Categorie archief: English posts

Reboot. Episode 4 Forces of Nature

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In this post; sex with Mister Big, healing myself, and how a prostitute has inspired my to do yoga.

The Drought
Saturday November 4, 2017

I missed my period.
I m ten to fourteen days late, and I can’t be pregnant because I didn’t have sex. Not intercourse anyway. I did give a blowjob to my lover; an act Mr Big can ask of me any time. Not that he would, because he’s way too concerned for my needs to propose anything if I stop things during foreplay.
I think one of the reasons I m a good lover is because I never had sex with him when I didn’t want to.
I was about to, once. It’s a moment I remember vividly, probably because I used it for an erotic story. We went to his apartment and we were already turned on. But when I was naked and we were about to go further i felt I wasn’t so hot anymore. Or that the brief foreplay had been insufficient to warm me up.
I had not said a word yet Mister Big stopped immediately.
He looked into my eyes and he said:
“What do you want?”
Not in an irritated way, like: “AARRRGGH! What do you want THIS time?!”
But in a sensual;, “I m here for you, you can trust me,” kind of way.
As if those four words meant:
“Tell me your most deviant fantasies, and I ll make them come true.”
At least that’s how I interpreted it, but it takes two to tango of course.
Mister Big told me on more than one occasion he’s not into young women. Which must not be interpreted as some sort of hard limit, of who is welcome in his bed.
Just that’s he’s aware that it’s much easier to have good sex with a mature women. Same reason I call myself a “recovered” cougar:
It’s extremely straining to date below 30.
The older partner has to make sure there is emotional safely, and guard how far things can go, depending on who is the weakest link.
In my case, I was the weakest.
Whenever I was with a young lover, I could only take things as far as my capacity for a cold shoulder afterwards would allow.
Which was usually very little.
With Mister Big too, it would be the young woman who he would need to protect. If he lures her in, without being in love, and he gives her the night of her life, he’ll destroy her if he’s not ready to be there for her the next day.
He has his disclaimers in place, for any age, that it will probably be just sex and that she has to make up her mind if that’s enough for her. But especially when a woman is young, the risks are there. And then there is the fact that a younger woman will get less out of it, because she’ll have a harder time asking for what she needs.
And Mister Big doesn’t want sex with a woman who’s not having a good time.
So the scene of the story, which happened a few years ago, was that I dropped out of wanting sex and Mister Big asked:
“What do you want?”
And I got extremely hot! I proposed anal sex (like-
can you believe it right?!) and we had a great session.
But a few weeks ago, with the just-oral thing- was a different situation. First off, we were barely seeing each other, and had not had sex in months. The abysmal level of our affair was taking its toll. I literally felt like he had put it on ice.
A feeling I have not been able to shake off to this day.
And we were on a short date, during day time.
The combination of the cold temperatures, with the half-hearted date, was not a fertile ground to warm up to real sex. Not on my part.
But for him it was, and I suggested the blowjob.
And that was really nice. I love giving it, and I get a real boost if he comes on my neck and on my cleavage.
This is one of the key aspects in the book I m writing this month:
-> White Tigress
Yoga & Lifestyle guide for solitary women
who want an amazing sex life
and plenty of energy

A woman loses energy from vaginal or anal intercourse. Although anal is the lesser evil of the two, because a man is more careful not to hurt you, and will take things way more slowly.
But a woman gains energy from oral sex and from sperm landing on her cleavage and neck.
This knowledge came to me, and I don’t think this was a coincidence, days or weeks before I met my first lover. Early 2007.
I just came out of my long term relationship, and I knew I wanted to become a Pro at being single, but I was scared of std’s and had no idea how I was going to conquer that fear.
Just that I had to in order to lead the life I wanted.
So at the brink of my new life, I picked up a book called White Tigress – by Hsi Lai, and this book taught me everything about oral sex and how to use it.
And the rest is history.
I will write down everything I have learned about being a White Tigress. The yoga, the lifestyle, the oral sex.
But first I will explain why me missing my period, and me having so little sex, is bad news. Why it makes me the Least Believable White Tigress in the largely unknown history of the species.
No sex, no period, no authority.
But let me get back to that tomorrow.

TMI
Sunday November 5, 2017

charlize-theron-w-magazine-06272017-758x426I had red blood today.
Not the brown smear that also qualifies as “spotting” – loss of blood between periods. I had that a number of times, since the day I was supposed to have my period. Whenever I taught my yoga classes, or went out for the day, I would always use some protection like a menstruation cup or tampon, should my period start. And sometimes it came out spotted.
But not like this.
So maybe me missing my period isn’t the menopause after all. It could be a stress related thing that could have happened at any age, and I will elaborate on that later. Because if I still have eggs left – life force and youth that I can preserve in the first place – that would be great news for my White Tigress project. And it’s not just the blood. I had another observation today that makes me think I know what’s wrong here. And believe it or not, this is even more personal.
I have trouble peeing.
Two aspects of it have been investigated: I don’t have an infection, nor an std, and I should be doing a training for an overactive bladder, because that’s the next main suspect. The doctor gave me a link to an online training. I looked into it, but it means I have to train myself to stop going to the loo so often. I m sure she meant well, but I have little faith that will do anything for me.
Because today, when peeing, I noticed something.
You know how middle-aged men always complain that they used to have the peeing power of a horse, and now they’re so weak down there? I felt exactly that. And the same irritation, and sadness for loss of youth.
But instead of this loss of strength, I had verbalized to the doctor only the “female” side of my problem; feeling I had to go, way more often, and not feeling accomplished afterwards.
I had failed to notice my lack of power down there.
Or lack of power?
No. Too much power, not enough relaxation. I could feel my pelvic floor was way too tight, and this meant I could not engage the muscles anymore because they were already too tensed.
A typical male problem, although females have it too.
But it’s something that yoga can fix. Not all yoga though. Yoga that focuses on contracting the pelvic floor only makes it worse. Which is exactly what the “ultimate” White Tigress yoga series does: the Master Series, or “week 10 series”, that I was about to commit myself to for the rest of my life.
For weeks I had had this urge to commit to daily yoga. And I knew – or thought I knew – the best thing I could do for my body was my White Tigress program. Week 10. Not al the preparatory weeks that I designed for beginners in order to learn proper breathing and to get acquainted with their body. I was a yoga teacher! Give me the real stuff, right?
Wrong.
This morning I felt that lack of relaxation in my pelvic floor and I knew I was carrying way too much tension there. Tension that was not only renown for giving men erectile disfunction (the problem middle aged men have with peeing is usually from an enlarged prostate), but this tensed up pelvic floor also prohibits women from conceiving.
It is a well-known fact to yoga teachers, that the moment women learn to breathe to their belly, and to relax the pelvic floor, conception can be within days of your first yoga class.
So until yesterday I had two problems:
One was that I had stopped having my period, which I suspected meant menopause.
And my second problem was that I had peeing problems.
And yet this moment at the toilet gave me one, loud and clear explanation for both! Tons of tensions in the southern regions.
Before I was ready to take my own level ten White Tigress training, I would have to start at the humble beginnings.
I would have to start with week 1.

Unfinished Business
Saturday November 11, 2017

59015I have so many notes here, things I want to share. From giving up on yoga to reuniting with my lover Mr.Big. But let me start with something I promised to clear up.
Because a week ago I wrote this;
“But first I will explain why me missing my period, and me having so little sex, is bad news. Why it makes me the Least Believable White Tigress in the largely unknown history of the species.
No sex, no period, no authority.
But let me get back to that tomorrow.”
And then tomorrow never came.
So, recap, recap! Here’s what happened, why I initially thought it mattered; and how I’ve totally reinvented myself. I even started drinking again. But let me start at the beginning.
One: Missing my period.
At age 45 I really can’t complain if the signs of menopause are as easy to deal with as spotting, short menstruation cycles, or – as was the case this time – missing a period. In the end I was two weeks late, so I missed half a cycle. But the reason it mattered was that I intend to write and share a yoga method I have developed myself. It’s called White Tigress.
And White Tigress yoga is supposed to preserve your fertility.
Which is why me showing signs of menopause at 45, while my mother stayed fertile way past her Sarah age so I can’t blame bad genes, does not increase the credibility of a method that I think can help a lot of women.
I felt like I had to be fertile and young, in order to prove my method. So I came up with about eighty different plans on doing daily yoga, preferably the White Tigress series, but I also felt attracted to Ashtanga yoga or power yoga. But regardless of how many resolutions I made, yoga didn’t happen.
Two: Peeing problems.
I got screened for infections and std’s, and that all came back clear. Then I realized I had way too much tension in my pelvic floor. Which would explain both the peeing problems, as well as early menopause. And it could be solved with yoga, something I wanted to pick up for the White Tigress anyway.
Well, anyway? More like no way.
Because although yoga self-practice was now labeled a solution to both my problems- menopause and peeing – I still didn’t do it. I took my schedule to the studio, in case I had fifteen spare minutes before class. I started a new yoga diary to inspire myself. I created countless work week schedules in which yoga had its own designated one hour time-slot every morning.
Nothing.
It was absolutely hopeless. Not my physical ailments, nor my desire to be credible as a White Tigress mentor had any effect. My inability for daily yoga at home was carved in stone.
I got my period.
The peeing problems disappeared.
And with that I lost two of the three motivators for doing yoga. That’s when I officially gave up the idea I would ever again do yoga at home.
Especially since something else was taking over my life. Blocking hours for yoga, when this ferocious force was devouring every minute I didn’t defend with my life, was a mission impossible.
That thing, was my work addiction.
Three; Work addiction
I ve said this before, but it’s becoming more clear to me every day. I am a work addict, slash write addict. I m not addicted to work as in teaching yoga classes. They feel more like free time or leisure. And I m not even addicted to writing about yoga, which would include my upcoming White Tigress book.
For this season, 2017-2018, I m writing two books for the studio as well as the White Tigress book (English). Those three books will be the foundation of my studio program for the upcoming years.
So I may be working myself into a stupor this year, but will reap the benefits in years to come. So no, me being at my desk for my yoga business for 25 hours a week, is not because I m addicted to writing about yoga.
My addiction lies in this. What I do here. Writing for the diary you’re now reading, and for every diary-like blog I own. Writing diaries and autobiographical erotica is addictive. Which is a nice bridge to the next thing that happened; I met Mister Big.
Four: no sex
I started this post saying me not having any sex was bad White Tigress practice. Almost as bad as not doing yoga. What I meant was: me not having oral sex, is bad practice. Because White Tigress wisdom says women age from vaginal penetration, and gain energy from oral sex.
In four months I now had sex twice with Mister Big, counting last week’s as the latest addition. Both times I only gave oral, and kept my pants on.
We’d planned a proper date, hopefully leading to proper sex. As far as that’s a valid term when it comes to extra-marital sex but okay. Anyway, I unexpectedly got my period, and I ended up giving a blowjob and keeping my pants on.
But not without thoroughly enjoying myself.
I wrote my diary, as soon as I got home, and I ll copy it here in a minute, so that we can end on a high. But first a recap of everything that happened, my failed resolutions, my questionable health and my raging addiction.
So before I copy my post-sex diary, here are the decisions I made last week;
1. I’m quitting all home yoga efforts
My health is fine now, and I have a writing addiction to attend to. Originally home yoga was also a part of my “Reboot-project”; losing 15 kilos before the new year.
That will just have to happen without a home yoga practice.
2. daily daylight and cycling
This is the only health effort I m making. The only thing standing between me and being glued to my key-board every spare minute of my day.
3. daily writing for LS Harteveld
Every day, I ve carved out time for creative writing. Posts will be shared on my Facebook page and Twitter.
4. The Corporate Job
I’m treating my yoga business (running the studio, teaching classes and writing yoga books), as a regular 40 hour plus workweek. Four days a week from 1p.m. to 10.30 p.m including breaks and travel time, and one half workday on Wednesday. There are no spare time-blocks available; any hours missed will have to be compensated for in the weekend.
Which are days I d rather spent writing.
Or seeing a little more of Mr.Big.

Post-date diary entry

atomic_blonde_03“How well did you know agent Gascoigne?”
*images of two people making love*
“Enough to say hello.”
Atomic Blonde

I could feel myself slip into that other Universe.
The one I had not visited in four months and that belonged exclusively to me and Big. We had the promise of a full evening together, in privacy. We had each other’s full attention, fascination even. It’s strange how being separated heightens the sensation of being together. And we would have fucked, if it hadn’t been for my period. It’s not a hard limit. Just that I need to feel like it, and that never happens unless we’re at my house, and it’s a full-blown sleep-over. Then, I may get over the fact that I m bleeding.
But not now.
That it was the first proper date in four months, and that I had no idea how long it would be until the next, didn’t change that.
But maybe it was better this way. Giving myself in every way but sexually. Although there were plenty of promises for great sex in the future. As well as a blowjob in the now.
His dick is like my tits: I have no idea who to thank, but I m well aware I’m lucky. And his cock had already joined him on business meetings, had been there when he sealed the deal, made money, traveled, hurried, got stuck in traffic and barely made it in time to open the door for me. And logically speaking there must have been sanitary stops between his last shower and my lips closing around his shaft.
He didn’t have time to shower before I rang his doorbell. At least that’s what he said when I asked to verify. Because he smelled so clean and nice. It was so good to do this.
Finally.
I had missed it so much I could cry.
That moment the Universe split into the side where I was a struggling yoga teacher who suffered from an irregular period, a work addiction and who had given up drinking in a last effort to at least be good at something and keep one resolution. Even though there were no signs the irregular period or the work addiction were dependent on alcohol.
And the other side of the Universe.
Where I was Big’s lover and enjoyed the haze of my first wine in over a month. I gave my trust, my loyalty, the best blowjob I remember giving in my life. I cried. The love was almost tangible, as was the secret status we had. The boundaries of our affair, have created a love nest where I keep everything. My heart, my love, my trust. A chamber of secrets. I m not saying I cannot be hurt or betrayed, just that it wouldn’t happen from him seeing other women, or him ultimately choosing for his wife.
And maybe it’s even that chance that he would hurt me, that gives the whole game an extra thrill. Every time I have to wait. Every time I see others wanting him. Every time I realize how full-on crazy things would get should he divorce and become available on the market again.
A former banker with his own child-free condo, that he managed to slip by his marriage agreement under the flag of a simple property investment.
Yes, things would get crazy. Like sale on Black Friday.
He’s the love of my life, yet chances are I’ll never openly date him. And I ll never blow the secret either. If anyone would ask if I know him, I would answer:
“Enough to say hello.”

Force of Nature
Monday November 13, 2017

giphy (2)How could I forget. Again. Did I honestly believe, two weeks of peeing problems and missed menstruation, were going to make me commit to yoga? Had I learned nothing?
Apparently not.
I keep forgetting that what I refer to as my work addiction, my need to create, is a permanent change in what type of person I am. In what I need in order to have my basic needs met. The moment I became a writer, I was no longer a yogi. My DNA had changed. I couldn’t even properly digest stuff like contemplation, silence, repetition. I couldn’t digest yoga in it’s most primordial form as an experience of going deeper into the Self.
Journeys were only taken when they could be used for writing.
And in doing yoga, the work of creation was either not there, or it had already been done. There was no reward, in yoga, other than consuming or experiencing it.
I only enjoy experiences if I can drain them for their creative inspiration. Like this diary Reboot is based on the movie Atomic Blonde. And I’m currently reading – devouring would be a more accurate word – the diary of an escort girl. It is ending up covered in sticky-notes marking all the brilliant pieces. The diary of the escort has awakened a screaming desire in me to start a new project.
Charlotte Shane – Prostitute’s Laundry
But in general book reading, art admiring, and music listening require the same presence doing a preset series of yoga require. And I can’t do that anymore. I should have known that as I gained something – the creative force of an artist – I also lost something; the contemplation of a yogi.
And that’s when the idea came; I m going to set up an inspirational yoga program, using quotes from the book I m reading, as well as music from Madonna. From the early beginnings to her latest album.
Total running time: 36 weeks, equaling 36 thirty minute playlist, 36 quotes from the book and 36 chapters of this book Reboot.
The first playlist is named after the first album; Madonna- Madonna.
And no one, not even me, knows what I m going to do on the mat.
Just that 30 minutes of freestyle yoga bears a closer resemblance to dance or other performance art than to yoga, and has a a higher chance of succeeding than anything bonafide yoga I tried to do on the mat for the last ten years.
So I m not going to “reboot” to a former version of me; Nor reinvent to being Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde. For 36 weeks, I’m going to do what I should have done a long time ago;
I’m going to recreate myself.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

All new diary entries, will be published on Facebook first
or you can follow the yoga project and Reboot on Twitter

—> GET YOUR 25% OFF <—

I m straightening out the distribution of my books.
Once that’s done you will be able to order them at bol.com, Amazon, or at your local retailer.
But I will also take the 25% discount down.
So visit my store now, to pick up your copy;
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/LaurenandLulu

Reboot. Episode 3 Reinvention

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Becoming Charlize Theron
Monday October 30, 2017

My late uncle used to say:
“If you had written just one sentence a day, your novel would have been finished years ago.”
It would take another eight years for me to publish Mango. Although in my defense, the delay wasn’t due to not writing. The writing had already been done. But it was because I had not pushed through in the editing and publishing phase, and due to total lack of vision on where I wanted to go as a published author, that nearly killed my career as an author.
Not lack of writing.
Although I admit that I have finalized a number of diaries, way sooner than I intended to, because more pressing matters emerged or a new theme (read; man) came up. It deserved a fresh start. But I never abandoned the old diary and I never abandoned a book either. I just wrote some sort of satisfying ending and moved on.
But that’s not what I want for Reboot.
Reboot is my journey to becoming Charlize Theron in the movie Atomic Blonde. Or, should that prove to be unattainable, to become the 2009, 1991, 1989 version of me. Because those are years I was closest to being Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.
In 2009 I was a yoga teacher who practiced yoga every day or twice day. I had a booming business, a flat belly and I dated men half my age.
I was totally rocking adulthood. Something I feel I ve been failing at ever since.
In 1991 I was a lean size 8, and I had a pale and rock hard size 8 body that could have doubled for Madonna, should she have needed a decoy body double to run through Hide Park. Which she didn’t, because her Blonde Ambition tour was one year earlier, but you get the gist.
I looked fab.
In 1989 I still owned my petite size 6, pre-gym body. I had a gorgeous rack, and I feel tempted to include a picture of my sixteen year old boobs here, because boy! That was something. I was a bit early in developing them, but by the time I was 16 I had gotten past feeling awkward and I was fully aware that God had not been shy in the boobs department. They were not so big they would give me back pains either.
They were truly perfect and I really was a sweet sixteen.
“Reboot” is a diary that is supposed to document my journey to becoming any of those leaner, sexier versions of me. Which I know I can be! If only I got around to it. If I would focus, visualize, live, the true new version of me – BE HER- I know it would be a matter of months, weeks even.
I know that once I started living this from inside out, and not by imposing diets or exercise regimes onto myself, the weight that I gained in all those years I didn’t publish, didn’t do yoga at home, didn’t date men half my age even though I have no intention of getting that back thank you very much, that the weight will melt off, my body will tone, and that I can just pick whatever I want.
To be in 2009, in 1991, in 1989.
Or even to be Charlize Theron if I fucking want to.
And this time?
I know how.

High-Functioning Alcoholic  
Tuesday October 31, 2017

51603One of the aspects of the movie Atomic Blonde, that inspired me the most, was that the sexy MI6 agent played by Charlize Theron, was a striking example of what is commonly referred to as;
A high-functioning alcoholic.
She belts down her wodka like … I don’t know! What’s the comparison here? Do we even know of an action hero, that crams in so much Stoli on ice between assassinating, collaborating and just merely trying to stay alive as a spy in Berlin 1989? Not a situation where you would want your judgement or aim failing on you. And this all got me thinking about alcohol in general and here’s what I found.
On one hand I knew a lot of people who drank too much, slept too little, were overweight, and seemed to fail at every resolution to get healthy. Yet, they held good jobs, got married, raised children. They were doing everything you shouldn’t be doing, but had pretty good results!
On the other hand I knew people who were struggling with health problems as well as having a hard time holding on to their jobs or even to function in pretty average social situations.
And they were not drinking any alcohol, made sure they slept as much as possible, and strained themselves as little as possible, in an attempt to heal from their anxiety, physical ailments and so on. A situation that didn’t show any or very little improvement over time.
I had question after question.
Were high-functioning alcoholics so successful, by worldly standards, despite of their drinking?
Or were they in fact so successful because of it?
Was it possible to deploy alcohol in order to become high-functioning? Had I, we as a society, been looking at the wrong side of the coin all along?
Was it possible to achieve my goal, of becoming a high-functioning size 8 hard body, by making strategic use of Stoli on ice?
I seriously started considering this option, and the evidence was piling up. Next to spy-work during the cold war, other stressful professions – lawyers and surgeons – had the highest rates of alcoholism. Alcohol was named as number one coping meganism. Studies showed that if alcohol would be tested against modern day standards for drugs it wouldn’t even pass: That’s how dangerous it was. But to me, it was only more proof of how potent this drug was.
After a week, of toying with the thought, I investigated what the implications would be for my own situation. How much would I need to drink and when? What would be the optimum consumption taking into account the energy I would lose, from having to break down the alcohol, to the productivity or output I would gain from being able to work more because I could relax more quickly?
I did everything I could in order to plan how I could reach my goal of becoming a thin, high-functioning writer slash yoga-teacher, by becoming the world’s first alcoholic by choice. Much like an athlete who will use doping drugs in order to accelerate his performance.
So everything was in place. It was just a matter of getting the details right, and setting up a proper system to finetune and monitor my lifestyle choice.
And then something happened.
I started estimating the sleep I would need to compensate, or the less productive hours or days I would not be able to work, and suddenly I realized I was sleeping two hours more than a few months ago.
In May 2016 I quit drinking, but I started again this summer because I wasn’t impressed with what it was doing for me. For one thing; not drinking was making me fat. In order to compensate for not drinking two glasses of Chardonnay, I would have one or two alcohol-free beers; a bowl of nachos enough to feed three people; hot chocolate with whipped cream if I constrained myself or tea with a tile-sized brownie if I didn’t.
I could easily ate a thousand calories in order to compensate the hundred and fifty two glasses of white wine would have cost me.
At the end of fifteen months of drought I was seriously done being fat and sober.
I needed a drink.
So, this thought of becoming a high-functioning alcoholic was simply a plan to optimize this new situation. I wanted to expand my recreational four to six drinks a week, to a killer mix of totally nailing my productivity and my waistline. I was going to seriously kick some butt here.
Until I saw my sleep stats.
That’s when i realized I was already sleeping two hours more, every night, since I had started drinking. I had only needed four to five hours of sleep a night before. Now it was six or seven, sometimes even more.
When I saw the hard facts – that alcohol had already put me behind two hours a day, that’s twelve a week! – I immediately gave up drinking. First just for my “Reboot” months, the time I had set aside to sculpt my new life. But soon enough I knew I was never going back.
Right now it’s November. My waistline and the number of hours I sleep have not changed yet. Nor has my frustration over how few hours there are in a week, got any less.
Not yet.
But I m positive that will change soon, because I found a new drug, and it is working. That was a sentence that can be interpreted in two different ways, and they’re both true.
More about my new dope tomorrow.

#NaNoWriMo
Wednesday November 1

NaNoWriMo means National Novel Writing Month, and it’s a challenge to write a novel in November. I checked my timeline today and saw no NaNoWriMo hashtags, and even the official NaNoWriMo Twitter account seemed to have gone to bed for a few hours. Writers in Europe would be hitting their desk this November first, without the support of a global community. Although admittedly most participants would have made different choices on which accounts to follow in the first place.
I follow sex workers and comedians.
Not writers.
But still! I do follow bloggers, and although I may have been one of the first to know about NaNoWriMo, it has a huge international following by now. It’s just that, well, not someone I followed apparently.
And that bugged me.
 Not that I didn’t follow more writers but it bugged me that it was so quiet. In past years I had used the uplifting energy of NaNoWriMo to publish my manuscripts in November. Not that I was ever successful – publishing my ten books would take until this summer – but nevertheless! I loved the anticipation that I could accomplish something too.
I had fond memories of this month but my supply of NaNoWriMo energy on Twitter was dangerously low. If I wanted it, I would have to create it myself.
So I did. I have.
I have decided that I m going to commit to writing a book that I ve started, in several different forms and languages, but that I dropped out of an equal number of times. It’s called White Tigress, and it’s about a revolutionary path for single women.
The full title of the book I will be writing this NaNoWriMo is;
 White Tigress
 YOGA & LIFESTYLE guide for solitary women who want an amazing SEX LIFE and plenty of energy
cover White Tigress
It will be a lot of work. But that shouldn’t be a problem because one of the things I learned about myself the past couple of months, is that I m a flat out work addict. Or write addict, to be exact. There have been a couple of things I wanted to change in my life.
I wanted to stop having a racing heartbeat and anxiety attacks, the moment I fell asleep.
I wanted to lose 15 kilo and look like Charlize Theron in Atomic Blond.
I wanted an athletic body, instead of the current one which is used to writing marathons not one month, but twelve months a year. I could vividly remember how good it felt before I was a writer and still had a home yoga practice! Spending one or two hours a day on self-practice not only gives you a new body, but a totally different outlook on life.
I spent September and October trying to figure out how to get my yogic life and my old body back, assuming that restraining myself in writing had to be an important component. I was convinced that once I had that contained, I would be back to my youthful self.
And I still think that.
Just that it’s not feasible. I can’t stop writing any more than I can stop breathing.
I used to think that writing served a purpose to process my emotions of falling in love, meeting new men. If I would stop having sex, I would stop writing. But now I know better. Because I haven’t had (intercourse/) sex in four months, I have no idea if my lover and me are still “on” and my period has stopped – indicating I m one of the few for whom menopause will be over with swiftly.
I m 45 with no man and no signs of fertility and I feel more creative than ever. It is absolutely impossible to stop writing. I don’t even want to. Even if I wouldn’t have my family, my friends, my work, and all I had were writing and an internet connection, I would still be completely fulfilled.
Take that in.
Read that again.
Reminds you of something? Perhaps of people who stick needles in their arms, snort thousands of euros up their nose? Of people who show compulsive behavior that affects everything from their social life to their financial situation?
I am one of those people.
I am a work addict.
And I basically have the choice between doing something about it and live a normal life. Or to take this addiction as a given, work around it. See if my addiction to writing and my desire to stay alive can coexist.
In September and October I tried option 1.
And failed miserably.
In November I m going for option 2: I m taking my desire to work myself into exhaustion as a given.
Let’s go write that book.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is not worth living

Reboot is written a day at a time on Facebook
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Another thing I ll be doing in November, is to straighten out the distribution of my books.

They are still not available in other (web)shops and that bugs me.
Once that’s done you will be able to order them at bol.com, Amazon, or at your local retailer.
But I will also take the 25% discount down.
So visit my store now, to pick up your copy;
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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – A (my!) Brief History of Sex

949812636d73b49467d08ac7d2db299b--lip-service-red-lipsticks I have been fascinated with sex for as long as I can remember. I played doctor from when I was 5, 6 years old. A sex game I happily picked up as an adult.
And when I was in my early teens and my father got rid of his collection of nude magazines, I quickly curated them from the paper recycle bin.
 I loved going through those glossy pages that so openly discussed what already fascinated me most in life, even though I barely had my first period;
 Sex
Together with the nude models came Xaviera Hollander, who had a column in Penthouse, with a penis shaped lipstick. I didn’t understand the meaning of the shape, or the image. But I liked it either way, and spelled out her columns.
 I think Xaviera’s page was Q&A, but I can’t remember.
Nor do I know when (or why!!) I eventually got rid of the stack of magazines, especially because I didn’t buy new ones. They were all I had until I got a boyfriend who was as open about owning them as my father had been.
Despite the promising start, I almost never came into contact with the sex industry, nor did I watch or own pornography.
I visited the Sex Museum in Amsterdam last weekend. It was founded in 1985 by a woman who was 20 at the time. Her father had owned an arcade at a premium location; right at the route every train passenger and tourist walks. But the arcade had to shut down because of a rise in crime, and that’s when his daughter stepped in.
She bought an eclectic collection of sex magazines, toys, and paraphernalia. She later referred to it as “rubbish” but part of her original collection maintains to this day! Just check out the back; a small dark room, where you can see about twenty large frames with cut and paste crafting work featuring anal sex, fisting, BDSM – all dating from 1985.
I like that they kept that little touch of nostalgia – of the humble beginnings – even though the museum is much bigger now, and the young owner all grown up.
I met her at an antiquarian book auction in the nineties.
I was bidding for my father, and she was the only other woman there. She was beautifully dressed, and very friendly to me. I ll never forgot the excitement when she told me who she was, and what she was buying there.
Maybe we also connected because we were both daddy’s girls, I don’t know.
Either way, what I meant to say by not having a lot to do with the sex industry, was that contrary to for example that intriguing woman who had founded the sex museum, I had a boring career and love life too. I became an academic, just like my father. I had long term relationships. No one cheated. It was absolutely boring.
I know what kept me from pursuing what I really wanted – or even what kept me from finding out what it was I wanted. So I can forgive myself. Because it takes a lot of nerve and strength to figure out your sexuality, and I didn’t have that as a teen, nor did I have it in my twenties.
But I did know I wasn’t interested in sex the way others were; as relationship glue.
I found sex with the secondary interest of establishing or maintaining a shared life outside the bedroom, severely limiting. It’s like saying; “Let’s see who can jump the furthest,” facing a brick wall at 2 meters.
For a long time I thought my faithfulness was fake and that deep down I wanted other partners. That it was monogamy that was killing my lust. That’s what you get if you don’t figure things out; you assume.
But in hindsight I didn’t mind having sex with the same person. I just disliked having a relationship with him at the same time. This epiphany took me ten years of being single to figure out. So that’s a long time.
But yes, I am monogamous.
I call it; My kink.
Things get more exciting for me, if I can focus on one man, and one man only. Having more of them, would be hugely straining. I dread the day I am in love with two men, and they would both want to date me, because then I would have to step up my game, get out of my comfort zone of monogamy, and love them both.
But outside of the relationship component- there was a second reason my previous monogamous “affairs” aka long term relationships never worked;
Because I desire a man to be non-monogamous.
Maybe that’s evidence of the sexually rich and exciting start I had. But I get bored at the idea of him being devoted to me, and not wanting to bother go chase other women. It’s not that I need to know the specifics, or that I want to be part of a threesome (maybe I could- I don’t know). But I just want him to totally own his sexuality and his autonomy.
And if I would ask him about other women, I would want him hug me close and answer;
“That excites you, doesn’t it?”
It may look like a docile ending, with me all monogamous even though I was into sex at such an early age. But ultimately what it comes down to is that I refuse to settle for any man who doesn’t arouse me, surprise me, and lure me in, with the same seductive power as that stack of nude magazines had on a thirteen year old girl.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

My book “Big” diaries and erotica about my non-monogamous lover Mister Big, is available at Lulu

NEDERLAND

Big én Mango (waarover zo meer) zitten in Het Boek Benjamin, mijn verzamelde werk € 45
in Nederland doet Boekhandel de Feeks de distributie van Mango en Het Boek Benjamin

Het boek van de maand oktober is de jaren 80 coming of age novelle Mango.
In dit boek staat ook de fascinatie met blootbladen van de jaren 80, de ontmoeting met mijn vriend die ze ook had (en bij wie ik 14 jaar bleef) en het doktertje spelen.
Mango staat tijdelijk gratis online & is op voorraad bij de Feeks (Nijmegen + webshop).

Op woensdag 22 november geef ik om 19.00 (SHARP!) een lezing in de Feeks, boekhandel in de van Welderenstraat Nijmegen, over Mango en 22 erotische verhalen.

yogales in Nijmegen;  M Yoga.

Ik heb nog twee exemplaren van “Big” erotica en diaries (€ 20) – deze kan ik voor je meenemen naar de les. Online bestellingen van Engelstalige boeken (zoals Big) via Lulu. 

 

 

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – The real reason The Good Mistress died on me

SexandtheCity_2008_TSOccor_0002

I once wrote a blog post how your ideas have a life span of 24 hours or less. They die after that. Whether you write them down or not, and regardless of how relevant they still are to your readers, or how sublime the idea is;
You either have to execute immediately.
Or don’t bother, and just let the idea go.
Because ideas don’t stick around until you make time for them, and your note will just be hollow words. There is no life in them. Many believe the spirit moves on to another artist.
One who isn’t so careless with them.
I was clearing out my main notebook that contains all my ideas for existing blogs, random notes, and insights I don’t have a purpose for, to those that are extremely relevant.
One insight would have been perfect for a project I abandoned months ago.
Unknowingly even.
Because just like the writing down of ideas gives this great sense of accomplishment – even when I know from experience I just signed the idea’s death verdict – some of my projects die on me as well. Without me knowing, and still high on a comparable feeling of accomplishment that I’m running such a great program or creating such an awesome project.
In this case, the particular note would have been perfect for my late video bundle; 
The Good Mistress – move UP!
from being powerless to feeling amazing, loved and FREE in 30 days.
If the program had not gotten cancelled.
The Good Mistress was a classic example of me gloriously failing to notice something had died on me.
First I managed to miss the severity, true meaning, of me not making videos. Even though I had pages full of ideas for new videos, and I m sure I had the time as well, I was buying into all kinds of excuses making myself think I would pick it up tomorrow. And tomorrow. Next week. Next month. I even made a video at some point, acknowledging the delay, but ensuring that The Good Mistress would be up and running soon.
But of course it never did.
Then, when finally after months I realized The Good Mistress had died on me, I cancelled it and came up with some valid reasons but in retrospect is was so no NOT the real reason!
Video not my medium?
Course too long?
All true.
But the real reason was that the circumstances that had sparked this course, had profoundly changed… I no longer felt like a Good Mistress. I didn’t feel like a mistress at all.
Because as a backlash to the best sex ever, or maybe as a seasonal thing because this pattern is familiar to me from previous years, the man whose mistress I was, Mister Big, pulled back.
Not in a mean way.
There wasn’t anything provocative, manipulative or unkind about it.
It probably wasn’t even about me.
But where our communication would normally lead to a sexual encounter, it now ended with six weeks of not seeing each other, followed by a platonic date. No wonder I was incapable of continuing the Good Mistress project. I felt a lousy and frustrated mistress.
Convinced that the platonic date would soon lead to a more fruitful encounter, I talked myself out of feeling too bad about it. I was pretty sure the waiting was over now.
Until another two months of not seeing each other followed and I seriously started to doubt my status, and everything I thought I had been doing right.
Eventually we had a date that was private enough, and long enough for me to give him a blowjob, but insufficient for me to warm up to real sex. Maybe it was because I needed time, hours, attention, to defrost from all the neglect, but I couldn’t feel any life down there. My libido seemed to have gone into hibernation,
It’s almost been three and a half months since we had the best sex of my life anyway, and I started my Good Mistress program to enthusiastically share what I knew. Wisdom that apparently still needed some finetuning.
I still don’t know if the great sex, and the deep intimacy, were in any way linked to the sweet but quiet months after. Science says yes. True intimacy is able to scare a man away. This may be especially true if you are just the mistress and he is cheating on his wife. It can easily disrupt the delicate equilibrium of his guilt management.
But I say no.
Mister Big doesn’t work like that.
From what I can tell he needs the thrill of it all, and the higher the stakes, the more he gets from it. His friendly and nice messages – he hasn’t neglected me attention wise ever since – confirm that. He feels warmly towards me, and the intimacy has not scared him.
I found two notes, clearing out my notebooks.
The first was a success formula for being a good mistress. Or good in any relationship, in my opinion. It was something I had planned to use in the Good Mistress program.
It said:
“To be happy you must always deeply respect your (sexual) partner and ignore, accept or even cherish the sides that are not compatible.”
The second note was specific to my current situation, and to Mister Big and me not having had a proper date or real sex for a long time.
It said:
“I trust Big has his reasons for not seeing me much.
And I trust that he has his reasons for not sharing why that is.”
I was right thinking 30 Days was too long a training, to become a Good Mistress. One word is enough;
Trust.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

My books are available internationally, at my Lulu store +
in Nederland doet Boekhandel de Feeks de distributie

Het boek van de maand oktober is de jaren 80 coming of age novelle Mango
Mango staat tijdelijk gratis online & is op voorraad bij de Feeks (Nijmegen + webshop).

Op woensdag 22 november geef ik om 19.00 (SHARP!) een lezing in de Feeks, boekhandel in de van Welderenstraat Nijmegen, over Mango en 22 erotische verhalen.

yogales in Nijmegen;  M Yoga.

White Tigress – sexual Mastership for solitary women | episode 1 Are you a White Tigress?

the-sexual-teachings-of-the-white-tigress-9780892818686_hr At my first day of yoga teacher training we learned;
“Yoga has no rules.”
Which would be my first message to you;
The White Tigress has no rules.
Madame Lin from the original White Tigress book, claims that her mission will be accomplished if a woman gets as little as one useful piece of advice from this Taoist cult.
Contrary to Madame Lin, I can’t claim to be a part of a secret society of sexual connoisseurs. Nor did I receive any guidance from a real Tigress. I have no other knowledge than the book The White Tigress, by Hsi Lai and Madam Lin. And I rarely apply it.
For me the biggest value of the book is not its content, but the concept. That there even is such a thing as a spiritual sexual path for solitary women. And that you can aspire it, in the same way others aspire to get married. If you invest the same amount of energy and dedication in creating a solitary sexual lifestyle, instead of investing it into a significant other, there are no limits to how stunning your life can be!
The White Tigress seems to be the first role model for single women. Being single has been treated as an in-between state where you could spend your whole life hoping a man would come along to upgrade your status to join the army of women who are supposedly “successful”. And this waiting would be considered entirely normal.
But I think it’s refreshing to get a different take on this.
How would you feel about going solitary?
With a sex life and as many lovers as you please?
There are many ways to benefit from the legacy of White Tigress and her self-care regime if you’ve been married for thirty years. Or if you’re the Virgin Mary herself.
You could practice the rejuvenating yoga exercises from the White Tigress book, and keep your sex life entirely out of it.
Or you could apply the wisdom of the White Tigress within your relationship.
In January 2017, I started writing posts/ notes on my White Tigress Facebook page. They covered relationships as well as the taboos around women and sex.
But it was not very inspiring to write these general posts to which a wide variety of women were supposed to relate. And to unravel all the snags of the White Tigress. And worst of all it was not appealing to  strong, single women, who were ready to become a White Tigress.
So for this guide I’m going to keep things really simple, and focus exclusively on women who are eager to become a White Tigress.

Characteristics and challenges

You can become a White Tigress if you;

- are single
- are open to the idea of staying that
- want to have sex, while being single
- want to develop your independence and your personality

The latter is a lot easier being a White Tigress, than if you have the sought after couple status. Because a relationship is the perfect basis to externalize problems. Instead moving inward and solving a problem by yourself, something that would make you grow.
For example, let’s take the situation where you find out your partner is cheating on you.
This is in 99.9% of the cases the perfect reason to default to the victim role, and sulk there for the rest of your life.
When there are so many interesting questions you could be asking yourself.
Like;
Did you want someone else, and did you deny yourself that?
And if you did, why?
Are you connecting your self-worth to how your partner’s behavior? And is this hurtful because you think you’re not good enough?
Why is your partner not entitled to privacy and not allowed to have his own life? You’re not a dictator to whom he is accountable, right?
So it’s not that you can’t grow within a relationship, but it’s not our first response. Painful situations are usually brought to an imaginary flash court. And the one who is not guilty? He or she doesn’t have to deal with it. Being a victim is a carte blanche to never check where you have failed to take responsibility.
In a relationship it’s incredibly tempting to hold a partner responsible for both the problem, as well as the solution. And this process exists for good reason, and I do mean other than that it’s gentle on your ego.
The reason is that the system/ the pack/ the relationship, does not profit from individual growth or even individual change of any kind.
If your partner has cheated on you, and you assume the victim position, the relationship has a chance to survive. If your partner is depressed, and you obediently stand next to him until he recovers, again, the relationship has a chance of surviving. It has been stabilized. But as soon as you start developing yourself, as a response to the other, or independent of (the stagnation of) the other, the house of cards that is your relationship immediately starts to waver.
This mechanism, where what is beneficial for you is not good for the relationship, is a major delay in your personal development.
But when you are single, this danger of having to sacrifice your relationship, doesn’t exist. And there is no other way than dealing with your problems yourself. There is no one else to blame, nor is there anyone to rely on for support or company.
This is true for every Saturday night alone on the couch, or for dreary Holidays. And for every morning-after, groggy and sleep deprived, not knowing if you’ll ever see him again.
But from now on you have a choice;
Either you give into being needy and you text him, and wait for him to validate and comfort you. And with that you create the foundation of an emotionally dependent relationship.
Or get yourself together and think; Fuck it. I’m growing here. If I nail this, I’ll be stronger the next time around.
But realize that the morning-after is probably one of the most difficult things to deal with. Which is the reason I prefer to date during day-time or to get home before midnight. As long as you’re not super comfortable in your Tigress’ skin I would not recommend one nightstands with day-after backlash.
But having said that, every moment you’re alone or insecure, is a chance to get into your White Tigress role. And as soon as you start seeing it a challenge that is part of being single – just like awkward Christmas dinners with the in-laws are a part of being a couple – the tide will turn. You have put yourself in charge.
Although I want to avoid this guide from getting too much into the Hows, because the biggest change is a mindset one and not in how you act, I will give a recipe for these challenging moments, when you’re alone at home and not the brightest condition. The moments when you’re convinced that only a man can save you.

Morning-after recipe for depleted Tigresses

1. acknowledge it
Cancel your to-dos, and turn it into a me-day to replenish.

2. do things that give you energy and don’t take too big a toll on your health or perhaps your wallet.

For example, I love playing with my notebooks and diaries. And I always feel better after I cleaned my house. I know of women who bake a pie or make a big pot of fresh soup.
You can go see a movie, go out for the day, or visit a museum.
Make a list of activities that energize you, where you can choose from when push comes to shove.

3. make a plan or start a new project

I’ve started all my books and Life Changing Projects when I felt the urge to regain control over my emotions. Do you know the movie Julie and Julia? It’s about a young woman who goes on a challenge to bake a classical French cookbook in one year. She needs to get two recipes done a day. With live lobsters, complicated desserts, the whole shebang. She blogs about it, and it’s a true story.
Projects like these are nourishing for the soul. Soon enough you’re no longer thinking about the backlash of your bender, nor of your insecurity if he’ll text you or not.
And if he does he’ll only be welcome if he is a culinary adventurer. Just like you.

Which path will you choose?

I believe both a single life, as well as a relationship, can be abused as a way to get your validation from outside yourself. But that you can excel in both of them as soon as you take responsibility for your emotions and stop looking for solutions outside of yourself.
Which path you choose is a personal choice, but unfortunately until now only the path of the couple, is being laid out for us.
So it’s not really a choice.
Little is known about the alternative, a solitary life. And this goes in particular for the sexual part of it. It is a mystery.
The next chapters are about the sex life of the White Tigress. Who her Green Dragons are, what a Jade Dragon is, and what kind of sex the White Tigress engages in.

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

This was the first part of my White Tigress guide.
Episode 2 and 3 will be published this week at the LS Harteveld Facebook pagina
and on Twitter.

Witte Tijgerin A5Nederlands?
Je kunt de Nederlandstalige gids Witte Tijgerin voor €5 kopen via de Feeks (online of in de gezellige winkel in de van Welderenstraat, Nijmegen) of direct van mij als je yoga bij me volgt.
Combineert uitstekend met mijn boek
22 erotische verhalen €15
Ook op voorraad bij de Feeks of bij mij.

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Why yoga is boring for creative people (and what to do about it)

movie Mother!

movie Mother!

Last week, from what will possibly go down as the most disagreed on film of 2017 (Mother! by Daron Aronofski) I was able to derive a crucial piece of information for anyone who has ever made a brave attempt to get into yoga and failed. Anyone who has ever wondered why that whole self-practice just ain’t happening or why you couldn’t make yourself do something for as little as an hour a week that gave you a good night sleep, and immediately made you feel better.
Why was merely the memory of that never enough to make you commit, sign up, or just go back to try it a second time?
I am currently on my zillionth cycle of having a troubled menstruation which I know will completely clear up if I do as little as twenty minutes of yoga a day. Twenty minutes of yoga a day! Doesn’t even matter which type of yoga. Any yoga will do the trick of putting my menstruation back in line. Then why can’t I make myself do that?
After seeing Mother! I know why.

Creator versus Preserver {contains spoilers Mother!}

Mother! introduces two dominant characters.
The first is a charismatic poet; a fifty-something dominant male, in who we will later recognize both the destroyer of all things, as well as the creator. When the whole place is destroyed, by his crazy as fuck poetry admirers, he rebuilds it with his mind. The Poet is God.
The second character is his young wife, who is meticulously improving their house. The whole mansion has this brocante early 20th century look, with fluttering curtains and boxes filled with starched linen.
The young woman has a symbiotic tie to the house. Not only does she refurbish, nurture and embellish,  her heart is the heart of the house. Whenever people enter the house who will do it harm, she suffers from heart pains and becomes ill. Where her husband unapologetically licks up all the adoration and thrives on the interaction with Mankind, the young woman who symbolizes Mother Earth, wants them nowhere near the house and feels protective of it.
The woman is Mother.
And it is the two opposing agendas of Mother and God, that explain why yoga (to some) is so boring. Or a lost battle.

Creativity is free

Ever since the beginning of my practice I ve been using yoga schedules, dvd’s, and ideas from teachers and yoga schools from all over the world. It didn’t matter how quaint the yoga book, or how obscure the magazine, I could always get something out of it, and weave it into my practice or my classes. I had an incredibly eclectic taste.
I realized there was something not quite right with our take on yoga, when my teacher said to me;
“You can’t keep expanding (your range) forever. One day you’ll have to go deeper into your practice.”
She was wrong, because creativity is both infinite, as well as a powerful way to develop your craft.
The second time I realized yoga was being heavily underused was when I got into the videos from Meghan Currie on YouTube. My favorite was “Creativity is Free”; a nine minute time-laps from a two hour practice which Meghan Currie created intuitively as she went along. Here was a form of yoga everybody immediately recognized for what it was;
Yoga as a work of art.

Yoga for Artists

Suddenly, putting two and two, and the movie Mother! together, we have a complete picture of what is missing from yoga. And why modern day yoga covers the needs of about 95% of all practitioners.
But not the last five.
First let’s take a look at the main stream yoga that is doing so well; Yoga as the preserving Mother energy. A nurturing, non-competitive, non-ambitious practice that nicely balances the high energy, demanding lifestyle most of us have. This is the type of yoga that was taught (tremendously well!) at the yoga training where the teacher told me to go deeper into my practice. It’s the type of yoga where you will feel relaxed just entering the room, and that will appeal to many people, and it has even appealed to me at times!
It’s the yoga that grounds you, keeps you alive, and makes sure you don’t die of a heart attack age forty five. It’s also the type of yoga that is low in excitement, low in being challenging and therefor to some incredibly boring.
These people are not into the Mothering side of yoga. Instead, they long to be more active, to be challenged and are motivated by a little competition.
Enter the domain of the more physical yoga lineages.
Iyengar yoga, Ashtanga yoga but also all forms of power yoga and intermediate hatha yoga, require stamina, flexibility, and mastery of your body. And of your mind as well. I would also see long silent meditation to be among these types of challenging yoga practices. Challenging yoga will appeal to ambitious people, but it may also fuel a (secret?) need to be admired. A longing to be “good” at yoga. Just like the Poet wanted to be admired.
But even without that “dark side” of looking for validation, it is clear that this type of yoga is totally different from the more preservative kind.
My estimate is that the Mother type of yoga, plus the challenging type of yoga, cover about 95% of the needs of yoga practitioners. Leaving one aspect out. The aspect of creation. Of creativity.
Because Meghan Currie does yoga for the same reason Sergei Polunin dances;
For the same reason Darren Aronofski made Mother!;
The reason Marina Abramovic stared people in the eyes for three months straight;
because it is their art.
Yoga is Meghan Currie’s creative expression.

Built from the Ashes

I once saw a video on the unwanted side effects vacation. It was not for artists, it was for entrepreneurs. It explained that entrepreneurs needed to understand that if they were truly driven, they would not need vacation the way normal people needed a vacation. In fact, taking time off would be one of the most stressful things they could possibly do for themselves. The video pointed out that entrepreneurs should accommodate their family by taking downtime and doing fun stuff with their loved ones. But that it would be in everybody’s best interest if they would also take their laptop to Corfu, because they would become absolutely unbearable if they had to take a break from working.
And it is the same with artists, with people who create.
Taking a break is not fatal to the people who create to get admired, like the Poet, when he writes a new book and becomes a star.
Going on vacation is not a disaster if you create as in refurbishing, like Mother. Although it is a fine line to argue when a project (like building a house or planting a garden) stems from an organic energy and when it is a creative expression.
But taking time off will go against everything you stand for, if you create like God in Mother!
After the masses, the admirers, the humans, have destroyed God’s and Mother’s world with everything in it, God recreates it. With a similar woman, waking up in the same linen sheets, looking for the identical estranged husband.
He creates because he has to, it’s just who he is.
He can’t take a break from work any more than an entrepreneur can.

Yoga for Artists

I’m close to my twentieth yoga anniversary. And although the reasons I ve dropped out (doing a self-practice) have been many – and the reasons I don’t mind have been diverse -  there is one aspect of yoga that I know I haven’t fully explored. And it’s what 5% of people have to explore if they want to “get” yoga;
To use yoga as a creative expression.
And although this is largely unknown territory, these pointers may help you to find your way;
1. keep an open mind, but most of all your own mind
Let go of any preconceived, general, learned ideas of what yoga is. If you ve been doing yoga, you may need to be at peace with not doing yoga for a while. Until new ideas have hatched. Remember you’re not interested in other people’s view on yoga; this is all about creating your own experiences, and thoughts.
2. feel where the Life is
Maybe it’s curiosity, or maybe it’s an overwhelming urge. But whether you get into yoga reading books about Tantra, or following a 30 day Yoga with Adrience challenge on YouTube (or decipher antiquarian yoga books) you must start with where you feel the life.
I remember being inspired by a business card a Pilates instructor gave me. And by a flyer with yoga exercises that came with a Nike yoga mat. But I ve also been inspired by Madonna music, performances of Marina Abramovic and the discipline of Sergei Polunin.
3. Combine yoga with your art
If you have a background in dancing, you will be able to make a seamless transition to expressing yourself through yoga. If you’re a writer you ll enjoy blogging about your practice. If you are more of a visionary you will love designing yoga series or developing a yoga system. Reinvent yoga by combining it with science, art, or any hobby or habit you already have.

Forget what normal people do

Like I said, yoga as an creative expression is more or less unknown territory. No one has really approached it that way, and if they had- it would be of no use, because you would still have to find your own way, and make it your own.
No true artist would ever copy someone else’s expression, so there really is no way someone could lead us/ you, and help you.
But I do think that being so extremely high up in your creative energy comes with limitations.
We will not be “helped” by relaxing yoga, any more than an entrepreneur is helped by a vacation.
And we will not be inspired by challenging yoga, any more than by doing cardio five times a week.
We simply need to build our own yoga from the ground up.
And we may need to first burn it down, before our own unique expression of yoga, can rise from the ashes.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

My books are available internationally, at my Lulu store +
in Nederland neemt Boekhandel de Feeks sinds deze week de distributie op zich!

Het boek van de maand oktober is de jaren 80 coming of age novelle Mango
Mango staat tijdelijk gratis online & is op voorraad bij de Feeks (Nijmegen + webshop).

Mijn online yoga is te volgen bij M Yoga, net als de lessen in Nijmegen.

The brutal truth about being an artist- review of the movie “Mother!” {incl spoilers}

by LS Harteveld

screen-shot-2017-08-03-at-5-03-12-pmLet me clear something up. When the guy at the box office said:
“This is the worst movie I ve seen all year, but I recommend it to everyone because it brings up so much discussion.”
He wasn’t lying. At least not about the being the worst movie of the year part. But it didn’t bring up any discussion between me and my friend. In fact we were eager to discuss Atomic Blonde.
Again.
We had seen Atomic Blonde weeks before, and not only had it changed our lives, we also felt stained from the “Mother!” experience. As if we were afraid our memories of Atomic Blonde would become less bright, if we didn’t relive them quickly.
Fortunately we both seem to have the same urge, so we discussed how this manifesto of female power – which takes place in Berlin 1989 including matching soundtrack and slick black-and-white dressed style icon Charlize Theron – had given us the most inspiring role model since Uma Thurman’s Kill Bill.
The box office guy and his friends had discussed Mother! for three hours, after seeing it. But this was nothing compared to the impact of Atomic Blonde. My friend and me were on our third week of discussing it. We had been a little bumbed out that we had spent money on Mother! But as soon as we realized we had been able to preserve the memory of Atomic Blonde, which will not be released on dvd till December – we were relieved.
Our real treasure was still intact.
A few days later I was on a train. It was late, I was dead tired and I didn’t have the energy to write or to read. Much to my own surprise, I started watching “Mother explained” videos on YouTube. You can do this with every movie, and it gives you reviews from vloggers/channels that have specialized in watching and reviewing films.
I had done the same thing for Atomic Blonde, because the story line is impossible to follow. So now I did the same for Mother! Not because I had not been able to understand the story, but to find out what the director had meant to convey.
Everything, from this point onward, is thanks to the “Mother explained” videos on YouTube. If it hadn’t been for those, the story would have ended with me and my friend erasing the memory of it as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
On the surface Mother is about a young woman totally occupied with the refurbishment of an old mansion, restoring it to its former glory after a fire burned it to the ground. She lives there with her husband, a poet with a writer’s block. He is eventually inspired by a man, who he lets into their house, and from thereon more and more people come in, who behave like a plague. But they admire the poet and he feels very forgiving towards them.
Ultimately their presence destroys their house, and it takes the life of their infant and of his wife.
And then he recreates his world again. He lives in the same house (which he recreated with his mind. Her refurbishment was merely an embellishment) with a similar young woman. And the cycle will repeat itself.
One dialogue at the end captivates the drama that is going on. And I don’t have the script, so I do this by recollection, but it was something like;
“Who are you?” the young woman asks.
“I am me. I create,” the man answers. “That’s what I do.”
And with that you also understand that he also destroys, if only by proxy by inviting all the people in who clearly cannot be trusted around anything you value. Let alone around your wife, and the house that she has symbiotic ties to.
He destroys Life, so that he can rebuild it, recreate it. Whereas she symbolizes a preserving power, for which ultimately creators, artists, have little respect. Or maybe it’s not that they don’t respect is, it’s more that you can’t change the nature of the beast. A creator must create, and for that there must first be a need.
He must destroy.
I am a writer and I am familiar with his need to create. Although aside from this fictional poet, I usually feel little affiliation to other writers. Their art (writing) seems to be optional, as if they have a choice to write or not. I see this in particular if there is a writer’s block.
To me a writer’s block can mean one of two things;
1. You are making yourself write stuff you don’t want to write. And you’re confusing it with Art.
I can imagine that if you are caught up in thinking “What do people want to read?” or if you are under contract from a magazine to publish a certain amount of words about a certain topic, that every writer could suffer from a writer’s block.
But then this work that you’re set out to do here, is not going to be brilliant anyway. So train yourself to please your audience enough to make money with your craft, and be done with it. But don’t confuse this with Art. You re just doing your job.
Just like someone who collects garbage will be more inspired to do so on one day than the other, and yet his audience will be equally pleased and relieved that he came by to do his work.
The same way the audience will like reading your column.
But get over the idea that it needs to be groundbreaking, because it doesn’t. It needs to pay the bills, end of story.
The most interesting reason behind this form of writers block is when you are actually avoiding to do your true work! You know which book, which topic, which scary as fuck thing that you could fail massively at, you are supposed to write. But you make yourself write something else instead.
And then you block.
Be glad you did! It’s a gift from God to prevent you putting time and effort into something that is not your true purpose. Which brings me to number two.
2. Writing is not your art
I am currently making daily yoga videos. Or at least that’s what I am supposed to do. Even right now, Wednesday 27 September 1 pm, I am supposed to be on my yoga mat and do one to two hours of filming. The neighbors and the neighborhood are quiet. The lighting is perfect. Everything is.. Except for one thing: I NEED to write this review of Mother. The insights have developed in my head last night; A sleepless, drama filled night with heart pains, a sick cat, and a ton of resolutions to do better and work less and save my life.
I was going to be like the “Mother!” woman. Nurture my preserving energies, and activities, by prioritizing making slow, mindful, unpretentious yoga videos (I am a yoga teacher). Every day, two hours of breathing and yoga. I knew it would save my life.
But let’s take a different spin.
How about if I would call this a “video block”, okay? And I go around saying to people:
“I have a video block! I know I am supposed to have a great video channel, and be a world famous video yoga teacher, if I would only get around to actually doing it!”
How believable would that be on a scale from zero to one? Minus ten?
No one would believe that because it’s bullshit.
My purpose, my art, that which I cannot NOT do, is writing. The reason I am making myself, or at least trying to make myself, create those videos every day is to get enough relaxation into my life to not die from writing. To get less nights where I think I ll get a heart attack this year.
If you have to squeeze out your writing, the way I have to squeeze out my videos?
Then please let it be about writing being healthy for you. Or that it’s some sort of self-reflection tool that a therapist made you use. Or it’s something you want to do to pay the bills, like I said in 1. Any excuse will satisfy me, except one; you claiming that writing is your passion. Because clearly it’s not. And worst case scenario, you are actually missing out on your real passion because you are trying to be a writer. Maybe you are a different kind of artist (like a vlogger, using a different medium) or – and this would be even better;
you’re a gardener, or an interior decorator, or a real yoga teacher.
Someone with a predominantly preservative energy. Then focus on that. And bless you! Because like I said- I am planning two hours of non-writing non-creating into my day, because creating is eating me alive.
And since last night I know I can’t afford that.
My cat and me were in bed, both in bad shape and not doing too well. And I realized that for years I had been saying:
“I don’t have time for illness or rest. I need to get my books out, and then I ll see what’s left of my life and body.”
And now my books are out, All ten of them.
And I raised the blankets to let my cat Max in or out for the twentieth time that night and I realized that no one was going to be here for him if I die. No one is going to be home at four to six hour intervals to give him canned food, love and cuddles. To clear up his vomit in the middle of the night, and to let him sleep fur-to-skin like mother and baby.
He even wakes me up, before he has to vomit whereas normal cats want solitude if they feel sick.
No one is going to take care of Max the way I do;
Spending every night at home, hiring a baby sitter when I go away for more than half a day, and giving him his daily medicine cocktail which took months to come up with and help from a VET that wasn’t too strikt with the rules and regulations.
Without my love and care Max would have died a long time ago.
How is it possible that I have been so obsessed with my creative work that I thought getting those books out, was what was going to provide meaning to my life? And even worse;
That I was free to die after, apparently leaving Max behind?
On one side I feel blessed my writing is non-negotiable. Not an option. It’s like breathing: even if I wanted to I couldn’t NOT do it. And I intend to stay far from situations where writing is a job, or a choice.
But on the other hand I am motivated, now more than ever, to cultivate the preserving, Mother like energy in me. To give my body its rest, and to most of all keep it alive as long as little Max needs me.
And then, just like in the movie, I am free to let the Mother side of me crash and burn the whole place down. After which the Creator in me will rebuild every particle. Not by choice.
But because it’s who I am.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

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