Happy Mother’s Day!?

Today is Mother’s Day and somehow it feels much different to me than Mother’s Days in the past. It might be because my husband is not in town. He usually tries to make this day extra special for me with having breakfast at my favorite breakfast place and then a trip to the farm to get organic soil, compost and veggie plants … and of course sweet little cards, flowers and presents from the boys. (We already did the farm trip last weekend and he left me flowers and cards 🙂 )

But I think the reason why it feels different is the change in our lifestyle.

It was actually my older son who made me think about this a couple of days ago. He asked me:

‘Mama, why do you have a day like Mother’s Day and I don’t have a Child’s Day?’

And boom! It struck me! He is totally living it and embracing out radial unschooled lifestyle! He knows that in this family everybody is worth the same and we treat each other on eye level. We live in fairness and with respect for one another. Of course for him it does not make sense that there is this special day for me and not for him! And I totally agree with him!

Is there an official Children’s Day? We did some research and found out that there is no world children’s day. But different countries celebrate their children’s days on different days. In the US it’s the second Sunday in June, which will be June 10 this year. E.g. in Germany and Austria it’s September 20 every year.

So, we will be celebrating on June 10 and Noah would like to have a present. I haven’t talked to Niki yet, what his perfect Children’s Day would look like, but he will have his wishes met too.

Another reason for a different feeling about mother’s day! I don’t enjoy going out to eat as much. I feel really strongly about fueling my body with the best food that I can find for myself and that’s usually not what I can find at a restaurant. When I look at my green smoothie that’s standing next to me right now, I couldn’t feel happier about my food choice 🙂 and honoring my body.

Like this morning I did my workout right after getting up and this is really the biggest present that my boys give me every morning and that I give to myself every day. This is the me-time that I so much enjoy as a woman and as a mama and just as me. I get not only stronger physically every day, but also in my mind and soul. And I am so thankful for the attention I give myself and are giving by my children. (Pics from this mornings leg day)

 

Although I do somehow enjoy the extra attention at a day like this, especially getting some validation from my husband that I am the perfect mom for our children, but I don’t need it. Deep inside I know that I am their mom for a reason and I celebrate being a mother to my boys every day. I am humbled and grateful that they are with me every day and that they picked me to be their mom. There is this content and happy feeling inside of me that doesn’t need any outside validations.

On a day like this I feel empathy and love for all the women who are not as fortunate to be a mom although they would love to be one, but lifestyle choices or bodily issues don’t make it happen for them. I feel for them and wish them that their wishes come true and they can find happiness and contentment in their lives.

And I feel for the mothers that have grown children that are out of the house or for whatever reason not with them today. Even though your children are not physically there, know that they think of you!!

To all of you moms out there, I do wish you happy Mother’s Day, even if you don’t really believe in it 🙂 We are mothers, we are women and we unique. We are loved (even on other days than Mother’s Days) and we have superpowers that we should celebrate every single day!!

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika ❤

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Yesterday I talked to a friend and was reminded that I really want this post to be written. Respect is a topic that I have been thinking about for almost a year now and I never felt like I could get a grip on it. It is such a big and complex topic that is so close to my heart and it’s hard to boil it down so much that it fits into a format like this.

But I just feel called now to get it out.

Daily I hear parents complaining that their children don’t respect them. It often sounds like something like this:

  • I had to make sure that he/she knows that I am the boss.
  • I can’t accept how he/she talks to me. He/she needs to show me more respect since I am his/her mother/father.
  • I’m exhausted. I can’t juggle all these children. They don’t respect me.
  • I am a teacher, so they need to respect me. I need to be in control …

Do our children need to show us respect, because we are their parents/caregivers/ teachers?

I answer this question with a gigantic NO!!!

Being their parent/teacher/caregiver is absolutely no reason enough to say that you need to be respected by a child!

Just imagine you as an adult … do you respect your parents? Any teacher around you? Every human being? No, because you have your reasons not to.

What is respect? And what most people think how it works … 

The dictionary says: Respect is a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

So in other words, we want our children to admire us when we tell them to show us respect. And in most situations we want children to admire us so much, that they do what we say. They should listen to us and do what we say without any questioning. They should behave the way we want them to behave … no talking back, etc. … just functioning the way we want them to function. And if they don’t behave this way, they don’t respect us.

As a consequence we threaten them with punishment or punish them right away. And all of a sudden, they respect us and behave the way we want them to behave! YAY! Problem solved! 

You probably understand that I am being very sarcastic now. Because why in the world would a child all of a sudden respect/admire you when you punish it? Children are not stupid! The only thing that was activated here is fear, so the child is acting out of fear and some parents mistakingly take this as respect.

And going back to your adult self. Would you respect/admire a person that threatens you and punishes you? A person that you are scared of? No way!

So there must be something else going on…

Let’s try to chew on this a bit more…

What happens when we don’t feel respected? Who has a problem here?

Let’s look at an example: I ask my child to please put away the toys, so that I can vacuum the playroom. His/her reaction is to ignore me. I ask again. He/she looks up from his/her ipad and says no. I ask again and explain that he/she would really help me, if he/she could stop what he/she is doing and clean up the room real quick… No, he/she is busy and doesn’t budge.

What’s going on in my mind now?

  • My child doesn’t respect me.
  • My kid is so egoistic.
  • I am invisible.
  • My needs are never met.
  • I am doing everything for everybody, but nobody helps me.
  • I am not good enough, otherwise he/she would listen to me.
  • I suck.
  • I am the victim here.
  • I am the parent. I rule, so he/she has to do what I say!

So, what do we do with this? All these I… sentences! It seems like this parent takes it very personal, that the child is busy with something else and just doesn’t want to clean up the room right this minute.

I think most situations like this would end in some argument between parent and child and at the end the child is made to clean up either with punishment threats or bribing, because the parent thinks he/she is right.

But just for fun … imagine you respect your kid’s answer as it is and move on! You have your own choices to make … and there are endless … You ask your kid when he/she will be willing the clean up and wait with vacuuming or you pick up the toys and vacuum or you just don’t vacuum and let them play in the dirt and wait until they complain or … or … or …

So, for me really two questions come up:

  1. Do you respect yourself?
  2. How does respect really work?

Do you respect yourself?

I think that if you don’t respect yourself, you can’t be respected by others! Look at all these thoughts that came up above. Clearly when you take everything that personal that other people do and beat yourself up over it, there is not way that others respect you (or seem to respect you). If you don’t think you are worth it to be seen and heard, nobody will see and listen to you and respect you. Here we are at a great point to start working on us! Do we love ourselves? Do we like the way we are? Do we like the way we are living? Do we like to have power over our children or do we love them the way they are? Do we feel stuck or free? Are we really happy? …. And there are endless more things to work on.

How does respect really work?

I think the only way respect/admiration can really happen is when two people put themselves on the same level! Both humans (in this case) are absolutely worth the same. Both people’s interests are worth the same. Both people’s thoughts are worth the same. Both people’s ideas are absolutely worth the same and honored as this.

Only if this scenario is given, there can be the chance of mutual respect of each other. Respect only works as a two way street and not a one way.

So, if a parent puts himself/herself above his/her child just because he/she is a parent, he/she will not be respected by his/her child. That’s a given, in my mind. The parent who views himself/herself as something ‘better’ is not respecting the child as a full worthy human being! And in return the child will not respect that parent. Why would it? Nobody likes to be made small and unworthy!

There will never be any chance of mutual respect in an authoritarian paradigm!

Children will always fight for your self-worth. They know deep inside that they are worth as much as any human-being, that they are worth of being loved unconditionally and that they matter. Their thoughts, their feelings, their ideas matter! And they want to be heard and seen and loved just as much as an adult wants all these things!

So, let’s be respectful and show our children that we respect them and love them for who they are and for what they do!

Why do so many people live the Authoritarian lifestyle?

It seems totally counterproductive to me that so many parents choose the authoritarian parenting style when deep inside they are longing for respect and unconditional love themselves! I think the main cause is that most of us were raised this way and we just don’t know better. We are unaware of the consequences. And our damaged souls from our childhood are now (as adults) screaming to finally be in charge and not being the ones that were/are pushed around … and so the circle continues…

The solution I see for myself

I was one of these people too that were so happy to finally be an adult and be free to live my own life and make my own decisions … And since I didn’t know any better, I fell into this role of an authoritarian parent, too. I did breastfeed my boys on demand, but there were still things that I gave into, because people told me that that’s the way to do it, like trying a kind of sleep training to let the baby sleep in his own crib at 6 months or trying time-outs at age 1. But these things did not work and I didn’t feel good when I tried.

It did not feel right and totally unnatural. My first son went through these phases with me. He still is the one who rather ‘listens’ when I ask him to do something. But when my second son was born and I had to learn that my parenting style was not right for us. He has a loud voice and has made it clear what he needs from the moment he was born.

Two or three years ago I started to work on myself and started the path of self development and I found out what my needs are. It took a while to actually feel myself again. And also to break through many barriers and these limiting beliefs that were instilled into me since I was a child but were not serving me any more. At the end the only option for me is to live in a partnership paradigm with my kids and my husband. We all live together and respect each other the way we are. Nobody is worth less or more!

My children roam free in our house. They have access to everything in the kitchen. They do not ask if they want something to eat. They just get it!

I talk to them when I think things go a certain way that I don’t like and of course the other way around too. They tell me when they disagree with something I do. Everything can be solved with communication and giving everybody lots of space to be themselves.

Tips to check in:

When your child says something to you that you think is disrespectful…

  • Would you have the same hurt feeling if somebody else said this to you?
  • See whatever he/she says just as words and separate from the feeling that you feel. Is it still so bad?
  • Be aware of what feelings are coming up for you! These are your feelings and your problem! Your child probably only pushed a button … and you get the opportunity  to work on something!
  • Maybe your child is trying to communicate something, but does not have the right words for it. See your child’s need behind those words. And react to those instead of the word and make sure the needs get met.

How can you react in a respectful way? Always remember that you are your child’s biggest role-model! 

  • You live your beliefs and they will follow.

I think one of the saddest things is when children are told to say ‘Thank you’ and ‘Sorry’ all the time. It’s not like they feel thankful, nor sorry if you force them to say it! They watch us though and see when we are thankful and we say ‘Thank you’ in an honest way and they also understand what being sorry really means when we say it. It takes a while, but they need the experience to understand!

Don’t get me wrong, I know this feeling when you hand your child the 50th thing in the day and you really want your validation that they see you and that they are thankful! But again, that’s your problem not theirs! They will start saying ‘thank you’ when they understand that it’s a nice thing to say and that people feel loved…but in the meantime they are thankful, just don’t communicate it yet.

Along with this goes when parents tell their children that they are full and don’t need more food! I mean, how crazy is that?! Wouldn’t the child know best? Trust your child, because if you tell your child often enough that it’s full or hungry although it isn’t, your child will loose control over its own bodily feelings … It’s an easy way of showing respect to your child!

And one more in this line of thoughts would be body autonomy which is even considered a human right! I think it’s so important to honor your child’s feelings about being touched! Don’t make him/her kiss or hug or even high 5 people if she/he doesn’t want to! They need to feel like they are in charge over their own body. They need to see that we respect their feelings this way. This will make them confident children and adults.

As I wrote in the beginning I could go on and on about this topic and I am sure I could change and add to this post every couple of months, but for now I want to bring this to an end and hope that this makes sense to some people and they reconsider their way of treating their children and treat them with respect from now on.

With much love and respect,

aNNika

 

 

 

 

Imagine your perfect world…

This is going to be a short post, but I wanted to share something that is so deeply coming from my heart.

Do you know this feeling when something people do or say totally touches you? In a way that you feel like YES! This just feels so good and this is part of my CALLING and part of why I am here on this EARTH! …and it gives you goosebumps all over?!

And this, of course, is something very different for everybody of us and that’s exactly why we all have our space to be in this world.

So, this little true story I will write down now could bore you to the brim, but it made me so ecstatic and joyful. It literally made my day and many more!

Last week we were at the airport in Austin, TX to get on our flight back home. While we checked our bags and got the tickets at the check-in counter, my boys started to fight and wrestle each other…(normal scenario these days).

I took them out of the line and let my husband finish up the ticketing procedure.

The three of us walked towards the security checkpoint when a man stopped besides us and looked at us. He said “You guys are a colorful bunch!” or something like this and he complemented Noah for his hat. I answered him with “That’s what we like to be!” 🙂

And what I thought was, we really are much less colorful today then we can be 🙂 And I really don’t like small talk, but I like when our colorfulness is noticed…

We walked a couple of steps further when I noticed that he really wanted to say  something more. I stopped and looked at him and he told me that he works for some company that builds sailboats and yachts. He said that he once had a customer that had this crazy color scheme going on in his order for a sailboat. He went back to him and wanted to make sure that this was really what the customer wanted, because in their aesthetic it just looked ridiculous. The costumer came back to him and showed him a drawing that his 7 year old autistic son had made and that exactly showed how the boat had to be.

And this absolutely incredible father made his son’s wish come true. And the man said that the family could not have been happier with the end result. It was the perfect sailboat for this particular family and all of them just loved it.

I feel so deeply thankful and in love with the way that they honored this child! And they made this impact on so many people at the boat company that they’ll never forget.

For me this is such a neat example for freedom and individuality. I know that every person is here to create just exactly what they like and what they need! It’s time to embrace our individuality! This world does not have to be black and white! We must get out there and make our world colorful and beautiful, just the way we love it!

Let’s give every person, especially children the same space to do the same! No judgement, no rules, just freedom and LOVE!!! ❤

 

I would love to hear from you what moves you to goosebumps and tears?

With much love and a colorful HUG,

aNNika

 

Why it’s more important for me to stay in connection than wasting an egg…

Szenario at our house: My son loves to eat omelettes for breakfast. So I make him one. He looks at it, tries it half heartedly and turns to me “Mama, I don’t like it. It’s too brown and too hard.”

Just a couple of months ago my response would have been: A “Come on, it’s not that dark and it’s not hard at all! I’m not going to waste an egg for that. Please eat as much as you can and then we can see if you get another.” Or I could have even added: “You know, there are people in this world that don’t have any food and they would be very pleased to get such a nice omelette!”…

Now I know to do much better. My answer was: B “Ok, honey no problem. I’m sorry I overcooked it a bit. I’ll make you another one. Thanks for telling me.”

For me this is a big change! I hate to waste food, money, time, energy and everything else can can be wasted….

But here is why I went through this big change

My son has a very hard time communicating his needs. E.g. instead of saying ‘I am upset that we are going someplace I don’t want to go.’ or ‘I really don’t want to sit in the car anymore.’ or ‘I am bored, please entertain me.’, he grunts and kicks the driver’s carseat and screams and makes everybody in the car uncomfortable and annoyed.

Playing with other children is hard for him too, because instead of using his words, he uses his body and rolls over other kids who are confused about his way of getting in contact with them.

So, I really want to support him in using his words to express his feelings and his needs. And in his comment about the omelette , he exactly does that.

Giving him response A would make him feel not understood. He could question his view, his taste and his opinion. Getting a response like this often makes children unsure about their own feelings. They feel out of control about their own life. They feel not enough to be cared for or worthy. They loose trust in themselves and stop communicating at all, because why would they even bother if nobody believes in their feelings anyway? And this can be the beginning of losing motivation in other parts of their lives, too.

In psychological terms it’s called gas-lighting when something said is totally negated. Child:’It’s overcooked.’ Parent: ‘No, it’s not overcooked’. At the end ‘overcooked’ can be different for everybody… Can you see that many of these kind of answers a day will do a lot of damage in a child’s mind?!

I am talking from experience here, because that’s exactly what happened to me as a child. I lost my voice…

With response B on the other hand, I strengthen my son’s confidence and the trust in himself. He feels worthy and heard and part of our family. His sense of belonging is supported. He feels enough. He feels in control about his body and his needs and he gets motivated to communicate his feelings more often.

By seeing my child and his needs and trusting him and fulfilling his wish of a less cooked omelette, I stay in connection with him.  I show him that I love him and that he is more important to me than the concern of wasting an egg.

Of course, I don’t like to waste food. But in this situation I need to think about what’s more important to me and for sure the answer is to stay in connection with my child ❤

And it’s not like I am going to waste an egg every day now… because from now on I take good care that the omelette does not overcook and that I make is perfect for him every day. And maybe some day he will change his mind and like it better more crispy and that will also be ok, because it’s human to change our minds sometimes 🙂

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to do with Santa?

I have such a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of Santa Claus in my children’s lives this year.

I mean I felt this a bit weird about it in prior years because I did not really grow up with the whole story of Santa’s workshop and elves behind the scenes and liked to refer the kids to their dad when it came to questions about that, but this year it’s even harder for me.

As most of you know I moved on from ‘parenting my kids as if they are dumb and need to grow to be somebody’ to ‘seeing my kids as whole people that are everything and only needs to catch up in experience’. So, I respect and treat my children as equal humans, just like I would treat an adult with respect and kindness. This also means that I would answer every question about Santa truthfully.

As a child I felt like my parents made fun of me and thought I was stupid. I had figured out very early that there was no such thing as Santa and that all presents were stored under their bed prior to Christmas and all Easter eggs and such were locked away in a little downstairs bathroom right before Easter. I was a nosy child and I knew and felt a lot of things that were going on in our family…

The one thing that confused me though was that they had a person dressed up like Santa come to our house on Christmas eve who read from his ‘golden book’ all the naughty things that my brother and I had done through the year and some good things too, but I mainly remember bad things, of course. Because that’s how kid brains work!

I remember the anxiety in the room. My little brother screaming of fear and me being kind of in shock too, but being the big sister that doesn’t show any fear. I recited the Christmas poem that I had learned by heart and got a little pat from Santa for that and after promising to be better he left us a big sack (white pillow case) with presents.

I remember one year he told me that I should stop making faces at my parents or just in general. He wanted to scare me said that if I ever made a face when the clock strikes noon, my face would stay like that forever. Guess what I was doing every day after that at noon!? I sat under the table in the dining room where the big clock was and when it chimed at noon I made a funny grimace and nothing happened! There you go! Just one more thing that made me loose my trust in grown-ups…

After I had found that ‘golden book’ in my mom’s cabinet one day and saw that it really was a bible or something like this, just with some handwritten notes about our behaviors, I had even more proof that Santa was set up by my parents and nobody who knew everything about us because he watched us from above. (I never understood that anyway. Did he live in heaven or at the North Pole? By that point I had never heard about elves and Santa’s helper.)

I never mentioned anything to my parents because I feared that they were upset with me being so sneaky and curious and punish me in some way, making me feel bad about myself.

There were more experiences in my life where I just proofed to myself that adults were stupid or at least that they underestimate us kids to a very high degree. I think that’s why I always wanted to grow up. I wanted to be respected as a whole person/human.

Having had these experiences with Santa and Christmas as a child, I really don’t want to do this to my children. I want them to think of me as understanding and nurturing and not somebody who lies to them. I want to be somebody who respects their curiosity and freedom and even sneakiness and nosiness. We humans are curious creatures  and I think that this is fabulous!

And I mean, what’s the problem with getting presents for Christmas that are from your parents and people that love you? Just a celebration in a cozy atmosphere with pine smell in the air… And not just a reminder that you were good or bad this year and should be better next year?

My sons told me yesterday that their babysitter told them that there are elves hiding in our house and that they spy on us and see if we are behaving well!

I was like, WHAT? Guys, I can assure you that there are no elves and nobody else spying on you in our house! They said, but the elf brought xmas PJs to the babysitter’s house and hid them! I know they are talking about his weird elf on the shelf thing that somebody invented and I think that this person is a genius, don’t get me wrong. But it just doesn’t work for me. If my kids understood how to come up with something like this, that got so big and is so present in American homes right now, they’d make a lot of money in a short time!

My husband reminded me the other day that I almost bought an elf a couple of years ago… Yes, shame on me! I really thought that my kids would miss out on something that everybody was talking about. But really I also hadn’t gotten the whole concept of it. Somehow I thought that elf was just moving through the house and show up in funny places every morning and that it would be funny for the kids to find him after getting up in the mornings. I think, I missed the whole part of him being here to spy on us.

I’m glad that my hubby said no back then and that the elf never made it in our house!

Last year already Noah had some concerns about the Santa Tracking App. Another tool to fool our children! The app totally doesn’t support different cultural traditions! Because my children grow up bicultural they know that Santa shows up in Germany on Christmas eve which means at about 10am – noonish at our time here, on the 24th. Looking at the App though it shows that Santa delivers presents there sometime on Christmas eve here…which would be midnight in Germany! And that’s just not true. It would only be true if Germans also get their presents in the morning on the 25th.

I think it’s just so sad that children are lied to and made fun of in a way during this whole Christmas thing. I understand that it somehow makes people happy to see their children believe in Santa and the whole Christmas spirit, because they think that children are innocent (and stupid) enough to believe in such a thing and they will learn the truth soon enough. But really?

With my mindset right now, I think this is bizarre! Keep the kids small and dumb and be sad when they grow up and don’t believe (in Santa) anymore?

What about having them believe in LOVE? I believe in love! That’s something you don’t have to grow out of! You give and receive it all your life!

I love my children not only on Christmas. They get presents all through the year. And it’s not like I need to buy them stuff to show my love. It’s more that it’s one of the many love languages I speak to my kids and they do feel loved when they get something they really like, especially not only on Christmas.

So, for right now I am not really clear what to do about Christmas and I need to find a solution together with my husband pretty quickly … it’s only 5 and a half weeks until Santa is supposed to deliver his sack of presents for the children…

For my part I don’t need to explain to them that Santa doesn’t exist. I just don’t want to lie to them when they ask the right questions about Santa… an early Merry Christmas to everybody who celebrates it!

 

I am here for you!

I see you. I feel you. I hear your cry for help. I understand you. I honor your will of wanting change. I appreciate you. I trust that you will go the path that feels right for you.

I would love to connect with you. I regret not having taken the action to do so in the past.

I was not sure what to do. I didn’t know if you wanted to connect with me. But I should have just asked. I know now that I am the creator of my own life. I am less afraid now to take action. I am more confident now. I am strong and happy with where my life has lead me. I know what I am passionate about. I learned to find the path that I am here to go, follow my calling.

This was not an easy way. It was hard. It was exhausting. But it’s becoming easier and it’s worth it go a step further every day.

You are not alone! I have been there. I was in a dark place.

I played it over and over in my head. I was around 15 years old. I was broken inside. I saw myself going to the kitchen drawer, taking the biggest and sharpest knife out, the serrrated bread knife with the white plastic handle, to end my misery.

But I never actually went downstairs to do it. Something was holding me back. I knew it was not really the easy way out. I would leave my family behind and they would be broken. I did not want to do that to them. So, I guess, at that point I started to fight for my life. I couldn’t wait for the moment that I would be free and on my own.

I wasn’t afraid of taking on the responsibility for myself. I was strong and I must say it was worth it!

You told me that you are afraid of taking on responsibility.

But you did! I am proud of you! You screamed it out. You need change!

I want you to know that I am here for you. My heart is as open as never before for you. I want you to know that there is a way for you. Every human reincarnates into this world with a special gift and his/her own mission, his/her own path to follow.

I see an image of you in my head. You are on your way to shred off the chains holding you back. Leaving the system that you are stuck in. The beliefs that were imposed on you. It’s like a bud of a flower that needs sometime to ripen until the biggest, most beautiful flower will emerge.

You have your own story to tell and you will change people’s lives while learning to love and live your life.

You changed my life already. There is no question that I was meant to meet you. Because of you I am even more passionate about advocating a free life for children, free of rules that are imposed on them to fit in, to kill their individuality.

I am here to share and spread my beliefs of giving the same rights to children that any adult has in the western world. Children need to make their own choices, their own mistakes, their own experiences, their own learning. Everybody is here to find their passion, their calling, their happy place.

I thank you for making this so clear to me again that I can’t just sit here and hope. I need to take action! I love you and always will! And I am here for you.

With my whole heart,

aNNika ❤

 

PS: If you read this and have children, please take a minute to think about what’s going on with them in this world. Looking at the news and the rate of teenager suicide exploding, I want to urge you to connect to your children. Most of them do not feel safe. They don’t feel like they can open up about their feelings of feeling lost. Most of our teenagers are under such pressure in school. They need to bring the good grades home, they need to find their place in their peer group,… all in a time where they need to figure out who they actually are and where they want to go. They lost trust in themselves and their parents. I am shocked about the need in this world to fit in! We don’t all need to be the same! I love to see every single child (and adult) shine from their purest of souls and walk through this world with confidence and the knowledge that he/she is worth of being loved. He/she is enough. He/she is free to decide what’s good for himself/herself. Please support your children to take their own lead, don’t control them to be a person that they are not supposed to be. Let’s all be free and make space for others to do the same! It’s time for more love and individuality in this world.

‘Yes – Day’ every day!

Today I came upon this article that somebody posted on social media.

https://www.mother.ly/life/jennifer-garners-annual-yes-day-is-both-so-sweet-and-totally-exhausting#close

It’s about people celebrating actress Jennifer Garner who shows herself authentically by posting a picture of her exhausted self on Instagram. But why they actually celebrated her was that she did her ‘5th annual Yes – Day’ with her three kids. A day (one day in a year!) that her kids can dictate what the family does and the parents say yes to everything. (which make it 364 day a year that her children are dictated by their parents!)

I had to think about this for a second what I thought was most wrong about this article!? It says in there “As parents, we all have to say no a lot. No, you cannot have cookies before breakfast. No, you cannot wear your old Halloween costume to school. No, we can’t go to the beach… Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have just one day where we don’t have to say no to our kids?”

I think it would be nice if we could always say yes to our kids!! Why just one day?

Who says that we have to say no to our kids a lot? Why does this seem to be a law for parents? I was and am SHOCKED!!

In this article children are seen as these little unknowing, stupid creatures that would only eat candy and would make messes of everything. We (as parents) need to control them and mold them into real people by saying no to everything crazy/fun kids ask us for.

“While a year of Yes Days would result in household chaos (and likely cavities from all the junk food), …”

My stomach is turning reading this again… let’s put his straight.

Children are humans and they have human rights, the same as any parent!

What if you as a parent feel like eating a cookie before breakfast? You do it! Why not, right? My children have the same rights as I have. They can eat whatever they want and whenever they want to eat it and they can eat as much as they want. They can play ans watch things on their ipads almost as much they want to. If they feel like wearing something ‘crazy looking’, so be it! It’s their choice. It’s their body.

And you know what? They choose what’s good for them, what makes them happy and if not, they’ll choose different the next time.

This is the only way to learn about themselves and trust their bodies. If I told Niki that he would have a stomach ache after eating a bowl of chocolate morsels and wouldn’t allow it. He would do everything to still try it! And if he does not get sick from it, I would be a liar and he would loose trust in me!

If he can eat his bowl of chocolate whenever he wants, he will eat as much as he feels good eating and even leave half of it…

And that’s exactly it!

Children would not only eat junk if we only had Yes – Days! 

They are not stupid! They are human and have human needs and a human bodies that they are able to listen to! Niki eats a bowl of chocolate almost every morning as his breakfast! And an hour or two later, he is ready for something that’s not as sweet. Today it’s fish-sticks at 11am. Yesterday it was left-over pizza at 10am. The day before he ate a ham sandwich and before that it was chips and guacamole…

Noah doesn’t eat breakfast at all. He usually asks for or makes an omelette with ham and cheese around 11am.

I drink my dense nutrition shake after my workout in the morning, usually under the shower. We all eat whatever and whenever we think is good for us! And there is no law around this.

The cabinets and fridge are always accessible for me and my children and I try to put things they like a lot (like mint Oreos) on the bottom shelves, so that they don’t have to climb up too high.

I try to trust my children and do not judge their needs and wants

Children have the ability to live in the moment much more than we do! For them eating that 3rd ice-cream today might seem as important as a hot relaxing shower for me in the morning to wake up 🙂 They don’t care if they already ate two others. In that moment when they are coming into the house sweaty from running around playing soccer for two hours…they just feel like having an ice-cream. And isn’t that cool!? I would love to feel so free to follow my feelings and meet my needs! We, as parents are so driven by stupid rules and beliefs that we picked up in our life…all the what ifs come up and possible outcomes: What if my child gets sick eating that much ice-cream? What if he/she never wants to eat anything else than ice-cream? What do people think about me letting my kids eat so much ice-cream? …

Relax! Leave it up to your child! And the truth is chances are very small that your child will get sick… And look at what this does to your child if you say yes! He/she feels in charge of himself/herself, not controlled. He/she does not have to rebel against you if you say yes as much as you can. Your child will listen to his/her body because he/she has the choice of eating it or not. Your child will feel your trust in him/her. And isn’t this the best? I would have loved this as a child, to feel confident that my parents always stood behind me and my decisions … This is how we build connection to our children!

And nothing is worth more that having a great connection to our child! 

If I can trust my child and give up controlling him/her, she/he will feel great about herself/himself. And my child builds trust to me too!

Children don’t have to rebel if their needs and wants are met. I am not building walls for my children to run against… I am here for them to meet their needs as much as possible and that means that I say YES as much as possible!

And if there is a day that I don’t feel well or am trying to control them for whatever reason, I feel more exhausted at the end of they day than normal, because it’s natural for children and any human to fight if they hear a lot of ‘No, you can’t do/get this and that.’

Please try to say YES as much as possible!

Don’t think that I do whatever my kids want in every second of the day. This is not how it works in our family. Of course there are things I can’t do for whatever reason or don’t want to, because I matter too! But here are a couple of questions I can ask myself while deciding if I can turn a no into a yes:

Alternatives: I feel like sometimes we are so stuck in our ways of going about things, that we don’t even see that we can maybe achieve something in a different way, maybe exactly the way your kid wants to do it. Could be just changing up the order in doing things…like playing a game before bed instead of a story. Or going to the playground and then grocery shopping…

Does it matter in 20 years? This is a question I think about a lot when I try to hurry my children to do something because we ‘don’t have time’. If we were late to an appointment would that really matter in the whole scheme of time?

Change of perspectives: I think often it’s important to change into my child’s perspective. What would he/she feel like if I said no or yes. Sometimes it’s not about that piece of candy… it’s much more about giving my child freedom and that’s what’s really important. I want my children to feel free and confident. Or it’s not about that we really need to go to the beach. Much more it’s about spending time one-on-one, so that my child feels loved…

It’s all about trying to meet my child’s needs and help him/her grow into the person they want to be. And therefore we can put away these parenting books that make us say no all the time! Life is too short to say no! We are all here (adults and children) to live a happy and fulfilled life and that can only happen when we say YES to live life to the fullest! And YES to human rights! YES to our children!

With much love and gratitude for me free children,

aNNika

Our September 2017

Here we are, summer is over… fall is here and I feel like we are more alive than ever!

Back to school time seems to be a very nice time for un-schoolers. To me it feels like we are getting out of summer hibernation and can move around freely again. Places like museums, zoos and beaches are not crowded anymore and much more enjoyable 🙂

I love the beginning of fall. It’s somehow still nice and warm during the days and it cools down during the night which makes the morning air so fresh and nice smelling ❤

People ask me a lot what we do all day and how does the education for my children look like. There is no 7-hour school day for us. My kids are with me almost all day. How do I get my alone time? Do my children want me all day? Do I need breaks? Am I exhausted? How do my children learn? Can Noah read and write? How about math? How long will the boys stay out of school? Can they still go to college? How about socialization?

I don’t really want to answer all of these questions in this post. But I had the idea of sharing more of our journey. I feel like at some point it would be nice to post weekly updates on the How and What my children learn just by living an active open-minded lifestyle with lots of traveling and this world as our ‘classroom’. For now I feel like starting with a little summary of last month’s experiences and adventures.

Often pictures tell more than words, so here come pictures and explanations of what our life looks like, aside from the ‘normal’ things like grocery shopping, cleaning and running all kinds of errands, like doctor and vet visits and such…

Usually we get up some time between 7am and 9 am. For me the first thing in the morning is doing my workout routine. The boys either still sleep, play on ipads, play with their monster trucks, play soccer or they just watch me and eat breakfast 🙂

Usually we are ready around 11am/12pm to conquer the world 🙂

On Mondays we started going to our un-school coop that I organize with two other moms. There have been around 12-20 kids with their mothers. We meet at a reserved room at the library for 3 hours for unstructured playtime with friends. They can roam the library, look at books, use the computers, do art projects. They can play legos, build forts or do whatever they want during that time. Afterwards we usually move outside to the nearby playground and skate park for some outdoor play.

For the rest of the week Niki has been going to preschool for the past two weeks from 12:30-3:15pm. But when we had other more special plans (like our trip to California or a trip to Boston), he joined us and did not attend school.

We moved a LOT, we are a pretty active family. The boys balanced, ran, walked, tumbled, wrestled, jumped, rode their bikes, played sports like soccer, basketball, hockey, volleyball, baseball, football almost every day.

We went outdoors to experience nature in all it’s beauty. Questions like these came up: How do things feel out there, how do they taste, smell? How does it feel to sit in the mud? How old are these Redwoods? How much longer have they been on earth than us? Did the dinosaurs still live when these trees were planted? How tall are they in comparison to buildings? Where do animals live and what do they eat? How do plants grow and what do they do for us? We harvested green beans, tomatoes and pears and saw where they actually grew.

Last Wednesday the boys took part in a Tinkergarten trial class. It was really cute how the children made a ‘stone-soup’ for the trees around them. They mixed all kinds of things that they found like rocks, sand, sticks, leaves, mushrooms, flowers and added nice smelling spices like cinnamon and chia seeds and lavender together and added water, vinegar and baking soda to make it bubble. They thanked the trees for their good job of making fresh air for us and ‘fed’ them the soup. Noah wants to sign up for an 8 week class, an hour once a week. He really enjoyed being outside and not in an inside classroom. He does not like to be around many people in small places, so an outside classroom gives him enough space to move around and not feel too boxed in.

We also went to the beach and caught some small fish to look at and touch them and then release them back into the ocean. Another time at the beach Noah invented a seaweed drying structure and watched how the seaweed changed color and consistency in the process.

At home the boys liked to paint, draw, color, play and build. They cooked and baked and made experiments with different kitchen substances.

Last week we experimented with our sense of taste. We had different kinds of carrots and we closed our eyes to guess which ones we were eating. And we got pretty good at it!

Right now Noah’s favorite board game is Monopoly. We’ve been playing hours and hours and days of it. It amazes me how he calculates and knows exactly how much money to pay and get back when buying streets and houses/hotels. He also uses his own, mostly conservative strategies and he rarely looses a game.

Noah also likes to sew. He started making headbands with scraps of fabrics that I don’t use anymore for sewing my kids’ clothing.

Another favorite indoor activity was and will be playing on ipads. They build their own houses and landscapes in Minecraft. They breed their own monsters in Monster Legends. Noah has his own soccer team in some kind of soccer app.

Niki played many races of Mario Cart Wii.

We like to travel and go places…there is so much to do and discover in other places than home! And also the traveling itself has some challenges: On our trip to California we figured out how to read a railroad map and how much money to put on our ticket for a roundtrip into San Francisco. The boys tried to entertain themselves for an 8 hour flight.

We also took a trek to IKEA on Labor Day Weekend and really got to practice our patience while waiting in traffic and in the checkout lane…

Then there are places like Lindsay’s Wildlife Experience that we went to in Walnut Creek, CA. It was a great place to get close to animals and learn a lot about them, even touch Penelopé the porcupine 🙂 Visiting San Francisco is always fun. Riding the trollies and the cable cars, visiting the harbor seals at Pier 39 and the hearts at Union square were our favorites.

Another cool experience on our trip to CA were a couple of ice-cream stores that made their ice-creams on the spot. It was really interesting to observe how they mixed the ingredients together and then flash-froze the liquid mixture in bowels with liquid nitrogen or on a frozen plate. They made it into scoops or little rolls that they placed into the cup. The pic underneath shows how much fun it was to watch and experience!

We went to Legoland Discovery Center in Boston where the boys built cars and figured out how to make them quicker. I think I won the race 🙂 My car had the biggest tires and was the heaviest…

We also went to the pottery place nearby where the boys painted some birthday gifts for family members.

Noah is signed up for Zoo school which is a one-hour class at the zoo once a month for 8 months. We went there, but he did not feel comfortable enough to stay by himself. So, we all were allowed to stay and got to meet a python and play a game of Mancala.

Noah is still saving up for his own ipad. He sat at the farmers’ market and at the playground trying to sell some of his old toys. With sewing his headbands he is following through with another business idea. He will be selling them at a fair in November.

His newest idea is to develop a game app with in-app purchase options. But I have not found anybody yet who could teach him coding or programming. This is definitely on our plan for the next months. In the meantime were are looking into a couple of programs that we can maybe learn from by ourselves, like Hours of code and Scratch.

IMG_7009

Noah likes to observe. He just watched the pool guys closing our pool for the winter and the plumber putting in a new garbage disposal yesterday.

He watched people fishing at the beach and really wants to go fishing himself. The boys love to watch the people at the post office putting the mail in different boxes and get to know where the different boxes will go, on an airplane or so.

At Target Noah has helped the clerk scan the things we bought at checkout. Yesterday and many other times Noah handled the payments by using my credit card and signing or he handled money and checks if we got back the right amount of cash. He is getting very good at knowing if it’s European or American money he is picking out of my wallet 🙂

I think these are many of the highlights that we experienced during the month of September. That’s how our ‘not back to school’ month looked like.

Sometimes I describe our lifestyle as being on vacation every day. We try to live a happy and enjoyable life and go with the flow to get there. Of course there are good days and not so good days and ups and downs, but for the most part I see us getting to a point where we learn so much from each other and the world around us and new adventures coming up for us every day and this feels great.

And yes, of course there are days that I feel exhausted, but probably not more exhausted than any other mom. The thing that helps a lot is that every person in our house has the same rights, so there is not much arguing with my children about things they should do or have…we are living a pretty peaceful life, which is not exhausting. We all make our own choices and learn from there.

With lots of love and gratitude,

aNNika ❤

 

 

Today marks 4 months of my daily workout routine.

Today I am celebrating my 4 months anniversary with Beach Body on Demand and also the commitment to live a healthier and more active life 🙂

I can’t believe that it’s been 4 months of working out once or twice a day! There have only been a handfull of days that I was traveling or didn’t feel up for moving because of cramps during my period, but otherwise I have been hooked!

I haven’t even done a recovery day just to recover…only active recovery days with pilates workouts, but that is another story and probably not to recommend for everybody…

But let’s start on May 20th…

We were traveling back home from the Bahamas that day and I made the decision to sign up for a year membership of BOD (Beachbody on Demand), including Shakeology, the shake of dense nutrition.

It’s an online fitness site that includes about 600 workout programs to pick from. There are all kinds of workouts from dancing, cardio, weight lifting, martial arts inspired ones, pilates or yoga, and many more…

I was inspired by a woman that I have been following on Facebook who got hooked about a year ago and has become a Beachbody coach in the meantime. She posts her challenges and struggles, goals and achievements on social media to inspire others and this very much worked to get my attention 🙂

That day sitting at a restaurant at some airport, I told my husband, let’s do this together! And just for fun we looked through a couple of workout programs and picked one called Hammer and Chisel for him because the guy looked scarily loaded with muscles 🙂 💪(And fast forward – this program really has become the one he does most!)

The online program was available right away. For the shake powder, the nutritional guide and portion containers I had to wait one week to arrive.

But one day later, on the 21st of May I started working out. 🏋

The first 3 weeks: 21 Day Fix

Trainer Autumn Calabrese was there for me for the first 3 weeks. She promised me ‘the body I always wanted after only 3 weeks of working out’.

Hmm…, big goal and of course not really achievable, but this program was for sure good to get me started and get used to a daily workout routine. Doesn’t it always say, it takes 3 weeks to build a habit? It was true for me!

There was a 3 week plan to follow which contained about 9 different workouts. The workouts were 30 minutes long and the sequence of actually doing ‘the work’ was one minute. ‘You can do anything for a minute!’ She then lets you breathe and recover while explaining the next step. Usually there were a couple of rounds of about 3 workouts that were repeated once or twice.

I think I did 4 weeks of 21 Day Fix and throwing in some 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts when I felt like changing it up. The last week you are supposed to do 2 workouts a day and that’s when I started working out twice a day for the weeks to follow.

I already felt that I wouldn’t follow a real plan ever and that I just like to pick out a workout every day that I feel in the mood for and that’s what I have been doing since.

The nutritional side of the program

Nutrition is a really important factor as I got to find out very quickly. The first week I did not have my containers yet. I worked out daily, but did not pay any more attention to what I was eating than I did before. I already ate healthy, so I didn’t think that I would be changing much of this.

Then the awaited package arrived! One bag of vegan Vanilla Shake powder, many different sized little plastic container with lids and a guide book. Green for Veggies, purple for fruits, red for protein, yellow for carbs, blue for healthy fats, orange for nuts and seeds, getting smaller in size from green to orange. (green about a cup big and orange super tiny, maybe 2 thumb tops.)

I had to calculate what plan I would be on and because I am not a very big person, it was the one with the least calories which meant 3 green, 2 purple, 4 red, 2 yellow, 1 blue and 2 orange containers for me daily, plus 2 table spoons of oils or butters.

So I started a strict plan for my food intake. I tried to cut all the veggies and fruits every morning, so that I had an overview over what I would be eating. The Shakeology shake itself was worth one red protein container, but just mixed with water it was not tasty at all, rather undrinkable. I started adding fruits (one purple), peanut or almond butter (one table spoon), almond milk (half yellow) and lots of cinnamon to make it tasty. Usually I would have an oatmeal with fruits for lunch (1.5 yellow and half a purple) and then for a snack 2 hard boiled eggs (one red), more fruits (half purple) and some raw cut veggies (1-2 green). For dinner I would cook up all the veggies left over and add the protein left which usually made for a big dinner that I wasn’t used to. It took a couple of weeks to spread out the food better during the whole day…

The thing that hit me was that one blue healthy fat container was only worth e.g. 12 almonds! Before I had chowed down on almonds! I thought they are healthy, so why not snack on them when I got hungry during the afternoon! The other thing was that I was not used to eating that much protein and I had to figure out ways to find different options because I was already not a big meat eater. And I rarely ate eggs before either… Luckily I found out that I could substitute with beans and lentils. (Which it doesn’t say in the booklet.)

Following this strict plan and then working out mostly twice a day really brought quick results. I lost  4-5 pounds rather quick and I felt like my belly and upper body got toned pretty well.

This was when we went on vacation for 3 weeks. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use weights, so one week before leaving I started the T25 program.

10 weeks of Shaun T’s T25 workouts

Shaun T became my favorite trainer pretty fast. His workouts are sweaty and I feel great and accomplished after these 25 minutes. He seems like a nice guy and is not the one yelling at you to do more and better the whole time. He is a believer, pretty gentle and inspiring and also nice to look at 🙂

The first 5 weeks are based on focus and no weights needed which was the point to start it when on vacation for so long. I absolutely love the cardio workouts! It’s all about the core, almost no breaks and felt absolutely fit after these 5 weeks. And even while on vacation I managed to do two workouts a day which is not at all required by the program, but somehow it really helped me to stay true to myself and on track. And this is one of the really nice side effects I have experienced.

I need a routine of self-care to stay focussed

Some of you might understand this more than others, but visiting family can be very draining and demanding on one’s self. At least for me this is the case. Doing my workouts in the morning after getting up and in the afternoon around 3pm meant spending time on my own and for myself. This kept me focused to not get into this swirl wind of feeling dictated by other people. I was able to stay grounded, true to myself and aware of my needs and my boys’ needs during our travels visiting family in Germany. This left me feeling strong and confident.

After we were back it was really hot here and somehow the routine of two workouts a day didn’t seem to work out with all the fun things we were doing over the summer. I tried for about two weeks and came to the realization that it was ok to only do one a day. I did get into the habit of drinking two protein shakes a day though which somehow felt healthy and like a sweet snack in the afternoon. Because of the added sugar in Shakeology I think, I got addicted to sugar again which I had pretty much given up a couple of years ago when I struggled with candida.

2 protein shakes turned out to be a mistake

I noticed after a while that I was putting on weight. My belly didn’t seem as firm any more and I didn’t feel as great as I did on vacation. I researched protein intake and found out that I ate almost double of the recommended protein for my weight and that this could result in weight gain. And yes indeed, it did!

And of course I was only doing half of the work I did before and also I wasn’t doing only cardio anymore. Being back home I was able to start using weights again which I really enjoyed.

I cut back to one shake a day, instead of eating breakfast and I tried a different brand. Shakeology is very expensive and as I said I did not think that the added sugar did well for me. I currently am on a month of VEGA all-in-one nutritional shake and it does have stevia in it instead of sugar which seems a bit better for me. The cost is about 35% cheaper which is another plus. But I am still trying out to find a best for me.

In the past weeks I got a bit lazy about logging my food intake. I thought that by now I have the amounts I am supposed to eat down and could just cook and eat as I thought was ok, but I started cheating every now and then. A self-made cakepop here, a left-over piece of crêpes from the boys there and without writing it down, it seemed like I was ok.

Yesterday I stepped on my scale and I couldn’t believe it, but I weighed more than  4 months ago! Warning signs going on in my head!

Weight gain causing new commitment

I still feel so much better in my skin than I did 4 months ago and I know that with my new routine of alternating cardio and weight lifting workouts every day I must have put on some muscle weight, too. But my goal was to transform fat weight into muscle weight and get toned. (And in secret my ideal or wishful body weight is 120 pounds.)

At the moment I pick my workouts from Shaun Week, T25 and Shift Shop. I feel like my stamina is good for doing longer than 25 minutes on weight workouts and even the cardio ones I can go a little over the 25 minutes now. It’s nice to see the progress 🙂

So, from yesterday on I am logging my food intake again and I will see how it goes. I think it is ok and human to get lazy every now and then, but really the workouts are only half of the commitment. The nutritional intake is the other half and as important!

Just as Autumn always says: “Don’t undo everything in the kitchen!’

Summing up 4 months of daily workouts

I feel fit. My energy level is higher. I feel like running after my children again and no problem to keep up with them. I feel better looking at myself in the mirror and most importantly I know what I can do. I know that I can get to whatever goal I set for myself. I know that I can stay committed to taking care of myself. I know that when I feel well, I can be a better and more balanced mother to my children and can take care of my family’s needs.

Another nice side-effect, I have not been sick during the past 4 months, although almost everybody in my family had a bit of a cold at some point.

Feeling fit and well and eating well also boosts the immune system, I am sure of that now.

Please let me know if you have questions and/or there is a way I can help you find a more balanced and healthier lifestyle!

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika ❤

 

I cut off my hair.

About 3 weeks ago I cut my hair. It wasn’t just a normal ‘every 2-3 months’ haircut.

I asked my husband to take his razor and shave my head on the longest setting his razor could do. That was 1.3 centimeters (half an inch) short.

How did this happen?

On a Tuesday morning somebody I know posted a video on social media of herself shaving her own head. She had very long hair and she left nothing. She went completely bald.

She wrote that this was a new beginning for her and like a newborn without any hair she pretty much birthed herself into a new life.

I was shocked in a good way by her doing this. I thought that she was so brave and strong and very inspiring in a way that she must have gotten to a point in her self-growth journey where she was able to get rid of everything that held her back and she was now ready to step into a new phase of her life, her new life.

When I watched her doing so, I remembered that I had thought about shaving my head many times before, but I had never followed through with it. I wasn’t brave enough. I was scared.

But what exactly was I afraid of?

I think mostly I feared how other people would react and how they would see me? I was afraid of being seen as a lesbian or as a very manly woman. A woman that is not normal.

I want to emphasize here that I absolutely don’t have a problem with gay people! I even lookup to them for being different and strong enough to stand up for themselves and something that is deemed to not be normal. The thing is that I have a problem with people not seeing the real me. I think that’s what held me back, all these prejudices…judgements about being different.

Of course I also couldn’t know if I liked myself with short hair or if I would regret doing it later and then would have to go through this long process of growing them back.

So why did I feel strong enough to follow my friend’s lead and cut my hair off this time?

There were many reasons. I spent a lot of time during the past year to work on me being more feminine. I even hired a coach to help me explore this topic more and I learned just a couple of months ago that we all have masculine and feminine energies in us. And for me it’s been very healing to actually embrace the masculine more as suppose to fighting against it. I always thought that I wanted to get rid of the masculine to become more feminine. But only through being in touch with both energies it’s now easier for me to step into my feminine when I wish to and when it’s important to create this polarity between my husband’s masculine and my feminine energy.

I am ok now and even see advantages being in my masculine energy when I want to get things done and when I am in a more goal-oriented mode 🙂

One other thing I’ve been working on is to be ok to be seen. I want to stop hiding and want to go out there and be an inspiration for others. I want to feel good about myself and get rid of the feelings of not being good enough. I feel like I have things to share with the world that could change people’s opinions, maybe change people’s lives, just as I have changed a lot in my life in the past 2 years.

My hair and my glasses seemed to be ‘objects’ I hid behind. If it was the bump on my nose that I was always conscious about, that I could hide or pimples, unclear skin or blushing with my glasses and my hair …

All this is not possible anymore. And the idea of a new beginning, of course, sounded good to me too. The symbolic rebirth to allow myself to be seen and allow myself to like the real me and be me, no hiding any more, pure honesty.

How did it actually happen?

That Tuesday I met my husband for lunch and asked him what he would think about me cutting off my hair. His first response was somewhat expected. He asked me who he should take to his company’s Xmas party then.

I mean this totally went in the direction of ‘what would people think about us? I would be embarrassed by you. That’s not a normal thing to do.’.

I asked him if that was really his only concern. I understood that I surprised him with my plan and put him onto the spot a bit … We talked about it some more and at the end of our lunch he wanted me to do whatever I felt good doing. We established that he had the right tools at home to follow through with my plan.

That evening when he came home, there wasn’t so much of a question about this anymore. My hubby had actually done his researched online about short hairstyles for women 🙂

So, he came home prepared! I found this so sweet of him and still can’t believe in what little time he went from being worried about people’s opinions over ‘Do what you want’ to ‘Here I am, ready for the job!’.

After dinner we set up a stool outside and he started shaving my head 🙂

While doing so it took a little time to talk him out of the hairstyle idea. I really didn’t want a ‘haircut’. I just wanted the hair off!

There was a point when he actually started having fun while shaving. He all of a sudden seemed turned on by my short hair. I have the feeling that this happened when my energy levels shifted and I got balanced and came into my strength of who I am today! I stepped into feminine power and he reacted with his masculine energy.

It almost felt magical.

It’s been three weeks now with short hair and it’s been quite the experience.

First of all I love how quickly I wash my hair and that I can dry it by just rubbing my head with a towel for a couple of seconds… No brushing and no conditioner anymore 🙂

I love to look at myself in the mirror! I love my face! I smile at myself all the time in the mirror. I like my wrinkles on my forehead, that I had never spend much attention to. I’m ok with all the grey hairs that are now visible. These things make me feel like a woman and not a little girl.

I like to see my ears and earrings that were always hidden by my hair.

I don’t necessarily like the pimples in my face, but since I can’t hide them behind a curtain of hair, I’m ok with them too.

I absolutely love the warm sunshine on my head. I feel like every single ray of sunshine gets to touch my skull and somehow ‘enlightens’ me.

The breeze when sticking my head out of the car window while driving feels amazing too 🙂

The first week or so, I pretty much awaited some response when I met people I know, but by now I forget about it.

The most amazing thing though is that I have not met anybody in person who has told me that he/she does not like my new haircut.

Much the opposite is the case. People tell me that I have a really pretty face. Today somebody said that I look gorgeous and so stylish.

Somebody even said that I have a face like a model! I mean, it does feel good to hear something like this, especially when I am liking my myself too and am in a state of self-love and appreciation and self growth.

A woman told me today that I inspired her last week to also cut her hair shorter and she she really enjoyed her new haircut.

But I think the biggest compliment I have gotten came from my neighbor. She said something along the lines ‘I have watched you change over the past months and watched you grow into this amazing woman and mama and I always knew that you had this creative artsy side inside of you. But now I see it coming out and it’s showing and I love it!’

Really, this meant so much to me that somebody would see me this way and I do feel exactly like this and it feels so good to be seen this real way, the real me. (I know, you will read this, so thank you Melanie! You made me very happy!)

I always feel so honored when people open up and tell me how they feel and tell me that I inspired them by something I did, wrote, shared about my life, my journey. I also got a couple of messages from people asking about my hair and telling me that they enjoy my posts about a healthy and balanced life on social media which inspired them to think about their lifestyle and how it could be healthier.

I think, my grandma is the only one who still can’t get over my decision to cut my hair. I think it’s hard for most 80+ year olds to understand such a change. She says she doesn’t recognize me, but she also only sees me on pictures and not in real life. She has had a long life to make up her opinions and had much time to prove them right for her, so I just let her be.

But of course there are worries that come up in some people when seeing (especially) women with very short hair. Is she healthy? Some people associate short hair with cancer and cancer treatment and as sad as this is, that’s what our society is somewhat used to these days, but I hope that everybody who sees me personally can tell that I am very healthy and me cutting my hair has nothing unhealthy about it.

Right now after almost 4 weeks, I feel like my hair is getting too long already. I will for sure cut it shorter again this coming week. I never planned on doing this again. I thought that this would be a one time event, but I really love everything about it, for now… who knows for how long. I will probably get to a point when I want to let it grow again … I will go with the flow and see what feels right.

I’ve heard that some people say that hair is the antenna to the universe, the unconscious. I can just negate this. I feel closer to my feelings and my emotions than ever before. I also feel closer to other people. It’s like I let go of some walls that I probably built a long ago. I’m sure they were there to protect me, but for now they are not needed anymore. I feel so much more present and in love with myself and my family and this world. This experiment was very successful and I do feel like I re-birthed myself in some kind. I got yet another step closer to the real me 🙂 ❤

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If you have any comments or a similar story to share, please do so in the comments or send me a PM. I am looking forward to connecting with you!

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika