My dears, welcome to my blog. Welcome to my THINKING JOURNEY.

Everyone is warmly invited to go it along with me. Even if I cannot say yet, where it will bring us to. It is always nice to have travel companion, and for the long road – what thinking is – fellow-traveler is especially appreciated.

I invite you to think with me about the things, which bubble in my head and which I share with you, because I believe these things are worth to be thought about. Think further, think different, say your opinion, and maybe this thinking exercise will show from time to time the potential and new ideas for action to change the world to the better.

“Thinking” and “acting” go hand in hand together, but thinking is most of the cases the first step. My blog is my thinking, put in words and shared with the world in the hope for deeper connection and as invitation for the openness to exchange ideas, doubts, visions and actions towards the better world around and within us.

Happy to meet you on this thinking journey!

SveTAA

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There are some remarkable persons in the history of humanity. There are some good examples, whom to follow or from whom to learn. But still, the best benchmark for each of us - I believe - is not someone else, but only ourselves. Each person grows in particular environment, goes its way and gathers its own experiences, which cannot be transferred or applied to anyone else on Earth. My today’s thinking is about nonuse of comparison and that it is rather worth to put some effort to become better today than I was yesterday, than to try to be as good as someone else already is. Be your own good example, don’t look for someone else.

laugh

I often hear from people, that my laughing is infectious. I believe anyone’s laughing is infectious, just I laugh maybe a bit more often and a bit louder than people normally do, so it becomes conspicuous : ) The case is that actually any emotion of our conversation partners is reflected in ourselves thank to the mirror neurons in our brains, be it sorrow, joy, embarrassment, proud or any other. When we see people in a good or bad mood, we feel the same emotions too.

In this post I want to share with you my thinking and experiences in regard to the good mood and laugh. This weekend I decided to look deeper into the subject of laughing, its nature, its impacts on people’s body and mind and followed the invitation to the seminar of Laurenz Menzinger, who is teaching seminar participant to laugh for no reason. (1) It sounds weird, doesn’t it? But I dared to try and to learn and am happy I did. And here I am - Certified Laughter Yoga Leader (CLYL)! : ) Watch out for news, I am looking forward to organize laughter yoga club in Frankfurt as regular TAA event. But if you can’t wait to get the taste of it, check out here for the club already in place: www.lachyoga.net

That is to say, that the very key vision of the Laughter Yoga and its founder Dr. Madan Kataria - world peace, is in accord to the TAA vision - world to become a better place. Laughter Yoga neither has any political or religious background nor primary commercial interest.

Why is laugh the best medicine? Maybe you noticed yourself, that laughing helps to make social connections to other people in many cases faster and more effective than worlds. And strong and broad social relationships are key to human's well-being. Laughing provides you the required resilience and positive attitude in challenging times in life, it is the right tool to take care of the mental health. And of course, the body profits also a lot from cheerful laugh – pain-relieving endorphins are getting released, stress-level sinks, immune system is getting stronger, whole body gets more oxygen, what also results in better productivity etc, etc.

Having said this, I wish you good mood and open and cordial laughter every day, irrespective of weather conditions or whatever else! Keep on laughing and cheering up each other and the world will become a better place :)

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(1) www.menzinger-training.com, www.lachyoga.net

Picture by Aika Victoria Kadyralieva

In my previous post I shared some thoughts about talking big talks. Today I am thinking about “thinking”. Actually thinking is a first step, after which talking and acting are possible and result in something meaningful. How often do we take time to think? Why thinking is important? “Everybody’s experience is the same only when people don’t have time to think. …when people don’t have time to think, they become identical. They are driven to react rather than respond – as when people panic. ” (1)

If you don’t take time to think, you can easily become a victim of others and of circumstances. It doesn’t sound attractive, does it? Just to name some everyday situations:

-     In a supermarket, without taking time for thinking, you can become a marketing victim – you buy not the better (healthier, more beneficial) product, but the one which is packed especially appealing or was advertised more.

-       In your free time, without taking time for thinking, you run the risk to follow the trend instead of follow your heart, doing what most of the people in your surroundings do and not what you actually like to do or want to do.

-       In your studies and work, without taking time for thinking, you could choose the path which is deemed to be good, having high social prestige, but which does not reflect your personal talents and does not fulfill you.

-        In your life, without taking time for thinking, … (…you can add your own ending of this sentence).

So, let’s don’t panic and reacting, but better take our time for thinking and responding to whatever happens around and within us.

One related post, that might be also interesting for you to read: “Have we forgotten how to take time to think?” (2)

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(1) Neale Donald Walsch: „When Everything Changes, Change Everything”

(2) “Have we forgotten how to take time to think?” http://hellogiggles.com/take-time-to-think/

 

It was an evening before the Denkfest (thinking festival) in Weinheim mid of September this year (1). And it was dinner together with organizers and artists, who arrived from different places to participate in festival sharing their experiences, providing and also getting impulses for further work, which is in many cases intervention of art in the society for positive change. And it was the phrase I heard and remembered: “Time for small talks is over. Now is the time for big talks”, said by a former Greenpeace activist and current art interventionist Will (2). And it was what I was thinking about very often too, especially after getting to know the philosophy of “Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter - AoH” (3). That evening in Weinheim we talked about art and its impact on society, about direct and indirect intervention and resulted positive changes for society, about challenges of small communities in remote villages, about ideas and examples of getting-together with people in conversations and action. “Big talks” continued also on the next day, in particular extend facilitated with the methods of AoH.

I am often asking myself: Why do we spend time with small talks about weather, recently bought new bag or celebrity's outfit or something like that? Time (along health) is the most precious resource we people have. Don’t we dare, don’t we trust each other to start and to keep talking about big important topics on the agenda for every human: When do you feel most, that your life is filled with purpose? What are your small steps to support sustainable lifestyle for the sake of the planet’s health? What is your biggest concern now? How each of us can contribute to the peaceful living together? What do you care about? What is your vision for coming 5, 10, 20 years? What future do you wish for your children? What stories, what experiences determined your life most? Do you need support on something? Etc. etc. etc… There are a lot of topics for big talks.

At Thinking & Acting we welcome everyone to participate and to initiate such “big talks”, be it in a form of dedicated event, coffee or dinner with friends or colleagues, phone call or meeting with your loved ones. “Talking with another person, communicating with a mind outside of your own mind, puts you in touch with the part of yourself that is bigger than your mind, larger than your thoughts. That’s because the act of connecting with another pulls you out of your ongoing internal dialogue and into an external one” (4). So leave your digital devices aside and let’s talk.

In the last two weeks we organized some informational events – one on topic of sustainability in everyday life, other - on mental health and depression. In one of the previous events with Chris Thompson we talked about the ambiguous meaning of intelligence. Thank you everyone for joining these conversation cycles, it was so great to sit and to talk together, to exchange ideas and inspirations.

Long live BIG TALKS and CONVERSATIONS THAT MATTER!

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(1) https://www.thinglink.com/scene/706121991815430145 or http://www.m-r-n.com/start/regionalplanung-und-entwicklung/gemeinschaftliche-regionalentwicklung/kultur/denkfest.html

(2) https://willstleger.wordpress.com/

(3) http://www.artofhosting.org/what-is-aoh/

(4) Neale Donald Walsch: „When Everything Changes, Change Everything”

 

Few weeks ago while biking to work my everyday route something caught my attention. This something was a bulldozer standing on the field left from the bike path. I saw it already on the days before. It was proudly chattering working on the field, doing its job. But on that day – it was just standing quiet and one of the windows was broken, obviously with a throw of the stone. Next day, all windows of this bulldozer were broken. And now you can guess what? Yes, there are no windows at all anymore in this machine. That little story reminded me the “broken window theory” (1), which my friend Olesya introduced me last spring, when we were walking and suddenly were standing in front of the house with broken window. And all around this house looked somehow…sad.

<The term “broken windows” refers to an observation made in the early 1980s by Mr Kelling, a criminologist, and James Wilson, a social scientist, that when a building window is broken and left unrepaired, the rest of the windows will soon be broken too. An unrepaired broken window is a signal that no one cares, they argued, and so breaking more windows costs nothing. More profoundly, they found that in environments where disorderly behavior goes unchecked—where prostitutes visibly ply their trade or beggars accost passers-by—more serious street crime flourishes.> (2)

“Broken window” is only one example and metaphor for a signal, that nobody cares and more destruction or disorder can be done. It made me think about all the signals, which I send and which I follow in my everyday life.

Do I “repair” the “broken window” which I see or do I “break” the further one?

When you see that the kitchen sink is full with dirty dishes, do you just put your used cup to it, making more mess? Do you clean up only your cup? Or maybe you take care that in 5 minutes kitchen looks tidy and does not invite for making it dirty?

When you see the garbage on the floor – at home, in the office, on the street - do you feel no compunction to throw some rubbish too? Or do you put it quickly in the next trash can?

Vogue can also be a kind of “broken window”. When you observe some behavior which is obviously unsustainable / harmful for the planet, like for example someone is driving a fancy car with the low energy-efficiency, do you follow it buying such a car too to be in vogue? Or do you set your own trend, caring about the nature and choosing more sustainable greener ways of transportation?

When you hear someone complaining, do you support? Or do you look for what can be done to solve the unpleasant situation instead?

You can play with the metaphor of “broken window”, speculating on many examples in everyday life, checking conscious your own perception and behavior. When you see a “broken window” next time, remember it is a signal, and you have the choice how to react.

SMALL STEPS MATTER, so do the SMALL SIGNALS TOO. Which signals do you send, which signals do you follow? Maybe it could be your todays thinking exercise, resulting in some good actions for the better world around you : )

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(1) http://www.influenceatwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/BrokenWindowsArticle.pdf

(2) http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/01/economist-explains-18

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory