Sandra Neumaier, a qualified practitioner of the Grinberg Method, shares with us the journey of reconnecting with our power and the benefits we can enjoy as a result.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in personal development.
I was born in a little village in the Black Forest. After completing high school, I studied design in Karlsruhe and Zurich, where I specialized in editorial design. In 2002, I moved to Barcelona to create books about architecture, art and design.
After over a decade working in design, I slipped into a personal crisis and asked myself: What do I really want in life, what for? How can I quiet my noisy mind and trust my intuition more?
Out of this wish I deepened my practice in Yoga and Vipassana meditation, read tons of books about astrology, philosophy, psychology and did an NLP practitioner training. I had the impression to understand some basics of human nature. And at the same time, when life got more intense, I had no clue, how to deal with ongoing thoughts and emotions! I recognized, that I couldn’t solve this by just analyzing. But how to deal with the power of emotions differently?
My first session
One day a friend told me very impressed, how his life improved through the Grinberg sessions and I tried out my first session. Actually I had no clue, what was happening, but it worked! I got more peace of mind and suddenly gained more clarity. It became easier to trust my inner pilot what feels good and worthy. I decided to say goodbye to unsatisfying relationships and old limiting convictions. My life has changed and is changing tremendously ever since.
In 2009, in the middle of the big economic crisis, I taught design at the university in Barcelona and accompanied students in their diploma. That time, over 50% of the under 30 years old Spaniards were unemployed! They called themselves „la generación perdida“, the lost generation. Many students were stuck in their anxiety about their future. My deep wish was to encourage them to follow their professional passion after university! But how?
Professional change, Vienna and Mallorca
The struggles of the students sounded similar to mine years ago: How to trust their talent and express it? How to get well payed in a creative job? How to be happy in their relationships? The most efficient tools to deal with life challenges I have learned in the Grinberg sessions. So I decided, double motivated, to learn more about body attention and became a practitioner. Since 2012 I accompany people in their personal growth. Five years ago, I moved to Vienna where I practice currently in the 4th district. Further I am joining the training of Avi Grinberg to become a teacher of the method. I love living in Vienna very much and at the same time I am deeply connected to Spain. Where I will hold the Retreat “Reconnect your power” this upcoming June, in a wonderful finca in Mallorca.
How does what you currently do contribute to the community?
On my personal journey I have met great mentors! What drives me, is to give this powerful tools to everybody, who wants to live her/his passion and yearns to connect with her/his inner strength and unique potential.
The approach is learned through shifting the attention from the mind to the body. If we are tired, angry, in love or having a mind-blowing idea: all is expressed physically. I teach my clients to raise their level of attention through touch and verbal guidance. The learning is through experiencing, instead of knowing. Knowing is based on memories, past trauma or information from outside, therefore it often lacks of being part to the actual situation. The body is real, physical and designed to perceive in a fresh way.
Present perception and memory
So it is basically about how “fresh” we experience reality. Through the body we are in touch with the presence and with memories of undigested struggles, too. Unreleased emotions and related thoughts are recorded. If a past encounter is not finished, we carry it in the body. So, when we are constantly busy with something, it is somehow like a constant constipation. We – the body – feel heavy, exhausted, tired, angry or disappointed from life.Usually people come to sessions with migraines, back or belly aches; anxiety, a sad heart, fear of failure or rejection. And the overall wish to be more healthy and confident.
Fear and Pain: The masters of intensity and limitation
My clients learn to relate differently to their pain and fear. Both, fear and pain, were involved in old endeavor we are still stuck in. We disconnected from their intensity, to feel „safe“. Maybe in the past this was a solution to survive, to continue. But, if we shut off fear and pain for longer periods, our energy is trapped in the past. And we pay a high price in present life: we are not connected to reality, we overdo or feel without energy. Usually we look for support and new references, when we are in a crisis! A crisis is a wake-up-call of our soul to our body to clean and clear up, what does not serve us anymore. Its an invitation to reconnect to ourselves, our resources and our real power. Here we find true treasures in stillness, in aware passivity.
A practical example: Old fear and love
Imagine you love somebody and your beloved one cancels an important date. Automatically you react with mistrust that she/he is dating another person. And you get overwhelmed by the rising jealousy. But most of all, you feel trapped in the confusion, what is reality and what an illusion of your mind? Suddenly you are trapped in emotions, scared to lose control and be hurt again, as in the past. You hold back, run away or attack impulsively. This is fear of fear. In the sessions I teach my clients how this is expressed in the body and to stop the fear of fear. They learn to relax and allow more silence, to achieve a wider perspective, to adapt and gain confidence.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your practice?
To “add body”! In other words: to be present and to relax. This allows me to release a fixed point of view and to see a given situation from a new angle.
What I am learning from fear
Fear is teaching me to be awake. I recognize faster when I am driven by „I have to…“ and to notice the effort I do in my body when I am over- (or under-) thinking, or over- (or under-) doing, wasting my precious time. Not in a sense of clock time, more in a sense of losing the chance to be at ease in this very moment. Fear is making me aware, that I am alive! Now!I learned to relax into fear and that it is natural not to know before! This approach to life, is what I love so much about this method: No fixed rules, no readymade recipes, but connecting to my inner pilot, my strength, my courage, my joy, and to trust in life.
What I am learning from pain
Pain reminds me that I am vulnerable. Human. Mortal. It reminds me of my need to be healthy, the need of my heart to give and forgive sincerely, without sacrificing. The need of peace of mind and the need of my soul of fulfillment. It makes me aware of the limits and possibilities in daily life. Pain taught me too, to let go of illusions and makes me sharper in decision making: where to go, what for, with whom.
What is one small thing you wish people would and could start doing today to make a difference in their personal lives and develop their potential?
To add body, to breathe fully: to be, before to do!
Here a little exercise:
Sit straight and relaxed on a chair and close your eyes. Now think about something you want to change: this may be a current back ache or a current struggle you are busy with:
_Pay attention to your body. What do you feel?
_Where is tension? In your neck, your chest, your belly? Intensify this tension and hold it (up to 5 seconds)
_Pay attention to your breath: How do you breathe now? f.i. short, fast, shallow etc. (don ́t change, simply pay attention)
_Is there a ongoing sentence in your mind, something you comment to yourself?
_Do you feel a specific mood: angry, sad, bored etc.? (pay attention a few seconds)
_Intensify the whole experience.
_Now inhale deeply
_Exhale fully and let go of the tension, the thought and emotion, of all of it
_Open up and breathe fully 3 times
Pay attention to your body. How do you feel?
Do you experience something new, related to the issue you want to change?
Anything else you wish to add?
We have a choice how to respond to challenges in our life! And where we direct our attention and energy! Learning body attention is like learning to dance: once we are able to move to the rhythm, we get more playful and discover our own style and enjoy the move effortless.
Often clients say to me: „Why did nobody teach me to build up my confidence, when I was younger?! There is no better moment as now to learn to be present in your body and to open up for an exciting and fulfilling life!
( For the full version of this interview, click here )
Feel free to get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Qualified Practitioner of the Grinberg Method
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