Boomland - A journey through the shadows of myself


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In this blog article, I share my experiences from the perspective of direct experience. 

Day 1

I’m standing at the airport and I don’t feel well. A wave of uncomfortable feelings floods through me. I am afraid. All this overwhelms me. I would like to go back, but I know I have to make this journey. It is my comfort zone that is now making me feel all these uncomfortable and opaque feelings. It’s the weeks of stress that wants to fall off me now. I am constantly electrified and there is an incredibly strong anger buzzing in my system. Lots of new decisions I’ve made with overwhelming consequences.
I need to fly because I desperately need this time out. I start to cry and admit that I am not well at the moment. But I carry on and muster all my courage. Anicca keeps buzzing through my head and I remind myself of impermanence. 

I stand at the gate, my travel companion is allowed to board the plane before me. Suddenly, calm and relief return. I have the feeling of remembering a previous life in which I travelled alone a lot. 

I’m sitting in the plane and the pilot is talking about turbulence. We take off and I feel fear of flying for the first time in my life. I stare into the centre aisle and notice a strong panic rising in me. I feel my system reacting and watch what happens in my body. I have never felt like this before and I try to categorise it somehow. I avert my gaze and look out the window, and suddenly the panic is completely gone. Why did this just happen? 
I remember a series about a plane crash. Was it my own feeling or did this series work in my subconscious? I don’t know, I just let it happen. 
I look out of the window and enjoy the increasing silence in my head. I can’t sleep, I just stare into the distance and think nothing.

We land and I feel that sense of dread again. Strong turbulence, this landing is the most uncomfortable I have experienced so far. Everything shakes and we fall into holes in the air. A strong uneasiness spreads in my stomach.
“Shania breathe, just breathe,” I say to myself.An overnight stay in a hotel before going to Boomland. I feel insecure and nervous. I don’t know anyone there except my companion.
I lie in bed and try to sleep, but I can’t because my mind is wide awake. A thousand thoughts run through my head, I let them go and watch my breath. At the Vipassana retreat I learned that if I focus on my breath, I can be rested the next day, even if I’m not fast asleep.

Day 2

5.30am and the alarm clock rings, far too early to get up, but our taxi is waiting. When we arrive at the airport, we wonder where we have to go. Someone gets out of the taxi in front of us and looks like he knows the way. We walk behind him and find the right place.
He’s wearing a Rock am Ring T-shirt, I’m sure he speaks German. He comes from Switzerland and is travelling alone. I have no water and a 4-hour drive is ahead of me. I feel that I don’t want to go alone, insecurity spreads. The man offers to look after our things. I have no doubts about it and off we go. 
I know that from now on I will only get anywhere with English. My speech block keeps coming up. But somehow there is a security in me at the same time. I think it’s because of the language course I’m taking. There I was able to get rid of a large part of my fear. For the first time, I was even the nerd in the group. 

I stand in line in front of the bakery, take a water and order a cappuccino.
I could speak freely and feel good. Back to the bus station.

There are already a lot of people standing around. I feel visibly uncomfortable, my energy system is completely overwhelmed. I feel the people around me, all their energies and feelings. Sometimes my high sensitivity can be very uncomfortable. I separate myself energetically and protect myself. Again, a feeling of insecurity comes over me, but I just observe without identifying with it.

I am on the bus to Idanha-a-Nova. Four hours of driving and there is no turning back. 
I become calm, I always do and I am very grateful for that. Grateful for my calm and composed nature that becomes very clear and calm even in stressful or emergency situations. I think otherwise I would never have been able to work in trauma and intensive care education. I don’t become hectic and wild. No, I become calmer and calmer. 
We keep stopping and it gets warmer and warmer. When I hear native English speakers, I hope no one is talking to me. A thousand plans to escape so I don’t have to face this fear. We get closer and closer and I realise that boomland is somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Everything looks very beautiful, pure nature, just what I need.

I get out and feel the power of the sun on my skin. I take my things and feel only emptiness inside me. I simply function. We are welcomed at the entrance. They are very warm and I feel at ease. There are tents everywhere and many people are already milling around. I block everything out until we reach the camp. Once there, I suddenly feel so raw, vulnerable and unsafe. I meet a large group who have known each other for a while and have been here before us.
Everyone introduces themselves and I want to escape. This insecurity gets to me, makes me small and vulnerable. 

It is out of the question for me not to introduce myself as Shania, even though my real name is Janina. Shania has accompanied me for 11 years and I would also like to change my name, but that is not so easy in Germany. Somehow I had the feeling from the beginning that something was going to happen to me. I once had a regression to a past life – believe it or not – and my name was also Shania and I was a mute Englishwoman in the 18th century.

I introduce myself to a woman and she tells me about an insider. There she was, the person who confirmed my feeling and who has a gift for me. She tells me that a woman once introduced herself to her with a different name and that she couldn’t understand. Well, to be honest, all I heard out of her mouth was condemnation. But I can just accept that without passing judgement myself.
I don’t explain that my name is actually Janina and what the name Shania is all about. I just let it go without commenting on the whole thing. 
After I have set up my things, I go to my escort. She hands me my name tag from my backpack, which I must have lost. She tells me who found it, and as luck would have it, it is the very person who told me this story.

I still don’t get asked about it and I don’t say anything about it, but since then I feel a tension and a kind of reluctance towards me. Great, just when I feel insecure anyway. There it is, the activation of my shadow aspect that strives for recognition. Again and again I can perceive how I try to please her, my thoughts tell me a thousand things to do. Nervously I look at her again and again. No reaction. This triggers my system even more. I feel uncomfortable and small and hear the voices of my condemnation directed against myself.  At the same time, there is also this strong presence of my natural essence that makes me observe this theatre of my self.

I have a choice: either I talk to the person about it and share everything I feel and think, or I continue to spin this exhausting chaos of thoughts and dance the game of my shadow like a puppet.

Do I want to be authentic, real and vulnerable or do I prefer to wear masks ?

I decide to go up to the person and tell them how I feel. I say it and immediately feel relief. I clearly feel that this was exactly the right way to go. I have the advantage of being able to recognise when a person is lying because of my high sensitivity. I feel that I had the right feeling and that this person has indeed judged me, even if he cannot admit it. But it no longer has any influence on me and cannot control me any further. Again and again I observe such situations and how quickly everything changes when we take this power back to ourselves and no longer let others control us. Unconsciously, we always sense when we can unsettle or even control our counterpart.

I feel this part of me starting to go on the rampage. It wants to convince me that I now seem even smaller and should have kept my mouth shut. I stand there and realise what’s going on inside me and don’t listen to that voice any more. It’s really interesting how I expose my own shadow and take all the power away from it. Fear of vulnerability and rejection. I’ve been working on these issues for three years.
It feels like a test. Do I understand or not?
I show up authentically and hide nothing. No one is perfect, no matter how hard they try.

There is this gift.
Self-confidence. Self-awareness

Everything dissolves and I feel that no one has power over me anymore. No matter what looks, words or energies reach me, they do not touch me. Relief and pride permeate my system. I begin to understand why I am here.
If I just allow all these rising inner processes and go through them, I can only win for myself. It sounds so simple and it is so hard.

On the festival grounds I know immediately that I am not here to party and do drugs for 7 days. No, I even feel an aversion to this idea.  

Time passes and we are in a big group where everyone wants something different. My whole nervous system is overwhelmed, so many influences at once. But the most exhausting thing for me are these big crowds. As a hermit, I actually avoid that. How am I supposed to endure that for 7 days without really being able to separate myself from it?
It’s dark and everything looks very different. I get quieter and quieter, tired and really just want to get back to my tent. 
Thank God my companion asks if we should leave. We get lost and wander around for an hour, completely confused. Finally we find the supermarket and think we know the way. We each buy 7 litres of water, because the free water tastes like a swimming pool. We start walking again and can’t find our way back. We walk around for another hour with 7 kilos of luggage and frustration sets in. I can’t go on, my body hurts so much and all I want to do is sleep. 
I want to go home, why am I here? I don’t give a shit about the realisation I had at noon today. I want to leave here and I want to leave now. 
We sit down desperately, drink a beer and ask the group for help. Our encounter from this morning comes to our rescue and knows the way. I have the feeling I’m about to collapse.

Finally arrived, I go straight to my tent. As a hermit would have it, I am alone. I change my clothes and immediately start crying. Everything is so loud and so much. All this overwhelms me beyond measure !

Day 3

I get up and feel better, more arrived where I am. I am calmer and my monkey mind is calm. The festival grounds and all the people don’t overwhelm me quite as much as yesterday. I am becoming more confident and no longer feel lost.  In the conversations I have with others, I realise that I am not alone. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Some stand up to it and show themselves, others hide and numb themselves. I prefer to remain who I am at the moment.

The day passes and I get ready for the opening. People flock like ants from all corners to the main stage. 
I stand in the crowd and there is no trace of fear, overwhelm or discomfort. I feel great, confident and free.

The music starts, goosebumps. The bass vibrates through my body. I start to dance.
Free. Happy. Confident. Sober. 
I laugh, dance, have fun.

As I dance so freely, I realise that I have never felt so free and confident. It’s actually the first time.
Happy and proud of myself, I acknowledge my hard work and growth.
I really love showing myself authentically in this world, with all my facets. Not only the beautiful sides, but especially the deepest abysses of my shadow world. 

In the past, I would have taken drugs directly here, because that was the only way I could feel free and all the shadow themes were repressed. But I don’t condemn drugs, because they have brought me to where I am now and opened doors for me again and again, for which I am incredibly grateful. I used them for me and not against me. That makes all the difference. 

Such a feeling of happiness rises up in me for myself and my body. I am grateful. 
I am so fulfilled and at the same time I let it go.

That same night I decide to consume something small. Not out of want, but because I feel it. Pure and clear. It is okay to do this.
Is it “unspiritual” or “unconscious” to do that ?
NO ! It has to do with a conscious decision all by itself. I am so annoyed by all the restrictions and regulations from people who try to make you feel guilty because they have stopped being human. Living in a blatant illusion with all its limiting flagellations.

I know that I would never consume the way I did 3 years ago, because then I consumed to not have to look at my shadow issues. I love doing nothing more and more, but if I feel it and explore it with what intention, it’s perfectly fine. Because I always make conscious and valuable experiences that bring me further. I don’t have the consumption of shooting away, but am always aware of what is happening inside me. That’s what makes it so valuable.

I walk back to the tent alone and for the first time I feel no fear. No fear of people in the darkness. Enjoy the time alone, listen to the crickets and feel that satisfaction again.

Day 4

I wake up and feel very good. My first thought immediately tells me that I will go to sleep early tonight. I have no ambitions to celebrate. Breathwork has been calling me for a long time, but I just ignored it – in retrospect I know why -.

I make my way to the Samadhi stage. More and more resistance arises in me. The monkey mind starts chanting and gives a thousand arguments why I should turn back immediately. I listen and go on anyway. The argument with English no longer works. “Shut up and leave me alone.”
After 2.5 km I arrive, sit there and listen. I understand every word, the blockage dissolves more and more.

I start to breathe consciously and sink deeper and deeper. I hold my breath and suddenly I am in another place. Far away from the outside world. Every fibre of my body relaxes. Sukha spreads through me. All the stress of the last weeks and months flows out of me. Relaxation sets in.
Everyone cries and I feel this deep peace. Finally I come back to my core.
I see this knight in my inner eye, he symbolises my strength and readiness. A peaceful warrior who never gives up.
I take a deep breath and hold it. Wow, there is this big, imposing and beautiful ship with wise sails. The sea is calm. I am there in my inner harbour. Breathe out and let go of everything. Calm, peace and contentment flow through me.

Filled and relaxed, I go through this day. No interest in dancing or anything like that. Just me, my body and this contentment. 
Go to sleep at 10 pm while everyone else is making the dance floor unsafe. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. I fall asleep quietly and peacefully.

Day 5

I am on my way to the Breathwork session again, without resistance and joyfully I walk along the path. I arrive, sit down and immediately feel the wonderful radiance of the teacher. Energy can be so different and today it is quite different from yesterday. New teacher, new experience. He begins to speak and touches me deeply in my heart. 
I sink deeper and deeper, become even calmer and catapult all the doubts and judgements out of me. I have this peaceful smile on my face. “No drugs for me,” a loving voice whispers to me. I accept and have a very relaxed day. Have good and deep conversations with a great soul.
I realise that I no longer feel the need to please others and the realisation of the first day has a profound effect. I feel freer and more comfortable in myself and no longer let the recurring voice in my head control me.

I have missed this so much and realise how angry I have been for the last few weeks and not given myself a chance to channel that anger, here it is just flowing out of me. I wonder if this is it and if it will stay like this? I have no idea, but I just let it. 
I spend the day quietly again, because I don’t feel the need to go dancing or stand in large crowds. I feel the hermit in me and I like him. I even prefer him. Alone with myself, that’s where I have the best time.
In the evening I go to Funky Beach with another person to watch the sunset from there. I notice that I find it uncomfortable to stand among so many people. There is a completely different atmosphere here at this stretch. Somehow it has something of Ibiza about it. Everyone claps and cheers as the sun sets. I stare at the sky and a feeling of gratitude rises in me.

Back at our camp, everyone gets ready for the night while I retire to my tent. I reflect on the last few days and realise that I miss my dogs, my partner and my home. I don’t think I’m one of those people who needs big crowds or wants to talk all the time. I also love just sitting and being quiet. I think we can communicate much better then. It exhausts me when there are so many people around me. As a highly sensitive person, I constantly feel the feelings and energies of others. If I have to constantly cleanse myself of them, it makes me very tired in the long run. I have learnt to let the emotions of others, which I sense twice as much, flow through me without clinging to them, but that also makes me very tired sometimes. I think 7 days is too much for me, how do others do it?
Most of them party all day and all night. Do I feel bad about that? Is it okay that I can’t and don’t want to?
No, I’m glad that I listen to my needs and my body and don’t get lost in any peer pressure. I think by now it’s okay that I’m different and live the hermit lifestyle all the time. I can get so much out of it and I don’t run away from myself and my problems. I sit with myself until I have clarity. In my search for truth, I keep checking my own. My superpower? Authenticity, it makes my life so much easier. Other people hate it or love it, but I just stick to myself. Only I have to love and acknowledge myself, no one else, and that keeps me going no matter how hard it is. For so many years I ran away and wouldn’t look. I hated myself for who I am. That time is over, I thank myself for it. I feel reverence for my path. With respect for myself, I fall asleep.

Day 6

I wake up and notice an uneasiness inside me. Something is strange.
” Whoa, can’t they shut the fuck up out there for once?”. 
Hello Anger.

Everyone greets me, but I don’t really want to talk. I just hope nobody talks to me. Everyone please go far away from me. 
A feeling of “I hate people” rises in me. Someone asks me if I want to go to the Breathwork session. I just say yes, even though I don’t want to. My companion comes out of the tent and I immediately see that the same mood prevails there. We walk off together, hoping that no one is following us. Irritability is in the air. The person next to me doesn’t want to go to the Breathwork, I can feel that. I go on alone. I arrive there and immediately feel that it is very different here today. Another teacher, I don’t feel him. He hardly speaks and it’s every man for himself.
Where is the magic here?
Okay, I do my own thing. I am startled because suddenly someone starts shouting loudly. Others follow and it seems to me that they are trying to outdo each other.
“Shit, they’re getting on my nerves!”
“Dude! Shut the fuck up!”
“Why doesn’t the teacher say anything? Everyone else did and always stressed that you shouldn’t piss off your neighbour!”
“Boah please shut up, you’re not alone here” “Yeah right, shout even louder”
Okay, that’s no use, I concentrate on my breathing. I take a deep breath and hold it, in that moment I can block out the others. I exhale.
“Fuuuuck !!! Please just shut up!”
Finally it’s over. So many angry faces. I am not alone. Great, now I’m even more annoyed than before. I get up and walk back. Calm myself with the knowledge that there is another Breathwork session tonight where the teachers will totally pick me up.

As I sit here staring at the water, my anger slowly subsides. 

Why am I feeling this anger? 
What exactly is bothering me?
Is the anger camouflaging another feeling? 
What exactly am I trying to hide?

I spend the day with only three other people, away from crowds. I can laugh again, but I feel something wanting out of me.

I sit at the next Breathwork session and feel excitement inside me. The teacher stands in front of me and talks about his story and cancer. I have great respect for him. With him I can really let go, without resistance and without the urge to want to hold on to something. 
We begin standing, the music starts and I am overcome by a wave of sadness. 
Tears flow. Pain in my chest.
I struggle and try to suppress it. I realise what is happening and breathe in and out. Detached, I surrender to the process and just let the tears and feelings flow. 
We come to lie down and I cry and cry. My body spasms and relaxes again.
I breathe, let go of everything, thoughts are empty. Just me, my body and my sensations.
It becomes more and more intense, I dive deeper and deeper. 
Memories come flooding to the surface. There it is again, the encounter from 3 years ago, which I find incredibly difficult to process. Again and again these feelings of deep sadness come up. I showed myself to be so vulnerable, opened my heart wide and then broke. 

Pain, anger, sadness.

No, I don’t regret the experience, but I would have liked to talk to him about it, but he left me completely alone. He had his own battle to fight. Strong inner childish parts were triggered and I was ashamed of it for a long time. I think he has a completely distorted image of me.

I breathe in and out again. 

Holotropic breathing begins. All thoughts have disappeared. Just me and my sensations. My whole body tenses up completely, everything tingles strongly and I can no longer move. Wow, what a blatant feeling, not unpleasant at all. Waves of emotion flow through my body. I cry again and again. But none of it feels burdensome. Without resistance, I just let it all happen. 

Thank you.

Back to natural breathing, my body continues to spasm and tingle. But I don’t feel like I want to control it. I listen to the teacher’s words and start to cry again. When was the last time I cried like this? Then deep gratitude for this process arises.
My body stops spasming. 
No, I don’t want to go back, I want to stay in this place. I can feel the healing.
I let go of the resistance and return, taking in the outside world again and wiping my tears. People look me in the eye, nod and smile at me. My mind tries to understand what has happened, but it cannot. I feel a pleasant emptiness and exhaustion.

Back at camp I am rather quiet and go to sleep early. Tomorrow is the last night we can be out, because on Wednesday the dance floors close at 10:30pm. 
Will I go tomorrow? A mixed feeling.

Day 7

I wake up. My body is still processing yesterday’s Breathwork session. My mind is also still trying to understand and classify what I experienced.
Why is this person so present in my system again? Was he ever gone?

Why am I holding on to him for so long? What is it that won’t let me go?

Since our encounter, I try to avoid any vulnerability in my relationship. I prefer to keep a wall up. I’ve been working on it for a long time, but something won’t let me break down that wall completely. There’s always him, followed by sadness and pain.
And then suddenly there’s this AHA moment! I wish I could feel the way I did with him back then, but at the same time I don’t allow myself to open up. I associate the feeling with him and don’t look at what it’s actually about. For fear of this pain. Sadness floods my body again because this is really not fair to my partner, for whom I am immensely grateful. He picked me up when I was down and out, going through the darkest nights of my soul. He was always there, unconditionally. Even when we hated ourselves for what was inside. 
Suddenly I feel this deep love for him and that I am infinitely grateful to him. 
I realise that I was holding myself captive in an illusion and believed that I could only feel this way again with this one man. Out of fear, I didn’t want to see that it had been there for a long time, only I didn’t allow myself to. I realise that this is exactly what I have and that this man is waiting for me at home.  For the first time I feel something like homesickness and have an ever stronger desire to go home. Finally back to my family, consisting of my dogs and my boyfriend. Never before have I felt so free in a relationship. Independently of each other, we go our own way every day without restricting the other. No prohibitions, no restrictions.
Acceptance for the path of the other.

It was never about the other person, just the feeling. It took me three years to realise that. But that’s all right. 

My mood changes throughout the day, so I feel like dancing tonight. I keep being offered an intoxicant that I don’t want. At first there is a dichotomy in me. I become aware of it, observe and decide to trust my intuition. A clear NO arises. No doubt and I continue to refuse. I communicate clearly that, if anything, only ecstasy/MDMA is an option for me. In the past I would have been persuaded and would have stumbled over my own limits. Again and again, I am offered this drug and labelled a bore. None of this triggers anything negative in me. I see the suffering and send out my sympathy. I am constantly reduced to my age without people knowing my history or experience. I find it really interesting how quickly people judge and turn a blind eye. In the beginning, this person made me feel insecure, but I’m just realising that it’s not me who is triggered anymore. I communicate clearly that I don’t want this and turn away. The moment comes when I make the inner decision to consume ecstasy, as always only small amounts, because I want to remain self-aware.
I have a lot of fun and the time flies by.
At 3 a.m. I get tired and my body aches. Everyone else is still fit, also consuming much more than me. I refuse to do anything else. I’ve had enough and know when it’s good. 
I stand two steps behind the group, I can’t dance anymore, everything hurts.
Someone stands next to me and without looking I feel a very unpleasant energy. He speaks to me and becomes more and more intrusive. I hardly understand anything because he speaks very unclearly. He is not sober, not by a long shot. I politely tell him I don’t want to talk. He becomes more and more aggressive and starts grabbing me by the arm. I tell him NO several times and that he should stop and leave. I have the feeling that he is getting even more aggressive. Someone from my group sees the whole thing and comes to help. He grabs her and she retreats into the group. He comes towards me again and starts holding me by the arm. An enormous anger rises up inside me. A man from our group interferes and is then threatened. The man becomes more and more aggressive and comes towards me again, tries to grab me again. I move out of the way. The anger in me is so great that I want to punch him in the face if he touches me again.
Our group leaves. 

I just want to get into my tent. I am tired and this has been too much for me now. 
Subliminally, I feel the fear that prevents me from going alone. I communicate with my companion, but she ignores me. I continue to hold out. I reflect for myself that I would act very differently and have always acted differently. No matter what state I was in, I always helped others when they were unwell or needed help. But not everyone is like that, I can accept that. An inner conflict begins to work within me.
We sit in a circle and my companion asks in front of everyone what we are going to do with me now?
I communicate quite clearly that I actually want to go home. It is suggested to me that it is not bad to go home alone. I say that I don’t want to go alone today and now. This person tells me again that it is not so bad. But at the moment it is for me.
Then there is someone who notices that I am scared and asks me about it. Tears come to my eyes and I say yes. She was the only one who reacted immediately and told me that no one who is scared walks here alone.


I say it’s enough if only one goes. A man accompanies me home.
When I arrive at the tent, all tension falls away from me. The fear is gone. I remind myself that it is perfectly okay to feel fear after such a situation and that it is not a sign of weakness. I lie down and immediately fall asleep peacefully.

Day 8

08:30 a.m., unbearable heat in my tent. I can’t stand it any more and have to get out of here immediately. My body is not at all well. I feel sick, I have sweats and my circulation is far from optimal. I get up and go to the supermarket with a small group. This heat only makes it harder for me. I wonder how I am going to get through this day. We decide to lie down by the water. My circulation gets going again and I feel better and better. I keep going into the water and feel how good it does me. No more signs of nausea. I put my body through too much.

In the group, the topic “body and ideal images” is discussed and I tell my story. 
I gained 20 kg in 3 years, from 47 kg to 67 kg. That was anything but easy for me and I struggled with it. I rejected and judged my body so much. I believed I was infinitely fat, but in reality I am not. I was underweight at 47kg and only believed that I was so attractive and valuable. With my weight gain, I really learned to accept myself as I am. Far away from any ideal images. I believe that when I reach the point of really accepting myself completely and unconditionally, my weight will also disappear. Not back to 47 kg, though. This journey has been incredibly hard for me, but I feel like right now at the festival, I don’t worry about it and I feel comfortable in my skin. 

The day flies by and in the evening I start packing my things, full of anticipation and gratitude to leave this place tomorrow. I go to bed early so I don’t have to pack the rest of my things in the sun tomorrow. 

Day 9

We wait a total of 4 hours for the bus to Lisbon, but it doesn’t feel like it. I finally get out of here. I only have to hold out for 4 more days, then it’s back home.
My companion is visibly finding it hard to let go. I, on the other hand, can hardly wait to get away from these crowds. 

I’m glad to be in Lisbon with just one other person, our hotel is really great. Here I can review everything and integrate. 
In the evening we go back into town and there I feel my change of the last days. I feel really self-confident and full of myself. Many people give me compliments that really come from the heart and are not based on any intentions. I look at people’s faces, they are all laughing and seem incredibly happy. That is exactly the opposite in Germany. More and more I understand why I want to emigrate.

Day 10-12

I’m describing the last few days in Lisbon in retrospect, because it wasn’t until I got home that I got around to putting this experience down on paper.

I spent the next two days reflecting a lot, enjoying the time by the pool and wrote over 20 pages in my diary. We made a few trips into town and I enjoyed that time.

On the last day, however, I had some unpleasant experiences that made me check whether I keep my own boundaries and react to manipulations.
My companion met someone on the Boom and I was asked if it was okay for me if this person joined us on the last day. I said yes and that it was important to me that no one else slept in the bed. I don’t want that, because I am highly sensitive and this time of switching off is very important for me. Apart from that, I feel there is no need to justify myself. I was promised that this would not be the case. When the person arrived, somehow everything was different. Alcohol and drugs were passed around, but I refused everything. I only smoked cigarettes because I knew I wouldn’t smoke at home and that was fine for me on holiday. At some point I was very tired and went down the floor to our room. I used the time alone to talk to my partner on the phone. The door opened and the two of them came in. They were anything but sober and asked to speak to me.
It was suggested that I leave the hotel so that they could both be alone. 
I was asked to leave the hotel room for 1 – 2 hours relatively late in the evening. I did not want this and explained that I was really tired and had not gone to the room earlier for nothing. Repeated manipulative sentences and sayings followed.
“I would do this for a good friend”. “Oh come on Janina…”

Then they suggested I change the hotel, because a room in our hotel costs 285 euros. They also pay for everything. Because my companion didn’t want to change the room or the hotel. I was supposed to leave somehow. I refused that too, because it was not my job to leave. They kept talking at me and everyone was visibly unhappy with the situation. But they had no understanding for me and acted very selfishly and only in their own benefit. “For you it would be the smaller compromise…”. Manipulative sentences followed again and again, appealing to the other person’s emotional world. This is why we humans use manipulative language in the first place. Mostly unconsciously, and the other person really believes what they are saying without realising that they are manipulating the other person’s emotional world.I felt strong anger rising inside me. No willingness and no thought that they would actually have to leave themselves. I might as well stay in the hotel room while they get intimate. Honestly, I even went so far as to say, yes, I don’t care. But when I really think honestly about myself, I know I was lying.

The situation became more and more uncomfortable. I became very quiet because the anger inside me was boiling. We went downstairs to have a cigarette and I informed my companion that I was incredibly angry right now and that I found it absolutely awful that my needs were just being completely ignored. There was petty understanding expressed, which always smacked of manipulation. “I would do this for a good friend, I am older…”. Yet this person was not even willing to accompany me home at the festival when I was scared. I was so angry that all I wanted to do was get out of that situation and go to dinner. The others went upstairs. I called my partner to think about the whole thing with him and sort out my feelings. After dinner I went upstairs, we didn’t talk. I went to bed and when they came back it became even more uncomfortable for me. There was no consideration. On the contrary, despite the promise, they both lay down in bed with me. The manipulative sentences worked in my system, but I was able to stop being influenced and disregard my boundaries. The next day I asked them both to listen to me. I shared myself, said how I felt and what I really thought sucked. My companion immediately reacted defensively, laughed and was not at all able to think about her own behaviour. She claimed that I was unrelaxed, that I was completely overreacting and that it was just like a “support group” here. Somehow there was not an ounce of openness or willingness to talk about it in any way, let alone just accept it. I immediately felt that this is an absolute limit for me and that I don’t want to put up with this kind of thing anymore. I am very tolerant and people were allowed to disregard my boundaries for years, but here I really stood behind myself without becoming abusive or acting out of emotion.

Everyone has their shadows, but the question is whether you are able to look honestly and also admit your own transgressions sometimes and apologise to other people. I am not perfect, but I am able to apologise and reflect on my behaviour. I came out of the whole situation stronger and even more aware of my limits. I don’t have to do anything for anyone at my expense. 
I packed my things and left. I had breakfast at the hotel and made my way to the airport alone. I think this is where the real gift was waiting for me, and I am incredibly glad that I took responsibility for myself and travelled alone in a foreign country. That day I lost the fear of travelling alone. I spoke freely in English and went my own way, independent of others.

It is a real pity that our paths separate in this way, but I can just accept it. Free from attachment or anger, I find it easy to talk about it and recognise the gifts of the universe. It wasn’t always like this, and here I realise that I have changed and internalised the lessons of my experiences. I am no longer afraid of condemnation or being put in a bad light. It is not my responsibility how other people talk about me, make things up or interpret things. I am here and I show myself truthfully and do not try to hide anything.
An important realisation for me is also that I don’t need substances like alcohol or drugs to feel free or good. In retrospect, I realise that I am much freer and happier without them. Yet I do not condemn the use of intoxicants.

“Knowing your own darkness is the best way to deal with other people’s shadow sides.”

Namasté, Shania

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Hey, i am Shania

It is a matter of the heart for me to guide people to their shadow in a sensitive way, to let them recognise through self-awareness what is hidden behind their anchored pain and suffering and how they can use these insights for themselves in a healing and transformative way.