"HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB"
in conversation with Silja Mahlow
For the launch of our new collection "AWARE", we interpret in this editorial the feeling of connection to oneself and to nature with the author, yoga teacher and founder of @glücksplanet Silja Mahlow in the middle of Berlin-Friedrichshain.
Part of our philosophy is to use the raw materials of our planet responsibly and thus inspire people for sustainable fashion and contribute to positive social change. This passion unites us in helping people to go their own way, to live happily and relaxed and to develop freely.
"An inner place full of confidence, peace, happiness and space."
Givn Berlin: You are also known as @gluecksplanet known, what is behind it?
Silja: I firmly believe that we can take our happiness into our own hands and that is exactly why I want to offer inspiration, exchange and knowledge. For me, everyone has their own planet of happiness within them. An inner place full of confidence, peace, happiness and space. In my book "Welcome to the planet of happiness", in the podcast "Radically happy" and on my Blog and social media channels is actually always about how we can make this place within us more accessible. So that, in the best case scenario, we always have at least one foot there.
"Since that moment, I've been trying things out, reading and learning."
Givn Berlin: Can you briefly take us back to your beginnings, what was the idea behind starting @gluecksplanet?
Silja: When I was quite unhappy many years ago, I went to therapy. The therapist explained to me that my strong feelings of sadness and guilt were not just the result of my current situation, but that we always feel old feelings as well. And I just thought: Why don't I know that? Why do we learn so little about our brain and body at school? Since that moment, I've been experimenting, reading and learning. It only became a blog when I switched my diet to almost exclusively plant-based sources. That's how I discovered blogs in the first place and at some point I thought: you do that too.
Givn Berlin: Is there a favorite place in Berlin for you, where and why?
Silja: I'm quite a tourist when it comes to Berlin: I really like museums like the Bode Museum, Prenzlauer Berg and the cathedral. My husband grew up here and knows a lot of great places. I think he sometimes gets a bit desperate with me because I just can't get enough of the typical tourist hotspots. I really enjoy being here regularly and visiting family and friends. One of my sons now also lives in Berlin, so there are even more good reasons to be here. Otherwise, we live in the Ruhr area. I was born in Duisburg and have never moved away. I like having lots of friends and family here, even if the charm of Duisburg perhaps only reveals itself at second glance. But what I love when we're in Berlin is the variety of restaurants - especially when it comes to plant-based food. That's just great.
"I try to be as real as possible and show myself as I am."
Givn Berlin: In terms of working with your community, what are the values that guide you? What are you guided by?
Silja: I try to share what I live and discover myself. Of course, this includes lots of coaching tools and techniques, a good (green) diet, yoga, meditation and everything that can make life a little easier and more beautiful. I try to be as real as possible and show myself as I am. Authenticity allows for real encounters and I love the exchange that has become possible through social media! I've already met so many great people and I'm often very touched when I feel how much trust my community places in me. I believe that we simply walk the path together and look out for each other. That makes me happy and gives my work meaning.
Givn Berlin: What does a piece of clothing have to have to become a favorite?
Silja: I like natural materials that are soft and pleasant to the touch and without a cloud of pesticides. It should have been produced under good conditions so that the suffering of others was not necessary for my consumption. For something to become my absolute favorite, I have to feel completely comfortable in it. This means that nothing scratches, pinches or constricts and that I also feel beautiful in it.
Givn Berlin: Can you recommend a must-read book?
Silja: My absolute favorite book from the last few weeks is "After Enlightenment, Doing Laundry and Peeling Potatoes" by Jack Kornfield. So much wisdom in one book. I only ever end up reading one page so I don't run out.