2. May 2021 • Katja Laurien
Everyone who has walked the spiritual path will have experienced themselves using spiritual practices in order to avoid facing painful emotions or unwanted truths. We do this by thinking rigidly positive and denying the negative (“Me, angry? No way!") or by rationalizing how we should feel instead of simply acknowledging what is going on inside of us (“I can’t be angry. Anger arises from the ego and I am NOT my ego!
4. April 2021 • Katja Laurien
Walking the spiritual path can be very confusing and exhausting. I’ve personally been plagued very often with the question why we’re equipped with an ego and a soul at the same time. And how come it’s easier for most people to follow their ego instead of their soul? Why is the voice of our soul so quiet compared to the voice of our ego? The fact that I couldn’t really come to a satisfying solution at times made me doubt the relevance of a spiritual lifestyle.
7. March 2021 • Katja Laurien
Why is it so hard to bring about lasting change? Is our will too weak? Our desire not strong enough? Or are we incapable? No, we’re simply human. Everyone feels resistance to change. It’s completely normal and part of our biology to resist change, especially if keeping the status quo doesn’t threaten our survival. Change implies effort and courage to explore which means we might get lost outside of our comfort zone.
7. February 2021 • Katja Laurien
Are you familiar with this nagging feeling that you’re not doing enough? I’m not talking about the times that you’re procrastinating, but about having this feeling hanging like a dark cloud above your life. I actually thought I had moved past this feeling, but during the lockdowns in 2020 I found out that it wasn’t over yet…When the lockdowns started I was a waitress and therefore couldn’t work for an extended period of time.
15. January 2021 • Katja Laurien
Last summer I started exploring my own tiny, but beautiful country, the Netherlands, a little bit more. The past years I’ve traveled extensively, but those days seem to be gone now. Not only because of the travel restrictions, but also due to a more stable job and two adorable cat companions who are part of my life now. I’ve already discovered throughout the past years that the Netherlands has quite some nice spots, but don’t we all get lazy when it’s all too nearby?
3. January 2021 • Katja Laurien
This year one of my New Year’s resolutions is getting rid of my moral judgments. I’ve been wanting to stop judging people for a very long time, but this decision never went further than my mind. In my heart, I just didn’t manage to really pull through and I kept finding an excuse for myself why I was “allowed” to judge.
My anchor was my morality. For some reason I’ve developed an overly strict (and rigid) morality for which even my parents sometimes make fun of me (obviously, they are not the ones who taught me to me to be almost autistically moral).
6. December 2020 • Katja Laurien
Every single one of us is looking for love whether we’re conscious of it or not. Some of us rationalize their desire away by hiding it under a thick layer of fear and uncertainty, but deep down we all know that we’re yearning for this feeling of experiencing and sharing love. It’s imprinted in our human DNA and there’s no way of escaping it. Unfortunately, many of us have had some bad experiences in the name of “love” which has created resistance towards this blissful experience.
12. November 2020 • Katja Laurien
This is just another short post on my favourite hiking country: Switzerland! The hike I want to present to you is a short roundhike (approximately 2.5 hours) starting from Bettmeralp hiking towards Fiescheralp, finishing off with a refreshing dip into the Bettmer Lake/ Bettmersee. Both alps are more or less on the same height, which makes this hike also a relatively easy one. I’d recommend starting at Bettmeralp, since the cable car to Fiescheralp is a lot more expensive.
1. November 2020 • Katja Laurien
The corona virus has quickly turned out to be so much more than “just” a health challenge. As if this wasn’t already enough, the measures and the consequences have led to so many different opinions and viewpoints, highlighting the complexity of modern life, the interdependence between people and even nations. We’ve been bombarded with numbers and “facts” which interestingly enough seemed to contradict each other, making it so difficult to know whom to trust and what to believe.
25. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
Gérardmer is one of the main towns from where to explore the Vosges Mountains. It’s a lovely small town next to a beautiful lake which is perfect for all kinds of watersports. There’s a path leading around the lake, but there are also many more wonderful hiking spots in the area. In this post I want to introduce you to two wonderful hikes which I can both highly recommend!
Perles de la Vologne This is probably the most famous hike in the area, for good reasons.
12. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
Actually, this was supposed to be a post about the magnificent mountains in Georgia, but unfortunately I had to cancel this trip due to the travel restrictions. So, my mum (my travel companion for this trip) and I spontaneously decided to grab the car and drive to La Belle France! Coming from the Netherlands, we didn’t want to go all the way to the South, so we decided to go to Brittany which was a really good decision!
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,
13. September 2020 • Katja Laurien
Voilà, la Crème de la Crème de la Bretagne: Crozon Peninsula! To me, this peninsula was really the highlight in Brittany. Even though the peninsula is not very big, it offers a variety of natural landscapes, such as a stunning coastline, sandy dunes, dramatic cliffs, heavenly smelling pine forests and bright heather in different colours (when you come in the right season which we luckily did!). In between this wonderful landscape there are beautiful, small villages with cute stone houses.
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”.
9. August 2020 • Katja Laurien
Étretat is probably the tourist attraction in the Normandy, and that for a good reason. The view from the two famous cliffs, Falaise d’Amont and Falaise d’Aval, are indeed well worth a visit. Obviously, this is what thousands of other people think, especially when you go in the middle of the summer. But despite the crowds, I have to say, I enjoyed myself (and so did my mum who was my travel companion for this Tour de France).
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.
26. July 2020 • Katja Laurien
In terms of nature Switzerland is definitely one of my favourite countries. It’s not only insanely beautiful, but it’s also pretty versatile. Mostly known for the magnificent alpine landscape, it has so much more to offer though. Such as for example the beautiful canyon Creux du Van near to Neuchâtel.
Before going I searched the internet for hiking trails. For some reason there was only one hiking trail I consistently kept finding, which is a round trip from Noiraigue to Le Soliat which leads alongside the canyon and seems to take about 4.
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.
25. June 2020 • Katja Laurien
I had introduced the Lake Oeschinen (Oeschinensee) briefly in my post about the Jungfrau region, but at that time I had only managed to hike to the lake from Kandersteg and go back again. Since I liked this lake so much, I decided to go back to the lake to discover more of it. With its beautiful blue colour surrounded by a dramatic scenery, this lake is definitely one of my favourite mountain lakes in Switzerland.
16. June 2020 • Katja Laurien
Are you looking for an easy, accessible hike with a great view over the lake of Thun? Then the round hike at Heiligenschwendi is a great option. The hike starts at an elevation of 1125 m at the Rehazentrum Heiligenschwendi and takes about 2-2.5 hours. The highest point is the view tower Blueme at 1392 m from where you can enjoy a 360 degree view over the area.
From the Rehazentrum start following the signs to Niesenbänkli.
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.
28. March 2020 • Katja Laurien
The Aphrodite Trail is probably by far the most famous hiking trail in the Akamas Peninsula, (maybe even in all of Cyprus) and that for a good reason. The trail is relatively easy, very accessible and offers some wonderful views over the peninsula.
Next to offering pretty views over the landscape from above, the trail also partially leads next to the coast, from where you can enjoy the view over the many small rock bays and the crystal clear water.
15. March 2020 • Katja Laurien
The Akamas Peninsula is a beautiful national park in the northwest of Cyprus. Even before coming to Cyprus I knew this was the place where I’d spend most of my time. For some reason most tourists seem to skip this part of the island, even though it’s the most beautiful part in my opinion. It might be due to the fact that there’s no “big city” near, only two small towns, Latchi and Polis.
5. March 2020 • Katja Laurien
When I first started researching the “to-do’s” in Cyprus, I quickly abandoned the idea of going to Ayia Napa. All I read gave me the impression that this is thé place to be for mass tourism, especially the partying people. That’s definitely not the kind of place I’d want to find myself during my precious holidays, so I thought I’d better skip it. Until I found a blog post about Cape Greco, the beautiful national park not even 15 minutes away from bustling Ayia Napa.
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.
17. February 2020 • Katja Laurien
Indonesia is truly a wonderful country which has loads to offer. Being prepared on what to expect before you visit the country might even help you getting more out of the experience, which is why I wrote this post. Since my grandparents are from Indonesia, Java, I always grew up with the idea of visiting this country one day, creating a lot of expectations around it. Once I was there, I realized I had designed a complete wrong idea about Indonesia throughout the years which is one of the reasons why I took me so long to go.
9. February 2020 • Katja Laurien
Flores is a rather small island which has not yet been fully discovered by tourists, but has many beautiful things to offer. The island is mainly known for Komodo National Park, the only place on earth where you can find wild Komodo dragons. But the park has even more to offer, such as some amazing diving spots and incredibly beautiful surroundings. Many tourists actually only come for the diving, maybe squeeze in a visit to the Komodo dragons between the dives, but skip the rest of the island which I think is a big mistake.
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?
15. January 2020 • Katja Laurien
Komodo National Park is famous for two things: the Komodo dragons and the superb underwater world. The park is what the Indonesian island Flores is known for and it definitely deserves the attention. All over Labuan Bajo, the gateway to the park, you’ll be offered different tours to the park. Most tours offer the standard sights which are all amazing and very much worth the trip. I personally did the 2-day tour which I can highly recommend!
11. January 2020 • Katja Laurien
Komodo National Park is the main thing the Indonesian island Flores is known for. In fact, many tourists only go to Labuan Bajo, the gateway to the park, and skip the rest of the island (which I wouldn’t recommend). Komodo is indeed a magical place and has so many amazing things to offer, I found it difficult to find appropriate information on the Komodo tours and pricing a la little bit confusing, so I planned an extra day in Labuan Bajo, just to make sure I could do everything I wanted to.
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.
9. December 2019 • Katja Laurien
The 17 Islands just in front of the tiny village Riung is probably one of the most beautiful spots I’ve seen on Flores. The unspoiled and empty beaches on the 17 islands are a true paradise, to say the least. But I guess many people still skip it because it’s a bit off the tourist route. It’s maybe a bit of a hassle coming there (especially due to lack of information) and there’s not much more to do apart from the day tour to the 17 Islands, but it’s worth it.
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?
28. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
Karimunjawa was the unexpected highlight of my trip to Java. Actually it was not part of my itinerary, but ended up being the place I spent most of my time on Java. This tiny island in the north of central Java is a true paradise! I actually only wanted to stay a couple of days but ended up staying more than a week and I could have easily stayed another week, just enjoying the pristine beaches, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere and chit chatting with the friendly locals.
9. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
For many people Borobudur is the main highlight of their trip to Java. It’s the biggest Buddhist temple built around 750-850, about 40 km from Yogyakarta. The temple can be visited anywhere between sunset and sunrise, but watching the sunrise is what most people do. The entrance fee of 350 000 IDR is already pretty hefty for Indonesian standards, but be prepared to pay an extra 125 000 just to see the sunset (which does include a pretty big breakfast buffet).
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.
2. November 2019 • Katja Laurien
One of the things I enjoy most about travelling is the fact that it makes me value my own country a lot more. As a nature lover I always used to consider myself to be very unfortunate to be born in the Netherlands. It’s one of the few countries people would definitely not travel to just for the nature. We don’t have the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean countries, we don’t even come close to the mountains the Alps (let alone any mountain) and our forests have nothing more to offer than any other European forest.
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?
12. September 2019 • Katja Laurien
For many, the Simplon Pass is no more than just a beautiful gateway between Switzerland and Italy, but there’s more to it. The pass actually has many hiking trails to offer. Finding a suitable day hike was not as easy, due to the huge choice. Eventually, I did get to make my decision: The round-way up to Spitzhörli (2737 m) it was going to be! The hike takes about 4.5 hours without breaks and leads up to the top of the Spitzhörli from where you can enjoy a wonderful view.
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.
30. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Most people know the Swiss canton Valais for the Matterhorn, but believe me, there is so much more out there. One of my favourite highlights is the Aletsch Glacier. It’s the largest glacier in the Alps which of course promises some spectacular views! It’s 23 km long, situated partially in the canton of Bern, the other side being in Valais. In Bern you can see the glacier from the Jungfraujoch. I’ve seen the glacier from both sides, but to be honest with you, I much preferred the Valais view.
17. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Today I want to introduce to you the hike between Ernen and Mühlebach. In fact, it’s only a short 30 min walk (one way), but it has quite a bit to offer: wonderful mountain views, two charming authentic Swiss villages and a suspension bridge.
The suspension bridge between Mühlebach and Fürgangen Ernen and Mühlebach are both two picturesque villages which make you feel like travelling back in time.
10. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
If you ever have to travel between the Swiss cantons Bern and Valais, consider not taking the “quick” car transport at Lötschberg, but the slightly longer, ever so beautiful route over the Grimselpass. Not only can you enjoy the wonderful view, but you might even decide to take a detour and hike around while you’re already there.
View from the top of the Grimsel pass I can highly recommend hiking to the Oberaar glacier (Oberaargletscher).
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.
3. August 2019 • Katja Laurien
Who says a beautiful hike with breathtaking views has to be difficult? Sure, in most cases hard work gets rewarded with the best views, but there are some exceptions, such as the loop walk from Fafleralp in the Lötschen valley (Lötschental).
The hike takes about 3-4 hours with a minimal elevation of around 300 m. Most parts of the hike are straight and very easily accessible. There is a possibility to continue the hike to the Anenhütte, which we didn’t do as we had a 2-year old hiking along with us (I guess that’s proof enough how easy the hike actually is).
30. July 2019 • Katja Laurien
The Binn valley in the Swiss canton Valais is beautiful but rather unknown. But only because the crowds don’t flock into the valley doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful place which offers some great hikes - especially if you’re a fan of rivers, streams and waterfalls.
One of the many streams you'll pass on the way to the Mässersee The most common hike is the one to the Binntalhütte.
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.
3. July 2019 • Katja Laurien
Skadar Lake is one of Montenegro’s five national parks and only 30 minutes away from the capital Podgorica. Many people come for a day trip to the lake, do a boat trip, walk around the tiny village and go back again. In my opinion, the lake has more to offer. It’s worth spending a couple of days around the lake to explore more of it. You can take Virpazar as starting point, as it’s easiest to reach and has most of the tourist facilities (but please, don’t expect too much, it’s tiny).
25. June 2019 • Katja Laurien
If you don’t intend to walk the Peaks of the Balkans you might wonder where Vusanje is and what you should do there. In fact, it’s a bit of the same story as with the entire country, Montenegro. When I told my friends and family I was going to Montenegro nearly everyone looked at me puzzled, wondering what the heck I was going to do there.
This is more or less the look I get when I tell people I go to Montenegro The same happened when I told the lady working in the hostel in Kotor that I was heading towards Vusanje.
22. June 2019 • Katja Laurien
While travelling in Montenegro I was told by a local that Kotor is referred to as the Gateway to Montenegro. I didn’t even need an explanation, I immediately saw why people would say this. Kotor is the “jewel” of Montenegro, the one place you have to have seen when visiting the country. For many people, myself included, it’s the reason to visit the country in the first place.
When I first decided to visit Montenegro in 2015 I based my decision on one single picture of the view over the Bay of Kotor.
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.
3. May 2019 • Katja Laurien
You’ve never heard of Raron? This might be Switzerlands newest place to be! Well… For some maybe. It’s small, it’s beautiful and far away from where all the other tourists are. If you’re looking for the most jaw-dropping views, the highest peaks and the best after-ski bars, don’t waste your time and stop reading. Raron is not yours. But if you’re looking for an authentic and charming Swiss mountain village, Raron is your place to be.
30. April 2019 • Katja Laurien
Gosh, wouldn’t it be awesome to be the only tourist on earth? Even better: the only person on earth? But only while travelling. Whenever I travel, I just want all the beauty to myself, especially when it comes to nature. For some reason I feel disturbed whenever I have to “share” nature with other people.
Unfortunately, this is pretty impossible. Especially when you’re enjoying nature in the midst of a city.
18. April 2019 • Katja Laurien
Montreux has been on my bucket list for quite a while now and finally I made my way to this wonderful city. I had high expectations of the city with its amazing view over the lake and surrounding mountains. In order to make sure I could enjoy the city as much as possible, I choose a rather sunny day.
On my way to Montreux I was excited. The sun was shining, the weather was sweet.
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.
12. January 2019 • Katja Laurien
Switzerland is so small, but so packed with breathtaking nature and beautiful cities. Most people seem to come to Switzerland for Zürich, Luzern, Genève, Zermatt or the Jungfrau Region. These are already a lot of destinations for such a small country. But still there are some hidden gems, such as Ticino. Ticino is an Italian speaking Swiss canton, along the Italian border. The Italian influence gives this Swiss canton a pleasant Mediterranean flavor.
11. January 2019 • Katja Laurien
The Jungfrau Region is probably Switzerland’s most popular hike and ski region. Therefore, it is kind of difficult to find out where to go, the options seem to be endless. I was fortunate enough to spend seven months in the midst of this breathtaking region, in the charismatic village Grindelwald. In those seven months I intensively explored the region and found out the most beautiful hikes. In this post I made a quick overview of the highlights and popular hikes.
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.
20. April 2018 • Katja Laurien
My holiday to Colombia was a rather spontaneous decision. Two weeks prior to boarding I had no clue I would end up there! So, what made me decide to visit this country? First of all, Colombia has a huge biodiversity (second biggest to be precise) which greatly appealed to my nature loving heart! Secondly, March is just outside the high season, but not yet in the rainy season. Third, it’s a relatively cheap country.
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.
14. February 2018 • Katja Laurien
During my stay in Nepal I did not only fulfill one wish (doing my yoga teacher training) I also fulfilled another long held wish: hiking the Annapurna Circuit. I wasn’t sure what to expect as many people say that mass tourism has destroyed its charm. And I do have to admit that the circuit is a lot busier than expected, not only with tourists, but also with locals. There are many villages (which make this circuit so convenient, because there is accommodation all along the trail) and unfortunately also many jeep roads.
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.
29. October 2017 • Katja Laurien
Macedonia: To go or not to go? Before going I was a bit in doubt. I had already spent a week in Albania and the locals kept asking why I was going to Macedonia if I already had been in Albania. According to them everything was more beautiful on their side. The only thing they admitted to be equally beautiful was lake Ohrid, which they share. Knowing that the ties between Albania and Macedonia are not particularly strong, I supposed their opinion was biased.
16. October 2017 • Katja Laurien
When I told people I was going to Albania almost everyone asked me what the heck I was going to do there. Unfortunately, most people still associate Albania with a rather unattractive and dangerous country somewhere near the Balkans. Nothing could be less true! Albania is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to and the people are among the friendliest I have experienced.
This is the reason why I decided to come back to Albania.
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?
20. September 2017 • Katja Laurien
Malta. Doesn’t the sound of it immediately make you think of azure blue water, sunny weather and dazzling cliffs? That is exactly what it is! In July I spent a week on Malta. Since I was visiting a girl I had met in Mexico, I didn’t do any research before arriving. I expected her to tell me where to go and what to do and she did a great job. But truth to be told: Malta is so incredibly small, you don’t need to be fully organized in order to see the most important spots.
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.
14. May 2017 • Katja Laurien
Oaxaca was not part of my initial travel itinerary. But due to the busy Semana Santa (Easter week), I had to change my plans. Picking a new destination was not very difficult. I had heard a lot about Oaxacas laid back atmosphere and beautiful architecture. Somewhat spontaneous, I booked a ticket and without any preparation, I dove into the colorful city.
Oaxaca City Oaxaca is a relatively small city with a beautiful historic center, colorful houses and majestic cathedrals.
5. May 2017 • Katja Laurien
It’s time for my first travel post and I am so happy to kick off with this beautiful destination: Baja California Sur in Mexico. Two months before I set foot on Mexican ground, I didn’t even have a clue I would end up in this paradise. I had no idea I would go to Mexico and I didn’t even know Baja existed. It must have been destiny that brought me here and I couldn’t be more grateful!
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.