The first step is recognition, the second is…

Observations

Yesterday evening, I felt alone, powerless when it comes to life and I was very insecure about whether I was doing the right things. I still have no answer to these feelings. They sometimes come up. Together with those feelings was a strong desire to have a space of my own, a space that looks like me. A place I can enter and say: thank God, I am home.

Recently I underwent too much trouble again, too much stress and for the first time in my life I can think of, I have trouble answering even private messages. It’s been only half a week that this phenomenon started improving and I asked my friend Amy if something like emotional burnouts exist and she, who is a personal trainer, says, yes. This could be it. I might be suffering from an emotional burnout while still worried about some basic issues such as health insurance, which among other things caused me a quite long nightmare last night. And I feel very distracted from solving my problem. I also did in my dream.

So, here’s an observation I have made. In April I bought this amazing feather earring which broke in May. The fine noose had broken into two sole and very short strings, unconnected and without me having any idea of how to fix it. Throughout the months I often looked at it, not knowing exactly what I could do.

This morning I saw the ear wire on my desk and I went to the kitchen to look at the feather part. I remembered that I have a small carry on sewing kit and brought all three items together on the sofa. I took a white thread and started sewing, connecting both loose ends. Within the process I thought that I could also try to tie the feather end with the thread to the ear wire. And it worked. In less than five minutes, I had fixed my dearest feather earring from Acre, Brazil.

So, this is, what it’s like in life. When you have a complex problem, you won’t find a complete solution right away. You can move in steps. The first step is recognizing that it’s there. Furthermore, look at it. The second is, to start working on it with an idea you have and the solution will appear along the way.

Advertisements

Calmness & Serenity

Observations

When I got up early this morning, there was nothing left of yesterday’s holiday feeling. A time schedule had to be followed. But the short break in the countryside gave me at least an idea about how to improve my time situation. Well, to improve may actually be exaggerated. Better would be: how can I at least not make my situation worse? A friendly professional coach suggested that I should make a T-shirt with the words “I have no time”, because this phrase is constantly coming out of my mouth. And when he asks me about the F word, he actually means “focus” and not “fuck”, as it always crosses my lips. So a T-shirt with the words “I have no f … time” would then explain two essential things about my current life.

For how many things do we have no time, because we sit on the carousel, which is going around faster and faster. And since the old, white wooden horses also look cute, we sometimes barely notice that the rush is anything but healthy for our bodies. While we are then part of the WhatsApp stories of our loved ones, we hardly get to notice anymore who is waiting there for us with their love.

The rushing has other disadvantages; One of the biggest things is that we can not hear our own inner voice anymore. No time! Peel fruits for breakfast? – No time. The good friend, who will be in front of your door in two weeks, how about calling her and talk to her again after three months and just ask how she is doing? – No time! Completing the formalities of an over-bureaucratised world around you. – No time. Take of my make-up properly before going to sleep? – Oh, please!

“Having time” was something that I have worked for the last few years and step by step. It’s something I like. I enjoy living in peace. Nevertheless, I let panic arise too easily. Sometimes I have the feeling that the more relaxed I am, others become even more restless. And very quickly, this mood gets back to me. And panic makes me feel driven and rushed, a disease women of my family suffer from, one could say.

Years ago, I once told Eric, my psychologist, about this phenomenon. I live with a loaded gun held at my back, and so felt my Aunt Franka, and so it is with my mother. There is always someone standing there telling you how incredibly lazy and inefficient you are. Actually total nonsense! But the feeling comes up again and again.

Also, Eric is online in less than ten minutes.

Calmness and serenity. Listening to the inner voice. The perception of others. The conscious experience of one’s own life. Listening to life. The serene waiting for the beautiful and simple things that always surround us, if we want that to be.

The anticipated suffering that I always carry with me when I have to make seemingly difficult decisions. Anticipated suffering whenever something looks terribly wrong. Cancel an already promised job with a signed contract 12 hours prior to departure? That’s not right. And I am suffering. But I created this situation myself. The famous self-sabotage. Why could not I see that? – I had no f … time.

 

background beautiful blossom calm waters

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My Relationship With Attention

Observations

Old new topics are always coming up! Sometimes I find the creativity and relaxation I need to write a post, sometimes it becomes a poem and mostly thoughts just find their endpoints in my own mind.

There are three things to say about attention in my life. Let’s start with the second. Three years ago my dearest and sweetest mentor Marco told me that the most important thing is to pay attention. And I couldn’t agree more. When paying attention while also being capable of remaining quiet, we learn to see what is going on around us.

After he told me that, I made a bigger effort to pay more attention and recognized many things in my old relationship.

Now, the first thing I wanted to say about attention: my mother told me last Christmas that my capability of paying attention is one of my special traits. I did not consider that for a long time, also because in some sense I had to learn to close my perception, because when walking down the streets of Heidelberg, I started being very anxious. I feared that when not seeing someone I was supposed to greet, people could be mad at me. Also, I did not want to greet everybody all the time. And further, I did not want to call attention and to be seen. I was a relative attractive young woman, so eyes automatically fell on me, even when people may not have wanted to look at me. But well! Before developing a neurosis at the age of 23, I decided to start to ignore my surroundings when walking on streets. And I feel that I missed a lot of beautiful things for over a long period. Now I have them back!

The third thing is, that through mindfulness exercises and honesty towards the nature of existence itself, I started to develop a stronger attention span and I really like it. Of course, it can make life difficult, because attention has become rarer than gold in our societies. What I can see, stays invisible to most people’s eyes and minds. Yet, it is the most efficient tool to be able to develop ourselves and help others.

And the latter is what life is about: helping others.

 

low angle photography of red metal tower

Photo by Anni Roenkae on Pexels.com

A thousand titles this could have

Observations

Really! It’s been days where I was suffering from an emotional blockage. From time to time it seemed a bit easier though. Meeting with my friends or talking to them on the phone, walking in the park helped me for a second, and surprisingly, listening to Marlene Dietrich’s songs seems to give me the ‘right’ perspective now again. So much perspective, that I started writing this post, which always means sharing my inner as well.

Everyone around me is worried about how it went back in Brazil, whether I managed to solve everything during my trip in April, and I can say, that I managed to close peacefully a long chapter of my life and that the process was important. I felt the support of old and new friends, enjoyed feeling the city of São Paulo, loved the new experiences I made and felt taken care of. Now, there’s real room for a reorientation. Not so easy though. Right now it is unclear to me, how I would like to proceed. Anyways! That’s another part of the story.

I have learned a lot about myself and my life. Also about life and the connection between all living creatures. Well! Let’s just say: it’s beautiful to see even clearer the ‘matrix’ but it surely doesn’t make my life easier. On the contrary! After watching closely, you are even more aware of people’s reactions, emotions and contents. In fact, I attended two/three events this week and felt that all were entirely contentless. Not immediately, but slowly moving forward into my consciousness. On such events people talk and talk and hang meaningless images on the walls. They produce plenty of fatuous contents. But when they spoke, I couldn’t hear anything new. When they showed their work, I only saw a bunch of colorful brush strokes, a mere practice of technique. Of course, doubting one’s own perception is among the first things I do. Seriously! I am not standing there and believe that I found life’s highest wisdom, nor that I myself could do it much better. But well!

These days nothing really helped me to get into a better mood. Things only got more and more dull. That’s the right word to describe it, “dull”! And so it went, until I started listening to Marlene Dietrich. I really recommend watching her movies. They remind us of the fact that certain problems exist everywhere and within every circle of people. And talking about circles, we may remember that development moves in circles all the time. It’s always been the way it is now. Only the surface looks differently.

Courage my heart, take leave and fare thee well.” (Hesse, Steps, the German original expresses this really well)

How we help each other to heal

Observations

I have been very silent on my blog while my life was moving in all directions. It has been two months now that I rented a room/apartment in a new neighborhood and I feel that this quiet neighborhood is good for me. Since then I have done a lot of things. I am deepening my knowledge about almost everything that interests me, be it acting, contemporary arts, translation or poetry among others. And the most amazing part is the journey with others.

For each area and each part of myself, I encounter a person who corresponds to it in real life and we get into exchange. For example, thanks to the belief of Vito, a friend who is a pianist, I am about to record my first audio book and had a great first poetry reading at a bar here in Berlin. It was such a good feeling to read out my poetry and have the listeners engage emotionally. Amazing!

So, life brings all those lovely people into my reality, continuously. I am never alone. And old friends and those who are turning into friends from olden days are here, too. I am simply really happy about the love that I feel.

Also, I see that the exchange is both sided in all cases. Even though I am not always capable of defining or perceiving with what I am helping the other, I know that there is something I do somehow.

You know how it feels when you want to hug the world? Right now is such a moment!

Thank you, everybody! Thank you for helping me heal! Thank you, for letting me stay by your side the bit of time I can.

close up photo of person holding crystal stone

Photo by Deena on Pexels.com

You learn

Observations

Learning is permanent. It is a way of obstacles the deeper we get into something. I have learned so much about human beings in the past year and my path continues. It is unimaginable how complex, similar and still different people are. Some aspects you can group and still each one is a unique set of characteristics.

I guess, I am becoming smarter when it comes to people while still maintaining my positive view on the world and them. I know that each of us has to work on our own stuff, our character and that everybody, if motivated, can become a better version of themselves.

My life in Berlin has calm and intense phases. I don’t go out much anymore to meet new people but I invest more time in the people I know. That feels good and strengthens our bonds.

Friends are extremely important when it comes to our development. Learning to open up, to share information will show you that most people have something to add to your story that might move you forward. Usually this is the case with me. I love the people who get close to me and I am accepting the time life gives us for the past 3 decades, never expecting more than is there.

One of the things I am working on, is to look into the future. This is very difficult for me. I unlearned to think far ahead, to have objectives and even worse, to have dreams. So, it starts with those little dreams. Like the one I wrote about, to pass next winter working in a warm part of the world. And I mention this frequently in front of friends and acquaintances and it becomes more real. All the rest though are mere ideas, sometimes just wishes, sometimes visions I can’t fully grasp.

My mother told me that it was important to have dreams, otherwise you won’t move in life to achieve something. Now, I need to figure out how to define wishes or goals that make sense to me. The last poem reflects a bit this difficulty. I am such a happy single and enjoy being me and learning. But shouldn’t I take care as well? I might get lost along the track, along the years and I see women seeking for something serious while I at my age just live my life. Do I want another serious relationship? Do I want to have children? A shy voice in me says yes, but I don’t want to ever give up on my freedom of choice again.

The freedom of choice is an essence of life, what makes me being me. I am aware of life passing, I have always been. As a five year old I was philosophizing about what consciousness would be like after death.  But the way I deal with this sure end of my physical and conscious being, changes. I am not sad about it anymore. I start preparing for something that will happen hopefully only in decades from now. It makes me live truer and thus more satisfied. Bit by bit. But what again is it with long term goals? How much sense do they make? That is what I have to figure out and learn to balance.

Good night world!

aerial photo of mountain surrounded by fog

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Thank you 2018!

Memories, Observations

2018 is coming to its end and I am in Svib, Croatia, where I spend the Christmas season with my family. For me Christmas started on the 22nd with the invitation of the father and continued throughout all these days being closer to my family.

In January this year I had written down a post with the title “JANUARY, 1ST, 2019 – WHAT I DID IN 2018“, an exercise to get the things you want to happen in that year and some of them became true, others didn’t. I want to quote the listed objectives of that post and reflect on their fulfillment or non-fulfillment.

Let’s start!

I had a surgery to treat my endometriosis and it went fine. I quickly recovered and had no side effects and my abdominal pain was reduced to almost 0.

The surgery went really well but it was the most painful time of my life. It was not only that a bunch of organic material had been removed but also my intestine had to be scraped clean. The period your intestine needs to get back to function is a challenge, but I managed. The surgery was important in many aspects for me to see life. One is that I believe that my fear in the relationship I had, had caused all these organic materials to grow. But more about that in a later quote.

I have also held some great workshops regarding East Asian cultures and arts which brought me interesting new clients who appreciate my knowledge and which again motivated me to continue broadening my personal knowledge in this field.

I was part of one workshop series about the Chinese New Year and related the Chinese Zodiac to one of artist Ai Weiwei’s works (of course, it had to be intellectual as well). I met interesting colleagues working in related fields but also some of my old and current students attended the workshop and I got to know them better. The beautiful aftermatch was that I managed to get into Ai WW’s project in Trancoso as an interpreter and could observe how a mega art project is actually organized and created which was enrichening for my personal development and understanding of things.

I should not forget to tell you that Carla and me developed a female entrepreneur group in which women learn from each other and gain the right motivation for their own projects.

That was in discussion but did not happen. Carla and me know each other for quite some time now and our friendship, fellowship turns more and more into common business projects. We started “Save Me Teacher BR” on Instagram in November this year, aiming to help those interested in learning Brazilian Portuguese and hoping of course to build up a larger community which will then translate back into language teaching and language solutions.

Also I published three new books, one with my friend Carla on Brazilian culture and another poetry collection, this time in Portuguese. The third book even found a publisher, which is a volume for young Brazilian Chinese learners.

Well! Not exactly but that’s explicable. The projects that survived and are under development needed a certain liberation and maturity from my side. A week ago I published a poetry volume in Brazilian Portuguese named “A Busca Pelas Palavras: Poemas da Minha Alma Brasileira” on Amazon. The book is divided into three phases of my life. The end, the middle and the beginning, covering a time span of 2 1/2 years of my life.

The book for Brazilian kids learning Chinese is half way through and I am looking for investments and publisher (or both in one) to finish it soon. I was very afraid that I might have lost the wonderful person who is illustrating the stories due to the confusions and changes that were going on in my life. But we are still a team and we are going to finish this.

I still want to do the book with Carla!

One new book project, a story about Berlin, is in development. Yes! I am getting there!

Professionally I am pursuing more and more the creative way. I am teaching and translating less and working more and more in the intercultural field, where I can help people more directly with specific problems in their adaption process.

This is actually becoming true! I started calling myself a writer and poet without shame. I still shy away when people give me a compliment because I am only self-published and never sought for a publisher.

Also I believe in all the skills I acquired the last eight years after graduating from university and found a really nice project of learners’ material creation, which again will give me more knowledge to go for my own more contemporary projects in 2019. I started believing in myself again. Isn’t that an amazing feeling?

Our guesthouse Villa Luka also faced a great year. We had many tourists from all over the world and all costs related can be covered easily by the income we have.

Well, we improved by almost 100% but still far away from covering the costs. Estimatedly we’re going to need three more years to record figures in the black.

My relationship is going very smooth and I am happy to say that I am seven months pregnant. Since it is fine for pregnant women to fly I have spend Christmas 2018 with my family in Croatia and we had a great time. Everybody opened up and we strengthened our bonds even tighter.

Well, almost all of you know by now that this did not happen. And you know what? I added this part to my article out of inner guilt. It was my ex’s highest objective to have a child. No matter how our relationship went, no matter how I felt, no matter where I was in my mind. All these years that we had tried and I didn’t manage, I had to listen to his voice accusing me of not wanting to have children. Well, in the end I saw that this was partly true. I was afraid of having children with him, of his teaching methods that I could observe first hand on myself and I could not imagine this to work out. For a while I thought, well, if we have a child and don’t get along, I can still separate from him. But that created other fears, the fear of being controlled for the rest of my life through the bond of a child. It was only during my Trancoso interpreter job that I had managed to be honest towards myself and towards him and I told him that I did not want to have a child with him. In consequence we broke up, smoothly.

About Christmas, I am here. And summer and Christmas strengthened my bonds with my family again. With many of the family members at least. That’s wonderful!

I myself understand life so much better now and really focus on the things that matter to me at the moment. Letting life flow and not being mad about the little things that don’t seem to add up right on the spot, don’t annoy me much and I don’t spend much time thinking about those.

Simply true!

We have moved to a nicer place where we have enough space to be a family and I support my husband in his career as much as he does support mine. He now understands that life is not always a straight red line, that all the things we do can be connected someday and that the experience I have made in all my fields is beneficial for my current and future tasks.

The tension when we actually were working on moving together was so big that I cancelled the whole project. And that was really smart. He soon was not working in that city anymore.

I am sure that my dear ex understands now that life is not a straight line.

And I see that all the experience I made is beneficial to me. Yes, I do!

Thank you 2018! You’ve been wonderful to me!!!

You were! Thank you 2018!

Self Control Through not Buying Goodies

Observations

Most of us have a weakness. To some this is clothes, shoes, accessories and to others it’s electronics, household supplies and others.

On the 13th of December last year, I had decided to not buy clothes and accessories for a whole year. Well, I managed almost seven months until I started a new job and needed some adequate clothing and still these seven months were worth it.

I have this thing that I want things to always match, so you end up buying shoes in a certain color and only use them once a year. Some of you probably know what I mean!

Surprised by myself, I saw that not buying clothes was not a big deal for me, even though I like shopping centers. I didn’t look into the windows with a feeling of longing. In fact, after a very short time I could walk by windows without noticing much the offers. And when I saw some really creative fashion, I was able to simply admire it.

The most positive effect of not buying was for me the simple feeling of gaining more control over my life. I didn’t have the intention to save money since I might have spent only about 600 dollars a year for new clothes, a third of what the average person in developed countries spends. But I just had enough of everything.

Another thing I learned was to have pieces I liked simply fixed. The tailor I selected close to my place fixed and adjusted some of my clothes and the shoemaker was happy about my visits, too.

When you have less, you travel lighter. And to travel light I had to sell and give away still probably about 100 kgs.

The self-control you practice transfers to other areas of your life, bit by bit. I love this exercise.

Now facing the German winter I was stocking up again a bit but it’s December the 14th today and I will go for a second round of regaining self-control.

Just try it! To some it’s easier and to others harder. Once you start, you’ll soon get used to it and see how it changes your mind and your life.