When in Tuscany…

When in Tuscany…

When in Tuscany

…it is all about old villages, landscapes, chianti and la dolce vita.

This is what people expect when reading about Tuscany. 

Vacation time should then be even more, the above plus some beach relaxation, pool dips and museums.

My “When in Tuscany” differs from year to year…

This year I am sitting on the bed and am writing, besides that I am listening to Deepak Chopra’s “Metahuman”. 

My husband takes care of our son and the dinner we will have soon just needs to be heated up, I cooked it yesterday.

No fancy restaurant with a four-year old, we tried, we won’t try again until maybe next year. It had nothing in common with a relaxed dinner so why to bother about it any longer? Let go of what no longer serves you, I learned this through my yoga and as nothing is permanent (another yoga wisdom) we let go and have dinner “at home” in our own safe space.

We slept really long today and were just hanging around. Playing a bit, started a washing machine (yes, you read correctly, we wash while on vacation and return with suitcases full of clean clothes, it is great), enjoyed the big terrace we have here and we stayed in the shadow because it is HOT. For September it is really much more than we expected. The sun is burning and even though my two men are not that sensitive I am – I just look at the sun and already feel my skin burning.

This year I am putting in half an hour here and there to move forward with my 200 hour yoga teacher training, which literally means learning. Learning while on vacation, some would tell me now that this is not relaxation but believe me, it is. If you love what you do then you will find joy in it and here I am – I love Yoga, I love to write, I love my family. The only little problem is how to make money with the things I love 😉 I will figure this one out later.

When Covid-19 stepped into all of our lives a vacation this summer was far beyond our imagination – so all we do now is being thankful for being here!

Soaking up the tuscan sun before we will return to an autumn kissed Munich later in September is just soothing our souls.

Even though we haven’t been personally affected with an illness due to this pandemic, we have been affected like each and everyone. Stages from not believing what starts there in this world up to being scared of what lays in front of us. It became eventually a new normal and we are lucky to be in a quite good situation money and job wise, but still, this new normal is scary from time to time and leaves us depressed.

Once you tasted what pure freedom means everything scares us when it takes part of this freedom away from us.

And don’t get me wrong please, we are as free as we can be right now and we fully agree on all precautions which have been taken. But even though you know that you for instance need to stay at home for your safety it is different to staying at home just because you would like to spend a day at home doing nothing outside. 

Being here is giving all of us a little rest. A new normal is different on vacation and the Italians are doing it really good! Better than some germans to be honest, maybe because they suffered more but instead of complaining they include these new rules and still celebrate life. In Germany we often have the feeling we are trapped between the complete neglect and the over-caution, it still doesn’t feel normal and one of the reasons for me is that it’s treated different wherever you go, but that is another topic.

Back to tuscan life right now. And yes, of course here the Covid-19 topic is as present as everywhere else. Our tuscan life differs not too much from the life in Munich, we just have of course much more ice cream and we cook less. Also the luxury of having a pool in front of your doorstep is definitely a big plus here. Apart from that we decide on a day by day basis what we are going to do.

Last year we stayed at the same place, we enjoyed the pool as well as the beaches nearby and we strolled through every town in driving distance. This year we step back a bit because we avoid crowded places. We have been to so many places we truly love here but we love our health more than taking any risks. Some may ask now why we went if we don’t want to explore the region? Because we know the region and we love it, because we have the possibility and because we’d rather stay around the pool than in our flat in Munich. Because we may go to one city or another…like today when we visited Siena. Much shorter than all the times before but still wonderful as city.

Our son was chasing doves on every piazza we visited, this year he can do the same still but less often.

When we were in the Tuscany and Maremma region before our son was born we enjoyed restaurants, we drank coffee in small bars with great views, we strolled peacefully through cities exploring their wonderful history, now we check for playgrounds and check tripadvisor for things to do with children.

The “When in Tuscany” is our lifeline from a newly married couple to a couple soon to be parents in 2015 to parents of a toddler in 2017.

Today we are parents of a kindergarten child, active beyond words, running still after doves but asking every why-question he can think of and talking non-stop (if not talking then singing). Naps are uncool at four because he is not a baby anymore. He is teaching us life every second and at the end of the day, which can be very long these days, the sweetest words we could hear are: This was an awesome day today, I love to be on vacation, it is fun. This alone is enough to justify that we are here right now.

Truly, even though I try to learn so much spiritually which comes along with becoming a yoga teacher, with shifting priorities, with changes in life in general, my son is one of my greatest teachers.

He shows me that life shouldn’t be complicated.

We make it complicated. Simplicity is often giving us more room to grow than anything else. It sets time free to do something more important. His childhood is our day to day life – we should always listen and shift priorities because his childhood will never return. It has been affected already by this pandemic, he wasn’t able to see his friends or just play freely in his kindergarten and he adapted so wonderful to the new situation. He deserves a lovely childhood more than anything else and we as his parents are the ones to make this happen!

Am I a metahuman? Nope, definitely not yet, but even if I will never be one, that will be OK. We are all OK as we are right now. Striving for success is great but stepping back once in a while to reconnect with who we are is essential!

We will live into the day and enjoy our tuscan time at our pace and after that we will see what comes next. It is pretty sure that this won’t be our last time here (and if it would be for whatever reason we could still say we enjoyed it to the fullest).

Step into your life and be in the present moment, not thinking too much about the past or the future. People forget to live because they are stuck in their past or too busy planning their future. I don’t want to miss the present moments.

Right now next to Deepak reading his book aloud on my phone my son came in with superwings on the iPad asking me for food. My feet are warm because he snuggles up upon them to be close. This moment is precious and I need top now and heat up our dinner because he won’t be that calm much longer 😉

Take care and leave comments if you like these snapshots of my life.

Renting until you are broken – the new city life?

Renting until you are broken – the new city life?

Can someone explain to me why rents are increasing as if there’s no tomorrow?

I mean, honestly, I understand fully that a landlord is not giving away his house/ flat for free and wants to earn some money with it. Some money, enough money to be able to maintain everything plus money on top for their own, I got this. What I am not getting anymore is why people who rent are seen as a luxury income. Hey, and I’m not writing about deluxe apartments or big mansions, I’m writing about normal flats, houses for families.

You can argue now that it is my very own fault if I decide to live in Munich and yes, you are partly right with it. Partly because I accept that everything is a bit more expensive here than in a small countryside city, but what I do not accept is that you pay a fortune for nothing.

I am checking offers since a couple of years now and the market is truly insane. People offer for instance a house which is in the state of the 1980’s, the bathroom is a disaster, kitchen not available (means you have to bring your own), carpets everywhere also from the 1980’s, the garden not maintained at all. The size is 110 square metres and they ask for either a monthly rent of 2300 Euro (without gas and water) or if you want to buy the price is 980.000 Euro.

If only I could tell you that this is a joke, but they are indeed serious.

What should a family earn in order to have a nice family home to stay in?

As a family we are willing to pay entry for the zoo, we love to go and eat outside, grab ice-cream on the way to the playground, buy local and support smaller shops in our area, we love the “hood” we are living in. But all of this would be impossible when we move to a bigger place because of these ridiculous prices.

Our current living situation is tiny, our place is small but we live where we want to live. Of course we wouldn’t mind to have more place and a garden, not at all, but not if we have to cut our visits to the museum, eating out or summer vacations.

Are cities only made for the rich?

Are only the top managers allowed to live here? Is it the newly rich clients you are looking for to spend their money here? A city will lose its spirit like this and a city will not have any more stories to tell.

Apart from ‘normal’ families, has anyone ever thought about the elder people? A 82-year old widow who would love to stay in the flat where her husband died but cannot afford it anymore. A 90-year old man who is half blind but knows all the ways he needs for his daily life by heart. A couple married for 60 years and rooted exactly where they live. There is a saying that you cannot plug a tree out of the soil and plant it somewhere else, the same counts for many of the elder. It breaks my heart if I see them shattered because they don’t know where their life will go on. I even forget about all the young ones (us included) because we could make it anywhere, still.

Munich has a history, like every other city, there are biographies of people who lived here and brought something with them. There are statues all over the city and every single one of them tells a story. We will not write further history like this. A city lives through the personalities and if these are all forced to move outside the city spirit will slowly disappear.

Every even little personality surely was not rich and famous by the time they left their footprint in the heart of this city. Some where, some were not, it has always been a good mixture and that is how it should be.

Greedy is the new normal especially when it comes to living spaces within a city. Who has the newest building, who has the best view, who is in the most expensive area,… Shouldn’t it be: who can help neighbours when needed, who can support the homeless, who smiles at strangers because life is a wonderful thing?

Instead of greed let happiness rule because it doubles if you share – at the end of the day that counts more than the number on your bank account, does it not?

First World Problems

Finally we decided to take a break from our munich corona quarantine routine and visit my parents. We waited so long because they are living in a small town and we wanted to avoid to bring the virus out of a big city into their area. Once we decided that we go we tried to avoid even more the contacts we had in munich than before.

Talking about our contacts, truly, that weren’t many because apart from our essential errands the only contacts we had here were neighbours which you obviously meet when you live in the same building.

These “problems” are seriously first world problems. We are both relatively young (depends from which perspective you see it) and in general healthy. Both of us were working, were because the situation changed for me already at the end of last year, but not in a bad way, and my husband “lost” his job due to corona which is also nothing bad as it gives us exclusive family-corona-time if you would like to call it that way. We are not struggling moneywise and our fridge is full.

Humans are strange – especially when they have too much time.

misssfaith

What I have seen in the beginning and also throughout the course of the first weeks from this pandemic lockdown is that many people are wise. Wiser than they probably know even themselves before the pandemic started. Or how would you explain that persons with an immense knowledge of virology never thought about a career in science? Why don’t we have more people willing to study politics? There seem to be many potential leaders out there who know much better how to rule countries?

This pandemic is showing the truth and this truth is for many not as charming as they would love to be seen.

Complaints I cannot hear anymore – and these are just the main ones, meaning the top of an iceberg:

I cannot breathe under that mask, it is ridiculous to ask all people to wear it.

Where are all these issues coming from, I would really love to understand it? As a normal healthy person it is maybe unusual in the beginning and it may get sweaty now during summer, BUT nobody has to wear these masks 24/7. They should be worn in closed buildings, during grocery shopping, etc. Apart from this we still should try to go only when needed and not for extensive shopping trips into some malls, right?

I cannot celebrate my birthday with friends and family because gathering of more than 5 persons is not allowed.

Seriously? Even my 4-year-old wasn’t making a huge issue. Be happy that you are turning a year older! There are people who worry that not all are allowed to attend the funeral of a loved one. This is something really to be sad about!

Our garden is so small, how should we manage to keep the kids entertained?

Our family is living in a two-room apartment, what is a garden? There is plenty of nature on this planet and in many cases you don’t have to drive hours to be in a forest, on a field, at a lake…if you have a garden you are already one of the really lucky ones and you don’t realize?

My favourite restaurant is closed because of corona.

It’s hard to comment here even. Do people know that there are others who have nothing to eat AT ALL? People who struggle to survive?

It’s all made up by the pharma industry to sell their vaccines.

Yes, I’m part of the pharma industry if you want as I work in that area…and surprisingly for many I don’t say everything out there is needed! There are tons of products which may not be life saving or important. But vaccines in general saved millions of lives and still nobody ever forces you to get vaccine, right? It is still your choice in the end!

Third world…

I know already what comments I may get. You cannot argue with third world problems (and this third world is already making me angry as we are one world!). I tell you YES, yes I can argue with it because a pandemic is not stopping anywhere. It is crawling into each little corner of this planet and this virus doesn’t care at all if it hits the poor or the rich. The truth is that we as the rich (and that’s what we are when we have access to health care and internet) have higher chances to survive. We may end up in hospitals, and yes, people died and will die, but they didn’t die in a dark and dirty mud hole without being seen even.

I’m so angry, angry at people who don’t realize how lucky they are, angry when everything which could help is neglected without a valid reason. It is NOT a reason if it doesn’t fit into their way of living or style. A mask isn’t matching the handbag? But you have access to masks, right?

Take a step back for your own sake.

From my perspective it is even essential to compare to be grounded again. Many were flying high as we had no limits and now we see what this can cause? Striving to go higher and higher in general is not a bad thing but it should be done in a mindful way. Question things and analyse them, are they worth doing it? Who would benefit? Would it serve others? What is it doing to the planet?

Seeing the earth recovering is wonderful and sad at the same time. It was us doing the harm!!! There’s no way to neglect this.

We all should use this time as a wake-up call to be a change.

Ok, I started with our decision to visit my parents and that’s what we did.

My lesson to take from there is the following:

Family is the most important!

A garden is wonderful and I would lie if I wouldn’t miss it but the essence of our stay is really just that. People we love are the most precious gift, to have this time together gave us all rest and strength to move forward.

Don’t let Doubt be your Friend!

Don’t let Doubt be your Friend!

One of the lessons learned and believe me, this wasn’t an easy one.

It is natural I guess – throughout or life we are doubting… if we are on the right path, doing the right thing, meeting the right people … this is needed as check or ourselves. We build up confidence like that as well.

Doubt becomes a problem when we doubt more than being sure we did something right.

When I write don’t let doubt be your friend I don’t mean it should be your enemy, you will need it, until the end of your life, like a person you meet once in a while but not regularly. Like this person you know your whole life which tells you after a couple of years that you look great, that you changed your style and it suits you, that you were always adored for your skills in whatever, you get what I mean I hope. This person can also tell you that the old car was better than the new you have chosen, but in the end you are driving that car and you need to be feeling good in it.

What are you doing with the car for instance? You may reconsider changing it back because this person had some proper arguments, or you stop thinking about it because it was well thought over in first place?

Doubt is ALWAYS just an adjuster or a confirmer, it is rarely a complete changer but more a lesson learned.

But what if you think you are doing the right thing and all of a sudden Mr. Doubt shows up regularly? He considers himself your new friend and crawls into your life. He is telling you his opinion whenever he can and it’s always the opposite of what you were considering to be right. He starts to drain your energy because it is not easy to be criticized for every step you make. And it’s wrong!

Many may have this colleague who’s acting like that, or even a boss.

Believe me, a good colleague or a well-trained manager would NEVER make you doubt everything. they would make you aware if something isn’t going to the right direction and offer advise, training or help to fix it.

I doubted – too much, so much that I fell exhausted into my bed in the evening because I felt NOT ENOUGH. From the depth of my heart I knew that I did the right thing(s). I even knew it because I got feedback from many others but that one stupid Mr. Doubt was so present and so nagging with his comments that I started to doubt – more and more.

He stepped into my life as if he was an old friend but that’s not true. I knew him and I met him once in a while but I never considered him to be one of my close friends. The opposite, I was always happy when he disappeared and his permanent presence made me feel not good at all, not sufficient and not enough.

I had to learn this and especially I had to learn to tell him STOP!

Stop for the sake of my health – mentally and physically. Once this step was done it felt better because I gained my worth back. My knowledge that has been built up over the years could not be completely wrong as Mr. Doubt tried to make me believe. I was able again to hold my head up high and face him and tell him that he will not succeed in breaking me, because this is what he wanted as my “friend”.

Doubt is like a toxic person

We all know them and we all know that we should keep them very distanced as they otherwise would start to influence our life (and not in a good way).

Almost a year later I am sitting here typing, my stomach still hurts and seems twisted from time to time which is a reminder of what I went through. I’m not complaining because in the end I know who I am and what I am worth! In the end Mr. Doubt and his companions are the poor ones. They will never be happy in their life because as long as you are constantly criticizing others you ignore your own problems which probably are more intense than I can imagine them to be.

We are all human beings, we are all not perfect and that is perfectly fine!

We are supposed to make mistakes to learn and grow. We are exactly where we should be and if someone makes you start to doubt be careful. We can support, we can share experiences, we can give a helping hand, but if we start to put ourselves higher and make others doubting their worth we are the problem, not the other persons!

The struggle to accept and realize that not everyone is my friend even though they pretend to be was long and intense and I don’t want to go through it once again. But truly, I am more mindful and focused than ever before. I’m thankful to know that not I was the problem but others.

If you read my blog before you have an idea of how I think and in this case I could be mad, I could start to hate persons who tried to harm me but that’s not me.

Karma will catch them sooner or later!

I don’t want to poison my thoughts with hatred, I don’t want to invite negativity to my life and I don’t want to hate. To focus on what’s positive in all this is much more rewarding and makes me happier than giving attention to the bad. It doesn’t mean that I ignore, no, I acknowledge, analyse, take my lesson out and then put it aside as it no longer serves me.

I truly hope that whenever you doubt you don’t let these thoughts taking over the reigns – they won’t guide you in a good way. Doubt is not supposed to be permanently present but occasionally only.

Always tell yourself that you are doing the best you can at that time in your life and you are learning along the way. At every second you are where you are supposed to be as the best version of you.

You are worth to kick Mr. Doubt out if he starts to approach you more than you can take. It’s your life!

Stay strong and never doubt the wholeness of your being!

Is our life profoundly changed?

Is our life profoundly changed?

Have you ever thought about it recently? I guess so. This is one of the questions you read on magazines but who has the answer?

The answer is in all of us, in each and every single person alive right now.

Many have lost loved ones – they will surely answer with an yes, but in all honesty, this is not what I mean when I ask.

What I mean is more the question if this pandemic state is able to change us all in a way that we step away from old habits, that we overthink our whole life, that we start to realize what we need and what we don’t need.

The economy is down, almost in a state which cannot be repaired quickly, but why?

All of us are and were buying what we needed during the past three to four months. We were not lacking food and had still enough clothes to wear. So how can it be that the economy is broken while we still buy what’s essential?

This just shows me one thing: the majority of what the economy is made of is NOT IMPORTANT.

Do we need so many not important items to be available? Or should we start to change our lifes?

Why don’t we drive cars until they are old? Why don’t we wear denims until they have holes? Why do we need so much which is not serving any purpose.

Now you can argue that all serves a purpose because it makes us happy. But is real happiness something you can buy in a store? Shouldn’t it be something you feel, experience with someone else, something mundane like an astonishing sunset?

The more I think about this whole situation which is affecting us world wide the more I start to realize what we did not only to this planet but also to ourselves. Me included of course. If you have no access to certain things you start to understand their importance and truly the most important during this time is the people you love. Who cares if you wear the newest pair of jeans while sitting on the grass somewhere or stroll through the fields? Who cares if your hair has the newest colour available when you are at home?

Why do we take all these outside impressions so seriously? Are we not confident enough to be truly who we are? Of course many things are nice to have and I for instance love to use nail polish, but if it’s not available would it kill me? Nope.

We often excuse it with economical reasons, we do it because we support someone else with it – but truly, if you get your nails done in the cheapest Vietnamese store are you seriously supporting?

If you buy a fake brand to “fit into” a society, is this truly the society you want to be in?

If no invitations for events are coming in any more because they are not allowed – how many of your friends call you to ask how you feel?

In the end, I think what I want to say is that everyone should realize how wonderful a life already is and can be without all these superficial items added. Of course they should not vanish and will not vanish but if one thinks twice before adding something “not essentially needed” to his or her life we would have made a huge step forward towards a different world.

Let’s walk together into a future which isn’t build on superficial thoughts – walk into it hand in hand and with an outlook towards a better world than it has been. Together we can achieve so much!