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

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Breaking Free

 

Heya!

The first time I saw this picture on facebook: I was blown away. What an expression of liberating oneself from…., from what exactly? From some kind of casting mould it seems. The statue depicts a person who expresses a deeply felt connection with his higher purpose, He celebrates being an integral and indispensible part of the universe, ready to fully and unconditionally participate in the perpetual process of co-creation. Allowing himself to wonder, to enjoy life, to laugh, to love and to be free. Free and yet connected to everything else in the universe. An individual yet part of the collective wisdom and intuition of the universe. Free of the shackles of forced uniformity dictated by an obsolete worldview, free from being told what to do by everyone and all. Free from living a life which is not his. Free to accept responsibility for himself and the context in which he lives. Free for the soul to expand his energy where it needs to go.

Earlier this week I showed this picture to a group of 11th graders at a school nearby in Hannover. One of the startling reactions came from a young lady: “it’s actually the other way around”, she said.  In other words, what she experienced was a sense of diminishing freedom as she got closer to graduating and closer to starting an under-graduate program.

It left me devastated and immensely sad on soul level for a short moment. It left me wondering for a longer period of time. When will we be ready to found our education on the notion that each person has a unique identity and calling? When will be we ready to educate (i.e. to guide out from within) our children on the basis of the wisdom to which they are already connected? When will be ready to change the way we live together on this planet? So that all are free. So that all share in the planet’s plenitude. Feeling the heart connection. So that all help to move mankind’s consciousness to the next level. So that there will be one community.

When will we be ready…..?

Love,

Geert

http://www.geerthofman.com

 

Leadership and Authenticity

Hey!

These are interesting and turbulent times! We’ve seen quite some big things happening in 2011: just think of the earthquake in Japan with its devastating effects, the Arab spring, which is anything but over, countries battling bankruptcy, the Eurozone frantically trying to survive and it was a close call (as it will be soon again) for the management of the world’s largest economy. Failing to come up with a quick-fix solution for its liquidity problems would have led to it being declared out of business. Add to this the countless riots (with increasing intensity) and attacks of heavily armed individuals on innocent civilians and it is clear that this is a period of unprecedented turbulence. Well, in recent history that is. I choose to believe that we as mankind are on the brink of a dramatic transformation, that announces itself with unknown dynamics and which offers unknown possibilities at the same time. A while ago, former Dutch Rabobank CEO Herman Wijffels told me that society is being turned upside down and if that is true, literally nothing will remain the same and the methods we could use until recently to set out our course will prove to be of limited use. One of the many interesting questions surfacing is how leadership can be expected to develop and what the implications may be for leaders.

When looking at this year’s developments, one thing is very clear to me and that is that we’re past the era of one leader for all. The notion that the CEO (or Prime Minister of President) should have the answers to all questions all of the time has no relevance any longer. It is not sustainable to hold one person accountable for the entire system. Leaders under pressure, e.g. when they’ve failed to deliver what they had promised,  hardly show any capability to respond, especially when things have turned out quite different than expected. They are simply not respons-able. They look for excuses and try to hide behind external circumstances not under their control. Pretty pathetic if you’d ask me. Abundant severance packages because of non-performance are no longer acceptable. Partially this can be attributed to their personal functioning but it’s more important to see that the system mo longer supports this type of behavior and that therefore it will end ‘automatically’.  More and more ‘ordinary’ people will assume real responsibility for their work, their careers, their personal lives, their well-being.

By definition, people fulfilling a leadership role will do so temporarily and as long as their contribution based on their authentic talents is required. Hanging on to a position for ever is over, although the aberrations in the recent past seem to indicate the contrary. Leadership is rapidly turning into a distributed function, strongly facilitated by technological developments. I know of one example (of a German company) where the board of directors is no longer located in one location: two of the five members work from their offices in different countries!

A leader no longer automatically has a mandate to lead because of her being appointed in the role. From the very first until the very last moment she will be judged on the basis of her contribution. When this contribution is no longer adequate (as may be expected in these turbulent times) the person can no longer fulfill the leadership role and the legitimacy of it will cease to exist. Contrary to past and current practices, occupying a leadership role as well as stepping away from it will take place with much less friction. No outrageous remuneration packages, no generous severance packages or other forms of compensation that cannot be accounted for.

Leadership will have much less the glamorous aura of status associated with it. Ending up in a leadership role is not the final reward of a life of sacrifice. It’s a functional request made of you. The boss is not higher or a better person than his staff members. He will make a functional contribution as long as he can and this simple fact puts him on the same level as all of his staff members, his normal colleagues so to speak. This will only become clearer in the period ahead of us.

Automatically following a leader by submitting oneself to a system is becoming a thing of the past. I’m pretty sure that also the last dictatorships will subside to self-development by free individuals based on self-determination.

 

The Leader

It is clear that these developments will require different competencies of leaders than before. One could add to this an ever-increasing transparency, leading to a growing around the clock visibility of the leader and what she does. Trying to be a leader, e.g. in order to exclusively serve personal ambitions, will no longer lead to acceptance. The followers will notice right away that the person’s authenticity and the sincere connection with the organisation are missing and will stop following such a would-be leader without any hesitation. And indeed, a leader with nobody following him is as impressive as a king without land. More than before a leader must be able to identify with the organisation’s cause (as opposed to flying in to do the trick as a separated entity), to connect, to forge meaningful relationships in every direction, both within the organisation and with the various stakeholders in the world surrounding it. And she should be less worried about being ‘the’ leader than about serving the organisation’s continuity by facilitating a continuous process of co-creation in ever-changing forms of co-operation. It is about allowing people to find their own strength, their calling, on the basis of which they can contribute, whether they operate within  or without the blurring boundaries of the organisation (or community for that matter). Leading by controlling and limiting creative processes has become obsolete. Allowing flow is the key word for the time to come.

Authenticity

When you look at the etymology of the word ‘authenticity’ it gets clear that it is related to ‘original’ or ‘genuine’. This implies that an authentic leader is someone who she has always been. Funny enough, that’s a qualification we reserve for only a few people, especially when it comes down to leaders. Ever since Machiavelli has taught us that we should be most pragmatic in achieving our goals, an enormous boost has been given to forget ourselves in the process and to direct our efforts at something of which others tell us that it really matters (and what we believe of course). But intuitively, we all recognise a truly authentic person right away, in spite of the stories our thinking mind may create about that person.

Authenticity is about knowing who you are and probably to the same extent why you are here in this life. The Bhagavad Gita learns that spiritual freedom is the result of disciplined action based om self-knowledge without attaching too much importance to the outcome of those actions. So accepting who you are and what really matters to you is vital. Otherwise you will be trying to live someone else’s life and that cannot lead to sustainable results.

Maybe I can end this by quoting Steve Jobs from his by now famous 2005 Stanford speech.

You’ve got to find what you love.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary

Here’s wishing us all authenticity in embracing our personal destiny.

Happy 2012 to all of you out there!

Love,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reversed order

Hey!

How are you all doing? Yesterday (Sunday Dec 11th) I was invited to a lecture by a wise old man, my friend Hans Leewens (http://nl.linkedin.com/pub/h-a-j-leewens/13/42b/268) at De Kapel in the Dutch town of Bloemendaal (not far from Amsterdam). Somewhere at the start of his lecture we were told that we were all aristocrats and that it was clear we don’t know we are. OK, that was a clear message and got me focussed right away. Looking at more than just a few flabbergasted faces he went on to explain that ‘aristocrats’ means ‘the best’; it stems from the Greek root ‘aristos’, meaning ‘the best’ or ‘most fitting’. And rather than expecting us to start behaving like how most of us probably refer to aristocrats, Hans made clear that we become the best once we can listen to our innermost voice, our heart, our soul that already knows where it wants to go. As long as we’re approaching this question what to do with our lives from our thinking mind, we run the risk of not becoming the best. Listening to Hans, my thoughts went back to this book on Flow by Jan Bommerez (twitter: @janbommerez or http://www.the-tao-of-flow.com/) Jan states: ‘we are all princes but we prefer to live as frogs’. I agree and find it ultimately fascinating – and frustrating at the same time. Are we perhaps waiting for something or someone to kiss us awake? Are we comfortable by living a life which is not ours? Are we afraid to show up to the life we are actually called to? Does it feel more comfortable to fit in? And to not stick out our neck? Why is it that people who lived through a serious crisis feel much freer to do so? Weird, isn’t it?  My friend Alan Seale (http://www.transformationalpresence.org/) makes this distinction between the Ego and the Soul. The Ego is all about survival and will immediately talk us out of anything which has to do with doing things differently or different things with our life. It will be quick to point out the foolishness of our dreams and plans and tell us to forget about them and to get back to business as usual. These are all just stories we’re continuously telling ourselves. Of course the Soul and the Ego should partner, if we choose to live as the aristocrats that we essentially are. I totally like this metaphor where Alan compares the Ego to the deck hands of a giant bulk carrier and the Soul as the captain of the ship. The deck hands take care of a multitude of necessary tasks the captain simply can’t do all by himself. The captain is about setting out the ship’s course. unfortunately, the deck hands are so concerned with preserving the captain’s health that they will go about setting out the ship’s course instead of him. I guess you get a picture now how the outcome will be different from if the captain sets out the course.

All of the above most definitely applies – or at least has applied for an extended period of time – to me. How about you? Who is setting out the course in your life? Give it a thought for a few moments. Since I allowed to manifest in my life what wanted to manifest and got my first novel published (http://www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) things have started getting more and more in flow. Of course I get myself out of it on a regular basis 🙂 but increasingly I find myself in The Zone, in flow so to speak.

OK, back to Hans Leewens and the title of this post. After labelling us ‘aristocrats’ he asked us if we knew how to get there, how to actually become aristocrats. Normally people think you need to become very good at the work you do. Becoming the best (aristos) will give you more and more self-confidence. And once you’re self-confident you become happy. Makes sense in a way, right? Now what he suggested is that this order be reversed. Yes that’s right: reversed! So FIRST you make sure you’re happy. This will grow your self-confidence and then your talents will flow to that place where they are needed (most fitting? :-)) and you become the best. And mind you: the best has nothing to do with competing with others who also want to be the best. It is about becoming the best you can be, i.e. unfolding all of your talents in the life you are called to live.

Could I check just one thing with you? What happened when you read ‘FIRST you make sure you’re happy’? Can you remember? What kind of thoughts came up? How many of those told you this is ridiculous? Stupid? Foolish? How angry did you get? OK… So how happy are you? Really? What is it depending on? What outside factors do you hold accountable? Suppose to reverse order is valid in that it allows us to see what wants to manifest in our lives. Suppose it would make it easier to see where we experience flow, meaningfulness, significance. And let the captain set out the course of our life. Just a few thoughts. I’m not here to convert you into believing something you don’t want to (well what part of you is that then anyway?). Honestly it’s intended as an invitation. An invitation only, for you to experience all the flow you are entitled to. And believe me: that’s a lot!

Love,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

How do you do it?

One of the questions I get asked on a regular basis is how to connect with your personal destiny. And most of the time that question coming from busy executives, managers, professionals and what not, as a rule this question  is followed by the desire to get a few practical tips.

Of course.

We wouldn’t want to waste time in our lives that are governed by the back-to-back appointments in our diaries. We only take the shortest and fastest way forward to serve out goals. In my naivety I used to say when I started working with this concept that there is no such thing as a quick, three-step approach to finding and living one’s destiny. I believed that one had to suffer and work hard in order to get connected to it. Nowadays I see that a bit differently. I still choose to believe that there is no way to living the life you are called to without actually embracing it. Yes, I too can see this is an obvious statement. Nevertheless I consider it to be true. What I no longer believe is that it requires suffering and hard work to get there. Well, in most instances, that is. There’s hard work involved when you get to recognise you are your beliefs. Not only do we have beliefs, we are the stories we have created about ourselves and the world we live in. And keep creating for that matter. It may take a while before you’re comfortable with that and that’s perfectly alright. It may then take some more time to work on those as you sometimes need to get over a certain threshold to start engaging yourself in a conversation with your beliefs.

But that’s not for now; back to the question: how do you connect with your personal destiny?

The first thing I would consider is that you need to get out of your normal routine and to find some silence. In his book,  ‘Soul Mission, Life Vision’, Alan Seale calls this finding your point of stillness. Personally, I like that description. There are probably a great many ways of finding that. I would like to share a way that seems to work pretty well for most people I have worked with, as it does for myself. First of all: find a chair on which you can sit comfortably, preferably with your back straightened. Make sure you put both your feet  stable on the ground. Your hands go where they are comfortable, probably in your lap. Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Most of the time our breathing is rather superficial and fast, preparing our body for action. That’s not what we’re looking for here. So start breathing calmly through your diaphragm. When you use your diaphragm (as babies naturally do) your belly moves out a bit when you inhale. That’s because the lungs push the diaphragm downward. So calmly take a deep breath and try to have your lungs push the diaphragm downward a bit. When you exhale, the opposite happens: your diaphragm will gently push upward, pushing the air out of your lungs. Why don’t you try this for a bit? And please, don’t panic if it doesn’t seem to work right away. When you’re very busy at work your mind may fire all kinds of thoughts relating to your busy schedule. That’s fine. Let it do so. Just maintain your position in the chair as described and return to the ‘belly’- breathing. On the one hand it is a simple exercise, which you can do everywhere, anytime. On the other hand it’s difficult because you’re not used to it. It probably will take a bit of practice to get accustomed to it, but, hey, that’s where the saying ‘practice makes perfect comes from. A singing teacher once told me that when adults join her classes they are so not accustomed to using their diaphragm that the first few lessons, much attention is given to this as it is a prerequisite for singers. Just allow yourself the time to get used to this rhythm. It’s up to you how long you wish to continue this exercise but once you’re getting into the rhythm, you may notice some effects other than feeling awkward. Perhaps you will start noticing the silence as it is. Perhaps you find this relaxing. I would be very curious to learn what thoughts start surfacing and how they’re different from your ‘normal’ day-to-day thoughts. It may seem as if something else is trying to speak to you: your intuition. Once you get to this stage, you’re getting in the district of finding your calling. It’s the first step, albeit a valuable one.

Good luck trying it!

Many blessings,

Geert

www.geerthofman.com

Almost there (2)

As promised, I would tell you a bit more how the writing process continued after I had accepted that I am an  Author 🙂 Somehow I had always  said that before the year 2010 was over, I would go into some kind of retreat and review what I had gotten so far in order to come up with the first version of the manuscript. It must have been clear from the outset even to me as an unexperienced writer that it would take more than one version of the manuscript before it would be published. So mid-november I was ready for that and some funny synchronicity happened. Friends of mine had offered space at their place somewhere high in the Swiss alps. Unfortunately they had to come back on their offer, which I fully understood. Several other options were presented but I just felt it had to be the alps where I would finish the first version of the manuscript. Upon checking flights to Zürich I noticed a bargain right at the day I needed to fly out. I booked it without knowing where to stay. This is not a normal thing to do for me as I would have checked out everything around the trip before booking the flight. After having researched several sites for holiday homes I found a place in Saas Fee. It listed as most expensive compared to various alternatives but it just felt right. So on the eve of the trip I talked to the gentleman renting this place out and confirmed I would be there the following day. Without any deposit or credit card data given whatsoever.

On my way to Zürich I started doubting the whole thing. Basically it was ludicrous to spend scarce money on a flight and a holiday home. Why couldn’t I just stay home and do this work in the hotel in Hannover? Still feeling far from sure that this was the right thing to do I boarded the train at Zürich Airport to Visp. It was only after an hour or so on the train that I started to surrender to the situation. After all it was all sunk cost now and if I had felt so strongly about reviewing the manuscript in the mountains, it would make no sense to chicken out now. By the time I arrived in Saas Fee I had started to feel a bit excited. It was stone cold, the village was covered under a thick layer of snow which gave it something idyllic. After only a few minutes the home owner arrived with his small electrical car. He was as excited as I was, probably for different reasons as he must have had some doubt if I would show up at all when we spoke on the blower the night before. Upon arriving in my room I knew that I would be perfectly alright there. He had put in a bigger desk as I had told him I would come to write and not for skiing like everybody else. As I put the printed manuscript on the desk, he looked in awe at the pile of paper and said that I was obviously serious about working. After I had unpacked the rest and made the place look a bit like it was my home, I went out to get some more of that crisp mountain air. By now I was really excited and I couldn’t believe I had quite different thoughts about this small venture. And this got stronger……

The next day I started working at 10 am. If I would go through some 30 pages per day I would be through by the end of my stay and that would be fine. That turned out quite differently…. At the end of the first day, towards midnight I had worked through 165 pages of the manuscript. Totally in flow, obviously. I decided to stop in order to stay in a kind of regular pattern. One thing had become very clear though: taking the trip to Saas Fee was the best decision I could have made.  And all the other considerations were limiting beliefs manifesting. Weird but true. Needless to say that after the 12 days I felt happy and confident with the first version of the manuscript that would leave the seclusion of my private working space.

My biggest learning here was that I need to create the context which I need for an optimal result of whatever I’m undertaking. Rather than settling for something far less facilitating and then kind of stagger on, on the basis of will power but in the absence of flow. And as before, synchronicity occurs right away. Quite a powerful learning! What is a way for me to get to that place is, given my intention, to allow things to happen. I clearly got some learning to do there but I’m working on that. So yes, me too, I’m still haunted by stories that I have created myself from time to time and that keep me from doing what I should be doing. In techno-terms: limiting beliefs. So, uhhh, Motto of the day: Away with limiting beliefs! 🙂

Obviously, a few other things took place before I got to the end result and I’ll share those in part 3. Stay tuned! Love and Blessings, Geert

Almost there (1)

Phew, it has been quite a process. I mean writing my first novel ever ‘The Glass Dome’ (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome). It started with an idea sometime back in 2009 and it took the encouragement of the participants of a workshop I was attending to actually start writing on it. Of course, I had a notion about what I wanted to write about but somehow it turned out to be extremely difficult to get into a flow of writing. I could be very disciplined and sit at my desk with the file opened. But staring outside or reading whatever popped up on my notebook screen or playing the odd game wasn’t really productive. And although I didn’t allow myself to go do other things (which I might have done as well) nothing much happened. From an interview with Paolo Coelho I learned that he ‘suffered’ procrastination as well. Having planned a day of writing at his desk, the first thing he needed to do in the morning is go into town for a coffee and to have a peek at the papers. And then of course he would run into someone he knew, get engaged in a conversation, probably have lunch and return home sometime late afternoon.

After having suffered more than just a few unproductive hours sitting at my desk, I found out that I got quite productive while working at other places. For instance, one day I worked almost six hours straight in the SAS lounge at Brussels Airport. The train from Hannover to Amsterdam vv turned out to be a good spot as well. There have been hours while flying, in restaurants, hotels, benches in parks, you name it. The most peculiar experience probably being sitting behind the steering wheel of my car, frantically typing during two hours I had in between two meetings. And finally I found a place in a hotel in Hannover where I would regularly go to. That created an atmosphere of going to the office. Although the restaurant was anything but quiet, I spent a good deal of my writing hours there at “my” table. Still, the flow I experienced was relatively short-lived and somehow superficial it seemed. This changed one morning in September 2010.

As I walked from the parking towards the lake entrance of the restaurant I peeked in to see of “my” table was free, as it usually was. I felt relieved that on that day too it was waiting just for me. Seconds later however as I opened the door and walked in, I saw somebody unpacking his notebook and installing it on “my” table. Within a second I was raging with anger. How could this be possible? I just checked seconds ago and the table was empty. Where did this man all of a sudden come from? Was he real or just a creation of my imagination? Was it one of those quantum particles popping up in my life? Anger subsiding I took place at the only other table with a socket for my notebook’s charger, still looking at the person at “my” table. One of the waitresses was patiently waiting until he was done unpacking and installing so she could put his can of coffee on the table. Recognising me, she looked at me with a smile, probably feeling amused that there was someone else writing at their place as well and having the same coffee as I normally had. It caused the man to look up and to address me. He suspected I did the same as he did. Which would be writing on a report or so in between two appointments. When I told him specifically came there to write, he giggled and asked if I was an author then. What followed was anything but pleasant for me. Well, at least for a minute or so. You may not believe this but I wasn’t able to answer the question. Thoughts raged through my mind trying to come up with a suitable answer. “Tell him you’re a coach, executive coach, senior consultant, manager, director, ceo, whatever.” After what seemed an eternity to me I managed to say “Yes, I’m an author.” My heart pounding, my breathing more like panting I felt anything but calm but still a bit better than before now that I had said it. He laughed and came to my table to give me his business card. We exchanged a few friendly words and when he got back to his place I felt enormously liberated. It was as if something had opened up and as if that enabled energy to flow where it previously could not flow. It was the first time I publicly declared that I’m an author. And I felt good about that. Well, I allowed myself to feel good about that. Before this incident I would say that I’m an executive coach and also writing a book. I did not allow myself to feel good about being an author. It wasn’t that I forbade myself saying that. No, no. It was buried so deep in a maze of beliefs that the thought never would surface. therewith subconsciously marginalising the importance of this project for me in spite of the synchronicity that would occur whenever I managed to work on it in flow, where I would allow the things to happen, that wanted to happen.

So what I learned from the writing up until that moment is that:

  1. It’s really OK to find or create the context  I (know I) need for writing.
  2. It’s really OK to say that I’m an author, (and actually being one) as it’s really OK to say I’m an executive coach. One doesn’t exclude the other and they should not, at least not at this moment. Apparently I held an enormous set of intricate beliefs about being an author that prevented me of getting in flow.
  3. Synchronicity occurs whenever I stop blocking what wants to manifest. In other words: writing the book is not so much a personal ambition for me. It’s much more a way of expressing what I am already expressing in my work as executive coach. So in a way it’s the same energy wanting to become manifest but only in a different way. Allowing that to happen creates flow and hence great possibilities. Blocking it creates frustration and anti-flow.

I will continue this story to share the remainder of this process in a few days. Shortly, the novel will go in print and I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. So yes, there is a happy end to this story.