In Praise of Respite (Part 3)

Birdwatching Makes You Happy

“Everything is always there in her. Past and future she knows not. The present is her eternity.” (Georg Christoph Tobler on nature)

Do you own a garden? I see it as a place of diversity and also of evolutionary anarchy. Or can you get out into “nature”, woods, fields, vineyards without much effort? If you can’t, you can also hear them in the city. Because if you listen carefully, you will notice that the air is once again filled with a multi-faceted cacophony! The birds are getting into the act and making as much noise as leaf blowers usually do, only nicer. In his book of that name published in 2015, Bernd Brunner writes of “Birdmania” to which, I confess, I too have been addicted for very many years.  But, I am fine. Thank you for asking.

Continue reading “In Praise of Respite (Part 3)”

In praise of respite (Part 2)

Why not let yourself go…

Isn’t “let go” a wonderful expression? In German it has a special meaning for yeast dough: allow it to rise. Only when yeast dough is allowed to rise long enough, i.e. to ferment away in peace, will it grow (ideally even doubling and tripling its volume) and thus develop into the basis for a delicious loaf of bread or a special cake. If it is not allowed to rest, the bread will become firm, flat and sometimes even moist inside. I have baked many loaves – believe me, you don’t want to eat bread like that.

Continue reading “In praise of respite (Part 2)”

In praise of respite (Part 1)

Sometimes I am already tired in the morning…

When I met a client (an executive in a German corporation) for coaching shortly before Christmas, she told me with a tired expression on her face: “Yesterday I had continuous virtual meetings or phone calls from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and not a single break! And not for the first time.” And when international time shifts are added to the mix, the first meetings can start even earlier and the last ones end very late. I asked her why she let them do that to her. She looked at me in surprise because she hadn’t thought about whether there was anything wrong with it.

Continue reading “In praise of respite (Part 1)”

Happiness is not a gift from the gods…

… but the fruit of inner attitudes.1

I have been working as a leadership coach for many years. Every few weeks, I go in this role to a monastery with managers who have lost their jobs. In the workshop we work on the themes of inner images, the future, failure, fear, hope and so forth.

They have been dismissed because of a personal conflict, have fallen victim to restructuring or have themselves decided to leave the company. What the participants have in common is that they previously had power over others and now have lost it. Until now, they had been used to developing visions, strategies and concepts and making decisions for others. Now, others have often decided over them.

Continue reading “Happiness is not a gift from the gods…”

Art is beautiful, but it’s a lot of work.

When I read the quote from Karl Valentin this morning, I had to think of us Harlequins and our Harlequin.blog. Because even small works of art are a lot of work.

For more than 3 years we have been writing,  inexperienced but eager-to-learn “fumblers in the dartk”, and have published a new text every Friday. Each author follows his own path. Some look at IT and change projects with their consulting glasses, others discover stylistic howlers in (real?) life and others philosophise about all the world and his wife. With time we have built a list of guest authors who like writing for our Harlekin.Blog.

Continue reading “Art is beautiful, but it’s a lot of work.”

I’m bored? Bravo!

This morning after the yoga flow programme and feeding the birds in the garden, I discovered an article in the newspaper that took me back in time: The Bauer publishing house is opening its Bravo Archive from 1956 – 1994 (https://www.bravo-archiv.de/home.php).

Yes, yes, Bravo. When I discovered it then, at the age of 12, shortly before the Olympic Games in Munich, I was immediately one of its millions of enthusiastic readers. Because when I was 12, my life consisted of school, homework, meeting friends on the street and on weekends largely of boredom. Bravo was a grateful distraction, as it fuelled a 12-year-old girl’s many fantasies.

Continue reading “I’m bored? Bravo!”

A divided society mirroring our selves

The following text is a guest contribution by Gabriele Guthmann. She runs a practice for psychological counselling, energy work and consciousness coaching, and lives in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Our society is subject to increasing polarization, according to a recent survey by the Konrad Adenauer Trust. A look at the development of German society since the turn of the millennium shows a growing imbalance in international comparison with countries like Sweden or Denmark.

The imbalance of income structures, political and economic uncertainties lead to the experience of different truths of our social values. A society that has allowed itself to lean back on security and stability for decades is falling into increasing disorientation. This results in fear of loss, aggression, excessive demands and the feeling of being separated from others.

Continue reading “A divided society mirroring our selves”

Feeling strategies – with dedication and passion against blind trust

This is a new text from our “guest writer” Christoph Henties.

A chorus on strategy

“Felt is not recognized.

Recognised is not formulated.

Formulated is not proclaimed.

Proclaimed is not understood.

Understood is not agreed.

Agreed is not applied.

Applied is not maintained.

Maintained is not felt. Felt is not…!”

Whether you are a jazz or classical music fan, love pulsating swing or soulful ballads, everyone can musically intonate the above chorus, the “strategy song”, in their own way. And as a rule, harmonies and songs, especially if you like them, become a catchy tune in your memory – they play themselves, so to speak, almost involuntarily recurring in your “spiritual ear”. How nice it would be if this metaphor also applied to companies‘ extensively elaborated strategic plans.

Continue reading “Feeling strategies – with dedication and passion against blind trust”

Year End Sweet and Sour

Note from the Harlequin editor:  In order to slowly get you into the right mood for the end of the year, our new articles all deal with the topic of “year ends” until the end of 2019 – sometimes from a professional, sometimes from a private point of view. Today we start with a culinary contribution – enjoy!

We had just become parents that year. The little one was actually cute, but we parents were on the verge of a nervous breakdown at times, especially when travelling, because our daughter threw up everything she ate consistently between 65 and 75 kms on a 200 km route to parents or parents-in-law. And now Christmas was just around the corner. In order to spare the baby (of course only her!) unnecessary travel stress, we invited parents and parents-in-law to our home without further ado. After all, Christmas is THE family celebration…

The Rumtopf had already been started in June and should have reached its peak, the hotel rooms were booked and the weather also played along, so that people could arrive comfortably. Exchanging presents was accompanied by “Ohs” and” Ahs,” rather than an “Oh gosh!” And so slowly pangs of Christmas hunger were registered. Baby was sleeping and the feast could begin.

Continue reading “Year End Sweet and Sour”