The 13. August of this year marked the 51st anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall, a strip of 155 km dividing East Berlin and East Germany from West Berlin. Growing up in the East close to the border to Berlin-Zehlendorf, living near the wall was somewhat normalised by everyday life. At the time, I knew there was no hope getting across, being taught in school that the wall would NEVER be opened for East Germans in this lifetime and I found myself being jealous of birds that unhindred flew to the other side. Sometimes there was an element of fear that entered my consciousness when visiting school friends that lived in houses within the ‘Grenzgebiet’ without a permit, as entry to houses within that zone was by official permission only.
The ‘death strip’ consisted of a 3.6m high concrete wall, mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, dogs on long leashes, over 302 watch towers, border guards that were issued by the East German government with the order to “shoot to kill” any defectors. The death sentence was issued not only to people but to nature, so that vision across the strip would not be obscured by trees, shrubs and weeds. Pesticides were used as was regular ploughing to stop anything from growing.
When the wall came down in 1989 I experienced Berlin for the first time as one … the streets, U-Bahn and S-Bahn being gradually re-connected and allowing life to stream back into those cut off arteries, the ‘Chi flowing’ as we would say in Chinese Medicine. An exciting time and it is still exciting for me when visiting Berlin and experiencing this oneness.
Walking on the border strip now that divided my town Teltow from Berlin, only the road used by the border guard vehicles and occasional memorial plaques are reminders of the former border where nothing grew but concrete walls, fences and watch towers. This is now being replaced by an abundance of life – birds, insects, flowers, trees and people cycling, walking, exercising.
Perhaps the Berlin Wall can serve us also as a reminder when our fears and anxieties cut us off from life, creating borders within us that block life and Chi to flow. We can experience what it means when nature takes its course creating abundance by being in the flow and I believe we can create this abundance in our lives when we become aware of and transcend our fears.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu
As a kinesiology practitioner I support people in my clinic to become aware of the underlying reasons of their fears so they are able to let go, overcoming blocks and allowing growth in their lives. My first hand experience of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the ensuing re-connection of the two divided parts is a constant reminder that ALL IS POSSIBLE in life and to disbelieve those people that use the word ‘Never’ and ‘Not possible’.
© 2013. Annette Zerrenthin