Am I spiritual?!

“Are you spiritual?” “I think you are quite spiritual!””I can see that you are not spiritual!” – questions and comments in that direction I have heard over the years. And they always rattle me. I do not know what to say as I do not believe or follow a certain religion; but I believe that there is “something” but I cannot put a name tag to it. But is that spiritual?!

So, while reading a book about mindfulness I came across this subject again. And I decided to dig a bit deeper to find out what “being spiritual” really means. Is there a ‘one-for-all’ definition?

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As per wikipedia spirituality traditionally “referred to a religious process of re-formation […] oriented at the image of God exemplified by the Torah, Christ, Buddha, Muhammad and others.”

But looking further it is not that easy because as per “a survey of reviews by McCarroll dealing with the topic of spirituality gave twenty-seven [27!] explicit definitions, among which there was little agreement.”

And here we start with the confusion again! Because spirituality can mean anything from the “experience of a sacred dimension”, and the “deepest values and meanings by which people live, usually in a context separate from organised religious institutions.” But then we go further into the Modern spirituality and here it may as well “include a belief in a supernatural realm, personal growth, a quest for an ultimate/sacred meaning, religious experience, or an encounter with one’s own “inner dimension”.”

It seems that the meaning of spirituality has changed and has been expanded over time. It is not a fixed ‘one-for-all’ definition!

Digging even deeper and into the root word “spiritual” we go into the Latin word spiritus and the meaning ‘breath’ . So we then can say that “spiritual” has do to something with the essence of living, because we need to breathe to live.  Then I came across the phrase “Spiritual but not religious”, hence stepping away from the old definition, away from the religious context, and more into the “holistic” (*) approach focusing on the well-being of the “mind-body-spirit”.

Now, to that I can relate and in that term I can then say, yes I am more spiritual than I actually thought I am but often it comes just naturally.

How about your, are you spiritual?!

Have a lovely day

AK

 

(*)incorporating the concept of holismor the ideathat the whole is more than merely the sum of itsparts, in theory or practice: holistic psychology.
Medicine/Medical. identifying with principles ofholism in a system of therapeutics, especially oneconsidered outside the mainstream of scientificmedicine, as naturopathy or chiropractic, andoften involving nutritional measures: holisticmedicine.

 

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Final day – Day 10 blog challenge – Celebrating Freedom

Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10

I made it – it is day 10 – the blog challenge is over! On the last day we are asked to write about:

  • What you enjoyed most about your experience of taking part in the blog challenge
  • Your favorite challenge day and why
  • The biggest takeaway you’ve had from it
  • The next step you’re going to take to make your freedom plan a reality

For the past ten days I took time to really ponder about some challenges and myself. I took the courage to write it down and actually press the publish button!

Looking back it was pretty cool to have something to focus on just for myself for consecutive 10 days. No matter what I wanted to do this. And while I at times set out with a different thought directly after reading about the new task and drafted ideas I was surprised by the mindset shift for some challenges when I actually sat down to write the blog. Shows again that it takes time to dig deeper, and what thoughts come up once we stop analysing everything but just let it flow. My favourite challenge must be the Day 4 – Superpower! It was a turning point as I took me fully out of my comfort zone, having not only to really write about myself as a person but as well to reach out to others, asking for feedback. And what did I hesitate to press the publish button that day! It was a challenge indeed!

A big takeaway is to have all my thoughts structured in a few blogs only. I took time to think, rethink and write it all down. It got me focused and confirmed even more that my ideas of At Ease as a blog and locally with Yoga and more – by providing a space where Expatriates can feel “at ease,” with yoga and guided mediated talks to overcome the struggles they face by living overseas – is the right path for me.

It is now time to put the doubts and worries behind! It is easier said than done but I now have this blog to remind me of the why, and that, I can do it!

I realised as well my weak points, especially in regards to staying focused and on the right path when it comes to my own development. And writing them down instead of just thinking about them made me even more aware and focused like what we did on the Day 5 blog challenge – Daily Success Plan.

I guess now it is really time to walk the talk by staying focused, believing in myself, worrying less and to keep on living adventures!

This truly was an adventurous journey, THANK YOU Natalie Sisson let us be part by creating this platform!

And a big “Thank you” to Helen Iwata not only for getting me aware of this challenge but for setting up the private messenger group! I am not sure I would have pulled through without the group, but knowing others are out there doing the same helped tremendously! It is such a diverse group and I am looking forward to meeting you all in person soon!

And last but not least, thank you to my family for supporting me and giving me time to think – as well on the weekend away; thank you to friends for encouragement and reading the blogs, and thank you to the readers that I have never met,  who took time to read and like my posts! This means so much to me!

We will always face ups and downs, life is not always easy but if we reach out to help others and ask for support when needed we can all feel a bit more “at ease”!

Have a lovely day

AK

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#10DBC #freedomplan

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10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson

Day 9 – blog challenge – Location Independence

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Today`s challenge is to think about Location Independence and Location Freedom and what it means to you. Initially we have been asked to “write about how you will balance your adventure and work while you are away on a long holiday.” I twist this task to my life situation as location freedom and independence fit into it.

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For some location independence may mean to have a fixed home somewhere and explore freedom from there, knowing that they always have a base to return to. Others need real independence and want to travel whenever they feel for it; having a base may make them feel inflexible and give a lack of freedom.

I am kind of in between, I would not enjoy living out of a suitcase, but I love that we move around and explore different countries and cultures every couple of years. I have a fixed home during that time and do my very best to get us all settled and “at home” as soon as possible. Thinking of having a “real” permanent fixed place to stay somewhere makes me feel a bit queasy – while I am aware that it may (have to) happen one day. But until then I enjoy and embrace my “semi” location independence and freedom.

For me personally I would define a location independence and freedom by being able to (re-) start something more or less easily after a move, no matter where. The past years have been defined by moves every 2.5 years (or shorter) and with three little kids this left me little time to start something besides giving private Yoga sessions and studies. But this time helped me as well to shape my idea and vision of what I want to do. And now with the kids a bit older I feel the urge to experience more freedom and independence for myself -and that it is time to act! Being aware that we may keep moving again, I need to create something that gives me the independence and freedom to do it anywhere and to be able to reach my target group fairly easily.

And even though we decided years back that my husband`s job will ultimately define the location we end up in I still feel a location independence and freedom as it is still up to us to make the choice! Once we move we have the freedom to explore and discover a new country and culture!

Coming back to the set task, I do not feel the need to imagine myself on a holiday to experience location independence and freedom as I feel I do live it already. We already manage to balance adventure and work.  Now, isn`t that a nice realisation on this rainy day!?

How about you, do you prefer the location independence and freedom out of your fixed home or are you living out of a suitcase? Or do you move around every couple of years like us?

Whatever it is – make sure you always take time to balance the adventure and work!

Have a lovely day,

AK

#10DBC #freedomplan

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Day 8 blog challenge – Choosing your Adventure

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

“Today is a fun day. So I want you to go out and do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Go out play, enjoy, and come back and write about what you did. Also, write about how you can make such adventures part of your new lifestyle!”

This day challenge comes at a perfect day, since I actually am at a place where I wanted to go for a long time – at the beach!

I love to be at the beach! The sound of the waves, the smell of the ocean and there is no  bad weather when you are the beach! You either enjoy the water, the sun and the warmth, wear your rain gear or dress up with warm clothes and feel the wind. Whatever the weather, you feel relaxed and tired in a fantastic way at the end of such a day.

And while I love to be at the beach we do it far to seldom, even though it only takes about 1.5hrs to go by train from where we live! If we all enjoy it that much, how come we do not do it more often?!

As for the blog challenge, the whole day was an adventure – heck the complete weekend! We stepped away from everything; a small basic room directly next to the beach, sleeping on the floor with the five of us, falling asleep to the soothing sound of the ocean. Cup Noodles for lunch and relaxed dinners in the neighbourhood. A simple adventure!

I loved goofing around with the kids in the ocean, cartwheeling with my daughter, taking the waves on the body boards and going for a run – my personal “adventure” today. It isn`t a long beach but as stated in yesterday`s challenge “something is better than nothing”. It turned out to be more of a resistance run with the soft sand and big waves by the incoming tide, leaving me with soaked shoes. But since I was sandy and wet already, I just took the shoes of and jumped into the ocean joining my son in the big waves.

So day’s challenge was great I didn’t have to pick, it was an ‘adventure-fun-day’ overall; a day where I didn’t think too much, rather just enjoyed and acted! But I am sure that as well such an easy day has a meaning in this challenge and am curious what tomorrow brings!

As for an adventure – we all need to do it more, I realised that again today!
We let ourselves get caught up too easily in the day to day treadmill! While we were lucky to be out this weekend and have a real adventure, we should try to seek adventures much more – look at the children, they live adventures every day!
We should learn from that – and take life a bit less serious and more adventurous at times!

Here is to more adventures,

Have a lovely, adventures time today,

AK

#10DBC #freedomplan

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10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson

 

Day 7 blog challenge – Procrastination and Overwhelm

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

I almost, no in fact I did laugh out loud when I read the intro for today’s blog challenge. It is so me to getting into something, getting carried away to get more information and then starting to feel overwhelmed by it all, wanting to have it perfect and ending up procrastinating and last but not least being up fed-up.

So I loved that I had to think about this situation, and was even more relieved and a bit encouraged to notice that I am not at all alone out there! Because one thing is for sure – procrastination sucks. But looking at it  in conjunction with being overwhelmed – and a perfectionist – gives a different view to the matter, because that is what happens to me! At times I get overwhelmed and then procrastinate because I simply got engrossed into something new but I still have all the other things to do, too. And then it all ends up being too much and I drop the ball in all areas until, bit by bit, I get myself together and start again. Perfection is a matter for me,too, even though I try to deny it (my husband cracked up laughing when I told him I am not a perfectionist). But through a coaching session I got pretty aware of that and started to work ‘with’ it and not let it stop me that much anymore (yeay to that improvement already).

So, for today we were asked to pick one imperfect action and write a post about why you chose the particular action and what you imagine it will be like if you do it every day for the next 30 days for as little as 5 minutes.

One action that I tend to drop / reduce is sports; Yoga and Jogging. I am the kind of person who either does sports for longer or not at all and when time is tight I often lose it along the way. And that is kind of ironic as this is part of the field I am in! So for this challenge today I will work on my mindset again and imagine myself doing Yoga or a shot run (even if 20min only) daily! Sports energises me, helps me to focus, gives me courage, helps me to sort my thoughts and calms my mind. It is in fact a vital factor for me to feel at ease. So when I drop that one I get really frustrated. Already just the thought and imagination to stick to it for 30 days everyday uplifts me! It gives me a drive and even puts a smile on my face! So rather silly of not sticking to it, isn’t it?!

I will promise myself to work on my mindset and tell myself ‘something is better then nothing’  – even if just 5-10min Yoga, Meditation or a short 20min run daily – because I know it will do me good and at the end it will help me in many other areas, too!

Being overwhelmed at times is good, but it is important to stop the procrastination because it is a frustrating feeling, takes energy and you spend more time to get out of it again. If you feel you are heading that direction – halt, breathe, take a break but do not stop!

But don’t forget – we all tend to procrastinate now and then, do not beat yourself up, after all we are only human!

Have a lovely day

AK

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10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson

#10DBC #freedomplan

Day 6 blog challenge – Finding your tribe

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This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

Another interesting thought on day 6 – Finding  your tribe! “Your tribe is made up of the people who understand and support you, and can inspire you to keep creating your own freedom lifestyle successfully.”  And this came with the recommendation to go and “find 1 or 2 people who are living the kind of life you want to live, and whose tribe you’d love to be part of. Then write a short post about why you find them inspiring and the one question you would ask them if you met in real life.”

I would not go that far that I want to live the life of someone other but there are for sure people out there that inspire me and belong to a ‘tribe’ I feel connected to. And there are certain aspects I admire and would like to gain experience and knowledge from.

I changed directions and my outlook over the passed years has change due own experiences. But by now I found my niche – my tribe. And I realise more and more  that I am not alone out there with the experiences, feelings and emotions I had and have by living the expatriate and repatriate life. There are ‘tribes’  in the way of forums and Facebook groups (such as I am a Triangle) where people find a safe place to communicate when they struggle about situations others may not understand to the full extend. And while it is  nice to have online forums I want to reach out further and connect with people locally and give them a place where Yoga and guided, mediated talks let expatriates and repatriates feel at ease in body and mind. Kind of my local tribe. And that leads my to my current mentor, the founder of The International Association of Wellness Professionals, Suzanne Monroe. She took action after realising that her own life was unbalanced. A balance of health, food, relationships, careers, etc. is needed to make us life an “extraordinary life!” And she took her experience as a corner stone to create an education platform to let others be part. To let us get the foundation to reach out and help those who struggle in an overall approach.  Part of her mission is “to change the health of people everywhere.” But in this case health is not only defined by physical fitness, it goes deeper into an overall balance in life. And I am excited to be part of this! I may only be at the beginning and am pacing myself to really take it step by step but I feel energised and excited to be part of this “tribe” and through that be able to have a positive impact on somebody’s life.

And my daily tribe are the people around me. I am still living overseas and mingle on a daily basis with expatriates and sometimes we have incredible inspiring conversations. I met like minded people along the way who set out to support others, I attend monthly meetings at FEW Japan (For Empowering Women) that is a group of global, inspiring and supportive women in the most positive way.

What I liked about today’s challenge was that we had to think about “finding” your tribe as often it does not come naturally, you have to be open, look and search for it!

Life is not always easy, but

Life is a field of possibilities, what you make out of it is your life! (by unknown)

Have you found your ‘tribe’?!

As for a question that I would ask anybody who went out and created something that inspires others, it would be a rather standard one
” Would you please share your top 3 tops and flops you experienced along your journey to where you are today?”

Have a lovely day,

AK

#10DBC #freedomplan

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10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson

 

Day 5 blog challenge – Daily Success Plan

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

For day 5 in the blog challenge we went more business related, which sounded somewhat easier but finding myself in the middle of things makes it as well more difficult to grab and to structure. We were asked to “Create a daily success plan! What will you do, when will you do it, and how will it get your closer to your dreams?” We were told not to spend too much time on this one, so short and to the point:

With my little one in preschool three days a week those are my main days to focus on. And while I cannot dot it down to the times I will start the following strategies to get closer to my dreams:

  • dedicate 3-4 hrs on those three days on my ‘business’ to-dos (with small breaks in between)
    – this includes exercise, holding Yoga classes, studies and blogging as they all play a role in my plan
  • ensure to have tea/coffee/water/snacks close by
    – this will avoid those cravings that always seem to occur when I just sat down and make me want to leave my `workspace’
  • ensure all clutter around me is cleared
    – being aware the I cannot concentrate knowing the kitchen is a mess for example, this needs to cleaned before I sit down
  • close all distractions like Facebook and emails
    – this will help to focus on the set task
  • on the days when I sense that I will feel too distracted at home, sit in a Coffee Shop
    – not having my things around me works better at times to stay focused

Also, I need to learn to accept that I only have those three days – and occasionally some time at the weekend to really focus on my things!

That means that I need to learn to step back in the afternoons when all kids are at home, or on the full days when the youngest is at home. During those times my “business development”is on halt. I tried to squeeze in my to-dos over the past weeks when they were all around as I felt I didn’t do enough but it usually ended in frustration and irritation on all sides. Nothing was gained but stress.

And at times I need to learn to just accept defeat that the days do not always work out. Kids  get sick, appointments come up, things do happen – and that is ok when you do have a family. It is not a major set back at this point!

And if I feel I lost scheduled time and get frustrated then I will use the evenings to catch up. But this should not be the norm, evenings are as well there to re-energize, spend time relaxing and with the partner and/or friends.

If I manage to really dedicate to those three days, plus occasional evenings and stay really focused during the time I will achieve my goal that brings me closer to my dream over the next few months.

Here is to setting yourself up to reach your dream!

Have a lovely day

AK

#10DBC #freedomplan

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10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge by Natalie Sisson