Author: Hilde Pols

Rediscovering an Age-Old Ceremony

In collaboration with Leslie Hart Everyday life presents us with challenges both great and small. A sad mood swing can suddenly spoil an otherwise great day. Dealing with a chronic illness can make even the sunniest of days, seem dark and bleak. There’s a seemingly never ending array of life challenges that we all must navigate. As a result, we may find that there is too little joy left in our daily life experience. In our eternal pursuit of happiness, we seek solutions and earnestly research every option available to us. For example, we may go on a shopping spree to lift our mood and distract us from...

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Peaking Behind the Mask by Hilde Pols

Watching a Balinese dancer can be foreign, even odd. The movement and posture seem angular and unnatural, the masks and outfit disconcerting, the vocals and characterization over the top. What seems odd even sometimes funny, is a high art to the Balinese, who start training very young. Little boys and girls as young as five already perform at events, following in the footsteps of an old tradition and refined art. Some react surprised when they learn I have played for such dancers. As a gamelan player and tutor I have had the honor to skip my hammer across a...

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Energy Management: When Less is More by Hilde Pols

We have all noticed how life has sped up. Our schedules are fuller than ever, whilst hours and days seem to be shrinking in size. If we ourselves are not saying it, we have heard at least one person commenting that they have no time or cannot get around to everything they want to do.  More often than not we feel tired, drained or off balance in some way. As a culture, we have become more susceptible to aches, colds, and illnesses. And the above plays a big role in this. If we are speeding around continually working at...

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The Art of Discussion by Hilde Pols

A lively discussion enables us to grow, to learn, to develop. It act us to stretch our own knowledge muscles as we explain and explore our point of view. At the same time we are learning from our conversation partner(s), either because they bring up great points we were unaware of, or due to statements they offer that show us where we stand. Both roles are rewarding and tricky to master. As a speaker, we need to take the time to explain rather than state; as a listener we need a willingness and humbleness to listen and learn. Emotions...

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How are you? by Hilde Pols

It is part of society … civilized conversation … expectancy. You are expected to be ‘fine’, when some asks how you are. In some cultures/countries, the answer is not even voiced but rather substituted with the repeated question. Digging down to the core social etiquette, one can easily believe that we are not interested how the other person is. This is supposed to be an opener to start a chat, nothing more. So whoever dares to break tradition and say they are not fine might be asking for raised eyebrows. Why is s/he to draw attention to him/herself? However,...

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