The Hero’s Journey episode 4 Prepare my ship!

Christmas 2017 I started my Hero’s Journey; a year long challenge of doing one or two hours of yoga a day. You can follow this project for 365 days on this page and I ll post all lessons learned along the way on my Facebook and Twitter.

This is a photo from the original Star Wars The Force Awakens. If you look closely you can see there are hearts in Kylo Ren's eyes (when looking at Rey)

This is a photo from the original Star Wars The Force Awakens. If you look closely you can see there are hearts in Kylo Ren’s eyes (when looking at Rey)

PREPARE MY SHIP!!
Restarting, rebooting and COMMITTING this Valentines Day

I will be the first to admit my Hero’s Journey (the resolution to do yoga every day for one to three years straight) has failed.
At least it has if you measure it by;
The number of sessions practiced;
The number of diary entries written;
The number of times I was open about what was really going on, and what made me fall off the wagon. Hard.
I had little cat Max dying a month ago. I was open about that. For a week or two things did seem to settle just fine. It was as if I was living a lighter version of my life, where I could not fail at taking care of my little fur baby. Not that I felt I had failed.
On the contrary.
For over 18 months I was completely dedicated to taking care of him. I never left the house for more than a few hours and if I did leave longer I had a babysit.
I had not failed.
But I was never without fear that I would.
Either because I would accidentally step on him, or lie on him in bed in my sleep. Or fear I would be involved in an accident which would kill me or hospitalize me, leaving him without proper care. I was always scared that regardless of how much I dedicated my life to him, that didn’t mean it couldn’t end in failure.
Or in drama.
Like, maybe I would have to euthanize him on the weekend, with a doctor we didn’t know.
None of that had happened.
He had lived a long life, and I had given it my all.
I missed him, and the first two days when he wasn’t buried yet – yes, I was shaken.
But after Max’ funeral, I could feel the lightness that I didn’t have to worry anymore. That, as far as he was concerned, everything had gone right. Me missing him was not as important as him having the most beautiful life any cat could wish for.
And especially such a forever baby cat, who wanted to play mommy and baby cat all day long. What better cat mom that one who stays home and in whose bed you can sleep.
But then something happened.
I derailed.
And I had no idea how to pick my life back up.
And even on moments when I was less bothered by It, other aspects of my life – things that had ceased to bother me, or so I thought – they all came back.
I realized only too well, it was pointless to either focus, or communicate the events that caused me falling apart. They were merely the trigger. The bigger picture was that I wasn’t stable at all, in the lightness that followed Max’ death. And that if this trigger had not happened, something else would have.
There were countless sleepless nights.
And even more mornings where the first thing I thought was;
“Fuck. There was something really bad. What was it?”
Before I remembered The Thing.
And it made me feel sick, and scared, and awful. And although I STILL wish I could make it all go away, I have now experienced that same self-loathing in other situations as well.
I know it doesn’t have anything to do with The Thing.
The real thing, is me being unbalanced.
Me, having put off dealing with a couple of issues for a very, very long time. I call it deferred maintenance. Things I should have settled, or could have figured out sooner, but didn’t. I just modified my life a bit, worked around it.
The two issues are;
One; accepting myself the way I am and in particular my body – size, imperfections, needs, bodily functions. Everything. This is the problem that causes shame.
Two; accepting insecurity – stop being so needy of control.
This is the problem that causes fear.
A strong example of this that years ago I made my peace with being a mistress. I even realized this exciting, secretive position suited my sexual preferences like a glove. I am no thrill seeker, but I certainly saw this was the only area where excitement was of huge benefit to me.
If not even mandatory.
Yet now? In my unstable phase?
I fear being outed, and I have dreams of being murdered because I am his mistress.
These are the two things I want to learn – to accept myself, especially physically, and to become less fearful.
Learn to ground.
Give up control.
Today it’s Ash Wednesday, the start of six and a half weeks (forty days) of Catholic Fasting, and it’s Valentines Day as well. I have good memories of Ash Wednesday when I tied these forty days of spiritual practice to focusing on my love life.
This year, I want to focus on self-care.
I want to ground more, and step into my power, instead of feeling like a potential victim of anything or anybody. So here are my three daily things, which I will do for forty days;
1. one hour of mindset work
This means reading a book or watching a YouTube until something is sparked and then journal about it. Or just study personal development for an hour, that’s fine too.
2. do yoga for thirty minutes
Free style yoga – no script. This is the type of yoga that symbolizes for me a form of movement where you learn to be in your body, trust yourself, be aware.
You can’t rush through a freestyle practice.
The only way to do it is to be in the moment
3. work on my yoga business for at least 1 hour
I know this does not sound like giving up control, and I m sure it doesn’t seem spiritual either.
But seeing myself as an entrepreneur is definitely something that boosts my personal power. That’s why I included that.

There is one aspect The Hero’s Journey did not fail at all. This is the aspect of worshiping Kylo Ren from Star Wars. This was something I knew was my escape if Max died, my Plan B to catch me if I fall.
To just focus all that love and dedication on a fictional character.
After Max died I bought a Kylo Ren doll that I now take with me when I go on a trip. And today, Valentines Day and Ash Wednesday, I saw Star Wars 8 – The Last Jedi for the 8th time.
It reminded me of all those years ago when I made my love life the focus for 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. That too was more or less coincidentally. I had bought that book, realized it was Ash Wednesday, and tied the two together.
So today I was in the theater watching The Last Jedi, and again, I realized it was Ash Wednesday, and I was watching my idol, or muse Kylo Ren, in the Last Jedi.
And I decided to make Kylo Ren too, the focus of these forty days. I called this post;
“Prepare my ship”
There is a little story to that.
“Shipping” means that you are a fangirl and that you want two characters to get a relationSHIP. In my case I am a fan of Kylo Ren and I ship Kylo Ren with Rey. This is called Reylo.
So I m a Reylo shipper.
This is not stuff I make up – these are all existing expressions.
Anyway, after The Force Awakens, which was Star Wars 7, the first Star Wars movie with Kylo Ren, there were already fans who started shipping him and Rey. I didn’t. I was one of the many, many people, who wrote off Kylo Ren because of all the bad shit he pulled.
Until this movie, Star Wars 8, The Last Jedi.
It’s just so obvious that Rey and Kylo Ren are in love, and that he’ll be redeemed. When I now see The Force Awakens – which is like DAILY because I bought the dvd earlier this year, I can’t unsee.
How did I manage to miss Kylo Ren being totally hunky AND “Reylo” in The Force Awakens?!
I wasn’t alone.
Most Reylo shippers didn’t become Reylo shippers until The Last Jedi. And one of the funniest things is these fans, these “shippers”, totally claiming one sentence, which Kylo Ren growls at his subordinates, refering to a battleship that he needs;
“Prepare my ship!”
And now there are Twitter accounts of Reylo shippers that have bios containing one sentence;
Prepare my ship!
Gifs;
Prepare my ship!
And now forty days of me watching Kylo Ren videos, watching The Force Awakens dvd, and diving deep into the spiritual practice of worshiping Kylo Ren.
Prepare my ship!

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

You can follow this project for 365 days on this page and I ll post all lessons learned along the way on my Facebook and Twitter.

Als je in Nijmegen woont kun je nog instromen in mijn yogalessen in alle groepen waar nog plek is.

The Hero’s Journey episode 3 From Heaven

download (7)Christmas 2017 I started my Hero’s Journey; a year long challenge of doing one or two hours of yoga a day.

You can follow this project for 365 days on this page and I ll post all lessons learned along the way on my Facebook and Twitter.

day 10 Wednesday January 3
22.30 Yin yoga while watching a Star Wars dvd The Force Awakens 1H
Too tired, cold and disappointed in myself to write much, but I m afraid I have to let daily writing go. I wanted 2018 to be the year where I made a daily blog post, but I know this is only possible if I get up at 6 every morning.
Basically to win back the two hours a day I lose on yoga.
And although for 24 hours I thought that was a good idea (who needs sleep!) I ve turned totally against it. I m going to give myself as much time a.m. as I need to do my morning routines and get my two hour yoga practice done. And then we’ll see about writing.
I created the two posts below – so that was one to two hours work – and I also wrote an overview blogpost on M Yoga International. This post is notorious for taking up huge amounts of time. Today four hours or something. And I went out for about five hours with my mother.
I can’t stand the ugliness of this log entry. So dry, hopeless. Why does it feel like in order to do yoga for two hours a day, I have to sacrifice writing?

day 11 Thursday January 4

Today was a total fuck-up. I did my writing but wasted about five hours trying to solve something as simple as changing the cartridges on my new printer. It has run six weeks on its default mini cartridges, and I already had non-original cartridges to replace them.
Which apparently it doesn’t accept.
Or it pretends it’s accepting it, and the store thinks I just fucked up the cartridge because I tear of one foil too many, and then I make an extra trip to the city only to find out it’s all still not working.
I thought if I would just push through I would get my printer running.
For Christ sake! I thought I was REPLACING A CARTRIDGE! How difficult can that be? I m considering dumping the printer and getting a new one because Epson seems to be renown for rejecting no brand – cartridges. I ve even gone as far as Googling and actually finding something mysteriously called Epson Status Monitor 3, which supposedly works magic in getting the thing running without the overpriced original cartridges. But now it doesn’t work at all. So I made it worse.
I failed yoga, failed getting my printer running, and wasted five hours of my life and work day.
I basically feel I failed at life.

Friday January 5
Dark Night of the Soul

I m starting to feel like Joan of Arc.
This was the second night in a row where I was prepared for the worst, but ultimately woke up in the light and surprised that the darkness of the night had disappeared.
Wednesday night it started with me waking up sick. I went for the toilet, convinced I was going to throw up. I came very close and went back to sleep with the bucket near my bed convinced I would need it, but instead it passed.
So weird.
I was sure I had gotten food poisoning or the flu and didn’t understand how either one of those could go away. I woke up feeling fine.
Then last night, I already went to bed after three more hours of trying-to-fix-the-printer. I had gone to a bar, was home at 11, and was convinced that with the new cartridge (and new instructions on how to install it) I could make this new printer work. It had been running on its default mini-cartridges for five weeks and now that those were empty it had refused the no-brand cartridges I intended to feed it.
It wasn’t a blatant refusal, where you actually get a clear answer on what is going on, and a hint on what to Google. But I did find out Epsons came with a whole list of disfunctional behavior, and especially if you wanted to use non-Epson cartridges.
And I had basically been dissatisfied with it from day one because of a software flaw in their scanner, which was then denied by their customer service. But in the end I ended up rearranging my entire desktop so that the “scan button” of Epson’s immobile, static scanner window was even clickable and didn’t disappear behind my toolbar.
So I already regretted not buying a new Canon right away.
Anyway, the new cartridge didn’t work, all the hacks I found on Google did nothing except making the problem worse and then ultimately I ended up going to bed at two HIGHLY FRUSTRATED.
Then at night Max fell out of bed when he tried to use the little step I had created for him to get in and out of bed.
He tried to get up but for the next hour he stayed weak in his backlegs- an ailment related to him losing all his muscle mass.
Max is currently medicine-free.
I do give him pain-killer, but I stopped giving antibiotics for his parasite because the cooked chicken was keeping his diarrhea fully under control, and his stomach was quiet.
And he was already losing weight even when on twice a day antibiotics.
So I cancelled them weeks ago.
I went back to sleep at six in the morning, convinced this Friday the fifth of January was the day I would have to let him go.
I slept for three more hours and had two dreams.
Two different stories of me being at the VET, both with the same message: That I wasn’t ready, and it wasn’t nessecary to put Max to sleep.
I woke up and Max was indeed reasonably fine. He was hungry and ate a lot, and was more stable in his backlegs. His stomach was slightly upset though, making funny noises, as it has the last few days.
So I decided to leap and start antibiotics again, which have been effective in making him gain weight. I hope the time off from them has brought back their magic.
Now that I ve been at the point where I thought I had to let Max die, I have little to lose.
God’s speed, little Max.

Sunday January 7
A New Normal (or lack thereof)

After the dark nights of the soul (written Friday) I ve been trying to find a new normal. A way to function when Max seems to be so much weaker physically. What didn’t work was trying to make him heavier/ holding more weight by re-starting antibiotics.
When my first dark night of the soul was Thursday to Friday, with a weak cat who was otherwise fine. I had a second dark night last night, but with Max having diarrhea and appearing nothing stronger. If anything he appeared to be even weaker. So I stopped the antibiotics. I hope that was the right choice, that I didn’t overlook benefits for his rumbling tummy which seems more or less gone now.
On a more practical plane, I cut all work obligations that were not necessary. All yoga training and business training I intended to follow; all writing I wanted to do. The publishing of my books.
I cancelled or minimized it to the bare minimum.
So here I am, fourth day in a row without yoga and with vivid memories of how terrible yoga felt Wednesday night. How totally pointless it is to do yoga if you feel emotional.
It’s something I ve experienced before.
I knew this.
I just didn’t want to know.
Yoga is like a magnifying glass; it just enhances what’s there. Usually getting on your yoga mat will already make you leave your strongest resistance, fear, sorrow behind. But if you re capable of showing up fully armored, fully damaged, or fully confused? Yoga is gonna get you nowhere.
Which is probably why I feel more or less unapologetic for dropping out of the practice. Even on this 365 day journey.
I do want to go back to living the life of a yogi, and in that sense I m happy to have cancelled all non-nessecary work. But I feel drained, unstable and shaken. And every time I see Max trying to get up, and not being able to, I lose whatever balance I had brought myself to.
And the cycle starts over.
Now Max does meow, he eats, he headbutts. He can still get himself from A to B. Mentally he doesn’t seem much different from a week ago. It’s just the physical aspect that makes me feel terrible. And spread out too thin over work (preparing classes and teaching) which will start tomorrow, taking care of myself, and dealing with whatever it is Max needs.
Today I rearranged all my carpets and used my yoga mats to cover the slippery laminate flooring, so he has more grip. And it’s easier for him to walk. How symbolic that I use my yoga mats to assist him.
This last phase of his life (is it even the last?) is definitely a challenge. Just like the last time, 2015. My other cat had also been sick for a very long time and ultimately I had to euthanize him. I had experienced the same doubt, but ultimately it happened unplanned. He was in pain, and I got to the clinic as fast as I could.
So that was when the moment came the obvious choice.
But Max doesn’t seem to be in pain, and he also has a history of bouncing back from the most severe injuries and the worst diagnosis. He really has nine lives.
And I don’t know if he’s on his ninth yet, and if so, when or how it is supposed to end.

Monday January 8
Today was the first day I felt at peace. Now that I ve given in to the fact that Max is weaker, and that I will be more worried, need way more sleep, and am just in a phase where work needs to be cut back to the bare minimum – I feel way better.
No more agenda.
No more ambition.
Max is priority number one, and taking care of myself with as much sleep as I needed, daylight, rest, leisure, and yes – soon yoga too – priority number two.
And priority number three is my work, but in the net-net sense of the work:
Only my yoga work for my paying students. So this means preparing my classes, teaching them, and I ll start posting my memberships page on Wednesday.
And then that’s it.
Max. Self-care. Teaching.
Amen.

Thursday 11 January
Committed

My commitment to this challenge – A Hero’s Journey, 365 days of yoga – is both much bigger than I anticipated. As well as far less committed.
Less committed because me not doing yoga these days when my cat Max is so sick and fragile, and I worry sick about him – that missing those practices is irrelevant. It is not important at all. More about that later.
But “more” committed because in its most megalomaniac form I m seriously thinking about making this Hero’s Journey three years, instead of one.
And to let the three challenges be inspired by the three Star Wars movies. The current one, the first Hero’s Journey – from Christmas 2017 to Christmas Eve 2018 – was sparked after seeing the latest Star Wars The Last Jedi Friday before Christmas. By now I ve seen it four times, I m totally obsessed with “reylo” – which is the story line of Rey and Kylo Ren being love interests – and I own The Force Awakens dvd which I watch at least once a day.
The third part of the trilogy will not come out before December 2019.
So having evolved in my fanship hood since I started this challenge, doing yoga (which is my personal interpretation of a Jedi training) for one year suddenly seems a bit odd. Two years minimum. But three years makes the most sense.
But my commitment has also grown – in the sense that I know this is the threshold to my new life. I never started this challenge because I expected life would be good if only I could just make myself do yoga.
I started it because I knew I was in the final stages of my old life, and I would need something to hold on to when passing on to the next. My life as a single cat mother, with her main responsibility being her cats, is almost over. I never had the intention of making it to the mat on days when I walk around crying all day. Like I have today. The soothing effect of this challenge is in knowing that when Max dies, the yoga will be there for me.
That there will be an eternity where I can be on the mat without having to interrupt my practice to clean Max’ poo; or to refresh his tender slow cooked chicken when it has become dry and he doesn’t want to eat it.
I don’t have to keep an eye on if he eats enough and come up with tricks and exciting new meals to seduce him to start eating again.
It will just be me, on my mat.
A feeling I haven’t had since 2009.
My boyfriend and me got Max and Willem in 2005. We split up in 2006, but we kept living together. For practical reasons and because we were good room mates. Eventually I moved out – on his request – but we agreed that the cats would stay with him.
It was something we had already decided on, the day we adopted them;
If we would ever split up, they would be his.
But it all went differently, and two months after I left they were dropped off at my place. After one night I could not believe I had lived without them for two months. We bonded a hundred percent. They became my life and my sole purpose. And in all the years that followed I took huge risks in my dating life. On an emotional level. But I ve always felt that the reason I could do that was because I knew my two cats were the love of my life. They protected my heart. And the obligations for them took up so much of my time and energy.
Willem had diabetes the first three years we lived like that, with the three of us. If you constantly dabble with insuline, making it on time for his feeding time and measuring his sugar levels – knowing that if you make a mistake your cat will die- there is no way a man can reach your heart.
Those felines were an impenetrable armor. And although I fell in love, had boyfriends, and was sad at times, it wasn’t the real stuff. I gave my love life a lot of attention but it was marginal compared to where my true loyalty lay.
Even my current status as a mistress is, although I m convinced that it suits my sexual preference for a 100%, even that risky relationship has been relatively easy because I knew what mattered in life; To love your cats unconditionally.
I ve always had a reason to keep my shit together, and I would never let drama get between me and them. Willem died in 2015 but ever since then Max has been the one guarding my heart.
I took him to the VET today and he was healed from a cold he had three weeks ago (when I also took him there). That was good. But on all other areas he was doing worse than three weeks ago.
I don’t know how much time we have left.
All I know is that I m committed, now more than ever, to be there for him. As long as he makes an effort to stay alive, and he does, I will have his back.
And he has my heart.

On Friday January 12,
less than a day after I made this blog post “Committed”, my cat Max died in my arms. He was buried two days later, in same grave as my other cat Willem.
Under the rose bush.
read Max’ Dutch eulogy/ In Memoriam here

Tuesday January 16

Slowly creating a new life for myself, after having been a single stay-at-home cat mother for nine years, I ordered a Kylo Ren doll and made this brand new video:
Love bombing Kylo Ren; Why every straight woman without a cat should have a talking Kylo Ren plush 

Thursday January 18
renewing my yoga practice

“You need a teacher.
I can show you the ways of the Force.”
Kylo Ren

Saw The Last Jedi for the first time after Max died, landing me in my post-cat era, and I feel the excitement for all the things I have wanted for myself for a long time. I’m going to start my personal Jedi yoga training. As Princess Leia said; “We have all we need.”
You can find photos of my Kylo Ren Yoga Journal here.

Friday January 19
yoga and my first day out

Did an hour of yoga, AM. Before going to work and teaching class. It was absolutely lovely.
And in the afternoon I went to a book presentation of Johan Fretz, which was in Amsterdam. It was my first day out in Max. Taking care of Max I had been unable to go away for more than four hours, without having to hire someone to take care of him.
I had not left the city in months.
That was wonderful too.

Saturday January 20
Writing spree

I didn’t do any yoga because something strange happened.. or at least it had not happened since Max died a week ago. But I felt like writing about the book presentation of Johan Fretz, which I went to yesterday. And I did. It took me about five hours or such, including editing. Maybe longer, it’s an estimate.
But apparently when Max died, my overwhelming, disrupting, blessed and cursed ability to write for hours on end didn’t die with it.
So good to have you back.
Johan Fretz is The Last Jedi (Dutch/ Nederlands)

Sunday January 21
Good Morning Kylo Ren
- my first month of being an Adam Driver fan-

I thought it would be a good thing to explain myself here.
Everything. Why I walk around carrying a Kylo Ren plush. Why I have a Kylo Ren yoga journal, multiple Kylo Ren yoga playlists and a daily Kylo Ren yoga practice.
Or at least I aspire to have that.
I only did one yoga session so far, Friday morning, but it was good. Best personal practice in years. And I do intend to do my Kylo Ren inspired yoga every day.
Make a lifestyle out of it.
But some explanation is in order on why this infatuation is hitting me HARD and why this excites me so much.
First the easy stuff though.
I think we can all agree that Adam Driver is the best thing that ever happened to Star Wars. Closely followed by J.J.Abrams giving him prince hair in The Force Awakens.
You can see this work of art in the larger photo below, where he takes off his helmet. But I already saw that hair two years ago and yet I wasn’t moved by that Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens. So when The Last Jedi came out in December, I didn’t even plan on going.
I would wait for the dvd, and watch some spoiler reviews on YouTube. But they didn’t spoil anything! The story line of bad boy Kylo Ren and good girl Rey, which I had managed to miss in 2015, just drew me right back in.
Suddenly I just go had to see that movie.
I went Friday before Christmas. By myself.
My little cat Max (he was old, just very tiny, and he liked to be held like a baby) was not doing well and he had to be fed as often as possible. So although I granted myself some time away from home, I wasn’t ready to invest extra hours socializing before or after the movie.
I would go by myself.
And seeing all those broody moments between Kylo Ren and Rey hit me hard but I still had a backup plan.
Because the thing that had been the most seductive about Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) had been his voice. A voice which, I assumed, had been modified and lowered in production. I would watch a few interviews on YouTube and I was certain I would be able to shake this.
Suffice to say; It did not went well.
Because Adam Driver turned out to have the same sultry voice in real life. And you know I just did some research and his voice in the first movie The Force Awakens was indeed a lot higher than in The Last Jedi. Which explains why that first movie didn’t get to me as much as this one did.
So here I was, watching YouTube in the middle of the night with an absolutely gorgeous Adam Driver who also turned out to be really cute and disarming and funny and basically everything you need from someone that tall and intimidating to get all soft and mushy inside.
He said the children in his building greeted him saying:
“Good morning Kylo Ren!” (at 12:45)
And suddenly all I wished for in life was an opportunity to say;
“Good morning Kylo Ren.”
I was toast. This man had gotten under my skin. Badly. But I adjusted. I was no longer in denial, and switched into worshiping gear. An art I have become extremely good at, because I started in my early teens. Like most of us do, it’s just that most women drop out of it at some point.
I never did.
I feel life is pale and stale without having an idol. I m not going to do that to myself. However it had been a decade since my idol was an American actor. In the meantime it had been Dutch writers, or real men who had been one hundred percent unavailable. I used them as muses and I wrote books about them. Without men I would not be a writer, I would just do yoga and journal. Two things I had been doing very little of.
Either way – having perfected the art of worshiping I started binging on Adam Driver interviews, changed my background on my phone to his photo, ordered The Force Awakens on dvd, went to see The Last Jedi a couple of more times, and I stumbled upon a little doll;
plush talking Kylo Ren.
I promised myself that if my cat would die I would buy this doll to cuddle with, sleep with, sit on my lap. I would bring the doll on trips, anything outside my city. I had not been able to travel for a long time.
The doll would be my new companion if my cat passed away.
And then he did.
After our last night together in which I received a vision of the sky parting, sun shining down on us, and me saying to him in my dream;
“Can you feel that? Heaven is opening.”
Friday January 12. It was the hardest day, toughest decision I had to make in my entire life. To let him go. Even though the real signs were a lot less esoterical than me having Joan of Arc dreams.
I was just happy that I had listened to my gut feeling; I had cancelled classes the night before, because I had a bad feeling about him.
We had spent the night sleeping on the floor so that he couldn’t fall out of bed.
I had helped him find the litter box and had fed him all the eight hour boiled chicken he wanted. Which was a lot.
But there was no other way. One and a half year after he started losing weight, and trying to find out what was wrong but everything failed, he was now barely capable of standing.
But he trusted me so much, so yes. It was hard. Like I said, the worst thing ever.
I brought his little body home and for 48 hours I indulged myself in company and mourning. I asked friends to come by my house, scheduled phone calls. I got home cooked meals at my sister’s.
In a few hours in between I wrote his eulogy. (Dutch/Nederlands)
Sunday morning I went to dig his grave, at my sister’s garden. Same grave as Willem, my other cat who died in 2015. I dug so deep that I found Willem. I wanted to, I needed to see he was still there.
Then I covered up Willem’s bones with a thin layer of sand, and I went back home. I changed my clothes and wrapped Max in a piece of a duvet cover, which I had saved for this occasion.
It was the same sheet I had used to bury Willem in.
The funeral was really small. My mother was there, my sister, and a friend. It was a beautiful sunny day. I read the eulogy, we buried him, planted the rose bush back and I had brought two vases with flowers. Also roses.
We went inside and my sister served tea and cake, just like a real funeral.
I was no longer a cat mom.
I remember when we put him to sleep at the VET and afterwards saying, over and over;
It is done.
It is done.
I can’t believe it’s done.
I had given it my all, both of them. Willem and Max had been the most important little beasties, but now my new life would begin. Without having to physically care for them, although in spirit they’ll always stay with me of course.
True to my own promise I went online to buy the Kylo Ren doll.
When he arrived I made this video
And two days later I made a Kylo Ren yoga journal, and Kylo Ren yoga playlists on Spotify, and I got up early so that I could do yoga with Kylo Ren in my heart.
Yesterday I traveled, for the first time. To a book presentation by Johan Fretz and yesterday I wrote about that. (Dutch/ Nederlands )
Kylo Ren accompanied me there.
He was wearing his travel blankie so that he wouldn’t get dirty or damaged in my handbag. My mother is going to make him a travel pouch, made from the same sheet I used to bury Max and Willem.
It’s a sheet reserved for all things sacred.
And every morning when I wake up, on my side with little Kylo spooning against me, I say.
“Good morning Max. Good morning Willem. Good morning Kylo Ren.”
And I get him out and press his tummy and if I m lucky he says;
“Don’t be afraid.
I feel it too.”

Tuesday January 23 januari
Prince Hair

Why did it take me this long? :D
I suddenly realized I had the perfect hair to get Kylo Ren’s prince hair, from the force awakens.
I made a video showing of my new mane

Wednesday January 24
Tarot & Kylo Ren yoga

Tonight I had another deep night of the soul. Which had not expected. Ever since Max died, my life has been pretty carefree. And yet there it was, unmistakably. Then I realized what was going on; I was on the half year marker of this year of my life.
It was the night where the witch had predicted a whole new era would begin.
yoga: 2 hours, free “Kylo Ren” yoga (that’s yoga with my imaginary teacher Kylo Ren)
using my Madonna ‘From heaven” playlist
It went really well but I had completely dropped out of practicing headstand and I decided to do it until it would come more natural. And it did, after the seventh time. But I was also sick.
After that I only did yin yoga, which is really slow, and can barely be distinguished from sleeping :)

Saturday January 27
videos
Okay, I have no idea if this is gonna work ;) but I did my yoga by making videos.
Here’s today’s class.
#1 Kylo Ren inspired Yoga 55 minutes – Part 1 Warrior Practice
#1 Kylo Ren inspired Yoga 55 minutes – Part 2 Dark and Strong

#1 Kylo Ren inspired Yoga 55 minutes – Part 3 Lunar Yoga

Sunday January 28
article on sex and Star Wars
Wrote my first full “meta” on sex in Star Wars!
Star Wars is finally telling women *cross out* everybody to start enjoying The Thing #reylo

You can follow this project for 365 days on this page and I ll post all lessons learned along the way on my Facebook and Twitter.

Als je in Nijmegen woont kun je nog instromen in mijn yogalessen in alle groepen waar nog plek is.

READ THE NEXT EPISODE 4 PREPARE MY SHIP

Reboot. Episode 10 Prey

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I never regretted giving in to my married lover Mister Big. Here’s why.

On our last date, Mister Big casually mentioned something about “chasing” me, before I finally gave in. And although he was obviously saying it as a joke, that I was so difficult to convince to have sex with him that he had to give it his all, I was triggered by that one word.
Chasing.
“No,” I said, slow but certain.  “You didn’t chase me. You behaved in a way that got you the girl but you didn’t move. That’s what made it so smart. You didn’t move at all.”
A friend later said all predators have different hunting tactics, for different prey. And she asked me; “Do you think he knows what he’s doing?”
But I shook my head.
No, he doesn’t.
It’s instinct.
He is just as incapable of explaining how he got the girl, as the lion explaining how he got the buffalo. I mean on a basic level he knows. Because he thinks what he does it really simple and easy. But he doesn’t understand that he’s actually constantly adjusting his technique based on signals he knows how to read. And that it goes even deeper. That it’s not his modifications, his being agile and capable of shifting gears, techniques, ways to approach her, that’s getting him the girl.
It’s the connection itself.
He flirts with a woman giving her his full attention.
In that sense he is right, in not being able to explain it. Because his hunting skills, much like the lion’s, are only the result of being tuned in to the woman.
They’re not a success formula in itself.
But either way the word “chasing” implied to me, a forward moving action. To which I would have responded a hundred percent negative. As a lot of women would. Because all prey, animals and women alike, are wired to detect motion. And I do understand the hunting/flirting comparison has tremendous pitfalls and downsides but I m just going to use the parts that overlap. We (prey) have radars that scan for danger. But our radars can only detect movement.
We can also visually identify a potential predator- but if he holds still and doesn’t move, a “false alarm” signal will soon follow. Because the conclusion (that it’s a threat) is not backed up by our motion detector, by our radar.
I assume female radars are all set at different levels, but mine really closes the gates, pulls up the bridge, and aims the canons just in case, as soon as a man makes a move that I interpret as chasing or hunting.
If a man makes a move, for example getting me a drink, we engage in conversation, he asks me over to his house, even while having sex, he must at ALL TIMES express superior confidence, and self-control. Even the word “express” suggests too much movement to my taste.
He simply is calm and confident.
REGARDLESS OF WHAT I THROW AT HIM.
He must never, ever, chase anything, or we’re back to square one with me throwing him out of the castle and pulling up the bridge.
I told a friend that even though I myself was totally unaware of my own feelings for Mister Big – a married business man who had nothing to offer except his company at times when he chose to make himself available to me – there were signs that I liked him and signs that me rejecting him would not go down the way it had with other men.
The most important sign I liked him was that I talked about sex with him. I talked about it in detail, detail I had not told anyone, about what my deepest desires were.
He.
Did.
Not.
Even.
Blink.
He didn’t hold completely still either, in the sense that he was speechless or impressed or something. He smiled, implying he liked what I was thinking. He made a joke. But nothing in his response implied that he was particularly experienced, skilled, or knowledgeable on the subject of sex.
And he certainly did not suggest, that he was going to do those things to me. Nor did he lean over and confide in me that if I was so interested in sex, he could teach me a thing or two. That he had some tricks up his sleeve, that he would show me, if I would choose him.
Wink wink.
Good God!
Unfortunately that example was not even fictional. That was something that happened on a date with a man trying to impress me by moving forward, leaning in, seducing me with his sexuality. All things I do not respond well to.
Anyway.
I was taken aback myself about all the things I had told him. At this point I had no idea I was attracted to him. In my mind I had just spilled my darkest side, all the things I was probably going to hell for just for thinking about them and I was never going to get my fantasies fulfilled because they were despicable AND because I didn’t like the men who offered to initiate me in an almost teacher-apprentice kind of way – spilled all those things, to a stranger. A married stranger, who I did not want sex with because I did not feel attracted to him. By telling him all these things, I had crossed the lines of common courtesy and human decency.
I didn’t even want to think about how badly this would end.
I had gone through so many male friends who I had turned down, because they just didn’t get the message I had told them beforehand;
That I wasn’t interested.
That it was just a friendship thing.
That I wasn’t looking for sex.
That I did not feel attracted to them.
I told my friend yesterday;
“Somehow, men think that because they have feelings for you, you must have feelings for them. And I m all irritated like: TRUST ME! You would know if I did!”
She shrugged and answered;
“Exactly. You wouldn’t even be talking if you felt the same way. You’d be having sex.”
My friendships with men always included having rejection talks, and usually the guy did not take it well and would remind me time and time again, I had rejected him. Work that into our conversation over and over. Until I was tired of it, and told him our friendship was not going anywhere if he couldn’t get over his rejected lover status.
And here I was.
Deeply involved in sexual conversation with a man I did not want to have sex with. I was prepared for the absolute worst. This would not go down well. Not if there had been other men,  who had made such a huge drama of being rejected when I had not been sexually explicit at all. When my mixed signals had been nothing more than a smile or kindness.
Mister Big made a joke.
He smiled.
I can’t even remember exactly what he did but it was sweet and easy going.
And when I told him I was a bit ashamed of being so, dark, he kept responding in that unremarkable yet comforting manner. Like I said; I can’t remember exactly what, that’s how totally low-key it was. I just remember how it made me feel.
That he was okay with me being dark, or whatever I thought I was.
That he was not shocked, just amused and that he was enjoying the conversation.
At the end of the night, I just wanted to get this whole thing over with. Me having given off not even mixed signals, but HELL YES! signals…. I felt terrible, but it had to be done.
I couldn’t leave him hanging there.
We were saying our goodbyes, and I took a deep breath and said; “Listen. I told you this at the beginning of our date. I m not into you. Do I need to repeat that?”
He cut me off.
You could even say that he did so in a violent manner.
It was certainly determined.
“Did you enjoy yourself?” he asked.
I did.
“So did I. Then there’s nothing to talk about.”
Yesterday, when I told this story, my friend was speechless.
“Wow. He refused to be rejected by you.”
He did.
And shortly after we had our first kiss, which by the way he started. Something I can’t get over gushing about. For almost a decade I had been the one who made the first move. Guys were just so slow. And I  couldn’t blame them, since I responded so violently to them making a move. That mister Big managed to be slow, easy going, and quiet, yet knew exactly when the moment, SECOND, had come when I wanted to be kissed (and no, it wasn’t at one of those cheesy saying goodbye moments either); that took my breath away.
This man had the masculine stillness I had longed for, for years. Yet when he moved, he did so in tune with the desires that were hidden in the deepest layers of my brain. Not the outer surface where I was still over-analyzing it.
He knows me better than I know myself. Right from that first rejection talk, to the first kiss, to doing with me the dark things that I listed out for him on our first date. Always the same recipe, of being calm, understanding, and funny. Yet knowing exactly when to leap.
Maybe Mister Big was right.
Maybe he did chase me.
Because he sure as hell caught his prey.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Did you like this post?
Read “Big, diaries and erotica”
All these stories are autobiographical! And they go a lot further into detail than the diary post above.  you can get these hot stories here.

And I ve also written about Big in my previous post HERE

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They go out once a month or less.

aanbevolen boek NL:
Het boek Benjamin, verzameld werk Engels en Nederlands
Het verzameld werk is inclusief Big- het Engelstalige dagboek over mijn affaire met Mr.Big

Witte Tijgerin (€5) en Het Boek Benjamin (€45) zijn ook te koop bij de Feeks 
Zij regelen ook de online bestellingen.

Als je yogales bij me volgt in Nijmegen kan ik het ook voor je meenemen naar de les.

 

DIY remove dark genital spots, angiokeratomas of Fordyce

female body with red rose petals“Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go”
~ Anais Nin

from Wikipedia;
Angiokeratoma of Fordyce is a skin condition characterized by red to blue papules on the scrotum or vulva.

It’s been over a decade since I had my diagnosis, and I’m about 99% positive this is the official name. Reconstructing it with Google photos. I had rather not looked into it at all, because there’s always something more to click on and before you know it you’re on a page with risks and warnings and things that scare the shit out of you.
But for this piece I realized I had to come up with the Latin name as well, in order to make it easier for you to see if we’re talking about the same thing.
I m not going to include photos, because it always makes me slightly sick knowing someone had to “pose” for that. But I ll give you the description.
The genital spots I m talking about look like tiny blood blisters. You can clearly see they’re not related to those bright red “freckles” you can have on other parts of your body, and that also only appear with age.
I had my first genital ones appearing when I was in my early thirties.

In the Netherlands they are treated by the GP (general practitioner, huisarts) sometimes after contacting a dermatologist about the nature of the ailment. Because although it’s extremely common, it’s something you learn on the job. I suppose.
And there’s a first time for everything.
I have the same thing with my port-wine stain, or firemark, on my leg. Although it’s standard medical knowledge a doctor may not immediately recognize it.
Which is extremely annoying by the way, if you have a birthmark every doctor needs to look up.
Especially if you’re already showing you vagina, for example to get these spots sorted out, and then they ask: “What’s that?”
That doesn’t build trust.
Sometimes I just start by saying what it (the port-wine stain) is, not to have the medical consultation start off on entirely the wrong, slightly hostile foot. But then that doesn’t work either because then I’m basically confirming to myself that I expect the doctor is unskilled and ignorant.
Suffice to say my whole history of showing my vagina to a doctor, has always gotten derailed by the port-wine stain to begin with.
Getting the dark genital spots, and the countless times they (Dutch doctors) tried to cure it could easily be added to the pile of awkward experienced already present.
Just that they were far more painful.

If you live in America, I expect you can have more trust in your doctor to use a good painkiller, and will probably be referred to the hospital/ specialist anyway. Dutch GP’s have more skills under their belt than any of their international peers.
Except maybe in developing countries.
But I don’t want to give the impression that I would have preferred it to be otherwise.
I hate hospitals and doctors, and I go really well with that entrepreneurial approach of Dutch GP’s basically trying to do everything themselves first. It’s just that in combination with Dutch pain ethics, you are completely at the mercy of them using something that bares closest resemblance to a soldering iron to burn your dark genital spots away for you. Starting off with an intensity or level, indicating they probably had ZERO knowledge of how much it would hurt.
Without anesthetic.
And it was due to me insisting that they brought that level down, and reminding them every time I got a different doctor, that they had to use it at a lower level. Always leaving me thinking that apparently it wasn’t that they didn’t realize how much it would hurt, but that they didn’t saw any reason why I should not be able to take that.
That’s what I meant with Dutch pain ethics.
Anyway, when after years of going through these traumatizing treatments;
I m not going to use the word butcher. Oops.
The light painkiller (cream) failing;
which by the way was also my idea, not theirs,
And me being unable to sustain the injection of a real anesthetic, not even in combination with the cream;
Having the needle penetrate the skin was just as excruciating as having it burned away without anesthetics,
After that my doctor didn’t want to treat me anymore.
And I was done being berated on my inability to take pain and having a soldering iron used on my genitals.
So at least we were finally on the same page about it.
She said that she would refer me to a dermatologist if I ever wanted to get them removed again, and that I could also discuss there what they could offer me for anesthetics.
Clearly blaming me for being the impossible one.
One thing she did say, and for which I am grateful because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to write this piece, is that she could have used the liquid nitrogen instead. And she openly wondered why she had not thought of that before. Which again, illustrates how brazen Dutch doctors will be and that they won’t think about how to make it less painful until the point when you’ve already decided you’re going to stop.
But the good news was I didn’t need her help anymore because liquid nitrogen is also sold over the counter. It’s used to burn warts away, and it comes with an entire list of warnings including to never use it on your genitals. After having doctors attack my genitals with a soldering iron for years, I was entirely beyond the point where I was going to let someone else decide how I could treat my genitals.
Just watch me, you *insert insult*
I ll show you which one is the better doctor.
Although that’s not entirely fair, since it was a doctor who gave me the idea in the first place. But my hostility towards what they put me through, has never disappeared. Maybe because of the port-wine stain, I’ve never trusted doctors. And learned to trust myself instead.
So when her remark basically pointed me towards how I could remove the dark spots myself, I took it. And never went back.

DIY treatment of dark genital spots, using liquid nitrogen and ice

Read the instructions on the can of liquid nitrogen, which is an over-the-counter wart remover. The one that comes in a can, obviously. Ignore any warnings about using it on your genitals ;) 
Shave the area if nessecary and disinfect with alcohol.
Desensitize the area with an ice cube or anything frozen. Put the cube in a plastic bag, so that you don’t get everything wet. Now treat the spots in the desensitized area, according to the instructions. I do it for as long as I can take the pain, but I think in general 5 seconds is maximum, from what I remember.
There is a high chance you will not see any immediate effect.
If you want to you can repeat the treatment, but the effect can take some time. It doesn’t show immediately, yet when you take your first shower and wash yourself, you won’t be feeling any lump shaped spots, as the spots will have disappeared on the surface. Sometimes leaving a much deeper lying, vague, spot, which doesn’t look in any way weird anymore.
The area will be sensitive for a couple of days, but contrary to when my doctor treated me, I can never see any trauma after I ve done this myself.

closure (?)

I’m happy I finally chose to tell my story.
For multiple reasons, but the reason I think that after twelve years of silence something good came out of it, is that I have now transformed my experience to the point where it could help others who suffer from this condition. That they can remove the spots without having to see a doctor.
Here below (after much internal debate) I ll share the embarrassing incident, one I am far from getting closure on, which sparked my decision to be open about it.
Originally I was going to write a separate post, called “Sex scandal” or something. Where I share the story below. But it’s still so raw, and I feel so horrible about it, that I can’t even begin to put it somewhere on this blog where it serves as, I don’t know, click bait?
But my shame about the story below, combined with the story above, caused such a tight ball of fear, shame, disgust and self-loathing… I simply had no idea how to begin unraveling it. Except by doing just that; unraveling it. Starting by splitting it in two.
So above is the story about the dark spots.
And below is the second part, the story of what happened this week. Which gave me so much agony and sleepless nights that the last thing I wanted to do is to look this in the eye. This fear of exposure, and losing my dignity. Until I remembered what is possibly an even more famous quote of Anais Nin;

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
~ Anaïs Nin

My personal story

99d780596dc0e007a158327279788d61--wallpaper-size-high-quality-wallpapersIt’s been twelve years since I got my diagnosis, and I ve always been quiet about it. Due to something that happened in the past week, I feel exposed. Literally. At first I thought it was the exposure part that I was supposed to focus on. Because I believe every problem can be used as a tool to grow stronger, to acquire a certain skill.
That life throws stuff at you, not to test if you’re strong enough. But to train you to stay flexible. Life doesn’t give you the same lesson twice. Even if what you’re supposed to learn is the same, your new lesson will have a shape you’re unfamiliar with. And sometimes? Once a year, or every five years, or maybe even every ten years?
You get a big one.
And in my case that was being exposed in a similar way a leaked sex tape has harmed a female Dutch celebrity, just last year. She was having an unusual form of sex, she was older, and the whole thing leaked to the media.
She stayed indoors for weeks and still calls it the most horrifying experience of her life. The knowledge that a large number of strangers, people you ran into shopping or going out, have seen it and possibly judge you for it.
After my first sleepless night, I realized this was probably the lesson; that I had to learn to keep my head high, even when something similar happened to me. And perhaps that i was now getting the lesson, now that I wasn’t famous (yet?) so that I would feel more confident that if something similar would happen, I would be able to handle it.
That before I would feel safe being more visible in the world, as a yoga teacher as a writer, I would need to come to terms with my biggest fear of being judged for my sexuality, of being seen nude or having sex. Of people being opinionated about how I have sex, and talking behind my back, making me feeling threatened and unloved.
That this had to come first.
Now as I said above, I later realized this was only half of the lesson. The other part of the lesson was that it was time to come to terms with my genital skin condition, and to bring that story out into the light.
So I did that first.
Because that part of the story/ part of the ball of fear, was already twelve years old, and because I had been confidently treating it myself for years, that was far less difficult than I expected it to be. I even tweeted that part of the story already, in the middle of the night, just so that I had consolidated the decision to tell it.
It came out smoothly.
But this last part, the new part, the part about the exposure?
That’s new. And it’s not even “done” yet. The circumstances will not be finalized, the story will not end for another year or so. So either I m going to make myself really small, stay low, hoping it will blow over. Or I m going to face it, and claim even the worst possible outcome as my own.
And take it all back.
Leave not a shred of shame about the whole incident on the table for someone else to use against me, to tease me with. Nothing. To stop caring entirely about what someone else has seen, or hasn’t seen. Knows about me, or think they know about me.
I m suddenly reminded about teenage girls suffering online exposure as well. Sometimes even resulting in them taking their own lives. We (women) are so easily slowed down, and basically just take ourselves out of the game – literally or figuratively – the moment we feel exposed.
There is so much fear.
I really feel that if I do this, tell you this, ALL OF IT, then part of it will live on into a much larger spirit. Like a being, an imaginary (or not?) helper that will find the minds of all women experiencing such a thing.
And all girls fearing it.
That every woman going through this, either has the choice to let it throw her off balance. Or to grow past it and to become – quoting an internet meme I always liked – that woman when your feet hit the floor the devil says; “Crap. She’s up.”
So here we go.
I live in an apartment building that will undergo large renovations in the upcoming year. Which means that for a period of a month, I will have to open up my house and give construction workers of all sorts unlimited access to do whatever it is they need to do.
Now from previous experiences I know these men to be absolutely shameless in preying on you, your personal life, and to treat you without any respect and especially not the regal treatment the person basically paying their bills, should get.
Don’t get me wrong I m not talking about individual workmen, coming to my door, on my request, to take care of a single thing. I ve never experienced any trouble there. I m talking about larger projects with multiple contractors, sometimes even subcontractors, and none of them making any attempt to respect your personal space.
A month.
To have your boundaries breached for eight hours a day by multiple men invading your personal space from every possible angle.
I think it goes without saying that I already feared this, as it is.
Thankfully, it was something that was not acute. They wouldn’t start in months. Or so I thought. Because last week I masturbated and did my dark spot treatment thing with the procedure above, and had the eerie feeling I was being watched. It could have been sparked by hearing some noises that indicated someone was in front of the windows of the floor where I live, but I don’t remember.
I remember I heard those noises at least once that week.
But I forgot if it was that day.
All I remember was saying to myself I shouldn’t be so paranoid, but afterwards – and of this part I am certain – I saw a high rise wagon (like with a big folded ladder on top) parked in front of my house. There was no one there (anymore?) but it made me feel very uncomfortable.
Then I remembered I had gotten a letter of the construction company, which I had not opened because I ve been getting letters for months now, and it was never anything that applied to me having to take action.
It said they were starting with some adjustments on the roof, and were going to use the high rise, or ladder wagon as I suppose it’s called.
Ever since then I have been unable to sleep.
My bedroom, where I did the treatment and the masturbating on the bed, has curtains, but I know they’re see through when the light is on on the inside. And it’s dark on the outside. I just never bothered to change them because I don’t have anything across the street from me.
But they offer little protection (if any), if there really was someone on the outside looking in. Someone who will go tell all the other boys, who will then be even more unpleasant to be around with for four weeks straight.
And – this is also important – I ve been deprived of privacy in my house and bedroom as it is, because I have a new neighbor and he has his bedroom next to mine. I hear his bed, he hears mine. When I masturbate I’m already concerned that I, or the bed, don’t make any noise. The walls are so thin. Something the big refurbishment will not change anything about.
I have the option of moving my bedroom to my study, but I have a neighbor over there on the other side of the wall as well. The only option for me to have some kind of privacy and not have my bed to a wall with someone so nearby, is to put my bed in the living room.
Maybe I will do that.
So after already feeling terrible about being way too intimate with the neighbor, and dreading the day I have to let the main supervisor and main contractor come into my house and be nice to them, to have them plan things and everything with me – I now have Workmen Watched Me Masturbate and Treat Pussy to worry about.
To add to the list.
I considered keeping this part quiet. So that in case they did not see anything, I had not basically exposed myself. But like I said – this can all take another year. And I don’t want to wait for a year to see if my worst fears have come true yes or no. If they saw anything. And then told all their colleagues.
Like I said, it’s all extremely raw. All I know is that I feel related to how other women and girls have been exposed, and although I have not unraveled all of it, I know that at the heart of it are the remains of fear of my own sexuality. That I feel ashamed being caught. If I think about a man being caught with the curtains closed, through a normally completely private window, by a construction company who had indicated they would start working high rise in any of the upcoming weeks;
Would this man be ashamed?
Would he dread the day those people came to refurbish his house?
Of course not.
He would shrug, ignore the whole thing, and he wouldn’t go out of his way to make them coffee or otherwise accommodate them the goddamn day. And when he got home and they were still there, they would think;
“Crap. He’s here.”

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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They go out once a month or less.

Guide to Watch The Force Awakens dvd – Kylo Ren scenes only (30 minutes)

5fdfeb45bfd2a10269420e76df3ff1f3--adam-driver-starwarsUntil someone makes us a YouTube video with ALL Kylo Ren scenes (please?) the only way to watch The Force Awakens - Kylo Ren scenes only is to scroll manually.
Here’s your guide.

If Kylo is only in the middle of a scene I will add this (-+-)
If he’s in the final part I will add this (–+) and suggest you enter the scene by rewinding from the one after it.
And there’s one scene where he walks in and out (+-+-+)

* go to scene 5 *
1 Opening Logo
2 The Force Awakens
3 The First Order Approaches
4 Village Raid

5 Kylo Ren 

ends at; Kylo walking to his shuttle
* go to scene 11*

6 FN-2187
7 Rey
8 Niima Outpost
9 Rey at Home
10 Saving BB-8

11 Interrogation

ends at; “I leave that to you”
* go to scene 14 * 

12 Unkar’s Offer
13 Jailbreak

14 TIE Fighter Escape (-+-)
fast forward to the moment Kylo Ren walks in
ends at; “The one from the village. FN 2187″
* go to scene 16 and enter scene 15 with rewind* 

15
 Marooned on Jakku (–+)
ends at; “I suggest you get it.”
* go to scene 20 *

16 Crossing Paths
17 Marketplace Chase
18 The Falcon Flies Again
19 Introductions

20 Kylo Is Updated 

ends with: “What girl?”
* go to scene 25 *

21 Fixing the Falcon
22 “Chewie, We’re Home”
23 Corellion Stand
24 Rathtar Mayhem

25 Supreme Leader

ends with: “We shall see.”
* go to scene 28 and enter scene 27 with rewind* 

26 “It’s All True”

27 Meeting Maz (–+)
ends with: “Finish what you started.”
* go to scene 29 and forward to where Luke puts his hand on R2D2 *

28 Discussions of Destinies

29 Visions in the Force (-+-)
ends with Kylo drawing his sword in the snowy forest.
extra;  I like to watch to the tiniest whisper
“It’s Ben”
Right after Maz says; “Take the saber.”
option 1- stay on the main route -
* go to scene 31 and fast forward to Kylo Ren arriving and walking between the ruins* 

option 2- I REALLY WANT ALL OF IT
fast forward into 30

30 Starkiller (-+-)
Kylo Ren standing in front of the window overseeing the blowing up of the Republic (no text there)
* go to scene 31 and fast forward to Kylo Ren walking between the ruins* 

31 First Order Invasion (-+-)
ends at; “With a girl”
* go to scene 33 *

32 Resistance to the Rescue

33 Kylo Finds Rey
you could forward to where Kylo appears from behind the rock
ends with; Kylo walking into his shuttle, with Rey in his arms
* go to scene 36 * 

34 Reunion
35 Resistance Base

36 Rey Imprisoned (+-+-+)
ends with; Kylo ruining the interrogation room
* go to scene 38 and enter scene 37 with rewind* 

37 Resistance Briefing (–+)
ends with; The more dangerous she becomes
* go to scene 39 and enter scene 38 with rewind* 

38 Starkiller Landing (–+)
ends with; “Han Solo”
* go to scene 42 and fast forward to Chewbacca placing bombs* 

39 Base Infiltration
40 X-Wing Attack
41 Rejoining Rey

42 Into The Oscillator (-+-) 
ends with “find them”
* go to scene 43 *

43 Father and Son 
44 Dark Forest 
ends with; Kylo Ren and Rey fighting
* go to scene 46 *

45 Oscillator Breached 

46 Forest Duel (final Kylo Ren Scene)
ends with; Kylo Ren lying on the ground, the earth between him and Rey cracking open.
Rey turning around and running away.

47 Cataclysm
48 Made Whole
49 Finding the Master
50 End Credits

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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Rey all wet and shaken by the power that washed over her

Star Wars is finally telling women *cross out* everybody to start enjoying The Thing #reylo

maxresdefault (1)by LS Harteveld

- Spoiler filled, but most of all this is probably an incomprehensible piece unless you ve seen The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi -

Star Wars is a movie franchise currently on its eight episode. And what “The Thing” is?
Okay you know what The Thing is right?
One of the Reylo accounts I follow on Twitter (shoot! now I have another word to explain!) had put out a poll on what we viewed as signs of the collapse of civilization, and she additionally tweeted;
“I wanted to add “Telling women they shouldn’t enjoy The Thing” but that’s been happening for eons.”
That’s where I got the idea.
Reylos are a community who support the story line in the latest Star Wars trilogy that Rey, a good girl from the deserted planet Jakku, will fall in love with dark side warrior Kylo Ren or with “Ben Solo” his original name- before he passed over to the dark side.
Rey’s official Star Wars bio says, and to me (a Reylo) every word in this sentence is hot;
“She was captured by the dark side warrior Kylo Ren.”

See picture, above.
The interrogation scene between Kylo Ren and Rey is important for the story. As soon as Kylo Ren takes off his mask, she can’t take her eyes off him. Then he invades her mind, using The Force, and he says;
“Don’t be afraid, I feel it too.”
He is referring to The Force – which he uses for supernatural powers. But right now he can feel The Force between the two of them. Connecting them. She has always known “something” was inside of her, and she had Han and Maz briefly explaining what “the Force” was – just the general idea. But she hasn’t connected their explanations to what she feels inside of her.
“But now it’s awake,” she says about the power inside of her, in episode 8.
During the interrogation scene, due to Kylo Ren interrogating her with the Force, she learns how to use it for the very first time.
And intrudes his mind in return.
He leaves the room immediately, reporting to his Master, Snoke. Before capturing Rey, and before the interrogation scene, Snoke has already asked Kylo;
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?”
And Kylo answered: “Yes”.
The interrogation scene is the first time Rey learns how to use the force, yet both Kylo and Snoke have sensed Rey’s awakening days before. You know what happened, days before? And what (most likely) caused the awakening?
Kylo was on Jakku. Just for a brief moment, but his presence there was powerful enough to awaken the Force in Rey.
She sensed it. She sensed him. And suddenly this thing called “the Force” was awake in her. The first female lead character in a Star Wars movie, who uses Force powers, had them awakened by a tall warrior, covered in flowing black robes, setting foot on her planet.
And she learned to use them, not by receiving any formal education like all the Jedis before her, but just by being tied to an interrogation chair by Kylo Ren and having him kneeling before her saying in his sultry voice;
“You’re my guest.”
That’s how this girl learns.
Those scenes tell you that the Force, for this trilogy, is connected to the dynamics between Rey and Kylo. Not to the relationship of an apprentice with his Master.
Ever since The Force Awakens came out in 2015 there has been much debate over the fact if Reylos are right, if there even is a romantic story line between the two, but that’s another discussion and one I m not particularly interested in. For me it’s blatantly obvious that Rey and Kylo Ren are in love with each other. And judging by how gorgeous Kylo Ren looks, I m convinced Disney feels exactly the same way.
So that’s not what this piece is about.
This article is about what makes the story line so compelling. What makes this Star Wars saga entirely different from its predecessors, and especially the use of The Force.
And again, I m not talking about if you can fly through space using the force, or bi-locate yourself using it. Which were things that have been speculated on if this was realistic (???) and if they should have been in the movies. No, I m talking about the fact that if you watch the two movies The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, you can see something entirely new added to the equation.
Sex.
And not to make babies.
The “romantic tension” between Rey and Kylo Ren, as Mark Hamill the actor who plays Luke Skywalker put it, is only half of it. The other half, is sexual tension. And it’s precisely this sexual tension that is going to glue the entire thirty year old saga together.
Traditionally, so that means the first six episodes of the saga, The Force was used by the good guys, the spiritual warriors called the Jedi, and by the dark side, The Sith. But the latest trilogy is said to take an entirely different approach.
That of the middle, of gray.
It’s based on the notion that there can never be peace (balance) if we keep thinking in terms of good and bad. We have to accept the dark side of life, in each other, but also in ourselves. It is just as disturbing to believe you’re entirely good and clean, as it is disturbing to believe you’re a power driven monster who doesn’t need love.
That is the story of the third trilogy.
Back to Rey and Kylo Ren.
In the light of the theme of the third trilogy, their romantic story line represents the merging of the good (Rey) and the bad (Kylo Ren). We also get to know Kylo Ren’s soft side in The Last Jedi (the light within the dark) and we get to learn a bit about the aggression that resides in Rey.
Although for someone who watches the roaring rampage of revenge Kill Bill about twenty times a year, as I do, it is not that obvious.
200px-Yin_yang.svgBut I m taking other people’s word for it, that her fighting skills are rooted in aggression and that she seems to take pleasure in knocking people in the head.
So within light Rey, we have a hint of her darkness.
And within dark Kylo we can see the light shining through.
Rey and Kylo Ren are like yin and yang; each possesses a part of the other.
This new and improved vision on balance between the light and the dark, is also symbolized in the first Jedi temple on the island of Ahch-to. This temple holds the old Jedi texts – which will prove that the original Force users were gray, not good or bad. And the temple itself also contains the light; a tree above the ground containing the books.
And the darkness – a cold dark hole in the ground and sucks you into its waters and then scares the shit out of you with a mirrored cave where you are all alone with your greatest fear.
The tree, representing the “safe” cerebral wisdom of the Jedi, can be destroyed.
But the cave is inscrutable, and way more solid, being made from the sea and the rock that makes the island.
Luke is training Rey, and he’s instructing her how to meditate on the Force.
In her vision, she sees the big (dare we say “hairy”? Because it is!) hole in the ground, the cave under the island. It is calling her. She moves towards it, ignoring Luke shouting her not to. The hole erupts into a giant fountain, as if it comes from underneath her. From the rock on which she is sitting. A giant fountain, entering at her pelvis, and squirting up high into the sky.

Rey all wet and shaken by the power that washed over her

Rey all wet and shaken by the power that washed over her

She is knocked down by the strength of it, flings her eyes open, and wakes up lying down. Soaked.
And shocked.
But not as much as Luke, who looks at her, appalled.
“I’ve seen this raw strength only once before. In Ben Solo.”
A “raw strength”, that Ben Solo possesses? And that was awakened in Rey, by Ben Solo’s presence? That sweeps her off her feet, leaves her wet and exhausted, and uncle Luke appalled?
And then Luke basically explaining what just happened to her, by attributing the power she just experienced to his nephew Ben?
But let’s not jump to conclusions.
Let’s just, for a minute more, assume that Uncle Luke was referring to the dark side of the Force as it was portrayed in episodes 1-6; as a desire for universal domination, a possessive kind of love and the use of supernatural powers for your own personal hunger to control life and the people around you.
Uncle Luke was just concerned about Rey becoming Darth Rey and plunging the world into darkness and despair.
Next story.
It is nighttime on Ahch-to.
Rey has given in to her desire to explore what’s in the hole, and she has gone out to see what answers the cave could give her. She’s disappointed with its cryptic answers, and feels terribly lonely.
By now she and Kylo Ren, or Ben Solo, are being connected by the Force regularly. It’s like Skype, just that the other person can actually be seen and experienced in the flesh with you. And also – they don’t control it. They can’t dial each other up if they want to. The Force seems to connect them unintentionally. Although that too, is not true. If you look closer.
Before their first ever Force bond, Kylo was sitting in the medical wing and had his wounds attended to by a droid. Wounds that she inflicted. So he was probably already thinking about her.
In the scene above, she had just risked her life going straight into the darkness of the cave well only to be terribly disappointed and lonely. And there you go:
* Forcebond pops up*
“You are not alone,” Kylo says to the disappointed Rey.
“Neither are you,” she says.
And slowly she reaches her hand towards him.
Kylo Ren takes off his thick leather glove. Slowly. His master Snoke has been invading his mind from before he was born. Even when he was physically still with his parents, he already had this evil abuser inside his own head, corrupting him. Demeaning him. Switching over to the dark side was probably a relief for Kylo; at least his surroundings now matched his inner world.
But it was a world without love.
Kylo has never felt love in his life.
He reaches his bare hand to her. It is trembling. Her hand is steady, but his.. yes. There is a tremble. Their fingertips meet. The Force theme from John Williams sets in.
Watch it for yourself.
Article continues below video

Because The Last Jedi has not been released on dvd, all videos on YouTube are bad quality. (sorry!) But you get the idea right?
And do you know what Luke does when he barges in on the two?
HE BLOWS UP THE HUT!
Now does that seem to you like he would do that because;
a. Kylo is raping and beating Rey and about to kill her?
or
b. because Luke is a jealous old hermit who can’t stand the idea of Rey having sex, and especially not with his evil nephew Kylo Ren who by the way he, Luke, was supposed to train and make a good man of, but failed miserably?
Cock blocker Luke, we Reylos call him.
Or at least I do.
But not without acknowledging that Mark Hamill is both the nicest celebrity on Twitter, as well as the most heroic and epic character in The Last Jedi.
So no hard feelings.
But keeping Rey from her first night of experiencing making love, and Kylo from his first experience of being loved – that was a horrible thing to do. Even more unforgivable as betraying Ben Solo and giving him up to the dark side.
THIS WAS YOUR CHANCE TO SET THINGS RIGHT
Okay, I ll stop yelling at Luke.
Because there was actually a point in bringing this up. Aside from the point that the force bond between Kylo and Rey is absolutely not just a romantic one, but a sexual one.
Because Rey represents the light sight of the force – love.
But the thing that sparked it, that ignited The Force in her, was not love. Because Rey was a loving person all throughout her life. And although the Force has been there, inside of her, it was only sparked when someone who she would become sexually interested in set foot on Jakku.
And it is this aspect of the Force that Luke is afraid of.
He’s not afraid Rey will plunge the world into darkness. He’s afraid she’ll become sexually active with Kylo Ren. That is the dark side, Luke is warning her for. That is the “raw strength” that is connecting the two.
Raw strength is a referral to sex. Not to love.
A lot of people think the new Star Wars trilogy will be about Love conquering all. I can understand that, but
a. there has always been a lot of love between light side users. And this has never conquered anything. Yes, love has brought Darth Vader to the light, but that story has already been told.
b. Love being the key clearly doesn’t support the Gray Jedi idea, and the merging of dark and light. In my opinion they can only make Love conquer all the moral of the saga if they see Love as being the light dot, in the dark half of the Yin and Yang symbol.
But it doesn’t explain the dark dot in the white half of the Yin and Yang symbol.
Because that dot? That’s sex.
c. And the third reason I feel there is way more behind the Rey-Kylo Ren story line than a simple Romeo and Juliet theme is that Love is not a power that would scare the shit out of Luke Skywalker. Love is not the “raw strength”, about which he says;
“It didn’t scare me enough then. It does now.”
That is sex.
Rey is the first character in the Star Wars movies, with whom the dark side of the Force is (to me at least) only apparent in her sexual power. Like I said, I can’t see her going on a rampage of revenge, nor do I see her becoming a cruel empress of the galaxy.
Which leaves only one option – her raw strength, is a sexual one.
The key that awaked the Force in her.
For Kylo though, things are a bit different.
He has not known love, which is why his hand was trembling touching Rey, and he’s very familiar with the dark side of the force in terms of being mentally abused (by Snoke) and inevitably turning cold hearted and cruel himself.
Kylo is probably not a virgin.
He’s ten years older than Rey and his whole body language – especially in The Force Awakens – radiates that he’s highly comfortable in his own body. The way he fights Finn at the end of The Force Awakens – swinging his light saber, showing his physical dominance in a cocky, totally non-functional manner that is clearly connected to him being jealous of Finn.
Not to using the most effective way to take out an opponent.
That fighting style just tells that he enjoys being in his body, and that he knows how to move it. Especially when he wants to show his sexual superiority.
Just watch the clip. And also; watch how Rey, on the other hand, fights clumsily because she’s holding a light saber (!!) for the first time in her life.
And don’t forget the ending.
Where Kylo, sparing her life and not playing at his full strength because he knows it’s her first time and he fancies her, offers Rey the opportunity to learn from him how to use the Force and the saber.
Article continues below video.

“You need a teacher! I can show you the ways of the Force!”
Kylo shouts to Rey.
As Luke would say;
“Amazing. Every word in that sentence, was wrong.”
Because as soon as Kylo mentions the Force, Rey suddenly remembers everything Han and Maz told her about the Force, and what she experienced with Kylo in the interrogation chair.
The strength between them that Kylo referred to as;
“Don’t be afraid. I feel it too.”
She murmurs; ”The Force?” Suddenly remembering all of it. She meditates there, right in the middle of wrestling Kylo. She taps into the strength, swings out from underneath him, and rocks that light saber like a pro.
Soon the mighty Kylo Ren is on his back, covered in wounds she inflicted.
“Beaten by a girl who never held a light saber in her life,” as Snoke would remind Kylo, in the next movie Last Jedi.
From what Star Wars has shown us so far we can conclude that Kylo Ren represents the dark side of the yin and yang symbol. And the light dot within him, within the dark half of life, is love. Represented by his romantic love for Rey.
And Rey is the light side of the yin and yang symbol. She represents all people who like being good, loyal, clean, and reminds us that we can be more than that.
That there is a Force within us, that has always been there.
And not so much what, or how, but who will awaken that Force.
The Force will be impossible to miss, if it is taken out of its dormant state.
Don’t worry, we’ll feel it too.
And that it will be so fascinating, and calling us, that the only thing that makes sense is to answer the call and to jump into the cave of the unknown, to explore it.
And yes, you must be prepared to come out disappointed.
There will be no easy answers.
But the person who sparked your Force, whose presence you felt from half a planet away. The one who “felt it too” and who told you not to be afraid?
That person will be waiting for you, when you come out.
To complete your own saga.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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Reboot. Episode 9 “You know I can take whatever I want”

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Everything changed when my cat Max died twelve days ago. And I mean aside from the normal grief of losing your pet.
Some things I knew beforehand. Like the fact that my heart would lose its first line of defense. You don’t get emotionally caught up in men or love drama if you have two fur babies to take care of.
Or one, as it had been just the two of us since 2015, when Willem my other cat had passed away. I was well aware that the moment Max would die I would need to get something else to occupy myself with, if I didn’t want to start obsessing over Mr.Big, didn’t want to disrupt the delicate balance in our mistress/ lover relationship.
And I did find someone else.
I fell in love with Kylo Ren, the character from Star Wars. And with Adam Driver the actor. The last weeks when Max was still alive, I promised myself that if I would lose him, I would buy myself a little Kylo Ren doll to cuddle with. To get at least some substitute for not having a fur baby around. I did buy that.
I even sleep with Kylo Ren the same way I did with Max; we spoon. And Kylo Ren talks when you push his tummy and he never does that during the night. So I know that I treat him just as carefully, as I did with Max. 
I have an idol Adam Driver to focus all the extra energy on, that became available from not being a cat mother anymore. And I have the little Kylo Ren doll to cuddle with. This part of the plan had been pretty well thought through.
Then there was the part that I knew beforehand I had no control over; how I would respond physically, when being made love to. I understood that my lover Mr.Big would be the one to encounter grief, the loss of Max, it its most physical form. And I discussed this with him over the phone. That I looked forward to seeing him, to the sex, because I would now have my full attention making love.
Not leaving twenty percent at home, because I knew I had to get back, and I realized Max would have liked me to stay and never leave in the first place. With Max gone I was going to be fully aware during sex, and I did look forward to that.
But that he, Mr.Big was also the only one who would be so intimate with me that any grief held in my body would be released with him. Probably not even in one session, but more in a series. Or every first time. The things that I expected to be reasonably neutral were kissing, hugging and giving him a blow job. But I had no idea what my body’s response would be to getting oral, or intercourse normal or back.
Those were things I could still get emotional over, even when nothing dramatic had happened.
Even though Max the cat had absolutely nothing to do with my sex life, I expected that would be where grief would find its way out. And in a way none of us would be able to control.
The planned part of grieving was covered.
Which next to Adam Driver and the doll, also involved countless rituals and daily habits here at home to honor the spirits of Max and Willem.
And the unplanned part of my body storing grief, and how it would come out, had been discussed with Mr.Big. 
And until yesterday, this seemed like all there was to it. That I was covered. I felt good too. Very good. Until today. Because a date I had scheduled fell through, and today is Wednesday – my only night off from teaching. So that meant I didn’t have other social interactions. And since I got behind on my work, wanted to do two hours of yoga, and I wanted to just relax a bit around the house, I didn’t plan for anything new. I didn’t try to replace the date for another social event. I just stayed home.
My first whole day of being home and not seeing anybody since Max died.
And boy, did that kick in.
I never felt lonely, probably because I had Max. I never understood people who didn’t like being alone, until I realized today I had never been alone; Max had been with me.
So now I know that days all alone by myself do not have the same charm as being alone with Max. I don’t like this. Max was the difference between being alone (with a cat) and being lonely.
The other change was my body, my sexuality.
Everything I thought I knew about my sexual orientation, started to shift. I masturbated today. This is something I have been doing more of since Max died. My libido has gone up. Not the first two days, when I still had his body here at home. Before the funeral.

I was appalled at the idea of masturbating when “he” was still here.
But after the funeral, burying him in my sister’s garden in Willem’s grave and I had a small ceremony with my mother, sister and a friend, afterwards I felt I was given a new life. A new home. A new relationship with my body.
I used to skip masturbation when he was with me in the bed, and I didn’t want to keep him waiting before we could cuddle. But it was more than just the masturbating today. I could feel a longing. For Adam Driver, Kylo Ren, Mr.Big. It was very specific.
“You know I can take whatever I want” is a line from Kylo Ren in The Force Awakening. And whenever I read it today, on Twitter – or just thought of it – it was as if all the sex Mr.Big and I didn’t have the past three years was poured over me.
All the fantasies we didn’t get around to. Yet.
Entire days of staying together in bed, days we never had.
But also all the things we did do, once or twice or a couple of times – but not enough.
All those things suddenly came back to haunt me. Now that I did have time for them. Now that I no longer had to stay at home and keep an eye out for Max.
And it didn’t stop there.
Maybe it was because I knew Mr.Big would always stay unavailable, unless something dramatic happened in his family (like a divorce, even that was something I didn’t wish for him) but all of a sudden being Mr.Big’s secret mistress was no longer enough.
For years I considered myself monogamous;
it enhances my pleasure to only have one partner.
I considered myself a mistress;
it enhances my pleasure to be in a secret relationship.
I considered myself a compersionist;
I like him having other women. One being the minimum.
All those things, all those aspects of my sexuality that had taken me years to figure out, it all started to change. I could feel a longing to be held, played with, devoted to. I wanted a real relationship, and my desire for secrets was gone. I wanted to be chosen. I became possessive and jealous.
And horny and demanding.
I was everything I never was, and of course our current relationship did not back this up. The fact that it had been over a month since we last had sex was illustrative of that.
I just reread my notes from our last date. There were two conversations there, that I had not written about yet. One was that it hurt, when he fucked me. I had just had my period and the outside is always more sensitive. When we were talking about this, afterwards, he said he had not felt it. That he usually does feel it, on the inside. When it’s too tight or painful in any way.
That aroused me, the thought that he felt things like that.
Still does.
The other was a conversation about our strange relationship, a mistress with her lover. And that it’s so equal because I m so in love with him. I have not thought about any other man, not even Adam Driver, when masturbating. Mr.Big is my sex life and this all stems from me being one hundred percent in love and not desiring anybody else.
On his part, things are of course more complicated. Because he is married so it seems like he is not as involved as I am. But that’s not how I saw it. I said to Mr.Big;
“It’s so equal. I give you my heart. But you give me your life. You could lose everything. Your marriage, your family, your reputation. You risk it all to be with me. And I risk you breaking my heart. You hold my heart in your hand. I hold your life in mine.”
It was perfect, and I felt blessed.
Until today.
Now I feel lonely and like there really is that big hole inside of me, that needs more sex, more love, more intimacy, more company. It needs everything I always wanted, plus everything I never wanted. And then more. More.
More.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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All these stories are autobiographical! And they go a lot further into detail than the diary post above.  you can get these hot stories here.

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This is the Kylo Ren scene where he says: You know I can take whatever I want.