Julia’s 2021 – a reflection –
2021 was some hard core year. It was a bit like this picture: there was a lot of burnt grass (here onions) and a few diamonds, (here delicious potatoes). A lot of burnt paths but also a lot of development for me personally. Difficulties can always trigger psychological and mental evolution and I have practiced to get at the juicy stuff without derailing myself and come into clarity faster like that. An old friend once said to me: “Julia, you always dive in completely”. Of course, I didn’t stop with that in 2021. So this will become less of a description of what was on the outside, but what was allowed to happen on the inside. Transformation happens mostly from the inside out. Not always to be seen in plain sight, but the skilled eye “feels” it.
I really missed being allowed to stand on a stage in 2021, to make art with others, together. I missed real, face to face classes, in general this 2nd Covid year was again full of deficiency and absence in community and art.
The latter is a big part of who I am and that’s why I was extremely happy in December when I received the acceptance for a project scholarship of the Ministry of Economy, Research & Art Baden-Württemberg! Yippee! So at least the first part of the year 2022 will be marked by that! Light and shadow, they go together! What an emotionally rich year!
Now more about the richness, which was mostly online to be found & in my very personal realm!
In 2021 I published 15 blog posts and several newsletters, did ballet online, had students online even from the USA and Yemen, took a business course online, tried hypnosis online, offered mediations & Anthony William inspired visions of the future online, started tapping online (thanks bunches Jenny Clift), had a first negative rapid covid test of many to come (that was offline) and an exciting online Master Class Trans* Voices from Opera Programs Berlin, finally started Instagram (you wouldn’t believe it), coached online, was interviewed about my healing process with Anthony William, jump-started, online and in real life many people with the Anthony William lifestyle. Oh and part of my work got a new name and was restructured: Transformationsss is now the name of my coaching work that combines voice, psyche & nutrition.
Yes, there were also live classes and live coaching this year, in my studio in Stuttgart under the roof of KreativDialog, thanks Petra (another bright light in this crazy year). In June a new board of my work association was elected with a large number of women, the largest number of women ever into the board of DTKV BaWü, Christopher Street Day took place in Stuttgart despite Covid in bright sunshine and it was even a beautiful event despite masks !
So there was stuff to be THANKFUL FOR!
In order to look back, I chosen three topics to try to describe how and what changed (within) me. Transformation has so many faces and even in the darkest hour it is helpful to see that trivial things are not always as trivial and that ‘Making Lemonade out of Lemons‘ is an exercise, a process. Grief and sadness should be, to be felt. Covid touched all of us and there was no fun to be found in that. For us musicians it was hard, for so many reasons…for us chronically ill people, it intensified many things that were already problematic before Covid and on the other hand what we often experienced for years became “normal” for all of us: social distancing, reducing contacts, not being able to go out on the town etc. Those are often part of everyday life for chronically ill people, at least for us spoonies. That was some how nice, because suddenly the non-spoonies could feel what it is like. That made us come together a bit.
yeah, that sounds like such a superficial topic…hmm, maybe it is, but hey, feeling good has many facets and takes all sorts of tricks. My hair was often like my last resort, to feel beautiful, to be ok with me. Standing up to my depression was a year-long task. When I decided to get my hair done (after I had only trimmed it myself and had last gone to the hairdresser in 2020) I prepared everything well, photos, examples including a long clearing talk. So not so much could go wrong…so I thought.
Well, I sat there without my glasses and saw nothing, I only noticed how the hair fell and how my head got so much lighter. In between, I had to go to the bathroom…glasses on I saw myself…shock…big time…it was significantly shorter than agreed and also other parameters were somehow not as we had agreed on. Took a deep breath. Later I cried, alone. Maybe you know how it feels, when you are looking forward to a new beautiful hairstyle and then you’re very disappointed. It was not the first time, only this time I had counted on it so bad…I had planed this to lift my mood … and not make it worse …
ok, I do not look satisfied on the last photo…but I finally learned to style the new hairstyle and was thus once again confronted with my vanities, with my superficialities. Shadow work is a “hobby” of mine and the haircut was like the icing on the cake of my shadow work this year. After feeling all those feelings, I enjoy wearing my hair so short, washing and styling is much faster than usual, it gives me so much freedom. Cutting off old braids sometimes feels good, even if it hurts for a moment.
…my mom & more…
My mom and I, we didn’t always have it easy. This year something was allowed to change. I never call you ‘mom’, but you are my mom and maybe it is a bit brave of me to actually write this here. We could not be more different and very often, we do not have the same opinions, we still argue. Having different opinions is one thing, having different positions, as in society in general, is something that should not separate us completely.
James Baldwin said: “We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”
Being able to endure that others are different is perhaps even an exercise of our time. One of the most democratic exercises, perhaps. Deeply political. And with my mom I was and am allowed to practice this. To love her, to be empathetic with her, without always agreeing. I’m practicing. This year has been an exercise and a help in this regard, not only personally with my mom, but also considering the bigger picture.
Never before was it so obvious to me how important differentiation is and how important the many shades of gray are, that we should not only see everything in black and white. Important we may consider everything possible (thank you Frank Teichmann, in Memoriam), that we look closely and consider contexts and take them seriously. My old school “emblem” comes to mind: Zebra in rainbow colors. The motto of that wonderful school was: “Celebrate your Differences.”
When we consider that we may never know the full context, changes in perspective are possible and that positions have to do with exactly that: where is the spot we are looking from into the world. To be kind and understanding, that is what connects us and is what I try to connect with again and again.
I am skilled at arguing, I’m told my dad had full blown fights with me since I was about 3/4 (!). Over things like how to properly open breakfast eggs and more. That was definitely a good education in being able to handle conflict, stand my ground, and stand firm. Let’s put it this way, whether it was Model United Nations in high school or today, whoever argues with me may dress warmly (sorry, not sorry 😉 ) and always remember: facts are what I argue about. Because when it comes down to it, I can be relentless. Being very honest here. So it’s all the more an exercise for me to respect this multicoloredness, these gray areas and to react mildly, being factual and keeping my humanity. And because this year, tragically, Bell Hooks died (1952-2021, RIP, great role model) I must quote her here:
“How can we hold people accountable for their wrongdoing while staying connected enough to their humanity to believe in their ability to change?”
Staying connected to the humanity of others. Wonderfully put. In the spirit of Bell Hooks, that means staying in love, saying no when necessary, and respecting others. Because being kind and compassionate does not mean not knowing your limits. Or not being able to stand up for human rights. It is doing both, holding those border of humanity and being kind and firm. This is also what I like best about Anthony William, besides his wonderfully helpful health advice, his attitude of always being and staying compassionate always.
This year, was and is for me an exercise in compassion and on a personal level, in my work contexts and also politically I was allowed to practice this year and was allowed to see SUCCESS.
This process, which is certainly not over, a process in which I also practice gratitude. Change, transformation, Covid has brought us this all and I am also practicing to accept this transformation. I don’t succeed every second, clearly. But at the same time I was able to realize that I can be very flexible.
I have once again summoned up the courage to ask for help, and I have received help. I didn’t just ask acquaintances, no, I asked total strangers and now I have a new friend. So being brave has paid off again this year. I don’t know if you know this, but for me asking for help is not easy. I do admit, since my illness I have had to jump over my own shadow many times and leave my comfort zone, ask others for something. But acknowledging that I need help and am entitled to ask for it, that was real evolution for me – mentally, psychologically. It may sound small, but it wasn’t for me. It was huge. The moment I realized that, I was so moved, I cried.
And how was I able to break a barrier again, what made me do it? My physical condition, which put me to the test in 2021. Because as much as I am still convinced that Anthony William Lifestyle is my way and helps so many others (otherwise I wouldn’t have it in my repertoire to help people), I know of course that healing is complex and especially not LINEAR and that my will is not one of the weakest, but I had so little to look forward this year, that I often lacked the energy to implement all the wonderful things in the AW Lifestyle.
3 hours a day, and most of it in the morning, is no small feat for a chronically fatigued person. It takes moral support, intrinsic motivation. And in the past I liked to get that from my passion: being on stage, making music, entertaining people, creating illusions. All that was missing this year (as it was last year) and my battery was really low…
So it was very hard for me to keep the morning routine, I didn’t eat any No Foods (I’m proud of that alone), but I drank celery juice or took the HMDS (Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie) way too rarely. Some symptoms came back that way and yes, new ones came too. And very old ones reared their ugly heads. Healing is like peeling an onion.
So physically this year was full of pain and a deep need to overcome all that and at the same time I was also stuck. So I got support from a colleague, an Anthony William practitioner and she said to me “Julia, you need help in everyday life, I need that too, doing this alone up to now is amazing, but you also need to have time to live, for the beauty in your life and in order to do so, you need help with grocery shopping”. Thus she gave me the permission, she confirmed me and my situation. On a peer level with compassion. I had needed to hear that. I was deeply touched and tears just ran down my face.
Because, that was exactly what I had not allowed myself, I had not fully allowed myself, that my body was fighting, that it was fighting against enemies like Ebstein Bar and other viruses, bacteria and toxins and that I and my body also needed help in everyday life. That this is ok and does not diminish me as a person, or even as the one who jumpstarts others on the Anthony William way. No, it just makes me human, vulnerable, needy at times, and I get to be all the other things I am at the same time: helpful to others, having expertise, etc.
Some time ago, a student had once said to me, “I wish you a Julia, too,” and he had expressed his gratitude that way, because I was able to stand by him in crises. Yes, he was right and I have been able to discover a piece of it in this difficult year 2021 and thus be allowed to change with the help of others. That makes me grateful & humble.
this is how the year may end.
But before we end here, here are my Best of Blog articles →.
…And for those who never get around to reading my blog articles, here are my 4 favorite blog articles of 2021:
- A LITTLE CONSIDERED PERSPECTIVE ON A VACCINE MANDATE I’m particularly proud of this article because it took a lot of courage from me and yes, otherwise politically, it’s also important to me to make voices heard that otherwise wouldn’t be. So here is my perspective and that of an unheard Spoonie community. It is in German, sorry folks, it mostly applies to the German situation, though. You could use Deepl, if you want to translate it.
- WHAT it is that you ACTUALLY DO?
Here I describe what I do, among other things, in my work as a personal coach, how I help people with their development, how I am “their Julia”
- SUPERGAU & SINGING BEAUTIFULLY WITH SPINACH
Me, coming out of the closet and telling you about my personal singing super failure and how you can profit from it! Hot vocal tips included!
- ENERGY MANAGEMENT OR HOW I’M ABLE TO PROTECT MYSELF
If your energy balance is fluctuating and you are looking for solutions to get back into energy, stabilize it etc. then this is your read!
SOOOO, now this year 2021 is almost over
the words that I had asigned to the year were:
Which ones will become the ones for 2022?… I do not know yet, there are still a few days left of the 12 days of Christmas with their magic glow, I’ll let them inspire me. I’d say I can check off ‘transformation‘, ‘love‘ and ‘joy‘ for 2021… ease… I can still work on that one…or rather not work on it…that’s ok. So there is already one motto word for 2022. I will report.
I wish you all a wonderful transition into the new year, delicious food that is good for you, lovely people around you or on Skype, the best weather for walking, a kitten or a cow and a 2022 filled with health, love and joy!
Stay safe and strong***!
LOVE ♥, Julia
*** inner child strong, a few pictures of me for inspiration
last but not least: THANK YOU’s!!!
With thanks to Judith Peters aka Sympatexter, through her December-challenge, I actually got to write this review and reflect on it all. Merci!