After recovering from the post-Covid energy dip (which took longer than I thought), and some other hiccups/dips, I feel like there is a new quality in my life. I have had to slow down quite a lot in the past 2 months or so, which gave me time to practice surrender and being in the moment. I want to be able to listen to my heart even more. The most important thing for me now is to live with my heart open. It has been scary for so long. Scared to be vulnerable, scared to be hurt. Yet pain is part of life. Even with my adventurous life full of great things, I cannot enjoy everything fully with a closed heart. That’s why recently, in my beloved Puglia, Italy, I got a tattoo of a small heart on my heart; to remind myself every day to live with an open heart. In this inspiration shot, I would like to share some things that may help you to follow your heart too.
When I was suddenly struck by Covid halfway through my writing retreat in Curaçao, I realized how vulnerable my retreats are. Fortunately, I had been able to provide a lot of added value the first days and had helped my writers get started, but I felt powerless, lying in bed with a high fever, having to drop everything instantly. A few days later, my father's new caretaker suddenly left Miami due to family circumstances. While my sister and brother took over caring for my dad, from my sickbed, I had to instantly arrange a new caretaker, something that we normally prepare months in advance. On the same day, I received a message from the new tenant of my apartment in Amsterdam saying that there was a mice infestation: I needed to solve this immediately, otherwise, she would leave. Under normal circumstances, it is already difficult to find a reliable handyman in Amsterdam, let alone from the Caribbean. Additionally, the Eastern European developer of my website had also disappeared; he had stopped working without transferring any information and could not be contacted anymore. All this had to be arranged while I was without energy, with brain fog, and without being able to talk, because I had to cough so much. I know that sometimes my life seems like a dream, but sometimes it seems more like a nightmare… So the theme of this month is: What do you do when everything suddenly goes wrong?
Throughout Covid, I got more and more questions about my lifestyle from people who also wanted more freedom (fun fact: my Digital Nomads book is more popular than ever!). The war in Ukraine makes everyone realize that you should always have a 'plan B' for unforeseen circumstances. Suppose you had to flee: where would you go? Where are fewer rules? Where do you find like-minded souls? Where is life still meaningful/affordable? What do you bring with you and what do you leave behind? Digital Nomads like me already live very light and flexible. What can we learn from the location-independent lifestyle?
For years we've practiced 'global thinking': the further away and the larger the scale, the better. Nowadays we tend to focus more on local products, local initiatives, on a smaller scale, which feels more 'real'. What does it really mean to be 'local'? For me it is staying longer in one place and not acting like a tourist, but rather immersing myself in local life. I like to return to the same restaurants and I feel successful when the locals recognize me after a while and remember me the next time I visit. This month I offer some 'food for thought' on this theme.
Sometimes things happen that threaten to turn your whole life upside down. At such moments you have the choice: do you let yourself be placed in the victim role or do you take control and make the best of it? Nelson Mandela once said, “You are the captain of your soul”. In this inspiration shot, I’ll share some of the situations that I found myself in and how you can react.
In the early days, books were written on a typewriter or even by hand. Can you imagine how complicated that was: you had to think of your entire book before you started writing, you could only work from front to back, making corrections was tricky and sloppy, plus you can't change the order. Fortunately, computers and word processors make it a lot easier these days. They also have super useful functions such as the spell check and 'search and replace'. And there are all kinds of great software and apps that can help make your book even better and facilitate writing. Only: you should of course not spend all your time to find the right tools, then there will be no time left for your book. Therefore, here's an overview.
Safe adventure does not exist. There is no reward without risk. Fear is part of our life. Sometimes it has a function (to prevent you from harm), sometimes it holds you back, just because this new experience feels uncomfortable.
Are you an entrepreneur, consultant, coach, speaker, healer, or professional? Did you know that publishing your book can have a positive effect on your business? It can boost your expert status by establishing yourself as a thought leader, it's the best egg business card you can imagine, it's a respectable achievement, plus you leave a legacy.
After 30 years of entrepreneurship and more than 15 years of location independent living, you could say that uncertainty has become my comfort zone. For me, this means staying both alert and flexible, resulting in a more interesting life. If you let go of all expectations, there is room to be surprised. Sometimes positively, sometimes… less positive… :) I don't know what's in the air, but last month was full of surprises! Have you experienced that too? I would like to share some of them with you.
As a traveling writer and Digital Nomad, I had over 15 years of experience working remotely before Covid broke out. Now that almost everyone can work from home, in a cafe, a coworking space, or a hammock in a tropical country, I like to share my tips so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.