Into The Woods, „As I began to love myself…“

Charlie Chaplin, English actor and filmmaker, once said:

“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

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As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

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As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

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As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

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As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”

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Today, people are constantly striving for perfection. People build up huge egos in order to hide their lacking self-confidence. But what happens when we forget our mental health and keep focusing on our work instead of taking care of ourselves? Many people are overwhelmed by loads of work they have to do, they do not have a work-life balance and one day, they may fall over.
I have to admit, that I am often too ambitious and too much of a perfectionist.
Although ambition is quite helpful if you want to achieve something, it can be overwhelming. I am sure, many of you know exactly what I mean.
I used to not taking care of myself. I did everything at once, being elected representative of the pupils at my school, doing three different language certificates within 10 weeks, singing in our school choir and being a member of our movie club at school.
In addition to the extracurricular work at school, I went to the gym three times a week, I had Ballet classes one to two times per week and I went running.
For some people this may be „nothing“, but that time was quite busy for me.
Although everything went right, I realised that I had not listened to my body carefully.
Generally, I love working and I like to keep myself busy.
However, there are times when my body shows me that I took it too far.
After having worked seven days a week the past six weeks, I ended up being really tired. I set my alarm clock because I had a meeting at 10 and I planned to get up at 8 in order to go running. Well, I overslept and woke up at 9:59. Quite unfortunate.
Instead of being angry, I realised that I have put my body under a lot of pressure recently and that the oversleeping was just a sign that my body works properly and protects me.
Consequently, I decided to just do what I wanted that day. I was lying in bed the whole day, watching 8 (!!) episodes of Twin Peaks and later got up and went on a longboard tour with my little brother.
It is okay if we are not that productive occasionally. Sometimes our minds and bodies just need a little rest. It is highly important that we listen to our bodies and love them because if not, we will never achieve a healthy work-life balance. Maybe this is the most significant and also difficult challenge we have to cope with in our lives.
Being able to work efficiently and still spend enough time with family, friends and also alone.

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The human body is a marvel. It protects us, it does everything possible to maintain our health, it can stand severe pressure for a long time and if we listen to our bodies, they tell us what they need. Unfortunately, this is the tough part, since most people do not understand their bodies. I guess understanding our them and knowing what they need is something which can be achieved by taking care of ourselves and loving ourselves.
Sometimes I feel that I have to take three deep breaths, close my eyes and figure out what I actually want. After having done that, I usually know if I am able to move on or if I need some rest.
I highly recommend creating a personal guide on what you can to in order to feel better again. My list would look like this:

  1. Taking a nap! 26 minutes are perfect for me, since I will not be very tired afterwards. Naps that are longer than 30 minutes may have the opposite effect and you might feel more groggy than before.
  2. Running! I often say that running saved me because it compensated all the stress I had and all the pressure I put myself under the past few years. I love to go on a run in the woods because I often see deers, foxes and sometimes even boars (although these encounters can be VERY dangerous). When I go running in the forest, I am highly alert of my surroundings, this clears my mind and fuels my body.
  3. Taking online latin dance classes – I love latin music and I love latin dances. I occasionally find myself locked up in my room, curtains closed, music turned on and enjoying doing latin dance classes on youtube. It releases the tension in my body and I feel great afterwards.
  4. Playing and instrument – Although I am definitely not a musician, I love to play the ukulele. The chords are simple and you can play almost every song on this little guitar with four strings.
  5. Decluttering! Maybe you have already read my blogpost My thoughts on MINIMALISM – happiness, a state of being or a state of having? and My personal guide on how to become a Minimalist – if not, check it out if you are interested in Minimalism. However, I often find myself messed up in a messy room. When my mind is messed up, my room is messed up as well. Then it is high time to declutter and get rid of old stuff I do not need anymore. Personally, I can only work efficiently when my space is neat and clean.
  6. Spending time with my family – There is nothing more relaxing than going for a walk with my little brother. We are fooling around, talking about random things and I just feel calm and happy.
  7. Lift weights – When nothing is working properly anymore and I am completely overwhelmed, I head to the gym and lift heavy weights. Lifting weights is a part of my workout routine, but really getting to that point that my muscles are sore and I really feel the burn frees my mind. Even though it may not be that healthy for my muscles if they are still aching two days later, I have to feel my power and really push myself to the limit. My mind becomes creative, it increases my physical endurance as well as my mental endurance. For a moment, it feels like I could conquer every single challenge in life.

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My brother took these pictures, he is twelve and it was the first time that he used a reflex camera. I think he did a pretty good job.
Furthermore, if you are interested in how to be good at work, make sure to read my article Reconsidering – How to survive the 21st century and tell me if you are interested in these kind of personal posts.
Additionally, I hope that you like this quote by Charlie Chaplin as much as I do.
A very wise and clever woman gave it to me and I love to read it over and over again because I think that Chaplin hit the nail on the head. It gives me strength and hope.

Love yourself, because if you don’t love yourself, how should anybody else do it?
Love yourself, because you will have to live in your body your whole life.
Love yourself, because you deserve to be loved.

 

I hope you are all well and I send you so much strength for the next week.
xx, Sophie

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Reconsidering – How to survive the 21st century

Every morning you wake up at the same time, moaning into your pillow, wishing you could just stay in bed forever. You crawl out of your bed, exhausted. Your body is aching from all the stress you had the past few weeks. Walking into the bathroom, your eyes are still in pain because of the bright lights you just turned on. Looking into the mirror, your eyes move across the wrinkles on your forehead and the dark circles around your tired eyes. Your cheeks look sunken and the emptiness in your gaze reflects the inner turmoil you are fighting every day.

Can you relate to this description? Then you should probably read on.

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Today many people suffer from this „fatigue“. In the course of globalization and the increasing competition on the labour market, we have to work a lot in order to make a living.
Twenty years ago, it was common to do the same job for decades.
But in the 21st century, the world is moving forward at a tearing pace. And we have to keep up with it. Globalization and technology demands us to accelerate our working, to be perfectionist about everything we do and to give 100% everyday and every time.
Some people collapse while trying to fit in the image of the perfect man/woman of the 21st century, with good cause.

However, life should not only consist of working, worrying, stressing and failing.
The #YOLO hype is (Thank God!) over, however, the idea is important and we should refer to it once in a while.
Since I often think about how to destress and how to (sometimes) give a ****,
I would like to share my personal „Stress-Survival-Kit“ with you, although these tips are very basic I guess.

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You will never be perfect

Doing a perfect job always depends on the view and the mindset of the person who is judging you. Everyone has his own priorities and ideas and you cannot please them all.
There are people in the world who will love to see you stumbling and tumbling and these people will do everything to make you fall. You should be aware of this and try to understand their way of thinking.
What matters at the end of the day, is that you are at least content with what you have already achieved. You will never be perfectly happy with your work.
If you give 80% and people are satisfied with your work, everything is fine. Why should you give 100% if nobody will ever appreciate the effort you put in your work?
What I want to say with this is, that you should not put too much effort into something, when you already know that nobody will acknowledge it.

Learn to manipulate

No, this does not mean that you should hatch plots. What I actually mean is that you should learn how other people think. If there is someone who wants to detain you from being successful, you need to manipulate him in a way that he is thinking that you adapt to his will, although you are not. You need to learn how to act correctly while secretly achieving your goals.

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Know your purpose

Before being successful, you need to know what your goals are. Nobody ever became successful through wandering around without knowing his purpose.
Know your weaknesses and your strengths and elaborate on them.
Admitting that you are not very good at something and doing something about it, will actually make you stronger and admirable.

Learn to say NO

Learning to say no is something which makes you powerful and will give you the strength to manage the important tasks at work and in your life.
Doing everything at once will exhaust you and because of the upcoming stress you will have to deal with, your projects will lack quality.
Hence, you should prioritize and focus on the tasks that really matter and the ones which will enrich your (work-)life.

Down shifting

Lacking energy and motivation is human. If your motivation is gone, you will need to fuel yourself with positive energy.
Find your work-life balance and know your limitations.
Do something that sparks joy, play an instrument or do charity.
Doing charity work will help you to understand that your problems are (usually) temporary and that there are people who truly need YOUR help.
Helping other people will probably get you back on track because it refreshes your mind and you will bear a helping hand.

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What is your „Stress-Survival-Kit“? What do you think about mine? Please share your thoughts in the comments, albeit you may have a completely different opinion on this topic.

 

And always remember: „Every cloud has a silver lining!“

 

Love, Sophie

 

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Singing in the „HURRICANE“

Hello world,

I am back from my trip to Bremen. I am not quite sure if I already told you that I was born in Bremen, however I spent the last eight days in this beautiful city in northern Germany. I stayed with friends and we had an amazing time.

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If you ever want to travel to Bremen, I can highly recommend hanging around at the riverside and having some food and drinks in the vintage/retro/indie district near downtown called the „Viertel“.

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On Thursday we took the train to Scheeßel, a little town near Hamburg and went to the Hurricane Festival.
It was amazing! Sleeping in tents, wandering around and talking to crazy people, listening to great music and not caring about stress and work at all.

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Although it was very uncomfortable due to the weather,
it was definitely worth it!
It was so amazing to see bands and singers like Green Day, Milky Chance, Linkin Park, Casper, You me at six, Imagine Dragons, Die Antwoord and Lorde life.

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Additionally, there were so many enterprises, offering Photo booths, games and promotional gifts. They even had a ferris wheel!
I can highly recommend going to a german festival, you will meet so many friendly and funny people and it will be a great experience!

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Since I did not want to bring my camera, I had to take these photos with my phone.
In addition, I tried to create gifs from my Boomerangs but I kinda failed. These gifs are unfortunately bad in quality but I hope you enjoyed them anyway!

Have a nice week!
xx, Sophie

 

Why do we travel and can it teach us how to be happy?

Why do we spend tons of money on flights and hostels?
Why do we spend hours and hours of our precious time on airplanes?
Why do some of us feel a constant feeling of wanderlust?
And why do I think that travelling will make me happy?

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My friend and I used to talk a lot about travelling and especially happiness.
He often said that he would not understand why people would travel in order to become happy.
And honestly, I do not know the answer. And I am doing exactly the same thing.

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Does travelling make us happy?

As far as I know, many people travel in order to escape their daily life, in order to declutter their head and to be mindful about what they are doing.
In addition, many people hit the road because they want to find themselves and to find happiness.

But does that really make sense?
Partly, I guess.

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Maybe you have already read my post about Solo Travel, where I talked about my expectations and what benefits you will have from Solo Travelling.
Personally I feel that the best part is that while travelling (no matter if you are travelling solo or in a group), you will have to push yourself out of the comfort zone.
You will be confronted with certain obstacles and you will learn to solve problems.

While learning to be mindful you will probably get to know yourself even better.

It is very interesting to observe, how people behave when they are in another country.
We are acting differently when we travel, since our experiences in a foreign country are probably not similar at all to our everyday life.

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Can travelling teach us how to be happy?

To my mind, this question is very difficult. Personally, I think that you cannot learn to be happy, only because you spent some time abroad.
Happiness is way more complex than this.
Yes, you will be very happy while travelling, but we can only escape our reality for a certain time and sooner or later, we will return home and realise that we just ran away from our problems.

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We have to learn that happiness does not depend on our residence.

Travelling changes our views on things and it will make us happy for a while.
However, we have to learn how to develop a permanent happy mindset, in order to stay happy. Happiness begins in our heads.

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Benefits from travelling

Anyway, there are so many great benefits you will have from travelling.
Meeting new people, making friends, discovering new places, learning from other people, learning how to deal with problems, learning to be mindful, lightheartedness, getting to know other cultures, talking to locals, eventually learning new languages and so on.
Travelling feeds our souls, it challenges us and gives us unpayable memories and experiences.
I hope that I will learn to be happy with what I have and with who I am.

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This topic is very important to me, although I cannot find the right words to express what I feel. Sometimes it is hard to translate thoughts into a writing.
Nevertheless I hope you enjoyed reading this and I also hope you like the pictures I added to this post.

Have a great week and be happy :)!

Xx, Sophie

 

 

 

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My personal guide on how to become a Minimalist

Minimalism is not the lack of something, it is the perfect amount of something.

Since centuries, people think that having many possessions means being very wealthy. Living in abundance means being happy, lighthearted and having nothing to worry about.
Children often want to have as many toys as possible, they are unconsciously competing with other children in their surrounding.

As I already mentioned in my last post about Minimalism, we are predestined to buy things. And breaking this circle of buying and tossing is not easy but possible.

Today, as promised, I would like to share with you my tips on how to live a more minimalistic lifestyle.
However this does not mean, that you have to become a hardcore minimalist. But incorporating some of these ideas and habits in your life, may enrich your life to an extent you can choose.

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1. Developing a new lifestyle begins in your head

Your mind is a powerful thing, if you use it correctly, your life will start to change.
This means, that you will have to be aware what your goals are. This is a form of manifesting your goals.
Think about why and what you want to change.
If you start to think about it, you will change it. This is very simple, but it actually works. I will probably write a blogpost about it later this month.

2. Get informed and deal with it

After your mind is ready for the upcoming changes, you should not stop and just start doing something.
At first, it may be very helpful to read articles, books or blogposts about minimalism, or even watch some of the great Ted talks speeches.
While getting informed, you can make your own plan on how to rock the lifestyle change. Unfortunately, there is no perfect guide on how to become more minimalistic, these are just some tips and tricks and in the end, everyone needs to deal with it himself.

3. Start decluttering and tidying up

It is completely up to you if you want to declutter everything in one day, or if you would like to separate it and do one thing at a time.

I can highly recommend using The KonMari Method wich basically says that you have to pull out all of your stuff and then decide if it „sparks joy“ or not. If it does not, toss it, sell it, or even better: donate it!
Using this method, you will become aware of what you actually have and it will be easier to give things away.

Additionally, stop multitasking. What I want to say is, that you should not listen to music or watch TV while you are tidying up. These distractions will probably prevent you from actually tossing something. You need to be focused and you should worship your possessions and be aware of what you are doing.

4. Don’t mess everything up again after two weeks

Everyone probably knows this problem. You just cleaned your room and then after a couple of days, everything is messes up again because you were to lazy to put everything back at its right place.
Consequently, you need to develop a strategy, which prevents this. Like in our early childhood, we should put every item we used back at its place, immediately.
This is the point, where your new lifestyle becomes sustainable.

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5. Buy less

Being a minimalist does not mean to toss everything and buy new things.
It also means to recycle and to be mindful about what you buy.
Before buying something, I like to ask myself these questions:

1. Do I already have something like this?
2. Why do I need it?
3. Do I really need it?
And then I like to wait at least a week and if I still think that I definitely need the item, I may buy it.

This personal method is pretty simple and you can adapt it to your needs.

6. Track your income and your monthly expenses

After having tracked my monthly expenses, I became aware of what I am actually buying. Since we tend to buy so much stuff with cash and we basically lose track of our finance. If you are into money saving, you should definitely check out my blogpost about How To Save Money For Travel (unfortunately it’s written in german)!

7. Digitise almost everything

This step is optional, but for myself I like to digitise everything possible.
You can digitise your memories and create e-books or presentations. Having everything saved on your laptop is very useful.
However, I also love journaling and having printed pictures on my wall.
Though, I started to buy e-books because books are heavy and hard to handle when your moving to another apartment for example.
Anyway, this is something everyone has to decide for himself, since I know that reading a real book and the smell of the pages is just amazing!

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8. Utilise your phone and your laptop

If you start to utilise your phone and your laptop, you can get rid of useless notebooks and calendars. Personally, I love to habe my Moleskin calendar and my Bullet Journal, but I also like to use Microsoft One Note to take notes, which is very useful!

9. Create Journals or Memory Books

If you are obsessed with keeping bills and tickets from your last vacation, like me, then you will probably love the idea of creating travel journals or memory books.
I guess I will write a blogpost about this later this month but I can already say that it is so amazing to have a folder or notebook with all the lovely travel memories in it.
Thus, you have all things you collected in one folder and they are not cluttering up your room.

10. Sustainability

Minimalism is like veganism about sustainability. It is about feeling good, about being mentally healthy but it is also about our earth.
We need to make a difference and stop buying useless things which clutter up our minds and our earth. We are living on a wonderful planet which nourishes us, gives us oxygen and all the resources we need to live.
Now it is time to say thank you!

Be mindful, care about yourself, our planet and other people, and start to protect our environment.

I hope you enjoyed reading my minimalism guide.
xx, Sophie

 

 

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