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Concrete Mind

Music and Sports have many things in common. I have always been fascinated by that. They both are about forging the will power, executing a plan no matter what, endurance, breaking through personal barriers, strength, experiencing severe disappointments, failure and little – or not so little – emotional catastrophes.

Boxing legend Muhammed Ali said: “Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

 

In other words: Tactics are great. Muscles and virtuosity do have their place, they are necessary. But at the end of the day, the guy with the head made of concrete always wins the race. So how the heck do we get the concrete in our head!?

When I think about it, this kind of question seems valuable for everybody and his mother. Not just athletes or high performance artists.

In life we all go through moments, where we want to quit, are disappointed beyond the moon, where we fail or where we fall.
This just happens, sooner or later in life. There is no protection against the nature of life. If you have one, you are hooked. No alternative.

 

Concrete Head Protocol #1:
Find out, what truly matters to you. The world is full of noise.
If we don’t know what matters to us, we are getting distracted before we even put one leg out of bed in the morning. Everything and everybody brings us off track – because there is no track.
To be on track you have to have one.
Build it. With only stuff that’s important to you. The rest can wait.

 

Concrete Head Protocol #2:
Don’t follow every invitation.
Sometimes we are invited to respond to some jerk. You can decline.
Sometimes we are invited to go in the wrong direction. Say, no thanks, I see where this is going.
It strengthens our will when we learn to develop some ethical backbone.

 

Concrete Head Protocol #3:
Stop whining. Emotions are great. We are like little machines that are producing feelings all the time. That’s what our bodies do. They create emotions.
The important part is to know that and to stop this machine when it starts hurting us. It does this everytime we go into complaining mode.
Let the stuff that happens to you make you strong. Because it will.

 

I hope this short list brings some grey concrete to your little grey cells.
And this helps you getting through a summer of silly confinements.
We are so incredibly fooled with selective news reporting.
(Which I stated more than a year ago right here in this column.)

All the best, much love,
Anselma

 

p.s. Do you know the Cantigas brasileiras? Here is a beautiful concerto recording featuring female composers and performers at the Conservatory of Aragon, Spain.

p.p.s. Summer is arriving, time for cool music! Play with a gorgeous pro the Tangowango Tango Duets. You are gonna love them!

 

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Hurdles That Make Us Jump

When I was a kid, I often spent time with my grandmother. She excessivly taught me to say please and thank you and did even go so far that she would throw things on the floor to see how long it took until I would rush to pick it up. She wanted me to be well mannered and prepared to be a good human.

Even though she was a well educated lady the thing she valued the most was creativity. Here is what she said over and over: “You are smart and can create something out of nothing. Just do it! In wartimes we baked cake out of nothing but flour and water. But we did it. You can do the same!”

Today I suspect, she actually did not see that much creativity in me, but she wanted to see it. When we form a sense of self that demands certain values from us, we tend to rise up to the occasion.
I guess she hoped that some day I probably eventually would get creative. And her little trick on me did it’s thing.

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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.

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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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