Groundbreaking research: Emotions work differently than you think

It should have been a revolution. The research of neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett about emotions. Neuroscientists, therapists and psychologists should have shouted it from the rooftops and developed new methods, techniques and therapies in the past few years, based on this newly acquired knowledge. But unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth.

How is that possible? Is there too little money to be made? Is less attention given because the scientist is a woman? Or are psychologists, therapists and scientists afraid that otherwise they will have to completely overhaul their methods?

How emotions are made

I don’t know the answer, but I do know it needs to change. It’s like holding onto the idea that the earth is flat, when three years earlier someone discovered that the earth is round. Therefore: order Barret’s brilliant book ‘How Emotions Are Made’, read this article and share this knowledge! It is of vital importance in the fields of psychology, neurology, law and medicine, as well as in your personal life and relationships.

Emotions do not work or arise as we have thought for decades. In fact, they do not arise, they are constructed based on the concepts in our brain.

These groundbreaking insights came from the study:

  • Emotions are not reactions to external events
  • Newborns have no emotions
  • You cannot determine from the outside what emotion someone is going through
  • It is not true that certain parts of your brain (such as the amygdala) are responsible for your emotions.
  • Emotions are not located in a certain part of your brain (the reptilian brain)
  • Emotions are not universal, but culturally determined

The brain continuously predicts

The main job of the brain is prediction. We do this all the time, millions of times a day.

We perceive something, for example a transparent flat rectangle through which light shines, and predict: that’s a window. Or we see a person with a hat on and a pipe in the mouth and predict: that’s Grandpa.

The same also happens with sports; for example, we predict where the ball will end up and can anticipate in time. If we waited until the ball was already there before reacting, we would be too late. That’s how it works with reading; by predicting which words are there, we can read a sentence faster than if we were going through each letter.

Predictions determine our reality

We make predictions based on concepts in our brain. All previous events in our lives, we have generalized in our brain as concepts to be able to make decisions faster and thus use our body more energy-efficiently.

Through previous experiences, ideas arise about what a particular concept means to us. We have concepts about tables, chairs, plants and animals. But we also have concepts about less tangible things like love, honesty, marriage, success, rejection, shame.

When a new experience occurs, our subconscious searches for a memory with a similar concept. Based on the concept of what fits best, the brain makes predictions and fires an emotion.

Best guesses

These predictions are your brain’s best guesses of what’s happening in the world around you and how best to respond to it. If the prediction appears to be correct enough, observation and prediction are aligned. We usually make good predictions. The older you get, the more concepts you have in your brain, so the more likely you are to make a correct prediction.

Although it sometimes happens that we make a wrong prediction. Fortunately, otherwise we would never again be surprised or experience anything new. So your child can in a fraction of a second mistaken the neighbor – who also has a beard and pipe – for her grandfather.

Or you think you see a grass snake moving in the bushes, but it turns out to be the garden hose. If your senses are given a little longer to send information to the brain, they can correct the wrong prediction. But they can also adapt the data we absorb from the outside world to the forecast. In that case you might see a grass snake that wasn’t there.

We can only see what we believe

What we observe is also based on simulations and predictions. Barret explains in her book that only 10% of what we perceive is based on information from the retina (the lens in your eye). The other 90% are connections to other parts of the brain, which make predictions about what we think we see.

So our predictions determine what we see! If we don’t have a concept about something, we can’t perceive it. So in fact we can only see what we believe. So our brain constructs something based on everything we have experienced in our life and thus creates our reality.

Unbelievable right? But it gets even more interesting!

Emotions are predictions

It works the same way with emotions. Our brains are constantly receiving signals from our body from our internal organs, tissues, the hormones in our blood and our immune system. Like changing your breathing, the rumbling of your stomach and the rhythm of your heartbeat. These sensory signals from the body have no objective meaning.

Your brain uses concepts to make sense of both internal and external sensations in the world, all at the same time. Interpreting these sensory signals is called interoception, also known as our eighth sense.

For example, you can experience pain in your stomach as hunger or mistrust. But if you’re waiting for a doctor’s result, that same pain can also mean anxiety. Or if your ex just walks by with a new partner, you might interpret it as sadness or jealousy.

Emotions start with sensory feelings

Interoception is important for balancing your ‘body budget’ – your body’s energy needs. The brain constantly predicts how much energy the body needs to ensure that all systems in the body work properly. Based on the prediction from your body, an immediate adjustment is made in the body to prepare it for the prediction. Your blood pressure changes, your glucose increases, your breathing speeds up, etc.

We experience these changes in our ‘body budget’ as emotions. Too little glucose in your body can make you feel exhausted, lack of sleep can make you feel down, and lack of affection can make you feel lonely. These are all subjective interpretations based on your concepts.

When a neurological network collects this sensory information and predicts something based on our self-created concepts, emotions arise. So emotions don’t necessarily mean that something is wrong, but just that your ‘body budget’ is out of balance for a while. With negative emotions, our brain is actually letting us know that we need to replenish certain reserves.

The consequences of ‘wrong’ predictions

In her book, Barrett tells of a fellow student, she wasn’t attracted to, who asked her out. Nevertheless she decides to have a drink with him and as it gets a bit later in the evening, she is surprised to find that she occasionally blushes on her cheeks and feels ‘butterflies’ in her stomach. Apparently she likes the colleague more than she thought. Until she comes home and throws up. She interpreted the rumbling in her stomach and the warmth in her face as feeling in love, when in reality she was getting sick.

Another interesting example is the research that scientists did in Israel. They found that judges who had to decide whether inmates could be released early were significantly more likely to reject the request if the trial took place just before lunchtime. The judges appeared to interpret the signals from their abdomen not as hunger, but as a ‘gut feeling’ that it did not feel right to release the person on parole. Immediately after lunch, the judges released the inmates on parole as frequently as they were used to.

Imagine how many ‘wrong’ predictions we humans make every day with dire consequences for others and ourselves.


– Our emotions are constructed. Emotions seem to come from our bodies, but they are constructed by predictions based on our concepts. One prediction wins and becomes our experience.

– Our concepts determine our reality. Everything we have experienced in the past is programmed in that sense to happen again in the future. Because we make the same predictions again and the same emotions arise based on the same concepts. So you can end up in a continuous loop of the same kind of emotions. That is also how it is often difficult for people with negative thoughts and emotions to come out of this.

– Our emotions are dominating, because they arise from signals from your body, which ensure that the balance in the system is restored. If your body is out of balance, it can have fatal consequences. These signals therefore transcend everything else and are given priority to listen to.

– You can never trust your observations fully. We make lightning-fast predictions based on concepts mainly constructed by ourselves. So how can we be 100% sure of what we observe?

How to transform our emotions

International trainer and coach Wassili Zafiris is the only one (as far as I know) who has developed a method based on this new neuroscientific knowledge: Relationship and Emotion Training and Coaching (RETEC).

“Working with emotions is usually much more effective in coaching and therapy than working with your thoughts and limiting beliefs. Because your emotions control everything. It’s hard to change emotions on your own, but the concept behind it is,” explains Zafiris.

Creating new neurological networks

Neurons on one side of your brain tweak neurons on the other side of your brain without any external response. If at some point a connection is made, your brain can hardly take a different path and you experience it that way every time. For a new experience and emotion, it is necessary that you build a new neurological network.

And that is exactly what Zafiris achieves with his new method: “Creating an unconscious reminder appears to have a major effect on the creation of a new neurological network. As soon as such a network becomes active, the old one will disappear. In this way, very deeply ingrained patterns can be transformed once and for all.”

Want to know more about emotions?

I have guided several CEOs, entrepreneurs and high performing professionals with the RETEC technique and the results are astonishing.

Are you a coach, psychologist or trainer? Then you want to follow Wassili Zafiris’ RETEC training.

Do you want to be coached according to the latest neuroscientific knowledge? Schedule a free 30-minute introductory meeting with me now.

7 Inspirational Podcasts on Purpose

Recharge your spirit and boost your mood with these 7 inspiring podcasts on purpose. 

Most of us live crazy busy lives. Wanting to succeed on so many levels that we forget to feed our soul with inspiration, wisdom and uplifting stories. And ask ourselves: are we still on the right path? Are we listening to our deepest desires? Podcasts are the answer; they are easy to listen to while you’re on the move, during cooking, with your morning coffee or in your bed waking up. 

But choosing the right podcast out of all those different options can be quite overwhelming and time consuming. That’s why we’ve selected 7 inspirational podcasts for you that help you align with your purpose and live your full potential. Enjoy!

Want to know more about purpose? Read here the 6 steps to how you can find your purpose.

1. On Purpose with Jay Shetty 

On Purpose

My absolute number 1 podcast on purpose. I’m a big fan of Jay Shetty, a former Hindu monk and now a very successful life coach and author. Shetty has the ability to have in depth conversations that are always accessible and inspirational.

Shetty’s purpose is to make wisdom go viral. And that’s exactly what he’s doing, often with famous guests like Alicia Keys, Jane Goodall, Will Smith and Joe Dispenza. 


For everyone who’s a fan (like me) from Tolle’s book ‘A New Earth’ or didn’t read it yet, this podcast is a must listen. 

Oprah Winfrey speaks with spiritual leader and author Eckart Tolle about how to find your purpose, what is holding you back, how to control your ego, and fully live in the present moment.

3. Dear Gabby

Dear Gabby Podcast

This podcast from international bestseller author, life coach and speaker Gabby Bernstein is a weekly show about personal growth and spirituality. 

Bernstein does individual coach sessions on the show, shares empowering stories about her own life and learnings and gives tools and insights on feeling good and manifesting the life you desire. 


The Good Life Project

Jonathan Fields is on a quest to help you live a more meaningful, connected and vital life.

Fields talks with leading voices in art, science and culture, like Tim Ferris, Brené Brown, Matthew McConoughey and Tara Brach about love, friendship, kindness and everything else that gives meaning to your life.

5. Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins podcast

Well known life and business strategist Tony Robbins can’t remain unmentioned. Especially the interviews with spiritual leader Sadghuru, Neuro surgeon Sanjay Gupta and author Steven Mitchell are worth listening to.

6. Brand on purpose

Brand on Purpose

Want to learn how to lead a company with purpose? Entrepreneur Aaron Kwittken has interesting conversations with entrepreneurs and senior leaders on how to serve the greater good with their brand. 

7. Purpose Talks

Purpose Talks podcast

I love it when purpose talks over money. Or even better: when purpose and money go hand in hand. This podcast is very insightful and inspiring when you’re building a purpose driven business. Every session Izzy Ahrbeck, managing director of Business of Purpose, sits down with multiple purpose driven business leaders discussing one important business element. 

7 reasons why you are not living your purpose (yet)

Are you living your purpose? Do you feel strongly connected to what is important to you? Do you live your life according to your values?

People that feel they have a higher sense of purpose in life are more productive, more resilient, healthier and happier in life, several studies show.

Maybe you also long for more meaning in your life, you have the feeling you miss something but you don’t know what to do. The reason you’re not living your purpose yet, holds the key to getting aligned with your purpose.

That’s why we made a list of 7 reasons why you’re not living your purpose:

  1. You don’t need a purpose
  2. You don’t believe in purpose
  3. You don’t know what your purpose is
  4. You are not driven enough
  5. You are afraid of losing something (money, comfort, status, safety)
  6. You’d rather stay in the shade
  7. You don’t know how to live your purpose 

1. You don’t need a purpose

You have a pretty good life. You have a good job, a nice house, nice friends and a nice family. Actually, you have nothing to complain about. Except maybe that you work a lot, have little time for yourself and occasionally wonder: is this it?

There is one important question you can ask yourself to check if you are getting the most out of yourself in life. Step into the future and remember that you are about 80-90 years old. You are a wise elder and have come to the point where you are going to leave the earth. Feel what you feel when you are that age: what do you see, hear and experience? Now look back at your life, at the person you are now. What advice would you give yourself?

2. You don’t believe in purpose

You may not believe that people are here for a reason and that everyone has their own life mission. Or maybe it’s enough for you to focus and manage to create a good life for yourself.

Then take a look around you; to the trees, plants, bees, flowers, everything gives and receives. Everything has a specific mission. A tree, for example, removes CO2 from the air (with the help of sunlight!) and returns oxygen. Via the wood vessels the tree extracts water with nutrients from the soil and the leaves of the tree become food for insects again in the autumn.

We are also part of this ecosystem and it’s only naturally that we also give and receive from our origin. Just like the tree and every living being in nature.

3. You don’t know what your purpose is

It is not surprising that you do not know what your purpose is, many people have not found it yet or have an idea, but cannot fully capture it in words. Usually you have not found your purpose in an hour. Connecting with your life mission is a process that requires attention. Have you downloaded and my free mini workshop How to Find Your Purpose yet? Did you also do the exercises or did you skip them because you ‘ already knew that’? Finding your purpose is a process, so take your time.

These 7 inspiring podcasts on purpose can also help you in your process.

4. You are not driven (enough) to live your purpose

We humans have a hard time moving. Often we only do something if we really want to achieve something or if we really want to get rid of something.

Moving TOWARDS something

If you want to achieve something, but you don’t succeed, you may not have a vision that’s attractive enough, or no pain that’s big enough. If it’s important enough for us, action will be taken. If you are very attracted to something new, it becomes easier to say goodbye to what we are still (anxiously) clinging to.

Think of the woman who only ends her relationship when she is in love with someone else. Or the man who only dares to quit his job when he has found a new one. Only when you really want to achieve something and it’s more important than what you ‘have’ now, you dare to take the step. 

Moving AWAY FROM something

Another impulse for change is when you want to get away from something. That’s usually when something really starts to hurt. A bit of fat on your belly doesn’t matter much, but if you can’t fit in your jeans anymore, than you might think of changing your diet. Or: you’ve smoked your whole life, but only until you get a lung disease, you are willing to stop.

It can work the same way with purpose. Only when you are in touch with your true purpose and you feel how big and important this is to you, you’ll start moving.

Ultimately, it works best if you simultaneously want to go towards something and get rid of something else. So if you really want to achieve something, make your vision very big and attractive and make what you want to go away from very big and unattractive.

Make your vision BIG

For example, if your purpose is to bring out the best in people, than wonder what the world would look like if everyone was the best version of themselves. Don’t be afraid to dream big!

In my vision people would feel better and more meaningful. People would use their talents to make the world a better place, they would be more successful and want to learn from each other. There would be less struggle and balance of power and we would live in a peaceful, including and equal world, in which everyone lives their full potential.

Now make your own vision big. So big that that the spark in you becomes a fire that starts burning.

Than imagine what you don’t want. What if you keep doing what you’re doing now? If you’re not going to live your purpose? What would be the least attractive scenario? Perhaps you would get bored and look elsewhere for distraction. You would feel less fit and less fun for your environment, which would affect your relationships.

Make both these views very big and put them each on one side of a virtual timeline and step on that timeline yourself. Feel where you are now and where you want to move to. What is the first step you can take today towards your attractive vision?

5. You are afraid of losing something.

“If I start living my purpose, I can never make enough money and than we have to move and I don’t want that.”

“If I’m doing what’s really important to me, there’s no room for a relationship.”

“If I start living my purpose, I will be looked at strangely by everyone and I will lose my status.”

Does that sound familiar to you or do you have any other phrases you say to yourself that hinder you from living your purpose? Ask yourself: are these facts or is this the story you are telling yourself?

We humans are constantly looking for what we can lose in our lives and where scarcity can arise, because our brain is constructed that way. This is how we survive and protect ourselves. If you want more than just survival in your life, you will therefore have to make very conscious choices.

According to life coach Tony Robbins everything we do is related to these 6 human needs:

  1. Certainty: assurance you can avoid pain and gain pleasure
  2. Uncertainty/Variety: the need for the unknown, change, new stimuli
  3. Significance: feeling unique, important, special or needed
  4. Connection/Love: a strong feeling of closeness or union with someone or something
  5. Growth: an expansion of capacity, capability or understanding
  6. Contribution: a sense of service and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others

Everyone ranks these human needs differently and the way you do this says a lot about the person you are. The top four needs in the list above shape our personality, while the last two (growth and contribution) shape our spiritual needs. The first four will give you short term fulfilment, the last two will give you long term fulfilment.

Most of the people are making up stories to meet the first four personal needs with as little risk as possible. But if you want to fulfil the other two needs, you have to take risks.

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.”

6. You prefer to stay in the shade

“I’m not worth it.” “I’m not smart/strong/good enough.” “I don’t deserve this.” We all have those thoughts from time to time. Thoughts and beliefs that hinder us from achieving our goal.

You may be afraid of failure or of being successful. You may also know deep down that you are a good singer, can help people with problems or write beautiful poems. You keep it only for yourself or your family. But it is the intention that you bring your gift into the world. Just like the tree stores CO2 and the bee pollinates plants. That means standing in the light, which is often more exciting than standing in the shadows. 

Step into the light

To step into the light, you have to get rid of your limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are beliefs or decisions we make about ourselves or our model of the world that limit the way we live. It are thoughts, opinions and ideas that we believe are true and that prevent us from achieving our goals, following our purpose and living the life we ​​want to live.

These beliefs are unconsciously created based on our interpretations of experiences in the past. And they will be inside the system within our internal world and shape our responses to the external world and opportunities around us.

Get rid of your limiting beliefs

Most beliefs are installed before we are even seven years old. The first seven years of our lives our mind is operating in a low vibrational frequency like hypnosis, so our mind is very adaptive to new beliefs.

Our beliefs – both supportive and limiting – and the stories we and others tell about ourselves have a huge impact on our lives. It’s up to you if you let your beliefs be the reason to stop you to take action or to fulfil your dreams or you change them to empowering beliefs. What do you choose?

Need some help transforming your limiting beliefs? Contact me for a free discovery session.

7. You have found your purpose, but you are not completely living it yet

No one said your living a purpose-full life is easy, otherwise everyone would do it.

If you have transformed your rigs and are completely connected to your purpose and you are not yet able to live your mission, see if you can turn one of these five buttons:

  • Mastery. Make sure you are good at what you do. Focus all the time you have to become the best you can on your path to your purpose. Energy flows where attention goes.
  • Discipline. Not everything about the path you’ve chosen is probably nice. You need to have discipline and show up every day, also when you don’t feel like it.
  • Strategy. If you tried it at times the way you thought it would work, change your strategy. If it doesn’t work again, change your strategy. Keep on changing your strategy until it works.
  • Persistence. You will only develop yourself and improve when you fail. Every rejection is an opportunity to grow. No matter what your abilities and talents are, hard work will always prevail. Find people that support you on this path and more important: become your own cheerleader!
  • Trust. Do everything you can and put the rest into the universe. Trust yourself and the flow of nature. When you step outside your comfort zone for your higher purpose, the universe will support you in miraculous ways. Just be patient.

Need some guidance? You can contact me for a free discovery session. 

7 reasons why you don't live your purpose

What I learned from the fire that burned our home

7 insights on transformation and healing

Two month ago our yurt was devastated by a huge forest fire. I’m still very grateful that we’re all safe and my husband and our 6 year old son could save some of our emotional belongings. 

I was doing groceries for our son’s Birthday party (at least we had ingredients to bake a cake!) at the time. I just came back in time to get him away from the helicopters and the fire he was making vivid pictures of with my old phone. 

In the weeks after I went through feelings of pain, unfairness, angriness and confusion. Although it was sometimes hard to give myself permission to experience these feelings as I had people in my close environment suffering from much bigger losses. 

And for years I worked closely with refugees who lost much more than their home. Who was I to complain? Soon I discovered those thoughts and feelings didn’t help me heal.

Reconnect with your true purpose

In the past months I guided more than 20 people on their journey to reconnect with their true purpose. A journey full of overcoming obstacles, fears and limiting beliefs. A journey full of discovery, growth, transformation and joy. 

The most important for me in these coaching’s is to give people the tools to write their own story, to dream their own world into being. No matter how impossible it seems.

Creating the life you want to live

Now I’m challenged myself to keep on creating the life I want to live. Instead of letting fear and security rule. I try to do that by being in the present moment. 

Like Eckart Tolle says: there’s only the NOW. The future is only an extended NOW. So you can only be present and make sure you’re okay with being in the NOW. And create the life you want to live right NOW. And then before you know it the future is NOW.  

The fire made me humble and taught me some great lessons.

Hereby I’d like to share with you these 7 lessons I learned about healing and transformation:

1. you create your own reality.

You can’t control the elements in life. You can only live in harmony with it and go with the flow. What you CAN control are your feelings, your thoughts, your words and your actions. They create your reality.

2. Be in the present moment.

My son doesn’t focus on what he had before or what he won’t have in future. He only focuses on what is there. One hour after the fire in which his home and toys burned, he asked: “Mom, are you still gonna bake me a cake?” 

3. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you’re feeling.

Talk to people that really listen. Hold space for your feelings and let them be there. Cry, scream, do whatever you need.

4. Don’t play the comparison game. 

Don’t compare your own problems/trauma with others. No person’s suffering can be measured against any other person’s suffering. 

We all experience stress and trauma differently. 

If you downplay what happened to you, you suppress your feelings. This could make them stronger. Think of what happens when you push a ball under water… It comes back up with force. 

If you on the other hand make it bigger or hold on to the pain, it will become bigger and harder to heal. 

5. Become conscious of what you focus on. 

I can very vividly visualise our home, our perfect bed and the soft sheets on it, Mika jumping out of his selfmade tree house bed yelling: I am awaaaaaake! I hear the birds waking me up in the morning, the smell of the blossoming flowers, the sun on my skin… And then I miss it so much it hurts. 

Therefore in the first two weeks when it was still painful I didn’t focus on that all day. And I learned through NLP to ‘change the movie’ I was looking at, so it could transform feelings of pain in feelings of bittersweet memories of joy, love and gratitude.

6. Practise being grateful.

Although it might feel you have nothing left to be grateful for, it can help you to practise being grateful for what is still there. Gratitude rewires your brain, which leads to an overall increase in well-being, making you more positive, stronger and more resilient to stress.

This podcast gives some amazing insights on what being grateful can do for your health.

7. Write your own story.

Don’t let other people or circumstances write your story. If people say to you: “Oooh no that’s so horrible what happened to you, you must feel…” Decide for yourself how you feel, write your own story, one that helps you and gives meaning to your life. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: These are tips for people that experienced ‘trauma’ themselves and are open to discover and heal. So not for family and friends, from my experience they can better avoid advising. It’s so much more important and valuable to LISTEN and ASK how you can help. 

Do you also like to change the movie you’re playing in or looking at?

Do you want to write your own life story?

Are you looking for your life’s purpose?

Are you healing from trauma and want to transform your life?

I guide you on your path to reconnect with your true nature. Please contact me for a FREE discovery session.

Our beautiful home in Portugal.

Are you ready to live your purpose?

7 tips based on my own experience on how to start living your purpose.  

I know it’s a crazy time to start talking/writing about this, because it’s crisis and you need to earn money, stay healthy, take care of your family and don’t take any risks.

But what if this is the time to change? Now that the world fell still and we have time to rethink how we’ve done things up till now. What if this is the time to do things differently and reconnect with your life’s purpose?

Have you always wanted to:

  1. Start a new business?
  2. Become a coach/teacher/speaker/writer…?
  3. Publish a book?
  4. Change jobs?
  5. Transform your life?
  6. Live your purpose?

But you don’t know where to start. And you say to yourself: “I’m not ready yet.”

You have done studies, courses, self-work, you’ve talked to experts, read a hundred books on the subject and still you say to yourself: “I’M NOT READY YET”.

You found yourself some pretty good arguments to back this up, like:

  • “I don’t have enough knowledge yet.”
  • “I don’t have enough money.”
  • “I first need to write new texts for my website.”
  • “It’s not the right time to start (especially now with the world upside down!)”
  • “I still have to do that one course that will give me the right certification.”

I have used all of them myself in the past year.

Until I found a way out and began listening to my inner self, to my true nature.

How do you know it’s time to connect to your purpose?

For me it started in March 2019. I was a social entrepreneur, working long hours, doing something I liked, for a very good cause. But I felt stuck, tired and out of flow.

I missed that what made me really thrive, what made my heart beat faster and made my spirit alive. I missed living the life I’m here for. I missed the connection to (my true) nature.

Hereby 7 tips based on my own experience on how to start living your purpose:

1. Find a coach

I found a wonderful coach in the shamanic CEO Gregory Reece-Smith (who also happened to marry my husband and me a couple of months later in Portugal). In one of our first sessions he told me I could be a messenger between the spiritual and the physical world. That struck me.

2. Connect with your heart

I knew instantly that it was true, I had felt it all my life, but I hadn’t done anything with it. Many pieces of the puzzle fell into place. One of them being the jaguar, an important shamanic symbol and the animal I had tattooed on my ankle after I encountered two in the Bolivian jungle. I always felt jaguar around me ever since.

It’s crucial to connect with your heart and spirit instead of your mind. Your heart knows. Your mind will trick you with all the information and belief systems that are stored there. According to spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle 80-90% of most people’s thinking is repetitive and useless.

3. Start your journey

In the months after that transformative coaching session, I was guided by Gregory in the way of a shaman. I learned a lot from books and courses from Alberto Villoldo and Sandra Ingerman and my own journeys to the other worlds. Gregory encouraged me to start coaching people and I did, using my knowledge from NLP and Neuro Semantics.

And I made another important decision: I moved from The Netherlands to Portugal with my husband and son to live in a yurt in the middle of nature for a while.

Still, “I wasn’t ready yet” to fully go for it and use my shamanic wisdom. I needed more trust and confidence in myself. What better could I do then be on my own for a while, trusting on myself and nature? The Vision Quest called me.

4. Go on a transformation quest

I decided to do a shamanic vision quest on the amazing land I live on at the moment. So last March I went for three days and three nights in the forest without food and communication. It was a tough, intense and amazing experience that brought me many insights.

Everything in nature called me to heal myself, to heal others, to heal the world. And my first response was: “I’m not ready yet.” FinalIy I made time to investigate that belief. I asked myself a dozen questions, like:– How do I know I’m not ready yet?

  • Is this believe true?
  • How do I know it’s true?
  • What do I believe about not being ready?
  • What positive intention is behind this belief?

5. Explore your limiting beliefs

I discovered I was afraid of not being good enough. I was afraid other people would see me as some kind of weirdo talking to trees and plants. I felt insecure about what other coaches and shamanic practitioners would think. I compared myself to others.

More important: I continuously confirmed my belief of ‘not being ready’ with all kinds of so called proof and arguments.

As Shaman Alberto Villoldo says: “Like a jaguar who escaped danger and quickly clambered up a tree, where it remains, hissing at anyone who comes near.”

6. Transform your limiting beliefs

The real question was: is this belief helping me? Is it empowering? Is it making my life better? NO! So I transformed it into an empowering belief. I overcame my fears and I brought the jaguar down from the tree. It was then that I realised I’m ready when I say I’m ready.

7. Take the first step

When I came back after three days it wasn’t just me that was changed, also the world wasn’t the same anymore. The Corona Virus forced the whole world on a vision quest. I could have used this again to say that now is not the right time and I’m not ready yet. But now is the time. For me, for you, for the world.

So: I’m ready! Are you ready to live your purpose? 

I guide you on a journey to discover your true nature and give you the tools on how to convert this into performance.

You can book a free 30 minute discovery session with me via or