19 April 2018
Lost in deconstruction
During the past few days this phrase has been going through my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing fine. I’m just a bit ‘lost in deconstruction’. Our garden is a perfect illustration: after all these years we want a complete makeover and to achieve this, we have to deconstruct it completely. The hedges around the vegetable plot need to be taken out, the lie fruit trees need to be moved elsewhere, etc.
From a fairly classical garden with grass and planted borders we are aiming for a wilder, more natural one, including paths that lead to spots with inspiring plants and flowers and colours that change through the seasons; and what I am wishing for specifically: no more grass. Our garden architect from “” (quite an appropriate name, as it means “Gardens in Movement”) translated our wishes into a plan and we want this to become reality as soon as possible. This unavoidably means going through a deconstruction phase - which feels very chaotic and confusing, and sometimes a trifle hopeless.
And that is how I sometimes feel myself nowadays. Not surprising really, when I think of all the great changes in my life in the past year. Some of these changes I consciously initiated myself, others just happened. My own landscape is being redrawn and it looks chaotic at times.
Good old Nietzsche was probably right when he said “You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star”. Our garden project also proves to be a source of inspiration. We have laid out the paths with sticks and boards. A theoretical design on paper, envisaged in our minds, can now be experienced tangibly. Our body supplies us with new information that our brain did not have before. The initial design is slowly being adapted, and what felt complicated at first, becomes clearer, one step at a time. Sometimes I can picture our final garden, and it feels great.
In my life I now also have these aha moments quite often, when I almost literally feel how my brain gets something that my body has known for a long time, like it is catching up. I also realise that I have to give it time and that I do not need to fill my days with more action. In Africa there is a saying that goes: “Wait every now and then, so that your soul can catch up”.
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
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
Asking for help is something we struggle with and we will only ask when we have no other option. We believe that asking for help and putting ourselves in a vulnerable position is a sign of weakness. Asking for help creates a warm connection between the asker and the giver.
20 April 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