For a year that matters

So, well, yeah, the year 2014 has started. How many of your resolutions are still alive? How many have already been buried? How many did you make in the first place. For me, this year will be dedicated to three things:

  1. continuing my transformational and exec coaching work and workshop facilitation
  2. composing and playing and recording music (and finding out what I really want here)
  3. writing

Ad 2: I started the year with a recording session in a studio here with by buddy and we’ll have a few more next week. The idea is to have an EP out on iTunes this spring. And: (OMG) I registered for a course Songwriting via Berklee College of Music!! I’m so excited!!

Why these three things? Because I enjoy doing those, they all make me happy in a way. And also because they allow me to interact with people from around the world and potentially touch their hearts, be a bit of inspiration, comfort. You tell me 🙂

In order not to forget to focus on these three things and also in order not to revert to this old habit telling myself I can’t do this (and hence revert to petty daily stuff only), I was so lucky to come across this beautiful poem by John O’Donohue. May it serve as an inspirational reminder for you as well. Let us live the life we’re called to!!!

For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

John O’Donohue

Here’s to a year that matters! To a life that matters!

Blessings, Courage and Love!



Why Poverty?


Earlier this week I landed on the Arte TV-channel here in Germany that had dedicated that day’s programmes to the theme ‘Why Poverty?’ Having studied economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam, I guess I could answer this question using economic theories and would probably come up with some kind of an accepted answer. But watching young Chinese adults reluctantly engaging in a struggle for survival, either by trying to get accepted by some top university (thereby ruining their family’s monetary reserves to cover for the cost) or by trying to find whatever job that is available amidst countless competitors, made me sick. And those are considered the lucky ones.

Continue reading “Why Poverty?”

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,



Preface ‘The Glass Dome’


Hey there!

Following some reactions on my previous blog, I thought it would good to publish the preface to my first novel ( So….here it is! Again: this is not about me knowing what is going on and what exactly is awaiting us. I’d like us to engage in a meaningful conversation as to what wants to manifest throught these horrible events like the Aurora shooting etc. and regarding what all of us could do to prevent that suffering from happening.



These are interesting times. As I’m writing this [August 2011], we’ve witnessed the Arab spring, which has far from settled down, the earthquake in Japan with its devastating effects, countries on the brink of bankruptcy, Europe struggling to prevent the Eurozone from collapsing, there was the Oslo carnage and just recently the riots in various UK cities. Something of a rather large order seems to be going on, inviting us to take a step back, take a different look at who we are and to make different ways of living, of treating ourselves, each other and the planet possible. Nothing remains the same and what is going on could very well only be the beginning of even bigger changes.


As change is becoming more radical and occurring yet faster it is impacting all around the planet. With traditional sources for providing guidance losing their authority and therewith their relevance we’re left to ourselves to try to make sense of what is going on and of what apparently wants to happen. In order to find a justification for these changes, and to try to make sense of them, most will refer to sources from within the current reality, whether it’s science, religion, whatever. I’m pretty sure that trying to find satisfactory explanations within the current paradigm is going to be a challenge. Let alone that adequate solutions for the current challenges, these ongoing changes impose on us, can be found. You cannot steer a ship by looking at its wake. Whatever the source, it seems clear to a growing number of people that something is profoundly changing on the planet. I’m one of them.


These upcoming changes will have an effect on how we look upon ourselves, our relationships, our work, our societies, our planet, in short: upon how we have shaped our world. We will be sailing uncharted waters and whatever we have developed as practices over the past millennia will only be of limited help in setting out our next course. Individually and collectively we need to be able to connect to and mobilise other sources in order to successfully continue on our journey of development.


The story in this book has been written for all of you out there who sense there is something more to their lives than that you have been taught (and have learned) to believe ever since you were kids. Somehow this longing for this unknown is getting stronger in many people. You may see yourself faced with the question whether or not to heed this call and bring forward changes in your life that may lead to a radical change in the way you have been living up until now. Whether or not you decide to engage in this transformation is solely up to you. And the story has no intention whatsoever to persuade you in doing so. But since this calling gets stronger for many, so does the anxiety. Both individually and collectively. Why venture a giant leap into something completely unknown at the risk of leaving behind everything you attached so much value to? Or at least had gotten used to? Why leave behind a seemingly fulfilling life, which you have gained by learning how to play the game, through adapting to the context, often at the expense of yourself ? Why can the heart be so sure about what direction to take and why does the mind so persistently convince you not to do such a foolish thing? What are actually the stories you are telling yourself about yourself, about your relationships, about your career, about success, about your life, about leadership, about politics, about the world in general and how things go? And how well are they serving you?


The main intention of this story is to make you feel more comfortable with whatever really wants to manifest through you, with which you know deep inside you are connected. But from which you somehow shield yourself off. That’s why I’ve chosen to illustrate the journey of one individual. Again, it may be helpful to know that you are not the only one having those feelings. There’s an increasing number of people around the planet having similar feelings and looking for ways to deal with them knowing that no single person holds all the answers. So, I wish you happy reading with an open mind and, more importantly, with an open heart.


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’


How do you know you’re on the right track?

So many roads ahead (found at
So many roads ahead (found at


Today I cam across a tweet by Deepak Chopra, where he addresses the question whether we all have a personal destiny (or personal mission as he calls it) in each carnation. Here you can find the answer: What I like about his comment is that he basically states that we all have one and that it’s not exclusively about grand themes. It’s not about touching millions of people and getting recognised for that. Rather, it is about finding your way, or better: allowing yourself to join it as automatically your talents will flow to where they are needed. There’s no question that they’re needed. Why? Simple: otherwise you wouldn’t be here at this point in time and space.

In a previous blog I hinted at how you can start getting more open to finding your calling ( Of course, you can use (additional) approaches and tools that you feel most comfortable with, in order to get more clarity about your calling. (I’ve mentioned before that for me Alan Seale’s approach has been working very well ( The great thing about this approach is that it steers away from our usual intellectual and analytical approach to problem solving. And it quiets the worrying ego. But how can you tell what your calling is and how do you know you’re on the right track? That seems to be a challenge, I mean trying to find your path in life where there are no road signs. Especially with your ego shouting at you to not start doing something that would certainly get you in trouble 🙂 And then you see all these people kind of doing what you feel your life is about. Well, to start with the latter ‘issue’: everybody’s calling is unique. There’s absolutely no risk of you copying somebody else’s life purpose as long as you stay connected with your innermost self. When you think you should imitate someone else’s life….well, what would be the point? If that would have been your life, it would have come to you and not to another person.

Once you start exploring what activities in your daily life fit your personal mission, there’s one sign I’ve found to be pretty helpful. As soon as you formulate your intention and start giving attention to it, synchronicity and flow will start occurring. Events, people, information, whatever will start popping up seemingly out of nowhere, aimed at progressing and refining your quest. You will start experiencing moments of flow and fulfillment as what you are embarking on seems to fit your talents quite naturally. Of course, our mind will kick in from time to time and judge it silly what it is that we’re doing. But again: if you can stay close to your inner self, you may get a different signal. And there’s something else which I find rather interesting. Once you start experiencing flow and fulfillment, you’re no longer worried about the outcome. It is actually at this moment that you allow the journey to become the goal and therewith an endless source of inspiration. Rather than something you should force yourself to, it should be something you allow yourself to align to. Something you allow to happen through you as the results of it manifesting through you are highly desired. And will bring peace, not only to you.

For me this approach is working rather well. Of course I had doubts from time to time (and still have) whether or not I’m on the right path. The right path for me, that is and to restate the obvious: not what I would think the right path I think others expect from me. Doubt kicks in when my mind starts getting worried, e.g. about results not showing up quickly enough. But I must say, every time I go back to this point of stillness and every time I dedicate myself to what I tell myself my work is, it seems to be coming from a source of deeper knowing and peacefulness emerges, together with flow and knowing that what I’m doing (coaching, writing and playing music) is meaningful. And I hence I learned to trust to follow that soft-spoken inner voice, in spite of the loud stories at the surface.

What about you? What is working for you to find and pursue your personal destiny? How is it affecting the life you’re living?

Love and blessings,Geert