MindfulVision

My tribute to life with all its curiosities and miracles


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What if?

I was walking along a little trail today, when I noticed a dove sitting on the ground. It wasn’t until a girl walked up to it with gloves though that I realized it was injured and couldn’t move. “Can’t fly anymore”, she said and told me she was bringing it to the woods nearby so it can get some peace and nature can take its course. “Or can you take it to the vet?” she asked me. “Well, I do have a car”, I replied but felt some hesitation come up at the same time.
I guess she could feel that, too, as she didn’t respond but approached the scared bird carefully and picked it up instead. Now I could see the broken leg. Poor little guy. “This is breaking my heart” she said, “but I’ll let it find some peace now.” “Sadly this is also a part of nature’s way”, was all I could say in return, still debating internally if it was my responsibility or even my right to intervene. “Goodbye” she said to me, speaking for the bird, before she walked away. It was sad. I was sad. I thanked her, said my goodbyes to the little bird, while blessing it and sending love and light.

As I walked off I still didn’t know if that was the right decision. It didn’t feel quite right but taking it to the vet didn’t feel right either, otherwise I would have done it. I was already on my way to someone I am currently taking care of and honestly wasn’t ready or willing to take on any further responsibilities. What if I had taken it to the vet? What would have happened afterwards? Who would have taken care of it? Who would have paid for it? Writing this I realize that compassion doesn’t ask what if questions. Compassion doesn’t ask questions period.

But who’s to judge if just bringing the bird to a peaceful place to die wasn’t the most compassionate thing to do in that moment? Who’s to say if it wanted to be saved at all? Maybe it didn’t even want to be moved? It didn’t say: “Could you please take me to the woods?” And it didn’t say “Could you please rescue me and take me to the vet?” either. We don’t know and all the girl and I could do was act upon our intuition and do what felt right for us in that moment based on how we experienced the situation. May you rest in peace little birdie.

We tend assume that whatever is broken needs to be fixed. However, sometimes broken stuff doesn’t need and doesn’t even want fixing; sometimes it’s much healthier to just let it die peacefully…as harsh as that may sound…people, animals, relationships, (self-)concepts, illusions… Unfortunately this is one of the root causes for guilt at the same time. “I could have done more or something else. I should have done more or something else.” Aren’t we all familiar with these voices in our heads?

I am shushing you now and for good guilty voice! This is my official commitment and conscious decision to let my shoulding guilt die right now! Fixing it or keeping it alive is no longer serving me, in fact it never was and probably never will be. It just took me a while to figure that out 🙂 Regarding the bird I did what I could in that very moment and so did the other girl. And sometimes not acting is the best action we can take as long as we are respectful of everybody’s needs including our own.

It’s so easy to forget our own needs, to ignore our inner voice and the signals our body and mind are sending us, when we are busy trying to help others. However, a broken you can’t be of much help either way. Not for yourself and even less so for others. As much as I keep wanting to save the world I’ve come to accept that I can’t and that it’s not my responsibility either. But what I can do and am responsible for is to take care of, change and save myself. And what if that might actually be my contribution to saving the world?

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Life is what happens…

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while you are busy making other plans… I’m wondering if John Lennon actually knew how much truth this sentence really holds. At least for me, as there is no better way of putting into words what’s recently going on in my life and also in the lives of many others who are dear and close to me.

When I logged on to my account today I saw in my notifications that MindfulVision turned 1 a few days ago…and I was too busy to remember it myself. I feel terrible for having forgotten my “baby’s” first birthday. Of course I wasn’t planning on buying a cake and gifts anyway but I didn’t want to just let it pass unnoticed either. This blog is important to me and I started it with a clear vision, a mindful one. And here I am a year later too mindless to even pause for a moment to celebrate and remember it’s birth. I apologize to my blog (and to myself) and just put a reminder in my calendar so this won’t happen again.

Okay, but let’s get back to the original topic. There have been many reasons that kept me busy, worried and distracted and required my presence and attention, which eventually led to other people, events and things not receiving the attention they would have deserved (e.g. my blog’s b-day). I don’t want to go into much detail about all the unexpected events and twists and turns. After all I still have that book project on my mind and might use some of the stories for that 🙂 However, I do want to share some of the valuable lessons I learned from them:

  • Family and friends are priceless!
  • I can’t control external factors, people and their reactions. But I can control MY reactions to whatever happens.
  • Always be grateful for what you have right NOW.
  • Just because I currently can’t think of a solution that doesn’t mean there isn’t any.
  • ALWAYS trust your gut feeling!
  • NEVER assume to know what another person might want/think/need.
  • Happiness is possible even in difficult situations.
  • Always be aware of and honor your boundaries, values and needs.
  • Be grateful for LIFE!
  • Sometimes a simple smile makes all the difference.
  • Authentic and compassionate communication is the key.
  • Always speak up if something doesn’t feel right.
  • The truth might hurt – a lot. But holding on to illusions will eventually hurt a lot more!
  • Miracles do happen!

There is no way I could have imagined a year ago what life had in store for me in the past 365 days. And even today I have no clue what’s going to happen a year from today or even tomorrow. But I do know one thing: I will keep making plans. And if life happens to interfere with my plans again, I am prepared to sail with the winds. I survived the storm before and I sure will again! And what’s the fun anyway if I’d know exactly what’s waiting for me next 🙂

 

 

 


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I should reconsider this post…

But I don’t. Who’s to judge our actions? Who’s to determine what’s right or wrong? Who’s to say what “one” should our shouldn’t do? In the end it all comes down to choice. The choices each and every one of us is making on a daily basis.

Societies all over the world keep a balance of “appropriateness” by defining the shoulds of our daily interactions. But what if you and me  would get up every morning and step into complete self-responsibility? For our thoughts, for our actions and for our lives? Approaching life like a blank canvas every day! I can only imagine what could be if we dropped all our internal and external shoulds. My imagination is a wild one though. I see a visionary and authentic world, one of shared responsibilities but also shared joy and true connections among people.

We spend years and years (some people even their entire lives) to craft and color our masks that keep us “safe” in a picture perfect world. They fit perfectly like a second skin and they sure look good from the outside. But what’s to be protected? And what’s really at stake if you keep up this masked version of yourself? Your identity? Your authenticity? Your freedom? Your choice? Your self-determination? Your life? I don’t know your answer to this question but I do know mine: I am giving up my illusions. This is an unpleasant truth. But it is the truth. My truth. And that’s the only one that matters to me. You might have a different truth and that should be the only one that matters to you.

Did you even notice the should in this last sentence? I didn’t until I reread it. Was I tempted to rephrase? Oh yes! But then I realized that would just be proving to myself that I am listening to my own self-imposed shoulds…I chose my own truth instead because I really believe that each and every one of us has the right and freedom to give the highest priority to our individual truth. Holding that belief creates a should in my mind. Whether or not anybody else accepts or challenges my should is a matter of choice again.  But who am I to determine if this is not just another illusion?

Writing this fills me with excitement and frustration at the same time. A deep longing and yearning for truth and authenticity is driving me to put into words what’s been on my mind for quite a while. But it makes me really sad to see how many people are caught up in their self-constructed illusions – including myself – missing out on a big part of life. Thinking about this, an image of a safety net comes up for me…but when I take a closer look I realize it’s not just a net, it’s a box. Sure, it will keep you from falling down but it will also hold you back from jumping. Only you can be the judge for yourself:  Do I choose safety and very limited flexibility over my freedom of choice, authenticity and true self-expression?

For the past few weeks I’ve been very determined to explore, find and speak my own truth. It’s tough! And I fail. A lot. But I also celebrate successes along the way. My illusionary truth shatters bit by bit but I am creating a new one every day, which fills me with joy and sadness. And I love this wild mixture of emotions and feelings. It challenges me to leave my comfort zone but this is where insight and growth can happen. I come across shadows, loyal soldiers, fears, insecurities and illusions – concerning myself, others and the world. It is a challenge – sometimes a very painful one. But after all it is my truth. And I choose to look at it. Completely unprotected but yet so safe in my own authenticity.

How strange when an illusion dies. It’s as though you’ve lost a child.

Judy Garland