Limit the input

Does this headline sound contradicting to you for a blog that is predominantly about personal growth? Definitely read on.

Over the past 4 years, I’ve been diving deeper into myself, also referred to as personal development. I reflected not only on myself, my fears and my limitations, but also on how this showed in my relationships, with friends, family and partners.

On this journey – which is an ongoing process – I have learned a lot about myself. I was able to dissolve certain behavioural patterns that were limiting me due to underlying fears. I tuned deeper into my body to let go of tensions that have been building up and manifesting in my body for way too long. I work with coaches both personally and professionally to become the best version of myself. I completed an NLP training to improve my communication skills, to dive deeper into self-reflection and to change patterns that didn’t serve me any more with the clear objective to build a life that I really want to live.

So far so good. I believe that this ongoing journey of self-reflection and self-development is awesome. I  really wouldn’t change a thing looking back. It all served its purpose; every single change, every heartbreak, every challenge that I encountered in my life so far, were signs of the universe to correct my course; by looking deeper, by understanding and by initiating change.

More sensitivity

What I am also observing whilst being on this journey is that I’ve become way more sensitive with all my senses. I hear more, I see more, I feel more. I’d even say I smell and taste more thanks to my work with dōTERRA essential oils.

To really break this down for you, I hear people talking, the bells of the church, sirens, cars, children, water flowing, my steps on the ground, my diffuser running. I hear podcasts, audios and music. I hear myself talking. I could keep going.

I see more. My vision has expanded. I perceive more people in the tube and also what they do. I see the trees moving in the wind, children playing in the streets, people drinking coffee, I see people looking at other people, I observe couples walking hand in hand, I see the sun, the moon and the sky being in movement.

I feel more. I’ve become way more kinaesthetic, I’ve improved my awareness of the position and movement of the parts of my body. I can feel tension way quicker and I do know how to release it faster. I perceive (more) vibes from other people, their feelings, their energies, their current state of being. Again, I could keep going.

More input – more output?

My point is that this increased awareness also means that I sometimes must limit the input, as otherwise it becomes too overwhelming. At a certain point in a certain phase, more input simply doesn’t mean more output. It is essential at this point to limit the input and to focus on processing and digesting all of it. I am only human, as are you, so I figured it’s okay to limit my input.

How?

By closing my eyes just like on the pic. By spending more time by myself. I have noticed that I need more me-time and less together-time when in a phase of limiting input. This means that I would have lunch breaks on my own instead of going with others. I’m not going out a lot at the moment and unfortunately I haven’t been dancing a lot lately. Yes, it is a process of withdrawing myself, and whilst I’ve had phases where I didn’t even understand why I was doing it, I am now fully embracing my need of being alone. Depending on the current life and business set up, the people surrounding me do not always understand my behaviour and my withdrawal, which in return isn’t always easy for me to accept. Yet, I’m learning and growing through this process and I accept that this is part of my personal journey, too and that I do not have to or want to justify for that. It is what I need.

And it’s okay!

I’ve for sure learned that it is okay for me to withdraw myself, if it all gets too much. I’m understanding that my increased awareness and self-reflection led me to being a more sensitive human being called Nina. Whilst in the past I was 90% outgoing, social and extroverted, I am now in need of downtime and quiet time, too. These two facets allow me a better balance in life, more time to process and digest situations, and very importantly, more self-love. I’m freeing myself as much as possible from the opinion of others when it comes to my health and my wellbeing. No, it’s not always easy, but you gotta do what is right, not what’s easy.

Go with what you need!

When I feel the need to socialise, I will. When I feel the need to be alone, I will. When I feel the need to be active, I will. When I feel the need not to talk about certain topics, I won’t. When I feel the need to set boundaries, I will. When I feel the need to speak up, I will. And no, this is never against someone or something, it just means I follow up on what I need and follow through with it.

You can do this, too. Limit your input when you feel like it and don’t feel bad for it.

Love,

yours Nina

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loving what is

Inspired by the fabulously smart Byron Katie.

Don’t we all know that we are better off when we accept those things in our lives that we cannot change anyways?

Don’t we know that we shouldn’t put any energy into things that we don’t believe in?

Don’t we know that by judging other people we actually judge ourselves?

I guess the answer is ‘YES’ on each of these questions. Yet, we find ourselves in exactly those situations over and over again.

We get angry when a situation or a person winds us up, although IT IS.

We feel exhausted, sad or misunderstood when – often for the sake of others – we invest our time, money and efforts into things that we don’t actually believe in, leaving us frustrated, because we didn’t say no, leaving us feeling guilty when we did, leaving us unsatisfied, because we didn’t invest our time into the things that really matter to us. And yet, IT IS.

We feel hurt, when we are being judged by people. And still, IT IS.

I’ve been wondering: If it is all so clear, then why is it so damn hard to love what is? Why do we spend so much time thinking, moving everything from right to left in our head, analysing, hoping, wishing for a change (in others)?

My answer:

Because it is a process.

And according to Byron Katie: Because you have to do the work first.

Any negative or restricting emotion, be it disappointment, fear, anger or sadness, derives from somewhere within us. Not from somewhere outside of us. This is the 1st step for improvement and for getting closer to loving what it is. Because IT IS.

We won’t stop projecting certain feelings into other people or situations, unless we are aware that this is what we do. We are responsible for our life and hence our emotions, feelings and actions. It’s not the responsibility of anyone else. This is in my opinion the 2nd step towards loving what is. Because IT IS.

We will repeat what we don’t repair. So, we should really look into everything that IS. To start repairing what lies within us, to then dissolve what lies within others. Ask yourself in the entire process:

Is this the truth?

Then you will be ready to start your healing process. And this healing process will lead you to

Loving what is.

Yours, Nina

PS: I’m in the middle of the process and it is worth starting. Send me a pink note, if you want to share your thoughts or comment on the article. 

 

 

 

 

 

Design your life

Do you schedule personal development time into your everyday life?

When you intentionally make time for yourself, you are making time to design the life that you want. I’ve been on my journey of personal development for 2 years now, whereof the last 12 months were more focused, hence more productive and overall got me first results. Bam!

I’m so grateful to have been accompanied and supported on this journey by my lovely connection coach, healer and spiritual catalyst Ollie Trew, based in London. It was only when I started my coaching sessions with him, that I realised that I can do anything I want, that I must allow myself to be myself and create the life I really want to live.

Once I’ve embraced the change this ‘work’ will bring with it, my life began to improve. Slowly, but surely. I got rid of habits I didn’t need anymore and instead established a growth habit. My thoughts changed to the positive, my approach to challenging situations improved, my perspective shifted. I understood that I can choose every single day who I want to be and what life I want to live.

You can choose every day who you want to be and what life you want to live.

Scheduling time for my personal development meant that I was finally focusing on myself again. I started practicing self-love. Only when I was able to spend time with myself, I got to know myself and started walking the way of becoming the best version of  myself.

Make your personal time as important as everything else (if not more), because it will lead you to a natural balance from the inside. Once you really know your worth and your time’s worth, you will surely think about who to spend time with and what activities to say yes to, because you will instantly review it against your vision, if the activity is serving you or not. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should become unsocial and not go out anymore or spend time with your friends, but you might want to check upon the intensity, the frequency and its impact on your vision.

If you truly have a vision that you are working towards based on your goals and milestones, then it will be inevitable to review your personal time vs. the time spent elsewhere. Hence, as part of your life design, you might want to look at your time design.

I want to be honest though. This is not always easy. You might feel bad about rejecting certain people or activities for the time-being, you might feel ‘alone’, since you will be spending quite a bit of time on your own, and maybe the words ‘egoism’, ‘preferences’ and ‘negligence’ might fall. Some days it will throw you off, some days it won’t. Just accept it as part of your personal growth, as a sign of self-love.

Accept the consequences of your personal growth as a sign of self-love.

Time design

I’m still experimenting with that. Generally, on Sunday evenings I write a schedule for the week, just like back in school. What are my tasks, projects and goals to get accomplished this week. Are there any fixed dates, for example for my blog, where I publish a new blog post every Friday morning. Or my yoga classes, that I hold Mondays and Wednesdays etc.

I used to block hours, e.g. 9am-12pm for my blog, 12-14pm break, 14-16pm yoga, 16-18pm  reading, 18-20pm teaching a yoga class, 20-21pm social media promotion, etc. I have days where this works perfectly, but also where it doesn’t. Reasons vary: I’m not in the right mood for reading or I don’t feel creative enough to write my next blog post. So apart from the fixed dates, that approach doesn’t always work for me. Now, I’m trying a more flexible approach; I’m still scheduling the fixed dates in my diary, as well as setting out my weekly goals, e.g. ‘Pre-write 5 blog posts this week’, ‘Submit 1 article to John Strelecky & Friends‘, or ‘Plan up the yoga classes for April’. But I’m allowing myself the space and flexibility to complete these tasks whenever I feel like it, as long as I get them done. For me this leads to a higher level of satisfaction, whereas a very strict schedule seems to cause procrastination at times, especially when I’m not in the right mood for a specific task. On the other hand, I’m wondering if this enables me to perform at my full potential or if I’m operating only at half of my potential.

One last note: WhatsApp. Whilst I love this app, as it enables me to be in touch with my friends who are spread across the world, it’s also a very time-consuming activity, so use it wisely. I used to have my phone on silent anyways, but whenever I walked past my phone, I would check my incoming messages, emails, Instagram, etc. One thing led to another and suddenly I’ve lost 30 minutes of my valuable time. So, now, I have switched off my WhatsApp notifications fully, and if somebody needs me urgently, they simply have to to call. Done.

Owl or lark?

Also, I’m exploring whether I’m more of an owl or a lark when it comes to my productivity & creativity phase as well as sleeping patterns. I like the idea of getting up at 6am every day and having loads of things done by mid-day already. The reality however is that I might go to bed later one night, hence I cannot get out of bed the next day, which leads to frustration and procrastination. Plus sometimes, I get writing late after a yoga class, simply because I’m in the right mood or something evoked a thought that I’d like to capture… And then it’s rather hindering to have a very fixed time schedule.

Experiment, experiment, experiment 

If you are currently thinking about time design, then experimenting would be my best advice to you. Ask yourself, when in the day you are most productive or creative, whether you are an owl or a lark, if you prefer the night or the morning hours to get things done. No matter what type you are, avoid procrastination by all means and design your time purposefully to design the life you want.

Make your personal growth a must

Amongst all experiments though, one thing always – each and every day – finds a place in my schedule and that is time for myself and my personal growth. This can be reading, listening to a podcast or audio book, taking a relaxing bath, meditating, practicing yoga. The list is long, but do make it a must.

Why?

To constantly grow and never stand still.

Start designing your life now, so that you can jump for joy!

Yours, Nina

PS: I’d be very curious to hear your approach to time and life design, so please leave your comments. Thank you!

About openness

Openness, a topic very close to my heart.

  • Do you know what to expect in any given new situation? No.
  • Would you like to know what to expect in any given new situation? Probably yes.
  • Would you feel safer? Probably yes.
  • Is it realistic to know what to expect? No.

What do we normally do, when we are confronted with a new situation? I’d say we usually imagine the situation ahead of us. We imagine the possibilities associated with it, but most likely we fear the associated risks even stronger. It’s a mixed feeling of looking forward to something new, whilst at the same time, we are afraid of the uncertainty, we feel helpless and insecure, we feel like we don’t have the right skills or knowledge to be confronted with that situation, let alone to succeed. We are simply worried, to fail.

However, I’m sure there is always a way through that fear. The first step to take is to move that fear from the unconscious to the conscious. If you are oblivious of your fear or if you suppress it, you won’t experience the much needed impulse to change, and you cannot use the energy of fear to let it all go. But, if you make yourself aware of the fact that you are scared of a new situation, then you can be fully present and conscious in that moment of fear and you can work through it.

The most important thing for not letting fear get into your way is to be open-minded.

Being open-minded means to offer openness to new experiences and people, to be prepared to learn new things, at all times, in any given situation. It’s not about knowledge. Knowledge is relative. It is about openness.

Be open-minded and offer openness to new experiences.

Ensure you always listen to your conversational partner. Do not only do the talking yourself, but listen carefully to what your counterpart has to tell. Do not pretend to know everything already, because knowledge is relative. Show interest in your conversational partner. Maybe he/she will be able to teach you something new.

Knowledge is relative. Listen carefully instead.

There is no reason to be afraid of a new situation, especially when it comes down to, what you would call it, lack of knowledge. Knowledge can always be acquired.

What you should do though is to face that new situation with openness. Be curious and respect every person you meet along the way. Have faith and trust, because everything in life unfolds, as it is supposed to.

Turn your worries into confidence by being brave, open and by thinking positive.

You get what you expect.

Walk with positive thoughts, so that life can help you walk in the right direction.

Walk with open ears, so that you hear, what life wants to tell you.

Walk with open eyes, so that you see, what life wants to show you.

Walk with an open heart, so that you feel, what life wants to share with you.

Oh and don’t forget to smile.

Yours, Nina