I want to tell you no matter what changes in our lives – I love you, and I hold on to you. I want to assure you no matter how much time we spend with each other – I love you, and I hold on to you. I want to remind you no matter how much you sometimes annoy me – I love you, and I am not letting go. I want to promise you no matter what happens – I love you, and that does not change. I want to assure you no matter if I invite change in our life – I love you, and I hold on to you, to us.
Assessment: my no-shopping resolution … or how did I do?
It has been about two months, and I thought it might be good to take stock on my zero-shopping intention.
In September, I bought nothing for myself – I did buy wedding gifts for my sister and her husband, and a birthday present for my dad and my friend. Those I actually do not consider shopping, they were gifts. 🙂 Although I had ordered new dancing shoes (my flat ones are worn out), none convinced me so I am still dancing in the old ones. In the beginning of the school year, I tried my grey laptop backpack for my daily train ride to school; yet quickly my doubts were confirmed: it was too small for my books, folder, agenda/ booklet for marks, pencil case, lunch box, umbrella and other odds and ends. Consequently, I bought the one I had seen weeks before – online and with a woman’s day discount in the middle of October (124 Euro) to replace the smaljer one. The new one totally suits my needs and I am happy every day that everything fits in it easily. I have to say, it felt good to have bought only this one thing – and different, as I had consciously opted for it after trying another option. (metaphorically handing myself flowers for this month)
Later in October, I went on a school trip I had organised – to Florence, Italy. The friend I had made the resolution with in summer gave me a free pass – when on holiday, when in Italy 🙂 Cute, and my heart felt lighter for it. After all, who does not love Italian fashion? However, I tried to stick to the only-things-I-need-to-replace/basics-I-do-not-have-anymore idea as much as possible … with medium success. Finally, here is what I bought: – 2 leather belts (rose, brown – new colours for me) – 1 pair of black flats (at home: 0) – 1 pair of back sneakers suitable for school (at home: only sporty ones) – 1 pullover (berry-coloured, new for me too) – 1 pair of black pants, 7/8 style (at home: 0) – 1 scarf (O can not deny it, I just looove scarves…) – 1 wallet (to replace mine ehich is falling apart) Cost of these items: about 230 Euro.
Last but not least, my husband and me spent the days before Halloween in Dresden. What did I buy here? 1 woolen headband on day 1, coz I was freezing and had not packed one. Cost: 13 Euro. To sum it up: September started well, as is usual for the first phase of a resolution. 😉 I know I did not stick to the zero- shopping resolution once away from home, yet I feel I am getting better at not buying random stuff just because hey, I am shopping… and I feel less tempted even. The thought “I have enough of this” frequently popped up when I was browsing.
Therefore, I will try even harder to remember this thought in November and December, even though winter is coming (GOT reference intended).
If you should name how you started to live a life (for me, that was about 4 years ago) that was more self-aware and mindful, what would you say? Where does one start?
The first thing that has come to my mind was: I remember the feeling that I wanted “more”. Although the more I thought I wanted at that time did not turn out to be the more I actually needed, but that is neither here nor there.
I remember the moment I felt I wanted more, and at the same time I felt ridiculous, coz I kind of had it all. That feeling was surreal and most unwelcome. And honestly, what more could I want? I could not even define this “more”, could not even say precisely what it was I needed, more, what kind of word is that?
All I knew was: I want more.
I wish I could say that consequently I started my journey to find out more about what I wanted. I wish I had.
What I really did, was listen to reason. I told myself: you have a good life. You have built a new life, you have redirected your career, you have friends and family and and and. I listed things I had to convince myself I did not need more. For a while, I succeeded.
I also remember complaining to a friend about some thing or another (best bet: a guy I was dating) and her telling me something like: If you always do the same things, you will always get the same results. And how when I was ready to change, she’d point me in the right direction, but… (unsaid: seems you’re not ready). Offended, I sulked. And wondered. And remembered the feeling of: I want more. And told myself: If I want more, something has to change.
I did not know what that more was. I did not know what should change. I knew I wanted change, though. I wanted more.
So I contacted my friend and she suggested some life coach videos and her actual life coach, who I called and made an appointment with.
After that, I remember lying on my couch and looking around and inside myself. Suddenly I saw my life with different eyes, as of I had removed the glasses. I remember feeling exhausted, and tired of pretending, and sad and hopeful at the same time. I remember I felt empty and wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I did not.
I cried honest tears for the first time in years in one of the meetings with Alexandra (I remember thinking about cancelling my appointment five times, but I did not; I also remember I swore to try whatever the life coach suggested, and I did. She gave me a start, the rest I did myself).
And what really stuck in my head is what she said while I was crying my desperate tears, judging myself for wanting more and at the same time feeling so lost because my life was not enough, kind of.
It is ok to want more.
So I guess what I am trying to say is: trust yourself and what is inside you. You do know the way. You are your life, after all.
Last time I wrote about getting engaged; happy news and happy times, of visions in white and planning a wonderful wedding.
Unfortunately, a shadow lies over this time, too, as my mum is in the hospital. Her bipolar disorder has surfaced extremely around summer time, and it felt as if all I could do was watch helplessly.
In these past six months, even before her illness surfaced, I had and have worked hard on setting conscious boundaries with my parents – my aim was to not feel guilty for living my life in Austria, for enjoying my relationship, for not driving up there all the time. Furthermore my aim was that they learn to accept help from people other than me and my sister regarding the house and garden, and that we are not responsible. Lastly, I felt it was high time they accepted what I have long accepted: that my mother’s illness won’t just disappear, yet that it is crucial to take some steps to prevent extreme phases of depression or mania in phases when the illness is dormant and she is fine. All my conversations regarding this topic had ended in fights, so I had felt it was time to let it go.
Well, what can I say? I have learned I can not change the way they feel or act, just the way I react. Since our engagement, the boundaries have become clearer to my parents, I suppose, and for a time this shift was hurtful to them. How does one set boundaries lovingly???
Additionally, I vowed only to “help” my parents in whatever way if they specifically ask for it – and otherwise listen and try not to judge. My my, how my solution-oriented soul has suffered. And of course, it makes me sad that she is in the hospital, and that my dad is alone in that big house.
What I have learned in the past three months is that I am definitely not very good at not doing anything. Consequently I have tried to become a good listener, to be understanding and to see their side – while at the same time not acting, not helping, not offering solutions and still stay affectionate. A balance I find hard to achieve…
On the contrary, I have made plans and decisions for my life, I have become quite good at feeling happy instead of guilty and there are times when there is no conflict in my heart between me-here and me-daughter, when there is a balance and harmony and I do not feel torn.
Honestly, how does anyone ever do that? When I talked about this with my life coach, she gave me an image that has since given me peace:
And a friend of mine commented: it might take a lifetime to achieve. Guess she is right 🙂
Well, three months later, I kind of have a new label. Fiancée. 🙂
Which is so cool! Since we got engaged this past summer, my boyfriend – no, fiancé, sorry, I still have not got used to calling him that – and me have learned a lot about each other, and our relationship has changed, in a way, and stayed the same, in another way. Changed because there is a new depth there, a bond that is hard to describe; the same because we are still the same people, one of them with solid roots and one with solidifying one and wings, yet both dancing.
Sometimes I really can’t believe how lucky we are, to have kind of waited for each other, and held on. For this I am deeply grateful, as I am for the man by my side.
Naively, I once thought getting engaged was the big deal; it was always clear to me I wished for a simple ceremony, not an over-the-top one. Reality check? His wishes matter, too, and even if you want simple, there are tons of decisions to make. 😉
Therefore, these past few months of wedding planning, I have learned to melt his ideas for our ceremony with mine, and to really listen, so that our wedding is going to be a reflection of his wishes and my vision at the same time. It has been a truly great time, too, to scout locations together, have a food tasting with goid friends, to agree on dates and listen to a potential band/ duo, look for and buy rings and book a photographer and brainstorm ideas together. Plus, mostly our guts said the same about many decisions, so that our plans got very concrete quite quickly 🙂 We have met really wonderful people, the manager of our location and our celebrant only two of them, not to mention all the ones around us that support us with ideas and tips and connections. A huge thank you to all of you!
Of course, in some cases, unfortunately, advice and help has come with strings and expectations attached; we have thus learned to give those only minimal attention yet to firmly do it our way. It was not easy to do this with minimal damage to relationships … For us, this has meant to set boundaries again and again, an exhausting business, yet a necassary one, and one we have dealt with together.
Additionally, I have learned that I do want to wear a beautiful white dress, which my lovely sister and also maid of honour, and a wonderful friend helped me find (thanks again, bacini!!). It was a bit shocking, my free spirit self envisioned a completely different, rather bohemian version of a wedding dress, yet when I looked in the mirror wearing THE dress, I cried. Very movielike, yet overwhelmingly real to me. Of course I bought it, and another friend is keeping it for me in her house (saying: what girl can say she had two wedding dresses in her wardrobe? 🙂 ).
It has been an adventure so far, and I am curious to see where it takes us. Next step: decoration and flowers. Can’t wait. 🙂
This writer’s break kind of invites me to take the time for some well- used retrospection, doesn’t it?
Plus, it is december, the last month of 2022, so in a way the anticlimax and the time to softly accept the end of the year and prepare for a new one. Happy to.
What have I learned, what have I become?
Hm, what is the most obvious answer? I have lost nearly 6 kilos thanks to Mady Morrison’s Summer Body Challenge between the beginning of August and mid September: 30 days of hard work and strict changes in my daily nutrition. Exhausting, in times frustrating and utterly rewarding! Afterwards, I have made the not so small effort to keep my weight – so far successfully – while still enjoying life. Puh, even harder 🙂 I have learned that I missed regular exercise and pushing myself, as well as the feeling of being comfortable in and with my body. Whenever I exercise now, doing Yoga or a fitness video or going for a long walk, I feel appreciative and grateful for my body.
Moreover, I have kind of been training/ interning in our school’s administration. When the idea to do that popped in my head this spring, I simultaneously shook it. No way. Me. Computers. Programs. Technical stuff. Puh. However, something inside me pushed me to talk to our admin, and he agreed to show me stuff. Let me tell you, the beginning of the school year behind the scenes? C r a z y! What I have learned is even crazier: I love solving administrative problems, I love seeing results, I enjoy being challenged. Of course, I am grateful to my “mentor” for being patient and taking the time to explain processes, problems and systems in a way I feel I can follow. Mostly. 😉 That, of course, leads to the question whether I would like to pursue this direction careerwise… to be pondered.
Last but not least, I have decided to act more regarding my rituals and routines and to thus really integrate good stuff into my daily life. I have learned that I am not the person to roll out her Yoga mat at 5.30 before school… however, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I can, and so I do. I have noticed after school I prefer slow flows or Yin Yoga, while I can push myself with Power-Yoga at the weekends. Additionally, I have tried to sit still for 10 breaths/ 10 affirmations (Laura Malina Seiler, 10 Affirmationen für mehr Vertrauen in dich) daily after waking up – a ritual that brings me much peace and introspection. And, though this may sound simple, I have tried to regularly go for walks in nature, no matter what kind of weather we have. After a day teaching wearing a FFP2 mask all day long, there is nothing better to get rid of a brewing headache!
However, regarding this last point, it seems challenging to me to give my body/ myself what I need without thinking “Oh, I still have to do..”. Instead saying “Oh, I’d enjoy.. now.”
So, this is enough retrospection for a day.. I am curious what you have learned in the last few months?
or… what do I wish to do and feel and be in these next weeks of summer? 🙂
Here is what I have come up with:
– Forgive and heal (here I have started Laura Malina Seiler’s free online Mini-Kurs Heal & Forgive)
– Only contact who I would like to see and listen to with an open heart
– Enjoy time in my hometown in Germany with old friendships and family (check ♡)
– Explore the area of my Austrian hometown with my amore once I am back and create new moments and memories (bacio :* )
– Stay with what I want and dream of and let these dreams surface
– Do more of what makes me happy, i.e. really establish my routines and rituals (yoga, meditating, going for walks, riding my bike along the lake, …) without putting them in my daily schedule; establish them in such a way that they are the first things I yearn to do once I have leisure time (challenging, but working fine so far)
– Reduce watching the news/ reading them (see: routines instead)
– Reduce tv/ screen time (see: routines)
– Do not write to do lists (I know, ridiculous 🙂 🙂 )
Apart from the last point, I feel confident. 🙂 What are things you would like to establish this summer?
Seit dem ersten Lockdown habe ich viele Bücher und Podcasts verschlungen, zum Thema achtsam leben und sich weiterentwickeln zu dem Menschen, der ich sein will. Gerade in den letzten Monaten war ich jedoch so “gesättigt” und habe für mich gespürt: genug input. Jetzt wird geübt 🙂 und versucht, diese für mich wichtigen Erkenntnisse im Alltag zu fühlen und zu integrieren.
Hier seht ihr den Versuch einer Liste – jedoch fällt es mir schwer, die Gefühle hinter jedem Satz in Worte zu fassen, die kommen, wenn ich sie für mich innerlich wiederhole…
– Es stehen mir alle Wege offen, ich kann alles sein.
– Es ist jetzt richtig. Morgen sehe ich, ob es dann auch noch richtig ist.
– Die Antworten sind in mir.
– Ich kann es zulassen und fühlen, und und bleibe immer ich selbst.
– Ich vertraue dem Leben und den guten Mächten; Dinge geschehen zum richtigen Zeitpunkt und zu meinem Besten.