Author Archive

Entitlement

I have been struggling a lot with the word ENTITLEMENT. Of course I am able to look into dictionary’s what it means but unfortunately my mind is still puzzled. Living in South Africa the word entitlement is more often used by white South Africans as an expression for black South Africans who seem to be entitled to receive free housing, free medical care and are seen as being entitled to other privileged situations. When I hear certain phrases, ideas and expressions my mind starts thinking and everything in me (all senses) starts to be active and I make observations and even more frequent I find myself wondering and asking questions. I like to share some.

I feel SPICY which means that if you prefer your sleeping state, do not read. It is as with television, if you do not like the program switch it off. I “normally” write the outcomes of thoughts. I prefer right now to have it pure, transparent and in the middle of processing. 

After the suppression during Apartheid is there more equality in South Africa? Is in average, amongst others, the economic situation, much better right now for the black South African people? Is the schooling for black South African people as good as for the white and colored in South Africa? Is the medical care for black South African as well organized and well equipped as for the white South Africans? When I travel around, I observe a “few” differences. I can not help to acknowledge these differences. Most black citizens are unfortunately not having medical insurances. They are not able to pay for it and due to that they can not have access to private hospitals which are modern and fully equipped. Most of the black South Africans face difficult, challenging situations at schools. Schools needs to be safe environments. While driving through the settlements/townships I am not so sure that the schools are really safe. If I listen to the stories of the majority of the black population, there are very little good school books, no computers and teachers are not always on duty at times that they should be present for the scholars. This is not to criticise the government of South Africa and this is not to criticize the teachers either. Teachers face tremendous stressful situations and we can not expect the Government to handle all the problems immediately and all by themselves. I do not know one government who is able to do that. The only thing I want to put the attention on is that I really try to understand entitlement. Is it entitlement when rich people believe it is “normal” to fly first class/business class while traveling around the world. Is it entitlement when a small group of people firmly believe that it is “normal” that they have fortunes. Is it entitlement to expect that everything will be the same as during Apartheid for the white children at this moment and in the future? Is it entitlement to expect that people have to fit in the “superior” thinking of the privileged few people in a country?

Are we entitled to: Freedom of Speech. Never heart of: What we have to try to avoid is pouring oil on the fire?

Some politicians (everywhere in the world) are exactly doing the opposite for their own sake, their own (mis) use of power. Addicted to attention? Addicted to gossip, rumors and disagreements? Addicted to fight’s? Addicted to opposition? And it is not surprising that they blame others for what is an exact copy of their own behavior. In Psychology called Projection!!!

Nothing seems to be so misused lately as FREEDOM OF SPEECH. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

In October 2011 on my way to Cairo I was reading an interview with Deepak Chopra in Happinez, from which I think it is a very nice, entertaining magazine. As you might know I will always refer to Deepak as my teacher which means that I feel entitled to put some remarks and commends to his interview. 

Deepak says in this article that he likes the fact that people in the Middle East open their minds and ask critical questions and look for their freedom. I have some remarks and a few comments. We as outsiders do not know whether what is happening is good or bad. We can only observe that certain things are taking place. It is neither positive nor negative. It just happens. I am not sure while knowing only a bit, not enough, whether in the Arab world people are looking for more freedom. Walking around and listening to the stories of taxi-drivers, shop owners and random people I meet, I hear that they are looking, searching for more equality. They talk about the very few very rich people and a large group of very poor citizens and the difference between the groups and their abilities to have some economic benefits. One person said: “I give a dam sh.t about freedom. I want to have more access for my children to good schools and better housing”.

My husband was participating in the deans meeting of The African Association of Business Schools and heart the same stories of all the directors from different countries. It is more about the fact that people have no access to good schools. They face corruption and do not have opportunties to progress. They observe that houses, palaces are built and they do not participate in the economic growth. Growth in itself does not create better circumstances for all. As we wrote in our book “Rethinking Growth” it is time for change.

We talk quit often about freedom and we have no clue what it is. Are there countries who respresent real freedom? In the United States we will find the highest number of prisoners with life sentences without parole. Amongst others young people. Crime and murder numbers are extremely high. It seems that the wealthiest 1% of all Americans now own more than a third of all wealth in the United States. IS THIS A JOKE??? Some other figures: In the ‘recovery’ of 2009-10, the top 1% of US income-earners captured 93% of the income growth. IS THIS TRUE???

We have no clue of the number of Native Americans who died due to homicide. Historians fight amongst each order on the cause of death, killing or smallpox?. What the heck? We know some statistics (this changes all the time) of victims in the Vietnam war. And what about all the people who died after the invasion in Iraq based on never proved evidence of the existence of nuclear weapons. Who is taking about human rights? Why is it so difficult to see our own mistakes, our own violence and aggression? Why talking about human rights of other countries when we can not reflect on what is happening in our own countries? Which countries are responsible for the biggest mess, disasters on planet earth? Who caused most of all pollution? Who is still against changes related to money making? Who is entitled in these cases? I visited once a conference in which Al Gore was talking about climate change. I loved his speech and I was wondered why he was not able to do more when he still was in charge/on duty as Vice President. While listen to the different interesting subjects I felt freezing cold. The outside temperature was wonderful but in the conference hall and everywhere else in the building the airconditioning was making over time. What about climate change? How is it possible that we talk about it and are unable to make some small changes even in the middle of the experts? Entitlement

Are we happy when London is full of rebelions? Why not? Are we pleased by all the youngster that demonstrate in the streets of New York? Why not? Are we happy with the demonstrations of the Romans, the Algerians in the streets of France? Why not? Are they fighting for freedom? Are we sure? Why is it that we have different ideas of what is taking place? Why is it that we do not realize that we are not free at all, that our observations are full of beliefs, perceptions, assumptions and cultural approaches? 

This is not about religion and yes maybe it is. It depends on how we define religion. Religions of any kind, at least the ones that I studied, Christianity, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam, are always talking about the importance of sharing,contributing and serving communities. Religion in itself does not exist. I am sorry that I repeat myself. It is people that make their assumptions about what is right and what is wrong. It is people that make interpretations of what is written. They use the Bible, the Koran, the new technologies, research, to proof their rightness. It is the same in Hinduism. The whole concept of karma is an (interesting) belief system.

Unfortunately the concept is used to justify inequality. India has a wide spread inequality due to their caste system based on the idea of karma. Many of the exchange students at Euromed Business School from India prefer to stay in Europe, Canada and sometimes United States. Why is that? We can learn a lot from the many sages, saints in this enormous country, the incredible holy sacred places and even more from everything else as well. Nevertheless many people in India live under horrible conditions, streets are highly polluted, rivers and streets are full with garbage. It is said that India probably has more modern slaves than any country in the world. It seem to have millions of woman and girls in its brothels, often held captive against their will, until they are mentally indoctrinated enough. India’s brothels seem to be unusually violent, with ferocious beatings and sometimes even killing of the girls who are uncooperative. 

Many western people search for answers and would love to find them in India. Business Conferences are titled with interesting titels such as “East meets West”. I know since I participated. If I watch the poluted rivers, I can not help feeling very sad. I just think what kind of spirituality is this? I like to call this garbage meets a complete absence of awareness. All repetitions of mantra’s, the beautiful chants, the pujas, does not seem to have any impact on day-to-day behavior.  Many people have an vegatarian diet but I observed in India the most abusive, cruel behavior towards animals. I rather prefer to die as a bull in the bull fighting arena’s in Spain than living under these horrible conditions in India. The working environments are for most people terrible and I have a different approach to what I refer to as good leadership. The whole interpretation of karma makes that changing processes is not taking place, or not fast enough. Not due to the concepts of karma in itself, but due to the interpretations (beliefs = religion) of a small group (higher casts) of very rich people. I hope and wish that “the awaking” of many citizens in India will not cause as much death people as in in the Middle East. But what I do hope is that THEY DO NOT ACCEPT this inequality.

Latest news: India 03-10-2012

Then thousands of poor farmers demonstrate against the non-inclusiveness of economic development

Acceptance is often preached as a great achievement and indeed in general it is. Nevertheless we can not accept inequality since this causes the world problems. Many people died in Libya, Syria (30.000), Morocco and Tunisia and I really believe that this has nothing or very little to do with a fight for freedom. It is about inequality and not having access to important facilities. Capitalism is a religion as well and very well spread throughout the world. In the name of this religion many wars have taken place. It is not due to cause and effect of karma of the people in Somalia, India, Ethiopia, Eritrea that people die from starvation. It is because a small group of people feel entitled to have more (everything) and created the idea that this is “normal”.

They believe, it is due to their positive intentions, hard working, co-creation and positive belief system that they are entitled to have more than they can spend. They surround themselves with like minded individuals, spend time at the same resorts, read each others books, talk to the same “important” people and have very little clue, awareness and even more important no reasons to reflect on their own behavior and thinking. The right to be (extremely) rich is a believe = religion in itself. Is it wrong to have a few houses? Is it wrong to have millions on bank accounts? I have the feeling that many individuals think it is “normal”. A deep routed and wide spread religion. Frankly speaking I think it is not “normal”. It is because we think, believe that this is “normal”. We created a very strange economic system. We talk about what is wrong with religion to avoid talking about what really “sucks” namely the enormous gab between rich and poor. I have seen many people hard working, having extremely positive belief systems and have the most incredible intentions and yet they do not have access to the most essential needs. I am really interested to learn how many (proven statistics) of people born in dis-advantaged families were able to reach and live the American Dream? Is it 10% or more? Is it 2%? Even when it would be 10% which I do not believe, I would never fligh an airplane that has 10% change of arriving my destination. Why do we repeat this ILLUSIONS when they do not seem to work? Could it be that organizations repeat this nonsense for higher revenues for their shareholders? We seem to be blind for our own seeds of religion and entitlement, me included. We seem to find each and every time new ideas to defend inequality. What if the whole world would believe in “The law of attraction”. “The law of Karma”. “The Secret”? Why and how many books do we need to justify inequality? Most people are unable to pay for (self realizing) courses, included the ones offered by the Chopra Center. Are rich people more spiritual? Due to Karma?

Can we change this? Yes, we can try to better understand this human drama. We still believe in a material world. We separate between me and others, not realizing that the others do not exist. Why is it that we always want to change others? Why is it that we can smile when people open their mounths to express their truths, especially when it is in line with our own thinking?

My husband and I visited once Cuba. We wanted to learn more about this country while Fidel Castro was still alive. We wanted to be “in time”. We are not blind for the supression that is taking place in this country. We know the fact that people can not leave the country when they really would like, but something inside us thought that when the US would take over the country, which is possible, it could be changed in just another gambling paradise, with many expensive unaffordable hotels and it might be that nothing of the natural beauty will remain. Is that freedom? Since the actions of certain governments does not fit in our belief system we are “entitled” to create embargo’s. When I did my PhD in Spain and followed Spanish classes our Spanish teacher talked about Cuba and at one moment one of the American exchange students (Political Sciences) asked: “Is Cuba a province of Spain? since it is close to Portugal and Spain, isn’t it?  Indeed if you have never been there, if you have no clue were Cuba is situated (air travel distance from Spain – Cuba is about 7.155.67 km is equal to 4446.33 miles), not knowing the number of inhabitants (about 11.250.000), it could be that you identify  them as MONSTERS. Very dangerous people. Exclusion.

We rented a car, drove long distances and had many hitch hiking passengers. We danced salsa and talked, laughed with the most beautiful and incredible people ever. How come we did not see the danger? Are we blind? 

We know that embargo’s never worked but we are entittled to ingnore research. We exclude the so called others troughout our life. It is remarkable that we do not exclude people, nations when they fit our ideas of economic growth.

Many people (and we will call it different) are excluded due to the high contribution to be a member. Most private schools in South Africa are unaffordable. It seems very difficult to walk the talk and it is an interesting question to ask: “What answers do we have to justify this? Is this based on concepts, ideas and when it is, did we create another religion?”. 

When we serve others, it is not at all altruism, it is serving ourselves. Altruism is a by people created concept, a wide spread idea, religion, but in the unified field it does not exist. Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa never talked about others, or altruism. They just served “others”, by serving themselves. Sai MAA would say, serving others is for you, is for you, is for you. And indeed even the courses of Sai MAA cost a fortune. I feel entitled enough to express that. 

I always like to reflect on myself since this is how I learn. I feel many times entitled. I like to receive good high quality services. I love drinking clean water and bathing in clean water, I love massages, staying in 4-5-star hotels (which I can not afford on a regular basis) and I would love to fly business class. I have access to great books. Can participate in courses. Travelled around the world. Is that “horrible”? Is it “normal”? As long as I do not justify it? As long as I do not feel entitled? As long as………………….?

Observe your own thoughts, ideas, expectations (and listen to others for reflection) and try to find what you do not know and it might be that you will learn about all your entitlements

You can imagine that I prefer silence when there is a discussion going on about entitlement of black South Africans. I prefer to write about it. 

The spiciness went to sleep. I ask myself: “shall I delete this flow of words”? I am free. I am amble to delete. I can change some of the critical words and transform it in something that shows my “enlightend” spirit. I can shift my focus to all the great adventures and things I have in my life. I do not have to talk about it. I can put my head in the sand (as the ostrich)pretending that I did not see, hear and experienced.

I decided to take a taxi, driving to the biggest shopping mall in Egypt. I never saw so many new buildings, houses that are under construction. Not finished yet! Will they ever? Thousand of expensive houses and just a few people that work. I ask the taxi driver: “How many new houses are built in this area? Where are the workers? His response: “Police is watching the traffic”. Mmmmmm, okeeeeee!!!

I tried to speak in French, it might help, but nevertheless I do not get an answer that had anything to do with my questions. I am still able to produce some words in Spanish but get silence as response. I decided to give it a last try and using different words in English and while observing my voice and words, I realize that I am almost screaming. Is this what we do when we can not communicate? Starting to talk louder and louder?

Is this the reason why people scream and fight in streets?

Are they being heart? Did we listen? Did we see? Did we recognize? Did we support? Did we contribute to their well-being? Did we search with them for sustainable solutions? 

I arrive at the shopping mall, not having any clue in which part of Cairo. Nevertheless, walking around everything is familiar, Vera Mode, Zara, Aldo, nothing different. I feel a bit dissapointend. The same shops all over the world. Who says we are so different? A young man is asking me: “Are you Egyptian”? I tell him I am Dutch. For some reason he follows me. I am not sure why. Is he trying to sell me something? He is not wearing any product that could be sold. Does he want to offer some services? He tries to get my attention again by asking a question that I really do not understand. I smile. Smiling is easy and not dangerous. He still follows me. He is waiting for me when I enter and leave different shops. I like to think that this good looking young man is blowing away by my appearence. Suddenly I realize: “I am a woman”, let me act in the theater play “one day in Cairo”.

Actors: Abayomi = brings joy and is my bodyguard. My safety is guaranteed by his prensence.

My name is Ain = Priceless.

Joy and Priceless are walking in the shopping mall of Cairo. Who is she and why is she called PRICELESS? you may ask.

In one of the sages of Egypt it was mentioned that a woman would visit Cairo. She would walk and observe, knowing and observing the process of observations of what is there to be observed. She is called AIN = Priceless since she not for SALE. In the world of shopping, trade, sales and buying, this is remarkable.  Why this is? Simple: Priceless is FREE. You can not buy her. Impossible. You can not convince her since her ears will only hear your needs. She will not try to convince you since she has nothing to sell.   

Priceless IS Priceless.

Her freedom was predicted by the Stars    

All readers of stars are aware and saw the signs long before the dark nights came. Freedom is always seen as “highest value”, since we know so few and can be dangerous, especially for women in times of fear and therefor Ain is accompanied by Abayomi = Who brings joy. The perfect defense in times of danger. Stronger and more powerful than weapons and words. Priceless and Joy, what a wonderful partnership. Ain is trying to understand what people want. She is asking questions: “What are your needs, what is were you are longing for? She tries to read this in the faces. She tries to find answers in the behavior and actions. Ain realizes that she is in Cairo to be truthful, authentic and aware. She smiles and people respond by smiling. She is overwhelmed by the friendliness of most people. 

People whisper and smile: “Who is this lady and the man?. This woman and her shadow?” . They are curious. All love to learn more about them.

AIN and ABAYOMI = PRICELESS AND JOY. This is the answer!!! The answer for WORLD PROBLEMS.

I walk trough the street of for me unknown Cairo and children come and smile. Some little hands are in my hands and we walk for a while together. Abayomi is not longer Ain’s shadow. Ain and Abayomi are reunite in me. Priceless and Joy

I am back in the taxi. I bought nothing. Although I feel so connected and loving towards myself and others I end up having diarrhea. Is this since I do not love myself and others enough? Is it since I did not imagine myself as healthy? What did I do wrong? Could it be that I took: “Surrender and Release” to serious. Is it infectious? These are the kind of questions people sometimes make in our western society. 

What do we know about the great Mystery? 

It might be that having diarrhea is the best what can happen when I feel surrounded with SHIT. I might be that diarrhea is the creative expression of my system. Transformation. Why do I use the word shit? you may ask. Shit = indeed a vulgar word.  I know, but what other word can describe what I experience and observe? “The shit of pollution, the shit of inequality, the shit of misleading information in newspapers, on television, the shit of manipulation of numbers, figures, the unacceptable shit of exploitation, the shit of abusive behavior, the shit of child prostitution, the shit of misuse of power, the shit of starvation, the shit of demagogy, the shit of all death’s caused by terror, violence and aggression, the shit of………………..

No wonder that I release (my own) shit on the toilet. 

I hope that many of “the changes” around us will not make more victims and deaths. That children are protected and be able to play their gorgeous plays. That they learn from us to be devoted to love. 

    

In this kind of difficult complex situations in the Arab world, it is even more  important to act responsible and to be careful with the so called Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression. 

My mother used to have the following expression: SPEECH IS SILVER, SILENCE IS GOLD.

I apologize to each and every one for hurting your feelings

I hope and know that the mysterious wisdom unfolds

INSHALLAH

 

 

YOU STRIKE A WOMAN, YOU STRIKE A ROCK

My last post was about a KING and his KINGDOM. This post is about the Queen, since there would never be a King without a Queen. (I apologize when this sounds as a statement that former US president George W. Bush could have made).

On the 9th of August we celebrated NATIONAL WOMEN DAY in South Africa. And on the 10th of August we went to the annual Vice Chancellor's Concert at the University of Cape Town (UCT). This year the concert was dedicated to the fact that 125 years ago the first woman was admitted at the University. In 1991 Maphela Aletta Ramphele was apointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellors and in 1996 to the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University, thereby becoming the first black woman to hold such a position at a South African university.

 Mamphele Ramphela

 

It was an amazing performance by some well known artists and students of the UCT. What a blessing. What a commitment! 

I like to take the opportunity to write about some of the women that I always "carry" in the "Special People" file on my apple notebook. I made this file to remember me of talents and actions that I like to be connected to. Although this file contains Men and Women I like to put my focus on some of the women. Know that the file contains even more special women. 

I like to call this: 

 

 

A "HOMAGE" TO WOMEN

  Florence Nightengale Maria Montessori

Marie Curie Evita Peron

 

 

Florence Griffith Lady Diana

 

 

Benazir Bhuto

 

All intelligent, creative, beautiful and powerful beyond measurement. 

Florence Nightingale. My father always used to talk about her and more specific about her courage. Maria Montesorri, since she thought about the needs of children and education. Marie Curie, for her dedication and serving humanity, and the first person that received two Nobel Prices. Evita Perron, for her devotion, passion and loyalty despite the fact she faced many challenges. Florence Griffith-Joyner, (Flo-JO) for her gracious powerful performance. What a blessing to watch. Lady Diana, for being such an amazing personality. Benazir Bhutto for never giving up hope. 

Although they all left their physical body their legacy is still around and I like to watch their pictures and I silently express my gratitude for all what they did. I feel it is very import to show respect and gratitude and by doing that I feel encouraged and connected to their strenghts.

At the same time I feel extremely happy for all the amazing women who are with us in this present moment.

 

 

Jane Goodall Ingrid Betancourt Graca_machel--300x300

 

Hiary Clinton Oprah Winfrey

Jane Goodall, Ingrid Betancourt, GraÇa Machel, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey. What a Leaders! In most leadership courses we talk about the achievements of Men but what about these great Women

I did not even talk about all the singers, spiritual leaders, researchers, designers, sports stars, writers and actresses. I am not able to write about all these archievements. It would be a life time task. 

I like to express my gratitude for some wonderful woman in The Netherlands the country in which I was born. I want to applaud for each one of them for expressing and sharing their talents with us.

 

 

Ans-markus

 

LiesbethList270

Neelie-kroes

 

Moniek van der ven

  Candy Dulfer Willemijn Verloop War schild

 

Linda_de_mol

Ans Markus, Liesbeth List, Neelie Kroes, Moniek van der Ven, Candy Dulfer, Willemijn Verloop and Linda de Mol. Do I know them personally? No, not at all. I just feel inspired and encouraged by them. Touched by their incredible performances and skills. I wish them all the best, since I know it is for the better of all of us. Thank you incredible, elegant, beautiful, creative, strong women. I enjoy watching and listening to you. Know that you make a difference. Thank you. I talk about you when ever possible. Trust me I always find ways. 

Last but not least I want to express my gratitude to some women I personally know.

First of all for my Grandmother who started, after her husband died (10 children, eldest son 14) a family business that still exists long after she died. Love you GRANDMA. (Grandma's 6 daughters, 2 are still with us)

 

Familiefoto 2

 

For my mother for giving me life on planet earth. Thank you MOM. For my beloved daughter Carmen who will be a mother shortly herself. My angel. Thank you for processing and transforming many things for all other family members. You are magnificent.

 

FINALMISSCHIEN kkkkkkkkkopiekopie

 

For our eldest daughter Jana. Thank you for your patience, love and respect. You are very special and loved. I love to see you as mother of Max, you are amazing. I am sure you will be once a famous writer.

 

Jana

 

SAI MAA, how to express my gratitude? I am not sure which words to chose. I did not see you for a long time but you are always with me. In my heart, in my thoughts and as much as possible in my actions. 

 

 4612

Sai MAA, I love you. I am sure you know. Thank you for your teaching, for your never ending love and compassion. Bless you. Roos-rood-9

KINGDOM

Come to me. Let our being together melt with the breeze of the wind, the shadow of the sun. Let us walk in the sand, knowing that our footsteps will leave an imprint. All these prints, of course they will disappear after a short while, but nevertheless something of me and you was here.

The-Lion-King-thumb-560xauto-26079

A KING was seated in the sand. He felt tired of being KING. After another disappointing and boring conversation he sneaked out of the palace to find answers from the mountains, the clouds, the waves, and from everything that he could hear.

Mountain

"Mountain are you never restless?", he asked. The mountain answered with the wisdom mountains are known for: "What do you mean by restless?". "You know, that you want to move, to change your views, to do and to be something different". "Oh, that is what you mean. I do that all the time. Stones are rolling from my shoulders, water is running down, plants are dying and growing, all at the same time. Yes I like it very much".

Wolken_klein  It is not exactly what the KING was expecting to hear. He turned to the clouds. "Clouds are you not tired of depending on the wind, the sun and many things around you that change your structure and direction?". "What do you mean by that" the clouds responded. "Well you seem to me highly depending on natures forces", the KING continued. "You mean that we are flexible? That we follow the flow of life? That we have many different faces? We are never tired of that since it gives us great joy.

Golf

The KING still not satisfied reached out to the waves and asked: "Waves, are you not sick of being such a small particle in the endless oceans of the world". The waves, famous for being waves and particles at the same time, first did not know what to say. "Dear mister KING, what you observe is not what you observe and yes it is". The KING felt very confused by the answer of the Waves and he wanted to hear and learn more. "Please Waves, tell me more".

"Dance KING, it is about dancing, waves and particles, we dance, just for the fun of dancing". 

Dance_composition

The KING was sitting and listening to the sounds of existence, reflecting on what he just learned. Children came, open and curious as most children are. Not knowing he is a "real" KING they asked him: "Mister can you play with us? we need a KING. We will explain you what to do. The KING smiled, he was asked to play the KING? "What do I have to do, to be a KING he asked"?

"Nothing special the children said. Most people can be a KING. You have to be strong as the mountain, flexible as the clouds and just dance as the waves". 

The KING played KING with the children for a while before he returned to the palace. And now, when he starts to believe that his task is difficult and he takes himself to serious, he silently repeats, I PLAY, I JUST PLAY AND DANCE.

 

Explanation and Clarification

I received some requests to allow comments on "my" posts. I closed this possibility already a while ago since I received very "strange" messages and comments that had nothing to do with what I wrote. More often about Viagra, Prozac and other "stuff". Not the kind of reactions that I found fruitful. Somebody even thought it would be "great" to combine my name on the Dutch Google search engine with pornographic words. Although I have to admit that I am still sexually active I found it very strange and weird to read my name in combination with words that I would not have chosen myself. Can you imagine that companies ask me to organize or facilitate some of their lectures, seminars or conferences and find my name with these kind of words? 

My relatives, friends and colleagues laughed about it and felt in immediate need of oxygen due to my "vibrant (hilarious)" reaction. They responded : "Surrender and Release". 

Ballon-014 Complete absenteeism of empathy. How wonderful to have friends and family! Friends from different nationalities, religions, spiritual traditions, sexual preferences and political ideas. What they have in common? Sense of humor, creativity, authenticity, love for dialogues, kindness, respect for diversity and last but not least: they are my friends. They show me without hesitation my "blind spots". 

I never forget that we celebrated Christmas (one week) with all family (6) members, 2 dogs, (1 Rottweiler) in a small holiday house. Lovely, delicious food, mountains, snow, great books, movies, music, games and a lot to discuss about.

I am sure, in most families Christmas is celebrated in peace and harmony. Not in our family. Ours is "different". Our family represents HUMANKIND. I thought: "let me try to change the climate". Be the change you want to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandhi) I asked my family members to make a list with behavior, attitudes, thinking, ideas based on concrete examples that I could change, for the better of all of us. 

(I am so ENLIGHTENED)

TwinkelTwinkelKleineSter

I received a long (written) list and frankly speaking all of what was written was true. All examples hit it right there. Very specific, in detail, all my secretly hidden habits came to the surface. I had to take a deep breath and break and I thought: "I need every single second of the rest of my life to work on this". I reentered the room and my son said: "Mom, we could only do this since we feel free to do so". I watched all of them and I felt overwhelmed with love. 

(I am so HUMAN)

I feel blessed that we have different approaches and life styles in our family. We do not have the same believe patterns, nationalities, spiritual insides, political ideas, skin, eye and hair color, food habits. One daughter is vegetarian, I eat "mostly" only fish and chicken, one daughter does not want to eat pork, some other family members like to eat meat, WITH PASSION. It allowed us to grow beyond that. 

I can not deny being a MULTICULTI representative since this is deeply rooted in and part of me. I lived and worked in 5 different countries and travelled at least in more than 50 others. I feel grateful for the many invitations I received to celebrate different ceremonies and festivals. I highly appreciate all invitations of my Jewish friends to celebrate Shabbat with them. I always feel very much "INCLUDED". I love the song Yersuhalaim. I resonate with the word INSHALLAH. I feel attracted to the "old" Arab Stories. I love to listen to the mysteries of forgotten wisdom. I start smiling when I listen to the stories of Ganesh, Shiva, Durga, Lakshmi and all the other representations of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Flamenco and belly dance are my passions. And their is nothing wrong with the Dutch "Klompendans". I agree completely with our daughters that every woman has a "RIGHT" to have at least one gay friend but having more is better. Bad taste? 

I still know that I introduced the principles of non-violent communication (Marshall Rosenberg) to students at Euromed in France. We practiced the exercises and laughed a lot . One participant asked me: "Are you an expert in non-violent communication?" and I responded: "Yes, I am. I can be in such an "aggressive" mood, that I really need(ed) some help. I am an expert and a beginner". 

Non-violent communication does not mean sweetness, "killing" our authentic feelings and emotions. It is the most honest expression of what is alive in ourselves. I experience different feelings such as gratitude, joy, anger, frustration, irritation, pain, love, compassion. I always felt that I had to conquer the so called "negative" feelings until I realized that I was not able to. As long as I wanted I was not very successful. 

I ordered about 80 books on non-violent communication at different moments mostly from Amazon. I paid for them myself. I allowed the participants to read and work with the books and to make a story short, I did not receive one book back. Participants distributed the books amongst their friends and relatives and did not have a clue were the books were. One friend, a professor from Canada, asked me to lend me one of my own (last) books and promised to return it back. Six month later while teaching in Canada, she explained that the book disappeared since it went from hand to hand. (It seems good stuff). I laughed but nevertheless I asked Marshall Rosenberg to publish his books on the virtual library of Euromed. He allowed us to have all his books on campus. I saved some money. One participant ones screamed: "I hate non-violent communication since now I have to blame myself". We all laughed. How well she expressed herself. How easy we all could relate and connect to that!

What happens with us when we stop blaming "the others"? What will be left of us? What is alive in us? Do we still exist? What when we leave and live without our judgments? Is there still somebody home? 

The inner self of every human being waits patiently until we are ready to discover it; then it extends an invitation to enter the luminous mystery of existence in which all things are created, nurtured, and renewed. In the presence of this mystery, we not only heal ourselves, we heal the world”

Deepak Chopra

Ones I was asked and I repeated the question for myself: "Who are you and what do you want". I responded intuitively: "I am the Cobra, the protector of the Buddha". Although I was not sure what it meant, I realized that I never fully accepted the Cobra. I thought I was able to create a "better" Cobra. A Cobra without poisson, a Cobra without teeth. A Cobra that does not exist. A Cobra that is not fully alive. I created a Worm. (Not that I have anything against worms). The moment I realized what I had done I fully embraced the "real" Cobra. The teeth, the poison, the spiciness, since how could I ever protect the Buddha without my attributes, authentic strengths, talents and skills. The Cobra? It is pure nature. The Buddha? Everything that is self, pure potentiality, authenticity, sacred and whole = wholeness = holiness. Does the Buddha need protection? You think so? 

THE COBRA AND THE BUDDHA ARE THE SAME

 

 

  Cobra-snake-plastic-f450

WHAT A BLESSING THAT THE BUDDHA HAS SO MANY EXPRESSIONS AND FACES

Unknown

  Dr Nhlavana Maseko, president of the Traditional Healer Organization

 

 

 

REFLECTIONS

After the horrible event in Norway a wide spread discussion is going on what impact certain ideas, expressions can have on the behavior of others. In the first place I would like to express that each person is accountable and responsible for his or her behavior. On the other hand it is important to understand the consequences of words and phrases used and the impact on other people, especially the collective mind and consciousness. 

I am sure that Geert Wilders is not the kind of person that agrees on the actions undertaken by Anders Behring Breivik and that caused such a tremendous pain and drama. Nevertheless I do believe that Geert Wilders, as many others, are responsible and accountable for creating confusion,hate and violence.

Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was about to break out instead. So he took some water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man's blood. Attend to that yourselves."

A few examples:

WAR AGAINST ISLAM. As far as I know the word WAR means that we have to fight. Against what and how? War and fighting finds the origin in the lower parts of our brain. Fight, fly and freezeEssential and helpful when we feel treatened. It is that reactive behavior that we have in common with all animals (reptiles).

The question we can ask ourselves is: why do we feel treatened? What needs are not fulfilled? The need of protection of our value system? Are we sure we know exactly what values we talk about and have in common? Do all "native" Dutch citizens have the same values? If we would all agree on them and follow them, since we have the same interpretation, why is it that we need law systems? It would be very simple. We just follow the same values. I happen to know many Muslims and I have to admit that we share many values. I lived for 2 years in Indonesia (202.9 million identified as Muslim; 88.2% of the total population as of 2009) and I felt loved and respected. I can not give one example of somebody that tried to convert me into their (Muslim) religion. I have many Muslim friends and I love all of them intensively. Not one of them said ever anything against homosexuals. I repeat: Not one of my friends ever said anything against homosexuals. Although I made some observations in which "native" Dutch called homosexual names. Not exactly the ones that I would like to repeat. Not one of my Muslim friends ever defended the importance of FEMALE CIRCUMCISION and this is since female circumcision has nothing to do with Islam. It might be a good idea to follow some LOGOS and ALGORITHMS in our reasoning.

In the Netherlands it is said that some of the Moroccan youngsters (1 out of 5) are more involved in crime. Instead of calling them "Moroccan criminals" would it be possible to clarify very specific what kind of behavior we expect in the Netherlands. Based on values and norms and in such a specific structure hat we all can learn? Wouldn't that be great fun? 

Many of WORLD problems are created by ignorance of people more often in the Western Society. It is just a (scientific) observation. In Somalia, due to dryness people leave their country and many of them die, due to starvation. World climate change is not caused by developing countries, as we all know, it is caused by ignorance of top managers of (mostly) western organizations. Kenya is taking care of the Somalian refugees. Refugees camps with 34.000 instead of 18.000 refugees. Are we indeed not responsible and accountable for the misery of the people? I am reading an interesting book "CONGO" written by David van Reybrouck and I feel "sick" of what happened due to Western Society and what still is going on. 

If you read this historical work, can you indeed, without shame, express yourself (Geert Wilders) as follows: "We have to close the "Dutch" borders for not Western Refugees". Are we willing to close the borders for their "natural" resources such as gold, diamonds, cobalt, uranium, and many more?

Do we need to be more judgmental about our knowledge of "better cultures" and "better religions" as Ayaan Hirshi Ali ones said during an interview. Which are these better cultures? Which are these better religions? When I hear, read these kind of expressions I feel fear, irritation, shame and horror. These ideas, opinions and arguments are in the past (and present) frequently used by dictators and fanatics. You will find them everywhere. I hope and wish that I am able to express myself non-violent. I have a lot of respect for many things Ayaan Hirshi Ali has done and said and I have no doubts that she will have some higher purpose but nevertheless I hope and wish she will find different approaches. 

Some personal explanations. I feel miserable of (violent) actions against woman of any kind. I feel pain in my stomach when I think of female circumcision. I feel scared to death when I watch movies and documentaries of what has and is still taken place in Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq. Including abusive behavior of soldiers from Western Countries. I would like to see the faces of the woman that wear the burka. It frightens me, especially at unexpected moments, during the evening. (Not one of my Muslim friends wear them). I believe that we all have to show respect for "our" principles and values expressed and confirmed by the majority (consensus) of our community. Crime is unacceptable. Homosexuals are fully accepted in "our" society. 

I really like the "Dutch" culture even when I do not know exactly what it means and how to describe it. I feel laughter and pleasure when many people refer to the Dutch as tolerant, flexible, open, warm, generous and kind. 

I am sure we have these qualities and I suppose most people do. What if we would focus on cultivating these qualities?  

'I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any". 

Mahatma Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi

 

Norway

Friday, 22 July 2011

 

Million thoughts, tons of heavy loaded pressure in the stomach and the heart

The answer is Blowing In The Wind

Tears are burning to release the pain of

broken dreams and future plans

Stay with me and hold me tight

tell me it has never taken place

Keep me in your heart

and whisper words of loving silence

 

For all who died and what died in us

A FLAME OF LOVE, LIGHT AND LIFE

Roos en kaars

Journey in South Africa

The rhythm of drums and magnificent beauty. How easy for me to resonate with this incredible country. A place were the 2 oceans meet "the Indian and the Atlantic". Both with different temperatures and very divers vegetation. A whispering sound of the breath of omnipresence. I dance with the breath of this part of the world: "Simple and without any hesitation". Africa is in my blood. The sceneries, the spoken different languages and the abundance of all we call life itself. The enormous rainbows reminding us that the sun is waiting even in the darkest moments of our essence. The beauty of the people. I love the contrast. The white teeth in the dark faces. I always loved the dark coloured skins especially while observing the easiness of perfect smiles.

I just saw small parts of South Africa and I am only here since 2 years. I am not at all a specialist of such an enormous country. I do not know most of the politicians, I am not aware of most famous researchers and scientists. I just walk and live in the present and enjoy staying at the fullest of what I am able to. Cape Town is called one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I can only agree. Cape Town = The Mother-City embracing all small particles of million expressions of the breath of God.

When you follow the Garden route, watching the sceneries, silence is the only expression. The Kruger Park in which miracles occur in front of the seeker, not waiting to see the big 5, but knowing that everything happens at the right moment at the right time everything included. The fast speeding Black Mamba,

 

the grace of the walking leopards and the magnificence of the Big Feet = the elephants. The flexibility of most antelopes and the singing sound of bird life. What kind of creativity is able to have this unlimited expression and connected with so much joy all what is alive? A smile of gratitude to be able to observe.

I am riding frequently on a white small scooter. The dream of feeling free. Kanoing in the Atlantic Ocean in the midst of large groups of dolphins. The Table Mountain. When ever you visit Cape Town please remember to always welcome the table mountain. World heritage with uncountable forms of life in the midst of a city. Life started somewhere in Africa and I can imagine why. Every blood cell comes alive.

I still travel with the mini-buses one of the best public transport systems I have ever seen. The drivers stop when you want and it is affordable for almost everybody. I am aware that not all drivers have their driving licenses and it can be dangerous. Sometimes people tell me not to use it since it is dangerous. I am reflecting on that since what is the value of my life in comparison with the lives of others? Many (black) children using the mini-taxi's to their schools. Is it not dangerous for them? I still know that an accident took place in which many children lost their lives. The driver passed some waiting cars to cross the rails, at the moment that all signs were on red, due to the fact that the train arrived. When I heard the news I was not able to speak. Speechless! I lost the ability to speak. No sound. I had to write some phrases but even that was not very successful. What part of me died? The need of protection of the children? Mothers living far from the working environment and having to trust that their children will reach school and home safely. How much pain this mothers felt was resonating in my body, mind and thoughts. African mothers are born mothers. How much pain?

Due to apartheid whole districts disappeared. We went to a performance of school pupils who showed what happened to the citizen's of district 6. Nothing to laugh about. Past, yes fortunately, but most people still live far from were they work and therefore the children have more risks without the protection of their loving mothers. I read a small phrase in a shop in Hout Bay where everything is made of recycled tea bags by the local community. It said: "Woman are as tea bags, when the temperature is really hot you will smell, taste their strength". African women are amazing.

Je pense donc je suis, Descartes = I think and therefore I am. Living in France I had to deal with the basis of this thinking. In South Africa you are since you belong = Ubuntu. It is always difficult to understand what is important and what does not matter that much the moment you arrive in another country. I always like to apologize towards others telling them that I hopefully come in peace and that the mistakes I make are never meant to hurt. But I am aware that I make mistakes and it seems that I am allowed to make them in South Africa. Alicia is helping us a lot by keeping our house clean and even more important, teaching me a lot of cultural issues.

After a "Goddess Party" I organized, she and her two daughter's stayed over-night in our place, my husband was not there. The daughters, Thomakazi, Siphosetho and her son Ululutho slept in one of the bedrooms. The light was on since at nights the lights can not be turned out when Ululutho is sleeping. Impossible! Alicia and I shared the same bed and while watching her, I knew instantly: "She is royalty". Alicia with her peaceful, compassionate energy. An earth angel.

I still know how upset she was when it turned out that both her daughters were pregnant. She was crying since she wanted for both of them another future. Late at night we could not let her take the public transport system and therefore we brought her back. At certain moment I felt at the wrong time (night) at the wrong place, in the wrong car with the wrong (white) skin color. After we arrived and wanted to drive back the whole village took care of us. Her house is very cozy and one of the cleanest houses I have ever seen. The boys who "made" the girls pregnant by seducing them never paid "Lobolo". They just ran away. Ulutlutho = most precious and Kwakhanya = light, never saw their fathers. What I think of it? Nothing. I felt hopelessly angry since one of the girls is also HIV positive. After giving birth to her child she was very ill. Ammonia, tbc and epileptic attacks. All at the same time. She was hospitalised and I visited her during this time. I was sure she would die. Laying in her own dirt my addictive behavior /reaction is to turn very angry. I went to the responsible managers screaming: "I want to have clean sheets now". In the evening all patients had new sheets and the rooms were clean.

Later my son Derk Jan and I went with Thomakazi to the hospital for checking her blood and immune cells. We were holding her and Derk Jan asked me: "Why do the nurses and doctors show so little compassion?". I explained that they must feel compassion but there are too many people suffering and it seems that it never comes to an end. Thomakazi is responding well to the medication and is singing, dancing and studying again. She bonded well with her beautiful daughter.

Alicia is missing a finger top due to the believe system of the tribe she is coming from. They will remove this finger top shortly after the baby is born. It is to protect the kidneys and the eyes as far as I understood. Very strange for me after learning from the yoga perspective that we can bring healing by pressing our finger tips. Our fingers are connected to the brain in the first months in the womb and therefore each finger carries the intelligence of the brain connected to certain organs. Can I talk about this different approaches without being a new kind of missionary? Why should I since the daughters and grandchildren have still all their fingers.

I learned how to cary the little babies on my back. It seems that our new born grandchild Max loves it.  Max voor blog  

Sometimes people ask me about different apects of life in South Africa. For example of what I think of president Zuma. Is it allowed to have an opinion of a president as a foreigner without knowing the situation, circumstances and the person himself? I have not the slightest idea to what extent I would be able to answer this question. South Africa is a democratic Republic and president Zuma is elected by the majority of the population. How arrogant it would be to just judge him without knowing ins and outs. I always admire people who take responsibility, even when they are more frequently criticized by the media. Who wants to do certain jobs? I have met people that work close with president Zuma and they refer to him as being intelligent, creative, focused and having a great sense of humor. Yes, I know he has more wife's that what we experience as "normal" in western societies.

I am not knowing enough of all the different cultures in South Africa.I feel very much as a very "beginning" student of what is new to me. I just know some insides, pictures of the history of the Zulu people from the movie Shaka Zulu. I have the impression that this movie is made through the eyes of foreigners and is different from the stories and facts told by "real" research and historical sceintist. I have to admit that I like the music. I am not sure why. 

What about culture differences? Let us make a small journey. Let us reflect on what is sometimes said and written in Hinduism. Children chose their own parents. It's an agreement made before being born "again" on planet earth. Reincarnation depending on what to learn in the next life. Souls are waiting for having a next chance to live again. Before we get born we, as souls, will ask around and check our new parents. It might be that I asked Deepak Chopra to be my father. He listened carefully since this is what he normally does and asked me about what I wanted to learn and how I wanted to express myself in this live and when? Since we are very honest in the unified field I tell him that I have to learn that good and bad are parts of the same coin. That I have to learn to live with alcohol and drug addiction to reflect on my own patterns and addictive behavior. That I have to learn via emotions and feelings of unconditional love. A very different path than the learning from the intellect. Deepak, knowing him now, might have expressed that he does not have time for that, since he wants to show how to transform certain behavior. He can not be drunk to show me where addiction is leading to. He might have refused my request and said: "I will be close to you as a "teacher". You will be able to read my books and scriptures and this will remind you on who you really are".

Coming back to president Zuma, from this perspective he is a real hero. He said yes to so many requests. He made it possible for many souls to be "reborn" on planet earth. At the same time he was a prisoner and became the president of South Africa while having a huge family. Many souls that have due to him possibilities to be (co)creators in this life. Interesting thoughts? Childish? You do not believe in it?

Do not worry: It's just a different expression of reality. Just observe what it does to you changing the concepts of reality. My father was drinking a lot of alcohol during a short period in his life. At that time I had a lot of anger and felt victimized. Poor child. Years later I still talked about it. Repetitive thoughts. Remarkably boring. The same music (out of tune). Years after my father stopped drinking I still treated myself as child of an alcoholic. I learned to let go and release. I first was able to "forgive" my father. I know it is a bit ridiculous: "Me, being the God of somebody else". Years later I was able to forgive myself. What step I made!!! Can you imagine what transformation I made when I thought of the possibility that I had chosen my father? That I was the one that asked him: "Can you please drink as crazy and mirror addictions to me? Can you imagine he said yes since he loved me so much and as a result I was able to learn from that? Walking around as drunk as he was? I might have said: " f.ck off" Just a small shift in perception and life looks different.

You do not believe it? You might be right. Maybe it is nonsense, but this kind of thoughts made me free. Yes, I respect president Zuma, since the majority of black people I met voted for him. Yes, I can only love him since he lived in prison and has still a good sense of humor. Yes, I appreciate president Zuma since he is much more dedicated to his country that I am able to. Is this a "good" answer? I am writing this post while being in Kenya, Mombasa. Nothing else to do? The ocean is whispering words and the people keep saying Hakuna Matata = No problem. Thank you universe for giving me this life. Every single second makes sense. I feel grateful. Thank you Africa for "teaching" me so much. HAKUNA MATATA

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

I still know that our daughter Carmen Carmen4 asked me to read her assignment on this subject. I appreciated her wisdom and even more her creativity to be able to talk about it in various and different ways. The assignment was part of a particular course on law. I loved what I read since Carmen connected freedom of expression with accountability and responsibility. I was touched by the way she made her analysis and how she reflected on this subject. She passed for her assignment but not with a very high grade. The law teacher wanted to have more evidence of the importance of freedom of expression. I learned again how important it is as a “teacher” myself to be able to read assignments of “students” being interested in their learning instead of having the expectation to observe repetition of what I might have said earlier during the lectures. The assignment Carmen made came back in my memory after reading that Geert Wilders (Dutch politician) was not convicted by the judges for incitement to hatred and racism.

What happens in law cases is that lawyers and judges “believe” that law is something that can be found in written “laws” and other related articles in law books. It seems that they really “believe” that law is something in itself. Objectivity versus subjectivity. I observe that it appears that the whole law institution is not part of a context or of a more complex system.

If I read and hear what Geert Wilders is spreading out in the world I have to admit that my needs for respect, tolerance, loving kindness are not met. I feel inside me that the words of Wilders are not used to connect people. I feel that the purpose of his words used are to cause pain and hatred. I feel deep empathy with the people that have certain believes and values when I hear Wilders talking. The remarkable (maybe it is not really remarkable) aspect is that his lawyer Abraham (Bram) Moszkowicz defended Geert Wilders in this case. The same Abraham Moszkowicz who accused Gretta Duisenberg for some of the words she might have said concerning the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Reading some of the facts, he made some very “personal” interpretations of what she was saying. Could it be that the same Moszkowicz is just as everybody else part of a broader institution and not at all objective? Could it be that it is easier for him to hear words against Muslims than “in his ears” against Israel due to the fact that he is Jewish?

Can you use words against a religion without trying to hurt people? It might be but I experienced in my own body (I not a Muslim) that Wilders has other intentions. When you use words against the Quran, the way Geert Wilders is doing, is there indeed anybody in the world that truly beliefs that he did this without the intention to hurt others? Did Wilders ask himself the following question seriously: “Do I connect people with these kind of phrases or do I separate them?” I read the Quran being interested in the book, as I was interested in the Bible. I did an honours class at Leiden University in religion and I felt seriously concerned about the second part of Exodus, in the Bible. Geert Wilders believes that most Jewish and Christians modernized their ideas and opinions. Is that really true? Are we able to recognize that we (as modernized people) feel and react as if we are superior? Is that more modern? Is that really true? Are we more sophisticated, more modern, more civilized and last but not least more superior? Is the way Geert Wilders is using his vocabulary, indeed more civilized. In our lower parts of the brain we developed fight, fly and freeze reactions. As conscious human being we developed a more universal mind. If we talk about Islam in Wilders’ words, from which part of the brain this is a projection of?

Is the whole law system deeply sick? I am not talking about nausea but seriously ill? Incurable? Based on my observations, I have indeed a deep need for other systems. We can observe that the old one does not function anymore. Old fashioned? Outdated? Expired?

I observed, as most other people, that the law system is not at all objective. I firmly believe that Geert Wilders knew very well that he crossed borders of integrity, loving kindness and respect. Is he so full of fear? Is he so concerned about his safety? What needs in him are not fulfilled? using the words of Marshall Rosenberg? Is that not a more interesting question? What needs of some people in the Dutch society are not met that make them so afraid of others, especially Muslims?

While living in South Africa at the moment the discussion are never about Islam. The discussions in South Africa are based on the passed of this extraordinaire country which means about blacks, colored, whites and others (who knows who are the others?). I saw a documentary about Estonia and it was about "real" Estonians and (foreigners) Russians.  

What can we do?

We can invite people to our houses and serving them tea or wine depending on their religion and listening to what they might tell us about their needs, feelings and emotions. Invite them to express themselves in what it means to them to have certain beliefs and values. Just listen. Not judging them, not thinking since all of that is not listening.

In law cases people are not listening. I observe that they are not interested in listening.

I would like to put your attention to the following initiative based on sustainable principles. Michael U Ben Eli is focusing on doing the right thing, creating the right circumstances from a more holistic, universal perspective what we can express as following: “How can we serve communities and societies in the very best (sustainable) way”? In such a way that future generations can live in peace and harmony. How can we develop skills and knowledge of sustainable living on different levels and between different groups of people?

What I think of Geert Wilders? I am not sure. I never think of him. I feel that he is a "victim" of a very sick society called ours. An artist in a theater play that we call life.  He is performing according to his level of consciousness embedded in the level of consciousness of a broader society. At that level we cannot talk of freedom of expression since the speaker is not free. The speaker is obsessed and confused. The speaker does not know the consequences of the words used. The speaker is a slave of his own fears, failures and deep routed misinterpretations of reality.

Freedom of expression? When do we feel accountable for our words? When do we feel responsible? Is it from the same level of consciousness to call Geert Wilders an “idiot” as Maarten van Rossem did? What would make Wilders an idiot? Is it his profound absence of knowledge, facts and wisdom? What need is not fulfilled when we call him an “idiot”. I feel concerned for the new generation, my children and grandchildren and the broader family called human kind. I would like a world without violence, aggression and tyranny based on racism and intolerance. I would like a world in which peace, grace and beauty are our main thoughts and expressions.  I love a world with the full expression of the painter’s pallet. Is this what lawyers, judges in our system also want? I hope so.

Can I love Geert Wilders? I feel I can at certain moments in which space and time are the same. In the quantum world of unlimited possibilities. In the unified field of pure potentiality. From that perspective Geert Wilders is "ME" expressing myself in a very sad way caused by unfulfilled needs. I am working on it.  

Partir, c’est mourir un peu

La France: Liberté, egalité et fraternité

We will leave “La France” in the last week of June 2009. People ask me whether I like to leave and I honestly answer no, it’s more that I am looking forward to welcome a new adventure. Walter will start his new position as dean of the graduate school of business of UCT in Cape Town, South Africa the first of July.  I feel grateful and exited to be able to have new experiences in a country from which I firmly believe that it has many possibilities. "Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world" Nelson Mandela.

I am observing the place were we lived for almost six years and I feel an intense gratitude that our family was alowed lo life her. "La Provence" is an amazing place to be. Aix-en-Provence, famous for the many fountains and last but not least for being the residence of Paul Cézanne.

                   11392-de-schilder-paul-cezanne

Cassis with the small harbor, the many restaurants and surrounded by "Les Calanques".  I use to call it natures profound expression of abundance. I feel grateful for our house in Aubagne, the place of birth of Marcel Pagnol, the famous writer and film director. Avignon, Arles, were the dutch painter Vincent van Gogh lived and Nimes; historical richness all over.

"Vincent, Starry, starry night Don Mclean"

Starry_Night_vincent van Gogh

Every time I drove my car to Euromed, via La Gineste, I had the strong feeling of dreaming. Especially while coming back from Marseille and almost arriving Cassis.

                             T_capcanaille1 

     Aiguille_essadon_1_p

The overwhelming view of nature’s most beautiful expression is indeed impressive. My children used to laugh at me and before I was able to express myself always said: How beautiful, watch the scenery, how grateful we should be to live her. They new my words by heart.

I will always have the memories with me of the magnificent "La Grotte Sainte Marie Madelein", Sainte Baume. How many times did I visit this glorious place. At least four times with many participants of some of “my” courses. I wanted to show them the magic of certain sacred places. Don't worry I always found connections with management. Very simple, I did not even use a lot of imagination. Of course Maria Magdalene lived her, no doubt about that. The divine feminine energy in this splendid place is remarkably present. She is welcoming every "child", with open arms, as mothers always do. How peaceful a place can be.

How can I be happy to leave a place were I spend time with so many great “kids”. Each one of them searcing for respect and love. I hope and wish that they will stay connected to their own wisdom and true nature which is: love, beauty and grace.

The lavender, the crickets in summer and a language in which even “Merde = Shit” sounds sophisticated and aristocratic. La France, represented by a president that we had interesting dialogs about in our family. Our daughter Carmen thinks he is “cute” and our son Derk Jan thinks he is more popular in foreign countries than in France.

I am sometimes wondered whether Nicolas Sarkozy would be a reincarnation of Napoleon Le Bonaparte or Louis XIV = L’ état, c’est moi, or both. At least he is not boring. Walter firmly believes that I will be rewarded as the “greatest” fan of his lovely wife Carla Bruni, since I love to listen to her music. He ordered a new flamenco CD for me, which might have some selfish reasons. 

I will leave "La France" with a deep smile, since I received more than anybody can ever imagine. I feel and experience that this is the best and most profound foundation for leaving and starting somewhere else. I received from Miriam Subirana her book: Who rules in your life? Reflections on personal power with her best wishes: that your mind is an instrument for peace, your heart a temple of pure love and your soul an agent for change”. Thank you “La France” for all my wonderful experiences.

Je t'aime.

Stromberg rode roos

I want to conclude with the words of Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien

 

Rethinking Growth

 Rethinking-growth-erna-baets-oldenboom--cover-art“Our” book is published and we received some examples send by Palgrave Macmillan.   I feel very exited and grateful and I experience the publication as a reason to celebrate. Writing a book, especially in a foreign language, is at least for me, not easy. I hope that the content of the book will encourage as many human beings as possible to create a friendly, harmonious and sustainable business environment. A working environment in which nature is an important stakeholder. A working place where values are as important as in “private” life.

I hope that the ideas mentioned in the book and the Cassandra tool will be used as much as possible. The creation of this book was meant to share information, knowledge, wisdom, experiences and to make a difference, especially in the business world. As a teacher I feel privileged and at the same time very responsible for what we “teach” in business schools. We, the participants and I created a safe, friendly and non-violent learning environment in which all could learn as much as possible by following their own needs. I had the best teachers myself and I choose not only to admire them, but to connect with them and to be like them. In a different setting, with different experiences, but with the same holistic mindset and by living from the heart. In that sense I “became” my teachers since all of them repeated, one by one, that there was no difference between them and me, between me and them. Putting others as good examples outside ourselves, is given them superiority (power) above ourselves and before we know we feel at the same moment superior to others.

I want to express my gratitude for all beings that participated in “my” courses. I hope and wish that each one of them felt, on the one hand challenged especially by the context and process of learning, and on the other hand full of power and recognition for their own wisdom and learning skills. This book could never have been published without them, given me so many possibilities for learning and reflection. A shift in perception? YES, we can!!!