Exploring life's passions

To dare is to lose one’s footing. Not to dare is to lose oneself.

Leonie-Op-Bolivans-TV

Quality of the picture says nothing about the quality of the content.

Over the past few years, I have regularly resisted the desire to quit my job, sell the house and go back on the road again. Every time, I had yet another excuse. I’d still have to gain experience with another employer. A housing market that had collapsed, a course that I should follow to ensure I was really well prepared to work as a freelancer. And there were many other good and less good reasons that stopped me again and again to do what I really wanted to do: to live and work abroad.

Making a choice and acting upon it is to take a risk. The philosopher Kierkegaard puts it: “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” And so it is, at least for me.

The idea that I might be able to do it – quit my job and start my own business – seemed impossible. It just seemed impossible to do it, without losing purpose, dignity or the joy to share experiences and successes with colleagues.

Marlies giving a session on mindfulness to pensioners.

Marlies giving a session on mindfulness to pensioners.

And here I am, in Bolivia, without a steady job, and yet every day having fun at work. Of course, it is still occasionally worrying. Everyday my mind asks me whether it’s wise to continue this adventure.

And yet, every day I’m confident I made the right choice; when working with Marlies, developing course materials, having discussions with potential customers and co-facilitating courses.

Together we enjoy the small successes we have achieved these past couple of weeks. Such as: the enthusiastic responses of the participants who attended our first introduction meetings on ACT and mindfulness; Estoy Genialseeing our first article in print “Una receta para comer the manera Mindful – o comer con atención”; our discussions with a psychologist to align our course content for a group of pensioners with her lessons on preventive health; and, of course, our appearance on Bolivian television.

At the moment I do this voluntarily. The feedback and experience give me the confidence that, later this year or in 2016, I will manage to find paid assignments.

From experience I know how difficult and sometimes scary it can be to do what one would really like to do. And yet, so far, I have not had a moment where I regretted that I dared to do it.

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