Watch yourself

When I say watch, I mean watch others and watch yourself. I mean watching in a very positive way. Watching as in observing. To make things easier, watch others first, just observe without any valuation, rating, or prejudice, just watch. Be mindful when watching. Then go watch yourself. Watch yourself from within.

Watch others

I’ve always been an observer. Ever since I can remember, I enjoyed watching and observing other people. When walking, when sitting in a cafe, whilst eating. And although I don’t usually initiate these activities solely for the purpose of observing, I noticed just how observant and ‘watchfully’ I am whilst watching others. So, the process of watching is very mindful indeed. It happens now.

When interacting with people, watch them. For example, if you ask someone ‘How are you?’, watch their reaction. Are they really happy, when they say ‘I’m great.’ or does their body language, tonality and voice express something differently? Are their eyes shining or not? Is their voice trembling or clear? Do they continue breathing or do they hold their breath? If we speak our truth, our body language automatically resonates and aligns with our words, with the content we are speaking. However, if we don’t, our body language and content are incongruent. For the act of watching others, this means that the other person is most likely not speaking the truth. So, watch!

Watch yourself 

It’s way easier to watch others first, to observe, to notice, to be mindful in the observation moment. It’s also a beautiful practice to go a step further. From watching others to watching yourself. Watch yourself from within.

By observing others you will learn how to observe yourself. It will give you guidance. You will be able to transfer your learnings by observing others onto yourself. Watch yourself, when you speak something out loud, for example ‘I’m so happy’. Do you really feel this deep down in your body? Are you happy from the inside out? Are your eyes glowing? Is your breath getting positively excited? Do you feel like dancing? Do you want to hug the entire world? Yes, then I’m sure you are happy from the inside out. But observe. Is your body language really congruent with your words ‘I’m so happy’ or is there something inside you that doesn’t feel right? Are you for example holding your breath? Does your voice sound a bit sad? Do you feel a bit of a tweak when speaking these words out loud? Watch yourself.

If you speak your truth, your whole body will feel this truth, there won’t be any blockades. However when not speaking your truth, which means lying to yourself, your whole body will tell and show you in the form of blockades, retained energies, tensions, physical pain and a disturbed breathing.

Avoid conflict

By watching yourself from within, by observing your words and related body language, by noticing your breath and your entire body, you’ll be able to reveal your truth, your true self. You will be more mindful and aware of whether you speak the truth or not. If you speak the truth you will feel aligned, light and happy. You will feel complete. In order to feel complete, we must avoid conflict. Conflict arises when we don’t speak our truth. Completeness arises when we do.

Aligned Yogi

As you know, I love yoga and here’s yet another reason why. It’s connected with the idea of feeling complete, at peace with life, as we do speak our truth. A yogi is a person who is complete, fully aligned, one who doesn’t face conflict from within, because a yogi always speaks his truth.

Beautiful and complete life

Isn’t it beautiful that by watching ourselves over time, we can learn, we can grow and we can live a true life? We can feel totally complete. Note that the feeling of completeness does not only relate to big moments in life, on the contrary, you can make every single moment complete, as small or big.

You and only you are the creator of your completeness.

Yours, Nina

Happiness

Happiness, what a big, yet unspecific word, isn’t it?

What does happiness mean? What does it mean for you? That’s what I wondered when I was out for a walk. On a sunny, warm and absolutely beautiful day. I just came back and here I am writing this blog post.

There’s however way more to happiness than a sunny day, at least this is what I think. Because we mustn’t make our happiness dependant on external factors. Instead we really should find happiness within us. External factors, such as a sunny day, can then even intensify our happiness, however a rainy day won’t have any impact on us, as we are happy from the inside out. The same applies to other peoples’ behaviours. When you are happy, no one will be able to get you out of this zone. Sure, it might make you sad or angry at times, nevertheless your inner state of happiness won’t change.

Find happiness within you.

I’ve almost always been what I would have called happy. What I experienced though in the last couple of years and really strongly since Dec ’17 is that there are different levels of happiness. Now, I’m not saying you should generally question your level of happiness, but I noticed for myself that my happiness increased dramatically over that period of time.

In order to write this article, I reflected more intensively and wondered why this is. And the one thing that kept coming back to me was I reconnected with myself.

Reconnect with yourself.

So, maybe your level of happiness is worth a second thought?

Now that I’ve reconnected with myself, I just feel so aligned, so full of energy, so authentic, so me, so Nina! It’s such a beautiful feeling, hard to describe, but it feels like flying, like being a breeze in the wind, light like a feather.

I want to dance and jump (hence the pic!). I smile and people are smiling back at me. I want to hug the entire world. That’s what happiness feels like to me.

For me, being connected with myself means living aligned with my true self. Living according to my values and by my own terms. Being authentic. Being myself.

Live aligned with your true self.

How do I know?

I’ve gone through the process of feeling disconnected with myself. From realising that I want a change in life, over questioning and reflecting the status quo of my life, to defining what I actually want from my life (personally and professionally). It’s still an ongoing process of reflection, trial & error and growth, but I managed to get back to me and to reconnect with myself.

I just know that you can do that, too.

Yes, it might be out of your comfort zone, it might be daunting and a bit of work, but if you’ve only had 1 second reading this, thinking, oh my…, then there’s something inside you that wants to be heard, looked at and changed to the positive. Trust me.

The connection with yourself, your true self and your beautiful soul will lead you on a journey to happiness. It is a journey that starts from inside, it is your inner journey.

Being on your inner journey and reconnecting with yourself will lead you the way to happiness.

Yours, Nina

PS: Please comment below or get in touch with me directly if you want to share your feelings, thoughts and current level of happiness. I cannot imagine anything more beautiful to guide you to your full happiness. Love love love for you.

 

Oh Cambodia!

I’m so grateful!

  • … for travelling.
  • … to have visited Cambodia.
  • … to have stayed in a yoga & meditation temple.
  • … that I found yoga & meditation for my life.
  • … that I meet beautiful people wherever I go.

Meeting new people is such a wonderful experience. When I travelled through Cambodia, I enjoyed this experience every single day. I stayed in a yoga & meditation retreat in Kep for 2 weeks. Check out Vagabond Temple, if you are looking for spiritual inspiration & growth, great yoga classes, guidance in meditation and meeting like-minded people from all over the world.

I also booked an Ayurveda detoxification package with sessions spread over 5 days, so you should be a guest for a minimum of 5 days. The package included 4 wonderful Ayurvedic massages plus a session with the founder of the retreat Kobi. My healer Maayan and me started with feet reflexology and seriously this woman has magical hands. I noticed fairly quickly how tight certain parts in my feet were, ouch!, but it all made sense, since these points related to my lower back and hamstrings and yes, they were tight. This session was incredible. Whilst I thought that Maayan was still massaging my feet, she suddenly stood next to me informing me that the massage was finished. What?! This showed me how deeply relaxed I was. For the afternoon she recommended to just be and relax and to take the afternoon yoga practice slow.

More being, less doing.

This is something so valuable I learned during my time at the retreat center. Not only Maayan mentioned this to me specifically to rest more, but also Pazit held an incredible Dharma talk about the topic More being, less doing. Why? Because most of us are so caught up with daily To Do lists, tasks & self-imposed responsibilities, social media and overall distraction, that we forget to simply be. Without looking at our smart phone. Without doing anything. Just being.

Just sit and be still.

Another aha-moment for me was when I visited Maayan the 2nd time for a full body Ayurvedic massage. She hugged me tightly and from her heart and asked me how I was doing. I replied: “Actually good.” She asked: “Actually?” Me: “Hm, no I’m really good.” This situation showed me that I was relativising my mood, although I felt awesome, freaking great, amazing. And so we started reflecting on this conversation and our impulse to relativise things. I instantly noticed for myself that I get the impression it’s more accepted in society to hold back, to be not that great, to moan. But if you say you are doing really great, then you are kind of weird. Different. Maybe arrogant. So, maybe that’s why we make ourselves worse, because we might also get more attention if we say “I’m okay.” Followed by the next question “Why, what’s going on?” as opposed to no question, when you say you are doing great. Well, at least that is my observation, as the entire blog is, just as a reminder.

We continued with a full body massage and again/still, my hip area was tight. I fully relaxed and even saw bright white and yellow lights. Maayan explained that the tightness probably comes from my will to push forward. Because I’m doing too much and being too little. She assured me that I’m still young and that I still have enough time to get to where I want to be. That it’s important to accept that life throws us back at times or makes us go left and right, but that we can continue our path anyways. Accept what is. Accept the throwbacks, meander and changes in life.

You will continue your path.

This inspiring conversation took me straight to my pink notebook wondering where the urge to do comes from. Am I afraid of dying before having fully lived the life that I always wanted to live? Do I do, because I want to live my dream life as quickly as possible, for as long as possible? Am I scared of regretting not to have done enough?

If you are following my blog since the start then you will know that I had my breakthrough in a Reiki session in Mexico, whilst travelling through Latin America for almost 6 months. And so it happened that Maayan and me included a Reiki session into my package. I would love to share with you my main learnings from this session.

  • Follow up on what you see in your dreams.
  • Follow your path.
  • Take care of yourself. Self-love first.
  • Do not absorb negative energies.
  • Go for it.

Go for it!

The last part of the Ayurveda package was with Kobi. After a few minutes of talking, we found ourselves in a very exciting talk about astrology and my sign (=Gemini). Kobi is an absolute expert in this field, so if you are into it and you visit Cambodia, schedule an appointment with him now. Again, details of this conversation would go beyond the scope of this blog post, but let me share with you my learnings which I’m sure will be so valuable for you, too, as these are independent from your astrological sign.

  • Letting someone read my astrological sign made me understand myself more, it gave me more empathy for me, my behaviours and my decisions.
  • Do not compromise on yourself. You are who you are.
  • Set your boundaries. Write down your red lines in the different areas of life.
  • Appreciate validation from others, but do not seek it.
  • Believe in yourself.

Believe in yourself.

Oh Cambodia! Thank you so much for having me and enriching my life so strongly and positively that I feel freer and more confident than ever before. Thank you to all of you wonderful people who accompanied me on this journey.

Love, love, love.

Yours, Nina

 

 

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!

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

 

 

 

 

Bursting knots

I already sensed last year that I’m on a good way to reveal my true self. To get really close to myself, to the person I really want to be, living the life I really want to live.

Now, this of course didn’t come overnight or by coincidence. No. I’ve dedicated a lot of my time to my personal growth. I’ve started working with a spiritually inspired life coach a year ago, I invested more time in Instagram to connect with like-minded people, to learn from them and to pass on my experiences, too. I started this blog. I went to a workshop from one of the top motivation trainers in Germany, Christian Bischoff. I listened to various podcasts about personal development. I read various books. I practiced yoga to strengthen my body and to quieten my mind. I started meditating on a regular basis. I started journalling in my pink notebook more actively again. I implemented a daily gratitude practice. I went to networking events. I arranged meetings with interesting and fascinating people outside of these networking events.

In summary, my personal growth, self-love and creating my vision has been key to me and still is.

Just because I’m writing the above in past tense, does not mean that any of these activities are completed though. No, the contrary is true and I tell you why.

On my way to where I’m now – a much happier, lighter, more positive, more saying yes to life Nina – I’ve been facing quite a few obstacles. Emotional breakdowns, tears, fights (with myself and others), ‘lost’ relationships, frustration, procrastination, sadness, fears, to only name a few. It is not the easiest of all ways to really dig deeper into personal development and spiritual growth. It’s not easy to reflect yourself so intensively, to question existing relationships, to question existing behaviours, to ask yourself what it is you really want, what it is you really need and especially what it is you really want from life and I mean from the bottom of your heart.

What do you really want from life from the bottom of your heart?

The process described above requires you to look at your life first, to be ready to change, to tidy up, to break habits in order to set yourself free, for the life that you want!

I can’t mark the day when my development exactly started, but for me, it’s probably the day when I had my breakthrough in Mexico. And this breakthrough was a feeling. That I want to change something in my life. That I want way more from life than what I had up until then. That I have so much more potential to live the life of my dreams. It was simply a feeling that my story is only just starting. If you are at a similar point in your life, and you are wondering about the feelings you are feeling, I can only tell you to feel them, to let them be there, not to judge them and to just go with the flow.

Flow for me means to follow my heart, to increasingly switch off my head, my mind, my thoughts, which usually want to keep us in our comfort zone, away from risks, away from any potential trouble. Our heart on the contrary leads us the way outside of our comfort zone. But this means risks, unknown circumstances, something new.

Stepping outside of our comfort zone, however, is where the growth is.

You need to be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone and you will only do that, when the pain around the current situation is too big to just hang in there. From my experience, especially in the last 2 years, I can only recommend you to keep going, to believe in what you stand for and to just run with it.

It will be all worth it, trust me! Here’s why I’m so convinced about this. Because now, all the seeds that I have been sowing in the last years, are starting to come into fruition. All the time and effort I’ve invested into my personal development and my projects, are now starting to pay off. Knots are bursting. This year 2018 is my year. I just know it and I already felt it coming on 31st December 2017, when I felt so content and happy that I wanted to hug the entire world.

Knots are bursting.

When my knots started bursting from the inside out, like limiting beliefs, restrictions I’ve imposed on myself and a lack of self-confidence in certain areas of my life, eventually things started happening for me. Things shifted. Opportunities arose out of ‘nowhere’, but these opportunities did not come from nowhere. They came from me, my efforts, and my sowing. They were the universe’s way to say Thank You for my consistent sowing.

Keep sowing consistently.

Of course, I had fall outs too, where I lacked motivation, where I was tired, where I couldn’t get out of bed, where I forgot why I’m actually doing this, when I thought why on earth am I on this way, why is this so hard, why do I do this. And yet again: I would always do it again.

Why? To set free. To live my dream life on the highest energy level imaginable, spreading love and positivity into this world.

Here’s to love.

Yours, Nina

 

 

Unconditional love

Unconditional love is complicated and simple at the same time.

Ask yourself where you loved yourself most. Create great memories for yourself around this unconditional love. When did you feel fully loved, without any expectations, without any conditions attached to it?

Remember situations where you fell, but where you stood up again and where you were fine afterwards. Where you reflected and came out even stronger and wiser. Where you experienced personal growth.

Really bring up all these memories now and use unconditional love to heal any wounds you might have, for example following a broken relationship, hurt feelings, unfulfilled expectations or a fight with friends and family.

Ask yourself now:

What do I want…?

  • …from the (upcoming) relationship?
  • …from the new job?
  • …from my best friend?
  • …from my parents?

How could I let this go completely, knowing that I am everything, that I am enough.

If you really feel unconditional love, then you will be prepared to let the person/situation go fully, without any attachments to it. And you’ll realise that once you let go, you’ll free even more love.

Yours, Nina

 

Dare to be brave

After the break up in Bolivia, my solo travels were about to start. I decided to fly from La Paz to Uyuni to do a salt flats tour there, also known as Salar de Uyuni.

Getting into the taxi in La Paz and heading to the airport was tough. When the taxi started driving, I instantly started crying, I couldn’t hold back my tears anymore. Too strong was the pain I felt, too strong the shock about what had happened and yes of course there was this feeling of uncertainty.

When I boarded the plane and sat down, I felt relieved, majorly because of the physical distance I was about to create. I knew it would do me good. The further we went, the better I felt. When we landed in Uyuni, I took a taxi to my accommodation (Hotel Jumari**). I was greeted very kindly and shown my room. The first thing I did is that I took a hot shower – ensure you book a room with hot water, as it’s not necessarily common in this town. I showered forever, as I didn’t know what else to do. I went to bed very late, but set my alarm for breakfast. Even if we don’t feel like eating when in emotional pain, I know for myself that having a bite to eat is important to give my body energy to keep going, to literally digest. After breakfast, I walked through town to find a tour operator for the salt flats. I had decided to do a day trip only instead of the originally planned 3 day tour, as my heart and body weren’t necessarily craving cold nights when I felt emotionally low, too. So, I booked a one day tour with Red Planet Expedition

The tour left the same day only a couple of hours later in a 4×4 jeep. We were 6 people with a few from the UK and a few from Germany, so I felt home in a way. A great start!

Sitting in the car, I couldn’t believe that I was now traveling on my own. I had moments where I felt abandoned in a way, as this was not the plan; on the other hand, I felt so proud of myself that I pulled through with the travels and hence with my yearlong dream of traveling through Latin America. Most people I spoke with after the break up said that I should come home and quit the traveling. Funny in a way, since at that point I had already packed up my life in London, so I had no reason to return to London and also I hadn’t lived in Munich for almost 9 years, so it didn’t feel right to return to Munich at this stage in my life either. Hence, I realized one thing for myself.

Home is where the heart is.

And my heart was clearly with my travels and myself. So, whilst I listened to each and every opinion, I had already made my decision and I knew deep down in my heart that I wouldn’t give up on my dream, that I would continue the journey on my own and that I would be happy with my decision. It simply felt right.

Trust your intuition and follow your heart.

Back to the tour. We were a fabulous group and had loads of fun taking pictures, listening to music in the car and chatting. However, what really got me was the beauty of nature. I sat in the car and I couldn’t believe I was here, in the largest salt flats of the world, in Bolivia. I looked out of the window and was overwhelmed by the vast extent of the area, by the colors and by the beauty of our world. When we stopped somewhere in the middle of the salt flats, I needed a moment for myself, so I walked up a hill to enjoy the view from the top. I just looked into the sky, and felt so emotional, that I couldn’t hold back my tears and you know what? I didn’t want to hold them back. I wanted to allow myself to feel touched by this beauty around me, and I wanted to allow myself to feel sad and to feel everything I feel, without controlling, without evaluating.

Allow yourself to feel everything you feel.

Back into town, I was so motivated that I visited some bus operators around the bus terminal (Terminal de Buses, Av Arce, Uyuni) to organize the next part of the travels, crossing the border to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. I spoke to approximately 5 operators to find out costs and times, however, I didn’t really fancy being on a night bus for 14 hours on my own. I also heard though that there are 4×4 jeeps crossing the border to Chile. So, I specifically explored this option and found an operator that had 1 spot (!) left, leaving the next day around 3pm with a group of French people. I thought that this would be the more fun and adventurous option, hence booked it in and left the bus terminal feeling satisfied with the next journey sorted.

After 2 nights in Uyuni, I walked all packed up to the agency and met my travel buddies. I was excited about the trip, although I knew we would have a cold night in a refuge camp ahead of us with no luxuries whatsoever. But during the trip I had already learned to live with less and yet be happy. Also, I had learned to embrace unknown situations and to say yes to life.

Why? Because the things that scare you, often hold the biggest potential for growth. And my personal growth was just waiting around the corner.

My learnings during this rather short night in the refuge camp:

  • Question your limiting beliefs. Because you are more than you think you are.
  • Don’t overthink, just do. Because thinking leaves you in your head. Go into your heart instead.
  • Say yes to life more often. Because it opens doors that would otherwise stay closed.
  • Dare to be brave. Because life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

You will realize that if you consciously & regularly reflect on the above points, that there’s so much more within you and that your potential is just waiting for you to free it!

Yours, Nina