Playing make believe manifests things more quickly

playing

How children play is a true inspiration. We, grown-ups, should play more. Many people I speak who are in their forties or in their fifties feel either like a 16-year old or a 25-something. Therefore I am convinced that we shouldn’t refer to ourselves as grown-ups, but instead as big children. Somewhere deep in our hearts we all remain children, but the few are gifted with a child’s mind throughout their lifetime. Call it high sensitivity or highly gifted or better, leave it nameless.

I have the pleasure to bring up our daughter who is nearly five years. When we’re on a playground the playground turns into a pirate ship on sea. Because it’s cold on deck we should gather a whole bunch of branches so we can light it up to warm ourselves. Near the playground there was a skate-area. We climbed up one of the skate hills and with only a drop of her imagination she turned into mama bird and I into baby bird. I broke through my eggshells and she catches a worm for me.

After an hour of playing I felt revived. Imagination brought us anywhere we wanted and with this state of mind planet earth turned into a happy place. She and all children are my true inspiration of how playing make believe manifests things more quickly. I have experienced this on many levels of life up until now, but the most recent experience was having written a couple of blogs on food for Den Haag Direct. I had so much fun talking to owners of dining places and writing about my experiences that thought had crossed my mind to write more on food. I thought: How wonderful it is to be invited to eat and write about my experience.

One month later I was asked on a culinary tasting tour through the Hague’s King’s and Queens headquarters. Fantastic!! I had a sublime afternoon with lovely conversations and good food.

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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.

HSP: being a highly sensitive person in Africa

African woman

The rainy season is coming to an end on Bioko island, leaving space for the sunny, very hot and humid days of the dry season. I am a HSP. I am sensitive to light, sun, heat, sweat. I have got asthma as well as some food intolerance. I do not get along well with heavy spicy sauces or fermented vegetables or tubers (most of country’s traditional dishes that I know of). I am thinking about becoming a vegetarian. Trying to retrieve all-vegetarian African recipes could be an interesting hobby.

I like music, however I cannot stand the loud volume of the radio whenever I get in a local taxi. I love dancing , but I can get extremely shy in public. I feel terribly guilty if I ever find someone hitting a child for the child’s sake!. I feel pain and discomfort when I have to get my hair braided, my scalp is so sensitive. I once had to wrung a cock’s neck and let it bleed on the floor as a sacrifice. But I didn’t faint , did not have any nightmares nor did I feel guilty afterwards, because I was never left alone throughout the process (my mother’s ritual for becoming a widow). I am not a very good model of housewife for I get overwhelmed whenever I have to clean the house and cook or run some errands. This is me. And yes: I am African. I am a woman. Thus I am an African woman. Besides I currently live in Africa. Which makes me somewhat a rara avis?. I don’t think so. So little has been said about us…HS African women…but we do exist.

I am not very good at maths, but considering that the African Continent has approximately a population of 1000 millions, a 20% of that would be around 200 million potential HSP. And thinking especially of those who live in urban areas… I am wondering how do they cope with the million stimuli surrounding us on a daily basis?. How do they relate to their spouses, children and relatives to limit boundaries?. How do they deal with stress?. And HS men…how do they manage to go through initiation ceremonies? How do they feel when they are obliged to take a girl they don’t really know or have never met as wife?. How can they stop the tears from falling when feeling sad, depressed or even just moved, shocked?.

The answer is the sense of community: the family, the village, the clan, the tribe. . In Africa you can be alone at times, but you are never lonely. There is always someone by your side watching you, ready to hold your hand if you are about to fall, to smile at you if you doubt, to push you a little if you are afraid to jump into the river…At least, that is how it used to be. Right now we are loosing our values and trying to fit in a changing world, not anymore one of the traditions but either a fully western individual oriented world. In fact we are in the middle of nowhere trying to just make it through.

Africa is much more than all those TV shocking images of wars, wild animals, droughts, starving children, AIDS, jumping massai, and Developed South Africa. It is much more than that. And from now on I will try to offer a very personal HSP view from my little piece of Africa on this fan page. It could be a fascinating journey. Would you like to ride?

Written by Anneta Gonçalves

Source: HSP Awareness International 

Like a butterfly spreading its wings

Bringing harmony in almost everything that surrounds me is something that makes me feel exhilarated and alive, it’s like I was born to do it.

Painting & drawing gets me in this relaxed yet focused mood, I prefer to paint positive things, as what I paint influences how I feel, it can alter my mood, when I have a bad day it cheers me up.

I like it when people discover painting as a way to express themselves and release their emotions. It gives a sense of harmony to complete a painting, just like a symphony, it all has to flow into oneness.

Sketching is also fun to do, I like to leave some lines on the paper, the roughness and dynamic of it is pleasing to the eye. It’s fun to make illustrations that relate to a certain topic, that way there is a deeper feeling added to a story.

Interior design is also one of my passions and I have helped a few friends in their decisions of completing their living room and bedroom. It’s in the planning to do this on a professional level.

Just to harmonize a room to a perfect picture, is important I think, as what you surround yourself with, influences your mood. I am always thinking of this, when I am in a restaurant or pub, I think of how I would handle the design.

I also feel great pleasure when I see people grow as a person and bloom into their fullest potential. With that I love to help people that seem in need, those that are in a difficult position and really could use some support. When I attended a lecture of the Dalai Lama in Copenhagen in April this year, that feeling grew even more, what a light and inspiration that man brings!

Walking in nature is something that always gives me peace of mind, and is harmony in its purest form. The flowing of clouds in the sky, wild flowers in a wheat field, a tiny bird in a blossom tree, its just perfect as it is. When I was on a Holiday on the Faroe Islands I was blown away by the refreshing ocean air and the impressive steep cliffs. Also the flow of a city, its total picture and ‘feel’, can make me smile.

The city I live in now, Odense, has a fairytale feel to it, as it is the place where H.C Andersen grew up.

All the above I’d like to combine somehow, and make Eco-friendly furniture and products in respect of ‘mother nature’. And also design products that could benefit those in need. As I am living in Denmark where design is a big aspect in life, and respect for nature is high on the list, I feel very much at place and on the right path here.

This is a process that is unfolding in my life right now, like a butterfly spreading its wings.

Writing & drawing by Annerie Meijers

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Write your own story, read the blog Win & Write: What makes you tick? 

We are all meant to shine, as children do

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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
a return to love – Marianne Williamson
This post is just to remind you all to be fearless in live and do whatever you can do to make yourself and others happy.

Start uncluttering your Life!

Last week we spend all week uncluttering our house. Returning from Brasil, my partner, brought a lot of Brasilian instruments and we had to create space. Already back in the Netherlands we saw the movie ‘Into the Wild’. This movie motivated us even more to get rid of things we hadn’t used for years. By the way I truly can recommend watching this movie. It will get your fingers itchy to do the things you really want to do.

Starting this cleaning operation I thought of all the documents I still had from my study Communication. Also, shoes and clothing I never wore and things lingering around with no purpose at all. The stuff were piling up and for many reasons I wanted to keep them, but in fact never looked at these items again. Well, it was indeed time for us to dive into history and make living in the presence spacious and light.

While I was going through my shoes I bumped up to my favourite blue/white Adidas sneakers. Yes, again I needed to force myself to decide what to do with these Adidas Soulmates. Looking at them, I thought about all the memories related to them. The streetdance classes I taught, the r&b and soul concerts I visited and not to mention summer festivals. Twelve long years they were my companion and now they had to make room for gourds (part of the capoeira instrument ‘Berimbau’) Allright then, a quick picture, and get on with sorting out all stuff.

Taking pictures is a good way to have a great reminder of the stuff you had. But, tell me, how big is the chance that you will look through these pictures after you have taken them? Yes, while a part of mine is very dreamy and unrealistic, another part came up and surprise, surprise: it was the realistic part! To tell you the truth I didn’t take pictures of the next thing I threw away: all of my beloved projects I worked on while I was studying Communication. *tap on my shoulders* Yes, yes, thank you, thank you, I am able to say goodbye too.

This was thanks to my partner who encouraged a friend of mine to talk me psychologically out of keeping these documents. For your information: she is a psychologist. She said to me: Chungmei, if you really want to keep the documents, just keep them! Ahum..she got me thinking! Her remark had a surprisingly ‘provocative coaching’ effect on me. “No way, I am going to get rid of everything!”

my beloved Adidas Sneakers

my beloved Adidas Sneakers