Invitation to co-create


Indeed, this is an invitation to co-create a novel. Last year my first novel ‘The Glass Dome’ was published ( ) 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 ( 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:

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

All love and blessings,



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?






Almost there (3 and last)

OK, here’s the last part of the writing process. Just to recap: I managed to embrace the idea that I’m an author and have started to learn to recognize that whenever I surrender to what wants to happen great things happen right away. A great starting point for the period that followed, finishing the revised second edition of the manuscript. Several friends had given great feedback on the first draft and soliciting their feedback was quite scary at first but morale boosting when they actually told me in detail what they liked about it and how it resonated with them. But OK, I had revised the first draft and now it was time to send it out to a different audience.

As it is in English, I had given it some thought how and where to find a publisher. The UK seemed to be my best bet and quickly I found out that publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. That’s the role of the literary agents. They act as a buffer for the publishers and their task is to separate those manuscripts that they believe have commercial potential from those that they believe that don’t have that. And from the sheer numbers of manuscripts that are being sent out each week alone, that makes a lot of sense. After having researched the agents I made a list of some 20 of which I thought they might be interested. It was actually great fun studying what each of them wants to receive in order to be
able to judge whether or not my manuscript is something they would want to work with. Or in other words: to make the decision whether or not they would represent me. In spite of all the warnings about the unlikeliness of finding representation at all I felt confident enough to start sending off whatever it was each of them requested. What I hadn’t expected is that they would react at all (as some of them had mentioned on their websites). By far most of them wrote a mail or a letter, giving me the impression they had actually looked at the material. Which means that real agents had read something I had written as they would read something real authors would write! And although no one felt they could offer representation it boosted my self-confidence enormously and further amplified my belief that the novel would be published. What I had not anticipated is how fast that would go. Half June I got a mail from Shaker Media that they would be delighted to publish the novel. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the mail. At first I read the words ‘unfortunately’ and ‘I’m sorry’ which sounded as a standard rejection. However as I re-read the mail it said “I’m sorry that I can’t continue reading your manuscript as, unfortunately, you only sent the first 50 pages. It should be
clear by now that we would be delighted to publish ‘The Glass Dome’. “ I nearly exploded for joy. Immediately I though back of what JK Rowling wrote in the 2011 Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook about seeing this message from her agent about wanting to read the balance of her manuscript. ‘The most magical words I have ever read’ as she had put it. And boy, could I relate to that!

What I thought would follow was a week or two (at max) of calmly going through the manuscript. Yeah, right. What really followed were six weeks of intensely working round the clock completely revising the manuscript. I had gotten some feedback in January about some weaker parts in the story. I could understand that feedback but, strange as it may sound, I couldn’t see it back then. But now I saw it and I radically changed most of the second part of the story while improving the first part. Then there was the cover design, deciding on the size of the book, the colour of the paper, the quality of the paper, page layout. contracts, what not. A very intense period at the end of which I had a sense of achievement and….. a feeling that I was not sure if anybody should actually read the story. Fortunately that feeling vanished in seconds after it had surfaced 🙂

As we speak, the book is being produced and should be ready for distribution sometime in the second week of September. One of the great things of working with Shaker Media to me is that we’re co-creating the success of the novel. It’s not that they take it out of my hands and I just sit and wait what happens. On the other side, there not one of those printing-on-demand suppliers either. It is an interesting mix of a traditional publishing house and modern printing and distribution techniques. I’m sure our relationship will intensify over the coming months and I’m looking forward to that.

Having (almost) finished the writing and production phase a new phase has started: getting it to the market. That’s going to be an interesting experience in itself but as it was with finding a publisher: I’m fully confident many people all over the world will just love to read it. So, yeah, by all means: if you want to pre-order your personal copy, with a personal dedication just drop me a message. For now, I’ll be engaged in marketing the novel and…..starting to write the second one, which will be related somehow to The Glass Dome. Stay tuned!

Love and Blessings,


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’ ( 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.