15. January 2021 • Katja Laurien
Last summer I started exploring my own tiny, but beautiful country, the Netherlands, a little bit more. The past years I’ve traveled extensively, but those days seem to be gone now. Not only because of the travel restrictions, but also due to a more stable job and two adorable cat companions who are part of my life now. I’ve already discovered throughout the past years that the Netherlands has quite some nice spots, but don’t we all get lazy when it’s all too nearby?
3. January 2021 • Katja Laurien
This year one of my New Year’s resolutions is getting rid of my moral judgments. I’ve been wanting to stop judging people for a very long time, but this decision never went further than my mind. In my heart, I just didn’t manage to really pull through and I kept finding an excuse for myself why I was “allowed” to judge.
My anchor was my morality. For some reason I’ve developed an overly strict (and rigid) morality for which even my parents sometimes make fun of me (obviously, they are not the ones who taught me to me to be almost autistically moral).
6. December 2020 • Katja Laurien
Every single one of us is looking for love whether we’re conscious of it or not. Some of us rationalize their desire away by hiding it under a thick layer of fear and uncertainty, but deep down we all know that we’re yearning for this feeling of experiencing and sharing love. It’s imprinted in our human DNA and there’s no way of escaping it. Unfortunately, many of us have had some bad experiences in the name of “love” which has created resistance towards this blissful experience.
12. November 2020 • Katja Laurien
This is just another short post on my favourite hiking country: Switzerland! The hike I want to present to you is a short roundhike (approximately 2.5 hours) starting from Bettmeralp hiking towards Fiescheralp, finishing off with a refreshing dip into the Bettmer Lake/ Bettmersee. Both alps are more or less on the same height, which makes this hike also a relatively easy one. I’d recommend starting at Bettmeralp, since the cable car to Fiescheralp is a lot more expensive.
1. November 2020 • Katja Laurien
The corona virus has quickly turned out to be so much more than “just” a health challenge. As if this wasn’t already enough, the measures and the consequences have led to so many different opinions and viewpoints, highlighting the complexity of modern life, the interdependence between people and even nations. We’ve been bombarded with numbers and “facts” which interestingly enough seemed to contradict each other, making it so difficult to know whom to trust and what to believe.
25. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
Gérardmer is one of the main towns from where to explore the Vosges Mountains. It’s a lovely small town next to a beautiful lake which is perfect for all kinds of watersports. There’s a path leading around the lake, but there are also many more wonderful hiking spots in the area. In this post I want to introduce you to two wonderful hikes which I can both highly recommend!
Perles de la Vologne This is probably the most famous hike in the area, for good reasons.
12. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
Actually, this was supposed to be a post about the magnificent mountains in Georgia, but unfortunately I had to cancel this trip due to the travel restrictions. So, my mum (my travel companion for this trip) and I spontaneously decided to grab the car and drive to La Belle France! Coming from the Netherlands, we didn’t want to go all the way to the South, so we decided to go to Brittany which was a really good decision!
4. October 2020 • Katja Laurien
The guest house
This human being is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness -
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows
who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thoughts, the shame, the malice,
13. September 2020 • Katja Laurien
Voilà, la Crème de la Crème de la Bretagne: Crozon Peninsula! To me, this peninsula was really the highlight in Brittany. Even though the peninsula is not very big, it offers a variety of natural landscapes, such as a stunning coastline, sandy dunes, dramatic cliffs, heavenly smelling pine forests and bright heather in different colours (when you come in the right season which we luckily did!). In between this wonderful landscape there are beautiful, small villages with cute stone houses.
6. September 2020 • Katja Laurien
This is the final post of a series of posts about understanding and dealing with our defense mechanisms which can help us see through the illusions we create in life. Therefore I’d recommend you first read the first two posts before continuing with this one. The approach I’ve been describing in these series is based on the work of the Dutch psychologist Ingeborg Bosch and her book “Illusions - How to escape the labyrinth of destructive emotions”.