It was in the middle of the night and I was wearing my pyjamas. Together with my two older brothers, I was sitting in the dark living room in front of a ‘state-of-the-art’ Philips black-and-white television. I was four years old but I still remember feeling such an incredible excitement from both of my brothers as we huddled together even more closely to the small screen.
It was like a science fiction movie when we saw an astronaut descending the ladder of the Apollo 11 while a voice, full of excitement, came from the little speaker in the TV. The astronaut was of course Neil Armstrong and he was the first human in history to step onto the surface of the moon on July 21, 1969. We later heard him speak: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The world was ecstatic! Or?
Two weeks after this memorable night, I stayed with my grandma for the weekend. I loved these weekends because she lived in the countryside, close to the forest, it was always very quiet and our time together was special to me. Over dinner I started telling her all about my experience of witnessing the moon landing two weeks ago and how excited we all three were about seeing Neil Armstrong descending that ladder. Grandma suddenly stopped eating, slowly looked up at me and said: “That’s such a nonsense! Don’t believe everything you see on that television.” And that was basically the end of my exciting story and we moved on with our dinner, talking about the small things which had happened that day.
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” — Mark Twain
That night in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about my grandmother’s reaction – how could she not believe this life changing discovery? I had seen it with my own eyes (and so had millions of other people around the world), and I intuitively felt that something big had just happened.
Was it her steadfast believe in God that kept her from accepting this historic moon landing because humans were messing with God’s plan? Or was it just too crazy for her to be real?
From my bed I could look through the window and caught a glimpse of the moon, high in the dark sky. I had to give her this – It was almost too crazy to imagine that a man had been walking on this beautiful moon I was just looking at… Even though I respected and loved my grandmother so much, this was something she couldn’t take away from me because I knew it was real.
Stuff that we believe
When you look at your own life, what is it that you believe? Are you more like my grandma, and will you feel uncomfortable when things might be different from what you think they are? Or are you comfortable to look at the origin of your beliefs, and are you open to new discoveries that can possibly compromise your current beliefs? There’s a good chance you never thought about it this way. Most of us don’t, but I like to share some modern science with you so that you better understand why I write this article in the first place.
The majority of the things that you believe in your life, are not your own. Yes, this might surprise you, but until you were six or seven years old you didn’t decide which beliefs were going to be yours. Your brains simply didn’t have that capacity — the cultural influence, the things your parents (or caregivers) and teachers at school told you, and all other experiences you were exposed to were simply absorbed by your subconscious mind, because that’s how we learn as a small child. The brain wave patterns in young children are relatively slow because the brain is not fully formed yet. By the time we are nine years old we begin to develop our critical and analytical mind and we start applying everything that is stored in our subconscious mind.
But now comes the big surprise (or maybe it’s a shocker for you) — This same subconscious mind controls 95% of how you experience and deal with your circumstances. So most of what you believe and think is “real”, was what you simply absorbed when you were a child. And these programs are still running your life today, maybe decades later, leading you to feel like a victim, being afraid to make mistakes, thinking that you’re not good enough and so on.
It is no surprise then, that at some point in your life you start wondering who you really are and what the purpose of life means to you (did I mention midlife crisis?). Or you wonder why you always react that same way to your mother, spouse or co-worker — the programs of your subconscious mind are running the show for 95% of your day and they are not even yours. Will these programs meet the needs of your deepest wishes and desires? Most likely not!
From Reacting to Creating
There are interesting and exciting ways to break your old patterns. When you become aware of how your mind, heart and nervous system work together, and how your beliefs and emotions shape you, you have allowed yourself to start learning to make lasting change, so that you can move from a reactive life, to start creating along the path of your soul. And this is exactly what I will be sharing with you in my upcoming events,
workfunshops and retreats. It’s my passion to inspire you, empower you and share really effective tools with you.
I also inspire and train individuals and organizations, by applying the wisdom, scientific tools, and techniques of accessing the power of our hearts. Feel free to browse dirkterpstra.com, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or share this story with your friends. I would love to hear from you.
When I was a young boy, I was often deeply touched by all the events and circumstances that surrounded me (call me sensitive) – A loving family life, a special bond with my elementary school teacher and the bliss of being alone in the high mountains of the European Alps during the family holidays, to name a few.
But there were also other events that impacted the way I was perceiving life and myself in this life – feeling the post-Second World War stress with my parents and grandparents, the harm humans do to the environment and the fact that I secretly found out that a consultant, who tested me for post-graduate education, basically told my parents that I was not smart enough to pursue higher education…
And fast-forward to 2015, these events and many, many more, shaped me into who I am now and how I choose to live my life.
In 2013 I decided to create a platform called Soul Love where I share stories and interviews with people that inspire me – to show you that we create our own lives by whichever force we connect to. We are all love, or light if you like, and we all have the capacity to move away from the light or towards the light, it’s our very own choice.
Despite the fact that these events that I described above, but also despite the fact that in a period of 10 years time, I lost my father, my very own brother and my dear mother, despite of all of these events (I can now say: “Thanks to these events”) I have come to see that life gets so much more beautiful and so much more meaningful when I started allowing myself to feel these pains, then even dared to embrace these same pains so that I ultimately felt being lifted higher, to a higher purpose in my Divine journey called life. Yes, it requires being vulnerable, and during a conversation with former NFL linebacker Keith Mitchell, we concluded that society often perceives vulnerability as a weakness (especially with men), but I see being vulnerable as very empowering.
Once we come to the realization that we are a soul with infinite possibilities and that we are not the limitations that we were told, or the painful experiences that we felt to take personal, we set ourselves completely free.
Yes, I do very much realize that this might not always be easy, but hey, to me that’s never an excuse to not move on and to not let the Universe take care of me.
I love climbing mountains, on foot or by bike, and I also love the fact that these trips are not always easy, because I clearly feel getting stronger along the way and I know for sure that I am always treated with magnificent views along the way and on the top. Going back down often goes much faster, but I enjoy this journey too and in the back of my head I see myself already climbing a next mountain and feel the reward of all the effort that I put into it.
Besides of all of these events that happened in my life that taught me so much, I have made big leaps forward once I started interviewing people like Anita Moorjani, don Miguel Ruiz, Gregg Braden, India.Arie and so many more. They all reminded me of how beautiful, how unique and how powerful I am. I share these stories on Soul Love to inspire you and I invite you to read them – allow yourself to be inspired too and share them with those you love.
I even want to go one step further… can I inspire you to have a conversation with someone who made a profound impact in your life and share that with all of us on my website Soul Love? Please do not hesitate to email me and share your thoughts and ideas. I would really love that, for you and for the entire Soul Love community.
After all, you are an infinite spark of the Divine and you have the option to understand this, and once you do, when sharing the love and light with others, you will truly feel that you are divine yourself.
P.S. Oh, if you like the shirt that I am wearing, it’s a beautiful, moist-wicking t-shirt with long or short sleeves, fitted cut, comes in marine blue and in the sizes (both men’s and women’s) S, M, L and XL. They are available for you too and they cost $30 (plus shipping). You can order one here.
BY: DIRK TERPSTRA (This article appeared on SOUL LOVE)
Why are so many of us often searching for the perfect work-life balance, while we are actually trying to find a meaningful ‘work-work balance’? And why is it so hard for us to find true satisfaction in our work and how come that so many of us experience stress, often leading to a burn-out?
Working in a large corporation for example can generate stress, because we are expected to meet deadlines, achieve targets to keep the shareholders satisfied and thus, living up to many people’s expectations. It’s not new to me. I’ve done it myself for about 15 years.
If you run your own business it can be even more stressful: Making ends meet, wanting to be successful, more growth, even more responsibilities.
It doesn’t sound like much fun when you think about it, does it?
And that’s why we love to close the door behind us at the end of a stressful workday. The ones who are fortunate find time to relax while spending time with the family, but many of us can’t stop worrying about the challenges in our work. It can put stress on our private lives.
Suffering from stress is a very unhealthy situation.
A MORE SATISFYING APPROACH?
When I open my twitter account, I see an overwhelming number tweets about ‘how to’ this and that.., ‘the top 10 of …’ and ‘do’s and dont’s…’.
When I watch the news I hear headlines like ‘Muslim danger’, ‘on the brink of nuclear bomb’ and ‘start-ups fight back’. Think about it, how does that make you feel when you read this, day in day out? In most cases it creates ‘fear’. And what does fear do to us?
We start seeking approval from others, we need more power to suppress that fear, we become unkind and start worrying all the time. We are now heavily dependent of external factors in stead of relying on our ‘true self’.
Our true self is un-fearful, feeling beneath no-one, it is immune to criticism and it is fully relying on our personal and unique talents.
HOW TO CONNECT TO OUR TRUE SELF?
You could start by spending some time in nature and realize how perfect the flowers, trees, birds and rivers are. Being tuned in to the creative mind of nature, makes you independent of things and people. You will also realize that you are part of this wonderful creation. That same creativity of nature is already inside of you. You just have to tap into it.
It also helps if you stop judging other people around you. In fact, what you’re doing is merely judging yourself, and you block the access to your own insight and creativity. Judging is, again, fear based. Let it go. Fear is an illusion, because it is just an anticipation of what might happen in the future.
You might have heard of the ‘law of attraction’; what you focus on, is what you attract into your life. I would call it the ‘law of the universe’.
So what happens when we begin to realize that if we start trusting our own personal values, stop fearing anything and ignore the ‘how-to’s and ‘don’ts’?
We will start enjoying the process as we won’t be focused so much on the results. We see more opportunities in stead of obstacles and more and more, we will begin to rely on our personal talents and know that our own potential is infinite.
In the beginning, you might have a hard time managing this new process. Just be quiet, look around you and see everything that is already perfect and listen to your heart that always tries to tell you the right thing, but we have forgotten to listen to it or take it serious enough and we rather listen to what our mind tells us.
Don’t let your habits overshadow your creativity. Why not take another route to your work or hook up with some different colleagues, you will be surprised about the impact this will have on your mood and creativity.
Slowly you will start managing the above and slowly you will also start feeling more balance between your work and your own self. You will also notice that you will be more productive, more creative and more energetic.
And by the time you come home, you will still feel much better and continue using these principles at home in your personal life. You won’t need the urge to start balancing work and personal life. You are already balanced!
Have fun, good luck and let me know how that goes!
Incredibly emerald blue and full of energy. The elements of nature are so wonderful.
We are standing near the beautiful Kootenay River and Sequoyah Trueblood tells us in an inspiring way about the important connection between humans and nature. We are all quietly listening and I notice that his words touched something deep in my heart. An intense feeling of peace comes over me. He is so right. Will our life lessons begin?
Sequoyah takes us out for a hike.
Together with my family I am a guest at the ‘Cross River Wilderness Centre‘ bordering Kootenay National Park, in the west flank of the Rocky Mountains. Coming from the highway, we follow the directions, turn off onto a small forest road which takes us along the Kootenay River to the cozy cabins near the small ‘Cross River’.
What a location!
A rustic cabin in the Cross River Wilderness Centre.
Rob and Marilyn Patenaude treat us on a warm welcome. Since 1996, they share this amazing place with their guests. They both speak proudly about the nature, offer educational programs, and offer 8 rustic cabins for overnight stays. These rustic cabins are tucked away in the forest and all have hot and cold running water, a toilet and shower, fireplace and solar power. This is an experience where Europeans can only can dream of.
During dinner we meet more guests and I can’t help noticing how ‘contagious’ everyone’s friendliness is. Brad, a very kind and motivated chef has prepared a delicious, organic meal for us and during dinner time we meet Sequoyah Trueblood, a 72-year-old First Nations elder who lives and teaches here.
Born in Oklahoma, his father is Choctaw-Cherokee-Chickasaw, and mother German-English. As a young Native boy growing up in the 50’s, like many, Sequoyah was separated from his family and forced into the residential boarding school system in an attempt to civilize the so-called ‘native animal’ in him. When Sequoyah left the boarding school at age of 17, he joined the army. He excelled quickly becoming a Green Beret in Vietnam, running Special Operations in connection with a First Special Forces Group and Military Assistance Command. Sequoyah is also the first to admit that his ‘glorious service’ is darkened by his many insights into the wrong doings of American policy makers at that time.
Since his time in the military, Sequoyah has worked extensively with First Nations youth wilderness programs as well as youth treatment centers for substance abuse. Through Native teachings and practices in the sweat lodge, pipe ceremonies, and vision questing, he is beckoned across this great mother earth to guide those who request his help. As a Choctaw Wisdom Keeper, Sequoyah has spoken at the United Nations, advised top business executives from prominent international companies, counselled numerous celebrities, government agencies, and has held council with the Dalai Lama.
The next morning, after breakfast, we follow Sequoyah to his Konkurra Medicine Lodge in the forest. He manoeuvres his tall and frail, but flexible body over a narrow trail and when you see him walking on his flip-flops you would’t give him 72 years of age.
One of the teachings he has shared with us is that of leadership – how to “work from the circle. In the circle, all are equal… leadership is then from within… all have a voice, no one is more important than another.”
He also explains to us that everything flows from the Divine. “Everything that comes through comes through in its own perfection. We human beings, with our intellect, try to divide it up. When we can get to that place in our lives when we can accept each thing that comes to us as just another opportunity to heal ourselves, we can be at peace with it all. Even though it may not look like that at the time, as soon as we are able to say “I don’t know,” that’s when we are able to allow Great Spirit to work in our lives,” he says.
We then leave the spiritual lodge and head out for a hike together through the rugged Rocky Mountain wilderness, wade through the Cross River and learn about edible plants and their healing powers.
Rob Patenaude prepares the hot tub.
Back in the wilderness centre, Rob asks us if we would like to use the wood fired hot tub. Of course we like that and by the time the first stars appear on the sky, the hot tub measures a comfortable 38 deg. C. And while we watch the bright galaxies above us, Brad prepares a bonfire, gets his guitar and plays a couple of songs for us.
Life is so wonderful and Joe Cocker’s lyrics ‘the best things in life are the simple things’ come to my mind. I then close my eyes and repeat Sequoyah’s mantra:
GREAT THANKS – GREAT PEACE – GREAT LOVE.
Thank you brother Sequoyah!
What do you answer, when I ask you what true love is? I asked several friends lately, and their answers didn’t surprise me. In fact, I agree with all of them.
Of course it all comes down to the perspective of how you look at it. Some related it immediately to relationships and mentioned selflessness and unconditional, while others mentioned that love is patient, kind and can’t be measured. Also; ‘romantic love is a deep, intense and unending love.’
I thought about this and then something came up with me.
When I was a little boy (and the youngest of 3 brothers), I remember that my mom always ‘spoiled’ me with lots of love and so many kisses. At that time, it was all I really needed and it probably was my image of what love is all about.
Kisses from your mum are the best.
It all sounds very sweet doesn’t it? Of course it does.
But about 42 years later, and just days before this very special woman passed away, we held each other (she couldn’t speak anymore) and I could feel this same deeply rooted and unconditional love flowing between us. Words were not needed, we just knew.
So my image of what true love is all about hasn’t changed that much I assume. Especially this ‘just knowing’ is key for me.
And they are still so special.
While fully agreeing what my friends mentioned to me, I personally feel that love is even bigger.
We ARE love, love is the spirit of life.
Deepak Chopra phrases it so beautifully; “Flowers don’t try to bloom, they just bloom; birds don’t try to fly, they just fly.” For me, that is pure love, just knowing and trusting.
But today, so many of us are fearful. In a recent conversation, a friend of mine remarked: “People often act unloving out of fear and shame.” That is so true.
I think that the opposite of ‘love’ is ‘fear’. So, when we are seeking something, it is often good to know what the opposite is of what we are looking for. By letting go of these fears, love will appear.
We don’t need to seek love, let go of your fears and ‘just know’ that you ARE love and it WILL appear.
Let’s share the love by knowing that you are love already and it has to flow.
BY: DIRK TERPSTRA (This post first appeared on SOUL LOVE)
How beautiful are Manuel Bandeira‘s (Brazilian poet) words about a flowing river:
To be like a flowing river
silent through the night,
not fearing the darkness and
reflecting any stars high in the sky.
And if the sky is filled with clouds,
the clouds are water like the river, so
without remorse reflect them too.
The flowing Illecillewaet River in BC, Canada.
Personally, I love these words. We often have the tendency to ‘fight’ against something or to ‘try harder’.
When the water [in the river] comes across obstacles, like rocks, it smoothly flows around them in stead of trying to push the rocks on the side.
Birds never try hard to sing, they just sing, and flowers never try hard to bloom, they just bloom. That’s the law of nature, or existence if you like.
And we’re part of that. No, we ARE that!
How perfect is this?
Maybe it’s worth trying to literally ‘go with the flow’. Pretty soon you will find that it’s not a matter of ‘trying’ anymore.
Please let me know how this feels to you.