Why you should not try to be perfect – 24 Feb 16

Yesterday I wrote about the little judgements that especially parents often have to face from the outside. And the reason why such a judgement often bothers you much longer than it actually should, is simple: you want to be perfect!

Yes, striving for perfection actually makes you unhappy, something you may already have guessed. Why? Because there is no way you are ever going to reach this goal! There is nobody who is perfect, we all make mistakes and the easier you accept this, the happier you will be!

The problem for a lot of people is however that they really very much want to be perfect. They don’t want to make any mistake and that’s how they are eagerly trying to do everything right. If they do a mistake, they beat themselves up about it mentally. Paired with a tendency to worry about what others think, this gets even worse. A mistake proves you wrong and you get stuck with it. You keep it in the mind, try to make explanations and excuses, you try to hide it so that nobody sees it – in short, you just don’t want to let anybody see that you are not perfect. Maybe you even manage to convince yourself that it was not a real mistake, that in fact you are perfect and it was someone else’s mistake!

Another problem is that there is not always a right and a wrong! For some people, one thing may be right while others would say the same for a completely different matter. So if you are trying to be perfect for your surroundings, you constantly need to change, because the people around you have different ideas of what is perfect!

There is a big lesson for everyone wanting to be perfect: we learn from our mistakes! Yes, it is actually good to do mistakes because they teach you what you should or should not do in future. You can feel guilty about your mistake and ponder on it for weeks or months or you can accept that it was a mistake and make a change!

I can promise you that other people won’t even remember your mistake for as long as you do! They forget it quicker than you because it actually is not as important as you think it is! So when you feel judged by someone about a little thing and then you are worried about it for a long time, they may already have changed their mind and forgotten all about it!

Don’t try to be perfect – you are perfect as you are with all your mistakes!

Be careful with judging others – they may do the same with you! – 22 Feb 16

Don’t you sometimes think that we judge others too easily? That we decide to have a certain opinion about them simply based on seeing them for a very short time, acting in a certain situation? Do you realize you are sometimes judged the same way?

I am someone who says we need judgement. Yes, we do need to judge what is right or wrong, good or bad otherwise we will never in life be able to take decisions. Judgement on others however, should always be handled differently! You may have to judge quickly on whether you want to go way A or way B but when meeting another person, you are not in a rush and may not ever need to make a final judgement at all!

See, we usually get to know a glimpse of a person in our daily life. Unless you spend a lot of time with the other one, there is no way you can really understand where he or she is coming from, why they act the way they do and what they are thinking about.

So you go through your life, catching glimpses of other people’s lives. Some of us right away make our judgement: the woman in the business suit is money-focused. The man with his two children is a good father. The old lady with a bag full of empty bottles is a heavy drinker. But how do we really know?

Life is not black and white. Circumstances lead to actions, many colours paint a picture. Your way does not always have to be the right one. Maybe for you, maybe not for others around you! You may feel good the way you live but there can be others who want to live differently and just because you wouldn’t enjoy that, they may very well do!

By judging, we try to categorize the world and put it in a system that it actually doesn’t fit in. We don’t realize that in the consequence we sometimes react in a negative way on others which is completely uncalled for. We may even prevent positive things from happening to us by doing this quick judgement.

Keep an open mind. This will help you incredibly while trying not to judge others. Remember that there may be other circumstances than what you see right away. And even if you don’t approve – the other one is free to think and act differently, isn’t he? Many times, it won’t even affect you in any way, so you can let it go instead of reacting to the difference.

I think it would help most of us to take all these points into consideration when meeting other people. Be open for each other and anything new that comes your way!

Admit to your Atheism to show that Atheists are not miserable or uncompassionate! – 28 Jul 15

I yesterday mentioned that I happily tell people about my atheist views. I would love to spread this and get more and more people to doubt religion and get away from it. Not every atheist feels like this however! No, there are people who hesitate very much admitting to their non-believing attitude. They even feel guilty about it! If you are one of these, I think you need to change this!

What you need to know to understand the full extent of this problem, is that in India the word atheist, ‘nastik’ in Hindi, somehow has a very negative annotation. A great majority of people is religious and most of them believe that only with the belief in god you can be kind, full of love and enjoy life! They honestly think that someone not believing in god could not be a good, moral person. He or she could not do good for others and not even have fun and laugh him- or herself! It is like the image of a bad person!

That’s why people hesitate to really say that they are non-believers, atheists. They call themselves progressive, logical, skeptical, rational or any other similar word that describes someone who doesn’t conform to traditional ways. None of these words however goes far enough. None of these words is clear enough, in my eyes, to express what you really mean: that you don’t follow religion and don’t believe in god!

In society, the word ‘atheist’ has a negative meaning and you don’t want to be seen in negative light. The way to change this is not however to change the word, the term. If you do this, you provide support to the negative view, agreeing that atheists cannot have fun. You agree that you are not an atheist because you want to be a positive person – and atheists are not. This is not the right way.

The danger doing this is that others, trying to be modern or different, use the same word you do, while they are actually still full-fledged believers! You say that they are not logical but in their minds they are! In the same way you can be misunderstood as such a believer who tries to show a more open and flexible mindset. If you say you are ‘progressive’, it can mean everything from doing your ceremonial worship with electric lights instead of candles to not believing in god!

Call a spade a spade. Only this can prevent confusion.

We have to break the bad annotation of the word ‘atheist’ but that we can only do, if we call ourselves atheists and show the world that we have just the same, no, even more fun! Be clear about who you are and what you think. It is natural and right for you, so you can also tell others about it. With time, the image will change. Be honest and clear – it will bring change!

Here you can see photos of our atheist meeting

Young Adults not living their Life out of Love for their Parents – 23 Apr 15

While I yesterday wrote about parenting questions that refer mostly to dealing with toddlers and small children, I would today like to discuss an issue that comes up with elder children, those who are entering adulthood. It is a problem that I have seen quite a few times and which has been described to me in many consultation sessions: when a parent, especially if it is a single parent, depends so much on the son or daughter that they cannot let go – and make it difficult for their child to find his or her own way!

This sounds very abstract but with a concrete and detailed example, you will know what I mean.

One day, a 20-year-old woman came to a consultation. She told me that she wanted to have my opinion, as I might see things completely differently than the people around her. The emotional dilemma that she was in was the following:

She was living together with her mother. When she had been nine years old, her parents had divorced and after some ugly scenes and fights, neither she nor her mother kept any contact with her father anymore. Her mother raised her on her own and put her whole heart into this job. They had grown very close and the mother was the person whom the daughter trusted and loved most in the world.

Two years ago, this young woman had finished her high school education and had applied at several universities across the country for further studies. There were several letters of acceptance, among them one from a university close-by and also one of a university that she very much wanted to go to but which was further away.

She had had the urge to visit the latter, to get out of the caring home of the mother and to go and explore the world on her own. To start the adventure she imagined life to be and which she guiltily felt she had not really started yet – because she took care of her mother in the same way her mother took care of her. She was quick to explain that she loved her mother more than anything and vice versa. In any case she didn’t want to seem unthankful for everything the mother had done for her, with hard work and much love. In the end however, she had stayed. She had decided for the university close-by.

At the point we met, she was still in the same situation. And she had started resenting many actions of her mother, feeling guilty about it right away, too, unable to help this feeling of anger as if the mother kept her from really living her life. In this confusion, she had come to me.

I told her that her anger showed her what she really wanted: to live her own life. I encouraged her to do exactly that and without feeling guilty about it. If she didn’t, she could see already where it was going. Towards a life of bitterness and resentment! Feelings that would easily spoil the love that she and her mother had for each other.

She had ambitions, goals and dreams, so especially at this age, she should go for it and dive into the adventure! That didn’t mean that she would ‘abandon’ her mother! She could still take care – just from a little further away! And after some time would have passed and she would be independent and established, with more roots in life than now, they might as well find a future together again! The situation could come that she would then be able to take care of her mother more closely.

In my eyes, this was the way which would save their love while letting the daughter live her life – and I am sure her mother understood as well!

Creating your own Reality too far away from Reality – 17 Mar 15

I told you yesterday about the power of your imagination and belief, how you create your own world and how everyone around us does the same. You have every possibility that your fantasy can give you but there is a very big danger to this: you have to stick to certain limits that reality gives you, otherwise you can get hurt, ill and in mental conflicts.

Unfortunately I have seen this happen with people in both, religion and the esoteric scene. They create their own world but with imaginations that don’t stick to the laws of physics. They are flying in the air, often unaware that their belief cannot be real, is proven to be wrong. They get lost in their world, even claiming that things which everyone accepts as proven facts are actually wrong.

That is where it becomes dangerous. It doesn’t hurt anybody if you believe in a soul, in energy, in angels. It can be good for you, you can take willpower and strength from this belief. It can even help you overcome certain physical problems. You just need to take care not to take this too far. Yes, meditation, visualization and positivity or prayers may help you to deal better with pain or a headache for example but when you break your bone, you will need to go to a doctor, there is no way around it.

I know that there are nowadays people who perform ‘spiritual surgery’, claiming to do surgery and cutting out pieces of the body without a knife, without even cutting skin. They make these ‘patients’ believe that they are actually curing them, using chicken blood to make dramatic effects. It is dangerous because they won’t go to see a real studied and certified doctor!

A lot of people don’t only get deceived by others but make themselves believe a whole lot of these things. Coupled with a vivid fantasy, they soon have worlds full of fairies, angels and energies. Their worlds are mixtures of fantasy books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, esoteric texts and lectures they have read and heard and of course religious mythology of various countries! Things are black and white, there are good energies and bad ones, you get sucked out by bad ones that make you ill and all of this is responsible for everything bad in this world.

For some people, this has been the road in mental illness. Their world and the real one, the basic one which we all share with certain physical laws, principles and facts that you cannot avoid, have drifted too far apart! They are only flying in the air and have no connection anymore to what we others call reality. They get paranoid, hearing voices that are not there, seeing dangers where there are none. They get scared of things that are only in their imagination and their own world.

It is dangerous, physically and mentally, to be living so far off in your own imagination, belief and creation that you ignore reality. The reality that others share, not the one that you have created! Please keep that in mind when you try believing in something else, when you decide to put your belief in another imagination. Stay with both feet on the ground, in the real world!

The Role of Ideals in your Life – and why you don’t need them as an Adult – 5 Feb 15

Today I would like to write about ideals. About those people in life whom we see as examples, someone who has a characteristic that we believe is worth imitating and striving for. Let me just tell you about the process of how this should change over the course of years:

When you are a child, you automatically have role models: your parents – or whoever adult it is that raises you. This is something you cannot change or influence, as they are the first people whom you imitate in order to learn the basics of life.

Other family members who are around you become the extended ideals. Elder brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts, regular visitors to your home. You start extending your world and with it your ideals even further. You start going to school and your teachers become ideals. Friends, neighbors and even people whom you don't know personally, like singers or actors, join the list.

When you are small, all these people are just overall great. You accept them as perfect just as they are, without seeing them as real humans with faults and mistakes. This you have to learn bit by bit as you get older and gain perspective. Suddenly you realize that they may be excellent in one area of life but that you should not copy them in another.

You don't only gain perspective, you get mature and have to decide yourself what the characteristics are that you should strive for and what you should imitate or not.

And at some point you have to realize that you are you and that you don't have to be like anybody else. You don't need an ideal to imitate or copy because we all are different and you are unique, too.

You can always look at others for inspiration. Applaud the good and see it as something you can implement in your life. Never however should we stick to our childish way of creating an absolutely perfect ideal – it only leads to covering up their faults with excuses and lies.

Nobody is perfect but we all are unique. And so are you – so just be you, as best as you can!

The Task of Yoga should be to accept Homosexuality – not to fight it! – 1 Jun 14

I told you last week how a gay friend of mine was always in a struggle with himself in the year 2006 because his yoga guru, the man whose advice he followed in every other field, thought that his homosexuality was wrong. Obviously, hearing of these troubles made me wonder why someone accepted such a guru at all and why it was a popular thought that yoga believed homosexuality was a problem.

Obviously, the idea that being gay was something that one should and could fix, was based on religion and tradition, the belief that a couple should be one man and one woman. People earlier thought that everything that was not according to the norm was wrong and something that needed to be fixed. Unfortunately some yogis, those inflexible, old-fashioned people who don’t go with time, still today believe that the attraction to a person of your own gender is something unnatural. And as they wish to fix everything by yoga, they believe they can ‘fix’ homosexuality by removing imaginary blockages.

That’s where this crazy perception of homosexuality comes from. If you see the essence of yoga however, it is all about being yourself. It is about accepting your inside and your outside, about becoming one with your inner essence. I am sure that every gay man and every lesbian woman is convinced that his or her inner core is also lesbian or gay. One’s sexual orientation is a part of one’s inside and I thus believe the yogic task would be to accept your homosexuality – not to fight against it. Doing that openly and in public is in itself already a task that can be quite difficult.

As a gay or lesbian, you most probably have heard all the stupid arguments people try to tell you against your sexual orientation. You get into yoga not only as exercise but also for the meditation and as a spiritual way. So when you get yourself a guru, if you need one at all, how can you choose to follow one who does not accept your homosexuality?

Aren’t you making it difficult for yourself? You are creating an identity conflict and are unable to fulfill the concept of a guru. You have to follow this person completely and you are not supposed to question him in any point. That is the essence of having a guru. So you either give up yourself or you don’t follow the concept of having a guru.

So why do you have a guru at all?

I had seen a long time ago that guruism is something that will only fit with people who are ready not to be themselves.

How a Yoga Guru creates Conflicts in his homosexual Disciples – 25 May 14

I told you already that I had contact with a lot of homosexual people in 2006. One of the gay men whom I met in that time became a good friend of mine. He was interested in yoga and even had an Indian guru. Due to this however I could always see a big conflict in him: his guru did not approve of his homosexuality!

My friend was 23 years old. For years he had had interest in India and although he had never been to my home country, he was very fascinated by its culture, traditions and scriptures. He had read a lot of books about India which of course had influenced him as well. He was a quiet, calm person with a spiritual nature and interest in yoga and meditation. This all had brought him to his guru, an Indian man living in the west, teaching yoga and its philosophy and accepting disciples to follow him.

We spent quite a lot of time together in summer 2006. He came to my programs just to see me and we had long talks on drives from one place to another. On such drives he told me how he, as a young boy, never felt attracted to any woman. It felt more natural to him to find men attractive. Such feelings just never appeared for him when he saw women. I saw how natural his homosexuality was for him and that’s how he said ‘It is just me, my nature!’

Whenever he met his guru however, in Germany or at the guru’s center in the US, he encountered a problem: his guru told him that his homosexuality was a problem that he could, and should, solve. In Hindu religion and in strict yoga traditions, people don’t approve of homosexuality. He loved his guru but was confused and in conflict with his own personality whenever he heard that it was a blockage, something wrong with him that he needed to change or ‘work on’!

I could feel how deeply this was causing him to struggle. It made him insecure on the path he was going because it was a path that didn’t accept a part of him! He felt the need of support of his guru, guidance – which is why he had chosen to have a guru in the first place – but at the same time he did not want to follow everything his guru said!

If he had tried, because of his guru, to shift his attraction from men towards women, he would not have been honest with himself! He was struggling and I was happy to see that his personality won this struggle! He could not compromise with his natural truth.

Unfortunately however, it was a topic that was then always on his mind.

And it was not his only struggle – but more about that another day.

Why it is harder to accept Homosexuality for Men compared to Women – 18 May 14

Last week I told you that I got to know many homosexual women in 2006 who turned to relationships with women after many and often long relationships with men. The gay men whom I got to know, on the other hand, told me rather that they never ever felt attracted to women. While I last week focused on the female point of view of this phenomenon, I would like to write about the male side today.

First of all, I would again like to clarify that this is my personal and practical experience after meeting and talking to thousands of people. It is not based on scientific research but is what I heard from most homosexual men whom I met: ‘I have always been gay!’

They tell me that they never felt any attraction to women but rather felt interested in their male friends, classmates or other men in their surroundings. They noticed early, mostly in their puberty, that they, unlike other guys of their age, did not get aroused by seeing top models or actresses on TV screens. Of course, there were single cases, too, of men who then ‘tried with a woman’ but for whom it felt unnatural and not right. All in all however, most men just never made the experience of being with a woman. So how come it is so different what I heard from men than what I heard from women?

Maybe there are actually much more homosexual men than we know about – because they still live in heterosexual relationships! I think it could be that more lesbian or bi-sexual women take the step out of their relationship and then openly accept their true sexual orientation.

I believe it is in general easier in society for a woman to be lesbian than for a man to be gay. It is the stigma of not being ‘a real man’, the image of a powerless softy instead of the hard and tough man of steel, the womanizer and conqueror of female hearts. There is the fear of being ridiculed and maybe even of losing not only social acceptance but also possibilities to rise in career which leads to less financial security. For women, it is different. In a man’s world – which is unfortunately still the case also for a lot of western societies – a woman kissing a woman will be experienced as hot and sexy by a majority of people, including men, whereas a man kissing a man is perceived very differently. When their boss is a man, and their friends are men with views that are close to homophobia, men with homosexual tendencies may not want to even take the step to explore these.

Additionally, as I already hinted at last week, I believe women are just more open towards each other. They anyway share all their secrets with their best friends – all women – and their friendships often seem to go much deeper than those of men. Men don’t open their inner matters to other men as easily as women do to women. Even when looking at the physical aspects, women are more open towards each other! In gyms, sports clubs and similar establishments they go changing and showering with each other with less shyness. Their openness to mix up socially is, in my view, much higher than that of men. And maybe the step to follow an inner calling is easier, even if you have lived your life in a fully different way for the past two or three decades!

However it may be, nearly all homosexuals that I have known, have told me that they had now found their true self. And that is what I believe is important.

Why do many Women turn lesbian after Experiences with Men? – 11 May 14

I told you last week about the workshop for homosexuals that I gave in 2006. The lady who had organized the workshop was lesbian. She told me that she had been married before but had, after her divorce, only had female partners. She was not the only woman who had told me such a story. Comparatively however, there were only very few gay men who told their experience in this way. Today I would like to consider the female side of this – how come women feel more attracted to women even after having relationships with men while I only hear this from men very rarely?

As I mentioned before, I had met quite a big number of homosexuals until that point. I had given thousands of individual sessions and I believe many homosexual people are open towards spiritual matters, maybe due to the way how they are already ‘different’ in their thinking compared to the mainstream. So from the many individual sessions, there were many with gays and lesbians. And from these lesbians, many told me that they had previously been in relationships with men.

I have in this way met many women, especially in their forties, who sometimes even had adult children. In Germany, in Ireland, in Australia and other countries. Some of them were bi-sexual and they told me it didn’t matter to them whether they hit it off with a man or a woman. If it was for one night or a long-term relationship, it could be a man or a woman for them.

Is it just the logical thing to do for women, when they turn a certain age and would just like to have love and affection but cannot find it with the opposite gender to turn to their own gender? Do they know that after bad experiences with men, women can understand better what they have been through and can feel with them better than any man? Or is there a higher tendency to homosexuality in women?

I believe – and I have read the result of scientific studies proving it – that homosexuality is based in the genes. I am not a scientist and cannot give you details but the conclusion of that research was that it is not someone’s choice to find women more attractive than men or the other way around. So how come it seems so much easier for women to enjoy both?

I believe there might be a reason in the general way how women feel and react and the way how society is working. Women feel a certain pressure from their surroundings to marry, settle down and have children. And women simply tend to succumb to this pressure, to suppress their own feelings and do what they are expected of.

Of course it is also not that a woman wakes up one day in her puberty and realizes ‘I am lesbian’. Maybe she feels attracted to her girlfriends but doesn’t realize that this is okay and normal. Maybe she doesn’t realize that she is less excited for her husband than other women are. Once they are free from the pressure of society however, they truly break free. And then they find their real sexual orientation.

These were my thoughts about lesbian women in 2006, seeing how many actually had years of sexual experiences with men in the past. Next week I will tell you my point of view regarding gay men and their way to find their sexual orientation.