Heart to Post

About Missing Pieces And Fulfilment

“The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity”Douglas Horton


You know you have changed as a person when you’ve passed a life test with flying colours. A test that, years ago, you’d never have succeeded in finishing, for the simple fact that there was (literally) a piece missing.

Are you ready for a little paradox?

Over the Christmas holidays, me and my mother took it upon us to finish a puzzle of 1,000 pieces. Don’t ask me why, because neither one of us is into jigsaws, yet we thought this would be a fun challenge.

We started on Christmas Eve and a few weeks later (we didn’t work on it every day), this was the end result:

It feels like I spent hours looking for that missing piece, but I failed to find it. It could be anywhere or nowhere at all (maybe it wasn’t even in the box to begin with, who knows?). In reality, though, I’d given up my search in about ten minutes.

The absence of this one meagre puzzle piece would have felt like a thorn in my old self’s eye and I wouldn’t have been able to step over it for days, weeks maybe. Perhaps I’d never have been able to really accept the frustrating fact that one lousy piece was missing – a failure, even if 999 pieces are in place, the annoyance of that one piece missing would instantaneously destroy any feelings of success.

The new me sighed it off after a mere few minutes and carried on with her life. There’s more important things to worry about, I thought.

That’s your paradox right there: that one piece missing from the jigsaw is also a lost piece I’ve found in my personality. I’ve grown.

That silly we’ll-never-do-that-again* puzzle might be unfinishable, I am working on my own personal completion, one piece at a time.

How have your holidays been? Any pieces you’ve added to your own puzzle?

 

 

 

*My mum’s birthday is coming up and as a surprise gift I’ve ordered a custom made jigsaw, another astonishing 1,000 pieces, of her grandchildren. I’m afraid we’ll actually do it all again, but I hope this time we won’t be missing any bits

PS: I am slowly coming back to life and I’ve put “WP” in my journal. That’s code for “I hope to make time this week to read up on all if your blogs” (finally)!

Aside, Status Update

About New Years And Old Acquaintances

“Don’t be shy about asking for help. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, it only means you’re wise”Unknown


Before I write anything else, I want to wish everyone a very belated yet earnest

Happy 2021!

I know it’s well overdue, but I’ve been told it’s allowed until at least the beginning of Spring, so… I’m not too late, surely? πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I’ve been quiet, as always, because I’ve been doing all sorts of things, as always, apart from sleeping (as from November).

That’s a small lie: my sleeping has improved. A “good night” now varies between 5-7 hours of sleep and sometimes I even get that without any “help” such as a sleeping pill or melatonin. So even if I still find myself exhausted throughout various moments of the day, my insomnia is slowly (very slowly) decreasing.

In my last post I wrote about seeing a coach-like person… Well, that was a joke! Haha, it still makes me laugh out loud, thinking back to it all :’)

After interviewing me for about 20 minutes he declared I was “severely traumatised” and needed to find myself a “trauma psychologist, not a regular one, one that specialises in traumas.”

When I asked him what my trauma was, exactly, since I honestly didn’t know (still don’t), he told me that’s something I have to figure out with the trauma psychologist.

Whut? If you start talking like that, don’t we all suddenly need to see a “trauma psychologist”? How does this make sense? I don’t see it, but okay, I can shrug it off.

The coach-like person then proceeded by assuring me that him and me, we could work on boosting my low self-esteem.

I think that was the moment my jaw literally dropped. I must have looked at him with a more than just puzzling look on my face, because he reacted surprised by my, well, surprise.

I told him there was nothing wrong with my self-esteem. Sure, it’s been super low for super long, but I’ve also been building it up for quite a while, thank you very much, and I didn’t see the point in focussing on that right now. I mean, I have other priorities, such as, I don’t know, SLEEPING?

So, after 25 minutes of what was supposed to be a 30 minute session, my coach-like person rolled his chair back, threw his hands up and screeched: “Then WHY are you here!?”

I know that was the moment I lost my respect for him as a coach. I mean, I know I don’t actually have clients right now so this man’s got one over me, but… If somebody shows up for coaching, I make sure to let them tell me why they’re sitting in my office, not vice versa.

Anyway, when in doubt what to do, mimic what you see. So I, in turn, threw my hands up at him and shouted: “Finally you ask! I have barely slept for 4 weeks and I think it’s due to stress. I mean, all kinds of things fill my head and at night I lie awake.”

His advice? (You can giggle, it’s okay. I do it, too.)

His professional advice to me after telling him I lie awake at night was: “Don’t.”

When I asked him how he didn’t actually burst into song, yet he did pressure me to just “let it go.”

Honestly! I could do his job! And so much better!

Against all better reasoning I made a follow-up appointment for 3 weeks later. Sometime during those weeks I talked to a good friend of mine who asked me why I didn’t look into my old psychologist? The one that helped me get through my depression 12 years ago. Maybe she was still around and could help me? Surely it was worth looking her up?

So I did.

And guess what?

I found her! πŸ˜€ And she still works as a psychologist! Very close by, too!

I’ve contacted her and she’s got a waiting list for about 6 weeks, which sounds long but is far better than the 5 months a lot of other mental helpers have. So in a few weeks she’ll contact me and I’m curious to hear what she has to say, although I am convinced it’s going to be much better and way more helpful than “let it go.”

But, since I am not too good to teach anyone a lesson, including myself, I decided to go to the second appointment with the coach-like person anyway, just to… well, “show him in what state my self-esteem really was.”

When he asked me how I’d experienced our first session, I asked him if I could be frank (nobody ever says no to that, do they?). I told him I’d found it very useless, and that I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at his advice to “not lie awake.”

He denied having said that.

Here’s a funny little intermezzo: every time somebody’s ever insulted me in the past and I confronted them with it, they either ended up denying it or blaming it all on me.

Normally I just leave it at that, but not this time. I told the “coach” I have a fantastic memory and an auditive one at that, and that he did say that, literally.

The crimson colour that appeared on his cheeks ran all the way down his neck.

People, that was by far the best moment I had in 2020! πŸ˜€ Eureka for standing up for myself, while keeping my cool (and icy glare).

The man sitting opposite of me started to mumble that maybe I was better of with a psychologist. I told him I agreed. He started explaining how to get a referral letter from my GP. I told him I already knew. He grasped his computer mouse and started googling some psychologists he knew. I told him I had already found one.

We stared at each other for a while and I remember thinking There is nothing this man can teach me.

Don’t get me wrong: I think he was kind and nice. He just wasn’t the right person to help me.

But… that’s where I’m at right now. Proud of myself (and boy did I sleep that night!), with a healthy self-esteem as proof of what I did in that man’s office, awaiting my time to meet up with my old psychologist.

12 years is a long time and she didn’t remember me, which I think is logical. But I have a good feeling about this.

Maybe everything that went wrong in 2020 only did so, so I could set it right in 2021.

2021 is going to be one heck of a year, I can sense it. But I am adamant to make that a positive thing!

How have you all been doing? I hope you’re all well! Stay safe and sane, people πŸ™‚

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 – heΒ 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 πŸ˜‰

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 overΒ  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)