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

Who loves, dances.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word love? Let me guess, probably words like ‘relationship, partner, man, woman’? Isn’t that interesting that the majority of us associates the word love with something extrinsic, something external, something outside of us, something that we give to someone and that we receive by someone else?

Love is intrinsic

Love is something intrinsic to you, to me, to all of us. It’s nothing outside of us, love is inside us. It’s called self-love. Love is simply there, it is what we were born with, with love from the inside out. Isn’t it beautiful? So, the most important relationship you will ever have is the one with yourself. If you hear love, and you think about the relationship with yourself, then that’s great. This is what should come to our mind, when we hear the word love. It is a process though, as we’ve been raised thinking we first need to do and to accomplish something before we are fully loved and before we can then love ourselves.

But NO! I want you to know that you are beautiful just the way you are, you are loved, just for being yourself, and it is our natural human potential to love ourselves.

When you fully love yourself, only then can you show true and deep love to someone else. Only then can you experience & receive love fully. So, fill up your love tank. It is already inside you. The good news is that you can grow love inside you and that there aren’t any bad news associated with it.

Grow love inside you

Here is some guidance on how to do that. Please note awareness is key.

  • Live in the present moment as much as possible. Do not overthink the past or the future, but focus on the now.
  • Practice more being, less doing.
  • Watch yourself. Say STOP to negative thoughts, once you notice them and before a whole story arises with it. Replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts instead.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself, meaning do not fight your body, mind and spirit. Instead take care of your body, watch your thoughts and feel your present emotions, no matter if it is sadness, anger or jealousy. Do not fight it, accept what is, love what is.
  • Be creative and enjoy the process of creating. Whatever it may be. For me it’s for example creating a yoga class or a workshop. For me being creative also means dancing, following my feelings with my body and to express myself whilst dancing.
  • Live your life according to your true self.
  • Be authentic, be yourself, be happy.

What is your creative passion that only waits to be released?

Over the past years, I have developed a strong sense for myself, for my whole being. I have improved access to my intuition and I’ve sharpened my listening and ‘reading between the lines’ skills. I have more love and understanding for myself than ever. I live in line with my true self as best as I can, every single day. When my love tank is full, I can draw from it at any given moment, for myself and others!

Don’t be too hard on yourself

And yet, I also have days when the above doesn’t really work, when I feel stuck in the past or in the future, when I’m busy doing stuff, when I don’t feel well-aligned, when I feel distracted, sad or angry. But you know what? I do notice and being aware is the most important step for change and creation. Moreover, I’ve learned not to be too hard on myself anymore. It simply doesn’t help, instead it slows down the process even more. So, love yourself! Practice self-love! Be kind to yourself!

Who loves, dances

Oh yes! When you understand that love is within you always, once you’ve filled up your love tank and when you are kind to yourself always, then you will just feel so full of love that your heart will have no other chance but dance!

In my case, I literally mean dancing. I love dancing to express myself. Whilst dancing, I’m in my highest alignment. I’m always dancing, inside out!

When do you start ‘dancing’?

Much love.

Yours, Nina

 

 

 

 

Big Five for Life

My success story and hence realisation of one of my Big Five for Life already started when I was 17 years old. But I didn’t know anything about the Big Five for Life, needless to say that I didn’t understand then that I was about to get closer to realise my dream.

Back in high school, one teacher offered Spanish classes as an extracurricular activity. Since starting school, I was interested in languages. I like the idea of being able to talk to other people in their local language. I already knew German and English, so I signed up for the Spanish classes, with 100% enthusiasm. Only 6 months later my teacher organised an exchange programme to the beautiful and cosy town of Linares, Jan in Andalusia. I was really happy with my host family and my exchange partner Ana, who was 3 years older than me. Jackpot at this age, since I would be hanging out with 20 year olds. The family only spoke Spanish, nothing else, so I really had to make an effort to make myself understood. The result: after only 2 weeks in Spain (plus the 6 months before), I spoke enough Spanish to get by, to order drinks and food, to ask for directions or to introduce myself.

When I returned home, I was sure to continue learning Spanish, but my dream had grown bigger. I was inspired by my teacher who spent 6 months in Argentina plus I was driven by the idea of speaking several languages.

So, my dream suddenly became clear: I want to travel through Latin America someday. I want to improve my Spanish skills and most importantly I want to feel this feeling again. My inner joy like a child, that swings back and forth, a feeling of warmth and openness, that I experienced during my exchange programme, a feeling of extensiveness and independence, and trust that

Everything is possible.

And so one of my biggest Big Five for Life was born: Travelling through Latin America. I didn’t have any idea, when or how, but it was crystal clear why and that I want to do this.

I’m fast forwarding to my time as a student of business administration. In 2005 I had the opportunity to study in Wales, which I grabbed instantly. Why? I felt this feeling again. Of course I was there to improve my English skills, but the university also offered Spanish classes, and so I signed up again, studying Spanish for another 8 months. I mean who says that I couldn’t learn two languages at the same time? Right…!

I moved to London in 2012, as my boyfriend at the time worked in finance, and because I simply wanted to. I had this feeling of travel pleasure again, the desire to experience something new. Of course, it was also my plan to find a job in London as marketing manager, but what drove me most was the desire to speak a different language, to dive into a new culture and to meet new people. It was simply exciting.

After 2 years in that job and a feeling of having settled into the job, I felt the urge to learn something (new) again. And there it was again, my thoughts about Latin America and Spanish. I asked for recommendations for Spanish schools on Facebook and one school that was recommended most was Instituto Cervantes. Said and one. I called the school, arranged an appointment for a level test, and started my classes only a few weeks later. I pushed through all classes, once a week, every Monday, after work, even in summer.

In 2014, my boyfriend and me broke up, but since I was happy in London with my job, my friends and everything else, I simply wasn’t ready to close this chapter. So I stayed, against the exceptions of family and friends.

Do you know this feeling, when you know? When you intuitively know what is right for you? I felt exactly this feeling. I simply knew that my journey wasn’t over. Not here, not now.

Trust your intuition.

In June 2015 I got together with my new boyfriend from London, who was my colleague at the same time. Only a few months later, we were told that our company would be sold to a German company. I saw a big potential for my career at this company, since I was the only one speaking German and English fluently and understanding both cultures. However, during the acquisition, I realised that I didn’t want to continue working for this company. And still, my thoughts were going in circles for weeks, what to do next, back and forth. But suddenly there it was. Clarity. About quitting. Moreover, I was 100% sure that this would be the moment. I long had this dream to travel through Latin America, but still there were always reasons against it (in my head), why this wouldn’t be possible, for example due to a relationship, a job, not enough money, not enough time etc. But in this moment there weren’t any obstacles any more. Not even my relationship at the time was an obstacle for me. I took my boyfriend aside and talked him through my dream of travelling through Latin America and that the timing just seemed perfect. I told him that I swore myself that next time I’d quit a job, I would go on this journey. And he liked the idea.So we both quit our safe and well-paid jobs in London in February 2016.

Our research started. Which countries, how long, when to start, which Spanish school.

I just couldn’t believe that my dream of travelling through Latin America would finally (at the age of 34) become true, yet at the same time it felt so natural, as if was meant to be. I was so much looking forward to this journey and my travels kicked off on the 5th June 2016. Me, Nina, with my 15kg backpack, on her way to the first stop, Havana in Cuba. The return flight was planned for the 26th September, so we had just under 4 months of travelling and adventure ahead of us. The adventure came, but differently.

We travelled from Cuba to Guatemala, where we stayed for 2 weeks in Antigua in a Spanish school. We continued to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. I really wanted to go to Mexico, but my boyfriend wasn’t so keen on it, and since it was more a feeling than anything else, I couldn’t really argue why I wanted to go. We then travelled to Colombia, to Ecuador, and here we visited a Spanish school again in Montañita, a surf town, where we spent 2 weeks in a hotel right at the beach. Next stop was Peru and on the peak point of this country, Machu Picchu, our relationship also arrived at a peak named end.

We still travelled to Bolivia together, but it was clear that we couldn’t make this work, regarding our communication, our wishes as well as our idea of relationship and partnership. Nevertheless, the end came kind of as a surprise to me and it therefore hurt and it was an end full of tears. But in all this emotional drama, I knew, I had to leave this place asap in order to create space, to have air to breathe. So, 2 days later (mid-August) I was on a plane to Uyuni, to see the biggest salt flats of the world. And to feel this feeling again. My Why.

Whilst approximately 95% of friends and family suggested to come back home (but what was that home, London or Munich?) I felt deep inside me, that my journey was not over yet. That this journey would continue. That it had only just started. And so it was.

What is it that YOU want?

The adventure was bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. In the following days I decided to continue my travels as originally planned, but solo. It was my dream, one of my Big Five for Life, remember? I simply couldn’t stand the idea that a break up should erase this dream. No Way! It simply didn’t feel right to stop my travels, actually I felt the opposite. I suddenly had this deep trust, despite the heartache, that everything was happening for a reason and that it was right and important for me to make this experience. For me, my journey and my path of life.

Trust your intuition.

So, I decided to continue my travels on my own. In my pace, and with a feeling of floating, to simply live into the day. And my journey began and with it the fulfilment of one of my Big Five for Life.

From Bolivia, I flew to Chile and spent two wonderful weeks in Santiago de Chile. Due to the emotional chaos that I was in, I had somehow forgotten that my return flight to London was in 2 weeks already. And there it was again, the dilemma, that we all know.

Heart says, head says.

My heart spoke clearly, but softly to me to extend the journey, but my head, also shaped by the opinion of others, requested to fly back to London on 26th September, as it had all been planned.

My heart won! I was getting warm. I called the travel office and asked for flight options  to somewhere nice and warm, with sun, sand and sea. I just knew what I needed for my heart, my soul and a relaxed finale of my journey. Guess what I booked? Mexico. Yes!

But first things first, because from Chile I first travelled to Argentina. Since I had extended my trip for another 7 weeks, I took my time to explore this beautiful country a bit more. I met a nice woman in Buenos Aires who invited me into her casa in La Rioja.

And I felt this feeling again: warmth, openness, and freedom. When I spotted a swing in a giant garden, I was so happy and I started swinging like a child. Playful and content.

I spent my last 4 weeks in Mexico. Mexico and especially Tulum has become my magic place. A place of reflection, of inner peace, of sheer pleasure and the journey to myself. It was most likely the most important journey in my life. An experience I would have never made, if I had given up on my dream of travelling through Latin America.

And in the last weeks I gained even more clarity whilst sitting at the beach of Tulum: I move back into my hometown Munich. I want to deepen my yoga and meditation practice. And I will finally write a blog, inspired by my (inner) journey.

And these visions became reality. I live in a beautiful flat in Munich, I’m doing my yoga teacher training and I launched my blog, this blog. My heart project. The name Nina’s Pink Notes is based on a pink notebook that was my loyal companion during my travels.

Today, I’m very grateful for my experiences, because they showed me how important it is to trust myself, my heart and my inner voice. My experiences made me stronger, wiser and brought me on a more beautiful and authentic way.

If you are currently in a situation and you don’t know what to do or decide, let me tell you one thing. Really trust your intuition and follow your heart!

Yours, Nina

 

Be kind to yourself

Once you step out of your comfort zone and dare to be brave, there is no going back. At least, this is what I experienced during my travels. Especially once my unintended solo travels kicked off in Bolivia. I did a 4×4 jeep tour with a bunch of French people crossing the border from Uyuni in Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Our driver was so kind to drop me off directly at my hotel (Hostal Masairi) that I had booked for 1 night in advance to have at least somewhere to go to in this new town. I loved my room. A big bed. Comfy bed linen. A nice shower made of cobbled stone. This was exactly what I fancied after the rather basic accommodations in Bolivia. And the sun was shining, too. I remember thinking:

What a feeling.

After a power nap and a refreshing shower, I walked into town (approx. 8 min) to explore the different tour operators. I read about the different tour offers in advance and decided to visit Geysers del Tatio as well as Laguna Cejar. I booked my tours with Cosmo Andino and Desert Adventures and I was very happy with the tour guides, their knowledge and the fun part to it. On my first tour the same afternoon to Laguna Cejar, I met two really nice girls, one Chilean girl and one British-French girl who both live in Santiago de Chile. How perfect, since this was my next stop. We spent the entire day together and then decided to go the Geysers del Tatio tour together.

When sitting in the mini bus with them, I realized how easy it was for me to connect with new people. It made my heart jump, as I understood in this moment that becoming aware of my strengths meant I was kind to myself, too. Sadly, being aware and mentioning our own strengths is often perceived as arrogant, but I think it is the most critical thing to practice self-love and to know our positives in order to live a happy life.

Suddenly it hit me in the mini bus that I can easily connect with new people, that I can speak 3 languages (German, English, Spanish) fluently and that I love exploring. I felt so empowered in this moment. I was impressed by myself about how quickly I got back up on my feet after the break up, how I was able to enjoy this adventure and how I was brave enough to continue living my dream – to travel through Latin America.

What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?

I love this quote. We all tend to see the painful and negative side of things only, however, in every pain, in every change, lies the potential for something better. The universe is sending us signs that the old situation wasn’t right for us and that we should move on to something else, to something even better.

Let us see the positive in every fall – ’cause it might make us fly.

Yours, Nina

Travel love

When I was younger, I always wanted to be a travel writer, I’ve always dreamed of travelling to as many destinations as possible and of sharing my experiences with others (funnily enough, these words stem from my diary written on 10th January 2015 on the plane from Mauritius back to London). Read more about the beginnings of my blog here.

I am passionate about traveling, exploring the entire world with all my senses and seeing new things. I love progressing, not standing still. So, I’ve always kept an open mind and curiosity about people, languages, cultures, basically about life. Read more on Nina Who.

In 2016, I finally did what I have been wanting to do for years. I travelled through Latin America for almost 6 months. From Cuba to Costa Rica, from Colombia to Argentina, and then back to Mexico. It was intense, amazing and absolutely inspiring. I’ve grown so much ever since and I made a huge step towards my true, beautiful me, my vision and my why in this world.

If you want to know about my (inner) journey, then don’t miss my blog posts.

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