Freedom – Am I free?

Freedom. Happiness. Love.

These 3 words are my key goals, my why, for being on this journey of personal growth. This article is dedicated to the all important word freedom. But what does freedom actually mean? What does it mean for me? Am I free?

I have stumbled upon these questions more than once now. Probably because I’m on this spiritual journey. Probably because I’m questioning existing beliefs, behaviours and limitations. Probably because I’m curious by nature.

I have always been. 

Yes, I’ve always been curious, but looking back now, I feel like there was one kind of curiosity that was accepted in life, and another curiosity that wasn’t. Because it was too questioning. Too rebellious. Too scary. Which means that over time, I’ve reduced the amount of questions asked, I didn’t challenge the existing as much anymore, I basically lost my natural curiosity about life. I lost who I have always been.

However, it would be unfair to say that it is fully our society’s fault, because at the end of the day I accepted the existing, I accepted certain beliefs, I accepted specific behaviours as well as limitations. Most likely though, the acceptance wasn’t a 100% conscious process, but I trusted that the existing was right, good and I guess normal. Because why would you question something that seems to work? The answer is you wouldn’t, until you do, which is when you realised that things don’t actually work. Well, for me at least.

I’ve been at this point several times now, but my breakthrough to dig deeper and to really question the existing happened whilst travelling through Latin America, especially when I was in Mexico. Ever since, I’ve embarked on a journey, on my inner journey.

Destination: Myself. 

I understood over the last years that my inner journey with the destination ‘Myself’ has long been overdue and is absolutely essential to the pursuit of freedom.

Whilst we are of course influenced by society, our parents and upbringing as well as by politics etc., it is still our choice – especially when we grow older – which influences we actually accept or reject within our value system.

We are free to choose.

This means we can choose every moment who we are and who we truly want to be. But we will only experience true freedom, once our mind is truly free, allowing us to be, truly and authentically.

True self against Troublemaker

However, our true self often faces our difficult self. I like to call it ‘Troublemaker’. We are scared, our thoughts limiting and our self is less wild. Love is increasingly replaced by fear. We’ve lost ourselves.

But don’t we remember what our true essence is? What our purpose of existence is?

True essence

Our true essence is to enjoy life, to play like a child on the playground, to explore, to be happy and to love.

I am craving that life again, a life of freedom, of happiness and love. I got an amazing taster of life and my true essence whilst travelling through Latin America and I simply cannot go back. I want to get to the bottom of my true self again. I want to let go of all limiting beliefs, I want to express my feelings, I don’t want to live my life on other people’s terms, so that I’m being liked and accepted, I first and foremost want to like myself.

Because I’ve understood: If I like myself, I can dissolve everything that does not serve me any longer. I can blow off the dust of my very own diamond that is my true and authentic self.

And then I can go and get my freedom back, visualising everything I’ve always dreamt of.

PS: Do you see the yellow reflection on the picture? On the left side, right where the heart is? No more words needed…

Go and follow your heart.

Yours, Nina

 

 

 

 

Yoga Teacher Training-Episode 6

For consistency reasons, I’ve titled this post “Yoga Teacher Training – Episode 6”, but really it should be titled “Dissolving of pain”. Dissolving pain might not sound too great, but oh it is. You ‘only’ have to trust the journey.

Hip Openers

On Friday, we continued our yoga teacher training. Our teacher Nella already advised us beforehand that we will be working with hip openers majorly that day. Just hearing hip openers and thinking about it, I actually get warm and slightly nervous and so I did, when I read my teacher’s email.

Here’s why: when I travelled through Latin America and started looking at myself and my life in more depth than I ever did before, I stranded in Tulum, Mexico for a yoga retreat. During this retreat, I worked with a healer for a few sessions and I told him that I had been suffering from tight hips and groins for a year already (this was in Oct 2016). And for the first time in years, just by the healer mentioning words like “love”, “hurt”, “heartbroken”, “truth” and “trust”, I started crying. My tears were rolling and rolling. These tears, I knew instantly, were long overdue. I had very obviously locked up emotions and feelings – maybe in my hips? – for too long. Maybe because at the time I was not ready to really see and feel them, so me and my body thought, let’s put it aside for now. Problem is, this “for now” ended up being for years, which is why the words of the healer triggered me so quickly and heavily.

Fast forwarding to January 2017 after I had just returned from my travels, I visited a yoga and meditation workshop in Munich. Guess, what was a major part of the workshop called “A journey to your inner self“? Yes, exactly, hip openers. And again, I remember tears running down my face.

Listen to your body

I’ve had a few similar scenarios since then, where I felt emotional and nervous whilst practicing hip openers, but when we practiced them again last Friday, it was intense! Knowing of my physical and emotional challenges I’m obviously not that keen on hip openers, but I do know that I need to address this part of my body, that I need to look at it, that I need to feel it, so that the healing process can continue and that the pain can dissolve.

Just like water has cleansing properties, body work holds healing properties.

It was no coincidence that I was in the first row that afternoon and I was struggling,

  • physically (my thought: why for f***’s sake am I so tight?)
  • mentally (my thought: I cannot do this, it’s uncomfortable, why am I doing this?)
  • emotionally (my thought: what exactly happened, what is stored in my hips?)

If you are a yogi, you probably know what they say about the connection between our hips and our emotions. It’s said that our hip area is strongly connected with our emotions. Hence, an intense hip opener practice can bring up feelings of rage, sadness and anger.

Hips don’t lie!

During the practice I smoothed over the physically and emotionally challenging practice, but I could not hide my feelings anymore in Savasana. My tears started rolling, I experienced mixed feelings of sadness, relief, confusion and maybe a bit of anger not knowing what exactly these emotions are that I’ve stored in my hips.

And today (Monday) – whilst writing this blog post – I’ve decided to let it go. I don’t need to know which emotions exactly I’ve stored in my hips, but I do know that I want to go deeper here, that my body is telling me to look closer and that I really need to look closer in order to dissolve the pain. And only by being aware and mindful, we have the chance to change, for the better! So, from now on, I will be dedicating 20 minutes every day to hip opener exercises – happy hips, happy Nina!

Yours, Nina

PS: No, I am not using a picture of me in a hip opener pose… I chose the pic because water stands for cleansing and practicing hip openers will cleanse too. Pic taken in La Fortuna, Costa Rica.