It has been a difficult year for many couples.
On the one hand, some couples have enjoyed having more time together, rediscovering each other, and finding harmony and strong love. On the other hand, there are couples who have broken out: the little things have become unbearable and not having an escape from being together has become too much. Even couples who really love each other have come under pressure and have suffered.
Couples living abroad have extra stress: being abroad. Away from the family who you may not have been able to see for a long time. Care for the family, parents, grandparents, and elderly uncles who would be in great danger if infected. Working at home forcing you to isolate even from those social contacts at work that often represent the largest portion of our social network abroad. And many other small forms of limitation.
It is not strange that two people under so much stress unload their nerves on each other. A shame though that an external situation that has nothing to do with the couple has such a negative effect on your relationship.
But what to do now?
I have received emails from people who decided to divorce during the lockdown and my first thought was: who knows how they will look at this situation a year from now. What I mean is that important decisions like ending a relationship are best made after the storm of emotions, when you are able to consider the situation calmly and feel grounded, with the focus on what you desire instead of focusing on what you don't wants more.
I wondered how I could contribute through a blog to the healing of couples who have suffered from great stress in this difficult year and who have decided to look at their relationship once again to heal it.
An important reflection when you are in a suffering couple is to take a step back and look at what is happening between you and the other but from a different perspective. I would like to suggest a specific perspective that is rarely visited spontaneously by couples in crisis, but which has been scientifically proven, can make all the difference.
I'm talking about the perspective of emotions and vulnerability.
How do you do that?
I will try to explain this using an example. Imagine a couple where one is always angry because the other doesn't say or do certain things. On the one hand, there is an angry partner and on the other hand, there is a passive partner. The one that is more withdrawn continues to activate the anger in the other, the other with his anger continues to activate the passivity in the one.
If we look at this situation from the perspective that I define as emotions and vulnerability, we could see something completely different in the same people. I'm drawing here a possible scenario.
On the one hand, there is a partner who is afraid because she/he no longer feels a secure emotional bond with his/her partner and feel disempowered and not able to do anything but protest by getting angry. Somehow the anger is to protect oneself and not to feel fear and that sense of helplessness. On the other hand, there is a partner who feels judged and this activates all the vulnerability of not feeling that he/she is enough and the way she/he defends himself from this deep pain is to close himself off in passivity, withdrawal, and silence.
You can probably imagine that seen from this different perspective; the same situation becomes somewhat different. By attributing different meanings to your partner's actions and words, your reaction to the other, and the way you communicate also are likely to change. What used to make you angry now may lead you to openly communicate your needs for an emotional connection with a calm, vulnerable, and emotionally connected attitude.
Getting angry or withdraw is not necessary anymore because if you feel safe you don't need to cover up how you really feel and what you really need from your partner.
How can you apply this change of perspective and communication to your relationship?
1-Start with yourself, take a step back, and feel what is moving inside you, what are the emotions below the surface, the pain that you have not yet confessed to anyone.
2- Paying attention to your pain is already an effective way to heal that pain. Accepting that you have that pain and that that is your starting point, even if it hurts and even if you don't like it, is also a way of heal yourself.
3- Once this is done, you can look at your partner from the perspective of emotions and vulnerability. What can you do to create a climate of emotional security where you and your partner can feel safe in an open and honest conversation where emotions and vulnerability are honored?
If you wish to investigate your specific situation in a private interview with me, do not hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh my! It has now been two days and I can't shake this good feeling off of me. I need to share this with others or I will explode.
Do you know the feeling I'm talking about?
I hope your answer to this question is 'yes' because this is a good feeling and good feelings are a great way to live.
Is it maybe strange to read how I express myself: why should I shake a good feeling off of me? Milk it as long as you can, right? I believe my reaction to what happened will become clear as I tell you more about it.
It was Sunday evening, I was not feeling very well it had been a lazy day and the evening was not looking promising. (This alone could have already been a cue that the stage was clear for a surprise because that often the way things go).
As I was looking for something to watch on Netflix I come across this movie called 'A beautiful day in the neighborhood', starring Tom Hanks, which could be my kind of movie. In general, I strongly dislike movies that scare you with images of violence, danger, impendent drama, I believe they are really bad for mental hygiene.
I watched the trailer and I got intrigued: a quiet atmosphere and interesting character were portraited. So I start to watch the film and I don't know yet exactly why but I like it. It is quite slow, my partner falls asleep and we end up watching something else, however, I keep thinking about the movie, it felt something important was about to be said when we stop watching.
I actually had that feeling during the all movie and sure enough, a lot of simple but poignant things are said during the entire movie. At the first opportunity I had, I look the rest of the movie.
Now, this may sound like the experience of someone watching a thriller with surprises and cliff hangers, but this movie is really a different kind. You could say that there are emotional cliff hangers in the sense that you find yourself feeling what the character feels and hoping someone would talk to you the way Mr. Rogers talks to Lloyd in the movie. Alternatively, as it happened to me, you start to wish you could talk to people like that, convey such compassion, acceptance, and inclusion.
Wouldn't be nice to be able to be a bit like Mr. Rogers?
The story of this man, that really existed and really was as depicted in the movie, has activated me. I don't want to be theatrical and say that this movie has changed me forever, but surely is difficult to get angry at the children since watching the movie and in general negative or judgmental thinking leave me really sad and unsatisfied.
The best way to share this experience with you, besides telling you about my own journey, is to share something, so here you have a taste of Fred Rogers.
Think for 1 minute to those that loved you into being.
And then in the words of Tom Hanks.
And of course the trailer of the film I strongly suggest to watch.
He was trying to give the world positive ways to deal with their feelings.
If you don't have Netflix and still want to watch it, it is possible to rent or buy the film also on YouTube.
Sono felice di annunciare che a partire da lunedì 11 maggio, potrai scegliere di venire nella mia pratica a Nieuwegein per sessioni.
Questa è un'opzione che potresti prendere in considerazione e ti fornirò qui di seguito ulteriori informazioni sugli adeguamenti che sto implementando per conformarmi alle misure necessarie per la sicurezza, come necessario in questo periodo.
Situazioni estreme ispirano la creatività e sono contenta di aver trovato nuovi modi per supportare virtualmente tutti voi in questo periodo di distanziamento sociale con sessioni online e video di coaching online.
Sono passate circa 4 settimane da quando le sessioni sono state esclusivamente online e dopo un'attenta valutazione, ho deciso di riaprire la pratica per le sessioni dal vivo.
Interessante da condividere è che sono tornata a lavorare dal mio spazio di pratica a casa, al Rechthuisdrift 15 a Nieuwegein (Olanda). Quelli di voi che hanno avuto sessioni lì sanno quanto sia comodo questo spazio e sono felice di riutilizzarlo.
Detto questo, desidero specificare che le sessioni online sono sempre possibili, le facevo prima della crisi corona virus e dopo questo periodo continuerò ad avere questa opzione tra i miei servizi.
COME VERRÀ COME SE SEI NELLO SPAZIO PRATICO?
Lavoreremo in sicurezza a 1,5 metri di distanza e ci asterremo dal stringerci la mano o altre forme di contatto fisico, per fortuna c'è molto spazio nella mia pratica a casa.
È importante che entrambi: terapeuta e cliente, ci assicuriamo di non avere sintomi prima di venire ad una sessione ed eventualmente è necessario informare l'altra parte se si hanno sintomi.
In caso di sintomi, possiamo scegliere di riprogrammare la sessione se sei troppo malato o possiamo spostarla online se ti senti abbastanza bene per farlo.
Per consentirti di pulire le mani e tenerle pulite durante la sessione, troverai delle salviette per la pulizia all'ingresso e anche guanti in vinile (questo è facoltativo) che puoi usare.
Il corrimano delle scale verrà pulito prima e dopo ogni visita del cliente. E così sarà la sedia in pelle su cui ti siederai durante la sessione.
Troverai mezzo litro di acqua in bottiglia accanto alla tua sedia come ristoro durante la sessione.
L'uso del bagno è da considerarsi limitato a un'emergenza. Tienilo presente prima della tua visita.
Queste sono tutte le informazioni pratiche. Se hai delle domande o delle osservazioni in proposito, non esitare a contattarmi.
Ik ben blij om aan te kondigen dat je vanaf maandag 11 mei ervoor kunt kiezen om voor sessies naar mijn praktijk in Nieuwegein te komen.
Dit is een optie die u kunt overwegen en ik zal u hieronder meer informatie geven over de aanpassingen die ik aan het uitvoeren ben om te voldoen aan de noodzakelijke veiligheidsmaatregel in deze periode.
Extreme situaties inspireren creativiteit en ik ben blij dat ik nieuwe manieren heb gevonden om jullie allemaal digitaal te ondersteunen in deze periode van sociale afstand met online sessies en de online coachingvideo's.
Het is ongeveer 4 weken geleden dat de sessies uitsluitend online zijn geweest en na zorgvuldige afweging besloot ik de praktijk opnieuw te openen voor sessies live.
Interessant om te vertellen is dat ik weer werk vanuit mijn praktijkruimte thuis, aan de Rechthuisdrift 15 in Nieuwegein. Degenen onder jullie die daar sessies hebben gehad, weten hoe comfortabel die ruimte is en ik ben blij deze opnieuw te gebruiken.
Dit gezegd hebbende, wil ik specificeren dat de sessies online altijd mogelijk zijn, ik deed ze vóór de corona-crisis en ik zal deze optie ook na mijn periode bij mijn diensten houden.
HOE ZAL HET ER UITZIEN ALS JE NAAR DE PRAKTIJKRUIMTE KOMT?
We gaan veilig werken op 1,5 meter afstand en onthouden van het schudden van handen of andere vormen van fysiek contact, waarschijnlijk is er thuis voldoende ruimte in mijn praktijk.
Het is belangrijk dat we allebei: therapeut en cliënt, ervoor zorgen dat we geen symptomen hebben voordat we naar een sessie komen en uiteindelijk de andere partij informeren als we symptomen hebben.
In geval van symptomen kunnen we ervoor kiezen om de sessie opnieuw in te plannen als je te ziek bent of we kunnen het online verplaatsen als je je daar goed genoeg voor voelt.
Om u in staat te stellen uw handen schoon te maken en ze tijdens uw sessie schoon te houden, vindt u schoonmaakdoekjes bij de ingang en ook vinylhandschoenen (dit is optioneel) die u kunt gebruiken.
De leuning van de trap wordt voor en na elk klantbezoek schoongemaakt. En dat geldt ook voor de leren stoel waarop u tijdens de sessie gaat zitten.
Als verfrissing tijdens de sessie vind je naast je stoel een halve liter flessenwater.
Het gebruik van het toilet moet worden beschouwd als beperkt tot een noodgeval. Houd hier voor uw bezoek rekening mee.
Dit is allemaal praktische informatie. Mocht u hierover vragen of opmerkingen hebben, neem dan gerust contact met mij op.
I'm happy to announce that starting from Monday the 11th of May, you will be able to choose to come to my practice in Nieuwegein for sessions.
This is an option you may consider and I will give you here below more information about the adjustments that I'm implementing to comply with the necessary measure for safety as needed in this period.
Extreme situations inspire creativity and I'm glad I found new ways to digitally support all of you in this period of social distancing with online sessions and the online coaching videos.
It has been about 4 weeks since the sessions have been exclusively online and after careful consideration, I decided to reopen the practice for sessions live.
Interesting to share is that I'm back working from my practice space at home, at the Rechthuisdrift 15 in Nieuwegein (The Netherlands). The ones of you that have had sessions there know how comfortable that space is and I'm glad to use it again.
This said I want to specify that the sessions online are always possible, I used to do them before the corona crisis and I will keep having this option amongst my services after this period.
HOW IS IT GOING TO LOOK LIKE IF YOU COME TO THE PRACTICE SPACE?
We are going to work safely at 1,5 meters distance and refrain from shaking hands or other forms of physical contact, likely there is plenty of room in my practice at home.
It is important that we both: therapist and client, make sure we don't have symptoms before coming to a session and eventually informing the other party if we do have symptoms.
In case of symptoms, we can choose to reschedule the session if you are too sick or we can move it online if you are feeling good enough for that.
To allow you to clean your hands and keep them clean during your session, you will find cleaning wipes at the entrance and also vinyl gloves (this is optional) that you can use.
The handrail of the stairs will be cleaned before and after each client visit. And so will be the leather chair you will sit on during the session.
You will find a half-liter of bottled water next to your chair as a refreshment during the session.
The use of the toilet is to be considered limited to an emergency. Keep this into account before your visit.
This is all practical information. If you have any questions or comments about it, do not hesitate to contact me.
Your inner power is the ability to choose freely how to react to life circumstances, is the extent to which you can use your talents and ability to accomplishing your goals, and realizing your dreams.
This needs to be said as first because there is a rumor that power has something to do with being able to influence the behavior of others to your advantage or that money has a part in having power.
Your power is something between you and yourself, is how your personal development manifests itself, is how you notice that you are growing wiser and more capable to make a difference in your life and in the environment you live in.
I believe this is enough to see why accessing your personal power is so important for yourself, your life, and for the world. The more you are in contact with your own power the more you feel grounded and capable of functioning optimally in your life, the more you feel empowered and capable of facing challenges and the more you experience happiness, fulfillment, and purpose in your life.
Yes, but how do you access your power?
The truth is that there are many ways to access it. My choice is to share some of the easiest and simple. Why make it complicated when it can be simple?
However, I have to warn you, I’ve often seen people losing themselves in complex considerations about their power and their self-image. A simple solution helps you ground, let go of the complexity of the mind, meet yourself at a very basic level.
You can compare this to the habit of monks of doing themselves all the cleaning, the gardening and cooking in the monastery. It is simple work, they already know how to do it, however, the reason they do it is that the simplicity of the work is grounding, meditative and helps them stay connected with the basics.
There is an important lesson to be learned here, namely reaching a higher level of complexity requires that you keep in contact with the basics. The further you develop on your process cognitively or spiritually, the most relevant it is to go back to basic to stay grounded.
Access to your inner power also requires this approach, in my humble opinion. This is also the answer to how you expand your inner power.
As per how you use it, I leave that entirely to you. I know you will know how to use it every step of the way.
Conflict is, simply said, an incompatibility between the interest of two parties. Conflicts come in different grades of intensity and the majority of people tend to avoid conflicts and even to judge who doesn't do their best to avoid conflict: 'there must be another way'!
Well, I came to appreciate the potential of a well-handled conflict and seen that conflicts cannot really be avoided, I share gladly some findings to help you widen your toolkit to solve conflicts in a creative and growth-oriented way.
Conflicts we have with others mirrors something happening inside of ourselves, an inner conflict. Inner conflict is a struggle we are not aware of between two parts of us that have conflicting interests.
When we experience a conflict with a person or situation we often lose sight of what is going on inside, how we feel, and what we need.
However, all modern conflict resolution theory indicates that is in de investigation of the feelings and the needs that the parties in conflicts bring to the table, that the best and most creative and effective solutions are found. When conflict is approached like this, it becomes a moment of growth, to strengthen the relationships and to know themselves better.
In essence, what this is showing, is that the solution to the conflict in the outside world is found in the exploration of our own inner world. The journey that each of the parties does inside themselves is what makes the real issue visible and makes the problem solvable.
Self-knowledge and self-awareness are important in this process because we need to know our vulnerability and our strengths to be able to step into the arena and be present and available to honest communication.
This is the starting point of changing the game within the relationship where the conflict lives and being able to create sustainable alternatives.
The importance of being in contact with our desires is greatly under-evaluated. Often seen as a luxury than you need to earn, desires are experienced as frivolous, decorative, unimportant and irrelevant.
My claim is that desires are a doorway to our deepest essence and potential and as such deserve attention, care and the opportunity to develop and grow.
The perspective I'm offering here looks at desires as a way to manifest your power, to assert what you want and embrace your potential to realize it.
Desire is not just frivolous pleasure, the desire to have a child, to meet your soul mate, to earn your living putting your talent to good use, are examples of desires many have and struggle with.
The reason we struggle is that we don't have the realization of desire in our life, but the real reason we struggle is that we cannot let go of the desire. The reason we cannot let go of our deepest desires is that they are merely a manifestation of our deepest nature and most precious essence.
In light of this, you cannot consider desires as frivolous and unimportant, now you know why you desire and why it is so important for you to do so with more and more passion and energy.
What you may have notice relating to your desires is that they tend to get blocked. The most common misunderstandings about what blocks our capability to realize our desires is that the blocks are outside of us and therefore out of our control.
What is absolutely true is that what is outside of ourselves is out of our control and difficult to impossible to change. What is also true is that the real blocks to the development of our desires are inside of us. When I talk about blocks inside of us I'm talking about the way we think, what we believe and how this makes us feel, the person that we become because of what we believe.
You can say that what you believe about what is possible, reasonable, within your reach, determines what you achieve, what you manage to create in your life.
The first important step is acknowledging that the reality we are living now has been created by what we currently believe.
You may react negatively to this statement, I understand, so did I when I first heard it. At the time, I was thinking: 'this is not what I want, so it cannot be created by me'.
Only later I realized that I was creating my current situation not only with what I wanted but mainly with what I believed was possible for me, within my reach.
It was painful at first realizing that I didn't really believe to deserve much, then I started to forgive myself for the painful believes that had grown in my mind and by accepting what was I could start to heal.
This is so incredibly important and often overlooked. The first step is acknowledging what is, right now. Especially if it stinks, is important to see it clearly and call it with its name. It is the same as doing a diagnosis to be then able to start a cure.
What is required of you is to become intimate with yourself, accepting and embracing everything that you will find in the process.
The price at the end of this difficult journey is reconnecting with your most pure essence and creative power. Accessing the pleasure of life at its finest
The short answer to the question: How do you create in your life what you desire?
Making intimate contact with your inner power, exploring the extension of what is possible and massage the boundaries of what you believe is normal and possible moving gradually towards what is believable, acceptable to finally reach the radical and the unthinkable.
Knowing what a problem really is about is the only way to possibly solve it. it is perfectly normal to feel like you already know what the problem is about, it is your problem after all, however, the experience teaches us that there is much more to a problem than that is visible on the surface.
There are also a lot of misconceptions about what a problem is and what its function is. The discomfort surrounding the idea of having a problem is so charged with negativity that in some environment it is consciously chosen not to even use the word 'problem' and to use instead of the word 'challenge'.
The truth of the matter is that the etymology of the word problem reveals that the real meaning of the word is: launch forward. This is the same origin as the word 'project' that surely has a much more positive reputation. You can conclude that a problem is nothing more than a project, a journey of discovery, a plan that waits to be executed. One of my favorite quote about this is:
"Every problem is an opportunity in disguise"
Why we end up experiencing a situation as a problem? The pragmatic Dutch writer Berthold Gunster defines a problem as followed: "A problem is a contradiction between a fact and an expectation."
Then he adds that this makes problems complex and at the same time offers an incredible opportunity.
Understanding what is the fact that is challenging you with regards to your problem and considering carefully how much your expectation is realistic, can bring you right to the core of the problem of the problem or said differently, can help you grasp why the problem you are experiencing is a problem for you.
What you may have noticed reflecting on your problem is how solving a problem is actually a way to discover yourself, what is important for you, what do you really want and what is the essence for you of the current situation and of your desired outcome.
There are so many ways to look at a problem in a different way to discover all the opportunities behind it, all the hidden desires and the potential to get closer to the essence of what you are trying to create in your life.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to solve a problem when everything else's in your life is going really well?
There are exceptions, of course, for instance when the one problem you have has a strong influence on many other areas of your life, or if you, unfortunately, have more than one problem.
Whatever your situation is, keep reading.
The point I want to make is that a problem is not an island.
There is enormous value in considering our life as a whole when solving a problem. Our life has many aspects and many areas in it. Every area has unique resources in it for you and also its unique history, opportunity, and challenges.
Think about your health, your career, your romantic relationship, and your personal development just to mentions some of the areas of your life.
In each of those areas, there is a micro-universe of information about you, who you are and who you want to become, what you already have and what you want to create in your life.
Imagine making a map of your life, of all areas that you feel belong to your life and using it to navigate your way to the solution of the problem you are confronted with currently.
Can you see it in front of you?
For each area of your life you can summarize the role that area has with regards to your problem. It doesn't matter if it is an area where the problem is most felt or if it just the opposite, an area where you find resources to solve the problem.
What you are achieving is collecting useful and relevant information that will enable you to make informed decisions about your next step.
When you approach a problem in this way, you take your problem out of isolation and you integrate it into your life.
This is an excellent way to identify risks that you may have previously underestimated, related to your problem, that you can now address properly.
On the other hand, in your life there are also many resources that can help you tackle and solve your problem. A holistic look at your life allows you to see those too, much more clearly.
In conclusion, it doesn't matter if your problem is small and nicely confined to one area of your life, or if it is taking over your all life, looking at the bigger picture will create more space for a creative solution and for a better understanding of the essence of the problem.