Do you take time off for holidays and vacations?

If not, you’re not alone.  It makes me wonder:

What is driving entrepreneurs to work 7 days a week? Passion or fear?

If it’s fear (more precisely, fear of not making enough money) I have good news for you. Working 24/7 does not make you richer – taking time off does! As one of the students of the Joyful Economy course explained it:

I discovered the link between my own well-being (and the belief that I am abundant) and the actual flow of money”

But even if it’s passion that drives you and not just fear… I understand. I used to work non-stop too. My passion made it easy to overlook how it affected me. It’s called low-level stress for a reason.

⚠️ Low-level stress doesn’t scream at you. But it still takes a toll on you.

Long story short, I have learned my lesson. I do take time to rest now, weekends and holidays and vacations are scheduled in my calendar. And you know what I discovered?

I love it! Taking time to just go with the flow, no plans and no to do lists. What a playful, energizing, creative space to be in.

So much so that on the last day of my recent holiday I was a bit nervous, afraid that it will not be as much fun as the vacation. But I was wrong!

I’m back to work, I so enjoy it and I bring even more playfulness and joy into my work.

Actually, the practices that are part of the Joyful Economy course, are also perfect support for working with joy. In another student’s words:

“I believe the joyful practices are the foundation for what I have been manifesting, and they are also making my life in general more joyful”

There’s more about it in the video here

 

How can we find lasting joy?

Some people (and I am not one of them) will tell you: “Choose what brings you joy and let go of the rest. Only spend time with people and things that bring you joy, only do work that brings you joy, only spend money when it brings you joy.”
I see what they mean and I also know that it probably won’t work out in the long run. Because, while it is important to choose the right relationships, work, investments etc., there is something else and interesting playing in here:
Our best relationships and best work are not always comfortable! They cannot be! These are the relationships and the work that grow us and bring the best out of us. And they do so by stretching us beyond our comfort zones and showing us what stands in our way. And that will not always feel joyful.
More importantly, neither our relationships, work, money or anything else external can really bring us joy. I know this is a challenging statement, but hear me out:
They don’t bring us joy because joy is not something that anyone or anything outside of us can bring us. Joy is something that lives within us. It was there the day we were born and it will be there the day we die, and all the other days in between.
Joy is always present within us. Even if we cannot always feel it, it’s there. 💖
And because it’s there, we can learn how to get in touch with our source of joy.
Now, there may be people, things and situations that make our inner joy flow. Great! Let it flow! But don’t stop there. Learn to find joy even if these people, things and situations aren’t around. I’ll show you how in a moment.
Once we have found the door to joy within us, then we are free to open it any time, regardless of circumstances. 🚪 Rather than waiting for something or someone to bring us joy, we can bring our joy with us, any time we want.
We can bring it to our body, emotions, and thoughts. We can bring it to our relationships and work. We can bring it to our finances and our creativity, and any other area of life. We can bring it with us in good times and in challenging times.
Developing that ability is a journey. But then again, the journey can be based on a fairly simple practice. One such practice is described in the free “Finding Joy Every Day ebook. 😊💗

To find the joy that we’re looking for

To find the joy that we’re looking for we need to look deeply into the very Self of us.

It takes more than just understanding ourselves, our emotions, our thoughts, our life stories. It takes a deeper experience, a deep knowing of ourselves

The more we can be connected with our very source and our joy this way, the more we’re able to accept and embrace anything that may be happening within us or outside us. Including the challenges that come our way. Including the tremendous pressures of our world at this time.

We may hardly be aware of it, but deep within us there is a longing to know ourselves as our own truth. Life plants that longing in us and it also answers it, in its own ways.

It starts with the first glimpse of knowing, an intuitive experience of what our truth really is, of who we really are. From there our intuition guides us deeper and further. If we follow it, it becomes more than intuition. It becomes a dawning experience of our true nature, us knowing ourselves as such.

It happens not all at once but gradually. Life makes sure of it, giving us moments at first, then more moments, then perhaps a way to stay in that inner connection longer. In meditation, in creative experiences, in nature… and then bringing that growing awareness into our daily lives and our work.

Bit by bit, step by step we align with our truth. The more we do it, the less fear there is in our lives. As there is less fear, there is more stillness in the mind. More presence.

We become the light and the joy we have been searching for.

😊💗

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Even if you choose the road less traveled you don’t have to walk it alone

I talked with a client about it yesterday, how those of us that choose the road less traveled are lucky to be able to connect with like-minded spirits across the globe. How lonely it would have been if we could only talk with our neighbors. Who by the way can be wonderful and loving, but don’t necessarily understand our path, our work, our unique aspirations and challenges.

Life is infinitely bigger than what we can imagine. And when a connection is to happen, life makes sure that it does. It keeps amazing me how these connections and synchronicities take place.

Like when something I suddenly felt inspired to express and so share on social media turns out to be the answer someone was seeking in that moment. Meaningful, personal exchanges can happen, even in the simple form of an online comment.

Sometimes, with a connection like that I feel moved to invite the person to a more direct, deeper conversation (on Zoom). Sometimes, if that’s what is needed and wanted, we use that time for deep coaching and mentoring.

By the way, these are not the so-called discovery sessions where people are being manipulated to buy something. My intention with a meeting like that is to create connection, to serve and to give another human an experience of what is possible.

I know and trust, that the life that brought us together will also know what is to happen from there. I don’t have to push for it, and I wouldn’t, simply because it’s not my nature. If someone wants to continue working with me, they are free to ask. Just like they are free not to.

Alignment means everything to me. In the way I connect with others, and also in the way I live and work. The beautiful experience is that it works. What no business system in the world could give me, my road less traveled does. There is flow. There is deep, joyful fulfillment, workwise and personally. There is more than enough of everything.

This is also what I want to support my clients in experiencing when it comes to their work and life. To help them come in alignment with their nature, their true self, their unique path. And then build their life and work around it, with joy, flow and a deep sense of certainty.

If you feel drawn to or already do walk the road less traveled, know that while it has its challenges, it will also bring you gifts like nothing else will. But it requires that you stay true. True to yourself. True to your path. True to what you are to express in the world. And that is a journey.

If you’re curious about how I can support you on that journey here’s how

Even if you love your solo business it can feel lonely at times

Just as you start on your new business, perhaps coming from a job, it feels wonderful (even if also scary at times). You have your own office, and all the creative ideas keeping you awake at night. And, most importantly, your freedom! 🗽

But after a while you may experience that something is missing.

Who to talk to about your vision, your ideas and your struggles? With whom to share lunch and coffee breaks, the Friday high and the Monday low?

Where do you belong?

Now it’s all on you, including all the uncertainties that come with running your own business.

So much so that you might find yourself playing with the thought of going back to the stability of your old job… 🤔

Even if you know you left for a reason. You left because something new was calling you, something bigger. An adventure.

All adventure have their challenges. Including the pandemic, on top of everything else.

I’m wondering how it affected all this. Has working as solo entrepreneur, therapist, teacher or artist become more or less lonely?

When your clients don’t come to the office but to the online conference room, when the people you’d otherwise be meeting with at life events, co-working spaces or cafés only show up on camera.

How does it feel?

💡 The answer depends on how you experience loneliness. What triggers it? Is it when you’re physically alone, emotionally alone, mentally alone or spiritually alone?

💡The answer also depends on something else entirely. Namely our understanding of what loneliness really is.

We do know, most of us, that loneliness is caused by what we experience as lack of connection. What most people do not realize –because our culture doesn’t acknowledge it and thus does not show it or teach it — is this:

⭐At its core, loneliness is caused by lack of connection not with others but with ourselves. ⭐

We feel lonely when we cannot feel the connection with our very Soul ~ Source ~ God ~ Universe. Loneliness is a feeling of separation from Oneness.

I’m not saying this lightly, by the way. I’ve been exploring it all my life, and have seen it again and again with others as well.

And so, whenever we experience loneliness, we have a choice to either

✴ Seek connection with others before connecting with ourselves, or

✴️ Reconnect with our own love, joy and essence before connecting with others

By the way, there is no right or wrong here! But there is a difference.

When we dare to take care of our inner connection first, something very special can happen. We realize that we can feel connected, fulfilled and joyful, even if we are alone. And because of that, we can be more connected and freer with others too — whether they are near or far away. 💫

It takes practice. And it is absolutely possible. I see it in my life and in the lives of my clients.

But how about you? Have you ever felt lonely in your business or work ❓

😊💗

“If I choose what I really want to work with my life will fall apart”?

“ ”

Ever encountered that thought?

Especially if what you really want to work with is not something immediately profitable, such as art, writing, music or something else creative. But also just if it is too far from your current job/business description, it can definitely feel terrifying. Even if also life-affirming and desirable!

Most people don’t even contemplate the possibility of making such change. If you do, let me start by saluting you!

And then remind you that even if you have been considering this choice for a long time, you don’t need to make it right away. Time is on your side (I’ll explain that in a moment).

What you do need to do is prepare. The preparation is not only in terms of external action. It is just as much an ⭐ internal preparation. ⭐ And that includes understanding and trusting your own journey through life.

I believe we are all born with the seed to our ultimate purpose and work already within us. And then life then takes us on a journey, through which that seeds germinates, grows and eventually becomes what it was meant to become.

You can become who you were meant to become.

Your journey has taken you to where you are now. And it will take you further still until you can express what you are here to express, in whatever form.

It may not be what society thinks you should be. It may not even be what you think you should be. But it will be the most fulfilling experience of yourself that you can have.

You are not alone on that journey. Your Inner Self / Soul / God / Source is with you every step of it, and guides you along the way, through your intuition and through your work (yes, through your present work too).

And so, from that perspective, even if you don’t yet feel that you fully express what you are meant to express, and that a choice has to be made, the conflict is not in making that choice.

The conflict is within, and it is caused by fear and lack of trust in the journey and in the support that is available.

That’s the preparation too, then, ️ to create a sufficient level of peace inside so that you can make your choice from a space of (more) certainty and (inner) stability.

It is a Winding Road To Purpose and Joy for a reason.

❓Can you recognize any of the above? Where are you on your journey?

Is my creativity the same as my life purpose?

Do you have a profound, active interest in creativity? As in, you ️ write, paint, play (or something else creative). Maybe it’s not something you do regularly but when you do it feels very important, very close to your heart and soul.
It feels so right. Time disappears. You are in a world of its own. And the joy of it!
It’s one of the most fulfilling experiences you know. Few things are as exciting and fulfilling as creativity. However…
If at the same time (as is the case for most) creative expression is not what your business or job is about, then getting back to your “normal work” (even if it is work that you like) again and again can feel both frustrating and confusing. It can lead to doubts.
And so you ask yourself… ❓“What is my real work? What am I really meant to do? And why doesn’t it just happen? What is my life purpose”❓
It is a deeply challenging state to be in, and it gets more so as you get older. Because something in us naturally yearns to know our purpose, to live it. To be and do what we are here to do.
So why is it so difficult to have that clarity and then create a way of living and working from there?
Often, the reason for it is because we, in a sense, don’t understand our own journey, or our true purpose.
The journey is not a straight line from one point to the next. The purpose can elude us. So many times we think we have found it, and then again not.
It took me a long time to gain a deeper understanding of that journey, what stages it takes us through, and what is required at each stage for us to move forward.
I shared it my in a masterclass, and now it has become a (free) video course.
And no, it doesn’t superimpose some fixed answers on you. It helps you understand your unique journey, and gain more clarity from there.

When children come in the way of your purpose and business

“I want to work on my purpose and business but I have to take care of kids instead…”

This is a bit of a taboo, but surely, not an uncommon frustration, no matter how much you love your children. Some of my clients have mentioned it during our coaching sessions for sure (no taboos here!). And that was long before covid, lockdown and all that.

Of course, now, with the lockdown and children out of school many places, the challenge is bigger than ever.

What to do?

I don’t have children, and in this way I’m the last person to advise you in this matter. But perhaps we have some experiences and potential in common after all?

For many years, I worked in a kindergarten as a part-time substitute teacher. More often than not, just as I got ready to work in my business, do a particular piece of work, solve a particular problem … all my plans would be wiped out with a call: “We have two teachers sick today, we need your help, come right away”.

Often, as much as I loved working with children too, my first reaction would be disappointment. And then of course, I would surrender and go where I was needed.

And then, something interesting would happen. While I was in the kindergarten, ideas would pop up. Sometimes, these ideas provided unexpected solutions to my business problems. Sometimes, creative ideas for business content or development. I would make a quick note of each, and then go back to play/work with the children.

⭐Being present with, playing and working with children freed and inspired the creativity I also needed for my business. Plus, it taught me to focus and cherish the time I had for my business when I had it.

The thing to remember (and that we all tend to forget) is that, as Byron Katie says it, life happens for us, not to us. Life/Source/Soul/God/Universe/Higher Self gives us exactly the experiences we need. That is true when we are being interrupted in our plans too.

It doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. Surrendering to life’s agenda can feel like a hard pill to swallow. There’s no denying of it.

But even so, it does mean that whatever we experience, comes with a gift. Sometimes we will see it right away, other times later. But it’s always there.

What gifts are you finding when children or other obligations come in the way of your plans?

In which area of life do you miss joy the most?

When we asked members of the Joy Keepers Network that, the most frequent answer was: I miss joy in my body and health.

Not surprising, in these corona times, where so many people are affected by physical distance, physical lack of connection, and last but not least fear.

Fear of physical illness and death, fear of isolation, fear that it will never get better. Fear hurts.

Whereas love heals. And so, as some would say, our most important choice is between love and fear. But what does it mean? And how do we make that choice when it comes to our relationship with our body, and thus also our health?

This, of course, is a gigantic topic. But there is one thing here that is absolutely essential to realize. Namely, that that the love and joy that we need in order to feel fulfilled, whole and healthy is already within us.

This is true in our relationship with our own body too.

I can’t stress this enough: Physical love and joy is the same joy we experience in any other area of life. It does not come from outside. It comes from within.

Most people don’t know this. And so, they seek love and joy in others. And suffer the more or less conscious pains of fear and dependency. I know it from my own experience. There has been a lot of longing and lack in my life.

It helped me find what I was really searching for. Love. Joy. And the blessing of being able to experience it with or without other people around me.

When we discover that we are the love and the joy that we need, a whole new way of living becomes possible for us. From there we can share love and joy with others, not from a space of dependency and need, but from a space of flow and freedom.

It is one of the most profound, transformational realizations possible. And, of course, it is a journey.

To the journey!
😊💗

How can we share our work with joy and without overwhelm?

As entrepreneurs or creators, how can we share our work with joy and without overwhelm?
For most people, more often than not marketing/promoting/sharing on social media feels like an obligation. And that is not a joyful feeling. Neither is overwhelm.
Yet there can be much more joy in our work, and much less overwhelm, if we’re willing to look at it from a different and deeper perspective.
The general belief is that we’re being overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks ahead of us. But that’s not true.
Overwhelm happens when we’re out of alignment with ourselves and our values. And therefore confused, and stressed from going against ourselves.
When we are aligned, there is clarity and it translates itself into knowing what to do at any given time. Stress goes away, and energy flows.
Overwhelm happens when we fear that we’re not doing things right, when our tendency to perfectionism comes in the way. But our job is not to offer perfection – our job is to offer our gifts.
Overwhelm happens when we work from obligation and forget our deeper desire to serve and to give. When we try to minimize our efforts for practical reasons and go against our hearts’ natural generosity.
When we do allow ourselves to be generous, we do not get overwhelmed or depleted. Our energy circulates. We can give much and we can receive much too.
Generosity relates to the quality of our work much more than quantity. Being generous doesn’t mean that we have to drown ourselves and others in content. We can be generous with less (if that feels right). What matters is that we do it with all our heart.
Working in alignment with our purpose, our intuition and our energy system is absolutely possible. Yes, it does require adequate, regular inner work and practices. They are the foundation of our heart-centered business.
When we build on that foundation, sharing our work becomes a truly joyful and deeply fulfilling experience. For us, and for those we’re here to serve.
I’m curious to hear what your experiences are with any of the above.