Tag Archives: love

Falling Forward

Today I had to admit to myself that I am suffering from a relapse in old pain, thoughts and behaviour. I recognized the signals for a while, and was kind of hoping they would dissapear by themselves…NOT. When you ignore or try to suppress something, it only gets bigger. I know that really accepting (and feeling) the situation as it is (“SHIT! I’m in a damn! relapse”), is the only first step on my way through this. Relapse is often associated with addiction and the use of drugs or alcohol to get a relief from the underlying pain. But in my case, when I refer to the term Relapse, it’s about falling back into old patterns of thought.

Just as I thought I had mastered this thing called LIFE and LOVE,  feeling totally happy and in flow just six weeks ago, it bit me in my tail again. My thoughts were taking me in a downward spiral, feeling like a failure and that something is seriously wrong with me, that I had been fooling myself into believing this huge personal growth that I had made. It felt like falling all the way BACK.

After a big cry I got this insight. In the law of life, there is no such thing as falling back. Everything is constantly in forward or expanding/outward motion. So this idea of falling BACK does not exist. Reframing my state into falling FORWARD helped to see that I’m still in a miserable state, but one that I can fall forward in. Another opportunity for growth, to explore yet another layer or aspect of my same old patterns.

And a good opportunity to bring my selfwedding vows (LIEFDE) into practice, because I’m sure they will be helpful to get through this.

Listen to my body

Invest time in myself & my relationships

Emotions (all of them) are welcome

Focus positive, unless something negative calls for attention. Focus on the NOW.

Dare to be myself and show myself.

Energy is everything.

Lots of Love,

Annemarie

Selfmarriage – Big fat wedding or private ceremony?

A self-marriage is a very private inward process, so having a private ceremony makes sense. At the same time it feels like something I would like to share and celebrate with my family, friends and others as my witness. Sometimes I introduce myself as an introvert with exhibitionist tendencies 😉 so, I decided to do both, something private and something public.

On sunday March 12th, I woke up early and it was one of those early sunny springdays in the Netherlands, that make your heart jump with joy. It felt like the right day for my private ceremony. Also it was a full moon day that added that little extra special to it.

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I took a long shower and put on a little white dress that I had bought last minute on Ibiza the day before. I wore something old (my underware ;-)), something new (my dress and necklace), something borrowed (my earrings and the white flower in my hear – thank you Luna) and something blue (I polished 1 nail blue). I played music and danced, feeling very happy. Then around 11 o’clock I went outside to find a nice spot in the sun, under an old plumtree with my ring in my hand. I got married to myself at 11.11h saying YES to Life, Love and Myself, while putting on my ring. Then I opened up the champagne and celebrated dancing just by myself. It was beautiful.

Three months ago, when this idea came up, I saw an invitation from Parktheatre Eindhoven for speakers during the Dutch Happiness Week (13-17 March 2017). I applied in december with my selfmarriage idea, saying that I wasn’t sure how this experiment was going to end, but that I would like to share my journey and insights. They agreed and said I was welcome. So I invited my family and friends to come to this event, that was also open for others to attend. The local newspaper got hold of my story and published an article about it.

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Thursday March 16th Parktheatre. Because of the Dutch Happiness Week my selfmarriage event was open to the public, so besides my invited family and friends there were about 30% guests that I didn’t know, around 50 people in total.

I shared my three month journey towards my self-marriage and my insights along the way. My weddingvows are a summary of my insights that I fitted into the acronym LIEFDE (which is the dutch word for LOVE). My promise is;

Listen to my body, because my body knows

Invest quality time in myself and my relationships

Emotions (all of them!) are welcome

Focus on the positive (unless something negative calls for serious attention) and Focus on the Now

Dare to be different, to be myself and to show myself

Energy is everything! (I take responsability for my own energy and uplift energy of others where I can)

My (almost 8 year old) daughter Luna wanted to ask me some questions in front of the audience, that she prepared herself without me knowing what they were. She asked me How I felt after I married myself, Why I married myself and How I did it. Great questions!

Finally I asked the audience to think of one thing that if they were to marry themselves, what promise they would want to make to themselves and to write this down on a card to take home.

Then we popped some bottles of champagne and toasted on life, love and ourselves. It felt really heartwarming to receive so many smiles, congratulations and feedback that my story had touched their hearts and made them think about their own lives.


In the evening I took my family and boyfriend out for dinner. My parents gave me a special weddingpresent, a golden necklace from my mother. What a wonderful gesture of love ❤.

I couldn’t think of a better, more perfect way to finish this three month sabbatical playful learning journey. Monday back to work, feeling whole and happy.

Lots of Love

Annemarie

Selfmarriage – awakening to wholeness

Do you know these wheels on playgrounds? For me they represent how I experienced life. The wheel is life and I can give it a swing and hop on, enjoying the flow of lif157753_g1_13_t0147e. And I have a choice to hop off to watch others having fun taking a spin. Sometimes life goes too fast and you either fall off or you can’t get on. Or it is so full of other people (having fun, or making noise) that you have to wait for your turn. So in essence, I always experienced life as something outside of myself. Of something that I was IN or OUT. And being out, as the observer, I could feel very lonely, even with having great friends and family around me. Existential loneliness.

On a mental level I understood this vision on life was false. But I couldn’t get to the core feeling of it. Knowing (mentally) and Knowing (gut feeling) are two different things.

Then I went (ofcourse) on a walk. Four days after I finished my walk from my hometown to my birthplace. During this trip I truly had fallen in love with life itself. Now it was February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Maybe it was because this highly commercialized day of love at least makes people focus on love a little more deliberate than usual. Maybe it was my imagination, but I felt a huge vibration of love in the air. I believe that when enough people focus on positive feeling energy, that the energy on a global level will rise.

And then it finally hit me. I felt this huge love for life and an insight came to me: I AM LIFE, so YES ofcourse I love myself. But also I AM the wheel, and I AM the observer, and I  AM the trees, and I AM the air, and I AM Donald Trump (Whahahahahaha).

Then I finally popped the question: Do I really want to marry ME? And the answer came very casual: “Ofcourse, why not, let’s celebrate!” So since Valentine’s Day I’m officially engaged to myself…to life…and that feels great!

Lots of Love,

Annemarie

Quote

“Life doesn’t happen to us, it happens through us”

just a little early morning inspiration

Sometimes life feels tough or challenging, as something that happens to us and there’s nothing we can do. When we are in this state, we separate ourselves from life itself (which is an illusion because we are life). And feel very lonely, sad or angry.

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When we stop resisting life’s experiences and let life (and these emotions) just move through us, like a wave in the ocean, it will move on and make space for another experience and another and another…

Life loves experiential learning (as I), so it will keep delivering experiences. And the fun part is that because in essence we are life, we are able to create the experiences that give us the greatest joy.

What do you want to experience next? What monster will you turn into a friend?

Lots of love,

Annemarie

Selfmarriage – Walking in love

img_3721I like going for a morningwalk on a regular basis (usually around 45min), so it seemed like a nice idea to walk from the house I currently live in, in Veldhoven, to the house that I was born in (where my parents still live) in Soest, Netherlands. So I put on my walking shoes, packed a little bagpack and just started walking on a Mondaymorning. I thought it would be possible to walk the distance of 125km in 5 days. This meant that I was walking 5/6 hours a day. The temperature was around zero. I navigated with google maps and sometimes a compass when I wanted to take a nice route through fields or a forest without roads. It’s funny how food becomes important when you are walking. So I navigated myself to stops for a coffee- or hot chocolate break in the morning, a nice lunch in the afternoon, a late afternoon tea or beer and a place to eat and sleep for the night. I used friends, Airbnb, booking.com and bedandbreakfast.eu for my sleeps.

img_3788I expected the trip to be about going back to my roots. It turned out differently in  a very nice way. I totally loved the experience of walking by myself for such a long time. It was about being present in the moment with all my senses being tickled; seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, touching. I totally fell in love with LIFE!

It also felt great that I could shamelessly burb, fart, talk to myself, sing and sometimes make funny dancemoves to motivate myself when I got tired or bored. A good friend recently told me that if his daughter (who’s now 6 years old) ever wants his parental advice on her boyfriend, he has two questions for her. 1. Does he make you feel good about yourself? And 2. Does he make you laugh? I learned during this trip that I can make myself feel good about myself and that I can actually make img_3785myself laugh. I’m surprisingly funny when I get bored 😉 And because I was feeling good, I met nice people, had nice conversations and ended up in very nice places. (you receive what you radiate).

On Day 3 I started having pain in my left knee. My knee was obviously less happy than I was. At the end of day 4, it really hurt badly. I ended up in a nice cosy gardenhouse, with an old dutch ‘bedstee’ and a fireplace. I asked myself the question: “What would a person who really loves herself do?” (a question I often asked myself during this selfmarriage journey, inspired by spiritual teacher Teal Swan) and I answered myself that it was totally ok to quit the next morning if my knee wasn’t feeling better. This trip wasn’t about reaching the endgoal, it was about falling in love with LIFE. And I already did accomplish that. I called my mother who planned to walk the last day with me. We decided that my parents would come the next morning and that I would decide then to walk or to ride home with them.

img_3806The next morning, after a cosy nights rest in the ‘bedstee’ with a warm water bottle (‘kruik’) my knee felt much better. My mother had brought an elastic kneeband and a walking stick. My father took my backpack home. We decided to call him if it didn’t work out and off we went. My mother is 70 years old, but very active and sporty (rows 3 times a week). She has a new hip that works perfectly. And ofcourse we started catching up while we were walking. It was funny to notice the big difference in experience of walking by myself or with someone else. After 1,5 hours I suggested to stop talking and enjoy and appreciate the nature around us.

img_3815After 5 hours of walking (with a big lunchbreak) we arrived at my parental house in Soest, where I was born 45 years ago. I made it! Feeling happy and proud.

My main insights of this trip;

Love LIFE, talk less, stretch yourself but not too much (also take care), the Netherlands are beautiful, connect to nature, spend time alone, allow yourself to get bored, do things that make you feel good, happy people connect easily to others, appreciate little things.

Lots of Love,

Annemarie

 

Video

Selfmarriage – great TEDx from Tracy McMillon

Getting married to myself – the idea

hands-making-a-heart-in-the-sunsetI decided to reframe a quiet time in my usual busy workschedule as a mini-sabbatical of three months and asking myself the question; How might I use these three months in a meaningful way?

“OMG! Are you serious?!” were my first thoughts, after an idea came to my mind in a moment of inspiration. The idea was: “I would like to get married to myself”. It gave me goosebumbs all over. I felt frightened and excited at the same time. When my body gives me this kind of reactions to an idea…I know there is something interesting to discover.

I Googled “marry myself” and found out I’m not the only one with this idea. In 2003 there was a dutch woman, Jennifer Hoes, who married herself in a real weddingdress with an official (although not legally binding) ceremony. I also found a woman in the US, Dominique, that conducted self-wedding ceremonies at Burning Man Festival in 2011. And since 2012 more individual stories of self-marriage occur, mostly by women, incidental by men.

The reason why people get married to themselves varies, from celebrating being a happy independent single to a broader vision of making a statement about selflove for a better world.

So what is my WHY? When I think of it, there are several reasons;

  • I love learning and strongly believe in experiential (playful) learning. I feel that the journey towards this selfmarriage is going to be a powerful learningexperience, because it feels weird and out of comfortzone and that’s where the magic happens…(at least that’s what I usually tell my students).
  • I’ve always had a fear of commitment (or abandonment). This would be the ultimate commitment to myself to stay true and close to myself.
  • I’m actually in the startingphase of a new relationship with a very lovable guy and I don’t want to make the same ‘mistake’ of becoming emotionally dependent on a partner and losing (parts of) myself in a relationship.
  • I’ve always been very good at neglecting bad news and focussing on my own little world of positivity and success. I feel more and more impacted by the harsh worldly reality. I believe in the need of being the change you wish to see in this world (Ghandi), so therefore self-love and self-compassion would be a good start.
  • I think a lot of people (like me) have difficulties feeling and saying that they love themselves, and that’s sad. Hopefully I will fall madly in love with myself and sharing that experience will possibly encourage and inspire others.

Lots of love,

Annemarie X