Reflections

This week has been a bit busy on one hand – because my Mum needed help with insurance stuff – and I am the only one here who has worked in that area once. So I had to help, and to be honest, it was costing me a lot of time because my Mum thought somebody else had handled things, but it turns out, they didn’t. She still likes them more than me, so it was a bit difficult to handle.

On the other hand, I was trying to be quiet and listening, which lead me to a place where I am looking into the things and people I really want in my life.

I tried to push some work stuff, some tax stuff – but did  not succeed, because I felt so very tired. So I did nothing, really notthing, just sitting and listening inside. Breathing, sitting, just being. That and a lot of sleep got me back on track – even if I noticed there are no tracks. We are on a spiralling path – growing with each round, never being at the same point twice.

I also noticed how much we are in the doing-state – I got many notifications from a women entrepreneur group on Facebook – always urging me to do, to show up and take steps.No time for rest, always busy, and pushy as hell.

My whole body went: “NO WAY” – I felt strongly that now is my time to listen, to reflect, to feel into the energy of the last year and to clear, let go and make space for the new. These weeks are all about being me – the doing will come, just not now.

I have also not started my planning for 2019 yet. I know how to structure and plan, I have been doing it my whole life – and for once I am open to plan less and leave more space. I am open to surrender to my destiny and my Tao. Jumping into the river and flow with it.

This means, I’ll take action, of course, but I also give myself time and space, time to look back and pause, time to celebrate 2018 (very important!) before I start 2019.


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On Kindness

This morning I had a very inspiring chat with my fabulous friend and fellow writer, the amazing Lita. Some weeks ago she opened a group on kindness on FB – people share ideas and encourage each other by sharing stories.

We get quite creative in that group, from sending X-mas cards with a 5 Euro or 5 pound note in it to a random address – to smiling at strangers or a bit of small-talk with a shopkeeper or someone who is obviously lonely and has not many people to talk to.

As a result, not only do we give, being kind makes us feel good. It’s warming our souls and our hearts. And we never know how it affects the other person, be it a stranger or not.

Which reminds me of a story – and I’ve decided to share it with you. In Spring 2005 I found myself – through a sudden re-structuring of our office, I was a financial consultant working quasi freelance – without clients and a job. I had four weeks to clear my desk, I knew this was written in our contracts, but it had obviously not happened that often, so it came as a shock. The same company had another office in town, which was very successful, and I knew the director from his start as consultant, ages ago. 

I called him, we talked, and two days later he offered me a freelance job in his office, not as consultant, not many hours, but a start, so I could pay my rent. I felt at home, the co-workers were very welcoming – and I felt successful.

One day in summer, I was doing the bills and because I felt like it, I added a card to his monthly bill to say: thank you, thank you for being here so I could turn the lemons, life gave me, into lemonade.

Two hours later he knocked, tears in his eyes, and told me that he was deeply touched. It was his 15-year-anniversary in the company on that day (I had no idea) – and nobody had bothered to tell him, that he was doing a great job.

I’ve never forgotten that day – and I think we often underestimate what a small gesture can do for somebody.

Kindness comes in many forms – to open a door for someone, to let them pass in the car, to smile, to look in the face of a homeless person when you give them money. I noticed how they light up – because they feel seen, too.

Being kind also means, being kind to ourselves. Rest when we need to, say no, put up healthy boundaries, meditate, dance, sing, listen to our body….There are many ways, find yours. Give yourself permission to be kind.

It’s this time again…

December 1 and I thought I’d share the first day of my “24 Days to Christmas” course with you, including the audio, some sort of meditation to get you relaxed, centred and into the spirit of Christmas.

Day 1
What do you want for Christmas?

On this first day of our course we’ll get clear on what you want for Christmas.
Most of the time we don’t really want things, stuff – what is behind that is that we want to experience: a certain feeling, a quality – like love, trust, abundance, peace, freedom.

So what is it you want this year?
You have no idea or only a vague one?

Okay, here’s my first tool for you: a guided audio-meditative thingy, that takes only a few minutes and helps you to get clear about what you wish to experience this year.
Before you listen, take a sheet of paper and a pen – you’ll need them afterwards.
You can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/sabine-konrath/your-xmas-gift

Okay, you are relaxed and back from your journey:
what is the feeling you want to experience? Is there another feeling behind it? If you want security, could it be, that behind this you want to experience love? Is it trust? Whatever it is, write it down and then think of the last time you felt this way: how did you breathe? How did your body feel? Is a colour attached to that feeling? Or a region in your body?
You can feel this feeling now – and every day. With or without Christmas.

Tomorrow we are going to look at setting a clear intention for this special time, see you then.

Try the meditation and if you like it, you can still sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dNq-0l

End of Year Panic

November ends today and then it’s December. only a bit more than 4 weeks until New Years Eve.

And no matter what I’ve done so far, almost immediately I’m going into panic mode. Even knowing that years are man-made and an illusion, I still fall prey to this, maybe, because most of the people believe in this reality.

So, what can we do to get through panic mode and back to our “normal”,  more relaxed and joyful state? What can I do to handle it?

  • Breathe – deeply, slowly and lovingly. Three deep breaths help me to get back into my core, to remain centred when I start to panic.
  • Ask yourself: what is the worst thing that will happen if the year is over and I haven’t done everything on my list? Imagine the worst possible outcome – is it really so bad? Could you still enjoy life? (Hint: most of the time the worst will never happen and it is not as bad as we think)
  • Don’t beat yourself up, try instead to be mind and plan the last month of the year with enough kindness for yourself.

Now plan your last month of the year with less small stuff, try to do only the most important things. Delegate the not-so-important stuff. Leave space for rest and re-charging.

And breathe. You’ve got this!

Daily Self Care

Another cold and rainy day, so I cuddle up inside, wearing my comfy “work at home” clothes and trying to enjoy life nonetheless.

What gets to me most is the darkness right now, though I enjoy working at nights, I don’t like it if it’s so dreary outside I have to put the lights on at noon. Today is such a day. The Scottish word “dreich” comes to mind. Perfect word for this day.

I’m really grateful I can work from home now, not having to commute for an hour or more one way, and relying on trains that very often are late in winter or don’t arrive at all. Yes, I am lucky.

Though I have to resist the temptation to just stop working and knit or have a nap – I’ve had to learn that I need a bit of structure, especially in winter, when I am in hibernation mode.

So, I try to get most of my work done by 6 pm, 8 pm latest. In case your wondering: I am a night owl and I rarely start working before 10 am. I usually write my “non-work” stuff at night. This post is an exception because I want my European readers to enjoy it today as well.

I notice that writing/blogging gives me the structure, too. I look forward to starting my post, I try to write or publish daily. On the other hand I give myself permission to stay inside, when I want to. I mean I have to leave the house regularly and in spring or summer, I am often walking a lot each day, exploring new things. But right now, I explore a lot more online, I give my body the much needed rest and give myself time to relax.

I don’t think I am missing out so much – ten years ago I was going nuts when I stayed at home. You could find me at concerts, parties, in pubs and bars at night – very often against my need to recharge. I was shy as a child, shy and daydreaming a lot – and I remember being told I have to go out and play with others. I was told I have to be very sociable to fit in (oops, again) – I worked for many years on going out, talking much, even to strangers – I did it so well that everyone around me thought I was the extrovert par excellence.

Two years ago I started feeling exhausted when I did not have enough me time. I felt exhausted and got sick. I wanted to stay in my flat and just sleep.

I was taught the hard way – because I did not listen – to do nothing and rest. Now I am still learning to give myself enough rest, but now I feel the signs and usually stop. I know that my good friends will get me, when I cancel going out or meeting. I know that I have to recharge regularly, best alone and in nature.

And I know, at this time of the year, I need even more sleep and rest. Being kind to myself is the key.

What are you doing to take care of yourself?


Rain and Poetry

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Are You Living in a Box?

Or in several of them? And what do I even mean by that?

When we are very young, as children before going to school, mostly before the age of four or five I’d guess, we experience life without limits, full of possibilities. We are curious to try as many things as we think will be fun and bring us joy.

At a certain time our parents, well-meaning and not knowing otherwise, will start to comment on our behaviour and our actions, to teach us, what’s acceptable in society and how to best fit in.

‘So let’s say for example you try a new dance move because you love dancing so much, and you fall over because your pirouette didn’t work out – “oh, you’ll never be much of a dancer” – and you’ll never even try again.Or let’s say, later in school, you want to join the choir and the teacher tells you, you have to sing in front of the class and a song she chooses – you are six or seven, wearing glasses, shy, but with this love for songs, and you are very nervous – so you don’t get it 100% right and after the first tune your teacher tells you: “oh you don’t get it, you can’t sing, stop”. Does that sound familiar?  Imagine then telling our Mum after school, how unfair that was and how you still want to sing – and you Mum (who happens to be a teacher) tells you, that your teacher is completely right, you can’t get the tunes right, did you not know that? So you bury your wish very deep, only singing when you are alone, so nobody can listen.

It can also happen when you are really good at something and enjoying it – “oh, don’t be such a show-off” – another talent buried.

To fit into your box, you have to be small(er), because as a child you were far too big for any box.

Open our box

Every time you cut something off, to fit in, you allow your parents and society to define you. You may have a box with several rooms, or a large one – so you can’t even see it is a box. Maybe you have several small boxes and roles – so perfect that you fit in everywhere. People may love you, but how do you really feel?

Are you so used to people pleasing and fitting in that you don’t mind? Or is there this nagging feeling that something is missing, that there once was more to life than just the things you do now?

In the last case, your inner child is trying to make you see how many possibilities and experiences you have denied yourself. S/he wants you to know that you can change it, that you are allowed to enjoy all of life, all of your talents and that you can start looking at them and un-box yourself in small steps.

I’ll share with you more about that in the following posts. I even managed to sing again, solo, and reclaim my beautiful voice. It took me 30 years, but boy, was it worth it!

Stay tuned for more….or share your box(es) with us.

P.S. the only box that does not count here is the Tardis – it’s bigger on the inside (sorry, could not resist..)