Mind, Soul

How traveling can change your life 

Just to make it clear, I’m not talking about the comfortable type of traveling here. I’m not talking about the all-inclusive, laying at the-pool-all-day kind of travel. Yes of course, that’s also amazing and maybe to relax is just what you need, but it’s not going to change your perspective.

I’m talking about the long-term, bare bones, backpacking type here. Where you have nearly no privacy, just little comfort and no consistency at all. At first it simply sounds thrilling and fun, like a great adventure. And it is, definitely.

But there’s also a different side to it. The hard, uncomfortable part. That’s the part where you grow.

There are many factors that make life on the road challenging:

  • Loneliness
  • Having to life on a budget 
  • No comfort
  • No consistency
  • No security
  • Being unfamiliar with everything around you
  • Lack of privacy
  • Lack of regularity
  • Having to adapt to new things all the time

But in my opinion this is exactly why traveling is definitely worth it!

It will get you out of your comfort zone, there’s no way around it. While you travel, many of your usual defense mechanisms  fall away. You can’t just retreat back to your private space and hide under the blanket. Your favorite comfort food might not be available. Comforting routines and activities (working out, watching movies, cuddling with your boyfriend..) that normally protect you from yourself are not available.

As a consequence, you are confronted with everything that you would rather hide from. Negative mind patterns, habits and behavior come to the surface. It’s not a comfortable feeling but it’s really cleansing. Furthermore it’s a wonderful opportunity to release all of this negative baggage that is holding you back. You don’t need it anymore, you can just throw it away.

If you then take some time (which you will have to take as it can get really uncomfortable) to consciously work through it (try realeasing your negative emotions and mind patterns) and not retreat to alcohol or exzessiv partying you will feel way lighter and grow immensely.

 So as a matter of fact, traveling forces you to evolve, which can be quite nice, especially if you are already feeling relatively settled but feel that there’s something else that you can’t yet grasp. Traveling is a sure way kick all this rotten garbage out. You just got to make sure you do it with awareness and compassion for yourself. Then you can count on some pretty nice aha-moments.

So to illustrate all this theory let me tell you about what happened for me. One month into traveling I got sick. So eventually all my familiar habits that I used to cover up my insecurities and confusion fell away. I could not eat comfort food because it was simply not available. Drinking alcohol and smoking hurt me so much, that I didn’t even bother trying. There were no parents or boyfriends to comfort me and tell me that everything would be alright. I could not excercise or watch funny movies. Nothing saved me from myself. My shield completely fell away and I was forced to meet negative mind patterns and emotions that had been stuck in myself for a long time. I felt really bad for some days, I was confused and sad. But I never lost hope. I knew this was why I wanted to travel and that I’m only going to grow because of it. And I was right. I used the methods to release negative emotions described in this post and found out incredible things about me.

I had many destructive mind patterns going on that held me back and made me struggle, but I didn’t realize them to this point. Once I noticed them, I could release them and felt way more confident, happy and balanced. So hooray to traveling and I’m looking forward to al the things that I’m going to learn through the next challenges!

Have you already experienced similar things? What did you learn through traveling ?

Namaste 💜

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Mind

How to release negative mind patterns 

Due to my recent inner conflict, I learned an important thing: To really overcome mental/emotional negativity, we need to do two things.

  1. release the emotion from the body as explained in my previous post 
  2. release the negative mind patterns around the problem

The second one is hard to grasp, as we often don’t know why we are feeling a certain way and it is incredibly difficult to find out what exactly is our negative belief as the mind is not eager to just give us the answers freely when we think about our problems. 

In addition to that we often add more negativity to our situation through asking questions which imply that there is something wrong with us. 
These questions can be:
“What is wrong with me ?!”
“Why do I have to feel this way ?!” 
“Why can’t I just get over this ?!”
….
These questions are not only completely useless, they are also harmful because they assume that someone or yourself is to blame for something that shouldn’t be this way. When in reality this situation is just what you need to grow.

So …

  • Be thankful, for what your going through is going to make you stronger and help you evolve. It might also release important blockages which open yourself to more positivity and love in your life.
  • Approach the negative pattern with a positive sense of curiosity. After all, is there something more interesting than getting to know your inner workings?

Now that you adopted a positive attitude, what can you do to finally release the negativity?
Here are two ways that I found the most useful to release a negative mind pattern:

  1. Journaling

Just grab your pen and a piece of paper. Ask yourself (lovingly and gently!) “What is going inside me right now?” And write down everything that comes to your mind. Without thinking about it. Even if it’s complete nonsense. The negative mind pattern will eventually reveal itself. Just as Joan Didion said: “I don’t know what I think before I write about it.”
     

      2. Talk about it 

For this you need a person that you trust and with whom you can be completely at ease. Only if you don’t have to put on a show for this person will you find out what’s truly going on inside. Because that can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable.
So if you’re lucky enough to know such a person, sit down with them and ask them to just listen. They don’t need to provide answers. They will come from you. And then just feel what’s going on and starting talking. If you don’t overthink the right thing will come to your mind. 

~~~~

You found your negative mind pattern? Congratulations, you’ve nearly finished the work. Now you only have to make the conscious effort to notice this pattern every time it gets activated and then release it or replace it lovingly via plain awareness or positive affirmations.

You are still confused? Relax, you’re going to find it out. Just be gentle with yourself and dig a little deeper.

For me, these two ways work wonders and it feels like magic that ones I’m able to pin the negative pattern down it just gets released from my mind. Cheers to good ol’ awareness!

So does this work for you too or do you use different methods ?

Namaste 💜

Mind, Soul

How to release negative emotions

A few days ago I had an emotional breakdown. The nagging feeling inside just got stronger and stronger and my usual defense mechanisms stopped working. So I decided to get my sh*t together and work through it. Easier said than done. I told myself ” just get over it already and think positive “. But of course that didn’t work. I feel that in the spiritual world we often get too hard on ourselves when it comes to experiencing negative emotions and fear. We feel like we’re not really spiritual enough when negativity succeeds in getting us down. 

But in my opinion, personal growth can only happen when we are gentle and honest with ourselves. Falling down is human. Losing control sometimes is okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. In fact, truly experiencing negative emotions can be very beneficial for you spiritual growth/mental health, because it makes you stronger and helps releasing old blockages. 

So here is the way I found most useful when it comes to dealing with negative emotions:

Feeling your way through the discomfort 
In order to release emotions, they need to be felt. Completely, without thinking or judging. To suppress or act them out will only make them stronger and they will come back again stronger. 

How to truly feel an emotion:
It is actually easier than it sounds. Let go of the story and the thoughts that you tell yourself by not labeling the emotion. Just concentrate on the bodily sensation. No words are needed. Scan your body and feel where the emotion causes you to tense or tighten your muscles. Does your chest feel heavy? Do your face muscles tense? For me personally, I feel fear mostly as a heavy sensation in my chest and a tingling in my arms. Just breath into the sensations and try to stay aware, not running away with your mind. Stay there till you feel how your body releases and the negative emotion loses its power. This can take time, so be gentle with yourself. If you feel overwhelmed by the practice release it and try again. 

Don’t judge yourself if you don’t succeed in releasing the emotion. Even if you were just able to feel your darkness for a second, you will already get great benefits. It’s a learning process.

Don’t expect immediate relief, just stay present and curious about what comes up and see how the feelings change. Over time this practice will become easier and feel lighter, as you learn to stay present with your discomfort, without trying to get your “quick fix” (food,sex,television…). These defense mechanisms may give you short term relief but will only sow the seed for even worse feelings. So try to stick with it and find the courage to show up for yourself, even when it gets really uncomfortable. You can do it!

It may seem hard at first but I found that it is the only effective way to create lasting change and truly release emotions. And never forget you are not alone. Everyone experiences negative emotions and fear. So let’s get out of that together.

If you tried this method, does it work for you? Or do you have a different approach that works better for you?

Namaste 💜