Taking A Different Approach

During the week I receive a few mails of Human Business Works. Some are selly sells (they are very upfront about that), others are more inspirational. Since I have little money to spare, I am looking forward to the inspirational mails most of all. I would like to do a course when I get back from my travels and made my first success with my own business. Today an inspirational e-mail was send by Rob Hatch. It touched a point that sounded so true, I had to share.

Rob Hatch talks about the difference between an approach and a systems. An approach being more flexible. It’s something you own. While a system offers perhaps more stability, it doesn’t allow for context driven adjustment. He quoted his son who had just read the book ‘On writing’ by Stephen King:

In your (Stephen King’s) book, I thought the rules were specific, but open to creative flexibility. This is something that will not force me to improve, but inspires me to force myself to improve. That is something I like to have, something to push me to take responsibility for myself and get something done.

When I look back at my student days, these were exactly the teachers with whom I scored the highest points; the ones that inspired to push me to take responsibility for myself and get something done. With the ones that set the rules and laid out the system, and graded accordingly, I scored (very) low points, because I am not that good in doing exactly what the other want. To think exactly like the other. I have to be free in order to succeed. Apparently.

That’s why it still feels good that I choose for myself and decided to become an entrepreneur, a lone wolf, a freelance writer.

To be continued…

The Power Of The Shower

I guess it’s a saying; the power of the shower. It means that you have the best ideas when relaxing in the shower. It happened to me this morning again and I started wondering, especially since I had read the headlines of this article (Dutch – de Volkskrant), but not read the whole thing through.

I had my own analysis of course. I thought it had to do with relaxation on the one hand, because when you relax, you allow your brain to let itself fall into place. On the other hand, I thought that the warmth is a good stimulation, because warmth makes you feel more relaxed and more loved. Well, that last one is a bit of a far fetched idea, but people that hug more often are more relaxed and are happier. People who are single, are somewhat disadvantaged, but can solve this by showering warmer from time to time or visit a masseur. So, well, yes. So far from scientific research.

The researcher in the article said (and I quote): to be creative our brain has to rewire and make new connections between the different parts of memory. That happens spontaneously and especially when we come to rest (I knew it!). So that’s where showering comes in. It might be the only place in the house and the only time of the day when we are not bombarded with information. But the researcher also says that we have to do some labor beforehand. So work hard the day before. Get a good nights rest (I knew it!). And get that relaxing shower in the morning. Surely, a run can work too, but I prefer showering.

So this morning I came up with the idea for the preface I am writing for a book I edited (oh yes!), which is due soon, so I am thankful. The book is written by a smart writer, I need to write a clever preface. Finally it struck me this morning. Yes, while being in the shower.

Change Is A Bitch

Killing happiness

You know what is the most difficult for us all? It’s not death, break-up and heartbreak. It’s change. It’s dealing with situations we are not accustomed to. It’s dealing with people disappearing from our lives. It’s dealing with arguments you never had before. And change can be used to be more creative, but when it’s too much, we become frozen. I have become frozen.

Or, I am unfreezing as we speak. I need an fierce argument, a fight, a devastating heartbreak for me to change. To look at things from a clear and untroubled perspective. A perspective where the love for me grows and the relations are set on a new standard. In this progress I forget all that is really important. Like the loving actions from my friends. Like birthdays, even though they tell me it’s okay. It’s not okay, in fact. It’s heartbreaking for me, to realize that the people that obviously have the best interest are forgotten by me.

Not that the other person I had the argument with is against me, is fighting me, but I have changed. Our relationship changes with me. And that’s difficult for me. It’s consuming. It’s only since yesterday (after almost a week) that I can truly say, I see the love again. The love that is in my life. The voice of love that lives inside me. The steps I have to take to become more loving. I can hate when I am consumed. I am in a dark place. But that’s not the real thing.

Change is a bitch. It bites you in the ass if you don’t watch yourself. Actually, art, creativity, doing stuff with your hands bring you back to the here and now. It’s not a miracle work, it doesn’t happen in the first minutes once you have started painting, writing (as I am doing now) and dancing. It might takes a few days, but once it comes, I am crying and laughing at the same time. It’s coming, I can feel it. Change is a bitch, only if you let it happen. Change can be a blessing too.


Once you have f…

Once you have finished one thing, there is room for another.

That’s from me, to myself. I am starting too many little projects. Loads of new websites and blogs. Make one complete first, before you start on another. Go.

Sparking Up Your Life

It is funny how me and a friend of mine had this conversation about dozing off. In the end of our twenties and the beginning of our thirties a lot of us doubt. No, I don’t want to generalize, because every situation is different. Some go into therapy. Some break off relationships. Others have babies. What we are thinking is: is this all there is?

We don’t want to become numb, dozed off, dead before we hit the ground. Do we move? Do we party like there is no tomorrow? Do we quite our jobs? Do we take on a different lover? Because we are afraid that when we stop noticing and go into the automatic mode we wake up one day and see that we have settled. Settled for all there is right now, what feels familiar.

Do we break free?*

Or as the Dutch band Doe Maar sang in 1982: 

We are like a piece in thirteen pieces
In the end we are all fucked
We live true the life of so many
I want something more, I want a bit loose

*the answer, my friend, is yes

Finding Beauty In Sadness

Recently, somebody asked the question online: why do we want our readers to like our protagonists? I guess we do. The bad guys, that’s not us (me, the writer and me, the protagonist). That’s them. I have found that I am looking towards beauty, peace and being free a lot these days. Which is a good thing, I guess, because in the end peace and freedom gives us the opportunity to make the choices we want and make the art we want.

On the other hand, however, I have come through my depression by accepting my down sides and my sadness. I was still able to create, because I embraced the sadness I felt. Not because I fought against it. Life is sometimes a little (or a lot) sad. We get down for whatever reasons. Only when I accept these moods, I can genuinely be free and make the art I want (write the stories I want).

These days I am taking time to read the longer stories on the internet, the articles, written by journalists and bloggers, because I want to step out of the fast and shallow life. And go back into the life of meaning. What does it all mean? Who are we on earth? And who are our fellow (wo)men? So I read about the girl who lost her brother to schizophrenia and how her brother suffered and how her parents suffered too.

I guess, what I am trying to say: life is not likable, sometimes people are not likable for the way they behave, but the bad guys, that’s us too. The sister didn’t like her brother when she was growing up, he was taking up her time with her parents. Of course, when she grew out of puberty she discovered that what he has, has nothing to do with being likable. He was that way, because he was that way.

To come back to the beginning and my focus to beauty, peace and freedom, I guess our only way to live with the bad guys, in real life and in our writings, we have to accept. We have to accept that we can be the bad guys too. We have to accept that some people are assholes, not because they choose that, but because they can’t be different at that time. Or at least, I want to accept. I want to accept me.

Note To Self: Oh, You Are Not Inspired

You are not inspired? Looking at the white screen? You are not inspired to write? To make? To do? To blog? Didn’t you once say, it was all about discipline? You have to be there, in order to be able to create.

Okay, alright, here I am:


Letting Love Go

When you really love somebody, you will set him free. You hear that all too often, right? Like a mother releasing her son, who needs to stand on his own two feet. I feel like I have to let myself go, I love me and I need to set myself free.

The thing that happened: I was writing with this guy, my lovely aunt introduced to me via e-mail. He is a religious guy and I am not, at least, no, I am not. I had something against this arrangement from the very first start, but I wanted to be nice and so I e-mailed him. Because I wanted to be nice to my aunt. But he wants to date me. And I have no idea 1. if I am in a dating mood and 2. where I should find the time.

See what I did there? I defended myself, even though nobody attacked me. I feel like I should be dating, I should be giving him a chance, even though my heart says no. My heart says: ‘Can’t you love yourself first?’ My heart says: ‘I need some quality time to be set free.’

I need to be free. I need to expand my heart. I need to feel solid in this world, before I can let anybody rock my boat. I have no idea where it comes from. It might be God. Or Jesus (I got to thinking about him, how he let bums and hookers sit as his table, how loving is that?! But why are so many people fighting over this guy?!). But in the end it doesn’t really matter where it comes from. It is a gut instinct, I have to follow it. I have to be free.

I love myself and I need to set myself free.

Escaping From Reality

Today we listen to the Ibiza style relaxing house music (obviously I have no idea what this kind of music is called). It reminds me of beaches and beach cafes. It is encouraged by the sun who shines deliberately bright today. I dream of building my own house in the sand with a outside area covered with old wood. When the sun is too hot, we hide in the striped shade. Otherwise we sit on the bare terrace, soaking up the light. Letting the natural energy of the sun take us in, until we are fully charged and make our way into the world.

Surely, life is never the perfect utopia we make for ourselves in our heads. Some days it will rain and the carefully placed branches above the terrace will not stop the water from reaching the deck. We are bound to stay inside or use our rain coats when we are obliged to go outside. We get cranky, we get fed up with each other and we long to be together again.

Do I want to escape? Sure, sometimes I feel my life could be so much better. Or more whole. Or more artistic. More creative. I haven’t written in weeks, or at least not building on the story I was writing for already over a year. Does not mean I have been standing still, no, the world turns and I try to find my place in it. Like a cat is bound to find her way into a box.  

This week, apart from having the flu, I have made one drastic decision. I have quit my job. Yes, from December, I will no longer be the outstanding journalist for Customer Talk. I am going to be a outstanding journalist, travel writer, traveler, writer, copy writer and consultant on my own. My second major decision this year (I am going traveling first!) and I feel good. It feels good. 

Doesn’t that feel entirely scary? Yes it does. Do I want to escape? Sure, but at least I can do my work from that heavenly place. Invite guests and still make a living at the same time. Wouldn’t that be great?

(PS. Looking for a text editor or journalist for your needs? Stay tuned for more information on my website. Or e-mail me at anne.vd.berg at gmail.com – end of commercial message)

This Was Going To Be My Week

It sort of still is my week, I mean, I am home alone by myself kinda my week, but I should be dancing, celebrating, breathing in the new life (gonna tell you more soon!!). Instead I am home bound for two days now, and it sucks. I am probably the worst patient ever. Ever. I can’t stay at home, because I get restless. So this morning I went to (school, I was going to write, well, that ship has sailed) work. I went to work. Only to return two hours later with no colour left in my face. No energy. All disorientated. And that is kinda the whole story I have to tell. I wonder if tomorrow is going to be better, but being ill is not something I enjoy doing. I only want to lay in bed when I choose to lay in bed. And I love my bed, seriously, it’s the kind of head over heals, never gonna leave you love, but this week we have been in overkill. My back gets all jammed up because of the laying around, the sleeping. So I get up, walk around and return again. It should have been good, this week, it should have been mine. I guess it’s my bed’s week. More than it is mine.