The delicate Art of Communication
Communication is the most important tool we have as human beings to interact with one another and the world around us. Wether we are actually talking or not we are in constant communication with the universe; with our thoughts, feelings, actions and mannerisms. This also happens to be the single most challenging thing we face in our relationships to one another. Has anyone ever learned how to communicate clearly and in a healthy manner? I wonder. I certainly haven't and over the past few months I had to face my own shortcomings in that subject. It certainly is difficult to navigate this mine ridden territory of relating to others and to not forget yourself in the process. I recently came back from a long trip to Germany and Spain to visit my family and friends who I hadn't seen for many years. There I had to play the translator for my entire family, friends and even strangers; translating into German, English and Spanish using my hands and feet when all else failed. It was exhausting. Yet this is nothing new to me since I grew up in a multi cultural family and ultimately marrying an American. One definitely learns the intricacies of communication and the subtle signs that go along with it. Add different countries to the mix and you have a complex web of cultural do's and don'ts.
My mom always used to say: "The tone makes the music." Instead of only seeing my own pain, I have found it very productive for the sake of any conversation not to immediately accuse or dish out blame. We are so quick to say negative things but somehow it seems harder for us to say nice things to one another. Most people will immediately shut down if you start pointing out all of their mistakes. Why not start by acknowledging your concern or love for that person/relationship you share and point out that your objective is merely to strengthen and deepen the bond based on honesty and mutual trust. Most people will be much more willing to communicate then.
It is quiet ironic that I should be the one helping others in their relationships through communication when growing up my family did anything but. In the past few months I had come to the painful realization how toxic it can be to keep things in and not talk about them. We tend to avoid speaking up because we are afraid we might offend or hurt the other person. Other times we may feel ashamed of our own feelings that we decide to bury them. But they have a way of unexpectedly surfacing don't they! I have held back for too many years. I have not acknowledged my own feelings. Half of the time I didn't even know how I was feeling because I never stopped to think about it. Then if you avoid long enough stuff becomes twisted and muddy that to understand yourself is like walking through a swamp. When we hold back for too long our communication takes the form of anger outbursts and frustration. We attack because deep inside we feel unvalidated. Usually however it isn't the other persons fault. Most of the time our partners, friends or family members won't even know where our anger is coming from. So we need to learn to address things as they arise so they do not have a chance to fester. We need to love ourselves enough to honor our feelings and let our needs be heard. In a healthy conversation the other person does not have to agree with you or even understand what you mean. What is most important is that the other person allows you to be heard and respects theft that you feel the way you feel. That is all: Validation and respect so that you can feel safe to open up. We do not need to agree on the situation in question as long as we can agree that we all feel anger, jealousy, grief, fear etc. and have compassion for our partner/friend who is experiencing these feelings in that particular moment. We can empathize with that because we have all felt them at some point or another in our own lives.
We don't always have to agree. Everybody communicates differently and perceives life challenges differently. But you may be surprised how someones' approach, no matter how different from yours, may open you up to a new way of looking at your own situation. The older we get the more stuck in our ways we can become. So it can be quiet refreshing to put yourself in another persons shoes. It may even soften your previous opinion about them.
After seeing the patterns in my own family and in our throw away society today, I have realized that most of us enter any relationship, be it a friendship or partnership, with the objective to get something out of it. Maybe its fun, companionship, sex, or not to feel alone etc. We usually never approach a relationship thinking: "What can I bring to the table?" We give up too quickly and move on to the next best thing. I mean we all have to be honest with ourselves here. Its the truth. Yes I love my friends, husband and the people I know but at the core we enter these relationship seeking to get something from it. Not for selfish reasons but because we hurt or do not love ourselves enough. Instead of only seeing your pain maybe you can turn that thinking around and try to see what joy that could be brought out of any relationship that you enter from now on.
In the last year I have addressed so many issues in my own life that all go back to my childhood and way of thinking, feeling. It wasn't easy by any means, to see the raw truth of not only what had been done to me but also what my words and actions had caused in other people lives. Yet I do have to admit, I would rather go through this emotional roller coaster to understand myself better than to avoid. To avoid is to push yourself away. To avoid is to not know yourself. And lets be honest that's stupid! The more I am learning about myself through my relationships to others, the stronger I feel. I suffer but I am gaining inner strength. To avoid myself is almost like avoiding life itself. I feel more grounded and present then I have ever felt before in my life. I know many of you are suffering right now or have been but I send you love and light on your exciting journey of self-discovery. What are the lesson's you have been l;earning about yourself in the past few months? Feel free to share, I would love to hear from you.
"Love does not consist in one perfect sunrise gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction." ~ Saint-Exupery
On a recent walk, a heartshaped rock caught my eye as they so often do. But there was something different about this particular one. One could make out the shape of heart, yet it was very lumpy and had many rough edges. For a second I was contemplating whether I should throw it back from where I had picked it up or not. I have found many heart shaped rocks throughout the years on my many walks and travels. Rocks, pebbles, shells and even gemstones all much prettier than this specimen. Perfectly shapen and pleasing to the eye. Yet as I was examining it, something prevented me from simply discarting it. Almost as if a faint voice was speaking to me. Maybe it was the rock. I don't know. As I held this imperfect rock in my hand; lumpy and crooked that faint voice imparted: "Love is not perfect. Nor does it strive to be." I put it in my pocket and pondered that thought on my walk. Loving someone isn't always a smooth affair. Sometimes we get rejected or others respond to us with stinging blows below the belt. Love is messy. In Love you don't always see eye to eye. We all come from such diffrent backgrounds. We each have our own history, some better than others. We all carry baggage that weighs us down and dictates how we choose to participate in this world. Although we may fear different things, we have all known fear. Fear that spreads like a poison and paralyzes our bodies and taints our thoughts. True Love consists of accepting and respecting one another despite our diffrences. When there is Love underneath all of the wordly struggles we face each day, then there is nothing that can't be overcome by our trying. Love is not perfect. Why would it be? Why should it be? Life is to Love and to Love is to learn and grow together.
This year has certainly been difficult in terms of relationships. All manner of relationships really; partners, friends, enemies, acquaintances and most importantly the realtionship you have with yourself. We must flow with the changes. We must allow the perfect imperfections to show and embrace them, communicate our needs even if for the very first time. Because to Love also means to be open, to not be afraid to show your loved ones who you are. Don't judge yourself to harshly in the process. We all try to do our best. Sometimes we fall short and may disappoint, most of all ourselves, but be forgiving and know that you can always choose differently next time.
I contemplated my own choices on my walk and know all too well they have not always been the wisest and healthiest concerning my own relationships. But just as this lumpy, crooked rock that I was holding, I know that there is Love to be found in even the most unexpected places. So my wish for you this holiday season as you gather around your family, friends and possibly those you do not care for much at all, is that you may be open to find Love in many unexpected ways.
I hope all of you had a wonderful Halloween like I did. I went back to my roots and slapped on the lederhosen for a night! Hahah so much fun. Halloween has got to be my favorite Holiday besides Christmas! Probably because we don't celebrate it as much in Germany as you do here in America. Feel free to share your halloween pics on my Facebook page. I would love to see your creative costume ideas!!
To me this month feels ripe with deep connections, time for profound healing and many opportunities to learn something new. That is why I am renaming this month YES-vember. It is time to say "yes" to yourself and do all of the things that are nurturing to you in all aspects of your life. Take care of your physical body. It's a great time to do a cleanse now! Get a massage and exercise, go for a nature walk. Take some time for deep contemplation, re-evaluation and healing of the old energies that no longer serve you. Release the emotional stress you have accumulated all year so that you can feel energized and pre-pared for the holidays with your family! Hahaha
Say "yes" to being you and take excellent self care because you deserve it after all the craziness this year! I am sending you love and good vibes for your YES-vember!
Free at Last!
Today marks the day that my husband is officially leaving the military after 14 years of service. It was a difficult decision to make but in the end we decided it was the best thing for our family (and our honest sanity)! This big step is only one of the many that we have taken this year to release ourselves of old energies that simply aren’t serving us any longer. Don’t get me wrong we are so grateful for having had them, including being in the military, that’s how we met after all, but there comes a time in everyone’s life were you simply feel you cant keep going the way you have been for so long. We all have changed so much over the past few years. The shift is happening within every single one of us right now! We have been faced with ugly truths, scary changes and unexpected upheaval, especially this year. But before you despair, try and look at it this way. You have learned such valuable lessons. Nothing that you did was a waste of time because it brought you here; to this point of clarity and recognition. You may have or are in the process to make a complete 180 but the knowledge and insight you have gained are valuable tools that you will synthesize in the weeks, months and years to come. This is our rebirth! Like the phoenix we are emerging from the ashes of our past to rewrite our future with a more confident, steady and creative hand. The more daring you are the bigger the rewards will be. Look back at this year and the leaps and bounds you have made. Can you see and recognize the positive changes in your life? They may not be as obvious at first. But I know for a fact you can recognize the transformations within. Your change of heart, the willingness to accept and embrace a greater love. You are not stuck or stagnant. You are emerging!
The other day I met up with a dear friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while. Life had been crazy for the both of us and so we didn't have the time or energy to mix and mingle. This year had come with a lot of turbulences and losses in the form of changes. Some expected and others came as a surprise that pulled the rug out right from under us. So it was time for some friendly faces and good conversation. She had lost a lot of weight. She said it was due to the stress and I knew exactly what she meant. What struck me during the evening we spent together is that it was so easy for us to just fall right back into our routine and funny conversation. Her laughs and jokes were hilarious and contagious and in no time it was as if my problems had shrunk in the face of such joy. Even though this year was so chaotic and stressful in many ways we didn't loose our sense of humor. It was as if no time had passed. Humor is the only thing that keeps me going sometimes. Like my life boat amongst the wreckage of my life. Growing up in my family if all else failed we always resorted to humor and sarcasm. It was sort of like: "Well if you can't beat 'em make fun of 'em." And that's what we did. We joked about how we would celebrate the end of this year like none other.
Later that night as I went to bed I realized that these "negative" experiences were actually the reason for our splendid witty humor. Life wasn't easy growing up but it made me resilient and rich with stories. My life has never really been boring. If that means I have to go through tough times and experience fear and pain, well then so be it. I would rather experience life fully than live a half life. Yeah this year had been a roller coaster of emotions and I felt each and everyone of them intensely to the core but I would rather feel too much than too little!
The scars we have from all the pain and misery are a testament to that. If the scars are deep so was the love. If you feel pain deeply that also means you have loved deeply. Only through the challenges we are faced with can we truly discover our own greatness. For some it may be courage or compassion. For others it may be ingenuity or creativity. For my friend and I it's our humor and the ability to find joy even amongst the most devastating ship wrecks.
A Life Well Lived
In the last year a frighteningly big number of friends, family members, acquaintances and even celebrities have passed away. Death has been on my mind more so than usual lately even though I deal with it every day in my line of work. I am also getting older. Some of you may laugh but I am not 22 anymore. My priorities have changed drastically over the last couple of years. What used to matter so much to me now seems petty as I ponder the lives lost. Many of them way before their time. Just a few days ago I got news that one of my dear friends from high school had died. He was my age.
Being a German native coming to America, to the “home of the brave and land of the free”, was a dream come true and very exciting. I only knew it from the movies we used to watch and the music we listened to growing up. I have to admit I fell prey to the glitz and glam of the “American Dream”. The mentality here is quiet different from where I grew up. Here people live to work instead work to live. I got caught up in it all myself. Yet my friends’ passing was a reminder for me, how fragile life really is and how we often spend our time here unwisely. We just accumulate things and money and are in competition with each other but in the end nothing really fills the void in our hearts quiet like a good conversation with a dear friend can. Or dancing like no one’s watching. Or singing along to your favorite song at the top of your lungs.
How many times do we hold back and decide not to speak up? How many times do we choose not to forgive? How many times do we not embrace our loved ones for fear of rejection or judgement? How many times do we choose not to do silly things because we are afraid of what other might say or think about us? How many opportunities do we miss each day before we realize that it is too late?
I can’t help but wonder what went through my friends mind when he was passing? In that very moment. What was he feeling? Who was he thinking of? Did he think he lived his life well? Did he have regrets?
How do you know that you have spent a life well lived? Is it measured by the things you have accumulated or rather by the many different experiences you were able to have. Whether they were good or bad. Is it measured by the money you collected or by the hearts you had touched throughout your life? What is going to keep you warm at night deep within your heart? Is it the comfort knowing you have a full bank account? What if you have that and yet still you are completely dissatisfied with your life? You are alone and you are physically and emotionally drained. Or is it looking at the person laying next to you in bed knowing that he or she loves you and that although life may get tough at times at least you have each other to tackle all that life throws at you.
I know most people would agree that money and things aren't going to make you happy yet still we keep striving for them. The reason usually is the lack of love or joy that we are trying to fill with superficial things. Let me tell you, and I know this for a fact, you take nothing with you when you pass not even the prestige that comes with having lots of wealth in this life. You take nothing with you except the love that you were able to share.
I am not afraid of dying, partly because I know that there is a “life” after death. But it is not so much dying or “leaving” that scares me. It is living that scares me the most. It is living with regret and not using my time here wisely that I fear. I want to die knowing that there were people who loved me and I made sure to let them know and feel that I loved them too. I do not feel the need to change the world but I want to die knowing that I made a difference, even if its just a small difference, in someones life. That I somehow made it better. I want to feel like I had done the best I could in that very moment of my transition. I think then I would die knowing that I had a life well lived!
The Good, The Bad and the (real) Ugly
Depression, anxiety and other mood dis-orders are like an epidemic sweeping the industrialized nations. More people than ever are experiencing some form of depression or anxiety in their lives now. What is even more frightening, but not at all surprising, is that more and more children are actually diagnosed with these dis-orders. I am not one for labeling people but I can certainly attest from personal experience that it is very easy to slip into these moments. Depression especially is something I can relate to. Almost every person I meet has had their fair share of this at some point or another in their lives. These last few months were especially challenging for myself and many of my clients. I have talked about changes coming and shifts being made for years now and I have actively worked on myself during that time. Yet little did I know that it could actually get worse! Depression as well as anxiety are like silent killers; like a virus that slowly infects every part of your life over a long period of time. By the time you realize what is happening it is already too late. It suddenly hits you like a brick and you feel unprepared to handle the situation. Yes there were signs, moments of discontent yet we brush them off and distract ourselves with temporary things of pleasure to help us get out of “our funk”.
What I have learned these past few months however is that bad days can really be a blessing in disguise sometimes. Not only do we learn so much about ourselves during tough times but also how would we know the good ones if we don't have any bad ones to compare them to? We truly see beauty and love on a much deeper level if we have experienced pain, fear and suffering in some shape or form in our lives before. We start to appreciate the little things in life more and we stop sweating the small stuff. Because… “ Hey I have seen worse! It really isn’t such a big deal.”
There will always be good and bad days. That’s life! The trick is to have the good ones outweigh the bad ones. There is a difference however between having a bad day when you are living your truth as compared to having a bad day living a life that is not in accordance with who you really are. As we move into the summer I hope you are having more good ones than bad ones. The energies are calming down more and more now. The mercury retrograde is over and soon the others will follow. But remember if you are struggling, happiness is not something that will just come to you, you have to make it happen. You have to break your routines and get out there. Get together with friends like you have been meaning to. Don’t be afraid to open up and share your struggles, you might be surprised to find out your friends are in similar shoes. Try new things to bring in new energies and to express yourself creatively in ways you have never done before. Live your life! You have to be present in order to do that. Life is not going to just fall into your lap. We can get stuck in our routines and comfort zones so much so that over the years we end up loosing our identity and who we want to be. Life happens so to speak and that’s ok but always make a point of coming “back home” to yourself and do the things that nurture your unique and creative expression of self. Life can certainly be effortless but let’s face it we all have our problems and shit we deal with on a daily basis that sometimes life does not just flow that easily. That’s when you have to make it happen. Happiness is a choice. What do you choose today?
All Events Are Neutral
Everything in our world, the seen and unseen, is energy. Everything within our bodies and in our environment is vibrating and in constant motion; absorbing, transforming and emitting energies. These energies carry certain frequencies depending on their nature. Just like we do, depending on who we believe and feel we are in regards to ourselves and the world around us. We are always in constant energy exchange with everything and everyone. That is just what energy does. It is neither bad or good, just the way it is. The natural way of you will. The sun shines not because it “wants” to but because that is what it does. The stars and planets “behave” the way they do because that is their nature according to their vibration or energy patterns. A bird flies not because it was told to do so or because it feels it should, but simply does what it does because it is what it is.
Most people would, and do consider the human race more advanced not only in their mental capacity but also regard them far superior in their spiritual nature as opposed to the animal kingdom or plant life on earth. What separates us from these energies (plants, animals and such) is the fact that we have a problem residing in a neutral energy, which is basically the nature of the universe. We allow our judgments to alter any energy we encounter into something that it is not. Plants and animals do not do this. As a result they truly embody the energy most refer to as divine or the God/Christ consciousness.
All events are neutral, until you decide how you want to meet that energy. When your judgement stems from a place of fear regarding any situation you encounter in your life, you enter a vibration of contraction rather than expansion. If someone approaches you with anger and starts an argument with you, you will most likely fall into judgment straight away. Firstly you have decided that they are angry and therefore have conjured up all that you associate with anger and confrontation. Secondly the resulting thoughts and feelings you have about this encounter are all judgments! And then ultimately these thoughts create judgements about your reality. We create realities all the time, every second of the day. When you wake up and look outside the window and see rain and you think to yourself: “Ugh that’s some bad weather!” You have just created another reality. Instead of looking outside the window thinking: “Mmmh it is raining. My plants can really use some moisture to grow.”
This is not to say that you cannot have an opinion or make observations. You of course always have a choice. There is no judgement over your judgements from a higher source of any kind, because that would be the energy of contraction, limitations and fear. It is all up to you. You can live any reality you choose. You are a divine creator. If you do not like what you have created (which is a judgement by the way) you can always change your experience. If you want to enter into a divine union with who you truly are you have to learn to come from a place of love and expansion. An important part of this process is to start becoming more aware of your judgements and the patterns you keep repeating in your life. It is always easier to give advice and be zen when life is going your way, but the real test happens when you are faced with things that challenge your peace. We have no problem considering things as neutral if they don't immediately affect us. We dress in spiritual clothing, wear religious iconography and pray diligently, yet underneath it all we mask the fact that we may not be as at peace with ourselves and the world as we might want to believe. A famous buddhist quote really hits the nail on the head here: “If you think you are enlightened, spend a weekend with your family!”
This also does not mean you have to become cold hearted or blind to the suffering of the world. Because after all, part of awakening to who you truly are, a divine spark of love and light, means to recognize that you are an integral part of everything and everyone. I believe the reason why we have started to judge and become partial to things, people and events is the fact that we believe in death. Our believe in death gave birth to our illusion of time, because we think we are always running out of it. Yet I do not believe in death, not in the literal sense. How can I as a medium? I encounter loved ones on the “other side” all the time, wherever space wise that is. “Alive” and well. Energy never ceases to exist! That is not what energy does. We all know this from physics class from school. Energy is never wasted in the universe or simply disappears, it merely transforms it state of being. Our physical bodies are simply our “vehicles” or communication devices here in this physical reality we are currently having. It becomes a lot easier to judge once you realize this truth. Because when you do, you let go of the energy of fear an the illusions that keep you trapped and limited.
So you might find life getting a lot easier if you can enter into that neutral energy more often. Try and approach all events in your life with innocent eyes and regard them as opportunities rather than obstacles. I mean considering death is an illusion, we have all the time we can ever want!So many things become trivial in the light of such a realization.
I look at my parents and grandparents now and they seem so much more relaxed now than what they used to be. They always say to me the older they got the less of a shit they gave. And maybe it’s because they enter into that neutral place now more often than in the past. They do not get all hot and bothered about the little things anymore and as a result their lives are so much more simple, stress free and fun. Even at my age I find myself thinking every now and again…I wish I knew then what I know now. Things would have been so much easier and I would have been so much happier.
It wasn't pretty
At last April is here, and with its arrival comes a much more gentle and relaxed energy than what we have been experiencing lately. And when I say lately I mean the last 3 friggin' months! Now we can start slowing down a bit again and focus more on the fun things and projects we have been putting off; there is less stress and responsibilities to keep us from them. We can go back to nurturing our souls and taking care of our bodies. Because let's face it we all have been slacking in that department lately! Am I right?!
My emotional roller coaster and the stressful days have certainly led to me making less healthy choices. Comfort foods it was and I don't care who knows it! Life is all about balance and you know what sometimes you just need a juicy burger or a tub of ice cream to cry over. So much old stuff had come up for us to deal with. Things that were so deep that most of us didn't even realize were they came from. Tossing and turning at night and strange dreams that left us befuddled in the morning. People that annoyed us and go the better of us for no apparent reason. I felt like I was on my period for 3 months straight for cryin' out loud!
But know that this was all part of a very big shift that you have made that will propel you forward into this year with a renewed sense of power and confidence. Although this was a very trying period for all of us that has left us exhausted and feeling overwhelmed, at the same time there was a strange sense of strengthening and empowerment underneath it all. No matter how drastic and scary your changes were, you also felt this deep sense of knowing that you are on the right path. I applaud you, and I am sending you much love and light on your individual journey that in the end is aiding all of us collectively!
Light at the End of the Tunnel
February has been such a drag and it felt like the month just didn't want to end. Even though the retrograde was already over I almost felt worse after it than while its was happening. If you had thought you had cleared out all of your shit and let go of what no longer serves you, well this last month had a way of proving you otherwise and making you revisit some of the things you though you cleared. We all went real deep this month and honey let me tell ya it wasn't pretty! Many light workers out there felt the intense energies that were almost too overwhelming at times. I hope you took enough time to rest and take care of yourself. Find ways to express and let out all of the emotions and information that is and has been coming through. This will help you clear your mind, stay focused and not feel so overwhelmed. I sense that at least for me the worst is over now. The start of this new month has brought along with it a refreshing, more energizing and excited energy. The opportunities are abound, new people that will be able to help you will enter your life now. Things are starting to move again and it feels like everything we touch now could turn to gold if we only believe in ourselves and follow our hearts. When we are confronted with such energies it is vital to focus on what is most important and eliminate all that which is only wasting our valuable time and energy. Try and stay grounded now so that you can make sound and informed decisions without rushing into things. Focus, have a plan and the follow your passion and gut feelings and success is yours!