Categorie archief: Reboot

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

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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.
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Reboot. Episode 2 The Return of Benjamin

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It was the most epic meet cute since Atomic Blonde’s;
“Don’t shoot I’ve got your shoe.”
where the male spy holds up Charlize Theron’s red killer heel.
And maybe I did look like Charlize Theron’s late eighties MI6 agent with impeccable sense of style. I am blonde and I was wearing a long white coat when I arrived at the station way after midnight. But I wasn’t thinking about national security or the price of a new pair of Jimmy Choo’s. I was pretty beat. It had been months since I had been out of town this late, and my stamina for traveling had suffered from three years of non-stop cat sitting, cat mothering, and definitely-have-to-be-home-to-sleep no brainers.
Summer 2014 both my cats got ill. The big one, Willem, kept me bound to home at four hour intervals, until he passed away a year later.
And eighteen months ago the remaining little cat Max got sick. I ve been able to stabilize him, thank God, but whenever I leave the house for longer than let’s say six hours, he vomits or get’s diarrhea. Or if he doesn’t do those things, he refuses to eat for at least half a day.
And the little fellow wakes me up at night, before he has to throw up. He just pokes me and meows, and then I have no idea what’s going on until he starts gagging, and I get the towel to protect the bed covers. It’s like he woke me saying:
“Mommy I don’t feel good.”
That’s heartbreaking.
You don’t leave that alone.
So no, I haven’t had training in traveling for years. And every time I do go away it seems harder to stay grounded and calm and to find my way in foreign cities, where ever changing roadblocks seem to make it impossible to use a rental bike.
I took the bus this time.
But still, it had been a long night. And I longed for nothing more than to get home.
On the train I had made a quick note in my notebook slash diary-to-go. My mother calls it the dairy that anyone is allowed to find. Because it’s the one I take outside the house, and it only has everybody’s name there in code. If I lose it, no one gets their secrets out. Least of all me.
So in this diary I made a note. And although it was meaningful, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to use it for anything.
“Saw Benjamin. And MISSED HIM!”
How is that a story? Which one of my blogs, could possibly benefit from that crappy bit of information? First of all, most people didn’t even know who Benjamin was, despite me having published my collected works as “The Book of Benjamin”. It contains three Dutch books as well, so I chose a Dutch title. But it was the book of Benjamin for a reason; because he was the only consistent character in my entire work.
And although at a private level I had more or less made my peace with Benjamin not being a part of my life, I knew that for literary purposes, I had to go full in and name my collected works after its most desired object of affection; Benjamin.
To say that I was okay with him not being in my life, meant that I had accepted that I had to wait. Because I knew, KNEW, without any doubt, a hundred percent fucking sure as certain as fuck and my apologies for the swearing but this is an area where I can’t allow for any ambiguity;
I KNEW Benjamin would come to me.
I could feel it in my bones.
Him and me were not going to die not having seen each other since the nineties. And I knew it had to come from him taking the initiative. I couldn’t be me, because he had refused to see me in 2014 so he was the one in charge of timing. He had written me an email, supposedly to finalize things, but I had picked up a different message.
Energetically, the message didn’t say; “No.”
It said; “Not now.”
And much of the challenge, or life changing project that I m embarking on under the name of “Reboot” (from love goddess to warrior woman) has to do with this realization that one day I will see Benjamin. During my affair with Mister Big my body has grown to Goddess size, as I felt that the only thing that was required of me – and in fact the only thing I longed for – was to surrender to him completely.
I had surrendered to his terms when I knew I would be a secret mistress. And I had surrendered for pleasure whenever we had sex. No wonder that after three years I had lost all definition.
But that was not the way I was going to face Benjamin.
He had known me when I was fifteen kilos lighter, all muscle, and although my attitude had been feisty and assertive, on the inside I had been eaten away by fears. The same fears that had prohibited me from giving into him. The same fears even that 25 years later had almost kept me from getting involved with Big. Almost. Because I caught that in time, and did the inner work nessecary in order to follow my heart.
So I had not just grown on the outside, being all curvy, but I had become a more emotionally resilient woman along the way. I was bigger and sturdier in all areas. Now I wanted to keep the mental benefits, and get my old body back.
Which was proving to be quite dramatic.
The week before my meet cute with Benjamin, I had been an emotional wreck. Crying a lot. Sleeping a lot. Old insecurities had come back to haunt me, multiplied, and I had felt further than ever from being a warrior woman. Now I was not just physically soft but mentally unstable as well. I even had my first fight with Mister Big in over two years, as if my desire for a strongly defined body, immediately back lashed into a power struggle. Something that I hated, especially now that I was at my lowest.
I knew that whenever you want a change in your life, and the bigger this change the stronger this will be true, everything will change. And all relationships, from business arrangements to love affairs, will change with it. Change is an incredibly messy and unpredictable process, which is why you only get what you were set out to do, if you go all in. As soon as you go half in, you will stop at the first signs of resistance. You need to want to have that thing, more than you have anything else in your life. And with everything that comes up, and every sacrifice that you unexpectedly have to make, you have to ask yourself:
“What do I want more? This or “the thing”?”
Because there is no way around it. You can be sure that all the hiccups are a sign that this is an area in your life, that is affected by your desire for change. You can’t keep that the same, and expect to keep making progress.
And the most ironic thing of all, is that the bigger the mess you’re in, the more certain you can be that you’re on the right track. That change is happening, and that your dream is manifesting.
It’s just that having a crappy week and feeling shit about your relationship, feels more like a dead end street than a high way to looking fabulous. But I knew there was no other way. For now all I could do was sit with it.
But I wasn’t in the best of spirits.
In fact, on my way there – I was going to a concert – I even gave myself permission to leave within half an hour. I would go in, say hi to all the people that expected to see me there, and who I would love to see and talk to don’t get me wrong! But after 25 minutes I would excuse myself, say I was feeling sick (which was true, I did got sick on the train ride) and leave.
I called it “doing an Obama” after Barack Obama visiting the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in a ravishing twenty minutes. I would do an Obama; smile, make entertaining conversation, and give my full attention and appreciation.
And then leave.
But that was before I saw him. Because a few hours after delivering my debut novel Mango, and the Book of Benjamin, to a local retailer, I had the biggest deja vu in the history of deja vus.
I saw Benjamin.
Not the real Benjamin, a forty-ish business man in a suite, with brown skin, a short black hair cut, and dashing Western facial features that would stun even the most spoiled model scout.
No!
I saw a character that was even more familiar because I had personally breathed life into him! I saw Benjamin the way he had looked in 1991. With a jeans jacket, a T shirt, and long strong hair, in a low bun in his neck. His bun was nothing like the contemporary hipster hairdo.
This was a messy carefree bun that I had seen in my life only once, but that I had relived a thousand words and several chapters over; It was the exact same bun Benjamin had in my book.
He was there, my real life protagonist, at the concert. Exactly the way I described in my book.
I had never met real Benjamin at a concert but this one was. I was reliving my own book! I had manifested this man, being at this concert, I was sure of it.
But this was the concert I had intended to do my “25 minutes of Obama”, and then leave. Besides I had already written a whole book (Dutch American Diary) about me meeting a Benjamin lookalike. And then another one, LS Diary, where the lookalike was called Rafael.
I was done reliving my own history and making a fool of myself.
Or so I thought.
Because after an hour, I was still there. The group of friends I was able to hook up with, was much more fun and diverse than I had expected, and I was having a wonderful time. Next to that, the concert was about twice as good as anticipated. I had lost all desire to do “an Obama”. And there was something else.. The nagging feeling that me ignoring this Benjamin, at this concert, on the first day my books hit the stores, was a painful and stupid mistake and something I was going to regret for the rest of my life. But I had not seen “Benjamin” since the start of the concert. And I wouldn’t be able to find him before the concert had ended.
So I stayed.
After the concert, I said my goodbyes to several groups of people, and as I walked around trying to locate where everyone was, I expected to automatically see Benjamin as well. But he wasn’t there. I looked harder, inspecting not just the concert hall but also the bar and the smoking area, but nothing. He wasn’t there. My hesitant reaction in the first hour of me being there, which was about the time it took before I realized I wasn’t just staying for the music and my friends, that hour was now costing me. I had lost the time window God had given me, and now the ghost had vanished.
I left for my bus.
I half expected him to appear from the dark, running for the bus, but he didn’t. And then I let it go. I continued my journey. Bus. Train.
“Saw Benjamin. And MISSED HIM!”
That line, in my dispensable diary, would be all that would remain. And I would probably not even use it, not for any of my blogs. It was a crappy story line, finishing a crappy week, and for the time being that was just the way things were. I wasn’t Mister Big’s Love Goddess anymore, but I wasn’t a warrior woman either. And I didn’t feel Benjamin worthy anyway. Maybe it was a good thing this was how it had ended.
An hour later I left my train. It wasn’t particularly cold but I felt chilly none the less. I headed for my bike, and I wouldn’t have noticed him if had not been for someone who shouted out a name, and I unintentionally looked up to see who was greeting a friend, at this eerie square and ungodly hour of the day. The friend was a rangy brown man. He was ageless. He could be twenty or forty, you would have believed either. He raised his hand, said hi, and walked on.
It was Benjamin.
This time I did not hesitate, and I called him by his real name, that I had just learned.
A few wee minutes later we were smiling at each other, and I touched his hair.
“This is almost like a spiritual experience,” I said, after I had explained why I was so intrigued by him.
He accepted my business card, and he gave me hug before he left.
And I realized that whatever pain or discomfort I would have to go through, Reboot, my path from Love Goddess to Warrior Woman, also came with some surprises.
Nice ones.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is not worth living

My Dutch novel Mango, about the other meet cute with real Benjamin (1991), is book of the month and temporarily available online for free

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new online diary; Reboot. Episode 1 Atomic blonde

 

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I always thought it would be Benjamin.
That on a chilly Saturday morning in August, that felt more like autumn than the heart of summer, he would wake up twice. First from his dream. And then from a two decade old haze of working too hard and another weekend of work ahead of him. Instead of taking time off, like he had promised himself.
He would suddenly feel every aspect in which his professional life was taking its toll.
Maybe it was because I was creative, followed my passion, and had my dream business. And he was a businessman. Maybe that’s why I thought he would be the one with the sudden change of heart that he had been all wrong and was going to do things differently. But whatever it was, I had not seen it coming.
How could I have?
For the past eight years I had been occupied with publishing my books. Or by not publishing them. Every finished manuscript seemed to be doomed to get stuck in some phase of editing or making it to paper.
I wrote. I published. I failed. For eight damn years.
Until summer 2017 it was done and I woke up with ten books published, two stone heavier, a non-existent yoga practice – other than teaching my classes – and from a night that had been disturbed by a racing heart beat, anxiety attacks or whatever they call it when you re peacefully falling asleep and then your heart starts racing.  God knows what my blood pressure is.
I ve always said getting those books out was my priority and that I would do so in this lifetime. But now that it is done, I want my old body back.
It’s not that I don’t like my figure. I do. If I watch my yoga videos and notice my pot belly and perky butt, I love the way it looks and feels. Every time I talk about my weight, I automatically start caressing my curves, fondly looking at myself. Like I’m a little sex Goddess, equipped to take a pounding.
So the main reason is not vanity.
It’s control.
Just like not finishing my books made me feel lousy, not having a say over the entire midsection of my body, is tearing down my self-esteem. So far I ve been holding up, but only because I rationalized the weight. I was putting first things first and prioritized my books. But now that those are done, I’m making my weight a priority.
Instead of looking like the Goddess of Love who lies in bed all day eating grapes and inviting her lover in every hole her luscious body has to offer, I want to look powerful, and lean.  Like an amazon warrior. Independent and strong. And move my career forward.
Too bad work only seems to come in the form of an addiction.

Hotel Credible
6.15 p.m.

I had a good first day but only because I severely culled my way too ambitious list of resulutions to the bear minimum and boldly created public accountability. But let me start at the beginning of why I m a work addict and why I decided my life needs a reboot. Because those extra fourteen kilos are the least of my worries. If I don’t change my ways I can see myself dying of a heart attack within a year.
When publishing and editing my diaries, I could see how my work addiction came into being. Where it was sparked, when it grew, and when it started taking over my life. Because the diaries had not just documented my own life; they gave the entire bio of my work addiction.
It was conceived by two forces; the egg of creativity and the semen of the internet.
At first the egg of creativity lay dormant since all my writing was offline. But in 2010 I created my own blog and joined Twitter and Facebook. That’s when Creativity and Internet conceived their child; a rapidly developing work addiction.
By the time I was on my fourth book, an online diary called LS Diary, the work addiction – then still in its adolescent form of merely writing – had become a demanding entity. Any untold story would cause so much anxiety, that the quickest and only way to deal with it was to sit down and get it out. Even if that meant getting behind my desk after class and work past midnight.
But when it matured, the addiction doubled itself in size and colonized on my yoga business. I didn’t have a minute’s rest if I knew my website had to be changed. Which was often. I could blast the whole weekend away redesigning my website to meet my latest marketing strategy.
Just like drinking or drugs, binge working started out as a recreational thing. It didn’t happen every weekend, or even every month. But now I can honestly say I haven’t had a quiet week in a year. A year! August 2016 till now; all work, little play, and zero of doing nothing and watching the clouds go by.
No wonder my heart races at night, the moment I start falling asleep. It has forgotten what rest even is.
So I broke down my goal to more fun, less work, more body, less mind.
Firstly I want to work less on my websites, publishing, writing or posting blogs. Last week was already crazy and then to top it off I redid an entire book for a completely new self-publisher, on Friday at six. A pre-weekend work outburst, just in case my books wouldn’t meet distribution requirements from my already-being-difficult publisher. He seemed to be torturing me with non-functioning discount codes, minimum of ten days delivery time and charging more on postage than the whole order combined. As if we were having a dysfunctional relationship, and I needed to figure out my options, before I could log off for the weekend. Needless to say I worked the entire weekend as well. I created a new group program and a membership site for my yoga.
My second goal is to have a daily yoga practice. It was sparked by a Facebook update from this cute guy, a senior consultant who has as little to do with man buns, green smoothies or even downtime as you can possibly imagine, and he confessed that he was suffering from a yoga addiction.
I got so jealous!
I wanted a yoga addiction!
And although I had some brief success following his good example, it died out. My work addiction could not be replaced by an addiction to a.m. mat work. Now I was jealous and frustrated.
I ve always believed the largest health benefit of yoga is not its solid cardio, or its vigorous sun salutations. It’s not its calming breath, the Madonna worthy shoulders, nor the increased flexibility.
The biggest health benefit of yoga is that you’re not doing something else.
You re not checking social media or email.
You re not building your sales page or publishing your books.
So when my carefully crafted path to get myself a yoga addiction failed, I had also pulled the door wide open for my work addiction to march right back in.  There was way more at stake here than just yoga.
If I failed to get a daily practice the next twelve months would be just the same crazy, work filled, anxiety prone, rollercoaster ride as the last. And I was not going to let that happen.
That’s why I am committing to;
1. daily yoga, and making it accountable by recording it and sharing it on my membership program.
2. keeping this offline diary, Reboot, and stop, stay away from, or at the very least contain my online work addiction. At the risk of having my first heart attack if I don’t.
By the time this offline diary is turned into a book, my body will be a lean, sculpted warrior woman. A lady who’s currently buried under layers of comfortable padding.

The Dream

Suffice to say; It didn’t work.
I’m over three weeks in, but I didn’t manage to get a yoga practice, had a variety of work addiction relapses, and I neglected this diary. And last weekend I was so frustrated from not writing online, that I totally binge wrote three posts in two days. I seem to be thinner than three weeks ago – probably due to an unexpected stroke of luck called visualization, more about that later – but my life’s nowhere near where I want it to be.
I really thought the accountability from my memberships program (by recording my practice) was the key to doing yoga. And that this offline diary was the key to stop being such a blog-and-post-it junky. I was certain of it! I could have, would have, was supposed to have, my old offline pre-2010 life, with complementary thin strong offline body.
There was no way this formula could fail.
Yet the yoga practice was erratic at best, this offline diary died within 48 hours and online writing worked its way back up effortlessly. As if it had never left.
But something else happened. I started to visualize. First just the body; the muscular size 8 body I had before Creativity and Internet bred their monstrous offspring. The vision disappeared, as I got invested in my work again, but it returned even stronger. My desire to change had moved even further back in time, all the way back to 1991, when I was not a size 8, but a petite size 6 who went to the gym four times a week. The vision drifted again, life took over, until suddenly- three and a half weeks from the day I started this Reboot challenge- it returned. The vision had grown to a magnitude that had nothing to do with its humble beginnings of me wanting my 2009 body back. I was still in 1991. I was a muscular size 6. But this time, not only could I see my imaginary size 6 thighs, I could also caress a porcelain blemish free skin, stroke my platinum blonde hair, and watch the world with large baby blue eyes. A brighter colour than I ever had. I could see every embellished body part, from teeth that had whitened and grew stronger, to scars and marks that had miraculously disappeared. Everything I had lost to aging or to trauma, was restored to its teenage state or even younger.
I could see myself do yoga every day, but also write every day.
Because together with the powerful new vision, came the realization that after three and a half week of struggle, writing just had to be a part of it. That I could not cut my online writing addiction from my life, any more than I could cut off my left arm. Daily yoga and daily writing; the two opposing energies were just going to have to coexist. Like yin and yang.
And I had a second dream. But this was not a vision, this was a real dream. About me and a writer about whom I have written in several books. Due to an unlikely turn of events the writer and me were located at the same building. Kind of a creative-urban-retreat thing that would last only for a few days. This was my chance to spend time with him, girlfriend free.
And I wasn’t the only one looking forward to that.
Soon enough we were more engaged in each other, than with our next novel. Our make out sessions were absolutely wonderful, and I couldn’t wait to take things further. But there was a problem. I hadn’t waxed my legs. I had a few super thin hairs, scattered sparsely over my legs. So it wasn’t like I was growing legwarmers or anything, but it was a deal breaker nonetheless. I wasn’t going to get intimate with someone dramatically close to my dream man, with anything less than a perfectly groomed body.
I woke up with a strong desire to wax my legs and to check his calendar. To my delight I saw that he will be here in a few months, visiting a local venue. I started counting the days, and there are eighty. It’s not too late!
After fucking up the first part of this project, relapsing, slacking, and forgetting every intention I had for myself, I now have eighty days to kick my ass into gear and to manifest that youthful atomic blonde vision I have for myself.
With a sweet reward awaiting me at the end.
And like hell I ll wax my legs.

<3LSH
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

After trying to be a good girl and contain my writing, I m now committing to daily blogposts instead.
you re welcome to follow my English updates; LS Harteveld Twitter and LS Harteveld Facebook
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