The healer you have been looking for is your own courage

Whenever I guide sessions I witness so much emotional growth in people. I feel energized and excited to work on next steps in all I do and share on social media.

Let’s share our sensitivity, our vulnerability, because it’s a gift and our strength.

Today a client of mine thanked me for having written a piece on her emotional development. She saw it passing by on the facebook page high sensitivity and intuition. While she was reading it she was struck by recognition: it was about her development! And then the amazing thing happened. She felt empowered.

Shortly after having read the blog they had their neighbours over for a visit and she talked about her emotional growth and mentioned my name and work. She wouldn’t have done that normally as the introverted person she is, but she felt so happy and strong.

The next courageous thing she did was tell her mom about the blog. Her mom wanted to read it and while doing so my client was doing all kinds of stuff to calm her nerves. She was afraid for her mom’s reaction. Her mom was impressed and happy for her. What a relief! For years she has battled her fears, but now she finally surrendered and is working through the fears. My client was so happy with my blog, because for once she didn’t have to explain what she was going through.

She had also passed on the good news about her mental health to her general practitioner who once had to hold her in his arms, because she came over with a panic attack. The general practitioner asked for my name and work. How awesome is that!!

This is one of the aims I’m working on. I want to share my work with mental and physical practitioners working in health care. Slowly but steadily I’m working in growing my network in order to get everyone BREATHING.

And thanks to my lovely and very much appreciated clients I feel the flow of life, my mission and vision getting carried out in an effortless way. Yeah!

Get to know my work: Orchid of Life HSP Coaching & Rebirthing in The Hague and beyond 

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HSC: unwinding highly sensitive children. 12 Tips!

In this blog I would like to share 12 tips to unwind your highly sensitive child (HSC) when he or she is overaroused.

Overarousal occurs when your HSC:

  • Has spent too much time in one space with many people
  • Was to be found in that space without parental guidance or someone who is familiar to the child
  • Has too much activities after one another
  • Has not eaten on time or enough
  • Has been exposed to new surroundings and/or activities
  • Has experienced or witnessed injustifiable behaviour

I have gathered the tips below based on my own experience raising two highly sensitive children. My daughter has turned zeven this summer and my son is nearly 21 months.

  1. Let them play outside

Playing outside frees the mind, body and soul. It relaxes. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like; feel the wind, the rain and the sunbeams on your skin. Children are still so close to nature. Let them experience nature whenever they need it. The moments they need it, is after school or another social activity. Especially schools where children need to sit tightly behind their desk to do their chores make a good reason to release your children in nature. I’ve seen to many parents taking their HSC directly from school to another activity. They need time to unwind before taking up another activity. Even running around at the school’s playground will suffice to release some of the school’s impulses they took in.

2. Have an after-school-routine

After having runned around with friends we go home and my daughter gets something to drink and a snack. Whenever I have the time and energy I prepare a homemade snack. She truly appreciates that kind of gesture. Especially the taste. Help them organize their school stuff and perhaps get them to dress differently in order to change the school-energy into being-home-energy.

3. Make them feel loved

When highly sensitive children are overaroused they can get really nasty. They don’t want to eat what you serve, they don’t want to listen, they are grumpy, silent or they only want to sit behind a screen to watch cartoons. They can get into each other’s hair. Make them feel loved. Put extra care in the food you offer. You could put different colourful and healthy snacks on one plate. Make it a feast. Hug them or keep your distance depending the childs wish, but stay close so they can come to you. In case of the one bothering the other: take them apart, but don’t scold them. They were only expressing their needs in a negative way. Instead give them what they need: drink, snack, hugs, reading to both of them, sing, dance.

4. Giving space to anger

When your highly sensitive child is angry; starts screaming or throwing things, the best thing to do is stay calm and have an open attitude. Acknowledge their anger. Make the anger feel welcome, but be clear about your physical and emotional bounderies. They are not allowed to throw things at you nor verbally hurt you. Tell them they are allowed to feel angry, but not to project the anger onto you. Bring it back to the core emotion instead of punishing them for having hurt you.

5. Accept their pace in sharing

Highly sensitive children need time to digest the experiences that have hurt them or made a huge impression. Many times my daughter told a full story on how she felt the same evening, the following day or even two days after. It was difficult for me to accept her pace. Especially when I noticed she felt really bad about something. But from experience I’ve learnt to not ask about it further when she doesn’t respond the first few times.

6. Shower or bathe

This is a very important tool to unwind overaroused highly sensitive children. Most children have a positive reaction towards water. My children drop everything they are doing when I mention the word “bath”. For a while, when my daughter came home exhausted from school we explained to her that showering and bathing would be part of the after-school-routine. It helped her to wash away negative energy of children teasing other children, when injustice happened in her point-of-view, when friends didn’t listen to her or get rid of the warmth she had experienced in classrooms.

7. Do something creative

We, parents, are always busy and we want the best for our children. I believe we could definitely opt more and plan quality time with our children. Perhaps you could have your dinner already prepared so you can spend half an our colouring and crafting. Children thrive when they feel you are fully present.

8. Prepare dinner together

Get your highly sensitive child participate in preparing dinner. It’s a healthy way to disconnect from digital life and get your body and senses moving. Reconnecting in this way also boosts your HSC’s selfesteem. Be sure to give your HSC physically and verbally space and room to express her/his creative cooking eye. On the verbal aspect; stimulate their initiatives and avoid critisizing their actions. Make it a time to remember. Put your HSC’s favourite music on. Dress up: cooking hats and skirts.

9. Give a massage

Giving massages is next to showering and bathing a relaxing way to get back into your skin. Our children imitate everything we do. My daughter also likes to give massages so one of us (parents) is the lucky one to receive or her little brother. Our son has picked up this practice too. Another great way to get your HSC connecting to their body is holding their feet, hands or cover their ears with the palms of your hands. When I hold my daughter’s feet she instantly starts to yawn.

10. Alone-time

Actually we didn’t have to stimulate alone-time with our daughter because she initiated this for herself. She loves to read. Reading helps her to unwind. She also likes to dress up in her room and comes out to show her different outfits. But sometimes when she is whirled up too much we stimulate her to do something else. Something which helps her to release energy instead of taking in more information.

11. Balance social activities

Two birthday’s in a row is not done in our highly sensitive household. In addition, when we attend a birthday party we stay a maximum of an hour and a half. That’s quite enough celebratory impulses to unwind afterwards. One children’s birthday and an afternoon-family visit is too much. Receiving friends during the week around dinner time is also not done. Only if friend(s) and family blend in our household it’s doable. By that I mean that they take up a chore or give attention to one of the children.

Recently my daughter did a classical ballet try-out and after class she was fuelled up with adrenaline, grumpy and she couldn’t come up with normal phrases to indicate what she wanted. Based on all these signs I had to give back to her that she wasn’t ready to take up an after-school activity. She agreed. To acknowledge her need to play we agreed that we would plan play-dates when she feels energetic enough to enjoy playtime with her friends.

12. Plan recharching time

Continuing on the previous tip: yes, we try to plan as much as one after-school social activity during the week for my daughter. This means at least four after-school days are spend recharging for the next school day. My son gets his daily social boost with his dad in libraries, supermarkets and wherever day go and play. During the weekend it also comes down to mostly one social activity (spending time with family and friends) for the kids so we have one day left to recharge and do what we feel like doing on the spot. Sometimes we (parents) have more than one social activity, but one of us stays with the children and spend time in a slow way.

Hopefully a couple of these tips will help you unwind your highly sensitive children. Now let’s hear it from you. Please leave a comment below to share what your HSC parenting challenges are and what works for you to unwind your HSC.

Let’s continue to cherish our sensitivity!

I feel anxious and impatient about the house search

I am guiding highly talented people. They are highly sensitive and are in the process of fully embracing their sensitivity. It’s a shame most of them have a hard time acknowledging their talents. I am happy to help out guiding their emotional development. This week there was one lady in particular who experienced a major breakthrough during a coaching and rebirthing session.

Picture this: she is sitting on the couch and telling me they have to move again. It will be their third time in The Hague. She and her husband are expats. She didn’t smile, her facial expression was quite neutral. Since the previous weekend they started their house search together. After the weekend she continued the house search and set aside her own things: applying for jobs, an online course and being kind to herself as part of her path towards living from her talents. She didn’t look happy with her change of focus, but reassured me she was calm and positive towards finding a new home. I listened, took it in, but didn’t believe her.

When one is trapped in limiting beliefs and behaviour at some point you will feel trapped.

Instead of asking any further I invited her to lay down on the air mattress. Start breathing, start aligning with your body and soul. Start awakening your emotional body, because it will tell the truth.

When she was like 15 minutes in the conscious connected breathing she felt a huge pressure on her chest. It felt like an elephant stamping on her chest, she felt anxiety. She started sharing: I feel anxious and impatient about the house search. My husband is working full time and because of this I feel I need to do more, I feel like a 90% responsible whereas this could be a lot less if I would share more of my thoughts and feelings with my husband. It’s me, he is really nice and thoughtful and tells me to focus on my own things.

But I feel selfish if I would do so, focusing on my own things.

I stimulated her to pick up the conscious connected breathing. After 15 more minutes she felt lots of tension in her arms and hands. It hurt her. She asked if she could stop. Of course. And then, while feeling her body it sank in: that voice in her head, it’s not her own, it’s her mother’s voice telling her she is selfish. (and even more: that she needs a lot of attention, that she makes problems out of nothing, she is difficult)

From the moment she realised this, the tension slowly, but steadily left her arms and hands. She felt so relieved.

The coaching and rebirthing sessions I guide are both emotionally intense; it provided the space to process deep-rooted pain, and practical. This lady left the session with homework: involving her husband more in her world of thoughts and feelings regarding the house search, a good talk would do the work so she could focus and enjoy her own work again.

If you’re interested in an introduction session, click here for more information and to make an appointment. 

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. 

Life Coaching: looking back on 2015

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In this blog I will answer some questions to reflect on my work and development as a life coach in 2015.

How have you lived and worked in alignment with your values and vision?

Keyword I had chosen for 2015 was simply to “be”. It sounds simple, but I believe for many people it’s life biggest personal challenge to just be who you are, including for myself. As a life coach this year has been a year full of amazing emotional growth for myself, my partner and all the people I have coached. In alignment of my vision I have started giving lectures on high sensitivity. I kicked the first one of in May in The Hague and received 22 participants.

My vision is that the world will be a gentler, nicer and more fun place to live in when more and more people come to appreciate their sensitivity in stead of surpressing or neglecting it. High sensitive people have many talents, but feel quite overruled by a dominant society with high expectations. With these lectures I have shared the challenges highly sensitive people face on the workfloor and in personal relationships. Only by sharing stories of the highly sensitive people I have coached I got feedbacked that people feel supported and understood. They even experienced the lecture as uplifting, yes, of course there are ways to feel empowered to do just that what you most desire in life.

I have been working as a life coach for 12 years and I have always worked in alignment of my values. People hire me to guide them with their emotional development and in the Netherlands it’s quite unusual to invest in hiring a life coach. First option would be a psychologist. This has much to do with the costs and how my guidance isn’t covered by insurance. However I have seen my coachingpractice growing, especially people who have had sessions with a psychologist or psychotherapist found my practice and have undergone many positive changes.

One of my core values as a coach and human being is to give my best, every second that the people are in my coachingpractice. I coach with genuine interest and empathy putting their matters of the heart on the front line. My open and genuine attitide feeds the coaching relationship in which the coachee is able to blossom and let go of limiting thoughts and emotions. I have noticed that I attract more people who turn to my guidance even before turning to a psychologist. I find this positive in many ways. One of them is that people take the lead in health care; they choose their type of guidance in stead of being controlled by society and insurance policy.

What were your most valuable learnings or take-aways? My most valuable learnings were the following:

When you process anger and sadness one is able to feel loving and compassionate again by forgiving the person who angered you, but also to forgive yourself for being too hard on yourself or for not having done the right thing. This doesn’t mean the wrecked relationship will be renewded again; it means that you won’t have to go through life with resentment towards this relationship. But it is also possible to put loving energy in the relationship to see it change for the better. It all depends on how you feel.

I’ve started to use rebirthing in my coaching practice. Through this breathing technique I’ve learned a lot about how body, mind and energy works. It’s a simple technique which leads to magnificent results. People are able to free themselves from negative emotions and physical pains. People will start to feel clear-minded, strong and flexible in the body and emotional more stable.

Another valuable learning was the power of sharing my vision and mission. It empowered me to think about the high sensitivity knowledge I’ve gained throughout the years. Many people who follow my work feel supported and empowered to accept themselves fully as high sensitive people.

Where did you show self-compassion, courage, and commitment (especially in the face of challenge)?

The most challenging work I’ve done which showed self-compassion, courage and commitment was to let myself be healed by rebirthing and to be of support and guidance for my husband who has been suffering a headache for six years. It takes a lot of patience and resilience to keep out heads up. On the other hand we don’t have a choice; it’s either doing nothing which won’t change anything or putting all of our energy in getting healthy.

How did you surprise yourself?

While I was pregnant I’ve worked all the way. I had much more energy compared to my first pregnancy. I’ve only felt off-beat the first three months, afterwards hormones regulated and I could eat whatever I wanted and felt lots of energy and motivation to work.

What impact (big or small) have you made through your work?

I’ve made people express their anger, sadness, hatred, disappointment, powerlessness and helplessness to process their trauma’s such as sexual abuse, dominanting relationships with parents, divorce, being surpressed my negative emotions of family and break-ups of love relationships. After having expressed these emotions they felt empowered again, they felt empty at first, but slowly it gave them the energy to take better care for themselves, acknowledge their talents and live the life they want.

For more information on my work, I invite you to visit my website Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching. 

Rebirthing: using life energy to regain health

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Rebirthing is a simple breathing technique that can transform your body, mind, spirit, as well as your perception of who you were, who you are, and who you will be. It releases emotional, mental and physical patterns; creates joy and aliveness in the body; and gives the client a feeling of empowerment and self-control, and creates energetic relaxation. The breath work process releases the emotional, negative charge out of cell memory. The process causes integration of unresolved emotional, physical, mental and spiritual energies.  The primary result is an experience of clarity at a very core level. The process empowers a person into choice and out of victimhood.

Rebirthing is also reffered to as Conscious Connected Breathing (CCB). CCB goes as follows: while breathing we connect inhalation with exhalation and exhalation with inhalation, in doing so we create a circular motion of breath. While inhaling we inhale life energy. We need life energy to feed our cells and soul. Rebirthing is not a mind therapy, it works on an emotional level. Different people react in different ways. The conscious connected breathing releases built up tensions in your body.

Think of psychical reactions such as: feeling cold or the opposite; super hot like fire, sweaty hands, pressure on the forehead, tension in the throat, chest or stomach center, a tingling sensation in arms, legs, face or just about everywhere, itching and the sensation of wanting to curl your feet up or move your knees from side to side. Along with the psychical reactions different emotions may surface: sadness, anger, fear, guilt, loneliness and so on. It does not matter how you react, what matters is that the process works and works very quickly and thoroughly.

Releasing physical reactions of the body which are related to trauma will help you regain your health. I’ve guided people who were used to living with physical pains, depression, lots of stress, breathing problems such as asthma and hyperventilation or were either abusing themselves by overeating, drinking problems, smoking.

After the session

The breathing work takes you to a place in which you can work and feel through emotions on a subconscious level. At the same time I make sure you’re still here with me, we communicate in a way which supports your emotional growth. You will feel trust and strength to move on breathing, because it’s the way to emotional freedom. You do not leave the session without being totally back in the here and now. You won’t feel disconnected or spaced out in any way. I always recommend that people do whatever feels right for them, that they pamper, indulge, and look after the inner child, because it is your emotional self who has expressed deep rooted emotions. That night, and perhaps over the next three days, you may have interesting dreams, things that come up from the past, past memories. It’s helpful to write these down for the follow up session.

Within seven to ten days, everything has settled. You should then be totally able to know how you were before the rebirthing experience and how you are afterwards, and you will see a most distinctive difference. How does it manifest? With feeling of freedom, security, the loss of fear, pain, the real determination, the knowledge that you are going to get through anything and everything, a new peace within yourself, a new hope, feelings of being in control, in touch with the powerful part of yourself, and most certainly increased awareness of creativity and sensitivity.

In case you’re interested in a rebirthing session I invite you to my website for more information about my work: Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching