• The Reason Why It’s So Hard To Slow Down

     

    Abstract:
     

    Slowing down is not just a subject I talk about a lot, it’s all over the internet. People talk about wanting a simple life. They post nostalgic memes of cosy cottages with fireplaces and happy people taking a walk on the beach.
     

    We also spend a significant amount of our time on complaining about how busy we are. Two friends meet in the street, and you can bet they’ll talk about how much they have to do.
     

    We obviously hate being so busy. So what’s our problem? Your mission today is to learn why it is so hard to slow down.
     
     

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    Task 1: Why it’s so hard to slow down

     

    We tend to think of being busy and stressed as bad. It’s what makes us tired, irritable and whiny. We basically bitch about it all the time! Therefore, what I’ll say next will come as a bit of a surprise.
     

    The real reason why it’s so hard to slow down is that it’s easier to be busy.
     

    This may sound ludicrous, but stress addiction is a thing. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll briefly explain it: Stress causes our bodies to go into alert mode. Amongst other things, adrenalin is produced. This is a good thing if we need to escape a dangerous situation, which is what stress is meant for.
     

    If stress becomes (semi-)permanent, though, it’s a problem. Constant high alert is really bad for the body. We get addicted to the adrenaline. And that, right there, is why it’s easier to stay busy than it is to slow down.
     

    hard to slow down
     

    Task 2: How to escape

     

    No addiction is broken in a day. It’s usually a process and involves more than one step. I’ve listed a few things you can do in a previous episode, but today I’d like to focus on one particularly effective aspect: Your body.
     

    Stress accumulates in the body, and the adrenaline circulates there as well. That’s why it’s a good idea to use your body to get rid of stress as well. You can do this by moving in any way whatsoever. Obviously, a walk in the forest would be great, but even walking inside your building is better than nothing.
     

    Sport is great, too, but dancing is just as good. Get up and pace up and down for a minute or two. Do a five-minute yoga session. Every physical activity helps to reduce adrenaline and get you back into balance – and then you’ll be able to actually put up your feet and read, rather than rushing towards the next adrenaline fix.
     

  • Vlog 10: Wild Croatian Seas & A Tour Of My New House

    Wild Croatian Seas

    I was incredibly lucky last week. It was a stormy day, but for some reason, there was also bright sunshine near the coast. And I happened to be driving along that coast! So I stopped in Senj, a small but beautiful town a bit South of where I live.
     

    The wind seemed determined to blow me into the sea, but I managed to keep my feet, haha! You’ll see the resulting footage (hence the title “Wild Croatian Seas”!) in the last minutes of the vlog.
     

    The rest of it is a little recap of 2021 and the long-promised tour of my new house! Don’t expect too much now, it’s only got two rooms for the time being. But it’ll give you a bit of an impression of my life up here on the mountain, and I hope you’ll enjoy it.
     

    If you prefer to watch on YouTube, you can do so here – and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!
     
     

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    wild croatian seas


     

  • The 1 Shift You Need To Spend More Time On Your Passion


     

    Abstract:
     

    People often tell me that they do have time to spend on their passion, they just don’t do it. I’ve mentioned before that most people think they’re just lazy (which isn’t true).
     

    Others say they spend too much time online, or on social media. They treat this as a character flaw, like occasionally indulging in too many sweets.
     

    Your mission is to learn the one shift you need to make that’ll get you to spend more time on your passion.
     
     

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    Task 1: What makes creativity thrive

     

    When I say creativity, I don’t just mean art of crafts. It requires creativity to learn something, or to play a sport – basically, anything that’s actively doing something, as opposed to just consuming.
     

    Studies have proven conclusively that creativity thrives on one surprising thing: boredom. You read that correctly. Remember being a child and daydreaming in a boring lesson at school? You came up with entire stories and adventures, all in your mind.
     

    Maybe you’re beginning to see why screens are a much bigger problem than you thought.
     
     

    Task 2: The devastating effect of screens

     

    You’re not off the hook if you don’t like social media. This concerns you even if you only watch the news or educational content like this video.
     

    A lot of online content is highly useful or enjoyable. The issue is that we tend to spend way too much time in front of screens – be it on social media, email, gaming, your phone or tablet and even the TV.
     

    These screens occupy our minds. That’s the opposite of boredom.
     

    spend time on your passion
     

    Task 3: How to break free and spend more time on your passion

     

    To break free, a media detox is in order. For one weekend or at least one day, don’t use any screens. Resist the temptation to fill the space with alternative activities. Your task is to endure the discomfort, endure the unrest, feel the boredom.
     

    After that, you can implement regular offline times, such as after 9 pm, or one full day per week. Soon you’ll find your natural “motivation” for your passion re-occur as your mind recovers from the constant media bombardment.
     

  • Why You Need To Get Up, Now

     

    get up now
     

    Okay, Sibylle, what the heck are you on about? Like, literally “getting up”? Right now? Why? And what on earth does this have to do with passion(s)?
     

    I’ll explain it all, if you bear with me and do what nobody does on the internet: read. All of it. The entire article. If you must, grab a cup of tea or coffee to get you through it. Can you do that? Good.
     

    Because this might be the most important article you read this year.
     
     

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    My rude awakening

     

    I’ve always been, shall we call it, a sedentary person by nature. I like sitting and I like doing things that are done sitting down: Playing the piano, reading, eating, gaming. I also like moving, being in the forest doing archery, or taking extended walks through nature. Dancing.
     

    I’ve been blessed with fairly robust health. But this year, in early summer, I developed a curious pain in my chest. It really hurt to breathe, especially in certain positions. After entirely too many covid tests, being sent to the ER twice by my caring doctor, on suspicion of an impending heart attack and later possible lung cancer (after an x-ray showed what might have been a tumor), going in and out of hospitals for weeks and having every test in the book, including a CT scan of my lungs, the result was: Nothing major is amiss. Phew.
     

    I was still in pain, though. So my wise and very perceptive doctor sent me to physiotherapy, because I had mentioned sitting a lot and having bad posture.
     

    I’ll cut the long story short and tell you that I’m pain free now – I was lucky and the damage was still reversible. What it took, however, was not just physio exercises. No, it took something I’m still working on and am still doing rather imperfectly: it required changing my lifestyle.
     
     

    “Sitting is the new smoking”

     

    In the course of looking up what could possibly be wrong with me, I came across the bestselling book Deskbound: Standing Up to a Sitting World by Dr. Kelly Starrett, who coined the now-famous line “Sitting is the new Smoking”. I could basically stop writing now if you just went and got this book, because Dr. Starrett explains it so much better than I could.
     

    It turned out that my chest pain was muscles and fascia pain. It came from sitting for hours upon hours, and was exacerbated by often not even sitting up straight. I used to think that doing archery and yoga and working out would counteract the negative effects of sitting, but it really doesn’t: The book even mentions professional athletes who train 3-4 hours a day and still develop the same problems because they sit pretty much all the rest of the time.
     

    Sitting is literally killing people. If you’re like me, your reaction at this point is: Gulp!
     

    deskbound
     

    Don’t wait until you have to do something

     

    As with many health-related problems, this one might seem minor or something you’ll “get around to” until suddenly, you must because you’re ill or in unbearable pain. Been there, done that, 1/10 would not recommend. It sucks.
     

    We’re all here because we’re Wild Spirits who are in the process of creating our lives deliberately from a place of passion, joy, and purpose. And it’s very hard to be happy when you’re in pain.
     

    Sure, I know people who suffer from chronic pain and who still carve a lot of happiness out of their lives. After only a few months of pain, I admire them so much. But try and tell any of them that you’re doing something that’ll guarantee you major amounts of pain down the line, and you could do something about it and don’t – they’ll think you’re crazy.
     
     

    Get up, now

     

    What it boils down to is that you need to reduce the amount of time you spend sitting every day. But how do you do that, especially when you have a job and/or passions that require sitting? The book has some excellent suggestions, and I warmly recommend getting and reading it. In the following, I’ll list three of my favourites – however:
     

    My biggest insight from all this is that I don’t need to be perfect. I still sit too much today. But even just incorporating the small changes I mention below, has made a huge difference. This is one area where it’s definitely not all or nothing.
     

    get up now
     

    3 small changes you can implement now

     

    1. Get up at least every two hours. Come on, even the most stressful of jobs gives you the chance to do that (and if it doesn’t, do yourself a favour and find another job)! Get a cup of tea. Go to the bathroom. Walk over to a colleague and chat. If you’re at home, boogie around the room to your favourite tune (that’s what I do). At the very least, stretch and shake out your legs before you sit back down.
    2.  

    3. Change positions. Again, if you can’t do this at work, do it when you’re at home in the evening and again sitting down. Lie on your belly for a bit, or on your back. I’ve done coaching sessions with clients on Zoom lying on my belly on the couch, or standing up with my tablet in front of me on the book shelf. Find ways; be creative.
    4.  

    5. In the medium-to-long term, look into any or all of the following: A daily walk of at least half an hour; a standing desk; desk-chair alternatives such as a gym-ball seat or a saddle chair that changes the 90-degrees “angle of doom” between your torso and your legs when you’re sitting down. There are desks which are adjustible in height, so you can stand up for half an hour, then sit for an hour, etc.

     
    Again, you needn’t be perfect, you don’t even have to much reduce the time you spend seated, as long as you’re being smart about it and implement some of the things I mentioned. You want to be able to write your novel, paint that picture, study that subject, ride a horse, or whatever your passion may be, for many years to come. So get up, now! Small changes can help you ensure that you’ll be able to.
     

  • Why You’re Not Who You Think You Are


     

    Abstract:
     

    Apologies for the in-your-face title. Who am I to tell you what you think about yourself is wrong?
     

    Well, actually, I do have grounds for this, because I work with a lot of people and I see how widespread these misconceptions about oneself are. Still, what I’m saying might not apply to you – it’s not a universal truth. Therefore, judge for yourself.
     

    Your mission today is to learn why you might not be who you think you are, and what to do to fully become who you are.
     
     

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    Task 1: Why aren’t you who you think you are?

     

    We tend to think that we know best who we are. To a certain extent, this is definitely true. Nobody else can tell us what to do or what we want.
     

    And yet we don’t always see the picture clearly. We tend to identify with what feels familiar about ourselves. It feels right and true because it’s been with us for a long time.
     

    But what if not all of this is our true self? We all get conditioned by our families, schools, peers, by the way we grow up. Some people are deeply traumatised, something that’s been imposed upon them.
     

    This also means that who we truly are, might actually feel wrong.
     

    who you think you are
     

    Task 2: Learn who you truly are

     

    So how can you tell who you truly are, especially if it feels wrong? There’s a process to this, and it can take some time and get messy, but here are the basic steps:

    • Heal what needs to be healed. Think of it as unlearning what other people tried to make you.
    • Remember your earliest dreams and wishes. What were your dreams and daydreams like as a child?
    • Explore your passion(s). Passions say something about you on a very deep level.

    Knowing who you are also makes it easier to say no when something is not aligned with your true being. It might be a journey, but it’s worth the effort.