woensdag 3 december 2014
Ik heb vaak te weinig tijd, en ren dan met allerlei dingen half af weg om op tijd te zijn voor een belangrijke afspraak (zoals de kinderen uit school halen; muito importante!).
Enerzijds vind ik het heerlijk om in het moment te werken; dus op elke inval te kunnen reageren. Het is een vorm van vrijheid en creativiteit die bestaat uit je neus achterna doen. Je beste inval kan komen terwijl je iets anders aan het doen bent. De bekende douche, hoewel op de fiets of wandelend vaak ook momenten zijn. Zo werken noem ik maar "antifocus" of perifeer werken: als je ergens aan denkt, meteen doen. Je zou deze manier van werken ook organisch, fluïde of hinkstapsprong kunnen noemen. Of misschien is het wel wat "mentale wendbaarheid" wordt genoemd in het assessment dat een goede bekende laatst onderging bij (bureau)
Een voordeel is, dat obstakels feitelijk ophouden een probleem te zijn. Een obstakel is meer een richtingaanwijzer; hier moet je links of rechts, onderdoor of overheen, of later terugkomen.
Een nadeel is, dat de aanpak leidt tot allerlei beginnetjes die niet af zijn. En dat geeft onrust. Dat ik de deur uitloop terwijl boven het raam openstaat. Waardoor het koud is als ik thuiskomt en een kruisje sla als er niet is ingeslopen.
Een ander nadeel is, dat ik het risico loop dat er nooit iets uit mijn handen komt. Wanneer is iets af? Wanneer kan ik tevreden gaan slapen? Hoe kan ik tegelijk wendbaar en productief werken?
Vandaag viel me het concept van "rond werken" in. Dat houdt in, dat ik bij elk beginnetje zo vlug mogelijk bedenk, wanneer het af is. Het hoeft niet helemaal af. Een "tussenaf" kan ook. En al die kleine bolletjes verzamelen, of zaaien, en dan later kijken of er weer een nieuw rondje is ontstaan... "Ist es schön rund?" Zou mijn schoonzus vragen.
Voorbeeld. Ik maak een sjabloon voor een factuur. Paar voorbeelden erbij, eigen versie maken met plaatjes en eigen gegevens. Wat is eigenlijk mijn KvK nummer en mijn IBAN? Dat laat ik even open. Tussendoor krijg ik een idee voor een weblog, een koffieafspraak en het koud (grapje, tante Betje). *Niet vergeten op te slaan!* schiet door mijn hoofd. Ik sla het sjabloon meteen op, met de juiste naam, op de juiste plek, zodat ik het later snel terug kan vinden. Én ik neem me voor: voortaan sla ik een document meteen als ik het aanmaak op, op de juiste plek, met de juiste naam, zodat ik het later terug kan vinden.
(Ik ben naar beneden gelopen en heb de afwasmachine uitgeruimd, toen had ik het niet meer koud. Toen ik terugkwam heb ik in de map mijn KvK nummer opgezocht en mijn IBAN op de computer en ingevuld op het sjabloon. Help, die converter online werkt maar tot 2015! Dat is al bijna! Gauw onze bankrekeningnummers als IBAN met de hand opgeschreven, op een geeltje op het beeldscherm geplakt. Af en toe naar kijken om ze uit het hoofd te leren. Pfff, met al dat makkelijke knippen en plakken onthoud ik nooit meer iets.)
maandag 1 december 2014
donderdag 27 november 2014
Verwonderd - ik zit te knikken - zeg ik dat ik niets deed. Ik heb van anderen gehoord over deze ervaring van het zachte heen-en-weer bewegen. Maar het was "niet ik", ík deed niets. Ik deed "Wu-Wei": doen door niet te doen. Tijdens de sessie heb ik aan het hoofdeinde gezeten en zijn hoofd in mijn handen gehouden - maar ik heb mijn handen níet bewogen. Net als mijn klant, heb ik naar de Mind Music geluisterd en me op mijn ademhaling gericht. Geobserveerd wat ik hoor, zie voel. Punt.
Deze klant deelt meer (dat hoeft niet, het is aan degene). Wat hij voelde, waarmee hij in contact kwam, wat dat met hem deed. Ik luister, geboeid, blij, verwonderd. Dankbaar, ook. Voor het vertrouwen van deze klant, voor zijn kwetsbaarheid. Voor wat mijn aandacht kan doen voor een ander. Dank!
En ook: ja, het klopt. Wat ben ik blij dat ik deze behandeling mag geven : ).
dinsdag 25 november 2014
"Mevrouw. Mevrouw? Wilt u die flessen neerleggen?"
De kassière, die mijn boodschappen aan het scannen is, heeft zich wat voorovergebogen en haar hoofd naar links gedraaid. Ze probeert de aandacht van de klant aan het begint van de rolband te krijgen, die net drie flessen witte wijn op de band heeft gezet. En blijkbaar gelukt. De klant legt de flessen plat.
"Er zou een bordje aan het begin van de band moeten staan," zeg ik. Het is mij toch wel twee, misschien drie keer gebeurd dat ik míjn flessen wijn - rode - ook rechtop op de band zette. Ik begrijp die klant wel.
"Dat bordje staat er," antwoordt kassière. Helder kijkt ze me vanonder haar witte hoofddoek aan. Prachtige bruine ogen. O, denk ik, onnozel.
"Niemand ziet het," vervolgt ze op mijn vragende blik. Ik dus ook niet.
"Goed dat je het zag en er wat van zei," herstel ik me.
"Het is net autorijden."(Zij weer.) "Je moet overal ogen hebben, en de band loopt gewoon door."
Ik lach, opgelucht dat ik gezien ben. "Mooie vergelijking," zeg ik. Met hernieuwd respect loop ik de supermarkt uit. Autorijden, inderdaad. Wat een baan.
maandag 24 november 2014
Hoe gaat het? Hoe was het op school? Wat is er?
Ken je dat? Ik herinner me dit van mezelf. Als kind reageerde ik zo op mijn moeder. Schouderophalen, blik naar de grond, een beetje rechts van waar ik zelf zat of stond.
Het gevoel, dat je een duizendjarige, triljoen keer afgespeelde scene herhaalt. En dat er niets, maar dan ook helemaal niets te vertellen valt. Een oud, verveeld, tot in den treure afgeleefd verhaal. Wat niemand interesseert.
Het gevoel dat je stilstaat. Dat alles in de wereld elders gebeurt. Dat het niet echt is wat je meemaakt. Niet belangrijk. Niet goed. Niet interessant - genoeg. Laat maar. Laat me met rust. Ik wil er niet over praten. Ik wil dat het er niet is.
Ken je dat?
En wat, als je daar eens met verwondering bij stilstond?
Bij jezelf? En je eigen niks?
Omdat je het waard bent - buitengewoon waard.
(En daar hoef je geen shampoo voor te kopen).
vrijdag 21 november 2014
Maar dit keer, dít keer ... in juni maakte ik twee Helende Reizen bij Marion Gulpers. Heel bijzonder. Voor het eerst zo duidelijk contact gemaakt met iets dat tot dan toe meer als een wensdroom of fantasie klonk, als ik erover las of hoorde. En nu dan echt zelf ervaren. Wow! Een groot licht, levenskracht, universele energie - iets heel moois. En zo duidelijk ervaren, ongelofelijk!
Ik was zo enthousiast, dat ik twee weken heb ik getwijfeld of ik mezelf wilde laten opleiden tot Helende Reis therapeut. Toen toch besloten: nee. Voor mij is het té intensief - zowel het proces van de sessies zelf, om regelmatig met klanten te doen, als de opleiding in haar geheel. Petje af voor wie dat redt. Deze "reizen" blijf ik wel koesteren, als een mijlpaal in mijn zoektocht naar dingen die werken. Als je rondloopt met "bagage"die je eens goed te lijf wilt gaan kan ik deze krachtige methode van harte aanraden. Dankjewel Marion!
Verder zoeken met Google. Verschillende trefwoorden. Onder andere met "morfogenetisch veld", waar we grapjes over maakten bij het klimmen jaren terug. Dat een boulder of moeilijke route opeens lukte, als er meerdere klimmers van een bepaald niveau bij stonden te kijken.
En zo belandde ik op de website van Deep Field Relaxation. Een methode, om in contact komen met het universele veld, door niets te doen. En, dat íedereen het kan. Jij, ik, je oma. Iedereen. Kan dat waar zijn? Kan dat werken? Ik stuurde een mail naar Galina Sanderson, een van de grondleggers van Deep Field Relaxation. Ik heb het boek besteld en kreeg het advies om de behandeling zelf te ervaren bij Marion Schmäh (waarom heet opeens iedereen Marion? vraag ik me dan toch af. Door moeilijke familie-omstandigheden had ik deze periode ook veel contact met mijn tante. Haar naam? Inderdaad).
Het boek van Clif Sanderson liet nog even op zich wachten (dat is weer een ander verhaal), maar de sessie bij Marion Schmäh was zó geboekt. Op de fiets naar Amsterdam Oud-West. In het perkje naast de voordeur een rodondendron, zoals langs het tuinpad van mijn vader. Marion - ijsblauwe ogen, een charmant licht Duits accent - doet open. Drie echt Amsterdams steile trappen op naar een zolderkamer, eenvoudig maar sfeervol ingericht. Wij wisselen niet veel uit, ik popel om te ervaren. Dus naar de behandelkamer, mag ik gaan liggen op haar behandeltafel, onder een zacht beige kleed. Marion gaat achter mij zitten en zet de muziek op. Tranceklanken en een rustige mannestem klinken, Engels met Nieuw Zeelands accent (dat klinkt voor mij zoals Australisch).
En ja... ik adem. Ik voel een energie, rustig, kalm, tintelend. Bij mijn schouders, waar Marion me aanraakt, in mijn buik, en in golven op verschillende plekken in mijn lijf. Er komen beelden. Het is heel bijzonder.
Na afloop ben ik moe, de dag erna ook, en de derde dag voel ik me kalm en energiek. Zo wil ik me altijd wel voelen (ha ha, dat blijkt dan toch niet zo te zijn. Ik blijf een mensch, geen engel).
Twee sessies later en ik ben verkocht. Dit is mijn ding. Elke keer is het anders - soms meer gedachten, soms intensere ervaring met het veld, soms minder of niets - maar toch. Dit wil ik doen, elke dag, zo vaak mogelijk. Dit wil ik in de wereld verbreiden. Eureka!
En nu, ruim vier maanden later, is het zover: ik heb de opleiding gevolgd, een mooie praktijkruimte gevonden, ik ben er klaar voor. En jij? Ben je al nieuwsgierig? Ik nodig je uit...
Kijk eens op mijn website: www.spellfinder.nl, ontdek, en wie weet? Mag jij ook eens genieten, net als ik, van de wondere werking van Deep Field Relaxation : )
vrijdag 22 juli 2011
I tried loving her, but wasn't very succesful. Until I tried curiosity. Once I started eyeing her with a gentle, yet curious eye, the love came. Easily and abundantly.
a LinkedIn workshop, that she told me how very much in love with the chit chat microblog website she was. She had enormous hopes and ambitions for the possibilities it held for us. Skyhigh, really. I kept reminding her that it's important to meet people in real life, too. And I was a bit worried that all our time would prove utterly wasted. Like the energy we spilt at Hyves.
up on the Amsterdam Stadsschouwburg stage in March? The people we met were really great online, and even better offline. We started receiving unexpected solutions and answers to problems. Especially when we mustered up enough courage to show some of our innermost, vulnerable stuff. Or things that had seemed just, ehhr.. trivial before. In short: we had a blast. We managed to crack some serious real life problems using Twitter, too. Some stuff with our mortgage (she doesn't want to go into detail).
Finally, she and I started seeing eye to eye on the purpose of chit chat. I had always felt I wasn't all that good at it, whereas she seemed to produce endless tsunami's of chatter, more than anyone in their right mind would want to listen to.
We discovered simultaneously, that chit chat is a vital part of getting to know someone and making them feel welcome just the way they are. In a way, chit chat allows my inner princess to find out more about the other person's inner prince(ss). And when those two hit it off.. baby your a firework!
Best of all, the effect of these surprises was, that they were beginning to spill over into our everyday life. And the princess, I guess, decided she wanted a bigger part of my everyday life. She was making herself heard - louder than I ever could, myself. She'd ask for things, demand things, stubbornly refuse things... often, I almost felt embarassed at the things she dared do and say. But strangely, no-one seemed to mind. At all! Even better, people started smiling at me more and listening to me better.
I drew this series last Tuesday, as a preparation for my business pitch. I am working on a business plan that somehow does not want to materialize in a concrete product and market.
Later that morning, the jobhunters listened to the story as I showed them the drawings. One woman made that exact critical remark: what's your product, your market? Who will buy what? Then, another jobseeker, a guy, told us to him the story is about culture change. How companies are trying to change from a supply- to a demand-driven market, and how this story could help make that change.
Listening to the dialogue unfolding, the princess was breathing, deeply inhaling the oxygen. Feeling the heart. She's still somewhat uncertain about the earth we need, but breathing heartily.
However, I myself have made a U-turn. My old boss called and I was happy to accept his joboffer. And, more importantly: so was my princess.
So-oh... at this point, I am not sure if I should pursue starting up my own business. I decided, I am going to sit in that uncertainty for a bit. For a month or so. Also, I am telling the story of the Princess on the Pea. So there it is.
And as a final thought: maybe it's not just about the princess, but also about the pea? Finding the right soil for it to grow, bloom and produce little peas? This thought makes me extra happy that my little boy found a couple of peas on the plants we planted a few weeks ago.
PS I'll be writing and tweeting much more sparsely the coming months, as I find my way around my brave new life with job AND twitter.
maandag 27 juni 2011
The author's physics and relevant specifics
- She's 37 year old
- Describes herself as "a lazy ass bitch who enjoys nature and wants to feel fit, but any activity must fit in effortlessly with family/work balance"
- She's a mom of two, most recent pregnancy 11 months ago
- Has about 7 kg overweight
- Did some pregnancy yoga and pilates exercises
- Postpartum she did more pilates + rope skipping to rebuild pelvic floor and inner abdominals
- Daily errands are preferably done by bike (2 X 15')
- She is a former amateur in classical ballet, sports climbing, shoerunning, yoga and pilates
- And a wanna-be professional writer who takes inspiration from John Irving and Haruki Murakami, both excellent writers and runners.
What do you need to try this?
- watch this video by Terra Plana
- I like to run mornings. Getting dressed in my sports outfit is an excellent way to make sure I actually cross that threshold and go!
- an excellent sports bra (depending on your bra size)
- a low tech kitchen timer
- if you are self conscious about your bare feet: some kind of camouflage, such as a stroller (with or without child inside)
- sports tape
- Compeed or generic blister bandaid
- a nice spot to start, or a nice destination if you start from home
My training build up:
- day 1: warm up and technique using video, 100x barefoot rope skipping, 4 intervals of 5' running, 5' walking
- day 5: family run, 100x barefoot rope skipping, 4x5'5'
- day 6: Zandvoort 2h clinic
- day 7: home run, 5' run 5' walk, 10' run, 5' walk, 20' run, 5'walk (hurt my foot)
- day 11: family run, 20'
Forming a habit
If you want to make this a habit, I suggest you:
- join a running club
- get a really cool outfit
- get an explanatory t-shirt (including URL or Twitter alias)
- decide on a schedule
Let me know of any other suggestions or to meet up. I haven't run myself since day 11, so ehr... habitforming is not my strongsuit. Help appreciated : ). Currently I am thinking, if our little girl seems to wake up at a staggering 5 or 6 am, I should probably head out straight away with her... will let you know if I manage!
I took a clinic from wouter Buist (http://wouterbuist.nl/Barefoot_Running/Activiteiten.html). It was nice to get some personal feedback on my technique. But the information was not really new. Not a must if you have some background in any kind of training or sports.
After we moved house last month, there really was no excuse left for me not to work on my fitness. Our new neighbourhood borders on a wonderfully lush lakeside park. It is spring. The writer in me is trying to get out; the runner in me should, too.
Cram the girls in
So I took out my battered, holey running shoes and crammed my large, lactating boobs into their pre-pregnancy sportsbra container. Too snug, really, but in this case it is better to err on the snug side. And off I went. I took it easy and I was in such a nice flow, that I don't really remember the route I took. But I do remember having to slow down to a walk because of my left knee. This knee hasn't given me any problems for years - I haven't been running for years. As I looked around at the skating and "rolski" clubs I happened to pass, my mind wondered. How to get back in shape with this knee? Should I take up rollerblading to improve my condition and hopefully my knees? Putting on skates and protection is a bit of a hassle, and I can only go on reasonable paved paths. Take an intensive Pilates course? Too much like work: boring. I prefer being outdoors, too. The idea of barefoot running popped into my mind just like that.
Google a little
A little Googling confirmed the excellence of my idea. I was amazed to find there's shoes for barefootrunning, too. I'm guessing the runningshoe industry is scared shitless about the promising future of this minimalist trend. Scientific research piles up, suggesting it's really the best way to prevent and cure long time running (knee-) injuries. For me, wearing shoes was never an option when trying out barefoot. Look elsewhere if you're looking for reviews of these kind of shoes.
On monday may 30th, I just jumped in. I looked up my favourite instruction video and got warmed up in front of my laptop, in between putting on my running clothes - good old friend sportsbra being the only really essential item. I had fun doing some ropeskipping, found my kitchen timer and set my first bare foot on the Amstelveen pavement.
What *will* people think?
I could not help looking around at any onlookers, wondering if they would think me crazy. At the same time, I was curiously looking at the pavement and wondering about how it felt to my feet. Not bad, actually. Not bad at all. Where I would have thought I'd try to run on grass whenever I could, in reality I just couldn't be bothered. Our local "stoeptegel" (pavement tile) feels just fine. The sensation, the actual feeling, the feedback, the information the footsole provides is very rich and automatically made me adapt my stride. Just do it, don't overthink it. Soon I was happily enjoying the scenery, the streets, the patches of green, the sunflowers locals had planted in them guerilla style, opening my mind, thoroughly enjoying the experience. I could not catch anyone looking at me funny. No one commented on the nakedness of my feet. Still, you need some courage. Just be Bolt, like Usain ; )
Yes, my feet were dirty. No, I did not step into a dog nasty. On the other hand, if I had: my feet are easier to clean than the soles of my running shoes. That I chucked, anyway. As a free bonus: my feet felt all tingly for hours after the first bare foot run. Like I'd had a peeling and massage.
To me, barefoot running combines is a perfect mindfull workout that I can do enjoying the wonderful outdoors. It's great if you want to build up your fitness like myself. The information provided by the sole of your foot makes you adjust your speed and style to the type of base you're running on automatically. Giving you a more varied workout.
The best part is, I ran without feeling anything in my formerly problematic left knee. Also, on the fourth day I went running, I found myself skipping the walking part of my interval session because the running was so effortless and free. The downside of this flow was, I did not notice stepping on something sharp. At home I discovered two little slits in the sole of my foot that did hurt a little. However, treatment was easy enough with a blisterpad and some sports tape.
In theory, the technique helps you run more efficiently, so you'll be able to run faster and longer. This was never my goal, though, so I haven't paid attention to this aspect.
For me, my challenge is to work this into my routine in such a way that I can keep having fun with it. I should look into joining a running club or deciding on a frequency that will work for me. Ehm.. yeah. After I recovered from 11 months of broken nights.
How about you? Ready to give it a try, or?
maandag 6 juni 2011
As a press visitor for Sync, I'm given extra opportunity to interview guest speakers (how wonderful!).
I am asking you, dear reader, if there's any of the below, or others, that you'd like me to interview. And, what would you like me to ask them?
Please leave a reaction below (or drop me a Tweet/email) before 22h tonight.
If you want to share your insights later on, send me a text (00 31 6 12481973). I won't be online during the conference! (this needs mentioning, I think).
* Niel Robertson, founder of Crowdsortium and of Trada, a new crowdbased business that makes advertising campaigns much more effective using optimisors from the crowd
* Victor van der Chijs (OMA and chief advisor of the minister of EIL) who will tell us how the Dutch Ministery of EIL should spend the 1.5 billion euro's when it comes to creative industries
* Ruurd Priester presenting Lost Boys' new organization model
* Sarah Lacy from Silicon Valley on entrepreneurship
* Ans Martin Hamenn of Van den Ende Deitmers with a Dutch angle on enterpreneurship
* Bany Banerjee from the prestegious Stanford University on co-creation
zondag 5 juni 2011
Come Alive by Jonathan Mead
Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you had one week left to live, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? In what areas of your life are you preparing to live? Take them off your To Do list and add them to a To Stop list. Resolve to only do what makes you come alive.
Bonus: How can your goals improve the present and not keep you in a perpetual “always something better” spiral?
(Author: Jonathan Mead)
This #30trust thing was wearing me out yesterday. Of course weaning our little girl is tiring, too.
This makes the answer to today's prompt crystal clear: I added participating in the #30trust challenge to my To Stop list. For the coming week, at least. Give you, true readers, a break from this regimen, too.
Next sunday, june 12th, is when I'll reflect on this decision. At the earliest. Maybe later.
zaterdag 4 juni 2011
Travel by Chris Guillebeau
If we live truly, we shall see truly. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Not everyone wants to travel the world, but most people can identify at least one place in the world they’d like to visit before they die. Where is that place for you, and what will you do to make sure you get there?
(Author: Chris Guillebeau)
This prompt makes the challenge feel like homework. Of course I am tired. With a 10-month old who wakes me up for her nightfeed, who wouldn't. But somehow, this prompt...
I am one of those who have no desire to travel the world. "I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me", like Charlene sung, is what pops up in my mind. I've been trying to get to me, that's hard enough without travel distracting me.
Then again, Indonesia... But no. The thought of spending almost an entire day and night on a plane. Maybe if I travelled by boat. Visit the country my dad spent the happier part of his childhood, where my grandparents spent the most hopeful years of their life. Possibly - but no. Not really.
I think I'll pass on this one.
I have told my husband about today, when we discovered the wonderful little oasis of a kiddy pool in the Amsterdamse Bos, the communal estate forest around the corner of our new home.
I am looking at my challenging Post-it, my mind working to put it into action.
I think that's enough to fill up my capacity for desiring power.
Hoping for a good nights' rest, I sign off,
your true Spellfinder.
vrijdag 3 juni 2011
That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? . . . Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Identify one of your biggest challenges at the moment (ie I don’t feel passionate about my work) and turn it into a question (ie How can I do work I’m passionate about?) Write it on a post-it and put it up on your bathroom mirror or the back of your front door. After 48-hours, journal what answers came up for you and be sure to evaluate them.
Bonus: tweet or blog a photo of your post-it.
(Author: Jenny Blake)
I just love all about today's #30trust prompt. I love Post Its. I love hard questions. I love rephrasing them so answers come up. I love the quote "that which each can do best, but none but his Maker can teach him".
This one's easy. Thank God, too, because I am stretching myself and my family to make time for this. But loving every step of the way.
So here goes - my current challenge: I don't have enough time to write as much as I would like. It's hard to connect to my readers. Who are they? How do I find them? Also, finding time has to do with earning a living. I feel I have been living an either/or situation: write OR make a living. I 'd like to line both activities up, make them point in the same direction, so they'll reinforce eachother. So that I'll have more time for writing, I'm creating, connecting people, and making an excellent living. All in one go. Why not shoot for the moon?
So my question comes up as: "How can writing more contribute to making an excellent living?"
> I'm putting it on a pink Post-it and will post a pic of that later.
Right now, my husband called me downstairs for drinks in our sunny garden.
Not a bad life either, right?
Oh, and did you remember to write today's sentence? As yesterday's prompt suggested? And tell one someone about it? Let's see. Today, I am very happy because my husband put a beautiful patch of grass in our garden. There we are. I told you about it, dear reader. And I'll tell him, too. Over a glass of rosé. Cheers!
donderdag 2 juni 2011
One Strong Belief by Buster Benson
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
The world is powered by passionate people, powerful ideas, and fearless action. What’s one strong belief you possess that isn’t shared by your closest friends or family? What inspires this belief, and what have you done to actively live it?
This sounds so familiar to me. Yet to express in public a belief strikes terror in my heart. For I have seen the destructive power of strong beliefs and ideas all too often. From close by. The burden of being born in a family of believers in science.
The first belief that I have conquered battling my background, that still does not come to me naturally, is that in the value of relationship. I must make an effort on a daily basis to remember the bond between me and any fellow human - my husband, my son, my daughter, someone I meet on the street or online - is invisible but all encompassing. In the encounter lies the world of wrongs and rights.
The second - can I? - is the one that slowly dawned on me since I became a parent, three and a half years ago. Parenting did not come naturally to me. Diapers, feeding and comforting - the first year - were easy enough. But then: boundaries. I did not know how to start, where to focus. I felt lost.
The rescuing belief was, that parenting demands, or is equal to, emotional leadership. Ah, there's the knot. I interpret emotional leadership the way Cesar Millan leads his dogs: calm assertiveness. I must lead my family by showing calm, and a quiet but certain sense of direction. Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I am not by default a calm person. I need to tap into a not so well trained side of me. That's one challenge. But this parenting thing - we do it together. So when our eldest crosses a line, I try to remain calm. Showing him clearly what we expect of him. But I can react emotionally - and so can my husband. We does not necessarily see eye to eye on this - he seems to consider anger instrumental in raising the children. This is hard, and especially the "perfect sweetness" Emerson mentions... Unattainable I am certain.
Then again, perfect parents make for horrible children, right?
woensdag 1 juni 2011
Today by Liz Danzico
Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. The force of character is cumulative. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
If ‘the voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks,’ then it is more genuine to be present today than to recount yesterdays. How would you describe today using only one sentence? Tell today’s sentence to one other person. Repeat each day.
(Author: Liz Danzico)
I woke up at 04.30 this morning. I relaxed into my awakeness, wondering if the day had really started for me. This early. I lay waiting. But sleep did not pull me back in. I marvelled a little why I did not feel tired, but managed to accept. If there is a price to pay, I can easily sleep later on. We have the day off.
And now I find the gift of the second #30trust prompt in the Twittiverse.
I love that it is here, and I love that I am awake, alone, to fully savour it.
I look out at the morning sky, glowing up behind the red brick and rooftile house. On the far end of the little rectangle of grass that's the heart of our side street view.
One sentence. Nice and short. But everyday - each day. For how long? Forever? And tell it? To whom?
Today. Today I was up early, excited about the #30trust writing challenge I have embarked on.
I'll tell my husband.
When he wakes up.
Right now, I'll go on savouring this precious fresh morning hour.
Second post in #30trust, a writing experiment initiated by Seth Godin. The experiment is simultaneously teaching me Ralph Waldo Emerson! Free and interactive American literature class, how wonderful.
Then I stumbled upon an irresistible challenge: #30trust.
It's an "online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself" by something called The Domino Project in honour of Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday. Just jumping into the background info now... Ah. "The Domino Project is a new way to think about publishing. Founded by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon, we're trying to change the way books are built, sold and spread. Find out more about our mission here."
Seth Godin. Maybe I'll be famous yet ; ).
To resume - the #30trust. Today, the first day, the writing prompt is authored by Gwen Bell:
"We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.
The timer starts….
Counting down to my final meet with the darkness.
To my daughter, my son and my husband.
Be sure you make those who come after proud.
I know you will do me pride.
Stand with two feet on the ground.
Remember to jump for joy now and again.
Embrace someone when they need it.
Yourself. It's OK to ask for a hug.
Forget about thinking so much.
The body has its own wisdom.
I look at the green grass outside my window.
I feel the tingling in my belly that signals my life, my energy.
How can it end in 13 minutes when I feel so alive now?
It serves me not to think of these reasons.
It serves me to remember my previous encounters with the black hole.
Have I told you how I have gotten to know it?
That decision was the actual beginning of my life.
At age 34.
Don't be like me. Don't wait that long.
Enter NOW. Do it. I am there for you.
Now and always.
And moreover: you are.
The holiest of your holy essence.
Your whole being runs free there and marvels at the pitch black.
And then - who knew?
Your soul always sees the specks of light.
Stars. Planets. Rings around planets.
Your soul knows it truly is a sea of light.
Hidden beneath the dark veil your fear created.
And cold? Alone?
Yes. Sit in that for a bit.
Shiver. Feel the goosebumps.
The lack of oxygen that will make your skin break out in blue veins.
The body cannot live here and it protests.
Feel its protest, while you are alive.
It is important that you recognize and know this feeling.
So that you can heed its warning when it comes upon you in real life.
Like animals, we too know how.
Sit in the cold.
Feel the breath of death enter the body.
The body must succumb.
It is not made for eternity.
But the soul is part of it.
Five more minutes now. I wonder how my life will be taken.
How my body will lose it's spark.
But I fear not. Maybe - I cannot know for certain.
Maybe it is not true.
I can never know, not even what seems dictated as truth.
Therefor the fear serves no purpose.
What I am certain of is change.
How we communicate.
How you understand me.
So I shall make an effort.
In whichever shape or form I am.
If I talk to you person to person, flesh to flesh, voice to voice, computerscreen to computerscreen.
Or vibration to vibration.
My effort and my intent is to communicate from soul to soul.
From light to light.
From black hole to black hole.
We are light.
We are darkness.
You will always know me.
As I will you and myself.
Three more minutes and the ticking becomes irregular.
I take out the teabag and take time before the first sip.
Even now, I will not burn my tongue.
There may be hope for life after this, and a burnt tongue won't help me.
Tell mom and dad I love them.
And thank them for ... trring
This is my first post in a series as part of an "online initiative and 30-day writing challenge that encourages you to look within and trust yourself" called #30trust.
Look it up on Twitter and join, if you like!
That's one of the topics you really weren't *that* interested in for me to write on. According to the poll in my previous post.
Guess what? Doing it anyway. HA! Do you mind? Do you? Well, you'll just have to wait, then, for the barefoot post. It's coming, no worries. I'm sitting here, my feet... muscles... no. Come back june 10th. Thank you very much. See you later.
So, now that they've left, we've got the floor to ourselves. Hi again! How about those scary phonecalls, right? Cold calling? Well, I made myself proud. I put in three cold calls last week to editors of print magazines, trying to raise their interest for my item barefooting. This week, I tried putting in another one but couldn't find the right number. But I did follow up these calls with e-mails containing the pitch.
Not that I have actually made a sell. But I tried! Put myself out there. Yep.
Feeling quite pleased with myself, actually. And in a way, I do have to thank you, too. Even though you were not interested to read about that stuff at all, apparently; having you read the topic put it out there, making me want to have something to say about it.
Yes, pretty pleased. And thankful. And exhausted, frankly. Looking forward to a nice long "Hemelvaart-" weekend.
And PS, if you do have any ideas on who would publish that article, or is looking for copy on something you think I could write about - do not hesitate to drop me a line!
dinsdag 17 mei 2011
Wanna take a poll with me?
The poll closes june 4th, I shall publish the winning article around june 11th.
Oh, and I do have a back up plan. In case no one takes part in the poll (no guilt trip intended!).
Poll: Choose my next blog title
- Barefootrunning - my first try
- The Watchlyst experiment
- Stop avoiding scary phonecalls
- Can I enjoy planning?
Wanna create your own poll?
maandag 9 mei 2011
I could ask you directly: why are you here on this blog? What do you hope to find here? Do you find it? And what makes you come back? I'd be thrilled with any answer (tess[at]doucet[dot]nl, tweet or DM @spellfinder)) - but you may, of course, choose not to.
So here I sit, in my cluelessness. I am quite happy to go back to the stats and my fantasy. Of course, my inspiration may dry up if I find you keep silent (guilt trip about to set in)... nah. Not really - I'll write untill the day I die, I am sure. With or without reader dialogue. But still, I am curious. Looking for indications of who comes and why, I look at where people come from. Last week, someone entered "finding spells" on search engine Bing. Bypassing the question, who uses a different search engine from Google anyway, and why, I clicked through to the search results.
You'd think I'd thought long and hard about the title and headline of this blog. And I did. But I did not Google them before putting it up. Maybe if I had, I wouldn't have dared featuring them. Take a look for yourself, if you like - the most obscure Wiccan, magic, modern witchcraft sites enter into view. Now, I admit to wanting to look like Alyssa Milano in Charmed. Who wouldn't? I'd sign for her spellwriting skills, too. But witchcraft? Of course not.
My brother was the one who advised me to choose a name for what I do that leaves something to the imagination. I came up with "spellfinder" because of its associations with games and spelling, most of all. I love language in all shapes and forms, and I love its dynamic nature. Find the complete Dutch explanatory blog here.
Then again, among the wiccan search results, a guy called Tator Scot, named something I can really relate to:
We need to know, can anyone cast a spell? Yes! Anyone can cast a spell. The only requirement is that you truly believe the spell will work. Your belief is what gathers the energy required to cast the spell. The spell itself is a tool to focus that energy to accomplish the result that you desire.
That hit home with me.
Rethinking what I believe has liberated me and opened me up to the world - and the world, to me.
Reworking my belief system, and how that relates to my values, skills, emotions, behavior and environment/network, is in that sense the most powerful spell I have come to know, use and love. I have been a fan of Dilts' Neurological Levels, the "new pyramid" as opposed to Mazlow's old pyramid, to work at these things. Trying to attain congruency between the levels. You try it, it's fun. But most of all, if you try it, reworking it over and over again (iteratively designing), you'll strengthen it on all levels and improve your confidence. Daring to make unconventional choices as a matter of course.
There's no need to discuss or defend your choices anymore, when you know why you made them. You can share reasons when invited, of course - if you like. But the need to spend time on the negative energies other people may conjure up unwittingly around your ideas and actions just evaporates, when your faith in your own choices is strong. In other words: reworking your belief system is a strong method to protect yourself against the evil eye of jealousy and suspicion. You'll simply, effortlessly, blow all out of the water with a strong pyramid.
I'd say I am exercising smartness, wisdom and courage - but if you prefer to call that magic, then I do find magic spells. Or you could say: just believe.
As for my visitor numbers, I think I'll label this post love spell. Oh, and if that's why you came: the quick fix (if you don't want to go through all of that Dilts stuff) is to rent the movie Hitch, featuring Will Smith. Brilliant and a good laugh too!
Signing of with love, faith and hope,
Your true Spellfinder
zaterdag 30 april 2011
So... I did it!
How did I wind up on that stage? I jumped in - on Saturday February 26th I read the call for 3' TedTalks on Twitter, and on Wednesday March 2nd I stood on the stage of the Amsterdam Schouwburg. The feeling I have something to say has been growing inside of me for a couple of years now. But I am still somewhat fuzzy on my exact message. I grasped this opportunity to give myself a deadline. What better way to boil my message down, than to have to communicate it in three minutes? So, I emailed an outline: "Doing exactly what you want, and how fear of social isolation might prevent you from it".
... or did I?
So many things I did not say. That I had wanted and/or planned to. 3 minutes is radically short. And I did not even use them up!
My big miss: not mentioning Linda Douw, the epilepsy specialist before me. The video of a patient having an epileptic seizure was so vivid, the pain so acute - I could hardly bear watching it. Couldn't we use something simple as just such a video to help the difficult diagnosis of epilepsy?
Also, I feel I need to thank TEDx volunteer Annette Dolle and fellow 3' speaker Sabine Wassenberg - they listened to me rave like a maniac in the breaks before my talk, helping me calm my nerves.
The TEDx crowd is very bubbly, energetic and inspirational, like Salmaan "that's awesome!" Sana and Oliver de Leeuw. Great to meet you, guys :).
What I really had to say
Is still subject to change - which is why I didn't write about my talk sooner. And because I was hoping to get the video footage, so I could link to it - on that I've given up (there's some pics, though). But some things did come up. Before, during and after the talk. After all, I did feel I had something to say. So, here goes. Please let me know what you think.
Social restraints - embrace egoism
How funny, a little over a week ago I met this scientific writer (www.desireehoving.nl) who will laugh out loud in the theater or cinema, just like me. This is one of the examples of how I have liberated myself - it's OK to laugh out loud in public. Even when I am the only one. I used to worry about what people would think of me too much. Fear of shame is what's prevented me from doing what I really, really wanted. What if I failed in my most vulnerable self? In my hearts most wanted desires? I couldn't suffer the shame, the disappointment.
But one day, after suffering another communication breakdown in a group where everyone was worried about what the others wanted, instead of every single person expressing what they wanted or needed for themselves, it dawned on me.
Egoism is healthy! Contrary to popular belief, and popular standards of Western civilisation, especially among women, everyone will benefit if everyone minds their own business - first. Look out for what you need - and keep an eye out for what those around you need. But, it's OK to start by expressing what you want. How else can anyone ever know what anyone else wants? Let alone, how can anyone get what they really really want?
Follow the money?
Is how I used to live and counsel in the umbrella jobs before my burnout. In the "werkcoach" job @UWV, for example. Do or try doing what I can easily earn good living doing. Somehow, for me, taking the job I could easily take, signing that contract, equalled signing a pact with the devil. I was safe: I had an umbrella to put up. Sheltered in case of rain. I showed the best of myself to get hired - but once I was "in", I would shut down and stop. I had a roof over my head; I could pay my rent. But it was a devil's pact. I traded in my spirit for money and a semblance of safety. I did it unconsciously, automatically, unwillingly of course - but I did do it. And it did not work. There was no safety. Assuming I needed this safety, meant assuming I was "made of sugar". I would melt when it would rain. I was assuming my own weakness, thereby creating it. Instead of sheltering in a safehouse, I was in fact swimming with the sharks. Holding on with all my might to an inflatable but leaky floater. The floater being my own thoughts of being weak. Let it go! Surrender. Dive under and discover your inner shark. That's the new take I've been trying out.
Handing over my spirit, shutting down, giving only the superficial bits of me, I was shorthanding my employers. And myself. Even though I worked hard - of course they didn't retain me! My frustration was written all over my body, no matter how hard I worked to hide it. I became aware of this pattern when I was prepping the Ted Talk. So... I need a different philosophy.
Or lead - and the money will follow?
Now, I think the only way of living my best life is to engage on my terms.. it's OK! Slowly, I am experimenting with this theory. It's not yet proven - I am not (yet) making money. But I am trying to lead by creating value writing, Twittering, connecting people and ideas. And by loving people - showing love, when I can. To those close to me and to those passing me by. This is what I love doing. I try believing, I hold onto the faith that creating value must mean, at some point, value will flow back to me.
Experimenting with engaging on my terms also means: it's OK to engage - to say yes - to do stuff - yet keep negotiations open at all times. I tune into my belly as my guide. When something's off: stomach pains. When things are moving in the right direction, the direction of what I need, of my spirit, I get this flowing tingling in my lower abdomen. Unmistakable.
So, I keep working on my terms. Refining. Renegotiating. Never afraid to walk away - always zooming in, getting a better focus on what I want and how. The "how" is a big, BIG part of it for me now. This is probably where I went wrong in my umbrella jobs. I am rethinking my strategy into the idea, that my terms are worth negotiating - because they are what safeguard the best of me.
Pyramid/scarcity thinking - alternatives?
Something else that's held me back: pyramid thinking. To get ahead, to come out on top, to be successful in anything, you need to leave others behind, trample them, humiliate them. This type of pyramid thinking rules many consultancy firms and is a paradigm in itself. I guess it's based on the economic principle of scarcity = value. Correct me if I am wrong; I am not trained as an economist.
To me, pyramid thinking hemmed my growth. I was afraid that if I showed my true colours, my greatness would make other people shrink. And I don't want other people to shrink; I want them to grow into their own full potential! Just like I want it for myself, I want it for everyone else.
It probably was a coaching session that helped me find the idea of abundance instead of scarcity. It took a couple of years and continuous effort to start internalizing and believing there actually is an alternative to pyramid thinking. The fear of scarcity still draws near more often than I like - society drips with it so it is hard to disentangle it from everyday living. But now, I have something to counter it with. The concept of abundance made me feel for the first time, not only that I had permission to strive for greatness, but I was actually obliged to do so - because I'd do others a disservice by keeping what's great about me from the world. Of course rereading Marianne Williams over and over helped, too.
To wrap it up, I conclude - in random order - that
a) I would like to make a living writing. Creating, connecting, but most of all: writing.
b) In order to say this out loud, I have needed to liberate myself from fear of shame and failure.
c) Also, I need to believe in abundance instead of scarcity.
d) Thirdly, I need to believe in a healthy egoism.
e) And finally, I need to start, in any way I can, saying yes to opportunities and keeping an eye open for the conditions. Allowing myself to walk away at any moment, if the conditions are not right.
That's it! Thank you for reading, and please let me know what you think!
woensdag 20 april 2011
Last month, there were a couple of situations when I lost my balance. Preparing to move house can do that to me. As can an infrequent meeting with the extended family. I got angry, I got sad. And my "same old, same old" coping strategy: flee! At least emotionally! Got activated. I got lost. I started feeling the need to reconnect with my values, to regain my centre.
But how? Talking with friends helped. Surfing the web. Also, I rereading this years' newyears post. I looked for what struck me in Peter Sloterdijk's work when I encountered it, googling him. What's going on around him? I found this essay "the gave van de woede" by Ranfar Kouwijzer (in Dutch). Kouwijzer is a Dutch minister.
Kouwijzer explains quite clearly how anger, is a form of "thyme", from the ancient Greek. This thymothian energy motivates and triggers action. The kind of action that makes people want to wage a war. But also the kind of energy that makes you want to stand up for what you believe is right. This kind of energy can liberate and restore connections.
My personal click with thymothian energy, is the link with depression. My voice dialogue facilitator, that I worked with from 2004 to 2006, used to say depression is imploded anger. Sloterdijk's explanation of anger as energy, somehow gave me permission to feel it. Feel the anger. More accurately: it eliminated the need to suppress it. Suppression was taking up my energy resources and, paradoxically, forcing the anger to become stronger and harder to control.
I felt angry that no one was noticing the wonderfulness of me. I felt angry that the only expression we were taught, is that of consumption. I felt angry at being estranged from myself. I was angry at being unable to connect with other people, really and truly connect. I was angry that I did not know what that meant to me, exactly.
The concept of thymothian energy helps me relabel these feelings. I have a passionate need, a pride, an honour, for connecting with people on an emotional level. I need to experience emotional leadership. The kind pack leaders of the future should have, like Cesar Millan describes. I need to feel part of a pack. It is what I have been missing most my life. I have been living in an emotional power vacuum.
Good people of the world: it is time to get angry about being good. Get angry about living and connecting based on -+ (-+ <3 instead of fear. Get angry about what you need for you - and go get it!
maandag 4 april 2011
Eureka! The source is the Greek Focusing website! The "Hellenic Focusing Centre" collect all things focusing using Scoop It. I am excited about this find and relieved that there's real visitors behind my stats. Honoured, actually, to have visitors from such a wonderful source. Thrilled that Focusing is very much alive. I remember my own "introduction to focusing course" in 2006 and my slight disappointment at the liveliness of focusing in the Netherlands. I had a feeling Focusing had blended into the more encompassing and somewhat woolly NLP, frankly. But now, I am happy to find that field is very much alive. At least internationally. I expect to be looking into it more.
Today, I stumbled upon this video by Akira Ikemi. It's brilliant and just under five minutes.
Ikemi's way of speaking is just as inspiring as the things that he says. Thoughtful. Creating, feeling the words as he utters them. Checking his audience for contact and reception.
One thing that moved me is how he says "focusing therapists trust the not-yet formed that's forming in the client." As opposed to other therapists, who do not trust the not yet formed, and will impose existing labels, theories and interpretations on the not-yet formed. Implicitly hindering the client's own creative abilities. This makes it so clear why, in some personal therapy sessions, therapists have angered me and sessions left me feeling more powerless, instead of empowered.
My absolute favourite, however: "Focusing is not a technique. It is not a skill. It is a characteristic of a relationship which values presence, felt sense and space."
What this sentence means to me? Why I favour it? Well, ehm - because of everything? It helps me know what I expect from (any) relationship. Why I may feel unfulfilled so often. And how I may deal with those feelings. Act or accept. The description helps with either one.
Thank you to Akira Ikemi for doing this work on focusing and to Simon Do for publishing this work online.
Enjoy your day!
donderdag 24 maart 2011
squirrel (third-person singular simple present squirrels, present participle squirreling, simple past and past participle squirreled)
with "away": To hoard in a hidden place, by analogy to squirrels' habit of hoarding nuts.
with "around": To move or search erratically, especially as if hurried or confused.
My mother warned me not to squirrel around in my dad's workshop.
This only works with acorns! And other organics. Not with money, which does not really grow. That much.
So, the squirrel didn't realize he was planting a tree. It won't make new acorns for a couple of years though. Generations, really. His greatgrandchildren may profit. But only in autumn.
Also, in debating: "a squirrel can also refer to an affirmative so obscure that there is no known negative against it. These cases are rare and will typically win the round for the affirmative team". (Wikipedia)
Squirrel more, I say. In the obscure way. Or plant a tree. Just don't expect fruits until you have (grand)children.
maandag 21 maart 2011
Yo..., I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want!1996 "Wannabe," Spice Girls
So tell me what you want, what you really really want?
I'll tell you what I want, what I really really want!
So tell me what you want, what you really really want?
I wanna, uh- I wanna, uh- I wanna, uh- I wanna, uh- I wanna really
really really wanna zigazig haaaah.
Arend Ardon, partner at Holland Consulting Group, devoted his thesis and book to how managers are the main roadblocks to organisational change. Even when they want to enable it. Because of their unconscious, automated behaviour. Or so I read this morning (article in Dutch). Ardon reminded me of the Spice Girls' talk, and how hard it can be to accomplish what you really want. Talking about that is one important thing, like I stated at my 3' TedTalk at TedxAms . But talking is just part of any successformula for change .
Having worked both as a manager and as an employee, I can completely confirm how hard it is to be part of a change, as opposed to part of the roadblock. But I can do better. I'd like to propose a strategy for actually enabling change. I proudly present micro change - analogue to the concept of a micro loan as introduced by our wonderful Princess Maxima, and the micro blog Twitter has been since 5 years (hurray! birthday today :) ).
Micro change is working for me as a private person, effectively improving quality of all aspects of my life and that of those around me as we speak. And having fun in the process. It might just work for you, wheather you are a manager or a proper human (ha ha). Of course, there will be many, many roads to this particular Rome. Or should I say, Walhalla of organisational change consultants? Either way; please invent your own tactic, if you prefer. This one is based on the writer's golden rule: "show, don't tell" (thank you Mireille).
Micro change - a strategy for aspiring change catalysts
1. Seek out situations where you know you'll abort to resistance behaviour. Look for small and safe cases first. For example, when you're having coffee or drinks with a distant acquaintance. Someone outside your work or neighbourhood circle, preferably. Waiting for a train or bus could provide an excellent opportunity as well. Try Twitter, use an alias if you like. Mention different topics until La Resistance hits the fan.
2. React to whatever triggered you as if your critic is right. I know, that sounds weird, doesn't it? Do try, though. Even if everything inside you is screaming how wrong he is and why. It's OK to be scared. Just check if the fear has any root in your life's safety - is your life itself in danger? If not, you are safe to proceed.
3. Savour how things unrolled privately - on the way home or when you go to sleep. Don't let the guineapig critic in on your little experiment. Try confiding in a good friend or your partner if you like. If you're successful. Or if something interesting happened.
4. Rinse and repeat. As you progress, book more successes and create more options for your behaviour, you can start experimenting "closer to home". In situations, with people that mean something. You can accelerate as quickly as you like, shifting from first to fifth gear. No matter if your engine goes dead. You can always restart. No one will notice your "failure" when you show your usual resistance behaviour. They are used to it.
This strategy may enable you to create and practise new behaviour. Effortlessly overtaking your usual reactions. It is irrelevant if you even know exactly what your usual reactions are. The only thing you need is that gut feeling that says "NO! I don't want your behaviour" as a starting point for the exercise. From this point onward, it's: "next!".
Good luck! Please let me know how that went? If you decide to give it a micro go?
PS: a big, hearty thank you goes out to these sources of inspiration:
- www.MireilleGeus.nl. In 2006, Mireille got me back in the writing saddle. Also, she pointed me to the following huge comfort and inspirator:
- Keith Johnstone "Impro", 1979 www.keithjohnstone.com (I read it in '07)
- William Hall, www.williamhall.net (trained with him in Arnhem '09), @william_hall
- Coert Visser's www.thesolutionsfocus.com, @DoingWhatWorks (followed his blog '09)
- @jack @florian: hurray! 5 yrs Twitter. Thanks to you and all early adapters for enabling and inventing the microdialogue :)
woensdag 16 maart 2011
We started at 8 months with Florian, with Nina I found out my mother in law fed her sugary cookies during Xmas! We hadn't started weaning yet, she was 5 months! Thanks for the kickstart, "mom" : ). So we started in january.
Cook without salt
I started cooking without salt, mashing up some for her and salting for us on the plate. Using herbs instead of salt helps. This was OK but still, a bit laborious. Annoying, really, because I decided to let her eat with us. Dinnertime as a social family moment and all, I like that.
Freeze in portions
The real kickass parenthack came, when it occured to me I could mash&freeze our leftover potatoes, rice and veggies in portions. I used cute heartshaped silicon icemaker forms that I got cheap at IKEA at first because she may eat so little. I can defrost as little as I think she needs. Take out more as she gobbles it up. And, no guilt trip for opening up a whole jar - what to do with the leftovers if she turns out not to be hungry this time? Now that she's eating more, I've started using silicon muffin tins as well. These I found at the Action store, but they're for sale at Euroland I think as well. Which are great because I can defrost the right amount of say, soup, for myself too. I put the tins on a large plate in the freezer, on top of a drawer so nothing gets stuck in the food while freezing. The next day, I'll take out the frozen portions, pouring hot water on the back to help ease them out. Store in a plastic (zip loc) bag or get eco friendly and hip reusable plastic bags such as these!
I have written before about how much I love making soup on a cold winterday. It turns out, she loves it too!! I have to admit, I do use salt/soup starter. This is not for the no-salt-in-the-first-year purists. I figure, since she's still on my milk, her kidneys are pretty OK. Formula strains the kidneys more. Hers can take some salt. The advantage is too, she'll get some water inside her. She's not drinking that out of a bottle, of course.
Drink: 50cc with every meal
Or so the children's nurse tells me. But how? She does love to drink out of a cup. But spills everyting, sticks her fingers in: it's messy if I give the cup to her. Once she can sit up, we can start practising drinking from a cup in the bathtub (parenthack #66). For now, I found out she can drink fine when I hold her on my lap and hold the cup myself(#35). Makes for excellent bonding time, too!
I told you mine! What are yours?
dinsdag 15 maart 2011
For your baby, this may be a sign she is tired. Read her, are there other signs? With our Nina, not making eye contact is a clear heads up. Is it time to put her to bed, maybe just for a little nap? Still at eight months Nina keeps me guessing about her naptimes, and I'd rather err on the bedside. Put her in. When she cries more than a minute or 5, I'll take her out.
Learning: action = reaction
At this age, it could be something she's learning. Hey, if I drop this, it's gone! Then, someone comes and picks it up! How interesting. Try it again. Remembering her learning stage helps me see the fun of it. It's a game! Wanna play?
If you don't or can't play, because you're busy driving or cooking. Here's a super tip generated by loyal www.parenthacks.com readers: link rubber bands, attach them to the toy on one end, and the (car) seat on the other. Or use yarn. This way you can simply pull up the toy. Teaching your baby something new in the process. Nina is very interested in the rubber bands themselves, too. Can't wait to try it out on our next drive!
Off to pick my lovelies up from daycare! And share a half hour in the spring air : )
vrijdag 11 maart 2011
As a second justification: I have always wanted to write, and have always felt flow when writing. However, until recently, I did not know what I had to say. I did not trust there was anything remotely interesting for anyone there. Until recently. The birth of our second child, a wonderfully zen baby girl, gave me confidence. I decided some private conclusions from my burnout (roughly, 2004-08) just might be worth sharing with the world. I used Eugene Gendlin's Thinking at the Edge to illicit this "private expertise", flexing my hormone ridden brain in the process. So the post has two layers. There's the TAE process, and what I found applying it. What I found out about my fears. In this post I'll detail how that went. It's very rough and chaotic, possibly illegible, but I'd like to share it anyway.
❤ TAE - step 1-5. "Find a word for the knowledge you want to illicit". I come up with: What the world needs now is something like softening (verzachting). I proceed, not knowing if "the world" really means Dutch society, the world at large, my world, or just me? Either way, what's needed is people coming into contact more with how they feel, and standing up for what's important to them. Dropping shame and armors. Letting go instead of observing with judgement and searching for problems, spijkers op laag water (nails at low tide?). Choosing for a future, a realistic scenario, but letting go of obstacles, problems, issues. Seeing through them, finding alternative paths that do not involve them. Choosing a positive scenario and going for it. Taking a leap of faith. Also - especially - in relationships with others. Looking on with a soft, yet strong and clear eye (hard, onverbiddelijk, zonder scrupules en schuldgevoel, assertief, duidelijk). Choosing your own road, while respecting the road another takes. Making room for the other to take their road, but claiming your own room as well. Trusting there's enough room for each and every one of us to pick the exact path we want, and more room to spare if we do. Choosing your own way of cooperating, living together, being together. Dropping, shedding what's unneccessary (guilt) if you can. Checking guilt with the one you feel guilty towards, if that's what you need to let go. Choosing to create from hope instead of holding on, defending from fear. Making room to create by letting go. Hope instead of fear. These are key phrases.
Now, preparing this post, I reflect on what I wrote in October last year. What's interesting about the word "softening", is that is has a special meaning for me. My last name, Doucet, is French. It could be translated, with a little imagination, to mean "softener", or "someone soft". In my family (maybe this goes for all families) there is a tendency to value the intellect, and to behave distant, cold and judgemental. On the other hand, all members of my family have a very sensitive, warm side as well. But the warmness doesn't seem to find its way out because of the intellectual, cold shell that's been built to last for decades.
The report continues. ❤ TAE step 6-9, instance: instead of fearing my partner will be angry with me when he gets home from work because I haven't found a job yet or because I am not looking actively enough, I should trust and believe he has faith. I should trust he has faith in my success and in me doing the right things to achieve it. I find I get a lot of anxiety from fearing what my partner really thinks of me.
Aspects: I have not been able to feel successful at any job (or at life in general, for that matter). I haven't been able to fit in in any workplace. I do not feel I belong and I haven't been able to stay on anywhere for long. I always feel like an outsider. Yet I make myself completely dependent on what I fear someone else thinks of me. This could be my boss, a colleague or client. I do not belong, yet the other person completely determines my happiness, controls me entirely. I do not belong and am completele part of/dependent on the other (employer, partner, friend).
Key phrase: choosing to create from hope instead of holding on to/defending from fear.
Substitute words in the key phrase: choosing for A instead of holding on to/defending from B.
A: hope: wish or expectation that something I really want will happen.
Better: confidence in a good outcome, even if it is not known in detail, or if it is different than I'd expected. Faith in my own ability to find a way and accept different process and outcome. Have faith in relationships and other people's ability and will to find, make, create success.
What's off in the definition of hope? Something I "really want". Better alternative: something positive. Something you're content with. Something will happen and you will want it. You will be at peace and what will happen will be good. You have peace and confidence.
What's off in the word "create"? It suggests something too big. Better would be: moving with, comoving, swaying, living, jumping in the maelstrom and trusting that whatever happens is or will be good. A small thing that sets off a chain reaction may be all it takes.
Better would be: taking risks. Defy fear of arousing someone's shame, rejection or anger. Do things from my own peace and confidence and positive intention, sensitive to others, open, unprejudiced by aforementioned fear of negative emotional reaction from other(s). Daring to stay close to myself without the fear of shame, rejection or anger from someone else.
Fear: scary, anxious feeling. This is something else. Oh no, it is not. Encountering, looking for, engaging in situations that defuse, reprogram unnecessary, obsolete, disfunctional fearful expectations built from past experience.
Knowing with certainty: fear serves only to avoid life-threatening situations. No more, no less.
The report closes with an afterthought. When reading it over a couple of days later, I felt it feels hard, too complicated, too difficult. It seemed a paradox to want to express bodily intelligence in language. Bodily intelligence is a means for direct, situationally prompted action. It seems unnecessarily complex to take the cerebral detour language is. I discussed this with my brother, about a month after my attempt at TAE. His reaction may seem obvious to you, but to me it was surprising - of course, you don't know my brother. "Communication," he said,"is what makes that hard work to find words for that bodily intelligence worthwile. You or I can have an excellently developed individual bodily intelligence system, doing all the right things at the right time. But in order to work as a team, to develop some sort of collective intelligence, we need to verbalize our individual intelligence".
With this surprising conclusion he closes a circle of work on team empowerment I have been doing in 2009. Now, posting this blog in march 2011, it seems important and worthwile. To me, anyways. Please let me know what you think!
TAE has been sitting in the back of my brain for years as something interesting worth exploring one day. So last octobre, when my maternity leave was over and I was getting ready for work again, wanting to flex my brain, I did. There's a set of videos online where Gendlin explains how it works.
* empowering bodily intelligence
* finding fresh language
* discovering/verbalizing implicit knowledge
* a way of illiciting expert knowledge
*(my brainwave:) biweekly interview experts = friends and family => everyone has some kind of expertise on something => illiciting this
Threats: very rigid and demanding method. When is good good enough? High perfectionism threshold. You have to know Gendlin’s focussing / felt sense before you can start, which has the same hint of perfectionism. Or maybe that’s just me.
I guess a good way to decide on which parts of TAE to use (when), is to keep checking your energy and emotional response to the process itself. This works for me, anyway. Does it feel too hard? It probably is. Feel free to venture in directions that seem easy, where energy flows. The hard parts are there to be acknowledged but not to bulldozer through, necessarily.
The way Gendlin puts it: “In every step you check the creation against the felt sense
“ahh” (relief) - it’s moving forward (words make it flow); or “urgh” (cramp) - it’s holding back.”
He concludes with an interesting and possibly reassuring observation: “how does language exist in human bodies in the first place ? It is inherent in human living”.
TAE step 1 - 5: method to produce a lot of strands out of one ‘thing’
❤ Call up your felt sense relating to the thing, i.e. find a word that seems to represent it.
❤ Try to access any modality that works for you: smell, sound, image, bodily feeling, location in the body, person(s) related to the thing. Write down all of these, even if (especially if) they are not quite what the thing is or should be. Words that are the opposite of the thing can work, too. Use a mind map if you like. Record your voice if you prefer to work eyes closed.
❤ Ask “what would you like that word to mean”? for the collection of strands, for each word, for each attempt that doesn’t quite seem to catch it.
❤ Out comes a chaotic cloud, a series of sentences. Can you boil it down to one sentence? Step back and appreciate the colourful, poetic sentence, with fresh words.
Many are happy and satisfied with outcomes of step 1 - 5. TAE was designed to create a theory including logic, however. If you like, try the next steps (in the same session or later on).
TAE step 6 - 9: making a theory, an articulated group of terms that interlock
❤ Find an example to explore. Just one will do.
❤ Look closely at all the aspects, facets and instances of the example. The example may very well unfold into a set of examples (this is how my mind works, anyway).
❤ There is intricacy in every real thing that happens. Lift out concrete stances.
❤ Use the STARR method if you like, specifying situation, task, action, result, reflection questions to further illicit each example.
TAE step 10 - 15: make logic
Afterwards, logic rules look like the beginning, the origin.
But the terms and connections come from some kind of experience.
TAE describes a process to make the logic.