How often have we said that to young people, our own children with a combination of excitement and maybe a feeling of regret that when you actually have a whole life ahead of you, you don ́t appreciate it as much as when half your life, is technically, behind you.
Personally I feel as if my entire life has been a dress rehearsal for the phase that I am in now. I am now 47 and I love knowing what I know now, recognizing what I feel and feeling gratitude for what I have.
I have been very lucky to have been born in this part of the world
Lucky? For sure. I have been very lucky to have been born in this part of the world into a loving family where I felt safe and inspired to contribute to the greater good, whatever that is. But nothing comes without effort and dedication. My parents put effort and dedication into their life so that I could build on that and understand the importance.
As a young child I remember looking at the news or documentaries about people living in hardship and feeling that I wanted to do something. It would actually not leave my system but I was not sure what that “something” could be. Surely going to Africa (as a metaphor of hardship) on my own was not going to change the world or significantly help anyone?
During one of our girlfriend inspiration dinner events one of my friends said something that stuck with me ever since. She said she admired the way I analysed situations and changed things if they were not working to a system that did work. Ofcourse. Never thought about that twice when I did it. Working with something that doesn ́t work is definitely not something that I do. Ofcourse I give it my best, look at it from all directions and tweek but if that doesn ́t do the trick or no longer inspires, get out and try something different. Don ́t let it drag you down to a state where you see no exit.
if you use it for all the details the big things take care of themselves.
Although that might sound quite dramatic, I actually use the philosophy for a lot of small things too. Even the usefulness of a kitchen drawer or the list of family chores that gets forgotten. In fact, I would almost dare say, that if you use it for all the details the big things take care of themselves.
I have thought about all this a lot over the last years. Moving countries and starting all over again with the entire family is a fantastic opportunity to reset, think over and evaluate. Of prioritizing effort and dedication to bring out the best in ourselves and feeling confident that that will bring strength and inspiration for life projects that we all have.
Moving to a village where you know nobody and have no history can be daunting. However, via internet I met my current friends and colleagues and I built up an inspirational network of people. It was an old friend who inspired me to keep a record of our first experiences of moving back to our “home” country after almost 30 years which eventually turned into a blog and awakened my passion for writing. A new friend introduced me to teaching yoga which turned out to be the motor of my current inspiration.
I have a long list of individuals in my life that have changed my way of thinking, my view on life, my possibilities and my dreams.
I now know that an individual can make a difference. I have a long list of individuals in my life that have changed my way of thinking, my view on life, my possibilities and my dreams.
I hope that I have contributed in some way to others in the same meaningful way.
If there is one thing that I aspire to for this community it is that we wake up every morning with that consciousness.The understanding that we are ALL in the position to make a difference in someones life.
That it is our responsability to do so. We have the rest of our life ahead of us.
How to start your own online creative business & not go mad in the process.
After years of running a medical practice with my partner we threw caution to the wind and started all over again in what used to be our home country 30 years prior.
You can read more HERE, but basically, for me it meant that I had the freedom to find a new career. Having had our own business before, we have always been entrepreneurs but we did have to be somewhere at a given time to attend to our patients and we couldn´t leave until they were all seen to. Needless to say, holidays need to be booked far in advance and you can never be sick.
My new life was initially filled with finding my way around our new home town. Helping our children get settled in to school and organising their new sports & extra curricular activities. I also met a young Somali woman with her daughter who I helped settle in to Holland and speak the language. I felt at times we were sisters in arms trying to find our new identity. Although she clearly had the rougher deal.
For lack of a social life, Twitter was my best friend for those first months.
For lack of a social life, Twitter was my best friend for those first months. It was a great way to find inspiration for new initiatives, meet people working on interesting projects and contact businesses for possible job opportunities.
It soon became apparent that, in spite of being trilingual, a business owner, hard worker, life learner, leader, having had a university education, initiative, amazing social skills AND a sense of humour that my age seemed to work against me. Not that anybody ever told me that but I did have to draw that conclusion for lack of anything else that made sense.
In all honesty I should add that I only applied to jobs that I thought I could do without being suicidal within a week -which rules out supermarket cashier and bookkeeping- but I even responded to receptionist & bookstore sales positions. So no arrogance on my part.
After a couple of months of attempts and feeling more useless by the day (interesting how people that have no clue can have that effect on you) I decided it was time for a new route.
I have always been fascinated by people doing things differently and I made it my mission to find & meet people working on alternative projects. Varying from people starting their own social movement, organic farming, new education methods, yoga centers, online business models & happy ideas.
Speaking of which -business models that is- I had none and I had no idea where it was going but have learned to trust my intuition on times like these and besides, there wasn´t much of an alternative.
It is only fair to add that in the meantime we could afford to eat and have a roof over our head by partly living off our savings and because my partner´s profession is needed everywhere in the world. As a way to contribute my part of the deal in our family I made it my mission to challenge myself to finding a way to be the perfect (house)wife and mother and spread happiness in the process. I love making healthy meals and having a happy organized home so it is not much of a sacrifice on my part. You only need to get used to everybody getting used to it and finding it very normal :) My yoga practice helps to find daily gratitude even in silly things and a nice glass of wine now and then takes care of the rest.
My findings, meetings and insights turned into a personal blog. I approached newspapers, online opinion magazines and used social media to spread my message. I had no commercial intentions just an insatiable hunger for knowledge and understanding. I became guest blogger for various online blogs, ASN Bank as one of the better known ones in the Netherlands.
I guess I always figured that if you get it, that´s great and if you don´t that´s too bad.
When people asked me what I did I didn´t feel “blogging” really covered it but for lack of a better description usually left it at that. I have never been very good at making myself sound interesting. I guess I always figured that if you get it, that´s great and if you don´t, that´s too bad.
It will not come as a surprise to you that Chris Guillebeau´s “A brief guide to world domination - How to live a remarkable life in a conventional world" filled me with joy. My first feeling was: I am not alone in my unconventional strategies! immediately followed by: what is the next move?
I was right. My intuition led me to where I am now and it was for a reason that it took me three years to get here.
I am now not only ready to tackle what it takes to profile myself online but, more importantly, my incorporated yogic life will make sure I stick to my priorities.
Freedom in structure is vital but so it structure in freedom.
Being a solo online entrepreneur has so many advantages, of which freedom is the most important one to me. Freedom in form is vital but so is form in freedom.
Freedom without form brings chaos which is deadly for a creative flow and peace of mind. Without a creative flow or peace of mind you will start to feel desperate and non productive. Structure only works if it´s structural which means a part of your every day. Your morning routine, your working time, your family time, you need to have it all figured out.
It all comes down to healthy habits, commitment to enjoying the journey and hard work. Everyday. Go with the flow, do the work and follow the magic.
Are you also a creative solo entrepreneur and do you feel you have more to give?
Subscribe here if you want to join me on the journey.