I grew up with loving parents. Of course, they weren’t perfect, but I just can’t blame my problems on them. They did well and now as a parent, I actually strive to be like them in most aspects. But I grew up in a broader culture of: “Want to be a good person? Be hard […]
WORKING HARD AND FEELING LONELY? Wanting to deliver high quality, come across as having it together, on top of it all, near perfect—this is my definition of “professional,” and it has been a lifelong strategy of mine.
I’ve studied and written about perfectionism plenty . . . my own experience with it, tips to overcome it, etc. But what I now know better than ever is that all the reading in the world doesn’t help one deal with it compared to a living, breathing experience. I’m talking about the act of DOING […]
More celebration than mourning I’m not typically much of a celebrity fan, which is why I’ve been surprised at just how rattled I’ve felt since hearing about Prince’s death. I can’t think of many other passings that would bring me into a mourning of sweet memories like this one, so I’ve been pondering about what’s […]
(Note: we’re continuing with the theme of anger, this time how it has the power to connect–with yourself and with others–with new communication skills.) If you’re anything like the old me, you’re probably confused at the notion that anger can be anything but disconnecting.
Wanting to come across as having it together, on top of it all, near perfect—my definition of “professional”—has been a lifelong strategy of mine. Some might say it’s an American cultural thing. I can’t be certain of that, but I can imagine that to a large degree, it was passed down to me through my […]
If I were really honest, the TOP thing on my holiday wish would be to spend the coming month with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment and connection with the people who are MOST important to me. Yet each end-of-the-year presents great challenges, and I know I’m not alone. Over the course of my 24 year-long […]
Since the events of 13/11 in Paris, perhaps you’ve seen the articles on “How to talk with your kids about terrorism.” I read several useful tips, yet for me, as most parenting guide go, I especially liked “trust your intuition—you know your child better than anyone.” However, what if our intuition is guided purely by […]
It’s not often I enjoy a “kid film” as much as I did this past summer’s Pixar hit, Inside Out. I laughed, I cried, I felt connected with myself (as things resonated with me) and also with my eight-year old daughter whose hand I squeezed all throughout. I kept thinking, “How wonderfully healthy for her […]
If you’re like me—and most other international couples—I’m guessing you can also find visits to extended family a super challenging experience. Particularly when that visit involves multiple days at a time. I’ve been focusing a lot of effort on staying connected with my partner during these visits. This has been my best one yet, and […]
Hopefully, by now you’ve seen the (in my opinion) wonderful satirical “42 reasons The Netherlands is the Worst Place on Earth.” I found it super refreshing, needed reminders of things I appreciate about my adopted country, yet sometimes lose sight of.
Random Acts of Kindness Week took place 9-15 February, 2015. But that’s o.k. if you missed the news – there’s never a wrong moment to be kind. And who couldn’t use some kindness in their life. My favorite RAK is receiving unexpected appreciation. And by that, I most certainly don’t mean compliments. Here, I explain […]
There I was, inside a circle of 30 workshop participants. I’ve never liked being in the spotlight, never saw myself teaching, and I was feeling quite nervous and scared. And then, within the span of about one minute, I felt calm, safe, and totally impassioned about moving on. What could have brought about such change […]
Not your typical Zwarte Piet Debate article – this one isn’t opinionated, but written from a Nonviolent Communication-based mediator’s—Cara Crisler—point of view with a call to action for mutual understanding and compassion.
Concerning the exhibit “Emotions – Painted Feelings in the Golden Age,” now showing at the Frans Hals Museum, some of the newspaper headlines I read were: “Emotions, by the Old Masters,” “Pain and Pleasure in the Golden Age,” and “Sigh, Emotions are so Difficult” (Haarlems Dagblad, 11 Oct, 2014). This last one really caught my eye […]
We’ve all heard the news that Dutch kids are ranked among the happiest in the world (please note that here “world” means developed countries only). But did you know Dutch parents are also ranked among the happiest, according to the UN’s first World Happiness Report? I suppose that makes sense . . . as Rina […]
Did you catch the tongue-in-cheek article, “10 ways to fit into Dutch society” (posted 3 June, 2014 on expatsHaarlem), written by Simon Woolcot (a.k.a. Amsterdam Shallow Man)? I was entertained for sure, which I imagine was the whole point. I also realized that some of us could possibly use some more tangible, serious tools when […]
In my work — personal coaching among internationals living in the Amsterdam region — the concept of identity gets talked about quite a bit. It can be tough uprooting from one’s community, leaving all things known and comfortable behind, starting over in a new country, one step at a time. What does it do to […]
It’s been four and a half years since I settled into Haarlem with my family of four. We had a lengthy list of all the reasons why this immigration would be a positive thing for us and it has been for the most part.