Tagarchief: #coaching

Knitting myself healthy

There have been a few hard weeks lately. Nothing came out of my hands. My to do list got longer, my goals fuzzier, my frustrations heavier. I don’t know exactly what hit me. Maybe it’s just a good old autumn depression, I used to be very sensitive to that years ago. I would just crawl up on the sofa after work and try to see as less people as possible in my free time. Maybe this year is dealing with some personal issues a part of it. Maybe it is a combination. But the main thing is that I was mostly feeling down, depressed, lacking energy and just wanting to be left alone.

It is still hard to just say it out loud: I am not so well, I am feeling down. Even saying that to yourself is hard, because it means you really have to acknowledge it. And when you do that, when you admit that to yourself, you just took the first towards healing yourself.
And that is what I did. Well, actually saying it was still hard, I texted my husband one tough afternoon and I felt so relieved afterwards. Just by texting that I got a little energy shot through my veins, actually felt is. Next, I talked to a friend. And then to another. And before I knew it I just said to myself I am feeling depressed, I need to find a way to get out of here.

So, how to get out of this? If it would be so simple, I am sure depression wasn’t a thing anymore. But it is, and it is very personal, and there is no one size fits all cure. At first I pushed myself to do more physical exercise. And even though I am jogging, I could not find the energy to do more. Then I pushed myself to maybe study or read more, work related, but that didn’t work either. Then I pushed myself to work more, but even though I had plenty of ideas, everything I was trying to achieve just crumbled down from lack of enthusiasm, inspiration and again lack of energy. I was going round in circles and hated it. I didn’t feel productive, achieving , contributing. Which made me feel even more depressed.

Then I had the epiphany that in order to break this vicious circle, I needed to do whatever really made me happy and would give me energy. Something totally out of my comfort zone. Something new. Something that maybe scared me but that I really wanted to do. But what was that?

The answer came in a Facebook post one day, at random. Someone mentioned that there is a lady who is willing to teach others how to knit. And by reading that, I immediately felt a little outburst of excitement going through my body. If there is something I have always wanted to learn how to do, it was knitting and crocheting. My grandmother used to make us the most beautiful creations when I was young, and I was mesmerised but her skills. But I never learned how to do it. And for years I was talking about learning how to knit, but I was scared I couldn’t. So I never really tried, or gave up after a few attempts. Up until now. I contacted this lady, she started teaching me, and within a few weeks I finished my first knitting project. I couldn’t be more proud!

My grandmother Nana and me, wearing her knitted angora hat (angora is a big no no now) and a shawl

Knitting is not something I am leaning because I have to. Or because I could make a career out of it and earn more money. I am doing it for me. It gives me satisfaction, which makes me feel good about myself, and that positives feeling gives me back my energy. I have literary something on my hands, I have to concentrate, focus, create, count, make mistakes and fix them, and I get to see how something is growing out of my hands.

In the olden days there was popular knowledge that knitting is benefiting your mental health. And today, more and more scientific research shows that the benefits of knitting and other handicrafts goes much further. It’s an anti-stressing activity, your blood pressure goes down, you focus better, it calms you when in crises, it helps slowing the decline of brain function and more. Studies have showed that people with depression start feeling more happiness after learning how to knit and that there is a direct link between our hands and brain that activates the happiness centre in our brain. This article for the New York Times gives a good overview of the latest findings over the Health Benefits of Knitting.

Benefits of knitting are numerous.

And me, I couldn’t agree more. I feel how the fog is being lift, I have more clarity and I slowly have more energy. I am still learning how to knit and I am discovering more and more techniques each step of the way. Although I didn’t start knitting because I was aware of all these benefits, my inner compass guided me. Instinctively, intuitively, I knew its was the right thing to do. It is so worth it.

 

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Driving licence to empowerment

Yes, you see it right. I still have an old-fashioned, pink, paper driving licence. And it is a Belgian one too. How come? Well, years ago I was living in Belgium when my bag got stolen during a weekend in Sevilla. I will spare you all the details about how that happened and how the Spanish police guy looked at me in the most pitiful way: “you stupid tourist”. I ended up missing my credit card size Dutch driving licence and getting this little pink old-fashioned booklet. But soon, I have to miss my licence for about two weeks, because I need to get my Dutch one back, and I will not be able to drive around for that period in between. Bugger. The thing is, days in a row I never use the car. But when I want to, or need to, I just do.

This freedom of just driving whenever I need it’s not something I give much thought on a regular base. So why now, besides the fact that I need to change my licence and I find it really hard to plan when it’s the best time to miss my licence for two weeks?

Well, last week I have witnessed how one of my clients  has made the conscious decision that she is going to take driving lessons and get her licence. She already set the date to start. Because she wants to.  Because she realised that having her driving licence she gets steps closes to what she wants. What she really needs. She wants more independence. Being able to take the car whenever she needs to without the help of another driver, usually her husband, or not being limited by public transportation, is getting her just that.  She wants a more equal partnership with her husband, sharing more of the tasks and chores that come along with rasing children. Sharing driving to all sorts of clubs and school stuff gets her more of the kind of partnership she likes. She needs more freedom, to move around, to get closer to forests to hike, to just meet up with friends. She slowly discovers how to meet her needs.

During our sessions my client realised that getting her driving lessons will bring her much more than just the ability to drive. It is a first step towards more independence, equal partnership and freedom. And even more, it empowers her that after the first step, she can take the second, and third, and so on to follow her goals. The feeling of empowerment is the engine in believing in yourself.

When I see someone making a breakthrough my heart make a little jump. Because I know how important it is for any of us to have this moments. Breakthroughs lift a (mostly self-imposed) barrier and lead us to self-development and progress. And yes, sometimes all you need is the decision to go after a little pink driving licence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just DARE

I am a little proud. This week “Three Circles” features in the municipality newsletter N@twerk Delft.
http://www.delft.nl/Bedrijven/Nieuws_2015/‘Durf_het_hardop_te_zeggen_’

And the titles says it all: Durf het… Dare to… A long time I had so many ideas in my head, so many dreams, so many projects, so many initiatives. But I kept postponing just doing all of them because I would not dare. I was afraid I was not ready, not good enough, not experienced enough. I kept discouraging myself while so many people around me would react in a very positive way to my ideas and dreams.

Slowly but steady I took the first step. I dared to go and register my firm. Yeah! And then I dared to share the news it with my friends. And then I dared to built a facebook page and a website. And then I dared to present my ideas and my creativity with strangers. And step by step, I gained more confidence in what I am doing. And I feel I am doing well. I feel that I am growing. And I feel that I am inspiring others which makes me feel even stronger about the path taken.

So, now I am a proper Delft entrepreneur. I not only dare to say so, I feel so. I hope you dare to take the next small but significant step in your life. I know you can!

JUST DARE!