Posts Tagged With: contentment

Looking back after 3 years in Kiwiland

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Stubborn Adventure

Stubborn, sensitive and impatient, these characteristics are all known to me. I see them as strengths, they have brought me where I am today: New Zealand. Three years ago, I stepped on a plane to follow my heart with two suitcases filled with clothes and shoes. What else do you need? I said goodbye to my dear family and friends. My mum was crying, I wasn’t this time, since after being separated for six months; I was finally going to see my love again. All the preparations were finished, I was going to step on a plane and start a new adventure. I couldn’t wait! A one-year-try out, that was the plan. We had hardly been together since the first time we met. He went off to China and I went off to Africa. After 4 months I finally came back in The Netherlands and in the meantime he had booked his one-way ticket to New Zealand. We fell in love anyway and enjoyed our time together for the next two months. In the midst of a starting relationship, when the butterflies are abundant and the love is intense, we had to say goodbye. He had made his decision to go back to his beloved New Zealand, a final short love affair would be a good way to end all his years in Holland, was the thought in the back of his mind. I don’t think he realised he was dating a pretty stubborn young lady, who was going to follow her heart, no matter where that would lead her.

Sensitive Challenge

Three years later, we have bought a house and I am teaching yoga and guiding people through inner Journey. I could never have imagined my life would be like this, if you would have asked me five years ago. I exchanged my pushbike for a car and my apartment for a spacious home with a bit of land, chickens and a veggie garden. I exchanged my busy life for a more back to earth relaxing lifestyle. My birthday is now in the middle of ‘winter’ and Christmas is celebrated on the beach. I have exchanged the plenty of good shopping opportunities in Holland for plenty of beautiful quiet beaches in Northland. Lots of change and challenge have appeared for this sensitive soul and will still appear. When I was in my teenage years, I decided to get my driver license as the first one of my sisters. My parents were a bit surprised, their sporty, spiritual, environment friendly daughter was going to get a driver license? Most of the time in my childhood we were without a car, we did everything by bicycle. I really treasure those memories, of our special cosy family. I have never been a fan of driving a car, although I really love my car now, especially on a rainy cold day, so I stay warm and dry. My one secret reason to get my license, was the idea I had in the back of my mind: working in the midst of Africa doing development work and driving around in a jeep. I imagined myself making a real difference to the world, and to truly assist others living a better/happier/healthier life.

Finally feeling and finding love

After several trips to Africa, my eyes opened. Do I really make a difference? Why do I want to make a difference? Do I want to boost my ego? I realized I had so much more work to do on myself, before I was truly able to assist others. The people I met on my trips appeared to look more joyful and happy than the average European. Who needs to learn from whom? I realised that I was trying to do good, while my inner world was rumbling: insecure and restless. If you haven’t connected with the peace, quietness and contentment within you, how are you going to create more contentment in the world, outside you? The Journey was extremely helpful for me to live a more joyful, happy, content and truthful life. One of my last trips to Africa involved Journey Outreach: this was a rewarding, fun, challenging and interesting time. Doing journey work while in the so-called developing countries and my beloved Africa, would be the perfect combination. While occupied with travelling and where to go and live, my love suddenly arrived. As impatient as I am, I had been longing for romantic love for a long time and had written down plenty of pages in my diary on how my ideal partner would look like, behave and so on. I often doubted if I would ever meet the right guy. I promised myself, I would rather stay by myself than choose for a relationship that didn’t feel 100% truthful, fulfilling and happy.

Togetherness

We have learnt and experienced so much together. I can’t imagine living apart anymore. So yes, I would recommend everyone to follow your heart, no matter how scary, unknown, uncertain or awkward that might be. If you really trust your heart, your life will be an amazing journey. My uncertainty and doubts about work has completely disappeared when I decided to teach yoga and meditation. I feel immense grateful to be able to share my passion to follow your heart and live the life of your dreams. I believe that if I can assist in creating more inner peace in myself and others, I truly make a difference in the world. It is rewarding and so empowering to do and live your passion. My dear friends in Africa, I haven’t forgotten about you. My intention is to promote a more mindful way of living to benefit the whole world. Yes, I dream big. I hope to arrive again on African soil one day; to integrate my practice on and off my yoga mat. As a thank you for how Africa taught me to slow down, to appreciate the little things in life, to truly live like we are all connected as ONE.

I deeply bow to all the teachers in my life, especially to one of the most inspiring, wise, empowering and enormously missed woman in my life: my mum.

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Categories: Freedom, Happiness, Inspiration, Sharing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home is where the heart is

 

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Three weeks ago we moved into our first home. Exciting times. Scary times. I realized I went into a business mode; keep myself occupied with packing, preparation and at times just running around without a clear purpose. When I finally had the courage, I took the time to stand still and actually feel my anxiety, my nerves. My analysing mind didn’t really understand why? You are still staying in the same town, the same country, with the same partner, with the same job and same friends and family nearby. Why am I nervous at all? For me that is exactly the scary thing; everything stays the same with boredom around the corner. Owning my own home, feels extremely serious, grown-up and indefinite. The last ten years of my life has been full of travelling, change, meeting new people, change of jobs, change of countries and cities. That is what I am naturally drawn to; adventure and excitement. After a therapy session with a friend, it became really clear to me, that I have always been on the run; looking for new adventures, creating new excitement. I never really settled anywhere, because that for me is really scary. Moving to the other side of the world and starting a new life isn’t that scary. And now I am truly settling here; own home, car, chickens, veggie garden. Who ever thought that? When I was young I told myself I am going to travel the world for the rest of my life and live from a backpack, no need to settle. If I look back, I can see clearly I was always on the run for my own fears, even in my dreams. From the outside, people thought I was fearless and dare to do everything. From within, however, I was full of anxiety, insecurity and nerves often about the small things in life that was for me scarier.

And honestly after the first stress and nerves of moving, it actually feels DAMN good! Having your own safe haven, own home feels wonderful! Together we can create a place we truly feel comfortable. It feels nurturing, grounding and I just don’t want to leave home anymore! I feel supported and I am better able to handle the tough outside world after being charged by being at home. I never imagined it to be like this. The last couple of days, I have been feeling very grounded, centred and content, as if I am finally start to root and arrive HOME. Our home and my partner truly give me the feeling I am taken care of. I am nurtured, supported, loved. As if for the first time, I start to feel very comfortable in my body and my life, feeling a deep sense of contentment. The urgent need to do, compare, compete and accomplish slowly start to diminish. I realize I have also started to take better care of myself, allow myself to sleep in and rest without judging myself for being lazy. I allow myself to relax, enjoy and don’t mind so much if I have a less productive day. There is no urgent need to DO anymore. There is just this perfect moment, where I can hang out and chill and Be.

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The Vishuddha Chakra

The Vishuddha Chakra is the fifth energy center and is referred to as the throat chakra. The fifth chakra is located in the throat region and communication, truth and self-expression are associated with this chakra. Vishuddha means ‘purifier’ and forms the gateway to the chakras devoted to spirituality. It governs your ability to discriminate between right and wrong, speak the truth and give your dreams ‘a voice’. This chakra also deals with creativity, learning to take responsibility for your own needs, confession, faith, self-knowledge and intuition. The associated colour is blue and the element is the space or ether. The sense related to the fifth chakra is hearing. The glands, organs or body parts associated with the Vishuddha chakra are the throat, (para)thyroid gland, trachea, cervical vertebrae, vocal cords, neck, shoulder, arms, hands, esophagus, mouth, teeth, eyes, ears and sinuses.

Throat chakra symbol

Throat chakra symbol

Blocked fifth Chakra

If your fifth energy center is blocked, you can feel anxious about how other people will react to your views and therefore it is difficult to speak your truth. You may also be unable to listen to others and to your own higher self. This can result in a lack of personal expression, creativity and faith, difficulties in decisions making, and addictions. If your throat chakra is obstructed, you can develop several communication difficulties such as lack of tact, timing and expression and finding it difficult to maintain a balance between speaking and listening. Excessive talking, inability to listen, hearing difficulties, stuttering and a fear of speaking may all be signs of an out of balance throat chakra. Physical problems which may be associated with a blocked fifth chakra are thyroid dysfunctions, throat ailments, stiff neck, shoulder tension, teeth grinding, jaw disorders, mouth ulcers, gum or tooth problems, scoliosis and swollen glands. There could be lumps or tumors on the vocal chords and you may experience trouble swallowing. A person who talks very softly and a person who talks loud and boisterous can both indicate an out of balance fifth chakra. This energy center can be damaged by all that passes through the throat including, lying, gossip, alcohol, smoking, drugs and overeating.

Do you live your truth?

Do you live your truth?

Balanced Vishuddha chakra

If your Vishuddha chakra is balanced, you are easily able to communicate with others and you are able to express the truth without worrying about what others may think. A healthy throat chakra allows you to connect with your inner guidance and to live your truth in daily life through creative and positive self expression. You are able to give and receive the truth and are in touch with your playfulness, joy and innocence. Through constructive communication, contentment, centeredness, wisdom and conscious listening you are able to reach the peak of your creativity and inspiration. So what to do to balance this chakra? Purification is a key word in terms of opening the throat chakra with the aim of achieving sensitivity needed for the subtler upper chakras. You can attain purification through a healthy diet, yoga, meditation and exercise among others. Other ways towards an open and healthy fifth chakra are literally opening up to your thoughts and emotions (including releasing past emotions), speak and live the truth, stimulate your creativity and deep breathing exercises. Become aware of all the thoughts you don’t express and the moments you don’t speak the truth. Breath in some courage to express your innermost beliefs and speak words that come directly from your heart. A healthy Vishuddha chakra will result in a fulfilling life and a true connection with yourself. You will be an excellent listener, speaker and/or writer and often able to inspire others.

Yoga

Yoga is a perfect way to purify the body and mind and thereby opening up the fifth chakra. Postures that are balancing this chakra are neck stretches and shoulder openers like Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand), Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), Halasana (Plow Pose), Ustrasana (Camel Pose) and Matysasana (Fish Pose). The sounds of the Ujayii breath (Victory Breath), chanting and Simhasana (Lion Pose) can also be helpful to balance the Vishuddha chakra.

Shoulderstand

Shoulderstand

Towards balance

So besides speaking the truth and expressing yourself clearly and honestly what else can you do to clear your throat chakra? You could for example write in a journal to express your feelings and thoughts. The challenge is to start writing at a deeper level: ‘What really needs to be said or heard?’ Singing, humming or chanting with your true voice can also be helpful to open up your fifth chakra. Another challenge: try to listen to someone with your whole being and complete presence for at least five minutes and then change roles. Try not to interrupt each others or provide feedback through facial expression, just be and listen. And at last, read and say this wonderful healing blessing:

“May you hear and speak truth. May your life and your creations express the fullness of who you are. May you know ever deeper levels of truth.”

Express yourself through singing

Express yourself through singing


For more inspiration go the following website about two people who follow their dreams and the dreams of others:

I Believe That Dreams Can Come True

Categories: Chakra, Inspiration, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Santosa

As, I wrote earlier aparigraha is one of my favourite yamas lately. Aparigraha is linked with santosa, logically I consider santosa as one of my favourite niyamas. Santosa can be translated into contentment of life the way it is. It involves a state of self-acceptance and understanding that wherever you are that is where you are supposed to be. Yogis call it Karma – accepting that there is a purpose for everything, even for the challenges and obstacles in your life. It includes being happy with what you have rather than being unhappy about what you do not have. It requires willingness to enjoy what each day brings including embracing the difficult moments. I find it relatively easy to practise contentment while sitting in the sunshine with my lovely partner and enjoying the amazing sea view. But what about the challenging times in life? A couple of months ago, I was about to go to a job interview, when the car broke down and there was no other transport available. I find it hard to keep calm, content and peaceful if I am in the midst of a situation like that. Though, afterwards I can usually see the gift of a difficult event. In this case, I was not really enthusiastic about the job interview in the first place and soon another job opportunity arose.

For most of us, the deepest contentment comes at those moment when you feel at ease, happy and in flow with life. If you are conscious of these moments, you can strengthen the feelings of contentment for longer periods. This consciousness can be the start of greatly enjoying the simple things in life; drinking a cup of tea with your mother, breathing the fresh air while going for a morning walk or watching the birds flying around a tree. This creates an opportunity to experience life more intensely and deeply in the moment. If this state of contentment becomes a familiar place, you can return to this state of mind every time, even if you are surrounded by chaos and disharmony.

Practicing gratefulness is a form of santosa. The realization of all the good things you have in life – fresh air, a roof over your head, food on your plate, surrounded by lovely people – will increase your contentment. You can start practising contentment by accepting yourself truly and wholly exactly the way you are; praise your skills, characteristics and achievements. Followed by accepting persons you meet on your life’s journey. Practising santosa will lead you to true inner freedom wherever you are and whatever you do.

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Namaste!

My love & passion for yoga has been growing enthusiastically since my arrival in New Zealand in September last year. Not strange, if you realize how much has changed in my life in the past year. These changes cause a strong need in me for more self confidence, relaxation, acceptation and contentment. Yoga stimulate these qualities in me. The thought to follow the same path as my mum by completing a Yoga Teachers Training comes more alive and present. I would love to share my yoga journeys, experiences and realizations with you.

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