Wednesday, August 21, 2019

How to do a come-back with confidence

Hello my lovelies,

I am back. After almost a year. I needed a break. 2019 has easily been the most important and challenging year in my life. But that is material for a different blog post.
For the ones that read my blog before you will probably recall that I got into a new job last year October.

Unfortunately I developed a burn-out, resulting in me staying home since February.
Then I would have plenty of time to write, you'd say?
Trust me that I felt like I didn't want to.
Being in a burn out is like living in a haze. You are confused to where it began, why it began and when it will end.
If I was going to get back into blogging, I wanted to have something positive to say as well. Not just be a serial complain gal.

For some reason I woke up this morning and felt an inspirational shift in me.

I can't explain or grasp where it comes from, but I feel very grateful and humbled.
As you know from my posts, I view inspiration as energy. I am excited it came knocking on my door this morning. I am not going to ask why. I am just going to do the job inspiration wants me to.

So here is my guide on how to do a come-back with confidence:

Get into something you like, anything!

It was hard for me to gather up the energy to be consistent in doing something I like.
I was afraid that through the middle of it, I would just leave whatever I was doing and drop it. I allowed fear to mingle with my available energy.
But then it happened!
I realized how much fun I used to have cooking for my neighbours. There is a Dutch community where you can share your homemade meals online and offer them at ingredient price to locals. I started doing this again. With the positive feedback I've been getting, I have been gradually noticing how uplifted I feel by doing this.
It was unrelated to blogging, but it has helped so much.

This has lead me to my next step.

Re-read your old posts.

I was going through my own blog this morning. I noticed a HUGE shift between my very first posts and the latest ones. I have honestly improved so much and I really got consistent and into it. Reading the comments that people left made me feel really happy and excited.

Engage with inspiration

The thing that I will invite you to do is open up your creative inspiration again.
I did this by using a written affirmation that I looked at daily.
I now invite inspiration and creativity back into my life. I am ready.Repeat it, believe it, and feel it. Trust that it will come. Be sure that you keep a notebook close to you to write down any ideas.

Embrace and park your fear

But what about that little naggy voice? "You've been away for a while, do you think that people will even remotely be interested in what you're gonna have to say?"
I did a post on this before, which can be read
here  I say: thank you for doing your job and trying to keep me safe, but I'm going to do it anyway.
Remember that fear does not get to drive your creative mind! Have the confidence that you will do well and keep affirming this to yourself.

Do it

Now get to action. Get writing, get sharing, get back into the community.
Remember to be gentle on yourself.
Do it with joy, be excited, love it.
You know that you got this!

Did you ever do a comeback to the blogging community?
What steps helped you get back in there?


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Why it is OKAY to love yourself


There has been a lot of awareness around loving yourself. You see it everywhere. From Youtube to Twitter, in books and magazines.
I see and know many people who struggle with their self confidence.
We live in a western society where there is a clear image of how men and women should be. Advertised through magazines and movies.
We want to identify with those people and so we put the high standards to achieve that.
There's also this strange thing going on that companies want to hire young and experienced people.
There's people that feel anxious whether they ever get a job that suits them. They don´t feel good enough.
Next to that Social Media plays a big role in feelings of loneliness, depression and and isolation. It's because there's so much feed about how perfect every one's life's are. We forget that people can present themselves the way they want to and so we compare our lives to that standard.

These are just a few reasons I named that explain our lack of self love.
We tend to seek the love outside of ourselves...
And that is the main problem. We make others responsible for us feeling loved.

Why it is OKAY to love yourself:

1. It is not narcissism

Much contradicitary to the TedTalk I saw the other day about a girl speeching how the 'trend' selflove is creating narcissism, I say:
A healthy image of self, respect of self, and knowing who you are and what you are good at - are core things to function in this world.

2. Equalty

Just because you own self love doesn't mean that you place yourself above others. That is NOT what self love is.
On the contrary: people who take others down do not love themselves.
They need it to feel good about themselves.

What does that tell you about them? Right. You know where I'm going with this.
Loving yourself means you realize that you are equal to others and treat people accordingly.

3. Uplifting others

Self love allows you to uplift others from an honest place. You are not doing it for the sake of being liked by others. It's uplifting others right from the heart. Others benefit from that too.

4. Self compassion

We all have that side we rather not look at. It's when we catch ourselves wishing someone would just drop dead. Then again, that side has to tell us something. It tells us in the very least that someone triggers us. When you sit with yourself and accept all of you, you may find what is underneath the surface. You can find compassion for yourself, understanding that a certain thought or feeling often roots in pain. Bandage that pain through finding that place of compassion for yourself. The only way to do it is to face the music.
You will see that healing and letting go can take place.

5. Treating yourself right

Because of loving yourself, you will treat yourself right.
People know what they have in you, because they know your possibilities and boundaries.
You understand that nurturing yourself through exercise, enough sleep, good food, mindfulness & meditation, and enough you-time is essential to remain a good relationship with yourself and feel healthy. You wouldn't neglect your best friend, so why would you do it to yourself? 

6. Forgiving yourself

Making mistakes as a human being is just inevitable. You made mistakes, and you will make many more. That is okay, because it's a part of life. Learn from your mistakes, and forgive yourself for them too. There's no need to be harsh.

7. What would (self)love do?

I often ask myself this as I am facing challenges in life. A few years ago I got caught up in the midst of a situation at work. It was gossip time. I felt myself getting upset. I don't like gossip as it too much negativity and it often harms others.
Instead of bottling it up, I send around an email and told the team that the current way of communicating bothers me and that I was hoping for a more effective and direct way of communication. I suggested that whenever people where bothered by something, they would tell the person instead of talking amongst each other. Regardless of whether they acted on it or not, I stood up for myself and the team. I choose to not participate or ignore it.

How do you look at the concept of self love? Have you aquired it? Or are you still struggling? Feel free to share your journey <3

Love and blessings,

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Why it's important to let go

Have you ever tried taking a hand full of sand and holding onto it by making a fist?
You would notice that the sand slips gradually through your fingers until you are left with not very much of the original amount.
This is what happens when you to try to hold onto things in life with force.
It eventually slips away from you and it makes the whole process more painful than you could have imagined.

I remember I did that with my first real bachelor study, and my first real job. I stayed and I fought with force.
And it hurt a lot.

There's also been friends and lovers that I've seen come and go in my life.
When I broke up with my first real love it was painful, but it was something that needed to happen for the both of us.
As for friends I can say that some of them are just going to be with you for a certain season.
Sometimes you outgrow each other, and then it can be best to go your different ways. When there is nothing positive that remains in a relationship, it hurts more to stay in it, than to let go of it.

A few years ago I took a walk in our beautiful park.
It was autumn, just as it is now.
When I took a break on a bench I noticed how leaves were falling off the trees.
I thought to myself: Isn't it beautiful that nature doesn't ever resist it's natural phases? It never asks the leaves to come back on, because in the spring there will be new growth.

I believe that when you let go of what isn't serving you any longer, you make space for new and exciting things to grow.
As nature does, we have our own phases and it is the perfect time to see what you've gathered in your backpack what you don't need anymore.
Material things, emotional things, relationships, limiting beliefs, situations that do not make you happy anymore.
Let them go.
It is a good time for reflection.
And you are worth the very best!

Ways to let go:


I like visualizing because it's very powerful and when I do one of these it always leaves me with this huge feeling of relief! 

Here is your exercise:

Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes.
Imagine that you are in a safe space such as a room or a forest. It's up to you.
In the middle of this scenery you see an object that contains things. It could be a suitcase, a big box, or a bag.
Open it.
You will find something in this box that symbolizes what you need to let go of.
Ask: "What do you represent? What did you teach me?" Release it from your hands and see how it vanishes.
It could float up, diminish into energy.
Continue with the next object.
See how much you've gathered and how much you are able to let go in one sitting.

Make a list

Maybe you are more practical and you wanna make a list of the things that you are going to let go.
What I'd suggest is list those under the different categories there are and also write down an action you are going to take on it, and when.

Letting go in the moment
Finally I want to devote a special little paragraph to the fearful voice in your head that tells you lies all day.
It's that voice that always holds you back from doing what you want and tells you that you will look like an idiot.
I suggest you may wanna try to name that voice. I named mine Dirty Harry.
I tell Dirty Harry to shut it whenever it's about to get in the way of what I want to do.
Another thing you can try is to reverse the thought completely.
I cannot do this becomes I am brave enough to try this.

Reflection time!
What is it that you've been holding onto that you should be letting go of?
Do you have any special tricks you use? 

Let me know in the comments below.

Love and blessings,

Sunday, September 23, 2018

How we learn to speak

It's amazing to me how mini humans at one point grow up to be adults. The whole process of growing up and everything around it captures me.
Therefor I decided to school myself to know as much as possible for my future dream job.
I'd like to share what I learned about language development. 

The primair goal of of language is to communicate efficiently. 
So, how do we start?
A baby has one very effective way of communicating with it's surroundings. It cries.
And they do so to let us know they need something. A changing, food, protection, or affection. It is a very effective way that ensures this little human that it will get what it needs.
Parents will use baby language. This happens naturally and will get the most attention and response from the young child. They speak in a high tone, with a strong intonation, the sentences are short and a question mark is often used.
What is amazing is that within a month after birth the baby is already able to recognize phonemes which is the ability to make the slightest distinction between sounds in the language. For example the the e in between sounds different at the beginning of the word than at the end. They already learn the difference. Most likely this a nature aspect. We are born with this ability. This process is also responsible for how we learn our first language. It filters to the sounds of our native language. After 6 months the baby starts to babble away making combinations of sounds it picked up listening to it's parents. We can tell that the baby is doing this to communicate as it will do it more often in the presence of people. After 7 months it is quiet when being spoken to and babbles when the other listens. This is the first big milestone in communication.
Two conditions for acquiring language are:

  • Listening - they listen to the way words sound and save that knowledge before they can actively speak. We call this the phonological aspect of language.
  • Wanting to learn
The second one may sound odd to you, but there are kids that are born with communication disorders.

Autism is one example of that. Early signs may be

  • The baby doesn't babble as much
  • Seems less interested in social surroundings
  • Seemingly avoids eye contact
  • Says their first word later than usual
  • Does not support words with gestures (example pointing at something)

Kids will usually say their first word upon turning 1 year old.
It shows that for the first time they are able to make a mental representation of something that exists outside themselves. Those first words refer to unique objects or people that capture their interest. Mommy, daddy are common first words. But it could also be their favourite cuddly toy.
With their first words the prelingual phase of language development ends. The early-lingual phase starts
Before their second birthday the will combine words. Mainly nouns and some verbs related to their little world.  One word can have tons of different meanings. Usually the intonation and supportive gestures can make clear what the kid is trying to say. The child progresses to use two word or three word sentences.
Between 2-5 years old they come into the differentiation-period.
They get more sense of grammar but are likely to find exceptions on words difficult. They will make mistakes such as worstest instead of saying worst. The less common the use of the words the more likely they will make that mistake. Between the age of 2,5 - 3 years old the child will learn to adapt the distance between them and the person who is listening. They also understand that that they have to align their message to the language level and skills of the other. They will learn more about the pragmatic aspect of language. Which relates to the social rules around it.
In the school period the language of the child is much more like that of an adult and it will continue to learn more and more about how to use the grammar and expend their knowledge of the semantic side of language. The meaning of the words. They gain the insight that language has rules. Wee call this
metalinguistic awareness. Whilst some in Social Learning Theoretics claim that learning language can be induced by rewarding your kid such as reacting enthusiastically when it babbles or speaks, philosopher Chomsky had a different perspective. He believes we are born with the ability to develop language and highlights the originality of a child's language. Like the way they use self-conceived words. He claims kids have their own primitive grammar. He pointed out that they can discover grammar rules and learn to apply them.
I've always been interested in languages myself and how develop them. It is such an amazing thing.
Communication is survival. It's been that way ever since the old age.

Hopefully you found this article that is somewhat different from my other blog posts interesting.

Love and blessings,


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Your heart is your radar, follow it!

As an adult trying to navigate through life, I know how important it is to follow your heart.
After all your heart knows what is best for you.
Haven been at home for the last few weeks, I finally stopped to ask myself what I wanted.

And as another customer service job got offered to me, I found myself in complete panick. I spend all day trying to come to terms with another few months in a customer service position, and it just didn't feel right. I realized it was something I no longer wanted for myself.
When you receive money from the goverment in Holland, you have to accept any job they offer you that suits your experience.
Then a magical thing happened. The very next day someone from a Childcare organisation called me and told me she had my cv and application letter. She asked me to come in for an interview. YES please! I felt my heart do a little dance, and realized what has been happening over the last year.
I'm gonna have to apologize to you heart, I never really listened over the last year.
Only parts of my heart had been able to operate in my customer service jobs.
I was able to spread kindness and have compassion, but my I always had a commercial shadow hoovering over me telling me to hurry up my job.
For the first time I felt so clearly where I belonged.
The interview was lovely and ended up not much later in me participating in a creative arts session with kids. Honestly best interview I had.
Then one week later I received the call. I am hired! 

Which made it possible for me to reject the other job. What a sweet relief

The whole experience has been a big wake-up call for me. I took these customer service jobs to survive. So, that I would be able to pay for my rent, bills, and food. But I was so miserable. I had listened to everyone around me that would tell me having a shitty job is not a big deal as long as you can provide. 

But it isn't the way I see it.

OH hell to the NO! 

You spend 32-40 hours of your week in that place. Best believe you oughta have a good time. All you have to do is pay attention to what makes your heart happy, and then you aim for it. Because letting my heart speak in a job interview is one of the most powerful things I've ever done.

I am so excited! I'm getting my own group of kids aged 9-12 years old and I'm responsible for them having a good time there. It's upto me to offer activities that challenge them to just enough out of their comfort zone to help them grow.
Wanna have a guess what my first activities would be? Yes, cooking!
I spoke to them about it and they seem excited. I'll be turning them into mini chefs.
It seems that my dream of having my cooking club with kids is going to bloom in the next time. I wrote about my dream of that cooking club here
I also want to find out if there's a space where we can do a garden, so that kids can grow their own veggies, fruits and herbs. It will surely help with the appreciation of fresh food.

These are my plans so far. The plans that make my heart sing.
Because it does, I realized that in no way I ever wanna neglect my heart's voice again.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.
So, take a little moment to reflect. What is it that your heart tells you to do right now?
Go ahead. Chase it! It will be so rewarding, I promise.

Love and blessings,

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Learning mexican streetfood at Jamie's

The boyfriend's birthday was in January.
And I'd have the perfect gift for my kitchen-loving guy.

 A Jamie Oliver cookery school gift voucher so that he could select any cooking class he wanted to do in London.
After months of giddy anticipation, last week finally the time had arrived to do our trip over there. 

Laurent selected the Mexican Streetfood class for us to do.
Our location was at Sheperds Bush and the cookery school is situated in one of Jamie's restaurants. We were greeted by one of the staff member's of the restaurant with such politeness. "How may I help you?" He asked. "We're coming for one of the classes" I said.
"Ah you are becoming chefs then" He smiled. "Well, just go straight ahead to the back and you'll find your class there"
"Thanks" The restaurant felt warm and welcoming. It feels like the kind of place where you can easily relax after a day's hard work.
Getting into the back we were greeted by Alice who handed us an apron, pointed out where we could leave our belongings, and asked us whether we wanted some prosecco. Yes, please! 

Chef Jack introduced himself and kicked off the class with telling us what we were going to make that night. Chipotle chicken, homemade tortillas and four different salsas.
I know that Laurent has been wanting to make decent homemade tortillas, so that was an exciting prospect for us. Jack offered us a demonstration on how to properly prepare the rub for our chicken, and got us started on the first salsa. He continued to explain some of the ingredients mixed into the passata and let us have a taste of the chipotle paste. Which I can highly recommend you don't almost eat a teaspoon such as I did, because that stuff is spicy!
Which caused some giggles, and made me think back to my very first experience with wasabi. (That I classically mistook for guacamole the first time I ate it.)
The passata with the ingredients was to be mixed in with the chicken.
He also demonstrated some neat knife skills in cutting up some additional ingredients for our corn salsa and send us to work.
"OK Chefs, it's time to cook. If you have any questions at all let me know," Jack said, and we headed out in couples to our cooking stations. I like the fact that Jack called us chefs. There's something very flattering about it.
Makes you feel like a pro even when you're learning.
We got cracking on the first part of our cooking, preparing everything in order Jack showed us and in no time the place smelled heavenly. 

When we had our chicken and corn salsa going, Jack gave us the second demonstration.
This time on how to prepare our dough for the tortillas prepared with special corn flour Masa Harina and he showed us how to do the other three salsas.
He walked us to preparing the dough, dividing it, and how to use the tortilla press, and frying them up.
When Jack demonstrated the salsas, I actually picked up some cool tricks such as how to make paste out of a garlic glove using your knife.
I also realized that I've been chopping up tomatoes wrong all my life, as Jack told us to put the skin side down because you won't squash the tomato that way. It was that 'aha moment' for me.  I will never forget that now!
He finished up with the demonstration by showing us his end results. The chicken onto the lovely little homemade tortillas and those scrumptious salsas on top. 

Back to work we were. Chef Jack walked around and assisted us with preparing our food.
He gave the class tons of compliments really helped our confidence. I prepared the dough, as Laurent worked on the salsas.
Jack did a final check for me on the getting the consistency of my dough just about right and explained it should feel a little like 'play dough'
Once the tortillas were frying up, we had our food done quite fast and Alice was setting the tables for us to eat.
So, I just proudly wanted to present our end results.

The flavours were a real good thing to feast on. I'm talking big flavours gals & pals. Cilantro, mint, lime, chili. There was spicy, sweet, fresh in the food. It tasted amazing!

The Jamie Oliver cookery school experience was such a fantastic one. It reminds me to do more of the things I love.
If you are ever stuck on what to do in London, and you are a foodie like me, I highly recommend sharpening up those cooking skills over there. If I were to live in London, I am sure that I'd inhabit that place in no time.
The class was so professionally done and good vibes only!
It has that 'Jamie' touch that I'm sure you know what I'm talking about if you've ever watched some of his cooking shows.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
I really do hope you leave me some love in the comments.

Love and blessings,


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Goodbye letter to my job

As I step into the office of my team leader my heart sinks a little bit.
Part of me wants to stay. If only for the people I do my job for. But the time has come and I know it. I cannot possibly stay.
"I have really tried my very best for you. I gave it my all to be up to the work speed the company wants me to be. But when I do that, I lose in the quality of my conversations"
She sits there and nods. "You know what I'm good at. You know I give every customer my full attention and that I do my work thoughtfully"
She tells me there is nothing to be changed about the standards of the work speed. "So, it's  matter of delaying the execution, so to say?" I ask. And she agrees with me.
"You have the qualities we are looking for, although if you can't meet the quality versus speed standards..."
And I know where she is going with this.
"Maybe customer service is not for me then. And there is no other department here that could put those qualities to good use?"
She tells me there is not. It's a little bittersweet, but it's the right thing to leave.
"Well, I'd like to thank you for everything I learned. It's been educative"
I would finish this workweek and then we'd say our goodbyes.
Here is my goodbye to the job.

Dear job,

What a ride it has been!
A whole new world opened up to me about a topic that I thought I would never learn so much about. It was interesting and overwhelming at the same time. I am truly grateful for the opportunity of learning how to deal with difficult people and staying calm with them. It wasn't always easy, but in at least 8 out of 10 times I was able to solve the problems for customers.

In other cases I have been able to spread some kindness into people's days. I remember this elderly lady that told me that her husband was going to leave her after 50 years of being married. They had spend all those happily married until the sudden death of their daughter. I remember listening to her and showing my empathy. I even teared up a little. I asked her if there was something that I could do and she told me to change her last name into her maiden's name so she wouldn't be addressed by her husband's name the next time. I changed it, of course.

I advised many people into the right incontinence materials for them, so that they could get out of their social isolation. If that isn't serving a greater purpose, I don't know what could be.

Unfortunately I cannot stay. They don't want me to, but I don't want to either.
We could have given it some more time I suppose, but I prefer to be somewhere my qualities can flourish. Somewhere I don't have to feel guilty for giving my full attention to the people I do it for. Time pressure is not for me.

And so I'm waving you goodbye. It's time for my next adventure.



I may be without a job currently, but I am positive that I will find something that will be a better match. I have learned a lot in the last six months. I do not regret taking the job in the first place, and I feel no grudge for having to leave. I am excited to see what the future holds! 

Did you ever get fired? How did you feel and what things did you do to deal with it? 

Love and blessings,