Tag Archives: my rants and my story

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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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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What loneliness has to do with not organizing your time

Every now and then, I think I’ve got it: The solution. The formula for a good life. Those formulas (formulae?) never work perfectly, though. Either because I don’t put them into practice as much as I should, or because they simply aren’t perfect themselves. Maybe it’s also crazy to look for perfection (I know it is).

But I just want to write down and share what I have discovered so far. It may or may not apply to you.

Here are the things I do to live happily and successfully (not saying that I’m always happy and successful – obviously not):

Meditate daily
Energy work, daily
Help other people, several times a week (okay, I do it for money, but it still counts as „helping people“)
Sports, five times a week
Organize my day as much as I can

Here comes the big BUT:

 

Good relationships aren’t optional.

 
I think one thing is missing, and that is support by other people, and real friendship. I get plenty of support by people online (you know who you are – thank you!!), but as I wrote in my previous post, I don’t have a full social life at the moment. I feel like as much as I do to keep myself sane, enjoy my life and move closer to my dreams, having really good, close relationships is so crucial that it can’t be replaced by anything else. This is currently the place where all my efforts go out the window: being alone too much makes me fragile emotionally, which I think is a close neighbour of „crazy“.

 

So what to do against loneliness?

 
There’s an interesting connection with my business here. I have focussed too much on going with the flow of what I feel like (taking action, playing, resting), but I noticed (maybe it’s a bit late to notice this at age 31) that this only works when I have proper organization/time management and a mid-term strategy in place. I’m not naturally talented at this, but have learned some methods of doing it, anyway. Without that structure, I end up spending too much time surfing the internet, lying in bed, or eating…leading the Homer Simpson life.

 

What does organizing your life have to do with finding friends?

 
It is slowly dawning on me that I will also have to use organization and have a strategy in order to find my people. They tend not to just show up at my place, so I have to get out, but wandering through the city aimlessly doesn’t do it. I really have to sign up for stuff, make plans to go places where I will meet like-minded people, and follow through. Oh man. These things were easier when I was still a child, being forced to spend time with the same people for years. It was almost impossible not to become friends with people then.

My action steps/strategy for this week:

1. List three places (like clubs, courses, etc.) where I could meet people I might like.
2. Find out cheap options of joining these clubs etc.
3. Signing up for at least one event where I will meet my potential future friends.

More on the results of my efforts another time. I hope you don’t feel like these are totally obvious ideas that every idiot has implemented in their lives. (I do feel a bit idotic publishing this post.) Anyway, thanks for reading, and feel free to comment!

Julia

 

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Food for thought as the year ends

Dear readers,

it’s been a while since I last wrote to you! I’ve decided that from now on, I’ll write the kind of stuff that I would be happy to have in my inbox, that is, something fresh and surprising that snaps me out of my boring, habitual thoughts and feelings. Here’s what did it for me last week:

 
Something to consider as you think about how you want to live in 2014:

 

“‘The urge to transform one’s appearance, to dance outdoors, to mock the powerful and embrace perfect strangers is not easy to suppress. … The capacity for collective joy is encoded into us almost as deeply as the capacity for the erotic love of one human for another. We can live without it, as most of us do, but only at the risk of succumbing to the solitary nightmare of depression.’

‘Why not reclaim our distinctively human heritage as creatures who generate their own ecstatic pleasures out of music, color, feasting, and dance… There is no ‘point’ to it — no religious overtones, ideological message, or money to be made — just the chance, which we need much more of on this crowded planet, to acknowledge the miracle of our simultaneous existence with some sort of celebration.’

- Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy” (from: Rob Brezsny: Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia”: p. 333)

 
If you have been having the same problem for ages and don’t want to drag it into next year, read this story about a different approach to healing:
 

“Buddhist sage Jack Kornfield tells of a woman devastated be the demise of a love affair. She turned to her Zen teacher, a Japanese monk, who soothed and consoled her as she grieved for weeks. The monk then returned to Japan, leaving the woman to fend for herself.

Months later he returned, and the woman picked him up at the airport. As he handed her a gift of prayer beads, she broke into sobs, confessing that her heart had still not mended from the loss of her paramour. Without hesitation, the teacher slapped her across the face. ‘One year is too long!’ he barked. ‘Get over it!’”

(from: Rob Brezsny: Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia”: p. 143)

 

I love it!

Happy holidays,

Julia

 

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Report from outside my comfort zone, where all the fun is!

I’m back after a one-week break from writing my blog and newsletter. Several things in my life, including me and my website, broke down, and I didn’t feel I could write anything meaningful. But not anymore!
 
Making an effort to do what feels delicious to me, instead of what I think I should do, has turned out to be the right choice for me. I keep following “the good feeling”, as I have come to call it for lack of a better term. It’s simply the joy and satisfaction I feel when I want to do/experience something, and then do it. The feeling turns up spontaneously, too. That makes me happy and tells me I’m on track, and that is good news!
 
 

It’s almost too exciting outside my comfort zone!

 
Doing what I felt like doing also took me outside my comfort zone, which is very small. It starts in my bed and ends at my front door. Emotionally, it’s the few people I’m close to, and the like minds I communicate with on social media sites. I spend a lot of time at home, which turns me into even more of a scaredy-cat than I already am. Sometimes leaving my comfort zone was great: When I finally overcame my intense laziness, inertia and fear of the unknown and made a day trip to a place in nature I had long wanted to go to, I didn’t regret it:
 

Windischgarsten Austria
This is in Windischgarsten, Austria. Only one hour fifteen by train away from where I live. I can’t believe it took me so long to finally take that trip!

 
Sometimes, it was great BUT so exciting that it almost gave me a heart attack and I spent the day in bed because I was so nervous. (I won’t tell you what it was that caused that… you’d laugh.)
 
 

Let your life speak to you, it won’t shut up anyway

 
I read today that “we should let our life speak to us, not tell our life what we’re going to do with it” (from this article).
 
That’s how I feel right now, too: I have an old dream that keeps coming back, “threatening” to take me outside the life I am used to: I want to sing and do dance/movement performances in front of an audience, preferably to drum’n'bass music (I loooovvve it – see the video above!). BUT: I am painfully shy when it comes to that. So shy that I never really went after that dream. However, it just didn’t want to go away, no matter how hard I tried to suppress and kill it. Now I’m finally ready to go after it – first, in a small way, and then – we’ll see what happens.
 
I got to this point because TWO coaches told me that I should prioritize having fun even more in my life. and that we only have one life and it would be a shame to waste it. I couldn’t believe it, especially the part about prioritizing fun! I’m not used to grown-ups telling me such things ;) More about that in another post, though.
 
Thanks for reading and go and have some fun every day!
 
Julia x
 
 

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I never have any fun. Do you?

All last week, I felt drained and overworked. This happens every now and then: Work is fun, so I work more and more and more. As if I were in a competition with myself to see how much work I can squeeze out of my time. Then my batteries become empty; I ignore it – until I end up being able to get nothing done because I’m so drained. This is how burnout is created. Does that sound familiar to you?
 
The solution to this problem is always resting, and doing something fun.

By the time I’m in the last phase of my „burnout cycle“, I have completely forgotten about fun, though. What is „fun“? What do I have to do to experience this thing called „fun“? I have no idea.
 

Your pleasure and gratification should be your top priority (what??)

Then I stumbled upon a TED Talk by a woman called Regena Thomashauer, aka Mama Gena, who runs the „Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts“ and is a sort of pleasure expert for women. I highly recommend that you watch this talk. Don’t be put off (or be put off, but keep watching) by the entrance she is making. (When I saw it, the first thing I thought was: That woman clearly isn’t European! (Meaning, Europeans don’t behave like that.)) However, she has important things to say about pleasure (like that it should be our number one priority, and we will only ever be happy and fulfilled if we do that). She is funny and you must admit, she has a special charm and presence that can only come from loving and enjoying yourself and your life a lot.
 

Working hard at the expense of fun only got me so far

This really got me thinking. I worked hard to go in the direction of my dreams, and it has worked out to some degree. But I often didn’t know when to stop working, be it on things I love or things I (thought) I had to do.

Working hard at the expensive of having fun in life has got me where I am now: having my own business that I love but that is only going so-so, being overworked and drained, and enjoying my life only to some degree, or hardly at all. I finally see that enjoyment and happiness can’t come from overworking and having no fun. (Which has been a great part of my life strategy so far, plus hoping that things will someday turn out to be just great.)

Therefore, I really need to try this „Put Pleasure and Fun First“ thing. This „Enjoy Your Life“ thing. Things can only go uphill this way!
 

Energy work is still work

Even what I do – energy work – is still WORK. It serves me and others immensely well, but it „only“ dissolves emotional and sometimes physical problems. Without them, life isn’t automatically pleasurable. Regina Thomashauer (the woman in the TED Talk) is right, Western culture teaches us to focus on pain and problems, with pleasure as a low-ranking value way behind hard work. With that kind of outlook on life, it’s not possible to really enjoy it, because you simply don’t value enjoying it and won’t make an effort to do so. Even after getting rid of what troubles you by having all the energy work you need. So the second magical ingredient to a great life and success is HAVING FUN.
 

Fun isn’t just „ha ha“ kind of fun

I hope that headline made sense. I mean that fun is anything that feels delicious to you at any moment, not just something that makes you laugh or is entertaining. So in that sense, work also counts as fun if you really enjoy it, and that is the only way in which I ever want to work for the rest of my life.
 

So I decided to change my life and have fun.

I bought a book called „Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts: Using the power of Pleasure to Have Your Way with the World“ yesterday and did a few of the exercises. Had some fun. Woke up feeling much better today. Had some more fun, and an e-mail saying someone had nominated me and others for the Liebster Blog award (which is German and means „favourite blog“) – thank you, Lotte! :) How cool! Other than that, I can’t say much yet, but I really like this.
 

We must start a fun revolution!!

Everybody I know is overworked. I cannot think of a single person I know who doesn’t exude an aura of being being spread too thin, miserable, or proud of their asceticism, hard work and self-deprivation. Even the somewhat satisfied people around me seem like they only allow themselves a certain degree of happiness. I don’t remember ever meeting someone who really enjoyed themselves most of the time, as a way of life. Who approved so much of themselves and had such a gusto for life that most people would consider it selfish. Except for the woman in the TED talk – that’s why I just had to find out more about all this.

Although I have decided or declared that I’d change my life many, many times, this really feels different. All the times I wanted to „change my life“, it was either through self-deprivation, hard work and discipline (like with sports and dieting), or about doing what I love, but by far not radically enough.

We are yet to see what happens from here. Should I go back to self-deprivation, feel free to remind me of this post. But I’d be happiest if you gave this a try, maybe bought that book (if you’re a woman), and really made an effort to find out what would be most delicious for you right now, and gave it to yourself. Being a nice, hard-working girl, or a successful, hard-working man who gets a heart-attack at age forty are really not the best life has to offer. We need a fun revolution on this planet! Will you at least consider joining me?

Go and have fun, and talk to you next week,

Julia x

 

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Hot tracks to what our lives are meant to be

Do you sometimes feel like you are in the wrong life? I do. When I lay down after a long day of sightseeing in a city while I was on holiday, I had a pressing dissatisfaction inside me that felt like it wanted me to listen. So I listened. (In my experience, feelings need to felt to go away. Sometimes they are more complex and need to be listened to. Just ask it what it wants to tell you. If that sounds too crazy, you don’t have to tell anyone that you’re doing this!) It said that I was in the wrong life. That what I actually needed was wide, largely untouched nature, and silence. Not cities full of concrete, stress, noise and people. That I should live in such a place. An image of Icelandic landscape came to my mind.

I have gotten much better at not simply dismissing these hints I am given. I used to, tough, because I believed it was impossible to achieve for me in my life. Now, I still don’t know how I am going to end up living in Iceland, or if this is even the thing to do. But I will sit down and write down some ideas on how I could do that, or get a taste of this experience to find out if it it really for me.
 

Do you also have such impossible dreams?

Do certain things make you cry with joy, or do you feel deeply peaceful and like you have landed in your life as it is meant to be in certain situations? These are all hints towards what is right for you. Martha Beck (author, life coach, and one of the main people in my own personal, self-made religion) calls them „hot tracks“, as in animal tracking.

When you feel that way, or some version of liberated about something, this is a hot track towards what you really want and what is possible for you in your life. (Wanting something deeply, from the part of you that is most „you“ and not your ego, seems to go together with being able to get it.)
 

What are your hot tracks? And what the hell should you do with them?

What makes you feel excited, like crying with joy, peaceful, or other versions of great and liberated? Please give it a chance to just be, even if you don’t know what to do with it or as a result of it. (Even if you immediately start thinking about how you can turn it into a career!) You don’t have to know where it will lead you in the end (I certainly don’t know where my hot tracks will lead me!), you just have to take the next step. And then the next, and the next.
 

Your dreams will bug you until you die

Also, the things you really burn for keep coming back even if you don’t take any step towards them at all. I know from about a decade of suppressing my dreams! It’s just that if you do nothing, you won’t be any closer to them than before. Unless you turn yourself into an emotional zombie and bury every desire you have inside, they will still be bugging you until you’re dead. And it would be a shame if you didn’t do anything about those hot tracks before your time’s over!

What an embarrassing newsletter! I better press publish before I change my mind. Thank you for reading and talk to you next week!

Julia x

P.S. Another hot track I found today: dancing, singing and crying to a live version of Prince’s “Purple Rain” (many great ones on YouTube)! His guitar solos make me crazy, they are so beautiful! My next step: More singing, going out and dancing, possibly a dance class. (More crying?)

 

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Are you a highly sensitive person? (If even your holidays wear you out, you probably are!)

I am embarrassed to say that my holidays have been too much for me. I did like some of the places I went and I am VERY happy I reconnected with a friend. But the trying to decide where to go next, the long trips, the noise and crowds in the cities, the stress of having or taking too little time for myself (because after all, I’m on holiday, and lying in bed and resting when I need to would be a waste of money – I didn’t come here to do THAT! I have to do something for the money I spent on this trip. Walk through the city, discover the country, learn about the culture. This is a holiday and it is my job to make the most of it!) – too much for me.

Do you know this feeling of overwhelm by too much input (too much for you, totally normal for others), the pressure you put on yourself to do everything perfectly, and the shame about having such first-world problems? Especially when most people on this planet have FAR worse situations to deal with!

I do feel ashamed for being so sensitive. I find it really embarrassing and I try not to show it or even forget about it myself, because it doesn’t seem to help me in my daily life and in surviving in general. Identifying as a highly sensitive person, even without mentioning it to others, feels to me like having an embarrassing sexually transmitted disease. It’s better kept a secret if you don’t want people looking at you funny.

It will never go away

People (at work, family, friends) have often told me that I shouldn’t be “so overly sensitive” and expressed their disrespect for my weakness, my being a wuss or having a spoiled character, etc. But I can’t help it, I can’t make it go away. Although I have really developed expertise in hiding it and playing tough. That doesn’t help with having authentic relationships with other people, but it helps fend off the mean ones and makes it easier to get by. Also, it helps that I don’t seem to be ‘only’ highly sensitive, but rather at the same time a ‘high sensation seeker’ (HSS):

“[I]n this culture, at least, the combination of curiosity, competitiveness (more typical of HSSs), and risk taking are all admired more than the HSP [highly sensitive person] combination of traits.” – Elaine Aron, author of “The Highly Sensitive Person”

Are you “overly sensitive”, too?

If you don’t know but want to find out if you are highly sensitive, you can take a free test here.

You can download the test for the ‘high sensation seeking’ characteristic at the end of this website.

I wonder if you relate or if you think that I’m an oversensitive, spoilt brat who should see what it is like to have real problems. Actually, I don’t want to know in case you think the latter. But I would be so happy to hear about your experiences with overwhelm and high sensitivity, and how you handle it. And if you area HSP/HSS, tell me how you don’t go crazy being a living self-contradiction!

I know I am not the only one who is ‘built’ like that psychologically, so:

Show yourselves! :-)

Thanks for reading and talk to you next week!

Julia x

 

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Oh – so other people are not my enemies?!

As I wrote in my previous post, I am currently on a sort of working holiday. I am very happy that this holiday has not gone as I expected, especially with regards to my expectations about other people – because they go something like this:

 

Other people want to hurt me.
Other people don’t like me.
Or something like this.

 

I think this is part of the reason why I made my business the way it is: It’s an online business that makes it possible for me to never meet the people I work with. This can get pretty lonely, but at least it prevents me from meeting people I don’t get along with. Great thinking, huh? Since I used to not get along with most people because I was a) messed up and b) had such negative expectations of them, this kind of business model seemed like a good idea (aside from giving me the option of location independence, which is still really important to me). A side effect of this kind of lifestyle is frequent loneliness. So I DO need people, as I noticed a long time ago. But they just want to hurt me or I won’t get along with them, said this other part of myself. Big-time inner conflict!

 

So now that I have spent some time abroad, living in a B&B with other people, I found that my assumptions about other people are wrong. I met such nice people with whom I got along immediately, who helped me, who I had great conversations with.These people seemed to seriously and honestly want to spend time with me and talk to me (to ME!!). I was genuinely surprised. And no, they didn’t just want to get me into bed (with a few exceptions, but in spite of my new found appreciation for people, my internal creep detector hasn’t stopped functioning).

 

After a few days of being partly miserable (yes, I can be miserable even on holiday), it dawned on me that my bad mood might be due to my believing things about other people that simply aren’t true about most of them. 

 

Looking back, it seems perfectly reasonable to believe what I believe(d) about other people, considering that I spent many of my childhood years with mean people (I’m thinking of bullies and mean teachers in school, and later nightmarish coworkers and bosses). I don’t know when my experiences started becoming self-fulfilling prophecies and when they were still genuine original experiences entered into without any expectations.

 

Anyway, even though I was right then, I don’t have to spend much of my time with people I don’t like anymore (one of the greatest luxuries there is in life; it took me quite some effort to get there). So I might just as well try living with new attitudes about people. You might think I’m deluded and all of this was just possible because I’m on holiday and keep meeting relaxed and happy tourists. When I get home, I will check if something changes in my interactions with my fellow Austrians (who are normally rude, ill-tempered and not too communicative) after questioning my beliefs about other people. I’ll keep you posted!

 

Thanks for reading and talk to you soon!

 

Julia x

 

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