Sunday, June 17, 2018

How to conquer the fear of public speaking

This is me.
Four months ago.
Sharing my story about acceptance in front of  a crowd of at least 30-40 people.
My volunteers work had decided to start up a new project called YX Arnhem.
It would allow teenagers and young adults to share their story with the theme 'acceptance'
When they required a last speaker, I stood up and said: 'I'll do it' - just before my brain could interfere with the whole thing.
I knew that if I would have said: 'I'll think about it' I would never have done it. My mind would have thought of at least a 100 things that could go wrong, worst case scenario: fainting on the spot.
Like I had before when I had to do class presentations in school.

Did you know that the public speaking is on the list of worst fears to face?
It is in a stunning number 7 place in the top 10.
I always wanted to brave that fear especially since past experiences have been rather traumatic for me. My nerves would have the best and I would be at a loss for words.
I started writing out my story about acceptance, which was really personal for me.
It took me back to my childhood and one of my most painful memories of being bullied.
It was eventually a story about learning how to accept myself after everything I'd been through. I knew that it was important to share as well. That through sharing people may recognize things and being able to relate.
I finished writing my story and got to the next stage. Practice. 

I would stand in my living room and just do my story over and over and over again, until I'm pretty sure my neighbour must have thought that I have imaginary friends.
When the moment came that I was announced onto stage, something magical had happened. Not a single sweat or even nerve came up. I did my story, and I did it quite powerfully.
Afterward I received beautiful feedback. A girl came up to me, told me I'd made her cry. That she had similar experiences and that it gave her hope to see I had overcome the low self esteem I had back then.
So, in that magical moment of presenting my story I wonder what the heck had happened that had me so comfortable just doing it.
My reflection on it has resulted in the following realizations, so I get to give you some tips!

It really helped that I had written down the bigger lines of my story before I started practicing it. It took me a while. I did a lot of. Yes to this, and no to that.
I determined the order of my story so it would have a logical beginning, middle and end.
In preparing it, I also watched a lot of motivational speakers and took notes about what they did that I liked and how they shared their story.


I knew my story so well, because I practiced a LOT in my living room. 
It was too uncomfy for me to stand in  front of a mirror, but I hear that this actually really helps to improve the whole way you speak as well. Your use of voice, hands, posture and so on.

I explained the bigger lines of my story to some people around me, and did another round of editing and adjusting the order of it. I left out what people said may be so emotional that I could actually burst to tears on stage (oh the horror!), and repeated the step practice once again.

Use positive self-talk 

Tell yourself: I got this, I can do this, I'm gonna rock this.
All that beautiful stuff. Whether you believe it or not. If you do it enough, your mind somehow is tricked into believing it. Fear needs a reprogramming to positivity!
It also helps to realize the fact I mentioned before. Almost everyone is afraid and nervous doing public speaking. A few weeks ago I met a comedian who told me he was terrified to go on stage. Yet his nerves weren't even noticeable. Yet there you are doing it, while the crowd is watching. Congratulate yourself for that.

Not nervous, excited! 
They say being a little nervous is healthy. Recent studies show that almost the same things happen in your body when you talk being nervous and being excited. Your heartrate goes up, adrenaline is activated so your body can get into action. Both feelings are arousal related.
And here's good news: you can actually trick your brain by saying that you are excited instead of nervous. Such a powerful tool!

Engage & connect
I started of my story with an exercise that involved the crowd. My purpose for it was to activate the little voices in their own brain that make them feel nervous as to understand how I was feeling. 

What I did: I put envelopes under their chair. It had a card on it with a colored star.
I told my crowd: "Who has the red star? Because you just won a prize. You get to come up here with me and share your story about acceptance." I saw the nerves of the people in my audience. I paused and continued: "Don't worry, haha. There is no red star. So, what do you reckon I wanted to achieve with this exercise? A mindfuck perhaps? Exactly. Now you know how I feel and we established more connection" It kept my audience alert and I had them listening to me from beginning to end. 

Another great way is to give them food for thought. Ask a question that will make them think.

I hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks.
And here's your food for thought:
When was the last time that you braved public speaking?
Would you take the opportunity when being offered?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sunshine blogger awards

I was nominated for the Sunshine blogger awards.
Thank you so much to Joan. She's nominated me, and she has a wonderful blog herself called: My best friend Adeline.
It's an honor to be nominated and here are the answers to her questions.

What 3 things (other than significant others, children or family) bring you joy?

1. My writing brings me so much joy. It's been quite the journey, and I've been very happy getting back into it. I've always done it since I was 9 years old, but have had some phases where I was not writing.
I can honestly say that it makes a huge difference to my personal happiness.
2. The knowledge that I can make a difference to the people that I serve when I do my work. I work for a group of people who have a vulnreable medical issue and the materials we offer can make them feel safe again.
3. My volunteerswork. It is so good to give back to society. This place is a one where you can just be who you are and do what you do. It allows for a great amount of freedom. Everyone there is different and more often than not have been through so much in their lives. We allow eachother to grow and learn and a lot of friendships bloom. It is the best place and I am so happy to be part of it!

What are your 3 best talents? (no modesty allowed!)

1. I have so much creativity. Sometimes I feel like I am a walking idea generator. I love being in the zone with my inspiration.
2. I'm a pretty good bus stop therapist. Somehow I attract strangers that tell me their whole life story. After we've talked, they always seem to be feeling better, but are rather confused why they told me. I always get: "But why am I telling you this? I don't know you..." I always shrug and answer: "Well, what made you?" They never seem to know why. I jokingly started calling it bus stop therapist, because it always seem to be happening somewhere at a random bus stop.
3. I'll have to go with cooking. More to be explained about this later.

Describe 3 times you have been kind to others in the last week.

I live by: do at least one kind act every day.
1. When it's quiet at work, and one of my eldery customers is obviously wanting to chat out of loneliness I take a few minutes to just talk. I could be the only person they talk to all day. Knowing that makes me sad. I am happy to contribute my enery to that.
2. I have encouraged somebody to share a story that was so personal to them. It was the first time he was sharing with a crowd and wanted to do it as good as possible. He did wonderful. I am so proud.
3.I have taken time to apologize to someone for being impatient with him and really hear what he had to say. I was honest and open. It felt good to make a connection where we did not connect as much before.

What are 3 things you do for fun?

1. I love coloring mandalas. It is so relaxing!
2. Well, writing of course!
3. Dancing around the house

What is your favorite color?  What do you associate it with?

No no, not one favourite color. But so many! How do you think I choose my blog name?
Many colors, I associate it with being open and full of wonder to the world and everything there is. We learn so many things every day.
I do seem to have preference for indigo, turquoise, saphire green and sky blue though.
If you had a large fortune in the bank, what would you do with your time?

I'd have so many projects going. I'll probably be working those out and seeing who I can work with.
No lazing around, just getting the best out of it. Helping where I can. Starting with kids, teens, young adults. Invest in projects I believe in. So many sharing to do!
I've always wondered how people can be so miserable and bored, they buy 7 cars. What in the fuck would you do with 7 cars? Take a different each day?

Describe your perfect weekend.

A little bit of writing, dancing, singing, meditation, share time with the boyfriend, netflix & relax and have some wonderful meals. At least one that is shared with friends.

When do you feel like you are at your best?

When I can allow my creativity to flow freely at all times, and I can put it into action. I have so much of that energy inside of me and it just needs to get out.

What are 3 things (other than family, health, etc.) that you are most grateful for?

I am so grateful that I have a place where I can be me without judgement.
I am so grateful that I get to share kindness with others daily
I am so grateful for the simple things in life that I feel we should enjoy.

What are you passionate about?

Cooking. I love how this is a journey of discovery, and I always find new things on it.
I learned flavour combinations, the little things that make your food go from good to topnotch.
The process of creating a meal is something of big magic to me.
I love it!

What are some of your favorite memories of all time?

It always seems to involve my travels alone. I love traveling and discovering another country with it's culture. Paris has my heart especially. The wandering that I did along the streets of Paris, sitting down with a book in a little bistro and getting a coffee, doing picknicks with locals and fellow travelers. It was the best summer of my life.

I hope you enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me, and I'd like to nominate some other lovely bloggers to do this and answer my questions.
Here are my nominations for the following lovely bloggers.

The frozen mind -
The value of a moment -
Sakshi Raina -
Envy Fisher -
Layla Lane -

My questions for these bloggers are: 

1. What is the most recent obstacle you overcame?
2. How did you choose your blog's name?
3. Tell us one thing about yourself that we didn't know yet.
4. If you could be a famous person for just a day, who would you pick?
5. If you were a guru, what would you be a guru of?
6. What are you most proud of?
7. What is that dream that you want to make a reality?
8. What is your favourite food and why?
9. If you could go back in time, what would you do differently?
10. What is your favourite song and why?
11. If you could teleport anywhere in the world, where would you go to?

I hope you have fun doing these. I certainly did!
Thanks once again Joan!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Inspirational sources to use for your blogging

My Wednesday series about inspiration is about to come to an end, as I am covering the final topics based on my finding your divine inspiration post.
But not to worry, this post is once again full of ideas for your to try on.
I am going to give you sources that will inspire you. This one is about getting inspired by others.
See, inspiration and creativity is a reaction to what others do a lot of the times.
Have you ever listened to a song that started on the radio and you were pretty sure that it was this one song, yet it is a completely different one? I have been there so many times!
Sometimes when I watch a TV show, I think: Hmmm this is interesting. This is a mix between A show and B show. You know what?
There is actually quite a likely chance that the maker was keeping those in mind as well.
Getting inspired by others and creating your own pieces from that is a great thing.

Allow me to share some ways to get inspired by others.


I think that music is a great source of inspiration for many. There's all kinds of flavors and styles and something out there for you.
The other day I was thinking about doing a blog post about nostalgia. When I mix nostalgia and music I end up with music I grew up listening to. Music that comforted me in difficult times.
You may also want to consider writing about your favourite music style or give us a list of really great singer/song writers. I am very focused on words in music. Why not share your favourite lyrics and explain what they mean to you?

Other bloggers

What I love about all the bloggers out there, is that I never stop to be amazed.
There is so much authenticity going around. I keep thinking: how cool is it that in the midst of this all this particular person has chosen to blog about this? What a great idea!
Sometimes I find myself wanting to write a reply to blogs I read.
I'm not saying to copy the full idea. You want to keep your own voice and style of course.
But let others tickle your inspiration so to say.


A fun exercise you could do. Ask your circle of friends to write down 3 ideas for you to blog about. Explain your niche and see what they come up with.
At the end you will have a list of ideas to use for your next post.

Ted talks

I think for all niches, we can find something in Ted Talks. As a matter of fact, I love starting out my day watching those. It's so much better than opening a news paper and get depressed by the terrible things going on in the world.
I don't know about you, but I don't want that energy on my plate first thing in the day.


I have so many books related to all kinds of topics.
I love reading non fictional books about inspiration, making changes, spirituality, intuition, time management, mindfulness, meditation and so on.
These books are pearls, I tell you! They are packed with inspiration. Just to think that one book inspired me to do a whole series on the topic of inspiration is amazing. That particular book, in case you haven't figured that out yet, is: BIG MAGIC - by Liz Gilbert.
For all the creative souls out there a must read!

As I come to the end of my post, are there any other sources that inspire you that I haven't mentioned?
Who inspires you the most? 

Don't forget to leave some love and a link to your website if you have one.

Love and blessings,

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

How to use the world as your inspiration

My Wednesday series is all about finding inspiration to create. Whilst mainly I focus on writing, other artists may use these ideas to their benefit as well.
Whether you are an artist, or blogger like myself: we know we need to dance our dance with inspiration. When you feel stuck, it's time to get out of your comfort zone and move into world for a while.

When you visit a place or experience that is unknown to you, and you really make it a thing to open up yourself, be full of wonder, and have the curiosity of a child learning new things, you will find that you are a magnet for inspiration to come.
But how do we move out of that comfort zone and create those experiences?
Well, here are my ideas.

Create a jar of wishes

I came up with an idea a few years ago to get me out of my slump. I created a jar of wishes. On little wish notes I wrote down all the experiences I wanted to have, folded them up and put them in my wish jar. Once in a while I take out a note, and put to action what's on them.
I did a blog post the other day on this. You can read that post here.
It's so much fun!

Say yes to an unusual invite

We all may know that person that is trying to challenge us out of that comfort zone.
They may want us to do something that is completely out of it.
There's a guy I know that is hosting open mic nights all around The Netherlands.
He's been trying to challenge me to try out stand up comedy myself.
To be honest it is something I would love to try, and that I am terrified of.
If I were to ever try this out, I promise to blog about it!

Create your own 100 days journey
It's been a thing around the Internet. One example is the 100 days happy challenge where you take a photo a 100 days in a row of a thing that makes you happy.
It will shift your focus to the positive and open up new vibes for you.
My own 100 days journey was related to my qualities.
For a 100 days I kept a journal on the 100 best sides of me. The other one I did was a 100 days of exercise. One hour daily.
If you want to know more, you can find the information on my 100 days section.

Find a different place to blog
Why stay stuck in your room? Take your laptop or notebook and get out there!
Go to a park, a cute coffee place and write over there. Different surroundings, different perspectives.

Talk to someone you don't know

This requires some balls. For many it's not easy to approach a stranger.
Remember this though: most of us will want to connect with another person, yet we are all scared.
It helped me to approach people.
The other day I connected with a girl in my favourite coffee place. She was reading a book by herself, and I commented on the writer and told her that I love his work. She agreed with me, later came over to my table and invited me to try out the karate class she's in. Spontaneous meetings are the best!
Key here is to just be open. I don't know how about you, but I'm less likely to talk to someone that looks grumpy and closed.

Do what you love

And please do not give me any of that: "I don't have time" - nonsense
You can create time for what you love. Even in the busiest of schedules.
It's a matter of choosing your priorities and saying NO to things that are no real obligation.
In her book: The magic of not giving a fuck Sarah Knight talks about those priorities in an unconventional way. Here's that Ted Talk about the book. I really recommend watching it! 

Now that I've shared my ideas, I am curious about yours.
What is it in the outside world that brings you inspiration?
Which of the above ideas are most important to you? Love and blessings always,

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Unlimited dreaming - Why to live your dreams

My blog is about colorful living and unlimited dreaming. 
My Sunday series about my big dreams and what I want is concluded today.
I talked about my dream to start a cooking club for kids and I continued to dig up an old childhood dream to write a book.  I told you about my special documentary project idea, and I concluded with wanting to record and share my magical meditations with the world.
I thank you for joining me on that journey.
But now the time has come for you to share your dreams and live them.

And this message is for all the dreamers out there.
It was given by a wise soul and I am fortunate enough to be the vessel.

"Oh darlings,
We see you living your life and your struggles.

Becoming too focused on these struggles will lead to more negativity.
We light hope in your heart. A beautiful flame and bright flame.
And we ask you to dream again.
Your time here on earth is limited, you know?
Why waste it on anything other than doing here what you came for? You have a purpose.
And whilst many may ponder that purpose, it will reveal itself. Go out of the rush of your every day life, and back to your heart.
Here is where the answer lies for you.

If you want to paint, let colors fill your pages.

If you want to share your writings, then let the words flow without any doubt.
If you strive to help others with the special qualities gifted to you, do it without fear.
Spread kindness and support each other. Lift one another up, and other people will shine with you.

Stop being afraid! Fear is not the best advisor for your creative endeavours.

Share yourself with the world. Be you, and realize that your unique abilities will touch many lives around you.

Follow your dreams. Don't let your dreams follow you.

Dreams are there to point out the direction. Not to be a regret of something you wish you would have done."