The desire to be honest is tricky. I fell for it. Two months ago, I had an amazing conversation with my friend Josytha. She asked me some questions that invited me to be honest about myself. I loved the freedom that came as a result so much, that I wanted to be more honest with myself.
Today, I had another conversation with Josytha and basically the same thing happened. This time, I had to admit that I could not even keep the promise of being honest.
Yes, if I am truly honest, I have to admit that I am not always honest to myself.
That is honesty on a different level. It is much easier to create the mission of being honest and doing my best. Not really. I had easily failed that mission. And now I had to admit that.
The quest to be honest created a mission.
I felt that I would be successful if I would complete that mission. I was not aware that I was judging myself for not being completely honest all of the time. I made the desire to be truly honest into a vision again, that I should not be dishonest and made a trap for myself.
It was such a relief to be okay with the fact that I had not always been honest. It helped me to be more honest with myself, actually.
I am learning to live in this paradox of life.
Paradox is actually where I experience life the most. Only when I let go of the idea that life has to look this way or that way, I can accept everything that comes my way. And when I accept it, I can make much better decisions about what I really want.
Our conversation today ended with me cracking up. I saw again how serious I take myself and how little actually matters. We humans are running away from what we do not want and pursuing that which we think will make us happy. I laughed for minutes seeing how silly all (our ideas about) our accomplishments are in the bigger picture.
This post does not even approach what I truly want to say, but that is okay. It is not text that will convey the true message anyway. I hope that my life will. That is what I want to pursue anyway. But not really.
In August 2015 I started traveling around the world after having worked for seven years for Stenden University in the Netherlands. I had traveled quite a lot before that job and did not think I would travel extensively, again.
In May, the virus hit after learning about an interesting group of friends around a young spiritual teacher named Bentinho Massaro situated in Boulder, Colorado. My curiosity had been piqued and my first plan was to go there for three months and come back to my job.
In the meantime, I found out that Hawaii hosted people with interesting lifestyles – besides gorgeous nature – and thus Hawaii became a nice stop in between the US and New Zealand, a country that I wanted to visit for a longer time. The idea of going back to my old job seemed less attractive as I did not know what would happen on my journey and how much I would change. I decided to quit my job. All of this happened in such a short time, that it rather surprised me – and many people around me.
The idea of going back to my old job seemed less attractive.
When I arrived in Boulder, I quickly became part of the group of people I wanted to be around. One thing lead to another and I made my first video with Dave Solazzo, who received my request with enthusiasm. I met interesting people that raised my curiosity and conversations with some of them made me want to make videos. Even though I had sold my camera before I started traveling, it came back on my path.
Interviewing people gave me an opportunity not only to develop myself, but also to connect with beautiful people and to give them something of value. I found out that my three core values were met in a way that I could enjoy effortlessly. People helped me to get the gear that I needed to keep doing this on the remainder of my journeys.
I found out that my three core values were met in a way that I could enjoy effortlessly.
Everything came together. Some years ago, I had made some videos with a colleague and friend, Maik. We started a movement we called ‘Momens’ – referring to moments and ‘mooi mens’ which means ‘beautiful person’ in Dutch – where we wanted to find the deeper layer of people’s story. Sometimes we would capture that in one minute videos. Maik was a master getting to the heart of people and taught me how to dig for and recognize an authentic story.
Now, the story continues. Some of those stories can be found on this website.
I am here because I want to. And I want to because it is relevant. I want to experience it. I am in this time, this earth, this experience because it is relevant.
In another timeline, a parallel version of reality, I could be still depressed. Or I could be completely healed, rich and successful. But right now, I am experiencing this life. I am having this experience. And that is why it is relevant. Because I am experiencing it.
Right now, I am experiencing this life.
Of all the experiences I could have, I have this one. This one experience.
Every wished to explore the world? Or have another adventure you’ve been dreaming about? I did not regret my decision to make a trip around the world and start all over again. Stepping into the unknown felt scary, but oh, I LOVED THE FEELING TO BE ON THE MOVE AGAIN.
I remember several occasions feeling stuck because I’d become happy with my comfort zone. “I need to get moving again.” Packing my bags and taking a bus or standing on the road with my thumb up. The anticipation of unknown adventures felt so good.
The anticipation of unknown adventures felt so good.
I came across a very inspiring video by Tim Ferriss about the book Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. He talks about how two monks would promise each other to travel. Because of their vows, they would say, “We will go in winter.” And in winter they would say, “We will go in summer.”
I’d rather not promise anyone when I will go.
I’d rather dream knowing that someday I will go.
Or I will just buy a ticket.
It’s like friends saying, “We need to hook up soon,” with the intention to see each other, but it never happens. I’d rather say, “Fare well. I might see you again someday.” I’d rather keep it completely open, or make an appointment right away.
I’d rather dream knowing that someday I will go.
Why is that? Could it really be because adventure starts only now? Making vague promises is using the future to find reasons NOT to go. Every time I listen to my reasoning, I will not go. I won’t do something I love. Strangely though, when I did not promise myself anything, my dreams would magically appear and I would step in.
Don’t use the future as an excuse not to do what you love. Dream now. Choose now. Because everything only starts now.
Through the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, there are the recurring themes of good and bad, death and life. Underlying all of those, there is the theme of true courage. Gandalf offers both Bilbo and Frodo wisdom and they hear what he says, because they act on it. You can see this in the following video.
It happens exactly as Gandalf had foreseen. Frodo can’t destroy the ring, because its power has overtaken him, but Gollum, whose life was spared by both Bilbo and Frodo, destroys the ring because of his greed.
Frodo learns about true courage
Frodo shows that he has learned from Gandalf. At the end of the story in the book – this is not in the movie – Frodo offers Saruman a chance to change his ways, which he refuses. Saruman then stabs Frodo but fails to kill him. Again, Frodo offers Saruman mercy. In the end, Saruman is killed by his servant Wormtongue, who is slain by the other hobbits before Frodo can stop this.
I love how mercy is the evidence of true courage in the stories of Tolkien.
I love how mercy is the evidence of true courage in the stories of Tolkien. The stories do not polarize between good and evil like most movies. Both Galadriel, Gandalf and Frodo are vulnerable to the effects of the raw power of the ring. Despite all the hardship Frodo went through, or maybe because of it, he chooses mercy over revenge. The result is, that evil destroys itself. A beautiful story of true courage.