#05 Frankl’s Logotherapy and why there is nothing wrong with you

During my Christmas holidays I read the book “Man’s search for meaning” by psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl. He survived the Second World War as a Jew being imprisoned in concentration camps. The statistical chances to survive his scenario were as low as 1 to 28. Before he was brought to his first concentration camp he designed “Logotherapy” and had the first sketches of his “theoretical child”. He carried the papers with him and begged that the guards would leave them to him when he entered the first concentration camp. Everything was taken away from him.

Yet he saw this time as a challenge to live the words of his theory in action and to find out more about the human psyche in this intense environment. After all he managed to write down his theory again at the end of his imprisonment and then he brought it into life after he was freed from the concentration camp.

Logotherapy derives from the Greek word logos and is translated to “meaning” in English. This therapy form aims at creating meaning in people’s lives.

Frankl repetitively quotes Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

One of Frankl’s claims is that most people nowadays do not actually need classical psychotherapy but are instead dealing with human difficulties and challenges in life. He does not deny that there are mental illnesses and that psychotherapy is absolutely necessary in society. Frankl says that we mostly need to find a different and healthier way of relating to life.

In our society today when having a problem we tend to take it personally and think something was wrong with us. Not only does this wrongly identify the problem but holds us back from working on our difficulties.

Frankl’s view of a naturally healthy human-being facing hurdles in life resonated strongly with me and resembles the ideas of life coaching. In life coaching the assumption is always that we work from the place of a healthy mind and move on from there. That allows the space for human difficulties to express themselves and to find means of overcoming them.

How this knowledge can help you

The next time you face a difficult situation in your life, I want to invite you to take another perspective. Instead of taking it personally try to see yourself as a healthy human-being facing a difficulty in life just like every other person out there does.

Doing it like this it will help you feel better about yourself and tackle your problem more effectively.

If you do have any questions or want to share something regarding this article please send me a message!

Namasté,

Chris

#04: sail boat metaphor

Every single one of us experiences discomfort, pain, anger, grief, illness or any other kind of unpleasantness in life. All of this exists next to all the comfortable experiences we have. It can be quite challenging to find a constructive way to deal with our suffering:

• If we just lean back and passively observe our suffering, pessimism and depression can creep in and fully overwhelm us.

• If we deny the uncomfortable situations of life, then we are lying to ourselves and continue living in a bubble.

An awesome visualization of the relationship between suffering and beauty is the metaphor of a sail boat.

The part of the hull that is below the water represents the suffering in all of its different shapes and forms. This includes our biographical difficulties, our destructive thinking habits, our anger, our sadness, etc.

Our everyday life is symbolized by the part of the hull which is above the water. This means all the little rewards and beautiful moments, the playfulness and the jokes, our distractions, etc.

The stretched sails represent the beauty, visions, wonders, the clarity and cleanliness and the longer-term satisfactions.

Without the sails the boat could not start moving into a direction where the captain wants it to go. If there are no sails the boat simply stays where it is or is passively moved around without ever taking any direction or reaching the point where it wants to be. But when the boat has a leakage in its hull even the best sails won’t help it moving forward. I really love this model because it makes a very complex inner relationship so easily graspable and visible. It helped me to relate to my current situation a lot and showed me clearly where I am at. I hope it has a similar effect for you!

Namasté and have a nice day,

Christian

Blog #03: sustainable growth

It is very natural to fall back into a habit of being comfortable. Once settled on our couch or bed in the warmth and coziness it can feel incredibly difficult to find the motivation to get up and do something, to get up and grow. For a long time I have been on the very other side of the spectrum and as you can see in my little drawing on the periphery of the circle is the panic zone. This is the area where you feel overwhelmed by life and where the challenge is too demanding. In the long run this is definitely as dysfunctional as the comfort zone. We want to position ourselves somewhere in the middle, in the growth zone. There is nothing comfortable about the area where we grow but we want to keep it in a way that is not overly challenging for ourselves.

We want to be in a state where we can still look after ourselves and listen to the needs of our bodies. Being in the growth zone means that you will try out new things and do mistakes. There is no way around it and mistakes help us learn, help us succeed. Yet however you are not asking too much from yourself. You do not ask yourself to be aware of 10 things at the same time in the beginning but maybe start with the most important things. Over time I took on more and more responsibilities within my life and gently broadened the number and intensity. If you do it this way and stay in contact with yourself it will be a sustainable growth over a longer amount of time. Reaching different stages of life you will then understand how you got there and can therefore pass it on to other people. Sharing your knowledge is beautiful and brings societal value to it.

I really like how a friend would always ask me whether my goals were 20% out of my comfort zone. Making sure that they were not impossible to attain for me it still took effort for me to reach them.

In the beginning of my life I spent a lot of time in comfort zone because I did not really see what I needed to do to get where I wanted to be. In fact I did not even know where I really wanted to be…

In the process of finding out I reached a point where I got a very clear vision. Then I knew where I wanted to go with my life and who I wanted to become. Putting all of my efforts into manifesting the new findings. Not knowing better I put myself repetitively out there into the panic zone. Even though I was growing, it was a painful process and not seldom did I feel the terror of overly challenging myself. Reading a lot of philosophical books was a very unsettling and ungrounding experience. I really wanted the opposite of what I knew from beforehand as fast as possible. This feeling of a hopeless stagnation regarding my inner life, my dreams and visions was something I chose not to accept anymore.

During the last few years I found a way more gentle approach with myself and learn now in a way that is way more sustainable and kind to myself. The best news is that when you keep yourself repetitively out of the comfort zone, growth zone becomes your new comfort zone. Nowadays I feel very uncomfortable and like I was wasting my time and life when I slip into the comfort zone. It is like an inner engine that keeps going as soon as it has some momentun. That does not mean that I was never still as practices such as meditation are a very integral part of my life. I learned over the years that it is not about fixing or optimizing yourself but more about finding a healthier way of being and a more resilient attitude towards life and the circumstances we are facing.

If you feel like you can relate to this experience and want to look for some fulfilment, book your free personal intake call with me where we will explore how we can work together. I would love to work with you and function as a sparring partner when it comes to the purpose of your life.

Namasté and lots of beauty to you,

Chris

Blog #02: C R E A T I V I T Y

I never believed that I was able to “do any art” or really express myself. In the art education of the public schooling system I received terrible grades and my sister was always “better” in the creative things than me. So I simply gave up on any kind of self-expression, put it aside for those other people… Then I came into my university times and I started meditating. I came in contact with more artists and when I found myself in a community I was painting a wall with a friend. Again there was this nagging self-doubt that what I was doing was not good enough, not beautiful enough.

She was painting a beautiful face and my painting was just a few lines I felt. But then there was another friend coming over to me and said: “Man, what you paint is really beautiful, it is just very abstract and different.” From that moment a lot has changed and I bought myself some crayons and paper. In the beginning I was not even nearly happy with what I was doing but it felt so good to just do it. It was really healing to observe myself as well while doing it and see where this self-criticism was coming from.

Who are you actually painting for?

When I was thinking this I realized that it was just for myself, just about the fun of it. It is so much more about how comfortable you feel and how you relate to what you are doing than about the way it externally looks in the end.

So do not let yourself get discouraged by external opinions about your creativity and art. Just grab whichever medium you wish (paint, writing, music, dancing,cooking, arranging flowers,…) and START. It is such a beautiful way to get into a deeper contact with yourself and getting to know yourself. For me the whole process was very adventurous as I never knew what was coming next, had no clear idea of what was going on inside myself before I could see it.

Every doubt or self-criticism on this way is an invitation to reflect on and work with. Where does it come from?
Who might have said that to you in your childhood?
Is this believe true for YOU?

Does it serve you to think this way?

 

Canvas of my arrival in Saarbrücken

Podcast #01: 5 Schritte um deine Ängste zu überwinden

Immer wieder treffen wir im Leben auf Ängste, die uns davon abhalten unsere Träume zu verfolgen und das Leben zu führen, welches wir wirklich leben möchte. In diesem Podcast teile ich mit Dir die 5 Schritte, die Du in dein Leben integrieren kannst um deine Ängste zu überwinden.