Friday, October 28, 2016


Do you know that feeling? That vaguely sensing there is something wrong without being able to tell what it might be? That sense of discontent, without having anything going on to be truly discontented about?

I ran into it upon finishing a five week course.
I had picked this particular course for both its interest as well as the fact that it would only be a five week course. A short time period that would fit in with other things that are going on in life. I was even a little bit put off when it started a week later than expected as the teacher felt he wanted to give us more information even before the course started; making it in effect a six week course. And as the course moved along it gave me a great deal of insight, which in turn sparked changes in attitude. And before I knew it those five weeks had passed and I was listening to the last class in the series.

And that is when it hit me, that feeling of discontent. That sense that right now good things started happening for me, I was abandoned. Left to fend for myself ~ something that hadn’t always worked out right for me in the past. So why was this happening to me? Again?

The feeling was neither logical, nor truly relevant. After all I was totally and fully aware of all of the changes I had already made in my (outlook on) life. Realistically these five or six weeks had already given me a lot more than I even anticipated when I started.
And I wanted a short course! I didn’t want to find myself having to take classes for months on end.
So, what is the problem?

If it wasn’t the course ~ and the teacher truly did a great job ~ than the only other part at play was me. Therefore the ultimate question became ”What is it in me that I am feeling discontented about?” Had I wanted to do more? Spend more time on it? Integrate all of the things I had learned more fully? And if so, what was stopping me from doing that now that the course has reached its end. After all, now that there was no longer the large amount of materials to go through, chances are I would have more time to do so. I could go back to specific parts in the materials as needed, and continue to move forward with what I had learned.
So what is the problem?

Often when something like this happens in our lives, chances are there is something about ourselves that we are not entirely happy with. And perhaps, when we realize this is happening, it is time to make a conscious effort to embrace all that we are ~ the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’ ~ and know that we are going just fine on this journey through life!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Whatever story we tell ourselves or others; we all have a set of reasons behind it. We are reasoning ~ either with ourselves or with others ~ why we tell the story that way…

This makes the reasoning we have one of the most intriguing parts of our interaction! What reasons do we have ~ or do we give ourselves ~ to tell the story that specific way? And why?
Are we leaving parts of the factual truth out? Or are we embellishing the facts as they have happened? Do we stick to the same story, independent from who we are telling it to? Or are we telling different people different aspects of the story based on relationship to the situation or people involved?

It all seems to come down to the question: ‘Can we handle the truth?’

Can we handle telling the truth?
It often involves admitting all of the facts of what is going on; it requires us to take a good, brutally honest look at the situation and where we stand in it. Are we able and willing to do that? Or is it easier to just stick to that part of the truth we can handle, and leave the rest out?

Can the other person handle the truth?
Or do we feel we need to protect them from what is factually going on, and from all of the implications that come with it?

Whatever the reasoning, when two people involved in the same situation tell the story of that particular situation, chances are two entirely different stories are being told.
Part of that may be because of the extend of the emotional involvement ~ emotions can easily take over factual happenings in our experience. Another part can be how much we ourselves are willing to handle; and talking about it ~ telling the story ~ makes it real. And then there may be a part that is told for effect… A choice of words, or even a choice of which facts make it into that version of the story in order to generate a desired effect in to audience. For instance leaving things out in order to not let your audience be worried. Or making things sound slightly worse in order to make your audience feel sorry for you.

Whichever way we look at it, it leaves us with the why.
Why do we feel we have to tell a story from a perspective of effect the story will have, rather than from the clarity of the content we wish to relate?
Why are we reasoning that we are doing ourselves and those around us a favor by just telling them what we think or feel they can handle ~ and in the process leaving them short on the information they would need in order to take action…
What is our reasoning on that?

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.