From working with veterans who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I’ve become even more fascinated with the relationship between human emotions and our physiology. It’s amazing to witness how events that once deeply impacted us on an emotional level, can completely change our hearing and eyesight, the way our heart beats, our muscle function, and the way our brains process all incoming information. One single traumatic experience, let’s say fifteen years ago, has the capacity to change the quality of our lives forever.
When you have a basic understanding of the energetics of trauma, you might know that it’s not the event that’s negatively impacting our system. It’s how we perceived the event in the first place, and how the continuous energetic connection with that past event keeps us trapped in the past. Our body literally lives in the past. That’s why the physical responses are so intense and real – The body cannot distinguish the difference between the memory and a real experience. Most of us have the capacity to reason like: “That happened then, and it was very traumatic, but I am safe now.” Those who suffer from (severe) PTSD mostly don’t have that capacity, and their body reacts like they’re back in the trenches witnessing a horrific scene.
But it’s not just severe trauma or PTSD that keeps preventing us from living in the present moment. Most people that I know do not live in the present moment, most of the time. We experience some kind of stress in our lives without even realizing it. Whether we worry about our future finances, feel victimized by others, hold on to what our spouse once said to us, or because we subconsciously feel that we’re not following our true passion in life.
Living in stress means that we’re not balanced and that we are not fully present. There’s a friction between our deepest desires, and the way we currently experience life. Right now.
So far, I have been talking about the way we respond to external events in our lives. It seems that we have adopted the belief that life is happening to us, and we try to manage the best we can. That’s what we have been taught when we were little. That’s what our friends and family, and our culture keep reaffirming to us. We have practiced this often enough that it has become our state (of mind).
But what if I told you that life is never happening to you. This might be your perception, but life is actually responding to you.
You are made up of about 50 trillion cells. Each one of these cells is affected by their environment. Between the actual environment, and the cells that make up your body, there’s a filter – your interpretation of the environment. The cells in your body are not going to respond to the actual events in your life, but they will respond to your interpretation of these events. Each cell has surface receptors (membrane receptors) and they’re like the cells’ antennas). In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein molecule that receives signals from outside a cell. When such signals bind to a receptor, they cause some form of cellular/tissue response, e.g. a change in the electrical activity of a cell. Simply said: “The 50 trillion cells in your body listen 24/7, to what you feel and think, and they start behaving accordingly.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And to add one more thing to the confusion, life around you is also responding to the same energetic signals that you emit, because the process that I just described is not limited to your own body. This also explains why energy healing has been used effectively for thousands of years. And the same principle forms the foundation for the work that I do with HeartMath. Now you begin to better understand that life is literally responding to you.
Master your own magnificence
In stead of focusing on what’s going on outside of you, it’s much more effective to start paying attention to how you respond to these events. Once you begin to become aware of how you feel and the way you respond, you have opened up the possibility to change. When you start talking differently to your cells, stop complaining, and begin to take back your own powers to heal and grow, your cellular structure literally starts changing as well.
During my events, we focus exactly on the process of changing your energy, and it is a very powerful process. During my upcoming retreat in Costa Rica, from Nov 27 – Dec 2, we dive really deep into this amazing adventure of healing and transformation. In case you want to join me and the other teachers, you might want to sign up now, because on August 27 the early bird rate ($200 discount per person) will end.
Why don’t you take some more time for yourself by just becoming still. There’s nothing you have to do in particular. When you start quieting the mind, you begin to tap into the innate wisdom of your intuition and answers will come to you. It’s the art of mastering your own magnificence. In case you need a bit of help, feel free to download my free ebooks ‘The Little Blue Breathing Book’ and the ‘Purple Personal Purpose Book”. And if you feel drawn to what I have shared with you, I just released my first album containing an hour of heart coherence meditations! You can purchase it by clicking on the button below.
Since I was a child, I have always loved creating new experiences. And I still do. It’s an expression of my curiosity and it brings out the aliveness in me, something that we’re all born with and long for, in one way or the other.
When I was about 5 years old, I was suffering from severe bronchitis and I spent quite a bit of time in bed. But I remember, even then I found ways to get in touch with my aliveness. My parents weren’t always too impressed with this though.
One day, I lifted a small table on top of my mattress. On top of the small table I balanced a chair and managed to climb it with one hand, and crayons in the other, and I started colouring on the ceiling. I figured that it would be fun to look at my ‘art’ while lying in bed.
Through the years, I’ve become a bit more skilled in creating my experiences. They have certainly evolved into more meaningful ones. Especially over the last few years – I now apply my skills and intuition to create healing experiences for those who are physically, emotionally and mentally not in balance. And most recently, my work with the veterans who suffer from PTSD symptoms, enable me to further learn, grow and experiment. I’ve found that creating new experiences based on loving care and connection, helps them heal the most.
Magic becomes the new normal
When we can’t see something, while we know it exists, or when something happens and we cannot explain it based on the information that we have (learned or experienced in our past), we tend to label it as Magic. It’s the easiest solution for not getting too confused. That’s why for example spontaneous healing, energy healing, remote viewing and creating your future based on setting intentions receive so little credibility – It just goes beyond our imagination and what we think is possible. Albert Einstein used to explain this concept in a beautiful way. He said:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
We completely forget that everything that has ever been created, always started with imagination. Whether it was the first wheel, electricity, the first space journey or the internet.
Retreat about creating
Maybe you have heard about alternative healing, but you don’t know how to apply it. Maybe you believe in your unlimited potential but you don’t know how to put it to good use. Maybe you feel like there’s something blocking you deep within yourself that keeps you from creating the life you desire. Or maybe you’re just curious about how the new science is explaining our health and growth in unseen ways.
Together with Spanish author, lecturer and neuroscience researcher Josep Soler, I organize a highly powerful and transformative retreat in beautiful Costa Rica from November 27 – December 2, 2017.
During this retreat, both Josep and myself, will inspire you to break through all the mental constructs and internal barriers that keep you living a limited life – the life you are in right now.
We will help you reach your full potential and you will discover that nothing can go wrong in your life – when heart and mind are aligned, you’ll be able to understand the purpose of all events in your life. You will even be able to overcome diseases in your body.
Together we will apply science & spirituality to create lasting change and witness how magic becomes the new normal.
It’s not the first time that you see me write about our purpose and about simplicity. Not so long ago I wrote this blog post about keeping things simple in our lives because I have learned that the more intelligent approach or philosophy we are trying to embrace, the more we come from our mind and not from pure passion. And that’s where most of us get stuck when trying to find our purpose in life.
One of the best practices that will show you when you are not connected to your heart, is when you hook yourself up to a heart rhythm monitor and watch your own heart rhythm change when shifting from ‘feeling’ back to ‘thinking’. So, if you ever like to learn more about the science of the heart and the HeartMath® principles, please let me know because I am very passionate about this.
I hear lots of my friends and people that I meet during my events talk about following your dream and living from the heart. It’s so wonderful to see that many want to break free from a life that isn’t fulfilling or just doesn’t work for them. Times are changing and we feel that we need to change too!
Although the desire is there, we seem to struggle to truly live this on a day-to-day basis. Before we know we fall back onto our familiar fears, insecurities and self-inflicted limitations. Not because we’re slow learners or not smart enough. It’s because we’re wired like that.
Free ‘purple personal purpose book’
After the well received Little Blue Breathing Book, where in which explain the power of heart-focused breathing, I felt inspired to write a new ebook for you. And so I did. I named it the Purple Personal Purpose Book (I know, it’s only me who can come up with such a silly title). In this short ebook, I will talk about the ‘hard-wiring’ of us humans and I will take you on a fun journey into the art of living life. After reading this book, you might come to the conclusion that my 3 deceptively simple but profound ways to help you find your purpose, are exactly what you’ve been looking for. If that’s the case, please let me know, because I always love to hear your experiences.
You can download the FREE ebook here. Please enjoy and share with others.
“A breathing book? What’s that all about?” I know, it might sound a bit out there. But it isn’t and I will soon tell you why.
I wasn’t ready
But first this. While I was working on this ebook, I couldn’t help but smile. I used to work for a large financial corporation in Amsterdam. The last thing that was on my mind was breathing or meditation. Are you kidding me!? At that time, I thought I had more important tasks to focus on. Despite the fact that I was often feeling quite stressed – I worked long hours, against tight deadlines and the pressure on my performance as an executive didn’t make my life much easier.
It would be way easier for me now to look back on my life and think: “I wish I had known more about breathing and meditation during a time that it could have served me so well”. I could have known all about it, because the science of the breath is not new. It has been practiced for thousands of years. I just very well know that I just wasn’t ready for this. I perceived myself, and the world around me, in a very different way than I do today – from feeling separate from most people around me, to feeling deeply connected to myself, to humanity in general, and to the universe.
Sometimes we’re just not ready and that’s fine. But life can take a sharp turn.
We don’t always ask for change
During a difficult time in my life, when I lost three of my close family members in a relatively short period of time, I was looking to find a way of relaxation and stress reduction.
Many things in life, like grief, are beyond our control. But it is possible for us to calm our state of mind so that we can deal with our emotions in a more healthy way. We can then truly process all that we feel, without being terrorized by the mind. In fact, the daily practice of breathing and meditation has supported me through this traumatizing time. It has also offered me deep insights of who I truly am and helped me to express my deeper feelings and emotions.
People from all around the world have embraced these tools & techniques. Often in times of stress, anxiety, ADD/ADHD or those suffering from all kinds of trauma, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
So when you meet adversity in life, be open because it wants to tell you something.
So I have created the Little Blue Breathing Book (FREE download) with some very simple, scientifically proven, tools and techniques. They help reduce stress, boost your resilience, sharpen intuitive abilities and increase your performance. That sounds pretty cool huh!?
But I didn’t make this book for the ‘cool’. I made it because I know that so many people can and will benefit from these simple techniques on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, I want to ask you how many people you know who could benefit from this? I’d like you to think about it for a minute and then share this post, with the FREE ebook link, with some of your family members and friends. I’m convinced that they will be thanking you for this.
Back in 2013, I had a delightful and inspiring conversation with the world renowned, spiritual teacher Mooji. At some point in the conversation we were talking about “the truth” and as softly spoken as Mooji is, he told me: “Dirk… the truth is simple, but the seeker of truth is often complex.”
Keep it Simple
When I heard him speak these words, I almost jumped up from my chair with happiness! That was so profound what he just said and it was if I was listening to myself. I have to admit to you now, that I used to be very careful sharing my views around the simplicity of life with others, because it had backfired at me before – “I just didn’t understand their current situation” or “that was too simplistic of me to think that way”. And honestly, sometimes I started doubting my own view on life and often pondered the question: “What do they know what I don’t understand?”
These doubts and limiting beliefs stem from my teenage years, when I found out that after going through a full day of career testing, the conclusion of the psychologists was that I wasn’t so smart (I wrote more about it in this blog post). This conclusion by others about my abilities became my truth for more than twenty years, and sometimes, it can still hijack my creative process.
“Do you keep your hand on the stove?”
Yes, I am a sensitive person, and so are you, otherwise you wouldn’t even bother reading my blog posts in the first place. But when you are sensitive doesn’t mean that you always have to live at the mercy of what you see or what others share with you. It doesn’t mean that you will have to keep suffering from the events around you. It also doesn’t mean that you have to follow the most advanced spiritual teachings in order to stay sane.
Keeping your Hand on the Stove
I once heard an analogy from Esther Hicks that really resonated with me. It goes a bit like this.
If you have a stove in your house that’s a perfect and cozy way to give you some extra warmth during chilly winter days and nights, you know that it’s very warm and that you don’t want to touch it with your bare hands for too long. At first it might feel good when your hands touch the cast iron shell, but after a little while it will become too hot and you will burn yourself. You know that it doesn’t feel good to keep your hand on the stove. But why is it sometimes so hard to take your hand off the stove?
You might say: “My mother had her hand on the stove. Her mother had her hand on the stove. Our family puts its hand on the stove all the time. It’s just what we all do. The day I was born, they put my hand on the stove!” And now you get to decide how you like it and you find it hard: “Do I dare take my hand from the stove?” When you risk it and try it, you realize that it is sweet relief. But then you might think: “My mother still has her hand on the stove, and my government still has its hand on the stove. They’ve all got their hand on the stove! Who am I to find the relief of not putting my hand on the stove?” All right, put your hand back on the stove if you want to, but understand that it’s you who gets to allow or not allow. These are your choices.
Does the analogy make any sense to you? It all boils down to the knowing that you do have the ability and the capacity to make conscious choices. You don’t need to have Ph.D. behind your name, or be a spiritual expert to understand and embrace this concept.
During the last 5 years of interviewing authors, spiritual teachers, scientists and musicians, I often looked up to people having so much experience and wisdom – “If I could be like them, then my life would be so great and I would feel so much more fulfilled” is what I often thought.
But one day, when I was hiking with my dogs in the pristine nature near my house, just after I did an interview with don Miguel Ruiz, I stopped because I was in awe with the incredible intelligence and simplicity of life. It was so quiet here. “The trees never seem to worry and the creek flows with so much grace” I thought. I also knew that the same intelligence that keeps the trees growing and the birds singing, is exactly the same force that keeps my heart beating. All life is deeply connected to the same universal intelligence. “And if that’s true, then all of Mooji’s or Miguel’s wisdom lies within me as well!” I thought. The truth is that simple, but I was often too complex. I wanted to keep my hand on the hot stove, just because I was living an old pattern, over and over again. I wasn’t present. I wasn’t connected to my heart and therefore not connected to the intelligent cosmic heart. Wow, that was such an insight for me!
Since that experience out in the forest, my life has never been the same again – I read less and less self-help books. I rarely listen to people’s well meant advices anymore, and I absolutely don’t care what others think of me. Why would I? I AM all that I have been searching for! I get it now!
When I become still, especially out in nature, I start feeling a deep connection with myself, with the intelligence that I am part of, and also with you. I deeply realize that life is not about me. Life’s about us. And that’s when I feel I want to reach out to others in need. That’s when I want to remain in silence for even longer periods, and that’s when I am just grateful for being alive and being connected to you, because I deeply feel (as Rumi used to say) that I am not just a drop in the ocean. I am the entire ocean in a drop.
I am interested to learn in what ways you are able to embrace the simplicity of life and how you make choices to live in the present moment in stead of the past. Maybe you even resonate with what I just shared with you and you want to try this for yourself.
Keep it simple and have fun!
In case you want to work with me to start living in the present moment, so you’re no longer have to live in the past, send me an email and I will forward you some helpful information on how to get started.
Ebook Interview Mooji available here.
A local radio show host asked his listeners this week: “Tell me something good.” He talked about all the misery and violence that’s going on throughout the world, and how it affected his outlook on life so much. So he asked his listeners to phone in and share something good with him.
Do you recognize that feeling? I do! There are days that my life seems to be in such a perfect flow – meaningful synchronicities unfold seemingly out of ‘nothing’, the joy of just being alive makes me feel so grateful and all that I do that day feels effortless!
A minute later I listen to the news on the radio – the reporter informs me about the hell that’s unfolding in Aleppo, where innocent mothers and children are being murdered and no end seems to be in sight. The flow that I experienced just seconds before, vanishes quickly and makes room for deep sadness and despair, and I feel like a helpless victim of a society full of hatred and violence. My first reaction is to yell out: “Please, tell me something good!”
It’s not hard for us to feel overwhelmed in times of intense violence, economic uncertainty, global warming or in the face of personal health or relationship challenges. When we experience stress, emotional pain, anger or sadness, our body literally begins to change too and we start feeling stressed and we can’t think clearly anymore. Research shows that 60-80% of primary care doctor visits are purely related to stress. Can you imagine that? 60 – 80%!
It’s very powerful to just be quiet and recognize your own state and honour the language of your own emotions. Although we’d love to hear something good, deciding to be happy in that moment doesn’t work of course. Our heart knows there are so many people suffering. But never think that you can’t be there for others.
Scientists confirm over and over again that we are deeply connected by a very intelligent field. It’s the same field that created us in the first place. In stead of believing that we cannot be there for others because we seem to be separate, know that you do have influence on other people’s wellbeing and on the state of our planet. This knowing alone can often be enough to inspire yourself and help inspire others.
When you begin to feel your heart and find a new heart rhythm by breathing slower and deeper, your body will automatically synchronize with this intelligent, electromagnetic field. I call it our ‘cosmic body’. It’s an extension of our physical body. When we can find the courage to bless the things that hurt us, something changes chemically. Our new emotions become our physical reality. And when we decide to experience peace, love, compassion, forgiveness, healing and tolerance in our heart, not just our physical body changes, but we also have an equally important impact on the cosmic body. All those who are suffering are connected to that same field. In case you haven’t downloaded it yet, I do have a 10 minute Heart Coherence meditation for you.
This might sound like some kind of New Age theory to you, but it’s a simple explanation of all the scientific research that’s available to you these days. Maybe that’s why we see more and more global initiatives for collective meditations…
I am deeply inspired by a beautiful traditional Buddhist prayer:
May I be at peace.
May my heart remain open.
May I awaken to the light of my own nature.
May I be healed.
May I be a source of healing for all beings.
We are taught to believe in our own limits. But what if we are only limited until we change the way we see ourselves in the world? How differently would we live if we discovered that we are born with the power to choose our relationship to others and even to life itself? Such a radical discovery would change everything about the way we see ourselves!
Feel free to leave a comment or to send me a message. I also organize events and one-on-one trainings and coaching. Feel free to contact me if you have questions.