Do you feel like giving up?
Are you angry?
Are you restless?
Breathe in deeply.
Do you blame?
Do you want to scream and shout?
Have you lost hope?
There will be a tomorrow.
thank you for reinvigorating me with energy every day.
Thank you for reemerging after the darkest of nights.
Thank you for shining the spotlight on me – if I’m ready or not.
Thank you for smiling back at me in the early morning.
Thank you for warming my chest when I can’t feel myself.
Thank you for keeping me connected to my source.
Thank you for guiding me the way every single day.
Thank you for being with me – even when you are hiding behind the cloud curtain.
I get it. I get you.
I will always bow to you.
Random human being
‘I feel raw like a carpaccio,’ I am contemplating the current state of my being.
Raw and juicy. Mmmhhh…
My current life situation provides a learning curve with a steepness I didn’t quite expect for the rest of this year.
I had no idea what kind of surprises the universe would hold in stock for me after experiencing a so-called ‘dark night of the soul’, which lasted for about five months.
After working a couple of night shifts in a row I am sitting in front of my computer. I’m catching myself ‘waiting for inspiration’ – whereas my body is screaming for rest.
What do I expect of my neurons? I should lay down and sleep, but of course I’m trying to finish an article I had been working on for way too long (as my inner judge proclaims). In the back of my head I’m beating myself up for not doing (more) yoga or practicing a foreign language.
Jep. My internal organs are contracting. A heavy weight around my ribcage is limiting the capacity of my lungs…
I know this feeling very well. My perfectionism is pinching. Anxiety drains my energy system.
“This is a potent time to be with…,” the words of Kendra Adachi, who assisted me in arriving in the present moment over and over again for the past couple of months, are flashing through my head.
She is right.
I am working a full-time job at a low-budget hostel after living a nomad life for the past couple of years. I’ve started a relationship with a man who massages my feet every day (and who I’ve known only for two months). Me and my vagabond soul are practicing ourselves in ‘settling down’… more or less voluntarily. (I still owe you a longer story of what had happened in the past eight months. As some of you might know – I’ve travelled to India and then I fell apart.)
I discover my own boundaries and I’m learning to set them where I still need to set them. I’m learning to receive. I’m learning to ‘not run away’. To make it short: I’m confronted with regular life in times of a global pandemic. Yay – great fun!
It’s a time of adaptation. More than ever before I can feel it – an old phase had ended and something new began. Where this new period of time will lead? I have no clue… But do I have to know the destination?
2020 has been profoundly challenging – for a lot, if not all of us…
I did my homework during lockdown and quarantine phases (partly self-imposed). I dove deep into the darkest corners of the blackness of my personality. I reconnected with my soul in the darkness. My physical body is still sympathizing with old patterns.
There is A LOT to integrate.
And I better take my time to do it – if I don’t want to scare the people away who are trying to love me (for a change).
Still it amazes me how accurately aligned this global crisis is with the personal crisis I’m going through…
‘Who do you think you are? Some sort of hyper-human?,’ I’m questioning myself…
Well, honestly, I do think I’m some sort of a transmutation or at least I consider my life as a research project – as you might have noticed.
Haha, it sounds like the same story as usual… but it is not quite…
I’ve asked for help and I received it – in ways I have never expected. I’ve met the most inspiring and courageous souls that showed me my own strength and my own endurance.
The darkness became my friend in the end and finally it is my turn to actually apply the tools I had been gathering since I’ve started my journey in 2013 (or was it 2015? or 2017? :D)
‘Surrender or die’ – This is the short version of what I had learnt from my ‘dark night of the soul’. Dark night of the soul? Sounds more hip than just calling it a ‘depression’ or a ‘depressive phase’, right?!
I’m not even being pathetic here. It just wouldn’t be fair to call it a ‘depression’, because I was not depressed in the sense of ‘I couldn’t do anything’. I just lost track for a little while and remained paralyzed in a state of fear. I think that’s called trauma. That’s a difference. Argh, I didn’t mean to sound ironic here. It was really not fun. BUT… I FREAKIN’ DID IT!!! I SURVIVED AND I LEARNT A TON!!!
Anyway, probably I will dive into that further along the way… 😉
The challenge is to surrender. Surrender to the currents of life and trust that my life jacket will rescue me.
And how do I surrender? By doing nothing… First I wanted to call the challenge the ‘What-do-I-want-challenge”. This sounded too proactive and too ‘awwe, she is still searching’. Then I wanted to call it “Mindfulness-Challenge”, but come on?! “Do-Nothing-Challenge” sounds a bit more polarizing…
Another challenge? Well, the task is actually to destress myself. I want to give myself time to adjust…
I had attempted this challenge several times already. The task is to meditate for one hour a day for 30 days in a row…. And see what happens… I’m four days into this challenge and I’m already gathering some learning. By the end of the week I will give you an update.
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.
Devote yourself to your creation. Lean into it. It is your home. By creating you establish a relationship with yourself. By writing it all out you learn to distinguish the voices and eventually you will discover your own. On paper you are able to speak up for yourself. The blank page is the sacred ground of your recovery. Dive into your creation. You can’t drown. You will anchor yourself. This is how you connect with the core of your being.
It is finally the time for some stream of consciousness from the verge of (in)sanity.
I’m going through an interesting phase of my life right now. A couple of weeks back I would have said “I’m going through hell”. But this is not true. I’m still on the surface – probably more grounded than ever before. Later on (within the next twelve months;) I will give you a bit more insight.
For now I would like to share a bit more intuitive writing here. In times of doubt I level up my inner dialog. It is the most valuable tool for a reality check. There are these mantra-like sentences that come flowing out of me into my keyboard – the result of years-long-learning:
Release everything that doesn’t belong to you. You are not supposed to carry all this luggage. Why are you over-complicating your life? Why are you holding on to anger, rage and frustration? Does it belong to you? Why are you still trying to carry the whole world on your shoulders instead of proceeding your way – lightly not with lightning speed.
Go grow your roots to resist that storm! Trust me – it will pass. You are allowed to let it all go… What has passed is gone – forever. You are not responsible. You are not in charge for every single event.
When are you going to understand this? How are you planning to continue if you travel with this heavy baggage?
Don’t be afraid of losing your love. Don’t be afraid of losing your will. Don’t be afraid of losing your hope.
Don’t you feel how your heart opens? Don’t you feel the expansion of your chest if you let it? Why are you suppressing it? Why are you holding your heart in chains? Why do you still control?
You are contracting. Can’t you feel it in your body? You are taking on too much. Are you crazy or what? (just kidding, of course you are)
You are taking things on and on and on and onto your plate. WHY? Your to-do-list is getting longer and longer, but is this what you have to do? When are you going to take care of yourself? I’m not talking about a vacation…
When are you going to trust in life? When are you going to trust in your abilities? You keep talking about trust, but deep inside you do know that you are not there. You don’t trust. You are still trying to control. Trying – because it is impossible to control.
“But it’s not me,” you are starting to scream. “It is my conditioning,” – “Ahahaha,” the universe is laughing out loud….
Don’t you see that this is the point??? THIS is your fucking problem. This is where you are not responding to your abilities. You did pretty good my dear. You gave up a whole lot of bullshit already. You gave up things and even people. Unfortunately you gave up a little bit too much. But don’t worry about that. You will keep g(r)o(w)ing.
Your path had been radical. And it is going to continue radically.
What do I mean by that?
Now your path is called radical healing – and nothing else. No people pleasing, no ‘being brave’.
You are living the adventures of other people’s dreams, but this is not your life. Pa! Here it is – the bitter truth.
“Okay, okay, I got that one. There is no need to yell at me in that arrogant manner. Tell me instead: How do I do it? This radical healing thing… ,”
First of all: You don’t DO it. Secondly: You’re gonna stop defending yourself completely and one hundred percent. There is absolutely no defending anymore. But you will realize how easy it gets. Now it might seem hard to impossible. Now you can’t imagine yourself ‘not defending’ yourself.
“But….,” I can see the constant concern in your head.
You will just stop it – automatically. It caused you so much pain in your life. You wasted so much energy by defending. What you defended was your mask, your story, the image you had of yourself.
Basically this is what caused you all the pain that you have ever felt in the past. You were ALWAYS trying to please others. You kept defending yourself – non-stop. Yes, it was involuntarily. But now that you know it, you have the opportunity to do better…
These days you wish so badly that you wouldn’t ‘know better’, right?! You would wish to continue the well-trodden path.
Well, that’s unfortunate, because the path is gone. There is no maintained path anymore – there never was! You made it up….
There is only the path you follow by walking it; and guess what – you have absolutely no choice but walking it.
The ironic bit is – this is not scary at all! You chose the path. Your soul chose it and you are totally capable of walking it. You have the abilities – even though you are still closing your eyes from it. You prefer to be groping in the dark. You prefer to predict the unpredictable. You prefer to waste your energy on examining uncertainty.
Do you sense the paradox?
Who am I without the stories that I’m telling myself?
Who am I if I give up searching?
Who am I if I’m not defending myself?
Who am I if I don’t create?
Who am I if I’m not brave?
Who am I if I just am?
Who am I if I’m not trying to impress?
Who am I if I don’t have a plan?
Who am I if I don’t know the answers to all these questions?
Who am I if I’m losing it?
Who am I if I’m not being pathetic?
Who am I if I look into the mirror with all honesty?
Who am I if I’m only me?
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.
This is another type of challenge right here. I’m tired of all the notes in my notebook. I’m tired of scrolling through all my endless drafts. Something worthwhile needs time, yes. I got that. But by rewriting an article a hundred of rounds I might lose my original idea and in the end I risk improving for the worse.
Many times I don’t publish only because I think: “That’s not good enough.” “Somebody said this before.” “I can do better.”
Of course I can do better. But when is better good enough? A lot of times I feel like the more I’m trying to improve the more I’m destroying my own writing. I feel like I’m loosing messages that could be worthwhile for somebody.
The other day I went to a writing meetup in Munich. I always like the exchange with other writers. Only now I realize how important it is for my motivation to hear about the broad experience of all these novel authors, script writers, ‘conceptioners’ and comic scribblers.
This time I met Marie from France again and we were talking about a phenomenon: Every so often a book doesn’t get published, because the author changes his or her mind. “I heard this from many publishers.”, Marie contemplated. “You better publish quickly before you can change your mind.”, she encouraged me to silent the judge before it can execute.
The suspicion is close that I’m not brave enough. “I have the feeling you are hiding yourself.”, a couple of weeks ago a friend and potential work partner pointed out to me. And yes, it is true – I am hiding. I’m afraid to publish.
But this blog here is not about me. There are millions of people going through the same things like me – they suffer from anxiety, depression, a broken heart, insecurity, self-doubts, pms, every topic that I address … I have to stop considering my writing as ‘my baby’.
It is my baby in a way, of course. But why am I writing? I’m writing because I want to change perspectives. I change my perspective by reading books, listening to lectures and talking to people. Realistically I’m nothing more than a catalyst of what I read and what I experience in the real life.
These experiences are not unique to me. What is unique is the way everybody processes these experiences. I’m doing it in this way here. Writing is my therapy, creativity is my valve.
I most likely experience real freedom while filling an empty page with my own words. Unfortunately a state of flow is still rather an exception than a rule.
Being a writer is a gift and a curse – however I need to put myself out there in order to fulfill the purpose.
Why do I call it “Writing Transformation Challenge”? I want to develop my own writing style. But by polishing my articles to a point of unrecognizability I kill my style. With this challenge I want to see if pressure makes the diamond…
The goal is to publish a post every day the next 14 days. Day one will be tomorrow.