Toxic flashback

The next morning and  my mood has swung 180 degrees the other direction. A dark cloud glooms over me as I answer my front door the following morning.

“Hi. I’m nowhere there yet,” I shake my head restlessly looking down at my doorstep as if expecting something interesting to materialize there. “Found out all my cousins are staying at my mom’s in summer to go out drinking. I messaged them to tell them my mom is too old to entertain them. I got a nasty message back. Feel like pooh. Everyone treats me like pooh. You know there’s a saying. If at first you don’t succeed, try again, and again, and again. Then stop trying and run because it’s never going to work.”

“Ok two comments,” Bakerman snaps at me. “One. Your mother is not too old. Stop putting your issues on her. It’s her choice if she wants to entertain your cousins. Two.  if at first you don’t succeed don’t try again. Find a better way until you find a way that works.”

“Hmmmm,” I shrug half-hearted.

“Yes indeed,” Bakerman insists sternly.

“I never get it right though, do I?” I look at him in pure desperation. “Very frustrating.”

My home is my safe haven. This is where I unwind, recharge and dream in the warm comfort and safety of my house. This allows me to better face the challenges life continuously throws my way. I am equally aware how my thoughts and stories influence the little people, and others, who share my space with me. Regardless of what I lived through in the past, it is important to make an effort to create the peace I desire in my own sacred space. In a way that supports everyone.

Communicating and listening with respect to my friends and loved ones, allows me to take out the garbage of my inner space and keep my place clean and enjoyable. Meditation and yoga help me to accomplish clear energy.

The bottom line is to remember to clean up our energies, our thoughts and our habits to bring home peace and love to benefit both ourselves and everyone around us.

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Follow the guide

“Morning,” I smile at the Wizard. I am happy to see him because I have a question to ask him that has been playing on my mind for a couple of days now. “Something strange: I have had no more AirBnB requests in an entire month. And no more tarot requests in more than 2 weeks. Not since I mentioned it on my blog. Is it a stop from the universe?”

“Who knows?” the Wizard answers evasively avoiding all eye contact.

I laugh at his uncomfortable demeanour: “What else could it mean? Tis not the season?”

“February is a bad month always for these type of things,” the Wizard finally turns to face me with his big turquoise eyes.

“Ooh really?” I ask amazed. “Strange… So February is the month where everybody falls into a black hole.”

“Yes,” the Wizard nods. “Paying off debts from Christmas and New Year.”

“Aaaah yes,” I exclaim as that seems to make some sense. “Strange, I never do that. Get into debt for presents. Is that good or bad?”

“Good,” the Wizard nods decisively.

“Yeay!” I do a little jig with my arms. “Doing something right.”

I’ll admit it. I am super ambitious. I am continuously kicking ass both at work and with my own business. I have big dreams and desires for my career. I want to make lots of money, and I’m not the least bit ashamed of it. Better yet, I love hanging out with other awesome experts. Professionals who also have big work desires in their sights, supportive, positive, dynamic entrepreneurs who get it. People who take responsibility for their lives, success and happiness. I am one of those people.

It might surprise you that at the same time, I want to live from the heart. Few would argue with the idea that love is the most important thing in our universe. How many of you actually incorporate that idea into every thought and every action throughout your daily lives. This is something I tend to make a conscious effort for daily.

Many of you have forgotten how to recognize the true feeling of love. In fact, you can cultivate a connection to the universal source of love through a regular practice of going within. Returning to your heart compass. Let it set the destination and have your head guide the way.

 

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

The phenomenal real me #paranoia #parasite

I didn’t sleep well that night. One of the obvious reasons being the aches and pains of the flu my body was combatting. The other reason being what the Wizard had told me. It lingered on my mind for quite some time. I twisted and turned his words over and over in my mind. Not fully grasping the meaning of what was said. But nevertheless, the resolute decision formed within me that that would be the very last of my paranoia attacks. Never again would I let my mind and imagination get the better of me again. After all, it isn’t serving me.

The Wizard is moody the next day, and time will show that he will remain moody for an entire week. He still appears at random moments, only to munch around my kitchen and then disappear again. On one occasion I attempt to humour him.

“Ok I am sorry about this and I agree,” I whisper to him softly. “No more. Have a wonderful day.”

I refrain from insisting on getting a response from him. I am determined to show him not with words, but with actions, that from now on I will better that part of myself that runs away with me. From now on, I will keep my feet firmly on the ground.

I know years from now I will thank myself for saying no to paranoia, to committing to my healing journey. The Wizard of Oz shares so many powerful tools for eliminating stress, healing and developing phenomenal, deep core strength in all aspects of my life. I know that even if I do just 80% of what the Wizard tells me, I will see results that will continue to support me this lifetime.

It is going to take work, it won’t always be easy. But I will compassionately do my best, accept myself along this journey and allow for my imperfect action to carry me forward. The Wizard knows how to “kickstart” and reset people. I will allow him to guide me and elevate my health, happiness and wellbeing to new levels.

Sure to see changes in my energy, sleep, healing, mood and of course this affects every aspect of my life. I believe I can do it!

Paranoia is like a parasite.

If you spend a lifetime having chronic stress or trauma within your life, your attitude changes from good to bad, which allows for mood and attention disorders, cravings, addictions and the list goes on.

Potentially this journey may even change me so dramatically I might be a different person in all my relationships. Or maybe I will for always just be me. I like being me. *smiles*

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

Talk less, meditate more

I have recently been wondering whether chronically talking to my cat might be a sign of lack of self worth. Even if mine is in fact the Wizard of Oz appearing at odd moments during the day in guise of the Cheshire Cat.

“Buenas noches,” I smile at the Wizard. I can see he is not really in a talkative mood as he drifts around moodily. Maybe he has picked up on my doubts of having conversations with a disappearing cat and a wizard who isn’t really there.

Many people have the tendency to talk to themselves all the time, chronically, for everything. On the one hand, talking to yourself is like a social rehearsal that keeps interactions between people polite. In that way it can be very helpful to go over a situation or a conversation that you plan to have sometime in the future. On the other hand, if we find ourselves talking to ourselves for everything and all the time, it might be time to look at why we feel compelled to hear our own voice so often. Ultimately, talking to yourself or saying your thoughts out loud makes you responsible for something that has gone wrong in a given situation. It helps you put it out there in front of you and deal with it. Whether it’s negotiating a better compensation deal, moving through the aisles of the supermarket, or reaching for what you want, there are times when you want to make sure you are going to say the right thing or come to the best win-win solution. But there are other times when silence is gold.

“My client yesterday was a doctor who spoke like a little girl,” I go on telling the Wizard about my recent tarot readings. “And my client last week was a woman working at the KUL university. These are the kind of clients I want to attract. So far it’s one or two clients per week. Again a gap filler. But you think it can be comfortable? We’ll see. In any case I like doing this.”

Sometimes talking to yourself is like pretending that the other person in the equation is right there in front of you. Of course, it’s true that talking to somebody who isn’t there can simply be an innocuous way of defusing tension, especially if you are missing that person very much. However, if you find that you talk to this person all the time, you might want to look a little deeper and see where in your psyche that might be coming from. If it’s a pattern, breaking it may simply take some awareness and practice.

“Also wondering how on earth you can get a foot in Blockchain,” I muse over my recent research into cryptocurrencies. “It all seems so geeky nerdy and only accessible to a few high tech elite.”

The first step is observing yourself each time you turn to talk to yourself or your imaginary friend, without being hard on yourself about it. Throughout your day simply notice when you start talking into thin air. At first, you might be surprised to see that you do it even more than you first realized. After a day or two of simply observing, try to tune into what it is you are feeling right before you start talking. You might be feeling threatened, embarrassed, intensely anxious, or a variety of other feelings. Over time, try to stop yourself before the words come out and just be with the feeling that’s there. You may recognize it as one from your childhood, one that’s been with you for a long time. The more you are able to see it, the freer you will be not to blurt your unfiltered thoughts out into the world.

* Disclaimer : Any resemblance between the fictional characters in this story and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle by chance more than by choice.

How my mother reacted to my skin cancer

As the first sun rays of spring start inducing feelings of frivolity amongst my peers, it’s a time of extreme caution for me. I am a skin cancer survivor. I had a malignant melanoma and I fought the little bugger. For me, those first bursts of sunlight mean stocking up on sun cream, applying it religiously morning, midday and afternoon to my entire body. I’m blonde and no way am I going to get sun-napped.

I will always remember the day that I found out I had skin cancer. It was a beautiful day in spring and I was spending the week with my now ex-husband and our two littles at the seaside. Everything was going suboptimally perfect (remember, I am divorced for a reason) when my doctor called me on the phone with the bad news. Distraught, I reacted the way you shouldn’t react in these situations : I went and got drunk on mojitos all by myself in some cute little bar down by the beach. Yes I know, not proud.

So sitting there sipping my third mojito and already feeling quite light headed, I decided I needed some compassion.

 

“Why didn’t you call me?” Dorothy looks at me inquisitively.

“Because, darling…” I trail off. “I was quite distraught that day. Besides, I do believe I sent you a text message. Anyway, I called my mom.”

“You were looking for some compassion from your mom? Did you get it?” Dorothy knows all to well what the answer is to this question.

“No of course not. Are you surprised? She told me to call my Aunty in England.”

“Well as usual, she didn’t have a clue. Not much support to be expected from your mom. Nothing has changed much between then and now, has it?” Dorothy ponders.

“No in fact that’s right. Before I just pretended to be part of a close family and accepted that that meant to just shut up and be left to your own devices. Now I’ve made a stand and said I’m not interested in this deal. It stinks.”

“Yes, your mom burps way too much.” Dorothy adds. I ignore her. Where is that coming from?

“Funny thing was, next time I saw my mom, instead of her being concerned about my health or the possibility of losing her daughter, no… She pulled out my brother Billy-Bob and demanded I tell him to go see the doctor too. Just in case he had skin cancer. He’s blonde too you know.”

“She didn’t!” Dorothy cries incredulously.

“She did. I tells ya.” And I nod to her.

“Good riddance, darling. You don’t need that kind of crap when you’re dealing with life threatening stuff. Or otherwise.” Dorothy puts a comforting hand on my shoulder.

 

Now you all know me way too well to believe I would ever let any chapter of my life turn into a sob story. It didn’t. I didn’t let it. What I learned from this experience was to be self-reliant. It is great to have a support group around you. We all need to have cheerleaders at some parts along the journey. But at the end of the day, it’s all up to one person : how I manage to take care of me. The rest will follow.

I learned how to heal my body and reclaim my life

This didn’t happen over night. It took me a good five years to get my head around what works and what doesn’t. And the ingredients are really just plain common sense. It all boils down to one essential notion : taking self-care seriously.

  • Spirituality : I love to meditate. These moments are sacred in being at peace with myself and taking stock of everything that is happening in the busy chatter of my mind.
  • Nature : Going out for walks along the river, in the woods or down by the beach. Preferably with my kids. Inhaling the fresh air and letting go of stress.
  • Cooking : Stay away from processed foods. Buy fresh vegetables. Eat at least two pieces of fruit per day.
  • Children : Spend time with your children. Play with them.
  • Have fun : joy is utterly contagious and having fun must be taken very seriously.
  • Sport : I love yoga. Exercise is non-negotiable.
  • Sleep : Make sure you get your beauty sleep every night.

In fact, enjoying life to the fullest and taking care of yourself are paramount in a healthy lifestyle. Too often we forget we should be connecting with others, excelling at work and fulfilling your deepest desires. Take time to recharge your batteries. The simple things in life are all that you need.

So all in all, I am very grateful. Grateful that my mother did indeed rebuke me at that crucial moment in time, as it catapulted me into exploring new and creative ways to live my life better. I am so grateful and I love my mother very much, for she is the driving force behind my every action to be a healthy person. Life is wonderful.

 

What do you think ? What is zapping your energy, and which recipes for a healthy lifestyle work for you ? Let me know in the comments below.

Some selfish me-time

Darlings, I have so many confessions to make here. I’m selfish, especially when it comes to me-time. Every week I set aside a few hours just for me. I mainly use this much deserved time to go do yoga and meditation. And you know what, this keeps me sane.

I’ll admit there have been days when my kids have seen me running up the corridor in my house, screaming. Yes, you read that right. I have done that. Like any mom out there. It all got too much for me. There were kids crying. And kids demanding. And kids dropping things and making a mess. And then there was mama who was trying to cook a meal, empty the dishwasher ànd the washing machine, and send a few funny text messages, all at the same time. As I’ve said before : multi-tasking doesn’t work and super woman doesn’t exist.

That’s when I felt it. I felt an adult size tantrum coming on. It started somewhere in my belly and it blew up quickly all over my body and into my head. At that exact moment, you do have a choice. You do, dears. Please don’t start making poor excuses for yourself, or even worse, for the entire feminine race. No I won’t have it. Us women, we are in control of our emotions. Yes we are.

Just a little parenthesis here as Dorothy’s mom always claimed that women are such emotional beings and we cannot help but become hysteric at times. It’s part of our delicate condition as irrational beings. BS darlings. Honestly, big stinky BS. Dorothy’s mom is a lier. I can prove that too with hard facts : she burps too often. 

So where were we ? Ah yes, it’s the moment when you feel it is all too much. The moment you know something has to shift. And it normally does. This is the moment where you first carefully put the baby in his play pen so that he is safe. Then and only then can you give into a little rant, a bit of childish running around and screaming. Oh yes, it feels so good. And swing your arms around. Punch a pillow. Kick a ball. Stamp your feet in the grass. Yes, let it all out.

And afterwards ?

You come back into your core. I generally take some time to first tidy myself up. It helps me regain my self-image. I’ll also make a point of talking to my children. I’ll tell them something along the lines that it was all a bit too much for mama. That mama was trying to do too much and setting her expectations of herself far too high. I will also re-affirm each time how much mama loves her babies and that they are not to blame for mama blowing her whistle. These things happen, although they really shouldn’t. And if everybody helps a little, if everyone is just a little bit kinder and a little more thoughtful, then we can avoid these embarrassing moments of running down the corridor screaming.

Your support network

“What’s up, are you okay?” Dorothy has arrived at my door and puts a hand on my shoulder in a comforting manner.

“Oh yes, I’m fine now. I just had one of those moments where everything was overwhelming. You know what I mean.” And I look at her compassionately. “It’s really not okay though. I hate it when I shout when the kids are around.”

“I know, dear, I know.” Dorothy’s words are soothing. “Which is why I rushed over to see you.”

“What are you like, some kind of psychic?” I ask her inquisitively. It just occurred to me that I hadn’t asked her for help, but she just seemed to turn up kind of magically at the right moment.

“You sent me a text message which I didn’t quite understand.” Dorothy informs me with an avoiding look.

“I did ? What did I write ?” I ask her curiously.

“Oh I’m not going to repeat that in front of the kiddos, but I believe it was meant for your man. It’s really quite an intriguing message. Maybe you’ll tell me more about these jade eggs ?” Dorothy knows it’s not quite the moment to bring this up.

“We’re eating eggs tonight?” My eldest babe pipes up. Big ears, I tell you.

So you see peeps, this all goes to vie for several pearls of wisdom I have shared with you before :

  • Multi-tasking is for idiots. If you attempt it, you’ll end up doing nothing right. If you’re with your kids, you’re 100% with your kids. Not a little bit here and a little bit there.
  • When mama’s happy, then everyone thrives.

Therefore it is important to know your priorities. You can easily set aside just a couple of hours of quality me-time. I reserve two evenings per week for yoga sessions. And I aim to meditate at least twice a week. These simple practices allow me to replenish myself. To make sure I am continuously the best possible version of myself.

“Forget about those jade eggs, darling!” Dorothy is all bright eyed. “I think I know what you need…”

 

What do you think ? How much me-time to you allow yourself each week ? Let me know in the comments below.

Welcome to Meditation, you’ll like it here

Meditation is a practise I like to recommend to anyone who comes to me with a troubled mind. And believe me, loads of people out there are beating themselves up for not achieving this or that, or not being good enough in their own eyes. Stop it ! It’s time we showed some kindness, in the first place to ourselves. Meditation is a beautiful gift we can use to honour ourselves. Nothing is more attractive than the feeling of being with someone who exudes peace of mind.

Where 

Meditation is a state best achieved in a space where you feel comfortable, relaxed and safe. So choose your spot wisely. If you meditate at home, either you have a relaxing den where you are certain you will not be disturbed. This can be inside in your house, but great benefits also for meditation outside. Again the key to profound relaxation can be found in a place where you feel comfortable and safe.

When

Meditation can be done at any time of day whenever you feel a need for it, or if you have found some quality me-time. However, a regular practise is most beneficial for your mind, especially if you can meditate several times a week. First thing in the morning, or in the evening are your prime moments.

How 

Find your most comfortable position. This can be lying down in Savasana pose, or sitting up – cross-legged, back against the wall, hands loosely on the knees. Whatever feels good for you goes. Just make sure that your spine is straight so that the energy can circulate freely. You don’t want to be slouching.

Close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. Deep breaths in and out will calm down the rhythm of your body and also your mind. Focusing your mind on the sound of your breath will help you to become centred and to deepen your practise.

Now let go. This is the moment you are supposed to think of nothing. This is the moment when most people feel overwhelmed and want to abandon practise. Because how do you achieve nothingness ?

Tips and tricks

  1. Allow your thoughts to float up like leaves being blown up in the warm wind, but don’t grasp any individual thought. Just let them pass. You might notice at first that you do start to think about a certain subject as it pops up. That’s ok, we all do it. The trick is to just let it go the moment you realise you actually started to ponder on a certain thought. Some of my best ideas come to me in this state. It was already there deep inside of me, the answer to my questions. You already hold all the answers, you already know which path is best for you. Just let it come to you. It will eventually.
  2. Express gratitude. Another practise I have been taught by my friend Marta, is to call each and every person I know in my mind’s eye and to thank them for being part of your life and wish them well. Start with the people in your inner circle. For me, that’s my children and my partner. I will call their names and bless them, thank them for being part of my life, for being so amazing. I also include our pet cat, as he is part of our family and brings joy to our home. As I send love to each person, I visualise a ball of light I am holding in my hands. This energy becomes bigger and brighter as I keep sending out my love. Next I will call upon the children of my partner, his parents, the fathers of my children, their partners, their parents. After that I continue to enlarge my circle to friends and family and anyone whom I met that day. I will finally end my practise by thanking even people I don’t know. By that time my energy heart is huge, a ball of lights all interconnected. So beautiful. I then release this back out to the universe and watch it float up and out. This is my way of paying it forward. Give it a try, you might be amazed.
  3. There are several guided meditations I can recommend you try. This is personal and what works for me might not work for you. You have to find a voice and style which suits you. Find out if it’s male or female, or just a certain vibration. Some meditation apps are just music or nature sounds. Again whatever works for you is good here.

Guided meditations

Things I love listening to and which totally do it for me :

  • Lilian Eden : her voice is soft and deep. Her words manage to carry me to places belonging to my imagination. Places where I can heal.
  • Deepak Chopra : this man is a godsend. He has several apps you can find on the AppStores, on Youtube and a website. I also recommend his audio books. Fantastic. Do try as it will change your inner core and strengthen your sanity.
  • Group meditations. Now this is something else because when you meditate in a group, you eventually all start vibrating on the same channel which makes your entire practise so much stronger. In my hometown Keerbergen, there is a wonderful lady called Jeanine who guides us. Furthermore I enjoy healing sound meditations by Jozef Drum.

If you are able to maintain this habit by meditating for 20 to 30 minutes daily, you will be able to face life with peace and spiritual strength. Your mind will likely become calmer and more  focused.

— Mechelen, Belgium (May 2017)