🌍 Program Designer, Facilitator & Coach
🌻 Leadership, Compassion & Change
👨🏽💻 Meaningful Learning @BetterFutureOn
📍 Amsterdam, the Netherlands
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher
Whether it is working out, work, friendships, relationships or anything else; sometimes things don't seem to go the way I want them to. On some days I even feel like I want to give up. On others, even this morning, it can be that little whisper to "try again" that makes all the difference.
Sometimes the voice says to get my ass up, get over myself, and make the most of things. And the voice can also tell me not to take things too seriously and enjoy each moment.
To every negative destructive thought, there is just as well as a positive constructive thought. It depends which one you listen to.
It reminds me a story of an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark" - Agnes De Mille
These last weeks have been all about not knowing where the next step was going take me. Relationships changing, circumstances shifting, and everything around me going in some form of fast forward feeling an impossible sense of being able to keep up.
I never know exactly where I am going or how I will get there. There are people that guide me along the way, ask me tough questions, confront me with truths I have a hard time with. Sometimes I resist them, and more often I invite and welcome their reflections. Their intention is to help and it from a place of love.
Life is so often a step in the dark. I didn't realise until late how often I choose comfort and control, rather than letting go and the unknown.
As the artist would, I have decided to try being unappologietic, dancing with the discomfort and as often as possible have fun along the way.
Thank you @SietskeRozie for this quote and most of all the reminder of the beauty of not knowing. (photo taken this afternoon as the mist clouded Austerlitz and I peaked outside to grab a breath of fresh air. Working in the woods has something majestic about it)
"Your story could be the key that unlocks someone else's prison. Don't be afraid to share it.” - Author Unknown
It has been overwhelming receiving messages from friends after posting something personal. Either as a comment or a direct message often with the words “I can relate” and “thank you for sharing”. It is funny since I share my story and don’t think much of it than just an experience of mine. The sharing of one's story, however, unlocks and can often give words to someone else’s. This provided insight into a few things:
* Of late while hearing someone's story, one that inspires me of their perseverance or tenacity, I almost wished that we could have recorded to share it with the world. Not with the intention to expose something personal, but more because of how inspiring it can be to hear each other's stories and to learn from their experiences. * A bow to all the brave souls that find a way to put words to their life moments. It inspires me every time I read them and also prompts me to share my own. So, please, continue doing so! * I often can doubt not to push the publish button before sharing something due to my insecurities or the worry that I may be sharing too much, or it may be too personal. Every single message as a response or direct message I receive is a boost to keep doing so. It is not the reason I do it, but it certainly motivates me to keep going. So a huge thank you for that.
A few months ago I received a message from one of my cousins telling me that my grandmother from my mother's side wasn't doing so well. I came home after that news only to be asked the question "So, when are you going to visit?". Before I knew it, I had a ticket booked to go back to my birth town Leeds/Bradford. When I visited, she wasn't able to respond although she was able to acknowledge my presence. My family over there had been taking care of her day in and day out. Her condition had worsened, and it seemed like she had entered her last life phase. I am grateful I was able to hold her hand and spend a moment with her back then.
That particular trip was special since after years of not being in touch with all my uncles, aunts and cousins; I was able to rekindle the connection with them during my brief visit. Many conversations to have and questions to ask each other that we finally could address. We may not always agree with each other, we do however love each other, and that is what counts at the end of the day.
Before leaving my grandmother, I wrote a letter to her, hoping it would be read out to her when she was awake, not knowing if she was going to.
A few weeks later, my grandmother became more conscious and my cousin FaceTimed me telling me that they had told her about my visit and that she wanted to talk to me. With a huge smile on her face, she greeted me on the other side of the screen, and I can only be grateful we were able to share that moment together and thank god for technology allowing for such a thing to occur. She had also been read out my letter, and I am happy she at least knows what she meant to me.
On Saturday at 05:45, she passed away... Rest in peace dear sweet Nani Ama, and and thank you for everything ❤️
About last night: the Diversity crew 2011 Dinner - getting older and not so much wiser 😋
"We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself.” - Cecelia Ahern
These days have been both confusing and clarifying. Matters of life, love and the choices we make without knowing where they shall take us. Something about ‘trusting the process’ and seeing where this all will go.
Gratitude to the kind souls around me, you make this journey both bearable and fun.
Last week I was invited by Jolita Berkhof, and given the opportunity, to host a session for more than 50 physicians, clinical educators, residents, educators and nurses at the @isalaziekenhuis on Healthcare Leadership & Compassion. The goal was to figure out what are individual and collective important topics, reasons and motivations for doing the work that you do, learning from and sharing with each other, and finding out how you as an individual would like to change something small or big within the organisation and/or culture.
Together with Janwillem van den Berg we have been working on this for the past year,m. We had figured out a very cool, interactive and fun way to get institutes, and the people therein, to practically work on leadership and figure out how to create tangible actions that can have a positive influence within the working environment and ones surroundings.
These sessions give me hope in realising that despite the frustration that exists in healthcare, there is that same energy that can be used to do something positive and constructive. It has been great to help in this process and be able to see how people are creating a visible shiftnaround them.
As this week starts in all it’s hustle & bustle, recovering from a crazy weekend with old friends, I was reminiscing Malaga from last week; enjoying the sun, having great food and unwinding with my beautiful queen. A short break that did us both so much good and made me realise how important it is to take moments like this.
Nothing but gratitude and joy when seeing us all together like this. This is the IFMSA Alumni 2017 meet up in Amsterdam, Netherlands summarised in one picture.
A wonderful informal meet up of people once active within an association which changed most of our lives. It was an honour and joy to host you in my home town, and most of all have the opportunity to reconnect with all you beautiful souls again and some to be able to meet for the first time.
Thank you @lclohmd for kick starting this thing again, it was a blast to see this all come together and work together on something so special. Thanks to the locations @cafe_de_ceuvel and @deebeling for hosting us and taking such good care of us on Friday & Saturday evening, and not to mention the abundance of food that was served.
This can only happen because of everyone taking out their time and energy, organising their lives and finding a way to make this happen.
Have a great time for those spending their time here and safe travels to everyone making their way back. That wraps up 2017, with 2018 around the corner and new plans :)
"Positive thinking is not about expecting the best to happen every time but accepting that whatever happens is the best for this moment." - Author Unknown
View from the top of the Waternet headquarters- having a day working on the meaning of clean water together with the empowering society.