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The dark night of my soul

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The Dark Night of My Soul.

Many of you who follow me, know by now that I often talk about my dark sides, my periods as I call them. But these last few months have been different. Very different. I’ve written about feeling naked and alone in the past, but that was nothing compared to where I was at now, and partly still am.

I knew it wasn’t clinical depression, as I’ve experienced that before. But something was going on for sure. Many times, I felt such deep sadness, such despair that I thought of ending it all. The pain was so intense, I never knew mental pain could be this intense. But, every time the ending it all thought entered my mind, I started crying uncontrollably. I knew it wasn’t death that I wanted, it was life. But how to get there? I was in “fixing” mode, I needed to fix myself. I just didn’t know how to get back to the light. Everything seemed hopeless, endless.

And then, last week a friend shared this article with me, and finally I had some aha moments. This was what I was experiencing, a dark night of the soul, and with that, the death of my ego. Every spiritual seeker can encounter this, no matter what kind of path you are on. It is when you find yourself stripped of everything. Because that was what happened to me. Maybe some call it an identity crisis.

But this was just what happened. I was stripped of all of my (false) identities. I had been asking for certain things in my life, wishing for things, had deep desires. And I manifested them, maybe not in the way I had envisioned them, but certainly in the way that would bring me the deepest lessons. I was nothing. Nobody. Because all of my life, my identity had been linked to being someone. Being someone to myself, being a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, an acquaintance, a colleague or peer, an entrepreneur, a supporter, a carer for my pet animals, a warrior for the planet, the environment. You name it. It was all gone. I had nothing. No marriage, no partner, no money, no business, no work, no home. Nothing. I was wallowing in self-pity, feeling guilt and shame, experiencing an intense sensation of loneliness, and I was sure I was being punished for all my actions and non-actions, all my thoughts and non-thoughts, all my words, spoken and unspoken, written and unwritten. I must have done so much wrong in my life or past lives to end up this way.

And partially I did ask for it, I did desire a simplified life, I was looking for ways to live with as little as money and materialism as possible, and I did declutter on every level. I made that all happen.

I went into blaming mode for a while, especially towards my parents, my ex-husband, my family, my friends, now and in the past, society, the Universe, life itself.

I didn’t see a way out. The few people that did reach out to me I shut out, some on purpose, others because I didn’t want to bother them. I stepped into comparison mode, because there were others on the planet that were way worse off than me. At least I was still able to eat, I had a roof over my head. I was physically okay as far as I knew, it was just something mental. And I should be grateful, humble. That somewhere, some people still had my back. For whatever their reasons might have been, because part of me couldn’t believe that they actually cared for me. Part of me was believing they only did it to feed their own karma. I didn’t trust anyone anymore, apart from 1 or 2 people.

This dark night has been going on for a while, on and off. Sometimes more present than other times. Especially when I was in the UK, I was able to enjoy things, the company, nature, the animals, my dog, reading and more. I did have good times, laughed a lot. A tiny spark was set off during my time there. But then I had no choice but to go back to the Netherlands, and this is when my dark night fully set in. In all its glory. Because I now also gave up on being an entrepreneur or self-employed, I had no inspiration for writing anymore, even the story-writing adventure I started didn’t spark me. Even though my mind did not see these things as a failure, just as a detour, my soul and body responded very differently. They did see it as a failure. I was in denial. And from there it was hard to get back into job searching.

At this point I had absolutely no self-worth, self-esteem, self-confidence. Nothing. And of course, everything that happened at this point was confirmation for me that I was nothing. That I was a complete failure. People started giving me tips and advice and I saw them all as devastating critique on my being. As yet more confirmations of my nothingness. Of the feeling that I did everything wrong in my life. That I was being punished.

When I finally got myself up to a point to just start looking, rejection came, ignoring came. Me feeling lost in the new ways of job-searching, the demands that employers put in. Often the descriptions seemed like a foreign language to me. And with my level of motivation, how could I ever find a job? How could I ever go to a job interview in this state of being?

But as said, then the article was shared with me. And it all started to make sense. A little spark was ignited. Just enough. A shimmer of hope, and I clung on to it. Of course, I wasn’t going to give that a lot of attention, as by now I was so afraid of being disappointed, that I just didn’t want to see anything positive anymore, and certainly not have any expectations.

This week, I finally had a job interview. I didn’t go into it with any expectation, but I did stay totally true to myself, wearing the clothes I always wear, saying the things I always say, being totally honest about where I am at and what they could expect of me, and to my big surprise, an hour later I heard I got the job. It is a temporary job, but still.

And then an interesting thing happened. I posted on social media and told people about this and suddenly everybody started reaching out again. And then I felt anger. Because people can handle that. The positive. The uplifting. But not the dark night. Everybody assumed I was so happy, so relieved. Part of me was certainly relieved, but happy? That was a bit too much to ask. Because, to me, this still is just a detour to eventually do something that makes my heart sing more. It doesn’t mean I will not do my very best in this job, I always do my very best, but it is not my dream job. If such a thing even exists. It’s a means to an end. I realise that for most people money and security are more important than adventure and exploring, and even though, for now, I need that bit of security, it doesn’t mean I will give up on other things. Or suddenly drop all my values and try to fit in. I don’t work like that. And it certainly is not an instant end of my dark night.

Because, to be honest, I’ve never learned this much, never grown as much as I have now. This is true transformation. I couldn’t help but think of animals who go through intense transformations, like butterflies, dragonflies, cicadas. Of animals who shed their skins, like snakes and spiders. It is a painful process. But very rewarding. However, we tend to only look at the end product whilst most of their lives these animals spend in another form. Like caterpillars. A butterfly spends more time as a caterpillar than as a butterfly. But how often do we admire the caterpillar? How often do we acknowledge the whole process? Appreciate all the steps?

I believe that it all is about acceptance. Of everything. Of every part, every phase, every thought, every feeling, every cycle. But we don’t do that do we. We live in constant state of duality. And as I’ve felt and shared before, by denying any part of ourselves, by suppressing it, it will start festering. Like a wound that is not cleaned before being stitched up. I even believe that is what is happening in society on a bigger scale. We are not healing the wounds, the ancestral wounds, societal wounds, the patriarchal wounds, we suppress, deny, and it’s festering. The whole positivity movement isn’t helping with that either. According to that we should only be positive and happy. Because that’s the only state of being. It’s our birth right to feel joy and happiness. But this is not a constant state of being. How can it?

The whole mental wellbeing business, law of attraction, power of positivity, it’s not helping. I dare to claim that it will even let the feelings of lack of self-worth, self-acceptance and self-love get worse. Because, when you are not in a state of constant positivity or happiness, you are doing something wrong. There is something wrong with you. You don’t fit the profile. And then another thing enters the picture. Punishment. Most systems work with some kind of punishment. Some call its hell, the underworld, karma. All the same thing. It’s always about denying some part of yourself. Not accepting all of you. Trying to fit in where you shouldn’t try to fit in. Where you should start accepting all of you.

And so, the wounds keep festering, and we see an uprising of violence, abuse (of each other and the planet), racism, far right, extreme left. The duality is getting more intense. The rich are becoming richer, the poor becoming poorer. There is a lot of blaming others for everything. There is little or no taking responsibilities for our own lives, actions and/or choices. We blame our parents, ancestors, history, politicians, corporate, partners, immigrants, each other, or some higher power like the Universe, Source, God. We expect them to change it all for us. We have given away our power.

And then there is the constantly trying to fix things. This again is part of the denial strategy. Some are eager with “helping” you to be in a constant state of positivity, practicing law of attraction. Some will add spiritual practices, with or without the abuse or misuse of substances.

And it isn’t working. It all isn’t working. We are only creating La La Land, pretending it’s all not there. Fake living. Fake being. The amount of people suffering from anxiety, depression and more mental health problems is alarming. The numbers of suicide going up. Addictions. Escapism. The amount of suffering in the poor countries is enormous. The amount of suffering because of religion or any other form of oppression. Physical health problems follow this, and I don’t think I know anyone who is physically not suffering from one thing or another. It’s like a game, a competition, I’ve got this and this, what have you got? As if you don’t fit in if you don’t have something going on. If there’s no label or box that you fit into.

It’s a competition, it’s all a competition. With life. With each other. And we are brought up to be competitive, we don’t belong if we don’t feel some form of wanting to be better. Better than what? It’s all implying we are not perfect as we are, isn’t it? That life isn’t perfect? That we need to change all the time. To grow. To strive for bigger, better and more. Even though I feel society is changing somewhat from money-materialism based to experience based, the system is still the same. And it has consequences. Because now we need to be happy all the time. Everything is feeding this, social media, advertising, Hollywood. I did it myself, make a bucket list, wish-lists, dreams and desires. I fell for it too. I literally wrote down; I want more of those moments of bliss. But it doesn’t work like that. Even if you are able to maintain that state for a while, what happens when the darkness comes creeping in through other channels? A loved one suffering, a devastating health-crisis, a situation where you lose everything. When your soul is urging you that it is time for a new level of growth? When the dark night comes to the surface? Will you be able to cope? Will you embrace it? Or run around looking for happiness and positivity gurus to help you fix it as soon as possible, which usually means suppressing the dark night. Or will you fully embrace the path that is presented to you? Accept that this is exactly where you need to be? That there is no right or wrong path, just life? I wonder.

I also other thoughts and aha moments through all of this. Like for instance: why do people who want to change the system step out of the system? Isn’t it better to try to change it from the inside out? But no, we step outside and create a safe community with like-minded people where we just keep preaching to the choir. This way things will never change. I did it too! I also stepped out of the system. But now? I am not so sure that is the right strategy. I am looking towards the younger generations, like Greta Thunberg for instance, who is trying to change the system from within.

But, even with all of that, it’s still duality. It’s still not accepting things as they are isn’t it? It’s still trying to step into the light. It’s still denying the dark. It’s not about letting your light shine so bright that it will chase away the dark, or your shadows. This darkness is a part of each and every one of us and will find its way back. One way or another. Don’t let the light shine so bright that you will just crash and burn.

It’s often said that the human race is the most intelligent, the most evolved. Yet, when I look at the rest of the animal kingdom, I doubt that. To me they have already achieved what we lack, the dissolving of duality. But then again, even if we try to achieve that, it still means we are not accepting. It’s a huge paradox isn’t it?

So, no, I am not out of my dark night yet, but I am fully accepting, even embracing where I am at, because it’s giving me more insight, clarity and growth than I ever have experienced before. I am grateful for this process. I wouldn’t be going through this if I wasn’t able to handle it. And apparently, I am handling it. I am still here.

I do believe that there is one thing that can help, and that is love. Love of the unconditional kind. That feeling that you get when you connect to nature, to a new-born, to your pet animal. And that kind of love is the only thing that will help me heal this part of my journey. That kind of love I hope I can now finally start feeling for myself. Maybe I now am finally free of the need of love and acknowledgment from others. As someone said this week that they were proud of me. I know I’ve been craving for things like that for many years, but I realise now that the only thing that matters is that I can say I am proud of myself. It’s only then when I can start to receive compliments like that, because up till now I didn’t feel it myself. Again, a paradox, because I needed the compliments to feel good, and when I fully love, accept and honour myself I will no longer need the compliments.

If this all doesn’t resonate with you that’s fine, I mostly write for myself anyway. If this helps others look at things differently than that’s a bonus, but there is no need to follow any of this. Most of my writings are just my experiences, my own insights and opinions, they are not facts. I might be “wrong” about everything, but even that doesn’t matter, does it? It’s all good.

Much love,

Diana

 

Accepting all that is….

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I realised this week that I am very good at manifesting. I am just not always aware of the consequences of what I am manifesting. I don’t even think I am consciously manifesting.

I have been stating that I wanted to live a humble, simple, sustainable life. I’ve been angry at “the system” that we have created as a society, and I just didn’t want to be a part of it any more. Well. I got what I asked for. I just didn’t realise the consequences of it all.

I am now at a point where I am almost out of money (and I really mean that, maybe a few weeks to go), so I am kind of forced to live a humble and simple life. And that automatically is sustainable, so that’s the upside. I don’t go anywhere and eat very simple. As a result of the choices I made over the past 7 years, I now also don’t apply for any kind of financial support from the social systems that are available in the Netherlands. So, I am not a part of “the system” anymore.

I am very lucky that me and my ex-husband split up on good terms and that I am now able to live with him for the time being, or else I would have ended up homeless, maybe even living on the streets.

I am trying to look for a job, but as that requires me to get back in “the system”, I need to make peace with that. So, it’s been realisation after realisation. “The system” in itself isn’t that bad, it’s just a few rotten apples that make the system not function as good as it could.

I’ve also been realising lots of things about myself. That I’ve been trying to be something I am not, and never will be.

I made a list of things that really matter to me, and that make me feel good. That make life worth getting out of bed for in the morning. With job hunting I’ve done many personality tests, I’ve had to point out my strong points and my weaknesses. It made me understand myself on a level I never got to with the spiritual path.

So, right now? I am feeling more and more that I just want an average life, on the sidelines, in the background. I don’t want to be seen. I don’t have a need for being in the spotlight. I think I never have. I don’t have what it takes to be there. I don’t like to be at the centre of attention.

I did always want to make a difference, but I’ve never wanted to be famous. I’ve never felt the need to see my name in history books after I am gone. I have no problems with not getting credit for what I’ve done, what I’ve achieved. Because it’s not about me, not about my ego. It’s about being a contribution to change. And if that happens from a place of anonymity, then that’s fine. And this has nothing to do with low self-worth or anything people have been trying to plant in my mind that’s wrong with me. It’s about being content with who I am and where I am at. Being content with life.

I see other people so passionate about what they do, they are so clear. They love to be in the spotlight. They have a presence on camera, they leave an impression. I don’t have that ability. It makes me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel very self-conscious. I just don’t want to be there anymore. Let others take those places. They love them. I gladly hand it back to them.

When I look at what brings me joy, what makes me feel good, I can only come to the conclusion that what I have been trying to do these past years was me actually wandering off my path! And now, I am getting back on it.

What is it that brings me that joy and good feel? Spending time in nature, spending time with my pet animals or animals in general, listening to music, reading a book, writing. I love biology, archeology, genealogy, history. I love watching re-runs of Time Team, Who Do You Think You Are (and the Dutch version of it), Antiques Roadshow (and the Dutch version of it). I love learning about animals, nature, the planet. I like figuring out how things “work”. I am curious by nature, and want to discover things, but for myself. Not for others.

What then about all the spiritual stuff I did, the shamanic, the healing, animal communication? All of that? Well, it’s been an interesting journey for sure, but….. Most of that comes down to helping people, and I now truly believe that that’s not my path. Not in a professional way. Not in this life. Working with people makes me anxious. Gets me in comparison mode. Makes me feel like I never do enough, never am enough. Makes me feel like a failure. And I don’t want that anymore.

I don’t have anything that I excel at. I am good at things, but I don’t stand out at anything. And I am finally okay with that. I don’t want to stand out anymore. It’s very tiring. I think I am much happier with being an ordinary person. I’ve had nothing really bad happen to me in my life, I’ve been lucky in that sense, and I am very grateful for that. But, again, that makes me ordinary. And I love being ordinary. I am so tired of people putting me in boxes, giving me labels. They don’t define me. And I just am sick of trying to be extraordinary, I am not. I am tired of people saying that I could be and do so much more, be a leader. To make me into something I am not. Push me into a position I don’t want to be in. And I feel that people who are “ordinary” should be accepted and respected more, maybe even admired. They too are needed. The ones that actually love the “ordinary” jobs. Because let’s be honest, without those people it would be a very messy place. Nothing would get done. Let’s celebrate those that are happy on the side lines. The ones that don’t mind being the one that loses in games. The ones that are happy for you to take the limelight. Even write you your speeches and don’t even want credit for it.

So, yes, I want to have a job or work that no longer forces me to be in the spotlight. That just lets me be me and enjoy life in a calm and peaceful way. I am not competitive, I am not ambitious, I never was, and I never will be. I just want to be, and do the things that truly bring me joy. And calm. And peace of mind.

No more (internal) pressure, no more stress. I am so tired of it all. So tired of having to be someone, become something I am not, having big dreams. Maybe they were never my dreams anyway.

It’s all good. I feel I am finally getting back to where I am supposed to be in this life.

Much love,

Diana

Current relationship status: It’s complicated

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I’ve been back in the Netherlands now for four weeks and I already said it several times, it’s not easy. Looking for a job, being in such a different environment in every way, being almost out of money, and much more going on. I also haven’t seen any of my real-life “friends” in these weeks. They have even barely contacted me. And that hurts. It really hurts. But bare with me, I had an important insight on this.

As everything in life, it is a learning process. Or part of me growing up. Finally at almost 50….

Updating my resume for finding a job made me realise that I’ve never gotten a job pure from a place of self-confidence or skills and qualifications, but because I was hired by people who saw something in me, trusted that enough to take the jump and gave me a “chance”. And looking at my skills and possibilities right now, comparing them to what is generally asked for in “normal” jobs, it’s not a very good match. And if being self-employed has taught me one thing, is that I am not good at selling myself. Maybe I can learn, but just the sheer amount of things you have to live up to nowadays is giving me a burn-out even before I started. I applied for one thing so far, but got rejected without reason, and they didn’t want to go into that because of the number of responses they had. I am not good with rejection. So, I start to imagine all kinds of things. Too old? Not qualified enough? Was my motivation not good enough? I will never know. And I am trying not to take it personally, but maybe I’ve experienced too much rejection in my life to not do that. And I am not good at faking it, and I don’t want to. It will not help me or the company if I pretend to be more than I am. But, the dreamer, the idealist in me? She will have to take the backseat for a while so I can create a life with a steady income and a place of my own. I will still have my writing, I can still prepare and write my next books. The freelance work will also have to wait until I get things in order.

Another realisation I had was about my relationships. Why was it almost nobody contacted me? And the one that did I didn’t particularly want to see. I started pondering on this. I’ve got one friend who has been in my life for a while now, but all other people have come and gone. And I always thought it was me. What did I do wrong. Wasn’t I good enough? Didn’t I meet their needs? But then I got to thinking about why I became friends with them in the first place. Was there really a connection? Or was it just because I so desperately wanted to be loved, liked, acknowledged. Be a part of something.

I have always been the one in the middle, the one overlooked. Oh, Diana is fine, she is always fine. She can manage herself. And I think started to believe that. So, I stopped reaching out. Only stepping into the role of mediator, of being there for others. My needs and feelings didn’t matter. My hurt and pain wasn’t as bad as theirs. So I will just not mention it. As long as they keep liking me. But, did I really love and like them? Wasn’t I clinging on to the people that even showed a remote interest in me? Was it ever truly equal?

Everyone always describes me as being kind, gentle, caring, loving, compassionate. The angel of kindness. Such a good listener. Always being there when they needed me. But when the tables turned, suddenly they weren’t there. And this is not the first time this has happened to me in my life. Even though I didn’t want to blame them, I deep down did. I resented the fact that now that I needed it they weren’t there. That when I reached out for help, suddenly they were busy, or I was too far away. I was angry. Because I always tried to show up, even when I didn’t feel like it, or had to make time for them, cancel other appointments, take away time from my partner. Even without having a car or drivers license. I would find a way. By bike or by public transport. And they were always very willing to pick me up when it was beneficial to them, but otherwise? Or maybe I just didn’t bother to ask, afraid of rejection. Apparently keeping in touch with certain friends was more important to me than it was to them. Because when I stopped reaching out: crickets. Well, most of them. Or they gave me advice and tips I didn’t need or want. Or when we did meet up, it ended up always being about them. I even noticed this pattern now with some family members (also in the past), my ex-partner. Always they were spilling their guts about everything to me, and I listened. I always listened. I soaked it up, and they felt better afterwards. But when I tried to do the same? I shouldn’t be so negative, think positive, you’ve got nothing to complain about, they would change the subject. So, I didn’t reach out anymore. I stopped, it was too draining. It always felt like rejection. Over and over again. A confirmation of them not liking or loving me. I returned to my journaling. My trusted friend in life.

But just now I read an article about the toxic feminine and I realised I also have been in that energy. I have been manipulative, played the victim role and blamed others for where I am now. Maybe not always conscious, but there was always a voice deep down that kept blaming my parents, my siblings, my partners, my friends, my employers, my colleagues. I even blamed Source, the Universe. But I realise now that it was all me. It always was me all along. I was never clear about what I needed. I never spoke up when they crossed my boundaries. I said yes to things when really I wanted to say no. I manipulated those I knew would help me, because that’s just what they live for, helping others, being the superheroes. No wonder my ex-partner loves superhero movies. If he can take on the role as saviour he is happy. It’s how we ended up being together in the first place. I wasn’t clear when people were trying to be my friend but I actually didn’t want them to be my friend. And I started to wonder. What if this pattern is something I created? The people I wanted to be friends with, maybe they didn’t want to be my friend in the first place. Law of attraction? Was I really that kind, caring, compassionate? No. Certainly not. I was blaming, judgmental. I felt mistreated. Unheard. Unloved. Unwanted. And I blamed others for that.

I realised that I had been very good at being how the other person wanted me to be. Be a chameleon. To take on the role of what they needed. But not always because I liked that person that much, just because I wanted to be liked and loved. So, what is happening now in my life, isn’t this what I deserve? For not being honest? Even if it was a pattern, a behaviour that I wasn’t conscious of up til now?

And then the biggest realisation of all from this weekend. I am in the most complicated relationship with myself. Because, if I don’t love, like, accept myself for who I truly am, how can I ever expect anyone else to love, like and accept me. Or honour and respect me. So, this is the relationship I need to heal first. And take full responsibility for my own life. For the complete mess I made. Forgive myself. Accept that this is all a part of this journey. Forgive my parents, because they also didn’t know. Learn how to reach out to people I know care about me. Who will not judge me, or belittle me, or say I told you so. And accept their help without judging. Without being afraid of them having ulterior motives for helping me. Of course I am afraid of that, because that’s what I have been doing myself. Did I ever give freely? Without expecting something in return? Because even the need for being liked and loved is expecting something in return. I realise that now.

Maybe it’s time for new friendships after this, because how in the world did I end up with people that don’t care about the planet, animals, the environment on the same level as I do. How can I ever share my passions if most of the people around me don’t give a sh*t. I know, it’s my own doing, because I became who they wanted me to be. I was a huge people pleaser. Enormous. Humongous.

This is maybe the most honest I have ever been with myself, and others. I can honestly say there are only a hand few of people that I would love to keep in my life, but I also know that there are lessons to be received from everyone. Whether I like it or not. It is what it is.

Much love,

Diana

 

Modern Times….

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Have you ever seen the movie Modern Times? With and by Charlie Chaplin? This movie is from 1936, and the current economic state feels much the same. It has entered my minds eye many times the last few weeks.

I feel like I have just returned from La La Land. This journey started about 10 years ago, when I felt the need for turning my passion into work. My love for animals, nature, natural remedies got me to run into an intense study on becoming a naturopath for animals, and consequently stepping out of my paid job and into the world of being self employed. And I feel I have just stepped out of this being self employed again, and lots of hopes and dreams have been shattered and bubbles burst.

I am on the hunt for a paid job again, and it is not easy. Everything I’ve done the past 10 years seems to not have any value, the things that matter to me, the person I am seems to not be important in the corporate world. The only thing I have official qualifications for have also been developing (fast) over the last years, using programs I have never heard of and apparently nowadays you have to be a pressure-tiger to get a job. You have to do well under pressure, or even love working under pressure, and I can’t. And I am not ambitious and competitive. All my core values don’t seem to mean shit in the search for a job. And I am done trusting that it will all work out, because I am down to my very last 1000 euro’s and it’s not just coming to me. And if there’s something I definitely can’t is fake it.

But, of course the journey hasn’t all been bad, and I’ve done amazing things, met amazing people, stayed in my beloved country for a few months, but in my case, it maybe always was doomed to fail. I’ll explain why in this blog and hope that anybody who is struggling with self-employment or wanting to start on this path will get something out of reading this. So that all that I’ve learned and been through hasn’t been in vain. And this is not about pointing fingers to others, I take full responsibility for my own life and choices. As always. But there are things that have been bothering me a lot. And I no longer believe in the what you send out you will get in return, because in my case that hasn’t been true at all times.

Point 1: Make absolutely sure WHY you want to do this. Make sure that your passion is big enough to put in many hours of study and work, and loads of money that might not always come back to you. I had fallen for the trap that I would be most happy if I would turn my passion into my work. I know now that that is not always a good idea. In my case, it took away much of the joy I had when I still did this from a place of “hobby”. If you truly care, are a giver, a dreamer and idealist, like I am, be prepared for some disappointments along the way. No matter what everybody says, they will come. So, if your why is strong enough to start or persevere on this journey, then by all means, go for it.

Point 2: Make sure you have the right support around you, it doesn’t have to be your partner or family, but at least your friends or people that are on the same path. Have people around you that believe in you, will be honest with you (but not because you have woken some kind of fear in them of missing out), and truly care for you. They want to see you succeed. And, that has maybe been one of my biggest flaws, dare to reach out for help. I don’t mean professional help, but when things are not working for some reason, that people are there for you. Not only when everything seems to be all shiny. People that will be there for you during the ugly days. But also will celebrate with you when it does work out. Or cry with you when you need it. That know what to do, know how to listen without replying, give a hug when you need it most, laugh with you at your most stupid moments, or let you just be when you also need that. And don’t feel like they are the cause of it. I had the privilege of living with someone like that for a few months, and it made me realise how much I have missed people like that on my journey, and in my life to be honest.

Point 3: If you have a steady income from a daytime job, don’t give up on that immediately, especially if you don’t have anything to fall back on (partner with steady income, savings, rich parents). It might mean working even harder, but it will help you relax and not put the strain on your (starting) business to make you all the money you need. Also, if you are in the business of delivering services, try to create some form of passive income. There will be months when people will not buy your services, so either create passive income or have some other back up for those times.

Point 4: Work on your beliefs, your self-confidence and presence. I should have known better on this point, even though I told myself I could do it, there probably has always been a voice in the background that didn’t believe. That wasn’t able to “sell” myself, and also didn’t like it. That wasn’t able to think from the clients perspective but only wanted to do what I liked creating. I know now that this will give you crickets. Do market research, and make sure that what you want to create is also wanted/needed. And if that doesn’t bring you joy, maybe being self-employed is not for you.

Point 5: Work on trusting your intuition, or common sense. Either one will do. Because there are a lot of predators out there that will see your insecurities and will want to feed off them. They will use some sort of spiritual blackmail on you, like if you are not investing in yourself you have low self-worth. It is not much different from the corporate world in that sense, everybody is always very ready to point you to your weak points instead of honouring your strong points. In my case, I have been constantly looking for outside recognition of my being, of conformation that I was a good person and was on the right path. Even up to the point that I now feel lost. Because without a certain goal or life-purpose, I don’t know why I still get out of bed in the morning. For what, for who? It should be enough to get out of bed for life itself, or just for myself, but I’ve lost that. And I am done living my life for others. To always be in service. So, make sure you work with people that want to help you, and not just themselves or their bank account. It is okay to pay for it, because they too are often self-employed, but be careful. Look for wordings like: if you don’t invest in yourself you are not loving yourself. If they try to feed off your insecurities in any way, then get the hell out of there. If it feels like some sort of blackmail it probably is. It doesn’t mean that they always do it consciously, but still. Stay away from them. Look for those who will help you build your business by emphasising your strong points. And look for those who are truly authentic, that will show all sides of being in business, not just the successes. Let’s get real.

Point 6: If you are a caring and giving person, then don’t friend your clients on Facebook. Protect yourself. Because, if your client has in some way “tricked” you into a discount or barter, you don’t want to see their shiny holiday pictures or their newest gadgets, while you are struggling to get food on the table. I’ve seen them, being all like, I can’t afford this right now, but you so want to help them (or their animals in my case), that you will try your best to make it possible. So, you don’t then want to see that they apparently have no financial problems. And because you are so caring and giving, you don’t try to judge and you forgive them. So, either stay away from giving discounts or bartering, or don’t befriend them. And watch out for the freeloaders, that will do everything you offer for free, but never will take the next step into working with you on a paid basis. It’s why I hardly ever do free stuff anymore, because I know how that feels. People often don’t know what it takes to be self-employed.

Point 7: Never stop taking good care of yourself and know your limits. Don’t step outside of those if it doesn’t feel right. Don’t fall for the trap of life happens outside of your comfort zone. Yes, if you are addicted to a lot of stress and love uncertainties, then go for it, but if not? Maybe it’s not such a good idea to do this. And again, don’t fall into the “but then you don’t love yourself” trap. You ARE loving yourself by knowing your limits. Don’t let it get as far as I have let it come.

Point 8: Stay realistic. Really, this is my biggest mistake. Up until maybe even a month ago, I never stopped believing in my dreams, I’ve worked on my (limiting) beliefs, I’ve worked with law of attraction, done EFT, and so much more that is offered out there. And although they’ve helped me grow as a person, they didn’t help my business grow. If I had known that I would end up where I am now, I would have given up much sooner. Because coming back from La La Land is not easy I can tell you. As long as this world is run by money and economics, as long as countries are run by politicians that only have their best interests in themselves and their corporate buddies, you cannot step out of the system. At one point you will run into rules and regulations, there is no such thing as freedom, we are all caught up in this. And we have co-created it ourselves and we keep that system going by continuing to vote for them and buying their products. I have tried to step out of the system, and failed. And all those people who are trying to find alternative ways, they too keep running into the system. Always. Because, right now, even though I don’t need and want much, I still need some money to survive. I still need proof of income to be able to get a place of my own. And even the standards for a humble life are enormous at this time. It will mean in my case that I probably will have to get a full-time job to even get an income to be able to live that humble life. Based on what I am qualified for. And, don’t fall for the heart-centred crap, it is still business, and if you are loving and caring, living from the heart, it’s almost impossible to build a heart-centred business in this current economic environment. And, another quote I love (enter sarcasm): money follows joy. I hate that one, because it means that the people with the most money love what they are doing. And that makes human society even more shit to me. Because I see people who genuinely care, who want to make a change, who create beauty in this world (artists), who make sure it all stays neat and clean, struggle to even get by. And people who don’t care about you or the planet or the environment are enriching themselves even more. In my eyes, this is wrong. On every part.

So, I do feel like Charlie Chaplin caught up in the cogs of the wheel of the system. And even crushed by them. I am not even going into my worries and concern about the environment and the planet at this time, because that too is a part of my inner darkness. And boo to all those nay-sayers about climate change. If you don’t believe in it or don’t want to take any form of action, please unfriend me. Literally.

I still love writing, and I will continue doing that, but I will not make the mistake again of thinking I will be able to get a full income from that. Because I love writing. And I don’t want to put the pressure on my writing just to make enough money to even get by at the most basic level. You really have to have an extraordinary talent (or the right connections) nowadays to “make” it. Or the right looks. And I haven’t got any of those. I am just “average” and I am not ashamed of that. I will go back to my average life. And maybe I will start to enjoy life on a basic level again one day.

Diana.

p.s. the only real victim from all of this is my dog Cheyenne, and before the other pets Scotty, Luna and Toendra, who are suddenly left by themselves, all alone. I hate having to do this to them.

Depression as a path to enlightenment?

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Depression. We all have heard about it, and some of us know what it is.

I have had a depression, and I have depressive moods every now and then. I call them my dark nights, my silent storms, it’s when I have short periods of feeling down and dark and see no hope. It was different from my depression because when I had that I initially didn’t see a way out.

But eventually I did (more on that in my first book, soon to be published), and I believe that the reason that I am able to return from the short depressive moods I have now, is because I was able to overcome the big depression. But still, every now and then when I am in that mood and just want to give up on everything, I always feel like there is something wrong with me. That I should fix that somehow. Because I always feel like being too much for others when I am in that mood.

When I stayed in the UK, for the first time in my life I experienced what it was like to have someone let me go through one of my silent storms. I do realise now that my energy during such a silent storm is very intense, but I can’t hide it. I tried. I just feel deeply. Everything. Maybe my Moon in Aries is part of that. There’s no hiding from my feelings. But, just being able to go through it without someone around me being afraid that they were the cause of it, was amazingly healing. For the first time I was able to let the storm fully rage. Internally. And because she had also seen my other sides, she knew that I wasn’t like that all the time. She knew I could also laugh, love and enjoy life to the fullest.

The first week when I got back to the Netherlands I felt emotionally and spiritually drained. I wasn’t able to do much. I had on of my depressive moods, not like the silent storms, these are different. I also can feel very melancholic when I am in that state, just missing “something”, I feel that what I am missing at moments like that is the feeling of being alive, that spark of life. I also didn’t want to interact with people much, just wanted to be. And I did, I listened to what I needed. I didn’t reach out because everyone always says you need to do that. I didn’t want to. This was my process.

Then, yesterday, I had a phone call with a longtime friend. I explained to her about the moods and she said wow, don’t you want to get rid of them? Fix them? And then it hit me. No, I don’t. They are part of me. Of who I am as a person. They are part of my inner growth, my evolution. These moods and storms always cause me to have a breakthrough afterwards. They inspire me to write. To be creative. To take action. To take steps. She said it was such a waste of time and energy, and you know what? I don’t think it is.

I thought about this some more. Depression, sadness, grief, melancholy. Most of the people don’t know how to handle it and want to fix it. Either through visiting professionals in the field, or by taking (holistic) medicine. Some people believe that it might be caused by dark or low energies or entities that are attached to them, and who knows, it might be the case, although people who sense those never sensed any with me.

And there certainly are things that can cause these states that can be addressed and that might make it lighter. There are physiological causes, like certain deficiencies in minerals and vitamins, hormonal unbalances, medicine use. I think that might be the first thing to look at if you are experiencing feelings like that and never had them before. And then look at emotional causes, like not grieving when it was needed, not accepting or loving yourself, hidden trauma. External causes, like any form of abuse, overwhelm and burnout (from work, from taking care of (terminally) ill family members, taking care of parents with dementia or alzheimers). Yes, there are certainly many things that can cause depressions, depressive states and more that can be addressed. The fact remains that people in general can’t handle people that are in a state like that. It’s not “normal” and needs to be fixed.

Yesterday however, I had an epiphany. Because I’ve had these moods and storms for the most part of my life. And I even realised what triggers the episodes. It’s when I decide to start taking care of myself, when I stop being a people pleaser and always feel responsible for other peoples happiness. My big depression followed a break up with my then fiancee and starting to live on my own. Suddenly I only had me to take care of, my own life, and as I didn’t like or love myself very much, I felt lost. It wasn’t until I got a doggie to take care of that I started to feel better. And then a new guy entered my life that I could care for, so I just fell back into the people pleasing part. And I kept doing that until about a year back. When I got divorced and needed to start taking care of myself again.

And all through that last year I had depressive moods and silent storms. Because I just didn’t know how to take care of myself. Of my own happiness. And it wasn’t until I left everything and everyone behind that I realised how much my life always had been about others. What was my reason for getting up in the morning? It sure wasn’t my own life. It was always for others, for my pets, for the planet, friends, family, work, colleagues. Never for me. Never for just the beauty of life itself.

And that part is healing now. Finally. And with that the total acceptance of me, of every part of me. Warts and all. Depressive moods and silent storms included.

My friend said at one point, well what if you have a mood like that when you are working for a boss again, you can’t show that at work. And that’s where it all goes wrong doesn’t it. Because it is not accepted. And I said, well, they will just have to accept, or I will call in sick. I don’t care. This is me. I will no longer pretend. And maybe, by accepting them, finally, as being a part of me, they will not be so present anymore. I don’t know. But I do know I embrace them now. Fully. And I really don’t care what others think about them.

Because, yes, I feel this deeply, but on the other side of that I also love deeply, laugh hard, and can enjoy the simplest things in life in a very intense way. Like the smile of a baby when they see me, the dog that trusts me, the birds that don’t fly off when I walk past. That I have an eye for details. That I can experience music on such a deep level. I love being so alive again. Coming back from my flatlined existence. I don’t want to loose my ability to feel so deeply, so if that means every now and then I will have dark nights, then so be it. Dark nights are amazingly beautiful anyway, because the stars shine bright. Even Vincent van Gogh knew that.

And I am in good company. Some of the most amazing artists, writers, poets, painters, dancers, composers, musicians all dealt with these periods. And because of them we are now able to enjoy their work. Imagine if they lived the flatlined life, how much beauty would we be missing out on!

Maybe by denying people their being, wanting to fix their moods and storms, we are making it worse. For some people they are just that, a part of their being. There is nothing wrong with that, the only thing that needs fixing in this is the acceptance of all. Without night no day. Without dark no light. Light even produces shadows! Think about that 😉

I have a much deeper understanding of myself now and I feel that this is part of my inner spiritual growth and maybe even enlightenment, whatever that may be. It certainly is opening the way for me to finally truly love and accept myself with everything that is me. With no longer looking outside for feeling that love and acceptance. I am honouring all of me.

Leaving you with this beautiful poem by the wonderful Charlie Chaplin:

As I began to Love Myself:
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time.Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening.Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognised that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally.Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born.Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”

Much love,
Diana

It did matter….

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I’ve been back in the Netherlands for a little over a week now. And it’s like I’ve been unliving for that week. I’ve been feeling so much that I actually felt numb.

My three and a half months in the UK suddenly seemed like a dream, and now I had woken up into the harsh reality of life.

All the positivity I had built up there, the strength, the self-love, the feelings of self-worth….. Gone… It started somewhere halfway across the North-Sea. It was like somebody pulled the plug and all that I had built up vortexed out into the ocean.

And it didn’t stop. I know that just before I left I said I could make it anywhere because I felt at home with myself. And I really believed that. But you know what. It did matter. Where I lived. I’ve experienced it over and over again, when I am in the UK I feel stronger and more inspired. As soon as I get back to the Netherlands I loose all of that. And it’s not the UK per se, but more the land. My body literally hurts more in the Netherlands, my joints. Everything. Retaining fluids again. The membranes in my nose got overloaded with air pollution, and I got overwhelmed with the noisiness, the business, the lights, the people.

I didn’t want to do anything or see anyone to be honest. But I did. I fell back into old patterns and habits. The big R took over again. I did housecleaning, visited my mother, started looking for possibilities for work and living. And it drained me even more. I looked at my financial situation. I felt small again. Like I owe everything to my ex who is letting me stay here once again, and not asking for any money for it. He was the big rescuer once again, like he was when we first met, and I was the helpless maiden. But, as we are no longer a couple, I just made myself as invisible as possible this time. Not to bother him or his routine.

And the weather didn’t help. In order to experience real English weather, I apparently had to return to the Netherlands. And while I am writing this, it is grey, windy and very rainy outside. I haven’t been outside much this week. I didn’t feel like it. I so terribly miss the woods, the trees, the river. The view from the lodge. And yes, there are woods and more in the Netherlands, but they are “dead”. I can’t explain it, it’s a feeling. And I don’t have the means to get there anyway at this time.

I miss sharing ideas and conversations with my former host, just being able to talk about so many things because there was mutual understanding. On so many levels. It’s been a long time since I had experienced that, and gave me back a little trust in people. And yes, I can still talk to her, but it is not the same.

As I said, I felt so much that I actually felt numb. I wasn’t even able to cry. Nothing. I didn’t know what to do.

Yes, I loved seeing Scotty, Luna and Toendra again, that sure was a highlight. And my sister and nieces. But for the rest? I just wanted to go live under a rock. Disappear. I felt worthless, not contributing in any way to this world, this society. Have you ever felt like that? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world.

I actually wasn’t in a good place to start looking for work and housing, because of course, in this energy, I saw everything as negative and impossible. It just didn’t feel right. But, the pressure of being almost out of money, this being a temporary solution made me do it anyway. And also because I apparently don’t apply for any sort of benefits, social discounts, or urgency for living. If I didn’t have this option where I am living now, I would be homeless. The rules are driving me mad.

And then came anger. Angry about the situation I was in. Angry at myself, for being a failure on so many levels. For putting myself in this situation. For the first time in my life I felt regret. Regrets about so many things I did, or didn’t do, in my life. I didn’t feel like journaling, meditating, tapping, reaching out for help. Nothing. I just felt nothing worked, that apparently I didn’t deserve the life of my dreams. Whatever that may be, because I really don’t know the answer to that last one anymore.

And because I couldn’t blame anyone but myself for the situation I am in, I just blamed the Universe. Life itself. I felt like giving up. And part of me still does. Because I don’t feel like I have much to look forward to. All the spiritual blabla suddenly felt like crap, what was I thinking. I saw every post on Social Media as some sort of black mail for the soul. If you don’t do this you won’t get that. What a load of crap. And everybody is an expert at other people’s lives apparently. No, I don’t want to do any of this anymore. I am done with it.

But, I also want to move out of this victim mode. To kick myself in the but, and realise how lucky I’ve been in life so far. How help was always there when I really needed it. How I’ve never been without a roof over my head, or food on the table (although that is getting a bit tricky by now). I know that I have to take steps and action towards the future. And that I will have to just give in to the system for now. Because I’ve tried other options and they didn’t work for me. And maybe by getting back into the system the opportunities I’ve been waiting for will reveal themselves. But, I first need something to live for. And preferably that needs to be me. I don’t want to put the pressure on anyone else again for that, including my pets. Because that’s what happened the first time I was in a situation like this. I had a dog I lived for. I need to learn to live for me now, and for life itself. Not for anyone or anything else.

I do realise my lessons in this life are all about that, because I have never been abused (especially not physically) or assaulted, I’ve had relative good health up till now, I have my dog with me, I’ve always had friends. And maybe there are a few people out there that do care about me for me, and not just for what I can do for them. But, right now, that doesn’t matter. I need to care about me for me. I know I am not the easiest person to be around (also not for myself!), with my sudden dark moods, but they are a part of me. And what I’ve learned over time is that these periods of depression will pass. But only if I allow them to be there. To give them the attention and light they deserve. Because that’s also who I am.

Still, staying in the UK the past few months, has also shown me my other sides, how I can also be. The sides I had forgotten. How I love to laugh, how I have this internal jukebox, how I have this amazing connection to nature and animals, how I do have a sense of humour, how I love music, and singing and dancing. Watching good movies and share nice meals. To have deep meaningful conversations about life, only to end on a funny note. These sides don’t always show through my writing, and I know they are also very welcome to show their face, also for me. But to be honest, I’ve had a crappy few last years, and I created it all myself. I had a glimpse of how it can be, so there is this shimmer of hope. And that shimmer will help me take the necessary action steps for now. To find a job that will give me proof of income to get that place of my own. So I won’t have to pretend anymore. Or hide as to not be a bother. I am very much looking forward to living on my own, well with Cheyenne. And get my drivers license and a car so I can move around more freely. Without feeling the constant dependancy on others for that. And it doesn’t matter that others offer it “freely”, it bothers me. I don’t like that feeling.

But, I also have to be careful not to go into expectations again, and just let the opportunities come in. Part of me still wants to control everything, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in my life so far, is that control is a hoax. There’s no such thing.

But, where you live does matter. It did matter. There is such a thing as land that nourishes the soul. I am not talking about manmade countries or cultures, I am talking about the land. The land that doesn’t belong to anyone and to everyone. And I know now, that the Netherlands, especially this part of the Netherlands, is not in alignment with my soul, so it’s hard work for me to feel good, positive and optimistic, to be inspired. I can’t explain it, I think you only know how it feels once you’ve experienced it. So, for now, hard work to get back to land that does inspire me.

Much love,

Diana

Writing, writing!

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How is my first book coming along?

Well, as you may remember I started this journey in December of 2016, and it’s been one heck of a ride. But, I’ve met with my publisher from That Guy’s House last Saturday, and if all goes well, it will still be published somewhere before the summer. It’s waiting on the (AMAZING) artwork that is currently being created, and some technical things and then it will be done. It will be born! Finally!

Our meet-up also left me with a positive feeling for my upcoming books, like the sequel to my first book, about my life changing pilgrimage to the UK and then the third part, about the aftermath of that.

I am also moving towards nature-writing, which makes so much sense. I already have amazing ideas about my first book in that.

And, I’ve started free-lance work around story-writing, show-notes writing, copy-editing, translating, transcribing and more. All to feed my love for the written word. And yes, this is scary, because I’m moving into an area where I have not much experience, so I am building that up right now. I am doing some test work for my friend and amazing interspecies communicator and energy intuitive, Joanne Yeoh, and I am absolutely loving it so far. Yes, I have a lot to figure out, and building up speed, but wow. And receiving money for it feels sooooo good. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that felt more fulfilling!

So, I am definitely going to see how I can build from there. I can use so many of my skills and qualities in doing this, and for the first time my perfectionism actually is of good use!

This week I am moving back to the Netherlands, to build up my new life from there. It will mean having to look for a paid job, as I need proof of income to be able to rent a place. Hopefully I can find a part-time job, so I can still build on my free-lance and writing career. And who knows, maybe that part-time job can also be in this area, maybe work for a library, or a bookstore! I would love that.

To give you an idea of my nature-writing work, here is a short poem I wrote for my Tree-friends up here, that have helped me so much with healing and clarity. Enjoy!

Much love,
Diana

The four directions
I’ve walked these woods many times
I’ve seen you standing there
The four of you, in that circle
I’ve stood in the midst of that circle
Connecting to you
Feeling your heartbeat through your roots
Feeling the heartbeat of Mother Earth through you
I’ve listened to your words
How you welcomed me back
How grateful you were for me cleaning your home
How you told me I was on the right path
How you’ve also told me it was time to move on
How I’ve asked what this moving on meant
And how you’ve told me I would know
I’ve touched you all
I’ve smelt your scents
Felt your warmth
I’ve heard music whilst standing in your circle
I’ve felt a part of all of nature
Being pulled into the earth
Instantly grounding
And then I saw
I realised
You are the Medicine Wheel
The four seasons
The four directions
Birch representing the lightness of Spring
Of new beginnings in the East
Of finding my new direction
Mighty Oak bringing Summer
The warm energies of the South
Of taking my place on this earth and standing my ground
Sycamore Maple holding the colours of Autumn
The compassion of the West
Of letting all my emotions and shadows shine through and let them go
And ancient Yew giving the stillness and solitude of Winter
Holding the wisdom of the Ancestors in the North
Of trusting on my inner guidance and connecting to my guides
Thank you for welcoming me in your circle
Thank you for being there when I needed you
Thank you for your healing and wisdom
I will never forget
I will leave you to do this for another traveller
A traveller of time and life
For I know that is why you are there, in that sacred circle in the woods

Diana Pak
24-1-2019

After the little “r”

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So, there I was. Decided to take care of the little “r” first. Of little me. I had decided. And now what? (if you haven’t read that blog, read it first, then this blog will make a lot more sense).

How do I do that? Take care of me? I just didn’t know. I had forgotten. I felt so lost. My whole body was feeling tense, I started overthinking and over-worrying. It didn’t help that Cheyenne didn’t want to go out with me anymore and didn’t trust me because I had a little falling out with her. She is so afraid of the sounds of shooting out here, and it’s almost every day. At first I went on my walks without her, feeling proud of myself taking care of my little “r”. That worked the first few times and then I started missing her. This wasn’t right. We were meant to do this together. These were the visions I had. And because my mood was getting darker and darker, she also started to cling more to my host, making things even worse. It was all my energy. I know that. I was falling away again.

Also, peri-menopause decided to just kick in, giving me physical symptoms I had to adjust to. And making me realise I had been letting the sugars into my diet way too much again.

Anyway, it all went down hill. I still was doing the rebirth program with Lee Harris, and that gave me even deeper insights. On what was going on. And that wasn’t easy either. About relationships, about speaking my truth, open and loving communication.

It wasn’t easy for my host, or for the energy in here in general, I was in the midst of a raging internal thunderstorm. I didn’t want to reach out or ask for help, because I knew I wouldn’t be open to any kind of help anyway. I know that when I have something like this going on, all I can do is turn inwards, journal, process, meditate. Allowing the storm to rage, and try not to hurt anyone nearby. I feel deeply, I love deeply, so I also feel that darkness deeply.

My host had asked me to do something for her, and that helped me get through it, because I really liked doing it. It got my mind off things a little bit. Focus on something else for a while, shifting my attention and energy. And the qigong practice that came with the rebirth program also helped, because I had lost my yoga practice (it didn’t feel right for my body anymore).

When I was at the deepest point of my “now what?”, also because things around staying in the UK just weren’t working out for me, I decided to take a new look at a list I had made in 2018. A list of wishes and desires. Of what truly brought me joy, and what made my heart and soul sing. I looked at what I missed from my old life. I compiled a new list. And came to the conclusion there are three things I needed most at this point in my life: money, a roof over my head that I can call home and easy accessible transport. And I looked at this list again and again. And felt into it. I asked for guidance. I asked the trees at the river that have become my trusted friends. It was time for me to move again. To get into action.

And that’s where I am at. For now, I am going back to the Netherlands. I wanted to keep this a secret until after I arrived, afraid of other people’s opinions and advice I didn’t want or need, but you know what, I don’t care. My life. My decisions.

For the phase I am in now in my life, the Netherlands is a better place to be for me than the UK. And to be honest, although I love the nature over here, I can find places similar to this in other parts of the world. I would love to explore more before making a decision on where I want to live when I grow up (hihi). I have a place to stay for now, and I am immensely grateful for that, because my biggest fear has been becoming homeless. I will start looking for a paid (part-time) job and a home. And start saving money to get my drivers license and buy a car. That will make Cheyenne happy too, she’s definitely been showing me that!

This feels like such a relief. And more than that, it doesn’t feel like giving up, it doesn’t feel like failure, it feels like opening up to all possibilities, just finding a different route toward the life of my dreams. Because I feel that that ultimate goal is beautiful, but as long as I can’t enjoy the now, only think of that end goal, I am depriving myself of so much. Of so much joy, laughter, love. I am letting go of how I think it should be, or should go, and fully be open to new ways and possibilities. I’ve come to the conclusion that very often I’ve closed doors to opportunities coming my way because they didn’t fit the plan I had for my life and future. My host, Joanne, has been invaluable in this, being a great mirror for me, and changing my perspectives on so many occasions. Always in a loving way, and that was just what I needed. It has been very healing staying here, in many ways.

So, that’s it. I am literally starting from scrap, as I have almost no stuff anymore, and almost no money. I remember asking for a simplified life, but maybe I took it a bit too far. I know now I CAN manifest, that I can attract what I want and ask for, I just wasn’t clear on what it was I truly wanted.

And with this, I also definitely closed down certain parts of my business and decided to dedicate the next 7 year cycle to building up my life as a writer and everything around that. To becoming a nature-writer, creating awareness around nature, the animals, the planet, the environment through showing the beauty of it all. Show what I feel when I am in nature through my writing. Because, what you love, you will take care of.

And I started working on something for my host, Joanne, that’s giving me so much joy that I started thinking about doing freelance work similar to that. And we ran into something that I am very interested in doing: show notes writer for podcasts.

And it made so much sense. All my skills and talents, all my experience, my wide spread interests, my love of learning and language, for writing and reading, my ability to closely listen and filter out the essence, my patience and my perfectionism, they all fall into place in what I am exploring now. I will still need a paid job for proof of income to be able to rent a place, but if I get a part-time job I can do this as freelancer on the side. If you are curious about what I am going to offer, take a look at this page. I am doing some background research on different things, but I am already looking for some people to test this out with, not for free, but for a special fee. I need to start practicing and build up a portfolio and credentials 🙂

And the beauty of this is that I still will have the freedom to write my books, where I can get my creative side and imagination going, without putting the pressure on that being my main income.

I feel very excited about my next steps, a spark in me has ignited, I feel nervous and afraid, but also very loving towards myself and open. I am so proud that I am ready to take care of myself again, to be open to anything that comes my way now. And yes, it will not be easy, but with all I’ve done over the past years, I know I can handle a lot. So, yes, I am ready!

Here’s to my new life!

Much love,

Diana

The little “r”

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My end of the year blog. As writing is and always will be my way of expressing myself. For myself and for others.

It has been an intense year for me, I’ve said it many times this last month. And it has. And I am no longer labelling it as good or bad, because everything has been a part of being where I am at today.

The last two weeks I have been thinking a lot about life purpose, of having a (bigger) vision and mission in life. Ever since I was a teenager, or maybe even as a kid, I felt I was meant for something big(ger). I wanted to make some sort of impact on the world around me. Be part of the big change.

I’ve always felt this bigger purpose in life was all about being an advocate or voice for the animals, nature, the planet. And I still believe that. But, everything I tried in that area never felt enough, and I was held back by upbringing to go on real great adventures on this.

Life has had interesting twists and turns for me anyway, and although I never had anything really bad happen to me personally, I did watch a lot of pain and sorrow around me. And that’s where something started to change. I wanted to help. To be of service for those in pain and sorrow. Make it better for them. Make them happy. I felt responsible for their happiness.

When I had my first breakdown, in my twenties, I didn’t link it to that. I felt my depression was because I didn’t work through my grief around the loss of my brother and father. And that certainly was part of it. In my deepest and darkest hours I met someone who would become a part of my life for over 20 years. And still is in some ways. He was part of the team that “saved” me.

And when I was feeling better, I again started to feel responsible for others. Humans, animals, nature, the planet. Everyone but me.

I never fully realised how that affected me until this week. I decided to take part in the Rebirth program by Lee Harris, and in his first talk he mentioned the big R and the little r. That really triggered something in me. It all made sense now. And you know how people always share meme’s about life? I know I did. Many of them. And I always thought I understood them. But I clearly didn’t. Not fully. Not on a deeper level.

The big R. That’s what I’ve been living for most of my adult life. Always feeling responsible for others, family, friends, pets, wild animals, farm animals, nature, the planet, the climate. I felt everything I did wasn’t enough. Because nothing changed. I felt frustrated and certainly towards the planet and the climate, really depressed. Burned out.

I felt like a failure, on so many levels. I wasn’t able to hold on to friends, I wasn’t able to make my relationship and marriage work, I wasn’t able to help family with health problems. I failed in my business, because I wasn’t able to help the pets. Not on the level I had envisioned. I felt like a bad business person, because I wasn’t able to make enough money. Hardly any money for that matter. I felt like a crappy writer, having not finished my book in time, having an almost fall out with my friend over the art-work.

Listening to Lee, I realised that it was the big R that had gotten me down. And that I didn’t take care of the little r, namely me. Filling my own cup before anything else. I felt the pieces falling into place. All the decluttering I did, all the wishing for a simplified life. All for others, all for the bigger vision and mission. Even with letting go of most everything, there was still Cheyenne to feel the big R for.

I totally ignored my little Diana, shouting at me. What about me? What about my needs, my wishes, my desires? The one big thing I did for her this year was moving. Even though I am not living here officially (yet), moving to the UK was my inner child screaming at me. That little Diana that was so in touch with her souls desires.

So, I gave some attention to little Diana. What does she want? What made her happy? Music, dancing, playing outdoors, singing. Colouring and drawing. Reading and writing. Being a little explorer of the lands, of life. Diving into history and watching the stars. Gazing at the clouds. Laughing, so much laughter as little Diana. I had been pushing her away. To make room for other people’s needs and wishes. I let go of dreams. I let go of what really made me happy. I was not taking care of the little r. Little me. I lost my joy in life. I lost my joy in the things I did. That deeper feeling of joy that comes from doing something that truly resonates with my soul. That feeling I had standing on the top of a Tor in Dartmoor, of seeing the Lakes for the first time. That deep feeling of joy I get from listening to beautiful music, dancing in the rain, reading a book, or just being outdoors in nature. I was looking for it outside of me. In my relationship(s), in my work, in my creativity. It wasn’t there.

I don’t know what 2019 will hold for me. I truly don’t. I feel I will not set intentions for the whole year yet, just for the first few months. A big part of those intentions will be about the little r. Little Diana really wants her own place to live in, create income from things she likes doing, feel joy and more love and laughter, feel a deeper meaningful connection with me. Before anything. And do this from a place of trust, of trust in myself and the Universe having my back. Because I do matter, I am worthy and I am enough. More than enough.

I know now that I should have worked on that before starting my own business. But then again, everything I did has lead to this moment in time. There are no mistakes, no failures. I wouldn’t have met the people that helped me out this year if I hadn’t followed that path.

I do hope that my stories and experiences inspire. Maybe you are on the verge of starting your own business. Maybe you feel overwhelmed as an activist, healer, therapist. Maybe it is time to stop and see what it dominant in your life. The big R? The big vision, mission? The big life purpose that everybody is always going on about? But… have you been taking care of the little r first? Without filling your own cup you will only deplete yourself working on the big R. If you are feeling a little resistance or anger when it comes to finding your big vision, mission, life purpose, then maybe it’s time to step back and take care of yourself first.

I know I am taking a break from the bigger R’s at this time and will revisit them once I have my own r’s in place. When I can look in the mirror and can truly say I love you. When all my needs and desires are fulfilled. I know that I will not do anything to harm animals or the planet in the process, that is not in my nature, but I am done sacrificing my little r for the big R. I know I will be ready for the big R again once I can listen to someone stating that being in service of something bigger is life purpose without getting angry. When I am ready for a meaningful romantic relationship again with someone who doesn’t feel the need to save me simply because I no longer need saving. When it can be a relationship based on equality.

So, that is my intention, to truly live as my soul desires to live. To let every part of me shine again. To answer the callings of my inner child.

And with doing that, I am already in service. Because when I am happy, when I am thriving, accepting everything life throws at me with ease and grace, I am changing the system. I am part of that bigger whole, I am more than I know or realise. When I shift, everything shifts. We are all interconnected and we are part of nature, so every change I make will have the effect I so wanted as a child.

As the image says, it’s time for me to live. Fully live.

Much love,

Diana

I dreamed a dream (goodbye 2018….)

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The end of 2018 is nearing. And I am taking time to reflect, look back, see what worked and what didn’t. What the lessons were. What my growth was.

I’ve been going through my diary, through my journals (as far as I have them with me), and I have reread the blogs I shared this year.

Yesterday I had a rough day after going through all of them. I wanted to do some exercises to release all that happened. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t release. I felt that the dream I dreamed slowly was shattering. That it was time for me to get real. To just give it all up. I cried. I asked my host to pull me a card. The card said: Life is a river of dreams. Simply relax and enjoy the journey. I cried. Again.

Today I took a little break from it all and decided to do what I do best when I feel overwhelmed by life: write. Because words, especially in the written form, are my ways of releasing, of reflecting, or processing what happened.

Looking back at the process that started the day my ex-husband and I decided to split up, I realised I most of all have been in the process of letting go, releasing, and grieving. I don’t think I have ever cried as much as the last year. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much doubt, fear and panic as last year. I’ve been so hard and tough on myself. But I also don’t think I’ve ever been so brave and more proud of myself than last year.

Last week, after a tapping session, I posted something in my free group, with a picture of myself that showed me post-intense crying, and it was purely meant as saying that all is allowed to be there. That life is not always happy, not always roses. It was merely a statement, but the comments on it made me feel even worse! At one point I stopped reading the comments and decided to delete the post. As much as I know the comments were well meant, it wasn’t my intention of the post to get a load of advise and tips about my life.

I do realise, also through reading through my published blogs, I mostly share about my shadow side. And that might paint a picture of someone who is constantly struggling. Constantly grieving. Constantly in pain. And part of me is. But, as my host kindly pointed out, they don’t see you every day. They don’t see the light side of you. And I often don’t write about that. Well, I do, in my journals and such, but not often in my blogs and posts on Facebook.

Because, although last year has been a rough year, no doubt about that, there have been amazing moments, of learning, of growth, of laughter. Of freeing myself from old patterns and beliefs. I did have celebrations. Loads of them!

Although everything is very uncertain at this time, I am in the UK! Right now, I am in the country I most wanted to be. That was part of my dream. I am living in an area that is amazingly beautiful and relatively peaceful. I have people I can talk to, share my feelings with. I am with the dog I so deeply love. I have a roof over my head, I can still eat, and for now I am ok. I am enjoying nature walks almost every day. That was part of my wish list! Being able to walk in nature every day!

But, that doesn’t take away that realising my dreams is not easy. The way I envisioned my life to be, and still do, is asking a lot of patience and adjusting. And with my financial reserves almost gone, I do know I need to start taking some kind of action. And because everything around my business feels so hard, I am opening up to other ways of producing income. Or other ways of money coming to me. Maybe even start a crowd-funding. Help Diana and Cheyenne through the winter! Just kidding, but who knows.

When I look back at my original dream, I have already made adjustments to it, like being open to getting a drivers license now and a car. To live in a “normal” house instead of a tiny house or an eco-community. But, I still want that cabin like house near a lake, with woods nearby. Ideally I still would love to get an income from writing. And I am now open to meeting someone, in the romantic kind of way. But, to keep all options open, I am also looking at things I like doing and seeing if I can get income from that. And if that will be in the UK? Time will tell. I promised myself to for now enjoy my time here. All we have is now anyway.

I am taking some time “off”, like a little Christmas holiday. I need that. Do things I really love, reading, watching episodes of Time Team on Youtube, listening to music, being outdoors, and writing of course. Doing research for the Healing Circle and the Medicine Way. I’ve been procrastinating on those big time, because I was trying to promote my business and myself again.

I’ve been trying so hard again. In fact, I have been trying hard all my life. I’ve never been open to letting life come to me. Be open to letting things come in. I know this has to do with trust. Trust in life. Trust in the Universe. Trust in myself. Trust in my intuition. Trust in my dreams. I am working on that right now. On those trust issues.

I’ve always been a dreamer, I loved daydreaming. I’ve been a hopeless romantic for many years, dreaming of “mr. right” to come along. Long have I thought my ex-husband was the one. Long have I hoped and wished for that to be true. Long after our divorce I hoped for some kind of recognition for our time together, for some sort of sign that he did once love me, or that he cared how I was doing now. I’ve released that now.

I feel that with everything that has passed this last year, I stopped dreaming. Or was afraid to dream. I had to face the challenges of every day life. Of losing everything, even if most of it was by choice.

But, I’ve also gained so much. Had amazing experiences. Met inspiring (new) people. Was able to be many times. Just be.

I will start dreaming again, allow myself to daydream. Let the creativity come into my life. The trust that it will all work out. As it always has in my life so far. I have no reason to believe it will not work out. That’s my fear speaking. And my bank account. And my disappointments as an entrepreneur. But when I see the amazing opportunities given to me this past year I am very grateful, and I find myself to be a little more trusting.

I am ready to let go of 2018, of all that has passed. Ready to get going with my dreams again. To never loose faith in my dreams. Look where I am right now. It may not be quite what I dreamed of yet, but it comes pretty darn close. So I celebrate that for sure.

Much love, signing off for 2018 with gratitude and grace and wishing myself and everyone a wonderful 2019

Diana and Cheyenne.