Author Archives: Michael Vanderosen

Story 1: ‘How Green found his family’ ~ from ‘How Green found his Family …and other Colourful Stories’

‘How Green found his Family …and other Colourful Stories’

by Michael A Vanderosen

Story 1: How Green found his Family 

One bright summer’s day Green was walking near a beautiful lake. Despite the warm yellow sunshine, a soft summer breeze full of birdsong and the sparkling blue waters of the lake, Green was feeling sad.

He didn’t know where he’d come from… or why he was just plain green. Green saw himself as boring and ordinary. Not special like Bold Red, Bright Orange or Proud Purple. He wanted to know why he wasn’t a more exciting colour.

Green sat down on a rock and looked out over the lake miserably wondering why he was just boring old green.

His head bowed with doubts about his identity and unsure of his place in the world, Green stared forlornly into the lake. A large, wobbly wet tear ran down his soft green face and he could feel a sob rising in his throat.

But just as Green was about to burst into tears completely he was stopped by a wondrous sight: All of a sudden the sun came out from behind a cloud and shone its sun-shiny, shimmering yellow rays down into, and across, the still blue waters of the lake.

Suddenly as he looked down into the lake, Green could see the reflections of the tall trees, their lovely leaves, the swaying green rushes, the blossomy, over-hanging bushes and the beautiful, bobbing heads of the water-lilies.

They were mirrored in the still waters and shining up at him in beautiful blues, yellows and greens, yes Green …just like himself!

All at once Green knew that without the warm, life-giving yellow sun and the nourishing blue waters, nothing green could grow in the world: no plants, no flowers, no trees, no bushes, no grass.

In that very moment he understood that when Yellow and Blue come together… they give birth to Green, and that Green is one of the most universal and loved of all Nature’s colours!

Green was overjoyed! At last he’d found out who his parents were, and he knew his identity and place in Nature’s colourful family …and that made him feel good all over! 

‘How Green found his Family …and other Colourful Stories‘ © Michael A Vanderosen, Molkom Sweden 2011

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“There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons…”

The long road to a little wisdom – a lifetime spent learning…

  The speaker

 “A man’s errors are his portals of discovery” ~ James Joyce

I was brought up in a dysfunctional, cosmopolitan, upper-middle class family as a highly strung dyslexic surrounded by eccentric relatives.  However the result of having to cope with dyslexia and a logic disfunction had an unexpected but ultimately life-saving side-effect… as I grew older I discovered I had the proverbial ‘gift of the gab’ and so by default I became a storyteller and raconteur in order to communicate and survive when and where logic or argument failed me!

Having been dissuaded from my heart’s desire to be an actor by my father (at that stage I hadn’t learned to stick to my guns!), I was sent abroad to learn languages, grow up and do some living. Returning to London at 21 with four languages, a penchant for good food, drink, cigarettes and just enough false-confidence to make a fool of myself with girls. I found a métier in advertising, marketing and PR as an international ‘outreach-man’ – where my fluency with metaphor, story and anecdote helped me promote ideas, concepts, brands and influence employers and clients to buy me and whatever I was selling!  An aptitude to please, coupled with a disarming charm, became an acquired if somewhat flamboyant performance art packaged with lashings of boundary-breaking charisma and buckets of bravado. A ‘trying-too-hard’ persona was projected with well-chosen words and carefully orchestrated public performance. This carefully fabricated man-of-the-world image was protected by the polished armour of false-confidence that hid a painfully embarrassing lack of self worth and esteem!

A colourful cavalcade of über-hectic jobs, travel, spare-time soldiering/ceremonial duties in the Territorial Army, theatrical acting & producing, and other on-the-spur-of-the-moment decisions propelled me through a bevy of international executive rôles in FMCG & institutional, luxury brand advertising, press & public relations, trade and economic development, multi-market coordination as well as international visual arts expert, event promoter, entrepreneur and strategic consultant.

Concentration on work, play, travel, and an acquired affectation as a hard drinking, hard smoking, hard living rake, then dutiful husband, then ‘duty-free’ divorced bachelor, plus a consuming out-of-hours hobby as a non-professional actor/producer resulted in a seriously unsustainable roller-coaster life. Not surprisingly around the mid ’80’s my business and personal life collided spectacularly, painfully piling up at a ‘Mid-Life Crossroads’ – resulting in emotional and physical burn-out! But with the grace of Gods, Goddesses and angels and some serendipitous encounters – I moved from crash and crisis, via a bevy of personal development courses, to becoming a healer and, finally, to embarking on a path of self-healing and personal and spiritual growth.

My decision to radically review my attitudes, behaviour and negative habits/patterns has been an eventful, surprising, embarrassing (painfully even!) but always worthwhile journey. Lessons learned along the way were frequently challenging, occasionally discomforting, often hilarious and ultimately life-changing and fulfilling.

Following much personal journeying, self-enquiry, self-development and spiritual learning and soul growth, I decided – not before time – to finally focus on those innate gifts as well as learned talents and skills I’d acquired as an executive, entrepreneur, promoter, husband, lover, divorcee, student of life, wordsmith, communicator, speaker, social host, healer, therapist, coach and mentor – not to mention very fallible human being!

Now, in my capacity as an experienced communicator, speaker, presenter and storyteller, I’m enjoying offering original, personalised seminars, workshops and courses that help people be the confident, compelling communicators, speakers, presenters and performers they’d always wished they could be. Via fun, experiential workshops, I help people from all walks of life to communicate faster, easier and more authentically with the world around them. 

After lengthy bouts of procrastination I’ve finally got down to researching & writing the colourful and bizarre history of my Anglo/German/Dutch/Italian family through WWI and WWII. And in addition to this also a historical novel/screenplay (which has all the ingredients of a ‘Downton Abbey’ mini-series!) about a golden age of speed before the advent of Steam.

Having recovered from a couple of interesting health incidents over the past couple of years, I’m more than ever grateful for the little wisdoms I’ve acquired along the way from a multitude of lessons – thanks to the love and patience of the good friends/angels in my life. Especially those who took the time (much was needed as I was an excruciatingly slow learner!) to help me glean something useful and/or enlightening from the many mistakes that I’ve experienced; not too mention the twists, turns, dead-ends and occasional upsets along the – always amazing, eventful and fascinatingly colourful path – that’s been my privilege to walk thus far in this lifetime.  I’m now in the privileged position – thanks to the help of dear friends – to be able to focus on creative writing and my exploration of ideas for possible film/TV series plots and scenarios. 

Michael A Vanderosen

P.S. I do offer occasional mentoring support to help/counsel/guide others – whose paths happen to cross mine – in the hope that they too may discover and benefit from their own talents and gifts eventually to find fulfilment in their lives – as I’ve been blessed in doing during mine.

 “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes”                       ~ Oscar Wilde

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Banishing ‘Burn-Out’ – it’s up to you!

Here is the 7 min speech I gave in Spring 2011 at the Karlstad International Toastmasters Club’s first ever Speech Contest – for which I collected Third Prize, the other speakers were more personal and emotive – and yes dammit …better speeches!!
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Excerpts from a Colourful Life 2: “Hi-Diddle-Dee-Dee …an actor’s life for me”*…or not!

Originally I’d thought of becoming a farmer – but we no longer ‘had the money’ to buy a farm.  So having been an ASM (Assistant Stage Manager – the lowest order of animal life in the theatrical food-chain!) occasional Spear Carrier and Second Murderer in the Harrow School famed Shakespeare Society… then led and taught by the incomparable – and world renowned – Shakespearian expert Ronald Watkins … and spent many happy hours with my father (mainly during the divorce with my mother partly because I don’t think he really knew what to do with his skinny, dyslexic but fascinated movie buff son!) in the great London Cinemas of the ’50’s… The Odeons Leicester Square and Kensington and…

London Pavilion cinema, 30 July 1956The London Pavilion where I saw the Beatles ‘Help’ with Groucho Marx‘s lovely daughter in the early ’60’s!)
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Excerpts from a colourful life 1: my ‘Swinging 60’s’…

It was the Swinging Sixties and London was the most swinging city in the world!

300px-Londons_Carnaby_Street,_1966Swinging London
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For me, this sums up the essence of Fulfillment… I’d like to share it with you:

“There are certain things that are fundamental to human fulfillment. The essence of these needs is captured in the phrase ‘to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy’. The need to live is our physical need for such things as food, clothing, shelter, economical well-being, health. The need to love is our social need to relate to other people, to belong, to love and to be loved. The need to learn is our mental need to develop and to grow. And the need to leave a legacy is our spiritual need to have a sense of meaning, purpose, personal congruence, and contribution” – Stephen R Covey

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My thought for today is about fulfillment…

I’ve been a resident ‘guest’ in Sweden for nearly two years now and I’ve been thinking a lot about about fulfillment… here’s a quote I found today…
“Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.” – Dag Hammarskjold … a great man and in my opinion a great example of the best that Sweden and its culture and attitude has to offer!
PS U.S. President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century.

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More reactions to the recent quote: “Men who don’t like girls with brains don’t like girls.” ~ Mignon McLaughlin 1966

…”Who are the girls without brains?”… “And who are the people who believe that girls without brains exists?”… and this great one: …”Well at least girls don’t have brains in two places!!!!”
And here’s my take on this ‘trick’ quote that I posted… just to be a little provocative…
This an issue common to many cultures… but the writer here is basing it mainly within the topical macho Anglo-Saxon arena of the UK and USA – certainly at the time the book was written – it was a prevailing dictum that Men ‘didn’t like (f…or ‘didn’t like’ read ‘couldn’t handle’) or felt challenged by intelligent or brainy women.

The fact that historically Men have been afraid of the innate power of the feminine has always been compounded by the challenge presented by Women who were well or better educated and confident, which posed even more of a threat to the Male bastions of ‘Power and Control’!

Thank God the Feminist and other equality-based movements of the 60’s and 70’s did much to dispel this false archetype. The point I’m making with this ‘flip quip’ is that it is still true in many places and in the psyche of many Men…. except today one might substitute the words are ‘intimidated or confused by’ instead of ‘don’t like’… still an issue then??

And Yes, Jo-Anne, women are fortunate enough to have their brains in the right place… us poor chaps still have to struggle to contain/control the tendency of our BBB (Brains Below Belt) to kick in and over-ride our ‘little gray cells’ up top whenever we see a women whose aura and presence presses the perennial survivalist Procreation button!

Hopefully our all too slow march towards a higher and more contained consciousness and the equally slow movement towards true equality between Men and Women will eventually bring us to the dawning of a day when we males will naturally respect, admire, love and delight in females whose brains have always been the equal of – and frequently superior to – ours!

In the meantime some of us Men who love and respect Brainy Girls still struggle with both sets of our brains… hopefully though nowadays, somewhat more aware and sensitive to which ‘Brain’ is in the driving seat at a given moment!!

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The lighter side of dark…

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” – C.S. Lewis
Comments welcome from those with broken, wounded, sore or mended and healed hearts…
“We talk of ‘true’ love… but what is true love if not that which emanates whole and holy from deep inside our own hearts for ourselves and then only can the Beloved be Be-loved” (my quote)…
Write me your stories and I’ll write you mine… So who’s to be first..?

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Toastmaster’s Meeting 18 September

Did you know the number one fear in America is standing up and speaking in public? It’s no different here in Scandinavia…

For more details see the Toastmasters’ website:

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