3 Ways to Drop The Self-Sabotage-Agenda

“What’s harder? Accepting that you are happy and blessed or resonating with your trauma?”

This is a question that found its way into my notes at some point in 2021.

All of a sudden there was light at the end of the tunnel – after a dark period of loss and despair (Let’s call it “the year 2020”). I had a new job in sight and a relationship I was in (and still am) turned out to be a safe haven for…my chaos, my love and my growth….

Unwittingly I had arrived in a place where I am ‘allowed’ to flourish – in all shapes and colors.

“Yesterday it rained and today the sun is shining. One has to deal with that.”

This quote is written on the website of a coaching “agency” I had the chance to work with last year. I had the chance to get support by an art therapist within the framework of a ‘coaching & consultation for creatives and people who work in the media industry’.

The quote describes accurately the situation that I had found myself in last year. Even though things got significantly better, the self-doubt was lurking and fight-flight-freeze often the only response to stressful experiences.

“Yesterday it rained and today the sun is shining. One has to deal with that.”

The thing is: We humans tend to resonate with trauma and with worry more than we resonate with happiness.

It is incredibly hard to resonate with happiness if we have re-created and cultivated trauma-responses in our lives early on.

For example: If we are programmed to disregard our own needs or goals in order to protect or impress a parent and/or to harmonize the relationship dynamics within our family, most likely we will carry out self-destructive behaviours in our adult life. We might neglect our personal goals or our health.

Until we learn to prioritize ourselves…

How Far Did I Get With Displaying The Same Behaviours?

We all have developed mechanisms that help us to be accepted within our tribe, but there is a possibility that we have buried parts of ourselves and a whole lot of potential beyond these survival tactics.

There are Psychologists like Gabor Maté or Neuroscientist Bessel van der Kolk who devoted their work to understanding the dynamics of trauma. And how we can train our brains to move “through” the trauma.

I’m taking a short-cut here: What trauma research has shown is that trauma affects our brain physically and as a result it changes our behaviour.

The great thing about that: We are able to transform our coping-mechanisms to some degree – thanks to neuroplasticity.

And I experienced it first hand – basically by starting this blog (which still astonishes me!!!).

At some point I asked myself:

How far did I get with displaying the same behaviours over and over again?

Not that far – so why not try something else? The opposite, for example!

And this brings me to the first insight that helped me to change my relationship with self-sabotage:

1. Belief What Other People Are Telling You About Yourself

About two years ago I was in a state where I had no choice anymore. I had to ask for help.

The global crisis was incredibly aligned with my personal crisis: I reached rock bottom when the pandemic forced me to “go home”. Apart from travel life my whole idea about romantic love got smashed and my mom got cancer. I had no idea what to do next.

I knew one thing: I couldn’t trust myself, because I had been misleading myself very far off from my core… I did not know where I begin and where I end – boundaries still appeared to be a foreign concept to me.

How did this happen? Apparently I was constantly re-traumatizing myself! The more I learnt about trauma-responses, the subconscious and the biochemical processes in my body, the more I understood in which way I had created my own reality:

How do we create reality? We filter, segment and value the information that we receive – partly subconsciously.

I thought negatively about myself, because I never really learnt to prioritize my own needs. I always functioned as some sort of “emotional buffer”. Within my family and in friendships often times I found myself in the role of a rescuer – or mediator (best case scenario).

So, what did this do to my thinking? I filtered mainly the negative information out of every situation and every conversation that proved my self-image to be right. Subconsciously I programmed myself into thinking: “I am not worthy.”

This way my lack of self-confidence became a self-fulfilling prophecy… UNTIL: I had to ask for help, because I felt mentally and physically unprepared to deal with the changes that presented themselves in my life.

Slowly I opened up to coaches and therapists. I talked to my friends and other people who helped me to recover my own resources:

  • my determination towards growth
  • my willingnesss to learn
  • my resilience
  • my “spiritual tools” like yoga and meditation
  • my love for nature
  • and last but not least: My ability to relate to others and my compassion for all beings (connection to the planet).

Finally I experienced a sense of self-worth.

It dawned on me: What if I trusted? What if I’d believe in the positive things people are seeing in me or telling me about myself? (Much, much earlier in my journey I had started to cultivate a diary of compliments, which helped me to collect positive things about myself. Maybe I should start this again.)

2. Make a Different Choice – NOW

I had nothing to lose.

Looking back this sensation gave me a never felt freedom amidst a personal crisis. A freedom that gave me an opportunity to choose a different direction and at the end a whole other way of being!

Today, I made the choice:

“I’m going to press the publishing button – no matter what.”

This is what I owe myself – a commitment to my own writing journey, my own growth (even if it hurts).

And this is also what I did in the darkest moments of my life: I made the choice to think positive. To trust into the universe.

Sometimes we need to make a different choice – just for the sake of it!

Just for the sake of “trying something new”. As simple as that.

In my experience this is the way to go in order to live a different life.

Sometimes any action is better than no action – in order to get out of deep discomfort, the writer’s-block or in order to change anything in life…

It can be the tiniest step, but it will be a step in a new direction – towards a new life!

3. Appreciate Your Gifts

Retrospectively my willingness to open up to possibility led me onto the path of becoming a professional coach! (I will share more about that “right on time”.;) How? I had asked for feedback. I received feedback that helped me to start valueing my abilities. And now I am starting to implement the changes into my life.

All of a sudden my brain created the following questions: What if I had something to share? What if other people could benefit from my life experience? What if I’d drop the self-sabotage-agenda?

 

“The Why” is Not The Holy Grail

“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.

“Hm.”

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.
  • Codependency.
  • Addiction.
  • Rage.
  • Fear.
  • Grief.

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.

 

A Moment of Bliss

Curiosity is rising inside of me. There is only clarity. There is nothing I can see. The appearances of life don’t matter beyond the realm of my mind.

I arrive in my body. And I do it with delight. I feel a sense of care for myself. There is a pure source of love within my heart and my breath is the key to that door that I had locked with distraction.

I feel compassion for my old self. I let the anger fade like the clouds in the sky on that stormy day. The wind is blowing away my resentment towards myself and the world. No doubt is blurring my sight as I allow time to pass. And this is what I do – sitting and waiting and entering that state of bliss with all of my being. That chamber of excitement – bright and colorful placed inside of me is bringing me to life.

At the bottom of my heart I can be at rest. There is only peace. There is nothing to run from and nothing to run for. Because everything is already achieved.

I am earth. No need to “earth” myself.

There is a common ground within myself. This is why I feel compassion for the entire planet and not only for the people who are close and dear to me.

Non-judgement is the true nature of my being if I allow my thoughts to drop like snowflakes on an icy winter-afternoon. Thoughts can be fun, but they can also cause a lot of turmoil.

All of a sudden I am able to tap into that powerful being that I am. And I knew it all along. I feel grateful that I am finally able to hold my own hand. I finally found my tools – within.

 

Observations of 2021

I wasn’t planning on writing an “end of the year”-post. (I was planning on writing a whole bunch of other stuff of course – as always:)

But there is some plain truth revealing itself to me over and over again in the recent days.

It is this crystal clear clarity – the clarity of a freezing cold, sunny winter morning:

Healing occurs – but “the work” doesn’t end.
Awareness opens up new doors. It brings forth new realms, new lessons to discover…

The lesson is not the learning. It is never the learning.
The lesson is the experience.

This year ends as it began – with a bucket full of wisdom.

My main observations of 2021 that hopefully serve me well in 2022:

  • Time passes – if I do anything about it or not.
  • I get wiser – if I want it or not. 😉
  • Everything changes – if I want it or not. When I said “I am the change” at the beginning of this year, it was true because I am “the whole ocean in one drop” (Rumi), but still there is a whole other ocean out there…. (With other words: The whole ocean is still vast and unknown.)
  • NOTHING is like it seems! I wish everybody would understand this….
  • And (surprise, surprise): I can’t predict the future – neither can I control the outcome.

What can I do?

I can embrace the human experience (my newest discovery).

I can give birth to every moment, to my own creation, to connection, to myself (the old and the new)….

I can meet my intuition halfway – in stillness. And the stillness is not to be found anywhere else but “within myself”.

This is all nothing new. I wrote about all this from day one of this writing experiment called “growthbuddy”.

And still: This is what fills me with joy. Writing this down here lets my heart sigh, so I will keep going. And this time one thing is for sure: I CAN’T WAIT!!

I am beyond excited to greet 2022. Also I am beyond excited – and honored – to finish this year with a little bit more peace and acceptance within myself. And hey: This is more than I could have ever asked for.

Thank you life for always meeting me where I am at 😉

 

Collective Shadow Work, The Fear of Change and The Paradox of “Surrender”

Change is here. Change is now. By now most of us seem to agree on this: Change is inevitable.

But how do we proceed on our journey?

The fear of change is creating a huge shadow overcasting the sky of opportunity.

It is our turn to step up and step right into this fog. Now is the time to shine, fellow lightworkers. Don’t be scared of this huge wall of darkness in front of you. It is only energy and you are able to transform it.

Give in and surrender to your feelings. This is how you let the wall dissolve. This is collective shadow work. Allow your cells to transmute.

Open up. Loose grip. Bow down. Give in, soul.

Devote yourself to the truth.

Melt into the moment. Accept the challenge that is being presented right in front of you.

Look through the veil. Open yourself up and step into reality.

Solve the problems that you are facing with the means that you have instead of blaming, blaming, blaming… the circumstances or everyone else who appears to be incapable of solving your problems, because they are your problems and not theirs.

You have the power to solve those problems if you are willing to see the resources you are given.

What are you fighting for? And what are you revolting?

Let go of your comfort and then let go of your discomfort. As simple as that.

“The great surrendering” is here. We have the chance to come back to our senses.

Confusion leads to expansion if we let it.

Chaos is the motor of our progress.

Challenge is the driving force of the evolution of consciousness.

Fear is our magical tool.

Why?

Fear vanishes the ego. Let it in.
Fear forces us to dive into the unknown.
The ego can’t persist and it will succumb to unity.

This is our unique opportunity to come back to life.

 

Ease in

What’s the difference between ‘easing in’ and ‘letting go’?

Words.

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.

 

Yes, Universe

“The universe doesn’t understand no.” – This was the title of an article I wrote about three years ago. At that time I did not suspect what kind of journey I was driving at. It was and it still is the journey of truth.

I couldn’t foresee that this blog would be a life-changing endeavour and a continuous force moving me along my personal development. This blog truly became my motor. I am constantly learning and listening.

What I thought were ‘dead ends’ were portals disclosing different layers of consciousness. Writing this down here fills me with joy and gratitude. I am more than grateful that I had been able to listen – that morning in 2017 when I had the dream about giving birth and starting this domain.

That morning I had started listening and I never stopped.

“Ask the universe and it answers” – it was also in 2017 when I understood this fundamental truth.

Our thoughts manifest our reality. EVERY thought that I ever thought manifested my reality. Up to date I am witnessing this with brighter and brighter clarity.

Of course I made moves, I took decisions, but the truth is that everything happened to me. I was always guided by, call it, destiny if you wish.

What I understand more and more is that I am the one ‘steering’ my fate. Putting this in words is delicate, because the words around it cause so much resistance. Nevertheless I keep trying… I am not steering in the sense of controlling. I am taking a course. I am navigating through inclement weather. I am responding to the circumstances.

Paradoxically, partially, I am the one creating the circumstances.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post called “Not to write is not an option”. Over the course of the following weeks it dawned me: I had planted a thought into my head. The thought that “I don’t write enough”. Hahaha, it still blows my mind how these words could become the root cause of a slight anxiety resting in my subconscious, a cord constraining my chest.

Seriously, every single day on this earth I understand it on a deeper level: HOW MUCH my thoughts influence my behaviours. UNWILLINGLY. This is the crucial thing. It is beyond my control more than it is within my control. It just is.

Do you know this feeling of looking back at some life-event asking yourself: “How could this happen? How could I/we make this decision?”

Well, when you are really honest there had been this voice in your head or that conversation that took place – much much earlier. The terrified “What if?”. The doubts that were shouting louder than the confidence. It can be a fear, a lack of self-worth or a false belief: Maybe your self-worth was tied to some imaginary value of what it means to be worthy. Tadaa: It’s done. Reality created. It is really really hard, but it iss possible to over-write and re-create that image.

How?

With the power of imagination.

So: The most crucial part on this journey is to make use of our VIVID imagination. We just have to be brave enough to make things up. To create a positive image of our future or of that project, that move you had been planning for soooo long. The only twerk is to shift focus to the positive – the possible! Action WILL follow automatically.

Of course, it is possible to act first, but if not: The thought is first. Action will come as soon as the faulty image of ourselves in our head does not have any foundation anymore. In this moment we create the new reality.

I know that you know it. I am just reminding you.

Have you truly opened yourself up to possibility? Have you let go of the clinging to the conditioning? Do it now. Let it go and receive what belongs to you anyway.

 

Sacrifice

Just now in the subway a word came into my head: Sacrifice.

I know the word, but am I familiar with it?

Years ago I met this martial arts athlete in New Zealand. He introduced me to his secrets of success: determination, loyalty and sacrifice.

I got it. He had to train hard in order to be a successful fighter and he doesn’t have time for much else – apart from his pals and family.

But honestly, for me it was always hard to grasp. ‘To sacrifice’ always sounded slightly pathetic to me.

This morning I took a shower and I knew my day would get better if I’d turned the tap on cold.

I did. And interestingly I felt nothing.

Well, not nothing. But I did not feel the need to control.

I didn’t control my breath. I didn’t tense up. I didn’t move around tipoeing.

Automatically my heart started pumping my blood a little bit more intensely. My breath speeded up. I inhaled deeply and exhaled strongly.

My body took over. Within a minute I was wide-awake and I had a smile on my face.

In this moment I realized that sacrifice had been a part of my life ever since. But it didn’t feel like it, because subconsciously I always knew that my thoughts, my perception of myself, my limitations and the world around me is just an illusion.

The image that I have of myself is not true. What I think I am capable of is not true. Or let’s phrase it differently: What I think I am not capable of is not true.

I realized how much I had been trying to control my body during these cold showers.

Why? Because I did not trust in my body. This morning I found out that it is completely unnecessary to distrust, because my body knows better than me.

The same thing happened to me the other day when I did over one hundred sun salutations for the first time in my life while during a yoga challenge I attended. I did not know that I was capable of such a physical task.

I set the intention in my mind to let go of control. I said it out loud: “Okay, body, it is your turn.” – and all of a sudden another intelligence took over. The intelligence of my body.

What does it have to do with sacrifice?

Everything. These experiences showed me what happens if I am willing to truly step out of my comfort zone. People who know me are aware of my ‘Aries’-nature: Avoiding challenges is not my thing.

Nevertheless there is a whole other layer of ‘control’ that I didn’t really grasp.

By sacrificing my need to control I am gaining self-confidence, trust in life, in my actions and in my body.

The more I am willing to let go of convenience the more I ‘prepare’ myself for… Yeah, for what?! I prepare myself for making uncomfortable decisions, for listening to my internal voice, for stepping up, saying ‘yes’ to things that scare the shit out of me….

One definition of the noun ‘sacrifice’ according to Merriam Webster dictionary is: “destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else” – as simple as that. In religious terms it means ‘to offer an innocent being to the gods’ (I could make a huuuge topic out of it, but I won’t.) What am I offering? I am offering my victim mentality, my hesitation and my self-doubt in exchange for self-responsibility and energy.

This morning I had a choice: Do I want to remain in the passive, supposedly ‘cozy’ state of the early morning or do I want to wake up fully, gain clarity and start my day active?

It is interesting, because my example shows how we can actually make use of our ego. Our ego is our means of transport. This is something a lot of people don’t speak about. At least I find that it is not emphasized enough. The ego is not only bad.

Our ego is our messenger. It transmits the spark. The idea is to catch fire, recognize it and carry it through – burning down our resistance – willingly.

How do we do it WITHOUT ego? We don’t. What we do is, we make use of our ego and then we shift gears and allow our subconscious or our body to take over.

This, again, requires trust. The willingness to cross that line. The desire to cross that line of self-pity, fear and anxiety and trust that the grass is greener on the other side.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a time to feel comfortable. There is a time for remaining still and hibernating in our cozy cocoon. But also there is a time to step up, step out, move ahead, go your own way, make an effort for the greater good (in the end).

Sometimes we have to sacrifice comfort, friends, relationships, jobs and even the connection to our family (is it responsibility or just the feeling of duty?) in order to become our own person.

Sometimes we have this deeper knowing that there is ‘something else out there’. In my experience it is well worth it to listen to that tiny voice and disregard ALL those voices telling you that you can’t – the external and the internal. YOU CAN! You can do whatever the f* you want.

What I found out over the course of the past years, especially the last year, is that there always is something else out there – as long as we have this slight feeling, this intuition, this quiet subtle voice of our heart, our soul, however you want to call it. Even if the voice is quiet, the voice is right! GO for it!

We are allowed to grief all the things that we sacrifice, but we are also allowed to welcome our new self. Our stronger self. Our real self?

Surf the wave of change.
Commit to your own growth.
Take your goals seriously.
It is your life and you choose what to dedicate your time to.

 

Time is Relative

Let it fade.
Let it die.
Let it be.
Let it fly.

Enjoy the moment for what it is.
Things change in an instant.
You can’t hold on to this.

Opportunities are endless, life is vast.

Time is fluctuating, so please human,
launch into the present and release the past.

 

Be Soft

Autumn is here. 

Releasing the trees.

Let it release you too.

Let the winds blow away your baggage.

Surrender.

Be grateful for the seasons passed…

Rest, move inwards and prepare for what’s coming up next. 

Be soft.

Be subtle like the change in time.