Category Archives: Morning hours

Respecting yourself – don’t betray your own ideals for others

Respect is one of the very important ingredients you need to create the “cake” called happiness. However,do not make the mistake to think that it is other people who need to add THEIR respect to YOUR cake. You are the baker, you are responsible for what that cake looks like.

When I was younger (as in a kid and teenager) I often just adjusted my own needs to what other people wanted. I thought this way I would become more popular, more loved, more respected, and that people then would want to spend more time with me. I only achieved that I was “tolerated” (I now also know I was looking for the attention of the wrong people, but that is a story for another time, maybe). I also achieved that I was very unhappy with myself because I often put my own well-being, my own needs, my own values into a cupboard. I hid my passions, my true opinions, and in return did not really get along with myself very well. I was disrespecting myself – just because I wanted other people to like me. It took me a while to learn that this is not how it works.

How can you expect other people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself first?

I learned that you need to respect yourself first. After all, if other people feel that you don’t have any respect for yourself, why should they respect you in return? If you feel unhappy in your skin, if you don’t get along with yourself, if you don’t like yourself – why should others? What reason would they have to like the true you if you are hiding your true self behind high, solid fortress walls?

Don’t get me wrong: There will always be people who won’t like you. There will always be people who in general do not show much respect towards anybody. There will always be people with whom you won’t get along. But those are the people you should not waste your energy on. Don’t try to people please them by bending backwards and forwards to make them believe you agree with them. Don’t pretend you like something that you truly couldn’t care about less, or even have a real aversion against it.

Never betray your own ideals to make someone like you

I admit, in the past I was guilty of this. I thought something along the lines of “If I said something really witty, that person will surely like me.” or “If I tell them that I agree with that, then I will avoid an argument and they’ll accept me as part of their group.” I also spent more time in situations that I would simply walk away from these days. I would play down my own beliefs if my words caused some negativity in others. I would try to justify my ideas b playing them down. This was disrespectful towards myself, towards the things I like, and towards the people I loved (even though those people were “only” writers, actors or singers). Don’t do that. If people cannot accept what you believe and love, then they are not suitable for your life. You need to have enough respect for yourself to walk away from situations and people that make you feel uncomfortable and under pressure to turn into an actor or actress. In the long run, those people will only make you feel used and unloved. Having to hide behind a mask is never a good thing for your long-term happiness. And while people might not know that you are not being yourself, they will subconsciously feel that there is something not quite right – which will be a reason for them to respect you even less than they might already do.

Integrity and honesty are very important when you want to find the right kind of friends for yourself.


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24 hours in a day – now and in the past

Time does not change…

20 years ago, we had 24 hours each day. Today, our days are still filled with 24 hours. The hours that are available to us do not change. The length of our days is ruled by our planet’s location in the solar system. The sun rises and falls on our sky as the Earth travels around the centre of our system. We cannot change anything about that. All that is left to us is to use the time given to us (as said by Gandalf in Lord of the Rings – not a precise quote, but close enough).

… but how we use it does

But when you compare a typical day 20 years ago with a typical day today, you can’t help but notice one thing: we seem to have less time, especially when it comes to finding time for other people. Technology is supposed to make our lives easier – that’s always kind of the slogan of modern technology. Organize your life with this and that app, keep track of your friends, share more, do more in less time. But to me, it feels like we have less time for proper and meaningful interactions with others.

When I was young(er)

When I was a child and teenager, the internet was only slowly spreading, and the speeds were just as slow. The internet itself was quite small compared to the millions of websites today. I always enjoyed reading and writing, so it was natural to me to be interested in having pen friends – and I had many of them. I usually received 4-5 letters each week, often from a variety of different countries. I enjoyed reading those letters, and I loved writing back. I enjoyed creating lovely looking letters. Each letter was different, and I always looked forward to receiving letters from my favourite pen pals. Some letters were 20-30 pages long! Writing and receiving letters made me feel connected to the world – and it made me feel like there are people out there who would be my friends if only we lived closer together. But then things changed.

Changes – from letters to emails…. from emails to nothing

When the internet became more popular, the popularity of letters shrank. And I did not like it. I wanted to continue writing letters, but many pen pals said that they would prefer using the new technology now. It was so new and exciting. As I did not want to lose my contacts, I agreed, but said maybe we could still write some letters. After a few years of the internet, I had only one pen pal left (fortunately she was my favourite – from Japan, with very long and interesting letters). The ones who were so keen on writing emails stopped at some stage. And then my Japanese pen pal graduated from university, moved to Tokyo, started a job, and had no more time for long letters. We are friends on Facebook now. But that era of long letters has ended years ago.

Handwritten letters today

I can’t remember when I received the last handwritten, meaningful letter. I tried to find new pen pals via internet sites – but nothing truly worked out. Most people wrote 1-2 letters, then nothing else came. Sometimes they wrote excuses via email  – but it seems like nobody has time for writing a proper letter any more. Imagine a stranger, somewhere in another country, or even in the same country, sitting down at a table with pen and paper, willing to spend some time just for writing a letter to YOU. It is a present. And nothing is more valuable than a person’s time – but less and less people are willing to give that present.

The present of time

Even people you know find it hard to give away their time.  When I left the last place I stayed at, I left hand-written letters for two people. It took me some time, and I thought maybe at least one of them would reply. Even if it was just a short email, or even a Facebook message to just say thank you for the letter. Maybe even reply a little to it – but nothing. After two weeks, nothing. Do we live in a world in which time is so rare that people are not willing to give it to others any more?

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The law of attraction and all the nice theories about life

It’s Saturday morning, it’s raining (again), and I told myself not to do any work today even though I have some articles I need to write piled up in my inbox. They can wait until tomorrow.

Books that help you

Last night, I had a bit of a low because I was at the point where some thoughts simply did not want to be ignored any longer. I wanted to find a book like The Artist’s Way, the sort of book that actually “communicates” with you, by asking you questions and giving you space to answer them, too. So I was browsing Amazon on my Kindle, but then got so sick about the dozens, or hundreds, of books about the law of attraction. It seems like the only people who profit from these books are the publishers and authors themselves. I downloaded a few sample chapters, but unfortunately Kindle samples never go far beyond the endless introductions. And each of them was the same: “I had no success, I read other books, then I had an idea, now I am all happy, here is the book to help you.” None of the books “spoke” to me. They all seemed more like “me, me, me, and look what I did” stories.

Maybe I will just go back to the Artist’s way, work through that and then also work through the two “sequels”, even though I started one of them once and did not find it as good as the original Artist’s Way. Maybe some of you know good books that are similar?

The same “old” problem

What I mainly want to achieve is to simply accept the fact that friendship is something out of reach for me. I would like to completely just give up on the “need” to talk to people about things that matter to me, to want friends. I can do Law of Attraction things as much as I want. It currently just is not possible. People here only see me as a temporary volunteer worker. After work, they are gone, and I am still here, surrounded by people who usually only stay two weeks. People who return to their friends and family after being abroad for a while. People for whom I am never more than just a gap filler.

I don’t even know yet where I will be in a couple of months. My life situation is quite stressful to me. Simply because I don’t have a regular income, I can’t afford renting my own space. That’s why I currently have to rely on finding placements with places via helpx or wwoof. I actually like the place I currently am staying at and working for – but it is all so temporary. So I would like to find a good book, something that helps me to focus on other areas, something to some sort of substitute for a true friend.

Yesterday I just felt so incredibly “lost”. I truly wish there was someone who would turn into a friend – there are some people I really like – but for them, I am not more than just a worker. I could go on and on with making “wish lists”, thinking that the law of attraction might help – but it doesn’t.

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Improvements in Scotland

After a few weeks during which I was not sure about whether it been had a good idea to come to this place and during which there were problems with other people (and of course the chicken issue), I actually asked whether I could stay longer.

Once the bullies were gone, and the chickens are now reasonably save, everything started to look brighter. I could finally truly enjoy what I was/am doing (which is everything that has to do with organic gardening on a medium-sized scale, from planting to weeding, picking and packing veggies). Of course, there are jobs I don’t like that much, but most of the time I am quite happy with what I have to do. I also learn a lot, and for that I am quite grateful.

I also finally got to work with some of the “native” workers, i.e. the native speakers, the people who actually live in Scotland and won’t just move away again in some weeks’ time. There are two people I truly like and would love to have as friends – however, I know that this will not happen, so I have to keep my feelings reasonably hidden. At least I can talk to them during work every now and then. One of them is only here every now and then and hardly ever works in a team with me, and the other is a bit intimidating. But when proper conversations happen, they are really good. Sometimes philosophical and meaningful, and at other times plain silly because we share some interests and can make fun of each other without insulting anyone. But unfortunately, these conversations don’t happen often.

Last weekend, I went on a longer walk to a place that supposedly had many seagulls (but they turned out to be a colony of Kittiwakes, a bird I’ve never seen before and now just love!). Another volunteer worker went with me, and I get along with her quite well. However, she’ll be going back into her own country after the main season is over – so there is no chance for a proper long term friendship, and I think we’re too different in some aspects anyway.

I think my main issue with things here is that everything feels temporary and that people often just see me as one more wwoofer. You can get the label “good wwoofer”, “bad wwoofer”, and maybe “average wwoofer”. But that’s about it. For most people here, I am just a temporary worker, someone they will soon forget. And of course someone like that would not be considered as a potential friend.

However, I really like this area. I can imagine actually living here. But so far I haven’t talked about this with anyone – because whom would I talk to about something like that? I guess that’s what this blog is good for.

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A dream on Sunday morning

It is Sunday morning, and my attempt of sleeping in ended at about 6.25 am (I usually get up at 6 am on work days). I felt quite refreshed and thought it would be later, so I was surprised to find out it was still so early. I then had my breakfast and a cup of coffee, replied to a few messages and now I am here to write the first proper “morning hours” post in what seems like ages.

I woke up from a dream that was a mix of nightmare and hopeful dreaming. The dream was about leaving New Zealand. It started in a house I’ve never seen before and I packed my few belongings. I felt incredibly sad in that part of the dream, but also angry and frustrated. The dream moved on to a rather odd airport that had heaps of escalators. I remember it from dreams I had before, this place sometimes turned up in the past few years. But this time one of the escalators led to some sort of airport supermarket that also had fresh fruit and vegetables. I was travelling with other people – the company of dwarves from the Hobbit amongst a few others. We went through the supermarket, but when we left, I went back the escalators again because I wanted to get something to read. Thorin Oakenshield then quickly told the others he had forgotten something and followed me. He found me in one of the aisles of the supermarket that was suddenly completely abandoned – there was no noise, no other people, nothing. He came close to me and started singing the song of the lonely mountain into my ear. Then I slowly woke up, the words of the song fading.

The dream left me feeling a bit sad, but also encouraged. That particular song (both versions of it) means a lot to me – I guess because it also talks of people who have lost their home and want to reclaim it. I never heard it in one of my dreams before though. I also did not remember many of my dreams in the past few weeks. I usually am more aware of my dreams when I work on my own things – so maybe this dream is a really good sign.

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A dream of fire

This night, I had quite a few dreams – or maybe it was just one long dream. The part I can remember best is when I was in a city that I did not know. It had some similarities to Rome but I’m sure it wasn’t Rome. It was some sort of mix of various places I have been to and lived in, I guess. I walked down a street during dusk and saw a big building in the distance burning. It was a rather antique looking building, a mix of old Rome and modern time tower/temple. First I thought it was part of a show or regular feature of the town, so I took photos with my cell phone because I didn’t have my camera as I did not expect anything special to happen. But then the fire was spreading and suddenly I realized I better get out of there because it was coming closer – very quickly. I wanted to run out of the city but it had no end and the fire was surrounding me. Strangely enough there were no other people at all. Then  I noticed some sort of river – the dirty kind of river you find in cities, not a nice clean mountain or forest river. But I knew that the water would be my best bet to survive, so I looked for a save place to get into the river without breaking my bones. When I jumped into the river, I woke up.

Fire can have many meanings in dreams and I have no idea which one would fit best. However, dreams can’t change anything anyway. No Gandalf or Xena this time!


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Our tools and how we use them

Last night, there was a Super Moon – or what people call a Super Moon. It did not look any bigger than usual to me when I went out on the farm to take a few photos. It was just another full moon. However, the idea of seeing a really big moon was tempting and I thought it would be a good chance to practice my skills with my camera at night. I can take good to very good photos (depending on where I am) at day but at night it’s a different story.

Even though I have a really good camera with different lenses and many options (of which I don’t understand many), I never really got into using the options. I always used automatic shots, e.g. “landscape”, “portrait” etc. The terms ISO, shutter speed etc. were more of a turn-off to me. I simply wanted to take photos. During the day, only changing focus, lens and basic options seems to be sufficient but at night, the moon always just turned into a big, round, white blob on the photo.

So last night I set my camera on full manual (as I still have no idea what the other options like “P, Tv, Av and A-dep” stand for) and went through one changeable option after the other. I played around with them, took a photo after every change and started to get an idea what each option can do. At the start, my moon looked like this:

One of last night's first moon photos.

One of last night’s first moon photos.

Nice with the clouds and it’s a pity that they completely disappeared for when I played around with the options but later my photos of the moon started to look like this:

Moon photo after a few changes to the settings.

Moon photo after a few changes to the settings.

So this shows me that I still have heaps to learn. If I wanted to get even better photos I’d probably need different lenses but at the moment I wouldn’t be able to invest a few hundred dollars into better equipment. I guess the next step would be to practice different shot methods during the day and see what difference it makes.

The camera is just one of the tools I have in my life but I guess as with the camera, there are many things I could use better. I could learn more about the things I use and more about what else I could do with them. Are we simply too lazy or too busy to really go into the details of something? With me and the camera it was more about being intimidated about terms I have absolutely no understanding of. So I’ll try to find some time to get a better understanding of the terms.

What about you? Are there any tools that you use but that you could learn to use better? Could you achieve better results with them? What keeps you from doing so?


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