dreams

How to make your resolutions work

The year is almost over!! To me, it isn’t really hard to say goodbye, it was a difficult year in many aspects, but also a year that taught me so much about myself! Who I am, what is really important to me, what I needed to change. And I found out on a very personal level that change isn't easy (wanted or unwanted). And it's even harder when you don't have the energy to experiment new things. 

What I also found is that real change can only come from within, supported by our deepest motivation. It all starts with a wish, a desire, a longing... but for what? I learned that having clarity on what I want, and more importantly, what I truly needed, was pivotal to turn things around.

So, I'll start the new year with much more clarity on the things I would like to accomplish, and what I want to bring into my life. That empowered mindset makes me much more confident that I will reach my goals.

I stated some powerful resolutions that are aligned with my heart, body, and Soul.

What are resolutions? Wishes and dreams, goals and plans. In short, resolutions are about changes we want to make.

Having navigated many changes in all areas of my own life, as well as supporting my patients in their journey after a diagnosis or illness when I was still in the medical field, and working as a project manager on implementing complex operational changes, I have seen up close what worked and what didn't work when it comes to change.

I would like to share some thoughts about resolutions with you, to explain why they usually fail and how to approach things differently.

When you ask people about their resolutions, you usually get 3 types of response. 

  1. Well, I should quit [X] so that's what I'm gonna try. Between the brackets are things like [smoking, drinking, shopping, spending, eating chocolate, overeating, ...].

  2. Well, I should start [Y] so I'm going to do that. Between the brackets are things like [moving, running, eating healthy, being there for my family, a project, ...].

  3. Resolutions? I don't have any because they don't work anyway.

The core feelings behind those responses are:

  1. guilt

  2. guilt

  3. cynicism, defeat

Not very positive. 

This is exactly why resolutions like this usually don't work. They are stated while we are in a restrictive or judgemental emotional state. We believe we are doing something wrong and we try to fix ourselves. 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with ambition, setting goals and trying to be the better version of ourselves. But, it's important to know what that version is and whether it suits us.

Usually, the wish for change comes from a sense of urgency. Things go wrong, we don't like the results we are getting. And that leads to stress. Our systems are built to eliminate stress immediately. And the way we are wired, it leads to behavior that temporarily decreases stress -> eating, drinking, smoking, shopping, checking our phones, ... 

Oops. 

The things causing us stress, are the same things we go to as a temporary stress release. And we know it. That's where the guilt creeps in, the 'shoulds', the inner critical voice. We punish ourselves with restrictive measures (causing stress) and we call it a resolution - "I am going to be a better version of myself without this behavior. I should ... "

We humans have stress on a daily basis and we have needs on a daily basis. We want to feel safe, supported and loved. However, during our lifetimes we taught ourselves to get positive feelings through external things. Self-soothing is a lie... We don't self-soothe, we externally-look-for-soothing. We fall into the trap of feeling good for a short while though unwanted and destructive behavior, causing stress and in the long run, not giving us what we are longing for.

It's a vicious cycle. Or a downward spiral. See how this will never work?

How would it be when we were able to shift our perspective and look within to find what we need? To give the love, care, and support to ourselves? To break the cycle in a different, lasting way? To spiral up an up towards the things you truly want?

When you create change by adding restorative practices, you will decrease stress and enhance relaxation. This creates so much more space to invite new things into your life! 

To create lasting changes, you need space and clarity on your deepest motivation and your true needs.

To help you state powerful intentions that are aligned with your heart, body, and Soul, and the energies of the January New Moon, I created a 9-day online program, the WinterLight Wellness Week.

You can find more information about WinterLight HERE.

New Moon in Pisces - March 17th 2018

Spring is imminent. You can feel it, you can smell it in the air. 

I am so ready to say goodbye to the grey skies or winter... longing for spring I turn my face towards each ray of sunlight, trying to catch the warmth and support. I have never needed it more than I do now.

It's like I have been waiting for this moment to start anew. And now, on the verge of spring, just before this New Moon, at the end of Winter, climaxing towards a fresh start, I am overcome with fatigue and grief. It's like my old Self is dying inside me, it's very intense and many old themes are coming up one more time.

The Moon is entering Pisces. On March 17th, 2018, the new Moon cycle will start in this watery sign of the unconscious mind. Pisces brings us vivid dreams, emotional states and connects us to the symbolism and language of the ancient mind. The rational mind can feel threatened by this fluidity, it's not able to explain what is happening and it will try to take control. This fight with your unconscious mind can take a lot of energy, and combined with the low energetic ebb of the New Moon, you can feel very tired and empty. You may also experience detailed, or very strange dreams. Don't be afraid of them, don't try to 'explain' the meaning, just let them wash over you like a wave that sweeps you clean. Let the waters of Pisces take away any old remnants, any broken dysfunctional survival habits of the ego. It is an old ragged coat that doesn't fit you anymore. 

My dreams have been dark and scary over the last week. Last night I watched my father die and a few days back I witnessed a church shooting in my dream while I was trying to save my daughters. Both situations are not very likely to happen, my father is healthy and vital, and in my country, there are gun laws and shootings are extremely rare. But I lived it in my dream so realistically, as if I knew exactly how it was going to happen. I must admit I was keeping an eye on the news that day.

It can be heavy to wake up from those energies, but being aware of my emotions helped me to release their charge quickly. You could use deep breathing to connect with your body to calm it down while connecting with your feelings as well. They are telling you something you might want to hear.

We all have dreams about death sometimes, and it's important to remember that our unconscious mind is speaking in symbols, and not to be taken literally. 

Death indicates transformation. 

And how profound is the transformation from Winter to Spring? As I find myself at the end of a two year long 'Winter' season in my personal life in the form of burnout, there is a lot happening under the surface. My old patterns are challenged every day, as they are already dead, and new habits are surfacing. However, my ego tries to hold on to every thread. This explains the feelings of grief, as the old story is falling away, making way for something new

Old wounds are healing and we will rise.

One of my coaching clients experienced it like she was dying herself, which can be a scary experience! But as I explained to her, only the construct of ego is dying, and she will rise up, out of the ashes, and her Spirit will bloom again, this time showing her her true colors. 

Hold on, let the waves crash down on you. They will take you to the shore where they will place you carefully and lovingly in the bright Sun. (Aries, a fire sign, is up next!).

Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
— Prof. Stephen Hawking

As I was writing this Moon Report, the news of Stephen Hawking's passing reached me. Contemplating about transformation and death, I realized that, during his life, he died at least thousand deaths. Every time he lost another function of his body, due to his neurological disease called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), he had to change and transform, to reinvent himself in order to be able to breathe, speak and share his visionary ideas. 

Although (or perhaps, because?) he slowly became caged within a limited body, his mind was able to expand to an extent that is not comprehensible to many of us. And in doing so, he completely transformed our collective understanding of the Universe. 

The lesson we can learn from Prof. Hawking is, that when we are able to release our old Self, a thousand times over, we can reach for the stars. 

We are truly limitless.

The 12 Sacred Nights of Yule (midwinter)

On the 21st December, I will be celebrating my 39th Sun Return, also known as my birthday! I'm honoured to be born on this day, the Winter Solstice, or Midwinter. Although my birthday was often shaded by the busyness of Christmas, I was fascinated by the date *21-12* and the fact that the night was so long and the day so short. It felt like a special day to me for different reasons... 

Having lived with the Wheel of the Year for the last 10 years I realised more and more what this day is really about. It is truly the darkest day of the year and it is comparable to the New Moon Phase, when the moon is not visible. During the Yuletide (December 20th - December 31st) we are invited to retract, contemplate and explore our inner worlds. 

Nowadays, the period after Midwinter is a time of celebration and gathering, but historically they were a sacred time of silence, reverence, closure and looking forward to the new year. For the people in ancient times, it was the most difficult time of the year, cold, dark, without knowing whether the light would return. Their faith was challenged and to hold the vision of the light of the Sun, candles and fires were lit (a.k.a. Christmas lights!). 

Some of you may be familiar with the 12 Nights of Christmas. Originally, these 12 Sacred Nights were not associated with Christmas but with midwinter, or Yule (that's where Yuletide comes from). 

These 12 Sacred Nights are known for the insights, dreams and visions about the coming year, when we are aware and open to the messages. A lot of these messages come to us through our dreams, where the unconscious mind is thriving. 

Last year, I wrote down the dreams I had on each of these 12 consecutive nights. Each of the 12 nights corresponds to a month of the coming year. I read them back recently, and it’s almost eerie to see that my unconscious mind was already knowing what was going to happen, sometimes in great detail, sometimes through a general theme. It was a year of many changes that I couldn’t have predicted with my conscious rational mind, like quitting my job, finding my purpose, creating a new business, completing a yoga teacher training program, meeting new friends from all over the globe.... 

Looking back, it was in my Yuletide dreams already... 

As a birthday gift to you, I created a workbook, to share with you this powerful tool for accessing your inner knowledge during the 12 Sacred Nights of Yule

You can download the workbook by subscribing here.

I hope it will give you direction and clarity for the new year to come, and that it will help you find more space for yourself, peace and quiet during the frantic days around Christmas.

Blessed Yule! 

Willemijn

Full Moon in Sagittarius - 9th June 2017

On Friday June 9th 2017 the Moon will be full at 15:11:15 precise (I love the timing and the way you can mirror it... I'm a numerology geek I guess). Full Moon means that the Moon is opposite the Sun (Moon and Sun are on either side of the Earth), and we see the side of the Moon that reflects the sunlight. Full Moon is the moment that we are halfway the Moon's cycle, it's a time of things coming to fruition your intentions starting to manifest. You can expect some development in activities and plans you focussed on at the start of the cycle on May 25th when the Moon was in Gemini. This was all about gaining information on a variety of subjects, maybe learning new skills or finding a course, connecting to other people, having meaningful conversations and expanding your network. Do you see some of that happening already? 

The astrological sign of this Full Moon is Sagittarius, or the Archer, who has a need for freedom, expansion and traveling far out, exploring outer and inner worlds. I'm a Sagittarius myself and I love to explore my inner realms like others love to backpack all over on the planet.
The planet Saturn is also in the sign of Sagittarius, where it is most at ease. Saturn is the planet of responsibility, life lessons, karma, and perseverance. Together with the determination of the Archer and the Moon as the symbol of our subconscious, this Full Moon will be triggering an exploration of old patterns and beliefs holding you back from fulfilling your plans and dreams. Once identified, they can be released in the days after the Full Moon, making space in your life for the things you really want to attract and achieve. 


Keep your arrows pointed towards your goals and don't lose faith. Don't let yourself be distracted by the chatty energy of the Gemini Sun and be careful not to choose too many goals at the same time. One or two to focus on will lead to more profound changes than 8 of them partly accomplished. Be focused and determined and you will reach the destination ahead of you.

The Full Moon is influencing our bodies as well and is known for a feeling of restlessness. Most people feel outgoing and full of energy. Did you plan that neighborhood BBQ or other social gatherings around the Full Moon? Have fun!!!

Some people sleep lighter, or experience sleep disturbances during the Full Moon, causing fatigue during the day. It's possible to have more lucid dreams, dreams that are much more vivid and that you remember easily. I usually write them down to see what hidden messages from the dream time are coming through for me.

If you want to remember your dreams too, there is a way! Make sure you go to sleep with the intention to remember your dream, and when you wake up, stay in bed and focus on what lingered from the dream time. A word, a phrase, a scent, an emotion... Don't grab your phone right away! Stay with the images, smells, sounds, colors, for a while and see what comes up. It may be of help to wake up naturally instead of setting an alarm (if possible). It takes some practice to remember your dreams, but it will be easier the more you try. Write down what you remember, you can keep a small notebook and a pen next to your bed. I usually remember my dreams very well and I take the time to write them down after breakfast before I continue with my daily draw of cards. 

This week for me the dream themes seemed to be about insects, spiders and traveling, moving and airports... Catching a plane, rushing and nearly missing it. I guess my body was telling me to slow down. So I did.