Heart of Berlin

Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

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How to be creative – 10 Tipps

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My form of creativity. The arm of an old doll gets transformed into a toilet roll holder.

My friend Debbie, a wonderful clever and beautiful woman, a people – lover and worshipper of God told me that she would love to write more songs. She asked me for ideas how she could increase her creativity. Here they are.

1 Make it a habit to be creative (almost) every day

Write, paint, dance, draw etc. regularly. Even if it is only a little. That might sound boring, but the truth is: The more you practice the better you get. After all – Amazing grace was the result of John Newtons habit to write one song per week for his congregation. Discover what helps you and develop habits and routines that help you get into work/creative mode quickly – i.e. same spot, same place, same mug. You might find gems among the dust.

2 Detox from social media and other stuff 

Our brain is carving new stuff. If there is nothing new coming to us from the outside it will use its energy to come up with its own new ideas from the inside – i.e. it will start to be creative. Hence the “best ideas come in the shower-effect. If we constantly junk feed our brain with email, social media, noise etc. it will have no need and desire to come up with new thoughts and ideas. So detox regularly. Make sure you have enough boring times!

3. Care for your brain

The brain is an organ after all. It needs good, energizing nutrients (no, I do not mean Red Bull). You will not be able to do good work if your brain is deprived of sleep, oxygen, water and nutrients and a chance to go and pee.

4. Get moving

If you get stuck get unstuck by taking a break moving your body: walking, dancing… and yes, take care you are in a good body posture while you work. Bad posturer increases feelings of sadness and depression – usually not what you want to work from – unless you write depressing novels.

5. Fill your tank

Nobody can create from nothing. Only God. Maybe not even He worked from nothing – but from all that was in Him. In order to be creative we earthlings need fragments and pieces that we can combine in new ways. So: Get inspired. Take inspiration from others – a lot. But use only what is resonating with you and integrate it into your work.

6. Note all your fragments

Don´t wait for something magically complete to emerge. Use post-its and big pens – so that you see and can read the parts from a distance.

Ipad-holder made from leftover wood from ship-building.

Ipad-holder made from leftover wood from ship-building.

7. Work from the gut – later revise with the brain.

In the beautiful poetic language of German we say we do things “from the belly” when we allow stuff to flow from our innermost being. The belly needs some time to flow. Do not stop it in its flow. It is better to revise your work sometime later after a break.

8. Work from what moves you

Don´t try to write a song or paint a painting. Take time to feel and note what topics, issues, things move you right now. What fascinates you about life, God, people…? Work from there. Thus it will be your own. Find the topics that are on your heart. What have I been fascinated about!

9. Don´t multitask or jump to something else too quickly

When we get stuck or feel bored it is easier to jump to something else – stay there a little while… something new might develop out of that empty space.

10. Trust Gods Spirit in you and others. You are not alone in this creative journey. Pick up and work from what you feel the spirit of God is giving to you as inspiration – either directly or through the people around you. And yes let go of control and fear… what is in you is beautiful and it waits to come out.

Kerstin Hack, March 2017

What are your tipps and ideas to enhance creativity?

Ship, summer, sunshine and rain

2016-06-10 18.51.54It has been over a month since I moved onto my ship. And it has  been wonderful. Although the summer in Germany was pretty lousy for long stretches of time I enjoy every day on the ship: The water, the wild gheese, swans, sea-gulls, ducks and lots of other birds whose name I do not know in English.

BREAK
It was also good to have a much needed break from building – after 4 years and 3 months of work. No sawdust and noise for a while was a big blessing. And time to read books on health, personal grow, spiritual strenght and lots of other topic. And of course – simply enjoy the ship and visitors.
GUESTS
And I have had coaching-guests who received help and direction.One Lady who had suffered massive abuse in her childhood left the ship with some deep stuff being healed. One man received some help in sorting things out and an other one found help in finding direction for his future. That is in addition to those people who received help during paid coaching. And I had several international teams visit my ship to help or to receive inspiration. Or both. It was great meeeting them all.
BUILDING
We will resume building this week. Still much to be done. The seminar room, the entrance space and my office still need Hundreds of hours of work. And yes, some safe stairs downwards would also be useful as well as a stove in my kitchen.
PUBLISHING
While the ship is great publishing is challenging. In the last months the costs exploded (mostly for completely renewing our webpage: www.down-to-earth.de ). Sales did not. So at the moment I am not able to pay my huge bills in time.  Or buy furniture or new building materials for the ship. While as a pioneer I am used to financial challenges, it a pain in the neck right now and I need godly wisdom and grace to deal with it.
 2016-06-19 20.06.21
LOANS
I would like to start paying back the loans I received for building the ship. My dream would be to pay back 500 Euro each month – then it would still take several years to pay all of it back. If you want to help relief that burden (with a one time gift that make the burden smaller or a regular gift (i.e. 20 Dollar per month – that would cover one day of paying back loans) please let me know.

2014 – What a year – looking back…

2014-07-12 17.22.38Enjoying some quiet moments while my elderly parents whom I visit for Christmas watch TV or rest – I take some time to look back on this year – rich in challenges and blessings.

Some „statistics“
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2014 meant

  • 4000 hrs of work from volunteers and professionals to remove rust, paint, put up insulation, drill holes…and lots of other stuff. Thankful for each one and all of them… the picture shows Isaac – painting the inside of a water tank!
  • 6 new titles written by me – sorry all in German, but we are working on translations: Coco Chanel, Johannes Gutenberg, Non-violent Communication, Sensitivity, Questions of sucess, removing Blockages (co-authored with my Collegue Christoph Schalk). All of them in German so far…but we are working on English translations…
  • 14 new publications in total for Down to Earth
  • 20 Events as Speaker or holding a seminar.
  • 1 big Fundraising – Project „Fighting Rust – the epic battle“
  • 100 hours of business or personal Coaching
  • 2 new part-time staff in Publishing – for orders and organization

Lowlights – the difficult times 

  • Discovering that we had painted a huge part of the ship with a color that would not dry – we had forgotten to add the hardener. Yikes. Improvisation is king.
  • Being falsely accused and sued to have violated the rights of a fotographer – I won the court case, but lost Hundreds of Euro for Research and more that 40 hours of work – for nothing … that was / is frustrating. I learned a lot, but it cost me a lot, too.
  • Slipping on the ship and falling on a sharp metal edge – damaging muscles on my leg – I had to watch the world cup finals in bed with my leg on ice.. and the muscles have not recovered completely.

Highlights

  • Spending time with a lot of different people on board of my ship – working together, sharing, laughing, crying… and seeing the ship being transformed from an empty metal shell to a homely place: We removed rust and added insulation, paint, Floors, walls, a toilet, Watertanks… and we now even have a dishwasher… and it works…
  • Miracle after Miracle in terms of helpers and finance
  • Seeing Germany beat Brasil 7:1 – the most unbelievable Soccer game of my life. Ok and becoming World Champion was not too bad either – although I had to watch the game in bed – with my injured leg wrapped in ice.
  • Celebrating the birthday of a dear friend in Sweden.
  • Launching my online-course LEA: Life, Energy, Action in English for the first time – I hope it will provide inspiration for many people.
  • Coaching many different people – in business issues or personal questions – and seeing them find solutions. Being part of this is simply wonderful.
  • Being part oft he „wall of lights“ fort he 25th anniversary oft he fall oft he Berlin wall. A day to remember.
  • I especially enjoyed learning more about Wingwave. That is a short-term coaching approach that helps remove blockages very quickly and effectivly. One woman who had suffered from fear of dark hallways after having been a victim of a bank robbery lost her fear after only one hour of coaching. Seeing things like that happen right in front of my eyes just makes me cry for joy.
  • Down to Earth, my publishing house over the years has grown from a one – woman business to a team of 10 part-time staff. It is important to lay new structures. And I have found a great coach who is helping me to master this time of transition.

10488118_10152194811730163_4104701525860301131_n2014 was quite a challenging year for me – it challenged me to grow in trust, leadership, coping… just sticking with the challenges, week after week. I am thankful that all in all it was a good year. And I am thankful for all the wonderful people who encouraged me, prayed for me, supported me and the ship project – a huge thank you to everyone who stood with me in this past year…

 

Learning new things

© T.Hitzfeld - 20140328 OFP-0030-1502At the moment I am sometimes renting out my bedroom to Berlin visitors. This helps to raise money for a ship. And it also gives you great experiences. At the moment a historian is living there. Last night I told him that I had just been to a talk by David Solomon, a jewish guy who does the whole of jewish history in one hour. He said: „That´s no big thing – I can tell the whole jewish history while I am standing on one foot“ Said so – pulled up his leg and exclaimed: „They wanted to kill us. We survived. Let´s go and enjoy some food!“

The ship – update

026It´s been over 2 years  now since my friends and I started working on the ship in May 2012 – you can see the progress in the pictures

I told about the vision and the beginning of it in a blog entry called The ressurection of a dream. It´s been quite a journey. Challenging and rough at times – joyful and amazing at others.

What we have done so far:

  • Restored the core of the ship (underwatership) – renewing the steel.
  • Removed all rust inside the ship, painted the inside, insulated it (it is 25 m long, 5 meters high – every square meter takes up to 5 hrs of work!).
  • Put in 21 new windowsPut in floors
  • Put in a woodstove2014-01-19 13.59.40
  • Installed running water
  • Installed a toilet
  • Began to renew electricity
  • Renovated the roof and part of the decks.

More than 100 People from half a dozen of different nations have come here to help and be inspired. For many of them it is encouraging to see: It is hard work to make a dream come true. But it is possible. And it is a joy to see the financial and practical miracles happen.

My vision for the ship is to provide a place for inspiration and restoration. So it has been a special joy to welcome one man whose life hat just fallen to pieces. He came here for 10 days of reflection, restoration and coaching and told me: „It was so good to talk to someone like you who does not offer recepies. No one in my life ever took so much time for me as you did!“ 2014-07-16 19.42.41

It makes me cry to think about that…great man, but no one ever really took the time to listen, to encourage … and it makes me feel that providing that space for people to be, to be encouraged and to receive coaching is the right thing to do.

What´s next – autum projects

  • Putting in 4 more portholes
  • Putting in new doors – the old ones are cardboard…not secure at all!
  • Putting up walls and doors in the rooms inside
  • Putting in a kitchen
  • Removing the rust on the decks.

For the „removing of the rust on the decks“ I have started a fundraising campaign as this is quite an expensive part. It will take us about 100 hours to remove the rust and paint, but the paint is a pain in the neck….Good ship paint hat lasts for a decade costs about 10 Euro / Dollar / Pounds per Liter. And we need about 200 !!! liters + electricity + some stuff to fill holes with.

So a friend made a cool movie: Fighting the rust – the epic battle

2014-07-12 17.22.38Please

  • Consider coming here and helping for a few days – and yes, bring your friends. It is soo cool!
  • Encourage me and pray for me!
  • Have a look at the video, laugh and leave a comment.
  • Give something – no matter how much or little – to help us win the battle (use the paypal button on this blog at the right).
  • Share the video with your friends, tell them about the ship and ask them to come and help and / or give  – even if it is only a little. The easiest way to give is paypal: info@down-to-earth.de

 Togehter we will make it!

March 2014 – A Splendid Month

2014-03-01-16.34.42

This month has already begun splendidly with a day in Potsdam to reflect and pray – with many wonderful small encounters in between.

I am excited for everything that this month will bring. Of course, we never know what will happen and whether we’ll sprain our ankle or if something bad will occur. But, if everything goes according to plan, this will be a good, full month.

– Fitness program: In our world in general and when rebuilding a ship from the 50’s specifically, our livers often have to work very hard. For this reason, I am going to do a liver-cleanse (first a classic one with Glauber salt + grapefruit and oil, then later with milk thistle) and do a whole-body detox of a garlic-lemon tincture (sounds terrible, but it’s not so bad – and it’s antiviral and energizing).

– Learning new things: I wanted to participate in a class at the Kingly Garden Academy about how to create pots for plant seeding. I will need this in the future because I would like to grow as much food as possible myself on the ship. I misunderstood it – it was more like a vending event. But I still learned some things.

– Receiving inspiration: Transforum is taking place in Berlin on the 6-8 of March. This is a conference that occurs every two years and deals with the question of how we as Christians can positively shape our society. I am still thinking about many of the inspirations from the last Transforum. I am thankful for this inspiring conference – participation is free, by the way, in order for people who can’t afford it to participate. And people can decide to come last minute as well.

– Giving inspiration: After the women’s pamper days were so nice for both participants and speakers, we planned two sequels. On March 14 and May 9, the theme is „Spring into Abundant Life“ at 8pm in the Gemeindehaus des SV.  I am already excited to see the wonderful ladies again. In the afternoon, we are offering the option to book a coaching session with me – a special service for those for whom Berlin is too far away and telephone coaching is not a good option. At the end of March, there is another women’s cafe in Britz with me and the theme is SWING.

– Writing. There are several things laying on my desk. In addition to all of the organizational tasks that come with running the publishing company and building the ship, I’m writing two more inspirational booklets: Friendship and Grief. I would also like to begin work on the new online course, IDA – In deinen Armen.

– Ship: Of course: continue building with all my strength and as much wisdom as possible!

– Men-Teams on board: On March 14 (Treptow Church) and on March 22 (Lukas Church) a whole bunch of men are going to energetically help with the ship. I am looking forward to showing the ship to the „guys“ and making an impact with them! In addition, a „mixed“ team (1 man/1 woman) is coming for two days – also wonderful!

– Women in Paris. This is probably the biggest surprise. For months, I’ve been occupying myself with the life of Coco Chanel, probably the first modern woman who out of her own strength – she came from bitterly-poor circumstances – built a worldwide undertaking. The wish awoke in me to visit the places of her work, but it was more of an idea than a plan. With the ship, I have more than enough to do and to pay for. It was just a silly idea until I began to research pictures for the inspirational booklet. The pictures cost 180 Euros each! This is way over the budget. But we still need 3-4 expressive pictures. A plane ticket to Paris only costs 120 Euros – much cheaper. In addition, I haven’t taken a real vacation in over a year – if you don’t count the moving of the ship (4 days) and Antwerp (3 days during which I was ill!).

So, I asked a friend if she was interested in coming to Paris with me (she’d pay for herself). She wrote back, „For the past few weeks, I have been working on cleaning, organizing, and clearing out the house of my recently deceased great-aunt. I really need a change! And I have friends who have an apartment in Paris. They live in the middle of the city – only a 15 minute walk from the Chanel head office!“

Accordingly, I am looking forward to this exciting month!

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/maerz-2014-ein-glaenzender-monat/#sthash.TQksvmSF.dpuf

Discovering Life – Shepherds and Sheep

IMG_0183 Was I alive today?

Yes!

What new thing did I learn about life?

What new thing did I learn about myself?

I often begin the day by reading Losungen – selected inspiring Bible texts… Yesterday“s was:

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me.” (John 10:14, New Living Translation)

This touched me deeply on two levels:

  • My Job = Trust: It was a reminder for me that trust is asked for. Sometimes things don“t go fast enough for me on the ship. I would prefer to be further. And it“s sometimes a real challenge for me to let go and to trust that God is already leading me. There is a saying, „Many people want to serve God, as an advisor!“ I often belong to this group. I have 1000 ideas about what He could do faster and better. It“s sometimes really dificult for me to let go and to trust that HE is the shepherd and daily gives me what I need for that day. I have decided to practice this more intensively and to declare to God my trust that He has everything in view. And He means well.
  • His Job: To be the Shepherd – and to care for me in the way that I need. “I know my own sheep” left an impression on me. It really touched me to be reminded that He really knows me. A few days ago, I did a really good personality test. The results were not really surprising: I am a visionary, am bored to death by housework, and live in the future, in what should be. And I“m hard on myself – more than others – when things don“t go fast enough.

As I read the verse, I thought and prayed, „Ok. I want to trust You. For today. But hey, it also says that You know me. And if You know me, then You also know that I need encouragement. I need to see that things are (quickly) moving forward. You know that there is nothing that brings my heart more joy than when things are moving in the right direction.

God must have heard my prayer… things are moving forward. I am rejoicing about:

  • Two friends who helped me yesterday to put up insulation so that we could come forward faster
  • 2o 25 Euro donations for the ship project by Betterplace and Paypal… again two more hours of work further
  • Four friends from Portugal who wrote that they would like to come for 7 or 8 days to help on the ship and really make some progress
  • A friend who wrote that he would like to sponsor the trip of one of the Portuguese because 3 of the 4 are unemployed and don“t have any money
  • 30 Euros worth of selling used books on Amazon… not huge, but every little bit helps
  • Over 400 Euros worth of selling books from our publishing house at a church bazaar. Of course the proceeds go first to employee wages and production costs, but anything left over goes into the ship
  • A woman who called and asked if she could help… she is currently doing a practicum in Berlin but has plenty of free time and energy and was looking for a meaningful activity to engage in… a friend told her about me…

My heart rejoices… because things are moving forward… and because I sense that my God sees me…

– See more at: http://kerstinpur.de/allgemein/leben-entdecken-hirten-und-schafe/#sthash.etNrLSsu.dpuf

A spark of happiness in the humdrum

Now it is spring….I wrote this 3 weeks ago, when it was still icy and cold…it took a while to translate…the story is still good…

There are very few weather conditions that can deter me from cycling. Today was one of them. An ice cold wind was blowing, (it was minus 17 degrees centigrade yesterday!) and I knew that after 2×40 minutes of cycling I would be frozen to the bone. So I decided to take the tube for once.

On the way back I bumped into a homeless woman who I had met before. The last time I ran into her, she told me that she was in a lot of pain. We had got off at the same station and what I actually wanted to do was to offer to pray for her – but I was too cowardly. So I „secretly“ prayed for her on the way home and one other time before the next time I saw her.

Now I’d runinto her again, selling the German equivalent of the Big Issue in the underground. I gave her some money and asked how things were with her pains. She said that everything was fine. I then actually wanted to tell her that I’d prayed for her, but by that time she had already turned around and got off. Maybe another time.
I’m happy that my God obviously answered my prayer – without me knowing it. I wonder how many other prayers there are that God has answered without my knowledge.

Building a space for God

This morning I read the book of Haggai in THE MESSAGE. The introduction spoke to me:

God doesn ´t live in buildings („The God who made the heavens dosn´t live in custum-mades shrines.“)….

We are not angels. We inhabit space. Material – bricks and mortar, boards and nails – keeps us grounded and connected with the ordinary world in which we necessary live out our extraordinary beliefs.

The book of Haggai then describes how the people were building a place for meeting up with God. And how God told them „I am with you“ and „I own all the silver and the gold.

It encouraged me for my boat project. God does not need a space. Yet – we need spaces that help us meet up with him. That is my dream for this boat that it would become a space where people

– could meet God – the God who is with you

– could find healing

– could find new hope

– could find friends.

We will start building NOW! The shi

http://goexback.com/ How to win back your ex

p is still in Hamburg and we will start renovating there because there we are allowed to make a lot of noise.

How you can help?

– Come over and help practically: We can use a lot of strong guys and girls who will help scratch of rust, lay floors, scrubb floors etc. in the next months. You can stay on board while renovating.

– Art: If you have special skills to make things party digital entertainment, however with Mattrick focusing elsewhere and promising to “properly densify talent,” how lengthy will Ginzburg Olsha last?AUSTRALIA To Research Social Networking ROLE IN SOCIAL GAMING AND GAMBLINGOn the other hand from the Gulf Of Mexico from Zynga’s Bay Area headquarters, scientists at Australia&#8217s Southern Mix College have released new research “investigating the promotion of and use of gambling and social game possibilities through social networking and mobile platforms. beautiful and express God´s glory and would like to contribute – let me know.

– Pray: Stuff works better when God blesses. I appreciate prayer that things will go smoothly,for provison, enough help – simply for a lot of blessing on the project.

– Send some silver or gold: To pay the professionals who work on the boat every work-day costs about 80 Euro. If you would like to sponsor the project you can sponsor one (half) hour, one day or one week of work….(0r two, or three).

If – like me – you're strapped for cash – you might consider selling something at ebay, amazon or etsy and donating the gains for the project.

The easiest way is to use my paypal account: Kerstin Hack (make sure you get my name right): info(aaaaat)down-to-earth.de

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The Resurrection of a Dream

Each year in preparation for Easter I ask the Lord if there is anything I should abstain from for Lent. This year the answer that I heard in my heart after prayer came to me as a surprise: „Abstain from doubting.“
Not doubting Him. Not doubting his goodness towards me – in spite of obvious challenges I was facing. And in spite of disappointments, broken dreams – the challenge was: „Do not allow yourself the 'luxury' of doubt.“ Doubt is an easy way out. When you doubt you do not need to dare. Dare to trust. Dare to try new things.

And boy – do I need courage. For 12 years I dreamt about having a space where I could host people. (Young) people who would want to learn with me and from me. Who would like to stay for a few days or weeks to learn, be mentored, and share life. Twice it looked as though the dream would come true. And twice it crashed again. Painfully. Violently. I cried. I couldn't understand God. After all – wasn't it his dream, too?!

In the last month the dream surfaced again. But not in the form of a flat that was big enough for living as well as hosting as well as holding seminars, but a SHIP. It is simply cheaper to buy and renovate a ship than to buy a flat. And so much more fun. So I found a great ship on Ebay (!!!). I had a look at it with professionals who understand more about ships than me. And now I am going to buy it in the next twelve months.

I will renovate it. And make it a

place for sharing life. And most likely I will name it „Heart of Berlin“.

Do you want to share the dream?

You can. You can make it possible in three ways: Prayer, p, and practical help.

– Prayer:
I know how much can go wrong in any project. I've had my share of painful lessons. Things going wrong that cannot possibly go wrong. But I also know that the opposite can happen. Things going incredibly smoothly. God's favour on all sides. Deadlines met. So I really do appreciate prayer for wisdom, God's favour and blessing…and I don't mind a word of encouragement now and then.

– Gifts and loans:
In spite of the ship being relatively cheap I still need more than 40,000 Euros by the end of April 2012 for buying the ship, transport and building materials. From May onwards I have regular payments in installments for the work that needs to be done. So any one time gift – no matter how big or small, regular gifts and loans will help. For gifts you can use paypal: Kerstin (AT) down-to-earth.de

Practical help: Do you need some good exercise and want to grow some strong muscles? I do need a lot of practical help – both from people who know what they are doing (plumbers, electricians) and those who don´t (everybody can scratch off rust and paint a ship). So if you're up for a working holiday on the outskirts of Berlin or know of people who are – let me know. And sooner or later I will need flower pots, cushions, curtain materials and lots of other practical things.

I am really excited about this project. Looking forward to creating a space for disciples, learners, nomads, and people who want to grow.

I will keep you updated.

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