#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

#socialsaturday: Idols vs. Inspiring People

Hey my dears,

there is something that I have had on my mind for quite a while now and I thought it’s about time to tackle the topic.
So, today we’re gonna talk about the concept of idols and inspiring people.

Why? Well, first of all, because I consider it interesting and as this is my virtual space here… but moreover, because I think it’s an up to date topic, especially in times like these, where social media is as popular as it is.

According to the Oxford Dictionary idol has the following meaning:

and according to the same source, inspiration has the following meaning:

As a creative you’re often asked “Who are your idols?” or at least I have the feeling that this question pops up from time to time. Or the other way round, creatives stating who their idols are.
On the flip side, the question “What inspires you?” comes up frequently as well.
And I can’t help myself but feeling the urge to make a distinction between both. (Which is also supported by the fact that the dictionary makes a distinction.)

To go a bit deeper, I personally have a slight rejective feeling towards the word idol, as for me, it has a connotation of wanting to be like one’s idol or even worse, being them.
And now taking the definition into account, it also has this aspect of God and worship, and yes, I know it’s said that humans were build in the image of God, but I don’t know…
Let’s take an example: I love Oscar Wilde’s works. I adore his writing style, his subtle social critique and I read about his personal life as well.
But would I call him my idol? No.
Because that for me would imply that I wanted to write like him, be like him, which for me includes a bit of being a copy cat or neglecting my own potential, talent and not searching for my own voice as a writer.
And sorry, Oscar, but I do not consider you a God. (Although we tend to say things like “Gosh, this man is a GOD.” and yes, colloquially everybody knows what’s meant by that, but in serious terms… no.)

Even if we take someone else as an example, maybe less male and less dead (God bless him), I wouldn’t call Elizabeth Gilbert for instance my idol. Sorry, Liz.
I really loved reading her books, some of her approaches caused a click moment in my brain, made me think and took my thoughts down other roads that I didn’t perceive before.
But that’s what I’d call an inspiration. Not an idol.
Because, with all due respect, I wouldn’t like to swap my life for hers.
And I guess that’s the greatest part within the process of distinction I’d make.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved meeting her on a reading tour in Germany for her book Big Magic* two years ago and I was really touched when my question was one of the last ones and she took her time and even asked a little more to understand my question correctly before answering.

*Hi, Liz, if you read this, I was the girl asking about how to know when it’s fear trying to take over and when it’s your intuition telling you not to do it because it’s better for you. (I took the leap of faith and did it, overcame the weird feelings, put myself through it and the outcome wasn’t as great, so my intuition was right, but I consider it a good lesson in many ways and I’m still more than grateful for your advice and words.)*

Okay, back to the topic, my friends.
I consider her an inspiring person, in terms of writing, in terms of being a person.

But with all the movements I perceive on social media, I get a little worried that these two terms get mixed up a lot and people call youtubers and influencers inspiring when they are actually treating them like idols, not questioning the actions of said person, but tending to follow their example and just do the same.
And this uncritical worshipping is what worries me a lot.

Suddenly, you get up at 5 a.m. because your idol does and you go to the gym because your idol does.
Which is nice. Nothing against early birds and gyms.
But did you question whether it fits your individual body type? Whether it fits your schedule?
Maybe you’re the type of person that is better at working out later, maybe you’re the type of person that needs to sleep 8 hours, but your idol just needs 6. And this doesn’t mean that you’re bad and your idol’s better.
It just means that you’re different. And guess what: That’s okay.

Maybe you start eating like your idol, but your body type is different and within a certain time span you realise that you have low or no energy and wonder why.
And one of the worst things that happens then is the comparison between you and your idol, leading to the assumption that you are weak, worse or incapable of achieving what your idol achieves.
So it leads to a negative self perception.
And isn’t that weird? Odd?
That’s why I say idol for me includes a bit of this aspect of copying.

If the same person I just called your idol, we now call an inspiring person. What would change?
Well, you’d watch your inspiring person get up at 5 and maybe you’d try it too and realise that 5:30 is better for you.
Your inspiring person starts their day off by going to the gym, you try it, too, but you realise you’re slow in the morning, need your breakfast, and working out in the afternoon after finishing work, is much better for you.
You read a book of an inspiring author and this takes your thoughts on different roads, you play with words like they do, but you take the inspiration you got from them and mould them into something that fits your personality, character and nature, instead of just copying.
That way you have a tendency to grow, to find something out about yourself, your body, your time management, your writing voice, which in turn has a high tendency to lead to a positive self perception. And there is no need for comparison between you and the person that inspired you.

Taking the above mentioned definitions into account, inspiration has a divine quality, as the divine influence is mentioned.
But this doesn’t mean that you worship the inspiring person like a God. But that you perceive the divine spark that they were maybe touched by and that they now radiate into the world.
It is also connected to breathing in, inspiration.
But you know what, breathe in. Through the nose.
Do you think you absorb e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that is included in the air? No.
There are a million little filters, that do their job, before the inhaled air reaches your innermost parts.
And if you apply that onto inspiring people, it’s quite similar.
You inhale this inspiring thought, but it runs through your own little million filters before reaching the spots deep inside of you.
And these filters are your critical approach, your own opinion, your personality, character, tendencies, preferences, etc.

So, don’t get me wrong, I don’t dub anything as good or bad, I just came across this topic and it has been lingering on my mind for quite a while and after having had a conversation about this topic, I decided it was about time to let this be my first #socialsaturday post. Thanks for the inspiration, mate.

As long as you keep your critical perspective, it might be okay to have an idol, I just worry about this copy cat components that I perceive sometimes when scrolling through social media.
I myself am more than grateful for all the inspiring people I was allowed to meet on my way, be it in person as Elizabeth Gilbert, or on paper, like Oscar, be it my closest friends, my creative crew, or just a stranger I had an inspiring conversation with.

As these thoughts are just thoughts and not set in stone perspectives, please let me know your thoughts on this topic!
You already know my creed inspiration through communication, so please delight me with your divine sparks.
Feel free to comment or send an email or slide into my DMs on instagram.

Enjoy your weekend.










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Happy (Chinese) New Year and Thank You!

Dieser Beitrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar

Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

My dears,

I am utterly, utterly sorry for not having posted for so long.
And I know I have said that a hundred times before, but as plain as it sounds: sometimes life comes in between!
I had planned so many blog posts and thoughts I wanted to share with you and I am well aware that I still owe you two sundaystories.
But I hope you will be kind with me and understand that I was just too busy and too many things happened all at the same time, so I had to set priorities and work my way through a whole lot of to-do-lists and tasks. And although art and writing is definitely a priority in my heart, other matters had to be put first.

I felt terribly sorry and even told a friend “now that I have gained some new readers who even show interest in my blog and interact with me, I let them down” and he said I shouldn’t worry and that my readers probably would be patient and understanding and caring and kind and that they would be happy when I finally post again.
So, I hope he was right.

I won’t promise to publish a bunch of blog posts right now, because I prefer making promises that I can keep and as it is still a turbulent time for me with loads of things to do, I don’t want to disappoint you by not finding the time to blog.
But I promise that all the posts I had planned will be published bit by bit and I hope you find something interesting, enjoyable and inspiring in it.

Well, I haven’t made it to post at New Year to wish you a wonderful start into a hopefully successful and amazing new year, but at least I made it to Chinese New Year, which started on the 8th February.
It will be the year of the Red (Fire) Monkey and is said to become an interesting, adventurous year with many chances to achieve goals.
So, I wish that this year will hold its promise for you and that you find the strength to set out and achieve the goals you’ve set yourself!

Remember when in my Christmas Post I invited you to count your blessings on Christmas Eve?
Well, of course I did the same and I think it is a beautiful way to end one year and step into the next: Being aware of and thankful for one’s blessings!
This is why I’d like to say a big

to all of you.
To the ones of you, who have followed and accompanied me from my first blog steps to the relaunch, through texts and videos and photos to the publishing of Labelled Love.
I am thankful for my family and friends who support me in all my endeavors.
I’m thankful for all the inspiring people I was and am allowed to meet and for the remarks and moments that brighten my days and keep me going.
Some examples (as shown in the picture):
Once an acquaintance wrote me a message, saying something along the lines of “I’ve just read your blog and I love your story Reflection” followed by one of the remarks that has stuck with me ever since: “Your art matters.”
Or when I was having a really bad phase and a million things happened at once and I was struggling and one of my closest friends asked what was wrong with me and I answered something like “Everyone reaches their limit at some point” and she replied “My free spirit Gina has no limits!”.
Or when another one of my closest friends bought my book and when I said that she doesn’t even read in English, she said “but it’s written by you and I want to display it on my shelf because I’m proud of my friend”.
Or the moment when I advertised my first book being published on social media and a former close friend hit the ‘like’ button and I had to smile, because we had known each other eight or ten years before “One day” (the day I published) and I always said “One day I’m going to publish a book”; it was as if my words were remembered and hitting the ‘like’ button somehow said something like “Well done, girl, I knew you would.”. Despite my critical point of view of overrating ‘likes’ and the like, this was a moment it actually meant something.
The moments when someone says that they read my blog and liked it or when people send me inspiring and motivating quotes or ask for more entries to keep me going; the moment one of my favorite poetry slammers (Patrick Salmen, the first slammer I ever saw on stage and the reason I still go and watch slams) started following me on instagram; the moment I was allowed to see Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Big Magic, a book I love, live and even ask her questions; the moments I’m able to collaborate with other creative people, like writers, dancers, actors, directors, photographers and videographers; the moments you guys read and like and comment and interact with my work; the moments I’m allowed to be connected to creativity and experience inspiration.
I could list at least twenty more examples, but I’m going to leave it at that.
Thank you!

What is it that you are thankful for?

I think it is important to sit down once in a while and really take the time and list the things we love, appreciate and that we are thankful for.
And to communicate them.
That is what I’d like to invite you to: Think about it, count your blessings, list them (in mind or on paper), communicate!
Tell someone what you appreciate in them, tell someone that you love them, tell a stranger that you find their aura astonishing, tell yourself something nice.
Life is too short not to spread the love.

To provide you with a sweet little appetizer of what is planned for the next blog posts (please, give me some time):
* Two book recommendations
* Some tipps for creativity
* Two sundaystories I still owe you
* Another game of #sundaystory
* At least three further blog posts on diverse topics
* Text and Image collaborations telling stories through visuals and lyric
* Further projects, still to be planned in detail 😉

Any preferences how I should prioritize? Any other ideas?
Hey, it’s New Year with goals to be achieved: Let me know, is there anything you’d like to see here and what you’d be interested in?
Comment here or send me an email or a message on Facebook.

All the best and loads of love.


Frohes (Chinesisches) Neues Jahr und Danke!

This entry is also available in English

Photo & Editing: freshandjuicy

Meine Lieben,

es tut mir unglaublich leid, dass ich so lange nicht gepostet habe.
Und ich weiss, das habt ihr schon hundert Mal von mir gehört, aber – so blöd, wie es auch klingen mag –: Manchmal kommt das Leben dazwischen.
Ich hatte so viele Beiträge geplant und Gedanken und Ideen, die ich mit euch teilen wollte und ich bin mir sehr wohl bewusst, dass ich euch noch zwei Sundaystories schulde!
Aber ich hoffe, dass ihr mir verzeiht und Nachsicht habt und Verständnis dafür aufbringt, dass ich einfach zu beschäftigt war und zu viele Dinge auf ein Mal passierten und ich Prioritäten setzen und mich erst einmal durch einen ganzen Haufen von zu erledigenden Dingen ackern musste. Und auch wenn die Kunst und das Schreiben in meinem Herzen definitiv eine Priorität einnimmt, so musste ich doch zunächst andere Dinge voranstellen.

Ich hatte ein furchtbar schlechtes Gewissen und sagte sogar zu einem Freund “Na toll, gerade wenn mehr Leser sich für meinen Blog interessieren, lass ich sie fallen”, woraufhin er meinte, ich solle mir keine Sorgen machen und meine treuen Leser brächten sicherlich Verständnis dafür auf und würden sich freuen, wenn ich denn dann endlich wieder schriebe.
So hoffe ich nun, dass er damit Recht hat.

Ich werde nicht versprechen, dass jetzt in nächster Zeit eine ganze Menge Posts online gehen werden, denn ich bevorzuge es, Versprechen zu geben, die ich auch halten kann und da es nach wie vor eine turbulente Zeit für mich und eine Menge zu tun ist, will ich euch nicht gleich wieder enttäuschen, wenn ich es dann doch nicht schaffe.
Aber ich verspreche, dass ich die geplanten Beiträge Stück für Stück und nach und nach veröffentlichen werde und hoffe, dass sie etwas Interessantes, Schönes und Inspirierendes für euch beinhalten.

Zwar habe ich es nicht geschafft, zu Neujahr zu posten und euch ein tolles, aufregendes und hoffentlich erfolgreiches neues Jahr zu wünschen, aber immerhin habe ich es nun zum chinesischen Neujahr geschafft, was am 8. Februar begann.
Es soll das Jahr des Feueraffen werden, was viel Dynamik, Veränderung und die Option zur Erreichung eigener Ziele bereithalten soll.
So wünsche ich, dass dieses Jahr für euch sein Versprechen hält und ihr die Zeit, Kraft und Muße findet, eure Ziele zu erreichen!

Erinnert ihr euch, als ich euch in meinem Weihnachts-Post dazu einlud, dankbar für all die schönen Dinge im Leben zu sein?
Natürlich habe ich das auch selbst getan und ich denke, das ist eine wundervolle Art und Weise, das eine Jahr zu beenden und das neue zu begrüßen: Sich all der guten Dinge bewusst werden und dankbar dafür sein.
Deshalb möchte ich heute ein ganz großes Danke

an euch alle aussprechen.
An diejenigen, die mich seit meinen ersten Blog-Schritten begleiten, über den Relaunch bis hin zur Veröffentlichung von Labelled Love.
Ich bin dankbar für meine Familie und Freunde, die mich in all meinen Vorhaben unterstützen.
Ich bin dankbar für all die inspirierenden Menschen, die ich treffen durfte und darf und die Bemerkungen und Momente, die meinen Tag erhellen und mich weitermachen lassen.
Hier ein paar Beispiele (wie im Bild angedeutet):
Ein Mal schrieb eine Bekannte von mir mir eine Nachricht, die in etwa sowas sagte wie “Ich habe gerade deinen Blog gelesen und ich liebe deine Geschichte Reflection” gefolgt von dem Satz, der mich seither begleitet: “Your art matters.” (Deine Kunst ist bedeutsam)
Oder als ich eine schwierige Zeit hatte und verwirrt und ausgelaugt war und eine meiner engsten Freundinnen mich fragte, was los sei und ich so etwas sagte wie “Jeder gerät mal an seine Grenzen” woraufhin sie antwortete “Mein Freigeist Gina hat keine Grenzen!”.
Oder als eine weitere meiner engsten Freundinnen mein Buch kaufte und als ich anmerkte, sie lese doch gar nicht auf englisch, sie entgegnete “Aber du hast es geschrieben und ich will es in meinem Regal zur Schau stellen, weil ich stolz auf meine Freundin bin”.
Oder der Moment, in dem ich die Veröffentlichung meines Buches in den Social Media Kanälen bewarb und ein ehemaliger guter Freund ‘like’ klickte und ich lächeln musste, da wir acht oder zehn Jahre vor “Eines Tages” (dem Tag, an dem ich publizierte) befreundet waren und ich immer sagte “Eines Tages werde ich ein Buch veröffentlichen”; es war als hätten diese Worte nachgeklungen und das ‘Like’ sage so etwas wie “Gut gemacht, Mädchen, ich wusste, du würdest es tun.”. Entgegen meiner kritischen Meinung gegenüber der Überbewertung von ‘Likes’ und ‘Clicks’, war das tatsächlich ein Moment, in dem es etwas bedeutete.
Die Momente, in denen jemand sagt, er habe meinen Blog gelesen und es habe ihm gefallen oder wenn Leute mir inspirierende und motivierende Zitate senden damit ich weitermache und mehr schreibe; der Moment, in dem einer meiner liebsten Poetry-Slammer (Patrick Salmen, der erste Poetry-Slammer, den ich überhaupt auf einer Bühne sah und der Grund, warum ich nach wie vor zu Slams gehe) anfing mir auf Instagram zu folgen; der Moment, in dem ich Elizabeth Gilbert, die Autorin von Big Magic, einem von mir heiß geliebtem Buch, live sehen und sogar meine Fragen stellen konnte; die Momente, in denen ich mit anderen kreativen Menschen wie Schauspielern, Autoren, Tänzern, Fotografen, Regisseuren und Filmemachern zusammenarbeiten darf; die Momente in denen ihr, meine Lieben, lest, kommentiert und mit meinen Werken interagiert; die Momente, in denen ich mit Kreativität verbunden und Inspiration erfahren darf.
Ich könnte noch mindestens zwanzig weitere Beispiele listen, aber ich belasse es nun hierbei.

Wofür seid ihr dankbar?

Ich denke, es ist wichtig, sich ab und zu mal hinzusetzen und sich bewusst zu machen und aufzulisten, was man liebt, zu schätzen weiss und für was man dankbar ist.
Und das auch zu kommunizieren.
Dazu würde ich euch gern einladen: Listet all diese Dinge ein Mal (im Kopf oder auf Papier) und kommuniziert sie!
Sagt jemandem, was ihr an ihm schätzt, sagt jemandem, dass ihr ihn liebt, sagt einem Fremden, dass ihr seine Aura beeindruckend findet, seid gut zu euch und sagt euch selbst etwas Aufbauendes und Liebevolles.
Das Leben ist zu kurz, um die Liebe nicht zu verbreiten.
Spread the love.

Um euch einen kleinen Vorgeschmack auf das zu geben, was für die nächsten Einträge geplant ist (bitte gebt mir etwas Zeit):
* zwei Buchempfehlungen
* Tipps für Kreativität
* zwei Sundaystories, die ich euch noch schulde
* eine weitere Runde #sundaystory
* mindestens drei weitere Einträge zu diversen Themen
* Text- und Bildkollaborationen, die Geschichten durch Optik und Lyrik erzählen
* weitere Projekte, die noch im Detail geplant und ausgefeilt werden müssen 😉

Irgendwelche Präferenzen, wie ich priorisieren sollte?
Hey, es ist Neujahr mit Zielen, die zu erreichen sind: Lasst mich wissen, ob es irgendetwas gibt, was ihr hier gern sehen würdet und was euch interessieren würde!
Kommentiert hier, oder schreibt mir eine E-Mail oder eine Nachricht bei Facebook.

Alles Liebe.