You’re back home again #MH17

 

Copyright ANP/Pierre Crom NRC Handelsblad 19 July 2014
Rescue workers working a field in East Ukraine looking for bodies of passengers of flight MH17. Copyright ANP/Pierre Crom NRC Handelsblad 19 July 2014

Heya,

This text kinda emerged from somewhere when I was pondering the events around the downing of flight MH17 and the flying out of the bodies of the people that had been killed in the event. I wrote it because it wanted to be written. First in Dutch, then in German and now in English. If one thing should stand out, I hope it’s the desire, the necessity for all wars, and the immense suffering they cause, to end. Where ever on earth they take place and for whatever cause: they mainly cause unimaginable human suffering. It’s time we learn to see we share this home together. And that our joint efforts should be aimed at making this truly a home. For all of us. Please read the text and let me know what you think.

 

You’re back home again

 

You’re back home again

And that makes me happy.

Yes, indeed, happy.

A foreign emotion amidst incessant

Powerlessness. Anger. Disbelief. Grief.

Above all grief.

Despair.

Void.

 

You’re back home again.

I wanted to ask you how it was.

But it’s all so different now.

Share with me how you remember your last moment in this life.

I want to comfort you, take you in my arms, caress you, hold you against my heart and whisper that all is fine.

But I can’t do that.

 

You’re back home again.

And at last we are permeated again by the senselessness of war.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a shot from a machinegun.

A machete.

A bomb.

The broken glass in the hand of a drunken idiot.

Or a missile.

It doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t bring any good.

 

You’re back home again.

Back home again after an unexpectedly long journey.

Finally back home after you had to wait so long.

Caught in a game played by scared pawns of power.

Left under the mercilessly scorching sun in a field far from here.

Robbed of the last dignity that was yours.

 

You’re back home again.

See all of those, who have come to greet you.

See all of those, who stand around you.

Perplexed.

United

For a moment.

 

You’re back home again.

And I see the infinite void in our heart.

 

#MH17

 

Geert Hofman

 

Advertisements

Another shooting….

Good day,

So we had yet another shooting…… A bit more than two weeks after the Aurora shooting, roughly a year after the Oslo carnage (to which the picture above relates). And in spite of the controversy in the US around the question if people should (be allowed to) carry weapons and around the prevalence of violence in TV-series, films and video-games it’s fair to say that the US don’t have the monopoly on violence amongst civilians or of civilians against state institutions. Nor does violence always involve the use of fire arms. In the preface to my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) I pointed at a series of events which took place early 2011. As I suggested by then (August 2011) I was sure that it wasn’t over yet. On the contrary. And it goes to show: earlier this week the town hall in my place of birth (Waalre, The Netherlands) was set fire to during the night by driving two previously stolen cars into the building. The town hall has been destroyed and until now no one has the slightest idea who is responsible for this and what their motives are. Mind you: Waalre has some 16,000 inhabitants and how I remember it, it has nothing of a metropolitan dimension. Just a peaceful quiet little town. Until a few days ago, that is.

So it seems that everybody’s tolerance towards everybody else is getting to an absolute low. Engaging in traffic increasingly involves violent interactions between people as I can read in the papers each day. Going out for a drink often meets with violence. It seems we want to have it our way and our way only and without any delay. Gratification must be immediate, require no further creative engagement on our end (other than to thoughtlessly consume it) and seems to be aimed at dulling the senses rather than providing an uplifting experience aimed at attaining a more refined state of consciousness for instance.

In my blog of Feb 1st I introduced 4 levels of interaction (https://geerthofman.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/on-human-interaction-four-levels/) when we are faced with a situation:

  • the drama
  • the facts & figures
  • the different options for reacting
  • what wants to make itself shown?

To stick with the last question: I choose to believe that as mankind we’re facing the transition to a radically new era with radically new ways of viewing ourselves, all others, the world we live in and radically new ways of treating each other and our world. It seems to me that our current institutions and structures in all areas of our world are rapidly becoming obsolete. Without having meaningful alternatives in place yet, our future looks very unstable and insecure with all of us looking for something to hold on to. Clearly, saying our farewell to the old era, to the paradigm all of us alive have been brought up with and to various degrees gotten used to, is causing fear and anxiety. And clearly this transition needs to take place with lots of turmoil, violence and unrest.

But why exactly?

I’m wondering what we could do, collectively, to make the transition smoother, much more peaceful. Is it possible at all? I know it won’t help those who have died on the Aurora massacre. Or in the Oslo carnage. Or Alphen (Netherlands) shooting in May 2011. Or in the Winnenden (Germany) killings in 2009. Or in the Columbine shooting. And so on.

What I really would like to know from all of you: Is there anything each of us and therewith all of us could do to prevent further outbursts of this raging violence? To prevent us from injuring and killing our fellow-men? Ruining the lives of those who are left behind? Which is not limited to victims of shootings but it would include everything that we just know is not right but fail to make it right up until today. It’s clear this requires a radical overhaul of our current thinking and practices and the solutions are going to be systemic. It’s not just telling people not to carry guns. Or to punish those who do carry one. It’s about changing everything that has led to our non-productive practices. From education to nutrition. From (health-)care to the distribution of our abundance. Since the solution does not involve just an incremental change from where we are now, I’m not looking at our self-proclaimed leaders who have been brought forward by the current system. Both presidential candidates in the US could not demonstrate this more clearly as they carefully avoid mentioning the possibility of banning fire arms from being held by civilians. They feel they have to think about their constituent lobbies in order to get (re-)elected. Furthermore they are as much part of the drama as most of us and can contribute as much to the transition as all of us.

So, really, what is it that you and me can start doing as of today? Help me, please?

Love and Blessings,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

A life without Self….

Good day!
Today I came across the announcement of Jack Stephen’s (twitter @organicjack) new book ‘Soul Self’ ( http://soulselfliving.com/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’ (www.geerthofman.com/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,
Geert

Invitation to co-create

Heya,

Indeed, this is an invitation to co-create a novel. Last year my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ was published (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome ) and now I have started writing a sequel to it (working title: ‘Water Colours’. Initially it seemed to look like it was going offer the perspective of the main character’s wife on what turbulence her husband’s transformation caused. However, having started to write on it, it seemed to me it was going to be almost  a carbon copy of ‘The Glass Dome’. Of course, faced by the crisis of her husband leaving behind his career, Karen Woudenberg (now the main character) will go through a process of transformation herself as well, with similar resistance to embracing new insights as her husband struggled with. But somehow it’s clear to me that her transformation will go faster and deeper. And I feel I would like to explore more specifically the road ahead of us. I choose to believe that as mankind we’re at the start of enormous changes. The result of that would be a radically different global society. Although I have some ideas of how that would look like I would like to explore how the process towards that new society would look like.

What I’m requesting of you

  1. I’m inviting you to share your ideas about how the world will look when we have gone through this transformation.
  2. Tell me how this process will take place.

ad 1

I choose to believe that eventually the world is going to be one inclusive community (as opposed to a set of opposing exclusive communities that are frantically competing and fighting each other). Following a jump in our collective consciousness, resources are shared much, much more evenly than they are now. The rules of the game will have changed radically and will probably be less law-based but much more consciousness based. It will be a world where individuals celebrate their individual freedom (and accountability that comes with it), allowing others theirs. So it’s kind of living apart together 🙂 People will want to deploy their talents in flow for those meaningful causes for which they have been designed and they will experience fulfillment from that. How will survival be arranged? How do we maintain our health and education infrastructure? And indeed: what about our roads, bridges, airports, ports, energy? What will we be doing when acquiring as much material possessions as possible is no longer the main driver? Will it be a world without money? Will there be other ways of facilitating exchange?

ad 2

It looks like we’re heading for a series of crises that has only started to grow in intensity and severity and which are taking down our current system(s). Specifically I’m interested in your thoughts about the role of money in our economic system. It seems to me that we have banks creating money, which they lend out and expect to get more in return, what they are going to lend out again. Following Charles Eisenstein’s thoughts, our economy is debt and interest based which necessitates growth and leads to our society being monetized. We get to pay for everything, be it goods or services. States urge as many people as possible to engage in paid work as that increases their income. E.g. a mother staying at home, taking care of her family vs a mother, hiring a nanny, or buying a place at day care center for her toddlers, eating out or sending for meals yield different results. Currently the focus is on preferring the second option. However, by now it seems the possibilities for creating new services are close to being exhausted.  On a macro level, most states are having (severe) problems balancing their budgets. Countries  like Greece, Italy and Spain have so much debt that an increase in their interest rate is threatening their very existence. So it seems to me that a lot of instability is going to be around for a long while.

How does it (the process) work?

If and when you’re interested in contributing to the new novel send me a comment to this post or a mail (info@geerthofman.com) When we get our little community together I would be in touch with all of you, sharing in more detail what I’m thinking of. My idea is to publish the book in an e-book format that people can download for a tweet or a like. Possibly a ‘regular’ publisher will pick it up later and will want to transform it into a real book. The idea behind all of this is to try to reach as many people as possible around the globe in order to allow them to become more aware of the big changes announcing themselves so that collective intelligence can start getting mobilised. Perhaps a small contribution can be made in making the transformation process a little less bumpy than it is now.

Technically, we’d probably get started on Google docs or something similar. Or perhaps I’d collect and distribute the work in progress via Dropbox. Let’s just see what works best for us.

 

Why co-creation?

OK, so this is not about me suffering writer’s block 🙂 I think co-creation is the manifestation process of the future, in which those who want to and are able to contribute. I would expect the result to be better (defined in whatever way) than when somebody tries to figure out stuff on his own.

What’s in it for you?

First of all a great experience of co-creating a story that will be read by I don’t know how many people around the globe and thus contribute to the unavoidable transformation. You will be mentioned in the foreword as co-creator and the book will have a list of all of you (including your contact details and website if you like) who will have contributed. You may get recognition for being a thought leader in this matter in your own community and perhaps be able to create meaningful economic opportunities from that. If you’re in it for the money, I think it’s only fair to say that it’s far from sure the book will generate any kind of income. I’m not saying it won’t but it seems to be unlikely at the moment.

If you’d like to have a peek at the first chapter you can find it here: http://www.geerthofman.com/publications

OK, I’m really excited to get started on our project!

All love and blessings,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

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’ (http://sirkenrobinson.com/skr/) 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,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

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

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUuROIwxDfM&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWdI0F1mTAo

 

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

 

All we need is love

Love matters

Hello to you out there!

 

Over the last few weeks I’ve received many questions about the main character, Peter Woudenberg,  in my novel ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome). It’s basically the same question over and again and it is asked by senior executives from various organisations: why is Peter so much about ‘love’ all of a sudden? Why has he turned into a weak, gullible character? Can’t he deal with the pressure no longer?

Every time I hear these questions I smile. And I explain why he chooses to connect to this all-encompassing force. Why he chooses to be love rather than talking or preaching about it. And that it has made him stronger. Perhaps less dominantly present than before and less concerned with the impact he is making at any given moment. It has taken him a bit of a journey but he has come to peace with it as he realises it has always been a them in his life as long as he can remember. Peter addresses it rather directly in his farewell speech to his team at the office in London.

“So I’m aware that, in my attempt to describe what I went through and how that has changed me, I’ll be using vocabulary you are not used to hearing from me. Rest assured though that I’ve not gone bananas, nor have I started smoking stuff you can find in just about every coffee shop in Amsterdam.”

Another bout of laughter rose from the audience and Peter went on.

“I have started to develop and accept a notion of where these insights will lead me, without everything being clearly outlined for me. But that’s OK. By now I have learned to trust that the required answers will show up at the right time. And again, I fully realise this must sound wishy-washy to you, especially coming from someone who was a high-ranking officer in this no-nonsense, ‘we-get-things-done’ professional organisation. Where I’ve felt everything from absolute joy and bitter frustration over these weeks, most of all a feeling of gratitude and appreciation starts to emerge.”

He looked around and hardly saw any reaction. Perhaps they were actually thinking he had gone crazy after all and were they looking at him with compassion, hoping this embarrassing situation to end as soon as possible.

“OK, here’s some new stuff, probably for most of you anyway. One of the things the conversations over the last weeks have led to is that I’ve chosen to believe we are all unique and that we all have a unique calling that has the desire to manifest in our lives.”

The audience continued to listen to him in silence. Peter wasn’t sure if they could relate to what he was saying but he really couldn’t care less. Having started to convey his actual message he felt liberated.

“I’m not done yet,” he said with a smile and feeling confident now. “There’s something else. Increasingly I feel that my calling has to do with love.”

Now some people were looking at each other, quietly exchanging short comments. That didn’t disturb him in the least and he smiled at the group.

“I know this sounds weird to you guys but I feel love when I look at a beautiful flower. I feel love when I look at a new-born baby. I feel love when I look at a masterfully crafted piece of art. I feel love when I look at a homeless beggar in the street. I feel love when I see people struggling in the corporate world. I feel love because there’s not enough of it going around, scared as we all are to let go of the illusion of separation, scared as we all are to show ourselves who we truly are and to live the life that we are called to. And to allow ourselves to completely unfold our vast potential, for our own benefit and at the same time for the benefit of all on this planet. I feel love and that’s what I want to feel.”

By now science is proving what many spiritual traditions have known for ages: everything is connected. There’s no void but a plenum, as Aristotle already knew. How this connection looks like is rather irrelevant if you to try to grasp it in terms of matter. Is suffices to acknowledge it’s there. We influence ourselves and each other every moment of the day with our attention and intention, with what we think and how we feel. When we are love our world changes right away, and for the better as I choose to believe. Dr Masaru Emoto illustrates the point quite powerfully with his water crystals (http://www.masaru-emoto.net/)

Masaru Emoto hado positive intention

For those of you who haven’t seen this before: it’s a picture of water to which some kind of positive intention has been sent. Then he freezes it following a well documented scientific protocol. In the process of thawing crystals form with beautiful shapes like the one above.

Here’s how Peter describes to his friend Isabelle, who has accompanied him throughout an important part of his transformation, what discovering love as a main theme in his life means to him. They meet in Amsterdam, a few days after his farewell speech in London.

“What else is going on?” she [his friend Isabelle] asked. “Did you find a job?”

“No I haven’t been looking for a job yet. I guess I’m finally beginning to accept what wants to manifest in my life and am giving it some thought about how to give it a place in my daily life.”

“OK, sounds good. Tell me more.”

“Well, I have finally accepted and embraced the notion that I have a personal destiny too and in a recent conversation with my coach I’ve declared what had been hanging around for a while anyway.”

“You’re getting me all curious here, tell me more. This sounds exciting!”

“Well, I don’t think it comes as a surprise to you but at the deepest level it is about love.”

“Great,” she said softly, “so it’s official now.”

“About love as a power that we carry and that we could have carrying us all. A bond between all people. There’s simply not enough of it going around and I know the world will look totally different when we can really see each other in our uniqueness.”

Arguably most songs and stories ever we listen to are about love. It is fascinating, yes, but more than that experiencing it is uplifting, enjoyable, improving our health, bringing peacefulness, oh I guess I could go on here for ever. Let’s just stick to this Beatle title: All You Need Is Love (http://bit.ly/L84P4Q) and make our world fuller of love now than it was yesterday. It’s our natural state anyway 🙂 Love is All (http://bit.ly/4gYsF9)

Love, all love and blessings.

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

What happens when….

Hey!

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?

Love,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com