It all has a reason

Spring, spring, SPRING! Nature. Green. Beautiful. Feeling whole…

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Sometimes I just don’t know how I could ever choose the course of study I did choose – it’s just so unlike me. I’m a nature person and not a laboratory person, and the latter is what I am supposed to become once I’m completely done. I really doubt that I will ever set foot into this area again. It took me a long while (5 years!) to get to this point, but I know that I also needed a lot of time to realize who I am and who I am not. Sure, I still have countless miles to go, but I feel like I’m so much closer to me than when I was done with highschool. At that point, I just wanted to get a secure job and thought I would be fine with many things. Well, guess that was wrong. 😉

What’s funny – I told you guys about this important apprenticeship that I really, really wanted and for which I didn’t even get into the real selection process. Actually, at around that time I had also applied for a small online job and that I did get. And it’s so much fun! It’s a translation service called Gengo where basically anyone can apply as a translator for his or her language pair. Their philosophy is to offer a fast and comparably cheap translation in many language pairs, and for this they hire “normal” people who have to pass tests to be selected. I did get there and I realized that I love translating. I knew I loved the English language more than my mother tongue German, but not how much fun translating would be for me. You know, I strongly believe that nothing happens without a reason, so who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be a full-time translator and happy with it.

I guess the general importance of this is: don’t try to force yourself to do something. If you think you really want something, okay, try it. If you do it and like it that’s great. If you do it and don’t like it, see if you can find any better options and have the courage to switch. And well, if you are not able to do it although you would have loved to, don’t bury your head in the sand. Sometimes the solution comes instantly and in a way that’s so very different from what you expected. Just wait and see. My grandpa always used to say “Du kannst mehr absitzen als ablaufen”, meaning that you should just sit patiently and let time pass and see where it leads you instead of running after things that you might never get or that might turn out to be completely wrong for you. I love this attitude and I finally understand it.

Hope you guys are as content with your current ideas and choices as I am. ❤

Love,

Ayumi

Chocolate cake

Today I have a nice recipe to share with you again. I made it the first time last weekend – and the second time the day before yesterday… Hmm, maybe I should rethink my diet. ;P

The cake is dangerously chocolatey, super easy and fast to make and absolutely addictive. Especially for chocolate lovers like me. ❤

Sometimes I have to laugh at my own peculiarities. A few days ago, I was in my university town once more to hand over my room. Afterwards I went to one really nice store there because where I live now, we don’t have such a nice one. At the cash point, I saw someone from my Master’s program (and someone I do like!) and what did I strange, HSPy, impossible to understand person do? I turned around and lingered about in the store for a little while until I could be sure he would be gone. And why? Don’t ask me. I think I’m just a really solitary kind of a person and if I go meet people I need to be prepared for it. If I meet someone just by chance, I’m often overwhelmed and somewhat unwilling to interact. It’s strange, I know… Maybe in this particular case, it also had to do with me wanting to leave this Master’s thing behind and this, I guess, also requires to not have too much contact with my former batchmates for  a while. Whatever, when it happened I just tried to analyze myself and couldn’t really come up with a good explanation for my behavior. And I will be honest, this has happened many times before in my life. I just hope he hasn’t seen me, otherwise I don’t want to know what he must have been thinking. 😀

Now I finally start feeling free and self-determined again, and it’s been three weeks since I came back home for good. This rather short time has already been like balm for my soul and I am glad that it’s in my hands to decide how long and in which way this will continue. These last days were especially awesome: all the trees are greening now and the weather is amazing. Wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt is not exactly normal for April in my place. 🙂

Fine, let’s come to the actual topic of this post – chocolate cake!DSCF2014[1]

Sponge cake:

480 g wheat flour

200 g cane sugar

60 g cocoa powder

15 g baking powder

pinch of vanilla powder

pinch of salt

120 g vegetable oil

450 g sparkling water

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly, then add oil and water and stir as little as possible until you achieve a nice batter. Put in a 26 cm springform pan, lined with parchment paper if necessary, and bake at 180 °C for about 45-50 min. Check with a toothpick if it’s done. Let the cake cool in the pan for a while, then remove the ring and let cool completely.

“Butter” cream:

500 g almond milk

35 g corn starch

2 tbsp cane sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Take 100 g of the almond milk and stir in the starch, sugar and vanilla powder. In the meantime, bring the remaining milk to a boil, once boiling stir in the milk mixture and keep stirring until thick and smooth. Let the pudding cool to room temperature before proceeding.

250 g vegan margarine/buttery spread, at room temperature (for Germans: I use Alsan)

30 g cacao

60 g cane sugar

1 jar (250 g) thick jam, e.g. peach, plum, etc.

Beat the margarine until fluffy and add the pudding spoon for spoon while beating. Once it’s all mixed and a nice cream, divide it: take 200 g into a separate bowl, which leaves you with about 550 g in the first one.

To the big part, add the cacao and cane sugar and beat until it’s a nice chocolatey cream.

To the smaller part, add 2-3 tbsp (heaped) of jam and a little sugar if the jam is not so sweet. Beat to combine. If it gets curdled, add a little coconut flour.

Now slice the cake into three layers and put the bottom one on a plate. Cover it with a thin layer of jam and spread a bit more than a third of the chocolate cream on top. Put the middle layer on top and cover it with a thin layer of jam again. Now put on the jam-cream and add the third layer. Cover the whole cake with chocolate cream and decorate as desired. Now store the cake in the fridge and eat within 4-5 days. My opinion: It tastes best when eaten the next day or later.

Maybe this sounds a bit complicated or long, but it actually isn’t. I’ve made much more time-consuming cakes before, so just give it a try. It’s worth it. 😉

Have a nice day, and bye for now!

Ayumi

Law of Attraction

Hi people,

a while ago I had announced that I was planning to tell you about the Law of Attraction that I came in touch with a few years ago. Now, as a premonition, depending on your beliefs and attitude, it might be that you just find this whole thing crazy and idiotic. I used to think that way. Until I decided to try and realized how true most of the ideas are.

So, the Law of Attraction (made popular by The Secret by Rhonda Byrne) is a principle that says that everything you attract with your mind will come into your life. This means if you really want something, you just have to believe strong enough in getting it, and you will finally have it. It sounds too simple to be true, right? Well, the problem is that you can’t really have a doubt, otherwise it will not work. Probably now you start thinking that it’s really crappy, and I did the same first. So please read on. 😉

There is some kind of three-step-process to get what you desire. At first, you need to visualize very clearly and convincing what you want to have. For example, you want a certain hat that you are unable to find in your local stores. You need to see a picture of this specific thing in your head and decide that this is what you want to have. What you do with this is that you “order” what you desire from the universe. In principle it’s like ordering a parcel. You decide what you want, order it at a company and wait for the parcel to arrive.

This is the second step. While waiting, one has to be expectant and positive without any doubt that the parcel will arrive. To me, this appears to be the hardest. It’s fine to think what you want and to believe that, okay, you will get it, but once you have been waiting for a month, the enthusiasm can easily start to fade. And if this happens, your order was in vain and no parcel will arrive. According to Rhonda Byrne, it depends entirely on you how long it takes until the ordered parcel arrives. If you think it will take long, well, it will. If you trust in it to be delivered very soon, it might as well, if you believe strong enough. Of course this is a technical barrier that I have run into many, many times. But actually, there are quite a few experiences where I’m pretty sure that without my firm belief that something would happen this way, it wouldn’t have. I don’t want to go into details now because I’m actually dog-tired, but I can definitely tell you some success stories.

The third part of the process is receiving your parcel, whatever you desired, thankfully and happily. Being thankful in general is something very much stressed in this principle because it basically shows your appreciation for all the small wishes that were fulfilled in your daily life, many of which you didn’t even consciously think about. For example, waking up again healthily or seeing a beautiful flower etc.

I’m curious – has anyone ever heard about the Law of Attraction? And what do you think about it? Exciting or bullshit?

For me personally, I can just repeat that it had a very positive impact on the way I see life and I’m grateful to have discovered it. I would always recommend it! 🙂

All the best

Ayumi

It’s our choice!

Hi there,

today I want to share with you what I experienced a few days ago, when I visited a talk by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher about letting the past go. It was more for my mom than for me, because she had a troublesome time over the last few years. But I was very curious to meet this person anyway. And it was worth going there, even though the conclusion was basically something I already knew. However, it never harms to be reminded of simple and powerful truths. 🙂

He talked a lot about stress at first, how our Western societies are full of it and the people don’t get to relax during the day as much as they should. Mindfulness ist another thing he touched, and he kept repeating that when you are, e.g., eating lunch, you should focus on this and enjoy it instead of already worrying about what will come next. We do this all the time, I mean, who really lives in the present moment? It’s a great thing to try, but for me it usually takes less than a minute until I think of future or past again. Anyway, that was how he started the talk, and it was already very nice. He then presented 6 tools of how to achieve more happiness in life. Actually, it was 5 tools and 1 “manual” to make use of the tools.

The tools were generosity, discipline, continuity, concentration and patience, the manual knowledge. As simple as that. He talked about all of them for a bit, and then, in the very end, he came back to the original topic of the talk and just said that regarding the letting go of the past, it’s our own business. We have to make a conscious decision that we want to do it, and we may use the mentioned tools to achieve it. But he didn’t say much more about it. It’s our choice, I think that’s the main message.

We make decisions all the time, concerning important and not-so-important things. But we often forget that we can make choices in every aspect of our lives, we have the chance to change so many more things than the ones we do change. We can change many aspects of ourselves, even. Maybe not the basic foundations of who we are (but who would want to change that, anyway?) but definitely some patterns of how we behave in certain situations, and also the general attitude towards life – as I did over the years.

I think this is something worth repeating again and again, because many people struggle with various issues and always complain about their bad luck etc. Fine, people, it doesn’t exactly help you to complain about what is bad and should be changed over and over again. Just make the decision to accomplish these changes. We have all the power in us, we just usually don’t make use of it and thus think that there is nothing there. There is, let’s just trust in it!

Alright, enough for now… I just thought you might like to hear about this talk too, and maybe think about what you would like to finally let go, or change, or accomplish in your lives that you never thought you had the power to. Is this really so? We should always ask that question.

Now, I hope that some of you had/have an awesome summery day as I had (guess I even have a sunburn now! 😉 ).

All the best,
Ayumi

A beautiful place

Today I felt like sharing some photos with you that I took during a vacation in Croatia, this is at the Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s been nearly three years ago now, but I still love looking at these pictures – it was amazing to be there. The colors are really this intense, although it’s already hard for me to believe it myself. If you ever get the chance to visit this place – I highly recommend it! 🙂

I love photography, but I still need to get a good camera. Maybe I’ll do it as a treat for myself for having completed my Master’s. Actually I like that idea – finally came up with a good excuse why I can have one now. I’ve been waiting for too long already, it’s about time. 🙂

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I think I really am in vacation mood… Hope you fell in love a little with this beautiful place now, too! 😉

Ayumi

Into the blue…

Hi everyone,

after a fateful and much hated day yesterday, I am back on track. There are soooo many things one can do in this world, this one stupid job that I wanted and now can’t get won’t decide on my overall life happiness. Actually, I enjoy the thought of not knowing about my future at all – a little bit, at least. Sure it’s scary and at times I completely freak out and feel like screaming, but overall I take it as a great opportunity to find my direction in life. I think that when I chose my career the first time, after highschool, I was still so much of a child and so inexperienced and insecure, I just wanted to get something started to be out of this situation of not knowing what to do. I was so scared of the world back then, I think I would have never been able to make a proper and educated decision about what I want to do. So I picked what seemed the most interesting to me – I liked biology in highschool, so why not study it? And for my Master’s, I had already felt strange about continuing but was not at that point where I would have dared to draw a line and say “Stop”.

Finally, here I am now, finishing my Master’s and looking out into the blue. Except for some faint ideas, everything is completely open and possibilities are endless. Maybe I will find the greatest thing for me, and maybe I’ll be disillusioned pretty soon. Somehow, though, I have the feeling that I am doing the right thing. Lately, I am absolutely obsessed with all kinds of songs that address in one or the other way this topic of not knowing what the future will bring. For example… “It’s a shot in the dark but I’ll make it” (Rather Be, Clean Bandit), “Neither of us knows what’s in store” (The Days, Avicii) or You Can Never Be Ready (Sunrise Avenue). Actually, these are all some of my very favorite songs at the moment, apart from my anime music… It’s such a relieve to feel like it’s totally okay to not always know what life will bring. And it’s really thrilling for me, because I have never tried it so far. I guess my being an HSP doesn’t make things easier, because if one thinks about everything ten times as much as most people, it naturally takes much more courage to do something so insecure, as one replays all the possible scenarios of how this can go wrong so many times. But now I am finally doing it, and I am proud and confident about it.

Did you ever have this feeling of dangling in the air, not knowing which of the many possible directions you are going to take? If yes, how did it turn out? I would love to hear some stories!

Apart from all that, it’ll be Easter soon (looking so forward!) and I’m glad to finally be able to spend a few calm days with my family and hopefully baking something. I have made a plan of baking some really tasty treats so that my anti-vegan grandfather will have a pretty hard time if he wants to stick to not eating my baked goods. I’ll let you know if it works out! 😉

All the best,

Ayumi ❤

Btw, now that I have recovered a bit from yesterday, I am gonna add my remaining thankful thoughts from Saturday. Yesterday I just wasn’t able to do it.

Goal for today

Hi people,

it’s weekend, and that means we’re all in a good mood, right? Perfect for another little feel-good challenge. Today I am planning to be thankful at least 10 times (and I’ll try hard to remember and let you guys know later what these things were, just don’t be surprised that it’ll take a while because I’m at a no-internet place for the rest of the weekend 😉 ).

Well, first three times are already done, since I started the day with a nice running tour during which I was very grateful for the chirping birds (making me smile automatically!), for being healthy and able to run and for the blue sunny sky – awesome! Good start. 🙂

I wish y’all a wonderful weekend and many thankful thoughts!

Ayumi

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” ~ Buddha

UPDATE:

So, during that day I was thankful for seeing my grandparents, for the beautiful daffodils that are blossoming everywhere these days, for having enough to eat (and even something really tasty!) and a nice cozy bed to sleep in, for my cute cat although she is very stubborn (or maybe just because of that?), for it being weekend, so I knew I could sleep in, for the ivy we collected in my grandparents’ garden and formed into a nice vernal door wreath, for the singing blackbird at my mom’s place/soon-to-be real home (I swear this bird picked up a cell phone ring tone, this song is just not normal chirping – too cool! 😉 ), for my self-made vegan chocolates (yummie!), for the beautiful book I finished the second time that day (To Kill A Mockingbird) and for so many other things. Guess it would get boring if I tried to list every little thing here… But the options are inexhaustible. Let’s be thankful for as much as possible! 🙂