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.
In the days between the years I like to look back on the past year. I go over what I am grateful for, what challenges I encountered, what I am proud of, and what I would like to get better at in the future. And then I dream and think freely about what I want to experience next year.
A rich year full of unexpected answers that were there all along
2017 was an incredibly rich year – rich in experiences, meeting wonderful people, great views into the distance from mountain tops, and insights into the depth of my own being. In short: it was everything I wanted, because that’s what I live for. I decided to travel. For one thing, because I simply like to travel, but also because at the beginning of the year I did not feel at home anywhere. I wanted to use the trip as an opportunity to get to know myself better, find out what I wanted to do and find my new home.
I received the answers to my questions during the trip, much earlier than I had anticipated. And they were both unexpected and at the same time always there, deep down in my heart.
The biggest challenge
I discovered that I am both bolder and more sensitive than I thought. That I enjoy being visible, and that I can easily see the good in others. That I have so much to give, and that I can give the most when I follow the flow of the moment. That these are good qualities as a photographer, crystal healer and artist. That these are also good qualities as an employee. That I feel comfortable in all of these roles. That I like closeness and at the same time like to spend a lot of time with myself. That I can face great challenges. That I never run away from them, that I always want to master them. That, too, I think is a great quality. It gives me confidence to know that I can do that. But I also really enjoyed going the other way. The one on which everything flows with ease and joy. The path that makes my heart sing. The challenge here is to trust that all the practical details will be solved once we dare to commit to this path, even if we can not yet see how in the beginning. And that they can be solved with ease.
2018 – Focus on the path that makes your heart sing
Next year, I want to focus even more on this challenge. I want to do more of what makes my heart sing. Listen even more to the voice in me that say „Oh yes!“. With or without explanation. This is the way home on the inside.
The way home on the outer level has revealed itself to be part of this inner journey. Again, the answer was unexpected and yet it was there all along. There is a place that makes my heart sing when I think of it. It is a small town on the east coast of Sweden. Life is wonderful that way, isn’t it? I am very curious to see how everything will pan out in the new year.
If you have tips for me, which work place in Sundsvall and surroundings might appreciate my above named qualities, I would be very happy to hear from you.
Ok everybody, this is it – I have reached the point where I admitted to myself that spending more hours trying to create the perfect banner for my etsy shop would just be plain old procrastination. „Perfect“ lives in Nevererverland, at least when it comes to looks.
It’s really time to allow myself to share with you what is deeper than the perfect look, something I am very proud of as it is today: my personalized crystal readings. I have been doing them for myself for a while now, and sharing them on Instagram as @sarinescrystaloracle. Very excited to be doing them for you (or someone special to you) personally now!
So without further ado, here it is!
A part of me cringes at the idea of adding a phrase that’s meant to encourage you to buy this as a Christmas gift. But dangit, I do love getting and giving Christmas presents, and I can’t think of anything more fun AND useful than the gift of self-discovery. So if I weren’t doing these oracles myself, I’d be my own best customer, haha.
Joy to the world!
Releasing mental and physical blockages with the help of crystals
Crystals are highly effective tools for getting in touch with the subconscious. More specifically, we can use crystals to send orders to our subconscious, which means we can use them to release mental and physical blockages.
Conversely, crystals are also a great way for us to access information that we carry in our bodies and our subconscious. Thus we can use crystals to learn about our higher self, our true nature.
Crystals as tools in our personal development – Open up the space for your potential
Crystals are excellent tools when it comes to personal development. They give us access to information about the potential that lies within us. Qualities and abilities that are not active at the moment or at least not yet fully blossoming, but that we still carry within.
Releasing blockades, awaking our potential – these two processes actually go hand in hand. Because wherever we overcome a blockade, a space opens up that wants to be filled with something new: with our potentials that want to be lived.
As a crystal healer, I support you on your path of self-healing, and the unveiling of your potential. Find out more about how I can help you here.
Something very nice happened to me: I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, by Katey from femenish.com. It’s a little funny because the other day when I checked out her blog, I saw that she had written a post on having been nominated for a blogging award, and how it was such a pleasant surprise for her, since she’d only been blogging for a month. That triggered me because I have been blogging for four years (on and off, but still) and I have never been nominated for anything! So I kind of just shut my computer before I even finished reading that post. If I had continued reading, I would have seen that Kat had nominated me.
I thought, „Oh, this is just your insatiable need for others‘ validation when you should be the one appreciating your own worth. Work on that instead of hoping that someone else will come along and tell you how wonderful you are.“ And I do believe that’s true, others‘ approval will never fill our need to feel good about ourselves and what we do, if we can’t also feel that within ourselves. But here’s the thing: I have a tendency to dismiss entire concepts pretty hastily when there’s really only bits that need adjusting.
When I received a message from Katey telling me that she’d nominated me, of course that made me happy, but I was still feeling conflicted about this. Part of me was going „These type of blogger awards are dumb, it’s just people telling other people how great they are in hopes of having others tell them how great they are. That’s what’s so annoying about social media, so little of what is shared is genuine appreciation or shared from wanting to inspire or be of service, most of it is just a cry for approval from others“.
Accepting that you need others, and that others do want to support you is a greater experience than trying to play the lone wolf
Usually that’s where I close that topic but that day a new voice spoke up, and suddenly the conversation in my head took on a different spin:
„People cheering others on, and wanting others to cheer them on – what is so dumb about that? It’s really wonderful actually because, guess what, if you’re waiting for the day where you become this island, where you don’t need anybody else anymore, nobody’s opinion affects you, you’re fully self-sufficient, that day will never come. And besides, why would you even want that? Being needy is part of the human experience, and yes, it’s great to be aware that others can’t fill the hole of low self-esteem, but whatever happened to kindness towards yourself? Maybe accepting your neediness and appreciating that others encouragement means something to you, and that it exists, maybe that is a much greater experience than that lone wolf thing you’ve been trying to pull off.“
Suddenly I could understand why the neediness I so often observed on social media had bothered me so much (and also: why I was seeing it everywhere). It was my own neediness, or rather: my rejection of the fact that I, too, need other people’s support and encouragement.
We can’t dump our issues on others but if we are willing to deal with them ourselves, there are ways for others to support us
I believe that it takes both: we can’t just take our baggage and dump it on somebody. That always backfires, either immediately when we are disappointed that we didn’t get the reaction we hoped for or in the long run. If we find someone who is willing to take our crap and bear it for us, we will eventually be forced to deal with guilt and a sense of powerlessness. But if we are willing to do the work it takes to deal with our own issues, then there are ways for others to genuinely support us. If we turn to others, not blackmailing them emotionally to save us but rather communicating honestly what we’re dealing with, that gives others a chance to be there for us, not as the hostage of our emotions but as our witness.
Being your own witness is the first and most important step. I also know that sometimes it’s not enough for me to see my own mess. I need for at least one friend (or a friendly person) to see it, too. Not to do anything about it – just seeing it, that is all the doing it takes. I don’t think we can or should get rid of that need. It’s usually the attempt to do so that turns us into that annoying needy person. The emotions we’re trying to bottle up (so that we don’t burden others) are forcing their way out and blow up in someones face. And sometimes we have to be ok with that, too.
Here’s to cheering each other on, and here’s to witnessing ourselves and others in all our glory and all our mess. Here’s to knowing that we need each other and knowing that we also have something to offer each other.
Thank you, Katey, for cheering me on with this nomination!
That’s rule #1 btw: when you’re nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, thank the person who nominated you. In the spirit of keeping things a little not so extremely long anymore, I divvied up this blog post on the VBA. So, if you want to know what this award is about, which 15 bloggers inspire me (that’s rule #2 btw), and which 7 things I want Katey to know about me (rule #3), I have two more posts coming up on each of those. I can hardly believe that this turned into such a big thing but it did! It took me several days just to write the post about which bloggers inspire me. My own „fault“ since I wanted to write a little about what inspires me about them – now I know why that’s not in the rules. It’s extremely time-consuming! But I this was the most important part to me, so no regrets for making that time.
In my last blog I wrote that this is happy although it’s not a constant walk in the park. My coach gave me a picture that I like even better. She suggested that I am at a stage in my life right now where new spaces have opened up, I have entered a new room, and I don’t really know yet how everything works around here. It’s a very good picture because I am going through what feels like extreme mood shifts at the moment, which is the not knowing my way around here part. Sometimes I strike gold, and everything just works, sometimes … not so much.
After I wrote that last blog post, I felt so full of life and energy, that everything seemed to be humming. I recognized this feeling, it doesn’t feel like I am merely being euphoric, it feels like I am in the center of my being, like I am the most me I can be. Yet at this point, I am still not used to being so fully me. There’s still this part that doubts it, and that is basically just waiting for something to show up that it can interpret as proof that this isn’t real. Of course, when you’re waiting for something like that, it’ll show up. And then it’s easy to fall back into other old habits, like criticizing yourself, analyzing everything you’ve done „wrong“, how you could have prevented this, yadah yadah yadah …
This morning, when I was sitting with this question of when things had shifted yesterday, what caused it, what I should have done, and how I could get back to the top again today, it suddenly occurred to me that what I was doing was kind of like putting a kid in a corner for doing something wrong, and telling it that it has to make things right in order to be allowed out of that corner. Now I don’t have any kids but somehow I don’t believe that this parenting style actually works. So if I believe that, why on earth would I think this could work on me or anyone?!
Then I remembered what I do believe in: that the answer to getting out from under something is to get the right perspective on it. I returned to Irka’s analogy of me having entered a new room. And I remembered how I had answered her that I felt like I was taking my first steps on this planet, even though I know that technically I’m 34.
And there it was, the answer: when you learn how to walk as a kid, you don’t do it by analyzing what you do wrong when you fall. You learn how to walk by walking, and stubbornly insisting on doing so no matter how many times you fall. In fact, I feel like we should be celebrating our stumbling and falling to the ground a lot more. It means we’re walking, instead of sitting in a corner, too afraid to even try because we might not get it right the first time.
Here’s to walking and stumbling, to allowing ourselves to enjoy the highs of when we get it right, and to cheering ourselves on when we fall.
My last night in Bangkok got pretty ugly since I fell ill with food-poisoning. I hadn’t even eaten from one of the little food stalls in the street that night, like I had the day before. I had been to a rstaurant. Either way, it was a long and sleepless night, and by Sunday I was seriously doubting I would make it to the airport, let alone to Australia.
Note to self: the no. 1 tourist attraction is never low-key, even if it is a temple
Since I had to check out of the hotel by noon (at that point I was lucky enough to only be exhausted, my body was done with the cleansing process) but the flight was in the evening, I thought it might be a good idea to keep it low-key. Like going to the temple of the giant reclining buddha. In hindsight one might ask if maybe I had emptied parts of my brain during the night as well, since the number one tourist attraction obviously didn’t turn out to be a good destination for a quiet outing. To top things off, you had to go there by boat. It went surprisingly well, and I thought to myself, if I can do this, I am going to be good to board the plane that night. I felt a little queasy was when I smelled food, and I was extremely thirsty but could only take tiny sips if I wanted to keep the water down. As far as discomfort goes, that was pretty ok compared to the previous night.
As long as I’m alive … As long as it’s the right soda!
The way to the airport was pretty awful though, and I thought I might need to ask for help which almost certainly would have meant missing the flight. All I wanted at that point was leaving this city, though, so I was determined ta make it. And I did. At the airport all that was left was extreme fatigue – and I was incredibly thirsty for Coca Cola. I hardly ever drink coke, or any other soda. And here I was, with a desire as bad as an addict. Since for some reason it just had to be „the right kind“, too, I found myself going through several stores, because, of course, most of them only had Pepsi … Life can be funny that way, one minute all you wish for is to live (or die, depending on how drama-inclined you are), the next nothing seems more crucial than getting the right soda … Don’t you just love the irony of that?
Sent back off the airplane – That could have been me!?
It gets even more ironic: I was sitting in the middle row of seats, on the left side. Then came two empty seats, then another woman who was looking like she wasn’t feeling very well. It turned out – you guessed it – that she had fallen ill with food poisoning. The crew called a doctor, and the lady was sent off the plane. Of course I felt sympathetic to the woman but I also thought: that could have been me. Thank God it wasn’t! … That’s how I suddenly found myself alone with an entire row of seats, meaning, I was finally able to stretch out and sleep. Such a blessing after the ordeal of the previous night. I didn’t wake up until they started serving breakfast.
All just coincidence – right?
Thus my short visit to Bangkok ended with kind of a shock. And you might know me well enough by now to know that I don’t believe in coincidence. I am convinced that this wasn’t just some random bout of food poisoning. I believe there has been a process of transformation at work in my body. When I left for Sweden for my two semesters abroad in 2007, I fell ill, too, which I could not explain at all, because I had never been afraid to travel. My parents, who had come to Bremen to see me off, even went to get painkillers. I flew anyway – and at the hostel in Stockholm, where I had a stopover, I felt more miserable than ever in my life. When I arrived in Sundsvall, everything was fine again. What I did not realize at the time was how significant this stay abroad would be. After all, I had no idea that I would move to this country and live there for six years, three of them at the place where I „just happened“ to spend my year abroad …
Explanations make it easier for me to accept a situation
I think this trip is similar, but of course, I’m more aware that this experience will make an impact on the rest of my life. So I’m not really surprised by this physically exhausting start, though that does not take away the shock of the experience. I just always find it comforting to have an explanation. That way I do not have to go into resistance and try to fight something that I can not change anyway.
Sleepless in Sydney – homesick …
The shock came not only from the food poisoning. I could still feel it during my first two days here in Australia. Due to the time difference and the sleep disturbance that comes with it (I do not belong to the people who can fall asleep easily anyway), I felt pretty out of it, and this of course also affects the mind. Tuesday night, when I was tossing and turning in bed, I really hit the low point. I felt so out of place (even though I am staying at a very nice Airbnb, I have a room with a family, so it reminds me a bit of my exchange year in the US, which was such a positive experience) and it felt like I would never be able to feel „right“ again anywhere.
… but where is home?
I was so homesick, and at the same time the feeling was not directed to a specific place. Or rather, along with the thought „I want to go back to xyz“ (in fact, it’s usually the nature in Sweden I miss, when the homesickness sneaks up on my), came the certainty that this is not my home. That if I really did give in to the feeling and decided to quit everything and book a ticket to xyz, I would just end up feeling that I was not „right“ there.
Home is where you are – The real reason for this journey
A while ago, I was wondering what the true purpose of this trip is. Even though it may be true that the idea was born out of a certain impulse to escape (namely exactly the feeling „I’m not right here, so I’m getting out of here„), I was sure that there was something else to it. Because I am convinced that on a deeper level, the trip is still right and meaningful. So what is the real reason? I am convinced that it is about finding the home in me. Because that’s what I’ve come to realize about homesickness: it overcomes me when I cannot feel myself, when I cannot recognize myself in my surrounding.
If you do not recognize yourself in the world, claim your place in it
The world is our mirror, and if we stand in front of the mirror and we do not recognize ourselves in it, then that is scary. But the real reason why we cannot see ourselves is that we do not occupy our space. It is understandable that we contract in a strange environment, instead of expanding. It is not immediately clear to us where and how we can take our spot in this strange place. It was this phase of disorientation I found myself in when I arrived here in Australia.
Belonging and alienation – both are in you, not in your surrounding
I am firmly convinced that this experience, uncomfortable as it may have been at first, was important for me. Because it did not allow me to project my idea of “home“ onto my surroundings. Because that’s my pattern, right? I like a place, I call it home. It gets uncomfortable, I draw the conclusion, this is not home, I move on. I believe that in reality the comfort and the restlessness, the sense of belonging and the sense of alienation are in me – not in the places.
In this initial phase of disorientation, the feeling of alienation was just very strong – and also the pain of it. When I realized that, the feeling of being lost did not immediately disappear, but at least I could remember that the answer to my grief was to take my place. That’s how I can feel me again and THAT is the real feeling of home.
Claim your space – Be that which you feel is missing
How do you claim your space? For me, it means starting by observing what exactly it is that I miss in a given place. I believe that we are claiming our space (which is the same as fulfilling our life’s purpose) as we bring into the world what we miss in it. It may sound somewhat counter-intuitive that we should be what we feel is lacking, but the more I put this belief to the test, the more I see: that’s how it works. When I do for others what I wish somebody would do for me, then I actually get the feeling that I long for – it is as if I receive what I give.
I often feel that the mothering energy is missing in my life, in the places where I am. By now I know that this feeling is a call to me: Be caring to others.
I mentioned that my Airbnb is a room in the house of a family. The mom happens to be abroad this week. The father and the son are great, still, at first I felt that it would have been nice having another woman in the house. It took a moment for me to understand: you may not be the mother, but you are here now. And the answer to what I can do here is so simple: give the kid some attention. I often lack the energy when it comes to playing with children. But that is not even required of me! The son of my hosts is already very happy when I just listen to him and watch him play. When I came back from my trip to the Blue Mountains yesterday, he came to the door right away and gave me a big hug. That made me very happy and I am becoming more and more aware that my ideas about what the world expects of me, what great things I have to accomplish to be enough or to „live up to my potential“ are completely out of scale!
It’s the tiny little things that count and make up our life’s accomplishments. Those are the ones that make up our everyday life – and those are the first ones we overlook when we look ponder the purpose of our life, because we think that it must be something larger than life.
„I see you“ is my life’s purpose. And it’s the present moment that reveals to me in what way I can live up to it.
Accepting your own power is this new moon cycle’s theme here at Amritabha. And it’s really got me going on all levels. It figures, since you can’t accept your power „just a little bit“. Either you’re doing it or you’re not. Daring to accept your power doesn’t mean everything will run smoothly once you made that decision. That’s the challenge: when you dare to do that, it means that you accept entering a situation without being sure of its outcome. Those who dare to do that don’t do it in the spirit of „I know how to do this 100%“. We do it in the spirit of „Maybe I don’t have it all figured out but I’m doing this anyway“.
What if I don’t have it in me?
During my stay here at Amritabha, I scored an amazing writing job. I was stoked. Up until the moment when it was time to finally sit down and get started. I freaked out. What’s worse: my mind just went blank. Yikes! I was admiring this person whom I was supposed to write for so much that I ended up putting myself under a ton of pressure. This just has to turn out GREAT! What if I can’t do it? What if they are wrong about me, and I just don’t have it in me?! Gulp. This. Is. Not.Working.
Ideas don’t come from me – they come through me
Suddenly I remembered: I can do this. That’s why I got this job in the first place. Of course it’s not going to work if I’m panicking. The only thing that does work is this: reminding myself that it’s not actually my mind that has to make all this up. When I write – no; when I write well – it doesn’t come from me. It comes through me. It’s ideas, sentences, thoughts that are floating out there in the space surrounding me, waiting for me to catch them. The only thing I need to do is be aware of it, open myself to the process, and allow myself to become the channel for these ideas and words. It’s simple yet challenging. This approach only requires one single thing of me: unconditional trust in my intuition. The certainty that whatever it is I am perceiving is exactly what wants to be said.
Clearing myself, opening up, being present – I want to live my life the way I give crystal healing
I discovered this technique, this understanding of the creative process, during my crystal healer training with Dauri Neumann. Somehow I just had this trust in myself there. It was easy for me to accept that I couldn’t plan the sessions ahead or prepare them in any other way. The only thing I could do was clear my mind, open up, and be present – to the recipient of the treatment, to the healing that wanted to come through me and the stones, and to the assistance of the divine. That was a very powerful experience, and I thought „I want to live my life the way I give crystal healing“.
This approach comes pretty easy as long as I’m writing for myself. I’m free, don’t have any particular point in mind I want to make, I can just allow myself to see where my writing is going. That copy job had different prerequisites, so my mind started rolling this film like I’ve trained it to do for years: You should know your stuff better! I can’t say anything meaningful until I’ve done more research! You have no idea what you’re doing! So far you’ve always managed to get by but this time they’ll call your bluff! And so on. It was a total blast from the past, the high school and university years. My performance was always excellent, and still I always panicked at some point when writing my papers.
You don’t deliver because of the stress but in spite of it
Back then I thought that this pressure, this stress was the part of the process that made sure I delivered. I think differently now. I did not deliver because of that fear of failure. I delivered in spite of it. The way I see things now, I was afraid because I didn’t know where my thoughts really came from, and why they were good. How could I possibly be sure it would work the next time? For my thoughts didn’t come from my intellect back then, either. They came through it. It was the same principle at work there, even if I wasn’t aware of it: thoughts were buzzing in the air around me and I just caught them. Of course you need to dive into in a topic, do your research. However, if I’d been aware back then of the learning/writing process the way I see it today, I probably would have trusted my instinct with more ease, when it came to determining what was enough information.
The message of listlessness: this isn’t going anywhere
That feeling did exist: it entered the stage as listlessness. I thought I needed to make myself read more (it was never enough!). I often failed at that. That brought on the guilt: You’ve done way too little again! There were few moments where I could acknowledge the thought that I was reluctant towards work because it was not really meaningful. It was only serving one purpose: soothing my conscience, so that I could assure myself I’d done enough.
Accept your doubt just as much as you accept your power – that way you’ll be able to get it done
This look at the past that this writing job granted me was an opportunity to break the spell. Not only do I know now that I want to live my life the way I give crystal healing treatments. I am finally convinced that it’s possible.
How do I prove myself I’m right? Very simple, very challenging: I’m doing it. With my fears, doubts, and my resistance. It helps to remember that all they want to do is play. You can do it anyway.
Open yourself to the wonders that want to come into the world through you
That’s what I mean when I talk about accepting your power: opening up to the wonders that want to come into this world through us (the small ones just as much as the big ones). Trusting that we are provided with everything we need to manifest them. Not to waste our power fighting our doubt but keep trusting. Trusting that our power is sufficient to both manifest our dreams, and carry that doubt.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was a real eye-opener for me when it comes to the creative process. I was especially inspired by Gilbert’s description of how she deals with fears and doubt. It makes it impossible not to love them. According to my not so humble opinion this book is a must-read. Not just for artists but for everyone who wants to live a happy and fulfilled life.
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.
DE – Ich habe für den Amritabha-Blog einen Artikel geschrieben, in dem ich auf die erste Hälfte (!?) meines Aufenthalts hier zurückblicke und über das Thema Schöpfung aus der eigenen Vollkommenheit schreibe. Hier geht’s zum Artikel:
Hier die englische Version.
EN – I wrote an article for the Amritabha blog. It’s about the theme of this (past) new moon (Creating from Perfection), as well as a recap of my time here so far. (Can’t believe six weeks are up already!?). Here comes the English version:
The new moon cycle is coming to a close. „Creating from perfection“ is its theme, which, of course, is really a lifelong theme. It won’t stop and it’s been here the whole time. That has been a key for me, a returning insight over the past weeks: It’s all been here the whole time.
I have been thinking about how I still haven’t submitted anything on this month’s theme (all of us living here wanted to share something). It made me nervous – this is supposed to be my thing, right!? This morning I woke up early, even though I had planned on skipping both a.m. meditations, to finally sleep in for once. Suddenly – seemingly out of nowhere – I remembered the text I wrote on my very first day here at Amritabha. I had no specific intention with it, other than getting off my chest what was happening to me. And, lo and behold: everything really has been here all along.
Six weeks have passed, and as I was reading the text, I see that everything I have come to understand during my time here, everything I’ve learned at the inner child seminar I took, was already present in some way on that very first day:
„A little while ago I saw an interview with Agni, in which he talked about how people are so focused on their problems. He said that those problems would cease to exist if we focused on our potential instead.
That really struck a chord with me because it’s exactly what I do – I scrutinize myself, I examine everything I am doing wrong, all the areas that are „under construction“ in my life, everything I just HAVE to improve. It’s never enough. Then I remembered what I had discovered while going through my old blog posts a while earlier: that I had actually lived the country life I had dreamed of, that the idea that I had abandoned it before I really got started was just that – my idea, not the facts. And I’ve written and published books, yet I suffer from time to time because I supposedly never became an author …
Suddenly this thought popped into my mind: what if get to the end of my life, look back, and don’t find anything to regret. What if I find that there was nothing to regret all along, that I hadn’t done anything wrong, that I’d always been on the right track!?
What if the only thing I’d regret would be paying so much attention to that inner monologue. That voice that keeps telling me that it’s not enough. That I should be doing something else. That I should be someone else. That voice that keeps telling me that there is going to be something to regret.
This epiphany that I really don’t have anything to regret except for the lack of appreciation towards myself overwhelmed me, and I started to cry. Then I wrote a song.
Such a gift! It’s good to see what really needs to change in my life: it’s not my actions, it’s my attitude towards myself. No need to wait till I’m on my deathbed, I get to do that now, at the age of 34. It shows me what it means to be Here and Now and live life to the fullest. This is it. This moment right here.
When it comes to the energy required, it makes very little difference whether I am dreaming about writing a book (or a song) or whether I’m actually doing it. That moment I decided to permit myself everything that brings me joy. Not just planning on doing it and then putting it off. I decided to dedicate as much time as possible to things I enjoy doing. I didn’t want to get discouraged anymore by my thoughts and ambitions, and abandon a project halfway through just because „nobody cares anyway“ or because „there’s a thousand others who are doing it better than me“.
Maybe I’m not one of those who go all in and pour all their time and energy into one thing. Maybe I will at some point. Maybe I’m scared to lose myself. Maybe it’s easier for me to start low and do a little bit of everything every day. Maybe that’ll change things. Either way, the point is: DOING IT, without asking why, without trying to justify, just doing what I enjoy, for no other reason. Then I won’t have anything to regret.
And like I said: despite all my high standards I have always done what I wanted – I was just kind of careless about seeing to it that I do it out of and with joy.
That evening there was a darshan ceremony, or rather, one could choose between MaRa’s blessing and Agni’s darshan. I thought „Go where the fear is“. So I went to Agni. I had been putting myself under pressure about this, thinking „What if I shut down, what if I can’t open up and end up feel nothing?!“ I gave it a chance anyway. As I was facing Agni, my heart was beating like crazy, my fear was back, and I could tell it was the fear of myself, the fear of my own greatness.
As I sat down again, a question rose up inside me: „Can you forgive yourself for being afraid of yourself and your own greatness?“ That’s when the floodgates opened and tears started flowing. I went to the kitchen, made some tea and sat by myself for a while. More tears came when I could feel that it was never my fear that was the problem but my harshness towards myself. Every time the question returned – Can you forgive yourself for being afraid? – a new wave of tears washed over me. It was the only answer I could think of.
I felt helpless because I couldn’t decide whether that meant „Yes, I forgive myself“ or „No, I can’t“. I decided to take this as the wish to forgive myself, and the becoming aware of this wish. Maybe crying was the healing process, and I’d know it was finished when the question didn’t make me cry anymore. When there would only be knowing: I have already forgiven myself.
This is where all the paths in my life lead me: it is never my weaknesses, flaws, failures that are the problems. It’s the conviction that I should and could live without them, this battle against myself. I will never be able to win that one. At worst it will lead me to look back at my life with regret because all I will be able to see are mistakes and weaknesses. At best it will make me look back at my life realizing that there was no need for regret, that everything had been good and right, that I just hadn’t permitted myself to see it that way. I want to live in that awareness now, that everything is good and right just the way it is. For I am not living my life to be able to look back at it at some point and evaluate it. If that were the point, I could have stopped a long time ago. I want to live in the awareness that I am living for this moment. I want to shape every moment so that it holds the maximum amount of joy. That’s the kind of life I’d like to look back on. at some point.“
When I look back at the past six weeks in Amritabha, I see and feel a lot of joy. I don’t know what this summer would look like if I were spending it elsewhere. This much I know: Amritabha is a really good place to be creative, and to create from this state of perfection that is the present – with all our imperfections. I have been bringing more joy into my life, and I have been allowing more joy to come to me than ever before. It is easy. But guess what, that doesn’t make my problems disappear. Nope. Negative emotions come and go, even more often than I am used to. The inner critic is as diligent as ever, chastising me and pointing out my flaws. However, I am getting better and better at remembering that this is part of life. It’s all good, yet I don’t need to pour more attention into this part than necessary. I may keep directing my attention towards joy. That, too, is easy in this place and with the people who live here.
Thank you, Amritabha. Thank you, Fe San, Jaruh, Sina, Joshua, SoLa, Wandana & Samor. Words can’t begin to describe how much I enjoy being with you.