20 April 2017
It’s the Easter holidays and we’re spending a few days in the Belgian Ardennes. We have ended up in quite a special place: a bed & breakfast where the owners take care of neglected and abused dogs.
I had read about it on their website and had formed an abstract image in my mind of what this meant. But it breaks your heart when you are actually confronted with the dogs, coming from Spain, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. Most have simply had their legs cut off. You wonder why so much cruelty is needed and you are ashamed to be a human when you look into these dogs’ eyes.
These helpless animals had every reason to lose faith in people forever. And yet this couple from the B&B have succeeded in rebuilding their faith with a lot of patience and love. The dogs have given this couple their trust to get help. The help consists of a complete physiotherapy programme, custom-made wheelchairs, quality nutrititon and daily care. Not only the dogs benefit from this care. You can clearly see that these people are passionate about what they are doing and that it gives meaning to their lives. Both parties benefit.
This brings me to the subject of asking for help as a person. It is something we struggle with and we will only ask when we have no other option, when we are completely helpless like those poor dogs.
For one reason or another we believe that asking for help and putting ourselves in a vulnerable position is a sign of weakness, as if we would lose something.
It is rather the contrary. Asking for help creates a warm connection between the asker and the giver. Not asking for help or refusing kindly offered help alienates you from others. You risk to lose something valuable and human.
It does take some courage to ask - I notice this personally: when I’m in trouble or stuck with something, I tend to close off, turn into myself, maybe in an attempt not to feel any pain. Talking to someone else at that moment confronts you with your own vulnerability. But it doesn’t kill you, quite the opposite.
Ancient Wisdom as a vaccine
In De Standaard of 21 April (one of the major local newspapers) there was a beautiful article entitled "Art as a vaccine in the post-corona era". Why wait for that post-corona era? Yesterday the parable "This too shall pass" ended up in my mailbox.
28 April 2020
The invisible dog or how being hard headed does not pay off
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Humans excel in that. We somehow believe that if we keep trying harder we will ultimately succeed, even if we keep ending up with the same result, time and time again.
2 November 2018
From King of the Mountain to Swimming Champion
23 August 2018
What if email, mobile phones and social media did not exist?
12 July 2018
Don’t make change too complicated. Just begin.
14 June 2018
Why not take a mini-holiday
10 May 2018
Lost in deconstruction
"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star" [Friedrich Nietzsche]
19 April 2018
How Dog had a breakthrough – a contemporary fable (part 2)
15 March 2018
How Cat & Dog should follow the example of Mouse, a contemporary fable
15 February 2018
Winter’s life lesson
21 November 2017
A juvenile delinquent dog or the price of adulthood
When we reach the age of adulthood we seem to have internalised all those responsibilities, expectations and limitations. As if the free creatures that we once were are forgotten.
18 January 2018
Lessons taught by wild geese
16 November 2017
Who is the King of Creation?
What if things were different from what we have always assumed? It can make you feel very unsafe to question your normal perspective. On the other hand it also offers incredible freedom and creativity to step outside the beaten track and become curious.
19 October 2017
From prey to predator and vice versa
From prey to predator and vice versa, the natural order put upside down. The animals themselves do not seem to be bothered by it - for sure Django isn’t, and the hens appear to find it quite normal to be on top of the food chain.
5 October 2017
How is your Monkey Mind?
We all have a Monkey Mind, Buddha said, with scores of monkeys, all demanding attention. The fear monkey is the loudest of them all, he is constantly ringing the alarm bell, drawing our attention to things we should be wary of and to everything that can go wrong.
21 September 2017
The parable of the businessman and the fisherman
We always have a choice: do we listen to our sabotaging inner voices or do we opt for what we really want, like the fisherman?
24 August 2017
Mr Goldberg and his assumptions
It is worthwhile to take a closer look at the assumptions you have about the persons with whom you have a relationship. You could develop the habit to ask yourself if a certain assumption is really true. And what if it is not?
10 August 2017
What if ....?
What if you would use a different perspective to look at what you have always assumed to be the objective reality? Does objective reality as such even exist?
9 February 2017
Frieda just asks
Asking for help is something that is hard to do for a lot of us. Self-reliance and autonomy are highly respected in our individualistic society. Another aspect of asking for help is that we build up a 'debt' as it were, We also do not like to disturb others with our problems
18 February 2016