Falling in love with life

Dear friends,

My world has changed

Do you remember the opening scene of “Lord of the Rings”? Where Galadriel says : “The world has changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.”

That quote has been fluttering around in my head all morning.
But not in a “doom is coming” kind of way, fortunately.


COVID has been a real gift for me. It has given me permission to get inside my cocoon for a whole year. It’s been wonderful. I understand this may not be the experience most of you had, but that’s how it has been for me personally.

I started as a spiritual seeker a long time ago, over twenty years now. And my “seeking” took a very different turn when I saw Michael Neill’s Ted Talk : Why aren’t we awesomer.

In his Ted Talk, Michael talks about the Kanizsa Triangle.

Kanisza Triangle

He asks the audience : “Who can see the bold white triangle in the middle?”.
And of course most of the people in the audience raise their hand.

He then goes on by saying : “you”re all making it up, there is no white triangle. […]
We make up something, we can all see it and it’s not there.
I wonder if that might have implications to how we live our lives”.

We’re making it all up

And that’s when it hit me.
We’re making it all up.

Something inside me knew that I could stop searching.

From then on I have been exploring this inside out understanding Michael talks about. And in and of itself, you could say that that is searching as well.
But this search had a very different feel to it. It was more a discovery than a search.

Solving a sudoku and walking in the park

Kind of like the difference between solving a sudoku and walking in the park.

When I’m solving a sudoku (granted, I’m not very good at it) I’m searching, thinking, counting and analyzing. It’s hard (well, for me it is anyway) and it takes effort. And I get frustrated when I get it wrong and need to start all over (cos how do you cross out and then put a new number in, there’s not enough room … urgh)

Then there’s walking in the park, I’m open and curious. Sometimes I notice a squirrel. This is effortless. It either happens or it doesn’t. And I don’t beat myself up or get frustrated if I haven’t noticed a squirrel.

These or two examples of how we can “use” our mind. One is not better than the other. It just serves a different purpose.

I learned about Syd Banks and how he had an enlightenment experience. He “saw” how the human experience worked and spent the rest of his life sharing it with others.

Hearing and reading my mentors’ words was very helpful. But they nudged me, motivated me to look and share what I saw. That’s when things started to change.

Falling in love with life

I saw how I made up that life is supposed to be hard, that you’re supposed to suffer to be worthy of succes.
I saw how I made up what love is supposed to look like. If my partner really loves me, surely he would behave differently.
I saw how I made up that my work was frustrating, that I could never be happy in my job untill I was free to be me and do “my thing”.
I saw how I made up that there was something wrong with me, that I needed fixing.

I saw that there is an energy behind all life that supports us,
I saw that life can be easy if I don’t overuse my analytical and rational thinking.
I saw that love is just a space of no judgement, and if I can listen to my partner, my friends, my clients from that space, magical things can happen.
I saw that I am innately whole, that I am not broken and that there is nothing wrong with me. That I just get caught up in my thinking from time to time, and I do the best I can with the thinking I have in the moment.

I fell in love with life.

Photo by Ryan Pernofski on Unsplash

Now , if you’re in this conversation already, this will not sound very new.
But, even though I have been in this conversation for about 5 years, it has never looked as new to me as these past couple of weeks.

Which conversation…?

If you have no idea which conversation I am talking about, but you’re curious and would like to explore this further with me, let me know!
I LOVE being in this conversation, sharing what I see and discovering together what it means to have a human experience.

Cos if falling in love with life is possible for me,
then it is most certainly possible for you.

If the title of this article is “Spirituality at work” – Would you read it?

For some, spirituality is a heavy word. Especially in combination with work, it almost sounds contradictive. Work is very down to earth, struggling, hard, lots of thinking and doing, concrete and tangible. And spirituality is airy fairy, woo woo, NOT down to earth, intangible.

And still, I cannot help myself but wonder if we’re missing something by not talking about spirituality at work.

First of all, by spirituality I mean : the idea that we are part of something bigger. For some people this might translate into life energy, love, big mind, for others this is God, Allah, Buddha, etc . Which ever word you choose is fine by me.
But I’m not talking about religion, even though religion talks about spirituality.

When I look at all things work related, f.i. leadership, team development, finding a job you love, switching careers, conflicts at work, achieving a goal, performing at the best of our abilities, etc. There seems to be a lot of “how to’s” available. How to’s that focus on how to deal with emotions, how to motivate behavioural change, even on how to think, whether it’s positive thinking or focussing our thinking or not thinking at all.

But what if we’re missing an essential piece? What if “that which is bigger than us, but we feel a part of” actually plays an essential part in our lives, and hence in the job that we do?

Photo by Valeriy Andrushko on Unsplash

That’s what I would love to explore …

Cause ever since I realised that the energy behind life is my partner, my biggest supporter and biggest fan, life has gotten easier. My relationships have gotten easier. But most importantly, my work, where I was frustrated every single day, has gotten easier.

So I’m wondering whether this could be true for everyone who is interested enough to explore this dimension.

In order to explore this dimension, your interest needs to be sparked. And that’s where the title of this article comes in. If you read “Spirituality at work” does that generate some interest in you? Are you curious enough to read these words? And … does it trigger you to want to start exploring this dimension?

Life hacks 2019*

2018 was a crazy ride. Lots of beautiful moments, but also a lot of confrontations with myself. Moments where I questioned (again) the meaning of life, the sense of suffering, the point of powerlessness and desperation.

I don’t have answers to these questions. I only have some ‘life hacks’. Little tricks that help me when I’m having a hard time.

I’m putting them under the Christmas tree.
Take what you find useful, leave what doesn’t speak to you.

life hacks

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

#1. Become your own best friend

It’s a cliché, I know. Be nice to yourself, be kind to yourself. You read it in every self-help book. 

When we believe our thoughts, we feel those thoughts and we behave accordingly. That goes for everyone. We do our best with the thinking we have in the moment.

Sometimes we’re stuck in unproductive thoughts, but we don’t realize it. We do something stupid and regret it later, wishing we had done something different.

Seeing this, in myself and others, brings a lot of compassion.

#2. Don’t believe everything you think

We cannot not think. Sometimes our thoughts are spinning, sometimes our thinking slows down. Sometimes we can influence this, but most of the time it just goes on and on.

We don’t have to believe everything we think. Some thoughts (all thoughts?) can be taken less seriously.

A new thought is already coming up anyway. No shortage of new thoughts! So why keep believing this one thought, while there’s a hundred others in the pipeline? 

#3. Failure is interesting

I’m afraid to make mistakes. I’ll admit it! And I won’t be the only one.
I just notice that, when I’ve made a mistake, my life becomes more interesting. I talk about it with people, I look for interesting literature, I watch a TED talk.

When I make a mistake, I learn something new. And that’s quite interesting.

#4. “If only … then” and “should’ve”

If only I (had enough money, had a meaningful job, had kids, had a partner, had more time, …) then (my life would be beautiful, I would be happy, I would find a partner, I would look for another job, …)

We’re making up these stories and strive for another ‘me’. A better ‘me’, a smarter ‘me’, a richer ‘me’. Fill in what applies to you.
See life hack #2, the question is whether that’s true.

The ‘if only … then’ ensures that we keep looking for something that isn’t there right now. 
Byron Katie says :  “When I argue with reality, I lose—but only 100% of the time”.

Same for ‘should’ve’ and ‘mustn’t’. These thoughts are so deeply ingrained, that sometimes it’s really hard to believe something else is possible.

Experiment with it : if you have a “should’ve” on your mind … Is this true?
And … who would you be without that thought?

#5. Do what works for you

I use these life hacks because they work for me. I realize they may not work for you. Try it out, experiment with these and other life hacks!

And also trust your gut feeling, that soft voice that whispers what the next little step could be. 

Happy new year!

Want to know more about how these life hacks work? (cf The inside out understanding)
Send me a little messageBeschermdVeilig Beschermd, I’m looking forward to exploring with you how these insights can change your life too!