Friday, July 31, 2015

Creating our lives

There are any number of teachings that will hint at, or even plainly say that we do all shape, mold, and in short create our own lives. And no matter how solid we are in our spiritual outlook on life, no matter how good we are at taking responsibility for our own thoughts, our own actions, choices, decisions ~ the mere premise that we would shape and mold our own lives is a hard one to come to terms with.

Because if we truly believe that we create our own lives, it means that not only the good things that happen to us are of our own doing, but also the not so good things, or even the bad things that happen to us are somehow part of our creation. And that then defies our logic! Why, for heavens sake, would we want something bad to happen to us? Why, if we are creating our own lives, aren’t we living the good life? A life of luxury? Or at least an easy, smoothly flowing along kind of life? After all, if we are in charge, then why not create it??

The answer most thought of from a spiritual perspective may well be that if life was easy, we probably wouldn’t give ourselves a chance to learn our life lessons. If we would create the life of our choosing, we might not entertain any karmic repercussions our actions may have. After all, it stands to reason that we would create our subsequent lives in the same manner.

Just looking around at our own lives, and at the lives of friends and family, it doesn’t quite seem to work that way. Pretty much each and every one of us have our own set of problems ~ either to content with or to solve. And even that doesn’t seem to be entirely up to our free will choice when we look at first glance…

In other words, even when we can wholeheartedly agree with the concept of creating our own lives, it is still something that we fail to master productively.
Somehow we have a hard time recognizing what connections between cause and effect are at play as we are living our day-to-day lives.

And then there is this one little thing; this pesky tiny voice that may ask us at every turn “Creating your own life? Is that really up to you? Are you really that competent concerning (your) life?”

Perhaps it is time for us to take responsibility, to take charge, and to set out to create the life we desire!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What if?

Have you ever asked yourself, perhaps in a quiet moment, what if?
What if you had acted differently? What if you had been a bit more daring; more brave? What if you had backed away from that decision? What if you had followed directions? Or what if you had always made certain to do things your way?

There must be hundreds of ‘what if’ questions. Hundreds of ways that things might have worked out in a modified, or even a new, up to now unimagined manner. If only we had perceived things differently… Thought differently. Done differently.

Whenever we ask ourselves ‘what if?’ it is not surely not the same as having regrets. We can build a fantastic life for ourselves, and yet still have this question in the back of our minds that says: “What if?”
It seems to be not as much about how good things are turning out for us, but rather how things could have turned out differently. More adventurous. Or perhaps more authentic; more true to ourselves. To that part of us we know is there, but we hardly ever allow to shine.

That makes that the real riddle that is connected to the age old question ‘what if?’, may have more to do with what we have been told, what we are taught, what we have learned, and whether that combination of things we have been told, things we have been taught, and experiences we have had in life is important enough to override our desire to be who we feel we are truly meant to be…

How important is the opinion of others to us? Do we keep bending to other people’s wishes in order to keep the peace? Do we still believe that the things we were told when we were young, are the absolute, unequivocal truth?

Or are we getting at a point in our lives on which we say “What if that was someone else’s truth, but it isn’t mine. What if we started living our own truth, our own values? What if we start putting effort into being authentic; being our own unique selves…”
It is a moment in life that can pop up at any time.
It is that point where the ‘what if?’ question doesn’t apply so much anymore to the things that have already happened in out lives, but rather applies to how we decide to live our lives from now on; how we will unfold our own, individual, unique potential…

Now that might be the adventure of our lives!!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Antique clocks

I like clocks, especially the old ones that still are driven mechanically, rather than electrical or the ones that are battery operated. Although the latter ones often are way better at displaying the correct time. So when you really need to know the correct time at any moment of the day, those often are a better solution…

But those old clocks have more character. As if they have a personality all their own.
Big or small, they are often stately figures. And whether their pace is fast or slow, more like the heartbeat of Father Time himself, doesn’t make them better necessarily. It doesn’t take away from their character or personality either, if anything it adds to that.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as desiring to collect old clocks or watches. On the other hand, I do cherish the ones that have come my way over the years. Therefore the ones that do call my house home, also have been in my family for many long years. They have many stories to tell. And, as long as I pay attention and pull up their weights in time ~ wind their springs tight ~ they should continue their own rhythmic tic-toc heartbeat, and show the ‘sort of’ correct time.

However, the two old wooden clocks do not agree.

They have come into my life at different times, and they have taken different routes to arrive. Even though they have originated in the same branch of my family, their characters and personalities are quite different from each other.

Where they are the same is in the fact that I cannot get either one of them to start moving again. As one might say, they give the right time twice in every 24 hour span. And that has been true for years.

It hasn’t been for lack of trying on my part. To my ears that slow tic-toc rhythm brings a sense of stability and comfort to my space. Yet no matter what I do, or how hard I try, these two clocks stubbornly keep quiet.

The interesting thing though, is that both stopped at exactly the same time. Their hands frozen in the same position. And as it turns out, it is a significant time. It is the time at which the heartbeat of their previous owner stopped, many years ago…

And so here they are.
Beautiful, antique clocks, with wonderful characters; telling me twice a day that on that other side ~ in that other world ~ there is no need for time…

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


All of us are striving to finish in one way or another.
Whether it is a project we are eager to finish, a job, a trip, household chores; or even reading that book ~ if only to know how it ends… And while there are all kinds of events where we like to finish in first place, most of the time it is more important to just finish.

Finishing whatever is keeping us occupied is not a race, it is a cycle nearing completion. Which in turn implies that after we have finished it, there will be space and energy for new things to come into our lives.
Just looking at it, finishing up is a good thing! So let’s go ahead and be done with it!!

Often that is exactly how it goes.
The end of a project (or job, or chore) is in sight, and with renewed energy we just finish up so we can relax and enjoy the smell of roses…

And then there are those cycles ~ those things that are nearing their completion ~ that, the closer to the finish we get, the more we tend to stop going for it. Because the moment we finish, we are faced with a finality. It is as if something is about to fall away from our lives, never to return.
The end of an era…

We may not be ready yet to face life without it; even fear a sense of emptiness. As long as we are working on ‘it’, no matter how close to the finish we are, at least part of that particular cycle is still in our lives. And especially when that cycle has been in our lives for a long, long time, it can be hard to imagine what our lives would look like once it is finished.

It can be difficult to get excited about something that we cannot clearly imagine…

Yet in the grand scheme of things, even if we take our time getting to it, there will be that time when all is said and done, when everything is clean, loose ends tied up, and all is finished.
Over. Done with.

In the grand scheme of things, there will be new adventures. New people to meet, new things to see. New experiences that in time will become new memories…

So when we find ourselves experiencing a little resistance to actually finish up, perhaps it is good to realize that whatever we have experienced in this previous cycle will never be truly lost to us. It will live on in our minds and our hearts. It will also be a stepping stone for us to get to the new things that are awaiting us just around the corner…

Friday, July 17, 2015

Show and tell

It is not just for those of us that are expressing themselves creatively that it is important to have the opportunity to ‘show and tell’. To let others know what you are working on, where you are standing with it, whether you are encountering problems with it, or if you happen to find great fulfillment in actually doing it.
And it really doesn’t matter a whole lot whether you are doing a ‘show and tell’ just for your friends, your family, or on a bigger scale like an event or fair ~ the idea is to share about the things you are doing. As it turns out it can be an inspiration to others, yet any feedback can also be very helpful to gain new and different perspectives yourself. To start seeing things in a different light, and consequently, start guiding your project in an even more productive direction.

Where family or friends are possibly the smallest scale to do a ‘show and tell’ on; doing a talk on TED would arguably be the biggest scale event for a ‘show and tell’. But then there is an enormous amount of other venues, other places, other audiences where we can show others and tell the world about what we do, like fairs, job-related events, markets, and yes, the internet etc.

The thing that is totally personal is what we expect to get out of doing a ‘show and tell’.
Sometimes it is enough to just have fun doing it, and any real interest or productive feedback is a bonus. Other times we may aim for our ‘show and tell’ to be a low key ~ or perhaps even a full blown ~ marketing event. Not just showing what we do and telling the world about it, but definitely trying to make a couple of sales as well! And these ‘sales’ may result in having more, new people on our mailing lists; or an actual exchange of money and product…

The one thing that we pretty much always do expect, independent of the venue or what we are aiming for, is that there are people who are interested in listening to our ‘show and tell’. Especially when it is on a fair or event where we pay for our space ~ be it a table or a booth.
If there are few visitors, or even none at all, then the whole positive, inspiring, re-enforcing ‘show and tell’ can turn upon itself and can quickly become an experience that leaves a bitter taste in our mouths…

It is one of those things that makes me think that planning for a ‘show and tell’ in a relaxing, homey atmosphere, is the very best we can hope for!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A push to change

It appears that in the energy of today all of us are pushed to change in one way or another, yet few know which direction to change into. Where to go from here seems to be a big ~ almost universal ~ unknown.

It is almost like the best next step is just any step in any direction we have not taken before in our lives. Whatever we can imagine for ourselves, no matter how wild or ‘far out’ it seems, it is worth giving it a try and to truly go for it!
And while this as a concept may be appealing, to actually do it can be incredibly scary.

After all, in order to try something new, chances are we have to give up something we have in life. If only to create the space for new things to come into our lives. And even when we know ~ consciously or in our hearts ~ that this thing we are about to give up is not serving us anymore (and perhaps hasn’t served us for a long, long time) letting go of it, just like that, may bring up a sense of insecurity with it. We know what we have, but we may not have a clue as to what this new, and supposedly better thing that is about to come into ur lives, is.

And this is especially true when we are nudged to change, without receiving a clear indication as to the direction we are changing into…

On the other hand, if we hold off on the changes ~ if we ignore the gentle nudges that tell us ‘it is time…’ ~ then pretty soon those nudges become pushes. And when those are still resisted, eventually something can be brought onto our path that forces the issue.

This means that in a way we find ourselves caught between a rock and a hard place.
We sense the need for changes, yet don’t know what to change or where to start. Yet if we don’t do anything about it, we may eventually find ourselves in a situation where changes rapidly take over our content and organized life style, without us having any say in it.

Weighing those options, as soon as we feel that nudge or push to change, we may as well do something wild and unexpected ~ perhaps even something other people may feel is ‘out of character’ for us ~ and have some fun with it…
Just keep in mind that if it doesn’t work out the way we anticipated, we can always retrace our steps and try taking a different direction to reshape our lives!

Friday, July 10, 2015


With just about everything we do we have options. Options on how to do the task at hand, but also options whether we want to engage in it at all; if we want to opt in or rather opt out…

Which option we choose often has less to do with what needs to be done in a ‘timely manner’, than it has with our value system. How much importance we put on ‘doing it right’, on what we consider a ‘timely manner’, and yes, whether we feel it is something we want to spend our time and energy on at all!

On the surface it sounds so simple; we just perform the tasks that need to be taken care of. The things that are our part in making (family)life work. And if no-one else feels they need to do one thing or another, chances are we will be picking up the slack.

Not only is that what is expected of us, it even is what we expect out of life. Expectations we probably were raised with. And these expectations tell us that while we have options on how to do our chores, we better make sure they get done because no-one else will do them for us.
Or as they say in my native language “Only the sun rises for free”, meaning that we will have to work for everything else in life.

So whenever we get fed up with life being too busy, not leaving us any much needed time to spend on our own, personal needs and desires ~ when we feel that longing for newness in our lives ~ chances are we will choose a different option on how to do things, rather than realizing that we also have the alternative to opt out. That we will do the same things we have always done in a new way, rather than evaluating if these things are truly important enough for us to spend our time and energy on, on a regular basis.

One of the questions we can ask ourselves is what would happen if we didn’t do it. Would our entire world fall apart? Or would the fact that it hasn’t been done go by unnoticed? Or would, without missing a beat, someone else pick up where we left off?

With all the options we are presented with in life, perhaps it is time to pay attention to that most important option to do the things we truly want to do, rather than those things we feel we have to do. And chances are, as soon as we choose to opt in or opt out, everything else will fall into place.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What other people think of us

A surprising amount of the things we do we base on what other people tell us to do, on what is important to other people, or even on what we think other people would expect us to do. Doing the things we think, other people think would make us a ‘good person’.
Sounds convoluted?
And yet, here we are.

In one sense it is an instinctual choice we make in order to belong to a certain (family)group or ‘tribe’; something that was important up to, say, a hundred years ago. Only if we belonged to a group, our safety could be guaranteed. Therefore the only way to thrive was within that group or ‘tribe’.

We, as humanity, have gained a lot of personal freedom since those days. And while we still have a long way to go, our individual choices are considered valid. And not only that, the more we follow our own path independent from what other people think of us, the more we are praised for being ‘authentic’ and ‘original’.
Up to a point; if we would cross that next line, we suddenly are deemed eccentric.
But so what?

There is less and less a reason why we would create ourselves and our lives in an image of what we think other people will want to see ~ although by the same token, whatever that image is, there are bound to be people who are not going to like it. Even be vocal about it, for instance on social media.

This makes the whole concept of doing what we think other people think is best for us an interesting standard for our choices in life. Because now we can ask ourselves whether doing something in a certain way ~ or even doing it at all ~ is worth is from an individual perspective. Or whether we are happier, or better off, stepping ‘out of bounds’ on this one?
Do we want to fit the profile? Do we stay in the fold? Or are we letting our uniqueness shine?

Apart from that I heard someone make the argument some time ago that we probably should not base the things we do on what (we think) other people think of us, as chances are we wouldn’t be doing a whole lot. Other people may not be thinking of us, of what we are doing, a whole lot…

Most people are perfectly happy minding their own business, without giving much thought on whether they approve or disapprove of how we are living our lives.

So it is time to start doing our own thing, according to our own value system. To become the one-of-a-kind person we are, and to let our uniqueness shine!

Friday, July 3, 2015


There are many forms of ice; and ow that the weather is getting warmer again, the one that comes to my mind first is ice-cream. Or perhaps gelato. The soft, creamy goodness to be enjoyed in the first rays of sunshine. A celebration of the good things in life.

But there are many forms of ice. In essence it is frozen water.
Whether you see it as snow, hail, sleet, or when the pond is frozen over ~ all of them are forms of ice.

Looking at a more symbolic perspective on ice, the first thing to look at is water. Water, as a symbol is cleansing; yet it also refers to our emotions. The way we feel about things. The way we react to things initially, before we have taken time to think them through…
As water, our emotions are fluid. They come and go.
For instance, we can get decidedly grumpy when someone cuts in front of us, and yet we may have forgotten the next minute as we may see something beautiful happening. Like a rainbow or something like that. In other words, our emotions, in fluid form, come and go. Often dependent upon what we are experiencing right at that moment.

But there are also situations when the waters freeze. When the cold brings a stillness to the water, and eventually halts its fluidity completely.
This can happen as a natural effect of the cold, Winter temperatures. It may prompt us to go inside; both stepping inside and out of the cold, as well as going inside ourselves. Examining our inner world, our inner desires.
However, it can also happen symbolically.
Throughout time we all may experience situations in our lives that seem frozen in time. Perhaps cold, but most definitely still. They are situations that we will always carry with us, no matter what happened before, or will happen after. That one moment remains frozen in time, allowing us to see it and its ramifications with absolute crystal clarity.

This clarity is there because in that very moment our emotions are frozen as well.
In that instant, they are not moving from one to another as they would in their fluid form; they are still. As if they have become ice.

Crystalline water.

As it happens, a way to step out of that situation, that moment, seems to come with that other ice; the ice cream. Its sweetness can comfort us, giving us the sense that everything is going to be fine. Things are going to turn out alright.

Independent from what has happened before, or what will happen in the future.