HSP: live from your core and inner strength

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As a highly sensitive person we are characterized by traits such as kindness, good-natured, helpful, attentive, conscious, creative and with strongly developed senses for nature, the emotional side of human beings, babies, animals and spirituality. Based on these characteristics I am convinced that highly sensitive people naturally live more from their heart’s calling. I am not saying that they all have the perfect jobs and that their whole lives revolves around every heart’s desire they have. Some highly sensitive people are still wandering and stuck in a job which holds them back. Jobs which are able to drain them in such a way that they feel waisted and super tired from a day’s work.

Let’s get back to a highly sensitive person’s calling and the possibility of leading a live which suits you best in many ways. I would like to get your attention for a person’s calling in a sense which resonates completely with one’s soul. What makes your soul happy? Have you every wondered what it might be? How would it be like to live from your core and inner strength? I can imagine it’s not a daily life question. My experience is that this question mainly pops up when a person finds himself stuck in the life that they are currently leading. A life which doesn’t provide the deep pleasure and satisfaction which automatically puts a smile on your face.

That feeling of being stuck can occur when you are not happy at your current job, because of a business culture in which people are only thinking of themselves, getting higher up at cost of their colleagues. Perhaps even at cost of your performance. Or you are looking for a job, but the only thing that comes your way are rejections. No, you don’t fit the job, because you’re too highly qualified or your ambitions are too high. That feeling of being stuck can also be an indescribable feeling, a feeling unknown to you, because you were the person who was always positive-minded and pro-active when it came to your life. And that’s where I as a Life Coach come in.

My specialty is to guide people in a way they are enabled to see clearly through the emotions they are feeling. Some emotions have a blinding effect, such as fear, anger, sadness and guilt. It’s quite easy to get stuck in these emotions whilst thinking you are stuck in life. Life moves on, but life can be much more fun and a place where you want to be, when you are happy and calm from within. And let’s take a moment for mourning; this is a deep-rooted raw emotion which can tear someone apart. Our society doesn’t allow us the time to mourn in detail. This means it’s up to us to take the time to mourn.

And what does this emotion-talk have to do with getting to know your soul’s mission? Well, it has everything to do with your soul’s mission. One is unable to feel and act upon the soul’s mission if the soul is still covered with fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and guilt. Your soul needs you to be kind, attentive and loving to yourself. As a highly sensitive person we are more likely to be attentive to others, to act upon the needs of others. Well, it’s about time you stand up for yourself. Heal the thoughts you are having, heal the wound that you are carrying around. It’s time to feel and act upon your inner strength. From the first step you will take you will notice the joy from within. Are you ready for real change?

Are you interested in a session? Click here to read more about the introduction session! 

HSP: learn to deal with negative energy

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Highly sensitive people are more prone to negative energy. Negative energy weakens us in many ways. All of a sudden we feel blurry in the head, weak in the knees or are struck by stomach cramps. In most of the situations we are also overwhelmed by an incapacity to speak up for ourselves. In my coaching practice I have seen men and woman passing by who were willing to work on this, they signaled their inability to handle negative energy and wanted to get to the core of this.

There was this guy in particular who suffered hyperventilation after an outburst of a client. He was sent of to a house to fix the things his colleague failed to do properly. The client showed his disappointment to him even though he knew he wasn’t the one who caused the problem. At the moment he handled it with care, but the energy filled with disappointment and anger fired up his way was whirling around in his system for days, especially in his head!

In his head he would fantasize about future scenarios about conflicts with his employer, colleagues and clients.

And what to do if you’re working with a boss who’s emotional state is unpredictable and confusing? Highly sensitive people feel every change in other people’s emotional state of being. They feel alerted when someone comes in at a meeting, a drink or at the grocery store with an emotional state which can be described as sad, frustrated or downright grumpy. Depending the situation they feel like running away or sit still and wait for the right moment to step in. In this case, when working with a boss who comes in one day super happy and the next day as if the company would collapse in front of his eyes, what would you do as a highly sensitive person?

The answer to this question can be find at the core of the “problem”. I have written problem in between brackets, because I’d rather perceive emotional/ psychological “problems” as chances to work on one’s emotional being. In all of the situations above the negative energy experienced can be traced back to the highly sensitive people’s childhood. When we don’t know how to deal with negative energy in daily adult situations this is a signal that we haven’t learnt to deal with different negative energy’s in the past.

Energy can be read as in “emotions”, basic emotions such as anger and sadness.

We could differentiate these emotions as disappointment, frustration, irritation, mourning, hatred, anguish and envy among many more. These emotions are seen as negative and therefore I will refer as them as such, but in my view of personal development these emotions are the gateway to emotional freedom and a strong belief of self.

In childhood our relationship with our caretakers influence the way we handle emotions of others and of ourselves. When we haven’t healed our emotional wounds we are consciously or unconsciously tortured by our reactions directed by our wounded inner child. The wounded inner child will attract the experiences in life in order to emotionally grow. A highly sensitive person raised by caretakers who were still walking around with their own pain; anger and sadness will automatically absorb these negative emotions. They are not able to experience these emotions separate from themselves. Depending on the character of the child and the relationship to their caretakers the child’s mental and emotional development will be influenced.

What happens in adult life is that people, when open for personal development, start to discover the root of their behavioral patterns. Aha, so the reason I can’t handle disappointment is because I have compensated my insecurities by doing the most sublime work I am able to do in order for my father to notice me. And walking around with an overall feel of insecurity about me taking upon so much responsibility is because my mom did everything possible for me. Whenever I needed help she was there. She wanted to be there, because her parents died on her when she was young. She didn’t even get to know them.

I have spoken many highly sensitive people who are living with the best intentions and doing the best they can for their families, but with one caretaker blowing them away with unexpected anger which had nothing to do with them, they walk around in life feeling afraid of opening their mouth. They are just paralyzed by misplaced anger. And there is this hunger, this innate need for acknowledgment of who they are and this desire to be valued for their actions. In the end, they are the ones who will give all of these positive emotions to themselves. They are worth to feel every single bit of emotion running through their veins.

Are you interested in an introduction session? Click here for more information…

New Year’s reflections and resolutions

Happy New Year

Top 10 Year End Review Questions

  1. What did you do this year that you have never done before?
  2. What was the smartest decision you made this year?
  3. What one word best sums up and describes your experience last year?
  4. What are you most happy about completing?
  5. What was the biggest risk you took?
  6. What are you most grateful for this past year?
  7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  8. What do you wish you had done more of?
  9. What do you wish you had done less of?
  10. Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive exactly one year ago, what advice would you give yourself?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Relationships

  1. Who were the three people who had the greatest impact on your life last year?
  2. Did anyone close to you give birth (literally or symbolically)?
  3. Did anyone close to you die (literally or symbolically)?
  4. What important relationship improved the most?
  5. What important relationship suffered the most?
  6. Whose behavior or what event merited celebration?
  7. Whose behavior or what event appalled you?
  8. How did you positively influence a child (or the next generation) this year?
  9. What well-known person, dead or alive, influenced you the most this year?
  10. Who made you laugh the most this year?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Health

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  2. What decision did you make to become healthier?
  3. What was your favorite exercise this year?
  4. What was your favorite meal?
  5. What restaurant did you eat at most often?
  6. What medications are you currently taking?
  7. Did you have any surgeries this year?
  8. How did you manage your stress this year?
  9. What was your biggest health achievement this year?
  10. What do you wish you would have done differently in regards to your health this year?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Celebrations

  1. What did you really, really, really get excited about this year?
  2. How old did you turn on your birthday?
  3. How did you celebrate your birthday this year?
  4. Did anyone close to you have an important milestone birthday?
  5. How did you spend the holidays?
  6. What was the most memorable gift you received this year and who was it from?
  7. What was the most memorable gift you gave this year and who was it to?
  8. How will you be spending New Year’s?
  9. What vacations did you take or where did you visit last year?
  10. What was the biggest surprise of this year?

10 End-of-Year Questions to Ask about School or Work

  1. Where do you currently work or go to school?
  2. What is the title of your position?
  3. What is your typical day?
  4. When did you feel most inspired at work or school?
  5. What is one way you grew academically or professionally this year?
  6. What do you hope those you work with will remember most about you?
  7. What was your greatest challenge/lesson at work or school?
  8. How did you adapt at work or school?
  9. How have you grown as a person because of your work or school experience?
  10. What strengths did you tap into?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Spirituality & Existence

  1. Because of this past year, what do you believe is your purpose?
  2. What is one word that describes your relationship with God (or what suits your belief system)  this year?
  3. Where did you find the most peace and calm this year?
  4. Where did you feel most connected to God (or what suits your belief system) this year?
  5. What is one miracle you witnessed this year?
  6. What was the most loving service you performed last year?
  7. What is your biggest piece of unfinished business?
  8. What is the greatest lesson you have learned this year?
  9. What was the best part of this year? What was the lesson learned?
  10. What was the worst part of this year? What was the lesson learned?

Lifecoaching: as a child I believed in magic

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For like 28 years I thought I only had one massive problem in my life: stuttering. I tried a try-out session with Life Coach Chungmei. It was interesting, she asked questions, I spoke, I did an exercise… And from out of nowhere, I started to cry! I was crying, and surprised and shocked that I was crying. This was really weird for me.

Luckily for me I kept myself busy with creating a burn – out. One year later I succeeded. My second coaching setting was a fact. I set down and she mirrored my non-verbal communication extremely sharp. Subconsciously I acted to be ready for any thing: arms wide, an ‘I am in control look’ in my eyes, and ask something like: so coach ask me a smart question?! Well, instead she told me: Well, you don’t seem ready to open up. After which she imitated my posture and look in my eyes. Do you want to be coached? Right away I felt that she didn’t fall for my act. I felt that one: my head down, arms normal, and after digesting a little bit of my fakeness, I said: yes I am ready.

Burn-out & learning to feel
What I did to burn my self out was only living in my head, not even feeling my own heart beat. During my third ‘succesful’ study, I burned out. I didn’t understand, and even less did I feel why. Chungmei guided me through this process. Some topics, in random order, we have worked on were:

  1. Why am I a perfectionist?
  2. Why do I train extremely hard?
  3. Why am I always busy?
  4. Why do I stutter?
  5. How come I don’t feel my body?
  6. What caused the burn out ?
  7. Why do I stop breathing when I think longer than 1 minute?

Answers were: I felt I was not good enough, so everything needed to be perfect. I felt a lot of surpressed emotions and had surpressed emotions myself which caused intense stress. My coping mechanism was using my head, and satisfying others and my main man Mr. Society.

This I understood after being lead through different exercises and questions no one ever asked me. With one single question she could make me feel my sadness of being so stressed. Or scared, or….unhappy. Because that’s the overal feeling: I was not happy, and was basically killing myself with thinking, studying and working. Without the burn – out to stop me, I was dead by now.

It may sound a bit extreme, but seriously she saved my life. Thank you for that. Thank you for letting go of everything that didn’t belong to me. For the first time in my life, I feel who I am, what I want to do. I became a better husband, a better person, a better father after being coached intensively by you. With better I mean more me, because that’s all there is right? I believe the best I can be is the closest to who I really am.

Now, that I write this I think of words that could describe the thankfulness that I feel in my heart. Being coached by you and feeling myself was my biggest gift after being born. It was a great pleasure being coached by someone so naturally connected with the Universe. Someone who coached so intuitively, so in the moment.

As a child I believed in magic, felt happiness in playing. Somewhere in high school I started to believe in the world of thoughts, studies, work and society. I am 32 now, and life is magic again.

By Arnold Baldé

HSP: I think you are quite sensitive

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Today I received a lovely surprise while I was picking up my daughter from primary school. She’s in her first year and has made lots of friends. One girl walked up to me, looked at me with big expecting eyes and her arms were moving from one side to another in a really enthusiastic manner. What she non-verbally communicated to me was what her mom asked me in a verbal way. If my daughter was allowed to go with them by car for a play date. Later this afternoon her husband could drop her off at our home. This time I wasn’t able to speak.

Different thoughts were running through my mind. While I was still not speaking the lady nicely gave me back all the thoughts I was thinking. She knew exactly what I was thinking. Yes, I wanted to check if my daughter still had the energy to go on a play date. And I felt uncomfortable to send her off to people I hadn’t made acquaintance with yet. Moreover, I knew my daughter wouldn’t feel comfortable being brought home by a man she didn’t know. The lady was so nice. Any way around would be fine. She came across like a warm hearted person so I took some time to decide, but finally decided to invite them at our place for lunch.

Even though my daughter looked tired, which made me doubt to go on this play date in the first place, they had lots of fun together. I am happy there was no screaming or fighting. We, the adults, have gotten to know each other in the meantime. My man was cooking up a lunch for us and surprisingly and may I say “coincidentally” this lady doesn’t eat meat, fish or poultry and neither consumes produce of animals. This was exactly the diet my husband changed to two days ago. When she was five years old she decided not to eat meat anymore, because she felt bad for the animals.

Lunch was super. We had a salad of stir-fried brussels sprouts, mushrooms, grated carrot, sundried tomatoes and avocado along with brown rice. As a treat we served dates. Food wise we had a great click. We shared our experiences with food and at some point the conversation changed to high sensitivity. She mentioned that her family is very sensitive to many foods and in a very careful way she shared with us that she thinks we are very sensitive too. I laughed out loud and added to this that, as a coach, I am specialized in coaching highly sensitive people. It turned out we were talking to a mom who educated herself on this topic, because of her highly sensitive children. She has two daughters, the eldest is six years old and the girl who was playing at our place is four years old. Her husband and herself are highly sensitive too.

Last year, after May holidays, they have changed schools. The eldest was attending a Montessori school near their home, but somehow she wasn’t doing well in school. She didn’t feel like picking a game to play with and from the moment they arrived at the building she turned inwards. In short, she wasn’t happy. They have even consulted a child psychologist, but her daughter wouldn’t share her feelings. They were considering the fact that she might have been bullied, but they are not sure. Before changing schools, which was quite a life changing event for the family, they asked this psychologist if it would be wise to change schools even though they don’t know the cause behind their daughters behavior The psychologist responded that the child’s behavior is leading in every decision they make.

So before definitely changing to this school, which is by the way also a Montessori school, the children were able to attend school for one morning. Afterwards the eldest exclaimed that she wanted to attend this school. Even though the school is further away from their home, the mom is glad to have made this change for her children. She suffered sleepless nights, because her daughter wasn’t happy in school. Now the kids are happy, she is finally able to think ahead. One of the steps she will take is to look around for job opportunities.

Life Coaching: letting go of tears and fears

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Let’s start of this blog with a deep sigh. I feel blessed to be able to bring light to people’s lives. That’s one thing for sure. And now it’s time to write about it. I haven’t done so for a long time, because I was pretty occupied with family life, main life events and work. As of this summer we live in a really nice neighborhood in The Hague. We enjoy being surrounded by lots of green, all facilities and our daughter’s school close to our house. After almost elf years of working as a coach in living rooms (one-on-one coaching) and on locations in several cities in the Netherlands (workshops & training) I may proudly announce my first separate working and coaching space at home. Let me share with you some of the life stories that has come my way.

When a thirtysomething year old guy told me that he felt ashamed to share certain thoughts and feelings while he was seeing a psychologist I was struck. I exclaimed that it is necessary for his development to start sharing all of his thoughts and feelings. What one gets out of psychological guidance is the amount of ‘you’ one puts in. You need to be willing to work with what you have. It’s not the psychologist, therapist or other type of mental guidance who will pull out all of your pain and fears. But on another note, it could be helpful to talk to someone who does get you talking about all the things that you are ashamed of. During this session I felt I needed to share some of my experiences guiding highly sensitive man. Sensitive man could go through a phase of doubting their sexuality. Bingo. He had struggled with this topic as well.

But what if you just don’t know what to tell me? Than I could put myself on a repeat spreading the message ‘You need to be willing to work with what you have’, but it won’t bring the coachee nor me any further during the session. This young lady was sitting on the couch and told me with a big smile that everything was going well. She started her studies, moved to a student apartment and works in catering to maintain herself. Looking back on the previous session there could still be some emotions blocking her from living freely, but at this point she was smiling. After having asked a few questions about her life the pain came out: carrying a huge load of responsibility for her divorced parents and little sister. Because she cared for all emotions and thoughts of her loved ones she was left out in the whole process. She needed to give herself some loving attention and one way to do this was to start sharing more of her life with her loved ones.

Before people start lifecoaching with me they haven’t got a clue of how far they can come in terms of feeling secure, confident, happy and cheerful from within. Another life story which moved me deeply was the story of a woman in her late fifties who was still mourning her husband who passed away six yours ago. Up until this point of no return she had taken care of him for years and years after he had a severe accident. For almost fifteen years she hadn’t felt those little butterflies starting of in the belly and flying up to the head bringing feelings of ‘being in love’. This confused her to the max and brought her to a devastating phase of mourning again, of finally and definitely starting to let go of the man who showed her to love.

More and more stories are coming my way and I embrace them. All these stories turn me into a channel from which I intuitively coach; reflect, react, summarize, feedback, intervene with coaching techniques and share life stories with the intention to reframe thoughts and feelings which are limiting the person to live fully. Again, I feel blessed to work as a life coach helping people to embrace life from their core strength and desire to live.

You cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight, be patient with yourself, it takes as long as it takes to rebuild yourself.

How can you be happy and peaceful in modern times

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A Chinese proverb says an invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, despite the time, the place, despite the circumstances. The thread can be tightened or tangled, but never be broken. 

We are all the same. All of us want to be happy. When happiness is considered as a door to a room, peace is another door to the same room. Si it should be easy to become happy and peaceful. What is holding us back?

There are different methods to achieve happiness and peace. Respect for each other is important. Superiority ideas like ‘I am the best’, ‘my religion is the best’ or ‘my country is the best’ are barriers to happiness and peace. Respectful contacts with people with another background can help to reduce these barriers. The mix of people in these modern times gives more possibilities for such contacts.

In Tibet we have the word ‘gogsem’. That means the three ways of being: mind, body and talk. The mind is the boss. The mind is an extremely powerful tool to find the root for happiness and peace. The mind can find inner peace and happiness with your being as you are. Meditation, compassion and openness are ways to use the mind for finding peace. These ways can give you energy. Words can give a feeling of happiness. At the other hand words can make enemies. Be aware of that, when you are thinking ‘I am right and you are wrong.’ Think also about happiness of others. When you are acting with an open mind and a good heart, it will be easier to keep your relations good. That will radiate a feeling of being rich, more than when you are only focused on your own profit.

Worries make sick. Some problems we can control. When you can not control problems, let it go. Let fear go, then peace will come. Don’t grasp for happiness. Strive for stable happiness, as a second nature. When difficult situations come, it is important to know in advance how to keep peace. Be aware of anger and neutralize it before it is too late. When anger grows, it can make you blind. Anger and peace are like fire and water: they can not be together. When you think that anger is normal, you have to ask yourself the question whether suffering is normal. Suffering is the result of anger. When you are able to control anger, you are able to bring peace and as result you will reduce suffering. All of this you can do by ‘lojong’: a Tibet word for ‘training the mind’.

If you expect that you will be pushed to pass your own limits, say “no” with respect for the other. Say it in time, before you loose control over your anger. Be patient for the good moment to say it. Say “no” when the other is relaxed. Most of all: be clear. It is very important to be open about your limits in a way to make it simple for the other to understand your “no”. Look further than your own position and try to understand your relationship. It is the best to reach mutual understanding. Look for a good way to meet your limits and to strive to meet the demands of the other. Share understanding in a good atmosphere, with a cup of tea.

Face to face contact is important for good understanding. Telephone, e-mail and other ways of communication are good for ‘neutral’ messages. But when you really have to solve a problem, face to face communication is the best way to minimize the risk for uncontrolled anger. Look inside your mind before you solve a problem. You need to have inner peace before you can give it to others.

Take benefit from what you have heard so far. Use what you can use. Forget what you can not use. Make clear for yourself what works for you. Ask yourself where you can find happiness. When you know that, you have a goal to direct your activities on. Be honest to your heart and don’t follow other people blindly when they say that you can find happiness. In these modern times many people promise happiness when you follow their advises. Decide deep in your heart whether their promises may bring peace or restlessness

I received this text from the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam on the 30th of March in 2007.