All posts by Heidi

Information overload – the new disease

Is this YOU?

A calendar with the word NEWS and several globes
Too much info every day

You are a person full of energy and curiosity and you are delighted with learning new things, right? For years and years, you got an extra kick when you discovered something new – and lately, you feel often a little tired and some tension in your forehead, right? You get up in the morning, the emails, the news channels you usually visit, some extra info from Facebook or G+, all seems to be so interesting and you click and click, you read as much as you can – and probably you forget to plus/like the articles, to write a comment or to share it in your feed. Just too much, you think.

We need to enter into a conversation!

And you are right, just too much! And still, just reading something without expressing our gratitude for the author’s work, or without telling them your own opinion on it is like lurking behind the curtains. Without intending, we co-create the consumerism and onesidedness of the internet. A net is intended to flow in all directions, not just from source to consumer. Just reading and not engaging deprives us of entering into a conversation – and it deprives the author of a genuine feedback which would be very precious for developing their ideas and insights.

Information overload

There is a new illness – or maybe it is an addiction, at least in the beginning before serious physical symptoms arise. We want to “dance at every wedding”, as we use to say in Germany. We don’t want to miss something which could be important. You never know, do you? And then you – and me – continue to check out this, read that, install this, go to that platform, begin a new project, engage (shortly) in a new group etc.

Overloaded camel
Falling down or axle break?

Well, if you have read this far, I am sure you know all that. Now the question arises: what to do about it? Shall we wait until the improperly stacked load falls and shatters everything? Well, we are not WAITING, we convince ourselves that, after all, it is not too bad and we can go on as we had, our body and mind will stay with us as our faithful servant as long as we want. Really?

Burnout even without a day job

When you live in the countryside and you have no 9-5 job, how can you think of burn out? Work on the land makes you tired, yes, but your head remains clear and your mind calm – unless you have major emotional problems, but this is not our topic today. Sitting in front of the screen and reading other people’s most interesting stuff doesn’t feel like work. It satisfies our curiosity. Contrary to working outdoors, we confine our energy on our eyes and on our intellectual mind. The body begins to ache – we don’t care. Movement in front of the keyboard. Fingers yes, the rest remains still or in awkward constricted positions. Shoulders ache, eyes ache. The body protests and gives us all sorts of signs – which we normally misread as a request for coffee, cigarettes or food. Where will this end? In eye problems, obesity, lung cancer, and overall burnout – right where other people travel to for relaxation!

The predicament of change

The earth drowning in water and fire
The earth drowning in water and fire

Most of us are very invested in change. We fear that Nature collapses if we don’t work against the fatal tendencies. We fear that our nations may fall back into separation and confrontation – and we feel like needing to become activists for connection and peace. We are deeply touched by injustice against humans and/or animals and we feel called to do something there, too. We want to help, help, help to create a better future – and we see how things are getting worse and worse, at least from our present perspective. We become ever more worried about all sorts of things, our emotions get triggered more and more, we feel we definitely have to step up and do something useful. But WHAT?

Navigating the crisis – a personal challenge for everybody

Humans have different styles of responding to crises and uncertainty. Some people enter into panic, they become resentful and even violent towards whatever they see as an enemy. Others try to be resilient and keep their emotions under control. Hopefully, they succeed, it certainly depends on the amount of challenge they are facing. At a certain point comes the burnout, an illness, a detrimental quarrel with the spouse, a serious depression etc. The energy which we are accumulating, willingly or not, doesn’t just disappear.

So why don’t we stop in time? Why can’t we follow our own advice, our better knowing, our rational insights about what is going on with us? I believe that we are still in the modern mindset which elevates the mind over body and psyche. I have learned as a child to control myself with will power, and the western world is grounded on the “free will” of humans. So it’s no wonder that we underestimate the power of our psyche and the intelligence of our bodies. We have continuously practiced ignoring both when they speak to us and we agree with our thoughts and follow their biased advice. We have lost the connection to ourselves and to get it back we have to make a deliberate effort to BEGIN to take ourselves seriously and to abandon our fears about missing out on something important. We certainly will – we already do, all the time – but we need to come to terms with our limited being . We are not omnipotent even if we have the tendency to believe it.

The way out

As always it boils down to us humans and how we see and treat ourselves. We need to sort ourselves out. Even if we have done a lot of psychological and spiritual work on ourselves, we need to continue, to go deeper. We have learned previously – at least we hope so – how to conduct ourselves in the life we used to live. Things have changed rapidly in the outside world. We haven’t been able to change with the same speed. We have fallen into the traps of speed, success and wanting to be in control. We have pretended to be able to create change in the world. Well, yes, we have created change – but as it seems now it was not the change we had envisioned.

So what to do? 

flooded landscape
Submerging in the flood?

We can give up, float with the stream until we crash against a dike or drown in the deeper waters. We can ignore the dangers, we can become resentful, we can blow up everything in which we believed and pull everyone and everything with us down into psychological or physical annihilation – very common for humans to do! (Think about HIV positive people in the 80ies who deliberately infected others to express their existential rage against God or destiny).

Or we can become humble and begin from scratch with our work to transform ourselves. We imagined that, finally, we had reached a good level of development and were proud of it. We need to understand that we have just a short rest before we are sent out into the storm again, the hurricane of inner turbulences, contradictions, desires, needs, fears and visions. We need to hold our own hands and go ahead, step by step, and give ourselves the necessary understanding and compassion.   And along with it we need to refresh the encouragement and push to clean up what is still lurking in the corner, which is hindering us from doing what we are meant to do. We need to overcome the obstacles inside ourselves and become fuller human beings. We need to understand that the change in the outside world depends on us – literally

Butterfly
We need to transform from the caterpillar to the butterfly, from following the food to be able to see from above.

We can no longer pretend that the others need to change, politicians, economy etc. to change the current downward spiral of our planet earth. Well, they do need to change, too. But first of all, WE NEED TO CHANGE OURSELVES and then go out and be a role model for the others who find themselves unable to change without a plan and without guidance.

My advice to you and to myself:

STOP COMPLAINING – FIND THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM IN YOURSELF AND CHANGE IT ACCORDING TO YOUR VISION OF A BETTER WORLD.

Stop with the overload, take only what you really need! Become the better world inside you and the outer world will follow! (And not the other way round!)

 

 

 

These are the people we need for a better world

I have a few question for you:

Who do you think you need to be and to act to help create a better world?

What would you do if you were a president of any state and if you had an enormous amount of power. Would you keep integrity? Or would you begin to play with the power at your pleasure? Who knows?

What would you do if you discovered that something goes massively wrong? That an institution or government is playing with the people who they should serve and care for?

Do you know yourself? Are you ready to stand up for your values?

These are the questions we all should ask ourselves in the present situation where everything seems to slip into chaos, the world alliances, the single nations, the relationships in groups and in families, the climate, the earth itself: Which are the people we need to create a better world? And are you ready to be one of them?

I know, it is a tough question because it asks you to take responsibility for your own actions, for your emotions and how you are showing up in the world. And it also asks you to take the risks to step up and put your finger into things which you notice that they are going badly wrong. You have the choice to “put your head into the sand” like an ostrich and pretend to not notice where things are going – and many Germans did exactly that about 80 years ago, hoping that everything would turn out well – until it was too late. And speaking up might cost you the job or chases you into exile.

These are the people we need for a better world

Jordan Peterson
Jordan Peterson

Some people are courageous enough and do it for all of us – and they need our respect and support. In a previous post, I spoke about Jordan Peterson who is doing his bets to open the eyes of the public and make them see the signs of rising totalitarianism in Canada. He is a brilliant man and he is able to show up with admirable resilience and emotional – and certainly cognitive – intelligence. He doesn’t dwell in accusations and humiliations – as most of the “fighters” do, but he is showing the facts, the background, and the consequences very clearly.

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

And there is another hero who pays – happily – with his personal life for having revealed the hidden manipulations of his governmental institutions which are totally against the foundations of that society. He showed us that we cannot trust in our institutions and that we have to ask transparency and ethical behavior. Our lives – and our mother earth – is at stake, immediately and on the long run. The worldwide internet connection helps that these fighters for the truth are heard – instead of silenced, as it was a common habit before. There is hope that the internet will help to uncover all the conspiracies and manipulations: One SMS is enough to leak secrets – until people everywhere understand that secrets are destructive to relationships and only the truth will bring us together in a thriving world.

Truth is the only means to create a better world

The truth is often uncomfortable and humans try to avoid everything which asks them to step out of their comfort zone. But they – we – pay a huge bill for cowardliness in our personal and in our public life.  Listen to Jordan Petersons lectures and you will understand why. (visit his Youtube Channel here)

Today I listened to the Interview with Edward Snowden and I was blown away by the wisdom of this young man, by his courage,  and by his balanced way of speaking without falling into adversary emotions while being present as a full human being. I am in awe of the level of development which this person has reached. He is a role model for all of us. Jordan Peterson and Edward Snowden and man others: these are the people we need for a better world!

Hate and separation, walls and discrimination create enemies and hell on earth. We are called to fight those ways of acting – by becoming wise, truly adult and courageous ourselves. Not an easy task, but a mandatory call to create a future for our kids which is worth living.

 

What is the most important thing in human life? – You know it!

There is a game to find out what is most important to you. It asks you to write down how you would spend the money if you should win in a lottery. So you write down the percentages for a house, new car, insurance and whatever comes in your mind.  These things, at first glance, seem to be really important, yes. But the are only one side of the coin, the one you can buy with money.

Material and immaterial values

There are many important things in life – and I dare say even more important than those you find out with the game. I mean those things which you cannot buy with money: connection, love, confidence, trust, belonging and the feeling of being ok, as a person and with your life altogether.

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe – the proof that being famous doesn’t equal happiness

We know it perfectly well – and we still strive for money and public recognition. We have seen so many times that super rich people and famous movie stars die from overdose or suicide. We know that our happiness doesn’t derive from these external factors, but we continue to make ourselves miserable by believing what others say or – worse – what our inner critic continuously whispers into our ear.

We don’t know ourselves – so how can we improve ourselves?

We oscillate between hope and activity on one side and depression and fear on the other side. We haven’t learned to navigate our own operating system, so to speak. We seem to be the helpless victims of our own humanness. We try to improve ourselves, continuously. The market for self-improvement is gigantic. But how can we improve something if we have no idea how it works? It is like wanting to create pears while polishing an apple. we have no idea how our inner mechanisms are, how we attribute value to something and why, why we do certain things and others not. Our analytic mind has little to say about it, more hypothesis than real insights. And so all attempts of improvement start from an unexplored territory.

What does it mean to be a human being?

Isn’t it time to understand how humans work? What does it mean to be a human being? What are the underlying axioms of our existence? Spiritual inquiry has found out quite a bit about humans and their emotions, especially the fear and they teach a way to inner calmness. Psychology has found out a lot about trauma and mental illness and the functioning of the psyche. But both approaches see humans as single units while, in fact, they are social beings first of all. They are dependent on others, in their own development, in their self-image, in their work – everywhere.

It is time to find out what we already know – and then behave and act from this knowledge.

Dr. Jordan Peterson
Dr. Jordan Peterson

I want to share with you the first lecture of a University course by Dr.Jordan Peterson called “Maps of Meaning”. Listening to him I had an epiphany similar to the one about 20 years ago when I came across Ken Wilber and Integral Theory. In both cases, it was as if the lights went on. I recognized their thoughts as true – and I realized that, somehow, I had thought in similar ways but wasn’t able to put it into words. Both these brilliant minds have the gift to put into words what is the unseen truth in our lives – and they allow us to embrace these words as the expression of our own life experience.

When the week begins like that – when 2017 begins as it did.

One Monday in August 

It is Monday afternoon. If I was an employee I could go home in an hour or so. But I AM at home, the whole day.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? To be able to stay at home! I have never known before how frustrating it can be! Not the fact to BE at home, but to try to WORK from home.

Cat helds arm working on computer
Video editing with the help of Sunny

I am taking seriously – finally – to create a business online. So far I thought I was, and hoped that other people did the work for me, websites etc. Yes, I would create the content, but I really feared the tech side like the devil fears the cross.

The Need to have a website – the necessity to learn

So my websites napped away, very few visitors, even less subscribers. But why? Don’t they see what I can offer? – Well: how could they? Nobody finds the sites, so how can anyone want to contact me in order to work with me?

So, for some time it dawned on me that I have to learn all this tech stuff, too, after having learned Google and Hangouts and Youtube and, and, and. NOW WEBSITES and how to manage them, how to write content in the right way and how to rank them on Google.

But I get stuck with many preliminary things. Today I spent hours – again – to chat with the support of one service provider and write emails to the other one which doesn’t even notice that I have already done what they suggest – and it didn’t work: two of my main websites are down for a week. HAPPY MONDAY!

Struggling to learn the Know How

screenshot my-cat.org website
The website: My-cat.org where I tell stories about my cats and host other people’s stories about theirs

Then, naturally, I want people to share my content on my fun website about cats.  I use it to practice all that, what I am taught in the amazing community (where I finally learn how to create websites). And I end up struggling with the plugins. It is easy to upload and activate them, but why don’t they do what I expect them to do? Means in this specific case: share the posts with the pictures instead with a huge gray head (not really attractive!).

hand out of the water with the word "help"
That’s how it feels like, sometimes

So the rest of the day passed by with chatting with very helpful people of the community who do their best to resolve all the weird things which show up in every single day in my new tech-friendly (?) life.

So, Monday is almost gone and no tangible results. Is this a good or bad sign? Does it mean I will get it straight tomorrow? Or better give up, because “it will never get better” (and many people say it won’t)

So it is a matter of CHOICE. What do you choose? Well, I will sit on my computer, but at home, sweet home, for other 3 hours or so until I will be so fed up – or have a success moment. Whatever, tomorrow is another day. Tuesday, I guess. Sometimes I forget which day it is, they seem all quite alike…..

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This post was first published on branded.me  on August 8th 2016

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February 2017

Half a year has passed since I wrote the above text. And a lot has happened since then. Learning to do my own websites was one achievement I gained. I am able now to project and do everything needed for our broadcast series at The Wisdom Factory, on the Integral Ageing website and, of course, my favorite and heartwarming project, the website about cats. All are using different themes and I have learned a great deal how to use them properly. 

Now it is time to address the last two projects before thinking to seriously go for business: the website for the NonProfit “Paradiso Integrale” and the membership site for the relationship course work. Some more time to spend learning while sitting on the computer….

How do humans work? How does learning happen?

two faces, colored background, black tree
The mystery of Human Life: How can we create understanding?

Talking about learning: what is really interesting to me is not so much the content of what I learn – although it is quite useful, – but more the meta level: How does learning happen? What strategies do I use to learn? Which ones are better and better for what? Where do they work and where not? And why not?

Life as Meditation

With these questions in the back of my head, the work I am doing becomes almost a meditation. There is an observer who continuously monitors not only the content of what I am doing but also

  • the single steps,
  • the ever changing colors of mood (success joy versus failure disappointment in many degrees),
  • the procrastination moments,
  • the ignition by some input by others (humorous posts, insightful talks and conversations etc.)
  • the influence of positive (but more significantly negative) news about the world situation
  • the coping mechanisms and strategies to “survive”
  • the changing states of the body, the subtle feelings and sensations
  • the emotions

How to deal with big emotions?

Emotions are a big one, not only for myself, I guess. In this period of time the emotions overboard all over the world. People try to make sense of the chaos which we are slippering in, the sudden awareness of not having noticed the signs in time, and the fear of the unknown and the possible disaster.

Anouk Brack
Anouk Brack

Many people begin to contribute trying to figure out what is going on and what can be done to get on in a reasonable way. For instance this article of a friend, Anouk Brack And this is the good thing which the present situation can evoke and create: People stepping up and coming together to co-create their visions and oppose the forces which want to bring our culture back into times of civil war and even medieval practices of torture to assert the power of a few over everybody else.

The Metaphor of Monday

The Phoenix arising from the burning chaos
The Phoenix arising from the burning chaos

To close the circle: Monday, the beginning of the week, can bring a lot of difficulties and slow down the fresh energy with which it began. But we can find a way to work through the difficulties. We can reach out to others and make the things work again – and even find new and unexpected ways in which our world can unfold. 2017 has begun with a huge drum beat, an earthquake which made many of us tremble. We need to work through it, day by day, and find a way to allow the phoenix to arise out of the ashes.

PS: See also my previous post about the necessity that we WOMEN step up and let our voices be heard in the world

Women Share Your Wisdom

The Dalai Lama
A voice of Wisdom: The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama said some years ago that the future of this planet depends on the women, especially the women of the western world. Why?

Well, after thousands of years of patriarchy women in the western world have come out of their dependency on men and begin to “do their own thing”

While at the beginning women tried to catch up by imitating men – in the lack of female role models – they/ we finally come to understand that we have to share our gifts in our deeply feminine way.

old manuscript, clock and telescope
Science as a masculine drive

The masculine versus the feminine way

While the masculine way is going forward and follow the previously established plans – and often not noticing that they have become obsolete and even harmful, the feminine way is observing, beginning to go towards an envisioned goal which is not terribly concrete, but more felt as a quality. And on the way, there is always the possibility to course correct when we come to the understanding that this leads into the wrong direction.

woman finding roots on the way
A woman finds new ways or roots on her way

The feminine way is based on receptivity and finding out what is right. The masculine way is, believing to know what is right and then go for it at all costs.

We have seen where the masculine way brought us: huge technological success and scientific understanding – but a complete unawareness and neglect of the costs, the dangers of the inventions are never taken seriously, care for life is not a topic when everything is oriented to success.We need the feminine way as the main force in our societies when we want to not only survive on this planet (by reducing hostility and collateral danger of innovations), but to really THRIVE by connecting all aspects of human beings, the body, the mind, the heart, the spirit, the soul – and the practical abilities and the rational ways of calculation and scientific findings.

So, women SHARE YOUR WISDOM. Do that for instance by joining “WOMEN MATTERS” live conversations of THE WISDOM FACTORY.

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This article was first published on August 17th 2016 on branded.me

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My addition on January 31st 2017

We missed the chance – maybe this will create the chance?

We missed the chance to have a woman as the president of the United States. Instead culture seems to have fallen back into naty ways of patriarchical power demonstrations: women as objects in the hand of men as demonstrated by the new president. And again women are considered inferior and a minority to ignore and oppress – like all the other minorities or “troublesome people” in the world. The super Macho has regained the power over everything – like many thousands of years ago…..

female puppet sueezed
Why don’t we stand up instead?

Yes. I know, we are at a different point today, after that all these levels of development which have emerged,  since those times where macho-red power was the most normal thing in everybody’s life. I agree with that, but I am really astonished about the women in this world. When will they develop? When will they stop to collaborate with their perpetrators? when will they step up against power abuse against women? When will they stop to be pleased to be treated badly? When will they stop to find pleasure in being the victim and therefore throw themselves into this situation which creates inequality and suffering?

Maybe we need a push of a certain degree?

When you know a little about psychology you easily find an answer to these questions, at least some partial answers, probably not the full picture. 

woman meditating
The flair of self-development and spirituality

Let’s begin with the facts: there are many women engaged in self-development and spirituality. Many more women than men in workshops which go into the depth of being. Women want to find out things, as well as men do, but we are interested in different things most of the time. In things which could change the world – as the Dalai Lama said. 

But where are these women?

Normally in the audience and not on the stage. Why not? What is still holding us back to go out and take over a huge chunk of responsibility and guidance in the world? Why do you find a huge number of brilliant male speakers everywhere and only a handful of equally brilliant female speakers. I don’t assume that we women have less potential to be brilliant! We just don’t dare to go out and be seen – and that has very good reasons when you look back into the past and also observing the present.

Virginia Renzi, mayor of Rome
Virginia Renzi, mayor of Rome

The city of Rome has the first female mayor for about 6 months now. What do newspapers bring out in x-fold repetitions? When the mayor breaks out in tears in public. What does it mean, openly or suggested? Women are not able to face reality, they are too emotional, you cannot rule with emotions, so “Women, go home”. 

We are called upon to stop waiting and to show up

There is no public lobby to speak for us, to recognize that women are different and that they process things in a different way than men. There is nobody to normalize the feminine way of being. There is still the expectation that women are somehow deficient men. 

The weird thing in all that is the fact that women themselves are co-creating their situation. We women, openly or covertly, are still asking the men for permission, we wait for them to invite us, to give us the right way of seeing the world and ourselves, despite our declarations of the opposite. And no wonder: how could we change the old and often archetypical way of being in less than a century, especially when we are not full heartedly engaged in that change?

My conclusion:

We women are in a paradoxical situation today – at least those of us who don’t see their life’s purpose in high heels and lipsticks for attracting the alpha male.  We have the vision of a better world which needs our energy on the one hand – and we don’t have the courage to follow up on that vision. There is a double impediment which we face: 

1. we don’t have a precise idea how we could realize the vision, how our own feminine way looks like

2. Even if we knew what exactly we need to do, how to be and where to go – we need to go against the stream with what we are birthing. We need an extra load of energy and decisiveness (and other masculine qualities) to bring our feminine way into the world against the established male society around us. 

3. Even those men who support our striving to find new shores, those men who have worked on discovering their feminine qualities and resonate with the idea of women in leadership, even those men are MEN and intrinsically different from women – despite the ridiculous green fundamentalist idea that men and women are literally equal. They are not. They can be very sweet and supportive, but their fundamental drives are incredibly different. 

Was the push strong enough? What’s up for us women now?

WE WOMEN HAVE TO FIND OUR WAY OURSELVES thanking those men for their support who are willing to give it to us.

WE NEED TO STOP WAITING for anybody to allow us to step up and do what is needed and what is waiting for us in the world

WE NEED TO CLEAR OUR OPPRESSING INNER VOICES and we need to empower each other in the research for our own feminine ways.

Women in a circle holding hands
The Women’s Circle
(by Anna Hauser)

WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER TO EXPLORE AND CO-CREATE. That’s exactly what we attempt to do with our public WOMEN MATTERS conversations at The Wisdom Factory 

Sensing and Silence – Introducing Feminine Qualities in our Public Discussions on Tuesday, February 7th here

So far we have engaged in 11 public conversations in English and we are beginning to gather in conversations in German, too. Contact me if you are interested in participating.

 

 

How we are shaped by our environment!

How we are shaped by our environment!

Have you ever given a thought to how we are shaped by our environment? So where you live is shaping you, your habits, your desires, your idea of leisure time and the way you think and feel.

Living in a city versus living in the countryside

If you always have lived in a big city you became almost insensitive to noise and dirt – and you will feel insecure in a tranquil country place which seems boring to you with all the nature around and no usual entertainment and excitement.

River Tiber
Enjoying the river Tiber, the plants and animals, the clouds and mirrored pictures in the water

If you have lived always in the countryside you hardly can perceive its beauty and you probably are thirsty of the excitements available in a city. Being far from the places where you think “real life” happens, keeps you in a belief of lack.

Today we went on a bike ride through South Umbria. I noticed places where I was used to seeing sheep and cows – no sign of animals anymore. The young generation doesn’t want to continue the country life of their parents and grandparents. What are they doing instead? Increase the amount of people without stable jobs – but living in more fancy places than the old farm. – Is this REALLY BETTER?

Life in the ancient villages in Italy –  like it was time ago, but how long?

Then there are the little villages and towns, also threatened of being left for the big city, but still maintaining a good number of inhabitants – and others come to join them, especially from other countries, because they love ITALY.

Men chatting on the stair to a church in Calvi dell'Umbria, Italy
Men chatting on the stairs to a church in Calvi dell’Umbria, Italy

In places like Calvi dell’Umbria life is still quiet, especially on Sundays. People go to church, sit in Piazza and have a cappuccino or just hang around and chat. Especially men gather and just chat, even sitting on the church steps. Imagine this: no internet chat, but REAL LIFE CHAT. Can you feel the difference? And can you imagine how YOU would feel if you lived in such a place where the clock is still going slower than in the outside (success driven) world?

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This article was first published on August 14th 2016 on branded.me
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My addition in January 2017
 
There have been many earthquakes during the last few months here in Italy. Some villages in the mountain range of the Appeninnico were completely destroyed, others severely damaged. A ski resort was buried by an avalanche after the last earthquake and about 30 people couldn’t be rescued alive. People are deeply shocked and in fear, and there is a reason for it. This will increase the desire to leave these old places of beauty and different lifestyle. Who wants to live with the continuous fear of the “next big one”?
 
destroyed city
Destroyed city

Earthquakes in Italy is not a new thing. The plate boundary between the African and the European plate goes right through Italy and many villages and towns have been destroyed in the past centuries. Every 10 or 15 years another town collapsed, business as usual: the big outcry, the promises to rebuild the towns, the collected money, given by compassionate souls, disappeared in someone’s pockets. After 20 years or so coming back to the previous home town often is not a choice anymore.

So you might ask: If they know about the danger of earthquakes, why don’t they prepare? Why don’t they build their houses in ways that they don’t collapse with the first shock? In Italy magnitude 5.5 is enough to collapse the houses, while in New Zealand even with magnitude 7.5 the houses keep upright, with only a few exceptions. 

 

Dolce vita in Italia
People have a short memory. It is like the pain in childbirth: as soon as the child is born the mother forgets about the pain – how else could she think about having another baby? Well, Italian mentality is a little like this: “speriamo bene”, let’s hope that it won’t happen to me!
And even if somebody is conscious enough about the danger: what can they do? Living in those places traditionally means to be poor. That’s why so many people go away and try to make a living in the bigger cities, in the first place. So how could anyone afford to adjust their old house in ways to make it more resistant to the trembling of the earth?
Bureaucracy - the heap of files is huge
Bureaucracy – the heap of files is huge

The government announces subsidies for these measurements. Yes, you might get some money, but first YOU have to pay (for the administration practices etc.) – and you need to be VERY patient until they finally decide if you are chosen for the subsidies or not. After the big earthquake near Assisi in 1997 people couldn’t begin to reconstruct their houses right away if they wanted to ask for subsidies. And so they had to wait for YEARS until they could begin with the reconstruction. That’s why it took 20 years, altogether. But Assisi itself was reconstructed in 2 years or so. Why? It was the church paying and the many catholic people in the world who feel connected with the city of Saint Francis. They didn’t wait for the government to move.

Now we are in the awkward situation in this country: numbers get manipulated to avoid responsibilities. earthquake forecasting is denied and therefore ignored. Money disappears. Many people have a tender heart and are willing to help – and they don’t get a thank you and are even shut down. The egocentric culture of the leading class seems to reflect a huge part of the population and the more evolved people in this country have a really hard time to be heard, let alone included in decision processes. 
The well known integralist Jeff Salzman often says: “Evolution is beautiful but it’s messy.” In Italy,  you can see the messiness when you are here a little longer than a typical tourists stay.

 

Watch this explanation of the present risk of earthquakes in Italy as a consequence of what is happening all over the globe – earthquake-wise
 

Shadow and Success – Shadow and Change

Shadow and success

Shadow is a big issue in human life. Not only fear, but fear is one of the most fundamental. Another shadow theme can be thoughts like “I am not good enough”, “I don’t deserve it” etc, which often are deeply ingrained in people’s psyche and which are boycotting success and financial flourishing.

Chess figure - big shadow
The Shadow is bigger than we think

So, do we become wealthy by doing the work we think we need to do? Does it work always that way?

I don’t think so, even if you put all your good will and effort in it. Why? If the word “wealthy” has been connected with people you didn’t like, or you were envious of them, or you felt dependent or victimized by them in your childhood (or even later), it can be extremely, difficult to accept the idea and inner attitude of becoming wealthy,

skyscraper
Economic success – empty forms, cold an inhuman

On the other hand, as we talk about shadow, the drivenness to create success, no matter what the “cost” of wealth is, that can be a shadow topic, too.

How can you overcome that hidden inner attitude – of which you probably are not aware at all (and you might tell you constantly the opposite, positive affirmations – which haven’t worked for you.) If you are interested to find a way out for yourself (especially if you are a woman), you can contact me for a chat.

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This short article was first published on August 16th 2016 on branded.me

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As I am re-organizing my entries in branded.me to post them here in my “opinion” website, every time I copy and paste what I wrote before evokes new thoughts in me, from the perspective of NOW. (in this case end of January 2017, 5 months later than the original entry).

The Elephant in the Room

face, one side light the other dark
Half of our being lies in the shadow

Shadow is definitely the elephant in the room. Personal shadow of each one of us, and collective shadow of communities and nations. It needs a lot of courage to dare to see what is in the dark, to dig it out and to transform it into light. 

Shadow of a golden object on orange golden surface
Uncover the shadow – and the gold reappears

Every person has an invisible light hidden behind layers of cultural habits and norms. We internalize what we experience as right and wrong in very early age. This is inevitable for becoming a functional member of the group. Unfortunately, sometimes the particular gifts and capacities of people are pushed into the shadow realm and so these people have a difficult time to understand their life’s purpose – if they ever arrive to search for it. The “golden shadow”, once appeared on the surface, is tremendously empowering. 

SHADOW WORK – the only way towards health

shooting soldiers and a crying child
The future is at stake – destruction is possible if we don’t recognize it in ourselves

Most important for the health of the individual and for the bigger group is the work on the dark shadow. We need to dig it out, too, and own it as part of our humanness. All humans have the capability to do nasty things, to harm others and even to kill and destroy. If we don’t recognize this part in ourselves then the risk is very high that, one day when the right circumstances arrive, we will act in ways which before we would never have thought to be possible. Don’t say you would never kill anybody, if you have never contacted the killer in yourself. Don’t say you would never torture others – if you have never contacted the Hitler in yourself. Only if you know yourself from ALL perspectives, then you will be able to avoid the worst, but not by believing “you never would”. This is an ancient experience, and modern psychology (and history) have studied this phenomenon of human existence extensively.

The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin

The same falls back on societies. Germany has done a lot of shadow work to integrate the era of extreme inhumanity and cruelty during the last century. America seems not to have done any similar work. So why are you wondering that a man was elected President of the United States, who has the same personality characteristic as Hitler? And who, potentially, can lead the nation into complete disaster – and the whole world in the aftermath! (read this article for some clarification!

Every nation is built by individuals. When the individuals change, the nation will change. This is the good news:

If you want to change the world – change yourself first and be a role model for others in their process of growing up! 

Why Cyber War on my Website?

Why Cyber War on my Website?

What the hell are people looking for on my website? And why do they “attack” it. Whose enemy am I? What do I have that they believe to find when they attack my sites – and unfortunately those of many many others?

Is war still an attractive goal?

The meaning of the colors red and blue in Spiral Dynamics
The meaning of the colors red and blue in Spiral Dynamics

We believed that the times of war were over in the Western World, after WW II, and the remainders of war happen elsewhere on the globe. This may be true when we see war as a systematic way of killing the enemy for gaining their property. This is a concept of “red” and “blue” times in our societies (the colors of “Spiral Dynamics”), of the “egocentric” and “ethnocentric” level, where we care only for ourselves or our ethnic group. It’s THEM who are still believing that they can get something precious by killing the others and destroying their land. It never worked really well, except for a short time, and it still doesn’t.

But the mentality persists, real wars are going on, huge bloodshed of people, also of animals and the destruction of ecosystems in the name of …. WHAT? Fill in the blank and check if these are REALLY reasons for doing that, when seen from a higher perspective which includes REASON and LEARNING from the past. Unfortunately, human development, the evolution of consciousness, takes an incredibly long time.

The modern war on a global scale – attack and protect as an ongoing mindset

Coming back to my websites which were hacked and injected with malware. The wars have changed their appearance. Single people, or better robots, built by single people with mal-intent, are searching for I-don’t-know-what in normal people’s websites. We on our sites are talking about philosophy, personal growth, the evolution of consciousness, integral theory: What do they believe finding inside our websites? Or do they want to protest against the content? There would be better ways to do that.

I don’t want to respond to the call for war, I believe in pacific ways of living together. So why do I need to “protect” myself by paying people to take care that similar things won’t happen anymore? Well, somebody seems to want to get money, or by stealing addresses or bank info (not available on my sites) or by building up all this firewall and what not business, which obviously is a legal thing (but you get forced into it, anyway).

We can stop all wars – by growing up as humanity

trees expand in head
Growing begins in our heads

 

When will the war mentality finally end? In the cyberspace, in politics, between countries and groups, between single people, between businesses and institutions (sometimes called “competition”) and also in the personal life, fighting against our families or spouses, and , worst of all, against OURSELVES (which is rarely obvious to anyone who is doing it)

STOP IT and GROW UP!

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This article was first published on branded.me on August 20th 2016

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After the US elections and Trump as new president

Half a year later I am posting this article – and the topic is more pressing than ever. We have seen an election campaign in America which was more a war than a presentation of concepts and strategies. A war between people, the supporters of one party against the supporters of the other, and the protagonists literally fighting, attacking and defending themselves during times which should give an orientation to the population. Instead, it was a campaign for separation, and also from the dominant male position to the emerging female uprising.

MAle fist and woman bending down
We women need to stop being oppressed

Well, we have seen it, the patriarchal values are still very well in place. Women are still not united in solidarity against male oppression and humiliation. Women are still collaborating to hold themselves down.

Extreme feminism is not the answer, although in the 60ies it has brought forward the issue and kicked off the process. Now, 50 years later, we need to find a way to take a stand against intolerance and separation, against war and violence, and for human values of connection, appreciation, and love. We women cannot ask men to do it for us. It is our innate feminine capacity, caring and connecting, and WE are called to step up and create peace.

HOW can we create peace?

Certainly not by fighting in the way our civilization has been used to. We need to explore our own “weapons” which consist in self-confidence, coming out of the hiding place, speak up for what we feel is not right, educate our children in a way which creates appreciation and respect towards all beings and which enables us to hold and contain those who, out of their existential fear, fall into violence and destruction. We need to see far ahead and realize the consequences we will be facing if we don’t step up in time and propose an alternative to the old and outdated way of living together in families, businesses, countries and on the planet.

open a head
We need to get to know what we carry in our heads and to learn how to handle it

We are deeply challenged today, because we know perfectly well how we can achieve all this – and we resist strongly, because it requires us to change OURSELVES. It requires getting to know ourselves, to meet our shadow, the demons which we hold in us and which will come out in destructive ways if we don#t learn to integrate them and divert their powerful energies into something good.

We need to create peace in ourselves first, then in our families, then in our communities and countries. It sounds easy and utopian at the same time. Humans have always preferred to look for the enemy in others and to fight others for what they cannot see and accept in themselves.

It is time to grow up and become full human beings who are able to see conflict, embrace it without getting caught in it and transform it into something beautiful

10 years ago and now. What is better?

Ten years ago and now. What is better?

Where were you 10 years ago – and where are you now? I don’t necessarily mean the location – although this might have a major impact on you, too, and how life is going today.

Can you see yourself back then? What did you do, think, or feel? What were your moods, your worldviews, your ideas about yourself, your past and your future? How did you consider life? Was it worth living, a joy and positive experience? or a dreadful dragging ahead with fears, duties and pressures on your back?

Where I was 10 years ago

a balloon in form of a heart flies away. a child sends it away
Good bye love and marriage

10 years ago I came to the painful understanding that my third marriage needed to be broken, urgently, and that I had to change a lot of things in myself: expectations, ideas, assumptions and the way of handling myself and others. A complete UPDATE was due.

Talking about computers: It was the year when I could access the internet in a consistent way, the beginning of a completely new world where assumptions could easily be proofed true or false and tons of information were available with one click – so to speak.

When the world began to change

The “one click” revealed as a long learning curve which now, after 10 years, hasn’t diminished, but increased, I should say. In the first years I just did the absolute minimum online, emails, some websites, youtube. Most of my time I still spent growing veggies and taking care for my huge property, enjoying the fresh air, the movement and my physical strength.

6 Years ago I began to subscribe for online programs, did my counseling school online, typing and listening to audios, still movements during the day. My first website was up, I had learned to insert text every now and then, no big deal. Useless to say that hardly anybody really responded to it.

Screenshot of our homepage
The Power of Relationship website – lost and reconstructed

3 years ago a new huge website was needed for a new topic, lots of money spent, lots of time passed trying to understand the process and telling my webmaster what to do – he regularly didn’t understand me. Well, I had not really any idea about website construction and how things work, so how could he understand what I meant.

The new world requires continuous learning

Now: I am learning to do everything myself. I have understood that others who I pay for curating the websites don’t really care if there is SEO description or not, for instance. I didn’t know about that stuff and that it was needed. Now I do – and I learn. Vegetable garden? abandoned. Movement? eh, sometimes bike rides and walks, but not the whole day up and down the hill, as it was before. Strength? not anymore in the arms, more in the fingers from continuously hacking on the keyboard.

The more I learn the more I understand how little I know and how much there is still to learn. In many ways, it was better 10 years ago when I didn’t care about being findable on the Internet. Then I had relaxed shoulders (good), a quiet mind (good) and fresh veggies (very good). Today, well, the world has opened up (good and bad), I am in contact with many (good, as long as they are not too many -which is the case). Means “bad”? Not really. Writing in English and here (good), feeling often overwhelmed (bad), too much to keep in mind (not good) and so on and on….

How can we know what is REALLY good or bad before we see the bigger picture? BAD? or, GOOD? or WHAT?

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This article was first published in August 23. 2016 on branded.me

Addition below from January 23rd 2017

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It was the day before the first earthquake in Italy took place which killed 300 people. From then on my world has dramatically changed.

I have lost my faith in science and public institutions – completely.

    • Why? – it began with realizing that there were warning signs and people who talked about it – and nobody listened to them. The person I am following since then called “Dutchsinse” was trashed and hindered to speak up, literally shut down, many times, on Youtube.
    • I had believed that Google was a different enterprise with higher ethic standards as most of the big ones, where freedom of speech is valued. Nada, Youtube is Google, and whenever something important happens regarding earthquakes, the live stream of Dutchsinse goes down. I witnessed it more than 10 times, the last one 2 days ago when a 8.0 earthquake hit in the West Pacific, and last week when we had 5 very strong earthquakes here in Italy.  
    • The official services of the USA, Italy, but also the European Earthquake reporting service don’t report reliably what is going on. The data gets manipulated or deleted. How can that be? Scientific data – I believed – would be available for research, completely, and not picked by political or other considerations. I grew up with the belief that science would be searching for the truth and be as objective as possible. This belief is completely shattered – actually, it was already before when I first listened to the banned Ted Talk by Rupert Sheldrake about “the science delusion”:

It is a different thing when you just hear about these things and when you see them happen in front of your own eyes. I definitely was shocked to my bones!

  • The next big shock: Do you have any idea how much we are ruining our earth – just for getting fossil energy? Well, I didn’t, and I am sure you don’t, either. I had heard about fracking, but I downplayed it a little, hoping that it wouldn’t be soooo bad after all. But it is even WORSE than I ever could have imagined.
  • They have drilled hundreds of thousands of holes into the earth crust, many states of the US are packed with oil and gas operations – and waste water deposals. Highly toxic liquids are buried into the drill holes – and when shaken by earthquakes the poison floats freely into water reservoirs and wherever.
    Fracking in Los Angeles - La Cienega Blvd goes right through the extraction area. All the blank areas are filled with pumps and wells. In the middle of the city!
    Fracking in Los Angeles – La Cienega Blvd goes right through the extraction area. All the blank areas are filled with pumps and wells. In the middle of the city!

    Thanks to Google Earth you can SEE all the drill points with your own eyes, square kilometers after square kilometers, even right in Los Angelos and near Santa Barbara – where people think to live a wonderful life…… They are sitting on a powder keg! 

  • The next shock, for me, was the election of Trump as the new American President. A person who denies climate change and the dangers of what is done for extracting fossil energy. A man who humiliates women, who reinforces patriarchal power dominance and who plays with money and with people in his own egocentric way. Truly not the person we need for the change which is so badly needed for the survival of us all on this planet.

This article started out with the question: What is better, ten years ago or now. I am almost tempted to say it was then, because of the many shocks I had to face when learning about what is REALLY going on in the world. The illusionary dream of “everything will work out well”, the new age belief in the new era which will be highly spiritual and evolved, this dream has given way to an abrupt awakening into reality. It is painful, but certainly better than the ignorance in which I lived – and in which most of us are living. 

Hands holding good and bad
Embracing everything – becoming aware and doing what needs to be done

Shocks can be beneficial. Yes, the paradise is lost, again (as so many in my life and in yours, too, I guess). But now, when we begin to see clearly, we begin to know what we have to address, what we can work for, what our task is in our life here on earth.

Mine, for sure, is taking a stand, come out of invisibility and speak up against everything which destroys life, and to work for the evolution of consciousness in all people. Only the awareness of what is happening and the re-connection to our human values of life, love, and happiness can bring us further into the emergence of a world which is good for all beings.

If you want to know more about what we are doing – and where you might want to collaborate: visit our website TheWisdomFactory.net

 

 

Growing up – Personal Evolution is Slow and not to be taken for granted

Growing up

We grow up in an environment which teaches us what is real and who we are. In adult life, we often realize that there is something wrong with us and we don’t necessarily understand, that it is not US who is wrong, but the old conditionings which might have served us back in childhood, but have become a hindrance today. So the question is: how can we influence our lives and overcome the conditionings?

So many approaches came out since the 70ies who promise to resolve the issue. Well, they do – and they don’t. Everyone does a bit, a momentary relief, insight, jump ahead. We experience new states of being. But do they become permanent stages, a new self? more often than not they don’t. People slip back into old behaviors. It is completely normal, although tragic

girl meditating
Growing up – meditation can help

Evolution is very slow. Also our personal evolution. We can do a lot for it, to make it happen, but we cannot guarantee that it WILL happen – at least not the outcome we had in mind. Evolution goes its own ways and we can only prepare ourselves to go with it, when the time comes and the setting is right.

 These lines were first published on branded.me which I began to use as a public journal. Now I decided to use this website to collect my thoughts.
The photo is taken in an exhibition in the castle of Agripoli, Italy in October 2016