Shot of inspiration

“You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t, then you are not looking properly.”

A collection of useful, funny, amazing but above all inspiring tips, videos, photos, quotes, people, stories and jokes.

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Patience… – Inspiration Shot November 2022


How patient are you? I hate it when things don't go fast enough…. Do we need to learn to be patient? Or is it heatlhy to want to speed things up? Here in Puglia, South Italy, living on a construction site, I am confronted daily with situations testing my patience. Construction workers arrive late, or much earlier than agreed, or sometimes don't come at all. Material is delivered much later than expected. Suppliers can't find the address, but don't bother to call or view the Google maps location, which I always include. My neighbor Mario, who has built my tiny house, laughs at me every time I want to do something quickly, which of course never works. He says, “Esther, you have to learn to be patient. That's how it works here.” And yes, maybe that's why I ended up in Puglia, to learn to be patient. But my drive for efficiency is being put to the test. What's more important? Efficiency, or feeling relaxed?

Patience… – Inspiration Shot November 20222022-11-10T12:10:43+01:00

AT HOME! – Inspiration Shot October 2022


The past month has been a chaos of movements. From Amsterdam to Italy, via friends in Portugal to Miami, and with various stops back to Italy, where I am still staying in an Airbnb because my house is not ready yet. It makes me feel restless, but I know that peace will soon come; when I can finally move to my Tiny House and start decorating it. The end is in sight. In the meantime, I have daily WhatsApp contact with a friend in Hawaii who is temporarily homeless. There is a housing crisis since corona because many Americans have moved from the mainland to the islands, making both purchasing or renting a place impossible or unaffordable. My friend lives in her car and is completely in survival mode, with no hope of things getting better. Several coaching clients are about to give up their homes to travel in a motorhome and become entrepreneurs. Although that is a conscious choice for them, it also causes stress. All this makes you think. What does (at) home mean? Is home a physical place? Is it 'where the heart is'? Is it where your laptop automatically recognizes the WiFi? 😜 A few reflections for this month, so that you can determine what (at) home means to you.

AT HOME! – Inspiration Shot October 20222022-11-10T12:11:00+01:00

I’M LEAVING! – Inspiration Shot September 2022


Everyone enjoys watching those reality TV shows where a couple with a romantic idea emigrates to a far-off country to fix up a ruin. They often have no idea what they are getting into and sometimes don't even speak the language. And here I am, car fully loaded, on my way to Puglia, Italy... Planning to live there for the next 9 months, perhaps longer, and to supervise three construction projects. Fortunately, I already speak some Italian, but there will be plenty of challenges. My main question at the moment, however, is more personal: am I traveling towards something, or do I want to get away from something? On the one hand, I want to get away from the messy breakup in Amsterdam (unfortunately the conscious uncoupling did not turn out to be so conscious after all...) and recover on my land in Italy. But on the other hand I also really want to be THERE, surrounded by my olive trees, enjoying them as long as I can, and try to save them with all my energy and creativity. I want to build a new base, connect with the earth, and just BE. I want to create a place where others can also 'land'. Will you join me on this journey?

I’M LEAVING! – Inspiration Shot September 20222022-11-10T12:11:06+01:00

The power of being different – Inspiration shot August 2022


I've always been different. A loner. A thinker. I haven't always felt understood. Never really belonged anywhere. Didn't want to belong. Maybe I told myself that's what I wanted, because I didn't understand the social 'rules' and how people interact with each other. Over the years I learned the 'codes', but they always felt strange to me, like I was learning the rules of a game I didn't want to play anyway. When I tried to be like others I didn't feel happy and besides, I never managed to blend in anyway. Later I discovered how I could turn my differences and previous 'weaknesses' into my strengths. Now I can be completely my authentic self. Many special people have felt like outsiders when they were young (and often still do today). What if we no longer see our authenticity as a 'disability', but instead discover its power and learn how to use it? This Inspiration Shot gives some tips that may also be useful for the kids around us (and our 'inner child').

The power of being different – Inspiration shot August 20222022-09-05T12:52:36+02:00

Energy management – Inspiration shot July 2022


The past three months have been hectic. I got corona, one of my father's caretakers suddenly left, I had to deal with the end of a complicated years-long relationship, lost my suitcase with ALL my clothes and found out that my olive trees are infected with a deadly disease. In addition, I continued to have problems with people I hired through an agency and had to transfer a number of projects for the fifth time(!). Of course, there were also nice things; I bought another apartment in Italy, am in the early stages of a new relationship, and enjoyed two parties for my birthday. In the meantime, my work as a book-writing coach also continued and I helped four people to finish their books. All this while traveling through 10 countries on 3 continents, organizing 4 retreats, attending 2 conferences and supervising 2 construction projects in Italy. This was quite a lot, even for me in just three months! How do you keep your energy constant while everything changes around you? Some tips in this Inspiration shot.

Energy management – Inspiration shot July 20222022-09-05T12:52:40+02:00

The power of your network – Inspiration shot June 2022


How many people do you know? And how many people know you? What is the ratio between these two numbers? In my case, more people know me than the other way around. This is because for years I have put a lot of time and energy into sharing inspiration and tips in many different ways, and I have been quite visible. Recently I noticed again the power of that network that I have built. On social media, many people still look for a 'quick fix', to sell their book or new online program, for example. But that's not how it works. Just like in offline friendships, in the online world you have to invest long-term, make real contacts, look for win-win-win situations, and above all: be yourself. This inspiration shot shares some unexpected benefits of a large and loyal network.

The power of your network – Inspiration shot June 20222022-09-05T12:52:43+02:00

Follow your heart – Inspiration shot May 2022


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.

Follow your heart – Inspiration shot May 20222022-08-17T20:18:37+02:00

What if everything goes wrong? – Inspiration shot April 2022


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?

What if everything goes wrong? – Inspiration shot April 20222022-08-17T20:20:22+02:00

Emergency – Inspiration Shot March 2022


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?

Emergency – Inspiration Shot March 20222022-08-17T20:20:34+02:00

Think global, act local – Inspiration shot February 2022


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.

Think global, act local – Inspiration shot February 20222022-08-17T20:27:27+02:00
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