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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?

Our brain is wired for coming to the point, not wasting time.
And also to quickly finding what’s wrong, criticizing and controlling.

Especially in relationships we are quick to judge and correct others, our spouse, our siblings, our children, our parents, our neighbours, our co-workers – almost everybody.

When it comes to educating and teaching we find this interesting conundrum: it’s our duty to correct but people shut their ears when they feel criticized, no matter what age they are.

Even though we can not make anybody listen to what we have to say, we can start communicating with love and appreciation.
The good thing is, we don’t need the recipient of our words to do the same.
It all starts with us.

When I noticed how the magic word thank you changes my posture and attention, I immediately started putting a thank you at the beginning of every email I wrote. And I noticed how nice that feels just for me, the person talking.

I say thank you to my students and tell them that I like being their teacher. I just can be that because they come and want to learn, so thank you for that ;o)

There is so much we can appreciate, it’s unreal.
The moment we try to find something we love and that touches us our eyes and heart will actually see a whole new world.

The important point is to verbally express what we like and admire.
It’s easy to do and an investment in a better life. For other people, yes, but for ourselves in the first place.
And you will get so much nicer and less robotic emails if you start with a thank you, don’t be surprised ;o)

Thank you (it works at the end as well!!),
with so much love,
Anselma

 

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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?

 

For every item I buy I need to let go of one I already possess.
This is how a small home works. Other wise it gets constipated.
No place to store some dust collectors. Or even an extra chair.

And here I am sitting over a magazine that shows me the loveliest furniture, accessories and decorations, everything in it yelling at me: “Hej buy me, I am gorgeous! You need ME, I am so beautiful! I make you feel wonderful in your home! I make you a tasteful woman, just order me!”

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed with all the things I want to buy to create a fancy space to live in it suddenly dawned on me:

This catalogue is like life itself. It constantly presents opportunities, sends new ideas in my direction, creating new wants in me.

Which makes me feel like my life is too small for all that stuff!?
And brings my whole life to the small home question:
Do you really need THIS?

 

If you want a constipated life, you just have to say yes to all these things.
If you want a lean, easy to vacuum life, you have to say no – to almost everything out there.
No matter how loud it screams at you and how easy you can get it.

All these opportunities our time presents can make us losing sight of what’s important.
And some little hint here: It’s almost never about the stuff…

 

Less is more they say.
And I think in todays world this is more true than ever.
What could you let go of to make room for something that’s worth living with?

Much love,
Anselma

 

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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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Building tunnels and bridges

Recently I read that it is more expensive to drill a tunnel than to build a bridge.

Both help people to get from A to B.
One is in everyones view, the other one almost invisible.

Bridges show the people: We are doing something! Look, the bridge is build, the investment was worthwhile. Come look, see and admire!

Tunnels on the other hand are helping, too, but they are not catching much attention.

I remember when my husband and I visited a famous sight for train lovers, the Semmering Bahn. It was built around 1850 to bring Austrian trains to the Mediterranean Sea over the Alps.

The Semmering Bahn contains bridges and tunnels. What made it the most expensive venture at that time were the tunnels, not the pretty bridges everybody admires today.

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