Life Coaching: live your dream and wear your passion

The-Holstee-Manifesto

Take time to do what makes your soul happy

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Too often we run around doing things for others or we keep ourselves occupied with work, hobbies and social activities. At the end of the day or a whole week we feel exhausted. When did we take time to feed our soul? Especially highly sensitive people need their down time; time to inhale energy and exhale relaxation. One of the things you can do to feed your soul is to write down or go through your gratitude list. Here’s mine:

  1. I am grateful for having finished the 30 Day Vegan Challenge
  2. for opening up to the Vegan world and having decided to eat 80% vegan and the rest of the time everything I like to eat
  3. for walking around in a healthy and fit body
  4. for every emotion I feel
  5. for choosing for my well-being instead of feeling guilty about choosing for myself in relationship with my mom
  6. for my interest in people
  7. for my drive to heal people from their wounds
  8. for my capacity to guide people so they feel strong from the inside
  9. for my intuitivity
  10. for my writing skills
  11. for my grey hairs and especially for smiling when a friend mentioned my grey hairs
  12. for my ability to present other world views to people who need a change of perspective
  13. for feeling strong by what I eat
  14. for connecting with people in different ways: social media, on the streets, public transport
  15. for loving life dearly
  16. for talking with Amé about death
  17. for laughing out loud
  18. for enjoying books
  19. for loving to dance
  20. for sharing food with friends
  21. for organizing family gatherings
  22. for seeing things differently
  23. for feeling calm from within
  24. for shining like I do
  25. for my deep urge to change the world for the better
  26. for my desire to share and spread the word on high sensitivity
  27. for the people around me who see what I can bring
  28. for seeing and feeling what I can bring about
  29. for having been the mom that I am towards Amé
  30. for my insights
  31. for my teaching skills when it comes to children, they are so much fun, everyone wants to be seen
  32. for sharing the truth
  33. To conclude: this gratitude list is about how grateful I am to be me

Life Coaching: dare to look beyond

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Being a highly sensitive person born in a family, a culture or country where there is a lot of turmoil has a huge psychological impact. Anger is one of the emotions which can be hidden on a deserted island within you. Be conscious of daily life situations in which you might feel frustrated about how people treat you or about how life can take a course you weren’t waiting for. If you dare to look beyond these frustrations, they might tell you what you don’t want to hear, but you desperately need to know and live by.

Daily life situations reflect your inner state. That’s why it’s important to start listening.

Stop participating in the problem

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Have you been a victim of people who are projecting their negative energy onto your life? Stop being the victim and step out of the problem others have created. It is both awful and true, but some people just don’t know how to handle their deep rooted fears, anger and sadness. The only reason for them to project these emotions onto others is because they don’t feel and see a way out. When it comes down to family relationships which are the hardest and most challenging of all relationships we often come to question ourselves: are we the ones to help them? Underneath all that blame and pointing fingers is love. For sure.

The only problem is that blaming sucks up all the positive energy you have. It tires one out to the bone. No energy left no more to speak. How is it possible to speak to someone who continues to blame, play the victim and ignore your needs? I’ve spoken to some courageous people who stood up with their loving energy: “I will HELP my sister”, “I will keep on supporting my little brother financially”, “I will only express loving words and actions towards my mom” or “I will stick by their side, because I see the good in them”. Some of these people were strong enough to play it this way. Others succumbed to the negativity which was played out on them.

The key in resolving conflicts is first of all knowing which part you play in the conflict. Do you even play a part? As how I described it in the above situations, sometimes we play the part of wanting to help the ones who are driven by fear, anger and sadness, but ask yourself up until when you are able to do this without losing your beloved self in the matter. Secondly, after having defined your role and how and if you would like to participate in the situation, know that you have the possibility to “stop participating in the problem”. Have the courage to step away from the situation. Love yourself.

Life Coaching: starting anew as a confident woman

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Her choice to start lifecoaching is motivated by her wish to start anew as a confident woman working with the best intentions, high ambition and responsibility. But at the moment she is afraid that negative experiences will be repeated. That there will be people who will be envious of her success and wanting her to step down and leave the company. That is what her manager aimed at, but she didn’t get it the easiest way, she got it the hard way. She fought for what she had built up. She is lamenting the fact that she couldn’t say goodbye to her colleagues.

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 client 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 life coaching 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 they 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. 

Colombian lady talking loud

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Today I found myself in a bus from The Hague central station to where I live. My attention was immediately drawn to a lady speaking in Spanish. I believe I stared at her, because my eyes met the eyes of a lady who noticed I was staring. Her eyes moved quickly from me to the loud Spanish speaking lady. Reason why I stared was that she spoke Speedy-Gonzales-Spanish. Up until now I hadn’t heard anyone speaking Spanish that quickly. My brains were working overtime to understand each and every word. I know, this comes across like eavesdropping and I don’t want to be rude, but I was so much impressed by her speed of talking. It came down to understanding some words and phrases.

In my head thoughts started to circle around and around. Shall I speak to her? Wouldn’t that seem weird to her and to all the passengers in the bus? What shall I say? Could it be that she is talking that fast, because of any disease? Oh, no, if that was the case, it would be very awkward to have a small talk. What I really wanted to share with her was how impressed I was. I stopped all the circling thoughts and decided just to do it, because otherwise I would regret it. Right after my decision her phone made a loud noise. She looked at the back, our eyes caught and I smiled at her. She smiled back. I saw my chance and moved from my seat to a seat behind her and said ‘Disculpe’ (excuse me) and off I went.

We had a really nice talk. I discovered that she is Colombian and that all Colombians talk fast like that. Well that was her opinion, because I have met Colombians before and their speed of talking never struck me in a way as with this lady. She has almost lived her whole life in the Netherlands with her Dutch husband. They have one child, a son, 33 years old and moved back to Colombia and is raising his three kids there together with his wife. She works in healthcare and only speaks Spanish with her husband and when she is back in Colombia. Her life is in Dutch.

She also shared with me that Dutch people don’t talk as loud in public transport as Colombians do. I know, I said, but I’m used to it, because Chinese people talk loud as well. I very much enjoyed our ‘small’ talk which in fact ended in sharing more with each other than what we think of the weather or things happening in and around public transport. Yes, it was the right decision to go and talk to her.

Keep calm and sparkle

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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.

Positivity: seeing the bright side of life

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Somehow, whatever happens, I always keep on seeing the bright sight of life. Two dear friends told me, shortly after another, that they experience me as a very optimistic person. ‘How do you do that?’ they asked me. ‘How do you remain optimistic when I tell you that I don’t see a way out here. I feel horrible, my life is falling apart and I can’t see this leading to a better and more positive situation. I’m hopeless.’

When friends reach out to me and share their grief and disappointment in life and most of all in themselves, I start to say things like ‘also this will pass and you will get out of this situation as a stronger and more loving person, you are a beautiful human being whose always prepared to help or assist in some way, you are worth it, it’s by taking small steps that you will reach the point where you want to be, everything takes time and you will get there for sure, look at all the things you’ve done up until now’. So yeah, it comes out like that: naturally and without thinking. I’m totally and utterly convinced that every situation will turn out for the better.

So how do I stay optimistic? It’s because of my aunt. I have a lot to thank her for. She is one of the strongest people I know and she invested a lot of time and energy in us, children; her own children and her cousins. She showed me how it could be done. Listened to me, talked to me. She let us experience the fun stuff in life in stead of only studying and working. She is the one who taught me to be resilient in any kind of situation. ‘Keep on doing what you like,’ she told me.