Writing Challenge

About Someone Who Inspires Me

“Greatness always inspires you to be great”Debasish Mridha

Whoever inspires me does so not by being famous, rich, or huge in any way, but by being extraordinary in the smallest way possible.

And mind you, I really had to think about this one before I came to an answer… Because I was thinking too famous, rich and huge when all I needed to do was look into my heart – or rather over my left shoulder.

#4 – Write about someone who inspires you:

Before I get to the main point, I feel I should tell you about something funny that happened a few weeks ago: my favourite singer held an online concert and I got a ticket. Woohoo!

The show started and I was as excited as if I was a child given carte blanche in a toy store!

As the show progressed, however, I felt an uncanny sensation creep up on me… I wasn’t enjoying myself! Sure, the man was giving it his all in a nearly empty theatre (COVID-19, remember?) and I concluded that perhaps that was what was itching me: the lack of interaction with his public (which is where he usually truly excels, by the way).

But it wasn’t until he went from playing the piano to playing on the piano that I really started to feel annoyed.

It’s that moment when you catch yourself staring at the clock wondering how much longer when you realise something’s really off.

That something got a name when Mr. Favourite Singer got off the piano, hit two keys and then got back on the piano. It caused me every bit of strength not to turn off the show and I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth for days after.

For about a week I felt confused: what happened? Someone I’ve been a fan of for years has suddenly disappointed me? How?

The answer is: when he was on the piano wriggling to and fro, I saw something that caused me to lose a bit of my faith in this man: insincerity (remember my pet peeves?). He was doing this to please a big audience, not because it was actually making his show better – it wasn’t, it was a farce. A gimmick.

Where I, in my head, had portrayed him as my role model for integrity and authenticity, I suddenly saw through the madness of this man’s performance. My head lost an inspiration and gained a little void (don’t worry, I am all over it now. No longer a fan, but I can still enjoy his songs).

So when this writing challenge topic popped up, I had to think twice (or ten times, more like) to find someone who inspires me in such a way, that I feel it every time I think of them. I was pondering on this for a while, while putting on my socks, then randomly turned my head and spotted a photograph I keep in my room:

My inspirations ❤

My grandparents ❤

How could I be so silly to look anywhere else, when I’ve had the two most extraordinary people to have ever been alive right here in my family? I needn’t look on any stage or search in any corners but those of my own heart to find the two people who always make me smile and strive to be better – even if they’ve been gone for nearly twenty years each!

My grandfather is my big hero. He was a construction worker, just like my father (his son). During the Second World War he was ordered to help build a concentration camp here in the Netherlands, where the only thing that separated the workers from the prisoners was a fence.

During lunch time, my grandfather (and some others) would secretly either give his lunch away to or share it with the inmates, at risk of being caught and put on the other side of the fence himself.

My grandfather was a small man in stature, but a big man in heart – he hated injustice, just like I do. He’s also the reason why I called my business after my (our) last name: because I am extremely proud to carry it.

My grandmother was the kindest person on the planet and the World’s best grandmother EVER. I don’t care what you think of yours, because I know mine was the very best, it’s a fact! Her kindness was unlimited – and unmatched! There’s never been anyone like her ❤

Sometimes I wish I was a little more like my grandmother… But I’ve got her chin, so there’s that 😉

These people inspire me, because I would literally give everything I own, no doubts or questions asked, to be able to spend just one more minute with them. At the same time, they fill me with pride because I can say they were with me. They were a part of my life and are still, because they drive me to believe in myself, to try my hardest, to be kind and giving, and brave.

And down to earth.

Because for me, no one, not even a big artist dancing on a grand piano, however extraordinary, can match my grandparents’ greatness.

 

 

 

 


Who inspires you? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Writing Challenge

About What Someone Told Me About Myself That I Never Forgot

“May my soul bloom in love for all existence”Rudolf Steiner

“You have an animal soul,” his words sometimes still ring in my ear. I cannot tell you who he was, because I don’t know.

It was in 2016, on holiday in Canada, touring through a region that used to belong to the First Nations, when I stumbled upon a wise old man who told me I have an animal soul. I’ll never forget these words, for every time I lovingly stare at my pets, cry over koalas with burn marks or coo over  saved animals in the news, I am reminded of them.

With these words I embark on another writing adventure regarding the 30 Day Writing Challenge:

“You have an animal soul: animals sense your kindness and take a liking to you, as do young children.”

I have mentioned all my nephew and nieces either go through or are having an “aunty Samantha-phase”, right? As did the granddaughter of a cleaning client I only met twice, but who pretended to be me for a long time after (she’d drag her toy hoover everywhere).

Have I also mentioned I sometimes feel what animals feel? In Scotland, at a donkey sanctuary, there was a pony who caught my attention. All of a sudden, while looking into his dark eyes, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.

I don’t know why that pony was there, but seeing as it was a sanctuary for maltreated animals (mostly donkeys, but they also had llamas, ponies and some sheep) I can only imagine…

And then there was that one horse in Finland, who got upset because I took photos of all the animals and he was scared I’d forget him. He posed when I focused my camera on him. And finally stopped his screaming.

When there’s something off with my pets I can always tell, and even if I can’t put my finger on the exact problem I’ll know where to look because of how they make me feel (anxious, stressed, scared, sad).

And there was that one cockatoo at the zoo a few weeks ago who went crazy every time I passed his cage. Wanted me to pet his tummy (so sweet!) ❤

The list goes on, really. And I DO love animals! A lot!

So yes, these strange and surprising words have an effect on me today still, even if they were uttered over four years ago.

I have an animal soul. And I am proud of it ❤

 

 

 

 


What has someone told you about yourself that you’ll never forget? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Writing Challenge

About Ten Things That Make Me Really Happy

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it”Groucho Marx

Even if my online priorities are somewhere else right now, I have to admit I miss this blog and the WordPress community. But… I have yet to find some structure in my daily doings to make room for Heart to Follow, meaning I either have all kinds of ideas what to write about but zero time, or tons of time to blog but zero inspiration.

I’m normally not that much into writing challenges, but this one I stumbled upon and it triggered something inside me. So I am going to give it a go, although I won’t post something new every day. I simply don’t have the time for that right now, but one post a week I should be able to manage – I hope.

Without further ado, here is challenge 1: List ten things that make you really happy. In no particular order, those things are:

1. My pets
Those of you that have been following me for a while know I am an animal lover pur sang, and that I’ve have pet gerbils for quite a few years now. After all the past drama of sickness and death, I am now the proud owner of two furry friends called Meeko (brown) and Dorian (grey). Watching them fret around in their massive cage or just observing their beauty makes me (very) happy.

Meeko and Dorian getting comfortable together

2. Chocolate
Really, need I say more?

3. Reading
Trust me I do not lie when I state I am always reading one book or other. I just finished reading Ivanhoe today and already I have two other books waiting for me – and that’s just leisure. It’s standard for me to keep a book of professional interest on my night stand as well as a coaching magazine nearby, and of course I read blogs when I have the time. Really, even subtitles are devoured by my eyes.

4. Music
A good song can make my day or break a bad mood. I am not sure if I’ve ever told you this, but sometimes I experience music in colours. That is to say, one song can “feel green and yellow” while another can make me feel white and gold instead. I love all kinds of music as well, as you can tell from my personal playlist.

5. My family
Did you know “AuntSamantha” is one word? Well, it is according to my nephew and nieces, and I am proud to say all but one of them either have had or are having an “AuntSamantha-phase”, meaning they are seemingly obsessed with me, especially when I am around. I like that.
The only exception here is my youngest niece, who has yet to turn one. But she’ll get there, too, I am certain.

6. PANDAS!
Some people complain when I say I see most of the world in black and white, but then they talk to me for over five minutes and they understand: I am a pandaholic by heart. I love all animals, but these are my favourites.

Pandas, pandas everywhere! ❤

7. Horror
A good horror movie is never wasted on me. A bad horror movie even more so! There is something brilliant in fictitious evil, especially when the storyline is good. I really enjoy this genre, both on screen and in writing.

8. Travelling (MOUNTAINS!)
I love visiting new countries or, if that’s impossible due to, say, COVID-19, new places in general. I recently visited a Dutch isle and had a wonderful time observing sheep and cycling to and fro a lighthouse. Talking to locals, figuring out some history and trying specialties… And don’t get me started on mountains. I live in the only mountain-less country! It’s unfair… All I see is open fields with cows or rows of tall buildings. Bring me some mountains!

9. Writing
Playing with words, trying to find the best one. Creating a sentence with an amazing build-up… I really should do it more. Maybe combine it with coffee, cakes, music and/or chocolate. And some pandas, of course.

10. Revenge
Nothing tastes as sweet as a successful revenge, muahaha >:)

Nah, just kidding. I don’t take revenge. But accidents happen…

The real 10. Coffee and cakes
I feel these belong together. In Germany they call it Kaffee mit Kuchen for a reason. A really nice cup of coffee, a very well made piece of cake (with or without chocolate), with a good book or bad horror movie, must be one of the best combinations to making me a very happy person indeed.

 

 

 

 


What are some things that make YOU very happy? Let me know in the comments or take on this challenge yourself – let me know if you do! (You can find the original and full challenge here)

Aside, Heart to Post

About Awards & Appreciation

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy: they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom”Marcel Proust


I have to admit it’s easy to forget about award
nominations. Not because I don’t care, rather because I don’t see myself as someone who should receive any.

And that’s not because I think I am horrible – I don’t – but more so because I don’t think my writing is that good. Or better put: I always think there’s room for improvement.

So, to Rez in particular (this post was WAY overdue!) and Kamal as well: I am SO sorry for this late reply to making me a nominee for two wonderful blogging awards ❤ ❤

I’ve thought about the nominations and have read about the awards you want to give me, and I find myself torn between accepting out of gratitude and declining because it’s not me. I am going to do the unimaginable and decline out of gratitude.

First of all: thank you. Thank you for giving me a pat on the back, for liking my writings and for making me feel appreciated and worth it. Thank you thank you thank you from one kind heart to the kind hearts of the two of you. I mean it: thank you!

However, I am going to decline the awards (and any that might follow in the future) for the not-so-simple fact that just the nominations mean so much more to me. I don’t need an actual award to fill the widget-side of my blog or to crown a special page when I’ve got people (re-)visiting my blog, liking and commenting on my writings. The award is an award, however valuable, but you are a living human being I’m connecting with. You’re priceless! And that means more to me in appreciation than any award could ever reflect.

So, again: thank you for thinking of me and nominating me. But ever so more thank you for being a part of my community. It just wouldn’t be the same without you in it 🙂

That goes to everyone who’s been visiting my blog, be it for a day or for the 6+ years I’ve been here. And especially to Rez from Rez Scribblez and Kamal from Kamal’s Blogging Cafe. You have wonderful blogs and deserve more attention from me. You all do.

 

 

Letters to Life

Letters to Life (65)

“Failure is only the opportunity more intelligently to begin again”Henry Ford

Dear Life,

Doing my taxes the other day got me wondering about two things:

1 –  Did they have to make it this difficult? The wording of some of the questions was badly chosen at best and completely incomprehensible for the remainder of the tax forms.
I mean,  I went to college! I graduated With Distinction! So we’ve already established I am not stupid, yet I feel stupid when I ponder my brilliant mind about what exactly it is my tax service wants to know…

2Thank goodness there are people in this World who devoted their time, attention and college choices to become tax advisors. I honestly don’t know how they do it, Life, but it must be one of your miracles not to see them crumble and falter under such boring tasks that come with – UGH – doing taxes.

Anyway, adamant to learn how to do my own – now that I am a business owner it’s gotten more challenging – I decided to try and figure it out before my tax advising cousin comes over next week to check on my hard work and possibly laugh at my tax stupidity (in which case I will not feed him).

2018 was my first year as a professional life coach and my one and only paying customer scored me a whooping €49 in tax returns last year! Keen on getting even more out of it this year, the shocking negativity of the numbers hit me: -€800.

That’s minus eight hundred Euros, Life! That means I spent more money than I earned!

However disappointing this outcome, I did not take too long to get over it. I am learning how to run a business, how to make it profitable and I am learning how to do my taxes. This is my learning curve!

So my taxes are a downer, but who knows what wonders await me in coaching? I mean, I am only just getting started. This? This is but a warm-up!

Before you know it, I’ll be coaching (and doing my taxes) With Distinction. Because I am brilliant ❤

Did your taxes depress you, too, or are they also making way for improvement next year? Let me know I am not alone in this! ↓↓