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┬áby 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