Complaining vs Manifesting

Complaining, the french national hobby. I bathed into it growing up.

We all do it, but the French would definitely win the olympics if it were a sport.

I remember a few years ago, in Bali, getting the (photocopied version of the) book 21 day no complaint challenge by Will Bowen, a very interesting read that I gifted to both my Mum and Dad but I think they never opened the book.

When I explained to one of my girlfriend recently what you are going to read below, she said: ouais mais ça fait du bien quand même, (yeah but it feels good nevertheless) to complain a bit doesn’t it?!

Well depends, do you feel better or worse afterwards?! I’m not advocating for emotion suppression either! Not at all! But rather than complaining about someone or a situation in a layer-cake-way, I believe in constructive struggle sharing.

Complaining the layer-cake-way (yes I just made that expression up, I’m starting to speak in metaphors like my partner, I didn’t see it coming I swear!), means both parties are adding one layer of drama / anger / sadness on top of another until the humongous cake is so unstable, it collapses on both your heads, leaving you and your counterpart feeling negatively hyped and worse than before.

On the other hand, constructive struggle sharing with someone who is not at this specific moment in time in the same lower frequency / emotion / vibration as you and is able to share her realizations in regards to the same struggle will leave you feeling lighter and understood, ready to change the thing you were not happy with!

As usual, it’s all a matter of perspective, how you choose to approach the ‘problem’ and with whom.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with something even better than constructive struggle sharing though.

It’s in the title, you guessed it, it’s MANIFESTING! I finally remembered that it doesn’t ‘just’ work for objects and that rather than criticizing or complaining about a person / situation / relationship and rehashing my misery, I might as well rewrite the story the way I would like it to go! And unlike the scarf experiment in January, this one worked pretty well and quickly!

There are many manifestation / visualization programs and teachers out there like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Kathrin Zenkina. It’s worth checking out if you are new to the concept. I’d just like to share how I do it briefly to give you an idea:

  • The first step is to notice that I’m not happy with a situation, that I wish to change it
  • Then I think about what I want instead
  • As I have a morning pages routine after waking up, I’ll use that moment to write affirmations of how I want a specific situation to be. Or sometimes I do it in meditation. There is a great morning meditation from Dr. Joe Dispenza I like to use.
  • The sentences need to be written or thought in the present tense combined with a positive emotion. For example: I have a beautiful relationship with my partner, it is loving, respectful and beautiful. And you feel all those things in that moment.
  • If you manifest from a place of lack, it won’t work. If you desperately want XYZ it won’t work.
  • It might take some practice, keep going.
  • You cannot choose the exact timing nor how it will happen exactly.
  • Be open

Enjoy!

What is work?

Being french, a question I’ve asked myself many times over the years and in this fast-changing world, even more so.

I had a vague memory of writing about the topic already. I remembered copy-pasting definitions, but impossible to find that text until I wrote exactly that I was looking for it. I looked at one last file, scrolled down, there it was! Pretty magic! The title asked: ‘What is work?

Once again while reading it, like most things I read after writing them, I noticed that I already thought (a couple years ago) exactly what I think now. I always think that I have a new thought or realization but it’s actually just recurring. I call it the Goldfish-Syndrome. The hardest thing is to remember what we already know but that’s another topic.

So here is how the first draft started:

Work:

Is it something you get paid for? 

Time given + Task accomplished = Money? 

Is it something you spend a lot of time doing? 

Does it need to be hard physically or challenging mentally? Or annoying?

If you do something for free, is it still called work? 

Think about it for a second: how would you define work for yourself?

I heard a few years back from a fellow French co-worker, that the word travail (work in french) comes from the latin word torture. Well that makes sense doesn’t it?! I thought back then. I researched a bit and indeed travail comes from the latin Tripalium, a torturing tool. But it’s only one of the definition, it also was a tool for agriculture and relates to hard labor.

Then I looked at the current English definition of work: to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary or to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations.

And of labor: expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory.

No I’m not gonna write where I found those definitions and yes I probably use Bold, Italic and ” the wrong way.

But anyway, how I understand the meaning of the word, according to those definitions, is: doing something that could potentially be difficult, in exchange of something, usually money.

I used to ask what is work? on my podcast to see what entrepreneurs had to say about the topic. For Bianca, for example, work was: everything that’s NOT self-care and spending time with fam and friends. It was very interesting for me to hear that kind of answer, at a time when I didn’t know quite yet what work meant for me. The limiting beliefs were slowly starting to fade away but it still took another couple years to figure out how I DID NOT want to define work for myself.

Here is what I wanted to mentally redecorate to use Sarah Knight’s words in her book You do You to be able to find my own definition:

  • to be a good worker (/person) you need to get up early
  • it’s normal that it’s hard to get up early, we have to get used to it
  • work is hard in general (I think this one comes from the Genesis when God punishes Adam & Eve and make them go on Earth to work for their food and it needs to be hard cause it’s a punishment)
  • real work is working in an office (cause that’s what both my parents did)
  • I’m lazy cause I don’t like to work hard in an office, nor to be there early

This is my current definition: work is anything you want it to be! It doesn’t have to be difficult but it can be, like writing this blogpost, it’s both enjoyable and tricky at times. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in exchange of money but could potentially be at some point in time OR it contributes to some kind of energetic exchange like the emotion it generates in another person (laughter, well-being, inspiration…), in other words: work is something I do that has or will have an impact on someone’s else life in any kind of way.

What is work for you? What are your limiting beliefs around it? Can you write your own definition?

FOMO and more

This morning, there was an empty space on my phone, where the WhatsApp App has been residing. I felt my heart tighten. Did I take the right decision last night when I deleted it for good?! All those links and pictures, gone for ever! FOMO creeped up, the fear of missing out on information and opportunity, the fear of loosing those precious connections with people. I know it’s not as if I gave up on my phone all together, this was just ONE way of communicating but still, it was all this lost information of the past and already of the future that I was – I didn’t even know what I was – scared of loosing or sad about? Or something else?! It was so easy to communicate with people, they were right there, at fingertip reach, now my brain had to make an extra effort to remember to connect!

I also asked myself: was it really necessary in the end, to make that move? Is it really better somewhere else? And if I follow the logic that made me delete that app, then I can remove other apps as well?!

I was now more than ever on IG cause that was my new easy way of sharing the important stuff – which also made me more distracted than ever and I could very much notice in my morning meditation!

Would I delete it though?! NOOOO WAY! Not ready for that! I’m too attached to the online visual identity I’ve built over the years!

In my opinion, there is definitely also FOMO that comes with not being on that particular app, but maybe even more so, the fear of being bored, of being alone with oneself and maybe of not being able to prove that we too did something today, that we too exist!

But in the midst of all that, when I am on it, I find a lot of inspiration, useful information, beauty, humor and connection with people from all over the world. Even the ads are sometimes gems! #notajoke

At lunch I shared those thoughts with my partner and was surprised to hear his side of the coin as he bravely deleted WhatsApp already a couple weeks ago. He had opposite feelings, he felt more free afterwards, he didn’t need all this information and connection and found his inspiration some place else.

So what to do?! I think I’ll experiment with deleting it from my phone and see if I can go to the toilet without! Also I’ll remind myself that everything is not black & white and that I shall not FOMO, nor fear doing nothing.

Happy Monday!

Work & Self-Worth part 2

What inspired me to write part 1 in the first place, was a colleague I used to work with when I first started in the company (12 years ago). I never actually talked to her since, until my very last day at work (before Christmas last year). I would always see her in the hallways and be drawn to her vibe, but we never exchanged more than the usual ‘hello’, ‘have a good weekend’, ‘bon appétit’ and ‘good evening’.

So when we finally talked, I said that it was my last day and before she could pity me cause I didn’t have a job anymore ‘in those though times’ I said that it was actually a good thing because I didn’t quite love it and now I could finally pursue something that mattered to me. So she too started to open up and confessed it wasn’t her dream job either but she didn’t really know what else to do + it paid rent & food so that’s kind of why she was still there and was not really thinking of going anywhere else.

I didn’t really want to dig deeper while standing in the hallway holding my box full of office supplies – ready to be taken home forever – and I could understand her so much but it touched me cause I could see so much potential, so much creativity in her that she probably didn’t see herself. She probably didn’t know nor believed she could actually do something else, that she didn’t have to stay at the same job forever, that she could start allowing herself to think about doing something else (>back to self-worth).

If I’d have dug deeper, I’d have asked her:

What do you want? What do you like? What are you good at? What could you do for hours everyday? What gives you energy? What course would you be interested in taking the most? Where do you see your life in 5 years from now? When you die, will you be content with what you see when you look back at your life? What will you regret not doing? 

And maybe I’d have shared my own examples with her:

I want: to have time to take time, a house surrounded by Nature overlooking the Ocean, to be healthy, to be abundant, to eat high quality food… I would regret: not writing, not reading more books, not playing more often, not doing the inner work, not having tried X Y Z…

An interview that inspired me further in the writing of this Post was between Lilou Mace and John Demartini where Dr. Demartini says: finding out what you really want to do and giving yourself permission to go after it and make sure that it’s done in a way that really serves people and then work doesn’t feel like work but like grace to do what you love doing.

Another tool that might help you finding out what you want is the now very trendy Japanese concept Ikigai (1. what you love 2. what you are good at 3. what the world needs 4. what you can be paid for). Julia and Ramona also explain the concept on Podcast #12.

And maybe it takes a while to find the answers to those questions, maybe it takes some or a lot of exploring. But there has never been a better time than NOW to do so!

ALLOW YOURSELF: WHAT DO YOU WANT?

Decluttering

I know I know you already can’t hear it anymore! Marie Kondo and minimalism trends are everywhere! That’s all the hipsters talk about. And trust me I was not thinking about getting into it, I swear, but I randomly started on Christmas Eve and (spoiler alert) it is special!

As I was staying at my Mum’s where I still have a lot of my belongings, I started going through my clothes. There were a lot of things I still liked but felt like I had outgrown, like that surfer style. As I’m not living on any Coast anymore, I just look like an old teenager in them. So I happily donated most things without much emotion attached to the process which kinda surprised me TBH. I’m more the keeper type usually.

The same thing happened this weekend with books. As I stayed at my Mum’s again, I started going through the books that were still there because I was looking for 2 books in particular. Somehow as I was not finding them, I started getting rid of the oldest books, the ones I got for Christmas 24 years ago and never read or painfully attempted to but didn’t get past page 10. Those French Classics – yes I’m ashamed!

Once I had emptied the box with the old ones and made a pile with those I didn’t want anymore, I then opened another box with all the Surf books of my Studies in Australia in my early twenties and made a pile with those. Then I opened a cupboard and found all the Yoga books of my Teacher Trainings and also made a pile with these more recent ones. I was somehow getting rid of things chronologically although I had not planned to do so at all. In the meantime, I was posting about it in my Insta stories, mostly as jokes but a couple people PMed me, they were interested in some books, which I will send to them tomorrow. It makes me super happy to pass them along!

Just like with the clothes, I didn’t feel this clinging I would usually feel and didn’t ask myself either what if I need that one day?! Of course I felt nostalgia remembering those moments but it was more gratitude for having experienced all those things and I could now easily let go. Those chapters were over and I was happily living in the present moment!

In the process, I found photos, postcards & birthday cards from my friends, mostly from middle-school and high-school (when social media wasn’t a thing yet). It made me smile and again I was very grateful to have had such wonderful friendships throughout the years! In that moment I was completely fulfilled and still am as I write that!

A lot of gratitude came out of decluttering. Who would have thought?! Defo not me!

So are you going to try?

Even if you don’t get rid of anything and just go through your old belongings, it will be like time-traveling your own life! So worth it!

Work & Self-Worth part 1

It’s an interesting thing to finish working somewhere. All those worries, the stress, disagreements with your co-workers, the crazy workload, all the pressure you put on yourself to finish everything by the end of the day… All of a sudden, all those things are not part of your life anymore, the hamster wheel comes to a stop, the blinders come off, you can finally see the bigger picture again as well as get your inner peace back – for a few days at least, until the next thing shows up (like the never-ending paperwork of the modern world or relationships! but let’s stick to the topic).

The day before Christmas last year, was my last day at work – again – (again cause I’ve worked there on and off for the past 12 years and never had a permanent contract, not in that company nor another one, so I’ve had many ‘last day at work’ #neutraltone).

It was an office job in a big company, open space style and home-office towards the end of course. I didn’t really enjoy it, it was pretty repetitive, not creative at all but it gave me great flexibility in my schedule and the money I needed for the next project – until my ‘next project’ became paying rent and food, then I knew I had stayed a bit to long this time and something needed to change.

Over the years, I’ve always kept a box full of notes and office supplies for the ‘next time I come back’ (was literally written on the box)! And it was stored at my Mum’s desk! Yes she works there too!

But this year was different, this year I consciously shredded every single sheet of paper I had kept over the years. Because I knew this time, I was not going back because staying in this job was not benefiting anyone and I knew something better was awaiting! I had finally realized my self-worth (I mean starting to ‘tip-toe’ towards it would be more accurate)! I made a conscious decision!

I realized that what kept me there for the past decade, was the limiting belief or rather believes that: 1. work needs to be hard, boring and annoying, 2. there is only that specific job that will get me money (and I had all the reasons to believe it cause that’s been the reality until now), 3. proper work has to be an office job (like my parents) 4. I’m not worthy to get any other job especially not a fulfilling one, 5. I gotta save my Mum – yeah weird I know. And probably a bunch of others I’m still not aware of!

It was (still is) a process to get rid of all these limiters + rediscover that self-worth! A couple examples of the things I did/do: rephrasing the things I say when I catch myself saying something negative or limiting; writing down/ visualizing what I want without judgement; digging into unpleasant childhood stuff with my therapist.

I gotta add though, I didn’t just wake up one morning, realized my self-worth and stormed into the office, yelling: I QUIT LOOSERS! YOU STAY IN THE RAT RACE IF YOU WISH BUT I’M OUTTA HERE! MERRY CHRISTMAS! First of all because not many people would have been there, which would have made it less dramatic and second of all, I know you think a french could do that but I’m a milder version, a Swissized and Germanized one! I guess what I’m trying to say is: I cowardly waited until my contract ended, cause you know: food, rent and unemployment benefits. So before you read the rest, this is not a: sometimes-you-gotta-take-the-leap-story cause I didn’t do it myself unfortunately. I wish I could advocate for it but nope, not this time.

My big steps were to realize that I’m not going back there and that 1. 2. 3. 4. & 5. are not true. It was also to realize my strengths and skills that I always underestimated (and TBH still do a tiny bit actually).

We always hear the success stories but today I just told a random not-there-yet-but-getting-there one and I’m celebrating the little steps!

What were your little steps lately? What are you consciously choosing and saying NO to? What are your limiting believes?

if you want to share or have questions: blissfulliving365@gmail.com

P.S.: what I had initially planned to write about was slightly different so there might be a Part 2 coming up! Work is such a vast topic!

Manifesting & öko Fashion

Warning: new age content!

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with manifesting/ visualizing. As it has been working pretty well, I decided to do it with a piece of clothing that I wanted. A scarf from Hejkoh one of my fav shop in Basel. I try to support them as best I can. Not only do they have good coffee with the alternative milk we all like but I also get inspired every time I go there, especially when sitting down to enjoy a cappuccino, being surrounded by so many fair & beautiful objects.

But back to the topic: Manifestating.

So this scarf was – well there were 2 I fancied, one orange one and one mustard yellow. I thought: I will wait a bit, maybe they will be on sale in January and / or I will tell the Universe I would like a scarf just like one of these but for cheaper or for free!

Then comes Christmas with my partner’s fam (yes we celebrated Christmas normally, everybody is doing well). As it’s time to exchange gifts, his Mum gives me hers and shares that she has a new hobby and is loving it but that she is still a beginner and that it’s not perfect. Can you already guess what it is?! As I open it, I discover: A SCARF! A knitted one. My entitled self immediately thinks: a scarf that is NOTHING like the ones from Hejko though! This one is turquoise (with a tiny bit of yellow in it), I never wear this color! I wanted Mustard Yellow or Orange! Very funny Universe! Thanks but no thanks! And then I had to laugh so hard and it still makes me smile as I’m writing.

So when I came back from the holidays, I went to THE shop and got the very last mustard yellow scarf. It was not on sale but YOLO (although I don’t believe that you do). I thought to myself: sometimes you gotta take care of things yourself.

Yesterday that thought got confirmed as I read my very last wish I wrote for Rauhnächte or Twelfth Night. A quick description of what I did during that mystical time, following Bianca’s guidelines: I wrote 13 wishes on 13 different pieces of paper on Christmas Eve. Then burnt 1 wish every day from Dec. 25th until January 5th. 12 wishes burnt in total that the Universe takes care of and make happen during the year. At the end, one wish remains, this one you gotta take care of yourself. The german link explains the ritual and the english one, the history. If you want to know more I invite you to do your own research. What stuck with me is that the veil between worlds is thinner than usual which makes it a magical time. Anyway the 13th wish was: I have beautiful, high quality and fair clothes.

Again I had to laugh!

So what I think I understood from that story: manifesting works well when you are open to have something you want but have no idea how it will look like or where it will come from. If you know exactly, precisely what you want, you better get/do it yourself! Plus, putting it in the hands of the Universe and still thinking: or I wait for sales, maybe already meant: okay so I will trust that it happens OR I will do it myself. Set for failure! I think for better results, one shall trust fully. But I might be wrong! Still a newbie!

Would be awesome to hear your manifesting stories!

Happy New Year everyone!

Why Self-Love is not taking a bubble bath or getting yourself flowers

Although I’m all for them! And they might be a good start even. Actually in my opinion, the best thing about them is that you will take time, pause, rest, be! The first step to become more aware of anything and of what i want to talk about here: the connection with either your core-self or core-selves and/ or -depending on what you believe in – the connection with something higher (Universe, God, your Angels, Spirit Guides, whatever resonates more with you). I will talk about it as ‘being connected’ or ‘the connection’.

As i’ve experienced it recently, with the guidance of my coach, when I am connected, I get into the trust zone, I surrender, I relax. I can lean back and let things happen, knowing that I am being guided, that things work FOR me, that there is a bigger thing awaiting, yet still appreciating the now, feeling gratitude for the little things, feeling in flow, aligned. I am so content with myself and my life as it is that there is no lack of any kind. I’m in a peaceful state. That’s Self-Love!

Am I in this state 24/7 though? Of course not! It takes work, practice and repetition. It’s constantly remembering to pause, taking a step back to become the observer of the emotions popping up. My coach would say: it’s a decision. 

A personal example: the emotion that arises in me very easily is ANGER – my partner said to me recently: ‘I’m surprised you even do this work, cause you like to stay with your anger so much! Or maybe it’s just your cultural background!‘ Yeah I totally blame it on those french genes! – But it’s true I tend to cling onto this emotion and it’s hard work to detach from it, to come back to that connection, to not act or react on it. But when I remember to do it, it’s so worth it! Last week I read a quote in the book A Course in Miracles: Anger must come from judgment. Judgment is The weapon I would use against myself, to keep the miracle away from me. I know very new agey but read it again.

Are you interested in trying to stay connected during the holiday season? Yes?! Here we go:

A good way to start your day, would be to set the intention to stay connected or to be the observer, either writing it down or just thinking it when you wake up. Then throughout the day, every time something triggers you and you feel an emotion rising up, take that step back and become the observer again and again. Notice the sensations in your body and your thoughts without expressing them in that moment. Often we get angry, upset, etc. about the little things and the part of you that wants to express and ‘be right’ is not the same part that chooses the connection and happiness. And it’s not about suppressing anything either! It’s about taking that step back and noticing. You can always explain your point of view later on. Of course it’s easier said than done and if something major is happening that probably won’t work! Also if the emotion is too strong and you cannot handle it, maybe you could retreat for a moment and take a few breaths or go for a walk, ask for help to something higher – again only if that resonates, think of a mantra and repeat it mentally, listen to music, dance, do something that you know will alter your state. And if you really cannot do it and you explode during dinner (basically a normal Christmas in french families), well, it’s okay, don’t blame yourself, you are human, you tried, and you can try again next time, there will be plenty of opportunities! To finish on a nerdy note: may the force be with you and happy holidays!

Let me know how it goes: blissfulliving365@gmail.com

Slow living in Gottlieben

It all started with the need to make coffice last a little longer.

What is coffice? All credits to Bianca here for finding this perfect wordplay illustrating what we used to do on a weekly basis the Summer of 2019. A combo of Coffee and Office, in (preferably hipster) Cafés of Basel to work and talk about our business struggles and life.

It was my most inspiring meet up of the week and it was always too short!

So this year, we were going to spend a whole weekend together to have ALL the time in the world to catch up on EVERYTHING that has been happening! And work of course.

But where were we going to go? France? Germany? Switzerland? Nature or City? Forest or Lake? Both? We started sharing a few links in our WhatsApp group but nothing was really IT!

Until one day, as I was scrolling through the Gram, I stumbled upon THE GEM! It was the new place Carla had just opened in Gottlieben, a tiny town on the Lake of Constance, Swiss side in Thurgau.

Carla is the founder of Localholic, a company offering tours to show the work of local businesses. You can find all local-heroes here.

The company was born in Basel and expanded throughout Switzerland. The headquarters are now on the shores of the Lake of Constance where she recently opened an Oasis: a Café (with Kaffemacher coffee from Basel) called Dein Lieblingscafé - always full cause it’s so good, a Stand-Up-Paddleboard / Kayak rental – for the Uncle Berry Fin in all of us, a very cute bed & breakfast and last but not least: a co-working space where workshops will start taking place in the Fall. The local tours are of course happening there too and creativity is not lacking in this area!

Apparently it’s a common thing for artists to come to Gottlieben. Across the street, there is the Bodmanhaus a house for Literature and just underneath it, a Bookbinding Atelier Handbuchbinderei Merten Inspiration is in the air, Bianca can feel it too, typing away on her laptop! At this pace, her book will come out before the due date!

The whole town makes me want to take pictures all the time (as well as Carla’s paradise, but I’ll come back to that later). All the shapes, colors, the flowers, the architecture, the cobble stones streets, the water, the boats slowly passing by, everything here blends perfectly together, just like the Affogato I had as we got here yesterday! The perfect place on my slow living / follow your bliss journey it seems.

We stand-up-paddled to the local buvette and took a boat ride to get pizzas both in the sunset (and the dark on the way back!) When Carla says: Erlebnis-Tour, be prepared for anything! Especially to have the most fun you’ve had in a while!

A few words about the Oasis now: everywhere I look inspires me, every corner, every vase, every magazine and cup is gourmet food for my soul! Carla has taste and good taste that’s for sure! But it’s not only that, as Bianca told her this morning: 'we can feel how much love you put into this place!' A good-vibe-place, that's what Carla built! You just want to spend time here, have 1000 coffees, chill and create whatever!

Thank you ladies for the amazing weekend I’ll be back for more bliss!

Humor is…

The definition my partner gave at breakfast one morning: humor is the ability to take a step back and look at something in a detached way, to offer a new perspective on things to yourself and other people. 
It ultimately meets spirituality because you become the observer and don’t identify with your emotions and environment. It also allows you to speak out the unspeakable.  

It reminded me of this video with Jim Gaffigan and his wife Jeannie, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor a few years ago and explains how they 'chose to fight with humor because it's a coping mechanism' and that sentence in particular really hit me: 

'It just becomes a second nature to instinctually process information through that lens, you can either sit in the MRI for 2 hours freaking out about what's wrong with me, what's gonna happen, why are these noises so loud?! Or you can say: why is this so hilarious right now?! And it helps get through the trauma'. 

Till and I loved the sentence so much, we wrote it down and put it on our kitchen wall with other kinds of affirmations #nerds

Humor is so much more than just a joke and I see humor as a way to 
stay sane, a way to not get involved too much, a way to be in your 
romantic relationship especially or any kind of interaction, a way to live! 

Where can you find humor this week?