The Shaman?

While I was dancing with the moon and the sun last week at the festival, I had quite a number of insights from deep within.

Over the last couple of years I identified as a futurist. And I kinda realized now that this is still a fragment from my old life. Futurist was the term that would best describe what I do in the business context but my reality is, my nature was never that of a businessman.

While I was dancing I realized that although I have quite some talent in the field what I am really interested in is mythology, storytelling, psychology and altered states and the expansion of consciousness and awareness. And I realized that I identify more with a “modern day shaman” – a transpersonal psychologist – than a futurist… at least when it comes to what I am on the inside.

That scene from “What the Bleep to we (k)now?” with the shaman just came to my mind while I am writing this and essentially that is what I do and always did.

I kinda can see the ripples and eventually can see the ships before others do, that’s why some people started calling me a futurist or giving me similar labels.

Yet, I am more of a shaman. And it’s funny, looking back when I was 19, some people used to call me the “Shaman of Hietzing” (the district I am from). I didn’t know then what a shaman is… still, I did sacred medicine work with people, doing ceremonies with people – neither knowing what sacred medicine is, nor what ceremonies are. I just followed my intuition and people loved the one-on-one “sessions” with me. I would go on a path that would make me shine and then in the 2010s I thought I needed to be a businessman to provide for my wife and myself… well at least that is the story I tell myself.

In reality one of the reasons I left healing work was that I felt like I never had experienced my “shamanic crisis” – which I believe to be essential if you work in “traditional” forms of healing. However, this has definitely changed over the course of the last couple of years.

Furthermore, I realized that one of my teachers and inspirers, Stanislav Grof, gave me the blueprint for my path when I joined him in a private session in 2007. I didn’t quite grasp it then, but now I feel like I’m ready.

The feeling I have right now inside is sound. Let’s see how things will roll from here.

For the moment, I just know, I want to enjoy this summer. There is still so much work I need to do before I leave Vienna. So I guess I will sleep less, work harder, prepare for the summer and enjoy my last days in Vienna. And when I am back to Attica again I will focus on the work I truly love, sharing it with the people I connect in love with – celebrating life again.

vox

Freak Show?

I remember when I first arrived at OZORA I felt like an alien.

In reality I kinda just had entered another dimension.

People there looked like from another strange planet.

Some are just crazy looking people, others are a bit weird, some again look scary.

The cool thing about Goa festivals is: People don’t really give a shit about how you run around… but only if you act like an idiot or not.

That actually really helps you to be able to discover yourself: In the process you have the chance to discover your own unique style, your true self, as your style becomes the unique expression of your-self.

So, no-one really cares how you look like but how you act like!

You know, at Goa festivals it is common for people to share anything… even if it is scarce: Their water, alcohol, tobacco or anything else…

It is common for participants to take care of each other – e.g. if a glass bottle shatters on the floor, participants will clean it up quickly as almost everyone walks around barefoot. Or when it is blazing hot some people will run around with spray bottles cooling down their fellow participants by spraying water at them.

It is common for participants to hug each other or make random compliments with no sexual intention.

E.g. hammocks are kinda a public good. Usually you can lie down in any of them. The list goes on and on and on…

It feels kinda odd, simply because we are not used to that.

Freak show?

Just imagine people would act like that in the real world!

I love the Goa vibe as it is uncommen to what I am used to in real life.

Maybe it is just me. But in real life I am used to people just taking care of themselves, usually just looking out for themselves, often looking away when something strange happens, usually not really sharing anything with strangers, usually not really caring what is going on around them.

Freak show?

At last weeks festival I started to wonder: On which side of the entrance is the real freak show?

Who gets to decide?

Well, for me it is really hard to tell… but perhaps in the meantime I became one of them… however… don’t ever tell my baby-girl: I guess in reality daddy eventually became one of the most noticeable freaks at some of those trans-dimensional parties 😳😂😉

vox

The Ritual

When I went to OZORA for the first time in 2016 I didn’t quite know what to expect.

When I arrived there I was excited and at the same time, I felt like there are mostly freaks running around that I couldn’t necessarily identify with.

After my second day I thought I should leave, yet, a friend told me he will show me how to dance with the moon and the sun.

What shall I say… I started dancing with the moon at midnight. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life before. My body became one with the rhythm and just started moving. My dance would become something in-between a “Qi Gong dance” – where I would move blocked energy from my body and embrace new energy to my body – and ultra speed “kung-fu movements”… i never knew I could actually move my body that fast.

After three hours of non-stop dancing I needed a break. I would sit down on the side of the main-stage at the hill where I had a nice overview of the main-stage. Suddenly, I would start to think of people with whom I still had some unresolved issues in my life. Spontaneously – similar to a family constellation work – I would feel them, feel the pain I inflicted in their life and talk to them, ask them for forgiveness and or farewell them. One by one. Some I would send text-messages to, others I would just connect to internally.

This was one of the most transformational nights I have had in my life… possibly even the one. After about two hours of this process I continued to a dance a bit more before I would go to sleep in a random hammock in the forrest for the first time in my life (and I would never sleep in a tent at festivals on my own again after that night).

When I woke up the next day I learned how to dance with the sun-rhythem. The dance is kinda different: less smooth – more carthasic and liberating. This would become the day I would dance for the first time in my life for more than 10 hours.

Dancing with the moon is more of a “feminine” dance whereas dancing with the sun more of a “masculine” dance. The moon dance would soften the body, unleash stagnation and blockages and make the energy float again properly, while the sun dance is a dance that makes you release whatever needs to be released. And both ways of dancing help me to process my shit.

I returned from OZORA as a different man. It was a new awakening. The beginning of the end of my marriage and the beginning of my new life.

“Goa-dance” would become my carthasis – my healing ritual. In 2017 I would show OZORA to my – then – still-wife but she wasn’t able to experience this journey with me – it was kinda my last hope to reconnect with her in that surreal world again. But she would separate from me a few months later.

During the 2018 festival I was eventually able to let go of her during my first night at OZORA – dancing with the moon again – eventually sending her my sincere blessings for her future life without me at the end of my first ritual (and literally divorcing her the day after the festival in peace).

In 2019 – dancing with the sun – I realized deep inside for the first time that I would become a father that month.

That “epiphany” would make me dance for more than 12 hours continuously out of pure joy and love for my unborn daughter.

OZORA would become my most important yearly ritual. It is like a real-life seven day holotropic breathwork session for me – it has all the aspects of holotropic breathwork with the music, the people and community, the carthasis, the epiphanies and artistic expression, ecstatically dancing would equalize the breathwork and bodywork for me… I kinda subconsciously applied the holotropic breathwork framework I had learned for five years and made the festival my breathing-mat 😉 yet, a good Goa festival feels way more intense and transformational.

Still, for me, Goa/Psytrance, is no music I particularly enjoy. It is a crazy rhythm inspired by shamanic drums – those that catapult you into a trance. And my dance is my cathartic movement that lets me naturally process whatever trauma or stagnation is stuck inside from the previous year.

This weekend, I attended a proper outdoor-festival for the first time since OZORA 2019 (due to the Corona Pandemic OZORA was canceled in 2020 and 2021). It was just a four day festival, yet it did the “job” for me… dancing again on Goa with the moon and the sun.

The timing was perfect… the last days of spring 2021, not having danced like that in almost two years and so much to process.

I had so many epiphanies and insights it almost blew my mind while welcoming the summer of 2021.

Welcome Summer 😉

vox

Efat jan

Vienna

Today we carried my grandmother to her grave in her 98th year of life and I had the honor to pay my last respects to her with the memorial speech.

She was a special person with a strong character. This picture is her proudly riding me around Tehran in her 40 year old Pekan at the age of 83 when I went to Iran in 2007.

She had this strong, independent side in herself, yet, she always complained about everything, due to the deficiency she felt deep inside – no surprise with her history: The blows of fate she had experienced with the death of both of her parents at an early stage, with the brutal suicide of her sister, with the murder of her husband during the Iranian Revolution and the early death of her own daughter due to brain cancer she endured a lot of pain and suffering.

I remember one day when I was in Tehran and came back from her house – like usually after I had visited her, my energy was drained – and complained about her character to my dervish friend, he responded: “She is one of the greatest masters of your life!” This response went really deep and would eventually guide me many years later in my greatest crisis when a person with very similar character traits tried emotionally blackmailing and punishing me. I see this individual and how she treats me as my greatest master and greatest challenge and teaching of my life – and possibly even my guide to full awakening.

The strength and calmness I remain in today would not exist if I hadn’t had this experience. For that I am really grateful to my grandmother and my dervish friend.

Apart from that, my grandmother was one of my main pillars of my life in Iran. I have a lot of memories some more coining experiences with and trough her in Iran and the trip of my life in 2007.

Those Iran trips between 2007-2013 were the most important ones of my life and she was an integral part of them.

And now she is gone.

Friday a week ago – just 15 hours before she had passed away – I visited her for the last time. Looking back to these final moments with each other, my thoughts and how I fared her well I realize: As a grandchild, on the deathbed of your grandmother you don’t judge her by how much she had loved you or cared inside for you or what she had done on the outside but on the overall impact she had on the life of your parents and on your personal life.

Thank you for the good and the bad… and the good I had learned from the bad, Efat. After this tormenting life, may you finally experience abundance wherever you are now, dance again and may your soul finally rest in peace.

Ya hagh

vox

Winter 2021

The last three months were intense in many ways. I worked a lot, I meditated a lot and I processed a lot.

I kinda enjoyed the lockdown as it helped me to focus on my work and myself.

I processed a lot of stuff. I’m now in the fourth month of my detox and along the way I had quite some epiphanies and farewelled a lot of things that were toxic in my life… beliefs, patterns and people.

I worked with a clinical psychologist to check out my mental state and if I possibly have a personality disorder as someone indirectly accused me of having a serious one. I mean, most people who have serious issues believe they don’t have them, so I wondered if I might have a blind spot there.

I worked with the psychologist – especially looking at the disorders of narcissism and borderline – and fully opened up to her and told her about my potentially negative behaviours. And we also talked a lot about the topics of manipulation and lying.

Her conclusion was: “You are neither narcissistic nor borderline, yet you show clear symptoms of narcissistic abuse!”

She would continue to say that “victims” of narcissistic abuse usually question their sanity and believe they are the ones who are the predators and that this was one of the signs.

I read up quite some stuff on this topic and it was relieving for me to read what other people experiencing this type of abuse had experienced. And looking back, really the people I got rid off in the last three months were all either narcissistic or had, at least, some narcissistic traits.

As we also looked into the topics of lying and manipulation she told me that both are kinda overrated in society. Everyone does a fair bit of both and they are part of everybody’s life (a person lies more than 100 times a day) and although not honourable it is normal although avoidable. However, she said the only exception where lying acceptable is, when someone is in a self-defence situation where you have to deal with someone you cannot collaborate and/or or in a position of overwhelming power.

Thant’s a very interesting thought.

I mean, obviously I cannot claim I lie less then everybody. But when it comes to the big lies? I know so many people who lie to have a competitive advantage, to gain some money, power, influence. But yes, when I consciously lie, I do so usually to protect myself or someone I love, in situations, I do not have (or see) another option. So many people I know who lie or manipulate simply for egoistic reasons.

So this process was quite enlightening for me.

Also I was finally able to forgive a person who did unjust to me and where I could never have imagined just three months ago that I would ever be able to forgive. But you know what: When you do the inner work I do for every day over the last 5 months (including, meditation, yoga, breathwork, qi gong, workout, reading, gratitude rituals, forgiveness rituals,…), things change on a deeper level. And I do all that stuff every day… there is a reason why my morning routine lasts for about 3 hours in the meantime 😉

So finally, last week I was able to forgive the person I thought I would never be able to forgive. And it’s funny, I send that person a long letter to apologise for my side – for my sh!t. However, postal tracking shows that it never arrived. However, at the post office they told me that it might not have been properly tracked.

I wonder what that stands for symbolically. For a moment I wondered if I should rewrite the letter and send it again. But then I though: Maybe there is a reason it didn’t arrive. Maybe it is not important for it to arrive. Maybe it was just important for me to forgive and apologise in my heart. And perhaps that person would have thought anyways that this letter is merely an act of “manipulation”.

Yes, I was able to forgive and apologize genuinely. And by know I understand from a deeper level inside that forgiving and peace are the highest forms of love.

So I guess my detox is over.

So today spring has started. I drew three cards. For last year: “Breakthrough”, for the new year: “The Rebel” and as inspiration: “Awareness”.

Although I always question the validity of the cards, this time they couldn’t have been more suiting.

I believe I’m ready for a new cycle, a new spring.

Happy Noruz 🙂

vox

The Institution

I was never particularly interested in the British Royal Family and never followed what was going on on the inside, yet yesterday I took the time to watch the Ophra interview with Prince Harry and Meghan.

The fact that a member of the royal family had a concern about the skin color of Archie made me curious – a type of unconscious racism that I experienced myself multiple times during my lifetime. I had quite a few girlfriends who’s parents expressed their concern about them potentially having a child with me due to my ethnicity.

I watched the interview very vigilantly and although I know that we got only presented one side of the story (and I am, nonetheless, pretty sure that this was merely an excerpt of Harry’s and Meghan’s truth). I believe that their perception is indeed their truth.

“Institution” is defined as: A “stable, valued, recurring patterns of behavior” or “integrated systems of rules that structures social interactions”. So in my terminology I would call it a manifestation of certain values, paradigms and behaviours/interactions – which naturally unconsciously breeds unconscious bias in itself.

So really, I am not surprised by what the couple unveiled during their interview. When we look at Britain’s role in the history of the world in the last few centuries and on what foundations it was built upon – especially colonialism – it is obvious that some type of unconscious bias and racism is part of that institution.

Unconscious racism is something that is merely understood by the ones who are not directly affected – “the privileged”. There are so many aspects to racism that are not obvious that the ones who are part of a system – part of an “institution” – actually cannot grasp it until they get directly affected through a close friend or partner – and often even then they downplay it as it is an inconvenient and painful truth.

And they are not to blame. If you grow up with a set of beliefs and values which are your “normal” how should you be able to challenge your own beliefs. The problem is, when you don’t know that you don’t know what you don’t know, you cannot challenge it. It is out of your conception. It is literally a blind spot. And it is part of your everyday reality.

It’s kinda like telling a fish that it lives in water. It only knows water. It’s its only reality and anything else then water is somehow inconceivable for it. And it would never question it. Questioning it would be kinda crazy.

So usually the people putting the focus and attention at those truths or blind spots are called out for being crazy or victimising themselves.

“Meghan is playing the race-card!”

Is she?

Or is she not merely mirroring an inconvenient truth?

What about the obvious double standards the media had when praising Kate for doing exactly the same things (e.g. eating avocados) while attacking Meghan for it (this was an example in the interview).

So your first reaction will perhaps be now: “Avocados?! WTF? Who cares about avocados?” This is exaggerated and she seems to be too sensitive.

Is she?

Isn’t it exactly these seemingly ridiculous occurrences that show so much truth? And this is merely one that can be easily proven, as it is documented by the media. So many other such seemingly small occurrences aren’t.

And it is funny that I wrote about family dynamics in my last entry before the interview: Harry spoke about “History is repeating itself.” Of course it is. First of all, Harry needed to understand WHY had happened to his mother – subconsciously choosing the “right” partner for that. And by choosing Meghan and leaving he chose to overcome and heal that “destiny”. And also, of course history is repeating itself, because the Royals never really made up with what had happened to/with Diana and why. So it had to repeat itself. That’s the natural cycle of what happens within families (sometimes even over many generations) when things don’t get solved or healed.

When Harry said that his father and brother are trapped in a cage that they cannot perceive it from the inside, I perfectly understood what he was talking about. I know so many people – including me – who are trapped in their thought patterns, their unconscious dogmas and paradigms – their “mental institutions” – usually the ones they have taken over from their family and society. And that’s the reason why most people are actually trapped and not “free”.

These paradigms are so tricky because we don’t know that we don’t know what we don’t know and therefore never question it.

I wish for Harry that his issues with his family will eventually get solved. But my personal experience shows me that his cards are not the best. In the past, I have tried to show to people very dear to me the mental traps that confine them and I hardly ever was successful and usually paid a very high price for it.

It is easier to maintain the status quo than challenge a well established and seemingly security-giving “institution”. In the process you usually find something valid to prove that those people who speak out these inconvenient truths – showing you your cage – are generally crazy so you eventually have an excuse to get rid of them.

Yes, also in this respect history is repeating itself. Throughout human history usually the people who would speak the truth would get stigmatised or killed. That’s one of the reasons why Sufis for example wrote poems, where you can only find the truth in-between the lines.

And as one of my deeply experienced friends on the path of truth once said:

Even most people who believe they are “awakened” are merely people who just had a spiritual opening and then return to their golden cage to find a comfortable position within.

vox

Family “Dynamics”

Today eleven years ago I got married. It was a very special day for me and perhaps one of the most beautiful days of my life.

It was magical how things had fallen into line the last days before our wedding day. We only had two weeks to prepare it and up to three days earlier, we didn’t have rings, the bride didn’t have a wedding dress and there was no high-speed internet for my parents – who couldn’t come because of travel restrictions – to be able to attend via Skype (in 2010 in Iran high-speed internet just had started to take off and just worked through some private suppliers).

But suddenly within the last three days we coincidentally found someone who had exactly the rings we were looking for, then coincidentally found a tailor through a magazine ad in a taxi who had one ready tailored wedding dress left in the brides size and, finally, someone rang at the brides family home – were we would marry – to ask if they needed high-speed internet.

Everyone who had attended our wedding loved the vibe of the event. And it seemed like everything was set for the perfect life together.

But when my – then – wife came to Vienna in 2010 I subconsciously restaged my parent’s relationship.

In my last entry I talked about not being ready to become part of someone else’s family trauma. And then I realized that I have done this myself as well, although I have done so many years of self-explorational work and even facilitate family constallations, once I got married I was in a kind of trance.

And the term “trance” quite pinpoints that experience. I always kinda understood mentally what was going on but still couldn’t help it. It was like a trance and I was repeating those patterns that I had experienced from my parents marriage.

We humans have the tendency to restage our family trauma over and over again until we heal even if we are kinda conscious about it.

For some it is a toxic relationship, for others it is an unfaithful partner. For some it is a divorce, for others it is a family member being chased away. For some it is leaving the family and for others it is being left. And sometimes it is even the opposite role we take, so we can understand the parent better, who had “done it to me/us”.

It is recurring patterns in a family that often are passed on for generations in a family’s history until someone comes along and solves it… and heals it.

But merely by repeating it, we do not heal it. Just if we start to understand that pain, that trauma that is being repeated, we can start to understand… start to forgive the ones we got traumatised by…

So usually, we will pass it on to our partner or children the trauma that we have experienced.

But most people are not even aware. And even for some – like me – who were half-aware, that “trance” is so strong that although you can see it, you often cannot do anything about it.

However, today I can see how badly – but unconsciously – I had “abused” my ex-wife to heal my family dynamics… my family trauma. If I had become fully aware and conscious about it earlier, I could have done some conscious healing work to solve it. I was always aware but not fully aware.

I really am sorry that I did drag that special person into this unhealthy dynamic.

vox

Rise Again

On Wednesday I saw my daughter for the first time in many weeks. She seemed to be stunned that I am a real person and not merely a moving image on a screen. She recognises me as the picture called “Baba” but seems not to understand who I really am… who I really am supposed to be in her life.

She knows me as a moving image from our weekly 10-minute video-calls as in the last 8000 hours she only saw me for eight hours in person.

There was an interesting moment when my daughter fell to the ground during our meeting. Her mother complained and I responded: “Don’t worry, if she doesn’t fall she does not learn how to rise again.”

Yesterday, a young inspiring woman asked me „Since when are you spiritual?“ Interesting question. Well, firstly, I don’t like to call myself spiritual too much. Most people I know who use it to describe themselves are actually not really. They often merely made a spiritual experience or had their spiritual emergence and start to believe that makes them spiritual – being spiritual is walking a path and how you treat people and life but not an experience. Usually, in my humble opinion, people who call themselves spiritual often have a very superficial understanding of spirituality and are not ready to walk on the true path.

However, my first spiritual emergence was when I was 24. I had just finished university and had fallen in love with a woman who had challenged many of my paradigms in life. Once the relationship was over, the situation had weighted me down. I fell into a type of depression and when I rose again, I did experience my spiritual emergence.

Depression literally means to be weighted down.

When my start-up was put down by government officials in 2017 and it was unclear if I would get prosecuted, I was weighted down again. I couldn’t get out of bed for weeks. Eventually this event also triggered our already unfulfilling relationship with my ex-wife to fail. There again, I couldn’t get out of bed for weeks. And again when the mother of my child decided I shouldn’t play a major role in my child’s life I was weighted down.

At first glance, it might seem that I must be weak that I always fell to the ground. But reality is, I’m an empath – which makes me more sensitive to life events – yet, I rose again… every single time. And there is so many people who are broken after only one of such life events. I just realized recently that the majority of (real) homeless people and (not organized) beggars in Austria are men who broke after their marriage had failed and/or they lost their children. And often they were former lawyers, bankers or doctors before they broke.

Rocky Balboa told his whining son once: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you get hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life.“

In my last post I described how I repeatedly got beaten up when I was in elementary school and that I never punched back as I was scared to seriously hurt people. What did I do instead? I would get up however hard I got hit and just started laughing at the people who had hit me. So they would hit me harder in return until I would go down once more. But I rose again and would even laugh harder at these people. This would always continue until I would scare the shit out of them.

However hard life would hit me, so far I’ve never stayed on my knees permanently. I always got up again and rising again became the major driver of my “spirituality”.

So, also this time I will not stay on my knees and make myself available for some reality and narrative of other people who need to subconsciously abuse me to become the reason for repeating their family’s history and projecting their family trauma onto me. It is my choice if I make myself available for other people to restage their childhood trauma or if I live my own life. I believe life is too short for that and I prefer to live my own life.

Especially when you tried everything you could to solve issues, you need to let go, take the essence with you and move on to the next stage and rise again.

Now it is time to move on and continue building the life I love surrounding myself again with people who inspire me. And recently I’ve been blessed with so many new inspirational people in my life.

I love my life.

I love life…

vox