Posts Tagged With: happy

Looking back after 3 years in Kiwiland



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.


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.




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

I am (NOT YET) a Successful Yogini

Often if I tell a stranger that I am teaching yoga. The conclusion is drawn quickly; then you are probably very flexible and relaxed. Yes and no. In certain poses I can appear more flexible than average, while in other poses I can look more stiff than average. The better question is flexible compared to whom? There will always be people who are less flexible and people who are more flexible. So why not just stop comparing ourselves with other yogis and yoginis who have different bodies and are on completely different journey.

And no, you don’t have to be flexible at all to practice yoga. Sometimes a stiffer body is way better, since your body will let you know clearly when you are going too far/too deep. A stif(fer) body can make you feel more humble and grateful as well. Full lotus pose in headstand is not on your goal list, instead you just want to feel better in your body and relief your ache muscles.

A relaxed and calm person? Oh yes, I definitely am if I am on a holiday with loved ones and having nothing to worry about. No seriously, my close friends and family won’t define me as a relaxed person. While I can appear calm and focused on the outside, as soon as you start to know me better you realize that I am a normal human being who probably stresses slightly more than average. This is one of the reasons why I started practicing yoga at the first place.

Does this make me less of a perfect yogini? Again you could ask yourself compared to whom am I more stressed? What really matters to me is how my yoga practice makes me feel. What do I experience? What do I feel? How is my yoga practice helping me to discover who I really am.

That is why a home practice can be such a wonderful learning experience. I have only myself to deal with. If no one else is watching how does my practice look like? Do I nurture and nourish my body, mind and soul? Through my own personal practice I start to feel more grounded and more connected to my authentic self.

These strong roots allow me to practice with others while maintaining a connection with my inner truth and the signals of my body and mind. In this way, we can use a yoga class as a way to connect with others while keeping our own connection. In that way we truly become one.

While trying to define how a successful yoga practice looks or feels like, I first started to write down what it doesn’t mean to me;

–          You have been meditating (in an isolated cave) for (a couple of) years.

–          You are able to do that perfect difficult ………………… (to be filled in by you) pose which could be used as the cover photo of the Yoga Journal

–          You look like a super model and/or have achieved your ideal body composition

–          You’re always happy and everyone is your friend

–          You’re never mean to others or yourself

–          You are a vegan/vegetarian

–          You are drinking green juices

–          You don’t have a television

–          You practice yoga/asanas EVERY DAY

–          Your alignment is ‘perfect’

–          Your Sanskrit is fluent

–          You ‘AUM’ everywhere and everyday

–          ‘Namaste’ is your new “hi, how’re you doing?”

–          ………. ( to be filled in by your own critical self)

For me being a successful yogi/yogini means you are able to change your life, attitude and relationships in a positive way. It means you are making progress with moving towards living your authentic self 99.9% of the time. You don’t pretend you are better or worse than others. You are just you and you dare to show yourself to the world. You realize you are unique and there is only one person like you in the world. And that is real awesomeness!

PS: This has been writing while I was on a positive relaxed feminine high. So no, I am not there yet and still working and I will keep on working to be me and to let go of the labels I stick to myself on how I should look like, how I should dress, how I should eat, how I should behave and how I should feel. And I realize I am already perfect with all my beautiful imperfections. Let’s reach out to others and work together to make this world a more beautiful & positive place.


Perfect imperfect yogini


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

I wish you…..


A Wonderful Christmas filled with Laughter & Love, 

And an amazing, inspirational, healthy, happy, surprising, enjoyable 2014! 🙂

Be Healthy, Be You!



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Comparing yourself….

Everyone is special and unique in their own way

Everyone is special and unique in their own way

My lesson for today: stop comparing myself with others as a way towards happiness; Happy with myself and my life.

And if I do compare:


Categories: Happiness, Inspiration | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

In between Outbursts of Happiness and Emotional Hangovers

Loving Happiness

Loving Happiness

Welcome in my crazy ever-changing world. Lately I have moments I’m feeling overwhelmed by happiness. I cannot remove that smile from my face and feel so unbelievable grateful for my life and myself. There is not a clear reason why this state of happiness suddenly arises. It just is and I let it be.

And then, the next moment my world starts to tumble and I arrive in a negative dark world. It feels like I’m kicked off the top of the mountain back into the valley. I’m an expert in crying and can do that for a couple of hours with some dry breaks in between (I should look for the Guinness World of Records for crying one day). After a while my head starts to ache and feels heavy because of all the tears. I go to bed with this heavy head of mine and wake up with the feeling of a hangover. Often, there is a clear happening that brings me into this sad place. Afterwards, I often feel ashamed; why have I made such a big drama of most often something little. I feel sorry for my partner who I pulled into the drama with me.

Crying is good?!

Crying is good?!

While in Africa, I had my crying moments as well. There I learned it is not acceptable to cry unless someone died or your house burnt down. It is a sign of a weak person. I agree there are many persons who have way more reasons to cry compared with my Western comfortable life. Though, I don’t think it is a necessary a bad thing to do; it is an outlet of your emotions, what is natural – just have a look at children to confirm that.

For sure, I’ll never be that super emotionally stable person, but always will continue to experience ups and downs. That is all right and I can live with that. My personal learning curve at the moment is to balance my life a bit more – including my emotions.  I’ll make the same mistakes over and over again, till I learn and grow. With hindsight, I’m grateful for the confrontations life faces me with. It allows me to develop myself and get to know myself more and more. I feel grateful for all the gurus who appear into my life in the most unexpected circumstances and appearances and who provide me with the most inspiring advice and comments.

There is so much to be grateful for and happy about. Let’s bow our heads and smile.

Enjoy your smile

Enjoy your smile

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Real Life Yoga

Early morning yoga

Early morning yoga

Sunday morning 6:45 am, I crawl out of bed, since the rooster woke me up and the window without curtains reveals the upcoming day. Also, I’m still in my working rhythm and not able to sleep after 7 am anymore. So let’s practice some yoga then, is the conclusion of my mind. I feel tired, drained and a bit dizzy. I’m probably hungry already –since we didn’t have a big dinner last night – and grab some soya milk and orange juice, my favorite mix drink. Let’s do a toilet stop as well. Okay enough procrastination now; let’s do what you love: YOGA! I start by lying down on my back and easing myself into some movement after a long night sleep. I practice several hamstring stretches, twists and child’s pose. I don’t really feel like doing a vigorous practice this morning, so I promise myself to listen to my body and take it easy. My partner is still lying in bed, trying to have some more sleep and rest. ‘Why am I doing yoga again?’ – is the question that pops up in my mind. The answer arrives straight away: ‘Since you have to do yoga every day. You’re starting your Teacher’s Training soon, so you need to get serious about your own practice.’ I remind myself about the big difference between a yoga student and a yoga teacher. A yoga teacher don’t have to go to class, since a teacher has established a regular home practice. On the contrary, a yoga student needs a teacher to practice yoga. Most famous and inspiring yoga teachers practice yoga every day themselves, so I should at least follow their example. Nevertheless, I end up back in bed to cuddle with my partner. I share my thoughts with him and he replies: “Today you will practice ‘Real Life Yoga’. These words calm me down immediately. ‘Real Life Yoga’ sounds perfect to me. Why should I be so hard on myself? Yoga is about listening to your body and not about following your endless mind chatter.

Sometimes I can't sit still...

Sometimes I can’t sit still

I have just started reading a book about emotional yoga and read a perfect quote; ‘You are not responsible for your emotions, but you can take responsibility for your moods.’ Or with other words are you going to hold on to an emotion or are you going to experience it fully and then let it go? My mood can go up and down quite a bit. I can feel enormously grateful & happy at days and another moment I can feel extremely sad and worthless. I have the habit to run around like a headless chicken, trying to finish all my tasks as soon as possible. I have little patient and struggle to sit still. Therefore I’m easily stressed or agitated. Yoga is perfect for me. It allows me to connect with my body, to slow down, to breathe and to feel. My focus is on experiencing my emotions and let go with the result of balancing my moods. Life is a great teacher.


Feeling stressed? Try Yoga.

Feeling stressed? Try yoga

Categories: Inspiration, Sharing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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