Let’s be (un-)reasonable

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It’s weird.
When designing trainings or seminars on being creative, the biggest task is first of all to get our brain into a “crazy” state — so that unconventional thoughts and ideas have space to emerge.
And I regularly discover how much we have packed our free spirit into a corset of reasonability and convention. Sometimes we can’t even find the button to open it!
Parents know about the magic of seeing the world through children’s eyes. Naive, curious, playful, crazy – fascinated by things that we later can’t perceive any more because we have analysed, dissected and explained them. End of fascination.
Because we are told how the world works and what “you do and what you don’t do.”
If we don’t manage to break out of this framework from time to time, we will always try to solve the same problems with the same solutions — unsuccessfully. no matter how hard we try.
Because effort or “more of the same” is often not the solution.
Especially in crazy times like these we will not get anywhere with “stencil thinking”.
Why not preserving a little childish craziness?
Cultivating it?
Enjoying it?
Not only does this deliver new ideas, but also makes you happy and feeling alive.

When was the last time you felt life running through your venes? Flooded by it – with all the consequences?
When was the last time you truly relaxed?
Did something you felt like you have to do it – no matter if it is reasonable?
When did you let your feelings run free (are you still in contact with them?) – and let go?

It’s not about doing your thing ruthlessly, going crazy all the time or wanting to do things differently on principle (as well a “stencil” …).
It is about a pinch of high spirits and exuberance in the soup of life.

Yes, eat with your fingers.
Or do the gardening without gloves, feel the earth, smell it.
Let out a loud cry of joy, jump, dance, sing! (In public of course :-))
Simply do something good for strangers spontaneously – leave two more euros at the bakery, for example – for the next customer.
Or put music on your ears and sing along loudly.
Put on two different pairs of shoes or socks – simply because you couldn’t decide – or walk barefoot.
Occupy the swings in the children’s playground, leave the umbrella at home when it rains …
I’m sure you can think of many more things.
Listen to yourself.
Be spontaneous.
And then watch out what’s happeing to you.

Yeah, most probably people will stare at you, so what?
If you put your heart and soul into it, there’s a good chance that you’ll inspire others to revive as well 🙂

And if you notice that you have lost contact to your emotions because of being too controlled, sensible and socially conformist, try this:
Pause briefly several times a day and feel inside yourself. Try to describe how you feel, what you feel. Label it.
And if it is an unpleasant feeling, accept it, name what you would like to feel instead.
That is a beginning.

Don’t wait to feel life, to enjoy living. It has been proven that most people say on their deathbed that they do not regret what they did – but what they did not do.

Wouldn’t it be a shame if we stopped living before we were dead?e crazy week for you – enjoy it !

Wishing you a lively crazy week!

Two Sisters

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Dear Reader,
this week’s article is of a different nature. It’s been a while since I wrote my last story – I felt, it’s time again.
Enjoy reading and being inspired.
Birgit

One morning, two sisters woke, looked out of the window and rejoiced in the bright sunshine, the blue sky and the mild, early summer wind blowing into the room.
They looked at each other and knew: a perfect day to go outside!
While one of them disappeared into the bathroom for a moment, then threw on her summer dress and closed the front door behind her, the other was still standing in front of the wardrobe.
What to wear?
What temperatures were to expect?
She took her mobile phone and checked the weather app. Looked good.
But what if they were wrong again? What if it started raining?
Rather closed shoes then.
If she was walking on forest paths, better anyway.
But if she was going eat at a restaurant, some more elegant shoes would be better.
And maybe a sweater in case temperatures would go down after the rain?
Umbrella or raincoat?
And sunscreen in case it doesn’t rain.

She began to collect everything and arranged it on the bed.
Maybe adding a bottle of water and a little snack?
You never know!
She went down into the basement to look for a matching bag.
Some time had already passed.
When she came back up to the apartment and looked out of the window, the rain had started.
Great, she thought, all for nothing! – and started to put the whole equipment away again.

On the way back from the basement, she ran into her sister in the staircase, completely soaked, and she said: “You poor thing! Did you get caught in the rain? How was it?”

And her sister answered:

“It was wonderful! I laid in the sun on the meadow, enjoyed the wind on my skin, walked barefoot over forest soil, picked berries and discovered a spring, stretched my feet in the lake and danced in the warm summer rain on the way back!
What are we doing tonight?”

How much do you really need?

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We are so blessed.
We have pretty much everything and at our fingertips.
Not just things that are essential to life, like water and food. Also everything else. And if the store around the corner doesn’t have it, just order it on the Internet.
And mostly there is more than one version of what I need.
Just the other day I was standing in front of the refrigerator of a big supermarket and only wanted to buy one liter of milk – and had to choose between 8 different versions.
If you don’t know what you want from the beginning, you spend more time buying one liter of milk than it took to milk it . 😉

So is more always better?

More choices ask for more decisions.
Good decisions ask for more information.
Getting more information asks for investing more time.
(Of course I can also just grab one or follow the consumer advice – marketing would love me ;-))

Having more things often has similar consequences.
Having more means taking care for more.
More cleaning, more maintenance, more care.
Having a beautiful garden is wonderful. But it also means regular gardening.
Or to need even more – namely a gardener.
Then I don’t have to look after the garden, but I have to make sure I am able to pay the gardener – and maybe I will have less time to sit in the garden?
The more I want to afford, the more I have to perform.

Does having a lot really mean more freedom?
I have recently moved.
When you move, everything you have usually passes through your hands again.
I thought I didn’t have a lot of “stuff” – but I was surprised how often I asked myself the questions “do I still need this?” and “should this move with me?” And I was proud of myself, how often I answered those questions with a No.
True, the moment of letting go is strange – but afterwards I felt so much lighter.
Same applies to the furniture in my new apartment. Not everything is furnished yet and I now ask myself the question: how much furniture do I really need?
What if I just leave more space?

To my opinion, space and time is today’s luxury.
So, let’s make sure that we give our lives more space and time.
Simplicity on the outside also clears the mind.
No masterpiece has yet been created on a canvas that has been scribbled all over.

Where in your apartment (or your life) could you clean out or part with something to feel lighter? To create space?
Isn’t there that shelf in the basement…?
Or books from your studies …?
Or the “maybe-I-need-this-again”- closet”?
By the way, you can also let go of habits, thoughts or people that are not good for you.

Less is more.
Go for it.
And afterwards enjoy the ease and the room you’ve created for new things.

Just like a dear friend of mine said to me the other day:
“If there is no room to grow, nothing can flourish.”

Have a light Sunday,

Birgit

The Power of Silence

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This week, I don’t want to spend too many words.
Sometimes silence is the better choice.
Silence creates room to unfold.
We experience it far too rarely. Our world is loud, busy and characterized by continuous media input.

Those who speak cannot listen.

Yet silence is so important.
If we really want to learn something – about others and about ourselves – we have to learn to create moments of silence – and to learn to stand them.
Only stillness leads to proper listening.
Listening to your conversation partner and listening to yourself.
And I don’t only mean silence by shutting your mouth but also inner silence.
How often do our thoughts already create and answer to or interpretation of what the other one is saying – even before he or she has finished speaking?
How often do we listen in order to answer – and less in order to really understand?

Not everyone has the same pace. Some people only thaw out, only dare to reveal more when they are given time and space.
So, just wait and don’t say anything.

It is similar with our body and our mind.
Who doesn’t know the phenomenon that physical pain only becomes apparent when we come to rest? Have a holiday?
They were there before – only we didn’t hear them or didn’t want to hear them.
And there is a lot going on in our head, too.
We think an average of 60,000-70,000 thoughts per day.
Most of them are subconscious, but there is this constant mental chatter – which often motivates us to act – just as unconsciously and automatically. And this chatterbox inside is constantly being fired up by stimuli from the outside – and changes the subject faster than you recognize.
The true inner voice rarely or never gets a chance to talk.
In Buddhism there is a beautiful metaphor:
Our soul is like a deep water. If it is constantly in motion and the waves whirl up the sand, we won’t be able to see the ground clearly.
So, just look for a quiet place, no input, bear silence and be curious what happens (and be curious how long you can stand it ;-))

I wish you a powerful and quiet week!

Your Birgit

Having to want

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During the last few moths, we all had to want a lot. Sound crazy?
Seriously, isn’t it amazing what we are capable of doing once we need to want it?
When we suddenly find ourselves in situations that change everything that has slowed us down from meaningful to irrelevant?
When instead of “I should-but” we say “now!” and “if-then” becomes “when?”

  • How many companies had tried for months to introduce home office or teleworking. And then with Covid19 – woosh, it was done in four weeks.
  • Every year you set out to eat a healthier diet – with moderate success. And then your doctor discusses with you the results of your last examination and the health consequences if you don’t change anything – and woosh… more healthy food on the menu.
  • For months you plan to visit your family more regularly – but when? And then there’s this person passing away – and woosh, suddenly there’s time.

So why not acting directly before the “I should” becomes an “I should have”? This creates clarity, saves energy and precious life-time. (Because should-haves really pulls us down).

But what slows us down, why is it so hard before it has to be easy?

  • We don’t really want it. In truth, it is not important enough for us – often because something else is even more important. Sometimes we are not immediately aware of this, maybe we don’t even want to admit it … that we find e.g. sociability and meeting friends more valuable than the morning run. So? Stand by it and turn the “actually I should go running” into “now my friends are important.”
  • We think we have to. And not because of ourselves, but because we think we’re expected to. There’s this “norm”, this NORMal, the social standard. When you hear yourself saying sentences like “this is what you do/do not do” then ask yourself, who is this “you”? It is your decision – do you want to live a somebody else’s life and maybe find yourself in a situation you never wanted to be or do you want to live YOUR life? (This is, by the way, the one with the least few “if I had only” sentences at the end).
  • We have concerns. Open or hidden ones. Hidden concerns sometimes appear as prejudices – to stay with the sports example, you might subconsciously be convinced that all the sports freaks are really unrelaxed = “When I do sports, I become such an unrelaxed fellow”. Realizing these thoughts is already a good step in the right direction. Then, park your concerns and just do it. With open end. Be brave (without carelessness) – maybe you will become the very first totally relaxed sporty fellow? 😉
  • We want to do it right or don’t do it at all. Also called perfectionism. We think we have to take everything into consideration, be prepared for every little details. I can only think of two clever sayings here: 1. control is an illusion and 2. start before your are ready. The lighter your luggage is when at your start, the more space there is to pack it with valuable experiences and insights on the way!

So, which “I should” sentences are on your list? Which one would you like to turn into a “now!” the next days?

Yours, Birgit

PS: If you have a bucket list (= a list of things you really want to do before you kick the bucket) — this is a good start!

How an Attitude of Gratitude Can Help Happiness

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I am pleased to bring you another article by Dr. Haley Perlus, Ph.D. Sports & Exercise Psychology and certified fitness expert. I had the opportunity to meet Haley personally last year and can confirm – she walks the talk.
Haley is an expert in principles and strategies that lead top athletes to top results. Her portfolio ranges from mental training to personal energy management. Most strategies can be seamlessly transferred to other areas of life – and thus to all of our daily lives.
Today’s article is about appreciating the 5 big L for happiness: love, labor, learn, laughter, let go.
Have fun reading, and many thanks to Dr. Haley Perlus!

The truth is it doesn’t matter how educated you are about the dos and don’ts of healthy living if you don’t have the mindset to follow through on your intentions. Mental toughness, specifically an attitude of gratitude, is an important part of health, wellness, and overall happiness.
The best way to explain what it means to have an attitude of gratitude is to focus on the Gratitude Five: Love, Labor, Learn, Laughter, and Let Go.

Love.
For happiness, one of the greatest shifts in perceptions is moving from an attitude of what do I have to do to what do I get to do. Although you may have begun healthy living for extrinsic motives such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, when you pay attention to the strength, enthusiasm, courage, and confidence you experience, you can develop a deep love for your healthy behaviors and, even more important, a profound love for yourself.

One way to shift your perception is to replace old damaging thoughts with new, empowering, and loving thoughts that can help keep you in an attitude of gratitude and enhance positive emotions. For example, replace “My body was not meant for Yoga” with “Yoga challenges my mind and body to experience amazing things!” And replace “I hate spinach but I have to eat it” by “Eating spinach makes me feel good!”

Labor.
Any worthwhile goal requires you to fight for it. Top performers understand that to experience ultimate pleasure, they often endure some discomfort. What helps them to cope with the pain is acknowledging it exists, accepting that it’s part of the process, and being grateful for it because it is a sign they are on the right path to personal excellence.
A good friend once told me that, in every training session, he experiences a moment of struggle. It’s in this moment when he says to himself, “why am I putting myself through this?” He then reminds himself of his performance goals and immediately shifts his perception to one of gratitude for the struggle. It’s the struggle of that last pull up, mile run, or five more second hold, that can make your goals a reality. Take this lesson into every aspect of your life that requires some discomfort, but eventual peace and happiness.

Learn.
Many of my clients explain to me that learning about healthy living is overwhelming and confusing. They want someone who will tell them what to eat and how to exercise. How about you? Would it be easier if someone just gave you a set menu each day, told you how to move to exert the most calories, and sent you on your way? Although I understand the desire, I also know that, without a clear understanding of why you eat and exercise a certain way, the behavior of simply following someone else’s instructions will not help you to get results that last.
Every day, you can learn new information about all aspects of health. I recommend setting a goal to sift through the content and pick one tip to experiment with. Focusing on one tip to implement can help eliminate feeling overwhelmed and make room to truly appreciate what you just learned and how it can help you to be your best self.

Laughter.
I know that your health and performance is serious stuff. That said, when you do make a mistake, appreciating the experience and using laughter to move through it can help you to bounce back quickly. Humor is a main ingredient for health, happiness, and resilience. The next time you find yourself feeling awkward in a new yoga pose, tripping on your trail run, or burning a new recipe in the oven, do your best to be grateful for what that experience has taught you. Laugh at yourself to make the moment less intense. Then, you’ll be able to not just move forward quickly, but also with a fun story to share with others.

Let Go.
Professional athletes are obsessed with their performance, but most are equally grateful for the time off the field. Your goals are important – as they should be. When it’s time to eat and exercise, exert maximum effort towards your goals. Then, leave them “on the field” and carry out the rest of your day with equal enthusiasm, dedication, and gratitude.

The Gratitude Five provide a great overview of what it means to have an attitude of gratitude that can help your be your best self. Experiment with one today and observe how it can influence your thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and ultimately help your ability to achieve optimal results!

Dare to Ask

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If there is one thing we humans cannot stand so well, it’s uncertainty.
We are hardwired to always seek stability, to balance “imbalances”, e.g. to bring open matters to a conclusion, to bring clarity in unclear matters and to go from uncertainty to certainty – or at least to knowledge.
It feels safe and like an anchor we can hold on to and base our decisions on.

But it is not always that simple. “I know that I do not know” was already the sound of ancient times. And not even science has certainty and all the answers – as we can see every day with the Corona topic. And this is allright and as it is supposed to be. Science has nothing to do with “knowing everything already”, but with research. It is not about having an answer to everything already, but about making assumptions based on facts and then checking them by asking the right questions.
And to dismiss them when they were wrong.
And to admit this insight.
And to be able to live with the then still or again existing uncertainty. To accept it and to start over again.
It’s a highly dynamic process.

So much for science.
Now back to real life – where, unfortunately, we do not always manage to keep this learning cycle running.
There is this hunger for quick solutions and satisfaction of needs.
So we gladly resort to the usual “quick fixes”:
We get our insights by…

  • creating explanations ourselves (filling in the gaps in the facts)
  • drawing on statements from others (press, social media, friends)
  • drawing our conclusions solely on the basis of our own experience.

We always explain reality – or what we think is reality – in a way that fits into our mental narrative.

“Reality is merely an illusion – albeit a very persistent one.”
Albert Einstein

(If you love fables and analogies, take a look at the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant; if you are more the scientific type, here is a book tip: Thinking, fast and slow)

On a small scale, these quick fixes are not bad, sometimes fast thinking is even necessary – according to brain research we have to make about 20,000 decisions per day.

However, when applied permanently, they can lead to convictions and certainties that stand in our way. They prevent us from making progress. Because we do not question them. Because we only ever wander in our own reality and thus always come out at the same place when solving problems.

“The deeper the anchor of our conviction is in the sand, the more difficult it is to change the course of our boat when the wind is changing.”

So, what about your willingness to explore and research?
What do you think you know, what are you convinced of – and how did you end up with this certainty and these convictions?
Through pre-/assumptions? – “I thought that… “/ “This should definitely …” / “Probably they want …”
By concluding? – “If anyone behaves like this, then…” / “I’ve heard that before…”

Are your findings the result of unchecked assumptions or of validated assumptions?
Do you dare to ask?
Even if it might lead to unpleasant answers?
Who do you ask? Involved persons or third parties?
What do you ask? What do you want to have confirmed or what you want to know?
How do you ask? Suggestive-rhetorical or open?
How do you deal with surprising answers?
Are you grateful for insight and openness or are you unbelieving?

And even if questions are not possible or do not lead to certainty, can you live with it?
Or do you resort to the Quick Fix after all?

Dare to ask and question.
What you hear, what you are told, what you perceive – but above all, what you conclude.
Dare to question your own assumptions.
Whenever possible, ask directly. Works especially well with assumptions about people and their behaviour.
Talk to people, not about them.
And if it is not possible to check your assumptions, be humble.
Know that you probably do not know
Stand this shade of gray.
Binary judgement may feel easier, but it won’t get you anywhere.

“As long as you need heroes or culprits to explain a situation or problem plausibly, you haven’t understood it yet.”
Gerhard Wohland

Where could you switch from explanation to question mode next week?
Which blocking assumptions could you courageously reveal by asking questions and exploring them?

Dare to ask and be open to surprises!

Yours,
Birgit

Fascination Fascias

Photo: Pixabay

Today I won’t lose many words – because I want to move you!
Well-being does not only depend on mental calmness but also on relaxation in the body. Thereby the mind influences the body – and vice versa.
If we do not move enough or are under constant stress, this tension is reflected in the body.
When talking about tension, we often think of the muscles first – but it has been found that fascias can also be the source for muscle and back pain.
Fascias are soft tissue components of our connective tissue. Their nutrient supply functions via the lymphatic fluid, which also transports metabolic products. Smooth fascias therefore not only ensure better elasticity in the body but also have a positive effect on our metabolism. They have different functions: Some “fasten” our organs; fascias located under the epidermis serve as a kind of protective buffer; and the fascias that surround the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments and capsules provide protection and stability. In short: Fascias hold the individual parts of our body together and ensure that we stay in shape 😉 (The meat eaters among you may know this white, thin fibrous net over the muscle meat – that’s fascias!)
If there is a lack of exercise, fascias can harden or become sticky due to insufficient nutrient exchange and lack of lymphatic fluid removal. This can lead to limited muscle function and increased sensitivity to pain.
To keep our fascias functional and healthy, we can train them – similar to muscles. Unlike muscle training, however, fascial training is not about building up but about stretching and maintaining flexibility.
The pressure exerted when training with the fascia roll stimulates the supply of fresh lymphatic fluid (similar to a sponge, squeezed and then put in water). But stretching exercises and massages can also support and train the function of the fascia.
The video link below this article shows a nice combination of stretching exercises (facial flow).

And now get on the mat – and always stay flexible!

Video: Youtube, Erica Ziel, Fascial Flow Workout

Career = Collaboration & Connection

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You might wonder why I have chosen the topic career this week. It’s quite simple: our work plays a major role in our well-being. In best cases, it gives us a sense of achievement and a feeling of self-efficacy. It challenges and encourages us, matches our talents and values and gives us meaning.
All this leads to satisfaction, balance and motivation.
What is missing when there is no work is probably painfully obvious to some of us at the moment. And the economic forecasts that are currently communicated do not inspire much confidence.
So what’s the point of a career at a time when unemployment rates are making headlines?
A lot!

Nobody knows what the future will look like. But one thing is clear: the more aware you are of yourself, of your USPs, of your contribution and your goals – and how your can get closer to achieving them, the faster and better you will find a (your) place in the new reality.

“If we are only concerned with what skills are important today, tomorrow we will be equipped with the skills of yesterday.”

So now is the best time to do some kind of job inventory.
This includes finding answers to various questions, such as “What role does work play in my life?”, “What am I particularly good at?”, “What would I like to say goodbye to?”, “What is important to me?”, “What makes me happy?”, “What would I like to look back on in the end?” or “In what working environment do I feel comfortable?”.

You can use your time as well to take a closer look at your professional network and to expand it if necessary. No one is successful alone – and the more diverse your network is, the more valuable for your professional development.

Have a look at your contacts to see if there are people who fit into one or more of the categories listed below.
Best take a piece of paper and write down the names of the people you would assign to each category. This way you will quickly get a clear picture of the development opportunities of your network.

Illustration: Birgit Baldauf

Before you get in contact with your career supporters you should already have gained clarity about yourself and your goals. In order to better explain the different roles people play in your network, let’s assume that you want to be successful as a cook/chef.

Coaches: Are not experts in your desired field – but pros in asking the right questions at the right time. You call on their support case by case – for example, if you turn in circles or doubt yourself. A good coach has a wide range of methods and helps you to find the answer to your questions or the next step yourself. He/she stimulates your self-reflection and thus helps you to help yourself. A connection to a coach is usually solution and performance oriented.

Mentors: Are usually more experienced than you in the field you are interested in. Above all, they are experts in important, transferable skills (soft skills). They have the ability to guide, advise, encourage and hold you responsible. They know you well and understand you, your motivations and possible pitfalls on your way. A connection to a mentor is relationship-based and often lasts for a lifetime.

Sponsors: Maybe you are thinking of advertising now? And you are not that wrong! Sponsors are facilitators and enablers. They share their knowledge, create connections, make you known amongst the “right” people and offer opportunities. The sponsor is not the celebrity chef but the person who owns the restaurant or hotel where the celebrity chef can grow and create.

Professors: : The experts of theory. They are walking encyclopedias in their field, love their area of expertise and challenge you to keep you up to date by continuous learning. They are your teachers.

Professionals: They are your shining role model – they are in that spot you aspire for your future! It is the celebrity chef who is a master in putting their competence into practice – with a personal touch. What you can learn: how to successfully apply the knowledge of the professors- and develop your own brand. Professionals are experienced, they know and continuously study their competitors and the market – and learn from it.

Peers: Current or future ones. They are where you are now or where you would be next. They can either provide you with valuable feedback on your strengths and areas of development as well as your professional self and your impact on others. Or they are the ones you can ask how your future work will look and feel – e.g. in different kitchens (star restaurants, canteen, hotel, hospital …).

Good friends: They know you personally and share your values. They know your deeper motives and obstacles – and dare to talk straight and give you honest feedback.

So, what does your list look like?
Who would you like to contact in the coming week?

Good luck with the network for success!

No Plan?

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
(Mike Tyson)

These straight words of Mike Tyson launched a wonderful blog article by Förster & Kreuz this week. It describes why the ordinary act of making plans no longer works in today’s world and what we can do instead to move forward and to avoid getting stuck.

The quote inspired another thought in my mind:

Way too often we invest our energy into the wrong actions – making detailed plans and thinking and planning everything a thousand times is part of it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that we shouldn’t think and plan at all. But if the unpredictability of things is continuously increasing and the aspects contributing to a situation are becoming ever more numerous, complex and confusing, and the shelf-life of knowledge ever shorter, in other words, if life is always changing according to chaotic principles, how is something like a static plan supposed to work?

However, we still do have this need to plan – but is less the situation but rather us asking for this plan. Reflecting, considering and coordinating gives us a feeling of control and security – in what is actually an uncontrollable environment. Maybe you are one of those people who always intensify their planning actions when they think that a situation is slipping away from them or that a feeling of helplessness is creeping in due to circumstances that have never been experienced before?

But what else if not planning can give us that feeling of security in the chaos?
What should we do instead of measuring, weighing, assessing, judging?

Don’t occupy your mind with increasing your knowledge about waves – instead, train your competence to ride them.

I’m not a surfer, but the image immediately comes to my mind when I consider the circumstances described above. What good is it for the surfer if he knows everything about waves, their origin, course, occurrence, duration, size, volume, speed – when he stands on his board and faces a unprecedented wave and he simply lacks the ease in his knees and the practice of standing it?

So, let’s rather put our energy into building up our abilities to deal with whatever comes our way in a confident, solution-oriented and easy way.

The last months have brought numerous unprecendented waves – and the sea of our reality will probably remain quite rough in the future.

What do we need to stand it?

  1. Personal responsibility
  2. Openness to change
  3. Pioneering spirit and curiosity
  4. Focus – in the here and now!
  5. Willingness to collaborate
  6. Willingness to learn and develop
  7. Positive attitude towards mistakes

Where do you encounter situations in everyday life where you can practice this?

  1. Whenever you catch yourself thinking or using words like “if, then …”, “he/she should …”, “I can’t help it, that’s …”, it is time to put an inner stop to yourself and ask yourself: “what was/is YOUR contribution to the situation? What can YOU do to accept/change/complete/leave it? (Regardless of the behaviour or opinion of other people – you are the only one responsible for your life).
  2. When was the last time something changed in your life? Without your intervention? Maybe even against your will? In a way you didn’t like? How did you react? How much energy did you put into the resistance against unchangeable circumstances? If the wave is too big, too fast, too wild, it doesn’t help to complain about it. Accepting change is especially easy to train if you deliberately step out of your comfort zone from time to time in your everyday life – controlled uncomfort, so to speak. Approaching people when you are shy, wearing something you usually would never wear, going on vacation without a room reservation, etc.
  3. There is a traffic jam on the planned route? The ingredients planned for dinner are no longer available in the supermarket? Your guests arrive half an hour early? How do you feel about this? Try “wow, maybe I’ll discover new ways to avoid the traffic jam “. – “I wonder what happens if ingredient x is replaced by ingredient y? This will then be my secret recipe!” or “Hey, glad you’re here! Will you help me with the preparations?”
  4. Do you ever find yourself thinking, “If only I had…” – don’t bother. It won’t do any good to solve the situation you’re in now. Worse still, it draws important energy from the here and now and puts it into the past – which you can’t change anyway. Focus all your attention on the only “time” you have influence in – the present moment. What exactly do you perceive NOW? What can you do NOW?
  5. When was the last time you asked someone for help? Or for an opinion? Getting ideas and suggestions? What is stopping you? Maybe the fact that you see the situation you have to cope with in a completely different way than others? That’s a good thing! The more perspectives, the more possible solutions! None is wrong or right – and many are worth a try! Because if you do, what you hace always done you will get what you always got.
  6. Ask yourself every evening what you have learned over the day. Learning is to be understood in a broader sense. It can also come as knowledge – about yourself, others, life, a situation … or discovery – of something new – in your environment, everyday life, about yourself … But maybe you have also experienced something interesting? It doesn’t matter – the important thing is that you never assume that you have finished learning. Because what you have learned today will be obsolete the day after tomorrow.
  7. How do you deal with yourself when you make a mistake, forget something or something goes wrong? And what is your attitude towards the fallibility of your fellow human beings? Without mistakes there is no learning. Wanting to avoid mistakes means paralysing yourself and not developing any further. Where do you not dare to take the next step for fear of doing something wrong or failing?

All this may sound like a lot.

I would say get on the board and ride the waves. And then – one after the other, ease in your knees and – enjoy the ride!

Yours, Birgit