I want to let you in to a little story. Actually it’s a big story. The one that changed my life, the meaning and purpose of it, the one that has been giving it more depth than anything else. This is the first of a series in which I’m taking you on the journey to beginning MyHeartMoves. This is where it all starts.
On the 27th of January 2016 I got a text from my dad in the Whatsapp group we have with his five daughters, yes there is five of us! Just before heading into teaching a class I read it: “My dearest children, I have promised you that I would always be straight up honest, even with bad news. Well, there is rock hard bad news this time. Cancer has spread all through my body and I only have a few months to live.” He just heard the news, was alone in the hospital and in shock. Calling all his five daughters was too much, but he had to tell us. I was in shock. It took my world completely upside down.
Two months of intense grief follwed, being together as much as possible, soaking up the love, going through it all together in the most open, honest and rich way possible. During that time I was working in London for ten days and then home in Holland for four. It was hard, painful, beyond understanding, but we as a family faced it head on which was so beautiful too. There was room and space for everyone, for everyone’s feelings and ways of dealing with what was happening. The openness connected us more than ever before and we all realised how lucky, rich and thankful we were to have such an incredible family, holding the space for each other to go through it the way we did.
I come from a spiritual family. Not religious, but definitely believing that there is more to life than we can see. A higher meaning to everything we experience, everyone we meet and the path that our lives take. I can’t remember exactly when, but a few days after the first news I was taking a walk by the Thames to clear my head. I was thinking on how badly I wished there would have been a way to prevent this. To have been able to help my father heal in many different ways before even the cancer occurred to prevent it from happening in the first place. Or taking the healing journey differently when it occurred the first time and even throughout the time it was ‘gone’.
I firmly believe everything is connected. The way we feel, our beliefs about ourselves and the world, our experiences, what we eat and drink, stress, sleep, whether we do what we love in life and how we move our body… It all affects our health in so many more ways then we currently understand. More and more research is proving this and we are only starting to grasp the idea of how everything is connected.
Then and there I felt that my purpose in this life was to help people come back home to themselves. To help them listen to their heart and body again, specifically after going through and during cancer. To help them honour their bodies, the life we get to live and every breath we get to take. (I will write another blog about ‘honouring life’, as that’s been a game changer the past year for me. But that’s a different story!) I strongly felt that if I could help anyone prevent going through all of this, I would. If there would be any meaning, any reason for all of this to happen, this had to be it.
My dad passed away on the 30th of March 2016, a year ago today. I can’t even put into words how his last day and the week until his cremation were, they wouldn’t do it justice. It is strange how death can connect you more to life in such a deep way. There was a weird groundedness, beauty and softness in all the pain, devastation and heartbreak. As much as it is the hardest thing that has ever happened to me, it has also opened me up in so many different ways.
The past year has been completely transformative. Every day I am honouring my dad, he is always with me. This journey of healing and discovery has lead me to personal growth, opening up in my relationships, deepening my spiritual practice, being able to be thankful for every little thing in life beyond what I could have imagined. Grief teaches you so much about yourself, about life.
I believe that everything in life is there to serve you, you just need to open towards it and let the lessons and miracles in. The pain and the loss has let me to committing to help as many other people as I can to find their truth. To help them be their authentic selves and help them create the life they want to live. My dad was huge in seeing people for how they were, no matter how many masks they would put on. He would see right to your core and you could be the postman and just have met him, he would have you share your whole life story within a few minutes. I hope that I can take some of that with me.
Every day for me is dedicated to living, finding the beauty, love and gifts in everything. Just as much as being with the pain when it comes through. Honouring life with every breath, whatever the journey brings. Because it’s a miracle that we get to live and not a day should be wasted.