During my last Yoga session I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I was surprised to see myself fit and slim. After all, it was just after Christmas and my eating certainly had not been the best, and my exercise schedule had been paused over the Holidays. I smiled and remembered how good it feels to go easy on myself...
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
A quote I heard from Marianne Williamson has impressed me very much. It goes like this:We are not afraid that we might fail, we are afraid that we might be absolutely brilliant.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Have you ever noticed, how with changing life circumstances and values/beliefs your circle of friends is changing. It has been said that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. This could also mean that by taking a closer look at our friends and choosing wisely, we can improve ourselves. Here is what I know to be true:
Friday, November 26, 2010
I have heard doctors call Gratitude the most powerful medicine there is. I can only agree, having experienced it myself. Also, Gratitude and being thankful is not to be underestimated, considered too easy or not worth it. It is all a matter of perspective, for sure.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Putting books back in the shelves in libraries, representing the Psychological Association in front of students, helping students with their literature search, putting up a teenager in our house for months, organizing seminars, reading to and listening to elderly people with dementia, running a hostel in Spain, taring the deck of the sail ship Star of India, distributing gardening news to garden club members via e-mail and postcards, teaching illiterate adults to learn how to read and write, I have done that and other things as a volunteer over the years. As with everything, with practice comes experience. At the end of this list of tasks is one main question: Why do I and why do people in general volunteer, what is the motivation?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The other night I could not sleep because of worries. Once
I started to inspect these worries I had to admit that they had little grounds
to stand on, and that my phantasy had taken off with me...
There I was: In the middle of a wonderful vacation in Europe, having time to hike in the Austrian Alps, adoring the golden glory of the fall foliage and being able to spend time with family and friends. Also, my husband and I were in the process of moving our furniture and belongings from our former Vienna apartment to our San Diego house. We were very much looking forward to having the European Chic in our house. The international moving company was hired, the boxes already picked up. How much better could it get? I was grateful, very grateful. Things were in flow. Fortunate us.
Then, one day before the sea freight container was to be loaded, I realized that I still had not received the promised insurance paper from our Austrian moving company. All day I had tried to reach her - without success. All 3 telephone numbers I had stayed unanswered. No e-mails from them in my inbox. So, in that night it occured to me that the big chunk of money had changed hands already (that´s how they do it in that line of work) and they had driven off with all of our belongings. Could it be a scam? Could they be that good? I started to doubt the good feeling I had had with them. My phantasy was taking off and was getting as dark as the night was.
It is very unusual for me not to be able to sleep. I felt highjacked by my own imagination. After a while of rolling around in bed I got my composure back. I asked myself what was really wrong in reality? I had all kinds of worst case possibilities, but had not looked at the likelyhood of them being the case. I had also not looked at all the reasons why that was not likely to be the case. I went through all off that and came to the conclusion that there must be something going on that I did not know and that was not anything out of my "worries box".
I also remembered that it is not always personal, not always about me. True, it is unusual not to reach anyone from a company anymore after handing over the money, when the availability had been perfect before. But does it have to be my worst idea?
During those dark hours I learned a lot. I was very happy that I made that reality check and that I found my faith again. I even got to the point where I realized that my peace of mind was worth more than any belongings and money. A day lost and not lived can never be replaced. Money and things always can be.
The next day I learned that the family business was in uproar for a day, because the father of one of the partners had had a bad car accident. I understood. I also learned my lesson. It felt good to be able to calm myself down in difficult times. True, we don´t always know the people we are dealing with, but I prefer and choose to have a trusting, while alert, way of approaching others. If I see thieves everywhere, I might find them everywhere. And if I see helpful and reliable people everywhere, I just might as well find them everywhere as well.
I think that it is deeply ingrained in us to protect ourselves. But if that tendencie becomes too tight and almost paranoid, it reaches the point where it harms us and keeps us from oportunities rather than protect us. It is wise to know the difference and keep checking, where the border lies again and again.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I have recently been at a psychology convention with an abundant program. For 4 whole days I have been satisfying my brain with lecture after lecture. I got inspired, and I had many an idea for my on business, for my own clients. I could barely wait to get back home to my office and start incorporating the newly learned things and developing the newly concocted ideas. Two weeks later, the pile of info material still has not made its way into my filing cabinet, and I myself was busy catching up from having been gone. I remembered that studies show that we only incorporate 20 % of what we learn new, into our lives. But with coaching, this rate goes up to 80 %.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Everyone has its own source for wisdom. For me it often is Yoga. While balancing on one leg, arms stretched towards the sky (the tree pose), the teacher reminded us of what it takes to master balancing poses in Yoga. I was thankful for the reminder and was also stunned how much it applies to life itself...
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Hearing the term "back to school" brings back memories of years past, when I was a kid, mixed with bright and bold announcements for special back to school sales blaring everywhere in the present. But in between these extremes, there is really more to it. "Back to School" affects us all. Here are some reasons why and tips how to get the best start of the school year ever...
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I believe that almost everyone knows meanwhile that being overweight is unhealthy in many ways and that exercising is part of a healthy and long life. I have seen many professions - like fitness trainers all the way to mediation lawyers - give advice such as "make healthy choices", "deal with your stress", or even "give up smoking". So, how come people are still doing such things, despite the good advice?
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Ever since I have been coaching people towards their own life fulfillment I was also very careful with surrounding myself with supportive and well meaning, successful people. I like to socialize and work with people who believe in the possibilities and blessings of Win-Wins. You could also call it “live and let live”. Once in a while I find myself in a tricky social circumstance where old patterns like fight, flight or freeze want to come forth. Unwilling to give in to any of these options that do not serve me or my goals, I worked through it and found one that does: FEEL!
Isn´t amazing, how on a perfectly alright day a little incidence can change everything and the day is interrupted in a most unpleasant way? In my case it was a flood of e-mails from fellow volunteer people who were spreading around their criticism as oposed to acknowledgements and respect for each other. It really got wild for me once I was the target. All of a sudden old fears resurfaced and weighed heavily on me. So I went through all the above mentioned stages: First I froze and just ignored it. Then I was ready to resign and flee. Then I was ready to “tell them”. Once that was over, I realized that I did not want to be in re-action anymore. I want to be in charge of my life and consciously decide what to do. From that powerful state I can creat my future and realize my visions.
But how do I get from being in the claws of my past to creating my own future? It seemed almost impossible, so strong was the pull backwards into these bad emotions. With all my might did I try to avoid these emotions. Then I decided to walk through them instead of pulling away from them. FEEL. I took a moment to sit with every feeling that came up and to the story that came with it. Then I respectfully thanked them for sharing and came back to 2010 me and who I truly wanted to be. I consciously chose to be in charge, responsible, grounded. Some deep breaths helped to reclaim my own power and to focus on what it is I want to create and how I want to be. I know I don´t want to get back at people, I know I don´t want to be a pushover either. I want to stand up for myself and make that clear in a respectful and loving way. It felt so much better to just stay where I was, without avoiding (flight) or attacking (fight) or letting myself down (freeze). Focussing on my own strength and my goals and most of all, my own VALUES turned out to be extremely helpful.
I also found that with that behavior, all my fears did vanish and everything turned out just fine. At the end I felt grateful for the learning experience and hope that I don´t have to revisit that cross roads anytime soon again. My bigger wish however is, to remember next time and the time after that and again and again, to choose to feel and stand in my own power. I know the first time is the hardest and each time it gets easier and comes more naturally, until one day it is my default mode. Now THAT´s how habits are formed. Oh, and one other thing about toxic environments: Stay away from them as much as possible. A toxic environment in social terms is people who are overly critical, complain a lot, are envious or mean. In one word, not worth hanging out with. If you have no choice (although we have more choice than we often admit) stay strong in your own power and values in order not to be pulled down by these kinds of people. Sometime you can actually improve their situation by just being in a good mental space yourself. But don´t expect it. Good luck!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Gratitude used to be an old-fashioned word for me about something that I would archive in the category of manners: nice, but somewhat useless. In recent years I have experienced, how important gratitude for my quality of life is. Here are the reasons why you cannot afford to live without GRATITUDE - or rather - why you would not want to live without ...
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
While having one of these unexpected things come up that need to be dealt with right away during a perfectly mundane and average day, it occurred to me that it is truly not the exception but the truth of life: there will most certainly be things showing up in our lives that we need to take care of that we did not plan or wish to happen. Take for instance your body and its physical health. Once the immortality of the teenage years has passed, the body needs constant maintenance. How do you want to be throughout this?
Sunday, June 27, 2010
When I was starting with gardening, I had the headstrong opinion that I would choose where to plant what and that the plants just had to give in. Little did I know about gardening and being able to enjoy the bounty of nature. Once I got it, I saw how I had been sabotaging myself in my own life in the same way....
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The "Biggest Loser" TV show is in its 9th season and very popular. It is a show where morbidly obese people get access to personal trainers and health and nutrition education on the Biggest Loser ranch. The viewers of this show get to see with their own eyes how the impossible is possible. People on the show lose up to 200 pounds in 17 weeks. And this time it is not an empty commercial of some diet pill or a questionable ´before´ and ´after´ picture...
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
This quote is from Thomas Fuller, M. D. Common wisdom like this finds me anywhere. This quote is from the book "Gentle Reminders. Daily Affirmations for Co-Dependents", by Mitzi Chandler. What does this quote have to do with my Coaching clients...
My clients and myself as well, have full and filled days and lives. Chances are, you have, too. With the plenty of things to do in a day, day in day out, it is impractical to have to have everything is pristine and perfect condition. Often it seems like something has got to give. The feeling of being overwhelmed often chimes in, and the pressure and stress grow. A lot of life gets wasted this way, striving to achieve this unnatural state of perfectionism.
If you look at it, 98 per cent are working and wonderful. Somehow this tendency towards perfectionism makes us focus only on the 2 per cent missing, undone, imperfect. Having to have it at 100 per cent is a very exhausting way to live. It is not even a condition that occurs in nature and life naturally. I would call it manmade.
In the above mentioned book it goes on to say that life is much nicer when we pick and choose what projects will get our best efforts and which ones aren't worth the bother. The advice there is to give it all with gardening, if that is the project of our choice. However, not to despair with the often unloved chore of weeding, to do a decent job at it, pick a few, and call the rest of them wildflowers. Can't you just feel the relief of that approach and the zest of life? The important thing is to truly let it sink in that it does not take to do the things perfectly all the time in order to be worthwhile.
Here is the essence of it to ponder: I am worthwhile just as I am
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The Garden Club speaker meetings are always a delightful treasure of true life wisdom. At the last one I heard this Chinese Proverb "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is today". As a Life Fulfillment Coach I could not agree more. There will always be the "should haves" and "could haves". They don´t add any quality to life now, rather take away. So do the second best thing and DO and CAN now...
Sunday, May 23, 2010
This is the first one of my Garden Wisdom series. It is amazing, how much I learn through gardening for leading a happier and healthier life. For years I was interested in motivation and studied it closely. Then I came upon Wayne Dyer´s definition of motivation vs. inspiration. Thinking about my garden it made sense immediately. Whereas there was no doubt that all my Coaching clients are highly motivated, I realized that if I wanted to help my Coaching clients to build a happy and healthy life, I truly needed to guide them towards their inspirations.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Three full days of presentations and exhibitions of matters of the heart and soul. I had come upon this conference that is organized by the HayHouse (Louise Hay) by chance - or was it? Some 8000 people gathered, like-minded people. Who would that be? Anyone who was interested in cultivating happiness, finding and honing their own talents and gifts, in order to give back to the world.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Being a passionate gardener myself and just having been on a garden tour with 12 wonderful gardens, I cannot help but notice, how inspiring and uplifting gardens are. Touring these gardens I also noticed, how much effort went into them so they would look at their best. It was truly a time to enjoy the gardens and to celebrate life itself. As a volunteer I had seen some of the gardens a week before the tour, when homeowners were still planting and sweeping, some hammering and fertilizing. It made me realize that life itself is like a garden. It needs to be tended to and lovingly cared for, so that joy and celebrations take place. There is a time of putting work into it, a growing plan, a vision. Then, success and a vibrant lively appearance are guaranteed.
Monday, April 12, 2010
After years of helping my clients to achieve relaxation, teaching relaxation techniques in groups and trying to make sure I am in a relaxed state myself, I have read many books on the topic and have attended numerous seminars and continuing education courses. It seems that even a relaxation 101 course does not cover the most basic thing about it in order to be of any use for the individual in need of relaxing ...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
On Easter Sunday afternoon, on a perfect day, the earth started shaking - without any warning. It shook about one whole minute. Books and statues fell out of shelves, lamps were swinging. Fortunately, things seemed without much damage - in San Diego at least. However, I continued to shake inside...
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It is 2.23 pm. All day long I have been trying to "get things done". The
list was long, the ambitions big, my motiviation high. So far so good. Except,
So, relief sets in and I enjoy the grounding and invigorating effect of some more nice, deep breaths. My inner tempo slows down immediatedly and I rejoice when I look outside my home office window, into the garden and hear the birds´ urging and convincing spring sing song. What a great day it is. I reexamine that sense of urgency and failure that accompanied me all day long and realize, there is nothing wrong with this day - or with me. It is simply not all going as smooth as I would like it to be.
I close my eyes for a few moments and ask myself, what I really want to have accomplished by the end of this day. A short and manageable list is being generated: empty washing machine and hang clothes in fresh air (indoors, love it), commit to and sign up for Inspired Learning Training (am so looking forward to it!), spend time with my teenage niece who lives with us for a while (soon enough she will be gone again), and a few other items I know, I can manage. What a relief. Instead of being crumpy to my loved ones and frustrated because nothing seems to work, I am taking a step back, soak in all my blessings with gratitude and continue on with some things, so as to have a feeling of achievement in the evening. I also remember the things that did go well today, like my Coaching sessions earlier today. I remind myself to take my own advice and focus on the 98 % that are already working. Great!
We all are allowed to have Do Overs. That is an important, important lesson. We don´t have any time to waste on "lost days", "screwed up days". There are only moments, not whole days that are a challenge. What we do with those moments, is up to us. Besides, Do Overs let us get much milder and gentler towards other peoples bad moods or screw ups. Anyone can have a bad moment. I choose to enjoy and live, whenever I have the wisdom to do so.
Good luck with your Do Overs. Have fun and be kind to yourself (or not, your choice :-)).
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
If there is one thing that truly changed my life in a most wonderful way, it is having walked a pilgrimage route. I remember making the decision to do it and not being able to answer my friends, why I wanted to walk 500 miles all along northern Spain, with a 22 pound backpack on my back ...
Friday, February 19, 2010
Ash Wednesday started the 40 days of Lent. Sure it is a catholic concept. But why should you bother to stop to think about it. And is there more to it than abdication and loss of pleasantries? The Dalai Lama said that without discipline there was no freedom. I was inspired by that saying and here are my insights.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Have you noticed how much businesses are pushing Valentine´s Day as a gift giving holiday? I even read a column in the San Diego Union Tribune about what to do when "undergifting happens" - meaning being given or giving a much bigger/smaller present than getting from the other person. Can love be flourishing in such strict conventions? Here are my thoughts on having a pleasant Day dedicated to the one thing we all want so desperately: LOVE.