Drop the rope.
There is nothing to control.
Sometimes you have to ride the wave.
Sometimes you have to plough the dirt.
Sometimes you have to dust off the ashes.
Friction is what prescribes the trajectory.
Resistance is what makes you grow.
Go ahead and rise.
When everyday is groundbreaking, what’s next?
“You got to become your own person before you can do your job on this earth.“
I don’t remember the exact words of Maor, someone I met briefly at a goodbye party of a friend of mine in Hamburg in 2018.
Or something like that could have been my response. To be honest, I don’t remember if I countered anything. But I do remember that I was desperate. I was desperately searching and looking. I was desperate for adventure, for feeling feelings, for feeling something.
I was craving life. I was terrified of never finding what I was looking for – without knowing what I was looking for.
I was collecting memories and acquaintances – but did I know myself?
In the meantime I numbed myself. I filled the void inside of myself with all sorts of things. (substances, pleasure, party,….), but I had no clue what was really going on within myself…
This ‘unclarity’ crumbled away over time – like a crust of mud.
What I have learnt is that the mud has to dry first. The dust has to settle. And then the path clears eventually. The seeds can spring and the blossoms bloom…
I have been stirring up mud for quite a while. And I am pretty sure that I will keep stirring up mud. It is part of the journey (my journey) – to experience it all.
There is this big Why roaming around in the spheres around “personal development” – and yes knowing the why can be quite helpful.
But the “Why do I feel like shit most of the time?” and not the “Why am I getting up in the morning?”
I did not want to question my feelings. Why? (Haha) Firstly: Because I didn’t even know this could be a good question to ask?! Secondly: I didn’t want to admit to myself in which areas of my life I had “lost it” or I supposedly “failed”.
“Find your why” – this has become an ever-lasting quest for a lot of people.
The realizations that I am sharing here with you stem solely from my personal experience. There is a huge probability that this self-development thing works different for you. Nevertheless I feel the urge to share this:
What I found out is that “the WHY” is not the holy grail… healing is!
What do I mean by that?
In 2015, when I was made redundant from my first work-contract, I was feeling the call too – the call that I translated into: “Find your why!”.
Over the years I have met a lot of people who put a mirror right in front of my face:
“You are lost.”
“You are the universe.”
“You have to prioritize yourself.”
“You need to find yourself first before you can make a difference in this world”
(Wo),man, I had no clue what this was all about.
Well, not no clue, but I was not able to deduce any action from all the mirroring I had (involuntarily) received from the outside-world.
Now I still don’t have a full picture, but I came to the understanding that I don’t need to have a full picture. I will never comprehend it all. This life is freakin’ unpredictable and I better embrace the unknown!
What is predictable is one universal truth: “Things WILL change” (I wrote about change many times in this blog. Actually every post is about change.)
And they did…. in my life over and over and over again. And I am more and more able to EMBRACE the unknown.
I was – and I still am lost – to some extent. But more and more this feeling of being lost transmutes into a state of floating (for some reason this is the word that emerged).
And I tell you: My mind is intervening – all the fucking time. Letting go is a permanent practice.
Thoughts, thinking patterns, limiting beliefs – they come back in circles, in arrays, in fractals, in seasons… (You choose which image works for you).
So. I faced a lot of (uncomfortable) truths about:
- My conditionings and where they are coming from
- To what extent I am influenced by toxic energies in my life.
- Where I am not taking responsibility for my own life.
The list is long….
What I have learnt over the years is that “the WHY” is slowly sneaking in.
I am growing into my why….
Our Wounds Are Our Gifts
But first things ARE first: If I close my eyes from the areas where my body and my being demands healing, I will not find any useful “why”. The “why” will be a sugarcoated lie that I keep telling myself until I collapse.
Well, I do want to be radical here. First of all I have to define what I mean by healing.
Healing is the process of becoming whole again.
This is not really correct. We are already whole to be accurate. Healing is more a “fixing of the holes”, removing the dirt, dropping the unnecessary baggage, standing up on our own feet…
The healing process is sometimes a refurbishing, sometimes it is a surgery, sometimes it’s a sudden removal or a complete turn-over.
We are thrown into situations that tear us apart.
This is part of the human experience. These situations are here to teach us….
If we are torn apart the first step we need to take is to find the pieces that belong to us. The next step is to put them back together.
As long as I am putting myself together – this is my “why”. My healing is my “why”.
I don’t say you have to wait until you are fully healed until you are finally able to share your work.
The opposite is the case.
There is beauty in all of our messy healing procedures.
And there are people who benefit.
There are people who will embrace your experience.
There are people who will love to hear your story. This is what humanity always did – listening to stories and learning from them.
I am not cheesy here, this is what it is – and always used to be.
There are people out there whose healing depends on your healing.
The work that you put in matters.
Nothing you do is self-sufficient.
You will show-up in a way that is beneficial for others. Sometimes it’s only one person in the room. Sometimes it’s an audience of a million…..
So, you don’t know your why?
Don’t worry about it. Rest. Heal. Your time will come.
Healing is expansion.
Healing is the arrival in the present moment.
Healing is union with yourself.
Healing is completion.
Healing is meeting yourself where you are at.
Healing is doing one step at a time. Patiently.
“The why” can become a trap if you don’t take the time to really acknowledge where you are at right now.
And I tell you, I have been there. I am still rushing. I am still wondering very frequently: How do I set boundaries? How do I know what I want? How do I know that I am still on the path?
Then I remember to walk hand in hand with my heart.
This is what the hard times do to me.
There is this potential or let’s say a potential for potential stored within ourselves. This little seed that is resting there somewhere in our subconscious or in our brain.
When you heal you are able to reveal what wants to be revealed. And this is how you follow your purpose.
The hard times force us to walk hand in hand with our heart.
Let’s shed our old skin. Let’s forgive and heal.
Don’t set rules, set intentions.
There is this voice inside of me that gives me commands every now and then (or if I am able to listen).
This morning I was able to listen.
I woke up happy. I woke up with a sense of excitement for the first time in a long time.
It was nearly 8 o’clock already. Way too late for the ‘ambitious’ Uli to start the day.
But my eyes were not burning. I felt a sense of gratitude. I was at ease – physically and mentally, with the world and with myself.
My window was open and I heard the rain dripping outside. The rain of an early January morning of the year 2022.
The past two days I was in a very dark mood. “The old” came creeping back up. “The new” was not yet to come. The fun fact is: the new does never come. Well, it does. But we can’t see it at first.
A friend of mine told me in a voice message yesterday: “You seem to be on your way. You seem to grow organically.”
And yes, maybe, only maybe, I am able to agree on this today.
So, what do I do?
In times of crisis. (And boy, I went through patches of crisis within the past over 24 months. Actually I found out that I was at my “lowest” in 2018. So it would be 48 months to be more precise. 😉 Ha!)
What do I do in these periods of crisis? Or the moments of anxiety?
I set intentions!
I did this so many times. During my lowest times I prayed every single day, every hour, sometimes I prayed every single minute of the day. I prayed for release. I prayed for a sign.
The thing with sings is: They never come when we (supposedly) need them the most. So, there is not really a point in asking for signs – every time we are in doubt.
What we do need to do is to take action.
What I learnt is that the voice of intuition is sometimes the faintest, the quietest in our blasting brain. What is blasting is: the self-doubt, the “shoulds”, the self-sabotage (an article on the topic of self-sabotage is in the pipeline).
We will always find hundreds of reasonable reasons to not do the step that we want to do, the step that is beneficial for our own growth.
What I got to learn throughout the past years of nomading and roaming around is: THERE IS NO WRONG STEP. There truly isn’t. I know it sounds pathetic. It is pathetic, but it is (for a change) a narrative that serves our personal development.
We can never predict the outcome. Who crosses our path is beyond our control. Who is going to help us is beyond our imagination. But guess what? THERE ARE PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WILL UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT YOU. If? (Yeah, right. What are the ifs here?) If you change your thinking? Yes… What else? If you KEEP MOVING.
And it does not matter in which direction you go. Because there will be new intersections. New decisions along this path – over and over and over again.
There is no point in overthinking the next step.
What we can do is: We can set intentions. And this is what I did in the past couple of days when I was so down, so discouraged. I did not know how exactly to get out of my “old ways” of being and thinking. I still have no Idea. I have no idea how to “not be too hard on myself”.
Nevertheless, even if my mind said ‘shut the fuck up and squeeze your butt’, I wrote an intention into my notebook: “Prioritize yourself.”
This morning I prioritized myself by sleeping in and going for a long morning walk (Of course this is not always possible, but every now and then… why not?)
Words truly become seeds, if we let them….
Okay, I’m getting a bit cheesy towards the end of the year, but I really want to get this across:
This goes out to all my friends – the courageous souls who are walking this path with me:
THANK YOU for your tireless support.
Thank you for keeping me on track whenever I need it (and for leaving me alone whenever I need it;).
Thank you for clearing the mirror when I can’t see myself.
Thank you for grounding me when I’m losing touch with my source.
Thank you for “doing the work” – with or without me.
Thank you for guiding me into my power – sometimes with force and this is why I love you even more.
Thank you for making me proud of being a part of this all.
THANK YOU for reminding me that I am not crazy.
I am so grateful to have you all in my life. You know who you are.
I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.
Be even more you!
What’s the difference between ‘easing in’ and ‘letting go’?
I will keep rephrasing them. Renaming the unnamable. Reshaping the intangible – the power of manifestation.
What’s the difference between ‘easing in’ and ‘letting go’?
The difference is the feeling beyond those words.
Everything that requires action has the potential to cause resistance.
To ‘ease in’ represents ‘non-action’.
It is a principle in every martial art form and in a lot of (if not most) ancient teachings.
Do I have to elaborate this any further?
I don’t think so.
Happy new moon everyone.
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.
“How to develop self-compassion?”
This question in itself imposes pressure on my already beat-up brain. I carried it along for quite some time. This morning the answer revealed itself to me.
Today at 7:06 am I woke up slightly tense.
When I opened my eyes my first thought led me to my to-do-list: I have a video edit to finish, some udemy course about content marketing to work through and of course a huge pile of unfinished articles that demand my attention.
“It is Sunday… Relax!,” one (not me) could say.
I can see the azure blue sky outside of my window. I was planning on going hiking today, but I dropped this plan, because of my to-do-list mentioned above.
Eventually I get out of bed. Mechanically I’m rolling out my yoga-mat, but I realize how much I am craving fresh air. I have to say luckily going for walks and runs in the morning became my non-negotiable habit during the pandemic. Otherwise I would have gone insane. And certainly I still find pleasure in it…
It is 8 am when I step outside the door. The sun is beaming so bright that I can barely see. I sigh with awe when I pass the huge chestnut tree in front of the house. Its white blossoms glow in front of a light green background. The first shiver of gratitude unleashes my chest…
It is more silent than usual. I don’t see a single car until I reach the entrance to a little natural reserve next to the railways of the suburban train close-by.
What used to be a freight yard is now protected territory in the middle of the city, reserved for the rare “blauflügelige Ödlandschrecke”. It still amazes me (and gives me hope) that a huge building project for a residential area was discarded to preserve the habitat of a cricket.
As I walk along the path I find myself completely alone, which is very unusual at this time of the day. Usually I meet at least one dog and its owner.
For a couple of minutes there is no sound but the wind in the aspen and the beech trees that frame the concrete path. (Sidenote: They erected a bridge-like path across the whole protected area in order to preserve the natural floor which is inhabited by all sorts of animals, for example lizards and insects.)
I pause and for a moment I enjoy the silence. When I gaze towards the bushland around me I notice a small snail.
“What does her world look like?,” I think to myself and I feel my stress-levels dropping. I realize how blessed I am to be able to take in this beautiful morning – a golden hour.
…A few days back I thought to myself “What if I was there?”… “What if I was where I always wanted to be?”
“Your bar will always rise,” my boyfriend, who is a trained musician and definitely an artistic soul, reminds me on a regular basis witnessing my constant striving to be better.
I agree. I’m always waiting for the perfect thought. The final phrase that says it all. The sentence that makes every future word obsolete.
Hahaha, writing this down here makes me laugh. Just hypothetically: What if I found it? What would I do afterwards? Would I stop writing and finally go sailing around the world? Would I start building a house and start a proper garden? I don’t know. Maybe.
I remember the day when I decided to start writing in English. My whole ‘writing endeavour’ began at the common area of Tasman Bay Backpackers, a wonderful hostel on the South Island of New Zealand.
“You should write in English, so everybody you will meet along the way can read it.” – “Me? Writing in English?,” I countered with a sense of being ‘caught in the act’. It seemed impossible to me.
“Do you think you will learn it, if you don’t start?,” Vincenzo, the ‘Italian grumpy guy’, who generously shared his morning coffee with me, replied in his straight-forward manner…
Looking back at this moment in time in November 2015 gives me goosebumps. If somebody would have told me that I will have started another blog about personal development and have posted close to 200 articles by May 2021, I wouldn’t have believed it!
And what got me here? The first step. And a lot of patience…
Back to the walk: When I saw this tiny snail amidst these bushes crawling towards her next destination (a dandelion:), I realized that I am exactly where I need to be at this very moment…
The other day I got triggered because a friend said to me: “If I were you, I would go to Italy.” She referred to my previous travels.
I felt some resistance rising. Something inside of me always wants to travel, yes. But not right now. Right now I want to integrate everything that the past six years of nomad life had taught me. Only now, I understand how much my life had shifted and how the limitations of the past year had helped me to explore my needs…
I can’t deny it anymore. I grew. I learnt a ton. I planted seeds that keep growing – in my notebook and in my soul. They need time and compassion….
This morning the snail taught me that it is fine to have modest plans for the day. It is okay to not ‘make the most of it’. It is okay to do some work and chill in the park for the rest of the afternoon – or for the rest of my life, if this is what fills my cup.
I named the snail Patience.
Happy Sunday! 😉
The other day somebody asked me “Who is your guru?”
My first reply was: “Me.”
I still think it is accurate.
I thought about the authors I’ve read.
The thousands of hours I had spent on youtube watching videos on ‘spirituality’.
I had learnt a ton and surely my brain is infiltrated with ideas and even feelings that are not mine.
But did I truly ‘learn’ about spirituality from all those mentors?
Life taught me.
I’ve started my path by realizing that I am not able to wash dishes without freaking out. (I mentioned it in my post about the role of mindfulness.) I have started my path by acknowledging my lack of presence, which cut me off life for a very very long time.
Especially in the recent months I have been struggling with this disconnect again A LOT. Anxiety attacks and panic rolled over me like tsunami waves. And I am tired of holding it back. I am tired of pretending to be strong.
Well, that’s a different story (probably a bit of a contradictory one, but I guess that’s why I am here. To reveal the contradictions of ‘being a human’).
What I am witnessing in any community that is drawn to spirituality or to ‘living compassionate’, ‘oneness’, ‘spiritual sovereignty’, ‘you name it’ is that there are many people following an ideology.
By following one ideology they are often times actively discounting everybody else’s ideas or ideologies.
In any case it is somewhat ignorant to only believe in one fixed ‘set of ideas’, because it forecloses learning experiences and ‘aha-moments’. We can learn from anybody, so why not listen to different ideas?
When the ‘corona crisis’ hit I was stuck in India.
I don’t remember fully what I was more angry about: The fact that I knew that I can’t stay there. Or the fact that I have to go back and witness the narrow-mindedness of our society?
I was really really angry. More than ever I am convinced that this was a ‘sacred’ rage. What do I mean by that? I was enraged, because I believe in truth and nothing else. And to me the truth is obvious, but it is impossible to put it in words – a thing I will be pursuing for the rest of my life: to put life in words.
Using the word ‘sacred’ reminds me of where I’m attempting to go with this post:
Spirituality is not about ‘being spiritual’. It is not being spiritual in the sense of following a fixed set of rules or belief systems. And it is not about following one idea or method or practice…
Yes, I have a ton of crystals in my room. And yes, I light a lot of candles over time. And I pray to the universe. But does this make me spiritual?
What does it mean to be spiritual?
I’m considering myself as ‘spiritual’. I’m spending my time with: developing some sort of discipline to keep my space and my mind clean. Getting my body moving. Eating proper food and drinking enough water. Developing compassion for other human beings by listening to their struggles and to my own struggles with an open heart and without judgement. Hugging trees and connecting with nature…
…and: doing the dishes. 😉
I am encountering ‘spiritual people’ in the same way I am encountering ‘non-spiritual people’. (Whatever that means?) I encounter all of them with curiosity and compassion. (Well, at least I try my very best to do so.)
We all are the freakin’ same! We all are made of the same source!
If you have an idea about what could be right and what could be wrong deep down inside of yourself, if something feels ‘tight’ (or even strangling), really ‘uncomfortable’ in a way that holds you back from getting out of bed on some days….
Then probably YOU KNOW THE TRUTH ALREADY – deep down inside of yourself, but you might close your eyes from it or you don’t honor it….
SO MANY OF US INCREDIBLE BEINGS ARE STILL LOOKING FOR ANSWERS – from the outside world, from gurus, from books, from leaders,…..
And if some or these leaders says something true: “You alone are responsible for your life. You alone can make a choice.”, they get angry or sad or frustrated.
“No, this can’t be it. There must be somebody else making a better choice for me.”
Don’t get me wrong.
I am looking for somebody making choices for me all the f*cking time.
I am a human. A lot of times I am tired or hungry or confused or not willing to make a decision… I, too, want to belong to a tribe – and ‘let them decide’.
But: I don’t blame. I am aware that ‘I can do better’. I can be a little bit more compassionate and understanding towards the person in front of me in this very moment.
I can have a little bit more love radiating from my heart in this very moment.
I can be a little bit more open for the new.
This is ‘being spiritual’.