More summer joys

Here are some more pictures from this summer. When it’s really hot, then I enjoy a walk in the shady forest around a lake.

Lake in Walldorf, Germany
Britzer Garden, Berlin
A blackbird in my parents’ garden. He was not shy and bathed very close to us.

Life lessons of fruit

As I took a walk around the fields in the lovely evening sun plucking blackberries and other fruit, I thought about how nature provides many metaphors for life.

The harvest of an evening walk. Blackberries, plums, mirabelles, and cherry plums. Much more than my lunchbox can hold.

The plum tree won‘t grow blackberries, no matter how often it is told by society to grow blackberries because ‚that’s what everyone else does here‘. Every plant grows the fruit that it is designed to grow.

What is mine to do? What fruit do I bring forth? Currently, it is writing blogposts about the orchestrating force behind the veil.

Even though there is an abundance of fruit, plucking it requires a bit of effort and attention. Dangers and hurdles are everywhere. The blackberry bushes have thorns and are frequently accompanied by stinging nettles. And in front of the plum trees, I walked into some burry plants which ended up sticking on my pants. And even eating the fruit comes with dangers. The wasps on our patio wanted to have their share of the plums.

I think back to all the hurdles I had to get over in life in order to come to where I am now.

Plucking fruit before it is ripe is not a good idea. The fruit tastes sour.

When did I force some of my fruit to be plucked even though it was not ripe? When did I try to get something from someone else which they were not ready to give?

The best fruit can be found on paths which are apart from the main streets.

I have found the biggest gems of insight apart from mainstream culture.

I had intended to harvest blackberries. But I came back with just a few blackberries and many mirabelles instead because I stumbled across them.

Life can sometimes take an unexpected turn and we get what we didn‘t intend in the beginning.

One could separate the fruits neatly into blackberries, cherry plums, mirabelles, and plums. But a fruit salad with the diversity tastes much better.

Diversity is important. Wouldn‘t it be boring if we were all the same?

The fruit contains seeds which can grow new plants.

The fruit we grow as humans also plants seeds and then the cycle continues anew.

Inner peace and the universe taking care of things: the team event story

Here is a story about my upset calming down and the universe taking care of things with divine timing.

This was a luxury problem. Really, I felt like I shouldn’t have been upset in the first place. But I was having an inner temper tantrum nevertheless.

Why? Because I was about to have to attend a day of enforced socializing with team members at work.

The planned team event and my resistance

The circumstances were benign. We would be allowed to take the time from an entire workday. There would be a generous budget to spend. And we could even choose for ourselves how we would like to spend the day as a team. Sounds wonderful, doesn‘t it.

But the downside was that -in contrast to the ususal company outings- this event was mandatory. Sort of. To make team members meet after the Corona break. Which I do understand. And in addition, this sort-of-mandatoriness wasn’t communicated clearly enough and not early enough.

Since I had to attend, I stated my conditions. The event had to take place outside to minimize the danger of getting COVID19 (as I got only one vaccination and am basically unvaccinated). And not farther away than my usual bike ride to work because I would not want to buy a public transport ticket. And during the workday, please, because I don’t want to spend my evenings for work events.

Among several options, the team chose to do archery combined with BBQ lunch. I thought that archery might be a bit too strenuous for my shoulder because of my rheumatoid arthritis. But never mind. I had agreed to participate and I would just sit at the side and watch, eat, and do chit-chat.

So, that sounded very generous from the company side and very nice of my coworkers to accomodate my conditions and like I should have been grateful.

But I was not.

I am an introvert. And the thought of having to spend not just lunch but at least half a day with small talk with team members put me off. My coworkers are really nice people. It’s just that I can only connect with two of them on a personal basis while for the rest I don’t know what to talk about. And with the two people I can connect with, I’d rather meet them one-on-one than in a group setting. And I‘d rather be by myself and get some work done than spend the day socializing.

So, my inner alarm, defensiveness, and resistance were on high alert. I was pissed that we would be expected to attend (even though similar events in earlier years had never been mandatory) and that the communication about that fact was unclear and not early enough.

And then I spent way too much time mentally with this planned event. Not only did I google different options of bike routes I could take and the public transport options as a backup, but I also spent hours reading about whether such events can be made mandatory in Germany at all, how other introverts felt about such situations, and how they dealt with them.

But since I had already agreed to participate, I figured that at some point it was probably best to come into a state of inner peace about it ( – this had always been proven to be good in the past – ) and just go and see what happens . Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad?

Cancellations

We tried to get an archery instructor for the only date where almost everyone had time. But last minute, it turned out that the archery organization could not find an instructor for us on that date. We would have to look for another date. Even though I had made peace in my mind with having to attend, I experienced a huge relief when I heard that this date was canceled.

Then the events took another unexpected turn. A day later, we were told that we were to rather save money and that also meant that the team event would be canceled for this year.

Even though I felt truly sorry for my colleagues and the team coordinator, for me, this cancelation due to spending cuts felt like a huge relief. I also felt gratitude and wonder about the ways of the universe. Isn’t it nice how things are taken care of?

Synchronicities

And some funny synchronicities occurred: When I thought about sharing this story, Facebook brought up an ad about about a sculpture of a woman who did archery and the sculpture was made of willow branches. And when I looked at my spam comments in WordPress, one of the spam comments was by username “Crystal Bogenschutz”. “Bogenschutz” is very similar to the German translation for the English word “archer”.

But there were also some not so funny synchronicities. It was as if the topic of ‘cancellation’ showed up all around me. After the team event had been canceled, there were also other completely unrelated events in my environment which were canceled or shifted, too (like several trains and a funeral). I kept wondering whether that was just a coincidence or whether it showed that all is connected.

What was this about?

I am relieved that this is over for now, at least (- who knows what will happen next year…). But I am still wondering what this has been all about.

I know that I can get disproportionately triggered, angry, and stubborn whenever someone tries to force me to do something I don’t want to do. It doesn’t just happen with things related to work but it happened in general, for example, also with family members or the administration of our little town Walldorf. A psychic reading from a couple of years ago told me that this anger might be due to many past lives as a victim. Maybe that old wound came up again this time.

Or maybe it was about learning to trust more that things will work out once I make peace with them. The first cancellation happened after I had agreed to participate in the team event and after I had come to a state of acceptance and inner peace. And I have experienced this many times that the state of letting go and inner peace is what allows life to fold itself in such ways that things will change for the better.

Finding lovely things

Lately during June 2022, I have been blessed with finding little, lovely things.

First, I went to the forest by bike and locked my bike at the entrance of the forest. Where the thicket of blackberry branches and weeds had been mowed recently, I saw something silvery on the ground. It lay upside down and I couldn’t see what it was. I picked it up from the dirt and it was a little angel with a zirkon in his heart. A keychain pendant. I was only able to see that angel because the high thicket of weeds and thorny twines had been cut down.

On the angel, the date April 15 was printed. I wondered whether there was a message for me and looked up the date. April 15 was the Christian holiday Good Friday (crucifixion day) this year (2022). What’s up with crucifixion for me? Maybe some message about transformation.

During the next days, I continued to find something every other day. Mostly, I found little hearts made from silver plastic foil. Our neighbor had just had a wedding party. Maybe these hearts were blown by the wind from his house to mine. Whatever the natural cause of that, it was nice to find a couple of hearts every other day.

On one day, I found a rose in our backyard on the ground right beneath my chair. It was already dried and brown. I think it was the one I had cut from our rosebush because it grew through the fence and then I had thrown it on a pile of compost right next to the fence. How did it get from there to the patio right beneath my chair? It is unlikely that the wind blew it there. It would have been stuck in the hedge which is between the fence and the patio. Did an animal carry it there? But what kind of animal would carry a rose with a long stem all that way?

Even though there might be a perfectly normal explanation for all these little things, I interpreted them as little love messages from some benevolent force beyond the veil and said a silent ‘thank you’ each time.

Benefits of inner peace

The weather forecast had said there would be heavy rains. Would I still be able to take a walk outside? As I walked around the field trusting that it would work out, I saw that it was raining from dark clouds to the north and to the south very close to where I was. For me, however, it was sunny and I remained dry.

I enjoyed the beautiful view of a meadow glowing in the setting sun against the backdrop of a dark, cloudy sky.

Meadows in Walldorf (Germany)

I think this is a metaphor for how things work in life. Even if there is a bad forecast of shit hitting the fan, if I remain in inner peace and trust that things will work out well and that I will be taken care of, then life tends to fold itself in such ways that things do turn out well.

It does not mean to be a doormat. There can still be boundary setting and appropriate action against threatening behavior. But the action has to be inspired from that place within which is peaceful, i.e. the awareness which is looking out through our eyes and which is the same for everyone, the void, Source, however you want to call it.

It is like inner peace is the license for miracles.

I have to tell that to myself over and over again when I feel threatened with bad news in my personal life or on a more global level.

Useful lists during the spiritual journey

I like to keep (check)lists for all sorts of stuff. There are, of course, the lists which come in handy for more mundane things like shopping lists or vacation packing checklists. But I have extended this habit to other areas of my life and want to share which lists I found useful regarding the spiritual journey.

Journaling

I keep a journal. This is a list, too, even though you might not think of it as that at first. I write down dreams, messages from the inner voice, synchronicities, little signs I find along the way, and also musings and rants about my inner conflicts.

I find the journal useful for relieving pressure when something triggered me. After I write an angry rant, I try to find another angle to look at things. And maybe a channeled message from the wise inner voice comes through to give me some insight.

It is also good to keep track of things regarding what happened when. While I do remember most things which happened, I tend to forget in which order they happened. It was useful to have journal notes when I wrote down my story and shared it here on WordPress.

Books I’d like to read and books I have read

I read a lot. Especially in the beginning of my spiritual journey in 2006/2007, I devoured books during every free minute I had during the day. When I read a captivating book, it feels better than eating the most delicious piece of chocolate candy. Yummy, rich, makes me euphoric and feels deeply satisfying.

Here, I keep two lists. One with the books I would like to read. Everytime, I come across some fascinating book author, I put it on my list. This ensures that I always have a pipeline with chocolate candy equivalents filled up.

The other list contains the books I have read, just very short with title, author, and date when I read it.

Mission vs Fears

Another useful list is about my mission. Whenever I had an insight about what it was that my sould wanted me to do here on earth, I wrote that into the list. The insight could come from a dream message, from recurring patterns in daily life, or from a channeling from a psychic medium, for example.

Whenever I get confused and stuck, I can return to this list and read it again. It contains many puzzle pieces collected over the years which together give a more complete picture of where my path is heading.

Connected to the list of puzzle pieces which point to my mission is another list. Why am I not doing what I am obviously supposed to do? What is holding me back? This is the List of Fears. Here, I write down all the “what ifs” and everything which comes up as reason for my resistance to guidance ( – and, yep, unfortunately it is a long list).

Now, I don’t suggest that this is the best way to do it for everyone. Some might argue that it solidifies it to write all the fears down and that it would be better to write it down on paper (instead of electronically) and then burn it afterwards. And maybe they are right. I just share how I did it.

Writing down the fears can be a first step of getting some clarity about them. What to do about the fears would another topic entirely.

The Long List of Many Blessings

At some point in my journey around 2016, the inner voice told me regarding a good thing (the long awaited promotion at work) which had just been announced, ‚This is just the beginning of many blessings.‘

I heard that and thought, wow, I wonder what else will happen? And whether it is really a blessing or not ? Because sometimes my spirit guides and I have very differing viewpoints on whether something is a blessing or a curse.

So, I wanted to keep track of all these promised future blessings and I started My Long List of Many Blessings and wrote short entries (one liners in bullet point style) for everything extraordinary or noteworthy which occurred and for which I felt grateful.

This list is useful for reading when I have a low, grumpy mood, fretting about how much reincarnation and the recurring amnesia suck. Or whenever I am about to write a list inside my mind about the top 100 behaviors which piss me off about people trigger me, I can catch myself and go back to read that list of blessings. It tends to lift my mood and shift me into gratitude when I review it or when I write new entries into it.

Writing this blogpost was a welcome opportunity to revisit the list of blessings.

Art in nature (part 4): seeing faces

Sometimes, I see faces in trees. They might be man-made and obvious or very subtle and show up only after processing the picture with the photo app.

Some trees were marked by the foresters with two white dots and then someone else had fun with decorating them:

A face carved into a dead tree by an unknown artist:

I see a long, thin female face on the bottom part of this tree where the bark is missing. The ivy on both sides looks like it is her hair.

A chubby, doll-like face on the upper part of the purple area (which was originally greyish-white) appeared after processing the picture with the photo app.

And last, I noticed a face on a concrete cube at the side of a parking lot. There were many concrete cubes, but I didn‘t see faces of the others. Only on this one which is right across from the bench where I usually sit and take a break during my weekend walk. The weird thing is that I have come across this cube many times during many years already. But only recently (in June 2022) did I notice a face on it.

Is this just the human brain’s tendency to interpret faces into any pattern or is it something more? I don’t know. But taking walks is much more fun when I pay attention to unusual sights.

Be who you are

During the first half of June 2022, I’ve had several long conversations with different people, and the common theme was always about simply daring to be who you are and not giving in to the fear of „what if others don’t accept me?“ I realized that the fear of being ridiculed and ostracized is all pervasive and some people rather get sick or commit suicide than come out of hiding. So, I took this as the writing prompt for this week‘s post.

***

Here‘s to all the people who don‘t fit into the norm.

To all the people of the LGBTIQ spectrum who struggle to come out.

To all the mystics living secretly among muggles.

To all the introverts who are are coerced to party after work with their extroverted colleagues.

To all those who have been sexually abused by family members or by priests of the church and struggle to find someone who believes their story.

To all who’ve had extraordinary experiences like spiritually transformative experiences or alien abductions but who are ridiculed when they talk about it.

To all the black swans and white peacocks.

Be who you are. Unapologetically. Because the effort of hiding and pretense takes a huge toll.

Share your story. Writing your hero’s journey not only helps you to process your experience, but sharing it feels freeing and could also encourage and help others.

Dare to shine.

You are beautiful.