Moving abroad for a couple of years

ginger juices

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.

Essential nourishment: Start feeding your soul with ‘Chef’

This movie is a must watch for everyone. The joy of cooking, eating and sharing food is contagious. It’s about a chef working in a restaurant going through a life crisis. This crisis takes him to owning a foodtruck selling sandwiches Cubanos and more latino streetfood. The conversations between the chef and his fellow cook and friend are hilarious. The soundtrack definitely supports in spreading the joy of cooking food while dancing. Watching the chef enhancing his father-son relationship by taking his son on their first foodtruck roadtrip is heartwarming. And I absolutely found it inspiring to see a 10-year old executing effective social media marketing for his fathers newly acquired foodtruck business. Watch this movie and get positively effected by the love of the game, the game of life.

On love: The Last

Keep calm and sparkle

sparkle

With so many things happening on the personal front we were continuously challenged on the work front. The past four years haven’t been easy with a burnout husband. Even though he still has this enormous headache we’re slowly crawling our ways up to a ‘normal’ living. A normal living would of course be when he is 100% healthy, but since we can’t plan the date of him being fully recovered, we do our best in our own pace.

We have dreams, big dreams. Dreams in which all of you are included. We strive for a healthy and happy living; mentally, physically and spiritually. Tonight at dinner he told me about someone who inspires him. Someone who trains people to get to know their true voice. He was impressed by his training method and thought he could do something similar; freeing people from their blockages. In his case it would be by moving. His thinking and brainstorming about the topic brought him to his moving core: his free flow capoeira method. A method which can make people of all ages enjoy moving, like they enjoyed moving when they were a child. Teaching people how to enjoy moving and playing around is only one of his dreams.

The thoughts I shared with him were about the ebook I’m writing on anger: how to deal with anger when you’re a highly sensitive person. The writing went well, my mind was crystal clear and that was exactly what I needed to fill the gaps. Now I realize I didn’t share my thoughts on workshops. Thoughts come and go like that. This morning I received two more sign-ups for a workshop I organized on emotion management for highly sensitive people in Utrecht. I was so happy that I started daydreaming instantly about organizing a workshop with a friend of mine. A friend who works as a psychologist and with whom I studied neuro linguistic programming. I saw myself having fun with her while brainstorming about different workshop topics.

At the moment she is super busy so I need to tame my enthusiasm. And that’s good, it’s good to keep my focus. Focus helps to finalize our current projects. Let’s stay calm and sparkle on this road called love.

Love: keep on surprising our loved ones

bday

Up until now I have been surprised quite a few times this year. The feeling of being surprised is wonderful. It’s exciting not to knowing what will happen, but too be honest, I’m really bad at receiving and organizing a surprise. When I’ve got a clue that I will receive a surprise I’m definitely the one who keeps on asking what the surprise will be. And when I’m the organizer it will shine through that I have a surprise on my mind. Well, let’s say ‘practise makes perfect’!

Recently I heard about a nice surprise; a few friends travelled off to Oslo to surprise a common friend who works there as a city tour guide. They joined her tour and blowed her mind! So who are you going to surprise?

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’ 

Nail polish for toddlers. Why?

nailpolish

Yesterday our daughter turned 3. She is so happy to be 3. ‘I’m a big girl now,’ she says. Big girls go outside and play without their mommy and daddy, but with their friends. When we got back from doing groceries we passed by the house of a friend, this girl is one year older than she is. She wasn’t at the gallery so my daughter suggested to knock on her door. Purposefully I walked onwards to our house so she could ask her friend out by herself. The door opened, I turned my head and saw my daughter asking the mom of her friend if she could go out and play. I felt so proud. This morning she wanted to do the same, but hesitated. She turned around several times with an excuse like ‘mom, it has started to rain harder, you should come with me and knock on her door’. I didn’t feel like going so finally she stopped trying.

My daughter succeeded, the mom of her friend allowed her to go out and play. Within a few minutes both girls were standing in front of my doorstep, showing me their nails. Ooh, my god, I thought, her mom polished my daughter’s nails baby blue! I was shocked. The first thing I thought was ‘How could she? She should have asked me first!’ I calmed myself down, because my daughter looked at me with eyes full of hope and joy. She knows damn well what I think of nail polish. Her wish was fulfilled; a few months ago she asked for nail polish and she didn’t get it from us! Now she was walking around with baby blue finger nails. Several thoughts were swirling in my head. Another one of them was ‘her mom only wanted to be nice and give my daughter something’. So I decided to say nothing and let my daughter be happy. The next question was:  ‘I want to have my toe nails done as well’. I said ‘no’. Enough is enough, I thought.

My daughter is more a girly girl compared to myself. She likes necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and nail polish. I’m not bothered by jewelry and I’m not even wearing a watch. Oh, yeah, she likes watches too. Friends of mine do like jewelry so I believe my daughter developed her taste just by watching other people. The object ‘heels’ just popped up. My man thought of  buying her heels in her size as a birthday present. Heels??!!! She already has plastic heels which are far to big, but she is having fun with them. She didn’t got these from us. Highly irritated and surprised I disagreed with this idea. How come you thought of heels? ‘Well, I only crawled up in her head and from her view on life ‘heels’ were the first objects that came to my mind,’ he said.

We got her something she could take outside and play with. It’s a bar with a ring on one side and a wheel on the other side. One should put a foot in the ring, get the bar turning around your leg and jump across the bar with the other leg. Much better than heels. And I will buy nail polish remover as soon as possible. Come on, let’s play as long as we can and be indifferent towards how we look. Especially how we can look more beautiful with all kinds of accessories in stead of shining from within and be happy with how we look in our most natural form.

After I posted the above a friend of my reacted with a few lines of Kahlil Gibran:

About Children”You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

She also commented on my story by sharing that she believes it’s the most natural thing a child does: looking around, being curious and feeling the urge to imitate it in their own way. I read these lines of Kahlil Gibran before and I totally agreed with his thoughts. More so his lines and her comment left me wondering. It even got me talking to my partner. Am I stopping her of being who she is? A person with her own thoughts? The conversation helped me to verbalize my feelings towards the incident in more detail. As parents we are doing whatever we can to let her be who she is. Nonetheless in some situations, like this one, I have a strong urge to share my thoughts on nail polish, because I’m allergic to a world in which a lot of things are influenced by appearance. To keep up this appearance people use all kinds of stuff to show others who they want to be in stead of who they are. Anyhow, my daughter is still not aware of this concept so in her case she likes nail polish, because of the colors. But she is still a child who puts her fingers in her mouth (that young) so why let her wear nail polish even though it’s fun.

Another element of the concept of putting more emphasis on appearance is that it goes along with fake stuff. Fake eye lashes, hair extensions and so on. In the case of nail polish; it contains a lot of chemicals which no one should get in their bodies. I know non-toxic nail polish exists for toddlers, but this is really where I draw my line; I associate these products with the big fake world some people are creating for themselves. Therefore I keep my point of view on nail polish for toddlers. For this once she has enjoyed the look of her baby blue finger nails. But we won’t encourage wearing nail polish by buying it for her. But of course, when she’s older, it’s her choice if she wants to wear nail polish.

Summer’s day in Delft

flower

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.

I live for magic, I live for love

art

Seeing a familiar face. The face of a boy who is now 10 years old. It was the reflection of a friendship. A friendship which started more than 10 years ago with the boy’s mom. Another face I hadn’t seen for almost three years. The day before she felt like watching some film recordings with her son. I appeared in one of the films. She reminded her son about me and told him my name. The next day I was teaching him capoeira. He recognized me, but didn’t know me as Iniciativa (my capoeira name). During the warming-up I saw his face, stared at him and whispered his name to myself. A few moments later I cried his name outloud. All his friends were like ‘do you know her?’ After class they were waiting at the square. We spoke. We reminisced. She said: ‘I can’t believe it. Yesterday we spoke about you and today you’re here.’

Somehow and for some reason our paths crossed again. I was really happy to see her. That feeling was still there; true friendship. 

This experience reminded me of last Sunday. I wanted to watch a film recording my sister made of our daughter’s birth. The first film I watched wasn’t the one I wanted to see. In stead I watched a foto/film compilation about my grandfather who passed away in 2009. I cried all the way through the film. Remembering and feeling the connection we had as a family when he was still physically with us. A few hours later his presence was felt again. Third time. This time it felt like he was gently pushing me to go ahead, to reach out and contact someone I have been missing for a long time.

Whenever we understand and feel love from a higher consciousness it strengthens us. Although fear is felt, we are able to reach out. 

We always have the option to choose over and over again. When something doesn’t feel right, we can choose for something or someone who makes us feel good. Recently I had a strange encounter with an optic. He checked my eyes, told me they were fine, but couldn’t explain why my left eye is weaker. He simply said that it is like that and that he couldn’t do anything about it. I changed to another optic. Several opticians checked my eyes. Why? Because the first optician gave me lenses which didn’t improve my vision. How odd! They do all these tests, but somehow he miscalculated and I had to put up with bad vision for a week.

A few weeks later a friend talked to me about having seen the optician I left before. She wanted a cheaper contact lens. He didn’t listen and tried to talk her into buying other type of lenses. Moreover he said that she could only wear two weekly lenses in stead of montly lenses. Our conclusion was that he wasn’t serving us for our best interest. That feels awful; trusting our eyes to someone who is only acting out of his best interest. It was kind of special that we could share our stories. Yes, we live in the same neighbourhood and we’re both wearing contact lenses. But what were the odds that we would have an awful encounter with the same optician in the same period of time?

We are never alone in a situation. Surrounding ourselves with the right people makes life easier and more fun. Sharing reinforces our instinct. 

This blog is about love, life and sharing. How paths cross and especially why people meet or meet again. While I was telling a friend about a synchronic experience she got goosebumps all over. Exactly on the same day something beautiful crossed her path; an unexpected conversation on a terrace with a stranger. The woman glimpsed at her. At the point of leaving the terrace her curiosity was stronger than her fear of walking up towards a stranger. It resulted in a heartwarming, open and intimate conversation. She was overwhelmed by the fact that it happened. It felt like they were supposed to meet each other.

An instant of recognition can be grabbed and changed into something more. 

These synchronic experiences are magical to me. It feels like I am lifted up towards the sky where all the stars meet. It feels like someone or something is carrying me. It feels like we are all connected to one another.

I live for magic, I live for love.