“What are you waiting for?” it whispered mysteriously from the silence inside me.
My inner voice had become very loud and had long since found its way into my dreams. It was already too late to not listen to it, too loudly its contradictions were already echoing inside me. And yet I was doing very well with my life. Determined and successful, I had achieved many goals and built a respectable scaffolding of achievements - ready to climb the next rungs. Out of nowhere, this call arose and reminded me of an innocent dream that my mind had mindfully forgotten within myself.
Where did this voice come from that, as if from nowhere, put a question mark on my roles, identities and achievements and instead put a new exclamation mark inside me in the shimmering colours of the rainbow? Life had something in store for me that I was not prepared for. I watched helplessly as this wake-up call revealed something in me that had been well hidden inside until now. Something that had always been there and had eluded being to now being revealed through my life.
It was the timeless call of my soul that touched my heart at that time to initiate me deeper into the mysteries of life. To follow this call is truly a great adventure. I cannot promise you anything if you also want to follow it. I cannot tell you what will happen. I can’t even tell you where you will be tomorrow, if you will accept it. This call leads you beyond familiar structures into something new, something strange, to fathom the deep truth of your being, exposed to the unknown.
Are you really ready to leave your habits, concepts and expectations behind and learn to walk again on an unknown path? Are you ready to engage with the sensitivity and vulnerability of your being with responsibility? Are you ready to leave behind all the clothes of “I-am-this” and “I-am-not-this”? What about your ambition, your “I-want-to-achieve” and your “I-want-to-have”? Can you really trust your inner voice and your senses? Are you prepared for all these questions? Maybe it would be better to wait and see.
“What are you waiting for?” it whispered mysteriously from the silence inside me, jolting me out of my sleep again. This time I stayed awake. I couldn’t help it. I wanted to find out who I really am. On the threshold of life, I gathered all my courage and quietly said “Yes”. I breathed into the silence and felt a sinking feeling spread through my stomach, mingling with the doubts of uncertainty. Only when my soul embraced me with a warming smile I knew I was ready.
How much I love and appreciate today this inner voice that unveiled revealed life to me.
What are you waiting for?
The source of life
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, there was a village where something very strange happened and left an open mystery behind. Since then, the story has been passed on from mouth to mouth, waiting to this day for the person who knows how to solve it.
You have to go back in time a long time to reach the beginning of the story. When you arrive, you will find a small, inconspicuous village in the middle of a vast desert, hidden in an unusually fertile oasis. Inexhaustibly, the crystal-clear spring of life bubbles up in it. The inhabitants of the village saw what was there and fed on the abundance. They drank refreshed from the spring and lived the dreams that sprang from it. Not infrequently, on starry nights, they were seen around the common fireplace, dancing freely and singing the most joyful songs. Their hearts were full of warmth and their smiles reflected the lightness of a happy life. But it was not only the people who drank from the clear water of the spring. The flowers, too, grew vividly in all colours among the colourful houses and mingled merrily their fragrance with the joy of these people.
But then it happened that a thirsty wanderer came near the village in the dark. He was carrying a heavy load and groaned incessantly with every step he took. As fate wanted it, he met one of the villagers who was sitting contemplatively on a dune listening to the quiet murmur of the desert wind. When he heard the wanderer’s groan, he stopped breathing, puzzled. “Who are you?” he asked. Instead of giving an answer to this question, the wanderer told him about the great burden he had to carry and was persistently dragging around on his back. Somewhat confused, the desert dweller returned to the village. He could not tell of himself that he was carrying such a great burden on his back. Life in the oasis was characterised by lightness. Something in him suddenly felt empty. “I wonder what the other villagers will think of me if I too can carry such a heavy load?” he asked himself, already lost in thoughts.
The next day, he had loaded himself with stones and returned to the hiker, who was still thirsty for water. “Look at what I can carry today” he said proudly to the hiker. The latter gave him a silent look of acceptance. He hadn’t quenched his thirst, but he was already feeling a little better in company. “At least someone who recognises me” he thought. So, in agreement, they began to drag their great burden around the village. They groaned and groaned with every step.
No one knows exactly why, but this process repeated itself in a mysterious way until finally the whole village had gathered around the wanderer. Together they dragged more and more stones through the desert. They groaned and grunted and dragged themselves with bent backs through the dry sand of the desert. With serious expressions, but always thirsty and gasping for air, they told each other about the great burden they now had to carry. Some even managed to build a small tower of stones on their backs and carry it around shakily. Whenever one of them fell on their head, they called it “complicated” and groaned and moaned a little louder. The result was an agonising lament that settled ever heavier over the once lively village.
Time passed into nothingness and with the memories of the villagers, the colours of the houses gradually faded to a drab grey. Even the flowers lost their fragrance and left the village uprooted with drooping heads. A place of life had become a place of lost solitude, where silence was the only welcome guest.
Now, in the midst of this loneliness and silence, a small miracle happened. Connected to the source of life, a small delicate flower with fine colours grew in the midst of a grey world. Courageously, it has been emitting a lovely fragrance ever since, telling the story of this village in the colours of joy. It waits patiently for those of us who thirstily seek the source of life.
Apprentice of life
Since I started listening to the teachings of my soul a few years ago, I have learned many thinks and probably unlearned even more. Isn’t life an eternal cycle of birth and death, being and non-being, construction and deconstruction? To live consciously in this cycle is to know that everything has its time.
Life reveals itself when I let myself breathe in its rhythm and have the necessary patience and maturity to give space to this breath of life. I have unlearned to meet life with resistance and that it is less about the non-being of wanting to achieve, but more about the being of becoming, which is inherent in the before, the now and the after. Like the earth, I constantly spin around myself and I have learned to be sheep and shepherd, guest and host, craftsman and architect, scientist and mystic at the same time. But just as the earth spins around the sun, so does my life spin around a centre outside me that shines its light into my life, illuminating it and making it appear as a work of art that I have not created myself.
On my way, I got to know many tools of the soul, worked with them and experienced their meaning and use. As an apprentice, I learned to distinguish them according to purpose and quality until I was finally ready to look for my own tools, to recognise them and to value them appropriately. On the shamanic path, I found tools with natural signature that are highly precise to the subtle language of the soul. They serve healing and growth and they know about the sensitivity and vulnerability of life. They, like us, have a being of their own and want to be treated mindfully and with respect. Embraced and welcomed in their arms, I often listen to their stories, which blend harmoniously with the sounds of my soul. To know them by my side is a great gift of life that can only be appreciated with gratitude and love.
Equipped with appropriate tools, I learned that presence, awareness and letting be can open many spaces and that responsibility is an inevitable response to something that goes far beyond me. In many small steps I learned to really see myself, to accept and to lovingly embrace myself. I explore the vulnerability of my being through which I can tenderly recognise and understand myself as a human being. Patience, trust and devotion are always my faithful companions here. It is intimacy with myself, connection with myself and relationship with myself that enables me to live intimacy, love and relationship with others.
I practise refining my senses to become more sensitive and alert, to be able to listen more deeply into life. The mysteries of the soul reveal themselves behind the curtains, just as the actual saying is hidden behind what is said. To listen into the silence is to detect the saying in the echo of what is said and to go into connection with the original. When I am truly in touch with my being, I experience an all-encompassing intimacy with life in which I am allowed to touch something deeply sacred. Often I then feel such a great joy that makes me weep happily in the arms of the divine Mother.
In all things I am Yours.
A morning ritual helps you to be already in the morning full of life and to consciously align yourself for the day.
When you get up, you set your intention for your day. Take some time for yourself. How much you need depends on you. Be kind to yourself and don’t take on too much. But it should also not be too little. With giving your time, you show your being appreciation, and you support it so that it can slowly recognize itself and unfold powerfully throughout the day.
Listen to your body, your feelings and your thoughts
Be with yourself and listen to your breath. Become aware that you exist and that you are alive. Become awake.
Feel yourself and your body. How does it feel today? Does anything hurt? Does your body wants movement? What does it need from you today? Give your body the space it needs right now.
Keep feeling. What feelings are inside you today? Take your time to notice them. Give them space and feel into them. Try not to judge, observe and feel into their meanings.
What are your thoughts today? Observe them for a while without judging or following them.
Activate your senses and listen to your soul
Now become aware of yourself once again. Become aware of yourself and activate your senses. What are you seeing right now? What is the taste in your mouth? What smell are you noticing right now? What sounds are around you? Gently touch your body and notice how it feels today. You are with yourself.
Go a little further and also become aware of your awareness of yourself. It is you who perceives all this, who experiences all this. Now bring this awareness of yourself into your attention and let it expand.
Your attention has now become more subtle. You feel and sense. Connect with your soul. Listen and dive into your realms.
Get in touch with this new day
Today you have been given another day of life. A new day that you can live awake in harmony with your truth saying Yes to life.
Breathe this day and welcome it.
The day will welcome you too…
I know that I know nothing
It was not so easy for my mind to admit that there were things it could not grasp and understand. My mind was a highly developed controller that offered me both security and fascinating worlds. I had to learn to calm it down and use it in a way that served my being and did not dominate it. I appreciate it. My mind has made many valuable decisions for me and, through its clarity, has guided me very purposefully on a successful path in life.
With increasing inner experience, however, I realised that my mind was blocking my view of the essential through its own judgements and concepts. Due to its high speed, I was too driven and too tense to perceive what
is behind. The only purpose of my life was to have a goal. With this attitude, I could not breathe freely. I was a proud rider on a racehorse that told me where to go and yet gave me the feeling that I was in control.
Over several years I had to unlearn many concepts, habits and imprints in order to learn to face the world with empty hands without guilt. Since I have been following the shamanic path, I have been living in a constant process of purification, always dying and touching my original being. I started to live more slowly and listen to life in a different way. More and more I touch the emptiness and learn to go beyond it.
If I imagine I know something, life generously lets me know that I actually know nothing. I have learned to pay attention to the signs. I trust the shamanic tools and gratefully experience how they keep stretching my boundaries. So I take my steps and learn to live in the not knowing.
I am an insecure, vulnerable being and humbly accept my humaness.
Es war einmal ein greiser, alter König, der in einem großen Königreich regierte. Obwohl es in diesem Königreich eigentlich niemanden an etwas mangelte, so gab es doch immer wieder verschiedene Menschen, welche dem König ihr Leid klagten. Sie beschwerten sich über die hohen Steuern, wollten mehr Lohn oder günstigere Nahrungsmittel. Die Menschen fanden immer etwas, das ihnen nicht gut genug war.
Der König wurde immer betrübter. Was auch immer er machte, er konnte seine Untertanen nicht zufriedenstellen. Dabei lag ihm das Wohl seiner Untertanen sehr am Herzen. Nun war der alte König schon in einem hohen Alter und zu müde eine Arbeit zu machen, die nicht gewürdigt wurde. Als er eines Tages mal wieder betrübt aufwachte, beschloss er seinen Thron an einen seiner Söhne abzugeben, um sich den schönen Dingen des Lebens zu widmen. Seine beiden Söhne waren bereits zu jungen, stattlichen Männern herangewachsen. Es stellte sich nun die knifflige Frage, wer denn von den beiden sein Nachfolger werden sollte.
Einer der klugen Berater des Königs hatte eine wunderbare Idee. Um zu entscheiden, wer von den beiden am geeignetsten ist, schickte er die Königssöhne mit einem ungewöhnlichen Auftrag fort. Sie sollten ihm das Wertvollste bringen, was sie finden können. Danach würde der König entscheiden, wer das Königreich bekommt.
Die Erfahrung des einen Königssohnes
Der eine der beiden Söhne, ein sehr kräftiger und tapferer Mann, holte sein reich geschmücktes Pferd und machte sich auf die Suche. Er ritt durch die Felder des Königreiches, überquerte Flüsse und suchte und suchte. Die Schätze des Königreiches kannte er bereits und das, was er kannte, war ihm nicht wertvoll genug. Also begann er seine Suche woanders. Er wusste, dass es in einem benachbarten Königreich sehr viele mysteriöse Reichtümer gab. Immer wieder hatte er am Hof verschiedene Händler davon erzählen hören. Hoch zu Ross befragte er die Fremden, die ihm unterwegs begegneten, nach diesen Schätzen. Er begab sich immer mehr in die Fremde und entfernte sich so immer weiter von zu Hause.
Irgendwann begegnete er schließlich einer runzeligen, alten Frau. Er hatte schon lange niemanden mehr gesehen und fragte daher auch diese alte Frau nach einem großen, wertvollen Schatz. Die Frau lachte ein wenig und erzählte ihm geheimnisvoll, dass sie die Hüterin eines der größten Schätze dieser Erde war. Der junge Königssohn wähnte sich am Ziel und wollte den Schatz begierig anschauen. Ahnungslos führte die Frau ihn in eine entlegene Höhle. Geblendet von dem Funkeln und dem Glanz dieses Schatzes verlor der stolze Königssohn beinahe den Verstand. Er konnte gar nicht aufhören zu schauen. Immer wieder sah er neue leuchtende Kostbarkeiten, die ihm in der dunklen Höhle entgegenfunkelten. So etwas Wertvolles hatte er noch nie gesehen. Der Thron war zum Greifen nahe. Was wohl sein Vater sagen würde, fragte er sich? Und erst die ganzen Untertanen. Mit diesem Schatz wäre er bestimmt der reichste König weit und breit. Diesen Schatz musste er haben.
Mit glühenden Augen versprach der nichts ahnende Königssohn, dass die Frau alles bekommt, was sie will, wenn sie ihm nur den Schatz überlässt, um ihn seinem Vater zu bringen. Die runzelige, alte Frau war jedoch in Wirklichkeit eine böse Zauberin. Sie hatte den Schatz nur herbeigezaubert, um den Königssohn zu überlisten. Sie wollte nämlich, dass er sie zur Königin macht und mit ihm einen Sohn zeugt, der dann das Reich mit ihr regieren wird. Mit knirschenden Zähnen sagte der gierige Königssohn zu. Irgendwie würde er die Alte schon loswerden, dachte er. Mit erhobenen Hauptes trat er siegessicher die Heimreise an.
Die böse Zauberin wurde er von da an allerdings nicht mehr los, aber dies erzähle ich dir in einer anderen Geschichte. Lass uns einmal schauen, wie es dem anderen Königssohn auf seiner Schatzsuche ergangen ist.
Die Erfahrung des anderen Königssohnes
Der andere Königssohn bestieg auch sein Pferd und begab sich auf die Suche nach etwas Wertvollem für seinen Vater. Nach einiger Zeit begegnete er einem sehr armen, älteren Ehepaar, das mit viel Mühe ihr Feld bestellte. Der junge Mann hatte Mitgefühl mit ihnen und überließ ihnen sein Pferd zum Pflügen. Als Königssohn konnte er sich ja jederzeit ein anderes besorgen. Einen Hinweis zu einem Schatz konnten ihm die beiden zwar nicht geben, sie bedankten sich bei ihm jedoch sehr herzlich und wünschten ihm alles Gute für seinen Weg.
Der junge Königssohn kam nun langsamer voran. Jeden Schritt musste er selber machen. Vielleicht hätte er das Pferd doch behalten sollen, fragte er sich, als seine Füße schon ziemlich müde waren. Er suchte sich einen sicheren Ort für die Nacht und fiel müde in einen tiefen Schlaf. Nun waren in dieser Gegend allerdings auch Räuber unterwegs, welche die prachtvolle Kleidung des Königssohnes aus der Ferne gesehen haben. Geschickt raubten die Räuber dem schlafenden Königssohn all seinen Besitz mitsamt seiner Kleidung.
Als der Königssohn am Morgen erwachte konnte er sein Unglück nicht glauben. Er beklagte sich, weinte und jammerte vor sich hin. Womit hatte er das verdient? Da er nun nackt war, hatte er das Gefühl nichts wert zu sein. Er hatte nichts mehr anzubieten und vor allem würde nun keiner mehr erkennen, dass er eigentlich ein Königssohn war. Nichts war ihm von seinem alten Glanz mehr übrig geblieben. Entmutigt lief er in einen nahegelegenen Wald, um sich dort zu verstecken. Niedergeschlagen irrte der hoffnungslose Königssohn durch den dunklen Wald. Immer unheimlicher wurde es ihm dabei. Ob seine Füße wussten, wohin sie ihn trugen? Angestrengt überlegte er, ob es nicht doch jemanden gab, der ihn erkennen würde.
Irgendwann kam er schließlich hungrig und durstig zu einem Häuschen an einer schönen Lichtung. Verzweifelt klopfte er mit seinen letzten Kräften an die Tür. Es öffnete eine alte Frau. Hilflos gab er zu verstehen, dass er durstig und hungrig war aber nichts zu geben hatte. Glücklicherweise erkannte sie seine Not und gab ihm zu trinken und zu essen. Er durfte sogar ein wohltuendes Bad im warmen Wasser nehmen. Als er danach in einen Spiegel blickte, erschrak er jedoch. Was er sah, war nicht mehr der ehemalige Königssohn, den er einmal kannte. Er schaute einen wunderschönen Jüngling an, der von einem goldenen Schimmer umgeben war. Erst nach einiger Zeit wurde ihm bewusst, dass er sich gerade selbst anschaute.
Auf einmal wurde er von einer großen Freude erfüllt. Tränen rannen ihm über sein Gesicht, welches er immer wieder erstaunt anblickte und zärtlich mit seinen Händen berührte. Das war er, nur er. In seinem Herzen wusste er, dass er gerade etwas sehr Wertvolles gefunden hatte…
Mit viel Dankbarkeit verabschiedete er sich bei der alten Frau und versprach ihr, für sie zu sorgen. Beglückt und froh machte er sich auf den Heimweg. Der Wald war auf einmal gar nicht mehr so dunkel und unheimlich. Er genoss den Geruch des Waldes und lauschte dem Konzert der Blätter und Vögel. Er nahm auf einmal die Schönheit und Einzigartigkeit dieses Waldes war. Warum nur hatte er dies bloß nicht schon vorher wahrgenommen?
Ein paar Gnome hörten ihn noch, wie er vergnügt vor sich hin summte und pfiff. Es war seine eigene Melodie…
Wie klingt die Melodie deines Herzens?
The art of inner silence
In moments of deep silence we touch the core of our existence and learn to go beyond time and space.
Inner silence is essential in my life. I trust this mystical emptiness, which is nevertheless so full of abundance. In it I know my being is safe, in it I can listen to my soul and touch my innermost truth. I have always appreciated silence for its quality, as it has always been a safe haven for me to go to when the world around me has become too loud. In silence, I can breathe and - when I have lost my way in the hustle and bustle of everyday life - find my way back to myself.
Silence has many facets. It is quiet and loud, gentle and unpredictable. To fathom it, I have been to the primal mountains of the Himalayas, meditated in dark caves and swam in the crystal clear mountain lakes. I meditated in the living, never-sleeping rainforest of Brazil by day and by night. I was just by myself and I was with many people, listening to my silence and theirs. At some point, a silent knowing burst upon me that I was not prepared for, despite all my preparations. It fundamentally changed the way I live my life. Since then, I know the silence in me and I know myself in it.
Cultivating inner silence in everyday life is an art that requires a lot of dedication to learn. After all, we move from a world that is shaped by the outside into a world that is shaped by the inside. Crossing such thresholds requires a lot of sensitivity and gentleness with our being and thus also skills to deal with them, which we often have to learn first. In the silence you will meet undoubtably yourself. Such a tender encounter is too precious to not celebrate it accordingly.
There are many difficulties that can arise on the path to stillness. In addition to dealing lovingly with the obstacles that arise, I consider a personal preparation as essential before you go into stillness. Through a gentle preparation you create an inner space within yourself where stillness can feel at home. You then prepare your body and your emotional and cognitive experience for the silence and invite your whole being to be awake and present.
By taking time to prepare for silence, you give silence a value that goes beyond just spending time with silence. With each preparation, you cultivate a space within yourself where silence can feel at home as a guest. This creates a space in you that is still present in you even in the absence of stillness and can be nurtured by yourself continuously. So no matter which technique of going into stillness you prefer, with an appreciative preparation you give the subtlety of inner stillness a space in which it can create its home.
Learning from nature
Meditation leads us into a state in where our cells vibrate full of life. Our mind is awake and clear. We feel truly connected to all life and experience ourselves as part of something much greater than ourselves. In this being, silence blossoms in its full beauty. Everything is an expression of creative beauty and diversity. We enter a mystery in which pure being is the highest good and our existence is part of a great dance.
Meditation techniques are to be understood as signs along the way, which one can follow. Nevertheless, in the end everyone has to take their steps and make their experiences. We should not disregard the fact that we are on a path whose destination we do not know exactly. It is often described to us by others and the resonance of our longing serves as our only compass on this path.
It is always worth pausing and asking yourself where you are, where you have come from and where you want to go.
My greatest teacher is nature. Nature, with its essence of the natural, reminds us of essential qualities of life that are all too easily lost in everyday life. You have to know that most meditation techniques were developed at a time when we humans lived more within nature. Spiritual seekers usually lived for several years with their masters, surrounded by wild nature simple lifes. Today, the orderly, fast-paced structures of our modern civilisations make it difficult for us to enter the simple and original soul spaces that are within us. In the wilderness of nature, on the other hand, we can get in touch with them much more easily. The purity, beauty and originality of wild nature causes a sense of wonder all by itself, which can bring us almost magically into contact with our inner silence. Without words, we can humbly experience that we too are nature and let ourselves be reminded again of what life is.
In order to understand this a little bit more, I suggest that you take a look at the Canticle of the Sun by Francis of Assisi or read a beautiful nature poem once at home and once after a day spent in nature. You will be surprised by the difference in inner sensations. When the mind becomes quiet and simple, the language of the heart develops its own wisdom and teaches us what our soul are longing for.
An everyday approach to a fulfilled silence
So above all we need time, preferably in nature, to be able to touch a fulfilled inner stillness. Unfortunately, in our everyday life, a longer, unintentional stay in nature is usually not so easily possible in terms of space and time. Therefore, for us modern people, a different approach to stillness is also necessary. We cannot simply do the same as people with completely different life circumstances and then expect the same effect. Certainly, we will not achieve the same depth in everyday life as with longer time-outs, but with good preparation we can significantly increase the quality of inner silence.
What might this look like? First of all, let us be aware that every method of “going into silence” can only work with what is currently in our awareness. If there are only everyday thoughts, then even the best technique in the world cannot distil much more than these everyday thoughts in a highly concentrated form. This can then become a surprisingly loud experience for us and not exactly what we are actually looking for. If you create an appropriate space within yourself, then the techniques will help you to refine it further.
Spiritual traditions sow very fine seeds that want to be nourished and need to be strengthened again and again with a lot of patience and devotion. They are very pure vibrations that need time to expand within you. Every moment of pause contributes to this. The many small moments when you become still, breathe consciously and become aware of yourself will give these seeds sun and water to grow. The many small moments in which you connect with it allow your inner silence to grow.
So, in principle, we should prepare ourselves for stillness in every breath in order to nourish what we really want to live. That sounds a lot, of course. But it is quite simple. Just close your eyes for a moment and breathe a little while - just for you. And then? Just do it again… It is time that shows us the path we have walked step by step.
Every moment of contemplation is very precious. We cannot become self-aware often enough and remember our existence: you have a body, you can think, you can feel and you can act. When you are aware of yourself, you can truly live your own life in harmony with yourself. Every single moment we spend consciously with ourselves plants a seed of awareness that can germinate and grow in our lives. Also take the time to activate your body with all its cells. Give yourself time to feel and deepen your feeling. What do you feel? How do you feel? Become aware of yourself.
I would advise you to make time for it regularly at the beginning. You will then find it easier to develop a good foundation. For example, the
morning is a good time to align yourself for that day, or the evening is a good time to feel the day you have lived. Stay with yourself and listen.
Now comes something very important, something that nature reminds us of. Cleanse your mind with the highest and purest qualities that are available to you right now. Connect with joy, gratitude, compassion, love, connection and beauty. Remember that you have everything within you that you need right now. Everything is within you. Feel these qualities in your heart and breathe. Give yourself time. Have faith and allow these qualities to expand within you. With each time you weave a fine ribbon of contemplation that weaves more and more through your cells and will continue to accompany you through your life.
The more awake, purified and aligned you go into the silence, the deeper you will be able to dive into yourself and your truth. In this way, you can leave everyday life in a gentle way at any time, enter a filled space of deep silence, and return to everyday life deeply connected to yourself and your being. The frequency of silence will expand more and more within you and become your inner source for a true, creative expression of life.
Take some more time for yourself, close your eyes and give yourself a simple, inner smile.
Listen to your being and let yourself be touched by it.
What is behind my actions?
If you want to find out what really drives you, then the intention behind your desires and actions are especially important. We often have learned our basic intention(s) since early childhood. We cannot change fundamentally from one day to the next - but we can so in the long term if we are willing to learn and to heal. Therefore, it is worthwhile for you to find out what really drives you in your life.
Examples of such drives are e.g.:
I do not want to show weaknesses
I do not want to make mistakes
I need control and security
I can’t stand true intimacy
I want to be competent
I would like to be recognised
I want to be special
I want to be different from my parents
I have to be better or more successful than others
I want to be left alone
I cannot stand negative moods
I would like to help
Such drivers make us do things that are contrary to our real selves. We then try to avoid situations we don’t like or deliberately avoid certain people. We look for an appropriate job and cultivate a circle of friends who support our drivers. This can still be a nice life, but it can also be very exhausting, because you always have to compulsively maintain this framework.
It looks different once you have recognised your basic drivers and you have learned to become aware of them in your life. You then have the freedom to show yourself as you really are and can react flexibly to life. The catch is that we cannot change our driving forces from one day to the other. Through our experiences, but above all through our fears, we have created structures that hold us firmly in their momentum.
How does our perception of life work?
Let me explain this principle to you. Imagine that there are many small glasses of water around you. Each water glass symbolises an inner drive of yours, but it can also represent your memories and ways of thinking. In each glass there is now as much water as you have filled it within in your life. For example, a little lightness and humour, but also some ambition and a pinch of aloofness. This status represents your current state. No matter what you do in your life, the filled glasses - but also the unfilled glasses - will influence your decisions and actions.
However, every day you have the possibility to transfer a little bit of water with a small teaspoon. If you realise, for example, that the aloofness in your life rather hinders you and thus stands in the way of your Self, then you could start to open up a little every day and allow more openess. However, you cannot immediately become someone else and expect to walk through the world with open arms. If you expect that of yourself, you will only cause yourself pain. You will probably have filled a glass with “high expectations” or a glass with “I cannot accept myself”. It would be more supportive to start putting a teaspoon in the jar of “I lovingly embrace myself” and “I am happy that I exist”.
You see, we cannot escape our filled jars and thus our drivers in life. However, with patience and a loving approach to yourself, you can gradually refill the jars, living more what you really want to live and unfold your talents.
What jars have you filled in your life?
I suggest you take some time for yourself and have a look at the water glasses you have filled in your life. Then feel inside yourself which glasses you would like to fill more and which you would prefer to fill less. See also why a different filling might be better for you and what this might ask from you.
It is best to write down your reflections. For each teaspoon, think about concrete steps in your life. They must be small steps that you can implement immediately – they are just teaspoons.
Now begin to fill the corresponding jars in your life with each day and be careful to not put anything more into the jars that you don’t want to fill anymore. Just a little bit every day, that’s all you have to do. Be loving to yourself.
It’s best to think about what you want to do with your teaspoon right after you get up.
Each day is so valuable to nourish our lives.
Be with yourself
The kind of relationship we build with our fellow human beings has a decisive influence on its quality and what we can experience in this relationship. We can also build a good relationship with ourselves and nurture it throughout our lives. A good relationship with oneself is an important key to an authentic and fulfilled life.
Therefore, spend time consciously with yourself to really get to know yourself and to create and live a good relationship. To see what a great effect this will have on you and your self-perception, I would like to invite you to spend some time with yourself just 10 minutes every day to give time for just that. It doesn’t matter whether you prefer to take time in the morning, during the day or in the evening. It is time for you with you.
It is important that you consciously take time for yourself - just for you. During this time you are undisturbed. You can arrive in your time at yourself, feel and sense yourself and listen to your inner realms.
If you do this the first time you will probably feel strange. It will probably also take a little while until you can really calm down. Maybe you will feel uncomfortable at first. All this is fine, accept it as it is. All these feelings and thoughts are in you right now, they belong to you. But you are more, be aware of yourself and move on.
These 10 minutes with you will be easier if you start by simply observing your breath. Observe how you breathe in and out. Follow your breath through your body. Observe how it comes and goes. Observe how your body moves. Perhaps you can also observe what thoughts make you travelling away from your breath. Observe yourself lovingly and return to the breath again and again. The breath is what keeps you alive.
Listen to your inner voice
Also speak to your being again and again. Tell it that you are spending time with it now and that you have the desire to really get to know yourself. Give yourself the space for your Self to tell you about itself. Create an inner space of silence to hear the powerful voice of your soul. Listen with all your senses – as intensely as you can.
If you take this time for yourself, you will be amazed at what 10 minutes a day can change in a week.
Just give it a try and experience your being.
Living with contradictions
What happens when we experience contradictions in our perceptions, attitudes, needs, assumptions or behaviour? Leon Festinger describes in his theory of cognitive dissonance how we resolve unpleasant contradictions.
In our everyday life we often experience situations where a conflict arises between our attitudes and our behaviour. We then experience an uncomfortable feeling that can even lead us to a lasting change of our attitudes and our behaviour. To experience consistency in a world full of contradictions, we often use irrational justifications and self-manipulations.
Leon Festinger1 (1957) investigated this fact when he observed a cult whose followers believed that the earth would be destroyed by a flood. When the earth was then surprisingly not destroyed after all, a contradiction arose between their beliefs and reality. The sincere followers now resolved the contradiction by believing that the earth was spared because of their faithful behaviour. In another case, the non-occurrence of the end of the world was blamed on an error in the calculation of the date.
How such justifications and attitude changes occur even in more ordinary situations is explained by the theory of cognitive dissonance2. The best-known example of this are smokers who know that smoking can cause cancer. The desire to smoke and the knowledge that smoking can lead to illness and a shorter life creates cognitive dissonance. I’m sure you’ve heard many interesting reasons why smoking is still a great thing
However, there are very specific moments when we all experience cognitive dissonance.
What causes cognitive dissonance?
Essentially, there are three options:
Acting according to social conventions: When we publicly feel compelled to act differently than we actually want to, an inner contradiction arises. To resolve it, we are often willing to change our attitude towards the behaviour. We then find a behaviour that we previously rejected to be appropriate.
Making decisions: Whenever we have to make a choice, we experience a dissonance between our choice and the thought of having made a wrong choice. Usually, we then change our attitudes so that we make our choice something better than it was before.
High effort: When we have already invested a lot to achieve something, we get into an inner conflict whether to stop or to continue - we have to justify the effort we have made so far. To justify the previous effort, we then often adjust the value of the goal upwards.
It should be noted that all these changes in attitude usually happen unconsciously. However, by knowing this theory, you can increase your sensitivity to it and observe it in your life.
How can dissonance be reduced?
In his theory, Festinger has shown three ways in which we can reduce cognitive dissonance:
We change one or more attitudes or aspects of our behaviour.
We diminish the importance of our attitudes or behaviour.
We add new attitudes.
We cannot always change our behaviour to reduce dissonance. In other cases, it is obvious that we then have to change something in our attitudes to reduce dissonance. This can even have lasting long-term consequences.
In positive cases, studies have shown that prejudices can be reduced or addictions can be reduced. However, attitude changes can also cause disadvantages. This is particularly relevant when the dissonance arises because someone questions our self-concept or we lie to ourselves to justify our behaviour.
Paying attention to ourselves helps to become self-aware and to discover contradictions between our attitude and our behaviour. With awareness, we can then do our best to live in harmony with our subjective truth. Although this may even lead to more uncomfortable feelings in the short term, in the long term it is the only way to live truthfully.
Observe yourself in the next time and experience how you deal with contradictions in your experience.
Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford. ↩︎
Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., Akert, R. M., & Sommers, S. (2016). Social psychogy (9th ed.). Boston: Pearson. ↩︎
The medicine of the purification hut
Now the time has come. Everything is prepared and the new moon is waiting for us to plant a seed of light and healing in the fertile soil of our hearts.
When I participated in my first shamanic rituals, I did not know where this mystical path would take me. I did not yet know that I would have to leave my proud, achievement-oriented identity behind, to touch my innermost being behind all the identities and concepts. At that time I was simply curious to get to know myself and to dive deeper into my mysteries. As a Mathematician and scientist, I was naturally also very sceptical and eyed every experience with great scrutiny and attention. I was not yet ready to touch the depth of this path of experience, as my sensitive body was to tense and my impatient mind did not allow a real immersion. Nevertheless, something in me had curiously come to life.
In the meantime, this original path has revealed so many mysteries to me that I am already looking at the world with new eyes several times. A dreamer with a linear life has been transformed into a life from a non-linear dream. Almost inconspicuously, every small step with each connection I made with nature and the four Elements in the cycle of the seasons has changed my perception and my being. I recognise this path as deeply rooted in myself - as if nothing else had ever been there. It is the
call of my soul, which I have been following for some years now with devotion and humility. The profound wisdom of the shamanic path can only be truly revealed by experiencing it yourself in all its cells.
Now the time has come. Everything is prepared and the new moon is already waiting for us to plant a seed of light and healing in the fertile soil of our hearts. Together with my partner and our group, I am sitting by the fire surrounded by fragrant orange trees, listening once more to the mysteries of life. I am ready to enter into the ritual of the purification lodge that has already started to expand within me. I am inviting this medicine to let it go even deeper into me. Shamanic rituals are highly precise tools of the soul to be able navigate the various realities of our complex world as a human being. I deeply trust them. They bear the signature of Nature and allow me to recognise myself in this world and to give my life a meaning beyond our ideas of time and space.
Now the time has come. My gaze meets the familiar eyes of my partner and shares a silent smile of recognition.
I wonder what this ritual might reveal in each of us?
I breathe and listen into the deep silence of the moment.
I breathe and trust.
I sow one seed - just one.
More are better I once meant,
but full of expectation impetuously I got lost.
Now I have sworn mindfulness and patience to myself.
Gratefully I speak the great name,
for the granted opportunity.
Mindfully nurture only one seed,
with pure intent and ready now.
Patiently I nourish it with all my love,
I look around attentively and vigilantly.
Touched, I receive the first sprouts,
silently singing of the mystery.
See growth slowly circling around me,
life spirals upwards.
Marvel at the transformation that I am promised,
Step by step it unfolds.
Gratefully I look at my life,
in new splendour every day shines.
I can confidently surrender to the seed,
love nourishes what may come.
Grateful I am, without words,
who knows how long I am.
The future is already knocking at my door,
wraps everything with meaning.
Spring invites you
Plant a seed of life in the fertile soil of your heart and nurture it with your love
It is spring and we can marvel at the colourful life exploding around us in nature. All what has been dormant for so long is awakening to new life, growing wild. Miraculously, with each passing day, new seeds sprout from the ground, new leaves open and new flowers enchant us with their colours and fragrances. Nature celebrates growth, unfolding and blossoming and also makes our cells vibrate with life
Gratefully, I can just experience how many seeds that I have patiently sown and watered over the past years are beginning to grow with strength, many relationships are deepening and many fruitful new things are developing in a miraculous way. I am looking at my life right now with very deep gratitude and joy, which has almost explosively freed itself from the rigidity of winter.
In this blossoming I am now writing this text, which speaks the language of spring for you in every season. In the last few weeks I have been in the nearby forest almost every day, I have gone into the silence and made myself empty inside in order to listen to spring and to experience it with all my senses.
Stay, listen and breathe - because spring is here.
Yes, it is spring again. What joy, what joy! Colourful and alive, spring invites us to be part of this colourful happening and you can touch one of the deepest mysteries of life. You really can. Go into nature and activate your senses. Allow yourself to smell, hear, taste, touch and see with all your senses. Let the rich colours activate you, smell the fragrance of life, listen to the wake-up call of the birds, taste the fresh herbs and gently touch the tender, delicate shoots with your fingertips. Be a part of this joyful awakening and blossoming and experience what it is like to resonate with it. The vibrations of spring also awaken us to life and allow us to participate generously.
In its language, spring teaches us what we can do in our everyday lives in order to blossom with life. Let yourself enter into this language without words and listen. Connect with spring and imagine your life symbolically as a fine, wild garden. As a gardener, you now have the valuable task of creating a place of life in which your soul can feel at home
Enter your life garden and look around in it. Breathe and feel how you feel in it. What do you perceive? Do you hear sounds? Do you perhaps perceive a smell? Look at the soil of the garden, feel it with your hands and check if it is fertile or if it needs something from you. Look at the plants that are growing gracefully and the flowers that are blooming. But also look at the plants that need more care or have even dried up, and look at the weeds that are rampant in your garden. Don’t look away and allow everything to affect you - it is your garden.
Connected to the creative power of spring, you now have the opportunity to sow new seeds, plant new flowers and remove overgrown weeds. Dive into the question: “What do I need so that my soul feels comfortable in my life garden? Take time for yourself and listen within. You can trust the not knowing. Allow your answer to arise on its own from within you. As always, be loving and patient with yourself. If you sow too many seeds or plant too many flowers, you will not be able to keep up with the watering. If you weed too much, you will only discover more weeds with your weed-eye, forgetting your seeds and flowers.
Pick out just one seed for this year. A seed that is particularly important for you and your life. Have the courage and confidence to plant this seed in your garden of life and, with care and love, gradually make it grow and flourish. Let this seed become an important part of your life and give it your attention, just as the sun accompanies us every day. Take it with you into the morning to greet the day and into the silence of the night when you close your eyes and say thank you to the day. Take it with you into your prayer and let it germinate in the fertile soil of your heart.
Your soul will be grateful…
Magic of the night
Shrouded in moonlight night awakens,
the goddess tenderly considers me.
Walking deep through darkest woods,
I can enter unimagined, sacred fields.
My heart experiences the abundance,
sinks down to earth for a kiss.
Humbly I am feeling depth of life,
as if my soul is calling me.
Without words she whispers life,
ready I am to surrender.
Who am I when I truly am?
Life’s answer knows the meaning.
Translated from German.
Growing with life
When we believe that we can evolve with life and have the necessary resources to do so, we can handle challenges in more powerful and creative ways. We can reach out to our true abilities and possibilities.
Psychologist Carol Dweck1 has spent many years researching how our self-image influences our lives. She discovered that we are essentially influenced by two basic inner attitudes. Depending on this basic attitude, we deal with change and challenges in our lives very differently.
Living with a fixed mindset
If we consider our talent, intelligence and abilities as something fixed, we usually give up quickly when faced with difficulties or even avoid challenges completely. The fear of failure inhibits us from developing our true potential. With this unchanging attitude, we are not willing to learn from mistakes because we are afraid to make a mistake at all.
Unfortunately, when we face life with this attitude, we cannot face many opportunities and possibilities that would support us to create a better life. If you discover this attitude in yourself - or perhaps you know someone else - then you will learn in the next section which attitude allows us to go through life with open eyes.
Living with a growth mindset
If we have a growth mindset and believe that we can always develop further, then we see defeats as personal challenges that we can grow from. With this attitude, we are willing to practise and make mistakes. We have the confidence that with enough time we can overcome anything. This attitude allows us to recognise new opportunities all by ourselves and to solve problems more creatively.
Science tells you that just believing in it is already enough to have a different experience of life. You have all the necessary resources within you to grow and develop. In addition, you have many resources available within your environment that will support you in your life. Difficulties in life give you the opportunity to understand yourself better, to learn something and to grow beyond yourself. Look at what you have already learned - you were once a baby that couldn’t even walk. Now you can do much more than just walk…
To experience the difference between the two mindsets, I suggest the following experiment. Choose two different places in a room, each place representing one of the mindsets. Then go to that place and switch once to the mindset of limited resources and once to the mindset of unlimited, growing resources. See what effect this has on your perception.
Believe that you can grow
Your inner attitude is one of the most important foundations for personal growth and development. Carol Dweck has explored two polarities and shown that with a growth mindset we have experiences in life that support our growth.
Believe that you can always evolve and that you have unlimited resources to do so. Now observe how your experience and actions change. Remember this when you encounter difficulties in life.
I have everything within me that I need for my development.
Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books. ↩︎