Von Mona Kino *
Two weeks ago: I was typing into my computer in a hotel room at the sea. The clouds were passing by the window and the seagulls were crying in the sky. The people in a radiopodcast were reflecting on the political situation in Europe and what we could do next year to fight the growing right wing political movement all over the world. And some guests who sat next to me in the small restaurant an evening before were talking about their horoscopes they´ve read in a magazine. And as the world round me was starting to focus on what to change next year, I was thinking too, that I am going to change the format of the blog in January. But there was a kind of a knot I could feel in my solar plexus area, which usually is a sign to me that I am not in sync with my needs.
I asked myself, why should I wait until next year? Sure it is just a couple of weeks ahead, but why wait? My wish for changing is hinged to the fact that I have received the certificate for the two year program end of April this year and I am no longer a participant. So in a way it is no longer „true“ that I write about what I am actually learning in the nine modules and how I use the exercises in my everyday life. So, what is it that keeps me from just doing it – the change? Why don ́t we (so many of us) just change, what we want to change right now?
Since I still haven’t got a clear answer to my question why to wait? I decided to do an exercise. It almost always helps me to sort my thoughts on paper. So I first took a walk for fifteen minutes to feel all parts of my body. Slowly, steadily, fast, slowly again till I found the appropriate pace I wanted to walk with. I jumped up in the air, I swung my arms around. I started to laugh about the idea what others would think seeing me doing this. Joy, I thought, and continued with the grounding exercise. There is nothing wrong about making others feel joy. I returned to my room, sat down and did a writing exercise I sometimes adapt to my actual needs.
1 What is it that keeps you from being happy (with changing the format) right now?
2 What do you think it is hinged to?
3 Do you want to keep it as it is?
4 What do you need to do that you are happy (with changing it) right now?
And it all became clear:
I was behaving according to social rules, since in our western society changes are mostly related to dates. We usually start to work in a new job at the 1st of a month. We get money from our employers on the 15th or the 30th of a month on our bank account. We are allowed to relax on weekends. So my social-adapted-behavior-ME told me to wait until New Years Day. But a couple of weeks of no writing was no option at all to my I- need-and-love-to-write-ME. Unimaginable to stop writing for a week. It is just natural to me, like breathing. It is my best friend as for others is their garden or the sailing boat. And it is my longest companion since I started laying my thoughts onto paper when I was about eleven years old. My writing listened to me when I got mad about the grown ups and friends. My dairies soaked up my tears when I was unhappy in love and the pages where covered all over with joy when I really, really, truly got to a solution to what I thought my teenage brain never would find one.
And as I saw the clouds in the sky changing their size and color outside my window I recalled one of the main aspects of the training empathy program: Nature just changes, as our bodies do. We are never the same as the second before. This is creativity in its pure essence. And as none of the clouds up in the sky would wait for New Years Day to transform I do not need to wait neither. Especially if it is keeping me away from something I would deeply miss as I do with my writing.
So here I collected – right now and not in January: 40 Reasons why- to continue training empathy!
I can do it everywhere
I can do it every time
I can do it alone
I can do it with as many others as I want to
I get to know myself better (every day, a little bit)
I started liking others I never imagined I would ever have a nice thought for
I sleep better
I fight less
I fight more constructive
I am listening (probably for the first time since childhood)
I act like I want to act as if I have a choice
My ideas are welcome
I make the world a better place (even if it is just in my world)
I let go off my concepts
Natures creativity is my anchor –
I get rid of stress
I get to know others better
I can handle stressful situations by phone too (like doing homework with my teenage son)
I (re-) discovered the heart opening power in music
I started to like the so called bad feelings
I like to distinguish between so called good and bad feelings
The world became my friend
I can see two sides of the same coin (sometimes at the same time!!!)
I am ok, and you are ok (most of the times at the same time!!!)
I stoped arguing
I know when to concentrate and on what
I stopped emotional blackmailing
I say yes when I mean it
I hear a „no“ no longer as a rejection
I stop(ped) judging
I know the distinction between help and support / pity and compassion
I know better when to talk and when not to talk
My bad moods became my best friends
I like myself staying in bed all day
I like having a milkshake for breakfast
I am no longer the victim of my past or anybody who´s making troubles
My world is more colorful
Negotiation is one of my favorites
I see, feel, hear, digest situations in a new way every time – like last time when I went to see a movie
I am aware of limits and limitations – as when I am talking to fearful people
Add if you find more. Or do your own list why you want to do the training or why you want to continue.
Sit down for half an hour or if you have an hour.
Prepare a paper with numbers from 1-10 (or 20, 25, 30, 40, 50) Light a candle, make your self a tea or coffee, put on some music you like if you want. Make yourself comfortable. Then just start to write what comes up in your mind. It doesn’t have to be fancy or inventive. If it is its okay. If not its okay, too.
Illustrated by Gesine Grotrian *
Edited by Kerstin Schöps