La vita e bella

November 29. Life goes on and that is good. Time plays a role in things unfolding and settling itself, in finding a place for everything. And still there are those days that there is the importance to sit still and become quiet. Today is one of those days. Two years ago I had the accident that forever changed my life.

Last week I started writing things down. Suddenly I felt the need to put things on paper. I forgot to safe the file. So here I am. I made myself a coffee and I am enjoying a piece of the banana bread I made yesterday. I am listening to the mantra’s of Guru Ram Das from Mirabai, a healing mantra that is so soft and soothing. Thankful for music like this, to help me moving through it.

I was sending a message to a friend and colleague from work this morning, about the fact that this feels a bit like a heavy day. I don’t want to feel pity for myself. And still, it feels like a heavy day. Letting go is not always easy. He reminded me to think of all the things I reached these past 2 years. Also because of the accident. That he was sure I am a better human being than 2 years ago. I was so happy with those words. I could open myself and just let the sadness flow. I also felt good that I had the courage to express myself. I sometimes mention the accident but don’t talk about it a lot, also because I don’t really know what to say about it.

It is true, despite the shock, the trauma, the darkness, the disbelief, it did bring a lot as well. It showed me so many things. But what? I can see it and in the same time, I am still trying to figure out what it is?  There is more than what I can see at this moment. Is it because I am still holding on to the pain? There were so many things happening in the same time. So much confusion and transformation already happening in that phase of my life. So much unsureness and vulnerability. I was wondering…..was the accident showing me that life is vulnerable? I already knew that.

It was the opposite. It was all about how it is to be alive. What it means to be alive and the importance to live life fully. To make it my own, to find my own voice. And that is where I am at the moment. There is a lock on my throat sometimes. I can feel the pain there in certain moments. Is this why I feel the need to write things down? To express myself. To bring it out…. Especially  during meditation it can be so painful, as if my throat it squeezed, my breath is taken away. It always takes courage and work to go through it. The emotions and tears that come with it. Every time, it is the place where I knock into vulnerability. Into something hiding itself. I just trust that one day it will come. I keep on learning to go out of my head and go back to the  breath. To bring me back to my body, my intuition. To trust on my own voice, to be able to communicate when I need to.

What does it mean to me alive? And what does it require? Life can be a nice and smooth flow until you find out that it is asking something else from you.  I was in dreaming wonderland for so many years. Not that it was always easy. But I was going in a flow, a flow that brought me lots of beautiful experiences, studies, travels, people, work, a family. And then there was this change, the need to go beyond the naive perspective. To really step into the world, to root myself in stead of just floating around. But how to do that. There is the growing, the encouragement, the transformation. It feels like it is about all these things coming together, integrating into a new equilibrium, creating firmer roots.  New life. And from there into new growth, a continuum.

Around the period of the accident I was struggling with this. Life in the Philippines was also asking for a change. It was not giving me enough roots. It was great, the tropical life, the new horizons, all the travelling and the wonderful people we met. A beautiful flow. Though I was longing to go back to the Netherlands, to go with my bare feet into the mud. To root down. I knew it was not going to be easy. But it was what was needed. Not only for me. Also for us as a family.

In a couple of weeks it is two years as well, that we are back in Amsterdam. It was a good decision. I can still miss the warmth and tropical life. But slowly slowly, I am rooting down. It all takes time.

Kintsugi, the old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. It shows that fractures and breaks can make things even more beautiful, revitalizing it with new life. So beautiful and encouraging to look at life in this way. I have a kit to glue with gold and I am going to find a bowl so I can glue that today. Give it a golden line. The art of embracing damage. To celebrate life and to heal the scars.


ps: La vita e bella. Heart warming post delivery from the Philippines. A beautiful painting on a piece of wood made by my friend Anna. Travelled over the world to find a new home here. Feeling blessed


It was another beautiful retreat week in Ibiza. Every time it feels so good to be able to dive into this week. To hold a safe space for the group of people, together with Jacqueline. Through our intention, focus, attention, love & intuition. And yes, through preparing food as well. Nourishment for ourselves as a whole, with what the body and mind tell us. And nourishment for all the other layers, sometimes known to us and sometimes not or not yet. The unconscious knowing that is longing to be seen as well.

The activities we do in the week help to dive into this process. The song of the soul in the early morning in the yurt in the garden, the kundalini yoga exercises, the singing of the mantra’s, meditation and tools from hypno therapy to connect to the subconscious. The time in nature, walks in the woods, the day in silence, the intensive & gong session of Siridharma, the fire at night, yoga near the sea. All these things enable us to connect to our body, to find out what is inside of us and to feel what is going on. To find ourselves on another level, to dare to explore parts where there is maybe fear and vulnerability, pain, anger or sadness. From there, slowly slowly, finding strength, courage, trust and ways to liberate ourselves.

Whatever step it is that you are seeking to take. It can be tough sometimes. With all the layers of protection, distractions, fear, insecurity, responsibility, earthy practical matters. So many things that can keep us  away from where we wish to truthfully connect to ourselves. When you feel nourished, new doors will open and things can unfold itself. One step at a time.

Food is part of that nourishment. Food can help to peel off the layers, to simply be able to feel more. Clean healthy light soulful food that is fresh, organic and prepared with a lot of attention and love. Food that gives life force. With techniques that bring variation and taste. Lots of vegetables, combined with grounding elements and different herbs and spices.

It is so beautiful to see what happens with people after the initial blockages. Much to discover and a growing clarity. If there is more peace inside there is less need to seek outside, in filling ourselves with food that put layers on our feelings and emotions, in finding distractions, in living outside the moment. I can feel that in myself. That slowly, despite all the not knowing, I can have those beautiful moments to simply live in where I am in that time and space. It makes me humble and strong in the same time. It brings trust that things will unfold itself. I am so fulfilled when i see people in the group experiencing the difference, already after a couple of days. That they start to feel better, more light. That they have no desire in things like snacks, soft drinks, chocolate. It is these experiences that bring us body wisdom, to know what is good for us and what is not. Not from reading it in a book but simply by going through it and feel what it does and how great it feels.

The same for the early morning practise. I have been busy lately and did not free enough time for my morning yoga. I feel so much better when I start my day this way. More connected to myself, to the lightness and calmness inside. This week also showed  me that I can trust more and more on my intuition. In connecting, in knowing what is going on and in being there for people. Sometimes I miss the language, to be able to communicate what is there. This needs time to grow and integrate. And in other moments, words are not needed. The sharing is enough for us to know that we are not alone.

I feel grateful that I can do this work. Sometimes long days and lots of preparation. But so much to give and so fulfilled and happy.

With new inspiration I started a 40 days of the Nabhi Kriya yoga set this morning. A wonderful set to strengthen the navel point and balance the third chakra, for power & balance. So waking up early again, dry brushing & a cold shower, almond oil and yoga. It requires some discipline & committent but it is worth it. I invite everybody to join:) No experience with yoga needed. For more information and instructions see For a great mantra & music to join with the set, you can search for Jaap Sahib from Sat Nirmal Kaur Khalsa.

Sending lots of warm wishes, light & peace,



what is it?
sparkle of life
so intense
no words
different color
only to grasp
when you are there
be alive
feel life
feel the light
surrounded by it
be seen
and see
so clear
so much love
so much pain
how this relates
to the world
we live in
is it the time
that tells
or courage, trust &



Found a beautiful place to be the rest of the day, a great and relatively quiet patio at the Institute d’Estudis Catalans at the Carrer del Carme. With trees, small tables and chairs where people come to sit. And very convenient since it is near to the square where Luka is skate boarding, for hours and hours. It is amazing to see how he can be in the heat for so long. I assume it has to do with passion. When you are passionate about something, it brings this flow of losing time. I love that, it is such a good place to be.

After spending some hours in green this morning, i don’t feel attracted to the heat of the city again today. I love Barcelona and we are staying with a friend in a cosy little appartment in the middle of town in a street with 24hrs of life and noise.

I love the charm, the lifeliness, (street) culture, young people, the playing of classical music near the cathedral, the connection to the sea and i was happy to visit the Picasso museum this time. I am discovering small green parks or squares to have a break for a rest or a picknick. Sometimes i bring my food or we find nice vegan places to try out:)

But it can be so busy with people. Slowly slowly i start to see what does me well and what not. I can see i need to listen more to what my body tells me and spend more time in nature. In the green. To find quieteness, a peace of mind, air to breath, time to wonder. The thing i wished to do most today is to find a chair in the shade. And it is here. I have my book, my study materials and i found this beautiful poem from Matio Benedetti, a poet my friend recommended. No te rinds, about following our dreams, soul and love. Wish i could read it in Spanish.


Time & space

Playing with colors and food. I enjoy this grounding activity and especially when it brings these wonderful colors. The patterns on each root, appearing after cleaning, cutting and spiralizing them.  After, mixing the different shades and using it to make fresh nutritious dishes such as raw pad thay.
For me personally, taking into account my vata constitution, i prefer to eat root vegetables steamed and add some nice warming spices. It brings more grounding and balance. Though on a warm and sunny day i enjoy a raw pad thay with an Asian ginger dressing as well. It is the variation and listening to what the body needs.

I am listening to the music of HARC, a beautiful mix of different influences and improvisation. Sacred transforming music that makes me forget time and space.

Out of time and space. Not from a tendency to escape reality but from a sense of freedom. To create that extra space to experience new perspectives, to give room to creativity and flexibility. It is like that little moment after each breath, in the end of breathing in and in the end of breathing out. There is that extra moment, of silence, of extra space. It is not spacy or airy. It is very grounded in the moment. And in the same time it brings the extra space to go beyond. To realize, to release, to grow and to look in to whatever is showing up.

Image result for harc music

These days I listen a lot to the song ‘Open my heart’, especially after doing my morning kundalini practise. A beautiful song to listen to just laying down and relaxing after the work that has been done. It is a good reminder, every day, to stay close to myself and not hide behind all the fences that I have been building over the years. I am still learning. When doing my yoga practise and opening up blocks, I can feel the depth of what is going around. The learning, the space, the discoveries, the transformation, the knowing, the longing and all that is still to open up and to surrender to. All in its own time and space.

More awareness about the profound difference of being in the mind or in the body. Now I can see this can happen on so many different levels. Slowly slowly I learn what it really means to be in my own body. And what it means to disappear in the mind and not fully feel the physical body and feel grounded in the here and the now. There is so much refines in there, so much to discover and learn. And i believe one can only do that by taking time and allow the process of awareness to happen. So there is time to adapt to the change and to grow into the new room that is appearing.

I am grateful for all the knowledge, techniques and sources that are available for us to surrender to this process of learning and growing and all the magical music that makes it so deep and enjoyable.

Wishing you a beautiful summer in and out of time and space. And all it brings.


So peaceful to go for an early morning swim in the lake, a hidden place in the woods in Brabant. What a treat, just after waking up. So quiet, all alone, with the sun shining on the still water, showing me the way to the other side of the lake. From there back against the small waves. Passing the water lilies that were still closed at that time.

I came back later to make photos. I just love them so much. What a beauty. So amazing how many, the different colours and shades, the shape of the leaves, the reflection of the water in between.

A wonderful start of the day, a simple start of the day. To be able to open up to the simplicity and beauty around me and feeling lucky that i can experience it. And what it brings. The feeling of freedom, to be alive, to love nature, to feel awake despite the short night on a very thin mattress:), to feel grateful and peaceful in that moment.

Whatever happens the rest of the day, i feel i had that peaceful start. It brings hope and patience, especially for moments that i am sensitive and over stimulated, that things are overwhelming. It is good to know that i can be well by simply finding a quiet place to get back to myself again. To find my breath, to feel my body, to rest my mind, to open my heart.

“The heart is the inner face of your life. The human journey strives to make this inner face beautiful. It is here that love gathers within you. Love is absolutely vital for a human life. For love alone can awaken what is divine within you. In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and let yourself be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered.”
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Just a couple of days of work and I will pack for some weeks of holidays. To let go and be in the flow of the day. Will bring with me my tiger eye…a beautiful stone for protection, grounding and trust. A stone that has been with me for many years.

Ibiza summer






Thankful for another beautiful retreat in Ibiza, together with Jacqueline Evers, Siridharma Singh and a wonderful group of people. Thankful for preparing the food and sharing the love for the plant based life. So beautiful to see how people already feel different after a couple of days, eating this high energy life force food and leaving out the coffee, meat, coffee etc.






For sleeping in the tipi tent in the garden and waking up in the early morning looking over the fields and in the smell of oranges.

For the morning sadhana’s and the kundalini yoga intensives with the gong in the yurt in the garden, under the lemon tree.


For being surrounded by nature, the fruits and herbs in the garden and the vegetables next door.





For the hours preparing food in the kitchen with the sprouts growing in front of the window and the music on.

For people helping out with cutting veggies and doing the dishes and all the nice conversations we had around the kitchen window.

For the day of silence.

For the very special morning, reading a beautiful English translation of the Japji, the ‘Song of the Soul’ at Es Vedra overlooking the ocean. The breakfast there together and the relaxing boot trip the rest of the day.

For meeting each other, for spending time together, for all the sharing, the bonding, the vulnerabilty and the laughter.

Looking so much forward to come back in October.

Dutch Raw food & Life Style Festival & Ibiza Retreat coming up

It was such a beautiful tropical day at the Dutch raw Food & Life Style festival at the farm the Langerhulst, near the Gaasper lake.

Thanks to the organisation it was such a pleasant event. I am happy I was there to meet so many nice people from all over Europe, interested in a healthy & plant based lifestyle. I am also happy I had the chance to be there and share what I love to do, giving the workshop and the kundalini yoga. I feel blessed to be able to share my story, the discoveries i did on this path of taking care of myself. In connecting well with my body, with myself, to find out what works for me and what not. How food can be healing and how preparing food can be so joyful. I feel we all look for the balance in life to give attention to our body and find relaxation in this sometimes so busy and over stimulating world.

In the raw food workshop we made nut milk and breakfasts to start the day & my favourite cinnamon rolls with orange frosting!

Later in the day a kundalini yoga class for new energy and better digestion. Simple postures that can give such relieve in tension that we can hold in our body. It was so nice in the shade under the trees.

For everybody who gave me their email addresses, the recipes are coming your way. Looking forward to plan regular food preparation classes again soon. So stay tuned….after the summer break more updates! In the meantime, you can always get in touch with me if you are interested in organizing a workshop.

If you are interested, there are still a couple of places left for the IBIZA retreat. July 9-15th.

A beautiful week of yoga, meditation and raw plant based food preparation workshops. Looking forward to share the love for healthy healing nutritious dishes. You will experience the effect of high energy plant based food, get hands on experience and receive recipes to integrate this into your life. Jacqueline will take you on a wonderful journey with visualisations to get to your essence and breaking through patterns with Kundalini yoga and meditation. A process that will bring you so much joy!
In the rural area of Ibiza, surrounded by nature. Time to unwind, relax, walk, get inspired, reset, enjoy and just do whatever you feel like.
For more information see:

Healthy warm summer wishes and lots of loveImage result for emoticon lieveheersbeestje






A room with a view

Enjoying a day at home after coming back from Ibiza and before starting a full week of work in Sage Cafe and a catering over the weekend. A little bit of time to reflect on a beautiful week of preparing food for the retreat. It is sunny outside today and I just opened the front door the let the warmth of the sun come in. I hear the flies flying around, the sound of summer, as if I am still in the garden of the house near St Gertrudes.

A room with a view. The kitchen room with sprouts growing in the glass pot in the light, the view of the patio with the wild mint growing and the trees and fields behind it. A great place to work, to get inspired by the quietness and the warm sun outside. A place where I can take the time and give my attention and love in preparing food for the group of people, to support them in the process of opening up to new horizons. I know how it can feel, how the way you eat can help in digesting things. The food itself and also the way you look at life or the way you feel things. How it can open doors and create space. It is not just food. It is the combination of becoming quiet, trusting the unknown, taking the jump, letting go of layers that were once helpful but maybe no longer. By trusting the process you can open doors that were closed before, discover parts of yourself that were not in the light yet. Step by step, door by door, in your own pace, whatever is possible in the  moment.

Waking up early for the Sadhana. Reading the ‘Japji’, the song of the soul, doing a different set of yoga kriya’s every day and singing mantra’s. What a beautiful way to start the day. In the yurt in the back garden next to the lemon tree.

I love playing in the kitchen. Working with all the great ingredients I feel the life energy and creativity through my hands. I can be in such a zone of pleasure and comfort. I love sharing my learning and experiences about holistic health with the group of people, to surprise them with attractive plant based food and let them experience how it feels. Breaking a pattern of cravings such as sugar, coffee, certain food, alcohol etc. It is beautiful to see how great it worked for people, how they started to feel more light and healthy. How they already could feel the difference in a couple of days. I wish to inspire people to really take it with them and start integrating it in their rhythm back home.

I enjoyed the space and light, the walks in nature, the day that we were all quite, the sharing in the group, the vulnerability of people coming out, the laughter and the liveliness that comes with new perspectives. Feeling grateful for this week and looking forward to go back.

Together with Jacqueline & Siridharma Singh, we are now making plans for the next retreats in July and October. A week to unwind and reflect, to let go of survival strategies, to connect with yourself on a deeper level, the interconnection with other people and things around you. With yoga, meditation, visualisation, walks, an understanding of holistic health and hands-on food preparation workshops. Looking forward to all of this!

Sending you healthy wishes and lots of love, the thing that is bringing us all together:)

Sat Nam (meaning truth is my identity)

Finding your own rhythm

How do you react on being busy, in times of a lot of work or other things that are occupying your mind? What happens when you think you don’t have time or peace of mind for unwinding activities, such as walking, running, yoga, spending time in nature or creative projects.

I can do it for a little while until I notice I am not living the days the way I wish to live them. And then it is time to take a moment and go back to my rituals and rhythm that is supporting me in living more fully and with awareness of my own nature.

It reminds me of the book of ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’ from Haruki Murakami. I have been reading it a while ago and I am still inspired by it. I was trying to find his exact quote but will need to read the book again to find it:). Among many other beautiful things in that book he writes about the importance of finding your own rhythm in how you start your day, in how you gather yourself and find the focus to do what you wish to do in your life. He talks about the moment in his life that it was not enough to just follow the flow of life. When he was reaching a certain age, he felt the need to become very clear and strict about his routine. This is how he got to running every single morning, to running marathons and ultra long runs. To build up strength and endurance, to improve focus to be able to write his novels. I believe it is the same for many of us, especially in the current world with an overload of information and distractions.

These last weeks I have experienced it again. I decided to do a two week cleanse with juices, smoothies and soups, together with yoga sets that support the process. Spring is such a beautiful moment for that. When the light green is growing, new life, new beginnings. I always feel invited to clean my own system in this time of the year.

I have been doing these cleanses a lot since the course in Bali where I learned the full protocol of cleansing and liver- and gallbladder flushes. I still love that deep cleaning of the system, the best when you have some time off to slow down and take enough rest. This time I decided to try out the 2 weeks programme of Kia Miller. Plant based as well, lots of green leaves, very little fruit but with freshly made almond milk to be able to keep the energy to do physical work which was good in combination with my work in the restaurant.

For me the start of a cleanse always requires a bit of  courage. To take a clear step and not to keep on hanging in the ‘comfort’ of attachments (like coffee, raw chocolate or whatever things to keep myself going) or the ‘comfort’ of being tired and not doing anything to change the situation. This time it took me a little while. I felt cold, was missing the sun and thought I need to eat to keep myself warm. It was that one day of sun that took me on board and I was so relieved after that first day. Ready to surrender to whatever comes.

I really can see more clearly when going back to the basics. It brings me a special feelings of being very aware of everything around me and in the same time having a bit of distance from every day life. I can observe better without having the tendency or need to value or make an opinion. It brings this liberation, to be free from all the things that keep you from doing things the way you do them. It can also feel a little bit strange not to join the social gatherings with family and friends. In that sense it is a vulnerable process as well since there is nothing to hide behind anymore, no food to grasp to fill holes or empty moments. No excuses not to come out of my bed and skip one yoga morning. But the combination of healthy nourishing liquids and the Kundalini yoga practise helps of a lot to tap into the energy of oneness that brings so much trust and fulfilment. The combination of it gives a lot of support to the body to release old patterns, pains, emotions or whatever is there that is longing to be released. That is also why it so good to do these weeks together as a group, to be able to support each other. I have done that many times and still love it, especially to support people in the journey.

What a beautiful experience again! I love the morning routine to gather myself to start the day. Waking up early, do the ‘oil pulling’, drink warm water with lemon juice, dry brushing, taking a cold shower. Then kundalini yoga and meditation, followed with a green juice. It takes some time but you are really set for the day with a clear mind and focus. I did not miss my coffee, chocolate or other snacks that I normally enjoy. I felt so good and vibrant. The coffee enemas in the end of the 2 weeks supported me in letting go of a lot of heaviness and feel light, clean and positive. Happy and thankful.

Just after the cleanse I got so busy with many different things, working many hours in the restaurant and my son going for an operation on his ear. I noticed immediately what happens when I don’t take time for my daily yoga as a start of the day. It is so interesting to observe myself during those moments. I skipped my morning practise and the whole day I had this foggy head and feeling a bit grumpy. I needed coffee to be awake and was missing my focus and level of energy. What a difference.

So now, I am back to my routine of yoga in the morning, even when being too busy. Also that needs some focus and attention. On how to find balance between committing to work activities and making sure I have enough moments to unwind and find myself again. An invitation to learn to be in the moment and do what I do in that moment and really leave the rest for later.

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”
― Pema Chödrön