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Footnotes and battle scars

Each birthday is a round number
Another smooth pebble in your shoe
Wearing you down or
Enlivening you
With stories to share
Battle scars, lessons
Like little gifts from the crows
To the girl who loved crows
Bringing her small offerings each day
Perhaps a paper clip or a button
Or some other small shiny object
Each an oddity. Beautiful in itself
Likewise my little gifts to you
A few words, whenever they land
Chiselled or half polished
Found on the fly
Rescued from oblivion
Carried by the wind under my wings.

Stuck vs unstuck

It’s easy to tell others what to do about feeling stuck: “Just move something and that rearranges everything..”
But that hasn’t worked for me recently.

Fortunately Joy Drake offered a simple formula:
Awareness + Choice = Change
Awareness – Choice = Stuck

What I see now, thanks to Joy’s magical formula is that I have way too many projects on the back-burner and haven’t been willing to choose which to let go of til now. And each back burner is accumulative no matter how low flamed.
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May you bring light

may you bring lightThis year, may we each bring more light to our world. Igniting others to do the same.

But how?

On the quantum level the material world is not continuous! Each instant, its substance is entirely different. This means that all that is holding the world in place is a consensus reality. We recreate what we expect to see.

But what if every moment we choose to make a different choice than before? Then it surely also means that every next moment we have the chance of a completely new reality.
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Going nowhere fast? (The hidden gift)

Sternenberg, earthuni


An exploration of fear as ice on the road and how to navigate it.
Recently, while cycling uphill in fog, I hit a patch of ice on the road. Suddenly my wheels were spinning but I was going nowhere fast. Sound a bit like your life this past year? Me too!

Late November, I cycled to a friend’s house for a birthday tea and walk above the fog line. Both of us live on a remote hilltop in Canton Zurich that’s high enough to keep its brow just above the white blanket that covers the valleys below for days on end. It was a cold day but the sun was shining and it wasn’t far so I went by bike. By the time I cycled home, the fog had crept up from the valley, blurring, then blanking out the trees and road ahead. My intuition whispered, “walk up the next hill” but my ego said, “Me walk? No way!” A few minutes later, on an uphill curve, I hit a patch of black ice.

The wheels of my bike started spinning without any forward movement. For a few moments, it felt like I was on a robust stationary bike bolted to the floor. Except I wasn’t indoors. I was on a mountain pass, riding a racing bike, with smooth, ultra thin tyres on a sheet of ice. To avoid falling over, I steered off the ice onto the other side of the road, a risky thing to do in fog, but I needed traction to stay upright. I swerved too far, and went right over the edge. Next thing Read more

New Start?

Perhaps one day, we’ll look back on this period of our lives and say, “Hallelujah!” Even though we don’t yet know why.

If you google “Hallelujah” (as I just did to check my spelling) you will find Leonard Cohen’s spine-tingling “Hallelujah” on Youtube and straight after it, another Cohen classic: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”, with birds gliding over Victoria Falls.
there's a crack in everything that's how the light gets in

In Africa this waterfall is called “the smoke that thunders” because you can see and hear it from a great distance, long before you experience it fully as a place where the world cracked open.

It takes standing on its fractured edge, with water thundering in your ears, getting drenched while peering down through the rainbows, along with the very real risk of tumbling over the edge, to be filled with awe.

This is what the present is for most of us, a jagged edge running through our hearts, minds, lives. We’ve been cracked open. A new start? Perhaps an opportunity for more light to shine through each of us towards each other and the fragile interdependent web of life of which we are part. Dare we whisper hallelujah?

How can art triumph over violence?

“Remember that your nations measure you by what you create and not by what you destroy.”

What to do about the growing number of disappearing journalists, the escalating violence towards environmentalist activists, or concerned citizens who dare to speak up about pipelines going through their sacred grounds, or about their disappearing butterflies or virgin forests, and now #BlackLivesMatter protestors risking life and limb for social change. Is there a way for humanity to survive and thrive and even leap up to the next level of co-creation instead of fighting violence with yet more violence? And what to do about “Silence gives consent”? How can we actively contribute without becoming yet another statistic? Or without stooping down to the same level as the perpetrators of violence? Or instead of numbing out and flicking to the next channel? (Question I’ve asked myself for decades.) This article explores two ways each of us can take positive action to ensure a better world for ourselves and future generations.
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Attentional Violence

penguin turning away from humanity, attentional violence
Photo by Francisco Arnela on Unsplash
Attentional violence. This is what we do to the “uncool” people. To the foreigners. Or to all those who we took for part of the furniture when we moved in. To the rare birds who make us squirm in our grey-feathered sameness. To the too dark or the too light. Hearted. To the too bright, too different, too “other”, thereby breaking the cookie-cut order and sweetness, shaped by the fear of not fitting in. To the marked or the damned or to our own daemon when she wakes us up at 3am in the morning with a seemingly good idea. This is what we do when we turn our back on friends because we don’t know how to help or we can’t deal with our own discomfort. This is what we do when we ignore our babies reaching out, or to our children when they no longer try, and focus instead on the continuous stream of chatter on our phones, the pings and pongs calling for our attention. Or what we do when we leave someone out in the cold, or out of our family tree or bibliography, because we think they don’t count or because they matter too much. This is what we do to Mother Earth when we turn a blind eye to what we’re doing and keep doing what we have always done. Attentional violence. This is what we do to ourselves. To our inner child. Who calls and calls and is never heard.

This post was inspired by Otto Scharmer who writes about three types of violence: direct violence, structural violence and attentional violence in his recent article on Turning Toward Our Blind Spot: Seeing the Shadow as a Source for Transformation.
Attentional violence enables and seeds the other two forms of violence, says Scharmer: ” This form of violence is less discussed, but equally important. Not being seen for who you are and who you could be — your highest future possibility — is a form of violence that diminishes your ability to act from that capacity. Perpetual attentional violence is collectively enacted — against others, but also against ourselves — every single day. The poor-quality public education available to most young men and women of color is just one example.”

Scharmer invites us to explore what we are not seeing, not feeling or not taking action on. (Frozen mind, frozen heart or frozen will.)
I like what he and Thomas Huebl are exploring together regarding collective healing through presencing in large groups.

The Return of Jennifer

Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 11.51.59Suddenly the name Jena feels too tight. And Jennifer has returned home, to remind me to step into a bigger, more authentic version of myself. She was a gift from my parents and only called on when it was “time to really get serious”. Therefore I’m happy to have her back. She’s needed now more than ever. Deep down all of us know that, “Everything that has happened to us until this moment, prepares us for what is happening now.”

What to do about all Jennifer’s diminutives?
Love and embrace them all!

Jena is my professional hand reading persona
Jenni is my previous life sports identity
Jen and Jenny are for people who have known me forever

Feel free to call on whichever person you prefer.
We’re one large family. And all of us open the door.