It is your Decision which Mood you want to be in – 3 Mar 16

You are the one who decides what mood to be in – even with outer circumstances obviously influencing you! When an Ashram guest recently told us about a situation she had, I was reminded of this fact once more.

This young woman had decided to make her trip to India already a long time ago. When she told her family and friends about the plans and the booking she had made, she got mixed responses. Some people were happy and excited for her but others warned her that she would not have a good time, that it was dangerous and that she should not go.

It is mostly those who have not been themselves and know only media reports who warn others from going to India. That’s what our friend figured out herself, too, and she thus came anyway. She chose a good place to start at – our Ashram. Here, she had time to slowly get used to the Indian climate, time zone and of course culture.

After a few days, she was already fully enjoying her time! She did yoga every morning and relaxed in daily massages and treatments. She visited the town and made beautiful experiences outside the Ashram as well. That’s how our new friend decided to share pictures and stories on facebook and other social media networks, too.

The next day, she was visibly upset and she shared why: she had received a message by one friend, who had been to India herself and had not had a beautiful experience but had nevertheless supported her in going. It was strange – in her email, this ‘friend’ basically scolded her for putting her pictures online! She told her that she should enjoy the moment and share her experiences with friends later. She would otherwise spoil it for herself. It was a rude message and had really upset this young woman.

We talked about it and all agreed that she should not take someone else’s words to the heart so much that it spoilt her time there. On top of that, she knew that the other one was a rather negative woman who had on top of it not had a good time in India herself! So chances were that she was envious and just didn’t want our guest to have as good of a time as she was having!

Talking about it helped our new friend and it was nice to see that she took her decision: a decision to be happy instead of letting others put her down!

Has your bad Mood become your Habit? – 17 Sep 12

Last week I told you in one of my diary entries that people asked whether Apra never had bad mood. In that time I also said how funny I found the idea that this was something that was necessary. A time period of each day should be dedicated to bad mood – a concept that I absolutely don’t share. I have however seen this kind of attitude in many people and mostly in the west. This makes me write today about the western idea that you need to have a bad mood at least from time to time.

First of all, let me introduce this concept to all those of you who are not familiar with it: You are fine in general and there are no major problems in your life. Your family is doing good, you are not ill and you have a job or enough money to nicely live your life the way you have been doing it for a while. So actually everything is fine and you should be happy. But wait, there it is, this thought, should you not have a bad mood sometimes, too? This is the point where people search for anything that they can be upset about. And then they are upset. You cannot do anything about it. They believe it is their right and duty to be grumpy now, to pull a face and to give a general impression of unhappiness.

They can take any reason for being in this mood, no matter how small and insignificant it is: the weather, a mosquito bite, a torn nail, a lost pen or a TV series that won’t be aired anymore. The ‘overall situation’ is also often named as the culprit. In reality however there is absolutely no reason. It is just the feeling that you need to be in a bad mood from time to time.

Unfortunately this behaviour easily becomes a habit and you see people taking time for this every single day and for longer and longer periods of time. It is like an addiction, something they ‘have to do’, which at some point they don’t even know anymore how to prevent or come out of! Suddenly, everything around them is bad. They are so decidedly negative that even things which they would usually appreciate as beautiful are ugly all of a sudden. With their mood they pollute the atmosphere and the mood of those around them.

There have been many attempts to explain this phenomenon. One guess is that they need this bad feeling to have a contrast to all the good that is happening around them – so that they can feel good about it later again.

This theory would mean that it is a problem that happens only to people who are too well to appreciate it. The solution would be just to think of people who don’t have it as good as you do and you would be fine. I am not so sure about this though. I believe it is rather a matter of general negativity that people get used to and then cannot get rid of anymore. They are just too used to this feeling.

Let me help you finding back to your good feeling. Meditation and being calm and balanced help of course. Exercise or yoga also helps. But what helps most is to realize what you are doing when this happens. You are spoiling your own mood! Not anybody else’s, your own! Maybe others get influenced by it but when it becomes a regular occurrence that you have a bad mood, they just get used to it! Think of how much nicer the time would be not only for others but for yourself if you were in a good mood instead!

Some people say that mood is not like a switch – but if you cannot change your own mood, who can? You are the one who can do it, so get out of that pitiful state that you are in and be happy!

Answer to the Question: Does Apra ever cry? – 14 Sep 12

I am a very open person and I like sharing my life openly. Not even 24 hours after Apra’s birth we uploaded her picture onto this website, in a blog entry in which I told you about our luck to have a daughter. I have shared stories and pictures in the weeks and months after that on this blog and we have uploaded hundreds or pictures on Apra’s gallery. As our friends and family members are spread all over the world, we recently started a facebook page where we want to share Apra’s daily pictures with everyone and where we have posted her monthly videos, too.

I know that people love seeing pictures of her. We had such a great response to the facebook page, hundreds of people shared her pictures and also on our own photo gallery, people comment. We get emails of people writing how cute she is and how much she shines and laughs. There are really so many laughing pictures of her that people have even asked me ‘Does she ever cry?’ Another person asked ‘Does she even have time to have a bad mood?’ and someone else asked if we could send them a picture of her in bad mood or crying.

I honestly have to tell you that we cannot send you such a picture! Our little girl has a very, very happy nature. Her first picture was one with a big smile, just some hours after her birth. She laughs, she giggles and she smiles. When she is busy examining some new item that came in her hand – be that a bowl, an empty water bottle or anything that was lying in her way – she is serious, interested, curious – but still in a happy mood.

Of course I cannot say that our baby never cries but it is on rare occasions. And on those occasions we don’t stand in front of her with the camera! We try our best to calm her down and to make her laugh again. Someone will pick her up, give her something new to look at, make a funny noise, swing her up and down or walk out of the room to change atmosphere and do something else. Usually she is quiet within a minute or two.

We know already that she has a strong will: when she is tired, she gets impatient and fights with sleep and manages to stay up for quite a while until our efforts to make her sleep are successful. When she is hungry, she gets even more impatient and screams to get your attention and to feed her. This is how there are sometimes three people busy feeding her in our dinner or lunchtime: the moment after she swallowed what you have put into her mouth, she will demand more! You cannot be quick enough to fill your spoon again – so it is good if another person is there with another spoon full of vegetables or lentils.

She tells already where she wants to go by stretching out her hands towards people or doors. When we put her down on a carpet or the floor, she crawls there herself and with a hand as support, she can already make some shaky steps towards her goal, too. Here are many hands to help her reach where she wants to reach – so why would she cry?

Why would she need time to be sad or in a bad mood? Is this not a funny attitude that some hours of bad mood have to exist in one day, too? But really whenever it happens that she is not as happy, we just do everything to make her feel better – and don’t take pictures in that time.

Whenever you will come by at the Ashram you can play with her yourself you will see that whenever she just makes the first noises of crying, you will try to distract her and make her laugh again – because her laugh is just the greatest thing in this world!

A Basic Negative Attitude Can Spoil your Day – 7 Jul 10

Today in the morning we started our journey back to Wiesbaden. We went by train and already talked about how nice it is to have this convenient way of travelling. There are good connections, you can just get in, sit down and enjoy the ride until you are at your destination. You can sleep, read, work on computer and even on the internet on some trains and of course you can also have food in the train.

We had prepared some things to take along on the train so that we could have lunch. We unpacked our food shortly after crossing the border to Germany and placed it on the table which was in between us. There were four seats, two and two in front of each other with a table in between and we had reserved three of those places. We had seen before that a person has reserved the fourth place, too, from the first Germany station up to Frankfurt. Otherwise, the rest of the train was pretty empty.

So we started eating and when the train stopped, a woman came in, looked at the seat numbers and said to us ‘This is my seat’. Ramona replied that now we were eating, if she would not mind, she could sit just next to us across the aisle where the same combination of seats with table was completely empty. Ramona added that she would have more space there. You could see in the lady’s face that she absolutely disagreed. ‘This is going too far!’ she said to Ramona and then to me, in English, ‘I paid for this place!’ Ramona was still friendly and told her that it was absolutely no problem if she wanted to sit on her seat, just there would be more space on the other side. The woman insisted and sat down with us.

There she was, sitting at our table, looking as if something had made her really angry. I thought it would be just friendly to offer her some food, too, as we were having lunch, so I asked her ‘Would you like to have some food? We have plenty!’ She replied ‘Oh, I can see, there is plenty, no, thank you!’ We smiled at that but she did not move her mouth. She kept on sitting there for a while, watching us eating with an expression on the face that clearly displayed her thoughts. Why were we sitting here next to her? Why were we eating happily while she was so angry? Why did she have the bad luck to have the seat right next to us and how could we dare asking her to sit somewhere else? Then, after maybe fifteen minutes, she got up, took her bag and left. She did not sit across the aisle, where the seats were still empty. She moved to the next wagon.

It was a very funny incident. We had to laugh about it afterwards and Thomas said this was typically German. The woman paid for the seat with this number, so she had to have this number! Even there was another option and with much more space, but she absolutely wanted to sit there. We could understand her hesitation if the whole train had been full and she could not find any other place. We could also understand if she had reserved a place with table and there was no other table free but there was the same place arrangement with three more places free!

Well, this did not spoil our mood, for us it did not really matter if she was sitting with us or not, but we thought about her and her mood. She fully spoiled her own mood for her journey and for no reason at all! We talked about it and realized that some people just have this kind of negative attitude towards strangers, towards changes, towards any kind of unplanned activity. There is no reason to be upset but still they decide to be. Be happy and positive instead!

Switzerland was nice but we are also happy to be back here in Wiesbaden.

Pet Words – Repeating the same Words again and again – 9 June 10

Today it was raining the whole day in New York. A couple of times we wanted to go out but then changed our minds because we did not want to get wet. So we were sitting, talking and laughing together in a funny mood, right?

Somehow we came to the fact that some people have the habit of repeating some of their words at the end of each sentence, right? They say something and then, for sure, this sentence or phrase follows. You are even sitting there, listening and just waiting for this word to appear. Some say ‘you know?’ and some people go further and say ‘you know what I mean?’. Ramona told about one person who kept on saying ‘just’ in each sentence, right? It was just funny because you cannot say ‘just’ in each content. It is just wrong. He ended up saying things like ‘And just 300 people died’. Which surely doesn’t give the right impression.

Some speakers always use the same kind of expression in their talk, one of these being ‘Please understand!’. I knew the Hindi word for this habit, looked it up and saw that it is called ‘pet words’ in English, right? Yashendu knows not only one person who always finished their sentences with ‘isn’t it’. Others say it in the beginning of the sentence: ‘I mean’, right?

I think you see where I am going, right?

Enjoy Life and Show others the Beauty of this World – 8 June 10

Sometimes the human mind and emotions can be funny. From time to time there is an event, big or small, in your day that makes you feel sad or spoil your mood. Other events make you happy and jolly. And then there are people who, when they are in a bad situation, see everything around them as bad. They are fully in that mood then and from alone they don’t seem to be able to come out of it.

They are sitting in a beautiful park, flowers are smelling great and look beautiful and the tree in front of them is full of apples. But they don’t see it. Some thoughts that they can have are ‘Why is that bird so loud?’, ‘It is too hot for the beginning of June’ or ‘The wind is too cold’. And actually they are in their mind fully in their problem, whatever it is, work, family…

Then suddenly an apple falls down from the tree and all they think is: ‘See, even the apples are going bad and fall down! It is a bad day!’ In that mood he is surely no Newton contemplating about gravity and laws of physics. That is just not the right moment.

However there is someone else in the park, too. One person comes along the way, sees how the apple falls down, picks it up, cleans it with his shirt and gives it to the one who is sitting on his bench in a bad mood. ‘Here, for you!’ The man in the bad mood takes it, bites into it and immediately tastes how wonderful this fruit is, sweet and ripe, natural just from the tree. And he cannot help but feel better. The world is already much brighter.

Everybody may need someone at some point who picks up an apple for you. Someone who helps you to see the world in another way, to see the beauty of this world again. That is what I like to do: picking up apples and handing them to others. Do it, show others that life is sweet and that you need to enjoy it. Why otherwise are you in this beautiful park?

And whenever you are tired of picking up apples and sit on the bench yourself, there will be someone to share a half of his apple with you!

Others trying to get you down? Be Happy! – 28 May 10

I am happy these days, life is wonderful. It is beautiful and when you are in this mood, you enjoy everything. You are jolly, you are happy and you meet people in this way. The usual reaction will be that people smile back at you, they are happy, too, that there is a person as happy as you and already you shared a little happiness with them.

However you might also get another experience which Thomas mentioned when I talked with him about this some time ago: some people don’t get happy, they seem to begin searching for something that could make you unhappy. They are jealous and think ‘Why are you so happy?’ and even if they do not realize it, even if it happens subconsciously, they are searching for something to say that could spoil your mood.

Did you ever experience a small mean remark of someone just at a moment when you were really happy? It can be a reminder of a part of your life that is not so well such as ‘That is great but what will your ex-wife/parents/boss think of that?’ or a try to make you afraid like ‘For now you can do this but think about the future/money/your children!’

Don’t let this get you down! If you are in a great mood, you can manage it, whatever will come. If you are happy, you can make connections with other people, you can share and spread your happiness. There are more people who are happy with you than those who are not. And for those who want to put you down, you actually need to see that they are not happy themselves. They need even more happiness than those who can smile with you. So stay smiling and reply ‘Everything will be fine, don’t worry!’

Not Following German Manners Regarding Gas – and Laughing about it! – 18 Jul 09

Once we were invited by someone for dinner. It was a really nice evening and we were just eating when I felt I had some gas. And I know people here like to hold that back but I cannot do that. So I let it go. I know everyone heard it and I just had to start laughing. And then I couldn’t stop anymore! I tried very hard because I know here it is considered as bad manners but I just couldn’t stop! It is so difficult to stop laughing when you are in this mood. And it makes it more funny that here nobody would talk about this.

It was funny and it took me some time to stop laughing. I hope nobody got offended by this, especially as I know that my hosts were serious people who take care of manners. And this is here absolutely no good manners but in India not really seen as bad manners.

Since that evening Ramona says I am even more crazy than her. But you see how much fun I had because of this! And I think this is the most important part. You should not let your manners kill the fun of life! I like this kind of laughter which is loud and how much you try to stop it, it comes more and more. I hope everybody knows this feeling how it is that you just cannot stop laughing! And afterwards you feel really good! Live, laugh and love.

Today's food was sponsored by Pia Rackl. She collected for her birthday.
Click here to see pictures of today's food

Good Mood with and without Ice-Cream – 7 Jul 09

Yesterday I wrote that it is sometimes not good if people get used to do a certain thing on a certain day. Often people make rules for themselves in this way. Today Iris was joking and said that I also eat ice-cream always at the same time: after dinner. And it is true, I usually don’t eat ice-cream in the middle of the day because I like to keep my hunger for dinner and have something sweet afterwards. But I somehow see things in another way and have another attitude towards this ‘rule’. Good, this is my ice-cream time and then I am in a good mood. Even if there is no ice-cream. I will be in a good mood no matter if there is ice-cream or not. And in this way I am not depending on ice-cream to make me happy.

Today was ‘master’s day’ in India. For me a child can also be a master from whom you learn something. I was talking with the Ashram via Skype and could see and talk with my father and family. It was really nice. And today we also have distance healing and I will connect again with everybody meditating at the same time.

Saturday is Cleaning-Day? You are free to Decide – 6 Jul 09

Several times I have already talked about how people have different faces in their lives. I thought about it and saw that sometimes our patterns, habits and the rules that we set for our behavior help to create these different faces. We have for example different clothes. There are casual clothes, work clothes and party clothes. And when you wear certain clothes it creates a certain mood and energy. You will be in the suiting mood and energy. This creates different faces.

We even have a mindset with different days. Many times we are used to do certain things on certain days, for example Saturday which is a popular day for cleaning the house and doing garden work. So you already create the energy for this before the day is there. Often people fix their mind about their eating habits for religious reasons. Some people have the rule not to eat meat on Fridays and many people eat a great lunch on Sunday.

This all helps us to fix ourselves into a certain frame and our emotions and mood is getting very much dependent on certain days, certain clothes etc. Then we cannot feel free but it becomes a rule: if I wear these clothes, I have this mood. I have to have this feeling now because it is this weekday.

I am not really against it if something makes you feel good and happy. It is great if you feel good when it is there. But on the other hand, if these conditions are not given, you have difficulties being happy. You need certain things to feel happy. But to be happy and to free the consciousness from all these rules, regulations and dependencies we need to develop more and to grow our consciousness more. We won’t depend on time anymore. I can make Sunday today. Material, time, clothes, food, places, anything should not matter. We are the creator and can create anytime, anyplace.