The next shift happened during a wedding of my best friend in the Provence, France, a couple of months after I had the idea of quitting. It was the summer of 2011. In the middle of a beautiful nature setting, I had amazing talks about purpose and freedom with likeminded people and suddenly, in one second, something clicked. I knew: now or never. No more postponing, no more faking. I decided to do a year long sabbatical and this time I was not wavering.
I told all of my friends, my collegues and my boss and finally quit my job which resulted in emotional highs of unknown proportions. Only after I did all of that I told my father. This was one of the most difficult moments I can remember. Funny how some near death experiences and extreme adrenaline moments on my travels can feel pretty ok to handle while breaking free from authority figures can feel like the scariest thing to do, almost impossible to face. I did it finally and it resulted in another freakout and him not talking to me for a couple of weeks. But I had made my decision.
AROUND THE WORLD
This decision was one of the best I have ever made. My first real breakout. I left work in January 2012 and went on my journey through Central and South America, Australia and Asia. This adventure was mindblowing, nurturing, intense, wonderful and magical. I was free like a bird. I did not miss my home, my family, my friends, my old life. I could have gone on forever. On trips like this you suddenly meet people who are of like mind, valueing freedom over security.
Since I was into selfempowerment and selfrealization, I was in bliss mode almost constantly. When I was not in bliss mode, I discovered more of my limiting beliefs and topics like loneliness. dependancy on other people's reactions, speaking out for myself, the stuff you face in social groups, no matter where you are in the world. You take yourself everywhere you go. If you ever plan a sabbatical as an escape from your circumstances or yourself, forget it, it is impossible.
I tried to to face everything that came up, which worked only medium well. But my urge for freedom was perfectly satisfied. I learned so much about myself, dropped a few fears and uncovered more of the real me. I wrote a travel book, realizing how much I enjoyed writing, but did it only for me and some close friends.
What I did not let go off during my trip was the belief that if I wasn't able to download an incredible idea on how to make a living out of something I love until the end of my sabbatical, the window of freedom would close and another corporate prison would wait with open arms. And so it did. No idea download, no self-employment. Back to applying for marketing jobs. And this time I was more aware that I create these job bootcamps for myself to learn more about me and to see through contrast what I loved and disliked. But seeing through it and having the strength to break patterns and jump into the unknown are 2 different things.
It was the summer of 2013 and I had manifested a job in a company that was even worse. Worse meaning full of people believing in "work hard, play hard". Worse meaning I had to commute everyday, spending around 1.5 hours a day in a train packed with grumpy workoholics. It felt like such a waste of precious time. Even stricter rules, more insanity, more faking, I was laughing and crying at the same time. Literally the things I was sure about (great friends) and the ones I was scared about (long hours, bad salary, mean boss, boring and frustrating tasks) all manifested brilliantly.
While I enjoyed my social life at work, the feeling of being in the wrong field got almost absurd. I did not like my tasks one bit and this time I had no energy of pretending whatsoever. That is of course not clever if you want to stay in the job.
After 1.5 years of faking it with miserable results I knew this had to stop. I started applying for jobs in my hometown again and knew I would be out of there within months. I still had the belief system running that I had to make my living out of being employed but I had at least started thinking about doing photography as a business on the side and was looking for part time jobs. Yay, such a huge step giving the fears.
Meanwhile the commuting and the workoholic atmosphere drained me more and more. Similar to my first job I manifested tasks and projects that felt totally stupid, brainless and exhausting. I could not identify with my tasks nor with the values of the company. I was feeling miserable.
What you put out is what you get back
Then everything changed. It decided to do an experiment. I had heard so many times and seen for myself on occasions that in order to attract an outside reflection/situation, you must FIRST feel like you already have it, you have to really BE the vibration of it first. Choosing the state of being no matter whether the outside circumstances say. So I decided to give it a go. I was so fed up with selfpity and suffering.
One rainy morning in November 2015, I decided in the midst of all the miserable circumstances to feel as if I was on summer holidays. This playful, blissful, carefree, childlike feeling of having nothing to do, being completely at ease. I managed to keep up this inner state of playful freedom for 3 days straight while my prisonlike circumstances stayed the same. I kept my vibes high. Again, like during the crisis in 2008, during these 3 days I kept hearing the inner voice saying „soon“. Goosebumps again.
On the 4th day I was called into the office of my boss and got fired on the spot. It was the best day ever. There was not a single thought of having screwed up, they told me that the board commitee had unexpectatly decided to eliminate the position due to budget reasons without further notice.
My boss, who appreciated my work, told me, that even though he had tried, he couldn't talk them out of it. He seemed genuinely sad when he told me that I would of course be allowed to leave the office right then and there, having a couple of weeks paid contract still. He assured me to give me a huge allowance and the best certificate ever. In other words he apologized.
All the while I was sitting there and couldn't believe my ears. I tried to act at least a little bit shocked while at the same time a huge party was going on inside of me. I was blissed out. It had worked. I had put out the vibration of freedom and ease and all that could be reflected back to me was circumstances of freedom and ease. It was a total shift.
What followed was a phase of absolute ecstacy, freedom and joy for 5 months straight without working, I got good money and had time to travel with best friends through Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. On top of that, 2 weeks after having been fired I was hired by another company in my home town, partime in Marketing. Commuting was over, my new company was located a beautiful 3 minute bike ride from my flat. So much was changing.
On a swing in paradise. Mexico 2016
It was amazing to see how my circumstances have always been a direct reflection of the perfect mixture of the transformational life themes, limiting beliefs I had transformed and those that were still inside of me.
My new job turned out to give me a lot more freedom, flexibility, less strict rules, again wonderful collegues and a bit more enjoyment of the tasks, at least at first. For a year or so I truly soaked up the new found freedom, the enhanced leasure time and the cozy sense of relaxation. But what I happily (and out of selfprotection) ignored was the fact that I still WAS IN NO WAY doing what I loved.
The same patterns repeated themselves. It was as if my higher self was sending me through the same loops checking when I was finally getting it. I was trying to reduce my actual work I invested to a minimum while living for the time I could actually do what I loved. I still lived for the evenings, the days off, weekends, my photography and my travels. This went more or less well for a year and a half.
It was hilarious how I could see myself going down a similar path once again, a part of me observing me from the outside, another part being completely invested in my fears and blockages. Again, for the 3rd time in the 3rd job I eventually manifested very uncomfortable, boring and brainless tasks, a control freak as a boss, a ridiculous salary and disrespectful behaviours around me, which left me falling back into complaining like all other collegues.
The end of a cycle
This time my body and soul screamed a clear „this is it“ at me. For real. I knew that I had perfectly created a situation that I could no longer endure. I knew that I could not spend another couple of years ignoring my heart out of fear. I finally wanted do what I love for a living or die trying. Mind is such a drama queen.
A part of me had developed a good sense of humour about myself, not taking things so seriously, That part knew that life is all just a big game we are playing and that there was so much more. The other part was suffering from my own limitations. On a day where I was so low that I was sitting underneath my desk at work, banging my head against the wall, asking myself if my life was really about copy/pasting numbers from one excel sheet to the other, I decided to finally take the jump.
This time there would be no sabbatical after which I was going back to old systems. I was ready to embrace true freedom and selfexpression, even if that meant an „unknown future, high risk and potential failure“ (quoted by my father and some of my friends).
It was autumn 2016 when I did a casual creative session with a friend at home. I gave into the nudge I had been receiving from my inner voice for months, that I had to start painting again. I scribbled a few feel good sketches, posted them in a creative facebook group and was blown away by the reaction (read more here).
I painted a bit more and slowly realized that these pieces of art were moving something deep inside of those looking at it. People called it healing art. I knew I was not really the one doing the painting, I was receiving the paintings literally. I never knew what would be painted, it was just flowing through me.
What the mind cannot grasp
I slowly opened up to the possibility of doing artwork and illustrations as services. The more I opened up and admitted to myself that I would indeed quit for real, the more magic happened around me. I began to feel energy in my chakras (which I had refused to believe in until then), I started to feel my third eye in a Kundalini yoga class, I connected with soulmates who were going through similar shifts, I found a new tribe.
My sceptical mind, trained to only look at the surface of things and being highly suspicious, had to give in to the fact that I seemed to activate abilities, I did not know I had. That there was much more to reality, to the big picture than even the few years of empowerment teachings had shown me.
There are no words to describe what I experienced after I quit my job in January 2017. In moments I was in alignment with my soul, my outer reality would shift within minutes, I was often left speechless, with wonder and awe. In moments I was out of alignment, things would be pushed into my face in not so gentle ways.
What I would call my second awakening happened in spring 2017. It was easter sunday morning. I will never forget it. It was so mindaltering that it changed my view on reality forever. I did not share it with my family and most of my friends at home back then, just with likeminded people of my soul tribe,
I was in Sedona, Arizona and participated in meditation sessions with a small group around Bentinho Massaro, a teacher of selfrealization and selfempowerment. We were basically meditating in the beautiful wilderness of the red rocks for almost the full day, a couple of days in a row. To see how deep one can go. On that particular morning I was by myself, looking out into the hills, when I suddenly, within a few seconds, became one with everything. I was the sky, the people, the hills, the universes. It is really impossible to describe it.
My personbased thoughts, fears, doubts, all gone. All was left was an incredible, motherly kind of love towards the whole creation and everybody in it. This state lasted for about 6 hours and it was the deepest, clearest and most scpetical-mind-bending knowing I have ever felt, that all is indeed connected, that there is no separation, that we are just one infinite field. And there was only love.
I knew that the person mind was coming back, when I observed thoughts like "how am I going to explain this at all? WTF. I hope I bring it across right". But I also knew then that in times, when I would feel like the little me trying to survive or wanting to be perceived a certain way, a part of me would always rememember it, because it was touching layers of truth.
I felt clearly that we are not separate at all, that all barriers exist only in the mind. That there is no reason to compete, fight, control, hold back. Why do that to yourself? Even though this state faded that day, I was still staying in a serenity, a peace, a presence and flow that I had not been into before. After this experience I continued traveling through Mexico with friends and I could see how effortlessly all falls into place when I hold no resistance and allow it all to happen in a state of inner alignment. I had somewhat changed and how I saw the world had changed too. I did not have the feeling of now knowing so much more, on the contrary, I felt that we actually really don't know anything.
The end of May 2017 marked my last day at work, I walked out of there in complete bliss and ecstacy and did not look back. I left without hard feelings, made peace with it and all authority figures and bootcamps that had come before. I understood how important this last push had been for me. I was truly grateful.
Around summer I had developed a new sense of love and confidence regarding my path, I saw that my surroundings, especially my father, could only reflect that back to me, I had total support from all sides. I was gifted with a soul tribe of amazing new friends around the world, those, who understand you without a word, where no smalltalk is neccessary. I opened up more and more to receiving high frequency energies, developed abilities and connections to worlds, that I will not go into detail now,
I was mostly bathing in my newfound freedom, not really putting the dedication, time and energy in my business, like other solopreneurs do, when they start. After these years in the corporate "prisons", I finally just wanted to relax and enjoy, from doing to being.
The fall of 2017 I spent in Asia, coworking with friends, working a bit on my photography & art website, on creative projects, but mostly enjoying life to the fullest. I worked on retreats and events as photographer, jumped from one conscious session to the next. I followed the flow of my inner voice, that guided me, after Bali, to Angkor Wat, to Thailand, then in December, back home. It felt like pure, limitless freedom and fulfillment. Not for long. Something unexpected happened, I crashed completely.
Good friends, cozy location, work you love.
Click here for part 3. Feeling my fears.
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.