4. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
The guest house
This human being is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness -
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thoughts, the shame, the malice,
6. September 2020 • Katja Laurien
This is the final post of a series of posts about understanding and dealing with our defense mechanisms which can help us see through the illusions we create in life. Therefore I’d recommend you first read the first two posts before continuing with this one. The approach I’ve been describing in these series is based on the work of the Dutch psychologist Ingeborg Bosch and her book “Illusions - How to escape the labyrinth of destructive emotions”.
2. August 2020 • Katja Laurien
This is the second part of a series of posts which intend to help you seeing through life’s illusions. These posts are based on the work of the Dutch psychologist Ingeborg Bosch, who has developed the Past Reality Integration (PRI) Therapy which I personally find highly effective. In order to see through the illusion, you first have to start by understanding and recognizing your defense mechanisms which I described in the last post.
5. July 2020 • Katja Laurien
The past months I’ve gone through an emotionally very turbulent period. This was not the first roller coaster I’d been through, but the fact that I couldn’t really pinpoint the problem, made it very confusing to me. I didn’t really understand what was going one with me, but I wisely decided to switch off my brain and just watch my thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Thanks to my dedicated meditation practice, it was not that difficult to stay in the observing mode.
7. June 2020 • Katja Laurien
We’re more than just physical beings. Most of all we’re vibrational beings. We attract and repel things, people and situations into our lives according to the frequency we’re vibrating on, therefore our “vibrational hygiene” is of utmost importance. Maybe you don’t really believe in this wishy-washy idea of vibrations and frequencies, but I’m pretty sure you know at least one person who seems to magically attract negativity and who (surprise, surprise!
3. May 2020 • Katja Laurien
“I need your love” is probably one of the most common messages in love songs throughout time and cultures, regardless of social status, age or gender. It’s a feeling nearly all of us can relate to and I’m no exception. If I had just the slightest talent for music, I’d probably compose my own song about it. I’m unfortunately not unfamiliar with emotional dependency which has accompanied me throughout most of my relationships.
5. April 2020 • Katja Laurien
This month it’s my blog’s third anniversary! Whoop whoop! This anniversary invited me to think back on why I ever started writing this blog in the first place, three years ago. While I was contemplating my motivation and reasons for starting this project, I realized that this decision has influenced my life in so many more surprising ways. Today I want to share with you this story which might help you in making smaller and bigger life decisions.
1. March 2020 • Katja Laurien
If you’ve followed my blog a bit you might know that I had been in a relationship with my first perfect partner ever. My history of negative relationships patterns seemed endless which is why I was all the more delighted when I met this gentle, respectful and funny man. Finally, I had found someone with whom I could have a mature relationship! Coming from relationships where dependency and fear were the driving force, it was such a relief to finally be able to have a relationship which was based on honesty, respect and trust.
2. February 2020 • Katja Laurien
Who doesn’t want to be liked? It’s what makes us human, it’s part of our survival instinct. If no one would like us, we would be assured of a cold and lonely death. This urge is so deeply ingrained, most don’t even notice to what extent it takes over our lives. It’s such a natural part of our being, few people doubt the effect of this instinct.
But does our urge to be liked actually serve us?
5. January 2020 • Katja Laurien
Self love is more than just a fancy word used in psychology and amongst spiritual people. The lack of self love is probably the # 1 reason for all the misery in our lives. Without self love we can’t love others; without self love we can’t develop our full potential and without self love we can never feel “whole” or “complete”. Unfortunately, self love is not something you can turn on and off as you please.
1. December 2019 • Katja Laurien
We live in a time where everything is possible. Power, fame and abundance aren’t limited anymore to the “chosen ones” but can be achieved virtually by everyone. In a way this is great. We have more or less equal opportunities and for most people in the Western world the sky’s the limit. Unfortunately, this limitless opportunities don’t seem to make people any happier, but rather anxious and stressed out. So, where does it go wrong?
3. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
We’ve all told a (white) lie at some point in our lives. If you happen to be this rare person who has never been guilty of it, please contact me. I’d love to meet your parents and do some research on your environment. Most of us grow up in environments where we are taught to be “polite and kind”. And that the truth is impolite and unfriendly. We learn that harmony is more important than confrontation and that our needs are less important than the collective good.
6. October 2019 • Katja Laurien
We all sometimes struggle to set our boundaries. On the one hand we want to serve others, but we also want to take care of ourselves and serve our own needs and wishes. We could also turn this around and put it differently: We either fear rejection or we fear losing control. How can we find out whether we really want to help someone or whether we are simply afraid to lose their sympathy?
1. September 2019 • Katja Laurien
I have a confession to make: I can sometimes be really mean and nasty. It seems like an inner devil gets hold of me and makes me say and do things I later regret. Obviously, I’ve always had my “dark shadow sides” (I mean, who doesn’t?!), but being on the spiritual path has challenged my relationship with my dark sides; writing posts on spirituality has even nearly blocked my relationship with my shadow.
4. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
What does wealth mean to you? Are you wealthy if you have a lof of money? If you can buy everything this modern world has to offer? To me, wealth does not necessarily have to do with money. In my opinion, you’re wealthy if you can afford to have all the things you want. And I consider myself to be extremely wealthy.
I’m a waitress who works not only part-time but is also on holidays nearly half of the year.
6. July 2019 • Katja Laurien
This post is not necessarily meant for people who just think a lot. Here I am specifically talking about the monkey mind: The uncontrollable mind that seems to drag you from one horror-scenario to another and puts the worst scenario on repeat.
Trying to stop this internal chatter is in vain as long as you don’t understand the root of this mind-circus. The monkey mind is in fact just a very useful trick of the ego.
2. June 2019 • Katja Laurien
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
In the 21st century eating has become a pretty complex issue. Before we put anything into our mouths we first have to go through a mental checklist:
Am I up-to-date with the latest scientific research? Many of the dietary guidelines I was told to follow as a kid suddenly turn out to be wrong. When I grew up I was told to eat enough grains and to avoid fats.
5. May 2019 • Katja Laurien
In an earlier post, I wrote how I stopped settling for less and finally attracted a good guy in my life. I wish I could say: And they lived happily ever after. THE END. But that wasn’t the case yet.
Just like in any good fairy tale, there was a monster obstructing the couple’s happiness. Normally, it’s the prince’s task to slaughter the monster. But in this fairy tale the task was mine.
7. April 2019 • Katja Laurien
When we feel stuck we basically want to make a move, but we just don’t know in which direction. We want to bring about change in our lives, but we have no clue what we should do. We feel restless and lost, full of doubts and fears. Maybe we felt some kind of positive energy at some point, a vibe that led us to bring about change in our lives. But instead of positivity we feel shame and self-judgement due to our inability to take action and make progress.
3. March 2019 • Katja Laurien
Shame is human, it’s natural and it can be very healthy! Yes, if you deal with your shame in a conscious way it can actually be a cleansing proces. Shame becomes toxic when you either ignore it or allow it to take control over you. They key is to actively and consciously face your shame and feel it. And that’s exactly the goal of writing this post: facing my own shame and let it wash all over me.
3. February 2019 • Katja Laurien
I think it’s important to have a very close look at perfectionism. Why? Because it’s one of the nasty personality traits that can be advertised as virtues. People seem to find it fancy to be a perfectionist, often mention it as their weaknesses during a job interview. Yes, it is a weakness and we should treat it as such.
If we would all be aware of the fact that perfectionism is nothing more than ego’s disguise of its lack of self-esteem, there wouldn’t be anything glamorous about it anymore.
6. January 2019 • Katja Laurien
If you hear voices in your head, no worries. You’re not crazy, we all hear them. Hearing them better and clearer is even a sign of increased sanity. There are so many voices in our head (the ego, the higher Self, the inner child, the inner critic etc.) it seems like there’s an entire village in our heads. Distinguishing between these voices helps us to control them and to stay sane.
2. December 2018 • Katja Laurien
New Year’s resolutions used to give me the shivers. I would feel the fear of not being able to achieve my goals from miles away. My ego decided it’s safer to not even start making goals, so no one would notice I was a failure.
Obviously, I had never given New year’s resolutions a fair chance. Until one fine year I spend NYE with my mum. Together we revalued the resolutions and gave them a new twist.
4. November 2018 • Katja Laurien
Recently I challenged myself not to complain for an entire week. Naturally, I complain a lot. Rarely about big issues, but more about small ones. I can clearly see how people create blocks in their lives by complaining excessively. They spend all their energy with complaining, but not really with doing something. For some reason, I always thought that my complaining had less negative impact, because I rather complain about the small things in life.
7. October 2018 • Katja Laurien
Obviously, you should never settle for less. In any situation. This post is about relationships because this is where I personally struggled most. And I assume I’m not the only one. This is why I want to share my story with you. My past relationships have been rather “suboptimal”. I don’t want to call them shitty or anything like that, because without them I wouldn’t have been where I am now.
2. September 2018 • Katja Laurien
As I had promised in my last post, this one will be about the actual art of manifesting. Now we know the advantages of desires, we also want to know how to make our dreams come true. Obviously, also this is a topic which is difficult to put in just one single post. But I will share with you my basics thoughts and some of my experiences.
Ok, let’s get started!
5. August 2018 • Katja Laurien
I guess almost everyone on the spiritual path gets confused at a certain point whether or not to pursue their desires. Spirituality is often linked to total renunciation of worldly goods. Not only possessions are frowned upon, but also the attainment of status or even the finding of a lover. Spiritual enlightenment entails finding peace in oneself and not in factors from outside oneself. Still, I think having desires are very compatible with leading a spiritual life.
1. July 2018 • Katja Laurien
Nearly three months ago I launched myself into a new adventure. I took a temporary job for 6 months in a hotel in the Swiss alps. I had been dreaming of living in nature, so I immediately took this opportunity. After nearly 8 years of working for the same agency in Amsterdam, I was ready for a change. I had been warned beforehand that some of the colleagues were difficult, but don’t we we all have to deal with difficult people once in a while?
3. June 2018 • Katja Laurien
“Think positive” is probably one of the best known slogans people associate with spirituality. This is what attracts people to spirituality (doesn’t it mean you’re happy all the time?) and at the same time makes people reject it. These people instinctively feel that “being happy all the time” simply is not feasible. So, how to interpret this slogan correctly?
Positivity as end result Negative feelings appear as we all know. If you read my last post, you would also know that I even consider it to be necessary.
5. May 2018 • Katja Laurien
Unfortunately pain does not only hurt when it overcomes us, it also does when it overcomes over loved ones. Sometimes, we are even hurt by the pain of people we barely know or complete strangers. It’s good to feel empathy for others, but when other peoples pain turns into our own pain, we need to take some steps back. In this post I will describe how I deal with other peoples pain.
1. April 2018 • Katja Laurien
Recently, a friend of mine asked me how I decide between two good options. First of all, I didn’t really know what to answer. But soon I realised I am constantly making these kind of decisions. I have loads of freedom: no work contract, no partner, no kids. So, what have I actually done the past years while deciding what do with my life?
Fear or passion? First of all, I make myself clear whether the options I have are both based on a passion or whether one of them might be based in fear.
2. March 2018 • Katja Laurien
“You are pretty good looking, how come you are single?” Are you used to hearing these or similar remarks? It seems in our society the only legitimate reason to be single is either being ugly, having an obnoxious personality or complete devotion to God. Why should a good-looking, friendly, intelligent and fun person ever choose to be single? Isn’t being in a relationship everyone’s life goal?
The social shame of being single This is the idea I started to get after being single for four years between my last two ex partners.
4. February 2018 • Katja Laurien
Being in the grip of jealousy is a terrible feeling. Everyone who has seriously experienced jealousy knows how paralyzing and irrational it can make you. Whether there is real cause for being jealous or it is just a suspicion, the feeling can completely captivate you and drain your energy. I am familiar with both situations. And I have learnt that whether my partner was just cheating on me in my head or cheating for real, in either case there was no need for me to feel bad.
7. January 2018 • Katja Laurien
Do you sometimes wish you could have more control over your feelings and actions? Does your knowledge not match with your emotions and actions? Do you feel you are ruled by your subconscious? And you have no clue how to take control of this part? Chances are big your inner child is shouting out loud, trying to catch your attention.
I have found myself often in this situation, wondering what spiritual book to read or which meditation to do next to alleviate my suffering.
3. December 2017 • Katja Laurien
Nowadays almost everyone is familiar with the term yoga in the Western world. But barely anyone knows what it really means. Most people are aware that it’s not just sports and that has deep spiritual value. But what is the link between the two exactly? Unfortunately, misconceptions about this ancient tradition can lead to wrong practices and even injuries. Therefore, it’s important to understand what yoga really is before practicing it.
5. November 2017 • Katja Laurien
You’re in the middle of a heated discussion, your heart is pounding, your throat is constricted and you can feel the steam coming of your head. If you’re not familiar with this situation, no need to read any further.
To me this situation is maybe a bit too familiar. By nature, I am a very stubborn person with strong opinions and a hot temper. Ask anyone who knows me as a child and he will remember vividly my temper tantrums and loud shrieks.
1. October 2017 • Katja Laurien
Today I want to share a short, but very important idea with you. Todays topic is my view on aging. Generally, this topic is approached in a rather negative way. Aging means losing your youthfulness which equals becoming ugly, fat, incapable, slow etc.
To a certain extent this might be true. Indeed, our bodies change and we feel we can’t do the things we used to do. But how often do we actually focus on the things we gained throughout the years, rather than focusing on the things we lost or are about to loose?
3. September 2017 • Katja Laurien
You might wonder what a post about organization is doing in a spiritual blog. Just continue reading and you will soon understand…
But before I start, I would like to give you a small introduction to my relationship with being (un)organized: As a child, teenager and young adult I was horribly messy and unorganized. My room would always look like a war zone, I was always late for school and I constantly forgot everything.
6. August 2017 • Katja Laurien
Healing comes from taking responsibility: to realize that it is you - and no one else - that creates your thoughts, your feelings, your actions.
— Peter Shepherd
Are you trying to say that I am responsible for my own pain?
Yes, that is exactly what I am trying to say. You are the only one that can hurt yourself. This is the bittersweet truth… Some people won’t be happy with this message and will feel attacked.
2. July 2017 • Katja Laurien
In my previous post I already pointed out the importance of forgiveness. But this topic definitely deserves more attention. Therefore, I decided to write an entire post about it.
In this post I do not only want to emphasize that forgiveness is important, but also why it is important and how it is best done. I will start by telling you what forgiveness is in my opinion.
What is forgiveness? Simply accepting someones apology is not enough.
4. June 2017 • Katja Laurien
Let’s start with a short description of myself: I am loud, talk incessantly, I am hyperactive, impulsive, spacey, impatient, bossy and if complaining were an Olympic discipline, I’d be winning. These are all character traits most people (including myself) are not very proud of. In the past few months, I started to notice how these traits are getting more and more in my way. I have tried to find ways how to deal with them, without judging myself for it.
2. April 2017 • Katja Laurien
Never be sad for what is over, just be glad that it was once yours. If you truly love someone you have to let them go and be happy for them, no matter what. Because true love will never cage something.
Almost everyone has suffered at least once from a broken heart. Some people suffer from it constantly. Others quickly look out for a new partner to fix the damage.