How we enjoy silence and taking it slow

I had the most exquisite Sunday afternoon I could wish for. I visited someone I recently got to know through my work. When I entered her apartment I entered a fairytale. I entered a different era, it was as if I travelled through time. In the middle of the living room I stood still and absorbed the feeling of magic she had created.

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Hmmm, writing this blog drew me into a pause. I tried to describe what I saw, but I just don’t know where to start. I just leave it like this: it was like a fairytale, wanting to turn the page to read how the story continues, to want to be pulled into the magic, just like I wanted to discover every corner of her house, mirroring her soul.

She poured us tea and the following topics past in our conversation:

  • The pull of the fear of death on train tracks, an intercity train passing by and while standing on heights feeling the pull of gravity,
  • The electro-magnetic field of a smartphone; how you can feel it moving into your limbs and how it enters our eyes,
  • How the digital world is taking over everywhere we go and how it annoys us in respect to connecting with other human beings in public areas and stores,
  • How it is so much easier to learn when you hear the word, read the word and see the object,
  • How we as children don’t want to be restricted and yearned for the attention of our parents,
  • How we enjoy silence and taking it slow.

In the middle of the conversation she handed me this amazing book with beautiful drawings and spells in English: The lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Spells to bring back the words that have been long forgotten in children’s minds. And she shared: ‘How often do we get a book in our hands and sit still with it, feel it? In this digital age in which you go from screen to screen.

I feel so much gratitude reliving this magical experience over and over again. I breathed deep.

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Snow. Lots and lots of snow.

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Snow. Lots and lots of snow. To me it was quite unexpected. I never check the weather forecast. So this day started with a cancellation of a session and more cancellations followed. I only had one session to guide; someone who lives on walking distance. The rest of the day I spent with my kids. My daughter (on the photo) was thrilled to go outside and play in the snow. My son at the other hand wasn’t at all pleased with the snow landing on his face. I had to protect him by changing the position of the buggy. Can you imagine pushing a buggy in this pile of snow? It was quite an exercise for this mom. I loved watching my daughter run around, scraping snow from cars and making snow balls. I even, in between pushing and pulling the buggy, managed to make some of my own and play with her. When arrived at home I was exhausted.

Note to self: always have enough diapers at home. Especially when a snow storm decided to cross through your city.

Life Coaching: let start breathing consciously

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Can you imagine how relaxed you feel after having breathed consciously for ten minutes? No? Well, than I recommend you to start breathing. It will result in a happier and mindful you. But to think of it, it would be much more efficient if we would breath consciously all the time. How we breath is the result of how mindful we live. When we are doing head-work or busy organizing things you could notice your breathing being superficial and short. At the other hand, when we are cycling, walking in nature or doing some type of other sports we notice a deeper and longer breathing. We feel energized by the amount of oxygen entering our system. So let start breathing consciously!

Playing make believe manifests things more quickly

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How children play is a true inspiration. We, grown-ups, should play more. Many people I speak who are in their forties or in their fifties feel either like a 16-year old or a 25-something. Therefore I am convinced that we shouldn’t refer to ourselves as grown-ups, but instead as big children. Somewhere deep in our hearts we all remain children, but the few are gifted with a child’s mind throughout their lifetime. Call it high sensitivity or highly gifted or better, leave it nameless.

I have the pleasure to bring up our daughter who is nearly five years. When we’re on a playground the playground turns into a pirate ship on sea. Because it’s cold on deck we should gather a whole bunch of branches so we can light it up to warm ourselves. Near the playground there was a skate-area. We climbed up one of the skate hills and with only a drop of her imagination she turned into mama bird and I into baby bird. I broke through my eggshells and she catches a worm for me.

After an hour of playing I felt revived. Imagination brought us anywhere we wanted and with this state of mind planet earth turned into a happy place. She and all children are my true inspiration of how playing make believe manifests things more quickly. I have experienced this on many levels of life up until now, but the most recent experience was having written a couple of blogs on food for Den Haag Direct. I had so much fun talking to owners of dining places and writing about my experiences that thought had crossed my mind to write more on food. I thought: How wonderful it is to be invited to eat and write about my experience.

One month later I was asked on a culinary tasting tour through the Hague’s King’s and Queens headquarters. Fantastic!! I had a sublime afternoon with lovely conversations and good food.

Moving abroad for a couple of years

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A dear friend of mine came over to see me in The Hague. I wasn’t expecting her to tell us that she would move to London next year. Her husband got offered a job and they are in the midst of settling an arrangement to move their family including two little kids to London for three years. This has been their dream for many years and they didn’t think a chance like this would come by any time soon. Truth need to be told that she had kept this a secret for me for some months, because they wanted to be sure before sharing this huge news with friends. I was left in shock.

Why? And why so soon? The first emotion that popped up was that I would miss her. That all would be different, even though we have already struggled with meeting up while both living in the Netherlands. Straight after she had told me I opened up to what I was feeling, tears came rolling down my face. She embraced me and I just let it go. To be honest, I am proud to share that I was able to open to all my emotions and thoughts. When I look back at the times I have done this I am sure this started happening from this year onwards. It feels like I have been through a miraculous shift when it comes down to showing my tears to family and friends. I feel comfortable and safe in doing so.

From the moment she lives in London I imagine we would become more efficient in scheduling our get-to-gathers. Perhaps we will start using facetime or videoskype. Many people I know use these means of communication to stay in touch. Like having breakfast on a Sunday morning in ones kitchen while seeing and talking to family in Switserland. Actually I don’t want to think about this future scenery anymore, because I prefer having my friends living around the corner. Even though I would like to have more contact with my friends abroad I tend to keep in touch for a couple of times a year and be so, so very happy when I actually see them.

Of course I haven’t cried all the while she was visiting. Tears and laughter in my life are like two hands holding each other in good and bad times. I took her to the Hague city centre to discover a healthy juice and lunch café named Fine Fresh Food. Their vegan brownie and the savoury juice I tried was splendid. Furthermore we discussed our work and initiatives we are exploring in the field of psychology and lifecoaching.

Oh, I forget to mention one little detail, a few days before she came I literally thought to myself ‘Would I like to live abroad for a couple of years?’. I was surprised by this thought, because it came out of nowhere. On top of this at the beginning of this week our daughter told us she wants to go to England to speak English. Most likely we had a hunch of this message coming our way. I told my quite down-to-earth friend about our presentiments. She laughed and took it lightly. Life is about sharing right? There is no distance in time and space.

Summer’s day in Delft

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Some moments need to be captured. Here my friend and I are at Hills and Mills Pure Food in Delft. Before we sat down we checked the menu. We were curious after the iced tea and water. I tried the Green Goji Açai and my friend had the Rosemary lemonade. My drink was lightly colored red with some ice cubs. To be honest I wouldn’t order it again; I didn’t really taste the goji and it could have been sweeter. The Rosemary lemonade on the other hand was a joy to drink. We tasted all the ingredients separately; rosemary, lemon and sugar.

The photo was taken by my iphone 3gs. I love the balance between the sharpness and blurriness of the scenery, both in objects and color. I was quite surprised and at the same time impressed by the result. Reason why is that it’s getting harder and harder to take nice photo’s with my iphone camera. The object must be still and the light perfect otherwise it will turn out vague or blurry. But I’m stubborn. I want to keep on to this phone until it’s useless as a whole. Perhaps the photo came out this beautiful because I was unconsciously influenced by my friend who is an animal photographer. She is involved in different photo projects and when walking around she’s always thinking of filling the gaps; her creativity on a roll.

That’s why she asked me to step into these giant Dutch clogs. One of the themes she was working on was called ‘Summer Shoes’. Every time we meet I’m inspired by her view on the world; taking time for detail. We passed by a group of youngsters who were having a day out in Delft as a part of a Science week they attended. To keep them busy they had like 20 random assignments. One of these assignments was to take a photo with a Chinese. Hmmm…so they spotted me. They were sure about me being Chinese so they jumped into it with the question ‘May we take a photo with you?’ On this hot summer’s day they weren’t at all creative; photo was taken with all of them (6) standing while my friend intended to persuade them to position themselves in an eye catching way. An unanimous ‘no, not necessary’ was the answer.

We ended our afternoon with buying some essentials from the market; cheese, cherries and eggplant. It was a lovely day, chatting away about our work and all the randomness which crossed our path.