Yesterday I got one of those advertising brochures with lots of cute things for kids. A bit out of boredom - a bit out of "maybe I find something useful for my daughter" I flipped through it. There was nothing special in it. Clothes, suitcases, stuff for the car. But when looking at the shirts I was taken aback and looked a bit closer. They had beautiful shirts in vibrant colors - obviously two for boys and two for girls. Because: there was a green one with a printed wolve, a blue one with an eagle. And violet one with a butterfly and and pink one with a horse. Slightly annoyed I asked my husband if it's impossible to offer a pink one with a wolve or a blue one with a horse. His answer made me think: "Well - when doing job advertisement we now have to write female/male/diverse. But it's just kids so it's okay to discriminate against them."

Wow! He's absolutely right! Actually we should sue all those companies because of discrimination. Just because they are kids it's okay to put them in boxes? And as soon as they turn 18 they are supposed to "be as they are"? Okay - kids aren't "allowed" to wear blue or green shirts with butterlies and horses. Or violet and pink ones with wolves and eagles. They are just girls and boys. And girls are supposed to be pink, horse, Barbie and glitter. And boys are supposed to be blue, dinasaurs, cars and swords. (I admit it's not that extreme any more, but still very present. And it really is difficult to find something with glitter which is not pink or violet.)

We are still light-years away from equal rights and equal chances. Because it starts with our kids. As long as we put them in pink and blue boxes and don't see that first and foremost they are little human beings. Human beings with different and unique intrests and talents. In our Kindergarten there are boys who love pink and nail polish. And there are girls, wrestling more fiercely and climbing faster than the boys.

Why can companies discriminate against kids without being punished although our constitution strictly prohibits it?

Sooner or later you stumble upon forgiveness when engaging in the fields of personality development, self love or spirituality. Also in psychotherapy it's talked about. Yesterday I repeatedly discovered the big difference between understanding something intellectually and having an insight. It was kind clear to me why it's useful to forgive myself and others. As long as I haven't forgiven completely those bad feelings keep lingering and poisening my life. Yesterday I such a big insight into forgiveness - honestly I cried because it went so deep. I saw that I really can't love myself or someone else truely if I don't forgive. Those feelings which keep me from truely forgiving stand between my love and myself or the other person. They prevent my love from getting where it's supposed to go. Or if my love reaches it's destination it's deformed. Crumbled. That's the one thing. The other thing is - there is nothing to forgive! Really! Whatever I (or the other person) did which is regarded as "bad" was done from a place of innocence. Innocence because I didn't know what else to do. I didn't know better. I was helpless, lost. And in my head there was just noise. Millions of thoughts keeping my inner wisdom from coming throug. So how could I have been able to act wiser? I couldn't. That's why there is nothing to forgive because I acted innocently unknwoningly.

...that you wish to see in the world. (Mahatma Gandi)

A beautiful quote probably everybody knows.

It's so simple but also so powerful. One of those sentences that can literally change the world. If everybody lived by it. Why? Most times we wish for something to change in the outside so that we can be happy, kinder, more relaxed. We want our partners to change, our job, our home, the weather, the traffic. But - there is one huge problem:

>If we ourselves are unwilling to change - why should someone else?<

Honestly - only we and really only we can change ourselves. Everybody living in a long term relationship or having lived in one knows from experience that the other person never changed or only when she saw any benefits in chaning. The amount of influence we have on that - nicely put - not very much.

But imagine if every single person on this planet lived the way Gandi suggests. And really honestly. I believe the world could only be a peaceful place. Because if I'm serious about it I instantly have to stop trying to change or conviince other people. The only thing I'm allowed to do is to see what I think and do. And everytime I do something I have to check I don't do it because I want to make someone else do or believe something. Because if I did - I wouldn't be only try to change myself.

I want my partner to be more attentive? I should start. Unconditionally. Be attentive to myself - and towards him. My job is annoying? Am I really putting everything I have into it? Unconditionally? Without expecting praise or money in return? (And no - working overtime and saying yes to everything doesn't mean that I put everything in. Sometimes a "no" is more loving than a "yes"). Someone cut you off when driving? Is it really so helpful to shout and scream when the other person can't hear you? The weather sucks? Remember the thing about right clothes? ;-)

So many times we are not very kind to ourselves. We eat food we know is not good for us. We sit around all day. We don't spend time in nature. We don't enjoy some time alone. But we expect others and the world that they please be kind. Start now. With yourself. :-) You'll see - bit by bit the world will be a better place.

Although it's supposed to be a quiet and comtemplative time the weeks before Christmas can be experienced as extremely stressfull. Everyone is so busy, one appointment after the other, the presents are still to be bought and nicely wrapped up. But now and again there are some people who radiate peace and seem not to be affected by all the hustling around them. Why? What's there secret? Just not so much to do?

Most of them still have a packed to-do-list. The reason is the difference between overload and overwhelm. And what's exactly the difference? Let me explain this way: Imagine a trailer you want to transport sand with. The trailer can load 500kg but you want to carry 1000kg. If you put everything on the trailer in one go it might break because it is overloaded. It's just more than he can objectively handle. Nothing about personal view on things. Just plain physics. And overwhelmed? If the same trailer would be looking at the hill of 500kg sand and would says: "OMG - look at that huge amount of sand! How am I supposed to carry all that. What are people thinking? Why always me...?" I guess you get the point ;-)

What can you do? First check if you are actually overloaded meaning there are just too many things to do in the amount of time given. Or check if you make a mountain out of a molehill. If the first is the case: prioritize and delegate. If the second is the case - stop moaning. No seriously - I know it really can look like it is too much. So be honest with yourself. And most of the time it really just looks like. And if you stop wasting your energy talking and thinking about the stuff you have to do and just start doing them it doesn't take long before you feel better. Because the hill gets smaller, you automatically feel better when you actually do something and because you just think less :-)