The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. ~ Aristotle
Art plays an important role in my life and I want to stimulate my clients in using art in different ways.
My coaching practice is all about becoming the best version of yourself.
I like to integreate creative aspects in my coachingsession in various ways
Why we all should live the life of a traveler, even in our home country
How come so many adults stopped dreaming?
Is there an expiring date on dreams?
And how come that most people who stopped dreaming, seem not really awake?
Or do you perceive someone who is trying to live the life according to his dreams as unrealistic?
And is being realistic then a good or a bad thing and what about dreaming then: is that good or bad?
My whole life I have been trying to shape reality to fit my dream. And dreams always come a size to big so you can grow into them.
For me dreaming and making your dream part of your reality is what life is all about. I see life as one big safari (Swahili for journey). I have been looking out for the big 5 to help me fulfill my dreams.
And by the way, it really doesn’t mean that just because I am wondering that I am lost.
New year has always puzzled me. What is new year? When does it start and when does it end? Is it just that moment when we reflect on what we achieved so we can reevaluate and start again trying to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves?
Can we just step from the old into the new overnight? Or is new year just the summon of our attempts to grow through life’s’ transition stages?
Celebrating new year is a joyful moment where we make time to reflect on what we have been doing and make plans for the coming year. We start the next round, the next phase, we get ready for the new challenges or we once again tackle old challenges. The rest of the coming year we will have our goals to work through.
In my head it looks something like this:
On paper it all seems so easy and logical while in reality it can be quite messy. In reality it looks more like this:
It is not so much your starting point nor reaching the end goal that matters most, it is that bit in between! That is exactly where the magic happens.
Making the most out of the ‘in between’ will make you grow, increase your consciousness, build up your resilience, expand powerfully and transform across all levels.
How you deal with that space in between and how you use this adventure to nurture you, will make the difference.
It can learn you how to absorb life’s ups and downs, heal yourself, integrate everything that happens on a deeper, more profound level.
In the end overcoming the difficulties on your path will give you gifts you can treasure for the rest of your life. These gifts are called experiences!
Making a clear roadplan to achieve your goals will increase the likelyhood of obtaining your goals.
Beeing clear and realistic about what your goals are, will keep your focus. One powerful tool to do just that is the outcome model.
Contact me to find out more or join me on the outcome model workshop.
See you soon,
Especially now when winter is coming up, I would like to share some thoughts and tips on happiness. Everybody is looking for happiness as if happiness is hidden somewhere and we need to go on a treasure hunt to find it.
If you observe a truly happy person you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness like it was a collar button that has rolled under a radiator (W. Beran Wolfe). Be very honest with yourself and ask yourself when were you most happy?
I am convinced that you can learn everything, and that includes being happy. I lived as an expat in many different settings and I met so many wonderful people, rich, poor, happy, unhappy. I came to realize that wealth and status have nothing to do with happiness. Happiness is an attitude, a habit, which you can cultivate. Because of positive psychology we now know that the skills of happiness can be learned. The two important pillars for cultivating happiness is how you deal with setbacks and how you cultivate positive and loving relationships.
How to deal with setbacks
From a live chat with the author and philosopher Alain de Botton I learned:
"A lot of happiness is created by things outside our control. This is very worrying in a way - but should lead us to humility and an acknowledgement of how much we rely on fate. This should teach us compassion for ourselves and others at moments when the context lets us down".
When something goes wrong often we tend to internalize the problem. When you experience a setback rather then seeing it as "all your fault", look at what part was out of your control, know that it is temporally and do not internalize it.
* make it specific
* know that is temporary
* make it impersonal
* and most of all take steps to improve your situation
A second pillar of happiness is cultivating loving relationships. And as usual it always starts with you! First of all love yourself, be as a best friend for yourself. It is the relationship you have with yourself that will reflect in the outer world. Love yourself first.
Get out of the realm of wanting to be right. If you want to be happy let go of the notion of being right. Relationships are hard wired. Letting go of wanting to be right is a first step in a better connection with the people around you. Being open to the otherness and taking the interaction with the other person as a chance for you to get to know yourself better and the other, is very valuable for your happiness.
If you think you are enlightened try spending a week with your family on Christmas and you will know what I talk about. You love them dearly but they do push your buttons. Be aware that every irritation can tell you something about yourself and can help you to grow and to become better in building relationships. A beautiful way of doing this is through the core quadrants of Daniel Offman.
Just remember that life has its own way. Dance with it.
Enjoy the festivities.
My name is Sarah Neirinckx and I lived abroad with my family (my husband and my twin boys) for 1/3 of my life.
I created Bloom because I have taken my own ambition - being a constructive factor in the society- to a different level. I have worked and lived for 15 years in different development countries.
I have a keen interest in development and personal growth. The main difference with other coaching practices is that I work with a development-oriented framework, where personal development is at the core.
I have an integrative approach to coaching; I work with different international coaching models. I support people on their journey connecting the inner purpose to the outer goals so they can bloom. I believe that every human being is wired to make a positive contribution to society. I have a strong belief that personal development is the key to make that contribution. We all feel happy when our qualities are being put to use in the wider society.
Bloom organizes workshops and personal coaching sessions to stimulate and enhance personal growth.
Because it all starts with you and the relationship you have with yourself. Learn how to F.L.Y so you can bloom and the world around you can bloom as well.
The aim is to reconnect with yourself so you can truly be there for yourself in connection with the other.
To truly know yourself you need to learn about yourself first by looking at your own behavior through neutral eyes and with compassion.
You will learn to really be there for yourself and learn to deal with your less pleasant side so you can become the best version of yourself.
Every human being has its own unique set of qualities. To be able to bloom you need to know your qualities, pitfalls, challenges, allergies so you can overcome your limits and start to grow. Acknowledging that we are limited set us free and opens the gates to grow.
In our programs you learn:
- how to reconnect with yourself
- how to work with yourself
- how to work with your own emotions so you can truly be your unique self.
Once you've established a real connection with yourself it will be easier to stay true to yourself in connection with the other.
In our programs you learn:
- how to build genuine and warm relationships
- how to express yourself in such away that the other truly hears you
- how to listen to the other and the otherness
We all have contrasting and conflicting parts. Dealing with these parts means taking leadership or inner leadership, to be there for yourself in a powerful and clear and honest way.
If you want great, be great; if you want change, be the change; if you want to belong, be the longing.
How liberating to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then?
The one who sees that. – Eckhart Tolle
I have always loved the sea and I am still hoping one day I will live near the sea and walk along the seaside watching the ebb and flow of the tides.
What I like so much about the sea is that its natural way is change. Every day the sea and the beach are different. It is like the sea clears of the beach when it is ebb washing away shells and other treasures left there at the shore and adding new treasures in its flow. To me it stands for the natural rhythm of change.
The sea is a bit like our mind, the waves being an ever-shifting bundle of thoughts, feelings and memories. Be aware of the shifts in your thoughts and be open for new thoughts to replace the old.
If we see the self as the essence of who we are, we also need to take into account that we believe certain thing about our self. What we need to realize is that these thoughts, feelings and memories can hold us back or stimulate our personal growth.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -- Lao Tzu
We believe certain things about ourselves. The art of change is not to get stuck in these thoughts but let them come and go and just be aware of what we feel, sense, hear and understand at the moment, let it run through you like a river flowing to the sea. Some of the assumptions can be liberating and some can be keeping us from growing and changing. For change and personal growth to take place it is important to let go of some of the beliefs we have about ourselves and add new beliefs so we can grow and change. This rhythm of change is so vital to us humans and is key to personal growth.
If you keep believing that “you are the way you are” change and growth cannot take place. The same if we hold on to the belief we have about others we do not allow them the growth and change. Like in nature change is an essential part of growth. Do not deny other persons’ path to growth, let go of your fixed set of thoughts about them and keep an open mind or growth mindset, so they also have the opportunity to change and grow.
The funny thing about change is that we suffer and resist it when change happens where we don’t really want change or doesn’t happen where we really want it to occur.
It is like the contest between the river and the rock, the river always wins.
Be like a river and follow your natural call and destiny, which is to merge with the ocean.
Do not be like the rock in the river, stuck in one place, resisting the natural flow of the river. Every morning when you get up you can decide to be the river or to be the rock? Which one shall it be?
Grief is in two parts. The first is loss.
The second is the remaking of life.
- Anne Roiphe
I have always loved graveyards as they have a peaceful atmosphere. This week I dropped off my son at the diving school, just around the corner is the graveyard where my grandparents were buried.
It was a sunny day and I was so surprised that the grave of my grandparents felt so familiar, although since I am back in Belgium, I did not have the chance to go visit. While I cleaned the grave, watered the flowers, I sat there for some time feeling really lonely and content at the same time.
While sitting there, looking at their grave, I felt grief for the loss of two beautiful souls and at the same time I felt so grateful for the time we had together. And I felt the pain and grief over so many things I lost or left behind. I realized that we are just here temporally and I felt a deep sense of gratefulness for all those lovely moments in my life.
The highest form of human intelligence is to observe yourself without judgments – krishnamunti
Life can be so demanding that we can easily get alienated from ourselves. We forget what is important to us while we are busy making a living. It is good to stand still and ask our self the question: is this the life I truly want to live? Finding the way back to yourself is not easy yet it is rewarding. Reminding yourself there is nothing wrong with living a life that is not molded to pre-formulated norms and beliefs. We all have a hidden self which is the reality of who we truly are. In the course of normal personality development we all lose sight of this true self.
Personal development includes activities that improves self-awareness. An important skill for self-awareness and self-knowledge is the ability to observe one’s own behavior and habits. Rather than looking at yourselves what you want to change, fix or mold to what is expected from you, you need to discover yourself and accept yourself in order for personal growth to take place.
When we are our own inner observer we can become a more objective witness of our experience and it can help us recognize and manage your defensive reactions and blind spots.
Nietzsche, the German philosopher, tells us, "One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self: of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be mined."
Self-knowledge is valuable but hard to get. It is often neglected or avoided and maybe one of the last things we seek. If we want to find self-knowledge then it is actually hard work much like the mining for a treasure. The Enneagram is a tool to help you observe yourself and map your core belief system.
The Enneagram is a powerful and dynamic system that describes nine distinct and unique patterns of thinking, feeling and acting, called Types. Like a colored lens through which we view the world, these patterns stem from where and how we focus our attention. The Enneagram can help you to map out your core beliefs.
Our core beliefs determine where we focus our attention and energy; which drives our behavior. If we want lasting change in ourselves, we must be aware of our core beliefs and change where our attention and energy are directed. None of this can be accomplished without the ability to observe our own patterns.
The 'quadrant' is an other system to map your qualities, pitfals and challenges. The Ofman quadrant can help you identify your core qualities, pitfalls, challenges and allergies. You can use this model to find out what behaviors you should avoid (pitfalls) and what types of things you should make effort to do even though they don’t come naturally to you (challenges). It also helps you understand why certain behaviors or characteristics in other people trigger a negative reaction in you (allergies)
What I learned from living abroad and living amongst other cultures is to look at the other not so much with an open mind but rather with an empty mind. An open mind still may be influenced by that outside world and look at the other while comparing it to the self. While an empty mind is open to new and other ideas. We need to be careful that when marching into the world of the other, that we do not only look for those arguments that will help to hold our own position in life and proofs us right, like we are just collecting evidence to bolster our truth.
But if we really want to embrace the other, may it be the masculine, the feminine inside each of us, or your next-door neighbour, another culture, another country it is important that we do this with an empty mind so we truly give the other space to co-exist, so a real encounter can take place rather than a comparison between the two, either this or either that.
The willingness to meet the other with an empty mind can create a new beginning.
When two people meet, it is like two different worlds meet, even if people are from the same country still this person has its' own landscape with its' own capital, its' own mountains and valleys, seas and rivers.
By interacting with the other with an empty mind you are opening possibilities and new perspectives, by seeing the difference and sameness of the other rather than looking for proof for your position. By doing so, you embrace also the other in each one of us, that part of you we do not like to show, that part of us we like to hide, or when we see it in our offspring we say this behavior I truly do not recognize in myself. But is that so? Being open to the other is an important step to be open to that part in yourself that has been neglected or hidden away. Hiding parts from ourself is never good, we can never become whole.
I do believe that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world and vice versa. In our inner and outer journey make sure you also dare to look at these places we rather project on the others. Just remember that light and shadow co-exist, the one can not exist without the other, they are one.
text: Sarah Neirinckx
image: Tomasz Alen Kopera
inspiration: Phd. Brian Riedel
When talking to fellow repats and TCK’s I often hear the complaint about how they are not able to adjust to the seasons in Europe while being used to more tropical climates. And off course the outside world has an influence on us.
The connection with your environment is of vital importance in your feeling of belonging. We do have a connection with people but also with nature, the sun, the moon, they all have an influence on us and vice versa.
The changes we see around us affect us, that is for sure. We are dealing with change every single day. Every day is different. This is my second spring back in Europe and still I am getting used to the seasonal changes. After a soft winter we enter spring. I have been used to different seasons. This rhythm of the seasons influences our daily life, in winter people stay indoors more, wear different clothing, and wear socks and closed shoes, but also people tend to look more inwards in wintertime, as if it is a good time to let go of some old stuff that we do no longer want to carry. I was used to different seasons where the rain would wash away the dust from the dry season and water the gardens so things would grow again and again.
I remember when my kids experienced autumn in Europe for the first time, we saw the falling leaves, and then in winter trees completely leaf free. The next thing they asked me: “mum are the trees also going to lose their branches?” Although they did learn about the 4 different seasons in their international school, they had never really experienced it. And that is the difference, we can learn and read a lot about how it is but if we did not experience it we do not really understand it.
And of course there are also seasons in tropical countries, yet they are different from the seasons in Europe. Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? But not always so easy. The demands, distractions and needs of the external world we share are not always aligned with inner desires and knowing. And both are always changing so what worked in wonderful harmony in one place will require inner shifts and outer changes in another. It is the great dance of the human life, to integrate our inner and outer worlds so we can live in integrity, receiving what we need, offering what we bring. Like many things in life they follow a cycle, a never ending cycle of change.
Energy flows where intention goes"
Like all fairytales start with the words once upon a time, every adventure in life starts with an intention.
We have the intention first to do something, be something, create something. When you come to think of it, we always do things twice. We first create the idea of the intention in our thoughts before actually doing it.
For example, I first had an intention to live a life abroad and next I made the decision to take steps to live out this intention. Once the intention was made and I decided that this was what I wanted, I undertook steps to achieve this and so it became a goal.
Can you remember an intention you made and lived it through?
Intentions are the heart of values, norms, goals, and priorities that drive our actions and choices.
Be honest with yourself when clarifying your intention. When you are clear and honest about your intention you are more likely to take inspired action aligned with your words and truth.
Actions and words on their own give little results. Action and word aligned with your most inner intention can set of the journey you are longing to take and follow the road that is intended for you.
So ask yourself…
1. What is my intention today?
2. Are my words and actions really in alignment with my intention?
3. What can I do to make my words and actions more in alignment with my intention?
My intention with writing this blogspot is to inspire you to live the life you truly want to live. Are you ready to start a new journey?
Have a great week.
What is your dream?
Whether you have difficulties with fitting in or you feel nobody really understands you, dreams can help determine who you really are and who you want to be. Looking at your most inner purposes and connecting these to outer goals can bring about extraordinary results.
It is my honest believe that all people have the right to make their dreams come true, so you can bloom. I have a strong believe that dreams are the seeds of every success.
Together we can look at the possibilities and develop a program to achieve specific goals. I am here to help you move forward.
Let me guide and support you in your journey in becoming the best version of yourself.
I know you struggle sometimes but in case I don’t tell you enough, you are beautiful.
Thank you for being so strong and transparent, the world sees you even when you feel invisible or unheard.
I appreciate your heart and stubbornness. Your willingness to love even after being discarded or forgotten is admirable.
I am so proud to know you have grown to acknowledge your worth.
Writing a letter to yourself can help you to overcome difficult times when in self-doubt. And we all have these moments of self-doubt especially in mayor transition periods.
It is amazing how a kind word or a compliment can lift your spirit. But what if there is no one around to lift your spirit? Ah well there is always one person around who can do just that, and that is YOU!
A great exercise to do just that, is to write yourself a letter with all nice and encouraging words about your SELF.
This negative, self-dough, unconfident part of yourself is our shadow part. And just as we all have our shadow we also have a light side, the positive, optimistic and productive side. By writing to your shadow part you accept its existence and calm it down, telling your shadow part everything will be fine.
Try it! You will see it truly helps!
If you like guidance in overcoming self-doubt, feel free to contact me.
Third Culture Coach
your inner purpose
to outer goals
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