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I could never have imagined it was possible and yet, life gave it to me: the opening up of my heart and development of my ability to embody emotions. It was only some years after burnout had destroyed all the walls I had carefully constructed around myself that everything began to fall into place. Although I always longed for an adventurous, dynamic and passionate life, my high sensitivity means that there is already more than enough coming from within and my daily life needs to give me tranquillity, with focus on connection and being in the moment. For me, sentient life is experiencing vulnerability, being regularly confronted by my shadow, having and sometimes losing the right balance, unity and inner harmony and living naturally. And now I’m eager to help others benefit from everything lifemaps have to offer and to give substance to what the Master Code of Care invites us to do: take care of yourself, others, the place, the earth.

Looking in the mirror

I ended my previous career in 2013 and experienced a burnout and an expansion of awareness early in 2014. The combination changed many things for me. After years of working hard – I’ve always enjoyed working hard, and long hours – life forced to me to stop and take a good look in the mirror. It was an intensive and often difficult time. Now there are more and more moments of equilibrium. I feel that I have landed in my new mission of being of service with lifemaps. The extensive shadow work has rejuvenated me. I would like that to be visible in my appearance too. Receiving help from those around me did me good. I still don’t find it easy to share my experiences of awareness expansion and the spiritual side of my personal development with others.

Family and relationships

The next generation: two sons and two daughters-in-law who make me happy and proud. We share memories of Willem Aaij. I am amazed to see just what wonderful people they have developed into. As a parent, I was more the type who says, “You can do it yourself, I have every faith in you”, than the mother who was waiting with tea and advice. Now, I would like to immerse myself in them once more, spoil them, be there for them. I really want to reinforce the ties with family and friends. That means giving them more attention and committing to them. I regret that I have lost many of my past relationships, also from work. In my work I feel that I’m part of a network of passionate and innovative people with whom I can do business in co-creation, in whom I can invest. And I would dearly love to meet a life partner again; it’s my wish to be able to embody more love and imbue all my relationships with it.

Love for nature and sustainability

I’ve always been a nature-lover, but now it has become more profound. I feel moved by the beauty of the landscape and nature suprises me daily with a flower in full bloom or an insect I’ve never seen before. In my reorientation, I initially wanted to work on sustainable energy. But I realised that my mission is more to bring awareness-raising than it is to take action. So how can I still make my contribution in the field of sustainability? One of the strengths of lifemaps is precisely the physical, tactical working with products on the basis of paper… I therefore designed a few private measures for myself. I cleared out my excess clutter, took part in a communal living experiment, became vegetarian, got rid of the car and bought solar panels. I set myself the goal of making life and work more sustainable, a step at a time, in balance with nature. It wasn’t until late in 2018 that it became clear to me how I can contribute to awareness-raising in the areas of climate change and world ecology with my new lifemap developments.

Work is life’s work

My work has always been my life’s work to me. Work experience in key words: biologist, teacher, new business developer, strategic marketing, long-term partnerships, information technology, systemic advising, change manager, large-scale works, government and corporate industry. The core: committing the best of yourself, working for a great and higher goal with head, heart and soul and achieving valuable results with all stakeholders in the system. I incorporate everything I’ve done and learned in my life into the lifemaps. And that naturally includes what I’m experiencing now – my life and the lifemap developments seem to be closely interwoven.

Wrinkles and misses included

Lastly… Friends used to say to me: “You’re always fine. And even when you’re not, you tell an enthusiastic story about how you are dealing with it and resolving it”. Things are different now, and I can’t really get used to it. It’s still a challenge to be completely myself, and to let others see that, wrinkles and misses included. Since my awareness expansion there’s no avoiding it: I’m ‘awake’ and that means openness and transparency. Luckily, I’ve learned that wrinkles are part of life, when you get older, that the sun and shadow sides of life as a human being belong together, yes, even that the shadow side is essential to awareness-raising and personal growth.


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