If you are longing for connection, isolation won’t get you any closer.
If you want to earn money, becoming greedy doesn’t help you.
If you want to believe in yourself, questioning your worth is self-defeating.
Self-doubt zeroizes trust.
Negativity retains resistance.
As soon as you open up, things will change.
Allow the impossible.
Okay, I haven’t done much writing in the past couple of months. Why? Because it has lost it’s priority – temporarily: I have started a job with a content marketing agency which requires me to dig back into SEO and various other tasks. In addition to that I have accomplished a row of video editing jobs which took me by surprise by mid june.
So, prospectively I will be writing even more than ever before. Writing this down here makes me realize that this is quite an achievement! I am actually earning money with content writing for the first time in my life to be really accurate.
My inspirational flow for growthbuddy decelerated suddenly – for several reasons I guess:
Firstly because I had been working so much. Secondly: My life and my spiritual health had experienced a major uplift – so, I didn’t really know what to write about after getting out of such a deep valley of darkness.
I have stuff to do at the moment. For the first time in my life the heavy weights on my shoulders are not dragging me down to the underworld anymore, but they actually anchor me in the ground.
I have to admit: I loved working as hard as I did in the last weeks – even though it was very stressful and sometimes I felt exhausted to the bones…
After not doing ‘real’ work in a long time I felt finally reinvigorated and in some way reintegrated – into society. (I didn’t imagine I would say something like this voluntarily.)
Even if I don’t want to admit it: I like that feeling.
I am officially growing roots! Some of you might rejoice in hope now, but I am not talking about settling down, haha. This is about an internal fundament, a settling of my values, a harvest of what I sowed in the past good seven years of self-discovery…
Okay, I didn’t find the time to indulge into the flowing river of my thoughts and my insights. And you know what? My head is exploding and my heart is bursting… I can not not write it all out.
It feels like a reservoir inside of me is filled to the brim – and the dam is about to break. It is not only a reservoir of ideas, but also of unprocessed emotions and experiences.
I realized something fundamental:
For me it is not okay to not write. I don’t know what exactly is pulling me but more and more I come to the acceptance that I have to write. It is part of my mission here. I am called to do so – like others are called to create a sanctuary for people in need or plant a communal garden. (You name it.)
I am called to write – even if there are doubts (massive doubts!) and downtimes.
It is the cure for my self-diagnosed ADHD. I don’t write despite my concentration deficit disorder – I write because of it. Writing forces me into focus. And it does so much more….
It helps me to filter. It helps me to manifest – not only my goals in the physical realm. It clarifies my thoughts. It clears my perception of reality. It changes my viewpoint. It makes me see things – at all or from a different angle.
I have to look at ideas from a different perspective by writing them down. I have to research. Sometimes I get lost in research and I find answers to questions that I didn’t know I had…
My writing forces me to learn nonstop.
And learning creates happiness within myself.
If I don’t write, I lose track.
Of course – periods of not writing are okay. They are even essential. I am also coming to some sort of ‘allowance’ in regards to longer writing breaks. There is no point in punishing myself or pushing myself beyond limits, because it ruins my creative flow as well as my mental and physical health… But at the same time, I need writing to maintain my spiritual health.
There are huge leaps taking place. I am invited into unfamiliar and often dark realms. What I discover there demands to be integrated into my experience on this earth.
What I have learnt over time is that this is my gift: I am discovering things that are scary and hard to comprehend for the soul that chose to incarnate here… By appreciating this gift I make writing less of a struggle.
Writing is my practice. It calms my nerves and makes sense of this whole life experience.
Do what you love.
Trust your instincts – even if your mind is rebelling.
Take action – even though it scares the shit out of you.
Experiment fearlessly – no matter what the outcome might look like.
Move forward – even though you can’t see the road.
There is only the next step. Take it now.
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?
Why I write?
My words are my light. My words are my darkness. My words are my journey. My words are my destination. My words are my home.
They are nothing I ‘make up’.
I don’t do words.
Writing is not my skill, it is my trait.
My words are the process. They are my tools and my material at the same time.
Words set the stage and they perform. They are able to build and to dissolve. Words are the story and the narrator – all at once.
My words are like stray dogs. I let them run free and this is how they thrive. I don’t restrict them. I treat them with care. They have a place in my heart and this is why they always come back to me.
If I put them on a leash they get cranky. If I overindulge them they spoil.
Words – I use them as they use me. I become them. I am transcending through my words as they transcend through me.
My words are my thoughts but they are also my brain.
My words are my ascension partners. My words are my closest friends or my worst enemies. It depends. (And no, this is not a matter of perspective and this is okay….)
I can’t say ‘I want my trust back!’ I can’t say ‘I have to trust’. I can ‘just’ trust.
If I allow my words to be, they unfold. This is writing. It is a subconscious outlet of my expansion. They are nothing but a valve – but just as crucial as a pipeline for delivering drinking water.
What are they delivering? Words are the messenger but also the freight.
Words are zen. Words are the tao.
Words are everything if you let them. Words are nothing if you take them too seriously.
Take them too accurate and they will become your prison.
Let them go wild and they will become your shelter.
The other day there was high water at Isar after three days of heavy rain.
There is a swimming spot I had been visiting regularly during this summer season. It was kind of an island amidst my favourite river here in Munich.
The flood water rearranged the whole river bed. All the algea were washed away.
No stone was left unturned.
The currents had changed. A wooden stamp had built a little whirl pool in the very center of the river bed.
Everything was renewed and refreshed. It felt like a restart.
And this is what words do if you let them flow. They rearrange themselves. They become more powerful. They clear themselves. They settle.
This is the really f***ing difficult part of writing. Your mind wants to control. It wants to know the end of the sentence before you even start typing.
It wants to outline the whole book instead of creating the first chapter.
True beauty, the real raw beauty lies in imperfection.
Did you ever consider a tree as imperfect? Did you ever think ‘This tree really looks like shit here.’?
If yes, I’m sorry. I’m praying for you.
Your soul understands.
A tree is a tree.
It grows out of the elements.
It is the elements. It is creation. It arises out of destruction. It sprouts from the mud.
And so does your creation.
Creation demands freedom.
So, don’t do it perfectly.
Just do it.
Do it with your heart. Do it with trust. Lean into it fully.
Own it – and then let it go.
Give it away. If you cling to it, it will restrict you.
This is how you become a slave to your perfectionism.
But you know what?
Don’t beat yourself up for your poisonous perfectionism. It will make it worse.
Move to your rhythm. But move.
Don’t stay still. Don’t be paralyzed in the face of your perfectionism.
Smile at it. Be perfect in the now, but don’t try to live up to it.
This is how you integrate it. Accept and take action.
Instead of making a perfect plan, do the next step.
Put your faith into action. Don’t make ‘being perfect’ your goal, but make it your approach.
This all sounds paradoxical.
Let it be what it is and jump right in.
My words are exploring darkness.
My words are cutting and piercing through – until the truth leaks out.
This is how I enter the light.
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.
The longest two weeks of my life are coming to an end. Ok, I’m exaggerating. But man, this was harder than I thought. The idea was to get rid of my notes, but in reality I created so many new ones – of course – because the more I write the more I think and the more I think the more I streamline my insights.
The learning curve is steep, but through this challenge I definitely made the most progress I’ve ever made with any writing experiment. I literally wrote my ass off. But no pain no gain, right?
Nevertheless – I completely under-delivered. This was partly due to my perfectionism, but also because I was quite involved with editing projects and other work.
Instead of 14 articles I published only nine. Six of the 14 days I worked full-time. I visited my parents in my home village and I was living on a campground. I had a lot of social interaction, which drained my energy.
Nonetheless I used every free minute to write – in the subway, waiting for the bus, in the train, before going to sleep…. I spent nearly every spare moment writing.
I’m proud of what I have achieved in these two weeks. This challenge reached depths that I have never suspected and this is all that matters.
Killing The Darlings Fastly
The time restraint of the two weeks definitely forced me to steam down my insights. This made me think sharper. Due to the time pressure I had to ‘kill my darlings’ very fast. What do I mean by that for those who don’t write? I had to shorten and revise my articles faster and this helped me in the process of ‘detaching’ from my writing.
Writing is Growth
I find peace while writing. I love the process of filling a page with my thoughts.
Publishing with the idea to have to revise it ten times afterwards doesn’t satisfy me and it doesn’t improve my writing either. “Learning years are not earning years.” I guess patience is key and as long as I keep going everything is fine.
Pressure shapes a diamond, but it contracts my brain. It is more important to develop a writing routine than forcing myself to press the publishing button. There are things that are just not ‘ripe’ yet.
There is no such thing as ‘finishing an article’. There is always something to add. There will be always ten new articles in the pipeline. And that’s good – as long as the ideas are flowing I’m going to write.
“Writing over publishing”
I wrote between two to ten hours per day, but if I’m tired I better get some sleep. My topics are too fundamental to just pour them out. The range of subjects expands with every article that I write.
It blows my mind what I’m learning from this challenge. Even though my perfectionism screwed up the quantity of my challenge. I’ve never wrote more within two weeks. I feel like a tiny barrier in my head broke. And this is all that matters. I will keep going.
Growing personally remains a matter of observing our habits and altering them. If we want to change, we need to break with our conditions and reveal our true needs. “Habit needs unconsciousness to be repeated. Where consciousness enters, habit falls.” Again I refer to Thích Nhất Hạnh here.
Habit has no power anymore as soon as we are aware of it. But how do we break the chains of habit and practice ‘change’ persistently? How do we get our willpower back?
There were so many things that I wanted to quit or change in my life. I read dozens of articles and books on self-improvement, on how to establish healthy routines and foster positive changes.
More and more I found out that if I want to live in a new way, I have to find out what are the old ways?
Simple, right? I have to avoid unhealthy behaviours. But what are these toxic behaviours? Smoking? Eating sugar? Drinking too much coffee? Yeah, these are the obvious ones. But what else is there? How many times have I found myself ruminating negative thoughts and mistakes? How many times do I still make others responsible for my feelings?
To get to the core of my toxic ways ot thinking I really need to have a closer look. How can I develop compassion for myself, if I don’t know me (well enough)? There are some easy steps that help me with the process of becoming more self-aware. I would like to share them with you in this threesome.
1. Practice Being Alert
Survey your behaviour – especially in conversations. I found out that a lot of times I take things too personal. This is a way of giving away my power. It is proof that I have problems with ‘staying with myself’. It is a sign for lacking self-awareness and at the end self-love.
It sounds familiar to you? So, what can you do instead?
Listen more than you speak. Watch yourself and see how your feelings resonate with the words that are spoken. When do you react emotionally? When do you get angry? When do you take things personally? Instead of plain reaction – get in touch with your emotions and desires. Ask yourself why you act like this? What would be an appropriate reaction?
By being aware of our reactions we are learning to review our thinking from a higher perspective. This way we can identify unhealthy thinking patterns.
2. Slow Down
Eat slow, walk slow, breathe slow, be slow. Abandon rushing from your life and everything will change. All of a sudden you will notice things that you’ve never noticed before. You will understand everything better.
“If you win time you win it all,” says Buddha and his disciples.
By paying better attention to our environment we automatically pay attention to what is happening inside of us. This doesn’t only give us the opportunity to act appropriate but also to arrive in the ‘now’. This is meditation – being slow.
3. Find the ‘Why’
I really need to understand the benefits of quitting a bad habit before I can alter it. For example: Theoretically I understand why eating sugar is a bad thing, but as long as I never find out what happens if I stop eating sugar / start meditating / going for a run in the morning I will never establish this habit.
I think this is why it is so hard to adapt the habits of ‘successful people’, because these habits might don’t suit our real needs. Journaling is might be helpful for people who like to write. But for some it is maybe not, because they get even more caught up in there strange thinking patterns.
We have to ask why in both directions. Why do we cling to negative habits? What can we do instead? And why / how changes a new habit my overall well-being? In any way we need to be open to ‘try something new’ every once in a while, if we really want to change our lives.