Moving abroad for a couple of years

ginger juices

A dear friend of mine came over to see me in The Hague. I wasn’t expecting her to tell us that she would move to London next year. Her husband got offered a job and they are in the midst of settling an arrangement to move their family including two little kids to London for three years. This has been their dream for many years and they didn’t think a chance like this would come by any time soon. Truth need to be told that she had kept this a secret for me for some months, because they wanted to be sure before sharing this huge news with friends. I was left in shock.

Why? And why so soon? The first emotion that popped up was that I would miss her. That all would be different, even though we have already struggled with meeting up while both living in the Netherlands. Straight after she had told me I opened up to what I was feeling, tears came rolling down my face. She embraced me and I just let it go. To be honest, I am proud to share that I was able to open to all my emotions and thoughts. When I look back at the times I have done this I am sure this started happening from this year onwards. It feels like I have been through a miraculous shift when it comes down to showing my tears to family and friends. I feel comfortable and safe in doing so.

From the moment she lives in London I imagine we would become more efficient in scheduling our get-to-gathers. Perhaps we will start using facetime or videoskype. Many people I know use these means of communication to stay in touch. Like having breakfast on a Sunday morning in ones kitchen while seeing and talking to family in Switserland. Actually I don’t want to think about this future scenery anymore, because I prefer having my friends living around the corner. Even though I would like to have more contact with my friends abroad I tend to keep in touch for a couple of times a year and be so, so very happy when I actually see them.

Of course I haven’t cried all the while she was visiting. Tears and laughter in my life are like two hands holding each other in good and bad times. I took her to the Hague city centre to discover a healthy juice and lunch café named Fine Fresh Food. Their vegan brownie and the savoury juice I tried was splendid. Furthermore we discussed our work and initiatives we are exploring in the field of psychology and lifecoaching.

Oh, I forget to mention one little detail, a few days before she came I literally thought to myself ‘Would I like to live abroad for a couple of years?’. I was surprised by this thought, because it came out of nowhere. On top of this at the beginning of this week our daughter told us she wants to go to England to speak English. Most likely we had a hunch of this message coming our way. I told my quite down-to-earth friend about our presentiments. She laughed and took it lightly. Life is about sharing right? There is no distance in time and space.


Emotions: perception of time


Recently I did a session in between these high trees. It was wonderful; smelling the leaves, feeling the wind and the free space of nature. Almost as wonderful as doing a session at the port of Scheveningen which I did a while ago.

During this session the coachee was speaking from a deep-felt sadness. Over and over again sessions have proved that long hidden emotions have a lot to tell. The emotions have a lot to tell the coachee and to the ones who contributed to the existence of these emotions. For an hour I was standing there; guiding, listening and with the help of my internal clock I worked towards closing of the session.

Afterwards the coachee told me that it seemed only seven minutes of talking. Seven minutes?! There was a huge gap between our perception of time. To me it proves that long hidden deep-felt emotions are extremely alive! You could feel like a little kid again who was bullied in the past or the young adult who was fired for no good reason. When one allows these emotions come to the surface one will eventually feel freed from exhaustion, headache, anxiety and other fysical and mental blockages.

An explosion of thoughts: acting out of Fear or Love?

The Hague is such a lovely mixture of different cultures. I love walking down the streets or sit down in café’s and hear all these exotic languages. When Amé was only a couple of months young we took her to Vapiano. As usual Vapiano was quit busy, but not as busy as during the evenings. It was an afternoon. A good time for young parents to have a pizza.

We sat down next to a couple with their daughter who already could sit and eat her pizza baby slices. Because of our daughters and especially because the daughers were a mixture of Asian and Western blood there was an immediate click. We started talking about life, living in the Hague and being a young parent. It was so much fun.

Normally I would initiate the ‘exchanging numbers moment’ and hand out my business card. Adding to this moment an invitation to meet up some other time, but I didn’t. I didn’t because I knew it wouldn’t come to meeting up. Us being a part of ‘young-parents-world’ were living it day by day and enjoying every moment of our renewed lives. Sh••t, and they were so nice. I spoke out the wish to run into them some other time.

This happened. Last monday on my birthday I run into them. I cycled back home after a swim and sauna. Cycling towards the second Chinatown entrance towards station Hollands Spoor I saw the little girl on the pavement. Instantly I recognized her. I looked up to the parents; again recognition took place.

In stead of stopping and walking up to them for a chitchat I cycled away from them, thinking…Pfff..thinking way to many thoughts; an explosion of thoughts whirled around in my head. Shall I turn around and start chitchatting? No, I’m tired of today and I wouldn’t have the time to meet up anyway. If we would exchange numbers and I would be calling months after our ‘China-town meet up’ it would defeat the purpose of getting to know each other and by the way I have enough friends!! Ok…and now it’s way too late to turn around, now I really have to look for them, so let’s forget about it and move on. Oh, my gosh, this wasn’t me, not like me at all.

At home I told my man: do you remember this couple and their baby girl whom me met months ago in Vapiano? He remembered and listened to my explosion of thoughts. He said only ‘Also in this situation you could ask yourself ‘Shall I act out of fear or love?’’ Suddenly it struck me; I could have just said ‘hi, how are you guys and bye’ and experience the moment just as it was given to me. This thought gave so much space, so much energy. If only I would have had the energy…hmmm…let’s skip the ‘if only’s’ and remember from now on this adage ‘I’m I acting out of fear or love?’ 

And about the couple; wishing to come across them again. Preferably in the Hague, sweet dear universe!!

List a 100 Things you Like!

One of the objectives of coaching is to help you shift your focus to positive things in life. A good exercise is to challenge yourself and list a 100 things you like. What?! A 100 things? Yes, you understood it correctly. I challenge you to see all the positive things in your life. Just as I will challenge myself as you can see further down the line.

Make yourself comfortable either behind your computer or at a table with your pen and a piece of paper. Gather your own inventory of 100 things that you love or make you happy. What do you love about you? Note attributes you like in the people you interact with throughout your day. What do you like about your current job or where you live. Think about moments which brought a smile on your face. What are your favorite things to do? What are the simple pleasures in life that bring you joy? These are all clues to what’s important to you and what you’re passionate about. Ask yourself, what are more ways that I can invite love in to my life? And notice what shifts in your life.

Let’s see what I like, I like…
1. food in general & healthy food
2. to cook & dance at the same time
3. dance salsa
4. get to know people
5. creating my own workspace
6. a walk on the beach
7. meditate
8. have a coffee with friends
9. brainstorm about concepts
10. coaching (off course)
11. being inspired
12. playing capoeira
13. learing to play Brasilian instruments
14. learning languages
15. Spanish culture
16. to discover new places around the world
17. baking healthy pancakes with the love of my life
18. magazines, books, newspapers
19. internet
20. walking in my neighbourhood on a quit Sunday morning
21. being outside
22. exercising, doing some fitness
23. helping my family
24. talking to my mother -in-law
25. organising dinnerparties with Luit
26. a clean house
27. going out for dinner, but cooking @ home is just as fun
28. watching pictures
29. cuddling a baby
30. to watch cats
31.  to inspire others
32.  the innocence of little children
33.  my eyes, I have the eyes of my father
34.  the curls of the love of my life
35.  living close to the beach
36.  visiting friends in other countries
37.  speaking Spanish, more than I like speaking in English
38.  reading a mail from a dear friend whom I haven’t seen for a while
39.  giving presentations & workshops
40.  sitting on the edge of the boulevard watching the sea
41.  I used to dislike my knees, but know I like them
42.  writing in my diary
43.  learning to dance the samba which is tiring when you do it in the right way
44.  taking pictures & film
45.  watching movies
46.  going to a museum
47.  discover new spots in the city I live
48.  reiki
49.  Tibetan philosophy
50.  Taoism
51.  doing yoga in the morning
52.  teaching aerobics, spinning, streetdance, steps
53.  my grandfathers stories
54.  watching my mom grow personally
55.  listen to different kinds of music in different languages
56.  professional networking
57.  speaking to everyone on the streets
58.  my lucky number 8
59.  my Chinese background
60.  eating with chopsticks
61.  waking up well rested
62.  to see kindness in people
63.  promoting my blogs
64.  when my blogs are read
65.  I especially like the Turkish pizza just a 5 min. walk away from our home
66.  I like talking to people in aerplanes
67.  travelling on my own
68.  food made by my mom
69.  doing groceries on the Hague Market with the love of my life
70.  to experience that my coachingskills keep improving
71.   connect people to each other
72.  colours of nature in Chili, Bolivia and Peru
73.  sound of the sea
74.  pictures taken by my sister; recently I was deeply touched by a family picture
75.  sunlight shining through the window
76.  watching it snow outside when I am warm inside
77.  my gift of freedom
78.  to paint
79.  people sending me fortune (love) cookies from all over the world
80.  learning more and more about different coachingtechniques I can use
81.  our orange lounge seets
82.  Orchids
83.  comedy shows
84.  sound of silence
85.  my 11 year old Adidas sneakers
86.  getting to know the family of my fathers side
87.  to grab opportunities to make a difference in someone else’s life
88.  marry & have children with the love of my life
89.  to interview people about love
90.  to start writing books which people will keep on their bookshelves for life
91.   I like to finish this list of a 100 things I like 🙂
92.  unexpected acts of love
93.  dance on bachata @ home alone
94.  express my emotions
95.  make people feel welcome
96.  laugh out loud
97.  people who really made a difference in the world
98.  taking care of my loved ones
99.  the space in between you and me
100. following my heart, dreams and tunes in life

Coaching on positive thinking, take a look on: Orchid of Life -LifeCoaching.

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

The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do even Less

Twitter is a very handy tool to stay up -to -date. Through my sister Ouxu I read the article ‘The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do even Less. Leo Babauta from ZenHabits wrote this article about doing as little as possible. The best part of the article in my opinion, you find below:

  • Go with the flow. Imagine the effort required to swim upstream compared to moving with the flow of a river. If you go with the flow of things, rather than against them, you will naturally do less, and with less effort.
  • Don’t force things. A common mistake — trying to hard, forcing something that doesn’t want to be forced, forcing people to do things they don’t want to do. A lot of effort, action, and time is wasted. Instead, find a smoother way — think of water, which flows around things rather than trying to force its way through them.
  • Find the pressure points. In martial arts, instead of using maximum force, you are wise to find the points in the body where less force can be used to greater effect, whether that’s to cause pain or imbalance or some other effect. Well, I don’t advocate finding pain, but the idea of pressure points is a good one: if you can find the little spots where a little action can change everything, can go a long way, you have mastered the Do Less philosophy.
  • Let others do. Give others the room and freedom to move, to create, to invent, to learn, to work, to do, on their own. Less time, effort and action spent trying to control others means that you do less, but let others make things happen. It means letting go of control, but that’s a good thing. Other people have creativity, imagination, dedication, good ideas too.
  • Let things happen. Often our actions interfere with events that would happen without our actions. In other words, if we took no action, things would happen without us. Sometimes it’s better to let things happen. Step back, don’t act, things will happen without us.

If this inspired you, I recommend you to read the complete article: The Lazy Manifesto: Do Less. Then, Do even Less.

8 Happy Boosters

Happy feet

1.Comforting yourself with the thought that this will also pass. Today I found myself in a devestating melancholical mood. Hey, what do you know? Even though I work as a lifecoach, I am also human! I went this morning to the gym to exercise a bit, but it didn’t give me the normal booster like it does normally. So I had to give space to this feeling of sadness. I know that this isn’t a fun way to start the ‘8 Happy Boosters’, but it is a good example that these feelings eventually will pass. What should you do to bring yourself out of this state of mind? Well, first of all, allow yourself to feel this way and then move on with little steps. In my case I was moaning a bit and then I got dressed, stepped on my bike and started my to-do list.

2.Give yourself space to choose again and again. When you find yourself in a situation that you are experiencing a dilemma between what you want to do and what you have to do. Allow yourself to choose for the thing you want to do. In a world where we expect so much of ourselvels it feels like a real gift when you allow yourself to choose again and again. There is always a new situation. There is always a choice. Give yourself the freedom of being able to choose for the things that make you happy.

3.Disconnect yourself from anything close to technology; phone, internet, tv etc! Studies show that extroverts and introverts alike get a mood boost from connecting with other people. The flipside of being involved all the time is that it makes you tired. Acknowledge the fact that you want some piece and quiteness once in a while and pick up a book, go dancing or bake a nice cake!

4.Communicate how you feel. As I told you before, I felt bad today. Once I had done some of my to-do list I thought ‘aaaahhh, it would feel so good to tell someone about how I really feel. People always think that as a lifecoach you are never to feel unstable or undecisive. Well, to be honest, as a human being like you I also go through this fases once in a while and then I need someone else to give me some positive impulses. Today my sister gave me several positive impulses. She immediately sent a link to a interesting website and motivated me by sharing a picture of a delicious cake.

5.Dress yourself nicely. Research shows that how we act depends on how we feel, but it also works the otherway around. In fact, we often feel because of the way we act. As improbable as this sounds, it really works. When you notice that you are not really in the mood to do things, don not stay in your pyjamas all day, but dress yourself nicely, create new combinations and be prepared for another day of work, party or other celebration.

6. Take time to buy presents. In Holland the month December is full of giving and receiving presents, because of Sint Nicolaas and off course Christmas. When you also have birthdays coming up this and next month then you definitely need someone who buys all the presents, but with this Happy Booster I would like to tip you on taking time to buy presents, because the receiver will feel how much time you have spent on the present. Giving a present is actually showing your beloved ones how well you know them and the smile that appears on their faces with the first glimpse on the present is priceless.

7. Talk to someone you haven’t spoken for a long time. Some friendships go and some friendships stay. Tomorrow I will have dinner with someone who I consider a dear friend of mine, but due to certain situations we didn’t have contact for a while. I believe that situations pass and the feelings of friendship stay. If we will be close friends in the future time will tell, but I know that I will enjoy my time with her tomorrow.

8. Your lucky number! Eight is actually my lucky number!! What is yours? Since 8 is the lucky number of the whole nation of China I can proudly say that I have a lot of back -up. The more people think positively about something the more it will bring you. The Happy Booster tip I would like to give you is to focus on positive things in your life. This will indeed make you happyyyyy immediately. Think of the things for which you are grateful of and focus on these great experiences, people and so on!

With these 8 Happy Boosters, I hope I inspired you to do what you want and make yourself and others happy by just being YOU!!