This blog post is inspired by a conversation I had with my sister on the phone, she lives in Frankfurt with her family. Lovely Katrin, I’m dedicating this post to you.

My sister and me haven’t been chatting for a while, so there was loads to catch up on, but also I wanted to talk with her about Christmas. All these last years, my sister stayed in Frankfurt to celebrate Christmas and I would be with my parents in Munich. However, this year, it was important for me to bring us all together.

And yes, there are always ‘problems’ to overcome, like who sleeps where, who brings what, what do we cook, etc. We all know that these are no real problems though, hence the quotation marks. These are ‘problems’ we create in our heads, we make things way more complicated than they are, and there are various reasons for why we do this.

However, one thing became super clear to me in this conversation. There were only two options.

Option 1) We really want to be together for Christmas. In this case, we can work the rest out and everybody just needs to relax a bit.

Option 2) We don’t want to be together for Christmas. In this case, let’s just be honest with each other and say so instead of looking for ‘problems’ and making things difficult.

One big learning I’ve had over these last couple of years is to talk ‘Tacheles’, haha, this is German and basically means, that you should speak the truth in an honest and straight-forward way. Of course, we should all keep in mind not to offend someone. But rather than making things complicated and talking about non-existent problems, let’s just be honest with each other and make things work, one way or another.

Back to the Christmas story. I mentioned exactly the above points to my sister. And suddenly it was like a big knot in her head popped “Hm, yes you are right”, she said. The next day she called my parents to organise what needed organising. I was so pleased.

In that same conversation, we talked about relationships, children, time for ourselves and how we are sometimes not too happy with how things are splashing along. Within seconds, I was fully switched on. I’ve been dealing with these topics for the last couple of years really. And in these last few months specifically, I’ve been looking into the subject of resilience, de-conditioning and re-conditioning and how one can let go of old identities and beliefs. In doing so, I came across a lovely quote from Jean Houston, which I will translate into English for this post:

Development involves letting go of a small story to become aware of a big story.

I realised in the last couple of years that I paid too much attention to the small stories in my life, that I gave them too much room. I was simply busy dealing with external things, maybe I was trying to escape…? But then suddenly – triggered by two broken relationships within a short period of time – I had my Aha-moment. I became aware that I can choose freely how much time and space I’m giving to certain things in my life, how much suffering I’m accepting in my life, how many good things I let into my life or even attract into my life and I can also choose freely how I react in challenging situations.

And then I realised:

This is my big story. Personal development.

The progress of letting go and re-conditioning certain identities and behaviours in my life to my true self by giving myself permission. I didn’t really understand that there was one piece missing until such time that I was already right in the middle of my personal development. And suddenly it became clear what a wonderful change I had accomplished for myself and my life.

I’m still en route, but this route feels so much more beautiful and aligned with me.

And now I want to explain the title ‘Brainwashed’ of this article. When my sister and me talked about the topics mentioned above, I realised just how calm, focused and clear I was. At the same time I felt full of love for myself, for her, for my path and for hers. And she responded with a little laugh (as she probably doesn’t know me like this):

Have you been brainwashed, Nina?

And I replied ‘Yes, but I brainwashed myself. With personal development.’ To live a more fulfilled and happier life. A life that is right and true for me.

If you can relate to this article, look no further, but at yourself and walk your way. It will be worth it.

Yours, Nina


My breakthrough

My breakthrough is what I call the beginning of the journey to myself.

I look at pictures taken in Cozumel, Mexico, and I see pure happiness, in my eyes, in my smile, in the glow in my face.

This happened when I finally allowed me to go on an inner journey to myself. Allowing me to explore who I am, reflecting whether I’m happy with who I am, finding out what I stand for, what my values are. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of this permission, but I felt relieved. I felt light. It felt like the wings that were glued to my body (probably by myself?) for many years were finally starting to open, because I permitted me to open them. Slowly, but surely.

I realised that I’ve always had big wings, but that I had neglected or forgotten them for a very long time. So, when I could feel my wings again, I was able to open them, to use them and to finally start creating a life that should feel as free as a bird.

Which brings me back to my answer (always!) upon the question:

If you were an animal, what would you like to be?

My breakthrough was not one single moment, it was a process. However, I recognised that specific moment of happiness in Cozumel as my breakthrough moment. And I will never ever forget it.

If you are at a turning point in your life, please trust yourself and life. Trust that things will happen for you at the right time and remember that life is always working for you, not against you.

Yours, Nina



My inner journey

If you are curious to find out how I got to my breakthrough then you will like this article.

I remember the day approximately one month after the break up. I had reached a very low point, when I arrived at the airport in Buenos Aires, destination Cancún. There was a massive queue at the check-in desks, people were complaining about the wait and when it was finally my turn for check-in, the guy at the desk told me that he couldn’t check me in to Mexico, unless I could prove flying out from Mexico again. And yes, I had a return flight back to London, however, I hadn’t printed it out. So, I started looking up the ticket on my iPhone to realise the Wifi wasn’t working and I didn’t have any more data left. I got very nervous, since the flight was due to leave one hour later and I hadn’t even passed security yet. I started sweating, I was really hot, nothing worked. With the best intentions to remain calm, I could finally convince a shop to log me onto their internet connection and there it was, my booking confirmation, to prove that I would be leaving Mexico on 9th of November. I rushed back to the check-in desk. The guy told me that I didn’t have to queue again, so I went straight up to him. When I was just about to show him my flight ticket, someone pinched my shoulder from behind and shouted at me that I should go at the end of the line.

After everything that happened, this was simply too much, but I managed to reply that I wasn’t jumping queues, but that I had been asked to come forward and that he should please understand. He didn’t, but at least I was able to rush to security. Yes, I was working hard on my resilience in that situation.

5 minutes later, the crazy guy also appeared in the security queue and complained about my behaviour again. At the same time, I was on Whats App with a close friend to message about the break-up, my feelings and next steps.

And there it was, my breakdown. Too long had I kept my tears from falling, too long had I kept my emotions to come out, that I simply couldn’t control them anymore. I cried and cried, I had trouble breathing, I had to sit down in the middle of the queue. I felt out of control. My life felt out of control. Until I boarded the plane, sat down in my seat and closed my eyes. I suddenly felt relieved and light. Because I had finally given myself permission to feel my pain, sadness and anger.

And when the plane took off, I literally felt like taking off to a new life. And life proved me right. Life had better plans for me.

The message from my heart to yours:

Trust yourself and life.

Yours, Nina