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.
If you start to learn how to think in a positive way this can lead to a ton of positive changes in your life.
A hopeful outlook can not only be useful for your psychological well-being but also for your physical health.
We all know that certain circumstances can arise and makes it difficult to keep an inspirational positive mindset but the good part is that these situations will pass. The more you find a way of making positive thinking a daily habit, the more you will be able to face these “downs” in life from a different perspective. A positive mind guides you through hard times different than a negative mind.
I want to give you a couple of ideas on how to work on a positive mindset – it is not complicated, believe me.
Take ownership for your behaviour
At the point when you experience issues and challenges throughout everyday life, don’t assume that others are responsible for it. Recognise your part in the game and take ownership. It is rarely others who make your day a disaster, it is in your hands or better said it is in your mind.
Giving instead of taking
If you start to see what you have instead of what you don’t have, then you start to see the good. And even better, you also see what you can give. We are all living with quite high standards compared to others, instead of buying the fifth winter coat, give away the fourth you have to someone in need.
This view will open up a whole new way of feeling grateful – which leads to the next point.
Surround yourself with positive people
I bet you have heard already about toxic people, like consistent whiners, persons who love to complain even on the brightest sunniest day. Their negativity can become part of you. Better invest energy and time with positive loved ones to improve the probability that their positivity will turn into yours as well. It is difficult to be negative when everybody around you is spreading positive thoughts.
Make a daily gratitude list
On the off chance that you begin keeping a day by day appreciation list, you’ll begin seeing precisely the amount you must be grateful for. This can assist you with zeroing in on the positive in your life as opposed to pondering all the terrible things that have occurred in the day.
Getting prone to show a demeanor of appreciation makes positive thinking more about a propensity.
With achieve I mean achievable. There’s nothing worse than unrealistic goals. It will add up on being frustrated and raise negative thoughts. Make small steps towards your goal, like a checklist it will give you a positive mindset as you check completed steps. We tend to want more than we are capable of and this causes negative stress.
A simple trick really is break the goal down into the steps needed to achieve it and then work them off.
Invest energy every day in something that energizes your positive mindset.
Inspirational books, statements, follow motivational social media accounts, read positive news – all of this can assist you with being more positive.
If you listen to bad news the whole day you surely will be depressed, so balance it, there are many positive things happening every day. One is that you are alive.
I would recommend to end your day with positive thoughts as well, immerse yourself in a good book before you sleep. IT helps you not only to sleep better but also to wake up more positive.
To successfully erase negative thinking you need to actively react to these thoughts when they appear. There are thought patterns which need to be broken, like the word ‘never’. It will never work out, I will never succeed, these thoughts will bring you into a kind of vicious cycle.
Instead replace them with ‘this time it didn’t work out, so I analyse why and won’t make the same mistakes next time’ or ‘I failed because…so I know what do to different to succeed’.
All in life is a lesson learned, this is how you started to talk, to walk, to ride a bike.
Think about what results a permanent negativity could have
If you regularly turn towards a negative mindset, it can turn into an inevitable outcome.
For instance, you think, “I likely won’t learn how to cope with the stress at work because it never subsides” and therefore you don’t invest energy into reducing the stress. Thus, your will find yourself in the same surrounding until retirement.
Wouldn’t it be better to take this stress and start to analyse it? Why is it there, from whom is it coming (maybe it’s your own stress out of a subconscious perfectionism), can you minimise it?
Make a rundown of all the manners in which a negative mindset effects your life. It probably impacts your whole life. At that point, start to replace the negative mindset with a positive mindset, step by step.
Tell others something positive
Instead of just thinking that your’ neighbours new fence looks great, why don’t you tell them? Your colleague achieved a tremendous result, then congratulate. It sounds like small acts but these small acts of kindness create a positive mindset, not only for yourself but also for the persons around you. You remember, surround yourself with positive people? Be one of these positive persons yourself.
Be good to yourself
People often think they don’t need for instance a massage, but they gift it to their friend. Why do you think that you don’t need or deserve it?
Taking care of yourself is a big step towards being positive and thinking positive.
Mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body
Our ancestors knew it already and we seem to have it forgotten while striving for a career, a family, a whatever you are striving for.
Our body and our mind needs nourishment, only then we are able to reach our goals and cope with what we face along the way.
…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 relax and that is what we need and want
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.
How is it here during a pandemic
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).
We live the present moment
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.
For the travellers, this guide is recommended from my end – we found really wonderful places in it.
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?
A whole new year lays ahead of us and I’m excited.
Excited and positive, anxious and scared.
Life is unpredictable which makes it interesting but scary at the same.
As a perfectionist you are going to hate it not to know what comes next but the truth is, we will never know what comes next. Neither planning nor wishing will bring us to the point that a life is going as smoothly as we would like.
I just need to look around our home and since we have a child it looks sometimes as if a bomb of Lego and toy animals exploded.
The wonderful part of these “explosions” is that there is life! I admit that I would sometimes which for this old home where you don’t have to clean 24/7 without an end in sight, the times where I just sat down on the couch with a book because nothing else needed to be done. Nowadays there is no “nothing else needs to be done”. This wishing back the old days are only short moments because reality quickly sets in and I’m so grateful for this reality.
Life is far far far away from perfect and this imperfection is so lovely. We are the happiest when we three are together (my son, my husband and I) because indeed, that’s life, that’s reality, that’s all to wish for.
The perfectionist in me is almost crying because I have no idea how this year will go along but what I know is that we can manage all as long as we are a family and love each other like we do.
Is it wisdom that comes with age? I don’t know. Is it what you learn through motherhood? Maybe.
I cannot tell you when exactly this thinking was setting in for me-The more I think about life and what matters most the more I realize that there are profound things like love, trust, emotions, feeling grounded, mindfulness, thankfulness for what is, appreciation of what we have. These are what matters most.
The NOW of our life.
Tomorrow can be anything but if we manage to be happy now we reached a lot!
I’m not a spiritual teacher nor a motivation guide but the more I read and the more I do some research the more I see that many seem to seek happiness and fulfillment.
Our life has far too many choices to reach this stage and we get lost. We lose focus due to the amount of possibilities we have.
Nobody can have it all! I think this is the first and most important step towards an inner satisfaction of what is.
We need to stop ourselves along the way, take a step back, and start to sort. What are our personal priorities, what makes us really happy.
Social media are great, if used properly, and at the same time our personal nightmare, if used as a comparator (in both directions).
As long as we are realistic enough to know that we never ever see the whole picture on social media the usage may be utterly inspiring, we can learn lots and get input. There are some influencers out there who are really showing lots, their raw authentic self, but careful, for the majority we will never grasp the full picture and this is completely OK. We ourselves would also not expose our most vulnerable moments or dark sides to strangers. Just be sure that everyone has these sides (just not visible). The trick is to get inspired by the exposed good stories but don’t feel less worth because of our own failures.
The same goes for news – I barely read them nowadays because I feel more and more depressed, it seems as if there is no peace on earth at all but that’s wrong. Nobody will write a headline about a country at peace. We are responsible to filter all of this for ourselves because no news agency and no influencer and no person besides you is able to see what you need or what you can take at this moment.
You are the first responsibility for yourself and afterwards you decide what you watch, listen to, hear, read, where you step in, help, work, etc. This sounds selfish but it isn’t. Only if you feel at ease with yourself you will be capable of taking the rest.
My husband’s country is in a war state since we met. It won’t help if we start to site here each day and cry and complain and talk about how blessed we are to live here and what an injustice it is that his family is there and and and – it simply won’t help! We need to make sure that we are fine, we are parents, we have a responsibility. And when we are fine we can work, we can try to support, we can be the realistic part on the outside as we are not within, we can be the uplifting part when things go wrong again and try to soothe, we can only give our best in these moments. It is hard but that’s life – unfortunately – we cannot change the world but we can change our approach to our “small” circle in this world and try to be good examples. If everyone would be the best version of him or herself we would make a step in the right direction.
And at teh end of the day my biggest mantra for this year will be nobody is perfect and new ways are always possible – these sentences from a perfectionist are a big step.
My lessons learned from the past years. They may be an inspiration or just a small hint in which direction to think.
Being grateful for what we have and never taking anything for granted is one of the biggest epiphanies ever.
Living in a country without knowing war is not my achievement, it was simply luck of being born here at that time. Thanks!
Having met my husband was such a coincidence, this could never have been planned. Thanks!
Having a really full fridge is a blessing. Thanks!
You could go on like this but you know what, waking up each morning, feeling my heart beating should be reasonenough to be grateful for this life.
A whole new year…lays in front of us.
Let’s focus on the good.
Let’s try to ease the pain.
Let’s help where we can.
Let’s do what we can to make this a better place for all of us.
…and as always we are asking the same old questions. What do you wish for? Is there anything I can buy? Which gifts would be on your wish list?
Isn’t it ridiculous in a way? We beg to give something even though we had a whole year of making our loved ones happy.
What I realize more each year is why my parents tell us since so long that they have all they need. It is indeed true that the time spend together and the memories we make throughout the years are more than we could ever wish for.
Time is the greatest gift. Time well spend with your family.
Even though we know this now we surely will run on last minute and get things wrapped up, an empty floor around the christmas tree is not much appealing, but deep within us we know that nobody will be disappointed when we unwrap the little presents because all we need is already there.
I wish you a merry christmas and lots of time to be spend with your loved ones.
One gift for myself is that I want to revive my page – it seems as if a lifetime passed since I posted the last time.
This question popped up just this morning when I opened Instagram.
I must confess, I like Instagram and I often go in and check and find inspiration and ideas how to live more sustainable, I see great campaigns against many injustices on this planet, I follow people I adore like Deepak Chopra or Ram Dass and this is great.
But what I also see is that there are thousands of women who call themselves influencer, mom blogger, whatever name you want to give them, who expose their whole families, grandparents and neighbors of neighbors to the world wide web. They literally “sell” their life and feel like kind of a celebrity.
I mean, seriously, I show my home, my sacred place and start to tag everything from the lamp on the ceiling to the rug on the floor, I give away shopping codes and link web pages while hoping that people love me and follow my life and at the end of the day BUY.
This kind of commercializing products is not only weird, it’s also going into a direction where being unique seems to be outdated.
Every mom blogger account has the same brands (at least for what I can see in Germany), the wear the same jewelry, call themselves even designer because they put their name on products they designed? To be a designer for you normally need to attend classes in a design school, university, whatever, but hey, this is the easy way, right? They eat the same, the drink the same tea, they own the same coffee machines in their stylish mainly white colored new built homes and their kids have the same toys and clothes and prams. All for the price of inviting people into their life on a daily basis, day in and day out, from morning to bedtime routine, being healthy or not feeling fine.
I’m honest and especially the ones who build up their life like this will not agree on it, but filling the washing machine with the camera in my hand or making a time-lapse of how I clean the kitchen is NOT real life and is far away from what we should do with our time.
As wonderful as all these technologies are, as careful they need to be handled. What do we teach our children when we document every step we take, inside and outside? What do we teach them if mommy is putting on her make up each day in front of the phone while she’s talking to the phone instead of talking to her child?
Did you ever check your screen time per day? I know that it hits you once you start to focus on it, at least it hit me when I checked it, because this screen time means that you spent the time with a phone in your hand instead of being in the real NOW.
Eckhart Tolle wrote this wonderful book “the power of NOW” and I can recommend this to everyone – we are all right now here and we should spend our time wisely.
If it’s your job and your income to advertise and to sell, that’s great, but do it need the 24/7 exposure to the whole world? Isn’t it enough to create good selling content and pictures and tutorials?
I may never understand but wanted to share as I feel we are heading to a time where personal contact starts to be rare and real life exists only in form of a hashtag.
Go out, meet friends, take your children to the playground and just sit there, watching the leaves dancing in the wind with the sound of children laughing and playing, that’s real life, at least for me.
That’s your starting point – being aware of where you are right now is the most important to start moving.
If you want to go into the Yoga tree you need to make sure you know the floor you are standing on. Is it uneven, do you stumble, are there stones, is it possible to slip? Only when you know where you stand you can lift up one leg and still stand steady.
The very same counts for everything in your life – only when we are fully aware of the NOW we are confident to step forward.
Center yourself, listen, feel, breathe – all that you are right now is important. This brings you not only mindfully into the present, it grounds you and makes you completely aware of what you need right now.
If I know where I am I can start going without being afraid to get lost – I will find my way back if needed. But if I’m lost I may not find what I’m looking for because I have no idea where to head to. This may be fine, we all know that often out of these lost times something great emerges. BUT to grasp the greatness that approaches I need to see it. Most probably I won’t realize what’s in front of me when I am not centered and grounded.
When we want to drive somewhere with our car we need to make sure each time that we have fuel and that we have the keys to ignite the engine – without we won’t go anywhere.
When we wake up in the morning we need to ignite our life flame. What are we burning for, do we have enough energy (fuel) for what we want to reach? These questions are important to stay sane.
In my lowest low period I may not start to move mountains but I may be creative and work in silence. On my highest high I may be overflowing with energy and may not bundle it to quiet my mind for something that needs lots of concentration but I may be able to physically work on something, flow through a powerful day or lift other up in being full of positivity.
We have all in us, from the lowest low to the highest high and so many stages in between that we need to adjust.
If we try to go against the nature of our being we will long-term ruin ourselves. That’s why it’s important to check on ourselves and even if our day starts powerful we may slip into a low throughout the day, then take a moment and re-adjust.
The power of mindfulness is so so so damn important if we want to stay healthy and sane! We are workers and doers, we are mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, cleaners and cooks, drivers and guides. We are so much and nobody will tell you to take a minute and listen into yourself while doing all those tasks day in and day out.
We are responsible to be mindful with our life, with our body and soul. We need to listen and accept, the accepting part is often the hardest. We listen, and we know it’s time to stop. But we often ignore this inner voice and risk our well-being instead of adjusting to what we are right here and right now.
Self-care! At the end of the day it’s our own responsibility to take care of ourselves. In low and in high times, in happiness and in sadness, all these times are important; only if we embrace the low and trust that we will be fine again we will be able to embrace the high.
There is no always happy life and even if it seems sometimes so from an outside position we need to trust that all that happens is important. We only grow, and we even grow more during the low times than during the high ones. Many creative minds worked on their masterpieces while being deeply sad or broken – this doesn’t mean that we need to like these times, but we need to love ourselves even more then.
Only if we accept that we are all, all the emotions and feelings that run through us, only then we will be able to create a life we want to live. And even then we will have times where we would like to bury our heads under the blanket and that’s OK! That’s what life is all about – learning, feeling, growing, loving, enjoying, crying, teaching, sharing. Take all and embrace the whole.
Center Yourself exactly where you are…
…because you are worth it, you are deserving it and you are in charge of your life. Take care!
…and write down new year’s resolutions, we think what we could do better than last year, what we could change, what was good and what wasn’t a masterpiece at all.
And every year I am wondering why we are doing it…
I never set new years resolutions for myself – the typical ones are to eat less sweets, stop smoking, loosing weight, etc. and I have seen to often that all those weren’t met anyway.
Are we too weak or do people just set the wrong goals? I believe it’s the later.
When I want to reach a goal it doesn’t matter if I write it down on 31st Dec or on any other day. If I want it desperately then I will work on it.
If I don’t want it desperately, then no date will help me to reach it and that’s why so many great resolutions never become real.
Why don’t we change this habit to reflect each day on where we are and what we want. This is a routine with more depth than a once-per-year kind of deep thought. I take a certain time just for myself and reflect the past 24 hours.
Am I happy?
What was good today?
What was not so could and how can I change it?
What’s my plan for the next days?
Do I need something that can help me?
Am I treating myself with love?
There are so many questions I can ask myself at the end of the day or in the morning of a new day – these are just a few examples.
Life is complicated enough so we should not start to make it more complicated with setting goals we are not able to reach, this is just frustrating and will bring us down. What we need are things that lift us up, goals which are realistic, people who support us, dreams to catch…
I miss my Yoga and instead of writing down that I want to take 15 min. per day to do some Yoga I stand up and do some sun salutations right here and right now. I can write in my journal “8 sun salutations” and that feels good!
Yesterday I wrote on Instagram the following: Be simply happy is often the most complicated
This sentence has so much to say and but is also so simple to follow. It’s saying nothing more than be simple and live now! We tend to over-do, over-plan, over-think, over-write, over-talk instead of doing what we want to do.
I am one of them, I’m maybe the best worst example for that because I over-think literally EVERYTHING. I try to reach a perfection instead of just taking the moment and that all with knowing very well that nothing is perfect and that imperfection is even more interesting than something that seems to be perfect. I struggle as we all struggle and that’s why it is even more important to remind me and all that we are not here to be perfect.
We should be happy, we should love and smile and enjoy and treat us well.
At the end of our life nobody will remember the perfect house, the neat clothes, the combed hair, the clean windows or the success at work. At the end all that counts are all those imperfect happy moments we spent.
Instead of running after imaginary goals start and live now!
Stand up wherever you are right now, look up, breathe, reach your arms up high and embrace all the beauty around you. This life is wonderful if we let it be…
Yesterday was mother’s day, the day where mothers are cherished a bit more than normal.
Shouldn’t we be celebrated daily? I mean, honestly, aren’t we doing extraordinary jobs day in and day out?
Yes, we do and we know deep down in our heart. And you know what? All the people around us know this as well, they just don’t tell us daily.
There’s lots of sparkle and magic around us, we are just often too blind to see it. If we could once see ourselves through the eyes of our children we would know.
If I feel exhausted, tired and crappy I doubt that I would smile to my own face in the mirror BUT my son is looking at me and smiles, he’s kissing me and hugs me in the morning with a look on his face as if there’s nothing better than having morning snuggles in bed with me.
He doesn’t care if my hair isn’t sorted or if I have an imprint of the pillow on my cheek – he sees his mom, his shelter, his world, his universe – he see’s me with a childish purity and this purity is what we lost along the way while growing up.
For him I sparkle even on my worst days. For him I am surrounded by magic day in and day out (he is Crafted by Magic). I can blow away the pain if he got hurt, I can give hugs which save him from bad dreams, I can do so many things he sees as magic and I want to keep him in his little bubble of pure happiness for as long as I can.
We went out of the city yesterday and while being at a lake it started to rain heavily but instead of leaving we ate crepes and watched the rain.
We are the ones who show how life is, if I run and hide each time I see a raindrop my child will do it too. Why don’t we follow our children once in a while and jump into puddles simply because it is so much fun?
There was a thunderstorm in the evening when we were back home and we stood in the darkness on the window and were waiting excited for the lightning, counting the seconds until the thunder was following. These are the magic moments of motherhood, stillness, awe, magic, thunder and lightning, life in its purest form, scared hugs to realize after a while that mom isn’t scared so I can let go as well and enjoy the sound of the rolling thunder.
You see – my mother’s day wasn’t all sunny and pink and flower-ish BUT it doesn’t have to be to be a wonderful day. What makes my mother’s day perfect and any other day as well is the wonderful child I am allowed to raise and my husband who shows me maybe not daily how wonderful I am but who sees with his heart and that’s the magic we all need in our life!
The winter time is really close now and if you don’t want to stay inside for the next months to come here are a few ideas on what you can do outside.
Living with a toddler means for me fresh air is a MUST. Children need to be outside and explore the world no matter if it’s snowing or raining – properly dressed every weather is good weather and that counts for us adults as well.
We live in Munich and instead of walking the known ways around our home it’s fun to explore new ways. Step out and turn left instead of right, cross a road you never crossed before and see what’s on the other side. Thanks to smartphones we won’t get lost, don’t worry.
You will see “your” city from a whole new perspective.
A walk in the park.
Parks are wonderful places for each season of the year. The autumn is almost over and you will barely find chestnuts by now but wait for the first snow, the park will look completely different again when it’s covered in snow.
Besides that, if you have children, parks are great to let your children run without being scared they end up on the street. The air in parks is better as well so deep breathing while walking will give you a whole new energy.
Wellness in Winter
We can’t wait for the real dark and cold days because what we love to do once in a while is drive to a spa.
Steam bath, outside swimming are with hot water, sauna, oriental hammam, wrapped in flushy bath robes life is great. The last time we went was when I was pregnant so it’s really time to do that again. This time our little son will join and there are wonderful spas with kids areas as well.
My husband can’t wait for them to start just for the simple reason that he loves the bavarian “Reiberdatschi” which is grated potatoe fried in oil and served with applesauce or creme fraiche.
Christmas Markets are wonderful, they are lovely lighted up and you smell something else in every corner. Handmade soaps are sold as christmas presents, spices to bake are available, everything looks warm and cozy even if it’s deepest winter.
Go into the nature
Forests as well as lakes are great destinations in winter. The snowy frozen forest smells so fresh, I literally would love to bottle up that air and take it home with me. Maybe you can take a slide if you are with children, they love to sit there covered in blankets when they are tired of walking.
Lakes have also a very special atmosphere in winter. They often look a bit foggy and mysterious. If they are really really small or if it’s really really cold you may be lucky to find one where you can walk on. The sound of the cracking ice is a wonderful sound as it often echoes over the lake (just make 100% sure that it’s allowed and secure – if not stay on the shore!).
I’m sure there are lots of things which can be done in winter, these are my five highlights and I can’t wait to enter the real winter time just to do all of the above.
What do you love most in winter – what could you recommend?
Do you know these families who have a certain area around their home for the first years after a child was born? "Aurora needs her nap time in her bed." "Lucas is not sleeping anywhere else." Or worse, the parents who need the whole children equipment from bottle warmer to rocking chair, the ones who are not able to improvise and stick to their patterns. We are not like that, neither our child nor we. We love to travel and the easiest for me ist to travel by car. You throw all you need inside and off we go. We spent already lots of time in the car so it's a bit like a second home. If you don't expect it you'll find a diaper (often when you indeed need it) or jacket which we thought lost. Yes, it's a bit messy and I admit that we are at the end of October and we still have the beach umbrella in the back and Tuscan sand on the floor, that's us and I love it! The best of these messy details is that they don't matter, what matters is that we have a big radius around home already and that we know we can go in whatever direction and we are happy. A travelling toddler who sleeps everywhere is worth the mess. His seat is based on cookie crumbs and our family is based everywhere. He sleeps apparently everywhere when he is tired. What he needs is the reassurance that we are around and that he is safe with us. Everything else doesn't matter, it can be loud or quiet, sunny or dark, crowded or peaceful, when he is tired he grabs our hand or hugs us tight and off to the land of toddlerdreams. But what about sleeping times and nap times? We don't have them. And before someone starts to argue how important steadiness is…we love that we don't have them! He is 18 months old, he sleeps when he's tired, he eats when he's hungry and we give him the freedom to grow without a strict schedule as much as we can. Latest with 6 years when he starts school this life is over as he cannot go to school when he likes or stays in bed longer in the morning when he's supposed to be in his class. What are 6 years compared to a lifetime? We should cherish these first six years where our kids are mainly free little birds. The kindergarten (Kita) for kids under three started for us in September and he's doing it great. He has a nap time there and he's actually napping and he eats when they all eat. Children are able to adapt quickly and they know which rules apply where so why should we limit his freedom at home? We are now on our way to my parents and he sleeps in his car seat next to me while I'm writing and my husband drives, this is our on the road life, one glance at it. Most people tend to make life more complicated than it is. What is really important, especially with children? Now! Now is all we should focus on. Our children could be our teacher because they know how it works by heart. BE HERE NOW (look at your child and soak in the love). At the end of the day WE are important, the core of our beings. Our travelling toddler is happy, and so are we ♥️ that's the essence of life, isn't it?
I always try to explain why I would like to be able to meditate instead of just doing it.
As a mom the main reason is always: Lack of time!
Good excuse, isn’t it?
But honestly, it’s not the lack of time, it’s the weakness of willpower.
Sad but true, we find excuses instead of stepping in.
If I want something I surely will find the time.
So just a couple of days ago I decided that I want to change this and start a meditation routine, MY meditation routine.
Give it a few minutes per day! This is a start and everyone can find these five minutes!
But first, while thinking about this topic, I stepped over so many descriptions what meditation is and what it isn’t that I thought I need to write.
Write about what you please SHOULD NOT believe as it may ruin your attempts to find your own way of meditation.
Nothing fits into a certain structure, especially not a meditation.
Most of the people have no idea at all what meditation is.
They see it as an unknown factor and there the myth building starts.
Meditation is worshiping or praying – Noooooooo, it can be but it’s NOT a MUST!
Meditation is a religious act – Nope, again, it can be but it doesn’t have to be connected to any religion.
Meditation is nonsense – for people who are not willing to go deeper than the visible surface it’s a common excuse not to try it.
Meditation is hypnosis – no as this is a complete different field.
Meditation is relaxation – although you may feel relaxed after a meditation it’s not relaxation but a way towards relaxation.
Meditation is only for spiritual persons – another no because meditation is for everyone.
Meditation is neglecting reality – that’s so wrong, it’s a way of bringing reality up instead of neglecting it.
Meditation is for the weird – Yes, I love to be called weird because normal (whatever that is) is too boring and life is too short not to be weird from time to time 😉
Meditation is Magic and Mystical – I love the thought and even if it’s not considered magical – if that’s your approach to give it a try I would say YES, purely Magic!
So we have a list of what meditation is NOT but what is it then?
This is the question which has 1001 answers because meditation has a million facets and faces. From my point of view it is something completely unique. Unique as the person itself.
If one person is meditating while walking through nature another one needs a special place and ritual to be able to meditate.
Some are chanting mantras and some need complete silence around them.
Some are able to quiet their mind and some are not but both are meditating.
An indeed wonderful description is the following from Deepak Chopra:
“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet, It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there.”
It is there!
The good news are that we all have it in us! We all have this quiet place somewhere inside of us, this realm for the soul and mind. The way towards it is what let’s us struggle and feel incomplete, stressed and not at ease.
Our minds wander most of the time, it would be strange if we had a quiet mind because we have so many things which influence us daily. What we need is to find a way to find this quite place. One way is to sit down and stop what we are doing.
Mediation is letting go of all of these thoughts and bringing our focus back to one point. And this one point is preferably just a flickering candle or a leave on a tree, nothing that raises further thinking.
That one point can be anything, a song, our breath, a candlelight, a certain sound, chanting, felling ourselves – you see there are many ways to meditate.
Give it a try and just start to surrender to what is, the benefits are limitless.
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.
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:
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.
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!
As I wrote in part one – these holidays would be the best before a new chapter in our life would start.
Ok, the start of these holidays were mainly food and toilets.
I love to eat, I always did, but pregnant I was eating more and was craving fresh and healthy food (mainly) so not the typical pregnancy cravings but the healthier version of them. Especially breakfast, I love breakfast.
Fresh fruit daily, without would have been a nightmare, so it was great that Marzia’s father had his daily walk over the farm and that he stopped by to give us some fresh peaches out of their garden for the bambini.
My daily breakfast was greek yogurt with peaches and while writing about it I could just eat it again although I’m not pregnant.
In Siena we sat on the Piazza del Campo the year before eating Pizza out of the box, just enjoying the sunshine and watching people. This year I preferred the Caprese Con Mozzarella Di Bufala.
There was lots of food this year but honestly, what would Italy be without food, still nice but something would be wrong. They have so much wonderful food that not eating would be a shame. Besides I had to eat for two now, hadn’t I 😉
I mentioned toilets earlier but don’t worry, all I ate stayed with me, I just had the wonderful pregnancy urge to go to the toilet felt every half an hour. That’s not a big thing when you are at home but it can be really annoying when you are in cities or sometimes even villages and you have to find public (eeewww) toilets. My best friend was a disinfection spray in my bag and wet tissues.
My baby was so wonderful, growing inside of me without bothering me with pregnancy sickness, heartburn, nausea or other pregnancy signs. OK, I had a bit a bloated belly but hey, I had nothing to hide, it looked even a bit like a baby bump.
It looks even more than a baby bump and not just bloated when you place your hand on your belly 😉
My husband was the happiest daddy-to-be you can even imagine. Our mood was really great and we are often fighting for nothing, two stubborn minds, but during these holidays I cannot remember that we had lots of senseless fights about who bought the wrong water or other life-changing topics.
Parents-to-be seem to be full of oxytocin.
I love stunning views and could sit and look at them for hours just thinking nothing, during these holidays I was loving to sit and just watch the ocean, breathing in the salty air and thinking if our baby would realize the change from Munich to Italy, thoughts what he or she feels, tastes, do embryos taste even at that early stage?
Hours could pass like that without me being impatient or bored.
As I’m a bookworm I surely took a book with me to the beach but I think I read if at all the introduction page and the remaining time my thoughts were everywhere but focused on that book.
What I was reading at night was Deepak Chopra’s “Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy” and I can recommend that to every pregnant woman. I loved it!
We had not only our wedding anniversary but also my husband’s birthday while we were in Italy and I always wanted to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii since I heard the story during my Latin’s lessons in school.
If not this time when then? That surely wouldn’t be something with a baby or toddler so the next years not on our list.
Wedding anniversary in Pompeii, the biggest catastrophe you can imagine not only for couples but for whole families – thanks that we both don’t believe in bad luck or better said will always find the opposite if something is bad.
More about Pompeii in part three – the little embryo is already 13 months old and needs my attention now. I hope you stay with me.
This topic came up a few times since I started to practice Yoga and now I want to tell you that I can be a Yogi without being a Hinduist or a Buddhist!
Not everyone who is running into a Yoga Studio or carries a Yoga mat with him or her has suddenly a religion.
It’s not like “Buy one mat and get a religion for free”.
It is a fact that yoga works with each and every religion.
I am married to a Muslim and therefore I am in a couple of Facebook groups out of curiosity to read how other non Muslim women go along with their Muslim husbands.
What I realized quite quick is that many converted or reverted and are even more strict than a born muslim is.
We had the Yoga topic and I was bombarded with statements like “The wife of a muslim shoulnd’t do this!” as if I would instantly worship a “forbidden” religion.
Here’s my answer:
First of all, yes, my husband is a Muslim, but that doesn’t make me one automatically – like the buy one yoga mat it’s not “marry a Muslim and get his religion for free”. I’m still capable of choosing my own faith!
The second point is that I have never seen Yoga as a religion, why would I?
Many are discussing if you can practice Yoga and still hold your faith.
The history of Yoga started around 5000 years ago and was connected to the Vedras which play a role in the roots of Hinduism.
What you can see nowadays, as they share the same language, is that some chanting refets to hindu gods.
Ok, but not every yogi is sitting in a class and is chanting in hindu (many are not even speaking nor understanding hindu so why would they do it?). There are many many people out there practicing yoga regularly whithout having chanted even once! I’m one of them.
I use mantras from time to time – uhuuhhh, what’s that?
A mantra is nothing else than any repeated word or phrase – in meditation you can use it for yourself to manifest certain things for your own life like for instance “Let go of …” or “Trust yourself and love yourself” – whatever is important for you rat that moment. Mantra comes from the Sanskrit word ‘meaning’.
The Yoga language is simply Sanskrit, the same way Christianity is in Latin but Latin itself is not a religion, Islam in Arabic but Arabic itself is not a religion and Judaism is in Hebrew but Hebrew itself is not a religion.
Yoga was even rejected by Hinduism because yoga would not insist that god exists. It didn’t say there was no god but just wouldn’t insist there was.
For me this is another proof that Yoga is not a religion and should not affiliate with any religion.
There’s not one religious creed to be found.
You don’t have to follow certain rituals, such as baptism or confirmation. You don’t have obligations like in several other religions, such as visiting the church or mosque for prayer, fasting, celebrating feasts or receiving sacraments.
What is it then if not a religion? Is it sports, fitness, a hobby?
No, yoga was formed as a way to sit for hours, days, months, maybe longer in a meditative state, as a spiritual practice.
It is a spiritual way of living.
It is a way that teaches you mindfulness, how to take care of your mind, body and soul and how to be a good person.
What about the yogis that eventually would like to reach the state of enlightenment?
This enlightenment will not turn them into a god or a worshiper of god!
It means that they are able to experience a state of inner peace, bliss, some are saying they’ve seen their inner light, they connected to their deepest inner self. But that’s indeed all – no religious sign.
It’s a journey to our inner self.
If I step on my mat I feel calm, I connect with myself and listen to my body, mind and soul.
I breate consciously and fade out the stress of the daily life.
It’s my time to unwind and relax while going in and out of different yoga poses that strengthen my body.
I listen to myself or am still and take the stillness as a recreation for my mind.
The time while I’m doing Yoga is simply the time where I am able to honor all I am and the people around me.
I feel blessed because in times of stillness you are able to connect to what really matters.
If it’s not my religion, why do I post Buddha quotes on my social networks from time to time?
Because I am in charge of who I am and what I like or dislike.
I love Buddha quotes but that doesn’t mean I am a Buddhist, I love quotes from ancient philosophers as well – there is lots of wisdom to be found in many directions and I don’t decide if I like it based on which religion the authors belonged to.
I choose what I like based on the words I read.
One last question was why I can say Namaste without being connected to Hinduism?
Do you have any idea what Namaste means?
My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth, beauty & peace within you, because it is also within me.
In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.
Said that I give you now my personal explanation; I’m open-minded and one rule for my life is to respect and tolerate every living being on this earth.
I would dare to say that I am a better person than someone else because it’s not my right to put myself in a higher position.
I appreciate my life how it is and therefore also honor or thank others because people teach people lessons.
I wouldn’t be where I am without all those people on this earth.
I found this video recently and like it!
In times where we are rushing through our life it may be a little help to others as well.
It’s just one minute and it may get you into a better state of mind, so why not giving it a try?