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.

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FilmTip: A Monster Calls

Someone I coach shared this movie with me. The movie helped her to acknowledge her wounded inner child. The pain was caused by witnessing her mother being psychologically ill. The mother she needed as a child wasn’t available.

HSP coaching: longing for a positive change

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Photo by Hans Jongman

The one phrase which reflects my work as a life coach and rebirther for highly sensitive people is ‘I felt self-love from within’. This phrase came from a highly sensitive and creative lady who is in her thirties. After her first rebirthing session she repeatedly shared how amazed she was by what she felt in her body. Just before this amazing feeling in her belly which she described as a feeling of fullness and happiness, she felt tension flowing out of her body through her arms.

She could make a clear distinction between this feeling of self-love from within and the self-love she formerly knew as thoughts and actions directed by her head. This was way better. She felt her inner child on her chest telling her all sorts of happy things like ‘Yeah, finally!’ and ‘What shall we do after this session’. Her inner child was quite content and super happy she broke through her fear and anger.

The voice of her inner child had a counter voice which she felt at the upper right side of her head. This voice was like ‘No way, this can’t be it’ and ‘You’re not there yet’. In daily life she is held back by this critical voice, this voice was loaded by negative comments and limiting thoughts and fuelled by fear, lots of fear. She is taking decisions out of fear. One of the reason she came to me was that she had enough of this fear.

It was time for fear to get the hell out of her system, out of her head, her body, especially her head.

She is longing for a positive change. She wants to embrace her sensitivity fully. She wants to feel more energy. She wants to finally attract a life partner who fits her life and needs.

I have the exact recipe for her to follow. After years of seeing psychologists, undergoing different therapies and acting studies she has come to the point to process deep-rooted fears, anger and sadness. She has always felt different. She wasn’t heard as a child. She was criticised by a parent. The recipe is to express the pain which her body and mind have hold onto for so long.

Fear is longing to be embraced by unconditional love.
The tears of her inner child are waiting to be shed.

With this first session she has peaked through the door towards the life she desires to live. It takes a huge amount of effort, energy and courage to walk this path, but it is worth it, all the way.

Are you 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. 

HSC: birthday party fun without hassle

Photo by Ouxu Cheng

My two kids are highly sensitive. I am highly sensitive, my husband is highly sensitive. As a highly sensitive family we keep on learning how to listen and react to each others needs to thrive in this world full of entertainment. Last weekend we went to a birthday party in Amsterdam. The preparation for the birthday started in the car, my youngest fell asleep immediately and my daughter was relaxing by holding onto her big bear friend. No music, no cartoons, no talking.

This birthday party was definitely highly sensitive proof.

  • The birthday lady was walking barefoot,
  • They served sugar free goodies such as banana egg pancakes with whipped cream, blue berries, strawberries and marmelade, coconut-date bonbon and a chocolate banana egg cake,
  • People withdrawing to other rooms to look up some quite time,
  • Moms breastfeeding,
  • No music.

We had loads of fun. I love socialising and meeting new people, but at the same time I like to blend in the crowd by talking to friends we hadn’t seen for a while. That feels much more comfortable than immediately making small talk with someone I don’t know.  Same goes for my daughter.

Amé stood close to me, observing the room and the people. The best thing about a party, according to my daughter, is eat the foods they serve. Though she didn’t dive in immediately, she needed some time to land. After having encouraged her to choose her pick, she took her plate to the balcony where the other kids were playing. Instead of connecting to the kids she focussed on her plate. Afterwards she wanted to go outside, because inside it was too warm for her. Arnold and I decided to split up, he went outside and I stayed in with Dían.

Dían also needed his time to get used to the house, the atmosphere and the people. He sticked with me or Arnold. After Amé got back from playing outside she started playing with a girl. They went from room to room and finally I found them sitting with a lady who drew images on their arms. I talked to her earlier and Amé, at that time still taking her time to get accustomed, apparently eavesdropped. To her big surprise she found out this lady is a professional illustrator. Amé took the opportunity to ask her to draw tattoos on her hand with the tattoo pens she had brought with her in her handbag. Afterwards Amé said:

I was perfectly prepared for this party by bringing my tattoo pens.

We arrived quite early at the party, one hour and a half, after it had started. Slowly, new guests were arriving and the noice of people talking to each other got louder and louder. When I started breastfeeding on the balcony it was still doable. New guests joined us on the balcony, Dían was ready drinking, he sat on my lap and made screeching noises. He wasn’t happy at all. I understood and we went to a spare room. He immediately revived. He started smiling and moving around the room. He is fifteen months and I am so happy with our communication.

From the moment he crawled out of the spare room I knew he was ready for more action. I have seen him playing with a friend of ours who was playing with him and interacting with the cat under the table. Meanwhile we were socialising in the open kitchen. I still had an eye on him, that’s my mommy-mind, but I was super proud of him being at ease. Later I caught him playing alone, but not for long, a new friend came along. This twenty-something young male was autistic and loved to connect with Dían.

We had a wonderful time.

Both kids dealt differently with their birthday experience. Driving back home they both stayed awake. Around eight Dían fell asleep without any hassle, but it took Amé more time to fall asleep. The next day Amé slept in and Dían took his nap earlier than normal and slept for like an hour and a half. This is how they recovered. And of course we provided them the time to recover. We had no other appointments than being in and around the house organising and cleaning.

In retrospect, I am very happy and satisfied we took this last-minute decision to stay in The Hague in stead of going up North visiting family. This way we definitely have enjoyed the birthday party in full in stead of being super tired by travelling from one place to another.

 

HSC: re-organizing quality time and recharging energy

Photo by Ouxu Cheng

May Holidays in The Hague. It’s such a blessing to free up time so easily with the work I am doing as a life coach. Yesterday my holidays began and my first working day will be next week Wednesday. Yeeaahoe! That means quality time with my family, sleeping in, bake, cook, organising our house and having more time to create fun business related but also personal related stuff.

And yes, it would have been wonderful to go on this trip to the North of Holland for a couple of days, but we cancelled it. We organised it a couple of weeks ago, but last Monday evening we decided to skip it. Mostly because of the sleeping rhythms of our children. Our youngest Dían is learning to sleep in his own room. Since his room is next to his big sister Amé, she is temporarily sleeping in another room. His possible crying or I-am-not-ready-to-sleep-mode could keep her awake.

During Easter we did go up North to visit family. Although we had fun it was actually very tiring. Dían had trouble sleeping at night, probably processing all new impressions and smells of the room we slept in. Yes, we are a super highly sensitive family. The way he slept and didn’t sleep kept me up at night. Logically, the following day I was extremely tired. And when I am tired I am not a fun person to be around with. I am not in the mood for talking, nor playing, not anything.

We were conscious about this experience, but somehow forgot it when we were busy making plans for a fun trip.

Luckily it kicked in last Monday evening. Right on time. Better to cancel than to be overloaded by extra impulses and coming back to a messy house. Now we have more time to organise our house and recharge our batteries.

And even best, to spend quality time with each other.

Today we had a friend of Amé over. They played with Dían, he was in play-heaven while receiving so much attention and interacting with them. They went outside to pick flowers to make necklaces and bracelets, but when back they used the flowers to make perfume. In play everything is possible.

While they were having a blast I caught myself being a wanna-be-slow-parenting-mom. Dían played on the balcony, showed me his dirty hands and I took a wet towel to clean his hands. Amé friend said ‘it’s sand, you can just wipe it off his hands’. Aha, indeed, by using a wet towel it got even worse, because, of course, he immediately put his hands on the floor and they got even dirtier. Hmmm…reality-check wanna-be-slow-parenting-mom! Secondly, after they returned, the floors were covered with soil and flowers. I vacuum-cleaned second time around and then it hit me: why not wait with cleaning until play-date is over? Gosh, I think I need a specific course in letting go off the cleaning and start playing.

Finally, after all baking and preparing foodwise for Kingsday, I felt space to play along. They totally got psyched by the idea of me giving birth to a baby. Dían was my cat, but as soon as I would have given birth to this ball I had wrapped around my waist with a scarf,  Dían the cat would turn into my newborn who would need breastfeeding. I had to give birth sooner than expected because Dían asked for breastfeeding.

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. 

HSP: when perfectionism meets self-love

Photo by Hans Jongman

Do you know those people who want to do everything perfect? Who put lots of time and energy in investigating what stuff to buy or which holiday to book? Their minds are unstoppable, they go over different scenarios in little time. They have high standards and  if the product or service doesn’t live up to the standard you will definitely hear from them. Or they feel a strong need to change it themselves when they have the knowledge and skills to do so.

For example, this newly wedded couple went to Ireland for their honeymoon. They booked their 5-star honeymoon through a travel agency. From the moment they passed the doorstep of the hotel an awkward feeling crept up this man’s back, the perfectionist. When he saw a glimpse of the bathroom he almost jumped out of his skin. He was outraged. The shower was very basic plastic and it looked unclean. The toilet tank was constantly running. He was very disappointed. His mind flooded with thoughts of making a fuss with the hotel manager, fixing the bathroom flaws himself, pulling his hair  out of his head and filing a complaint at the travel agency. He didn’t put any of this in action, because of their newly wedded state. He didn’t want to make matters worse.

But meanwhile he had to calm himself down. If it was for him he would never ever book a trip like this anymore through a travel agency. He would rather book all the separate parts of the trip himself. He needed to control things. The need to control is certainly one of the characteristics of a perfectionist. In his mind he is, in most situations, the one who will do the job better. Because of this and because he want to see a certain outcome he feels the need to control others as well. As for receiving criticism, a perfectionist will take this very hard or won’t be bothered at all, because he himself is his worst critic.

Perfectionist usually don’t take time to relax. They use up all their time to perfect outcomes. Behind this behaviour there are different emotional needs hidden. There is this need to be acknowledged for who he is, for acceptance, for receiving compliments and enthusiasm for his input. He has a strong emotional need to be applauded, because up until this point his ego is his motor. If he doesn’t fuel up his ego he will collapse, because his soul is weakened and sad.

There is always this fight between the ego and the soul. What would fear do? Fear wants to flee or want to continually work on better performance. What would love do? Love would be happy with the path and the outcome as long as you had fun doing it. Don’t we all want to feel self-confident in a natural way? Perfectionists are insecure, cause who they are and what they do are not enough.

In order to heal from perfectionism I am strongly convinced these people need many encounters with love, unconditional love. If you are a perfectionist and you are reading this, ask yourself this question ‘What do I get when perfectionism meets self-love?’ Below I present to you the answers.

  • Transformation of the critical voice into a loving voice
  • Be a fun person around others when things don’t go as planned or when other people mess up
  • Imperfection: being ok with failing
  • Less thinking, more trusting on gut-feeling
  • Less energy in research, more into creating
  • Being able to receive compliments and give compliments
  • Being satisfied with whatever you accomplish
  • Being able to ask for help & delegate

I have seen these outcomes while coaching highly sensitive men who regard themselves as perfectionists. It’s pretty confronting, but if you had enough of your critical mind and you are curious and motivated to work towards building a natural self-confidence, it will be worth your time and effort.

Are you interested in an introduction session? Click here for more information and to book an appointment.