Winter Solstice 2021 – Why do I love it and what do I do different this year?

Before I start – what is winter solstice?

It is the shortest day and the longest night of the year. On the day after the night is still long but not the longest anymore and we head towards the season of long days and short nights. So it is literally the return to the light out of the darkness. You can transfer this to your own life if you like and analyse the past months.

Reflect

A time to reflect and make plans. If you google it you will find many rituals and traditions for this day in several cultures and religions. For me it was always the time to go through 108 sun salutations (and untrained this is really painful towards the end and days after).

I do sun salutations to welcome the sun back into my life and 108 is the number of spiritual completion. You will find 108 beads on a mala necklace which is used for meditation.

Benefits of sun salutations

Is it just a series of movements or where are the benefits of sun salutations? One sun salutation has all a full yoga practice needs. You have back and forward bends, inversion and pranayama included. If you repeat it 108 times it will liberate your spine, your body will be revitalised and it surely will clear your mind, which has a meditative practice included as well. If you are able to think of anything else than moving with your breath and still counting to get the 108 done, then you are a genius.

Change

I went through a couple of winter solstices since I started to practice yoga. I always ended up sore the next day. This year marks for me the year where I want to change my approach. 2021 was the year of change when I look back.

After I had a year off and a yoga teacher training in the middle of a pandemic I started a new job this year. My approach towards many things in life changed, not only work wise. After I finished my yoga teacher training in February I started to use my new gained knowledge, not on the mat but in my life.

Whenever I start to be mad (and let’s be honest, this year gave us lots to be mad about) I try hard to put myself in the shoes of others. It works sometimes, rarely for certain topics, but I’m on my way. How could I bring it to perfection shortly after I started? The little steps, the intention to be better, this is something to be proud of. 

My new job proofs to me that I did nothing wrong in my job ever since, and this is an assurance I needed so much after a series of bad experiences where people wanted to make me believe a “truth” which never has been true. I let this go this December! 

Letting go is hard and we often need some assurance that it will be fine. I got mine and am so grateful for it. Letting go of practicing 108 sun salutations on winter solstice is not on my plan. This year I want to proof to myself that I am perfectly able to finish without being sore the next day.

It needs only one thing, a proper preparation.

Although I love yoga I am not daily on my yoga mat. Yoga is great as practice and I want to do it daily, but let’s face it – some days, like today, there are time slots where I could slip it in, but this is not what I want. I want peace, my mat rolled out, a candle lit up, music in the background. I want to indulge into this moment in time. Ok, seems to be something else to put on my “letting go” list because I rarely get these moments between work and kindergarten and playdates and household.

The solution for me, I will put daily reminders for myself beginning on the first of December. DO SUN SALUTATIONS (and if you like a few more asanas).

The more I practice, the better I become.

We all know this but often laziness takes over.

Why do I love this winter solstice so much? Isn’t it a burden?

It is not, it is another chance, each year it is another chance to rise and learn.

I will start my winter solstice preparations beginning of December and it sounds more complicated than it is.

Return to Innocence

See it as the return to innocence. You let go of the past and start fresh. You think about your goals and realign them, you think about what wasn’t good and what no longer has a place in your life. Setting intentions is a wonderful start but don’t be rigid, let them be flexible and adapt them from time to time. Nothing is worse than intentions which are out of reach. This all is about you and your future and well-being. I like to compare it a bit to my yoga practice. If I want to learn how to go into the wheel pose I start little and have blocks as support. If I am not able to do a proper wheel then I acknowledge and work towards it with little steps and support. I may not reach it at all, but what I reached is a constant practice, this is a great achievement. Life is about adapting, about finding peace where we are because we are here for reason. 

Fire

If you need a ritual you can burn a list of things you want to let go. Toss them into a fire and watch them burn.

Fire places are great to have during these dark days, so if you have one just sit there and soak in the heat of the fire. 

If you don’t have one, there’s plenty of food to get us heated up from the inside. Especially in the Ayurvedic kitchen you will find hot food for its heating effect inside of our body. Black pepper, ginger and garlic – you can combine them with potatoes, broccoli and spinach, then add some root vegetables (carrot, turnips or radish) and some herbs (basil, mint or oregano) and you will have a wonderful warming soup or stew.

Light

Be the light in someone else’s darkness is also a wonderful thing to do and sometimes it doesn’t need more than a smile or the truly meant question “how are you?”.

Embrace the light and welcome it back into your life. Day by day our days will be longer and the nights shorter. Make sure you go with the flow (as best as you can). 

As cosy as I made it for us at home, once the days are longer again we will embrace the time we can spend outside and soak in the still cold air and a few rays of sunshine. The balance is all that we need, like with everything in life.

Are you preparing for the year’s end?

I will start soon to move through the first sun salutations and I hope this was a tiny motivation for you to embrace change and see the end of the darkness coming our way. Nothing stays at it is and never will. I think this is the most important reminder to go sane through a time which is for many scary and lonely. It will get better, I promise.

My dear October…

My dear October


Welcome! 


I am happy that you are here to gently prepare us for the last dark quarter of this crazy year. You started quite cold in the morning but now the sun shows her best side. This is your first weekend this year and if you move on like this I will be very grateful. I know you need to become darker and colder to prepare us for the next months, but please be kind.

Many people are scared of you and your fellow friends November and December, you seem to be so dark. I am not afraid, because you show us how to slow done after a busy year. You give us some rest and this cosy feeling when being home.

When I stroll through the city, I love to see all these places with candlelight and steaming tea or coffee, the wool blankets on chairs outside and the smell of cinnamon in the air. How can someone not like it?

I always say that I am a summer person, and sorry, I truly am and would always exchange summer with winter if I had to, but this is praise you.

This is to tell anyone that even though summer is great, you just need to focus and you will find many nice parts in winter too.

Soup time, this year it started for us like almost each year with a steaming hot and creamy pumpkin soup. Who wants to eat this on a hot summer day?

We need to cherish the diversity and adapt a bit, but then everyone will be fine.

Instead of focussing on what we don’t like or want we should always focus on the good in every situation. This is sometimes really hard, so start light, I am sure you will find many positive things about the dark months of the year.

Cosy evenings on the couch, candles until there is no tomorrow, tea in so many varieties, pumpkin, baked apples fresh out of the oven, crispy air in the morning, being wrapped in a wool jacket, steaming coffee to go, Christmas series or movies, strolls through the forest while the leaves fall or the grounds is frozen already, the first snow flakes, there’s so much to enjoy, let’s focus on this.

Tell me, what do you like about the dark months of the year?

How to beat Covid-19?

I won’t have the ultimate solution as I cannot make a virus wave and telling us goodbye. But what I can, and what you should do as well, is to raise awareness!

We are so lucky to live in the 21st century, otherwise many of us wouldn’t be here anymore!

As Yoga Teacher – even though not actively teaching – I learned lots about compassion and about being open-minded. These two drive me, through my private life, through my professional life in the field of clinical research and as person in general.

Open-minded means not to convince others that you are correct – we all make mistakes, but we should think outside the box and try to be our best version. If that means that I wear a mask to protect a society, then I do that! If that means I stay away from vulnerable persons in the medical sense unless I’m sure that I am not infected, then I do that! And if that means that I can immensely reduce the risk for myself AND others when I get vaccinated, then I do that as well!

I don’t do anything without research, that is my nature and being since almost 20 years in the research are means I am fully aware, especially because I know the goods and the bads in research. And hey, still I trusted enough to get the shot (twice).

If you are healthy and there are no medical reasons for not getting vaccinated, what holds you back? There are no third arms growing, there are no chips implanted and there are no long-term side effects which could be more harmful than any long-term covid!

I extra put the text below in pictures – please feel free to save and share and spread these facts. There are enough myths out there to ask everyone to speak up with true facts instead.

Stay safe and take care!

A pandemic divides the yoga world

A pandemic divides the yoga world

I am astonished, if I am totally honest, how the pandemic affects the yoga world. I expected that it will affect the world itself, of course. And I expected, that the yoga community will be affected too, but not in such a harsh way.

People don’t trust people, there are a million theories out there of why it happened, what happened and how it could be resolved. I get that, and I understand that it is hard to find the sources you can trust, but please, there is science and science is not a fairy tale producer but based on facts.

Facts which are even visible, how can you still state that there is no pandemic at all? What I can understand is insecurity. We are bombarded from each corner with news about the pandemic and as much as I like the fact, that we are connected worldwide, as much I do hate the fact that everyone can make up stories based NOT on facts. What we see currently is a huge clinical trial which is open to the public. That was the only solution to get an immense slow down in this pandemic. Scientists and researchers could have gone another way, a way of doing their research, like usually, behind closed doors. But guess what? There would have been even louder voices spreading their theories on why we are not involved.

We need science, a pandemic won’t disappear with a sage smudge

Fact is that science is needed to overcome it and fact is that this vaccine helps reducing severe cases and therefore full ICUs. Fact is also that this vaccine was fully developed within a couple of weeks. The basis, the mRNA is used already for a couple of years in research, new is the covid-19 virus added to the mRNA, and I am truly happy that scientists were able to get this done!

Vaccine side effects, we know all active compounds have side effects, so please tell me one thing, when you sit on your yoga deck in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle doing one of your magic mushroom ceremonies, are there side effects?

Just an example.

Psilocybin mushrooms have low toxicity, and death from an overdose is very rare. One survey in 2016 found that out of more than 12,000 users who took psilocybin, only 0.2% reported emergency medical treatment. Source: https://deserthopetreatment.com/hallucinogens/psychedelic-mushroom-addiction/overdose/

Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination are rare. More than 339 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through July 19, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 6,207 reports of death (0.0018%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/adverse-events.html

0.2% versus 0.0018% – and it is not clear on both sides if there were maybe unknown severe illnesses these people had, right? How can a vaccine now be more dangerous than a ceremony practiced by many of the anti-vaccine yoga folks?

If you talk about people dying, then put it in relation, of course people die. But the number of people dying is minimal in comparison to people dying actually because of a covid-19 infection.

A vaccination side effect is showing us that we are responding, that our immune system is working and starts to build antibodies. This is a great fact and far away from dangerous.

I can understand that there is a big portion of insecurity out there. Insecurity due to different scientists having different theories, insecurity due to the broadcasting of each single side effect in certain news channels, insecurity because our own personal world was shaken hardly.

We see all the people and hear all their stories and for some we believe what they say but for others we don’t. That’s life. But please do not ignore the facts and inform yourself through the official channels.

But, and that scares me much more, what makes me really start to be afraid is where humanity is heading to, the human behaviour “out there”, which seems to become more aggressive day by day. Not only physical, even more psychological – mobbing, dissing, threatening, and lots else happens on social media.

We know this happened before, but Covid turns out to be a driver for this behaviour too.

Call me naive because I hoped that yogis are able to handle this diversity better.

They truly don’t.

While everyone is asking for more equality and acceptance the yoga world is becoming a war zone for pro and anti vaccinated, for people who believe in the existence of a pandemic and those who believe it is all a big lie, for pro Trump and pro Biden, for pro science against pro spirituality.

Of course I expected lots of discussions, surely not everyone believes the same, but what I see now is similar to a war of different life models and health views.

I know that war is a very harsh word, but I don’t find something that fits better.

I am a yoga teacher myself, means I studied yoga philosophies and read a million articles and books and soaked in everything I could find about yoga, but despite of the inequality of ‘how to life your life right’, I always put tolerance on top. 

I have to life MY life, and only MINE. I am not responsible for decisions others make for their life. A certain kind of broad-mindedness belongs to a person who is practicing yoga and I fully resonate with it. 

And here I am and I wonder how others understand yoga. For some right now it seems to be an open invite to insist that their opinion is the only valid one and to defend that by all means.

Where is all your santosha?

The contentment of being satisfied with what you have? You, not others! You got vaccinated, that’s great! You don’t want because you think your body heals itself, great!

Where is your tapas?

Your self-discipline? It is not only about stepping into your yoga practice, but also not to outrage when someone thinks differently.

Where is your shaucha?

Put the ego aside and be in your moment, why would you bully others? 

Where is your brahmacharia?

Wise is who is centered and focused on happiness and peace. How can you be happy when you insult others? If that makes you happy you should overthink your own path! Peace belongs to brahmacharia, it has nothing to do with peace to tell others that they suck and their opinions are rude because you feel spoken to.

Where is your ahimsa?

Don’t harm others – talking mean is harming others! Writing to others they are stupid is harming! Trying to convince others from your opinion is harming, they need to be allowed to find their own way. 

If you read some conversations under posts of the recent yoga journal entry “Getting Vaxxed Was My Act of Ahimsa” ( https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/philosophy/covid-vaccine/) written by Wolf Terry, you won’t find ahimsa, brahmacharia, shaucha, tapas or santosha. What you will find there is the following:

I do not believe that a person studying a yogic path wrote this!!!! FAKE  <- everyone thinks his/her truth is the ultimate truth and we should not judge others when it doesn’t fit into ours. Calling someone fake is letting me wonder where the commentators yogic path went off road.

You are yoga teachers ? You are supposed to believe in your work ? Frauds all of you. <- Yoga teachers are not allowed to have different opinions? Calling all a fraud isn’t an act of kindness as well.

My act of Ahimsa is not putting poison in my body <- this comment is maybe not what I think and believe in, but it is an example of how to comment without harassing or offending others.

Inappropriate propaganda posting for a site talking about yoga. <- If you haven’t read the article you will comment like this. There has not been made any propaganda, it is simply one opinion, one personal journey, not more not less.

I wonder if they read the article at all or just the headline.

As Wolf Terry wrote, HER opinion is that the vaccine was HER ahimsa – why don’t everyone accept that? Through to the diversity of human beings themselves we will never be all on the same page?

Yoga teaches non-judgement and what you can see in this comment section is far away from non-judgement. People attack the author of the article, they attack yoga journal itself, and they attack each other.

But, and I guess this is the most important part, Yoga (Union) is not about the ego but about the community. If you choose to go all natural and you don’t want to be vaccinated or respect some rules which are needed during this pandemic (like wearing masks), then stay away from others! Don’t walk into public stores, stop teaching yoga not to be a risk for your students.

You choose, it’s your path and that’s fine, but ahimsa means to protect others as well and you can only do this by being aware that a virus spreads. People who don’t believe there is a virus, I guess I have no answer to you all. I spare my words for people who actually listen and am sure you won’t as you didn’t listen to science too.

I love yoga, I love science, I love community and all the benefits of it, but please do not try to harm anyone around you! Respect their choices, even if it doesn’t go along with your truth, and most important – stay away from people you may harm unless you can be sure you will not spread a virus (and yes, here a vaccine can help us all!).

My advise – get your vaccine and be mindful. Stay healthy

Slow down and be happy

Slow down and be happy

I have not written in a while, I slowed down. I did what makes me happy, I wrote.

Slow down and be happy

This time I wrote something, which can be bought around the world, that makes me even happier. For a long time I have seen my writing as my personal output, my relief somehow. What took a while is to realise that I may be of service for other persons with what I am doing. Aren’t we all just walking each other home? Ram Dass said it once and since I heard it it echoes in my mind. We all try to be our best versions and once we learned something new, we should share, shouldn’t we?

Gratefulness is often mentioned quickly, like “be grateful and your life will be full”. This won’t happen over night, but I believe that it will happen one day. The more we focus on the good in life and cherish what we have, the less we will complain about what we don’t have. Life is not complicated, we make it complicated. We strive for the better and higher and more instead of getting grounded where we are and simply enjoy.

I collected some tips and ideas which helped me becoming better, better with myself, better with others, better in general. And these are what I now shared in a book.

“Slow down and be happy”

I called it simply a guide, a simple guide, because that’s what it is. You flip a page and discover something new, something you heard already, something you did once and forgot. You don’t need to go through it step by step, and you surely don’t need to implement each single idea for yourself own life. If you only use one and this is your personal page turner, then you made me happy too.

This won’t be my last and it is not my first book I published. I love writing and I love creating, so why would I ever stop doing it? If you are interested in more just enter my name in amazon and you’ll find what I did so far.

Slowing down raised my energy levels to be creative and for whatever reason I always write English although my native language is German. I still try to find out how that happened, but in the end, it is as it is and I love it. It gave me even another task – translate my own writing into my mother language. This has been done too and for all German speakers here – that’s the German version of my book:

I truly hope you will enjoy and take it as it is, a simple guide to brighten your day.

If you want to know more about my other work, just add a comment and ask.

Real-Life Thoughts Of a Working Mom

Real-Life Thoughts Of a Working Mom

Travelling for work sounds fancy – but this is the real-life part of it.

It’s 4 am – I’m freezing and beyond tired.

Sitting on a  Canadian air plane with hot black tea, as I needed something warm, and a bag of pretzels in front of me.

Thoughts are shifting from the purpose of life to let me finally sleep and back. 

This life is crazy.

The full moon is following us all the way from Toronto to Raleigh, it’s shining brightly and is bigger than last time.

Somehow the moon is always earthing me, bringing me down to what really counts.

Being alone here isn’t it. I miss my family and try to shift the thought from missing to being thankful that I am loved. 

fly me to the moon

It will be a firework of kisses and hugs when I return. How lucky am I?

That’s the essence, the purest kind of life purposes, family hugs, wet toddler kisses, husband hugs that feel like safe haven, unity.

I’m almost 20 hours awake now and after so many hours of travelling the only important thought is about my two men, snuggled up home deeply sleeping in our bed. 

This is the second time that I travel alone since our son is born. I miss him like crazy, his tiny little hand searching for me in the night to sleep, assured that he’s safe. His hugs so tight and so full of love around my neck.

That is all that matters, he, my husband, my family. I needs sometimes a full moon night all alone to remember what is known deep inside. We forget too offen because daily life occupies and stresses us too much. 

All the small wonderful moments, nothing more is needed to be happy.

Being so far away is somehow scary, as a mom you not only start to feel a love beyond imagination, you also start to worry in a way you never thought about. 

Many of the worries are like an instinct and naturally good, they serve you and don’t disturb. But there are also worries which my husband would call ridiculous. Moms “What ifs” like “what if he falls and I cannot hug him and kiss the pain away as I always do?”. Yes, that one is maybe ridiculous because I know that  his dad can take care, I know that I cannot protect him his entire life, I know he will handle it without me, but was someone ever thinking about me?

I want to be there, I am not ready to let go, I feel the pain deeper than anything as he’s the most important part of me. Oh my, did I write that?

Am I now a ridiculous helicopter mom?

No, I’m not and I can tell you why.

Because I am sitting on a plane on the other of the globe, I left him alone with my husband and I know that this is more than fine. Rational I know all of it! I let him discover the world and am not overprotective, even if I would like to be.

But emotionally, mentally, this is the hardest part of motherhood, letting go.

I put the pretzels in my bag. I guess my suitcase will be full of tiny things for him because he likes them. Apart from that, it’s 4:30 am – who eats pretzels at this time?

Ok, it’s 10:30 pm over here but I have mentally not arrived in this time zone. I could sleep standing now.

We prepare for landing and the thing what I want most now is rush as fast as I can to the hotel, jump into the bed and fall asleep thinking of how safe and sound he sleeps next to my husband. 

As long as you are working, the missing subsides a tiny bit…

Its 3 pm – four days later. Bright daylight and with short sleeves on the plane to Toronto. You can’t believe how good that feels. These past days were great, tired, new, exhausted, successful, and so much more. I worked more than on normal days but staying in a hotel and evenings in restaurants also meant I had less to do after work than on normal days at home. No cooking, washing, cleaning. Many pros and cons, at the end, the cons definitely are more because everything I see while travelling is only my memory and especially when I discover new areas I want to share these memories. I want to tell my husband “do you remember that humid warm evening where we went to the Angus Barn in Durham and had a delicious steak?”. I want to ask my son if he liked all those big trucks on the street which are much bigger than what we see at home.

I can’t. I can try to capture as much as I want on photographs but at the end of the day it will only be my memory.

There is still a long flight ahead of me and many thoughts to come and words to write but for now I just stare out of the window, let my eyes be blinded by the white clouds we fly through, and dream away so that my soul rests. I’m getting closer to home, the place where my heart beats faster and feels more at ease, surrounded by my family and hugged and kissed. Soon.

It’s 11pm and we just departed – that’s 5am in Germany already and means we will surely not arrive as planned.

First we were getting a one-hour delay due to bad weather conditions, which I personally love so much. The incoming plane wasn’t allowed to land on time because of heavy rain. Great! And I’m sitting at the airport and wonder if we are allowed to start once the plane is there or if these weather conditions influence our start as well. I already thought about a bumpy ride back. 

But – because of late arrival – our plane got an outside parking position to be fast ready to go (instead of waiting for a free gate). Sounds good, right? Our plane also got covered stairs for us! They care that we are not getting wet on the way from the shuttle to the plane, wohoo. Another plus!

Did I say stairs? I’d rather become wet instead after what happened then. It took the ground staff in Toronto over an hour to get exactly these stairs DEtached. It sounds like a joke but that really happened.

Means we are now in total 3 hours behind and I hate it. 

But why do I hate it? 

I could list several reasons why. I’m tired and hungry, it will take three more hours until I’m finally back home, this week was already long enough, all these things are annoying.

But, what if all of this happened for a reason?

What if we would have ended up in a thunderstorm when departing on time, what if?

There are a million things in life where we won’t be able to find answers, to know why it happened exactly the way it does. But what we know is what is now. Now I am sitting on a plane. I am fine, food will come soon and then I can sleep.  When I wake up I will be much closer to my loved ones. All is fine!

Trust and focus on the good and all is fine. 

The end of the story are indeed hugs and kisses. A tired mom who plays for hours, trying to catch up on the missed time, lots of stories to tell and a warm feeling inside of me to be where I belong. Looking back you may even say that all these thoughts were not necessary, but no, they were. And they will always be, because they are me, all of this is me. Reflecting, thinking, dreaming, listening, hoping, discovering, and so much more is within these thoughts that I will never stop cherishing these full-moon nights, these lonely moments where you are grounded even in a plane across an ocean. This is life.

If you want to read more from me – just jump into my archive and see what post it guides you to. Life is about trust, maybe you pick exactly what you need at this time.

SaySorry – open-minded Yoga Shirts, Hoodies & More

SaySorry Statement Shirt

SaySorry – open-minded Yoga Shirts, Hoodies & More

Today I want to recommend a wonderful online store to you: SaySorry

SaySorry has many statement shirts, hoodies and longsleeves so I am sure everyone will find something fitting there. They are based in Germany but don’t worry, they ship worldwide! Everything produced for the store is 100% organic and hand-printed with love in Germany.

100% organic

I will show you some of my favourite pieces here, which is hard as I could pick almost the whole stock. For me, as a yoga teacher, I’m always searching for organic products and if the organic is combined with the yoga fashion theme it’s a perfect match. Organic fashion is popular but still not enough to stop mass production. So it is even more important to support those, who want to make an impact.

My absolute favourite as long as the weather is still unsteady is this black hoodie. But not only then, a black hoodie is an all-timer. Who doesn’t like a warm and cozy hoodie to snuggle?

SaySorry black hoodie

Next on my list is a t-shirt which goes with denims as well as with yoga pants, an allrounder and really stylish. And from these shirts you will find many with many different prints and colours.

SaySorry Feather Shirt

And from the long sleeve department my preference is this wonderful piece. I will order that one myself as I can’t imagine one single outfit where it doesn’t fit.

SaySorry Namaste Longsleeve

Apart from fashion they have more to discover like some wall art, mugs and statement jewellery. So it is definitely worth stopping by and having a look at what they sell – especially the immense amount of shirts and hoodies.

I hope you enjoy and maybe find a piece or two to support this store.

If you want to buy you can use my code LENAK20 to get 20% off your order. To visit the store follow the link below.

https://saysorry.de/?ref=jynph5wrgc

SaySorry Portfolio

All pictures in this post are from the SaySorry Website!

Retreat

Retreat

A retreat is not only a fancy wellness vacation with a mindful theme like “open your heart”, “find your passion”, “release your inner child”, or whatever you may think of.

A retreat means literally “an act of moving back or withdrawing”.

Just now, I am on my personal, very own, retreat in our bathroom. There were too many tantrums to take in anymore, our parenting as a unity failed fully today and dinner was…let’s better forget it.

As a result I went away from both men, the big one who’s watching football as if nothing happened at all (except of a furious crazy wife, but this seems not of any concern) and the little one who’s watching kids tv (although the furious crazy mom told him that TV today will not be even a question after his behaviour… “but daddy will turn it on for me” – guess he had a point).

So here I am, sitting with my back against the heater – end of April – because I’m tired and freezing.

Scrolling through Instagram won’t help to feel better, neither does any other social media. What helps is to write it all down.

Get it out of my brain, release the tension, cry, let go, embrace this failure of today and accept that days like today are nothing to be ashamed of. Although I indeed was looking left and right earlier on the playground, when my son was the only one shrieking as if I cut off his arm, just because I asked him to stay out of the construction zone (clearly marked as such).

Retreat!

I retreat from being a mom and a wife, for a little while only of course. I retreat to survive this day.

I started into the day with an hour of Yoga, calm and breathing in and out like a champ. All this relaxation and serenity vanished, minute by minute, hour by hour, and left me exhausted on the bathroom floor.

Can you believe that this time spent alone, me and the heater, is a relieve? I am slowly back to the deep breathing, my mind focused and my body relaxes into the heat. A steam bath or sauna would be extraordinary, but for now the bathroom floor is doing a great job.

I still wear my yoga mala and touching the beads clears my mind.

I am fine!

I am myself!

I am allowed to feel all these feelings!

I am not a bad mom nor a bad wife!

I am human!

I am a woman!

I am who I am and all is fine.

My son will surely not learn his lesson today – he was behaving like a little devil and got the TV at the end of the day…

Of course this is not a shining moment in child’s education but it won’t influence his future irrevocable.

My husband won’t stop loving me because we disagreed almost the whole afternoon and evening. He thinks anyway that I’m not normal, so he got a little proof (this is what he thinks today has been, a proof for my insanity) and will not understand that he wasn’t a great support today. But there will be tomorrow morning, when he takes our son to the kindergarten. There will be millions of moments where he is the perfect dad and the perfect husband.

Just one nerve wrecking day will not destroy what we have, the family we are. It won’t harm the love we three have for one another because this love is stronger than anything!

But yes, it surely destroyed my mood and that’s not ok, but it happens. It happens everywhere and nobody is always happy, right?

Just now I am thinking what to do to get some food into my retreat hideaway. I know, as soon as I open the door my son will come to me. I am still mad and I still want my retreat, preferably with the rest of my salad wrap (which I left angry on the dinner table) or some dessert like a ton of ice cream.

A hot shower and cuddling up in front of TV would be a great end of my retreat, unfortunately only in my dreams.

It’s already late and I guess as the mom I have to chase my son to brush his teeth, change into his pjs and bring him to bed, right?

I just can hope that this will happen smoothly without another tantrum.

Cross your fingers please, if he is tired (what I would be after so many anger attacks) I may watch some TV, which means a few minutes, before I doze away fully dressed…

But in the end, all is fine!

Who can relate? Tell me in the comments that I am not the only crazy furious mom and wife, please!!!

Yoga Alliance registered Yoga Teacher

Yoga Alliance registered Yoga Teacher

I finally did it and am honestly proud of this achievement. Not only that I can call myself now officially “Yoga Teacher”, I also completed additional certificates.

Learning for life

Yin Yoga, restorative yoga, chair yoga and a dive in into Ayurveda, what an achievement! Not only to serve other but for myself, I learned so much during these trainings for myself, it is unbelievable.

The more I dive into all, that Yoga is, the more I feel home in myself.

Yoga Alliance

To register with Yoga Alliance, although based in Germany, was for me the right decision. It gives me an additional feeling of being certified – even if it’s only for me it is already worth it. Many may not see the need and that’s completely fine. Once I registered I started to read through the page, joined the Yoga alliance community and there are so many benefits to learn more that I will never regret. If you are keen to have access to more learning possibilities, just for the variety there it will be worth.

Yoga Alliance

I want to share my love for yoga

I never new what I want to do exactly after being certified and I am still not sure but I started teaching my sister in law privately and it feels so good! What feels good is that I can share my love for yoga! In the end it is all about loving what you are doing, right? It indeed feels so good that I finally started to set up fiverr and am offering now individual class plans – as first step on this journey. If you want to have a look feel free to check out.

https://www.fiverr.com/share/QN8eK1

The yoga mind

The soulace guru-maa is my other “baby” where I combine my personal experience, yoga and emotional intelligence to help people through a temporary hard time. My yoga mind is what I call it. Sometimes it just needs an ear, that listens, an outsider, a distant friend, a different view on a situation and that can help tremendously to change patterns, situations, a mindset.

https://www.instagram.com/thesoulacegurumaa/

https://www.fiverr.com/share/dN4Zk6

I follow my dreams (or my heart)

I am on my way, on my way towards something unknown which feels already familiar. If you can combine your passion with your income, then working is living and that will be my future aim.

Instead of dreaming I finally start to walk towards that dream, my heart is guiding me, and I can only encourage everyone to do it, whatever your dreams are. We don’t need to jump, we can walk slowly with a safety net, as long as we walk we are on the right path.

Follow your dreams – for yourself!

Real-Life-Thoughts-of-a-working-mom

Real-Life Thoughts Of a Working Mom

Travelling for work sounds fancy – but this is the real-life part of it.

It’s 4 am – I’m freezing and beyond tired.

Sitting on a Canadian air plane with hot black tea, as I needed something warm, and a bag of pretzels in front of me.

Thoughts are shifting from the purpose of life to let me finally sleep and back.

This life is crazy.

The full moon is following us all the way from Toronto to Raleigh, it’s shining brightly and is bigger than last time.

Somehow the moon is always earthing me, bringing me down to what really counts.

My 10-minute Yoga Routine to reduce stress

My 10-minute Yoga Routine to reduce stress

Before I start – please make sure that you only follow this routine when you are not having any pre-conditions which do not allow you to practice!

To feel good and be relaxed is something many of us need, but as we are all unique, we all have a different picture of what is relaxing

The below yoga poses promote relaxation in your body, mind and soul. It may not work directly if you never practiced yoga before but it surely will after a while. All in life needs time and if we expect the less we will be rewarded.

I love to have a silence surrounding me when taking these ten minutes for myself, which means a quiet place and some incense scent in the air, sometimes relaxing music in the background or essential oil on my wrists.

To create your own place is limitless – you do what you like and then roll out you mat with the intention of going into a calm space for the next ten minutes.

Enjoy!

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with Forward Bend

(2 minutes)

How to do the pose

Sit in Easy Pose, cross your shins with your right shin in front. Raise your arms above your head and lengthen your spine with a deep inhale and then bend forward on your exhale all the way down to the floor. Stay and hold for one minute while breathing deeply. Lift yourself up in a seated position and change the position of your shins, put the left shin in front. Again raise your arms above your head and lengthen the spine with a deep inhale. Put your hands on the floor, then straighten both legs into a Standing Forward Bend. Now again bend forward on your exhale all the way down to the floor. Stay and hold for one minute while breathing deeply.

This is a very simple yet so relaxing way to reduce stress, tension and worries. It is also a wonderful practice before bedtime to end your day at ease.

Benefits of the pose are:

Calms the brain and centers the mind. If you support your head (rest it on a pillow or block), it can help you to ease neck and back pain. Folding forward balances body, mind, and spirit.

2. Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

(1 minute)

How to do the pose

Your feet are parallel to one another and you can place your hands on your hips. Inhale deeply while lifting your chest. When you exhale bend forward from your hip as far as you can but keep your back straight. Now you can place your hands on the floor or on a block. If you want variations you can also interlace your fingers behind your back and move them towards the floor (like this you add a bit more pressure on the forward fold). Hold this pose for one minute, breathing deeply in through the nose, releasing the breath through your open mouth. When you are ready roll up the spine slowly back into a standing position. Or you get out of the pose the way you went in, place your hands on your hips, engage your core and lift up into a standing position.

Benefits of the pose are:

A calmed min. I can be a wonderful relief from stress, anxiety and mild depression. You lengthen your spine which may relief mild backaches. The blood flow into your brain is increased. Any tension in your neck and shoulders is released a bit, especially when you can rest your head (if you don’t reach the floor you can use some yoga props as support).

3. Eagle (Garudasana)

(2 minutes)

How to do the pose

The easiest to start with in this case is mountain pose (Tadasana). Once grounded and steady you inhale and lift the right foot. Place the right leg over your left leg (thigh). Then you wrap your right foot around the left ankle, the right toes on the inner side of the left ankle. The right shin touches the left calf. Breath calm and balance. Once you are balanced you can lower the hips. The arms next. Start with bending your elbows and place the left elbow on the right upper arm close to the elbow joint. Now you can move your hands together. The palms of both hands should face each other. Keep the balance in garudasana is easier if you focus on one certain point (a spot on the wall, a candle, whatever you choose is fine). Your back should be straight and not rounded. Remain in this pose for a couple of deep breaths (if you manage 30 seconds it is perfect for a start). You can release and come back into a standing position. To balance your body repeat it now with the other side in the same way.

Benefits of the pose are:

Garudasana is a twisting pose and therefore detoxifies your body. Your kidneys are flushed and blood is circulated to your reproductive system. The joints are filled with fresh blood. And of course the balance of your body is improved which also enhances concentration.

4. Side stretch

(2 minutes)

How to do the pose

We start for the side stretch sitting in easy pose which means you cross your shins, widen your knees and slip each foot beneath the opposite knee. Relax the feet, so that their outer edges rest comfortable on the mat. Now you place the right hand on the floor next to you with your elbow slightly bend. Reach your left arm up and over the head and lean to the left side. Make sure that you don’t shift your whole weight but still are seated nicely, your hips grounded. Hold for one minute and then switch to the other side. Repeat and hold as well for one minute.

Benefits of the pose are:

This pose is very soothing and relaxing. You neck, shoulders and back receive a gentle stretch. It can help you to relax your mind and also relieves stress and anxiety.

5. Corpse Pose (Savasana) 

(3 minutes)

How to do the pose

This is the easiest to explain and for many the hardest to stay in. Just lie flat on your back, legs straight, your arms are laying on your side. Your feet can fall naturally to the side. For your hands, if you need to ground yourself let your palms face the floor. If you are open to receive then rest your hands with the palms facing up. Your head rests, close your eyes and release tension in your body by feeling into all parts of your being. Let your breath come naturally. Nothing is forced in this pose.

For this 10 minute sequence I added 3 minutes only, but you can stay as long as you like in Savasana and enjoy it fully.

Benefits of the pose are:

Savasana can help to relieve a mild depression as well as high blood pressure, headaches and insomnia. It can calm your nervous system which results in a release of stress and an ease in your body, mind and soul.

My 10-minute Yoga Routine to reduce stress Click To Tweet

Your body is magic, be gentle and treat it as such.

Lena Kraima

Your body is magic, be gentle and treat it as such.

I hope that one day

I hope one day

I hope that one day, when you are a grown up, you still can feel the hugs we gave you. 

That you never loose the ability to be as empathic as you are now as a child. 

I hope deep inside you still know that you are loved beyond imagination. 

That you can feel the warm and cosy peace inside of you. 

I hope you remember the songs I sang for you and they fill you with serenity when ever needed. 

That you know we are always there for you and no matter what, our bond stays strong.

I hope you stay goofy and love life as you do now, knowing when to be serious and when not.

That your smile and laughter will never fade because if you smile nothing else matters.

I hope one day you will be happy and look back on the beloved childhood we tried to give you with all our hearts.

I hope that one day Click To Tweet

If you want to read more from me – see actual posts below. Sending you love

Mindfulness should be your best buddy

Mindfulness should be your best buddy

Mindfulness should be your best buddy

You know, like a really good friend who sits next to you when you are down to lift you up.

When you complain, your buddy mindfulness will show you that there is no reason to complain.

Challenges we face should be taken as new opportunities to learn and grow.

Thinking outside the box is what this planet needs more than ever and who else could help you in this than your best friend? 

It needs not much to be more mindful, in fact, it’s really easy.

Appreciate the little things in life, be kind, lend a helping hand, stop and breathe before doing something. 

It’s all no witch art, we all are able to be mindful.

But what we would need more often, at least I would need it, is indeed a mindfulness buddy to give me a small push once in a while.

I read so much about this topic and try my best to include mindfulness in my life, but once in a while (more often than you imagine) I am so consumed from an emotion that I “forget” what I want to do.

In the aftermath I indeed know what I did “wrong” and how I could’ve done it better.

I know that it’s in me and even though my mind would like to blame the situation or others for it, I know it better. It’s me! And there I miss my buddy who pinches me in that very moment. 

I still have a way to walk in front of me because I know my friend. Mr. Mindfulness is also within me, and it’s up to me to let him talk, to let him pinch me. 

It’s a bit like the story of the devil on one shoulder and the angle on the other one. 

The truth is in us and yes, we know what to do and how to it, but we ignore that knowledge to walk the easy way. 

One misconception is that the easy way is really easy. I doubt it because the better we become, the easier life will be. The more we are grounded within ourself, the less we will be influenced by negativity.

I’m on my way. My buddy is invited to accompany me and I need to let him talk even when I would love to bury my ears with my hands. This inner voice needs to be heard and followed, only then I will become who I want to be.

I need to become one with my buddy mindfulness – which is your actual sparring partner? Is it mindfulness? Or self-love? Tell me, let’s lift each other up and cheer us on for how far we came already.

Let’s be buddies, spiritual buddies.

Mindfulness should be your best buddy Click To Tweet

Why Yoga is essential and more than a physical exercise

Why Yoga is essential and more than a physical exercise

Many people still see yoga as some type of “sports” but with lots of “strange” spiritual people following the yoga path.

Is Yoga sports?

Yoga is so much more than sports and it is accessible for everybody. Truly everybody, there is no reason why not to start yoga.

For me it is a holistic way to create more balance, a healthier lifestyle and a positive mindset for myself but also for the people around me.

We only have this one body, so we should take care of it in the best way possible. You don’t need to over-do it, nobody has to bend into the most complicated yoga poses. It is not a competition, it’s a way of life. Your way to live.

I promise you, it can make you a better person, it’s a way to walk and you need to be consistent, but it works.

Why am I so sure?

Because, if you decide to include yoga in your life you will quickly realise that you change, for the better.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a big topic – cherishing the moment, being grateful for what you have, all the important thoughts which make you happier with less. Striving for more and more is not the way, it’s rather being happy with where you already are and working on your happiness on the inside instead of the outside.

Balance

Another topic is balance, a balanced lifestyle. Instead of rushing through everything you learn to stop and just be quiet. Let all the input we have daily settle and then sort and let go. We carry so much emotional luggage, who is able to cope with so much weight? Almost nobody. 

Detox

Detox your life but also what surrounds you. Do we really need stack over stack of magazines. Will we ever read them?

Rather go through them and rip out what seems interesting, you will have one file left and read it because that’s all what’s of your interest. 

Social Media detoxification is also great, I just went through my instagram and unfollowed step by step – we collect and collect and in the end we spent our time with watching other people cook their dinner?

I’m cleaning up my life and you wonder, wasn’t this article about Yoga?

Yes, and it still is! All of this is part of a Yogic lifestyle. Constantly balancing out and letting go of what you don’t need any longer.

Breathing

Breathing is a very important practice in Yoga and you can work with your breath. We breath through stress, we can calm our central nervous system during a panic attack with long deep breathing. Pranayama, the breathing techniques in yoga, have many benefits.

If you want to read in more depth I can recommend this book to you written by the wonderful teacher B.K.S. Iyengar:

Awareness

Yoga is being aware, aware of all that is and all you are. Meditation is nothing else than being an observer of your thoughts, becoming still in a world louder than ever before.

We hear so many noises each day and expect our brain to cope, so it’s on us to become still and breathe and give ourself this time of peace.

All of this and more is yoga

I left aside the physical practice for a reason. All until now is yoga and many do not recognise it as yoga.

We need to erase this picture that yoga is all about the poses and preferably perfect and posted on instagram because it is not.

Not every yogi is flexible, we all carry our own deficiencies and if you are good, then you don’t see it as a deficiency but as a chance. That’s the mindset I was talking about.

Not one of the yoga teachers on this planet is perfect, not one of the students is perfect, not one human being is perfect – and that’s why yoga is so wonderful, it can be adapted to your very own unique needs.

I hope you have now a better idea of yoga. And this is just the surface, there is so much to discover and learn that we can spend a lifetime exploring the beauty of yoga.

Namaste

My personal gratitude journal

30 days of gratitude

I’m proud because I designed a journal. A gratitude journal.

my personal gratitude journal

Being grateful is wonderful to commit to a healthier lifestyle. Being happy with our life is something many are striving for. We don’t need to look on the outside but instead put our focus on what we have already. Shifting perspective is the aim of this journal.

You can start now your own journey with it. Cherish your life in the present moment.

Believe me, this is just the start. My time off-work made me start to write again and there is much more to come, I promise.

A journal is indeed not a masterpiece of writing but for me it is my first printed book with an ISBN on it and I am beyond proud. This is one of the lessons – be grateful for each step, why should I belittle myself if it is an achievement on my way?

Of course I can only write for myself and I changed my mindset to focus on the good and not the bad.

Instead of “it is not a great book where you say about a plot for ages” I’d rather tell myself “be proud of this step on your way. You figured out how to design and create something that’s finally printed and hey, it looks awesome”.

What are the things you are proud of right now?

Let me know in the comments – share your wonderful achievements from your personal way.

And of course here is the link to it if you’d like to have a look.

Thoughts On how to Behave during a Pandemic

Thoughts On how to Behave during a Pandemic from a Yoga Teacher

Thoughts On how to Behave during a Pandemic

from a Yoga Teacher

A pandemic hits everyone, yogi or not, and all of us will have a different opinion on how to behave. I’m not questioning that and I will not judge it (which is even the first point to consider).

Judging

Judging – who are we to judge? It won’t be easy not to judge, I know. It will bring us to our limits, I know. But if everyone would start with this single approach we would live more peaceful than we do right now.

Besides, this is one of the fundamental lessons in yoga. We take others as they are. You can and should be a role model but you should not judge others. Everyone walks through life and some see more obstacles along the way than others, that doesn’t make them a good or a bad human being.

Is there an influence?

I wrote “my Yoga thought”, but to understand where I come from you need to know that I’m a project manager in clinical research for a living, so both, Yoga and clinical research, play into my thinking. This is an influence I cannot deny.

And that’s the second important point. Everyone is having influences which play into our thoughts. This non-attachment is almost impossible. In yoga we talk about Aparigraha, the last Yama of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Yamas are moral guidelines by which we should live with regard to our relationship with ourselves, and with the world around us. Even if I would like to step back and tell myself to think not like a project manager, my subconscious will tell me something else. So before I build my opinion I step back and put light on a thought from different angles, try to see it from the other side, try to understand where others are coming from and why people build the opinions they share.

But what about facts?

What is not deniable are facts, this is what I thought until people came along with a huge portion of mistrust. Fake data, fake news, fake here and fake there. Humans are not perfect and we all make mistakes, which is great as we learn from mistakes. It is not so great if our mistakes and doubts have an affect on others.

I still believe in facts.

Maybe I judge these facts different as someone who had his whole life nothing to do with research, but either way, a fact is a fact until proofed wrong, right?

Why do people doubt and deny facts? I guess this is the point I will never fully figure out but on my search for understanding I learned that it’s often based on their very unique personal experiences. Which is a valid reason but which is also dangerous because trying to convince someone of an opinion which may do harm in the end is simply dangerous.

Fake News

Fake news – I get it, we are small figures when it comes to politics, but where is our own logic? News may not be 100 percent correct and may try to lead us in a direction which is good for the economy, politics, higher management reasons we don’t even know, but how can I deny the pandemic state? These pictures of patients in the ICU, coffins transported away from hospitals, nurses and doctors who explain how their current work day looks like, these are facts.

I would even go ahead and call it disrespectful to deny the fact that people are dying. And there is no matter how old they are, because this is often another “argument”.

They are all old. Really?

That’s not true, and honestly, even if, do we close our eyes because the people dying are old? They could be your grandparents, parents, siblings, relatives. You really don’t care? Then the problem is deeper than you imagine.

Empathy

Non-empathy is classified as a mental disorder on the ICD-10 of mental and behavioural disorders, which means nothing else than these people have a mental illness they should work on. And that’s sad, sad that they experienced something in their life which leads them to this disorder, but it is not an excuse to harm others. We all have an individual responsibility to at least not harm others. Even if you think that you only harm yourself, that is not true. You have people around you who care and if something happens to you they will be harmed as well. We are all not alone in this life. People can argue they have nobody. Who knows if you don’t harm the people who need to look at you when you are gone? Who need to treat you when you are ill and who take stories of their patients home because they have empathy with every human being?

Helping each other, being there when someone needs you, supporting one another, all of this is what we need in a state of a pandemic. Criticism and negativity won’t help anyone.

Kindness

What do you think will succeed in the long run? I’m sure it will be kindness. Something everyone can give, you don’t need a full bank account, a big house or a fast car to be kind.

A random act of kindness lights up the day for everyone and it costs you nothing at all!

There was a really old women in the drugstore, she had problems reading with her mask on – offer help. She was so grateful and I am sure I lighted up her day a bit. Someone in front of you isn’t fast enough packing up the bought items? Be patient, it won’t take more than five minutes. Why should you ruin this persons mood and your own for this? The homeless sitting outside in winter, is there an old coat you don’t need anymore? Instead of keeping it in your wardrobe just simply do something good and give it to those in need.

Patience

Patience is a virtue, but one you can learn. We have to spend more time at home these days, why not spending them with some learning – wasn’t there something you ever wanted to learn, to read or to write? A new language, an instrument, drawing – there are so many possibilities and many of them teach us patience. No book has been written in a day or two, colour needs time to dry, the sound of music is echoing longer than we think. I like to change things always to the positive and indeed, it is not easy, but it works.

Conclusion?

My conclusion is that we all should act with more kindness and patience and I truly believe the world would be in general a better place, not only during a pandemic. Especially now we should all take a step back before we act. Many of us are stressed and if you are stressed it’s harder to reflect. We live now, this now is not easy, that’s a fact. This now is complicated in many areas but isn’t that a chance for all of us to become better persons? This Now is all we have and nobody knows what tomorrow bring, so if we would change to live more in the present moment we would start to understand that we are able to bring lots of joy in our life, even in lockdowns. I hear often that everyone lacks time. Just remember – you had time to go shopping, to meet for lunch, to do sports, to hang out with friends, alone the time you have now because you cannot do it as you are used to. Use it wisely, call friends and ask if they are ok, write letters, start a journal. If you write down your thoughts they are off your mind and give space, that’s a wonderful side effect of writing.

I just would hope that human beings start to live with more empathy and more kindness.

Ram Dass once said:

We are all just walking each other home. – Ram Dass

Let this be our theme for the future.

Off to a different 2021!

Off to a different 2021!

The last hours of 2020 are here…a year has gone by so fast, a year that has been far away from being normal. A year that seemed endless at times.

For me personally it was a year full of change.

Being out of a stressful job and trying to find comfort after a hard 2019. On the last day of the year I can reflect and look back. It wasn’t easy but most of the time I am fine. Being without something to do is not my piece of cake so I started a 200 hour yoga teacher training. A journey close to my heart which gave me lots.

I learned, I studied, I looked within, and in the end I got my certificate and couldn’t be more proud.

There are still lessons to follow, Ayurveda, a whole new and interesting field, yin yoga, what I need most during the „not-so-good“ times and who knows what else.

Of course there is Covid and it gave me some really bad anxiety attacks but it also has shown me what a strong bond we have in our marriage, how wonderful my family is. It has been tough and still is, the toughest for me indeed is to see what happens to humanity. There are unfortunately so many out there not „believing“ in a pandemic that I start to wonder where such a misconception comes from? The ignorance scares me more than the virus itself. We are sticking to the rules since day one, being cautious and staying away from others sometimes more than anyone asks for. We kept our son at home from March until September and that was the most intense family time since he’s been born.

Somehow Covid is a gift for us. Not that I adore a virus but being able to see the good in the bad is what keeps us going.

Shift your focus and you’ll find comfort in the darkness.

We are curious to see what the new year brings – we will go through a lot of changes, start new jobs, which will be exciting and hopefully without many disappointments. We are good in what we do, so bring it on 2021. And until then let’s enjoy that we are who we are, with all our imperfections and flaws, we are not perfect but so isn’t anyone else.

We are alive, we love, we fight, we laugh and we cry – all belongs to the big circle of what life is.

Off to a different 2021!

There is no guarantee that it will be better but be assured it will be different. We can make it different because we have it in our own hands.

Be the change you want to see.

Live the peace you want to see.

The sun will set one last time in 2020 and ahead are 365 new sunrises, a whole new year of making it better.

Let’s all focus on the good and all will be fine.

Get over safe and sound.

Off to the new and let go of 2020.

Mindfulness – Where to Start

Mindfulness

Mindfulness – Where to Start

One big topic in the whole mindfulness area is “Searching for Peace within”.

This is what spiritual masters are telling us. You can buy stickers, telling everyone that peace is to be found within yourself, almost everywhere. The truth is, the majority of people is living with a chaos within instead.

I am one of them. I try to tame the chaos, sometimes more and sometimes less. It depends on my mood, the time I find just for myself and on how I feel. 

When I’m relaxed I don’t bother myself with the search for something higher. I assume that there seems to be at least a bit of peace inside of me as otherwise I wouldn’t be relaxed, right?

When I’m completely stressed out and need it the most, then I find everything inside of me but peace. I find thoughts running in circles, I find anxiety, I find millions of things I wanted to start, finish, read, write or think about. But the peace that should be found there seems to be buried under all of this.

Sometimes I start to think that I would be able to find it when I could also sit under a palm tree, a turquoise ocean in front of me and a yoga shed behind me. The truth is, I wouldn’t find it there either. 

We cannot leave our mind behind – wherever we go we carry all our thoughts with us.

– Lena Kraima

The chaos would travel with me, wherever I go, I’ll take my mind and soul with me. 

A more practical approach to mindfulness is to start with small pieces. 

We all strive for the big picture, the successful, happy, content and calm person who seems to rest fully within. 

There is barely a person like that alive – don’t get confused by snapshots of the lives of others. We all don’t know what is going on within a person, sometimes we don’t even know what’s going on with ourselves.

Instead of searching for peace start with changing your thoughts, with tiny baby steps. Don’t overload yourself with ‘I should be grateful, I should be helpful, I should be, …’. This is how you get lost.

This is a wonderful page to dive deeper into this topic of mindfulness.

How to include mindfulness into your daily routine?

These are small examples on how to change the way of thinking without failing. The more often we do something, the more likely it will turn out to be a daily habit. Live it instead of forcing it.

Morning Routine
  • Each morning after you wake up drink a glass of warm water and ask yourself what you are grateful for in these few minutes. (Is it the sun raising, the smell of the winter morning air on the open window, a snoring of your cat, the smell of coffee from the kitchen, that you have warm water without many efforts,… there will be million of examples.) What are you grateful for?
  • If you find more time include a morning meditation into your daily routines.
An all-time favourite, remind yourself of what you think and become an observer
  • Watch your thoughts as if you watch yourself from an outside position. Don’t allow negative thoughts and instead replace them by positive. 
Daily routine you can include any time
  • Shower meditation – therefore you don’t even need an extra five minutes, you just take the time which is normally probably filled with a ’to-do’ list in your mind. 
  • Read something inspirational- it can be a book or also newsletters, there are some great ones to subscribe to.
  • Eat mindfully – whatever meal it is. People sit and check their phones instead of enjoying the food they have in front of them. Mindful eating is not only a good habit, it is also a healthy habit. You body will thank you.
  • Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is not a virtue – better and more mindful is to finish one task before starting the next and put your full attention into each.
  • Connect to Mother Earth – nature is relieving stress, it is recharging our batteries. Of course we cannot access a forest daily when we live in the city but even the smallest corner of a park can be your place, standing on a river and listening to the water, there are always possibilities to connect. Stare at the heaven above you, watch clouds or birds flying by. 
  • Move your body. I don’t want to call it exercise or sports because whatever it may be, it will be beneficial. You can dance for 10 minutes if that’s what you prefer. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or cycle to work, do some yoga, there is no wrong or right, the importance is to keep your body active and move your muscles. 
Whenever needed
  • Deep breathing exercises…this one shouldn’t be too complicated because we need to breath anyway. Instead of reading the news on the train to work, take 5 minutes and immerse yourself into deep breathing. 

The more we focus on what we think and how we treat ourselves, the more likely we will find some peace. It all starts within us. That’s the most important part, if stress starts within us (and yes, it does) it will be less if we overlay it with happiness so that stress can’t find its way up. If you are happy you won’t be easily stressed. There is certainly peace within everyone, we just need to set it free. Take away stress, take away pressure and anxiety, also take away criticism and self-doubt, take everything away what you stacked onto the peace and you will find it. 

I am a perfectionist and this perfectionism is my stopper – once you know it you can work with it.

Learn that you are allowed to relax even though you could work, or clean or write or whatever – there will always be something to do and if I never take time for myself I won’t relax at all. It is hard to let go of something and there were times when I wasn’t able to sit on my couch as long as there was something to clean and sort in my flat, means I barely sat there just to relax. But believe me, the dishes won’t run away, they wait until you come back to the kitchen and they are not worth giving them the allowance to disturb your peace of mind. The little dust layer you see on a shelf won’t kill you while sitting in meditation, it will wait until you are ready to wipe it away. 


Let the “peace within you” be a part of your life – don’t neglect it because you are too busy to enjoy peaceful moments.

– Lena Kraima

Mindfulness is nothing out of reach and surely not unreachable. Every tiny step towards being mindful is already lived mindfulness. 

Don’t be blinded by big words, extensive ceremonies or spiritual rituals. All of it won’t diminish your mindfulness – you do what you can and this is perfectly fine.

We all struggle and fail and we all search for a deeper meaning in our life, don’t we? But what is that deeper meaning – it differs from person to person. In the end all that counts is that you are feeling good! Go for what makes you happy.

Namaste you beautiful souls and thanks for reading <3

An extra very merry Christmas

An extra very merry Christmas

This year was extreme in all directions and I have not much left to say other than wishing for a better 2021 for everyone.

Enjoy the quiet Christmas days, indulge in good food, Christmas movies, books, whatever brings you peace and joy.

What I would like to do today is adding a bit more gratitude to everything. We often get occupied in the festivities and in the end everyone is stressed and tries to put a smile on the face – why not slowing down a bit.

If 2020 taught us something great, then that slowing down can make a change.

Lena Kraima

Have a look at what you hang on the tree, is it maybe raising childhood memories? Smell, there’s a certain Christmas smell, a mixture of fresh tree, last minute baking, the dinner cooking, perfume and candles. Soak in the atmosphere. Yes, it is different, and yes, we would have loved to have it like usual with more family and with friends included. But instead of being sad about something we cannot change, let us be happy about what we have.

When nature slowed down in spring we have seen wonderful recoveries, maybe this is the time to recover and heal. Slowing down is good for everyone. We all rarely take the time to do it actively, now we are supposed to do it and should see it as a gift.

I look forward to good food and the wonder of Christmas through the eyes of my son. Long walks in nature and maybe a few snowflakes would be awesome. Technology gives us possibilities to connect as well. We cannot meet everyone, but we can video call loved ones in almost every corner on earth. This privilege is often forgotten when people complain.

What are you grateful for today, what does slowing down do to you in a good way?

Let’s collect wonderful moments and remember all the good of 2020. Showing that we are not guided by negativity but are able to enjoy what we have and being thankful for the good in our life.

Being right…

Being right…

… is not a virtue – being kind is.

Just a little reminder at times where people start discussing for multiple reasons.

Be kind, don’t judge, rather leave quietly instead of engaging with rage.

We all walk around not knowing perfectly where we go, so be gentle with the lost ones, be kind to the confused, we only see a change in humanity if we start to change ourselves first.

Two weeks until Christmas

Two weeks until Christmas

Two weeks until Christmas

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

This year started with so many hopes and dreams… And all of a sudden we reached the end of this year.

Two weeks until Christmas literally means that I would start now to run in circles. This would be the time to go to malls, into the city, do the Christmas shopping. But instead, instead I sit here and type patiently. A hot steaming tea on my left side, part of a chocolate Santa on the right side. My husband went outside with our son, it’s just me and my thoughts.

Two weeks – normally that sounds short and like not enough time left, but this year nothing is normal. If you ask people to go two weeks into quarantine it sounds for them like a lifetime.

What happened this year seems like a massive slow down

A slow down with different names. Call it lockdown, partly lock down, quarantine or light lockdown. In the end all had the very same effect, they slowed down our life. And sure, you can start now to complain. It took the economy down, many people struggle, that is correct. What is also correct is that complaining will not change that. I don’t want to focus on the bad and rather focus on the positive. There are lots of positive effects all this had. You need to open your eyes and your mind and I am sure you will start to see them.

This has nothing to do with a pandemic induced slowing down but it may help anyone to see what you can do to slow down in a healthy way.

Going from 100 to 0 is by far not an easy task and I can tell you from my own experience that it needs strengths. Sounds strange, right. Many people think as soon as you slow down you are completely relaxed. It would be nice but unfortunately it is not like that.

Slowing down is a process of learning.

Many people cannot let go of their routine, of their “how things should be” and doing nothing is harder than some can imagine. It’s also for a reason that many are falling into a depression once they are retired, life was busy and all of sudden there seems to be nothing. And this void needs to be filled, but how. Adjusting to a slower lifestyle takes time and exercise as everything else in life. Finding out what you need, what you want, what are the things that make you happy, all of this is new.

And one other thing just before I start to get comments on how privileged I am. Yes, I agree and I am fully aware of that. I know that my position here is not one which has been affected and shattered my life, but many who are able to sit down and read this blog are in a similar position, right. I don’t deny all the tragedies, but I barely believe that people who are affected beyond imagination will sit peacefully in front of a web device and read my words.

So, what are the positive effects?

Focussing on one self is something fully positive. Do you know who you are? Who are you besides your profession, besides your role as partner, parent, sibling, or whatever it is. Who are YOU? What makes YOU happy?

We all focus lots on what others expect from us, how we should be in this life. I think the first step is learning to let go of these expectations and focussing on your own self.

Once this is accomplished as first step you may surrender into the slow pace of your life and find out what you want. Mindfulness and gratefulness are two big words, and they are so important to find your way. See what you achieved already, be thankfully for all the opportunities you had in your life so far. Instead of running and starting something new take care of yourself. Self-Care is often so underestimated although it is definitely very important. Only if you are properly taken care of you will have the strength, the power, the endurance to start something new.

I’m at the verge of going into another stage and although I think that my prior job has been purposeful I am thirsty for something with even more depth.

Turning inward

These times are times where we all have more time than we ever thought to focus on where we are, what we want and how we want to move forward. The pandemic is a huge change in everyones life, why don’t we start to embrace the possibilities instead of focussing on the restrictions?

A mind can never be restricted, which is good and dangerous at the same time.

I would like to hear all the positive things that happened to you, what did you learn, what has been accomplished, what makes you happy?

For me, I can truly say we have such an exclusive family time – seeing our son growing is a gift and we can focus better as we don’t hurry from here to there. Our eating behaviour changed for the good. We always loved home cooked meals, but with less shopping and more planning it turned into a more local and sustainable direction. Neighbours are supporting each other more than before. We discover the nature around us with different eyes. We have time to read, to be creative, to do what we love together.

Everything in life has two sides – focus on the good! And of course stay healthy. Namaste