Fresh back from 12 days in Germany I’ve been reflecting on my time spent there; the people I met, the places I visited and the experiences I had. This caused me to think about some of my observations and prompted me to share some of the lessons I learnt from my time there…

I was based in Strande, a seaside village just north of Kiel in the North East of Germany on the Baltic Sea. It was summer time and the weather glorious. Roses were blooming everywhere and the birds were tweeting. People were happy and friendly and my lack of knowledge with the German language was no barrier.

After hiring a bicycle on the first day I set about exploring the surrounding countryside and coastline and this is what I found…

A Little Kindness Goes A Long Way…

One morning while peddling along the bike path I came upon a lighthouse with a little cafe nestled at it’s base. Brightly coloured flowers bloomed in pots and stripes deck chairs were arranged comfortably in the garden. The owner was a cheery lady who was happy to speak in English thankfully as it put me out of my misery of not having a grasp on the German language. We struck up a conversation and she told me of how she had started her little business, some of the history about the lighthouse and some stories of some of her visitors. She asked where I came from and I shared stories of my home and family and my plans to go exploring on my bike. Before long we were having a good old laugh, she pointed out a few bike paths and I left feeling rather buoyed by our spirited conversation. I guess it goes to show that if you greet people with a smile they are more often than not willing to respond with mutual respect and kindness.

Meaningful Connection Is The Key To Happiness...

My home away from home was right on the promenade across from the beach which had a great vantage point for people watching. It’s fun to see how people interact and I love watching the subtle differences you see in other cultures. One of the most significant things I saw was the connections people had with one another. They took the time to stop and chat, maybe a touch to the arm and a smile before moving on. Fathers playing with children, elderly people strolling arm in arm and almost everybody had a dog that was also making connections! Everybody it seemed was happy and content just being. Sometimes people would be engaged in conversation for ages with seemingly no rush. Just being in the moment, and each moment was important. Maybe being a small village had something to do with it but it made me think how nice it was that everyone was connected in some way. How are your connections with the people you see everyday? Do you know your neighbour? Do you chat to the cashier at the checkout? What about your partner and you children? Do you take the time each day to truly connect on a deep level?

A Dip In The Sea Sets You Up For The Day…

Early each morning I noticed people dressed in their robes make their way down to the sea for a dip. It seemed rather a reverent affair, more like a ritual, as they disrobed and made their was across the stoney shoreline and out into the water. Now it may have been summer but the water was still cold and I personally couldn’t come to terms with it but I am in awe and have total respect and hope that now I’m home I may well take it up as part of my morning routine come summer. Until I’m brave enough I’m going to try turning the hot tap off first in my morning shower and having a quick rinse under the cold water to get the heart pumping for the day. There is scientific evidence that such practice can activate the immune system and help with removal of accumulated waste! Ah… those Germans. I think they’re onto something.

Contemplation Brings Peace and Perspective…

The other thing I noticed was that people would often sit quietly on a bench seat and look out over the sea. Sometimes they were alone but more often than not they were with someone else. Perhaps they had said all they needed to say but it struck me as a beautiful thing that you could sit in silence and be comfortable with one another without feeling the need to keep talking to fill the space. I spent quite a lot of my time alone and so found myself in contemplation much of the time as well. It was good. And like a meditation there was time for ideas to drop in, time for rumination of thoughts and then just time for stillness…

Move Your Body Everyday! Have More Fun and Spend Time In Nature…

I didn’t see a lot of fat people over there. I mean some people had a stocky build but you didn’t see overweight or obese people. Partly due to the fact I guess that everyone seemed so active. Every day I saw a lot of people out walking and cycling. I found myself checking out calf muscles and ankles and it was apparent that the fitness levels in even the elderly was impressive. And speaking of the elderly they all seemed quite spritely. One day I saw a lady of 60 or so out with what seemed to be her mother, both enjoying a beer and a laugh! There were happy people out and about everywhere and it really was the most wonderful feeling to be surrounded by happy people out in Nature enjoying life!

These were the lessons that I learned in a seaside village of Germany… I hope you enjoy them…

Bushflowergirl xox

Embrace Life with the Power of Nature

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Published by bushflowergirl

Embracing life through the power of Nature & encouraging others to do the same... xo

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