jueves, 31 de diciembre de 2009

My Goals for 2010

Happy New Year!!!

I wish you all a wonderful 2010, full of love, joy and happiness, warm cuddly hugs, great sex, deep harmonious connections, fun conflicts to solve, lots of laughter, dramatic heartbreaks and crazy butterflies in your stomach!

My goals for 2010 are very simple:

1) Start a business as a Soul Realignment practitioner and make 1600€/month by the end of the year.

2) Lose 5kg.

I am very excited! I talked a lot about it with my spirit guides in the last two days. We hammered out great plans! I asked them for specific tips about diet, fitness and business. They told me which kind of diet and exercise is most aligned with my soul's highest path and purpose, the highest good of all, and my goals, and gave me some additional tips. They also outlined an action plan for me in order to launch my business successfully.

I love my spirit guides. They're such great assistants. :-)

My general intention for 2010 is to show some size. What I call "size" is an attitude, an energy, that I intuitively understand, but have a hard time explaining. It's about my ability to make a difference in the world. It's also about living up to my potential and fulfilling my life purpose. Showing some real size also means dedicating my life to the highest good of all no matter what that entails. I cannot yet really explain it, but you hopefully will see it in me soon.

Looks like my 2010 will be challenging, exciting, fun, and sexy! What about yours?

Norway Pics

I didn't take many pictures during my Norway trip. Most of the time, I just enjoyed the moment and did not think of my camera. The rest of the time, it was too dark to take decent pics. Here are a few of them though.

This is my "bonnet with holes in it", that no Norwegian in their right mind would ever wear, according to Tarjei. In the background, King Harald's castle in Oslo.

Here is the castle:

And the view on Oslo from the castle:

The opera: good sungazing spot, according to Víkþórr.

It's fun, you can go on the roof!

Here we are, the two of us, on the roof of the opera:

It was damn cold!

Oslo in the middle of the afternoon:

After Oslo, I went to visit Tarjei in Seljord:

I loved the snow and the mountains.

And the pretty houses!

At night (which means basically for twenty hours a day) the town was really cozy.

When I came back to Oslo, there was snow there too, and it was even colder than before. Tarjei and Víkþórr sharing gloves:

And me again:

martes, 22 de diciembre de 2009

One Hot Month in the Cold - My First Norway Trip

I was right! There are polar bears everywhere on the streets in Norway! The only difference between them and normal polar bears is that they look like humans and are called "Norwegians". But the behavior is the same. :þ

I have found Norwegian people to be of the "rough with a big heart" kind. For my French standards, they're totally rude. They're gruff, unemotional, and have this hard vibe in them. It is in their manners, in their language, in their faces, everywhere. I like it. It is sexy. Lots of very beautiful people there. Behind the icy toughness wall, I have found them to be warm-hearted, genuine and friendly. Those I got to know better revealed themselves as extremely charming, lovely and very funny people. I laughed even more than usually there, and had a lot of fun!

It is a shame. I spent one month in Norway and did not see one single fjord! I stayed only in Oslo and in a town called Seljord that is in a rural area of Vest Telemark. I did not do much sightseeing. I saw mountains in Seljord, but did not climb on any. At least I went for walks in the snow, there was lots of it. But my landscape admiring was very limited. Same when I was in Oslo. I went to see a nice park and climbed on the roof of the opera, but did not have time for the viking ship museum or any other cultural stuff.

The main focus of the trip was clearly people. Of course I spent time with Víkþóri whom I hadn't seen in months, but also met some wonderful new people. Some I already closely knew online or had heard a lot about, so I was happy to meet them in person at last. Others were previously completely unknown to me. I spent most of my time focused on getting to know them better and enjoying their company. There are also people that I would have loved to meet but did not have the opportunity to. I hope to see them next time.

Going to Norway broadened my horizons and pushed me out of my comfort zone in many ways. I did things I had never done before, like juggling, wearing a strap-on during sex, giving Soul Realignment readings in person, writing Norse in runes or hugging several persons at the same time. I also did things that I am totally scared of, for example singing. A lot happened. I met very sexy men, two of which I immediately fell in love with. I was forced to dance salsa, to wrestle, to spy on the naked neighbors, and to watch two and a half Austin Powers movies, which was really hard. I got drunk from drinking half an alcohol free beer. There was an extraordinary connection while dancing with my friend Tarjei, lots and lots of cuddling, hugging and happy loving moments, a spontaneous session of collective cross-dressing, a big heartbreak, hot sex, and some challenging situations. It was awesome.

Unfortunately I didn't learn much Norwegian. But hearing it every day was such a delight! I was happy and fulfilled. I tried to pretend that I was Norwegian when shopping alone, but it never worked. I used all the right words, said "Hei" and "Ja takk" or "Nei takk" when they asked "Blablablapoosa" (which means if I want a bag) and "Hav det godt" when leaving...  but they just heard the weird accent and replied in English. Damn! Tarjei said that I am also way too short to be Norwegian and that my clothes looked too foreign. No Norwegian in their right mind would wear a bonnet with holes in it, he said. Oh well.

I also discovered Swedish when I met a Swede called Michael. I had never heard Swedish before and swooned every time he was speaking it. It is way softer than Norwegian, and very sexy. When he was talking with me in Swedish, I didn't understand a word but just closed my eyes and felt happy. It felt like he was caressing me, when maybe he was talking about doing the laundry? Maybe I just find Swedish so sexy because Michael is such a beautiful and sexy man, I don't know.

This trip definitely was a deeply transformational experience. I feel that I came back as a different person. There just was not enough time. There are so many things that I didn't get to do! Now I am more than ever in love with Norway. I want to go live there as soon as possible.

Even though they don't seem to have much of an ecological consciousness! It was pretty much impossible to find any organic food outside of Oslo, and even in Oslo there wasn't much. I was also shocked when I saw the huge amounts of plastic that they use to package everything they sell, especially fruit and veggies. Every single lettuce comes in a plastic box with a plastic bag around it. And the garbage does not even get properly sorted and recycled. I don't want to know how much waste they produce every year.

And the weather? Oh yeah. Big shock when I arrived. I realized that my "winter coat" is a joke there. So are my other French clothes. Stealing a big woolen pullover from Víkþóri helped. I don't like wearing wool (it's not vegan) (and it itches and scratches) but I was just desperate.

My lungs were hurting because of the cold air. I tried to walk barefoot, that was bearable for ten or fifteen minutes but more was impossible. My feet weren't used to shoes anymore and started to bleed and hurt when I wore some. My lips suffered a lot too. I had to give up on my cold showering habit. As I have discovered, cold water is not equally cold everywhere! The one in Norway is evil. I even went back to sleeping on beds, mattresses and couches instead of on the floor because I was freezing my ass off at night.

After a while of bitching around about the weather, I surrendered. Fortunately, I had taken my big hiking shoes with me. I bought a few pairs of really warm socks to go with them, wore pants and a long skirt one above the other and adopted the stolen pullover as my daily companion. Wearing hiking shoes together with a gothic skirt definitely offends my sense of style, but I didn't care.

In the end I got used to the cold. I even loved it! Cold, gray, wet weather has always been my absolute favorite anyway. I very much enjoyed taking walks in the snow. I love snow, skies of steel and this biting cold when the temperatures go down to  -10 or -15°c. The last week, I was disappointed when it was only -8°c. I even loved the four little hours of real daylight and the fact that it's completely dark at 3:30pm. It's cozy. This way the evening lasts for many hours. I like evenings.

Now the plan is to focus on completing my Soul Realignment course, then start my business as a practitioner, and as soon as I can afford it, emigrate!

martes, 8 de diciembre de 2009

My First Reading

I gave my very first Soul Realignment reading to my very first practice client. It was much more exciting than the first time I had sex. And also much scarier. When I was on Skype, about to tell him what I found in his soul record, I was terrified.

Him: So, let's do it.
Me: Noooo! I'm scared!
Him: Come on, tell me.
Me: No, I'm too shy!

Despite all the nervousness and insecurity, I eventually managed, and it went quite well! Now I am very curious to see how he will do and how his life will change in the coming weeks and months.

I will never forget about him, that's for sure. The first notch on my belt!

The most incredibly awesome part of the whole work for me was the clearing of his soul record. I saw it happen. I saw his Higher Self, at first surrounded with dark crappy stuff, and then this dark crappy stuff disappeared and was progressively replaced with bright light. I felt very warm in my chest during the process.

When we were done with it, and he was standing there, strong and clean, with his spheres of protection up, I saw him for what he really is. I saw an incredibly beautiful soul, standing there, in all its magnificent, powerful glory, like a knight in shining armor. I will never forget the deep joy I felt in that moment.

I love my job.

lunes, 30 de noviembre de 2009

Hug Threesome

Have you ever hugged two persons at the same time?

I'm currently in Oslo, Norway. I met some great people here, two of which I spent the last weekend with. At some point, I was hugging one of them, when the other one asked if he could join us. The first one replied "Yeah, man!" and opened one arm to him.

It was wonderful! Whoa. It felt so amazing to hug both of them simultaneously while they were also hugging each other. What an awesome energy we created! It was so powerful and loving. We kept hugging closely for a very long time, and did it a couple more times the next day. It just felt so damn good. I loved it. It was terrific.

A hug is a powerful thing. A one-on-one hug already creates an energy bigger than the sum of the individual ones. Taking in one person more makes the additional energy creation even more intensive.

If you never had a hug threesome, maybe it's time to try that out! ;-)

miércoles, 25 de noviembre de 2009

Your Feelings are Self-Made

Imagine it's early in the morning, and you are standing in the bakery, waiting for your turn to buy a baguette. (There's no baguette where you live? Never mind, just imagine you're French.) Suddenly some guy rushes in, ignores you and loudly asks for two croissants right under your nose. How do you react?

You could feel humiliated, remember that other people always walk all over you, but be too timid to claim your breadly rights (and feel bad about that too).
You could think “Wow, this guy must really be in a hurry today!”, smile and admire the beautiful cake in front of you.
You could be outraged at such rudeness, step forward and politely but firmly ask for your baguette, dammit.
You could feel sorry for the poor devil, because you imagine he gets whipped around by his wife and has to bring her croissants asap or else she'll nag at him for a month.

There is not only one single way to react to a given situation.

The way you feel, what you think and how you behave in any situation is never caused directly by the situation itself. It's only the consequence of the way you perceive this situation.

This is linked to whether you judge what happens as good, bad, neutral, or don't judge it at all. It depends on what the situation means to you. You will see it through the filter of your beliefs and interpret it accordingly. You will be influenced in that by your general attitude and way of being. More generally, your reaction is a manifestation of your mental, emotional and energetic state of being.

The feelings of someone who is usually in a state of fear and insecurity will be completely different from the feelings of someone who is in a confident state of power and peace, even if the situation is the same.

Fortunately, we are not the victims of our beliefs and state of being! We can pick our beliefs. We can choose to engage with certain energies, or not. Therefore, we are free to choose how we react. We are the creators of our own feelings.

Which also means that we are 100% responsible for them. If we are the ones creating and choosing them, then logically they are entirely our own responsibility and nobody else's. Full power and full responsibility go hand in hand.

As I learned in my Soul Realignment training, sometimes we have some blocks at soul-level that create negative thoughts and/or emotions in us. These thoughts and emotions are not truly ours, even though we identify them as such. In such a case, it can be difficult to choose how we feel. No matter how much we work on it, we will just have this negative stuff pop into our mind and make us feel bad.

However, we only have these soul-level blocks because at some point we made a choice that allowed them to be there. We didn't do it intentionally or consciously, but it still was our doing. So, indirectly, our feelings still are the consequence of our own choice. The only difference is that if we are affected by such a soul-level block, we might need some Soul Realignment to get rid of it, whereas if we don't have such a block, we have the full power to change our feelings right now. In the end it still boils down to the fact that we are 100% responsible for them.

I once lost my best friend over the 100% responsibility principle. When I discovered it, I was in a very close friendship with a girl I liked a lot. Realizing that I was responsible for my own feelings was one of the biggest breakthroughs in my life! It was several years ago. Back then, I was emotionally unstable and struggling with negative feelings. The idea of being able to choose the way I felt was like paradise to me. It opened completely unexpected doors.

Of course she was the first one I told about it. To my great surprise, she got very angry. She perceived it as meaning that her feelings would be her fault and that she would not be entitled to feel bad anymore. I tried to explain to her that it has nothing to do with fault. I was so enthusiastic. All I saw was the awesome power such an attitude gives us. But she maintained that others cause her feelings, and that for any normal person, feeling bad is a logical and necessary consequence of crappy life circumstances.

I remember her defending her powerlessness as if it were a right. Or even a duty. Like, if someone is mean to you and you don't feel bad, then you must be some kind of heartless bitch. We had a big heated argument about this and from that day on I never saw her again. She just stopped calling. I didn't call her either. I just knew we were not compatible with each other anymore. So I let her go.

It is true that when we accept full responsibility for our feelings, we cannot blame anybody else for them anymore. Damn. But on the other hand, it gives us so much power! It makes us invulnerable and safe no matter what our life circumstances are. Even when we don't succeed in feeling good all the time, at least we know that when we feel bad, we are the one actually choosing to feel bad. We are the one doing this to ourselves. Nobody else can hurt us as long as we don't accept to hurt ourselves.

Then we don't need to be afraid of things such as rejection, abandonment or judgment anymore. We can let go of control and protections. Bye bye, walls and weapons. What a freedom! :-)

viernes, 20 de noviembre de 2009

Soul Realignment is Scary!

Speaking of fear, this reminds me that I've been experiencing a lot of it since I began with my Soul Realignment practitioner training.

Soul Realignment is totally changing the way I see the world at the moment. A lot of things that I didn't understand before start making a lot of sense now. I can also see how incredibly useful and valuable it can be to others that I am allowed to check out and clear their soul record. When I see the blocks and restrictions that I find there, I can imagine how much easier life will be for them after this crap is gone.

At the same time, with greater power comes greater responsibility, and that is scary. What if I do something wrong, huh? What if I'm not good enough as a psychic?

Also, for someone with a rational and non-religious background like me, Soul Realignment is totally out-there. I'm comfortable with talking to spirit guides. But Soul Realignment is three levels higher on the sci-fi scale. I'm still weirded out by some of the things I'm learning.

For example, soul groups of origination. I have learned that different souls come from different places in the Universe, and that the energy of these places affects us so much that it becomes a relevant aspect of our personality when we incarnate. It also partly determines our life purpose and explains a lot about the way we feel and behave and the things happening to us.

The background of some of these groups and the stories about how they came to Earth is so fantastic that sometimes I think I must be nutty as a fruitcake for believing it. Yet I do! It just makes so much sense. I have long noticed that some of the people around me have a similar "feel" to them. I couldn't quite explain it, but in some subtle way they just feel similar, even though they have different personalities. And now I found out that they belong to the same soul group! And that this soul group's background is a good explanation for many things about them. Holy shit!

Aside from intergalactic wars, spaceships and parallel universes, I also learn about astral planes, curses, ghosts, etheric implants and all kinds of other wondrous stuff. I'm psyched.

Becoming a Soul Realignment practitioner is like entering a whole new world. I admit that I'm terrified!!! And also very, very excited. I can't wait to see what my practice clients will say when I'll explain to them what I found in their soul record, how this might affect their lives, and what they can do about it.

That too is damn scary. What if they totally don't relate to what I'm saying? Argh.

viernes, 13 de noviembre de 2009

I'm going to Norway!!!

I'm going to Norway! I'm going to Norway, lalala! *dances around, jumps and laughs*

I bought the tickets today. I got the intuitive nudge to do it and followed my impulse. It went so fast that I got scared afterwards, I was afraid I could have forgotten something. But it looks like there's nothing in the way. I even made sure that I have a valid passport!

I'm leaving in one week: on Saturday, November 21st.

I'm soooooo excited!!!!!!!!!

It's silly. I have traveled before. But this time, it's Norway. I mean, Noorrrwaaayyy. Every time I have heard the word "Norway" in the last nine or ten months, it felt like someone was touching my boobs.

Norway is such a heroic and fascinating country. They have an extremely sexy language. They have the vikings (my ancestors). And fjords, mountains and snow.

I feel drawn to Norway so powerfully and on such an instinctive level that I really wonder what's waiting for me there! It must be something incredible.

What's sure is that Víkþórr is waiting for me there. :-) And he is incredible. Also, there are a few more wonderful people there that I am thrilled to meet in person at last.

But it's more than all that. I don't know what it is, but I'm looking forward to it!

jueves, 12 de noviembre de 2009

Is it Safe to Trust Everybody?

I recently shared some useful beliefs. One of them was "I trust everybody". In a comment, lovely Andrew asked me if it is safe to have such a belief.

Yes, it is safe. It is safe because we are safe at all times, unless we make ourselves unsafe by choice.

If you ask me, I'd even say that we can only be fully safe if we fully trust.

Wondering if it is safe to trust everybody implies two things.

It implies that if someone deceives us, lies to us, doesn't keep their word, doesn't fulfill our expectations, lets us down, takes advantage of us, etc., in short, if someone behaves in a way that we think is not okay and breaks our trust, then this can actually hurt us. Nobody would wonder whether it is safe or not to trust others if safety were not an issue, so this implies that other people's actions have the power to seriously affect us.

It also implies that the more you trust others, the greater the risk. Like, trusting a few people is safe, but everybody? Again, nobody would ask this question without the assumption that the more unconditionally you trust, or the more people you trust, especially without knowing them, the higher the probability that you could get hurt.

I disagree with both of these assumptions.

Other people's actions cannot hurt me unless I allow them to do so. I know that I am the creator of my own feelings and that I am free to choose how I react to whatever situation shows up in my life.

Seen this way, even when others break my trust and deceive me, lie to me, let me down or take advantage of me and so on, I still have the choice to let this affect me, or not. In case shit happens, I know I can take it. Therefore, trusting others is not any more risky than not trusting them. I am safe either way.

Besides, does shit never happen to people who don't trust others easily? I highly doubt that. In my experience, the contrary is the case. We see what we believe. When we are full of fear and believe that others are out to screw us over, then that is what tends to happen to us.

The probability of having shit happen to us is much higher when we are full of shit inside. Like attracts like. The more we let go of the fear and make the choice to trust, the lower the probability that we will be proven wrong. Trusting greatly contributes to our safety. There will be less shit inside that could attract the shit outside.

My "100% trust is default"-policy works great for me. I have found that the people in my life tend to be absolutely trustworthy and fair. I often get surprisingly much from them; more than I expect. I cannot even remember the last time I felt intentionally taken advantage of or deceived.

From time to time, someone unintentionally does something to me that I find is not okay. When this happens, I re-evaluate my relationship with them. I might completely let go of it, or reconfigure it, or just continue without changing anything. I do this only once something has happened, though. Why would I mistrust someone preventively? This is an absurd idea.

Some people believe that trust is something that one needs to build. Preferably slowly. Something that we need to earn by repeatedly proving our loyalty and reliability, before we get the privilege of being trusted. They believe that we should not trust people we don't know. More generally, we should not open up to or rely on anybody without being assured that we won't get hurt, disappointed or taken advantage of as a result. Like, let's not trust in order not to fall on our nose.

Such an attitude does not serve us. It's a way of trying to avoid risk by controlling our external life circumstances. Trying to control what we are scared of is futile. It just doesn't work.

Obviously, mistrusting others is by no means a guarantee that no shit will ever happen. If you let your well-being depend on other people's actions, you are fundamentally unsafe anyway, no matter how much or how little you trust others and no matter how well you succeed in avoiding opportunities to get challenged.

Trying to avoid risk means seeing ourselves as vulnerable and not trusting ourselves to be able to handle whatever we might get confronted with. That's a very weakening message that we send to ourselves.

The cautious attitude is based on lots of fears. These fears not only attract a lot of shit that would not happen to us if we didn't have the fears in the first place. They also prevent us from relaxing and opening up. They prevent love from flowing freely. The resulting feeling of connection to others is suboptimal. When you don't fully trust, you cannot fully love.

Only when we let go of control and fear and trust others unconditionally can we be open enough to experience love in all its warm magnificence. Are you ready for that? :-)

martes, 10 de noviembre de 2009

What is Fear?

Have you ever asked yourself what fear is exactly? Tonight, a wonderful person wrote on Facebook that "Fear is cancer of the mind". Got me thinking!

I believe that fear is not something that exists. It's only the absence of something that exists: love. Every time I experience fear, when I look deep inside, I can spot some lack of love somewhere. We get these anxious feelings and suffer when we are being disconnected from love. We call this state fear, but actually there is nothing to give a name to.

Fear is an impostor. Have you ever heard of these defenseless, harmless animals in the jungle who are able to mimic other, dangerous or poisonous species to impress their predators and avoid getting eaten? That's how I see fear too. It shows up wearing its disguise, like "Ho-ho-ho, I am the big bad wolf!!" and wants you to be scared. But the thing is, when you pull its beard instead of running away, it bursts like a bubble and dissolves! Poof!

Fear is an illusion. For a long time, I thought if I didn't listen to my fear, it would become reality. It was something like a superstition: "Oh my God, if I don't take it seriously, it will happen!". But I was wrong! When I tried it out, nothing happened at all.

Fear is a choice. Fear does a great job at trying to convince you that you'd better listen to it. It wants your attention and energy. However, you don't have to dwell on fearful thoughts. When they arise, you're free to say "No thanks!" and let go of them in peace. Fear would be delighted if you forgot this.

Even though fear feels ugly and repulsive, it just wants to be loved. Just like those masters of camouflage and mimicry in the jungle, behind its scary disguise fear is a cute, lovable creature. That's not surprising, since you are a cute, lovable creature, and fear is you.

Fear is just a particular state of being that we are in sometimes. It's an energy that we can create within ourselves and radiate, but also stop resonating with in a heartbeat - just like any other energy. We call it a negative energy because when we allow ourselves to engage with it, we block the flow of love through us and create disharmony in ourselves as well as in the world.

So, at this time I see fear as an energetic state of being, a choice, an illusion, an aspect of myself and ultimately a lack of love. What is fear according to you? :-)

jueves, 5 de noviembre de 2009

Choosing Who you Spend your Time with is Not a Love Issue

One of the beliefs I recently shared as a part of a successful mindset in social situations is that whether you choose to spend time with someone or not has nothing to do with how much you love them. It is a strategic time-management choice, not a love issue. Let's elaborate.

Some people associate loving someone, both in a romantic or non-romantic way, with wanting to spend time with this person. They also associate not spending any time with someone with not loving them.

I don't subscribe to this point of view. In my opinion, loving someone does not imply in any way that I spend time with them. And not spending time with someone does not imply in any way that I don't love them. There are people that I love and chose to throw out of my life completely. There are also lots of people that I love, yet never or almost never spend any time with. I don't love these people any less than those other people that I do choose to spend my time with. It is not a love issue.

Why is it a time-management issue?

When we have a specific goal, or when we simply grow and feel like bringing some new energy into our life, we tend to surround ourselves with people who already have reached that goal or already radiate this energy that we want. This can be done consciously, as a smart move. But most of the time, it just happens naturally. We automatically feel drawn to these people, maybe without even knowing why. It's only logical: they already have what we want. Their energy feels attractive to us because that's what we're looking for.

Such an intuitive attraction to these people is a good thing. By spending time with them, we learn from them. Most of all, over time our energy adjusts to theirs. They rub off on us.

Some of the people we love might not be in that place that we want to be in, or not radiate this energy that we want more of. We then tend to lose interest in spending too much time with them. This is natural. Their energy is not what we are looking for.

We might even feel that spending time with them holds us back. We influence each other energetically. The more we engage with someone, the more this reinforces the energies inside of us that resonate with their energy. It is difficult to create something new if our old energetic state is permanently being reinforced by the people we surround ourselves with.

Since we can only devote a limited amount of time to socializing, spending time with those people that we want to learn from vs. those that are no energetic match for us at this time is a time-management choice.

Why is it not a love issue?

Choosing not to spend our time with someone does not mean that we don't love them. It simply means that our energies are not very compatible at the moment.

An immediate example that comes to mind are smelly orcs who are abusive, violent, manipulative, or otherwise harmful to you. Kicking those out of your life is an elementary self-protection measure. Does it mean you should stop loving them? Certainly not. Everybody is lovable, including smelly orcs (or killers). You can love them, yet stop associating with them. You will still be connected to them whether you talk to them or not. You can send love to them, include them in your prayers if you do pray, have loving feelings towards them, and not talk to them. Why not?

Does choosing not to engage (too much) with someone mean that they are "not good enough" or "less lovable"? No, not at all. All energies are perfectly fine. Just because you want to create something specific does not mean that everything else is bad or wrong in any way.

For example, let's say that consciously or subconsciously you want to bring more authority into your life. I am all about love, compassion, oneness, kindness and so on. Maybe courage as well, but certainly not authority. Would it be smart of you to spend a lot of time with me? Noooo. Go away! Go see Steve Pavlina instead. You'll probably feel much more drawn to him than to me anyway.

If you feel strongly drawn to Steve and want to spend time with him instead of with me,

does it mean that I am less worthy or less interesting than Steve? No. It's just different energies. Your choice is based on what you want to create in your life and whom you feel intuitively drawn to. There is no space for judgment in that matter.
Does it mean that you don't love me? No. You can very well love me and spend your time with someone else. This is no contradiction.
Does it mean that you should feel guilty for shunning my company? No. Your spending your time with someone else simply shows that I don't radiate the energy that you feel attracted to right now. This means nothing bad about me. And, if I have a life outside of you, which should be the case anyway, then I do perfectly fine with or without you.


Why is associating love with spending time together a crappy idea?

Choosing to spend your time with the people you are already used to and clinging to them no matter what out of sentimentalism, even though you would naturally feel more drawn to other people, puts you into a place of resistance that will block you in your growth. Choosing to dissociate love from spending time together allows you to go your own path without disconnecting emotionally from others. Disconnection creates suffering.

Associating love with spending time together makes love conditional and kills its beauty. Like, "if you love me, you will spend time with me.". Ugh. Where's the freedom? If the people you love also love you, they want the best for you. If the best for you is to spend your time with someone else, they will accept it. Expecting someone to spend time with you if they love you is not loving them. It's your ego trying to possess and control them. Which is impossible.

Spending time with people because you feel that you should do so if you love them, or in order not to hurt them, is highly disrespectful both towards yourself and towards them. How could that be love?

Just two days ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine. He walked away, saying that he couldn't stand my energy. I really like that! I appreciate his honesty and his ability to make clear choices for himself. That is admirable. I also very much appreciate that he trusts me to be able to deal with him walking away without taking responsibility for my feelings. I don't feel less loved by him now. On the contrary.

Let's be flexible!

Relationships can smoothly fade in and out of our lives and in again, depending on how we resonate with each other at any given time. We stay connected at all times anyway. All this only becomes a drama when the ego steps in and considers it an intolerable insult that someone else would be "preferred" over ourselves.

People change. The ones that are not compatible with you right now can become a good energetic match for you in the future. They can evolve and start radiating different energies. You can evolve and suddenly feel attracted to their energy. Or both of this can happen. One never knows.

And what if someone's energy never becomes compatible with yours again? Well, so be it. Let them go in peace. You can love each other and not have any contact in this lifetime. Trust your loved ones to be fine without you in their physical life.

What does love mean to you?

The above is just how I see it. If you think that loving someone has to imply spending time with them, or that if someone does not spend any time with you, they don't really love you, ask yourself what loving someone truly means to you.

Does it come from your soul or from your ego?

Is it love, or is it fear and attachment?

What are the conditions for you to believe that someone loves you?

What does it imply for you to love someone?

And does any of the above necessarily require that you spend time together?

jueves, 22 de octubre de 2009

Example of an Empowering Social Mindset

When it comes to social skills and relationships, I always say it's all a matter of mindset. But what mindset exactly?

That is up to you to decide for yourself. We're all different. You need to find what works for you.

Here is one example of a mindset that works. It works for me. Maybe it can inspire you in finding your own empowering mindset?

Beliefs about Myself

I am a wonderful person.

I am interesting.

I know what I want.

I'm clear about my goals, values, and life purpose.

I am sexy.

I love myself damn fucking much.

People enjoy talking with me and spending time with me.

I am great in bed. Or in any other place than the bed.

I am 100% responsible for my own feelings, actions, and reality.

I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and to accept change - including in my social life.

I am perfectly fine as I am right now. (Still working on this one: sometimes I still dislike my overweight!)

Beliefs about Others

Other people are wonderful persons. There is beauty in everyone. We are all incredibly fascinating creatures. Everybody is interesting.

Other people are friendly.

I trust everybody.

Everybody likes me. When someone doesn't like me, this has nothing to do with me personally. It's because in their eyes I represent something that they don't like.

I love everybody. When I don't like someone, it's because they trigger energies in me that I don't like. It has nothing to do with them personally.

Nobody can hurt me if I don't allow them to do so.

Other people are 100% responsible for their own feelings and actions. I am 0% responsible for other people's feelings and actions.

Trying to protect others from being hurt is highly disrespectful towards them.

Other people are perfectly fine as they are right now.

Beliefs about my Social Skills

My social skills are excellent.

I can talk to any stranger, attract any relationship, and make anybody feel comfortable with me in minutes.

I'm not afraid of anybody.

Beliefs about Relationships and Communication

Friends, lovers and all people in my life are just a reflection of the love and connection that is inside me. As long as I let love and connection flow into my life, I naturally manifest friends, lovers and people.

We are all one. We are all connected. Distance is not relevant, no matter what happens we stay connected. I cannot truly lose anybody.

If someone disappears from my life, lots of other people will show up instead, who will be more aligned with who I am.

I cannot be lonely, ever.

Relationships are easy.

Communicating with others is easy.

Love is easy. It just flows.

I don't take rejection personally. It says more about the other person's choices than about me. Other people's choices have nothing to do with me.

What others think about me is none of my business. I have more interesting things to think about anyway.

If a relationship is not aligned with my highest path and purpose, I leave. Living my purpose and creating the reality I want has a higher priority than any relationship.

Loving someone does not necessarily mean spending time with them. I can choose not to associate with someone if that is not in my highest good, not aligned with my goals, or not appropriate for any other reason, and still love them. Choosing who I spend my time with is not a love issue, it's a time-management issue. (More about this here.)

Beliefs about the World and Life in General

The world is a fantastic place!

Life is so exciting!

I am here to grow and learn. Everything is a growth experience, everything is a lesson. If I learn from them, I am open to any growth experiences, no matter how uncomfortable they may feel to me.

I look forward to seeing what I will create in my life!

Everything is exactly as it should be at this time. This does not mean that we cannot create something better. ;)

Love heals everything. Especially fear.

Create Your Own Mindset

Which ones of those beliefs do you resonate with, and which ones do you not resonate with? Can you think of more beliefs that make you feel good and would improve your social life?

You are free to choose your beliefs. Create your own, very personal, super-powerful mindset!

miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2009

Sexy Language Mixing

Víkþórr and I have a fetish in common: we are language fetishists. Languages and grammar turn us on. Beyond that, we also have a lot of non-sexual fun communicating in different languages. We mix languages all the time, to express ourselves, to explain things, to fight, and to love each other.

We speak English most of the time, for laziness reasons. But we also use French, German, Norwegian and Japanese as well as some Spanish and Old Norse, and occasionally some other languages such as Esperanto, Russian, Latin or Icelandic.

We rarely speak the same language for a long time. Usually we switch languages during the course of a conversation or we throw some foreign words in. Different languages are more or less able to express certain things. What requires a clumsy, lengthy sentence in one language can be tackled with two words in another language. I usually prefer to go for the most efficient, elegant or accurate version. I like this kind of flexibility.

What I love most is when we mix all kinds of different languages in the same sentence. We don't do it on purpose, it just happens spontaneously. It's so much fun! So for example we once said:

Rose: I liebe norsk de plus en plus cada dag! ("I love Norwegian more and more each day!": en, de, no, fr, sp, no)
Víkþórr: It freut meg zu høyra. Aujourd'hui hadde ich very Lust en turka tomato. :/("I'm happy to hear. Today I very much felt like eating dried tomatoes.": en, de, no, de, no, fr, no, de, en, de, fr, no, en)
Rose: Je quería bringen deg some til Strasbourg.  Ek skal envoyer sie med the Post. :) ("I wanted to bring you some to Strasbourg. I'll send them via mail": fr, sp, de, no, en, no, fr, Old Norse, no, fr, de, no, en, de)

What is of course even more fun than to mix languages is to mix languages while talking about languages! Once, Víkþórr explained to me what "helder" means in Norwegian and I explained to him how to use "eher" in German, all of this while mixing Norwegian, Spanish, French, German and English.

Actually, we even mix languages inside of words. For example, we take one verb from one language and give it an ending from another language. Or we apply prefixes from one language to another one. The result may look like "I was schmusing with you" or "I'm still klembing you". ("schmusen" = "to cuddle" in German, "å klemba" = "to hug" in Norwegian)

We mix languages when we fight, too. He hates Bokmål, the Danish version of Norwegian (or rather the Norwegian version of Danish, depending on how you see it). When I want to annoy him, I just send him a hug... in Bokmål. Or I just throw some random Bokmål words at him. That's like insulting him. When he wants to annoy me, he says something romantic to me, in Italian. Italian is my big turn-off, I just can't stand it.

(05:53:22 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Ciao, mi amore bella. ;) ("Bye, my love beautiful" - or something)
(05:53:31 PM) Rósíngr: >:|
(05:53:38 PM) Rósíngr: En klem fra meg. :þ ("A hug from me" in Bokmål)
(05:53:44 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: You started it. >:)
(05:53:50 PM) Rósíngr: Jaja! ("Jaja", literally "yesyes" in German, can be used as "Yeah, sure" but also as "Leck mich am Arsch" which means "Lick my ass". Not exactly a sexual proposition here.)
(05:54:04 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Grazie di Vittorino. :þ (Some more infamous Italian)
(05:54:25 PM) Rósíngr: Grrrr.
(05:54:33 PM) Rósíngr: Sentralstasjon. ("central station" in Bokmål)

Throwing random words at each other is a lot of fun. Of course we do that in positive ways too. When we feel particularly romantic, we say each other's favorite words.

(10:45:06 PM) Rósíngr: Sucre. :) ("sugar" in French)
(10:45:18 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: :) Dyri. ("the animals" in Norwegian)
(10:45:22 PM) Rósíngr: Begeisterung! ("Enthusiasm" in German)

My favorite Norwegian words are "dyri" ("the animals"), "ikkje" ("not"), and "nei" ("no"). I love it when he says no to me! Provided it's in Norwegian.

I love mixing languages. What about you? How much do you mix languages in your daily life?

lunes, 19 de octubre de 2009

How To Defend Yourself Against Manipulators

Want to be able to defend yourself against manipulators? Here is what my experience has taught me about this topic.

Develop Awareness

To defend yourself against manipulators, you first need to recognize them as such. It can be very difficult to notice manipulation, as it is usually subtle. This is especially true for those who grew up in an abusive environment or surrounded by manipulative people. They're so used to it that they don't even realize this is not as it should be.

Here are some tips on recognizing manipulators.

At first, don't try to defend yourself yet. Just observe what they're telling you, verbally and non-verbally. Identify the subtext. Get clear about what's really going on, both inside of you and between you and the manipulator.

Once you have a clear awareness of the situation, you can act.

Gain Distance

Remember that manipulation is often unconscious and sometimes a way of coping with some problem, for example diverse fears. Even when it is conscious, it's just a choice that someone else makes. Other people's choices have nothing to do with you as a person.

I know that being manipulated is a pain in the ass, especially when they try to make you feel bad in order to control you - just remember that this is not really about you personally. Their goal is to get something, but it is not to harm you. You're collateral damage. So, don't take it personally.


Manipulators are the kind of smelly orcs that can make your social life tedious and foul. If it's a spouse, family member, coworker, or any other person that you are not ready or willing to let go of, you'll have to learn how to deal with them. If you can avoid them, though, just say bye. In my experience this is way more efficient.

However, you cannot spend your time running away from manipulators. You need to work on your mindset anyway. If you attracted them once, chances are good that you have some holes in your armor. Those holes will attract more of them, no matter how far away you flee. So, avoid them - and invest the time and energy that you save by avoiding them in working on yourself.

Improve Mindset

The more you're powerful in your head, the more you become immune against manipulators. Your mindset is key.  I cannot stress enough how important that is. So, if you want to defend yourself against manipulators, absolutely work on that. Here are some tips on how to build a healthy anti-manipulation mindset.

Learn Techniques

Optionally, you can learn anti-manipulation techniques. If your mindset is strong, you won't really need them, but when you're just starting and still insecure, they can be very useful. Especially the translator method helped me a lot in the past. I highly recommend it.

Ideally, practice them first with a trusted friend, outside of real manipulative situations. Do some role playing, one playing the manipulator, the other one the technique user. Try out different techniques and different scenarios. Then switch roles. This way, when it really happens, you'll be prepared and have a knee-jerk reaction.

Talk Straight

Way more than techniques, what I recommend is to step completely out of the subtle manipulation game and to play with open cards. Be direct. Remember that manipulators always want something. So, when you spot one, ask them "What is it that you want?".

You can also ask them "How do you feel about this situation?". And, remembering that manipulators often use manipulation out of fear, you can ask "What is it that you are afraid of?".

You can see manipulators as enemies out to get you, abuse you and control you, and hit back. But this creates separation. You can also choose oneness and compassion. The manipulation itself is just their way of expressing themselves. Instead of getting hung up on it, you can go directly to the meat of the matter by asking them what exactly they want.

Give them an opportunity to express themselves openly in a safe environment. Often they simply have never learned that. Listen to them. You can also explain what exactly you want and try together to find a solution that makes both happy.

If they realize that their expressing their wishes directly is taken seriously, welcomed in a non-judgmental way and actually brings good results, it will be much easier for them to let go of manipulation as a way of getting what they want.

Take care to stay focused on finding a solution though. Listening doesn't mean playing psychotherapist or giving them lots of energy by listening and listening and listening! This would be too draining for you.

Keep Going

Take your time, observe, prepare yourself... but once you've started defending yourself, be consistent. Mixed messages teach others to continue with their abusive behavior. So, don't oscillate between standing your ground and falling back into victimizing yourself. That's not healthy. Whether you use anti-manipulation techniques or just talk straight with them, continue with it in a consistent way until they don't try to manipulate you anymore.

When you suddenly start defending yourself, at first they'll try harder than ever! So, be prepared for an increased fire. But at some point, sooner or later, they will realize that it just doesn't work this way anymore, and give up.

They will let go of their manipulative behaviors and learn other ways to communicate what they want, and the relationship will become a good bit healthier. If they're not able or willing to do that, the relationship will probably break.


In case really nothing helps, and no matter how open you are to straightforward and honest communication, no matter how consistently you block their manipulation, they just keep doing it... Or even respond by creating lots of drama... Leave.

I know this can be very difficult, but your first duty in this life is to take care of yourself.

Some people are just not able, ready, or willing to stop manipulating others. Some are just too blocked in their own personal development. It's not your job to compensate for that. In the long run, you're not doing them a favor by accepting their behavior.

There are also people who have an unconscious and compulsive need to create negativity in others in order to feed off it. These people will never stop with their abusive ways. Run.

Good luck! :-)

viernes, 16 de octubre de 2009

Will you Write a Novel next Month?

November is National Novel Writing Month! Who will join me and write a novel? :-)

The goal is to write one 50,000-word novel between November 1st and November 30th, midnight, no matter how crappy it is. I think this is fun! And it's less than 2,000 words a day. Should be doable.

Have you ever dreamed of writing a novel and never done it? Join me!

Do you love writing but think you don't do it good enough yet to write a novel? Join me!

Do you have no clue what you could write about but love the idea? Join me!!!

You can do it. :-) This is a wonderful opportunity to let go of expectations and just do it.

If you want to connect with me on the NaNoWriMo site, my login there is Schweinerei. This is German and means "mess", "rascality" or "swinishness". I like that word, it's so cute. :-)

I have no clue what I will write about. It will probably be a crime novel, with a very wicked murderer and a very smart detective. Or just a few of the fantasies I have in my head. Except for the sexual ones maybe. Or should I add them too?

I also haven't decided which language I'm going to write in. Víkþórr and I had the idea of writing a multilingual novel together, mixing all kinds of languages. For example,
And when Óláfr saw what ???? had done, he said: «Þú skalt deyja, því at þú hefir stolit vínbér frá mér!». ???? answered: ????????????.
I think that's a very cool idea, even though nobody else would understand it of course. However, my intuition is telling me to write alone this time. I haven't made up my mind about the language yet.

This language mixing thing certainly is interesting! We do that often. I feel like writing a blog post about it. (Edit: I did! It is here.)

So - will you write a novel next month? :-)

miércoles, 14 de octubre de 2009

First Adjective Story

Víkþórr and I wrote our first common adjective story a couple months ago. We chose to write it in English, since English is the language that the sum of us masters best. ;-)

In case you don’t know what an adjective story is, the principle is simple: one person writes a story, but leaves all adjectives and adverbs blank. Another person, who doesn’t know the story, randomly chooses lots of adjectives and adverbs. Those get inserted in the first person’s story in the exact order they were submitted in by the second person. The result is... funny. :-)

Víkþórr wrote the story and I gave him the adjectives and adverbs. I love our first common creation! Here it is:

Once upon a time there were some enthusiastic goblins living playfully at a flat farm. Enormous goblins as they were, they would often help out without the sexy farmer or his sarcastic wife noticing them. They would only do so if they were given a rhythmic bowl of flying porridge on the Yule* evening of every year, however.
One year, the farmer’s hectic son and his rather sick family were there for Yule celebration, and the son’s delicate wife told her charming daughter to put the porridge secretly in the barn, but she tripped and fell deeply on the way there. Wise as she was, she didn’t want to tell her mother, so she forcefully brought the family’s horny dog and accidentally made him clean up the mess, then put the perfect bowl in the barn.
When the goblins found it, they were drooling. To avenge this, the invisible goblin pissed in the jumping milk tank, and the others ran unilaterally to the basement of the house and pulled out all the fake electrical devices, then rudely cut the power supply. They let loose the sheep and the cows, and exactly screwed the wheels off of the farmer’s undead car and his son’s purple one.
The humans had a fucking time gathering the angry herd, and the goblins mistakenly went into the the house to eat the humans’ porridge. When the humans strongly came back in, the brilliant daughter gently told them what had happened. From his smelly hole in the attic, the attic goblin heard what they said, and when the humans, still without electricity, went to bed, he skilfully sneaked out in the barn and told the annoying goblins there. They were so messy that they decided to fix everything and leave the farm madly. The generous farmer was gross when nobody ate the porridge he put in the barn the following years.
The goblins left for the holy, unimportant forest surrounding the farm. There, they planned to live with the wood goblins. Living in the woods wasn’t for them, though. They found it anxious, in fact. It was so puristic to have snow everywhere. They froze so much that they decided to ask the uptight wood goblin elder for advice. He told them to return to the farm before ending up enlightened. They were too strict, however, and even though the ice started growing from their delighted noses, they ventured into the tedious mountains to try their luck with the mountain and cave goblins, whom most goblins thought were crazy.
Although the caves suited them painfully, they felt giant there. Something lacked in their life. They did, after four years, admit that the wood goblin elder was conscious. They returned to the evil farm, but to their surprise, another goblin family had moved in. They were ferocious, and the goblins fought each other for the right to the farm. The colourful goblins won their lousy home back, and the distracted ones had to move. They were now lame, and intended to stay. All of them agreed that it had been a precise experience, and quickly went to sleep in their now funny barn.

*“Yule” is the English name of the ancient Germanic celebration that was replaced by Christmas to adapt the countries’ traditions to Christianity. Here it’s used in the sense of “Christmas without Christ”. Old Norse: “jól”. Modern Norwegian: “jol”.

Writing this story together with Víkþórr definitely was a precise experience! I’d like to repeat it. Not too often though, or else I could end up enlightened! :D

Anyone else willing to write adjective stories with me? Or with another reader? If some of you send me some stories and others some adjectives and adverbs, I'll publish the results for your delighted noses.

martes, 13 de octubre de 2009

You Have Millions of Next-Door Neighbors

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday. My grandmother asked me to find one of those old-fashioned, non-electric tea kettles for her, so I went on a shopping expedition today - which I only did because I love my mother and grandmother dearly, 'cause I hate shopping. When I came back, victorious, with an authentic old-fashioned, non-electric tea kettle in stainless steel under my arm, I met two enormous, ferocious looking dogs on the street.

I was happy to see them, I love dogs and they generally like me too. Those two came and greeted me in a very friendly way, and I went all "You're one cute doggie!!!". They had three humans with them, a female and two males. The female asked me if I'm not scared. I replied that no, I'm not scared of dogs. She said something about being new in the neighborhood and everybody being scared of the dogs, so I welcomed her in her new environment, and we talked for a few minutes about how she's just moving in on the fourth floor, that I live a few streets from there, that the neighborhood is very quiet and nice and where to take the dogs for a walk.

After a few minutes of nice conversation I wished everybody a nice day and left. The humans seemed a bit surprised about my friendliness. I don't understand that. I don't get why people are surprised when other people are friendly to them. Friendliness is default! Being friendly is like being happy: you need no specific reason for that.

This incident reminded me of another one that happened in summer. Víkþórr came to visit, and after we had been outside together a few times he once said to me: "You talk with everybody as if they were your next-door neighbors". This sentence still continues to stupefy me. Because, well... they are! Duh.

Even when someone lives a few streets away, or in another city, or in another country, they still are my next-door neighbors! Ever heard of quantum teleportation or psychic abilities? Distance isn't relevant. We are all connected, whether we are one meter or five thousand kilometers away from each other. Why would person A be more worthy of my friendliness than person B, just because A happens to live closer to me than B?

You have millions and millions of next-door neighbors. Isn't that wonderful? :-)

lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2009

Anti-Manipulation Mindset

Nobody can manipulate you if you don't allow it. If there is someone manipulating you, this means that you handed your power over to them. You probably didn't do it consciously, but you did it. It happened because your attitude is disempowering in some way.

Anti-manipulation techniques are nothing without the right mindset. If the way you think gives others power over you, no technique will help you in the long run. To defend yourself against manipulators, it is very helpful to shift your mindset. This means adopting different beliefs and attitudes that do not allow anybody to control you.

Here is some internal stuff that will make you STRONG when confronted to manipulators. :-)

Take 100% responsibility for your feelings

You create your own feelings. What others do or say never causes your feelings directly. It just triggers them. What actually determines how you feel is your mindset: your beliefs, judgments and attitudes about the situation you are in.

Knowing this helps a lot in dealing with manipulators. When you think that others have the power to hurt you, you're helpless. Taking full responsibility for your feelings however gives you all your power back. Even if you're not able to control your feelings yet, even if some manipulator succeeds in triggering some unpleasant emotions in you, knowing that  you are actually the one creating those feelings, and that you have the power to change that, will make you a lot stronger.

Then you will know that they do not truly have any power over you. Their power is an illusion that you can free yourself from. When a manipulator’s subtext makes you feel bad, remember that on some level you just chose to feel bad. You can just as well choose not to let them impress you. You do have this choice.

When you practice taking full responsibility for your feelings, you will get better at choosing how you want to feel. And then, manipulators really have no power over you anymore.

Screw guilt

If everybody is 100% responsible for their own feelings, this logically means that you are 0% responsible for other people's feelings. Other people create their own feelings. You can trigger them, but what they do with it is theirs to decide and has nothing to do with you.

Guilt is frequently used by manipulators to blackmail people. "If you don't do xyz, I will be sad." Well, too bad for them if they choose to feel sad! That's their problem, not yours.

Same with actions: you are NOT responsible for other people's actions. "If you don't do xyz, I will drink myself into a coma." Oh yeah? What they do with their life is their decision and none of your business.

In case you think that is heartless, I disagree. This is the most loving attitude I can think of. You don't do anybody a favor by taking the responsibility for their life away from them. Actually, it is highly disrespectful.

Don't feel guilty for other people's feelings or actions. Never. Also, don't feel guilty for your own decisions. Make clear and conscious choices according to your values, priorities and goals - and stand by them shamelessly. Guilt is a totally useless and draining feeling. Kick it out of your life.

Get rid of fear

Along with guilt, another emotion that manipulators love to use for their own benefit is fear. If you are scared of something, it’s very easy for someone else to gain power over you. They just need to trigger your fear. They just need to suggest very subtly that what you fear could come true if you don’t do what they want – and you do it.

Facing and transcending your fears will make you much less vulnerable to manipulators. If you’re not afraid of losing your job, your boss will have a hard time using firing you as a threat to make you work overtime. If you’re not afraid of getting dumped or being single, you are much less likely to be a doormat in your relationship. If you’re not afraid of being unattractive, you won’t feel compelled to buy all the beauty products commercials try to sell you. And so on.

Fear is powerful. It’s not easy to “just” face and transcend it. What you can do as a first step is to become aware of it. When fear shows up, acknowledge it, say hello to it, call it by its name, and then just observe it. If a manipulator plays on your fear of something in order to control you, alone being aware of what's going on will help you.

Keep in mind that you create your fear, just as any other feeling. You have the choice not to take it seriously and not to react to it.

Heal pain

I guess we all have some old pain hidden in an obscure closet in the cellar of our mind. Some manipulators are great at spotting such old pain and playing on this weakness to get what they want. For some people, being reminded of it is so extremely painful that they'd do anything just not to have this hot spot triggered. This makes them very, very vulnerable.

If you have such old pain in you, heal it. There are many methods. You can use EFT, talk about it with a psychotherapist, consult an energy healer, or work with a coach specialized in such issues. For example Angela is great in such matters.

Be at peace with yourself

The lower your self-esteem, the easier you become a prey for manipulators. The more you have problems with yourself, the more you're vulnerable. If you think bad things about yourself, it’s easy for others to push those buttons. Only what you resonate with on some level can hurt you or have any power over you.

If for example you hate yourself for what you perceive as your laziness, then it’s very easy for a manipulator to insinuate that you would be lazy if you didn’t help them move on Saturday. You will go all defensive inside and resist this idea so much that you will probably help them. What?! Me, lazy? Not at all! Fuck. Now you need to prove, if only to yourself, that you're not lazy, or else you will hate yourself all weekend. And whoops, they got what they wanted. Easy, really.

Now if you are perfectly fine with being lazy, then if some bozo insinuates that you would be lazy if you didn’t help them move on Saturday… Yeah, so what? They have no power over you. You can freely choose what you want to do with your time. You can even tell them that you want to fully enjoy your grandiose laziness this weekend instead of helping them.

If you have no problem with the way you are at this time, nobody can use any of your self-perceived weaknesses to make you do what they want. When your attitude is “Yes! That’s how I am. So what?!”, manipulators have a hard time with you. So, accept yourself fully, as you are. I know this can be difficult, but if you succeed at it, you’re invulnerable!

Acceptance does not mean condoning or not changing anything. It simply means acknowledging what is, and accepting that you are in that place at this time. Doesn’t mean you cannot leave that place later.

Cultivate detachment

Keep in mind that you are not the roles that you play or the things that you identify with. You are not your relationship with your lover. You are not your job. You are not a good son or a loving parent. You are you. All those things don't define you.

A lot of fear and guilt stems from our identification with things that do not truly belong to us. If you strongly identify with your job or marriage, then you’ll be very afraid of losing them. If you strongly identify as your mother’s son or as a helpful friend,  you’ll feel guilty when you don't behave accordingly. But if you recognize that you are not all that, it will be easier for you to let go of the fear or guilt.

You can never truly lose anything. We are all connected at all times. When things or people fade out of our life, you are still connected to them. And ten new things or people will show up in your reality instead. The Universe is infinitely abundant. All those things change nothing about who you are at your core anyway. You are at all time wonderful and whole. Whatever is, is, and is perfect. :-)

This set of beliefs and attitudes is all about disallowing others to have any power over you. When confronted to a manipulator, always remember that they do not truly have any power over you. They cannot possibly control you if you don't allow them.

What has power over you is your belief that your feelings are caused by the situation you are in instead of by yourself. What also has power over you are your own fears, guilt, self-hate or attachment to roles and things outside of you. Fortunately, all this does not have any real power over you either! Only as much as you give it.

You can choose to give your power away - or you can choose to claim it back. You are free. :-)

lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2009

Say "You love me"!

Something interesting happened tonight, while I was chatting with Víkþóri on Pidgin. Víkþórr is this charming young man waiting for me in Norway whom I mentioned a few posts ago. (This is no typo, btw: "Víkþóri" is the dative form of his name, and "Víkþórr" the nominative.)

So tonight we were chatting. I was talking about soap, when suddenly he wrote:

(11:17:21 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: You love me. :) :·x

Logically, I thought he was interpreting my story about my soap that doesn't wash well as a proof of my love for him. I didn't quite get that.

(11:17:30 PM) Rósíngr: ?
(11:17:39 PM) Rósíngr: Sure I do!
(11:17:43 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: :)
(11:17:45 PM) Rósíngr: But why are you saying that now?
(11:17:53 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Because. :)
(11:17:55 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: :·x
(11:18:03 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Tell me I love you.
(11:18:28 PM) Rósíngr: :D
(11:18:32 PM) Rósíngr: You love me. :)
(11:18:42 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Yes I do. :)
(11:18:46 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Very much.
(11:18:56 PM) Rósíngr: :D
(11:19:05 PM) Rósíngr: You're so wonderfully confusing at times. :)

(That's true!)

(11:19:17 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: :D Cool.
(11:19:23 PM) Rósíngr: You know what?
(11:19:27 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: No.
(11:19:28 PM) Rósíngr: This felt great!
(11:19:32 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: What?
(11:19:39 PM) Rósíngr: I love it when you tell me that I love you. :)
(11:19:43 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Oh. :)
(11:19:50 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: You love me. <3
(11:19:59 PM) Rósíngr: Oh yes! Very much so.
(11:20:02 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: I like it too. :)
(11:20:07 PM) Rósíngr: You love me. :)
(11:20:13 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Oh, yes! :D
(11:20:34 PM) Rósíngr: It feels so great to hear that. :) I don't know why, but it feels just wonderful.
(11:20:49 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: :) I agree.

It really feels great! Wow. "I love you" is such an anemic sentence. "You love me" on the other hand, that's a vibrant, alive, powerful, confident, exciting statement! It made me immediately fall in love with him on top of already being in love with him.

After half an hour of sweet talk about love, languages and our relationship...

(11:54:52 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: You love me so much. :)
(11:55:21 PM) Rósíngr: Oh yes. :) And you love me so much too!
(11:55:27 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: Yes. :D
(11:55:37 PM) Víkþórr Veggiss Berurjóðr: You want to fuck me. ;)
(11:55:53 PM) Rósíngr: Do you allow me to quote this on my blog? XD

(He said yes, or else you wouldn't be reading it)

I thought I just had to share this idea with you! It's SO brilliant to turn "I love you" around. "You love me" sounds totally exciting and warm. Not to speak of "You want to fuck me"...! If he didn't live 2500km away from me I'd have made wild passionate love to him right away.

Next time you feel like saying "I love you" to someone, don't. Say "You love me" instead. And see what happens! :-)

(Btw, he got the idea here.)

domingo, 20 de septiembre de 2009

Banning Warm Water

Some weeks ago I switched the warm water off in my house. I now shower cold, and more generally wash myself only with cold water. Here's why.

I think that we humans, especially in the western culture, have gotten way too soft and weak. We hide in heated houses, use cars instead of walking, cover ourselves in huge amounts of clothes, whine around and swallow pills as soon as something hurts a tiny little bit, and get a cold or a flu each time we have the opportunity to. What a shame. We're such wimps.

Even though I don't get sick anymore since I went raw, I have decided to toughen up. To begin with, I want to get used to cold. I can already deal with high temperatures, even if I hate them, but when it gets too cold I think I'm going to die. This is intolerable!

So the first obvious step is to ban warm water from my house, which is what I did. Doing the dishes with cold water is no problem on a raw diet, since you don't have any greasy pots and pans to wash. Showering cold also is no problem. We don't need warm water to get clean. Green clay or organic shower gels together with cold water are enough. Particularly on a raw diet you're less dirty and don't need any warm water & loads of soap in order not to stink obnoxiously.

On a practical note, moving from South France, which is damn fucking hot for my taste, to Norway, which I imagine to be damn fucking cold, will probably be quite a shock! Getting used to tolerating more cold already now is a good preparation. Especially since my intention is to make it through the Norwegian winter barefoot. I love walking barefoot so much, I'd hate to have to wear shoes again.

I'm also thinking about the environmental impact. Heating all this water costs lots of energy. How unnecessary. Using less water and less energy to heat it seems to be a respectful thing to do to me. Warm showers are a luxury that I can easily live without.

Actually, I don't consider warm showers to be a luxury anymore. How can something unhealthy be called a luxury?

We're just not meant to use warm water. Except for very few places on Earth, there's none naturally available to us out there. Especially our skin isn't made for dealing with it. I've known for a long time now that warm water harms my skin. I have a very sensitive skin, and obviously it's much better off when it doesn't get in contact with warm water.

When I was eating mostly cooked foods, my legs used to hurt, probably because of invisible varices. This always was much worse after showering (warm) and a bit better after putting some cold water on my legs. Since I switched to raw food, my legs don't hurt anymore. However, I have learned from it that cold water is better for my blood circulation.

Showering cold betters the skin, boosts the blood circulation and strengthens the immune system. It's just healthier!

I had to get used to it. It was quite a shock when I switched. At first I was screaming, laughing hysterically and cursing under the shower (French is such a great language to curse in!).  But adapting was doable.

Last week I showered warm a few times. I was having PMS, and I thought "Come on, let's have a nice warm shower as a way of "taking special care of myself" during PMS...". Well, after two or three nice warm showers, I naturally went back to showering cold, 'cause that just felt so much better! From now on, "taking special care of myself" involves showering cold.

What do you think?

viernes, 18 de septiembre de 2009

Sleeping on the Floor

<- This is my bed. For several months now I've been sleeping on the floor. I love it!

I had already been sleeping without a pillow for a couple years. Then, during my polyphasic sleep experiment in spring, I avoided sleeping in my bed. I was afraid I would fail to wake up in time if I took my naps in a bed. So I slept, with my clothes on, on the carpet in the living room. I loved it so much! It felt great. After the polyphasic sleep experiment had failed (I did fail to wake up in time, with or without a bed), I went back to sleeping in my bed. But I remembered how great the carpet was.

Later, when I started developing my intuition, I naturally began to walk barefoot, and about at the same time I also began to sleep on the floor again. I sleep on the same carpet, which is now in the bedroom. I couldn't get completely rid of the bed since I am house-sitting, but as you can see on the picture I found a way to manage. I don't sleep with my clothes on anymore though. I sleep naked, with a sheet between the carpet and me, because of my sensitive skin. Sometimes I also just sleep on some blanket somewhere else.

The first night, it did hurt like hell. When you're used to sleeping on your front, and you have cup size F, sleeping on a thin carpet is a pain in the ass boobs. It was only the boobs though, my back didn't hurt. The second night, either I had found another sleep position, or my boobs had gotten used to it -  either way, it didn't hurt anymore. And since then, I've never had any problem with it.

I totally love it! It feels completely natural to me now. I have a hard time imagining how I could not sleep on the floor. It's much, much more pleasant than to sleep in a bed. And my back loves it too. When I sleep at someone else's place, and they give me a bed or a mattress on the floor to sleep on, I clearly notice the difference. Yuck. I always get back pain from it. I'm convinced that sleeping on the floor is hugely beneficial for our back and overall health.

The next step is that I actually want to sleep outside. I already sleep with open windows, but it's just not the same.

martes, 15 de septiembre de 2009

Update on Rose's Personal Adventures

I got a bunch of emails asking why my blog is so silent at the moment, and what I've been busy with lately. Now shall this mystery be revealed!

Target: Norway

I spend most of my time jobbing at the moment. My goal, aside from surviving, is 1) to buy a laptop, so that I can work from anywhere, and 2) to afford a journey to Norway. If everything goes well, I'll be visiting Oslo in November.  And if everything goes really well, I'll stay there.

I have decided to emigrate to Norway. I am currently learning Norwegian. Sitting in France while learning Norwegian makes little sense. When I learn a foreign language, I want to live among those people who speak my target language. This way I can practice and learn 24/7. Everything else feels damn frustrating to me.

Additionally, there's a charming young man waiting for me in Oslo. This nice bonus came up after I decided to emigrate, but now it motivates me to do so asap. I hate long distance relationships, and cybersex loses its charm pretty quickly.

Psychic Training

Aside from jobbing and enjoying some hot Skype sessions, what I spend a lot of time on is my psychic development.

Soul Realignment

I recently started training as a Soul Realignment Practitioner with Andrea. In Soul Realignment, we find out who people are at soul-level: their energy center of training, the soul group they belong to, etc.. Such details usually have a huge influence on people's personality and life. It's so interesting to learn about all this!

What I most love about Soul Realignment is that we also check if there are any energetic or soul-level blocks or negative influences that keep our clients stuck, and if there are, we clear them. This healing aspect of the work is what I'm truly interested in. After I had a reading with Anna last winter, I felt weird for several weeks (in a good way). It was a big shift in consciousness. And then, my life took a whole new turn! I'm so happy I will soon be able to do the same for other people. :-)

I'm working with seven practice clients for now. It's very, very fascinating! I totally love it. At the same time, it feels very familiar to me. It's like coming home, I feel like I've always been doing it. When I'm sitting there asking about their souls, I know: this is the work I am meant to do.

Spirit Guides

Anna teaches me how to talk with other people's spirit guides. I'd like to be able to do that. This way, I could channel messages for my clients from their guides and the other way around.

Soul Realignment is about knowing who we are at soul-level, and about clearing energetic restrictions. It's not so much about day-to-day decisions. Being able to communicate with people's spirit guides would allow me to help them in more mundane matters.

I'm very lucky to have two great teachers. I love working with Anna! First, she has a very sexy accent. And second, her training is a lot of fun. :-) We started last week. She gave me some exercises that I did every day. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where it will lead!

Language Coaching

I recently started a business as a French and German coach for language fetishists. Being one myself, I love to work with them. Teaching language fetishists is a lot of fun! I was used to doing this with friends, but teaching people I don't know well and getting paid for it is a whole new level.

I already have one guinea pig client who's totally adorable and allows me to experiment and make mistakes. I teach him French via email and Skype, and have now started recording audios as well. I'm not comfortable yet with recording myself and with audio teaching, so this is pushing me outside of my comfort zone. For the future, I can see myself creating a lot more audios and even small educational videos.

My language coaching work makes me very happy. I love it! I cannot imagine my life without it anymore.

Of course I'm building a new website for my business, with a little blog on language fetishism. It's still work in progress, so I'll keep it secret for now!

My plate is just too full. But I'll try to write more on this blog. I love it so much!

And I love you. :-)

I hope you're all well. Sending much love to you. :-)

jueves, 13 de agosto de 2009

Anti-Manipulation Techniques

What to do when you notice that you are being manipulated? Because of the indirect nature of manipulation, it's not easy to defend yourself against it. When someone tells you "Do X." it's easy to say "yes" or "no". But when they don't openly ask for X, refusing to do it gets tricky. How do you say no when you weren't asked for anything in the first place?

In this post I will share a few of my favorite anti-manipulation techniques. These techniques are nothing without the right mindset, though. I'll talk about that in my next post.

The translator method

The translator method is the easiest and the most efficient anti-manipulation technique I have found. It works like this: you are in a situation where you are being manipulated by someone whom  I will call your opponent to keep it general. Then you simply translate what your opponent is expressing both verbally and non-verbally into a simple sentence. And you ask them if this is what they mean.

Example: you don't want to attend the family gathering. Your mother says "OK, I understand." but with a very sad look on her face. You feel guilty, and now you're trapped. You really don't want to attend, but you feel bad about your mother being sad because of you. What to do?!

Translator method: you say "Do you mean that I am breaking your heart by not attending?"

This can be done in a very friendly, loving tone. You can sit down next to your mom and ask "I'm not sure I'm understanding you correctly. Do you mean that ...".

The translator method is great to find out what your opponent really feels or thinks. Many people don't say what they really think, or don't say it directly. With the translator method, you can gain interesting insights and even heal some of your relationships. It's particularly appropriate when dealing with friends, lovers and other people who are important to you and whom you would like to communicate with in a healthy way.

The translator method is also great in situations where you are not sure whether your opponent is trying to manipulate you or not. It will give you clarity.

Example: Your mother could be sad that you are not attending the family gathering, yet genuinely understand your decision and grant you the freedom to make this choice. In that case, no manipulation.

You: Do you mean that I am breaking your heart?
Opponent: Nah, of course not. Sure I am sad that you're not attending. But it is your right, and I respect that.

-> Conflict solved. No problem. You can hug her and tell her that your not attending changes nothing about how much you love her.

The other possibility is that she really was trying to make you feel guilty so that you change your mind. What happens when you use the translator method in truly manipulative situations?

Outcome #1: they agree.

You: Do you mean that I am breaking your heart?
Opponent: Yes! It breaks my heart that you won't be there! You are such a bad son. / You don't love me. / What will the relatives think. / etc.

This is a great outcome. At least things are being brought from the subconscious to the conscious level now. Calling a cat a cat is always healthier. Now you can talk about the real problem in a clear and honest way.

Outcome #2: they deny.

Usually the answer you'll get is "no, no..." followed by "just", and often by another manipulative attempt.

You: Do you mean that I am breaking your heart?
Opponent: No, no... It's just that I almost never see you. / No, no.... I just thought that your grandmother would be happy to see you, she's getting old you know...

In that case, continue using the same technique.

You: Do you mean that I am breaking your heart?
Opponent: No, no... It's just that I almost never see you.
You: Do you mean that you would like to see me more often?

And so on. You can continue using the translator method until you reach the point where your opponent clearly says what they really think. And then you can discuss the real problem.

Outcome #3: they get really pissed off.

Dealing with angry people is beyond the scope of this post. If they try to manipulate you further, you can continue using the translator method. If they stop beating around the bush and are straight with you, you can talk about it. If they get downright insulting, make personal attacks, threaten or shout, state clearly that you refuse to talk with them under these circumstances. Break the conversation off and leave.

The literal method

The translator method consists in making the subtext (= the underlying, unspoken message) clear and conscious by talking about it. A completely different approach is to simply ignore the subtext. React only to what's being said. Basically, feign emotional stupidity.

Example: You don't want to attend the family gathering. Your mother says "OK, I understand." and looks very sad. You ignore the sadness, give her a kiss on her cheek and say "I knew you'd understand!".

Another example: Your neighbor wants you to help her assemble her new book shelf. Instead of saying it, she tells you what a nice apartment you have, and how talented you must be with your hands, talks about furniture, all this innocently followed by a description of her problem with the book shelf. She looks up at you with big helpless eyes and says "I don't know what to do.".

Now instead of thinking that you have no other choice than to help her, you reply by quoting Steve Pavlina for her edification: "“I don’t know what to do” is pure nonsense. Of course you know what to do. You’re just scared that you won’t be able to handle it.". Or you simply tell her that you are sure she will soon get an idea.

This method is particularly appropriate when

it is very clear that your opponent is trying to manipulate you
your opponent is not very important to you, or
you are fed up with making efforts to better the communication between the two of you

This method is logical. It's based on the premise that we are all responsible for asking for what we want, and if your opponent does not clearly say what they really want, there's no reason they should get it. Using this method means refusing to consider any subtle cues and indirect communication. It educates others to straight talk.

It definitely is a radical way of discouraging your opponent from ever manipulating you again! However, it requires you to be able to take a fair amount of pressure, which can be difficult if you are not as insensitive as you feign to be. Some people won't let you escape that easily. When they see that it doesn't work, they could intensify the pressure and if you don't have the right mindset, you will feel really bad. If it doesn't work out well, switch to the translator method.

The subtext exaggeration method

Here, instead of ignoring the subtext, you ignore the rest and react only to the subtext. That is, you don't react to it. Instead of having the reaction that your opponent expects, you openly agree with the subtext and even exaggerate it, but without taking action.

Example: Again you don't want to attend the freakin' family gathering, and once more your mother says that she understands, but looks very sad. Let's assume that she's generally manipulative and you know she's just trying to make you feel guilty. You say "Yes absolutely! I am such a bad son for breaking my old mother's heart like this. Really, I should immediately go commit suicide!".

Another example: Your helpless neighbor behaves like I explained above, looks up at you and says "I don't know what to do". You reply with a big grin: "Oh wow, I would be a true hero then, if I rushed to such a helpless victim's aid!". But you don't do it of course. You just say it. You can even lean back and cross your arms while saying it to clearly show that you won't do it.

And then just look straight into their eyes.

This method is particularly appropriate when you know for sure that your opponent is trying to manipulate you and you want to make it clear to them that you see very well what they're up to, and that such tactics do not work with you. It's like the translator method, but instead of fostering dialog, understanding and honest communication, this one is more of a "in your face" kind of response.

To use this method you will need to analyze the subtext of what they are saying quickly, since that is what you will be replying with. If you're not that good at getting unspoken messages, use the translator method instead. Then you can ask if that's what they really mean. If you just rub it under their nose it's better to be accurate first!

Here too you will need to be able to take some pressure as well as to deal with angry opponents. This method is especially likely to piss them off because it debunks them so insolently.

The time delay method

Use this one if you feel that you are being manipulated without knowing exactly how. If you aren't able to translate the subtext, or not aware of what's going on exactly, but just feel uncomfortable and under pressure, then just refuse to make a decision immediately. Ask for a time delay.

You could say something like "I'll think about it. I'll let you know what I have decided." or "I cannot decide this right now. I need more time to think about it. I'll come back to you when I have made up my mind.".

What's important is to tell them that you will let them know when you have made up your mind. This shows that YOU are in control, not they. You are free to think about it as much as you want. You are free to decide whatever you want, whenever you want. You will inform them of your decision - which means that your decision is entirely yours.

Plus, this way they have no valid reason to bug you with this topic anymore. If they keep bringing it up, you can say "I told you I'd let you know what I have decided. Let's not talk about this for now, please.".

This technique is particularly useful when your mindset is weak, and you feel very strongly compelled to give in, although you know you don't want to. Then a time delay is a good emergency solution. But it is only that: an emergency solution. Work on your mindset and get stronger.

There are a lot more anti-manipulation techniques. Verbal self-defense is an absolutely fascinating topic anyway! But with just those few ones you should already be able to deal with all kinds of manipulators.

Using techniques to counter manipulation is just one small part of the whole though. To truly defend yourself you need more than techniques. You need the right mindset. That's much more important than to use any tricks! It will also make using the above techniques wayyyy easier - or even completely unnecessary.

viernes, 10 de julio de 2009

Are manipulators evil?

Manipulation, be it conscious or unconscious, is not evil. Conscious manipulation is a choice. Unconscious manipulation is a habit rooted in fear.

Conscious manipulation

Some people consciously choose to manipulate others in order to get what they want. Commercials for example manipulate us. "You will be such a cool guy and all chicks will dig you if you wear those pants", "You're not attractive if you smell like sweat, so you'd better use our deodorant if you want to get laid", and so on. They call it "to create a need". And then we gladly buy the product that will fulfill the need we wouldn't have had if they hadn't brainwashed us in the first place.  Actually I find observing commercials fascinating.

Salespersons use the same kind of manipulative strategies, they even intentionally learn them. PUAs are another example. Many other people also use manipulation in a deliberate and conscious way to reach their goals, both privately and in their career.

These are choices I would not make. Using sneaky tactics to play on someone's weaknesses in order to control their feelings and behavior is aligned neither with love nor with integrity. No thanks. I am all for love, respect, and free choices for everybody. We are all one consciousness. What you do to someone else you do to yourself. What's the point in deceiving yourself?

That being said, in my book manipulation isn't evil. All choices are valid. Choosing not to be aligned with love and integrity is a valid choice as well. The word "evil" doesn't make any sense in my world. There's no good and evil, there's just different choices.

Unconscious manipulation

Most manipulators don't do it consciously. In my experience, they have been taught to use manipulation by their family and environment. As children we automatically imitate those around us. People who grew up in a manipulative environment naturally adopt this communication technique. It might not be aligned with certain values, but it's just a communication technique among many - and an efficient one.

Most manipulators simply have learned it works. They know they get what they want when they use it, so they just continue behaving this way without really being aware of what's going on. It's a mostly unconscious habit. If you told them that they are manipulators, they'd probably not agree.

Some of them just don't know how to get what they want in another way. They have never learned to express their wishes in a direct way. Or they were even actively discouraged to do so. Just saying what they want would seem rude, shameful or simply useless to them. They're not used to it. So they have to use more subtle tactics to reach their goals.

This is especially true for women. Sorry for the sexist comment. ;-) Maybe this is different for younger generations, but women my age and older generally are taught that expressing wishes in a bold and direct way is "not feminine". A very assertive behavior is usually better tolerated, or even admired, in men. But for a woman, clearly stating what she wants is rather obnoxious. Women are (were?) encouraged to express themselves in a more subtle, "feminine", "pretty" way. This is utter bullshit of course. Those stupid gender stereotypes just foster communication problems. As a result, another stupid gender stereotype is that women are manipulative! Isn't that ironic?

Another big reason for using manipulation is fear. Some people are afraid they would not get what they want if they just asked for it. So they use hidden tactics to minimize the risk of hearing no. If things don't pan out the way they want, they can just back off without losing face. In this case, manipulation is just a protection. It's a way of coping with their fear of rejection or fear of failure.

There's nothing evil about all this. Of course as conscious adults we are responsible for our behavior, no matter how we learned it or why we do it. But fear is powerful. Habits are powerful. It takes a lot of courage to overcome fear, and a lot of awareness to break deeply ingrained habits. Awareness and courage are what manipulators lack. That's not evil. You can call it cowardice - but they don't need your judgment. What you could give them is love and understanding instead. :-) Love is a powerful remedy for fear.

This doesn't mean that you should let them manipulate you though! My next post will be about how to defend yourself against their manipulative attempts.

martes, 7 de julio de 2009

How to recognize manipulators?

Manipulation is a generic term for a vast range of communication techniques. What they have in common is that manipulators have a hidden agenda that they pursue without clearly saying it. Many people use manipulation to get what they want. Nevertheless, it can be very difficult to defend oneself against it, or even to recognize it.

Highly conscious and aware individuals don't use manipulation. Most people aren't highly conscious and aware though, so chances are good that you do have contact with manipulators (or are one yourself).

What is manipulation?

Manipulation can take many forms: emotional blackmail (making you feel bad in case you don't do what is expected from you), flattering you or telling your things in order to make you do something specific, testing you, etc. In all cases, manipulators try to gain control over your feelings and/or behavior by playing in some way on your weaknesses.

The goal for them is to get what they want. When they are successful, you end up doing what they want, even if it is something you would not have chosen to do out of your free will.

For example, if you feel particularly proud and valuable when you are needed, someone knowing this can deliberately play victim in order to make you help them. If you secretly think that you are lazy and feel bad about that, and someone suggests that you'd be a lazy bum if you don't help them move on Saturday, chances are good that you will spend your Saturday carrying transport boxes.

Manipulators do or say certain things in order to influence your feelings in such a way that you react the way they want you to react.  The manipulator usually says things in an indirect and subtle way. The underlying, unspoken message, which is what they're really telling you, is expressed between the lines, not in a clear and direct way. Manipulators don't say what they want openly. They insinuate, suggest and hint.

How does it work?

We all have buttons that hurt when pushed and an ego that loves to be flattered. Manipulators just play on those weaknesses.

I can see two major kinds of manipulation:

The carrot method

Tthis method flatters your ego and promises to fulfill your desires. The underlying, unspoken message is "If you do X, you'll be great/cool/a good person/the result will be to your advantage/, etc." So, since you want to be great, cool, a great person and all that, you do it,  without even noticing that the decision wasn't entirely yours. Ideally, the promised "reward" is something important to you. That you will get this reward isn't said clearly though, it's just suggested. Just enough for you to understand it.

The stick method

This one uses negative feelings to get you where they want to have you. The underlying, unspoken  message is "If you don't do X, you'll be an egoist/lazy/a bad son/unattractive/I won't love you anymore/you'll get fired/etc." The catastrophe they are implicitly threatening you with probably will be something you are afraid of. Again, they won't threaten openly. They'll just use insinuations. But you understand them, and since you are scared of getting fired or it hurts you not to be accepted anymore, you'll do it. You'll probably think that you made this choice yourself. Maybe it will be clear to you that you did it to avoid feeling bad - but actually the bad feelings were triggered on purpose.

The carrot and the stick are often used together, either simultaneously ("You would be such a nice buddy if you helped me move, and so lazy if you didn't") or sequentially ("You'd be a hero if you repaired my kitchen sink! What, you don't want to? You loser.")

The stick method is particularly nasty, unhealthy and harmful. It takes all freedom out of the situation and leaves you only with a no-win choice: either you do what they want, or you feel bad. This is emotional blackmail. It is an abusive behavior and can lead to emotional disorders.

There are other forms of manipulation, like testing (deliberately saying or doing something just to see how the other person will respond), or pulling (deliberately saying or doing something in order to get a desired response, but without really using the stick or the carrot method). Those might be non-aligned with integrity, however they're quite harmless so I will focus more on emotional blackmail in this post.

How do they do it?

As I said, the real message is not expressed directly. It can be camouflaged as the expression of an objective truth, a personal feeling, or a simple question. Let's say for example that your boss wants you to work overtime, and you refuse. Manipulative answers could be

"But how are we going to do without you?" (Real message: "You are letting us down, and the project might fail because of you"),
"I thought I could count on you" (Real message: "I am disappointed with you. You're not a good employee.")

"I understand... Go and have fun, we'll manage somehow! (with a sad or strained look)" (Real message: "You are an egoist.")

-> The first step to recognize manipulation is to ask yourself: what is really being said here?

Manipulation can be difficult to recognize because it happens mostly on a non-verbal level. When someone plays on your protector instinct to get your help by acting as a poor victim, for example, it's not necessarily what they say that makes you help them. It could be the body language which says "I'm such a poor victim with my bent shoulders and  those large helpless eyes looking up to you... Will you be my savior?". And whoops, your ego steps in to show how great a knight you are.

-> Pay attention to body language. Ask yourself: what is being expressed non-verbally here?

A big part of the unspoken message is often expressed in very subtle ways. It might be the tone of the voice, a particular way to look at you, expressing certain feelings, or even the choice of the words that are used.

For example if you refuse to go to a family gathering, your mother could say "OK, I understand." - but with a cold look on her face. Real message: "I don't like it. You have to come." Or even "I don't love you anymore", depending on your relationship with your mother. Or she could say "OK, I understand." but with a suffering and sad face. Real message: "You're breaking your old mother's heart..." The goal here is to make you feel guilty.

-> Check whether the spoken words are congruent with the body language. If they're not, beware!

Aside from body language, what's often used by manipulators is humor. When your friend pressures you into helping him move on Saturday, he could suggest that you are lazy by simply making a joke about your spending your weekends like a couch-potato. This is very efficient and will make you feel bad - but it's very subtle since it was "just a joke", right?

-> Remember that nobody is ever really just kidding.

All these sneaky ways of communicating can make it very difficult to recognize that you are being manipulated. It happens mostly on the subconscious level. In many cases, it could all be perfectly innocent. When the manipulator plays on an issue that's very personal to you, it can even be difficult for someone else to perceive the manipulative aspect of what they say, because they don't know how it affects you. Nonetheless, the point is: they have you where they want to have you. Manipulation generally is a highly effective tactic.

How to recognize a manipulative situation?

Manipulation is not easy to recognize. Awareness is key here. When you're communicating with someone, stay aware of what's really going on.

If you are not sure whether you are being manipulated or not, check the following:

Are you feeling bad?

If you feel bad when communicating with someone, that's a sign that something is not flowing harmoniously. It does not necessarily mean that they're trying to manipulate you. They could be genuine yet trigger some negative feelings in you. But they could also be manipulating you.  If you feel bad, this could be because you're resisting their manipulation attempts on a subconscious level.

Most especially: are you feeling blackmailed? Or put under pressure in some way? Or maybe overly flattered? Or do you feel like you are being trapped somehow? Does it feel like you have no other choice but doing or tolerating something?

All these are signs that you could be manipulated.

Are they being congruent?

Does what they are saying accurately reflect what they actually mean? What is really being said? What is the underlying, unspoken message? How directly is it being expressed?

What are they expressing non-verbally? Is this in alignment with the words they use?

Translate all verbal and non-verbal signals you're getting from them into one simple sentence. Is this what they are saying out loud? If not, beware.

Now look at this translation. (How) is this person trying to influence your feelings? (How) is this person trying to control your behavior or to make you do something?

Is the underlying message a carrot or a stick? Is it meant to flatter you, or to make you feel bad in some way? Does it try to make you feel guilty, ashamed, scared or otherwise faulty? Does it blackmail you? Is it abusive in some way? Is it threatening or insulting? Is it intrusive or disrespectful of your person or boundaries? If one of those is the case, even if the person appears to be friendly, your alarm bells should ring!

What do they want?

Manipulators want something. They can want you to take a certain action, but it might also be something else, like your energy, attention or love. Is there something that this person wants from you now?

This something that they want, do you want it? If you do it, will you regret it? Would you do it out of your free will if you had a choice?

If the answer is "no", but for some strange reason you're feeling compelled to do it anyway, or feeling bad for not doing it, beware! This smells like manipulation.

If you feel that someone flatters your ego, ask yourself: what do they want in return? Sometimes people say nice things and want nothing in return at all. But sometimes this is accompanied or followed by some kind of request. If you're not sure, listen to your gut feeling. A useful question to ask yourself is: would they still find you that great if you didn't do what they want?

How do they react to anti-manipulation techniques?

Ultimately, the best way to recognize manipulation is to apply some anti-manipulation technique and observe the result. Depending on the reaction you get, it will be clear. I'll talk about anti-manipulation techniques in a separate post.

How to spot potential manipulators?

Here are - in a very generalized way - some signs indicating that you could be dealing with a manipulator:

They don't respect your no.

Many manipulators just won't accept a no. They'll still try to convince you, win you over, intimidate or seduce you into doing it. This can be done in a very charming way, in an authoritarian way, in a teary way, in a cool way, or whatever other way. The fact remains that they are in truth not respecting your no.This should make your alarm bells ring. Always pay attention when someone refuses to hear no. Big red flag.

They don't respect your will.

Same as with a no but applicable to all kinds of other decisions as well. If someone does not accept your decisions, perk up your ears. Smelly orc in sight.

They don't respect your personal space.

This can happen on different levels: on the physical level (they come too close or they systematically imitate your posture), on the intellectual level (they either try to make you change your mind in a pushy way or adopt your every opinion as theirs), on the emotional level (they stick to you or always imitate your feelings), etc. This is no proof for manipulation but in my experience, people who disrespect other people's personal boundaries also often tend to use manipulation to get what they want.

They make you feel uncomfortable.

Manipulative people often make us feel uncomfortable "for no reason". Might seem irrational to you, but trust your intuition. Your gut knows. Your work is to listen to these feelings instead of discarding them if they're not rational.

They're not straightforward

While trying to manipulate you, of course manipulative people aren't being straightforward! That's how manipulation works. But in my experience they also tend not to be very straightforward people in a more general way. For example they could frequently repress their feelings instead of expressing them. Or when they do express themselves, this could happen in an indirect way, like saying "It's getting late" instead of "Time for you to go". There's nothing bad with being polite and subtle - just pay attention and check out if that's a recurrent pattern in this person's general communication style.

Do they make indirect suggestions instead of clearly asking for what they want? ("This box is so heavy!" instead of "Would you please help me carry this box?") Do they state their opinions in a direct way, or using allusions and hints? ("Do you want to come shopping clothes with me some day?" instead of "Your clothes look lame.") Do they express their feelings openly, or do they give you cryptic cues and expect you to get it? When you ask how they are, do they say "I'm okay" but look like they're attending a funeral, or do they say "I'm sad"?

All this in itself is no manipulation of course. It's just a sign that this person could be prone to using an over-average amount of manipulation in their communication.

Being able to notice that someone is trying to manipulate you already helps. But sometimes it can be very difficult to deal with it anyway. We'll talk about how to defend yourself when confronted to manipulators in one of my next posts. But first I'd like to write about whether manipulators are evil or not. :-)