Mindfulness – Where to Start

Mindfulness

Mindfulness – Where to Start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Lena Kraima

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to include mindfulness into your daily routine?

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

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

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

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

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


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

– Lena Kraima

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

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

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

Namaste you beautiful souls and thanks for reading <3

Being right…

Being right…

… is not a virtue – being kind is.

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

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

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

Two weeks until Christmas

Two weeks until Christmas

Two weeks until Christmas

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

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

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

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

What happened this year seems like a massive slow down

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

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

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

Slowing down is a process of learning.

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

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

So, what are the positive effects?

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

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

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

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

Turning inward

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Where are we heading to?

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.

Take care

misssfaith <3

Center Yourself exactly where you are…

Center Yourself exactly where you are…

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!