5 unconventional tips that help you survive lockdown

No internet, no phone connection, no electricity and in a complete lockdown with a 6 year old. This is how we survive the lockdown (and digital detox). 

We’re living in the middle of nature in this beautiful green valley close to the small Portuguese city of Aljezur. Since two weeks we went into a very strict lockdown with the schools closed as well. 

On top of this we ran out of internet data (only to be upgraded in 14 days) and we don’t have any telephone connection in the valley. That means we’re totally shut off. Talking about survival during a lockdown. Well this is it.

Transformation quest

Last year I decided to go on a transformation quest. Three days and three nights without food, phone, internet or distraction whatsoever, alone in nature. Sleeping in a hammock outside, staying for 72 hours in a circle of a few square meters. It changed my life forever and strengthened my connection with myself and nature.

At that time I consciously chose for this transformation ritual, nature retreat and digital detox and I was well prepared physically, emotionally and mentally. This time I wasn’t. It just hit me. 

I know this whole ‘back to nature thing’ is what I wanted. And I indeed love living in this green paradise. But the extra digital detox makes it quite challenging. So I’d like to share some insights with you from our lockdown up till now. Maybe it can help you during your own lockdown time. 

Hereby 5 things we’ve learned, that might also help you during lockdown:

  1. Get your anger out!

The first few days we whined, got angry, cursed and tried to connect our phones a trillion times in a trillion different spots, we ran up the mountain to catch a flare of 4G for 3 seconds and we ran down again. Cursing. Oh, did I mention we also did Dry January? F…#$% 

But seriously, getting your anger, negative feelings and all that shit out is a good thing. Don’t hold it inside your body, because you feel you can’t complain, because other people have an even worse time than you do. 

Let it all out, complain, scream, cry. Just make sure it doesn’t last longer than a few minutes at a time. Did you know that one single emotion actually only lasts for 90 seconds? 

After that you start to ask and tell yourself things, which makes it worse and last longer. The best thing you can do is feel the emotion and than let it go. Emotions are just emotions. And we are so much more than our emotions!

  1. Accept you’re screwed

At the moment we accepted our situation, we got more innovative and creative, which resulted in new solutions and inspiration. Accepting the current situation you’re in, doesn’t mean you don’t want to change it or agree with it. 

It means for now you accept all the feelings and thoughts that come with it and accept the situation as it is right now. “This is what it is, right here, right now, in the present moment.” 

This is not an easy task. If you manage it, though, it will create peace and space in your mind. Resisting what you don’t want, costs a lot of energy. Energy you can better use to create what you do want in life.

  1. Don’t act normal

This is not the time to act normal. This is not the time to become a perfectionist. This is a time to be tender and mild to yourself and others. Combining work, household and home schooling isn’t normal, so you don’t have to act normal either. 

Feel good about what you have accomplished on a day instead of focussing on what you haven’t. Just be kind and easy: let the kids watch a movie when you’re working, eat pizza two days in a row and skip that meeting. 

For instance don’t try to work 8 hours a day, it’s much more efficient to work 4-6 hours super productive with a few breaks than a lousy 8-10. And see what else you can do differently in a far from normal period.

  1. Leave your home

Spending time outside is always a good idea. What I mean with spending time outside is not only playing football with your oldest, lugging through the snow with a sled or doing a phone call while walking in your backyard. 

I mean consciously spending time in nature. Like forest bathing, meditating or skinny dipping. Or you might as well go on a transformation quest for 72 hours in wild nature without any food. 

By doing so you will truly experience the healing power of nature, that will boost your immune system and makes you feel so much better.

  1. Break with your own strict rules

Last year everyone’s world and way of living changed completely. The first thing we do when things change, is try to hold on to the past and do anything possible to go back to how it was before. Without us having to change the rules we know so well. 

That means we try to do everything how we used to do it, but then with a screen between us. We keep on following the rules we’ve always followed. But they’re not suited for this new situation anymore. And chances are they don’t create a better world or a happier heart.   

So which rules do you follow?

“I have to work 8 hours every day”
“I have to do this job, otherwise I don’t have an income”
“I have to attend every meeting”
“I have to proof myself”
“I have to take care of my family”
“I have to succeed”
“I have to make sure my kid doesn’t miss out on school”
“I have to make my kid/husband/parents happy”
Or… ?

This challenging time – in which the game has completely changed – asks for a set of new rules.

Are you ready to change your rules and need some help? Contact me via mail for a free discovery session or book a call.

The benefits of spending time in nature

In my free e-book Discover Your Purpose I give you insights on how to reconnect with your purpose. One of them is spending conscious time in nature. It seems we have forgotten that nature can help you heal and reconnect with yourself.

How you reconnect with nature

Every time I put my feet in the sand and hear the calming sound of the sea, every time I walk through the green lush forest and smell the sweet wet wood, a calmness is coming over me. I feel deeply connected to myself, to what is important to me, and  sometimes even to my higher purpose. 

Do you recognise feeling more connected when in nature?

You’ve been struggling with so many thoughts for days that your head almost explodes. Then you go out for a walk in nature and in no time your head clears up. We immediately promise ourselves to take walks more often, but after two times we forget all about it 😉

Therefore it’s very important that we make it a habit to spend time in nature. Also because nature has a very healing effect on us.

What can you do to get closer to nature:


Make a conscious walk in nature without your phone, kids or other distractions. Preferably barefoot! Become aware of your surroundings, the rain drops on your skin, the wind through your hair, the sight of all those green lush plants around you, the sound of the birds high up in the tree, the feeling of your bare feet on the soil and the sweet scent of wild flowers. You can do this by yourself or with a group and a forest bathing guide. Eefje Ludwig from The Forest Bathing Circle is a very knowledgeable forest guide.


When we meditate in nature, we become part of this realm of wisdom. Studies found that being in nature enhances our meditative state. Mindworks is a non-profit organisation that provides guidance and training in meditation practice. You can download their free app here.


Get your hands dirty! Gardening – especially with your bare hands – is good for the mind, body and soul. Sow wild flower seeds in your garden, create a beautiful green balcony or a tiny edible garden or take some plant cuttings and bring them inside. 


During a Nature Purpose Retreat you fully recharge in nature and at the same time you dive deep in your inner wisdom and explore your purpose, your challenges and your next steps. Junglebirds organise Purpose Retreats in the beautiful wild nature of Portugal. 


Are you up for some profound connection with nature? Join a Transformation Quest and immerse yourself in the wild for a couple of days and nights, without food, phone or other distractions. We organise these – on the traditional indigenous vision quest – inspired transformation quests in the beautiful wild nature of Portugal.

Walking in nature in Portugal connecting with the wisdom of nature.

The endless wisdom of nature

How nature can help you heal and reconnect with yourself

The need to grow is in people’s nature; developing themselves and being compassionate towards others. But in our hectic (digital) lives we can lose connection with our true nature. 

Every day we struggle with thousands of stimulants and seductions. This makes us react continuously; consuming and striving for financial growth. In this constant endeavour for more, we can lose our empathy. We can lose our contact with nature. We can lose ourselves. 

We work too hard, have busy social lives, we have children with all kinds of needs and we run to the gym to keep ourselves ‘fit’. At the end of the day we feel stressed and exhausted. We cope with the stress by drinking alcohol, eating too much or binge watching series. Then we go to bed too late and wake up tired with a headache. We take a few aspirins and start all over again. 

Results of disconnection with nature

After a while we feel tired all the time, we get feelings of depression and our body refuses to go on. Our doctor gives us a description or the phone number of a psychologist. This often results in the label: BURNOUT. 

Only then we start to realise we need to change. We’ve lost our energy, our love for life and the connection with ourselves. And we don’t know how to retrieve it.

Therefore it’s super important that we make time to spend in nature. Actually, that we make a habit of it. I’ll guarantee you, if you consciously spend time in nature on a regular basis, you’ll be surprised how much you benefit from it!

By restoring our connection with nature, we restore our connection with our own true nature.

It seems we forgot the importance of nature 

We lost sight of how beneficial it is for us to spend time in nature. We live or work in a big city and sit inside behind the computer all day. And when we come home, other screens lie in wait to seduce us. We barely spend time outdoors and we hardly have any knowledge of our natural surroundings.  

Along the way we’ve forgotten the power of nature.

British research showed:

  • 33 percent of people can’t recognise an oak tree
  • 25 percent of children believe that lions and crocodiles currently live wild in the UK
  • 33 percent of parents say they don’t have enough knowledge about wildlife to pass on to their children

With the digital representation of reality becoming more and more part of our lives, we tend to forget the importance of nature and how we could benefit from it. 

The wisdom of nature is endless:

1.    Nature provides medicine

A lot of medicine were derived from natural sources such as trees, plants, bacteria, and fungi. Did you know that antibiotics, codeines, aspirin and morphine all were extracted from trees? The bark, leaves, fruits and seeds of trees have been used for eras as medicinal remedies for cancers, asthma and other diseases. 

2.    Connecting with nature improves our health

It’s scientifically proven that spending time in nature helps us to:

  • cope with pain better
  • reduce our blood pressure, blood glucose levels, muscle tension, heart rate and production of stress hormones. 
  • increase our work memory performance, antioxidant level and inflammation 
  • boost our immune system. 
  • produce NK cells in our body that fight cancer cells 

Walking barefoot – also known as earthing or grounding – in nature especially  is beneficial. Studies are showing that the health benefits come from the relationship between our body and the electrons in the earth. Reconnection with these electrons has been found to promote intriguing physiological changes and subjective reports of well-being.

3. Nature improves our mood 

Nature has an enormously positive effect on our mood. Nature can reduce feelings of anger, fear, anxiety and depression and increases feelings of belonging and meaningfulness. 

4.    Nature inspires innovation

By observing nature, we can find solutions to human problems and inspiration for new inventions. This is what Biomimicry deals with. One of the many examples of design imitating nature is velcro: this invention is inspired by the clinging of burdock burrs on clothes.

5. Nature sparks creativity

Spending time in nature can reboot our mental system. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, just twenty minutes a day outside is all you need in order to allow your brain to reboot. When we give our brain and mind a new (6D) perception of the world, it stimulates our creativity.

6. Nature helps us reconnect with ourselves and our purpose

If you reconnect with nature, you reconnect with your own true nature – and the other way around. Research showed that when people have a sense of purpose in life they are more likely to live longer and healthier. Being aligned with what is truly important to you can also make you feel happier and more motivated. 

The healing power of nature 

Before we start talking about healing, it’s good to get an understanding of what it means.

The Oxford Languages Dictionary says: “The process of making or becoming sound or healthy again.” And yet curing means: “Relieve (a person or animal) of the symptoms of a disease or condition.” 

This is an important distinction. Shaman and Ph.D. Alberto Villoldo believes that when you have a serious (chronic) disease, you need to go to a Western doctor to cure you from your symptoms. For instance when you have a tumour in your body or you’ve been bitten by a snake.

But when you want to heal, a different process is needed. You need a bigger, more holistic view to know why you became ill and what you can do to prevent it in future.

This doesn’t mean it’s your fault when you become sick or that you can heal every disease yourself. It means it could be a good idea – after having a doctor examining your physical condition – to also look at your mental, emotional and spiritual condition, as they are all connected. 

Alberto Villoldo spent more than 30 years with Indigenous people in the Amazon. In his book Grow Your New Body he explains that in the West doctors and hospitals ‘flourish’ and earn money when people are sick. 

This is in contrast to Indigenous cultures in which the medicine man is seen as doing a lousy job when people get sick. It’s an interesting perspective. 

When I’m talking (or writing in this case) about the healing power of nature, I’m talking about the process of becoming healthy in a broader perspective; on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level. Nature can play an important role in this.

Apart from all the physical benefits, nature also has a huge impact on our well being. Nature enables us to reconnect with ourselves and our life’s purpose. And research has shown when we make a meaningful difference we feel happier and more fulfilled.

So hereby a few more reasons to go outdoors!

6 ways nature helps us reconnect with ourself:


When we walk in nature we usually face little distractions. No computer, video, advertising boards, shop windows, buses or traffic lights. You’re less distracted by the triggers of the outside world, which makes it easier to go inwards. 


In contradiction to our mind, our body and senses are always in the present. The warm sun on our body, the amazing beauty of a butterfly; in nature our senses awaken and make us present. By tuning in on our senses we are able to reduce the volume of our inner thoughts. We go from a state of ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ into a state of ‘being’. And being in the present enables us to go inwards and connect with our inner wisdom. This way we make use of the wisdom of nature. 


Everything and everyone in nature is accepted for what they are; a huge tree, a tiny tomato, a prickly hedgehog, a grey mouse, a black sheep, a red rose. There are no judgements. This helps us to connect with ourselves without judgement as well.


Nothing and no one is in a hurry. Everything and everyone in nature moves at its natural pace. Nature invites us to move in our own natural way as well. Just like it’s supposed to be. 


The rain, falling leaves, the cold temperature: it’s just what it is. We know we can’t change it so we accept it. When you stop fighting and resisting and start accepting, the thoughts and emotions in your head can fly away or just be. This creates space to connect with what is underneath or behind all that.


All living things in nature are in one way or the other connected, they all depend on each other for their existence and well-being. Us humans are part of nature and nature is a part of us. That can make us feel ‘whole’ when we are in nature.

If you want to heal; get in touch with yourself; your inner wisdom and your higher purpose, reconnecting with nature is a great medicine. In my free e-book Discover Your Purpose I give you more insights on how to reconnect with 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.