Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sustainability Challenge Week 5

Welcome back!

How is it going so far? I would love to hear about your experience! 

The 10-week sustainability training suggests effective but easy to implement amendments that will neither cost a lot of time nor effort. 

So ... this week ... I hardly dare to write the headline. Why? 

Sustainabliity Challenge

Car? No, thank you!

It's unthinkable for most of us to leave the car at home. But it would make a big difference if we ride a bike or take the bus/train. Let's experiment this week!

The Challenge

  • Try to not use your car at least two days this week. That will be very hard for some, simple for others. If you're living in a rural area, it might not even be possible. 
  • If you don't have a bike, consider buying one. I know they have a tacky reputation in the US, but I am not sure why. They are ideal for fitness, weight-loss and it's fun!
  • Even if you'd have to take your car to work. You can still save on unnecessary trips or short-trips. Consider walking or taking your bike if you're just grabbing something from the gas station 2 blocks away. 

At the end of the week analyze how it felt. 

"Was it fun?"
"Was it stressful?"

Maybe you learn that you enjoyed the short walk. Or perhaps you met someone nice on the train and had a great conversation? If you took the train, you might have claimed back the chance to read a book. And I have an even better suggestion for you - but I leave shameless self-marketing until the end (:

Even if you drove one time less - you have helped our planet! If you can, just keep on doing what you did during the challenge and make it a habit. 

I will admit that the next tip would be hard on me and I would rather walk 50 minutes straight (during a thunderstorm): Consider car pooling. Neighbors, friends, colleagues - try to pinpoint when you can share a ride.

It also counts if you offer yourself as the driver. 


Air traffic is bad for the environment. But we want to fly to other countries or have to use planes regularly for business reasons. 

This article on is quite interesting. In Germany, passengers have the possibility to pay about $15 (for a short flight) extra to a non-profit that is focused on reducing the negative impact of our carbon footprint. I read articles in US magazines that imply that they are "testing the water" and check if such a step would be accepted. 

How you help the environment

A car driving 6,000 miles p.a. produces around 4400 pounds of CO2. The sustainable amount for a single person is about 5000 pounds. 

If you reduce the number of trips, you help to protect the climate. 

Until next week!

Love & Light, 


PS: Are you wondering what you could do while you're on the train? Check out my brand new apps on Google Play!

Did you miss the first three challenges? You can catch up here: 

Week 1
Week 2

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sustainability Challenge Week 4

Minimalism - Less is More

Minimalism is trending: Give stuff away, buy it used, buy only what you really need. But the group of people who try to use resources responsibly is still small.

To many, it seems like a daunting task.

You know ... we don't always have to go to an extreme. Even if you feel you are not ready to live autonomic somewhere in the woods - every bit counts. Doing one thing wrong does not mean we have forsaken the right to do other things right.

Once you start making some simple changes, you will realize how much better you feel. This week's task is not just good for the planet, it's also good for you. (You will find a download link for the graphic at the bottom of this post.)

Sustainability Challenge Minimalist

Basis task

Part with five items and bring them to a charity shop. It doesn't matter if it's a toaster you hardly ever use or a skirt that does not fit anymore. Sort out some stuff you don't like, don't need or don't use. Home gym items are a great example for when "don't need" does not apply so that I added the category "don't use".

It's important that you don't just throw the stuff away or sell it at a yard sale. If possible, check out a local charity shop, or thrift store.

Donate the items. And look around: thrift stores are not just for people in need. Have a look around. Something you love? Buy one single item that you like. Only one.

Use your network

Lawn mower, snow removal - there are a lot of things you might be able to borrow from a friend or neighbor. We don't need to own every single item in the world. I might set you up for a whole new world of "he did not give me back my blender" (kidding). 

It's more likely that it will lead to improved relationships. 

Buy second-hand/repair

Electronic items are especially harsh on the environment. Most people throw them away when they are in good working condition. Your provider might give you a new phone each year. 

Often we shop to fill a hole. Shopping to fill empty space is not working and only gives us short-term satisfaction. 

Before you buy a new item, consider: what is it good for? Will you use it? Does it offer new functionality you need?

If something breaks - can you fix it? 

How does it help?

You will feel better when you declutter. Once you get rid of things that do no longer serve you, you will realize how much they weighed you down. Does that sound strange? You will know what I mean once you start. 

A basic rule for clothing could be: Anything (besides clothing for special occasions) you did not wear for a year is useless clutter.

As for the environment: The longer we use items, the fewer resources are needed. In addition to that, less toxic waste ends up in our environment. 

Minimalist Checklist

Click on the links to download the graphic and a minimalist checklist: 

Did you miss the first three challenges? You can catch up here: 

Week 1
Week 2

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

10-Week Sustainability Challenge - Week 3

10 Week Sustainability Challenge Earth Consciousness

Welcome back to the third week of our sustainability challenge. If you missed the first two weeks: Please refer to the links at the bottom of this post.

This week we are going to be watchers. Observers, you could say. We need to leave our ego behind this week and look at things without judgment or self-referential assessments.

I think you will enjoy this challenge. It is rewarding without the cost of uncomfortable change. It costs a bit more time than the first weeks though.

10 week sustainability challenge

Week 3: Earth Consciousness

There are many ways that we can pass on our beliefs about caring for the Earth to those we love. With the Earth in the state that it is, we need to do everything we can to spread awareness among others. Let's do it.

Observe the Beauty in Nature

Go for walks alone, and with your friends and family. Observe the beauty of nature, and the diverse amount of wildlife that lives there. Find the surrounding beauty - whether you live near the beach, a forest, streams, or fields. Travel and see the way that other animals and wildlife live and survive. Grow to appreciate everything about the natural habitats that you see, including the climate, the flowers, and all the details around you.

We typically overlook most of the beauty around us; especially the beauty of things we see on a daily basis.

Earth Consciousness Challenge

Get to Know Other Living Beings

In order for someone to care about the condition that the world is in and want to help the animals and other creatures that live within in, they must first be well acquainted with them and feel that they are connected.

Zoos are debated by many (Personally, I boycott them for over 20 years and watch Wrestling instead (; ) , but they might be an option if you have no other alternative to expose yourself to many animals.

Take your children out or explore alone and get to know the pets of friends and family. Teach your children all about wild animals and their needs. Read books about many varieties of animals and help your children learn as much about them as you can find information for.

Observe What Has Gone Wrong

Talk about the things you see that are not positive. You may notice that there is litter in the streams that the fish and birds live in. Maybe you see that the flowers the animals should be feasting on have been picked by pedestrians on the trails. You may notice pollution in the air that will surely come down and affect the life of the animals that live nearby.

Spend a minute thinking about the number of bees (and butterflies, for that matter) you see now as opposed to a few years ago.

Sustainability Challenge Week 3

Talk about the Link between Our Doings and the Outcomes

Find the link between how we behave and what effect it has on the world, including the animals and all wildlife. When you are looking for it, you will be able to see the correlation between our actions and what happens to the Earth and its inhabitants because of those actions.

Observe situations such as litter in the streams, and how trash can become wrapped around the necks of birds and water animals. Things that we may not even think about can have a hugely negative effect, so we must be aware of everything we do. Fortunately, this also applies to the positive actions we take. When we do something like work together as a team to clean up a natural habitat, the animals that live there has a much better chance of health and survival.

Recommended article: 8 Steps to Reduce your Plastic Waste

Caring for nature and animals comes naturally to most people, but we must re-connect. The more connected we are with the Earth, the less we will want to hurt it.

Caring for Nature

In these stressful times, where many people have lost the feeling for themselves, we need to relearn earth-consciousness. How perverted is that even, if you think about the very meaning of the word "nature".

Educate yourself and those around you so that you can work together to have a positive effect on the Earth. Your love for creatures big and small can go a long way. At the same time, you help yourself as you do these mindfulness exercises.

You can also help look after the Earth by supporting local and organic food growers like we discussed in Week 1.

Until next week!

If you missed the first two weeks, you can catch up here:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 4
Week 5

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sustainability Challenge - Week 2

Part 2 of your 10-week training

The 10-week training focuses on simple and easy to implement steps. This is week 2.

How did it go last week? Not that hard, was it? If you missed the first week, you can catch up here:

Week 1

How to save energy at home

Do you have to preheat the oven? Does the light have to stay on when you leave? What is the best temperature for your freezer? This week, you will learn how you can save energy and help the planet and your wallet.

Statistics show that Americans who are in the front row of "sinners" for energy usage are developing a mindset of change. Because it helps protect the environment but also because they can save money.

This week we will look how you can save energy. Consider how you want to use energy at home and in your household.

Basic exercise:

You have half an hour at your free disposal? Awesome! You could walk around your place and check where you can save energy - either by implementing new features or changing your habits. Be inspired and see if you can change something. The smallest thing helps.

  • Cooking: Most recipes ask for preheating your oven but it rarely is necessary. Stop preheating your oven and use residual heat by turning off your oven a few minutes before the time.
  •  Living room: It's a well-known fact that devices use power in standby. Switch to multi-plugs so you can turn off all connected devices with one click of the button. That can save up to $100 for five devices around 480 pound of CO2
  • Washing machine/dishwasher: Use only when the machine is full. Wash at cold temperatures. Germs that will not die at cold temperature will also not die from lukewarm or warm water. 
  • Bulbs: You have probably already done this. I only mention it in case you didn't because it's such an effortless way to save a lot of energy, and therefore money. 
  • Bathroom: Take more showers instead of bubble baths. That saves water and energy. If you want your skin and hair to love you, you can consider getting a shower filter (I use THIS one and it helped me give up on hot bubble baths). 
  • Fridge / Freezer: Check if they are set (like most) to unnecessary cold temperatures. 

Additional Tip

Switching to a clean energy provider does not cost much time and is a rewarding environmental measure. 

You can search for providers in your area

How does this help the environment?

Saving energy is very helpful for climate protection. By reducing your carbon footprint, you contribute to the global CO2 reduction. 

A nice side effect is that you will save money.

Until next Sunday!

PS: If you missed the first week catch up here: Week 1

Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Free 10-Week Sustainability Training

Sustainability Challenge No 1

Here is how it works:

  • each week (on Sundays) I post a new lesson
  • sadly, you must remember to come back (my personal blog does not have a newsletter service)
  • there are no sales pitches

Why am I doing this? 

Because it is right and dear to my heart. 

Free Sustainability Training

Small changes can have a huge impact. 

You are not a drop in the ocean - you are the ocean in a drop!

Many Americans feel that a lifestyle respectful towards our planet and its resources is important. On the other hand, it should not be too complicated, time-consuming or expensive. But they'd be willing to make changes if they knew how. 

This training takes your need for simple and easy to implement steps into account. 

So let's start this. Are you ready for your sustainability challenge? 

Sustainability in everyday life

Shop produce smarter

Mmmmhhh I love cherries. Those cherries are so nice. I love them year-round. 

The first week is about shopping produce. We all know our stores are full of fruit and veggies from overseas. And produce that is out of season or does not even grow where we live. 

With some offers, it's clear to us they have a negative environmental impact. And we don't buy them. 

More often we shop out of habit and miss that the onions are from South Africa and the grapes from Australia. 

Or we check for the "organic" label and overlook that our strawberries left a carbon footprint of the size of Bigfoot on their way from China to our shopping cart. 

And this is where we start. We start by raising our awareness and shop smarter. 

Exercise No 1:

For seven days, buy only regional and seasonal veggies and fruit. 

You can find a seasonal calendar HERE and there are plenty others on the internet. 

Take the time to study the country of origin and make sure you only buy seasonal, regional produce. 

Take mental notes of the items that would have landed in your basket that are not environmentally friendly. You will be amazed how many fruits are from different continents even in June. 

If you find real bummers you'd normally have purchased? Great! You've learned something and from now on will check the label twice before you buy. 


You love bananas, pineapple or something else that does not grow in your region? Allow yourself a few missteps. Just make sure you buy the organic version and truly enjoy it. 


What does it for you and the environment? 
  • Produce that is in season has typically more nutrients. 
  • You help to save energy (short transportations, reduction of CO2). Seasonal also means that produce is not grown in greenhouses.
  • If you buy organic, it means no pesticides which helps bees and other insects. Organic food is also better for your health and often tastier. 
  • You help the soil. Ecological agriculture results in better soil. 

Enjoy your first challenge and the feeling of doing something good for your planet. See you next week? 

Part 2 will be available on June, 25th. You might be able to subscribe to the RSS feed (honestly, I am not sure if and how that works) or just bookmark the blog or follow me on TWITTER

Related articles: 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dead is the Princess


A Shannon Dermody Awareness project

Close this page now if you are a Disney fan.

Shannon Dermody has chosen a polarizing approach to raise awareness. It leaves you shocked, hurt - and touched. Perhaps that's what we need.

Aurorasa Sima Quote

We are visual creatures with a rapidly decreasing attention span. Way too often we sugarcoat, don't call things by their names, play evil things down and don't do everything we could to create change.

Generally, I have no "eye" for art (whatsoever) and I am not interested in sculptures, paintings, and pictures. Even I can see that these pictures are extraordinary, especially because they convey an important message.

Consider me touched, reminded, feeling guilty for not doing all I can. And angry that we as humans sometimes just s.... I mean: have a lot of potential for improvement.


Snowwhite not having a good day


Who was sleeping with that beauty against her will? Every 98 seconds!!!!! a US person becomes victim of sexual violence


Ariel finding it difficult to swim

Police violence

police violence
At least 258 black male killed by police in 2016 reports the Guardian

Find the rest of this series on her homepage. I would have left "nicotine" out (addict talking) and added anorexia, depression and climate change.

Picture credits: Shannon Dermody via

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Age bias and the case of the sausage slice

Picture credit:

The age bias

Hopefully, you will not feel let down by this article ... I struggled to find an appropriate title.

I considered calling it "old but cool" but I neither wanted to attract the "wrong" crowd nor put a label on myself and others. We all know that a sure sign of a person who is not cool is that they call themselves "cool".

No, I am not shooting at all the "influencers", "ninjas", people who wear sunglasses on their social media profile pictures and disruptors out there.

I am shooting at butchers, doctors, club owners and many others.

Age discrimination happened the first time to me when I was about 12. I am a vegetarian, but with a strong sense of fairness and equality.

In Germany, where I spent the first 44 years of my life, it is common practice that a kid who enters a butcher store receives a slice of sausage. It's like an unwritten law. You tiny? You get a slice!

Even when you are really little, the butcher (or salesperson) might walk over to your stroller, his eyes seeking the eyes of your parents to get permission TO HAND YOU A SLICE OF SAUSAGE.

Then over time, the slice gets smaller. You are puzzled but do not come to the right conclusion (like when you gained weight for the first time and did not understand how your winter coat can be shorter than last year). You have grown.

Aurorasa Sima

Inevitably, the day is approaching where you will not get one. It's a process. It does not happen overnight. First, you don't get a slice every time, then only if you stare at the butcher with evil eyes for quite some time until one day, finally, it's over.

No more sausage slice for you. No more grabbing in the toy jar at the doctor's office. No surprises in your menu. No cute drawing on your yogurt. No nothing. Ok, I am exaggerating but I trust you see how this is an emotionally painful topic.

Society has decided that I am "too old" for things. For a lot of things. Luckily for me, society has tons of idea what I am supposed to like now and how I can behave "age-appropriate".

It's not just sausage, oh, no!

The same applies to the way I dress, the books I am supposed to read, what's printed on my shirt (depending on if you are allowed shirts in your role at all) and if I may jump on one leg in public.

The worst thing for me is the music case. It's not as if my music taste changed to "old-fashioned" when I turned 40. It's not as if I stopped enjoying the feeling in a club when the bass penetrates your body, cleanses your brain ... you know? When you're in the "two drink" status where you are not drunk but just a little clubby.

Old people are not welcome

I am not sure we have this in the US (at least not in my area), in Germany, they have "Ü40". Once a week, people over 40 are welcomed to the club for a special party.

It's a splendid place to go if you like mainstream disco music from the 80ties and married guys trying to pick you up. The idea is great, even though it's sad that we would look like weirdos if we went to a regular club.

We never get tired of clichés, do we?

Something isn't right here.

I don't know about you, I will not have society decide which harmless things I can and cannot enjoy.

Oh and here is how I feel when you hit me with age-discriminating phrases like
  • Young lady (thanks for your evaluation, my self-esteem depends on it)
  • You look great for your age (you're annoying)
  • You don't look 30, 40, 50 (so? What if I looked my age?)
  • I like older women (interesting ...)

I can't be the only one who has grown older (and wiser I like to believe) and whose soul is unharmed. It can't be that all people's taste and likes change when they turn 40. Uniform, like zombie puppets.

You know you're getting older when the question "when will you get married" changes to "why did you never marry".

Grown-ups unhappy with the self-accepted rules society dictates often go around telling other grown-ups how they should behave. Social media is a perfect outlet for judging people - from whining on LinkedIn to the worst dress lists and shaming people for who they are.

I believe that happy people do not bother with mean comments from anonymous social media profiles, gossiping and such. It's easier to point finger at others than to change so that I don't blame people for being scared to focus on their own flaws.

I thought for a minute self-marketing would not come naturally in the sausage case.

But while I am finishing up this article, I realize how I can help people and how this article on my "unprofessional" blog fits perfectly with my profession by supporting people to:

Bottom line: You are you, I am me. Youth is not earned and aging it not an accolade. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

IoT and the Cost of Convenience

Credits: Withings/Kérastase/L'Oréal

Careful, your hairbrush is watching

Available this fall is a connected hairbrush that comes with a built-in microphone.

As reported by WIRED, as soon as someone brushes their hair, the hairbrush collects data.

The inbuilt microphone is said to listen to the sound of the brushing and identifies patterns in the movement. The microphone detects "manageability, frizziness, dryness, split ends and breakage".

Naturally, the brush has WLAN and an app that transmits the data. 

To me, these items are not just funny gadgets but also potential privacy- and security risks. Do you know what your brush records, how secure they store your data, for how long, etc?

After the last major Apple Update, I thought my IPad and Phone broke (something drained the battery) until Apple sent me a message they accidentally activated "backup" on all of my Apple devices. 

GIGS of data from my Apple devices (I feel a bit stupid admitting I have four as I feel writing this article with an apple watch on is on the verge of being hypocritical) were sent over the air by mistake. 

I have more faith in Apple's knowledge of IT security than in the IT security knowledge of companies specialized in shampoo and conditioner. Or freezers. 

People don't know which data is collected

Most buyers do not understand what data is collected by their household items. And if they do, they have to have faith in the vendor that
  • he can keep the data safe
  • does not secretly collect more data than agreed
  • does not sell your data
How far do we trust vendors who are keen to get to our data? In 2016, the company WeVibe had to pay a pretty heavy fine. They are selling smart vibrators and - without consent or knowledge of the buyers - collected data they shouldn't. 

WeVibe did not object to the accusations but pointed out that the data was stored "safe and anonymous". 

The risks of IoT

In the best case, you convey unpaid market research. In the worst case?

Wannacry a wake-up call?

Wannacry is the name of ransomware that recently attacked computers of people and companies who did not update their operating systems. Experts consider "wannacry" a "warning". Obviously, it had an emergency switch and could quickly and easily be stopped. 

The worm encrypted the data of the infected machine and displayed a message with instructions on how much bitcoin you have to pay to get your machine back. Some hospitals were affected too.

Having to pay ransom or loosing data is one thing. How about electricity? No air-conditioning in the middle of a heatwave?

And do you remember last October? When hackers launched an attack through the IoT? Millions of internet-connected household devices like printers, cameras were hijacked.A single printer has limited computing capacity, But 1000 or 10 Million?

Target of the attack was a DNS-service company called DYN, but as major corporations use the service, even sites like Reddit, Twitter and Spotify had been down. 

And even if you do not own internet-connected devices: In November of 2016 over 900,000 households were cut off from the internet (including telephony and tv)  after Telekom became target of a hacker and routers could not identify themselves to create a connection. 

Evidence smart gadget data

Two recent court cases are interesting. They show that also the government might be interested in data gathered by smart gadgets. 

CNN reports about a murder case in Arkansas. Authorities demanded access to Amazon's server because the suspect uses the smart loudspeaker Amazon Echo.  Amazon protected the data of the user (who in March 2017 agreed that the data can be accessed). How about 12 cases from now?

In a second case, referred to by the media as the "Fitbit murder", data collected by the fitness gadget of a murdered woman was key to refuting the false alibi of the murder victims husband. 

As I said in a different context: Data security is an illusion. Every piece of data that is stored somewhere can and will be misused at some point.

Everyone has to ask themselves: How much am I willing to pay for convenience? Not only professional hackers but also the government might be interested in your data. 

Do surveillance cameras everywhere give you the feeling of security? They just make me feel less (care)free. 

PS: Check Craigslist Chicago tomorrow for my Amazon Echo, smart coffee machine, and Bluetooth headset. I am not kidding.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Three reasons to be grateful to Trump

Thank you, Mr. Trump - 7 Week Review

It is unnecessary to share my political view. I am a social skills coach. And even though I am a US citizen, I spent 8/9 of my life as a guest in Germany. Need I say more?

Please understand that the statement below expresses a personal, biased, subjective opinion. It takes courage these days to share your opinion. Troll bots, data collection, hateful commentators and potential loss of business can be pretty intimidating.

There is a time to be compliant and careful and there is a time to stand up for your beliefs.

Three Reasons To Be Grateful To Trump

Freedom and Brutality

It's not just since seven weeks. Piece by piece, latest since 9/11 we give away our right to privacy and freedom.

We did not speak up. We are so used to freedom we stopped seeing its beauty and importance. Sometimes you have to lose something or be in danger of losing it to value it.

Another factor is that the pieces we lost seemed little, and we were too numb to rebel.

For years now, our society is brutalizing. Few seemed to care. Fake news, vulgarity and hate speech became socially accepted. Words have power. They change our brain. Just say "love" 20 times in a row and see how it makes you feel. The same is true for "hate".

We care again. We are resisting. That is a good thing.

Journalism and Compliance

Journalism rendered itself more or less obsolete during the last years. Again: Opinion. Most major media (there are exceptions!) seemed to be interested in entertaining and ad revenue more than in educating us about what is going on in the world.

Some outlets even attempted to manipulate us instead of educating us and enabling us to form our own opinion. (Hello, Fox News, how are you today?)

I am exaggerating. Perhaps.

It seems like someone poured new life into journalists. Suddenly they became as edgy and important as they should be. Not shy to touch controversial topics or take a stand.

When government agencies/national parks received a muzzle, 40 unofficial twitter accounts were created by government workers in no time. They are 65 now. If you feel that government agencies should be able to provide truthful information, spread this list HERE

Discussion and Solidarity

Injustice, income difference are not news. The decline might have slowed down under Obama, but it never stopped. Many perceived the last election as "choice between two evils". Did we not care enough or stop believing that we can create change?

Something that always fascinated me about many intellectuals and liberal people is that they never seem to agree. Why can we never agree?

Generally, hateful groupings who share the same belief are better at solidarism and focusing their power towards their goal - as opposed to internal discussions and arguments. We are often unable to even agree on a goal. Do we have bigger-than-life egos?

Until seven weeks ago it was hard to find a political post by a liberal/democrat/humanist that did not receive as much headwind from the "left" as from the "right".

Now we stand together. 
Now we stopped arguing. 
Now we join forces and see the bigger picture. 

Thank you, Mr. Trump,
for being so out of line you created the amount of
pain we needed to change!

What now?

I guess everyone is tired of reading yet another horrendous Trump story.

Now is the chance to make a change.
Now is the chance to make a difference.
Now is the time to resist and stay passionate and awake.
Now democracy and the basic American values are under attack.

It is a challenging time for the US. It is also a time with a lot of opportunity for positive change.

Like it or not, comparison to Nazi Germany is not as far-fetched as you might think. When Hitler came to power, "I will kill 11 Million people" (6 M Jews and 5 M other people) was not part of his campaign.

He came to power in an economic crisis. You could say as an avenger of the poor and common people. One of the first things he did was taking control of the media.

Does that sound comparison sound crazy to you? Yes? How did it sound when you first heard Trump is running?

Only this time we do speak up.

Arrogance might be our enemy no. 1. 

And I am as guilty of arrogance as the next person. I do not watch television, I spend my time with positive clients and positive people, I am not active on Reddit or Facebook and disconnect from the few negative posters on LinkedIn.

Even when I deal with VP of Sales with Mike Bosworth, I am around constructive and productive people.

While I lived in my bubble of positivity and discussed the latest scientific findings or interacted with an interesting article or well-educated person, I missed that the world had changed. It was painful to admit that I was guilty of arrogance and even ignorance. I embrace this painful realization as a chance for growth.

I deleted the Kool-Aid picture I used to make fun of Trump's campaign and will become a better person. A person that tries to help people in fear rather than avoiding them.

The time to act is now

The danger is that people adapt. They get used to negative situations, war, injustice and even violence.

Well, I won't. And I hope you won't either.

Progress is not a linear process. Neither is evolution. We took three steps backward and now we will make a jump forward.

To peaceful, respectful resistance!

Love & Light,


Recommended Article: When Words Become Weapons / How To Spot Manipulation

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Why tomatoes have no taste anymore

It felt just right. Delicious looking is the warm red skin and the scent of tomato tickles my nose. I rest my finger and press it gently. Yes, it feels just right. Not too hard, not too mushy.

Why tomatoes have no taste anymoreWhen I was young, I used to bite a whole in the tomato and then suck the liquid and pulp out. I might still do but you will never know for I would not admit it.

So I took the initial bite. Dug the whole that shall lead me to the source. To the sweet, sour, tomatoey insides that smelled and felt just right.

I tasted nothing. I felt that I was chewing on something that changed its consistency while I was eating it. But it tasted nothing like tomato or anything else for that matter. It was not the first time in the last years and it will not be the last.

A week ago I purchased a multicolored "gourmet" pack of tomatoes. Five different varieties. I thought at least one or two types will taste nice. But then it tasted only bitter for the gourmet price I paid for tomatoes of different colors that were united in tastelessness.

What is wrong with our tomatoes?

Those around my age probably still remember the taste of a tomato.

Is it just nostalgia ("this used to be made from wood") or did tomatoes change?

Maybe you live in a warm place or you had the chance to pick a tomato from the vine while you were on vacation. I remember how they were bursting with aroma.

Tracing it down

An international team of researchers investigated this topic at the University of Valencia. And they found the answer.

Our modern tomato has nothing to do with the tomatoes we used to know. The genes of the plant changed - and therefore the taste.

The researchers analyzed 400 different varieties. Laboratory tests confirmed that the industrial tomatoes we buy in supermarkets have lost genes that were responsible for the delicious taste.

This is why tomatoes taste like nothing

The genes responsible for increasing the amount of sugar in the pulp are gone. Farmers wanted smaller plants they can harvest easier. While removing one gene, the other was removed too.

Antonio Granell, Professor at Valencia's Institute for molecular biology says: "In modern varieties, 13 flavorings are contained in a much lesser degree." The result: Tomatoes have less or no taste.

Bringing back the taste

Researchers attempt to bring back the taste to tomatoes and are in the process of identifying individual genes that are responsible for the flavoring. "We want to reinstate the genes contained in wild tomatoes", said Granell.

Years will pass until the new/old tomatoes will hit the supermarket shelves. Until then: Why not going the organic route?

Monday, February 13, 2017

5 Valentine Survival Ideas For Singles

Aurorasa Coaching Brain Entrainment

About 50.2 percent are Single

About 50 percent of adults in the US are Single. If you are reading this you are probably one of them.

Being alone on February 14th does not have to be a catastrophe, just like on any other day, as long as you do not believe that you can only find happiness in a relationship.

If you focus on the negatives you will lose awareness of the positive sides of being Single.

Consider what you have achieved in your life, for which friends and acquaintances or family members you are grateful.

Best V-day Survival Tips for Singles

1. Turn it around

If you hate being Single you could consider that today might actually be your lucky day.

Instead of stressing out about what you don´t have you could think about people who feel the same.

And that is where you come in: Reach out to a fellow Single and you will discover that V-day is the perfect day for dating and that the flirt factor is very high and positive on this special day.

We´re all looking for love and connection.

2. Anti-V-day

Or maybe you are Single but you consider V-day solely a party for retailers. The ugly face of capitalism.

It could be that the cute hearts are going on your nerves and maybe you don´t even like chocolate.

Instead of a romantic comedy why not watch a horror movie? Write a few anti-V-day cards and laugh until you cry or check your neighborhood for anti-V-day parties. There are many.

As mentioned in 1. IF you are looking to meet someone - this could be your day. Just consider how easy it will be to bond over your shared contempt for V-day.

3. Time to Relax

Are you glad when this day is finally over? Relax! Prescribe yourself a bit of stillness and relaxation. A long foam bath, a massage, a day at the spa, a long meditation session - you will see that the day is going to fly by and instead of being blue you will replenish and charge your battery.

Tip No. 5 provides you with everything you need to turn a sad day into an empowering day!

4. Gratitude Cards

Why not write loving cards to friends? (Per hand, and on paper!)? Or to people you know feel lonely on V-day?

You don´t have to have sex with someone to have a reason for showing your appreciation (actually, I am not sure how much percent of married people ... um, let´s not go there (:  ).

Expressing your gratitude and sending good vibes to someone else will not only backfire in the most positive way - the people who receive your cards will be happy and thankful.

Making someone else feel good makes us feel good about ourselves. Win:Win.

And last but certainly not least:

5. Love yourself

Use coupon code VDAY2017 and treat yourself to something unique and special in my store and download your free V-day gift (a 30-minute brain entrainment session that will make you feel "whole") right NOW:

Aurorasa Coaching Gift

Friday, February 10, 2017

7 Secrets of People Who Don't Get Sick

    It is the time of the year again. But there are those people who never seem to get sick. What is their "secret"?

7 Secrets of People who do not get sick

    7 Tips to Stay Healthy

    1. Help your mucous membranes

    This time of the year is challenging for our mucous membranes. Irritated by cold and dry air, it is easier for germs to penetrate. Cigarettes smoke and alcohol pose additional stresses.

    Ideally, you have at least two alcohol-free days per week and enjoy your drinks in moderation on the other days.

    A humidifier can help to enhance the air quality during the cold time of the year. 

    2. Hygiene

    Wash your hands regularly with water and soap. Many germs are transmitted by smear infection. If you cannot wash your hands for a while, refrain from touching your face. Germs travel from door handles to your hands.

    Sanitizer is not necessary and furthermore counterproductive.

    3. Exercise in moderation

    Make sure you exercise enough, but only if you feel good. If you have a cold already, exercise would put an additional burden on your immune system.

    Enjoying a walk in the fresh air on a regular basis helps your mental well-being as well.

    4. Public Enemy Stress

    While short-term stress can help us to peak performance, constant pressure is detrimental to our immune system. 

    Why? The body produces the stress hormone cortisol, that suppresses the immune system, basically telling it to stop "fighting". 

    5. Balanced nutrition

    A nutrition reach and balanced diet help support the immune system. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and proteins provide essential vitamins and mineral nutrients to the body. New research shows that the microbiome of the gut plays an important role in staying healthy.

    If making changes to your nutrition seems difficult to you - HERE is the only training I recommend. 

    6. Sleep enough

    Who feels tired and weak during the day should try to get more sleep. "Sleep has a huge impact on your immune system", says Natalie Riddel of "British Society for Immunology".

    The 8-hour-rule is out-of-date if you feel fit and well rested, you had enough sleep. 

    7. Loneliness

    Loneliness can make us sick too. We spend more and more time with our virtual connections, but these encounters do not have the same quality as in-person contacts. Experts recommend to leave the house and mingle with real people.

Monday, January 9, 2017

How To Uncover Fake News

Fake news has become a big problem. Made up news, most often with the intention of stirring up drama and emotions or even hatred, are not only found on the spam and populism friendly sites Facebook and Twitter.

Picture Credit:

Maybe two months ago, I found an article in my LinkedIn feed that claimed President Obama said he would not vacate the office in the case that Trump wins the election. The fake news article had about 1200 "likes" at the point when I saw it.


The German magazine Spiegel reported today that they started an investigation against a woman for making up a story about the rape of a young girl by a refugee. Germany announced that they will actively follow up on fake news and that the producers will be prosecuted.

It´s not an easy thing to regulate. What about innocent mistakes? Comedy?  Disses?

Generally, I am not a friend of sacrificing freedom for "security", but in this case, I am 100 % for applying every inch of punishment in accordance with the law to stop people who fabricate fake news with the sole purpose of creating hatred.

In times when members of the human species set refugee homes on fire and in some parts of the world people with a certain look cannot feel safe anymore; when Latinos get attacked, and Muslims beaten up, people have to stand together for what is right - even if it comes at the cost of losing a piece of freedom.

How to spot fake news:

  1. Common sense
  2. Is the source legit?
    Or is it maybe Breitbart? A few weeks ago a piece of fake news by the "Denver Guardian" went viral. There is no such thing as a "Denver Guardian" and a simple Google search would have confirmed that.

    Also ... is it a brand new site or perhaps a site with many questionable articles?
  3. Article vs Preview
    Many people do not read articles anymore. They rely on headline and preview. Shady publications use this to their advantage.

  4. Check the source
    Is it maybe a super old article or has it been "interpreted" until it was faintly reminiscent of the truth?
  5. Where is the information from?
    Check for i. e. "dpa" "reuters" or other news agencies and when in doubt, check that you find the news on their sites too.
  6. How new is the "new" video or picture? 
    Use the google reverse search:
  7. Is it comedy or satire?

Please, people, whatever your political conviction might be: Don´t become a monster worse than the one you try to hunt. 

Violence is not ok and fabricating or distributing content that might lead to violence or hatred are NOT OK. 

What would you do if you shared a piece of fake hate news that pushed an unstable person over the edge? 

I sounded angry today, but I will not apologize. That makes me smad (sad and mad).