Tag Archives: respect

Here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of…

This is a reblog from http://thegodmolecule.tumblr.com

tumblr_mldan1WCSh1rzulcio1_500Here is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what you are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful, it doesn’t. In the end, we shall all recognize our song and sing it well. You may feel a little warbly at the moment, but so have all the great singers. Just keep singing and you’ll find your way home.


Make appointments with yourself

lukta blommaThis is something I learned the hard way; after years of having my calendar solidly booked, day in and day out in a most merciless way, I crashed. I didn’t notice it coming, one day it was just there; a complete and utter emptiness in myself. Between running a company, caring for 4 children and a small homestead I had forgotten myself. I wasn’t suffering, not at all. I was enjoying being busy. It wasn’t dramatic in any way, my head just went blank, that’s all, and blank it stayed. I rearranged my calendar, cut down on my bookings and took a long hard look at my priorities: “What is the most important thing to me right now?” The answer was “my family”. Not me, which I seemed to have lost along the way, or my work but my children. And I realized that “me” was also my children, having time to grow with them, they were the one thing that could not wait and the only way I could be the best mother possible was by taking care of myself.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI started writing myself into the calendar; riding, baking, sewing…with the children. Such happy times and it didn’t matter that my head was blank, it just made it so much better. It was hard, at first, to say “I am busy” since I considered only work as being “busy”. My booked time for hanging out in the field watching ponies didn’t feel like a good enough excuse to not work, and I felt like a cheat. But I got over it. I didn’t leave empty spaces in my calendar because I would have booked them for work. No, I painstakingly wrote my diverse activities in there, just to block the space and make sure that I stayed as true to myself as to my clients. I learned more about myself and how we function as human beings during that time than ever before.

rida merlinNow my children are all adults, my work is my passion and I can spend time doing just that; my work. I still book my private down-time in my calendar and stick to it even though I sometimes might be tempted to put myself in second place. I have learned that the more I care for myself, the better I can care for my work. You can only give so much without becoming lousy for your passion; be it your family or your work. So do it, book that bath, movie-time, hack, pottering in the garden, staring at the sky…all the things that make you happy and you’ll be the best thing that ever happened to yourself and others.


Just wanted to post this little clip, since it ties in so well with the communication I have been writing about. Listen to what the man says about relationships. We people are not unlike these dogs and bears. Gives us something to think about, doesn’t it? So what is communication? Intention, of course.

He also shows the bears to keep their distance, and in this way there is no problem. Mutual respect.

THE MOBILE TERROR and disrespect

I searched long and hard to find a simple phone that does only calls and messages. I have found one. It does other things too – barely – but I don’t bother about that. It was the cheapest phone on the market and they will probably not exist for very long, so I better stack up 🙂 I love my paper-agenda (that fits in all bags) with its post-it-stickers and messy, lived in look. I hate it when somebody’s phone takes precedence in a talk/meeting with me…so rude! And usually it’s not even important. I hate it when people expect me to be constantly available – even on the loo? And I hate it when vile ring-signals disturb the peace at a nice restaurant, during a movie or whatever.
I say; start smelling the flowers, lie on the grass and watch the trees.

That said, I still experience a slight quickening of my heartbeat when I realize that I have forgotten my phone – stress. Even if it is only to go to the train-station in the next village, 5 km away, to pick up someone. I think: “What if something happens? Without my phone I am stranded – AAArrrghhh!” This is so ridiculous that I blush.

I have hitch-hiked alone through Europe, brought up 4 children, lived an isolated life in the forest and never did I have a phone. How on earth did I survive? I think we forget about the time when mobile phones didn’t exist and how easily we lived our lives anyway. You made a date with someone and kept it. Now you make a date with someone and if something happens along the way, you just call and everything is okay…and somehow it is as if more things tend to happen “on the way” since the mobile-phones, and we have become nonchalant.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the mobile phone. It massively simplifies life…I just don’t like the space they are taking in people’s lives and I don’t like that I sometimes feel stressed by the expected availability of my person. So I make rules; there are times when I am just not available; when I give treatments, when I speak with a friend, at a restaurant, movie, concert. On the loo and when in bed – whatever I happen to be doing there. I want to be the kind of person that gives 100% attention to the person in front of me. And if I feel that I can’t do that – well, then I stay on my own. And when I do answer my phone, I am available and I will give the person the attention they deserve.



Salvador Dali; persistence of time

Time is not always the same, time is not linear: When you are totally stressed out, time shrinks and no matter how you run, you never catch up.  When you are relaxed, on the other hand, time stretches and no matter how leisurely you move, you are always ahead. This is actually true, and we have all experienced that. Most of the time that we lose is in the  “cracks” of our schedules, between the actions; going places or by “saving” time. Read Michael Endes book “Momo” – in it the “time-savers” are hassling everybody to save time in their bank, their idea catches on and before you know it nobody is playing, singing, making love or just hanging out, because they are saving this time for the future…

If you seem to always run out of time, always be a bit late, never have time to finish tasks or just plain no time for yourself….you are seriously suffering from terrible time-management skills because there is always time to be had.

Scheduling, prioritizing and goal-setting are the three most important factors:

  • Scheduling: Each evening, go over the day and look at how you could improve the timing. Go over the next day and pencil it into your agenda. Once a week go over your whole week in the same way. Try pinpointing where you lost your time; interruptions? Small crisis? A child needing a ride? Illness? Fatigue? Traffic? and look at how you can solve these things. “Surprise” happenings can be very disruptive if you have not allowed for such happenings in your planning. Everything goes into your schedule, even your private time, because if you don’t put it in there, it’s not going to happen! And be realistic about timing.
  • Prioritizing: When you schedule, you also need to prioritize; what is most important? Each task that hits your life needs to be prioritized and managed, if not you’ll end up losing time on inconsequential tasks that led nowhere. Prioritizing yourself might have the highest importance sometimes. You are only as good as you can be; exhausted, ill and depressed you are of no use to anybody.
  • Goal-setting: You really need to know where you are going before you can plan your strategy: prioritization depends on your goal; if your goal is to sell your house , then cleaning it and making it look nice is your priority. If your goal is to master a new skill, then this is priority, if you have a project at work that has a short dead-line, this is your priority. If you are ill, getting well is priority. You always have to look at this angle or you will probably ending up doing things last-minute with less than good results.

This is where you start: Get a notebook that is small enough to carry around. In it you record every time you do something during the day, as in a schedule; time, action and how long it took. EVERYTHING! Do this for 2 weeks, then go over the notes and look at where you lose time; I bet it comes from bad organizing: Did you get gas on the way when you went shopping? Did you get all your shopping done in one go, or have you been running to the store to top up? Did you get up on time or did you snooze that extra little bit? Did you organize your bag in the evening or leave it til morning?….On and on. You will be flabbergasted at how much time you are throwing away on nothing.

Next step: Organize realistically and schedule: The ride to work takes 35 minutes, not 30. If you are driving; add another 10 min. for unforeseen happenings; if you get there early you have 10 extra minutes for a coffee or a head-start on your work. If you have a flat tire, you do have some extra time to handle it without panicking; and when you call in late,  you do that ahead of time – buys you plenty of good-will points.

Don’t ever be late: This is incredibly rude, nonchalant and disrespecting. You keep other people waiting (wasting their time) and you don’t look very serious, actually it looks like you have no control over your schedule – which is true. Be on time, or even a bit early; catch up on calls, read a paper…go over notes for the meeting…

Getting the picture? If you have questions, ideas, tips or want to know more; send me a comment.


healthy_foodThe biggest imbalance in the world today is food, both in amount and nutrition. The more money people have, the worse they eat. In the western world of excessive living, people are starving (anorexia/bulimia) or eating themselves to death. When there is less money people eat more nutritious food in lesser quantities and stay healthier. I am not talking about starvation-areas.

The biggest difference is food-habits: Look at what people have in their shopping-carts at the grocery store. I am always astonished by the lack of fresh foods they buy and the amount of money they spend. I spend less money on food, and more time in the kitchen. I buy fresh foods and I cook. Sometimes I spend a whole day cooking, loading up the freezer with “fast food” for the days I don’t have time to cook and for my daughter’s school-lunches. (I don’t believe in sandwich lunches every day when working hard) This is old-fashioned I am told, but I grew up this way and it is the only way to live well without spending loads of money. I make jam and I bake bread, it is really easy. I make pizza that tastes delicious, and my hamburgers are a treat – most fast foods that we like to eat can be made at home; cheaper, better and tastier. Cooking is fun and something you can share.

Following picture sequence is really interesting; check out the amounts of food compared to the amount of people, and check out what kinds of food they eat.


I am a working single mother with 1-2 children and pets in a welfare-country. Our weekly food-costs are about €50 or  72 dollars – all included, and I consider us to have a high standard. Healthy eating is not about money, it is about knowledge and care. I don’t like waste so I make sure everything I buy is used/eaten – To me this is a question of respect.