Artist Sacred Dancer Author
Mama of Sanctuary Forest Wild Garden
Mama of Sanctuary Forest Wild Garden
In my personal life, I had many wake up calls - awakening to my whole being, soul and spirit. Many people around me personal, loved ones, closed friends, friends had either committed suicide, sudden or unexpected death, or to illnesses. Each time, I was led to rethink and ponder deep about my life - probably that was partly also why I live life to the fullest and live life with meaning and purpose, do what I love and find joy in. Deep inside me for a long time, I long to live a quiet life in the nature in the countryside. I just know deep within me. In the last 2 years or more, the forest and nature is also coming me home. As I moved in Authentic Movement, as I visited Nature, I feel the yearning of the forest, to live in the forest, to be in the forest more and more.
The death of my mother-in-law and other news again woke my soul - another awakening - to review my life. Jeroen's too. His colleagues have also passed on without even reaching pension age and that also led him to rethink about life. In 2017, during my Sabbatical period, it was also his process parallel with mine - as we walked side by side, hand in hand, with tears, laughter, pain, joy, healing and challenging each other to look at our life honestly and truthfully, as an individual and as a couple. We bare our souls. We bare our hearts with each other even though it was hard at times and painful. The process and journey always draws us closer, stronger and wiser each time.
What do I want in life?
What do we want in life?
Are we going to wait till retirement to fulfil our dreams?
Maybe we may not even live to that age?
Seriously, we never know what life brings and what life has in store for us.
We've processed the theme of death not once but a lot of times when it surfaced over the years as married couple.
Jeroen was very uncomfortable to talk about it at first however now he has come to be at peace with the theme. Only then, he lets go and trusts life, so do I. We both know either one of us is to go first, we know we can move on in life. For us, we trust fully in God, trust fully in life, trust fully in ourselves and in one another. As Hildegard von Bingen wisely wrote (see photo):
Both of us matured individually as a person as well as our journey as a couple. Learning to trust fully. It was not an easy journey and the theme 'Trust" is so profoundly deep in many aspects of life whether in self, in another, in life, in God (for us), in the unknown, in the future, especially in the here and now. Trust is one huge theme for me other with other themes like boundary, death, holding space... over the past years. The theme grows deeper and deeper as I let myself, let God reveal to me, the significance meaning of each theme and what each is for my life.
Sabbatical, retreats, contemplation brought about in me the meaning of meaningful early retirement. To many, you probably think sabbatical, retreats and contemplation are such big words and only for the religious or people in spirituality. In reality, we have to look at our retirement, don't we?
I'm being led by my soul and spirit to question my life in these modalities at the early stages of my life and to rethink about life and in the essence, it is about retirement. Both of us come to recognise we are not going to wait till retirement to live our dreams or fulfil our dreams. It is NOW. Not 10 or 20 years down the road.
Our dreams are NOT about pursuing success, achievements, status... which the world paints it as such. Our dreams is to live and love life, find pure pleasure in what we love, whether it is with self or with others. More love, more joy, more laughter, more heart to heart communication, more walks in the nature, pure simple pleasure of life, slowing down, relaxing in each other's presence, and more... to live life with more ease and move with more flow.
For Jeroen, is to pusure his passion in old classic photography and I, in my art, gardening and writing. Cooking is both our passion. To name a few. There is one big dream we both have and are moving to realise it, our deepest desire. It will be revealed in its own good time as we trust God in it. Trust. Trust will show us the way. Know that if it is for the greater good for not just self but also for the greater good of others, God will bless it. The dream we desire deeply is not just going to bless us but also to bless others.
Each one of us is unique and different. Each one of us has our own dreams we want to live because we love it. Take time to review, to look into and within. Wait not till when it hits us so hard that we find ourselves awakened and being shaken up so rudely - in order to get us to pay attention to the constant soft nudging in our heart and soul - our deepest heart desire. How long are you going to wait?
* Nita has walked hers and now Jeroen and I have walked ours. Nita and I will offer you taster programmes in the 2018 soon, to taste and experience what meaningful early retirement means for you and we empower and prepare you to have a meaningful retirement in your life.
Shalom! Blessings! Love To you!