Category Archives: Relationships

Back to school. Oh dear

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The School year restarted. So did a myriad of complaints. Parents complaints. And then we are surprised kids complain. And by the way “they have no reason to complain”, the parents say in one voice.

After hearing so many parents complain, I remembered about the wonderful book What All Children Want Their Parents to know: 12 Keys to raising a Happy Child by Diana Loomans. One these keys is “Leave your Values”.book

If there would be a championship of complaining, I would probably also get a prize, if not a medal of some sort. It is so much easier to complain then to acknowledge and appreciate for the human brain. We still can:

Appreciate that kids can go to school (I’ll not bring in the numbers of children around the world who do not attend school as they become family providers very early in life).

Acknowledge that a person invested in career of a school teacher, which is fun, if you are high everyday.

Appreciate the neural connections that form in the child’s brain, even if we know the mantra “the school prepares the kids for the jobs of yesterday and not tomorrow”.

Acknowledge your kid’s efforts and aspirations, struggles and successes, friendships and relationships ups and downs, etc.

Appreciate your role as a parent, who lives his/her values.

Acknowledge that school is important, but more important and life lasting is your relationship with your child, when the results on the evaluation sheets perhaps do not meet your expectations.

And have a slice of cake, or two, together to celebrate every school week 🙂 It works like magic.

A birthday experience: cakes and more.

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For my birthday this year I wanted a new family experience around something we all love. And that is easy to choose. We are all into cakes and making a cake by learning from a French pâtissier in France sounded just right.

I chose Atelier de Yann in Colmar, Alsace. It is a multi concept store: boutique factory, tea time, ateliers de patisserie, opened in 2015 by Yann Navarro, maitre pâtissier, chocolatier. And it was a perfect choice. The first word which came to my mind to describe this place and the service is i m p e c a b l e from the registration to the class to the unboxing of the products of our hands at home. I am very happy to note how client-oriented are the owner and staff, something of a gem in France. I notice it when I encounter it. I am grateful that they adapted to the presence of my kid, in a workshop otherwise designed for adults. In fairness, she has better self-management and dexterity than many adults I know.

The class was conducted by Yann, the owner of the place. We navigated through the stages of the Succès Pistache & Framboises, under his patient and humble guidance. We all felt at ease with maneuvering, matching and spoiling, tasting and mixing, taste and quantity balancing, regardless of the age and level of baking skills. Now the pastry bag has no more secrets from me. I also loved that we could each manifest our own creativity at the decorating stage without being bound by French pastry rigors. And there are many.

We left with a sense of great satisfaction as all our questions were answered with the clarity of a great master and the generosity of the host manifested tiny yet significant details of the true hospitality.

It inspired us to share the experience with friends over a cup of coffee. No that we could not devour the three cakes at once.

We will no doubt come back for more and warmly recommend this temple of nurturing the love for French pastry, with our best wishes of success and prosperity to Yann and his team! If I would award Michelin stars, one would certainly go to Atelier de Yann.

To mother. To all mothers

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ddef8f5f5acf2cfbcca081d7147d25dd--mommy-quotes-mother-quotes“Mother is a verb. It is something you do. Not who you are”: it made me think of all those who mothered me.

My hubby who got me water when I collapsed from dehydration. My kid who places her hand on my forehead to check whether I have fever. My baker, who slides into my bag a little sweet surprise. My swimming trainer who helped me overcome a childhood fear with just two words: “trust me”. My cat waiting for me by the door to come back from my first trip abroad twenty years ago… His mothering ended at that, as stealing my breakfast  remained his favourite game 🙂

Here is to all beings who mother each day, with gentle gestures, words of kindness and touches of love.

I’ll go now and mother someone.

Happy mothers day!

The power of No

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From these my fav is “Learn to say No without explaining yourself”. 

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/simple-living-images/

My first unexplained No was loud and clear. I was in a meeting room with our former business partners and their lawyers. The wanted a deal and made an offer. I could hear their expensive watches ticking. I said No. To their disbelief. To my astonishment. And a silent joy. Threats followed. My No stoods its ground. It made them say Yes to our offer. We cleaned the accounts and closed the noisy chapter. The rest is history.  It was cool. And worth it.

You may want to Try it next time. Try it. And enjoy it all!

Thank you, becomingminimalist.com for inspiration. 

Attraction

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– Hi.
– Hi. How are you, Eva?
– What do my eyes say?
– “You attract me”. Is it so, Eva?
– What do you think?
– I prefer to …. leave it unspoken.
– So do I, said Eva’s eyes.
So be it.

He attracts her in ways no man attracted her over the last decade. He is in her dreams and fantasies. She thinks of him when in bed with another man. He rents a space in her brain. It fulfils a need for intellectual stimuli of a nature she needs at this exact stage of her life, in a sexually unconsummated relationship.
They work together. He reports to her. They are both happily married. They are both parents. In social gatherings, she feels his invisible touch. He is a musician. She wonders sometimes what kind of play would she be for him. Would it be “I know you” by Skylar, Grey’s soundtrack to “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie? Or… She would prefer to leave it unspoken.
Eva’s experience is nothing new on Earth. It is called polyamory – loving a few people at the same time. Eva has long ago divorced the concept of ownership in relationships.
No one owns no one. She knows it. Researchers know it. “Various important features of romantic love such as caring, friendship, and attraction are not exclusive and can be directed at several people at the same time. Exclusivity is of no relevance to intellectual needs-underlying our intellectual needs is the desire to enlarge what we know and experience” (Torn Between Two Lovers. I’ve got two lovers and I ain’t ashamed. By Aaron Ben-ZeĂ©v Ph.D. on Feb 19, 2012 in In the Name of Love https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201202/torn-between-two-lovers).
In a whisky night, Eva lets him get a glimpse into her bare foot soul. He called her “self-sufficient”. “Silly you”, thought Eva, “why would I be here tonight?”…

Battle with grace

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There was this lady in the team, Magalie. French, with arabic roots. Big eyes, american smile. Speech, body language and eyes saying three different things. Typical covert aggressive. Soft spoken in public, bitter and aggressive in private. It was Eva’s first week at her new in charge of an international project with nationals and internationals onboard.  Eva gets a sms from Magalie with an urgent request for a meeting. She seemed in distress over phone so Eva goes to meet her. She spills venom. Accusations of sexism against a colleague. She says he is constantly humiliating her in public, hates her, disregards her, and she cannot talk to him because she is afraid of him. She claims this has been going on for a year and a half. Eva asks then whether she talked about it with the previous 3 project managers. She says no. Why would Magalie put this now on Eva’s shoulders? Magalie accepts reluctantly Eva’s offer: a meeting for the two of them to talk and clarify it. Seven months later Eva hears exact the same words concerning her from her supervisor’s supervisor: “Magalie says you humiliate her in public, you hate her, you disregard her and she cannot talk to you”.  Magalie met Eva’s supervisor in a private set up when Eva was on leave, taking advantage of her absence.  Eva is speechless as she hears this.  She was not given with an opportunity to present her views and facts. She could only say she treats all equally and professionally. Three nights after the meeting, Eva is sleepless. Her heart hurts. Ignatia amara is the remedy which eases the pain and brings a change of perspective. Confronting the person, asking for a meeting with the supervisor were the first strategies Eva thought of. A natural defense reaction. She met three colleagues who she knows have been through  a similar experience. They give her a good piece of advice: check whether she filed anything formally and find out remedies available to defend myself. Otherwise treat it as someone saying something to someone. If your supervisor accepts a friendship with such a person it probably says something about him/her. Another wise colleague of Eva’s dropped a wise phrase “there was a snake even in Eden”.image Eva mentioned this situation to her sponsor from the organisation providing funds to the project. He said he knows and that Eva shall not worry about it. A day before he passed the message to Eva’s supervisors how happy they are with Eva. Some readers might see themselves in Eva. Magalies usually do not do mirror work.  For this and other reasons any confrontation is useless. At a first meeting after the “complaint”, Magalie avoided any eye contact with Eva. It did not preclude Eva from reaching the objectives the meeting had. Two months later, at an appraisal team meeting with the management, colleagues spontaneously shared how happy they were with the project manager. Much to Eva’s surprise. She was humbled by the open and warm appreciation colleagues hold of her. After the meeting, she received an email from the management about how pleased they were to hear so much genuine appreciations of Eva’s work. To arm yourself, acknowledge that these people have no notion of fair play. Never have one to one meetings with these people. Always cc your impartial supervisor in correspondence with them. Make sure you have a supporters network who will provide in a positive and constructive way their views on how you do your job and interact with them. Ask for feedback from colleagues, in writing if possible, even in an environment not practicing 360 degree evaluations. Constantly feed your sponsor and supervisor with information on what you do so that there is no void or gap prone to make room for misunderstandings. Open, peaceful, detached communication with all who want and/or need to hear is key. Sooner or latter even those in the monologue mood will start to listen. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Art by Ana Maria Negara, at Traian Grand Hotel, Iasi, Romania, December 2013