Speak the language of your inner child, listen to your inner critic and take the couch potato along for the ride – How to motivate yourself in 6 steps
I’ve found a bunch of pretty fabrics in the attic, which have just been lying around since they seemed to precious to use (a habit that I’m glad I ditched – beautiful things are for using, not to be left to a slow and invisible death in a box in the attic!). Seeing them instantly made me want to sew something. Then came the inevitable „I really should do something with these fabrics!“
1. Know yourself.
That’s how it goes, right? „It would be nice to do …“ turns into „I really should be doing …“ Add a „because it’s good for you“ and the whole thing’s dead. For me anyway. I blame the inner child. She rejects anything „good“ (or „healthy“) by default, not even to mention the „musts“. It doesn’t even matter that it’s fun things. So how to deal with that?
2. You don’t need to change your goals, just change the course.
I don’t know about you but I can never win over my inner child. And that’s really a good thing, since she’s actually me! The way I see it, it’s about finding a way to win myself over. I don’t need to want make myself want something else, I just need to use different words and phrases. In child language, things are simply how they are. I would like something made out of my precious fabrics, and I love being surrounded by things made by me. Not because that’s „good for me“, or „handmade“ or any other grown up word. The real reason is the one that is completely justified by kid logic: because. It’s just what I want.
3. Make it easy for yourself.
Maybe you think that should be enough motivation to get going. Ha! So not. It’s not just your inner child you need to get on board with your plans. There’s that couch potato, too. And words aren’t enough to get her going. With my sewing project I ended up booking a class. I know myself enough to know that when I sign up for something, I’ll show up. Especially when I paid in advance! The couch potato may not be completely sold at that point, but it’s a first step.
4. Don’t wait for the couch potato to disappear. Just bring her along.
My inner couch potato obviously did not feel like going to the sewing class when the day came. When I explained that she could just tag along, and not feel like going all the way there, and all the way through class feel like not doing anything, she finally caved. After two days of sewing classes (and yes, the couch potato me didn’t feel like going the second day, either), I had fixed the hem of a favorite dress which had been ripped years ago, made three pillow cases, and learned a ton of stuff about sewing technique. Plus I realized that I prefer my amateur way ignoring technique for the most part and simply do it the way I feel. Too lazy to be a perfectionist.
5. Be proud of yourself.
The dress may be repaired but it has been too big for ages, the pillow cases may be pretty but honestly, I could have saved myself the trouble and just gone and bought some for the money of the class. That is the inner critic’s evaluation of this outing. Of course she had to put her two cents in, that’s what she’s there for. That’s also why I don’t beat myself up over her judgement but I keep in mind that she always finds fault with everything. It’s her job. Luckily there’s that inner child, too. The part of me that adores everything I do, and that sees the good in everything. My inner child was excited that the dress could be worn again – whether by me or anyone else didn’t matter. My inner child loved the pillow cases, and found the priceless, of course – because it was I who made them exactly how I wanted them! Which store sells that?!
6. Share your genuine appreciation.
Genuinely appreciating what we ourselves created is really a way of acknowledging that something was not so much created by us but through us. Technically that’s gratitude. That is something entirely different from demanding others‘ approval, which stems from doubt. When we doubt that something amazing can come into the world through us, it’s because we are under the illusion that what we do is our work alone.
This is inner critic territory: we could make a fool of ourselves, come off as bragging, be crushed by others‘ judgement or on the other hand define ourselves by our accomplishments and become addicted to others‘ praise.
The inner child is connected to the truth: she just wants to show the world the miracle that worked its way into the world through her hands. Not because she’s wondering what the others think of it, or because she wants to „accomplish“ anything beyond her work. It doesn’t even cross the inner child’s mind that her own assessment of her work could be separated from the world’s, that her value as a being could somehow depend on her „accomplishment“, or that she could have any hidden agenda. She is simply amazed by what sprang from her imagination into this physical world. She wants nothing other than sharing her appreciation for that. Nothing to do with being „immodest“ or „show-offy“ or desperate to be liked. It’s a form of expressing gratitude.
And whatever we express gratitude for, we receive more of. That is good soil for future motivation. So let’s be genuine and share our appreciation. In all areas of life.
Find clarity, love yourself, be joyful
There has been a lot going on in my life lately. Internally as well as externally. Something has been put into motion, a lot of wonderful, happy things have come my way. Along with them came old fears. The fear that that happiness could be taken away from me again at any point, for example. The fear that this kind of happiness, the effortlessness of it all, cannot be real. I sometimes have a hard time talking about what’s happening to me when I’m still in the middle of it. Partly because I am reluctant to show myself being „undone“, partly because I simply lack the clarity to express what’s going on. Sill I want to share with you whatever it is I am capable of expressing. So here’s „the facts“ of what’s been going on lately:
1. I did Sina Nanasi’s Inner Child workshop. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t written much about it since I keep thinking „I need a quiet minute to do this“. Thing is, there’s really never a quiet minute around here, there’s always something going on. I guess I’m just going to have to make time one of these days. This much I can tell you right now: My mind is completely blown, and I am crazy in love. With myself, with Sina Nanasi. With everyone and everything. Pretty much all the time. Except for when everything sucks all of a sudden. The spiritual term for that is „being in the middle of a process“. Or having issues. Apparently it’s a part of this life on earth. Anyways.
2.As I was saying: never a dull moment around here. After the workshop, which lasted six days, there was the meet-up week of Fe San’s students. I knew I was going to be involved (I got to help redo the unicorn power place) but I could not have imagined the extent. I met lots of wonderful people, and I felt like I fit right in with the group. I also had the pleasure of taking lots of pretty pictures of both the lovely students and their/our activities.
3.Speaking of pictures: I’ve had the honor and joy of being requested for three photo shootings these past weeks!? Photography has totally been a „just for fun“ thing for me, so this was completely unexpected but still very welcomed. Writing is fun, too, but I think I have accumulated so many expectations and ambitions in that area, that sometimes it’s hard to keep that effortlessness that you have when you are new to something. I was very much into the filming classes I took at Midsweden University and Ung Film in Sundsvall, Sweden, which both helped me understand a few things about what works and what doesn’t in photography. Still I never considered this as an option for me, career-wise. So it’s like I said: sheer fun. Perfect proof that this is what life is about: when I am doing things for the fun of it, I do them pretty well, and it’s that joy that speaks to others.
4. I realized that there is plenty of space for several great loves in my life. I don’t nee to choose between photography OR writing. Writing is here to stay, of course! I’ve scored some freelance work there, too. It’s just starting, and I am super excited about the project!
All of this is new to me, and at the same time it’s a very liberating „I knew it!“. It’s new to deliberately express the things I have been feeling withing for a long time (for ever?). It challenges me from time to time. It makes me face practical questions on freelance work in general, which I have been reluctant to pursue because it seemed daunting (yet I’ve had this feeling I might not be among those who are happy with the classic 9-5 employee situation).
The biggest challenge which this living joy thing is that it is facing me with my doubt whether this really is possible. This doubt shows up in the form of fear that I might get so caught up in these moments of joy that I forget „Something Really Important“ – and that I’ll get in trouble for that. Hasn’t happened yet (well, I have spaced stuff, but not „Something Really Important“ yet, and I haven’t gotten into trouble for it, either).
Doubt also shows up when it comes to the money part. Suddenly I am becoming aware that I have this funny notion that I couldn’t possibly ask money for something I enjoy doing so much!? Let alone from people whom I like so much!? There’s that part of me that finds this outrageously brazen. Sure, since working with something I don’t really enjoy, with people I don’t care for all that much, is such a wonderful alternative. Not.
I am happy to welcome all these processes, issues and this doubt into my life. They are part of the package if you choose the good stuff. And I wouldn’t want to miss out on that! There is no security, there is only this false sense of „security“. I’d rather experience life with everything it involves than avoid it. One of my insights from the inner child workshop.
A-R-A Lichtzentrum | Photojournal
DE – Am Samstag hat das Amritabha-Team einen Mini-Urlaub im Schlaraffenland gemacht. Benira und Rano Niederberger vom A-R-A Lichtzentrum in Biel hatten uns eingeladen. Ausflüge sind ja immer was Feines, aber das hier war wirklich etwas ganz Besonderes. Beniras und Ranos Lichtzentrum (was gleichzeitig auch ihr Zuhause ist) ist eine richtige Oase und die beiden sind unglaublich herzlich. Wir wurden verwöhnt mit Kuchen, Hugo, Grillbüffet – natürlich alles von Hand zubereitet. So schmeckt Liebe! Eine kleine Wanderung haben wir auch gemacht. Da Worte der Schönheit dieser Begegnung gar nicht gerecht werden können, höre ich jetzt einfach mal mit dem Schreiben auf und zeige euch lieber Bilder.
EN – On Saturday the Amritabha team went on a little trip to paradise. Benira and Rano Niederberger of the A-R-A light center in Biel, Switzerland had invited us over. Going places is always fun but this was really something special. Benira’s and Rano are just the sweetest people and their light center (which is also their home) is a true oasis. They pampered us with cake, drinks, barbecue – everything homemade, of course, and you could definitely taste the love. We even managed to squeeze in a little hike into the afternoon. Since words can’t even begin to describe the beauty of this encounter, I’m just going to stop writing now and let the pictures do the talking.
DE – Lichtzentrumsleiter des A-R-A und unsere Gastgeber an diesem Tag: Benira & Rano.
EN – A-R-A light center managers and our hosts that day: Benira & Rano.
DE – Zuerst gab es Zwetschgenkuchen und für mich noch einen Wespenstich dazu. Dem Trick mit der Zigarette war ich ja erst etwas skeptisch gegenüber, aber er funktioniert.
EN – We started with cake, I topped mine off with getting stung by a wasp. I was a little unsure about the cigarette antidote at first but it worked.
DE – So viel Licht! Fe San & Benira.
EN – So much light! Fe San & Benira.
DE – Sina gibt u. a. das Seminar Das Innere Kind – Verlieb dich in dich selbst!, an dem ich letzte Woche teilgenommen habe. Da werde ich auch noch was zu schreiben, obwohl unsere Gesichter in diesem Bild eigentlich schon eine gute Zusammenfassung sind.
EN – Sina has created a wonderful inner child workshop, which I took last week. I’ll write more about that but really, the expression on our faces says it all.
DE – In so einem Paradies darf eine Katze natürlich nicht fehlen.
EN – It wouldn’t be paradise without a cat.
Interlude – Der Spaziergang | Our little hike
DE – Die drei SSS. Samor ist der andere Kurzzeitmitbewohner in Amritabha. Abgesehen davon, dass wir beide die gleiche Schuhgröße haben und gerade als Nomaden durch die Welt ziehen, sind wir recht unterschiedlich. SoLa arbeitet im Büro von Amritabha und nennt uns ihre Kinder. Seit sie vor ein paar Wochen ein iPhone gekauft hat, sind solche Bilder hier von ihr eine Seltenheit geworden. Die sehen jetzt meist eher so aus …
EN – Triple SSS. Samor is the other short term house mate here at Amritabha. Apart from the fact that our shoes have the same size and that we’re both nomads traveling the world we’re pretty different. SoLa works at the Amritabha office and calls us her kids. Ever since she got herself an iPhone a few weeks back, pictures like this have become rare. Most often they look like this these days …
DE – Ich kenne ja auch das Gefühl, an jeder Blume stehen bleiben zu wollen, um sie mit der Kamera zu verewigen.
EN – I can relate, though. Wanting to stop at every single flower and capture it with my camera.
Wieder zurück | Back again
DE – Im Garten von Benira und Rano gab es auch jede Menge Pracht, die bewundert werden wollte.
EN – Benira’s and Rano’s backyard yielded a ton of pretty that wanted to be admired, too.
DE – SoLa durfte Brombeeren Pflücken. Sie waren Sina wohl doch nocht „etwas“ zu sauer.
EN – SoLa got to pcik some boisenberries. They may still have been „a tad“ too sour for Sina’s taste.
DE – Diesmal servierte Wandana schnell das Gegengift: Hugo.
EN – Wandana was quick to get the antidote for this one: Hugo.
DE – Leben wie Göttin im A-R-A. Hieran könnte ich mich glatt gewöhnen.
EN – Livin‘ it up at the A-R-A. I could get used to this.
DE – Wie gesagt: ich könnte mich dran gewöhnen. Danke, Benira und Rano. Es war ein sehr schöner Tag mit und bei Euch! Ich glaube, ich habe mich ein bisschen verliebt. Nicht nur in die Hängematte. Ich habe den Verdacht, der Tag wäre kein Gramm weniger schön gewesen, wenn ihr uns nicht so verwöhnt hättet. Schön, dass ihr es trotzdem getan habt.
EN – Like I said: I could get used to this. Thank you, Benira and Rano. It was a lovely day. I think I’ve fallen in love a little bit. Not just with the hammock. And I have a feeling the day wouldn’t have been one bit less lovely even if you hadn’t spoiled us the way you did. Thanks for doing it anyway.