Monthly Archives: June 2016

Thank you, Tbilisi and my wonderful Georgian hosts, for

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your youth elixir. I am 18 years younger. The secret? An inspired choice of the venue: the Tbilisi University,the most succesful international event i co-managed and co-organised so far

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an amazing professional pride projected by people I met and listened to,

the value of managing change by personal example,

getting tears in my eyes when listening to lawyers who still unfortunately indure basic rights violations,

an all inclusive hospitality, which created a wealth of experiences shared and renewed friendships,

taking me to your heart, the birthplace of Christianity in Georgia, Mtskheta,

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a warm summer breeze. Finally,

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calling your wifi “Tbilisi Loves You”,

your terrific Georgian dances. By the way, worth including in a stress release first aid kit,

Organicharmonious (i may want to copyright the word) food&wine, which make opposition melt and builds friendship to last,

a river-view dinner by a host who spoiled our senses with food and toasts,reminding me of the the value of knowing how to work smart and party well, mutually complementary,


giving me a hint that i should perhaps start acting my age. But then, why bother?!

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Happy Fathers Day!

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Today is Fathers Day. I want to celebrate my child’s father. 

Inspired by 

There is something magical about a man cooking for his kid.  

A chemistry is formed. For life. 

A love for food, and other life’s basics, is shared. 

Equality and equanimity is transfered. 

Vulnerability is shown and a guarantee that it is ok to be vulnerable is given for life. It will conquer even the greatest masculinity. 

I remember what my father cooked for me once. Plain fried eggs. And these were the best i ever had. 

Happy Fathers Day! To all fathers, cooking or not.  Or just not yet 🙂 

Freedom and its best friends

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“Freedom is an expensive commodity. Passion is cheap”, is a line in the “Beyond borders” movie in a talk between a man of an undisclosed appartenance and a relief worker.

We are all born free, yet we manage to trade, waste, give away our freedom. We buy things, which own us back. A house on a mortgage, for instance. An expensive car, which demands expensive maintenance. A damaging relationship, which holds us back. Other imposed or self-imposed limits to justify what we cannot or dare not do. There seems to be a turning point from the inborn freedom to laying flowers at our lost freedom. I remember mine.

I met Mireille last weekend. It was at a Know-How festival organised by a network of people and associations in the spirit of sharing what they know. It is based on the savoir faire concept French people adhere to. It invites those who want to learn and know how meet those who can teach or show how some things are done or learned. img_1101

Back to Mireille, a lady in her late 60s by her looks, with her hair braided to the left, bright and curious eyes. She sat at our table during the lunch break between workshops.

– Would you like a tea? Or coffee, perhaps? I asked after an introduction and small pleasantries exchange.

– No, thanks, she said at first. Just to add 2 seconds later: I’ll have a tea. It’s not polite to refuse.

Two cups of tea later, i knew her story. She came to France 30 years ago. When looking for a teacher’s  job, the application asked for her religious views. There were 3 options to choose from: catholic, protestant, other. She wrote “tolerant”. I have to say her sense of humor is still admirable. She got no job in the public sector. She believes that “tolerant” statement is the reason. She managed to get a job in what she loves doing – teaching, in the private sector and stayed faithful to her beliefs and passion. She would do the same 30 years later.

Passion and Love lead to Faith. Faith lead to Freedom. It’s Mireille’s story. It’s my story. It can be anyone’s story.
“Believe in your world

Where you can still dream
Where you can still fly”

are lyrics of a popular song @Carla’s Dream feat Loredana https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxU95SaM06c

Curiosity – creativity, learning and happiness best friend

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I saw my dear friends recently. I am a God mother to their youngest. A 12 year, beautiful child. As i was away for some time and their tastes and preferences evolved in the meantime, i chose to put together a bag of goodies for their senses. A little something to spoil their taste; a little something else to spoil their skin. He opened the bag to smell and taste the goodies. His natural curiosity was met with his parents’ reprimand “it’s not nice to do it”. “Why?” i asked. “It’s the most natural thing to explore new things and learn about new stuff. Please, let him enjoy it”.

Curiosity unwinds creativity. “What will happen if i’ll add these and these?”, asked my kid the other day? It showed her unexpected shades and forms to add a different, new, creative touch to her school project on “Look beyond”. See a related post on https://lovevonbeautyvonlove.com/2016/05/27/look-beyond-borders/IMG_0803

Curiosity is a youth elixir for the brain. New research shows that inquisitiveness can actually improve learning by stimulating the brain’s reward system. In other words, curiosity serves as a form of internal motivation that can help us learn more quickly (Source: Gruber M, Gelman B, Ranganath C. “States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit.” Neuron. 2014). If you are curious about a topic, the learning becomes enjoyable and memorable.

We all aspire to happiness. In a 2007 survey of more than 10,000 people from 48 countries published in Perspectives on Psychological Sciences, happiness was viewed as more important than success, intelligence, knowledge, maturity, wisdom, relationships, wealth and meaning in life. One of the most reliable and overlooked keys to happiness is cultivating and exercising our innate sense of curiosity. That’s because curiosity — a state of active interest or genuinely wanting to know more about something — creates an openness to unfamiliar experiences, laying the groundwork for greater opportunities to experience discovery, joy and delight (Todd Kashdan, https://experiencelife.com/article/the-power-of-curiosity/).

Curiosity is inborn. Remember the awe in a child’s eyes when she sees snow/rain for the first time? For a variety of reasons it gets strangled and reduced to silence in time. It took me years to recover and see my sense of curiosity. The market and jobs demand innovation. Letting a child open the bottles and boxes of new smells and tastes can lead him to a new learning experience – French people tastes e.g.– and new discoveries. It will also help him make a difference and get used to innovating. 

“What will happen if I’ll melt that chocolate and add the orange organic marmalade?”, he asked. “A great new brownies”, I would say.