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One Plus One Equals …?

Aiming to be perfect is a nice goal. But unless we turn into machines, we will never achieve it. Like NEVER ever.
Why? Because there is a difference between theory and life.
Let’s take a look at this.

You won’t hear me talk about math very often. I was invited to drive an extra round when I graduated from school because my math skills were that lousy.

Here is why: I could never get over the age old myth that one plus one would equal two.
I consider this the greatest falsehood of history.
Or so.

Look. If you have inanimate objects like screws, this might seem like a truism.
One screw plus another screw put together makes two screws, right.
No questions, I can see that. I am not an idiot.

Still. It just leaves out life. It ignores the true nature of our reality.
One plus one equals two falls short of what we all experience all the time.
Looking at life, we get a whole different scenery.

Here is an out-of-classroom and real-life TRUE math example:
Take one dog and another dog. Like natural dogs, no surgery.
If they are a he and a she dog and if the season is right – baam!
You get one plus one equals some more dogs.

Or take rabbits.
Or a chicken and a rooster.
One plus one equals not two in nature but A LOT.
MANY.

Or look at the cherry tree in your garden. It does need another cherry tree in its neighbourhood. And what comes out of it – two cherries?
NO!!! One plus one cherry tree equals a whole garage full of cherries and potential cherry trees.

To bring this back home. They say there is a difference between theory and practice.
The theory (and our own ego) wants us to be perfect.
And not just in one aspect of life – in all of course.

If we get it wrong, we feel like a crap and our ego wins. It can jump up and down, point it’s dirty fingers on us and scream: See, I told you you are a loser!

Next time this grumpy little sucker shows up, you tell him: Yeah right, of course.
You don’t know ANYTHING about life, you even fall prey to the one plus one equals two nonsense. So shut up, clean up your room and do something useful.

It works. Really.
With so much love,
Anselma

p.s. Nikolaus Maler gifted the bassoon world a charming recording of the Little Toccatas (LINK). If you have students, they are gonna love this!!! Thank you so much for this beautiful inspiration!

 

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Relationships are everything!

Getting a lot of emails made me chuckle how vain I am.
There is one magic word that makes me read with interest and an open heart.
If this little magic is missing I skip over the words and read mechanically.

Can you guess what that word is?

A thank you in the first line makes me perk up, I feel appreciated.
I automatically want to give this appreciation back.
Without a thank you I feel more like an email responding robot that is doing their job ;o)

 

What if this vanity is somehow baked into human nature?
What if everybody has it to some extent?>>

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Living A Catalogue Life

Recently I got a beautiful interieur design magazine in my hands.
Every page was polished with the most beautiful livingrooms, bedrooms and kitchens and I was wondering if our home would ever look the slightest something like these real estates.

The interesting thing about this magazine was that everything in it was on purchase. Every item in it was for sale. I could grab the phone and say, hej there, please send me the fancy table cloth on page 84, please add the salad spoon and the doormat as well. And two days later I have them delivered.

We live in a small home and I love that. Heating some unused ballrooms in the winter is equally stressful to me like having to vacuum for hours on end every week.
What I especially like is that a small home does always ask one important question.
It says: Do you really need THIS?>>

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The Right Thing

Let’s talk about right or wrong.
I love this topic! It’s so basic and so complex at the same time.
So, what’s the right thing to do? Today – in life general?

Is it doing what feels good?
Yes, sometimes.
Eating chocolate feels a-ma-zing, but makes us fat.

Is it doing what makes sense logically?
Not a bad idea.
But unfortunately life does not work like math.

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Time For The Beach

Happy New Year 2021!!!
And Happy Year after that and happy time all the time!!! :o)
But wait – what IS time?

Time is this funny thing that is precisely measured.
And totally mysterious at the same TIME.

The truth is: The nature of time unfolds dependent on where we are.

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Why we do what we do

In times of compulsory mask wearing, the other day I was pondering on masks in general. All the invisible masks we are wearing and how they serve us.

“Anselma, you are so authentic!” – this is something people have told me many times in the past and to be honest, I am not sure if I fully understand what that means.
Because everyone is wearing a mask all the time. Including me.

With every role we fulfill, we add a mask to the collection.

 

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Indian Style Learning

When I was on Campus at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada, a retreat of first nation tribes took place, where native indian people shared their traditions with other tribes.

In the huge dining hall, I had the chance to talk to a lady that was one of their leaders. Eager to catch a pinch of her wisdom, I asked her about how we humans learn best.

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Rightously grumpy

Humans are funny animals. I often think that as I am watching myself.
We do have some basic emotions. Not a thousand, just a few, let’s say ten or maybe fifteen. We take them out, like a playing card of a stack of cards.

We pick one, we put it on the table, we live it, we explore this emotion.
And often as we swim in this particular feeling we start reasoning about our choice.
Why the hell did this funky emotion show up?

Here comes the interesting part.
In many cases our reasoning is totally off.
We make some connections.
But they are all wrong.

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It’s All About Shipping

They all seem like cargo boxes to me. All these little and big lessons, all the skills, all the gems of wisdom we gather as we go through life. They are packed full with valuable stuff.

One cargo type is filed with the values we learn from our families.
Another set of boxes is filled with knowledge we gain from teachers and adults we admire.
A third category of cargo is loaded with things we figured out ourselves.
Lessons we learned from our personal mistakes. Wisdom that came through failing.

There are the “not for me”-boxes, too.
We all have heroes. And not-heroes, that show us how we don’t want to be.

 

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Healthy Humble Pie

When Ikarus wanted to leave Crete he went to his workshop and fabricated some wings. His father took notice of what his son did and warned him of two things.

First, he was worried his son would get complacent and lazy. Wings would be oh so comfy, no more walking!
Second, he warned his son of hubris, meaning Ikarus would start to fancy his new invention and get into his ego because of it.

Ikarus did not listen. He did not take caution and ignored his fathers words. Instead of being watchful and humble, he flew too close to the sun, where the wax of his construction melted. Ikarus fell into the sea and drowned.

 

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