On my new website: opheliecabanero.com
Last Thursday I dreamt that I was able to travel to the past and to the future. A recurring dream and a topic I find fascinating. If I’d write fiction, it would definitely be one of the main theme.
In my dream, we could only time travel thanks to a specific person, from some specific places. When traveling to the future I had to blend in so that nobody notices I come from another era and when traveling to the past I was trying to make things better for the present. But the present didn’t exist for me, it only existed for other people. I was in their present.
Later that day, during a grounding exercice – with amazing coach Shefali Khokhar – where I had to focus on my fingertips, I connected the dots with my dream. During that exercice, my mind was constantly wandering to the past or the future. And it required extra effort to bring it back to the tips of my fingers, the present moment. It felt like a muscle I was training: focusing on the finger tips, thinking, noticing I am thinking, bringing the awareness back to the finger tips, thinking, noticing I am thinking, bringing the awareness back to the finger tips, focusing on the finger tips, thinking, noticing I am thinking, bringing the awareness back to the finger tips, thinking, noticing I am thinking, bringing the awareness back to the finger tips…
So like in my dream, I am always in the past or the future and not so much in the present cause it requires extra effort to be in the now. Most of the time I’m thinking of what I’m going to do or what I did. Right now, I’m thinking of the hike I’m going to do after I published this and in between I checked something on the internet because I was thinking of the next workshop I’d like to take. And YOU what are you thinking about while reading this blogpost?
On the bright side: we are time traveling all the time! And that thought satisfies the nerd in me!
Greetings from the Swiss Mountains!
What my back pain taught me this week
Last week on Tuesday, I woke up with a bit of back pain but I thought it will loosen up throughout the day. Instead it just got worse and worse to the point that the only position that was okay was lying down. I was slowly witnessing my upper body shift forward and to the side, unable to stand straight anymore.
A condition I know well but I was disappointed that it showed up again after having vanished for 1 year and a half. I thought we were done with that – yes sometimes I think like Gollum.
Then I thought that it was probably the stress of the stand-up happening the next day because the exact same thing happened before my very first time on stage. And that by Thursday, everything shall be fine again!
Which of course wasn’t what happened (cause) on Thursday I started a 4 day body-work training!
Then I thought: ah! It must be the training then! Something to do with the resistance of my ego towards the inner work?! Or maybe I’m simply not ready for that work? Or not made for that work?
But then on Monday, still in pain, I flushed all my theories down the toilet and dove into Monday mode (= doing mode cause it’s Monday and I didn’t do ‘anything’ for the past 4 days so I have to be productive). Later on, on top of the back pain came diarrhea just before an ‘important’ appointment. My only goal during the appointment, was not to have to run to the toilet and it was luckily a success!
By the end of the day I really thought: that’s it my body is collapsing, it’s giving up, I’m done here. In retrospect maybe that was my desperate surrendering moment.
The next day I FINALLY understood that the only thing my body asked me to do was to simply lie down because I was only comfortable in this position. So for the first time during a WEEK DAY, I allowed myself to read a NOVEL without feeling bad about it AND without thinking I still had to do a thousand things.
The next day I could stand & walk straight again!
It’s so interesting to me, that Soul-Mind-Body connection!
It’s so interesting that we have to nearly die before we will chill out! And chill out properly = without feeling guilty! Maybe the toughest part of all! That guilt that unable us to enjoy the present moment because we always think we should be working hard or doing something.
But like the Soul movie teaches us *spoiler alert!*: it’s about the little things and it’s about being present and aware enough to enjoy them! It’s about noticing the leaves changing colors, the beautiful light at 7pm, tasting that coffee with all your senses or even reading this post with your full attention.
Timing and other things
I often say things like ‘I wish I would have started that [blank] earlier’, usually when I finally decide to do that thing I’ve been thinking about doing for a while but wasn’t sure whether or not to do it.
Let me explain.
I’ve been thinking of doing a specific training for a while now, but wasn’t sure about it because of different factors: length of the course, financial investment, time investment, level of difficulty, language. I would think about it like an obsession for a while and then forget about it again and think of a thousand other directions my professional life could take and all those other things and courses I could pursue also/instead.
Some of us know right away what decision to make and some of us need TIME. A lot of time sometimes. Which one are you?
Sometimes it takes me years to make a decision and I was always like that. It took me years to do my first yoga teacher training. It took me years to register for my coaching course. So it’s just normal that it’s taking me years to register for this next life-changing-course.
What I realized this morning is that it’s all a process and the timing is always right. I truly believe that you cannot force yourself to start something if it’s ‘too early’ in your own development process. Something needs to be aligned first somehow.
So if I had something to tell my (younger) self today (and over and over again) it’d be: relax and trust the process!
To whom ever needed to hear that today!
SPEAK your TRUTH but even more so OWN it!
Last week I was on the phone with my grandma. At some point, she asked me something that I knew she was not going to like the answer to. And yet, I replied honestly without trying to explain myself or trying to convince her or caring about the impact my answer was going to have.
At first, she was strongly disagreeing but very shortly after, she admitted not being sure of the answer herself and then changed topics and that was it, we ended up having a nice talk.
When I hung up and reflected on the conversation, I realized that it went this way because I had owned my truth. I had simply said what I truly think, which gave her the green light to say what she thought/ felt too and our point of views were not so different after all.
It felt liberating and empowering.
And yet I still often catch myself not daring to say something because subconsciously I fear the impact/ the reaction the other person is going to have, or because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or because I’m scared to be taken for a weirdo and die alone, maybe my most subconscious fear of all!
We all have that subconscious fear to a certain degree, it’s normal, we used to need to belong to the tribe to survive. In my opinion, that’s one of the reason we sugarcoat a lot of things we say. Think of your conversations, with work colleagues, family, your partner, are you being super honest 100 % of the time? (And what is it being ‘super honest’? But that deserves another post.) If the answer is no, why not? Of course, probably a thousand reasons. But imagine how it would feel to say what you really think let’s say even 70% of the time? Scary? It’s normal. But after the fear how would it feel? What would you do and not do anymore? Maybe your life would change completely?!
The first step is to become aware of it.
The second step is to embrace our INNER WEIRDOS cause that’s how we become OURSELVES!
Who is in?!
What does it mean to be authentic?
Be authentic! We see those words so much nowadays. They became kind of catch words in the modern world.
And every time I read that, I thought to myself: yeah I am pretty authentic cause I don’t lie!
Being authentic by Merriam-Webster: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
I had to go through a job interview and the planning of our honeymoon to realize that while I don’t lie to people, I do lie to myself from time to time. It’s like authenticity has different layers similar to an onion we need to keep peeling to find our authentic selves.
Let me give you 3 concrete examples:
- The job interview: I was being totally honest with the employer telling him about myself and my future plans but where I was not honest was: with myself, applying to the job in the first place, thinking I wanted that job and actually not wanting it AT ALL! Story of the past decade conditioned by thinking I needed to work in an office to make a living and not being able to see any other option. That might even be why I was not able to ‘make enough money’ as a Yoga Teacher because maybe deep down I thought it was not possible or I was not worthy. That’s why I was talking about layers. Most things we are not even aware of. A lot is stored in the subconscious which makes it pretty complex to be your authentic self! But let me give you another example.
- The honeymoon planning: back in June, around the kitchen table, we were brainstorming holiday destinations with my husband. He asks: ‘what about Corsica?’ to which I reply: ‘no, if we go to Corsica I want to be fit to do all the amazing hikes there’. And it took me a minute or so to ask myself this question: when am I actually going to want to take 2 weeks off to go hiking? The answer was: N.E.V.E.R! Because I actually don’t like hiking so much! Doing it half a day is ok but my whole Summer holiday?! Definitely not! And probably not any other holiday either! The reason why I thought this would be a cool thing to do was because back in my early twenties, while hiking with my best friend, she told me about those hikes and that it’d be cool to do them and so I thought: okay my best friend wants to do that and I want to spend time with her + it’s healthy to go hiking, okay then let’s make that a plan! And I stored that in the back of my mind. But if I’m honest with myself + only have limited holiday time for now, that’s not what I’ll choose to do! And I feel like I’ve been doing tones of things that either other people think are cool, society thinks are cool, whoever else thinks are cool but not me!
- Last year versus this year: I have also been doing things out of guilt or to please or prove something to someone else or myself even! Like last year, we went camping which I hate! Looking back I think I did it to prove to my husband, his fam and myself that I’m not a princess. Turns out: I AM! And it’s okay I accept that royal part of myself. We also went climbing, which I also dislike but I did it to prove myself that I can do it and to please my husband who loves it so much. I’m not saying you cannot do something for someone else but you gotta really make sure you do it for the right reason meaning: with all your heart. This year though we did a good job finding a place we both like and can both enjoy. In fact, there were many times I cried of gratitude because it’s everything I like doing and it feels so good! That’s when I know I’m being authentic to myself!
When I notice the tricks my mind plays on me to keep me safe, when I allow myself to be fully myself without guilt or shame, I will uncover more and more authenticity, meaning also more bliss! And who wouldn’t want that?!
Happy Summer everyone!
2020 & 2021, the years we learnt spontaneity
photo credit @sea_silke on IG
For over a year now, we have not been able to practice our favorite 21st century hobby:
PLAN & SCHEDULE
We didn’t know what was awaiting, we are still not entirely sure.
But Summer is here to give us a window of opportunities to practice again!
What a relief!
Here I come Booking.com, Airbnb and Easy Jet (sidenote: not sponsored whatsoever!), scrolling through your multiple deals to – finally – book that long awaited holiday!
Blessed we are as we use i Cal to add the dates on to our calendar that looks full(filled) again!
That is not how the post initially started but I let it be as I’m learning the art of spontaneity.
I got inspired to write this as I was lying in bed too excited to fall asleep because I finally knew where we were going to spend our Summer holidays, one month before departure!
Timewise it could have been tighter, of course, but most things were already booked out as people had great hopes way earlier than me!
I too had big dreams! The big plan was to travel West and fly to the Land of Sitka spruces, mermaid lattes and maple syrup!
I too got upset when I realized (back in the cold winter months) that it was not going to happen! Everything but not my holiday plans please!
But then I accepted and let go. If we could go it was amazing and if not, well that would be okay as well.
I had even prepared myself for the worst-case scenario: going hiking in the Alps, although I hate hiking and for me holiday doesn’t rime with technical equipment unless it’s a wetsuit.
My point is coming, bear with me here as I’m trying to find sleep.
So as I had prepared myself for the worst, – my Swiss friends reading this will hate me – and oh yeah very important, I almost forgot: in addition to letting go of plan A) : I asked the Universe to help me find a holiday destination with ease that fulfills all my wants and needs.
Earlier today, I visited a well-traveled friend and asked her for travel ideas as I knew that when it comes to food and vibe we are pretty much on the same page.
And suddenly the perfect spot appeared combining everything I’ve been searching for!
So finally, if you are still reading, here is my point:
When we keep doors open to opportunity, they will come! We don’t have to decide nor know everything right away. If you are a control freak with high expectations (like me) it’s hard, I know, I hear you! But we can learn to lean back and trust that it’s all going to work out whatever the area of our life.
Starting with something light and fun like holidays might be easier than starting with something more serious like CAREER for example.
If we deliberately don’t jam pack our schedules, it gives us space to first of all: feel more relaxed and not have to rush to the next appointment (which is already awesome) and second of all: for spontaneity, like bumping into a friend and actually having the time to stop and chat, like back in the days, remember?
I’d like to make it my Summer intention: schedule as little as possible and let myself be surprised!
I know I know, I can already hear you say: but we can finally plan a tone of things now, things are reopening and happening again!!!
Yes it’s not about planning nothing at all but it’s about allowing gaps here and there for the magic to operate, the spontaneity magic where we let ourselves be positively surprised!
How about starting with a No-Plan-Sunday for example?
If you have any questions please reach out!
Happy Summer everyone!
Complaining vs Manifesting
Complaining, the french national hobby. I bathed into it growing up.
We all do it, but the French would definitely win the olympics if it were a sport.
I remember a few years ago, in Bali, getting the (photocopied version of the) book 21 day no complaint challenge by Will Bowen, a very interesting read that I gifted to both my Mum and Dad but I think they never opened the book.
When I explained to one of my girlfriend recently what you are going to read below, she said: ouais mais ça fait du bien quand même, (yeah but it feels good nevertheless) to complain a bit doesn’t it?!
Well depends, do you feel better or worse afterwards?! I’m not advocating for emotion suppression either! Not at all! But rather than complaining about someone or a situation in a layer-cake-way, I believe in constructive struggle sharing.
Complaining the layer-cake-way (yes I just made that expression up, I’m starting to speak in metaphors like my partner, I didn’t see it coming I swear!), means both parties are adding one layer of drama / anger / sadness on top of another until the humongous cake is so unstable, it collapses on both your heads, leaving you and your counterpart feeling negatively hyped and worse than before.
On the other hand, constructive struggle sharing with someone who is not at this specific moment in time in the same lower frequency / emotion / vibration as you and is able to share her realizations in regards to the same struggle will leave you feeling lighter and understood, ready to change the thing you were not happy with!
As usual, it’s all a matter of perspective, how you choose to approach the ‘problem’ and with whom.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with something even better than constructive struggle sharing though.
It’s in the title, you guessed it, it’s MANIFESTING! I finally remembered that it doesn’t ‘just’ work for objects and that rather than criticizing or complaining about a person / situation / relationship and rehashing my misery, I might as well rewrite the story the way I would like it to go! And unlike the scarf experiment in January, this one worked pretty well and quickly!
There are many manifestation / visualization programs and teachers out there like Dr. Joe Dispenza, Kathrin Zenkina. It’s worth checking out if you are new to the concept. I’d just like to share how I do it briefly to give you an idea:
- The first step is to notice that I’m not happy with a situation, that I wish to change it
- Then I think about what I want instead
- As I have a morning pages routine after waking up, I’ll use that moment to write affirmations of how I want a specific situation to be. Or sometimes I do it in meditation. There is a great morning meditation from Dr. Joe Dispenza I like to use.
- The sentences need to be written or thought in the present tense combined with a positive emotion. For example: I have a beautiful relationship with my partner, it is loving, respectful and beautiful. And you feel all those things in that moment.
- If you manifest from a place of lack, it won’t work. If you desperately want XYZ it won’t work.
- It might take some practice, keep going.
- You cannot choose the exact timing nor how it will happen exactly.
- Be open
What is work?
Being french, a question I’ve asked myself many times over the years and in this fast-changing world, even more so.
I had a vague memory of writing about the topic already. I remembered copy-pasting definitions, but impossible to find that text until I wrote exactly that I was looking for it. I looked at one last file, scrolled down, there it was! Pretty magic! The title asked: ‘What is work?‘
Once again while reading it, like most things I read after writing them, I noticed that I already thought (a couple years ago) exactly what I think now. I always think that I have a new thought or realization but it’s actually just recurring. I call it the Goldfish-Syndrome. The hardest thing is to remember what we already know but that’s another topic.
So here is how the first draft started:
Is it something you get paid for?
Time given + Task accomplished = Money?
Is it something you spend a lot of time doing?
Does it need to be hard physically or challenging mentally? Or annoying?
If you do something for free, is it still called work?
Think about it for a second: how would you define work for yourself?
I heard a few years back from a fellow French co-worker, that the word travail (work in french) comes from the latin word torture. Well that makes sense doesn’t it?! I thought back then. I researched a bit and indeed travail comes from the latin Tripalium, a torturing tool. But it’s only one of the definition, it also was a tool for agriculture and relates to hard labor.
Then I looked at the current English definition of work: to perform work or fulfill duties regularly for wages or salary or to perform or carry through a task requiring sustained effort or continuous repeated operations.
And of labor: expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory.
No I’m not gonna write where I found those definitions and yes I probably use Bold, Italic and ” the wrong way.
But anyway, how I understand the meaning of the word, according to those definitions, is: doing something that could potentially be difficult, in exchange of something, usually money.
I used to ask what is work? on my podcast to see what entrepreneurs had to say about the topic. For Bianca, for example, work was: everything that’s NOT self-care and spending time with fam and friends. It was very interesting for me to hear that kind of answer, at a time when I didn’t know quite yet what work meant for me. The limiting beliefs were slowly starting to fade away but it still took another couple years to figure out how I DID NOT want to define work for myself.
Here is what I wanted to mentally redecorate to use Sarah Knight’s words in her book You do You to be able to find my own definition:
- to be a good worker (/person) you need to get up early
- it’s normal that it’s hard to get up early, we have to get used to it
- work is hard in general (I think this one comes from the Genesis when God punishes Adam & Eve and make them go on Earth to work for their food and it needs to be hard cause it’s a punishment)
- real work is working in an office (cause that’s what both my parents did)
- I’m lazy cause I don’t like to work hard in an office, nor to be there early
This is my current definition: work is anything you want it to be! It doesn’t have to be difficult but it can be, like writing this blogpost, it’s both enjoyable and tricky at times. It doesn’t necessarily have to be in exchange of money but could potentially be at some point in time OR it contributes to some kind of energetic exchange like the emotion it generates in another person (laughter, well-being, inspiration…), in other words: work is something I do that has or will have an impact on someone’s else life in any kind of way.
What is work for you? What are your limiting beliefs around it? Can you write your own definition?
FOMO and more
This morning, there was an empty space on my phone, where the WhatsApp App has been residing. I felt my heart tighten. Did I take the right decision last night when I deleted it for good?! All those links and pictures, gone for ever! FOMO creeped up, the fear of missing out on information and opportunity, the fear of loosing those precious connections with people. I know it’s not as if I gave up on my phone all together, this was just ONE way of communicating but still, it was all this lost information of the past and already of the future that I was – I didn’t even know what I was – scared of loosing or sad about? Or something else?! It was so easy to communicate with people, they were right there, at fingertip reach, now my brain had to make an extra effort to remember to connect!
I also asked myself: was it really necessary in the end, to make that move? Is it really better somewhere else? And if I follow the logic that made me delete that app, then I can remove other apps as well?!
I was now more than ever on IG cause that was my new easy way of sharing the important stuff – which also made me more distracted than ever and I could very much notice in my morning meditation!
Would I delete it though?! NOOOO WAY! Not ready for that! I’m too attached to the online visual identity I’ve built over the years!
In my opinion, there is definitely also FOMO that comes with not being on that particular app, but maybe even more so, the fear of being bored, of being alone with oneself and maybe of not being able to prove that we too did something today, that we too exist!
But in the midst of all that, when I am on it, I find a lot of inspiration, useful information, beauty, humor and connection with people from all over the world. Even the ads are sometimes gems! #notajoke
At lunch I shared those thoughts with my partner and was surprised to hear his side of the coin as he bravely deleted WhatsApp already a couple weeks ago. He had opposite feelings, he felt more free afterwards, he didn’t need all this information and connection and found his inspiration some place else.
So what to do?! I think I’ll experiment with deleting it from my phone and see if I can go to the toilet without! Also I’ll remind myself that everything is not black & white and that I shall not FOMO, nor fear doing nothing.