Take time to do what makes your soul happy

soul

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

Love: writing letters

letters

As a child I wrote lots of letters. We were on the move. Leaving behind friends at the age of 8 and 14 made me write letters to keep in touch with friends. I used to keep all letters neatly in lots of shoeboxes. But life continued, we lost contact, we weren’t friends anymore. At this point I decided to throw away most of the letters. I kept the ones which touched my heart deeply.

A few weeks ago, at age 36, I picked up this almost long-forgotten letter writing. I’ve already written a few letters. I must admit I absolutely enjoy the act of hand-writing as opposed to typing on a laptop. I take more time to think about the things I would like to share. The stories are more to the point with here and there a wink of the eye whilst typing makes me share loads of details.

Moreover the act of hand-writing gives me the pleasure to choose paper and a envelop which could elevate the receivers mood. Seeing the possible colors and drawings and feeling what could match with the person I’m writing to definitely elevates mine!

In this age of immediate contact via different social media channels I would like to recommend hand-writing to you. I remember the joy of receiving a card or letter when I was young. I also remember the joy of knowing that someone I love would receive a part of my life. A third aspect would be the fleeting moments thinking about when my friend would write back. All these feelings are unchanged after all these years of not writing. I feel the same enjoyment of writing and all feelings related to being in touch with a beloved one.

Only the big difference nowadays is that I receive my “reply’s” via whatsapp and Facebook messenger. Haha, no going back to the good old days. The only person who understands me is my great grandmother who will turn 90 years this year. She hasn’t responded yet. I love waiting for our next moment of being in touch.

Life Coaching: letting go of tears and fears

incredible

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 coachee 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 lifecoaching 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.

I live for magic, I live for love

art

Seeing a familiar face. The face of a boy who is now 10 years old. It was the reflection of a friendship. A friendship which started more than 10 years ago with the boy’s mom. Another face I hadn’t seen for almost three years. The day before she felt like watching some film recordings with her son. I appeared in one of the films. She reminded her son about me and told him my name. The next day I was teaching him capoeira. He recognized me, but didn’t know me as Iniciativa (my capoeira name). During the warming-up I saw his face, stared at him and whispered his name to myself. A few moments later I cried his name outloud. All his friends were like ‘do you know her?’ After class they were waiting at the square. We spoke. We reminisced. She said: ‘I can’t believe it. Yesterday we spoke about you and today you’re here.’

Somehow and for some reason our paths crossed again. I was really happy to see her. That feeling was still there; true friendship. 

This experience reminded me of last Sunday. I wanted to watch a film recording my sister made of our daughter’s birth. The first film I watched wasn’t the one I wanted to see. In stead I watched a foto/film compilation about my grandfather who passed away in 2009. I cried all the way through the film. Remembering and feeling the connection we had as a family when he was still physically with us. A few hours later his presence was felt again. Third time. This time it felt like he was gently pushing me to go ahead, to reach out and contact someone I have been missing for a long time.

Whenever we understand and feel love from a higher consciousness it strengthens us. Although fear is felt, we are able to reach out. 

We always have the option to choose over and over again. When something doesn’t feel right, we can choose for something or someone who makes us feel good. Recently I had a strange encounter with an optic. He checked my eyes, told me they were fine, but couldn’t explain why my left eye is weaker. He simply said that it is like that and that he couldn’t do anything about it. I changed to another optic. Several opticians checked my eyes. Why? Because the first optician gave me lenses which didn’t improve my vision. How odd! They do all these tests, but somehow he miscalculated and I had to put up with bad vision for a week.

A few weeks later a friend talked to me about having seen the optician I left before. She wanted a cheaper contact lens. He didn’t listen and tried to talk her into buying other type of lenses. Moreover he said that she could only wear two weekly lenses in stead of montly lenses. Our conclusion was that he wasn’t serving us for our best interest. That feels awful; trusting our eyes to someone who is only acting out of his best interest. It was kind of special that we could share our stories. Yes, we live in the same neighbourhood and we’re both wearing contact lenses. But what were the odds that we would have an awful encounter with the same optician in the same period of time?

We are never alone in a situation. Surrounding ourselves with the right people makes life easier and more fun. Sharing reinforces our instinct. 

This blog is about love, life and sharing. How paths cross and especially why people meet or meet again. While I was telling a friend about a synchronic experience she got goosebumps all over. Exactly on the same day something beautiful crossed her path; an unexpected conversation on a terrace with a stranger. The woman glimpsed at her. At the point of leaving the terrace her curiosity was stronger than her fear of walking up towards a stranger. It resulted in a heartwarming, open and intimate conversation. She was overwhelmed by the fact that it happened. It felt like they were supposed to meet each other.

An instant of recognition can be grabbed and changed into something more. 

These synchronic experiences are magical to me. It feels like I am lifted up towards the sky where all the stars meet. It feels like someone or something is carrying me. It feels like we are all connected to one another.

I live for magic, I live for love. 

Follow LOVECOOKIES on Twitter

On Thursday the 18th of August I tweeted the following: ‘Follow @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies @lovecookies plz RT ;-)) Thx’ Well, actually non of my followers retweeted this. Luckily I received one reaction from misses @KatyoNL. According to her it seemed a bit like shameless self-promotion. Later on she reframed it and said ‘it’s not really my thing, but it’s actually an open and clear way of communicating’. Even though it felt a bit strange to put myself out there like this, it felt refreshing at the same time.

Like most of the people I follow on Twitter they have something to offer, they want to do business. Of course you can do business while networking your way through it; sharing information, ideas and connect and have fun on different levels. This because business is mostly done between two parties who actually like each other on a personal level or at least have the same business values. Of course I like chitchatting, but what’s so wrong about telling people what you are good at? I believe more people should start doing this in their own ways, because you and I don’t wanna be labeled in the end as the one who is only good at chitchatting. We want to do business and put our talents out there, so tell everyone what your talent is!

My Chinese roots learned me to drink alcohol in a business setting. I did this once a while back in Quanzhou. I can’t remember how many of these small white 60% alcohol cups I drank, because everyone wanted me to toast with them. I tried to maintain myself and my way of walking from the restaurant to the entrance of the hotel. From the moment I crossed the entrance I believed my way of walking changed into one waggling Dutch/Chinese girl who can’t take this amount and percentage of alchol. At least I hope I did maintain myself to this point.

What I learned from this is that doing business and alcohol doesn’t go for me. I try to do coaching in a sober way ;)) Just kidding, I know that Chinese belief is that alcohol increases the feelings of trust and friendship between parties. The story even goes that they use alcohol to get to know the real you behind the outer appearance. If a bad attitude appears at the surface due to all this drinking they don’t want to do business with you! Many times Chinese do business without alcohol and they offer you their services and products straight away without shame. This seams to be logical because in their country it’s the survival of the fittest. Since a diverse range of cultures inhabit the Netherlands we are exposed to many ways of doing business. Which offers us quit some learning in this field.

Before writing this piece I was wandering around the page of Miranda July: an American visual artist. She is amazingly creative and thought of an exercise in which she made it easier for the person to give a compliment to themselves. This is worth watching, click here…

So let me find a balance in doing business while incorporating different ways of offering my service; screaming it from the top of Kuala Lumpurs Petronas Towers, sharing my thoughts on love, personal development and lifecoaching (blogging), tipping business relations, promoting initiatives I support and telling you to hire me as your coach 😉

Let’s say my way is ‘straightforward with a playful twist’. Let’s do business!! 🙂

Are you ready for change?

love

Conversations with friends often bring clarity to my work as a coach. Yesterday we had a friend over and he was genuinely interested in my work. Because of his questions I could share my philosophy and make him understand what type of people come and talk to me.

Many people have asked me this question: ‘What type of people hire you as a coach?’ Many times I would answer: “Well, people from different cultures and they might be an artist/photographer, graphic designer, managers from companies, self-employed and so on. They come from everywhere and do just about everything. There is no specific group of people defined as for example ‘Over thirthy and still single’ or ‘Over fourthy and still without passion’.

But there is something what defines them all. It’s a level of CONSIOUSNESS achieved by years of experience in life with or without help of someone skilled in the field of the human psyche. It’s when people reach that moment of awareness when they scream out ‘Now I want it differently! Now I want to get ahead with my life! Now I want change, real change!’ Or a bit less passionate, but with the same goal in mind ‘I am at a crossroad and I am curious after what lifecoaching could bring me’.

Of course I’m there to motivate you and guide you to the best of my abilities, but it’s your inner-driven motivation for real change what will do the trick. Share what you want out of life. Share what you normally, automatically would hide from others. Share your deepest fears and sorrows. All of this will bring the best out of YOU!