What Ghosts Are Haunting You In Your Relationship?

Even though, our romantic relationships take place in the present moment, often they are influenced by the ghosts of our childhood. Do you sometimes hear your mother’s voice in your head telling you what you have to do? Does this really serve you well?

I once met a great man. He had lived through a very painful childhood with a parent who had problems with alcohol. As a child, he learned not to trust anybody. He was in a relationship for ten years now, and he said with deep conviction in his voice: I’ll never trust my girlfriend. Why should I? His voice expressed the pain and anger he felt as a child. He carried this ghost with him, each day. I could feel his pain. I also grew up with the belief that I couldn’t trust anybody. However, this belief made the world an insecure and lonely place. How can you experience true connection if you don’t trust? During a dark night of my soul, when this pain became nearly unbearable, I chose to open my heart and learned to trust others. Yes, it was a risk and, sometimes, I trusted people who didn’t deserve it. But the benefit was greater than the risk: I longed for love and belonging, and my decision empowered me to create nurturing and supportive relationships.

What are the ghosts you carry around with you?

I don’t know what your ghosts are. My ghosts were violence and manipulation. I tried different ways to deal with them – ignoring them, running away or getting angry. But they didn’t go away and haunted me in my romantic relationships. Finally, I found a solution: shining light on them and looking at them compassionately. This awareness gradually transformed them and empowered me to be ready for the love I wanted to experience.

You can’t choose your childhood and your family. If you have grown up in a family with insecure and painful relationships, this impacts the way you relate with other people. If you had great role-models in your childhood, your romantic relationships are likely to be smooth. If not, that’s something you should take care of. As human beings, we tend to be attracted by what we know, and we tend to repeat what we have learned from our family. If your past limits you and doesn’t bring you happiness, then it’s time to clear these patterns. No, you can’t change the past. It was as it was, with its delights, regrets and injustices.

But does your childhood have to haunt you for all your life? Do you have to repeat your parent’s destiny?

As an adult, you have choices. You can write your relationship story, and I know that you can create a magnificent one. If you don’t do anything or blame your parents for what was, the ghosts of your past are likely to haunt you for your lifetime. Another option is to open your heart, heal the wounds of your past and learn new behaviours that empower you to experience nurturing relationships. You may ask: Why should I? It wasn’t my fault. Yes, you are right. You have been innocent as a child. But you are an adult now, you are responsible for who you are. You can stick on blaming your parents or life in general or whomever you want to blame. Blame won’t change anything. The alternative is to sit down with yourself, compassionately take responsibility for this wounded child within you and become a great parent for her. This way, you can create the love you deserve. Nobody else can do this – neither your parents nor your partner. Only you can heal yourself and reclaim your wholeness. This process is like peeling an onion. With each layer you peel off, you get better connected with yourself and you will become happier. You will dare to show up as who you are in your relationship. And this is the basis for true love and belonging. Sitting down with myself wasn’t always comfortable, but it enabled me to experience love and belonging and to create nurturing and caring relationships. And that’s what you truly want to experience, isn’t it?

If you don’t change anything, you will get the same result as always. Start to walk on a different path today. Make a list and write down the following points:

  • What are the ghosts of your childhood that are still haunting you in your relationships?
  • What do you want to experience instead of them?
  • Are you willing to release your ghosts?
  • What is the first step you can take today to realize your dream?

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to become a modern heroine.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Are You Hiding From Love?

Last year, when I was writing my book, a miracle happened. My friend – a man who had always meant a lot to me and who I fully trusted – told me that he had left his relationship. I had never dared to hope that this might happen. We knew each other for 13 years. He knew my secrets and what happened in my relationships. He knew that I valued honesty more than anything – and I counted on his honesty.

After his separation, he started to contact me frequently. He told me many nice things like that he always felt an emotional bond between us. His words sounded real and genuine to me. One day, I decided that I had to take the risk and dare to love again. I asked him whether he wanted to visit me. And he did. I spend the most wonderful week in my life with a man. It was fluent, just like a miracle.

Then, he flew home, and I was in heaven. Two weeks after his visit, he told me that he had visited me because he knew that he’d receive my love. I didn’t understand what he meant. Then, he started to give me many mixed messages and disappeared. He never called to tell me his truth. He just disappeared. I was shaking. It wasn’t so much about losing a relationship; it was also about losing a friend I had deeply trusted in the last 13 years. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why he did it. He was in pain, and he was weak at this moment, and he knew that I would give him love. Maybe this week helped him a bit through his crisis. I’ll never know, and it’s not important.

After his withdrawal, I started to heal my heart – from flower essences to Reiki, phone calls with my friends, and being shaken by sadness and anger. I wanted to forget this story as fast as possible. Just another love affair – a nice week… why should I care? That was the label I wanted to give it. After three months, I thought I was over it….

About a year later, I wrote a story. And I described a scene of a woman hiding from love, singing the song I am through with love. When I read it again, I suddenly knew it wasn’t about this woman. It was about me. My heart was still closed. I started to look for a reason. What made me hide in my apartment?

What makes you hide from love?

Some days later, I wrote about my book, and I said that my book was about my greatest defeat. The word hit my soul. Greatest defeat?! I rarely ever use this word. How was this possible? Why had I chosen this word? I have achieved great things in my life, and I have overcome many adversities. Why did I feel defeated? What was I really writing about? And suddenly, I remembered the final chapter – the story about my friend’s withdrawal. Tears ran down my face.

What pain do you need to acknowledge?

That day, I acknowledged my pain. I had wanted to ignore it. I had wanted to make it small. I had wanted to avoid it. And it was still there – I felt betrayed. Betrayed because he never told me what he was really after. Betrayed because he hadn’t been honest with me (at least, that’s how I read it). Betrayed because he never cared to give me a final call to say good-bye. If I’d hold on to this feeling, I’d hide forever. I didn’t want that to happen. He was just one experience, and there are many great men out there. I stopped working. I went to the harbor, sat down with my pain and cried. I felt relieved. Some days later, I felt how my heart started to open again. I’ll dare to love again. The right man will come when the time is right.

What is the pain are you ready to release?

If you have been deeply hurt in love, acknowledge your pain and let go of it when the time is right. Allow your heart to heal. I can’t tell you how long it will takes, but it is possible. To love means to take risks. To love means to let go of control. To love means to be vulnerable. In the beginning, you’ll never know how the story ends. However, if you never try you won’t find it out. Love is outside your comfort zone. And with all this risk, dare to love again. There is a man out there, who wants the same as you, who will give you the love you deserve. It will happen when the time right.

What do you need to dare to love again?

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the article How to become a relationship heroine.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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How to Become a Modern Heroine

Who is your favorite hero?

When I was a child, my favorite hero was Scaramouche, the hero in a movie that played during the French revolution. He has some love affairs with women who just weren’t a great match before he falls in love with the right woman for his live. The last scene showed him driving away in a coach just married to a beautiful noblewoman while people cheer to him.

What do you have in common with a hero or heroine?

Have you ever wondered whether a fabulous relationship is only possible for a few lucky people? I have until I found out that it isn’t. However, I had to become courageous, compassionate and conscious. All you need to create a fabulous relationship is that you become a modern heroine. Don’t worry if you don’t have to feel like a heroine today. When the hero starts his journey, he never feels like a hero. He is thrown into an adventure. He feels weak or unprepared. And with all this, he fights dragons and overcomes obstacles. He learns new skills and develops powerful resources. He finds allies and defeats enemies. He gets wounded, is reborn and now shines with a new, brilliant light. Suddenly, he feels like the hero we have already seen in him at the beginning of the movie.
The hero’s archetype resides within all of us. It is your choice to activate it. The challenge in your life is to let go of a partner who is the wrong match. The challenge of your life is to open your heart and become courageous, compassionate and conscious in your relationship. These are the challenge you face and it’s your opportunity to start your heroine’s journey. The merit is being happy and finding a great partner who is the love of your life. Isn’t that worth it?

A modern heroine’s journey – of what does it consist?

  • Accept your calling.
    Your journey starts when you sense a calling. It is likely to speak in a very low voice. If you read this article you have it – this inner knowing that a fabulous relationship is what you want to experience in your life. Now, you may want to look away. Maybe you remember the pain when your last relationship failed or the endless fights of your parents in their relationship. Your mind tells you that a fabulous relationship is impossible. You fear your calling and its message. It urges you to change. You don’t feel ready, but you have a gnawing sense that it’s time to walk on a new path. Take a deep breath and accept your calling. It is a loving invitation for being happy in a relationship. You have all what it takes to do so. You are more courageous than you believe you are. A fabulous relationship is possible for you. Start your journey today!
  • Enter an unknown world.
    On your journey, you have to leave behind the world you know. Whatever kind of relationship you experienced in the past, it’s time to learn something new. Now is the appointed time to become courageous, compassionate and conscious. This will lead you to a fabulous relationship. You will make steps into a new direction, a direction towards being whole, and explore things you never did before. Follow this path, leave behind the old and explore the new.
  • Sit down with your shadow.
    My shadow was sexual violence and the emotional abusive relationships I had experienced in my childhood and their effects on myself as an adult. They influenced my adult relationships in a negative way. For many years, I feared to explore them. I attracted partner who weren’t a good match. Finally, I sat down with my shadow. After a while,  a woman gave me this feedback in a workshop: amante de la sombra [lover of the shadow]. When I heard it, I had to smile. Over the years, my shadow has lost its darkness, and I have found wonderful treasures in it. Your shadow is different. However, if you don’t dare to look at it, it will subconsciously control you. As adults, we are supposed to clear any negative conditioning we have received in the past. We are supposed to heal and to become whole. Sitting down with your shadow helps you to release relationship patterns that hinder you to attract a great partner who will be the love of your life. What is your shadow in your relationship? What are the dark spots in your soul that you are afraid to look at? What are the events that have made you close your heart? Your shadows may seem overwhelming and deeply frightening. They may be labeled as horrible and invincible. And you are stronger and more powerful than they are. Dare greatly, and illuminate them. The treasures you will find are worth the effort. Enter the unknown world of self-discovery, healing and becoming whole. Dare greatly and you’ll realize a profound transformation you never believed possible.
  • Let go of your masks.
    My favorite mask was being “A Nice Girl.” It was comfortable because its label seemed positive.  It protected me from harm and conflict. It also led me to abandon myself and hindered myself to show up.
    The masks you put on to relate with other people may seem comfortable, and they impede you to experience belonging. With your masks you can only fit in. And that’s not belonging. Behind your masks, there is a brilliant version of yourself that wants to show up. It is perfectly imperfect, and that’s great. This true and honest version will attract the right partner to create a fabulous relationship. Only you can uncover it. What are the masks you are using? Get to know them and explore them. Then, tear them off, bit-by-bit, and connect with your feelings, needs and boundaries. Show up and speak your truth. Each time you do so, you move forward on your hero’s journey.
  • Find your allies.
    My most powerful allies are nature, the sea, silence and breathing. I also met fascinating people, inspiring teachers, cheerful companions, great coaches and complete strangers who gave me the right hint during a short encounter.
    Who are your allies? Ask them for help. Connect with them. Listen to them. Evaluate whether their words correspond with your truth. If your gut feeling tells you that it is right, then take action.
  • Fight your dragons.
    Your dragons are everything that hinders you to experience a fabulous relationship. Your dragons aren’t in the outside world. They are within yourself. My dragons were the wrong truth I learned about love in my family, low self-worth and self-compassion, shame and guilt. They also consisted of resisting the temptation to stay with the wrong partner out of convenience and fear. Not every person you fall in love with will be a great match to have a fabulous relationship. What are you dragons? Write them down. Observe them. Liberate them. Question the truth of their words. Learn tactics how you can let go of them. Don’t give in to them. Change focus and listen to their anti-pole. Become a motivational speaker for yourself. Ask your allies for help. Conquer your dragons gracefully, one after the other.

What merits will you gain?

You will look at the world with new, bright eyes. You will see the beauty of life. Even if something deeply painful happened to you in your past, its darkness will transform into light throughout your journey. This is likely to happen in stages, just like a spiral. You will re-visit some themes throughout your life. Each time you do so, you will gain more understanding, wisdom and freedom. You can’t save the world, but you can save yourself and you can stop unhappiness in your relationship. You can find a great match as partner and create the fabulous relationship you deserve. And by doing this, you will save the world. You will be courageous, compassionate and conscious, and you’ll be greater version of yourself.  You will experience deep connection with a great partner and the world. And isn’t that all what life is about?

When do you start your hero’s journey?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the article What does your soul yearn for?

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Did you ever deeply fear something? What if it happens?

Did you ever fear something and imagined that it would really happen and you had to face your fear? Let me tell you this story:

In the first month after I moved to Barcelona, I saw a fire in a house when I went to work. The affected people gathered on the street in their pajamas and looked helplessly at the dark smoke that came out of one apartment.

Since that day, I feared that a fire would break out in the house I live, and that I had to manage to get out fast enough with my three cats. I tried to visualize it, and it always seemed rather difficult.

Yesterday started as a great day: I went running in the morning – the sky was blue and spring was in the air. In the afternoon, I had an inspiring phone conversation with two colleagues. Then, I got up and wanted to do my laundry. When I opened the door of the balcony, I saw dark clouds of smoke coming from downstairs. People were screaming loudly. A few seconds later, they were ringing my bell, giving me a clear sign that it was time to leave the house.

I looked at my three lovely cats that lay around lazily. Now, we had to make the impossible possible. Normally, it is a dance of at least 15 minutes to get them into the transport bags, and I never go out of the house with more than two cats. Within a second, I grabbed two transport bags, packed Thor, one of my cats, and put him in one of them. He was too surprised to react. The other two tried to vanish. I caught Loki, his sister, and put her into the other bag, ignoring her usual fight. Fully concentrated, I grabbed Angel, my cheerful two-legged cat, on top of her. I also got my passport because I want to move to another country, and I would need it to do so. Then I left my apartment. At the open door, I turned around and took a short glance at my belongings. No, I wouldn’t need anything else; all that was important was with me. I closed the door.

The lights of the steep staircase were off, leaving it completely dark. I went down, cautiously feeling for the end of each step. The staircase was old and uneven, and even with light it was a challenge. At one corner, I nearly missed a step. I held on tightly to the handrail and reduced my speed. The smoke became even thicker and made it hard to breathe. Finally, I went through the entrance door on the street. People started to talk to me. I looked at them confused. I somehow had lost my abilities to speak and understand Spanish. The police came and closed off the street. I sat down at the entrance of another house, the bags with the cats close next to me. What is the next step I can do? I asked myself. I looked at my mobile. My battery was nearly empty. The firefighters came. People crowded together to see the fire. I sent a message to my friend in Munich, asking her to pray. Then, I sent a message to a good friend in Barcelona whether I could come to her place with my cats if I can’t return to my apartment. Both replied positively. I prayed for being able to return to my house with shaking hands. Thor was screaming in his bag. Loki sat on top of Angel. I told them that I was sorry. Both of them looked at me with dark eyes. I had to laugh. I was so happy that we all were safe. Whatever happened, there would be a solution.

One hour later, a firefighter brought me to my apartment. My cats were well. And although my knees were still shaking, all was well.

Yesterday was a very lucky day. Thank you, Universe, thank you for my luck.

Most things we fear never will happen. However, sometimes our fears paralyze us so the following advice can help you to relax: If you fear a situation, make a plan how you would act and who could help you. Visualize the different steps, face your fear and how you overcome it successfully. And just in case that it happens: Trust that you have a much greater strength and focus than you believe right now and that you can manage it. Take little steps. Pray for a positive outcome (you don’t have to have to a religious belief to do so). Trust that all will be well.

What fears did you overcome? I love to read your comments below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to use the power of your mind positively.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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How to Revive the Magic in Your Relationship

During the Roman Empire, a priest was imprisoned because he had performed forbidden weddings for soldiers. The guardsman’s daughter visited him, they shared their thoughts and laughed. On the day of his execution, he wrote her a note saying he loved her and signed with “From your Valentine”.

This is one legend about the origins of this famous day in celebration of romantic love. Nowadays, Valentine’s Day has many faces: people ignore the day, some may have lost their belief in love, a single person has fun with friends with a touch of melancholy, a woman bitterly cooks dinner for her husband whilst thinking, “I will not support this for another year”, and couples go for a walk, admiring a sky full of stars and holding hands or happily enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner.

Valentine’s Day may remind you of how you feel right now about love. If you feel joy, everything is perfect. Yet, if this day provokes frustration, anger or sadness this may be a sign that you long for a change. Change is always possible. If you are single, you can attract the right partner now and as a couple, you can revive the magic of your relationship by taking some simple steps.

A relationship needs common dreams, goals that you want to achieve together. Take a time out of the routine and create your common dreams together. As single, get your dream about a romantic relationship clear. Write it down, focus on what you want to attract and let go of what you don’t want. Everybody has made good and less pleasant past experiences, allow yourself to dream big, independent of the past. This way you align your radar and attract whom you want.

Relationships are a deep connection between two people. Have courage and share your deepest thoughts and feelings. Whether you have known your partner for 20 years or you both have just met recently, allow your partner to see you without masks. You can never control the other’s thoughts or feeling, you can just give an honest picture about yourself.

Another way to improve the relationship is by practicing gratitude. Place a gratitude jar at home. Each time you feel grateful for something that your partner did or said, write it on a little note and put it into the jar. Maybe you came home after a hard day’s work, and your partner waited for you with dinner already prepared? Great, put a note in the jar. At the end of the year, empty the jar and read together the miracles that happened in your relationship.

Studies show that positivity supports the foundation of relationships and that the ratio between positive and negative affirmation should be 5:1. Positivity is a habit that can easily be learned and practice. Instead of blaming your partner, communicate your need or desire behind this complaint. Give your partner a compliment, tell him or her what they are good at. Singles may get stuck in negative thoughts because of frustration. Yet, our thoughts create our reality. Change your thoughts and create positive ones about romantic relationships and practice hope. The right partner for you is already out there and positive relationships are possible.

If the original spark seems to be lost in the routine of daily life, reminisce over the story of how you met each other. Tell each other all the details about how you experienced it and feel the original connection again. Imagine what is possible in the here and now starting from this point.

Real love is fundamental in our life. Misguided ideas such as “love is suffering” still exist, but love does not justify all and has its limits. Nowadays relationships are about two independent persons, loving each other with mutual respect, dignity and equality without violating each other’s rights and supporting each other as companions, best friends and lovers. Each relationship creates its own unique model based on two unique people and their specific inner worlds. This way, your relationship gives you positive energy and joy and each day can be like Valentine’s Day.

May every day in your life be Valentine’s Day.

I’d love to hear from you. Just leave your comment below.

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you enjoy the beauty of the moment?

Published in www.barcelonaconnect.com, February 2013

Copyright@2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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You Have Impossible Dreams? Find Out About Four Secrets to Realize Them!

Beginning of 2013, I decided to realise an impossible dream. I set my intention to write my first book. Today, the manuscript is finalized, and the book will be published within the next couple of months. When I started this project, I was full of doubts and worries. Am I good enough as a writer? Will I be ever able to finish it? I had no idea what steps were necessary to publish a book, yet I kept moving forward, one tiny step after the other, embracing fears, doubts and worries as part of the process. Now, I know that everything will work out great.

I am sure that you also have impossible dreams, maybe they seem too big or unreachable. Perhaps a loving and intimate relationship? Or a new step in your career? Or the one-year sabbatical and the trip around the world? Maybe a move to another country or continent? It does not matter what your specific dream is and whether you believe that it is possible or not. If you can dream it, you can also achieve it. Dreams come to you because they are possible for you.

Here are four secrets that will support you in realizing your dreams:

Take small steps.

If you want to realize your dream, take one small step at a time. It does not matter how small it seems. Get rid of the expectations by when you want to achieve it – if you make it in 2014 it is great and also if you realize it within the next couple of years. Some projects are just so big that they need more than one year to be created. It is not about when you achieve it but that you achieve it.
You can start with visualizations and affirmations. When I decided to write a book, I saw the published book in my hands in my inner eye, and I said to myself each day positive affirmations like “I am a good writer”, “I can achieve everything I set my mind to”. I also put a collage at my wall that showed my written book. Visualizations and affirmations are powerful and magical allies in achieving our dreams, and they are the smallest step you can take to begin with.

Surround yourself with supportive people.

I learned that the people I am with have a major influence on my capabilities, this can be supportive for my dream or blocking it. It was a painful but precious experience. Now, I choose to relate with people who are supportive of my objectives and reduce contact with people who drag me down because it will not help me to achieve my goal.
To create your dream, surround yourself with people who believe that you can do it and avoid those who are negative and sceptical, e.g. if you want to open your heart and find true love, surround yourself with people who believe that this is possible and avoid people who are afraid to open their heart again and talk in a negative way about finding true love. Another way is that you look for positive role models, for people who have already achieved what you want to realize and learn from their experience. The more supportive your environment is, the easier it will be for you to move forward in realizing your dreams.

Ask for help.

When I started to write my book, I had no idea about the process, so I read books about it, then I participated in a program that supported me in writing and publishing the book, and I asked experts for help in specific areas where I needed support. It does not matter what my dream was, I experienced that asking for support can be the most powerful thing for me to do.

Sometimes, you may have no idea how you can achieve your dream and perhaps it had not worked out before. Maybe you already had several failed relationships and now want to create a loving and intimate relationship. If something does not work out in the first few tries, don’t give up! Don’t be afraid and don’t be shy, ask for help by an expert. This is not a sign of failure but of strength, and it can be a powerful and wise step that supports you in accomplishing your goals.

Stay positive.

While writing my book, there were moments when I felt overwhelmed, stuck, full of fear and panic that I will never make it. In these moments, I took a break, maybe for some hours, sometimes for some days. I spent some time in nature, or I had a coffee in a nice café, trusting that a solution would show up. One time, I felt so desperate that I prayed for a miracle. The next day, I received it.

If you want to achieve an important goal, it is likely that there will be moments when you feel overwhelmed and stuck, full of worries and doubts, or maybe paralyzed with fear. In these moments, the best thing you can do is to take a break. Don’t give up on your goal, but spend some time without working on it and relax. Change your focus and become aware of where you are right now and what you already have accomplished. Get rid of your expectations about where you should be and how it should be. The important thing is that you already have moved forward.
Praying can also be a powerful way to stay positive in times of fears and doubts. Pray for solutions, pray for support and I assure you that it will come. These moments of doubts will pass by as the clouds in the sky and when they have gone you have taken another important step to realize your dream.

It does not matter where you are right now – you can realize even your biggest dream! Nothing is impossible. Have patience and trust, and never give up. This way, you will realize your biggest dream.

What are your biggest dreams?

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post In Wholeness, We Meet.

Copyright © 2014, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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Can She Really Make It?

Once upon a time, there was a little cat who travelled around the world. She had sparkling eyes and was full of positive energy. She stayed in amazing countries, made new friends, and her dream was to help others from the depth of her heart. After years of travelling, she came back home and stayed with the other cats of her tribe, still inspired by the many cultures she got to know and the many languages she spoke. She wanted to share her wisdom.

One day, she received the opportunity to talk in front of hundreds of other cats and to help them. She was thrilled, yet also fearful. Would I be able to make it well? Will I be really able to help others? What if I fail? were the doubtful thoughts that ran in her head. Insecure about her capabilities, she asked her aunt for advice. Her aunt was a huge gray cat that was always a bit discontent about her own life, but did not want to change anything. When the little cat came to her, she sat majestically in her padded chair. The little cat asked her, “Dear aunt, I have a question. I received an offer to hold a speech in front of hundreds of cats. Do you think that I will be able to do this?” Her aunt looked at her, disapprovingly and thought, she has not deserved this opportunity; I never have received an opportunity like this, while she said aloud: “Well, I don’t think that you will be able to make it. I don’t see you as a public speaker.” The little cat’s smile disappeared and all her courage went away. How should I be able to do it if my aunt does not believe in me? I should give up. With her head down, she left her aunt and wondered through the streets without destination. She looked around, and saw some kitten playing. As always, they beckoned her over, but she just shrug her head from one side to the other. She wasn’t in the mood to play because she was too disappointed. She felt worthless, just like being nothing. During the next days, she withdrew more and more from her friends and family. She looked around and everything had changed. The leaves of the trees had lost their fresh green and the flowers their colors, everything was gray. She was convinced that she could never realize her dream.

One afternoon, she wondered around and sat down under a majestic old tree with huge branches and roots to take a rest. Suddenly, there was a bright rainbow colored fairy in front of her face. She asked the little cat, “Why are you so sad?” The little cat told her the story. The fairy listened to her mindfully. When the little cat had finished, she said: “This comment wasn’t fair. You have so much light and love to give. Forget about what others say about you, believe in you. Don’t worry, you will do it well and you will make it better each day. Speak from the heart, be who you are.” The little cat was still disbelieving, “But my aunt said that I would not be able to do it. She knows me well.” And the fairy continued, “Never let other people define what you are capable of doing. It is normal to have fear if you start a new adventure. Don’t allow your fears to guide you. If the universe offers you an opportunity like this, you are perfectly well prepared for it. Just take the first step, and you’ll find your way. Each time, you will make it better. And always remember, if you need help, I’ll always sit at your shoulder.” And she softly touched the little cat on her left shoulder and disappeared. The little cat decided to give it a try. She had nothing to lose, but all to win.

One week later, she went on the stage and walked towards the speaker’s desk. She could hardly breathe. Then, she looked up and saw into the eyes of hundreds of cats. Oh, my god, I’ll never make this. What will they think about me? Her hands started to shake. “Don’t worry about what they think about you. Believe in you. Just tell your story.” The fairy whispered into her ear. The little cat took a deep breath and started. She could hear her voice trembling. No, I won’t give up; I have something valuable to share, she told herself silently, and she continued. Suddenly, she had forgotten about the other cats and just told her story as she always wanted to tell it. When she had finished, she didn’t dare to look up. She had given her best, but was it good enough?

There was silence in the room. Then, she heard a voice from the back, “Thank you”, and another “Thank you” from the front row, suddenly, many “Thank you”  echoed in the room. She looked up and saw that the other cats were standing and applauding her. She had tears in her eyes and did not know what to do. Then she saw the little fairy sitting at a lamp by her left side. She had a big smile on her face and made little jumps out of joy. The little cat smiled at her and said, “Thank you. Without you, I never would have made it.” The fairy twinkled, “That’s why I am here.”

That day, the little cat started to believe in herself, and she knew that the little fairy would help her whenever she had doubts.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Do you want to read more? Check the post Do you have impossible dreams? Find out how to realize them.

 

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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What if Your Relationships are Complex…?

Do you sometimes spend hours thinking about how your partner might react before you do something? Or do you create scenarios in your mind about what your partner might think or feel?

Just a while ago, I sat in a lovely restaurant with my friend who had recently fallen in love. I listened to her discourse about how her partner might react if she’d would do this or that. Her explanation about his world was full of doubts and worries, possibilities, twists and turns. Silently, I wondered how she could know his feelings, thoughts and needs without ever having asked him. Half an hour later, there was still no conclusion what she should do and I asked her, What do you really want to do? Her answer came quickly and was simple, I want to call him. Suddenly, everything was clear.

In the past, I spent hours thinking about the reactions of my partner before I decided what to do, or I created my own interpretations why he reacted in a specific way, and I never checked with him whether it was really like this or not. Since he meant a lot to me, I wanted to do it “right” but my relationship became complicated. I wasted my time and energy, and I learned that it did not work that way.

How can you simplify your relationships?

Here are some basics that helped me to understand the world of relationships better and that made my relationships simpler:

Each person has a different inner world

The truth is that each person has their own “reality” of the world. This means that each person perceives and experiments the world in their own way, with their experiences, feelings and thoughts and they create their own inner world. Just to give you an example: My sister and I have completely different memories about our childhood. She does not even remember moments that have been significant and highly emotional for me and vice versa even though we experienced both the same situations. Each person has a unique inner world. In your relationship, you have your world, and your partner has another world. You are expert in understanding your world but you will never really know what is going on in your partner’s inner world. Your partner is the expert for their inner world. So, stop thinking about what might be going on in their inner world.

Explore your partner’s world with curiosity

Instead of thinking about what your partner might think, feel or need, ask them. Be just like a tourist who is visiting a foreign country, in this case your partner’s inner world, and explore it with curiosity, just like a treasure map. I once coached a good friend and during the coaching process she suddenly revealed me dreams she had never mentioned before because she feared that I would judge her. I was deeply touched and surprised by the beauty of her inner world. Explore their world without judgement, ask them questions to get to know them better, and you may find precious jewels you never expected. The inner world of your partner might be a surprise to you. There will be things you like and others you dislike. It doesn’t matter how long you know each other, people can change overnight and their inner worlds, too. So, it is always worth to explore your partner’s world.

Let go of control

We can’t control what will happen in the relationship. It will happen what is supposed to happen. It does not make sense to create “what if” scenarios in your head because you cannot control how your partner will react. The more you try to control, the more complex the relationship gets. Don’t try to please the other person. There is no need to. You can just be who you are. Sometimes, you may have the same needs as your partner, and often you will have different ones. There is no right and wrong; the needs of both of you are equally important. Negotiate a creative solution that fits you both if you have different needs. Trust and allow your relationship to flow.

Be authentic

Show your partner who you really are. Be honest about yourself. Speak your true voice. Share your feelings, dreams, needs and fears. Respect your boundaries and say “no” when you want to say now. A relationship requires a deep connection between two people, and this is nurtured by authenticity and honesty.

Applying these basics in your relationship is a process, you don’t have to fulfill them all today, you don’t have to make is perfect. Important is that you make small steps and practice them with joy.

What do you want to try out today?

Do you want to read more? Check the post 4 Easy Ways to Say No.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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A Secret About Change Nobody Else Will Tell You

Do you struggle with changing yourself and with your growth process?

I did struggle when I first started my growth and healing process. Actually, I had a similar experience as when I started to do jogging:

Fourteen years ago, I was in a rather bad physical condition. I hiked during my holidays in the National Parks in U.S. and Canada but I didn’t do any other sports. One day I decided to start jogging. I went to a small park in Munich with my former boyfriend who was supposed to serve as my personal trainer and wanted to start running. He began to run elegantly with grace. I started to follow him and couldn’t keep his pace. He turned around, looked at me and said: “Come on, faster, you are too slow.” After one minute, I had to stop. I was completely frustrated. Yet, I continued. I ran a minute and then stopped. My head was red; I could hardly breathe. It was a fight against myself. One inner voice said, You’ll never make it. The other said, Look at you, plumb and not fit at all. People laugh at you. Another said, Give up. Just stay as you are. And with all this, I continued running.

Fifteen minutes later, I sat down with my boyfriend on some stairs that let to the entrance of a nearby house to relax. I breathed heavily while sweat ran down my face, and I could hardly talk; he seemed rather bored. I looked at the other runners in the park who ran like beautiful Arabian horses that ran in the wilderness with a flying mane while I was like a giant hippo that tramped down a path. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t do better.

Despite all my negative voices in my head, my intuition told me to continue. It just felt right to do so. I dismissed my boyfriend because it was only my journey. Every second day, I ran alone and fought with myself and my inner critics. After three months, I suddenly could do half an hour. I did not have to stop anymore, and my movement became more fluent. The inner critics stopped. I got up in the morning and wanted to go running. A year later, I ran for more than one hour.

Today, fourteen years later, I still run. Actually I can’t imagine my life without running. I run down to the beach, and I see the sea that glitters in the sunlight, the palm trees with their green leaves, the masts of the yachts in the harbor. I feel the sun and the wind in my face, and I hear the sounds of the seagulls. I enjoy each and every second, and it gives me energy and joy.

I experienced the same in my growth and healing process. In the beginning, I had to make an effort and push myself. It seemed to me that everybody else were already “better” than me. I had to overcome my fears and many times I felt awkward. Sometimes, I felt intimidated and even frustrated. Yet, I moved forward and took tiny steps. Today, it is a fluent process that is just part of my personality and my life. I trust in my resources, and I know that I have everything I need to achieve what I want. I can see the beauty of life each day. I have been richly rewarded for my efforts.

What attitudes are nurturing your growth process?

Here are some winning mind sets that will nurture your growth:

  • Change is an inner process that may feel overwhelming and impossible in the beginning. Yet I know that you can master it. Split it into little steps, let go of any expectations you have towards yourself and just take one step at a time.
  • It does not matter where you start, it matters that you start.
  • Don’t compare yourself with others. Everybody has their own unique journey in life. You have a unique and special journey, and you have to make your own experience and learning. Others might have to grow in areas where you are already expert in and vice versa. You just waste your energy if you compare yourself with others. Concentrate on your own journey and move your foot forward.
  • Have patience with yourself and never give up. I assure you that you’ll be richly rewarded.

So, what is the first step that you can take today?

Do you want to read more? Check the post How to Become a Modern Heroine.

I look forward to reading your comments below!

Copyright © 2013, Natalie Jovanic. All rights reserved.

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