We are born, grow up…fast…way too fast…zoom through school…start work…work for a seeming eternity…and finally retire…thinking that now we have all the time in the world to do all the things we always wanted to do…now we can finally travel and explore the world and now we can finally pick up tennis or learn a new language…but once retired we soon realize that boy o boy, there is much, much less time left in our hourglass and then regrets start…I should have, could have…and eventually we pass on…

 

In between the being born and the passing on there is: time…time filled with an incredible amount of experiences, some of which we still might remember: first day at school, first love, first job, first hangover, first broken heart…but most we really don’t: I don’t remember what I had for lunch the other day, neither do I remember my high school grades nor how many people I have met in my life…

 

This experience-laden time between the being born and the passing on is called: life.

 

Which at times can be beautiful and wonderful and exciting and at times dull, disillusioning and even frightening.

 

It doesn’t matter what we experience and what we think of or feel about that experience, we still experience it…and the one constant that all experiences have in common is the passing of time. Whether I love what I am experiencing – the very first kiss that I wished would never end or whether I dread what I am experiencing – the dentist drilling a hole in my tooth where the piercing noise of the drill alone makes me crap my pants…the seconds that go by are the same.

 

My life has been filled with quite a few incredible experiences: I have traveled the world and seen God knows how many countries, I have lived in several different countries on several different continents, I built up a multi-million dollar business to then see it collapse, I studied hard and went all the way to get a PhD, I fled from a revolution as a child, where we lost absolutely everything, I wrestled with cancer for several years, I was hit by a car and last but not least ended up in the ICU just two years ago as a virus had attacked my heart and my lungs and nearly got the better of me.

 

Despite the chaos and the seeming randomness that we call life, I have come to realize that indeed there is a system hidden behind the madness. In my world, my life and my experiences are created by the way I go about them. Many, many years ago I started to take responsibility for everything that happens in my life, literally everything, even the things that I possibly could not be held responsible for: revolution, cancer, car accident…

 

So now you might be asking yourself what on earth any of this has anything to do with my Birthday Month?

 

It is the one life that I have. Irrespective of how I feel about any part of my life, it is still my life. I can choose to own it or be a victim. I chose to Ride My Horse and to own my life. I am not a mere Bouncy Ball that is being tossed around by the seeming randomness of life.

 

I was born on March 31st. During the entire month of March, I celebrate my life. The simple fact of being alive. Nothing outrageous or extravagant, quite the opposite. My sole aim is to CONCSIOULY live every single hour of my day irrespective of my experience. When I eat: then I consciously eat. When I am stuck in traffic: then I am consciously stuck in traffic, and when I kiss, I consciously kiss ))

 

Every single moment I try to capture consciously as I know that it will never come back again. And this is anything but an easy endeavor. Even though I have the fullest intention of breathing in all that life has to offer me, I catch myself over and over again that hours have gone by without me consciously acknowledging me being alive.

 

Life is so fragile, so tender, so effervescent. There is no guarantee about any of it! None!

 

This active act of stepping back and quieting my mind is the most powerful way I know to show gratitude. To show appreciation. To remind myself how beautiful and wonderful and exhilarating life is – simply because I am alive!

Namaste!

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At a time where the world seems to be going completely crazy: from the beheading of innocent people by ISIS fanatics in the Middle East and the atrocities committed by Boko Haram in Africa to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, I thought it was about time to focus on and write about something positive.

As I just finished spending two weeks in Abadiania, Brazil where the world famous medium Joao de Deus does his jaw dropping healing work, I wanted to seize the opportunity to write about this incredible man.

I am not here to write about faith based healing, or what God can or cannot do. I am also not here to challenge your belief system about miracles and alternative methods of healing. No, not at all! But after spending two weeks in an environment of healing, I simply want to talk about the unbelievable impact one single man can have.

I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at age 16 with cancer of the lymph nodes, also known as Hodgkin’s disease. My battle lasted some three years. I had surgeries, radiation-, and chemotherapies. I “won”. I was officially proclaimed cured almost 25 years ago. I was released back into the world to lead a “normal” life.

Although, after such an experience, there is no “normal” life anymore; there cannot be. Surviving cancer taught me that there is much, much more than meets the eye. The question of why I survived and some other’s did not, has not let go of me since. So, since then, I have been studying the body-mind-spirit connection and trying to find out if I could pierce the veil and look behind what is hidden to the naked eye.

And this is where the medium Joao de Deus, which means John of God in English, comes into play. Joao Teixeira de Faria was born into a simple family on June 24th, 1942 as the youngest of six children. He only was able to finish second grade, as he had to leave school and start work to help support his family. Joao has problems and shortcomings and is faced with challenges like any other human being. Joao actually never finished school, still not knowing how to read or write until this day.

At age nine he had his first mediumship experience and from then onwards he dedicated his life to curing and healing people. As a medium, benevolent spirits utilize his body – one at a time – to perform extraordinary acts of healing, which includes both physical and psychic surgeries or interventions, as they are now referred to. When Joao is acting as a host, he is referred to as Joao de Deus. He is an “unconscious” medium, because he has no memory of what he does when he is a host to an entity.

In his over sixty years as a medium he has helped millions of people to get healed from cancer and blindness to AIDS and mental diseases. Despite his incredible success rate and all the attention he gets, he has helped Oprah, Dr. Wayne Dwyer, the president of Brazil, and Paul Simon, just to name a few, he continues to humbly say that “it is God who heals and not I”.

I bow my head to a man, a man from a very humble background, who, despite his tough upbringing and a life filled with opposition, challenges, persecution and jealousy, stood firm to his beliefs. Giving people hope. Giving the seemingly “written-off” a second chance. Creating a universe where the sick and the wounded but also the lost and the confused could come to and seek refuge.

Irrespective of how he feels, he shows up at the Casa de Dom Inacio, the place of healing he created in 1976, where he sees up to 3,000 seekers of help per day.

His work has attracted an army of healers, helpers, mediums and light bearing volunteers. Everything that has been built, the whole operation actually, is based on donations! Let me repeated it, just to make sure: Joao does his work for free!!

If the world had more people like Joao, the world most certainly would be a better place. Joao gives me hope. He shows me that one single man can indeed have a positive impact and make a huge difference in the world.

My hope is that through this article more people will learn about him and that his work will get spread even more so that more people can benefit from his healing and work.

May he continue to remain healthy and in good spirit so that he can carry on his work for many, many years to come. May his light shine bright and strong and his love be passed on to millions more.

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I am currently in Abadiania, Brazil, visiting the most famous medium alive: Joao de Deus. Without going too much into details about my actual experience – I will do so in a separate blog post – I would like to focus on a random act of kindness that I have experienced here. Which proves to me once again that what goes around, comes around!

I came to Abadiania by myself and, not knowing any better, did not organize a local guide. Now I know that it is recommended to have a local guide who helps understand and interpret all the rules at the “Casa” – the place where Joao does his healing work – as well as the deeper meanings of all the healing work that goes on. It is a lot more intricate than one might think, which I wasn’t aware of before I came. (I was introduced to Joao’s work by a friend who has been to the Casa many, many times, but regrettably forgot to mention that I should organize a guide).

To cut a long story short: at my pousada (that’s how bed and breakfasts are called) I am lucky enough to meet a group of Norwegians with their guide. From the get go, we gel well and the group adopts me as one of their own. Without looking for anything back, as you know, I have a big helper’s gene in me, I start helping and assisting the Norwegian guide and her group. I am just being me, kind, friendly, chatty and giving. Lo and behold, the Norwegian guide, her name is Ann Kristin, gradually also becomes my guide. She starts treating me as one of her own, explaining me everything I would need to know to get the maximum out of my stay in Abadiania.

When you do your healing work with Joao, you could end up having a so-called  “spiritual intervention” done on you – this basically would mean having some spiritual or energy surgery done on you. After such an intervention you are supposed to stay in room for 24 hours avoiding, if possible, any contact with the outside world. You are supposed to rest and keep your eyes closed. But you are also supposed to eat. Since you are not allowed to leave your room or interact with other people, you would need someone who brings you food to your room. This would be done either by a person you travel with or by your guide. And I have neither. So Ann Kristin simply took charge and brought me food. She even asked me, before I went to my room after my surgery, what it is that I like or not like to eat! Can you imagine!? A person who barely knows me, whom I am not paying or have hired, and who is busy with her own group of clients, goes the extra several miles and also takes me under her wing! Now this is what I call selfless love. I am still so touched by her kindness that I get all teary eyed.

When I lied in bed after surgery, I of course was thinking about her acts of kindness. And I had to realize that it was very hard for me to be on the receiving end. But I also realized that most likely I would have done the same thing for her.

It feels good to give, but boy, does it feel good to receive. And it indeed does put a smile on my face to experience first hand that when you give, you ultimately will also receive.

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As this past year just came to a conclusion many of us ended up recalling the year. What was “good”? What was “bad”? What did we enjoy and what not so much? What are we proud of, and what not so much? What would we like to do better in the new year or even avoid altogether?

We start weighing our “successes” and our “failures”. But then we might have a problem determining what to see as a success and what as a failure? What might seem like a failure could indeed end up being a success in the future and vice versa.

No matter where we are at this point in time, all we need to know is where we would want the journey to take us. What is my destination? Once we can answer this question then a path will reveal itself to us and the journey as such will become the destination.

It makes no difference if you are about to embark on a major journey or simply would want a small project finalized. With the end in mind the journey to the destination will be a, a journey, and all potential challenges will become a mere stepping-stone toward the completion of this journey. With a destination in mind, the journey itself will become your destination – with all of its ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and potential failures.

To give you an idea what I mean, I would like to share with you, very briefly, a journey of an entire country. A country of 80 plus million inhabitants. A country that was divided for decades and has been trying to heal its wounds for 25 years: Germany!

Germany is a country I have a lot of respect for. Hard working people. Organized. Determined. All the while levelheaded and giving.

On November 9th, 1989, for the first time since the end of WWII, East Berliners were allowed to officially and legally cross into West Berlin. What a monumental and history changing day that was!

Westerners (so called “Wessis”) welcomed their long lost cousins from the east (the so called “Ossis”) with open arms. In the early days it was common practice to leave physical gifts on the hood of a visiting car from the east. The 2 most symbolic gifts were:

1) 10 German marks rolled up and stuck in the windshield of cars. Wow! A total stranger leaving money for you to find when you come back to your car?!
2) A bundle of bananas. Can you imagine coming back to your car and there is a bundle of bananas on your hood? Why bananas you might ask? Well, because this was the exotic fruit that the “Ossis” couldn’t buy during communism and only knew from pictures. Thus practically overnight Germany became the biggest banana-consuming nation in the world.

Once it became clear that Germany was heading toward a reunification, the West German government had to decide what to do with the East German Mark; a currency not worth the paper printed on. First, the government aimed for a conversion rate of 10 East German Marks to 1 West German Mark.

But as the months went on the conversion rate became a 4:1 and right before reunification happened, the West German chancellor pushed for an exchange rate of 1:1 stating that Germans take care of Germans. Period! Simply incredible!

In the meantime Germany competed in the FIFA World Cup and won their 3rd title in the summer of 1990. Can you picture the pride and joy the about to be reunified nation was feeling? An entire nation on drugs, that’s how to best describe how things were then.

In the meantime, though the West German government looked closer into the books of the East Germans and had to realize that nothing, absolutely nothing, that the East Germans produced had West German standard and could be used. Also the entire infrastructure, which means not only highways, but also roads, train tracks, power lines, the sewer system, pipelines, etc., had to be rebuilt from scratch.

The government estimated that it would cost about 1 trillion German Marks (or ½ trillion euros) spent over a period of 20 years to get East Germany, with a population of 16 million people, on par with West Germany, which had a population of 64 million at that time.

And who had (and still has) to foot this bill you might ask? Correct, the taxpayer! So the so-called Solidarity Tax was introduced which added a whopping 7.5% tax onto each and every taxpayers’ taxes.

Wow!

Overnight folks, overnight, there was no more singing and dancing between the West and the East. There were no more gifts left on car hoods. From that moment on it was the bloody “Ossis” who cost the “Wessis” their hard earned money, and the wall, this time an invisible wall, went right back up again.

25 years on, the cost of reunification has been not a “mere” ½ trillion, but north of 1.5 trillion euros (that is about 2 trillion U$). And the east today is still not on par with the west. And needless to say, that the invisible wall is still up.

But despite all of their challenges and the ups and downs on their road to reunification, when looking back, the nation can truly be proud of itself. Knowing where the journey was going, the country and its people, were able to overcome tremendous challenges and obstacles. And not only that the two parts of Germany are closer today than they have been in the past 70 odd years, but the nation as such has grown into being a better and bigger country, not only for the people who live in it but also for its neighbors and partners. For example, while all the internal struggles of reunification are going on, the country quasi single-handedly saved the euro from its collapse just a few years back and continued to be the driving force behind the growth and improvement of the European Union in every possible aspect. And all of this without ever playing the “big country card”, at least the way some other well-known big countries do on a regular basis.

Don’t you think that if a nation as big as Germany with all of its challenges and problems can do it, namely defining a destination and then going for it, you, with your significantly smaller challenges (and I am not disregarding your challenges here!), can do it, too?!

But you might say, that there is no way that you can relate to the challenges of a powerful and wealthy nation with its seemingly limitless resources and manpower.

Well then, how about me sharing with you one of my struggles and how I am overcoming it?

Nearly two years ago a nasty virus almost got the better of me. But I survived. So I consider myself really very lucky. But there are still quite a few health obstacles that I have to overcome. One of them being my frozen up muscles and stiff joints and the pain that goes with it – a souvenir from the virus and the treatment I received getting rid of it. Two years ago I could not walk even walk a hundred yards without getting completely out of breath. I couldn’t even lie down on the floor without major back in my back. Nor could I move my arm more than 2-3 inches away from my body.

My destination is pretty clear: getting rid of my pain and stiffness and being able to move my body the way I used to before my sickness. I had no clue how to get there though: all I knew was that allopathic medicine and regular physiotherapy won’t get me there. So a long and painful road of (self-)healing, and a journey of persistence and determination started: acupressure, acupuncture, myofascial treatment, TCM, herbs, Bikram yoga, swimming, and “semi-jogging”, just to name a few of my experiences, started.

To cut a long, long story short, it was during my yoga class on December 31st that I realized that I was experiencing my very first temporarily pain free practice. Wow! What a realization that was! What a class that was: I was grinning from ear to ear. And what an end to a year of self-healing that was!

Have I reached my destination yet? By far not! I still feel considerable pain and some of my muscles and joints are still fairly stiff. But compared to a few years back, I already feel like a spring chicken. I am so confident about my recovery that I am bold enough to say that I will completely get healed – with a bit of luck already by the end of this year.

I know my destination, so all the challenges that have been thrown at me while working on regaining my health, were simply stepping-stones on my journey to health.

If the big story of the big country of Germany wasn’t able to motivate you to set your aim on a destination and simply have faith that the road to your goal with reveal itself in due time, then hopefully my little story of self-healing was.

May this coming year be your year to shine!

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In the United States, each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family. The feasting consists of a gigantic turkey, potatoes, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all sorts of other junk food. Once everyone is stuffed like a turkey the TV is switched on and the nation’s favorite sport takes command: football. And because you eat and watch TV and spend the day with your loved ones, Thanksgiving is considered as THE holiday in the U.S.

But allow me to backtrack here for a moment: the modern Thanksgiving holiday tradition is commonly traced to the year 1621. Thus, way before the U.S. actually had become a nation state. In that year, the colonists in Plymouth, that’s in todays Massachusetts, invited the local Indians to an autumn feast, which was prompted by the first successful harvest.

While today’s Thanksgiving celebrations have very little in common with the way it was celebrated by the pilgrims – for example, neither the pumpkin nor the potato had yet been introduced to the New England of the 1620’s – one aspect though remains at the core of this tradition: Giving Thanks.

After the meal has been put on the table the family gathers around the table and a member of the family either speaks a short prayer or simply thanks the Lord for the food that has been provided. Among my family and friends, everyone then has an opportunity to give thanks for something that is dear to their heart. Be it that they are either grateful to be at the table on that day or that they found a new job or a new love or have overcome an illness.

This year is the first year for me in many, many years that I did not have a formal Thanksgiving. No turkey, no beer, and, thank God, no football. I wasn’t even in the U.S. I was in Vienna, Austria. I actually went to Bikram yoga. That’s a hot yoga routine I have been practicing for nearly 15 years.

While I was lying on the hard floor and pulling my right leg toward my chest with both hands, I realized that right then and there was THE most perfect opportunity to give thanks.
This realization had hit me because I was lying on the floor without the usual pain and stiffness in my body while pulling my leg toward me.

Not even 2 years ago I found myself in the hospital. A nasty virus had been doing its destructive work, gradually incapacitating me. After a chills and fever attack I went to the hospital to find out what was going on. The results were rather shocking: you are terribly sick, I was told by the cardiologist and that I was lucky to be alive. The virus had attacked my heart and my lungs. I had an inflamed heart and water in my heart sac as well as pneumonia and water in my lungs. To make matters worse, nothing the specialists did, made me get better. My condition actually got much worse so that I even ended up in the I.C.U.

Obviously I survived as otherwise I wouldn’t be able to tell you this story today. But being practically tied to my hospital bed for nearly a month while being pumped full of drugs my body literally stiffened up on me. My shoulders froze, and my neck and back hardened up. Not to mention that I hardly could even walk a 100 yards.

A strenuous, lengthy and painful time of recovery began. A time that is by far not over yet, I should add. Had I stuck with conventional medicine I might still not be able to move my body in a somewhat acceptable way. Instead, I launched into holistic medicine empowering my body to heal itself. My journey of recovery has taken me to TCM practitioners, as well as from acupuncture and acupressure to chiropractic sessions, has made me endure incredibly painful myofacsial release treatments, where the tissue that surrounds your muscles is cracked open with brutal pressure and force, to reflexology and osteopathy therapies. In between and during all of my therapies I have taken everything from Tibetan herbs to homeopathic supplements.

Lying on the floor in that Bikram studio in Vienna my roller-coaster ride of healing and getting myself back to where I was before the virus had hit me was rushing through my mind. And for the first time I consciously appreciated that my efforts were bearing fruit. Not only are my pain levels going down and my stiffness is receding but I actually can start thinking about jogging the way I used to and picturing myself back at the gym and rebuilding my muscle strength again.

As you can see, there is a ton of things that I am deeply grateful for. Thanksgiving or not, every minute of every day provides a perfect opportunity to simply give thanks and to be grateful, even for the smallest of things in one’s life.

Namaste!

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A few months ago I was in Malaga, Spain attending a conference. As the conference fell on my birthday, I took my mom with me so we could spend a little quality time together during my off time. I bought both of our tickets using my miles, which ultimately means that our flight tickets didn't cost me a dime. When we took off for Malaga from Vienna, Austria, I checked on the tickets to make sure I had the times down right. I read 10:45 a.m. as our departure time for our flight back to Vienna.

We spent a great time together. Did some sightseeing, walked along the beach and enjoyed great foods and of course also some delicious Spanish wines. The evening before our flight back, I checked on the tickets again and, again, read 10:45 a.m. as our departure time. I then proceeded to check us both in for the flight, chose our seats and then received our boarding passes via email. Hence I ordered a taxi to the airport at 8:45 a.m. giving us ample of time to drop off our luggage at the check in counter and then have a morning coffee before boarding for our flight. So far so good.

Malaga airport was only a 15 minute drive from our hotel. We arrived at the airport by 9:00 a.m. and the first thing I did was to check on the board to see if I could find my flight. As I scan through the departure times I saw a flight at 9:45 a.m. to Vienna but when my eyes arrived at the 10:45 a.m. section there was no flight to Vienna. First thing that happened was disbelief. Where is my flight? Second thing that happened was, OMG, don't tell me they moved the flight to 9:45 a.m. without telling me! So I rummaged through my briefcase to have another look at my ticket. And lo and behold it said in big, bold and clear writing that my departure was at 9:45 a.m. Then I cheched on my electronic boarding pass, which also clearly stated 9:45 as our departure time. Shock and disbelief settled in! Sweat started to form on my forehead while I was trying to process the situation. I just could not believe what I was seeing. How could I have misread the bloody departure time TWICE, if not THREE times?! 

We ran to the check in gate and explained the situation. By now it was 9:10 a.m. They told us that there was only one chance to catch the plane and that was to run with our luggage through security and to the gate. We had to be at the gate at 9:30 though. My poor mom and I pushed through the line at the security and put our suitcases on the belt. Next thing I know was that the friendly security staff wanted us to open our suitcases. It was 9:20 by now. Of course I totally had forgotten about the liquids in our suitcases. All the great wine bottles we bought were trashed. And all of our shampoos and gels and lotions as well. Poor mom was getting a heart attack as it was mostly her stuff that was being thrown away left, right and center. Finally, stripped off of our liquids, we were allowed to continue with our run to the gate. It was 9:25 by now. I told my mom to just walk as fast as she could while I would run ahead with my suitcase and both of our carryons to the gate. Of course the bloody gate was at the farthest possible location of the airport. Totally drenched with sweat and out of breath I arrived at the gate at 9:30 a.m. precisely only to see that the gangway was being pulled away from the aircraft. I yelled at the gate agents that we were promised that we could come along if we made it by 9:30 a.m. – and here I was. The agent only said sorry, the captain had decided that it was time to leave and that is it. 

My entire clothes were wet from sweat, my legs shacking from exhaustion, my lungs burning from the run, I waited for my mom's arrival. As soon as she saw me she knew that we wouldn't be on that flight. I really had to take many, many deep breaths to keep calm and not shout and curse at the agents at the gate – after all it was my own fault for being late – and no one elses.

We had to walk all the way back out into the checking in area and organize a flight back. To add insult to injury I was told that on that day Lufthansa was on strike so there were no more flights to Vienna anymore with Lufthansa. Period. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. They referred me to their competitors. After shopping around for a while at the airport I had to come to the conclusion that I either had to fork out some major cash or we would have to stay for another night. So I ended up biting the bullet and with my hat in hand accept the offer of an airline to fly us back to Vienna that afternoon for a mere EUR 270 (U$ 380) a pop. Pain, that is all I could feel. 

After all was said and done and we were sitting in our seats ready to take off (hours after our original flight, needless to add), I closed my eyes and started to meditate. I went through the events step by step and bit by bit and I had to realize that somehow my mind had chosen to read 10:45 a.m. as our departure time the first time I checked up on our flight times a week ago. And then it refused to let go of that image in my mind even though I physically looked at our the tickets again the evening before and even proceeded to check us both in online!

And once again the universe taught me that it is my own mind that creates my reality and not what I perceive as the objective reality to be. Even when physically looking at the ticket I could not see what "reality" was as my reality had already been created for me within. 

May this be a reminder to me and to you that our mind has incredible powers, much, much more than we are aware of and that we may invest all of our energies into utilizing its power to our benefit.

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As FIFA Word Cup has come to an end and Germany successfully claimed their fourth grand champion title, I thought I would share with you what happened to me on April 29th of this year. I was guiding a trip through Germany and it happened that on the 29th I was in Munich and had a free evening as well. So my driver who is a big Real Madrid fan suggested to see if we can get tickets for the Champions League semifinals game between Munich and visiting Madrid. I highly doubted that we could get a ticket for this game, as such a big game had already been sold out for weeks.

What the heck I said, let’s try it. It was a fairly nice day, not too cold, not too warm and we had a free evening. Since I had never been to a CL game before, I thought this should be a memorable event. And indeed a memorable evening it became.

Upon arrival at the stadium there were already thousands upon thousands of people, some hanging out, some drinking beer, some buying tee shirts and many trying to buy tickets. I thought to myself that there would be no chance on earth to get a ticket (and if, then for sure not for a manageable price). But lo and behold, we found a couple of guys who wanted to sell their tickets for a mere EUR 175 a pop – after some negotiation that is. Given that the original price was EUR 90 we thought this to be an awesome deal. So we went for it and bought them. I must admit that I was really worried that they would try to sell us forged tickets, but since they didn’t run away after the deal and, most importantly, our tickets were accepted at the gates, I thought that nothing could stop us from an awesome night at the world famous Allianz Arena.

As soon as we got to our seats and I saw people sitting in our seats, I knew that trouble was not far away. They told us that their tickets had been stolen somewhere outside the stadium. They of course already had reported it to the police and had the tickets blocked so no one could actually use them anymore. Well, apparently the blocking of the tickets didn’t work out that well, as we indeed use them and got in with them.

I did not want to make a fuss about it so we sat down on the stairs right next to our seats. The peace and joy only lasted for a few minutes though. Soon after the game started an usher came to us asking us to move to our seats. Since we had the original tickets in our hands the usher asked the guys in our seats to get up and follow him so that we could claim our seats.

Just a few minutes later the usher came back with the two guys and asked us to follow him. Reluctantly we followed. On our way down Real scored their first goal, which we did not see.

In the grand entrance area, away from the stands, we were asked to wait until further instructions were given. We asked if we could at least watch the game through an opening in the stand, which we Thank God were permitted to do. In the meantime Real had scored their second goal, which we also missed.

After watching the game for some ten minutes from our not so fortunate position the usher came back asking us to follow him. When we turned to follow him, Real scored their third goal, which we of course also missed. (You should know that I am a Bavaria Munich supporter, so I was not very happy about the score, while my friend is a huge Real supporter and thus was in 7th heaven regarding the score).

In the meantime we found ourselves surrounded by five (!!) riot squat police officers. One of them asked us how we ended up with those tickets. We truthfully told them that we bought them from a person outside the stadium. And, no, we did not know that they were stolen – of course not! Still, we were asked to follow them to the station for further questioning. When I asked whether we were asked to come along as witnesses and actually ultimately victims or as suspects we were told that that was remained to be seen. Just incredible! We were furious about this as you can imagine!

Even though I was shocked, a little scared and upset about the situation, deep down, I was grinning as was thinking to myself, what an adventure this was and that I most certainly will never forget this football game. While my attitude was pretty much a laissez faire one, my driver was seemingly getting more and more upset and angry. While I perceived our situation as an adventure my friend looked at it as an insolence and a waste of his time and money.

We both had to stand against the wall outside the police station deep below the stadium being looked at, literally face-to-face, by riot police. It was surreal. The minutes were ticking by and a fourth goal was scored by Real, which we, of course did not see as well. I was laughing. My friend was steaming.

Finally, the chief of the squad arrived and told us that we were free to go. Our story was believable to them and had been verified. We were free to go.

So basically we had spent EUR 175 per ticket to not only not see a single goal scored but also only able to sit in our seats for maybe 5 minutes and spend about an hour surrounded by riot police while the game was being played.  What an adventure! Something I will never forget in my life.

And the morale of the story you might ask? The morale is that it really doesn’t matter what you are experiencing in your life, as there is no clear cut “good” or “bad” experiences. What indeed matters though is how you go about your experiences! For example, I could have been extremely upset and angry and could have looked at the evening as a waste of my time and money (kind of like my friend) or have a big grin on my face and look this experience as an adventure and something I can “brag” about and share with my grandchildren in decades to come. Life and the experiences it throws at you is what YOU make of it! Period!

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First of all I would like to start this new blog entry with an apology. I let you down, as I was not there for you as much as I wanted to, to support and to motivate you. I failed in sharing my vibrant energies and my love with you through my blog entries and my videos and newsletters. I know that many of you have been wondering why I haven’t published anything in over a year. No videos, no blog entries, no newsletters. The reason for my hibernation is spelled out below, but upfront, I would like to promise you to better myself and get back on my horse again and be there for you the way you have been used to for so many years.

2013 was a very special and important year for me. Not to say a very challenging one as well. Health wise it was the most challenging since my cancer days so many years ago. In the beginning of last year life per se was seemingly going well for me again. I had finally fully recovered from my company’s collapse, which had led into my own personal bankruptcy, and was back again on solid financial ground. Emotionally I finally had processed the loss my life in the US – company, girlfriend, house, dogs, etc. – and my coaching was doing better than ever before.

And then BAM! While directing my first trip of the season in mid April, I started to feel really, really bad: fever, chills, extensive sweating, whole body aches and pains and complete and utter exhaustion all day long. I have no idea how I was able to finish the trip and fulfill my duties as a travel director. The day after the trip was over I took the metro to the hospital I always go to when I have health issues, thinking that maybe I had some cancer related problems again. Once I got checked out in the hospital they did not let me out anymore. I was diagnosed with an acutely inflamed heart muscle, water in my heart sac, pneumonia and water in my lungs. You can imagine the shock I felt when I was presented with my state of health. I was told that I had a dangerous virus infection and that there was apparently not much they could do apart from pumping me full with antibiotics and have me not move so that my body could recover. Well, to make matters much worse, nothing helped my case so that after a week in the hospital I was rushed into the ICU. For some 24-48 hours I truly thought that indeed I had reached the end of my journey on Planet Earth. But lo and behold, after a month of fighting my fight, I was released from the hospital barely able to walk a mere 100 yards in one go. After a further month in rehab and lots of self-healing work I actually recovered so beautifully that I could already work again as a travel director in mid July – a true miracle indeed!

After surviving a revolution, cancer, a bad car accident, and a total financial collapse, I may now also claim to have survived a virus attack! Hurray!

My struggles have made me a better person living my life with more passion and appreciation than ever before! I am the best guide and the best coach than I have ever been – and it simply brings me deep joy and satisfaction when I can bring joy and happiness to people around the world!

Folks, it doesn’t matter how big the challenge and how stressful the situation, you always have the power to overcome your challenges and stresses and consciously create a life filled with love, happiness, and purpose.

I am currently working on a complete overhaul of my website, my newsletter, my social media channels as well as the programs that I am offering. I will send you periodic updates about my progress.  

From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of you for the love and support that I have received throughout the year and promise to be there for you with all of my heart and passion – thank you, Danke, merci, grazie, dekuje and köszönöm!

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When I read this short autobiography, I simply had to share this with you. May Nyoshul Khen's wisdom be of help to you as much as it has been to me!

Autobiography In Five Chapters

1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

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Panta Rhei – everything flows.

This famous quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus – has been one of my life's main mottoes for many, many years and one that has served me well especially during very hard and challenging times. Heraclitus, who lived around 500 BC, realized that nothing ever remained the same and everything was in a permanent state of change, while observing the seemingly constant and steady flow of a local stream in his hometown of Ephesus in Ancient Greece.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2007 my life seemed on the ever permanent up and up – my travel company was put on Entrepreneur magazine's list of the “500 Fastest Growing Companies” in the US. I had a girl I wanted to get married to and have kids with, a house and two dogs that brought me joy simply by being dogs.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2009 my life was about to be turned inside out and upside down – my travel company had become insolvent, forcing me, as the owner and guarantor of my business, to file for personal bankruptcy. The girl I thought I would be getting married to confessed that she didn't want to have any kids after all and that it wasn't really working out between us and I that I should be thinking of moving out – business gone, house gone, girl gone, dogs gone – the life as I had known – gone!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My cancer doctor, right before retiring, and we are still in 2009 btw – suggested to have my heart checked out, as studies had shown that heart valves in a number of cancer patients who had radiation therapy got calcified and would eventually need to be replaced. After getting my results back, I was informed that I was amongst those “lucky” ones with a calcified and malfunctioning heart valve which eventually had to be replaced. “But don't worry” my cancer doctor said, when she broke the news to me, the surgery is not that bad, there is worse in life. Little did she know. And as the icing on the cake, my dad decided that this was the perfect time for him to pass away.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

My mom lives in Vienna. Vienna, Austria that is and not Vienna, Virginia ; )

She is the ultimate mom. She is a mom machine. She was born to be a mom. She is an über-mom and everyone who meets her instantly falls in love with her and wants to have her as their mom. She is a rock in my life and always there for her sons. No matter what the issue; no matter what time of day.

When life threw this major curve ball at me I of course stayed with my mom – after all we had a father to bury. She flooded me with TLC, cooked for me, did my laundry, and even darned my socks and my underwear for me. Given the financial collapse I was facing I had reduced my spending practically to zero – and that included not buying any underwear.

I had plenty to begin with and with a caring mom like that I had nothing to worry about, right?!

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

In the summer of 2011, when things finally started to improve for me again, she fixed one, let's say, well utilized underwear of mine.

When I put on this particular piece of clothing, I realized that in her eagerness to help and support me she literally must have “dismantled” the whole thing to then sow it all back together piece by piece – imagine the amount of love and work put into fixing a bloody underwear – only that when she put it all back together parts of it were turned inside out – so parts of the outer side are now the inner side and vice versa. For example, the little brand label that is usually on the top front side, is now facing my belly as opposed to my pants, if you know what I mean.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Now, as we are approaching the summer of 2013, and while my heart valve still is waiting to be replaced, I still miss my dogs, am still not married – although my girlfriend is here tonight visiting me from Europe – I still have no kids, I may proudly say that not only all of my debts have been paid off, I am making more money than ever before in my life – let's say I am earning twice as much as my surgeon brother while only working half as much as he does and with only a quarter of his stress level – and this, I am telling you, is pissing him off on a major scale, to say the least; actually I am on the road to total and complete financial independence – if all works out as envisioned, we should be arriving there within the next couple of years already. What an incredible journey, and were I not the main proponent here, I would have a hard time believing this myself.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

Rest assured, all of my underwear has been renewed since. As I travel so much, I actually own so many, underwear that is, that I could go for weeks and weeks without ever having to look for a laundromat. But one single item you will still find in my closet. One that gets to travel with me wherever I go. And on the days when I randomly pick it out of my suitcase, that day, becomes a special day of appreciation for me – I think of my mom and everything she has done for me, her love and support throughout my life, no matter what the challenge. That day is the a day where I am consciously aware of the underwear that I am wearing and everything this underwear represents for me – the constant change of life.

Panta Rhei – everything flows.

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