A backwards journey

I thought neuropsychology would let me in on the secrets of life. But instead, I found myself psychologically breaking down into a true crisis, right after my studies had finished. The mechanistic worldview I had adopted somehow had somehow stripped me of any sense of wonder, leaving no ambition for future goals at all. This cascaded into a deeper collapse of what I had believed to be meaningful, important, and true. There was a glimmer of freedom with it too, but the usually repressed emotions now flooded to the surface, while what had felt like a floor was being pulled out from underneath my feet. 

 

Most friends were naturally in a phase of building their lives up, but I seemed to be moving backward; undoing much more than I was building. Assumptions upon which my life and sense of self were built were taken apart and re-examined. Who am I? What is true? What matters? Instead of finding answers, there was an increasing sense of presence in the background which seemed deeper, more peaceful, and more real than the chaos of my inner world. Still too rattled to work, socialize, or pursue anything at all, I spend the year doing mostly nothing; feeling partly terrified, partly liberated, and partly stranded. 

I spend the following ten years exploring this presence, which was like a loyal friend always there. Being drawn to Nonduality and Advaita teachers who spoke of this, I traveled to meet them. It was a joy to experience their ageless and liberated ways of being that were so unlike the seriousness in many other circles. At the same time I worked as a psychologist, still with no aspirations to be found, but with a continued deep interest in people. I found myself sensitized to their suffering and inner landscapes. I worked at prisons, a hospital, and elderly nursing homes – all places where people, just like me, had come to a stand-still – somehow feeling oddly at home between the crooked, the dying, and the old, and being deeply moved just listening to them.

 

I kept investigating new and unconventional ways of healing; exploring the nervous system and meditative practices from different angles. While receiving many people in my private practice, I also worked through numerous inner challenges of my own. I found there is a love and a beauty in holding space for the most fragile aspects within other people and within myself. By weaving together many practices, I witnessed the immense capacity of the body-mind to unwind itself of tensions, traumas, and emotional burdens when a compassionate witness is there. Seeing people soften their inner landscapes, returning home to themselves I knew; THIS matters.

 

Today I still see no end to this unfolding into a lighter way of being. 

Love, 

Barbara

Plant Shadow
Plant Shadow
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Studies
Standing on the shoulders of giants

Advaita / nonduality

Francis Lucille 

Wayne Liquorman

Adyashanti

Nondual Therapy

Georgi Y. Johnson & Bart ten Berge

Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP)

Stephen Porges

Provocative Therapy

Jaap Hollander & Jeffrey Wijnberg (Netherlands)

Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

Advanced course

Dr. Berceli (Amsterdam)

 

Tension & Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE)

Basic training

Maria Alfaro (California, USA)

Marc Doomernik (Netherlands)

Member at www.traumaprevention.com and www.tre-nederland.nl.

Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Stresswise (Netherlands)

 

Solution Focussed brief therapy                   

RINO (Utrecht, Netherlands)

 

Geriatric psychology

GERION VU Institute (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

 

Master Clinical Neuropsychology

University Leiden (Netherlands)

 

Bachelor Psychology

University Leiden (Netherlands)

Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughter at once,

so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

 - THICH NHAT HANH

Plant Shadow