To be honest, spirituality never really interested me. I was never into it either. That aspect of the yoga spectrum completely passed me by. My aversion to power systems, including religions, probably has something to do with that. As a young girl, at a certain point, I didn’t want to go to church anymore. I was then about seven years old. I said, ‘Dad, what you do is up to you, but I’m not going with you anymore.’ A week later, my father said, “I’m not going either.” And that was the end of it.
That whole ‘spiri’ thing, shall I say, has naturally grown in me. Apparently, it’s like weeds; it creeps where it can’t go. Suddenly it popped up, much to my own astonishment. It took some getting used to for myself, and also for home. A changing Irene emerged. It was, to be honest, a confusing and uncomfortable time. A time of much self-examination. I withdrew. And as a real scorpion does, I went to investigate.
What exactly is spirituality?
What is Spirituality? I wondered. How can I develop spiritually? And: how do I do that in a good and safe way? Because not everyone has pure intentions in this world either. Although it felt awkward, I took the plunge and went on a spiritual journey of discovery.
Soon after that, I read the following: To develop yourself spiritually is essential to become who you really are. Ah. I also recognize that from the yoga world; ‘Nice to meet yourSelf!’ was my slogan for years.
You make a connection with your spirit and your Soul. You become aware that you are made up of more than just your body. Hmm, the reason for practicing yoga for me was precise that I had lost connection with my body. I had to fix this first, apparently.
I leaf further and learn that spiritual life is the conscious experience of ‘ordinary’ life. It is expanding your consciousness. You see through and you feel intuitive. And more importantly, you trust and act on it. You are tolerant of yourself and others. You enjoy the little things in everyday life. You realize and experience that you are part of the whole: the sense of unity that I also described in “Moving between two worlds”.
Developing yourself spiritually is essentially a form of self-realization. Do what is your calling, really be yourself, live from your heart, from your deepest being, be independent, and realize who you essentially are. From there you discover your own (Divine) creative power. Hmm, from my youth, I feel, I still have some resistance to the word God. That is also something to find out, of course. Still, I prefer to replace it with the universe, creator, or source.
I read that you are a free person. Gosh, those are the things that have always appealed to me. Maybe I’ve already lived and acted on it subconsciously, but somehow I’ve become even more aware of it now.
Well said, self-realization. But how do you do that? I’m more pragmatic anyway. Clear handles, please. I read: You can achieve self-realization with, for example, meditation, spiritual workshops, and guidance. But also by dealing with like-minded people and by trusting your hunches, inner voice, and inner knowing. By doing a lot of self-reflection and shadow work. By asking yourself: Am I doing what I really want? In the field of work, relationships, dealing with certain people, and so on? And: Who am I? What am I doing here on earth? When am I myself? By investigating this and finding answers to it and acting on it. It is both an inner and an outer process.
Applying spirituality in daily life
For me, spirituality, like yoga, is applying it in everyday life, in which the aspects of family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, work, and social and community involvement play an important role. With self-realization, and developing yourself spiritually, you can ask yourself the following questions: Do I consciously choose this situation or do I go along with a habit? What determines my choice? Am I guided by what is expected of me or what is happening around me? Why do I react this way to something or someone? Does what I am doing now contribute to my true happiness, to my freedom, and to the happiness and freedom of my environment? Everyone has the potential to develop and raise awareness. Developing spiritually is a process of trial and error, just like life itself. It is peeling off your own conditionings, illusions, and programs. You can also develop certain gifts, such as clairvoyance, clairaudience or clairsentience, visions, and telepathy.
Building a new world
My mission in life is now: helping to build a green and healthy world for everyone. That is quite something. It’s not something I can do on my own. We need each other for that. It is no longer a coincidence for me that my new life assignment started in March 2020 in Kenya with the trees project Miti ya Matumaini (Trees of Hope). It came to me completely unexpectedly at that moment and seemed to come my way just like that. I remember standing on the plot of land and receiving the message that a tree project should be built here. I remember thinking: But I don’t understand trees at all, let alone forests. I don’t have any money for this at all. All kinds of thoughts that pop up at such a moment. Yet I let these thoughts slide past me as a kind of self-evident. Somewhere knowing inside, I embarked on the adventure. Realizing that things have to change in this world and that I want to contribute.
The new inner and outer world
From the first moment of the lockdown, I had visions and realized that the world would never be the same again. That there is a great transformation going on all over the world. Each of us has to deal with it. But how do we go through this transformation process, as individuals, and as humanity? The path is created by walking on it. Then you also meet the right people. It will be a big test, a hero’s journey—more about that next time.
Together continue the transformation process and create a new world, both inside and out. For this I occasionally teach yoga in ‘het Zentrum’ in Adorp (Ov). For dates, also check the agenda.
You can also approach me for a private lesson (alone or with a small group of people). At ‘Oeverlicht’ in Ommen or ‘het Zentrum’ in Adorp (ov) there are beautiful yoga studios where we can go. Of course for an appropriate fee. All proceeds benefit the Miti ya Matumaini tree project in Kenya.
Photos: Jose Meboer, creator of awareness