How should I improve my spiritual self?

spirituality (14)

Discover your spirituality and find the inner key to more serenity and happiness. Start by integrating spiritual moments into your everyday life and you will see how good it is. Spirituality does not have to be lived in a big way: Even the small gestures have a great positive influence on your mood.


Aristotle's reflections on human happiness are timeless and inspiring for personal spirituality


When asked about happiness, ancient philosophy provides food for thought that has not lost any of its validity today. In his work “Nicomachean Ethics”, Aristotle assumes that every person is able to discover the right life for himself and thereby achieve happiness.



1. Choosing luck

Happiness does not fall into your lap, it is only granted to those who strive for it. It is based on the type of life you choose for yourself. Imagine that your life has a road map in it. In your mind, write "fortunately" on it. Make yourself aware that you are the designer of your life and that you are setting the goal of your life, towards which all further intermediate stages should lead.


2. Luck in doing

A happy person becomes active and realizes his chosen path through decisive action. Make an effort to do your job as well as possible. Strive for excellence. It starts with the most mundane everyday work. Do unpopular routine jobs in a concentrated manner and without hurry. This, according to Aristotle, gives you a happy experience. Do something for your happiness every minute, every day, every year


3. Live connected

According to Aristotle, happiness is never a life on its own, but a life in the network of social relationships. Make and maintain friendships consciously, but without ulterior motives. Relationships with friends should be for their own sake, and not for short-term pleasures or long-term benefit. There is no real personal happiness in an unhappy social environment.


4. Develop all areas

Develop your mental abilities, but also indulge yourself in the pleasure and enjoyment of beautiful things such as music, theater, sports or animals. Maintain your physical health and appearance. Think of material things, such as money, as an aid to happiness - as long as you use them for your pursuit of excellence and the good of others.


5. Learn happiness

The most amazing thesis of Aristotle: Everyone can learn happiness like a craft. Take care of your own future. End indifference to your own life. Recognize connections. Get used to new behaviors. React more calmly and consciously to unhappy experiences.



6. Fill life

You will not become happy by living a comfortable life in which you exclude or suppress suffering and unhappiness. It is more a matter of being able to bear and cope with the fateful adversities of life. Don't let the emphasis of your life be on pain and suffering, always make the most beautiful and best possible out of the given. That humans can do this distinguishes them from plants and animals.


7. Perceive happiness as divine

The Greek word for happiness, eudaimonia, literally means to have a “good demon”, a mediator between man and God. Aristotle understands God as a cosmic principle. As much as you try and make an effort for your happiness, when you receive it, it is always a gift from a higher world. Happiness lets you partake of the experience of infinity.




Spirituality in life planning


Unleash the enormous powers of your subconscious

This works in fairy tales: you find Aladdin's magic lamp, you meet a fairy. Why do fairy tales give you such high hopes? Because your wishes have a great chance of being realized even in normal life. If you only know how to harness the power of your dream. Here are some crucial suggestions on how you can use spirituality to fulfill your own wishes.


See things in the future

The principle is simple: activate all your senses if you have a wish. For example, if you want to convert a basement room, stand in the room and paint the finished state as detailed as possible: How is the light? How does it smell etc.

If you want to refresh the relationship with your spouse, imagine an optimal romantic situation with him. Hear the music, feel his skin and whatever is important to you.


Your soul helps

There is no magic behind this technique, but solid psychology: If you visualize your desires in such a way that your subconscious understands them, then your innermost powers are motivated. Your conscious mind reacts to abstract terms: “I want an apartment with 4 rooms in the southern part of the city.” But your subconscious cannot do anything with it. It communicates with images and holistic ideas. So imagine the sunlight falling into your new apartment, the view from the new living room window, the feeling of walking on new parquet.


Remove your dream blocks


Everyone has dreams, but mostly far too vague. You dream of "a great vacation". That doesn't release any energy in you. Instead, imagine the view over the Cretan Sea at sunset at the enchanting pier of Loutro in Crete. Photos or pictorial descriptions from travel books can help you with this.

Many people are afraid that the future will bring them something other than what they hoped for. That is why they dream with reservations. You do not put yourself specifically in the desired situation, but rather look at a photo of it in your dream, so to speak. In doing so, they signal to their subconscious: Do not work towards this goal. You will never reach it anyway.


Forget patent dreams


What would you wish for if Aladdin's magic lamp could grant you 3 wishes? Anyone who answers this very cleverly "1,000 more wishes" has a problem - the classic problem of lottery players. You don't want anything specific, just "Millions of euros, then I could ...". Such vague “trick dreams” are powerless (that is why the lottery companies may have switched to parking real cars in front of the acceptance points that can be won).

Even the "normal" desire for "more money" hardly releases any energy in your subconscious. American success stories tell how they dreamed of sitting in the big armchair in the executive office and parking their car in the executive parking lot. These are concrete dreams that activate “stomach power”.



Trust your unconscious power

Dare to wish for something big. Your subconscious will be happy that you challenge it and trust it to fulfill your wish. This results in a deep feeling of inner strength and warmth, combined with a longing that may sometimes move you to tears. That is the taste of the full, real life, which you can shape according to your ideas with spirituality and tate urge.



simplify instant tip

Draw on your greatest dream. If it's too complicated for your drawing skills, come up with a symbol that you can paint. Close your eyes and imagine the situation you want. This introduction doesn't have to take long, but you should see yourself doing it and discover details that you didn't know before. Example: You dream of being able to play the piano. You will see yourself playing something during a party and having a glass of wine on the piano. This is the sign that your unconscious has understood the dream and has started to develop ideas on its own.


your I consists of 4 levels - get to know each of them


Get more satisfied with an internal home tour

In the Indian wisdom tradition there is the idea that the human being is a house with 4 floors: the floor of the body, the thinking, the feeling and the spirit. This notion can also help you live a happier, more balanced life. Because dissatisfaction usually comes from neglecting one of your inner floors.


The floor check

Find out how your bones, brain, emotions and beliefs are distributed: On which floor do you spend most of the day? Is there a floor that you don't like very much or perhaps don't even really know? What is the best place to relax? Which floor invigorates and inspires you the most? Which would others describe as your best? In which are some legacies from earlier times that you could get rid of? Could it be that there is another surprise waiting for you on one of these floors, something completely new?


Your day tour

Make it a good habit to take a short tour of these 4 floors once a day, perhaps as a kind of contemplative evening stroll. Linger a little on each floor and ask yourself the following questions about each one.

If you reserve a little time every day for this, you will soon get to know each other well. You will know better about your strengths and weaknesses and gain a clearer view of yourself. It will be easier for you to be friendly to the various little whims that sometimes cause unrest in your inner house.

Did you look up at the sky and rejoice that you were alive? Have you been able to get very still at least once? Have you said a prayer, read a word of wisdom, or performed a ritual?

Was there an experience today that made your heart open? Did you laugh enough today? Were you moved? Have you hugged another person?

Did you learn anything new today? Have you dreamed of something or planned something that inspires you? Have you used the wealth of the media sensibly?

Did you eat healthy and with pleasure? Did you hear your heart beating and feel your breath? Do you like your body? Did you do him good today? Are you sexually satisfied?


The spirituality of the little things


How to discover great things in small and simple things

The simplify way does not only consist of tidying up, organizing or giving things away. The clearer your areas of life and work become, the more you can open yourself to the invisible wisdom that can be hidden behind even the simplest of objects. You are in good company: a noticeable number of great mystics have meditated on simple everyday objects. Whichever world religion they belong to - they always look through something like a window at the hidden wholeness behind it. This turns material things into “sacraments”, sacred signs of God's closeness, waiting to be touched by you.

“God himself is our robe, which envelops us out of love, embraces and embraces us and above all encourages us. He circles us in tender love so that we never leave us alone. ”Juliane von Norwich (English mystic, 1343–1413)


The bathtub

"All being is bathed in God." Meister Eckhart (German mystic, 1260– 1328)



The slumber pillow

"I hear God say to my soul: You are my very softest slumber pillow, my most beautiful, dearest bed, my most secret resting place, my deepest longing, my highest glory." Mechthild von Magdeburg (German mystic, 1210–1282)



The cleaning cloth

“If anyone finds something reprehensible on the face of his soul, he wipe it off with the delicate cloth of the humanity of Christ. But he is careful not to rub his spots roughly or bitterly, namely without being aware of the divine goodness; because if it rubs too hard, it tears more than it heals. "Mechthild von Hackeborn (German mystic, 1241–1299)



The paper

“The finest thing is when you prepare your heart like a sheet of white paper and lay it open. Do you know why? Then divine wisdom can write what it pleases on it. God's love needs space so that it can show itself to you. Do you know what you can do about it? You can withdraw from everyday life for a while. And you are silent a little without wanting to do anything or even recognize it. “Miguel de Molinos (Spanish mystic, 1628–1696)


The pencil

“What the pencil is to me when I feel the table with its tip with my eyes closed - to be this for Christ. We have the opportunity to be mediators between God and that part of creation that is entrusted to us. Our consent is required for him to perceive his creation through us. With our consent he works this miracle. "Simone Weil (French mystic, 1909-1943)


The garden rake

“Even if you do physical labor that requires physical effort, your soul should not let go of its clinging to the divine. In everything you do, do not distance yourself from God. So even the objects you use become more sublime because you have used them. ”Moses Chaim Luzzatto (Italian-Jewish mystic, 1707–1746).


Spirituality in Simplicity


Francis de Sales and the virtue of the lightness of being

Franz von Sales (1567–1622) had a doctorate in law and came from a highly esteemed aristocratic family. In 1602 he became Bishop of Geneva and took care of the re-Catholicization of the area, in which a strict Calvinism prevailed. Against his harsh doctrine, according to which everything is predetermined by God, von Sales preached and lived a lovable, quiet, inner spirituality. Even today he is considered a man of letters, his works are among the classics of the French language. He wrote over 20,000 letters and delivered polished sermons. In 1665 he was canonized.


Simplicity as a virtue

For Francis de Sales it is preferable to most other virtues. To be simple, you don't need any special skills. The simple one seems to have little intelligence, creativity and imagination. Simplicity, straightness and simplicity, as von Sales wrote time and again, are the best way to achieve perfection.


The path of the steps


“The perfection of our soul consists in the union with God, which we do not achieve with much knowledge, but with much doing. Approach this sacred task with great simplicity. If you keep asking about the shortest route into town, it can happen that you get there later than others who have stayed on the street. Because he gets all sorts of information: you go wrong, you make a detour, you have to go back. That's not how you get ahead if you ask a lot. Anyone who is asked about the way to heaven is actually quite right when he answers like the one who said: If you want to go there, you must always go straight ahead, always put one foot in front of the other, then come on wherever you want. "




The goal in mind

“Go your way with all simplicity. Give your special attention only to the really important things. Don't pick up the little things so much. Let your heart be determined! ”This is what von Sales wrote to Baroness Johanna von Chantal, with whom he founded the“ Order of the Daughters of the Visitation of Mary ”in 1610. “Your speeches should be brief, kind, holy and humble, spoken calmly. All you do should be to let our Lord act. Let his will be done. "





He advised another woman, “I recommend sacred simplicity to you. Look at the way ahead and not at the distant dangers, as you have written to me. They seem like whole armies to you. In reality they are just gnarled willow trees that have been trimmed to size. Pay attention to your steps. While you are looking at the perceived threats, you could easily take a wrong step. "


Beware of pomp


Today there is a “new simplicity” that is quite noble and elitist. Even then, von Sales discovered such tendencies in his environment, for example in the unadorned display of Calvinism. True simplicity, on the other hand, appears modest and makes no fuss about its minimalism: “Those whose demeanor is always graceful and detailed are conceited people. Above all, beware of the vain ones, from all conspicuous and nonsensical talk. "



Realize your feelings! With the help of your spirituality you will discover a lot in yourself


Step 3 on the way to your inner pole star

On the way to your true goal in life, your inner pole star, you will not only be guided by your body and your unconscious, but also by your heart and your feelings. Western philosophy, however, starting with the ancient Greeks, has encouraged us to rely more on thinking than feeling. Here is a method how you can use your spirituality to regain access to the richness of your emotional world.


The magic question

“How do I feel?” - What is your predominant feeling at the moment? Find your current feeling in this compass:

Often the first superficial feeling you feel is just a masking of another, honest feeling that you don't dare to show. The reason for this often lies in childhood. Abused children, for example, actually react with anger to the humiliation they receive, but do not dare to express it and hide it behind their fear. Below you will find possible deceptions and hints on how to distinguish right and wrong feelings for each of your feelings. The right feeling in your spirituality will inevitably bring you closer to your inner pole star.


If you are mostly afraid


The positive function: fear protects you from danger.

Dangerous deception: Aggression and anger, which must not be lived, are often hidden behind false fear. You can recognize false fear by the fact that it is very general and does not lead to clear avoidance reactions. Real fear can be determined very specifically (e.g. the fear of not being loved, fear of heights).

Healthy reactions:

a) You look fear in the eye. Complete the sentence: "If only I had the courage to do so, I would ..." Do what you wrote there and your fear will become your ally!

b) You avoid what scares you - you don't go up towers or mountains and still have a fulfilling life.


If you feel predominantly grief


The positive function: Psychologists call grief “the healing feeling.” People who go through a grief process to the end are strengthened, healthier and wiser.

Dangerous deception: False grief is often used to mask anger and fear. You can recognize false grief by a vague feeling of hopelessness and helplessness. Real grief tastes sweet in a peculiar way. You feel that you have a right to mourn about it, combined with an actually good feeling of strength and sincerity.

Healthy reactions: The cause of grief is always loss. Find out what has been taken from you, often in very unjust ways. That can be a long time ago.

a) Replace it with something better if possible.

b) Learn to love loss as a necessary advance in your life.


When you feel predominantly anger


The positive function: your mental immune system, which is supposed to detect and defeat injustices. Anger is fire: directed outwards, it has great great cleansing power, but it is also dangerous. Inwardly, it can do you great harm.

Dangerous deception: Very often, behind false anger, there is grief, especially in men. The search for what has been lost helps here (see above). False anger is generally directed against those around you, including people you actually love. He makes you sad. Right anger is specific and contains a power from your depth that makes you strong.


Healthy reactions:

a) Change yourself.

b) Change the situation.


If you mainly feel joy


The positive function: Joy nourishes and expands your life.

Dangerous deception: False joy is short-term euphoria, caused by chemicals, an addiction or a carefully designed happy situation. You can recognize false joy by the low afterwards. Healthy joy contains gratitude, which persists even after the mood goes up.


 Healthy reactions:

a) Be happy. Treat yourself to what pleases you. Do it!

b) Share your joy with others. That will double your own joy.


The magical 5 "Ws"

Analyze your (real!) Feelings by asking “Why?” Up to 5 times - until you come across a solvable problem. An example: I am so sad. Why? Because I did so little today. Why? Because I kept surfing the internet. Why? Because I don't enjoy my actual work. Why? Because I have to work alone too much. Aha! A couple of creative meetings, the transfer to a work group - solutions are in sight.


Faith and spirituality affect not only our minds but also our bodies


Simplify consequences from scientific knowledge about religion and healing

Whoever believes in God copes with conflicts, crises and stress more easily. These are the results of several US studies from 1997. Believing people are therefore less prone to psychosomatic illnesses, they promote healing processes by activating their self-healing powers, and lead a healthier lifestyle than the average. In the meantime, a critical discussion has broken out about these investigations. Here are the results that could result for your life and your spirituality.


It all depends on the type of belief

The psychologist Kenneth Pargament examined a large number of religious people and came to a differentiated result: Faith can have positive or negative effects on health. Those who fear the punishment of a strict God are more prone to mental disorders than non-religious people. Those who trust in a loving, kind God, on the other hand, benefit from it - physically and mentally.

simplify advice: Never let yourself be persuaded that illness is a punishment or revenge from God. Corresponding statements are alien to the essence of the Christian faith and also to most other religions.


Believe as a placebo


The American doctor Herbert Benson, who has intensively researched the phenomenon in over 30 years of medical practice, comes to similar results. He speaks of an extended placebo effect. Placebo (in German about “it will do me good”) is a kind of positive self-influencing. For a study at the Cook County Hospital in Chicago in 1975 patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis were treated with placebos (tablets without any active ingredient). 30% of them had fewer symptoms afterwards, for at least 3 months. This finding was confirmed by a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1995. Benson's conclusion: "A person's attitude can mobilize considerable healing powers in them."

simplify advice: “That will do me good” is a wise affirmation that you should say to yourself with every therapeutic measure - including drugs that have been proven to be effective. If you are not internally convinced about a drug, it is important to talk to your doctor about it.


Remembered wellbeing


Benson developed a method that works without a placebo preparation. He had his patients perform two 10 to 20 minute relaxation exercises of their own choosing every day. Then they should speak to themselves a positive sentence that was related to their healthy past (e.g. "I can do it; I am very calm; I will be healthy and strong").

Amazing: 80% of Benson's patients chose a prayer as a positive sentence (“The Lord is my Shepherd; be comforted, my soul”). Benson found that relaxation and remembered wellbeing were most powerful in those who believed in God or in an eternal force beyond life.

simplify advice: Memorize a prayer that you know from childhood or that has become important to you in your life. So you can easily fall back on it during an illness.


Understand the voice of God


Long-term studies showed that religious people were more likely to switch to healthier lifestyles after their recovery. They realized that their illness contained information on how to change their lives in order to stay healthy.

simplify advice: Understand every illness as a message from your body or as a hint from God. Never see your body as just a broken machine that needs to be fixed. B. to speak of "the liver", translate it for yourself: "my liver" or even better: "the cleansing power in me" or something similar.


Active faith


Richard Sloan, a physician and behaviorist at Columbia University, has critically examined hundreds of studies of the medical effects of belief. His result: Faith only has a healing effect if people also practice their religion through social engagement and active charity.

simplify advice: "Happy is he who makes happy" - this wisdom probably also applies to the variant "Healthy is who makes healthy". If you stand by people in need, this will also help you deal with your own health needs.


Intercession on trial


In 2004, the Argentine ex-soccer star Diego Maradona was hospitalized with a heart disease. When his condition deteriorated dramatically, his friends emailed 20,000 fans asking to pray for their idol. Maradona actually recovered and announced that God had heard his followers.

Under the leadership of the aforementioned Herbert Benson, American researchers carried out a “Study about Therapeutical Effects of Prayer” (STEP). For this, 1802 bypass patients from 6 clinics were randomly divided into 3 groups: Groups 1 and 2 were told that they might be prayed for. In fact, group 1 was prayed for, group 2 was not. Group 3 was also prayed for, but these patients knew it from the start.

Catholics and Protestants who only knew the first name and the first letter of the patient's last name prayed from the day before to 14 days after the operation. The sobering result: intercessory prayers did not help the patients in the STEP study (group 3, of all people, had the worst).

A similar 5-year study called Mantra II by physician Mitchell Krucoff of Duke University in North Carolina came to a similar conclusion: intercessory prayers do not result in faster or more lasting healing

simplify advice: Do not let such studies stop you from praying for other people. But do it in the knowledge that faith, prayer and God cannot be used like medicines.

Reflection through the inner hermit



This is how you can find new impulses in secluded places in your soul

If you imagine the inside of your soul as a landscape, you will find yourself in the middle of the darkness of your loneliness and despair during a crisis. In difficult situations, many people fixate on staring into the black tunnel of this inner darkness. But there is also a saving straw there, a peaceful place: the hermitage. It is one of the great discoveries of depth psychology that every person has this refuge within them. It can be found in the Grail myths as well as in the mystical tradition. Here in the lonely hermitage you can gather, rediscover your spirituality and promote your reflection.


Your greatest helper: your imagination


Imagine the simple hermitage figuratively. If you were to paint a painting, what would the hermitage and the space around it look like? Hermits often build their homes by a spring in order to have fresh water. Are there any animals around? When you have familiarized yourself with this inner place, take heart and call out for the hermit who lives here, what does he look like? What does he wear? When you feel love and trust, approach him.


Entrust yourself to your good hermit


The good hermit is the symbol of a hidden force in your soul that you can call for help. Despite its seclusion, your inner hermit sits at the source of knowledge. He has access to the water of the unconscious and can lead you from the outside into the inside. It can appear to you in a dream or by consciously calling up your inner images. Not infrequently he speaks in a somewhat ancient language. You can recognize him by the fact that he speaks understanding, kind, and forgiving. In his presence you will feel secure and affirmed.


Answer the disentanglement questions

The presence of your inner hermit will help you to summarize your problem briefly and soberly and to regain your senses, for example by asking the following types:

  • What have I not understood yet?
  • What should I open up to?
  • What is now the most important thing in my difficult situation?
  • Where are my inner barriers?
  • What is the saving force?
  • What is the hidden meaning of my life?

Imagine the hermit calmly asking you, “What is the bottom of your loving heart that you want to accomplish? What good should come out of it in the end? ”Listen inward and answer his question in peace and with awareness of your spirituality. Concentrate on your long-term good goal. Ask to be shown the first 3 good steps to get there. This avoids quick, quick solutions.


Take hermit time off


Even if you are not in a current crisis, you can visit your inner hermitage as a preventive measure. Declare one evening a week to be an evening of silence - with no television, telephone, visits or going out. Read spiritual books, meditation and mystic literature. Write a diary. Sit in a silent church. Pray Insert a "desert day" on which you withdraw and consciously do nothing other than listen inward. Attend meditation classes, take part in retreats. Or take your vacation as a break, which is not about external travel, but about the inner journey to yourself.


Watch and pray like a hermit


Do not numb yourself with alcohol, tablets, television or computer games during difficult times in your life. Stop buying and eating frustration. Don't waste your mental energy by talking on the phone or lamenting for hours. You always have the chance to make an inward turn. If this is difficult for you, the following “hermit prayer” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which he wrote in prison for his desperate fellow prisoners, will help. It can give you stability and strength in your spirituality and mobilize help from within.

It's dark inside of me

but with you the light is

I am lonely,

but you don't leave me

I am fainthearted

but help is with you.

I am restless,

but with you is peace.

There is bitterness in me

but with you is patience.

I don't understand your ways

but you know the way for me



Let your light shine!



... and show your size

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are mighty beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves: Who am I that I should be so brilliant, great, talented, fabulous? But who are you that you shouldn't be? You are a child of God; if you make yourself small, it does not serve the world. There is nothing like enlightenment when you let yourself be so shrunk that other people no longer feel insecure about you. We should all shine like children. We are born to manifest the glory of God within us. It exists in all of us, not just a few people. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously allow other people to do the same. When we are freed from our own fear, our presence automatically frees others too. "

Light and darkness - with this pair of opposites and other key words (“child of God”, “glory of God”) the text addresses Christmas themes. Suggestions for simplifying this:


Show your size


Many people leave their talents and skills idle - because they themselves disregard them (“Anyone can do that”) or because they are afraid of being rejected as “high-flyers”.


Suggestion for simplification: See your gifts as a gift from a great Creator or a great creation. Do not see yourself as part of a “mass of little people”, but as part of the glorious universe! Your talents, like your eye color, shoe size, and smile, are part of you. Use them confidently and naturally. Encourage others to trust themselves too. In doing so, you are doing something good for all the communities to which you belong (family, colleagues, sports club, parish).



If you make yourself small, you also become small


The current economic weakness shows that the greed of individuals can be threatening for everyone.But conversely, it is also fatal when (as is currently the case in Germany) the people of an economy make themselves weaker than they are out of fear. Then they no longer differentiate between “luxury” and “necessary”, hold back important purchases and actually bring the system to a standstill.



Let your light shine


Simply wonderful: the radiant eyes of a child when it sees the beloved grandparents, the lost toy or the Christmas gift table. Simplification suggestion: What makes your eyes shine? People whose presence is good for you; a hobby that fills you with enthusiasm; a goal that you have set for yourself. Give these people and activities more space in your life. You will notice: Your inner radiance also radiates to other people.



What else this text teaches us


This appealing text, which is widely distributed on the Internet, is often referred to as “part of Nelson Mandela's inaugural address as President of South Africa (1994)”. But our research showed that Mandela never spoke these words.

Perhaps you are as disappointed as we were at first: The text does not at all reflect the wisdom of the decade-long imprisoned, later Nobel Peace Prize laureate! Rather, it comes from the pen of Marianne Williamson, a self-proclaimed expert on spiritual issues, who is also a well-known author and speaker in the USA (Marianne Williamson: Return to Love. Wilhelm Goldmann Verlag, Munich 1993. ISBN-13: 978- 3442122097, € 8.95).

Draw a simplification consequence for yourself (as we do for ourselves): Be open to good thoughts - regardless of who utters them. Outsmart your prejudices. Read a newspaper article without checking to see who wrote it. Obtain anonymous and written criticism from your department before discussing it in a meeting.



Spirituality with the Pole Star


How to find your personal goal in life

Once you have discovered the North Star in the sky, you will find it again and again. In every season and hour it is in the same place. The universe seems to revolve around him, and where the Pole Star is, it is always north. This is how sailors and travelers orientated themselves in the desert many millennia ago. Today only a few know him.

Much fewer people know that there is such an immovable point of orientation inside them as well. Those who do not know their orientation point often feel tired, left alone and dissatisfied. Those who follow their North Star lead a happy and fulfilling life. There are people who have intuitive access to their star. Most others need some guidance to do this. For many years, the American life coach Martha Beck has done nothing but teach people this skill. Here is their method:


Distinguish between me and self


Your self, your unique innermost core, was shaped even before you were born. It's in your genes, it points beyond you. Your self is independent of when and where and in what culture you were born and raised. Your ego, on the other hand, was and is shaped by your environment, the people around you, your upbringing, religion and many other factors. You are constantly learning. It is no better or worse than yourself. Only: Your happiness in life suffers when I and yourself are too far apart. When you lose sight of yourself, your life becomes bland and listless. They lose energy, become physically ill, or seek refuge in an addiction.


Leave yours I take a rest


It sounds paradoxical: In order to find the pole star hidden in the self, the ego has to step back. That sounds easier than it is. In all our years of life we ​​have learned to create a perfectly functioning self: to be accepted by others, to work efficiently, to make others happy. You get access to the Polarstern by not doing anything. It is similar to doing nothing, but it requires your inner attention. Many people find it difficult to take back themselves and let go of everything they have learned. “I have to earn money,” they say. But when you are in contact with your Pole Star, as Martha Beck has many times, you will earn a living much more effortlessly and with more pleasure.


Remember your self


A.. Remember: what actions do you always feel like doing? What is it that keeps you awake? Write down 3 such activities and then circle the most beautiful of the 3. Do the same for the next questions.

B. Which people do you never annoy? In the company of whom are you always in a good mood? Write down 3 names.

C. When have you been exceptionally healthy in your life? Write down 3 situations in which you were particularly fit and in a good mood.

D. What kind of things do you remember particularly well? Everyone has a partial super memory - one can remember plant names, but not telephone numbers, the other can remember technical information from brochures, but not personal names. Write down the 3 best memory categories in your brain.

E. What type of activity do you forget about time around you? Again write down 3 activities.

F. Are there places, things, people that you are magically attracted to? Make a note of 3, mark number 1.

G. What needs to happen to be in a good mood? All types of entries are allowed: weather, money, people, animals, clothing, etc. These are the last 3 pieces of information on your Polarstern list.


Create your ideal situation


Use the 7 marked descriptions from your list to create a wonderful scenario: On a wonderful day, do A together with B. You feel wonderful, even better than when you were with C. You are talking about D when a letter arrives: an offer to make E into a very good salary, and the job is even linked to F. Now you feel like you did at G.



See your star flash


How was this ideal situation for you? Has your heart jumped a little at times? Those were the moments when you could see your Pole Star. For some people, just such a tiny moment is enough and they begin to change their external life towards this star.

You can find all of this in detail at: Martha Beck, Das Polaris-Prinzip. Scherz Verlag, Munich 2002. ISBN 3-778-79090-0. 22 €.




More mindfulness and joie de vivre through spirituality


From the mindful handling of one's own lifetime

Nobody wants to waste their lifetime. But often people who strive for a fulfilled life, carelessly pass by valuable things in their own everyday life. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the founder of the Jesuit order, recommends mindfulness as a way to a worthwhile lifetime. He called this exercise the "exam". Here are the tips and practical exercises for your spirituality from Jesuit Father Dr. Benno Kuppler.

Perceiving the good

Criticism and self-criticism will help you recognize where changes are in order in your life. But you will get the necessary strength from the perception of the successful in everyday life. Ignatius' review of the day helps you to remember successes concretely.

simplify exercise: Strengthen the perception of what has been successful. Every time you enjoy something, take a coin out of your wallet and put it in a jacket pocket or a side compartment of your handbag. In the evening you take every single coin and remember exactly why you put it in your pocket. This is how you can see what good you have taken during the day.


Live in the here and now


As important as planning the future is: Anyone who only measures the present in terms of its benefits for the future devalues ​​it. Give the present its value back.

simplify exercise: At some point in the middle of the day, stop and focus all your senses on the present: what do you see? What do you smell What are you listening to? What do you feel with your hands? Feel your point of view: what carries me? What's all below me Think Up: What's Above Me? Where does the infinity of space begin?



Open up to others


You cannot be there for everyone you meet. But when you are engaging with someone, for example in a meeting or on a phone call, give them your full attention. Don't do something else on the side and don't be thinking about the next appointment.

simplify exercise: In the next conversation, show your counterpart your full appreciation: Be present. Get in the mood by turning off your cell phone completely before the call or by leaving it at home in your office.



Let it mature


“Faster, faster!” Is the motto in many areas today. But not everything in life can be accelerated: the development of a friendship, the letting go of a loved one, new professional beginnings or great visions - all of this takes time to grow and mature. This time cannot be precisely determined in advance or even accelerated.

simplify exercise: Stand up straight, put your hands on your diaphragm and breathe in and out audibly deeply. Do you feel how deep your breath reaches down and invigorates you inside? Practice this "staying power" instead of being hectic, short of breath.



The whole life


Not only the high times of your life are valuable, but also those about farewell, illness, suffering, grief or failure.

simplify tip: Do not avoid painful issues in yourself or others. Example: Those who have been given notice often disappear silently from their job. Better: officially say goodbye to a colleague who has been terminated. If you have been terminated: Say goodbye to your colleagues, for example with a drink. In this way you lay an essential foundation for a positive new beginning for the person concerned and for yourself.

Benno Kuppler SJ, graduate theologian and business graduate, offers lectures, seminars and personal coaching in the areas of values ​​- business - advanced training.


More spirituality with serenity



The legacy of Pope John XXIII

Initially chosen as a candidate for embarrassment, Giuseppe Roncalli (1881–1963) became the most popular Pope of the 20th century. John XXIII combined prudence and renewal. with his legendary humorous serenity.

He was happy to tell what his Guardian Angel often whispered in his ear: “Don't take yourself so seriously, Giovanni!” Even the high office did nothing to change his modesty: “Anyone can become Pope. I myself am the best proof of this. ”John XXIII. wanted to "let fresh air into the church" and break new ground with the council: "Without some holy madness the church cannot grow."

From 1958 on, there was a person on the papal throne who described "serenity, inner calm and devotion to God" as the 3 simple pillars of his life. His demeanor was one of kindness and confidence. His 10 rules of serenity are accordingly philanthropic. They are ideally suited to the simplification path of small steps and do not overwhelm anyone. More lazy contemporaries will find the right recipe for self-motivation and self-commitment with a pinch of spirituality here. John XXIII was a simplifyer and a staunch optimist: "I've never seen a pessimist do useful work for the world."


1. Life

Only for today will I try to just experience the day - without wanting to solve all the problems in my life at once.


2. Diligence

Only for today will I attach great importance to my demeanor and be elegant in my behavior. I will not criticize anyone. I will not seek to correct or improve others - just myself.




3. happiness


Only for today will I be happy in the certainty that I was made for happiness - not for the other, but also for this world.



4. Realism


For today only, I will adjust to the circumstances without asking that the circumstances adjust to my desires.




5. Reading


For today only, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to good reading. Just as eating is necessary for the life of the body, good reading is necessary for the life of the soul.




6. Act


Just for today will I do a good deed. And I won't tell anyone.



7. Overcome

Just for today I'll do something I don't feel like doing. If I feel sick inside, I will make sure that nobody notices.



8. Plan

Just for today I will make an exact program. Maybe I'm not sticking to it exactly. But I will write it down and beware of 2 evils: the rush and the indecision.


9. Courage

Just for today I won't be afraid. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy anything that is beautiful - and I will believe in goodness.


10. Trust

For today only, will I firmly believe (even if circumstances show otherwise) that God's good providence will take care of me like there is no one else in the world.


Spirituality with more fun

What to do if your church service is too boring

“I would love to go to church on Sundays, but our service here is so uninspired and boring. I experienced great church services on vacation and I am sad that my home is so different. Do you have any tips on how I can change that? ”So wrote a reader, whose name and place of residence we prefer not to reveal. In cooperation with the pastor Klaus Douglass from Niederhöchstadt near Frankfurt / M. Here are a few suggestions on how you can take small steps to start a positive local revolution (even if you are not the pastor) and make spirituality more fun on Sunday.


Offer yourself

If you ask pastors or church leaders about a more attractive service, you will often hear: "What else should we do, we can hardly do it now."

simplify tip: Make it clear that you don't want to grumble, but rather help. Find fellow campaigners. One can hardly get anything going, but a group of five can move a lot.


Crucial beginning

The first impression at an event is crucial. Is there hospitality here? Am I welcome as a newcomer?

simplify tip: If your community does not yet have a welcome service at the front door, encourage one. Offer to participate yourself. People prefer to be welcomed by people of about the same age. Name tags for those who greet you are an important aid. The pastor should also be present in the church before and after the service. For some parishioners it is the highlight of the week and important for the spirituality of Sunday to have exchanged a few personal words with their pastor.


Key factor market research

Frequent argument against change: “Our community doesn't want that.” But was it really asked? Do you know the opinion of those who do not come to church?

simplify tip: Thread in a survey, for example as a supplement to the church letter. Tenor: "I would come to the service if ..." Wherever such surveys were carried out, the results were surprising. People wanted the service to start at 11 a.m. or in the afternoon (Sunday is a rest day!), More silence - and mostly completely different songs.


The key factor is music

Numerous studies have shown that whether a church is full or not depends on the music to an extent of over 60%. Even a star preacher cannot fill the benches if the acoustic environment is not right. With a share of 0.2%, organ music is the most unpopular genre on the music market. Why do churches focus on this segment of all things? As soon as the organist steps down from the gallery and reaches into the keys of a piano, the acceptance of the music by the audience multiplies. After all, spirituality can also be exuberant and happy.

simplify tip: If you know a band or a high-profile musician, introduce them to your community. Sponsor modern music in church services.


Less is more

Are there opportunities for silence and prayer in your church service? Or is everything overflowing with liturgical chants, texts and addresses? Can you identify with the prayers presented? The basic idea of ​​prayer is to reach for the hand of God and not just for the gifts that he holds in his hand. Prayer is more than “asking for”. One needs rest for this aspect of spirituality.

simplify tip: Fight for more silence.Often a hard-to-bear service turns into a joyful event when things are courageously left out (which is sometimes more difficult than introducing something new).

There are many more suggestions in: Klaus Douglass, celebrate God's love. C & P Verlag, Emmelsbüll 1999, € 15. ISBN 3-928093-06-1.