“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”

Jim Rohn


Inspired by my colleague who’s working with me in night shift at the psychiatric hospital, I write this.

He just told me about his hospital experience in the past. He became very ill.  For some reason, blood coagulation didn’t work in his veins which could lead to traumatic and even lethal internal bleeding. Not the doctors nor my colleague knew where the illness came from. He had the best doctors around him in the best hospitals, who could test him, but couldn’t heal. They could try out treatments but couldn’t ever give the promise it would work. He was scared, scared to death even.

In this sudden moment of a total mental and physical crash, he knew that the only thing he could do to get healed was practice Satya, truthfulness, to himself. At that time he didn’t know what it was he was doing ‘wrong’ but he did take full responsibility for ‘it‘ in his own body. After taking all the space and time in the hospital he needed to think about himself, his life, his choices he decided at one moment to make radical changes in the way he was living. Knowing he would create personal insecurities that might have enormous consequences on his life and relationships, he took that risk. He trusted his gut feeling.

It didn’t take more than one day after this radical change to start the physical healing process. In a mysterious way his body started to create healthy blood corpuscles, not many, one or two the doctors concluded. Later these two became six, ten, fifteen healthy blood cells maybe. And very very slowly his body transformed from a sick one into a healthy one again without treatment.

I am not telling that nobody needs any treatment, I accepted medical treatment for a while when suffering from Hyper Thyroidism. But I also knew I was responsible for what happens to my body. My body is my vehicle and I need to take the best care of it I can. Which I didn’t do for a while. I knew I was crossing my personal borders mentally, my body reacted on that, gave me messages daily which I refused to listen to up to that day that changed my life radically. From my experiences I must say, to make that one choice for drastic change is most the difficult action but the most powerful as well. I had to work hard on myself, the cure was very close to me… In nature the cure is never far away…  My Yoga was one of the things that helped me enourmusly. I didn’t need medication anymore after a little while. My Thyroid taught me something and the imbalances never came back after.

At the end, just seconds it takes to make a change … Just one moment to jump, fearless into the unknown. But you know you’re doing the right thing. You know you are choosing right, you feel it without a doubt in these seconds. The thoughts of doubt, fear and insecurity rise up right after this moment. Which can totally mess up the jump and cover it all up with a dark grey cloud. Then you must believe in what you just thought a second ago and take full responsibility to do what’s right for yourself. Taking full responsibility to live happy and healthy. Because when you are creating happy and healthy energy, you will give this energy. And what you will give, you will receive back. When practice full responsibility with small things you will be able to be responsible when you need it when big issues occur in life as well.
When taking full responsibility for your life, for the good and the bad, you should not forget taking all responsibility for the wonderful things that happen to you. Be open to feelings of true joyment you receive after creating something, when working hard on something. You did this! You created it! Feel more like an artist after making that painting, enjoy the meals you made yourself with Love more and truly feel more satisfied, balanced and happy. And remember Ghandi’s words: Be the change you want to see in the world!
Well, these were my nightly thoughts I am responsible of working my last nightshift in a psychiatric clinic… Goooodnight!
Love, Anneke

Ginger-Lemon Tea

Is what i am drinking, trying to heal my sore throat

It’s getting dark now. It’s 6.14 pm and the sound of birds disappears slowly while the sounds of bugs are coming up. Beautiful! And if you think of it, it really fits well into the day. The noisy, fast working day is ending and a relaxing evening is coming up, preparing you this way for a good night of sleep. What a sweet time of the day, sunset. It’s a pity there is not an open sea or an open field here, to see the sun sink down. Every day the sun sets at around the same time here, cause we’re close to the equator.
This morning, on Wednesday, Deirdre and i went to the Ineza ‘Sewing’ Ladies. They seemed to have a great day and the practice went pretty well! I went to teach the afternoon class by myself. This is the group of Adolescents. After their counseling session about HIV and Aids, they did yoga with me. So concentrated they are, they really are trying to do it right and correctly. Nice. Really thankful they were after class, one boy said he was so happy to be able to do yoga twice a week, he smiled and told me now he feels so strong in his body.
On Thursday morning, i taught the class up the hill. Sweet! I was teaching alone again, so i was happy Alice was there for some translation here and there.
Alice is a counselor from WE-ACTx. They are an organization who help woman in Rwanda dealing with HIV, Aids, post-Genocide issues, domestic violence.. etc etc. They counsel many many groups and to some of the groups they offer yoga. That’s when we show up. So, for like it is now, we work for the WE-ACTx. Soon Project Air will be involved in other organizations as well, when that happens, there will be so much more work to do. Already now, but for sure then.. we need many people here in Rwanda to teach yoga!
I feel like i start to understand the program more and more now here in Kigali.
Friday another day with the ‘Ineza sewing ladies’, that was a great class. I was teaching the class, Deirdre assisted but both Deirdre and i were focusing on the roots, the basics, the feet. We made them feel that of you push away from the ball of the feet, you will activate Uddiyana bandha and become strong in the legs all the way up to the pelvis and hip area. They seemed happy after class.
After that… it was weekend! Friday night i went to the place “One Love” here in Kigali, to meet up with a Swiss couple i met last week. He owns a yoga studio in Geneva and is learning much about the project here. With them we watched a soccer game, a boring one, but nice to see some places to go out here in town. During the break we took a taxi to Remera area in town and went to this local bar. Nice.
And then home.
Saturday is resting day, so i took rest. I took rest, because i am getting a cold. Sore throat. This day was also the day that i was missing home, Stijn. I felt lonely. Why did i have to go Africa? Rwanda of all places! But i did, and i do know why. But sometimes it’s a little hard. I found a little peace in the fact that i could talk to Stijn and he listened to me. Also I thought: I am missing someone, who is still alive, who i can see and talk to even, every day. I will see him again in a few weeks. The people here are missing all their friends, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers forever! Some people are all alone.. everyone died. Orphans, young girls and boys, mothers who lost their children… Anneke, relax! This emotion is nothing compared to them. I will be OK. At least for me a Skype talk and a hot bath helps. What will help these people? Sad. We know that yoga helps them, even for some it’s just a little…
Sunday my throat is still sore and i am having a bad cold. Deirdre is sick.. so we decided to cancel the class. We were going teach HIV+ Orphans, who are sensitive. we don’t want them to get infected by my cold, it could cause huge problems for them….
Drinking more ginger tea and hope this cold will disappear soon…

Cheers, Anneke