“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell
Here I am at the end of another year. The perfect time to look back and reflect on the past year, 2016, and maybe even reflect back on life gone by.
At the end of 2016 we are living in a very turbulent, tense world. Lives all over the world are dominated by some very powerful negative emotions: fear, even terror, anger, and hate, resulting in judgement, separation, and isolation.
This is also reflected in many personal lives. Many of us are going through difficult times. Sickness or death of a loved one, ending of relationships, loss of a job, or a home. Feelings of discontentment, sadness, grief, uncertainty, maybe even despair. It is not easy to keep our feet on the ground and to keep moving forward. Let alone feeling sincerely grateful to be alive.
There are days that I just don’t...
It takes courage to be real. It takes self-assurance, a knowing that you belong in this world with your own uniqueness and gifts. No other can make you wrong about you being real and authentic. But we get lost and confused, distracted by so many opinions and expectations of others. We forget who we are. And when that happens, we hurt. We blame others for that hurt, but it is our own separation from self that causes the pain.
We are afraid to be ourselves. We are afraid to be that vulnerable and ‘show all our cards’. It is much safer to keep our preciousness hidden away, and project into the real world not our real selves but what we think is an acceptable version of ourselves, an image of ourselves.
Facebook thrives on this concept. The term ‘Facebook Wall’ is a perfect name for that what describes the wall protecting our humanness. On this wall we can create our own persona, we can make ourselves into anyone we want. We can allow...
Only ten more days and Christmas will be here.
Christmas is a loaded holiday. And it has become so commercialized, at times out of control. Do we even know what a meaningful Christmas looks like?
For many Christmas is a challenge, loaded with stress. Organizing and planning, buying presents, figuring out where to go and who to spend it with this year, or the dread of being alone.
For many it is a time when grief returns. It can be a reminder of past holidays where the family gathered together, and now there is emptiness and just the memory of loved ones that are no longer around. For my family back home in the Netherlands it is the first Christmas without our mom.
For some it is a time of longing for the perfect Christmas, with all the decorations and lights and gathering of loved ones sharing food and laughter. A longing for a Christmas that never was, a longing for the togetherness and connection that makes Christmas special. The anticipation of Christmas is...
Life is a journey,
each moment a precious experience.
It seems we are always longing for a destination: our next vacation, our dream home, the perfect job, or retirement.
What would happen if we would make the journey to our destination more important than the destination itself?
What would happen if we would stop hurrying, filled with worry and doubt, towards our final destination, death?
Then we would cherish each moment, the good ones and the not so great ones. We would realize that mistakes are just sign posts along the way, to keep us on track.
We would have no regrets, but instead we would be intensely grateful for all our past experiences, because they are what brought us to this present moment.
Then we would not resist or fear what awaits us in the future.
Our final destination is already a given.
When death approaches we review our journey.
And I am certain that what we will remember are the ordinary, daily moments that filled our hearts with warmth and love....
There are certain moments in our life when we all pause and reflect. We stop our busyness, take time to go within, and remind ourselves what is really important in life.
The beginning of a life, when a baby is born, and the end of a life.
These are the moments we remember how precious life is, what life really is all about, and what it is not about.
I am in the middle of experiencing a time where a precious life is ending. The most precious being is the woman who gave birth to me. It is time to let her go.
When I am about to loose someone meaningful in my life, someone I deeply love, the important things come into focus and all the rest just drops away. It becomes crystal clear what has real importance to me. All the other stuff doesn’t matter. Life becomes true and simple. What is real are the connections I have and the love I can give and receive. Experiencing each moment with love and gratitude is what matters and what makes me happy, even in a time of...
Experiencing is more effective than hearing. Experience peace with a simple mindfulness exercise in this video.
Mostly we respond to how our body feels. But it really is the other way around. Our thinking dictates how our body feels.
A happy story triggers a joyful feeling and a fearful story triggers a stressful feeling.
Your body reacts to how you feel. If you can choose your mindset it changes how you feel and your biochemistry will change.
Anyone can do this.
Try this out for 30 days: notice how your body feels when you think certain thoughts, and see if you can change how you feel by choosing different thoughts.
Watch this video for more.
What was I thinking
Our mind controls our thoughts and choices and we are creatures of habit. We think about 70.000 thoughts a day, 90% of the time they are repetitive and negative. We tell stories about ourselves and others and we believe the negative thoughts about ourselves. Our thoughts create a state of mind and every state of mind create our physiology.
Our negative thoughts are like weeds, and we let them grow out of control. When we take care of ourselves we should weed those negative thoughts out. We can’t flourish if we let those negative thoughts take over our mind.
Mastering your mind is the only way to change how you feel. Negative thoughts activate a stress response and this can negatively affect your health and well-being.
Watch this video to learn more.
From hopeless to hope
Hope is the turning point, but how do you get to hope when you are feeling hopeless?
You can’t just tell yourself to relax.
The only way to move out of hopelessness is by giving yourself some relief and soothe your nervous system.
Watch this video to learn how to make this deliberate shift.
Hope is a seed.
Hope is the tipping point where things can go from worse to better.
A few great books recommended in this video: ‘Power versus force’ and ‘Letting go; the pathway to surrender’, by David Hawkins.
Never give up hope!
Watch this video for more:
Reality is just a perspective.
Why is it that we predominantly focus on things we do not like in our life?
We explain why things are not going well, we talk and think about how bad we feel, we complain and we argue for our limitations.
The truth is it is a choice which truth or reality we look at. It does not serve anybody to focus on the negative facts.
Why not focus on the positive facts?
What you look at makes you feel either positive or negative. Wouldn’t you rather feel good??
Watch this video for more.