The Love Challenge

10 03 2016

 

photo by Carlo Lazzeri

 

 

Most of us feel not enough as we are, we feel we need to do the next thing to become better, and somehow that next thing doesn’t fill the void, because somehow we still don’t feel enough. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve things, as long as we’re not trying to fix ourselves. All we really want and need is to feel loved, to feel enough in this moment as we are, to feel supported and cared for.

What I have learned over the past years is that we can give ourselves what we want most, by being that to ourselves. We can love ourselves, be proud of ourselves, treat ourselves with generosity, we can be enough to ourselves. And if that feels like a stretch, you can love the part of yourself that feels the lack. You can say: I love the part of myself that feels unloved, that feels unworthy, that feels unsuccessful, that feels undeserving, that wants to eat that muffin for all the wrong reasons, or that wants to scream Get lost! And then love what comes up in that moment, don’t push it away as stupid or unworthy or whiny or scary, just allow it and hold it as you would a child that just hurt its knee, knowing that it hurts and that it will be okay, and when the crying stops you give it a kiss and let it run free again. And then you cherish the gift you have just given yourself, don’t brush it aside as if it was nothing, acknowledge the courage it took, be proud of your success. This is an ongoing practice, it’s like learning to play the piano: you practice, you practice, you practice. Not because one day you will play in Carnegie Hall, although if that is your dream by all means, pursue it with all you heart, but because you have come to the conclusion that it feels really good to play the piano and it would give you great joy to be able to play that piece by Rachmaninov, and you have decided to make it a reality, even if that seems completely unattainable at the moment. The same goes for loving yourself: you practice self-love because you have come to the conclusion that it feels great to be loved, to be enough as you are, and there would be nothing better than to give that to yourself, and you decide to practice loving yourself as long as it takes to feel loved and supported by yourself.

Love is the gift you give yourself. You love yourself by allowing yourself to be who you truly are, by not forcing yourself to be someone else or live up to someone else’s expectations. You love yourself by allowing yourself to be enough as you are, by not trying to fix yourself, because you aren’t broken. You love yourself by focusing on your capacity to love, tapping into your true nature, letting your inherent goodness emerge, not holding it back. By loving yourself, you allow Love to fill you, until it breaks through the surface and ripples outward. There is no greater gift you can give yourself and the world than to be loved by yourself. All you have to do is stop hiding your inherent goodness. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to give yourself what you are longing for the most? Yes? Then how about a love challenge? Thirty days in which you intend to love yourself as you are. Thirty days in which you are kind to yourself, and patient with yourself. Thirty days in which you focus to your inherent goodness and allow it to flow. Are you in? Great! Let’s get started!

 

 

 





Love is…

2 03 2016

 

Photo by Boris Benko

 

 

Love is like a great parent, (s)he will address you at your own level, speak to you in a way that you will understand. And when you fall, (s)he will assess your resilience and give you the help you need to get in the game again. (S)he will never tell you that you are stupid, or no good, but will emphasize how much you have learned already, and that you will do great things one day. And when you are hurting, (s)he will not belittle the cause of your pain no matter how small, because (s)he knows that pain is a gas that fills the heart, and (s)he will hold you tenderly, rock you lightly and know that all is well, because (s)he knows that you can handle anything that comes your way. Faith transpires in everything (s)he does.

All Love asks is that we do the same to ourselves, and others. We think of Love, capital L, as this big, unreachable concept. It isn’t. It’s in the smallest of ways we treat ourselves and others. The great parent image helps me do that to myself. (If you haven’t met my inner-cast yet, you might want to read The Hermien Show first.) Suppose I am making breakfast: Mother Superior thinks card board has enough flavor of its own, Miss Piggy wants a Sunday breakfast every morning, Ieniemienie will throw a tantrum if she doesn’t get a slice of white bread with chocolate sprinkles in the shape of an ape head, the Artist wants a pretty breakfast with lots of colors, the guru wants it to align with its teachings and all the mystic is interested in is if it will align her with Source. Self-Love acknowledges all of these needs AND my body’s needs, loves them equally and makes something that is appealing to all – oatmeal with raspberries and fragrant coconut oil is high on my list at the moment, as is fresh fruit topped with roasted almonds. Self-Love is inclusive. It is a conversation we have with ourselves, in which we are willing to listen to what every part of our being is trying to convey. It leaves no one out, hears everyone, acknowledges all needs and comes up with a solution that aligns our needs with our values, that reflects our commitment to love all of ourselves, that allows us to thrive.

Love wants to be allowed to move through us. It wants to move through us and work through us. It wants to be heard and acted upon. Love allowed to ripple through our bodies manifests as health. Love allowed to flood our thoughts creates peace. Love allowed to ripple outward without hindrance is what we call success. Last week, I said that to love is to allow without judging negatively. That is the beginning. This week, I learned that to love is to know in my heart of hearts that all is becoming perfectly, to expect success without manipulating, to listen without preconceptions and obey a holistic impulse to act. It seems the Beatles were right: “Love is all you need.” My question to you is: How can you be a better parent to yourself? What parts of yourself do you need to include in the conversation? How can you acknowledge them as part of yourself? What are they trying to tell you? How will their presence enrich your experience? Because they will. They are part of your becoming, a process that may have flaws from a human perspective, but that is perfect from Love’s point of view. All is well.

 

 





A love revolution

25 02 2016

 

picture by Mike Swope

 

Okay, I’m just gonna say it: unconditional love really is the most ridiculous term ever invented. I mean, really, as if there is something called ‘conditional love’. There isn’t, because then by definition, it isn’t love anymore. Love is inclusive. There are no exceptions. I’ve been practicing this concept for quite some time now. I’m not fluent in it yet, and most of the time I f*ck up big time, but as it is a life-long practice in love, that just extra practice. This week, I realized that I have mostly focused on loving that which is outside of myself as perfect as it is, that as much as I am compassionate towards myself, I don’t love myself unconditionally. I don’t include all of myself. There are things about myself that I have real issues with. nothing new there, but the realization that this habit of judging parts of myself as not up to standard has contributed nothing to my life is. So I have decided to throw it out of the window and do something radically different; I have decided to love all of myself. All. Of. Myself. Everything. Every habit. Every thought. Every emotion. Every quirk. Every square millimeter of my body. Everything I create. Everything I don’t create. Everything I say. Everything I don’t say. Everything that I regard as brilliant, and everything I judge as unworthy. Everything. Including the things I have up to now not been able to accept about myself at all, the things I keep actively resisting. Even the feelings of resistance themselves. I will just love.

Part of loving is allowing. I will allow everything to be as it is in this moment. I will allow it to feel as it feels. I will allow it to change when it does, because it will. I will not judge any of it, because I am deciding upfront that it is worthy of love, no matter how it feels or what it looks like. This is an inside job. Imagine that I am feeling very angry. Instead of suppressing that anger, or judging it as not good or unhealthy, or being angry at myself for feeling angry, I am simply going to allow myself to feel angry. I am not going to act out my anger, not towards myself or any other living being, but I am going to allow myself to feel angry. And I am going to love it. I am going to allow it to be without judging it. And I am going to allow myself to feel it until it subsides. Because it will. That I know for sure. Every part of me is worth of this loving attention, even or maybe especially the parts of myself that I feel aren’t worthy of love. In a weird way, this is the only thing that makes sense, because not loving has proven not to be effective

I am going to practice radical self-love, and I would love for you to join me. What would it feel like if you loved every square millimeter of your body? If you allowed every emotion and thought to just be, and love them as they are. “Yeah, but…,” I hear you think, “this thought / emotion / body / habit is really ugly! Loving it would be condoning it.” Not necessarily, loving simply means being present without judging negatively. So while thinking the so-called ugly thought without judging it, you may become aware of the feeling that is beneath it, and allowing that feeling to be felt without judgment, it may simply dissolve. Or it may not, there’s no way to tell. But I can tell you this, you will feel better for it. Not because facing the shadow parts of ourselves is a breeze, but at least we are loving ourselves to the best of our abilities. And tell me, how would that feel? To just love yourself for no other reason than that you decided that you are worthy of love! Pretty amazing, huh?

 





The Hermien Show

4 02 2016

 

 

If I were a sitcom, it would be hysterical! Imagine a zealous Mother Superior, a pretentious artist, a wannabe guru, a mysterious mystic, the glamorous yet capricious Miss Piggy, and an assertive six-year old Mouse named Ieniemienie all living together in one house in the Big Apple.

 

This week I met up with the characters. Here’s the cast:

Mother Superior
is everything you expect from an abbess. Think Sound of Music and then make worse: super strict, extremely organized, highly efficient, goal-oriented, task-focused, and no fun. She was in charge, leading all the other characters as if they were nuns in her abbey Needless to say, everyone suffered. When Mother Superior is out of control, she is like a tyrant who expects everyone to be just as disciplined and austere as she is, which is basically impossible. All she really cares about is the well-being of the whole system and what she wants most is for the system to thrive.

The pretentious Artist
is kind of a drama queen, who is never satisfied with what he creates. And yet, he believes he is above all others, destined to make Art, capital A of course. To do that he needs freedom to explore and create, something he doesn’t get from Mother Superior, who believes he should get a job and do something useful with his life. All he really cares about it is inspiration, and what he wants most is to create a sublime piece of Art.

The wannabe Guru
is an autodidact with confidence issues who doesn’t know if he’s got enough credentials to tell other people what to do. All he wants is an audience of eager learners with whom he can share all the lessons he has learned himself in order to create a better world. He never is convinced his ideas will help others, and usually abandons his projects before he is well under way.

The mysterious Mystic
doesn’t care about outside validation. All she is interested is uncovering the truth, get to the heart of things. She needs the freedom to explore the inner-world, and only wants to understand the Meaning of Life, or God, or the Universe, and be it.

Ieniemienie and Miss Piggy
really are the same, with Ieniemienie wanting to play in the sandpit and catch frogs, and Miss Piggy being the adult version, wanting to play with one particular Frog. They both have a certain need for attention, most of all want to feel good, love flirting, one innocently and the other not so, and can throw a power tantrum when they do not get what they want.

 

No, I’m not schizophrenic, not more than most of you at least, but yes I do have voices in my head. We all have. I just decided I wanted to get to know them. So I befriended them and hung out with them, I found out what they love, what they want in life and what they need most. To fully function as a human being, I need to understand their personal dynamic, the function they hold within the group and the group dynamic, because as successful as this combination may be for a sitcom, for a successful life it can be a total disaster.

In order to make things work, I have assigned myself the role of leader. I have put up some new guidelines and function descriptions. For now, it will be great if Mother Superior can support the artist, the teacher and the mystic, help them organize the practical side of their life and motivate them to get the best out of themselves, without interfering with their creative expression, if Ieniemienie can help them access their inner-child and miss Piggy can help them access their own pizzazz. Later on, it would be great if the artist, the teacher and the mystic could work together on a project, and if Ieniemienie and Miss Piggy can not only respect Mother Superior and vice versa, but truly understand each other’s value. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. One step at a time.

So here’s my question for you: what does your personal sitcom look like? Who’s your cast? What are the characters? What are their names? Where do they live? And how are they making each other’s lives miserable? Just listen for their voices. If you have trouble distinguishing, look into archetypes and see of there are types that resonate particularly with you, then just see if you can hear what they are saying as you go through a typical day, make notes, finetune, and most of all have fun! And then, when you have a cast, just see how they treat each other, what they say to each other. Don’t judge, just observe. Make notes. Until you can clearly see the characters and how they relate to each other. Find their strong points and their weak points, and imagine how they could work together more cooperatively. And then find ways to make that work. Break a leg!

 





Meet Ieniemienie

27 01 2016

 

 

I love journaling. To me journaling is different from writing in a diary. Writing in a diary is a form of recording. Journaling is a way to plug into the subconscious mind and giving it a voice. I have found it to be an amazing tool to find answers that are not as straightforward as one might expect. Let’s give an example: For over a week now, I have a muscular contraction between my shoulder blades. Af first I did not give it much attention, I had a stressful the day I got it, finding my daughter walking on ice that was not safe yet, and I figured I just may have contracted physically. But the longer it lasted the more unlikely that got. So yesterday morning, while writing in my journal, I focused on what the pain in my shoulders was about.

What I did was write down anything that could be related. In this case: the panic I felt finding my daughter in a very dangerous situation, a photo on FB pinpointing the metaphysical cause of high back pain as lack of support, taking part in a stressful and emotional family constellation, the subject of last week’s blog, and sitting in an unhealthy pose for a prolonged period of time reading a book and working at the dinner table. What I look for while writing is resonance. Which statement, however illogical, resonates most? In this case, Read the rest of this entry »





Don’t rock the boat

20 01 2016

 

Pot 'o gold by Crissy Pauly

 

Two weeks ago, I stumbled across a rather intriguing conversation that eventually led me to have an energy reading. Apart from it being an incredibly resonant experience, a few things stood out. “Do you like yourself? Do you think you’re fun to hang out with? Do you think you’re likable?”, the lady asked. I was kind of lost for words. “I love myself,” I said: “but I never thought about whether I like myself or not. I don’t know if I’m fun to hang out with, to be honest.” Somewhere during the reading, she felt an intense contraction in my throat area. I found that to be intriguing. “Yes,” she said: “You are holding back, not revealing everything that you are thinking and feeling.” She was right, I don’t. I started asking myself why I am cautious and when, because I don’t always hold back. I discovered I am mostly cautious sharing my beliefs, especially with people who I feel will not welcome them. The why remained a mystery. The rest of the week, I’ve been pondering those two things: Do I think I’m fun to be with and why am I holding back? The easiest and most logical conclusion would be that I don’t express myself fully in the fear that people will not like me, which most likely would be right but I knew there was more to it than that. So I kept digging, and I unearthed some interesting finds.

 

“Don’t rock the boat”, momma Fear told me.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because the others might fall out.”

That was not the answer I had expected.

“Why are we in this boat in the first place?”

“So people cannot leave you.”

Huh? Come again. This reeks of kidnapping. I found it to be disconcerting to say the least.

“Why would people leave me?”

“Because they will not like you when you make them feel unsafe.”

Uh, okay…

“What would happen if they left me.”

“You would be alone, it would kill you.”

 

A completely non-sensical and at the same time enlightening conversation. Apparently, I am scripted to believe that people will not like me when I make them feel unsafe; when they don’t like me they will leave me, and when they leave me I will die. Better not rock the boat then, better not say or do anything that might make them feel unsafe. The thing is I know for a fact that I will not die when I am alone; I went through the horrible pain of aloneness, it did not kill me and ever since I do not resonate with it anymore. Yet somehow momma Fear still felt the need to protect me from it, and she did so by cunningly using another fear that apparently still lingered beneath the surface.
Fortunately, fear of fear, however powerful, is easy to let go. The tricky part is recognizing it for what it is. After that, all we have to do is start doing what we’re afraid of and let momma Fear realize the so-called pain she is protecting us from isn’t there anymore, in the way you would open the valve of a tire and let it deflate gently. And as to whether I like myself or not, I have come to the heartwarming conclusion that I do actually like myself, in fact I really like hanging out with myself, I have a lot of fun with myself. It is true that I have no clue who will stay in my boat once I moor it in the harbor and set them free, and I am okay with that. Even if it is just me in that boat, talking to myself and rocking the boat just for the fun of it, I’ll be having a great time, and there’ll bound to be other people who like hanging out with me as much as I do.

 





Dear Momma Fear

13 01 2016

 

 

Ready To Slide by Janis Gonser

 

Last week, in a letter, I told Fear that she was no longer in command. She did not take it lightly. She shut herself in the basement and had a terrible fit. When I don’t obey Fear, I get ‘punished’. Or better, my body will create such a state of havoc that continuing seems like a really bad idea. For as long as I can remember whenever Fear gets activated, my intestines stop doing their job, resulting in a severe condition of what is commonly called IBS. Very painful and completely draining. Not funny. At all. As a result I was not feeling too peachy this past week. To be honest, I would have loved to stay in bed and throw the cover over my head, but I didn’t. I have decided that I will go forward. Not ‘no matter what’, because that would not work; I have tried that before and it got very nasty. No, this time, I decided to listen to Fear, really listen; Why are you (Fear) so determined to stop me in my tracks? What I learned is too beautiful not to share.

Far from being the bully I imagined her to be making my life miserable, Fear has been a loving mother figure who has tried to keep me as safe as possible from the moment I got separated from my mom right after birth to this day. I am afraid that when I stop interfering and allow your power to flow freely, you won’t need me any longer, I will be redundant and you will forget about me. - I soothed her worries, reassuring her that she would be teaming up with the Universe to keep me save, that this Force will guide us both every step of the way, helping us to maximize our potential. I told her that in order for that to happen she would need to let me go. I could feel her anxiety, I could feel that she was not as ready as I was. And then I remembered what it felt like to let my daughter step into that beautiful world on her own. She was only two-and-a-half when she declared that she was ready to go to the playground alone. I was not! Yet I could not deny her unmistaken readiness, her need for personal freedom and exploration. So we set up rules and boundaries, we practiced and practiced and practiced until I knew we both were as ready as we were ever going to be. I can still see her walking to the playground, an extra bounce to her step, proudness radiating from every pore, as I was peeking past the hedge at the end of our garden path. The same spot I would be dashing to every five minutes to see if she was allright while she was playing carefree, empowered by her mother’s trust in her ability to choose what is right for her. So I chose to write another letter:

 

Dearest Momma Fear,

Do not worry that I will go off the highest slide the moment you let go of me, for I will not. I understand that we will both need to adjust to this new situation. Allow me to go just a few feet ahead of you and trust that you have done an excellent job at instilling carefulness. Please trust me to pick the slide that I know is best suited for me, and allow me to go down alone. I would love for you to watch me do it, again, and again, and again, until it has lost its thrill and I want to try a higher slide. I know that letting go of my hand is one of the scariest things you will ever do, but it will also be the most rewarding. From it will grow a trusting relationship in which you will know without a doubt that I will always be careful with this one wild and precious life and in which I will know that you will always have my back, enabling me to conquer the Universe safely, no matter what.

All my love,

Hermien

 

 

 

 





Dear Fear

6 01 2016

 

 

It’s a new year. 360 more days full of potential before we look back on 2016. The question is how do we want to feel looking back. I have decided that I want to feel proud of myself. Yesterday, I wrote down the one thing that would make me proudest of myself. Then I decided on how I wanted to make it happen and wrote out a goal per month. Then terror hit, fear running through my body, paralyzing me, disabling rational thought, reducing me to a shivering and sobbing little girl. It was that moment that it finally hit me: fear will be my forever companion. What is different this time is that I will not let it stop me: it can tag along, if needed I will drag it along, but I am not going to let it hold me back. My fears, as many and as strong as they may be, will not prevent me from living my dreams. I will not procrastinate any longer with the false assumption that one day I will be fearless.

 

Dear Fear,

you will no longer be the commander-in-chief. I know this may come as a shock to you, having been the supreme commander for over four decades, but you have been in power for so long that you have lost touch with reality. You no longer have what it takes to lead us in the right direction. You will be a trusted adviser, but you will not be allowed anywhere near the control panel. You will be a valued member of my team, but you will not have any special rights. We will find you tasks that allow you to use your talents appropriately. Every morning, for a specified time only, I will listen to you and what you have to say, and together we will work on putting your worries at ease. Then I will give you a new and important task to keep you occupied while I work on executing my dreams. I will see you tomorrow morning in my office immediately after we finish our daily team meeting with our Awesome Anthem. If needed, I will allow you five minutes at the end of every day before singing We Fucking Did It.

Best regards,
your new Commander-In-Chief

 

This will be the year I will feel the fear and move forward anyway. I am not going to pretend that will be easy, but I am not going to pretend that will be impossible either. I am embracing my fears. I am going to stop fighting them; they are not abnormal, they are part of me. I am going to assume my fears are part of my emotional make-up for a reason, that they’re here to help me do whatever I need to do in this lifetime. So…

 

PS Dearest Fear, thank you for being in my life, thank you for caring so deeply, thank you for always trying to keep me safe. I love you. XOXO Hermien

 

 

 





Meeting my genius

24 11 2015

 

Alladin's Lamp by Dan Colcer

 

By giving up on ‘the big plan’, my life has shifted big time. For one, I don’t find it hard anymore to figure out what I want to do. It’s not a big thing anymore either. I don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. And I have lost the need to figure it all out before I start.

For years, I have felt intimidated by this idea that I should follow my passion. There was this implicit notion that we all have one unique talent, one thing that would set our heart aflame and that doing this would be fulfilling our purpose. Mind you, I did not come up with this idea by myself, but I was desperate enough to fall for it. This ‘passion’ would save me. That is, once I found it, or better if I found it at all, because, to be honest, I had no clue as to what my passion was. Yes, I loved writing, and drawing, and painting, and being on this path of transformation, and learning, and reading fantasy, and teaching, and singing, and public speaking, and baking, and cooking, I could go on and on and on. And I am pretty much good at everything I try my hands on, and I do feel excitement for all of those things too. Yet, I felt I needed to make a choice, I needed to commit to one of those loves. And I couldn’t. It was kind of frustrating. And in the meantime, feeling torn between all these choices, overwhelmed by my own potential, most of the time I felt so frustrated I was completely blocking the flow of inspiration, unable to create anything.

All of that is gone. Gone! I kid you not. To hell with passion. I don’t even consider it interesting anymore. Overnight, it has become devoid of all meaning. Gone is the frustration, not even a hint left. Gone the sense that I have been waisting my time. All I want to do now is crack on and create as much as possible in the rest of my life.

I am one of the most curious people I know. Always have been. I love a very broad spectrum of things. Honestly, I think I could feel excitement for just about anything, except perhaps for Excel sheets (sorry, Bas). I can totally immerse myself in something, simply to satisfy my curiosity. Yet up until now I would feel terribly guilty about it, because somehow it felt whimsical, a distraction from the big plan, which involved one passion, and certainly not the broad array of my interests and talents. Actually, one of the things I have always resented about myself was being blessed with so many talents. As I am typing these words, I am just shaking my head in disbelief; how can one be so thoroughly misguided? I find it comical, hilarious even. The paradox in that sentence is just too obvious not to see it, and yet I was blind to it.

From now on, I pledge to go wherever my curiosity leads me. I will regard curiosity as inspiration incarnated, my genius guiding me, showing me the next stepping stones on my journey. If one day, I find myself aflame with a passion so blazingly hot that it (temporarily) burns all other interests, I will welcome it, but I will not wait for it, nor will I let it define the rest of my life. I will be open to all inspiration, honor my curiosity, celebrate the uncertainty that tags along, and praise the possibility of all things ready to be born through me.

 

 





The shift

18 11 2015

 

 

Recently, I was in a science center where I walked in a pitch dark room. In that room they had made an obstacle course, and the only instruction I got was not to let go of the wall with my left hand. So there I was, obediently following the contours of the wall as my left hand was meeting all kinds of strange textures. Even though it was a completely safe experiment and I was having fun while doing it, my brain was protesting, sending danger signals all the time. After I had taken the I don’t know how manieth corner, the floor slightly tilted and I was walking uphill, or so it felt. The danger signals were becoming more acute and my pleasure went down, and then, all of a sudden, I stepped on an air cushion and my brain went into red alert. It was like someone with a megaphone was yelling in my ear: DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! After I had solid ground under my feet again, I was walking more hesitantly than before, lacking the confidence I had had when I first went into the room. Knowing there might be other unpleasant surprises made the experience even less pleasant. Because, who knew what else I was going to encounter? Our reptilian brain is not fond of unpredictability, of the unknown, of change. Honestly, it would be perfectly fine staying coiled up in one space pretending it is completely safe.

As I was preparing to go into the abyss, my reptilian brain was resisting with all its might. ‘Are you mad?’, it screamed into my ear: ‘This is going to hurt! Remember all the other times? Don’t be stupid. Just don’t go in; you’re safe here.’ Determined to go in, knowing I really had no other choice, knowing it would be alright, knowing life would get better, I buckled up, be it slowly. And then, despite my reptilian brain going berserk, I went in. Step by step, I intently descended into what I was knowing would be an unpleasant experience, with every step bracing myself for impact. Yet it never came. Somehow I had it all upside down, somehow I was inside an Escherian drawing, believing to be descending, while in reality I was climbing towards the light. The darkness I was anticipating never materialized, as I stepped into a light so beautiful it moved me to the core, and everything shifted.

I have experienced this shift a few times so far, and it always follows the same pattern. When it happens, the crown of my head is tingling incessantly. It feels as if a cold liquid is flowing down the top of my head. It feels good, yet almost too much of a good thing. I feel lighter than I have ever felt before in my life; I can’t stop giggling and laughing. And I feel hyper, like Tigger on steroids. This only lasts for a few days. Then I am back to being more or less my normal self, but not quite. There will be subtle and not so subtle differences not only in how I view myself, the world and life, but also in how I act. All of sudden, without it being intentional, I start doing things differently, things I’ve done a certain way my whole life. And I really cannot fathom why I did them differently before. I can intellectually understand that a certain world view resulted in a certain behavior, and that a different world view results in a different behavior, but for the life of me, I do not get (emotionally and physically) why I ever saw / did it the way I did, why I could not see what always was in plain sight. It is like not getting how I ever ‘breathed’ through an umbilical cord before it was severed; I can understand it intellectually, but I cannot imagine it being real anymore.

Venturing into the unknown doesn’t become less scary over time, but it gets easier. In the end it is nothing more than a habit, be it a very powerful one. So here’s to a phenomenal adventure, and many more to come. Cheers!





Taking flight

10 11 2015

 

 

 

Transformation is all about letting go of the stories we tell ourselves. The stories that are hardest and scariest to let go of are the stories we have been telling ourselves for a long, long time; stories that were passed onto us by our parents, stories that were woven into the fabric of our being. For me, one of these stories was that we need a savior. Being raised in a conservative christian family, I was permeated with the idea that man needs a savior, Jesus to be precise.

I had what is called learned helplessness. In the first six weeks of my life, I had been taught that no matter how hard I cried no one would listen; that I would not be touched, fed or cleaned when I asked for it. It had learned that I ha no control over my life, whatsoever. This instilled in me the sense that I was powerless, that I could accomplish nothing on my own, that my actions had zero impact on the world. It is no surprise that the story of a personal savior resonated deeply with me.

Years ago, when I needed to let go of the story that what is written in the bible is true, as it was conflicting with my rational mind and causing havoc on all levels, I let go of Jesus and God as well. To my surprise, after two weeks, that what I used to call God was still there, a presence larger than me that I felt very much connected to, that touched me like nothing else. Jesus and the bible were fell in a different category; both concepts were caught in a web of man-made stories, and I kept them at bay for a long time because I knew that would not be able to see through them yet. It took more than a decade for me to see them with fresh eyes. When I let go of my religion, my need to be saved was still very much present. What I did not recognize was that post-Jesus, I  found a substitute savior.

It wasn’t until last Friday afternoon, after letting go of the story that there is a divine plan, that I did not feel the need to be saved anymore. I had become my own savior. The feeling is impossible to describe. What probably comes closest is the image of a bird sitting on a branch, the branch breaking, the bird spreading its wings and flying off, undisturbed. Until this moment, I might have known intellectually that I could fly, but I never experienced it. Now with the branch gone, I automatically spread my wings and flew. For the first time. It was utter magic. I have never felt so light in my life, so free, so powerful. Again, everything has changed.

I can now see with the utmost clarity that the divine plan replaced Jesus’ role as my savior. What I know for sure is that when you believe that you cannot do anything on your own, when you are waiting to be saved, life itself becomes the deadlock. The only way to break free is by discovering you are the key. As for the divine plan, the grand scheme, it simply has become irrelevant. Whether there is a grand plan or not, it will no longer have an impact on how I live my life, because it is beside the point. As I see it now, the point of life is to be able to look back on this day, this month, this year, this life and feel love for myself, appreciation for my choices and proud of my accomplishments, to know that I was true to myself and my dreams, to be at peace with this one life. That’s all. Me discovering this may be part of a divine plan, but that doesn’t concern me, because it is outside of my circle of influence.

 

Image by Sias van Schalkwyk





Into the abyss. Again.

6 11 2015

 

 

Transformation is inevitable, not optional. Transformation cannot be halted. It can be stalled, but not halted. That would be as nonsensical as a caterpillar choosing to become a pupa instead of a butterfly. It is a caterpillar’s destiny to undergo a complete metamorphosis. It is a caterpillar’s destiny to become a butterfly. It is programmed into its being. It is the why of its existence. It is inevitable.

My transformation started the day I earnestly said I didn’t know. One of the first, and scariest, steps was that I let go of God, which simply meant that I was willing to accept that I didn’t know if there was such a thing as God. After two weeks of living in a void, I experienced that there was something bigger than little ol’ me. I was part of a web of Life that was immeasurable and indescribable. For a long time, I refused to give it a name. Then, for practical reasons, I started trying several names to end with the name God again, because for me that simply resonated most.

In the past years, I somehow started believing in a divine plan, a grand scheme. Like the caterpillar, we are meant to transform into a new version of ourselves.  Ironically, in my transformational process, the time has come to let go of that belief, to do what scares me most, to explore nothingness once again, to live in the void, to know nothing and experience everything.

Only thinking about it is enough to make my mind and body protest with all their might, because what if there is no divine plan, what if the things that make sense to me on the deepest level are just part of the illusion? The whole idea makes me want to puke, I literally feel nauseous, but I cannot not do it. It is not optional. It is time to go into the abyss, again, and I am loathing it. I know that I am fearing fear itself, but that is little consolation. I really wish I didn’t have to take this path, but, however paradoxical this may sound, I know it is inevitable.

 

photo by Eric Nelson





How I learned to love myself

8 07 2015

 

 

If there is one thing that sped up my transformation these past years, it has been learning to love myself, all of myself. It wasn’t exactly an overnight kind of experience, it was more like a cha cha cha. And it still is. It is an ongoing process, and it will not be complete until the day I die. As much as we want to, we cannot go from loathing ourselves to loving ourselves in one step, unless perhaps in an NDE, but I do not recommend that. It is much easier to be a bit kinder to yourself each day.

My first step towards self-compassion was understanding that we always do our best. No matter how screwed our thoughts or behaviors may be, we always do our best, even if we feel we don’t, especially when we feel we don’t. So I would go around, saying to myself: you did your best, if you could have done better, you would have done better. This mantra caused my body to relax a bit, and because I didn’t slam myself over the head every time I did something wrong, my mind felt safe enough to highlight the areas where I could do better, and handed me ideas on how to deal better with these situations. After some time, I noticed that I had become less self-critic, and kinder in general.
Slowly, my mantra changed in: you did well. See how I still spoke to myself in the second person? You did well. These words brought relief and comfort. They allowed me to make peace with my past. This helped my body and mind to relax even more. And next to being aware of all the things that I could do better, I started to notice the things I was doing well. That felt indescribably good.
I started saying to myself: you are doing well. It was then that I started to gain momentum. You are doing well, allowed me to relax in the moment. Not completely, but a bit more every time I said it to myself.

Fast-forward to today: I love me. Today, I AM perfect as I am. I AM owning my god-given perfection. I AM enough as I am. I AM worthy as I am. Every moment, I AM doing better. I AM a work in progress. I love my body, and my body loves me back. I love my life, and life loves me back. I AM appreciating this life experience. I love it when I ‘slip up’, when I fall back in old behaviors, because it creates the desire to love myself even more. My life is working out perfectly. I am not flawless, nor would I want to be, I don’t need to be perfect anymore. All I want is to feel good about myself and my life, and I decided that that is the starting point in stead of the finish line. What I know for sure is that Love changes everything.

 

Image by Svilen Milev





Open to Life

1 07 2015

 

 

Things have changed. Life feels different. Things are different, because I AM different. I have changed. For the first time in my life, I feel safe. And because I feel safe, I no longer need to be in a constant state of fight-or-flight. My body has relaxed into the present moment, and as a result I am more receptive to Life, both physically and emotionally. Today, I realized that I have never felt so alive in my entire life. There are no words to describe what it feels like. It is hard to describe the absence of something. The ever-present Fear is gone. Instead I feel ease, my body is relaxed. Now and then I feel the occasional pang of fear, but all I have to do is to breathe into it and it dissipates.

Things have changed. I left Egypt, I crossed the desert, and now am walking in the land of milk and honey. Of course there still are giants and cities to be conquered. But I don’t worry, because I have faith that all will be well. Remember how the walls of Jericho came tumbling down? I can’t explain, but I know. No doubt. I feel so much lighter, the heaviness around my heart is gone. The journey no longer feels difficult, filled with hardship, dependent of variables outside of my control. I don’t dread what is coming anymore, no longer hope for the best. I am excited about the journey that I am on. I am optimistic. I see good things coming my way.

I love feeling safe. I love allowing well-being. I love letting in grace. I love how Life is flowing effortlessly. I love allowing joy and abundance to manifest. I love finding it so easily, so readily available. I love being open to Life unconditionally. I love appreciating the full spectrum of Life. I love fully expressing myself. I love feeling excited. And I can’t wait for what else Life has in store for me. It will be better than anything I ever imagined, because it already is.

 

 





On bottlenecks and cutting knots

24 06 2015

 

 

There it is again. Sudden OVERLOAD! I’ve reached the limits of my brain: mental tiredness, tense muscles, tears just beneath the surface, a need to cry and/or scream and an indescribable desire to sleep. Somehow, I have not given myself the care I needed. I have not honored the rituals that allow my body and mind to be aligned with my soul. The result is invariably the same. Part of me still resists. Part of me thinks it is stupid that I cannot do what most people take for granted. Part of me wants to do whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it. I can, but then there will be days when I feel like this, and I need to ask myself if that is worth it. I have been going to bed late, I have been skipping journaling, meditating, regulated screen time and time when I actively engage in nothing, time that I just sit in a chair or lie in bed and stare into nothingness, watching the birds in the garden or the clouds pass by.

I had gotten trapped in busy-ness. Interestingly, it is not the busy-ness that gets me derailed. At first, I notice a surge in energy, I’m flying high. But then,  I get lost in it. Especially when I don’t check in with myself regularly.Then instead of processing the things I want to do in an orderly fashion, my brain obsessively keeps going back to the unfinished things. I guess we all do that, we keep going back until it is finished. First, I thought that writing them down would help, and it helped, a bit. Defining next steps, helped too, to a degree. What I am noticing now is that I am stacking, it’s a bottleneck, and it is blocking the flow of energy. I need to make decisions, cut some knots. The thing is that is not my forte. More accurately, I am decisively impaired. It’s both brain make-up and conditioning. And it is making me feel less than. As you can imagine, that doesn’t feel too good, and it certainly doesn’t inspire joy.

So I decided I want to get good at decision-making. I want to overrule conditioning and work around biology. From where I stand that means that I need to start cutting the seeming Gordian knots in my mind, preferring wrong decisions over no decisions, trusting that everything will work out just fine. Whoa! Getting nauseous only thinking of it. I am terrified of making wrong decisions, and allowing myself to make them will require a high degree of self-compassion and extreme self-care. Which means too that I will need to grow up and let go of any resistance I might feel around taking the best possible care of myself, whatever that may mean at any particular moment. Life feels best when the energy is flowing freely, when I feel part of the Flow. Flow IS Joy. Allowing Flow is allowing Joy. What I want not only is a joy-inspiring life, but a flow-allowing life. Flow requires balancing doing and being, dreaming and acting. I am all pro inspired action, but I now see that like anything else this requires practice and fine-tuning. I will allow myself to make decisions, the best possible decisions, celebrate them no matter the outcome, and learn from them. Life will lead me.

 

Image by Kliverap





Joy is …

17 06 2015

 

 

It may come as no surprise that I have been focusing on joy, this past week. ‘Does this inspire joy?’ has become my mantra. What I have found is that neither the question nor the answers are as obvious as they might seem. For what is joy? What does joy feel like? And maybe most importantly: what does it feel like to me?
What better than a blank canvas to discover just that? This week I stacked up on small canvases and one very big one to do just that. The small canvases really are small canvases, 25x25cm or 10″x10″, linen on cardboard, intended to allow myself to just do, and feel, and mess up, and succeed, and fail, and explore shape and texture and color and pattern, to allow me to discover what feels like joy, and what doesn’t. The big canvas is about 3m high x 3,5m long x 2m wide or 10′x12′x7′, and it is not as much a canvas as it is a trailer. Last Saturday, we bought a trailer.

I love camping, always have camped; cannot imagine my life without it. What I love most about it is being so close to nature. Growing up, we camped rather primitively: low to the ground, almost no luxury, but it was golden, because we were spending time together as a family. When we started going on vacation without my parents, we continued camping the way I always had. Seven years ago, we upgraded. We got a powered cooler, and with that came electricity as well. Two years later, we bought a huge tent, high chairs and a high table. I loved it. Last year, putting up the tent costed us about 3 hours, in the burning sun. It was then and there that I had had it with tents. What I want is hassle-free camping. I love the idea of a home on wheels: less packing. I love the idea of quick arriving and leaving. But what I love most is having a beautiful and organized little home wherever we go.
We decided didn’t need a bathroom, or tons of space, or one that was beautiful on the outside, what we wanted was a blank canvas. A well-cared for trailer that could be easily converted to a sweet little home. And that is exactly what I found. The big bonus: this trailer has not only been well-cared for, it has been loved. It belonged to an elderly couple who loved camping first as a family, then together. The husband died three years ago. Selling wasn’t easy for the lady, because she wasn’t selling a trailer, she was selling memories. This love, more than anything else, I discovered, inspired joy within me.

I am so excited. I’ve been creating inspiration boards on Pinterest to discover what caravan interior inspires joy in me. I am being laughed at and mocked by both my husband and my daughter, but visualizing this make-over is so much fun! Interestingly, the things that inspire joy usually are different from what I imagined. It’s a process. I am discovering that these canvases (the small ones and the big one alike) are as much an exploration of how joy feels to me, as of how it expresses itself through me. I am learning to articulate joy, not only in words, but in everything I do. Joy, I found, in essence, is an act of Self-expression.

 

Joy, to me, feels

light and bubbly like Prosecco,

in the shade of a tree on a warm day;

Spring, fresh and luscious flowering green;

a clear Summer night, stars and campfire;

leaves of old trees rustling in the wind;

standing next amidst Redwood giants;

waves washing ashore, never endingly;

laying next to my girl, giggling,

softly caressing her face, sniffing her scent;

the belly-laugh provoking dry humor of my man

still surprising me after 25 years;

paints and pastels and embroidery threads

in every color imaginable;

messing around, playing

with color, texture, print and self-appointed tools;

yellowish green leaves floating on a gentle stream,

meandering through flowering meadows;

sitting on top of a mountain,

nothing but the sound of wind in my ears;

the crazy wagging tail and innocent excitement

of my dog after I’ve been away for one minute;

light and airy on the outside,

warm and cosy on the inside;

ease, simplicity, beauty, sensuality,

love, peace, kindess, a soul-lit smile;

being recognized for who I am, and loved as I am,

by my tribe, my soul family.

 

Now, what does joy feel like to you?





The Joy Quest

10 06 2015

 

 

The thing I have learned about friendship is that you find the most amazing friends in the most unlikely places. And the thing that takes me aback every time again is how we relate to each other on so many levels. With one friend, I skype once a month. Our intention is to support each other’s becoming, but we talk about everything, including self-made lipstick pouches. The thing she made me realize is that I want more joy in my life, unadultered joy. She is on the same quest. She has a Jewish background, me a judeo-christian. The thing we have in common, amongst other things, is that we both have a strong sense of guilt. Not the obvious visible kind, but a pervasive undercurent, something that is always present. We live a guilt-infused life. I first realized this during a session of psychodynamic therapy.

Years ago, I had been referred to this therapist by my doctor, because I felt my extreme tiredness had more to do with outdated beliefs than with anything physical. After listening to my story, the therapist wrote some words on A4s (without me seeing which) and let me put them face down on the ground as I pleased. Then she asked me to go stand on one of the A4s. As I was standing on the first white A4, I felt nothing, trying really hard, the best I could come up with was ‘heaviness around the heart.’ “Right!” I thought to myself. Stepping on the next paper, I was in for a surprise: the temperature in the room changed, it got warm, and I was flooded with uncomfortable feelings and emotions that weren’t there before. Standing on the next paper, I felt such sadness and tears came pouring from me like it would never end. The last paper was the weirdest. I just couldn’t stand still, with my feet ‘glued’ to the floor, I was swinging to all sides, and I felt ‘onbestemd’ (vague, undefined, indeterminate, literally: without destiny). I stood on the first paper again, and with a more open mindset, I was able to refine the heaviness around my heart to guilt. Then the therapist asked me to turn around the A4s so we could see which word was written under them. The first read ‘normal’ – my normal, the second ‘incubator’, the third ‘tiredness’, and the fourth ‘Hermien’.

In the past years, I actively worked on embracing and releasing the pain I felt in relation to ‘incubator’ and ‘sadness’. As a result, I started to embrace not only my name (which until then I had not felt connected to) but everything that is related to it. In the last year, I somehow descended into myself. I know it sounds vague, but I no longer feel undefined. I feel as if, for the first time, I fit into myself, like my body, mind and soul fit together like a puzzle. Yet apart from becoming more and more aware of the feeling of guilt in every area of my life, I had no clue what to do with it. This week, after talking to my friend, it hit me: the antidote to guilt is joy.  Last week, my friend had told me she had been organizing her stuff these last weeks. She had discovered Mari Kondo’s organization philosophy and she had gotten hooked. She explained to me that it was all about joy, that you only keep the things that ‘inspire joy.’ That made sense, big time. For years, I have looked for ways of organizing my life better. And I only keep things that I either love, are functional, and preferably both. It works to a degree, but the ‘functional’ category is a hotchpotch. I can see how a big part of my life is still a hotchpotch. I am still holding on to things, emotions and ideas I don’t need anymore, including the completely outdated, culturally-induced sense of guilt.

I have never been so clear on what I want. I want to live a joy-inspired life. I am going to let go of anything that doesn’t inspire joy in my life. From the cloths I wear to the foods I eat to the activities I undertake, the thing I’ll be focusing on is joy. I AM joy and I want my life to reflect that.

 





On creativity

3 06 2015

 

 

This week, I allowed creativity to flow through me. I didn’t try to define it, or confined myself to a certain definition of it. I just allowed it, and felt the ease and dis-ease of it. Ease in the process of creation, dis-ease in allowing it to be whatever it is. I found it interesting to witness within myself: the need to confine myself to a certain experience, because in my mind only that will allow me to focus, the need to focus in order to be productive. But it would be the unwisest thing I could do, at this moment. The process of finding one’s voice is all about discovery. I never did that in my life; I never allowed myself the time to try on different things, I always committed to a choice too soon. So, as much as I feel the need to commit, I won’t. I will allow myself to play around in order to discover what really makes me tick, and how that feels to me.

In our western society, we are so action-oriented, so focused on moving forward, that we often take action in order not to feel or be (perceived as) inactive or unproductive, move forward in order not to be (perceived as) standing still. And as a result we build our life on busy-ness. A life built on sand, collapsing at the smallest lifequake.  Regularly standing still is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Not taking action because we feel we need to do something, but instead making peace with where we are standing, making sure our happiness is independent of our next move. Really, I can’t tell you how much I want to get into the game, make money, be productive again, but now is not the time. I will not sacrifice my happiness for any of those desires. I simply will not. If I have learned anything in these last years, it is that taking action too soon makes things worse. Some day, in the near future, the things I want will happen, not because I make them so, but as a byproduct of creating a life I love.

Life IS creation. Creating this life experience is the ultimate human creativity. We are all creators, all of the time. Life artists per se. Life flows most easily when we allow it to flow, when we let go of our resistance. So does creativity, regardless of your preferred form of expression, be it code, gardening, writing, painting, parenting or law. Everything becomes art when we allow it to flow naturally.

 





Unmasking the fraud, uncovering an artist

27 05 2015

 

 

I AM an Artist. I’ve finally said it. The big word is out. You may wonder what the big deal is. Fair question. I don’t know. But it feels huge. All I know is that it has been a very long journey to make peace with the idea of being an artist. And obviously I have not made complete peace with it yet.

Last week, I was browsing through Caroline Myss’ online library, looking for archetypes that resonate with me. The first time, I scanned through the list, I just skipped the Artist. I saw it, but I did not want to read the description. “You are NOT an Artist,” the voice in my head said, “no use in even looking.” The second time, there was a different, kind voice that said: “Just read, and then go from there. No harm in looking.” While reading the critical voice was on repeat: “See that you’re NOT an artist. I knew that. You’re nothing but a fraud.” That hurt. To see the confirmation of something I feared deep down. And then I read this:
Doing what you do in such a way that you create an emotional field that inspires others also indicates the Artist energy at work, as does the emotional and psychological need to express yourself so much that your well-being is wrapped up in this energy.
The first half of the sentence rang true, but the last half hit me like a ton of bricks. I had a very visceral response while reading it. Nothing more true. When I don’t express myself, when I don’t create and share, I die on the inside, I dry up, I get more and more tired. I just never saw the correlation.

As you may have read recently, self-expression has always been difficult for me. Still is. I used to censor myself all the time, without even knowing I was doing so, a completely automated response during every form of expression, even, or especially, when I was in the process of creating something. Paired with my inner-critic, he seemed invincible. Both deeply integrated in my being, like a weed taken root in every part of my psyche. Instead of extracting the weed, I am going to stop feeding it. Which simply means that I am going to fearlessly express myself in any way I want to. Knot in my stomach. But I can stomach that. I am going to feel the fear and do it any way. You don’t need to agree with me, you don’t need to like me or what I create, you don’t even need to pay attention to me, because I do this for me. Expressing myself through creation makes me feel alive. I don’t know where this will land me, how this will go, but I am going to allow it to evolve. I am going to take it one step at the time, Allowing myself to express unhindered by limiting beliefs, unhindered by the need for anything I create to be perfect from the beginning, or perfect at all. I am going to work on my skills by drawing and painting objects and I am going to work on allowing flow by working associatively.  I am going to experiment, and allow myself to fail, and fail, and fail. But most of all, I am going to give myself permission to be the artist my soul has always been yearning for, without confining myself to an ideal or fearing to be a fraud. Even more challenging may be my inner-critic shouting that it isn’t ‘useful’, that I am just mucking about, it even feels sinful. I guess I’ll just fearlessly have to grab that one by the horns as well. I am not going to let anything hold me back from living my life to the fullest. My inner-critic was right, I was being a fraud, not as an artist, but by not showing all of myself, by masking part of my soul.

 

 

 





I AM Victor

13 05 2015

 

 

Some a-ha moments are so profound that they change the way you look at yourself in an instant, and forever. Today, I had an earth-shocking insight into my own psyche. These last weeks, I have been asking myself: what is inhibiting my natural joy. What I have come to realize is that I want to feel lust for life again. I want to inhabit my passionate self again. Somehow I lost it. Today, I discovered where I lost it.

No matter how hard I worked these past years to release what wasn’t Me and embrace what is, no matter how much responsibility I learned to take for my life, I was still playing out the victim archetype.  Everyone around me probably noticed, but I was blind to it. Today, I ‘accidentally’ stumbled on Susanna Barlow’s articles on archetypes. I was googling the Martyr, but my eye fell on the Victim. I thought I had conquered the Victim, but it simply went out the front door and snuck back in through the back door, and hid in the rooms of my psyche I was too afraid to explore. It was quite happy there, weaving stories so exquisitely they fooled me with ease.

An archetype is a universal energy pattern. It always has two aspects, a negative and a positive aspect. When an archetype is strongly present within us, and we are not aware of it, we are living the negative aspect, the shadow side. In my life, the negative aspect of the Victim expresses itself as loss of energy, frustration, perceived helplessness, shaming and blaming. The two latter took some time to discover within myself, but I do it stealthily. Once we become aware of the archetype, we can transform it and live the positive aspect, or the enlightened side. Transforming the Victim into a Victor is all about owning our true power. It is about feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

I can see why this pattern emerges now. Perfect timing. Further untethering. It is time to step into my power. It is time to live NOW. To be fearlessly in love with live, NOW.  After a first, rather yukky, release this morning, I feel my energy soar. I feel empowered and strong. Not in the mood to take any more BS from myself. There is a determination like I have not felt in a long, long, long time. Victim or Victor, that’s the question. Well, at least, for me.

 

photo by Gayle Lindgren





Untethering the soul

29 04 2015

 

 

Yesterday, I read a post by Jeff Foster about a healing. It resembled closely the physical healings I experienced.There were a lot of comments from both people who, like me, have experienced the miracle of healing and people who have not but were all too willing to have theirs. There were a lot of truths and a lot of misconceptions.  I am not pretending to know all about healing, I don’t, but I have learned one or two things on my journey.  I think the number one misconception is that a healing is physical. It is not. Healing is the process of returning to our original wholeness, and while physical healing usually is part of that process, it is only a side effect. Yes, a physical healing is the most easy to see, but it also is the least important part of the healing. The true miracle, the true healing is a shift in perception, it is the shift from fear to love, not just at the intellectual and emotional level, but at the core of who we are. At a cellular level, we know that we are enough, we know that we are loved, that we are the creator of our lives, that we hold the key to everything we desire, that everything that happens is summoned by us as a vessel for our expansion, that earth is a playground and that we can mold life any way we want it.

Last Friday, I had an echo in my left ear. It was not very comfortable, but I assumed the echo would go away as soon as I had figured out the meaning behind it. It did. After Read the rest of this entry »





Feeling fit

22 04 2015

 

 

Over the past years, I have gained some weight. 8 kilos to be precise. And that’s okay. I don’t mind having gained it; it served a purpose, and now it is time to let it go. I don’t need the extra weight to protect myself anymore, or the food to sooth me. I am ready to let it go physically and emotionally. Before I got pregnant, I was physically extremely fit. I had a really healthy diet and worked out and ran every day. Lean and mean was my motto. Then I got my daughter and getting back in the game proved to be not as easy as it had seemed beforehand. As much as I wanted to be fit again, it seemed I had lost the high level of discipline I used to have. I just seemed unable to motivate myself to diet or exercise. I knew I was healthy and I was unwilling to force myself to do anything I didn’t want to do. I didn’t fight it, and on a certain level knew it was a phase in my becoming.

When you keep a pendulum in a horizontal position and then let it go, it swings all the way to the other side, and it takes a while for the pendulum to hang motionless in the middle. Today, I see balance as a natural state, all we have to do is allow ourselves to let go of our need to control the outcome by controlling the how, allow ourselves to let go of the pendulum we are keeping in a certain position with all our might. When we let it go, it will sway all the way to the other side and then back, again and again and again until it has lost all the built up energy. This takes time. This is true for any area where we have forced ourselves to be a certain way. I had always reached my goals through sheer force. I was fit out of fear to get sick, I was lean out of fear to be fat. Today, I cannot motivate myself to things the old way anymore. And that is a good thing. In this day and age that is a really weird thing to say, because society seems to thrive on it. I don’t think that is true. I think it creates burn-out and depression and addiction and a whole host of other dis-eases. I think it is rather healthy on my part to not be able anymore to motivate myself to be someone I am not. I’d rather be aligned, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I’d rather feel whole, perfect as I am, enough, than fit a certain picture anyone may have of me.

I want to lose weight, not to be picture perfect, but to feel lean and mean again. I love being a physical powerhouse. I love having an incredibly strong body, I love feeling healthy and ageless. I love nourishing my body with the foods it loves. I love hearing my cells sing hallelujah. I love feeling green on the inside. I love my skin being firm and healthy. I love feeling and seeing muscle definition. I love how my hair shines, my skin glows and my eyes sparkle when I am physically up to speed with all that I am. Having lived it makes it easier to manifest, because I know what feeling I am looking for, I only have to remember it to tap into it, to access it and feel it. Being able see it with my mind’s eye and feel it helps manifest it more easily than anything else I could do. Our body does not distinguish reality from imagination or memory, it doesn’t know if it is real, if we are regurgitating or envisioning something new. And it doesn’t care either. Our bodies will do anything to comply. Basically, what we believe to be true our bodies will do their utmost best to manifest. When what we ponder most of the time is negatively charged, our bodies will be flooded by stress hormones, which will keep us narrowly focused on the thing we fear, constantly triggering our body to release more stress hormones, a downward spiral. When on the other hand what be think about and believe to be true is uplifting and empowering, our body releases feel good hormones and not only do we see and feel the same world differently, we absorb different nutrients, our metabolic rate is higher, we are more likely to make better choices and are open to possibilities. In these past years, I have learned that, beyond a certain point, old school motivation doesn’t work anymore, because it is external and fear-based. If it works for you and you feel good about it, just keep going. As for me, I chose inspiration over motivation. To manifest a body that feels as powerful as I feel mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I will inspire myself on a daily basis by keeping in the forefront of my brain my vision and even more importantly how it makes me feel. I will focus my energy not on a certain diet or on the scale, but on how I want to feel by feeling it already. I will allow myself to be inspired to eat certain foods and let go of others, to feel when I need to eat and when I need to stop, to do certain exercises and not be bothered by others. I will not push no force myself. I will trust my body to follow my vision.

 

Picture by John Nyberg

 





The aftermath

15 04 2015

 

 

Last Monday, I wrote in my journal: Which joy ceilings are inhibiting my joy today? I got some really interesting answers to that question, the most interesting answer was ‘stumbling’ on a youtube video about adrenal fatigue, later that day. Something I never knew existed but which I fitted to a T. It appears we can wear out our adrenal glands during times of high stress. Now you have to know that I have been tired for quite some time. Again. At first I attributed it to my knee, then to family festivities, then to making over my living room, then to the pup. With the pup being here for over six weeks, I am still tired, even more so. At first I listened to the video with light skepticism, because in my mind I had not lived a traumatic or high stress incident before or during this time frame, but then a quiet voice in my heart said: but what about all those intense healing releases you have done, what about all the cortisol that was released during those episodes? Bingo! Of course, how could I have been so blind to the toll this was taking on my physical body? Being tired, for what seems the zillionth time in my life, was frustrating, because I knew I was healing more and more areas in my life and contrary to what I expected to happen, which was an increase in energy, I was getting more and more tired.

Fortunately, the remedy to adrenal fatigue is rather simple. All I have to do is take some supplements and within three to six months all will be well again in adrenal gland land. The big irony is that I was already taking most of these supplements. I stopped taking them because: one, I felt that they were too expensive, and on a certain level I believed I wasn’t worth that financial investment. And two, at the same time, I thought I had spiritually outgrown supplements. I, on my spiritual high horse, thought I had to be able to heal my physical body by merely redirecting my thoughts and emotions. Yes, you can laugh out loud, even mock me if you want to. What I know now is that we can heal our bodies in various ways. There is no wrong or right way. There only is what is right for us in a particular moment, sometimes that is allowing ourselves more sleep, sometimes it is taking a supplement or cutting out a certain food, and sometimes the right course of action will be to have surgery. Our soul will let us know what solution it is aligned with, what is the best option for us in a particular situation. We will know what to do when we listen to that silent knowing. Our bodies are self-healing, but for most of us that doesn’t mean we are above medical intervention, just like most of us cannot live from air alone. Maybe there will be a day in the future when that silent voice will tell me that my body has healed enough to let go of the supplements, and maybe not. I am at peace with both possibilities. Lack of physical vitality is a joy ceiling for me. And I have decided that I will do anything I need to do for my body to feel as vital as possible. As for living on air alone, I will leave it to the hermits in the Himalayas. I just can’t imagine good food being a joy ceiling for me. Maybe in another lifetime. Hopefully not.

 

Picture by Emy M





Energy anatomy

8 04 2015

 

 

When you are a frequent reader of my blogs, you have heard me talk about chakras before. I don’t refer to them often, but on occasion I do. Usually, I am hesitant to talk about the subject, not because I don’t believe in their power, but because of their popularity in the woo woo industry. Just google chakras and you know what I mean. Because of the high degree of sheer nonsense written about chakras, I did not feel particularly attracted to them, had even referred them to the new age bullshit bingo, long ago. Ironically, they found me in spite of their woo woo reputation.

It wasn’t until I got so tired I could not function normally, five years ago, that I started accidentally learning more about them as I listened to Carolyn Myss’ Energy Anatomy and with the help of a psychodynamic therapist healed not only my learned powerlessness, but also my sense of being separated from everyone else. After I worked with her, I started becoming aware of my energetic body, the flow of energy and the blocks that hindered the flow; dams may be a more appropriate word in my case. I learned to focus on the blockages and feel them. I learned that a block in the flow was energy that had stopped moving, and that when I placed my attention on it and felt it without judging, the energy would start moving again. I learned that when I kept at it, no matter how uncomfortable it felt, the block would dissipate, the energy would start moving through again and I would feel freed up. Think of it as a clogged sink drain. The blocks of resistance would be concentrated around what the ancient indian wisdom tradition called chakras and my experiences would match a lot of what it said about that chakra. I have learned that the chakras are linked to each other and some more than other; it is a highly logical system. As I was working on blocks in the area of my second chakra which has to do with our creative power, I noticed an energetic loop with my fifth chakra which is linked to our expressive power. And last week, as I was releasing old energy in my throat (fifth chakra), I also felt a release in my womb (second chakra). Which makes perfect sense, as creativity and expression are closely linked. Yesterday, focusing on my brow chakra (sixth or the third eye chakra), I also felt movement of energy in my heart (fourth chakra) and an interaction between the two, which again makes perfect sense, as vision cannot exist without trust and cannot be executed without courage (coeur meaning heart in French).

Looking back on my journey, I first descended into the abyss. The chakra elevator took me down from the head into my core and then it started moving up again. Going down was a slow ride in which I had to let go of the preconceptions I had about who I am, it was an unmooring, an untethering, an opening up to all that I am and a letting go of all that I had learned I should be. Going up is a much faster ride, it is a coming into all that I am, a falling into place, a becoming of all that I am and a letting go of all that is still hindering that. I unmoored from all I believed I should be and am mooring to all that I know I am.
I haven’t yet fully released all there is to release in the throat area, am still sore physically, yet I am already pulled into the energy around my brow. Tiring to say the least, but so very worth it. I know that I am coming full-circle. I am almost back up again, reaching the most upper levels of the chakra elevator. To be honest, I can’t wait for that to happen. It’s funny to see that talking about this process still feels uncomfortable; I talk about what I know to be true, yet, apart from my hard-lived experience, I have no proof. A knowledge that does not come from books, that has no scientific evidence (yet) to back it up, and yet I am the living proof that what I have done over these past years really works. Reaching my crown chakra and allowing it to be healed, will be a crown on my work. For over fifteen years, I have unknowingly worked towards it. It has been a slightly different career than I envisioned and the project took a bit longer than I anticipated, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I never imagined being me could feel soooooo good.

 

 





A lump in my throat

1 04 2015

 

 

Eckhart Tolle calls it our pain body, Carolyn Myss calls it our anchors, and Mario Martinez calls it our joy ceilings. Most of us have it / them, and for some of us they are dense, heavy or low. They are the unprocessed traumas, unchallenged acquired beliefs, the stories woven around them, and the emotions attached to them, we are not aware of. They keep us mentally, emotionally and vibrationally stuck in past experiences. They keep us small on all levels.
For the past years, I have been clearing my basement of traumas and beliefs, of stories, of feelings of powerlessness, of abandonment, of loneliness, of grief, of sadness and anger. Last week, I opened a box and was presented with even more sadness. It is dark in the basement, I can’t see how many boxes there are left. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I don’t know how much more sadness I can take.

Last Friday, I said to myself: ‘What if I admitted to not knowing what I want?’ What if I allowed myself to just not know what I really want?’ Those magic words opened a box that I have been avoiding for many years. I always knew it was there, but I never was ready to look inside. Instantly, my jaw clenched in a semi-open position and an uncontrolled wail started coming out of my throat. There was nothing I could do but to sit it out. It was so weird, and painful, and scary, and sad, so sad. After five minutes, my jaw relaxed and the wailing stopped, but the pain and the sadness just kept pouring out. They still are. I am taking it slowly, I can only take so much.
Not being able to express what I wanted as a kid, I started censoring myself, not allowing to want what I wanted, simply because I believed my parents wouldn’t approve, manufacturing desires they would not only approve of, but that would make them love me. I became very good at that. Ever since, all those years, I have been frantically trying to find the sense of direction our desires provide, always missing the mark. Not knowing where to look, not trusting myself on anything. Always trying new things, convinced this time it would work, but they never did. I tried harder than anyone I know. Always in vain. So much pain.
Today, my throat is sore, my voice is almost inaudible, my ears tingle, my mouth feels dry and my gum is sensitive. Sadness is only skin deep. I don’t know what I want. I’m scared of what it might be. Even though I have no clue what I want, I am afraid of my desires, they feel wrong and sinful – in the traditional sense of the word. Like Adam and Eve, I feel naked, vulnerable, exposed. I don’t even know if this life is the life I want. I am scared to death it isn’t. I am afraid I will hurt the people I love the most. I am so afraid that I want something so different from what I have now, that the life I want will be incompatible with the life I have. If I could close this box again, I would, but I can’t. No more playing small. No more pretending. No more false confidence. I really, really, really don’t know what I want. There, I’ve said it. And even though it hurts, it is liberating, freeing, to let go of a script I wasn’t even aware I was following. I am clearing my throat.

The pain and sadness we have stored in our bodies in our lifetime, at one point or another, is weighing us down emotionally. Feeling the pain, allowing ourselves to go through the feelings, memories, stories and beliefs attached to it, we loose emotional weight. Our pain body gets lighter, anchors are loosened and our joy ceiling gets raised. Letting go of lower vibrational experiences we stored in our energetic body, we raise our base frequency. And in raising this frequency, we more easily attract into our lives higher vibration emotions like joy and love, because we can only resonate with people and experiences that vibrate at our frequency, like attracts like.

 

picture by Steph P





The sins of the father

25 03 2015

 

 

I can tell you this, raising a pup is hard work. Apart from all the physical demands it brings, it activated some core beliefs that I held unconsciously, like “I do everything wrong” and “I only have one shot at everything I try”. Those two kind of highlight why I don’t like starting new projects and why I stop before giving myself the chance to succeed. For me, the most interesting though was “I am never ever going to make my dreams come true”, because while the other beliefs do explain a lot of context, they were easy to let go as I was not attached to them in any way The latter, however, really challenged me as I so much wanted it to be untrue. I so much wanted (and partly still want) to achieve professional and financial success. Yet with this belief anchored in the experience of it not being so and my ever-deepened need to make it so, I will never be able to make my dreams come true.
So, next to walking the pup, training her, cuddling her, and being licked all over, I started to work on releasing this belief – steeped in lack – of never ever going to make my dreams come true. I asked myself, could I accept that this is all there is, that it will always be this way? That hurt. And whereas I would have expected to feel this in my gut area, it was my throat that tightened. I felt like choking. And as I am writing this, I can still feel a strain on my vocal cords, as if I have a big lump in my throat. It felt and still feels like not being able to speak my truth, not expressing who I am.

Before I go any further, let me say this. I have said it before and I will say it again, I love my dad to bits and I appreciate his presence and how he has helped me to grow into who I am today more than I can ever express in words. And even though I no longer adhere my parent’s religious beliefs, I don’t hold any resentment towards it. Yes, it twisted me up big time, but any strong belief would have done that, because I was programmed to want love more than anything, even more than my own identity or my sanity. I simply was a very impressionable girl with a very authoritative and religious dad, and that created some very freaking awesome outcomes. Freaking awesome because it pushed me over the edge and landed me on a path of self-discovery and realization that I most likely would not have known otherwise. So even though it is the road less traveled, and I sometimes wished it were easier, I wouldn’t want it any other way. This is the perfect  path for me.

Back to my vocal cords. Back to not being able to fully express myself, to what is holding me back, to the pain I stored there by not expressing who I AM in order to be loved. Like most kids, I learned very early on in life that I was not able to speak my heart and mind in front of my parents. I imagine most parents get from mildly upset to sad or angry, like my mom would. My dad, on the other hand, would simply say that it wasn’t so. As a young kid, you don’t question your parents, they are your superheroes. Later, I would ask, ‘but dad, couldn’t it be this way?’, and the answer would invariably, authoritatively, be ‘no, it is this way.’ No doubt, whatsoever. I stopped asking. I remember being 26 or 27, sitting in the car with my dad, having a conversation, I can’t remember the topic, but I do vividly remember not agreeing with my dad and mustering up the courage to ask for the first time in a very, very long time, ‘but dad, couldn’t it be different?’. The answer was ‘no, it is this way.’ Mustering up more courage. ‘I believe it to be different,’ I said for the first time ever.  Both of us, dumbstruck. ‘Really?’, he eventually asked inquisitively. Even more courage. ‘Yes, I believe it to be this way.’ Silence. ‘Mmmm, you might be right,’ he then said. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. It was like discovering the world had always been upside down. My dad didn’t need people to agree with him, he needed people to see through his act and challenge him. I had been sacrificing my voice for nothing. He still loved me, and if possible even more. Ever since that day, I regularly give him a piece of heart, allowing him to get out of his mind-made cage, if only for a moment. He never says it, but I can feel in his hugs that, on some level, it is appreciated.

It was a big step towards freedom. Subsequently, it took me about 15 years to get from becoming aware of my own lack of expression to being able to release the adopted beliefs that limit self-expression and the pain that they have accumulated over the years. The thing with adopted beliefs, especially when adopted early and held for a long time, is that they tend to generalize. Not only did I stop expressing myself and doubting every single idea I had, I also, unconsciously, started adopting other people’s beliefs over mine, especially my dad’s. The sins of the father will be visited upon the children. One of the meanings of sin is to miss the mark or to fail. Without being aware, I adopted my father’s limiting beliefs and allowed them to limit me. Living his beliefs I was missing my purpose, yet at the same time they instilled in me a deep desire to live the life I was meant to live, a life of reconnecting and healing, a life lived through and co-created with Source. Full circle, no sin, just grace. I believe Source is expressing itself through us, creating and recreating itself in every moment, just as we are. I intend to live that fully.

 

picture by Miguel Ugalde





Unconditional self-love

11 03 2015

 

 

Downstairs, in a crate, there’s a puppy, our puppy, Caatje ([ka:tj!] for phonetical buffs). We’ve had her for one and a half weeks now. She is a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e, and a handful. Boy! Even though I prepared well, I wasn’t prepared, at all. The thing I hadn’t expected was the mental load, the amount of space having a puppy takes up in my mind. Not to mention all the old fears that went rampant. Being confronted with this entirely new situation, where I do my best but most of the time have no clue what I should do, triggers fears I thought were gone but apparently left some residue.

Last week, I wrote about finding unconditional self-love. This week, I explored what that means to me and how I can have it in my life more than just occasionally. Because finding it doesn’t necessarily mean dwelling in it indefinitely. Finding it is the first step, being able to access it at will is the second and remaining there, well at the moment, that still sounds like fairyland. And that’s okay – being happy for no reason felt the same not so many years ago. This week, I took time to reconnect to myself every day, I wrote in my journal and I learned that I could access this space of unconditional self-love when I focused on it. Af first, I fell into my big-goal-setting trap, wanting to dedicate a substantial time every morning to this, but all it did was make me feel like I was falling short, not enough. And I wondered,

“Why is this idea of being enough as I am so hard to grasp? Or is it? What if I just allowed it to percolate? What if I allowed myself to just be enough, BE enough, to be in that space of enoughness, to sit in that space where I am loved unconditionally, to allow it to fill me up? What if that is enough? What if it will grow through the practice of it? What if all I have to do is give myself permission to be sucked in the experience of unconditional love, and let it take hold without me having to do anything? It is easy to be sucked in, because this enoughness, this needing-nothingness, this being-loved-for-my-beingness feels beyond anything I could ever describe, it feels so good! What if instead of making it a big daily thing, I allowed myself to BE enough in the moments when I feel I am not?  What if I gave myself what I am craving most whenever I feel emotional unrest? What if I allowed myself the peace I have been looking for so long, whenever I need it. What if I accept that I have found it and stop looking for it? What if I just practice feeling unconditional self-love whenever I feel out of kilter? What if that is all I have to do?”

Indeed, what if that is all I have to do? And what if this sweet puppy is exactly what I need to practice feeling unconditional self-love? I love how this little puppy, in all its frolicking dogginess, is constantly pulling me out of my comfort zone. I love how her presence alone gets me out of whack enough to go find that space where I am loved no matter how many mistakes I make. Who knew that having a puppy could do that? Who knew?

 





Self-acceptance

4 03 2015

 

 

I am very good at creating to-do lists and schedules. They usually are of the need-to-do-way-more-than-can-be-done and the lots-of-very-boring-tasks kind. I can honestly say that I am a master at that. Having told that, you probably won’t be surprised that I am very good too at setting completely unrealistic and no-fun goals, and then not one but ten at a time. I would always do things drastically, like as of next week, every day, I will get up at 5.30am, walk for at least an hour, exercise for half an hour, eat no sugar, work for x hrs, clean one room a day, do one laundry, keep every surface tidy, blah blah blah. And I would do it, keeping at it for about two weeks, before I collapsed from sheer exhaustion.
Last week, Monday morning, having brought my daughter to school, I made some coffee to start the day and was ready to make a to-do list, when a soft voice in my head whispered. You are allowed to do nothing, remember. I felt relief, and in that moment that same voice said, ‘what if you got your diary instead’. The last entry was a month ago. It was quite high-powered, and felt a zillion light years from where I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling up and at it, but again I walked into my own trap, the I-really-need-to-start-creating-results trap. I really can’t remember how often I got stuck in that one before, but we could call it a theme. The theme usually ends with my body throwing a tantrum and me feeling completely deflated.

So there I was, sitting at the dinner table with a cup of coffee, my diary and a pen. And after I stopped laughing at my own stupidity, I wrote
“What if, instead of all the big blah blah, I will commit to writing in my journal every morning, to honor an ‘hour’ of power, in which I realign. Nothing fancy, nothing out there, just this here. A time every day, no matter how busy I am, or believe I am, to reconnect to all that really matters to me. A time dedicated to the Source that dwells within me and my connection to it.
What if, every day, I just allowed myself to feel and see Source’s presence in my life, to feel peace and see beauty, to feel and see the perfection of everything, to come home, to feel loved unconditionally, to feel heard and seen, to be perfect as I am, to not need to be or do anything, simply because I AM Source and Source is me.”

What happened next was extraordinary. The idea felt like oxygen to my soul, my muscles relaxed and my tiredness dropped. And in that moment, I realized (again, only with more clarity to it) that there is nothing I want more than to connect to this Source of Life, that my deepest desire is to feel ‘the peace of the Lord’. And instantly, I felt the sweet embrace of unconditional acceptance. I felt such tender love, such deep care. I knew what it meant ‘to give your burden to the Lord.’ It is interesting to see that I revert to the language that I grew up with, even though I lost my religion a long time ago. I felt like a small child putting its hand into its parent’s hand, trusting that everything will be all right, trusting it will get wherever it needs to be. It was a powerful experience.
I am not promoting a belief in God or a higher power, but I would love for you to know that somewhere inside of us is a place where we are loved unconditionally. I don’t know what it is or where it is, for all I know it is just part of our imagination. I really don’t care where that feeling originates. What I do know is that it is real, that it is beyond anything I have ever experienced, and it is better than anything I could ever make up. What I do know too is that I am no different than you; if this is available to me, then it is available to you. And no, you don’t have to become a mystic to find it, or do special things to get access to it. It is a space with many doors. And your door will open the moment you are ready to accept yourself as you are. Ask yourself, “what matters most to me, what do I crave more than anything in the world”, and then give that to yourself. As the ad says, you are worth it.

 

picture by Andrey Gorshkov





The other way

18 02 2015

 

 

We live in a word that goes fast, really fast. And the world wants us to go fast too. We need to be productive and efficient, not to get side-tracked, to keep as many balls in the air as possible, and we need to let it seem easy. On the other hand, we believe that life is a struggle, and that things don’t go easy, we have to make sacrifices to make our dreams come true. But what if that just isn’t true. What if our expectation makes it so?

We are all deeply indoctrinated by today’s culture of productivity. It almost is the new god, and I am no longer willing to bow to it. What I have found lately is that I want to realize a lot of things, but that the thing I crave most, most of the time, is time to think and read and do nothing and meditate and release and sit with my eyes closed and sleep and be alone. These notions seem incongruent. How can you realize your dreams without laser-like focus and massive action? I don’t know, but I do know that I feel a lot of resistance trying to make things happen through what is perceived as the way to producing results. What if there is nothing wrong with me?  What if I just feel the need to do things differently. What if there really is another way? What if I stopped trying to make things happen?

This week, as it is a school vacation, I gave into reading and doing nothing, I allowed myself to sit quietly with my eyes closed and do nothing. What if I learned to accept that part of myself? What if I stopped fighting it, and stopped feeling guilty over this non-doing. Part of me finds this very scary. What if I get stuck in doing ‘nothing’? What if that is all there ever will be? I have big dreams, and sitting still and doing nothing does not seem the way to go about that, yet it is what every cell in my body is screaming. Maybe it is time to heed that voice, that other part of myself. Maybe it is time to surrender even more, to learn to trust the wisdom of my soul, to allow my life to be organized by the counterintuitive principles of the universe. It feels like a free fall, letting go of all mores and relinquishing control.

I am perfect as I am. This perfection is not being free of imperfections, it is a cosmic perfection that includes all my perceived imperfections. I am perfect for being me. I am unique, like my thumb print. There never has been and there never will be someone exactly like me. This is what self-acceptance is, not to simply accept our perceived flaws, but to embrace and celebrate our uniqueness. It is the courage to do things our way, no matter what anybody else is saying or doing. It is knowing that our soul won’t lie to us. It is trusting things to work out perfectly, even if we don’t know how, because our soul tells us so. My soul tells me that expectation is key, that I need to expect without a doubt. I don’t know how to do that yet, but I will follow the trail of bread crumbs and start doing things the other way, my way. I will leave my guilt behind me, and read and meditate and release and do nothing with a vengeance. I expect things to work out for the best, because my soul tells me so.

 

picture by Maja Piskorska





Red hot anger

11 02 2015

 

 

If you met me in the past weeks and still like me, you either are a serious people lover, a masochist, or someone who knows me for a long time and knows that I was not my usual self. I mean, I did not even like myself. Releasing on the subject of self-value and self-confidence, I had hit on a massive block of anger. Red hot anger. And where it usually is hidden very nicely under layers of denial and my desire to be kind, it had risen to just under the surface. It was palpable, not only to myself but also to others. Rather unpleasant, always on the verge of erupting. Last Sunday, I could no longer push it down, nor did I want to, but I was not ready to face it either, or willing to explode, so I imploded. Which meant that I allowed the anger run free through my body and mind. Not pretty, not effective, but the best I could do at that moment. Needless to say, I had an interesting Sunday. My anger was directed towards my husband, who was running a 30K that day, which was both the provocation of my anger and lucky for him. Of course, he could feel that something was very off, but I told him not to worry about it, I might be angry because of something he did, and my anger might be directed at him, but he wasn’t the source of my anger. I would process it and then I would share.

It took me the whole day to get to the point where I was ready to go to the source of my anger. I am  not good with anger. My primary emotion is sadness, which I know how to handle. Anger on the other hand is something I have learned to suppress. Anger feels very threatening to me. And after what happened during releasing I understand why. After sitting on the couch most of the evening, venting internally, not able to concentrate on anything else, my husband silently tucked away in a corner, doing his best not to attract my attention in anyway, I said I was going to bed. What I meant was that I was going to release. Something I usually do in the safe space I call my bed.
Releasing this anger was one of the most intense things I ever did. In the process, I discovered that red hot anger is not just an expression, nor is the Dutch saying “je gal spugen” (litterally spit your bile which means to speak your anger). The region around my belly button was so hot you could fry an egg on it, and it was cramping and stinging involuntarily. The energy between my hands was so hot it was actually painful to my hands, and I had to resist the urge to break the interaction. Then there was this horrid taste in my mouth which took me some time to recognize as bile. Yet all this physical releasing was  nothing compared to the emotional part of the process, the raw anger that I felt. There was such power behind it, releasing it was a scary experience. Somehow I felt like I had landed in a live version of The Exorcist. Brrrr!
I felt the anger I had stored for not having been heard, for not having my emotional and physical needs met when I was too young to provide that for myself. I felt anger for my voice not to matter, for it not having been valued, for me not having been valued for who I am. For the first time in my life, I felt the intense anger directed toward my father for not being able to provide the emotional safety and support I had needed as a child. And I felt the anger I held for myself for being so impressionable, for perpetuating the pattern, for not seeing my value, for allowing people to treat me the way they did. And then it subsided. I went downstairs, I gave my husband a hug and went to sleep. I have never slept so peacefully. I felt cared for, watched over. But that wasn’t the end of the process. Yesterday, after watching a masterclass with Harv Eker, when I layed in bed, I noticed a heightened energy around my belly button. I played with it and released whatever needed to be released. This releasing was impersonal and more of a simple energetic adjustment than anything else. And then this morning, at breakfast, after I won our daily game of egg tapping, I felt a giggle rising up from my toes, bubbly like champagne, I just laughed and laughed and laughed uncontrollably, until it subsided minutes later. It was bizarre and logical at the same time. The pain was healed, the process done.

Most people are uncomfortable around this subject of sitting in your pain and allowing it to flow through you. Some because they are afraid of what will come up, because they don’t know if they can handle it and others because they believe that you should not focus on any negativity. To the first group I will say that your psyche will only process what you are ready to process. Remember that I have been doing this for years, and I never got anything that was too big for my plate. To the second group I will say that you have been falsely led to believe that ignoring negativity is the same as positivity, it is not. True positivity is being able to deal with what is happening by facing it compassionately and honestly, instead of sticking your head in the sand and hoping it will pass quickly. Whatever negativity you notice in the world is present within you. Without addressing it effectively, it will keep you back and limit you, until you are ready to feel the pain it is causing you and release it. Any perceived negativity within or without is a misalignment with your true nature, a limitation of your full potential. It is a conflict between your ego and your soul. It is an opportunity for growth and an invitation to expand. Take it.

 

Image by Juan Perez





Some thoughts on releasing

4 02 2015

 

 

In our home, we have a ventilation system that sucks out stale air and blows in fresh air. Last year, we felt it didn’t work that well and we decided it needed to be cleaned. Apparently, we were long overdue and some of our pipes were clogged. So they put a sort of reversed vacuum on it and blew out all the stuff that was blocking the airflow. The results were nothing short of amazing.
Most humans have a clogged energetic system. Built-up thoughts, emotions and even altered physiology are blocking the energetic flow. We are the only species who add insult to injury by resisting what happens to us. We create an emotional story of why it shouldn’t have happened to us, and in doing so we add a lot of energy to the trauma. What we give energy to grows. By adding energy to the trauma, we make it grow in such a way that it not only affects our thoughts, emotions and beliefs, but also our biology.
Part of our transformation process is that we release what is clogging our system. We let go of old thoughts, emotions, and beliefs in order to live life fully. What we need to understand about this process is that there is no one way to go about it. However, there seems to be a pattern in which I go from thoughts to emotions to beliefs.

Releasing thoughts is the easiest and least sustainable. Only releasing thoughts will lead to a relapse where we think the same thoughts we were thinking before. Releasing emotions is more effective and asks for courage, because we allow the emotions we did not express at the time of the trauma and every time the trauma recurred to surface and come out. This can be very painful, because the pain feels as real as it did at the time of the trauma, and scary, because when we surrender to the process, not interfering in any way, we feel very vulnerable. Purging our emotions is a very healthy thing to do, but if we don’t change the deep-held beliefs that cause our emotions it only gives temporarily relief. Releasing the beliefs takes focus and determination. Beliefs are part of our biology and releasing them is a very physical process. We have to focus on our intention to release the belief that has been written over the original coding, on our energy and on the parts of our body that feel highlighted. As a result our bodies can move and twitch uncontrollably. It can even feel as if something else is working through us. All we have to do is stick with it, until it subsides. When it has subsided, we may feel exhausted, excited and everything in between. We may even feel as if nothing has happened. There is no wrong or right way to feel. What I have learned is that things usually change subtly and over a the period of a few weeks, especially when we have worked on the deepest level.

There is no set period for this releasing process. It may take weeks for me to go from one level to the other, or it may all happen in a day, like it did yesterday. And it isn’t linear either, I can go back and forth between the different levels for a prolonged period of time before it feels done. I have yet come to like it, but I keep at it, because the results are nothing short of amazing.

 

image by Guenter Kirchweger