Tell your story, share the love

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On the 23nd and 24th of November I participated in a beginners storytelling course by Michael and Terra of www.discstorytelling.com in The Hague. We had a blast!! We did lots of exercises to be able to tell the story we were working on. I believe many of the participants, including myself, surprised themselves by having had the storyteller in them unlocked. 

I met an interesting bunch of internationally orientated people. One guy from Slovenia who is working for the TU Delft where he is guiding students with their start-up ideas and pitches. He thought of using storytelling techniques to enrich the pitches. There was an Indonesian lady who works as a coach & spiritual healer who challenged herself to take a course in English. One lady from Australia with Spanish roots works as a filmer and photographer and wanted to get a boost to promote her work in talks with potential project partners. And so many more…

Their stories enriched my world. 

This year has been the year that I started to get out of the mommy bubble by taking courses. I went to Madrid two weekends in a row to participate in el curso Zen by Suzanne Powell which has definitely put me onto a higher level of consciousness and sharing love. And now I can include a very rich storytelling two-days which has fueled me with fun excercises to develop this skill more and more. 

I must say I feel energized and inspired by the developments I’ve been through. 

For me to take these steps was strongly related to my youngest who will turn three in a couple of months. He is starting to feel more independent and is taking into practise what he has learned under our close parenting views and presence. For him to feel safe and apart from me has been liberating to me. I am happy for him, for myself and for our family and friends. My partner and I have mentioned to each other many times that our boy ignites smiles in the world. He shouldn’t be only smiling to us, but to everyone on his path. Same goes of course for our daughter. 

Let’s do this. Focus on fun, fun, fun and sharing the love we feel. 

Lastly, I definitely recommend Michael and Terra of DISC international storytelling if you want to spicen up the presentation of strategy documents you’re working, sharing your stories related to the product or service you offer or simply because you feel the need to tell a good story amongst family, friends and colleagues. Go get your story out there! ♥️

Take a look at my work as a coach & rebirther for highly sensitive people:
Orchid of Life HSP Coaching & Rebirthing

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Rebirthing: how ego’s cunningness gets in the way

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Just finished an intense rebirthing session. There was an enormous breakthrough. Client said: “Within 15 minutes I’m on that air mattras breathing, because if I don’t the tension will accumulate and fear will make me sit on the couch longer, avoiding the confrontation.” And so the client did, even within 5 minutes. Those breakthroughs give me so much energy! I’m freakin’ proud that people are willingly moving/ breathing through their fears and are learning to let go. It’s a huge challenge to let go.

Ego’s cunningness get’s in the way. It shows itself when crossing the legs, making fists or reaching for the head to pull your own hair telling yourself that this feels better. No, it won’t make you feel better when you go against that tension that wants to be expressed by the body. Letting go requires to embrace every physical expression as it comes. Not to twist it or break the flow if it. Just how it comes.

Are you interested in a coaching & rebirthing session? Please visit this link for more information about booking an introduction session. 

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.

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.

HSC: re-organizing quality time and recharging energy

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May Holidays in The Hague. It’s such a blessing to free up time so easily with the work I am doing as a life coach. Yesterday my holidays began and my first working day will be next week Wednesday. Yeeaahoe! That means quality time with my family, sleeping in, bake, cook, organising our house and having more time to create fun business related but also personal related stuff.

And yes, it would have been wonderful to go on this trip to the North of Holland for a couple of days, but we cancelled it. We organised it a couple of weeks ago, but last Monday evening we decided to skip it. Mostly because of the sleeping rhythms of our children. Our youngest Dían is learning to sleep in his own room. Since his room is next to his big sister Amé, she is temporarily sleeping in another room. His possible crying or I-am-not-ready-to-sleep-mode could keep her awake.

During Easter we did go up North to visit family. Although we had fun it was actually very tiring. Dían had trouble sleeping at night, probably processing all new impressions and smells of the room we slept in. Yes, we are a super highly sensitive family. The way he slept and didn’t sleep kept me up at night. Logically, the following day I was extremely tired. And when I am tired I am not a fun person to be around with. I am not in the mood for talking, nor playing, not anything.

We were conscious about this experience, but somehow forgot it when we were busy making plans for a fun trip.

Luckily it kicked in last Monday evening. Right on time. Better to cancel than to be overloaded by extra impulses and coming back to a messy house. Now we have more time to organise our house and recharge our batteries.

And even best, to spend quality time with each other.

Today we had a friend of Amé over. They played with Dían, he was in play-heaven while receiving so much attention and interacting with them. They went outside to pick flowers to make necklaces and bracelets, but when back they used the flowers to make perfume. In play everything is possible.

While they were having a blast I caught myself being a wanna-be-slow-parenting-mom. Dían played on the balcony, showed me his dirty hands and I took a wet towel to clean his hands. Amé friend said ‘it’s sand, you can just wipe it off his hands’. Aha, indeed, by using a wet towel it got even worse, because, of course, he immediately put his hands on the floor and they got even dirtier. Hmmm…reality-check wanna-be-slow-parenting-mom! Secondly, after they returned, the floors were covered with soil and flowers. I vacuum-cleaned second time around and then it hit me: why not wait with cleaning until play-date is over? Gosh, I think I need a specific course in letting go off the cleaning and start playing.

Finally, after all baking and preparing foodwise for Kingsday, I felt space to play along. They totally got psyched by the idea of me giving birth to a baby. Dían was my cat, but as soon as I would have given birth to this ball I had wrapped around my waist with a scarf,  Dían the cat would turn into my newborn who would need breastfeeding. I had to give birth sooner than expected because Dían asked for breastfeeding.

The thing with musicians is that our hobby is our work

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I often meet nice, colorful and inspiring people. One man I recently met is called Roberto, he is a musician and teaches private classes to children and adults in The Hague. I asked if he wanted to be featured on my blog. He was glad to be and below you can read the result.

1. How did you start out as a music teacher?

I started out as a part time job while studying music. It turned out there was a high demand for music teachers for children, to me it seemed a natural job to do. With time I realized how much I like it. I received many positive feedback of students who were happy with my classes.

2. What is your music background in terms of education, experience and passion?

It all started very early. Through my parents I have been listening to classical music since I remember. We were listening music together, talking about it and playing games like “Who made this music, Mozart or Beethoven”. Then as a teenager I started to listen to bands and contemporary music. I always met up with friends to listen and see videos of music. I didn’t play my mom’s guitar, that was resting in its case for ever, until a school teacher taught us to play guitar. Then I had a couple of good private teachers and it became clear that I wanted to be a musician. I have a bachelor in arrangements and composition of popular music in Santiago, Chile, and a master’s degree in Sonology (electronic and computer music) from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. There I acquired another passion which is computer programming related to sound and music.

3. How did you end up teaching in the Netherlands?

In 2002 I came to study Sonology. First it helped me during my studies, but eventually it became my main job.

4. Could you describe the people you teach; adults and children? What type of instruments do you teach?

I teach mainly children in the age range of about 7 till 18 years old. I do teach a few passionate adults too. I mostly teach guitar but also solfège, theory and harmony, depending the interest of the student. And to some I also teach how to produce music in a home studio situation.

5. What type of music do you like?

All type, but when it comes to listening music by myself, I like the kind of introspective one, music that searches the hidden corners of the consciousness. It might be the singing of African Pygmy, or an orchestral piece by Arvo Part. But it all depends on the situation of course. In general, my preference goes out to music that is an expression of an artistic or personal neccessity rather than music made with commercial goals.

6. What do you love most of teaching?

It is really rewarding to see my students achieving things that at the beginning appeared to be impossible to them.

7. What are your interests besides teaching music?

The thing with musicians is that our hobby is our work, but besides that, I like to travel, to meet new people and places, to eat well and healthy and to enjoy nature, but mostly spend time with my family and to see how my daughter grows.

8. How can people get in touch with you for music lessons?

People can write to me at garretonroberto@gmail.com. I teach in English, Spanish and Dutch.

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