Daring greatly

A couple of years ago, I made drawings of my cat and my rabbit. Despite having some limiting believes about my drawing skills, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out. Not the work of a great artist, but I actually thought it looked good enough (maybe even to hang somewhere in my house). Pleased with my accomplishment I showed someone my drawings and this person responded with: Yeah… wouldn’t hang that in the living room.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe anymore, like all the air had been punched out of my lungs. I felt like crying and crawling away in the smallest and darkest place I could find. It hit me, really, really hard. Having issues with perfection, I was quite proud of myself for being ok with something that wasn’t perfect, and then this. So much for ok, I put the drawings away in the attic and never had the courage to show them to anyone again.

Right now I’m reading “Daring greatly” by Brene Brown. It’s about vulnerability in a world where things are “never enough”. About the things we do to armor ourselves against being vulnerable and what it does to us and others and how we can learn to open ourselves up. I recognize a lot in this book. How I want to be perfect in everything I do, because I feel when I don’t I won’t be worthy of love. That’s why I was so crushed about the remark of my drawings. It wasn’t about the drawings not being good enough, it was about me not being good enough. Over the past couple of years I’ve learned a lot and yet it is still challenging to let go of the “perfection armor”.

I’ve decided to start challenging myself to try to not want to be perfect anymore. I know I can’t reach perfection and it’s not exactly making my life easier and/or more enjoyable. Instead, I’m aiming for being myself and knowing I’m good enough the way I am.

As part of this challenge I decided to add the drawings I made, because I don’t want to be afraid anymore of what other people think. And regardless of what others think of the drawings, I want to feel I am still good enough. Daring greatly by taking one small step at the time.

flup nan

Chicken soup and not much more

Well, I officially survived the first two days 🙂 . Like I said, at first very few foods are allowed and apart from the grape juice and mint tea they were not really my taste.

Monday started kind of weird. Instead of making my usual smoothie I had to grab my book to see what to do. I made a “baked cheesecake” with carrots. It was edible, definitely not making it again. Lunch was two hard boiled eggs (the only decent way to eat an egg when not baked into something 🙂 ).

Sunday I started making my chicken soup. I had bought a whole chicken and borrowed a slow cooker from my neighbor. Chicken in de pot and cooker on, easy peasy. After a while the entire house smelled like chicken 🙁 (for people that don’t know me, I really don’t like meat or the smell of it). Later I added some veggies to give the broth a little bit more taste. The gross part was dissecting the chicken, but I did it, in fact, I even ate it. Well, few pieces anyway, still don’t like it. The broth was ok.

For dessert I had gelatin from grape juice with honey. Loooooooots of honey, I think I may have overdone a little. Friday I made gelatin for the first time and thought just grape juice would be sweet enough. Huge mistake, it was disgusting. I didn’t like the taste or the texture, so I threw it out. Wasn’t going to make that mistake again. So, second try, I added lots of honey. Still don’t like the gelatin. The taste is now ok-ish, but I really don’t like the texture of it. Since there was not much else except chicken soup, I ate some of it. Survived day one without hunger.

Day two, I definitely wasn’t going to make the “cheesecakey” stuff so I had carrot pancakes for breakfast. After all, who doesn’t like pancakes for breakfast? Actually I don’t, I don’t like warm breakfast, but eating gelatin for breakfast was far less appealing, so pancakes it was. I cooked some carrots, squeezed out the water, added some eggs and spices and started baking. They were ok, a little bit too eggy to my taste, but I think, when added some more carrots, it could actually work. Also I didn’t taste my spices (cinnamon, cloves and cardamom) anymore, so I need to increase that as well.
Lunch was a boiled egg, and I had already had 4 eggs in my pancakes. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten that many eggs in one day. Eggs are far better than meat, yet still not something I care for.

In the afternoon I decided to experiment with the gelatin. Lisa said she liked it, so I wanted to try to make some fruit gummies. I thought the regular recipe was a little bit too soft for a candy treat, so I used a little bit less juice. This time I also poured them into a mold to make “candies” out of it. Luckily she likes them, I’d rather have her eat these than store bought candy. I don’t like ‘m. They made me nauseas, there’s something about that gelatin stuff that doesn’t work for me. Since my food options are very limited, I decided to do another experiment. I took some of the gelatin and poured in a lot of extra juice. After a couple of hours in the fridge it had a jam-ish texture and was way more edible. Next experiment with gelatin will be making jam.

Today I can start adding new foods, yay!!!! This morning I started with banana pancakes (just one really ripe banana and 2 eggs and some spices). The first one was really great, I made it really thin and the spices were perfect. Unfortunately, they’re really sticky and fall apart easily so I made ‘m a little smaller and thicker. They’re still good to eat, just not as great as the first one. Next pancake experiment will be banana/carrot pancake. I guess cooking is my new hobby 🙁 .

So, how do I feel right now? My stomach is doing pretty good and I don’t have to go to the bathroom that often anymore. Nausea, which is something that’s usually there (just lightly, I won’t have to throw up and I can eat through it and it comes and goes) is still here for now. Having pretty high hopes for the future 🙂 .

Let food be thy medicine

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

Today I started the so called Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD). The goal is to reset your (immune) system and find out what foods you can and cannot tolerate. The first couple of days you start with a very limited choice of foods; basically chicken(broth), eggs and cooked carrots and then, you slowly start adding new foods.

After my colonoscopy I noticed I felt a little better the first two days. Then, it gradually went back to the before situation. More or less by accident I stopped eating yogurt. I love yogurt and I used to eat it every morning, but about two weeks ago I ran out of yogurt and I was too tired to go to the store just to buy some yogurt. So, I decided to do without yogurt until I had to do groceries again. Later that week I had my appointment with my gastroenterologist (GI) and told him about my experience after the colonoscopy. He suggested I try either the SCD or Low FODMAP (the details are slightly different, but it basically comes down to the same). I choose the SCD (because it has a wider variety of allowed fruits) and started reading. Since regular yogurt isn’t allowed on the diet, I didn’t bother to buy yogurt anymore and about a week and a half later I realized I felt a little better and had some more energy. I know it may be a coincidence, but it did occur to me I had not eaten yogurt for over a week.

My GI gave me a referral to a registered dietitian who has experience with the SCD. Since it’s a very restrictive diet, it’s nice to have some help with it. My first appointment is in March, the earliest available moment. I didn’t want to wait that long to start with my diet so I took a week to prepare and started today.
This morning, my breakfast consisted of cooked carrot, an egg, dry curd cottage cheese (this doesn’t contain lactose, I had never heard of it, but luckily they sell it at whole foods) with some honey and cinnamon mixed together and baked for about 20 minutes. In the oven it actually smelled pretty good. I wish it had tasted as good as it smelled, but it was edible and it definitely beats eating meat 🙂 . The first two days will be most challenging, then I can start adding things back in to my diet. For now I will keep experimenting with the carrots.

Mr. M. is very supportive and he even said he will join the diet (for dinner), so I won’t have to cook different kinds of food. Since I still don’t like to cook yet, I really appreciate that and I feel blessed with such a supportive husband. Luckily (unprocessed) meats are allowed so that’ll make it a little bit easier for him.

Definitely to be continued 🙂 …


The art of fashion

A couple of weeks ago, I bought some fabric to make fabric panels. Since the prints are fashion related I wanted to hang them in Lisa’s walk in closet to be some day. Our plans shifted a little, so I’m not sure she will have a walk in closet, but I really like the prints and I think the panels will be really nice, so I want to make them anyway. Last week I was so happy to have a good day and I actually went out and bought some cheap blank canvases.


Next, I cut the fabric, folded it over the edges and stapled it on the back. Pretty simple. I think it took me about 15 minutes. Since I’m slightly OCD I had to check frequently to see if the fabric was in the right place and adjust it. If the fabric allows it and/or you’re not OCD it will probably take 5 minutes. Little time, little effort and great, unique wall art.

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One down, one to go 🙂 . I’m happy with the result and even better, Lisa was happy with the result.

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Ego wise

Maybe you read Ego logic in which I wrote about my challenge in dealing with Ego. One comment told how the advice to ignore Ego really made a difference to that person. It made me think, can I just ignore Ego?

What I found out is that Ego represents my young self (and I’m soooo curious how this is for other people, so if you’d like to share, please do). When I was young, I did not have a lot of coping skills, none actually. Basically it came down to trying really really hard to be perfect, hoping that would give me the love and attention I longed for so much. Anything that questioned that perfection was a threat. Ego tried to protect my young self by defending me against anything that threatened my perfection and therefor my chance on love and attention.

It makes perfect sense. It also made me see Ego in an entirely different perspective. Ego isn’t bad, Ego is just trying to survive in the only way it knows how. Knowing that, I can look at Ego with love and compassion instead of anger and annoyance.
Ego is usually the first to speak up and now, I listen. I listen to what is has to say and I thank it for speaking up and trying to protect me. Then, I tell Ego that I’m a grown up now and that I now know a whole bunch of survival skills and that I can and will handle the situation and it doesn’t have to worry. When I do that, it will slowly back off. Still skeptical, but willing to give it a chance.

For me, this works so much better. I can try to ignore Ego, but that would mean ignoring a part of myself. And if I ignore a part of myself, I’m ignoring myself, the very thing I dread so much. Second, I’m ignoring (part of) the problem and you can’t solve a problem when your ignore it.
Ignoring Ego would just cause it to speak louder and louder until it feels it’s being heard, after all, that is its job.

Dealing with Ego is still a challenge and yet, I’m already starting to notice the difference and the impact of looking at and dealing with Ego in this way.

Everybody’s got talent

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.

Have you ever wondered what your talents are and/or if you have a vocation? I’m really curious if other people know their talents and if they do, whether they found where their talents cross the needs of the world. How do you know your talents and how do you know you found your vocation? Do you just know?

I’m still looking for my talents, let alone my vocation. Due to some limiting beliefs that are not totally gone yet, I still feel as if I don’t have talents. Or at least, I don’t consider it to be talents. Yes, getting those limiting beliefs out of my system is still quite a challenge for me.
Despite that, ever since my NLP practitioner training I have this feeling that I want to help people and to inspire them. Yeahhhh…that narrows it down, doesn’t it? Depending on your interpretation of helping people, there are, I don’t know how many ways to “help” people. For a while I have been thinking about coaching people. Like I said, there are still some limiting beliefs I need to deal with, apart from that, at the moment my health requires my attention more.

So what is talent? The dictionary says: natural aptitude or skill. Limiting belief says: no natural aptitude for anything; skills? The only thing I think I’m really good at is reading; not sure what need of the world that would cross. Ergo, no talents.

And then, there’s good old Ego. Remember Ego? Ego needs to be needed, to be heard. Not to help others, just to feel good about itself, that it’s needed by others. Ego wants to be special and do incredibly awesome stuff. Not like becoming a movie star or something, but like being a really, really smart person who knows what other people need and gives wise advice. Actually, that’s the kind of person Ego needs, it just doesn’t realize it (yet) 🙂 .

Back to my talents. Ego wants me to think big as in: ready to join the Olympics; and I realize I have to think small, everyday life. Like: taking care of my family, reading, writing, crafting, being kind to others and reflecting on myself. And maybe instead of trying to help others, I need to help myself (first). And that’s what writing this blog does for me. It helps me sort out my thoughts and reflect on myself, even though it isn’t always pretty. And, if along the way it may help others as well, that’s a nice side effect.

I don’t know if this feeling of wanting to help others could be a vocation. I realize it could very well just be Ego who needs to be needed. Ego wants to go viral so everyone can enjoy it’s supposedly wise words. Told you it isn’t pretty 🙁 . Ego is very, very persistent and I really need to let go of Ego. Anyone know a good way to have Ego shut it’s big mouth? Would make life so much easier.

I believe everybody has their own talents, even if we don’t always perceive it that way. This world is so focused on money, looks and success that it can be hard to see that smaller things can be talents as well and that those talents are needed by ourselves and the people around us. And maybe my vocation is to help myself so I can be a caring and loving wife, mother and friend. I don’t know, I still haven’t figured out how one knows their vocation. Suggestions are welcome.


I have a dream

In the US, January 18th is a federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy (this day is his birthday). Yes, I realize I’m a day late 🙂 yesterday I was too tired to write two posts. Of course I could’ve just skipped it, but I feel the present world can use a reminder of the wise words he spoke.

Men often hate each other, because they fear each other; they fear each other, because they don’t know each other, they don’t know each other, because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated.

Maybe people are not always literally separated anymore, but often their thinking and believes are. People don’t know each other and that creates fear.
Take the New Year’s eve attacks in Cologne in which several asylum seekers are suspect. I think most people will agree that that the attackers need to be brought to justice, no matter their color, country of origin or religion (and by justice I mean having a fair trial, not people taking matters in their own hands). And of course attacks like this cause fear and offence.

What frightens me though, is how some people (ab)use these attacks to demonize all Muslims (to them asylum seeker equals Muslim). And they make it seem as if the bad in the world comes from Muslims only, conveniently ignoring that a lot of bad things are being done by their “own” people. And apparently there are a lot of people that just believe that, seemingly without giving it any further thought. And the less you know about some else’s religion, believes and culture, the easier it is to think they are the root of all evil.

On Facebook I read the story of a Dutch lawyer. In short, this lawyer for 24 years stated that he couldn’t recollect any Muslim suspects in the rape cases he represented. He didn’t judge or approve or defend anyone or anything. He just told about his experience in his own practice. He tells about the reactions he got on his tweet. The mild ones accuse him of looking the other way, being stupid, being an autist etc. Others are wishing for him (and his family!) to be raped. And apparently there were responses that were just so horrific that they’ve been taken down.

It scares me that people who are protesting loudly against violence and threats (which is a good thing) are using such violent and aggressive language themselves when they think someone disagrees with them. After all, what someone does/says is a reflection of themselves, of their inner world, and honestly, this isn’t a pretty picture.

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.

Let’s all think intensively and critically for ourselves and teach our children to do the same. And hopefully, one day my dream will come true; a world in which we all can live together in harmony and peace, respecting each other and accepting our differences that give the world it’s color.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.




First of all I want to thank all of you for the good wishes. Friday at 2 pm it was time for my colonoscopy. The doctor and the nurses were great.
After the procedure we got the results. So glad Mr. M. was there with me, because honestly, I can barely remember anything (I slept like a baby that night, good stuff 🙂 ). Good news: my colon and small bowel are nice and clean, no inflammation at all. Or, as Mr. M. so eloquently said, I’m beautiful on the inside 🙂 . Remains the question: what is causing my symptoms?

Since the endoscope can’t reach everything, the doctor wants to do a capsule endoscopy. This means I will have to swallow a capsule that contains a tiny camera that will take photos and allow a look into my small intestines. Because you’re not allowed to take iron 5 days before the procedure, I couldn’t schedule for this week anymore, so now I’m scheduled for the 27th. The day after, I need to go in to have an abdominal X-ray taken (to make sure everything went well).

I’m glad to say I feel better than the past week, so that’s good. Still, it needs to get better (a lot). So, for now, the story continues. If you’d like to know how it ends, just stay tuned… 🙂 .


Good morning to you from this morning’s favorite spot, the bathroom. I’m having a colonoscopy later this day and thanks to the colonoscopy prep I am spending most of my morning in the bathroom. It could be worse though. Like drinking the prep… by far the worst thing I’ve ever tasted. Oh well, I only had to drink 4 liters (a little over a gallon) of that stuff 🙂 .
Gotta love internet, now I can keep you all posted about what’s going on, real-time 🙂 .

Ok, I won’t gross you out (anymore). As you may know, I haven’t been feeling to well the past weeks. At first my new meds seemed to work and I felt better and got a little bit more energy. Beginning of January it was like the meds stopped working and it started to come back little by little. Wednesday I talked to my doctor and he thought it best to do a colonoscopy and see what’s going on. Luckily he could squeeze me in for a colonoscopy today.

Hopefully the colonoscopy will show what’s going on and can I get the right medication to get this thing under control.

So, to be continued…

Ego logic

How people treat you, is their karma; how you react, is yours.
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Somehow I have the idea I have to be perfect. I know, I know… that’s not possible, still I want to.
So whenever I feel someone mistreats me or criticizes me, my ego goes ballistic. Ego tries to blame anyone but itself and gets angry and upset. Even though Ego doesn’t like everyone, Ego wants to be liked by everyone, if not, Ego feels rejected. Ego has its own logic and basically is a little kid that throws tantrums and refuses to grow up. Dealing with Ego is… quite a challenge.

A while ago I remembered something from my NLP training (apparently I wasn’t ready for it at that time): whatever some says or does, is a reflection of them, not me. However I respond to it, is a reflection of me, not them.

Although Ego is always there first to shout murder, I’m getting better at ignoring Ego and analyzing the situation. What actually happened, what did someone really say or do, how does that make me feel and why? Often it is just Ego whining, feeling sorry itself. And even if I think that what someone did or said wasn’t very nice, I’m getting better at seeing it as something that belongs to them, not me. At the same time, I try to keep in mind that the way I respond to them is my part and a reflection of my inner world.

Like I said, quite a challenge. My own inner world isn’t as peaceful yet as I’d like it to be, especially at moments like this, when my entire body feels like one giant inflammation and I need all of my energy to keep things going at home. Yet, I think I’m doing pretty good, one small step at a time. All that counts is moving on forward.