30 Days of Gratitude

30 Days of Gratitude

Day 1 – What kind of food are you most grateful for?

So many to be honest but if you ask me to break it down to one then (as a German) I would say dark bread. Fresh still warm dark bread with just butter is so simple yet delicious.

Day 2 – Who in your life are you grateful for?

My family and that includes literally all of them – every single one has a Special place in my heart and taught me something, teaches me something, makes me feel loved and enough the way I am – they Show me my best and my worst sides and with them I can be just me.

Day 3 – What recent moment are you grateful for?

These mornings when the first I see when opening my eyes is the smile on my son’s face.

Day 4 – Which skill are you grateful for?

Being empathic is one which is I guess more worth than being a good writer or cook. Showing emotions, listening to others, feeling their pain up to a certain level makes life more meaningful. But of course, I do not want to miss a good homemade lunch as well 🙂

Day 5 – What about your body are you especially grateful for?

Being alive and healthy – if you are alive your body is doing a tremendous job, I try to treat my body well and of course there are pizza-days and chocolate but in general I see it as my duty to treat my Body as my temple, because without it I would not be here.

Day 6 – What technology are you grateful for?

The world wide web – this is amazing how we can connect across the globe and if we use it mindfully the Internet is one of the greatest technologies ever.

Day 7 – What smell are you grateful for?

The scent of my new-born son. The most wonderful smell on earth.

Day 8 – What sights are you thankful for?

Right now, in a corona quarantine situation all sights I have ever seen. Memories of former vacations are so precious.

Day 9 – What books are you grateful for?

My all-time favourite because it opened my eyes during a difficult time is “Eat, pray, love” from Elizabeth Gilbert. Each time I touch it I still find something new and valuable for me.

  • Day 10 – What tradition are you grateful for?

The traditions I grew up with and am now able to show to my son, like Christmas cookie baking, painting Easter eggs, simple things which are lovely memories of my childhood for me and I hope my son can one day say the same.

  • Day 11 – What colours are you grateful for?

All available colours – without all of them life would be dark and sad.

  • Day 12 – Be grateful for your senses. Name what makes you grateful for each.

Touch / Feeling is the most important, without I would not know how soft baby skin is.

Sight to discover the beauty of this planet.

Hearing – the birds singing in the morning is music to wake up to.

Taste and smell are both amazing – the smell of freshly cut grass gives me a full summer feeling and the taste of so many things would be a real lack in life. Salty water, snowflakes in winter, the orange peel with his bitter-sweet taste.

Balance is a great sense in life and a great reminder of this question is that I need to focus more on balance in my life.

Body awareness is the last I guess and should be one of the first to be grateful for. Feeling good in your own body is the first step to a healthy self-acceptance.

  • Day 13 – What season are you grateful for and why?

Summer / late summer is my favourite season. These long evenings and nights where all seem to be possible. I cannot stand the cold even though I love some snowy days, but summer is the right feel-good temperature for me.

  • Day 14 – What challenge did you overcome?

There were some challenges and obstacles in life as for everyone – did I overcome them? Maybe. I think most I took as lessons learned not to step into them unprepared if they show up the next time. Life is a flow and maybe some parts of them swim next to me occasionally but most of the days I keep them behind me and remember how to treat them if they speed up.

  • Day 15 – What sound are you grateful for?

My son’s heartbeat – the sweetest sound I heard before I even knew he is a boy.

  • Day 16 – What places you are grateful for?

All the places I travelled so far – it is amazing to discover the world and every single place has left an imprint on my life.

  • Day 17 – What in nature are you grateful for?

What in nature am I not grateful for?

  • Day 18 – What invention are you grateful for?

Technology – especially now during this pandemic we can be incredibly grateful to stay in contact with family and friends on a distance.

  • Day 19 – What knowledge are you grateful for?

Everything has its time – even though I would love to stop the time sometimes to stay longer in wonderful moments, this knowledge is immensely helpful in times where I don’t feel well, as this will pass too.

  • Day 20 – What role model that you had are you grateful for?

My parents – and they still are!

  • Day 21 – What are you grateful for TODAY?

The laughter of my son and my husband in the background while I am typing here.

  • Day 22 – What attribute of yourself are you grateful for?

Being able to be weak and surrender to what is, nobody can be strong all the time.

  • Day 23 – What change are you grateful for?

The change which came with motherhood, being a mom is wonderful.

  • Day 24 – What part of the day are you grateful for?

I love the night when everything is still, but I also like long summer evenings.

  • Day 25 – Which character trait of yourself are you grateful for?

Being authentic is I guess the most important. You may not be friends with everyone but at the end of the day I stay true to myself.

  • Day 26 – What voyage are you grateful for?

Oh so many, our Tuscany trip when I was pregnant, our Cyprus trip which was the first vacation together, the first family holiday when our son saw the sea for the very first time, the clear blue water of the Caribbean on the Turks and Caicos Islands, I could start to list all now.

  • Day 27 – What quote makes you grateful because it inspires you?

What goes around comes around.

  • Day 28 – What things in your day-to-day life are you thankful for?

No things but the persons, my two men!

  • Day 29 – What talent are you thankful for?

To write and be somehow creative.

  • Day 30 – What blessings are you grateful for?

We are alive, we are all healthy, that is such a huge blessing already!

Yogain‘t a Choice anymore

Yogain‘t a Choice anymore

It’s a lifestyle I can’t Escape, even if my inner lazy self would love too, once in a while.

I think I’m totally lost (some would say), lost in the sense of being unable to live without Yoga.

This journey started when I was lost and down to earth.

I was literally down on my knees because I treated myself not in the way I should have.

I guess everybody reaches a time in his / her life where you are forced to change something; something profoundly.

For me this change happened in 2011 and it was just the starting point. I wasn’t sure if my way would bring me up on my feet again or if I had to seek professional help one day.

Books and Yoga was my way and on top a single vacation which was needed more than I was aware when I planned it.

The adventure of my vacation is also on the blog:

Ever since the decision to change my life the term Yoga is a present part of my life. Some days more and some days less, like waves. On days which are exhausting the waves are stronger and the urge to dive into my yoga is more present than on peaceful days.

Yoga has been my therapy. No, yoga is my therapy!

My drug, my realm, my happy place, my hideaway…it is bigger than visible for outsiders because so much takes place inside of me.

I may not be a typical yogi which raises the question what a typical yogi is.

This picture of how a yogi should be is changing fortunately because a yoga lifestyle is as individual as human mankind is. Nothing is typical, there are no rules on what need to be fulfilled, the only important point is: be authentic and live in a way you are feeling comfortable with!

Every yogi out there is following an individual path and none is better than the other. To learn not to judge others is a big lesson because we all tend to judge others.

How can she call herself yogi if she never stepped into a yoga studio?

How can she write about Yoga without being able to do a handstand?

How can she tell others she’s leading a yoga lifestyle if she is not rolling out her mat daily?

I can and I do because of all of this.

Who is able to tell you who you are, if not you yourself?

The first person being sure about how your life is going along, what path you are on, how you feel about certain topics, how happy you are is: YOU YOURSELF!

One of the biggest lessons in life for me has been that nobody except of me can tell me how I feel or who I am or what I need. I am in charge of it and I decide what I need and what I don’t need. I decide what I want and what I don’t want.

I tell you who I am and nobody else is telling me who they think I am!

Trust your journey and walk your path. This is the best advice I have to give simply because this is what I do. I may be wrong on my way but that’s fine, only if you walk in the wrong direction once in a while you will be able to readjust and turn things upside down to find your right direction.

You are worth to live in a way you want and if this includes yoga, religion, music, literature, any interest you have to feel better, then DO IT!

My way is the yoga way and this includes many side ways as well and at the end of the day my theme is “Yogain’t a choice any more” because it lives within me. Yours may be “Vegain’t a choice any more”, “Shambalain’t a choice any more” or whatever you choose / have Chosen for your life to have a profound impact-

Trust your journey and live it. Lots of love <3

Daily habits of gratitude

Daily habits of gratitude

The year is ending and it’s time to recap (as each year) – what was good, what was bad, what could have been better and how. People tend to start thinking about their life when days are shorter and the dark time is longer, they become even slightly depressive and make big plans on new years resolutions not to be in the same misery at the end of the coming year but is it helping?

Are new years resolutions worth the time at all? I don’t think so.

Most people I know started happily into the new year, proud that they managed 5 days in a row not to eat meat for instance. And then?

Latest in February everything is over and on thanksgiving the turkey is filled even with bacon and they start to dwell about what they have to change for the year to come.

A vicious circle, isn’t it?

I don’t like resolutions at all, I don’t like to promise myself that I do something over and over again just because it may sound good as a Facebook post and probably will bring me a hand full of likes and loves and shares.

What I like is to do something because I want to do it from the bottom of my soul, something which won’t let me down if I miss one day or two. Something which adapts to my way of living while changing my way of living.

Gratitude – gratitude is so easy if we open our minds and it will change your mood instantly, I promise!

Thinking about something you are grateful for is an easy task which directly guides your thoughts into a positive way of thinking. I don’t know someone who is grateful for the spilled coffee in the morning. But I assure you that you will be in a good mood when thinking about the colleague who was so kind helping you cleaning the floor where you spilled your coffee and the nice chat you had while doing so.

Your day won’t be over when you miss one day of thinking about grateful moments, it still will be a normal day, you won’t feel bad because if you would you directly start to think about something positive again. You see, it’s another vicious circle, this time a very positive one.

Do we need big life changers? I don’t think so. What we need is a level of awareness.

We are here now, this very moment is a moment to be grateful for. I’m sitting and writing while my son sleeps and life is calm and quiet. I don’t hear bad news and I don’t feel cold or sick. I try to motivate people with what I’m writing and that’s good. This is a simple moment, nothing fancy and exciting, BUT it is a moment I’m grateful for, right here, right now.

I hope you see the point I try to make and I hope you have days full of these grateful moments because what we need in life is a series of good times plus the willingness to see the good which is coming after the bad (yes, bad moments happen, I cannot deny that). The art of living is to turn everything into something you can be grateful for.

That’s not easy, indeed not, but it is so damn worth it, believe me.

Instead of crying start to smile, instead of shouting start to whisper, give it a serious try and you will see, it works. Not always, that’s for sure and good, only if we experience the crying and shouting we know why we should smile and whisper.

I try to wrap it up and I don’t find a proper sentence – this is my imperfect life just now just here and I love it.

Share these thoughts if you like, it would make me happy and would give me another grateful moment – if you don’t want that’s good as well because my life is not depending on one moment, it depends on a series of moments as does yours.

Take care and be grateful.

Today is a gift

Today is a gift

We have so so so many reasons to be excited about today.

Far too often we forget about them and start to complain and to feel bad about today. Don’t let this happen.

Start to count your blessings and realize why you should love your life just now, just today:

  1. Today you are healthy

Health is one of the biggest gifts! Many of us are so used to being healthy that we forget how good it really is. Only when we are sick we start to appreciate the blessing of being healthy. Don't wait to be sick but be thankful now that you are healthy.

  1. Today there is someone who loves you

Just today, if there is somebody in your life who loves you, you are rich, you have something many people long for. It is terrible to be lonely and you have something so precious.

  1. Today do love

Don't be loved only, no, do love! You can love and give love as well and it feels wonderful.

  1. Today you have something to eat

And most probably you have not only something to eat but decent food you like. Remember that many people have nothing or not something they can choose but only a bit what keeps them alive. We can eat several times per day whereas others struggle to eat once a day.

  1. Today you live in peace

There are far too many areas with war on this planet, people who have to leave their homes behind to be safe, who have lost family members, who have an uncertain future ahead. Be grateful for the peace!

  1. Today you have time 

Time to read, time to do what you like, time just for yourself even if it's five minutes. There are persons out there with no time left to enjoy life, some need to work 24/7 to feed their families, some need to be alerted every second to avoid dangerous situations, we are lucky to live in such a civilized way that we can enjoy our time.

  1. Today you have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink

You are not breathing through a mask and can drink unfiltered water just from the tap? Many people in the world cannot even imagine that this is possible. Air to breathe and water to drink are very rare in some areas on this planet.

  1. Today you are safe

This one is tricky as nowadays we cannot be safe anywhere but still we are safe when we compare our life to the life of many others. We visit places without worrying too much and that’s something to be thankful for.

  1. Today you can give

Are you giving? If not try it, it feels so good to give because you receive happiness. Give your neighbor a piece of your cake and you made two persons happy, the neighbor and yourself. Give a smile to a stranger and you receive a smile back. Giving is wonderful!

  1. Today you woke up and it is a new day

NOW, that is where we are. Don't worry about the past as it's gone. Now is a new day and you can start freshly into a new day.

 

Pregnant through the Tuscany – part IV

Pregnant through the Tuscany – part IV

415 km later we are back in ‘our’ area and still enjoy our holidays.

The garden of the farm where we stay (see part 1) is a dream and perfect to relax in.

We go almost daily to the beach, just lying in the shadow of our umbrella, swimming, eating and living the Italian sentence “dolce far niente” which means the sweetness of doing nothing.

 

On the beach free days we love to visit cities.

Siena is worth several visits as is San Gimignano.

We kept Florence for the way back home and decided to stay one night in Florence and one night in Verona before we are completely back in our day-to-day routine at home.

I have the feeling as if I walk on clouds during these holidays – knowing that I’m responsible now for a tiny human being is lifting my mood to a level I didn’t knew before, is it called bliss, I don’t know. Sure is that it feels so good that I will remember it for the rest of my life!

It is known that women change during pregnancy (obviously) and that the perception (smell, taste) can change.

I have only two things I cannot stand at the moment which are bananas and my husband’s perfume. Both nothing which bothers me too much, besides these everything is just much more intense. The food tastes better, the flowers smell more, life is wonderful.

I soak in everything nice during this summer, I want my baby to smell the summer in Italy, it’s the first holidays we have as a family and he or she is living inside of me. I believe that embryos sense what’s going on around them, even at that early stage.

After the full dose of relaxation we have to start packing for the way back.

For the last evening we decided to say “goodbye” with a barbecue in the wonderful garden (I can’t say it often enough) and once we finished eating it started to rain slightly as if Grosseto was sad too that we gonna leave the next day.

Barbecue

After we said goodbye to Marzena and her family in the morning and promised that we will be back one day with the bambini I’m happy that we will stop twice before leaving Italy and not drive back all the way at once.

Florence, here we come.

The David is “someone” I need to show you – here he is the famous David from Michelangelo:

Michelangelo's David

The ‘Dolce far niente’ is something you can also enjoy in the middle of a city full of tourists and noises, here my yoga practice is diving in as I learn to focus on one thing at a time and this time it’s a wonderful Moroccan peppermint tea.

Peppermint tea

The city is wonderful and we love to go through without a plan. My husband bought tourism-like a selfie-stick so the crazy parents-to-be have quite an album full of selfies.

What I see now besides the fun we had is the glow everyone was talking about – here I see the first time this pregnancy glow on my face and if men have it as well my husband is one of them. We were as happy as we thought we could be.

Florence is wonderful so I’ll leave you with some impressions for now. The fifth part will follow, I promise!

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