Online Interviews with beautiful and inspiring people

I’ve been doing these Online Interviews via videoskype after 3 weeks into the corona-crisis. This photo is with Hubertine Langemeijer, @kunstpost, a dear friend of mine and director of “Stichting Kunstpost”. She rents out work spaces for an affordable price to artists and is always busy with organizing social projects.

During the first weeks I didn’t have the emotional nor mental space to work on the creative projects I had already started. I switched to survival mode. More time and energy went out to contacting clients about how to continue and I felt anxious because my life partner’s income vanished into the open air.

Peace and quiteness returned because most of my work continued and slowly @arnoldbalde received other work opportunities. However most of my clients continued, new requests for coaching & rebirthing have been on a freeze for 7 weeks. That’s why I still wasn’t calmn enough to pick up my creative projects.

Than suddenly the idea came to me to do these Online Interviews. For years I have been telling my clients to share their story and talents with more people. Starting with the people around them to let it evolve into something more. The idea with these Online Interviews is that they can do this through me!

I speak to former and current clients, work relationships in the field of coaching and psychology and artists about working from the heart, art and creative processes and personal development.

This project feels like an ungoing one. It’s definitely part of my mission to put forward all these beautiful people with their innate talents and ideas about life. My motivation is to inspire people to take action.

A story that touches your soul, heart and mind is able to ignite just that what you need to move forward in your life.

With Com-Passion,
Chungmei Cheng

Be who you are, not who the world wants you to be
Website: Orchid of Life ~ HSP Coaching & Rebirthing

Discover and embrace your “wild”

While I was watching this interview I caught myself several times nodding affirmatively and gleaming. Glennon Doyle is sharing her truth and I fully agree on what she says about following your heart’s desire, motherhood and rediscovering the “you”, you have always been.

This interview starts off with a beautiful and touching metaphor about a cheetah who was born in a safari park. The cheetah was tamed to entertain  the visitors, but away from the zoo keeper and the visitors in her own space she turned wild again. Her energy got stronger and it lifted her being, her senses. She had never been in the wild, but the wild is inside her. 

During my first session with a new client I shared this story. Her breathing was hampering while she filled me in on her health, work and recent family encounters. I asked about her cultural background. She was adopted and from the beginning she felt different. Her roots were in Colombia, but she grew up in a Dutch family. While she took in the story about the cheetah she was nodding in a non-emotional, but strong affirmative way. From here onwards she felt more comfortable and took more time to breathe in and out while sharing her emotional journey. 

I will not stay, not ever again, in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself. When my body tells me the truth, I’ll believe it. I trust myself now, so I will no longer suffer voluntarily or silently or for long. ~ Glennon Doyle

With Com-Passion,

Chungmei Cheng

Website: Orchid of Life 

HSP Coaching & Rebirthing

 

Life Coaching: how my family have treated me

cranes

‘The reasons why I moved to Holland was primarily to get away from work, family, ex boyfriend, he could have my friends (again lost friends having to commute, dealing with women I had conflict with in work and could not work with anymore and in a way to follow my father’s footsteps in being an expat and seeing the world, living a new life, experiencing new things. Also thought I would do my MBA in Rotterdam, now that has changed – My opinion of my father and how my family have treated me – maybe that’s what we should talk about – My father and my family and me.’

New Year’s reflections and resolutions

Happy New Year

Top 10 Year End Review Questions

  1. What did you do this year that you have never done before?
  2. What was the smartest decision you made this year?
  3. What one word best sums up and describes your experience last year?
  4. What are you most happy about completing?
  5. What was the biggest risk you took?
  6. What are you most grateful for this past year?
  7. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  8. What do you wish you had done more of?
  9. What do you wish you had done less of?
  10. Knowing what you know now, if you could write a letter to yourself that would travel back in time so that you would receive exactly one year ago, what advice would you give yourself?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Relationships

  1. Who were the three people who had the greatest impact on your life last year?
  2. Did anyone close to you give birth (literally or symbolically)?
  3. Did anyone close to you die (literally or symbolically)?
  4. What important relationship improved the most?
  5. What important relationship suffered the most?
  6. Whose behavior or what event merited celebration?
  7. Whose behavior or what event appalled you?
  8. How did you positively influence a child (or the next generation) this year?
  9. What well-known person, dead or alive, influenced you the most this year?
  10. Who made you laugh the most this year?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Health

  1. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  2. What decision did you make to become healthier?
  3. What was your favorite exercise this year?
  4. What was your favorite meal?
  5. What restaurant did you eat at most often?
  6. What medications are you currently taking?
  7. Did you have any surgeries this year?
  8. How did you manage your stress this year?
  9. What was your biggest health achievement this year?
  10. What do you wish you would have done differently in regards to your health this year?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Celebrations

  1. What did you really, really, really get excited about this year?
  2. How old did you turn on your birthday?
  3. How did you celebrate your birthday this year?
  4. Did anyone close to you have an important milestone birthday?
  5. How did you spend the holidays?
  6. What was the most memorable gift you received this year and who was it from?
  7. What was the most memorable gift you gave this year and who was it to?
  8. How will you be spending New Year’s?
  9. What vacations did you take or where did you visit last year?
  10. What was the biggest surprise of this year?

10 End-of-Year Questions to Ask about School or Work

  1. Where do you currently work or go to school?
  2. What is the title of your position?
  3. What is your typical day?
  4. When did you feel most inspired at work or school?
  5. What is one way you grew academically or professionally this year?
  6. What do you hope those you work with will remember most about you?
  7. What was your greatest challenge/lesson at work or school?
  8. How did you adapt at work or school?
  9. How have you grown as a person because of your work or school experience?
  10. What strengths did you tap into?

10 New Year’s Questions to Ask About Your Spirituality & Existence

  1. Because of this past year, what do you believe is your purpose?
  2. What is one word that describes your relationship with God (or what suits your belief system)  this year?
  3. Where did you find the most peace and calm this year?
  4. Where did you feel most connected to God (or what suits your belief system) this year?
  5. What is one miracle you witnessed this year?
  6. What was the most loving service you performed last year?
  7. What is your biggest piece of unfinished business?
  8. What is the greatest lesson you have learned this year?
  9. What was the best part of this year? What was the lesson learned?
  10. What was the worst part of this year? What was the lesson learned?

Lifecoaching: as a child I believed in magic

play capoeira

For like 28 years I thought I only had one massive problem in my life: stuttering. I tried a try-out session with Life Coach Chungmei. It was interesting, she asked questions, I spoke, I did an exercise… And from out of nowhere, I started to cry! I was crying, and surprised and shocked that I was crying. This was really weird for me.

Luckily for me I kept myself busy with creating a burn – out. One year later I succeeded. My second coaching setting was a fact. I set down and she mirrored my non-verbal communication extremely sharp. Subconsciously I acted to be ready for any thing: arms wide, an ‘I am in control look’ in my eyes, and ask something like: so coach ask me a smart question?! Well, instead she told me: Well, you don’t seem ready to open up. After which she imitated my posture and look in my eyes. Do you want to be coached? Right away I felt that she didn’t fall for my act. I felt that one: my head down, arms normal, and after digesting a little bit of my fakeness, I said: yes I am ready.

Burn-out & learning to feel
What I did to burn my self out was only living in my head, not even feeling my own heart beat. During my third ‘succesful’ study, I burned out. I didn’t understand, and even less did I feel why. Chungmei guided me through this process. Some topics, in random order, we have worked on were:

  1. Why am I a perfectionist?
  2. Why do I train extremely hard?
  3. Why am I always busy?
  4. Why do I stutter?
  5. How come I don’t feel my body?
  6. What caused the burn out ?
  7. Why do I stop breathing when I think longer than 1 minute?

Answers were: I felt I was not good enough, so everything needed to be perfect. I felt a lot of surpressed emotions and had surpressed emotions myself which caused intense stress. My coping mechanism was using my head, and satisfying others and my main man Mr. Society.

This I understood after being lead through different exercises and questions no one ever asked me. With one single question she could make me feel my sadness of being so stressed. Or scared, or….unhappy. Because that’s the overal feeling: I was not happy, and was basically killing myself with thinking, studying and working. Without the burn – out to stop me, I was dead by now.

It may sound a bit extreme, but seriously she saved my life. Thank you for that. Thank you for letting go of everything that didn’t belong to me. For the first time in my life, I feel who I am, what I want to do. I became a better husband, a better person, a better father after being coached intensively by you. With better I mean more me, because that’s all there is right? I believe the best I can be is the closest to who I really am.

Now, that I write this I think of words that could describe the thankfulness that I feel in my heart. Being coached by you and feeling myself was my biggest gift after being born. It was a great pleasure being coached by someone so naturally connected with the Universe. Someone who coached so intuitively, so in the moment.

As a child I believed in magic, felt happiness in playing. Somewhere in high school I started to believe in the world of thoughts, studies, work and society. I am 32 now, and life is magic again.

By Arnold Baldé

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 client 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 life coaching 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.

Why would I need coaching?

Coach – Welcome Patrick, make yourself comfortable. What lead you to try coaching?

Patrick – Whoa! Nobody said anything about starting coaching, I am just here because someone else recommended it.

Coach – Relax Patrick this is just a conversation to get to know whether coaching is right for you, there is no commitment.
Patrick – Good! Before you know it I will probably be stuck with lifetime commitment, high monthly fees and extra penalties for when I can’t show up!

Coach – Actually Patrick, coaching is not some fitness-like institution where you pay regardless of use. Coaching is completely tailored to the client and you can have as many or as few sessions as you wish. You only pay for the coaching you receive and you can always reschedule an appointment in advance without penalties.

Patrick – Hey! I don’t need some quack telling me I’m crazy and locking me up in some asylum for the rest of my life!

Coach – Actually, that would be a psychiatrist. A coach does not judge or decide, a coach guides and brings clarity to those parts of your life that you feel need it.

Patrick – But what if my issues are not emotional, I’m not a woman after all, how can coaching help in other aspects of my life like my work?

Coach – Well, coaching is not about just emotions, its about your life. Your life is composed of so many influences, including emotional, work, experiences, goals too many in fact to mention here. The beauty is that you only need to focus on what is important to you, and that’s what we work with. Also Patrick, men deal with as much emotional conflicts as women, but are usually more introverted, and so benefit as much from coaching sessions as their female counter parts.

Patrick – Ahh, so you want me to open up and tell you all my secrets so ridicule me and tell all your friends about what a mess my life is!

Coach – First of all, a coach does not need to know every little aspect of your life to be able to guide you. Only that which is important to you will come to light. Secondly if you would want to share something with your coach, there is a strict code of client-coach confidentiality and so what is discussed in the session, stays in the session.

Patrick – Now I see! So you are just going to yak-yak-yak about who you think I am and what I should do, while I just sit here like some school kid and take notes!

Coach – Nothing could be further from the truth, actually a coaches most important job is to listen, pay attention and understand the client.

Patrick – Well why didn’t you says so? That sounds really easy, my cat is a good listener, I will just ask mittens to coach me!

Coach – It’s true that listening is the most important part of coaching, however it is not limited to that. Being a good listener is imperative to be able to coach properly, but listening alone is not the same as coaching.

Patrick – I don’t know…I still have the feeling that I coaching is for the mentally challenged, physically enfeebled, or emotionally weakened.

Coach – Patrick, coaching is not really for those people. It is for regular people from all walks of life. For anyone who wants to start taking steps towards achieving their personal goals or is just curious about what else life has to offer.

Patrick – Well I am curious, lets give it a shot!

Coach – That’s the spirit!

Written by David de Haas

Yoga boosts daily breathing

Beginning of last week I started yoga at yogastudio Linggan in the Hague city centre. Before my first class I had been doing yoga at home by myself. I must say it was my best yoga decision in a very long time. I have been doing different styles of yoga over a course of 12 years. I started out teaching Body Balance at a gym in Rotterdam.

Because of Body Balance I got familiar with several yoga positions. The positions intrigued my mind and body so I decided to start iyengar yoga at yogastudio Charles de Hond in Rotterdam. This style formed my yoga base. From here onwards I hopped from city to city, from yogastudio to yogastudio to try different styles and find some peace of mind. I tried ashtanga yoga and yin yoga, but I can’t recall ever having done sivananda yoga.

So last week I got introduced to sivananda yoga by Savitri Sattoe. We started out with mantra’s. She made clear that we could sing along or listen and let the sounds vibrate through our system. I chose for the second option. At home I used yoga positions as part of my self-healing journey so I am well aware of a therapeutic side effect. During class I felt parts of my body open up and stiff muscles loosen up while breathing continuously. What an amazing feeling of deep relaxation. I enjoyed class especially, because I found myself in a position in which I could follow; listening to her instructions, guided meditation and thinking of nothing else, but my breathing.

What I noticed in my body and mind after having done a couple of classes has to be shared! Quality of my breathing went up; more continuous and relaxed. A clear mind; I write a lot for my work and writing takes place in a flow state of mind; less thinking, more writing. Fysically stronger and flexibeler. And last, but certainly not least; a better night’s rest.

My partner and I both got an unlimited month card and we will make good use of that!!

Looking back on 2011

2011 has set the tone for the rest of my life. Some major changes took place in a year which can be characterized as ‘slow living’.

Relationship

We have learned a lot from our relationship since it is pretty difficult to deal with burn-out. My partner Arnold is suffering continuous headache and had just about enough energy to teach capoeira a couple of times a week. Everything else weighed on my shoulders. There was no ‘us-time’, because there was no energy. I had to accept that if I wanted to do ‘fun stuff’ I had to do this alone or with friends. He didn’t even have the energy to think about ‘accepting the situation’. In stead he crawled into bed and in a later stage he could go out for walk in the forest or at the beach. And that’s about it. Being alone in a relationship is tough. This goes for the both of us.

My deep respect goes to what he did for my birthday. Even though he didn’t have the energy, he tapped into his willpower to surprise me with a gift on the morning of my birthday; a child’s seat for the bicycle. Our eyes filled with tears. In return I still haven’t done anything special for his birthday. I feel bad and than he reassures me: you do enough for me, thanks. Luckily our strong belief that these tough times would be for the better got us through 2011.

Parenthood
Every day our sun rose between six and seven o’clock in the morning. We are blessed to be her parents. She is cheerful and happy. She sleeps like a rose; 12 hours each night, and eats like a horse; everything we serve her. Where Arnold could loosen up the parenting I could be more clear in saying-no when she’s asking for the food on my plate while in fact she was done eating. All together we’re blessed that despite his illness both of us are on the top of things concerning her development.

Food
As a part of Arnold’s fysical and emotional development he started to bake his own bread. After a visit to a mesoloog; someone who practices the art of identifying what nutrients the body needs, lacks or is allergic to. He needed to avoid some nutrients so we started to do more grocery shopping at the organic food stores. So besides white rice, potatoes, pasta we added quinoa, pasta made from spelt, pancakes made from spelt, buckwheat, couscous, corn, taro, cassava and a whole range of pulses. In 2008 I promised my grandfather to avoid the deep frozen fish from the supermarkets. In 2009 he passed away. In 2010 our daughter was born. And halfway through 2011 I decided to definitely switch to super fresh fish: keeping my promise. Ever since we buy our fish in Scheveningen or at the Hague market. With regards to meat; we started eating more organic meat. There is no definite switch from my side and by exception I eat non-organic meat served by restaurants, family or friends.

Work
Summer 2011 we both realized what our focus concerning career should be. I discovered my path in coaching after having practiced coaching for 8 years both on individual- and group level.  This is coaching highly sensitive people on all topics of life and coaching people to act out of their core being; acting upon their intuition. Arnold decided to finish his third studies in the field of nutrition (bachelor food and dietetics) and continue working as a capoeira teacher for adults and children. I believe it was his ninth year of having practiced capoeira. So it seems that four years ago our lives have come together for a reason; sustaining and supporting fysical, mental and inner growth.

To conclude 2011: we learned that trust and accepting the situation as it is, makes for a solid foundation on which inner growth is possible.