Cold and windy but with very comfortable homes. That is how I see the Netherlands now. I’m back! Arrived safely a few weeks ago and staying at my parents place in Lelystad. I left everything 11 months ago: my house, my work, and threw away most of my belongings. Returning ‘home’ is not really the typical ‘returning home’ as you do after a short holiday. The way I did it is life changing. It makes me think of what ‘home’ means for me. What feels like home?
A good home has to do with the people. Good friends that you can hangout with. Were you can have a nice talk with but also people that are inspiring and uplifting. It must be a place were you feel comfortable and were you have the freedom to do your own things. A home for me would be closely connected to a place of silence. A place to regenerate energy. A place to relax and make yourself ready to get into the world again. In my surroundings I desire interesting cultural and spiritual minded people. Projects, festivals and other sorts of stuff that make me excited. People from different backgrounds that can share their wisdom, beliefs, and food. A place to retreat to nature. To fully connect again to this wonderful planet with all its creatures and plants.
Returning in the Netherlands is adjusting. Observing and feeling what comes up. Managing my way into what I have become and the large history of the previous Niels. It is a big process of letting go. Mentally and sometimes physically letting go of things that doesn’t resonate anymore. It actually takes a lot of courage to finally acknowledge this feeling but it feels as the right way to go.
I made a transformation in my travel. I think I became more open to all the possibilities. I gained a lot of perspective on how people live, on how their lifestyle is. I see clearly now how fortunate we are in the Netherlands but also under how much stress and pressure everybody is. On a material level we are highly developed but our mental progress is stagnating. Our balance is at risk. We might want to do too much. We might be too attached to the ideal picture and the opinion of society. Why? Why keeping up your best image if deep down you desire the cry? It is all a game and somehow everybody plays along.
Of many internal changes I’m less aware. It is scary how quickly I become adjusted to the typical way of living in the Netherlands. Performing, setting goals, doing work, being very mind focused. I recognize the feeling of being occupied by the mind: light headed, floating, restless. All to do with the imbalance of mind and body. Yoga and meditation practices are grounding me but are under heavy pressure of constant distractions. It feels as a fight, one that I can only win with great effort.
Internal changes causes incompatibilities with fragments of my past self. The connection with family and certain friends are shifting to a new level. It is clear that I have to leave things behind and face some disappointments. It is acknowledging this feeling and finding the courage to speak the truth. The best gift I can give myself is to align my social circle with my best self: my ambitions, my desires, and my passions. “Emptiness is potential to be filled” is a beautiful saying that encourages me to keep going and find that empty spot. Only then new aligned things can flow in your life.