The City Of Love

Over the last 48 hours the city of love, Paris, was turned into the city of pain and sorrow, uncertainty, maybe fear and terror. It feels like watching a Bond movie. But it’s terribly real. In times like this it’s difficult to grasp what has happened. I’m sure that there are many posts out there about this at the moment. Honestly, I did not check my Reader just yet. I want to keep my mind free of everyone else’s thoughts. This time I don’t need any inspiration from the outside.

What happened in Paris should make us think once more. We get forced into no longer feeling free or safe in our own country, we are forced into worrying when we go out. We are forced into fighting back, maybe officially starting a war, which then feeds the ones that want to hurt us.

It makes you think: We fight terror with terror. Which, frankly, seems the only way to stay on top of it, or better keep up with it. But is it really? Is it really the case that people want to kill? Is it really the case that people want to live in constant terror?

I think it’s not.


No normal person wants to live in constant fear. No normal person wants to go to war, wants to kill. No normal person wants to see their child go to war or get killed. No one! We all know that there are some pretty strange people out there who use everything they can for their cause. Religion is probably on top of the list of tools to use to easily manipulate masses. And it’s a pretty damn strong tool. It can be bent and stretched in all sort of directions, it can be defined in a way that suits every one and every cause. And it gets people to listen.

It should make us act.

By acting I’m not talking about stepping up and use firearms and bombs. It’s time to stop! Stop the wars, stop the terror. Not with violence. Violence just leads to more violence. We need to change. We need to stop hating. It’s long overdue.

We need to stop hating what we don’t understand. We need to stop following blindly what we are told. We need to start questioning and making up our mind. We need to keep being kind.

While I type the last paragraph there’s so much pain and sorrow and fear inside of me. And I hate how much this got to me. How much it does to me. As there are doubts. Dangerous doubts. What if we can’t keep being kind? What if we are forced to follow? What if will no longer be free to make up our mind, to take decisions and question?

How can we conquer terror without using force?

It makes me sad and angry that we seem to get pushed into this corner where the only chances to get out seems to be shooting ourselves out. It makes me sad that I have doubts that there will be a peaceful way out of this. But deep inside I’m angry. And I want to protect what I have and what I cherish. I want my kids to grow up in a sorrow free world, in a world where they can do what they like to do, talk about what they want to talk about, wear what they want to wear. In a world where they can be free.

I don’t want them to live in fear. I want them to see the beauty of this world. I want them to be happy.

Where are we heading? How can it be that we can no longer feel safe when head out the house although we don’t live in a war zone?

I so want to stay positive. I so want to keep seeing the beauty. I so want to believe that we can change this all. I so want to believe that we can still be kind to each other and that we can still trust our neighbor. I so want to believe that this world is a good world. I do…

When you look at Facebook today, then the French flag is everywhere. There seems to be a huge support for the France, Paris, the victims and their family. It’s a stand against those who initiated it. And although it seems like there’s a massive amount of people standing up against terror in this quiet way, I wonder what it will actually do to the ones that simply don’t care. I’m pretty sure that most of the Facebook users that changed their profile picture in a Paris related way have the same worries and thoughts that I do. And it’s sad to say that the terrorists successfully planted that seed of fear into our society.

I don’t want that fear to grow bigger. I don’t want to allow it to take over like weeds take over in a garden if you let them. Seeing the French colors everywhere is a sign. A sign that we are not willing to give up. That we stand behind the victims. That the western world sticks together. We are not ready to give up the good live we have. We are not ready to give up our freedom. We are not ready to give up love and peace and being kind.

I’m not giving up!

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Heroes Of Peace

There are many names popping up in my mind. From Gorbachev, who for sure had a huge impact in opening up and stopping or at least officially slowing down the cold war, to Gandhi, Buddha or Mother Theresa. Each and everyone of them had their impact and yet nobody really succeeded in making this world entirely peaceful.

As much as people like Gandhi and Mother Theresa can inspire us, can even lead us and can influence us and our thinking, their influence is still limited. Making a difference, making a change is entirely up to us. And that’s where it all comes together.

As long as we push this responsibility far away from ourselves, as long as we expect everyone else, including our so called leaders to step up and do something, we won’t get there. Because we only sit back. We wait and expect others to change something major. We wait for some hero to step up and clean up the mess.

Be the change you want to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

We all need to be this hero. We need to step up and do our little bits and pieces to change what we want to change. We do have the power, we only have to start somewhere. Each and everyone of us can be that Hero for Peace. We don’t need a superhero.

There are so many little things we can do on a daily base, kindness we can show to others and in doing so we automatically make the world a more peaceful place. I truly believe in the power of numbers. As I said so many times before: One drop of rain does not water a field but if you add another drop and another drop and another drop you suddenly have a proper rainfall. I believe it’s the same with so many things we think we cannot influence.

So often I hear from someone “I wish I could do something but I can’t”. Not true. Everyone can. You can take care of the environment by doing your little bits and pieces and if everyone does only a little bit it will add up. Same with making this world a more peaceful place. We all can do a little bit and in the end it will add up as well.

My heroes for peace are all the people who do their tiny little things on a daily base to make this planet a better place. It’s each and every blogger who only thinks about their heroes for peace or about what they could do. It’s every single person who shows kindness to someone else, people who help others without expecting anything in return. It everyone that offers that helping hand.

Those are the true heroes for peace in my books.

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The Power Of A Hug

I just had one of those wow moments while reading a post from Silver Lining Mama. That “aha” moment. How many issues might be fixed by just simply asking that one question. Five little words. And my minds starts wandering and I start wondering, if it could be that simple…

Do you need a hug? Or: Do you want a hug?

It works wonder with the kids, as Jan points out in her post. So I wonder. I wonder if it would work between adults too.

We live in such a hectic and busy world. People are stressed out and worried. Now imagine you walk up to them and simply as “do you need a hug?” I bet most of them actually need a hug. And I bet most of them would feel so much better after the hug.

And then my mind starts playing with the idea of solving conflicts… Imagine if those leaders instead of arguing would suddenly stop, breathe, think and then ask, if the other one needs a hug. I know, I know… I’m shaking my head slightly here too, don’t worry. But still… Imagine, suddenly conflicts would be solved by something as simply as a hug.

No more weapons, no more fights, no more wars… no more scared people, no more injured or killed civilians, no more children crying over the loss of their parents or parents over the loss of their children.

Bar fights? Ask, if the other one needs a hug instead of hitting each other with beer bottles or punching the other one in the face. I know, I know… that would probably trigger that punch… but still. Imagine it would work! No more victims of one hit punches. No more bottles over heads, no more broken noses or worse. Solved by a hug.

I know it sounds like a pipe-dream. But why not. In most cases we can probably not solve the situation with a simple hug. Maybe we could but I guess nobody would admit that a hug would be the only thing they really crave. On the other hand there are so many situation where a simple hug could make a huge difference. On the small scale. In your family, with your friends and maybe even with your co-workers.

Maybe sometimes it would be the better solution to simply stop, breathe and ask “do you need a hug” instead of start an argument. So next time when you feel that you steam up, stop and breathe and then either ask if your opponent would like to get a hug or even go one step further and admit, that you would love to be hugged.

 

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Looking For Peace

I am looking for peace in my life. If I could I would try to find peace for everyone everywhere on earth. But unfortunately I can not influence this. There is so much going on out there. And I am not just talking about all the wars and the fights. I am talking about the rush and the noise and the all the tiny little hectic bits we constantly deal with.

I want peace in my life. And the only person who can bring peace to my life is me.

And this is how I do it:

I believe in it

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I search and I find it in nature

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Or I find it in a beautiful sunset

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RainRaindropsIMG_6502And if that does not help, I just look in my children’s eyes and listen to their laughter and I feel peace. Peace in my soul and in my heart.

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Dreaming With Eyes Wide Open

Dreaming

I am floating on the water, seeing some currents in front of me and I am ready to speed through them, but then I decide to just lift off and fly with the speed of light over this beautiful river. Admiring the different shades of blue, green and sometimes turquoise of it. I fly above the river, following its path until it reaches the ocean.

I keep flying above the water, just high enough to not touch it. Underneath me, the waves form this beautiful white foam; some of them come dangerously close to me! But I manage; I can go higher just in time to not clash with them.

I go up, like a rocket, straight up until I touch the white cloud with my finder tips. The sun is changing its color while I stay up there for a while, watching how the beautiful warm yellow changes in deeper colors, orange, gold, red, and dunks everything around it into a layer of gold and red. What a beautiful and amazing spectacle of nature. How calming, how soothing and so stunning. I watch and enjoy and try to see all the different shades of all those amazing colors. And I think, only nature can be so beautiful!

I move on, chasing the daylight after watching the sun set in one part of the world and its beautiful play with all kind of colors. I move on to another corner of this planet, where I spot a rainbow. I slide down a rainbow, only to fly straight up again and then I let myself drop, fall, and go deeper and deeper until I dive into the ocean.

It’s okay; I can breath under the water. I speed through a swarm of fish, and then I stop at a coral reef and for a short time admire all the colors. I go on and join a pot of dolphins on their journey, join them as the jump out of the water, spin with them, swim with them, have fun with them, hold on to their dorsal fin and let them pull me. I feel like a little child! I am having so much fun! And I cannot concentrate on one thing. There are so many beautiful things going on down here and I want to see it all.

Look, a turtle! She seems so calm! I sit down on her shell and let her carry me along for a little while. I look around and enjoy. Until I see the whale! I have to go over and join this group! There are so many! They are so big, so majestic, so beautiful and so calm. They sing and I sing a long. We all breach and play in the water. And while I breach, I decide to leave the ocean and start flying again. And I think only nature can be so majestic!

I join a seagull for a little while but then leave her and join an eagle and with him, I go back to the land. I decide to go my own way again. I keep flying just above the sand and follow this long stretch of beach until it sort of gets boring. I turn, change direction, head inland, flying over mangroves, then swamps, then what seems like a rainforest, until I reach a desert.

It is hot. Still, I am fast enough so it keeps cooling me down. The desert is so quiet, peaceful unforgiving. I like it but I want something different. So I change direction again. I am flying over a very different landscape now. It is green and fresh, with big boulders everywhere and finally in front of me, there is a huge mountain. On top it is covered in snow. I want to go there! And I think only nature can be so diverse!

Snow… I am above the snowfield now. It sparkles in the sun, like thousands and thousands of diamonds or stars underneath me. I spin and let my fingers glide softly over the fresh layer of snow. It’s cold but so beautiful.

I decide to slow down. I stop. There is a snowflake and I want to look at it in slow motion. It spins slowly and I watch. I admire the beautiful shape of it. How very beautiful.

But I want to go on, there is still so much more to see. So I fly on and spin and fly straight up again, only to let me drop again. Enjoying this feeling of the free fall. Then, right before I hit the ground, I pull up and keep flying just above ground again. I see all sorts of animals on my journey and I admire them. They are beautiful and so strong. And I think only nature can be so pretty!

I want to go back to the dolphins, so I head back to the ocean and a little voice in my mind goes “look”…”look”…”look”… “Mommy!”

What? Mommy? What? Oh!

“Mommy! Look! I found a beautiful shell!”

Which brings me back to the real world. I was dreaming. Sitting in the sand, on the beach while my kids were looking for some shells. Dreaming with my eyes wide open… Oh how very beautiful and refreshing :-)…

This post was inspired by Living The Dream. Thank you for that

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do you ever wonder what is out there? Right now?

I recently walked along the beach and when I stopped to take a breath and enjoy the view, I started wondering.

What is actually out there?

Of course there are plenty of fish in the sea, but what kind of fish? And what else?

While I am here standing and watching and thinking, what is out there? Are there dolphins under the surface? Whales? They are migrating… Are there sharks?

There are sharks in our area. Small ones and Great Whites. Maybe one of them is out there, being the huge majestic and fascinating predator he was shaped to be over millions of years.

How about turtles? A couple of years ago, there was actually a turtle on our beach, washed up and totally exhausted. Too far away from where it was meant to be. They took care of her or him and eventually releases the turtle back up where it belonged.

Who knows what is really out there at the moment. The very moment I stand there and wonder. All I know is that every single one of them is a miracle. They are out there aging their part in the circle of life. For millions of years already.

And here we are… Playing our part in this world. Actually a pretty sad part if you look around.

And I wonder. I wonder what they think when they stop and watch us rush around, cars in the background. Noise all over, towers shooting out of the ground, one after another. Watching, how we take more and more from what we all should share.

And I wonder what they think…

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What Will Be My Legacy?

What will we leave behind? What will people remember? What do you want them to remember? What will I leave behind?

I hope my kids will one day say that I taught them to stop and listen and look around. Look up, look at the stars and appreciate what is around us and who we are. I try to teach them this one little thing.

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Stop and listen. Listen to the wind. Listen to the story it tells.

Stop and watch. Watch the waves as they roll in, watch the sun raise or set. Watch the storm develop, watch the butterfly dance in the air.

Breathe in and smell the air, the different scent it has. Smell the weather, the season, the flowers, there is so much out there.

Let your head fall back and glance up, mouth wide open, tongue out and try to catch those snowflakes or drops of rain and just taste them. Enjoy good food. The sweetness of fruits.

Just feel, hear, taste, smell and experience how beautiful life is.

That is probably the most important thing of what I want my kids to remember. What I hope that they will tell their friends, spouses or kids one day.

But I also want them to remember that I taught them:

To stop and enjoy.

To stand up for themselves.

That it’s okay to say no.

That you got to life your live and not wait for it to happen.

I want them to know what it feels like to be loved.

If they look back one day and say “This is what mom and dad taught us” and “mom and dad loved us”, then I will be one happy girl 🙂

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Imagine Peace

Just a couple of thoughts inspired by a post of Artists4peace:

Imagine Peace! Wow, what a beautiful place this earth would be…

Imagine if everyone would get along with each other… Would that be nice?

Imagine if we would find a way to make it happen. Finally. How amazing would that be!

Imagine if we would respect each other, no matter of our religion, the color of our skin, the beliefs we follow, the way we look, we act, we think, we move. Imagine we would respect each other for WHO we are. How much fun could we all have!

Reading papers, magazines, blogs, watching TV, listening to the radio and I feel like they all say the same: Imagine how nice this world would be, if we all would live in peace.

So why is it, that it is not happening? Why is it, that we still fight those wars, that we still go on rampages and kill? Why is it, that we still don’t respect different beliefs, different religions, different looks, different behaviors and so on?

If we all want to live in a better world, if we all want to feel safe, how can it be, that we still don’t all pull on the same rope. And in the same direction?

It would be so easy! The solution is there, right in front of our nose!

How about we all start with respect. Respect for the people around us. Respect for everything we consider different. How about we built “the next level” on respect: Acceptance. How about we live these two simple but so powerful words daily. And how about we teach them to our kids. Respect and accept other people for who they are.

Is it really that simple? It kind of seems like it, right? But then it doesn’t.

If only it would be that simple. The world would have turned into a better place a long time ago already…

I guess the key is not to give up. Keep teaching your kids those values and keep living them. And maybe one day our kids might actually see the change and will hopefully be able to live in a peaceful world…

How nice would that be 🙂

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