From overwhelm to spirituality (part 4/4): loneliness and lessons


During this initial phase of my journey, there was the urge to read and also the awe and wonder about the miracles and synchronicities. Okay, that was wonderful.

But there was also an enhanced feeling loneliness!

My head was bursting with all the new insights I had discovered in books and through real life experience. But there was nobody with whom I could share it. My whole wordview had just been turned upside-down, the world was not what it seemed to be just a few months before.

I was full of new knowledge and awe, but also full of doubt and confusion. Did these synchronicities really mean something? Or did I make these things up? Was I going crazy? After all, I came from a materialistic and scientific worldview. All this new stuff was totally opposed to what I had believed to be true.

Had anyone in my family or among my colleagues ever experienced all this weird stuff and could relate to what I saw?

I made a few attempts to share in my family what I was experiencing. They did not send me to a mental ward, but they reacted slightly astonished and amused, and also with  disbelief and belittlement.

No escape from stress and lessons in reciprocity

It would be nice to be able to tell you that I just needed to read a few books, changed a few of my beliefs, experienced a couple of miracles, and -poof!- all my problems in life evaporated and I lived happily ever after.

But unfortunately, it did not work like that.

Even though it was awe-inspiring to discover the unseen realm by reading and with little miracles, it did not solve all my problems. Even though I had the theoretical (and partially experiential) understanding that God was in all things, that I could ask and would receive, and that all was well, I still felt overwhelmed by competing demands of the outside world (children, family, kindergarten teachers). Often, I was helpless with decisions: What should I do now? No matter how I decided, someone was always going to be pissed off.

Therefore, I had the strong impulse to just flee from everything because the outside world seemed to be the problem. I imagined how peaceful life could be without quarreling children, demanding relatives and neighbors, and obnoxious pre-school teachers.

How nice it would be to live in a cave!

But I stayed and tried to learn my lessons. This was where the rubber hit the road. Spirituality didn’t allow me to escape everyday problems. But somehow I needed to integrate the theoretical book knowledge into life in the marketplace as a working mom.

The lessons of the universe at that point (2009) were mainly about reciprocity.

For example, my husband was upset about the fact that our car was dirty.

‘How can someone be angry about an unimportant issue like this? To me, a car is fine as long as it gets me safely from A to B, ’ I thought.

But the next day, I felt upset because our new kitchen towels had brown stains.


Okay, thank you, universe. I got the message. Why do I think that kitchen towels are more important than a car?

Everything seemed to say:
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?‘ (Matt. 7:3)

Further topics in the curriculum included lessons about the fact that we are all connected in consciousness and that we are safe and guided.

Over and over again, the topic occurred that thought is creative.

The importance of inner peace was stressed extensively.
In Germany, the cardboard game Parcheesi is called Mensch-Ärgere-Dich-Nicht, which means ‘Man, don’t get mad’. The benefit of inner peace became so clear to me that I got the impression that life in duality is a ‘Man-don’t-get-mad-game’.

In retrospect, I had to learn to find my inner peace, and to find my wise inner voice. I had to learn to say ‘no’, even if someone else would be upset. My former strategy of being obedient to the voices of others didn’t work anymore. Instead, I had to be obedient to my inner voice.


Using the metaphor of the hike, the road had become rocky again. The feeling of overwhelm and the subsequent seeking for inner peace had first led me to try several side roads which turned out to be dead-end streets.

But then this led to the discovery of spirituality. Even though, the stress and overwhelm did not vanish immediately afterwards, I regard this definitely as another important turning point on my path.

And this time, I was slowly starting to walk up the mountain.



I had started to read A Course in Miracles (ACIM) which is about forgiveness and finding the inner peace and inner teacher.

And life had something in store for me regarding the challenge of finding my inner peace.


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From overwhelm to spirituality (part 3/4): more miracles

It’s story time again. Enjoy some more miracle stories from the beginning of my spiritual journey.

The magic hill

December 15, 2007. We were on a weekend gathering with my parents and my brother’s family.

On a cold and windy afternoon, we took a hike up a long hill. My younger son (almost 3 years old) was too exhausted and wanted to be carried by me. No way. I refused. He was much too heavy.

Therefore, I tried to entice him,
“Look. This is a magic hill. Once you have walked up to the top, you can say a wish and it will be fulfilled.”

I knew what he was going to wish for. It was not hard to guess since every other sentence he uttered contained the word ‘digger’.

We arrive at the top and my son mumbled,
“I want a big digger.”

“Louder, honey. You must shout it so the magic hill can hear it, ” I said.

“I want a big digger! ” he shouted.

I was relieved that we had arrived and thought he would get his digger as a Christmas present in less than two weeks.

However, the next day we took a hike again, this time a different route. And what did we see on the field, in December?

Not a real digger, but there was a tractor with a fork at the front – in the middle of December on an icy cold day in the middle of an empty field. Unusual, isn’t it?

And my brother suddenly had the idea to ask the driver whether my son could enter the tractor and join him.


He got a ride on the tractor. Wish fulfilled. No need to wait until Christmas.

That was impressive. Even my 3-year-old son was able to manifest what he wished for.

Wishing for snow

Because I bike to work even in the winter, I am usually not too fond of snow and luckily we don’t get a lot of snow here.

But during Christmas 2007, I had hoped there would be some snow so that my kids could go on a sleigh ride.

On December 25, there was no snow. When the next day started and it was still not snowing, I had almost given up hope.

But then, miraculously, at noon it started to snow and at 2 pm we went for a sleigh ride to a tiny hill on the nearest playground. Hooray!

But what about my way to work? On December 28, I would have to bike to work again and would need a snow-free street. I was a bit tense. Would everything be okay?

I needn’t have worried. On Dec. 27, the snow thawed and the next day I could bike to work without issues.

A neighbor sent by heaven

Feb. 12, 2008. I was busy in our garden when a neighbor walked by and started some small-talk with me. Her kids were also preschoolers, just like ours.

Suddenly she said, “Oh, by the way, the usual afternoon group in the kindergarten is canceled today. Did you know?”

Oh my gosh! No, I didn’t know that. I had completely forgotten.

What a blessing that heaven had sent her to let me know. Otherwise, I would have picked up my child too late from the kindergarten.

Divine puppets

Feb. 15, 2008. After witnessing so many miracles and synchronicities, my worldview shifted. Before the start of my spiritual journey, I assumed that everything in the 3d world is like many separate things moving randomly about.

However, after all these unlikely and miraculous coincidences,  I got the idea that we are all like puppets on a giant, invisible, guiding hand, or something like puppets on an octopus with millions of arms. An image popped into my mind of a transparent light-blue octopus with a tiny red puppet on the tip of each arm.

I shared this idea with a fellow traveler on the spiritual path, but I remember that this guy didn’t get what I was talking about. Maybe, he was turned off by the idea of comparing God or Source to an octopus? I was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t understand me.

But in the evening my little son of merely 3 years (who knew nothing of the divine puppets analogy) climbed on my lap, looked at me seriously, and  said,
“Such is life”.

The umbrella

‘Oh, no!’ I thought as I looked out of the window and saw that it was raining cats and dogs. It was March 2008 and I was in the bus on my way to a training workshop in Heidelberg. If the rain  wouldn’t stop soon, I would be totally drenched on the short way from the bus stop to the venue. My mood darkened as I imagined how it would feel to sit through a whole workshop day with damp trousers on my legs.

At my destination stop, I was the only one who got off the bus, surrendering to my fate.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. An ownerless umbrella was leaning against the railing of the bus stop.  That was too good to be true. Normally, I don’t steal umbrellas, but this seemed like a gift from heaven for me.

So, with a silent “Thank you”, I took the umbrella and arrived at the workshop with dry clothes.

The white feather

July 2009. I was thinking about feathers and their meaning as signs. Little, white fluffy feathers. How sweet.

‘Oh, how I wish that the universe would send me one, too!’ I thought.

The very next day, my older son came to me and said, “Mom, close your eyes.”

And then he tickled my nose with a large white fluffy feather.

Stinging nettles and connection

Around May 24, 2009. It was a sunny day and I was walking with family along a paved path between fields, my kids some 100 meters (330 feet) in ahead of me.

I saw my little son had wandered off the paved way right into the meadow when suddenly he started to scream, “Mommy! Aaahh! Come here!”

I wanted to run to him right away. But before I could do so, something grabbed my attention.

There was a sudden pain on my left calf which made me  bow down and inspect my leg. Had I been bitten by something? Where did the pain come from, seemingly out of nowhere?

I could not determine the source of the pain and decided to get to my child quickly to see what was bothering him.

It turned out that he had fallen into stinging nettles. And they had burned his left calf on the very same place where I had felt the sudden pain on my left calf.

That was a lesson on how we are all connected via consciousness.


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From overwhelm to spirituality (part 2/4): miracles

In this initial phase of the spiritual journey, my feeling was one of awe and wonder about the unseen realm. The following  stories may illustrate this.

The headache

One morning in 2006, I had a snippet of a song running in my mind,
…and gives me such a headache?’
It took me a while to figure out that it belonged to the introduction spoken before the song I Got Life  from the musical Hair.

In the evening, I had a headache. That was very unusual for me. I rarely get headaches.

After a while, I remembered that line which was playing in my  mind which said, ‘…and gives me such a headache?’. And here I was now with a real headache. Was there any connection or was this mere coincidence?

As soon as I had remembered that this line had been playing in my head on that morning, the headache ceased.

In retrospect, I think that my guides were trying to teach me a lesson about the creative power of thought.

The ladybug

“Mommy, do angels really exist?” my older son asked me. He was about 4 years old.

My first impulse was to tell him that they are not real. But then I hesitated.

“Yes, they are real. But they are very shy and we must listen carefully in order to be able to hear them,” was the answer that I heard escape from my lips.

He seemed to accept that response.

‘What did I just say? Where did that come from?’  I wondered.

Then we walked into his room. Outside it was a dark and rather cold winter evening.

As I opened the door to the balcony, a little ladybug flew into the room and landed right above my heart.

I was in awe. A ladybug in winter time – how unusual! As if some angels were giving me applause for telling my son to learn to listen carefully.

Grandma’s visit

One night in 2006 or 2007, I had dream where my grandmother, who had died a few years earlier, appeared to me.

“We see what you are doing and we like it,” she said.

That seemed like a real message from her. She wanted to convey that she approved of my interest in spiritual matters and wanted to encourage me to go further into that direction.

The answering machine

After experiencing so many miracles, I was in awe of the invisible Source that surrounds and permeates everything. And I longed for more and more connection.

Even if I could not hear God’s voice like Neale Donald Walsch could in his books Conversations with God, couldn’t God at least leave me a message in another way, for example on my answering machine? (Yeah, sounds silly, I know.)

Then one evening when our family was in the living room around the dinner table, suddenly the answering machine went on just as if someone had called.

But nobody left a message.

And the strange thing was that the phone hadn’t rung before.

“This is spooky,” my husband said.

I was stunned and in awe. Somehow my wishes really seemed to be answered.

Saved from an accident

Sept 28, 2007. It was evening. My children and I were talking a walk around the fields. It was getting dark.

I was aware that this was about to become dangerous. There were no street lamps and we didn’t have flash lights, so the small paved roads around the fields were dark. But we started running just for fun.

Then all of a sudden, there was a sharp pain in my left ankle. I needed to stop and wait at the side of the small paved street with both of my children next to me.

Suddenly, a guy on a bicycle drove by real fast – with no lights on.
After he had passed, the pain in my ankle stopped immediately and we could walk home.

The pain in my ankle made me stop at the side of the road and saved us from being run over.

Magic numbers

Oct 9, 2007. I had scheduled a past-life regression hypnosis for the next day and was a bit anxious.

The night before the hypnosis, I could not sleep too well. I woke up and pressed the light switch on my clock on my nightstand.

It showed 3:33 am.

That was remarkable not only because of the number sequence, but also because the light switch of the clock used to not work correctly and would usually illuminate only the hours, but not all the digits of the minutes. Except for this time, when the light shone on all the numbers.

Back then, I did not know anything about the symbolic meaning of numbers and how they are often used as messages in an attempt of spirit to communicate with us. But I took it as a sign of reassurance that I was protected and well taken care of and went back to restful sleep.

The no 1 at the bike rack

I usually bike to work and put my bike into the bike rack. In November  2007, I happened to use the same place in the bike rack almost every day.

Then one day, something caught my attention. Over several days some things seemed to be assembled down there on the floor.

At first, an old marker pen appeared.
Then it was joined by a feather.
And finally, by an acorn.

I never touched anything and just watched with curiosity how these items appeared at ‘my’ bike rack and were then arranged by an invisible hand from behind the veil.

After a couple of days or weeks, the whole thing had moved from an accidental mess to what looked like the number 1 (not in American style, but in European writing style).

It was too neatly placed to be a mere coincidence.

I wondered what it meant. Was there a symbolic meaning of number 1? Or maybe that all is one?  I couldn’t decide.

But I got the impression that there was some very powerful unseen force behind the visible 3D world.

And that invisible force wanted to get a point across.


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).



From overwhelm to spirituality (part 1/4)

I was sitting on the sofa in my living room and staring at the incredibly messy shelf at the wall across from me. Amid the pile of toys on the floor, my two little children were engaged in one of their usual play fights. I was trying to relax, but my mind was as messy as the bookshelf and the floor.

My thoughts were constantly hovering between the need to clean up the mess, to discipline my children, or to get stuff done from my never ending four or five to-do lists. The stiffness, weakness, pain, and fatigue from the rheumatoid arthritis made it even worse.

Oh, how I craved an inner calm and relaxed feeling state of mind!

What hadn’t I tried during the last years in order to get a handle on this feeling of overwhelm. Getting organized better, like boxing up the toys from the floor and putting them away.

I had read through a pile of magazines about decorating the home, being sure that I would be able to feel calmer and more relaxed if only I managed to shape up my living room like in one of those beautiful pictures.

I had read Getting Things Done  by David Allen and also tried to apply the suggested process in order to get a handle on my to-do lists. Great book.

But somehow it all didn’t seem to work for me. All of it was only a superficial cure against the feeling of being overwhelmed by the excessive demands of life.

I was staring at the messy shelf when I suddenly realized,

‘Actually, I don’t want a nicer living room. What I really want is inner peace.’

Boooom! (Now imagine a stage with a lot of smoke and fireworks as the magician pulls a rabbit out of the hat).

“Here you are!“ said the universe the next day and led me to a website which had not only content about homeopathy (which was my passion at that time), but also articles about little children who started to talk spontaneously about their past life memories.

Past lives? Immediately, I was hooked.

In consider this the start of my spiritual journey around the end of 2006.

Urge to read

After that initial article on the internet, I wanted to know more and developed an urge to read.

The first spiritual book that I read was about reincarnation: Children’s Past Lives by Carol Bowman. That touched me deeply.

It shattered my worldview once again. I was lying in bed reading this book where little children of 3-4 years of age would tell out of the blue that they have lived another live before and who they were and how things were different back then.

I felt the floor shake under me, so dizzy did I feel. And initially, I became afraid as I realized that this world is not remotely what I thought it was.

We are not our body!

I always thought that the sense of ‘I’ and my thoughts were a result of the electrical signals in my brain. But, no!  It was the other way around.

If there was reincarnation, then that had to mean that I could exist independently of my body. And if neuroscience tried to find out how thoughts emerged from the brain, that was just as useless as trying to find out how the evening news were created by watching the electron streams in the TV. There was plenty of evidence, not only from investigation of reincarnation (e.g. by Ian Stevenson) but also from near-death experiences (NDE), that our consciousness existed independently of a brain.

In the following months, my interest in homeopathy suddenly dropped to zero and I read only books on spirituality. I devoured them. Even though my life was very busy with a job and my little kids, I found time to read many books. Early in the morning, in the bathroom even before breakfast, and late in the evening, I would find some time for reading.

The next subject on my reading list was channeled stuff:

Conversations with God by N. D. Walsch, The Seth Material by Jane Roberts, The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks, and A Course in Miracles  (ACIM).

That was my next aha moment:

There is a wise inner voice inside each of us.

And some are actually able to hear it! Wow, I wish I could hear that, too!

Actually, one day being able to hear the voice of inner guidance was a huge motivation for me on the spiritual path – besides the initial call for peace. I often felt that having to make an important decision was quite a burden, and I hoped that guidance of a wise inner voice would make life easier.

Later, I read The Enneagram by Rohr and Ebert which triggered another insight:

There is so much unconscious stuff in me of which I was not aware.

I found myself to be type 5 in the Enneagram (investigator, observer). That is someone who lives mainly in his head, likes theories, and in addition has an issue with loss of privacy. How the heck did they know that reading tons of non-fiction books is connected to a resistance of going public?  I had read various models of personality types, but by none of them did I feel as X-rayed as by the Enneagram.

Then in one of the books on esoteric knowledge and spirituality, I came upon the word ‘enlightenment’. What was that?

It sounded like the ultimate wisdom, the ultimate vantage point.

I asked myself and others how an enlightened one would deal with two fighting, disobedient children, a frequently occurring situation which was particularly stressful to me. Would this situation still stress me after enlightenment? Would I know better how to react?

I asked the question to some people on an email distribution list on the topic of spirituality. But nobody there could answer this question. So, I had to find out by myself.

I started to read anything about enlightenment that I could get my hands on. I wanted to find an answer to the following questions:

  • What is enlightenment?
  • What is the journey towards it like? What happens and what does it feel like?
  • What is life like for the enlightened one?

I devoured mainly autobiographies because I felt these would best answer my questions. Some of these books were my favorites. Among the ones that I read more than three times were the books by Jed McKenna, Bernadette Roberts, Suzanne Segal (Collision with the Infinite) Sally Bongers (Everyday Enlightenment), and books related to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) (by Gary Renard, and  Carrie Triffet).

In these books, I found many real life stories about the journey towards and after awakening and enlightenment.

The answers to my questions from reading these books were:

Enlightenment is the permanent shift of the self-perception from a separate body-mind to “all that is”. (This is not to be confused with mystical states of union with the divine that occur as a temporary peak experience   during meditation.)

The journey towards it is different for everyone, but there are some milestones and phases which are similar in most journeys.

There are many features that originate from that state where the separate self has fallen away, e.g. non-attachment, unconditional peace, acceptance, and knowing how to deal appropriately with each situation.

This was all theoretical book-knowledge just from reading, of course. However, the aha moment for me was:

If I assume that I am this body-mind with all its attributes and its history, then I am living in an illusion.

What fueled my search then from now on was not only the search for inner peace but also the search for truth.

If I am not this body-mind, then who or what am I?

Additionally, something else was a huge motivation for me: I wanted to avoid reincarnation at all costs.

After reading many texts on spirituality, my understanding was that we come into this world over and over again. Each time we forget that we are eternal spirit. We even forget our plans for this particular incarnation. The process of remembering our true nature usually involves getting through some difficult experiences which can be potentially traumatizing when they are not properly processed. That means lifetime after lifetime of forgetting and suffering. I wanted to know how do we get off the reincarnation wheel.

Having a body had been great for ballroom dancing. However, due to my painful rheumatic disease, I had come to conclude that incarnation sucks and that I should better avoid another life with a body in 3D space and time.

Where was the emergency exit from this illusion, dammit?

Even though this phase of discovery of another realm was mainly about reading material which shattered my former worldview, I did have the impression that the universe was sending me lessons. That means, things got down from the realm of mere book-knowledge to first-hand experience real fast.

At first, I had my doubts about it. Does life really conspire to send me learning experiences? But then these experiences became too frequent and too unlikely to ignore.


This post is part of a series about my spiritual journey (table of contents).