Auf diesem Bild siehst du mich lächelnd durch den Schnee spazieren.
What an intense year! Somehow it felt like ten years stuffed in one, maybe because all the tiny steps I took during the last ten years suddenly enrolled into one breathtaking momentum, where I realized how far I have come and how important each lesson was to become the woman I am today.

Here are my top 3 lessons learned:

1. Merci over all

Listening to the Super Soul Podcast of Oprah Winfrey where she interviewed Elizabeth Gilbert touched my heart deeply. Liz Gilbert talks about the time where she took care of the love of her life Raya, who was diagnosed with cancer. Raya who was a bold woman and awesome musician and had survived so much in her life from drug addiction over prison to being homeless and still thriving and fighting her way back to life, didn’t win this time. But she didn´t only break Liz heart open while dying, but showed her a way of Mercifulness, that changed Liz whole behavior towards herself and towards others.
It took me almost ten years of my life to show Merci for myself and to forgive myself anything, which I might have done better. Odd thing here: If I might have done better, I probably would have, wouldn’t I? This Mercifulness lead me straight towards the second learning.

2. Strong back, soft front, wild heart

I dunno where I read this metaphor first, maybe in one of Brené Browns books about the power of vulnerability and how we can life with more integrity and wholeheartedly. The interesting thing about ‘strong back, soft front, wild heart’ is, that is countercultural. It’s very natural on the other hand. Just consider how babies come to this world. Every baby has its heart wide open, and its back strengthens from day to day so that sooner or later the baby learns to sit and walk. Sparkling full of joy, trust, and curiosity it is discovering our world… until the child is confronted with the rules of our culture. This is the very moment when every child is taught to behave, to be nice, to be silent… You get it, I doubt there is anyone of us who missed the part of objectification, as Gerald Hüther names it. This process will happen again and again and is very likely to close our hearts, because we suddenly realize we are not good enough and we have to achieve something outside of us to be worthy of love.
It’s a dusty and bumby road back from culture to our nature. And it’s wise to have good travel companions on your side, because oh boy it can get lonely out here in the wild. My companions often were books until I found humans who had the same passion for freedom and wilderness. And a lot of passion is needed to let anything go, what doesn’t feel free to your heart. Because somehow this golden cage where we all put ourselves into become so familiar that eventually we forgot that there is a another world out there. I know the decision doesn’t come easy for many of us, after all these years of mistrust in our own potential, but one thing I know for sure: I never met one person who went back from nature to culture again. Life gets truly amazing once you get to experience it with a strong back, soft front and wild heart and your finally part of the wilderness again.

My book recommendations:
Braving the wilderness, Brené Brown
The way of integrity, Martha Beck

3. You did it!

One of my favorite podcasts is Bewildered from the amazing Martha Beck and her awesome partner Rowan Mangan. If you ever wondered if spirituality, science and humor could somehow life together very happily instead of just pretending that only one of them is the god you have to worship and obey, than Martha’s and Rowan’s world is your place to be!

In one of their episodes, they talk about the impact of rewarding ourselves and for pausing once we achieve a goal no matter how small it might be and really appreciate how far we have come so far. Any more words from my side are superfluous here because you simple have to dive in and experience their wildness, madness and genius in the seats of the front row.
Bewildered Podcast

I wish you all fabulous Christmas holidays and a beautiful jump into the New Year!
Stay wild, curious and open!

Johanna Franziska

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