My life’s mission

A big part of my life has been about questions such as: “Why am I here?“, “What can I contribute to the world?” and “What is my role?“. These questions were my incentive to do the Essence training and since I did the training, almost a year ago, more and more pieces of the puzzle seem to fall into place and I’m getting more clarity with each passing day. And yesterday I realized that it’s actually very clear what my life’s mission is.

In April I did the Beyond Doubt training. The purpose of this training is to live beyond your fears and doubts. In the training you learn what intuition is and how you can make choices out of your intuition. The training is also about rewriting your future. For me it became very clear during the Beyond Doubt that I still have the dream to be on stage. As a child this was already my dream, but I ‘archived’ it. When I talked about this dream with a colleague she asked me a good question: “But why is it your dream? What’s behind it?”. That was a question that made me think.

When I look back on the 30 years of my life there’s a red thread running through it: I want to be seen. That’s not the only thing: I want others to be seen too. This explains why I always had a thing with ‘underdogs‘, why I’m fighting for women’s rights and why I’m enjoying it when in a talent show (The VoiceX FactorIdols) someone has a beautiful and extraordinary voice and nobody expected it. And it also explains my focus on personal development, because through the trainings I let myself be heard so much more than before. During the trainings I realized that I already have a lot of power inside of me. This is a gift I wish everyone would have!

So my life’s mission at this moment? (because it’s still a moment in time) To empower people to make themselves visible and heard by being yourself, by speaking up and by loving yourself. In this I want to be an example for other people, so they can see it’s possible.

And in the upcoming period I will look at all the things in my life that I’m doing and I can look if it fits my mission. That will make it a lot easier to make choices.

My one word for 2016: SHOW UP

Last year, instead of New Year’s resolutions, I chose a word to focus on: trust. To be honest: I haven’t thought about this word a lot after I chose it. I was planning to blog about my word regularly, but I forgot. And maybe that’s ok, because trust is also about letting go. However, when I’m reading what I wrote then it’s funny to see how everything did turn out to be more than fine. During the summer I followed two trainings on personal development and this ignited so much in me. Because of these trainings I have achieved a lot: I started dating, I lost weight, I got a new job (which I’ll be starting in a few weeks) and so much more. I have a different mindset and that’s awesome!

I decided that for 2016 I’m also going to focus on a word (it’s actually two words) and this will be my theme/value: SHOW UP. Last year I received feedback from various people that I don’t believe in and show my power and it’s something I’ve been hearing all my life. I decided that this is what I want to work on in my professional as well as personal life. What does ‘show up’ mean to me? To me, it’s the opposite of ‘hiding’. Showing up is:

  • Taking responsibility for my actions and asking for support instead of blaming myself for mistakes I make (for example: unhealthy eating) and hiding these mistakes.
  • Voicing my opinion or asking a question in a group instead of staying silent.
  • Standing straight instead of making myself physically smaller.

How am I going to work on my word? I already have some great ideas and if you want to know more, you just have to follow my blog. 😉 Since my word is ‘show up’ I definitely feel I should blog about it 😉 so I will commit myself to blog about it at least once a month.
See you next month!

The art of just starting

Last week Henrike, a friend of mine, wrote a blog post that inspired me and I would love to share my thoughts about it. Henrike is a visual storyteller and blogs about her artistic journey by sharing her work on a webcomic she’s creating. In this particular blog post she talks about wanting everything to be ‘ready’ before actually drawing the pages. Even though I’m not a visual storyteller, I recognize myself in Henrike’s story. A lot of times I didn’t pursue something, because I didn’t feel I was prepared enough or I didn’t feel like it was perfect enough. Why? It can be freaking scary to put something out there in the world for everyone to see and preparing something well felt like a safety net. Of course preparation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I’ve realized that too much preparing can hold me back.

I can give you many examples of this, but a recent example is writing. I’ve been blogging for almost two years (in Dutch) and I still have the tendency to feel insecure about the blog posts I write. Why? I compare myself to other bloggers and I feel like I need a writing course to be a good writer/blogger. Because of that I only enjoy blogging when I feel like the piece I wrote is perfect and when I was in ‘inspiration’ mode. This ‘inspiration’ mode looks like this for me: I have an idea for a blog post, I have some ideas how to write it, I connect these ideas to each other, I prepare the blog post in my mind, and I write it very soon after I had the idea. These circumstances are very helpful, because they encourage me to develop an idea into a blog post. At the same time, it holds me back when I turn these circumstances into conditions and because of that I wouldn’t write as much as I do now.

I also have the tendency to compare myself to others. This is something I also tend to do outside of writing. Because of two personal development courses I followed during the summer, I realized that it makes no sense to compare myself. I’m unique and there’s no one like me. Everything I write is an expression of who I am and that in itself is enough. I still struggle with this though, so this is definitely something I want to work on in my personal life. One way to work on this is by journaling. Henrike told me about the app Day One, a journaling app, and I started using this app regularly to write about my daily life. It’s really nice, because I don’t feel any pressure and it feels relieving to write about what I’m going through.

When it comes to writing courses I’ve realized that there are a lot of awesome authors who didn’t have an education in writing, but just started. Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favorite authors and known from her book Eat, Pray, Love, is an example of that. She recently published her new non-fiction book Big Magic, a book about creativity, and in one of her Magic Lessons podcasts she talked about this. She said that she didn’t have any education in writing, because she couldn’t afford it. So she just started writing. I talked about taking writing courses with Henrike and another friend and they advised me to just start writing. That’s what’s so nice about writing and why I started in the first place: I can always write if I want to.

My one word for 2015

After a couple of months of procrastinating, I decided to finally launch I actually wrote most of this particular blog post a couple of months ago, but due to different reasons I wasn’t able to publish it. So here it is! If you want to know more about me, then check out the about page.

I love goals and New Year’s resolutions. Starting a new year often feels like a clean slate and it makes me forget that I can start over at any given moment. This is especially the case with losing weight. I have been struggling with losing weight for the last 3,5 years and I really have to remind myself repeatedly that I can start over right now. I have the tendency to resolve to the what the hell-effect when I eat way too much. Instead of picking up the pieces I’m thinking “what the hell” and only starting over when a new week starts.

This year I don’t have new year’s resolutions, but instead I’m going to focus on one word. I came across the website OneWord365 and the name says it all: you choose one word to focus on for this year. You can sign up on the website and connect with other people from your ‘tribe’ a.k.a. the people who chose the same word as you. I really like this concept, because there’s no pressure to achieve a goal or to hold on to your resolutions. It also suits me, because I’m a contemplative person. I’m a thinker and it’s great when I can use one word to reflect on my life.

So the question is: what is my word for 2015? I didn’t have to think about this for a long time. Within seconds I knew what my word is going to be: TRUST. Since last Summer I have been feeling insecure about different areas in my life. It started with my church. The church population of the church I’m a member of consists mostly of people like me: white, young and highly educated. I also feel like social justice isn’t addressed and that church is way too comfortable and cosy. I really don’t know what to do with this. As a consequence I’m basically skipping church services. When I do go to church I’m sensitive to everything that’s being said. When I brought a friend with me to church who’s not a Christian I saw people looking at him and his tattoos and that bugged me.

I also feel more and more alone when it comes to some opinions I have. In the Netherlands there’s a lot of debate happening about racism. The debate heatened up two years ago and focuses especially on the figure of Black Pete (Zwarte Piet). I won’t go into the topic here, but you can read more about it here. I think it’s racist, whereas most Dutch people think otherwise. I also think that what is happening in Palestine is genocide and that “Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke is sexist. Often I find it difficult to stand up for my opinions. The only people with whom I dare to discuss these topics with is my family. I think that my hesitance comes from the fact that I felt like an outsider at high school. I didn’t have any friends and I definitely didn’t belong. Because of my opinions I feel like I don’t belong and that feels awful.

These are just two of the subjects I’m thinking about a lot. I feel like I’m questioning a lot of things in my life. This is not a bad thing of course, but it doesn’t always feel nice to be in a kind of in-between-situation. I chose TRUST to be my word for 2015, because I want to trust that everything is going to be fine. I want to trust the process. Whatever choices I’ll make or not, I am enough and I’ll always will be.