In The Work I have found a tool that gently but decisively cuts through all the unfriendly states of mind and every scar tissue. Every thought about me or the people around me that is less than loving shows me the way to inner clarity and opens the heart so wide that it won't leave anything outside of itself. Often when I do The Work, I get the sense that it's not me doing it, that there is a power at work that gently and patiently waits till I'm ready to uncover the love and the silence that are hidden underneath every aspect of suffering.
Having gone through a severe and extremely painful juvenile depression that lasted well into my twenties, I decided early on in my life that I could not rely on anyone or anything and that I had to take my life rigorously into my own hands. I banned people from my life when I suspected that they could unsettle my relative peace and I was always busy molding my circumstances. Trying to improve myself was also an ongoing project. If I would be perfect, I thought, everybody would love me unconditionally, including me. Although my life looked good and sometimes great on the outside, I felt as if I was living in a mental prison. Everything I did with the purpose of liberating myself, made the bars close in on me more tightly. I was wearing myself out, and I started to develop a sense of failure, and with that came a ruthless sense of self-hatred. Somehow, somewhere, there still was the lingering feeling that hidden deep inside of me was a place of utter innocence, where nothing could be touched, but it looked like it got further and further out of reach.
When I started meditating in 2005, I experienced a silence and a sense of belonging that went deeper than anything that I had ever experienced. In this silence, everything was just as it was, and there was an effortless heart connection with everybody and everything. At times the thought “I have to do something in order to be a worthwile person and to belong” disappeared completely, but when I moved back into daily life, the same old mechanisms took hold of me again.
Through The Work I have come to welcome all the painful thoughts, where I used to battle them and try to outdo and conquer them. The four questions and turnarounds are so simple and yet so all pervasive. They invariably bring me back to my true nature, and I have yet to find a subject that cannot be undone in the process.
In addition to facilitating The Work, I am a writer and translator from Arabic to Dutch. I work for refugees from Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, etc. and translate novels from Arabic writers. I also write theatre plays and have a professional background in education and art. I love to share The Work with individuals, couples and groups, as well as in business settings—in person or by Skype or phone—anywhere in the world. Please contact me if you would like to do The Work.
Phone: +31 621870535