transformation

How to make your resolutions work

The year is almost over!! To me, it isn’t really hard to say goodbye, it was a difficult year in many aspects, but also a year that taught me so much about myself! Who I am, what is really important to me, what I needed to change. And I found out on a very personal level that change isn't easy (wanted or unwanted). And it's even harder when you don't have the energy to experiment new things. 

What I also found is that real change can only come from within, supported by our deepest motivation. It all starts with a wish, a desire, a longing... but for what? I learned that having clarity on what I want, and more importantly, what I truly needed, was pivotal to turn things around.

So, I'll start the new year with much more clarity on the things I would like to accomplish, and what I want to bring into my life. That empowered mindset makes me much more confident that I will reach my goals.

I stated some powerful resolutions that are aligned with my heart, body, and Soul.

What are resolutions? Wishes and dreams, goals and plans. In short, resolutions are about changes we want to make.

Having navigated many changes in all areas of my own life, as well as supporting my patients in their journey after a diagnosis or illness when I was still in the medical field, and working as a project manager on implementing complex operational changes, I have seen up close what worked and what didn't work when it comes to change.

I would like to share some thoughts about resolutions with you, to explain why they usually fail and how to approach things differently.

When you ask people about their resolutions, you usually get 3 types of response. 

  1. Well, I should quit [X] so that's what I'm gonna try. Between the brackets are things like [smoking, drinking, shopping, spending, eating chocolate, overeating, ...].

  2. Well, I should start [Y] so I'm going to do that. Between the brackets are things like [moving, running, eating healthy, being there for my family, a project, ...].

  3. Resolutions? I don't have any because they don't work anyway.

The core feelings behind those responses are:

  1. guilt

  2. guilt

  3. cynicism, defeat

Not very positive. 

This is exactly why resolutions like this usually don't work. They are stated while we are in a restrictive or judgemental emotional state. We believe we are doing something wrong and we try to fix ourselves. 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with ambition, setting goals and trying to be the better version of ourselves. But, it's important to know what that version is and whether it suits us.

Usually, the wish for change comes from a sense of urgency. Things go wrong, we don't like the results we are getting. And that leads to stress. Our systems are built to eliminate stress immediately. And the way we are wired, it leads to behavior that temporarily decreases stress -> eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, checking our phones, ... 

Oops. 

The things causing us stress, are the same things we go to as a temporary stress release. And we know it. That's where the guilt creeps in, the 'shoulds', the inner critical voice. We punish ourselves with restrictive measures (causing stress) and we call it a resolution - "I am going to be a better version of myself without this behavior. I should ... "

We humans have stress on a daily basis and we have needs on a daily basis. We want to feel safe, supported and loved. However, during our lifetimes we taught ourselves to get positive feelings through external things. Self-soothing is a lie... We don't self-soothe, we externally-look-for-soothing. We fall into the trap of feeling good for a short while though unwanted and destructive behavior, causing stress and in the long run, not giving us what we are longing for.

It's a vicious cycle. Or a downward spiral. See how this will never work?

How would it be when we were able to shift our perspective and look within to find what we need? To give the love, care, and support to ourselves? To break the cycle in a different, lasting way? To spiral up an up towards the things you truly want?

When you create change by adding restorative practices, you will decrease stress and enhance relaxation. This creates so much more space to invite new things into your life! 

To create lasting changes, you need space and clarity on your deepest motivation and your true needs.

To help you state powerful intentions that are aligned with your heart, body, and Soul, and the energies of the January New Moon, I created a 9-day online program, the WinterLight Wellness Week.

You can find more information about WinterLight HERE.

New Moon in Pisces - March 17th 2018

Spring is imminent. You can feel it, you can smell it in the air. 

I am so ready to say goodbye to the grey skies or winter... longing for spring I turn my face towards each ray of sunlight, trying to catch the warmth and support. I have never needed it more than I do now.

It's like I have been waiting for this moment to start anew. And now, on the verge of spring, just before this New Moon, at the end of Winter, climaxing towards a fresh start, I am overcome with fatigue and grief. It's like my old Self is dying inside me, it's very intense and many old themes are coming up one more time.

The Moon is entering Pisces. On March 17th, 2018, the new Moon cycle will start in this watery sign of the unconscious mind. Pisces brings us vivid dreams, emotional states and connects us to the symbolism and language of the ancient mind. The rational mind can feel threatened by this fluidity, it's not able to explain what is happening and it will try to take control. This fight with your unconscious mind can take a lot of energy, and combined with the low energetic ebb of the New Moon, you can feel very tired and empty. You may also experience detailed, or very strange dreams. Don't be afraid of them, don't try to 'explain' the meaning, just let them wash over you like a wave that sweeps you clean. Let the waters of Pisces take away any old remnants, any broken dysfunctional survival habits of the ego. It is an old ragged coat that doesn't fit you anymore. 

My dreams have been dark and scary over the last week. Last night I watched my father die and a few days back I witnessed a church shooting in my dream while I was trying to save my daughters. Both situations are not very likely to happen, my father is healthy and vital, and in my country, there are gun laws and shootings are extremely rare. But I lived it in my dream so realistically, as if I knew exactly how it was going to happen. I must admit I was keeping an eye on the news that day.

It can be heavy to wake up from those energies, but being aware of my emotions helped me to release their charge quickly. You could use deep breathing to connect with your body to calm it down while connecting with your feelings as well. They are telling you something you might want to hear.

We all have dreams about death sometimes, and it's important to remember that our unconscious mind is speaking in symbols, and not to be taken literally. 

Death indicates transformation. 

And how profound is the transformation from Winter to Spring? As I find myself at the end of a two year long 'Winter' season in my personal life in the form of burnout, there is a lot happening under the surface. My old patterns are challenged every day, as they are already dead, and new habits are surfacing. However, my ego tries to hold on to every thread. This explains the feelings of grief, as the old story is falling away, making way for something new

Old wounds are healing and we will rise.

One of my coaching clients experienced it like she was dying herself, which can be a scary experience! But as I explained to her, only the construct of ego is dying, and she will rise up, out of the ashes, and her Spirit will bloom again, this time showing her her true colors. 

Hold on, let the waves crash down on you. They will take you to the shore where they will place you carefully and lovingly in the bright Sun. (Aries, a fire sign, is up next!).

Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
— Prof. Stephen Hawking

As I was writing this Moon Report, the news of Stephen Hawking's passing reached me. Contemplating about transformation and death, I realized that, during his life, he died at least thousand deaths. Every time he lost another function of his body, due to his neurological disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), he had to change and transform, to reinvent himself in order to be able to breathe, speak and share his visionary ideas. 

Although (or perhaps, because?) he slowly became caged within a limited body, his mind was able to expand to an extent that is not comprehensible to many of us. And in doing so, he completely transformed our collective understanding of the Universe. 

The lesson we can learn from Prof. Hawking is, that when we are able to release our old Self, a thousand times over, we can reach for the stars. 

We are truly limitless.

New Moon in Scorpio - 18th November 2017

I am a bit behind on my blog because I was down with the flu for a week! However, this Moon Report was sent out to newsletter subscribers on November 17th and reached them in time.

Don't wanna miss out on updates? You can subscribe to the Moon Reports and Elemental Life Lines here.

On November 18th we will encounter the New Moon again. The Sun and the Moon will both be lined up in Scorpio. The Moon is not visible ('Dark Moon'), the nights are longer, the November weather is gloomy (at least, here it is) and the sign of Scorpio is also calling us into the Shadows... This New Moon is a time of turning within again, but this time, we need to go even deeper. 

Oh no... I hear you say... no more. Please bear with me, while I explain why this is necessary (there are going to be true gems!).

We all have a few things about ourselves that we really don't like. Traits, thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and so on. Some of this is conscious, but most of it is not. It's pushed into the darkness, shoved under the covers when we were a child. 

It is important to discover these Shadow parts about yourself. Why? Partly, because when you are not aware, you act from them in an uncontrolled way. This side of you has been pushed away so deep that it only surfaces with tremendous force, like a volcano. And usually we don't have control over our volcano eruptions... and these forceful, destructive reactions cause us and others pain and problems. It seems to come out of nowhere, catching us by surprise, and it is often called 'getting triggered' (we see it all over the internet). Sometimes, we already know that we are triggered by certain things, but we still don't see them coming (because our subconscious is very likely to keep the warning signs out of sight, it's a yay or nay system), and when it happens, and we lash out, it's very difficult to take responsibility for it. Looking for external causes for our pain is easier than to look within. Often, we are ashamed of our reactions and they are pushed away into the unconscious again, leaving the energetic scars and broken connections behind.

Why is this happening? 

It's the ego trying to protect you. There have been times in your life, most likely when you were a child, where something very painful happened. This can be anything, big or small, but usually, it has something to do with not being loved or seen or validated. And the negative feelings arising from that are so painful, that the ego decided to make it unconscious, to protect you. Which in itself seems like a noble thing to do. This works for quite some time and is important, but when you are an adult, you don't want to be ruled by your protective ego anymore, because it keeps you in shackles. The ego keeps you safe, small, invisible, to protect you. And when you have to make big decisions, around your life's purpose, your relationships, your work, your ego creates fear to prevent you from making these decisions. It wants you to survive and not leave your job to go for a better career, not break up but stay in an unbalanced relationship, not take a chance on life.... And you keep walking in circles, continue to feel unworthy, small, unlovable... The pain of what once happened to you will resurface, eventually. And then, it's not pretty. It's the volcano thing. 

Recently, I was made aware of something I never thought of, but I think is very important to share. 

"There are dark shadows and there are light shadows."

We all have our DARK shadows (things we see as negative and to be ashamed of, or feel guilty about), but we also have LIGHT shadows. The LIGHT shadows are the things that make us unique, valuable, lovable, great human beings, like creativity, intelligence, beauty, love, abundance, and so on. The things all human beings are born with when we come into our body. Why would these have to be pushed away into the shadows?? Because there have been times, where we instinctively knew, that when we expressed our true Self, we were not safe and that it would be better, safer, that we kept it hidden. That's the tragedy of the Shadow.

The beauty is, that when we dare to dive deep, when we are willing to face whatever DARK shadows we have, we will also find our way back to the LIGHT shadows, and we can bring them to the surface again. And make choices from our Soul.

And that is exactly what this New Moon in Scorpio is asking of you. The breakdown of the protective shell of the ego and the transformation from Self to Soul will be absolutely worth it. 

When you uncover your Shadows, you'll find the Light within.