The endless wisdom of nature

How nature can help you heal and reconnect with yourself

The need to grow is in people’s nature; developing themselves and being compassionate towards others. But in our hectic (digital) lives we can lose connection with our true nature. 

Every day we struggle with thousands of stimulants and seductions. This makes us react continuously; consuming and striving for financial growth. In this constant endeavour for more, we can lose our empathy. We can lose our contact with nature. We can lose ourselves. 

We work too hard, have busy social lives, we have children with all kinds of needs and we run to the gym to keep ourselves ‘fit’. At the end of the day we feel stressed and exhausted. We cope with the stress by drinking alcohol, eating too much or binge watching series. Then we go to bed too late and wake up tired with a headache. We take a few aspirins and start all over again. 


Results of disconnection with nature

After a while we feel tired all the time, we get feelings of depression and our body refuses to go on. Our doctor gives us a description or the phone number of a psychologist. This often results in the label: BURNOUT. 

Only then we start to realise we need to change. We’ve lost our energy, our love for life and the connection with ourselves. And we don’t know how to retrieve it.

Therefore it’s super important that we make time to spend in nature. Actually, that we make a habit of it. I’ll guarantee you, if you consciously spend time in nature on a regular basis, you’ll be surprised how much you benefit from it!

By restoring our connection with nature, we restore our connection with our own true nature.


It seems we forgot the importance of nature 

We lost sight of how beneficial it is for us to spend time in nature. We live or work in a big city and sit inside behind the computer all day. And when we come home, other screens lie in wait to seduce us. We barely spend time outdoors and we hardly have any knowledge of our natural surroundings.  

Along the way we’ve forgotten the power of nature.

British research showed:

  • 33 percent of people can’t recognise an oak tree
  • 25 percent of children believe that lions and crocodiles currently live wild in the UK
  • 33 percent of parents say they don’t have enough knowledge about wildlife to pass on to their children

With the digital representation of reality becoming more and more part of our lives, we tend to forget the importance of nature and how we could benefit from it. 

The wisdom of nature is endless:

1.    Nature provides medicine

A lot of medicine were derived from natural sources such as trees, plants, bacteria, and fungi. Did you know that antibiotics, codeines, aspirin and morphine all were extracted from trees? The bark, leaves, fruits and seeds of trees have been used for eras as medicinal remedies for cancers, asthma and other diseases. 

2.    Connecting with nature improves our health

It’s scientifically proven that spending time in nature helps us to:

  • cope with pain better
  • reduce our blood pressure, blood glucose levels, muscle tension, heart rate and production of stress hormones. 
  • increase our work memory performance, antioxidant level and inflammation 
  • boost our immune system. 
  • produce NK cells in our body that fight cancer cells 

Walking barefoot – also known as earthing or grounding – in nature especially  is beneficial. Studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our body and the electrons in the earth. Reconnection with these electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.

3. Nature improves our mood 

Nature has an enormously positive effect on our mood. Nature can reduce feelings of anger, fear, anxiety and depression and increases feelings of belonging and meaningfulness. 

4.    Nature inspires innovation

By observing nature, we can find solutions to human problems and inspiration for new inventions. This is what Biomimicry deals with. One of the many examples of design imitating nature is velcro: this invention is inspired by the clinging of burdock burrs on clothes.

5. Nature sparks creativity

Spending time in nature can reboot our mental system. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, just twenty minutes a day outside is all you need in order to allow your brain to reboot. When we give our brain and mind a new (6D) perception of the world, it stimulates our creativity.

6. Nature helps us reconnect with ourselves and our purpose

If you reconnect with nature, you reconnect with your own true nature – and the other way around. Research showed that when people have a sense of purpose in life they are more likely to live longer and healthier. Being aligned with what is truly important to you can also make you feel happier and more motivated. 


The healing power of nature 

Before we start talking about healing, it’s good to get an understanding of what it means.

The Oxford Languages Dictionary says: “The process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.” And yet curing means: “Relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition.” 

This is an important distinction. Shaman and Ph.D. Alberto Villoldo believes that when you have a serious (chronic) disease, you need to go to a Western doctor to cure you from your symptoms. For instance when you have a tumour in your body or you’ve been bitten by a snake.

But when you want to heal, a different process is needed. You need a bigger, more holistic view to know why you became ill and what you can do to prevent it in future.

This doesn’t mean it’s your fault when you become sick or that you can heal every disease yourself. It means it could be a good idea – after having a doctor examining your physical condition – to also look at your mental, emotional and spiritual condition, as they are all connected. 

Alberto Villoldo spent more than 30 years with Indigenous people in the Amazon. In his book Grow Your New Body he explains that in the West doctors and hospitals ‘flourish’ and earn money when people are sick. 

This is in contrast to Indigenous cultures in which the medicine man is seen as doing a lousy job when people get sick. It’s an interesting perspective. 

When I’m talking (or writing in this case) about the healing power of nature, I’m talking about the process of becoming healthy in a broader perspective; on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Nature can play an important role in this.

Apart from all the physical benefits, nature also has a huge impact on our well being. Nature enables us to reconnect with ourselves and our life’s purpose. And research has shown when we make a meaningful difference we feel happier and more fulfilled.

So hereby a few more reasons to go outdoors!

6 ways nature helps us reconnect with ourself:

1.   THERE IS LESS DISTRACTION IN NATURE

When we walk in nature we usually face little distractions. No computer, video, advertising boards, shop windows, buses or traffic lights. You’re less distracted by the triggers of the outside world, which makes it easier to go inwards. 

2.   OUR SENSES ARE FULLY AWAKENED IN NATURE

In contradiction to our mind, our body and senses are always in the present. The warm sun on our body, the amazing beauty of a butterfly; in nature our senses awaken and make us present. By tuning in on our senses we are able to reduce the volume of our inner thoughts. We go from a state of ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ into a state of ‘being’. And being in the present enables us to go inwards and connect with our inner wisdom. This way we make use of the wisdom of nature. 

3.   NATURE DOESN’T JUDGE

Everything and everyone in nature is accepted for what they are; a huge tree, a tiny tomato, a prickly hedgehog, a grey mouse, a black sheep, a red rose. There are no judgements. This helps us to connect with ourselves without judgement as well.

4.   EVERYTHING IN NATURE HAS A NATURAL RHYTHM 

Nothing and no one is in a hurry. Everything and everyone in nature moves at its natural pace. Nature invites us to move in our own natural way as well. Just like it’s supposed to be. 

5.   YOU CAN’T CONTROL NATURE 

The rain, falling leaves, the cold temperature: it’s just what it is. We know we can’t change it so we accept it. When you stop fighting and resisting and start accepting, the thoughts and emotions in your head can fly away or just be. This creates space to connect with what is underneath or behind all that.

6.   WE’RE PART OF NATURE

All living things in nature are in one way or the other connected, they all depend on each other for their existence and well-being. Us humans are part of nature and nature is a part of us. That can make us feel ‘whole’ when we are in nature.

If you want to heal; get in touch with yourself; your inner wisdom and your higher purpose, reconnecting with nature is a great medicine. In my free e-book Discover Your Purpose I give you more insights on how to reconnect with your purpose.


Mini-workshop: Finding your Purpose

reconnect with your true nature


Let me take you through the first steps of discovering your purpose and learn how to transform it into performance. 

I will share insights and knowledge about the concept of purpose and ask questions that will give you a clearer view on your skills and gifts. I will help you overcome fear or obstacles and give you tools to leave old patterns behind in order to create your ideal life.

“I’m concerned about all human life. I found it sad for humans not knowing who they really are. That’s why I call it the illusion. This is the change of times…” – Chief Nowaten in the wonderful movie Down To Earth.

Are you a successful entrepreneur or professional and do you feel there’s more to life? 

Do you want to live life to the fullest, but do you feel stuck, tired, and out of flow? Do you know what you want in life but are you afraid to pursue it? Do you suffer from stress and anxiety? 

In this mini-workshop, I will help you to: 

1. Understand what ‘a life purpose’ is
2. Go on an inner journey 
3. Connect with your spirit 
4. Transform your limiting beliefs 
5. Clear the way 
6. Take action


UNDERSTANDING WHAT A LIFE PURPOSE IS

Have you ever wondered why you are here on earth? How do your talents, skills and passions come together and make the world a better place? Then you’re looking for your life purpose.

But where on earth do you look for it? How do you start? And what does a purpose in life actually entail? Do you fully understand what a life purpose is?

If you want to find something, it is quite useful to know what you are looking for. So to start this journey, we first need to get a better and clear understanding of what purpose actually is.

The Dictionary says this about purpose: 

1. Purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

2. Purpose is a person’s sense of resolve or determination.

This is what 5 inspirational leaders believe about purpose:

Richard Branson: “Purpose spurs passion which fans the sparks that light the fires that fuel change.”

Purpose spurs passion which fans the sparks that light the fires that fuel change says Richard Brandon

Alberto Villoldo: “Having a destiny means living to your fullest human potential. You don’t need to become a famous politician or poet, but your destiny has to be endowed with meaning and purpose. You could be a street sweeper and be living a destiny. You could be the president of a large corporation and be living a life bereft of meaning. One can make oneself available to destiny, but it requires a great deal of courage to do so. Otherwise our destiny bypasses us, leaving us deprived of a fulfilment known by those who choose to take the road less travelled. Eagle allows us to rise above the mundane battles that occupy our lives and consume our energy and attention. Eagle gives us wings to soar above trivial day-to-day struggles into the high peaks close to Heaven. Eagle and condor represent the self- transcending principle in nature.” 

Eckart Tolle: “There is no substitute for finding true purpose. But the true or primary purpose of your life cannot be found on the outer level. It does not concern what you do but your state of consciousness.” 

Tony Robbins:Make it big and attractive. This is going to help you make decisions, this is going to motivate you to get out of bed early in the morning and go to bed late, making you connect with people in a different way. This must be emotional and intense.” 

Simon Sinek:People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do it.” 

It’s interesting to take a look at the ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘What’ in Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle Strategy, as this can also be seen as ‘purpose’, ‘mission’ and ‘vision’: 

  1. Purpose guides you. Your purpose statement articulates why you do what you do, why your organization exists, and why you serve a higher purpose (your cause).
  2. Mission drives you. Your mission statement is how you accomplish your purpose; your mission is what drives you every day to fulfil your purpose.
  3. Vision is where you aspire to be. Your vision statement is what you will achieve in the future, the results you want to reach for, the measurable impact you want to make. Your vision reminds you what the difference you make will look like, what change will happen.


     

5 insights for a deeper understanding of purpose

To get an even deeper understanding of purpose, I’d like to share some insights with you:

1. Your purpose works like an internal compass

Your purpose is why you are here on earth. It guides you like an internal compass. People often immediately link it to a certain profession or role, such as singer, entrepreneur, mother or yoga teacher. 

They start by looking for the form and get lost along the way. Because that role or job often doesn’t turn out to be as fulfilling as they had imagined. 

They don’t realise purpose has not yet been moulded into a form. Purpose gives direction, focus and meaning to your life. The form can change, as long as you follow your compass.

For example, your purpose could be to enable refugees to live a dignified life. You can enter this in various ways; by volunteering on Lesvos, starting a company together with refugees, writing a book or work as a fundraiser for an NGO. 

So your purpose can be shaped into various forms. The form you choose depends on your gifts, skills, experience, passions, possibilities and the market.

2. Finding your purpose is an inner journey

Sometimes your purpose seems far away, while it’s so close. Because it’s already inside you. You only need to create the space to remember it, to dare to feel it, to ignite the fire and to let go of your obstructing beliefs. 

Normally if you are looking for something, it’s a good strategy to consult others about it. In this case it works slightly differently. You want to focus your attention inwards instead of looking for answers outside yourself. 

I will help you connect with your spirit in the next chapter. A coach could also help you by asking the right questions, address your unconsciousness and transform your beliefs. Remember though: it’s YOUR journey.

3. Your purpose connects you to the source of life energy

When you feel more connected to yourself, you also feel more connected to nature. Do you recognize this? It often works the other way around as well: if you feel more connected to nature, you feel more connected to yourself. 

That’s not surprising, if you assume that everything is part of a whole and life energy of humans and nature comes from one source. When you reconnect with your purpose, you’re also in contact with your life source and thus with the universal source. 

That is why people who live their purpose often have inexhaustible energy. And people that experience a burnout or are out of flow could gain a lot from getting in contact with (their) nature again. 

4. There’s an “inner and outer” purpose

Spiritual leader Eckart Tolle speaks of an “inner purpose” and “outer purpose”. Flow arises only when these are connected.

There is an inner and outer purpose

Your inner life purpose is about being okay with the present moment. Being completely ‘in the moment’ and accepting what is there. This is about your mental state of BEING. Your external goal is about DOING.

Many people are looking for what they should DO with their lives. In the now they ARE discontent, burned out, irritated and looking for what they can DO with their lives to “become happy”, “be meaningful” or “find their purpose in life.” That often doesn’t work.

There is only the NOW, the future is not there. The future is actually a postponed NOW. If you are dissatisfied now, it is difficult to create a future where you are happy. 

If you are satisfied with what is now and fully accept the present moment, it is easier to extend that NOW. Because it’s only a matter of time before the NOW becomes the future. 

5. There is no shortcut to your destiny

Connecting with your purpose is an adventurous journey in which you plunge in with all your heart and soul. It’s a journey that you can make by foot, car, bicycle, airplane, tuktuk or on the back of a jaguar. 

All the vehicles will bring you different challenges and a different view. No vehicle will give you a fast and easy pass to your destiny. It’s a journey without a shortcut to the destination, but of which the journey is part of the goal. 

Sometimes it will look like you are there until you discover you were only just starting. That’s perfectly fine. And it might even be the purpose. 


EXERCISE: ACCEPTANCE

The first step on this journey is to accept where you are at the present moment. If you don’t accept that, all your attention and energy goes to fighting it instead of setting course for your destination.

And the more you resist it, the more it will bounce back in your face. Imagine what happens if you try to push a ball under water: it will push back up with even more force.

Step 1: Your current state.

Stand up and become conscious about your thoughts, feelings and senses. In what state are you right now? What’s going on in your body, is it tense or relaxed? What do you feel? What do you hear, see, smell, taste, sense? 

Step 2: Accept the present moment

Accept completely how you feel in this moment. It might not be your ideal state, you might even be sad, anxious or angry. That’s all fine. Just accept that this is it  for now. 

Do you have permission to fully accept this? If not, give yourself permission. Just say: “I give myself permission to feel/be/think this way.”


give yourself permission to feel be and think your way

Step 3: Use a resource

If this is challenging, think of a situation in which you’ve completely accepted something small, like the rain, forgetting something at home or having a bad hair day. 

Take that feeling of acceptance and put it on your current state. Now completely accept your current state. What does that do for you? 

Step 4: Future pace

Imagine bringing this acceptance into the future, to all these moments that you really need it. What will this change for you?


2. GO ON AN INNER JOURNEY  

Discovering your purpose starts with getting to know yourself a bit better. You could call this your inner journey.

Many people define themselves by their roles or the relationships they have with others: a friend, mother, sister, son, boss, employee. Without a clear idea of what is important to you or the person you’d like to be, there’s a risk you live your life for others instead of yourself. 

In order to create and live the life YOU like to live, it’s crucial to know your talents, your skills, values, passions, pitfalls, purpose, mission and your bigger vision.


EXERCISE: EXPLORING YOUR PASSIONS

These questions will help you explore your passions. Find a quiet place (ideally in nature) without distraction, get a pen and paper and start writing down your answers.

Step 1

What did you want to become when you were younger?

What did you think that would bring you at that time?

Step 2

What else did you want to become when you were younger?

What did you think that would bring you at that time?

Step 3

What else did you want to become when you were younger?

What did you think that would bring you at that time?

Step 4

When do you feel ‘in flow’? That you’re totally focused on what you’re doing and completely forget a sense of time and space?

when do you feel in flow

Experience this fully for a couple of moments. How does that make you feel? Who have you become? What are you doing this for?

Step 5

Recall another moment or activity where you felt ‘in flow’.

Experience this fully for a couple of moments. How does that make you feel? Who have you become? What are you doing this for?

Step 6 

Take a look at your answers. Are there words that you wrote down more than once? Write down the 5-10 words that are most important to you.

Step 7

Intuitively put them in order of importance. Look at the top 5 and write down what these words mean to you, one by one.


EXERCISE EXPLORING YOUR GIFTS

Step 1

What was the most difficult challenge you faced in your life? 

How did you survive? What have you learned from it that could be valuable for others?

Step 2


Which obstacles/problems/challenges do you see in your life that keep coming back?

Which strategy have you tried that wasn’t successful?

Step 3


In which aspect of your life do you (almost) always succeed? 

Which strategy helps you achieve that?

Step 4

What do people come to you for? 

Step 5

Write down 5-10 of your talents.


3. CONNECT WITH YOUR SPIRIT

In this hectic world we tend to let our head make the most important life decisions. Often, a few weeks or months afterwards something inside starts to ache and we feel out of flow. After a while we can even start to feel burned out or anxious. 

Our spirit cries out: this is not right! And even then it’s still hard for us to listen. Because in our culture it’s not common to listen to our heart, which very often results in chronic pain or burnout. 

If you want to reconnect with your true nature, 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 Eckhart Tolle 80-90% of most people’s thinking is repetitive and useless. 

If we’re talking about purpose we’re talking about an inner wisdom deep inside us. 

So if you want to follow that path, start listening to your heart and make sure your decisions are made with your heart. Then use your brilliant brain for what it’s meant to do: think of some great strategies on getting where you want to be. 

Before getting all mixed up with the words heart, soul and spirit, here’s my understanding of these terms:

  • Your heart is part of your physical body and crucial for functioning. Metaphorically speaking your heart refers to feeling while your head refers to thinking.
  • Your soul is inside of you and interconnected with your body. It shapes your personality; your conscious and subconscious mind, beliefs, feelings, emotions, choices and behaviour.
  • Your spirit is inside your soul. It’s the vital principle or animating force within all living things. This is about meaning, purpose, love and life energy. 

EXERCISES: TUNING IN WITH SPIRIT

Hereby some exercises to tune in with your spirit.


1. Meditate 

Think of places and situations you felt the connection with yourself or nature very strongly. Maybe in the forest, at sea, on a mountain top or on the grass in your backyard. 

Find yourself a spot where you can sit down quietly and listen to the guided Who am I-meditation.

2. Write

Sit under a tree or in one of your favourite spots outside and immerse yourself in nature. Take a pen and paper and start writing what comes to mind. Don’t stop until you feel you’re done.


THE TRANSFORMATION QUEST

If you want to further strengthen your connection with yourself and nature, a Transformation Quest is an intense and beautiful way to do it. 

The Transformation Quest is inspired by The Vision Quest, a rite of passage and age-old ritual in which indigenous people retreat to nature to discover their purpose in life. 

It is traditionally a solitary pilgrimage marking a period of transition, preceded in many cultures by fasting and meditation. During a Transformation Quest you immerse yourself in nature from 1-4 days without food, phone or other forms of distraction. 

The Transformation Quest is a journey without paved roads, train tickets or booked hotels. A journey through the jungle of your thoughts, across the river of your emotions, beyond the mountains of your beliefs, in the deep caves of your soul. A journey that will transform your life and initiate a new beginning. 

You can read more about the different Transformational Quests I offer here or you can contact me directly. 


4. TRANSFORM YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

Now that you’re connecting with the inner wisdom and the flame burning inside of you, more doubts and questions may arise:

Some doubts related to you limiting beliefs could be:

  • I’m not ready yet.
  • I’m not good enough.
  • I can’t do this.
  • How do I pay the bills?
  • I have to take care of my family.
  • What would my dad/wife/friends say?
  • During Covid19 I’d better sit still.
  • Other people are much better/skilled/knowledgeable than I am.

These might sound like valid arguments to you. Though chances are these are all limiting beliefs. 

Limiting beliefs are beliefs or decisions we make about ourselves or our model of the world that limit the way we live. 

They are thoughts, opinions and ideas that we believe are true and that prevent us from achieving our goals, following our purpose and living the life we want to live. 

How beliefs are created

These beliefs are unconsciously created based on our interpretations of experiences in the past. And they will be inside the system within our internal world and shape our responses to the external world and opportunities around us. 

Most beliefs are installed before we are even seven years old. The first years of our lives our mind operates in a low vibrational frequency like hypnosis. Our mind is then very adaptive to new beliefs. 

If a teacher at school would constantly tell us: “You’re not good at spelling”, our unconscious mind would absorb that and accept it as the truth. It would become a belief. 

And then when we’re 30, 40, 50+ years old we still think we’re lousy in spelling and live our lives based on old beliefs. 

Beliefs have a huge impact

Our beliefs – both supportive and limiting – and the stories we and others tell about ourselves have a huge impact on our lives. 

They make us believe we’re worthy or worthless, afraid or brave, self-reliant or dependent, loved or hated. And these beliefs create your behaviour, your dreams, your reality and therefore your life. 

NLP developer, author, coach and ‘changing beliefs’-expert Robert Dilts even compares limiting beliefs with ‘thought viruses’ that can ‘infect’ our minds, just like a physical virus can infect our bodies with all its consequences.

Changing beliefs

Changing our old beliefs unfortunately isn’t that easy. Dr Bruce Lipton, one of the leading stem cell biologists, discovered that the conscious and the subconscious mind learn in different ways. 

The conscious mind is the creative part and can change quickly. The unconscious mind is the habit mind, it likes repetition and resists change. 

Therefore transforming beliefs that are stored in the unconscious mind is a big challenge. You could use hypnosis, constant repetition of behaviour and several brilliant (NLP) techniques that can influence the unconscious mind. 

You can do this yourself if you have the relevant knowledge and understanding – although it can be challenging to consciously change your own unconscious mind. 

Besides that limiting beliefs always have a positive intention. That’s why you have kept them up until now. To change them, you need a different approach.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always gotten”- Tony Robbins.

Therefore I believe it’s very helpful to do this together with a qualified coach, who has a different map of the territory. But hey, that’s just my belief, so don’t take my word for it… 😉


EXERCISE: DISCOVERING YOUR BELIEFS

The first step towards change is to become conscious of your beliefs and which ones serve you and which ones don’t.

Step 1: Limiting beliefs

Write down all the beliefs and patterns that don’t serve you anymore and stand in the way of achieving your goals.

Step 2: Supportive beliefs

Write down the beliefs and patterns that work well for you and that you’d like to keep.

Step 3: New beliefs

Write down the beliefs and patterns that you would like to install and implement in your life.


5. CLEAR THE WAY

After discovering and transforming the beliefs and patterns that don’t serve you anymore, it’s time to leave them behind. A ceremony or ritual that makes changes on an unconscious deeper level can consolidate this.

Shamanic ceremonies have been practiced since the beginning of time. Shamans used rituals as a way to step out of their everyday life. To connect with spiritual life and lift the veil between the visible and the invisible realms. Rituals were aimed to restore wholeness and improve the communal and individual well-being. 

If you dive deeper into the work shamans have been doing for thousands of years everywhere in the world, you see the similarities with people practicing Neuro-Science, Neuro-Semantics and Neuro-Linguistic programming. 

It seems shamans were the first neuroscientists. They used their knowledge about neurology and the unconscious mind in meaningful rituals to heal and initiate change. 

Our ancestors lived in harmony with the natural rhythms of nature. Working with the cycles of the moon is an extremely powerful way to do that. 

The tides on this earth, the oceans, animals: everything follows the moon’s gravitational pull. In that way it would only be natural if the moon would influence us humans as well. Especially as our bodies consist mostly of water.

So just as the lunar phases change the tides, you can feel changes happening inside of you as well. Therefore the full moon is a perfect moment to initiate change in your life through ancient rituals. 


Healing and transformation

Fire is known as the most rapid form of healing and transformation. It provides the way to let go of your old story and drama, to renew and to be reborn. 

Like professor and shaman Alberto Villoldo explains: 

“Through fire ceremony, you honour your lessons and old belief structures by placing them in the fire and turning them over to Spirit. By releasing these old patterns and beliefs into the fire, you heal deeply at the level of the soul without having to experience them at the literal and physical levels.”

The fire ceremony will not make instant magical change happen, it rather creates an opening to transform your habits and patterns and manifest a new dream. 

It’s your intention that gives the ritual strength and transformative power. The limbic brain changes through the power of ritual. 

Traditionally, shamans performed this ritual with a group of people outside around a fire, but it can be just as meaningful as a solo ritual indoors. If you have the chance though, find a nice spot in nature. 

To make your ritual a bit more vivid you could light some incense, bring some hot cocoa and turn the music on in the background (better yet: sing and dance!) A simple ritual will do fine as well, as long as you’re focused on the task.


EXERCISE: BURNING OLD BELIEFS AND INSTALLING NEW ONES

Step 1 Release

Write down on a piece of paper all the beliefs you wish to release.

Step 2 Welcome

Write down on another piece of paper the outcomes you desire in your life. Make sure you are specific.

Step 3 Tear 

Tear the paper into strips, one for each belief or outcome.

Step 4 Light

Light a candle or make a fire. Make sure you do this safely and keep water next to you. 

Step 5 Burn

Read the beliefs you wish to release and throw them into the flames, one by one. Watch the fire. Does it burn easily or not? Do the same with the outcomes. Be aware of any emerging feelings.

Ceremony by Phd. Alberto Villoldo from the Four Winds Society.


6. TAKE ACTION

Now that you know what motivates you and what your preferred outcome is, it’s time for action! 

Have you ever wanted something really bad, like losing some pounds or meditating every day, but you never started? In that case, either the goal wasn’t clear and positive enough for you, or there were still some beliefs sabotaging you. 

Do you feel fear? That means you’re on the right track. If you wouldn’t feel fear, you’d be still in your comfort zone. And you will not change or grow in your comfort zone. 

Have you heard the story about the lobster? 

Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski explains in the video below that the lobster is a soft animal that lives in a rigid shell that doesn’t expand.

So as the lobster grows, the shell gets very confining, making the lobster feel pressured and uncomfortable.

The Rabbi says that if they had doctors, lobsters would probably get some Valium and get on with their lives. But the lobster doesn’t have that option. It gets so uncomfortable in its shell that it decides to do something about it. 

The lobster disappears under a rock formation to protect itself from enemies, sheds its shell, and grows a new one that fits better. This happens several times as it grows bigger. Each time it’s the discomfort that encourages the lobster to grow a new shell. 

Is your shell tight enough and uncomfortable enough to make a decision and grow a new one? 


EXERCISE: CREATING A VISION

Real motivation isn’t about money or a dangling carrot in front of your nose. Real motivation comes from the inside. Is your vision big enough?


Real motivation is not about money

Step 1: Your vision

Take a deep breath in and relax. Sit back and lift your head slightly, then close your eyes. Imagine that you’re fully living the life you love to live, doing what you are good at, enjoying every moment. Living in your ideal world, in which everyone lives their full potential. 

Step fully into this moment. See what you’re seeing. Hear what you’re hearing. Smell what you’re smelling, Taste what you’re tasting. And feel what you’re feeling. Just imagine yourself living this ideal life in your ideal world and make this feeling big. 

Step 2: Your metaphor

Maybe there’s a word, symbol or movement that comes with this state. If it’s a word, say it out loud and write it down. If it’s a symbol, draw it. If it’s a movement, make it. 

Step 3: First small step

Stay with that feeling and ask yourself: What action can I take today that will eventually lead to this vision? Make it small and easy so you know you’re definitely going to do it.

Now that you’ve taken the first action, you’re one step closer to your goal. The process of real change starts. All the ingredients are here to create a concrete timeline that leads to your vision. 

How do you feel

Need some help? I use my knowledge from NLP, Neuro-Semantics, and Shamanics to help you find the answers that are already within you; transform your limiting beliefs, and take the next steps to create the life you desire.

I’ll offer you a FREE 30 minutes discovery session. Not NOW, but whenever YOU are ready.

GIVE ME A CALL or download this mini-workshop as an e-book by filling in your details below.

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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