The Next Event


so we had our shooting in Paris (not sure if anyone considers the daily casualties in places like Nigeria, Syria, Libya, Iraq to name just a few) and all in the western world seem to be grabbed by the drama, the strong emotions that come with it. Take a look back at this post I learned from Alan Seale ( that a distinction can be made in four levels of human engagement:

  1. the drama; whose fault is it?
  2. the situation, the facts, how do we fix it as quickly as possible? It’s about making things OK again.
  3. level of choice: who do I want to be in this situation?
  4. opportunity; what is it that is really wanting to happen? What is the gift?

On levels 1 and  no learning takes place. It might be where mass consciousness is living.

On levels 3 and 4 things start to shift as we redefine our relation with the drama.

So in relation to the ‘drama’ in France (or any other of the many dramas around  the world) : What is the opportunity? What are the missing conversations? What wants to show itself that we have not been able or willing to see? My quick guess at the moment is that it is calling for a different  way of living together on the planet as one humankind. We can’t go on exploiting the earth and its inhabitants in the name of free market economy. As if trying to make as much money as possible is the dharma of mankind. We can’t go on cutting people out from the abundance we create. We can’t go on locking people away in endless suburbs with no perspective to a meaningful and fulfilling life. On account of the free market economy. So again, what wants to show itself through these acts of terror? Why are so many people immensely scared?  Why haven’t we been able to hear them? To listen to them? And work out a different way of peacefully and prosperously living together? Away from any kind of dogma. Why are we trying to make things OK again? OK for who? It’s time to change the game. We’re in this together…..

Peace be upon us,






The Language of Mattering

Hi y’all out there!

Again I came across an interesting post by Umair Haque (I guess you might think by now I’m following him or something) , here it is: He makes a point of finding out the meaning of our life or better: of allowing meaning to find us. And to be open to Love. Big love not small love. It seems we have become deaf to the language of mattering, numb to the real meaningful things (which most of the time aren’t things anyway) blind to the meaning of our life, closed off from a life with meaning. And why? Is it the overload of stimuli telling us to care about having stuff, to see the world around us in terms of stuff and stuff only? It must be why most people I know are dissatisfied, whether they are regarded successful or not.  Constantly living in a state of profound exhaustion, perpetually fuelled by fear. Fear of being hurt, disappointed, turned down, fear for showing up as who we really are, imbued by the fear of not being good enough. Well, if it helps, let me tell you: you are good enough just the way you are. We all are.

It takes courage to see and more so to embrace what our life is about. Too often we get caught up in a complex structure of rules and supposed expectations we think we need to fulfill. letting go of that feels like giving something up, without us being able to see how it holds us back, how it limits our talents, how it prevents us from living wholeheartedly. Freedom is more than just an academic notion, being born in a discussion to which none of the participants are really present. It comes from disciplined action based on self-knowledge and with detachment from the results. So the invitation is to go out there and get dented, bruised scratched in allowing meaning to find you. And in that process to love and be loved. Love yourself for starters and see what comes from that, see how different the world becomes when you do so. Have conversations that matter, with anyone that matters. We think we’re alone but once we dare to step out from under our glass dome, we quickly find out we’re not. Initiate these conversations, go out and seek the experiences that are meaningful to you and not necessarily to others. Experiences that bring you closer to who you are and what it is that you, and only you, are here for. All are craving for contact, for sharing experiences, for having conversations that matter. For being open to the language of mattering. Allow those conversations to happen so you can help others on their way as they help you continue your journey.

Love and Blessings,



Money and the illusion of separation

Drowning in never enough money


I talked about Charles Eisenstein and his book Sacred Economics in my previous blog ( Now, I’d like to address another phenomenon enhanced by money: separation. It starts with a view that everything in the universe which you don’t recognise as ‘you’ is separate and hence alien. At best you and it are indifferent about each other but chances are that you, as a human being, see it as something to be afraid of, something hostile. And that asks for control. But how can we control nature? We do impact it but can we control it? When you don’t feel part of the universe, part of nature, you may see it as things, or ‘a bunch of stuff’ as Charles Eisenstein labels it in this video ( It becomes a bunch of stuff you can get hold of, process it and then sell it back to the people to whom it belonged in the first place, leaving you with more money than before. And with that money you can buy stuff. I find it interesting that renting out storage space has become a market of its own, at least in the US and in several European countries. We buy so much stuff that we can no longer store it in our homes. I like to believe that most products we buy, are not bought because of their functional qualities but as a kind of sedation. An attempt to lift the loneliness and void our money driven lives have given us. Who was it that said: ‘the best things in life most of the time are not things?’. How can a bag cost several thousands of dollars or euros? And hold the stuff it’s supposed to hold indescribably better than a, let’s say two hundred dollar bag would? Of course I’m aware of the underlying psychological patterns of the buyers. But really: a 10cm square cm strip of leather with a Luis Vuitton ring to it should cost over a hundred euro’s? I’m wondering if anybody has researched the sustainability of the psychological well-being of a person as the result of owning exorbitantly expensive luxury goods, that can be produced at only a fraction more of what it costs to produce commodities. And commodities are what most of the things  are that we use in the first place. Or is there anyone out there believing he’s the only one with an iPhone? Of course I’m not saying we should move to a state controlled plan-economy where everything we can buy is of poor quality, not sufficient in quantity and as standard as it gets. The point is that I believe (and agree with Charles Eisenstein) that we have come to the point that we’re reaching the end of economic growth as we have been taught to have it. And hence a different, arguably far more limited role of money is required. I predict that the focus on human needs will grow. To experience meaningfulness, significance and hence get out of the money game. How much more stuff do we need to have in order to feel happy? Fulfilled? Satiated? What is finally enough? Of course the emerging economies around the world provide the last profitable stretches in this dead-end street. Indeed this was mentioned in my first novel (  I lost track of how much coca cola the average chinese is drinking, how much Cartier and Rolex watches they own  and how much Mercedes, Porsches, Beamers and Ferrari’s have been sold more to China than last year? More expensive stuff won’t fill the void. More expensive stuff doesn’t feel the rather basic human needs of wanting to feel fulfilled by deploying our talents where they’re needed and where they make sense. Naturally, without being forced to serve whose ever bottom line.

It is time we start seeing and experiencing the connection again. It is time we leave the money game behind us and enter the human game, which is played on a global scale with fairness and access to the planet’s richness for all. Charles Eisenstein refers to this as the coming of age ordeal. Now it’s time to individually and collectively reconnect to our purpose and direct the deployment of our unique talents exactly in that direction.

All love and blessings,


A life without Self….

Good day!
Today I came across the announcement of Jack Stephen’s (twitter @organicjack) new book ‘Soul Self’ ( Here’s  part of the preface I checked out on Amazon:
“Although I experienced various successes in my life, they never seemed to last or bring a true sense of fulfillment. Like many people in modern society, I spent most of my life doing what I learned as a child – striving to please others, looking outside of my Self for direction and competing for recognition, affection and seemingly scarce resources. I let subconscious programs, unhealed trauma, and opinions of other people control my life. I learned about the power of positive thinking, but I mistakenly believed that a few minutes of constructive thought every now and then would overwrite the deeply buried, firmly ignored or resolutely avoided destructive thoughts, feelings and beliefs that were creating my reality 95% of the time. I could convincingly talk about positive, healthy living, but I could not yet match those words with my actions.
Knowing that we want to be happy, yet continuing to make choices that cause unhappiness is all too common, but I felt alone in my feelings of confusion, self-criticism and despair. I had a difficult time accepting that I was worthy or capable of experiencing health, wealth and true, loving partnership. I did my best to disguise my insecurities, and over time, I accepted that while I was neither a dismal failure nor a grand success, the life I was living was the best I could expect. In nearly every area of my life, I settled for less than I was capable of creating.”
I don’t know about you guys, but it strongly resonated with me. I recognise my life in what Jack wrote and I must say I’m looking forward to read his book as he is coming from experience rather than being a smart consultant. It left me pondering once more about our beliefs. About my beliefs… Again they prove to be so strong, even if we don’t recognise them and even if they live far below the surface of our conscious perception. Perhaps as a result of one or more experiences in our childhood. Like parents telling us to fit in. Teachers telling us to do as we’re told. Others telling us we can’t play along. Well, in my perception that’s exactly what all of society did when I grew up.  Today, I feel it leaves me on a journey of which I know I haven’t completed it yet. Over the last few years I’ve gained tremendous insights in who I am and what I’m here for. But I feel, I sense there’s still more to the story that will eventually really set me free and get all of my talents going. The score until now? OK, well. according to my clients I am an excellent executive/transformational coach. And I really love doing that work as I know it’s part of who I am. Last year I published my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ ( and I’m writing my 2nd one (working title: Water Colours). It took a while (of actively fighting it) before I could accept that the novel wanted to manifest itself in my life…. (What do you mean: limiting stores I was telling myself and therewith blocking the flow of energy?) The third leg has to do with music. And actually, writing this, my thoughts go back to a meeting last week with an old-time friend with whom I hadn’t hung out for a long time. He mentioned that the first thing I told him when we first met (this goes back to 1982 or so) was that I rather wanted to have become a guitar player but had decided for studying economics in stead….. I must confess, that kind of hit home. The experience is similar to being called by my first boss ever following me inviting him for the book launch in Amsterdam last year november. Laughingly, he shared that it had been one of the first things I had told him: that I wanted to write a book. Oyyy…. so I guess I have become at least partially blind to that what wants to manifest in my life. And hence I got my portion of struggle.
Well, anyway…. as I said I’m still on my journey of discovery. With the biggest challenge finding ways to interact and engage with all of you out there. Somethign I find very hard to do. So if you have any insights or experiences you’d like to share….. I might have a few in return (but only if you want to)!
All love and blessings,

For the love of it

Geert on Stage with the FFB-BigBand
Geert on Stage with the FFB-BigBand

Hey there!

Again I’ve been reading in Ken Robinson’s fabulous book ‘The Element’ ( In short: it’s about (encouraging) people finding their calling en living it. Towards the end is a passage that really hit home for me personally. It’s the chapter called ‘For Love or Money’ where an academic is introduced who is crazy about playing his cello and apparently very good at it too. The point that got me gasping for breath is where the academic is quoted saying that ‘calling it a hobby is ridiculous’. Bang! That hit home! For me too, calling playing music a hobby really sounds off. Although I thoroughly enjoy my professional activities as executive coach I also find myself in my element when I get to play music. And it’s no longer only playing. I started arranging songs and actually composed a few myself. Well, composed: let me just say the music came to me when I was ready for it. On no occasion did it involve sitting down and think what I should write. Playing music has given me some extraordinary moments of flow, especially during the last three, four years when I got to play with others again. With the FFB-BigBand (without having prior experience with or exposure to this kind of music) I’m one of the soloists. Mind you, on guitar, not really the first instrument that comes to mind when you think about bigband music. It was only at the second gig that our band leader asked me to play a solo. Where I was really struggling trying to keep up with what was being played! 🙂  And I have similar experience with my other bands and projects. I like to have a good time but also to touch our audience and frankly, and probably this is a result of why I play music, I want to be good at it. Oh, and equally important: for me it’s so great (and vital) to engage with other people and be on the same wavelength with them! I get tremendous support from them and I try to support all others where I can.

Something similar applies to writing novels. The first one ‘The Glass Dome’ wanted to be written by me if that makes any sense to you at all. I had no ambition nor intention to become an author. But somehow, and finally, I gave in to this urge which I felt. Or better: I had the courage to give in to it and wonder at what wanted to manifest itself through me. Again they keyword here was allowing. Allowing to let happen that which wanted to happen. No, not as a helpless victim but as a fully aware steward of those energies.

So being an author and musician goes along perfectly well with being an executive coach. following the energy creates new possibilities that seem to perfectly fit what I’m doing. Again: I thoroughly enjoy all three of these lines of activities through which I like to share my love for all and consider them to continue my element, as Sir Ken Robinson would have it. I wouldn’t want to drop any of them, nor would I want to focus exclusively on one of them.

Sometimes I find people listening to this story in awe. Like as if they would never be able to do something similar. Well, as stated in my previous blog, it probably is going to be quite an effort if anyone would want to carbon copy my life. But similar possibilities exist for all of us. We are not confined to one context to deploy the many talents that we have, to share our gift to the world.

My invitation to you right now is to find your place of stillness and ask yourself whether you are really fulfilled. If not, don’t blame yourself or anyone or anything else for that matter but ask yourself the question: what is it that I need to experience fulfillment? What is it that wants to make itself heard or seen in my life that I haven’t been able to until now. Stay with those questions for a while and allow your soul to show you the answer. And by all means: do let me know what comes out of it for you.

All love and blessings,


PS: here are the links to two YouTube videos of the FFB-BigBand


Geert with the FFB-BigBand playing 'Satin Doll'
Geert with the FFB-BigBand playing ‘Satin Doll’


Breaking free – revisited

Breaking free revisited


Yesterday I was reading “The Element – How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything” by Ken Robinson ( As the title suggests it’s about finding and allowing your passion in your life. Or your element, your calling, your soul mission, higher purpose whatever name works for you. The book has a number of inspiring examples of people who found theirs, not in the least because somebody else saw their unique, special and personal talent. In chapter six (What Will They Think) he addresses three sources of blocks that could prevent us from finding ours:

  1. personal
  2. social
  3. cultural

The personal source if blocks are mainly the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Or beliefs as I have labelled them in previous blogs. Of course they do not emerge in isolation but are nourished by the other two sources: social and cultural.

The social component could be the example of parents and, later on, peers. In our desire for belonging we will surrender a bit (or a lot) of our unique talents that we are blessed with. Parents will often do so because they mean well. They would like you to have a financially secure future which can only be obtained by performing tedious tasks in an environment they believe is the only one to make that possible. This particularly hit home with me. When I was 14/15 years old my dad asked me what I wanted to do once I had finished secondary school (I lived in holland back then). To me it was crystal clear. Having enjoyed classical guitar lessons since the age of twelve, I wanted nothing more that to go to one of the advanced music schools in Holland to further study guitar. My dad startled at my reaction and said he thought that was a great idea but completely useless at the same time. And hence a period of brainwashing followed where my parents, firing questions at me to which I had no answer, attempted to get me to change my mind and study something more sensible like Economics. Finally I gave in and went to study Economics at the Erasmus University Rotterdam., Needless to say it was quite exciting but I never landed one of those successful careers with a big corporation. It was clear I just didn’t fit in. After a number of consulting and commercial and general management roles (where I showed my ability to build something out of nothing) I dared to make coaching my main activity. That was in the year 2000. People had always fascinated me and looking back at some 15 years of working experience, the people component was one of the main themes. As a matter of fact people still continue to fascinate me and I indeed would say I love people. And I remember having had my first coaching ocnverstaion when I was 14 years old. Being an executive coach talking to the brass of many companies throughout Europe and beyond was still an honourable thing getting respectful looks at cocktail parties. And I enjoyed and still enjoy this work, which focuses on bringing my clients closer to their purpose) very much. So all started to work out quite well.


In 2008 everything seemed to come to a full stop. Just enough work to keep me alive and with the first financial crisis I at least had something to point at when people asked me how business was. In 2009 I was wondering what it would take to get out of the doldrums and worked with a coach myself for a while. During a workshop (Alan Seale’s Manifestation Wheel ) it became clear that something wanted to manifest through me and it was clear beyond any doubt that this was what turned out to be my first novel This may sound crazy (or perhaps familiar?) but the story of the book had been around for a while as had other stories (that subsequently got published by other authors). But I had not allowed it to become manifest through me because of many personal beliefs (I can’t be an author, This is just something on the side,  I am a coach, consultant and what not). As a result the writing was quite strenuous and progress was rather poor until this breakthrough encounter in September 2010 (which I documented in

So far so good: the book got published and then nothing much changed…… Well, that is, I continue to experience flow when I engage in writing and working with the book and I have started on my second novel (which you can download for free as an ebook ( and to which you can contribute if you wish). But flow is something I also experience when engaging with…music. Since 2009 I’ m playing guitar in one of Germany’s best bigbands, in a classic rock and rhythm ‘ n blues band and a few other initiatives. I have composed a few pieces and arranged a few others and I am learning new things everyday. I’ve played at festivals, in bars, at weddngs and funerals. I’ m surrounded by several remarkable and highly talented musicians for whom playing music is not the economic backbone as it isn’t for me.

So after having been asleep for some thirty years (although I have always been playing guitar) music is fully back in my life and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about this. Being on stage, creating an atmosphere by sharing live music really gets me going as well as the audiences. Of course there are people who look pitifully on me, thinking that at 50 years of age one finally should have become mature. Yeah right! Mature! For what reason? To fit in? To live a life which is not mine and which I have been living for too long already? I don’ t care what they think, especially not when they are dancing to the music I play (which I assume is a sign of them having a good time)

Allowing myself to be (and grow as) an author of commercial fiction and a musician, puts me in this position where I a, living the life which I want my coachees to live: our own. And I do so by showing the example. Which is different from only telling people they should wake up and live. I have no exact planning of how my future will look like but in the process of becoming more and more aligned with my personal calling I have learned to trust life, the universe to manifest the right things at the right time in my life. It’s about actively (co-)creating rather than sitting at home and waiting for something to happen. Deep down, on soul level, I know I’ m doing the right thing.

So, to recap: after a long period of trying to fit in and to live a life which was’t mine (but which I couldn’ t see), I finally dared to start breaking free. I do what enjoy most: coaching, writing and playing music. It took a few crises to wake me up and a few people who showed up at the right time in my to make that possible. And I would invite all of you to start breaking free as well. Why don’t you share your experiences here?






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 ( 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?