Looking back I know all of this is just a story and I can truly appreciate every single phase of it now. It was different for a long time. Now I know that I created this journey for myself to play with transformational topics. And it was a transformation indeed.
I grew up as the only child in a quiet and beautiful neighborhood in Cologne, Germany. I had the most loving parents, great friends to play with, I felt protected and cared for. For a long time I never thought that the fact, that I was born with a esophageal dysfunction and having to be operated for 6 hours directly after birth, which resulted in spending the first 3 months of my life not in close human touch with my family, but in a sterile hospital environment, could have any effect on me. The dysfunction was totally removed and healed perfectly, but I suppose it was the first bootcamp I chose to create for myself.
During my childhood I was shifting back and forth between the fear of being left alone, rejcted and abandoned and it's exact opposite, an urge for freedom, adventure and unlimited exploration. I spend a lot of my time outdoors, climbing trees with friends, being in nature instead of playing with dolls and makeup. As a kid, my natural flow states contained sketching, drawing and painting. Often, I couldn't stop. I painted all the time. I can't remember when exactly I started, it must have been very early. Painting was just always happening. Out of pure joy. No second thought about it.
Me in peaceful heaven. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to do.
When I started highschool, I just stopped painting outside the regular art classes, which always got me an A, but I did not care for it. Other things got my attention and became more important, like circles of friends, I wanted to belong to, but didn't. The desire for feeling accepted, integrated, part of a safe group. My highschool rollercoaster with filled with very low lows that mostly had to do with me not being authentic, not speaking out, not being the real me. I wanted nothing more than to belong, to be accepted and to be validated.
Instead of learning that it never ever works that way and instead of expressing my real feelings, I was constantly disregarding and ignoring my voice within. I created for myself a few bootcamps, the worst being a phase of about half a year, when I had the great idea of saying goodbye to my former circle of friends in order to be with the cool ones. That attempt failed epicly.
I was 14 years old and literally manifested for myself the exact situation I was most afraid of: I was totally alone and rejected by my peers. This phase shaped me a lot. During the last 2 years of highschool, social connections shifted though and I became very close friends with people, that I still call soulmates up to this day.
During my time in highschool I learned to deal with the very demanding and strict side that my father showed me in terms of grades, success, career, failure. Even though I somehow knew that he loved me unconditionally, I felt that the amount of his warmth, acceptance and love was dependent on the grades I brought home. Bad grades (and I had the worst in math) meant rejection, distance, disapproval, worry, anger, disharmony.
Not knowing it back then, this shaped me big time, turning me into somebody who would do anything for harmony, even if that meant that I was neglecting my own desires and passions and apologize for things I hadn't done wrong, just so quarrels and fights would stop. I still carry some of these patterns until today but now I see these parts, feel them, embrace them, forgive them, integrate them and learn from them.
I remember exactly the moment when I graduated from highschool and was confronted with the question of what to study. Studying something was a given. All of my friends wanted to go to University, my parents are academics and I didn't spend a single thought on whether or not to do it. Sadly enough I also didn't spend one thought on what I actually felt like studying or to take a closer look at what inspired me, what made my heart sing.
I looked left and right and thought: Well, I am just following my best friends and study what they study. Pear pressure, again not wanting to be alone. I anyway did not have a clue what I wanted to do in life, I only wanted to be free, travel and enjoy myself.
Graduating from high school. Insecure. confused and seeking nothing but a worryfree life.
Business administration? Yeah, my parents approved that. This was something to build a successful career and financial stability on, the most important aspects of life according to my father. There was only one moment when I hesitated and actually tried to listen within. It happened while reading descriptions of different study programs and I just loved what I read about ethnology, psychology, sociology. I had goosebumps. It should have given me a hint.
But this moment of inner connection lasted only about 10 minutes until my parents told me that I couldn't live from a job in these fields. Back then I didn't even try to argue or follow my instincts. Out of confusion and for the overall harmony I dropped the idea instantly. What stayed for a little sadness but I ignored it mostly.
I remember how we were asked in 5th grade what we want to "become when we were grown-up", I remember having to do these tests to find out which profession fits you best and I remember having to talk to a career consultant before finishing highschool. In 5th grade my answer was "jockey or travel writer". The test a few years later told me to do "something with nature" and the consultant asked me "So what do your parents do for living?" I replied "marketing director and economic consultant" and (I kid you not) she replied "well, then you should probably do something similar." End of conversation.
There is definately something wrong with the educational system and we need to shift it,
Of course it turned out that the only thing I truly loved about my studies of economics was the course in psychology, the overall freedom we had in our schedule, spending time with wonderful friends and the endless summer vacations, that I used to do the thing I loved the most: traveling. I went abroad for a couple of months per year, for traveling adventures with friends, for jobs and internships abroad, from Singapore to the US, Costa Rica, France and India. I felt so free, those were the moments when I could breathe deeply.
A wanderer at heart
I have always had this intense urge to visit far and exotic places, see different cultures, explore the unknown, go on adventures, feel ALIVE. It was a constant pull, I could never get enough. Deep within I always knew that the basis of our lifes is freedom and the purpose of our lifes is joy. Every situation that I created, when an authority figure wanted to tell me what I was supposed to do or not to do, caused terrible frustration, anger and rebellion inside of me. The fact that I did not dare to express my opinions made it worse. I was still in the pleasing and hormany seaking mode. I swallowed all of this. Very unhealthy as I would find out soon after.
Deep within I always knew that I was studying the wrong thing. I didn't like 90% of my lectures nor any of my internships, the topics didn't nourish me, the traveling did. Something felt off for me in the corporate world that I would only fully understand once I started my career.
Crazy adventures and bliss during endless travels. Here: in Costa Rica after jungle tour. ;)
The long detour: how to manifest a job bootcamp
The idea of taking a long break to travel, a sabbatical to find out which job I would like, never occured to me after I gradudated from University in 2006. Why? Because all of my friends directly started applying for high level jobs in top companies and I didnt want to be left behind. I just applied for a few marketing jobs, fully aware that I wasn't on the right track. But there was no backbone or clarity within me that could lead me to actually question my path or the whole system of "hard work till you retire".
It was almost hilarious how from the first day in my marketing job every single cell of my body was screaming a loud NO at me, I felt like in prison. Collegues around me were very nice, but that only helped a little bit. The thought of being „forced“ to stare into a computer screen from 9 to 6 till the age of 65 was slowly turturing me. It might sounds overdramatic but to be honest, it felt like it. I did not understand back then that I was creating and choosing all of this. I thought that the system was just imprisoning people and turning them into working slaves.
A boss telling me how many precious days I was allowed to take off to do the thing I loved the most. Having to chase after insane business goals that didn't make any sense to me. Working long hours to prove that work is more important than life. Internal and external competition, Running after clients. Neglecting health, wellbeing, heart. All this drove me crazy. It felt utterly wrong.
Is it me or the others?
Not only the system felt wrong. From the start I thought that there must be something wrong with me. Everybody around me seemed to be REALLY motivated, dedicated and genuinely interested in the companies' success, while I was constantly pretending. I faked and faked, because I thought that there was no way out of it. I felt so weird not caring a bit about my work. While I half heartedly wanted to deliver good results to make a good impression to the authority figures, I wasnt interested at all in my or my departments' success. It felt so empty. Bored. Frustrated. Rebelling inside. I could have of course just quit it. But I was way too afraid. The thought of being selfemployed never occured to me, cause I hated insecurity and risks. Instead, I lived for the evenings, the weekends and holidays.
Faking didnt really work too well for a long period. My body lovingly developed a thyroid malfunction to show me my inauthenticity. Besides that, my internal fights and frustration got mirrored in the outside and a crisis was building at work.
It was during a very intense, stressful and disharmonic phase at work in 2008, that I felt something was shifting. I didnt know what but I could feel something big was happening within. During a few weeks, I constantly „heard” a whisper in my mind that only said one word: “soon”. And everytime I would get a shower of goosebumps while not having a clue what that meant.
Exactly in the days where a huge crisis happened at work and people began to criticize me for my low dedication, I was pushed into my first awakening, through the book “the secret”. I was literally drawn to it. I was moved to the bookshop, my body was sat down and I read it right there in one go. Even though the book only scratches the surface levels of consciousness, truth and spirituality, it was enough then. I felt like my whole world was imploding. I had an incredible, emotional, relieving and overwhelming sense of remembrance. I cried through the whole read and I didn't care what the other people around me thought. I remember going home after that, closing the door, kneeling down at the floor of my apartment and just saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" nonstop.
I had never felt more whole in my being until that point.
The weeks and months after that moment, everything shifted, some parts of me rapidly, some slowly. I was embracing the feeling or rather knowing of being the creator of my reality. I only accepted this because I had first hand experiences of sudden crazy synchronicities, heightened awareness, getting more and more in touch with consciousness through many sources.
I soaked up information about the nature of existence, quantum physics, channelings and could feel changes happening inside. My academic friends were not the ones I could talk to about this but I found enough groups online. It was mindblowing. In my private life I bathed in these new universes and got an incredible feeling of empowerment.
In my job life though, a lot stayed the same. Nonetheless, or rather because of this shift, I was confronted with fears, limiting beliefs and old patterns that were too deeply ingrained inside me to be let go off quickly. What actually made me stay for another 3 years in my job was 1) my fears and worst case szenario thoughts about risk, safety and the unknown. I just did not trust myself. And 2) the fact that I had wonderful friends that nurtured the one thing that energized me at work: Heartbased conversations, listening, caring, soothing, uplifting, coaching, having fun. On the social level I was satisfied, I had great friends inside and outside of work, a loving family, I loved my travels and my photography. But the work aspect got worse.
In 2010, I created for myself (back then I was blaming my workoholic boss) a project that made me physically sick while working overtime on topics I hated. For 3 full months I suffered greatly, bathing in selfpity and anger. After finishing the project, I was totally exhausted and wanted to go on holiday. My boss cancelled it. Too much to do. That was it. It was the proverbial drip that overflows the barrel. I decided: enough is enough. I quit for a roundtheworld trip. Goodbye. I was blown away because in that instant a relief washed over me that I had not felt at all up to that point. All my stomach ache vanished in a second and I was happily floating around in my vision of freedom.
Well, I was floating around until the moment I told my parents about my idea. And the little child got back online. My dad freaked and literally said „you are not going to do that“ as if I was 12 years old. I was 31. The little pleasing harmony seeking child in me dropped the idea instantly. I felt contracted and incredibly sad, but I was choosing the harmony path. You always choose what you perceive as your path of least resistance, of least pain or greatest ease in the moment.
I held on to the decision of leaving my job, but instead of doing a sabbatical, I was applying for other jobs, fully aware that I actually only wanted freedom, not another prison in the corporate world. So I screwed up interview after interview, unconsciously.
On the brink of something new
Read more in part 2:
I am Petra. I am on a journey of transformation, of remembering who I really am, like all of us.
From not following my heart, a lot of inauthenticity, doubts and fears to waking up, a new sense of freedom and discovering deeper layers of truth in my being.
The incredible, surreal and mindblowing things that happened after I finally allowed myself to listen to my inner voice, had such an impact on me, that I want to share them and maybe help and inspire those who are open to it.
I am just offering perspectives. I share my way of tapping into the frequency that is the true nature of all of us: Presence, freedom, gratitude, selfhonesty, allowance, playfulness, litmitlessness, expansion.
When you allow yourself to listen to your inner guidance, you go on a magical (and intense) ride that you cannot even imagine.
If you dare to embrace yourself fully, worlds of incredible beauty will open up inside of you (and in front of you).
Enjoy the ride!
UPDATE: I will share about my path and post inspirational tools, happenings and insights mostly on my facebook page.