What I learned from the fire that burned our home

7 insights on transformation and healing

Two month ago our yurt was devastated by a huge forest fire. I’m still very grateful that we’re all safe and my husband and our 6 year old son could save some of our emotional belongings. 

I was doing groceries for our son’s Birthday party (at least we had ingredients to bake a cake!) at the time. I just came back in time to get him away from the helicopters and the fire he was making vivid pictures of with my old phone. 

In the weeks after I went through feelings of pain, unfairness, angriness and confusion. Although it was sometimes hard to give myself permission to experience these feelings as I had people in my close environment suffering from much bigger losses. 

And for years I worked closely with refugees who lost much more than their home. Who was I to complain? Soon I discovered those thoughts and feelings didn’t help me heal.

Reconnect with your true purpose

In the past months I guided more than 20 people on their journey to reconnect with their true purpose. A journey full of overcoming obstacles, fears and limiting beliefs. A journey full of discovery, growth, transformation and joy. 

The most important for me in these coaching’s is to give people the tools to write their own story, to dream their own world into being. No matter how impossible it seems.

Creating the life you want to live

Now I’m challenged myself to keep on creating the life I want to live. Instead of letting fear and security rule. I try to do that by being in the present moment. 

Like Eckart Tolle says: there’s only the NOW. The future is only an extended NOW. So you can only be present and make sure you’re okay with being in the NOW. And create the life you want to live right NOW. And then before you know it the future is NOW.  

The fire made me humble and taught me some great lessons.

Hereby I’d like to share with you these 7 lessons I learned about healing and transformation:

1. you create your own reality.

You can’t control the elements in life. You can only live in harmony with it and go with the flow. What you CAN control are your feelings, your thoughts, your words and your actions. They create your reality.

2. Be in the present moment.

My son doesn’t focus on what he had before or what he won’t have in future. He only focuses on what is there. One hour after the fire in which his home and toys burned, he asked: “Mom, are you still gonna bake me a cake?” 

3. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling.

Talk to people that really listen. Hold space for your feelings and let them be there. Cry, scream, do whatever you need.

4. Don’t play the comparison game. 

Don’t compare your own problems/trauma with others. No person’s suffering can be measured against any other person’s suffering. 

We all experience stress and trauma differently. 

If you downplay what happened to you, you suppress your feelings. This could make them stronger. Think of what happens when you push a ball under water… It comes back up with force. 

If you on the other hand make it bigger or hold on to the pain, it will become bigger and harder to heal. 

5. Become conscious of what you focus on. 

I can very vividly visualise our home, our perfect bed and the soft sheets on it, Mika jumping out of his selfmade tree house bed yelling: I am awaaaaaake! I hear the birds waking me up in the morning, the smell of the blossoming flowers, the sun on my skin… And then I miss it so much it hurts. 

Therefore in the first two weeks when it was still painful I didn’t focus on that all day. And I learned through NLP to ‘change the movie’ I was looking at, so it could transform feelings of pain in feelings of bittersweet memories of joy, love and gratitude.

6. Practise being grateful.

Although it might feel you have nothing left to be grateful for, it can help you to practise being grateful for what is still there. Gratitude rewires your brain, which leads to an overall increase in well-being, making you more positive, stronger and more resilient to stress.

This podcast gives some amazing insights on what being grateful can do for your health.

7. Write your own story.

Don’t let other people or circumstances write your story. If people say to you: “Oooh no that’s so horrible what happened to you, you must feel…” Decide for yourself how you feel, write your own story, one that helps you and gives meaning to your life. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are tips for people that experienced ‘trauma’ themselves and are open to discover and heal. So not for family and friends, from my experience they can better avoid advising. It’s so much more important and valuable to LISTEN and ASK how you can help. 

Do you also like to change the movie you’re playing in or looking at?

Do you want to write your own life story?

Are you looking for your life’s purpose?

Are you healing from trauma and want to transform your life?

I guide you on your path to reconnect with your true nature. Please contact me for a FREE discovery session.

Our beautiful home in Portugal.

Are you ready to live your purpose?

7 tips based on my own experience on how to start living your purpose.  

I know it’s a crazy time to start talking/writing about this, because it’s crisis and you need to earn money, stay healthy, take care of your family and don’t take any risks.

But what if this is the time to change? Now that the world fell still and we have time to rethink how we’ve done things up till now. What if this is the time to do things differently and reconnect with your life’s purpose?

Have you always wanted to:

  1. Start a new business?
  2. Become a coach/teacher/speaker/writer…?
  3. Publish a book?
  4. Change jobs?
  5. Transform your life?
  6. Live your purpose?

But you don’t know where to start. And you say to yourself: “I’m not ready yet.”

You have done studies, courses, self-work, you’ve talked to experts, read a hundred books on the subject and still you say to yourself: “I’M NOT READY YET”.

You found yourself some pretty good arguments to back this up, like:

  • “I don’t have enough knowledge yet.”
  • “I don’t have enough money.”
  • “I first need to write new texts for my website.”
  • “It’s not the right time to start (especially now with the world upside down!)”
  • “I still have to do that one course that will give me the right certification.”

I have used all of them myself in the past year.

Until I found a way out and began listening to my inner self, to my true nature.

How do you know it’s time to connect to your purpose?

For me it started in March 2019. I was a social entrepreneur, working long hours, doing something I liked, for a very good cause. But I felt stuck, tired and out of flow.

I missed that what made me really thrive, what made my heart beat faster and made my spirit alive. I missed living the life I’m here for. I missed the connection to (my true) nature.

Hereby 7 tips based on my own experience on how to start living your purpose:

1. Find a coach

I found a wonderful coach in the shamanic CEO Gregory Reece-Smith (who also happened to marry my husband and me a couple of months later in Portugal). In one of our first sessions he told me I could be a messenger between the spiritual and the physical world. That struck me.

2. Connect with your heart

I knew instantly that it was true, I had felt it all my life, but I hadn’t done anything with it. Many pieces of the puzzle fell into place. One of them being the jaguar, an important shamanic symbol and the animal I had tattooed on my ankle after I encountered two in the Bolivian jungle. I always felt jaguar around me ever since.

It’s crucial to connect with your heart and spirit instead of your mind. Your heart knows. Your mind will trick you with all the information and belief systems that are stored there. According to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle 80-90% of most people’s thinking is repetitive and useless.

3. Start your journey

In the months after that transformative coaching session, I was guided by Gregory in the way of a shaman. I learned a lot from books and courses from Alberto Villoldo and Sandra Ingerman and my own journeys to the other worlds. Gregory encouraged me to start coaching people and I did, using my knowledge from NLP and Neuro Semantics.

And I made another important decision: I moved from The Netherlands to Portugal with my husband and son to live in a yurt in the middle of nature for a while.

Still, “I wasn’t ready yet” to fully go for it and use my shamanic wisdom. I needed more trust and confidence in myself. What better could I do then be on my own for a while, trusting on myself and nature? The Vision Quest called me.

4. Go on a transformation quest

I decided to do a shamanic vision quest on the amazing land I live on at the moment. So last March I went for three days and three nights in the forest without food and communication. It was a tough, intense and amazing experience that brought me many insights.

Everything in nature called me to heal myself, to heal others, to heal the world. And my first response was: “I’m not ready yet.” FinalIy I made time to investigate that belief. I asked myself a dozen questions, like:– How do I know I’m not ready yet?

  • Is this believe true?
  • How do I know it’s true?
  • What do I believe about not being ready?
  • What positive intention is behind this belief?

5. Explore your limiting beliefs

I discovered I was afraid of not being good enough. I was afraid other people would see me as some kind of weirdo talking to trees and plants. I felt insecure about what other coaches and shamanic practitioners would think. I compared myself to others.

More important: I continuously confirmed my belief of ‘not being ready’ with all kinds of so called proof and arguments.

As Shaman Alberto Villoldo says: “Like a jaguar who escaped danger and quickly clambered up a tree, where it remains, hissing at anyone who comes near.”

6. Transform your limiting beliefs

The real question was: is this belief helping me? Is it empowering? Is it making my life better? NO! So I transformed it into an empowering belief. I overcame my fears and I brought the jaguar down from the tree. It was then that I realised I’m ready when I say I’m ready.

7. Take the first step

When I came back after three days it wasn’t just me that was changed, also the world wasn’t the same anymore. The Corona Virus forced the whole world on a vision quest. I could have used this again to say that now is not the right time and I’m not ready yet. But now is the time. For me, for you, for the world.

So: I’m ready! Are you ready to live your purpose? 

I guide you on a journey to discover your true nature and give you the tools on how to convert this into performance.

You can book a free 30 minute discovery session with me via aranka@junglebirds.org or www.calltheone.com/aranka