What have I done?! What in the world have I done to myself?! Over and over I am torturing my mind. I could no longer ignore that I had broken down completely – hitting rock bottom in severe burn-out and a herniated spinal disc that needed surgery as it paralyzed my leg. My promising corporate career as an HR Director for the Trading Floor of an Investment Bank, has turned into a crash of my own life. But it wasn’t the job. In fact, I am not blaming anybody else than me – I had completely lost my balance and touch with myself. Too far I had distanced myself from my purpose and talents. Instead, I compensated the gap and friction this created with addictions over the course of nearly 20 years. Running away, distracting and numbing myself with smoking dope and excessive porn consumption – completely isolating and degenerating myself. I saw it coming for 10 years, yet I was not willing nor was I able to change course. I knew I had to break down before I was able to change – my mind was insane..
Well, here I was and felt that I would not make it to 50 if I continued like this. It took me almost two years to get back up on my feet again. After literally having to re-socialize myself I went on a healing journey as soon as I had gathered enough strenght again. After two months in an Ayurveda hospital in Kerala/India and two more months on Koh Phangan/Thailand I felt better but frustrated as none of the countless healings I have tried have really ignited a major shift. So I decided to travel back home – visiting Ubud/Bali for my last two weeks since I was already in the area.
I simply wanted to enjoy an easy program and went to an event at the Yoga Barn, which I thought was a lecture on breathing techniques. But when the facilitator Anthony Abbagnano (Alchemy of Breath) invited us to lay down and breathe together for an hour, I wondered what I had gotten myself into (again) and was so close to get up and leave. But I was too embarrassed to walk out in front of all these people. So I laid down and felt great resistance and annoyance towards all these people starting to make funny breathing sounds shortly into the session – it was just all too „hippie“ for me. Anthony guided us to breathe into whatever we were feeling at that very moment and suddenly I realized that I was not annoyed and frustrated with the people around me – but only myself. Subconsciously this has lifted me right over my point of resistance – I accessed all my suppressed emotions simply through my breath. Then it inevitably rolled over me – all the pain, anger, fear and loneliness of my past life started to burst out of me in tears like never before.
I was trembling and cramping – sobbing and crying out in agony. There was nothing else I could and actually wanted to do at this point. I felt the wisdom of my body had taken over – releasing trauma and self-abuse of the last two decades. This experience was so intense and cathartic that I had three people supporting me in the end – I melted into surrender, learning that it was ok to show vulnerability and actually being held while doing so. What a sweet teaching I had received from all the people involved that day!
After this Breathwork Session, I felt my heart again for the first time since childhood. I had been cracked wide open and circumstances in my life started to magically fall into place – I participated in the teacher training with Anthony and Alchemy of Breath, I bonded with amazing people in the Ubud community and even got together with a wonderful women that I should spend the coming year with. I ended up staying in Ubud for 6 months and keep coming back every year for several months.
Yes, Bali has truly changed my life – you can almost taste the power of healing and transformation in the air here. It has taught me to surrender rather than fight – to trust in myself and keep on expanding love and compassion. I have learned that we carry the most powerful healing tool literally right under our noses. My breath has become a constant companion in becoming conscious and aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions so I can correct them if they don’t serve me well. Whenever I fall back into unwanted behavior, I see it as a reminder to come back to alignment and take full ownership of who I want to be – because in the end, nobody else than me is responsible for how I feel.
Thank you Gods and Goddesses of Bali – I love you forever..)