One year ago I left Germany, quit my job after 11 years as IT-consultant for banks and took a flight to Dublin. At that time, I just planned to go to Ireland and Canada.
My aims were to find out ideas for my seminars, become more open and give people a chance, follow my heart and listen to warning signals, check out different things even if it means to leave the common path.
In the last year I discovered my love for Buddhism and meditation. I went to Spain and fell in love with the country and people. I did a Yoga Teacher Training in Canada and went to Mexico where I still am. I am very thankful for the people I meet and have met. Now I feel that I need a place where I feel grounded. A place where I can go, have roots and always come back.
In this post I would like to share with you the 6 main things I learnt so far on my journey.
The six main things I learnt so far on my journey
I know the title sounds a bit like one of the posted links on Facebook that should attract people to read it ;-). And yes I hope the title attracts people to read my post because I would love to share my experience with you all and hopefully it inspires you a bit.
I got lots of inspiration through talking with people, attending a retreat in a Buddhism Center in Ireland, attending a Louise Hay workshop, my Yoga Teacher Training and through facing my fears to see what is behind it.
Now I understand things better and see it is a life time journey. Some things I know very good in theory but the practice, is another thing. I see that I find myself again in a situation and do similar mistakes. However, I realized I had more awareness and understanding for others and myself through this process.
These experiences are how we learn.
1. Love and Accept yourself
Wow! That is allowed? Well, it might sound selfish or arrogant but it is not.
Often we look to things from outside to make us happy like a fancy dress or car. Or another person shall make us feel good: He or she makes me feel like this...
In a sense of material things I experienced that the more I had, the more I feared to lose. I was looking even more into things from outside to make me happy. When I made my decision to move abroad and sold most of my stuff on eBay, I felt relieved. There was nothing to lose anymore... Well, that obviously does not work for some people. ;-).
In Ireland in the Buddhism Center, I heard the first time about loving and accepting myself. If you love yourself, nothing can hurt you because you love yourself. I am the only person who knows what I need and what makes me happy. If I love myself I can give out honest love to others without expectations.
That means also self-acceptance. When I started my journey I thought I want to become a better person. Well, that includes that something would be wrong with me.
Now I know my journey is about self-acceptance.
It does not mean to have a free ticket and to act like how I want to, but to accept my whole being. It is something to work on my whole life.
2. Give love and kindness to others without expectations
When we start to love and accept ourselves we can give out love and kindness to others without expectations to get something back.
In Buddhism, it’s said that first we have to make ourselves happy and then, others. Then it comes from our heart.
I work on that... For example, before I send someone a lovely message, I try to think about if I do it from heart or because I expect to get something back.
It means for me, to do something with more awareness: is it honest? What is my real need?
If I do it really from my heart and just let someone know I am thinking of him or her, then it feels right and good. That is everything. The other one will either write back or not.
Well, I am working on that...
3. It is for sure that everything will change
"Nothing is permanent, expect change" - Heraclitus
Yep, very true. Even if we have a "secure" job and lots of insurances in life, nothing is secure. Everything changes. Every day is different than the day before. Actually isn't it a waste of time to plan every detail for the future?
I don't want to say waste your money and have a party every day. However, live in the present moment instead of in the future.
What is on your mind when you listen to it? Are you thinking about tomorrow, the next week, the project you are working on, or are you just aware what is going on around you and to be present in the moment?
How fast can our life be over due to an accident or illness? It is not my intention to bring up worries as a lot of people have. The opposite is the case.
Through Buddhism,I learnt - at least in theory, - when we accept death as part of our lives we do not have to fear it anymore. It is preparing for the death as something normal without fearing it. We can live more in the present and appreciate the moment and life with more awareness.
I’m also working on that...
4. Follow your heart, it will be always right
Ok, but how? Following my heart is something I did a lot on my journey. I had often been in a situation in which I had to make a decision. When something did not feel right.
Often I slept a night over it and then, made my decision. Then it felt right and I answered my own question: What is it that I really want to do?
Actually we all know how it works. If something doesn’t feel right, we can listen to our heart and take a break to just listen.
I started with a simple tool. I learnt from a friend of mine during my Yoga Teacher Training: writing morning pages.
It is the first thing I do before I check out emails, messages and Facebook (that was usually the first thing I did). I write exactly three or more pages with everything that is on my mind. After a while it is very interesting how busy my mind already is after waking up.
It is a technique from a book named The Artist's Way from Julia Cameron and should help to awaken creativity. I haven't read the book yet but I like the technique a lot. Often, I find out by writing down my thoughts. I realize what I really want.
5. You get back what you give out
My favourite quotation is from Luise Hay and one of my biggest lessons on my journey. It is a topic you will find in almost all my posts. Maybe the first thought about that simple sentence is: "Ah yes of course when I am unfriendly I get that back..."
I like to see it in a positive way. My Yoga Teacher, Joy read one day the following quotation for us:
"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny."
I bet the most of us were thinking: Oops, I have to be careful... Then Joy said that in our Western culture we tend to do exactly that: putting it in a negative way. So she read it again like this:
"Watch your beautiful thoughts; they become great words.
Watch your great words; they become kind actions.
Watch your kind actions; they become amazing habits.
Watch your amazing habits; they become lovely character.
Watch your lovely character; for it becomes your beautiful destiny."
I use that quotation sometimes in my Yoga classes and read it in the same way like Joy did it for us.
Well, I experienced the lesson of "what you give out, you get back" in both ways negative and positive or rather I experienced, that it works...
I see it works for attracting people as well. If I am in an open and relaxed mood I attract people like that. If I am very anxious and negative I attract people with that kind of mindset... So simple...
6. don't have too much expectations
That is something I learnt from my Yoga Teacher Joy. She taught us if we follow our heart and don't have too much expectation, everything will be fine.
When we plan everything until the end and have certain expectations how things should be, we can become very disappointed. We might not be open to other things because we already have in our minds, how it should be.
I am a very goal-oriented person. I need goals and I love to set them. Sometimes they were quite high... In between I had the expectation that I will earn some money with my blog. Well, I do not. But I love to write and share my experiences. Also I consider if it is really an aim of mine our just something that comes from outside.,,
Now I try to define my goals more open and simple. It works very well, so far. Sometimes I have to remind myself about it.
For example when I went to San Jose del Cabo to teach Yoga and volunteer, I did not have too much expectations. Well, things were different than it was written in their workaway profile. Some projects they mentioned did not exist anymore. I could have been very disappointed.
Instead, I just remembered what my goals were coming to Mexico: I wanted to practice my Yoga teaching skills and learn Spanish. Therefore, I started to use the space and took it as an opportunity. So I gained lots of experiences as a Yoga Teacher and to practice my Spanish as well :-).
On the other hand, when I had negative expectations like "that won't work out..." And it did not work out. Actually, I could not be disappointed because I already said it would not work. For me, this is a self-fulfilling prophecy and brings me back to my favourite quotation: You get back what you give out...
Life time work and sharing my experiences
I am very thankful for all the opportunities and people I have met on my journey. Everything that helps me to grow and to understand. I really love to share my experiences with all of you.
I love to do it in my posts and now, in my Yoga and meditation classes. My biggest wish is to offer retreats and workshops to combine everything I have learnt. I want to inspire people to become more balanced and open-minded and to appreciate the simple things in life.
I’m collecting ideas at the moment on how to do this… I see, it is time to be more grounded...
***Update 13rd of August 2015"""
I just got started!
Check out what I would love to share with you. I am looking forward to seeing you!
Thanks for all your support and following me! I appreciate it.