What happens when….


Have you ever wondered what happens when we fail to see what wants to manifest in our lives? When we don’t connect to the natural flow that results when we use our talents in the way they are supposed to be used? Or perhaps better: want to be used? When we don’t live the life that we are called to?

To be honest with you I wonder about this a lot and I would be the last to confess that I haven’t been struggling with that myself during various phases in my life.

In my work as coach I see this rather often. Well at least, the early stages. As you may know by now this has something to do with the stories that we have created about ourselves, the world (universe), how things take place there and how we relate to that. But not always. It may also be our context that prevents us from deploying our talents in flow, for instance as was the case with the German painter Emil Nolde. During World War II the Nazi’s forbid him to paint as his paintings didn’t fit their ideology. As a result from being deprived of the possibility to let his creativity flow freely he fell seriously sick and he created a possibility to continue his painting albeit at a smaller scale and of course he had to do so covertly. So he found a way to continue living the life he was called to. But what happens when our stories become so strong that they block that flow? When we block ourselves from seeing our calling? When we no longer see it’s just stories we’re telling ourselves?

One of the first things I observe is blaming the environment and when that doesn’t help people start turning grumpy, cynical, sarcastic and eventually they grow sick. In his development journey, Peter Woudenberg (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) bumps into a former colleague which seems to fit this picture. Have a read:

They opted for a simple meal in the restaurant of one of the department stores in the city centre. Just as Peter was settling the bill he heard someone call his name.

“Peter. Peter Woudenberg, is that you?”

He turned around and recognised Patrick Lawson, a former finance manager at AU in Amsterdam. He only worked with him on one or two projects and there he had not been too impressed by Patrick’s contribution. Peter knew Patrick had been thrown out because of his lacking performance.

“Patrick! Good to see you! How are you doing?”

“Good to see you too,” Patrick said, then coughed and came up with a question that sounded more like a statement.

“So they got rid of you too, right?”

Peter felt unpleasantly touched by Patrick’s opening.

“Well, if you want to put it like that: yes, I no longer work for the company,” Peter said noticing the grumpy and disappointed, harsh cynical looks in Patrick’s face.

He studied Patrick’s appearance a bit more and noted that he had essentially become scruffy. He stood with his back bent, had his shoulders hanging and the clothes he was wearing looked anything but crisp.

“Yeah well, I call it getting rid of people. That’s what they do. Bastards, that’s what they all are,” Patrick commented.

“Not all of them are, you know that too, don’t you?”

“All of them,” Patrick said with a bit more vigour and coughed again. “They’re all covering their asses. Cowards, that’s what they are.”

Peter tried to change the topic.

“What are you doing these days?”

“Not much,” was Patrick’s answer filled with cynicism. “I tried to find a new job by myself but I’m too old. It’s true, once you’re over 50, you’re too old. And I’m 56, so…… They don’t need you anymore. Yeah, for some underpaid work for which I’m way too overqualified, perhaps. And by the way, it’s the same everywhere. Everyone is trying to cover their ass, sucking up to their boss and kicking down to their staff. They all squeeze the life out of people.”

“Why don’t you ask for help?” Peter tried.

“Whom from? Outplacement companies? I don’t have that kind of money,” he moaned while making a rejecting gesture with his arm. “They charge you god knows how much and still nothing is guaranteed. You know that I was only on a very average salary and my package wasn’t so great that I can retire. Most of it is gone anyway. No, it’s sad but clear. I’m simply too old,” Patrick said and coughed again making an awfully rasping sound.

Peter wondered if Patrick had started smoking the way he coughed. And he thought that Patrick had been grossly overpaid but apparently the latter’s self-image was that it was an insult, the kind of money AU had paid him. Peter also felt the heavy, downward spiralling energy Patrick had around him and registered how it was starting to get him down as well.

“What would you need to change in order to find an appropriate job?” Peter tried once more to change Patrick’s mood.

Patrick gave him a dark look and a sarcastic smile.

“Ha! Change my age? No, there’s nothing I can change. I wouldn’t know what. I mean, what should I change when the jobs are just not there? Doesn’t make any sense, does it? And I’m not in these networks of high-ranking guys like you are. But anyway, I need to go as I’m meeting my wife in a bar nearby. She would collect my pills at the pharmacist’s. I got lung problems, you see? I can hardly breathe sometimes. But, hey, it was nice meeting you, Peter, “ he said and attempted to put a smile on his face.

“Take good care of yourself,” Peter said as they shook hands.

How does this look on your end? Do you see any of the signs of not living the life you’re called to? Do you see those with people around you? What would be possible to get closer to that life? Wanna talk about that?





Success: show me the money


Success is mostly defined in terms of having material possessions. Or, to put it in other words: having the money to acquire those as money is undifferentiated purchasing power as my long ago economics teacher Jef van Caldenborgh would have it. And this kind of success seems to be the only one that matters. At least to us in the western world.

But is that really true?

Working as a coach I’ve met dozens of people who were really well off but somehow lacked a sense of fulfillment. They have asked me what they needed to do with their lives in order to experience this fulfillment again. Now, I’m not preaching to let go of all material comfort and retreat to some faraway desert or on some high mountain top. But on the other hand: those clients of mine defined themselves as being stuck in the money game. They saw no way out because of what they thought they would need to give up. They would define success as having money. Lots of it. Or holding some kind of high ranking job in some organisation (with matching remuneration of course).

In my novel “The Glass Dome” (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome ) the main character is not really an exception to this, although there is something on the back burner coming alive again after he is trying to rescue this integration project for his employer. Although he meets a number of people who share their life experiences with him, he doesn’t see how his original beliefs are hindering him from seeing and subsequently embracing the life he’s called to.

The people he meets and who have done so  are involved in varying occupations: amongst other they are a carpenter, a cleaner, a monk and a catholic priest. Let me share you two examples of Peter being confronted with beliefs he wasn’t aware of he had those and how they impacted him.

First there’s this unfortunate encounter with Kevin who is a cleaner at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. One morning when Peter is rushing to the gate for his flight to Nice in France he runs into Kevin and his cart. Chaos big time. From this event and from Peter trying to make some conversation out of politeness an unexpected yet interesting conversation follows:

“You’ve been doing this job since long?” Peter asked to make some conversation.

“About five years,” Kevin replied.

“You like it? I mean, on normal days when you don’t get bumped into by hurried passengers at full speed?”

“Yes, I like it,” he said slowly nodding his head again.

Kevin looked at Peter who didn’t know what to say to that. He showed his big white smile again.

“That’s great,” was Peter’s superficial comment.

“Well, I know what you must be thinking. What kind of fulfilment can a guy get from cleaning the floors and bathrooms in a wing of a giant public space, right?”

Peter felt totally embarrassed and didn’t know what to say.

“I choose to create a space that can make the travellers feel better when they pass through it. Well in any case not worse, if they notice it at all.” He burst out laughing, loudly and Peter noticed a few people turning their heads at them as they passed them by.

“So you don’t care what people think of your work?” Peter asked.

“Nope, I don’t. I do this work for myself. Just for myself,” was the unexpected answer from the cleaner. “And there’s nothing else I’d rather do,” he added.

Peter thought about how to politely end this conversation and move on to his gate when Kevin asked a direct question, adding to Peter’s embarrassment.

“I know you find this difficult to believe, right?”

That hit home.

“Well, no, not really,” Peter replied courteously not being able to hide his discomfort with the situation. Not only did he find it difficult to believe, he didn’t believe it at all. Although, there was something about the way in which Kevin spoke. He badly wanted to go to his gate but hesitated, triggered somehow by the tone of the cleaner’s words. Not that he expected to get his moment of enlightenment here but he was fascinated enough to being prevented from moving on.

“I know that what I’m doing is what I’m called to do and that gives a deep sense of fulfilment to me. There’s nobody’s approval I’m depending on. Ignorance doesn’t hurt me. I’m doing this work for myself and I get rewarded by it every minute.”

The word ‘called’ got Peter’s attention.

“Can I ask you what it is that you feel called to?” he asked.

“It’s about making my part of the world a bit cleaner. No one likes to live in dirt. Nothing high can live in a scruffy environment. Being in a clean space allows for different thoughts, gives different possibilities and, honestly, I consider those better than those emerging from dirt.”

Kevin paused for a bit while seemingly studying Peter.

“What kind of work do you do? Do you like it? You look to me as a high-placed person. A VIP! You could be someone who is running a company. Maybe a huge company with offices all over the world.” As he said this, his right hand drew a wide circle to underline how big that would be.

“I couldn’t do that and hence don’t want to. I don’t think I have the talents for it and, more importantly, I would not be doing what I want to be doing.”

This now had turned into another clear confrontation for Peter. A confrontation with what he had actually always thought about people not making it to the highest ranks. He had heard it before that they would say that they were happy with the lives they had but clearly Peter never believed that. Probably many said they were happy but essentially were not. And for the others who were, Peter had never been able to hear that. But the importance of doing what you are supposed to do and be happy with that, no matter what, had just become very clear to him. Series of colleagues, former colleagues, friends flashed through his mind and he could see them all forcing themselves to adapt to something they think others expect of them. With deep dissatisfaction, bitterness, cynicism, disappointment as the unavoidable end result. He thought about Karen for a moment as she too seemed to fit this picture. It is about doing what’s meaningful to you. Not about what you think is meaningful to others and hope that this would make you look good when you start doing that. Neither is it about doing something big for the sake of its supposed grandness. The cleaner had made clear to him that it’s about what’s meaningful to you.


Here’s another excerpt from the original text: In the conversation on new year’s eve with the catholic priest Père Jean that I mentioned in my previous blog, Peter tries to be empathetic to what Jean says about how he sees the essence of religion. obviously he understands that Jean’s beliefs and consequent practices don’t make him an ideal candidate for climbing the organisation’s ladder. But Peter doesn’t see that this is his set of beliefs he is projecting on Jean’s life. It is him who comes from his corporate set of beliefs where success means: moving up the ladder

“I guess that makes clear why you did not make a splendid career within in the church,” Peter was too quick to comment.

“When you mean with career ‘moving up the ladder’, my life has been a total failure,” he [Jean] looked at Peter and burst out laughing.

Their glasses refilled, they toasted again while Jean was still laughing.

“When you mean with career ‘living what you’re called to be’, it’s a tremendous success and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Besides I have the privilege of working with young talented managers from all over the world as I’m a visiting professor at a business school nearby as well.”


“I understand my viewpoints may sound conflicting with the laws and rules of the church as you may have come to know them. In that respect it’s no different from working for a company. If you don’t share the same attitude and beliefs, you’re no longer part of the inner circle and your career won’t advance. I’m sure you know about this yourself.”

How about you? Where are you in the process of recognising your beliefs and how they either serve you or block you from having a more meaningful life? Let me know what you think! If you like, I’m happy to share how this process took place on my end (and still is taking place for that matter).





Spirituality vs Religion: The Tenacity of Dogma’s

Guten Tag,

Last week I watched a discussion program on German television, called Anne Will. The central theme was something like this: All are looking for meaning (of life) – does the church still has answers? (link) The discussion, or better: coarse debate as such was a disaster; the usual disaster perhaps when spiritual matters are subject of a conversation. It came close to a war in the trenches with most of the participants sticking to their fixed positions. It got hijacked by a man, unconditionally believing and vehemently defending anything the pope and the church come up with. Quite an unpleasant contribution to the discussion, I must confess. The other participants were a psycho-therapist who positioned herself as self-declared atheist, a man who grew up in a strict catholic pilgrimage town in Bavaria and who had suffered the unloving, dogmatic and hypocrite side of that. There was this elderly protestant man who has been seeking regular refuge in catholic cloister for the last 30 years. And there was this éminence grise, also an elderly man who could see and think beyond the artificial boundaries dogma imposes. Last but not least was the 38-year old banker turned nun (at the age of 32) with the order of the Benedictines, who also showed the capacity to talk from an essence connection and transcend the limitations of ancient dogmas.

Dogma is sticking to beliefs.

No one, except the latter two, could leave room for a different viewpoint, the sharing of a different spiritual experience. The four loudest speakers were sticking to beliefs they once had accepted and with which they identify themselves and which, in their view, is the only and absolute truth. And all thinking differently are wrong and need to be convinced of that. To me it seemed those four all live in fear, unable to open up to life and immersed in a relentless need to judge everybody and everything all of the time. And I felt quite sad about that.

In my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome), the main character Peter Woudenberg finds himself seated next to a catholic priest at a dinner party. The conversation they enter addresses some of the issues, related to sticking to old dogma’s by the catholic church. Here’s an excerpt.

“Would you say it’s easy to be a priest in the catholic church today?” Jean didn’t answer right away but was apparently consciously enjoying the lobster salad Peter had prepared.

“Delicious,” was the first thing he said and more guests made similar compliments. He took a sip of his white wine, consciously tasted it and then looked at Peter. “I’m sorry, I did not mean to ignore your question. No, I don’t think it’s difficult at all to be a priest in the catholic church today.” “I’m sorry if I sounded offensive,” Peter reacted to Jean’s answer. “I had no intention of doing so.”

“I’m pretty sure part of the reason for you to ask this question lies in the numerous scandals that have surfaced over the last years.”

“That did pass my mind indeed.”, Peter spoke softly.

“Fair enough but for my work, the work that I’m doing in my parish, the work I know I have been called to, those scandals don’t mean a thing.” Jean took another few bites of the salad which gave Peter time to digest what he just said. With his glass of wine in his hand he tilted his head a bit in order to study the structure and colour of it. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m appalled as anyone by these continuing horror stories of sexual abuse. And it is clear that has nothing to do with what the essence of the catholic faith stands for.”

“What does it stand for?” Peter asked.

“Love,” was the factual answer right away but it didn’t particularly come across as factual. Rather it seemed to come from a place where it had a deep meaning. “Love is for me the essence. Pure love for me is glue for the entire human family across the globe,” Jean stated.

Peter was struck by the natural way his discussion partner talked about love and he wondered briefly if he would ever be in such a position.

“And it’s clear that since the faith started to become a male dominated institution, with countless rules, regulations and conventions that sprung from mental processes aimed at controlling the internal and external organisation, the fluid character of the essence became more fixed and hence the application of the essence dogmatic. In other words: the focus shifted from being love to preaching love and talking about it. Needless to say that this gives different results. Contact with the essence was lost. However, I choose to remain with this essential energy as, at its most basic level, everything in the universe is energy, which changes all of the time but which never disappears. Material manifestations may, but energy not. Energy transforms all of the time but lives forever.”

“You sound, how shall I put it, quite convinced about your viewpoints. How do you reconcile that with being part of the catholic church?”

“I get a tremendous satisfaction by doing the work I’m doing, which is helping people to make sense of the things that take place in their lives. And in return, that helps me to grow spiritually and to try to make sense of things for myself as well. In no way am I trying to convince them that the catholic faith or church or bible is the sole means of support for them. What I do see in these turbulent times is a growing need for experiencing spirituality which is true and pure. And liberated from interpretations of certain events that may or may not have taken place. The experience is the important thing here. Experiencing spirituality is different from talking about it and I have the impression there is a growing number of people seeking this experience.”

Here, Père Jean stopped for a moment. He emptied his glass of wine and seemed to contemplate what he had just said. Peter too drank from his wine and swiftly looked around the room where he saw all in conversation with each other. Most of the guests laughing, he was sure not many were engaged in the type of conversation he was engaged in. Somehow he wanted to go to Isabelle and enjoy the seemingly careless state she was in. But he felt compelled to listen to what Père Jean had to say. The latter put down his glass on the table, laid his hand to rest next to it and looked at Peter.

“The name of the club is irrelevant once you make a connection on essence level. Muslims, Hindus, Jews, whatever are able to experience a sense of connectedness and meaningfulness that goes beyond the dogmatic and artificially created boundaries of what we call religions. When you connect to this essence, there’s neither much room nor need for interpreting. As it is the heart that speaks in its powerful language without words. The heart, or the soul if you like, speaks from deep wisdom and knowing. It speaks from love as it does not know otherwise and when doing so greatly enhances the person’s awareness and peaceful, loving presence. You’ll experience something similar as everyone else who experiences it and that only becomes different when you start using words to label it.”

As Père Jean I choose to believe that giving room for each other’s spiritual experience yields better results than trying to rally all behind some concept where a few men tell all the others what it is all about. I see it as a step towards of being able to really see each other therewith allowing all of us to live in freedom and to have our spiritual experiences in freedom as well. There’s great learning possible if and when we can leave our spiritual experiences and our accounts of those as belonging to whoever expresses them, therewith knowing they have no intention to convince us of their views and opinions. Sadly the current practice is different as we can read in the newspapers every day. Being open and willing to listen to other viewpoints may contribute to the regular maintenance our belief system needs.

The conversation between the two men continues and Père Jean makes clear what he thinks of the church being a male dominated institution, having lost its connection with its true essence and why it cannot sustain that. In the process one could notice he lives his life very much in the moment.

“I guess that makes clear why you did not make a splendid career within in the church,” Peter was too quick to comment.

“When you mean with career ‘moving up the ladder’, my life has been a total failure,” he looked at Peter and burst out laughing. Their glasses refilled, they toasted again while Jean was still laughing. “When you mean with career ‘living what you’re called to be’, it’s a tremendous success and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. Besides I have the privilege of working with young talented managers from all over the world as I’m a visiting professor at a business school nearby as well.”


“I understand my viewpoints may sound conflicting with the laws and rules of the church as you may have come to know them. In that respect it’s no different from working for a company. If you don’t share the same attitude and beliefs, you’re no longer part of the inner circle and your career won’t advance. I’m sure you know about this yourself.”

Peter acknowledged what Père Jean just said and wondered if he thought the institution of the church would be around much longer.

“You know, some say a process of de-institutionalisation can be expected based on the belief we’re moving into a new cosmic era, with different characteristics and values which will change the way people treat each other.”

“I don’t know much about cosmic era’s but I could see the church, as the fixed materialised institution it has become, will be falling apart. Not the essential energy, as energy is always conserved, but rather the fixed forms that have been constructed over the past 20 centuries or so with all its well established interests. As science progresses and the results of that become available faster and faster to more and more people, it’s difficult for me to see how we can seriously continue to see the pope as God’s sole representative on earth. I mean, we elect this male member of the organisation through a dim process of voting. And why should senior church management be privileged to men? Are women worse managers? Do they lack the ability to lead? Do they have limitations, we don’t know of, that prevent them from having spiritual experiences?” he sounded undignified.

Peter liked his clear viewpoints and somewhat militant attitude and intuitively felt there was much truth in what Jean was saying.

“Let me ask you,” Jean addressed Peter and looked inquisitively at him from his brown eyes. “Do you believe in God?”

Peter felt uncomfortable having to answer the question and many thoughts raged through his mind trying to come up with an answer as neutral as possible. “Uhhh, yes, well, I guess I do.”

“Whoa, that’s a struggle to answer that simple question,” Jean laughed. “You strike me as an intelligent man, so tell me: Where does God live?” “It sure is fun to ask questions that no one knows the answer to,” Peter tried.

“Oh come on, Peter, you can do better than that: now, where does she live?” Jean probed.

“I don’t know,” Peter shyly said.

“Suppose he would live within you,” Jean said.

“Within me? Yeah, right.”

“No, seriously, suppose she would live within you, how would that affect the way you view yourself? Your friends? All of us here celebrating? The world? The universe?” Jean drew widening circles with his right arm as he spoke.

“I would…,” Peter tried to find an answer.

“Now wait a minute, let me add something. Suppose he lives with you as much as she lives within me,” Jean interrupted him.

Peter looked at him in utter concentration, asking himself what trap Père Jean was leading him to. One point he had noted is the changing use of the male and female form. A thought sprang to mind and in spite of his attempt to stay somewhat at a distance he released it without further processing it.

“We would all live in God’s energy field as he would live in ours. Then all would be one. All would be one,” Peter answered without hesitation which actually surprised himself.

Jean looked flabbergasted, his eyes staring at Peter, his mouth half-open for a second. Then his face relaxed, he smiled and put his hand on Peter’s shoulder.

“Yes, we are all one,” he finally quietly said. “All is one. A truth many ancient spiritual traditions all over the world hold high. A truth modern science is starting to prove. A truth meeting much resistance from scared and confused people. And sadly those will cause much grief.”

“Why do you think so?”

“Partially because they have vested well established interests in things staying the way they are. There’s quite a bit of power involved. And partially because they’ll just panic.”

“Don’t you find it unsettling, the insights science is leading to?”

“On the contrary, what will happen is a meeting of science and spirituality as in essence they talk about the same things. And in a way it’s funny to see so many respected women and men struggling to prove something I have been knowing all my life. And many great thinkers did so before me.”

Peter carefully acknowledged what Jean said.

“When you can accept that God resides within you as much as she resides within Didier, Fabienne, Isabelle, me, everyone…..there’s no difference in religion anymore except for your personal experience. But if you could leave that to be your personal experience, and allow others to have theirs, and do not try to convince each other which one is the right one, one major obstacle to world peace would have been removed.”

Père Jean’s face shone with happiness and he took a firm drink from his wine. “And you know what? All of the so-called world religions are struggling with this. I have friends from various major denominations and when we get together we manage to create a special sacred space. Just by gently and quietly focussing on our hearts and atuning to our being together. Not by adhering to a strict and fixed order of actions. But just by being open-hearted and present to the moment. What results is an atmosphere of refined energy that all experience as very uplifting. You cannot summon God to be present and participate in your conversations the way you would like her to. She will still be there but perhaps more at a distance. When invited, rather than ordered, she may show up and her presence will give different results. A famous fellow countryman of yours, Erasmus, wrote this once ‘Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit’, which means ‘Evoked or not, God is always present’.”

If you like what you just read, you can find the entire novel here (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome). I would also love to hear what you think about what you just read.




Beliefs, or the stories we create ourselves

Beliefs: our head is full of itHowdy!

From many sources we can learn about beliefs and how they shape who we are. That applies not only to you and me but also to the main character of my novel “The Glass Dome” (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome), the executive Peter Woudenberg.

What are beliefs anyway? Beliefs are the stories we create ourselves about ourselves, about the world and how we relate to that. They determine everything about us: how we dress, who we like to hang out with, the kind of career we’re pursuing, our family life, where we live: the list is endless. But also, more importantly, do they define what possibilities for advancement we see for ourselves. They define what options are available and what options won’t even be considered.

These stories are nourished by our experiences, that range from our upbringing, early childhood, experiences at school and later perhaps university. The culture in which we were brought up plays a role in this as well of course.  Everyday our world proves us that our beliefs are right. Talking about experiences: our beliefs also determine the experiences we like, and therefore will choose to have,  as well as those we don’t like to have. For instance: in the western world most people like to dine out in a restaurant. They may even be open to different styles of cooking. But once a restaurant would only serve insects and worms, it will probably find itself out of business before long. In spite of the useful proteins insects possess, not many of us (me included!) would volunteer to eat those creatures. And therewith forego the experience.

Our beliefs manifest themselves through behavior and language.

“I can’t eat insects”

“I’m not good with numbers”

“I don’t like to present in front of other people”

“I need coffee to get started in the day”

“I’m not a dancer”, etc

Many of our stories are based on assumptions which rarely get checked or examined. No big deal as such as our beliefs help us to navigate through life and to make sense of it. And it’s probably so that we couldn’t even survive without them. The problem starts when some of them reach their best-before-date. That’s the point where we get out of sync with our environment (relationship, work, whatever). As our beliefs feel like our home we start looking for explanations for what is happening outside of us. “It’s the new boss, who does not understand how we work here.” Or: “If only my partner would give me more space.”

In a “coincidental” meeting with their carpenter, Peter Woudenberg, who sees himself faced with an unexpected loss of his high level executive job, gets explained how our belief system is built and how we adhere to it, even when some of those beliefs we adopted stop serving us.

“Your confusion is clear to me,” the carpenter said in a soft tone. “And that’s OK. Just like everybody else on the planet you choose to believe certain things as you choose not to believe other things. And don’t get me wrong here, the same applies to me. I too choose to believe certain things. But at the end of the day they’re all just beliefs. You are who you choose to believe you are. And our beliefs form an elaborate, complex interwoven pattern. Every belief is like a masterfully applied brush stroke to a painter’s linen. As such each single belief is but a brush stroke. But together they form a masterpiece of a complexity one could only begin to describe, comparable to a painting made by Rembrandt or Vermeer. All brushstrokes are all connected and they all need each other to form the painting in its entirety. They show themselves in everything we do: the way we dress, we behave, the work we choose to do, the people we like being with, the activities we like undertaking, the restaurants we go to and so on and so on. When they’re shared on a collective level they define what we call culture. But they manifest themselves also as the thoughts we allow ourselves to have. Now something funny happens: because we have become so deeply familiar with our painting, and we have come to like this painting so dearly, we are very reluctant to change one or two of those brush strokes as we somehow know that this would imply changing the entire painting right away without us knowing if we would like what we get in return. In other words: even if our beliefs start hindering us and our functioning we still cling on to them. We seek explanations and justifications for us to stick to our beliefs, vainly trying to prove that they’re right, a task becoming more and more difficult over time.”

I’ll talk a bit more about this in my next post. In the meanwhile, if you want to check out the entire story: http://bit.ly/t3XLtZ

Stay well!