Category Archives: Life on earth

How can you actualize your potential?

The term “potential” is used constantly in recent decades, understood with a desire to “unlock” it. Many people earn a lot of money by hooking people with courses or books. It doesn’t mean that those resources are necessarily bad, most likely they are not, but they don’t consider the prerequisites people need to truly reach before they can become able to step up to their potential.

 

What if parents don’t do their job?

Before introducing the Ted Talk by Dr.Jordan Peterson I want to briefly tell you my personal story about how one word of my parents decided upon my possibility to develop my potential or not: As a child and teenager, I sang in a choir and quite rapidly climbed up the levels. I liked singing a lot, but, as so often in that age, sometimes I would have preferred to hang out with friends instead of going to the regular appointments with the choir. One day I just didn’t want to go when my mother said: OK, but if you don’t go today you will never go again. Boom, splash, ugh. I had to decide and my decision would have consequences for which I would be responsible. I chose to go – and later I became a classical singer, a voice teacher, and therapist.

Children and young people need to learn to follow rules in order to later be able to become free of them again. They first need to adopt a system that works to figure out who they are and what is possible for them, for later be able to break free from the rules and develop their own ways. All developmental psychologists talk about that: we cannot skip levels of development. We cannot “allow” children to decide for themselves things which are too advanced for them – which was the mistake of the approach of the “anti-authoritarian education”.  A 4-year-old just cannot decide where to go best for holidays and a parent who thinks to give them equal part in the decision, or even have them decide alone, does not fulfil their task of guiding the young person, but tries to get out of their own responsibility for the welfare of the child – and their own, btw. Too!

Children want to know from grownups what the right ways of behaving are. They want to get to know the limits and boundaries which give them a safe space to experience themselves. In time they will push against these boundaries and expand them. But first, you need to have something to expand which is not complete chaos and uncertainty. And children need food for their minds and bodies in the sense that they need to be shown things, get acquainted with many realms of life without indoctrination, but just as an offer to taste and try out if they like it. A 6-year-old fervently demonstrating for political issues is abused quite as much as the one who is forced to decide about the family holidays. Indoctrination is as bad for the child’s development as is abandonment, whether physical, emotional …or educational.

 

Getting to know what we are really interested in needs inspiration and possibility.

We can develop our potential when we are deeply interested and drawn to something in our lives. If I hadn’t been drawn to singing – and then made responsible for pursuing it by my mother – I wouldn’t have discovered my abilities in that field. Many people today say they don’t like or cannot relate to classical music. If no one has ever given them the inspiration and the access to it, how can they know if they like it or not? What we don’t know, we cannot like.  How could we?

 Classical music

Kinder mit klassischen Instrumenten
Fotokredit Heinz Wagner from his article on the  Simon Bolivar Orchester visiting  Austria

 is by no means an ancient thing nor has it anything to do with higher social classes. An excellent example is the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra from Venezuela which results from a dedicated person going into the slums of the big cities and teaching children a classical instrument. Learning the violin or the oboe is a very demanding job – and it has the potential to excite the souls and lead people to a potential which otherwise they never would have discovered. Visit their YouTube Channel here

 

What is your potential and how can you realize it?

Finally, now we’re coming to the talk of Dr.Jordan Peterson about how to think about potential and how to develop it. First of all, it is clear that your potential is something innate in YOU and specific to you. Sure, all humans have a certain potential in common, but if you have more regarding creativity or, let’s say, science, that is specific to you. You can learn and study also the things where you are not really gifted for and you will arrive at a certain level, but it will be very hard work and not very inspiring for you.

This is an indicator: something “comes to you easily” probably means that you have quite a potential for that thing and that your soul will be happy when you pursue it. It might not be easy for you for all sorts of reasons, especially for social-political reasons, but for you, that thing is real and gives meaning to your life. Without it, you would be latently unhappy and unfulfilled.

 

Not only transcend the past but include it!

I don’t want to transcribe the Ted Talk which Jordan Peterson has given and provided a good outline of his thinking. He is a very strong voice against the usurpation by the hardcore materialism, the beliefs of which include: everything is material, dead material, and everything else is illusory. As we know already from Integral theory, these ideas are on the bottom of the overall crisis of the world as the concept of reality is one sided and reductive and therefore cannot give an explanation, let alone pride guidelines for our lives. Jordan Peterson makes clear that “reality” is not what we have believed during the past hundreds of years and he shows ways how we can re-integrate into our present life what we have lost along the way.

Watch this inspiring talk with open ears and open hearts and consider that you can be part of the solution to the present problems when you are inclusive enough to reconsider the past and the core value of TRUTH.

 

Freedom of speech – freedom to use violence when you feel like the “victim”?

They behave, already grown up, like little children who scream to get the attention of others. Always the same phrases, insulting and blaming and using the power of loudspeakers to shut down who they don’t want to grant freedom of speech which they consider to belong exclusively to them as the eternal victims.

Blind to the own blind spots and contradictions

Woman reading in a book
What do we really learn in life to become responsible adults?

I am always amazed how sufficiently intelligent people can be so completely caught up in their contradictions, so unaware that they are doing themselves – massively – what they blame others for. How they, so easily, overstep the rules of society which holds them safe – and even forgives their adolescent blindness – to take as granted to themselves that which they are not inclined to allow others. How can people convince themselves to be right, with no exception and no discussion about it?

How can they proclaim and promote their violence against peaceful people, how would they enter into total war and try to provoke the other side to cease and play the role of the enemy? It is a dangerous game, not only for others, but also for themselves. The revolutionaries of the first hour rarely ever have been alive for long after their destructive victory!

Would you be able to handle such a situation?

This is what came to my mind when I watched the following video. It is loud – but scroll ahead when you have heard enough of the always same phrases and screams, the important part comes in the second half!

Dr.Jordan Peterson trying to speak at McMaster University

Please watch it and ask yourself: Would you have been able to respond to the chaos in a similar wise way as Dr.Peterson did? He has understood that opposing these blind forces only creates more of it.

So what can we do in the face of it? No wonder why other panel guests withdrew from the event because of the harassment. I surely wouldn’t be able to handle a similar situation, would you? Dr.Peterson was calm – and finally gathered the people who wanted to listen to him, somewhere outside the building, and answered their questions and gave them advice about how to meet similar situations in their lives.

This is a lesson in what it means to be an adult and a responsible person in the face of the chaos created willfully by others. This is what we more insightful people need to learn: get free from our triggers, bring our own shadow to light, and then BE THERE and face the situation without the primordial reactions flee, freeze or attack. Then we can be part of the solution, not of the problem!

We are called to stand up and say what we need to say! Even when we consider ourselves non-political, introverted or whatever!

Please watch also our conversation How can we stay inspired to work towards a sustainable future

WOMEN MATTERS

Conversations at The Wisdom Factory

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!)

 

 

 

Is Western Society Heading Back to The Middle Ages?

Heretics burning at the stake
Heretics burning at the stake

We made it about 400 years ago: the separation of church and state. It took many centuries of fight and suffering, thousands of “heretics” burnt at the stake, loosing their lives for our benefit: For us to be able to say whatever we want without ending up imprisoned, tortured, stoned or burnt. Are we now heading back to the Middle Ages?

Funny enough – or better: tragic enough, it is the leading edge of modern societies who is pushing us back into that state where we lose our freedom of speech, where we have to bite our tongue if we don’t want to be denounced and tried for what we say: If not as in the Middle Ages, but certainly as in the “east-block” countries. I grew up in Germany, fortunately in the West, but I had relatives in the East and I know how they were continuously threatened and had to be very careful or pay dearly if they said something about a certain group or the practices of the state.

The Levels of Development – evolution in healthy and unhealthy forms

The Levels of Development (Ken Wilber)
The Levels of Development (Ken Wilber)

The unhealthy form of the”green” level  is  expressed in an aggressive  fundamentalism (see the levels of development in “Spiral Dynamics” or as outlaid by Ken Wilber). It is nothing better than any other fundamentalism, only the target changes. Western Societies have recently been governed mostly by people with a “green”- postmodern – mindset. In their attempt to protect minorities and to see everybody as (literally) equal, they see the necessity to create laws to protect THE FEELINGS of certain members of certain minorities. 

Who is Responsible for Your Feelings?

Face in hands - expressing sadness or any negative feeling
Negative Feelings

Modern psychology has clearly stated that we are responsible for our own feelings, we alone, nobody else. Yes, we can be triggered by what other people do or say, but how we react to the trigger, that is exclusively our own choice. With the new laws in Canada this gets completely turned around. People’s feelings are considered subject to criminal deeds done by others. This is the perfect form of victimism which is appropriate for little children, but not for adult citizens in the world. It reminds me of my mother’s saying with which she tried to teach me responsibility for my actions: “It’s too bad for my mother that I froze my fingers; why didn’t she give me gloves?”

So, whose feelings would be eligible to be protected by law?- and whose not? Apart from the fact that it is absolutely beside the point for the above reasons, it is a bottomless barrel. We will end up staying silent, all the time, for fear of being accused and “burnt at the stake”. Hello Middle Ages!

White ghostly figures walking over meadow
Do we want such an atmosphere?

We will end up in a totalitarian state – from which most of the present refugees are trying to escape by flooding into the Western world. Will we give up our achievements in our societies and allow practices of previous levels to govern us again? Do you want to live in constant fear and repression because someone believes that you have violated THEIR rules?

Man with bended mouth
Freedom of Speech?

Do you want THEIR rules to take over our countries? Think about it and get clear about the consequences for yourself, your family, your country and the world. And if you decide that your freedom of speech is more important and also the freedom in your personal life altogether, then stand up and fight for the principles of our constitutions and watch out for all the hidden or open attempts to re-establish values which we had overcome with so much sacrifice during the past centuries.

Is This a Picture of Mohamed? – what can you say and what not?

Here you can experience what we are heading toward – if we don’t pay attention: Jordan Peterson brings it to the point in this short video. Feel into it and observe yourself: would you like to live with the fear of saying the “wrong” words?

Let me know what you think about it . now, after you have watched the video!

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.

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