You must? Really?

My beautiful followers, I have been a bit absent here and I do apologise. As we all do, I had to get my head around a few things and so I had a bit of a reset phase. Triggered by a crazy doing phase, I noticed the importance of resetting and resting versus working and being productivity more than ever before.

I must

And now here I am with a topic that I’ve seen with me and I keep seeing with people I meet in my life, be it connections whilst traveling, my friends and family and also my clients. It is the phrase “I must” that we use a lot without even questioning it. Without even reflecting on the deeper meaning of that little, yet so powerful phrase.

The mental prison

With every “I must” I personally feel like putting myself into a prison and I cannot even blame a person other than me. Every time I say “I must”, I limit myself, I restrict myself, I block myself, I get stuck. I mean who wants to feel stuck? Exactly, so how about you get unstuck?

Do you feel like this is a difficult one? Well, I of course am honest with you and yes this is a process. Considering that we grow up with that mind pattern “I have to” “I must” “I can’t”, it is not necessarily an easy task to turn this mind pattern around, but I know it is possible. Because I have done it or lets say I am also in the process. I have increased my awareness a lot about what I say and the way I speak with myself. So, let me talk about a solution of finding your way out of your mental prison and into ease.

The solution

  1. Awareness: Notice when you say “I must”. Be aware of when you use it and how often you use it.
  2. Observation: See how it makes you feel when you say these two words “I must”.
  3. Reflection: Ask yourself where this is coming from. Who says “I must”? Is it coming from you, from another person or society?
  4. Replace: Now try saying the same sentence again replacing “I must” with “I want”.
  5. Observation: See how it makes you feel when you say these two words “I want”.
  6. Consciousness: Be fully conscious of what you say to yourself, how you speak with yourself and every time you say “I must”, gently replace it with “I want”.
  7. Results: This little exercise will give you results for sure, if you keep practicing consciousness around your musts and wants.

Results

Be replacing the musts with your wants, you’ll gain awareness and clarity about your wants in life, you will free yourself up for the things you really want to do and overall you’ll feel better.

Now, go off and enjoy your life.

Love, yours Nina

PS: If you want to live a more joyful life and attain a greater health in all areas of your life, please feel free to reach out to me. In a complimentary “Get to know you” call, we will find out together how to best get you into your joyful life. Design your life for results, do not live it by default!

PPS: Please follow me on Instagram as well, where I share loads of life designing content.

 

 

Reconnect

I’ve heard the words ‘Connect’, ‘Disconnected’ and ‘Reconnect’ a lot lately. Maybe this is because so many people feel disconnected from themselves and want to reconnect with their body, mind, and spirit, or I’ve noticed it increasingly since it has become one of my favourite topics. I truly believe that if we lost connection with ourselves that we can get it back, we can build the connection with ourselves again. We can reconnect.

Reconnect on different levels

In my opinion, this needs to happen on different levels, physically, mentally and spiritually. Reconnecting with yourself means first of all to become aware, of your body, mind and soul. Ask yourself what is going on here? Where are my pain points physically? Where is my mind going? What keeps my mind busy? Is your soul telling you something? Do you sometimes feel restless? Why? When do you feel most disconnected with yourself? When do you most feel the urge to connect with yourself?

Notice and sit with it

Become aware, notice and sit with it to start with. You don’t have to take any action right away. I know it’s difficult, but it’s better not to fight it, because that would mean you are fighting life, and that in return would mean that you are fighting yourself.

So, start with bringing more awareness into your being. De-automize your being and your actions, whatever you do, do it less automatically, more consciously. Bring more awareness into your life.

Maybe you wonder now, what this is all about and how this should help you reconnect?

Awareness

I know from experience that bringing more awareness to my being, to my body, mind and soul is the first and only step required to commence the reconnection process.

How do you think you can connect with your beautiful life, if you don’t start connecting with yourself? How can you see, feel, smell and taste all the beautiful things in our world, if you cannot even see or feel yourself? Awareness and appreciation are your entry to reconnect with yourself.  Use your 5 senses consciously to bring more awareness into your life, they’ve been given to us with reason, so use them and enjoy them.

Feel Understand Heal

Once you feel & understand, you can heal. Once you start your individual reconnection process, you can come closer to your true self. Once you start the journey becoming the real you, you’ll feel lighter and happier. Of course, there will be difficult moments, of course, you won’t feel light 24/7, but again I know from my own inner journey how amazingly rewarding it is to start this process. To walk the liberating path of personal development.

A liberating feeling

It is liberating. ‘Cause every day feels lighter, with less bullshit, instead with more awareness and gratitude, especially for the small things in our life. Because I also noticed one more thing, it is not really the big things that make up our lives, it is the small things.

And if we manage to appreciate the small things, if we manage to appreciate ourselves, we can reconnect with ourselves, we can let go of bullshit and instead embrace all the beautiful new things flowing (or flooding!) into our lives.

Become yourself

The closer you get to yourself, the more you become yourself, the lighter you will feel and the happier you will be. Because you are truly you. Isn’t that a wonderful outlook?

You can be happy only if you become yourself

If you feel disconnected, if you sometimes wonder who you are, if you truly want to start your reconnection journey, but don’t know where to start, then I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than supporting you on your journey and taking that first step.

I have been on this journey (still am, it’s an ongoing process) and whilst it was tough at times, I am deeply grateful to have (had) people by my side supporting me.

If you resonate with this blog post, then check out my 3-hour workshop FEEL UNDERSTAND HEAL that I will be holding in Munich on Tuesday, 22nd May. I’m so excited about this journey and it gets better every day (with some exceptions haha).

Love to life, love to you and love to myself.

Yours, Nina

 

 

 

Reveal your true self

Inspired and based on Patanjalis’ Yogasutra by Ralph Skuban

Reveal your true self by ‘vairagya’

I chose this topic as part of my yoga exams presentation. Whilst dealing with the Yogasutra in more detail, I realised just how much of a code of practice this book is for life. At least for me. This blog post is inspired by the book and Ralph Skuban, however, it only reflects my way of approaching the topic and is written in my own words.

The word ‘vairagya’/letting go is one of the most important words and statements in Patanjalis’ Yogasutra. Whilst it appears more than once, I focus on chapter 1, verses 12-16.

However, my starting point lies in chapter 2, verses 3-4, where it’s said that we humans suffer, because we don’t know, who or what we really are. Also referred to as ‘spiritual blindness’ or ‘avidya’.

If we are now conscious and mindful enough, we will probably seek getting out of this suffering and spiritual blindness with the objective to reach inner freedom. For me, this means being, who we really are.

Start walking as to reveal your true self. 

In the Yogasutra, this is a higher level of ‘vairagya’, it is ‘paravairagya’, a complete detachment of everything.

Where to start

I would recommend to start at the beginning, just like Patanjalis does in chapter 1, verses 1-11. He states to dedicate yourself to yoga, to self-realisation. Yoga is basically a way to heal, it means healing to the grounds of our being, through a process of cleansing.

One way to cleanse is by calming down and quieting our thoughts and mental patterns, which are continuously changing and evolving, making it even more difficult to quiet them. The stillness of our thoughts is referred to as ‘chitta vrittis nirodhah’. And once they become still, we will be at rest, feel peaceful and find inner peace.

How to find inner peace

In chapter 1, verses 12-16, there are some insights on how we can quiet our mind, and the most important finding for me is that we need to understand that we are NOT our thoughts, that we are NOT our emotions and that we are NOT our memories. We mustn’t identify with our thoughts, if we want to quiet our mind and reveal our true self.

Also, it’s beneficial to establish a ‘practice/abyhasa’ like a regular meditation and yoga practice, and most importantly we need to cultivate an inner attitude of letting go.

Vairagya

By practicing ‘abyhasa’ and ‘vairagya’, we will be led into stillness and hence closer and closer to our true self. With the help of letting go (‘vairagya’), we can find our inner light, our true essence again and we will start shining our (moon)light again, that has been hidden and covered with dust for a long enough time. We can begin to walk the way to our true self.

I love the image of a crystal here. We all are a crystal, but over time, our crystal, our true self, may begin to dust based on wrong identifications or at least identifications that we didn’t really question and hence accepted. The good news is we can start blowing off the dust, today, right here, right now. We are free to dissolve beliefs and limitations, that don’t serve as any longer, and we can create and absorb beliefs that well serve us. By dissolving our old beliefs, we approach our true essence of being, slowly, but surely.

We understand that our happiness does not depend on external factors, but only on what’s within us. We will break out of the prison that we built ourselves, we will break up accepted dogmas, we will free ourselves from living the life that others want us to live and will develop back into our true essence.

Yes, this is somehow rebellion, we rebel to get our lives back and to live the life we really want to live. However, that’s good rebellion, if you ask me.

Let go

To summarise, Patanjalis biggest calling is to practice letting go.

  • Accept what you cannot change.
  • Forgive as if it never happened.
  • Do not judge everything.
  • Let go of what is hurting you.

Imagine a full glass of water. Only by letting go and emptying your water glass, you can create space for new, beautiful things that make you lighter, freer and happier.

For me the most beautiful effect of ‘vairagya’ is that I will be able to love and serve even more, as I develop more empathy for others, more strength to support others and I gain clarity for my life.

A matter close to my heart

This is a topic close to my heart due to my personal experience. Through yoga and my travels to Latin America, I became more mindful and conscious about me and my life, hence I started to reflect and question the existing.

Knots were bursting and I started going my way to reveal my true self. I began blowing off the dust of my crystal and gradually saw parts of my true self again, my inner light that I had somehow forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.

I’m still in the process of dedusting my crystal, but knowing that I’ve already broken open a few chains and limitations, makes me feel so happy and free that I would always walk this way again.

Yours, Nina

When wishing for the pause button

As the year 2017 came to an end, I reflected and reviewed my big and small wins and well as what I failed at, what I could have done better. No worries, I’m not going to write this all down here, but I think it is important for every single one of us to complete that bit of work. Not to beat ourselves up, but on the contrary. Because I noticed that I actually achieved a lot, there were loads of small wins, that I didn’t give myself enough credit during the year. Btw, I’m not only talking about projects, but also shifts in my mindset, changes in my behaviour and actions taken. Of course I also recognised my failures, but the good thing is, you can only learn from them, you can make things better next time. Just be conscious of yourself, your behaviours and actions. Be mindful of those behaviours and actions you’d like to change and then just think “Oh, I was just about to do it again” and then act differently. Break that habit!

Be mindful and break that habit.

After I reviewed my big and small wins, I also pictured my 2018. I wrote down my vision for 2018 at the end of last year. My vision relating to various aspects in my life, like my job/work situation, health & fitness, love, relationship and my ideal set up to live. I thought to myself “Well done, Nina” until I had a call with my coach on 2nd of January to dig deeper into my vision and my associated goals. Despite my daily gratitude, yoga and meditation practice, there were still a few challenges and limiting beliefs that needed to be melted in order to reach my true vision – speaking from my heart. And we did. After the session, I went back to my vision and it sounded too rational in a way, so I re-wrote it completely. I moved from my head to my heart. And I was brave enough to listen.

Move from your head to your heart. And listen. It will reveal the truth.

My coach also asked me what I wish for my spiritual growth in 2018. And here we go. I have a little story to tell to answer that question.

I’m writing the 31st of December 2017. I wake up with a content feeling. The sun is out and it’s already 12 degrees outside, yes really. I jump out of bed (and that day I literally did!), I quickly changed into my running gear and 20 minutes later I was out of the door, direction Isar river in Munich. The second I stepped outside, I was just feeling so happy, so calm, yet excited about life, so grateful, so whohoooo, a feeling difficult to describe. My almost ecstatic feeling even intensified when I started running and moving my body, feeling the sun on my skin and in my face. I couldn’t do anything about it (and I didn’t want to), but I was running around grinning like a Cheshire cat. Even now whilst writing this, I have to laugh.

And whilst I was fully enjoying the run, the sun, the movement, and simply my own company, there was this second of thinking “I want to hold this feeling.” This thought instantly moved me from being in the here and now to longing for something. I tried to hold on to something beautiful and let’s be honest, if there was the possibility sometimes in life to hit the Pause button, we might all happily use that button.

When wishing for the pause button…

Interestingly I find that the topics that I’m engaging with, suddenly appear everywhere in different shapes and forms. One appearance was in a yoga class. The teacher opened the class with exactly that thought.

We try to hold onto things we like and we try to get rid of feelings we dislike. But how about letting go of all likes and dislikes? How about loving what we love in the moment we love it? How about enjoying what is in the moment the enjoyment is present? How about accepting what we dislike in the moment we dislike it? How about accepting suffering (dukha) as part of our lives to be able to fully enjoy the pleasures (sukha)?

…makes you fall out of the here and now.

So, to bridge back to the question, what do I wish for my spiritual growth in 2018?

I want to let go of all likes and dislikes to be in the here and now, at all times.

Yours, Nina

Be here, be now

Simply said, difficult to execute. And yet, these words are the truth to walk the way to happiness.

When I was in Tulum last year and participated in a yoga retreat, one of the daily morning routines at 7.30am was meditation. At that point in my life, I’ve of course heard about meditation, but apart from ‘sitting still’ in my yoga classes, I never meditated. I write ‘sitting still’ in quotation marks on purpose, because this was what mediation meant to me up until that day.

The first meditation during the yoga retreat was not easy at all for me. My thoughts were wandering, to the past, to the future, to the breath of other people in the room, basically everything, but me. I felt restless, not able to sit still, and I couldn’t focus. My mind was controlling this meditation fully and taking me everywhere, but the here and now.

Only when I started focusing on my breath and breathed in and out louder, I experienced a bit of silence arising from within.

If you are struggling with being silent, too, then I can recommend you to start meditating on a daily basis. Start with 3-5 minutes only, then increase the length to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and then meditate as long as you want to. Find a comfortable seat, crossing your legs or sitting on your heels. The beginners amongst you may want to try lying down to start with. I find it easier to be silent when lying down, as it’s more comfy, but obviously with practice you can sit up.

Once you meditate, just observe what comes up for you, do not comment or assess, just notice. Let your thoughts come and go like clouds, thank them for being there to protect you, but then kindly tell them good-bye. At least, for that moment. For the time-being. This way, you’ll be able to experience presence, being in the here and now. Gradually. Do not worry, all good things take time, so take your time to become silent, take your time to be fully present.

To support this process, I also like journalling after the meditation – writing all my feelings & thoughts down into my pink notebook. I feel like bringing everything down to paper is such a relief and it helps me to let go of these thoughts even quicker next time I meditate. Journalling helps me a lot to relive my feelings and thoughts and to move them from the unconscious to the conscious. Always remember that we can only ever change feelings, thoughts, situations, etc. that we’ve become conscious of. Every feeling in the unconscious remains hidden and it becomes more and more difficult to reveal the longer we leave our feelings in the unconscious.

I promise the moment you become conscious of yourself, your feelings and behaviours, it might be just a bit of a shock and maybe it hurts a tiny bit, but then you’ll feel relieved, free and ready to be in the here and now, the way to happiness.

Yours, Nina