Don’t be authentic… all the time!

Authenticity is not just a word that’s somewhat hard to articulate, to some degree it’s also overrated.
Being yourself and being who you really are, expressing what ever is within you and being true to that – sure, it has its validity. But before we throw unfiltered emotions, thoughts or excuses upon the world and the people around us, and instead of repeating old patterns that don’t get us anywhere, we should hold in and see where the need to be authentic comes from.

Does it come from a space of inner freedom and love?
Does it serve others, the world and me?
Or does it keep me small and stuck and does it feed my illusion of being in control?
Do I just try to get what I want to eradicate a feeling of lack and deficiency?

If we always act in an authentic way, according to what’s “true” for us we would never be able to change, to grow, if we hold our limiting beliefs about others or ourselves to be true.

“The only way to leap, the only way to make a difference is to be better in …whatever… than we think we are.” (Seth Godin)

“Fake it until you make it”
If you want to let go of old patterns and you don’t know how, then start to act like you were free of your limiting beliefs. Resist the urge to act on your fears and the need to control the outcome.
This can be really uncomfortable and you might experience resistance, doubt and pain but once you arrive on the other side you discover a new, a more free and really authentic you.

The feeling of “being a fraud”
When we do what we love and we reach a goal in a shorter amount of time than we had assumed, or if we get to a place we didn’t even dare to dream of, we might feel like a fraud sometimes. But go on, don’t let the fear of failing or the fear of “not being good enough” stop you. Do your work, study, and if you continue to be successful then it’s time to believe that you might actually be good at what you do.
Surround yourself with people who uplift you, who believe in you, who make you be more confident and who have the courage to give you constructive feedback.

The comfort zone
Often, and I know it’s not all the time, being authentic can be used as an excuse to stay within our comfort zone.
And this is the key: Be authentic if it requires to leave your comfort zone and don’t be authentic if it keeps you in your comfort zone. Because life begins at the end of our comfort zone.

Growing up…

…is not necessarily at trap. It can be a wonderful thing, it just depends on how you create it for yourself. If you trade responsibilities for playfulness instead of integrating both into your life, if routine and the need of security eat up all your freedom, and if ease and joy are replaced by pressure and worries instead of accepting both as part of life, well then that truly is a pretty bad deal.

The past few weeks have been a joyful ride into adulthood for me. I am blessed to do what I love: Teaching Yoga all around the island in beautiful places and giving Shiatsu and treatments to beautiful people and help them relax and heal; bringing good vibes, fun and ease, movement and relaxation into their vacations.

I finally started my own business and especially during the time I was doing treatments for the HABITAS festival I have found so much more confidence and trust in myself and in the work I do; I got so much more clarity about who I am and what makes me me and what makes my work special!

If growing up means growing into our potential, releasing the fears of failing, making mistakes, or not being good enough that we picked up somewhere along the way towards adulthood and if we keep or re-learn qualities like curiosity, open mindedness, playfulness, ease and joy then please, grow, grow, grow and never stop for as long as you breathe…

Love,
Annika

DIY-Retreat

Ibiza is full of retreats where you can do yoga, detox, cleanse your body, mind and soul, where you can enjoy any kind of treatments and massages. There are beautiful retreats, there might be some crappy ones, too, but what most of them have in common is, that they are quite expensive. Probably worth the money, but for some it’s just not an option. If you’re one of them then this might be for you!

If you want to
• re-treat yourself
• do yoga
• enjoy the beaches and the sun of Ibiza
• be free of any schedules
• enjoy a massage, Shiatsu or any other kind of treatment
why don’t you create your own retreat? Do it your own way…

It’s simple and you can save a whole lot of money.
Click here on this link to find out HOW…

What is Yoga…?

Yoga is in everyone’s mouth, behind every corner and there is hardly anyone out there who isn’t doing Yoga or who doesn’t know someone who has done Yoga.

There are so many different styles of Yoga and even more interpretations. So I can only talk about what Yoga is for me.
I didn’t get hooked the first class I took. I was more confused. And bored. But one day I gave it another try and coming out of class I felt completely at ease, nourished and in love with myself. That’s what got me into it.

Yoga is an instrument to reveal your inner world to an outside experience, expressed through moving the body.It is a moving meditation, that keeps your body and mind engaged and it brings your focus to the present moment.

Being constantly distracted from outside events, being constantly fed with outside information, Yoga draws the attention to what’s going on inside of you. Right here, right now.
When we become more present, the mind gets still and we can connect to that which lies behind our conscious mind – our true self.
In Yoga we use the breath and asanas (poses) to unite body, mind and soul. On the mat we practice to be present and focused while our bodies become stronger and more flexible. But Yoga goes beyond that.

Yoga is what happens once our mat is rolled up in the corner of the closet. It appears in all life events, and in all our relationships including, or especially, the one with ourselves.

Yoga is more than just poses. It is not about getting the perfect alignment, but about getting comfortable with our imperfections, with who we are. It’s about finding our Self and our truth.

• Be present •
• Lose track of time •
• Fully arrive in your body •
• Connect to your breath •
• Move and flow mindfully •

Aside from private and one-on-one classes I also teach group classes for all levels at the Pure Om Yoga studio in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, where I also offer workshops. Click here to find out when I teach.

For more offers click here, please…

Yin & Yang and The Five Elements

IMG_6381Once upon a time some people in old China sat around all day and night and did nothing else than observing the continual coming and going of days, seasons and life, within and without.
Ok, maybe they didn’t sit around all the time, maybe sometimes they did something else. But they sat long enough to discover the unity of humanity, nature and the universe.

As a day has its beginning and its end, there is not one moment where you have “the total day” or “the total night”, even in the darkest moment, there is either still a glimpse of the fading day, or already a glimpse of the arising one. The same is true for seasons: Summer solstice marks the end of summer and already carries the beginning of transformation within. The highest peak of the summer contains already a touch of autumn.
Nothing is absolute.
Everything that is alive is ever changing.
Those are the principles of Yin & Yang. Yin and Yang are a quite rough outline of the whole concept so the old Chinese men – or women, who knows? – broke it down a bit more to The Five Elements.
Rather than static elements of nature they are more phases of a cycle.

The Wood Element, also called the young Yang, symbolises activity, new beginnings and growth. The related season is spring, when everything blossoms and expands. This element carries the incredible power that lies within birth and growing up. The emotion associated with the wood element is anger which can find expression if the process of growth gets blocked, or stagnated by pressure.

The Fire Element, the big, or old Yang is about joy, playfulness and laughter, and the relationship to oneself and to others. It’s the spark that makes us feel passionate, inspired and connected and expresses through the ability to love and feel loved. In summer the energy goes outwards and spreads in all directions, it is wild and untameable, and it’s represented in adulthood.

The Earth Element is the nurturing energy, also seen as the period of abundance, where things start to slow down again. It’s about gathering together, and about taking care of oneself and another, feeling compassion, sympathy and empathy. It’s related to late summer, the time of harvest. It’s also the time of midlife crysis – or midlife without crisis, menopause and the more mature age.

The Metal Element is the young Yin, and the time when the energy starts moving inwards. It’s the beginning of consolidation, and the end of expansion. The falling leaves in autumn are nurturing the earth for next year’s harvest. It is about letting go and exchange. Grief is the related emotion that cleanses us as long as we don’t hold on to it. It’s the time of life of late maturity and the shift to old age.

The Water Element is the big Yin, also old Yin. It emphasizes on the essence of life. It’s the seed and the root of life, and embodied in primordial trust. The water element lies within the essential self-identity. As in winter the energy centers, and it is the time for internal work like meditation, stillness and focus. Wisdom, old age and death are related to the water element, as well as fear. In appropriate amounts it is needed, an imbalance, however, reveals as anxiety and lack of trust.

Over the following weeks months I will be sharing more of my knowledge with you about the five elements, the meridians and their connection to our life. I hope it will support you in some way or another by offering you a new way of understanding yourself and/or others. Maybe it will even connect some dots and encourage you to apply some of the knowledge in your life to maintain and improve your (or maybe also your client’s) health and wellbeing. With love, Annika

Comfortable Illusions

The past few weeks I have been lazy with writing, not because nothing exciting happened in my life, neither because I had no experiences to share that helped me grow. Actually, life has been quite crazy, too crazy to write about in a simple blog post. It would fit more into a book or a screen play.
I also believe, that I haven’t quite understood the whole meaning of the recent events.
And as if that wasn’t enough already, life continues to blow my socks off and leave me startled, speechless and deprived of my illusions.

Which is a good thing on one hand. What’s the use of a created image in my head that I admire and get attached to, and that makes me want to frantically avoid reality?
I do feel safe in my little bubble that tells me that all people are good, honest and trustworthy, except the few ones that already forced me to strip down my illusions.
But losing them (the illusions, that is) is scary and painful, because I don’t know what’s beyond them, or if I’m ready to face reality.

Without even noticing it I created – and we all do, more often that we might think – a perfect little world for myself, with perfect little people who all want the best for everyone, while bad things only happen in movies, in other countries, or to bad people. But no, life screws us all over, no matter what.
And yet, I feel more free, a bit more relaxed than before, when I was busy keeping up the walls of my little doll house.
Because that’s what it mostly was: Little. It kept me small, it made me fearful and often enough incapable of going for the things I wanted.

The walls of illusions are usually attached to the walls of the comfort zone. And, as we all know, life starts beyond them.
I guess life keeps kicking me in my butt because it’s time to really start living.
It wants me to listen to my inner voice, to my intuition, that knows whom to trust.
We do know. Always. We just don’t pay attention.
Time to listen up, my friends…

The Family-Concept

During the past months I kept wondering what purpose the concept “family” has.
Why do people raise kids and try everything to stay together, with more or less success?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, they are wonderful people, but I asked myself what sense does it make, if everyone goes their own way eventually anyway, and if you get along best if you only see each other every once in a while?

I just had my family visiting me for 2 and a half weeks. I tried to enjoy it but I truly failed.
Most of the time I was grumpy, unbalanced, impatient and annoyed, and I had no idea why.
It had nothing to do with them, because they did their thing and they didn’t need me around. They had their own car and often went off to explore the island without me, but then I’d feel guilty and responsible, so that didn’t really work out for me either.

General Atmosphere - 2014 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive FestivalToday I reflected about why I couldn’t stand myself the past two weeks.
I kept wondering why they still wanted to spend time with me and how they still showed me their love even though I was this angry little brat with the face of grumpy cat all the time.

I really had a hard time loving myself during those days and the more love I got from my family the more I pushed them away.

What I finally understood is, what family is about, at least, what my family is about and I am truly and deeply grateful for it!

They let me be.
They didn’t try to change me, they didn’t try to cheer me up.
They didn’t take it personally, although they had their own issues and their own problems to deal with, they stayed centered and never held my moodiness against me.
They never blamed me for anything, instead they kept telling me how grateful they were to be here and how lucky they were for this chance. That just made me feel more guilty at the time, but I also knew that they truly meant it.
They still appreciated their time here – even the one they spend with me.

I really don’t know how they did it. But I think that’s what family is for:

They stay even during our bad days, when our dark side is coming out, when everyone else would walk away.

They stay and love us, even if we don’t know how they do it, or why.

They love us because THEY want to love us and there is nothing we can do about it, no matter how hard we try.

They love and they forgive us because they know who we really are and they are patient enough, even if we are not.

They love us even when we push them away, because they know that’s when we need it the most.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…

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.

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.

Good-Morning-Smoothie

Sometimes when I wake up, I feel weird. And that seems to be the best word that describes my emotional state. It’s neither good, nor bad. It has nothing to do with the night before, nor is it related to my dreams.
Today was one of those days. I went to bed quite happy, because I had a beautiful day with my friend, we got to enjoy some sun at the beach and I went to another friend’s partner yoga workshop.
And when I woke up today, I felt totally different.

Waking up in the morning sometimes feels like being born, no matter what was yesterday, and no matter what is going to come today.
Not knowing what this weird mood was all about, and trying to accept it for what it is, I decided to make an extra yummy breakfast for myself, to nourish my body, mind and soul. It tastes so rich, creamy, sweet and yet it has a tiny sour lemony note.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • piece of an avocado
  • half of a nectarine
  • 2 medjool dates
  • a few hazelnuts
  • goji berries
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • half a tsp maca powder
  • half a tsp lucuma powder
  • water
  • rice milk with coconut
  • tiny bit of lemon juice
  • tiny bit of coconut oil

blend until smooooothe and enjoy.

Namasté.

PS: have you ever noticed how BEAUTIFUL lemons are???_DSC4216