MindfulVision

My tribute to life with all its curiosities and miracles


Leave a comment

…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!

20140304-125816.jpg

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Life is what happens…

P1010690

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 🙂

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Of ducks and driftwood

ImageThis post was inspired by the two little fellas to the left. The other day I was going for a walk along the river, which I usually do to organize my thoughts when I have a million things on my mind. While I was taking my stroll I noticed two little ducks in the water so I stopped and watched them for a bit. Although I’m not an expert on the mating habits of ducks, I am pretty sure this was the duck version of a couple – male and female. Lets call them Donald and Daisy for simplification purposes.

Daisy was swimming close to the shore pretty chill and content, whereas Donald seemed to crave the excitement. The shore wasn’t enough for him so he kept paddling into deeper waters and at times was too far away from Daisy for her to even see him. But Daisy didn’t care. She kept doing her thing and explored the shore in her own time. Turns out there was no need to worry for her because Donald kept coming back at all times. And after each return they kept swimming together for a certain distance until they parted again until reuniting…

Why is it so hard for humans to do the same in a relationship? Once we fall in love with someone we come to think that we need to be physically and mentally close to each other at all times. As soon as a distance emerges between us we start questioning the whole relationship. In situations like that life tends to send us temptations – I call them “life’s special offers” – they usually appear out of the blue and would provide an easy fix for our problem at hand. Many people love sales and special offers so they go for it. After a while they realize that there was a reason for the bargain prize: bad quality, limited durability or it breaks right away…They regret the “purchase” and want to return the “item” but usually the warranty is up so they are either stuck with the faulty person item or without it because they disposed it right away. And this is when most people start regretting quick fixes and previous impulsive decisions.

I think we can learn a lot from the two little ducks: Even if one of them maneuvers the waters much quicker, it would never leave the other one for a faster piece of driftwood. They trust that the other one will catch up at some point and enjoy the times when they swim side by side. And this is what people should do as well…instead of fussing about the differences and problems there might be in a relationship, the focus should be on similarities and trust. We put so much energy into “making things right” again according to our own definition and before we know it our ego and inner control freak is turning our relationship life into a living hell. If we’d just have more trust in life and would let go of the things that are not controllable anyway, we’d be much more peaceful and could save our energy for relevant and changeable visions and missions. Just because our pace of life doesn’t always go hand in hand we can still have a good foundation to build on. And when the time is right, our pace will come together again and we can enjoy a swim together… Two people will never have the same heartbeat…they can still dance to some groovy beats!

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau


Leave a comment

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 🙂


Leave a comment

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