Inspirations from Kerstin Hack

Category: Relationships (Page 2 of 2)

Discovering Life – Learning Manual Skills

2013-09-11-16.35.08– Was I alive today?
Yes! And at the end of the day, I was so bone-tired that after the evening prayer with my neighbor (beautiful tradition), I fell into bed like a stone!

– What new thing did I learn about life?
Ok. Right now, I”m learning a lot about manual skills. I now know that wet-dry vacuums come to their limits at a certain angle. How to solve this, I don”t know yet.

And… I would have never thought that sandblasting could leave behind such a huuuuuuge mountain of sand. Phew!

– What new thing did I learn about myself?
When I have a problem to solve – such as getting about 200 liters of oily water

a) out of a tank
b) away in an environmentally friendly manner
then I”m not really open for interactions with people… which is a shame… perhaps this interaction is exactly the most important thing I need today.

– See more at:

Discovering Life – and Making a New Friend


– Was I alive today?
Yes! And how! The best moment of the day was when I successfully got all 12 balls into the faces of the Astrid Lindgren figures with my new friend, Lukas (3rd grade), and he asked me at the end, “Will you be here again tomorrow?” Heartwarming.


– What new thing have I discovered about life?
When a water pipe is clogged, it doesn”t necessarily mean there is grime in it. I was on board and was trying to unclog an overflow pipe from the roof and was poking around in it. And I was surprised when instead of grime, a huge spider came out. NO, I did NOT scream! But only just! Screaming is only useful when someone else is nearby who can hear it. It”s only half as fun alone.

– What new thing have I learned about myself?
It”s really difficult for me to go along when someone is whining and complaining. Today, the sandblaster told me how difficult it is to get the coating off of the floor of the main room. He said this in a whining undertone that automatically released in me these feelings:

– He”s not doing well.

– I am responsible.

– I have to do something so that he will be doing better.

My auto-program offered to pay him more (before the freecar racing car racing games mobile rest of me even had a chance to think about it), even though we had already agreed upon a price. Ouch. That wasn”t necessary. How someone feels is really their own problem. He could have said instead, “Gosh. This coating is being difficult. But I, the MacGyver of Sandblasters, will be the master of this project.” And he could have felt like a hero. I hope to get something from life for the expensive premium I paid… What I already know in theory – that I am not responsible for the feelings of others, but only for my own behavior – I hope I can internalize this even more!


– See more at:

Discovering Life – An Experiment


I recently read about Jess and Tim, two New Yorkers that have been friends for years. They asked themselves whether they could fall in love if they spent time with each other every day for 40 days. So they began the experiment “40 Days of Dating,” and told about it in a Blog. (For those of you who are curious, they fell in love – and it remained complicated).

One thing that really moved me, other than the cool and unique idea, was that every evening they would ask themselves:

– What new things have I learned about the other person?

– And about myself?

I think these questions are exciting and great. First of all because the reflection surely helped them to keep things in their memories that otherwise would easily be forgotten. It often wasn’t the “big” things that they noted, but rather small ones: his shopping behaviors, her smile, something that they learned about the other person’s childhood, and much more.

I thought to myself: I could try this. Not necessarily with a man, but with life itself. To ask myself every evening for a while:

– What new thing have I learned about life?

– What have I learned about myself?

And share the answers with you (perhaps not daily, but some evenings).

This is also similar to the spiritual practice of asking yourself every evening: When was I most alive today? And when least? (A great book on this topic: Sleeping with Bread)

This is also a bit of self-care for me. At the moment, I have a ton of things to organize and manage. First, for the publishing company. But I also have to make daily decisions and organize things for the ship project. And then the lecture season with seminars and events across Germany begins next week. In times like this, the danger is high that one will forget to enjoy life; to notice the small, beautiful moments of daily life. For this reason, I would like to really pay attention to this, especially because so much is going on right now.

– What new things did I discover about life?
A man that I’ve known for a long time told me about a practicum in an industrial enterprise, shift work, and sandblasting. I know him primarily from working together in committees and prayer-actions. To hear about his experiences in a completely different area of life brought us closer together. I found this valuable and pleasant.

– What new thing did I discover about myself?
It is not easy for me to concentrate on only one thing for a long period of time. As we prayed yesterday on the ship that God would give his blessing, I prayed with my whole heart… and occasionally cut away (with bolt cutters) rusty screws that I noticed when I opened my eyes. For me, this was the perfect mixture of concentration.

I invite you to participate and to tell in a comment about a moment that you experienced when you felt really alive.

– See more at:

Feeling Responsible

To start off with:feeling respon 2013-11-04 17.59.58 sible is not a feeling. This might surprise you because “feeling responsible” feels like a real feeling. Yet, when we examine it carefully, this feeling is made up of two parts: -the thought: “I think I am responsible.”

  • -a feeling: pressure, anxiety,stress, excessive demand, sadness.

I am not a person who usually splits hairs, but in this case, this is important to me. This differentiation can open the door to freedom. When we realize, “I think I am responsible,” we can critically evaluate:

  • Am I actually responsible?
  • To what extent am I responsible?
  • Do I want to be responsible?
  • Who else is responsible?

This alone can take the pressure off. There are situations in which we are actually responsible. For example, parents are responsible for their children: more when they are small and less the more they grow. But what is with the feelings that we feel? In most cases, the “feeling” of responsibility is nothing more than empathy and resonance bound with sadness. We sense that the other person isn’t well. We feel it with them, and we have our own feelings about it as well: sadness, helplessness, pressure, or something similar (depending on the situation and thought patterns.). We then call this thought-feeling-conglomeration and hodge-podge “I feel responsible.” What can we do? In my opinion, adults carry the responsibility for their own lives themselves. I can’t and don’t have to carry the responsibility for anyone who is an adult. It is their responsibility. At the most, I can take partial responsibility – during a coaching session, I have the responsibility to create a good process. As a publisher, I have the responsibility to train my employees well, etc. Once in a while, it happens anyway that I “feel responsible.” A good friend is stressed; I perceive this and think that I have to help him. A good friend isn’t doing well; I slide into feeling responsible. When I notice myself doing this, I always do two things internally:

  • consider if and in which forms I would like to support the person and communicate this to him or her
  • say inside: “I put the responsibility for your life back into your hands.”

My friend, Rosemarie, recommended a third sentence that I find wonderful:

  • “I bless you that you can carry the responsibility well.”

I especially like this third step. I can and may bless, which strengthens and supports others in their ability to master their lives. I find this relieving and exhilarating. By the way, the photograph above is two barges from an aerial view. It is good when a barge only carries its own burden; otherwise, it would sink. – See more at:

Loving twice

In a synagogue, in a publishing magazine, on-line, in a book – in this week and in many different ways I’ve been confronted by a subject that has been on my mind for years. A charity concert in the Synagogue on Ryke Street for the benefit of the Yad Vashem Memorial: I chatted to a friend of mine about the magnificent synagogue and other synagogues, like that on Oranienburger Street, that were once just as magnificent. Oranienburger Street. I told her about the man who had started up the Berlin Literary Forum a few years ago. He had grown up in Berlin before the First World War. As a small child he made sense of the tragedy of what had happened in a simple image: it must be something truly terrible that makes someone flee in such a rush that they leave a bowl of delicious blueberries sitting on the table uneaten! As a Jew, he fled to Holland with the help of his wife during the Second World War. Unlike his parents, he survived the Holocaust and lives in his adopted country to this very day. What made an impression on me back then was the love with which he spoke of both his wives. The first, who died when he was about 60, and his present wife who he had married later, unable to hope that they would spend many more decades together. A deep love for both… different, unique, but each in their own way loved. I told my friend this… because the memories of that morning when I had heard him speaking are still fresh. She told me about a man that had deeply influenced her when, one evening in a close circle of friends, he had spoken about his two wives. He spoke with deep love of his first wife, who he had cared for until her death. He talked about his love for his first wife and about everything that she had given him and meant to him, whilst his second wife sat beside him. For everyone it was clear to see that he loved both. It is possible to love twice if we have made peace with losing someone. Making peace with loss… that’s something I’ve encountered on another level – in an article about the publishers (Diogenes) and friends Rudolf C. Bettschart and Daniel Keel that I found in the current Diogenes Magazine (it was on display for free in Starbucks). They narrowly avoided bankruptcy twice, and started all over again just the same. They stuck by each other. Then a friend recommended me an article that describes vulnerability
as a characteristic of great entrepreneurs. It differentiates between active and passive vulnerability. Active vulnerability is being ready to take risks, to accept that not everything goes well, and to consciously go ahead. In this article the sign of a great entrepreneur is not that they never make mistakes, but that after failure, which will inevitably occur time after time, they refuse to break down and give up. Many people throw in the towel and don’t ever want to be so disappointed again. According to this article, that’s passive vulnerability (whiney, self-pitying, and dejected). Good entrepreneurs are at peace with their failed attempts, and start again from scratch. Similar ideas are to be found in a book that a friend gave me by Paul Getty, the richest man in the world in his day. I’ve put a lot of thought into the question of how after failure, after loss, after painful experiences, we manage to find our way back
into the swing of things. I’ve even written a book about it, with everything that I had to say on the topic a couple of years ago: Jump: Into Fullness of Life. But it’s still on my mind. We can unfortunately never shake off failure and loss. I don’t want to become hard and cold, rather I want to continue to love: people, projects and ideas. To love once. To love twice. The key is to make peace with loss, and then to love from scratch – for the dozenth time if needs be.

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