I need a shift in perspective…are you with me?

Hello my beautiful reader!

I am very happy that you’re on my website right now, I feel that I have something so important to tell you!

But first of all, I’ll tell what inspired me (or rather forced me) to write this text: I am having an exam very soon.

And all of you know how this feels, so much to do and so little time. I feel that I am in a cage right now, trapped in my own body. I feel my chest cording up, I feel my breathing being shallow and my whole body being very small…

What is this power behind my thoughts that can bring me in such a situation, that can execute things on me so restraining?

Why am I not turning this power into something positive and beautiful- it obviously is very strong.

What I need right now is a shift in perspective. And I want to tackle this shift by focusing on things I am grateful for.

You are very welcome to join me in my attempt to free myself from the bad thoughts and open up to the more empowering ones 🙂

What are you grateful for? Take some time, and think about that. It is fine for you to come up with the basic (and nonetheless very very important) ideas like for example my family, my friends, my dog, that I have a place to live in.

I am grateful for my body. I am grateful that it is healthy and strong, that it enables me to go from A to B, that it makes me create beautiful things (like Brezel-Jewellery!) and that I am born healthy. Thank you very much, what ever there is out there. I am grateful for having the body I live in.

I am also grateful for all the interesting, funny and weird encounters I have on the U-Bahn every day. I love seeing so many different people with their diverse sense of style, their differing ways to act in public (once there was a really bad smelling stain on one of the seats and the woman who had seen it first warned everyone to not sit down there, once she was gone, the next lady took it as her job to tell people to not sit on there and it went on and on..). Thank you, people, for being so interesting and brightening up any traveling experience I have on this yellow tube!

And now, lovely, go on and create your own little list of gratefulness! Shift your perspective! You’re never as stuck as you think you are! You have the power to change your life!

I am grateful for you,

Josephine

You Cannot Save Them All

Some of us bear an indestructible will to change the world and help people inside ourselves.

It doesn’t matter who it is, we want to help them. Help them see the world differently, in a way that might be more pleasant for them. We want to help them understand us. We give them a smile but they might not return it.

This post today goes out to all the do-gooder, to all the lovely ladies and gentlemen who carry such a strong, warm and light power inside themselves. We always want to improve the world. But sometimes, the world doesn’t want to be improved.

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Lately, my mom and my aunt had had an argument- and as families are- it got dirty. Before that incident, my aunt had send me rather rude messages concerning the way I choose to dress myself- she would say immature things like “Eww” or “Why do you have to disfigure yourself like that?” To be honest, I was shocked as well as hurt. Especially, when I told her that I enjoyed the way I dress and that I could do with my body what I wanted to, she did not stop. She would go on comparing me to a cow (she didn’t like the FAKE septum I was wearing), at that point I thought, ok well, she doesn’t get it. Let’s leave it at that.

Unfortunately, a day later my mom talked to her (not about me) and they got into a fight. My aunt hung up while my mother was still talking to her and things like that. Then I made a mistake.

I messaged my aunt, telling her that she hurts people with the way she behaves. I wanted her to leave my family alone as long as she doesn’t realize what her words did to people. That her words were rough and full of incomprehension. What I tried to do was make her see that her words had an effect, that they actually hurt. 

Unfortunately she didn’t see it that way. In fact, she didn’t even react to my statement but felt personally offended and wished to no longer receive accusations. I was furious. I was shaking, I was crying (yeah, it all got really deep), I was calling my mom who didn’t answer the phone, then I called my dad, we talked and laughed and finally- I took a bath.

Seriously, that was the only thing that seemed to make sense at that moment, taking a bath.

And while I was building animals and my very own little foam-pony-farm with my bubble bath I realized: some people are not worth fretting about.  Some people don’t want your help, so that all your efforts to support them will be fruitless.

It is not YOUR job to make them see, you can try and help them but if your efforts stay unsuccessful- leave it alone! It’ll only take up all your amazing time you could spend doing so many beautiful things like taking care of yourself! Or thinking about which dish you’re going to serve on your birthday, or about that interesting seminar paper on feminism/a TV series/animal rights. Or you could read this amazing book that is waiting for you in your bookshelf.

Who you can save is yourself. Invest as much time as possible in yourself- educate yourself, read about psychology, human rights, history, politics, pretty much ANYTHING that’ll broaden your horizon. You can make yourself see, but you can’t help everyone to see what you’re seeing.

I know you’re amazing and hard-working and lovely, don’t waste these qualities on people who cannot appreciate them.

Shine on,

Josephine

The Power of Empathy

I was talking to my mother on the phone earlier. I had uploaded some images from my camera to my computer, there were lots of old pictures on there, so I decided to scroll through them. And I was shocked!

What I saw was a me I didn’t recognise. My face was bloated, my smile was crushed and insincere, my facial expression unsatisfied to the core. I can remember that time very well, only a few months have passed since the day these pictures were taken. It was amazing how I felt my energy draining from my body, my mood suddenly changing from content to contemplative and grave. I could feel myself being in that situation the image presented me with. I could feel how unwell I felt, how my days were determined by a tremendously strong wish to end this all (not life, but this lifestyle I was leading). I wanted things to change but I couldn’t. I felt completely helpless and dictated by powers that didn’t lay in my hands.

In that period of my life, I ate without thinking, I chose to see the negative in life, I felt an enormously strong urge to have a boyfriend, I didn’t want to leave the house, I didn’t want to be exposed to social interactions. The bottom line is: I wasn’t myself.

I told my mum about this flashback. And what she answered was simply beautiful.

My mom tried to help me find out what had been wrong. I think I was eating that much because I was lacking social bonds. You know what people say: Even when you’re surrounded by many people, you can feel unbelievably lonely. And that is just how I felt! So I ate. I ate because I was emotionally stressed. Hach, stress, that son of a bitch.

Anyway, I didn’t only feel lonely and missed my family but furthermore I was still suffering from a break-up (that first major break-up, you know what I mean). After having said all this, my mom said, with a voice full of empathy: You suffered a lot. You suffered so long and so greatly. I could feel my body open up, I felt my heart being surrounded by warmth and love. It was beautiful.

Words and how we speak them can have an exceptional impact on the people around us. These words can change something. They have the power to make things clear to you. When we speak our words the way we feel them, we can truly shift perspectives of our dear ones.

I am a big advocate of giving a voice to feelings. What my mother did for me today was that she showed me how much I had suffered on the one hand, but on the other hand she always directed my view on how much better I am now, how much I’ve grown over the past few months. How I stepped from the passive into the active mode.

Make use of your feelings, utilise them for making other people and yourself feel better. And most importantly: Be empathic with yourself. You deserve to be understood. Don’t be to hard on yourself and others.

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the position of someone else. We all have the ability. But we’re using it too rarely. Empathy is a gift, it makes you understand people who might act in a way you first don’t understand. But by trying to see yourself in the situation another person is experiencing, we might understand why that person is acting the way they are acting. And we might see that their comment wasn’t meant to hurt.

Choose to see the positive.

I love being empathic, I hope you do too.

Goodbye dreamer,

Josephine

The Road Not Taken- Choose the Glamorous One!

Hello love!

Today I woke up to the sound of my doorbell. I only opened the door at the second ring, I couldn’t imagine who would need me that early a day, it was 8 in the morning. Anyways, I got up and had to realize that I was rudely awakened by- the police.

No drama, it was only because of my brother who apparently decided to go a few miles per hour too fast. But that was it with my sleep, I was wide awake by now. So I though: Yay, studying! Seriously, my first thoughts was that it was good I woke up that early, because now I had more time for studying.

I love what I study, I really do. But all that learning really robs most of my energy.

But, I wanted to find out what it is, that takes up all my energy. I found out: It was not the studying itself, but my attitude towards it. My thoughts would range from “I will never get all that stuff into my brain” & “Everybody else is smarter than me” to “Ok, I will quit. I will just do it. I’ll never manage to remember everything so basically I’m just a bad student”.

But wrong!

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I was not a bad student, only because others knew different things than me (and I might know things they don’t!), or only because I didn’t read that whole text about Slavery in the Old South. I was a great student, because I managed to write that paper on Heidegger’s Letter On Humanism even though my knowledge about philosophy is incredibly limited. I was a great student because I researched Edwards Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, and thus was able to explain it to fellow students.

What I am trying to say here, is: We always have a choice. We always have the choice to take the positive way. Of course, we could endlessly wallow in self-pity, or belittle ourselves. But what’s the use? By using up your thoughts for the negative in the world you’re doing neither good for yourself nor for others. Decide to think the positive thought and feel how this will inspire you and enrich your life. Feel, how warmth will unfold inside your chest. Catch yourself smiling in the bus, just like that. Just because you can. Just because you deserve to feel all the happiness and positivity in your life. Just because you matter and you can add some magic to other people’s lives by it. Positivity is something so rare in our society. Make it the standard.

Magic kisses,

Josephine

Let’s make some magic!

Hello, wonderful reader,

as it is the time around New Moon, things change, new impulses come to our lives, old happenings we haven’t yet processed come back to our minds and we might even feel the need to change something in our life. Drastically.

You might know, that I am following Gala Darling quite excessive (in a positive way, really!), so of course I read about her article on the time around new moon. Gala introduced some rituals to me, as how to make the best out of this exciting time. I decided to start my New Moon by writing down all the feelings, habits, people and paranoia I no longer want in my life. What I clearly no longer want in my life is unnecessary stress and the feeling that I won’t be able to get things done. That is something I am working on since it got ‘serious’ in High School. You can imagine how relieving it felt to me, when I burned that stress bitch down! (just kidding here, stress has its good sides too) (anyway, I enjoyed burning that piece of paper to ashesss).

What do you no longer want in your life? Who are the people who make your life harder or who draw all the energy from you without adding some to your life? Which are the habits that you have become aware of and no longer want because they don’t add value to your daily life? Sit down and really take time to think about these things, write them on a piece of paper, light a candle (maybe even a candle in the color that’ll bring some magic to you; I choose purple because it radiates empowerment, ambitions, dreams (see http://galadarling.com/article/new-moon-magic-january-2015/) and then focus on that flame. Really take your time, put yourself in the mood for it. If you want to get rid of the feeling of helplessness, remember a situation where you felt this emotion, imagine it as vivid as possible; Then, put it into the flames, watch how the flames eat up your burden. Watch the helplessness end in smoke. Can you feel the ease yet?

I really hope for you to shake off some old strain and start fresh and recovered into the rest of your life. It’s wort it.

With all my heart, I wish you a wonderful day and I hope

that you make some magic today 🙂

Yours sincerely,

Josephine

What’s my age again?

I just did a test on how old I am.

Do you ever think about “acting your age” or that you should do things differently, think about how you acted when you were younger and kind of which you still were this person?

Well, I don’t. Okay, I don’t want to lie, there are these days where I catch myself thinking that when I was younger, everything seemed to be so much easier. The truth is, however, that I was shy, self-conscious, didn’t dare to say what I wanted and constantly told people what they wanted to hear. I didn’t speak my mind, I spoke what I thought was theirs.

So, today I did this very trustworthy looking test which includes six questions from different, let’s call them, “disciplines”. Six questions and you know my age? Damn, that must be one efficient test.

While I was doing the test I observed myself answering the questions. Was I answering the way I thought I would have to in order to get my actual age as a result? Was I answering according to what I thought would be the most favorable answer? Indeed, one question got my attention for more than one second. I had to choose a band. The selections were marvelous: The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Mozart or Justin Bieber. Wait, what?

I was thinking “Ok, I really used to like to listen to Nirvana, but I haven’t listened to them for at least 4 years now (at least not deliberately), Rolling Stones? These guys rock but never really listen to them (shame on me, sorry). Justin Bieber, yeah right.” And my final thought: “Oh, this is so bad. I love Mozart. Picking him for my answer will make me gain so many years.” But honestly, choosing Mozart felt so right. So I chose Mozart. I am sure, a few years earlier I would have chosen Nirvana, because they are the cool kids. And I’m sure I would have thought that somebody I knew would be able to see my answers and that would be the bitter end for my reputation. Yes, I used to be a little paranoid.

Anyway, I chose Mozart. Do you know what age I got?

Forty-freaking-four.

Now I wanted to see which “mistakes” I made and I decided to test this little test. How did it work?

And I have to tell you: It wasn’t Mozart. All this not because of good-old Mozart.

The second time I did the test, I decided to choose Nirvana instead of Mozart, this time my estimated age was 27.

The third time I did it, I decided to choose Justin Bieber. This is a completely surreal scenario, just to remind you. This time I got 20. My actual age. Ouch.

The fourth time I did it, I decided to choose The Rolling Stones, this time: 55.

55? Why would you be older when you like The Rolling Stones than when you’re in favor of Mozart?

I did the test once more, this time I stayed with Mozart but changed my favored drink from coffee to beer. And this, my lovely reader, presented me with an estimated age of 21.

I wonder which logic lies behind this highly-reliable seeming test.

You want to try it? Have some fun on here: http://www.applicazer.com/lols/guess_age/index.php?lang=de&retried=1

Have an amazing day,

Josephine

Radical Self-Love //Day Three

Hello my wonderful reader,

first of all, I want to tell you how amazing and special you are. You are unique, beautiful, fantastic and you carry magic inside yourself. Never, ever forget that.

I am currently receiving daily e-mails by Gala Darling as I wanted to spoil myself with her 30 Days of Radical Self-Love Letters. Today’s letter is themed: How can you crowd out the bad with the good in your own life? Yesterday I told you about a mistake I made and I am still struggling with it. Seems to me that this letter came to me in the right moment.

Do you know this feeling of shame? And the helplessness that comes with it? That’s exactly how I feel right now, and, oh, this is not a feeling anyone deserves. I, personally, believe that shame is a social construct. Have you ever thought about your younger self, let’s say when you were three or four years old? Did you feel ashamed by things you did? Or were it your parents or surroundings teaching you shame?

I don’t know it for sure, but to me it feels very much that shame is rather nurture than nature.

Anyway, my quest for today is focusing on the positive, on a compliment I got or on a task I did well. Or just what makes me the special and fantastic person I am. I wholeheartedly invite you to come with me and re-discover your very own awesomeness.

Wonderful things in my life

My wonderful mother who stays by my side no matter what. It doesn’t matter what nonsense I talk or do, she loves me unconditionally and that is the boldest and most amazing thing a mother can do.

My friend Esther. We have known each other since we were sweet little baby girls. I made my way to her place today, through all the snow and with all the busses that didn’t come, and we watched some hilarious videos from the past (one shows me pretending a like some super dry pastry, “mmh…just a little bit dry maybe”). Whenever I am with her time flies and it’s the most amazing experience to have a friend like her.

Baking. Uuh, how I love backing! Don’t you think that the act of baking is pure muse and meditation? I strongly believe so. And the Bonus: you create little masterpieces of deliciousness. Yep, I am so damn right.

Oh and I am so totally grateful for and in love with Berlin. Where ever you go in Berlin, there’s inspiration waiting behind every corner, incredible people from all around the world coming together, there are numerous bakeries, vegan restaurants, gelato places, Burger aficionados, and even -wait for it- a Cat Cafe! Do I have to say more?

Today especially I am so appreciating the book “Quiet- The Power of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. If you’re interested I am very willing to post more about her book on here!

Where ever you are, what ever you’re doing right now: Be proud of your life, focus on the positive and get some chocolate/ ice cream/ insert your favorite treat here -and enjoy the rest of your day!

With all my heart,

Josephine

Making Mistakes

Hello there lovely,

‘Making Mistakes’ was actually not the title I intended to use for this post. I wanted to combine it with a positive outlook such as ‘Making Mistakes & regaining your pride’ or ‘Making Mistakes & transforming it into something positive’. But I couldn’t settle on one of these ‘&’-sentences.

Making mistakes is inevitable just as it is human. What can we learn from mistakes and how often do we have to make them until we learn from them? “All is fair in Love and War”, that’s what an old saying goes. This saturday I remembered the first part of it, “in Love”. I made a mistake and I surely am not proud of it. It was stupid, it was brainless and I still have to bear the consequences.

There is no use running myself down, regardless of how much my mind is telling me “Damn girl, this time you really messed up.” I feel bad. I disrespected myself, my ideals, my morals which really does feel like crap. But hey, these things happen and what I can do about it is: talk about it, share my experience with people, think about it as to find a way to come to terms with it.

George Bernard Shaw once said that “a life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” I love this quote because hey, who doesn’t like to see something honourable in something we wouldn’t tag with the word honourable at all? Mr Shaw is of course right, what is worse than making no mistakes and thus experiencing nothing at all. In the end it’s experiences that shape who we are.

 

We all do things we aren’t necessarily proud of. But sometimes we have to do exactly those things in order to realise something new or get over something old. I do not regret the things I did.

So guys, whatever mistake you made, try to find the good in it and truly embrace it. You are not of lower value only because you did something wrong. Make the effort and grow.

You are worth forgiving yourself.

I wish you a wonderful day,

Josephine

Dare To Be The Person You Want To Be.

Hello my lovely reader.

Today is a wonderful day. It is the 27th of December. It is a wonderful day because the holidays are over and the shops are open again. It is a wonderful day because snow is gracing trees, houses, whole areas.

Today is a beautiful day because my nails are a metallic sparkling pink nails and I am going to see my girlfriends. These wonderful ladies I see twice a year because we all live in different cities.

Yesterday, a friend I met during my studies in Austria, came to visit me. And I exactly knew that I would act differently in his presence. I knew because I always did so when he was around. My time in Austria was- let’s say- not a glorious time for me. So, as soon as he entered the door, stepped into my four walls, I became a different kind of myself. And I knew it! I absolutely felt how I was acting differently, laughing, talking, thinking differently.

So, anyway we began talking about things we never used to talk about. We started out with talking about innocent things like university, moving back to another city after the holidays. Then we switched to relationships. Then to fidelity and whether it’s necessary for an intact relationship. It was a.m.a.z.i.n.g.

The reason for it being amazing was that I allowed myself to be through and through the real me, with my real opinions and ideals. I did not shy away from defending or explaining or discarding them as I would usually do. I knew that it would not hurt me to tell what I was thinking, it would not upset him or make him not like him. You need to have an opinion in order to be able to argue and discuss. And damn, can arguing be fun!

What I am trying to convey here is, don’t try to tell people what they want to hear, this is neither enriching for you nor for the other person. Dare to Be yourself, Communicate yourself and most importantly Love yourself. Then, I promise you, everything will fall into place and trigger the magic in your life.

Take care beautiful,

Josephine

Today I Am Grateful For……My Name!

Yes, today I am absolutely grateful for my name. I remember that this thought came to me when I was in a bus, I had just met a very good friend for coffee and cake and was now on my way back home. I was standing in this crowded bus, weird smells all around me, wild school kids pushing each other, yelling, teasing each other.. and all of a sudden I found myself thinking: I am grateful for my name.
My name and me- that is a long story. I never used to like my name, it is long and somehow old-fashioned. Josephine. When I was younger I thought that nobody would want to listen to me, saying my whole name. Never speak too much, let the others do the talking. I guess I was thinking that I was wasting people’s time by introducing me with my full name. Josephine.
Until this day, I  introduce myself using my nickname, which was still 2 syllables long, but in my eyes of an acceptable length. I never learned to appreciate my name, the sound of it, the various things you can do with it, the associations with it.
During my time in Austria, I decided to introduce myself with the name Josie. Nobody had ever called me that before, I used to be a Phine. And it was so interesting how disconnected I felt after a year of people calling me Josie. With the name Phine I linked so many qualities of myself- being kind, thinking positive, just to name two. But now that people used a different name for me, I felt disengaged from myself. I guarantee you, that is a very confusing thing. I somehow wanted people to call me Josie, I tried to be a new me, tried to start a new life, with a new name..turns out I didn’t like it that much!
So today, I am very grateful for my name. I like saying it. Josephine. I even like the English pronunciation better than the German one. For real. But if you ever wish to befriend me, call me Phine. I will even forgive typos (I don’t know how many times people addressed me with Phone in text messages).
I hope you appreciate your name as well, and if you’re tired of it or whatever, there’s ways to get rid of it!
I wish you a lovely lovely day,
Josephine