How you can finally get rid of your Negativity – 19 Sep 16

I finished yesterday’s blog with a problem for control freaks: their habit of always looking for problems! What can you do about this horrible negativity that doesn’t only hinder your steps when going anywhere but annoys you and your surroundings to a point that neither they nor you can stand yourself anymore?

Well, the answer is simple: Be positive!

I know, stupid answer – but it’s true! That is the only way and although it doesn’t sound like I am actually telling you HOW to do it, it is exactly this! You have to change your perception from negative to positive and your problem will be solved! In fact, a lot of your problems will be solved!

In daily life this means that you have to focus on what is going good. If you see something beautiful, consciously say ‘this is beautiful’. Yes, say it loudly when you like something but remain quiet if you happen to dislike something. Don’t start looking for the flaw but appreciate the beauty. Do all the other things I already recommended for relaxing: take time for yourself, go out in nature, sit in the sun for a while – and enjoy!

I know, there is a certain nervous feeling inside you that tells you to control, to see the bad so that you can fix it if nobody else is there to fix it. There we get to the point I already wrote to you about: it will not be the end of the world if you are not there to control everything and everyone! The show must go on – and it will! Even if sometimes something goes wrong, it is alright – you are not responsible for the whole world!

With this, we get back to the point where we started from: stop controlling, let go. And as the father of a four-year-old who loves stories of magic, princesses and queens names Elsa, I can say you: put on some nice music, dance a bit and sing out loud: ‘LET IT GO, LET IT GOOOO!’ 😀

Negativity – another bad Habit of Control Freaks! – 18 Sep 16

I have been writing about control freaks and their problems as well as the difficulties they can have when trying to leave those habits. There is one more aspect to that which I would like to look at more in detail and which obviously gives such people trouble as well: they have the habit of seeking negative point in everything!

This may seem like a rather unimportant issue, a minor character flaw which you can overlook easily. Of course you can overlook it at another person whom you meet from time to time. But I tell you that this gets really, really difficult for the person himself or herself and even annoying for the people around!

How come? Well, I already pointed out that some people raise their self-esteem with the feeling that they are indispensable. This means that they have to show themselves and the world around that they are the ones who do it right and it wouldn’t work without them. The best way for this is to show others their faults. These have to be found first! That’s how these people develop – consciously or subconsciously – a very good eye for those things which are not working perfectly fine.

Once such a spot is found, they focus on it. They lament about it. They show the consequences of this fault and once you hear them talk about it, you feel, too, that only this fact, this one mistake, means that the world will crash down around you.

Yes, if you are with one of the hard-core control freaks you will regularly have this feeling: you are doing something wrong which will lead to the end of the world! It is definitely not a nice feeling!

As annoying it is for you to be close to this person on the long run, as horrible it is for the person himself whenever he tries to leave this habit! It is hard to stop yourself from seeing everything in a negative way if you have done that for years and years! I always call these people the ‘hole-seekers’ because they manage to find a hole in every blanket, the bad thing in everything good. You can be sure, if there is any flaw, they will find it – and there will be a point that they get annoyed with themselves, too. Hopefully it is on time and not after everyone else has already become upset with them!

What to do if insecure People want to put you down – 18 Nov 15

Today I would like to write about a kind of attitude which can be perceived like negativity sometimes. There are people who thoroughly enjoy putting other people down. They are not actually negative – but they enjoy putting you into a negative space, a mood in which you don’t feel good anymore!

I am sure you have already met such people in your life as well! No matter what you tell them, they will criticize something about your story, how you acted or what your thoughts are to this topic. Intentionally, they will say something that provokes you or gives you the feeling of not being welcome in that conversation or being wrong.

I believe this is a psychological problem and has very much something to do with self-esteem. These people can be educated and even have lots of degrees but they don’t feel good about themselves. They are not secure in their self-confidence and want to satisfy their ego by showing that they are superior to others.

That’s how they have fun in putting others down. They believe the way they are doing things is the only and best way. Everybody who does anything different is practically stupid and thus inferior to them – so that they can feel good about themselves. For this, they don’t hesitate to hurt another person. Knowing that they are in fact terribly unhappy with themselves, with the world and life around them, is the base for dealing with such situations.

Set your boundaries and limits for such people as soon as you realize how they are acting. If you don’t want to be unhappy along with them and don’t want to be dragged into this miserable mood they want to create for you, you need to block their attempts. The best is to get rid of them as soon as possible. You have no chance of having a normal conversation. You cannot correct them because they are convinced that they know everything better anyway! They won’t stop until you are unhappy and feel bad.

So remember that they are actually the ones feeling insecure and having a problem with their self-esteem and their ego. Don’t let them reach until your feelings. Don’t take them serious in what they say and best of all, keep conversations short and light. In this way, you will avoid having your good mood and feelings ruined by someone who just wants to make others feel bad!

What to do when you have to be around a negative Person – 4 Nov 15

Two days ago, I have told you about people who are so strongly negative from their inside, that one can just never satisfy them. Yesterday I explained that we try to avoid such situations by finding out before what a person expects from their stay here. It also happens however that such people come to us. How do we deal with them and what can you do when you find yourself around an extremely negative person?

As business owners offering a service, we see it as our responsibility to satisfy our customers. This seems like a rather dry sentence but it is the truth: we offer a stay at our Ashram and we want to make those happy who come to us! It is like an open shop, we also advertise and in general, it is a place for everybody. That’s how we try to make everybody happy.

We try to tackle also those professionally who seem to be always negative. We try to satisfy them, take their feedback, try to fulfill their wishes in every direction we can. Those who are negative however, may decide to remain negative out of their own wish. If we realize that it is simply not possible to satisfy them, that they would have to bring a change inside themselves to be happy, we change the strategy.

Obviously, it depends on your relation to the other person whether you need to even make this much effort to satisfy him or her. If you cannot avoid being with such a person, try to avoid confrontation. Avoid the situations in which the other one gets very upset. Listen to what they say and agree wherever you do. If you don’t, you don’t need to loudly object. Simply listen – only tell your opinion if you really have to. You already know that they will bring negativity into everything, so just take it easy and let them say what they want!

Of course you can say that communication reduces automatically in this way. You know that nothing positive will come out if you ask anything, so you are even afraid of asking the other one how he or she is. You cut down asking but in order to just keep a minimum of happiness and satisfaction, as much as is somehow possible, you will keep saying good morning, good evening and further basic communication.

Even then, the other one can find something to regret or be unhappy about. Such people can get sad even just due to the fact that others are happy. It might be an opportunity for them to be happy as well – but instead of accepting it, they find it a chance to regret that others are happy.

As I said, you just cannot help them be happy. You just need to accept the situation as it is and take it easy. It has happened before that you met such people and I am sure it will happen in the future as well. For some time, your ways are crossing but there will someday be an end as well!

It is another chance to practice accepting others as they are – without making yourself crazy about it!

Try your best to avoid negative People – 3 Nov 15

Yesterday I described people who are actually impossible to satisfy because they are tremendously negative on the inside. In this way, they often make themselves and the ones around them unhappy. As I told you, we have been in the situation that we had such negative people at the Ashram but it actually happens rarely. Why? Because we try to find out in emailing already whether we can satisfy the person coming to us or not.

The normal way of communication by anybody wanting to come to the Ashram is usually by email. We get inquiries for people wanting to stay with us and we answer them, offering our retreats and journeys. In their emails, people usually already express what they are looking for and expecting and if not, we ask them clearly. We also clearly say who we are, that we don’t believe in god or any religion, that we don’t have any guru and are very free without certain times when you have to get up or go to bed for example.

This already filters the regular pilgrim who wants to come to Vrindavan for practicing his devotion. It filters anybody who is looking for a guru to tell him what he should do. That all is people who have a certain expectation but what about those who are just negative but looking for something that could help them find satisfaction?

Well, you have to read emails with care. Wait, maybe not so much reading with care – you have to pay attention to the feeling you get while reading the emails. Sometimes it is not fully clear but often you will get a lot of doubtful questions with which the person is indirectly already criticizing you before even having met you in person or seen what you do.

If you already have the feeling that someone is being unnecessarily negative while he or she is still thousands of miles away, if you already feel like you have to defend yourself and would rather go back to your normal, peaceful work instead of starting an argument, you know this person is not the right one to spend time with. Not the right one to invite to your home for living there several weeks at a time, being quite close in this way physically, too!

We try our best to say no to any case like this. We try to scan, watching our feelings during our email conversations and checking whether we believe it will be difficult or easy to have that person at our Ashram. We know we cannot satisfy everybody. That is a fact of life you have to accept. But we try not to make it difficult on us by inviting those people whom nobody can satisfy!

In spite of all this, it is sometimes not possible to read all of this out of an email. One gets better at it and so it happens rarely now that we have someone like this at the Ashram but it is part of the game that this also happens.

So what to do if you find yourself together with such a negative person? That’s something I want to write more about tomorrow.

When nothing ever can be right, Satisfaction has to come from inside – 2 Nov 15

Yesterday I started writing a little bit about a positive or negative attitude and how it can – or cannot – influence your life. Have you ever had this kind of person in your life who is so utterly negative that he or she just seems to never be able to be satisfied? Well, I have several times and I tell you that you can do whatever you want to help this person but not ever satisfy him or her – because that has to come from inside!

As such people are, by nature, looking for something else in their lives that may give them satisfaction, I have had several of them in individual counselling sessions and we also had some as visitors at our Ashram from time to time. Anybody who is running a business that includes service knows that these are among the most difficult customers!

Now this absolutely doesn’t mean that these people cannot be lovely beings, that they are mean or that they actually hold a grudge against you or think you are not a good person! There could be those people as well, of course, but mostly I have seen that this is not really the case! They cannot help it, they are just like this inside, are used to complaining, finding negative in everything and never getting the feeling of satisfaction and happiness!

Once we had an Australian woman for example who was always looking for something negative in her daily life here. We already noticed that upon her arrival. I was the first one to greet her, simply because I was outside the moment her car arrived at the Ashram. While most people are happy to arrive after a long journey and looking forward to what they will discover, she didn’t seem to be one of them from the first moment on – I saw that on her face in that very moment!

Now I can tell you that we did everything we could to make her happy – but didn’t succeed. From arranging hygiene products from the market when she couldn’t find the shop to completely changing her retreat program, we tried everything.

I am not going to go into the details of the issues she had but you can imagine – they were not important, never had bothered another guest and were many times simply different from her home country and due to this not right for her.

The interesting point is however that it was not India that was the problem for her and similarly for other such people! It is this nature or characteristic of not wanting to be happy. There is nothing on the outside which can fix this. You can go to the most beautiful of all places, if you want to see bad there, you will! You can bring the best food, clothes, accessories or company – it will never be good.

If you find yourself in this description, please know that you are the one who can change yourself and make yourself happy! I can only imagine how unhappy you must sometimes feel because it is just never right. You are a beautiful person, the people and happenings around you are not all bad either. See that and realize that you can change from inside! It may be a long and sometimes difficult way but you can make it!

I am happy in my life and I love seeing things in a positive light. Please join me at this attitude. In the next days, I will tell you what you can do if you are around such people – and what we do to avoid situations like these.

Are we so negative that we see Gender Discrimination and other Evils everywhere? – 25 Oct 15

Today I had a few thoughts on gender equality, feminism and the attitude of some people to search for something bad in everything they see. Let me explain you this as well as what this all has to do with the Ashram kitchen.

A few of our Ashram guests had an Ayurvedic Cooking Workshop today. They had started in the morning by making paneer and in the afternoon, everyone sat together in the entrance hall of the Ashram, picking spinach leaves. It was a pleasant round of women with my grandmother, three of our female staff members and our guests. I thought it was a nice scene and I took a photo.

After having posted it on facebook, I got several positive comments plus two of the same kind:

"Do only women have the responsibility of cooking food in your place?" and "Seeing your previous posts, I was hoping that men would take part in preparing the daily food at your Ashram!"

Quite obviously these two commentators assumed, from seeing one single picture out of our Ashram, one moment’s shot, that the ladies picking the spinach would also be the ones to prepare the meal. That they were the ones in charge of the kitchen.

I replied with another picture of the situation in the kitchen: several male staff members in the kitchen, rolling out and frying flat bread. I mentioned my hope that this picture would not spark a debate on why we didn’t allow women in our kitchen!

The commentators were people who have never been here, whom I don’t know personally and who really have no idea of the setup of our Ashram, staff and family.

Rest assured, everyone who sees this photo, that men and women work here together with an equal share in tasks of every domain! Currently, the main cook of our kitchen is male. His helpers are both male as female. They all cut vegetables, stir in the pots and bring them to the table! We wouldn’t mind having a female head chef in our kitchen either! My mother was the one who always supervised the kitchen while my brothers and I have taken over that responsibility after she had left – it doesn’t matter which gender the person has as long as he or she knows what needs to be done and how!

So the question of gender equality was quite quickly out of my mind again, as I know we don’t discriminate anybody here – but I thought some more about the mental situation of the commentators. I believe it reflects your inside if you search for something negative wherever you look. Without knowing more, you interpret something into pictures.

Why can’t you just take things light from time to time? Why can’t you just appreciate a nice picture and leave it at that without searching for a fault?

Your Surrounding and you – not a Mirror but mutual Influence – 12 Oct 15

If you have been around in the spiritual scene or are interested in self-improvement books and the like, you must have already read or heard the theory according to which others are showing you a mirror of yourself. While this theory is often taken very far – to my taste at times too far – there is also a good part of truth in there. Simply for one reason: when we are in a group or among other people, we easily adjust our own behavior and get more similar to those around us. Obviously, we should take care what kind of attitude we accept and which we do not!

You may or may not have noticed this yourself. You spend a part of your day at your work, a part of your day with your family and maybe another part of your day with friends. You thus probably have two to three different groups of people around you – and you probably not only act differently around them due to the nature of time you spend together but also because they act differently and you adapted your own behavior.

If the attitude in your office is a rather negative one for example, you will find your coworkers complaining a lot. At the point when you notice that, you may also catch yourself doing the same thing! Why? Because this is the group dynamic at your work place! In a group, we want to be accepted and so, without necessarily doing it consciously, we imitate others. They complain? We do as well. And with negativity, this can easily become a downward spiral! Once you notice, you can say that they are mirroring you – or you can say you adapted. In any case, you should try to be more positive.

The same thing happens in positive way! If you are around positive people, you cannot avoid being influenced by them. It is so much easier to be positive if the ones around you are! Making jokes, laughing, enjoying your time – it is best around people who do that, too!

This does not only mean that others have an influence on you and it also doesn’t mean that you are horribly negative if you meet a very negative person. It means that you, too, have a strong impact on those around you, especially those with whom you spend a lot of time in a day!

So no matter if you are at work, at home or spending time with your friends – focus on being positive and thus influence the people around you instead of adapting to their negativity!

Stay positive – everything difficult will only make you stronger! – 10 Sep 15

I yesterday told you that you can help yourself getting out of a bad situation, even if you think you have the worst time of your life until that point! I tell you seriously, looking back, you will even realize that what happened also brought good. And that is what can bring you through and out of these times!

For some people, this realization comes with age. The first time your life seems to get upside down due to a tragedy or any bad thing happening to you, you are devastated, thinking that misery will never end. Once you have made this experience a few times however, you will deep inside know that you will get through. Obviously however not everyone has to get through such times that often!

I know it sounds cheesy and somehow not practical to say ‘there is something good in everything that happens’ but reality shows that it is true – you just cannot see it yet. If you are in the middle of those depressing feelings, thinking that everything is lost, you will be unable to believe it.

You have to break this thought however. Talk to your friends, listen to their stories, share how you feel. Put on some good music, go out in nature, sit in the sun, take a swim, exercise, run, take a warm bath, get a massage and eat some good food. Do something that makes you instantly feel better – and then reconsider your situation once more.

Whatever you do now, don't do it out of desperation, fear of the wold breaking further apart or anger about what has happened. Do the best you can do, do it with the view on the future, knowing that better times will come.

Have patience – you will be alright and will look back at this time as a period that has strengthened you!

Are you having ‘the worst Time of your Life’? Get yourself out of it! – 9 Sep 15

I yesterday told you of an Austrian friend of mine who called me with an issue he could not discuss with any of his close friends. At a point of our talk, he mentioned that it was the darkest period of his life which he was in now. I have heard such words from several people in my life who came to me for counselling sessions and that’s how I thought I should write some words about this situation and about these feelings.

The first thing when you find yourself in such a situation is to realize it. Once you have the realization that this is one of ‘the worst times ever’, you have the possibility to calm down enough to sort things out.

This usually happens when there are unforeseen changes, when things happen that your mind didn’t have time to prepare for. It can be accidents, illnesses, natural catastrophes, deaths of loved ones, the loss of your job, a break-up or betrayal by a partner, by relatives or friends. There are other things that can add to this of course – the base is that these things bring you down, make you feel bad and don’t give your mind a chance to see something positive, usually because several of these happened in a short period, one after the other.

Whatever it is that brought you in this situation, take a look at it. See exactly what it has changed and please let out your feelings as well. Dedicate some time to the grief you need for what you have lost. It is completely normal and you have to go through these emotions. And then you come out of them.

Sounds easier said than done? Because you have the wrong attitude towards it! Usually people refuse leaving the details behind. They get stuck with small ‘What if’ questions that don’t lead them anywhere. They keep on replaying crucial moments in their minds or try desperately to get back to the point they were standing at before.

Depression starts when they realize it is not possible, that their struggle is in vain. You cannot turn back time, you cannot make things undone and you cannot change your actions of the past. You can however change your point of view on what has happened and is happening – and thus pull yourself out of negativity.

You need time to process whatever has happened. There is a point however when you have to stop thinking of the past and realize that there is a new tomorrow in front of you. Those feelings cannot and will not go on forever! There will be a better time again and that’s what we all work on every day!