Breaking Free



The first time I saw this picture on facebook: I was blown away. What an expression of liberating oneself from…., from what exactly? From some kind of casting mould it seems. The statue depicts a person who expresses a deeply felt connection with his higher purpose, He celebrates being an integral and indispensible part of the universe, ready to fully and unconditionally participate in the perpetual process of co-creation. Allowing himself to wonder, to enjoy life, to laugh, to love and to be free. Free and yet connected to everything else in the universe. An individual yet part of the collective wisdom and intuition of the universe. Free of the shackles of forced uniformity dictated by an obsolete worldview, free from being told what to do by everyone and all. Free from living a life which is not his. Free to accept responsibility for himself and the context in which he lives. Free for the soul to expand his energy where it needs to go.

Earlier this week I showed this picture to a group of 11th graders at a school nearby in Hannover. One of the startling reactions came from a young lady: “it’s actually the other way around”, she said.  In other words, what she experienced was a sense of diminishing freedom as she got closer to graduating and closer to starting an under-graduate program.

It left me devastated and immensely sad on soul level for a short moment. It left me wondering for a longer period of time. When will we be ready to found our education on the notion that each person has a unique identity and calling? When will be we ready to educate (i.e. to guide out from within) our children on the basis of the wisdom to which they are already connected? When will be ready to change the way we live together on this planet? So that all are free. So that all share in the planet’s plenitude. Feeling the heart connection. So that all help to move mankind’s consciousness to the next level. So that there will be one community.

When will we be ready…..?





On Jante’s Law


Some time ago I read in Paolo Coelho’s blog about Jante’s law ( ) I have to admit I hadn’t heard of it before but it does resonate with me when I think back of my Dutch background. Especially in the part above the rivers splitting the country in two  (as if Holland were so big that one could speak of different and distinctive parts! :-)) I found it to be rather present in daily life and hence a part of the culture.

Just to freshen your memory: here they are, the 10 (well now 11) commandments:

  1. Don’t think you’re something
  2. Don’t think you are worth the same as us
  3. Don’t think you’re smarter than us
  4. Don’t think you’re better than us
  5. Don’t think you’re wiser than us
  6. Don’t think you’re more than us
  7. Don’t think you’re good at anything
  8. Don’t laugh at us
  9. Don’t think anyone cares about you
  10. Don’t think you have anything to teach us
  11. Don’t think that there is something we don’t know about you.

It may be true that long ago these rules had some relevance in the scandinavian countries and Finland. But I take the liberty to assess them at face value here and now. And I want to share my thoughts with you.

1) Don’t think you’re something

Why not? How would that help any kind of personal development? One of the thing I teach people in my work is to start loving themselves because they’re the most important person in their life.

2)Don’t think you are worth the same as us

That is nonsense in its purest form. We all have equal “worth”, that is if “worth” is the word to be used here.

3) Don’t think you’re smarter than us

Well I might be but that doesn’t make be better than the rest, now does it?

4) Don’t think you’re better than us

Indeed, there’s no point in that. Although I get the feeling that “they” mean to say that “they” are better than “you”.

5) Don’t think you’re wiser than us

Again, probably true: all men are equally wise, well potentially they are. It’s their behavior that causes me to doubt man’s wisdom from time to time.

6) Don’t think you’re more than us

Again a huge chunk of fear seems to permeate this. No I’m not. Neither are you. Could we just leave it like that and not wage war on that one?

7) Don’t think you’re good at anything

What on earth could be the benefit of thinking this? Great: let’s all tell each other we’re fish that try to climb trees. Double loop failure guaranteed: no fish will manage and we will all feel miserable about it. Gosh!

8) Don’t laugh at us

Why not? Laughing is very healthy as I heard on many occasions. If it helps: you can laugh at me (and I’ll probably wave and laugh back at you)

9) Don’t think anyone cares about you

Although a lot of non-caring seems to be going on: if it helps: I Care About You!

10) Don’t think you have anything to teach us

How can I tell if we don’t talk because of rules 1-9? You probably have something you can teach me and the same may be true for me.

11) Don’t think that there is something we don’t know about you.

Ah, the ultimate blackmail. Shut up or else. It’s what tabloids are good at, right? I remember this BA pilot landing his Boeing 777 safely after the engines failed to respond.  Although he landed short of the runway, only 3 people suffered minor injuries. Job well done, I thought. To my surprise some tabloid reported that the pilot liked women to lick chocolate off his body. Indeed: just in case he might have thought to be someone special (which he is like all of us), we’ll show you just how sick he actually is.  And that is the real sick part of it.

So in summary: as far as I’m concerned most rules of Jante’s law can go right into the trash bin as they deliberately fail to recognise each person’s unique value and worth and the fact that we all have a destiny on the basis of whcih we want to (and need to) make our contribution to the world.


See ya,



On Human Interaction: Four Levels


Back in 2009 I attended Alan Seale’s workshop The Manifestation Wheel. During one of the sessions Alan explained four different ways of looking ourselves interacting with others. With each step there’s a higher level of awareness required.

  1. The Situation/The Drama
  2. The Facts and Figures
  3. Alternative Modes of Responding
  4. What Wants to Happen?

The Drama

I guess it’s fair to assume we all know this one from our own experience. When you’re fighting with your partner over something there’s an inclination to join the shouting and yelling. For example: you have agreed to clean up the kitchen and you don’t feel like it hence you won’t do it. Your partner hates this and may react in a deeply irritated way. Which then may push some buttons on your emotional switchboard. Being in the drama doesn’t necessarily have to be all bad –  provided it doesn’t derail of course. It could be like a thunderstorm on a warm and heavy summer night: afterwards the air is crisp and fresh. But as long as you are staying in this space none of the other three ways of looking at the situation become available. And you may end up in the same fight every day.

The Facts and Figures

This is about looking at what is happening and why. In this example it may be the agreement that you’ve made to clean up the kitchen and to which you didn’t stick. The fact that you don’t feel like it does not invalidate the agreement. But of course trying to make the discussion more objective you may say that you realise that you’ve agreed but that you have been cleaning it by yourself for the last three weeks. And that another agreement was about you and your partner doing this on a 50-50 basis.

Alternative Response modes

Often this comes at the stage when the fight is over. It requires a certain stage of your awareness to realise in the moment of the drama that you have different possibilities to respond to the situation. Realising that makes it possible for you to choose a response mode that serves you best. It might be the drama or a more neutral stance, in any case it requires you to have more overview of the situation including your own emotional state and the changes therein.

What Wants to Happen

This is yet a further step in your awareness. When you arrive at this stage you ask yourself: why did this situation in its entirety take place? What wants to be seen here that we couldn’t see before and may not be able to see yet. What wants to show itself to me, to us? It invites you to take a step back, maybe retreat to your point of stillness to address this question. And it is not unlikely that you open your eyes to something you weren’t able to see prior to this. Through this experience totally new insights may become available. In any case will you no longer be the victim of some limbic semi-autonomous processes.

Personally I have some great experiences with this. But also a question surfaces. Perhaps you would like to help us all to answer it. When I look at the drama taking place in politics I see politicians polarising, shouting, deceiving, playing games, using pressure on their opponents (domestic or foreign), playing power games, digging themselves in the trenches and what not. Specifically with the nuclear crisis concerning Iran I ask myself: why does this take place? What wants to make itself visible? What wants to make itself heard? What would like to manifest? What is the real potential of the situation?

Any ideas?