Nonostante le migliori intenzioni, qualcosa nella vita puÃ² andare storto. Possiamo fare o dire qualcosa di sbagliato, essere insensibili o maleducati senza accorgercene, piantare in asso qualcuno nel momento del bisogno. Possiamo ferire gli altri. Possiamo deludere i nostri cari. Possiamo dimostrare ancora una volta, a noi stessi e agli altri, di non essere perfetti, dopo tutto.
Harry ti presento Sally... (When Harry Met Sally..., 1989)
di Rob Reiner]
Ha senso chiedere scusa se le scuse sono sentite. Ha senso chiedere scusa se si Ã¨ sinceramente dispiaciuti e si desidera chiarire la situazione. Ha senso chiedere scusa se non lo si fa giusto per educazione, tanto per dire, per puro amore del quieto vivere.
Altrimenti non sono scuse, ma solo un modo per salvare la faccia con se stessi, ma non certo con gli altri. Chi crede che l'altro non possa capire se le scuse appena ricevute sono sincere o meno, di solito si sbaglia di grosso. Se non si Ã¨ sinceri, meglio tacere del tutto.
While learning or improving your language skills in a foreign language, it is important to read a lot in that language. In this way your passive vocabulary will become bigger and you will learn useful expressions used by native speakers.
While doing it, it is a good idea to read books, magazines, articles on the Internet etc. about topics that you like and are important and appealing to you. So I read for example tattoo magazines, in English and in German, and today I stumbled upon a difficult and yet interesting question for tattooed people:
How many hours have you been tattooed so far?
My first reaction was... Oh well. Gosh. So let me check. I guess... I would say about... No, maybe...
You got the picture. I had no idea. Not the the slightest idea.
I got my first tattoo almost twenty years ago, when being tattooed was not so common for a girl in my age, and since then I collected a lot of questions about tattoos. But in the end they are almost always the same and people usually ask me how many tattoos I have, which one was the most painful one, which one is my favourite one.
So far anybody asked about how many hours I spent while being tattooed. And yet it makes sense and it is actually a very good question, because having a lot of small tattoos and having for example both sleeves and the full back tattooed are very different stories, in my opinion, so knowing how many hours people spent in a tattoo parlour so far is way more explanatory than how many tattoos people have.
[Canadian body artist and model Zombie Boy (born Rico Genest)
with Lady Gaga as a zombie lady
So Zombie Boy, how many hours have you been tattooed so far?!]
What about you?
How many hours have you been tattooed so far?
Did anybody ask you this question before?
Tags: Tattoos, Questions about tattoos, Learning a foreign language
Every human being on Earth has 30 basic kind of rights, listed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1948 by the United Nations in order to promote "universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms".
At least on paper.
The reality is very often far away from what proclamed in the Universal Declaration and a big percentage of human population can't enjoy these rights at all.
The right to life, the right to freedom, the right to a fair treatment while in a court, the right to privacy, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of thought, the right to freedom of speech, the right to social security, the right to education are among the basic rights that should be self-evident for everybody.
That's understood, right?
Happy Blog Action Day 2013.
Tags: The Butler, Django Unchained, The Paperboy, Human Rights, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Blog Action Day, Blogging
About six months ago I started to practice Bikram Yoga.
Berlin is a very yoga-friendly city and yoga studios are everywhere. Bikram Yoga studios are, however, way more rare than other kind of yoga studios, because not every studio has the right equipment for Bikram Yoga classes.
We are talking about a kind of Hatha Yoga that people practice in a room heated to 40Â°C with a humidity of 40%.
Also known as Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga is practiced in classes that run for 90 minutes and consist of 26 postures (called "Asanas") and 2 breathing exercises. Tools of the trade are only a yoga mat, a beach towel and a water bottle with at least 500ml beverage, since itÂ´s normal to sweat a lot.
[My yoga mat is Purple, of course!]
The name originates from the founder of the system, Bikram Choudhury, and while writing this post I have discovered that Bikram Yoga is very "in", as it has been practiced by Hollywood stars, famous singers, burlesque beauties and David Beckham in the last couple of years.
I am not very good at it, so far, but this is not a big deal at all. While practicing yoga one has to stay focused on the Asanas, to live in the moment, to not compare himself or herself with other people. So it is not so important that I am not a very talented yogi yet and that other people are better than me, since I have to focus on my own experience, on my own body, on my improvements.
Invested time, regular exercise and constant repetition of the postures makes the master, so I am on my way to become a better yogi, class after class. No pressure, no stress, no dissatisfaction. As they say: the journey is the reward, the path is the goal, the way is the aim. And so on.
After some experiments, I have found out that Sunday morning is the perfect time of the week for me to practice yoga.
So today in the morning I was in a new yoga studio, about to start a new class, and I noticed a blond, skinny girl with a pink tank top and sunglasses. Sunglasses in the bathroom of the yoga studio?! At the beginning I found that a little bit strange, but then I realised that she was visually impaired.
In the class I was practicing not far away from her and even if I focused on my Asanas, I looked at her often, with great admiration for her courage and determination.
I was happy to have her in the class and more than once I found myself thinking about how often we are used to complain about problems and barriers, even if our barriers are - most of the time - not real.
Her barrier - not being able to see, not being able to look at the teacher's postures - is real, and yet she has the courage of being the better version of herself, to run a normal life, to do what she wants.
To be the only visually impaired person in a room full of people who can see her, while she can't see them.
A Bikram Yoga class is very rewarding, but also exhausting and goal number one is always staying in the room for the whole 90 minutes, even if one is not able to complete all Asanas. The girl stayed in the room the whole time. She was quiet, motivated and she did every posture, without help.
Seeing her being the better version of herself gave me strength.
I hope to see her next Sunday. I am going to be there.
Tags: Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Courage, Being visually impaired
Pane e tulipani (Bread & Tulips, 2000) by Silvio Soldini
starring Licia Maglietta and Bruno Ganz]
Discussing and arguing and fighting about it with superficial people is just not worth my time anymore. I am not going to make them change their mind and I don't want to either. People can accept and be respectful towards diversity only if they want it.
But... if you don't want to be rude while doing the same with someone else (maybe at the next party...), remember three fundamentals of diversity management:
#1. Each person is different, special and unique. Do you know someone else who is exactly like you?
#2. Each person is not only part of a community, but also an individual with individual needs and thoughts. Do you agree with each aspect of your culture and tradition or do you have ideas on your own as well?
#3. Each person deserves respect and attention, no matter how different from you the person could be - or just appears to be. Are you sure that you don't have anything in common with the person?
Sometimes one can have the impression that every other person is more happy, more successful, more cool, more lucky.
Sometimes one can have the impression that it will rain for ever.
Sometimes one can have the impression that everything is going wrong, that one is wrong, that nobody loves anybody, and so on.
[Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in Groundhog Day (1993)]
But each day, no matter how terrible it is, lasts only 24 hours. This is the magic of life.
Well, at least if you are not Bill Murray as the grumpy reporter Phil, trapped in Harold Ramis' masterpiece Groundhog Day, that's it.
But let's say that it would be a very extreme situation.
How can one survive?
I can't speak for everybody, but I can speak for myself. When I have one of those days, just like today though, I tell myself that tomorrow everything will be fine. That I just have to keep doing what I am doing (learning German, working, reading, writing, exercising, eating well, watching a movie, whatever) at the moment, without getting stressed.
That I should enjoy the moment.
That I should appreciate everything I have achieved, everything I have done, everything I am.
That I shouldn't be too hard on myself.
That I don't have to worry about the future.
So basically I just tell myself to relax, to stay on track, to stay focused. And then I do it. Hour after hour. Without getting stressed.
Are you practicing the four steps of Nonviolent Communication?
I hope so!
While using the steps of Nonviolent Communication to face conflicts and difficult situations in a respectful and pleasant way, it's very important to create the right frame for your discussions, in order to make it easy for you and for the other person to ride over the problems without getting stressed and without losing the face.
[The right frame is essential,
while discussing an important matter]
Here you can find 7 easy and useful tips, related to emotional intelligence, perfect for creating a peaceful and "productive" frame for a meeting, a discussion or a gathering:
#1. Don't try to discuss a very important matter with someone if you are upset or angry;
#2. Calm down and connect with yourself before doing it.
#3. Ask someone when he/she has time to discuss the matter with you and be open to his/her suggestions.
#4. Discuss the matter with someone in a neutral environment, if possible;
#5. Discuss the matter with someone in a place where you can be sure of not being disturbed by others.
#6. Discuss the matter with someone in private and not in front of other people who are not involved;
#7. Schedule a "feedback" meeting after a week (or after a month, it depends on the matter), if necessary, for discussing improvements, changes and further topics.
Nonviolent Communication is becoming a second nature for you? It's a great news, even more because today we are going to discuss the last step of the communication process invented by Marshall Rosenberg.
Important assumptions of Nonviolent Communication are that all human beings:
- share the same universal human needs (like feeling loved, feeling needed, feeling respected, being challenged, clothing, food, health, independence, freedom to choose, sense of control etc.) and act in order to meet their needs;
- need their needs met;
- can feel compassion and enjoy giving to others;
- meet needs through relationships;
- can change;
- experience peace when connecting with oneself and others.
According to these assumptions, human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute of every day. They (we...) learn through culture and their environment how to express their needs.
And, above all, human beings resort to violent and harmful behaviors, both verbally and physically, only when they donât recognize as possible other strategies to get their needs met.
So it is evident that Step #3. is a very important one and that you have to communicate your needs as clear as possible, in order to find a pacific and pleasant way to interact with other people.
While discussing your needs, you should then:
- ask yourself which kind of needs are related to yours feelings and emotions;
- recognize the needs and give them a name;
- ask yourself why this happens. Which needs are not met? How do you feel about the situation?
After that, you should accept your needs, without:
- judging yourself;
- being ashamed of them;
- trying to reject them. They are universal and all human beings share the same needs, so your needs make you human!
In the end you should:
- express your needs clearly, with your own words. If something sounds âoddâ to you, maybe you didn't find the right words that work for you so far;
- explain with an example how these needs are related to the present situation without accusing other people. They don't make you miserable, you feel miserable because your needs are not met!
While talking about feelings and emotions, itâs all about oneâs emotions and how someone feels.
Each person has the right to his/her feelings and emotions. Each person should be honest with him/herself and with the others.
Recognizing and analyzing feelings and even more talking about them can be stressful or intimidating at first, if people are not used to it and are afraid of being vulnerable, but it can also be very liberating.
[How Are You Feeling Today?
Giving the right name to your emotions is very important!]
After observing a situation and recollecting what happened while maintaining a suitable distance, you should:
- ask yourself which kind of emotions are you feeling;
- recognize the emotions and give them a name;
- ask yourself why this happens. Why are you angry, tired, disappointed, frustrated or mad at someone else?
After that, you should accept your feelings, without:
- judging yourself;
- being ashamed of them;
- trying to reject them. Feelings and emotions are very important in order to take the right decisions, which will only be logically âjustifiedâ after the fact. Even if you try to "cancel" or "forget" the emotions, they will not disappear, causing you discomfort, stress and maybe causing you to act in an awkward or aggressive way, even if you don't want to.
After accepting your feelings, in order to be able to manage them, you should:
- discuss the feelings with others openly, by explaining how the situation makes you feel without giving the others the blame for it. The magic word is "I": "I feel upset, why I..." etc.
It's all about how you feel, not about the mistakes of someone else.
I have extratcted this
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Valentine's Day became
another symbol of
consumerism. We should
show and share our love
to humanity and the
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week, every day and every
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"special" day.Love and
January 11, 2011
In Memory of Federal
Judge John M. Roll
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