30 April 2019No Comments

The principle of joy

In yogic circles, setting an intention isn't the same as a new year's resolution. It doesn't mean bending over backwards to reach my goal. You formulate your intention in the privacy of your mind and leave it at that. Still, something within re-aligns. It's like the act of unfurling the sail on the mast. Then all there's left to do is to wait for the wind to blow in the right direction. And one day, you just take off.

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27 March 2019No Comments

Addicted to control

he root of the problem is that I'm addicted to control. Why? Because it soothes my anxiety. Other people might have a couple of drinks, to feel more relaxed, or snort cocaine to feel invincible. I get high on control, on that high-strung feeling inside. I get a kick out of the illusion that personally holding things together will prevent the world from falling apart. But like any proper addict, the moment the craving is satisfied, I don't feel better. There's already the next thing to worry about and the next hit to procure.

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11 February 2019No Comments

Heal your heart first

Ethan Nichtern, a widely respected Buddhist and meditation teacher in New York City, recently wrote something on Twitter that resonated with many: “Been meditating for almost twenty-five years. Self-critical thoughts still come. I still think 'I suck' on a regular basis.” Self-love and self-acceptance don't come easy. Not even for those who have had a lot of practice.

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11 January 2019No Comments

Setting sail

I noticed myself constantly reaching for something: coffee, sweets, social media, the odd glass of wine on a weeknight, and Netflix. While none of these self-soothing strategies sound particularly alarming, the frequency with which I was applying them was bothering me. I may not be addicted to caffeine or alcohol. But to some extent I was using these coping strategies to alleviate the pain of good bye.

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11 October 2018No Comments

The nasty email

I believe we've all been on the receiving end of a nasty email before. This is how my last week started, with an abrasive email on Monday morning. I find myself itching to ask: What do you do when this happens to you? Because after all the soul-searching work I have done – from meditation to family constellation, from shamanistic rituals to therapy, from kinesiology to astro readings – these emails get me every time.

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5 February 2018No Comments

Die Kraft zum Loslassen – Yoga rundum Geburt

Schwangerschaftswoche 34, ein Gespräch mit meiner Hebamme. Eine alte Sorge von mir, dass meine Beckenboden-Muskulatur vom vielen Yoga zu straff sein könnte. Immer wieder hört frau, eine Geburt bedeutet Loslassen, Weichwerden auf allen Ebenen, sich Öffnen wie eine Lotusblüte.

Bei dieser Rhetorik bin ich hin- und hergerissen. Ich gebe gerne zu, dass es mir nicht immer leicht fällt, den Schutzschild abzulegen und weich zu werden. Das überrascht nicht. Der Druck weiterhin zu funktionieren, kommt wohl bei uns allen von Aussen wie auch von Innen. Kann es sein, dass deshalb in den meisten Schwangerschaftsyoga-Klassen das Loslassen und Weichspülen im Vordergrund steht?

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17 January 2018No Comments

No mud, no lotus

Selling bliss has become a profitable line of business. A lot of yoga teachers make a living like that: “Come to yoga and feel the bliss of inhabiting your body, of being totally relaxed, of feeling more lithe and bendy, feel how everything looks, feels and tastes better!” And these are just a few of the marketing slogans.

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12 December 2017No Comments

Creating space

Midwives, doulas, everyone who works with pregnant women will tell you that two weeks before the baby is due you should start your maternity leave. Cancel all your appointments, stop working, stop making plans. Make space. This includes space to connect with the little one and making space for it to come through you and into this world. The belief is that if your mental and physical space is too cluttered, the baby won't come. Or the birth will be rocky. Or you won't feel ready.

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12 November 2017No Comments

Motherhood moves mountains

All the way to the gate I cried. In the middle of the homeland security madness, someone had stopped to think about motherhood. Someone had taken a moment and had seen behind the passport number.

A kindness shown in a place that usually has no room for soft spots. I think I have never seen that happen before.

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22 October 2017No Comments

Dining alone – fears of an only child

The only child

I'm an only child. About four months from now, my only child will no longer be one. Sometimes I think I was open to having a second child for the wrong reason. I was afraid my son would feel as lonely as I often have in a silent house, with “only” two adults around.

My parents were often home and there for me. I seldom felt abandoned. But adults don't make noise. With parents you don't learn how to be teased and not take it too personally. You don't learn rough-and-tumble play. You become an adult sooner than you'd like.

I didn't want that for my son.

Sitting alone

A few weeks ago I was in Düsseldorf for a yin teacher training. When I arrived the airbnb apartment wasn't quite ready so I headed out again to find some food. I was waiting for my takeout dinner at one of the outdoor tables of the Vietnamese restaurant around the corner, when I became painfully aware that I was the only one sitting alone.

I don't know many people who like sitting alone at a restaurant. For some reason dining alone is a situation we want to avoid. It seems to be the prime stigma of loneliness, indicating your inability to surround yourself with people. As if this was clearly a deficit.

So what do we do, when we are forced to sit alone? We pull out our phone, our laptop or the paper and assume an air of consumed busyness and concentration. For me, I want to avoid the fear and guilt I associate with feeling left out. That first night in Düsseldorf, with no wifi and no book on me, I had to face the demons.

The stigma of the outsider

One of my personal demons, I think, is the stigma of the only child. The one who is always slightly precocious because she spent most of her formative years around adults. The one who doesn't know how to behave around people her own age because she had no siblings to practice bickering and pranking with. So she ended up not fitting in as a teenager. For years, she entered every social situation watching closely and trying to pick up cues for how to behave.

I remember feeling ashamed for being an outsider. Maybe that's not even how it was. But most of the time that's how I felt. The situation of sitting alone at a restaurant stirs up these old emotions from the inner child, even at age thirty-five.

Sitting around a table is the way most families come together, hopefully at least once a day. When we sit at a table alone, while others are enjoying company, we feel left out. It triggers the natural child-like fear of being alone. As a child, avoiding abandonment is crucial for survival. In the early years of our life, we couldn't thrive without our parents' care. And it's a good thing that this information has been embedded in our DNA.

The desire to feel included

Only child or not, we're all afraid of being alone. And yet, it is such a crucial human experience to eventually face the fear. Allowing the demons to rise also gives us the opportunity to name this fear for what it is: the desire to feel included and loved.

I'm all grown up known. A pregnant woman of thirty-five. And I still feel like twelve when I'm sitting alone without my armor of book and smart phone.

The only difference is that today I'm aware of our deep-seated human fears and longings. I try to activate my inner parent and tell the inner child that this is just my need to feel included popping up again. Nothing to be ashamed of, but also not a need that can always be met.

Our own resource for love

Nor should it always be met. If we were always engaged socially, would we ever have time to make observations such as this one? Would we ever become self-sufficient adults? Would we ever learn to be our own resource for love and support without relying solely on others for that? I think that's what growing up actually means. Becoming the inner parent to the inner child.

If all else fails I remind myself that – only child or not – the need to feel accepted and involved is one that all human beings share. Know that, with that wish, you are never alone.

 

© Copyrights 2019-2022 | Elisa Malinverni | All rights reserved                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          | AGB| Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2019-2021 | Elisa Malinverni | All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2019-2021 | Elisa Malinverni |
All rights reserved | AGB| Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2019-2021 | Elisa Malinverni | All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter

© Copyrights 2019-2021 | Elisa Malinverni
All rights reserved | AGB | Kontakt & Newsletter