Stress: changing my fear into love

It’s autumn holiday in The Hague. We are very much enjoying the free time. I love to sleep in, eat when I feel like it and as a family we are reorganizing the house. Our project is to move into the biggest bedroom. This one was split in half with a wall in between when I was pregnant with our youngest. Now almost 21 months.

The sole purpose of this wall was to provide our children with their own space. Turns out our youngest had his own plan. He turned our plan upside down by sharing continuously that he didn’t want to sleep by himself. Because of his resistance we got into the benefits of co-sleeping again.

The big house change engineered new streams of positive energy through all rooms. Our daughter moved back to her original room and is very happy with more space and her privacy. We got ourselves a new (secondhand) closet and mattresses. We sleep on cheap light wooden beds and quite expensive mattresses filled with all kinds of natural material.

This morning we woke up to a new closet looking into the contents of it, because the doors are still waiting to be put in their place. We made it to Ikea for extra shelves and storage. Unfortunately the decision to accompany my partner caused a bit of stress. The hick-up was the time-frame. We should have left earlier for Ikea so that my daughter and I would have more time to arrive at our theatre performance.

Now I was emotionally challenged to change my fear into love. The fear of running late and missing the performance into love; telling our friends that we would be later and calling the theatre to ask if they would let us in. They would if we wouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes late. This meant we would be at least on time to see the whole lot of the performance. This helped me to get back into a loving state of mind. Luckily we were in our seats five minutes after the performance had started.

All together I felt stressed for only a few minutes. I’m happy everything turned out fine. But for a next time: I will listen and act upon my initial feeling of staying home with my daughter to have lunch. Afterwards we would cycle to the theatre and be there at least fifteen minutes aheads of time, because to me that is part of going to the theatre: taking time to enjoy my quality time with my daughter and absorb creative storytelling.

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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.

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.

 

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. 

Rebirthing: listen to your body

How often do we neglect physical pains and discomforts? Such as a twitching eyelid, headache, stomach pain, cold shoulder, restless leg and so on. Your body wants to be heard and has a story to tell. Stories on what you feel, of emotions which want to be released: sadness, anger, fear and guilt. Start listening, start breathing.

Today a highly sensitive man came in for his 11th rebirthing session. He was in total despair. The last couple of days he was at home after a difficult conversation with his supervisors. He wasn’t able to stand up for himself even though he knows his workload is too much for him. As a result of this meeting he had a headache above walking around with physical complaints such as obstipation and a twitching eyelid. 

For the past years he dealt with the workload and he was quite successful. It was exactly what he wanted. The past months his emotional development took him into a phase in which he needed to stand up for himself. He needed to stand up against his parents. The reason why he took up the workload was a deep desire to be seen, to be acknowledged for his presence, his abilities and knowledge. He had missed this during his upbringing. His parents had to deal with their own problems. They didn’t have the emotional space and consciousness to guide him. 

Emotional development takes a person to his or her own core, the place filled with joy, peace and self love. By continuously emptying this place of sadness, anger, fear, guilt and hate, one makes space for unconditional self love. This is not arrogant nor selfish, it’s essential to maintain emotional health and to start and maintain healthy relationships. 

During a rebirthing session of two hours I have seen this man change from a dead scared man unable to hold his position in conversation with pears to a man who communicated from a confident and strong place. He shared his professional successes and felt proud. He finally felt he was a good, hardworking and reliable human being and employee. Before he was never satisfied and was searching for more appreciation by doing much more than he could handle. He was able to continue this race for a long time steered by his head, his ratio. Hereby totally neglecting his body. 

The past months has changed his attitude in life in a positive way. He is on the verge of living out of love instead of fear. Soon he will make an appointment with his peers to discuss his position.

Two days after having posted this blog I received the following comment of the man I wrote about in this blog:

Thank you Chungmei. It was an amazing journey that I took together with you. Your power, sensing and serenity was inspiring me. And you know what happened after Wednesday: last week I succeeded to stand up for myself. The feedback that I received from my supervisors and colleagues was fantastic.

So I gave myself a big gift. When I came home, all the pain, fear and anger left my body while I was doing the conscious connected breathing. It was enormous intense, painful to feel all the emotions. But this was replaced by good feelings like: proudness, confidence, giving myself (inner) space, and realising what good qualities I have and being able to show these.

A turning point which was already going on, but I didn’t expect that these changes would go so fast. The energy is not there yet, but it is going up and I am doing it step by step. Unbelievable, I was struggling for so many years, but these sessions really helped me a lot!!

As we said a few weeks ago: I’m going to kick some ass and will shine. I’m going to fill this circle with a lot of love and positive energy. Namaste Chungmei.

So what about you? Are you walking around with physical discomforts? Are you in need of positive change? Feel free to contact me to schedule an appointment!

Click here for more information on the introduction session.

HSP: what are your plans for Christmas and New Year’s eve?

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As a coach for highly sensitive people lots of stories about Christmas and New Year’s eve come my way. Most of the highly sensitive people I speak rather spend their time quietly with a few friends or in some situations only with their spouse, love relationship and kids in stead of packing stuff, organizing big dinners and traveling from one family to another with two days. (Christmas) And as for New Year’s eve, in the Netherlands it is the tradition to set of fireworks up until late, go out until late and the next morning you possibly catch yourself with a hangover and a huge lack of energy. This feeling of being totally wasted could go on for days so the people I speak to ask themselves: 

‘What do I want to do, how shall I organize this and most importantly, how will I communicate this to my spouse or family?’ 

Yesterday I gave a lecture about high sensitivity with professional and personal relationships. This same topic arose and conclusion was that it is most important to listen and finally act upon your own needs. The difficulty lies in the fact that we are so accostumed to do what others want and expect from us. (or read: to do what the group/family wants) In many cultures it is a tradition to spend time with your loved ones during these festive days, but all I hear about is lots of family stress. I understand it is very hard to break with family and cultural traditions just for your own sake. 

How wonderful it would be if we could choose for what we most want to do during these days? Before having this as an option in mind, one needs to tackle lots of emotions. Emotions such as guilt, anger or even family member blaming you for not coming to the gathering. Year in, year out, you feel horrible, and perhaps this comment rings a bell ‘this year I will stay at home’, but to find yourself each year in homes of other family’s or family at your place, because the motivation to choose for what you want somehow disappears. Days after the social activities you feel exhausted of all the conversations, impulses and possibly excessive amounts of food. 

What if, after years of struggling, with the December month turning around the corner, you consider, just slightly consider to do what you want. What ideas would pop up? With whom would you spend these festive days? How will you go about communicating this to your family? Think about it, it could definitely free your mind and body and take you up to a higher level of excepting and acting up to your own needs. The positive effect about this is when you feel well and good about yourself you could mean much more to others. This doesn’t only go up for festive days, it’s a daily positive life attitude. Many highly sensitive people regard doing something for themselves as ‘egoistic’. No way, it is super healthy to put your own needs first and in my view of life this naturally goes with healthy relationships, either professionally or personally. 

As a Chinese born in the Netherlands I never had a relationship with Christmas. These days were focussed on work and serving others Chinese food from out of the restaurant of my parents. And as for New Year’s eve, this meant being with lots of Chinese family living in the Netherlands, most of them had restaurants so lots of good food was served. Whole evening went to spending time with cousins and grown-ups talking and playing games. Chinese tradition of setting of fireworks did go hand in hand with Dutch culture’s fireworks at 0.00am 1st of January with a huge difference, Chinese fireworks was all about banging our ears of whereas most Dutch fireworks were about beautiful colors and figures whirling up into the sky. 

Somehow I feel lucky to not have any traditions in relationship to Christmas, it seemingly makes it easier to choose for what we want to do. But even so there are some family expectations to tackle. Even without a religious link to it family wonders what we will be doing around that time of year. Or perhaps it’s even more so the case that it’s more about me, somehow I feel compelled to share what we will do, in other words, we would like to spend time here at home in stead of visiting you, you and you. And as for New Year’s eve, to be honest, I have never been into fireworks. This year we decided upon spending time somewhere where it is fireworks free. Hmmm..this is quite a challenge, but we will find a place. I am sure of that. Where there is a will, there is a way.