• Counselor in Berlin

Fairytale for February: A fresh new perspective on your life

"This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius..." – or at least the month of Aquarius, and with it comes the challenge of seeing the world from a fresh new perspective. After all, gone is the gloomy January that put our dedication and persistence to the test. We already start to notice that the days are getting longer, and with that comes the first hope of spring. We enjoy the Fasching / Carnival season, in which we pretend to look at the world through the eyes of somebody else. So let this month inspire us to find new ways to interpret people and situations – even challenging ones.

Closely linked to the archetype of the Aquarius is the character of the court jester. The only person who is allowed to criticize the system, and everybody in it, including the king! In return, the jester must always remain an outsider, which is even symbolized by his wearing different clothes. Apart from court jesters, children also tend to provide new, exciting ways of looking at things, ways that we can learn from. This is the case in the fairytale of the month, a well-known Andersen tale, in which a child invites you to re-interpret things that you may treat as a given in your life. Enjoy the fairytale – and then come back for some self-reflection exercises...

The fairytale:

H.C. Andersen: The emperor's new suit

Please read the fairytale here

Self-reflection exercises:

Sometimes we get so entangled in a topic, challenge or situation, that it becomes incredibly difficult to view it from different angles. Choose one topic that comes to mind right now – any particular topic that has been a lot on your mind lately will do – and then let's try to apply the wisdom of the Andersen fairytale to that particular topic.

1. Try to describe your topic from different perspectives. What would your childhood self say about this situation? What would you say about it 10 years from now? What would your favorite movie character think about your situation? What would your favorite animal say about the topic? Jot down different opinions, even if they sound silly – and see if this process inspires new ways to relook at your challenge.

2. The Emperor's advisors were all afraid to admit the truth, that they don't see the new clothes, as they were afraid of the consequences. Look around yourself and see what your 'advisors' are telling you. Do they provide you with a new perspective on your issue, and if so, are you open to hearing it? Invite feedback into your life, and encourage people around you to think differently. The more fresh perspectives, the more means you get to solving your challenge.

3. When you come up with new ways to look at your topic, do your best to turn some of them into action. You don't need to continue doing the same thing (like the Emperor did), it is totally OK to modify your course as you go. The sooner you see your fresh new perspectives turn into reality, the better!

Enjoy February, and good luck with discovering that jester in yourself :)

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