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!’ 😀

Have Fun – especially when Life is hard at the Moment! – 7 Sep 16

I yesterday gave a few ideas as to what you can do when it all just gets too much. I mentioned that you need some time for yourself and also time to wind down in the evening before going to sleep. For anybody who is facing such a situation or other problems like burnout, there is one more very important thing which you have to calculate some time for in your day: fun!

Yes, that is a very important part which you have to remember: don’t forget that enjoying life is an integral part of being alive! When you are in the middle of a problem and don’t seem to find a way out, it doesn’t get into your mind that life could be fun in any way. That is the issue however: as long as you don’t take even a few minutes in a day to enjoy, your mental and emotional situation will get worse and worse!

For everyone, there are different ways to enjoying life. For some it can be playing with their kids, for others it is taking a run in the park, for others it can be dancing in a club and again for others it can be having a nice dinner with friends. Whatever it is, remember to put away your sorrows and enjoy those moments.

If anybody criticizes you for it – because it seems immoral to have fun in such a difficult situation – just wave them off. I wouldn’t even bother explaining because anybody who really cares for you would see the effect: laughing and enjoying recharges your batteries like nothing else. It helps you cope even with the worst of events. You will be able to see things in a different light and deal with situations better.

Mostly, we are anyway not in the worst situations that life can bring. There are often people who are much worse off than we are: refugees whose complete families have been killed by war and who had to leave their country due to this, parents who cannot afford feeding their children and have to see them hungry,… the list is long. We are usually not one of these. Mostly, we can find someone whom we can look at and discover that our problems are really not as big.

So let’s take out a few minutes, just a short time in a day and enjoy life. It is truly important and helps you so much. Once you are through your ordeal, you can look back and say: oh yes, it was a difficult time but those moments made me get through it!

And you will get through it one day!

Smile please! – 27 Aug 16

Today I would like to write a plea for kindness. Yes, a request to all of us out here to be more kind to the people around us.

There is a tendency, I feel, in this modern world with all our gadgets to make life easier, to forget the human being. To forget that the person that is standing in front of you in the queue, is someone with a family, friends, work and life, too. To forget that we all have feelings and have to cope with our own issues.

A lot of times, I notice people being rude to those they don’t know. Complete strangers in public, a cashier, a waiter, someone sitting next to them on the bus. Comments passed that make the other one feel bad, work requested without a smile and complaints over complaints.

Couldn’t we be a bit nicer to each other? Couldn’t we smile with our words? Try to create a little light in the day of the other one instead of being another reason to dislike the day?

We all have our lives, our issues and things to worry, complain or contemplate about. That doesn’t entitle us to be grumpy, impolite and rude. It should make us remember that the other one, too, is going through all of this.

So let’s smile and be kind. Let’s encourage the ones around us to go on strong and show them our support. Even a small gesture, a few kind words can make a huge difference in this world.

Get active and don’t let Hate rule the World – 1 Feb 16

Today I would like to write about a topic that I don’t usually write a lot about: politics. Well, the point is that politics actually affects us all and finally, if we don’t get involved in politics at all, if we stay at home and don’t vote, we allow politicians to run the country without our voice. And that is something we should not do, as it is up to us to prevent madmen from reaching positions of power!

I am actually confident that we have enough sensible people in democratic countries that we could avoid having hateful people in top positions. Those kind of people who stir fire for conflicts, who give strength to ideas of racist, sexist and homophobic nature. Who give others the false moral excuse for violence. I believe we could stop them from reaching power.

If we take a look around the world however, we see that exactly such people are slowly advancing!

In India, we have current Prime Minister Modi with the background of a nationalist party, promoting Hinduism and with that fueling conflicts in between Hindus and Moslems, creating fear in non-Hindu minorities.

In France their old right-wing party, the ‘Front National’ with Marine Le Pen at its head, could celebrate huge success in the recent past. A party favouring the white population of France, opposing immigrants from Africa and previous French colonies, disregarding the fact that some of the ‘dark-skinned’ population of France has already been living there for generations!

In Germany, a relatively new right-wing party has been established, called the AfD, ‘Alternative for Germany’, actively supporting ideals which one can remember from history lessons about World War II and the Nazi time in Germany! Their party’s head even mentioned that policemen have the right to shoot refugees at the border if they try to cross illegally – and they should use it as well!

Finally, in the US we are today looking on the first votes on whether Donald Trump will run for president or not. If Modi made it here, why would it be impossible for this man to win, even though you sometimes feel he looks like a comic figure. With his hate against Mexicans, Moslems and basically immigrants, you feel it is ridiculous to even try in a country which is based on immigration, whose population has all roots in countries across the world! But no, he has come this far and is leading in most surveys for becoming the candidate for the Republican Party!

Here is however what I believe we can do: there are enough of us to find these people crazy, scary and dangerous. Who don’t want them to reach the power they are aiming for or already got. We do have a voice and we have to use it! With the internet, we have media to express ourselves and to show that we don’t support such people.

Modi is already losing supporters here in India. A lot of people are protesting against his government and even those who were convinced that he would bring a change start seeing things differently. In France, voters realized that they could not stay at home and let the Front National get so many votes – and they could strengthen other parties!

This shows that we all have to get up and take our right in our hand to vote, to raise our voices, to speak our mind and show that we are here to live together, not against each other. To find solutions for conflicts which will further humanity, not selected individuals. To spread peace, however cheesy that may sound!

What to do when things are not according to your ideals – 24 Nov 15

Some time ago I wrote about a certain idealism which goes way too far and makes you very unhappy in your daily life. I believe having certain ideals and a clear concept of what is good and what is not is generally beneficial for everyone and a good thing. We need to accept however that the world is not ideal – and that we can do only our own best to make a change.

And there are a lot of possibilities do to that! Just take your job: you may not be able to change everything surrounding it but you can, for example, try to find a job that supports your ideals or at least does not go against them! As a vegetarian, you won’t work at a butcher. Not even in the office – because it is against your ideals. It might be difficult however to find a job that supports each and every of your ideals!

Let me give you an example. So you work in a company which in basic supports your ideals and it is the perfect place for you to work at. Let's say a shop that sells organic food and fair trade items. It is fully according to your ideals – except for one section of the shop: there is a corner with esoteric items as well. Tarot cards, crystal balls and all supplies for modern witches, psychics and healers. You don’t agree with this, believe it creates and supports superstition – but you have to sell that, too!

It is not ideal – but you cannot create a perfect world! On this world everything exists and if you are too idealistic, you will have problems with a great deal of what happens on earth! So instead of getting stuck with the things which are not perfect, find a way to get as close to your ideals as possible – and accept the rest!

You can go further than you think in many ways. Try to do it. You may get to know, for example, that your bank uses the money you have saved there on supporting weapons which are used in wars you don't support. Or other projects that are strongly against your ideals. If that disturbs you, do some research and find a banks that supports the environment or sustainable projects instead – they do exist!

There may even be some of those red flags for you which you cannot change at the moment. In that case, just accept that it is like this for now. That not everything is ideal in this world. That we can work in future against certain things, change mindsets over time for example. Don’t get all upset about such a thing. Don’t get cold – that’s not what I am suggesting. You can feel strongly that it is wrong and you can try to make a change whenever possible. But don’t waste energy on raging or crying about things that you cannot influence at the moment!

There is always a possibility to make it better, even if it exists on the long run or by creating a better example yourself. You have your honesty and you can look after it. You don't have to be dishonest. If it forces you to – change. But otherwise see the beauty, the good and be happy.

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.