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woensdag 15 oktober 2014

A New



New job. New season. Autumn. Leaves are falling from the trees. Orange, brown, red. High heels, sweater weather. In my wardrobe: grey, camel, black. No jewellery. Old purse. Another me.
I now work in the city centre. Brussels. Sunny, grey, funny, dust. Cinquantenaire. All colours, moods, memories included. I transform. Just as the seasons do.
I moved to the centre, close to my job. I do no longer live with my boyfriend, but we see each other often. (There are other things we have to find before we find each other). Room to grow, heal, breathe, discover. I love him, I do. And you, how do you do?




maandag 14 juli 2014

I glow

It’s official. I am a certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher. I’m so proud. I’m almost glowing. I feel like a little light bulb, as if I’ve seen the light (Thank you Ronak, for guiding me to that feeling).
We’re all in this together. We all feel the urge to smile, grow and discover. We all feel the benefits of a good backbend, a deep twist of the inner organs, a smooth but strong prasarita padottanasana. How sweet it is to share my story with you guys, girls, yogi's and others. How wonderful it is to come home to a mindset of non-judgment, compassion, trustworthiness and faith. Let me repeat my new found mantra: Have faith, instead of fear. Have faith, all is fine. I am me, and I'm exactly where I should be.
Let’s finish with one of the lessons that spoke to me most: “Surrender is the simple yet profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing to the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation. Resistance is in the mind. Acceptance of what is immediately frees you from mind identification and reconnects you with being.”
Thank you Marc. Thank you Ronak, Tanya, Angelica, Gabriella, Alexandra, Elisa, Anita, Tracey, Yvonne, Sinziana, Céline, Fabiola and Maren. Thank you for sharing your stories, your time, your practice and light. Now let’s do what we are trained to be doing: Let’s live in the light, on and off the mat. Together. See you at the Studio. 

Namaste.

dinsdag 8 juli 2014

let me in

Oh light, let me see. Oh God, let me in. Show me your light, the road I have to follow. Show me what is right. Tell me how to act, and when to be silent. Help me find truth. Help me be brave. Help me find my way in the dark. Oh light, set me free. Namaste.





donderdag 12 juni 2014

I read

 
Suddenly I’m bumping into all sorts of good material. First, the Jim Carrey Commencement Speech. Choose love, not fear. He might must be right. Then, the Al Pacino pep talk “Inch by Inch” from Any Given Sunday. If life is like football, I should definitely follow the 2014 World Cup. Now, I just finished reading “the Crossroads of Should and Must”. For more information, check out #LITG or “Living in the Grey”. I found this website of Sheryl Sandberg, titled Lean in, on encouraging women to pursue their ambitions, and changing the conversation from what we can’t do to what we can do. Lastly, if you are job hunting, check out this helpful tool 

It is almost as if the Universe is sending me little indications of what to do next, where to go from here. It is wonderful.

I already have a pile of books to read in my Amazon shopping bag. Now I only have to find the time to read them.

I admit: this is only the top of the iceberg. In the meantime, I finish my readings for the Yoga teacher training, continue my daily practice, and dive as deep as possible into the teachings of Ayurveda and the Bhagavad Gita. And – do my daytime job, of course. How about you – did you find any motivational speeches or lessons to learn for a far-away future? If so, do tell. For now, my list is open to suggestions (smile).

vrijdag 6 juni 2014

Journey

I cry. I laugh. I fall. I change. I get up – straight. Tummy in, throat locked, tailbone under. I try – I fail. I try harder – for a minute, I almost fly. Then, I fall down again. I flex, stretch and twist – I get up again. Over and over again. That’s yoga. That might be the most beautiful part of yoga.
 
All is possible within the field of yoga. No matter how deep, grungy or joyful the emotion, in practice it all comes down to the flow, the breathing, the focus of your mind. It is a journey within. It is a landscape full of stars. It is harsh, from time to time. It is healing.
 
I might not be perfect. I’m not perfect at all. I try to give the best I have, day after day, in my practice and in my relation with the other students. Oh, they are wonderful – all of them. How they shine, strive, seek and find what they are looking for, on and off the mat. Hairs get cut, expressions change. A glow in our eyes reveals the beauty we found within.
 
I learn – so many things. New things, fabulous things, most of all – truth. I already made a list of mantras for the summer. I try to stick by them. My favorite, for the moment: have faith, instead of fear. And be patient – life will give you what you need. And also – the more you give, the more you receive. My list is long and so are my days. I hang on there. I stretch, stand, stumble – and I hang on there.
 
I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the opportunity life has given me, and for the people who encourage me. Thank you for that.
 
I might end with a quote from Tanya, a fellow teacher in training and soon to be mom: “The journey is the perfect metaphor for life. A yoga practice is a type of journey – it is a return ticket to the inside. You start, go in, go deeper, then you have to take care to return”.

 
 

 

zaterdag 24 mei 2014

I love you so

Let's get things straight. Some things need to change. I, for that matter. And my job, too.
 
 

dinsdag 20 mei 2014

Peru

I have to let go. Slowly.

I'm in Peru, visiting my brother and his wife and their new born baby, Maeli. We are ten: my mom & dad, my little brother, my older brother & his wife, my aunt & uncle, my niece and me. And little baby Maeli, of course. All together reunited for love, good laughs, memories and more. Every day conversation unfolds, stories are told, different food is tasted. I feel so lucky to be part of this group, to take part in our history, to go on this trip, together. A short overview of our trip:
On Friday night, we arrived in Lima. After several Pisco Sour's in our hotel bar, we fell asleep while the party continued outdoors. At midnight, I woke up - jetlag. In the morning, I taught my little brother how to do yoga in a hotel room. After breakfast, we moved on to our next destination, Huaraz. Finally, after a happy but bumpy ride, we met my older brother with his fresh field family. All together, we had dinner. For the first time, I held my godchild in my arms - of course, she is as wonderful as I imagined. All together, it all made sense.
After several days in Huaraz, we moved on to Trujillo. Another colorful destination at the seaside of Peru. We went out for dinner, the boys went surfing, we ate ceviche at Big Ben and drunk cocktails at the pool. Also, we visited Chan Chan, the largest pre-Columbian city in South America. Our guide was sweet and so was the weather, the people and circumstances. I bought a postcard for my boyfriend, I'm curious when it will arrive.
Our last days we spent in the apartment of my brother in Lima. On our list: family breakfasts, long walks along the shore, Miraflores, a visit to the neighborhood Barranca and last, but not least, paraponting over the cliffs of Lima. Our last night out, we had dinner in the 15th best restaurant of the world, Central. We took an 8 course trip through Peru in different flavors, food and drinks. I must admit - the food was as good as the company. And even though little baby Maeli slept her way throughout the dinner, it was stunning to see her so peaceful in her mothers arms.

How lovely it was to spend time with my family, and most of all Maeli, my far-away sweetheart. Now already, I’m curious to what she will look like, be like and smell like, the next time I see her. Luckily, it won’t be that long – another month to count down, and she will visit Belgium too.
After another 15 hour flight, I arrived safely back home in Brussels. My boyfriend picked me up at the airport, and after a quick shower, we had dinner at Max, one of our favorite Italian restaurants. For the first time, I told him how much I missed him, and how I couldn’t imagine life without him. I’m not a romantic, but I’d love to be his girl. For once and for all – for the future.  


donderdag 24 april 2014

mom

"If I would be a mom, I would bake cake all day and smile and sing, until the sky colors a rainbow and all problems fade away"
At this point in my life all is dazzling. I feel lost and confused, twisted and thin. The last few days, everything changed – my future plans, my perspectives, my mind-set, and my ideas. I’m pregnant. I will have a sweet little baby in 8 more months, crying in my arms, asking for love and shelter, milk and warmth. I’m happy. I feel confident and strong, ready to take up this challenge. It is time for change, time to take good care of my body, time to zoom out and jump in on this wonderful ride called life. However, I’m missing parts of the puzzle. My boyfriend. He and I should be two, ready to become three. We are not, or at least not yet. Since the news kicked in, we’ve been fighting and struggling all over the place. Yesterday, we almost got a grip of things. Then, he read an email of a far-away friend, claiming it proved I did not love him enough to have his baby. This morning, he found another argument to doubt my love and set me aside. Today, I received another disturbing phone call, leaving me feeling lost and confused, lonely and loveless. Tonight, we should go over to friends for dinner. I’m not sure he’ll join. If he doesn’t, I’ll feel so upset I’d better cancel myself.
Of course, I do understand him. Our relationship wasn’t steady, or at least not yet. We were still in the try out zone, for better or for worse, looking and longing for harmony, together.
Maybe we should stop trying. Maybe we should give up and give in, into this wonderful adventure that is about to happen. I love him, I do. He makes me laugh, he makes me cry, he makes me feel comfortable and safe, loved and protected. I know he’ll be a great dad – he is responsible, funny, strong and straight-minded (a bit too straight-minded, for that matter). Yesterday, the gynecologist told us: “Of course life is full of surprises – if it wasn’t the case, why would we live it?”
That being said, it takes two to tango. It takes strength, a lot of courage, cleverness and compassion to go on this trip, together. I hope he’ll join me, soon. If not, I might live another story too harmful to remember.


vrijdag 18 april 2014

yppah

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
 
Mohandas K. Gandhi
 
 

dinsdag 15 april 2014

yoga

For less or for more

So I signed up for the yoga teacher training. Now already, I feel like I’ve left for a journey. I’m not sure where I’ll end up, but it might be a better place than where I was before. I already feel the urge to add some color to my wardrobe, instead of the casual Steve Jobs black. I do need to find a moment to shop – almost all of my free hours are dedicated to yoga, these days. In the morning, I feel stiff, but as soon as I start moving, the usual flow keeps track of my body. I learn new words – pranayama, the serpent power – live as you breathe, take in and let go. I let go. I try to let go negative emotions, I try to accept and move forward. For all yogi lovers: Soon, I might take you on a trip with me. For all others: I’ll send you a postcard, once I arrive at my final destination.

 

woensdag 2 april 2014

rooftop ride


Last Sunday,

I met my college girlfriends on a rooftop terrace in Antwerp. While eating pancakes and drinking tea, we discussed the topics that caught us up lately. For some of us, it is time for children. For others, it is the combination of work and life that matters most. Be it new shoes, handbags, sporting habits or books to read, we discussed it all. All in the interest of love, mutual understanding, finding a life scheme that fits us best. We are all balancing interests, trying to be the best lawyer, teacher, yogi or lover. Slowly but steady, we define ourselves by little steps in the right direction. Actually, we’re all doing great. So here are some of the tips and tricks we shared:

To read: “The power of vulnerability” by B. Brown. Also, check her TED talk on the matter

The Age of Absurdity” by M. Foley


Try the mindfulness Headspace App on your iPhone, on the go or before bedtime

Yoga works for all of us: the more you rock the mat, the better it gets

So share your stories and support your friends: by doing so, life gets a little bit lighter.
 

maandag 24 maart 2014

voor Sam


Summer’s in town. Sam is getting better. She fought, used all the energy available to fight the demons on her own. I can only say – that I admire her. Her spirit and her little body kicked some ass and showed us all how precious life, family and future plans can be. Amen to Sam, you go girl, we pray & light candles & think of you every day. I’m sure you will be fine. A few more months to go, and then summer time will invite you to have dinner in the garden and playdates all day long. Come on summer, & come on Sam!
 


 

woensdag 19 maart 2014

baby Maeli


Today, I got the most wonderful message I could ever receive – a new baby is born, and not just any baby, my sweet little cousin – my godchild is born, her name is Maeli, live from Peru, shining and shimmering. I feel so proud, so excited, so relieved and free. How wonderful it is to have this new bright person in our family, how sweet it is to feel the warmth and happiness that accompanies her birth. Now already, she makes everyone smiles. All little steps are fine-tuned and followed. Tonight, we will have our first Skype date. I wonder, now already, what she will be like, who she will become, while life slowly unfolds whatever faith there might be. One thing is for sure: she is in good hands. She will be loved, cherished, held and supported her whole life through. And I feel so grateful to be, by blood, and to become, by effort, a part of her story.
Lots of love,

A newbie godmother