Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Usually, after I wake up, yet before I get up, I make a plan for the day. I consider it one of the perks of being self-employed to schedule my life this way, day by day. It enables me to go with the flow of energy that is most prevalent that day.
Anyway, that is how it works in theory.

No sooner do I reach the kitchen to feed the cats and make myself a cup of coffee, or I see the leaves of one of my favorite plants looking a little ‘droopy’, and I realize that it has been too long since I have watered the plants. And I decide to just do that right away so that I won’t have to come back to it later.
As I am watering the plants, I notice this box again. It contains all kinds of different little things ~ most of which can be tossed ~ that I need to sort through real quick. After that is done, at least then that box can be discarded and the space it has been taking up for far too long can be reclaimed. So as soon as I finished watering the plants, I get busy sorting through this box.
When that is done, I remember that there is also this bag of which I think I know what is in there, however, I’m not entirely sure. So Let’s just see…

By this time an hour has gone by, and I return to the kitchen to get myself that cup of coffee.

As I walk to my favorite chair ~ coffee in hand ~ the phone rings.
It turns out to be one of those unsolicited calls. The person calling asks me if this is a good time for me and I tell him he got two minutes to get his message across to me. This offends him, yet he tries to make it in his allotted time. I’m not buying. Not today anyway.

I check my emails ~ can’t resist to check Facebook as well ~ while drinking my coffee.
I post my blog, and decide to answer those emails that actually do need a response.

A quick look at the clock tells me that it is almost noon, so I may as well have some lunch before I get going on what I set out to do today. Eating a sandwich I figure that now that I am slightly off track anyway, I may as well wash that load of laundry. At least then that is done.

At the end of the day, it turns out that I only spend about an hours on what I intended to do this day. And it is not like I haven’t been busy; or even that I haven’t done anything productive… I have made myself quite useful, even if I say so myself!

I just got distracted.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Attitude is everything!

And along that statement of ‘Attitude is everything’ comes the perspective that it isn’t necessarily about the things that happen in our lives ~ the things life throws our way ~ but rather about how we handle them.

Both are easier said than done. Both are hard to forget when we find ourselves in de midst of things, or when things ~ at least from our perspective ~ go horribly awry.

Yet the cold, hard truth is that we can either go sit in a corner and weep our eyes out because life is treating us so badly, or we can take a deep breath and conclude that the way we have been going about is doesn’t work for us and decide that we will try and reach our goals in another way. Or perhaps even adjust our goals such that we can reach them more easily.

And that is attitude.

By the same token, we can make things that aren’t all that bad a whole lot worse by approaching it with an angry attitude. Or a condescending attitude. Or with indignation…

The funny thing is that if we have a so-called ‘bad attitude’ ~ because we have a ‘bad hair day’, or a head ache; or just because ~ this tends to reach far beyond to actual situation that sparked it. It can simply color every interaction we may have that day with that tinge of ‘bad attitude’.
And that in turn can be felt by the people around us.

If it just happens one day because of these particularly bad circumstances, most people will be happy to support us in our efforts to get over it. But when it becomes a pattern, it can push people away. After all, who would seek out the company of anger, indignation, or even a condescending attitude?

Even when we do something nice, like giving another person a present, the attitude with which we do so is important. Do we give it as a true gift? Without expecting anything in return? Or do we feel they now owe us their gratitude? Or they should use this gift ‘properly’ ~ read: the way we had intended for them to use it.
When we do expect something in return, we may feel good in our effort of giving the gift; however, the receiver may feel not quite as happy about it…

Therefore it is a good idea to be aware of our attitudes ~ especially as research has shown that a smile can be felt through the telephone ~ as it can help us handle anything life throws at us in the smoothest way possible!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Body language

In Dutch language the same word is used for both ‘attitude’ as well as ‘posture’, and even for some specific cases of ‘being embarrassed’. It shows an interesting link to our verbal language and our body language. It being the same word would indicate that our interaction would be most clear as long as our words and our posture say the same thing.

Sounds logical and true, yet it doesn’t happen like that all the time.

Ever seen someone positively affirming a statement while shaking their heads? Or saying something like ‘Trust me’ while looking away from you?
In cases like that ~ and there are many, many more ~ the verbal language and the body language state totally different, even opposite things. And while we can pick and choose the words we are going to say in order to get what we want, it is a lot harder to have our body, our posture to agree with our statements; especially when those statements are not actually stating the factual truth as we know or understand it.

Refining this principle, our facial expressions can tell a lot about our feeling about something. It is not just the rolling eyes of a disagreeing teenager, but our facial expression can tell if we are angry, unhappy, or thrilled ~ independent from the words that are spoken.

The reason for this is that both our body language as well as our facial expressions are directed by our subconsciousness and so they convey the message we hold in our subconscious selves. So as soon as our subconscious self knows we are not telling the truth ~ or even telling a big fat lie ~ a discrepancy is created between our words and our body language.

The interesting thing is that this also works the other way around…
What if we grew up with a message that says we will never amount to anything worthwhile, we are stupid, can’t do anything right etc. Pretty soon, our subconsciousness will file this away as ‘truth’, and this ‘truth’ is then reflected in our body language.
While it can be very hard to counter the perspectives we grew up with from a logical place, the other way to change this false ‘truth’ about ourselves is through purposely changing our posture. To start doing physical exercises that help us create a posture that says ‘I’m worth it!’, ‘I can and will reach my goals because I’m good at my trade, my profession’.
And pretty soon our subconsciousness starts to reevaluate this truth about ourselves, and will ultimately change the ‘false truth’ we grew up with into the truth we are living in our lives right now.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Holding close or letting go?

We would probably do well if we would take some time every year to evaluate what we want to hold close, and what we feel we can let go. Not just from a material perspective; although that can also give us more space ~ not just the actual space in our attics or basements, but also in our minds ~ but rather from a perspective of our emotions and values.
To sit back and observe the patterns of our lives. Our reactions to new things, to old traditions, and to outlandish adventures ~ our own or someone else’s. To notice the situations that bring tears to our eyes, and to ask ourselves whether these are tears of this point in time, or rather of a far and distant past? To reflect on our (old) hurts, and how they still may be affecting our lives.
To ponder the thought of what life would be like if we would let those things go. If we would release them to their proper time, their proper place…

Perhaps even ask ourselves whether they were ours to start with, or if they were patterns we adopted while growing up that had more to do with how our parents experienced life, than they relate to what we value in life?

The interesting thing is that especially those questions can make it very clear as to what we can let go of, and what we want to hold close. Both from a values/emotional perspective, as well as from a material perspective.
We may just have contemplated some pattern in our lives that we seem to have a curious relationship with, and suddenly it can dawn on us that pretty much everything in those boxes in the corner of the garage are no longer needed, and can be released.

And the space that is created when something like that happens will materialize on multiple levels. Of course there will be more space the garage, yet on top of that there seems to be more space in our minds; we may even feel more freedom; even a greater sense of self.

The other side of this is that we can discover something about ourselves, our family, or how we were brought up ~ perhaps even something that was almost forgotten ~ that, now it comes up and we start thinking about it, appears to have great meaning to us.
Those are the things that we would do good to hold close.

At least until our time of evaluation and reflection of next year…

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Best buddies

Have you ever wondered why some things you may want in your life just don’t seem to stick? Even when you manage to get them, to acquire them, to manifest them, one way or another they seem to move out of your life almost as quickly as they appeared.

It is a principle that can apply to almost anything in our lives, although it hardly ever happens ‘across the board’. More likely it happens with specific items. Often over and over again.

Recently I have come to the conclusion that ~ at least for me ~ this is at least partly due to the thought that I am not ‘best buddies’ with that item.

For instance, if you really want a car, but in your heart of hearts you don’t like cars. You feel they are polluting monsters, that on average cost more than they are worth; give you more trouble than comfort. In that case you may be able to buy a car, yet chances are you will find that the car will move out of your life again as well.
Or perhaps you like this really nice, light, modern furniture. However, you were raised with the message that furniture should be sturdy enough to last a life-time. And somehow, even though you are careful with your new furniture, it keeps breaking… Until you finally capitulate and find yourself sturdy, well made, boring furniture; just because you get tired of the hassle.

For a lot of people, the item that moves away from them almost as fast as it comes in, is money.
Of course we do have to pay the bills, have a roof over our heads and feed ourselves and our families, yet even when logic says that we should be able to put a certain amount each month into a savings account, there is never any money left to save.

Whatever item it is ~ even when it is money ~ it is probably a good idea to evaluate our thoughts about that item. Or even the thought patterns we grew up with concerning that item.
To ask ourselves whether we are in effect ‘best buddies’ with that item…

Now it is easy to say: ‘Yes! I love to have all the money I would need to buy whatever it is I desire!’
But is that the true message we are giving ourselves?
Might there be that little voice deep within that whispers for example: ‘You’re not worth it’. Or: ‘Money is evil’. ‘Rich people are mean’. ‘The more you have, the more you have to lose…’.

If so, then perhaps it is time to put that statement in the spotlight and to see whether it is part of our (personal) truth. To see what we can do to change it such that we can become ‘best buddies’ with that which we desire to have in our lives.

When we do that, chances are it will stick!