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

 

 

 

 

Self-love

Self-love has truly been an affair of my heart, in particular for the past year. For me, self-love is strongly related to moving from my head to my heart, meaning being good to myself as much as I can.

In the past years, I was often stuck in my head and my heart didn’t manage to prevail. I always thought I’m so emotional, and yes I am an emotional person. But I also had to learn to accept my emotions, to feel all feelings I’m feeling and especially to allow for my heartache instead of suppressing it.

I had to re-learn trusting my intuition and gut feel more than anything else in the world, more than the kindly meant suggestions of family and friends, the expectations of society as well as the often heard don’ts in life. Don’t do this, don’t do that. This is too dangerous. This is not safe enough. This is insecure. This is not right for you. You cannot do this. You don’t have enough money. You are selfish. You are egoistic. You are a dreamer.

I could continue this list of limiting beliefs that I’ve come across in my life, like we all have, but the above are probably the ones I’ve heard most often. Looking back, it’s obviously a shame, that I wasn’t strong and self-confident enough to push back or not to listen. Although deep down these beliefs didn’t feel right for me, I still believed them and acted accordingly. Because, what can be so wrong about something that most people do, right?

With two break ups in not even two years and on the road traveling, I got to a point, where I wanted to reflect my life. I felt the urge to understand myself more. Maybe this only came up for me, as I had the time back then? Either way, I booked a yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico and I’m so grateful I did. Because what happened there was magical and Tulum has become my magic place.

During the yoga retreat, I practiced yoga everyday, I meditated, I did a detox from social media, I ate very healthily (especially I discovered smoothie bowls), I solely focused on myself and my well being. I basically practiced self-love, and it came up very naturally for me. But I wanted to go a bit deeper and when one of the yoga teachers mentioned a Reiki healer, my attention was there. I arranged an appointment with him the next day and without telling him anything about my life, he noticed immediately that my heart was broken and that I still hadn’t released some pain from the past. This pain blocked me from moving forwards and from accepting myself for who I truly am. It has also caused my hips and groins to tighten up. The Reiki healer explained that we tend to put all our emotional baggage that we are not able to release into our hip area. Obviously, the tension didn’t build up in a day, but within the last couple of years. But suddenly it all made sense. Just him mentioning this triggered lots of tears, as I felt so relieved and understood.

My healing process was about to start and should continue.

This moment was my biggest moment of self-love, as I realized the following:

  • I’ve always felt that I was a bit different and unique in way, but I didn’t allow myself to really be, out of fear for the reaction of others.
  • I’ve always felt a spiritual connection to something bigger than me (I’m not religious, so I’d say I believe in the Universe), but I was not in the right environment to truly live this spiritual connection and I simply didn’t do (responsibility).
  • I’ve always been a person questioning behaviors, reactions and situations, but very often I was scared of challenging other people for fear of rejection and being regarded as too critical or arrogant.
  • I’ve always felt I was ahead of the game, but I was afraid of overtaking people.

This resulted in me simply adapting to pre-defined standards, without understanding why I should do it this way. So, for many, many years I lived a life without being truly true to myself.

However, only if we dare to be brave and be ourselves by practicing self-love, we can walk the way to happiness!

  • Love yourself so much that you allow yourself to be yourself.
  • Love yourself so much, that you live your true self.
  • Love yourself so much, that you allow yourself to be in your highest alignment.
  • Love yourself so much, that you truly believe you can be everything you want to be.

Yours, Nina

Reason why

You might wonder why I started this blog.

I first had the idea to write a blog on 30th December 2014 after my 10-year relationship ended. I instantly knew that I needed a holiday. It needed to be a destination far away, a country I have not been to before, and I needed to do this on my own.

I decided to travel to beautiful Mauritius, setting off to new shores. Two days into this friendly and peaceful environment, I thought, sitting by the beach, that this is the perfect opportunity to start writing. About how, for the first time, I travelled completely on my own, to capture all amazing moments in pictures & words and to heal, day by day, week by week.

Fast-forwarding to my return to London 2 weeks later, I realised that everything I wrote into my notebook felt way too personal and intimate, that I wasn’t ready to share this yet.

Turns out the reason was I indeed wasn’t ready. Life held bigger plans for me. As you might know, we always get exactly what we can handle, not less, not more. Very obviously I was able to handle way more.

In June 2015 I got together with my new boyfriend. Yes, it was a rather short single break, but sometimes things simply happen and I just felt in flow.

It has been my dream to travel through Latin America since age 17 and when we both quit our jobs, I knew I had to finally make my dream come true. So, we decided to go on this adventure together, 4 months of travelling, from 5th June until 25th September 2016.

Jumping to end of August 2016, our relationship ended between Peru and Bolivia. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. But I was shocked. Another break up in such a short period of time? In South America? Really? In my head, I already titled this experience, which felt like the stupidest movie ever “Nina left in the middle of nowhere”.

Despite all confusion and heartache at the time, I heard my heart talking to me very clearly. It said that I should keep following my dream, that I should continue my travels, that I shouldn’t give up and that life holds so much more for me.

Fast-forwarding to Santiago de Chile in September 2016. I sat in my apartment planning the next stops in Argentina, when it suddenly hit me that my return flight was only 2 weeks away. I felt nervous, yet calm at the same time, a feeling hard to describe. And yet again, I knew the answer. The answer was already within me. My heart told me to extend my journey, to give myself more time to digest, to continue my healing process and to figure out the next step (moving back to London which had been my home for 4.5 years or back to Munich, my hometown).

So, I re-arranged my flights to give myself more time in Chile and Argentina plus I built in another month in Mexico. Fast forwarding to the end of October in Tulum I was fully relaxed, peaceful and in a very happy place, when I suddenly pictured Munich. And I knew this is it, this is my next step. Tulum has become my magical place. It forms the origin of my spiritual journey, of self-love and personal development and hence deserves the first entry on my blog.

In this very moment, I also knew that I wanted to share my experience of travellingyoga and how I started my healing process with as many people as possible. So here I am.

You are my reason why.

Read more about me here.

Yours, Nina