woensdag 24 juni 2015

... ik mocht niets voor hem maken, want het was een slechte vader,...

Vaderdag. Met liefde heb ik zondag aan mijn vader gedacht: fikkie stoken, waar hij zo van hield en ik ook. Mijn schoonvader, hebben we gebeld. De kinderen hadden voor de vader hier in huis geknutseld en ik verraste hem met theaterkaartjes die hij wenste.




Maar het kan ook anders.


"1944 tot 1959: Vaderdag
Op de lagere school werd elk jaar aandacht besteed aan vaderdag. In de klas mochten alle kinderen iets moois maken voor hun vader.
Een jongen, wiens vader op de grote vaart werkte, mocht ook meedoen. Ik niet, mijn vader zat, zolang ik hem kende, in de gevangenis. Ik mocht niets voor hem maken, want het was een slechte vader, een oorlogsmisdadiger. Ik stuurde natuurlijk wel een briefje met tekening naar papa, maar niet iets moois, dat klassikaal was gemaakt. Ik begreep wel dat ik niet mee mocht doen, want hij had straf verdiend. Het vervelende was, dat ik zo opviel, dat zichtbaar werd, dat ik anders was dan de andere kinderen en mij moest schamen. Niet alleen voor mijn vader, maar ook omdat ik vanwege die vader een slecht kind was. Dan wilde ik ook een vader op zee, of een dode vader. Tegelijkertijd schaamde ik mij dat ik papa in gedachten in de steek liet. Met een rood hoofd ging ik sommen maken, terwijl de andere kinderen knipten en plakten."
Dit verhaal van Marijke Manlin las ik op de Vredeskalender. Het spreekt boekdelen. Met een rood hoofd... wie kent dat afgrijselijke gevoel niet? En dan om je bloedeigen vader?

Schaamte en schuld. Oude, krachtige sociale emoties. Maar - waarom? Wat is het effect? Is de emotie (nog) altijd zinvol, nodig?

Brené Brown heeft me met haar TedTalk een paar jaar terug de ogen geopend over de snelheid en kracht van "shaming en blaming". Ik herkende gedrag van mezelf waar ik niet trots op ben. Hardop dingen benoemen van anderen met zo'n air van "nou ja!". Uitdrukkelijk (samen met anderen) kijken naar iemand of iets.

Ik wens iedereen (mezelf voorop) de vrijheid toe om zich niet te hoeven schamen, en om anderen niet te beschamen.




donderdag 18 juni 2015

IK MOET NIKS!

Gistermiddag was onze meid (5) boos op mij. De stiften waren achter de bank gevallen. Nadat ík het blikje - riskant - op de rugleuning van de bank had gezet. Jij moet ze oprapen! Riep ze huilend. Ik voel dan een minstens even grote woede in mij opkomen... IK MOET NIKS! brult het in mijn buik. En dat heb ik haar ook al vaker toegevoegd (beken ik tot mijn schaamte). Ik was moe en lag daar zo heerlijk. Ik deed niet wat de woede mij vooral opdroeg (tegen haar schreeuwen). Ik bleef bij mijn heerlijke liggen. Ik aaide haar over haar rug en zei "Je denkt dat jij de stiften niet kan oprapen. Daarom wil je dat ik het doe. Maar ik doe het niet. Dat doet pijn. Je hoofd is vol met pijn. Er is geen ruimte voor een idee, over hoe je het op kan lossen. Misschien kan je rustig worden? En de pijn vrijlaten? Dan komt er ruimte in je hoofd. Dan kan er een idee inkomen."

Veel te moeilijk? Misschien. Ik doe ook maar wat. Onze dochter begon te gapen, ontspande tijdens het verhaaltje en ging ook lekker bij me liggen. Toen kwam onze zoon beneden. Ik vertelde hem, dat de stiften achter de bank waren gevallen en dat dochterlief niet wist hoe ze die kon pakken. Hij meteen: je kan ze met de bezem erachter vandaan halen! Ze sprong op en ging de bezem pakken, dat lukte met zijn hulp. Helemaal blij, zelf de stiften opgeruimd. Oké, ik heb ook een handje geholpen; maar dat vond ik niet meer erg... het ging me erom dat ik niet meteen MOET gaan rennen als zij overstuur is. Daarna heeft ze uitgbreid met de bezem gespeeld.

Dus dat was weer een retourtje irritatie... wel erbij blijven en niet op de eerste impuls handelen... zoiets probeer ik dan.

dinsdag 16 juni 2015

Een regenpijp met frummeltjes

Soms voel ik de pijn.
Oeroud en schrijnend.
Zo aan weerszijden van mijn ruggegraat
tussen mijn schouderbladen.
Zeurend en vaak, heel vaak vergeten.

Als ik me herinner, wil ik me uitrekken en strekken.
Ja, zo ja. Doe maar even.
Dat het kraakt en een beetje piept.
De piep achter je linkeroor, de kraak in je schouders of pols.

Zo wakker worden, zo ontwaken.
Even aan jezelf als engel voelen.
Naar de hemel reiken.
Als de takken van een boom naar het licht.
Met je voeten in de grond
als haar wortels.

Maar dan vrij - want wij kunnen gaan.

Dan weer ben ik als een regenpijp met frummeltjes vanbinnen.
Het leven stroomt door mij heen.
Hoe hard het stroomt of hoe zacht;
Hoe veel of hoe weinig; tja.
Maar ik heb mijn frummeltjes, fier.
Daarmee kleur ik
Vorm ik
Duw ik
Stop ik
Houd iets vast -
of soms neemt het leven iets van mij mee.

Zoiets?

... het liefste voel ik toch hoe het vrij dóór mij stroomt.

november 2013

dinsdag 9 juni 2015

Ontvang

Eindelijk was het zover.

De avond waar ik zo lang naar had verlangd, en naar had uitgekeken. Op 29 mei was de eerste Amstelveense Diepteveldontspanningsavond!

Er zouden vier mensen komen om in het yogacentrum Shiva samen met mij een groepsgewijze Diepteveldontspanning te ervaren. Ik was aangekomen met twee tassen met de muziek en andere spulletjes.

Wat ik kon verwachten wist ik niet precies. Ik had op de opleiding groepssessies ervaren. En dat wilde ik nu weer - en omdat het er niet was, moest ik het zelf organiseren. Ik wilde het al lang. Om samen te ontdekken, delen, ervaren - misschien uitwisselen? O, wat was ik zenuwachtig.

Daar was de eerste deelnemer al. Hij zou helpen met dingen klaarzetten. Daar was ik heel blij mee. Een fijn gevoel, dat er iemand komt helpen. Dat je het niet alleen doet. Maar nodig was het niet. Ik had alles zelf mee en voorbereid. Had ik al gezegd, hoe zenuwachtig ik was? Er waren nog mensen in het yogacentrum. De Indiase danscursus was nog niet af. Er zaten twee mannen te wachten in de kleedruimte, en in de stilteruimte, die ik wilde gebruiken als ontvangstruimte, lagen nog spulletjes van een moeder. Hm.

Zouden de anderen wel komen? Mijn grootste angst was dat mensen niet zouden komen. Dat het mislukt. Dat ik afga. Dat er niets gebeurt voor de mensen.

"Wat een prachtige kleuren!" zei mijn gast over de kleren die de Indiase dansleerlingen aan het passen waren. Dat was waar. Het thee-apparaat kregen we ook aan de praat.

Toen was er mijn tweede gast, en algauw ook de derde. Ik schonk thee, stelde voor, en liet mensen aanvullen wat ze wilden vertellen. Het wachten was nog op de laatste deelnemer... om 20.00 belde ik haar, ze stond voor de deur, ze had wat vertraging gehad door verkeersdrukte vanwege de Toppers. Ik had inderdaad een witte verlengde limo zien rijden over de Keizer Karelweg. Zou daar ..?

za3
Iedereen kreeg nog een kopje thee, zodat de laatste kon binnenkomen en landen. Toen een natuurlijke stilte viel, ging ik voor naar de sessieruimte. Ik had een persoonlijk verhaal voorbereid. Over mijn sombere periodes, dat ik op zoek was naar meer, en hoe dat meer zich aan mij had voorgedaan. Hoe ik dat had ervaren vorig jaar, eerst bij de Helende Reizen en toen, na onderzoek, in de Diepteveldontspanning. Hoe ik dat "meer" - een altijd aanwezige verbondenheid, een rustige energie, die ons ondersteunt en liefheeft, die ons wil helpen en laten groeien - hoe ik dat wil delen met de anderen. Dat we dat nu gingen doen, en hoe; en dat iedereen zelf mocht weten of hij of zij iets met de anderen wilde delen na afloop, of niet.


En dan de sessie. Dat iedereen een plekje zocht en het zich gemakkelijk maakte met dekens en kussens. Hoe de stilte indaalde en de sfeer veranderde. Dat ik de muziek opzette en we gingen luisteren. En ik ging rond. Het was nu niet meer spannend, maar vooral mooi. En een beetje zoeken.

En toen het af was. In de vochtige, grijze avondlucht tekende het strijklicht van de ondergaande zon een fijne regenboog. Om de anderen de kans te geven in eigen tempo bij te komen sloop ik naar de stilteruimte. Een voor een druppelden ze binnen. Hoe was het? Wie wil er iets delen? Ik was stiknieuwsgierig, maar hield me rustig.

Tot mijn verrassing, vertelde iedereen. De een had een soort rustige ervaring van vertrouwen: "het is goed". De ander had een nieuwe kennismaking, een ontdekking van eigen gevoelens omtrent werk. Een derde had sterke ervaring van energiebollen, die eerst heen en weer bewogen, en daarna rustig werden. De vierde had beelden en informatie gekregen over vragen waarmee ze rondliep.

En ik? Ja, mijn ervaringen wilde iedereen ook horen. En die waren er, voor elk persoonlijk. En nu een herinnering: aan de rijkdom van het mogen ontvangen, en verzorgen van een ruimte, als open armen waarin liefde kan worden gevoeld. Ben ik dankbaar. Heel, heel dankbaar. Dankjullie wel!

PS er komt weer een "Ontvangst" avond! Op vrijdag 26 juni van 20.00 - 22.00 in het Yoga Shiva Center aan de Lindenlaan te Amstelveen (in het MOC gebouw). Informatie een aanmelding via tess@doucet.nl.

maandag 9 maart 2015

Asymmetrie - omhels

BN'ers, TV, Twitter: spiegelpaleis
Verslaving dreigt
Veilig onzichtbaar achter eigen reflectie
't Is een drug
De illusie van contact
Altijd aanwezig
Wijst nooit af - 't ergste negeert
Kinderen op de kermis, maar dan mét geld
Verloren zijn wij
Groei op
Ontwaak
Sla de spiegel stuk
En omhels iemand.
Of glimlach naar

Hem of haar.

Inspired by @mindgardentips' "One Moment Please" video (3"):



woensdag 3 december 2014

Rond werken. Of, hoe kan ik aan het einde van de dag tevreden slapen?

OK, misschien ben ik wel de enige met altijd biljoen ideeen. (Zie vorige blogpost, over hoop vs. dankbaarheid. Mijn leven en energie speelt zich voor mijn gevoel 99% af in de zone tussen realiteit en hoop. Niet perse een prettig verschijnsel). Mijn probleem is altijd dat ik zoveel ideëen heb, dat ik niet weet waarmee te beginnen. Wat is het belangrijkste, beste, om eerst te doen? Hoe kiezen?

Herkenbaar?

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.)

Dus... herkenbaar?

maandag 1 december 2014

Ambition or gratitude. Can we choose? Do we have to?

Tacit view of hope vs. reality. What do you expect? What is acceptable?

Last summer, I did this sketch to facilitate a conversation I was having with my brother in law. We were in the car, driving from Vienna to our home in a neighbouring town. We were talking about how to balance ambition and gratitude.

In this post, I try to share with you some of this conversation, and some of the dialogue that ensued afterwards around its ideas. It may be a little abstract, but since it did spark off some intense reactions, I am sharing anyway. I hope it might spark something in you, too : ).

Sitting in the drivers' seat, as my brother navigated the traffic in the three-lane road, I drew the graph in the air, as I tried to make a point. "Do you look 'up' or 'down'?", I wondered out loud. When I put pen to paper to really draw the graph, the process of drawing and naming raised a lot of questions. Is this how most people would want their lives to unfold: following an ever climbing line? To some elusive end-point? In that case, I could call it our "silent collective focus". Or maybe, it is just my own silent expectation?

The point I tried to make was: do you "look up"? To where you want to be? Then, I would call you "ambitious". Or do you look down, counting your blessings? In that case, I would call you "mindful", or "grateful".

I suppose this is as good a point as any, to confess about being an "up-looker" myself. Up, up and away! This can be wonderful when I feel inspired and grounded in reality. However, sometimes my ideas take me so far from reality, that I get lost in "the gap". At such times I fall in completely, helplessly, lethargically.

Back to the car conversation. What was interesting, is that we agreed both gratitude and ambition were important, but we could not quite figure out how to satisfyingly combine both. Active gratitude is what makes you happy; ambition is what supposedly  makes you realize your potential, which is also considered necessary for happiness. Then again, it lets you focus on what is missing, which may make you unhappy.

If you only look up, you may always feel falling short. If you only talk about your ambitions, others may feel you are not happy with what you have, or with who you are. They may feel they fail you. Or, they may feel you inspire them - but will only take your "inspiration", or company, in small doses.

On the other hand. If you are "only" grateful, looking at what is already there, you "have no ambitions", and will "never amount to anything". Or are you making others happy, helping them rejoice in what is, and what they have contributed to the current situation?

Later this year, I discussed the graph with a couple in our family we know well. It sparked a lively discussion between them. She considered herself the visionary; he considered himself the realistic optimist. She was happy and proud to have visions and ideas; he would feel pressured by them, receiving them as "orders", things she needed changed in order to be happy. Apparently, making her happy was his duty - and his duty alone. Also, he did not always think so highly of her visions; some were more fears than anything else, he ventured.

This sounded horribly familiar to some of my personal interactions...

I discussed the graph later that day, with a student with an active social life. He recognized himself as someone with high standards. As a member (or president) of various organizing committees, he cooperated wit fellow members often. When he asked them to take care of certain tasks, he would in most cases be disappointed by the results and end up doing things himself. The graph made him realize this, and think again about his expectations.

Having thought and talked about the first graph a little, I'd like to propose another sketch. Suggest another view. 

Maybe we could colour the spotlight of our attention positively for both areas of focus? Like, say, gratitude for the positive aspects of reality; friendly curiosity and wonder for our hopes and visions. Enjoying the ideas that float like clouds through our minds. Just, wondering. Also, enjoy sharing them. Without denying how much we enjoy our current reality. Without having to make these ideas, hopes, ambitions come true straight away. Without the pressure of "having to make it so". Just: sharing. Maybe we'll find we share more visions than we thought.

This is my wish. Because, honestly, I am a dreamer. How about you?

Hope vs. reality. How about looking at the differences with a sense of wonder, or curiosity?

donderdag 27 november 2014

Wiegen

"Wat een verschil," zegt mijn klant, nadat hij rechtop op de behandeltafel (het "bed") is gaan zitten. Hij heeft zich eerst uit zijn "wrap" (de deken) gewikkeld. "En er was iets... een soort wiegen? Met mijn hoofd? Heel zachtjes? Wat deed je?"

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

Rolbandchauffeur

"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

Gewoon, niks.

Hoe gaat het? Hoe was het op school? Wat is er?

"Gewoon, niks."

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.

"Gewoon. Niks."

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?

"Gewoon. Niks".

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

Eindelijk echt ontspannen...

Ja! Eureka! Hoe vaak heb ik dat gevoel al gehad in mijn leven? Best wel vaak.

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 : )



Marion Gulpers biedt in Amstelveen de Helende Reis aan.
>> Marja Ruijterman was de eerste die me persoonlijk, nuchter en overtuigend vertelde dat zij "het Licht had gezien" (en hoe). Ik ben dol op hoe en wat ze schrijft! Haar weblog is een aanrader. (Haar tweede boek is net uit, misschien kun je daar een moeilijk te beschenken iemand blij mee maken?)

vrijdag 22 juli 2011

"Prinsessen paa Ærten" 3.0 - the Princess on the Pea 3.0

One day, it occured to me I could also choose to embrace my inner princess, instead of always telling her off. I used to think she was overly sensitive and should stop whining about peas everywhere. Just get on with life, go back to bed, go to sleep. She did give me bruises, though. Ask anyone. I used to think "I bruise easily".

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.


The princess dabbed at Twitter before. But it wasn't until February this year, after I took her to 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.


This time around, however, it was different. Little surprises started trickling into our lives. Just online, at first. But big ones, too. Who knew I'd be 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.

She told me to draw this sprout, I'm unsure what it means exactly. She says, it is important to check for oxygen and heart in every situation. And fertile earth. If there's not enough of either one, change it. If you can't, let your feet take you out of there. You'll know. Just ask her friend inside of you.



If that means a U-turn: do it. I had an extreme aversion of U-turning that still bothers me at times. Keeps me from turning around before the point of no return. Usually, doubt sets in long before that point. The sooner you listen to the whispers of a doubt, the more energy it will give you. It's not always necessary to know what's ahead. It is essential, however, to heed those doubts. Even if, especially if, it takes courage to act upon them.

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.

Love,

Tess

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

Naked feet feel - factsheet


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!

Workshop
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.

Naked feet feel - my intro to barefoot running

Dear readers! A little overdue because of urgent matters in Greece - relaxing on a Corfutian beach, to be exact - I have made it a two piece act, to soften your judgements... enjoy, and let me know if and when you decide to give it a go!


No excuse
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.

Jump in!
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 ; )



Dirty Feet
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.

More bonusses
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.

Injuries
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.

Speed
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.

What's next?
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

Open Survey: #CCC11

Tomorrow, june 7th, I'll be attending the Creative Companies Conference in Haarlem.

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).

Thank you!

* 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

#30trust: day 6 | Come Alive

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.

Signing off!

zaterdag 4 juni 2011

#30trust: day 5 | Travel

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

Post-it Question by Jenny Blake | #30trust day 4

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 - #30trust day 3

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: #30trust day 2

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.

15 minutes to live

Through a very lively LinkedIN dialogue on social media influence, I came across Jane Chin. Her contribution to said dialogue was that authoratitave, I had to look her up on Twitter.

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….

Here goes:

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.

How?

Just breathe.
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.
Trust that.

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?
Intimately?

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.
Like spiderwebs.
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.
We are.

You will always know me.
As I will you and myself.

Three more minutes and the ticking becomes irregular.
Louder? Nervous?

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

Goodbye.

_______________________________________________

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!

Stop avoiding scary phonecalls!


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.

Cheers!

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

Poll: choose my next blog!

Of course magic doesn't exist! Silly me. But I am still very keen on knowing what might please you, dear reader. My inspiration is boundless and I can write for days, weeks, years. However I must choose what to write first. That's where you come in - if you like.

Wanna take a poll with me?
Thank you!
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


Current results:

Wanna create your own poll?

maandag 9 mei 2011

Magic visitors - just believe

Sometimes I feel a little clueless. Some people resort to shopping, also known as retail therapy; I admit to checking my stats. How many people have visited? What did they think? Unfortunately, the second question is not answered by my stats. So my curiosity keeps itching.

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

Doing Exactly What You Want - A Sunday for Reflection

Tomorrow two months ago, March 2nd 2011, I took the TEDxAmsLive stage for just three minutes. I'd like to invite you to look back on that event with me. It has sparked so many thoughts that I'd like to share, and am curious about what you think. Maybe it's all too abstract - of course, to me, it's all pretty brilliant - let me know! I am more than willing to reconsider, or even kill my own darlings.

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!

Fellow Tedsters
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.

Wrap up
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

Empower yourself - reconnect with your anger


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!