the Girl on the Train

First of all, I like Emily Blunt. Not only because she seems to be a very sweet, fun, and smart person from what I've seen in talk shows but also because she's an actress, who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time. Also, she can play a variety of characters convincingly. 

She is the main character in the Mystery/Crime/Thriller movie from 2016 that's based on the Number 1 bestseller book of Paula Hawks ... It's the story of a commuter divorcee woman, who catches glimpses of the life of a couple who live in a beautiful house her train passes by every morning. With every glimpse she gets drawn back into her own past story and one day, when she sees something shocking, she eventually gets involved in a murder investigation. 

The critics loved Emily Blunts performance but seem to have expected more from the movie. Personally, I liked all the performances AND the storytelling. The movie uses a lot of voice-over and I had the feeling - though I never read the book - that the directer tried to stay true to the language style of the book. I loved what expressions Blunt's character used to describe her deepest and darkest thoughts and found it at times quite poetic. 

It's one of those movies that don't let go of you even after you leave the theater or turn off the DVD player. It stays with you, like a good book stays with you when you finish it. 



Kelly Howell

I've been listening to different binaural beats created by Kelly Howell for over a year now and though I wonder how much of it is based on some kind of placebo effect, I have the feeling that they have a positive impact on my life. 

Her CDs with subliminal messaging range from topics like wealth, love, guilt, anxiety, weight loss, to success, prosperity, creativity, self confidence and many more. 

I started with listening to Attract Wealth almost every night for two weeks in a row, which subconsciously tells you that you deserve all the good things in life and that your mind should be open to receive wealth in the shape of money, opportunities, promising contacts, support etc. Back then I was not doing well financially but I remember how within a short period of time I met people who were kind to give me discounts or things for free, and I met lots of interesting people, who supported me in what I wanted to achieve. Also, small job offers came in. 

I still don't know how and whether binaural beats with subliminal messages work but as long as the messages don't include robbing banks or assessing people, I'm happy to be able to work on myself without having to do anything but to listen to them. You are even allowed to fall asleep because your brain ist still letting in the messages. 

By now I've downloaded a wide range of CDs and because I feel like I get a lot out of them with a minimum amount of effort and money, I wanted to share this with you. 

Below you can find more about Kelly Howell and binaural beats from her website and the Internet:

Kelly Howell is the world’s leading pioneer in guided meditation and binaural beat frequency audio technology. She’s a 6-time National Bestselling Audio Author of the most advanced brainwave audio programs available in the world today. Some of her highly acclaimed best-selling programs include, The Secret Universal Mind MeditationGuided MeditationAttract WealthHealing Meditation and The Secret to Attracting Love. She brings more than thirty years experience to her work in personal transformation and mind expansion technology. 
Kelly has taught meditation to thousands of individuals worldwide, at Fortune 500 Companies, and legendary retreat centers such as Esalen. She is author of Brain Power, Improve Your Mind As You Age, recommended by the Mayo Clinic and hailed by Daniel Amen as “A blueprint to optimize your life.”  Her visionary healing techniques provide an elegant way to recalibrate brain patterns and reap the benefits of biofeedback training and long-term meditation. Kelly’s healing voice and groundbreaking brainwave music have inspired millions of people to achieve goals, heal their bodies and transform their lives. Read her article published in the Robb Report on the profound benefits of meditation in just 20 minutes a day.
Creator of Meditate.Me Meditation App
A meditation sanctuary you can hold in the palm of your hand. Visit to download free app featuring 10, 20 and 30 minute guided meditations from Kelly Howell. 
The Evolution of Brain Sync
In the 1980's Kelly began making personalized positive mental programing audio tapes for friends and clients. She went on to create a wildly successful series of Personal Development audio programs published by Bantam Books, and The SuperMind series through Random House.  1987 Kelly co-founded Neuro-Technologies Research Institute in San Francisco, a non-profit organization that studied the effects of brain technologies. Her work with researchers led to the creation of a series of clinical programs for medical professionals such as Harvard trained Neurosurgeon, Norman Shealy, M.D. Ph.D and Edward A. Taub, M.D. Their phenomenal success prompted her to launch Brain Sync in 1991.  Kelly has worked with eminent scientists to develop meditation and brain optimization programs used in hospitals, biofeedback clinics and by hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide. Over the years, many of Kelly's legendary self help classics have appeared on top of Publishers Weekly’s national bestseller lists. 
Host of Theatre of the Mind Podcasts & Radio Show
Kelly is the host of the much-loved, Theatre of the Mind podcast and radio show, featuring unprecedented access to the world’s leading visionaries and consciousness researchers, exploring mind expansion intuition, creativity and the many facets of human potential. 

Kelly has been featured in publications including The New York Post, Publishers Weekly, Brain World, Body Mind Spirit, Woman, Women’s World, Success Magazine, New Age Journal, Redbook and American Spa. Kelly is a keynote speaker, meditation guide and teacher for companies promoting health and wellness. She is affectionately called "The Brain Whisperer" by her many fans.

binaural beats 


Kacy Hill - Arm's Length

Although this song has been out since 2015 I just discovered it: Arm's Length from Kacy Hill, who is an American model, singer and songwriter. This song is included in her debut EP Bloo, which -according to stuff - is not even her best song on the EP. 

Unlike the mainly hip hop artists on the G.O.O.D Music roster, Hill's like a mixture of Florence Welsh and Kate Bush, making atmospheric dance music.
The EP is three tracks long, with two remixes of Hill's already successful hit Foreign Fields.
The original is by far the best, with Hill's hauntingly quiet vocals against a track which plays on silence beautifully. The Yung Gud remix sounds like Katy Perry's Dark Horse, with some nature sounds and a marching band drum beat, while the Bodhi remix just ruins the whole song by putting it up against a '90s-sounding dance track.
Arm's Length sounds incredibly Florence and the Machine, with its building bridge and soaring chorus in that powerful soprano, while Shades of Blue finds a balance between the two other main tracks, offering up a strong standalone track.
As a whole, it's not much on its own – it feels more like a teaser to the full LP than a standalone EP, but it's an intriguing one nonetheless.
She certainly has the talent and sound to make an impact on the mainstream market, now it's just a matter of time.

I like her strong lyrics, I like that there is a sense of sadness in her voice but also wisdom, sensitivity and hidden strengths.  Kacy Hill can sing very high and I simply sound like a cat in pain when I try to sing along, so this is not going to end up on my list of songs for Karaoke. 

Hear for yourself: 

I also like this interview from Coup de Main Magazine with Kacy Hill. I like her. Just click on the link. 



"JOY is the wild story of a family across four generations [Joy’s grandmother, her mother, Joy herself, and her daughter] centered on the girl who becomes the woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right. Betrayal, treachery, the loss of innocence and the scars of love, pave the road in this intense emotional and human comedy about becoming a true boss of family and enterprise facing a world of unforgiving commerce."
This biopic is about "Joy Mangano [,who] is most famously known for her first product: the Miracle Mop, but she holds more than 100 patents for her inventions, including Huggable Hangers, the best-selling product in HSN history. After starting her career at QVC, she led her company, Ingenious Designs LLC, to major financial success before it was purchased by HSN in 1999. Mangano has been the face of the network ever since, and in her 15th year, she remains one of HSN’s most successful sellers, with annual sales topping $150 million. She’s been named Long Island Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and has twice been honored for her accomplishments in Fast Company rankings of creatives and women in business. As of 2015, Mangano’s net worth is reportedly around $50 million—yet, for all her incredible success, there’s precious little additional information to be found about her. And those articles that do detail her rise to fame are virtually identical, name-dropping all the same inventions, sales numbers, awards, and career milestones you see above.
Until the release of Joy, in which Jennifer Lawrence plays a very Mangano-esque entrepreneur, Mangano has fostered what appears to be a painstakingly curated and protected image while remaining firmly in the public eye. (An example: we attended a cocktail party celebrating her 15th year with HSN, but everything about the seemingly benign event, in which we spoke with Mangano for a few moments, was deemed confidential.) Information about her life prior to creating the first prototype of the Miracle Mop in 1990, though the bulk of the story in Joy, is particularly hard to come by." 

You'll find lots of articles about this movie, directed by David O'Russell (Silver Linings, American Hustle ...), and most of them seem to be focused on what's fiction and what's not. 

Fergus Mason, who authored Joy: The Unofficial Biography of Miracle Mop Inventor Joy Mangano, knows this fact all too well. Of the 36 books he’s written for the biography’s publisher, BookCaps—which specializes in pieces that highlight a lesser-known or sometimes forgotten life—he says Mangano’s story is one of the most challenging jobs he’s taken on. “It was extremely hard to find information, particularly about Joy’s early life,” says Mason. “I had a lot of difficulty filling in gaps, because most of what’s available is about her shopping-channel career and what she chooses to release in interviews. The period between her divorce and starting work on the Miracle Mop was an absolute nightmare to find any information about.”
Which is what makes Joy especially fascinating—it primarily follows the main character through that little-known time from age 10 to 40, which means there are never-before-known nuggets of information about Mangano buried within the narrative. But what’s truth and what’s fiction?

It seems though that David O'Russell mostly cared about telling the story of a strong woman in the light of strong women and the life around them - with all its ironic, hurtful, joyful, inspirational and rough elements. You'll see a tapestry of emotional scenes that have a big impact on that Joy's life and how all that shapes her. 

What I liked about the movie was the way it was told. 

I liked the comical elements in sad moments in the movie, and the scenes when you expect a "BANG!" that turn into rather quiet, attention-soaking seconds, which eventually create a bigger impact (e.g. when you expect Joy to scream at the QVC producer on the phone for not fulfilling his part of the deal she chooses to whisper her anger). Picking up on that example, I found it fascinating that overall the character Joy is a forgiving soul, which makes her strong in a very feminine way. 

I don't know how much of this is true (feel free to research that) but I found it ironic how the director David O'Russell publicly pointed out that he made Joy to tell story of strong and successful women, while he is also known to make the life of actors (especially actresses) hell.

I guess, somehow or another we are all complex, contradictory and maybe even sick people: On the one hand we celebrate individuals for their qualities and on the other hand we treat other individuals incredibly disrespectful. (Here is the article I'm referring to.) 

I always take the contents of news and articles with a grain of salt but there is often a little truth to everything and I try to look at a story from different angles. The emphasis is on "I try".

Sources: Rotten Tomatoes and Vanity Fair 

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic was given to me by one of my dear friends. When I visited my mother in Germany this year, my friend announced that she'd drive all the way from Switzerland to come and see me and  stay over for the weekend.  A week before she arrived I received an Amazon package from her, sent to my mom’s house with a note saying that she thought I might like this book and that I could keep it if I wanted to.  

I loved that gesture. What a sweet idea. And because I liked the book and I thought the book liked me too, I told her that I’d love to keep it. 


Anyways. Big Magic is from Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat Pray Love, which - now don’t give me the “eyebrows up” thing - I never bothered to read! I’m sure I would have liked the book and instead of watching the movie I should have done just that. I’m not really a fan of reading bestsellers, especially not in their peak time when everyone on the train reads nothing else but that piece.  Plus, as cool as Julia Roberts is (I’d totally melt in front of her if I met her), I have started to resent the thought that I only see JULIA ROBERTS rather than the character she plays when I watch her latest movies. It’s very aggravating when that happens. 

Back to Big Magic. Although I haven’t finished it yet (I’m almost there) I couldn’t wait sharing it with you. I think it’s for people who search for more, and who need a push that helps them express a creative passion they have or think they have. In it Elizabeth Gilbert shares her experiences, struggles, as well as great times she had and has with writing, while using wonderful quotes, lovely anecdotes, and by personifying creativity in a very amusing way. 

I went through different emotions while reading the book: At the beginning I felt in-tune with Elizabeth Gilbert because I thought that we were similar in many ways (e.g. that she was afraid of many things, and how she thought about life in general). 

A while later I started feeling gloomy because I loved her writing style so much and the thought that I could never be like her was like a constant, tiny sting. 

In the part, in which she talks about Persistence I even could make out some feelings of detachment; suddenly Gilbert was this overly annoying confident, “Come on! The world is not a womb” saying woman with a whip in her hand, who always knew that her passion was writing and that she wrote A LOT, ALL THE TIME. In other words, she made me feel uncomfortable, lazy, and like a failure because I started doubting myself. We weren't similar at all. 

But eventually, something deep inside of me, no matter how much I disliked her confident tone, told me that she was right, whether I liked it or not. 

I’m not sure what feelings this book would bring up in you, but it’s surely a very inspiring piece for anyone who wants to know more about a “creative living beyond fear”. 

I can honestly say, that I love her witty humor and her refreshing, pragmatic, playful way of looking at things. 



Colonia kept my husband and me awake at night. We were in bed, ready to sleep but I guess we still needed time to digest it. We both wondered why we never had heard of it before.

It is a good film overall; one that’s gripping - up to an uncomfortable level – and one that makes you think. With Daniel Brühl (from Goodbye Lenin and Glorious Bastards), Emma Watson and Michael Nyqvist the main protagonists are well chosen. The acting is calm but leaves an impact behind.

The story is based on true events, namely that there had been an ex-Nazi cult in Pinochet’s Chile called Colonia Dignidad. The plot is about a young woman, who decides to find her abducted boyfriend and ends up in that infamous cult that nobody had ever escaped from.

I guess for me its always fascinating in a scary way how people get brainwashed, how control and power works, and with how much corrupt people and governments get away with.

The film is very good at almost giving you a heart attack with the way it keeps the tension up, and although that would usually be a plus point for a movie, I almost found it exhausting to feel that way until the very end. I also had the impression that because it could keep the tension up throughout the whole time, the film didn’t bother so much to go deeper and sometimes got away with rather unrealistic moments.

Still, I recommend Colonia as stories like that can be found all around the world, in some way or another, and manipulation of the mind is always right around the corner. 

Summing up motherhood in 34 seconds

This made me laugh so much because I can imagine myself in a situation like that if I were a mom thinking (in a humorous-loving way) there is no escaping.  Especially the end is funny. Somehow it made me think of the movie Alien

Now, Discover your Strengths

Over the last few months I’ve had my share of doing personality tests and I've been reading quite a few books on how to discover and understand your own strengths. I think that you can definitely overdo it but I came across two materials that I consider valuable readings; one is Sally Hogshead’s How the World Sees You (which I wrote about before) and the other is called Now, Discover your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, which a lot of people might be familiar with. 

Both books’ main statement is that you should do more of what you are good at instead of trying to change yourself. While Sally Hogshead focuses more on how you can sell your strong points better after you understand how others view you (which makes sense because she comes from the marketing background) Now, Discover your Strengths manages to describe your strong points in more detail by focusing on five aspects of your skills and talents, while valuing the combination of aspects as well the weight of each aspect.


I like this book because I agree with how insufficiently societies around the world approach the topic “individual skills” in combination with education and occupation.

Buckingham and Clifton explain that most of our lives we are being told what we need to get better at, what we need to improve in. Even our language shows that we have more vocabulary for our deficiencies and what we lack in than for describing on a wider scale what we are good at. When we say, “she has people skills” what exactly does that mean? Is she good at approaching someone, or at holding a conversation, or at understanding the feelings of the other person? She might be able to do all of these points but she might also just be good at only one or two of them.

The test took some time (about 30 minutes) and was not that easy because of the time pressure but overall I believe that this book is worth the time and money, especially because it doesn’t only help you to understand yourself, it can also help you understand and encourage other people to find their strengths, which is especially valuable at work and when you run your own business or manage people. 

Here is a description from 

Based on a Gallup study of over two million people who have excelled in their careers, NOW, DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS uses a revolutionary programme to help readers discover their distinct talents and strengths. The product of a twenty-five year, multi-million pound effort to identify the most prevalent human talents, the StrengthsFinder programme introduces thirty-four talents or “themes” and reveals how they can best be translated into personal and career success. Each copy of the CD contains a unique pin number that gives the reader access to the StrengthsFinder Profile, a Web-based interview that analyses people’s instinctive reactions and immediately presents them with their five most dominant strengths. Once listeners know which of the thirty-four talent themes dominates their personality, they can make practical applications at three levels: as an individual, as a manager and within an organisation. Readers learn what kind of environments will allow them to flourish; how managers can better cultivate their employers’ talents; and how almost all organisations inhibit the talents of their people and need to change.


When I was a teenager one of my dream jobs was being a screenwriter. And although I never did much for this quiet dream of mine it will always stay a part of me. Occasionally some films have the power to wake it up and stir it a bit. Those are moments of sweet pain because I feel immensely excited when a film does that to me, while at the same time a part of my brain says "Why did you not come up with this idea??!!"

Locke is one of those movies.

What I find fascinating about it is that it manages to give you a round picture of someone’s life, a drastic situation and also - despite the fact you only hear their voices - an idea of who the people around the central character are, simply by one continuous scene that takes place in a car, and phone calls. No change of scenes or time lapses, and no facial expressions of supporting roles; just a segment of a man’s life, his story with different people, and the consequences of his actions.

Ivan Locke - played by Tom Hardy - is the name of the protagonist, who's driving in his car on the highway at night while talking separately to a set number of people on the phone. The fact that the whole long scene takes place in a narrow space makes all phone conversations and also the moments Locke is alone with his thoughts intense.

I love this movie for being able to capture power of the silence you can have with yourself in a car when you are driving, especially at night ... But I don’t want to give away too much.

Tom Hardy does a brilliant job. I don’t think that many actors can pull off a character like Locke's and under the circumstances the protagonist finds himself in.

Plus, as you can guess, I love Tom Hardy. I find him very charming. 

I’m sure that not everyone will find this movie as fascinating as I do but I hope you get a chance to watch it.


Obama and Biden

I'm sure you've come across these "conversations Biden has with Obama" on Facebook or other social media.

It's photos of Biden and Obama taken in the White House over a period of time and fictious conversations they have during the elections. 

I find them hilarious and brilliant. 

Here is one: 

For more click here

Me before You

This movie was a recommendation from my aunt, who is in the movie business and whose choice in books and movies I love. 

The story is about a small town girl, who takes up a new job, in which she has to take care of a wealthy recently-paralyzed man. 

To me there are parallels between Pretty Woman and Me Before You in the sense of rich, privileged man meets girl, who hasn't seen the world yet and could do more with herself. Then again it’s not done in the Hollywood style, and that's what's good about it. 

I was surprised to see two Game of Throne actors in it. Emilia Clarke is one of them. She is a sweetheart in this movie. You got to love her with her positive attitude, colorful outfits, and her cute eyebrows, who move like Tsunami waves. 

I also downloaded the soundtrack and have been listening to Jack Garrett’s Surprise Yourself, which holds elements of what the movie is about. 

Please enjoy.


Little boy

This movie came to me as a surprise. I hadn't heard about it, hadn't seen any trailers and yet I can say that it is one of my top ten movies now. 

Little Boy from 2015 is a War Drama was directed and partly written by Alejandro Monteverde and has a wonderful cast. 

I loved the way the story was told, the way it brought up so many serious and important topics without lifting the index finger with the intention to teach and it uses so playful techniques to do that that you find yourself crying and laughing at the same time. 

It's definitely one of those movies that uses elements of storytelling mixed with an amazing cast that makes it into the collection of movies you can watch many times and fully enjoy each time. At least, that's how I feel about it.  

It was interesting to watch the part about how hard things were back then for Japanese people who had been living in the U.S. for generations, especially with a Japanese friend sitting next to me in the cinema. I loved how the movie worked that topic into the storyline. 

The boy, Jakob Salvati, did an amazing job and I'm sure we'll hear more from him in the years to come. 


Josh Franklin - Flying High

A couple of months ago I joined a mastermind group. For the ones who are not familiar with what kind of group that is: 

Napoleon Hill wrote about the mastermind group principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

In my case it's a tiny group with two amazing women, whose websites I'm planning on posting about in the very near future. Don't miss it. 

What we do in our group is support each other on a regular basis working on and building our online businesses. (But that's another story.)

In one of our sessions we came to talk about one of the member's brother-in-law, who is a musician. She had asked him if she could use one of his songs for her website mfp - Mrs Franklin Presents (I love the name), which he kindly agreed to and that's how I found out about this very touching song. 

Have a go! :-) And then I'll let you know how the song made me feel the first time I listened to it. 

My husband doesn't speak much English and he's not the most expressive person but after I finished listening to the song, he commented on it from the other room and said that it sounded very special and beautiful! 

I thought so too. It almost moved me to tears because it reminded me of my personal struggles but instead of pulling me down it lift me up.  

First of all, the soothing voice calls for all your attention and your moved by so much honesty.

A beautiful sadness accompanies the music and the lyrics and at the same time there are so many positive elements that create a special mix between sensitive and strong

It's like all highs and lows of life are captured in these 3:08 minutes and I thought that it feels like as if the singer is working so hard on embracing life and its beauties. 

Somehow I feel like it suits the topics I always choose for Walk With Me. 

The singer's name is Josh Franklin and his newest album is called Spent. You can download it on iTunes. 

Josh Franklin! If you ever get to read this … I love your song!! 

Das Kind in dir muss eine Heimat finden

German psychotherapist Stefanie Stahl wrote Das Kind in dir muss Heimat finden (“The Child in You Must Find a Home”) and the reason why I share it with you is because I truly believe this book can have a positive impact on your life, IF you are ready to self-reflect and do the exercises. 


Like most psychologists she talks about how your subconscious has an impact on your behavior. Stefanie Stahl is great at keeping things simpler though by describing your subconscious as your inner child. Her book and therapy focuses on getting in touch with your “sun-“ and “shadow-child”.

This means becoming aware of all the principles you have learned as a child from your parents or close ones - principles like “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t leave you”, “I need to be a good girl/boy” - and giving mostly your shadow-child with all the negative feelings a voice.

By doing that you start realizing in what stressful or emotional moments in your life it’s more the shadow-child reacting on its learned principles.

Through realizing that you can start working on disempowering your personal principles, which have always limited you and have/had a negative impact on your life. 

Thanks to this book and the meditations that come with it I’m starting to realize how often my inner child interferes with my present life and causes me pain. The more I listen to it, the more the grown-up Seval has a chance to distinguish itself from it and tell it that nothing was its fault, that it IS good enough, that it IS being loved, and that it doesn’t have to adjust to others in order to create a sense of harmony.


To me this book feels like a relief. What it could be to you is up to you.

P.S. I thought this book is available in English as well but it turns out that it's not at this point. 




















How The World Sees You

I posted about Sally Hogshead before, in which I also mentioned her personality test. 

Have you had the time to do it?  :-) 

What makes Sally Hogshead’s personality test and book How The World Sees You different compared to tests like Myers Briggs is that it’s not showing you how you see the world but how others perceive you.

Sally Hogshead has created a matrix of seven archetypes, as she calls them, and every person is a combination of two archetypes - your primary and secondary advantage. These two define how you communicate with people around you and how the world sees you.

In her matrix I’m a combination of Passion and Trust and I’m called The Beloved.

The archetype Passion creates warm, emotional connections. Passion personalities are expressive, intuitive, and engaging, whereas the Trust archetype is known to build loyalty over time and stand for traits like stable, dependable, and familiar.

To a lot of people knowing what you’re good at and what your pitfalls are might be a given thing (although I doubt that everyone is honest to themselves about their pitfalls) but to me finding out all these things about myself was an eye opener.

What I love about this book and concept is that it tells you to be more of who you already are, rather than having to change and bend yourself.

The more efficiently you use your skills, know about your pitfalls and understand how people around you function, the more you’ll enjoy yourself and what you do in life.