I have a feeling of relief and happiness after realizing that life will only go forward. I sit outside of Starbucks on Maui, Hawaii, drinking a free birthday coffee. Tomorrow, this body will have been on this planet for 37 years. A good moment to look back and be thankful.

Time looks relevant. Where I was born, it is 12 hours later and my birthday has already begun. So, how can time be different? Isn’t time the same for everyone? It is just our relative position to the sun that makes our experience of time different but we all experience the moment as NOW.

For a moment, I don’t need anything. If I can be happy in THIS circumstance and in this body the way it is NOW, then I can always be happy, and happier still because I feel it will only get better. That is an amazing and humbling feeling which brings relief. There was a time in my life that I felt totally stuck and even though that was around twenty years ago, I only have found great keys to freedom just recently.

I only have found great keys to freedom just recently.

My first great turnaround to happiness was eleven years ago. Before, my relative position to the sun felt quite like night time. Not that I was never happy, but after I got an invitation to say ‘yes’ to life and to God, I experienced a profound cracking of dawn. The day after that decision, I woke up and realized I was happy to exist, something I had never realized before. There have been several defining moments after that, such as meeting some great friends in the north of the Netherlands, who have shown me what it means to live from the heart, for which I am very grateful.

I woke up and realized I was happy to exist, something I had never realized before.

“You are doing some business, huh?” A guys that walks by comments when he sees me typing on my iPad. He asks me what business it is and I answer that it is personal. Personal business of major impact, haha.

I feel grateful for all of the years that I have been alive, even for the time before these awakening moments. Everything looks perfect from where I stand now, as all experiences have contributed to who I experience myself to be, now. I am grateful for the family that I grew up in, for the parents that I got – and to me it feels, even chose myself – for the darkness and for being stuck, because I start realizing that I am so much more than these.

Embracing the difficulties

The physical journey that I started in August has brought me in many places, to many challenges but also to beautiful people and great growth. I see now that if I am not able to enjoy that process, I will never be happy, because growth will never stop. I think this article is an ode to life, to God, to love. Even to hardships and to challenges because they seem to vanish quickly when I honor them.

If I am not able to enjoy that process, I will never be happy.

I feel more ready than ever to embrace whatever presents itself in me, as I see it is my own expectation being reflected back at me. The latest freedom I gained was from seeing subtle beliefs and opinions that limited me. Someone who’s been very helpful in ‘taking the cork out of the bottle’ is a young guy, Bentinho Massaro, who is actually from the Netherlands and started to seek his own freedom from the age of sixteen.

The main reason I wanted to travel again, was to meet him and his friends. He has learned to overcome many limitations and is inspiring his friends to do the same. One of his friends has been a great inspiration to me personally and I will release a short video interview with him soon. It feels good to share my enjoyment with others. More and more I see that we are all in this together, regardless of any race, background or religion.

There is great freedom to be found.

There is great freedom to be found. Today, I reflect on 37 years of successful living. Today, I celebrate life in all its flavors. I know I can receive all that comes with open arms. The bottle of the ripened wine of hardships has acquired great maturity and smells great. Some despise it and refuse to drink, although others choose to thoroughly enjoy it. Let he who is ready, drink. And let those who can’t stand such metaphors, freely vomit.

Cheers! To life!

Embracing life – a grateful ode to 37 years of existence
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