Feathers – So Smooth and Yet So Strong

Sometimes our feathered friends, as they flutter all around us, drop a feather. When did you last pick up a feather? Not recently? But as a child you did, right?

feathers - so soft and yet so strong

Oh, the marvel of these feathers, so smooth and yet so strong!

On wings of such feathers our birds navigate the ocean of air and glide on its currents. These feathers, so smooth and yet so strong, allow them to soar high or dive down swiftly and elegantly.

Isn’t it surprising that something can be smooth, soft, light and strong at the same time? Is strength not a more likely partner to harshness, heaviness, and rigidity?

When you think of strong people, don’t you often get the impression of people who are weighted by responsibilities, unyielding in their opinions, and heavy with importance? It does not have to be that way. People can be like feathers, so smooth and yet so strong.

When you hold a feather in your hand, you notice that its backbone has a certain bounce to it. Its rigidity is balanced with flexibility. It is strong and light at the same time. This is also true for the fine filaments of the feather. A perfect creation.

What a marvel such a feather is!  What a marvel YOU can be! You can be strong and yet tread on earth lightly. You can follow your visions and goals and yet stay open to new possibilities. You can lead and still be gentle.

Nature teaches you – if you are willing to learn. Be like a feather, so smooth and yet so strong.

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

Roam Around in the Maze of Your Mind

“Whatever do you mean?” you might think, “Roam around in the maze of my mind? How would I do that? Watching my thoughts? Retrieving memories? Far too much is already going on in my mind. My life is busy. I have no time for this.”

Your mind churns out thoughts, emotions, and fractions of memories all day long. Incessantly. Whether you want it or not – these thoughts, emotions, and memories influence the world you live in. In fact, they create your experiences.

When you are aware of this, don’t you think it’s a good idea to get to know what’s going on in your mind? At least to a certain degree? 

 By the way, roaming around in the maze of your mind is easy – if you know how to go about it. Several times, during the day, stop all activities for a moment.  Close your eyes, and look inside. Be patient. Don’t make anything happen. Instead, allow your thoughts, emotions, and images to float up into your conscious awareness. Just observe them. Then let them be and resume what you were doing before.

As you roam around in the maze of your mind repeatedly, you will discover patterns. You will discover that your thoughts have the tendency to turn into the direction of either worry or hope. You will feel how your emotions get heavier or lighter. You become aware of how beautiful or sad your memories are.

If you don’t enjoy what you observe – make changes!. Deliberately entertain optimistic thoughts. Cheer yourself up. Brighten up your emotions by being kind to yourself and others. Use your imagination to envision positive outcomes.

You are not alone in this. We all go through changes. The difference is that some of us do this deliberately and with wisdom and kindness, while others are carried along by the tides of change, kicking and screaming.

You enter the maze of life for the challenge. Of course, when you are in the maze, you want to find the way out, right?

Fortunately, you find the way out when you start roaming around in the maze of your mind. 

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence”.

 

 

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most beautiful in the whole country?” Dangerous question to ask. What if one gets an answer one does not like?

The queen, Snow White’s stepmother, did not like that answer at all. No wonder! You would not have liked it any better.

mirror on the wall

The queen, Snow White’s stepmother, did not like that answer at all. No wonder! You would not have liked it any better.

 “My Queen, you are the most beautiful here…” Well, things could have been better if the mirror stopped right there. But even so. “You are the most beautiful HERE”? That does not foster any good feelings, right?  When one of my friends greets me with the words: “You look good today”, that rankles me. I must admit that the thought of looking good pleases me, but the word today spoils it all. Does she mean to say that last time she saw me I looked terrible?

The tragedy could have still been avoided, if the mirror stopped there. But no. It had to add the dangerous words: “But Snow White, over the seven hills, with the seven dwarfs, is thousand times more beautiful than you.”

“Thousand times more beautiful” – what an exaggeration! Why does the mirror exaggerate so? Why do people exaggerate? Nothing good can come from it. In this case, with the queen and Snow White, the result was attempted murder and severe punishment.

What do you learn from this mirror on the wall?

Not to exaggerate and not to compare yourself with others. As long as you like yourself, you are happy. As long as you like your looks, you feel fine. Who cares if someone else is better or looks better? Who decides anyway? Be happy to be YOU!

As we know, the fairytale does not go smoothly. Again and again the queen asked: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most beautiful in the whole country?” And the mirror always gave her the same dreaded answer.

What a pity!

On the other hand, one has to trust life.  Even in the most dangerous situations, life creates miracles – if we let it.

Snow White might have never met her prince if the queen did not ask the question: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most beautiful in the whole country?”

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

 

 

Embarrassed When You Are Praised?

Does this ever happen to you? Isn’t that a funny reaction? To be embarrassed when you are praised?

Here you are with people who acknowledge you. They understand that  your actions are of value. They are willing to praise you for your accomplishment and success – and instead of feeling good about it, you are embarrassed. When you think about this, does it make sense? No.

embarrasse when you are praisedThat’s the key – “when you think about it.” But often you don’t think about it. The automatic reaction from your subconscious mind is so quick and strong that you react before you can think.

So, what’s going on when you get embarrassed when you are praised? Why does the subconscious react that way?

Most of the time, there is a lack of self-love at the bottom of this automatic reaction. Even if you consciously think that you are a good and valuable person (and you are) – there might be a belief in you that says you are not good and valuable. Where does such a belief come from?

From criticism. When your parents, siblings or teachers criticized you as a child, you internalized this criticism and started believing that you are not good enough. Later in life, maybe you kept criticizing yourself, sometimes even harsher than others criticized you.

When you criticize yourself (or others, by the way), you lose life energy as if you slash at yourself with a knife. When you slash at yourself with a knife, you lose blood. When you criticize yourself, you lose life energy.

You might think: “So what? It does not matter. I cannot see or feel my life energy anyway.” Well, with lots of life energy you are confident, happy, healthy, and successful. Worthwhile, right?

What can you do to stop criticizing yourself and becoming embarrassed when you are praised?

Praise yourself for every little accomplishment during the day. Praise yourself and be sincere about it.  Be kind to yourself.

As you praise yourself, you build up self-love and self-esteem. When you have it, you will be at ease and no longer be embarrassed when you are praised. 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

 

 

 

 

 

Love Your Neighbor

You are a good person. You love your neighbor, right? Not really? At least, you are honest and I like honesty. It’s rare and precious.

Still. The question arises – why don’t you love your neighbor?  The folks next door are too noisy, too stupid, too haughty, too whatever? By the way, “your neighbor” is also your colleague or teacher or mailman or bookseller.

I think you know that the love I talk about is not personal romantic love but unconditional love. Maybe I should better call it “loving kindness”, as the Dalai Lama uses to say. Great spiritual teacher, the Dalai Lama.  

So why don’t you love your neighbor? Hard to say? Are you judging them maybe? Do you think they should be better somehow – smarter, kinder, prettier, better groomed, or more successful before you can love them?

Well, maybe they think the same about you. Paulo Coelho expressed it so well: “Everyone seems to have a clear idea how other people should live their lives, but none about his or her own. “

love your neighbor

So you see – we all sit in the same boat. We are not perfect. Most of the time we are good but there are times when we are not. So what?!

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your neighbor. Look for the best in you. You will find it! Also, look for the best in others.

Funny thing is – when you look for the best in others, they are aware of it (although unconsciously) and show you their best side. Why? Because everyone wants to be loved and appreciated.

In our times, it really is not a secret any more: “You get back what you send out.”

So, if you want a good and pleasant life – love your neighbor!

 Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

 

Question of Honor

When two men collide, when two men collide
It’s a question of honor.

This week, I listened to these verses of the song “A question of honor” by songwriter Frank Peterson, performed by world-renowned soprano Sarah Brightman in the Opera House of Boston, Massachusetts. In fact, Sarah Brightman’s outstanding show ended with this gripping song.

When two men collide, when two men collide
It’s a question of honor.

People collide all the time, in business, and in war. Whether you live in Europe or America, in Asia or Africa – when you collide with others – it’s always a question of honor. There are some who have it. There are others who don’t have it.  For those who don’t feel a sense of honor – God bless you! Walk your way. One day, in the future, you will feel honor, you will have honor. When that time comes – welcome to a world where life is good!

it's a question of honor When two men collide,
when two men collide,
It’s a question of honor.

In war, when troops are sent out to fight, they know about honor. Their honor is clearly defined by military laws and most of the soldiers act honorably. Apart from that, there might be a moment during or after battle, where the soldier finds himself in a situation where he has to decide for himself – honor or no honor.

Before this happens, YOU have to decide. You have to decide if you want the troops sent into battle in the first place. Is this impending military conflict necessary or not? Does it serve the highest good of all involved? Or is it self-serving for one government or some Stakeholders? 

When two men collide, when two men collide,
It’s a question of honor.

Let’s say you think that this conflict could be solved by diplomatic measures – would you speak up? Would you voice your opinion? Would you stand by it?

In a functioning democracy every individual counts. Everyone has a choice, everyone has a voice.  Be proud to live in a country where you can voice your opinion! Use your right wisely, for the highest good of all involved!

If you win or you lose, it’s a question of honor,
And the way that you choose, it’s a question of honor.


Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

Greeted Your Tree Today?

No? Why ever not? You have no tree to greet? Sure you have a tree! If your tree does not grow in your own backyard it might grow in your neighbor’s backyard.  Your tree can grow at the corner of your street, or even in a public park like the Boston Common, the oldest city park in the United States. If you are a Bostonian walking through this park on your way to work or shopping, you might be drawn to a particular tree which you like more than the others. That might be “your” tree. Of course, you might share it with many others.

So, greet your tree! No excuses for not greeting your tree today!

greeted your tree today?

Why should you greet your tree? To show your affection and your respect.

You are aware of what a tree does for you, right? 

Trees create oxygen, clean the air, clean the soil, and absorb carbon dioxide. A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four! Without oxygen you cannot live. You might survive lack of food or water for a few days but lack of oxygen will kill you within minutes.

One tree can absorb as much carbon dioxide in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles. Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide – much to be grateful for, right?

“But still,” you might ask, “greeting a tree is nonsense. A tree would not even know if I greet him”. Not true. A tree is alive like you. A tree is aware like you. Differently aware, not like a human being – but still aware. A tree you pass by frequently is aware of you and will enjoy your loving kindness.

Your tree – or all trees – can become your friend. Greet your tree today!

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

 

 

New Choices Every Moment

Really? New choices every moment? Am I not exaggerating here? What is there to choose? Is life not unfolding in a day-to-day routine anyway?

You are right – at first glance. However, on the second and deeper view things are different. You make choices every moment without being fully aware of it. Even if you are in the deepest unconscious routine – there is still your response to the situation. Do you like what you are doing at that moment? Do you loathe what you are doing at that moment? Or are you indifferent to it?

Does it matter? Of course, it does! Remember – “what you put out is what you get back.” The world mirrors back what you think, feel, and believe. When you feel good about what you are doing, good things, events, and circumstances come back to you. If you loathe what you are doing, you set yourself up for suffering and failure – not even knowing that you created this unconsciously.

You can imagine what I want you to do, right? I want you to be aware of the new choices every moment. I want you to love and enjoy what you are doing, where you are, with whom you are and – most importantly – who you are!

If you find this too difficult – at least look at life with kind eyes.

new choices every day

Do you turn left or do you turn right? Do you walk straight ahead? Do you approve of something or do you reject it? Do you smile or do you frown? Smoke this cigarette or breathe in fresh air? Appreciate life or feel sorry for yourself?

New choices every moment!

How many thoughts do you have per day? An average of 80.000. Many of these thoughts happening from moment to moment are subtle changes in your consciousness. Because there are so many of them, they make a difference. If you want to have a good life make sure that a good number of them are good and loving.

Become aware of what you are thinking and feeling. Make good new choices every moment!

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence

Cities without Traffic Chaos

Is that possible? Cities without traffic chaos? Or is this just a dream?

cities without traffic chaosGuanajuato, this colorful city in central Mexico, capital of the state of the same name, seems to be real enough. At least it houses 95.000 real people. As it is located in a narrow valley, its streets are also narrow and winding. Most are avenues that cars cannot pass through,. Many of the city’s thoroughfares are partially or fully underground and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides.

What a delight! Imagine that: Cities without traffic chaos! That adds to the beauty and charm of a city, right?

When I first drove through Vienna, this beautiful city, I could admire it meter by meter as we slowly moved forward in the thick traffic of the afternoon rush hour. Although, admiration was not exactly what I felt. “Is that not the “Steffl”  (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) over there? Could we not get any closer?” No, there was no way of getting out of this slowly meandering snake of cars.

I easily forgive Vienna for this inconvenience because it has 1.7 million people living in its boundaries. Half of this population tried to get out of the city to go home while the other half drove back into the city to go to restaurants, concert halls, and theaters. Well, not really – but that was the impression I got in the traffic chaos of afternoon rush hour.

So, what is the solution to traffic chaos?

Dwell in remote places or small villages? What if you want to live in a city, do you have to move to one of those cities nestled in narrow valleys like beautiful, colorful Guanajuato?

Or are there other options? Could you not dream of cities in which you could move with ease and grace at all times? I mean not only dream about it at night but also during the day. As my composer friend in Spain uses to say: “Dream with your eyes open.”

If you do this often enough, you and others like you, there will be new solutions, better solutions. That’s what we people do. We dream, imagine, plan, calculate, build, create. We create!

Let’s create cities without traffic chaos!

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence


 

 

Life Thrives on New Ideas

YOU thrive on new ideas. If you want to thrive – be fresh and creative.

new dayWhen you wake up in the morning, welcome the new day. Greet the new you who just woke up from dreams. Feel your body resting comfortably in your bed. Become aware of your presence or consciousness. Feel that you are alive. You are, are you not?

Being aware of all this, you can make up your mind that this day is entirely different from all preceding days. It is! Also you are different. You are a new person each day. The reason why you get the impression of staying in the daily grind is because you hold on to old thoughts and attitudes.

When you drive to work in the same car or ride the same bus to work in the same streets, this is still a new experience, and if you wish, a better one.

You know that you create your own reality, right? You create your own reality with your thoughts and emotions, based on what you believe to be true. When you believe that you stay in the daily grind – you STAY in the daily grind. When you believe – or strive to believe – that you are a new person with new and fresh experiences, then your experiences will be new and fresh.

What can you do to thrive and to be fresh and creative? Is there any simple way to make your experiences fresher and more enjoyable?  Yes and the magic you can use is “appreciation”.

When you look at your world and your daily life with kind and appreciative eyes, the world looks back at you with freshness and kindness.

Do you see how easily your life can be good and fresh and new – if only you allow yourself to thrive on new ideas?

 

Brigitte Novalis, healer, therapist, author of “Finding Love” and “The Magic of Inner Silence