The Sacred Centre

sharing – daring – caring – writing from the heart

Category: Relationships

When Happiness Returns

Suddenly I felt this pure happiness wafting through my body. Like as if a window had been opened in a stuffy room to let the fresh spring air in and awaken the sleeping mind. I admit it had been a while since I last felt it. We’re probably talking a good 5 years. My goodness, what had happened that I spent all that time semi-unhappy?

What kept me going those past years was that last memory of a sunny morning that I woke up early in my little studio flat, refreshed after sleeping sound through the night, went for a run along the seafront and settled with a good read on the sofa. I had a little patio on which I grew as many vegetables as possible in pots, even a little apple tree. And I felt happy, really happy. And ever since have I tried to get back to feeling happy just like that.

The decline followed on after a big depression which was the result of an emotionally abusive relationship, the shockwaves of which would follow me around more or less for most of those years. The foundation was fear. The fear of either living a life under the control of someone, which I didn’t want or living with the consequences of leaving the confines of control and be subject to harassment. I chose to break free but from then on didn’t sleep properly, couldn’t eat properly, got an adrenaline rush every time I heard a noise outside or spotted someone in the streets that looked like my ex and my menstrual cycle was all over the place as well. This naturally is a disaster recipe for unhappiness.

I have come a long way since then and sensing that glimpse of happiness made me realise how much work I had done on myself and on my surroundings. It would be great to assume that happiness is something that is freely available, but I don’t think it is. And it may also be interpreted differently by everyone. What happiness is to you might not be happiness to the person next to you.

Opening up to a new partner was hell for me and I only got through it because he was so patient and understanding, something I will be eternally grateful for. What I have learned over the past years is that if a relationship has no mutual respect and understanding for both parties, neither will be happy and sometimes the only way to be happy is to get out, however hard it may be.

happiness

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to find lasting happiness. This means to give up something you like or release people from your life who get you down. My sacrifice was to move in with my new partner into a small second floor flat along a main road to safe money for a better place. There were always people shouting and suspicious groups of people hanging out outside and I missed my connection to nature and to grow my veg. Together with my fear of commitment based on my last experience this meant another dip in spirits. But now I have been rewarded with a lovely little house and beautiful garden in a really quiet area with views onto the magnificent green hills of the South Downs. And here it was that suddenly my happiness perked up. Totally and completely 100% undiluted happiness.

“WOW”

My menstrual cycle is still a bit out of sync but thanks to acupuncture treatments as well as my own applied acupressure, healing, meditation and yoga I’m not as affected mentally, the ups and downs of which were the biggest obstacle to happiness. Food is also still an ongoing battle because I find that there are more and more things my body reacts to with tiredness, fatigue, aches and pains.

So, to keep your spirits up and be truly happy it is crucial to be with people who appreciate and value you, who listen to you and who understand who you are and what makes you tick. To release people from your life that cause you unhappiness isn’t an easy one. When I was in that situation I read somewhere that by raising your own happiness, to be yourself, to not let yourself get down and to surround yourself with people who contribute to your happiness will quite likely lead to the natural disappearance of those who don’t contribute to your happiness. The Law of Attraction says that you get more of what you put out. It sort of worked like that for me. We’re all annoying at times, we all have our ups and downs, but if you can reflect on yourself and acknowledge those around you, to laugh with them and sometimes even without them on your own, just for the sheer joy of it, then you will have found happiness.

If you then support yourself and others with a simple diet that is full of fresh ingredients, swapping common sugar with natural sweeteners (read my “Sugar Hangover Diaries” if you would like to know more) and enjoyed with “gusto” you will find that your body will be a good vehicle from which to shine your light of happiness. We well and truly are what we eat and food has a big effect on us, how we feel, how we act, how we present ourselves, which I belief isn’t nearly given as much attention as it deserves. We’re all such individual personalities that one rule doesn’t fit all of us. So what I find important is that you figure out who you are, what you need to be truly happy and to give you more of what you need, not only in food but also in people around you and the space you live in. It all starts with the simple thought of what you want.

You can change and create your life just how you want it. Down to the very T 🙂

Love
Anna

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The Courage of Valentinus

I only ever once got something resembling a love letter, and I don’t think it was even on Valentine’s Day. Reason to worry? Not really. Life is still worth living even if we don’t receive any Valentine’s cards or presents!

It took some effort on my part to get some of my past boyfriends to get me something for Valentine’s. Why? Because they didn’t believe in the consumerism of it whereas I was mesmerized by the idea of romance. It’s no surprise, considering you will see heart-shaped balloons, red roses and special chocolate tins plus all the cute cuddly teddy bears everywhere in the weeks running up to February 14th.

Now then, what happened that shaped this custom of ours?

There seems to be a bit of guess-work going on around the origin of Valentine’s Day. In the third century, there were actually three Valentinuses, who allegedly all died on February 14th. Most seem to put their bet on St Valentinus of Rome, who married couples against the law under the reign of Roman emperor Claudius II around 270. He was ultimately found out and imprisoned. While in prison, he was asked to teach the daughter of a prison guard, to whom he wrote a letter the day before his death signed “from your Valentine”. It is likely that any records of Saint Valentine were destroyed during the Diocletianic Persecution at the beginning of the 4th century.

I was made aware of this little cartoon for those visual learners out there 🙂

I really wish I still had the post card that was pushed through underneath our front door a good 25 years ago. I remember that it had a print of a painting with some field mice in a garden, a typical children’s book picture. We had just learned writing, accordingly, on the back, my admirer had written in big capital letters that he liked me. In between each word he had drawn a plump big red heart. Unfortunately, this card has vanished somewhere along my life.

Next week I will be running a mini retreat on “Finding your Inner Valentine“. Our retreats take place every second Thursday of the month and this one coincidentally fell exactly on Valentine’s Day. One of the co-founders said at first that we are probably unlikely to get people in on that day. But I thought that it would be perfect for all the singles out there, to give them the opportunity to treat themselves to something good. And surprisingly, or not, we were booked out quite quickly.

The question now is what these participants expect. I sometimes use my blogs as inspirational handouts and wanted to produce one of them for the Valentine’s retreat. But the information I researched just doesn’t resonate with me. It doesn’t touch my heart, even despite Valentine’s typical symbolism being a heart. So what can we draw from the original story of St Valentinus of Rome?

He definitely fought for his beliefs. Christianity was suppressed by the Romans, but Valentinus wasn’t prepared to just drop his belief. He had the courage to carry on, to still offer those in love the holy sacrament of marriage. Even when he got imprisoned for it, he still taught the prison guard’s daughter about life and his belief. The story goes that she was born blind but together with what she had learned about God by Valentinus and her own belief formed following the teaching, it is said that she was able to see.

We don’t know if this really happened, but do we need to know the facts in order to belief? Let’s take this simple little story and belief in ourselves, our strengths, possibilities and the person we are. Take up the courage to do with our life what we believe to be right. And maybe, instead of just throwing chocolates and flowers at those dear to us, begin to see these qualities in them as much as we see them in ourself.

It surely takes courage to tell someone how you feel about them. You won’t know what the other is feeling until you made the first step. Leaving fears and worries behind, the pure acknowledgement of another person, believing in them no matter what,that, to me, is an essence to Valentine’s Day that touches my heart.

Love
Anna

The Many Stages of Grief and Belief

I have just tackled the last unit on death and dying in my diploma. I wanted to do this unit because it forms such a big part of my job and is also an interesting topic that I wanted to learn more about. However, it took me a good year until I finally actually started it. And this was not only because nobody passed away while I was on duty, which should be a positive thing really, but probably more so because a little insecurity signalled that I might have to begin to look behind my emotional barriers and address my own issues to do with endings and the passing of others and myself.

Death is an uncertainty. Yet, the only certainty is death. This concerns humans as much as animals, plants, the whole universe. But because we only know life as it is, it can frighten us to not know what will happen. Uncertainty is often worse. A saying by Paulo Coelho goes: “Fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself”.

Death can happen at any time, yet we walk around with a distinct sense of security. This helps us to live our life to the full, which we wouldn’t be able to were we to worry about potential dangers around every corner. Death at a young age is usually seen as more tragic, compared to a natural end after a long and successful life. Just, how much more tragic is a gradual decline with Alzheimers, which can weigh heavily on relatives and carers, not to mention the individual himself, compared to a sudden death, maybe due to an accident, where the suffering might be more intense but shortened? At what point are we considered to be “at the end of our life”, if we know that one day we will quite definitely die anyway? How accurate are diagnoses in relation to life expectancy, if some outlive theirs by a few decades, whereas other’s comes to an end unexpectedly quick? These questions remain mostly unanswered, partially because we have no control over life, even with all the medical enhancements, and also because we all experience fear and grief differently.

While working my way through this unit I happened to stumble across a related article in a newspaper. It was about a young doctor that had recently been diagnosed with cancer and had written about both sides, her experiences as a doctor and now as a patient. I ordered both her books straight away (intake goes to charity) and am following her blog (http://drkategranger.wordpress.com). She is exactly my age, which, together with my current thought processes on dealing with death and worrying about ovarian cysts, found its way into my deepest inner self. How would I feel if I was suddenly diagnosed with a terminal illness? What would I do? On top of it comes the worry of my partner that I would rather die young than undergo invasive treatments, since I tend to prefer the natural approach to illnesses.

Since we are all individuals with different life experiences and beliefs, we will all deal with death differently. Some get overtly emotional and cry, others simply withdraw, unable to talk about their feelings. There are those who express anger, who don’t want to give up, who think they have many things left to do and can’t see how they can possibly do it all with the time they have left. They would give anything for a little more time. There are worries about pain and suffering. And there are those who accept this part of life for what it is and often become the rock for their relatives and friends, who might have an even harder time coping with the upcoming loss, since they are the ones left with a gap in their lives. All these responses go hand in hand with the five stages of grief, as outlined by Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. These can affect everyone involved in someone’s death. The dying individual as much as relatives, old acquaintances and those involved in the care.

How we deal with death depends on our belief or religion. Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs for example, believe in re-birth, whereas the belief of a Jehovah’s Witness is that their whole existence stops forever when a person dies. Atheists do not hold any belief at all. Christianity proposes that life is a gift from God which is available to all who believe and seek forgiveness and the Mormon Church views life as a test to see if we are ready to return to God after death. Judaism holds the belief that death is the end of earthly life, but that eternal life is offered if we have the right relationship with God. Islamic practises see death as a transition from one state of being to another as part of the will of Allah. (From The Royal Marsden Clinical Nursing Procedures)

Some people only begin to find solace in a religious belief when they are in despair, even if they didn’t belief in anything whatsoever during their whole life. The opposite can be the case as well. Sadly I have known someone who was very dedicated to his spiritual beliefs during his lifetime but was said to have lost all his faith just before he died, making his passing very unsettling for him and those near him.

Then last night there was a documentation on TV about death row in the US. They interviewed those on life sentence and talked about those who had been sentenced to death. This takes on a completely different view on death. Surely, these prisoners must have done terrible things to be sentenced to death. How do they deal with what they have done and what will happen to them? With homicide as much as with euthanasia, the question is: who can justify a killing of another being?

I could probably say that I find it easier to cope with death than the process of dying. I am generally quite open to anything, yet there comes a point where I encounter a natural barrier, something that stops me opening up too much to a situation in order to avoid getting upset. Or maybe even more out of fear that I would lose control over my emotions.

I would do most things for my patients, but sometimes I rather feel like not getting too involved in their care, or with them personally, because I fear I would be overwhelmed with emotions. Sometimes I feel that I am unable to offer all my sympathy and concern a situation requires and end a conversation with a pat on the arm and a reassuring word and smile, which appears rather awkward and foolish to me.

It was a huge moment of change for me when I began working in care, at first being terrified to apply personal care. This has now become routine for me over the years, but it doesn’t have any personal emotions attached to it. Even though you consider dignity, personal preferences and apply a professional standard, there is a difference between a routine bed bath and a comforting hug or holding someone’s hand. It requires a different set of emotional awareness, and actually also preparedness.

The worst is if someone, and this relates to anyone, even in my private life, begins to cry. My immediate response used to be to just run away, to just not have to deal with it. More recently I have begun to remain calm and just listen. To give the individual time to get the first tears out, let the first steam out of the kettle, and then to offer constructive support, to just be there for them, without being overly sympathetic. I am aware of these processes and am still working on them. Attending a course for basic counselling skills has hugely contributed to my awareness and development.

Very “coincidental” came the natural conversation with a patient about his acceptance of death being the gate to eternity, as he called it. He was talking about how he had served in Australia during the war and had only come back to the UK to see his parents, when he fell in love and ultimately become a Christian because of his mother-in-law. He never used to believe in anything in particular before that, if anything than rather more in guides. Now he sais that he has ticked all the boxes that allowed him to go back to God. He had asked for forgiveness for all his sins, had lived a good and interesting life and was rather excited to see what would happen when he finally passed over. He was actually doing really well for 93. I liked his open and cheerful attitude towards death. Of course, a natural death after a long and happy life would be the best option. Wouldn’t it?

A year on after writing about endings I have maybe come a little bit closer to accepting that everything ends one day. Still, we won’t know what will happen after. But I firmly belief that it will be our own belief that will influence that moment for the better or worse. Which way will you choose?

Love
Anna

Of Fears and Phobias

It is commonly acknowledged that one way of treating phobias is to actively engage with the object of fear. Of course, this is nearly impossible, one will say of the mere thought of facing their fear.

What a joy it was for me to bump into the spotting image of someone, who has been reason and cause for a lot of upset and ultimately fear for the past few years.

The word “phobia” derives from Greek and literally means “fear or morbid fear”. It is an anxiety disorder that displays a strong, at times irrational fear of something with  little or no actual danger resulting in the avoidance of and interference with usual activities while expressing signs of distress. Actually, up to a few days ago, I didn’t even compare this particular fear of mine to a phobia.

In contrast to “common phobias” of spiders, snakes, confined spaces, to mention but a few, I saw my issue as a simple result of engaging with the wrong person leading to threats and controlling behaviour which ultimately ended with a massive drama of further threats and the believe that one day I might find myself attacked and would possibly die as a consequence. Now that I understand that the words “phobia” and “fear” are actually the same, I can say that my behavioural reaction to this morbid fear is in fact what would be classed as a phobia.

As much as my fear was based on real threats, just as much was there no evidence for further danger. The rest of my fear played itself out in my own head. I feared facing this person and would also avoid any places where the likelihood of such event was heightened. This was difficult, because one of the proposed threats had been that I would be “hunted down at all my places of work and interest”, so basically, wherever I went, I would feel an immense sense of dread. I would get a sensation of shock when I spotted someone in the crowd showing vague similarities and generally fleet from one corner to the other, taking a hide whenever I could. The two occasions I actually really spotted the dreaded face on the streets were followed by an immediate panic attack but fortunately nothing else.

A few years and many counselling, psychotherapy, acupuncture and EFT sessions plus a lot of personal reflections later I thought I was nearly there. I was lucky enough to find a new partner that seems to really understand my worries and fears and appears to have a bottomless jar of patience whenever I would delve into yet another episode of panic.

But when the dreaded face suddenly appeared in an adjoining department at my place of work, I threw a right panic. Now the threat of hunting me down had happened in the most unlikely circumstances, and no matter how unlikely this situation was, there was just no other explanation for it. The world that I had just build up again so full of hope began to crumble again around me and it needed more EFT sessions and further meetings with a psychologist to make sense of my reactions and arising feelings. On top of that came three more such encounters near where I lived which all didn’t make any sense! Why now? Why now that I had just come to terms with it and had finally begun to move on?

Looking at it from a spiritual point of view, I think it was just time to deal with the last niggling fear that was left. And in order to deal with it, it had to be brought up to the surface so it could be cleared away. And yes, to be honest, there were still a few little avoidance techniques on auto pilot, running quietly in the background. For example, I had been avoiding any photographic evidence and had not been mentioning any names. Seriously, I believed that something bad would happen would I say the name out loud. Instead I would use the term “evil ex”, which to be fair, as a good friend pointed out, meant that I made it even worse by emphasising the bad experience I had. Of course I wouldn’t be able to make peace with the past if I kept calling it “evil”.

Instead, it would be much better to make peace with it and choose a more positive term. Just how to think about it positively??

Basically, you simply just let go of all grudges. You accept the situation for what it was, learn from it and move on. Suddenly I was actually able to see the funny side of it. Regardless of how dreadful it had been at the moment, suddenly I could laugh out loud at some memories, which was very healing. I did a lot of cathartic writing too, just like this blog, which helped immensely to understand my feelings and bring clarity into my thought processes.

Still I wasn’t sure what to do in the event of actually standing face to face. But I managed to set up a step-by-step plan during one of my sessions with the psychologist which further supported my sense of security. And then, a few weeks ago, the face appeared on my department at work. Not next door, no, right in our staff room.

Shit.

But, hang on…what? This isn’t who I think it is – but it looks just like it…can’t be.

Yes, my fear had materialised out of thin air right in front of me. But compared to my past memories, this version looked much more kempt, sane, in good health and was kind, caring and very well articulated. Yet, it was the perfect lookalike. It took me a few hours to convince myself that this really was someone else, not the actual person my fear was based on just looking a bit more healthily. And honestly, this encounter with the lookalike of my biggest fear helped to shift absolutely everything that was left in fear, worry and uncertainty. I could make actual peace with something that I never thought I would be able to. I desensitized without fear. I would even say I made friends with this situation. Not to mention that this person had factually been the same I saw before on the adjoining department. The first sight of him brought the fear up, the second took it right away. Incredible how it goes sometimes!

I feel soo relieved, so happy, so much more uplifted. I even look forward to seeing the face, and I have been seeing it a lot at work recently. Embarrassingly, I find myself staring at it, still thinking whether they cold possibly be related. This is the perfect sample of good and bad, love and hate, trust and disbelieve.

Whatever your phobia, even if you didn’t knew it was one, work on it! There is a lot of help out there, find whichever way suits you best. There might be more than one. There really is nothing wrong with therapy and seeking professional help! You can only benefit. It’s so worth it!

Love
Anna

A Letter to all Fathers and Mothers who may have abandoned a Child

A part of me is missing and for a long time I firmly believed that I didn’t need it. There would be no reason to miss it since it has never been there in the first place.

The desire, or curiosity, to discover this part, however, has always been there. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

The last time I had the chance to closely analyse this part, a meeting in person, I was too shy and intimidated, for this part suddenly appeared to be rather foreign to me. Twenty years have passed since then.

A couple of times I plucked up the courage over those years to explore this part from a distance, to understand what I was possibly missing. A very tiny piece made its way to me in the form of a letter, which rather served as a punishment than a bonus. This was ten years ago. Many others were left unanswered.

I have now arrived at a point in life at which I realise that I will never be whole, for a part of me has been kept away from me. I sincerely tried everything to get by without it. I denied the gap, filled it with other things, attempted to accept it the way it is and adapted to the flow of life.

However, these tactics didn’t last for long. Again and again, I would become aware of the gap and now understand the implications it has on my life and me as a person.

It hurts to not be wanted as a person. Any rejection of any kind, be it in relationships, at work, with friends, foes and the like, would sadden me deeply. I believe, that whatever I achieve is never good enough. My sense for perfection drives me to exhaustion and I am continuously aiming to prove and justify myself, to explain my existence and with that give my life a purpose. I fear that people I meet dislike me or don’t want me around. I don’t know how to engage with the opposite sex or how relationships work. This is information which is to be found in the missing part.

No acknowledgement, no praise, no recognition can please me, for a part of me is missing. And until I have found this part, I won’t be able to see myself as a complete being.

I am nobody without this part. No, I am something. Something that moves through life and has wonderful experiences, discovers the world, makes friends and enemies, follows it’s calling, finds its true purpose, learns, experiments, laughs, cries, falls and gets back up again, carries on, enjoys the little things in life and yearns for acknowledgement for all the wonderful deeds. And every now and again it asks itself: “Who am I and where do I come from?”

One thought comes up repeatedly: “I wish you could see what a magnificent person I have become and what fantastic experiences I have made and how many people I have influenced. You would be so proud!”

And you really have any reason to be proud that a part of you exists that has such a positive influence on the world! I just wish I could hear your thoughts and understand what this part is, that I am missing.

Dealing with these arising emotions is part of my life and ultimately makes me who I am. Out of the mist of confusion and lack of understanding has stepped a strong individual who cherishes life and aims for the highest goal.

Children are a miracle and a blessing and deserve to be fully acknowledged for who they are!

Love
Anna

The Story of the Little May Tree

With my engagement, a small birch tree arrived in our flat. If you are wondering why, let me give you a short explanation first:

In various parts of Germany, there is a yearly tradition involving a “May tree” or “May pole”, with the exact custom differing depending on the region you are in. The area I grew up in was North Rhine-Westphalia, where the tradition goes that on the last day in April (Walpurgis Night), next to dancing into May, young, unmarried men, are busy cutting down birch trees and erecting them in front of the houses of their beloved ladies, finished with coloured ribbons and a sign of the lady’s name. This is a symbol of a proposal, and although the tradition is still active, more in some parts, less in other parts of the country, I have noticed a considerable decline in birch trees attached to fences, drain pipes and balconies over the last decades. Is it maybe because the tradition of marriage is on the decline too?

The tradition of dancing into May is said to date back to the Celts, who celebrated the beginning of summer (Beltane) on the first of May. Later, around the 17th century it became custom in Germany to allow for so called “lending marriages”, where a girl was given to a man for a trial period to encourage partnerships within a community to hold the core of the town together. But as, when and how exactly today’s May tree custom comes from, remains unclear.

When my boyfriend and I visited Germany a couple of years ago and saw these trees, I explained the tradition to him and a couple of months later I had my  very own May tree. He actually mail-ordered a small birch tree, tied coloured ribbons on its little branches, even bought a proper  ceramic pot and placed it in the hallway, ready for me to stumble across it. In its little instruction card he had written in German whether I would marry him. It wasn’t exactly May, but that didn’t really matter. It was the thought that counted. And a very original one it was indeed for a marriage proposal 🙂

Now, as I have previously described, I struggled a bit with the whole idea of commitment and having to wear a ring as a sign for everyone to know. Naturally, for me, everything in me resisted against it. I was just too independent and had built a very high wall of protection around me. While I struggled along my little birch tree withered and slowly died. First I thought it was simply the natural process of dying when winter approached, then I thought that a tree wasn’t really supposed to live in a pot on the windowsill anyway. But we had no outdoor space. I made a few feeble attempts at sprouting tiny leaves when spring approached, but they also died again soon after, despite the algae fertiliser I fed it. I accepted that it wouldn’t grow any more and stopped watering it.

Nearly a whole year has passed since the proposal and I have worked through a lot, came to many insights and understandings and appear to have settled into living together with my partner. I still can’t wear the ring, and still cringe at the word “fiance”, but other than that, I feel truly happy with myself and my partnership. And suddenly, the little tree started sprouting tiny, lush green leaves again.

Seriously, I have not watered it for a couple months and simply couldn’t get myself to throw it out, since it resembled a symbol of the partnership between my boyfriend and me. When I was looking at it this morning, noticing how many big, bright green leaves it had grown over the past weeks (I had begun enthusiastically to water it again), a simple thought popped into my head:

It had withered with my commitment fear and, out of the blue, started sprouting with my new-found self acceptance and love. Despite the fact that plants can adapt to severe draught or cold and still live and grow, for me, this was a sign. A sign that my relationship wasn’t lost, but indeed was only just about to flourish and rise anew! And I also realised how true it is that plants react to our thoughts and feelings.

I found an article by the BBC about tests they did on plants with light. It lead to the understanding that plants can think and remember, as they stated it. And yes, their test was about the reaction of plants to light, but thinking about it, what is light? It is mere energy, just like thoughts. Thoughts shine over us just like light does. And the intensity and resulting reactions depend on the kind of thoughts we hold and put out. It is obvious: good thoughts nourish, bad thoughts don’t. Just like it made my tree wither, it had a negative impact on my relationship. But once I had changed my thoughts on my life, myself and my relationship, I felt happier and more at ease. And so did the tree.

Be aware of your thoughts. Change them if they have a negative impact on your surroundings. And if the thought can’t be changed, maybe change the believe behind it first. Go back to the roots of that believe and try to understand what created it and what gave it the power over your life. That way, you hold the power over your life, not your past thoughts and believes.

Love
Anna

The Quest for Love

Don’t we all believe there to be a soul mate who combines all our desires and much more? The knight in shining armour who will protect us against all evil? I always believed in my Prince Charming and I was determined I would find him.

It could have been regarded a bad omen that my mother only realised she was pregnant with me when she went into hospital with a suspected appendicitis, and even worse that my father was adamant for her to have an abortion. Although my mother had given me all her love, I have never encountered the unconditional love a father provides. I believe it made it difficult for me to relate to the opposite sex.

It is said that when you meet the right one you simply know. However, finding the elusive soul mate is often not so easy. If you are desperate to find Mr Right you are unfortunately more likely to find the devil first.

In my early twenties I left my home country of Germany and moved to England. And although I left everything behind, for the first time in my life I felt at home. Naively I expected my soul mate to appear at any time and paired with the loneliness that came upon me in this new country, I encountered a rather unsettling relationship. Nothing would ever compare to the traumatic experience of falling prey to the persistent mental and emotional abuse when I finally met the devil. He said he loved me, which for me was poison in the apple that I had longed for so long. It shook my core belief and changed the way I perceived love.

However, working through it made me a much stronger person. It actually opened me up to love, simply by giving up looking for it. I abandoned the idea of meeting Mr Right and decided to simply enjoy myself. It added much needed experience to my understanding of relationships and love. I finally arrived in a place where it didn’t matter whether I was alone or not, I had found a space within myself where I was simply happy with who and where I was. Accordingly, it didn’t take long for him to arrive. I was ready to embrace love at the humblest moment in my life. And so was he.

And the moral of this story? Life is unpredictable and we are merely participants in a scenario that is far beyond our understanding. We need to accept that and stop looking for the perfect moment. It opens a gate beyond which great opportunities lay. We ought to take that chance and walk ahead with curiosity and a knowing smile that we have already found what we were looking for, right at the start.

Love
Anna

The Miracle of Conception and the Life Ahead

We wait for miracles to happen but don’t realise that we are the miracle!

In an attempt to understand the physical and physiological changes during my menstrual cycle I began writing an independent blog in which I noted down how I felt and what had been going on in my life and also looked up what was going on within my body on a hormonal level. This blog is not rocket science and it is more a diary for myself than a big encyclopedia of a woman’s cycle but to me it made a huge difference in understanding what exactly is actually going on at certain days apart from obvious mood swings and cramps.

I also realised that technically it isn’t that easy to conceive at all. Call me naive, but I never gave it much thought apart from the fact that you would simply just get pregnant. In actual fact, there is only one egg that is being released in each cycle and it only lives for 12 to 24 hours before it disintegrates. So what are the chances of actually getting pregnant? Luckily the male sperm can survive around 5 days in the female cervix. Therefore, if you are really trying for a baby your best chances are the five days leading up to the day of ovulation which takes place around day 14 to 16 of your cycle.

The interesting thing in regards to my own personal process of creation was that my mother had a pituitary adenoma which influenced the hormones commonly associated with reproduction and she was told by her doctors that she will probably not be able to have children. Neither my mother nor my father thought it necessary to use standard precautions (incredible!) and it wasn’t until my mother went into hospital with suspected appendicitis that she learned that she was in actual fact pregnant. At this point my father asked her to have an abortion since he happened to be otherwise engaged, which my mother refused. He then said that he didn’t want to be involved and has ever since kept to his self-proclaimed promise.

At this point my mother was about three months pregnant and prior to the unexpected news she had already booked in to see a psychologist due to stress-related issues which beside others included the same name coursing through her mind over and over again. This name turned out to be my birth name in full hyphenated length which makes me believe that I, as a soul or spirit being, was aiming to get here all along despite all the obstacles. I must have fought for it really hard because my mother remembers that she felt pretty rough during her pregnancy.

Presently I am reading “Anastasia” from the Ringing Cedars Series. This basically formed the thought for writing this blog. In this  she implies that intercourse should only take place when a man and a woman sincerely wish to create a child and that it is purely today’s society that makes us believe we should engage in sexual activities for pleasure. This, obviously, is down to each individuals desire and I don’t want to state that Anastasia’s opinion is what we should all strive for, but, I do get her point. Just pick up any random magazine, switch to any random TV channel and you will literally be bombarded with sexually inclined pictures, quotes, tips and the likes. It really does go a little bit too far and might leave people who have less desire to indulge in carnal pleasure feel less worth and a failure, just like nobody looks like a hollywood star!

“Tell me who – which individual – would want to come into the world as a result of carnal pleasures alone? We would all like to be created under a great impulsion of love, the aspiration to co-creation itself, and not simply come into the world as a result of someone’s carnal pleasure.”
Anastasia, page 64

It made me think how much the act of our creation impacts on our life. I think I have turned out to be a magnificent being with a multitude of interests and a very open and engaging mind. However, I am also plagued with abandonment issues and commitment fears, which already form a constant contradiction in their own right. But I also often think that maybe I shouldn’t be here because I wasn’t wanted.

This leads me to another story I would like to bring in about a girl who always said she feels older than she actually is and she also always said that she wants a baby and doesn’t want the father to be living with her. This is her choice, but when she finally announced she was pregnant a lot of people independently came to the conclusion that she had willfully ensured she would get pregnant to which she never gave a proper account. She now has broken off all contact to the father and said that she doesn’t want him to be involved. To me it is so obvious that she just wanted to get pregnant and judging by how controlling she is in her life, closely resembling a military procedure, knowing her medical knowledge as a professional and how clever she is together with the mere fact that there are only a maximum of 24 hours to conceive and she wished for a baby so strongly I am sure that she timed it well. When I asked her how it happened she just said: “Don’t ask” and laughed it off…

For some reason this stirs up a lot of emotions within myself, and I wonder why. The situation is similar to my own as in having been raised by a single mother with the difference that I was rejected by my father whereas she rejected the father of her child. The last, and most important question is whether her child was created accidentally as she makes it look like to others or whether I and others can trust their intuition that she did it on purpose. And nobody will ever know for sure because she won’t tell the truth if it doesn’t fit in with her plan of action.

It is not my part to get involved into her life it just makes me look at the act of conception a little bit more closely. These days there are so many young mums around that accidentally “happened” to fall pregnant. Some will decide for an abortion believing that it isn’t the right timing. On the other hand there are many, many people who want to become pregnant but for some reason can’t. One question arises: “What life do we offer a child that we selfishly demand or unwittingly bring into the world?” I believe that we all are born with a life task which is entirely different in each individual. A friend of mine even said in line with the Anastasia books that each time a man ejaculates a soul gets ready to incarnate. Nobody knows the full extend of our being and who we really are. And even we ourselves discover new parts of ourselves at any time in our lives. Some will need more attention, some might even seem so overburdening that we think we can’t carry on anymore and others might make us rise above ourselves evidently making us stronger.

We certainly shouldn’t judge others because their life plan is different to ours. That’s what makes us as a species so interesting and diverse and creates so many learning opportunities to grow on personally and spiritually. And maybe we can give the incredible 12 hours in which we come into existence a little bit more credit and see it as the miracle that it really is.

Love
Anna

The Power of Thought

There is an ever-increasing awareness that positive thought does contribute to a better lifestyle. But do we actually really understand what that means?

Last week I had an interesting conversation in which a lady told me about a part in herself, which she gave a rather mundane name, but which also helped her to achieve better health. She would literally call this part in herself by its name and say: “I am not feeling so well, please help me to get better soon.” And even after having had an operation on her foot, her doctor was surprised at the fast rate of healing she experienced.

I can give you two explanations as to how and why her approach works. First of all, we all have a tremendous capacity to self-heal and applying the esoteric law that “Energy follows Thought” she directed her thoughts exactly to where healing was needed. The other thing she probably unknowingly did was to connect with the Devas (beings of nature) of the part of her body in need of healing which promptly followed her request for faster healing and set to work.

I understand that these are complex theories which don’t work for everyone, particularly if there is no previous knowledge to base it on. But having experienced the almost unbelievable effect of pure thought send out and the accurate result that follows it still leaves even me gobsmacked at times.

The most profound and also least understood experiences are encountered during a healing treatment in which I use my thoughts to direct the flow of energy through and around the body. Some people will be aware of the shifting energies, others will leave none the wiser. It makes me sad when people openly proclaim (and it is their right to do so) that they don’t feel they benefit from a treatment unless it involved some sort of touch as in a massage for example. But this is their thought, and I shouldn’t let myself be put down by it.

Nowadays we give far too much responsiblity to the medical and pharmaceutical enterprises instead of going within and heal ourselves. And even if we consider alternative approaches, it still means that we haven’t really understood how powerful we are. And it is obvious though, isn’t it? All we do with our thoughts is to look for treatments, look for solutions look for someone who can help us. But by doing so, our thoughts are all over the place looking around us for answers. We have forgotten that most answers lay right inside of us. And this equates to most of our daily life issues. Of course, I am not telling you to ignore the medical profession! I just wish that medical and alternative practitioners could work more closely together, because together it would be really effective instead of both just battling on alone. But this will probably still take a while…

Another great way of playing with the power of our thoughts and also a good starting point to begin to understand the complexity of it is “cosmic ordering”. Again, whichever way you want to call it, it doesn’t matter. It is based on the Law of Attraction: what you put out you will get. This can mean to simply hold a thought in your mind of something you would really like to achieve or possess, or if it is a little more complex you can also write it down. The important thing to bear in mind is that it works best if you believe that you already have what you desire. Because this way the law off attraction will give you more of what you already have.

But be careful what you wish for! I once wished to find someone who loved me and ended up in an emotionally abusive relationship where he thoroughly believed he loved me but in a rather unhealthy and addictive way. Concentrate on positive expressions and leave out negative wordings like “no” and “not” and instead focus on the things you do want.

Think pure, think simple, base it on divine love and while maintaining the sensation of having it in your life at the same time let go of it and lean back knowing that whatever happens will happen for a reason.

This, I believe, is the way to live.

Love
Anna

The thing with the Ring and what were Relationships good for again?

First of all to give you an idea what I am talking about: I got engaged but I can’t wear the ring.

Unusual that is, or is it?

What’s wrong with me? Is my heart not in it? Am I not ready? Why can’t I just pop it on my finger and leave it there? Good questions, very good indeed. But I honestly have no answer to them.

Some say it just takes getting used to it. That’s already difficult because I’m not supposed to wear studded rings at work (healthcare) and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to considering the things I get in contact with there. I dutifully wore it to special occasions at the beginning. It was a struggle but bearable as long as I tried to just ignore it. The struggle now has got unbearable and I get all twitchy just thinking of having to wear it.

To explain myself further, I have never really liked jewellery. Ever. When my mum gave me my first watch when I started school I was mortified and hated the thing. I couldn’t bear the sight of it. Nor did I tolerate necklaces, rings, bangles, anything that was made of metal and was shimmering. Again, I couldn’t tell you why. It comes close to a phobia. Until a few years ago I was petrified when I was asked to do someone’s necklace up or hold their glasses. The pure thought of it. Hence I never wore anything myself.

Another thing is the attention it draws on me. It is impossible to ignore it if everyone wants to see it. It is very pretty, I have to admit. But wearing it resembles a huge glittering thing that gets caught in absolutely anything and has the annoying habit of turning itself around my finger and also, interestingly, I am constantly worried that I might lose it or that my finger would get hacked off by someone who has the intention of selling it to make money from it. My mother has never been engaged. I never had an example of how it should be.

The worst attention, however, I find is from well-meaning people who are sincerely happy for me and very excited to have a wedding to look forward to. Comments like “You don’t want to be engaged for too long!” and words like “fiancé” bring up pure fear in my panic stricken heart. It is mainly fear of being trapped, not being able to live life to the full, to be held prisoner in a place where I am not happy. And I can’t possibly enjoy the moment because I am forever worrying that one day I won’t be in love anymore and that I won’t know how to get away from it all. Least of all I don’t want to upset my partner who is the kindest soul in history.

It really doesn’t help that my last relationship was a nightmare that I don’t wish upon anyone and from which I still carry a lot of unresolved anxiety around with me. Anything could trigger it at any given moment. I was repeatedly subject to emotional abuse and I did indeed feel trapped, not knowing how to get away from it. The desolation of it all. But that wasn’t even the worst. The worst came when I finally decided that I didn’t want this struggle anymore, that I had enough of being bullied and that I wanted to live a life I wanted and not one directed by someone else. Unfortunately that was the point when he really started kicking off. One threat after the other. Nothing could be done about it by the authorities because he hadn’t actually done anything yet. “He’s just playing”, said the police. At one point I actually wished for him to do something, to just hit me, to kick my door in to get that knife out and stab me because then there would at least be an end to all these threats that played havoc with my imagination. I lived in constant fear that he would suddenly jump out from somewhere and attack me. But he never did.

Also I don’t like to do as I am being told. Especially not after a relationship as mentioned above! The whole idea and meaning associated with this kind of ring is too much for me. It says I have to wear it so that everyone knows what’s going on. Do I? Do I really?  Maybe I don’t want anyone to know. And why is that? It’s like a stigma. Another childhood memory comes up: My mum trying to urge me to shake hands with people and say thank you for acts of kindness that I didn’t ask for. I just stared on the floor clenching my hands behind my back. And the embarrassment I felt on a merry-go-round. I didn’t want to wave and shout like all the others. So I silently enjoyed my ride ignoring my waving mum as best I could, once again holding my gaze on the neck of the horse I was sitting on. No idea why I did that but I do know that me wearing the ring brings up the same feeling I had back then.

The burning question: What are relationships good for anyway? Especially if you don’t have an interest in children. All the emotions, all the ups and downs. I don’t seem to have a concept of how it is supposed to work. I didn’t have a sample to live by having been raised by a single parent. Interestingly neither did my partner. So we both venture into the unknown not sure what is hiding behind the next corner. We both talk a lot. We know what is going on in each other’s head. Yes, even the ring thing. The best is that we quite happily make up excuses together for those well-meaning relatives as to why I’m not wearing it. We think the reason for people forming relationships might simply be companionship. To have someone who understands you and is there for you. Who supports you and shows interest in your life. Someone to cuddle up to and also to go out with. Simply someone to share life with. A best friend.

He is as good as gold. His patience is like Mary Poppins’s bag. There is always more than you think. It is incredible really. And I don’t think I deserve it. I can’t understand why he would waste all his time with me going on and on and on about my little fears and anxieties. I haven’t yet come to the full understanding of love. What is it and where can I find it?

I go round in circles, riding my menstrual cycle like a mad cowgirl not knowing where I am at because since that upsetting relationship my cycle has never settled on a mutual agreement. It does what it wants to and I have to go with it whether I want to or not and regardless of how long it may take. It is the depression during the premenstrual phase that gets me every time.

I keep coming back to the same conclusion that maybe I am just not capable of being in a relationship. I am too selfish to compromise, too egotistic to share, too independent to commit, too free to settle down. Is this true? Or is it just an avoidance technique?

I will let you know once I have figured it out.
In the meantime I will continue looking for the solution.
And should you have any ideas, please let me know.

Love
Anna