Life is beautiful

Life is beautiful.

Life is full of little treasures. Don’t fail to see them as they come.

Do you want to be fulfilled? Are you striving for pure happiness? Do you want to live a beautiful life?

Then I recommend you start with developing your awareness. Sharpen your senses. Look, listen, feel, taste and smell. Be mindful. Life is full of little treasures. And these small things are what makes life so liveable and beautiful.

We often think we need to have big things in life in order to be happy, but the opposite is true.  Appreciate the small things in life, each and every day, and I promise they will add up to something big. Something that you have created from the inside out. Something that is unique to you. Something that will make you feel fulfilled, successful and happy.

For your inspiration, I’d love to share the beauties of my world with you:

  • Look into the mirror and be thankful for your life.
  • Appreciate a flower, its look, colour and smell.
  • If you are a cyclist like me, feel the breeze in your hair and on your skin.
  • When the sun is shining, close your eyes for a moment and just enjoy the warmth.
  • Treasure conversations with new people, look into the other person’s eyes and give them a smile.
  • Be kind to other people, like your neighbours, your colleagues, staff. Treat them just like you want to be treated and better.
  • Put on some music and just sing or dance, go crazy.
  • Smile. Think of something positive to support yourself.
  • Before going to bed, appreciate the bed that you will be lying in.
  • When you get up in the morning, be happy to breathe.
  • When you exercise, be grateful for your health.
  • Treasure stillness when it’s there.
  • Listen to all the sounds around you, like birds chirping, people laughing, the wind in the trees.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Travel to places to get inspired and motivated.

I am so deeply grateful for my life, I love it, as I’ve come to truly appreciate the small things in life. In reality, the small things are the big things, when you are mindful every day and once you let the universe shine its beauty around you.

Shine your light.

Yours, Nina

Reveal your true self

Inspired and based on Patanjalis’ Yogasutra by Ralph Skuban

Reveal your true self by ‘vairagya’

I chose this topic as part of my yoga exams presentation. Whilst dealing with the Yogasutra in more detail, I realised just how much of a code of practice this book is for life. At least for me. This blog post is inspired by the book and Ralph Skuban, however, it only reflects my way of approaching the topic and is written in my own words.

The word ‘vairagya’/letting go is one of the most important words and statements in Patanjalis’ Yogasutra. Whilst it appears more than once, I focus on chapter 1, verses 12-16.

However, my starting point lies in chapter 2, verses 3-4, where it’s said that we humans suffer, because we don’t know, who or what we really are. Also referred to as ‘spiritual blindness’ or ‘avidya’.

If we are now conscious and mindful enough, we will probably seek getting out of this suffering and spiritual blindness with the objective to reach inner freedom. For me, this means being, who we really are.

Start walking as to reveal your true self. 

In the Yogasutra, this is a higher level of ‘vairagya’, it is ‘paravairagya’, a complete detachment of everything.

Where to start

I would recommend to start at the beginning, just like Patanjalis does in chapter 1, verses 1-11. He states to dedicate yourself to yoga, to self-realisation. Yoga is basically a way to heal, it means healing to the grounds of our being, through a process of cleansing.

One way to cleanse is by calming down and quieting our thoughts and mental patterns, which are continuously changing and evolving, making it even more difficult to quiet them. The stillness of our thoughts is referred to as ‘chitta vrittis nirodhah’. And once they become still, we will be at rest, feel peaceful and find inner peace.

How to find inner peace

In chapter 1, verses 12-16, there are some insights on how we can quiet our mind, and the most important finding for me is that we need to understand that we are NOT our thoughts, that we are NOT our emotions and that we are NOT our memories. We mustn’t identify with our thoughts, if we want to quiet our mind and reveal our true self.

Also, it’s beneficial to establish a ‘practice/abyhasa’ like a regular meditation and yoga practice, and most importantly we need to cultivate an inner attitude of letting go.

Vairagya

By practicing ‘abyhasa’ and ‘vairagya’, we will be led into stillness and hence closer and closer to our true self. With the help of letting go (‘vairagya’), we can find our inner light, our true essence again and we will start shining our (moon)light again, that has been hidden and covered with dust for a long enough time. We can begin to walk the way to our true self.

I love the image of a crystal here. We all are a crystal, but over time, our crystal, our true self, may begin to dust based on wrong identifications or at least identifications that we didn’t really question and hence accepted. The good news is we can start blowing off the dust, today, right here, right now. We are free to dissolve beliefs and limitations, that don’t serve as any longer, and we can create and absorb beliefs that well serve us. By dissolving our old beliefs, we approach our true essence of being, slowly, but surely.

We understand that our happiness does not depend on external factors, but only on what’s within us. We will break out of the prison that we built ourselves, we will break up accepted dogmas, we will free ourselves from living the life that others want us to live and will develop back into our true essence.

Yes, this is somehow rebellion, we rebel to get our lives back and to live the life we really want to live. However, that’s good rebellion, if you ask me.

Let go

To summarise, Patanjalis biggest calling is to practice letting go.

  • Accept what you cannot change.
  • Forgive as if it never happened.
  • Do not judge everything.
  • Let go of what is hurting you.

Imagine a full glass of water. Only by letting go and emptying your water glass, you can create space for new, beautiful things that make you lighter, freer and happier.

For me the most beautiful effect of ‘vairagya’ is that I will be able to love and serve even more, as I develop more empathy for others, more strength to support others and I gain clarity for my life.

A matter close to my heart

This is a topic close to my heart due to my personal experience. Through yoga and my travels to Latin America, I became more mindful and conscious about me and my life, hence I started to reflect and question the existing.

Knots were bursting and I started going my way to reveal my true self. I began blowing off the dust of my crystal and gradually saw parts of my true self again, my inner light that I had somehow forgotten. Out of sight, out of mind.

I’m still in the process of dedusting my crystal, but knowing that I’ve already broken open a few chains and limitations, makes me feel so happy and free that I would always walk this way again.

Yours, Nina

The fear of losing oneself

I realized that there is one topic that keeps popping up in my head which relates to the combination between personal development and distraction, especially relationships with men (well in my case). This article is – as always – written from my perspective; hence I’m relating to guys only. However, this article can be applied to men and women alike, I’m sure.

When you are so deep in your personal development journey as I am at the moment and as I have been for the past 6 months, when you realize just how wonderful this journey is, when you really enjoy it to the fullest (even if damn hard at times), when knots are bursting, when your life is shifting, when you feel like your whole world is rocking (mainly to the positive), then you obviously want to keep this momentum going and growing. Right?

What do you think it is we need to keep the momentum going and growing? Yes, we need discipline and consistency, but most importantly we need the will and hunger to keep going. In January 2018, I experienced this will and hunger stronger than ever before, I write weekly action plans to stay focused and disciplined, I have a daily yoga, meditation and gratitude practice, I listen to podcasts and I watch relevant videos on YouTube. I realized that my will is growing stronger, as my Why is growing stronger with every step I take on this beautiful journey.

What I’m trying to get at is that this journey and the beautiful outcomes fulfill me so much, that I sometimes fear being thrown off this journey. By distractions, whatever they may be. However, majorly I noticed a fear of distraction by men. I am a happy single at the moment, yet I do wish for a beautifully fulfilling relationship amongst equals. At the same time, isn’t that exactly the challenge? To find the other half that wants to support you at all times, that wants to see you grow, who is himself grounded, positive, and is aspiring a healthy, free and abundant lifestyle? A person who you can be 100% authentic with, a person who is motivating you, a person who you can look up to, yet at the same time feels inspired by your energy and positivity and not threatened. Are you still with me? Can you resonate with my feelings? My impression is that guys are indeed scared sometimes, of themselves, of a woman that knows what she wants, of really living the life they want to live. I want to emphasize though that this is my impression only and that I don’t want to generalize this statement, there are always exceptions to the rule.

Then there is me, self-confident, convinced that I’ve chosen the right way, simply because I feel it, my flow and happiness, with the universe making things happen for me. Yet, there are moments, where it’s like I’m ‘forgetting’ my values, my boundaries, my wishes for the next relationship, my big vision for my life. But why? Does it depend on my mood, on the day, on the weather, on the guy? I don’t know really, but in case you bond with what I’m talking about, then let me tell you one thing. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Accept that you may have weak moments just like I had in the last few months, accept that you may have a ‘down’ phase, but know that the next day will be the start of an ‘up’ phase again.

The other thing I would like to share with you is that I strongly believe that the right partner, my soul mate will come into my life, when it is right, when I am ready, when he is ready. We attract what we express, so just be in your flow, in your higher self, and your other half will step into your life.

As for me, I’m sure I will be able to stand my grounds, stick to my values and life vision and set my boundaries, meaning that I don’t need to fear distraction by a relationship. Because in the right relationship, you don’t need to fear such things. So, don’t be afraid of your spiritual growth, keep shining your light, keep going and live the life you really want to live!

And maybe we sometimes need to lose ourselves in love to find real love? Just a thought.

Yours, Nina