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 ūüôā

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!



I wonder….

Good day!

So there’s another few states¬†violently trying to beat down protests. And yet another¬†few are¬†so afraid of its own citizens and neighbors that they have started to collect as many expressions by them as possible in huge databases. In order to be able to throw a suspicion¬†at each of us at the whim of some bureaucrat/s at whatever point in time

So I wonder where this fear comes from and why it is so persistent. Why do people like Erdogan (but it’s not just him) believe they can get away with oppressing the people in their countries? Why do they think they can stop a process which is inevitable and irrevocable since it finds its origin in a different source. What would it take for them to leave throw their petty political and personal agenda out of the window and make room for that which want to become manifest?

Why can’t those so-called leaders not see what wants to emerge? Is it that they identify so much with the role they have? Do they take themselves too seriously? And mind you: I’m pretty sure it is rather obscure for many of the protesters as well. But still they have the courage to respond to this new universal signal: no longer is it one for all. (And speaking of courage: what to think about this individual Edward Snowden?) We’re in this together. Leadership is a distributed function, and leadership roles will be inhabited by those who can¬†¬†make the contribution which is required for as long at it is required.

The American people are on a diet of fear. And once more: they’re not the only ones. It may be the consequence of us living our lives under the illusion of separation in a hostile environment, as Charles Eisenstein illustrates so beautifully:¬†And inevitably that has¬†gotten a solid political foundation as well. Why is it that no one seems to ask why the American people should be afraid? And of what exactly? And what it would take to get rid of the fear? And again: the USA is not the only country where this is going on. It’s omnipresent.

People like Alan Seale and Otto Scharmer talk about remembering the future that wants to emerge, which to me makes a lot of sense as figuring out where to next is no longer really possible. In his July 1994 speech in America, Vaclav Havel said:

“There are good reasons for suggesting that the modern age has ended. Many things indicate that we are going through a transitional period, when it seems that something is on the way out and something else is painfully being born. It is as if something were crumbling, decaying and exhausting itself, while something else, still indistinct, were arising from the rubble.”

The modern world as we have come to know and understand it, has ended. I know. Many of you know. When will enough people know and act responsibly in allowing the future that wants to emerge to actually do so.


Geert Hofman

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,



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 ‚Äď 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,

Weird experience – but useful after all!


This time I would like to share a really weird experience I had some two weeks ago. I found it weird for¬†it’s almost identical to a scene I described in my novel ‘The Glass Dome'(www.geerthofman.comglass-dome¬†pp 233-238). So what happened and what was the learning I finally took from it?

One night late I¬†rode my bike home after having visited¬†a friend. It’s only a less than 2 mile ride so that usually takes me less than 10 minutes. As I left the main street for a street in a small residential area I saw a bicycle lying on the street. Since this is not a street where cars can drive through my first thought was that some kid had left it lying there before it went inside. So I drove past it and decided to leave it. A bit further on a young man with a bike was standing in the middle of street. Approaching him I asked if all was OK. He said he wasn’t from here and that he was waiting for his cab to show up. I found it a bit weird that he would have a bike with him and then take a cab. As the taxi central was right around the corner I told him to follow me so I could show it to him. As we got there I asked again if he was OK. He said he was fine but had too much to drink at a birthday party. I asked him about the bike lying on the street and wondered if he had anything to do with it. He said he didn’t but that he thought it weird too and asked if we could go check it out. I agreed and together we cycled the 40-50 yards to where the bike was lying. I picked it up and noticed it was quite small, so not for an adult, and that its tires were flat. As I put it against one of the houses a young bloke descended the fa√ßade of another house. Of course that didn’t seem quite normal to me and I asked if the bike belonged to him. He asked me if I could show it to him, which I did but when we got there he turned very aggressive at the flick of a second and kicked the wheel of my bike and hit me. He actually dealt a blow to my head and I was flabbergasted. His kicking and hitting didn’t have much power but I was completely surprised by the scene. I stopped to see if I could help in this situation and as a result I get attacked by some youngster! I told him to stop or things could get out of hand. Mind you, I’m 6’6″ (1.95m) weigh a bit over 100 Kg and no it’s not all fat! And I wasn’t frightened. This bloke, weighing¬†60 kilos,¬†must have been on dope and booze to think he could knock me out. But….he wouldn’t stop. He kept trying to intimidate me and just didn’t want to let go of me. I tried¬†to ride away on my bike but he would pull my jacket or the bike and make me stop. And all the time he would not respond to anything I said but kept shouting orders, repeating them as if they were a mantra to him. I saw no other way out than an escalation of violence resulting in me knocking him unconscious and that is something I didn’t want to. Positive about that.¬†I did lose my patience though at one moment. I put my bike on its stand walked towards the assailant thinking where to hit him. Immediately he backed off and immediately I recalled I didn’t want to do this. So I got back on my bike, tried to drive away and…there he was again: pulling my bike and preventing me from going home. What he was saying had stopped making sense from the beginning but now it was even getting worse. He told me he was with the police, on duty, he would call his colleagues (to which I invited him with all my heart) and he wanted to fine me for 10 or 20 euros. Now, that seemed a way out for me without getting violent. So I asked him if he would let me go if I would give him 20 Euro. 10 or 20 would do it for him he confirmed. And he was calming down. By now his buddy insisted he let go of me which caused him to get infuriated again. I showed him the 20 Euro note which he took and then they started fighting over the action. Not about splitting the loot but somehow his buddy felt it was way wrong. When I got home I started to get infuriated myself. Indeed it felt completely wrong to be attacked after offering help and then to get to pay for that privilege as well. But I managed to control my emotions and I stayed at home, trying to get some sleep.

The next day I tried making sense of what happened as I choose to believe that nothing happens for no reason in our lives and that there’s always something for us to learn. But I couldn’t. Every time I thought back of the events my adrenaline skyrocketed and I wish I could get hold of this guy, probably only to release my frustration. Not very productive at all. But I kept asking myself what wanted to manifest itself through this experience.

Then yesterday, all of a sudden, I thought back of a book that Rao Kolluru once gave me in NYC. And I knew what I had done wrong. The book¬†is called ‘The Ten Spiritual Pillars of Business Success’. You can find more about Rao and his work here: Amongst others Rao tells the story of two brothers who stayed with a guru for some time. One day one of the two brothers, Raj, comes back from having visited the village, covered with bruises. He explained that somebody in the village was badmouthing the guru and that he had taught him a lesson. The guru said that he should have let it pass and have restrained himself. The next day the other brother, Tom, came back with a similar story. And he had let it pass with no intervention from his end. The guru asked him why he hadn’t taught the villain a lesson.

Indeed, it’s a story about the three gunas or qualities as Rao labels them: Sattva, Rajas, Tamas. Very short: balance, energy and lethargy. Immediately it became clear to me that I had stayed in Tamas during the situation, where the opponent had been in Rajas and Rajas only. I also remembered a conversation where a gentleman (a Vedic astrologer)¬†had asked me if I wanted to retire early. As there were some indications I like to retreat. Now the experience had started to make sense. What I make of it is that I have been too much in Tamas lately, thinking it was Sattva (and, fair enough it will have been Sattva from time to time as well) But hardly in Rajas and, to¬†be perfectly honest with you guys, that has been showing in my life for quite some time now and has been affecting the business side of things as well. But I couldn’t see it until this weird experience of some two weeks ago made me think of Rao’s story again.¬† I have started looking for ways to activate Rajas much more (including changing nutritional habits) and to¬†reduce the overly present¬†Tamas (well at least during day time :-)) It will allow me to get out and engage much more with the world than I did and change this attitude of wanting people to come to me (well, they should of course but until know they could see no reason for it. :-))

So after all this showed some great learning that I get to put into practice. Oh and looking back at the experience, I clearly see other ways (using Rajas) that would have ended the situation without having to knock this bloke in a coma. They all involve engaging with him, possibly also on a physical level and although I am aware of the dangers¬†related to¬†that (with all these armed people in the street), I’m even more aware of the dangers of not¬†doing it. And indeed, I do keep on believing that the best way to avoid troubles is to walk away from these situations. But when that is not possible¬†and appeasing doesn’t have any effect it is better to engage.

All love and blessings,


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 ūüôā 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

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?