Der Weg der Heilung

Yoga, Vedanta, Meditation, Tanz, Humor

How to recognize real friendship in the digital age

Did you come across the fascinating revelations of Australian nurse Bonnie Ware a while ago? If you are a digital Native, chances are you did. Under the title The top five regrets of the dying”, the palliative nurse revealed what she had learned about some of people’s most significant desires, showing themselves in the form of regrets that people had expressed on their death beds while Mrs. ware was caring for them in the last 12 weeks of their lives.

One of the top 5 regrets was the following: “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

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The reassurance of physical touch

 

At first glance, it’s understandable to think ‘ oh well, staying in touch with friends has never been easier than nowadays through social media, mobile phones and media connectivity galore!’ And yes, this is definitely an advantage that previous generations were not able to enjoy. However, the patients questioned by Bonnie Ware emphasized that they would have loved to “give the friendships the time and effort they deserved”. Now this, in my opinion, is a key phrase. How many of us fool ourselves into thinking that scrolling through our Facebook news feed and obligatory liking the newest of our friends picture, leaving an encouraging comment on a good day, equals maintaining a friendship?

How convenient would it be, if real, lasting friendship could be maintained this way? Undoubtedly, it would save a lot of time if it was possible and if the friendships of former days just had magically transformed themselves into these  forms of human contact that merely needed a second of our attention every so often. Unfortunately- or fortunately – it isn’t this way, though.

How many ‘friends’ can we cope with?

The lines between real friendships and fleeting acquaintances have become blurred in the virtual world, not just but also because many Social media users showcase more than 1000 friends on their profiles, while the realistic maximum number of people we are able to maintain relationships with  lies at 150 people. Our brains are just not wired to cope with more, as evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar proves in his fascinating study.

 

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Social media: a world of possibilities and distractions

 

Many people don’t seem to know anymore what they can expect in and of friendships in times like these in which  so much of our social interactions are happening in an online world. In my mind, the current times require more than ever to not just increase our connectivity, but also and more importantly, to strengthen our conscious approach to communication and to our relationships. It’s an important task to establish for yourself what real friendship means to you and then create a conversation with people you consider friends, becoming clear on what your desires and values are in a friendship, what the other one’s consist in, and if and how you can bring those needs together or create compromises.

With some friends, this might never be necessary  -it can’t hurt however to have an honest conversation as we all have a limited amount of time and energy at our disposal, and our resources are best spent in alignment with our core values and needs and communicated in a respectful and compassionate way.

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“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
Mark Twain

Are you in need of some inspiration as to what could define a real friendship? Ultimately, this is a thing just you can decide on, and something that might vary considerably from person to person. Here are some ideas though that work for me:

  • Communication is key: Keeping each other regularly updated on how your lives are going is crucial in order to not lose sight of each other, especially if your friend is a really close one. Just assuming that 5, 10 or 20 years of friendship are enough to trust into an eternal duration of your friendship can work for some, but to me has a very fairytale like quality and definitely doesn’t work for all friend pairings. You need to water a plant to make it grow or even just to keep it alive – give your friendship some attention in regular doses, let them know if your life is too crazy right now to write much or call often but that you think of them. As with everything in life, you generally receive what you put out! If you treasure your friend, don’t treat them worse than your pot plant.
  • Express your feelings– by the way, another regret that features in the top 5 regrets of the dying is that they wished they would have been more open expressing their emotions. Sometimes this is easier said than done of course, but to make any long-term relationship or friendship work on a prospering and enriching level, this is a crucial learning process! Your feelings and needs are such an integral part of who you are  -don’t shy away from giving them some space. If you admire something about your friend – say it! If you feel hurt or disrespected, discuss it. How often do people get passive-aggressive because they have swallowed their feelings one too many times? That type of emotional suppression is definitely not conducive to a fun, loving vibe in your friendship.
  • Self-care: Don’t expect anyone to fill your void. Heal and tend to yourself, and yes, let others be there for you, but do not expect anyone to be your saviour. That’s your role!
  • Talk, be there for each other, especially after a break-up, loss or other huge transformations, but also schedule in some fun times to let the inner child run rampant and just let go for a while! Life can be tough as it is – make sure you can enjoy yourself with your friend as well and not exclusively talk about problems.
  • Check in with yourself– does the friendship generally uplift you, or do you feel drained after a talk or catch up? I am not referring to times of crisis – they are perfectly normal and an essential part of life and growth in which a friend’s support can make a world of difference. However, if the general gist of your friendship is leaving you sucked and dry, and the person goes on and on about the same stuff without trying to work on it by themselves (be it through books, meditation, therapy or the like) – it might be necessary to call it quits or to at least reduce your interactions considerably. Limited time and energy, remember? There are plenty of beings you can shower with love, time, and compassion without feeling drained afterward!

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What is key in a real friendship? What are your no – goes? Looking forward to your insights below ! And also make sure to enjoy cultivating the probably most important friendship you can ever create – the one to yourself!

 

 

Categories: Der Weg der Heilung, Posts in English | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What do you do when a loved one dies?

What do you do when a loved one dies?

Do you just push it aside, continuing your life as if nothing major happened?

Do you simply go on being a doer, on and on, just like society’s rules and pressures wants you to be?

Or do you stop and take time to honor your loss?

I know I know, it’s much easier said than done in a world like ours, that generally attaches more value to getting than giving, to achieving than to being present and still, to aggressiveness than receptivity.

We live in a society, in which birth is glorified, yet death is negated, as if they weren’t two sides of the same coin, as if death belonged to everybody else but oneself, as if it belonged to either the past or the future, but not the present.

What if there is ever just the present to acknowledge that death is real, pain is real, and both are inherently parts of us, of us as human beings, being vulnerable, being of limitless potential yet of clearly limited possibilities when it comes to our timely existence on this planet.

So, what do you do when a loved one dies?

You might fall into pieces, you might look into the mirror and see another you. You might cry relentlessly, you might feel numb.

You might just need to suppress it all for a while, because reality can feel more cruel sometimes than our tender hearts can bear. And most people around you seem to constantly tell you to either ignore it all, or to get your act together and leave the past where it belongs.

But you know what? It’s all ok: everything you are feeling is acceptable, everything. And in this as well as in most other cases, we are used to value the outer factors and reflections so much more than our inner processes: value other’s opinions, suggestions and advice higher than our own inner world, the only place where our unique truth, our purpose and our reality, our unique perception of life lies.

We are socialized in this way, and this, too, is ok – however, when a loved one dies, it’s time to step aside, to breathe and to kick society’s general approach to grieving and loss in the butt.

So if anyone tells you to get over a loss after a certain amount of time – ignore it. You might wanna visualize an imaginary clown’s nose on the person’s face or do something else in your phantasy to seize those moments of uncalled for advice differently.

If anyone does not accept you just the way you are during those weeks, months or years of grieving as the experience of loss is something profoundly personal it cannot be measured in absolute terms or timeframes – , if they cannot accept you in your vulnerability and with all your real emotions in these times of turmoil, don’t ever think they are right and that something is wrong with you. All your emotions in times of loss are a testimony to the unique relationship you had with your deceased loved one and need to be given space. Feel all your emotions fully, be it rage, despair, anger, sadness…they all have their right to be there, to be fully felt and then released.

Despite of what society tells us, all emotions are necessary and even beautiful. If you open yourself up to fully feel them and accept them, transformation can take place. All emotions paint the picture of your inner life and are necessary to experience life fully in all its glorious colourfulness.

Pain and joy are one, as life and death are one.

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Did this article spark your interest? Would you like to read more about how to concretely help yourself in times of grief? Just let me know and I will expand on it shortly. Also, do you have any special tips for these times in life? Feel free to comment below! Thanks for reading.

Categories: Der Weg der Heilung, Glauben und Hoffen | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What times of dis-ease can teach us and why not to be afraid of them

Since becoming a yoga teacher or sharer and Reiki- practitioner, it has become even more challenging for myself to accept it when i am sick. Or, as my teacher would say, when i am entertaining sickness.

And even though i have managed to, or have been guided to, a much more consistent health than before making yoga and Reiki an integral part of my daily life, it obviously doesn’ t mean that i never ever get sick anymore.

In the end, life can get rough sometimes, and that goes for everyone: healers, truck drivers, teachers, lawyers, everyone. Or let’s better say: for everyone on a certain level of their existence, because my conviction and experience is, that our true essence remains untouched from all dis-ease and pain, from all drama and trauma, from all heartbreak and despair.

If we learn how to connect to the depth of our being regularly through practices like meditation, yoga, qi gong and the like, we learn to perceive this essence, that others may call soul, true self or atma, and to make that connection a pillar of strength and reliance in our lives.

Through these practices and through learning from spiritual teachers who cultivate that awareness, we also learn to observe the ebb and flow of life and to not identify with our dramas. But  instead to reconnect back to our true essence and to see all crisis or dis-eases as chances to grow and learn.

Dis-eases are also a wonderful way to connect to elements of true compassion, kindness and empathy within ourselves we can bond on a deeper level with others and understand their pain, which gives birth to healing qualities.

I feel that a challenging virusinfection which is just being healed in me, is allowing  me to learn some major lessons, that i think are important lessons for everyone:

1. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE VULNERABLE AND TO ASK FOR HELP:

to allow yourself to receive help and love can be more challenging than to give – to accept nurturing and help is essential to a deeper life and better flow in life.

Especially healers, teachers, doctors, all the natural givers in this world often have a hard time accepting or asking for help. Being so used to giving it’s easily forgotten that giving is receiving, and receiving is giving. It’s connected and intertwined.If you allow others to help you, you open your heart to them and allow them to be part of your authentic life.

2. HONOUR AND ACCEPT THE DIS-EASE:

It’s there for a reason: to show you an imbalance, to give you rest, to bring you closer to yourself again. It’s there to teach you patience, kindness with yourself, acceptance, surrender, letting go.

And even though sometimes you won’t be able to see this, dis-eases can be some of the best teachers, if you choose to be open to look at it this way.

Ask yourself: What can i learn from this? What is my body and soul’s message in this? How can i love myself in a deeper way?

3. INTEGRATE THE YIN, THE SOFTER SIDE OF LIVE:

rest, play, nurture yourself. Don’t push so hard, don’t torture yourself with always having to achieve and being active. That might be another lesson hidden in a dis-ease, especially if you tend to overdo it at work or life in general.

4. FIND OUT WHO YOUR TRUE FRIENDS ARE:

True friends care for each other. I was humbled to see that true friends can be the ones you didn’ t expect it to be, and others might just be there when times are sunny. Choose wisely who your friends are and see if there’s a mutual interest and support in both challenging and good times. Your amount of friends might decrease dramatically, but you might find it to be much more satisfying to focus on true heart connections.

I am taking it easy these days and learning to accept and integrate these lessons.This text goes out as an offering from my heart to those of my true friends and to everyone who is going through a time of dis-ease or suffering.

May it serve you…much love always.

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What is authentic Yoga? What is Yoga’s Marketingface?

Yoga – it’s everywhere. Which can be seen as a good thing as it reaches and helps more and more people. However what distinguishes the authentic traditional Yoga
from today’s marketed Yoga Image?

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Yoga in its original meaning refers to oneness
– to the interconnectedness of all live and to the aim of creating, or better reconnecting to. the oneness within oneself, balancing mind, body and soul.

In ancient times, the natural world, the animal world and Yoga where inherently
weaved into each other – the creators of Yoga, just like the creators of Qi Gong,
saw the animals in a certain way as teachers and sought to imitate their postures in order to get the same benefit out of it: the flexibility and softness of the cat f.ex., mirrored in cat-pose, in Sanskrit Cakravakasana. Or the stability, endurance and groundedness of the tree (tree-pose, Vrksasana).

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Cakravakasana- Cat pose

Its major aim was to be able to make the body supple and still enough to sit in long hours of meditation. And to connect to the divine within and to the divine everywhere, in all its forms.

What do you perceive when you see the Yogaimages of nowadays Marketingrulers?

You mostly perceive perfect photoshop- shaped bodies, big smiles, and an apparently
quick fix to the endless pursuit of happiness. You perceive the postures, Asanas, as
the only or major part of Yoga (there,s much more to yoga) than that). And you might feel stressed at the idea of having to achieve the kind of out of world look or acrobatic posture-perfection that the eversmiling Yogagirl- or boy is
presenting, either on its Fakebook-page, its Blog, Website, or other onesided presentations of themselves.

And most of that my friends, is an illusionary image of the traditional authentic Yoga -at least in my perception. Yoga in its original meaning, the meaning that is deeply rooted into my heart and that I wish to transmit while sharing
what I’ ve learned in classes, is a journey.A process, livelong if you dare, an act of facing and meeting yourself in your depth, of feeling happy, yes, but also sad, frightened, mad, joyous, excited, bored…of being you with ALL your facets, and embracing that, embracing all-that-is in your inner world, saying YES to it.

Through embracing all of you, accepting all of you, you embark on your inner healing journey, and yoga can be such a wonderful tool to assist you in that.

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Yoga as offering

Yoga is not about competition- its about CONNECTION..
Yoga is not about perfection- its about ACCEPTANCE
Its not about striving and achieving- its about ACCEPTANCE
Its not about focusing on others, their perfect postures or apparent always-happiness
– its about looking within, feeling within, healing from within.
Its not about thinking you are not flexible, pretty, thin, healthy, young…enough to do Yoga-
its about seeing THAT YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. And that Yoga is there to serve everyone…EVERYONE. Full stop.

I was blessed  to find wonderful teachers who live this approach to Yoga, which for me constitutes the yogic truth…
In order to find an appropiate teacher, go with your gut feeling, choose someone accepting and who walks the talk. And don’t worry, Yoga teachers are not perfect, they are not always happy, they are human beings just like you and me;), no matter what wonders they do in classes or how great they look on those Yoga pictures.

We are all connected, perfect in our imperfections. And that, in my humble opinion, needs to shine trough in classes- Yoga from a teacher’s  heart to yours, as authentic offering. Namaste and much love, always. 

PS: If you would like more information on Yoga, or would like classes with me(one on one, small groups),please visit my Yogawebsite www.lakshmiyogabliss.com.

 

Categories: Der Weg der Heilung, Posts in English | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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