My tribute to life with all its curiosities and miracles

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…Only to find out…

My blogging has suffered lately. I am sorry MindfulVision yet again for not giving you the attention you deserve. There are always a million reasons to not find time. The truth is if I’m not motivated I will always find an excuse to procrastinate. So in this case apparently I wasn’t motivated to write because otherwise I would have. But why? Sure there are many many things on my mind and even more to take care of but in the past 30-something years that has never stopped me from doing the things I care about and love. I love my blog. I care for it. So what was keeping me?

I had given this question some thought in the past weeks without receiving an answer. Until just now, sitting in a Munich hospital waiting to see a doctor because of some allergic reaction. Nothing serious – I hope – but bad enough to give up on my usual self-medication strategy for now.

So here I am sitting in the waiting room with at least 50 other people (who by the way were all here before me). I’ve been here for 2 hours already and probably it will take at least another 2 until I get to see a doctor. I didn’t have coffee this morning so guess how excited I was to see the vending machine here… I walked towards it smiling… only to find out that I had given my last spare change to a needy man on my way to the hospital. There was a little reception booth and I asked the receptionist where I could get change (or coffee). The reception didn’t have change but she sent me to the cafeteria. I had plenty of time so went there … only to find out it was closed.

I gave up and walked back to the waiting room and figured sooner or later I will find coffee or maybe I can get some change from my fellow “waiters”. On my way I passed the nice lady again and she asked if I got my change. I told her that they were closed and gave her my friendly disappointed look. I was already half way back to the waiting room when she shouted: “Wait, maybe I can help you out.” She checked for her wallet… Only to find out that she had left it in her locker in the basement.

Now she gave me HER friendly disappointed look. I told her it wasn’t that big of a deal and was just about to leave when her face changed to friendly excited. “I’ll just go and grab it if you got a moment!” and off she was…returned with her wallet and checked it…only to find out that she only had €5 in change, which was exactly what I needed!!!

I was thrilled! Not just about the prospect of coffee but also about this lady’s natural willingness to help me out even with something that wasn’t life threatening or crucial at all – although in my eyes coffee comes pretty close to either one 🙂 Anyway back to my point. I told her how nice this was and how much I appreciate it. And all she said was: “If I’m able to help, I just do.” It’s as simple as that! And it’s people like this lady who contribute to making this a better place. And this is when I knew I wanted to share this story with you.

Sometimes the small and random things are way more important than the extraordinary and planned ones. And here is where my little thought circle comes to a close. I didn’t write lately because I thought I had nothing big to share. And in the meantime I forgot how precious and valuable the little and random encounters are. So here I am still sitting in the waiting room typing up this post on my phone … Only to find out that this is what MindfulVison has been about from day one!

Thank you kind receptionist at the hospital. For helping me get some coffee but also for reminding me not only of my blog’s purpose but also of the incredible joy and power of random acts of kindness!


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The cage is the limit

Polly the Parrot is quite a jolly fella. Colorful and chatty she is roaming her cage day in, day out. By doing what comes natural to her and what she knows best [parroting] she brings joy and entertainment to her “owner” Paul. Little does Paul know that in theory he is entertaining himself because after all Polly is just repeating whatever he says – but that’s a different story.

Besides her repetitive qualities Polly has another ace up her sleeve: her great memory. This allows her to memorize all of Paul’s favorite words and phrases so she can recite them without even being asked for it. Quite an impressive parrot super power in Paul’s eyes, bringing him even more delight and joy.

Polly is a clever and quick learner so it didn’t take long for her to figure out that parroting pays off either way! Praise and attention are a given…but an outstanding performance is sometimes even rewarded with an extra treat. “Good job Polly! You’re a truly great parrot!”

Polly never questions any of this. Why would she? After all she’s a parrot and this is what she knows: Repeat what others tell you and it will result in praise, admiration and food. That’s what a parrot’s life is all about.

But what if Polly woke up one day realizing that her (self-)constructed identity was nothing but a mere illusion? She could just take notice of it, ponder for a second and then go on with her daily routine of pleasing Paul in exchange for attention and food…

Polly’s choice is a different one though – she takes a stand for courage and steps into her power. Settling for ordinary mediocrity is no longer an option! So she spreads her wings, breaks the cage of limits and parrot beliefs and finally lives up to what her soul has already been telling her for a while: I’M AN EAGLE!

The true nature of man is the one of the eagle, hovering without limits between heaven and earth […] But most people have turned into parrots. They sit in their cages unable to fly and repeat what they have been taught for the simple reason of  being liked and fed.” ~ Matt Galan.

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…for a good reason: I don’t like labels. Never have and never will because I find them limiting and restrictive.
But a lot of people love labels and seem to be walking around with invisible label makers at all times – an easy and comfortable solution. Once something is labeled our mind takes a break, goes on auto-pilot and brings up associations based on previous experiences with that label. As a result
people are stuck with predefined perceptions and experiences. A safe and predictable but also limiting way of experiencing the world.

We all have a choice; mine is to keep my mind and imagination active and infinite. And that’s why I love untitled pieces of art!

To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.
– Claude Monet

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Blown away…

“The true definition of madness is repeating the same action, over and over, hoping for a different result.” – Albert Einstein

This is one of my favorite quotes and also the reason why I haven’t published anything here for a couple of weeks. I started this blog at a time in my life when I had no clue at all where I was heading.

For the last couple of years my life somewhat resembled a ride in a hot-air balloon. I got on somewhere and didn’t even know when and where I was going to touch the ground again. As a result I just followed the winds. I hovered on soft winds and enjoyed some calm rides with pretty views but also had to make it through storms when I couldn’t even take a peek outside my little basket. Ups and downs took turns and the years went by with me constantly on the move but heading nowhere.

At some point I ran out of gas and my little hot-air balloon started sinking and finally landed somewhere. As I turned around and checked out my whereabouts it was pretty obvious that I didn’t like it at all.  Oh well but I gave it a shot and thought maybe I might like it at some point if I just gave it enough time. Turned out I didn’t so after a while I refueled my hot-air balloon and went on the next ride. Anything had to be better that this place so I just took off and trusted the winds again until – you might have guessed – I ran out of fuel again at some point…Believe it or not but I did this about 5 times until I came to realize that this balloon was taking me places but not once did it take me to a place of my choice: first of all I didn’t even have one and even if I had one I would have had no idea how to get there.

And this is when I understood the true definition of madness 🙂

Instead of catching the next blast to start yet another aimless ride, I took some time to think about where I wanted to go next. For the last couple of month I have been planning my next “journey”, considered a couple of options, revoked my choices and looked for new ones. Overall a very intensive time with ups and downs as well. I may not know all details about my destination yet but at least I am aware of the direction in which I’m heading next. I kept myself busy for a few weeks planning and preparing so I can get back on my hot-air balloon. But this time I’m bringing a compass and maybe even a map 🙂

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When you just know…

The concept of stress has been on my mind lately. There were times when stressful situations didn’t bring up automated feelings of anxiety but lately this has been the case. Just a few years ago I was a full-fledged stress junky craving the rush of adrenaline pumping through my body. I had so much energy and just didn’t seem to run out. Like the human version of the Energizer bunny I just kept going…and going…and going. It was so easy to find and keep motivation and at times it seemed like I was able to get more than 24 hours out of a day.

Not so much anymore although – in theory – I currently have much more spare time at my disposal. This is a trend I’ve been observing for a couple of months now and I started to ask myself why I had turned into such an unmotivated bum? So I started a “to do list”, hoping to beat my inner procrastinator.
After a few days I realized that instead of checking things off the list, the list kept growing and growing and growing. I didn’t understand because I had been quite busy the last few days and wasn’t just sitting around doing nothing. It took a little while until I realized that I had been putting all sorts of tasks on the list and instead of accomplishing anything from the list turned around and did something else. I kept myself very busy and the days went by quickly. However, the heap of unaccomplished list tasks kept getting bigger.
I took a closer look at my list and all of the sudden it hit me: Every single item on the list was a ‘must do’, at least things I thought I had to do. But do I really have to do these things or is it just my subconscious mind telling me what I’m supposed to do?

I remember times when I used to be in the flow. I was very busy and quite ‘stressed’ but it was a good kind if stress and it didn’t even seem like I was working. I liked what I did and therefore procrastination was an unknown. My heart and my mind were involved to the same extent!

And suddenly it hit me again: as long as you put your heart into an idea, a task or whatever project it is, external motivation is no longer needed! This is when you can’t wait to start working on it, do research, make phone calls etc. Because all the motivation you need is already there and doesn’t need an external jump start to get you going!

Please don’t even worry that you might be missing one of these moments! Whenever a heartfelt project/idea comes along, you just know! And you know exactly what you have to do right then and there!

And so did I: I went into the living room, grabbed my to do list and ripped it into pieces – right then and there without any procrastination!

Relieved I returned to doing things I wanted to do. Without a list but with a lot of heart, motivation and energy!

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs