Touched By Art

You just have to go for a walk in your city.

There you’ll find street art, installations and statues. Open your eyes, look up and discover different styles of architecture, colors, materials and textures.

+ Which object or building is your favorite?

+ Why did you chose it?

+ What is the story behind it?

+ How can it brighten up your day or become an inspiration?

 

‘Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.’
Twyla Tharp

Enthused By Food

Fish Tacos

Recipe delivering the Hawaii-Aloha-Chill feeling!

It’s not only easy as pie, but also gluten-free 😉

What you’ll need:
A blender – otherwise you don’t have to continue reading.

Chunks of a local/safe/’meaty’ fish (I recommend already skinned/gutted – except you’ve been a student at Glion Hotel School!). The amount depends, of course, on the amount of people you’re delighting with this.

Marinade for the fish:
1-2 limes or lemons juiced
0-2 cloves on garlic (you know my opinion on this)
[if you go for the garlic: get Chlorophyll tablets!]
2 hot chili peppers or 1 jalapeños or simply chili flakes
1 tbs cumin (again totally depends if you’re a fan)
1 tbs herb salt (nix Aromat my dear Swiss friends)
-> put everything in the blender & let the fish swim in it for some time

Corn tortillas (small soft ones)
I know it doesn’t make sense, as the recipes is called “Tacos”…yet see it with some Hawaiian relaxed attitude…if troubles persist – eat first & then check again how you feel about it.
Thinly sliced Napa cabbage
Sprouts

Salsa:
Option 1 – buy it
Option 2 – make it yourself while you are frying the fish
-> put following in blender: tomatoes, avocado, onions, lime juice, more garlic, cilantro, opt.: papaya & more chili

Note: I’m sure that by now I’ve convinced you that Chlorophyll tablets are essential & only prepare this for a date if you’re a) not intending to kiss b) immune to the odors c) already madly in love…

And then:

Well, easy – just fry the fish (you’ll manage – even if you haven’t gone through hotel school) after it had been sitting in the marinade for an hour.
Heat the tortillas in the oven, pan or (heaven forbid) the microwave – wrap them in a kitchen towel & put them on a warm plate, or have them in a warm glass bowl lined with kitchen towel and put a lid on it.
Toppings in small bowls, fish and tortillas on the table – Done.

p.s. I’ve actually been introduced to Fish Tacos by my friend Katy. I remember it very well, as we took the “whole lime” in the Salsa very literate & put the whole thing into the blender…there was a lot of peel going on there 🙂 🙂 🙂 

The image above is from one of the famous Fish Taco Food Trucks – it was an excellent lunch incl. the company (you might have guessed…it was this guy).

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ok, maybe he was more interested in my fish taco than me…

Taken by Impressions

Spring in Vancouver

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Whistler – Ski Outings from January – May (!)

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Kauai Island, Hawaii

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Vancouver Island, Yellowpoint

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Grape picking in Okanagan Falls

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Vancouver Island, Victoria, Butchards Gardens

The Butchard Gardens: end of 19th century, the wife of a cement factory owner had a VISION...
The Butchard Gardens: end of 19th century, the wife of a cement factory owner had a VISION…

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I called this the fairies' playground
I called this the fairies’ playground

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it gets busy on the "runway" out of Victoria
it gets busy on the “runway” out of Victoria

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Totem poles at Cradle Point in Victoria, where the 1st Nation families would set the cribs & cradles of their children on the water, to ensure a long healthy life
Totem poles at Cradle Point in Victoria, where the 1st Nation families would set the cribs & cradles of their children on the water, to ensure a long healthy life

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if you are afraid of the flower pot falling on your head, around this pub/restaurant, the chances are definitely higher ;)
if you are afraid of the flower pot falling on your head, around this pub/restaurant, the chances are definitely higher 😉

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the perfect flight back from Victoria in a water plane, shortly before landing in Vancouver harbour

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Summer in Vancouver

The majestic Lion's Gate Bridge, view from Ambleside Beach, North Vacouver
The majestic Lion’s Gate Bridge, view from Ambleside Beach, North Vacouver
really cool airport of a different kind
really cool airport of a different kind
View from Stanley Park - Downtown
View from Stanley Park – Downtown
Entrance to 1st Nation Land - North Vancouver
Entrance to 1st Nation Land – North Vancouver
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View from North Vancouver – Downtown

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View from Londsdale Quai, North Vancoucer - Downtown
View from Londsdale Quai, North Vancouver – Downtown

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Gastown
Gastown
look, they also have a "Bellevue" here :) (sorry, insider for Zurich people)
look, they also have a “Bellevue” here 🙂 (sorry, insider for Zurich people)
The 'Canucks' - local hockey team
The ‘Canucks’ – local hockey team
Home of the Vancouver Opera
Home of the Vancouver Opera
Historic Shipyard in North Vancouver
Historic Shipyard in North Vancouver
How kids will be happy at the hairdresser
How kids will be happy at the hairdresser
Serious "Stuff" Shop
Serious “Stuff” Shop
that's what I call gender equality!
that’s what I call gender equality!
A porch with a view indeed
A porch with a view indeed
Kitsilano (Kits - my neighbourhood) Beach View to Downtown
Kitsilano (Kits – my neighbourhood) Beach View to Downtown

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Dazzled By Nature

Visit a botanical garden. 

Immerse yourself and take time noticing the impeccable designs of all around you. Learn about the difference between trees, bushes, flowers and succulents.

+ Which colors are predominant for which season?

+ Which is your favorite flower or tree breed?

+ What is the one thing you will remember from this visit?

Moved By A Story

About ‘Room to Read’

Once upon a time, when I was back in Zurich, a friend of mine told me over lunch that I should research a charity organisation called ‘Room to Read’ (RtR). Little did I know at the time, how important & much it would become part for my life…

Now, I know that most of you have been appropriately ‘brain washed’ by me on what RtR is. However, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what makes it such an unique organisation, worthy of your attention.

800 million people are illiterate in the world today. Over 530 million are women and children.

Imagine for a moment, they have the chance to learn how to read & write...and I mean with teachers that are trained, a curriculum, measuring parameters, with books in their language that have been developed locally with writers especially for children. Give them access to libraries that are filled with books and run by a trained librarian. You might think that this scenario is surely the standard across the globe, because that’s what we know from discovering the ABC. Well, it just isn’t…although we all know that literacy plays a fundamental impact on quality of life, health and economical standing, i.e. people creating their ‘productive’ life, communities and surroundings.

Now, let’s take it further and assume that both girls & boys can continue schooling after 6th grade. Again you might say, that this is the norm – for us. The truth is that girls are taken out of school to either work or be married off. The positive impact on lives of these girls on top of the economical benefits is a no-brainer really.

Room to Read exists to turn these two scenarios into reality – World Change Starts with Educated Children ® – with a Literacy and a Girls’ Education Program. The idea is to enable children to develop the skills and habit of reading and ensure girls complete secondary school and have skills to negotiate key life decisions.

What’s so different is that RtR collaborate and engage the families, local communities, partner organizations and governments in the transformation. RtR sets measurable goals and collects action-oriented data to ensure the programs are run with quality and impact, while maximizing cost efficiency. Results and reporting are shared with transparency and key indicators ensure rigorous evaluation of more than 7’000 projects. RtR has been reconized by Charity Navigator for its transparency, financial excellence, and responsible work that each donation has maximum impact.

Still want to know more? Read the two books that John Wood the founder has written ‘Leaving Microsoft to Change the World’ and ‘Creating Room to Read’ or visit the global website.

We are so thrilled that we have achieved our goal of reaching 10 million children by the end of 2015! Of course, we have a new goal and that is to benefit 15 million children by 2020.

Join our efforts, make a difference and become a donor, volunteer, advocate, friend and part of the worldwide RtR family! YOUR contribution (be it in skills, time, money or awareness spreading) will make a profound, direct difference in a child’s life. And I ask you – what is better than that?

Please reach out to me, if you want to discuss fun-fundraisers, volunteering, company engagement or maybe a trip with me to one of the Room to Read projects?

I was a member of the Zurich chapter and was welcomed with open arms into the Vancouver chapter. In April I had the chance to attend the RtR Global Leadership Conference in San Francisco and honestly, I was blown away…what a feeling…to be part of such a passionate, active, fun, intelligent group & movement. And just like that Room to Read has become an intrinsic part of my life – happy (me) end.

 

‘How you imagine the world determines how you live in it.’
David Suzuki

 

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Founded in 2000 in Nepal – Literacy & Gender Equality in Education – in 2015 will impact 10 million children
Where we work
RtR is in ten low-income countries in Asia & Africa

Zurich Event June 2014 – Music & Art for Education

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Vancouver 2015 – Destination Dining Series

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RtR_DD12May2015 Start following us on the Vancouver Facebook site

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shaken By Coaching

I AM a professional coach because I believe everybody deserves to know how to change!

My clients are leading professionals working in high pressure roles in volatile environments.

Together, we form a productive partnership through creative, to-the-point, fun and action-oriented sessions. The coaching process has you, among others, understanding your values and changing unresourceful beliefs. This leads clarity in your vision, achieving your goals and being in-sync in career, life as well as being successful in the face of adaptive challenges.

I’m honestly interested in your success, quests and/or sharks that pop up…imagine there is your ship, you are the captain and know to which island (with treasure of course) you want to sail towards. I will be the navigator at your side holding the map. >> It starts with you.

 

‘I AM – two of the most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality.’

Provoked by Technology

A Website-Drama in 10 Acts

(written, performed, partially directed, suffered, survived, reported by me)

For the impatient audience:
Right now, I have an up and running website. The End.

For the practiced reader:

April showers bring May flowers…or how after six months my website is finally open for business.

This is for all of you that think about setting up a website using a freelancer, and for all of you that want to have a good laugh!

Honestly, I did not expect this to be such a Sisyphus struggle – taking one step forward and three back.  Me being such a classical cliche entrepreneur, of course, I wanted to do as much as possible myself; spend a minimum amount of money, get the maximum out of it, and that as fast as possible. Let’s just say, I paid dearly maybe not with money but with lots of hours, nerves, frustration, sweat and tears. So much so that I started believing that it might be a sign I should not have a website all 😉

On the positive side, I know now SO much about domains, hosting, website building, code, back-up, css, themes etc. than I could have ever imagined possible (or wanted to know for that matter). It all started out so promising and harmless; I registered my domain and hosting in 10 minutes (with ‘Go Daddy’) and I knew what functionality, design and structure I wanted. A colleague had recommended a huge tech freelance platform called ‘Freelancer.com’ and sure enough after putting my project up (of building a customized ‘WordPress’ template), I had more than 20 offers that promised to build it very cheaply within 21 days.

Although you can see the numbers of jobs a freelancer has completed successfully and read some customer references, I had no idea how to select one over the other. Naturally, I looked at the price and time line and looked at work samples etc. but in the end, I picked the one that started chatting (over the platform) with me first. Here come crucial indicators (I wish I knew) when NOT to pick a freelancer:

  1. if the level of English is questionable in the first chat. It can only get worse, because the guy writing to you at this time, is the boss – every other person in the team speaks (even) worse. The number of times, I had to read a (so called) sentence out loud over and over again, were countless…I think deciphering hieroglyphs would have been faster.
  2. if they cannot provide live sample websites. I found out (way too late) that the ones they gave on the platform, were really more mock-ups than a full-blown functioning website. Also, look at the re-hire rate, that really tells you if someone was happy with the working relationship.
  3. if they say the time difference is not a problem. As most of them are based in and around India, you are looking at 12-13 hours (!). In my case, I don’t think they understood that I was behind them and basically, we barely managed to chat, exchange updates, comments when we were both online. That makes for very slow progress and unsettling sleeping habits. 
  4. if they don’t tell you how many different people will be working on your project. I just wanted to throw in the towel, when I got asked the same thing over and over again (being addressed as SIR again). Not only did I not know what was going on, but I think they didn’t either. 
  5. if they are trying to sell you something more or different, before they have completed what you have hired them for . Not a week passed by without them trying to sell me a logo design, search engine optimization etc. All I wanted was for them to build my template and make it easy for me to manage it.
  6. If they are not insisting and have an efficient way/process to give feedback and track progress. You don’t want to know the hours I have lost in trying to explain what I was happy with and needed changed etc. Also, the 21 days turned into 4 months with them just not doing anything at times. 
  7. If they are not promising you a back-up file with your custom made theme template (css sheet) that they are sending once the job is done. Through whatever weird incident (that even Go Daddy people hadn’t seen before), my theme sheet got renamed and oh, surprise – got thrown out. ‘My’ freelancers did not make a back-up and had the nerve to tell me that they would have to build it from scratch, charging like it was a new job.
  8. if they say something is not possible that logically seems not such a big deal of a request, i.e. a change of font style, size or header characteristics. That simply means they don’t know how to do it. 
  9. if they want to log in into your WordPress account using your personal log in and password. Thank heavens, I did not agree to that and forced them to set up a separate user within my account. Had I agreed to them using/sharing my ‘user’ set up, I would have never been able to tell who had created, edited, changed what! It would have all been ‘me’.
  10. if they don’t offer / know that one can create your template in an off-line environment that can be activated when you are happy with it.

There you have it…I ended up hiring another freelancer to make the last changes, and I would re-hire him. I hope knowing these points will support you in having smooth sailing. Or maybe it has convinced you to just hire someone to do it for you. Either way, I do want to share why I took on the challenge of having a website altogether 🙂

As a professional accredited coach (ACC) and consultant (BSc, MSc) I support professionals to move successfully through transition (e.g. promotion, job change, self-employment), through the optimal application of value systems, behavior patterns and state of mind. It is my goal that clients can help themselves, developing a sustainable resourceful state of mind, which will let them make even better choices and develop more productive communication with others.

If you are curious, I’m happy to reserve time in my calendar to give you a sample experience. At your service, if you want to put it all together. 

Seized by Education

This talk was ten years ago, every word is still true today.

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity

I’m committed working with youth for them to discover their vocation and life vision; supporting mastery in the interplay of the physical, emotional and rational mind for a purposeful, fulfilled life and a creative, productive community.

Participating as a coach and offering pro-bono sessions in the program ‘Chance to Choose’ run by S.U.C.C.E.S.S is one way of doing this.

We all deserve to know how to change how we feel about our personal history, to learn how to look at things differently and develop solutions.

I believe that coaching should be part of a teacher’s training and part of any secondary school curriculum. The benefits range from fostering confidence, awareness, focus and improve overall health, communication and team work. That leads to a state of productivity and balance, from which not only the individual profits, but also their families, friends and work colleagues. Also, it leads youth to choose a career/profession that truly is in line with their values and their ways, rather than pursuing a path because of an external belief or society pressure.

Feeling very passionate about this, I have developed a youth program myself that I call ‘360 Degree Life’. It guides participants through seven modules, with the goals of increasing life skills and creating a long-term mindset of resourcefulness. This is achieved by passing on and applying techniques from the area of coaching, neuro-linguistic programming and the performing arts.

Research has shown that we don’t even know today what sort of professions will be part of our lives in the future. What we do know is that a creative, resourceful, confident human being is more likely to succeed and thrive in any given new, potentially challenging situation. Isn’t this the mandate of education and what we want for our youth; to be safe, succeed and be happy?

Get in touch if this struck a cord, and you like to discuss a potential cooperation. I’m curious to hear your input.

 

‘It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.’
e.e.cummings

Enthused by Others

Colleagues, professionals and organizations that I can highly recommend in their area of expertise and because they are great people!

 

Human Resources & Recruiting
Vertical Bridge Corporate Consulting Inc. – Creating Engaging Workplaces
www.verticalbridge.ca // sreder@verticalbridge.ca
Sandra Reder
President & Founder

 

Global Consulting – Doing Business in Asia
www.allisonboulton.com
Allison Boulton
Owner

 

Philantrophy
Giving Well –
 Your Roadmap to Philanthropy
www.givingwell.ca // info@givingwell.ca
Sharon Davis and Tina Labarca
Co-Founders, Consultants 

 

Therapy 
Healing Anger 
www.healinganger.ca
Alejandro Proaño 
M.Sc.; M.A.; A.C.C.

 

Some of what I’ve been reading and watching that enriched my life…

Books – Fiction

+ The Century Trilogy / Ken Follett

+ The Maddaddam Trilogy / Margaret Attwood

+ The Monuments Men / Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter

 

Books – Coaching, Neuro-Linguistic Programming

+ Guide to TRANCE-formation / Richard Bandler

+ Frogs into Princes: Neuro-Linguistic Programming / Richard Bandler

+ Social Intelligence / Daniel Goleman

+ Emotional Intelligence / Daniel Goleman

+ Drive / Daniel Pink

 

Video, Film – Documentary

+ Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret / Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

+ The True Cost / Andrew Morgan

+ Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation / Stefan Haupt

+ Ivory Tower / Andrew Rossi

+ Glen Campbell – I’ll be me / Trevor Albert and James Keach

 

What have your seen, read or heard lately that you that you want to spread the word about? Drop me a line, I’m curious!

 

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.
Kindness in giving creates love.
Lao-Tzu

 

Grabbed by the Idea of a Space

What led to the idea of creating the Star Cluster Space, a co-working, learning & community concept.

‘If you aim for the moon, you land among the stars’ and form a cluster with other stars, part of a constellation. You are part of a group. The urge of being part of a community is ingrained in us, situated in our mammal part of the brain. it has a huge importance and positive intention, as it ensures that we stay safe, survive and thrive. In all days of our ancestors, being expelled from the group was one of the biggest punishments. As an outcast you were always suffering hard ship, in the worst case scenario quick death. In today’s age, it’s the same mechanism that let’s us want to be part of a family, a tribe.

Having a traveler’s heart with a strong curiosity for cultures, languages, ethics and behavior made me study hotel management and have a career with Hilton. And that’s when I first encountered the community feeling. It didn’t matter in which country or city, whenever I walked into the staff entrance, I felt part of a micro-cosmos. I belonged, no matter what time of the day it was or in which department I was working. As teams you encountered the funniest, stressful, surprising, exciting, horrible, useful and beautiful things that became our shared memories.The glue that not only connected us, but forged live long friendships and became the foundation of my resilience. Everybody knew, when the going gets tough, it will be tough, but you’re going through it together. It’s immediate, face-to-face, real time experience.

When I left the hotel industry after six years, I didn’t realize at the time that the next industry I joined runs according to the same principles. Now I’d say that it is harder to find the difference between a theater and a hotel rather than listing similarities. If you wonder why I left a successful career in the first place, here’re are the reasons: I have a very strong creative side to me and the second best thing to being on stage myself was to become part of the world where my passions lie.

Also, I believed that it would give my work/life more purpose, i. e. that sense of fulfillment.Well, I was partly right. When you become part of a producing opera house/theater, you do play a crucial part in making the performance happen. Bringing such a special ‘product’ to people, reaching them in person, on an emotional level through music, singing and dancing carries purpose. What I also experienced again was this sense of family or community.The same thing happened where as an overall team (with lots of different departments, type of people, languages and nationalities) you were pulling on the same rope, honoring the motto ‘the curtain has to go up’ – no matter what. I don’t know if you can imagine what that means, but let me share with you that it’s not exaggerated to say that every possible, highly emotional, complex, unthinkable situation occurred. Me being a storyteller by choice probably subconsciously knew that it would give me material for a lifetime!

Yet, after seven exciting years in the performing arts; the pressure and working hours took its toll. I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t fulfilled.  You can imagine that admitting to myself that this wasn’t it (although I so believed it) was a truly shitty moment. It took several month to work through that experience and I had absolutely no idea, what to do next. It was not until I was recovering from a foot operation that I was researching the option of leaving Switzerland (again). That’s where I literally stumbled across coaching and after months of not knowing anything, it became clear in an instance. That was the missing purpose piece; being of service and working impactful 1:1 with people. I cannot even begin to describe the joy, relief and exhilaration that came with that clarity. The program of Erickson International College struck a chord with me and therefore, moving out to Vancouver an educational sabbatical just felt right. The path of coaching and neuro-linguistic programming proved to exactly right, and it led me to stay in Canada, as a self-employed coach, consultant, artist and storyteller.

Guess what happened when I started working as a coach from home in a city that is not my hometown? Exactly. I started to miss both, being part of a community and the in-person interaction with others. I felt I’m doing something very meaningful, but the cooperation and community was missing. Wanting to bring all three (and more 🙂 together and seeing that there are others looking for the same, gave birth to this idea of creating the ‘Star Cluster Space’ a co-working, co-learning & community concept.

We believe everybody deserves to belong to a community; be it to connect with others through work, play, learning or just to show up in person and feel part of it. Star Cluster Space is based on this principle and uniquely combines co-working with education, entertainment and creating a community across all ages.

The facilities and programs are based on the input of the community members in entertainment, hospitality, art, visual design and professional services. People that work from home, on the road, in small teams, as new arrivals to the city or starting out their business. Being true to the nature of a community it strives to bring together people from youth to senior age; from apprentices, to entrepreneurs, to retirees, to artists, to professional, to academics and people in transition.

Star Cluster Space achieves this by combining its facilities with especially created programs and initiatives that actively foster productivity, cooperation, compassion and connection. Becoming a member means much more than ‘just’ renting a desk or an office. It means that you become part of the cluster, the constellation. We from the team see it as our mission you becoming involved, grow personally and getting the most out of your membership. Star Cluster Space aims to become the place where innovation sits right next to education and entertainment, where the atmosphere ranges from a theater, a library, a laboratory, a working garage to a space of drive, wonder and welcome. Think a community center merges with a co-working space, a theater and a hotel where people work, cooperate, connect, learn, and socialize in person.

I’m very grateful and excited that the project is gaining momentum. That is why I’ve chosen now to tell you all about it. I invite you to engage in the project, if you’re sitting there nodding your head. Let me know what came up when reading this and would you like to know more, share ideas, give input? I invite you to become part of the Star Cluster Space community!

We are envisioning to be part of the future of Granville Island.
Either like us on Facebook or sign up on the website: www.starclusterspace.com to get news.

 

 

‘There is nothing like a dream to create the future.’
Victor Hugo