Scientists have noticed that the female body reduces stress more quickly and efficiently than the male one. The women in the study produced less cortisol (stress hormones) and less adrenaline than the men undergoing the same test. Also heart frequency and blood pressure rose less strongly in comparison.

Nature has ordained that the male body produces more testosterone then the female one. In stress situations it tells the neuro-receptors to drop everything, and react to a threatening or emotionally escalating situation rapidly. Whereas this was a lifesaver for cavemen, this boost of testosterone often results in a stress reaction, or even aggression, nowadays. Therefore, men are more at risk of a heart attack than women.


When men feel under pressure, they shut themselves off. They usually try to deal with their stress and their feelings themselves. They resist asking others for help and tend to blame others for their stress/their situation.


When women are under stress, they usually go towards others (other women) and want to speak about their feelings. They react emotionally and find help on the outside. This may be support from friend, but also therapists. And women are more likely to blame themselves for a problem or a stressful situation. But they are also more vulnerable to depression. According to studies, twice as often as men.


As soon as we understand that due to hormones men react to emotional or stressful burdens differently to women, we can more easily understand and accept that they do not speak about their problems, handle them on their own, and do not want to seek professional help. However, it needs our female sensitivity and empathy to find out if and how we can detect what burdens our loved one.

A blog series for us women which can help to see men with different eyes and to understand them (even better).



She is a (small) rebellion and this is a good thing. I am talking about the British woman Sophie Slater. She started to study History at Manchester, and became dedicated to women’s rights. One day she had had enough of the way the fashion business treated women. She thought: can fashion be feminist? Are women’s rights considered in the production of clothes? There have been good intentions for years, initiatives for better working conditions in textile factories, campaigns against unnaturally thin models and sexist advertisements. But this has taken much too long for Sophie.


Therefore, the British student founded the company Birdsong with two colleagues in 2014: an internet shop, selling clothes and accessories only made by women in aid projects all over the world. Clothes and style have always fascinated Sophie. As a child she liked to dress up in front of the mirror. During her school-time in the north-east of England, she worked as a shop assistant and model for the American company ‘American Apparel’. Although they claimed not to have their clothes produced by exploitation, the company’s founder Dov Charney had a shockingly one-sided image of women, the young woman remembers. “During my work I was constantly surrounded by posters, showing women’s bottoms.” As it became known that Charney had sexually harassed employees for years, she was sure: the view of women in many fashion companies was still not right.


Sophie worked for an emergency hotline for rape victims, and cared for homeless women. She could see how hard it was for women’s projects when grants were cut back. During a postgraduate programme in London she met Sarah Beckett and Ruba Huleihel, two young women with similar interests. They soon agreed on a study project: they developed an internet shop, offering self-made fashion from several London women’s projects. They took photos of the clothes in parks, and a friend acted as a model. When they went online, they had about 30 products in the shop. After one day they were almost sold out.

Today Birdsong cooperates with 16 women’s projects. Amongst these are six organisations in England, a sewing group of Israeli and Palestinian women, a social enterprise in South Africa, producing necklaces and rings from recycled magazines, and former prostitutes from Thailand, earning their money with self-made jewellery.


About 80% of the proceeds go back to the producers. But the idea of Birdsong goes beyond sales. “We want to remove the male view from fashion”, says Sophie. Therefore, the motto on the website is “No sweatshops, no photoshops” – no exploiting companies and no digitally modified models. The young woman only employs women photographers, and the models have the most different cultural backgrounds. Some women do not shave their underarm hair, some are 86 or transwomen.


Birdsong does still not make a profit. The company is supported by private investors and government funding. Therefore, besides her work at Birdsong, Sophie needs three more jobs to pay for her rent: at a school, at a women’s advice centre for rape victims, and as a journalist. But this does not deter her. After all, when she talks with potential investors, she can see how chauvinist not only the fashion business is, but also the scene of social enterprises. She is often seen as a trainee. “There is always some sexism. Only a few investors have the confidence in a young woman to found a company. But every single dress we sell will help to make a change.”

Personal details: Sophie Slater, British and 25 years old, is co-founder of Birdsong (, an internet platform for fashion, produced and sold according to feminist guidelines. She was born in Sheffield, the daughter of a teacher and an administrative officer in the royal household. Besides her job at Birdsong, she gives feminism workshops at schools, works at a social information centre and as a journalist. Here you find an interview with Sophie Slater.

I discovered this article by Sarah Levy in the magazine BRIGITTE 18/2016. I liked this article so much that I copied a large part of it. I assume this is okay for the author and the publisher’s, as I never received a reply to my request for permission to print.


No longer get in your own way but learn from your mistakes!

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing  (John Powell)

When were you last annoyed about a mistake? And, what did it bring? Be honest: nothing! So why do mistakes make you feel so awkward? Why do you feel caught, as if you had done something bad? I wonder why?

I don’t know how you experienced your childhood and school time. But I guess you had a lot of fun learning to ride a bike, for instance. You kept trying and practising until you could do it. You would not have dreamt of feeling bad after falling. You got up again, you might have picked a few small stones out of your wound, and got back on the bike.

Why do you feel so awkward when you make a mistake?

Maybe because, as a child, as the result of a mistake,

  • you messed up something important,
  • you had to repeat something until you could do it perfectly,
  • you were made to feel stupid in front of others,
  • you questioned your intelligence,
  • or an opportunity was missed?

The Americans’ trial-&-error philosophy

If we in Middle Europe start planning something, we look at the whole project from all the different angles in the preparatory phase, to make sure not to make any mistakes. We work according to the failure-exclusion-method.

The typical American way to approach something new is the trial-&-error-method. This means trying until a solution has been found. Failures are accepted without criticism, as they promote development and bring us closer to a result. The only problem is making the same mistake again and again without learning from it.

Brief error management

Here are a few tips, in case you keep falling into the same trap:

  1. Keep your nerve. If you have made a mistake, keep calm and carry on! A reckless and hasty reaction to try and repair the damage can cause the opposite.
  2. Analyse the situation.Consider what effects your failure might have (on others) and what should be done immediately. In most cases, your errors will not end in a serious threat to you and others (of course, excluding doctors, pilots, or people in similar jobs).
  3. Consider the next step.It is no use being like the rabbit in front of the snake. Think what could be the most sensible step to get out of trouble.
  4. Be honest to yourself and others.Mistakes are unpleasant, but attempts to hide or distract from them are even more unpleasant and embarrassing. Take responsibility for your error, and nobody will condemn you.
  5. Stop moaning and look for solutions!Making mistakes and then moaning is a no go. You might feel sorry for yourself, and others, because of the unpleasant situation you have caused. But moaning is simply a waste of energy, and this is certainly what you need the least.
  6. Take responsibility.If your mistake has caused damage, take responsibility. Try to compensate for it, or, at least offer some sort of favour in return. This doesn’t always mean you have to pay in real terms for the damage you’ve caused, because compensation can also take the form of helping the victim in some practical way.

Living involves making mistakes. He who makes no mistakes, is no longer alive.



Aunque vivir contra nuestra naturaleza real durante algún tiempo es agotador, la mujer salvaje en nuestro interior no puede ser destruida. Así describe Clarissa Pinkola Estés la negación de nuestra alma femenina y sus necesidades básicas en su bestseller mundial Mujeres que corren con los lobos.

Dice que sabemos que ya no podemos respirar cuando los demás nos ocupan.  Sabemos que hay veces en las que tenemos que desconectarnos de todo durante algún tiempo. Pero ella dice, no obstante, que cuando podemos escuchar la llamada de regreso al hogar, las partes de nuestra psique que han estado (secretamente o no) preparando el salto, gritan: ‘‘¡A por ello!’’.

Estoy segura de que todas conocéis el sentimiento de estar atascadas en un callejón sin salida. ¿Quién no ha sentido alguna vez la sensación de haber perdido o haber abandonado voluntariamente su alma?

Clarissa Pinkola Estés escribe una antigua historia sobre este tema llamada Piel de foca, piel del alma. Es una de mis historias favoritas. Dice así:


Un hombre solitario que vivía en un paisaje nevado del lejano Norte cazaba focas. Un día vio un grupo de seres femeninos desnudos bailando a la luz de la luna. Se habían quitado su piel de focas, dejándolas encima de una roca. Como el hombre había vivido solo durante mucho tiempo, se llevó una de las pieles para obligar a una de las mujeres a estar con él. Cuando esa mujer quiso volver de vuelta al agua con las otras, ya no pudo encontrar su piel. Así que tuvo que quedarse atrás. El hombre prometió devolverle su piel después de siete veranos si era su esposa durante siete años.

Después de algún tiempo, la mujer foca dio a luz a un hijo, al que llamaron Ooruk. Los años pasaron y la piel humana de la mujer se volvió más y escamosa quebradiza, hasta que empezó a desprenderse poco a poco de su cuerpo como si fueran harapos. Su piel blanca empezó a volverse demacrada y gris, empezó a perder el pelo y sus ojos que una vez fueron expresivos ya no servían de reflejo a su alma. Pero el hombre no le devolvió la piel después de siete años, ya que le asustaba perderla para siempre.

Un día la mujer foca encontró su piel bajo una roca, se la puso, se llevó a su hijo y nadó de vuelta a su viejo hogar, un brillante pueblo en el agua. Aunque su belleza original regresó poco a poco, y era feliz, se dio cuenta de que su hijo tenía que volver al mundo humano. Llevó a Ooruk de vuelta a la playa, prometiéndole permanecer conectado con él para siempre.

Pasaron los años y Ooruk se convirtió en un hombre espléndido y respetable. En ocasiones se le puede ver arrodillado en una roca, hablando con una foca con ojos especialmente sabios, salvajes y llenos de alma. Aunque la gente lo intenta y lo intenta, no pueden cazar a esa foca.


El mensaje que esconde este cuento es el hecho de que muchas mujeres jóvenes están poco preparadas para el hecho de que su ‘‘piel del alma’’ sea robada algún día. No obstante, la pérdida de su libertad física y emocional, por ejemplo en una relación infeliz y restrictiva, las consiguientes dificultades y posteriores intentos de liberarse; pueden generan un increíble avance en su desarrollo (espiritual).

Esto es lo que sucede:

  • Las mujeres se hacen más conscientes de lo que deberían ser sus principales prioridades en sus vidas.
  • Entonces deciden reconquistar algo perdido (por ejemplo, su libertad, su fuerza, su intuición, etc.).
  • Después se dan cuenta de que tienen que hacer algo por su propia libertad.
  • Y finalmente, después de que han decidido liberarse a sí mismas y poner eso en práctica, pasan por un enorme proceso de transformación interna que les permite desarrollar sus poderes ocultos y habilidades mediales.


Lee mis preguntas y considera los sentimientos que afloran. Quizá te gustaría anotar tus pensamientos:

_ ¿Alguna vez has pensado que tenías falsas expectativas de vida cuando eras una mujer joven?

_ ¿Alguna vez has cedido tu libertad, más o menos voluntariamente, por ingenuidad, inexperiencia o credulidad?

_ ¿Alguna vez has estado o estás en una situación en la que temías o temes ‘‘secarte’’ porque tu piel de foca te ha sido arrebatada/te es arrebatada?

_ ¿Cuál habría sido/es el precio de recuperar tu piel de foca?

_ ¿Entraste en un profundo proceso interior por haber perdido/cedido tu libertad? ¿Qué indujo? ¿Qué cambió en ti y para ti?

_ ¿Estás lista y te sientes capaz de defender tu piel de foca?


Solo si nosotras las mujeres buceamos en lo más profundo de nuestra alma, seremos capaces de establecer un contacto conscientemente con nuestra espiritualidad. Hay múltiples formas de volver a casa, incluso cuando la grieta en la que solíamos bucear parece cerrada al día siguiente.

Simplemente tenemos que encontrar otra.




When it is about the differences between male and female characteristics, we usually come across typical clichés. But this is not what my article is about. I should rather make us women aware that there are sociological differences between the sexes which we should know about. This might help us understand men (even) better.

The sociologist Leonard Benson says that girls are more related to individuals, and boys more to objects. And this is how it continues during adulthood: many men like to talk about the job, finances, cars, sport or politics. We women, however, generally like to talk about things related to other people. As already mentioned, I do not want to reinforce clichés, but we women must not be surprised if we do not always immediately find ourselves in a common basis for conversation with men.


The linguist Robin Lakoff (1) discovered the following typical differences:

_ women tend to ask more questions to keep conversation flowing; men understand questions more as a direct request for further information

_ women show more interest in their conversation partner than men who aim to prevail more in communication

_ women use more affirming words than men, such as “great!”, “beautiful!”, “wonderful!”, or “amazing!”

_ articles (in women magazines) are somehow always related to psychology in almost every area, from sex to money and nutrition

_ in men’s conversations numbers occur more often than in women’s. Men – even those whose Maths qualification tests are worse than the ones of Rwandan silverback gorillas – appreciate the security of numbers, says Colin McEnroe in the magazine ‘Mirabella’


If men and women want to develop better communication with the other sex, men should talk more about people, and women more about facts. Maybe men do not find personal topics particularly interesting, and women find facts austere. But as soon as you are aware of the difference, you could at least understand better different needs for communication, accept it more easily, and react to it more ideally.

A series of blogs that can help us to see men with new eyes, understand them (even better). If you want to get more information on this topic, I recommend the book ‘You don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’ by Deborah Tannen

(1) Lakoff, Robin Tolmach: Talking Power, 1990



Capsule Wardrobe. And again I have learnt a new word! It is always really amazing for me, and admirable as well, what people come up with. Therefore, I like the idea of a minimalistic wardrobe very much, which, at the same time, aims for sustainability. To have a so-called Capsule Wardrobe means, to manage with less clothing, but nevertheless, to be always well-dressed. And eventually it is about not getting lost looking for the 115th item of clothing in your wardrobe.

I honestly have to admit that I have not tried it myself, but for a few years my focus on buying clothes has clearly been: less is more!


The fashion blogger Caroline Joy Rector ( suggests composing a capsule wardrobe for each season, consisting of 37 items. Namely:

_ 15 tops

_ 9 trousers or skirts

_ 9 pairs of shoes

_ 2 jackets

_ 2 dresses

In addition, handbags, accessories, jewellery, pyjamas, sportswear. Caroline recommends wearing this Capsule Wardrobe for three months, combining the different items, and no shopping. She has even provided a special capsule builder app and a capsule wardrobe planner online for download.


FIRST: Before you start composing your own capsule wardrobe, you need plenty of time and leisure to think about the choice of items of clothing:

_ Do I spend most of the time with children (at home, at the playground, in the kindergarten)?

_ Does my place of work require a business outfit (for example banking, insurance, commercial representation)?

_ Do I spend most of my time in work clothes (as a doctor, midwife, nurse)?

_ Do I work online from home?

_ How often do I have appointments with dress-code?

SECOND: For your capsule wardrobe you define your colour scheme, such as:

_ two (neutral) basic colours, for example, black, dark blue, grey, or brown

_ two contrasting colours, for example, pink and turquoise, and

_ white or light beige.

THIRD: Totally clear out your wardrobe! Only underwear, socks, swimwear and sports gear, as well as accessories (belts, jewellery, bags, scarves, gloves, hats) are allowed back in the wardrobe.

FOURTH: Now you sort the clothing items according to four priorities, labelling them appropriately:

_ ‘FAVOURITES’: clothes you love wearing all the time, which are not too big or too small.

_ ‘MAYBE’: things you do not want to be separated from because they are connected with pleasant memories, or they were very expensive.

_ ‘GET RID OF IT’: clothes you want to sort out (donate them, give them away as presents, or sell them at flea markets, or in vintage stores).

_ ‘NOT NOW’: things you like to wear, but are not appropriate for the current season. They go into a drawer, or a separate part of the wardrobe, waiting for their use in the relevant season.

FIFTH: Eventually you put the ‘FAVOURITE’ pile back into the wardrobe; everything else is stored away.  You only choose from this pile in the next three months.

SIXTH: Briefly before the end of the season, you start planning for the next one. Planning three months in advance can only be a guideline, of course, as the weather is not always respectful of the seasons. But we could divide the year into spring (March to May), summer (June to August), autumn (September to November) and winter (December to February).

SEVENTH: You do not have to stick to it rigidly. If it is 38 instead of 35 items per season, it is okay. Maybe you find a new favourite piece during the season which replaces another one. The main thing is that you only buy things that fit in the ‘FAVOURITE’  pile. And you should have fun doing so. And keep remembering: Less is often really more!



“What are my ancestors to me? I live in the here and now!” This might sound like a fair point at first. But only as long as you become aware that everything and everybody, belonging to your family, is energetically connected.

You have your position in the line of ancestors, just like a pearl on a string of pearls. Therefore, you are also part of the energy field of your female ancestors.

The connection with these women – no matter whether you personally know them or not – always contains a great healing potential.  For the entire female energy field of your family. You do not even have to know what sort of lives these women led, what challenges they had to fight, or whether they were strong or weak personalities. It is primarily about realigning the female field of your family.

So take time for your female line of ancestors, connect with them in your thoughts. Send positive and loving thoughts to the women who lived their lives before you. Build a respectful connection to them. You can also use one of my energized symbol cards, or create your own ritual with crystals, flowers or candles. Let yourself be guided by your female intuition. It will show you what to do.



Saskia Bruysten was only 27, when she reached a turning point in her life. She started to wonder whether she wanted to continue her life in the same way. She was a successful businesswoman, and asked herself:

  • Is the economic system, which I confidently act in, fair?
  • Can’t I do something more important with my knowledge than simply increasing the sales of cosmetic companies?

In 2008 she heard the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus talk about his concept of ‘social business’ in London. She was so excited that she started her own agency with him, to gain even more publicity for his ideas.

Three years later she still was not happy with herself. Therefore, she suggested that Yunus should create a new concept to develop even more social businesses. This was the start of YSB – Yunus Social Business.


Instead of large international corporations, she now consults small entrepreneurs, which, for example, produce chlorine for decontamination of drinking water in Haiti. YSB also brought the Ugandan stove builder Awamu on track. 20 000 low smoke stoves have already been sold.

The start-up of a small company in Africa is not handled any differently to a large one in Germany. What counts is the quality of the concept, not the needs of the founder. The selection process is accordingly strict.

I admire Saskia Bruysten for leaving big business, to realise her talents in a social business concept. I hope there will be many more young women like her, who want to change the world, by supporting small entrepreneurs, and not large companies, with their knowledge.


No longer get in your own way and MUSTER ALL YOUR COURAGE!

10 steps for women who eventually want to fulfil their potential

“Do not be too shy and hesitant in your actions. The entire life is an experiment. The more you experiment, the better.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! This is not a new revelation, but the lost chance on inspiring experiences, necessary changes, or important steps forward.

Life without calculable risk remains shallow, just like a boring watery soup. And the colourful life might roll past you while you are incapable of making a decision because of doubts and despondency.

Where do you actually stand in your present life?

Maybe in your life there are also a few brave steps waiting for you? What about the following questions for a brief self-reflection:

  • Do you find your life an obstacle run?
  • Are you facing a decision you are scared of, and you do not want to commit yourself?
  • Do you implement your wishes and dreams?
  • Do you act too impulsively because thinking too much scares you?
  • Are you dreaming of adventures which will never happen?
  • Do you leave important decisions about you and your life to other people?
  • Do you tend to be pessimistic?

It is important to listen to your feelings when making decisions. But be aware how strongly your gut feeling can be influenced by artificially construed fears.

Your fellow people’s remarks may energetically weigh you down and unsettle you. These people haven’t got enough courage themselves, or they do not want you to walk your path determinedly, and to make your decisions bravely, just because they fail in doing so.

Do not be misled! Courage can be trained, just like muscles!

How to get out of the despondency trap:

  • Make your decisions rationally, if you are emotionally insecure, and do not know what is right or wrong.
  • Get plenty of information before you make significant changes in your life.
  • Grab the opportunities for change which life offers you, and do not let them roll past you.
  • Do not only prepare plan A, but also plan B (or even plan C).
  • If you feel insecure, take small steps to get closer to your aim.
  • Learn to distinguish between rational and irrational thoughts which might have a negative influence on your decision.
  • Realize that there is no life without risks, unless you spend the rest of your life in bed (and even there you might feel claustrophobic).

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! But if you are courageous, step by step you will become more confident, you will suffer less from mental stress, you will see your aims more clearly, and eventually reach them through increased willpower. And one day you will have forgotten what you were scared of.




While the majority of fashion magazines are still obsessed with very young and anorexic models, an absolutely relaxed Vanessa Redgrave poses in front of the camera. In her role as a Gucci model she makes a quiet statement, which, however, was followed by a considerable amount of press reaction.

The Italian fashion house could attract the British actress as the figurehead for their 2017 collection, and made her the star of the whole campaign. Chief designer Alessandro Michele approached the actress, who we know from films such as ‘Howards End’ or ‘Foxcatcher’.


The photo-shootings for the Gucci-cruise-collection 2017 took place in England, at Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The photos show an extremely romantic environment, which should inspire us to put on one of Grandmother’s skirts, in addition to our own wardrobe.

Whereas more and more curvy models can be seen on the catwalks, there are still only a few models aged 60+ or 70+. There is the strong suspicion that designers’ motivation is not the urge to provide ‘curvy women’ with chic dresses, but to open a new market segment. And this segment seems to be more interesting and promising than the 60+ or 70+ customers.

However, I find it extremely enjoyable that an increasing number of women, no matter whether they are tall or short, well-built or slim, old or young, dress in a feminine style, and according to their personal taste. Thus emphasizing their personality.