Veel sex en toch deed het er niet toe.

Gisteren viel ik over een hele stomme tekst bij de aankondiging van een tv zender RTL8:  ” Waar vrouwen van houden”. Zo stom vond ik die aankondiging. Ben dan ook benieuwd of ik de enige ben.

Toen de aankondiging van “Komt een vrouw bij de dokter” naar een boek van Kluun. Ik was toch alleen thuis en ging er eens even uitgebreid voor zitten. Hollandse film, dus ik dacht nog, veel sex. Het boek heb ik jaren geleden al eens gelezen. Mooi boek.

Ten eerste viel het me op dat ik de namen van de acteurs, duidelijk Nederlandse oude bekenden, gewoon niet meer wist. Gevolg van drie jaar Buitenland. Wel lekker die man! Barry Atsma, hoorde ik later. Het verhaal kwam langzaam bij me terug. In het begin zat ik er heel ontspannen bij en ik dacht even aan mijn vriendin. Ze heeft ook zo bij de dokter gezeten toen ze de diagnose kanker kreeg. Een andere soort, maar toch. Dankbaar en blij dat het zo goed met haar gaat.

De film greep me langzaam maar zeker aan. Ik merkte dat al door mijn irritatie, over de reclame tussendoor. Ik wilde verder kijken. De vrouwen in deze film vond ik ook zo mooi en puur. Amsterdam en de herkenbare behoefte aan zorgeloos partij maken. En toen kwam mijn schatje thuis. Hij kwam bij me zitten en ook hij keek naar “Waar vrouwen van houden”. Ik dacht nog, wel je mond houden, ik zit er helemaal in nu.

Samen zagen wij hoe prachtig dit proces verfilmd was. Hoe eenzaam ziek zijn is en ook hoe eenzaam voor de partner. Ieder zijn eigen proces in dit verdriet en die lange rouw die allang begint, nog voor iemand dood gaat. Het afscheidsproces van een gezond lijf naar een niet meer goed functionerend lijf, afscheid van gewoontes die je er niet meer op na kunt houden en de wijze waarop juist behoeftes zich zo kunnen uitvergroten. Buiten proportioneel misschien maar wie bepaalt dat?

Als voorstander van het bespreekbaar maken van moeilijke onderwerpen, informeerde ik voorzichtig bij mijn lief hoe hij hierover dacht. Zaten we eigenlijk op een lijn, als we dit zo zagen. Met weinig woorden wisten we precies waar wij voor staan. We kennen elkaar al zo lang. Maar niet ziek worden hoor! Doodeng. Je verandert gewoon onvermijdelijk. Mensen die me langer kennen zullen wel denken, nu gaat ze weer zeggen dat ze dankbaar is. Dat ben ik ook.

De laatste 30 minuten van de film heb ik gehuild en daarna nog 30 minuten, omdat ik niet kon stoppen. Niet hysterisch maar wel onophoudelijk. Wat een angst om je geliefde door zo’n hel te moeten zien gaan. En er dan ook nog voor elkaar moeten zijn. Vrienden en omgeving met al hun goedbedoelde steun en of verwachtingen. Ik zou gek worden. En dan zo’n vrouw. Die ook ergens weer een functie heeft. En liegen. Zo’n hekel aan liegen. Maar de waarheid is soms nog erger.  Mijn motto ‘ als je iets doet, doe het dan goed’, kwam weer even terug. Doe het dan zo dat ik er niet achter kom en dat het niet uit komt. Als je je openstelt voor een ander ben je direct ook kwetsbaar en chantabel. Nou ja. Doodeng.

En dan het doodgaan en al die nieuwe mogelijkheden thuis. Zo’n arts, die zich ook kwetsbaar opstelt. Ik blijf bewondering houden voor goede huisartsen. Wat een vak. Respect.

Ook vandaag was ik er nog mee bezig. Fietsend met mijn kinderen naar school. Allemaal gezond en wel. In deze prachtige stad. Gelukkig. Wat een film en wat een boek. Bedankt Kluun.

 

You want happy ending?

I know, this sounds weird. I love weird. The reason why I start my blog with these words, is my true love for and deep commitment to take care of happy endings. For me and for my clients, friends, and family.

I’m thinking about the divorce ritual I’ve been writing about in an earlier blog. Because I belief that ending a marriage does not have to be only a negative thing. We’ve had a great Farewell-party  Yesterday. My husband has a new job, and he made a great speech for his former colleagues. They had a great speech for him too. I was so grateful for this positive experience.

Last week, I also had a follow-up conversation with one of my first clients. She wanted to meet up, to tell me how good she was doing. Grateful again en happy to celebrate with her.

Last night I had a short conversation with a friend about a very negative “exit experience” she’s had, and how this still influences her life in a major way. I feel like there is a lot you can win by even doing constellations or maybe a kind of ritual. Sometimes you cannot change what happened but you can change the way you think about what happened. Like a decision. A decision to acknowledge the hurt or the pain and to let go..and move on.

And last but not least, rituals about sickness and death. The importance of a nice personal ceremony at the funeral or even the freedom or possibility  to just be with a sick person.

I am sure I can be of great use to help people with this.  Not only my experiences as a Nurse, but also my Mindfulness practice at the Sangha, made me very aware of all the things you can do to create Happy Endings. Just share this knowledge, and reach out to me.2012-11-14 09.22.55

 

Have you ever done a “Contemplation meditation”?

This morning I invited people over to meditate with me at my house. Just an open invitation, and no one came. Haha.

It was just me and my dog, and I decided to do a guided meditation from my App ” Insight timer”. I had all the time of the world so I challenged myself to do an hour-long Meditation. This meditation was so new and different that I feel the need to share it with all of you.

From a short standing meditation, to concentrate on my breath and activating heat in the soles of my feet, I was invited to sit in a comfortable straight up meditation position. Focus on just breathing for a while. Breathing in and slowly breathing out, making a note of the rising and falling of your abdomen. Rising, falling, rising, falling. Just know it, and note it, and bring your attention to your breath. Check-in with your mind for a second, where is your mind? And bring back your concentration to your breath again and calm down, close your eyes to go more inwards after.

This is a concentration meditation on 5 outer objects.

1) Concentrate on your hair, on top of your head ( honestly??? Yes, just do it..)

Try to see your hair, know your hair, the color, the length, the structure. Try to see how it grows out of your skin, how you wash it, brush it, know your hair. Try to see how your hair always changes, your hair when you were young, your hair as you grow old, grey hair maybe, less hair, it changes every day.

You have to take care of it, it’s growing, if you want it or not, it just does. Contemplate your hair.

2) Slowly move your attention to your eyebrows. Try to see your eyebrows, or just know your eyebrows. The color, the shape. Eyebrows, eyebrows. And know how the hair grows out of the skin.

And go to your eye-lashes. Notice how it grows out of your eye-lit. Know your hair around your eyes. Try to see it from the inside, contemplate your own body. Your true nature, always changing.

3)Move slowly to your mouth. Know your mouth, especially your teeth. Notice how your teeth grow out of your gum. The color of your gum, the color of your teeth. Your teeth and gum are changing too. As a child you lost your first teeth and maybe you will loose the second teeth too or maybe you’ll need treatment, have pain. Our teeth help us chewing our food and digesting it. Know your teeth, see your teeth and breath.

You have to take care of them, brush them, clean them. They change permanently. They are also not permanent. No control, it’s part of our true nature to loose our teeth. Know your teeth and be grateful.

4) Now slowly go with your attention to your neck, arms, hands, fingers and to your nails. Your finger nails. See them and know your finger nails. Notice how they feel, what they look like, their shape, color, where the skin ends and where the hard nail begins.

Your nails change, they grow, dirt collects under your nails, you have to take care of your nails, cut them, and clean them. They change, whether you want to or not. They do.

Sitting criss cross, slowly walk down to your feet and to your toe nails. from toe to toe. Know your toe nails. see them, know them. Know how they grow out of the skin, different than the finger nails, harder, bigger. You have to take care of them too. Know your toe nails, see them.

Be aware of your sitting position. Contemplate your body, your changing body, it’s true nature. It is born, it changes every day and it will die one day. That’s what the body does.

5) Now concentrate or bring your attention to your skin. Your skin, yes your skin. It covers the soles of your feet, your legs and know how the skin covers your upper legs, your lower body, your upper body, shoulders, neck, arms, elbows, hands, fingers. Skin, skin, always changing, your whole body covered by your skin. Used to be soft and smooth and now it’s growing old and maybe showing some wrinkles, it changes every day.

You have to take care of your skin, wash it ( sweat, smell) clean it, it get’s dirty every day, that’s what your skin does, it’s true nature. Notice the importance of your skin to your body.

So, we first focussed on our breath to concentrate and calm our minds, and we started contemplating the 5 outer objects of our bodies growing, our true nature, no control, just noticing, healing and clear. If you practice this meditation more often you might see the Impermanence of you and your body very clear, a true wisdom. This is part of the first and most important practices of the Monks.

And a last wisdom to share:

  • I have a body, but I’m not my body.
  • I have a mind, but I’m not my mind.
  • I have emotion, but I’m not my emotions.

Namaste.

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How is your Fertility IQ?

While reading a lot about emerging adulthood and twenty somethings, I’m also learning a lot of facts on fertility. Research on fertility has been described in Meg Jay’s book ( The Defining Decade) and in the  book I’m reading now, by Robin Marantz Henig and Samantha Henig ( Why do young adults seem stuck?). I’d like to share some of the facts on fertility with you.

*Female fertility declines (lower ability to get pregnant/ to carry a baby to term) because of a decrease in egg quality and a less effective hormonal regulation (endocrine system). Age 20= peak in female fertility, age 30 fertility 50%, age 35 fertility 25%, age 40 fertility 12,5%!

* Facts on months it takes to get pregnant. Age 20-30 , it takes about 4-5 months of having sex at the right time, to get pregnant. Age 35-40 it takes about 5-20 months and age 40 and up it takes more than 20 months of trying to get pregnant.

* Age 35 and up 1/4 of pregnancy’s and up in a miscarriage. Age 40 and up 1/2 of pregnancy’s and up in miscarriages.

* Fertility treatment might work but cost a lot and there is no guarantee. The Fertility treatment cost about $25.000 when age 20+, $35.000 when age 35+, $100.000 when age 40+and about $300.000 when age 42+!

* IVF success rates of another survey : Under age 35 only 68-86 % ended up with a live birth and age 40 and up only 23-42% ended up with a live birth.

* There is not only a downside to late pregnancy ( Medical complications for women) but also an upsides. Having kids when older give more positive parent-child relationships, greater emotional involvement, lower signs of stress and happier mothers. Women can also achieve higher earnings by delaying pregnancy. Wages increase up to 9 percent of life-time earnings.

* Women delaying their pregnancy, can still expect optimal health outcome of the mother. Looking at the health of the mother it’s best to have your first-born at the age 34 and according to another survey it is best to have your last born at the age 35.

* Fathers over age 40 increase their babies risk of a variety of problems, in particular childhood cancer, auto-immune disease, schizophrenia and autism.

* “Grandparents” are much older by the time they are needed most.

These are some of the things I was reading. I hope I got all the facts right.  Please read these books to know more about the numbers written above.

For me it was very eye-opening to read about the research on this and I feel every young adult could make better choices reading about these things while delaying, before it’s too late to maybe have a child some day. I would have liked someone telling me this at the age of 22 maybe, just to be more aware of your options and to have more clarity. I was 32 when I had my first born and 34 when I had my last born. Seems alright but it was harder to get pregnant than I expected.

Getting children (or not) is only one of the big transitions for young adults. I will write more about these transitions next time.

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My Mindfulness based stress reduction

Yes, I’m so excited! I signed up for a 5 Day program of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction at te University of Massachusetts Medical School and I am actually admitted. I’ve just been informed.
This MBSR program was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. People who learned to practice mindfulness report increased awareness and concentration, and the ability, to cope more effectively with stress, illness and other forms of suffering.
I’m looking forward to have 5 days of education and practice. I can look forward only to just driving my car on my own the first day, ready to meet new interesting people and just listening to the teachers. I love listening. I like reading and writing but listening is really relaxing to me. Especially on health-related topics like this. The Nurse in me is still very alive I guess.
MBSR is a complement to medical treatment. Wouldn’t it be great if I could help others with MBSR tools to reduce some of the pain?

My personal experience with Loss

When I was 8 years old my dad had a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 38 and had four little girls. He did not only lose a lot of his health at that point but he lost his job too. He was the owner of a large Plumbers business at that time. The business was sold.

I saw him struggling with his health and his manliness, not being able to take care of his own family. We were a little lost too.

But he is still here! I witnessed him gaining back his health little by little and he did not only recover very well but he is extremely fit now for his age. ” the man” again. We are so proud of him.

I know this made me a better nurse and an expert by experience. At home we learned how to talk about expectations or needs and most of all we learned how to listen to each other. We are a very close family (although I live far away).

I would love to coach families in similar situations.

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