All we need it love

Sternenglanz steht fuer All we need is Love

All we need is love: Lately, I’ve been experiencing many people as tired: tired because of too much work. Tired because of personal burdens. Tired after Corona, or currently again because of Corona. Tired due to the terrible wars and bad news that seem to have no end. My firm belief is that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And ‘Why seek far afield? See, the good is so close.’ (inspired by Goethe). Yes, goodness can also be found in our daily lives. And with the will to shape, we can contribute to it. Perhaps my short story is an inspiration for you to positively transform something in your life. Enjoy: All we need is Love.

Continuation of “Mulled wine tastes good in Scotland”:

All we need is Love by Bettina Bonkas

That was the best news ever: Alva was back.

When Alva told her that she would come to Germany for a while to reopen her B&B, Martha immediately booked a stay with her. Alva’s partner was on a long tour with his band, and she had decided not to join this time. Instead, she would run her B&B. As much as she loved Scotland, where she now lived, she missed Germany. His tours offered a great opportunity to combine both: her B&B and Germany. In Germany, Alva was confident she would find a solution on how to connect both worlds in the future: a life in Scotland and Germany.

What a wonderful feeling to be back with Alva. Martha lay in her cozy room under the roof with a view of the castle park. She got up, walked to the window, and watched the birds picking food from the birdhouse. There was a lot of activity out there; it had snowed overnight.

This was something she still needed to learn: to incorporate moments of calm into her hectic life, like now with the birds. Doing nothing and just being. Okay, there was definitely room for improvement.

When she was ready, she went downstairs to Alva’s kitchen. The scent of coffee and fresh rolls wafted towards her. How she loved Alva’s kitchen: the vanilla-coloured kitchen furniture, the wooden table with cozy chairs, and the floorboards that creaked a bit when you walked on them. The flower boxes on the balcony were decorated with fairy lights. Oh, how beautiful! From the kitchen, you could also see the castle park. Everything had been covered with a layer of white powder overnight.

“Oh Alva, how I missed all this.” Martha hugged her caring friend, and Alva squeezed her tightly.

The two women sat at the kitchen table for a while, talking about Alva’s new life in Scotland, about Daniel, her partner, and about everything under the sun. But they didn’t talk about Martha. She appreciated that Alva gave her the space to open up. She needed that.

Martha used her time with Alva for walks through the old town. She often imagined who lived in the houses and what they were doing. For her, the Christmas season was a time full of magic that invited her to let her thoughts wander. And she used the time for walks in nature. She wanted to clear her mind.

Weihnachtlich geschmueckter Kamin mit zwei Stuehlen steht fuer All you need is Love

Fireplace Conversations

The two had settled comfortably in the living room in front of the fireplace. How Martha loved this room, the whole house, in fact. They sat in their armchairs, their feet resting on footstools, warmly wrapped in cable knit blankets. Just like last year. It was so comforting after a year full of turbulence.

“Thank you for giving me the space I needed.” Martha looked at her mulled wine.

Alva smiled.

“It has been a lot this year. I feel like I need a lot of peace right now.”

“Do you give it to yourself?” Alva looked at her questioningly.

“By necessity. I’m tired, so incredibly tired. I find it hard to switch off, constantly think about what still needs to be done, sleep poorly, I’m just exhausted. And world events are not exactly conducive to relaxation. My doctor strongly advised me to reduce my stress level. Well, and now I’m here with you. Where can I unwind better than with you?” Martha smiled.

“Would you like to talk?”

“I found your story, you told me last year, Alva, really powerful, and also your statement that it’s easy to fall into the victim role. However, I believe that I might be a bit too much in the other direction right now.”

Martha remained silent. Alva gave her the time to find the right words for her thoughts.

“I’m so much in the mode of doing and achieving that I no longer really know what I want. I’m somehow more and more cut off from my inner self.” Martha fell silent.

Alva did not immediately break the silence.

Wegweiser in zwei Richtungen steht fuer All you need is Love

Change of Direction

“You know, Martha, what I told you last year about how I dealt with my experiences, that was a process. When we take a certain, for us unhealthy, direction, we first have to recognize that it is not the right one for us. That’s the first step. Then it takes time to figure out where we want to go. And only then can we set out on our journey.” Alva took a sip of her mulled wine.

“This is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. When you discover something new about yourself, you have to give your brain time to integrate it. To make it a part of you. It’s exhausting to run in the wrong direction, pursue a goal that is not yours. It costs a lot of energy. That was an intense learning process for me.”

Alva paused briefly before continuing. “I noticed that you take time for walks and quiet. It’s good that you do that. Your body and soul need rest now.” Alva smiled at her.

“Oh Alva, I just missed all this so much. The calm at your place does me so much good. I can just be here with you. Suddenly I see things much clearer.” Martha leaned back on her chair with a sigh.

“I realized here with you that I’m currently a bit too much in the other direction. I’m so busy performing, delivering results that I’ve become more and more disconnected from my inner self.”

“Who do you want to impress?”

Martha fell silent before answering hesitantly, “My boss? My team? My colleagues? I don’t know.”

“I want to tell you something, Martha. I don’t know if you know that I studied law.”

Martha shook her head.

Career is everything. Or not?

“That was a long time ago.” Alva smiled. “My degree wasn’t sufficient for civil service, where I originally wanted to go. I found a job in an insurance company. I liked it. A solid insurance company. Good working atmosphere, nice colleagues & superiors, and good pay.” Alva took another sip.

“But that wasn`t good enough for my mother. She didn’t say it directly, more implicitly. With remarks about the son of a friend who had a successful law firm and how proud her friend was of him. Or the daughter of another friend who was a prosecutor. I made an effort and became a team leader. But, of course, a team leader is not a prosecutor.”

Glas mit Gluehwein der auch in Schottland schmeckt

Alva poured herself some more mulled wine. “I somehow had the impression that I had to make an enormous effort to achieve something. It felt exhausting. Also, I felt that over time, I became more stressed and irritable.” Alva leaned back.

“I lost my softness. Softness and empathy were not suitable for my job, so I thought. Instead, I wanted to be cool, show no weakness, and prove to the world that I had everything under control. My facial expression changed; it became harder.”

Martha nodded. She found herself in Alva’s description.

“Then came the year when I had one infection after another. I couldn’t get back on my feet properly. A friend persuaded me to take a trip to London with her. We could stay with her godparents. I had no desire for a city visit but still went. In the end, she was constantly out exploring the city, and I stayed with her godparents. They were a blessing for me” Alva smiled when she thought of the two of them.

“We had hour-long conversations where I realized that my mother did not treat me on an equal footing. And that ultimately, I was pursuing her goals and not mine. That was a turning point in my life.”

“Were you angry with your mother?”

“Angry, but mostly hurt and sad. I realized that my mother did not give me a sense of unconditional love, a “I love you the way you are”. Instead, I sensed rejection of my person if I didn’t achieve the school performances she hoped for. Rejection is a very intense feeling.”

“That sounds pretty intense. How did you deal with it?” Martha looked at Alva questioningly.

Our inner child

“I learned to accept my feelings. To allow the anger towards my mother. At that time, I distanced myself from her. And I took care of my wounded inner child.”

Trauriges Kind mit Teddybaer steht fuer All you need is Love

“How did you do that?”

“I imagined how an adult would react: with a lot of love and understanding. Learning to treat myself with compassion was the path to healing. Because often, we are our harshest critics. And acceptance was another crucial step: to accept my past as part of me. Today, I am grateful for the strong relationship I share with my mother. The journey to this point was occasionally challenging, but it has been rewarding. I remembered how loving and caring she was as well.’

Alva paused briefly before continuing. “She also has a wounded inner child. In the grand scheme of things, our longing is for love and acceptance. All we need is love.”

Martha looked thoughtful. “For me it’s not quite as intense. I didn’t experience rejection, but I come from a very performance-driven family. More in the sense of ‘Come on, you can do more. I know you can achieve more.’ That can be quite exhausting. I will definitely try the inner child thing. Any advice for me?”

Alva smiled at Martha. “How would you approach a stressed child?”

Martha hesitated. “Take away the stress?” She looked at Alva inquiringly. Her smile confirmed that Martha should continue.

“I remember when I had the bike test in elementary school. I was so nervous. My teacher was really sweet. She took me aside, as if we had all the time in the world. Then she knelt in front of me, took both of my hands, and calmly said to me: ‘You’re just doing what we practiced over and over. I know you can do it. And besides, I’ll be right there on the sidelines the whole time. You’ll feel me.’ And that’s how it was. It was even kind of cool. I would do something like that with the little child. ”

Alva smiled. “There you have your answer.”

Martha didn’t say anything at first. She thought about what she had just said. In her memory, she was the 9-year-old child again. Finally, she broke her silence.

“After that, did you start your B&B business?”

“No, that wasn’t the time yet.” Alva smiled. “But I did become self-employed as a lawyer. After my processing, I had a new clarity. I had a good experience with the insurance company, but now it was time to move on.”

Alva took a sip of her mulled wine. “I realized that I enjoyed working with people, people of all kinds. I found it fulfilling to support them in their concerns. However, if a concern did not align with my values, I also rejected clients. It was a good and very instructive time that I wouldn’t want to miss. And now I have my B&B. But that’s a story for another day. Do you already know how things will go for you, Martha?”

Aufgeschlagenes Buch steht fuer All you need is Love

“Well, first, I will lovingly take care of my inner child. Just like my teacher did with me back then. That felt really good. Or now with you: calm and loving acceptance. I need that. And then I will see. One step at a time. And it fits that it’s Christmas now: the festival of love. Wow, that sounds really wise now. I think you’re rubbing off on me, Alva.”

Martha choked on her mulled wine as she burst into laughter. It felt good to be so carefree. She hadn’t felt this light in a long time.

“Oh no, now I’ve spilled mulled wine on your beautiful blanket.” Martha looked embarrassed.

“No worries. I not only have a family recipe for mulled wine but also one for stains.” Alva laughed. “First lemon juice, later salt, and before it goes into the washing machine, a little ox-gall soap.”

“Can I ask you one more thing, Alva?” Martha was pensive.

“One more thing before I go to the washing machine.” Alva smiled.

“Tell me, Alva, wouldn’t it do most people good if they dealt with their wounds? I have the impression that there are a whole lot of people out there who could really use that.”

“Absolutely. If we weren’t so preoccupied with ourselves, our ego, we could act from a completely different clarity. And, we would also gain a better understanding of other people. For me, an important realisation was that people who are at peace with themselves do not harm others. Conversely, if people treat you in any demeaning way, the problem lies with them and not with you. That’s their issue, not yours. And don’t make it yours.”

“So, all we need is love?”

“Absolutely right, my darling, love is all we need.” Alva smiled. (“All you need is love” – Soundtrack from the film “Love Actually”)

“Oh, Alva, where did you get all this wisdom from?”

“Well, I’ve been living a few more years than you, Martha,” Alva replied with a smile. “And then, I’m interested in people, their behavior. As a lawyer, my good understanding of people came in handy alongside my legal knowledge. And it always starts with us. It is very helpful when we know ourselves. When we know what or who triggers us.”

“So, now the blanket has to go into the washing machine so that the stain comes out.”Viele Herzen stehen fuer All you need is Love

Merry Christmas & a year filled with joy

This year, Christmas would be entirely relaxed. Martha needed that. Alva and Daniel celebrated in Germany together with their guests from Spain, England, and of course, Germany.

As expected, there was a lot of eating and drinking, and even more laughter. The weather even provided an opportunity for walks in the snow, and in the evening, they all sat together comfortably in front of the fireplace, telling stories (the later the evening, the funnier 😆 ) and singing songs (At that moment, Alva’s cat would always leave the room.  😮 )

***

Cozy, relaxed, and lively – these are probably the words that best describe Christmas at Martha, Alva & Daniel’s with their guests. Letting go and immersing oneself in the magic of this time.

That’s exactly what I wish you, too. A Christmas season that allows you to unwind with plenty of space for relaxation and your needs. An immersion into the magic of this special time that invites you to dream.

Of course, fun should not be missing. Just like the cozy, relaxed, and lively atmosphere at Martha, Alva & Daniel’s with their guests.

For the new year, I wish you a good dose of lightness and joy in life. May you approach each day with a positive determination to discover the good it holds for us. – ‘Why seek far afield? See, the good is so close.’ (inspired by Goethe).

And remember: All we need is love. Love is all we need.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Viele Herzen stehen fuer All you need is LoveHappy HolidaysKerze in Form eines Herzes steht fuer All you need is Love

(Deutsch) Small Talk auf Englisch im Geschäfts und Privatleben

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Ein Mann mit einem Vogel beide stehen für Small Talk auf Englisch im Geschäfts- und Privatleben Small Talk auf Englisch?

Small Talk ist die Kunst, eine Unterhaltung zu führen, egal ob im Geschäfts- oder Privatleben, ob auf Englisch oder Deutsch. Eine nicht zu unterschätzende Fähigkeit, insbesondere in englisch-sprachigen Ländern. Small Talk schafft eine Grundlage für gute Beziehungen. Und gute Beziehungen stärken uns: im Geschäfts- & Privatleben. In meinem Beitrag “Small Talk auf Englisch im Geschäfts- und Privatleben” findest Du:

  • Small Talk: Kein Problem? Meine Erfahrungen
  • Tipps für herausfordernde Small Talk-Themen
  • Phrases für Small Talk auf Englisch im Geschäfts- & Privatleben
  • Beispiele aus der Praxis
  • Themen für Small Talk in English

Small Talk: Kein Problem? Meine Erfahrungen

Eigentlich ist Small Talk kein Problem für mich. Eigentlich. Ich erinnere mich an zwei Situationen, die ich als herausfordernd empfand.

Continue reading “(Deutsch) Small Talk auf Englisch im Geschäfts und Privatleben”

(Deutsch) Schlechte Angewohnheiten ablegen

Sugar Breaking bad habits

Breaking bad habits

Do you know the feeling of eating past the point of comfortable fullness? Using food to stuff down the frustration of a dysregulated nervous system? Having a glass of wine or two is also often a habitual response after a stressful day of work and easily becomes a default reaction. Or, staying up too long, spending time on things that don’t do you any good. Other bad habits can easily be found. Stop! This blog entry isn’t about dwelling on bad habits but about breaking them.

Let’s have a look at our brain

I’d like to share with you what I’ve read in the magazine Psychologies, June 2023, about our brain and how to lose bad habits – a very powerful article, so I find. ‘We only have a limited amount of energy each day, and it’s our brain’s primary objective to ensure that we have sufficient energy in the right place, at the right time, so that it can meet our body’s demands. This is called our body budget, and certain things we do replenish this energy, and other things we do deplete this.’ I’ve already mentioned some depleting habits. We’ll come to the replenishing ones a bit later. Let’s go on with getting a better understanding of our brains and thus our habits first.

Our brains only have limited resources. So, if we indulge in depleting habits, our brain has to decide how to allocate its limited resources. As a consequence we might be left without sufficient energy to meet some of our body’s most basic needs. No wonder we’re feeling exhausted and might become ill. The thing is our brain isn’t automatically programmed to do the right thing by us. Why is that? If it always had to process all the things that are thrown at it in real time, it would collapse. Our brain neither has the time nor the capacity to do so. As a result, it is proactive rather than reactive, and it predicts what will happen next. How? Based on past actions.

Automatisms save energy

Let’s say you have developed a habit of eating sweets (= past actions) when being stressed. When we eat sweet foods the brain’s reward system gets activated. Our brain then associates sugar with feelings of happiness and when done repeatedly a routine is established which gradually leads to an automatism, finally regulated by our subconscious mind. So, every time you’re feeling stressed, you will have a craving for sweets.

It is much more energy efficient for our brains to look for the path of least resistance which uses up the least energy than having to make decisions every time when faced with choices. The path of least resistance is based on our past actions, the familiar. This is why old habits die hard.

You will be thinking now that there must be something we can do about it. And you’re right.

Our brains’ impressive capacity to adapt

The answer lies in the neuronal plasticity of our brains, ‘… the brain’s ability to change and adapt because of experience. Research has demonstrated that the brain continues to create new neural pathways and alter existing ones in response to changing experiences.’ (tutor2u)

In other words: ‘We have to create new experiences in our brains of what we do want, for it to draw on in the future.‘ (Psychologies) The new experiences we create have to become a new habit, so that neural pathways are created. New habits to fall back on to knowing that our brain reacts proactively, predicting future actions.

Look on the bright side

Professor Samuele Marcora, a certified sports scientist & exercise physiologist, researches the importance of the brain and perceived effort on performance. In an experiment he had two groups of test teams who were to ride a bike as long as possible. They were shown, for milliseconds, displays of faces. One group with smiling ones, the other one with sad ones. The group who were shown the smiling faces did better and perceived the physical strain as less hard. What makes it special: None of the participants were able to consciously register the faces. (Podcast: Prof Marcora and the Psychobiological model of endurance performance)

When there’s no smiling face around you, put on a smile yourself. 🙂

It’s not all plain sailing

Sounds good? It does but let’s be realistic, it takes time and effort to change old habits. It’s often easier to fall back onto old habits although we know they don’t do us good. Why is that? Because they often guarantee instant gratification in contrast to the new ones which need to develop first and create pathways in our brain, that takes time.

But it’s the good habits which will give us energy and long-term health. Being patient pays off in the end. But how can we get there?

Glas Wasser mit Zitrone Orange um schlechte Angewohnheiten abzulegen

Breaking bad habits

  • Have everything prepared

Let’s say you want to swap your habitual glasses of wine after work for a glass of water. Have everything ready waiting for you, invitingly arranged to please your eyes, so that you don’t automatically fall into this habit of yours when you finish work but think first before reacting on autopilot. Everything should be waiting in place for you, so that taking the first step into a new direction should be as easy as possible. Having everything organised in advance also means using up less energy for your brain which it can make better use of otherwise.

When you prepare the glass of water, do so consciously and imagine how it replenishes your energy level. The more you’re focused on what you’re doing, the better your brain can use this information for future predictions in your interest. And keep repeating; this is how new pathways are created.

  • Positive self-talk – with understanding & compassion

We’re all not perfect, we’re bound to fall back into old habits, that’s pretty normal especially when adversity strikes. Emotions can both enhance and interfere with changing habits depending on which ones we are driving or colouring the experience. On the flipside, we know from research that positive emotions contribute to successful and sustainable results.

So, rather than beating yourself up, be your own cheerleader by speaking to yourself in encouraging, kind and reinforcing ways. Prof Samuele Marcora advises his athletes to give themselves a positive self-talk. They will then perceive the physical challenges as less exhausting. Also to run with a smile on their faces.

Your energy level will be replenished when you treat yourself well and remember: You can always have a fresh start. Our brains are incredibly plastic.

  • Reward yourself

Dopamine regulates reward-related behaviour. Food is a reward, it especially was in the past when food was scarce and helped us survive. But if we want to get away from the instant gratification with the negative consequences to an energy-replenishing lifestyle, we have to train to strive towards the longer term goals: with rewards.

This can be as simple as rewarding yourself with reading an interesting magazine (Psychologies:-) in the afternoon or going for a walk, cuddling your cat; you name it. It doesn’t have to be costly but it has to be important and rewarding for you; something you look forward to.

  • Look for support

Look for people who support you, family & friends or realise your goals together with others in a group.

They are the ones who can encourage you when your motivation is low. And it will give you a boost of confidence when you do the same for them.

And, it’s often more tun together:-)

  • Understanding how your brain works

Psychologies have put it aptly when they wrote that ‘It can feel like we’re in a constant battle with our brain, when we know what we want to do but don’t seem able to stick to it.’ This is why I’ve put a lot of focus on explaining how our brain works at the beginning of this article because of change to be effective, you need to understand what’s going on in the background.

When we understand how our brain works, its reactions don’t seem arbitrary anymore but they show the very clever mechanisms in the background that ensure the proper functioning of our brain.

And, it also shows that we hold the power in our hands to make changes in our favour.

  • Take small steps

We know from research that most people fail because they set the bar too high. I’ve written a blog entry about Making your goals reality in which I give an example of how I managed to drive from Germany to England by car after a car accident some years before which was a huge challenge for me.

Again, Psychologies give a very good explanation why change has to come slowly and gradually. ‘Change is inherently dangerous to us and that is why most people feel uncomfortable with it. If we try to change too much in one go, our body feels unsafe and that’s when we can go into threat mode, which is not conducive to creating new, energy-giving habits.’

Additionally, taking small steps is bound to be more successful because learning is one of the most energy demanding things we can do. Our brain needs time to process what it has learned, allow the new things to sink in in order to become the new norm.

Our coaching trainers always said: ‘Take baby steps. One step after the other.’ You can’t force these things, take it easy instead and give yourself the time you need for sustainable, healthy changes. Your body, mind and soul will be grateful for your patience.

Overview:

  • Have everything prepared
  • Positive self-talk – with understanding & compassion
  • Reward yourself
  • Look for support
  • Understand how your brain works
  • Take small steps

And don’t forget

  • to be proud of yourself. It’s absolutely great what you’ve achieved!
  • to enjoy life and let things be. 🙂

Step by step Treppenstufen

If you’re interested

but still feeling a bit overwhelmed and find you need some extra help, you can book a free taster session. – I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 

(Deutsch) Nicht ganz so perfekt

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Nicht ganz so perfekt: Früher hätte ich dieses Video nicht veröffentlicht. Zu viele Kleinigkeiten mit Verbesserungsbedarf.

Heute sehe ich immer noch den Verbesserungsbedarf, aber darauf lege ich nicht mehr den Fokus. Ich bin vielmehr dankbar, dass mein Sohn sich die Zeit genommen hat, obwohl er mit Klausuren & Abivorbereitungen voll ausgelastet ist.

In meinem Beruf als Trainerin (Englisch, Resilienz) & Coach sehe ich häufig, wie der Wunsch nach Perfektion Menschen verunsichert, ausbremst und sogar ausbrennt, ja und auch davon abhält, ihr Potential zu zeigen. Aus Angst, Fehler zu machen.

Aber so lernen wir: aus unseren Fehlern. Bei meinem Training “Yes, I can!  Englisch frei sprechen” steht in der Beschreibung: Fehlermachen ist unbedingt erlaubt. – Sich & das Leben nicht zu ernst nehmen, stattdessen schauen, was wirklich wichtig ist und wo können wir fünf gerade sein lassen?

Darum habe ich das Video auch so eingestellt: Nicht ganz so perfekt. Ich bin kein Verkaufsprofi. Ich bin Trainerin & Coach: Und das aus vollem Herzen. Die Stärken, das Potential meiner Kunden gemeinsam mit ihnen zum Vorschein zu bringen, das erfüllt mich.

Wenn ich das mit meinem Video herüberbringen konnte, freue ich mich.

Übrigens, wer’s lieber schriftlich mag, hier gibt es ausführliche Informationen zu dem im Video erwähnten Training:-)  Resilienz-Training für Innere Stärke & Gelassenheit

Nicht ganz so perfekt, dafür aber von Herzen kommend. 🙂

Herz mit Stiften nicht ganz so perfekt aber schoen

Anmerkung zum „Du“: Mit dem Du überbrücke ich die Distanz, die zwischen uns, wenn wir uns nicht persönlich kennen, besteht.

(Deutsch) Salutogenese – Was hält uns gesund?

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Zwei Glaeser mit Beeren für Salutogenese was uns gesund haelt

Salutogenese – Was hält uns gesund?

Salutogenese, die Wissenschaft von der Entstehung und Erhaltung von Gesundheit, finde ich als Resilienz-Trainerin natürlich besonders interessant: Was hält uns gesund? Tatsächlich trägt mich aber der Gedanke der Sinnhaftigkeit – ein wichtiger Bestandteil der Salutogenese – schon seit langer Zeit.

Ein Beispiel: Im Sommer 2019 hatte ich einen so schmerzhaften Hexenschuss, dass mich mein Sohn mit dem Schreibtischstuhl an der Treppe „abholen“ musste, nachdem ich mich auf dem Popo rutschend die Treppe hoch bzw. runter bewegte. Die Schmerzen waren heftig und ich war natürlich alles andere als begeistert.

Gleichzeitig mussten wir immer wieder lachen, weil die Situation auch eine gewisse Komik hatte. Meine Besuche beim Chiropraktiker sorgten zumindest für Erzählstoff, die Behandlung als solche war einfach nur ätzend, aber hilfreich.

Immerhin, das Ganze hat mir sehr deutlich gezeigt, dass ich dringend etwas machen muss. Seitdem mache ich wieder konsequent Yoga. Es ist nicht alles perfekt und ein Physiotherapeut musste nachhelfen, aber das Wichtigste: Es tut mir gut. Und ich bleibe konsequent dran: auf körperlicher Ebene und auf mentaler; z.B. Umgang mit Stress. Letztere ist mein Job 🙂 .

Frau die sich bewegt und weiss dass Salutogenese uns gesund haelt

Was ist Salutogenese und wie kann ich mich gesund halten?

Continue reading “(Deutsch) Salutogenese – Was hält uns gesund?”

(Deutsch) Glühwein schmeckt auch in Schottland

Du bist an dem Thema interessiert

und wünschst Dir eine ergänzende oder tiefer gehende Stärkung?

-> Im April 2023 startet mein Resilienz-Training für Innere Stärke & Gelassenheit

-> Alternativ könnte mein Coaching interessant für Dich sein.

Interessiert? Dann freue ich mich, von Dir zu hören.


Anmerkung zum „Du“
: Mit dem Du überbrücke ich die Distanz, die zwischen uns, die wir uns nicht persönlich kennen, besteht.

Dir hat mein Beitrag gefallen? Dann freue ich mich, wenn Du ihn, falls Du auf Social Media bist, teilst. Wenn Du meinen Newsletter abonnierst, erhälst Du meine Beiträge automatisch.

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure: Sometimes, life throws challenges at us, we reach our limits and our lightness might be washed away on the way. We can lose ourselves through functioning and performing of our duties. As a result, our composure is left behind. When then disruptions occur, they don’t fit into our plan and we’re not amused or become even angry. But life doesn’t always go according to plan. Disruptions are part of our lives. Just think of the beginning of the corona crisis: overnight we had to work from home, maybe in the beginning even from our child’s bedroom, doing yoga online etc. Here are two powerful examples of the “Yes, and principle for finding your composure which I’m going to explain further below. “Yes, and make the best of the situation.

The Yes, and principle – 2 powerful examples (videos)

Professor Robert Kelly, an expert on South Korea, was being interviewed live by the BBC when his children came crashing in. First his dancing daughter and then her baby brother hot on her heels in his baby walker. Their father managed to ignore the chaos behind him when his wife rushed into the room to remove the agitated children. At first, he seemed a bit stressed but then he took it with humour, like the BBC interviewer. The video went viral and people loved it. Rightly so, it is hilarious and a great example of poise. I’m sure that the situation wasn’t easy for Professor Kelly and presumably he used the “Yes, and principle” rather unconsciously.

Another example for composure is a  Professor from Israel. He was giving a lecture when the baby of a student began to cry. The mother was preparing to leave with her child when Professor Engelberg picked up the baby and continued on with his lecture, holding the baby: Video – Very powerful!

Composure at the push of a button? Sorry, that’s unrealistic

Again and again, in situations we can’t change, we often lack the laid-back behaviour we would wish for. E.g. in online meetings, the technique isn’t working. Thoughts like: “I could do more important things in the meantime!” or even “That sucks!” are coming up. Or, that’s now a very German thing: a long queue in front of a checkout. “I can’t believe it, the other checkout is quicker than mine. And now they even page a colleague to come over. So annoying!! I have more important things to do!” Or Your child rushing for the loo, just the minute you were to set off. You have a ferry to take!

We get agitated and needless to say, we waste our energy. Most importantly, it will be more difficult to be laid-back in situations which are really important and that need our composure. Being relaxed doesn’t work at the push of a button.

Composure

  • is a question of our attitude and (mindset)
  • requires practising
  • isn’t just related to our mind. Our physical bodies shape the way we think (embodiment) and
  • is a process.

-> Inner attitude (mindset)

When I, in general, am a more tense person, I will lack composure in most areas of life and I won’t show a relaxed behaviour in situations which are important to me.

So, how can I work on my inner attitude?

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

The Yes, and principle is a pillar of improvisation.

  • “Yes, and …” instead of “Yes, but …” – Accepting what is and weighing up the scope of my action. The Yes, and”-principle encourages you to think in solutions and shape the future instead of thinking in problems. Our thinking affects our mindset. – Of course, “Yes, buts” creep into my thinking, too. I was at a training course recently which was absolutely amazing. Still, at the end of one day I was thinking: “Well, I could have done better today.” and I was going to retreat as I’d have done it in the past. But then I thought: “Nope, you know how resilience works.” and went out with other participants instead and had such a funny evening (not going into details now) 🙂

Watch yourself again and again:
-> When is your “Yes, but” in the way? How can you come to a “Yes, and”-mindset instead in the sense of a constructive problem handling? Yes, and I will make the best of the situation.

  • Yes, and out of your comfort zone. We human beings are often lazy and enjoy staying in our comfort zone. That gives us a certain control and a perceived sense of security. The thing however is that we’re becoming more and more anxious in areas that are out of our control. – When I drove to England, for the first time driving myself, it was a super massive step for me to leave my comfort zone, especially after a car accident I’d had a couple of years before. I was even close to panic attacks. I wrote about it in my blog entry “Making your goals reality – every step counts”

I want to encourage you to leave your comfort zone, again and again:
-> Is there anything new you can try out: a new restaurant? A new holiday destination? Performing on a stage?

  • Say yes to mistakes. Say yes to failure. – Mistakes are part of our learning experience. Failure, too. When we accept both and learn from them instead of reacting negatively towards them, we can turn them into a positive learning experience. – In our training course recently we had to give short impromptu presentations about proverbs we had drawn from a pile. Three rounds. The first two rounds went well, then I got stuck with the last proverb: “All good things come in threes.” I somehow had no idea what to say. So, I talked about the shape of the number three and just got carried away, completely off topic. We all had fun in our group and I enjoyed the feeling of failing and having fun to do so. It feels so good and liberating not to take life too seriously. Isn’t it serious enough already?

Food for thought:
-> How do you deal with mistakes?
-> Look at your mistakes from a different perspective (and some distance): Are they really so serious? How can you deal with them?

  • Say yes to humour. – I love British humour. Not taking things too seriously. That’s also what I like about the video with Professor Kelly. They take it with humour. What else could they do? – In an improv session recently, we were doing storytelling, Ella, our game leader, brought me into the game. I had to play another player’s wife: That was the easy part. In my role, I was an expert for dolphins. I was to show the differences between Scottish and German dolphins by demonstrating it. My first thought was: “What the hell is Ella asking of me? Honestly?! How can I do this?” But then I thought: “Who cares? Nothing to lose.” I think, had the dolphins listened to me, they would have been disturbed. We had lots of fun in our session. Humour is so wonderfully relaxing.

What about a bit more lightness?
-> Try out failing, again and again and in a safe environment and enjoy the moment when you don’t take life too seriously and your life gains lightness.

-> Feeling relaxed on a physical level (Embodiment)

Stress also shows on a physical level, e.g. shoulder and neck pain, in our back but also in our face. Make sure, you find a balance on a physical level, e.g.

  • Dancing
  • Exercises for your shoulder and neck
  • Walking
  • Moving in general
  • Making faces (+ good mood on top)
  • Shaking stress off. That’s what I do regularly, especially after being very focused at work. Shake off the stress. Dogs shake themselves, too. 🙂

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

Use your body to support you:

  • Open yourself up for your life: Roll your shoulders back and stretch your chest. I’ve written a blog entry on power posing in which I explain how our physical bodies shape the way we think and feel. – I practise this regularly myself as insecurity and anxiety leave you with a feeling of restriction and they block your thinking opposed to open poses.
  • Watch your breathing: I make sure that my feet are grounded and I breathe deeply in through my nose, I hold my breath a short time and I also breathe out through my nose. Breathing out is longer than breathing in.
  • Invite lightness & joy into your life.

-> A question of training

The „Yes, and”-principle for finding your composure is also a question of training like the playing of an instrument, doings sports or speaking another language. We often only see the results when people seem to master things so effortlessly. But the efforts behind it are unveiled to us. – I apply what I’ve written above regularly. Some of it comes naturally, some of it I had to learn or to recall from former times. When you feel the positive effect, it won’t feel like a must anymore.

Look for
-> opportunities. Try out and find out what works best for you.
-> like-minded people who support you.

-> Growth is a process

When you work on your inner attitude, be aware that this is a process. You might tackle limiting beliefs that have been part of your life for decades, e.g. “I shouldn’t make any mistakes.” “I must perform!” “I have to meet other people’s expectations!” It’s a process to get rid of limiting beliefs, however limiting they are. After all, they’ve possibly been part of our lives for decades. It is a process which requires time, patience and loving gentleness.

Words of encouragement:
-> Look for people who care about you and who will support you on your way.
-> Support yourself by treating yourself how you would treat others.

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

We can’t ban stress & strain out of our lives, that’s unrealistic. But we can learn to live with the adversities of life and face them with the “Yes, and”-principle for finding your composure. I’d like to invite you to

  • make room for the “Yes, and” part of your life,
  • accept the adversities of life,
  • open up your body with an open pose,
  • practise regularly,
  • support yourself and
  • bring lightness & humour into your life.

Give it a try. It feels good:-)

The Yes, and principle for finding your composure

Are you interested in the topic

and would like to have further support?

–> Then my coaching could be interesting for you.
-> Alternatively, I offer resilience training courses for companies.

Are you interested? Then I look forward to hearing from you.

(Deutsch) Ostern – Zeit der Erneuerung & Hoffnung

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Ostern - Zeit der Erneuerung und Hoffnun
Ostern – Zeit der Erneuerung & Hoffnung

Ostern – Zeit der Erneuerung & Hoffnung
Wie bleibe ich in meiner Mitte bzw. wie finde ich in meine Mitte?

Ostern, Zeit der Erneuerung und Hoffnung. Auch wenn man nicht gläubig ist, diese Jahreszeit, der Frühling, steht für die meisten für Erneuerung und für Wachstum. Und aktuell für die Hoffnung, dass wir Corona erst einmal hinter uns lassen und – maßvoll mit der neu gewonnen Freiheit umgehend – sie in vollen Zügen genießen können. Wir hoffen auch auf ein Erwachen unserer positiven Gefühle, auf eine Leichtigkeit, die uns abhanden gekommen ist.

Aber die Realität sieht anders aus. Wir haben den Coronavirus, die begleitenden Maßnahmen, die Auswirkungen, noch gar nicht richtig verarbeitet, da bricht das nächste, absolut schreckliche Ereignis über uns herein: der Krieg in der Ukraine. Fassungslosigkeit, Entsetzen, Angst, Hilflosigkeit – ein Mix an Gefühlen. Das alles macht etwas mit uns: mit dem Einzelnen, mit der Gesellschaft. Hinzu kommen die alltäglichen und die außergewöhnlichen Belastungen des Lebens. Wie bleibe ich bei all dem in meiner Mitte bzw. wie finde ich in meine Mitte?

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(Deutsch) Ein Lächeln verzaubert – nicht nur im Advent & Fairständigen – für ein respektvolles Miteinander

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Ein Lächeln verzaubert – nicht nur im Advent &
Fairständigen – für ein respektvolles Miteinander

Zum zweiten Advent bekam ich das Video oben zugeschickt mit der sehr schönen Botschaft: Ein Lächeln verzaubert – nicht nur im Advent. Also, bei mir hat’s funktioniert:-) Und vor ein paar Wochen bekam ich die Impulspost der evangelischen Kirche zum Fairständigen und ich dachte mir: Beides möchte ich mit Dir teilen. Ich finde, unsere Gesellschaft hat derzeit, aber auch generell, ein Lächeln und ein Fairständigen für ein respektvolles Miteinander sehr nötig.

Fairständigen für ein respektvolles Miteinander

Vielleicht bin ich naiv oder eine hoffnungslose Romantikerin, aber Weihnachten ist für mich zuallererst ein Fest der Liebe. Klar weiß ich um den Konsumrausch, den Vorweihnachtsstress und Reibereien innerhalb der Familie, aber die Worte Martin Luther Kings haben für mich eine größere Wirkungskraft: “Es gibt keine größere Kraft als die Liebe. Sie überwindet den Hass wie das Licht die Finsternis.” (Die Botschaft von Weihnachten). Und deswegen möchte ich mit Dir die Impulspost der evangelischen Kirche teilen, ein wenig abgewandelt und ergänzt um meine eigenen Gedanken.

Fairständigen für ein respektvolles Miteinander – 10 Tipps zum alltäglichen Gebrauch:

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