How I Stared Down the Devil and Chose Happiness – Part 3

The last time we chatted I told you all about how the Tiny Islands came to be. In this last post of our 3-part series, let’s discover exactly what these tiny islands are.

The Tiny Islands Journey is Born

At their core, The Tiny Islands teach us presence and patience.

Life experiences can be a struggle between light and dark or good and evil. Our lives are filled with stress from external places but it’s often self-inflicted. We run around in circles with no real sense of focus and end up feeling exhausted.

And for some of us who experienced significant life challenges, we can easily feel trapped and restricted by the demands of the roles we play.

Looking back on my path, my daughter’s special needs called me to be patient, celebrate tiny steps, and be present in the here and now so that worrying about her future wouldn’t dominate my days.

I had to find meaning in why I’m here with a very different life than the one I had dreamed about I had to embrace a new purpose, one that came without any side models. I learned early on that my experiences mold me into the person I was created to be.

Today, I see all the mosaic pieces of y life come together. My love for movement, nature, and philosophy combined with a never-ending hunger to understand the purpose of my life moved me in the direction of what I do today.

The Tiny Islands were born out of this longing to be victorious in all that destiny delivered and to never let the devil win.
They have guided me to create a rhythm in my life that honors the balance of effort and surrender. Each time I hop on my Tiny Islands they ignite my inner light and love for life.

So, what are the Tiny Islands?

I’m often asked if they are exercises. Yes, they are but at the same time, they are so much more. While exercise typically creates a sense of physical fitness the Tiny Islands guide you through life. They help you overcome any obstacles on your path and guide you in caring for your body, mind, soul, and spirit.

They ask you to pause during your day and step off the hamster wheel. They are your daily mini-retreats, your personal places of power where you recharge your energy and stimulate your body’s rest and self-healing powers.

The Tiny Islands Journey challenges you to practice self-reflection and to stay curious about who you are becoming. They empower you to create new ways of being as you let go of old habits that don’t serve you anymore.

They are gentle practices, meditations, awareness breaks, rituals, and experiences with nature.

I gathered tools from my extensive training as a body-mind therapist spanning over forty years. I learned from Yoga experts in Germany and the U.S., the outstanding wisdom of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron, etc..

I’ve gleaned wisdom from my German heritage and let it become part of the Tiny Islands Journey, I studied:

  • Sebastian Kneipp, the forefather of naturopathic medicine (water and herb cures)
  • Hildegard von Bingen, visionary mystic, and pioneer in holistic healing
  • Rudolf Steiner, Philosopher, and founder of the Waldorf schools
  • Hermann Hesse, Novellist and Poet

But my most important teacher is my daughter Sarina. Her challenges were nothing I ever thought existed. I learned to walk to the beat of her drum without losing mine.

Many of my clients are drawn to the Tiny Islands because they know I can adapt any practice to their needs.

Tiny Islands transform your life

 Tiny Islands are ageless. You don’t need any skills. What you do need is a willingness to get to know yourself and do everything in your power to shine your light!

My guiding principle is that life is our classroom. Everything and everyone we meet is our teacher. Once we understand that and learn the lessons meant for us, we’ll thrive.

This journey will transform your life! You’ll feel more flow and spend more time in peace and less in a struggle.

Now let me ask you:

  • Do you belong to the “I have no time” society?
  • Do you often think “I’ll be happy when?”
  • Are you wondering how you can meet your longing for true, inner happiness that nothing and no one can take away from you?

Here are four things you can do to start the process:

  1. Don’t use your story as an excuse. Hint: it starts with cutting out the word “but” from your vocabulary.
  2. Commit to a daily practice that supports you to deepen your awareness and stretch your comfort zone.
  3. Say no to the devil’s voice. Be the hero of your life.
  4. Reach out and hop on the Tiny Islands Journey!

If you need a new direction in your life or are in transition and unsure of what’s next, start today by putting yourself first! Let nothing get in your way of creating a life filled with true happiness, one that isn’t dependent on anything.

If you belong to the tribe of people who have experienced significant life challenges, like the early death of a family member, being physically disabled, having a traumatic childhood, having a special needs child, etc., you need to do whatever makes you happiest. It’s your responsibility!

 I’ll close with Cheryl Strayed’s words,

We do not have the right to feel helpless. We must help ourselves. After destiny has delivered what it delivers, we are responsible for our lives.

Shine your light,


PS – I hope you’ll join me on the Tiny Islands Journey. Sign-up here to get on the waitlist. The program is opening soon.

The Tiny Islands are the foundation of my life and work. A book of 365 Tiny Islands is in the making. My signature courses are based on their wisdom and the Tiny Islands Membership helps my clients create the life they deserve. 

Connect with Manuela on The Wellness Universe

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1 thought on “How I Stared Down the Devil and Chose Happiness – Part 3”

  1. Your brave experience shared in ‘How I Stared Down the Devil and Chose Happiness’ is inspiring. Your vulnerability and resilience shine through, providing hope and power to others dealing with their battles. Thank you for sharing your story and spreading positivity.

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