Adding new dimensions to life

I am Not a Tree

I don’t have roots. I carry my home inside of me to wherever life takes me.


Visual Space = Emotional and Mental Space

In the last six years I have moved several times. Due to the circumstances I never unpacked all the cardboard boxes, moving some of them from flat to flat, without even knowing exactly anymore what’s inside. Beginning of August this year I moved again, into a very small place: one room, a nice bathroom and a sweet little kitchenette. This time, I decided, no more unemptied moving boxes in my home. And slowly but surely I am digging through all the stuff that has accumulated over the years: documents and bills I no longer need, old books that take up space I don’t have and that will be of more use as recycled paper, clothes I haven’t worn in years and I have too much of, etc. etc. Here and there I also come across items I had forgotten about and am happy to recover.

With every box I empty and throw away I am gaining more space to move and breathe and think and dream. And I am moving away from my past and more into my present life. It feels good.


Love of My Life

Ever since I decided that the person I see when I look in the mirror is the love of my life I treat myself differently.

Releasing Thoughts

If I take care of my mind I have taken care of yours. – Byron Katie

I like the quote, I can make sense of it. But that’s about how far my appreciation for Byron Katie and her method The Work, “…that teaches you to identify and question the thoughts that cause all the suffering in the world”, goes.

A few days ago I was frustrated due to a clash I had with my son. The thought that I had said all the wrong things to him was torturing me. The next day I spoke to a friend who told me about Byron Katie and her method of self-inquiry, The Work, which is intended to help people find relief by questioning their thoughts that cause distress.

I then spent nearly four hours listening to Byron’s videos on YouTube and reading about her on the web. I couldn’t find any information about her formal education – she doesn’t seem to have any training in psychology or another field of mental health. Nor could I find any research-based evidence validating her method.

The Work can actually become quite problematic –  in many cases Byron Katie leads her followers (yes, she’s like a guru) to come to absurd and confusing conclusions, and often she seems to struggle to find an answer to questions asked. Just listen to The Work on Terrorism and you’ll understand what I mean.

Here is an excerpt from an in-depth and well founded Critique of Byron Katie’s therapeutic method The Work: “… the problem with The Work is that it has a conclusion in advance, namely that the thought is false, and therewith it is in progress, as with other New Age directions, of eliminating peoples´ ability of critical thinking. Problematic, because the training of critical thinking is the first step in a true spiritual process, and on the whole a primary condition for a healthy mind. In Cognitive Therapy for example, they also have questions to ask to problematic thoughts, that actually have some truth in them (examples in the end of this article).”

“… The Work can get quite nasty with its turnaround technique. After that you, as expected, have “realized”, that your thought is not true, then you have to turn it upside down; you so to speak have to think the opposite thought.

Again it can be a good thing to look at problems from different sides, but that is not what you do with the turnaround technique. The turnaround technique actually sounds a bit like the thought distortion called Conversion to the opposite … The turnaround technique must be a dream for any bully, liar or manipulator. If you are critical, then this is due to your own false thoughts. If someone … bullied you, and you feel hurt, then this pain is based on your own wrong way of thinking. Certainly not the bully´s (the bully is actually a kind of guru; an example of the divine). And in that we find the main problem with The Work, and the reason why I would advise people to keep a long distance from it.”

“Many former Katie devotees have been in counseling for years in order to remove this way of confused thinking.”



Here are more critical articles on Byron Katie’s work:

Byron Katie – Snake Oil Business?

The Work And Byron Katie: Reviews?

Why You Should Steer Clear of Byron Katie’s “Work”

One Person’s Experience with Byron Katie

The Work of Byron Katie Could Accidentally Cause Problems In Psychologically Vulnerable People


Walking Backwards

I have started walking backwards wherever possible. This might bring a big question mark to your face but walking backwards has proven health benefits for brain and body:

Mental benefits

  • enhanced sense of body awareness
  • increased body coordination and movement in space
  • helps avoid workout boredom
  • improves overall mood
  • helps with sleep cycles
  • motivates you to step outside your comfort zone
  • keeps your mind guessing
  • sharpens your thinking skills and enhances cognitive control
  • puts senses into overdrive, improving vision

Body benefits

  • increases strength in lesser-used leg muscles
  • helps rehabilitate knee injuries
  • improves walking technique and form
  • helps with balance
  • burns calories
  • helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • strengthens bones and muscles
  • boosts energy levels
  • elevates body’s metabolism


Disclaimer: The content of this post is based on personal experience. Please advise with a health or fitness professional before beginning any new physical activity.

More on backward walking:

Stimulate your Fitness IQ by walking backward

Walking backwards: Benefits and how to start

Walking backward reaps big health benefits


Picture Credit: Weird Workouts: Treadmill Variations for Fitness Gains

Water for Peace


Israel has more water than it needs!

“…  “Now, that’s a pump!” Edo Bar-Zeev shouts to me over the din of the motors, grinning with undisguised awe at the scene before us. The reservoirs beneath us contain several feet of sand through which the seawater filters before making its way to a vast metal hangar, where it is transformed into enough drinking water to supply 1.5 million people.

We are standing above the new Sorek desalination plant, the largest reverse-osmosis desal facility in the world, and we are staring at Israel’s salvation. Just a few years ago, in the depths of its worst drought in at least 900 years, Israel was running out of water. Now it has a surplus. That remarkable turnaround was accomplished through national campaigns to conserve and reuse Israel’s meager water resources, but the biggest impact came from a new wave of desalination.

Bar-Zeev, who recently joined Israel’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research after completing his postdoc work at Yale University, is an expert on biofouling, which has always been an Achilles’ heel of desalination and one of the reasons it has been considered a last resort. Desal works by pushing saltwater into membranes containing microscopic pores. The water gets through, while the larger salt molecules are left behind. Microorganisms in seawater quickly colonize the membranes and block the pores, and controlling them requires periodic costly and chemical-intensive cleaning. But Bar-Zeev and colleaguesdeveloped a chemical-free system using porous lava stone to capture the microorganisms before they reach the membranes. It’s just one of many breakthroughs in membrane technology that have made desalination much more efficient. Israel now gets 55 percent of its domestic water from desalination, and that has helped to turn one of the world’s driest countries into the unlikeliest of water giants.

Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth, and much of that learning is happening at the Zuckerberg Institute, where researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. They have developed resilient well systems for African villages and biological digesters than can halve the water usage of most homes.

Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.The institute’s original mission was to improve life in Israel’s bone-dry Negev Desert, but the lessons look increasingly applicable to the entire Fertile Crescent. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.”

That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.

Bar-Zeev acknowledges that water will likely be a source of conflict in the Middle East in the future. “But I believe water can be a bridge, through joint ventures,” he says. “And one of those ventures is desalination.”

Driven to Desperation

In 2008, Israel teetered on the edge of catastrophe. A decade-long drought had scorched the Fertile Crescent, and Israel’s largest source of freshwater, the Sea of Galilee, had dropped to within inches of the “black line” at which irreversible salt infiltration would flood the lake and ruin it forever. Water restrictions were imposed, and many farmers lost a year’s crops.

Their counterparts in Syria fared much worse. As the drought intensified and the water table plunged, Syria’s farmers chased it, drilling wells 100, 200, then 500 meters (300, 700, then 1,600 feet) down in a literal race to the bottom. Eventually, the wells ran dry and Syria’s farmland collapsed in an epic dust storm. More than a million farmers joined massive shantytowns on the outskirts of Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and other cities in a futile attempt to find work and purpose.

Water is driving the entire region to desperate acts.

Complete article here

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You can’t really excel if you’re not obsessed with what you do.

(Think about it…)


Embrace Failure

Cats don’t make mistakes. We are born perfect.

Most of us feel like beating ourselves up when we fail at something or make a mistake. Or get panic attacks like I used to. But hey, “Failure doesn’t mean the game is over, it means try again with experience” (L. Shlesinger).

Failure, and even more important, accepting and analyzing failure, is an indispensable part of learning, being successful and achieving greatness. At the moment, failure can be discouraging, but only if you let it.

Doctors make mistakes. An inspiring TED talk by emergency-room physician Brian Goldmann.

Excerpt: “… let’s begin with a bit of baseball… I’m going to focus on one stat that I hope a lot of you have heard of. It’s called batting average. So we talk about a 300, a batter who bats 300. That means that ballplayer batted safely, hit safely three times out of 10 at bats. That means hit the ball into the outfield, it dropped, it didn’t get caught, and whoever tried to throw it to first base didn’t get there in time and the runner was safe.Three times out of 10. Do you know what they call a 300 hitter in Major League Baseball? Good, really good, maybe an all-star. Do you know what they call a 400 baseball hitter? That’s somebody who hit, by the way, four times safely out of every 10.Legendary — as in Ted Williams legendary — the last Major League Baseball player to hit over 400 during a regular season. Now let’s take this back into my world of medicine where I’m a lot more comfortable, or perhaps a bit less comfortable after what I’m going to talk to you about. Suppose you have appendicitis and you’re referred to a surgeon who’s batting 400 on appendectomies.(Laughter) Somehow this isn’t working out, is it?Now suppose you live in a certain part of a certain remote place and you have a loved one who has blockages in two coronary arteries and your family doctor refers that loved one to a cardiologist who’s batting 200 on angioplasties. But, but, you know what? She’s doing a lot better this year. She’s on the comeback trail. And she’s hitting a 257.Somehow this isn’t working. But I’m going to ask you a question. What do you think a batting average for a cardiac surgeon or a nurse practitioner or an orthopedic surgeon, an OBGYN, a paramedic is supposed to be?  …”

Heart to Heart

Thinking of a very dear blogger friend who is undergoing open heart surgery today.


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