On this day …

… we celebrate the reunification of our country. In November 1989 the Berlin wall came down – and almost one year later we finally had one Germany, no borders, no walls. We celebrate our freedom today.

I still get goosebumps when I remember that time, the peaceful and powerful protests that lead us there – this strong feeling, even here, where I live, so close to the French border. The feeling of being united.

Last week I also saw the women and men in Iran, protesting their regime, peacefully protesting – and I noticed that our media barely report it. I see lots of videos on social media, I share them, and I feel so helpless.

A regime is shooting its own citizens and we – mainstream Germany – look away. We don’t help, our politicians are all talk and no action or sanctions.

So, wherever you are in the world, if you live in a free country celebrate your freedom and please, please share the news from Iran. We can’t look away, their time has come.

P.S.: I’m usually not writing about politics, but at the moment there’s simply too much happening around the globe, that needs to be named and shared.

Rainy Day

The first Sunday where the rain just never stops. It’s been raining all day – not a nice, soft rain like in summer, no, a cold and heavy rain.

It’s fall, it’s officially the time for hot tea, coffee or cocoa, for knitting socks and shawls, for listening to the darker songs. Today feels like a day they invented blues for. And wrote songs like “Rainy Night in Georgia”.

So, I have been reading poetry – and there are many poems about rain, who’d have thought?

So, enjoy your Sunday, no matter the weather – there’s an end to every storm.

Here’s a Haiku – isn’t it brilliant?

First winter rain by Matsuo Basho

First winter rain–
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

This month in challenges…

October is here – with lots of rain over here in Germany.

So I decided to brighten my days – and yours – with a few creative challenges.

It’s another month for the Ultimate Blog Challenge (UBC) – the goal is one blog post each day, to keep me consistent, to revive my blog and hopefully have interaction with you, dear reader, and even more fun.

The second challenge is one created by Tara & Sandra over at Kick in the Creatives – the name is program and they do regular creative challenges. While I shied away from the drawing or painting ones in the past, this month they have one for poets. And I am a poet/writer/songwriter – so I decided to join. Expect all kinds of writing, from Haiku to longer forms – while I try to not take myself so serious.

The third one is for my knitter friends – this month Socktober, so get ready for some beautiful socks – or cast on your favourite pattern. I’m a fan of Stephen West’s designs, and before I’m casting on for this year’s MKAL(Mystery Knit-along),Twists and Turns, I cast on Dustland socks today, in a soft yarn from my friends at Poshyarn in Wales.

Socktober came from a project where we knitted socks for charity – and while I still do that from time to time, I admit that I often knit them for friends.

Why do I do all that, you ask? Aside from my usual business and writing songs? I believe in the power of accountability and support – I may or may not get i done every day, but more often than not. Besides, challenges are a fun way to start something. I haven’t been knitting for some months and now felt the need to create something with my hands – and needles.

I have been writing, yes, and lyrics can feel like poems, yet they are not. So I’m going to explore poetry while working on lyrics. My poems are mostly written while playing around with words – which makes it so joyful. Stay tuned for the results πŸ™‚

Do you participate in any other challenges this month? What are they about? Please feel free to share πŸ™‚

The Way Of The Fool

April 1 – the Fool’s Day. Usually there are lots of jokes and people get really creative….

There’s another way to look at the fool – this trusting, naive being, that’s walking his path with an open heart.

Right now,when times are tough, we tend to build more boundaries, strive even more for security, for safety – which is not a bad thing. Just think about it and balance it out with curiosity and embrace all the beautiful surprises today and every day on your adventure.

Happy April Fools Day!

Day 24 – Celebrate

ay 24 and you did it! Well done!

Tonight is Christmas Eve and that’s when we over here, in Germany, celebrate and open our gifts.

So now is your time to celebrate – whatever you want to do, just do it now.

Most countries celebrate tomorrow, so use tonight, take your time, relax, breathe, recharge – do whatever makes you feel comfortable and maybe you want to give yourself a gift: be kind to yourself in the days that follow Christmas.

Maybe you want to relax even more after Christmas.

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Frohe Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad! God Jul!

 

Day 23 – Let Go Of Expectations

This time of the year is so full of expectations, especially on Christmas Day.

You expect your partner and family to like the gifts you choose for them, you expect them to be nice and kind to each other, you want harmony.

You expect to get gifts that were chosen for you, mindfully, things that you really like.

Let’s be honest: this doesn’t happen for most people.

Family members will disagree or even fight, you may be gifted with things you hate and still your aunt or Mum expects you to be grateful.

Christmas – for many of us – is a stressful time – maybe because we expect it to be wonderful. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s why we did the visualization yesterday.

To manifest this you need to let go of the β€žwantβ€œ, of your expectations.

You can feel joy whatever happens. Only then can the Universe/God/the Tao bring you the gifts you’d love to receive.

Too much attachment and expectations – and it will not work as elegantly as possible.

So breathe out, tell yourself you’ll accept whatever happens. Let go.

Day 22 – Imagine

Only two more days ’til Christmas – so choose now to visualize your Christmas, your personal one.

There are no limits – just see yourself, in a relaxed state, enjoying everything.

Your family, the conversations, even the little rows, enjoy every part like you’d enjoy fantastic theatre. Because that’s what most of the drama is: people playing roles, doing things like they always did without questioning.

Notice what happens when you observe it.

Be part of it, be part of your family – and observe at the same time.

See the scene, visualize how you enjoy this Christmas, see yourself unwrapping beautiful gifts, enjoy the meals with family and friends (if possible) or having me-time to relax.

Step into the scene and feel it – you’re connected, you feel wonderful and you enjoy every minute. Feel it in your body.

Do this for short moments during the day – and your Christmas will be the best ever.

Day 21 – Darkness and Light

Today is the day of the Winter Solstice.

From this day on the days are getting longer, the light is coming back.

It’s a very old celebration today – celebrating the light.

It made me think how we love the light and don’t want to see the darkness, the dark side.

They are brother and sister, dark and light. They are dancing like Yin and Yang.

So this is the day to look at the darker things in life and embrace them. Then embrace the light, too.

Look at things you think of as bad, wrong and so on. Ask yourself: what did this bring me? Where would I be without this experience? Is there a gift in the darkness, the shadow?

Acknowledge it, embrace it if you can.

Look at the parts of yourself, the parts you are ashamed of, the ones you put in a dungeon, your shadow – look at them and say hello. Be with one of them and embrace it if you can. Be gentle and kind, don’t force it,

It’s easy to love the light – but you can’t have it, experience it fully without the dark.

Take some time today to meditate and celebrate both.

Merry Solstice!

Day 20 – Recharge Your Batteries

We’re counting down now: 4-3-2-1….Christmas!!!

So use today to recharge your batteries, dear reader. (Imagine a Dalek voice: RE-CHARGE, RE-CHARGE, RE-CHARGE)

Read a good book, listen to you favourite music or meditate.

Whatever you need, go, get it now.

It might be a good idea to re-visit the previous days and do your favourite exercise or use the tool you liked so far.

Just use this day to relax a bit more and replenish your energy.

Day 19 – Listen To Your Body

Only five more days until Christmas Day. A time with family – meaning a joyful day at best and many times it means meeting people you would not meet if they were not family and you could choose.

Because, many times, certain family members push our buttons and trigger us. A certain tone in their voice, a memory from long ago, a reminder – and we are in defence mode or feel hurt and want to lash out. We feel jealous or rejected, just because of this person – that’s what we think.

If you feel triggered it’s never the other person – it’s a part of you, that comes out of a shadow, showing you where you feel still insecure or not safe at all.

I have experienced this in my family many times, from my uncle, who always referred to African or Afro-Americans with the N-word, my aunt who always criticized my style and body, my grandma asking for the 1000th time, when I’d finally bring my boyfriend over, my Mum asking me (when I was over forty) if I really wanted to eat another Christmas cookie, why did I not want to be as slim as I was some years ago and live on a diet, oh, and would I ever get a husband instead of just having sex? And why can you not be like other people and have a normal job, house and children?

You’ll have similar issues I guess – and instead of feeling hurt or angry or on the verge of wanting to slap a family member – think of a situation like that right now and take a time out.

Sit for five minutes, hand on your chest and listen.

Where is this feeling in your body? Is it in your heart area, your belly, in your solar-plexus?

Breathe, slowly, calmly, evenly – one breath at a time and listen.

Stay with the feeling and breathe. It may take a short while, and the feeling will dissolve.

Simply because you listened, because you were sitting with it – hand on your chest and breathing. Instead of pushing it away or going straight into reactive mode. Allowing the feeling, being with it and listening will dissolve it. In a good way.

Until it comes up when you get triggered again, in a different way. This is a process – it takes time, it will only work, if you remind yourself and do it consistently.

Start now.

P.S. This exercise was inspired by Jamie Catto and his brilliant work, if you want to know more, go to http://www.jamiecatto.com. During the Holiday season his online workshops (go to https://www.jamiecatto.com/shop-1) are free. Have a look and download one or more to help you – not only on Christmas.