A Year to Live
For those who have been following me for a long time and/or know me for a quite a while, know that in 2010-2011 I actively participated in the group process “A Year to Live”. A Buddhist-inspired process based on Steven Levine’s book of the same name. Petra Hubbeling, the initiator herself had stepped into Buddhism just then (and really went for it 100%, real exemplary behavior) asked the question on Twitter, who was interested in ‘getting into that process’. To be fully committed to think and experiment on your end of life for a full year. I really felt the call. That was for me, that message.
Afraid of death
At that time I was terribly afraid of death (and when I say it now, it seems as if I am talking about someone else, but no, it really was me, … that’s how it goes with transformation). I didn’t even dare say the word: “death”. Panic. And that’s precisely why I thought: Here’s what I need to do. Or no: I want to do something with this.
We went for it
And so it happened. We started with 13 participants (in October 2010) but the group gradually became smaller. The KRO/NRCV followed us (but after a few broadcasts they pulled the plug because many religious subscribers thought that we were dealing death ‘too light’- and that it wasn’t meant to be an inquiry into ourselves – and that we ‘weren’t allowed to see it as a game’. That of course hurt us because hey…a game? We were dead (no pun intended) serious. There is also a documentary of our process – we were followed by documentary maker Rob Smits (docu: “Klaar voor de Dood” – Buddhist Broadcasting).
We met every month
We met every month, eventually with this hard core: Petra Hubbeling, Anja Kat, Dorine Esser, Peter, Willem Schuitemaker, Anne Kleisen, Ulrike Helmer, and me. A friendship with grave maker Radboud Spruit arose. I also supervised the annual process once again in the following year.
This proces for me had real results. It was pure exposure therapy. No more fear of death, but this feeling arose: I want to choose how I live my life instead of it ‘happening’ to me.
I wanted to start living fully On My Terms. And my entrepreneurship grew alongside that desire. It is also no coincidence that I also started Tantra at that time: I wanted to get rid of my recurring depressions and have more zest for life.
Last year on my birthday I looked back. I turned 55. And again I was called to take a new step. Not suddenly, not an impulse, not ‘just another crazy idea’. No, I knew: I want to live more in nature, I want more freedom, move away from the city more. I planted a seed, wrote something about it on Facebook saying that I would see where that seed would grow to. What flower would come.
The flower is here
The desire is very specific. From the end of 2024 I will be leaving Amsterdam for five months a year, and traveling with a large camper. I don’t rule out the possibility that one day I might live permanently, work, live out of that camper…
I am live! Week one!
I wrote this very long introduction to say: you can follow this process in two ways. General updates (RSS) and paid content (for the price of a magazine you get a whole bunch of great ‘travel’ information)/ Because I’m not gone yet. But I AM officially on my way now. Life! Life! Life!