Sooner or later you stumble upon forgiveness when engaging in the fields of personality development, self love or spirituality. Also in psychotherapy it's talked about. Yesterday I repeatedly discovered the big difference between understanding something intellectually and having an insight. It was kind clear to me why it's useful to forgive myself and others. As long as I haven't forgiven completely those bad feelings keep lingering and poisening my life. Yesterday I such a big insight into forgiveness - honestly I cried because it went so deep. I saw that I really can't love myself or someone else truely if I don't forgive. Those feelings which keep me from truely forgiving stand between my love and myself or the other person. They prevent my love from getting where it's supposed to go. Or if my love reaches it's destination it's deformed. Crumbled. That's the one thing. The other thing is - there is nothing to forgive! Really! Whatever I (or the other person) did which is regarded as "bad" was done from a place of innocence. Innocence because I didn't know what else to do. I didn't know better. I was helpless, lost. And in my head there was just noise. Millions of thoughts keeping my inner wisdom from coming throug. So how could I have been able to act wiser? I couldn't. That's why there is nothing to forgive because I acted innocently unknwoningly.

...that you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandi)

A beautiful quote probably everybody knows.

It's so simple but also so powerful. One of those sentences that can literally change the world. If everybody lived by it. Why? Most times we wish for something to change in the outside so that we can be happy, kinder, more relaxed. We want our partners to change, our job, our home, the weather, the traffic. But - there is one huge problem:

>If we ourselves are unwilling to change - why should someone else?<

Honestly - only we and really only we can change ourselves. Everybody living in a long term relationship or having lived in one knows from experience that the other person never changed or only when she saw any benefits in chaning. The amount of influence we have on that - nicely put - not very much.

But imagine if every single person on this planet lived the way Gandi suggests. And really honestly. I believe the world could only be a peaceful place. Because if I'm serious about it I instantly have to stop trying to change or conviince other people. The only thing I'm allowed to do is to see what I think and do. And everytime I do something I have to check I don't do it because I want to make someone else do or believe something. Because if I did - I wouldn't be only try to change myself.

I want my partner to be more attentive? I should start. Unconditionally. Be attentive to myself - and towards him. My job is annoying? Am I really putting everything I have into it? Unconditionally? Without expecting praise or money in return? (And no - working overtime and saying yes to everything doesn't mean that I put everything in. Sometimes a "no" is more loving than a "yes"). Someone cut you off when driving? Is it really so helpful to shout and scream when the other person can't hear you? The weather sucks? Remember the thing about right clothes? ;-)

So many times we are not very kind to ourselves. We eat food we know is not good for us. We sit around all day. We don't spend time in nature. We don't enjoy some time alone. But we expect others and the world that they please be kind. Start now. With yourself. :-) You'll see - bit by bit the world will be a better place.

Although it's supposed to be a quiet and comtemplative time the weeks before Christmas can be experienced as extremely stressfull. Everyone is so busy, one appointment after the other, the presents are still to be bought and nicely wrapped up. But now and again there are some people who radiate peace and seem not to be affected by all the hustling around them. Why? What's there secret? Just not so much to do?

Most of them still have a packed to-do-list. The reason is the difference between overload and overwhelm. And what's exactly the difference? Let me explain this way: Imagine a trailer you want to transport sand with. The trailer can load 500kg but you want to carry 1000kg. If you put everything on the trailer in one go it might break because it is overloaded. It's just more than he can objectively handle. Nothing about personal view on things. Just plain physics. And overwhelmed? If the same trailer would be looking at the hill of 500kg sand and would says: "OMG - look at that huge amount of sand! How am I supposed to carry all that. What are people thinking? Why always me...?" I guess you get the point ;-)

What can you do? First check if you are actually overloaded meaning there are just too many things to do in the amount of time given. Or check if you make a mountain out of a molehill. If the first is the case: prioritize and delegate. If the second is the case - stop moaning. No seriously - I know it really can look like it is too much. So be honest with yourself. And most of the time it really just looks like. And if you stop wasting your energy talking and thinking about the stuff you have to do and just start doing them it doesn't take long before you feel better. Because the hill gets smaller, you automatically feel better when you actually do something and because you just think less :-)

I'm a big fan of adressing things on several levels to be able to work on multiple causes at the same time. Last time I went to see my Chiropractor she asked me to watch my shoulders during meditation. I tend to pull them up and my wholer upper body was closed down because of that. Which meant I wasn't able to breath as deeply as I should be able to. I followed her advice and also during the day I realised how again my shoulders were up to my ears. Sometimes only a bit, sometimes more. Suddenly it dawned on me why I was doing it. I used to feel quite unprotected and unsafe and that was I way to make myself feel safer. The thing is - I don't feel unsafe any more. Quite the opposite indeed. But it looks like my body is still locked in this behaviour because it has be become "normal" to me. Another thing is - when my shoulders are in this position I tend to feel a bit more uncomfortable. I watch it and it doesn't affect me but still there is something going on. It's easy to see why - the body and mind are connected. So if my body signals "unsafe" there tend to be more "unsafe thoughts" in my mind. These kind of thought patterns are activated more easy. The actually did a study where participants had to hold a pencil with their teeth or with their lips. The one holding it with their teetch (which looks a bit like smiling) rated a comic book more funny than the other group. Interesting, isn't it?

So what does that tell me? I'll pay more attention to my body posture. It's easier to not make up certain feelings and impressions than to deal with them. So: shoulders down, corner of mouth up and cut capers! ;-)