Do you reflect on the lessons from your relationships?

Inspiration shot January 2021

“Every lesson that hasn’t been learned will be repeated”

Relationships are our greatest mirrors. We are presented with the same situations again and again, in different contexts, until we learn our lessons. They are not always easy. How do we make constant learning and growth attractive and perhaps even enjoyable? In recent years I have had quite a bit to ‘chew on’ and gained many new insights. This inspiration shot includes a number of recommendations to listen to, read, and action.


Did you know that in Dutch the word for ‘molars’ is the same as the verb ‘to choose’? That’s why I paid extra attention to a broken tooth that has been bothering me for a while now. What is it trying to tell me? What do I have to choose? Do I get rid of it, the symptom, or can I get to the ‘root cause’? I don’t want to lose my tooth or my choices. I do want to learn my lessons, but why-oh-why does it have to hurt so much and be so damn hard? My friend and voice power coach Maanwilla advised me to paint the emotions associated with my sore tooth. This is the result. What is your body trying to tell you?

“If you don’t listen to your body whisper you will have to listen to it scream”

The power of now

Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple and powerful: “be in the now”. Everything else is not important because it no longer exists, or does not yet exist. His podcasts keep reiterating this profound wisdom in different ways. It makes me feel very calm to listen to it, like, “Indeed, what does it all matter. Now is all that matters…” Eckhart’s crazy German accent makes his podcasts extra fun.

Relationships as a mirror

Esther Perel is known for her books on relationships and in particular on cheating, including ‘The state of affairs’ and ‘Mating in captivity’. Her podcast “Where should we begin?” consists of recordings of live relationship therapy with real couples. Super interesting to listen to. Esther’s unconventional analysis provides many insights.

Stop suffering!

I have learned a lot from Tantra. Not the ‘sex tantra’ you sometimes hear about, but the ‘life lessons tantra’ from the Embodied Awakening Academy, where I have done a few retreats and e-courses. They also emphasize being in the now. Pain is just pain. Suffering happens when you resist the pain or are too attached to pleasure. Basically, if you don’t accept the present moment and whatever is there, you will suffer. Trying to change or resist the ‘now’ is a fight you’ll never win. It sounds very logical. Putting it into practice is more challenging…

Life lessons from tantra

“We have a greater incentive for change when we experience more pain”

I have written before about the life lessons I learned from tantra. Practice makes perfect, so you have to keep repeating until this new way of being becomes natural. That’s why I refresh my knowledge and inspiration with an e-course every now and then. Interested? You can try the free Masterclass, or I can offer you a 20% discount on the ecourses, with code ESTHER20.

Surf the waves of your creativity

Nothing gives me more energy than to create new things, especially books. I am currently reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Big Magic’ on the phenomenon of creativity and I realized again that I am a creative. I surf on the waves of creativity. My entire life and everything I do is creative: finding solutions to challenges, turning anything into a business, living off-grid, writing books, making complex subjects accessible for others, dancing, painting, cooking, etc. Trying to force myself into a grid, into a structure, into an itinerary, just doesn’t work: my creative juices dry up and I start to feel more and more unhappy. So my New Years’ resolutions are to respect this even more: when there are waves, I will happily surf. When there are no waves, I will not even try, to avoid getting frustrated.

My moment of 2020

At the end of every year, I am asked to describe my most remarkable, special moment for the ‘my moment’ platform. In the past years I mainly wrote about disappointments: a car crash and whiplash, feeling uprooted by being kicked out of houses, systems and countries, and broken relationships. I always tried to turn those moments into a story with lessons learned and a positive twist.
This year, to my surprise, the story that came up was a happy one. It feels like a balm for all the pain and disappointment I see around me.
My moment of 2020 makes me happy, over and over again. And I think it will also make you happy in the coming years…

Modern monk

This monk has a very special way of singing the ‘Heart Sutra’ …

Did you know...?

…that I have a very creative 12 years younger brother, the Ungoogleable Michaelangelo? He interviewed me for his podcast ‘Self-portraits as other people’? We talked about living outside of the system, freedom, language, and – in part 2- psychedelic experiences… 🙂

Where is Esther?

I am still in Cape Town, South Africa! I’m fully enjoying the summer, the amazing coworking space, and the great restaurants that are still open here, although the situation is getting worse. Beaches are closed, alcohol sales are prohibited (to avoid accidents and thus keep hospital beds free for Covid patients), and a curfew from 9 PM – 6 AM has been implemented.
At the end of January, I want to visit my father in Miami, as I haven’t seen him since the end of May. Unfortunately, the Netherlands – along with most European countries – is on the ‘forbidden to travel’ list for the USA. Strangely enough, South Africa, with the ‘mutated virus’, is not yet on that list…
Some creative thinking… So I booked a ticket to Miami from Cape Town via Qatar! Since I have officially not been in Europe for two months I should be admitted to the USA… Hopefully, this 38 hour (!) trip will enable me to visit my father, relieve my brother, who has been his caretaker for a while, and celebrate my sister’s birthday in person for the first time in ages. 🤞

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