Free or not free?

Tonight I am writing about something that’s been on my mind for almost a week now. I can’t let go of it, so I am writing about this trying to make peace with it…

About a week ago somebody I know made a post on Facebook about seeing a woman trying to commit suicide. Close to our home is a big bridge and she saw this woman who already had one leg over the bridge. She was about to jump when a police officer stopped her and saved her life. The woman writing the post was very shaken by this incident and reminded people to be be nice to each other since you never know what somebody else is going through. And she thanked police officers who risk their lives daily to save other peoples’ lives.

About twenty-five comments followed, all pretty much saying the same … how awful this must have been to witness and thank god that this woman was saved and well wishes to her…

When I read this post, I immediately felt a shortness of breath and my chest tightened up. I felt so much empathy for this woman. I was sad for her that she did not get what she wanted and now had to live up to collect enough courage to try it again. If she was sure about what she was doing, why didn’t they let her?

I so much believe in everybody’s freedom to choose about ones life and therefore also ones death.

Somehow this really hits home for me and I couldn’t shake these thoughts off and they keep coming up every day since this happened.

But looking at all the comments I feel strange about my thoughts?! Am I the only person thinking totally different than others? Are they all conditioned the same way? Are people not saying the truth? There must be people out there thinking differently! Why can’t I let go of this?

Memories came up … and lots of feelings of stuckness, sadness and loneliness. When I was about fourteen years old, I was in a dark place and had thoughts about ending my life. I didn’t think about jumping from a bridge, but I thought about cutting my arms open … quietly and alone in my bedroom. I didn’t try. I wasn’t brave enough. I couldn’t bring up the courage to actually get the knife from the kitchen. I had heard how to do it … along the veins, not perpendicular… But I was concerned about my brother. I was sure that my mom wouldn’t be able to handle loosing me and that would mean no good for my little brother. A voice inside me stopped me and told me that I was strong enough to live to be there for him.

I have heard from other people who have been through similar situations. They listened to that voice that stopped them from committing suicide. And it’s good that they listened to this inner voice if they now live a fulfilled life. But for me it’s also okay when people go through with their wish and leave this world listening to their inner voices, too.

I really want to honor everybody’s choices and trust that everybody knows what’s best for themselves. And I wish everybody the courage to stand up for their wishes and desires and needs in this life and beyond.

I think about this woman daily. I wish her the best and hope that either she gets the help that she needs to enjoy life again, or that her next attempt to end her life works out for her without anybody interrupting her wish of setting her soul free and ending her life at this time in this body on this planet.

With a lot of gratitude for my life and freedom and much love,

aNNika

“How is it going? How am I?”

I hear these questions a lot these days: ‘How are you doing with Noah at home now? Is home-schooling working for you?’

My answer: ‘Yes, we are doing great!’ For more explanations usually is no time, but honestly it’s only half of the truth. Overall, we are doing well. I would never want to go back. I am very sure that we did the right decision in taking Noah out of the public school system.

And with going from home-schooling over unschooling to radical unschooling in only 3 months, we are now on a path that feels incredibly right to me.  But we are still not there!

Totally changing our lifestyle takes time…it’s like learning a new language and getting to know everybody in our family all over again…

The connections change and get deeper. More passion occurs. More love and empathy are built…and there is so much more freedom! I love how we can live freely and see what comes our way on days with no appointments. It’s like riding a big wave and seeing where it takes us…and learning so much on the way about the world and ourselves…

The other day we went to a book store for a storytime. Afterwards we sat at a café where the boys climbed a tree and played soccer outside on the terrace until Niki came up with the idea, that he wanted to go to the zoo… So we went!

We had no stroller with us or anything we usually pack for a zoo adventure and came up with the idea that we would make it a short visit by only looking at everybody’s 3 most favorite animals. But at the end we stayed for almost 4 hours and had such a great relaxed and fun filled time.

It seems that everybody gets wishes met and compromises are made to make other’s wishes come true. There is so much gratitude that we can experience days like this already and so much anticipation and hope that most days of our life will turn out to be this way. So flowy and relaxed.

But we are not there yet. I would say 1-2 days a weeks might be almost perfect, but the other days I have doubts. I beat myself up for not being perfect. I have fears. I feel alone. I feel vulnerable. I feel unconfident, unsure, shy, unsupported, judged and overwhelmed…just not enough.

There are days that the boys just want to hang out and watch TV all day… I have gotten pretty good at just letting them take control over the remote… and when I hear them talking to each other, it seems like they are not just watching, but also communicating about the show’s topics. And Noah actually learns a lot about animals from the Kratt bothers and Zooboomafoo, …

Sometimes there comes a point when they have just watched enough and go on playing something…or want to spend time with me.

But some days, I ask them to please turn off the TV and they do, but whatever they do after, they get into huge fights or just throw themselves on the ground and scream and whine for things that are unrealistic.

These tantrums totally overwhelm me and I loose hope and trust that they are able to control their TV time…I feel like I need to set limits and control them…which I don’t want to do.

There are days that Noah can’t figure out how to play with other children and doesn’t understand when to stop teasing them… I end up leaving playdates and holding on to him which I do regret immediately, because I am missusing my strength over him, something that I don’t want him to do with smaller children. But I don’t know what else to do. I feel ashamed and embarrassed by his behavior, I’m again loosing trust in him which I shouldn’t.

There are just moments when I feel like I have to explain myself, because I feel judged by people for my decisions and then I can’t find the right words and I so wish to be an advocate for this great partner paradigm of radical unschooling, but I am just not there yet.

I need to be honest about what’s going on. I can totally explain why we are on this path and what my hopes are for my children and for our family’s future, but we are not there yet. Other than some small success stories and signs that we are on the right path, I can only tell you that it is incredibly hard to go a different route and not follow the mainstream parenting/schooling system.

Just being the one who swims against the stream, puts much attention on me sometimes, that I need to get comfortable with. I am an introvert that never liked to stand in the spotlight. I’ve never liked to stand in front of a group of adults…I feel safe under friends and in my little bubble that I create for myself.

But I do love children and love to see them free and confident and I will do anything to make this true for my children and maybe someday I can make an impact on other children too ❤️

This drives me and I am so excited that we are on this path now and I tust that we will live a happy life as a family and that my children will go on living the life of their dreams with confidence and freedom

With much gratitude and honesty,

aNNika

Higher meaning behind my business

I feel like explaining and getting clear about what it is that I want to do in my soulbiz. It is not just sewing and selling colorful kids clothing… For me it’s much more!

I found out and I feel very clearly that I am here, in this world, to be an advocate for freeing our children and spread awareness about how children are controlled and not treated respectfully and equal to other human beings.

I believe that children come into this world with everything they need. They are all-knowing about so many things that have to do with their senses. E.g. they know when they are hungry, when they they are full, when they need closeness and when not. And their calling and reason why they are here are all inside their hearts from the very beginning. Obviously they communicate in a different way then we sometimes think to understand. But if a parent or a person that is very close to a little child pays attention and becomes aware of the cues, there will be a lot of understanding and communication will work well.

Even just about a year ago, I still thought that babies come into this world with pretty much zero knowledge and that I, as a parent, am here to instill everything into them…that they have to learn everything. I am so grateful that on my personal journey in the past year, I had this big mindshift and realization that we need to treat children as equally human being as we are. It’s not ok to think that children need to be taught anything. We can’t talk down to them as if we are worth more. We need to put ourselves on the same level with our children.

Parents are not there to control their children. They were chosen by their children to be their facilitators to help their them develop to be their highest and best self and to see in their children what’s already there, the light that is deep down there, in their hearts…

For me it’s super important that children are not silenced when they scream out their needs. We chose to be parents, so now if we love our children unconditionally, we should want to satisfy their needs. There should be no judgement and never any thought of that they want to manipulate us.

Children are pure, honest, innocent and want to cooperate and it’s our job to preserve all these traits in them and understand their cooperation.

Since we are not so pure and innocent anymore, how do we get back to that state?

Let’s start listening to our children and learning from them. They show us everything they need. We can learn how to understand and fulfill their needs and wants. And the coolest thing is that they show us a lot about ourselves, too. They are like little mirrors and if you are honest to yourself and not afraid of your true self, they are amazing teachers.

A good first step is to start being aware of when we step into this parent-machine or robot … and start to control their every step or thought or decision.

For me this usually happens when I think we are on a limited time frame. E.g. a child needs to pick clothes, get dressed and eat breakfast before leaving for some appointment… I get nervous when he changes his mind for the third time about his outfit and then doesn’t want to get dressed and can’t eat quick enough…. (everybody knows these scenarios, I am sure.)

So, I step in and want to pick clothes or tell him that he can’t change his outfit again which ends in a big tantrum….at the end we are late and I feel already exhausted at 9am.

Instead I try to step out and do this: I let him do his thing. I offer my help if he wants it. I make sure that he feels that I respect his decisions…and at the end we are less late than we would have been with me controlling him AND I feel good about us and myself and not exhausted like in the example above…

This is just one example. I could name a hundred more when kids are too controlled by their parents, like eating habits, space to play freely, screen time, bedtime,….

What does this have to do with my sewing business?

When I sew I create a piece of clothing that I put in a lot of thought and a lot of love for the person that will wear it. That’s why I love custom orders so much. I like to have a specific child in mind that I am sewing for, but also if it’s not a specific child, I do think about if some tag could itch or a seam could be putting pressure somewhere or things like this…

Sewing baby clothes is one thing that I like because they look so cute, so small and I try to make them as comfy and good feeling as I can, so that a baby is not at all limited in its movements because of the outfit it is wearing.

The other thing I love is to consult with older toddlers or young children (roughly age 3-10). They usually have such good ideas of what they like and would like to wear. It’s so much fun to have children pick their own style of clothing and colors and fabrics.

I think it is so important to let them dress themselves, pick their own clothes. It just doesn’t matter if their shirts match their pants or not. They are children! They need to feel good in what they are wearing. They need to be in charge of themselves to establish and preserve self-love and self esteem.

Every child is an individual, so why shouldn’t they dress themselves this way, individually. I think it’s the coolest thing to see children that are free in expressing themselves in their clothing or other ways that differ from the mainstream. I think this is very healthy for them and their self-growth.

As a part of my business I invite children to my studio (sewing room) to consult with me about fabrics for a new piece of clothing for themselves. It’s usually a dress or a shirt. Sometimes it goes really quick. Other times it takes a little bit of time to look through all the options there are…how many different fabrics they could possibly pick 🙂

It’s so great to then see them confidently wearing their new outfit that they put together ❤

The gift of freedom

So, if you want to gift your child with some freedom, fun and a beautiful new piece of one-of-a-kind clothing, please contact me and we’ll set up an appointment for your child to come to my house. (Send me an email to nonimadewithlove@gmail.com or message me here or on Favebook)

Of course, you are invited to come along, but you are not allowed to take part in the decision process. This is a gift to yourself! You will feel these urges of wanting to control the process coming up in you, I am sure! And then you just breathe and watch your child and his or her confidence and you will feel proud of yourself and your child! ❤

If you are not in the area, we can arrange a way for your child to still being able to pick his or her favorite fabrics. You would send me some favorite colors or themes and I would send your child photos of a bunch of different fabrics that he or she can pick from. It’s on you to not take over any control in the decision process! I would sew the piece and then send it to you.

To get an idea of prices, please visit my Etsy shop for different styles and sizes. There is no extra surcharge for a personal consultation of 15-30 minutes! https://www.etsy.com/shop/NoNiMadewithlove

All examples that were designed by kids:

Or head over to Chelley’s blog, the second item in her holiday gift guide is a dress that I made for her daughter and it fits her perfectly! https://aisforadelaide.com/2016/11/07/the-7-ultimate-custom-gift-hothe-7-ultimate-custom-gifts-holiday-gift-guideliday-guide/

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika

Big inner battle and the way back to Love

Do you know this feeling of anger flushing your whole body? It doesn’t even need to be anger, but something that just doesn’t feel good/right …Somebody says something to you and your every cell seems to react and feels like fighting inside of your body against this statement.

Maybe you don’t feel it and react right away, it goes so quick, just a split second…Your reaction is ‘attacking’ the other one by saying something that isn’t thought through at all, and probably doesn’t even make that much sense…but you feel like you need to protest in some way and do this by protecting yourself. The outcome must be an attack, because your ego tells you that your are getting attacked and you need to fight back, you go into defensive mode.

I felt like this this 2 nights ago…Going to bed my husband mentioned in a very incidentally manner that his parents would like to take our family, especially the boys, to Disney World before they get too old and won’t be able to get around easily…

(For many of your probably a reason to celebrate! …Many people love Disney and if somebody even offers to pay a chunk of it, even better!)

But for me: the total breakdown! I have always been against going and my husband knows that I would rather get lost in a jungle than asked to stand in a line for a ride in a theme park that I imagine in plasticy pink….

Thoughts running through my head: I don’t like this idea. I don’t want to do. I don’t want my children to be exposed to this. Why can’t be do something different with your parents? You know that I hate the idea of Disney, so why are you even asking me? Wait a minute…you aren’t even asking, you are telling me that they will take them and that you just want to find a good weekend!? I am left out here, I am loosing control….

I reacted, I said something, that I don’t even remember now, but it must have been some attack, because my husband did not follow my lead. He only said that I could have a quiet weekend and he would take the boys, together with my in-laws… I repeated something about me not wanting my kids to go there either… But he did not step into the conversation that would have turned into some kind of fight, that wasn’t needed at all…I am very thankful for him taking the lead here and stopping me, in not further responding to my attack!

So than I was left ‘alone’. I was laying in his arms and was supposed to fall asleep, but inside of me was a war going on! My thoughts went crazy, but heart was pounding and I felt like I had to pull out of his embrace to make sure I somehow protected my freedom. Thoughts of betrayal came up…why didn’t he tell his parents that we are not going, because I hated the idea and why didn’t he have my back?

Every single scenario of how bed a visit to Disney could be came to my mind, the long lines, the tantrums that the boys would have if they just had to walk for 5 minutes…all the bad food, and just a big waste of money…I was trying to find reasons why I didn’t want our kids to experience Disney…

How did I get our of the circling thoughts of my ego?

It was a really bad night and I did not sleep much at all, but at some point my thought process changed…my ego was probably getting tired of firing in a circle where there was no way out…

I started trying to figure out what it really was, that I hate so much about Disney and WHY do I hate it so much? What is the real core problem behind it? The things on the surface are enough to make me stay at home and not join the trip, but clearly not good enough to reason that I would not let my boys experience something that their dad seems to see value in, of some kind.

I thought about what (if I joined them) could I do to feel gratitude while in the park? I was thinking of the people who work there and who are doing their best to make our time there special. They serve us. They serve the world with making Disney’s idea of a place where dreams come true a reality and enjoyable to the guests.

I realized that I really don’t have any clue what Disney World is about. I am making decisions on pretty much zero knowledge! I only heard these stories of long lines and I made up my own images in my head…so I wanted to do more research….

The first interesting fact I learned was that when I think about Disney I have the ‘Magic Kingdom’ in mind, which means rather ‘the’ castle…But there are other parks that might not be that ‘pink’ 🙂 and that might even be kind of interesting to visit, like Epcot or Animal Kingdom…

The one thing that stood out to be important most was that it’s my in-laws wish to share with their grandparents before they think they are too old to go. My father-in-law used to work for Disney and took his boys several times. He has taken his four grand-daughters multiple times and has never taken our boys. The girls were much younger when they went for the first time, so I have been ‘good’ in keeping this trip out of our families’ picture until now. But I do feel like I want to honor them and want to understand their wish to this trip more.

Generalizing the issue

Thinking about this whole topic, I feel like it just really all comes down to FEARS of loosing control. And isn’t exactly the ‘control’ thing, what I am trying to let go? What I am working on so hard for the past months? So, it got me again! I am ready to see my assignment that the universe is throwing my way!

My fears: So what would be the worst case scenario? Would it really harm my kids to experience Disney World? How can I change my thoughts to positive?

  • Long lines, exhausted kids, melt-downs over too much walking, bad fast-food, tantrums because we will not buy any plastic Mickey accessory there is…

We could pick a time of year that not many people will go to limit lines. We can make sure that we take enough breaks and have a family talk before about not buying knick knacks. I would take my own food with me (as I do so often), a bag of arugula and a couple of gluten free bagels with veggie spread will bring me through the day. And of course organic crackers and fruits for the boys. Maybe a stroller would be a good idea.

  • Boys going crazy for Disney TV shows afterwards, screen time going out of control at home…

Somehow I am proud to say that my kids have not watched a single Disney movie. They have watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse before, but not crazily often. I really like how they’ve had no interest in characters or super heroes or anything like this. I like that they are pretty innocent for their ages and make up their own ideas and fantasies. I could try to just see the park as a bunch of carnival rides which I liked when I was little. They will enjoy the rides, not because of specific characters, just because it’s fun to go on rides…

  • promoting a money making giant that sells tickets and cheap plastic stuff from China for horrendous prices. A waste of stuff and too much garbage, more than this planet can handle. I don’t see the value in going there and not doing anything else more sustainable and more natural.

This one is pretty hard for me to overcome, but I know that I am in total judgmental mode here… So, I did a bit of research to find out if Disney does anything sustainable and they do donate a lot of money to children in need which does of course open my heart a bit. “Disney is committed to strengthening communities by providing hope, happiness, and comfort to kids and families who need it most.”

I am just afraid of loosing control and starting to dream…

I thought about what I liked as a kid. I never liked any princesses, the Disney princesses weren’t that in 30 years ago, but I did like the Jungle Book. I still do 🙂 I really liked the idea of this little human who was raised in a wolf pack and had his friend Bagheera, the panther who took care of him and of course Baloo the bear, who is fun and creative 🙂 Being raised by and being siblings with snuggly cozy wolfs seemed cool. And then there was just this jungle which seems to be the image of freedom to me… and I think I could have been friends with animals better than with humans when I was a kid… And I did like rollercoasters, carrousels and rides like big swings…they didn’t make me dizzy when I was a child and I liked to be in the air…pretend to fly and be free…

The conclusion

So, at the end I surrender. I give up the control over this trip and go with the flow. I think we/I could survive a trip to Disney World to honor my husband’s parents wish to take us. I wouldn’t be a grudge. I would see the beauty in things that are handmade, although I prefer the natural. I would trust my children that they find their own way of dealing with this experience. I would be there for them to help any meltdowns or over stimulations… I totally leave it up to them if they like it, enjoy it, love it or hate it… I am looking forward to a trip with my family, because family time is the best time 🙂

I am so grateful

This is just an example of how we get stuck in our minds sometimes…and burden our relationships with our partner. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn how awareness is totally beneficial in these situations. Thank you, hubby for not engaging into this crazy dance of defense and attack!

It is super essential to slow it down in these situations that could go down the hill so fast…and try to observe what’s really going on from different angles. Being reactive is dangerous and can end in hurting someone we don’t want to hurt. Being mindful of where the reaction is coming from is so important. It took me a day to get out of this spiral, but the whole experience and going through this process was absolutely healing for me…There is always a much deeper cause at the core of the problem that needs to surface and needs attention to be understood.

So, thank you hubby for being patient with me and let me figure this out by myself. Thank you for interrupting the spiral to keep us in a safe place 🙂

With lots of gratitude and love,

aNNika

It’s getting radical

Since my last blog post amazing things have happened. As I described I had been following more of an unschooling theory to teach Noah at home…which means that Noah decides what he wants to learn and I honor this and we do our research together and see what interests him. We still sat down at his desk and I tried to make him write and do math every day beside the research of different kinds of animals.

I felt like we were doing many things they would do at a ‘real school’ too. Especially trying to make Noah read and write turned out to be rather exhausting. So I started to research more of what ‘unschooling’ really means and how this works for people in real life.

Very quickly books began falling out of the shelves, ready to be read. (As far as you can say this in an online Audiobook library 🙂 It seemed like this theory of really trusting your children that they will learn everything they need and want, in their own perfect timing, worked for many families and there was no evidence of children falling behind in life…when they were on their own feet. Really the opposite is the case. They get to be very independent and know themselves and find out the ways they learn best and are socialized well and really happy and well-rounded people.

But of course fears come up…will this really work out for us too? Is he ever going to learn how to read and write? What if he decides that this is not important to him…do I have to control him…just a tiny bit?

It says that kids are surrounded by written words and they will pick it up sooner or later all by themselves…I trust that he will…

But what does a day look like for a mother who is home with her unschooled children?

She would want to be there for the kids and whatever idea they have would be realized as best as possible…Everything would be about learning, teaching and ‘school’. I saw us sitting at the desk and me asking him what he wanted to learn and then trying to accomplish this….

During this phase I stopped sewing and the house got dirtier by the day because I was putting my whole self into this teaching job. I thought that I would have to put my small business to the side until I had figured out the whole schooling thing and that then magically it would all fall into place…but what I realized was: I got crabby, not creating/sewing…and I didn’t want to wait for something that might never happen…E.g. What if it took him 2 more years until he learned reading? I would still sit there reading aloud for him, instead of having my time to sew…for a long time….

I was doing everything I could to be his teacher, but what about ME? and MY needs?

And then the books really started falling off the shelves…and FB posts by some german bloggers hit me! I learned of the theory of ‘radical unschooling’.

This theory might sounds crazy to many of you, but it really started to grow and flourish inside of me. It took me a while to understand it and by no means do we practice it in our family yet. But deep in my heart I know that this is something that I love to make our family style/concept. It will take a while until everybody is used to it, but I can see that we can accomplish it.

Radical Unschooling, ‘Family Style of Trust and Hapiness’ (FSTH)

So here we go. ‘Radical Unschooling’ or I like to call it “Family Style of Trust and Happiness” takes it much further than only trusting your children in what they want to learn. You trust that your children know what’s good for them in all kinds of life situation. You are not their teacher. You become their facilitator. Whatever it is, you can offer your opinion, but they decide, it’s their choice. They can decide what they want to eat, when to eat and who to eat with. They can decide if they want to sit and learn about something or want to watch TV or go outside and play soccer….They can also decide on how much or how far they want to go in ‘learning something’. If they don’t want to finish something, it means that they need a break 0r they are done and don’t want to learn more…

You are there for them and you will help them if they ask for it, but always you put yourself on the same level as your children and respect their space and their decisions. You talk to them in a respectful and peaceful manner, the same way you would talk to an adult visitor at your home. All in all it means that you are real with them, honest, vulnerable and yourself…you are not somebody who knows everything, you are not smarter, you are on the same level.

Most important in this family concept is that all members of the family are on the same level and everybody’s needs get met. It says that children learn that everybody is important and they will establish a disire to make everybody happy. To accomplish this, we as a family need to make plans, so that logistically everybody’s wants and needs get met. E.g. we go to the library first when it closes soon and then to the park to play…but everybody knows that we will try to do all of it to make everybody happy.

I am very much aware that this is going to be a process…to role-model (not teach) gratitude, contentment, respect,…to my children, but I am very excited to go on this journey and I know that we, as a family, will succeed.

I just love this concept so much because it’s family based, so everybody is included and it’s our all responsibility and trust in each other, that will lead us to become the happiest we can be.

This also means to make time and effort and trust that my husband and me, as a couple, get our needs met and can establish a strong bond in being facilitators and role-models for our children…and remind each other of letting go of the old ways of ‘parenting’…

While I am still struggling with the concept of letting them decide when they want to go to bed, I think that will be easier when they get older and actually can go to bed by themselves… For now I am okay with our routine which means that we stay with our boys until they fall asleep and snuggle them…and this takes however long they need to fall asleep.

It’s a process…little by little…

In the day to day...I do catch myself telling them what they can and can’t do, but find this really interesting…to think about the motifs. Usually it’s something that would just be less messy, so easier for me not to clean up, or just things that ‘have’ to be done a certain way, because I always do them this way…but in reality they don’t. So often I now stop myself and tell them how I would do it and explain why, but state that it’s their choice to decide how they actually do it.

Of course I do not leave them on their own in dangerous situations! I am always there or they know where to find me, if they need any kind of help. And I like to help them and do so with a fun and happy attitude.

After making this shift in perspective we have not sat at Noah’s desk once in the past two weeks…Our life and learning doesn’t happen at a desk. It happens in real life situations. Here just a couple of examples:

Noah loves sports. He goes to soccer practice and plays basketball outside in every kind of weather…last week he shoveled snow, so that he had a free line for 2 pointers and one for 3 pointers ;-). My kids also really wanted to learn how to ice-skate this winter, so we try to go to the ice-rink. Noah also has been swimming for almost 2 years without any floating devices. In the winter it’s a bit hard to get to the pool while everybody is healthy enough, but in the summer he will be practicing daily, I am sure. Last year he was so motivated and fascinated during the summer olympics, that he taught himself different swim styles. He has been riding his bike without training wheels since he is 4 and just really much likes to move…We have decided to keep our sunroom mostly free, so that they can tumble and play football and move freely as much as they want…

We like to go to the Home Depot free kids workshops once a month. The boys really like to hammer and glue and paint their projects. Noah has been to 25 workshops and Niki to 10, I think. The other picture above shows Noah playing with the water at the children’s museum. He had such a blast to figure out how to get the water squirting that high and then also juggling a little ball on it…He was soaking wet afterwards, but didn’t complain a bit.

My kids really love to cook! They e.g. made turkish meat balls, falafel and rolled up lasagna the past weeks…and the other day they created their own crêpes recipe! There are the ingredients in the picture above and if you want to make it too, here are the measurements:

2 cups of water

1/3 cups of liquid coconut oil

1 egg

2.5 cups of spelt flour

pinch of salt

1 tea spoon of vanilla

2 tea spoons of cinnamon

We make a lot of batter at once, so that they can make and eat crêpes a couple of times a day/week, if they want…I eat them too with lettuce, tomato, cheese and ham…They prefer Nutella and Banana…or jam.

A couple of weeks ago me husband drew us the blueprint of a new office building, so Noah started drawing his own blue print of a house with ‘gold rooms’. He drew exactly where the doors would be and where the gold would be put…very fascinating! He is very much into snakes right now and the coral snake is his favorite, so he started to paint it…never finished, but that’s ok. It’s his decision!

I really love what he did here… We went to the book store for storytime last Monday and on the way out, the boys saw a Love Monster stuffed animal and wanted to buy it. It was $20 and I just said that they could make one themselves at home if they wanted to…so we went to the coffee store and then back home about 2 hours later. Just back, Noah hadn’t forgotten about the monster. He wanted to sew his Love Monster right away, so I suggested that he would draw it the way he wanted it to look and he did. He then made a big sewing pattern and cut out the fabric. It was the first time that he would use a sewing machine, so I showed him how to use it and he was a bid afraid. The eyes and mouth applications were a bit tricky, so he watched me sitting on my lap, while I sewed these on. We then did the rest together, he stuffed it and I then hand-stitched the little hole shut. He snuggled his monster right away and loved it.

Later that day I was cooking dinner, he started sewing fabric scraps together all by himself. He made himself and Niki some ‘hats’, more like bands, but still very creative. The day after, he sewed a bag for my essential oils out of scraps, even with two ribbons, so that I can tie it closed. He then wanted to sew a bib or loop for his nephew, but because he didn’t know his head circumference, he sewed himself a loop that he now wears almost daily as his neck warmer 🙂

But back to the Love Monster. I asked him today why he wanted to sew it and why he likes his Monster so much. (He has been snuggling his monster every night since he made it.) He said that when he made it, he put so much love into it, that now at night, he can feel how his Love Monster loves him back and this is a nice feeling. And he is very proud of himself that he made his own monster.

We decided 2 days ago that we wanted to offer a workshop for kids and their parents to make their own Love Monster. Why?

Noah: ‘Because I want others to have the same nice feeling when they snuggle up with their Love Monster at night, just like me!’

So, if you are interested to come over with your 5-year old or older on Sunday (2/12/17), please sign up following this link or the ‘workshops’ link above. We would love to see you!

https://squareup.com/store/noni-made-with-love

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika

Why I pulled my son out of school…

The end of 2016 got to be very eye-opening for me…lots of inner struggles, lots of inner work, meditations, coachings, talks…and at the end the decision: We are taking our older son Noah out of public Kindergarten.

How did this happen?

As I wrote in an earlier post, the week of Thanksgiving we traveled as a family and the two weeks after that I took our boys to the beautiful island of Mallorca in Spain to meet my new nephew and other members of my family.

It became a high intensity, high energetic time. Lots of openness on one side, lots of childhood wounds emerging to the surface, struggles on the inside and lots of sore throats coming up between all of us. (My sign of my body telling me that something can’t be swallowed anymore)

The more self work I do, the more comes up to the surface and the more work I need to do…

After 12 days on the island I came home with a very sore throat, Noah had a rash almost all over his body and a little pimple in Niki’s face turned quickly into a rather big pimple or more of a rash. So there we were, trying to face and research the deeper roots of what just happened and facing a bunch of family drama.

Niki’s rash in his nose and next to his mouth was diagnosed as herpes which was like a kick into my gut. This is nothing that little kids should get! If teenagers get it from kissing or so…oh well, but a 4-year-old? I was in shock and at the same time realized my assignment that was given to me: I have to set clear boundaries for myself and my family, especially my children! If I let people come too close to my children and don’t feel good about it, I need to stop it right in that second… I have to speak up! I have to show up for my children! Especially Niki who doesn’t really respect personal spaces will have to learn what this means. He likes to be very close to people…he can’t just nozzle everybody in their faces…maybe with his mother and father, but he needs to understand that there are differences. And if the other person does not tell him off, I need to educate him… This is my job as his mother.

So, I let this feeling of the need of personal boundaries grow inside of me. I talked to my coach and found out that I am stuck in a pattern. I rather try to be diplomatic with people, just to avoid hurting them or make them feel pushed away and at the same time I am of course not totally honest to myself and not to my children. It’s like a chord of energies that is in need to be cut between me and these people, so that I can stand up for myself. Because me and my children come first and I can’t just try to make everything good for everybody.

So, I started my daily routine of doing a chord cutting meditation. I pretty much remove everything that is sucking energy out of me and at the same time maybe giving bad energy my way. I ask for getting the positive energy back and removing all bad energy from my system…and pray for the other person to do the same and be fine.

And it helps! I feel much more centered in my middle. I can reflect things better and I am more within me. I can focus on what’s good for me. And at the same time there seems to be this big space building up for all kinds of opportunities to really set new boundaries for us.

This space in my heart has so much love inside it for me, my children and my husband.

There had been many things at Noah’s school that I didn’t like and didn’t think were good for his development at his age of 5 years old. Ranging from a much too long day of school, over getting up too early,  a really nauseating lunch visit, lock-down drills, almost daily testings, and a feeling that the kids are only raised to be robots in that school system…

I had a hard time getting used to it and at the same time didn’t see any real other option.

But all of a sudden it clicked and I saw clearly, that I can make a difference. I do not need to suffer seeing my child suffering in an environment that is not good for him. There is totally a different option and a choice for me to make. It meant starting to home-school him. At this point I hadn’t even talked to my husband about it…I started reaching out to people…

I contacted a friend who home-schools her son and she said that she was moved to tears by my text message, explaining why I didn’t think the school system was good for Noah. She agreed on every point and the coolest things was that she explained how easy it is to home-school in the state of RI! I pretty much only have to write a letter every start of the school year to say that we intend to home-school him. And one letter at the end, stating that Noah did well and that he would be going on to the next grade.

I started more of a research…watched many Ted talks of home schooled teenagers and other professionals talking about it. I red articles online and very quickly there was just no other way to go. And when my husband agreed, I was very happy, especially for Noah to make such a big decision. Of course, he was part of this decision, too.

But with a big decision and change, of course, my ego kicked in, questions came up: Am I good enough for this? Can I really teach my child everything that they would teach him? Am I messing him up? How do we socialize? My ego still can go crazy on me at times and I am sure that this will probably happen frequently until my kids are ‘out of school’.

It is a huge responsibility that I am choosing to take on, but at the same time it really is my responsibility as a mother to make sure that my children are growing up in an environment that is the best for them and at this time, the school environment is not it! Who knows, maybe in 9 years Noah wants to go to the public high school…then we will decide if that’s a good choice or not…

My professional background is being a math and art teacher, so I do feel prepared to school my children at home.

Another thing that my ego feared was, that I felt like people might think I am crazy and that we would really be putting us to the side or aside from our friends and families we know or our community that we live in. I do not judge anybody because they are still sending their kids to school. I know and I feel very fortunate that I do have the ability to stay home with my children. I know that this is not even an option for most families. So, I can only speak for myself and my children and I do.

Having made this decision now, not once have I felt judged in a negative way! It’s amazing in a way. I prepared myself and told myself not to care if any negative response would come my way. But it’s just the opposite: All of a sudden I hear that many of my friends have thought it too, but don’t do it because of financials or because they don’t feel like they are patient enough, or let’s just say it: They don’t feel good enough! Other people congratulate me and share that they think that this is the only way to go!  Somebody told me today that she does not have children because she would want to homeschool them and be with them and she would not be able to do this with her job! People offer me help if I needed it, they would be there for me. Most people are just genuinely interested and curious what my reasons are.

I feel like during the past year, I built my tribe, our community around us in a way that I would be okay and understood…and I didn’t even realize this. It feels really good!

So, what do we do/learn?

Noah gives me the cues…He tells me what he wants to learn about, like ‘wolverines’ or ‘how do you mix white?’ or ‘What’s the difference between a leopard and a cheetah?’ or ‘What are the most poisonous snakes?’.

We usually try to find a book of this topic. If we don’t have any, we’ll go to the library. I read him books or articles online and we might watch a video or two. Then Noah usually wants to draw the animal or he does some experimental mixings of colors or he invents games that we play or he does a craft that he envisions by himself.

I would like him to write a couple of words a day, so he makes up lists of topics that he then writes into his journal.

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We have a german system called LÜK that we use a lot for math practice. Math we also do a on walks like counting and sorting and adding things up. The LÜK system also has some good things to learn the ABCs and reading. To systematically learn different letters and sounds and reading, we use the book that I learned reading with almost 35 years ago 🙂

He has a little laptop with learning programs that he uses when I work on my laptop. And other than that he just joins me running errands and doing things we need to do…like cooking, folding laundry, cleaning,… Today he bought himself (with my money) some cough syrup at the pharmacy. He handled the money and made sure that he got the right change…and he interacted with the pharmacist…

I think, it’s very important to work on simple life skills with children like cooking, building furniture, painting walls…and let them experience their surroundings on nature walks, visits to the beach etc…

We do at least 2-3 playdates a week and he has soccer practice one night.

We also try to go skating or swimming and on walks. We take trips to the zoo, the children’s museum and cafés 🙂

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For now we are still figuring it out, but I feel like we are on a good way to raise Noah as an independent, self-thinking, reasoning, active, curious, intrinsically motivated and happy learner/person.

Is this hard on me?

I don’t think so. We are not very far into our experience yet, but I feel so much love for Noah and our decision that I don’t feel bothered or burdened with him being with me at all times during the week. I feel like I am learning to be more myself at all times with my child being by my side at his age… It would be really exhausting if I tried to put myself in ‘the mother-role’ all day, but by totally being myself I can authentically raise my child to do the same. There is only one person who can be me, so I should better be really good in being myself! He can be himself with me and I feel like he learns about a new side of me at the moment and really enjoys it 🙂 It feels super honest and real and authentic.

I somehow feel more fulfilled, too. It seems like a piece that was missing was finally found and I am much more focussed and really let myself BE with him during our hours on his desk… I seems like I found part of my purpose and I can let all the distractions like laundry, dishes, household… just be and trust that there will be a time for these things to be done. I can enjoy our quality time together and be present and focussed, because of a peace of mind, that I am doing my ‘job’. Looking back I can see how I even posted on FB that we were home-schooling as a joke) by sorting and counting Halloween candy…but I pushed this thought of really doing it far away from me.I was fighting it and didn’t see it as an option. I didn’t feel good enough and I felt like I can only find myself and build a business without my kids around. I was somewhat too afraid that get too attached to my children. (Doesn’t this sound weird?)

We moved to this town, because they have the ‘best school system’ in the state. So of course, we would put the kids into public school here, because that’s what you do when you live here…or you stay in the city and put them into expensive private schools…

That’s just what you do…and I am not doing anything any more because of that! From this year on, me and my family will make mindful decisions that are good for me, and us as a family. I will set boundaries that will protect us and are good for us to thrive as a family and as human beings. I won’t let anybody put us into boxes that we don’t fit in. And by doing so, I will be a great example to my children who will learn that they are free to make their own decisions and set their own boundaries and co-create their own lives.

How about Noah? How is he doing? 

What I can witness is that he is more balanced, less stressed, pretty lazy, more confident, flexible, nicer with the dogs, curious, thirsty to learn, mostly interested in animals (geography), math,reading and soccer.

It’s seems like we are getting more real with each other. He surprises me these days with staying in a room, he’s never been in, while I see my therapist. Or just stay at a neighbor while I drive the neighbor’s kid and Niki to school in the morning. Before he would been anxious about these things.

There is much less fighting, more love, more independence…

What does he like most about home-schooling? (He told me…)

He loves to spend alone time with me. He snuggles up to me when we read. He likes that he doesn’t need to write as much as he did before. For him it is very good that he can sleep longer. He is an evening person, so it really was a struggle to get him up early for school before. He has more energy for his soccer practice in the evening. He likes that he can play basketball outside whenever he wants to. He likes to do crafts that he can imagine by himself and drawing…

My wishes:

I wish more people could pull their kids out of the this toxic school system these days to really make more of an impact to show that school can’t work like this any longer…Maybe in the far future there will be a time when the system ‘school’ will get a total overhaul and will be matched with the needs that our children have.

For me it’s important that my kids can reason and make their own decision about if they listen to another person or not. I think it is very dangerous to say that all kids need to behave well and listen to what adults tell them.

I want my kids to have the ability to spend time on a subject that they are really interested in, and at the same time choose to not to other things that they don’t think are important in that moment. I love to see when they really dig deep to figure things out and really show dedication when something just catches them.

My kids don’t need to sit in a big cafeteria of 120 Kindergarteners and First graders to be told to pat their backs in unison because they behaved well, and five minutes later be black-mailed that they will be punished if they show naughty behaviors again…it feels like brainwashing that’s going on…raising robots, that follow directions. I want me kids to be individuals that think for themselves and are not just following because they don’t have a choice.

I think, it’s important to really socialize in a way that different aged kids get together and figure out how to help smaller kids and how to act with older ones. Therefore I want them to develop real friendships that last and not the ones that are good for one school year and then break because the kids are all scrambled up again. Also, seeing and being with their siblings is very important to develop social skills and I can see how much more interactions and actual ‘playing’ is going on since Noah is home.

I don’t want my kids to build an anxiety of not being good enough, because they are frequently tested and compared to their peers and told that they are bad at things and too slow and that they need to focus better, and so on. There is not need for any other comparison than the one to themselves and their progress. And they can very well do this themselves, nobody needs to tell them.

I want my kids to keep the instinct of self-motivation and not unlearn it in school. If they can stay intrinsically motivated and are happy to reach goals that they set for themselves, just to reach them and not because of some kind of reward, they will live a happy and fulfilled life, I am sure. And that’s the only thing that really counts for me as a mom. From the bottom of my heart I love my children and I want them to feel good about themselves and feel happy, loved and fulfilled.

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika

 

 

In deep gratitude

The angels have send me some interesting assignments in the past couple of weeks.

We’ve been traveling for 2 and a half weeks now. We went on a big family (of 6) vacation to Guadeloupe the week of Thanksgiving. I learned two big things during those 5 days.

Firstly I have to really practice my patience. Have you traveled with 6 people or more? Just getting through security or passport control before entering the airplane feels like taking forever… Deciding where to go or what to eat or what to buy at the store… drives up my blood pressure, because I’m already an anti-shopping kind of person. So having an extended patience tolerance is really essential when traveling with many people. At the same time to keep up the good mood, I had to look at the little things we accomplished and be grateful for experiences we made! For example I got the great opportunity to see my stepdaughter with different eyes. In a risky situation on a hike in a very muddy rainforest, I experienced how responsible she can behave and how much I could trust her to help put us (her, me and the boys) back to safety. I will forever be grateful for this experience and think that this situation changed our relationship for the future.

For 2 of the really only 3 full days of our stay we didn’t have any running water at our little (Airbnb) villa. On the second morning we only had water to take a shower. When we came back in the afternoon there was none. It was back in the morning to take a shower again, but then never came back on before we left at 5am the following day. So, at 4am in the morning on the day of our departure I went swimming in our pool and then put shampoo in my wet hair on the way to the shower…to then have my husband pour a 5l bucket of water over my head and body…

I thought it was kind of fun and really added something to the adventure… I like challenges and at the same time I was reminded that we probably use 10x the amount of water every shower we take and how grateful we should be that we usually have the opportunity to just turn on the shower and have running hot water!

Yesterday I learned that my husband asked for money back because of this ‘inconvenience’ of not having running water. It’s just funny to see how different people can view these ‘situations’. I would have never thought about this because it just ‘gave’ me such a boost of gratitude, and I was so thankful for this reminder that the universe has sent us.

Yesterday evening my boys and I came back to our little (Airbnb) pool house in Mallorca where we’ve been for over a week now and the power was out.

Of course our hosts who live on the same property were not at home and I couldn’t find a fuse box anywhere. We gathered all the candles that we could find and lit them on the kitchen table. We figured out dinner that we didn’t have to cook or warm up…and had a lot of fun…

I was a little concerned about not having heat all night, but figured that we would be warm enough just snuggling closely in one bed (which we’d been doing all week already anyway).

An hour later our hosts came back home and found out that it was just a tripped fuse and fixed it.

I was very thankful for this little reminder to be grateful for having electricity. We take this for granted way too easily that we can just turn a switch and the light, microwave or oven turn on. And that our fridge keeps our food cold and that our electric devices get charged…

It was a good lesson for my chidren too, who are just so used to all these things that make our lives much easier.

This week I also was told in a coaching by my soulbiz sister Anna that I needed to focus more on the things that are already within me and not distract myself by searching on the outside to really live the fullest and happiest life I can.

I think all these reminders or assignments that the unisverse sends me will lead me into the right direction to do so.

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika

Please love yourself!

A couple of days ago, I was riding on my bike and noticed this thought coming up that I haven’t written a blog post in almost 2 weeks and that it was time for a new one. Then I asked myself why I would pressure myself of writing something if I had no idea what to write about? Why did I think that it would be time for a new one? Wouldn’t it be time when I felt like I had something to share? Then my ego set in even more…why don’t I have to say anything? Didn’t I have all these ideas of blog posts when I started blogging? And now I felt empty? I calmed myself down and invited some faith and trust in that I will feel when the time is right again…something will come up that needed to be said…

And then WOW, it happened that day that a Facebook friend of my mine, a neighbor, my kids’ friends’ mother posted beautiful professional pictures of her family. Everybody was in matching outfits in a beautiful fall scenery with colorful leaves framing this happy family. But the post said something like: ‘Friends who know me better, know that I never have pictures taken because of my weight and my appearance. But I do know that some day my kids will ask me and want to see family pictures of their childhood, so I had my friend, a professional photographer these. And I am glad, I did. So many sweet moments…’

I almost cried, this struck me deep inside. I felt like, yes, you did it! I am so proud of you for doing it for your children and then being glad that you did it! I looked at all the pics and there were such sweet close-ups of her and her daughter laughing and being happy and totally in the moment.

Then I felt the hurt, the pain and dislike, maybe disgust that she must feel about herself. How can she live like this? The daily struggles she must be facing…

How could I help her? Do I know anybody who can help her to love herself more and see herself a different way? How can she stop judging herself so harshly and stop being afraid of being judged?

I wanted to write a comment under the post, but I didn’t know what to write. How much would be too much? What would be encouraging? What could be hurtful … so I never commented … but I couldn’t stop thinking about this post.

But because of this and some of the following things that came up this week, I feel called to write this post and share my thoughts with you.

It is a way for me to process these experiences and in a way comment to that post … I am also sure, that she will read this and she will read my deepest truth in these words …

After reading that post and looking at the beautiful pictures, I thought a lot about peoples’ callings and that appearances really don’t matter if you are living your calling.

How many people are on this planet that really serve people by their looks? Whose calling is to be skinny and ‘pretty’? There are some, of course, but most people will find their higher truth for this world on the inside and not on the outside of their bodies…

I see her as a very loving, kind, smart, nurtouring, encouraging, motivated, out-going, musical, happy nature and very active person. She always compliments others, has a very positive energy around her and it’s just very easy to be around her.

How can we stop having these limiting beliefs about ourselves?

I thought about my own struggles that I’ve had about my body from a very young age. I remember two incidents very clearly that have been present throughout my life.

When I was 14 I stood at my grandpa’s hospital bed. He was still a little woozy from meds just coming from the ICU after having a heart attack. He died a month later, so this was the last time I talked to him. I handed him my invitation to my confirmation party and he looked at me from top to bottom and said: ‘Look at those thighs, I can tell that you come from your mother’s and grandma’s side of the family. All the women have these big thighs’…(or something along these lines).

Of course, I had noticed this already that friends of mine had thinner legs…but in that moment, I realized that others saw this too and I started to be even more self-conscious.

I always wanted to loose weight as a high school student, a college student… After my first pregnancy I naturally lost so much weight that I felt better than ever before in my life, concerning my weight and body…I was almost 10 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and I liked that a lot.

After my second pregnancy I had troubles loosing the baby weight and always felt full and bloated, so I decided to eat gluten free and sugar free for a while and that helped me loose all my pregnancy weight and more of it, again. Breastfeeding was very crucial for the weight-loss, but then of course when Niki weaned himself, the weight-gain slowly happened and I got a bit anxious.

Just recently I gave up stepping on the scale every morning and just try to feel into myself to know if I feel good or not. The scale is not showing me the truth that I so long believed in!

There is another incident that came up this week when Niki picked his clothes one morning. He put on a light green long-sleeve shirt with white polar bears and turquoise trims and over this he put a turquoise/bluish short-sleeve shirt with black monsters and grey trims. The alarm bells went on in my head, because my mom once told me that I can’t combine green and blue clothes. There apparently is a german saying that goes like: ‘Grün und Blau trägt die Sau.’ It means that green and blue is what a (sow) pig wears. Blue and sow rhyme in german, so it never really made sense to me, because you could exchange any color with green to still make this saying rhyme…

The evening when she said this to me I remember like it was yesterday, I had put on an olive pair of pants with a long turquoise undershirt and an olive t-shirt over it. We were going to have one of her friends over for dinner. I guess, she somehow felt embarrassed by my clothes choice… I did not change, but didn’t feel very comfortable in the clothes I had picked all evening…

So, I remember that many times after this, I decided against wearing green and blue together.

I think, it’s just very interesting how these beliefs manifest in our brains and how we live with them for so many years, since our childhood. It usually needs a lot of practice to get rid of them. But it’s a first step to recognize what they are and where they are coming from.

As a child I rarely liked to have pictures taken of me. I didn’t feel pretty and I didn’t like the process of it. I hated to stare at a camera with a fake smile on my face waiting for that person to finally push the button. I just don’t like fake! I still feel like people are harassing their children when they yell at them to smile at the camera if they just don’t feel like it. I must say I love an honest screaming baby pic more then a series of heavenly sleeping baby faces 🙂

For me it’s very important to try to not plant limiting beliefs into my childrens’ minds. I want them to feel good about themselves and their bodies and actions. It’s so hard to do this though, because even at a young age, my boys for example, know that they are very skinny…pants usually don’t fit them. Niki makes a game out of this at times. He jumps on the trampoline until his pants slide down to his knees. Of course at the same time they notice that other people have other body types. I try to raise them to be non-judging human beings, and I want to have faith that they’ll like themselves and don’t judge others.

We all need to work on more self-love and compassion for our bodies and minds.

Especially in these times of division, it doesn’t matter what we look like, what we eat, what clothes we wear, who we vote for,…we all need to get a little closer together and love a bit more. We need to realize that we all want the same thing…we all want to live a safe, happy and full-filled life! We make different choices on the way, but let’s face it, we are all one and we all want the same! So let’s honor everybody for their choices they make and judge everybody less. Today and from now on we will try to see us and others through love and not through hate!

With much love and gratitude,

aNNika

Learning to trust…

Just to warn you…this might get a little (or a little more) spiritual 🙂

Somehow my yoga instructor inspires me a lot these days 🙂 I am very grateful for this and send a big Thank You her way while writing this…

I feel like I made a lot of space inside myself for inspirations…so it seems that I get excited easily these days and feel inspired by many people and many things, which feels very nice and at the same time it seems as if I can inspire others too…which feels even better. We are all one!

On Wednesday night at yoga class while meditating we flooded ourselves with waves of love…self-love… When we felt really loved, we flooded someone who we unconditionally love with love…then someone that we meet and greet everyday, but feel neutral about and at the end we send the same amount of love to somebody we have had an argument with, or we really dislike. It felt great to do this and to experience how much love there is within us…We are love…

So, my focus today seems to be on feeling love and giving love to everybody and everything I see and meet. And see the beauty in everybody and everything in my life. For me it’s sometimes still hard to understand that the ability to unconditionally love comes from self-love, from the love within us for ourselves… If we don’t love ourselves unconditionally, how can we love anybody else this way?

I’ve been listening to this amazing audio book by Anita Moorjani ‘Dying to be me’. She describes that during a near death experience, she understood why she got cancer and why she was dying… She never let herself be herself, because she was afraid of being a problem to her parents or society, so she spent her life pretending to fit in and to be somebody different. After this phenomenal realization she came back into her body and her cancer healed within days…

For her it’s all about letting go of fear and trusting that everything we need to know is already within us. We ‘just’ need to listen to the guidance that the universe or god or inner voice (you call it) is giving us.

This brings me back to one of the topics that I am most passionate about…letting go of control and trusting in our bodies and ourselves…

I am practicing to be okay…okay with how things are going… I am trying to trust that the universe sends me challenges at the right time in my life, when I can handle them and grow through dealing with them. I am trusting that I will be okay and ‘greater’ at the end…

I trust that my body knows what’s best for me… I listen and am flexible when I should change plans. Just last weekend I surprisingly got my period two days early and was a bit bummed that I would miss my Sunday morning yoga practice because of it…but standing on my head and working my abs just doesn’t feel so good while my abdomen aches and cramps… But after letting go of the first disappointment, I just made other plans to still get my alone-time while going to a café and writing my last blog post… And I was okay with it…things happen for a reason and I only have to listen and trust my ‘inner voice’.

Just a couple of hours ago I was talking to a friend. We were surprised that her son’s temperature was taken by the teachers at school. We didn’t think that he seemed hot at all. We would have never thought of taking his temperature… And we agreed that if a fever occures, it is a good thing for the body. It means that the body is actually fighting something that is not supposed to be in there! I can understand that teachers would be afraid of other kids getting ‘contaminated’ by a sick child, but otherwise it’s just very cool to think about what our bodies are capable of 🙂

I don’t want to start writing how amazed I am about women’s bodies in gernal, that can carry and nurture a child on so on…this is a topic for a different blog post…but it also has to do a lot with trusting in our bodies… 🙂

So at this point of my life, I feel like I often hear the guidance that the universe is trying to get through to me, but still I don’t always follow through…still a little stuck in patterns and routines… But what definitely changed inside of me is that I don’t believe in coincidences any more…I see meaning in things that just used ‘to happen to me’. There is always a reason and I am learning to trust that I can co-create my life with the help of the guidance of ‘my angels’, my intuition, my inner voice…god.

I just need to follow when I hear/feel the guidance and learn why I am here on this world… right now in this body and in which way I am meant to serve this planet…it gets me into this flow of things aligning themselves in front of my eyes…it feels great and easy-going…and meant to be…

I do trust that at some point I will know exactly how my soulbiz is supposed to look like and how I can serve this world with my great ideas and ability…I am not afraid of waiting for guidance… Of course sometimes I feel like I want to make things happen faster, but I am patient and know that I will be guided in the way that this is supposed to be going…

In the meantime, let’s practice unconditional love for yourself and others!!

Much love and gratitude! aNNika

 

 

Getting naked

Last Sunday in yoga class, my teacher said that we needed to get naked. I know what you think now and it’s not that she wanted us to undress…not at the end of October in New England…

For me and us this much rather means to get rid of all the extra stuff we don’t need in our lives and pay attention to what’s good for us and only keep this! She gave the example of drinking a giant coffee with 4 bags of sugar in it routinely, maybe every day. We know that the sugar is not good for our body, but still stick to this craziness…but why? Are we really enoying this so much that it makes us feel good, that is makes sense to do it, although we have regrets already floating around in our heads?

It seems like we are numbing ourselves with routines that we seem stuck in. We are kind of aware what’s good or what would be better for us, but still choose to ignore it…because this is just the ‘easier’ way to go… someting else would mean CHANGE.

My yoga teacher suggested to just do things differently now and then, to just get out of this stuck place. Thinking of yoga, it would be just throwing in a different pose into our (daily) routine and change things up a bit to be more aware of what we are doing.

So after yoga class I went home and decided on the way back home that I would change up the sewing workshop that I had planned for the afternoon. Instead of sewing beanies, the participants would sew dresses although they had never sewn a single piece of clothing ever before 🙂

The ladies were very surprised about my idea and weren’t sure if they would be able to do that. But I had so much faith in them that they trusted me and in the following 5 hours they sewed dresses for their daughters. Seeing them full of pride holding up the dresses was such a gift to me. I just love to see people proud of themselves. This is probably one of the most rewarding feelings to watch for me 🙂

So since Sunday, I’ve been thinking about ‘getting naked’ a lot and tried to incorporate this idea as much into my life. And the funny thing is that the universe seems to send me reminders almost every day!

And it feels like practicing this idea has so many benefits.

Firstly doing things differently makes us conscious of things that we might not even know that we are stuck in. We are just so used to flying through our day on autopilot…

It came to my mind that my brother once suggested to do everything, you usually do with your right hand, with your left, just to notice what hand you are using and how you are using it for just totally normal things… like taking a shower and using shampoo.

On Wednesday I talked to a friend who is offering a decluttering course to people who want to get rid of things around their house and who want to learn methods how to get themselves more organized. She has witnessed how people transfer these methods into other parts of their lives and don’t just get rid of materialistic ‘things’, but also of blockages in their minds and routines that they seems to be stuck in…  I was impressed that this seemed to fit right into my thoughts of this week 🙂

Later that day I met a friend and she told me that she feels rather happy with her life right now, but also very stuck. She feels that there seems to be something missing. Working a normal 8am to 5pm day five days a week takes up so much time if you don’t feel like you really enjoy it. There are only these few hours in the evenings that you feel like you are too exhausted to really do anything else then eating dinner and watching a TV show before you go to bed. Then there are these two days of weekend that you really want to enjoy and ‘live’! These two days get so precious and they seems to be so special, that you really want to get out the most of them, but what’s about chores around the house? the yard? Other things that need to be done? They seem to be in the way…

So, how can these people who experience to be stuck in this place ‘get naked’? I feel like, of course, it would be best to make your job a happy place for you. Is it possible to do something that really nourishes your soul and you can identify with as ‘your job’? This is easily said, but it seems like this should to be the big goal for everybody…

But let’s go baby steps! What about doing something different every day?! It could just be eating something different for breakfast, driving a different way to work, greeting your colleagues a different way that day, having the goal to surprise one coworker with something special that day, instead of eating lunch in the cafeteria go outside and enjoy it outside while going on a walk, getting yourself a gift, driving home a different way, eating out at night, creating something, maybe sewing in the evening instead of watching TV…I could think of a million things 🙂 …

I think, if you get used to taking chances, to getting out of your comfort zone, and just do things differently, you will get addicted to this new lifestyle and all of a sudden you feel like you still have energy left for fun things, even after a long day at work…because it’s fun to experiment…

Co-creating your life and getting to a happy full-filled life does not just happen, it does need your energy. But the cool thing is that the more energy you put in, the more you will get out!  🙂

Somehow I came to listen to one of my favorite CDs this week, that I hadn’t listened to in years. It’s by the Bright Eyes, called ‘I’m wide awake, It’s morning’.

I feel like this is no coincidence either… Getting rid of stuck places, routines and being mindful about what I am doing makes me super conscious and this feels like I am wide awake all the time ! It’s an amazing feeling, full of energy and power.

I also got my intenSati workout DVD in the mail this week. I wrote about this in my last post. I tried it out a couple of mornings this week and again I was reminded of my week’s goal of doing things differently and getting rid of routines…the affirmation to say while doing one of the ‘poses’ is: ‘Everyday in a my very own way, I’m leaner, I’m leaner…Yes!’

‘Lean’ can mean a lot, but for me it totally means to get rid of stuff that is not good for us, routines that we are unconsciously stuck in and focus on the good things, that make us feel alive and focussed and happy!

Today is Sunday again and I am so grateful for the idea of ‘getting naked’ that my yoga teacher brought to my consciousness for this week! I see a great opportunity in this for everybody to feel alive and powerful and full of energy in this adventure that we call life!

So, who is in? Let’s get naked this coming week!! …just try it out and see if you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂

Much love, aNNika