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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.

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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.

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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!!!  

Love an open door to unlimited Miracles

 SAMAR

Samar Al Ansari                                   

A Bahraini teenager who was killed in a road accident. Of course this does not tell us anything about her. She is an Angel. I have never met her. I have never talked to her and I have never listened to her words. I found Samar on the internet.  Or did she find me?

She is back to the womb, back to the ocean of creation, back to the source. She touched my heart. How much love one can feel for an “unknown” human being?  Ones “my” daughter asked me: “Mom, am I special in your life? Sometimes I feel that you love the whole world. I feel just one of the others”. I honestly responded: “By allowing me to love you and your brother so intensely, my heart opened and melted with the heart of others. This is what love does. It is a open door to unilimited miracles. I feel grateful, that both your brother and you, have given me the opportunity to learn about love.Thank you".

My heart was longing to learn more of Samar’s whispering voice of grace, love and joy. I wanted to share the wisdom that came from her. I prefer to let her speak to you in her own unique words. 

A Short Story by SAMAR Assignment: Write a short story using the words "Cat" and "Mountain"

Bergkat

Short StoryNo one believed that an old blind man like me could ever climb a mountain, but I did. I believed I could climb the highest mountain. Many said to me:" it's dangerous", but I never thought of it as dangerous, I thought of it as excitement. I set up to walk up a mountain in a spiral way of course. I had nothing with me but my cane and the more I went up, the more excited I got. Of course as a blind man, I mostly rely on my hearing, but the more I went up, the more my ears became plugged. Therefore, I started walking and walking not knowing where I was going. I was going to fall off the edge, but a large cat pulled me with his teeth in the right direction. It walked in front of me, and wagged its tail, which hit my shoe every time it wagged. These wags led me down the mountain to civilization. This cat saved my life! I was just about to pick it up, but it disappeared. My hearing is very good, and I did not hear it go away. I will always be indebted to that cat. Sometimes I wonder whether it really was a cat, or an angel sent to me by GOD to save me from death.

In a Blizzard by SAMAR

I was sitting on my lawn thinking; "God, Bahrain is so hot, I wish I could go somewhere cold!" I went to bed that night and when I woke up I was in the midst of a blizzard in Alaska wearing only my pyjama. I walked on the snow in my bare feet, and I saw them turn blue. I was very confused at first and all I could think about was the cold blizzard! My hair was covered with snow and I heard a noise from behind me, and I looked back and saw an avalanche! Then I screamed, "I wish I was back in Bahrain." I woke up and realized it was all a dream! Then Nouf came in my room and said, "Let's go to the mall", then I said" Let me put my shoes and socks on first". As I was going to put my socks on, I saw that my feet were blue. Maybe it was not a dream after all !!!

After Samar went to the other world somebody wrote:

Searching for Sense.

For months, I struggled to accept the fact that Samar was gone,as nothing I could think of made any sense.For months, I visited the website daily, looking for answers.Nothing made sense.Why did a beautiful and promising young girl go so fast?I felt that I had no right to grieve. Who am I to be affected by her loss?I am not her sister, her mother, her classmate…I am merely Omar's friend's sister…In my search, I found this:"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.We are spiritual beings having a human experience"Teilhard de Chardin

Reading this gave me a different perspective on life.While I might not have any control on fate,it somewhat made fate a little more bearable.I am still searching for sense in a senseless world.You and your family are a symbol of strength, patience, and faith.You are always in my prayers.The poems you write are so beautiful yet heartbreaking.I thank you for sharing them with us and letting us into your life.forever your child

I hope that you experience the wisdom beyond this words as I do. Words expressed from the heart can create miracles. Miracles beyond time and space.

Last week I removed all "old" post since I preferred to start from scratch. I felt detached from the words and the writings. Nevertheless I received many requests to post them again. It seems that others felt touched by the shared feelings, emotions and experiences. Since I feel detached it does not make a difference to me. Therefore I published them again. I am not sure for how long. It depends on the present.

All my love 75efca2f5c