Let us stand in solidarity. Not to a specific country, race or religion but rather to humanity
– David Vox
02/11/2020 – All Soul’s Day 2020 was a beautiful sunny autumn day, which invited the Austrians to have one last drink or dinner with their friends before the second lockdown.
Shortly after 8:00 p.m. breaking news came in from the police of Vienna: “Shots fired in the Inner City – … -Keep away from all public places or public transport – don’t share any videos or photos.”
An Islamist terrorist destroyed heavily armed the peaceful and cheerful gathering of the people. He killed four people and injured numerous in the heart of Vienna with it, he hurt the hearts of the Viennese. This attack leaves traces, not only at the crime scene and place itself, but in our minds and souls.
It is impressing how determined the inhabitants of Vienna and Austria reacted with a wave of solidarity, common grief and respect.
By focusing on what we have in common in the hours of pain, grief and helpfulness, we experience deep in our hearts that our souls are longing for exactly this peace and unconditional love.
Numerous postings like “Love is stronger than hate”, #wienliebe, #wirsindwien (EN: #viennalove, #wearevienna) encouraged especially on social media to respond together to this attack with love and not hate.
JU’S 3 QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
1. Our planet is currently confronted with many changes and challenges, which also enable us humans to expand our consciousness. How do you experience this transformation yourself?
2. What was your best experience of solidarity so far? How do you personally contribute to this act?
3. What can we all do worldwide to be more aware of our souls and to protect them?
🙎🏻♀️Agathe Magdalena Schwarzinger🇦🇹
Magdalena is a clinical and health psychologist, art therapist and human energeticist – we met each other for the first time in the Grandmother Turtle Center1The Grandmother Turtle Center offers seminars related to mediation and healing. Website: https://www.grandmotherturtle.com in 2009 and attended together a course to become a ‘Spiritual Healer’. I admire Magdalena for her self-discipline, her clear language, her artistic talent, her gentle nature and her love for people. She loves gardening and taking walks in nature.
🙎🏻♀️Daniela Letizia Zenone🇮🇹🇩🇪
Daniela and I met each other during the Solopreneur Mastermind, a remote mastermind group, in April 2020 on ZOOM during the first lockdown.
Meanwhile we have our own ‘Mastermind Connection’ and have regular Skype meetings.
Daniela has a master’s degree in sociology and art history. Today she works as a job and career coach and offers courses in mindfulness training.
I like her warm laugh, her expressive and clear communication as well as her openness and creativity. Daniela’s interests are culture and philosophy.
Julia-Maria has a master’s degree in International Development and is a graduate of the Diplomatic Academy – as a grateful and proud aunt and godmother, I could admire and see Julia’s repertoire of talents from the beginning on growing. She is a true language talent, a great strategist and networker as well as very sensitive and attentive. As a twin mom she spends a lot of time with her husband and daughters and loves to maintain her international contacts.
I experience that many people are very insecure and frightened in these times. At the same time, however, many are beginning to ask themselves what is important, what counts and what is valuable and long lasting in their lives.
For me personally an intensive examination of my own being and work is of high relevance.
I experience this transformation as a great opportunity – especially for our “Western” world to wake up from the trance of capitalism and consumption, to free ourselves from manipulations of greed and to find our true core, our true humanity, again.
For me, it is about many small things and encounters in everyday life, like supporting each other, being there and caring for each other. I am talking about the small attentions in daily life from my fellow human beings, which give strength and courage.
My personal contribution is that, beyond my professional activity, I get involved where I am needed and where I am present for my surrounding – whether it is by listening and having the courage to speak or by helping in everyday life.
All in all, recent times have made me even more sensitive and attentive to our behavior towards our planet – Mother Earth. So, I am trying to live more sustainably with regard to my consumer behavior and to see my decisions not only from my own point of view and comfort, but also what effect they have on the whole.
To be able to exist as humanity, we must remember who we really are and who is the origin of our soul.
I would like to quote from a letter from Albert Einstein to his daughter. It touched me very much and contains the key to the solution of our human problems – LOVE!
“Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love. This force explains everything and gives meaning to life (…).” -Albert Einstein
🙎🏻♀️Daniela Letizia Zenone🇮🇹🇩🇪
The current crises have torpedoed our egocentric image of viewing the world and ourselves. The external securities and points of reference, such as politics, science and the economy, show their fragility. The illusion of power and control over life has been shattered. I welcome this evolutionary phase of reflection and contemplation, which is now being inevitably experienced by everyone and carries an enormous potential. It is a time of reflection, of looking at the known, of questioning and changing perspectives. It is a great opportunity on a social and personal level, which can drive us forward – and not backward as before. Therefore, we need humility. It is not simply about admitting mistakes, but it is infinitely liberating and purifying. When I feel that my ideas, decisions and actions of yesterday are not coherent today, then I should say “I thought/said/did it wrong” – with joy, because it means that I have become “bigger” than yesterday and yesterday is outdated.
It is precisely life that makes us all examine and question the values and truths that are packaged for us. Precisely because there is a lot of confusion outside, we have the chance to develop more autonomy in thinking without being manipulated. This requires a lot of rest and grounding, as well as patience and critical distance from information overload.
I also see the chance of a major paradigm shift that can bring a healthy culture of giving to the fore instead of a culture of getting. When an external enemy is active, such as the pandemic, people move together and become solidary with each other. The more the current crisis is effective, the more the radicalism of individuality is weakened and the understanding of a commonality, of the other becomes more and more clear and authentic.
Fortunately, there are indescribably many – small and large – experiences of solidarity that have touched me. I found, for example, in the first lockdown the wave of solidarity with hospital-, nursing, supermarket-, transport- and delivery service personnel were very beautiful and promising for a new evaluation of systemically relevant professions. Unfortunately, there was no improvement for employees in these sectors. I think that solidarity should not be experienced in a smooth emotional way but should work in the sense of change. Giving and receiving applause is flattering but then the deeds count (such as improving working conditions, increasing income, etc.).
There is a difference between “I love you” and “What can I do to make you feel good?”. Only yesterday I learned from a friend with health issues that her colleagues have renounced a part of their vacations and have given her a total of 5 months off so that she can recover well without the fear of losing her job. I found that very touching. Solidarity has to do with GIVING – it is about SHARING your own time, attention and energy.
Another nice example of solidarity is the exemplary attitude of the young Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 at the age of 15. His story became accessible to everyone because he was beatified by Pope Francis a month ago. His mother told me that Carlo bought warm sleeping bags for the homeless with his pocket money and in the evening he had the habit of distributing food and drinks to them. His mother was surprised that on the day of his funeral the church was crowded with so many unknown people of different nationalities and religions. They were underprivileged people who had come for the last farewell to Carlo. Solidarity builds bridges and opens horizons.
Every day I try to practice and cultivate the art of solidarity in small gestures. In the past I mistakenly thought that solidarity could only be measured by the size of the action. Today I have a different opinion and think that even “invisible” actions such as praying for others are great and effective. In solidarity I try to shape my relationships in the sense of comforting, giving advice and inspiring courage. A regular practice of solidarity for me is also the donation to charitable projects. From Judaism and Christianity, I have learned the importance of this activity, according to which charity is equated with solidarity. A tenth of the income is recommended for donations, which everyone can use as a guide. It is a duty towards the community – no matter if you earn 500 Euro or 5000 Euro per month. Most people think that donations should only be made in abundance, according to the motto “If I have enough for myself, I will donate”, but the question is, what does “having enough for yourself” mean?
We perceive our souls in silence when the circling of thoughts stops and when we look inside. We don’t need much for this, but the intention to face all our weaknesses. I think that a time of crisis is ideal for an honest relationship with oneself. This also means “work”, but it is definitely worth it! I think that the best way to meet with ourselves is by meditating or praying; it connects us with our true self and allows us to get in touch with the infinite, with the divine.
In my opinion protection occurs when we are centered and cultivate trust in our needs and intuitions. What is good for us and what feeds our soul, strengthens us. When we are stable, we can better handle challenges and overcome crises. A fundamental help in this is to learn to be “in solidarity with ourselves” and to accept and love ourselves with all light and shadow; only then can we truly become in solidarity with others.
I personally experience this transformation very intensively, but at the same time very calmly. For a long time already, a very pleasant calm has been growing within me. Something gives me the feeling that an urgently needed transformation process is in full swing and that everything leads a more peaceful, appreciative environment of love in the end. In this trust and the firm belief that everything is right, I feel safe and secure.
Some people have started this process earlier, others are just starting it, but numerous people are becoming more vigilant, more conscious and intuitively recognize what really matters in life.
My best experience of solidarity. That is a difficult question to answer. Why? It doesn’t always have to be big solidarity statements or a big outcry. Solidarity begins on a small scale and often very quietly.
Fortunately, I experience solidarity again and again, be it in the work environment, when a colleague notices the pressure or problems that burden me at a particular moment and offers me an open ear and strategies with understanding. Or with other parents who know the challenges that arise in everyday life with children. Or also in the circle of friends and above all in the family.
For me, solidarity is a description of the compassion, the empathy that moves us to be there for others in different ways, spontaneously and from the heart, just like that.
Spontaneously, for whatever reason, I remember an experience in Barcelona last year when I was travelling with my husband without our twins. My husband had to pick up something from our room and I was sitting in a coffee shop and talking on the phone with my mom, who was looking after our daughters during the vacation. Anyway, the girls noticed that grandma was talking on the phone with their mum and started calling out loud “mommyyy”. When my tears started to roll, a waitress, who had probably watched me for a while, came up to me and handed me a tissue, accompanied by a comforting smile. This small attention and the young lady’s sincere need to give comfort touched me deeply.
Personally, I live in solidarity, sometimes going beyond my comfort zone and offering my help whenever I can help someone. Last year in November, for example, I was in Mexico as a very good friend of mine once again had cancer and was seriously ill. I wanted to support him in a project and motivate him. This expression of solidarity naturally also required the solidarity of my husband, who had to look alone after our daughters, who were only 2 years old at the time. In Mexico, my friend’s family was not only very touched by my solidarity, but almost even more by my husband’s. In order to give a good friend new courage in a difficult time, he let his wife travel to Mexico alone, while he took care of the children and the household.
As long as we are not aware of our existence as soul beings it is very difficult to protect our souls. Unfortunately, the focus in our society is still rather on the protection and preservation of physical health. Fortunately, the knowledge and understanding that one thing goes hand in hand with the other is becoming more and more important. In my opinion, a spirit/soul that is at rest within itself and that does not let itself be stirred up by the storms outside is one of the most beautiful gifts to itself but also to all people in the surrounding area. Like gentle waves, which spread out on waters, this peace has an unshakeable effect on others and brings them on board. If we concentrate on the essentials and try to understand that supposed “values” like fame and glory, wealth and power are only human constructs that stand in the way of, or even harm, our soul development, then we open a door to the development of a spirit that is at rest within itself. In this way, our handling of everyday problems, for example, which we may overestimate, becomes more conscious, and slowly a consciousness opens up which offers protection to our soul.
This is also accompanied by a turning away from taking things personally, from feeling personally attacked or hostile. Apart from the fact that most attacks from the outside anyway either reflect the inner life of the attacker and thus cannot hurt us if we live in inner peace, the term “personal” with consequently the concentration on an individual is something that is pushed more and more into the background in the course of the consciousness process. The more we recognize the connections, the more we realize that we are all one big whole, like single drops of water that unite in the sea, the more protected are our souls, embedded in the protective mantle and the security of the collective. What is really important in life? There are very few things that we in our (mainly western) world take for granted and at the same time unconsciously focus on day after day.
What else we can do to protect our souls – to reawaken our basic trust, namely the trust that everything will come into being and develop at the right time, and the trust that in the end everything has its meaning, even if we often realize it much later…