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Filter Change

David Mamet wrote it beautifully in the play The Duck Variations “Nothing that lives can live alone.”

It baffled me how much society tries to convince us otherwise. In order to find your way you have to go find your way alone! Sort out your shit alone. Be happy with yourself alone before you can be happy with someone else.

That is all good and I am sure to some extend true. I would never want to give back the time I was traveling alone and found out a great deal about myself. So many do that when they are in their thirties. They go on the self-discovery journey – alone.

I am back since three months now and all this time I was constantly asked where did you go, what did you see? I would talk about the magnificent places I have been and the wonderful beaches I surfed at. I would look at the pictures and was back there in my imagination, at the beach, feeling the breeze on my skin, smelling the salt of the sea through my nose, remembering how my heart was filled with peace…

When the grey rainy sky here in London seemed to put me back in to my old stress mode I would think of all these moments. I caught myself sitting on my bed and staring at my board wondering how could I bring this feeling back in to my life here?

And then it hit me! I realised that my journey wasn’t that extraordinary just because of these beautiful places but for the people I shared my journey with. It became clear to me that I wouldn’t even have seen these places, if it weren’t for these people. I would never have had ended up in Desert Point if it wasn’t for Jay and his friends who took me along on their ride. I wouldn’t have been able to hike the difficult route on top of the volcano if it wasn’t for ‘Made’, my lovely guide. And I would most certainly not have ended up in NSW if it weren’t for my new Australian friends!

To every deep memory of these six months there is a person connected to it.

As I was thinking about all of that I became aware how often we forget that it is only because of the others support we get so far in life and how often we forget to say thank you.

I dreamed since years of creating my own theatre company. I envisioned it and in my mind I had a clear picture of how I would want it to be. Even though the time might have been right, I started to see all the little yet big factors that led me to finally take the step. If it wasn’t for one special person who not only inspired me and made me think of a play I wanted to produce but who encouraged me and made me believe I could do this, I would never have gone home that evening after having had those beers outside on that cold patio in Shoreditch and I would never have started to write down the whole concept at once.
If it wasn’t for my founding member Mischa, this company would not be where it already is. And if it wasn’t for him I believe I would have never found Michael who helped us to create the writers-room.

The January blues did get to me, and the fact that the number on my bank account consistently seemed to get smaller and smaller, started to put me into a state of anxiety.
I didn’t do it on purpose it happened far more without being aware of it, but I started to focus on all the things I don’t have. I started to worry every day more and more. I would be disappointed in everything and everyone. Which led me to have my old problem of not being able to breathe. I could feel that my mind started to tell me again to walk. Something I would do in my past whenever I wouldn’t know how to handle a situation. I just left. But I couldn’t leave anymore because for the first time in my life I realised that I started to build my life here and that I didn’t wanted to walk away. Yet my ability to trust in my instinct and be patient with myself, others and life seemed not very encouraging.

Why is it that being able to be patient and trust in the natural flow of life is so much easier when you are traveling? Is it because you are far away from your known life?

I couldn’t figure it out what it was. All I knew was that in the mode I was in I felt like I have to actively fix everything. The lack of trust in myself and life, led to a lack of trust in the people in my life as well. Which then led to see things in a negative prospective.

Finally my friend Ikuyo came back from Japan. How long I have longed for that day to come. Since water always has calmed me down and here in London even though it is a bit dirty it is the only place for me to clear my head, I suggested to go for a walk along the river.

We talked about last year, her time in Japan and what has happened in our lives since we saw each other last. Ikuyo had the beautiful talent to see something positive in no matter what I told her. I was blown away by her perspective and she said: Sarah, you need to change the filter in front of your lens again!” “My filter?” I said. “Yes, like on a camera lens. You change the filter and suddenly a picture looks completely different. You have to put back the positive filter.” She said. I smiled and had to agree with her.

I loved her for these moments when she did make me realise how many good things were happening in my life. Without knowing I started to see all the good again.

I thought of my short visit to Switzerland at the end of the year to see my mother. The motherly love and the delicious home cooked meals she spoiled me with in these four days.

I thought of my new years eve and how I had for the first time in my life no urge to have a special night. I was actually really happy with my year with everything that came with it and I knew my next year was only going to be even better.

Ikuyo laughed and said she had a similar moment at her new years eve and I thanked her for reminding me to change back my filter.

In my opinion it is a luxury if you have people in your life who challenge you intellectually and emotionally. I couldn’t imagine anything more boring than to be in the company of someone by whom you feel not challenged in the slightest. I rather have once in a while a storm or thunder in my life than sail on a steady sea for the rest of my life with the sun shining bright on the blue sky.

Of course I must say that it is rarer than one thinks to have people like this in your life. Many feel like it gets exhausting with time or difficult. They tend to choose the simpler way in life. But for me it is the only way I can go about it to be able to grow. I want to feel that I am alive and I want to live life fully and not only scratch the surface of it. In order to do that, I realised I had to bring back patience in to my life and trust my instinct. No matter how uncomfortable a situation made me feel. No matter how much I would like to control it. I had to let go.

Before I left for Indonesia my friend Nyima mentioned this passage from an unknown author to me and back then I had to let go of different things in my life. Now all these months later, much more in touch with myself and at a totally different place, I feel it is again apposite:

“To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore. It doesn’t
leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about
winning or losing. It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you
appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go
isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn’t leave
emptiness, hurt, or sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up.
Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat. To let go is
to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on. It is having
an open mind and confidence in the future. Letting go is learning
and experiencing and growing. To let go is to be thankful for the
experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.
It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will
soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to accept change,
and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up. It is
realising that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and set yourself free.”

For the people in my life who make my life extraordinary! Who make me laugh, cry, reflect and grow. – Thank you

Made’s offering on top of Gunung Agung – He said thanks to his gods and his life on every step of the way!
Made's offering on top of Gunung Agung - He said thanks to his gods and his life on every step of the way!

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A Christmas miracle

December made it around the corner and it is the time of the year where family homes start to smell like hot chocolate and biscuits. It is the time of the year you see couples walking hand in hand under the Christmas decorations in the streets, cuddling a bit closer to that special person, sharing that look with each other and you can see that their world is simply joyous and perfect in that one moment. It is when you see children running around already excited for the big day, hoping that their Christmas wish is going to come true. It is a magical time!

As I was walking alone through covent garden with my music in my ears, which seemed to give the whole situation a nostalgic touch, I watched a father putting back the hat on his daughter’s head so she stays warm. He tucked her in her big purple oversized scarf and gave her a kiss and the smile of the little girl lit up the streets brighter than all the Christmas decorations. Suddenly I realised that a single tear was rolling down my face, I couldn’t help but miss my father terribly. The music picked up and like the soundtrack in a film that helps us understand it is a happy scene, I felt the love between the two so strong that it made my smile. I thought back of all the magical times I had with my dad and how lucky I am to have had a father like him.

Christmas is supposed to be the time when you are with your loved ones, the time when you celebrate and supposed to be happy, but what about those of us who don’t have this luxury? What about those of us who are alone? What about those of us who have lost someone, or someone we love dearly is very ill and it might be the last Christmas for them, or those who simply don’t have that perfect family? No other time during the year it seems as heavy on your hearts as during Christmas and all you wish for is that someone would come along and say: “Lets get out of here!“ Grab your hand and take you somewhere else.

I decided to make my self feel better and bought my self some good dark Swiss chocolate and a dozen yellow roses. At home I put my roses in front of the window lit a candle with a warm sent, broke open the chocolate and poured my self a glass of good pinot noir. I took a deep breath, looked at the yellow roses that I love, because next to daisies they are the one flowers that I think always make you smile, and while the chocolate combined with the wine dissolved beautifully in my mouth I started to think about time.

As you get older it seems time passes twice as fast than when you were younger.
So often we are running after something – the next best thing and we want it now not tomorrow. Consumerism has taken control over our society. The race after success, the perfect partner and absolute happiness has become unachievable. We believe it is absolutely normal to be able to have everything today – tomorrow is already to late!

As the weeks past and the work for the Newspeak Theatre Company increased, I found myself longing for one thing only – Sleep!! It was the one thing I seemed not to be able to get anymore. My thoughts kept running through my brain once my head finally hit the pillow. I constantly would get up again and kept writing on the next thing we had to do. Nevertheless I never felt like I was so much in charge of my creative outlet. After years of dreaming about it, I finally did it!

I believed with all of my heart in this company, my founding member and our project, but it was scary at the same time. There was so much to do, so much to learn and it seemed like time just ran like sand through your hands and you wish the day had 48 hours instead of 24.

The funny thing was the more I was worried about time the more it seemed to slip away. And it started to have its effect on everything in my life. In all sort of different matters I started to feel like I didn’t have enough time.

I didn’t have enough time to work, to sleep, to spend time with friends, to eat, to write, to think, to love…

As someone who is already rather emotional I suddenly felt all sorts of emotions that I couldn’t even control anymore. The missing sleep took over my brain and the ability to express my self properly seemed to have left the building. I tried to force my self to stop feeling and just focus on work, since I came to the conclusion that it is robbing my ability of being productive. Of course I realised pretty quickly how sad that thought was and what a fool I was to actually believe that one could do that! At least I couldn’t!

But why is it that we so often try to do exactly that? In order to find that balance in our lives why do we so often try to cut out the feelings?

They say that you never know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.

And I started to wonder: Do we ever allow our selves to fully come to terms with where we were? Or are we far more running away from it. Hiding in the shadow of the past that inhibits us to get to the next level. Fooling our selves about how much we have learned. If we did learn so much then why are we keep doing the same mistakes? And if we came to terms with where we were then why is it so hard to open up again and move on?

When I was traveling I was able to look back to all those things and I kept moving forward. Freeing my self from old ravages I felt like I finally can move on. Back in London confronted with situations that triggered the deepest wounds and insecurities I couldn’t believe that they put me right back in front of my old fears. But something did change on the journey. I connected far more with my self than I was aware of, that I couldn’t manage to hide again behind that cold wall. Trying to control it with all the power I had, because this is what I knew how to do to survive in the past – I failed. And even though I was scared and didn’t know how to manage nor handle this new state of being, I couldn’t do much more than to just go with it.

My father always used to say: “Sarah life is about the journey and not the destination.”

Still thinking I haven’t done enough work and I should be doing this and that, I left for a stroll along the river. My arm was tucked in under his arm and as we were walking in the cold, talking about all sorts of things, I finally gave in and ended up being in the moment. Right there and not somewhere else. I stopped thinking about what I should be doing and working on. The cold air kissed my face and a shiver went over my body so I went a bit closer. It felt liberating and so relaxed to have the luxury to just be. I couldn’t remember when I felt like this the last time or if I ever did, but right there it seemed like even though I was nervous, I could be myself with all my difficulties and imperfections.

While it felt like a milestone for me to show this side of myself, the one where you take of the mask and you show yourself with all your vulnerability, I couldn’t help but realise that is combined with feeling even more close to someone. A risk I usually don’t take. If you have someone you fully trust and you feel like you can share anything with, it is in my eyes one of the biggest gifts. We are so often scared to really connect with someone, to really trust someone, because we know very well how much we have to lose, that we often stop right before that and stay in the secure zone.

I took a huge risk by founding this company and I don’t regret it one second no matter how scary it can be at times. Where on the other hand taking that risk with my heart is so much harder.

But it is like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote in the little prince: ”I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower… I think that she has tamed me…”

Once you have let your self been “tamed” by someone it is hard to ignore the connection. And may be there is no need for that. Even when everything seems like it is moving too fast or not right in that moment or not fast enough, the fact that deep down you know you have been “tamed”, allows you to trust and believe that this is exactly how it is supposed to be in this moment. And may be by really knowing where you have been in your past you tamed the “old you” and are able to connect with the “present you” and that way, you can trust in the journey knowing where you are going!

I decided to give it a rest and trust in the moment. It was out my control to know where I was going to end up and how everything will turn out. I do believe that you have to be willing to take a risk to make it to the next level. You can talk about your fears and past as much as you like, trying to find the answer to the “why”, you can even put your self in that safe cocoon to make your self believe you wont get hurt again, but you will never really change anything unless you are willing to take that risk of falling on your nose again. I had to remind my self about that. And I started to see that there is no need to be worrying about the company, it all needs its time and I didn’t have to accomplish everything today!
As for my heart, all I could do is trust my instinct and learn to stop running away. And may be one of these days I will be able to take in that one foot I always stay out of the door with ready to leave.

I looked at our pink Christmas-Hannukkah tree and thought to myself,there is no correct or right Christmas. There is no right moment where you freed yourself from all the ravages to be ready for everything new. There is just life and it is up to you if you want to live it fully with all that comes with it or if you want to hide to prevent yourself from failure and pain. The question only is, will you be happy? I for one had enough pain in my past and decided this is my Christmas miracle – I am willing to take the risk – and be happy!


Fiction

As I was sitting in the bar that I used to work for, with a friend, listening to this handsome Argentinian musician playing his tunes, I couldn’t help but wonder:

How much of our reality is self-constructed fiction of our own minds?

My journey had its impact on me! Ever since I arrived back in London everything seemed to fall into its place! I couldn’t believe what was happening! Not only have I found the impossible in London, a lovely home including a lovely flatmate, but also a fabulous landlord who happened to hire me in his artsy venue on the weekend as a bartender. I reconnected with my friends I haven’t seen in a while, and I also finally came to the point to be courageous enough to do the one thing I dreamed of since years!!

I finally founded my own theatre company! With my founding member Mischa who carries the same creative views as I, we founded The Newspeak Theatre Company! My heart was racing from the moment on that letter came in the post. “You are now officially the owner of The Newspeak Theatre Company limited! Wow! What a milestone! I started to feel the pressure that my sudden new position was putting me in. Not only did I have many responsibilities I also had to deliver! Between the fear of loosing “the actress” and becoming more “the producer”, I found myself finally using all my potential that I was so long looking for! The share challenge of grasping my new role fulfilled me to an amount I wasn’t used to so far in my life. Days passed in a split second as I was working my “ass of” with Mischa to bring this company to life and set up its first production.

How was this possible? Six month ago I left with the insecurity that I wouldn’t have enough knowledge to make this happen. I left with being lost in my own translation of my so-called life. I came back as a new me who knows who she is and what she wants. Never have I seen the picture so clear! I couldn’t have been happier. My career was finally going in the direction I so long aspired for.

One could say: Task achieved! What else did you leave for so long to find your self and figure out what you want! Right?

I looked back at the handsome Argentinian singer. He was perfect. Tall – good hair – charming smile – wonderful voice and sang lyrics that made my heart melt. As he came of stage I was outside smoking my cigarette, when I told him that I really liked his set. He smiled at me and he couldn’t have been more charming. I had every good reason to be flattered and join the game that we so often play in that race with the hope of leaving the single zone! But for some reason I didn’t join the game. My thoughts were far more somewhere else. I went back in and had another sip of my red wine with my friend.

I glanced at my bag that was sitting next to me with my new purchased vintage dress in it that I couldn’t afford at all, when my friend asked me for what occasion I bought it. I said that l would be going out for some good jazz and hopefully some dancing with my “friend” tomorrow. He smiled and said: “Friend?” Of course he knew that I was talking about that one person in particular.

It was almost too perfect when I came back. It felt like all I longed for just came to me including that one special person. Strolling through London and its vintage and record stores, laughing, trying on original outfits and dancing between CD shelves, having wonderful conversations that seemed to last forever, I wished there was a “hold” button. I was happier than ever even though it was bloody cold. I didn’t want to think about what this is, where is this going, or what are we doing? Is this the right moment or do we have to bring everything in order in our separate lives before we can figure out what this is? I couldn’t be bothered with thinking about reality, but there it was that moment when reality suddenly kicks you in your butt and you realise it is all a bit too perfect to be true.

There you have two people with a lot of baggage from their past, clearly having a special connection, an attraction that is palpable but too afraid they would mess that up by getting closer.
And I wondered how much did I really learn on my journey? Sure, I found out so much about who I am and what I want, but did I actually learn to be honest to my self when it comes to my heart? Or is it far more easier, to stay in that world of fiction? It is so easy to create that perfect scenario in your imagination and then hide in reality in your work and everyday life. Have we all become too cynical to believe in love? My friend clearly gave up on it after his heart was ripped in to pieces and quite frankly said to me that fairy tales don’t exist! Now why does it automatically have to be a fairy tale? And what is a fairy tale in 2013? In a time where we are more concerned about our own success than relationships, how much space is there for fairy tales??

I left, jumped on the next bus home and quickly said hello to my friend Giulia. What a beautiful woman she is, strong and so fragile at the same time. When I listen to her story about her son and her husband and how difficult it all is, I couldn’t help but wonder:

How much are we willing to sacrifice?

For her it is so obvious what she is fighting for and I believe it shows great character to be a woman like she is. But what was I willing to sacrifice? Through my journey I learned to stay true to my self and not be someone I am not for someone else. I learned how to love, respect and believe in myself again. I believe that through that achievement I managed to come to the point of having the courage to finally have founded my theatre company and go after what I want. But why does it seem that when it comes to our hearts we often back off from what we want? Are the scares too deep? My scares from my surfing adventures were healing slowly, less obvious and red but they would always be there. They became a part of my body – of me – and I learned to accept that my skin on my legs would never look the same again no matter how many creams I would put on them. Now when I look down on my legs and I see them I feel almost proud that I have been able to go on this journey and make all these experiences that have thought me lessons for life. It reminds me of every single person that I met and spent my time with in that period of my life. With some more intense than with others, but I wont forget any and I am grateful to have met all of them!

May be we can bring back sort of a fairy tale possibility if we are able to look at our deepest scares in our hearts with a certain proudness that we were courageous enough to have made this experience in life. If we manage to look at them as a gift rather than we “fucked up”, then may be we can be open to the true connection that lies in front of us and that we are so scared of. And with a little less fear about doing it right this time we might not need all the control over our hearts that we so desperately try not to let go.

I decided to do some more work for the company and put my mind at rest for the time being. I realised that I already did have a fairy tale. I had a wonderful “friend” who believed in me and my work like no one else, someone I could talk to about everything, someone who once said: “I like the way your brain works!” What greater gift is there?! I looked down at my wrist and my new tattoo, smiled and said it out loud: Just go with the flow!

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 03.20.20


Go for It vs. Patience

With a huge jet lag I made it to the wedding! What a beautiful occasion it was and how thankful I am that I was able to be part of it! The day was glorious and the sun was shining – just perfect! The panorama from the top of the mountain where they got married was incredible!

The next day I drove back down to Thun where my jet lag finally made its full attack on me. Lost in translation and delirious between being awake and asleep I looked at my surfboard in the corner. The longer I stared at it the more was my heart longing for the beach and the next wave. I thought about Stanwell Park and everybody I left behind. My eyes got heavy and I fell asleep again having the scent of the salt of the sea in my nose. I saw myself paddling through the water, strong and powerful. Finally I sat on my board and I stared out in the ocean! It was calm and peaceful. I put my right hand out flat in the water, like I always did to feel the sea and its movement. The next wave was on its way and … awake I was staring back at my board!!
I did want to go back to London but I would heave never thought to get so attached to another place in such a short time.

The funny thing is, that I thought that my journey – this trip – comes to an end once I’ll return to London, but as the days passed in Switzerland I more and more started to believe that I am not there yet – at the end of this journey.

My days passed in Switzerland and I was happy to be able to have spent it with my lovely mother. What a beautiful person she is, so inspiring and strong! I am so grateful to have a person in my life I can always turn to with the most ridiculous questions and not having to feel stupid about it. As we grow older we learn how to handle life by our self, we are no longer in need of the constant supervision of our parents, but I must say it is still amazing that you can be soon thirty years old and in some way you will always be that girl that runs crying in to her mothers arms when you fell on the playground. What a privilege I have!

On the day of my departure a big storm hit London and all the airports were closed. I literally started to pray that my plane was not cancelled! Was that a sign? But my plane left on time and I was on my way to London!

My heart was pounding the closer I got to London. There was no turning back anymore. I was about to face the one thing that was so much easier to handle in the distance. I knew that the moment will very soon be here, where I will have to face my feelings towards someone special in my life. No more running away or dwelling in memories or thoughts.

I landed – walked out of the airport – jumped on the tube – and dragged all my stuff including my surfboard through London. I needed about five minutes to figure out if my decision of coming home was the right one – And it was!!! And then something interesting happened. London does not have the reputation of that people talk to each other in the streets or are super help full. I can officially object to that reputation now. Suddenly all these random people started helping me carrying my luggage up and down those stairs. In the end two lovely young guys helped me outside and even called me a taxi. I had the proof that there must be something true about that ‘myth’ of the law of attraction. I was so happy the moment I landed that I must have sent out only these vibes. What better way of being welcomed be a city than have it’s people help you in such a nice way. And as if it wasn’t already a good start, it only got better once I reached my friends flat and Finn welcomed me with a glass of wine in the yard. We talked about my travels and what happened in London in the last six month.

The next day was almost overwhelming for me with all these inputs of the city! London is such a vivid active city – it is incredible – I love it!

Aside from being so happy to be back I couldn’t hide anymore from the one moment that I was scared of the most. We all know how to handle the coming back with friends, finding a flat, a job – doing all these things are manageable, but how is it possible to be so scared and nervous to come back to that one special person?
I was thinking of all these words we have written each other over the period of my travels, and realised that writing is far easier than standing suddenly again in front of this person. What if we would to realise that we had nothing to say to each other?!!
I experienced a new level of nervousness, but as soon as I saw those eyes I had the last proof that my decision of coming home was the right one, but I was confronted with a new conflict:

Go for It vs. Patience

Focusing on my self for all these month and finding my self, I achieved finally to be happy with who I am. I learned to stay true to my self. I have no more need of being someone for someone else that I am not.
There was no question – I knew what I wanted!
But I found my self in a place that I have never experienced before!! My brain seemed not to work anymore. If you find yourself in a situation where everything seems to be right, then why not go for it? Why even think about patience? Life is too short to wait – right?!
Is it because you’re scared? Or could it be that it feels so right that you feel inhibited to act on it? I am soon thirty years old and made my share bad experiences but as I was sitting in front of him I couldn’t think of one good reason why not to go for it.

I didn’t know what to do or think and so I threw my self in apartment hunting. My longing after my own home was getting bigger by the moment. I must have really tried to distract my self big time. Only after three days I have found my new home including my lovely new flat mate Lucy! The place has its Charm and I finally came home and was able to relax.

I decided to go with the words of Kat: “Go with the flow!” Or at least I kept saying it over and over to myself, but actually I was more in the zone! There was quite some work I had to do and I haven’t written a word for the pieces I have been asked to write. Instead I caught myself staring at the white page on my computer screen, – happy – thinking of something completely different. Unable to bring down one thought on paper that made sense I decided to go for a Sunday walk to the Chatsworth road market. All the different food markets smelled fabulous. I stopped at a vintage clothing stand, looked at a view books and a smile appeared on my face. I realised that my real journey has yet just started!

Now that I know who I am and what I want, I finally can go for it with patience!

Schönried Switzerland


Old Demons

Have you ever had these moments where you are simply overwhelmed with what you are feeling and what is happening in your life? Those moments you could jump in the air because you literally can feel in every part in your body that you are alive?
You are happy and at the same time almost sad because you feel all these different emotions that are too much for you? You wish you could cut your self in half so you could be in two places at the same time?

I have reached that moment in Australia. I am so happy and at the same time I have this urge to go home. Why wouldn’t I be happy? If you have ever been here you know what I am talking about and if not put that country on the top of your ‘countries to visit’ list. It has something magical. I for one have never seen such beautiful beaches and landscape. You tend to forget what you have to do during the day because it is simply tempting to just get up in the morning go for a surf then drive to the fruit-shop have a healthy fruit-shake, then you may be go to a different beach or the house have a rest and tan a little with your friend, read or write or do both and then go for another surf. And before you can blink, that day is over.

I was conflicted between two worlds. I love surfing and the beach. I have found such great friends here and the sister I never had, but I also love my work and miss London and my friends over there. I miss the fast pace of the multicultural city like London from what I get so much inspiration of. I could sense that I was close to go home but not yet, there was something I had to overcome first. I just wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but deep down I could feel it.

Not knowing but slightly having a suspicion of what I had to finally accept I went on a camping trip with my friend Kat. Even though my bank account resembled ground zero I went anyway because she wanted me to, and invited me for the whole trip. What a lucky girl I am! So we packed the car to the limit. It seemed to quill out of the windows but Kat wanted to be sure she had everything she possibly could need whilst camping. I jugged my backpack in the front seat my surfboard on top of the roof and I was ready. Kira and her friend were in the backseat and off we went. Two women and two teenage girls – that sure was a lot of oestrogen in one car!

As if men do not already have enough ‘wrong’ opinions about women and cars we made sure that we gave that stereo type picture fully it’s value ten minutes in to the drive. I really needed my coffee and so we stopped in Thirroul at the one coffee shop that you can sit out side. As we hopped back in the car and ready to go, the car would not start anymore! We turned the engine over and over, embarrassed about not being able to start the car we of course got more and more nervous that someone (a man) would come over and tell us what to do. Of course there was someone coming over – a man – and said: ‘Emm…I think your car is broken and you should probably call for help or at least stop doing what you are doing right now because you are gassing us all out here!!’ Four pares of eyes and stared at him, we nodded with our heads and then we just burst out in laughter. What a start, we thought! So I had the glorious idea of getting an ice cream while we give the car a rest. See, what that man didn’t know was that Kat’s car is a bit moody. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. After the ice cream we hopped back in the car and there you go, off we drove towards Jervis Bay – Green Patch, to the national park further down south next to the Ozzie pipe.

I loved it! Being in the nature putting up a tent and getting that camping feeling going. I saw my kangaroos and wallabies, birds I have never seen before and the whites sand beach ever! It was so beautiful I had to run in the clear water even though it was not so warm – Kira and I loved it!

In the evening Kat and I sat in front of the tent, had a beer and with our small oil lamp that gave the whole setting a nostalgic feeling, we started to talk about all sorts of things from our life’s. We started to do the angel cards and we were blown away how accurate they were. I kept getting the card ‘acceptance’ and tried to figure out what it was I had to accept?! I went through so much of my past that at first I couldn’t think of what it was. Then it dawned on me. There was something in my past and current life that always left a big grey cloud around my aura and I tended to make a big forgo around it. I convinced my self that if I do not talk about it and keep hoping it will eventually vanish or turn it to the good thing I was hoping for. But there comes a time in life that we all know certain things you cant change and it takes away all your energy and positivity if you keep trying to change them. It is a big step to come to the point where you accept this fact that it will not change and that the best thing might be to detach your self from it.
I knew I had this in front of me but at the same time I had no clue how!
So for the very first time I told someone, my friend, the whole story. I immediately saw patterns I never saw and I was able to be far more honest to my self about it all. Kat of course made her comments to the problem, and her outside opinion helped me see it clearer. May be it was the night that was clear and fresh or the oil lamp combined with the beer or may be it was everything, but I felt that this was the beginning of a big turning point in my life.

A view weeks ago, someone I feel very connected to, mentioned that it is easier to detach your self from your present ravages when you are in a different country away from your known environment.
I started to think about that. Is it true that it is easier when you are further away? Is it even possible to detach your self from your ravages totally in a different place or would they catch up with you as soon as you go back?

I would soon know the answer to this question.

It all started when I had one week left before I would make my way back to Europe. My childhood friend’s wedding was the main reason for my leaving Australia. And even though I wanted to go home since a while I kept waiting for the sign to let me know now when it is the right moment.

All the sudden in that one-week before I left I felt like old demons tried to make their way back in to my life. How is this possible after all I learned, overcame and made peace with? I started to fear that day of the departure due to not really knowing what is going to be on the other side. And since I have changed and grown in a different direction will the people back home accept and support that change or have their issues with it? I started to ask my self if I really do not have expectations from a certain someone and realised that there are going to be all sorts of new confrontations back home, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it.

As soon as I picked the date to leave I started to reminisce about everything in Australia. I was tempted to stay! And then the universe gave me my last test for this journey. That one thing I ran away from.
For the last time I did again something for my family and not for my self and when I received the answer you can literally say the ‘shit hit the fan’! I felt like a big wave crushed over me took me under and the weight of the water was crushing me down. Trying to get back up, this feeling of trying to swim towards the light while the air in your body gets smaller and smaller and you fear about to drown. I cried for hours not understanding what is happening, why is this keep happening, what did I do wrong? And then I reached the surface I made it back up towards the light and took a big breath. I finally got it. It is time to let go, to accept the fact of that certain things in life will not change and you can’t change them! Yes, it means probably that you will have to accept a loss of certain people in your life and that you have to accept that this picture you made in your mind, this picture of that family you so wanted to have will eventually fade. And you might wonder if your future path is going to be lonely since you know they wont be part of it anymore but then ask your self how much were they really there for you before?
When I finally came to terms with it and made the active decision to accept that it will not change and that I do not want this in my future anymore, I felt a tremendous relief. I knew right there that this was one of the last things on my journey I needed to learn and that now I am ready to start my new life.

Still nervous about going back and so sad to leave Australia and my friends I was looking forward to my friends wedding in the Swiss Alps!

Green Patch


The magical red sand

As I sit in the garden of my friend’s house, the sun is shining, Rachmaninov is playing on my computer in the back ground, I look out to the sea and I finally write again. The sea is calm today and so am I. I have left for this journey not only to come closer to my self, to reflect upon my life and my doing, but also to finally write.
In the last four weeks, ever since I arrived in Australia I had the hardest time to write. My writing was all over the place and it didn’t seem like I could bring order in to my thoughts.

After Indonesia and my trip to the volcano I felt connected to my self like never before in my life. I could feel that I was coming closer and closer to the transformation that I aspired yet not completely achieved. Happy within my self but also with a feeling that was simmering deep down in side of me, which I couldn’t yet name exactly what it was, I arrived in Australia with mixed emotions. I remember staying on top of Gungung Agung and feel that my life will soon take a major turn not knowing how or in what way exactly. And it did! As time went by I finally found a feeling inside of me that I have been looking for since the age of fifteen. I didn’t even look for it anymore it simply was a result from my transformation and connection to my self. Day by day the feeling of missing ‘home’ grew stronger. I came to the point where I knew I want to go home to London and that I want to live there, regardless of another person, friends or family, but because I want to and for me it is my place of home. Never before in my life I have come to this point that I feel like going home. When I left I didn’t know for how long or where exactly I was going. All I knew was that I had to take the time to listen to my own voice. For that I had to be as far away as possible from my known environment. I had to leave my comfort zone to be able to confront my self with my past and my doing.

My start in Australia was everything but rosy. Stuck in a situation that I no longer defined as healthy for me, I went to stay at my friend’s house and found my self in a small place called Stanwell Park in NSW, a beautiful spot right at a beach and next to the national park.

I could feel that my body and mind was exhausted from traveling and the reflections about my life. All I wanted was a break, but the interesting thing about going on a journey like this is, once you have opened that door to your self there is no turning back anymore. Your subconscious mind keeps working, if you like it or not. I am grateful for having reached that point where I can listen to my own voice and stay true to my self, regardless of how uncomfortable it can make you feel in certain moments.

The days passed and my heart felt heavier and heavier. Surrounded by pure beauty of this country an amazing new friend and feeling happy I couldn’t help but notice this feeling of longing in my heart. I started to miss London every day more and more. Long walks along the empty beach with my friends dog just intensified this longing.

The other day I was sitting in the train back from Sydney to Stanwell Park, when tears suddenly rolled down my cheeks. I was rather confused about my state of being since I have finally reached that level of being happy within my self regardless of the ‘where’ and with ‘whom’. But nevertheless, I am far more connected to my self that I therefore feel a new level of emotions that were hidden inside of me. I became aware of a feeling, a longing deep down in my heart for a very special person that I tried hard to neglect. Not only did I walk actively away from it and left London, I convinced my self that it is not true to the point that I started to believe it. I put my focus on purpose on something else.

So I started to think about when do we ‘know’ that we really feel something and when do we ‘think’ that we feel something? Or is it the ‘think’ that leads to the ‘know’?

As I looked out of the window and see the scenery pass me by I realised that the motion of the train helped me to bring motion in to my thoughts. I believe if you are really connected with your self and honest, a true connection will eventually come back around no matter how hard you try to neglect it or walk away from it. But we can certainly make our selves believe that we feel something to a certain degree.

I for one went out on a loop on purpose from the first moment I left London. I wanted to find out what I feel, how I feel towards me and people. I pushed my self in to new unknown circumstances that helped me develop an even more heightened understanding of my emotions. Eventually I did come to the point where I was able to differentiate between the ‘think’ and the ‘know’. Looking back to all theses different emotions, I can say that I did feel all of them, but they might have just been right for a specific time to get to the more important one. I am grateful for all of them, then without the experience I wouldn’t have suddenly realized that I can be on the other side of the world and it is still not far enough.

It is like Carl Jung said: “What you resist persists!”

What I resisted the most ever since my father passed away four and a half years ago, and may be it was even before then as well but certainly since then, was to be able to have a true connection to another person.
I often wondered why I kept going in a circle with my life and it was just recently that I realised that one of the reasons was that I resisted my true self. Therefore I kept attracting or putting my self in situations that were clearly not what I really wanted, but I made my self believe they could turn in to what I wanted. To a certain degree I fooled my self. I did not challenge my self nor was I honest. It was always very clear to me that I had one foot out the door the whole time.
Only ever since I started to reflect on the ravages from my past and present and trying to detach my self from them to look for a deeper connection with my self I was able to understand that.

A big thing these travels thought me, is patience, something that I would not have praised my self with in the past. But I learned to believe and trust again. And I started to trust in time and my transformation that the unconscious ‘me’ reveals what needs to be revealed at the right time.
It is almost like a little bit of magic! Something the thirteen-year-old daughter of my friend reminded me of.
For me the magic is in you and trusting yourself! Regardless of what others think of you, judge what you do or feel. If you are connected with yourself, you know what you feel and it is right at that time in your life.
May be it is the land of the red sand and it’s magic who has let me come another step closer to my transformation, or the full moon that was shining bright that night when I walked out of the train. What better sign from the universe for a new beginning than a bright full moon.

Stanwell Park


A thousand and more steps…

My mother always used to say that you can ‘walk off’ your sorrows. When I was angry or agitated she would tell me to go for a walk or a run because it would clear my mind.

I hiked up 3142 meters to the top of the Gungung Agung volcano in Bali and I sure had many steps in front of me to put order in to my thoughts. After the last, very intense 3 month in Indonesia, I had a lot that was going through my mind.

My guide, ‘Madé’, picked me up at ten o’clock in the evening and at eleven pm after signing in with the police (something that you have to do when you go on this route), we were standing on the bottom of the holy volcano. ‘Madé’, a local from the small village Besakih, looked exactly like I pictured a man from the mountains in Indonesia. His skin was wrinkled and dark from the cold air and the sun from the mountains and he was rather skinny. It was dark and all I could see would be my next step that the light of my head torch lit up for me. I have never been hiking in the dark and since in Indonesia the tracks are not loops like in Europe but more a vertical straight line to the top, you are forced to trust your guide a 100% and go literally one step at a time. You wont be able to look 3 steps a head of you nor can you see the top of the mountain, all you see is your next step and knowing that eventually if you keep going you will get on top!

I thought about this while I was taking my next step, how wonderful it would be if it would be so easy to apply in your life. But often we see the whole picture and not only the next step. We stress our selves out and we get frustrated with the current situation.
The path became quickly quite steep and I had to concentrate not to take a wrong step or I would have fallen in to the deep dark. Questioning the security and yet not surprised about it in Indonesia, I did wish at times that there would have been a rope to secure me to my guide. Putting aside this thought very quickly I put my focus back on my next step and ‘Madé’ and his life. I was amazed how many times a week he is doing this hike. Three to four times a week he is hiking up 3142 meters while smoking the strongest unfiltered cigarettes I have ever smelled in my life.

We took a break and he handed me half a clementine with a chocolate bar. ‘Madé’ asked me where I was staying in Bali and I replied – in Uluwatu. He lifted his eyebrow to a very specific expression that in my eyes was a bit belittling. He thought that I was doing the right thing by coming to the mountains then in his eyes the true Balinese people are in the small mountain villages. He started to explain to me that the people in the bigger areas or the cities have become greedy and lost track of what is important in life. “Here in the mountains people are genuine and polite.” – He said. And it was true. At the bottom temple where he worshipped his god and the mountain we met a group of men who were just about to enter the temple. The way they were greeting each other was so beautiful genuinely honest, that I couldn’t stop staring. Their voices were warm and kind and their faces seemed open in a way that you could see all the way down in to their souls. I have never witnessed anything like it. I was surrounded from this bubble of pure peace. It was beautiful.

Meanwhile the route has become quite hard and we reached already 2500 meters. Going from sea-level to 3142 meters is noticeable on your lungs. I started to breathe more heavily and kept wishing I was more in form. On the other hand it cleared my system, my over active brain started to slow down and listen to the breathing and my footsteps. It was calming and it almost had something meditative to it. Suddenly it felt like I was walking off everything that happened in my last four and a half years. I went back to the day my father passed away and never before I saw that day so clear as on that night on the holy mountain. At some stage it felt like my feet were moving by it’s self and I had time to focus on my thoughts. Step by step I walked through that horrible day and tried to come to peace with it. I saw myself standing next to that hospital bed again and I believed to hear the machine that helped my father to breath. I remember how cold and dark everything around me felt that day, but then something changed – I used to see my father lying there in pain but this time I saw him there sleeping and thankful for not having any more pain. Even though there has not one day gone by that I haven’t missed him dearly in my life, my heart started to relax . As if I could feel his presence on this holy mountain, I felt that he was with me every step of the way. He was an optimistic human being and had the ability to always see the positive. And there I was walking, my steps became heavier and slower, and I almost wanted to give up and turn around as I heard my dad say: “You can do it Sarah, you are going to regret it if you turn around now!” And he was of course right!

I thought about my past relationship, about that man I spent many years of my life with. I started to see the good and was thankful for what we had, but it also made a lot of sense to me that our paths have gone in different directions. I never held a grudge against him or towards what happened but I used to think I wasted my best years staying with and holding back for man who in the end betrayed my believes. Now it all started to make sense to me. I wouldn’t be here today if I wouldn’t have gone through all of these experiences in my life and I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I have today.

We got higher and it was freezing. The three sweaters that I was wearing clearly were not the right choice for these conditions. By now we were somewhere close to 3000 meters as ‘Madé’ suddenly decided to take a break and have a rest. I thought he meant a five-minute break but he had more a 30 min nap in mind. He packed out another jacket, thick and warm, a cap and gloves, and lied down in the corner of a little cave and went to sleep. Jealous of his jacket I stared at him, shivering on every single part of my body, thinking ‘you must be joking’! Since he took the whole space that you would be hidden from the freezing wind I didn’t have much more of a choice than to huddle down and trying to give my body parts as much heat from my own body as possible. I learned my lesson to never go so unprepared on a hike like this again. The alarm went off and ‘Madé’ got up and asked me if I was ready to go up the last part. Believe me – I was ready!

The last part was very steep and slippery. The sun was about to come out any second and I was able to see the top summit. It seemed so close and yet it didn’t seem like we were getting any closer! How much I know this feeling from my life and my work! If you keep working for a goal and it seems to be right there in front of you, you can almost reach it but just not yet, it can be frustrating. Having this thought I wanted to get on top of Gungung Agung like nothing else!

And there it was – my reward – the sky started to lid up red, purple, orange and blue. The deep colours got stronger and stronger the higher we got. I almost started to run up at the end because I was afraid I couldn’t see the full sunrise. Again I was afraid I could be missing out or late. But the conditions of the mountain forced me to go at my guides pace and so I followed him step by step, taking the time to let this magical view that nature has given me, sink in. As we reached the top I was speechless! I have never seen such a view – such a sky – such colours in my life! I forgot about being cold and tired, it was like I was revitalised by nature and its beauty.
‘Madé’ brewed me a coffee and offered me Balinese biscuits that his wife made for me and I gratefully slurped my hot coffee with a huge smile on my face.

As I stood alone with ‘Madé’ on top of Gungung Agung, watching the sunrise and being totally at peace, I felt like someone pushed the ‘hold’ button. Time seemed to stand still and it was like the universe gave me the chance to make a choice right here right now about my self and my life and in which direction I want to go. I waited a while with releasing the ‘pause’ button – I wasn’t ready yet. I still had a view thoughts running through my mind and I felt that this was one of these moments where you can get a major insight about who you are and what you want for your self.

After leaving my known life behind me, and going on this journey, I went through many stages. Doing things I have never done before, interact with completely different people and living life from one day to the other I did find out a tremendous amount about my self. I started to respect my self again and more importantly love my self again. I had moments where I thought I will change my life completely, live in the wild away from everyone and everything known to me. But the funny thing about finding yourself is that sooner or later you understand who you are and you come to terms with your past and it all seems to make sense. As much as I loved my time living from one day to the other I knew right there, that I had a purpose and that it was time for me to get back on it. The theatre, the literature and the arts as well as the interaction with people who want to make a difference were calling me. I knew more than ever ‘who’ I was and that I want to go back to the theatre, writing and work. I knew that I want to become a mother one day and show my children that where there is a will there is a way. Anything is possible!

Away from everything and everyone I was happy and I knew that I have learned from my mistakes and experiences in the past. Often we try to be someone else for a loved one or we hold back on our own potential to fit in, to make it work, or to make someone else feel better about them selves. We all know that we can always change to become the best of what we can be, but it has to come from your own within and because YOU want that change.
Right there, I saw my potential and I knew that I will never hold back or be someone I am not for anyone anymore!

I have been told a couple of times in my life that my expectations are enormously high and that it is impossible to live up to them. Well I believe that many people do not out live their potential and settle for less. But are they really happy? Scared of ending up alone or out of the ‘group’ which gives them security, they try to hold on to something that often holds them back. I love people and I believe that we all are beautiful individuals with a positive centre and the capacity to make a difference in this world no matter in what way. It is only the question if you have the guts to go against the stream or if you want to flow with all the other fish in the river so-called life.

I released the ‘pause’ button and the sun fully came out and lid up the whole sky with light. It was a new day, a new beginning. I knew in that moment that my life will take a major turn soon. Not sure how or in what way exactly, but I knew that as long as I will stay true to myself and my values I will be happy and on the right track.

It was the perfect ending to my time in Indonesia and the start of a new chapter in my life. I was ready to descend Gunung Agung. I took one last look over Bali to Lombok and even Java and said goodbye for now.
Walking down in full day light I caught my self looking too far a head of the track and I stumbled because I was rushing. I tried to remember what great lesson I just learned a couple of hours ago. Step by step and with patience having the big picture in your mind and you will eventually get there!

Sunrise on top of Gungung Agung

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