Being able to love yourself: no New Age crap, but an important piece of the happiness puzzle

A Flaming I Love You by Koinos Zoi Photography
Recently, I was feeling quite depressed and lonely, and longing for a romantic partner. Then, after many years of being haunted by this feeling, it finally hit me: the worst thing would not be if I didn’t find the right relationship, but if I did and still felt as if I were all alone in the world. Striving to get “there” (in my case, a relationship) would not save me from my loneliness in the here and now. I need to learn the skills necessary to being happy with myself, even when I’m alone.

A short while after I realized this, I “accidentally” found a website called Inner Bonding. Although the talk about “bonding with your inner child” turned me off initially, it brought to my awareness the idea that a connection to an energy greater than us isn’t enough for a human being to be happy (I’ve written about finding a spiritual connection on my blog quite a bit and it really changed my life). We also need to have a loving relationship to ourselves, talk to ourselves and treat ourselves in a loving way. While I’ve heard this a million times, I never really understood it with my whole body instead of just intellectually – until now. I think this idea (if practiced) is revolutionary as I don’t know anyone who fully embodies this and certainly never learned how to love myself, or that this is even important.

Have you ever thought about this in depth? How is your relationship to yourself? While I am taking good care of myself, I noticed that I relate to myself like an object; like a car owner relates to their car: they expect it to do its job and do what’s necessary to maintain its functionality, but that’s nothing but an annoying, if necessary task. (Okay, I know there are people out there who love their car more than anything and enjoy washing and repairing it, but I think you know what I’m trying to say!) That’s how I feel about myself often. It’s a strange and impersonal relationship to have to yourself…

I think how we treat ourselves has a lot to do with how we grew up, and while it’s too late to get what we need from our parents (who probably never got it themselves), I’m thrilled that it’s possible to become our own good parent! You can find more details about this on the website (many free resources, AND a testimonial from Alanis Morissette!!) or in the book “Inner Bonding” by Margaret Paul. Try it!

(I keep sending you to other people’s websites, which is something a clever businesswoman should not do. So if you don’t like the Inner Bonding website, you can always go here and book an Emotion Code session with me – it’s on a pay-what-you-want basis for now, and I love that!)
 
Photo credit: “A Flaming I Love You” by Koinos Zoi Photography. CC license CC BY 2.0. No changes were made to the photo.
 
 

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Time to course-correct (if you don’t like where you’re going)

 

“Life is a test. But sometimes we pick the wrong answer. No big deal, right? Well, unfortunately we often pick the same wrong answer over and over, avoiding any other possible outcome, and therefore avoiding the correct answer.”

“Therefore one of the most important skills we can develop is course correction. It’s direly important to understand when a mistake is a mistake, to learn from our indiscretions, to change course and move forward a better person.”

- “Course Correction” by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

 
It’s only May, but now is a good time to look back at and see what you have learned, where you would like to correct your course, and what exactly you are going to do to make this change happen.

Why now?

 
Answer 1, for the astrologically minded: On May 20, Mars retrograde and with it, a long period of astrological upheavals will end and all that you have worked on, learned and discovered so far is supposed to yield fruit. If you’re confused and some things aren’t clear yet, that should end at this date and you can finally make your dreams for this year come true. Best to do a status check before that.

Answer 2, for everyone else, or in case astrology is just superstition: If you have given some thought to how you would like this year to be, it’s only logical to stop at some point and assess what has happened so far. It’s time to correct your course, for if you continue doing things the way you do them now, you will end up where you’re going. In case you don’t like where you are going, it’s better to find out now and change it than be disappointed at the end of this year.
 

I’ve asked myself the following questions:

 

What have I learned so far this year?

 

I have learned that loneliness doesn’t kill me and actually disappears after a while. I have learned to live without the friends I had, and that I’d rather be alone with myself than lonely with them. I never thought it would take so long for me to find the right people for me, so I have had to learn patience, too.

I have learned that things flow more smoothly and successfully when I am happy instead of miserable and overworked. Who would have thought that hard work is only good up to the degree that it feels sweet? And that living in a way that creates a feeling of sweetness (which may be different for anybody) is legitimate and leads to things goign the right way more easily and quickly than depleting myself? To me, this is one of my greatest lessons of this year because everyone I know believes in the exact opposite. It’s an achievement to even think such a blasphemous thought, and even more so to live it!

I have discovered that writing and expressing myself creatively is what I would happily dedicate my life to even if I never got paid for it. In this context, I learned that what I really want is to be open and honest, no matter how embarassing and socially unacceptable it is. (I learned this by taking this free class. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention, Carla! :))

 

What have I achieved that actually feels like an achievement, as opposed to just looking like one on the outside?

 

When I wake up in the morning, I am in a good mood and looking forward to the day. For 25+ years, this wasn’t so.
I started doing a monthly budget, which is surprisingly liberating. (I learned how in this free e-mail course.)

 

Where have I gotten off course and how can I course-correct?

 

I have neglected making plans for a holiday. I have wanted to travel again for a long time and thought I would do it “later” or “someday”, but the truth is, you have to set aside or save up some money, pick a destination, put it in your schedule and make all the preparations. If I continue on my current track, I will go absolutely no place and then feel like 2014 was a monotonous blur of work and some rest. It’s so uncool and un-bohemian, but in this day and age, so much depends on time-management and planning!

 

Imagine it is December 31, 2014 and you are looking back at your year. How would you like to feel in that moment? What would you like to be able to say about 2014?

 

“I did my best and worked hard to deal with my messy life, reach my goals, let go of the attachment to outcome, and learn to live. Things didn’t go according to plan. It felt like my life was exploding, and what was uncovered was a love and freedom I couldn’t have imagined or planned.”

 
What do you see when you look back now? What will you see when you look back on New Year’s Eve?
 
 

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8 Reasons Why Life Would Be Better If We Were More Like Animals

After an interesting discussion on my Facebook page about why some animals work so much and others don’t and what that has to do with workaholism in humans (yes, I know it’s completely unrelated to what this site is actually about), here’s my totally subjective, half-serious list of 8 reasons why life would be better if we were more like animals:

 
 
1. We’d have much closer, more trusting and intimate relationships with others and enjoy endless chats with them without anyone telling us to shut up and get back to work:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/suneko/29214527/in/photolist-3zJsK-aonpuK-daXcpF-3zJsn-3JzGPM-ECPmT-3JEaL7-28RYcV-edtp51-cPPcgy-irKm6z-ijPn4Q-5epgGj-5epfJ3-5epg2o-5epgi9-5CWbWk-7igREX-kgiba-9SUP3e-gtwwDg-dYye4K-Br4jZ-4ZtaWL-faBi4n-37wxZr-aPvtZr-vuPVH-geeNHj-6WF6vv-6sm1SK-5trsMs-7DZZE3-7JYDS2-9gkBg8-BETJN-absr4J-NwW81-9mNNj2-6gYn1H-aqbLwt-7t1Mqa-SQRfk-k4rkwD-7t5Kaj-acsnBJ-aGtCHz-745E5d-7t5K8y-22TQnj

 
 
2. We’d be naturally elegant, look good in almost any situation, and never doubt our own beauty:

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3. Even if we didn’t look that great from time to time, we still wouldn’t worry about others thinking less of us because of it:

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4. We wouldn’t worry about others considering us weird or somehow off-putting for being who we are:

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5. We wouldn’t have to (and be driven to) work so much:

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6. We wouldn’t hide our feelings, positive and negative:

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7. We’d enjoy life more and play whenever we felt like it:

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8. And if someone bothered us, we wouldn’t waste time being polite, but simply show them who’s boss:

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    ——————

Image copyright:

orang-utans: IMG_2283chibi2 by su neko, CC license (CC BY-SA 2.0)

swans: Swans by debabrata, CC license (CC BY 2.0)

alpaca: Just an alpaca by Link Humans UK. CC license (CC BY 2.0)

koala: Caricature of Koala by eyecmore, CC licence CC BY-SA 2.0

camels: Lazy is too mild a description by David J. CC license CC BY 2.0

chimpanzees: Challenge #4 – Monkey Love by Bobby Pawns. CC license CC BY 2.0

tiger: Tiger snacking underwater by David Blaikie. CC license CC BY 2.0

dolphin: Funny glissade! by catlovers. CC license CC BY-SA 2.0

gorillas: Angry Gorilla Monkey is the Strongest Animal of Zoo Apes by epSos.de. CC license CC BY 2.0

None of the images were changed by me.

 
 

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When working your ass off gets you nowhere, follow your intuition.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living in two worlds at once.

World # 1 is the one that is officially and by most people considered to be „the real world“: the world of reason and plans; the world where you get what you want by changing something in the external, material realm; the world of to-do lists, appointments and deadlines.

World # 2 is the one where I somehow just know with my whole being (physical and emotional) whether someone or something is right or wrong for me; where I can rely on this gut feeling; the world of feeling connected to the energy of nature, of people I really like, of the entire universe! This other world also exists when I read a book, watch a dance performance or a movie that feels like it describes me; where I intuitively understand what the artist is trying to express.

I used to rely on world # 1 for the most part: I made plans and tried to get what I want and be successful. I still feel better when I don’t just live mindlessly without giving thought to my future, my wishes and how to fulfill them. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s just that most of the time, everything turned out differently from what I had planned. And in those cases where things DID go according to plan and I got what I wanted, I felt dissatisfied again soon. Most of my wishes came from my ego, which means they were always kind of boring (they were all about survival, greed and status), wrong for me and not as fulfilling as I’d hoped.

Now I’m in a situation where things aren’t going according to plan – again: My business isn’t developing as fast as I’d hoped and I am far from making a living with it. Within the next months, I have to figure something out that does pay my bills, because I’ll run out of money otherwise. A while ago, I would have been extremely worried, frantically researching the best ways to make more money, improve my marketing etc. for hours each day.

Yet, I still don’t have a plan B, and to my surprise, I’m not panicking (not too often, anyway).

Since I’m anchored in world # 2 more and more, I often feel calm. I don’t believe that I should have made more of an effort and that it’s all my fault, because I really put a lot of work into this business. Even MORE work, work, work can’t be a solution! Somehow, I feel like there is a plan, everything will arrive at the right time, and it’s all going to be alright. Am I crazy? I do sometimes wonder when I’m back in panic-mode.

Then I remember that all the fear, worry and compulsive doing, fixing and strategizing have NEVER, EVER worked for me.

I just don’t feel like doing this anymore. This time, I’ll try a different way.

I’m not talking about doing nothing and waiting for lots of money to just show up, but rather doing what I feel pulled towards. My gut feeling has been guiding me surprisingly well recently and I’m relying on it more and more.

Will this work? We’ll see.

I should probably close this post with an insight or a good piece of advice, but I have neither.

However, I’d like to know if all of this sounds crazy to you, or if you know what I mean.
Do you also feel like you live in two worlds at the same time? Are you also fed up with driving yourself crazy with endless worry and compulsive activity (which is common in world #1) and ready to try following your inner voice instead (experimenting with living in world #2)? Please comment below! :)

Thank you,

Julia
 
 

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How to change the world without burning out and breaking your spirit

 

NASA Blue Marble by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

NASA Blue Marble by NASA Goddard Photo and Video


There’s a contradiction that I can’t figure out: More and more people seem to recognize that living the life that their society prescribes them, as well as endless consumption regardless of the consequences for nature isn’t exactly fulfilling, but destructive to the planet we live on. More and more people seem to discover their connection to what gives them joy, to nature, and to whatever gives their lives meaning.

On the other hand, the current global situation is pretty shitty and it seems the noose around our necks is slowly tightening on us: economic crisis, destruction of the environment, surveillance and loss of the right to privacy, hunger, poverty – we live in a self-destructive system.

The world is getting worse and worse. Or is it getting better and better?!

Given depressing media reports about all these problems and many more I have often gotten involved with charities and human rights organizations. These organizations have the habit of working with such shocking pictures and messages that (together with the daily media terror) I have often felt worn out, broken and sometimes even traumatized – which is why I tend to stay away from them nowadays.

That’s why I’ve been wondering for a long time:

How can you, as a single individual, change the world

if you don’t want to wear yourself out in activism against the worst flaws of the system and end up depressed and with your nerves at a breaking point?

if you want to dream up and implement new models of living, doing business, running an economy etc. that arise directly out of your values, passions and interests?

if you want to do it in a way that feels good and is fun?

 

How the world would be if I called the shots

 
I want people to live their lives with their whole being, to feel alive and to no longer (be forced to) split their time and their lives in two areas:

- what they need to do but do not really want to do (work perceived as meaningless or even unethical, social obligations, consumption as a substitute for true aliveness), and

- their leisure time.

I want the resources on earth to be distributed and used by means of efficient, sustainable technologies in order to make a good life in dignity possible for 100% of humanity, in the process not only not destroying nature, but restoring it.

 

Why can’t we simply live like this, but instead create a system that is leading us to global destruction?

 
To change a system most effectively and most profoundly, we have to focus on one leverage point: the world view, or paradigm from which a system arises, says Donella H. Meadows in her excellent article “Places to Intervene in a System”. (1)

„The shared idea in the minds of society, the great unstated assumptions, unstated because unnecessary to state; everyone knows them, constitute that society’s deepest set of beliefs about how the world works. There is a difference between nouns and verbs. People who are paid less are worth less. Growth is good. Nature is a stock of resources to be converted to human purposes. Evolution stopped with the emergence of Homo sapiens. One can “own” land. Those are just a few of the paradigmatic assumptions of our culture, all of which utterly dumbfound people of other cultures.
Paradigms are the sources of systems.“

And:

„People who manage to intervene in systems at the level of paradigm hit a leverage point that totally transforms systems. (…) In a single individual [a paradigm change] can happen in a millisecond. All it takes is a click in the mind, a new way of seeing. Of course individuals and societies do resist challenges to their paradigm harder than they resist any other kind of change.“

So how do you change the basic world view from which a system, a society arises?

Generally speaking, it works like this:

„[Y]ou keep pointing at the anomalies and failures in the old paradigm, you come yourself, loudly, with assurance, from the new one, you insert people with the new paradigm in places of public visibility and power. You don’t waste time with reactionaries; rather you work with active change agents and with the vast middle ground of people who are open-minded.

 

But first, an important question: What exactly is the paradigm that creates our society and the current world order?

 
The environmental activist and author Frances Moore-Lappé (2) says that we believe in the paradigm of the lack: “There is not enough of anything: not enough of the things that we need, and not enough goodness in us humans. Our true nature is that of selfish materialist competing for limited resources . We believe in a “lack of goods and goodness”. With this world view, it is understandable that many people feel powerless to change things and leave the responsibility for positive change in the world to the seemingly wiser and more powerful (politicians, managers, “the invisible hand of the market”).

Moore-Lappé says this, knowing that there are actually enough resources to feed and take care of everyone. Still, I realize that me and other people live according to this paradigm. As an experiment, I tried to imagine that I have enough of everything: enough money, time, love, freedom, friendship, good food, options etc. I felt as if my head was about to explode. Which is probably a sign that I had reached the limits of a mental filter that dominates my thoughts and feelings:

According to Moore-Lappé, we always see our world through a particular filter that determines what we perceive and what we don’t, for example in terms of what people are like and what is possible for us. However, the filter which prevails in the majority of people’s heads is killing us, as we can see by the state of the world .
 

What are tangible ways for us as individuals to overcome this world view and to take courage to act according to what we really think and feel?

 
Frances Moore-Lappé says:

1) The first step towards change is to see how much this life-destroying message of lack is drummed into us by our socialization, advertising, etc.

2) Our conception of power must change. Power is not a thing we have or don’t have – power is always connected with relationships: Everything I do affects you. So each person has power that they can wield. (I think this applies to relationships of any kind, also to indirect relationships we have to the people who grow our food and make our clothes).

An example: I became aware that I could do something about environmental destruction and climate change even within my currently limited finances, apart from separating waste and other small things like that: As a consumer I have the power to choose who provides me with electricity, so I changed my provider from a regular one to one of electricity from 100% renewable sources. I’m even saving money!

3) Courage: We have to realize that evolution wired us to respond to anxiety with fight or flight, and to greatly fear being excluded from our group when we do something they object to. This fear always comes up when we criticize the status quo and try to change it. Nowadays, however, departing from the destructive path of the majority no longer means being excluded, but a step towards the survival of the whole group. Because our fear prevents us from doing what we think is right, we need to change our definition of fear.
Fear is just information. Fear tells us that we are on the right track, it is not an order to run or fight. (3) The energy of fear that arises in us when we are doing something different from everyone else – we don’t have to overcome it first (!), but rather walk with it, endure it and see it as applause and a message: Yes, you are doing the right thing!

An example: When I started my own business, I was afraid every step of the way: afraid of making mistakes, financial ruin, failure, being laughed at. I had strayed from the flock, so fear is and was a constant companion. But I knew I wanted to live this way in order to be as free as possible. In my business, I help other people, and I might even inspire others to do their own thing – which is, in my opinion, a contribution to a better world.

4) Humility: We should not believe from the outset that a better world isn’t possible, as in the past, none of us was able to foresee the positive developments of today. Equally, we can’t know what will happen in the future, and we can’t control everything. This humility frees us to consider a better world possible We can’t know if we’ll make it, but we can do out best to get there.

So do the thing you feel called to do and listen to this great piece of advice:

“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person. ”
― Buckminster Fuller

 
 
 

(1) Donella H. Meadows: “Places to Intervene in a System”. 1997. I have written a blog post about this article before (about goals as one possible leverage point to change systems), see here.
(2) From the book “Zukunft entsteht aus Krise”, Geseko von Lüpke. 2009, as quoted in Tau – Magazin für Barfußpolitik, Nr. 00/2011.
(3) To me, this is about the fear you feel when you are sure you are doing the right think but are afraid of being rejected. It’s not the fear you feel in situations where you are in physical danger etc.
 
Copyright: “NASA Blue Marble” by NASA Goddard Photo and Video. Licensed under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-4386822005

 
 

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What the world needs is people who have come alive. And: coming alive feels like cliff jumping. Scary as hell.

 

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive,
and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

― Howard Thurman

 

I love this quote and I know that it’s the truth. But: Why do the things that make me feel most alive also scare me the most and thus seem completely IMPOSSIBLE OUT OF REACH?
 
One the one hand, there’s my shyness. (I’m talking about myself here, but this could apply to you, as well.)
On the other hand, there’s the thrill and the melting on the inside that arise when I drop my mask and meet someone who does the same. THAT is exciting, but I rarely manage to do it: It’s hard to take off my mask and it’s hard to find others who are willing to risk self-exposure.

Then there are also the social rules that seem to prevail in the world around me, stifling any aliveness. For the aliveness that Howard Thurman talks about isn’t some “mild joy”, but an inner fire that burns wherever it wants to and doesn’t mind social rules of conduct:
 
 
I feel alive when I look into someone’s eyes a tiny bit longer than what is considered “normal” – be it in conversation with someone or with strangers in the street – and for a moment, there’s a real, genuine connection between us.

(But one shouldn’t bother people by looking at them for too long! Or by making them feel uncomfortable! In public, we are supposed to kind of ignore other people anyway. And what if that person misinterprets my looking at them as a provocation, unwanted interest or an invitation to (crudely) chat me up?)

 

I am alive when I hug someone really long. Hardly ever happens, though.

(It has to be the usual half-hearted “hug plus two kisses on the cheeks”. Everything else would be obtrusive, would send the wrong message (I’m into you!) to either sex and lead to awkward misunderstandings.)

 

I’d also like to sing in the streets.

(It would bother others, and they’d think I’m crazy.)

 

I want to dance with someone I like.

(I don’t mean: Stumbling along to a waltz with a man who can’t dance. Or taking dance classes where I have to couple up with dirty guy who gropes me and stares at my breasts all evening. (I’ve known it to happen…)

I mean: DANCING: MAKING CONTACT WITH ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

 

Licensed under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Link: http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-8649078301
“Tango y Fútbol” by Nico Kaiser. Licensed under Creative Commons License Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Link: http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-8649078301

 

There is also: the desire to run through the rain half-naked and get all wet. Kissing somebody spontaneously. Taking off my clothes in public and jumping into an ice-cold river. Walking on a bridge handrail (and not fall into the river) in the middle of town.

 
 

The dilemma: life vs . rules

I feel alive when I express myself without inhibitions and shame. I feel alive when there is another person who lets me see their soul and there’s a sort of energy flow between as – because we’re not communicating from one pretend-self to another, but from who we really are.

However, the rules we live by mostly serve as ways to avoid other people, to be left alone, to keep each other at a distance (also in case they might pose a threat to us):
 
 
You must not be loud or take up too much space.
You must not step out of line.
You must not bother other people (with your eccentricity or otherwise).
You must leave other people alone. You must NOT start uninvited conversations with strangers, smile at strangers, get to close to others physically, or do anything at all that makes other people uncomfortable.

 
 
Are people afraid of each other, afraid that others will see them as they really are? Is that why they protect themselves this way?

I personally live by these rules (as I’ve been brought up to do so) and I’m often grateful when others do the same and just leave me alone. However, at the same time these rules are a prison that prevents aliveness and that makes it incredibly hard to even get to know other people better. I feel strongly bound by those rules, so much that it’s like being stuck under a heavy weight that makes me unable to approach others. Sometimes, I also just lack the courage or the energy, to create or allow something new and surprising. In those moments, I just want to be left alone; I let every opportunity to get in touch with others pass, I let every conversation with a stranger fizzle out.

This barrier is not equally strong everywhere and for everyone. Elsewhere, people are prevented from being themselves and coming alive through social control (the constraint being much more tangible and violating social norms being followed by serious consequences). In other places, aliveness and authenticity are smothered by superficial friendliness that never leads anywhere deeper; or pathological shyness (even MORE pathological than my own) that only dissolves under the influence of alcohol (I say this after living in Scandinavia for a year…).

The world is full of rules and limitations that prevent our aliveness. To dare doing what makes me feel alive in spite of all this feels like standing on a cliff, with no other way to get where I want to be than to jump into the abyss.

Until now, I haven’t jumped (far) yet, but it’s so boring to keep standing up here on the cliff…

Sooner or later I MUST jump. I know I’ll almost die from excitement (because I’m really too sensitive to live sometimes…) – but I won’t regret it.

 
 

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To all freaks and ugly ducklings (who are actually beautiful swans)

I’ve always had the feeling of being somehow unacceptable and inadequate.

Others often told me that I was, at least in their eyes, too introverted, didn’t smile frequently enough, laughed to much, was “weird” or made “weird” comments, talked too much or too little, talked about things they considered too deep, and so on.

It’s hard to remember who you really are when all the world tells you to please be different, and not so weird, so strange. When you get the feeling that something is wrong with you and you are different than the others. (And you might be right about the latter!)

It was much easier for me to believe that I’m “weird” because I’ve spent my life among people who are very different from me. With some people, I got along better than with others, but I never felt really understood by anyone, or as if I had just met someone who is like me-

Being the only “weirdo”, I sometimes found it hard to believe that there was nothing wrong with me, that my life had meaning and purpose, and I had a right to be there – instead of just having landed here by accident, like an alien left behind by its people on a trip to planet earth.

I guess that many who find themselves in this description have learned to wear a mask in order to firstly conform to their environment, and secondly to hide their “strangeness” and incompatibility with the people around them. This conformity and hiding I see also in my writing here on Energy Sessions, and I haven’t been able to overcome it yet. I find this also with other bloggers, coaches, artists etc. whom I follow online: Their goal is to be authentic but they cannot help but always show their best side. Their appear confident, successful, have everything under control; defeats only leave them with scratches, but never deep wounds. Not pretending to be someone else is bad for business and for your social success in general, as we were all taught. By the way, this is not a criticism, but simply an observation: Many people, myself included, still believe in having to “make a good impression”, even if you have to bend over backwards for it.
 

But what I REALLY find exciting and interesting are are the ones who dare to break this rule.

People who don’t pretend to be someone else and don’t hide their weaknesses and defeats, their genius, their joy and their emotions in general (without being obtrusive or rude ), I find that much more interesting than anyone who is still hiding behind their mask (which is legitimate). Well, that’s actually an understatement. In fact, strong>I am close to bursting with excitement when I come across such people! They set my soul on fire! I’m talking about artists bloggers, etc. here who I’ve found through the media – unfortunately I haven’t met such people in real life yet.
 

I must admit , I don’t only want to be friends with people like that – I want to be one of them! To be like them, in my own unique way: I want to take off my mask, finally be officially freaky, and find other freaks.

I want to write the naked truth, no matter how embarrassing it is (simply because it’s human), so that others recognize themselves in it and feel inspired to show who they really are. That’s much more exciting and satisfying, but also more frightening than conforming out of fear.
In addition, the people you really have lots in common with will only recognize you as one of them once you take off your mask.

Writing and being like this, and coming out of hiding is my desire and goal, also for this blog. And I’d like to inspire YOU to stop hiding, as well.

I learned a brilliant English expression today that conveys exactly what I want. It’s my new motto:

Let your freak flag fly!

 

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Let me give you a headache – you’ll feel much better afterwards.

 
Last week, I have been guilty of waking people up in the middle of the night, and of giving them headaches.

As this energy work thing I’m doing works across the distance, people from many different countries request sessions. Some of them live in far-away time zones, so they are still asleep when I work on them… and sometimes they wake up, feeling irritated or somehow changed right at that time. (This is a side effect of energy work in some people; it’s part of the processing that happens before they feel a release.)

There was also a lady who I gave a headache with one of my sessions. Sorry :(

Luckily for me, my clients are very happy about the pain and nuisance I sometimes create for them, because then they know „this stuff“ is working! Especially so when they experience pain, upset, or simply an emotional shift right before they receive my e-mail telling them I just did their session. :)

(I hope this doesn’t scare you off. Most people tend to feel the release without many emotional ups and downs.)

So here’s two clients’ recent energy work experience with me – first, Minca from Slovenia:

“A lot is happening at the moment, very powerful emotionally, I feel as I could tell exactly when you have performed the sessions, as both times I felt incredibly strong emotions in my heart. I feel much lighter now, with focus and clear goals. Thank you, again!”

And here’s Jacquie from Canada:

“In the past 24 hours [after the session] – I felt a huge shift in my energy. My thoughts/anxieties around my issue went from a 10 to a 2 and I fully expect it to be a 0 shortly. I had few emotional hours but they passed quickly and clarity has taken hold now.“

I like my work :)

Have a great week,

Julia
 

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How a woman got over her fear and took a big, scary step towards her truth

 
I’m proud of having been able to work with a very brave woman recently: Jessy Paston runs Jessography, a business that is all about helping people heal through the power of therapeutic photography. She also founded Jessography Unmasked, a blog and community where people open up about their mental health issues to overcome the social stigma that is still attached to this topic.
 
When Jessy asked me to do an Emotion Code session for her, she was feeling scared of being as open as she wanted to be about her own mental health issues:
 

“For some time now I had realised that fear was holding me back. I want to do so much but I was standing in my own way. When I identified what it was, I had no hesitation in contacting Julia again as she had helped me in the past. After she did my energy reading and sent me my report, I was fascinated to read where my barriers where and what other feelings were present. I felt lighter and much braver.“

 
What I’m so excited about: After our session, she felt inspired and courageous enough to share her own „unmasked“ photo and message, opening up about her own emotional struggle:
 

„As a result, I shared my therapeutic photography project Unmasked on my Jessography facebook business page – something I was terrified of doing but I was pleasantly surprised. There were so many words of support and encouragement, I felt stronger in myself.
Since then, I keep finding myself being braver and more assertive in many different aspects of my life, not fearing anything anymore.
Thank you Julia, you have yet again helped me and I am eternally grateful to have you in my life.”

 
When I saw the photo she had posted on the Jessography Facebook Page, I was beyond impressed and even jealous of her for being so free and brave! You’ll understand why after this:
 

Jessy and her photo from her

 

„To be fully congruent and regain balance in my life, I need to tell you something.

I am Jessy, I suffer from depression and at the moment, I’m back on the happy pills. I have good days and bad days but I’ve not stopped being who I am. It is an illness which gets the better of me at times, like now but I’m still me.

Now I know more than ever I am on the right path for my life’s purpose because I know not matter how ill I get, I can help myself. It is now my turn to help others and be there for them through my counselling and therapeutic photography.

Nothing has made this more clear to me than helping out a really good friend over the past few months who has depression for the first time.

Here is a photo from my Unmasked project done a couple of years ago (for more info, visit http://jessographyunmasked.wordpress.com/) and I am publicly posting it here because I have been putting on my ‘happy’ mask again, pretending everything is fine.

This is my way of Unmasking again, being open and honest, not only to you but to me too. I know some of you will be uncomfortable with this which is fine and I am expecting a lot of people to unlike my page and stop contact.

Please know this though, just because someone has depression, it doesn’t make them a lesser person. The more we know about mental health illnesses, the more we learn and the less stigma there will be and the more we can do to manage things.

Thank you x“

 
Wow. I think Jessy’s being so open about this is helping other people with similar challenges A LOT.

I was blown away when she wrote to me that my energy work helped her take this step! And I’m grateful to her for letting me contribute to her and her mission of healing through photography.
 

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Talk to your subconscious (and get answers!) with muscle-testing. I’ll show you how.

As I explained in this post, muscle-testing is an integral part of The Emotion Code. We use it to find out which emotional imbalances are contributing to a person’s problem.

But even if you don’t practice the Emotion Code, muscle-testing can be a valuable and fun tool in your daily life.

What is muscle-testing?

Muscle-testing is widely used in kinesiology and is an integral part of the Emotion Code, as well. To my knowledge, muscle-testing isn’t scientifically proven, so read & try this with a critical and open mind. (I say this because it works for me and many others, but I don’t like it when people in energy work talk about how it’s all proved by „quantum physics“ etc. even though they don’t know anything about it.)

The basic assumption here is that the part of your mind that keeps your body alive and functioning, the subconscious mind, has stored everything you have ever experienced, even if you (with your conscious mind) think that you have forgotten those past events – be it a trauma or where you put , and you can get answers from it with muscle-testing. Muscle-testing works on the assumption that „your body will normally be drawn toward positive things or thoughts and repelled by negative things or ideas.“ [1] With muscle-testing, you can only get „yes“ or „no“ as an answer. The simplest way of asking your body is the so-called Sway Test. [2]

How to do the Sway Test

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands by your sides, in a place where you are undistracted. Now, make a statement that you know is true, like saying your name: „I am Julia.“ Or say a word that you feel deeply positive about, feeling into it without distraction. Give your body a few moments and see what happens. Your body will sway forward noticeably. It’s as if it wanted to get closer to or was attracted by the positive or true thought you have presented it with.

Now, say something that you know for certain to be untrue, like „I am John“ when your name isn’t John. Or speak a word or thought you feel very negatively about, like „war“. Feel the emotions that come up and let the notion of war fill your mind. In a few moments, your body will sway backward, as if it were repelled by that negative thought.

Don’t try to force it. Just let your body move if and when it wants to. It’s important that you stay focused on the statement you are thinking of and get out of the way for a few seconds so your body can give you an answer. [3]

For some people, this will work instantaneously, others need practice. Don’t give up! It won’t take that long to learn it. Hint: I have noticed that the sway test and other ways of muscle-testing don’t work well or at all when I’m dehydrated, so try drinking a glass of water and see if anything changes.

What can you use it for?

Apart from muscle-testing being an important part of using The Emotion Code, you can also simply play around with it by testing out statements where you’re not completely sure about your feelings: „I like the guy/girl I had a date with last week“, „I love my job“, „I’d like to go visit my relatives this weekend instead of just staying at home with my boyfriend, watching TV“. This can be really interesting, especially when you are trying it on areas of your life where you tend not be honest with yourself.

It’s also fun to use it with decisions that won’t make a big difference in your life. Martha Beck describes how she uses it in grocery stores to pick the fruit and vegetables that her body desires: She simply buys the ones her body sways towards! [4]

Warning: What not to use muscle-testing for

Muscle-testing is a great resource but it’s not 100 % reliable, especially when you’re testing stuff you are emotionally invested in (you might sabotage the test result). So don’t take the result as the ultimate truth and don’t use it for the following things:

  • Making important decisions („Should I get a divorce?“) – It’s a complex question (and what does „should“ mean anyway) that you need to use your heart and head for.
  • Finding out if X is the perfect mate for you. It doesn’t work, I’ve tried. (The guy who I got a yes on once is SO not the perfect guy for me!)
  • Winning the lotto („Is 5 among the winning numbers this week?“) or in betting, gambling, etc. Muscle-testing helps you get answers from yourself about you, but not about the future (it’s not even decided yet).

Have fun practicing and swaying, and let me know what the experience was like for you!

Until next week,

Julia x

Sources:
[1] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 33
[2] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 28-33
[3] From: The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love and Happiness, by Dr. Bradley Nelson, 2007, p. 33-38
[4] From: Finding Your Way in a Wild New World: Reclaim Your True Nature to Create the Life You Want, by Martha Beck, 2012, p. 75-76.

 

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