Happiness

Favorite Yoga/Healing/Self-development/Spiritual Books

It has been a long time since I found and made time to write/post/blog. Today after teaching my yoga class, one of my students reminded me of my website and the books I recommended to her, which I could make available to all. This has been on my mind for a while too, hence this post.

I have always loved reading! I remembered receiving an award in the last class of primary school for having read the most books. I would often read in bed and our babysitter would reminded me to sleep instead of read in bed till late. In high school, I lost the love of reading for a while after having to read ‘literature books’ and analyzing them into detail. I lost my love and joy for reading only temporarily luckily.

The last decade, I have been drawn mainly to books about yoga, healing, self-development, spirituality etc I know very boring, right? I am a bit of nerd. Before becoming a mum I would read lots of maternity, pregnancy and baby books, I will keep that list for another time. Inspiring books remind me what is really important in life, I use them to prepare my yoga sessions and they are a great way for me to relax and not to waste time on social media.

So here is my (longish) list. I have organised them into two main groups, yoga and self-development/healing, although some of them fit in both the groups. Thank you for everyone who has been recommending books to me and I would love to hear about your favourite books!

Yoga Books

The Yamas & Niyamas, Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, by Deborah Adele

Bringing Yoga to life, the everyday practice of enlightened living, by Donna Farhi

Fierce Medicine, Breakthrough practices to heal the body and ignite the spirit, by Ana T. Forrest

Perfectly Imperfect, The art and soul of yoga practice, by Baron Baptiste

The Path of the Yoga Sutras; a Practical Guide to the core of Yoga, by Nicolair Bachman

Wheel of Life, The Classic Guide to the Chakra System, by Anodea Judith PhD

The Four Desires : creating a life of purpose, happiness, prosperity and freedom, by Rod Stryker

 

Self-development/Healing Books

The Dance of Connection, How to talk to someone when you’re mad, hurt, scared, frustrated, insulted, betrayed or desperate by Harriet Goldhor Lerner

The gifts of imperfection, Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are, by Brene Brown

Daring Greatly, How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead, by Brene Brown

Anatomy of the spirit, The Seven Stages of Power and Healing, by Caroline Myss, Ph.D

The surrender experiment: My journey into life’s perfection, by Michael Singer

The untethered soul, The journey beyond yourself, by Michael Singer

Wild Feminine, Finding Power, Spirit & Joy in the Female Body by Tami Lynn Kent

The Power of Now, A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Ekhart Tolle

 

 

 

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Categories: books, Chakra, Happiness, healing, Inspiration, spirituality, Yoga | 4 Comments

Yoga Love is growing!

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I am so super excited to let you know that I am in the wonderful process of creating new life! We are half way now (just over 20 weeks) and super excited to be on this new journey of parenthood. After a challenging and anxious first trimester, I am so grateful to be here today and to feel life growing inside me. We had our 20 week echo today and everything is looking wonderful! I feel so honoured to be able to experience this miracle, called life! Even though baby is not here yet, he/she has already taught us to be patient, to trust and to let go. Babies will come in their own divine timing and for me it was a challenging journey of trusting my body, the universe and let go.

Before I got pregnant, I found out about For Two Fitness, a beautiful maternity gear for the active mum-to-be. A wonderful way to show your bump, to tell the world you are expecting and to be inspired to stay fit & healthy during your pregnancy. They offer beautiful gear for runners, fitness, cyclist, dancers, yoga and for all active mums-to-be out there. They also have clothes for mums expecting twins and after-baby clothes. A perfect way to celebrate your pregnancy, your body and inspire! Through their Instagram and Facebook profile you will continuously be inspired by the amazing possibilities of the female body and to be active and fit ‘For Two’. So I am super honoured to announce that I am ambassador for this maternity apparel! And the wonderful new to this: you will receive 30% discount of all merchandise! You can use the code YOGALOVENZ which will run from today until April 18.

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Looking back after 3 years in Kiwiland

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Stubborn Adventure

Stubborn, sensitive and impatient, these characteristics are all known to me. I see them as strengths, they have brought me where I am today: New Zealand. Three years ago, I stepped on a plane to follow my heart with two suitcases filled with clothes and shoes. What else do you need? I said goodbye to my dear family and friends. My mum was crying, I wasn’t this time, since after being separated for six months; I was finally going to see my love again. All the preparations were finished, I was going to step on a plane and start a new adventure. I couldn’t wait! A one-year-try out, that was the plan. We had hardly been together since the first time we met. He went off to China and I went off to Africa. After 4 months I finally came back in The Netherlands and in the meantime he had booked his one-way ticket to New Zealand. We fell in love anyway and enjoyed our time together for the next two months. In the midst of a starting relationship, when the butterflies are abundant and the love is intense, we had to say goodbye. He had made his decision to go back to his beloved New Zealand, a final short love affair would be a good way to end all his years in Holland, was the thought in the back of his mind. I don’t think he realised he was dating a pretty stubborn young lady, who was going to follow her heart, no matter where that would lead her.

Sensitive Challenge

Three years later, we have bought a house and I am teaching yoga and guiding people through inner Journey. I could never have imagined my life would be like this, if you would have asked me five years ago. I exchanged my pushbike for a car and my apartment for a spacious home with a bit of land, chickens and a veggie garden. I exchanged my busy life for a more back to earth relaxing lifestyle. My birthday is now in the middle of ‘winter’ and Christmas is celebrated on the beach. I have exchanged the plenty of good shopping opportunities in Holland for plenty of beautiful quiet beaches in Northland. Lots of change and challenge have appeared for this sensitive soul and will still appear. When I was in my teenage years, I decided to get my driver license as the first one of my sisters. My parents were a bit surprised, their sporty, spiritual, environment friendly daughter was going to get a driver license? Most of the time in my childhood we were without a car, we did everything by bicycle. I really treasure those memories, of our special cosy family. I have never been a fan of driving a car, although I really love my car now, especially on a rainy cold day, so I stay warm and dry. My one secret reason to get my license, was the idea I had in the back of my mind: working in the midst of Africa doing development work and driving around in a jeep. I imagined myself making a real difference to the world, and to truly assist others living a better/happier/healthier life.

Finally feeling and finding love

After several trips to Africa, my eyes opened. Do I really make a difference? Why do I want to make a difference? Do I want to boost my ego? I realized I had so much more work to do on myself, before I was truly able to assist others. The people I met on my trips appeared to look more joyful and happy than the average European. Who needs to learn from whom? I realised that I was trying to do good, while my inner world was rumbling: insecure and restless. If you haven’t connected with the peace, quietness and contentment within you, how are you going to create more contentment in the world, outside you? The Journey was extremely helpful for me to live a more joyful, happy, content and truthful life. One of my last trips to Africa involved Journey Outreach: this was a rewarding, fun, challenging and interesting time. Doing journey work while in the so-called developing countries and my beloved Africa, would be the perfect combination. While occupied with travelling and where to go and live, my love suddenly arrived. As impatient as I am, I had been longing for romantic love for a long time and had written down plenty of pages in my diary on how my ideal partner would look like, behave and so on. I often doubted if I would ever meet the right guy. I promised myself, I would rather stay by myself than choose for a relationship that didn’t feel 100% truthful, fulfilling and happy.

Togetherness

We have learnt and experienced so much together. I can’t imagine living apart anymore. So yes, I would recommend everyone to follow your heart, no matter how scary, unknown, uncertain or awkward that might be. If you really trust your heart, your life will be an amazing journey. My uncertainty and doubts about work has completely disappeared when I decided to teach yoga and meditation. I feel immense grateful to be able to share my passion to follow your heart and live the life of your dreams. I believe that if I can assist in creating more inner peace in myself and others, I truly make a difference in the world. It is rewarding and so empowering to do and live your passion. My dear friends in Africa, I haven’t forgotten about you. My intention is to promote a more mindful way of living to benefit the whole world. Yes, I dream big. I hope to arrive again on African soil one day; to integrate my practice on and off my yoga mat. As a thank you for how Africa taught me to slow down, to appreciate the little things in life, to truly live like we are all connected as ONE.

I deeply bow to all the teachers in my life, especially to one of the most inspiring, wise, empowering and enormously missed woman in my life: my mum.

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Home is where the heart is

 

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Three weeks ago we moved into our first home. Exciting times. Scary times. I realized I went into a business mode; keep myself occupied with packing, preparation and at times just running around without a clear purpose. When I finally had the courage, I took the time to stand still and actually feel my anxiety, my nerves. My analysing mind didn’t really understand why? You are still staying in the same town, the same country, with the same partner, with the same job and same friends and family nearby. Why am I nervous at all? For me that is exactly the scary thing; everything stays the same with boredom around the corner. Owning my own home, feels extremely serious, grown-up and indefinite. The last ten years of my life has been full of travelling, change, meeting new people, change of jobs, change of countries and cities. That is what I am naturally drawn to; adventure and excitement. After a therapy session with a friend, it became really clear to me, that I have always been on the run; looking for new adventures, creating new excitement. I never really settled anywhere, because that for me is really scary. Moving to the other side of the world and starting a new life isn’t that scary. And now I am truly settling here; own home, car, chickens, veggie garden. Who ever thought that? When I was young I told myself I am going to travel the world for the rest of my life and live from a backpack, no need to settle. If I look back, I can see clearly I was always on the run for my own fears, even in my dreams. From the outside, people thought I was fearless and dare to do everything. From within, however, I was full of anxiety, insecurity and nerves often about the small things in life that was for me scarier.

And honestly after the first stress and nerves of moving, it actually feels DAMN good! Having your own safe haven, own home feels wonderful! Together we can create a place we truly feel comfortable. It feels nurturing, grounding and I just don’t want to leave home anymore! I feel supported and I am better able to handle the tough outside world after being charged by being at home. I never imagined it to be like this. The last couple of days, I have been feeling very grounded, centred and content, as if I am finally start to root and arrive HOME. Our home and my partner truly give me the feeling I am taken care of. I am nurtured, supported, loved. As if for the first time, I start to feel very comfortable in my body and my life, feeling a deep sense of contentment. The urgent need to do, compare, compete and accomplish slowly start to diminish. I realize I have also started to take better care of myself, allow myself to sleep in and rest without judging myself for being lazy. I allow myself to relax, enjoy and don’t mind so much if I have a less productive day. There is no urgent need to DO anymore. There is just this perfect moment, where I can hang out and chill and Be.

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Be Real

Again, I have been blown away by the amazing and powerful effects of The Journey Process. For me it is the quickest way to feel peaceful, happy and at ease, to arrive home.

Dear you,

I am grateful we met! I would like you to know;

  • It touches me if you dare to share the truth – what is going on right now, here.
  • It touches me if you speak from your heart, saying how you really feel.
  • It touches me if you leave the stories for what they are – stories – and really start to experience and feel.
  • It touches me if you share with me, what you usually don’t share at all.
  • It touches me to see your eagerness to come at peace with life.
  • It touches me if I see you surrender.
  • It touches me if you forgive completely and utterly from the bottom of your heart.

Emotions can be the gateway to our soul, to our true desires, to our true being. Don’t fight or resist emotions. Just let it be.

We will become mirrors and invite other’s to be REAL as well. No need for masks, pretending or hiding. It is time to say YES to life!

Namaste!

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To borrow for Free

To borrow for Free (if wished you can keep it) : Sensitivity – including:

  • the ability to cry abundantly and the inability to hide your tears
  • the ability to get upset easily
  • the ability to worry about what other people think of you
  • the ability to easily belief and trust others
  • the ability to feel vulnerable regularly
  • the ability to feel emotional often
  • the ability to feel your heart screaming if ignored
  • Feeling often inadequate in our society
  • Wonders why everybody is not a little nice to each other

Also: (prefer to keep those):

  • the ability to feel intensely happy
  • the ability to smile and laugh easily
  • the ability to make fun of yourself
  • the ability to connect easily with others
  • the ability to feel compassion for others effortlessly
  • the ability to give compliments easily
  • the ability to write and share their emotional state with others to process

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Confessions of a yogini

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I am a stress chicken. I can create trouble, worries & anxiety in my mind, skilfully & abundantly and without much effort. At times it feels like my default nature. This is the main reason why I turned to Yoga in the first place, to ground myself, to create stability & ease in my body and life. One of the first things I can do is to bring my awareness back in my body, through asana (postures), through pranayama (breath), through dhyana (meditation).

Asana helps me to start the journey from my mind to my heart. To start to connect with my creativity and inner child, to move, to dance, being playful and going upside down. Asana while in nature is Divine. It brings me back to my childhood, playing & running outside, being adventurous, trying new things, feeling the wind in my hair & sun on my skin. I hear the birds singing a beautiful song, feel the sand or grass in between my toes. From here responsibilities & worries starting to slide of my shoulders, I start to connect more deeply with the world around me. I come back home in my body and in this moment. My breathe starts to deepen & my heart starts to speak; expressing her desires. Time Stops. Life Starts.

I am

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Creating balance while riding the waves of Life

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Laughter!

Where there’s seriousness, there’s ego.

Where there is laughter, there is faith.

Where there is little laughter, there is little success.

Where there is laughter, there is love.

It is time to get your medicine: LAUGH! PLAY! SMILE! HAVE FUN! BE CHILDLIKE!

Happy April Fool’s Day! 😉

 

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HAPPY International HAPPINESS DAYYYYY!

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