The importance of relaxation

There are four main factors that have a direct impact on the health of our body, mind and soul:
1. Breathing: How deep and conscious we breathe
2. Nutrition: What and how (much) we eat and drink
3. Relaxation: How much stress we have in our life and if we find time to switch off; the quantity and, more importantly, the quality of our sleep
4. Movement: How (much) we move (strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, coordination)

Yes, relaxing is as important as eating, drinking, breathing and moving! 
You might live longer without relaxation than you do without eating, drinking or breathing, however, long term studies show that relaxation is a necessity and we all know where chronic stress can lead to.
Sadly many people wait too long and only start to begin taking care of themselves when their bodies show some sign of imbalance, like pain, discomfort, complaints or in the worst case, disease.

If you never recharge your batteries sufficiently you will not be able to perform with your full potential. So make sure you look for and find ways that work for you! Go for Yoga classes, get some comfortable running shoes, meditate, treat yourself with a massage every now and then… Do anything that works for you personally.
Make sure you find time to relax, to switch off to maintain and improve your health and to regularly recharge the amount of energy you have available to go through life.

Breakfast variations…

The past weeks I have eaten muesli for breakfast, almost everyday.
I just varied the fruits and milk (rice, spelt, and almond milk) however, since I read this article about rice milk, I decided to no longer buy it.
Every few weeks they discover new things that are bad for your health, that cause cancer, or have other side effects.
Now, I’m not living my life in fear of diseases or death, we’re all going to die eventually, so I don’t think that my life gets dictated by articles like that. But as long as I have good and tasty alternatives (I prefer almond milk to rice milk anyway), I just want to avoid the things that I know cause harm to the body.
I will stick with nut milk from now on. Today I finally bought a nut milk bag, so I can make my own nut milk at home.

At some point I got tired of muesli so I switched to green smoothies for a while, which I really loved. But even that got boring at some point.
Green Smoothie Annika Sukup Never Mind Just Be
One day I made porridge, but I wasn’t happy with the result. I’m just not a big fan of it.
So I was really excited when I saw my friend Lisa’s chia pudding recipe last night.
I have made chia pudding before, and I really loved it, but for some reason it didn’t cross my mind to make it again. Earlier that day I had bought different kinds of nuts and seeds, so I had everything I needed for the pudding.
I was already in bed when I read the recipe. For Chia pudding it’s recommended to let it soak overnight. So I got out of bed again, and prepared everything (it only took a few minutes anyway).
I poured almond milk into a jar (up to about 3/4 full), added

3 Tbs of chia seeds
1/2 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp lucuma powder and
goji berries.

I stirred it well and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning I just added

banana
seeds
nuts

…and voilà, the perfect breakfast is either served to eat right away, or to take it with you if you’re already in a rush.

Chia Pudding Annika Sukup Never Mind Just Be
Now I’m the type of person, if I find something (new) that I like, I eat it over and over again, every day, until I cannot see it anymore. At some point in my teenage years I ate pizza every day for a month.
When I called to order my pizza they already recognized my voice.
For the next years I couldn’t even hear the word ‘pizza’.

In order to avoid this happening to the lovely chia pudding, I decided to vary my breakfasts some more.
Enjoy your weekend with a really yummy chia pudding! Namasté.

Letting go…

Annika Sukup Never Mind, Just BeLetting go sucks. It hurts and those ups and downs, and that back and forth is really exhausting. The back and forth between knowing that it’s over and the hopes for another chance.
The last time I had to let go was one of the hardest times of my life.
Well, I guess it always is…

I really didn’t want to let go. I kept holding on to him, I had hoped for a miracle because what we had was one for me.
It was his decision to go, and I tried to pull him back by reminding him of the beautiful moments we shared. However, by doing so I just pushed him further away.
So I learned, once again, the hard way, that no matter how beautiful life can be, it’s not going to be like this forever. No matter if you go, if he does, or if life or death separates you.
Nothing in life is forever, except the love that we feel, the love that we are and share with one another.

Today I want to share my love with you in the form of a beautiful process, to support you letting go of someone.
Start with it, whenever you are ready to let go.
It’s called the “10-step process to let go” and it’s from the Austrian coach August Hoeglinger.

Annika Sukup Never Mind, Just beHere is how I do it:

I’m directly addressing the person who is no longer part of my life. Basically, I’m writing a letter. Please note, that this is only for yourself and not intended to be sent to or seen by that person.

Write down whatever comes to your mind for each step.

There is no rule that you have to do the first one first and the 10th at last. You can do it in any order, you can even interrupt one and start another step, add some more things to a previous one.

You don’t have to write the 10 steps at once, actually, it’s good to do it over a period of time. Sometimes it takes me weeks, or even months to finish it.
There are days or weeks where I don’t feel like continuing, then I just don’t write until I remember it again.

If you cannot think of writing anything about one step, skip it. Maybe something will come up later in the process.

Only write what you really feel in that very moment, and not what you think would be appropriate, or what you think you should write.

Be honest, be open, get it all out.
Be as angry, as sad, as desperate, as grateful, happy and loving, as you feel in that very moment.

Write down everything that comes to your mind until you cannot think of anything anymore, then move to the next step.

Here are the 10 steps:

1. “I hold against you…”

2. “I thank you for…”

3. “I forgive you…”
–> Finish this step with the sentence (and you might want to speak it out loud):
“I forgive you everything you have done to me, from the bottom of my heart”.

4. “I am sorry…”
–> “I am sorry for everything I have done to you, from the bottom of my heart”

5. “I forgive myself…”
–> “I forgive myself everything I have done to you and to me, from the bottom of my heart.”

6. “I miss you…”

7. “I love you…”

8. “I honour and respect you…”

9. “It will go on well…”

10. “I ask you for…”
–> “May I please have your blessing”

If you have any questions, or if you want to seek support in your personal process of letting go, you can contact me here.

What tips or tricks do you have that help in the process of letting go?
I’d be happy if you shared them with us in the comments below.

Namasté.

The day I became a burglar…

­Yesterday I had quite an interesting, insightful experience that I want to share with you.­
When I came home from meeting a friend, I got to the apartment door and saw that my shoes were gone and there was an ironing board in front of the apartment.
I thought “Ah, Lija is cleaning up again”, since she started cleaning the apartment the day before.
I tried to unlock the door but I didn’t manage to get the key into the lock. I tried different ways but it didn’t work. I thought that she must have forgotten to pull the key out of the lock from the inside.
Suddenly the door opened and a guy was standing there, who I had not seen before. Knowing that we’re going to have visitors arriving this week, I thought that it was them who opened the door for me. But for some reason he didn’t really open the door to let me in – until it hit me: Wrong floor!

Embarrassed I apologized, pointed upstairs, quickly grabbed my shoes and went off in my socks, to the second floor, where I found everything the way it was when I had left.
Door
While it is a really funny story on one hand, for me it’s a perfect example of how the mind works; how it quickly comes up with a story, how it believes that story, without questioning another possibility, if we don’t pay attention.

Not for one second did I have the thought I could be on the wrong floor when I saw my shoes were gone. My mind immediately had a reasonable explanation for why they were not there, and I bought it.
Even when I noticed that the key didn’t fit into the lock, it didn’t cross my mind, that maybe I was somewhere where I wasn’t supposed to be.
And when I saw a stranger’s face in the apartment, even then my mind gave me a story that I immediately believed to be true. Only when I realized that they were not going to let me into the apartment I suddenly figured out what was going on. And then I understood why everything seemed differently.
But until that moment I was convinced that I walked up two levels. I was sure, that I was at the right apartment, until the strange looks of the people who might have thought I’m trying to burgle their home during the day, in their attendance, taught me otherwise.

How many times does this happen without us noticing it?
Isn’t that how (limiting) beliefs work, as well?
“Don’t make assumptions” is the third one of “The four agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz, but obviously, that’s not easy, if we follow our routine, not really paying attention.

“The Work” of Byron Katie is a beautiful and quite easy process, as well, to free ourselves from drama we create in our lives by believing what we think. It’s about questioning the thoughts and beliefs that we have, often without knowing it.

Yes, the apartment situation is no drama, it’s more a comedy, however, it reminds me to stay awake, and to not believe anything I think without questioning it; not doubting, just finding out, if something else could be true, too, or truer than the original thought, when it comes to challenging life situations.
When drama and pain is entering our lives, we have the chance to deal with it, rather than fighting it, because it’s not the event that’s causing the pain, but the thoughts that we create around the event, and the battle with reality we don’t want to accept.

Freedom sets in

  • If we are able to see reality for what it is: a succession of neutral events
  • If we realize that we’re creating our own suffering by believing that things / situations / people should be a certain, or another way
  • If we stop taking anything personal.

What tricks is your mind playing on you that you noticed?
How do you deal with challenging situations?

Please share your stories and experiences in the comments below, or send me a message if you don’t want to do it publicly…

Namasté.

The business around happiness

Our ego believes if we get what we want, then we are happy.
And our egos might be satisfied indeed, but usually that kind of happiness fades as quickly as it came.
As soon as we see another child with an even more exciting toy, we want that one and the circle repeats. Endlessly. As we grow, the toys and their prices grow, too.

Once I wrote in a friend’s birthday message something like: “I don’t wish you that all your wishes come true, but rather that you are liberated of having wishes, so you can enjoy and celebrate what you have and who you are.”

But isn’t wanting to not having any wishes just another try to be happy?
Isn’t that the same, just better disguised?
Instead of a villa with pool, or winning the lottery, we now wish to not have any wishes and only when we are free of wishes, we will be happy…?
Nope. Won’t work either.

Once we sniff happiness, we want to hold on to it, we get addicted to it, and we want to keep that “high”.
We want to feel happy, joyful, connected, loved etc, ideally all the time, and once it starts to fade, we try everything to get it back, to stop the pain, and we get desperate, if we don’t see immediate results.

_DSC4340Some find ease and relief in alcohol, others in drugs, work, sports, money… the list to compensate for the lack of happiness is endless, and yet, there is another widely known and commonly accepted path, that feeds the addiction to happiness:
Spirituality.
(I just use that word now as a general term for everything that’s about self-help, “healing”, self-reflection, personal growth, higher powers, new age stuff, and even yoga…)

Spirituality has grown to an incredibly big business of promises to make us be joyful, wealthy, connected, successful, beautiful, healthy, loved… you name it.

In our desperate search for happiness we spend tons of money on workshops, for instance, about how to attract money for people who have issues with it. They spend money that they don’t have, so they can learn how to attract it, because they believe that once they have money they will be happy. Because only then they can buy everything they think they need in order to be happy.
We believe, that it works, because we feel happier during and a while after this seminar or that workshop.

But if we use spirituality, to ease the pain, eradicate suffering, and to be happy instead, we just create another well disguised ego driven roller coaster, that keeps us imprisoned in our addiction to happiness, while making us believe that we are free.

And yet, there is nothing wrong with it, as long as we don’t fool ourselves to believing that spirituality will give us everything we desire…
As long as we know that we don’t need it, but rather choose it, to pamper ourselves, or to take a shortcut once in a while.

As long as we see it for what it is:
A source of wisdom and knowledge that can provide wonderful support, and lift some of the weight that we put upon us; that provides trainings and tools that we need to apply ourselves to actually make a change in our lives.

And don’t buy it for what it often is sold to us:
THE solution to limitless wealth, eternal health and happiness (for just a couple of thousand Euros).

_DSC4123 copy

Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

And by the way:
Who said that we are supposed to be happy?

Namasté.

Sunday is “Retreat Day”

When I returned to Vienna, after my almost 3 month trip through Thailand, I reserved Sundays for myself.
I created an all-day-appointment in my calendar, repeating each week, named “Retreat Day”.
Those days I kept free from work, appointments and obligations as much as possible.
I reserved that time to do things I wanted to do for so long but never took (enough) time to do them, like reading interesting books that were patiently waiting next to my bedside table, taking a hot bath, writing, meditation, yoga, getting a massage or Shiatsu treatment, taking a walk in nature, going to the sauna, sometimes also meeting lovely, inspiring friends I haven’t seen in a while, cooking a lovely meal for myself, or trying recipes that I was curious about…

The list goes on and on, and I did whatever felt right and good that day.
Sometimes it was not possible to reserve the whole day, so I just used the time I had.

Don’t we all need more time for ourselves?
But don’t we find so many excuses why we just don’t have the time for it?
“I don’t have time” is just a thought in our head that becomes true, if we believe it.
We all have 24 hours a day available and it is up to us, how we use it.
Yes, of course, we need to sleep, work, eat, and all of that uses up most of our time.
But there is still enough just for yourself.
The key is to take time and to write it down, as if it was an appointment with a very important client – which it actually is, and let nothing else come in between.
Even if it’s just one hour a week.
To support you, and of course, also myself, to take the time for ourselves I offer weekly meditations.
They are every Thursday from 7.00pm – 7.30pm and afterwards I teach a gentle 75-minute Hatha Flow Yoga class at the Pure Om Yoga Studio in Santa Eulalia.

I hope you find some time for your lovely self soon.

Namasté

About my love for coconut oil

As promised in a previous blog post, here is some more information about my beloved coconut oil.
Since I discovered the amazing benefits of coconut oil, I have dumped and stopped using any kind of cosmetic skin products.
It turns out to be one of the best moves I have done for my skin.
Organic virgin coconut oil is not only healthy and yummy as an ingredient in mueslis, smoothies, or in meals. I mostly use it as a body lotion after taking a shower, as an overnight-hair-care, and I love applying it before shaving, before, during and after spending time in the sun on one of the beautiful beaches of Ibiza.

Coconut Oil

If you think that it’s too expensive to use it for the body, think again: Yes, depending on where you buy it, you pay in average about 25 Euros for a liter of coconut oil.
(You do get better deals if you order it online, by the way).

But buying body lotions, face cream for the night and/or for the day, hair conditioner, make-up remover, shaving creams etc., are in total even more expensive. You usually get those things in smaller amounts, so that can add up to quite a sum, especially if you buy natural products and free of petroleum. You can replace all of it with coconut oil.
It’s also very efficient, you can use less amount of coconut oil than you’d use body lotion.

And it is for sure worth the money. My skin is way softer now, it’s clearer and less dry than it used to be.
There are so many others health benefits of coconut oil, but there are millions of other blog posts about that, so I am saving the time to list them on here again.

Have fun experimenting with it and if you have some more benefits or uses of coconut oil to share, then go ahead and please do it in the comments below.

Do you have any kind of “all round product” that you want to share with us? I’d be happy to learn about it!

Namasté.

“Foodism” – A new religion?

I am one of the “lucky people” who can eat whatever and whenever they want without gaining much weight, so for a long time I didn’t pay attention to whether I ate healthy or not. I loved meat and sugar (not in combination 😉 ) and I ate a lot of it.
When I had a crisis a few years ago, I started to meditate an hour every day for 6 months and during that time a lot changed. I automatically started to take better care of myself, and for the first time I also focused on my nutrition.
Without even forcing myself to anything, I naturally quit eating refined sugar, reduced the consumption of meat, switched to organic fruits and vegetables and over time I added superfoods, smoothies and juices to my diet.

I read about different kinds of diets (raw food, vegetarianism and veganism, macrobiotic, paleo diet etc), and tried a few things, but I have decided for myself to stay open for whatever feels right at the moment and not to force myself into a system that might not be working for me all the way. “Foodism” is not my thing. All people, all bodies are different and there is not “the one and only right diet” – even if some, or many, claim to be.
What’s also really important for me is to enjoy my meals. I don’t want to force some stuff down my throat, just because it’s apparently healthy. Food is as much joy, as it is a source of energy for our system.

However, living a healthy life goes beyond what we eat, it also includes what we put on our body. The skin is the biggest organ and absorbs more than we think. So if I can’t pronounce its ingredients, I am not going to eat it, neither am I going to apply it onto my skin.
Over the next year it happened that instead of buying commercialized cosmetic products, I switched to a natural shampoo and body wash, stopped buying body lotions, cremes, and deodorants with aluminium. I now only use coconut oil and almond oil for my skin. (I will write more about coconut oil in a later blog post). Instead of medical toothpaste I started using a fluoride free one, and I use Xylitol as a mouth wash.

_DSC4174It’s not just the increase of wellbeing on a physical level that I noticed. I also started to feel this inner peace and happiness when I eat a meal, knowing that I am taking care of the needs of my body.

For me it became an expression of love towards myself in a way that I can feel throughout my whole system.

I started to feel better than ever.
I realized, that health is not connected to a number on the scale and I understood that health is not just the absence of illness or disease.
Feeling good is one thing. Feeling better, another.
And my body seems to thank me for it by providing a home in which my mind and my soul are truly comfortable and balanced.

And yet there are moments where I also enjoy a greasy pizza. If I feel like eating something apparently unhealthy, I do it without feeling bad or guilty but with great pleasure and enjoyment.
For me living healthy rather means adding healthy things instead of forbidding myself things that I like and feel like eating…
I stay away from making a religion of what I eat and how to live my life. It’s too short to do anything else rather than enjoying it.

Namasté.

About relaxation & healing

I must admit that I often felt a bit disappointed after a massage or shiatsu treatment, when I received the feedback of my client saying that (s)he is now relaxed. Something within me always thought “What? Just relaxed? Not more than that?”
Maybe I expected them to throw away their clutches, yelling “It’s a miracle, I can walk again!”, or a blind person being able to see again.

It was just recently that I understood the importance of relaxation: It is the base for healing, change and growth.
My job as a coach and Shiatsu and meridian massage therapist is to create a space where people can fully let go and just be.

Relax and HealWhen we relax, we give our body the chance to rebalance its energy and to activate the self healing powers and we can more easily relax our mind, too. And the soul will happily join in.

I used to be quite judgemental about the word “relaxation”. I put it in the corner of “wellness” and “spa”, that I connected with people who don’t take care of themselves 364 days a year and then spend one day at a spa and expect others to take care of their (poor?) health.
This might be the life style of many people. Doctor’s waiting rooms are full, and I assume, many people are just waiting for a prescription to reduce pain and to numb symptoms.

How many people are really interested in being cured?
Most people would say that they want to heal, but I believe only a few are really willing to do what it takes to get there, because it’s whether a comfortable nor an easy path.

Healing is both an active and passive process. It’s not something someone else can do for us. It means taking responsibility of our body, of our health. It means accepting the fact, that we can only heal ourselves.
Others can help us to reduce pain, treat symptoms or create a state where we can relax, so the healing process can start. That is essential, however, the real healing work lies in our own hands and it all starts with the ability to relax.

Do you want to be healthy or comfortable?
Be honest with yourself and whatever is more important to you at that moment, is fine.

In my next blog post you can read about 5 steps that may or may not be simple, but will definitely increase your wellbeing and health.

Namasté.

September on Ibiza

Slowly it’s getting more quiet on the island. Closing parties, streets and beaches are getting emptier, the lanes in the supermarkets shorter, and the evening sun is glowing in its golden September light…
Summertime is coming to an end and with it the craziness of a busy season.
We start noticing the tiredness and exhaustion in our bones of working long hours, that we didn’t even have time to pay attention to until now.
Time now allows us to finally do things we enjoy but didn’t have time for the past months.
It’s time to take care of ourselves again, to nourish our body, mind and soul.

Let Your Soul Fly HighAt PureOm Yoga & More in Santa Eulalia you find lots of ways to find your inner balance, vitalize your body, to quieten your mind, and to let your soul fly high. Yoga, meditations, treatments, massages, workshops, making new friends and connections, are some of the ways to reconnect with yourself.

I offer Shiatsu and Meridian Massages, Meditations, as well as Handstand and Balancing Classes at the PureOm Yoga Studio in Santa Eulalia. It’s centrally located and there is a huge parking lot just across the street.
You can come anytime during opening hours to check out the place, to try classes, to meet and get to know us.

If you want to enjoy 60 minutes of Shiatsu or Meridian Massage to relax, release tension or pain, to improve your sleep, digestion or to simply activate your self-healing powers you can now take advantage of the September-offer and get 10% off each treatment.

For more information and appointments please call 693766018 or write an email to annika.sukup@gmail.com

I’m looking forward to meeting you.

Namasté.