openness

Advent Calendar – December 24, 2019

Advent Calendar – December 24, 2019

December 24, 2019
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This was my first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa (and whatever trips I’ve made to northern Africa were 40+ years ago; water under the bridge!) and even though I wouldn’t claim to be extremely well-traveled, I’ve been to plenty a European country, to Thailand and Malaysia, to India quite a few times while working on a project a decade ago, and to North America.

There’s a feeling to each country I’ve visited. Sometimes open. Warm. Smiling and welcoming. Informal. Sometimes distancing. Reserved. Formal. The warmth and openness of the Kenyan people struck me;  no time during the trip had I any sense that I should keep my distance, avoid looking into eyes, laugh or touch. Not at all. Quite the opposite.

Walking down a narrow trail in the Seven Forks area to visit Simon Mulli, partner farmer of Better Globe, me and Lena came upon two women with babies. We stopped. Communicated wordlessly; gestures, smiles, winks. We asked May we take your picture? without actually voicing the question, and got a positive reply in return. I brought my Nikon to my eye, looked through the viewfinder, and was mesmerized by the piercing gaze that met me there.


Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: https://betterglobe.com/27216 

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Slow down. Ease up.

February 16, 2019
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As I walked through the door, exclaiming my back is killing me, D picked up on the message. When we sat down to work with the pain, he asked me: What did you feel as you stepped through the door?

I didn’t really have an answer, so he asked if I wanted to hear his impression. Yes, please tell me, I responded. What else could I say, being a Curious George and all that…

So he said, slow down. That’s the message I got, to slow down. Ease up a little. 

I’ve carried the message with me, this past week, using it as a baseline to reflect on what I am doing, in which areas, and how it all serves me. Or doesn’t, for that matter.

Coming to a realization that for quite some time I’ve been pushing all my own buttons. At the same time. Working on all areas, simultaneously. Pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone… no, that’s untrue. I’ve been pushing against the boundaries of my stretch zone, going dangerously into the red snap zone… in many, if not all, areas of life.

I realized, as I took in the message I was sending but not picking up on, that I don’t have to work in all areas, everywhere, all the time. It is not only reasonable but actually wise, to heed the advice of the master of self-care, Pop the cat. Let myself rest, consolidate, push fewer buttons, letting come that which wants to come, given that I let go of that which has done its job.

So I breathe in. Hold it, for a few seconds. Then… exhale, letting go of a bit of the urge within, to be done. Knowing it’s not at the finishing line the reward of this journey lies. It is the journey itself. That is the reward. The growth. The expansion. The learning. That which is life. Living it. Loving it. Letting go to let come, and reveling in each twist and turn, each nook and cranny, falling through internal trap doors, one after the other. All the while being open. And gentle. Knowing my gentleness towards myself is that which ensures the openness, the willingness, the ability to step without hesitation into the next inch of the unknown.

As a direct result of the reflective process of this past week, I honored myself today.
Saying No to others. Saying Yes to me.
Slowing down. Easing up.

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Advent Calendar 5 – Find in ME?

December 5, 2018
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When I stopped banging myself over the head on the inside, my life shifted. Gradually starting to see that the harsh voices on the inside weren’t necessarily the Truth, and learning to speak more gently to myself, made a world of difference.

It also enabled me meeting myself, as well as you. Because I was no longer afraid to meet myself, neither the light nor the darkness, it gave me the opening to truly meet people. And I am quite adamant that these meetings take place both with me meeting me as well as others. They are both significant – as I can mirror myself in all kinds of meetings.

I talked about this in my Facebook-live of the day, and a few hours later, Vanessa of Crafting Connections posted this image.

What might I find in ME when I meet YOU?

Synchronicity. I never stop being amazed at the synchronicities of the world around me – and the more aware I get of myself and my surroundings, the more synchronicity I spot.

This question is one I bring with me, but softly, like music playing in the background. Not in-your-face, but off in the distance. When I do my CoachWalks I have this question with me as well. Never as a goal in and of itself, because my CoachWalks are for my clients, so what I might find in me when meeting them is not something I have as a focal point – but it’s definitely something I am open to, being curious with an openness for what wants to happen. This openness I find benefits my clients as well, as it means I can pick up on minute shifts, both within me and them, that might very well be just what wants to be discovered in the moment.

To think… none of this might have occurred to me had I not stopped knocking myself over the head with a shovel. 


Advent Calendar 2018 – number 5 of 24 – on the theme of being gentle.

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