Flow: Connected to the Stream of Life

Last weekend, Sunday to be precise, we had a magical day. Our car was at the garage. That’s why we decided to go by train to a birthday party. From door to door it would be little less than two hours. At first I thought this would be crazy; travelling with two kids who would be exposed to a continuous flow of impulses with a minimum chance of both of them taking a nap. But then again, it was all a matter of our attitude towards the trip. So I decided to enjoy every step of the way.

Our first encounter took place in the train. We met a lovely bright-eyed lady, she was radiating pure love. We started talking, because of the kids. I believe kids and animals are quite often used as a stepping stone to connect with people. But soon enough the conversation changed to exchanging our food habits and our view on how to eat clean. The lady, brought up in Zimbabwe and now living in the South of England, mentioned that she craves for salads and fruit. She also bakes with buckwheat, alternative grains and coconut oil. Arnold’s food heart was especially lifted up by this meet-up, because of his vegan lifestyle.

The lady works as a painter and uses her art to support and guide disabled people. Suddenly, in a flash of pure excitement, I said to her: I have a gift for you. She answered with a blush: ‘A gift? But meeting you and your kids is to me a big gift. I brought along books which were recently self-published. She was very happy to receive a copy of the Dutch book “Ben ik boos? Dan mag dat!”. It is on how to deal with anger when you are highly sensitive. She immediately thought of her sister who works as a biographical counsellor. She would be interested in this book.

After this lovely encounter Arnold and I exchanged a few words and lots of smiles, because we felt the same. By having decided to go to this birthday party by public transport we stepped into the flow of life, of exchanging our highest selves, our ideals, simply who we are connecting with other beautiful and loving souls on a mission.

The second surprising encounter took place on our way back to The Hague. We met a very sweet Brazilian couple with their dog. Again, thoughts on food were exchanged. Arnold’s vegan mind shook hands with Brazilian BBQ and fastfood lovers. At the same time they were indeed conscious about food. This all came about because of their dog. This dog was skinny at first, he refused to eat canned animal food. He only ate when he was starved; he would stroll to his food at 3am in the morning. His health condition alarmed his bosses. They dived into the information on animal food and discovered that canned animal food would contain the worst parts of the meat. Not to mention chemicals and other non-nutritious ingredients mixed into the food.

They decided to go for healthy. Their dog gets to eat cooked vegetables and raw meat from the butcher. They admitted with a huge smile that their dog eats healthier than they do. Although, of course, this was a bit exaggerated. During the week they would focus on healthy foods and weekends were for fastfood. And all the while I was thinking: Oh my god, their dog taught them to do conscious food shopping! Fantastic.

Our last encounter took place in the bus. Our youngest is such a social guy. He puts effort in locking eyes with woman. This time he met the eyes and soul of an Indian woman. I noticed she was struck by pure love. She kept on saying what a sweet boy he was. She was travelling back home. The Netherlands has been her home for 15 years. I asked her about the Indian community in The Hague, because I love the Indian-English accent. She didn’t know, because she was a part of a diverse International community due to working for an international organisation. Then I asked her about the best Indian place to eat in The Hague. She gave the best possible and surprising answer, namely: “My home”. We shared laughs.

This Sunday turned out to be one of our favourite days in 2017. The flow we stepped into took us to Zimbabwe, England, Brazil and India. It took us to having these interesting serendipitous encounters. Actually, in my view, every encounter is a chance to share your highest self, to share your view on life, your heart, your soul. It makes the world a lot friendlier and cosier, where ever your from and where ever you reside at this moment. The encounter taking place feels like creating a home where you can laugh out loud, be curious, ask questions, receive and give. I love it.

A few days later I received an e-mail of the lady who received my book:

Lieve Chungmei,

Firstly I would like to say how much I enjoyed meeting you and your lovely family. It is through these surprise encounters that I feel so enriched and connected to the stream of Life! Your book has been such a gift to me for which I am very grateful. I am still reading and digesting it, but will give you more feedback later. I just wanted to touch in and thank you ‘voor het cadeautje’!

Veel groetjes en het allerbeste met je mooie werk!

I feel the same.

By the way, our kids did great. Even though it was an exceptional long day for them.

I wish you enough

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I Wish You Enough

Recently I overheard a mother and daughter in their last moments together at the airport. They had announced the departure. Standing near the security gate, they hugged and the mother said, “I love you and I wish you enough”.

The daughter replied, “Mom, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Mom”.
They kissed and the daughter left. The mother walked over to the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see she wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on her privacy but she welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”

“Yes, I have,” I replied. “Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?”

“I am old and she lives so far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is – the next trip back will be for my funeral,” she said.

“When you were saying good-bye, I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough’. May I ask what that means? “.

She began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone”. She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled! Even more. “When we said, ‘I wish you enough’, we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them”. Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.

I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.

I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.

I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.

I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.

I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.
She then began to cry and walked away.

They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them but then an entire life to forget them.

Source: a friend who posted this on Facebook.

Love: writing letters

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As a child I wrote lots of letters. We were on the move. Leaving behind friends at the age of 8 and 14 made me write letters to keep in touch with friends. I used to keep all letters neatly in lots of shoeboxes. But life continued, we lost contact, we weren’t friends anymore. At this point I decided to throw away most of the letters. I kept the ones which touched my heart deeply.

A few weeks ago, at age 36, I picked up this almost long-forgotten letter writing. I’ve already written a few letters. I must admit I absolutely enjoy the act of hand-writing as opposed to typing on a laptop. I take more time to think about the things I would like to share. The stories are more to the point with here and there a wink of the eye whilst typing makes me share loads of details.

Moreover the act of hand-writing gives me the pleasure to choose paper and a envelop which could elevate the receivers mood. Seeing the possible colors and drawings and feeling what could match with the person I’m writing to definitely elevates mine!

In this age of immediate contact via different social media channels I would like to recommend hand-writing to you. I remember the joy of receiving a card or letter when I was young. I also remember the joy of knowing that someone I love would receive a part of my life. A third aspect would be the fleeting moments thinking about when my friend would write back. All these feelings are unchanged after all these years of not writing. I feel the same enjoyment of writing and all feelings related to being in touch with a beloved one.

Only the big difference nowadays is that I receive my “reply’s” via whatsapp and Facebook messenger. Haha, no going back to the good old days. The only person who understands me is my great grandmother who will turn 90 years this year. She hasn’t responded yet. I love waiting for our next moment of being in touch.

Lo que quiere de ti…

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No me interesa saber a que te dedicas. Quiero saber qué es lo que añoras y si te atreves a soñar o alcanzar lo que tu corazón ansía. No me interesa saber que edad tienes. Quiero saber si te arriesgarás a parecer una loca por amor, por tus sueños, por la aventura de estar viva.

No me interesa saber que planetas están cuadrando tu luna. Quiero saber si has tocado el centro de tu propia pena. Si has estado abierta a las traiciones de la vida O te has vuelto marchita y cerrada por miedo a más dolor. Quiero saber si te puedes sentir con dolor, tuyo o mío, sin moverte para esconderlo, diluirlo o arreglarlo.

Quiero saber si puedes estar con alegría, tuya o mía, y si puedes danzar libremente y dejar que el éxtasis te llene hasta las puntas de los dedos de tus manos y de los pies, sin advertirnos de ser cuidadosos, ser realistas o recordar las limitaciones de ser humano.

No me interesa si la historia que me estás contando es verdad, quiero saber si puedes desilusionar a otros por ser sincera contigo misma, si puedes resistir la acusación de traición y no traicionar a tu propia alma.

Quiero saber si puedes ser fiel y por lo tanto confiable. Quiero saber si puedes ver belleza hasta en los días feos, y si puedes nutrir tu vida desde la presencia de Dios. Quiero saber si puedes vivir con fallas, tuyas y mías, y todavía pararte en la orilla del lago y gritar a la luna llena plateada…¡Si!

No me interesa saber dónde vives, ni cuánto dinero tienes. Quiero saber si te puedes parar después de una noche de pena y desesperación, débil y moreteado hasta los huesos, y hacer lo que necesita estar hecho para los niños.

No me interesa saber quien eres, ni porqué estás aquí. Quiero saber si te puedes parar en el centro del fuego conmigo sin encogerte. No me interesa dónde, qué, o con quién has estudiado, quiero saber si te sostienes desde adentro cuando todo se cae a tu alrededor.

Quiero saber si puedes estar sola contigo misma y si verdaderamente disfrutas la compañía que mantienes en tus momentos de soledad.

Khalil Gibrán