Danias Garten

Vom Pflanzen, Nähren, Blühen und Ernten…

Zu viel zu tun – zu wenig Zeit September 28, 2016

Schon als Kind hatte ich vielseitige Interessen. Ich habe mir Instrumente beigebracht, mir Hörspiele ausgedacht und aufgenommen, ich habe gesungen, getanzt, gemalt, gelesen. Ich liebte es, Rollschuh zu fahren (und gleichzeitig zu singen), ich interessierte mich sehr für die Natur und Tiere, verbrachte Stunden auf dem Baum in unserem Garten und hing meinen Gedanken nach.

Im Gegensatz zu heute hatte ich damals nie das Gefühl, dass meine Zeit nicht reicht.

Meine Arbeit und meine Interessen sind heute noch genau so vielfältig, allerdings habe ich dauerhaft den Eindruck, dass ich, während ich das eine tue, das andere vernachlässige.

Als ich letzte Woche darüber nachdachte, dass meine Kindheit genau so gefüllt war wie mein Leben jetzt, nur MINUS die Angst, nicht genug Zeit für alles zu haben, wurde mir eines bewusst:

Viele Interessen, viele Dinge, die ich tun oder wissen wollte, haben mich damals nicht gestresst, weil ich voll und ganz eintauchte in das, was ich tat.

Ich hatte Lust an dem, was in diesem Moment meine Wahl war und verschrieb mich mit Haut und Haar, Herz und Verstand. Für diesen Moment, ohne an den nächsten zu denken.

Heute: Multitasking! Ich kann gleichzeitig zu Mittag essen und einen Text schreiben, während unten im Keller die Waschmaschine läuft, das Brot im Backofen backt und ich im Kopf eben aufliste, was heute unbedingt noch erledigt werden muss. Wenn ich komponiere, räume ich zwischendurch mal die Küche auf oder beantworte eMails. Überhaupt muss niemand, der mir SMS schreibt, lange auf eine Antwort warten. Ich kann gleichzeitig Großputz veranstalten, meine Kinder beim Hausaufgabenmachen betreuen, einen Text übersetzen, der miauenden Katze die Tür öffnen und die Post sortieren.

Mein Gehirn kann das, meine Hände und Beine machen mit – aber nicht mein Herz.

Nicht meine Seele.

Die kann nur sein, wo mein Herz ist, und das ist oft zerrissen zwischen Kindern und Karriere, Haushalt und Musik, meiner To-Do-Liste und der Sehnsucht nach Stille. Während ich eine Sache mache, bin ich mir gleichzeitig sehr bewusst, dass es 20 andere Dinge gibt, die ich gerade NICHT mache.

Heute, weiser und klüger (?), muss ich wieder neu einüben, was mir als Kind klar war, ohne dass es mir jemand sagen musste:

… dass meine Seele nur da sein kann, wo ich gerade bin, mit ungeteiltem Herzen. Nur dann kann sie sich öffnen, hat Zeit zum Atmen, Ausströmen, Aufnehmen.

… dass ich genügend Zeit habe, in jedem mir gegebenen Moment, und dass all diese Gedanken und Gefühle von Knappheit zuerst in meinem Kopf existieren, bevor sie sich in meinem Leben manifestieren.

… dass dieser Moment jetzt alles ist, was wirklich wichtig ist.

Und dass Blaise Pascal absolut Recht hat: “Die Weisheit führt uns zur Kindheit zurück.”




Too much to do, too little time

Even as a child I had many interests. I taught myself several instruments, I made up stories and recorded them on my cassette player, I sang, danced, painted, read. I loved rollerblading (and singing at the same time), I was very interested in nature and animals, I spent hours on the tree in our garden and let my mind wander.

Back then, other than today, I never had the feeling that I don’t have enough time.

Today my work and my interests are just as versatile, but I permanently feel that while I do one thing, I miss out on another.

Last week I thought about the fact that my childhood was just as filled as my life now, only MINUS the fear of not having enough time, when I realized something:

Back then I wasn’t stressed by my many interests because I fully engaged in whatever I did at that moment. I had fun with what I had chosen for now and was committed with all my heart and mind.

For that very moment, without thinking about the next one.

Today: multitasking!

I can have lunch and write lyrics at the same time, while the washing machine is running in the basement, the bread is baking in the oven and my mind goes through all the things I still need to do today. Sometimes, while I write music, I clean up the kitchen or answer emails. No one needs to wait a long time for me to answer their texts. I am able to clean the whole house while I oversee my kids doing their homework, and translate lyrics at the same time, opening the door for the meowing cat and sorting through the mail.

My brain is able to do all these things, my hands and legs follow easily – but my heart doesn’t.

Neither does my soul.

My soul can only be where I am with all my heart, and I am torn between children and career, house work and music, my to-do-list and my search for peace. While I am doing one thing I am very aware that there’s about 20 more that I am NOT doing right now.

Today, wiser and smarter (?), I need to learn again what I knew as a child without anyone telling me:

…that my soul can only be where I am wholeheartedly. Only there it can open, breathe, give, take in.

…that I actually do have time enough at any given moment, and that all these thoughts and feelings of scarcity start in my head first before they manifest in my life.

… that the only important thing right now is the actual moment.

And that Blaise Pascal was absolutely right: “ Wisdom is a return to childhood.”


Look at me! March 6, 2015

This morning I realized something.
My 4 year old son called out: “Mama, look at me!” And he showed me how he could jump on one leg over the bathroom rug. Which didn’t go very well, but he kept trying and wanting to show me.

I remembered all the “Mama, look at!”s I have heard in my life so far, and deep inside me I started to understand where they come from:
More than anything else we want to be seen.
We want to feel connected to the people around us, we want them to see who we are, what we do.
It doesn’t get less when we get older.
It only becomes more painful.
Because we reach out to people that are NOT our Mom and Dad, who know us inside out, and who (hopefully) never stop answering when we show ourselfes.
Now we reach out to strangers. People that we give power over us, a power to decide whether we’re good or bad, beautiful or ugly, genius or only medium or completely useless.
And the worst part: they’re not even aware!
They might say something or not say what we wanted them to say, accidently, without thinking, and our world crumbles.
What a mess!
And it becomes more complicated, because after a while we edit what we show. We’re not only editing for facebook, we are editing for everyone in our life. Only showing the pretty face. With a lot of photoshopping before we put it out there. Keeping the fear and the vulnerability to ourselfes.
How do we expect to be seen, then?
And so we are lonely. We keep reaching out, but we’re never fully satisfied with what we get back. We shout: “Look at me!”, and we show our jumping over bathroom rugs, but maybe no one’s interested and we may never hear “well done!”
We sit down, exhausted, and wonder: why jump if nobody’s looking?

This is what I felt like this morning: Lonely. Exhausted. Wondering: why jump?
…when my 4 year old called out: “Mama, look!!!”
And I looked.
And I saw. And I answered. And I gave him what he needed.
Christian tradition teaches us that giving is more blessed than receiving.
Perhaps we have to learn this all over again, on many levels.
Maybe I have to look even deeper than before. Not ruminating over “who is seeing me? Who is praising me?” It is in our nature that we want to be seen, I know that.
But in times that we’re not seen or heard, it doesn’t mean that there’s nothing left for us to do. We can turn the whole thing around and open our eyes.
It doesn’t have to be about you. You want it to be. But maybe it’s more about what you see. What you look at. About who you see. And what answer you give to them.

So, today, I will turn around to every single “Look at me!!!”, and give.
Give my time, my attention. Mary Oliver writes: “Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
And devotion is a form of love.
And love is what it all comes down to anyway. Right?

And now, please excuse me, my sons want to show me how they ride their bikes…

Look at!


On housework and soul work… February 21, 2015

Ok. Don’t laugh at me.
But this morning I had a spiritual breakthrough while I was… umm… cleaning my house.
So, lately I have been reading books like Thich Nhat Hahn’s “Miracle Of Mindfulness”, or “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, and the like, and they have slowly changed my life. They’re basically about – to put it in one phrase – being in the moment, and being grateful for it.
It’s not always easy, especially when there’s real problems, real suffering in and around you, when you feel like nothing’s stable and … fair, for that matter.
But I have experienced that going back to that one very moment that you’re in anyway and realizing all that it… GIVES… changes even the worst moments.

But back to cleaning the house this morning: I had so much fun!
HA! You think I’m crazy!
I couldn’t believe it at first, but when I started working this morning ( – and wow, it really needed to be done – ), I found myself more and more aware of what I really did.
I realized that I am CHANGING things here. That I am taking something dirty and transform it into something clean.
Anne Lamott writes in “Stitches” (which I am currently reading): “Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurection, the place of newness, freedom, justice. The equation is: life, death, resurrection, hope.”
Funny, but all of a sudden my housework became a part of that.
And while I was scrubbing the floor I became so grateful. For the house we live in. For my 3 children, playing peacefully while I was working. For my ability to move my hands and arms. For my eyes and ears. For being able to realize the color of the beautiful wooden floor in the light of this sunny saturday morning. For running water in our house. For our heater. For soap. For all the beautiful things I am surrounded with. For the smell of “freshness”. For my kitchen, for the fact that I was able to arrange the furniture and decorate the house the way I wanted it. For the ability to make things pretty. And keep them pretty.
Ann Lamott (again) writes: “Beauty is meaning.”
Somehow this morning I was able to not only regard the art I make, the songs I write, the things I edit and only show to the world when I think “this is how it’s supposed to be” as “beautiful”, but also the way this house looked and felt while I got it cleaner and cleaner. The meaning the things that I was cleaning have to our family, our life.

Scrubbing toilets this morning was my service.
Vacuuming the floor was my prayer.
Wiping surfaces and washing dishes felt like making music.
And when I was done another thing occurred to me: the act of taking care of these things CONNECTED me to them in a whole new way.
I don’t think I have ever appreciated this house and all that’s in it more than today. And I feel a part of it. It happened because I was in the moment. But at the same time, my awareness KEPT me in the moment.

Ok. This does not mean that from now on cleaning will always be that much fun. I know, I am living my life in circles, constantly moving, leaving, and coming back to where I was before, deepening.
It does not mean that my joy about washing laundry this morning has any great or meaningful effect on anything or anyone.
But Mother Teresa said that none of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
That’s what I did this morning. And I was grateful for it.
(And, by the way: the house looks really good now!) ;o)



ON PUTTING ON YOUR SHOES (Ode to my 4 year old) July 1, 2014

I told you to put on your shoes.

You sat down at the doorway, overlooking the big yard.
The sunshine came in through the weeping willow and made little spots on the ground right before you. 
You looked at them. They changed. Why did they change? The wind moved the branches.
The wind was soft, though. It tickled your skin. It smelled like wet grass. It just had rained an hour ago. But there was also a smell of earth. And raspberries. 
The wind made funny noises with the leaves on the tree. You hummed along, looking at the leaves getting moved by the wind, floating, dancing on those long delicate branches. 
A bumblebee buzzed by. You knew it, it has its nest in the wall of our barn. You followed it with your eyes. On the roof of the barn two little birds were sitting. They talked to each other. More birds talked back. The two little birds took off and flew over the roof to meet their friends in the garden.
The lush brown color of the barn against the blue sky. White clouds. Black and red bricks. Green trees. 
Your soccer ball. The swing moving in the wind. 
A little spider tried to crawl under the doormat. You followed it with your finger. You softly blew at it. It stopped moving. Then it continued its travel. You blew again, it stopped again. You smiled. You moved a little over to let it walk past your feet. 
Then you looked up again, held your nose in the breeze, blinked against the sunshine. 
Perfect peace.
Your shoes were standing next to you.
I had told you to put on your shoes.
I had done that many times before, then I’d walked away, only to come back 5 minutes later and see you sitting there, with your shoes still next to you, and getting mad at you for not doing what I told you to. 
This time I saw what you saw. I smelled what you smelled, I realized what you realized.
The world is one amazing place for our eyes and skins and ears and noses. Our hearts. Our souls.

YOU are the one with the perfect focus.
Keep teaching me, son, please, and don’t ever give up on me and my grown up ways. 
I am still learning.