Encouraging people to write their books

Encouraging people to write their books

My first meeting with over 30 Swiss female writers gave me a lot of inspiration.

I’ve been writing since I am 12 or 13. I filled up many journals with my thoughts, and I always dreamt of writing a book. But, and this is something which I discovered this very year, I was scared of publishing my thoughts, because people would judge me, and I did not stand this idea of putting myself in a public place and giving others the chance to put me down.

I was writing a lot as a journalist for newspapers and magazines some years ago. But this wasn’t that difficult for me because I was writing about other people’s opinions and I did not have to expose myself too much.

Publishing my first book, a children’s book called «Leonard and Loulou» this spring, gave me such a great pleasure and self-confidence. Of course, I was very skeptical at the beginning because again, I was afraid of other people’s judgment. Getting more and more nice feedbacks to the story about a boy and a cat, touching people’s heart when doing my reading, I started believing more and more in my capacity in writing. And, yes, there will be a follow-up to the first book, a second one with the title «Leonard and Lea» which will be published in 2019.

A wonderful moment and very reassuring had also been when I discussed with the New Yorker publishing house, Morgan James, about how my book will be printed and sold in July 2019 in the States, in England and in Australia. I got so many compliments by the editor board for the story and the book itself. It might sound crazy, but I couldn’t believe that I had created this book when I heard them talking about it. Honestly, I got goose pumps when I read the description of my book written by their marketing department because it sounded so great.

This book is also the starting point of my new business which is to help people to write their books, to give them the confidence they might be lacking of as I did and to get them to this wonderful moment in their lives where they open the first page of their printed book or published e-Book and they feel overwhelmed and have goose pumps.

I want to encourage people to write what they want to share with the world. I want to help women and men not to hold back their stories, their experiences and their knowledge, because it is so amazing what I receive when I dared to share my story: a great assurance of myself that there is a sense in being on this planet, and there is a mission I am asked to fulfill: helping others to write their books. It might sound strange to some of you, but I don’t know how may times I was willing to leave this world because I didn’t see any sense of being here any more. This could be the story of a book for adults I will be writing some day. We will see.

I am very grateful for having met wonderful, inspiring business coaches in the last 12 months, who empowered me to take action, among them are Kane and Alessia Minkus, Kevin Paetz and Michelle Masters. Thank you so much for your guidance and encouragement and thanks as well for this amazing community I met through you.

Different views

Different views_www.swissmadstory.ch

 

Different views

The other day, we’re talking about travelling to India again. Big Boy was rather excited about the idea, Little Boy wasn’t. So, we started discussing, we three, about the good and bad things about spending our vacation in a totally different country than Switzerland.

Little Boy told us: “I’d be coming under the condition that we won’t sleep again in this cottage hotel with a lot of spiders, cockroaches and worms which were eating the wooden walls at night and disturbing me in my sleep. I want to have the nice hotel room we had when we went to India the first time.” This was a clear statement. Big Boy reacted in a way I wouldn’t have expected: “Oh, no”, he said, “I loved our cottage in this beautiful garden with a lot of nice plants and flowers, and I loved it because it was so simple.”

Well, two boys, two different views… I tried the financial aspect: “The first time, we had more money and the third time, we tried to keep the budget low. And for the price of one night in the nice hotel room, we could sleep ten nights in the bamboo cottage. What do you thing about this?”

Little Boy answered, surprisingly different than we expected: “I have enough money on my bank account to pay one night or two in the nice hotel or if you want one week.” This was typically Little Boy and very generous.

We kept on discussing a while, but couldn’t find a solution fitting to every one’s needs of us three.

I tried a different approach: “How about the flight”, I asked the two boys. “Cheap flight, long travelling time and at least two stopovers? Or an expensive flight with Emirates, but quick and only one stopover.”

“Emirates….! Definitely”, cried Big and Little Boy. “We want to watch again all the movies like the first time. Not like last time. The service wasn’t nice and the movie program was rather poor.”

Okay, okay… I said: “Our budget is limited. Emirates would cost us more than 1500 Swiss Francs on the top of the cheap flight. Do you want to spend this money for just the movie program”, I asked.

Big and Little Boy started to evaluate what makes more sense: cheap flight, expensive hotel or expensive flight and cheap hotel. And they tried to calculate which solution would be more suitable for my finances.

Little Boy tried to reduce costs by a cheap flight, in order to get rid of the bothering insects. Big Boy tried to convince me of a comfortable and short flight, in order to prevent me from jetlag and exhaustion. That was very sweet by him. But I understood that he didn’t want to renounce to the entertainment program.

At the end of the meal, I was proud of our reasonable conversation with my 10 and 12 years old boys, but I proposed to postpone any decision and get back to it another time.

I’ll let you know how and when we’ll be finding the solution for our next trip to India.

 

 

Why not?

Grandmother_www.swissmadestory.ch

 

Why not?

She’s 87 years old, our remarkable grandmother, living in Geneva in her tiny apartment.

“Do you play Beaver Gang with me”, asked Big Boy.

“Well, I’ve no idea what this is”, said Grandmother. “But, why not!”

Big Boy explained the game to her. Very quickly like a fast train. One could hardly follow. They started. She didn’t know what to do, but she kept on, always smiling.

“Now, you have to look at this card and exchange it with this one”, Big Boy tried to help, with a big smile on his face, too. Little Boy followed, amused as well.

She didn’t give up, played until the very end of the game. Big and Little Boy contributed their part to the successful ending.

“What a funny game”, Grandmother concluded, although she didn’t understand all.

The Boys wouldn’t have noticed what Grandmother has told me: It’s worth to say more “why not” instead of “no”.

 


 

Happy kite, happy day

Happy kite_swissmadestory.ch

Happy kite, happy day

 

Why do we think so much? Why do we worry so much?

It’s a bright day, and we are standing on our two legs. We’re smiling. We don’t think about what will be in the future and what has been in the past.

We’re feeling alive. We enjoy being here. Our kite is flying high.

Our jeans have got a hole, but we don’t care.

We’re talking to the crows wishing them a good flight.

Make a wish, and it will come true.

 
 
 

Relationship

Cat harmony_swissmadestory

Relationship

It takes quite a while to get along.
When I think of the two cats, it took four months until I could take this picture just two days ago.
They didn’t like each other very much at the beginning.

Couldn’t it be the same with humans?
It doesn’t have to be something like a firework while coming across a new person – at school, at work, in courses, with new neighbors.
It could take time, a lot of time,
Days, weeks, months, and years.
Do I have this time?
Am I patient enough?
Can I wait until I get the permission to enter the new person’s territory – slowly, but steadily?

The two cats showed me: it works.

 

 


 

Grounded

Grounded with bare foot_www.esthersviewpoint.com

Grounded

I didn’t like being barefoot when I was a child. I had my woolen socks, knitted by my grandmother, and they definitely were my protection against too much life and summer action.

I loved spending my free afternoons on my bed reading stories about a courageous woman in Lhasa or an intelligent French lady having an unhappy love affair.

It was in India that I dared walking nearly barefoot during five weeks. I only had my flip-flops.

The first time in my life, I felt grounded by my bare feet.

Certain feelings take a long time to grow.

Deep relaxation

Let you go cat yoga_esthersviewpoint.com

Deep relaxation

Looking at my baby cat that is sleeping most of the time when I’m writing I understand what my yoga teacher always wants to tell me.

Breathing and letting go…

Relax.

Most of the time, my thoughts are walking around during the yoga class like my curious baby cat when it’s chasing butterflies, dragonflies, grasshoppers or even a toad.

My dear cat, can we change lives – just for one day? I’d like to sleep beside your computer while you’re writing my stories and get the sensation of deep relaxation.

 

 

Looking for men

Looking for men_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

It was a hot Summer Sunday afternoon. I was sitting at this place, looking at the lake and the mountains.

I didn’t have a boyfriend, but I wished to have one. I tried to read a very intelligent book and to have a very intellectual expression on my face.

I didn’t concentrate too much on my book; I was spying to discover a single man, looking as well very intelligent and very intellectual.

It was one of these five hundred Sundays. I felt very lonely.

It never happened: this chance encounter.

I finished my studies: with brilliant results. I had a lot of interesting discussions with my professors.

A male counterpart at my age came to see me from time to time – but only in my dreams.

Crazy life

Being a mother in Switzerland means doing all, and all means all: working 100 percent, looking after my two boys, taking care of the household, and above all trying to have a relationship with a man.

But let’s not talk about the fourth thing! This is another story. Let’s talk about the three other things which are in total already much too much.

I’m not complaining, not at all, because I wanted it this way. I certainly wanted to be a workingwoman and wanted to have kids. But nobody asked me whether I wanted to clean floors, change beds, wash cloths, fix lights, heating, shower nozzles, toilet boxes and so on and on.

I’d rather sit and write than arguing with youngsters about their consummation of computers and smartphones games or telling them twenty times to feed their pets, etc. But I’m not complaining, because I wanted to be divorced and educate my kids according to my style.

So, what’s the point, you may be asking? The point is that I cannot fill well all these roles because it would be a 300 percent job. And it’s pretty hard to confess that I’m not a perfect workingwoman, nor a good mother and at least a busy housewife. I’m constantly facing insufficiency.

And in order not to drive mad, I have to eliminate certain roles at certain times. Some days, I laugh at my kitchen disorder. Some days, I let the boys go on a long leash. Some days, I feel like writing and not working for money. And some days, I don’t know what should come first…

Can you follow me?

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 16

Conversation between brothers 16_www.esthersviewpoint.com

3.30 p.m. on a free Wednesday afternoon

Big boy:         “You’re not fat at all.”

Little boy:      “Look at my belly on the picture.”

Big boy:         “No, look here at my belly.”

Little boy:      “You haven’t got a belly at all.”

Big boy:         “But, if I press it between my fingers. It looks the same.”

Little boy:      “I won’t eat any more.”

Big boy:         “Come on. Eat your mars.”

Little boy:      “No, I won’t. And I won’t eat any more.”

Big boy:         “It’s how mom took the picture. Your belly is not fat.”

Little boy:      “It is…!”

Big boy:         “Don’t feel bad.”

Little boy:      “I feel bad…!”

Big boy:         “Look at you. You’re perfect.”

Little boy:      “I’m not.”

Big boy:         “Don’t say that…”

Little boy:      “Hmm…”

Big boy:         “Mom, tell him please…!”

Mom:              “It’s all my fault. You’re not fat at all.”

Mom:              “I didn’t take a good picture.”

Big boy:         “You see… my dear brother…!”

 

 

 

 

No chance with educating

Big boy and mother_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

As I knew it will be hard to get back to mother’s rules.

The two boys are back from their vacation with their father and back from playing games and watching films, and it’s been a hard week.

And still, it is. After spending a Saturday with big boy while little boy is with his father I’m giving up – at eight o’clock in the evening.

Big boy wasn’t able to do something creative during the day. His drawing is still waiting to be finished. There are two eyes on the paper. That’s all.

He was restless, and I wasn’t capable to catch him with interesting ideas.

Okay, we went shopping and got a pump for our garden, and there is now the element water running as Feng Shui tells to do in order to calm down.

No chance, I wasn’t very successful with my big boy.

He’s now watching the film “Penguins in Madagascar” while I’m writing this.

I admit: Educating kids isn’t a picnic.

 

 

Alive

 

Boy jumping_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

 

My boys are teaching me – among a lot of things – one important thing: being open.

Being open for new experiences, new people, new places, new tastes, new colors, new feelings.

For example, I’ve never dreamt of going fishing, cleaning fishes and cooking them. And when you open our fridge right now, you find living mealworms. Thanks, Big Boy.

Or I didn’t have any experience in my childhood with playing with legos. But it feels satisfying lying on the floor of the living-room and putting together a VW bus of at least 10’000 pieces.

Or I wasn’t the typical game player when I was younger. But now I’m spending hours by playing Uno or Rummikub with Little Boy.

Being open isn’t an easy thing to do. But it gives me much more in return. And there will be more experiences in the future I’ve never dreamt of. I’m sure and open.

 

 

Switch for silence

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Sitting at the lake and trying to bring calm into my body.

No way. Head is working.

Where is the switch?

Thinking of the yoga teacher and remembering a yoga posture.

Body in quiet pose, head trying to concentrate on the breathing.

Head rotating. Not finding the switch for the breathing.

Giving up. Feeling the bad weather in my head, looking at the lake and accepting that total silence isn’t possible at the moment.

Never mind. Will be trying another time.

Calling mom: Scene 1

Cruise vacation_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
 
 
My two boys are now on a cruise with their father. And I talked to Big Boy on the phone.

First thing he told me: “We don’t have Wi-Fi on board. It would cost 18 Euros half an hour. Do you understand, mom? Only for half an hour.”

Fortunately, they won’t stay all eight days on the ship. For example, there was a day trip to a Greek Island where they found a free Wi-Fi in a restaurant.

Second thing he told me: “There are so many people, mom. We try to find a quiet place from time to time.”

For sure, about 2500 passengers on this swimming hotel aren’t a small amount of people. I agree.

Third thing my twelve-year-old told me: “There is a game room on the ship. This is cool because you can play games for free.”

I am glad that I don’t have to discuss with my boys about the daily gaming time for the moment being, but certainly more intensively at their return. A withdrawal is always a hard thing to do.

And the good thing: They’ll be surely appreciating coming back to sweet, quiet home.
P.S. Thanks to the father for the picture.

 

 

 

Life is a firework

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Life is like an explosion. It starts like a normal Monday. But it wasn’t a normal day.

I am sure you had your normal Monday coming back to work from the weekend, a bit lazy and still dreaming of doing nothing.

Me instead, for the first time in my life since I finished my studies, I started my Monday without being engaged by a company.

For the first time, I am free, working for the people I like to.

You might say: Okay, so what….

You’re right. But after nearly 20 years, it’s very special to me.

Life is like a firework. Don’t you know these kinds of passages in your life?

If not, remember me: suddenly, there will be an unexpected explosion you never dreamt of and your life will change.

Don’t ask me what will come after the explosion. I don’t know either at the moment.
 

 

Traveling at home

 

Zurich_esthersviewpoint.com

 

Everybody is gone: my boys on a cruise with their father, some friends in the States, in Greece, France, Italy and so on and on.

I am traveling in my mind.

I was again a student, hanging around at the river in Zurich discussing with my friends about Heidegger or Derrida, smoking my own made cigarettes and drinking red wine.

Or I met there a man I was very fond of and him as well of me, but he didn’t want to leave his girlfriend. She didn’t mind him seeing me from time to time. I couldn’t agree with this setting.

Or I remember how I was sunbathing there at the riverside on Sunday afternoons, reading heavy books and searching hard for an intelligently looking young man to talk to.

I spent many summers there, trying out different relationships. But my summer feeling kept always to be the same, and it came back when I visited this place a few days ago.

 

 

 

Letter to my father

Father_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

I know you must have felt rather powerless in many situations in your life. Otherwise you wouldn’t have made me feel so helpless talking to you.

You knew everything better than me. You did everything better than me. I didn’t have any chance to do something well.

I felt so worthless when I didn’t understand the math homework and you spent hours to explain to me everything starting with the basics. As a math professor you felt yourself so helpless because your daughter couldn’t calculate the easy things like 1 plus 1.

Years later, when I wanted to move out because I couldn’t stand any more our daily discussions, you were so upset. I was scared to discover so much anger in your face.

A few more years later, my very first article was published in a big Swiss newspaper. You were asked by my boy friend why you didn’t congratulate me. You answered: “Everybody can write an article. This isn’t such a big thing”.

Yes, father, you realized much more important things in life. But one thing wasn’t your thing: To make feel someone confortable in your company. And I suppose I know why. You never felt at ease with yourself. And I feel sorry for you… and for me, too.

 

 

At the moment being

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Drinking my morning tea, I’m thinking how I’ll manage the new website at work and to whom I’ll have to write my first email.

Riding my bike to work, I’m thinking that I forgot to tell my little boy that his violin lesson will be starting earlier than usual.

Logging into my computer at work, I’m thinking that I’ll need to buy a birthday present for my big boy’s friend.

Writing my first email, I’m thinking that I forgot to log out my computer at home and my kids will probably take profit after school surfing until I’ll be coming home tonight.

Eating my lunch, I’m thinking that I’ll have to organize the two weeks of summer vacation with the boys, call my parents and fix the day visiting the zoo.

Writing my 42nd email, I’m thinking that I should read the newspaper to get the latest news about Greece.

Riding my bike home, I’m thinking that I didn’t prepare well for the editor meeting the next day.

Finding my boys at my computer, I’m thinking I should organize my life with less stress.

Thinking that I wasn’t conscious of all these moments during the day thinking at other things, I’m thinking that it’s pretty hard not thinking all the time and feeling the moment being.
 
 

Careless

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It has been a lake, an evening and a warm summer night.

My boys and me enjoyed this moment.

We three felt secure, fearless and careless.

There were just a few birds talking before going to sleep.

And us three looking at the twilight sky.

The picture records the moment and my feelings.

Fortunately, we’ve got pictures to remember what we easily forget.

 
 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 10

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7.20 p.m. in the car after shopping

 

Little boy:     “…you still owe me a new gun.”

Big boy:         “It wasn’t my fault that it’s broken.”

Little boy:     “Who’s fault is it then?”

Big boy:         “I don’t’ have any money.”

Little boy:     “Why…?”

Big boy:         “I already owe Dad 50 Swiss francs.”

Little boy:     “But I don’t want to wait.”

Big boy:         “But you know I have debts.”

Little boy:     “This isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “You’re so mean.”

Little boy:     “What?”

Big boy:         “You’re pushing me.”

Little boy:     “I just want a replacement for my gun.”

Big boy:         “You’re making me feel so bad.”

Little boy:     “Why?”

Big boy:         “It’s not fun being in debt.”

Little boy:     “Well, this isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “You’re so mean.”

Little boy:     “Why?”

Big boy:         “You don’t know how it feels for me.”

Little boy:     “Yes, because I’m not always spending all my money.”

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 9

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7.37 a.m. before leaving for school

Big boy:         “Can I borrow your headphones again?”

Little boy:     “Why don’t you take yours?”

Big boy:         “They’re broken. Can I?”

Little boy:     “No, I don’t give them.”

Big boy:         “Oh, come on!”

Little boy:     “You’re always breaking my things.”

Big boy:         “No, this isn’t true.”

Little boy:     “I remember very well.”

Big boy:         “Come on, just for today.”

Little boy:     “Buy you new headphones.”

Big boy:         “I can’t. School is starting soon.”

Little boy:     “Well, this isn’t my problem.”

Big boy:         “But you don’t need yours today!”

Little boy:     “No, but I don’t want to lend.”

Big boy:         “Oh, you’re such a coward.”

Little boy:     “And you’re always insulting me…”

Big boy:         “Yes, because you’re deserving it.”

Little boy:     “Stop now…”

Big boy:         “You’re such a snob.”

Little boy:     “Mom, he’s insulting me again.”

Big boy:         “Oh dear! …mama’s boy!”

Being two

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Having feelings.

Feeling loved.

But there is no space to be.

There is no space for love.

Feeling squeezed.
 

What stays are memories.

Memories of being in one world.

Having one future.

Being meant for each other.

Being one by two.

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 7

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7.05 p.m. in the kitchen

Big boy:         “Good morning, my sweet little brother.”

Little boy:     “Mm…”

Big boy:         “Come to me, I’d like to give you a kiss.”

Little boy:     “What’s going on?”

Big boy:         “Why?”

Little boy:     “You’re never in such a good mood.”

Big boy:         “Aren’t you happy when I’m like this?”

Little boy:     “It’s totally unusual.”

Big boy:         “So what?”

Little boy:     “I cannot believe it.”

Big boy:         “Well…”

Little boy:     “You seem so artificial.”

Big boy:         “And…?”

Little boy:     “What’s the reason for your good mood?”

Big boy:         “I feel great today.”

Little boy:     “Just like this?”

Big boy:         “I’m looking forward to my school night walk.”

Little boy:     “Aha…”

Big boy:         “Aren’t you happy with me?”

Little boy:     “You should be going on a night walk every day.”

Big boy:         “Why?”

Little boy:     “I’d be so much more comfortable with you…”

Sweet VIP box

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“Mom, where did you put my swimming suit? Where did you put my wooden gun and my fishing net?”

Every half a day, I’m looking for something I put away a few days ago or more.

Two teenagers drop a lot of items at places where they’re not meant to be. And one has to be consistent as the boss of the house.

Living two weeks in this tiny hut in South India is a real salvation for a mother. First, there isn’t a lot of space to spread out things; and second, the number of belongings for the vacation is extremely reduced to the one at home.

I’d wish I could spend more weeks of the year with fewer items around my boys and me. I’m sure one could concentrate on more important things than looking for our belongings.

I admit it doesn’t have to be the monk style, but just a little bit more concentration on the essential of life.

 

 

Conversation between brothers: Scene 6

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5.15 p.m. on a Saturday

Big boy:         “I’m bored. Let’s do something.”

Little boy:     “I’m busy now. I’m playing with my Legos?”

Big boy:         “Can I play with you?”

Little boy:     “No, you’re always disturbing me.”

Big boy:         “Come on. I want to play with you.”

Little boy:     “Don’t touch my Legos.”

Big boy:         “Don’t be so mean.”

Little boy:     “I’m so happy on my own.”

Big boy:         “Please, give me a chance.”

Little boy:     “Oh, no…”

Big boy:         “I always let you play with me.”

Little boy:     “No, that’s not true.”

Big boy:         “You’re lying.”

Little boy:     “Give me a break.”

Big boy:         “Come on, one chance.”

Little boy:     “Okay.”

Big boy:         “Okay, we should build this in a different way.”

Little boy:     “You’re not the boss.”

Big boy:         “But I want to help you.”

Little boy:     “I don’t need your help.”

Big boy:         “You’re such a fool.”

Little boy:     “Mom, my brother calls me a fool…”

Conversation between brothers: Scene 5

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7.31 p.m. at the breakfast table:

Big boy:         “Who is your best friend at school?”
Little boy:     “I don’t have one, I have several?”

Big boy:         “But if you have to choose one?”

Little boy:     “Oh, this is difficult. I like many.”

Big boy:         “Come on. If you have to choose right now!”

Little boy:     “Oh, you ask difficult questions…”

Big boy:         “It isn’t difficult at all.”

Little boy:     “I’m different than you.”

Big boy:         “But do you have friends?”

Little boy:     “Sure. I told you.”

Big boy:         “So, can you name just one.”

Little boy:     “I like them all.”

Big boy:         “If you have to invite one.”

Little boy:     “I wouldn’t know.”

Big boy:         “Come on.”

Little boy:     “Okay. Maybe L…”

Big boy:         “Aha…”

Little boy:     “Or M…”

Big boy:         “You cannot make any decision.”

Little boy:     “How about you?”

Big boy:         “I know. It’s definitely A…”

Little boy:     “Okay. I knew… and you’re so snobbish.”

Hot chocolates in Delhi

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This is India, too. You won’t believe that this picture hasn’t been taken in London, Paris or Rom. And it wasn’t a five star hotel. It was a coffee shop in the quarter of the Tibetan colony in Delhi.

How come that this coffee shop knew what is modern art in serving things?

I don’t know. But I know that I don’t like to get the same things all over the world like cloths or coffee shops.

I like to drink my coffee or chai for example at Clafouti in Varkala in a mug, which has always another color or shape every day.

The variety makes my day, not the sameness. How about you?
 
 

 

Enjoying the moment

 

Spending two days in an Indian train might be unimaginable for Swiss people, and this with two kids who like to move every minute.

But no worries! There is so much going on in such a train: So many different people getting in and out, so many sellers of various sweets, drinks or different curry, so many breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners.

And there was plenty of time to just be together and have fun with our Tibetan friend.

The moment itself became important; and one forgot the many hours to still be on the train.

If I lived my days in Switzerland like this, I’d be less stressed by the exigence of life…

 
 

The world belongs to him

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When I was as old as my little boy, nine years old, I was a quiet, timid girl being very afraid of talking to other people than my family and blushing when I had to talk to the teacher during the classes.

I don’t know how I survived so many displeasing situations in the public because I was so shy having tears always quickly at hand, which made me more timid and I hated it so much.

How did I become so courageous to speak out in public and to write critiques for newspapers?

Little boy won’t have any problems. The world belongs to him.

Fortunately.

Some people get this capability for free; some people have to work for it hard as I had to.

I am happy for all the people who are like my little boy.

 
 

Exciting life abroad

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Returning from India we stopped for a few hours in Abu Dhabi. This airport is a melting pot, which I think is very enriching: you can find so many nationalities, so many ways of dressing and so many different faces.

My boys feel very comfortable in such a surrounding. And I hope they will be without prejudice facing other cultures in the future.

As a kid I got to know a few Germans in Germany close to the Swiss frontier. They spoke, dressed and behaved like me. This wasn’t rather foreign.

When I finished school, all I wanted to do was going abroad. I spent one year in Paris, some month in England and in the States. I always dreamt of living abroad.

But I am still in Switzerland. I don’t know why. Perhaps it is my task to show my boys how to travel to other countries and to open their minds for other cultures.

Maybe… and maybe we will be taking off all three together one day. Who knows?

 
 

Jealousy

Sunny boy_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
 
Little boy is a very sunny, caring and clever kid, and his self-confidence is big. I often tell him how great he is.

For example, during his violin lesson he is talking without fear telling his teacher why it has been difficult to rehearse, why it has been easy to play this way and why he is excited about this piece and what he would like to play and what he doesn’t like and so on and so on.

It isn’t easy to cope with a child like this. His violin teacher as well as one of his schoolteachers is very fond of him and his attitude. His second schoolteacher can’t cope with him.

Little boy told me once: “I’ve got the impression that Mrs. B. doesn’t like me. Do you think I am wrong?” Unfortunately, I had to confirm his presumption because as I know Mrs. B. I am convinced that in her childhood she couldn’t be the child she wanted to be and she didn’t get the necessary acknowledgement by her parents.

Seeing little boy with all his enthusiasm and positive radiation she must feel jealous of his entire positive attitude to life and people.

I feel sorry for my boy as well as for his teacher.

 

Meeting the old lady

Olga Charova_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

She is an 86-year-old lady: proud and brilliant. Her body is fragile, but her mind is rather strong. Before I met Olga Charova, she has been lying in bed for three months, being very sick and loosing a lot of weight.

I didn’t expect her to leave her home and to come to the restaurant to meet, but she wanted it this way. I expected her feeling very shaky. The woman who has been working all her life as a dentist in Sofia showed me something else.

She was smiling, telling jokes and describing how she wants to go back soon to the court arguing with the lawyers to get back her property. Her eyes began to shine, and I was looking in a beautiful face.

I am so glad we met. She told me what it means to be young even if your body tells you the opposite, and she showed me how you can be strong in your mind even if you feel weak in your bones.

 

Being brothers but different

 

Brothers_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Two brothers – but two totally different persons – by character and behavior.

The older one is an early bird, gets up at six o’clock and starts yawning long before nine o’clock at night. He falls at sleep in the circus, when we have guests or when his little brother feels totally in shape and wants to play with him a round of poker.

The little one spends hours on caressing the cats, he invents games with a simple rope or he folds his cloths to a nice pile during vacation.

Meanwhile, the older one throws his cloths in a corner of the hotel room floor. On the other hand, this boy has got hundreds of ideas what he’d like to construct: a rat house, a wooden gun, a soapbox, and a hot-air balloon or he tells me every detail of the video he saw with his father.

I ask the small one to do me a favor and he does it. I beg the other one, and since he can talk, he always answers me: what do I get for doing it? The same boy gets angry when he asks his brother a chewing gum, and he doesn’t get it. But whenever he is asked to share, he stuffs all the sweets at the same time in his mouth in order to avoid sharing.

The older one has never got enough pocket money. There are thousand things he’d like to buy. He always borrows and keeps paying back. The little one should be banker in the future because he already knows how to deal with money.

The list of different behavior could be endless. Isn’t it the difference, which makes life interesting, and not the sameness?

PS. The picture was taken four years ago, and the two world conquerors were five and seven years old.

Kids change your thinking

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The point of view changes when you have kids. I didn’t want to recognize for a long time because I didn’t want to feel different than people without kids.

When I didn’t have kids yet, there were two points of reference: my parents and myself.

Since I am a mother, there are three points of reference: my kids, myself and my parents.

It is so much different because there is the responsibility.

Whenever I think at myself, I’d rather remember first my kids and in a second point myself.

I don’t count anymore as it was before.

I think this is okay because it is always helpful in life when one can step aside and let other people be in the center – even when they aren’t your own kids but acquaintances, colleagues from work or friends.

 

 

Time stood still

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Normally, he is talking like a waterfall. But then, he was lying there.

The little surgical intervention with a general anesthesia went well.

I sat at his bed and waited until he woke up. I was looking at his chest, following his breathing.

I was looking at his face during hours, studying his little eye movements.

I’ve never looked at my child so intensively and for so long. It was a very special moment I’ll never forget.

I didn’t think much. I was just wishing he would have not too much pain after all and I kept looking at him.

For one hour, for two hours… and after three hours, he decided to leave his dreams and come back.

The waterfall took some time to come back but it is again here. And I am so glad.

 

Attraction

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Clouds are like humans or humans are like clouds. Some are attracting each other like in the picture and some try to stay away from each other.

Today, my younger boy and me met a doctor at the children hospital and felt both the same way very attracted to this young woman. She explained to my boy how they would be doing the anesthesia when he will be operated in two days.

She did this in a simple way, very empathetic, looking and talking to the kid as an adult. And my boy smiled and opened his mind and felt very at ease.

“What a friendly person”, we both said when we left her room.

It has been a very short meeting. But my boy won’t forget it. She even taught him how to listen to his own heart beating.

Attraction is a very mysterious thing. It just happens between humans, very subtly and unintentionally.

 
 

Little universe of thinking

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It is a small world, my little mossy universe of thinking.

A lot of tiny thoughts are turning their rounds; some are coming and disappearing as soon as they arrived. Some are turning and going round and round and round.

It is difficult to have the big picture.

I am crawling, moving my arms and legs and breathing every third movement.

At the beginning, my thoughts are wild, a total disorder; after some hundred meters, they start to slow down and become more clear. And at the end of my crawl session, there are just a few, but very precise thoughts. What a relief!

 
 

Playing myself

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My kid played the role of the Puss in the boots. It is a wonderful fairy tale about having nothing and getting everything. The only condition is to play well your role.

Well, I admit this is a rather simple interpretation of the story. But it seems to fit to a program I encountered rather often in life.

It is important how I play my role. The better I play the more I get. But playing well means to me playing my own role and not the one expected by my parents, teachers, superiors, colleagues, partner or my children.

And this is the most difficult. Being connected to the person I am and to what I am feeling isn’t easy to play in a big theatre like our world.

Sometimes, I’d prefer to be my cat lying on my sofa all day long and being myself during doing nothing.

 
 

Progressing

Painting_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

When I was a teenager, I used to write down my thoughts in a diary.

Those moments were very important to me, lying on me bed and trying to describe how I got along with my parents, teachers and friends.
But re-reading my diary after weeks, months or years was even more important to me.

Because I could feel again how I felt when I wrote it down. And it made me feel more mature looking at me from a certain distance.

It made me believe that I was progressing.

Nowadays without diary, I feel I am turning around.

There are always similar reflections and deductions.

And there is no final conclusion.

 
 

Here or there?

Indian Gate_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 
I am standing in front of the gate but I’d like to be on the other side.

I imagine it to be more interesting over there but it is only in my imagination. I don’t have any real experience.

So many times in life I find myself dreaming of being elsewhere.

If I try now to imagine being on the other side of the gate and looking at me from there, it feels surprisingly good; I see myself with other eyes and I wished to be over there with me.

Again, many things are just a matter of viewpoint.

 

 

 

Being prince and princess

Swiss toad_www.esthersviewpoint.com

This is my prince I want to kiss. Will he be my man?

He will be bright, beautiful and sensitive. Very simple, isn’t it?

Kissing the frog and starting a relationship is very easy, too. What seems to be more complicated is certainly all what comes after.

I wish my prince to be different than he is because I imagined him more caring or selfless.

But the frog stays as it is and I cannot give him back.

Am I the princess I imagined to be?

 
 

Laughing

Boys laughing_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

Fortunately, my two boys are rather bright.

Even too bright when I want them to spend less time on their computers or smartphones and when I want to lock them for a certain time.

They are hiding their machines telling me totally innocently they haven’t seen them for a while.

But it is great to have smart kids. They will be teaching me a lot: how to use all the future machines which will be developed in the future.

And one other important thing: they are teaching me to laugh; at myself and at all things I use to take too seriously.

Thank you, boys!
 
 

Too many pictures

Myself_www.esthersviewpoint.com

 

I see myself from the outside; I see myself from the inside.

I am standing in between.

It isn’t me what I see. I am different.

You look at me and you recognize me.

I am trying the same thing: I would like to recognize me.

But I always get a different picture.

I’d like to be like you: I wished I could see me as you see me.

In one clear picture.

Otherwise, it is so confusing.

 
 

Big picture with holes

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Is it better to be concentrated on the moment and the details in life? Or is it worthwhile to have the big picture in mind?

When I see the big picture, I see all the details which aren’t the way I would like to have them to be. It is like a Swiss cheese landscape with holes.

When I try to concentrate on the moments in life, I am stuck to the details which are annoying me by their imperfection.

So, what is the best way to look at things?

I guess it needs a solution in between.

Difficult.
 

 

A long tightrope walk

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Being a member of a society, being part of a team at work, being a member of a family, being a tiny part of a bigger organization means adapting oneself to the others.

If I don’t feel like doing it, the sooner or later I get the information, I am not accepted by the group.

But where is the line between being different and adjusting to the rest? To which extent I am aloud to think, to talk, and to act differently?

Sometimes, it is difficult to find the right amount of being different.

Sometimes, it is easy to adjust.

It needs courage to be oneself and different than the others; it is like a tightrope walk.

If it is worthwhile, one hardly finds out during lifetime.

 
 

Happy childhood

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I don’t have a lot of memories of my childhood playing together with other children.

Maybe, it is because my mother wanted us, my brother and me, to be around her when we came back from school.

Maybe, she was feeling so lonely at home when we were at school and she was happy to have company when school was off.

She was upset when I spent the whole afternoon on my bed in my room reading books.

She wasn’t happy when I brought my friend with me and when we were knitting pullovers and drinking tea during our free afternoons on Wednesdays.

I should have been my mom’s unique friend.

What a destiny: Being born for replacing her difficult childhood during World War II by a happy motherhood.

 
 

Feelings in stock

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Sometimes, pictures express the perfect moment.

Perfect because everything feels all right. It is like a moment of meditation.

I am feeling totally connected to body, mind, and myself and to the outside, dusk and moon.

Fortunately, the picture is stored in my photo library as a proof of this perfect moment.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist a library for feelings where I could get quickly a pile of nice feelings during imperfect moments.
 
 

Caring

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Two days on this Indian train. An exciting journey from New Delhi to Kerala.

So many different people, old and young ones, talkative and silent people.

Being busy with themselves or interested in getting to know others.

The most touching picture I took with me was this flower garland. Someone fixed it to protect the travellers and to wish them a safe trip.

It is just one of these multiple beautiful rituals in India of caring, blessing, doing good to their beloved ones.

 
 

Instruction manual for life

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There is this little smile, shy but secured because of the glass wall in-between.

It is like her parents are protecting her fragile childhood.

So, this little Indian girl can grow and ripe and getting prepared for the future.

The glass wall will be disappearing more and more. She will get into contact with classmates, teachers, neighbors, and her parent’s friends.

More and more, she will get responsible for protecting herself of displeasing things and people. Nobody will be able to do this for her.

One can hope, that her parents will provide her an elaborate instruction manual for life.

If not, I know how it feels. One has to find out so many things by oneself, and it will be an agitated journey.

 

The art of being creative

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Aren’t they wonderful?

Three pieces of art.

But what is art? When it hangs or stands in the museum? Or when it is exposed to the public in a school building?

Being an artist is another discussion. Where does “being an artist” begin? When someone dresses, behaves like an artist? When someone creates an artificial piece of shit and sells it as art?

Being creative means to me transforming something obvious into something different.

Thinking can be creative, too.

I am thinking I am an elephant or a tree. I can feel the thick thin or the deep root, and it feels great handling difficult situations.

 
 

From far away

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There are pictures, and there are stories. I look at the picture and I see the story, which wants to be told.

I am standing with my naked feet in the sand on the beach. It is a very early morning. Nobody is already up.

It is this time between the times: between being awake and totally busy during the day.

There is much space to be filled in with floating pictures, memories and thoughts in my head.

There is much quiet to look at my life from very far away.

And there is time to find new combinations how my life could run in the future.

It would be nice to have such a moment every day, feeling the naked feet on the ground before starting into the daily hassle.

 
 

Time stands still

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It is a rainy day; school is off. The kids are playing, but not playing together; rehearsing a own play to invite their mothers to come and see.

They close the shutters because there has to be special light. They organize popcorn and syrup. They write an invitation card for theirs mums; they even create a form, which has to be personally signed by the invitees.

It is amazing how creative children can be. They give themselves names like Max or Alina instead of Leonard or Ellie.

In the play, they talk to each other as if they were adults.

It is wonderful to be part of this play and even more as spectators.

Time stands still.

Memories of the own childhood pass. It also has been a rainy day.

The three kids laugh and take me back to their play.

In thirty years, this moment will be part of their memories.

 
 

Smiling colors

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There are colors everywhere in India. I love it and I often find color combinations, which I had never dreamt of in Europe.

Wherever I walk, I’d love to take pictures and catch those colors. They are smiling at your face and you cannot do anything but smiling too.

Here in Europe, everything is grey in grey at the moment. It is wintertime. People dress in black, brown or grey; people look grey.

Sometimes, we smile a little bit. I try to, at least. Sometimes, someone smiles back. For a few seconds. And then, it becomes grey again.

Why don’t we live all in a colorful world?
 
 

Difficult question

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Children don’t need a lot. A hot noodle soup in a tiny Tibetan restaurant in India makes them more than happy.

Back in Switzerland, it is much more difficult. There are so many more things. There is a school friend who has got his own iPhone; there is another friend who has his own computer in his room or there is even another one who has got already his own television.

It is difficult to teach children that one can be as happy as the others without these things.

In a lifetime, it takes many hours of discussions and re-discussions.

Probably, being a good example as an adult would be more effective but even more difficult.

Can I be happy with fewer things?

Difficult question.

 
 

Point of view

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Green isn’t the color I like very much. But when I saw this lamp in India, I changed my mind.

It doesn’t often happen that I change my mind. I like to stick to the things I am used to.

Since years I keep this painted wooden elephant from India in my kitchen, the colorful metallic bird from Indonesia in the living room or the funny cotton camel garland from Egypt at the entrance door.

Do you know the feeling when you come back home from some weeks of traveling and you look at all these things you were used to before?

Don’t you have the impression, you look at them from outside even though they have been your close friends since a long time?

Changing the point of view, changes many things or views.

Sometimes, it is helpful to get a healthy distance to habits, too.

 
 

No barriers

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They play around; they have big fun.

The little one grew up in India, the older one in Switzerland. The one speaks Tibetan, the other one Swiss German. Both know a few words in English but not much.

The little one is living in a boarding school in Dharamsala, the older goes to a Swiss public school. The older one has around stuffed animals in his bed, the little one cannot imagine what this means.

The little one doesn’t have any memories of his mother because she left him when he was two years old; the older one calls about fifty times a day “Mama”.

Maybe, the older one will be traveling again to India as an adult with his girl friend or his brother. Maybe, the little one will be living in the Tibetan community in New Deli and running a travel agency.

Both boys will be having friends and no barriers to share time with foreign people.

 
 

Stored pictures

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Three weeks in India, four weeks back in Switzerland: four weeks of school, homework, getting up at times when one likes to sleep. Tough times.

But there are all the memories of our traveling in India.

Memories of rich experiences, of living two days in an Indian train, meeting so many different people, playing games on the mobile phone and eating ice cream with an Indian boy.

Or joking around with Tenzing, our “big brother” in a small hut which serves as living room, kitchen and sleeping room at the same time.

It is great to have all these pictures stored in our memory when daily life is difficult to stand.

 
 

Going somewhere

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I am standing here and looking into the future. It is an open space. There are no frontiers; there are no roads.

I am thinking and hoping for bright colors. It is bluish and watery. There are no images; there are no sketches.

I am crying and following my disordered feelings. It is high and deep. There are no structures; there are no traffic lights.

I am writing and knowing nothing.

 

 

A lot of possibilities?

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Maybe this Indian boy hasn’t seen any Europeans before; maybe he is shy by nature. His father in his traditional dress took him to town to buy a few things.

Which world will he be living in in 20 years? Will it be the modern India? Will he be doing the bookkeeping or will he be developing computer programs for Swiss companies?

Or will he be living with his kids and with his wife in a small hut, with a water buffalo at the backyard?

Is it already defined how his future will be? Or are there many paths with a lot of junctions and side ways?

Many questions and many possible answers.

 
 

Flexible mind

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Three years ago, Ramesh was selling his beautiful stone carved statues and buddhas. One year later, he was running a yoga school, and this year, besides giving his daily yoga classes, he is earning money with a little resort in a marvelous garden – together with a friend.

For me, he symbolizes flexibility, and whatever he does, he does it with conviction, hundred fifty percent engagement and dedication.

One of his small bamboo huts was our home base in Varkala. It was simple but comfortable, including some lizards, cockroaches and ants.

Next year, Ramesh will expand his green resort. It shall include an Ayurveda treatment center. I am sure, he will keep on going his way, step by step, with the same dedication.

 

 

Never too old to travel

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I met her again: the 92 year-old Swiss lady Pia Steiner. She was still on the road on her own, and we had a nice India dinner and an even more interesting conversation together.

I could hardly believe that she still didn’t have any other companion than herself during her stay in India for seven weeks.

Her hearing keeps going badly but her mind is brilliantly awake. She had some small health problems a few days ago but she was taken care by an India doctor and the hotel staff.

After her visit to our village, the very sunny and holy place at the seaside, she went up into the cool mountainside because of the climate. This was another taxi ride of several hours alone.

I am amazed: she doesn’t feel fear. She believes that everything goes as it is meant to be.

Pia, keep going to be my inspiration!
 
 

Between dusk and dawn

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Running to the bus stop this morning, I couldn’t prevent myself from taking a picture in front of our neighbor’s house.

Today’s dawn touched a string in my mind because it reflects my inner world.

There is light at the horizon.

But I don’t fully trust that it will lighten up as the dawn promises it.

Trust needs time.

A lot of time.

Together

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Spending time with friends is very important. Feeling connected brings warmth into life.

Sometimes, you don’t feel very close to certain friends, but you still like them.

Sometimes, your friend’s life changes so much that you don’t have much in common. This feels strange and it bothers me.

Sometimes, it feels okay that you are gliding away from each other because you don’t have anything to share with.

Friendship is a very delicate thing.

It pushes me to enjoy every beautiful moment to the full extent because nothing stays the same.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Smiling

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There aren’t so many colors in Switzerland at the moment. It’s rather gloomy. But suddenly, you discover something, which pops up from the grey.

Someone had this wonderful idea to put more colors to a simple railway underpass.

It is as if someone smiles at me.

We all need an unexpected smile from time to time, which brings a short moment of warmth.

It takes nothing. But it gives a lot. It brings color into life.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Deep-rooted

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Planting a tree is something special. It is like taking the decision to build a house or finishing the studies at university. It feels exciting.

The new tree is a sweetgum and shall mark the beginning of a new period, hopefully a sweet one.

Our sweetgum will be watching us every day through the kitchen and living room windows. It will be hearing us laughing or crying, joking or shouting.

It will be going with us during happy days and sad moments. It will see the boys getting adults in eight or ten years.

I’d wish to be this tree, seeing everything from a certain distance. It would make things easier.

Yes, I should more often change to be a tree, deep-rooted, and watching from outside.

 
 
 
 

Extremes

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Sometimes, you know exactly where you’re going. You see the light just in front of you.

Sometimes, you don’t know where it shall be going. It feels uncomfortable. You wish to change but you do not succeed.

Sometimes, you know it must be changing the sooner or later because it doesn’t feel the right way.

Sometimes, everything feels grey but you like the extremes: either totally dark or totally light.

Sometimes, you have to listen to your breath, touch your face and imagine you are alive.

 
 
 
 

The 50+ thin-skinned elephant

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Looking for a job at the age of fifty plus, this is something for thick-skinned creatures. I thought to be one of them, but I was totally wrong. The longer it lasted, the more I lost self-confidence. Everybody told me to believe in myself; everybody was convinced that I would find again a good job. I believed them and I believed in me. I wrote hundreds of applications. I had to study tons of job requirements and figure out which details of my Curriculum Vitae I should place on the top of my applications. I got so desperate during the last weeks. I started writing emails to my friends that began with “help”. This week, there seems to be a tiny light at the back of the tunnel. I let you know if hope becomes reality.