Understanding the world as a mirror

Yes. The world is a mirror. I guess this is my lesson from the past couple of weeks that was wanting to be learned. The realization is trickling in as I sit here in Grandpa’s spare room at my desk with my mug of tea, enjoying the silence. It’s a sunny day outside, the last one of April is looking like it might be one of the finest ones of the month, too. I will go out later, but for now I am in this blissful state of not having to do anything, not being available, just present. Awake and breathing.

There has been a lot going on lately:

  • Progress on the building site: Many offers of support, useful ideas and advice came my way after I had shared the struggle we were facing. It was right to break through the shame and the doubt and call for help. The replies I got confirmed my belief that people are in general kind and willing to help one another – humankind is not a hopeless case. We found a local company that is now setting up a roof for our barn. With our remaining budget we will be just about able to afford that plus windows and doors and then we’ll see what comes next. Applying for state funding, crowdfunding or my businesses soaring to new heights – there are options. The workshop barn has its very own microsite now and I have re-activeted my Instragram channel to share regular updates on the project.

  • Sailing experience: Five days at the beginning of April, three women, one boat and the southwestern corner of the baltic sea as a playground – that was our recipe for an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot again – at times feeling like I was fully in my element, at times being humbled by how much there still is to understand and how powerful the forces of nature are – especially when they don’t play to your favour. Sharing a small space with others can be a challenge, too. We mastered it by being aware of one another, looking after each other, taking me-time when we needed it. This personal skipper coaching was made possible through a barter deal: I coached Deike in building up her own business (check it out here!) and in return, she ventured out with us and shared her knowledge and experience.
  • Passing on my gifts at work: I facilitated and co-facilitated several on-site workshops in Berlin, Stuttgart, Mannheim, Brunswick etc. – always accompanied by one or two colleagues from hppyppl. The frequent trips from way up north down and across the country in the past 12 months have been exhausting. I do not mind one every 4-6 weeks, but at times I spent more than 50% of my time on the road and that was clearly too much for me and my body. I feel it is time now to pass the baton and enable younger colleagues to do what I do – just as well and in their own style. It feels rewarding to see others grow and learn. I am chuffed to see how well and how differently from me they handle certain situations. It’s a fine line because I do not want to overburden them and yet I don’t want to take up more space than needed.
  • New opportunities up north: At the same time, new connections have materialized in Hamburg, Schleswig and Flensburg. We are co-creating a new female businesss network (more to come) and I am collaborating with my colleague Franziska from Empulse on a project in Hamburg with a series of workshops, helping an HR department to reinvent itself and its work. I find it fascinating how our styles, methods and experience complement each other and can’t wait to see us in action.

Ok, so what does this have to do with a mirror? Well, my realization is twofold:

  • Sometimes, the best way to get what I need is to give what I need: Be it attention, kindness, softness, generosity, understanding, ideas. There is a tendency that things come back. In order to give, you need to have. And here is where the second part comes in:
  • When I neglect myself or exploit myself, when I nurture destructive patterns and am harsh or unkind to myself – this will also have an impact on how I meet the outside world. And in turn, how the world meets me. Sometimes, when disaster strikes on the outside, it can be an invitation to look inside yourself. Realize what has been missing, what has been out of whack and then starting the change with the smallest possible piece of the system that you can influence: You.

Wishing you a wonderful May, wherever this finds you.

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