food for your thoughts

Climate change is a very talked about subject. What can we do? What should we stop doing? Many people have all kinds of lists as an answer to “stop” or rather slow down the process. But almost everyone thinks that humans can and have to do this alone, because we’re the most intelligent (and maybe also because we caused most of it). I want to share two videos that show in a simple way, that the intelligence of the brain might not be relevant in helping the cause, that it might even be counterproductive:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18HxXve3CM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

It might not be about what humans should invent or introduce to help the problem, but rather what they should stop doing so that animals and plants can do the job of restoring the balance…

It’s party time!

As I mentioned in my last entry , I finished my tiny house mostly because I set myself a deadline. Aside from the final result, this really shows how good I work with a deadline and a little pressure ;-). And it wasn’t just a random deadline.. It was the date of my (tiny) house warming party!

Over the years I spent some time with project lifecycles and especially systems like the one in Dragon Dreaming and the natural cycles of the medicine wheel resonated with me. Within Dragon Dreaming, there are four recurring phases in the cycle:

  1. Dreaming
  2. Planning
  3. Doing
  4. Celebrating

The last one – Celebrating – is looking back on what you have accomplished, reviewing your actions, maybe naming all the things that you could have done and will do better next time, and especially celebrating. This is a vital part of finishing a project that is overlooked a lot of times in our society.

I almost forgot about that important last step (of the first cycle) of my project, but since I had told so many people who were interested about my home that there will be a party, I felt the need to actually do it, not being aware of how important it would be for me. It was a great party and with it I was able to really enjoy, celebrate and be proud of what I had created. Only during the celebration did I realize how important celebrating and really appreciating your accomplishment is.

One of those days/weeks/months…

Have you ever had a time in your life where it felt almost impossible to sit at the computer one more second than absolutely necessary? Well, that’s what happened to me. Somehow I was functioning, but my inspiration was missing. I had ideas of what to write about, but for the life of me couldn’t sit down and form it into words. But I want that phase to be over, so with this post, I let you know: I’m still alive and kicking :-). I even (almost) finished translating my older posts into german!

For a long time there has been only one real constant in my life, and that is change. But blogging can be one of those constants too!! So in my next few posts I’ll catch you up with all the important things that happened since you last read from me. So stay tuned 🙂

Home is where my heart is

sunset

I’ve been asking myself: When does a house become a home? – Well, I found the answer in an old folk song (probably from the Natives of North America, but I never verified it):

I’ve been travelling a day,
I’ve been travelling a year,
I’ve been travelling a lifetime,
to find my way home.

Home, is where my heart is
Home, is where my heart is
Home, is where my heart is,
My heart is my home.

My heart IS my home, but since I put so much of my heart into my little house, it is now also part of my home. My home also includes people I call family and dear friends, so I’ll probably never be truly homeless, but since I moved in, I do feel like I’ve come home. Being in my tiny house feels like a warm hug by a loved one. Not perfect by outside standards, but perfect in my eyes, including all its imperfections.

connecting the dots

A while ago a friend of mine told me about an interesting method of raising children that was developed by the Hungarian pediatrician Emmi Pikler. One of the main principles is to not “help” the child to get into positions or places that it couldn’t reach on its own. So for example if you put a baby in a sitting position before it can get there on its own, it will feel insecure and won’t know how to get out of that position and probably experience stress. But if you find the patience to wait until it gets there on its own, it will be much more stable and also feel pride to have accepted the challenge and succeeded.

This information got me thinking about our society today and the experiences we make, that are ripped apart from its natural cycles. If you believe different reports and that general feeling, more and more people develop all kinds of distresses like the ominous ADHD, but also clinical depression and who knows what other psychological “problems”. Could it be because we don’t really know how to reach goals in a stressless way after having accepted a challenge and therefore being stripped (at least partly) of that feeling of pride when having accomplished it?

Also not many people in western society learn and experience in a profound way where our food comes from. We see pictures and movies, maybe have some herbs on the window sill or even tomatoes. But we’re missing so many steps inbetween of what it takes to have that food on our tables. That relationship is probably especially disconnected when it comes to meat, but I won’t go into that now. The way I see it, this could be at least one of the reasons for our behaviour towards food.

The same is true for traveling distances. Most of us don’t have a real understanding of distances, because we (probably) never walked the way to work that takes the subway/train only 20 minutes, but would actually take a few hours to walk. I don’t even want to imagine the distances we overcome when travelling by plane. Because of this, not many people have a real understanding of how much energy is needed to be taken from somewhere else to actually make it happen for us to use public transport, cars, planes – you name it.

So is it really a surprise then, that we consume so much more than we could afford, considering people and nature in other parts of the world or our next generations? The way I see it, it’s a problem of us not being able to connect the dots because we never learned to…

Every day holds the potential for MAGIC

Magic … like a big and potentially energy-consuming meeting being postponed out of the blue on a day where you feel like you couldn’t have handled it.

Magic … like someone smiling at you when you were so much inside your head, you only saw problems and sorrow.

Magic … like a majestic owl diving soundlessly for its prey right in front of you.

Magic … like one of your favorite musicians playing exactly the songs you were hoping to hear at his amazing concert.

Magic … like a really good friend just being here and listening to whatever you need to talk about – however dumb you might feel it sounds.

Magic … like receiving a long and heartfelt hug from a person very important to you.

This is just a short list of the magic that is happening around us, and all of this just happened to me in the last three days!

Where do you find magic in your life? Would you even notice it if it slapped you in the face?

The way I see it, there is an endless supply of magic, we just need to open our eyes and our hearts to see it.

lessons and new adventures

20140905_130550

My last blog post about the potential transformational power of traveling was mostly inspired by two trips I took recently. Very different, and yet very similar at the same time.

One included a visit to a couple living in a tiny house in the middle of nowhere, completely off the grid. No electricity, no gas, no running water. Watching them interact with each other and their surroundings. And getting a small taste of how it could feel to have a life where everything you do is in direct response to ones needs for living and surviving.

The other trip was to a big city: Paris. There I had a somehow fateful encounter with a person sharing my passion to really get to know and understand the places you visit. His expression of that passion is through offering specially prepared walking tours around certain parts of Paris, not just showing the sights, but really introducing the visitor to the city, its history, its people. Giving a taste of how it might feel to live there.

These recent experiences inspired my new quest to find the essence of communities – big and small – all around the world, which I will write about in a newly created separate blog: https://essenceofcommunity.wordpress.com/.