Light a Candle

Light a Candle

Today, I burn this candle for my friend J., who’s turned a year older yesterday! Happy birthday again!

I also burn this candle for my client, the one who got such terrible news. I don’t want to elaborate on it, as it is very personal and I don’t want anyone she doesn’t know to know what’s going on. Let it suffice to say she needs all the positive energy, love and kindness she can get.

Finally, I burn this candle for the parents who lost their children during a traumatic and extremely tragic accident in the Netherlands, involving a special electronic bicycle to transport multiple children, a possible broken brake and a train. I’ll let your minds fill in the gaps, but if you feel any goosebumps and cold shivers: so do I every time I think of it. It made me cry, and I don’t even know any of the victims or their family.

My heart is with all of you and with this candle I send you lots of love, positivity and hopefully peace ❤

Who will you burn September’s candle for?

Heart to Post

Appreciation – Heart Two (of Two)

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul”Henry Ward Beecher

Two weeks ago I wrote about appreciating others and others appreciating me.

This week I’d like to discuss a matter which has always been very difficult for me, and possibly for many others, too: appreciating yourself. Can you actually be grateful to yourself for something you did for you? And if so, would that be weird or perfectly normal?

I was raised with the idea that you should always put other people’s needs first. This message was not given in words, but in actions, with my mother being the prime example. She always put other people’s wishes before hers and, of course, with three young children it’s easy to see some reason in that.

Whenever I would openly claim I’d like something for myself or wouldn’t share my snacks or colouring pencils or clothes or whatever, my mother would get upset and tell me off for it. Or someone else would. The bottom-line here is: I felt like I was instantly punished whenever I expressed my personal wishes or opinions and the eventual result was that I felt they didn’t matter.

So I started trying to please everyone else around me, completely forgetting about myself.

Now we all know how that worked out, right? You can’t take care of someone else if you haven’t taken care of yourself, first!

By which I don’t mean to always put yourself first, that’s the other end of the scale. But it’s also unhealthy to push away your own desires and always focus on someone else’s wants.

Somewhere in the middle lies the better, healthier option.

Recently, I have taken up monthly goals: I make sure I go out all alone and do something I’d never imagine doing on my own, like visiting the cinema or eating out for lunch. By doing this I try to enhance my self-esteem and –confidence, as well as stretch out my comfort zone.

I find that every time I overcome another hurdle, my appreciation for myself grows. It’s as if I allow myself to be happier by doing all these things. As if I am taking myself by the hand and showing me I am much more awesome than I ever thought I was.

And because I make myself do things I actually find scary (you don’t want to know what mental state I was in when I forced myself to go on a hike alone – I could already picture all the rapists hiding behind the trees and foliage!), I also treat myself afterwards. Sometimes with a snack or wine, other times with a good book.

This way of enhancing my self-esteem works for me and I can highly recommend it to anyone who’s battling the same demons! As an added bonus, my self-appreciation has increased, too! Every time I’ve successfully gone out and did my thing, I pat myself on the back. Literally (but when nobody’s watching).

In that small gesture lies the deepest appreciation I could possibly feel for myself, because I know I do this for me.




Do you appreciate yourself? How do you show yourself you do?

End of Heart Two
Appreciation – Heart One appeared on Thursday, September 13th

Heart to Post

Wednesday Wisdom-Tile

After the last Earworm of the Week, it is also time to say goodbye to my Wednesday Wisdom-Tiles. And since I love autumn, and this whole update has a Fall-like feel to it (or at least I try to give it that), let’s go out with a bang, shall we?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone! And I hope you enjoy this magical season as much as I do!

BTW: did you know I created over 80 Wisdom-Tiles? Yeah, definitely time to call it quits 😉
Heart to Post

Earworm of the Week

With my Autumn Update comes new content. You need to change to stay refreshing. During the past… years I have posted many Earworms. They started as the endings of my Sunday Summaries and ended up becoming a solid section of my blog on their own.

But once again, it is time for a change. Therefore, this is the last Earworm of the Week!

Just want you to know 😉

Can’t play the video? Click here to visit YouTube for the clip!

NOTE: I know the video is of low quality, but it still beats the “audio-only” clips.
Letters to Life

Letters to Life (38)

“You ask a lot of yourself and expect little from others, this way you’ll save yourself a lot of irritation”Random Paper Wisdom

Dear Life,

Remember when you taught me about empathy? My mind eventually declared empathy to be something much more difficult than most people think.

I keep telling myself I am not good at it. That I should practice flicking that empathy-switch on when I need to, that it’s hard because I have to think about it.

And that I shouldn’t ask for it, because the concept is so complicated nobody really understands it.

Like empathy is rational rather than based on compassion.

Of course you proved me wrong on both points, Life.

This week, a client of mine received terrible news. It was news she knew was coming, but when it finally arrived it hit her as hard as ever. Like it had been lurking right behind the corner all this time, waiting to jump her and hit her in the face with a brick, all while she thought it‘d come sneaking up from behind.

News I couldn’t change for her. News I couldn’t take away. The only thing I could do was listen.

So I did. I let her tell me exactly how she got the news, what it encompassed, what it means, how things will go from now. I let her tell me about her fears, her insecurities. I let her rage about it, be defiant, and eventually crack a small joke.

I felt inadequate and both her news and her reaction weighed heavily on my shoulders. So I turned to my friends and blurted out my story.

And they listened and asked questions. They let me rage, be defiant, and helped me lift that weight off my shoulders.

Without thinking about it or having to flick a switch on, me and my friends gave empathy when it was needed, Life. And it wasn’t difficult, it simply happened.

Just like that.




Are you “good” at empathy?