Holy Cow(s)!, trumpery and Holi-days! A msg of Peace.

2016? Holy cow! It’s been a ride of “deestings”, unabashed trumpery, distractions and Being Nice Isn’t Enough!

Remember me telling you at the beginning of this year that sex and taking drugs, eating sleeping and doing good deeds had this “gimme more” effect. That you should get addicted to good deeds and the more you do it the more you want it? Do you remember my 3 to do’s and 5 reminders to help get you what you want? No? Then go here before you go making any new resolutions. Yes? Good. I’ll be adding a few more life hacks to those. Read on.

This 2482 word reflection is a no bullshit message of peace containing

– colorful cows, female distractions and other fun and sexy life lessons

– idiotic idiomatic and old English expressions

– a pre-view of a good book to read

– 4 tips on how to get others to start a sparkly collaboration revolution with you

– a peace mantra

all from an expat-in-India perspective.

You know what it’s like. Come the end of anything you start looking back, taking stock and perhaps, reflecting. The deeper journey into self. Like the end of a relationship you know what you’re not going to be doing, ever, again – until you fall in love again. Come a time to move house or office you clean up and clear out and hopefully only take the things that spark true joy.  Or not.  Maybe you’ll repack them one more time because you’re afraid of letting go? Come the end of the business year you appraise or get appraised so you can get that hard earned raise.

Well I don’t know about you, but that’s what I am doing. Apart from much bigger worldly affairs that rock the world with floods, earthquakes and bombs here’s my year, neatly packed:
Feb to Aug 2016 – move to Goa, India with two cats and I write. Container with minimalist living items arrives a month later. I unpack. I write. My one fur-animal heart stops beating. I grieve and I write. The air changes. I can feel the coming rain. I write. And send book proposal to publishers. The monsoon arrives and locks me in. I write. I get rejected by publishers with advice on what to change for possible acceptance of written work. I go to SA, do some bush work for my other wild warrior heart and the endangered rhino. I tweak proposal. I continue to write. I come back to Goa and write some more.

Sept to Dec 2016 – Tarra! Tarra! Here some of my own trumpeting! On September 21st, 2016 I was invited to do a keynote at the United Nations in Vienna on the topic of my book Being Nice Isn’t Enougha how to cut through the niceties and get real cross-cultural collaboration. I rocked – with a little help for my friends – my Pastor Matthew Laferty (ESUMC) and my husband Bernhard! I also got to spread the written but not yet published word in seminars, workshops and one on one coaching with professionals in the EU. Luvvit! I return to Goa. Write. Resubmit. Now I wait.

And in between all that something incredible happened. Which brings me to “Holy Cow!” and holy cows. “Holy Cow!” is a term used to express amazement and disbelief on hearing or seeing something incredible, or rather, not credible.
Maybe it is my 54 year old eyesight or maybe there really is such a blur on what is real and what is not. It is hard to figure out what is what. I can hear when my driver doesn’t know either when what he tries to explain to me becomes a “deestings”. Well, actually M’am, deestings this and deestings that! I have gathered “deestings” means “these things”. These things which are inexplicable and cannot or should not be named. And so instead of uttering my preferred less nice “deestings” when confronted with a reality which, in my western logic, is absolutely incredible, I have taken to referring to one of their sacred animals. The paradox is this. Some holy cows have owners. Some don’t. These beautiful holy God given animals are left to roam and are at the mercy of their environment which means they

– are constantly in danger, weaving in and out of maddening traffic.

– are constantly searching for sustenance through mountains of human waste and occasionally find     tufts of wholesome green, in between.

– are decorated and forced to stand for long hours under the scorching sun for fancy photos with         you and me.

Somewhere between what is imagery, imaginary and reality – decorative or not – I bet you didn’t know that despite the fact that the cow is holy and killing of the cow is “banned” India ranks 5th in the world for beef production and 1st in exporting beef. Because of man’s flesh eating habits. Holy sacred cow!  And, no one will admit that the ancient way of living in symbiosis with nature has gone astray in the clouds of pollution shrouding the eternal (Sanskrit) sun.

Which brings me to recent global political and economic events relying more and more on trumpery or more commonly known as good old bullshit to reach the masses.

Samuel Johnson, in his great dictionary of 1755, assigned two meanings to trumpery, neither very nice.  The first one is something of less or no value and the second is falsehood and empty talk. Earlier in the 18th century, Nathan Bailey gave a slightly more concise definition in his Dictionarium Bratannicum namely trash, sorry, pitiful, paltry. Trumpery has been in use in English since the late 15th century, and has been used, at one time or another, to refer to weeds, people (especially women known to earn money doing un-nice things) and religious matters (especially those that are based on superstition).

The said events are an in-your-face reminder of all the crap that is going on in our world right now. And can we really say we haven’t / don’t contribute to it any of it?

Being the sparkly, over-optimistic and at times delusional hopeful that I am I honestly, not for a second, in my wildest dreams believed that the people – the 61,900,651 portion of them – who I share this planet with and who I so generously entrust with good old “Hausverstand” (common sense) would ever have elected deestings who promised to make the now divided states of America great again. What for? Until that day, the united states of that nation was on the road to great recovery under the very qualified straight talking steering of a great man.

Once again this year I am at a loss for words. But wait, somebody has gone to what must have been pains-taking trouble to provide us with adjectives to describe “deesting” who should not be named – trump in one word. The only thing I will share about this, is this:

– to trump up (v) to construct/create/conjure up deceitfully or dishonestly

 – trump (n) a winning card – the Ace or Joker in a higher ranking card suite, or a decisive              overriding factor

– to trump (v) is to give forth a trumpet-like sound; to break wind or more commonly known as    (to) fart or farting (furtzen). Loudly. Sadly this rather descriptive form is not that well known in the US – what a prissy lot!

But. On a more serious note. Michael Moore predicted and warned us about this. This is what he said (long) before Election Day: “He is saying the things to people who are hurting. It’s why every beaten down, forgotten, nameless stiff who used to be part of what was called the middle class loves Trump.
He is the human Molotov Cocktail they’ve been waiting for. The human hand grenade they can legally throw at the system which stole their lives from them. On November 8, the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth, be handed a ballot, close the curtain and take that lever and put a big f&%$ing ‘X’ in the box by the name of the man who has threatened to up-end and overturn the very system that has ruined their lives: Donald J Trump. 
Trump’s election is going to be the biggest “f&%$  you” ever recorded in human history. There’s more. Here you are!

As much as I understand it, I hoped it wouldn’t happen. But it did. Like when your parent part came and pulled your bed covers off your sleeping body, leaving you “naked” and exposed. And that is exactly what we do. We choose to go through life in a warm state of cosy blinkered sleep-walk denial – hoping that big daddy will take care of our safety and comforts (if we pay our taxes like nice citizens) and wake us up – nicely – when the work is done. But then we wake up (too) late, holding the big pouting throw-my-toys-right-out-the-cot-if-I-don’t-get-what-I-want baby. And we get mad at the world. Bam!

We do not realise with real eyes the real lies.

Or has the culmination of 2016 events been a good thing?
Will we wake up, rub the sleep out of our eyes and start seeing things for what they really are?
Will we stand together, dis-illusioned but delusion-ed no more?
Can we, as in Faith, believe in the not yet seen – because that is what the future is – and trust that, in the end, good will triumph over trumpery?
Are we able to accept that this is only, albeit it huge, an Almighty wake up call for us all to rise, get up and stand up and be the change we want to see?

Or will we continue to immerse ourselves in the machination of mass distraction?
Will we flee into any source of distraction as long as we don’t have to deal with ourselves?

Distraction is an age old art – especially that of a sexual nature.

Women in erotic positions were carved out on the facades of places of worship all over the world thousands of years ago. Are today’s verhicles – those with scantly clad women draped over them – considered as “temples”? Anyway. On a recent visit to the ancient city of Hampi I asked why and our guide told me it was to distract evil spirits from entering the temple. Note to self: place all sorts of erotic paraphernalia on facade at home – might be the best and cheapest form of security around. But if you know where home is you’ll know that the rest of my town and country folk will huff and puff about it not being very nice and start badmouthing “Ausländer” (outlanders) (only kidding) (foreigners). But I do love being outlandish! Anyway. I’m getting distracted again. We’re all masters of distraction especially when we need to take accountability for something we’ve done that’s not nice. Distractions are usually expressed in “yes, but…” and “no, but…” and things like a shift in eye contact and behaviour. Others layer on nice. Layers and layers of sweet and icky nice like an Esterházy Torte! And that’s why you’ve been taught to be nice since the day you were born – it’s sweet and it detracts from the sometimes not so nice truth.

As some of you know I’ve been writing about un-doing nice and being nice. Being Nice Isn’t Enough is about un-doing stuff that no longer works for you or in today’s cross-cultural world of work and play. It’s going to kick your butt into trying out a new approach on how to better understand others and support yourself in working with anyone, anywhere. It will reveal to you that depending on where you come from being nice doesn’t always mean it is – or that it is enough. Nice is not honest, does little to build trust, cannot be maintained and is simply not profitable in the long run.

So what to do? How to communicate, connect and collaborate with others or teams from different cultures without being nice? You do it through personal discovery, because…

The Greeks, apparently, engraved “know thyself” on their ancient temples – an invitation to their people to question their motives and their actions. They were smart people so I’m inviting you to do the same. I’m inviting you to go to your collaboration core. I’ve been there and it is fun! In my Being Nice Isn’t Enough I will also prove to you that the opposite of not being nice is not aggressive, insincere, impolite, or unkind.

And where did I get all this worldly wisdom from you ask? From my insatiable lust to wander and you. Years of gathering your experiences and opinions on doing business with people from other cultures, in our conversations. Thank you.

And this. I read a line, many moons ago. It said that you/one can only take others to their inner core, if you have taken the journey yourself.  I did (still enjoying it) and have found these life hack sparkles along the way which as you know work very well:
Collaboration note #1: people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care. So out with the Degrees and MBAs and in with real heart social intelligence or SQ!
Collaboration note #2: depending on how you “see” people – as threats, nuisances or objects – will determine how you talk to them. You can either talk at, talk down or talk with them. Which do you think they or you would prefer?
Collaboration note #3: you can only motivate others if you are passionate about what you’re doing and they sense 100% engagement on your part.
Collaboration note #4: you can only expect no BS from others when you stop bullshitting yourself, and them. In other words: “know thyself”.

And so, I came to realise, with my own eyes, the real lies currently going on in cross-border business, along with all the “trumpery” by world leaders, that there couldn’t be a better time to start a gutsy, honest, straight talking sparkly revolution!

But, being as flexible as I am and understanding that you might not be the kick-butt action activist ready to start a revolution I also have a peaceful gem for you to add to the life hacks I have shared with you. A word. When repeated it demonstrates the power of language, the power of thought and the power of peaceful behaviour.

Shanti (Sanskrit): peace, rest, calmness, tranquillity and bliss. It means to possess an inner peace, a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace with enough knowledge and understanding to keep yourself strong in the face of stress, conflict and discord (the opposite of harmony).

Tina Turner and members of her tribe including kids from all over the world offer us a beautiful peace mantra. Rub your hands. Get the positive energy flowing. Say the words. Sarvesham Svastir Bhavatu, Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. Repeat. And bring on the peace.

As we move into days of happy holidays I wish you happy “Holi”. Another word that manages to put a smile on everyone’s face who says it. A time to celebrate the end winter (yes! we’re suffering in a 30°C winter) with the joy and hope of Spring. A time of frolic and fun. Victory of good over evil and light over dark. A show of love in color.

I wish you a happy Holi-days – a beautiful time with loved ones. A time of sharing, rest, warmth and peace.

I wish you a new year filled with joy and hope, frolic and fun, colour and love.

I wish for more looking with real eyes and realising where lie the real lies.

No buts. Go kick some peace and love butts and remember to sparkle – like a Christmas star!

See you soon in 2017 with more news from Kickbuttville!

PS: The images with myself, and the facade of Hampi Temple are my own. The others were googled without visiting a site. The rhino illustration was done by Karin Hoffman who works with me as a graphic recorder in seminars etc. Click on her name for more information on what we do!


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