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.
Move on.
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 I 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 your energy appropriately? Why not singing it out instead of being angry? Why not running it off?

This world is a playground and we are 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.

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.

When I went for a walk this morning I asked for guidance. Where should I go? I passed a field 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 little 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 over the fields – 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 about it. 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. I’ve been collecting notes on this question for quite a while.

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 was 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 cast it into words.

More and more I can look out for ‘patterns’ to drop – because this is a massive 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’m learning my tools and they are so simple.

This is what fills my heart with gratefulness nowadays and it manifests my desire to get this knowledge out 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 – every single day.

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?

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 thoughts come and cloud my view.

Of course I’m not ‘fully there’. I guess we are never fully there – and this is the beauty of it. It’s a neverending process.

Because if we were ‘there’ what would we 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 Fürther notes about “How To Play A Role Lightly” a little for you.

  1. Do not consider your job as your passion. Just do it with pleasure. Do everything with pleasure.
  2. 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.
  3. Stop being driven by deadlines and results. Just ‘do’ one step at a time and detach from the outcome. It takes the stress away. Otherwise you will get lost.
  4. Have rules, have boundaries, but don’t freak out when they are being crossed. It means nothing.
  5. You have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Keep 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 s.

Give in.

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.

Be shattered.

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.

Be patient.
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?

 

Who am I?

Who am I without the stories that I’m telling myself?
Who am I if I give up searching?
Who am I if I’m not defending myself?
Who am I if I don’t create?
Who am I if I’m not brave?
Who am I if I just am?
Who am I if I’m not trying to impress?
Who am I if I don’t have a plan?
Who am I if I don’t know the answers to all these questions?
Who am I if I’m losing it?
Who am I if I’m not being pathetic?
Who am I if I look into the mirror with all honesty?
Who am I if I’m only me?

 

Recreate Yourself

Drink lots of water. Cry out all the tears that need to be cried. Go into nature. Breathe in some fresh air. Get out the old one. Enjoy the green and the blue. Ground yourself. Meditate. Let gravity take hold of you. Hug a tree. Search for unity. Eat vegetables. Nourish yourself. Sleep whenever you can. And don’t sleep when you can’t. Stretch. Move slow. Have patience. Plant positive thoughts and let them grow. Trust in the laws of nature. Let the elements heal you.

 

Cracked

My dreams are shattered by your rationalism.
But at least I can see clearly now.

Your arguments damp my fire like water cannons.
But thankfully you hold me back from burning out.

Your honesty cripples my self-worth.
But finally my masks are falling.

You cracked my heart like a walnut.
But ‘There is a crack in everything and this is how the light gets in,’ right?

Now I’m shining like a 300 watt light bulb.
Can you see it?

 

Beyond Pain Lies Compassion

Okay – as this is a writing experiment I’m going to be brave today on “Day Two” of my “Writing Transformation Challenge”. Straight out of my notes from this morning:

How to do the work? How to look at life with compassion and fearlessness?

It means to look at ALL situations as part of THE enlightenment (process). More precisely: All situations ARE enlightenment.

The transformation takes place if we use all situations.

It doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold. It doesn’t matter if we sleep alone or in a room with 20 people. It doesn’t matter if we call anything material our own or not.

The transformation takes place as soon as we are no longer afraid to lose it all.

Uncomfortable situations are our means of transport in order to accept / embody our non-being / detachment. But for this we have to give up our comfort.

We have to lose our necessities, our desires, our pride. Because all these things are trivial. They are rooted in our ego. And our ego keeps us trapped.

As long as we are wanting to ‘receive’ we only feed our ego. Why? Because this is the wrong focus.

We receive nothing before we are connecting with the warmth of compassion, the warmth of unconditional love, because this is compassion. We receive when we give. And I mean really give – without expecting any reward.

When we are able to shine our light even though we just went through the deepest emotional pain, this is when we reached unconditional love.

We are able to shine our light when all the masks are falling. If we are unmasking all the lies we are telling ourselves.

As long as we are looking for protection we cling to our desires and we are closing ourselves off from compassion – the true source of energy.

Of course I’m writing this all from the perspective of a westerner. I have in fact nothing to worry about. But exactly because of this I have to be willing to give it all up. It is my obligation to go further, because other people can’t. They are born into oppression, poverty or starvation.

Compassion for all beings includes compassion for our own selves.

You may ask: But how can I be compassionate with myself?! If this is your question (as it is mine) you are still a victim to the wrong ideals. You didn’t take the time to find what nourishes you.

You are still ‘not there’. You haven’t opened the door yet. The real door is still closed and you are hoping for ‘release’ from the external.

This release doesn’t come as long as you are lying to yourself. As long as you chase and rush and hustle you get blinded by superficiality.

I chose the path. I saw too much. I felt too much. I can’t ‘go back’.

This is why I reply ‘I really don’t know’ when somebody asks me ‘What do you want?’.

I’m not doing this ‘for fun’. I’m not running away.

What I know is that this is not about me.

It’s about us.

Getting in touch with our fears is something we are forced to. We are facing loss, illness and physical pain. From the moment we are born we are used to suffering.

The secret is to re-discover the compassion that connects and comforts us all – behind the pain.

The pain is only one side of the coin. The other is compassion.

‘To free ourselves from all fear we must touch the ground of our being and train ourselves to look directly into the light of compassion.’, says Thich Nhat Hanh.

The real question is not: How to overcome the pain, but how to find compassion beyond the pain?

 

Desiring The Non-Desirable

I’m desiring the non-desirable.

I’m wanting the non-wantable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detachment is as far away as on day one.

But you know what?

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

Yes – I’m learning to relax.

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

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

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

I will stick to the places where the magic happens.

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

 

Invite the Pain – It Wants to Tell You Something

“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.

 

The Beginning of Darkness

Like a monstrous burden anxiety suspends me from aliveness.

Sensory input turns into an impenetrable nebula. I can’t distinguish between me and the rest.

A painful transformation disrupts my being. My existence morphs into vacuum.

This time I don’t resist. I sit and breathe. There is only black. I stare into the nothingness.

Is this the beginning or the end?

A void is clearing my chest. The fated moment of surrender has arrived.

Something cracks with a bubbly sound. The next level is here. Subconsciousness ruptures into recognition. Presence reciprocates.

I thought I won’t make it. I thought opium would be the only tranquilizer for my perturbed brain.

But life has other plans. Effortlessly I’m peeling off the old layer. Experience updated its metaphysics.

Life had started again with a new sort of darkness.