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Category: Inspiration

Stress and meditation

 

In the spirit of Elena’s post last week and all emanzipated women, I will be my own hero this week and all the weeks to come. This is why I am currently at university trying to juggle way too many projects and tasks at once so that I can progress and achieve my long-term goals. And you know what? I wouldn’t want it any other way. But this also means that I am late on this week’s blog post and that the uke has been sitting in my room waiting for me to spend some time with her for over a week now.

But as my favorite saying goes: “Drink some coffee, put on some gangster rap, and handle it.” So that is what I am doing at the moment.

So today, I want to share with you my way of handling the busy times.

Meditation.

I know that this is not for everyone but if you feel like you are running in circles, you lose focus easily, or feel like you can’t slow down, it might help you. Meditation makes you stop in your current tracks, reflect on your current well-being and keeps you grounded.
It’s not always easy to start, so I suggest going to a class (Yoga is usually also an introduction to basic meditation), read a book, or (my newest finding) an app to introduce you to the concept. I recommend the app Headspace (both for Apple and Android). It guides you through meditations and helps you in understanding how the mind works. Trust me, 10 minutes a day and after a week you will feel a difference. It’s not groundbreaking but everytime you relax a little more, you are one step closer to letting the thought things in life go and gain some perspective.

I want to leave you with this simple understanding of thoughts and how to gain some perspective from this crazy thing called your mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xAeJKgupPI

(This video was made by the creator of headspace)

Much love, Maria

1,917 Comments

How to move on from a broken heart

Having your heart broken or breaking your own heart is terribly devastating and trust me, there are moments in life where I don’t understand why love has to be so wonderfully beautiful and so utterly complicated at the same time. It’s not easy. But right now, I don’t want to write about the sweet, chaotic mess a heart can be in, I want to be bold and practical and stay focused on how to move on after a heart break. Here is goes:

  1. Distract yourself

This is so very easy to say but hear me out: I don’t mean filling your day with meaningless tasks, running from one activity to the other, never stopping so that you don’t have time to think. What I do mean is giving your life a new purpose, a distraction which drives you to a better place. Think about it as progress, dissolve yourself into a passion of yours.

  1. Slow down

This plays together with the point above. Slow down, do some reflection on your part and start to think about yourself. Meditate a little if that helps you. Find some other form of relaxation which helps you work through the pain rather than pushing it away. I know that sometimes I don’t want to stand still because I am scared of what awaits me in the silence. But there is no running away. Face it now.

  1. Be physically active

Sport is, no lie, the best medicine. Now, if you’ve never been physically active, don’t overdo it. If running is not for you, that is totally fine. Just find something that makes you happy. Go look for gym classes. Go swimming, do power yoga, take a step dance class, the possibilities are endless. And trust me, your mind thinks differently when you do sports. The feeling of exhaustion after a great work out, is one of the most calming and addictive feelings out there.

  1. Stop idolizing your ex-lover

Stop thinking of them as the good guy, the hero, prince charming, whatever. They are most certainly not. If they were, they would be sitting next to you at this very moment massaging your feet or whatever. But they are not. And I know this is the most terrible realization, but you need to think rationally. What advice would you give a friend or sibling in this situation? You would tell them to move on, wouldn’t you? You would want their best, so be kind and love yourself more.

  1. Take the high road

Don’t think of revenge, don’t sabotage your surroundings, and don’t do something you will later regret. I know it’s one of the hardest things to do, but take the high road. Months or years down the road, you will be so glad you did. The best revenge is to live well. Focus on yourself, take the time to improve yourself.

  1. Act out of love

You will probably run into them again, you will have uncomfortable conversations with your friends in which their name is mentioned and an oblivious friend will go on about how wonderful the new girlfriend is and how great your ex-lover and her fit together. Yeah, that really sucks, but act out of love. Love is stronger than anger. Love will make you happy, anger will drag you down into that dark, dark place. So smile and pretend for a while. Fake it till you make it, is what I’ve heard. And trust me, there will be a time where you are genuinely happy that you are free and they are gone. Because one of the biggest criteria for a relationship should be that the other person wants to be in it with you. And if that is not the case, you are better off without them.

  1. See it as a catharsis in your life

I know it hurts. But this pain will make you stronger, break down all the parts in you, so that you will come out a better, stronger self.

Plato once said that love resides in the person who loves, not in the person who is loved. You are able to love and to feel and to trust and to be hurt. Be proud of that, it’s more than some people will ever experience.

 

Much love, Maria

 

 

 

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Carbon Copying

This post was inspired after reading ‘Who is Tom Ditto’ by Danny Wallace, yet this is not a book review. The novel just got me thinking.

The idea behind the Carbon Copying concept is to piggy-back ride the fun. You start following someone for a limited time and start to do exactly what they are doing. Go follow them to the same places, order the same food – with the aim that the person shows you things you wouldn’t have experienced on your own. You step out of your life, become invisible, and step into a new one. Seeing someone in the street and rather than only thinking where they are going and what they do, you go find out. I, on the contrary, start imagining complex stories that impress me. Thinking that the other person is really fascinating and too cool for me – always assuming there is a huge back story that doesn’t compare to mine. I think everyone has probably had the thought at one point that your own life might not be enough. The thought that you’re not doing enough things, not going out enough, not saying yes often enough,… spending too much time on social media watching other people do fun things. FOMO is real and I am guilty of it too. Now CC jumps in and gives you the option to enjoy someone else’s day.

Not making any decisions – a dream for me personally as someone who hates making decisions. Actually, that is not completely true. I don’t enjoy planning things, I am much better at being spontaneous. Yet I don’t think CC enables you to double the fun. Just because you physically share the same experience doesn’t mean you feel the same things. Imagine watching a group of friends at a restaurant, 5 of them having a great time – yet you sit alone at your table. This is not piggy-backing the fun, this might even trigger more FOMO. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for walking through life with open eyes, taking every opportunity you get given and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But staying you while doing everything is a crucial aspect that the concept that Danny Wallace is presenting in ‘Tom Ditto’ is lacking.

Something I find a lot more relatable is carbon copying on a personal level. When you start spending a lot of time with someone and you start picking up phrases that the other person uses. But I don’t think this has anything to do with imitating – more so to do with admiring and being open. I do believe that every person has their own identity. Something that they were more or less born with, a structure in their personality that is given. Of course everyone is shaped by their experiences and there is a process involved in becoming you that never truly stops. In that sense I like the thought that you take in little snippets from people around you – whether it might be good or bad and combine them all into your structure of identity. That is a personal observation that only you can see and identify, no carbon copying can give you a complex insight into a personality. And my favorite moments in a discussion are when you realize there is whole aspect to the topic that you have never thought about before, broadening your horizon completely. So no, I don’t go out and follow people, conversations are my weapons of choice.

Much love, Elena

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The uke and your inner voice: Practice – listen – love

I have this tendency to make decisions in my life based on my gut feeling. Yes, I am a rational human being and strategic deliberations are an important part of my decision making process – but oftentimes it boils down to the emotional choice I tend to make. Decisions on where to live, which career path to choose, what people to surround myself with, can be approached rationally but in the end, when all the facts have been considered, I do tend to choose what “feels right”. And guess what? That’s a good thing.

Your gut feeling

But there is a difference between the gut feeling and what I like to call the inner voice. Now, I am not saying that the inner voice is a new concept, but I do think there are many different opinions and definitions out there. The gut feeling might tell you instantly what seems to be the easy way out, the most convenient choice, the path of least resistance. It’s the voice that you will most likely want to listen to, the easy choice. It’s the voice that tells you to stay in after a long day at work, it’s the decision for the safe side. The gut feeling focuses on short-term gain. But your inner voice works differently. The inner voice has your own best interest at heart. It considers all the options, checks in with the parts of your mind you do not necessarily consider at times. The inner voice decides on, yes, what will help you in the short-term, but also asks how this can further your horizon and benefit you in the long-run. The inner voice challenges us, makes us reconsider. It sometimes even chooses the impossible.

Now, I am not saying the gut feeling is wrong. The gut feeling is necessary, crucial in life, it’s the instinct, the weird undefined feeling you get when you first meet someone and you just know that there is something off about this person which later turns out to be true. Listen to this gut feeling. But let your inner voice make the decision on how to precede when interacting with this person.

The inner voice is us.

And you know what the best part of this is? The inner voice is already there, it’s you. It’s me. It is not a schizophrenic part in all of us, telling us what to do. It can’t be reprogrammed and manipulated by an outside machine. The inner voice is the sum of the emotional, the rational, the sceptic in us, and the many different unique parts inside that make us individuals. But as with almost everything in life, the inner voice does not come easily, it wants to be trained. The inner voice can be quiet and reluctant to act. But deep inside, the more we listen, to more we are honest with ourselves, the better we can hear it.

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Playing ukulele and listening to my inner voice

Playing the ukulele has surprisingly taught me a lot about listening to my inner voice. Practicing every day and playing that same horrendous finger picking part I just can’t seem to get right, can be very frustrating. With the uke I can immediately hear when there has been a mistake. I can adjust, improve, practice again and make it better. There is a lot of truth in that for my life outside of music as well. Being able to improve, to really start to listen to what I play, how I interpret a song, what feels right and what sounds wrong, has been translated into my life. Long-term success can only be achieved through. Truly loving the music, truly loving my life – it is achieved when listening really close. To the uke, to the inner voice. Finding that melody, the harmony in music, has shown my inner voice that there is not only one way to play, not only one way to decide. But there is my way of playing – a certain decision I have to make for myself. There are things in my life that will support me and help me face challenges ahead. In music, that is my cute little concert ukulele. For my life and any decisions on where my life is going, it’s the little thing called: my inner voice.

Much love, Maria

1,945 Comments