon.
A new force draws magnetically.
I’m submerging through the grid of masks.
My consciousness expands impulsively.
The boost disassociates me from the rest of the world.
My internal materializes within another dimension.
Involuntarily I convert into a canvas of reality.
I am lived.
I become life and everything that is and ever will be.
Is this embodiment of the light or incorporation of the shadow?
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.
“Life is difficult.” This is the first sentence of M. Scott Peck’s book “The road less travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth” – for me one of the most comprehensive (and comprehensible) classics on the ‘spiritual book shelf’. I really don’t know how to rephrase this sentence. Life is filled with loneliness, misunderstandings, expectations, fear, failure and despair. This is reality. But somehow ‘society’ / us / our ‘cultural storytellers’ want to tell us something else.
We Whitewash Our Pain
Happiness became a business. Society wants to see us smile. As a result we expect to be happy all the time. And if we are not happy? We are trying to find a remedy – instantly. And how are we supposedly ‘curing’ ourselves from stress and dis-ease? How do we ‘get over’ fatigue, grief and misery? We go to retreats. We consume goods and substances. We fill our bodies but we don’t nourish our souls. We survive but we don’t sustain.
Instead of learning to integrate our unpleasant feelings we build barriers that disconnect us from our pain. Where we are meant to find connection we are closing ourselves off. Instead of facing the lessons of life we are finding comfort in distraction.
Inner emptiness, a loss of the ability of self-care, addiction and diseases are caused by this lack of connection.
Acknowledge The Pain (And Embrace The Fear)
If we want to connect with ourselves we need to connect with our pain. Or with the words of John Green (“The fault in our stars”): “Pain demands to be felt”. We don’t have to travel into former lives or visit the anacondas in the rainforest of the Amazonas to get a glimpse of what is going on with our pain.
If we want to connect with ourselves we need to connect with our pain.
So, how can we deal with suffering in our life? How can we ‘humanize’ the pain demon? How do we embrace the fear?
The first step is to look into the mirror with all honesty. Firstly we have to admit that something is wrong.
Initially we don’t know much about our pain. All we feel is emptiness / a lack of purpose or motivation. Some sort of unwillingness or this huge hole we fall into every Sunday. Or a real physical pain. It can be an infection, a backache or an autoimmune disease. It can be anxiety, depression or paranoia. It can be an unbearable feeling in our chest that makes us unable to feel joy or to make a decision. It can be an enduring conflict with a family member or our partner. It can be any feeling of unease that reappears in certain situations or lasts for a period long enough to restrain our life.
Instead of running away from it – instead of distracting ourselves with scrolling through instagram or escaping into a phone call with our friends, going to a party, taking drugs, rushing to work, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the pain.
Questions Are Our Tools
What do you feel?
A subtle fear of pain leaves us in a state of faint. How do we get out of this state of powerlessness?
Through the years I was looking into my pain a little deeper. I asked myself questions: “Where is the pain coming from?” “Why do I envy others?” “Why am I aggressive sometimes?” “Why do I have issues with my health?” “Why do I complain so much?” “Why do I feel empty / a lack of motivation / a lack of trust?”
I had no immediate answers to these questions, but all of a sudden I spotlighted some corners of my psyche that had never seen the light before.
At the beginning this was overwhelming. All these fears behind this pain seemed to be threatening. I preferred to keep a safe distance. But as the feeling of pain kept recurring I dared to step closer and say “hi”.
Our Fears Are Like Watchdogs
All of a sudden these big fears looked less life-threatening. As soon as I came closer the demons turned into cute dogs. I understood: Our fears are like watchdogs. They look scary from the distance, but in reality they are our friends. Incredibly grateful they are waving their tale when we finally pay attention to them.
I understood that these feelings wanted to tell me something. More than that – they wanted to show me a direction. What I didn’t know at the beginning was that these watchdogs are my guides, my mentors. They show me the changes to make and the way to go.
All the time I was so occupied with ‘avoiding the pain’ that I preferred to give away my control. Fears dominated my thoughts. What I had to do instead was taking the time to get attuned with my fears. I needed to learn the language of these watchdogs in order to gain a relationship with them.
By integrating these fears into my life I’ve started to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. I learnt to take care of these dogs. After a while we were able to comfort each other and to withstand the hardships of life – together.
Feeling the pain opens up the opportunity to get in touch with our unconsciousness. We get to know our deep rooted fears. And through these fears we learn about our real desires.
What’s there? The fear of being alone. The fear of failure. The fear of decision making. The fear of making the wrong decision. The fear of choosing the wrong path in life. The fear of getting married to the wrong partner. The fear of getting hurt. The fear of hurting somebody. The fear of giving birth. The fear of missing out. The fear of not fitting in. The fear of not having friends. The fear of commitment. The fear of taking full responsibility for every action, every decision. The fear of the fear. The fear of life?
What Do You Like About Your Suffering?
When we catch a greater look at our pain we identify the fears behind it. But before we are able to walk our watchdogs we need to accept discomfort as part of the process. At the beginning we are distrustful, because we don’t speak the same language. We might only wave at our fears from the distance and duck back down. We might cling to our suffering instead of facing the fear.
Suffering has always a reason. It is something that can keep us alive, something that can accommodate us in a weird way. We get used to it. What do you like about your suffering? If you are not willing to end it, you are might be not suffering ‘enough’?
Pain is necessary in order to find new solutions. If you are not happy with a situation and you suffer so much that you can’t handle the situation anymore you need to change something. Pain is a medium of transformation – if you are willing to break the barriers.
If you accept the challenge, if you deal with it you might emerge strong-minded and more self-aware from a negative experience.
It’s not about overcoming your fear. It’s about feeling it and transforming it into positive action.
Nobody Said It Was Easy
“Those things that hurt, instruct.”Benjamin Franklin
A therapist, your friends, books or even conversations with random strangers can light you the way. But you have to walk it yourself. The secret is to have patience and persistence. Of course you need to be strong and nobody said it is easy. Nope, life is difficult.
We can read many books. We can pray, trust and believe. But we must walk. We must greet our challenges, we must get to know our demons personally and grow together.
There is no shortcut to enlightenment. There are all these crossroads. We have to choose one. Even if we get lost at times – deep inside we know the way.
Okay, another week of this micro habit challenge had passed. I have to admit that two weeks are a bit short to really understand what is going on. But something is going on – and it is something big.
I figured out that I’m mainly judging myself – and not other people. What gnaws away my energy or leads to confusion are the voices in my head that are telling me what to do, what to want and how to act. Yeah, it is probably not even one voice, but many. (And yeah, I’m seeing a therapist;)
Instead of asking myself what I really want from a situation or – and that is very painful to admit – from my own life I’m already assuming things that I should want. Or after a situation I judge about myself and tell myself how I should have behaved or reacted.
Hm, okay, here we come to the difficult question: Who is the judge in my head and how can I make him shut up? (Thanks, Alan Watts;)
Well, first I thought this is a very tough question. I could study this question from all perspectives – from a psychological, a spiritual, a neuro-scientific point of view. But in reality it is that simple: I just tell this speaker to shut up. I have to jam the judge.
And this is what I’m doing right now. As soon as a thought arises I tell my brain to shut up. This sounds a bit weird – to me too. I’m trying to understand with this blog and on this whole life journey where the pain is coming from and then I’m telling the voice inside of my head to shut up instead of listen to it? It is a bit of a contradiction.
But only on the first sight. Since I’m able to think it seems I’ve been thinking quite a lot. I gave my mind the permission to define my status quo and my mind doesn’t do a good job. It was a long process to come to the conclusion that my thoughts are might be not very helpful when it comes to live and prosper.
My thoughts are telling me so much bullshit that it is more work to separate the wheat from the chaff than turning them off completely and switch into ‘doer-mode’.
I reached a point where I’m going this far: Every thought is a judgement.
I was listening to Krishnamurti the other day. It was one of those casual super chill sundays when the way between bed and couch is the largest range of motion of the day (Well, I have these days potentially at every weekday.).
Krishnamurti asked: “When was the last time you looked at a mountain without calling it a mountain?” – Honestly I didn’t know this challenge is going to get this deep. By putting something in words we are already judging.
We project our definition of reality on the outside world. This definition is based on which language we speak, which senses are accessible to ‘make sense’ of reality and if we ‘feel’ comfortable, angry or sad. We are MAKING sense of the world by judging.
Our thoughts are created by the words we have learnt. These words define how we see the world. But is this the world or is it just a paper cut of the world?
Imagine you are a lizard. What would the world look like for you? You might live on a clearing of a forest. The furthest you see is to the edge of the woods. Would you say a lizard is not fully alive? Would you say a lizard needs more to be alive? No. The life is right there. The lizard is alive. The life is within the lizard. And so it is in us.
There is definitely no truth behind our words if we are telling ourselves that we need to do more, be more, be better, be stronger…. At the maximum there is interpretation of what could be useful for us (Whatever that means.).
And what does this have to do with judging? Everything. Judging is interpreting our behaviour or the behaviour of others and valuing it according to ‘our’ worldview.
When we judge we are clamping reality into the vice our own worldview. We trap ourselves if we are only listening to our mind.
Of course – on many levels the ability to judge helps us to live. We are able to cross a street without being hit by a car. We are able to buy food that keeps us alive. We are able to drink water when we are thirsty, because we are able to connect the dots.
We interpret the signals of our body subconsciously in order to satisfy our physical needs. But which needs do we fulfill if we interpret every signal that our mind flungs out? The need to impress? The need to prove something? How many times are these needs really our needs? And are these needs crucial for our survival?
I can answer this only for myself with a clear ‘no’. The only secret is to let life be as it is – imperfect, full of struggle, but at the core pretty basic: live, love, sleep, eat.
Okay, now I got a bit far off. Back to the challenge: I figured out that this type of examination on a “conscious level” helps me to cement all these ideas in my mind. My subconsciousness does the rest. It conveys the idea of “not knowing” to the core of my being.
This life is not about following an ideology, but about observing my own point of view. The problem is that we are getting lost in concepts instead of thinking for our own self. We are trying to fit ourselves into the right box. And this is how we are getting lost in confusion. Because all these boxes don’t fit properly, because they are only cheap replicas of reality.
If we look at things, including ourselves, like we look at it for the very first time of our life these things get a complete new dynamic. So the key would be to recognize every second, every moment of our lives as a unique moment that passes. And in this moment we need to do what feels good for us.
We only struggle if we interpret all the time, if we take things personal all the time, if we want more or if we put everything that we see in relation with our own life.
It absolutely doesn’t matter what other people do or think and when I say other people I mean ALL people, the whole society, the rest of the world…. Even what you tell yourself doesn’t matter. Without judgement there is no struggle.
Nevertheless: This whole judgement thing is so freakin’ hard. Just now I am facing the toughest challenges ever. This cage in my head is not created by me. I’m conditioned. I can change it to a certain extend, but I can’t escape from it completely.
But what I can do is ignoring it or – even better – using it for higher purposes. But for this I have to dig deeper.
The question is: Am I really prepared to look deep down into the nature of my own psyche? Am I willing to keep walking into the dark corners of myself? Am I willing to keep changing?