Let’s talk about mental health – using social media wisely

How many hours do you spend in front of your phone? How much time do you spend scrolling? How do you feel after you’ve been on social media and put your phone away? How and why do you post pictures of your private spaces? These are all crucial questions we should ask ourselves before opening the app that has made comparing yourself to others so easy. Social Media only shows a fraction of an entire life, and yet, it makes us believe we see the whole pictures. It draws us into an illusionary world too easily if we’re not careful enough. Using social media needs a personal filter: what kind of content do I let into my life? What kind of content will I block? What is content of kindness, towards myself, towards others and towards the environment we’re surrounded with?

Social Media & Information on Mental Health

Frankly, social media has helped me get access to a lot of educational content; it has helped me to access information about mental health I would probably only have gotten to know in therapy. Going to therapy is a privilege – social media can help to break barriers and make crucial information available to more people.

I continue to learn from accounts that address neo-colonial structures, patriarchy, feminism. I continue to learn from influencers who actively break the illusion and don’t portray an image far from reality. I continue to learn from psychologists sharing their knowledge. It truly has helped me to reflect, to grow, and to heal.

Mental health, for a long time, had been a taboo topic to me. When I noticed I wasn’t feeling well and experienced a burn out, I started looking for more information. There was much I had to heal! Suddenly, many of my thought patterns, my actions, and my decisions, made sense to me. They could be explained, and I got a set of tools to start the inner work. Step by step, I started to break the vicious circle, freeing myself from harmful habits the outer environment had imposed on me, getting closer and closer to my intuition and authentic self.

A list of accounts I follow on Instagram

Here is a (growing) list of accounts I follow, accounts that don’t make me feel bad telling me what I still have to improve, as is so often the case … no, these accounts are empowering.

Menstruation / Feminism / Gender

@scheiderevoltee / @sravya_attaluri / @thecatcallcollective / @girlandhermoon / @funk / @aenne.official / @fighttoxicmasculinity / @fuck__patriarchy / @socialperiod / @einhorn.berlin / @einhorn.period / @ffemmex

Women / Divine Feminine / Spirituality

@mujeres_luna_sagrada / @girlandhermoon / @animamundiherbals / @cocorrina.co / @moonomens /

Neo-Colonialism / Racism

@tiplerteachers / @nowhitesaviours / @berfin.marx / @rachel.cargle /@tupoka.o / @saymyname_bpb /

Influencers

@dariadaria / @marienasemann / @mogliofficial

Conscious Relationships / Psychology / Well-Being

@createthelove / @thesexdoctor / @mantalks / @wetheurban / @yung_pueblo / @tobemagnetic / @howdoyouadult / @almost.mag / @jennfunkbrokenopen / @the.holistic.psychologist / @dr.marielbuque / @conscious.parents /

In a world that doesn’t prioritize mental health, it falls on us, as community, to learn and grow together. Once you open a door, don’t close it, hold it open for others to follow. Be kind, to your body, to your mind, to others, to the planet. Live in kindness & in love. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t expect healing to take place in a day. It can’t be scheduled! Healing takes time and is something that will be with you all your life. Sharing your journey with people of your inner circle is a beautiful act of connection and kindness. Let’s talk more about mental health, and heal, individually & collectively.

NOTE

This article is gifted to you for free – I am not placing any advertisements, I am not getting paid for sharing content. I do it out of conviction, of passion, I do it with all of my heart. If you want to support my work, consider donating a virtual coffee via the platform Ko-Fi, or support my content on a monthly basis via Patreon.

5 am club – my experiences & lessons learned

On a Monday morning at about 6 am, I turned on my WiFi and checked what has happened on Instagram while I had been asleep. A story of a female founder I much admire here in Aguascalientes, México, asked the audience to share their favourite habit. Instinctively, I sent my answer: getting up at 5 am.

Getting up at 5 am why?

It is true: the mornings start easier, calmer. Not many people are up yet, nobody expects you to answer nor be available. I find myself being reluctant to text back or reach out on WhatsApp at that time of the day, too afraid I could wake up someone. I am a big fan of respecting times, and after 9 pm or before 8 am, there is little reason to send out regular work messages, in my opinion. It feels like getting a little window of time nobody would close, a time without interruption nor distractions. I recommend getting up early with the WiFi still switched off and use the clarity of your mind to note down ideas. The hours before, or during sunrise can be magical, creative, and calm. it is a beautiful way to start the day.

5 am Club & privilege

I had heard of the 5 am club when I was at university. I got up at 5 am because I needed to be early at the bakery shop I was working at. At that time, I had up to four side jobs in order to make a living – to pay for rent, and food. Getting up at 5 am wasn’t a conscious choice or a self-test, it was a necessity. I continued waking up at 5 am in order to fit everything in. I wanted to continue doing music, continue getting my As, aimed for a First Class Degree. I wanted to continue with all extracurricular activities: working for start-ups based in Germany, writing blog articles for digital magazines … all unpaid but an experience I didn’t want to miss out on. Adding the hours I spent for my side jobs. I needed to get up early in order to get everything done. For a long time, I suffered from eating disorders, an additional burden, an additional 2 hours a day to fit in the excessive exercise.

When someone says we all have the same 24 hours a day – well, no. We don’t. Someone who can afford help at home saves the time for household chores. Someone who has a car or enough money to afford the bus ticket saves the time walking. Someone who can afford to order food doesn’t have to cook. To this day, I come home late at night and stand at the stove at 11:00 pm to get my lunch for the following day done.

Let’s not forget that thinking about productivity is privilege. Those who have to get up 5 am to go to one of their multiple jobs to make a living are not left with a choice. They, despite waking up at 5 am, are not part of the club.

Getting up at 5 am & productivity

All business-oriented books circle around that one topic: productivity. We learn that we are better the more productive we are, we tie our self-worth to self-discipline. For a long time, I wasn’t in a loving relationship with my mind, nor my body. I forced myself to be productive, to belong.

I mastered self-discipline and self-improvement. I was flawless. Also, I was living in a golden cage, with many insecurities, and the burden on my shoulder to meet expectations, as a young woman, as a student, as someone aspiring to be part of the corporate world, being successful. Was the self-sacrifice really worth it? For me, it wasn’t. For me, it ended in a burn out at only 22 years. As another consequence of that time of self-discipline, or simply, self-destruction, I also needed surgery because stress has caused a stone in my throat that needed to be taken out. Never underestimate stress, it can ruin your health. Be careful about it.

For the sake of productivity, I had risked my health. I had risked my smile, my love, my joy, my curiosity, my music, my words. No, I thought, productivity isn’t worth any sacrifice. I have to learn to love myself. I have to learn to respect and work with my natural rhythm. I still work long hours, most my days are 12 hours work days, at least. But I take regular breaks. I leave time for rest. I leave time for my friends. I accept phone calls by my family always – it hurts to think I didn’t talk to my mother only because I needed to finish a task.

Dear younger self … you are okay the way you are.

Dear younger Ariane,

I know you feel lost. I know you are hard-working, you never give up, you make the impossible possible. That is a wonderful trait. Just learn to use it wisely. I know you are laser-focused on your goals, and you will achieve them. Just don’t forget that things take their time. Please don’t forget to take care of yourself. Please don’t strive for something that looks fantastic on the outside, yet, is an illusion. An illusion that will not make you feel whole. Dear Ariane, the burn out you experienced wasn’t there to hurt you. It was there to embrace you, to teach you, to guide you. Please never forget that your body is holy, and so are you. You are a wonderful soul. Discover your happiness. Your very own happiness. Not the happiness that you see in the movies or the advertisements. You will find out that you don’t need much to be happy, since you have it all in and around you. You will fall in love with sunsets and admire the moon, but it is not the time now. For now, you have to learn to let go. Let go of the idea that you are better, superior, if you are more productive. Your achievements and your grades don’t say anything about your character and your personality, your love, and your kindness, your passion, and your deep love for life. Sleep, when you are tired. Dream. Let go. Listen to your body, your intuition, and your heart.

My favourite habit – 5 am? Yes, but only when it feels right

Was it really my favourite habit? – I thought, shortly after I had sent my answer. Yes, but only if it feels right. My favourite habit is to listen to my body. To give it what it needs. To rest when needed. If my body is okay getting up at 5 am, or even wakes me up at that time without alarm clock – that is absolutely fantastic! I wouldn’t force it to get up at that time, thought, because I have learned to prfioritize health: physically, and mentally.

I have learned that my body is wiser than my rational mind, since my rational mind has been very receptive to all kinds of ideas that neither reflect truth, nor are they necessarily healthy. Unlearning is where true power lies, healing is where authentic happiness lies. So now, I get up at 5 am when it feels right. And sometimes I get up at 9 am and it feels fantastic. Neither one nor the other day is more or less productive, better, or worse – they are simply different days during which I will focus on different tasks. I don’t beat myself up for getting up at 9 am, or, any time, really.

As I sing in my song ‘Dear Pachamama’ – Every morning when I wake, I will get up and be grateful. I thank my body to be alive, I greet the sun, I love my feet that carry me over this world, I listen deep inside to the melody of my heart, and I fight fiercly to protect my happiness, my joy, my being. I live aligned with my purpose, my values, my love, and dedicate my work and being to spreading a message of kindness and love. That is the mantra I tell myself each morning, no matter at what time it starts.

NOTE

This article is gifted to you for free – I am not placing any advertisements, I am not getting paid for sharing content. I do it out of conviction, of passion, I do it with all of my heart. If you want to support my work, consider donating a virtual coffee via the platform Ko-Fi, or support my content on a monthly basis via Patreon.

Photo by Cristofer Jeschke on Unsplash

How I learned to let go: the story of my burnout

I was 22 when I hit a burnout. It was at uni, during the time of my thesis, just before I graduated. I felt scared having it diagnosed as such. And, as with all shocking news at first, I fell into denial. ‘What?’, I thought, ‘but that isn’t possible!’ Of course it was possible. In retrospect, I was doing too much. Well, not only doing too much – I was having too much stress in my system over a long period of time. I was stressed. All. The. Time.

Letting go of perfectionism

I had always been a perfectionist. I used to be the girl that cried when she got a B instead of an A at school. I remember once coming home crying and my mom got worried the second she saw my face. “I think I got that answer wrong in my biology exam.”, I sobbed. I will never forget her reaction: she got angry. She had been worried just to find out the reason of my tears had been something as unimportant as a (possibly) wrong answer in an exam. But for me, it hadn’t only been an exam. It had been my identity. That was the first mistake: I had tied my self-worth to grades. If I got a B, I felt it was my fault, I felt I wasn’t smart enough. Truth is, you are more than your grades. You are even so much more than your CV – ouch, this used to hurt, since we are trained to take so much pride in what we’ve accomplished. You as a human being though have nothing to do with your CV – and your CV will never be able to explain who you are. Yes, really: your CV will never be able to explain who you are. Perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect is an illusion. Let go of perfect, and do you instead.

Letting go of goals

My goal had been to graduate with a First Class Degree. I did. But the moment I held the final results of my thesis in my hands… I simply felt empty. I couldn’t get myself to feel proud. I almost felt angry: this is what I gave myself up for? So much work had gone into this thesis. So much time. I had slept about five hours for a few months, had four side-jobs, neglected my friendships, almost gave up on music, my stomach had been upset for months, my skin looked horrible from all the stress, and I had faced some serious mental challenges. Loneliness, insomnia, the feeling of not being enough, not doing enough, not eating well, forcing myself to go to the gym when I was exhausted, anxiety, panic attacks … I had caught a cold each 2-3 weeks, not to mention a stone that grew in my body due to all the stress. It had later be taken out with surgery. This is when I learned: listen to your body. If it catches a cold, it’s for something. If you have a headache, listen to why. If you feel exhausted, don’t push, rest. I had completely ignored everything my body was telling me for the sake of reaching a goal. It wouldn’t happen again – it couldn’t happen again. It doesn’t mean you should stop having goals, yet, you should have the freedom to re-evaluate and adjust goals and not give yourself up entirely just because you’ve set something as a goal in the past. Live in the present. Adjust the goal, when necessary.

Letting go of expectations

If it was for the expectations of the job market (and society) there is always more you could do. If you say you aren’t busy or stressed, people will probably tell you there’s something you’re doing wrong. Being busy is overrated. Be happy instead. The internet is never turned off, you have work at reach 24/7. Expectations are always high: you should have done this and that internship, you should get involved in this and that, you should have a list of extracurricular activities on your CV, experience abroad, etc. … You can’t meet all of those expectations. And that’s okay! Decide what’s important to you and then go for it. Don’t live for your CV, live your life. Create your own expectations and then show up for those. Spend some time thinking about your values and make those the standard you live by.

Letting go of productivity

That was the hardest. I had been trained to be productive, trained to be busy. So – what was I going to do now? Stare at the ceiling and do nothing? Just go for a walk? Bake for the sake of baking? Read a book that wasn’t related to business? Watch a movie? Stay in? Say no to the hundredth networking event? Exactly that. All of it. And it did me well. If we get too caught up in the rush of the world, we so quickly loose the connection to ourselves, our intuition, our purpose. If I don’t take the time to reflect, I quickly get distracted and jump off my own path. (If you struggle with reflection, I have a reflection guide which you can download here: https://payhip.com/b/WD5R) It is as mentioned in Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel “Eat Pray Love”: Il Dolce Fare Niente. The sweet doing nothing. The best ideas come when you don’t force them to come. Inspiration comes when you feel happy, not tied to a desk. So take time to recharge and feel confident doing nothing, just seeing what the day will bring.

Learn to let go

I don’t remember where I picked up that phrase ( I probably saw it on a post on Instagram) which said: unlearning is just as important as learning. The time after the burn-out wasn’t nice. It took me over a year to let go of beliefs circling around productivity. I am still in the process of unlearning – it takes sooooo long!! It’s painful, but definitely worth it. Take it step by step, day by day. Never forget: healing is possible and necessary. The process of healing might not be as romantic as it is always depicted yet it is a journey where you get to know yourself better – and your life will change for good.

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Why are we so scared of losing our income? – What COVID-19 taught me

This year has, so far, been a roller coaster ride for many. When the world went on lockdown, we were faced with an extra load of uncertainty in a VUCA – world. Luckily, things have slowly started to go back to ‘normal’, we can leave our houses, albeit with restrictions. The lockdown phase and the time after have shook up my belief-system in many ways. Situations and challenges I thought I’d be save from have hit me hard. It is in these times, when we hit rock-bottom, that we grow most, step into our most authentic self, and gain more confidence to walk steadily on our own path.


I kicked off the year in Germany, hosting talks about my coffee initiative Proyecto Café in several cities, and gave concerts and interviews around Germany. Just before the lockdown, at the end of February, I embarked on a plane and flew to México. Had I staid only one week longer in Germany, I would have spent the entire lockdown there with my family. Instead, I spent it in México, where I don’t even count with a national health insurance. The timing of life is odd and funny. Something wanted me to be in México, I thought. Why though? What is it that life wants to teach me?

From a career-perspective, I had just decided to take a leap and become fully self-employed. I had been teaching full-time at an International School before, juggling between standing in the classroom, hosting a radio show as part of the Global Goals Campaign by the United Nations, being an ambassador for the Girl Up campaign by the United Nations Foundation, hosting a podcast, speaking at events about climate change, founding Proyecto Café, and being a singer-songwriter performing at bars, cafés, events, and festivals, not to mention the interviews I had been invited to give at the local radio and/or television. My days started at 5.30 am, I went on to the gym, then to school, and once leaving the classroom, I got out of my uniform and showed up at the next event. Many times I got home at midnight, or after, and cooked my lunch for the following day.

It was too much. Mentally, I struggled with my full-time job, suffered from panic attacks, and felt like I was giving up my energy and attention which I so badly needed for my own projects. So I took the leap. Nobody could have told me that I might have to face a global pandemic. But I did.

I lost my income. Borders closed and it felt terrible, knowing my family was far away and even if I wanted to, there was little chance to go back. As someone used to working and striving to be financially independent, relying on my husband felt hard. I felt like I had given up part of my value. I started to doubt myself and all the projects I had been doing up to this point.

But that wasn’t everything. Things started to become shaky on a personal level, up to a point where staying together as a couple did not make any sense. So, adding to the global pandemic, I faced a break-up. Where to move to? And how? I don’t know if I could have understood this challenge a few years ago, when I was still part of the safety net of the German social state, counting with health insurance, a job, my own flat, and an income that allowed me to save money each month. I was also surrounded by my family and friends I’ve known since kindergarten. Here, I am young woman in a country that I wasn’t born in. I have to stand on my own feet.

I moved out from my parent’s house at the age of 18 to start my studies in Aberdeen, I have been living by myself in Scotland and Ireland, later in Frankfurt and I moved by myself to México. I have always paid my own rent, having side-jobs, and finding myself in a context that would translate the amount of effort I put into something into the amount of success I’d earn. This time though, it was different. This time, no matter the amount of effort I’d put in, I would still be stuck. Being so utterly lost and cut off from options felt – still feels – tough.

And still – it wasn’t everything yet. After taking a routine blood-test (for which I had to pay because it didn’t fall into the insurance I got) and getting strikingly critical results, I found myself devastated and close to giving up. What else?, I wondered. What else will be taken away from me? Isn’t that already enough?

What did I do? Of course I did not give up. I published a book. First in English, and soon it will be available in Spanish and German. The process of writing a book is often romanticised, yet the blunt truth is that in my case, words were everything I had left. Words were what still made sense to me, when nothing else did. Art is what happens when it stops being an option but instead becomes an utter necessity. When it is everything we can cling onto, when it doesn’t become a choice, but the one thing we have to do. The book was a success. The feeling of seeing your own words travel across continents and finding a place in other readers’ hearts is beautiful.

I also published several singles in collaboration with a local recording studio, I took up work with Proyecto Café, hosted and/or took part in online-conferences, published an article on racism in collaboration with tbd.community* , I founded a podcast with Katrin Schrimpf, creative entrepreneur based in Oaxaca, I launchd my fortnightly newsletter and published my own podcast “The Ariane Vera Podcast“. Oh, and I also started a Patreon Page.

I tried to give my best, every single day. I tried to accept the situation for what it is. I showed up, even when it was hard. I am not out there yet. I am still in survival-mode and I don’t have it all figured out. I stay optimistic. I learned to see, more than ever, that the value of my work, and the value of my self, is not tied to a number on the bank account.

I am okay, and so are you, the way you are. The most important thing is to be aligned with your values. To take choices that are utterly your own and not the choices of anyone else. Life is short and can change within an instant. Live a life that is yours. And do not allow a number on a bank statement, or the pressure to pay rent, take away your belief in your own strengths, and talents. Instead of asking – why is this happening to me? Ask – what can I learn from this?

There will be better times. Easier times. More comfort, and less stress. Less existential questions, more freedom to lie back and not think about how to pay rent, and food. I would never have believed I would say this one day but – you will find a way, no matter what. I never thought I would end up in this situation, but I am managing. Not very well, but I am. I am still happy, I still laugh, I still appreciate each day and every single moment. I am full of gratitude and full of motivation to create and step into the next step of life.

Written at Be Top Co-Working in Aguascalientes, México.
Photo: Emma Matthew on Unsplash

What does success mean to me? – How Mexico has opened my eyes and my heart

This morning I took part in a conference about product placement and entrepreneurship. I used to work in PR/Communications for several start-ups and I am familiarised with the concepts, strategies, and challenges founders are faced with especially at the beginning of their projects. What is success?, a question so often asked in that context. I used to have a clear answer to that. However, it struck me that my own concept of success has changed so much over the past two years.

It’s been two years that I moved to México. I have changed. I knew that I would grow but I did not know how much I could get a look behind the curtain and see a part of life utterly unknown to me in the European context.

I like to identify myself as Latin American born in Europe. Or simply, as Argentinian born in the south of Germany. I was raised with two cultures and languages, two world views and perspectives, yet, I was heavily socialised by the German, European environment and structures.

I got to know the world, as I was growing up, as a German, from a eurocentric perspective. That did not change when I went to university in Aberdeen and Dublin, despite being in an international environment. The dominating narrative was still European, or, eurocentric. What I am amazed by is my ignorance about it. I was not aware of my privileges, despite talking about them. I was not aware of the multi – facetted views on sustainable development, despite taking courses about it.

Then I came to Mexico, and this country healed me in so many ways. It opened my eyes and it opened my heart. Suddenly, I found myself being affected by neo-colonial structures. I only recognized this because I was a chameleon being able to identify completely both in the European and the Latin American context.

This is the reason why I do not identify as 100% German – whenever I meet Germans in Mexico, I notice how different I am to them, simply because Mexico and Latin America is my home, is my roots, and is cultural background. At the same time, I am very well aware of the responsibility I carry as white, privileged woman in Mexico, always running the risk of being considered as White Saviour. I educate myself. I ask Mexicans critical questions about my behaviour, I ask them for permission and their opinion before giving a conference about coffee to a German audience. I am here as a visitor, nothing belongs to me and I don’t have the right to anything.

The definition of success as earning a high income or being popular with your own brand has become, for me, so far away. It has become questionable, seeing things from a perspective of (neo-) colonialism, racism, gender discrimination. I am no longer impressed by white men who believe themselves to make the world a better place. I admire the old man that always walks the street in plain heat selling ice-cream. Also, he always gives you a smile when you pass and the only thing you should do is buy ice-cream and enjoy it to the fullest, knowing someone just gifted you a big portion of happiness.

Being happy is my new definition of success. Because for such a long time, I have been so unhappy, being stuck in a narrative of competition, of self-improvement, of tying my self-worth to productivity. Nothing teaches you more about yourself than life itself. So often we talk about empathy, so often it is the big word in conferences, and yet, it is the thing I least see in the world. Because if there was empathy, authentic, true empathy, the world would be a different place. It would be happy.

We would have left behind stereotypes, neo-colonial structures, we would have stopped to live a life that is destroying our home, the planet.

After the conference, I felt a little sad. I don’t have the clients I am supposed to have. My client, in those terms, is a dying planet that I try to make aware of. With my music, I offer a space for reflection, for inspiration, a place of happiness, a place where you get a break from a busy everyday life, a space where you simply are yourself. With my words, I tell stories hoping to make you feel loved, supported, and connected. Hoping the stories barely hears, like those of coffee producers, reach more ears. Because the world is loud and only a few have the power to shout.

I could be bitter about the world, but I am not. Being bitter would mean to be part of a narrative I reject. I choose to be hopeful, and to be happy. I have all reasons to, the support I receive of a community is beyond words. It is love. We all can make the world a kinder and more tolerant place, we just have to believe in it and utterly refuse to fall into bitterness. That is success to me.

This article has been written in Be Top Co-Working, Aguascalientes. Thank you for the inspiration.

Foto:
Nastuh Abootalebi

“Vamos A Estar Bien” won a competition by the Institute for Culture in Aguascalientes!

I am pleased to share that I won a competition by the Cultural Institute of Aguascalientes, México with my song “Vamos A Estar Bien” (All Will Be Good). This song spreads a message of hope, inspiration, and strength in these turbulent times that have forced us all to get creative and find new ways.

Listen to it here on Spotify –
https://lnkd.in/eAKCjYt

Yellow is now available on Spotify & Apple Music!

I am so please to share that my single “Yellow” is now finally available on the most used digital platforms, amongst them Spotify & Apple Music.

Yellow is a song about missing – and the beauty of missing, since it shows us that we are capable to feel and embrace love fully.

The video was recorded on the road close to the city of Aguascalientes, México.

Wird #stopracism das neue #sustainable? – wann es ein Trend, und wann es authentisch ist.

Ich bin hochsensibel und hatte vor einiger Zeit beschlossen, das Video zur sexualisierten Gewalt von Joko und Klaas nicht anzuschauen, weil es mir zu nahe geht. Dieses Mal aber, habe ich meine eigenen Emotionen zurückgestellt. Hier gilt nicht “Das ist mir zu kompliziert oder das tut meiner mentalen Gesundheit nicht gut.” Hier, finde ich, geht es darum, sich der Realität zu stellen, um sie ändern zu können.

Der Aufschrei – und dann?

Dann ging der Aufschrei auf Social Media los. Ich freue mich, denn es wurde Zeit. Gleichzeitig jedoch erschreckt es mich. Es erscheint mir wie ein Trend. Plötzlich schrieben alle etwas dazu, teilten Posts und Buchtips. Die Situation erinnert mich an die Waldbrände im Amazonas, dann folgte Australien. Und was hört man heute davon? Nichts.

Irgendwann wurde es zum Trend, Second-Hand Kleidung zu kaufen, einen Bambusbecher für den Coffee-To-Go zu benutzen, und sich den Hashtag “sustainable” auf die Flagge zu schreiben. Influencer*innen, die mehrmals im Jahr über die ganze Welt reisen, und nebenbei einen von Konsum getränkten Lebensstil vorleben, wollten plötzlich alle “sustainable” sein.

Und nun, schrieb man sich dann also Solidarität auf die Flagge?

Authentisch oder Marketing?

Ich lobe nicht eine*n Influencer*in dafür, dass sie für wenige Sekunden ein Buch über Rassismus in die Kamera gehalten haben. Wie authentisch ist das wirklich? Auf einmal sprechen Influencer*innen Rassismus an, weil die Follower es wollen, ja einfordern. Nicht über Rassismus zu sprechen, wenn Alle es tun, würde vermutlich sogar Follower einbüßen. Ich möchte gerne glauben, dass ein aufrichtiges Interesse für das Thema besteht, doch es fällt mir schwer. Zu oft wurde mir das Gegenteil bewiesen. Die Skepsis bleibt.

Hätten sie es auch ohne Aufschrei gemacht? Sichtlich haben sie es bisher nicht. Ob sie sich wirklich nicht damit auseinandergesetzt haben, oder ob sie ein so unpopuläres Thema nicht ansprechen wollten, weil es zu riskant im Hinblick auf die Zahlen gewesen wäre, sei dahin gestellt. Fakt ist: sie haben es nicht gemacht.

Natürlich, besser als nie. Doch ich frage mich, wie lange es bleibt. Und auch, was bleibt. Ich möchte nicht, dass es ein Trend ist, der vorübergeht. Ich möchte Taten sehen.

Mehr als ein Buch und ein Post.

Ich möchte sehen, dass sich Influencer*innen nicht einmal mehr in den Mittelpunkt rücken, sondern Menschen, die Erfahrungen mit Rassismus gemacht haben, das Mikrofon in die Hand drücken.

Ich möchte, dass sie ihre Charity Projekte auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent, einstellen, wenn es nur um sie selbst geht und es ein weiteres Beispiel für White Saviourism ist. (Siehe Stefanie Giesinger in Malawi oder Diana zur Löwen in Südafrika.) Wenn sie wirklich helfen wollen, dann sollten sie sich mit dem Thema auseinandersetzen, bevor sie mit ihrem “Helfen” großen Schaden anrichten.

Ich möchte, dass sie ihre Narrative ändern, dass sie aktiv und bewusst die Arbeit von Menschen der BIPOC Community unterstützen, und teilen. Ich möchte, dass sie sich hinterfragen, und auch erkennen, wenn sie mit ihrem Handeln und ihrer Arbeit rassistische Strukturen unterstützen. Ich möchte, dass sie nicht mehr von romantisiertem und aus dem Kontext geworfenem “Karma” sprechen, weil das zeigt, dass sie noch nie mit einem Menschen gesprochen haben, der mit weniger Privilegien lebt, und deshalb aber weder automatisch selbst daran Schuld ist, noch deshalb ein schlechter Mensch ist.

Ich möchte, dass alle den Schmerz erkennen. Verstehen. Rassismus zu spüren, und auch, zu sehen, tut weh. Sich mit Rassismus auseinander zu setzen macht keinen Spaß, ist unangenehm, man wird Fehler eingestehen und sich womöglich bei Anderen entschuldigen müssen, sich klein fühlen, Dinge und Gewohnheiten ändern. Und ja, nur dann ändert sich etwas. Ein Buch über Rassismus zu lesen, ist klasse, aber es reicht nicht, wenn man nicht etwas tut, sobald der Buchdeckel zugeschlagen wird.

Ich möchte, dass wir nie aufhören, so viel und so stark über das Thema Rassismus und Diskriminierung zu sprechen, wie wir es jetzt tun. So lange, bis ein für alle Mal damit abgeschlossen ist, und wir in einer Welt leben, die nicht diskriminiert.

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Der Traum vom Auswandern – und wie es wirklich ist

Es klingt wie aus einem Film. Sachen verkaufen, Koffer packen, in die Freiheit ziehen. Wer möchte das nicht? Den Alltagsstress hinter sich lassen, endlich so leben, wie man es sich immer erträumt hatte. Nun, ganz so ist es leider doch nicht…

Auch anderswo gibt es einen Alltag.

Reisen ist nicht auswandern – und selbst digitale Nomaden haben einen Laptop und 2DoListen, Deadlines, und Verpflichtungen. Bevor man wirklich den Schritt zum Auswandern wagt, sollte man sich genau fragen, warum man auswandern möchte. Auch, wenn sich nicht immer alles planen lässt, ist es doch ganz sinnvoll, sich wenigstens einige Gedanken darüber zu machen, welche Szenarien man sich vorstellen könnte. Oder, vielleicht anders ausgedrückt: einen Weg zu haben, den man gerne verfolgen, und für welchen man gerne arbeiten möchte. Klar, der Bürostress ist sicherlich in jedem Land etwas anders, je nach Arbeitskultur und Kontext. Doch Büro bleibt Büro. Wenn das eher nichts für dich ist, dann ist es sinnvoll, einen Plan oder eine ungefähre Ideen für Alternativen zu haben. Bereite dich so gut es geht vor, bevor du wirklich losziehst.

Nicht alles lässt sich vergleichen.

Wenn du in Deutschland aufgewachsen bist, und dich auch hauptsächlich dort aufgehalten hast, dann kann ein Kulturschock ziemlich stark sein. Nicht überall funktioniert alles so reibungslos wie in Deutschland. Löse dich von Erwartungen, denn dann wird jede neue Erfahrung nur einen bitteren Beigeschmack mit sich bringen – das muss nicht sein. Sei offen, sei neugierig, sei darauf vorbereitet, dass es “normal” nicht gibt. Und löse dich auch von sämtlichen Maßstäben und Vergleichen. Nicht alles lässt, und sollte sich, vergleichen. Damit stellenwir unserem Glück nur Steine in den Weg.

Die Welt liegt dir nicht zu Füßen.

Auch wenn es dir oft gesagt wurde – nein, die Welt liegt dir nicht zu Füßen. Ganz im Gegenteil. Ich glaube fest daran, dass wir alle mit einer Aufgabe geboren wurden, und unser Platz auf der Erde nicht nur durch Nehmen und Ansprüche stellen besteht. Wir sind hier, um zu Geben. Wenn du als Besucher*in in einem anderen Land, und in einer anderen Kultur bist, dann wird dein Umfeld sich nicht so gestalten, wie du es in Deutschland gewohnt warst. Mehr noch, dann hast du eine große Verantwortung, respektvoll mit der Kultur umzugehen, in welche dir Einblicke gewährt werden. Das ist ein großes Geschenk, vergiss das nie!

Nicht immer alles Strand und Kokosnuss

Ich werde mir mit folgendem Satz vielleicht nicht viele Freunde machen, doch aber meine ehrliche Meinung gesagt haben. Auswandern ist für mich nicht (mehr) in ein anderes Land der Europäischen Union zu ziehen. Auswandern ist für mich, die sichere Blase der EU zu verlassen, und einmal das Leben aus einer wirklich anderen Perspektive zu betrachten. Außenseiter*in sein. Privilegien erkennen und spüren. Das ganze Spektrum des Lebens beobachten, die freudigen und die traurigen Seiten. Zu sehen, dass harte Arbeit nicht immer belohnt wird. Dass gute Menschen nicht immer das bekommen, was sie verdient hätten. Der rohen Version des Lebens ins Angesicht zu sehen und dabei nicht verzweifeln, sondern stärker und mutiger werden.
Und auch – sich faszinieren lassen, von anderen Geschichten, die nichts mit dem Europäischen Kontinent zu tun haben. Erleben, wie es ist, eine Kolonialgeschichte hinter sich zu haben, in welcher man nicht eroberte, sondern erobert wurde. Erfahren, was die Menschen über Europa denken, wenn sie noch nie dort gewesen sind. Das alles ist unglaublich bereichernd und wird dich wachsen lassen!

Höre auf deine Intuition!

Es klingt nach einem Cliché, doch letzen Endes ist etwas dran – höre auf deine innere Stimme. Wenn dich etwas fortzieht, wenn du weißt, und es spürst, dass Auswandern in dieses Land, das dich so fasziniert, der richtige Weg ist, dann lass dir nicht von anderen einreden, dass du es nicht tun solltest. Denke immer daran – was ist das Schlimmste, das passieren kann? Wenn das Schlimmste ist, dass du wieder zurück nach Deutschland gehen musst, nun, dann ist es vielleicht wirklich nicht so schlimm …
Trau dich. Nimm der Entscheidung ihre Größe. Schritt für Schritt. Bereite dich vor. Informiere dich über Papiere. Streng dich an, und zeig, selbst den Beamten auf dem Amt für Migration, dass du das wirklich willst. Wie Paulo Coehlo sagte: Wenn du etwas wirklich möchtest, dann wird das Universum alles tun, damit es zu dir kommt. In diesem Sinne – auf in das Abenteuer!
Ich habe es bis heute kein einziges Mal bereut.

Du hast eine Frage? Schreibe mir gerne: contact.ariane.vera@gmail.com
Für weiteren Content und Einblicke dazu, wie es ist, auszuwandern, schau doch auf meinen Sozialen Medien vorbei!
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Receta: Nieve de mango (vegano, sin azúcar)

Soy una chica del viejo continente. Cuando veo un mango, me emociono. Hasta los 24 nunca había visto un árbol de mango (!!). La idea de poder sacar un mango del árbol, para mí, suena como el paraíso. No me atrevo comprar mangos en Alemania por la huella ecológica que deja la importación. Lo bueno de vivir en México es: Mangos son locales,¡y riquísimos!

Aunque no tenga un árbol de mango en mi jardín (todavía…) – descubrí la receta perfecta para hacer nieve de mango súper dulce y delicioso – sin azúcar. Aquí les comparto la receta, ¡es súper simple!

Necesitas: mango (maduro) + leche vegetal + licuadora

Para una porción de nieve …

1 Corta 1 mango en pedacitos y congélalos por lo menos 5 horas
2 Saca el mango del congelador y ponlo en una licuadora
3 Agrega 100 ml leche vegetal a la licuadora
4 Prende la licuadora, hasta que se mezcle el mango con la leche y la consistencia parece a nieve

Lo más importante en esta receta es la consistencia. Si el mango todavía no está congelado, o le metes demasiada leche en la licuadora, se hará licuado / smoothie – también es delicioso, pero no es nieve. Pon la leche poco a poco a la licuadora, la cantidad depende mucho del tamaño del mango.

Tipps:

5 Pon el vaso / bowl unos minutos en el congelador antes de servir la nieve en este. Así no se derrite tan rápido.
6 Para una nieve gourmet: sírvelo con algunas hojas de menta fresca o con un poco de limón … hmmmmm!


Disfruta la nieve, y el día con nieve de mango!!

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