Shira & Ulli Helmstetter: A Young Traveler’s Take on Arriving, Fears and Life

In this podcast, meet Shira and Ulli– my dear family that has come to live together in a patchwork format. And we will talk about and share how our experiences of moving (together and apart) helped us build a more open outlook in our lives. With so much clarity for a very young mind, Shira leads us to share how we are dancing between control and direction and letting ‘life happen through us’.

Traveling and living in different places has been part of Shira as she grows up. She shares here how she was able to manage through that even at a young age and the things that she does to make herself feel ‘at home’.

As tiring as traveling can get, Shira and Ulli share strategies to rest and settle. They also fondly recall the perks of being in a new place such as trying out new food and eventually loving what thrives in the place they are in, especially mangoes for Shira!

Shira also narrates how music helps her let out every kind of emotion she is feeling. To her, music was one of her outlets and companion to get along. Music has been her friend amid the momentary loneliness of traveling to different places every so often.

And part of everybody’s journey is fear. But for a very young Shira, strange as it may initially seem, her greatest fear is the internet! Here, she also talks about the internet’s dark side, the unknowns in the deep web, like the monster under the ocean while Ulli reveals his trivial stage fright. From this, the two enthusiastically delved into a deeper conversation on fear and their shared experiences which taught them more about themselves.

There’s a lot to reflect upon and learn as the young Shira and Ulli give out their thoughts on fear, death, and, more importantly, on life. Ulli tells how he is amazed that Shira, even at a young age, has that clarity. She’s an alchemist!


Links mention in the podcast

Podcast Highlights

  • Strategies to Arrive:
    “After I travel, I just want to find a place to throw myself in bed and just do my own thing there.” – Shira
  • “When I come to a new place, I always bring a batik, hung it on the wall, arrange my stuff around it and it makes me feel more at home. I always try to get rest with other people, to get into talk with the people around, slowly increasing my radius.” – Ulli
  • “Shira is an earth person, she likes to ground, lie down, and feel herself. Ulli, on the other hand, likes to connect to the space around him.” -Alexandra Kreis
  • “When I feel lonely, music is my escape. When I’m happy, sad, even angry, music is my friend. It expresses how I feel and helps me get along.” – Shira
  • “In Ayurveda, music expresses the rasa or the juice that flows through us. It’s like the ebbing of the tide; you feel like you’re in a big ocean when you’re listening to music.” -Alexandra Kreis
  • “I’m not afraid of dying. I don’t think of dying as me vanishing but more of the people I will leave behind. This I think is what the fear of dying really means.” – Ulli
  • “Even at a young age, we can die any minute. But we should not think about that right now. And also not if you’re older. Don’t force yourself to think about thinks and give yourself an answer.” – Shira
  • “Have trust. If we don’t, we often try to control things, our lives. Life happens to you.” – Ulli



Face your fear and welcome a new way of life

[vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]I’ve been talking a lot about fear lately. Right now, fear is at the forefront for everyone and in order for us to come back to ourselves after all of this and feel truly self-empowered, we should be doing certain practices to make sure we are dealing with how the world is changing around us. Naturally, people are trying to drown this fear, whether that’s by binge-watching Netflix or baking another batch of chocolate chip cookies. Instead of avoiding these anxious feelings, we can face them and try to welcome the new way of life that is arising from this darkness.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px”][vc_column fade_animation_offset=”45px”][vc_column_text]Fear is something that needs to exist in us because it needs to warn us. It’s something that connects us all, now especially, and leads us into a deeper understanding of ourselves. Taking on healing practices at this time is not so we can escape feeling anything. It’s so we understand what needs to be realised. When we avoid our fears and disregard our emotions, they are just going to dig deeper. And the more we push them aside, the more they will come back to haunt us.

In my own personal experience, I’ve learned that everything expresses itself very quickly through my body. And so for me, during this time, I would feel lost without self-massage.

Hands-on healing

Self massage is a way of giving love to ourselves. Physical touch is important and can bring us calm and restoration. At a time like this, we can’t as easily feel physical touch from others – whether it’s just a hug we’re missing from our friends. Self massage is a way we can address this underestimated lack of self-care.

Are you breathing?

It might sound glaringly obvious, but making sure you are breathing properly is a calming practice to master. In Ayurveda the oxygen in our blood is called “jivana”, which means “life-giving”. It’s the fuel behind our goals and intentions. Making sure that you begin the day breathing correctly is the best way to start. 

The practice of opening your breath body every morning before eating, and allowing your breath to be the first meal of the day, can have such a profound effect. Make sure you are taking a few conscious deep breaths in the morning. Maybe as you go for a walk outside, or when you are stepping onto your yoga map, or sitting down for a cup of tea. Use your morning routine as a cue to starting moving and breathing intentionally.

Sitting in silence

For some people, the habit of sitting down to meditate is one of the most difficult habits to maintain. It’s hard for us to stay put, let alone in silence and a clear mind. The best thing is to stop thinking and start doing, with some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a time every day for your meditation.
  • Set a timer for your practice.
  • Get an accountability partner, to sit at the same time as you sit in silence.

Meditating with others online or seeking out guided meditations will help you to maintain this habit. If you feel like you need help staying on track, then join the 12 day meditation challenge, and find your peace of mind with the support of a global community.

So think about what you can do to face the fear that’s happening right now in the present. Don’t avoid these feelings or get trapped thinking about the future or the past, because both will remove you from the present. In that notion, we will start fearing the new world instead of embracing it.

In the same way that we discover Spring again every year, this comes with letting go of the past – or the Winter darkness. We forget how the trees can blossom so beautifully or how the sun beams from the sky. When life is changing, everything feels new, but we know deep down somewhere that the change is coming. We just have to take the step to remember and embrace the darkness.

If you want to learn more about the sweet and reassuring method of self massage, while connecting with yourself (and others online), take a look at Isolation? Connection. Self massage!