Another day in paradise or why life is so lovely

Another day in paradise picture for the blog post by Chris Remspecher in 2016.Another day in paradise or why life is so lovely

Not everyday feels like another day in paradise. Some start weird, tired, sad or a mixture of all. Recently a workmate died very unexpectedly and way too early. Most of us were shocked, sad or just did not want to believe it.

Right now, it’s just like he is still on holidays.

Yesterday was his funeral. It was sunny, hot and a bit windy. If you wear a black suit with a tie while standing in the direct sunlight, it’s like waiting for the overheating alert on your mobile phone. My brain was about to complain not being within acceptable operating temperatures, but thankfully the ZEN switch kicked in and suddenly I was very happy to be alive!

Life is so lovely outside your comfort zone!

Why do we (I) need funerals or serious illnesses to really understand that each day is another day in paradise? When you wake up tired or feel totally like a sleepy one, there are at least two options:

  • hating the day, work, life and every mosquito on the planet
  • modeling a micro grin and being thankful for another day in paradise

Do you remember how many training lessons your brain needed to keep you in balance on a bicycle? Our brain needs our help for a better morning routine! Some ideas of a better foundation for your day:

  1. realize you are awake, breathe in and out, smile
  2. stand up (slowly) and drink a glass of (warm) water
  3. do a short meditation for 1-2 minutes
  4. eat something light like an oatmeal with an apple
  5. surprise somebody with a special smile 🙂

At the end of the day, or your life, all those little things changed us. A smile, a motivating „we will make it!“ or a friendly „good morning“. Thank you!

Work Life Balance in 2016

work life balance in 2016 picture by Chris Remspecher in 2015.How is your work life balance in 2016 so far? Yes, we all have plans, but sometimes it seems, that God just laughs about them.

An emergency surgery was not in my plans for 2016! Total reset of my work life balance.

If you love your job (or not), it happens that you are going to work overtime. What starts in homeopathic doses can quickly end up in a supersize meal. To commute daily between home and work burns out additional time. Maybe you know the feeling:

There is never enough time.

In our work life balance pie, the percentage share of work is continuously growing. We trick our brain in thinking that everything is still fine. Hey, it’s still a full pie! While the shareholder value of life is invisibly shrinking, balance is silently fading into the background.
When there is not enough time, we start to postpone things: Meetings with friends and family, our hobbies, dreams and health. Food is just something on the sidetrack, time for cooking is rare and meditation is pure luxury. At some point, the cosmos (or the empire) strikes back.

To be under general anesthetic is like somebody pushed the reset button. While sliding back into your very own reality, I bet you are not immediately pondering about work related problems. A fluffy void embraces you. Painkiller pancake peace.
Being out of balance inevitably attracts stress which sooner or later leads to pain. No, not the French baguette! The real one, like something is tearing you apart, physically or mentally. That’s the moment for baseball:

Balance is the bat, work the ball and life is your home run.

Below are notes I have taken for my work life balance in the fluffy void.

More heart:

  • To oneself.
  • Personal.
  • Job wise.

Wait less, do:

  • Fulfill dreams yourself. Do not wait for somebody who MAYBE will satisfy yours.
  • Communicate your ideas.
  • Share your opinion in shorter intervals. If they like it or not.
  1. Love.
  2. Live.
  3. Work.

Hamsters do love their wheels and that’s OK. Work life balance is not something you can buy in a shopping mall or book in a travel agency. Finding your personal work life balance is work (ha!), but finally it’s an investment in your most important shareholder: your life.


Front Desk Manager Stress

Front Desk Manager Stress picture by Chris Remspecher in 2015.Have you ever experienced any form of front desk manager stress? Recently I had a medical appointment at the end of a long day.

Perfect moment for front desk manager stress!

Me: waiting silently 1-2min in front of the desk.

Assistant suddenly: “You have to wait!”

Me confused: “Then I have to.”

Assistant already stressed: “Please?”

Me grumpy: “If you say so, then I have to wait.”

Assistant f$!%&: “… !”

Me wondering: not so happy about the actual vibes…

After pondering for a while, next time I will use a better response, something like:

“I see you are very busy right now. Off course I wait until you have time for me. 🙂 (the SMILE is important)”

Benefits for front desk manager stress:

  • Me feeling less grumpy while waiting.
  • Assistant feeling less stressed while finishing her current task.
  • Waiting time will be same or even shorter.

Proposal for assistants with future ZEN grumpy clients:

“Thank you for waiting another moment! :-)”

Hope this is useful for somebody. Namaste.

Lessons learned in 2015

Lessons learned in 2015 wallpaper by Chris Remspecher.My lessons learned in 2015 look like this:

  1. The impossible is possible.
  2. Death is a daily feature of life.
  3. Staying fit needs time.
  4. Money shows character.
  5. Friends.

Lessons learned in 2015 explained:

One: the impossible is possible. Trust your intuition, listen what people really say (or NOT say), help them to achieve their goals, lead, live and do what you say. Oh, and if you make a mistake, admit it – people will understand and help you.

Two: death is all around us. And that’s ok. I still turn my hourglass twice a day to remind myself to use my time wisely.

Three: having a gym-membership does not automatically keep you fit. Plan your health-schedule like priority 1 meetings. And find somebody to kick your a$$.

Four: some people are so nice. They smile and give you hugs. Then life throws money on the table and suddenly they transform to Gollum “My precious!”.

Five: Friends. You can’t buy friends. And they are not for free. Be a friend and if you have a handful true friends, you are a lucky one.

May 2016 be full of ZEN for you. Namaste.

Desktop wallpaper for lessons learned in 2015 is 2048 x 1365 px. Parallax iPhone wallpaper please find below. Make sure to click the pix until they are full-size, then save on your device. Hope they are useful for you.

Lessons learned in 2015. Picture and text by Chris Remspecher.

Breaking up with Someone

Picture for the blog post "breaking up with someone" by Chris Remspecher in 2015.Breaking up with someone, most times is not easy, but healthy.

In 2015 among the most horrible weapons for breaking up with someone, number #1 still is: words.
Words may cut deep into your soul, leave you behind wounded and it’s very hard for others to see the marks. In times of short messages, social media and all, people tend to type thoughts which they would never say out loud standing in front of you. I guess our brains do not make much difference if the input came from our audio interface (ears) or our video googles (eyes).

More than often, I recognize an “undo-mentality-trend” recently. People blow out thoughts in (public) communications with a fire-and-forget mind-set. If the comment did damage to a company or hurt the feelings of an individual, responses are like “if you don’t like the comment, delete it” or “I thought we were friends and friends forgive”.

Of course, forgiving is balm to our own souls. Forgetting everything is (at least for me) not possible and unhealthy. In ZEN we learn a lot from easy comparisons. Imagine a cup of tea. The cup – you. The tea – your soul/ happiness/ spirit…
A solid cup can hold a very hot amount of tea for a long time. A broken cup, well, … sure you can fix it again and glue the parts together. Maybe some parts even got lost in the process; in short, the cup will never be the same. Even if you forgive gravity a million times…

“For everything you have missed you have gained something.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Learn, forgive and move on – you are not a tree.

How to make Ginger Tea

How to make Ginger Tea with a garlic press. Pictures by Chris Remspecher in 2015.

How to make Ginger Tea with a garlic press!?

During the transition from winter to spring, your body is under a lot of stress. Late christmas snow in April, the sun hides behind the moon (or clouds) and your work mates cough and sniff all the time. Why not help it with a fine ginger medicinal tea?

Since Paula asked me over at Instagram, here’s how to make ginger tea, ZEN style: cut, peel (with a spoon!), chop little pieces, squeeze. Pour boiled water into a (big) cup, feel fancy to add honey, a little bourbon vanilla and coconut milk. Et voilà!

Digital Mystique or how to be a Superhero

The Digital Mystique, a book by Sarah Granger. Picture by Chris Remspecher in 2015.Living in 2015 can be a real digital mystique.

Keeping all your devices, iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc. up to date can be a real challenge. On the next level, you worry about the kids getting lost in the World Wide Web, while losing your mind explaining your mom that WiFi really does not need a cable!

You have to be a Superhero today.

Sarah Granger (@sarahgranger) wrote a great manual to tackle the daily challenges in our brave new world. The Digital Mystique is a journey through life, love, hope and fears. Sarah will share many stories from her own life and remind you several times, about the importance of friends and community support.

Friends don’t let friends do stupid things – alone.” Unknown

Since this blog is about stress, yes, the digital mystique can be a real relief. Reading how Sarah started her digital career in 1982 and knowing, how gracefully she challenged her brand new iPhone 6 to compete against gravity, makes her a real Superhero of the Digital Mystique. Thank you for the awesome book and letter, Sarah!

Jealousy in a relationship

Jealousy in a relationship is like old dry emotions. Free the jellyfish from your brain!

Jealousy in a relationship.

Is jealousy a useful feeling? Absolutely! It tells you immediately, that you lost your inner peace. Most probably you see or hear something around you, which is not in harmony with your inner world.

Imagine a jealous feeling like one of these old tree branches. One alone is still an obstacle, but quite good to handle. With time, we collect more of them, they just seem to swap over us with the waves. Like old, dry emotions occupying our mind.

Jealousy in a relationship is like a jellyfish in a lousy environment. Yea(h), lousy. Next time the jellyfish is in your brain, ask yourself:

“What does this topic has to do with myself?”

  1. Think about it.
  2. Speak about it.
  3. Change, what you don’t like about it.

If others are jealous of you, yea(h) lousy, but not your business! Their jellyfish.

Big thanks to Miyuki who asked me to write about it and Merci! to the lovely photo location scout, Katharina!


Speed of Light

Speed of Light picture taken by Chris Remspecher in 2014.Speed of Light

The speed of light is, well, fast. And then again, it still can be way too slow, when you are stuck in the dark.

Recently several people told me, they feel like they wasted too much time or they live in slow motion for years now. What happens when you come from the light into a dark room? It’s dark. Would it be intelligent to immediately run around? Maybe not.

So you stand still. Look around, give your eyes and your-self some time to adjust. Then move. Sometimes, a tiny light is already enough to give you a rough direction. More than often, you meet friendly beings who join your journey at the speed of light. Hey, it’s gonna be alright!


The Keymaker of Pont des Arts

Picture for "The Keymaker of Pont des Arts" by Chris Remspecher in 2014.The Keymaker of Pont des Arts

What do all the love locks at Pont des Arts and a Tibetan sand mandala have in common? They both disappear very soon. Just a few weeks back a railing finally collapsed under the weight of thousands of love locks.

While I took some pictures at Pont des Arts, an old gentleman was passing by. Let us call him, Claus. Claus did cross the bridge in a slow, but efficient speed. He did not have to stop, because of all the tourist like some fast sportive runners had to. Reminds me of the Tibetan saying:

„Sometimes you have to walk slower to reach your goal faster.“

Did he think about the narrow-mindedness of the humans species trying to grab a glimpse of infinity? Or did he wonder about those coming back and searching the traces of the past, checking if their love (lock) is still there… Some say

„all wisdom is useless without work. And work is senseless without love“.

Can we carry any load?
Maybe Claus is the Keymaker of Pont des Arts. Sure, all the heart locks attract Photoshop lovers from around the world, too. Can a piece of rusting, heavy-metal be something like a promise?

„If I’m knocking on heavens door, do I have to unlock all these locks?“

Again, the problem with external, material symbols is: they soon fade away. You might be quite happily while you are at Pont des Arts and kinda locked down your love (…) via a love lock. You jump for joy and think „I’m glad my key is in my pocket“! Years later you come back searching your love (lock) and be like „Oh god!! Where is mine??“

Claus has been crossing the Pont des Arts already for decades. He knows a lot about the burden of locks, love and liberty. After all those years, he knows the perfect place for a love lock and its key: a loving heart and a smile.

A big Merci! goes to: Eu Genie, Leon H., Roman Tiker, Gisela H., Nicole M., Simon S., Steven K., Gwenette S., Uwe S., lesewunder, supercalifragelistik, insidemyorbit, hexepimmie and diamor3.