B-LOG – Barbara’s thoughts
-LOG comes from the Greek word “logos” = the word, saying, speaking, conversation, speech, message, narrative, exposition, description. The word blog is the abbreviation of weblog, a compound of the two English words web, for net, and log, for logbook or diary
Time to weak up February 2023
Once upon a time there was a man whose breakfast consisted of four dark slices of bread, which he spread with jam. With this he drank a glass of orange juice and a large cup of black coffee. One day, this man was on a trip that had been organized for him. And so it happened that he was staying in a dignified hotel with an exquisite view of majestic mountains to which mysterious glaciers clung. Never before had he seen such a thing, for where he came from it looked quite different.
For breakfast, the hotel offered an inviting buffet. Various types of bread, croissants, rolls, crispbread and also butter plait, because it was Sunday morning, were nicely prepared, along with several homemade jams and two different types of honey. Also a nut chocolate spread was not missing. There were regional, Swiss and French cheeses, fresh butter and margarine, „Bündnerfleisch“, ham, bacon, cold cuts, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers, olives and salad leaves. Eggs could also be ordered in various forms as boiled egg, scrambled egg, omelet or fried egg. Next to them was a selection of yogurts, a house fruit cereal, with or without cream, various flakes, nuts, seeds and dried fruits. On the opposite side, a table was set with a selection of sweets: chocolate cake, marble cake, nut slices, various pastries, cookies, chocolates, and fruits: it looked like it was a dessert buffet. In the corner, several pitchers of fruit juices, water, milk and even a champagne bottle were ready, next to it a coffee machine to help oneself à discretion and a large collection of teas.
It was one of those Sunday mornings that couldn’t have been more beautiful: a brilliant day with cloudless blue skies and glistening snow that left nothing, really nothing, to be desired. The man went, took four dark slices of bread, which most resembled the bread he ate at home, chose a jam, poured himself orange juice in a glass, put everything on his place at the set breakfast table and with the cup still fetched the black coffee. That was his breakfast. No more, no less.
Now we could say that perhaps the hotel owner is pleased to have such a frugal guest who ignores the more expensive side dishes of breakfast. Yes, the frugality of this guest might impress.
In times of vegetarians and vegans, the modest choice of this guest could be obviously explained by the fact that he was vegan, but unfortunately this is not so. On the contrary, this man loved – it was even his favorite hobby – to hunt animals for his pleasure and kill them for his own consumption. Misinterpretations are lightning fast and are already there before the narrative of all the circumstances and facts have been heard. A single detail is enough, sometimes just a single word, to open the drawer and place the person, an event, a situation or a text in it and stow it away where it will remain. How about, on the other hand, adopting an attitude of not knowing? That is: an attitude of questioning everything? With openness to first listen to all the available facts, to ask questions, to take and visualize different perspectives, from which a cautious, provisional hypothesis emerges, which can change and is constantly adapted according to the new findings?
Was it perhaps that he thought to himself, “Do it as usual, as at home,” no matter where he was in the world? Or according to the motto: “As simple as possible, just not complicated”? Any change in his habit would be an unnecessary expenditure of energy for him: looking, looking at different things, and then having to choose – what a hassle! Trying something new might be too exhausting or too much of a risk. Why eat something different when he had always been satisfied with the four slices of bread and could be satisfied with them today? Or was he just so sleepy that he habitually functioned without really noticing what treats were offered to him? And if he was indeed so sleepy, then this means that he was not aware that he was “sleepwalking”, because he could also “sleepwalk” to what he was used to.
How about taking this little scene as a metaphor for how people spend their lives? Could it be that people mostly see and choose only what they are used to? Many watch or read the news, the movies and the books they know and like, understandably, which is just what they are used to. And they interpret these news, articles, books, films and also people, situations and events as they want to interpret them, namely as they are used to: according to exactly the same categories that they use habitually. And: They also interpret themselves the way they have always done it or have done it for a long time.
We mostly choose what is within the scope of our habits. We do what we are used to doing. And we also think what we are used to thinking. And then we say what we are used to saying. We also keep feeling what we are used to feeling. And we repeat this even when the result is not particularly tasty. People repeat this even when it is the habits that are not good for them. But many accept this because they think that there is no alternative. Or that this is not possible for them or is too exhausting. And they think exactly this because, again, it is what they are used to thinking, and so they go around in circles.
People do this even when the situation, event, text or person does not allow their interpretation and is and means de facto something completely different. If they are used to reading and interpreting the world or themselves based on certain cues or “pigeonholes” that they have adopted or created for themselves, then that is exactly what they will find. Within the limitations of their imagination and what they want to see, they will find exactly this in the situation, in the text, in the person and in the world, just as the hammer knows only one thing: the nail. And they will also see nails where there are none, and discover elsewhere an oasis that turns out to be a mirage or even an abyss. Misinterpretations can be pulled by the proverbial hair so that things can be interpreted according to the known, habitual or intentional pattern of interpretation, the unconscious or conscious set of beliefs, within the staked out framework. What cannot somehow be fitted into the framework is criticized and condemned. And as if this were not already confusing enough, because people do this unconsciously, there are in addition everywhere some, whether near or far, who think to know it better for us and tell us what we should believe, think, feel and see, with the help of institutions or also without. They are matched by all those who want exactly that. They expect to be told what to believe, think, feel and see. All this is something primordial. It is part of the fabric from which the – millennia-long – world theater is woven, as tragedy and comedy.
Now it is probably a fact that we are creatures of habit in every respect, which is also a good thing and a happiness. Habits are important and useful: If we had to completely reinvent and choose everything and ourselves every day, how and what we eat, how and where we go, how and where we sit, how and what we do and don’t do, what we think, believe, say, feel, what we like and don’t like, what our name is, what our profession is and who we are married to – it would be simply impossible and wearing out. There is a reason why people who are dedicated to a very specific goal in life follow a fairly daily routine. They do this in order to devote all their energy to what is really important to them, be it the goal of perceiving and living consciously and without prejudice.
But how would it be to imagine that at this very moment our life offers us something new, beautiful, perhaps even more valuable, indeed much more possibilities than we believe? And even more: that these are exactly in front of our feet or, even closer, in front of our nose, like the overlooked, delicious pieces of cake on the breakfast buffet? That why we are also and at all on a journey, a journey of life namely, is already there, before our eyes, only that we blindly overlook it, like that man with the four slices of bread? If so, what would it take to see this other, new, possibility?
It seems obvious, doesn’t it? It would need only one thing: to open our eyes. We would then be able to see and experience with a real interest, a deeper openness and truer longing, that there are new, other offers and possibilities besides our habits, which we are studiously overlooking. Having traveled the world, watching TV every day, surfing and reading online, with the conviction of really knowing and understanding a lot, are not meant by this. When it comes to getting the same familiar menu, the same sausage, the same cheese, even figuratively, even on a trip, it doesn’t matter if it’s sausage, cheese or four slices of bread.
Open your eyes. It could be as simple as that. And this would also give the possibility to step out of the circle. In other words, in case we want to discover and see more than the usual “four slices of bread”, we would need this first: to wake up. And when we wake up, we would become aware that we have begun a new journey – that of awakening.
the text was published in the online magazine “Rubikon” on the 24th February
Resolutions - your desires and dreams
Make your New Year’s resolutions, wishes and dreams come true! December 2022
As the word says: a resolution is a pre-sentence, a sentence that stands in front, first, foremost, has top priority. And now it’s that time again: on the occasion of the New Year, perhaps you also have resolutions about what you will do better in the New Year.
To make resolutions means: I take this before everything else. I take it first, as a top priority, in everyday life, on my to-do list. I take this on every day. I think about it when I get up and again during the day. I do everything I can to implement this resolution. Everything means: I am completely committed to this resolution, wish and dream of mine.
All too often these resolutions fail, if not after a few days, then after a few weeks, or at the latest at the first “temptation”: the moment when we are “put to the test”, so to speak, as to how serious we really are about our resolution. In a situation where we become weak because we convince ourselves that we don’t have to keep our resolution right now for “good” reasons. And already we are back in the old “rut”. We all know it!
To realize resolutions, wishes and dreams needs more than just the thought: “I could change this”. Or the idea: “it would be nice if…”. If it is only a nice idea, then it remains a nice idea! You will do your resolution only as long as it is just “nice” pleasant. Therefore, it needs more: It needs first of all, before anything else, a complete conviction from your deepest heart.
What is your deepest heart’s desire for the coming year? What have you been carrying as a wish in your heart for a long time, but have not dared to implement it until now? Where do you have a deep sense of certainty that you really want to take charge of this change? Sometimes it is unclear to us what we really want. And as long as this is unclear, change is also difficult.
If there is no superior person prescribing to do this or that differently, it becomes difficult for many to change their behavior. If there is no governmental, religious or other institutional authority demanding that a rule be followed or a change in behavior, that is, if there is no pressure from outside or above, if perhaps there are no threats, many do not change their behavior. We have seen in recent years how many people are willing to change their behavior immediately and persistently because of government rules, i.e., fear, fear of punishment, fear of not belonging.
People often change their behavior only when the harm, suffering or fear of suffering is bad enough, i.e. unbearable. Do we really, do you too, want to wait until the extreme?
When it comes to our very personal life design, to our future, to important changes in our life path, to our deepest wishes and dreams, superiors and state authorities do not help us. Because realizing wishes and dreams has to do with the most personal decisions, with separations, with daring to say goodbye to the familiar, i.e. also with fears, the unknown and new territory.
And you? After all, you want to change something in your life, for your own sake, or for your loved ones, not because of any authority, rule or fear of punishment, right? What do you really need to make your resolution, your desire, your dream come true?
To change habits certainly needs your perseverance will of several weeks and months. But even the will alone is often not enough, because as you know, the will can become weak, especially in crucial moments. We humans are very complex beings. We function mostly through our subconscious and habits, and much less through our mind and will than we often think.
A crucial help in making resolutions and wishes come true is to have someone by your side to support you in this, and to whom you regularly tell how and where you are on the way to your goal. For example, once a week you review your progress with this person and explain honestly what has worked and what has not. Sometimes a friend, a partner, a colleague is enough. Sometimes not, for a variety of reasons. Especially when it comes to deeper changes, friends and partners can be overwhelmed. They may not know enough about the challenges of this path to be able to support you competently.
The more important your resolution, your wish, your dream is for your life, the more important it can be to get professional support for one, two or more sessions. So that you can safely reach your goal!
Let your resolutions, wishes, dreams come true in the new year!
Sincerely Yours, Barbara Hindenes
Do you know peace?
The deeper longing November 2022
Is peace as long as the battle is not over our own rooftop, on our own doorstep?
Is peace when we ignore wars that are more or less far away?
Is peace when we watch war in the picture frame of a television or a digital device?
Is peace when we consume a daily kick “liveticker”?
Is peace as long as power, money and war mongers determine world events with propaganda, sabotage and terror, lie to and manipulate the population?
Is peace when we think that war only affects “the others”?
Is peace when we are sure that we belong to the privileged?
Is peace when we think we are on the right side?
Is peace when we think there will be “only a return to the Cold War”?
Is peace really when we go along with hatred against a people, a race, a religion, a class, any group of people, “the others”, “the enemies”, “the bad guys”?
Is peace when peace-loving people are drawn into conflict?
Is peace when peace-loving people are deprived of their freedom of expression, their human and civil rights, and their privacy?
Is peace when peace-loving people expose the ignorance, deception and violence of powerful people and are therefore silenced?
Is peace really when peace-loving people are declared enemies and made outcasts?
Is peace when peace-loving people are killed?
Peace is more than the absence of war.
Peace is different from the pause between two wars.
Peace is incompatible with every old and new form of war that seeks to destroy the enemy with or without the use of an army and a declaration of war.
Peace is not a better war.
When was there peace on earth, tell me: when?
Peace is what becomes new. Completely new.
The peace that is higher than all reason and deeper than all understanding.
Peace is the other way.
A way beyond ignorance, power and powerlessness.
War is deception.
War is the illusion of control over time and space,
matter and people.
War is temptation.
War has owners.
Peace is eternal, true.
Peace is what comes.
Peace is not ownership.
Peace is always possible: now.
Peace is both gift and task.
Always new: task.
Peace needs silence.
Peace needs awareness.
Peace needs our joy,
Peace needs our longing.
Longing is also memory.
Peace will come with our deep longing for true, real peace.
Do you long for peace?
Peace, you know it, exists only “with-one-another”. With another.
In the longing for peace lies the even deeper longing to hear the other.
To really hear what she has to say, who she is, where she comes from, where she is going.
Remember, “Audiatur et altera pars”: hear the other side as well.
Hear the very other. The other that had not been accessible to me, to which I had closed myself, that was foreign to me.
To be able to listen to what is foreign to me without rejecting it.
To be open to the new.
Listen to the other as you would like to be heard.
Who is listening? Tell me, who?
In the war-mongering, in the whipping up of the masses against an enemy, the power-hungry, the warmonger, the hater and the people following him hear only themselves.
Silence is missing, peace is missing. And they destroy.
There is no more hearing.
There hasn’t been for a long time.
Are you listening?
Are you listening in “to-ness”, listening in “being directed to the other”?
Really listening. To take seriously.
Genuinely. Open. True.
Open to letting what I hear affect me.
But beware of feigned understanding with learned phrases to maintain your imperturbability or control.
Or for an end in itself: to make yourself popular.
Listening is gentle and quiet.
Peace is gentle and quiet.
A new vibration.
A breath of fresh air.
New every time.
True joy needs peace.
Do you remember peace?
Everything has already been said on the subject of “war and peace”:
In all languages on earth, in all continents, in all cultures.
Many have said and are saying it.
Everything has already been written, proposed, implemented about peace: in all peoples, all races, all religions, all classes, all groups of people, in all times and places.
The knowledge and wisdom are there.
Have always been there.
And yet there is war.
Who knows peace?
In war, we can lose our sense of peace. Sometimes it helps me to immerse myself in silence. Or to remember what I felt, knew and lived in another moment. Or I remember what I have learned from other people. I read a text about peace. Or I write one. And I wish peace to someone.
If you remember, please pass it on.
And if you like, listen to other people, and ask them if they remember peace.
the article was published in the online magazine “Rubikon” on 29th November 2022