My 6 tips for a relaxed Christmas

Christmas is not for wimps.

At no other time of the year expectations are so high and are disappointed so easily. Media and advertisements dazzle us with pictures of peace and bliss: In soft candle light a big family is sitting happily around a big table and exchanges gifts that everybody is crazy about. (You can read this article in German here.)

Even though I am very much aware of these manipulations I still catch myself succumbing to them.

How plausible is it that a big group of people, who don´t meet very often will understand each other blindly?

Reality-Check: Are you clear about your expectations for Christmas?

My own experiences

When I was a child there was always stress and conflict on Christmas. My mother, left alone with all the preparations was totally exhausted by Christmas Eve. My father did not feel responsible for either household chores or Christmas arrangements.

We 4 kids were so excited that we were probably quite a handful. I was the oldest and I felt responsible for keeping the peace, which was more than I could handle, of course. This was probably the reason for my growing apprehension. When I moved out I avoided spending Christmas at home.

Since then I have been working on making Christmas less stressful for me.

I have known my husband for almost 30 years now and we have had children for 18 years. This means that I had lots of time to practise. It was a long learning process.

Here I share 6 tips for a more tranquil Christmas:

1. Be mindful in the pre-Christmas period

It is not a good idea to exhaust yourself by the Christmas preparations. When I have a busy work schedule I bake less Christmas cookies and our house is less orderly. Every year I used to pack 24 little gifts for the advent calendar of my three children. This year we agreed on pre-manufactured ones and this saved lots of time and energy.

I also cut back on volunteering in December. I do not stop everything, but I don´t feel responsible for baking at the school any more, for example. I see this as a good investment for me in a more relaxed Christmas season.

2. Less presents can be a good idea

I have very good experiences with cutting back on presents for friends and my extended family. The adults in our families – my husband and I have 3 siblings – have been skipping presents for a long time. Before we had children we rented a house in Denmark instead, which was very relaxing.

Since I don´t like to go shopping I have a list with ideas for Christmas presents that I add to during the year. Last minute Christmas shopping is nothing for me and I try to avoid that.

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Last year working on several Advent wreaths.

3. Communication, communication, communication

The most important thing for me is to get to know the individual expectations of everybody who participates in my Christmas: Children, parents, grandparents, siblings or friends.

Who expects what and which expectations do we want to meet? It is not as easy as one might think to uncover the true expectations of everybody involved. Often you will get vague answers: “Oh, you know…” but this is not helpful. To express oneself clearly helps both the listener and the talker.

When people don´t communicate openly and say: “I am okay with everything” even though this is not true, there will be problems. My mother-in-law always had a hard time to clearly state her wishes and this way she was sometimes disappointed.

Achieving transparency about the individual expectations is a process that takes time. But it is very much worth it. In my experience the more transparency we generate the less conflicts we have at Christmas.

4. Reflection

When we have children it is particularly important to be as clear as possible about our own wishes. Here are some questions that can help:

  • Which values do we have and which ones do we want to live?
  • What are our goals this Christmas and what do we want to avoid?
  • What did we enjoy in previous years and what do we want to repeat?
  • What are Christmas rituals that are important to us and do they still fit?
  • Set clear priorities: What is most important for us? (For me it is stress-reduction.)

Recognising and getting rid of obsolete automatisms

Especially at Christmas time we tend to stick to traditions because we somehow feel as if our Christmas would die when we change something. This is nonsense of course; there are much more possibilities than we are aware of.

In Germany we have a Christmas tradition to eat goose on Christmas day. Just like the Thanksgiving turkey in the States the preparations are time-consuming. Luckily there are alternatives to cooking your own goose now: They can either eat out or order goose-to-go.

To have creative ideas and new solutions we have to be open for new possibilities. We need to be aware that we are running on autopilot mode even more at Christmas time than on other occasions.

When I am feeling stressed about something I do creative sessions with my husband where we evaluate alternative ways to reach my goal together.

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5. Planning

My Christmas holidays profit from structure. The more persons are involved the more a plan can help. This plan should include lots of free spaces and breathing room to prevent pressure building up because of a tight schedule.

Free space in the Christmas plan is most important.

How detailed you plan for the holidays depends on you. Here are some ideas:

  • Prepare a rough approximate timetable (make sure to include enough breathing space).
  • Create a general overview: Who is where when?
  • Make a meal-plan: Who is responsible for what and what can be prepared ahead of time? This food-plan relaxes me a lot.
  • Include time for individual or joint breaks: Watch a film, go for a walk or play together.

I have learned that Christmas is not the right time for experiments. Things we are used to doing feel comfortable to us. Playing board games when you never do this is not a good idea.

Children need breathing room

Small children have short attention spans and cannot occupy themselves for a long time. I advise against planning an elaborate meal that gives children too little space. When my children are happy and relaxed, so am I.

Big children can be included in the preparations and take responsibility for some chores. My children even enjoy to help at Christmas time, probably because they don´t enjoy a stressed-out mother! For me as the head planner it is important to be as clear as possible when delegating.

6. You are responsible for yourself

Everybody is responsible for creating the conditions they feel well in. It is not possible to delegate this. This is especially true at Christmas time where people tend to create extremes more easily and may suddenly find themselves in explosive situations.

My kids often realise before I do when I start to get agitated and ask me: What is the matter, Mom? I am thankful for this warning that enables me to become aware and react.

What is good for you at Christmas time?

  • When you need a time-out it is okay to skip Christmas altogether.
  • Dare to change old structures when they are a burden for you.
  • Include family and participants early on in the Christmas preparations. Beware that you have to live with other people doing stuff differently from you, which is a good exercise in acceptance.
  • Do you really have to invite relatives who are annoying just because they are family?
  • Very important: You are not responsible for what others think of you.

When the situation is escalating:

  • Get help bringing down your stress level.
  • Note your stress triggers and get back to them after the holidays.
  • Don´t expect easy Christmas holidays only because you changed some things.

Christmas time is always a good test for me that shows how much progress I have made in my personal development.

My offer for a more relaxed Christmas season:

Especially at Christmastime issues we are working on will pop up. Don´t hesitate to ask for help. I offer special energy-coachings before Christmas.

Pictures: private

© Inge Schumacher

 Book-tip: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg

 

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Leadership in Times of Transformation

We live in volatile times and cannot accurately predict what will happen next.

  • In the near future climate and earth changes and wars might cause more displacements of millions of people
  • The world economy is far from stable: Shaky banks, unstable trade relations and inequality attest to that
  • Old structures are crumbling
  • Authority that used to come automatically with the office is gone: The president of the United States and the CEO of Volkswagen are examples

A buzzword that illustrates the situation very well is VUCA. It is the acronym for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, which is just a complicated way of saying:

There are too many moving parts

 

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To meet the challenges we face today and in the future we need new ways for coping. The structures that have been working for us so far don´t suffice. We need to make international cooperation more efficient.

We have a good base to build upon

In case of earthquakes or other environmental disasters international rescue teams are able to fly in with only a few hours notice. This is a great accomplishment. I think we should opt for complementing this with informal networks in every country that can call to action people for whatever needs to be done.

To manage this we need responsible leaders

When 1 million refugees came to Germany in 2015 there were no structures that could have coped with this. Millions of individuals taking action made all the difference. I have personally met many responsible leaders in this situation: They saw the need, stepped in and helped. They seemed to come out of nowhere. Nobody told them what to do and how to do it.

We have all the resources we need

The digital age gives us a solid base for international networking. We only have to put our human ingenuity and creativity to good use to master these turbulent times. Sounds easy doesn´t it?

We have great human resources to build on and I am witnessing many people learning and educating themselves to be able to play a responsible part in this.

Balanced personalities

It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves first. People who don´t know how to properly care for themselves cannot take care of others. I believe that only when we take good care of ourselves we are able to develop balanced personalities and bring balance back to this planet.

We are becoming more aware of our interconnectedness

I see this clearly in my clients of all ages: They are actively working on becoming more aware of themselves and they start to see our interconnectedness.

The generation Y is another good example: They are digital natives. Born between 1980 and 2000 they prefer to work in teams rather than in deep hierarchies, they long for more freedom and personal-fulfilment and less for status and prestige. They want to make a contribution that matters.

International cooperation will save us

We are in the age of self-empowerment and cooperation. To manage the many moving parts we need to juggle it is very helpful to cooperate worldwide. More and more people are realising this.

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What skills do responsible leaders need?

I compare responsible leaders with bus drivers because for bus drivers many hard skills we believe to be important are secondary.

They don´t need a university degree or specific professional skills other than knowing how to handle a bus. The people who want to travel to a destination are focused on getting there. They choose a driver they trust. Together the two groups make efficient teams.

Soft skills are essential for responsible leaders

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills and communication skills.

Bus drivers care for the wellbeing of the people they drive. They need soft skills to be good at that. Leading responsibly is all about self-awareness: Responsible leaders lead by example. They go first and don´t dictate what others should do. They demonstrate how something can be done and others will follow.

Characteristics of responsible leaders

The responsible leaders I have met or follow in the media have these characteristics:

  • They are unpretentious: They are not motivated primarily by prestige, fame or status.
  • They are interested in making a contribution that matters.
  • They see the bigger picture and care for the wellbeing of others.
  • They risk exploring new paths thereby creating opportunities for themselves and for others.
  • They are motivated by the problem or the task at hand and don´t necessarily care for long-term commitments. When they reach their goals they search for a new challenge or drop the role of the leader altogether.
  • They walk their talk and thus earn their authority: They are authentic.

In times of turmoil we need leaders who are at peace with themselves

  • They have to be self-confident enough to not be thrown off course easily.
  • They respect and accept themselves and their fellow humans.
  • They see and acknowledge the talents of the people around them and encourage them use them.
  • They inspire cooperation and teamwork.

How to cultivate and develop responsible leaders

We are the examples for the younger generations. The most important thing we need to teach everybody is how to become responsible for themselves and to take care of themselves.

In my workshops and in my practise I see people of all generations working on educating themselves and getting to know themselves better. This is great, because we need more people who are aware of their potentials, who know that they have what it takes to become responsible leaders.

Examples of responsible leaders today

There already are many responsible leaders today. Here are some examples:

  • Jóhannesson, president of Iceland,
  • Pope Francis
  • Khan, founder of the non-profit educational organisation Khan Academy
  • Kayango: The global soap project
  • Check TED talks on Youtube, you can meet more there

One way of supporting responsible leaders is to establish more informal international connections between individuals.

Examples of successful international connections

  • Exchange programs for teenagers and students
  • International work camps for young people all over the world
  • Conferences like the ICSR in Cologne for networking
  • The Panama Papers: International journalists collaborated for years and published simultaneously: A revolution in investigative journalism

The good thing is that we are getting to know and to work with each other worldwide that way.

How we can support responsible leaders

In Germany during the last 3 years we built informal networks involving volunteer organisations, state officials and politics.

In my hometown of Hamburg it took a long time to establish cross-sectional communication across the different government agencies. This is not working perfectly yet, but we have established these networks and we will surely need them again.

We are all responsible for our future

The weight of our future is not only resting on the shoulders of responsible leaders. Quite the contrary:

Responsible leaders are the ones who are stepping in when they see the need. They go first and start driving a bus. Their passengers are the people who support them. They see the need to get to the destination themselves. The drivers set the example and the passengers make their own responsible choices.

We are all in this together. We all are responsible for creating our joint future. Together we can make things happen we would never have thought possible.

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Are you working on taking care of yourself?

To be able to shape a better future together we have to know how to take care of ourselves and accept ourselves first. You think you are already taking good care of yourself? Really? Think again!

Just try to monitor for one day how often you tell yourself that you are stupid for forgetting this, that you are dumb for making that wrong decision. This is not taking care of yourself or acceptance! Believe me, I have been working on this for ages and it still is work in progress. But I have learned that when I accept myself more it is much easier to accept others.

Why is it so hard to accept ourselves? We were brought up to always look at what we lack and what we are deficient at. As a consequence we treat us habitually bad so often that we don´t even realise what we are doing. Only when we become aware of what we are doing we are able to change this.

Not all of us have to be leaders, but the world needs all of us to take responsibility for ourselves. My own experience shows how important it is to be responsible for myself. People who know themselves better are more able to see the bigger picture and make a difference.

Living in a VUCA world

We have to remind ourselves that we are the ones who create our reality. We have to own our authority and be courageous enough to jump into processes with unknown ends. We need more positive pictures of the future to interest more people to involve themselves in the coming transformations.

The situation is going to stay volatile. But panicking is not helping. We can do this. Together we are able to ride the waves of transformation and not get drowned by them. Responsible people and responsible leaders will make the difference. Because:

Everybody can cause considerable rippling effects by being truly himself.

 

Pictures: pixabay and private

© Inge Schumacher

 

Get Started! 8 Exercises for Letting Go

These exercises are part of my blog-article on Letting Go. I put them together for my clients because I value practical tips. Because they are so important to me, I put them in a separate article. You can read this article in German here.

I share here eight exercises of the many good ones I know. I especially like exercises that include the body. This signals our brain that loves to have input from all sides, that we are really getting serious.

Letting Go is clearing up on the inside

We tidy and clean our home to feel comfortable in it. We take care of our body by having a shower regularly. Many people are becoming aware that it is important for their well-being to also take good care of their inner home: By devoting time to this important part of themselves they are getting more familiar with it.

When I realised that my inner home likes to be sorted once in a while I started to do letting go sessions every once in a while. In these sessions I evaluate what I really need and what only takes space and energy that I could use much better elsewhere.

Exercises facilitate change

1. Clarity

An exercise forces you to get to the point. To be really precise can be more difficult than you might think. It is so important to write down precisely what we want to consciously let go. Being precise at the beginning of the letting go process helps to focus. I also found out that writing things down by hand brings greater clarity than tapping on the computer keyboard.

2. Setting the signals on change

With doing an exercise you are signalling to yourself that you are serious. To permanently change a habit you need at least three weeks. It takes that long to convince your whole being that you really want to implement something new. This is why it is so easy to fall back into old habits. So please don´t give up too early!

3. Select an exercise that feels good to you

The exercise that you choose should fit to you. You do not need to do the hardest, longest or most complex exercise. Be creative and vary an exercise to your liking. What matters most is that you set the signs for a new beginning.

4. Define an objective

At the beginning you have ideally put down a goal you want to reach with an exercise. It  helps to decide how often you want to do the exercise and you can better monitor your success.

5. Don´t forget to appreciate yourself

You did it! Party when you have finished with an exercise. Pat yourself on the back! You have deserved a reward. This way you reinforce the positive change you initiated.

Eight letting go exercises

When doing your exercise find a place where you feel comfortable and safe.

Chaos elctricity

1. Discovering what exactly you want to let go of: Evaluating your habits

  • Write down what your thoughts are busy with often. Everything that we repeat a lot of times becomes more and more important to us. What subjects are your thoughts revolving around most?
  • Why is that so (thoughts, emotions, actions)? Which beliefs are behind this that are consistently reinforced that way?
  • Do these beliefs still fit to you?

2. Being aware of emotions and letting them go

This exercise is for self-awareness. Define as exactly as possible what you want to let go: People, conflicts or beliefs. Now imagine releasing them. Because this is a process you need to repeat this exercise.

  1. In this exercise you watch yourself: What do you feel? How much can you allow? Please don´t go too far. To make this process more tangible please write down the recurring thoughts.
  2. What emotions can you allow? What impulses and automatic responses can you detect that you use to supress these feelings? Can you look at them without judging yourself? When you realise that you are going on a negative spiral stop and start with 1. again. The feelings will get less dramatic over time.
  3. Repetition: Are you able to let the feelings come and go? E-motion is energy in motion. Look at your feelings from a distance. Over time you will get used to releasing feelings more easily.
  4. Now you can manage to observe the emotions you wrote down travelling through you. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself.
  5. The more negative emotions you can let go, the more space you have for positive ones. Fill the space you create with acceptance and love for yourself.
  6. Be thankful for the time and help that you had from the people or beliefs you let go.

3. A letting go ritual: Let a piece of paper fall to the ground

Write down what you want to let go of in only 1 to 3 words. This helps you to be precise. Fold the paper, stand up, open your hand and the paper go. Watch how it is sailing to the ground and monitor your feelings. Please repeat this at least 3 times the same day and on the following days.

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4. The exercise with the ball makes letting go tangible

Hold a small ball not bigger than a tennis ball in your hand. Press it hard until it is really uncomfortable. The ball is the symbol for an emotion, a person, or something else you want to let go. The hand represents you.

Open the hand and let the ball roll around on your palm. It is not part of you and therefore doesn´t stick to your hand. Let it fall to the ground and observe yourself and your feelings. Repeat the exercise.

5. Remove the connection to people, who are not good for you

  • Visualise the connection as a tie.
  • Say thank you for the time you have spent together and say good-bye.
  • Imagine how you are undoing the tie, rolling it up and putting it in your pocket.
  • Repeat the exercise.

6. Forgive yourself and others

  • You cannot change other people but you can change the way you react to them.
  • Write down as exactly as possible what is hurting you and what you keep thinking about.
  • Accept the situation. You know that we all decide at any given moment as best as we can.
  • Affirmation: Say aloud: “I forgive me and I forgive you.”
  • Do a symbolic act: Burn the paper or bury it. (Exercise number 3).

7. Visualisations

  1. Imagine how old issues are getting smaller. Visualise a block of ice melting and becoming liquid. Transfer this to your situation. With this you can now water a plant. What kind of plant is it?
  2. Envision a big untidy knot in a long rope exactly where your problem is. Start to slowly untangle the rope and roll it up. When you have a real ball of tangled yarn at home, great, you can also use that.
  3. Fake it until you make it: Imagine in detail how free you are feeling when you have finished the letting go process. This is a psychological trick that really helps.

Repeat the visualisations.

8. Clearing up

Tidying on the outside is a nice symbol for letting go on the inside. This can feel so liberating! No matter what you put in order: Car, closet, basement, desk or handbag. When I feel the strong impulse to tidy, my inner home is often very much in need of a clearing up session.

Pictures: pixabay and private

© Inge Schumacher

 

Easing the Burden by Letting Go

Sometimes it helps to pause a little and reflect where I am going. What do I carry around with me that I don´t need any more?

I learned that life is much easier when I regularly take some time to make an inventory and tidy up the clutter in my life. This is true for material things as well as for intangibles. I not only create time and freedom this way, but I am also more open for change. (You can read this article in German here.)

1. What do we hold on to?

We carry around a lot of things in our everyday lives that we are not aware of. There are three fields to check for unnecessary burdens:

  • Material things: clothes, mementos
  • People: parents, children, friends
  • Intangibles: responsibilities, guilt, injuries, beliefs

 2. To let go we need calmness and peace of mind

To identify the dead weight I am carrying around with me I need to pause. Only then I can switch off my automatic pilot and get out of the hamster wheel.

a. The hamster-wheel

Often we rush mindlessly through our days. Our body supports us by producing adrenaline and cortisol. This gives us the much-needed energy but it also makes us tense. I call this the hamster-wheel. In the hamster-wheel we are constantly in survival mode. This is efficient if we need maximum power but it is not supposed to be the norm.

Our body does not recognise whether we are really in need to be in survival mode or whether the stress just exists in our mind. He serves us by fabricating the hormones we ask for. If this goes on too long we are out of balance and our body and psyche suffer. In survival mode our body does not have the time or the energy to regenerate or to heal. Our immune system does not have priority.

I am amazed at how long we can stand the hamster-wheel before we finally break down. For me this is one of the main reasons for burnout and depression. We drive ourselves until we are literally paralysed.

drivingSkitterphoto

b. The autopilot

As we become adults the circuits in our brain are firmly established. In our everyday lives we are 95% in automatic mode. This autopilot is a clever institution because it makes our life easier. We don´t have to think about how to set one foot in front of the other in order to walk. When we want to change something in our lives however, we have to switch the autopilot off.

3. Making an inventory

I can only take stock when I am present in the Here and Now. Only here I can identify what still serves me and what I want to let go.

When I keep creating problems and conflicts, it is time for an evaluation.

a. Reasons to let go:

  • Lack of time
  • Discontent
  • No opportunities for development
  • Constraining limitations
  • Searching for new paths
  • Our boundaries are violated too much and we become ill as a consequence
  • The effects of too much holding on: negative feelings, thought-circles, fears, depression, hate and rage

Why do I hold on to many things far too long? Often my family and friends can see much more clearly when it would be good for me to let go of something. What prevents me? Why do we often keep running in the hamster wheel in spite of the fact that we desperately need a break to regenerate?

b. Reasons to hold on:

  • Security and habit
  • Old rules: Loyalty, this is the way things are always done
  • Basically positive things: Love and sympathy

The Christmas example

A client told me about her horror of the next Christmas holidays: She drives with her family with two small kids all over Germany two visit both her parents and her in-laws. Afterwards everybody is exhausted and cranky.

I asked her why she could not change this Christmas routine and invite both parents home. She could not imagine changing the routine because it had always been this way.

4. How can we let go?

I show a comprehensive letting go process here. Of course this process is individual and different for everybody.

First I need to be aware that I want to change something in my life. Then I can decide how I want to go about it. When I know what is superfluous it is often easy. When I am stuck I ask friends and family for help.

The Process of Letting go

  1. Becoming aware: Do I still need this?
  2. Honesty to oneself and to others: Is this good for me, if not why? Since when?
  3. Recognise excuses: Do I ride a dead horse?
  4. Do I hold on because I think that nothing better is coming? Do I do this because of low self-esteem?
  5. Mind games: How would it be without…? I look at my feelings and fears.
  6. Forgive myself: I have made the best decisions I could at the time.
  7. I say thank you for what has served me.
  8. Finding a ritual to help me to let go. For example write what I want to separate from on a piece of paper and burn it.
  9. Get help: I don´t have to do everything on my own.
  10. I give myself time for grieving, healing and establishing new habits.

Fest

a. Letting go is uncomfortable

When I am thinking of letting go I sometimes feel sadness. This is because I am going to say good-bye to something that I am used to and that has worked for me. It is normal when this process is painful.

b. Monitoring the thought-process

I try not to take my mind too seriously when I let go because it loves the safe status quo. My brain is not enthusiastic about me trying new ways. It signals caution: You don´t have to do this. It is okay the way things are at the moment.

c. Letting go of feelings

We hold on to feelings by fighting against them, suppressing them or trying to forcefully change them. It is exhausting to protect oneself constantly from feelings.

Emotions are signals that we give ourselves. We have feelings, but we are not defined by them.

E-motion is energy in motion, Joe Dispenza writes. Emotions are not fixed, they come and go. When we let them they can be gone in 2 minutes. This is hard to believe since we are so used to reconnecting with them all the time and thereby reactivating them again.

d. Letting go of conflicts

I am vulnerable because I have self-limiting beliefs: I can´t do this, I am not good enough. These beliefs build a bridge that makes injuries and violations possible.

I cannot change other people but I can change the way I react to them.

What I can do is to look at my limiting beliefs and work on getting rid of them. At the same time I need to build up my self-esteem. When I have successfully let go of a conflict the other person can rant and rave and this does not touch me any more because the connection is gone. This process is not easy but it is very much worth engaging it.

e. Fake it until you make it

When letting go is hard, I like to use a trick. I imagine that I have already accomplished it. I imagine in detail how free I feel, how great my life is without the thing I want to let go of.

This works like the well-known one-minute-smile-exercise. Our brain does not recognise that the smile is not real. The smiling mouth signals the brain that we are happy and it complies by producing happiness hormones.

5. Letting go eases your burden and enables change

Taking inventory and letting go is easiest for me on holidays because then I am more relaxed. My experiences with letting go in Iceland you can read about here. Being out of my hamster-wheel I have the energy to regenerate and time to get clear what is really important for me. I can let go of the dead weight I am carrying around and change automated habits.

I have let go a lot of rigidity in my daily life lately. Much too long I bore too many responsibilities and tasks. This was exhausting. Some of them I let go after discussing them with my family. This way I could create time pockets for myself. These are mine and I can fill them with my personal priorities: Family, meditation, work or just relaxing.

Be easy on yourself

Try not to overwhelm yourself when embarking on a journey to let go. When you realise that it is going to be difficult reduce your speed. Letting go is a process that sometimes needs time and please give it the time that is needed. This is a good investment in your health and your future.

 

Recommended reading:

Joe Dispenza, Becoming Supernatural 2017

© Inge Schumacher

The Big Picture and Big Changes

The readers in my facebook group gave me big questions to ponder for this blog-article.

Thomas wants to know more about the big picture. He says that the Fairy Tale Dimension and our dimension are part of something much larger.

I don´t claim to know the truth about what makes the universe tick and what the big picture looks like. Nobody who is living here can know for sure. Everybody has to come to his or her own conclusions.

A. My personal view on the big picture

Our dimension, our universe is vast and still expanding. Physicists say that it consists of 80% of dark matter that we know hardly anything about. And our universe is only a small part of all that I believe is out there.

In my opinion consciousness creates everything we can see and much more that we can´t see. This consciousness exists in a realm outside of ours and we are part of it. Countless people have written and thought about this over the ages.

There are thousands of books out there with views about the big picture. I call the invisible  part of our consciousness higher self or essence. Other people do too; like the German Kurt Tepperwein and Louise Hay or Eckhart Tolle and Joe Dispenza. There are also many channelers who are contributing their share.

Steinn Farm

 

The Inge that is writing this blog is only one focus of attention of one such part of consciousness. This means that I have a physical body but I am much more than this visible part. I am part of all of consciousness and so are you.

Dimensions are for experiencing and exploring the physical

Consciousness has created a myriad of dimensions to explore. Touch, feeling, smell, taste, sound and emotions do not exist in pure consciousness. We need a physical body to have access to these experiences. When we leave this world we take back what we have learned.

We are part of a captivating movie

Our life is like a TV-show that we turn on and that is so captivating that we forget everything around us. We get sucked into the movie. Why? We are really getting into the experience of being physical when we forget where we come from and are unaware of the bigger picture.

The shift in consciousness

Because of the shift in consciousness we are getting more aware while in the movie. We are starting to realise that we are so much more than this one person. We can sense that there is a lot more to explore outside of our self.

Different types of dimensions

I compare types of dimensions with different tablet or smartphone games. There are thousands of them: Jump ´n Run games, Match three games, Slot games…

1. Intricate detailed dimensions featuring emotions

We belong to this category and the Fairy Tale Dimension does, too: Intricately, elaborately made dimensions where emotions play a big role. You can experience a lot there and never get bored.

Which other dimensions belong in this category? Both Atlantis Dimensions, the Unicorn dimension and a vast number of elf and fairy dimensions.

2. Inbetween and transit dimensions

These dimensions are gateways between the physical and the non-physical realms and between different dimensions.

An example of this type of dimension is the Waterfall Dimension. You can read more about it here.

Another in between dimension is the tiny Contemplative Dimension for healing that I have helped to build.

3. Liquid and gaseous dimensions

You can visit other dimensions by projecting, dreaming or by reconfiguring your energy. I have visited a liquid dimension and it was not a pleasant experience. It felt very alien to have a body whose boundaries are not fixed and constantly fluctuating in an also constantly flowing environment.

4. Fiction is real

Other dimensions or realities are opened up to us by fiction. Every story that was every written as a book or film is real somewhere. Just like the fairy tales are real in the Fairy Tale Dimension.

Writers tap into other realities when creating their stories. They often say that at a certain point their protagonists start to have a life of their own and do things the author has not expected them to do.

As a science fiction fan I have probably visited the Star Trek Dimension more than once in my dreams. I also love the movie Avatar. Many people are captivated by the freedom and connection to the environment that is shown there. The planet actually exists in our dimension.

There are many more types of dimensions. Everything we can think of and much more does exist somewhere.

Why is our dimension so popular?

Our dimension is very interesting. We experience strong emotions here because we live in the duality of good and bad, of black and white, of love and hate.

My intuition tells me that I have more than 3,000 lives in this dimension spread out over time. A lot of experiences can be accumulated that way. This explains why I have lives that are easy, where I am healthy and happy and other lives that are suffused with suffering. At this moment in time earth has so many inhabitants because things are getting really interesting during the shift.

 

B. Big changes on earth and in the Fairy Tale Dimension

Peter wants to know what kind of impact the big changes we experience here have on the Fairy Tale Dimension. He means climate change, globalisation, radicalism, terror and war.

There is no direct impact on the Fairy Tale Dimension. It would be very disturbing. If you want to have first hand experience in this dimension you send a focus of attention here.

But there are profound changes going on in both dimensions and nobody knows exactly where they are leading.

1. Changes in the Fairy Tale Dimension

The Fairy Tale Dimension just went through a frequency change that is comparable to our shift because it affects everything. This frequency change was delayed and this caused trauma for the very first time in the Fairy Tale Dimension. They were not acquainted with suffering before because they normally snap out of hurt, pain and death instantly.

This frequency change was not delayed by chance. The inhabitants of the Fairy Tale Dimension wanted to get a feeling for trauma and what we are going through because of the close connection we have.

They are also starting a new chapter. They don´t know what they will be creating after the frequency change any more than we do.

integration falco

2. Changes here

Everything that is happening here on earth at the moment has to do with the shift in consciousness. This dimension has decided to evolve and become more aware of the bigger picture.

The climate change is a direct consequence of humanity having upset the earth´s ecosystem. Now it is searching for a new equilibrium and it will find one with or without us.

The globalisation we experience, through the Internet for example, illustrates our interconnectedness. Secrets are not secrets anymore and information is spread very fast by whistle blowers and the media. When there is trauma because of climate change, war and terror somewhere on the planet, everybody is affected. Because of the shift we are becoming more aware of this interconnectedness.

The changes are unsettling

Changes are coming fast now and we can´t see where they are going to lead us. People try to hold on to structures that are crumbling. This causes angst, fear and anxiety and explains the terrorism, radicalism and war we see today.

Too many moving parts

Not only people, but also companies struggle with these changes. An important buzzword in the business environment at the moment is VUCA. This is an acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In other words there are too many moving parts: Companies have to learn how to handle massive unknown changes. They are trying to become more agile to be able to meet unknown challenges better.

There will be more changes

The shift has started in 2000 and will continue until 2070. Many of our main structures and the roles of big authorities will change during this time. At the moment many governments are creating problems and banks are failing. The current US president is an excellent example of this. I cannot take him seriously at all. The traditional authority of the office of the American president is gone.

 

Good news: We are also changing

I am not afraid of the changes that we are experiencing. Why? In my daily life, in business and in volunteering I meet many people who are aware of our interconnectedness and the bigger picture. Many of these people are working toward lessening the trauma caused by the changes that are going on. I call them shifty people.

What do I do when I feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty?

When I am feeling overwhelmed because of the changes I try to stay in the now, appreciate myself as much as possible and continue to live true to my values. This creates soothing energies and is also helpful for others.

Are we in for a bumpy ride?

Yes! But there is no reason to panic; we have all the instruments we need to make it through this. I talk about this in a live video in the Fairy Tale Dimension facebook group.

 

Thank you my readers!

I enjoy the exchange with you very much. It challenges me to delve deeper into subjects. Keep the questions coming. Thank you so much!

 

© Inge Schumacher

Pictures: pixabay and private

More Information

 

 

Learning to be Present

When I am present, I don´t run mindlessly through all the errands on my list. I turn the autopilot off. I am aware of what is happening in the present moment and this makes me open for more possibilities.

Only in the present I can shape my reality. Here I can create the life I want to live.

After practising for a long time I finally see progress: I live much more mindful in the present. In this article I share my way to more presence and mindfulness.

Being present in the Fairy Tale Dimension

For beings in the Fairy Tale Dimension living in the present moment is natural. To be in the Now they don´t have to unlearn old programs, silence their thought mechanisms and learn something new like we western post-industrialised people have to. Why is that so? Magic only works in the present moment. I am sure that my connection with this dimension helped me on my path to more presence.

Why is it so important to be present?

The labyrinth example

I am in the middle of a labyrinth and I don´t know how to get out. It does not help to wish never to have come here in the first place (past). It also does not help to worry about the future either and panic: I will never find a way out!

The only thing that helps now is to be present and focus my attention. There is no danger for me now, there are only possibilities I don´t see yet. Perhaps I hear some people in the distance who could help me or I see the ladder round the next corner that will give me an overview. Perhaps I can detect a hole in the labyrinth that could be my way out.

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Driving in the right direction

It was getting dark this summer when I was driving my family home from the Baltic Sea late in the evening. Close to the motorway the satnav suddenly told me I took a wrong turn. I was irritated because the signs said something different. The situation was confusing and I was driving very slowly to search for a place to turn. When I came around a bend two deer were walking calmly over the road right in front of me. I could stop easily and neither of us was startled. As I continued driving and I saw that I was heading in the right direction after all.

The day had been sunny and full of fun. I remember that I was present and thankful for the gift of life. This energy probably generated this very nice outcome to a potentially dangerous situation.

We often are in stress-mode

In our daily lives we are often in survival-mode. This keeps us on our toes and energises us. Our body then emits hormones like cortisol and adrenalin to give us the energy we need. But it also causes tension. We are so used to this tension permeating our daily lives that we often can´t feel it any more.

Being present is being in rest and repair-mode.

It took a lot of practise for me to become more present, but it was worth it. Everybody can do it, in his or her own way of course. I went through these phases:

My way to more presence consisted of these phases

1. Theory

I was fascinated by the prospect of being able to more actively create my reality. I gathered information, read on the Internet and in books. I decided it was worth a try.

2. The click moment

In the click moment I am still in the theory part of establishing a new routine. But when it clicks I really get the concept. Only afterwards I am able to start with the implementation.

It took more than one click moment for me to understand what it could mean to be more present and how it works: For example a family situation I could turn around because I was more present and did not react automatically.

3. Practise

After this I was ready for some exercises. I tried to include them in my everyday life.

I discovered that long daily exercises are not for me.

Long before results could be expected I was bored and gave up. I used to feel bad when this happened. I beat myself up: Other people can do this! I judged myself as being lazy and not motivated enough.

Today I am wiser: These exercises weren´t for me. But don´t worry there are also exercises for easily bored people. The right exercises feel easy and can be even fun. I enjoy variations.

The question: What is good for me this very moment? became my central exercise. When I was hesitating what to do next, I asked myself what would serve me best right this moment. I had a big training field in my daily life between family, job and volunteering.

4. Automation

At the beginning the question What is good for me now? felt strange. I did not get any helpful answers either: I thought a coffee would be good for me, but it turned out that this coffee was one too many.

But I got used to regularly checking in with myself. Slowly I learned to listen to the small impulses that I give myself, that are so easily overlooked in our daily routine. I got more and more experience in finding out what was really good for me. This slowly brought more ease to my life.

Sadly we need a lot of repetition to establish new routines. Because this exercise was okay for me I stuck with it. Only when something becomes automatic our unconscious can take over and we can create a new habit.

While doing the exercise I almost forgot what I wanted to achieve with it, which was probably very helpful. Only now I realise how natural being more present has become for me.

Am I always present? No! This is still a work in progress.

Routinely checking in with myself multiple times during the day I am becoming more conscious of what I am doing, my mood and where it comes from. I automatically give myself a break from my thoughts and take an observer´s view. Sometimes I have to laugh at what my mind conjures up.

What has changed for me by becoming more present?

Being more mindful has changed a lot of aspects in my life:

  • I now appreciate the little wonders in my everyday life much more.
  • I don´t take my thoughts so seriously any more. I also take things less personally.
  • I am much more content and balanced.
  • I listen more to my little impulses. This way I see many more opportunities. They make my life much more interesting and easy.

Do I always listen to my impulses? No! I am stubborn sometimes.

Creating new opportunities

I am much more balanced and in my flow. I cherish the new opportunities I have started to create. Lately I did a lot of things I would never have thought possible. From giving speeches to doing videos to having my blog featured in a facebook group.

Presence in my Practise

During my work with clients we both are very much present, even when we are separated by an ocean. Being present we are able to tap into new information and find solutions to situations that would have been overlooked otherwise.

In my practise and in my volunteer work I see a lot of suffering. Some personal stories stick with me more than others. That is normal. I can come back to the present moment to help efficiently much easier now.

Herz

Be gentle to yourself and don´t give up too soon

I have often thought, I will never learn this!

Please try to ignore your inner monologue when you try something new. Our mind just mirrors our reluctance to venture into unknown places and is not to be taken too seriously!

Don´t beat yourself up because things do not go as planned. You are right the way you are. Everybody is. We always compare ourselves with others and this is not an efficient way to learn anything new.

Stop comparing

There will always be somebody who does something better, is better looking or more intelligent. When you catch yourself comparing again, and you will when you are more present, search for the next mirror and stick out your tongue. This will bring you back immediately to the present moment, I promise.

Meditation helps

When exercises work for you, do them. Use everything that is helpful. It is great when you have a morning routine or meditate regularly.

Meditation, becoming quiet, is good for me. I managed to establish more or less regular meditations in my life. I often use an app, sometimes with music sometimes without and I change my meditation places. I aim for at least three 30 minutes sessions a week and have been quite successful with this in the last year. When I don´t reach my goal I don´t beat myself up any more. I stick with it because I feel better with this pause in my life.

You can only win

When you are present your thinking, feeling and doing is one. You are out of stress-mode and in rest and repair mode. The autopilot is off and you are at the steering wheel. This makes you the creator of your life.

I am not alone in my endeavour to become more present. Many people I know are working on this now because they have experienced that this is the way to create a fulfilling life.

What are your experiences with becoming more present and mindful? Please share them here. We can learn so much from each other!

 

 

Additional Information

Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now. This book is written in a question and answer format. I have reread it recently and now get what he means. Should you need a structured approach I don´t recommend it.

Joe Dispenza has written books on healing yourself. To heal yourself you have to be totally present and he explains very well how to achieve this.

You can find good videos of them both on You tube.

 

Exercises for more mindfulness and presence:

 

Pictures: pixabay and private

© Inge Schumacher

 

 

Behind the Scenes Information on the Ring Bearer

A dear reader of mine asked me whether the ring bearers in our dimension were aware of their role and she wanted more information about the connection of the dimensions and the rings.

What is a blueprint of a dimension?

A blueprint is a guide for constructing something and dimensions are built according to such instructions. In our dimension the laws of physics are the basis. Magic is the driving force of the Fairy Tale Dimension. An apple in our dimension will always fall to the ground because of the law of gravity. In the Fairy Tale Dimension it depends on the kind of apple and the spells that are used whether it falls to the ground or flies around. The roles of the ring bearers are built into both blueprints.

IMG_20180831_074030Were the ring bearers on earth aware of their role?

All ring bearers got aware of their role eventually. The conditions of becoming the ring bearer here are being open for the other dimension and being a healer.

I found out early when the three emissaries brought the energy of the ring to this dimension. I sensed that something was unusual when they were watching me. You can read more about this here.  I was aware of the existence of the Fairy Tale Dimension before that, which made it easier.

I was wondering whether there was an inheritance to be found from one of the ring bearers of our dimension. Sadly this is unlikely since the last ring bearer here lived about 700 years ago. The last ring bearer from the Fairy Tale Dimension died about 250 years ago – he lived for about 300 of our years.

I think there was such a large gap, because we were not open enough. Since the start of the shift in consciousness in 2000 the veils of separation between different dimensions are getting thinner. This is why people are becoming much more open for the vast possibilities of consciousness.

What is the job of the ring bearer coming from the Fairy tale Dimension?

Ring bearers stay in their own dimension most of the time. In the Fairy Tale Dimension they are chosen because they show the potential to be exceptional magicians and experts in energy manipulation.

Their job is to bring soothing and healing energy to our dimension.

They come here mostly in their dreams and in projections. They rarely contact individuals or create bodies. Remember, our universe is very large and keeps expanding! In former times they probably have connected with shamans and other open-minded people and were perceived as healing ghosts or gods.

The ring bearers of this dimension

have the job to facilitate the growth and development of the Fairy Tale Dimension. They have healing abilities and live a normal life, just like me. I am a human being like everybody else with all the normal faults and daily problems. What I needed to be selected as a ring bearer was the openness for the other dimension and the potential to be a healer. I have started to discover my healing abilities quite late in life; in my early forties. You can read more about this here.

I do energy-healing and mostly work one on one with my clients in my healing practise. What I enjoy most is helping people to help themselves and this trait is fitting very well to my role in the Fairy Tale Dimension.

I can´t heal our dimension like a ring bearer from the Fairy Tale Dimension could. But I am part of a group that tries to soothe the turbulent energies currently expressed on our planet to minimize trauma. Everybody can do this and this group has nothing to do with my ring bearer job.

In the Fairy Tale Dimension the ring bearer is one of the key players and a celebrity.

This is due to the way the dimension works: Magic is the driving force there and people love to show off their magic abilities.

Just like people here drive a sports car to be admired. Since the runes on the ring of the ring bearer have the most powerful magic of the whole dimension the status comes with the job. You can read more about this in the Home of the ring bearer.

The ring here

The ring in our dimension is a more or less a random object. It looks different for each ring bearer. I see it more as a symbol, the key to the Fairy Tale Dimension. As soon as every rune is mastered the ring is even less important because then the ring bearer has assimilated its energies and can work with them as needed.

When I found out that I was the designated ring bearer and that some kind of ring was to be coming my way I remembered: Years ago my late mother-in-law had given me a ring with a fire opal surrounded by rhinestones that she had inherited. She said to me: “I think this is for you”. When I touched the ring I felt some kind of healing energy emanating from it and I told her: “You are right, this is a ring I can use for healing.” I had no idea that it was the key to something much bigger.

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The ring in the Fairy Tale Dimension

In the Fairy Tale Dimension the ring is not just a symbol. It is a powerful tool and one of the insignias of the office. I always wear it when I am there. The other three are: a pair of boots, a cape and a fibula. You can read more about them here.

The ring is built like a small round tower with three layers. Each layer has three runes on it.

  1. The first layer enables me to access the special places in the Fairy Tale Dimension reserved for the key players. It gives me access to my home, establishes the connection to the brotherhood of the shadows and introduces me to the first steps of ring bearer magic.
  2. The runes in the second layer have deep roots in the blueprint and make it easy to create all kinds of things. I don´t really understand how they work. The concept of magic is still somewhat alien to me.
  3. The third layer is what is needed to complete a frequency change. Only the last rune represents the living blueprint. The first two runes are for practise and boy did I need that and the help of the magicians who kept everybody safe while I got acquainted with the powers of those runes. One thing is the same in our two dimensions: It does take practise to master an art or a craft.

Now I can access the third rune as long as I am ready. I am not able to do the frequency change anytime, since I am still working on accepting myself totally. Only when I have achieved this I can activate the third rune safely. Since I am a normal human working on developing my personality – one of my life´s goals is to be wise one day – this is a work in progress.

Is there a connection between our shift and the vibrational change in the Fairy Tale Dimension?

In the Fairy Tale Dimension evolution is only possible through the frequency change initiated by the ring bearer. After such a change the system has shifted into a higher gear opening up new avenues of evolution of magic. This is totally different from the freedom of development our blueprint provides.

Our dimension has decided to implement a shift in consciousness years ago. This shift is restricted to our dimension. To make things a bit more complicated: I am not even sure whether every one of the billions of parallel realities in our dimension has implemented this shift.

Fairy tale fans from all over our earth have contact with the dimension when they read, tell and write stories, or visit in dreams. It does not matter whether they are aware of this connection or not.

The two dimensions have a close connection. I picture this connection as a loose chain between two big boats. They are separate but share the some waters. The job of the ring bearer who alternates between both is only one proof of this close connection.

How can our connection to the Fairy Tale Dimension help us in our shift?

What I have learned from the fairy tale dimension is the use of a generous dose of humour that enriches my life considerably. It feels now as if I have a bit from the Fairy Tale Dimension with me wherever I am.

Humour helps me to stay more in the present

During the last months I have started to look for absurd angles in everyday occurrences. This way I can better see myself getting all upset about something from a distance and with humour. This makes it much easier for me to be more present. This is important because by staying in the now I have the chance to actively shape my reality the way I want to. Because of this I can feel a growing ease in my everyday life, which I am very thankful for.

 

I did a facebook live video in my facebook group The Fairy Tale Dimension on this .

pictures: private

© Inge Schumacher