Joy & Happiness

Lean into Joy (and abundance will follow)

No matter how many times I read about it and hear about it, I still seem to struggle with the simple fact that we should always, and I mean always, lean into joy in life.

And by leaning into joy I mean to trust our excitement, and our passion to provide us with all that we could possible need.

Your soul chooses for happy

Too often we have old-fashioned ideas about abundance, and how to achieve it. I received this lessons again last week. You see, I’m not highly motivated by money, but of course it’s on the top 10 things to look for in a new job for example. After all, I deserve to have a comfortable life with nice opportunities. --> Read more

Personal growth

Following the blueprint in life

I wish I had a blueprint in life. The kind that everyone else seems to be having. Or maybe I did receive it as well, but I must have misplaced it.

What do I mean with a blueprint of life? A guide, a map, a step-by-step flowchart that tells you what actions to take at a certain point in your life. What studies to take, what jobs to pursue, what kind of life to live.

Blueprint of acceptable life

It seems to me that so many people accept this blueprint we call ‘acceptable life’ and without questioning they take it, frame and base their life and decisions upon it. The benefit is that the blueprint has all of the answers, so you don’t have to think about any of it yourself. What studies to do, what career to choose, when to marry, have babies, to buy a house and what car to drive. It will tell you all of the essentials needed to being a functioning adult in this world.

It seems so easy. Just follow the lines, follow your blueprint, never questioning whether it actually makes you happy, never questioning whether it’s what you want to do or if it even makes sense. You just do it because … that’s what one is suppose to do. And it’s easy because everyone else is following the same blueprint.

But what about us in the jungle?

Making your own path

And then there is me. A woman in the jungle with a machete. Everyone else is taking the beaten track somewhere along the same mountain slope, they whistle and laugh as they go along, they travel in packs and they know where the path leads them. It leads them to the same place, through the same experiences. It leads to acceptance by society, place of no questioning and a place where everything is as it “should be.”

Somehow I cannot join them. Somehow I am always in the jungle with my machete beating and hacking down my own path. And it’s hard. The machete is heavy, the jungle is thick, the air is heavy and I am sweating. Every single step is new, and if I don’t beat it down, I stand still. There is no path, nothing is done for me, nobody has gone here before. Sometimes I stop and look around me, I see exotic birds and views that take my breath away.

I am on to something, but I don’t really know what it is. I am beating and swinging and a path will appear, one swing at a time. And one day it will make sense.

But when it’s dark, when I get lonely, I wish I was with everyone else. In the land of the blueprints where everything is similar, where your life makes sense to everyone around you, where no one asks you questions about your choices because their choices are exactly the same.

The price of not conforming

Choosing the jungle means you always have to explain yourself. Why are you standing alone with a machete in the woods? Why do you choose to live like this? Nobody is living like this, it’s not normal, they say. For someone your age with your background you should be doing something else, you should be living somewhere different, you should own something different and you should follow the blueprint!

What they are really saying is that you are disrupting my concept of normal, and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Please stop. Please return to the path which I know so well.

I often long to belong, yet I cannot lower my machete. I sometimes long to conform, until I remember that the woods are magical too. And I’m sure there are thousands of ladies like me, holding their own in the midst of a thick jungle, making a path that is new and entirely their own.

Why do it?

Because maybe, just maybe, one day I will stand on a mountain of my own.

Maybe, just maybe, someone is following me and I have to be brave.

 

Manifesting

How to manifest the essence of your desires

How to manifest the essence of your desires is not always so simple.

A good friend of mine sent me a message the other day. She had been walking the streets of Vienna late in the evening, thirsty. Her bottle of water was empty, and there were no stores open anymore. So she thought she will start asking for a water fountain where she could refill her bottle. As she walked the quiet streets, she was imagining seeing a water fountain. As luck (or the Universe) would have it, she soon entered a small square, and in the center of the square was a water fountain! YES, it worked, she thought, pleased with herself. But as she got closer, she noticed a sign on the fountain – Out of Order.

I had to laugh when she texted me her story. I just love the sense of humor and directness of the Universe. After all, my friend received just what she asked for.

So how can we avoid this amusing trap of receiving what we ask for? By learning to ask for the right things, and more specifically, the essence of things.

How to manifest by asking for the right things 

When manifesting fun things from the Universe, it is important that we focus on the essence of what we want. Often we just get lazy and ask for more money (or plane tickets), thinking this will somehow solve all of our problems. But in order to be able to tell the Universe what it is that we really want, we need to speak a language it understands.

The trick to an abundant life is learning to recognize the things that would fulfill your deepest needs, and things that would serve as tools to help you grow. Money or a new car rarely will fulfill a deep need, so what ever you want, dig a level deeper. What would those things give to you?

For instance, I’m currently in the fun and playful process of manifesting bicycles for me and my husband. This is something I can imagine myself having, I think positively about it, and I intend to have it (all necessary for us to actually receive what we ask for). But what is the essence of my desire here? Just a bicycle doesn’t really fill my deepest desires in life.

What I actually want are the feelings and experiences I imagine to have with these bikes. I wish for experiencing sunny summer days together with my little family, wind in my hair, seeing the expression on my sons face as he discovers the world with us. I wish for freedom, connectedness and love. This is what the bicycles mean to me, this is for me their essence.

The essence of what you want

Everything we want has an essence like this, buried deep within the layers of our lives. What do we really want? We want a life full of joy, love and laughter. We want to feel a connection to others, to creatively express ourselves, enjoy meaningful activities and feel secure in our existence. If we are not clear about the essence of what we want, we may end up getting exactly what we asked for, only to realize that it didn’t really fulfill us like we hoped for.

If you are stuck in an unfulfilling relationship, do not ask for a new man / woman to enter your life, because most likely you will just receive the same qualities but in a new package. Instead, ask for the things you really want – respect, hugs and kisses in the morning, someone to go running with you, someone excited about the same things you are.

Are you ready to receive?

After we have started to manifest our desires, and sent out magnetic thoughts and feelings, it’s time for us to to open up and be ready to receive what we wished for. When we focus on the essence of things, the very thing that we want can take what ever shape or form the Universe sees fit. And does it really matter? No, not really. Maybe I will not get the two city bikes with baby seats on the front, maybe I will get something even better which will allow me to enjoy sunny summer days, wind in my hair and a feeling of connected love with my family. It is also an art to recognize the manifested wish when it arrives at your doorstep.

I have fallen into this trap many times, asking for what I thought I wanted instead of focusing on the actual essence of things. Once I wished for money to be able to travel abroad and attend a yoga training. But in fact what I wanted was a teacher in my life to show me how to grow and develop in my yoga practice. That was the essence of my desire, joy of learning and growth, and through that a deeper level of self expression. Well, I didn’t receive the money, but I did receive what I was asking for.

Recognizing your answers when they arrive

I got a first class yoga teacher to come to our little humble beach resort for a month to teach our guests (and me). This was a teacher that had taught the A-list stars on private, exclusive resorts. A teacher that I would never have been able to afford on my own. But a teacher who ‘somehow’ (thank you Universe) felt that she needed to give back and spend her Christmas break teaching for free. But it took me weeks of having private daily practice with her before I realized that this, indeed, was everything I had asked for. It just didn’t come in the package I had thought of.

And my friends, it rarely does.

We usually can imagine one or two ways of our desire to travel to us, and mostly those are relatively common, boring ways. The Universe on the other hand delights us with infinite ways of receiving gifts, all we have to do is be open for these variable ways, and recognizing them when we receive them.

So next time you go about your manifesting business, be sure to dig deep enough to find the essence of what you are looking for.

 

Joy & Happiness

Why happiness is a choice

Happiness is a state of being we all seek, as if it’s something grand and majestic. We seem to structurally forget that happiness is actually hiding in the smallest of moments in life.

It hides in every choice we make and in every thought we think. Although we cannot always influence what happens to us, we surely can influence how we look at the things that happen.

Monday morning blues

Last Monday morning I decided to choose happiness. It was a conscious choice, and it took effort. But I chose it, because I didn’t like the alternative. As the events unfolded, I was living my Monday morning in two different scenarios at the same time. Both based on the same events, but both radically different.

There was the Monday morning where the weather was gray and rainy. I had to wake up at 6.30am in order to leave the house at 8.30am with my 2 months old son (getting ready and leaving the house takes slightly more time now, and one always needs to plan extra time for the unpredictable). We got to the train station on time only to notice that the train we were suppose to take was cancelled.

Traveling alone with a buggy is fine, as long as you catch a train with a low entrance. My next option was in half an hour, which was too late. So I took the next Intercity train (faster, but with steep steps, so not buggy proof), stressed whether someone would help lift my buggy in and out. Once in, I stood uncomfortably in the corridor for the entire journey, since the lady next to me was occupying the only seat. She was way too fixated on her Netflix to notice my struggles.

On this gloomy Monday the elevators were full, the wider entrance gates (good for moms and dads with buggies) to the subway train platforms did not work, people were grumpy and running me over. On this Monday I stood on the rainy platform witnessing full subway trains pass by, hoping the rain would stop and that I would fit into the next one.

All this effort just to have a cup of coffee with old colleagues!

Choose wisely

Luckily there was an alternative, and luckily I only needed to change my thoughts to access it.

Finally a less crowded subway train arrived, and I fumbled in. At least my baby boy was still blissfully asleep. As I reached for my phone, I wanted to tell everyone about the EPIC HORRIBLE morning I was having. I wanted to recount all of the unlucky events I had faced, milk it to the bone and play the poor victim. My mind was busy making a story out of the morning, going over it again and again, and with every replay I felt worse and worse.

Until something within me stopped and asked  – are you going to milk the past few minutes for the entire day? Are you going to let the last hour ruin the rest of your day? Are you going to arrive to your coffee date pissed off and angry, because your commute didn’t go as planned?

I decided not to.

Another kind of Monday

Because there was also another kind of Monday hiding in it all. A Monday full of light, beautiful fall colors and fresh scent of rain.  Sure, my train was cancelled, but it gave me the opportunity to practice asking for help. There was a lovely gentleman who helped me into the train with the buggy, and on his way out asked if I needed help again. There was another lovely human being who said  ‘You go in first‘ when we were waiting for the elevator down to the station hall. Bless these people for shining their light on me, and why is it that we don’t whip out our phones to text about these kind of interactions to our friends?

On this Monday I had enough time and I arrived to my coffee date on time. I had a wonderful time with lots of hugs and laughter. On my way back I walked through a questionable neighborhood and saw two large men sitting in a small car in front of an apartment building. My initial reaction was to cross the street and pass the car from the rear, but I decided to stroll on by with confidence. One of the guys leaned out of the open passenger side window and comments: “Hello beautiful! Yes, I just had to say it.” 

On that morning I decided to take it. So I smiled and concluded ‘what a fine Monday it is, and I AM beautiful!‘

Wire yourself for happiness

A podcast interviewing the founder of the World Happiness Summit tells us that we humans are wired for negativity. Positivity has no influence on human survival as such, but looking out for danger and possible things that could go wrong, has. This heritage still lives on today – when we have something negative happen, we want to share it with as many people as possible (this asshole did this to me, can you imagine!!), but when something positive happens (a kind stranger helped me today), we rarely say a word to anyone.

My Monday morning commute is a small example of the constant storytelling we do to ourselves. Because honestly, how many times a small, fleeting negative moment has stayed with us for the rest of the day? How many times have we milked an incident or a negative comment until everything else on that day felt negative too?

Wiring yourself for happiness doesn’t always come easy, it takes practice and focus like any new skill we are learning. The beauty is that it’s up to me to choose the thoughts I let in, and to choose the reality I get to live in. So you bet I will choose the best possible version for myself.

 

 

Law of Attraction

Why your current reality is old news

Sometimes we lose faith in the Universe, we pick a fight and yell “Where’s my stuff, I need it now, I have been good, deliver it to me already!!” Because if we don’t see it / taste it / hear it, it clearly does not exist, right?

Wrong.

The juicy truth about the Law of Attraction is that we are not here to observe our reality, we are here to create our reality.

When we observe our reality, we trust our senses and make conclusions based on this. What we see or don’t see, what we can touch or not touch. And we think this is the reality, we think this is all there is. If we lose hope, we may conclude that this is all there will ever be. But as Abraham (via Esther Hicks) so cleverly puts it, the current reality is old news. What IS, is old news!

Co-creating a new reality

The reality we can observe with our senses is the result of our manifestations. It is the result of our vibrations and our askings. Hence, old news. So why focus on it? Why obsess about what we see or don’t see, why spend all of our energy and thought power on the current? Instead, we should leave the observable reality for what it is, and focus on what we want to see. Think and dream and feel what we would like to attract into our lives, this is why it’s called co-creation. We are co-creating our lives with the Universe, we are the creators, movers and shakers of our lives. But we can only co-create if we are not locked into the current reality.

How fast the Universe delivers what we are asking for depends largely on us. More specifically, it depends on the level of resistance we have towards the things we are asking for. In other words, how worthy do you think you are of the things you are asking for.

If you want to play with the Universe, it’s nice to start with something easy, something that is not your main issue in life, but something light and fun where you have no resisting thoughts towards, whether or not you believe you will get it or not. Like ladybugs! Ask for ladybugs! Play, focus on all things possible, and enjoy the flow of co-creation.

 

Personal growth

What is the essence of your identity?

During the early summer I was walking the streets of Helsinki, Finland (my home country and city where I lived for 3 years before moving to the Philippines). The sun was shining, my step was light, and I felt the familiar power I had when I used to live there. I was independent, in love, free and felt successful. I was a 30-something urban woman who enjoyed the freedom of double-income-no-kids. Weekends were filled with croissants in bed and dancing in bars.

Although my step was light, something heavy was slowly fogging my mind. I realized that I would soon have to go through a major identity-shift. Somehow I expected it to be a hard one, because I felt so attached to my well-fashioned identity of freedom.

Who decides who you get to be?

But what does that really even mean? Why is it that we are so attached to our earthly identities, which are nothing but stories we tell ourselves (and others) about who we think we are? It’s all just a collection of stories about life as we think we know it, while in fact we are none of the things we cling to.

Still I recognize this forced shift of identity, and the pain and confusion related to it. It feels very real. A loss of something familiar, a mourning of different versions of me. I have been here before.

Going from a married woman to a single lady was a big adjustment to my identity. All of a sudden everything I had based my identity on was gone. In fact this was part of my biggest crises in life, and one of the most valuable lessons to learn. Do not hang on to material things, they will come and they will go. But back then, I was the stable lady with a marriage, dog, house and a BMW. When that changed into a rental flat, a bus and nobody to spend Sunday afternoons with, I suffered.

With losing the marriage I also felt like I lost myself, and it took a while to build myself a new comfortable identity. Who was I without all those things I left behind? And how strange that my entire identity would shake because of this. Of course the self I lost was not nearly as exciting as the self I found, and to this day I’m grateful for my challenges.

The same identity crises awaited me when I fell in love after being single for a while, and entered a relationship with my current partner. I had to give up the single-and-free status I had built for myself, and become a domestic person again. And now, we are about to become a family, I am about to become a mother. Holy shift, how will this go down?

Identifying with our stories

So what makes us so attached to our stories? Why do we fabricate these endless fables about who we are, what we like and what we do, and then stick to them like prisoners? Are we afraid of not existing without them? That we don’t know where to belong or what choices to make without framework. Why is it that only a crisis or a major shift will wake us up from these self-induced dreams, and force us to look at the stories more critically?

I don’t attach to material things as much as I used to, but I notice that I do attach to many other elements – ideas, ways of living, ways of being, identifying with a group of like-minded like-doers. As if I do not exists unless I have a storyboard of who I am. And doing something different than what is written on that storyboard is confusing not only for me, but also for my fellow humans who would like nothing more than to keep me in my box, safe and sound.

I call this madness.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about this upcoming change about to take place in my life. What in my identity needs to change, what is it really that I will go through, and why does it seem like such a big hurdle?

The essence is in the space

Since an identity is only a combination of stories we tell, I am free to recreate myself every day. If I am not my stories, my past events or my fantasies about the future, who am I? Since I am not the things I own, nor am I to be defined by the relationships in my current earthly life, what is left? At the end of the day I am not my body, my thoughts or my feelings.

So who am I? What is this identity I keep referring to?

Dr. Wayne Dyer gives a great example in one of his talks. As he holds a simple green vase in his hands, he asks what makes that vase a vase? What is the essence of it? It’s not the material the vase is made of, because should you break the vase, all of the physical elements of the vase would still be there, but you could no longer call it a vase. The essence, therefore, is in the space within. The emptiness between the walls of the vase is the key element of the entire thing. The emptiness, the space, the essence existed before the physicality of the vase, and it will exist after. The essence exists independently from the physical object. But the physical object cannot exists without the essence, the space.

I suppose it’s the same with us humans. The essence of us exists before, during and after this physical manifestation we call a life. At the end of day, we are only space and light. Energy, love and eternal light.

Manifesting

The difference between dreaming and manifesting

I write a lot about intuition and about playing with the Universe to manifest things into my life. I write about it because I feel with such certainty and experience that this is something we all can enjoy, and it’s something we can easily do. But if you are not so familiar with your superpowers yet, it can feel very fluffy and intangible. If you have no real life experiences with playful manifesting, it can feel like you don’t know where to start.

This morning I was listening to one of my favorite podcast shows, Hay House World Summit (pretty much anything that Hay House produces is awesome). This time there was an episode with Sonia Choquette talking about the three best superpowers we all have; Meditation, Imagination and Intuition. She had such a great way of bringing the concept of manifesting into words that I wanted to share it.

The gist of it all? Do not hope for things to happen. Do not force or convince yourself that something is possible. Do not wish upon a star. Just simply KNOW that it is already happening.

Daydream your life away

When I think about creative living, it’s not so much about creating art or other elements we associate with the word creative. For me it’s about creating your entire life, creating it as we go, creating as we want it to appear. And this all starts with imagination. If you cannot imagine it, you cannot create it. If you cannot expect it, it will not find its way to you.

We understand this in business or in entrepreneurship. ‘Can you imagine…‘ has been in the minds of many entrepreneurs before they started to create their ideas or businesses, eventually bringing something new into this world. We often dismiss imagination as something childish, but it is, as Choquette calls it, a very important superpower.

When we want to dream big, we fist need to imagine big. The bigger the better, because if we cannot even imagine it, surely the chances of it manifesting into a reality will be much less. The trouble often is that our imagination is very limited. We tend to think in the context of the box we already live in, thinking that the possibilities that are available to us are according to our past or according to that which we see around us. Dreaming bigger and bolder may feel crazy and unrealistic. But of course it is unrealistic! You are creating your reality, it is not yet real, but that does not mean it will not get real.

Be out of your mind

When I was working in a corporate office in Finland, I entertained myself with crazy thoughts. ‘Can you imagine…‘ I would say to my partner, and then the dreams would pour out. One dream in particular would not leave me, the dream of living in the tropics doing something completely different, doing something we both had no experience or training in. But in my imagination it was all possible. In fact, in my dreams it was already a reality. In my visions I saw myself on a beach, lively and vibrant, happy and content. My future self was calling to me across the space and time, saying ‘See, I’m here already, it is possible, now get over here!’

In my reality I started to take small steps towards that dream, and Universe reciprocated. Until one day not long after those initial imaginative silly thoughts (well, 1.5 years but is that long?), we sat on a plane flying towards our dream. For years I would swim in crystal clear waters, the color of our company logo, imagining swimming in the dreams I created, in the dreams I made true by being out of my mind.

There are other examples as well. Have you read the funny story how I manifested plane tickets for the two of us between Finland and Philippines (which came with the additional gift of 5 nights in various 5 star resorts for free)?

Or like I wrote last time, I manifested everything I now have, to the exact salary and (almost) exact starting date of my job.

Stop hoping, and start knowing

But of course you also have dreams. So what is the difference between dreaming and manifesting? Maybe you have been dreaming for years, wishing and hoping, taking actions, but nothing is yet coming. So what’s wrong?

The final secret is not in the hoping, but in the knowing.

I cannot tell you how to give yourself to the Universe and trust. Except that the Universe would tell you: I heard your prayer, now trust my timing. The main principle and idea of Law of Attraction is that you cannot attract that which you are not. You only attract that which you already are, you only attract that which you already have. Tricky, but actually not. What it means is that you have to get into the same energetic frequency with your dreams and desires.

Esther Hicks, one of my all-time-favorites when it comes to playing with the Universe calls this “getting into the vortex.” Basically it means getting with the program of joy, playfulness, trust and knowing. It means shifting your focus from the lack of not having the things you want, into imagining having them already, and feeling the feelings those things would bring you. Love, gratitude, happiness, excitement, you name it. Universe doesn’t match your thoughts, hopes and dreams, it matches your frequency. Your energy does not lie, and if you are only focusing on the LACK in your life, your energy will only match with more of that which you already have. Not enough.

Don’t get off the train

The main point is that we will need to find a place of knowing. A place where you have no doubt in your mind that what you are walking towards is actually happening. The same way when you are driving from one city to another, you trust that if you just keep driving to the right direction, you will eventually get there. You are not in agony wishing and hoping you will get there, you are not doubting your direction or your ability to get to your destination no matter how long the journey. You trust that your car (or the train / plane) will take you where you need to go. Only when you get off the train in mid-journey filled with doubt and confusion, you will obviously not get to your destination.

What helps with achieving this certainty? One of the other super powers Choquette mentions is meditation. Which means, creating space and stillness to connect with who you are within. This is the place where we can sit within the peace that we are, and feel the connection to the larger things in life. It will also help with feeling your intuition (the third superpower). Meditation will help taming the rattle of the mind and to allow the connection to soul to appear again from underneath.

So where can you start? What dreams are you going to manifest into reality next? Start playing with small things, and enjoy the endless playfulness of the Universe!

Joy & Happiness, Personal growth

Are we failing or are we growing

I must admit, during the past months I have felt like I have been failing instead of growing. Like I have given up on all that is important, everything I strived so hard for, everything I worked so hard for during the last four years only to return to the same spot where I left years ago.

Except it’s not the same, not even close, but it was not the future I imagined myself having either. At least not the future I imagined when at the end of 2013 I quit my job after 1.5 years of retraining and coaching, and sat in a plane with a one-way ticket to the Philippines.

Sure, I am happy with my current state of affairs. I received everything I asked from the Universe, yet again. A year ago I made a list of the things I wanted: to live in Europe (close to Amsterdam preferably), to work for someone else for a change so that my creative side could take a break, to earn a decent salary while remaining flexible and not stressed out, and to work with fun people. I have all of this now, all of it. Even the exact amount on my account every month as I wrote on my yellow post-it while sitting on the front steps of my ocean side bungalow a year ago.

So why the feeling of failure?

First Attempt In Learning

It seemed like I had forgotten all of the reasons I wanted to come back to Europe, and all of the reasons why I wanted to settle down for a moment. For years I had been striving and pushing forward on my own, being the first bird on the flock flying thousands of miles in a short period of time. I needed to rest, my creative juices were dangerously low and because of that I wanted to lay low. After one of the grandest adventures of my life so far, I was simply craving rest.

Why did I forget the age old saying: If you are tired, learn how to rest, not how to quit. Somehow I was afraid that my resting was synonymous for quitting. And that made me sad.

Lucky for me my employer has provided me with a year long training focusing on personal development (love!), which includes four private coaching sessions. During my previous coaching session I had one clear goal. I needed to figure out a new plan for myself. A new direction, something to dream of, something to strive towards, since clearly without a plan and dream I don’t function well.

Over a hot cup of tea and few too many biscuits my coach reassured me. F.A.I.L. was just First Attempt In Learning. She made me write down all of the things I love and am passionate about, and we gave the project a name, Future 2.0. I let out a sigh while giving this name to my project, and sheepishly said “because I have to do it all over again.” Meaning, I already once did this, I struggled with my job, figured out something else to do, quit my job, swore never to return while setting off into the sunset, yet here I am, back to START.

“Do you think life is constant growth and success?” asked the coach. “People try out things, do different steps, you go two steps forward and one step beck. Nothing that you have done is lost, and nothing in your future is locked. Everything is possible, and doing it all again is not failure, it’s simply a chance to do better.”

So there I sat. Looking at the fat cats in the garden, and continuing to draw more inspirational words on the large paper on my lap. Yes, if I have done it once, I can do it again. The familiar energy and excitement started to bubble within. I wanted to jump up in joy and excitement. I felt the fire, I was back on track!

Future 2.0

After an hour session I sat with changed energy. I was grounded, my breath was deeper and I felt excited. Confident and excited. I have time. At this moment my new project is just a large piece of white paper with words on it I need to connect into a concept. It includes the simple goals I need from my new life – flexibility, creativity, passion, good income and collaboration with fun people.

And I do what I do best. I start slowly to manifest this together with the Universe. Back at home I taped the paper on the back of the bedroom door and decided to dedicate that entire door to my Future 2.0. A simple Vision Board is not enough, I need a Vision Door. I look at it daily, I look at all of the things I love doing and the things that inspire me, and I let it brew. I give myself few years, there is time, although it is difficult not to jump into action just now. But first things first, brewing.

Growth, not failure

I now understand that everything I did in the last four years was just growth. It was playful learning. I dabbled in coaching, yoga, webdesign, concept creation, writing, meditation and other creative pursuits. I learned from all of them and now I need to take it a level further. Kindergarten is over, it’s time to dig deeper, to allow myself to focus. But before that, there is rest. Reboot.

Yesterday I walked along the forest paths and sides of corn fields in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. During the late afternoon I wondered when the corn would be planted, because seeing the tall and proud corn fields was always one of my favorite sights. But now I saw simple grass growing on the fields where corn usually grew, so I asked about it from my in-laws. “Sometimes before the winter grass is planted onto the corn fields. They let it grow, and then mix it up with the soil as natural fertilizer before planting the corn.”

And it all made sense to me. My favorite fields remain, although something else, something much less prominent and magnificent is growing there now. It turns out that nature too needs to take a break, to do something else in between big pursuits. It, too, needs to rest, recuperate and gather strength.

It’s spring and I follow nature. What is one year, or two? I remain true to my purpose, it’s written in my soil.

Joy & Happiness

Space for love

My body now carries two souls, yours and mine.
My body now carries two hearts, yours right below mine.
Just get here, little one, and I will show you the earth.
I will show you the earth and you will teach me of heaven.

I have been steering into my fear for some time already. I feel my heart wants something, although my mind is terrified. If I feel there is a path for me, I don’t hesitate to follow it, although my mind may hesitate and protest. But my heart knows, and I trust it. I also trust that the fear I feel in these moments will eventually subside.

And sometimes within the very thing we fear we’ll discover the key to everything we have been searching for.

The bigger things I fear

One of the things I have always been afraid of, was having children. For most of my thirties I convinced myself, and those around me, that it wasn’t for me. I was deadly afraid of losing my independence, ruining my relationship, losing the autonomy of my body and in general losing my lazy Sunday mornings. No, I thought, I could not risk it. Let other people reproduce, and let me remain independent and unattainable.

At the same time the very thing I longed for most, underneath it all, was to feel connected. To connect with others, with my family, with friends and loved ones. I wanted to shake the existential loneliness I have always felt in my independence. I started to wonder if perhaps all my running around the globe had been escaping the realities of these feelings and fears? Because sometimes, when my guard was down, I felt the tug. But fear always took over and I shut down.

Until my heart knew again, stronger than ever. I felt that a major circle had gone round, a major chapter had ended, and a new one was about to start. My heart whispered, give love a chance. Surrender to love and let life fill you.

So I did.

Come through me

I sent an open invitation to the Universe declaring that I would step out of my own way. I faced my fears and jumped once more, declaring that I would be ready. If someone wanted to come and join us, I would be open. If not, I would be fine as well. I could live with the decision of the Universe, but what I did not want to live with was a decision based on fear. Because that’s what I had been doing all along. Deciding against something, deciding to run away from something, deciding for something based on fear.  And this was not a way to live. I wanted to choose for love, go forward towards connection, I wanted to choose life.

Come through me, my child, if you wish, I am ready for love.
I am reaching within to find endlessness for you, to carry space and to share my power.
I will stand here, both feet on the ground, my heart full of space for all that it is you are.
Beauty, light, love.
We are down here, we are together, we are open.
Come through me my child, if you wish.
The earth is an amazing place.
--> Read more

Intuition, Personal growth

Living in the absence of fear

Freedom has always been one of the main motivators and values in my life. The definition of freedom tends to change, but my desire to be free seems to be written into my DNA, encrypted into my bones and imprinted into my soul.

Lately another meaning for freedom has emerged. I have been musing over the fact that my island escapades of three years were all about the ultimate freedom, until freedom turned into isolation, and space turned into a desert. It got me thinking – what is freedom really, if it’s not sitting on a sandbar watching the sunset with your beloved, and calling it just another Monday night.

And again I want to challenge everything I have, everything I think and everything I believe. I want to start a new search, face my fears again and burn my ego. I want to shed another layer of existence, I want to be free.

Help me and hold my hand

To be more specific, I have started therapy. Real, proper therapy. It takes place in Amsterdam, in a small, quirky house with wooden steps and a front door that opens with a rope. My therapist greets me from the top of the stairs with a smile and an Italian accent, asking me every time what season it is outside. “I haven’t been outside yet, you see.” My therapy takes me to my childhood, from a small room with an old couch, mismatched pillows and a bright orange wall. On the bookshelf behind the therapist I can recognize the book Wild from Sheryl Stray, and I remember reading it in the Philippines. During the afternoon sessions I see crumbled tissues in the bin, somebody else has been crying here too. Somebody else has gone before me.

Everything is an explosion of color and hippy happy, and I wonder if it’s a good idea to be there. At least it seems creative and not overly analytical. Wasn’t that exactly what I was after? A slightly different approach, a slightly different agenda? Bright walls where my emotions can explode onto. What is becoming of this? Why do I want to rip myself open and disappear? Change everything, re-new everything, be re-born and shed my skin?

Because I want to be free.

What is true freedom

In the few sessions I have had I realized that freedom is not so much about lazy Sundays and self-autonomy, it is more about the absence of fear. I am looking for a new level of freedom in which I say YES to life, in which I let myself fully go, in which I dare to show up, stand naked and announce my arrival. A life where I trust that everything has a rhyme and a reason, a purpose and a flow.

Because the freedom I have cultivated has not been much of a freedom at all. It has been freedom the way a prisoner is free. Free of others, free of the demands of life, but isolated and alone. I have been so concerned about autonomy, independence, being brave and being enough, that I have forgotten to learn how to connect. Is it a wonder my business is called reconnect? Who am I trying to reconnect with, if not with myself first.

The freedom I have embraced was the lonely kind. In the end it was about making decisions based on fear, not love. Fear of connection, fear of intimacy, fear of dependency and fear or letting someone see my true self.

Well, it’s time to show up.

Meet my representative

I recently read the book Love Warrior from Glennon Doyle Melton (please, read it!) and among many of her lovely insights she talks about the two versions of ourselves; the Representative, and the True Self. The Representative is the version who knows how to be in this world, to play by its rules and to bring forth the best possible version of ourselves. The Representative is polished, hard and invincible, does not show emotions and functions as a shield under which our true self can hide. Because our true self has feelings, emotions, fears and insecurities. It often finds the ways of the world a bit too harsh, so it rather hides behind the perfect Representative.

Glennon writes that to be loved one must be known. And to truly know someone, you need to meet their True Self, and not just the Representative. The Representative may get respect and admiration from others, but only the True Self can receive love because she is known.

I have been hiding too long behind my Representative. Also because that is the model of existence I received from home. “There is no place for tears, you have to be tough, soldier on and deal with your emotions in your own time.” Which is exactly what I did.

And I called it freedom.
Oh I am so darn independent, aint nobody gonna hold me down!

In the absence of fear

It is only through examining my fears that I am starting to learn what true freedom is all about. It’s about asking difficult questions and not running away. Questions like why is the idea of moving alone to the other side of the world less scary for me than connecting with my loved ones right here right now? Where does this fear live, and how can I let it out?

Because true freedom lives in the absence of fear. But how much can we really live fearlessly? Fear is healthy, right? At least this is what we have been told. But living your life out of fear is not healthy. Making decisions that are based on fear is not healthy.

I want to give all of me in order to reach a place that is true and pure. To be known and loved, to travel through pain in order to arrive to a place called love. To be in love, as Glennon writes, is a place we can enter when we surface from underneath the Representative, when we are brave enough to allow all of us to be seen. That’s where I choose to travel. Into love. And it will be my greatest adventure yet.

And only in love I shall be free.