When life gives you lemons…

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

I love this phrase. This phrase contains sadness and happiness. It directs the reader to make something fun out of something sad. In some strange way this phrase led me to some of the rebirthing sessions I’ve guided this week via video skype.

While this lady over fifty was crying her heart out over not even feeling she has a choice in different situations, she suddenly burst into laughter. Laughter changed into crying again. I was looking at my screen, a bit in doubt, because I wondered if she was laughing or crying. She cleared my doubt by sharing she was laughing. I commented that laughter heals, she totally agreed. I forgot to ask why she started laughing in the first place.

Another lady in her thirties started and finished the session off with laughter. In between she cried her heart and eyes out. She was able to direct her anger towards her parents in stead of down talking herself over and over again. She let out this destructive energy by stamping her feet, throwing her arms around, screaming the hell out of her and jumping up and down.

And this mixture of laughing and crying showed me these ladies were making lemonade. It shows a huge strength when you’re able to laugh when you’re feeling completely miserable.

The lemons given to the highly sensitive people I guide are diverse:

  • Being brought up by parents who are not able to communicate about emotions,
  • Being fired away as a kid by an angry and dominant parent,
  • Too be sensitive is to be weird, dreamy, a crybaby, shy, fearful, anti-social in the eyes of others,
  • Because of childhood trauma’s still living out of fear, anger, sadness, shame and guilt as an adult,
  • Growing up in an environment in which natural born talents were not seen nor stimulated,
  • Living up to parent’s expectations in stead of discovering your own path in life.

It’s up to you to make lemonade out of these lemons. It’s not easy, but it is sure doable. And you will finally fully enjoy your home-made lemonade!

Choosing to emotionally develop takes you to different surprising tastes of lemonade:

  • Embracing your highly sensitive self; yes, you are spontaneous, yes you are quirky, yes you are dreamy, yes you are a “mind & heart”-reader, yes you are attentive to the needs of others, yes you are creative, yes you are … (fill in the blanks yourself),
  • Attracting jobs, relationship(s) and friends which and who resonate with your soul,
  • Feeling safe, loved and appreciated on a daily basis; from self-love comes greatness,
  • More physical and mental energy to do the things you like,
  • Able to choose easily for the situations in which you will thrive and easily turning down the proposals which will drain your energy level,
  • Living your own path and feeling natural self-confident about the steps you take.

If you’re interested in finding out what life coaching and rebirthing can bring you, I invite you to make an appointment for an introduction session, either in my coaching practice in The Hague or via video skype. Click here to read more about the introduction session. 

Si no sientes, no vives

Siente la vida

Hace poco empecé a hacer trayectos de coaching en Español. Aquí abajo lees la reflexión de una mujer que necesitaba compartir sus preocupaciones, dolor y objetivos.

‘Las sensaciones que me quedaron después de esta sesión son las de mucho dolor acumulado a lo largo de los años. Ese dolor proviene de diferentes causas, tales como una ruptura sentimental, la decepción de alguna amistad y también provocado por mi forma de ser, es decir, porque soy una persona que siempre está atenta con los demás, que estoy acostumbrada a dar mucho y a recibir poco y todo eso junto ha provocado en mi persona un agotamiento físico y psíquico.

Por otro lado, cuando hicimos el ejercicio de ponerme a mi en un escenario recordando la ruptura sentimental, como ya te dije, no me gusta verme así. En aquella época yo estaba muy triste y sinceramente, pensaba que se iba a acabar el mundo para mi. Por ese motivo, como ahora empiezo a sentirme triste y no quiero volver a vivir todas aquellas cosas, quiero expresar como siento y quiero ser sincera conmigo porque en aquella época no quise reconocer mi estado anímico (de tristeza) y en la actualidad, si que lo reconozco, precisamente porque quiero encontrar una solución.

Yo siempre digo que para poder superar las situaciones difíciles o las situaciones que nos duelen, lo primero de todo es reconocerlas y a partir de ese momento es cuando puedes empezar a mirar hacia adelante. Precisamente, yo ahora me encuentro en esa fase de haber reconocido como me siento y estoy intentado volver a encontrarme como persona.’

Break the cage and fly

Happiness

Another blog about my man Arnold Baldé. The day that he would perform at Spoken FM he got disappointed at first. The presenter of the event announced on stage that only three people were chosen to perform that evening. Something inside of him snapped. He worked hard to write the poem he wanted to perform. The nerves were cracking him up and there was a big chance he couldn’t share his message. He got to a point he wanted to go home; tired and suffering this enormous headache. A friend who accompanied him to the event kept cool and pushed him in the right direction. Arnold asked the presenter if he was one of the three. No, he wasn’t. He simply said: ‘I would like to get up on the stage anyway.’ This resulted in an open mic at the end. He did it. I’m so proud of him. He is so proud of himself. Even though his energy was super low, he has accomplished something of huge importance; sharing his message, his word, his love. His words are my wings.

Click here to read the poem ‘Break the cage’ 

It is an excellent basement you helped me to anchor

anchor
Of the impossibility of building a house starting with the roof

Chungmei, no, I am not lazy! I am just afraid to write a summary about the past months… Because it is strenuous! Every time you asked to me to write a reflection I had to touch the thoughts of past pain so directly, without any filtering.

Since we met again after years, since you started to coach me, I have been in so many roles: a whole- day-socializing-me, a hopeless loser, the owner of a permanent ticket for the emotional rollercoaster, a tissue which is cheap to get but of superb value, a naysayer, a bullied child, a person demanding understanding of others and a dreamer to change reality.

But after all, after all your “treatment” – is really something different now? 

Well, people change their character, outfit and personality all the time. Even pain either slowly quits the mind or becomes a routine to feel. Now, in my case, I am still socializing a lot. But yes, I do take a lot of time for myself! I tell people online so often nowadays – sorry, I am busy, I can’t chat with you right now… And I focus on work instead. I don’t waste my energy anymore with useless people who just want to exploit me with their moodiness… Moreover, I don’t think I am such a big loser anymore. Just a small loser. And according to some people, a cute loser. No, don’t demand of me so soon to forget my former pretentious “life-partner” – his actions and those of his followers struck me so hard, it engraved itself so deeply into my mind, as it had changed my life so profoundly, and from the happy medium self-confident person I used to be I turned into someone still doubting about being able to work as a scientist after all.

Recently, I was in El Salvador to hold a talk in Spanish. Fully paid. During that week, my former professor in journalism offered me a PhD position back in Germany. A full scholarship! Am I not lucky? Didn’t I finally get what I wanted, after 4 years of struggling for it? After being bullied and being unexpectedly unemployed for so long? I finally would have the chance to combine practical journalism work with scientific investigation. But yes, I am not happy inside. I can’t make out the joy and the passion deep within me I used to have in moments like that years back. Because I still feel so bad about how those friends of my former boyfriend call me names behind my back STILL! Because this really still happens and they tell so cheap things about me, and the real bad thing is that people believe them!

What should I do then? Correct me, if I am wrong. I guess I should feel my core self more. The circle exercises you have done with me inspired me indeed. The imaginative exercises, even though I partially felt like needing a nap immediately afterwards because I felt so much exhausted from feeling too much.

This is what helped me most. And this is where many psychologists simply fail. I am tired of analyzing my self. Somehow it feels like it keeps me away from life, from feeling the vibrating pulse of my surroundings. You followed a different approach, the one of making my emotional world tangible. I like that, as it shows me that there can be more than just my circulating negative thinking patterns. It made me understand that I might have the chance to determine part of my life myself…! Still it takes time for me to trust into my capacity to change reality. Yes, it is all in my mind…

I liked very much the non-cognitive approach where you focused as well on my emotional side. Because I am not someone who can just manage his emotions by the thoughts. I understood only now that I am hyper-sensitive being which means that I perceive anything more intensely than the average person on this planet. Which is a gift for creativity but as well a curse as it comes to emotional turbulences so quickly by overstimulation. I know how hard it is for me to regulate those emotions, I know now that many people just don’t have the capacity to understand how intense my emotions can become. Therefore, I learned from you that I need to protect myself from it. And there is no discussion about it.

Yes, during the last months, I found a job, I found a really nice flat mate, additionally, a good friend is now staying with me for a month and we both understand well, I found so many nice new friends, and perhaps there is even someone to share my life with soon. But it will take time to feel the real enjoyment about it. It is an excellent basement you helped me to anchor – but I am still away from reaching the roof. Knowing what is behind me and supposing what is still ahead of me.

Can I determine my own life?

Who is in charge??!!

Can I determine my own life? Or am I just a kind of victim of the circumstances? Western liberal thoughts tell us that we are responsible for our fate and life ourselves. But what is in our hands and not? Sometimes it depends on our frame of mind how it reveals itself to us.

In our last session, after a break of some months, for the final time, my coach tried to set my frame of mind into a different direction than the usual one! So again I had a chance to create the mental map of life, visualizing the actors and situations…

Chungmei asked what would preoccupy me still now, after this long summer break. Well, people can last quite long in your memory, not ready to leave the space they occupy… My bosses… my former boyfriend… some other friends with whom I had some small problems over the summer…

Most of the hour I spent with eyes closed. Not like the other times when I saw into the eyes of Chungmei. This time, I had to focus – who was in which distance towards me positioned in which direction? And how did I wanna change this? Where did I imagine those people?!

I had done this practice before. It took some courage to go into it. But this time, I managed very confident, and very quickly. “It is my boss who is out of the circle!” I said, my former boyfriend banned too! Never ever I wanted to see or hear or feel them again. They were out of my imaginary circle!

But two other people were not out – my parents! I just thought of them so much, I wished they would be so close to me! I imagined them there, besides me, knowing that the only way to achieve this in reality would be to compromise so much. As they were just themselves. No one was about to council or coach them. They had their own rhythm, their own ideas of life. It is just left to me to
accept it.

This is the bridge from imagination to reality, from will to compromise. However much I love them, it won’t change the love they will feel towards me. And there is nothing left to accept it. It is a mixture of desperation and being ready to accept the things as they are. The best chance of any world! A new kind of realism. Which will work out perhaps in the long term!

Presentation for the Association of Shy People in the Netherlands

Yesterday I was present at their annual reunion and gave a presentation/ interactive workshop about how to bind people to organisations. How to keep your member motivated and enthusiastic to play an active role in the association. The afternoon was split in two parts. Before the pause I spoke about the importance of having a vision and a mission and how you can effectively use communication as an instrument to keep the members of an association motivated. I asked for their full cooperation so we could hand the board of members a lot to think about. After the pause I led a workshop with the theme ‘Moving in Freedom’.

My challenge was to get this group of shy people participating in what I was about to discuss with them. So to start of my presentation I said to them: “With such a big group of shy people I can’t expect nothing less than an huge amount of responses!” This remark got the crowd laughing and the ice was broken. To create a safe atmosphere I used an NLP technique and everyone started smiling and I could start off with everything I had planned.

The crowd provided a lot of information about how they see the vision for their association. Images like water, fireworks, a rollercoaster, green nature, a little duck on water, a butterfly, open curtains where the sun is shining through would get them moving towards taking more initiative, feeling comfortable within a crowd and feel playfull and calm. It was so much fun to motivate them to share their ideas.

After the pause I gathered the people in a circle and got them moving on salsa music. The exercise was to imitate me in my movements and this was only the warming -up. After the warming -up it was their turn to come up with a movement which we all would imitate. It was fun and the movements were inspired by dance, sports and clapping. They all got to the third challenge to stand in the middle of the circle and show their movement to get us moving again. Moving into the last exercise I turned of the music and for everyone who wanted to challenge themselves they could stand in the middle of the circle being quite and feel the attention of the crowed. I was happy to see that so many people felt the courage to do so. Some even surprised themselves, because they also enjoyed to be in the middle of all the attention.

Coachee Seline: Now I feel like undertaking action again

Through the internet I came across the website Orchid of Life. I had been looking for a coach for a while and visited a lot of websites. When I saw the website of Chungmei it immediately appealed to me. The tone of voice and the images are very personal. This was exactly what I was looking for.

The intake session at Chungmei’s practice confirmed the positive feeling I had. It wasn’t a clinic office, but an environment in which I felt at home right away.

My personal goal was to go through my life with more self confidence and a feeling of being relaxed. In particular at my work I felt insecure and I was scared to make mistakes. Chungmei knew how to get to the core of my problems. She made sure that I gave my own answers to my own questions and this resulted in a new feeling of being at ease with myself. My insecurity was the cause of getting stuck in my life. I did not have the guts to take new steps and I was afraid to fail. I also was scared of what people might think of me.

Through doing fun and sometimes confronting exercises I moved towards my goals step by step. Each and every time the conversations and exercises gave me energy. Now I feel like undertaking action in doing fun things in my work as well as in my personal life. I started going to the gym, I often meet with my friends and I go to my work with pleasure. Finally I can say:

I am who I am and that is fine!

Seline, 2008.

Would you like to be coached? See for more information the website Orchid of Life -LifeCoaching