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Cemetary Walk

Incredible Stories of Survival and Power

Last weekend was very special for me:

Our town had created a play on the local cemetery, where different actors played the roles of towns people who lived her during the area of World War 1. For obvious reasons, I was cast as the German immigrant, who, after humble beginnings in the silk mill, moved her family to town when her husband opened a silk mill here.

Being German, she was automatically seen as part of the enemy, and the small role that I had was truly about understanding her conflict and pain, especially since she had lived for decades in America and her children were born here.

I have to admit that I cried or almost cried during the rehearsals and performances, and other actors told me the same.

It was intense to put myself in her shoes, especially since I personally remember many of the hatred that Germans still received in the 70s and 80 when travelling to England or other countries that they used to be at war with. And clearly this situation is repeating itself today, with the many refugees that are considered potential terrorists due to their heritage or religion, even if they are someone’s grandmother who just wants to live with her family.

But another reason why I cried was, because I realized how many incredible stories I have heard over the years from my clients.

I have been honored to be let in on secrets about pain and abuse, death and war, illness, rape and so very many issues and trauma that are incredibly hard to imagine. People’s lives are stunning testimonies to how powerful we are, and at the same time, what heartbreaking trauma most of us had or still have to endure.

I have always been able to deeply relate. Not that I feel people’s pain as if it were mine, as I have always made sure that I don’t become an empath, like many of my colleagues who struggle to understand which of their feelings are theirs and which belong to another person.

But I am deeply, deeply compassionate, and care so much to help them release their struggle, that helping them with their pain can become somewhat of  a mission for me. I am grateful that as an energy healer and transformational coach, I can usually help them quickly to release those memories and feelings, by rebalancing their energy field in relation to those memories.

But what this work has taught me is a deep respect for human suffering. Respect the like we never talk about in public, as most of this just happens without ever being witnessed or honored more than in a very small, private circle.

Most people hold their pain in. They believe they shouldn’t complain, or if they have someone to blame for how they feel, that there is nothing they can do, as they don’t have the power to change that person or change what happened to them.

Most people that I work with have never heard themselves tell their own story in the way they do when we work together. But since we do EFT, we are free to just acknowledge the sadness, the pain, the anger or overwhelm that we are feeling, and release those feelings, even if the story behind it is hard to even talk about.

Once the feelings have calmed and can’t be triggered anymore, most people begin to see themselves in a different light. They begin to see themselves as survivors, as heroes, as capable, strong, powerful people who have the ability to control their lives in the way they want to.

In over 15 years of doing EFT, I have been seeing this over and over: when the pain and trauma is gone, people see who they really are, and they take control of their future in powerful ways.

It is an honor and privilege to do this work!

I offer free, 20 minute initial consultations, if you’d like to talk with me more about this.

Please email me, so we can set up a good time to talk!

Love

Ingrid

 

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How To Become More Resilient By Clearing Clutter

Have you ever noticed how much your environment, especially clutter, drains your energy?

Clutter isn’t just stuff that needs to be put away. Clutter represents memories, the beloved ones as well as the traumatic ones.

It represents unresolved conflicts, memories that we don’t know what to do with, and fear of missing out or making a mistake.

Clutter instantly creates mind chatter that is lout and insisting, often even insulting to the person who is dealing with it. Think about it: When your home is cluttered: What are the first words that come out of your mouth when unexpected visitors come? Most likely something like “Please excuse the mess.” of” I am sorry, I didn’t have time to clean up.” Or “I wasn’t prepared for visitors, I am embarrassed.”

How many times have you passed on the opportunity to entertain, simply because you felt that your home wasn’t representable enough?

This constant clutter self talk drains your energy, your self esteem, your confidence.

In short: There is nothing in it for you that would help you become more resilient and feel better about yourself and your space in the world.

This is why I have been offering Clutter Clearing Classes and private sessions. Clutter is as close to home as it gets.

When you love where you live, when you are proud to share your home with others, when you are comfortable having unexpected guests, and when your business runs smoothly, because you can find your paper work easily,

When you let go of clothes that don’t fit, that have the wrong material or that are way outdated, even broken, you simply feel better about yourself.

It is incredibly freeing to get rid of stuff. And you’ll find yourself much stronger and happier when that negative mind has calmed down and gives you new room to think and breathe.

I want this for you. That’s why I offer courses on clutter clearing. It makes you more resilient and free to steer your own life.

Sometimes it’s strange how the different parts of our lives just flow together, isn’t it? But when we take a step back and look at all the things that impact and influence us, both consciously and subconsciously, it is easy to see that taking charge of clutter clearing is as healing as taking care of negative memories.

I want this strength and resilience for you!

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How to be resilient after a terror attack like 9/11

When 9/11 happened, we watched in horror as the second airplane hit the twin towers.
I realized immediately that this was big, life changing danger. But I also realized immediately, that I personally was safe. And so was my family. We live 6 hours north of NYC, and whatever happened there impacted us only indirectly at that time.
So I wasn’t traumatized, the way many of our friends were. I just knew that we needed to stay put and wait.

I talked this through with a friend who is a psychologist.. Initially, she wanted to insist that I needed to process this just like everybody else. But I explained to her:
“Look, I grew up during the Cold War in Germany. At any given time, we had somebody’s weapons, nuclear or not pointing at us. We have always known that the decision of one person can wipe us out. But it didn’t.
We learned early on that life isn’t safe, that danger is real and that war happens, even in your own country, your own backyard and without it being your fault. I found shrapnel in my sandbox from WWII. Many houses were still in ruins from the bombardment of my city. You learn to focus and take care of your needs. You prepare, but you don’t panic.
You learn to be deeply compassionate, to help out where you can, but you also know that you’re personally ok.

I came to realize that many people in the US didn’t have that experience. Somehow, many of those that I talked to, who also lived far away from the attacks, had believed that nothing would ever happen here. I am not sure why…
They lost their innocence that day.
And as they didn’t know what to do, they replaced safety with helplessness.
Helplessness causes trauma. It’s a big, big deal.
So to become resilient, we need to have something strong in life, something we can fall back on, strategies, experiences, something that we know to be true.
We need to have our feet on the ground and have a solid sense of self.
And we need a purpose, a reason to make it through and move on.

I wasn’t traumatized at 9/11, but for sure, my life and the lives of many dear friends changed forever that day.

Resilience

How To Be Resilient

It took me a while to realize, that there is a specific issues that I address in all of my private work and training:

Weather I teach EFT, military culture, clutter clearing, trauma relief or business – everything I do has to do with helping people become more resilient.

WOW – I don’t know which rock I was sleeping under, but it took 3 friends to point out the obvious, as I was struggling to make sense of my to help others in so many different ways. I mean…seriously?

Military Culture Training and Clutter Clearing? How does THAT go together?

Resilience is what gets us through the tough times. No matte where we live, the resilient people usually find a way to make things work.

It means getting your feet on the ground, realizing what you can and cannot change, doing more of what you are good at and leave the rest to others.

It means bouncing back from a trauma, a fear or an illness, no matter how much it has impacted you in your life.

It means being able to deal with people who bother you, or do things you don’t like to do – just because it’s the right thing to do at the time.

Resilience means thinking outside of the box, looking for opportunities that others don’t see, and having the courage to do things you’ve never tried, to see if you can find a different way to get what you want.

Resilience also means being 100% honest to yourself and others: Sometimes things suck. They are really, really hard.

Sugarcoating what’s hard doesn’t make it easier, instead it drains our energy.

It means that we are afraid to admit that we need help, that we’d like some compassion, that we are at the end of our rope.

And we run our batteries dry, instead of getting the rest or caring that we need.

Resilience means being able to be vulnerable – even in public. Feeling that we have nothing to hide, that we don’t have to be perfect, and that we can admit a mistake easily, without fearing the worst.

Resilience means taking 100% responsibility for our actions, the good, the bad, and, yes, the ugly. And then change what we wish we hadn’t done.

We are resilient when we cry, resilient when we laugh, resilient when we celebrate.

The only time when we are not resilient is when we allow others to determine what’s right, how we should feel, what we should do.

Resilient people make their own decisions. And Yes, this includes making a decision to heal trauma, heal a family story that has been haunting us, healing from adversity.

Resilience means allowing ourselves to change our past, well not directly, but how we feel about what happened, so that we can move forward.

Some of the people that I admire the most are incredibly charismatic, vulnerable and authentic, in front of large crowds, as well as in private.

They make you feel as if you were the only person in the room, as if they see you, understand you and support you, because they can.

They have the capacity to take you forward, without intimidating you, just guiding and leading a crowd by helping them find inside what gives them the power to do more.

I want you to be resilient.

You are terrific, and you deserve to shine – no matter what!

Much love and power to you

Ingrid

Water filters

Lessons learned from Helping in Puerto Rico

I think, there are several reasons why our little, private initiative, helping in Puerto Rico, was so successful:

What worked well

  • The donation of personal water filters made sense. Clean drinking water is one of the most basic and important needs, even more so in hot locations with no air conditioning, electricity or running water. People have been drinking water from rivers and wells coming out of the rock, and bacteria contamination is a big deal.
  • It is hard to transport bottled water to remote locations. Water is heavy, and people need to drink a lot. So bottled water makes only some sense, but being able to make one’s own is a better solution.
  • The filters are very inexpensive. Many people are able to give $20.- and happy to do so.
  • The filters could be transported easily. We heard many stories from people in the mountains that can’t be reached by car. So when people try to reach them, how much water can they carry? But bringing a few filters shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Donations could be made through Amazon. Many people are concerned that their money goes into unnecessary overhead. But when they know what to get and where to send it, they are in full control and know exactly what happens with their money.
  • Since everybody ordered the same exact thing, packaging it up for transport was easier as all items had the same format and were very lightweight.
  • There was a specific deadline. Since The man who brought the donations with him was leaving just a few days later, action needed to be taken quickly.
  • Some people actually preferred to send money. And it was easy to make that possible for them. But we had to make clear that they were gifting it, not donating it, and there was no tax receipt available for this. That was fine with everybody. I asked that all the money in country will only be spent by the person that it was given to, and not handed out to others that we don’t know. The personal reliability is crucial.
  • We will take pictures and post them online, for people to see the success of their efforts. Social proof is essential.
  • We didn’t promote this anywhere other than on facebook and via one email. People could respond and got an immediate answer.

Lessons learned:

  • Don’t use a PO box if there is a weekend involved. Even though amazon delivers to PO boxes, the post office is obviously closed on Sundays.
  • Never underestimate people’s willingness to give! You can end up with more items than you thought and have to be able to transport them. If possible, create a checklist that people can choose from.
  • Some people will always come late and miss deadlines. Have a process in place for what to do. Have emails pre-written with instructions, if there is a last minute option for them to contribute.
  • If possible, have a follow up transport in place, so that donations can be accepted.
  • Don’t expect everybody who said “Yes” to actually take action. Some people forget or just can’t do it, even though they want to.
  • Start building a team as quickly as possible.Local pickups shouldn’t all be done by the same person who packs or delivers. It’s just too much.
  • Give regular updates, and share all the details of what you do. If there is a change of plan, tell them what will happen and ask the donors to reach out with any questions. They need to have the ability to change their mind and withdraw a donation if they disagree with a plan.
  • CELEBRATE! When a milestone is reached, or a generous donation in place, Let the community know! Everybody is proud to be part of a bigger picture.
  • No matter how big or small: Everything counts. $20.- is a LOT of money for some, but at the same time they might find that it’s not enough. But $20.- can buy 2 packs of AA batteries, which translates into 100 hours of flashlight. So it’s a big deal. Thank you!
  • Ask those who donate to share the information so that the operation gets a bigger visibility.
  • Only do what you can. Remember that being in country will be stressful, educational, overwhelming.
  • As long as the person delivering is stateside, he or she may feel excited knowing that a difference is being made. But in country, this will change: The stories that they hear will be overwhelming and disturbing. They will feel that what they brought isn’t good enough. They will feel inadequate. Sharing of goods might not be as easy as hoped for. Local transportation might be an issue.
  • Remember that when you do the work with an open heart, knowing that you can only do your best and have the highest intentions – that’s all you can do. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Most people don’t. There’s a reason for that.
  • Honor yourself and your limitations. Have a plan in place for debrief when you get back. You will need to sleep, decompress and talk it out with a person of trust. This is essential to avoid burnout. Don’t skip this step!

 

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How can I help In Puerto Rico?

Here are some suggestions how to help Puerto Rico and for successful civilian help initiatives in emergencies:

1. Make sure that anything you do solves an existing problem. Solving a small problem is better than talking about a big one.

2. Work with local leaders, but stay out of the way of the great work that emergency management, FEMA and the Military are doing. They have highly sophisticated processes that have been trained and executed many times. Civilians don’t k ow these and add more distraction than solution.

3. Local leaders to work with could be churches- especially in strongly faith based communities, and schools.
They already have a hierarchy and structure in place, with the principal or pastor at the top, and they know the details of the small community that they serve. They know about existing and new needs, health and financial issues, and alliances and friendships that can be utilized to distribute aid and personal follow up. They have the authority to send people, and can create a sense of normalcy in chaos, by using familiar structures such as a church gathering or a classroom, to get people something meaningful to do.

4. If possible, get military veterans involved for distribution. Since they left the service, they are unlikely to be called for duty, but their training and discipline will kick in and they will get the work done quickly and effectively.

5. If you hand a task over to veterans, clearly define the intended outcome and important parameters. Then let them take care of the rest. Don’t micromanage them, but let them be in charge.

6. Make sure that you let the veterans organize themselves. Military hierarchy and command will still be important, and higher ranking veterans might want to and be expected to take the lead. You may not know who those leaders are, so trust their decisions in this.

7. The most important asset is always transportation! It’s NOT the goods in need. People are always able to get donations. But the crucial part is to have the money to ship it quickly.

8. Don’t donate goods, clothing,… to organizations that deliver pallets of prepackaged goods. They truly don’t know what to do with your stuff, as you have no bar codes that they can scan, package sizes that they can calculate with, and if in doubt, they will just leave it in a warehouse.

9. If in country, make sure you know where delivery centers are and that local leaders know about them, and what they can ask for. I have seen huge storage halls full of stuff, while people were desperately waiting. The problem was communication between community leaders and warehouse.

10. Connect people! Know of others who are doing what you are doing and see how you can work together. Make sure they are ethically sound (we have seen people sell donations in Bosnia) and stay away from anybody who seems like they want to swing a buck on people in need!

11. Communicate with the press! They are interested in your story and can open doors for you.

12. It is crucial to take pictures! You have to bring proof of your activities in country, if at all possible. Social proof, especially video and photos of your delivery, are essential, in case someone doubts your integrity. Respect, compassion and and preserving dignity Tor those you are helping go a long way when asking to take a picture!

13. People will want to thank you and find a way to give back to you. Let them do that! You don’t want them to feel like beggars who have nothing to offer, or who are forever in your debt. If they offer coffee, drink it! If they want to cook, make sure, you only eat perishable things, so they don’t use their non-perishable items up for you.

14. Many will be to proud to ask for help. Ask them if there might be someone else they know, who could use support, and then slip their ration to them in the process

15. Always make sure that you’re a part of the solution, not add to a problem.

Don’t ever make a promise that you can’t keep. Don’t promise medication or highly specialized items. Don’t promise you come back unless you know exactly when. Don’t add to their pain by getting their hopes up and then disappoint by not following through. Rather promise less and do more. Your word must count!

And remember: You don’t need to tell people that they inspire you. Instead, just do what they inspire you to do

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How private citizens can help in a disaster

I haven’t really talked about this in 20 years, but given the situation in Puerto Rico and the islands, I thought I’d share some experiences and food for thought…
In 1993, the war in Bosnia and Croatia was raging, and so were the people all over the world. “Someone should do something!” “Why aren’t people getting more help?” Details of this war were getting reported, hours of news coverage every day. We knew which towns had been destroyed, where the concentration camps were, how the front lines shifted.
And it was less than a day and a half drive away from where I lived in Germany.
So I contacted the leader of the Croatian Mission in Cologne to learn what we could do.
Most Croatians are catholic, and he was their leader.
Pater Behlau made connected me with a group of students who had just driven a van with humanitarian aid to a Croatian village.
I started working with them, collecting goods, food, medication, supplies. And the next transport was now a 20 ton truck, which I brought down to the villages to make sure that the goods really got into the hands of those who needed them.
The press learned about these trips, and we made more and more
connections with Catholic and Muslim organizations who were willing to pay for transportation – always the critical issue in these transports.
More stuff happened.
We kept collecting and delivering.
Eventually I was elected president of the “German Croatian committee for humanitarian aid.”
I was the only woman, the only non-Croatian, and I got along with everybody. So that’s probably why… Lol.
We started to get invited to political meetings with the ambassador, elect people and Majors, the Bishop, the leaders of Caritas and others. I met with several ministers and the press.
Always just focused on the mission to help people regardless of faith or ethnicity, never ever talking politics or getting sidetracked by other goals.
So they always let me be there and I always went.

On one trip, I learned in a meeting with a Minister that they were trying to rebuild a village.
Coming home, I learned from one of the humanitarian organizations that they were looking for specific projects that they could do in country.
I also learned that the minister was planning to visit Germany a few days later.
At that point, it only took one phone call to the minister’s office to initiate a meeting with the organization, and get a big project started.

The minister didn’t remember me from the initial meeting in Croatia, as there were many people in the room. But his office followed through on my call.

After 4 years, we had delivered over 15 million dollars worth of aid, privately, and directly to those who needed it.

So here’s the lesson: we can have all sorts of opinions about the government being slow on Puerto Rico and the islands.
Or we can find someone with a boat who can bring stuff over.
We should never interfere with the support that FEMA and government are doing so excellently, as we would cause more harm than good ( I learned that in many DBHRT drills- the government aid works like a machine 🙂 and self deploying individuals can cause chaos.

But when we know people who need something, and can find transportation for them, help can be delivered easily.

And the initiative can grow. Many things can happen. People will jump in and help and support.
We don’t need to wait for others. As long as we don’t disturb operations and initiatives that are already working, we can always find a way to help somebody out.

Vets Training

Free Training: 10 Things every practitioner needs to know before working with veterans

Here is an almost 70 minute interview I gave to Craig Weiner DC and Suzanne Fageol on essential things every practitioner must know before attempting to work with Veterans. We talked about military culture, historic trauma, rapport building, things to never say or ask – and why, good session starters, backgrounds of different wars and how they may impact a session, how to deal with numbness and other emotional reactions, ethical and legal boundaries of doing this work, self care, mindset, and so much more. The webinar will be offered on September 7th. Please don’t miss it!
Free Webinar with Ingrid Dinter

Free Training: EFT for Veterans

Free Webinar with Ingrid Dinter

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