Category Archives: senses

Truth 2

A while ago I was triggered by writing about truth. Since then I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about truth.
It makes me feel good when I think something it’s true, a sort of good, feeling certain, in control, being right. 
Since I discovered that the truth is more an actual state of matter or a fact, I do realize that most of my truth is my -well argumented (I think)- opinion. 
My opinion is being formed by what I hear from the people and media around me, what I read in the papers, magazine and books, what I do on research on the internet and most of all the background and culture I grew up with.
The more I hear and read the same thing, the more true it becomes.
BUT it’s always the same media, the same sort of books. My language abilities limit me to media in dutch and english; western based media, western way of thinking. Same thing with books but also the search aids do direct me to a sort of book I like or might be interested in and those are usually a confirmation of my direction of thinking.
I like to think that I try very hard to get a complete overview from a situation or matter and can consider from more points of view to state my opinion, my truth.
In some ways I can, I live a multicultural life, I can imagine how/what a japanese, an Englishman, a German or Qatari will consider a situation or matter as a truth.

Knowing that my truth is not someone elses truth doesn’t make life easier, because more often I find that my opinion/my truth change with the person or media I’m dealing with. My opinion/my truth is blowing in all directions of the wind, I feel like a ‘plastic bag blowing in the wind’. 
Not knowing what is actually true and right or wrong makes me feel uncertain and out of control, it doesn’t feel good.
Sometimes I even wished I’m able to believe in a religion or something to have a believe in a certain truth, but then again, I’m too much of that ‘plastic bag blowing in the wind’ to believe in a truth what actually is only a certain state of mind.

I Think I’m not the only one confused, what to believe to be true/right or wrong anymore. What do people do when they’re confused? They tend to go back to what they know, turn to certainties that they knew were right. I’m afraid that isn’t going to work either, as the truth (the actual state of a matter of a fact) actually IS changing.



When we talk we share knowledge
when we listen we learn

For me, going out for diner is a cultural event. I love to see the connection between people on other tables; the different conversations in groups, the focussed conversations between business men, the non conversations between couples, or -like last night the twittering conversation between a group of women. (Twitter is a real good name for that medium) the ladies just talked, almost all at the same time and didn’t seem to expect an answer. To me it looked like nobody was listening to what the other said.
It triggered me and I realised that there’s a difference between hearing and listening; Hearing is the physical part of listening, listening is the psychological part or the part where the brain comes in.

I looked up some facts for you;

– Only a quarter from what you hear will be heard.
– By listening you show interest in a person; you show interest/respect in the words someone says and the thoughts (s)he has.
– Listening is part of communication; only when there is a speaker AND a listener you can have a conversation and a connection between two people.
– You can listen to -4X  more- words then speak, which means that there is space in your head for other thoughts, like how to react.  As soon as you’re thinking about how to react you get busy; remembering how to react and waiting for the time you can put in your reacting. You’ll be so busy, you forget to listen to the rest of what’s being said.
– In some languages listening is another word of obeying, like when parents say to the children “you’re not listening to me” they actual mean you’re not obeying me.
– Most people seem to like talking specially about themselves much more than listening.

It’s hard for me to believe that those ladies last night had a conversation, yet there must be a form of communication and sharing some information. Sometimes it has to do with the language, in some languages the most import information of a sentence is given in the beginning of the sentence, so you can start thinking without really missing any information. I think I would like that too. On the other hand, people will never get heard or have the feeling of being listened to and – valued.

Now, knowing how hard it is to listen, even in your own language and in your own culture. I realise how much miscommunication must occur when having a conversation with someone in another language and culture.

I like to challenge you to really listen to somebody else; repeat after your partner has finished speaking what (s)he said. and then focus on the answer you like to give.
I would love to hear your experiences.


The Sun

How is that for you? How does the weather influence how you feel?

For me, I’m very much influenced by the weather; You could hardly talk about a summer in the Netherlands this year. The 21st of June (mid summer) I even wore a hat!!
It’s not that I mind cold (as long as my shower is warm 😉 ),-“you can dress extra against cold”. It’s the warmth and the light that makes me feel so much better when the sun shines. When it rains in the Netherlands it’s depressing, it’s not a tropic rain which takes an hour and then the sun comes back, it’s a depression coming from the Atlantic ocean which can take weeks, or whole seasons, you never know when it ends and when the sun will come back. I can really feel the heavy pression of those clouds and greyness in my head and on my shoulders.

Scientificly it’s proven that the sun has got many good characteristics; The warmth of the sun give muscles more souplesse, so it’s easier to move, to become energetic (When its cold I feel like i’m shrinking); When energy flows through your body it’s easier to feel good;  Warmth is calming and comforting; The sun makes your body produce vitamin D which strengthens your immuun system and the absorption of calcium in the bones. And the sunlight sets people’s biological clock, time to work and rest.
unfortunately with all the electricity nowadays we forget that the human body needs time to recover from mental and physical efforts.
People who live closer to the ‘poles’ and suffer from hardly any day light in winter, agree that they are less energetic and more depressed in winter; People in areas with  rain seasons complain about the same during the months that the sun is hidden behind a think pack of watery clouds and even people in the middle east suffer from vitamin D deficient when they’re locked inside with the air conditioning whole days, during summer.

BUT as much as I love the sun and warmth I feel obliged also warn against the sun, the UV from the sun can also cause cancer if you’re not cautious; don’t go in the sun unprotected and always protect your skin with -at least- a sun cream.


holiday 1


Sorry, Sorry, sorry, I try to post regularly once a week and usually that works, no matter where I am. I choose places to stay with internet/wifi or be back in civilisation once a week at least. But it is holidays……. And all the internet/wifi you can find is being absorbed by my colleague tourists, and not only the young ones, although they are most easy to spot.

It was a bit shocking to discover, how much we are depending on wifi and the internet. I say ‘we’ because in this time it was for sure not only me, although when I miss it, I really need it and I get quiet frustrated when it doesn’t work the way I want it.

Even now as I’m writing this, very very, early in the morning, I’m not able to connect to the wifi. We’ve got a room at the end of the hallway…… I could go out of bed and sit under that wifi box, but we’re in the southern hemisphere and it’s winter here and it’s cold, COLD.

Sometimes I wish for the ‘old fashioned’ cable to plug-in and connect.

That shock, being out of your comfort zone is what holidays are meant for, for me. I love to see new landscapes, new cultures, new people. All my senses are open; the sounds (even the leaking toilet above us), the birds, the silence, the hustle of a mountain village in the morning; the smell, healthy mountain air, the exhaust fumes, wood fires, dusty plains; the views, ohhh those views, no dessert – no mountain range is the same; the colors, the blue of the ocean; Even how it feels, to be cold, really cold. I sleep so well -hidden under a few layers of covers with only my nose peeking out for a fresh breath-, unfortunately the bathroom in the morning is also cold and the warm water not reliable.

As a ‘people-culture’ freak I do love to see how other people live or what they consider a ‘normal’ live. The differences make me aware of myself, of my life, the things I’m used to and what I do appreciate, like a warm shower and WIFI.

PS 1 I had a warm shower, untill someone flushed the toilet, steamed the bathroom so much the bathroom was warm.

PS 2 Guess where I was. Leave a reply and maybe you win a nice souvenir from my trip.

Sweet treats

Lollies, Meringues from France, Belgian praliné, Dutch syrup waffles, Arabian dried fruits, Tim Tams from Australia, churros from south America; Every where in the world where I’ve lived and travelled I’ve found sweet treats. A lot of chocolate, in an enormous amount of diversity; wrapped bars, pralinés, sprinkles on bread, in dairy; But also candy, pies, cakes, muffins, moshi, dried fruits etc. etc..

In all it’s diversity the taste sweet is -usually- not a punishment to eat and often a treat or a reward. When you eat sweets your brain makes the hormon dopamine which makes you feel good.

For a good start of the day, people from a lot of countries start with sweetend strong coffee, croisant with confiture/jam/jelly, bread with peanutbutter/sprinkles, pancakes, cereals or sweet fruits. Others have a reward after a hard days work is done; englisch tea time with scones, jam and clotted cream, in Gemany Kuchen. When I was a child I could have a sweet desert when I finished my diner (yes my parents survived the hunger winter in Europe).

But now in most prosperous societies sweets are not a treat or an award anymore, the huge availibility took of the exclusitvity of a sweet treat, which causes obesse and diabetic in many cases. It would be better if sweets would be regarded as a treat again rather then some sort of right.

For some people it seems that having a sweet treat makes them feel good in stead of something to celebrate that you feel good.

In many societies sweet treats are for sharing on special occasions like a birthday or just a little gesture to show somebody that you feel good with that person or that you acknowledge him or her.

So what about calling, 28th of September , international treats day and make it a yearly event? Let’s share some treats from your culture with people around you with whom you don’t mingle daily, just because of SWEET TREAT DAY?

Please share your ideas or comments so we can start an international new tradition.
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