What if everything goes wrong?

Inspiration Shot April 2022

How to light your fire without a burnout... Energy management for people with a passion
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?

Survival Strategies

The first option is to pretend the problem doesn’t exist. Stick your head in the sand and just keep going. This usually only works for a short time, especially when urgent matters occur that require immediate action, such as my father’s caretaker who just left. You often feel like the ‘victim’ of the situation: “Why is this happening to me?” That’s a very natural reaction, but it doesn’t solve anything.
Jumping into ‘action mode’ and coming up with solutions has always been my favorite survival mode. And indeed I managed to solve all things 1 by 1. But that required so much energy!
As always, I tried to look on the bright side: Didn’t I manage to find solutions for everything? Weren’t there many beautiful things in life? Still, I felt like all this must be happening for a reason; there had to be a lesson in it, a silver lining. So I tried to analyze the situation. But everything seemed so random and in such different parts of my life that I couldn’t see any similarities. Do you?

Be with the ugliness

During a coaching session with Juna Mustad, an interesting insight came up. We often use the ugly things in our lives as a distraction; by trying to step over them or by fighting them. What if we no longer use those events as an excuse to stay on the surface? What if you just dive right in? And ask ‘the problem’ directly why it’s there?
I tried this out in different situations, including my Covid. The ‘problem’ always turned out to be confused itself: “We don’t know why we are here either… Where else should we go? Nobody likes us, nobody wants us.”
Just by asking the question, a huge feeling of release came over me. I didn’t have to fight anymore. In all cases, I found a kind of win-win solution together with ‘the problem’. For example, by asking the Covid to coach my cells to become stronger, instead of attacking and sitting IN my cells. The virus suddenly became an ally, no longer an ‘enemy’.
This may all sound too spiritual, but it’s a good idea to turn things around, investigate and be open to an unexpected answer to an unexpected question. In any case, it works well for me.

Get away from it all

What also helps, is to take a break; to change your location, perspective, and environment. If you stay in the same environment, you often get the same impulses, patterns, and answers. A new place and a different company can do wonders.
For me, it was super inspiring to be in Mexico at ‘Dynamite Circle’, a conference of successful location independent entrepreneurs. Even though I didn’t have much energy yet, just being among like-minded people lifted my spirits. I got new inspiration.
Do you also want to take a break? And enjoy my renewed energy? Then join one of the following retreats:

Wist je dat...?

…that I am a peyote whisperer? Speaking of spiritual things, I’ll share with you the most bizarre experience I’ve ever had. I can communicate with the peyote cactus, which is often used as a drug. But I can interact without ingesting or touching the cactus; just by tuning in to them.
Read my bizarre and beautiful experiences on the special Facebook page I once set up. Start at the bottom to read the story in chronological order.

Uncovering opportunities in Cape Town - Inspiration shot

Waar is Esther?

After the writing retreat in Curaçao, as soon as I was healthy enough to travel, I flew to Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, for the Dynamite Circle conference. While I had looked forward to inspiring sessions with my location independent entrepreneurial friends, I spent most of my days in bed. Every now and then I had enough energy to chat for half an hour over tea with someone, but afterward I had to take a nap again. Still, I enjoyed Mexico: a walk along the beach early in the morning before it got too hot, the super tasty food, and at the end of my stay I was able to give a reverse writing workshop and experience some of the events at the conference.
I love Latin America, I feel at home. I once did my anthropology thesis in Yucatan researching the medicinal plants used by the Maya. I speak the language, know the culture, history, and religion and I connect with the people. Another place where I really feel at home.
This week I am flying back to Europe for my upcoming events in Mallorca and Italy. On my stopover in Miami, I am spending a few days with my dad, my brother and sister, and the new caretaker. Family time, quality time. It feels like I can enjoy that more after the experiences of the past few weeks, with the new insights and renewed energy.

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