Guys. I’d never thought I’d say this.
But I am. I am going to say it, and I am going to mean it. Ready?
Move over Jenna Marbles*. Superwoman is here.
Guys. I’d never thought I’d say this.
But I am. I am going to say it, and I am going to mean it. Ready?
Move over Jenna Marbles*. Superwoman is here.
We as a people, are content-obsessed. Constantly refreshing our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, continuously on the look-out for something new to entertain ourselves with. A new viral, a new blog. A lot of us, myself included, are more preoccupied with getting information into our system instead of putting things out into the world ourselves.
We don’t read as much anymore, not on paper anyway. On-line it can’t be too long either, because we’ll get bored and start looking at cute puppies on YouTube instead. We browse Tumblr, 9Gag, read tidbits of celebrity gossip or on-line feuds. Because it’s easy. Because we don’t have to do anything than click and scroll. We should be writing, but instead we read quotes about writing. Instead of working out, we reblog fitspiration pictures.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with (some of) that. The input is how we entertain ourselves a lot of the time! Reblogging for the win, being on social media is fun, and reading about doing stuff instead of actually doing stuff can serve as learning or getting inspired. But the scale is massively tipping into the ‘I passively take in information’-direction, up to a point where it worries me a little.
Additionally, by continously putting information into ourselves, we get sort of ‘stuffed’. This can clog up our output channels. I notice this within myself. The more I read random, superficial stuff, the less I write myself. When I take in too much (useless) content, my own output doesn’t flow as easily, you know?.
So I was thinking, what if we turned that around?
What if instead, we started to entertain ourselves by creating output instead of through requiring constant input? What if we focused on creating output instead of feeding ourselves with input? What if we started getting obsessed with putting stuff out into the world?
Instead of reading about writing, actually write something. Instead of looking at that cool Nike commercial, go work out. Instead of looking at the pictures of an experience on-line, go outside and have that experience. Instead of reading about other people on-line, why not go out and meet new people?
Let information or content come out of you instead. Put stuff into the world instead of continuously requiring to be entertained with new input information.
So today, think about your usual input-oriented pattern. Do you go on Twitter and Facebook, how often do you refresh websites, on-line magazines and blogs? Do you create enough or do you want to create more?
How active or how passive are you right now in your day-to-day-living?
And why not today, before you do your usual round of getting information into your system, sit down and think to yourself:
What do I want to put into the world right now What do I want to create today?
Active entertainment is not only healthy for body and brain, creating things from within yourself gets you more in touch with what matters to you. Which makes you happier and makes you go in the right direction more often!
And creating things in your life is not just in the creative-type way. Sure, it can be creative in the sense of making art, designing, writing your own article or just journaling or doodling for yourself. But you can also create with your body, whether it’s exercise, dance, yoga or any other physical activity.
Alternatively, if creativity doesn’t have your real interest, you can think “What do I want to create for myself today?” A clean and organized environment, some alone time, a healthy recipe, more knowledge about a study topic, peace of mind by getting a dreaded task out of the way.
What do you want to create in your social life? More fun gatherings with friends, more one-on-one quality time, more time with your family? See if you can bring that into existence.
What do you want to create in the world? If you want more people to understand how you function with your disorder, you can write an article about it. If you want to create more general friendliness or happiness for others, start with yourself and take care of someone in need in your environment.
Instead of focusing on getting input, try to focus on creating output. And let me know how you feel when you do. I can always use something new to read. Oh…wait.
Proudly presenting the only fruit I had in Hungary up until yesterday morning. (Bananas not included: I brought about a crateful of those with me from home and had them for breakfast for the entire first week of our vacation)
A particularly windy and not-at-all warm morning in Hungary with Manfriend still sound asleep, me and my idiotic morning person tendences wake up. Bored and hungry, I pull a sweater over my head and stroll towards the minimarket for breakfast. I decide to get a cup of coffee while satisfying another one of my basic needs: Internetz.
There is free Wi-Fi at the reception so with coffee in hand, I park my butt on a bench outside and
check my work e-mail (lol no) browse Twitter and Tumblr. While I am sitting there, drinking my coffee and tending to my pathetic Internet addiction, a Whatsapp message conversation transpires between me and my best friend Angel.
Somewhere in 2013, Angel made herself a weight loss goal to reach before her 25th birthday: 30 pounds. A short, curvacious Cape Verdian girl with stunning smile and the most gorgeous waist-length curls ever, she looked good at whatever weight. But I knew she was heavier than was good for her, and that she weighed more than she wanted to weigh.
Already looking great in my eyes, after setting her goal, slow but steady*, she started look great in a smaller package. It was so gradual I didn’t even notice it on my own. It wasn’t until a mutual friend pointed it out to me I really gave her a ‘wait a sec’ lookover. She proudly told me she had already lost 15 pounds by that point. All of a sudden I could see it. Not somewhere pinpointable on the body, but visible overall. She looked great, and only started to look better.
I went on vacation when she was only a few pounds away from her actual goal. I didn’t know if she had made it so I inquired. She reported she did: She had lost the 30 pounds!
“How does it feel, sweetheart” I typed, in all honesty expecting something along the lines of an excited “Great!” and “I am so happy when I look in the mirror!” or “I can’t wait to go shopping” or “I love the muscle definition.” But she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she told me what it really felt like to her:
“Like my body is healing itself. That’s how it feels. By giving it healthy food and moving it I gave my body the opportunity to, and now it is healing itself. All this time I had a Diesel engine and I was giving it the wrong fuel. That’s not good for your body’s performance.”
She added “Now if only it wasn’t so damn expensive to eat organic I could start giving it bio-diesel!!!”
Sitting there on a bench, drinking a hardcore double dose of caffeinne on an empty stomach, what she said humbled me. It reminded me of the most important thing that happens when eating healthy, exercising and taking care of your body: The body heals itself.
If you give your body the right ingredients and the proper amount of exercise, you create the right internal environment. When you stop giving your body the wrong things, you take away a source of continuous stress for the body to deal with. Without the stream of junk food, sugar, alcohol or whatever other vice, the body doesn’t have to do execute immediate damage control all the time. Instead, it can focus on other things. Healing itself.
I wrote something along those lines before in Girl Meets Yoga, just phrased differently: Your body loves you (read or download that section here). It will try to get you healthy again if you give it a chance.
And when it does, you will feel better. Healthier. More energetic. Maybe you’ll sleep better. It might help your mood, your sex life, your concentration. Maybe you’ll feel minor ailments go away. Maybe you’ll even notice that a bigger health problem will become less dehabilitating over time.
Humbled by my conversation with Angel, I looked at my coffee and mentally ‘tsk’-ed myself.
I’m healthy, sure. I haven’t let myself go completely, but that’s not my great body awareness or discipline. It’s just the habit of green juice in the morning and salads for lunch I have at home. My obsession for high intensity (and slightly insane) yoga takes care of the rest.
But I’m not at my healthiest. My high percentage raw food days are so far behind me I can’t even see the celery stalks in the distance anymore. I drink more coffee than I should, I eat more meat than I ever intended when returning to non-vegeterianism** and I think Tony Chocolonely could continue to exist based solely on my Caramel&Seasalt chocolate purchases.
Angel hand-delivered me my favorite type of inspiration: Catapulting me right into action.
Immediately after our conversation, I downed the rest of my coffee*** and walked back into the minimarket. I got myself half a pound of grapes, a 1.5 liter bottle of water, some veggies and some whole grain bread. I had the grapes and a whole grain bun with peanut butter for breakfast. I did some yoga postures in the toilet facilities (lack of privacy and excess of wind gusts outside) and freaked out a cleaning lady with my backbend. During the day I drank a lot of water, had cherry tomatoes, more whole grain bread. I just tried to eat sort of healthy****.
Right now I work with what I got; but I at least make an effort. Back home, near a juicer, Bikram yoga and actual grocery stores I can continue to do so a lot more effectively but the underlying point remains.
Because Angel made me aware of a very basic thing. By eating right, exercising, and other healthy behaviors*****, we are creating space and opportunity for our bodies to heal themselves.
Think about this for a second. Forget about weight loss, looking better naked, Nike twitter updates, abs or pecs, Instagrammable pictures, postures or track records, daily food intakes, the struggle of chosing healthy food over junk food and the effort it can take to get up from the couch to exercise. Instead, think of the favor you are doing your entire body.
Think of it not as a challenge, but as an opportunity, the possibility of creating health by doing what you do. Think of the positive effect you’re having on your internal organs, your digestive tract, your skin, your brain. Think of the nutrients you give yourself by eating healthy, the endorphines and muscle exercise you treat yourself to every time you have a great work-out. Think of the favor you do your blood sugar levels and your cholestorel by abstaining from cupcakes and McDonalds.
Think not about what you are giving up, but think about it as giving. To yourself. You are giving yourself something. You are creating the optimal environment for your body to take care of itself, of you. Just give your body what it needs. From thereonout, trust it and watch what happens. Heal Yo’ Self.
I know I am going to put some more effort into my health habits from hereonout.
Partly motivated by looking forward to referring to this blogpost with ‘(an) Angel made me do it’, ‘touched by (an) Angel’ and ‘On the wings of (Angel’s) inspiration’.
*I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how Angel pulled it off so I asked and here it is: Angel changed her diet to mostly pure, natural food, based on protein and fats, veggies and fruit and some slow carbs like sweet potato and brown rice.
She also created a quite impressive gym-routine. Five or six (!) times a week she would work out: 2 high intensity cardio work-outs, 2 weight training sessions, 1 low impact cardio and 1 yoga session. My favorite thing she said was that yoga wasn’t really exercising – she said it felt more like ‘opening up and connecting with her body.’
**Not going to lie, I changed back to meat-eating for multiple reasons. One of those reasons was bacon. That reason has been getting out of control a little bit.
***I couldn’t throw it away. It was COFFEE. I mean, REAL, actually made from coffee beans, ACTUAL COFFEE. I haven’t had any non-vending machine-made-from-powder-and-bullshit coffee in a week.
****A for effort for the rest of the day but for dinner I had the most horrible cheese pizza in my life and need a licensed therapist to help me deal with it. There was feta on it.
*****I feel this can range from rest days to enemas, massages to meditation, saunas to juice feasts. However ‘normal’ or ‘eccentric’, I’ll leave the interpretation of healthy behavior upto you.
So. I was thinking about motivation. More specifically how we start doing things. To be even more specific, I started thinking about that one moment where it happens: We actually start.
We start to do something new. A new routine emerges. We finally do that thing we’ve been putting off for a while. We get up from the couch and get into action. We stop procrastinating.
What happens in that moment? What is that defining thing that creates the momentum? I think it’s in that thing where the real shift happens. In that moment, that magic happens; in that moment change begins, new habits start, new roads are taken.
I don’t know exactly what happens in that exact moment, except that it is definitely that happens on the inside, because of something on the inside.
I don’t know about you guys, but my friend can tell me how awesome running is and orate for hours about the benefits – it doesn’t make me run for jack. Yet, when I remember the article I once read about running being about as effective as antidepressants, I will put on my running shoes and lap a few miles.
I can read a million recipes for chia pudding, a type of salad or a juice, mentally acknowledge that it sounds nice and never think of it again. And one morning I am in the mood for something healthy and I fall in love with cherry-chia pudding, balsamico-strawberry salad or cilantro-juice, all by myself.
My father can tell me to look in a certain direction for my career: I will listen, nod politely and not really do anything with the information. Until suddenly I am overcome with a sense of purpose and frantically start writing letters of application because I want to work more, and in that specific field.
People can tell me I should go to yoga, but I will ignore their encouragement. Until I feel it click. Suddenly I feel it, it’s happening on the inside. And on a surge of that, I go to yoga. People can tell me to start writing again, but I will not do it. Then one morning it will break out of me and I am writing until my fingers are blue with ink*.
Nothing happens for me, not until I feel something click, not until some inner spark lights a fire on the inside. My behavior doesn’t change until I feel it resonate with something within.
With that in mind, I took a look around and realized that almost always we look for motivation outside of ourselves. We look for the people we admire, the things other people are doing, books and articles on how to motivate yourself — You might even be here on my website, looking for it.
And it can motivate you, definitely – but only because it sparked the fire that was already ready to ignite within you, only because it adds to the final weight that pulls the lever down. And I started thinking, that you could make that thing click or that fire happen, easier, more often, all by yourself.
Honestly, a little more faith in your inner workings and yourself as a person might very well be the way to find lasting and honest intrinsic motivation. Especially if you add a little silence and respect to the soul to the mix.
You might be clicking or burning away on all the right things, just because of those.
Thumbs up & Namaste, babies. Have a lovely week.
*YAY for being left-handed.
**Not in the dirty way. On the other hand…if you think it will help I am not going to stop you. Go nuts.
***I LOVE the word ‘wiggle’.
Look. If it were up to me, I’d skip any temperature below 20 degrees and just live my life in shorts and tanktops. But despite my obnoxious Universe Does Everything What I Say attitude, I haven’t figured out how to control the weather yet. Until I can put that on my resume under Impressive Skills, I am just going to have to deal with seasons, the appropriate outfits that go with them and the activities suited for them.
And I gotta say, it’s not all bad. Fall and winter started growing on me. I like fall and winter outfits. Lots of layers, long-sleeve dresses, snuggly sweaters. Big cardigans, Uggs and high heeled boots, and scarfs (I love scarfs!) Red lipstick and dark colors. Christmas party dresses.
I also started to like fall and winter activities. Forest walks with Lin. Coffee-to-go orders the size of my head. Disney movies under blankets. Getting drunk at my work’s Christmas lunch (and pretending really hard that I am not) and ending up in my best friend’s bed eating chocolates. Good stuff.
I decided to compile a little list to remind myself of the lovely things I can do this fall and winter. Now, onto the Autumnified and Winter-minded Ideas and Activities:
The lack of Christmas enthusiasm might be noticeable; I love having dinner with my family ; the food and spending quality time with my loved ones, but other than that, not very Christmas minded. I am not a big fan of the songs or the trees or the crazy. Don’t be alarmed, recent studies have shown that I do have a soul.
Do you have any good Fall/Winter suggestions for me too? I’m already getting into it by lunching with Lin. Enjoy your Monday, cupcakes.
*…and maybe call Manfred to complain he isn’t rich enough yet.
“When you realise most of your life will be consumed by normal days rather the extraordinary ones, you feel motivated to raise the overall quality of these normal days” – Steve Pavlina.
Maybe it’s just my life that’s very normal, but my regular days are: regular. I work, I work-out, I go do groceries, I have dinner and I go to bed. Hopefully I saw someone I like in between. No amazing accomplishments every day, I don’t go to magical places every day (unless my kitchen counts, which in my opinion it does) nor do I have a special event or something every day.
I love my regular days, though. I love being at work, in my house, eating dinner with Manfred in front of Australian Master Chef (LOVE IT) and going to sleep in our damned-mosquite ridden bedroom. And I believe you can make the regular days exactly the reason why your life is so beautiful and special. And here’s how you do it.
A small but big way to make every day unique is by adding an original experience or by giving a routine a different twist or flavor. It can be a big one, like doing something (scary) for the first time, trying an interesting sports-class or dance lesson, but it’s also perfectly fine to keep it small: Try a new recipe, take a different route home, sit with someone else at lunch, buy flowers on your way home, go for a walk somewhere.
You can also change it up by doing something extra or different to your routines. Shower at night instead of in the morning. Put on different music while cooking or studying. Read a book your boyfriend likes and you have yet to understand why. Add a series of jumping jacks or push ups to your exercise routine, or maybe a Beyonce Dancebreak.
Whether it’s the baby room, your novel, your dissertation, your drawings, your paintings, your website, your meditation practice, your starting business, your music, your wardrobe, whatever: Devote some time to that thing in your life you love more than anything else.
Work on that thing that you regard as extraordinary and most important, work on that something you would like to finish before you leave this earth. As little as five to ten minutes, whatever you have to spare: This way your normal days are infused with value and importance.
Normal days are nothing to sneeze at. Everything might be regular and ordinary, but you’ll be bringing that little ‘Extra-’ that will make everything special. Have a wonderful Monday, everyone.
While completely failing to stay off the Internet (but with a sort-of legitimate reason because I wanted to write a few more articles for when I’m away from my website), I stumbled upon Gala Darling’s fanfuckingtastical list of 50 Things To Do Before Summer ends. It’s awesome, go read it.
My personal Top 10 from this list are the following:
And my personal additions to this list would have to be…
What do you still want to do this summer? Please tell me, I’d love some more good suggestions to incorporate in my own final month of summer!
It’s nice to have all these theories about improving your life, non? But how about filling out some paperwork? And believe me, it’s not at all boring, difficult or tiring; it’s actually really fun, inspiring and invigorating! Whether it’s Law of Attraction, Radical Self Love, Gratitude, Manifesting, anything else: why not put your pen on paper after reading all about it? How about doing some fun worksheets?
All my favorite worksheets come from Jessica Mullen. Jessica is a professional lifestreamer: someone who manifests her life completely according to her mindset. I love her ideas and tricks, and my favorite thing about her website are the worksheets. They are absolutely brilliant. With them, you put what you know to such perfect practical use you get surged right into the right mindset and manifesting. I love doing them, they’re one of my favorite fun ways to work with all the magic of the Law of Attraction and all that. Here are my favorites.
60 Things I Love About …: On this worksheet you write down 60 reasons you love something. The best thing (and people don’t realize this nearly enough) is you can do this about anything. Not just about people, but about places, events. Your mother, but also your great fitness studio, the language you’re learning, the new job you want or have, anything! And the more you find to love about a thing, the better! I’ve done this one about my best friend, who keeps it in her planner wherever she goes. I’ve also done this about the apartment that I loved, where I now live. The more love you feel, about whatever you can, the more your life will benefit, and with this worksheet, you will definitely feel the love.
Daily Self Love: An all-round fun worksheet to do every day to stay in tune with self-love, gratitude and working towards what you want. It reminds you of the things you love about your life, about you, the things you want to treat yourself to. It’s such a good thing to do if you want to get a stronger, more positive outlook on life.
Financial Abundance: This is a very special one in my opinion, because it focuses solely on the positive and fun aspects of attracting financial wealth, prosperity and abundance. I think this is so great because manifesting money can be incredibly difficult because of all our fixed (and often screwed up) beliefs we have about money, rich people and how we are supposed to make our money. By making yourself feel abundant through this worksheet, you’re working through all of that and coming closer to creating that prosperity in your life.
Now/Daily/Weekly/Monthly: Jessica made this one as a reminder to herself of the things she loves to do, things that make her feel good.By turning it into little lists like this they become ‘Scavenger Hunts’: once you’ve done a few, you kind of want to collect them all. I really like this one too, it’s very simplistic but strong.
Gathering Momentum: This one is probably my favorite. It integrates so many things of a positive lifestyle where gratitude, manifesting and intuition play a big role. During the summer I did these sheets probably every other day and they made me so focused and happy. Definitely a top recommendation.
If you click here, you will be directed to her website with the worksheet tag: you can download the worksheets, read her theories and articles about them. There are a few other sheets, such as an Universal Grocery List (sound familiar?) and a Solution To Your Problem Thing, so go browse and feel free to tell her I sent you. I hope you love her worksheets as much as I do!
I’m just going to leave this here…Maybe it will be taken to heart.
When I think about imitation and inspiration I think about two kids in the playground. Meet Jim and Peter. They’ll be our example of the day.
Jim is playing happily with a car toy. Peter sees this. Peter immediately grabs a car toy, sits down right next to Jim and while looking at Jim the entire time, he ‘starts playing’: If Jim goes to the left with the little Mercedes, Peter goes to the left with his little Ferrari. If Jim makes a U-turn, Peter makes a U-turn. If Jim makes a looping in the air, Peter makes a looping in the air. If Jim is sick of the car toy and throws it away, Peter is sick of the car toy and throws it away too.
Jim is playing with a car toy. Peter sees this. Peter might even look for a little while longer. Then, Peter starts looking around for a car toy, finds one he likes, sits down somewhere and starts playing. Who knows? He might just make ‘vroom vroom’ noises and skate around a little on the concrete. Or he might go and follow an ‘Extreme Racing Track’ (read: the sandbox). If Peter and Jim are buddies he might even challenge Jim to a race. Or maybe Peter is going to scootch towards Jim and they’ll act out the Fast&the Furious together – they might have parents who don’t look at the Parental Advise Guidelines, guys. You never know.
See my point? And do you see the difference? It’s the same with us. It’s fine to see something in somebody else’s life style, motto, ways or wardrobe that you like, and make it your own. What’s not fine, and what’s actually not constructive in any way is just taking on parts of other people in the hope it will make you look cooler or help your life in any way.
Because even when you get the idea from somebody else, it has to be something that comes from you still. Therefore the moment you do something identical to somebody else’s, that’s just pretending. I can smell the pretense from miles away and so can anybody else.
I actually have role models for a few different areas in life. I have one particular yoga teacher that motivates me whenever I see her practice. Sabine from some-like-it-raw is my inspiration when it comes to healthy food. Gala Darling is my beautiful positive self-love warrior blogger whose posts always make me excited for life and puppies and pretty things. My best friend Lin inspires me to not look like a homeless person with her chic outfits and pretty lipsticks.
But have I ordered everything from BFF’s wardrobe? Am I now walking around in blouses and high heeled ankle boots? No. I just did a kick-ass wardrobe update with the help of ASOS and started wearing mascara again. She just makes me realize I don’t want to be a slob.
Did I change my blog to pink, dyed my hair and changed my ‘bye’-signature to ‘Superlove & Leopard Print XO Gala’ ? No — even though that last bit is awesome. All I do is trying to live more positively and go after my dreams, corny as it sounds. She inspires me to make my life an amazing adventure, even if it’s nothing like hers.
Have I copied everything from Sabine’s diet and lifestyle and do I slavely make every menu option she writes about? No. However, I did take an interest in juicing, raw food and superfoods that I implement in my daily routines every single day. My way. Nobody else’s.
Have I taken it upon myself to start imitating my yoga teacher’s killer advanced poses after class? Um, hell to the backbreaker no. But I listen to her intently when she teaches and gives me instructions, and whenever I’ve seen her I can’t wait for my next class.
That these people inspire me does not mean I have to imitate them. That’s not inspiration. I take the things that I love about them, look at my life and think about how their ideas and influences can have a positive effect on my life. Then I put some work into it and soon enough it’s part of me. In an original, pure sense.
Don’t waste your time copying other people. When you’re Peter on the playground, just get your little car toy and make it a motherfucker Transformer.