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’ 

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Organizing first party in years

bday balkon

So yes, finally, after 4.5 years we’ve organized a party at our home. And we’re damn proud we did a great job. Our daughter Amé turned 3 years old and I was determined to organize a birthday party for her. She loves birthday parties, cakes, ice cream and presents so I wanted to make her heart sing with joy. My partner and father of Amé has been out of the party game for three years now. He is still suffering a continuous headache. Anyhow, let’s focus on the party joy.

Our daughter wasn’t able to rest the whole morning so when the party was about to start she went to bed to take a nap. Hearing the noises of the first guests she yelled out for mommy. Miss party girl wanted to go downstairs. The kids were having so much water fun. They started out on the balcony playing with boats. After the singing and eating the birthday cake we moved to a communal garden. There the water joy went on with water guns; shooting water is fun for everyone, young and the somewhat older guests.

While a group of guests were playing in the communal garden my mom and sister were preparing the food. I invited everyone like two months before, but only one week before the party my mom phoned me asking me what I had prepared. Well, mom, I will prepare different cakes, ice cream and the activities for the children. ‘And the food, what about the food? she asked. You must feed the family coming from a far. You should send them home well fed. That’s how it goes. I will help you.’ But mom…all my ‘but’s disappeared with the air I exhaled. ‘I will prepare a very simple dish, it’s ok, I will manage.’ She didn’t even tell me what she would prepare and I didn’t even bother to ask her, because I knew she wouldn’t tell me.

We had chicken à la mama style (Chinese) and several vegetable dishes going along with that; carrot, mushrooms, tomatoes and string beans. As a dessert we served homemade banana chocolate ice cream on a stick. After having finished their meal the kids went on playing with the presents. Blowing bubbles was the last outside activity. Even though I prepared the activity by buying the goods the kids initiated it on the balcony. Where was I? I believe I was eating and enjoying my meal, my rest. Talk about rest. I rested two full days after the party, highly sensitive as I am.

I loved the presence of family and friends. My partner and I agreed to do this more often. Perhaps not on this scale, but just to bring people together, reconnect and have fun. On a food note: there was no candy, only watermelon, pineapple and strawberries. All fresh and luscious.

bday binnentuin

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2011/2012 FRANTIC UNCLUTTERING

On the verge of 2012 I was to be found in closets, kitchen drawers, other types of drawers, close to the floor (mopping), relocating items we do not use, but want to keep, organizing our digital library, filtering toddler clothing and getting rid of things that do suck the life out of one healthy human being.

WHAT??!! This is not me. I don’t like to clean. I do love a glimmering kitchen sink, but on a daily basis we only mirror ourselves in the sink late in the evening or even the next morning. Organizing all sorts of stuff is not part of my normal behaviour. However I couldn’t stop uncluttering. I did it before breakfast. While having breakfast I thought of the things to unclutter. After breakfast I thought of strategic plans to continue uncluttering and meanwhile taking care of our toddler girl (almost 1.5 years) It was as if I was breathing the word ‘uncluttering’ all the time. Noooo, even worse, I was living the word ‘uncluttering’.How did it all came to this?

As you might know, my partner Arnold is having a rough time (burn-out/constant headache). This absolutely had a great effect on our household. Not only on our household: it took mine and his emotional development on a high speed train through Japan. Yeeeeeaaaaaahh, that’s us in the train while everything else proceeded. Not good. Not good at all. So one afternoon, halfway through November, I stopped the train; while flipping through the pages of a magazine an idea came to me. Arnold should go on a retreat. Over Christmas and New Year’s eve since these typically social events were undoubtedly too much for him to handle. I will take care of Amé and he should go wherever he wanted to go to.

The idea was received by a man who was already looking forward to spend Christmas holidays recharging by doing close to nothing. He was happy to say the least. The idea of being able to spend time by himself gave him the wings he needed to endure headache and obligations for five more weeks.

And now it all comes down to me again. Five days before he would leave some unfamiliar frustrating emotions got a hold of me. After a couple of days it became clear that these were in fact not quit unfamiliar; these were the ones I have been consciously working on since the death of my father (four years ago). Anger, fear and sadness. How come I didn’t see it coming? Or even recognized it from the beginning? Answer is simple: I was too busy keeping my head above water.

So my vision of having an enjoyable, quiet and happy time with family, reading and writing was painfully disturbed by an all-in unsafe feeling. A feeling of which I KNOW it needs to see the light of day some time. And the time was NOW. My father left his wife and two little daughters. Through the eyes of my child and our circumstances I get to know my inner child; the child who was left hurt.

These deep hidden emotions were unleashed by frightening thoughts of Arnold not coming back home. Based on reason I knew he would be safe and come back. I knew I would be safe and ok with the situation; being alone and taking care of our daughter. Only the combination of going through these awful emotions and carrying the responsibility of Amé was bizar. Besides lots of crying the unclutterer was born. Uncluttering provided me a feeling of safety and being in control. Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for my dear friends and unexpected new friends I would be lost anyhow: uncluttering sure can’t make up for a good shoulder to cry on.

After two weeks of uncluttering and getting to know my long hidden emotions I fully support the concept of leading an uncluttered life; on a material, fysical, emotional and spiritual level!

Looking back on 2011

2011 has set the tone for the rest of my life. Some major changes took place in a year which can be characterized as ‘slow living’.

Relationship

We have learned a lot from our relationship since it is pretty difficult to deal with burn-out. My partner Arnold is suffering continuous headache and had just about enough energy to teach capoeira a couple of times a week. Everything else weighed on my shoulders. There was no ‘us-time’, because there was no energy. I had to accept that if I wanted to do ‘fun stuff’ I had to do this alone or with friends. He didn’t even have the energy to think about ‘accepting the situation’. In stead he crawled into bed and in a later stage he could go out for walk in the forest or at the beach. And that’s about it. Being alone in a relationship is tough. This goes for the both of us.

My deep respect goes to what he did for my birthday. Even though he didn’t have the energy, he tapped into his willpower to surprise me with a gift on the morning of my birthday; a child’s seat for the bicycle. Our eyes filled with tears. In return I still haven’t done anything special for his birthday. I feel bad and than he reassures me: you do enough for me, thanks. Luckily our strong belief that these tough times would be for the better got us through 2011.

Parenthood
Every day our sun rose between six and seven o’clock in the morning. We are blessed to be her parents. She is cheerful and happy. She sleeps like a rose; 12 hours each night, and eats like a horse; everything we serve her. Where Arnold could loosen up the parenting I could be more clear in saying-no when she’s asking for the food on my plate while in fact she was done eating. All together we’re blessed that despite his illness both of us are on the top of things concerning her development.

Food
As a part of Arnold’s fysical and emotional development he started to bake his own bread. After a visit to a mesoloog; someone who practices the art of identifying what nutrients the body needs, lacks or is allergic to. He needed to avoid some nutrients so we started to do more grocery shopping at the organic food stores. So besides white rice, potatoes, pasta we added quinoa, pasta made from spelt, pancakes made from spelt, buckwheat, couscous, corn, taro, cassava and a whole range of pulses. In 2008 I promised my grandfather to avoid the deep frozen fish from the supermarkets. In 2009 he passed away. In 2010 our daughter was born. And halfway through 2011 I decided to definitely switch to super fresh fish: keeping my promise. Ever since we buy our fish in Scheveningen or at the Hague market. With regards to meat; we started eating more organic meat. There is no definite switch from my side and by exception I eat non-organic meat served by restaurants, family or friends.

Work
Summer 2011 we both realized what our focus concerning career should be. I discovered my path in coaching after having practiced coaching for 8 years both on individual- and group level.  This is coaching highly sensitive people on all topics of life and coaching people to act out of their core being; acting upon their intuition. Arnold decided to finish his third studies in the field of nutrition (bachelor food and dietetics) and continue working as a capoeira teacher for adults and children. I believe it was his ninth year of having practiced capoeira. So it seems that four years ago our lives have come together for a reason; sustaining and supporting fysical, mental and inner growth.

To conclude 2011: we learned that trust and accepting the situation as it is, makes for a solid foundation on which inner growth is possible.

Emotions: perception of time

Time

Recently I did a session in between these high trees. It was wonderful; smelling the leaves, feeling the wind and the free space of nature. Almost as wonderful as doing a session at the port of Scheveningen which I did a while ago.

During this session the coachee was speaking from a deep-felt sadness. Over and over again sessions have proved that long hidden emotions have a lot to tell. The emotions have a lot to tell the coachee and to the ones who contributed to the existence of these emotions. For an hour I was standing there; guiding, listening and with the help of my internal clock I worked towards closing of the session.

Afterwards the coachee told me that it seemed only seven minutes of talking. Seven minutes?! There was a huge gap between our perception of time. To me it proves that long hidden deep-felt emotions are extremely alive! You could feel like a little kid again who was bullied in the past or the young adult who was fired for no good reason. When one allows these emotions come to the surface one will eventually feel freed from exhaustion, headache, anxiety and other fysical and mental blockages.