Radical Awareness

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.

‘Investigate!’

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?

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.

Radical 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.

Yayyy.

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 Healing

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.

 

Reclaiming Happiness

On a random morning a little girl grabbed my hand in the hallway. She was neither my daughter nor related to me in any other way. “Mama, unten”, she pulled my arm pointing down the stairway in anticipation. Her mom was waiting for her in front of the door together with her sister. We proceeded down the stairs with care. It took a few minutes until her mother could welcome us with a warm smile.

A “dankeschön” from this two-year-old and the blink of gratefulness in the eyes of her mother would make this start of the day a special one.

These little fingers squeezing my hands reminded me of what real happiness is. It is connection. It is understanding. It is trust. It is this feeling of being in the right place at the right time.

Happiness is being in the flow. It is merging into the presence. Being one with the moment – without any obligations. It is a moment of unity in this highly individualized world.

When was the last time you experienced a moment like this?

In Wrong Pursuit of Happiness

How many times are we wrapped up in our head? In our personal reality?

We are busy ticking off to-do-lists, achieving the next career level, finding the right partner or financial investment. We network, we ‘do business’, we socialize, but are we happy? Are we really connecting with each other? Or are we so caught up in our bright future?

“We have been taught that freedom is the freedom to pursue our petty, trivial desires. Real freedom is freedom from our petty, trivial desires.” I stumbled upon this quote the other day. Adam Curtis is talking about addiction here, but isn’t our obsession of pursuing material (or immaterial) wealth also some kind of addiction?

Instead of pursuing our real needs we are misleading ourselves with substitutions.

Are We Slaves to Our Desires?

We mistaken ‘fulfilling our petty trivial desires’ with ‘happiness’. And this is what makes us feel discontent: As long as we are only longing for satisfaction we are pursuing happiness from an ego perspective.

What do I mean by that? We are compensating our search for meaning / figuring out what we really want with substitutions. ‘Making a living’ on this planet seems to be a very big issue for us whereas an ant can easily subsist.

But ants are might be a topic for another article. Back to us: Pursuing our desires – that means we value what is ‘of use’ for us. With this attempt we bound our ability to connect with the people around us. And where we are meant to find connection we are closing ourselves off.

This is addictive behavior. All we do is consuming fast food for our soul. We fill ourselves, but we don’t nourish us. We are so busy ‘creating’ ourselves that we don’t conceive that we are already here. We think we are freeing ourselves, but in reality we trap ourselves.

Everything that is accessible has to be achieved as fast as possible. Delay of gratification outworn its significance in our society. Like an addict always looking for the next thrill we blur our senses.

In the end our desire ‘to be happy’ is what holds us back from being happy.

The Circle of Happiness

What we don’t understand is that we find happiness only by connecting with each other in the real world. Life is what happens in the hallway or on the street or at the dinner table. Life is real time experience.

The circle of happiness starts in the presence. It starts with being aware of the small moments. Being ready to connect with the outside world and the people around us at any moment in time.

Instead of aiming for a certain lifestyle we should re-discover our true values: sharing love, cultivating a sense of community, being ‘there’ for each other. ‘Creating ourselves’ should be replaced with ‘self-care’ or ‘creating healthy relationships’. This is what makes us happy.

It seems like the circle of happiness becomes a thing on this blog.

 

The Circle of Happiness or Why Self-Care is an Obligation

“When are you going to honour yourself?” During my morning meditation on my 31st birthday it comes crashing down on me.

My construct of negative thoughts can’t sustain itself anymore.

Like an avalanche boulders of anxiety, self-doubt, misgiving and hesitation fall off my back. Lightness captures my whole body.

My energy level rises headspinningly quick.

The ‘doer’ is taking over. There is only flow – no fighting, no dispute. The imprisonment is over. Finally the refreshing breeze of freedom is rejuvenating my senses.  

All the tension is released. The vibration amplifies apruptly. There is nothing but sympathy and concord. I’m expanding. Tears of gratefulness turn my face into a riverbed. The salt water washes away the remains of my resentments.

Every fiber of my body screams “FORGIVE YOURSELF”. Release is imperative.

Happiness updates its definition. Destiny welcomes me with open arms. I saw it coming, but it doesn’t downgrade my reverence.

It is here – doubtlessly: The reward of my journey.

For a long time I was obsessed with improving my productivity. A long time I tried to learn as many skills as possible – I still do to some extend. I wanted to read one book a week, learn two languages at the same time, learn coding, web design, improve my motion design skills, produce music and get better at writing, public speaking, coffee making, barkeeping and so on and so on.

‘On the side’ I wanted to volunteer, learn sailing and in the meantime I was trying to meet my friends, find a boyfriend, eat healthy, start a business, travel… Hahaha, now only writing this down I feel dizzy. How could I think I would ‘succeed’ with this ‘attempt’? And how could I think I would be beneficial for others? And at the end – beneficial for the planet? (This is what I’m modestly aiming for.)

Nowadays my life choices maneuver me further and further away from the work-hard-play-hard mentality.

After all the ‘paradigm’: “If you are not stressed out you are not working hard enough.” still dominates the heads of us westerners. This applies to all areas of life. ‘Having time’ for oneself doesn’t seem to be worthwhile in a society where any activity is always on our fingertips. If you are not busy, you are doing something wrong.

Our time is scheduled from the day we are born. Isn’t it crazy!?

Anyhow: I ended up being completely exhausted with my attempt to do as much as possible. I’m surprised my nervous system hadn’t collapsed yet (Knock on wood!).

Beating The Torturer

“Before you can save the world you need to know who you are.” This was a piece of advice by a friend I couldn’t get a hold of in years. He addressed my – let’s be a bit pathetic here – desperate try to ‘do good’  in this world.

What he meant was that I always searched for the me in the outside. By achieving or doing something that I considered as meaningful I expected ‘to move along’ the path of self-discovery.

In reality the opposite was the case: The more I did the more I moved away from my path. I moved away from the core of my being.

Instead of finding out about my deepest needs I jumped head over heels from one challenge to another. Don’t get me wrong – challenges are good in order to find out what you are capable of. But by being obsessed with challenges I only distracted myself. I wanted to proof myself that I’m strong enough to accomplish everything. If I wouldn’t succeed I would beat myself up.

There was this voice telling me: “You are not doing enough.” – every single day. A voice that kept beating me up with reproaches all the time.

Something big had to change. Taming the torturer in my head – this became my real mission instead of being my own punisher.

“We better be nice to ourselves. Nobody wants to hang out with assholes.” Unfortunately I don’t know who this quote belongs to. Maybe I flung it into my notebook myself.

In any case – the message is clear: Be nice to yourself. Have self-compassion. Love yourself more. How many times have I been repeating these phrases? How long have I been trying so hard to cultivate this compassion with myself? I even wrote about it many times.

Become One With Yourself And Then Become One With The World

Before you can connect with the world you have to connect with yourself first. And how can you connect with yourself if you are your hardest critic?

In order to spread love and positive energy on this planet you have to love yourself first. Treat yourself like you want to be treated by others – it sounds so simple and platitudinous but yet it is crucial.

We can only make a contribution to this society if we attempt every action with a positive mindset. If we want to make the world a better place we better be happy. Happiness is contagious. Malcom Gladwell explains it very well in “The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.”

“We normally think of the expressions on our face as the reflection of an inner state. I feel happy, so I smile. I feel sad, so I frown. Emotion goes inside out. Emotional contagion, though, suggests that the opposite is also true. If I can make you smile, I can make you happy. If I can make you frown, I can make you sad. Emotion in this sense, goes outside-in.” Malcom Gladwell

Demasking Your Desires

Recently I found out that in order to cultivate this compassion I have to go through the process of what I call ‘demasking my desires’. My journey is re-conditioning. Back to root level. And only from there I can carry out something.

The process of learning about my needs is a painful one. The pursuit of carving out my personality provokes disappointment and loneliness. Like a snake I’m peeling myself as I grow out of my old skin. Over and over I shuffle off one layer at a time. Every layer requires its own technique. I really need to take the time to learn about these techniques.

Why is it such a long and complicated process? If I don’t take the time to question my desires I eventually won’t find out about my real needs. I need an example for this:

If I have the desire to get drunk every weekend or I’m obsessive about my relationship then I might distract myself from something. To be more precise: I distract myself from connecting with my own self and fulfilling my own needs.

I might want to ask “Where I am avoiding life at the moment?” This process requires honesty and courage. It is not easy. It’s time-consuming and there are a lot of forthright questions to answer.

Self-compassion is crucial for this process. Self-compassion is nothing else than self-care. And self-care is another word for self-love.

Self-care is not just treating yourself once in a while, it is nurturing yourself with what you need for your survival. And what do I need? I need to do what makes me feel the best version of who I am. It is my obligation to take these needs seriously.

Repeat After Me: “My Energy Resources are Limited.”

I only have a certain amount of lifetime and according energy to spend on this planet. It is important to spend it wisely. Okay, pseudo-hyper-human, repeat after me: “My energy resources are limited.”

So, in which area am I going to invest my energy? In the area where I’m not good at? In the area where I have the most deadly learning curve? Haha, ‘nice try’ the universe is laughing out loud.

When do my eyes sparkle the most? What parts of my job do I enjoy? Who do I admire and why? When do I feel myself the most? When do I feel the most alive?

The answers to these questions are the ones that are pulling us in the right direction. What draws our attention smoothly is where we find fulfillment.

When our eyes sparkle the most we are able to connect with each other and share our gift. When we feel the least exhausted and the most alive we are able to share. And this is also when we are able to be in service for other people.

So, it is my obligation to make sure that my glass is always full. Nobody can benefit from me when I’m not my best self.

Yes, it is that simple. This is following your bliss. This is self-care. It sounds pretty straight forward, but getting there is the challenge of a lifetime.

Since I started to invest in my strengths, I manifest positive change in my life. I become the change that I want to see in this world. The circle of unhappiness had ended and this is the beginning of a new circle. The circle of happiness.

Finally I’m following my excitement and the excitement is following me.

Treat Yourself With Not Giving a Fuck

There are always people who disagree. People who are disappointed, because I don’t do what they want me to do. It took me an disproportionate time to understand that it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks of me or expects of me.

I want to be my best self and this is why I take care of myself. I can only serve a higher purpose if I’m in peace with myself. It’s not that I want to not give a fuck, no, I have to. It is healthy for me and necessary in order to live up to my own values.

Self-care is crucial in order to fulfill our purpose on this earth.

So, “When are you going to honour yourself?”

 

Hintuition

What if what we want is not what we need and what we need is not what we want?

What if our happiness leads us in the right direction and not the career path we choose?

What if all we need is to smile, to give love to our surrounding and to ourselves? And that’s it.

What if everything we need will just come and what we really need will stay with us as soon as we let go?

“You are good at listening to yourself.” A friend of mine awarded me a couple of months earlier during a time, when I was not at all in tune with myself. Actually during these days I felt like I’m the worst at listening to my inner self.

I could literally see myself standing in my own way, darkening my own light. With extensive thinking I was blocking my energy channels. My intuition was not accessible. But in order to follow my path I need to follow my intuition.

I had to think about that. What is intuition? According to cambridge dictionary it is “the ability to understand or know something immediately based on our feelings rather than on facts.”

Let’s look at it from a neuroscientific perspective briefly: A situation/some sort of input stimulates our brain. This stimulus gives us access to a “library of information”. These information are stored in our system from past experiences or even transmitted from our forefathers through our DNA.

As soon as our brain accesses this library it sends us a hint. This makes us (re)act or not (re)act in a given situation. If we are hungry we eat. If we are late we hurry. And if we need to make a decision we think.

Thinking is good to a certain extend, but with a lot of thinking we easily cover up our intuition. This precious library imprinted into our genes becomes inaccessible.

With our mind we gather information about a situation whereas intuition just knows. While our mind is trying to figure out the perfect solution our intuition might already made the decision for us long beforehand. We just don’t take the time to listen.

With our busy mind we become victims of the circumstances – nothing else. If we let our thoughts control all the time we give away our true power.

We become victims of information by always trying to make the perfectly thought-through decision. What if our decision is just right there? Behind this curtain of thoughts?

Making decisions could be so easy. Arouses an idea a feeling of happiness/excitement/fulfillment? This warm feeling in the stomach that expands in the whole body? The feeling of “I just have to do it.” Then this is might be the way to go even if our mind wants to tell us something else. This is the ‘hint’.

But there they are: Thoughts and doubts tie up our intuition. And beneath this corset? There is the ‘hint’ unable to be transmitted to our consciousness.

All the thinking holds us back from experiencing. But this is how we learn – through experience. This is how we update our “intuition library”.

We can not “know” what we want, we can only feel it. We get to do what makes us happy from the core of our being, but we need to listen closely.

Am I the only one who understands this only now? I need to meditate on this. (Soon an article about meditation is overdue.)

 

Wake Up Call

Our human nature had turned into a monstery “thing” headed by technological progress, productivity and consumption. From early on we are programmed to act “economically”. Productivity became our purpose, “consuming” our occupation and “being busy” our obsession – Thinking became a rarity.

We consider ourselves to be safe as long as we “fit in”, but in reality the system oppresses us. It oppresses us until we feel nothing but fear – let’s call it “glorified slavery”. Our inability of feeling something else than fear makes us unable to make our own decisions.

We live in fool’s paradise. Instead of learning to think for ourselves we are getting lost in diversion. Like an addict we jump head over heels from one temporary satisfaction to another not noticing, how we are already trapped in a vicious circle.

We fill our lives with a lot of responsibilities, but we forget to take responsibilty for our own life. Instead of listening to our inner voice we are only listening to the call of duty. We are working at least eight hours a day for dubious purposes, we are saving money for our pension hoping for a happy end, but do we live in the meantime? Are we truly alive?

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

Albert Einstein

We disregard our nature. This way we will never reach our full potential as a human being. What do I mean by that? I’m not talking about our economical potential. I’m talking about our potential to spread love, care for each other, to make each other smile, to ease each others pain.

Between industrialization and digitalization we lost one essential thing: Love. We lost our ability to truly love and truly be loved.

There is not one person, one government, one country, one continent responsible. We are responsible – it is up to us. Do we want to keep on carrying the destructive heritage of our forefathers? I don’t.

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”

Carl Jung

Let’s share our knowledge and become experts of life again. Let’s rediscover our senses and finetune our intuition. Let’s update our consciousness instead of our mobile phone apps. Let’s cherish our human relations, patch our social network (in the real world), stop exploiting our planet like there is no tomorrow and finally cure our own lives.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

R. Buckminster Fuller

We can only change the world, if we change ourselves first. It all starts with positive thinking. This is the reason, why I’m willing to change my destructive behaviors. Self-destruction is the beginning of the end. A new world order arises from positivity not from productivity.

Let’s stop following the beaten track and leave our own footprints.