Mittwoch, 28. Mai 2014

Unsexy skills that will change your life, part II

First read part I.
Here we go with part two of the character traits that will turn your life around in an instant – and that unfortunately have an outmoded, unattractive image.

Wrongly so, entirely, as you will find out in a minute!

I wrote about devotion in part I – and how it turns your everyday life into something wonderful and intense and without which success is not possible.

Today I’m calling on another characteristic – and this one is so perplexingly simple and – pay attention! – so rare that it only occurs to very few people how important it is in your everyday life.

It is…

2. Gratitude.

"That’s great, Joanna... I have NEVER heard of that before. I do know this one already.”
Of course.

We all know an awful lot. 

Knowledge doesn’t help you IN THE LEAST.

You simply have to be aware how unbelievably amazing your life is, what a gift it is, how beautiful every second of it is and how very grateful you can be for it.
If you are aware of it, you will automatically act accordingly – without thinking, without anxiety, without effort, because in that case…it IS you.
That’s why we say AWAREness and not KNOWledge.

And from knowledge ----> to awareness = a process.

But a lovely one!

The process happens much less because of your efforts and your performance than much more because of the required energy.

And guess who possesses it in excess…(and on top of it passes it on out of her own free will).

Therefore: the easiest path to gratitude is on your screen right now, right under your nose – so shut up and don’t interrupt with your counter arguments, take it all in and be grateful!

You are grateful for our country.

There is an attitude of bitching and whining in Germany (at least you are ALLOWED to whine without going to prison for it!): about the government in particular, the political affairs in general, and anyways, what the heck has the country done wrong this time.

Sure – this looks so much better on the title page of the rainbow press than writing:

"We live in one of the most politically stable and economically successful countries in the entire world. THANK YOU FOR THAT!”

But this would be the truth for once!

I am soooooo grateful for our country every single day!

You are allowed to live in one of the richest countries in the world (and even if you read this post in Africa: at least you have am internet connection!).

I am delighted about the peace we have.

I am grateful we don’t have to worry about our belongings, because maybe rebels are destroying them at random, are killing my family and nobody cares much about it.

I am grateful for social benefits and I like paying taxes – because paying taxes means I have an income, right?

And the fact that I have an income means I have a job and I’m successful at it, right?
Oh how lovely is that! Germany is a country that allows nearly everybody to have a professional career – without fearing that tomorrow the currency is going to be depreciated or a political coup is going to happen (which happens every few months in some countries!).

I am so grateful that – when my husband was unemployed some years back – we could live off social welfare and nobody needed to go hungry.

In most other countries this would indeed be different!

I am grateful for health insurance and the police.

THANK YOU! Honestly!
Did you know that in a lot of countries you are out of luck, if your car breaks down en route, as it automatically means you’ll be assailed? And often by the corrupt police itself?

I am so grateful for the possibilities of education (Yes, it isn’t ideal a lot of the time. So? I don’t rant about it, but invest myself in my children in a different way), the cultural offerings and the free access to them.

Germany is simply a WONDERFUL country to live in.

And all of you who are ALLOWED to live here should say Thank You every morning!
Thank you for the freedom we may enjoy here!
Thank you for the possibility to become whatever you want!

Most of you walk around taking it completely for granted that as the lucky ones you may grow up and live here – but it is a great gift and a privilege.

Be aware of it: you are a lucky devil.

One in a billion – just creating awareness for it will make you radiant.

It’s not for nothing that many worries and problems are jokingly called "first world-problems".

Whining at a high level.
Because most people on this planet fight for their survival.

But you no more!

You are one of those who truly value it, who love their country and are grateful for being permitted to live here.


You are grateful for every moment.

Most people don’t live in awareness, which turns their everyday lives into a kind of daily grind.

Get up in the morning, have breakfast, wash, run, go to work, have lunch, come home, do household chores, play with the kids, eat dinner, go to bed.
An outing on the week-end, 2 weeks vacation in Turkey.

Sounds like a TRULY exciting life.

"Um... Joanna, what’s different in your life?"

I am going to tell you exactly what’s different chez moi:

When I open my eyes in the morning I feel the smooth linen and my incredibly soft pillow – I think:”Oooh, my bed is the nicest place on earth! Yay! So cool and smooth and I have so much room in it!”.
And I stretch one more time and roll back and forth with joy, as I have so much room in it.
I am fit and can jump up, my legs are healthy and carry me to my children.
I sit down on the couch after having made breakfast, watch them as they pack their bags, hold a cup of tea in my hands and all I can think is: this is the b e s t tea I ever had in my life.
The best tea in the whole world.
The best tea in the whole world of all times.
(I think this every morning. I drink the best tea in the whole world of all times. At least in my opinion.)

I am grateful for the peace and quiet that ascends after the children have left the house.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Wow, this is beautiful.

I wash my face and apply a deliciously scented face cream, I touch my skin (which feels so lovely!), look in the mirror and am grateful for my eyes – I guarantee you I am the one who likes the color my eyes best of all!

I inevitably HAVE TO smile when I look in the mirror – I have known the color of my eyes for 40 years and I get excited like a little kid about it.
Do you get what I want to say:
I enjoy everything so intensely and I am so grateful for things that most people absolutely take for granted.

For me all this is not taken for granted.

For me every detail is a gift! !
Things most people don’t even pay attention to or disregard I savor very intensely and consciously – and I am grateful that I have permission to do so.

If I go out for dinner and it tastes really good, I literally get IMMERSED in the dish and I thank the staff for it.

Most of the time I literally walk into the kitchen and tell the chef to his face that I thought his food was to die for and that he has made me very happy.
(what do you think: is he going to like cooking for me again?)

If I am in contact with a person who inspires/encourages/revitalizes me, without fail I afterwards write him a gushing note or mail to thank him from the bottom of my heart.

I could burst with gratitude for people!
There are some peeps…they are devoted to me, they support and love me, they inspire me and I can rely on them 100%.
Wow, I am so grateful I could scream!

There are moments when I temporarily don’t feel like blogging.

Maybe I have a headache, the photos don’t turn out pretty, there is time pressure or other circumstances, and suddenly I would like to just abandon everything.
Trick #17:
I pause for a moment and make myself aware of the fact that I am allowed to do the world’s most beautiful job there is – I am permitted to be creative!
Wow, how great is this!
Frustration is gone within SECONDS, lightness is back again and I am highly motivated.
I am soooo grateful for being allowed to blog!
Lucky devil that I am!
Do you understand:
I am grateful for the simplest things – for being healthy, for having delicious food, for being able to drive a car which lets me get around, etc….
And I am grateful every single day when I get into the car!
Aren’t there these mind-altering drugs: with them every color seems brighter, every emotion more intense, every detail more beautiful.
You see, you can have this, too, only without the drugs.
Like my humble self ;).
By making yourself aware how well you’re doing ;).

You are grateful for who you are.

One lunchtime not long ago I sat on the couch working on my laptop, as Noelle was in the kitchen putting away dishes.

Suddenly I heard her sob.

I went over to her and asked her, puzzled:

"Noelle, are you crying?"
"Yes... sniffle... but it’s nothing... "
"Noelle, what’s up?"
"No, everything’s fine..." (cries even more)
"Come on, tell me!"
"I have to cry so much, because …sob…because…we have the MOST BEAUTIFUL LI-I-IFE!”

My 15-year-old teenager is standing in the kitchen with a plate in her hand and a dish towel in the other and bawls because she’s grateful for her life.

(and NO, cleaning the kitchen is not her dream job).

What can I say?

Disregarding the outer circumstances, in spite of difficulties and problems, no matter whether it happens to be a good or a bad day:

And it is ALWAYS strong.
ALWAYS beautiful.
ALWAYS complete.
ALWAYS making me happy.

"Yeah, great, Joanna. YOU. But if you had my problems…”

See, here is the difference:

you look at your circumstances FIRST and then judge your life by them.
(If they are good right now, you consequently have a good life. If they happen to be not so fantastic, your life happens to be same.)

I, however, look at
myself first.
And then once again I could cry with joy and gratitude (dish towel in hand or not). How absolutely phenomenal, beautiful, explosive, all-changing, strong and at the same time delicate, everything-that’s-bad-eradicating and everything-that’s-beautiful-generating is this life inside of me, am I – tell me?

And from this point of view the outer circumstances very much lose their importance for me.

(they love being the drama queen, I sure have learnt that by now. But I won’t be impressed, my life is too precious for that.)

I am not talking about the outward appearance – I just mean my innermost being!

See, that who you are is absolutely unique.
Every day you can find such immeasurable joy in yourself – ‘til you explode!
I rejoice in myself to the max, and I am so grateful for myself!
Love lives inside of me – and it is always strong, always complete, always all-changing, always excellent, always happiness-inducing.




I don’t check my feelings and situations FIRST, and THEN check whether they suit me.

Do you understand: they ALWAYS suit me.
Because I am such a good girl?
Because I do everything right?
Ha, ha.
Because I make such great efforts to be nice and please everybody?

They suit me not because of what I have done, but because of what HE has done.

My life is love and this will never change: no matter what!

I walk around, here and there, and could CRY with happiness, because I am so grateful!

I’m lucky I have things to do that distract me, otherwise I would explode one day for sure.
What prevents you the most from being grateful?


petty comparisons.

By comparing yourself with others and apparently coming off worse, you automatically devalue everything you are and everything you have.

"He has a nicer car, they are constantly going on vacation, she has a boy-friend and I don’t, my friend’s children know already how to…and yours can’t yet…she is always lucky, I am always unlucky, she looks better, success in her job and meeeeee….?”


Now let me tell you very sternly (deep authoritarian voice, yessir! Chr chr chrrr….):


Everything you are is precious, unique and individually tailor-made for you – and nobody may compare you with anyone else.

What the others are or are not, and what the others have or have not, and what the others have achieved or have not achieved – is NONE of your business!



HERE I have already written something on this subject.)

Back to the beautiful things:

Every second of your life is a gift to you.

You yourself are a gift to the world – unique, different than the rest, inspiring, light, dynamic, gentle but at the same time strong.
(And I guarantee you: no way do you know yet HOW wonderful you truly are!)
You are aware of your value and gratitude for yourself, and your life oozes from everyone of your pores.
You are just so delighted about everything you have and are that it simply keeps increasing all by itself!

(Believe me, I love giving presents to my children, if they are happy about each gift from the bottom of their hearts! If, however, they complained, I’d think twice about spontaneously bringing them something… u know what I mean ;)).

You are so grateful, as if today was Christmas and your birthday all rolled into one.

And altogether now:


Oh my, you are doing so well…


p.s. I would soooo love to recite this text live in front of a camera for you!

Wouldn’t even have taken 15 minutes, you know.
Unfortunately my camera is so old that it doesn’t have a video function ;)…

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