Life Coaching: honoring my Chinese background

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Looking at this photo I see myself, a person with a Chinese background, born and raised in the Netherlands. My Spanish is far better than the Wen show dialect I understand and the few words and expressions I know in Mandarin. It’s just who I am.

What I have learned from my Chinese family

1. To cook and appreciate food
2. When family and friends come over we offer them food and when we pay a visit we bring food
3. When family and friends need financial help, we help them
4. Hard work pays off
5. Entrepreneurial mindset: be kind, respect, ask for what you want and give
6. Family ties go way back
7. Good health can be supported by massage, herbs (all natural medicine) and acupuncture
8. Understanding relationships in social cultures

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Colombian lady talking loud

Colombia

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.

The way she sings this song

A couple of weeks ago I got to know Tamera Foster via X factor UK. Only 16 years old and she already knows what her true passion is. I have seen this performance many times, it touched me right in the heart, time after time. Actually it didn’t touch me; that would not describe in the least the impact of her performance. It literally pierced right into a wound which was still there, tears were running down my face, time after time. That’s why it took so long for me to blog about it.

This is what happened, while listening to her, her performance changed into a metaphor for life. I believe everyone has come to a point in life when a combination of fear and nerves has led to a black-out. In many cases it could have been a traumatic black-out which has limited one to act out of strength and love for oneself. When Tamera was going through this awful feeling of being lost she asked permission to step of the stage. Backstage she asked for help.

I am convinced that this is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself: asking for help. After having heard the specific words she needed to hear she went up the stage again; still blurried by tension, but from now on willpower carried her throughout the song. Now it was up to her. It carried her while still experiencing fear and tension during first half of the song. What moved me were the facial expressions of the jury: they supported her fully.

She did it, like I believe everyone can do! The moment when she was in sync with herself and everyone around her she was heard: her voice is amazing! I know she is blessed for knowing at such a young age that this is her life goal and she is going for it. Having found a vocation in life means also overcoming it’s hurdles to finally simply shine from your core being.

Before choosing this path she was lost, from the moment her voice was heard there is still work to do, but a fulfilling and rewarding life is awaiting her. A change is preceeded by a choice: choose for whatever makes you happy!

Break the cage and fly

Happiness

Another blog about my man Arnold Baldé. The day that he would perform at Spoken FM he got disappointed at first. The presenter of the event announced on stage that only three people were chosen to perform that evening. Something inside of him snapped. He worked hard to write the poem he wanted to perform. The nerves were cracking him up and there was a big chance he couldn’t share his message. He got to a point he wanted to go home; tired and suffering this enormous headache. A friend who accompanied him to the event kept cool and pushed him in the right direction. Arnold asked the presenter if he was one of the three. No, he wasn’t. He simply said: ‘I would like to get up on the stage anyway.’ This resulted in an open mic at the end. He did it. I’m so proud of him. He is so proud of himself. Even though his energy was super low, he has accomplished something of huge importance; sharing his message, his word, his love. His words are my wings.

Click here to read the poem ‘Break the cage’ 

Believe you can reach your dreams

believe

This blog is dedicated to my man Arnold Baldé. He has a dream, a very clear one. He wants to get his word out in the open by his writings and spoken word. The past week he has been preparing for his first spoken word performance at Spoken FM. Their first contest will take place this Thursday in Rotterdam. And my man will be present this Thursday!! The nerves are on the surface. One week ago he uploaded his spoken word piece. After uploading this piece he has been busy changing it up until last night. Last night he cut to the chase and today he woke up relieved and happy. The coming days he will work on his presentation. Sadly I can’t make it to the show, but by the time he is up there performing I will whisper the words along.

Positive reformulation creates a change mentally

Positivity

To what extent can we determine our life? It is this question my coach tried to explore in the last session. Sometimes you really need one person outside who points out the thinking patterns with which you are nothing but block yourself, your creativity, and finally your life. It successfully restricts you from achieving happiness…!

In my case, it was the incredible negativity of thinking and talking I had inherited from my mother. She complained about everything around, trees cut in the park, the cheap uncreative birthday presents of friends, or on a returning base about the choice of my boyfriends and friends what bad intentions they might have. Now, my coach is busy making me understand that perception of negative news change if just put in different words. Positive reformulation creates a change mentally, to discover a solution to a situation, or even to discover a possibility to become active – to CHANGE the situation! Well, this is what my parents never told me. They were so much involved into complaining that there was no time to search actively for a solution to a problem.

Chungmei chose to do the circle exercise (social panorama) with me. My anger and me again in the center. And how to transform this anger into a productive, not a destructive force, making me change the conditions of my life. I am always a bit afraid of this exercise because it demands that I get back to the past, think about the relations important actors on my stage of life had to each other.

She asked me to position my father in the circle, then my teacher, then my classmates. Where are they looking? I told her that the latter were looking at me from the front, the teacher just looking at them, having no eyes for me. He doesn’t SEE me!!! My father is somewhere standing to my back, not being interested in me, his eyes turned towards the outside of the circle, bored, instead towards me. This is the situation being… And it sucked. Anger rose in me.

She asked me now to think about how I can change this. Oh no… thinking about changing a situation!! This idea caused an unpleasant feeling inside me. But what other choice did I have? So I went for it. And just started to visualize a bit that my father would be at my side, protecting me from all the bothering of my fellow classmates. The teacher closer to me, recognizing me and my hurt feelings and scolding the pupils that they shouldn’t annoy me that much. And finally, the pupils stopping to josh me due to the strong positions of my class teacher and my father. Developing respect towards me….

Also read: Improve your Interpersonal Relationships with Social Panorama