In order to move beyond the manifestation you got to embrace it. Dive into the complexity of surrender by being it. Flow with grace into consciousness. Don’t try to manipulate by closing yourself off from the force of life.
Befriend Your Mistakes Reloaded
There is a subtle realization triggering my mind. It is around accepting mistakes.
What happens if you catch yourself making or having made a mistake? Are you committed to camouflage it? Do you stick to an old story of ‘being a failure’? Or are you willing to learn? Are you open to receive the lesson that is being placed in your way?
This is so sensitive, so subtle.
There is a thing about admitting mistakes… They can drag you down. Or they can lift you up.
The thing about that, and that is a hypothesis, is: Our reactions to perceived failure are conditioned.
What’s the cure for that? It just dawns on me now. It is my own recipe for (self-)reinvention that I discovered during a deep personal crisis: Do it differently! Go the other way – wherever that is…
Well, to be accurate here: The first step is to become aware of the automatic pattern. To shine the light on the reaction to ‘mistaking’.
What’s the first thought when you understand that you made a mistake? Do you feel ashamed? Do you blame yourself? Is there even shock? Paralysis? There might be a trauma present.
Or are you owning it? Are you ready to move on and learn from it? If so, great, go on.
If you are struck by self-doubt and resentment. I got you covered:
In this case a question to ask could be: “When in my life did I first feel that ashamed/afraid/worried?” “What made me feel that way and is that thing present in my life right now?”
Another question could be: ”In which way does it serve me to feel or think that way? Does it serve me at all to feel or think that way?”
If you reach a point where you are able to ask these or similar questions: Congratulations! In my experience awareness is the first step to change. It is already “the change”. Actions will follow.
A full-on awareness of a “self-alienating” pattern will leave traces in your way of thinking. It will leave a strange taste. The knowing that “there must be a better way” – a way that is more aligned with who you are – sneaks into consciousness.
And this is the starting point of a new you (and me).
It is uncomfortable.
Resentment comes up. Sadness about the harshness of your inner judge. Grief about the energy that you have wasted. And that is totally fine. More than that: It is part of the process of befriending your mistakes and transforming your life.
The Role of Mindfulness in The Process of Self-Discovery or ‘Be The Change’, But be Patient
2021 is in full swing – and so am I. At least that’s the theory.
Practically I’ve been crafting THE perfect New Year’s post for the past two weeks – and of course I stressed myself out about it.
As I indicated in ‘outdated’, I want to start afresh this year – with my creative processes and also in my professional life. The year has just begun and I had already been pressuring myself towards ‘a new me’. Guess what? I cracked solemnly with this approach – and disclosed a deep truth: Change is hard.
Transformation is a long and tiring process. It requires determination. It includes the celebration of small wins and the acceptance of continuous losses.
This is what change is: It is the destruction of the old and the creation of the new – all at once. And: It is not a straight line. Inherently ‘change’ is messy.
“Being the change” – This is nothing simple to strive for. It denotes the turning of the tides and the solidity of a rock at the same time.
The other day, on one of my numerous walks during lockdown, I saw a sticker at a gutter that shouted the catchphrase: “Be the change.”
‘I am the change!,’ something inside of me shouted back.
I exhaled and felt a sense of ease when I understood: ‘I am a prototype. I evolve in iterations.’
These days we all are ‘the change’. And this big change doesn’t happen overnight. It is uncomfortable and debilitating at times and it doesn’t smell like incense sticks and essential oils.
These days I remember what this blog is about. This blog is the result of a lot of frustration and the realisation that there is no change possible in this world, if I don’t start changing myself.
“The first step is to become aware of the fog that is in your mind. You must become aware that you are dreaming all the time. Only with awareness do you have the possibility of transforming your dream.”
As Miguel Ruiz induces in ‘The Four Agreements’: I became aware that I am not aware, when I started this blog experiment in 2017.
It dawned me that I’m the creator of everything in my life – all the achievements as well as all the turmoil.
Only gradually I comprehend the depth of the deconditioning process I got myself into:
Most of our life is determined by the subconscious. And most of the time we are unconscious about what our subconscious is doing. That’s why it’s called the subconscious. I’m referring to psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung here, who determined the state of the art when it comes to shadow work. He claims: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
So, how do we not let the subconscious rule our life? Or let’s say: How do we become conscious of the unconscious?
Yes, we practice mindfulness. (Yay, I got there in the end…)
Even though mindfulness experienced a devaluation due to its inflationary use. In my personal journey of self-discovery it continually increases its significance…
So: “What’s the role of mindfulness in the process of self-discovery?”
I would say mindfulness is the protagonist of this whole play. (In the end it’s a game. Call it karma if you like.)
So, what will happen to your life, if you become more mindful?
1. You Will Arrive Where You Are
Okay, where to begin? Just to make sure we have a common ground to start from: How do I define mindfulness here?
When you research the science of mindfulness, the first thing you are going to come across is the practice of mindfulness meditation or zen meditation.
From a buddhist point of view mindfulness is the essence of meditation: By watching your thoughts pass you will create a gap between you and your thinking. You will eventually learn to differentiate the thought from the thinker. With time you will start to perceive reality in a different, less personal way. Zen master and buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh describes meditation as ‘a serene encounter with reality’.
A german translation for the word mindfulness is ‘Geistesgegenwärtigkeit’. ‘Geist’ is the spirit or the mind. ‘Gegenwärtigkeit’ is the presence. ‘Presence of mind’. What is the presence of mind, if we look at it plainly? It is being aware of what our mind is doing…
There was a time in my life when I couldn’t peel potatoes or wash the dishes without getting an anxiety attack. I was not able to focus on the present moment, because I was so tangled up in my to-do-list. I was so focussed on my achievements that regular household-chores seemed to be a waste of time to me.
There was a huge discrepancy between what I was doing in the physical world and what was going on in my head.
Life became very dissatisfying this way, because I missed it.
Through mindfulness I started to return to the presence. Already meditating for a view minutes a day changed my perception of the world around me drastically.
Especially through long-term-travelling I learnt to look closely at things. By looking closely at my environment, I learnt to look closer at my thoughts, too.
I became mindful. I stopped rushing and I started to enjoy the small things again.
2. You Get To View Yourself From a Different Perspective
‘To be mindful’ means so much more than ‘arriving in the presence’. According to etymonline it can be translated as ‘remembrance’. I like that translation.
When you become mindful, you start to remember – not only how much pleasure it is to walk slow or to prepare fresh food, but over time you will remember who you are deep down inside…
“Know thyself,” is the only way to go in the process of ‘awakening’.
How do you want to ‘know thyself’, if you never take the time to actually look at who you are?
Mindfulness is your tool in becoming aware of yourself: What are you telling yourself each day? What do you truely enjoy doing? How do you treat yourself? What do you put in your body? Do you use a lot of I ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’?
From my current perspective on ‘awakening’ it is a constant process of surfacing – layer after layer after layer. There is so much to look at:
There is your behaviour.
There is your way of thinking.
There is your environment.
There are the activities you invest your time in, the people you spend time with, what you eat, how you are treating your body and so on and so on…
It sounds simple, but it’s a big step to look at all aspects of yourself.
3. You Will Identify Triggers And Find A Way To Transform Them
For me it is still a painful and tenacious process to admit that I am the one who creates everything in my life – every success as well as all the chaos. And I don’t mean this in a sense of ‘prompting an order to the universe’.
I create by acting – in one way or another. If I don’t take the time to look at my actions and the roots of my actions I won’t live my own life, but the life controlled by a mind that is hacked by it’s conditioning – determined by reaction rather than intentional deed.
Luckily life offers potential for growth around every corner: Triggers are the signposts towards the land of self-discovery!
These days I get triggered a lot! And every trigger shows me an arena of my life, where I’m not willing or not able to take responsibility for my own life at the moment.
4. You Will Reveal Your True Motives
A quote of buddhist nun Pema Chördrön demonstrates the role of mindfulness in the process of self-discovery: “The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.”
What do you want? And what do you think you want? How do you spend your time?
The more your start looking at yourself, the more you will ask yourself why you behave a certain way. And this is where the magic of mindfulness starts to unfold.
What drives you, really? What are your true values? Which values do you share with your friends and your family?
We are conditioned to believe in what we see. “To have faith is to believe unconditionally,” writes Don Miguel Ruiz in “The Four Agreements”.
What we see in our own reality is not what we are or what we are capable of. It is a story that either we have created ourselves or that has been told in order to make life a comprehensible experience. The human mind loves context.
It’s good to have context, but expansion can only happen if we create ‘space’ for ourselves. Imagine for a moment you would pursue exactly what you want to achieve in your life. You think you would fail? Have you tried it? I wrote an article on this two years ago…
The more mindful you become the more you will realize that the image you have created of yourself is just – yes – an image. You can easily rewrite it, reframe it, recolour it. But first you have to identify which story you are telling yourself.
The more aware you become of your true feelings and your needs the more aware you will automatically become of which beliefs are holding you back.
Slowly you will uncover your motives, recover your faith and ‘reinvent’ your own conditioning. But remember, it happens in iterations. And iterations are NEVER a straight line.
5. You Will Eventually Start Acting
For a long time I wanted to learn another language apart from english. But something inside of me always blocked me from pursuing it. Until I realized that I just have to do it – despite the belief inside of me that I don’t have the capacity to do it.
The reality was that I didn’t even get started, because by default I thought I would fail. By practicing mindfulness I identified my false belief system. I found out that a lack of self-confidence underlies nearly every shortcoming that I perceive. My lack of self-discipline was caused by this lack of self-esteem.
So, how did I eventually start learning Italian? I established a tiny language learning routine. And with the first results my old beliefs started to fade. There was no foundation anymore for my old beliefs, because over time I undoubtedly made progress. When I ordered my first breakfast in Florence in Italian followed by a loose conversation with the waiter I couldn’t deny it anymore: I am able to learn another language! This experience of self-efficacy opened my eyes.
And this is how I’m wishing to approach all challenges throughout 2021 and beyond.
6. You Will Start To Love Yourself More
What I understood throughout the practice of mindfulness is that I have needs that want to be met. The more I understand this, the more I’m starting to value myself and the more I understand what this self-love is everybody talks about (including myself).
More and more I understand that I’m not crazy, but human. ‘A human in denial’ could be a title for my book. (I don’t know where that came up from, but I won’t erase it from this post. Who knows – maybe it’s valuable information.)
It’s a Process
Okay, I realized that this article doesn’t really find an end.
There are SO many aspects to address around mindfulness. What I wanted to get across is that self-development is called self-development for a reason.
There is something to develop. It is already there, but we can’t see it. Like a film reel. We need to soak in various liquids and hang from the ceiling to dry in order to get a full image of who we really are. But be careful not to overexpose. Haha, that’s what I like doing. It results in tears and lengthy blog posts like this one.
As I mentioned at the very beginning: change is hard. This whole awakening process is not a straight line. It’s easier said than done to transform negative thinking patterns. But it is not impossible. I have the suspicion that we reached a point collectively where change is not to be suspended.
To throw in another Thich Nhat Hanh: “If we want to become mindful rather than just knowing about mindfulness, we need to establish our own regular practice.”
It is easy to do things the same way over and over again. It is easy to cling to assumptions about the world and about ourselves, because they allow us to stick to our belief patterns. They are convenient, because they don’t require will-power.
It is an effort to change our belief system, yes. But it is doable with awareness, patience and compassion.
“nobody can save you but
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
to make you submit, quit and/or die quietly
nobody can save you but
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
do you want to experience
death before death?
nobody can save you but
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.
think about it.Charles Bukowski
think about saving your self.”
These days I feel ‘outdated’.
I don’t know exactly what I mean by that, but who the hell am I to know what I’m writing about?
I feel like I need an update.
Nope, actually I feel like I need a new harddrive; a super fast ssd with rapid mode if this is a thing…
The past couple of days I was punishing myself for not being productive – nothing new.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so busy preserving my sanity that I barely get things done at the moment.
Before/during christmas I wanted to post at least two more posts. I wanted to start using the writing software scrivener, I wanted to make up my mind about the direction I’m heading professionally next year…
It is a lot right now.
I feel like I’m standing at the intersection of a busy road.
Did I say intersection?
I feel like I’ve just gotten out of a deep forest after a long-distance hike and now I’m trying to cross a busy six-lane-highway….
Nope, I DON’T have all my ducks in a row right now. And my ducks are freaking out!
There is a ton of unpublished material.
There are myriads of unprocessed ideas, half-finished articles and creative projects.
There are endless tasks on my numerous to-do-lists and endless things I want to get better at….
There is something else beyond all this confusion…
There is this huge potential hidden in every challenge that I’m facing. There is this profound growth concealed in every solution that I find.
There is this deep knowledge inside of me.
I just know that it’s there – even if it’s not accessible to me…
Do I might also need a new graphics card?
There is this heartening trust in spite of all the uncertainty.
Mayyybee, only maybe the challenges of this year pay off?
“You are the only one keeping me sane,” a friend of mine – who admittedly is slightly mad (in the most positive sense) – pointed out to me.
I feel like I’m going insane.
What did he mean?
Well, I have doubts and I have fears.
Throughout this year I learnt that I better be transparent with myself about my fears, my doubts and my pain.
Why? Because otherwise I get nasty. I’m starting to destroy things, because I’m blaming them for making my life not working.
But in the end it’s just a small adjustment that my soul is calling upon? Maybe I just need to refurbish my toolbox?
I better check for software updates before the end of the year…
All these lessons want to be integrated.
Maybe sometimes a reboot is the only option?
How to Thrive in Times of Crisis?
I believe in miracles.
This year the universe conspired to an extent that I can’t simply call luck.
These days I’m blown away by the twists and turns that have occurred on my path.
My devotion to my personal journey is greater than ever.
My desire ‘to create’ is thrilling with a swooshing sound. There is this irrevocable force within myself that wants to express.
I don’t have the capacity anymore to carry out these patterns of self-doubt and hesitation.
I can see clearly now where my ‘shadow work’ of the past seven years had led me. (Nope, when I visited my first therapy session with a psychologist in 2013 I was not familiar with the term ‘shadow work’. But at this point I also didn’t know that I would actually find the answers in the corners where I want to search the least.)
Today I can see clearly in which areas I’m in need of support. I can see clearly in which areas of my life I have grown. I can see clearly where others could use my support.
It’s a process.
I can see clearly now that I have purpose.
This year was by far the most challenging year of my entire life. My mom got diagnosed with cancer. A relationship (I thought I was in) fell apart. This pandemic forced me to return home and explore my roots – radically.
I’m still searching for the words to describe what this journey looked like. As I’m aiming to finish this article (and eventually share some useful content) I won’t dive deep into it at this point.
I might have lost track for a while, but I have never lost hope. That’s what got me where I am now. Where am I? In a position that gives me the confidence to publish this here. And this already makes me proud of myself – for the very first time in a long time.
So. It is a pretty tough time for most of us. I’m speaking about ‘crisis’ from a existential point of view, but maybe you find some take-aways.
This is supposed to be a threesome;), but bullet point four is so important – I couldn’t leave it out.
1. Stick to Routines
…and if you can’t: Don’t be hard on yourself! Allow yourself some rest. Take a nap if you can or go for a little walk and just allow yourself a couple of minutes to breathe…
Take a step back and see, if there is anything else you can improve? And then find a different routine that might suit you better in your current situation. What do I mean by that? For example if you are suffering from a trauma it is very likely that you suffer from a temporary biochemical imbalance within your body. There is no point in trying to develop a rigorous productivity habit, while your body is in fight-flight-freeze mode.
The best thing you can do is attempting a routine that supports your physical body for example drinking enough water or meditating for five minutes in the morning or doing some stretching. Even the smallest goal will support you on your healing journey. How? Because you set an intention. And by setting an intention you are signaling to your subconscious that it is time for change.
2. Be Honest With Yourself
“You can’t change anything in a state of denial!” I don’t remember where I’ve heard this statement. Probably it was by Jeremy Goldberg from longdistancelovebombs. This is spot on and so my experience. The whole scope of ‘seeing things clear’ dawns me more and more every single day.
Acknowledge the crisis for what it is. No matter what you go through – is it a serious disease or a divorce. Be clear about the situation you are in and the challenges your are facing – even if you have to start your life from scratch. Sometimes you are being forces into change. Every new beginning also inherits a lot of opportunity to start things anew.
NO MATTER what you are suffering from – by being transparent with yourself about the blockages you are facing you are moving closer towards your healing. No matter how painful this process might be. If you leave out the ‘nitty-gritty’, you will never proceed in your personal development! The good news is: The moment you start seeing things clear, is the moment when your life takes momentum again… Which leads me to my next point:
3. Think Positive
Even in the darkest hour of your life you can choose. You can choose empowering thoughts. Or you can choose disempowering thoughts. Hal Elrod demonstrates strikingly where positive thinking can lead you. He suffered from more than one major strokes of fate and always recovered with sheer willpower.
These days it is sometimes hard to distinguish which thoughts belong to you and which to somebody else. In these times it is even more crucial to direct your thinking towards thoughts that serve you and that don’t drain your energy.
It is a bit tricky: On the one hand you are called to name your fears but on the other hand it is crucial to focus on ‘productive’ thoughts. When you find yourself in a crisis where you are not able to change anything in the external, there is one thing that you can change for sure: Your way of thinking.
4. Ask for Help
Big one – this is massive. I’m exploding of gratitude, because I am able to share this one with confidence now. ‘Asking for help’ was probably one of my major challenges this year.
“You will need help!” – Last year in November I met a shaman at the esoteric fair in Munich. He predicted the upcoming challenges on my path. “Me? Help? But I’m doing it all by myself! How can I receive help?,” my Aries-me responded panically with the outlook of asking for help.
The moment was there. One ‘tower-moment’ after another ripped my illusions about life apart. I had to re-gather myself. I couldn’t have done it by myself.
I asked for help. Who? Coaches, friends, family members, random strangers, doctors…. It changed everything – seriously.
Only now writing this down, I realize that this is material for another article. I can’t emphasize it enough: ASK FOR FREAKIN’ HELP! You will be surprised what the universe does.
Recently I found out HOW FAR I had crossed my boundaries in the past years – basically since my adolescence.
I don’t remember the day when I forgot where I start and where I end.
“Who did traumatize you?,” some ex-colleague asked me a couple of years ago.
I didn’t know how to reply.
I didn’t remember consciously.
Now I can see it more and more clearly.
There is trauma stored inside of my body and my genes – conditioned through former generations and lifetimes.
The trauma manifests in my belief patterns and my tendency to end up in unhealthy (I don’t like the term toxic anymore – even though it is an accurate description) relationships.
I re-traumatized myself by not knowing my boundaries….
I knew that there is such thing as ‘boundaries’. What I didn’t understand ultimately was that I’m the one who has to set them.
What feels good for me? Do I feel esteemed by my partner or my friends? Do I enjoy doing what I’m doing? Do I enjoy where I am? These were questions that never occurred to me….
Either I was busy meeting my own demands or fulfilling the needs of others. But I never asked myself if I feel good? If the relationship or the friendship gives me what I need? I never allowed myself to have any demands.
Now I know that this is called codependency and now I know that there is a cure for this and the cure is called ‘radical healing’.
Finally I understood that not every human wants my very best.
How could I be so naive?
Well, luckily I learnt to laugh about myself. A good portion of humor helps me to accept my former blindness and keeps me from becoming bitter.
Luckily the universe presented me with the necessary lessons – as usual.
Finally the pain forced me into self-love.
I reached a point where I HAVE to set boundaries – if I want to survive.
A crisis is the most radical learning experience you can ever have.
For a long time I was talking about pain and fear on this blog, but I have to admit that I never fully allowed my pain.
There was always this last resistance.
There was always this fear of the fear. The fear of feeling the pain completely. I thought I must be strong. I am not allowed to remain in pain…. But some pain is persistent… It might takes months. Or even years?
What did I think?
Probably I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I thought I would break.
What I learnt now through emotional pain that manifested physically in my body is that the toxic thing is not the pain itself but the resistance…
The more I’m holding on to my feelings, the more I’m resisting to feel anger, grief or sadness fully the more painful it gets…
This is how anxiety attacks are able to drain my energy system.
This is how I become ‘unaware’.
This is how I get lost in ‘shortcuts’ (addictions).
What’s the cure?
The cure is radical honesty. It is that simple. Being able to be honest about my real feelings. I wish I would have known this when I was 16 years old.
The feelings won’t harm me. They will pass – no matter how long it takes. I have to allow them. What will harm me in the end is the disconnection from myself that is created by resisting negative feelings…
The good news is that there is a way back.
And the way back exists right in this moment.
To be more precise – the present moment IS the way back.
By allowing what is in this moment I reconnect with myself.
Ram Dass says: “Don’t be afraid of appearances”
Finally I get what he is talking about.
This is what I call ‘radical awareness’.
Radical awareness is the ability to be aware of what is going on internally and externally – without judging it, or counteracting.
Only now I understand HOW important the practice of awareness truly is for personal development – the personal path.
Awareness is the path to the path.
The more I become aware the more clearly I can see. The clearer I can see everything the more clears my path.
All of a sudden I can see the signs again.
All of a sudden my whole body relaxes into place.
Only by becoming aware of what is.
This is the way towards radical healing.
This is something I blared into my notebook many times recently…
I didn’t understand how ‘intuition’ and ‘investigation’ are interlinked.
intuitio – ‘the immediate insight’
How do you act intuitively?
By being aware and by looking – constantly!
I have the impression we are mistaken intuition for a spontaneous reaction or something like that.
But in reality it can be covered up and what we think is our intuition is just an emotional reaction to an external trigger…
Intuition is a response in alignment with our needs.
Nowadays these needs are most likely covered up with… with what?
I’d say expectations, pressure, distractions, addictions,…..
So, sometimes we have to investigate in order to find what our intuition is trying to say to us again.
I got caught up in concepts.
I got caught up in my own expectations.
I got caught up in ‘adding up’ instead of ‘letting go’.
Until I nearly exploded (or imploded). This is pretty much the only way I can put it.
I got so tense.
I had to open my heart and my heart moved me towards forgiveness.
I forgive myself for my mistakes.
I forgive my parents.
I forgive the system.
I forgive my abusers.
I forgive men.
I forgive me.
My heart bursts open and all of a sudden there is space…
It was always there, but I always locked the doors. Ooohh, I barricaded them! And I didn’t even realize it. I asked myself why does nobody want to enter my heart?
I locked my heart so tightly and I threw away the key.
Until my heart got so big that it exploded the chains.
My heart itself ruptured my resistance.
And what there is is love, more compassion than ever before, more beauty, more light….
This is healing. This is becoming whole. I can feel myself again, because I felt myself fully in my deepest pain.
I was left alone and what I found was that I am my best company, my best friend. I am my everything, so why would I need to be the everything of somebody else?
Radical forgiveness is possible through radical awareness.
If I wouldn’t look at everything I wouldn’t see cleary.
How can I heal if I don’t look at my wounds? How can I heal if I abstract? If I get lost in the process… I had lost myself in strategies. These were coping mechanisms to prevent me from seeing the truth.
I’m not sure yet if I need to know the origin of all these wounds.
I feel like I’ve overcomplicated this path tremendously with my intellectual understanding.
All I had to do was to become aware of my wounds. Fully aware.
The more clear I can see the more clear become the milestones of the path….
Don’t challenge reality.
Look at what you see.
Don’t be scared of your wounds.
Look right into it.
See things clear.
If you lose focus, what do you think?
If your eyes are shut, what do you see?
If your senses are numbed, what do you feel?
If you keep on running, how do you ever reach home?
If you can’t feed yourself, how do you want to nourish others?
If you are walking on eggshells, how do you root yourself?
If you are crawling in darkness, how are you going to reach the light?
The illusion can’t sustain itself forever. These are the rules.
When you finally hit rock bottom, you get the chance to stand up for yourself.
Play It Lightly
You are the one who judges yourself. You are the one who overcomplicates your life. You are the one who is projecting. You are the one who pulls the trigger. You are the one who is using other people as an excuse. You are the one who is using force. You are the one who is building up the walls. You are the one who has expectations. You are the one who ducks down.
Do you remember?
“Get the fuck out of your head,” this has been my message from the universe – not only on this mornings’ walk, but all the past two months…
The ‘lockdown’ forced me into my head. My body forced me to get out of my head.
To be fair – for me it was not really a big difference as I chose to retreat or ‘cocoon’ for the past five months. (I have learnt this term recently from my beloved youtube mentor “The Heart Alchemist” Christina Lopes.) Finally I had an excuse to stay at home.
It’s been rough. My thoughts became so heavy that I literally had to start running. I was in ‘fight and flight’ mode nearly every single day of the past two months.
Panic attacks and emotional flashbacks – from more than one lifetime – shook my bones. I ran and I cried. There were days when my tank of tears was empty. There was nothing to cry anymore.
So, I started walking and drumming and singing instead….
After travelling India for two months I had spent two months at my parents house. My nomad life forced me ‘home’ – how ironic, isn’t it?! And this was probably the hardest journey of my life. I had to look at my old wounds. I had to look at it all. The wounds of my whole family…
Healing became essential. I was forced to train my thinking. I was forced to transform grief into gratitude, frustration into positivity, anger into love…
Now I know: I have to do it! I have to turn everything that doesn’t feel good into love.
I always thought this is a hard thing to do, but in reality I was only looking for excuses and for shortcuts. I didn’t understand that this is a skill that I already inherit.
My addictions had taught me a lot about ‘excuses’. It is the time now to become addicted to love.
Go and play your roles lightly again.
Go and be happy.
This is just an illusion.
Don’t ask for permission to love.
Don’t be somehow, but be who you are.
Understand that you are a physical body that consists of biochemical processes. Take care of this body. The vessel of your soul.
As simple as that.
“This is not about the destination. If it was, what would you do when you get there?,” thank you Sarah Beth Yoga for making this morning an even more remarkable one…
This morning rattled me. Yesterday I was in a state of paralysis. I thought now it must be the time to go to the psychiatric clinic. My past two months were that way, but now the momentum is coming back.
The shift becomes so obvious, I can’t be scared anymore.
The astonishing fact: I asked for it.
I asked for every single lesson. There is always something to learn. Always. I don’t know what my life would be without these lessons? What would my life be without change? Would it be a life?
I’m not talking about physical change here… I’m talking about the change of perspective, the change of habits, the change of thinking. Because this happens when you learn. You rewire your entire brain… This is why I always travelled. It was never about seeing places. It was about learning.
Why not go for a walk in the middle of the night instead of lying in bed sleepless? Why not using my energy appropriately? Why not singing it out instead of being angry? Why not running it off?
This world is a playground and I am here to play. Of course we have to work fucking hard. Me too. Everybody does. But that’s what it is all about.
This is an incredible opportunity to learn. This is seriously the only thing that keeps me going. The moment when I understood this changed my life forever: The moment when I understood how much I love learning, how it is my driving force.
I don’t remember if there was a moment, but I know that there was always this force in my life. This force that told me that there is ‘something else’ to life. Something ‘more’.
Up to now I didn’t even know what I was talking about.
Now I know that this is all about awareness. This is all about being able to sense, to appreciate what is happening around you. This is the oldest practice of all times. The practice of being present.
It’s All About Awareness
When I went for a walk this morning I asked for guidance. Where should I go?
I passed a field of barley and I saw a spider hanging in the grains, hidden in a tiny cobweb. The spider was holding on to the grains with her acrobatic legs.
“So, this is your home?,” I smiled at her.
All of sudden I realized that I am already there. I am able to see the small things. I feel a rush of love when I see the sun rising above the fields – with the fresh morning breeze in my ear… Even writing it down here brings tears into my eyes. This is how moved I am by the beauty of nature – time and time again.
But there are the times when I forget. There are the times when I’m eaten alive by my fears and my self-doubt. Indecision paralyzes me in these moments – desperately waiting for a sign that never comes when I expect it…
On these days I get so anxious that I don’t want to see people at all if I don’t have to. On these days I forget that I am in control of my life. I am in control of my happiness. Nobody will make me happy. Nobody will make a decision for me. Nobody will be happy for me…..
But some people are a little bit more happy, when I am happy. So, why not just walk around and be happy??!
How To Play A Role Lightly?
So, what does this have to do with playing roles? Everything! Because the roles are the masks that keep us trapped…
“How to play a role lightly?”
Ram Dass printed this question into my notes and into my head. I’ve been collecting notes on this question for quite a while now.
Only today when I watched this spider it came crashing down on me how everything is related so smoothly: My negative thinking patterns are my roles.
Or actually it felt like the opposite: It felt like all the roles were taken from me….
I had this sensation quite a lot in the past two years, but more and more I can weave it into words.
More and more I can look out for ‘patterns’ to drop. And this is a longterm process. It’s truly like peeling an onion.
I was blaming myself for my massive ups and downs, for my heavy emotional flashbacks. Slowly it dawns me that every breakdown is another layer… I’ve been peeling another layer – a very stolid layer.
I’m learning my tools and they are so simple.
This is what fills my heart with gratitude these days and it manifests my desire to get this knowledge out there to everybody who needs it. I want to make the knowledge accessible. (“Hm, maybe sharing more on social media would be a step, right?”:)
So, what is a role? A role is not only the role you play in society (mother, employee,..) or a role you play in your head (author, artist,…:), it can also be a trait or a feeling. What do I mean by that? For a long time I didn’t realize how much pressure I put on myself by assuming that I am ‘depressed’ or I am not normal or ‘I am an over-improver’. These anti-mantras became my personality traits.
“You become your thoughts. You become what you think about.”
It is worth it to consider this and rephrase this and let this knowledge settle in.
What do you identify yourself with? What is the first thing you are telling yourself in the morning? What definitions and standards are you holding on to? Are they yours? Are they helpful or not? Do you need them?
All of this defines me.
Now that I took the time to spend so so much time in my head the voices become clearer and clearer…
The judge became louder and louder – until I’ve started to scream back.
More than that: I’m laughing at her. I’m laughing out loud when the huge, dark, negative voices come and cloud my view.
Of course I’m not ‘fully there’. I guess I will never be fully there – and this is the beauty of it. It’s a never-ending process.
Because if I was ‘there’, what would I do, right?
What happens when we reach the destination? It is better to enjoy the journey – and travel lightly. That means playing everything lightly.
…and because a list might comes handy, I have worked up my notes about “How To Play A Role Lightly” a little for you as take-away:
- Do not consider your job as your passion. Just do it. Do it with pleasure if you will. Do everything with pleasure.
- Do what needs to be done. Do the best job you can, but don’t get lost in perfectionism. “Doing” is an outside experience, while being is an inside experience. What does that mean? You do things in the outside world, but inside you remain quiet. This is a crucial lesson yet to be learnt.
- Stop being driven by deadlines and results. Just ‘do’ and detach from the outcome. It takes the stress away. Otherwise you will get lost.
- Have rules, have boundaries, but don’t freak out when they are being crossed. It means nothing.
- You have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Take it easy.
Know that you are capable of transforming every negative event into a positive one. Rewrite your story easily.
When you realize that what you do doesn’t define you and what you say is without meaning, then you are truly free.
Enjoy Your Crisis
Enjoy your crisis.
Be proud of it.
This is what your soul called upon.
This is not the time to give up. It is the time to build up your strength.
The crisis is not the challenge – it is the preparation.
Now, drop your convictions.
Drop the story that you had been telling yourself.
Keep up the work. In hard times it is even more crucial.
Transform your despair into love. It is possible. This is what you are here for.
You won’t die.
Your soul won’t die.
Chaos is expansion. Devote to it.
You can save your physical body only by surrendering.
Feel it all. Yes. ALL. Don’t stop.
Appreciate it all.
Let go of it all.
Let go of the blame, the anger and the guilt.
Hold on to nothing.
Celebrate the unanswered questions.
In between the pieces there is a little gem called silence.
Allow silence and peace will overtake your stirred-up mind.
If you wait long enough bliss will come and invigorate you.
I promise you.
Take a break.
And another one.
And another one – if you need it.
Let everything die that wants to die.
As long as it takes…
Release It All
It is finally the time for some stream of consciousness from the verge of (in)sanity.
I’m going through an interesting phase of my life right now. A couple of weeks back I would have said “I’m going through hell”. But this is not true. I’m still on the surface – probably more grounded than ever before. Later on (within the next twelve months;) I will give you a bit more insight.
For now I would like to share a bit more intuitive writing here. In times of doubt I level up my inner dialog. It is the most valuable tool for a reality check. There are these mantra-like sentences that come flowing out of me into my keyboard – the result of years-long-learning:
Release everything that doesn’t belong to you. You are not supposed to carry all this luggage. Why are you over-complicating your life? Why are you holding on to anger, rage and frustration? Does it belong to you? Why are you still trying to carry the whole world on your shoulders instead of proceeding your way – lightly not with lightning speed.
Go grow your roots to resist that storm! Trust me – it will pass. You are allowed to let it all go… What has passed is gone – forever. You are not responsible. You are not in charge for every single event.
When are you going to understand this? How are you planning to continue if you travel with this heavy baggage?
Don’t be afraid of losing your love. Don’t be afraid of losing your will. Don’t be afraid of losing your hope.
Don’t you feel how your heart opens? Don’t you feel the expansion of your chest if you let it? Why are you suppressing it? Why are you holding your heart in chains? Why do you still control?
You are contracting. Can’t you feel it in your body? You are taking on too much. Are you crazy or what? (just kidding, of course you are)
You are taking things on and on and on and onto your plate. WHY? Your to-do-list is getting longer and longer, but is this what you have to do? When are you going to take care of yourself? I’m not talking about a vacation…
When are you going to trust in life? When are you going to trust in your abilities? You keep talking about trust, but deep inside you do know that you are not there. You don’t trust. You are still trying to control. Trying – because it is impossible to control.
“But it’s not me,” you are starting to scream. “It is my conditioning,” – “Ahahaha,” the universe is laughing out loud….
Don’t you see that this is the point??? THIS is your fucking problem. This is where you are not responding to your abilities. You did pretty good my dear. You gave up a whole lot of bullshit already. You gave up things and even people. Unfortunately you gave up a little bit too much. But don’t worry about that. You will keep g(r)o(w)ing.
Your path had been radical. And it is going to continue radically.
What do I mean by that?
Now your path is called radical healing – and nothing else. No people pleasing, no ‘being brave’.
You are living the adventures of other people’s dreams, but this is not your life. Pa! Here it is – the bitter truth.
“Okay, okay, I got that one. There is no need to yell at me in that arrogant manner. Tell me instead: How do I do it? This radical healing thing… ,”
First of all: You don’t DO it. Secondly: You’re gonna stop defending yourself completely and one hundred percent. There is absolutely no defending anymore. But you will realize how easy it gets. Now it might seem hard to impossible. Now you can’t imagine yourself ‘not defending’ yourself.
“But….,” I can see the constant concern in your head.
You will just stop it – automatically. It caused you so much pain in your life. You wasted so much energy by defending. What you defended was your mask, your story, the image you had of yourself.
Basically this is what caused you all the pain that you have ever felt in the past. You were ALWAYS trying to please others. You kept defending yourself – non-stop. Yes, it was involuntarily. But now that you know it, you have the opportunity to do better…
These days you wish so badly that you wouldn’t ‘know better’, right?! You would wish to continue the well-trodden path.
Well, that’s unfortunate, because the path is gone. There is no maintained path anymore – there never was! You made it up….
There is only the path you follow by walking it; and guess what – you have absolutely no choice but walking it.
The ironic bit is – this is not scary at all! You chose the path. Your soul chose it and you are totally capable of walking it. You have the abilities – even though you are still closing your eyes from it. You prefer to be groping in the dark. You prefer to predict the unpredictable. You prefer to waste your energy on examining uncertainty.
Do you sense the paradox?