When everything changes…

Inspiration shot June 2021

Sometimes you have no choice: the world around you changes whether you like it or not. How do you deal with that? Do you sulk, feel like a victim or do you look for a new way to take matters into your own hands? Corona is an example, but so is aging, loved ones who get sick, business models that change and much more. In this inspiration shot, I will take you on a journey through a number of examples.

Chernobyl

When the disaster at Chernobyl’s nuclear power plant happened in 1986, there was a division among those involved. Officially, a nuclear disaster was not possible in the USSR, so the bureaucrats downplayed the danger, leading to many more fatalities and affecting millions of lives. Afraid of admitting a mistake, they preferred to carry on as normal, living in a make-believe world. Some scientists protested against the course of events – putting at risk their positions and even their lives. They knew that everything had changed and that the situation required action. What would you do?
You can watch this great 5-part mini-documentary on HBO or (for free) via Popcorntime (Chernobyl is listed as a series, not with movies).

Noom

When you pass 50, your hormones change. You will notice this immediately in your metabolism and your weight. What you used to eat – and do to burn those calories again – no longer has the same effect. So a new approach is needed. I installed the Noom app and was immediately impressed with the information they provide, how it is delivered, and especially the insights about what I eat. I thought I was eating healthy, but it turns out that my food was very calorie-dense (coconut, avocado, chia seeds, olive oil, nuts, etc). For the last few weeks, I’ve been making different choices and it feels great. Try it out for yourself: 14 days for just €1: noom.com

Quarantaine-travel

When my father got Alzheimer’s, I devised a system with Dutch caretakers who each spend three months of ‘care vacation’ with him in Miami. Due to Corona, it is unfortunately no longer possible to enter the USA directly from Europe. Solution: we now add 14 days of ‘Caribbean quarantine’ to the three-month trip, both for the caretaker and for myself!

This is my sister’s family, my dad and me, with USA caretaker Tee, who has helped us out tremendously since corona started, by doing two terms with my dad, alternated by my brother Michael, who is not in this picture.

Nomadland

What if you lose your job, a loved one, your home or even your health? This beautiful film is about a group of people who have found a way to deal with that disappointment and loss: they leave society as we know it and travel through the USA in a van, migrating from a temporary job to a temporary job. You can immediately see why the film has won so many awards.

Live face-to-face events on location!

When corona started, my entire business model switched to online. The workshops via Zoom and my online Writer’s Mastermind are still going well. But it also feels great to do live events, especially retreats. At the end of May, seven courageous writers came to Mallorca and had a wonderful time (see the photo in the header), while writing their book. Maartje was there too. She and her husband Martijn (a chef!) have a number of beautiful chalets in the French Alps and guess what: on Oct 10-17th we will be doing a writing retreat with them! And I’m also organizing a live ‘from idea to book’ workshop in Curaçao on June 22nd to support local talent on the island.

Did you know...?

… that I have three tattoos? Each one marks a big change in my life and symbolizes my way of coping with it. I had my first tattoo done in Japan after a tantra week in Thailand: symbolically ‘connecting the dots‘ and ‘dancing through life’. The second tattoo was done in Argentina and consists of three little stars on my belly, each for a miscarriage I once had. This way the children I never had are with me anyway. And the last one is my father’s signature, almost invisible in white ink, on the inside of my forearm. He is slowly fading away due to Alzheimer’s, but through this tattoo I always carry his energy with me.

Where is Esther?

I am now in Curacao, in ‘transit’ to Miami, on my way to visit my dad and welcome the next caretaker. It feels really special to visit the five places where I feel completely at home within a month: Puglia, Mallorca, Amsterdam, Curaçao, and Miami.
It was wonderful to be in Mallorca for the writing week, but also a bit sad, because the finca (the small farm) that I had previously owned there with my ex Marinus, has now been sold. The 200-year-old house is undergoing extensive renovation. It is painful to see, but I’m sure something beautiful will take its place. When I said goodbye to the finca, I was devastated to see that all 200-year-old almond trees had died, due to the same xylella virus that also threatens the olive trees in Puglia. But this is nature and somehow, some day, all will be fine again. We just have to accept what is.

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