It happens when I drive up the hill towards our farmhouse in the Tuscan countryside: butterflies bubble up in my stomach and I look around at the majestic mountains – making me think of Jurassic park sometimes – and I’m just in awe. I live here. I actually live here. This is so many people’s […]
So, I’ve always considered New York as every highly sensitive person’s nightmare: there’s lots of traffic, lots of people, lots of billboards, lots of noise, lots of lights, lots of high-rise buildings, lots of… everything. Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) generally have difficulty absorbing stimuli. They easily get overwhelmed by lots of visuals, sounds, smells, emotions, […]
Vulnerability feels like you’ve been cracked open, with your fragility for everyone to see. A weight on your chest is making it hard to breathe and your muscles feel as if they’ve worked hard, but all they’ve done is sleep. There is a heightened sensitivity that is palpable at your fingertips and your skin gets […]
Taking the leap has allowed me to turn all my dreams into reality. Moving to Italy, setting up my own business and going for the love of my life; they all scared the shit out of me and they all had a high risk factor. What if it doesn’t work out? What if […]
I love being a housewife. I love ironing my husband’s shirts. I love bringing him breakfast in bed. I love baking bread. I love cooking healthy meals. I love taking care of our home. I love going into town and go to the grocer’s, the butcher’s and the pharmacist’s to buy what we need. I […]
It is not what you think it is. It is not shouting “you can do it, you can do it!” at yourself, or having others do that for you. It is not kicking your ass and pushing yourself to go for it. It is not bungee jumping, diving into ice cold water pools or walking […]
I remember making a decision when I was cycling home from primary school one day. I was thinking about life and figured that if I just did what I thought everybody expected of me, I would be safe. I’m an extremely sensitive person so I sort of picked up what people were like, convinced myself […]
Italy is a weird place; it’s full of contradictions, things don’t really work and there’s a lot of chaos. Yet, so many people absolutely LOVE it. Me included. Italy does one thing that many very organised countries don’t really know how to do: it makes you feel alive. Yes, there’s chaos, yes, there’s disorganisation and […]
Life in the Tuscan countryside is awesome; its vast views, its deep silence, its awe-inspiring nature. It’s gorgeous up here and living in a farmhouse with my man seems to come straight from a fairy tale. This is the life. It’s calm, it’s healthy and it allows for us to grow. This is what we […]
We are human beings; we grow, we evolve, we change. And so, it’s very normal that when you’re dedicated to living your best life, you change ALL THE TIME. Many people see change as something bad; as if you “don’t know what you want.” I know exactly what I want. That’s why I change. I’ve […]
Looking at her made my breathing go shallow. Her whole demeanour shouted restraint, self-criticism, anxiety and yet she thought she was hiding it so well underneath that forced smile, that nonchalant masculine attitude and that layer of just a little bit too much body fat. She thought nobody noticed how she was beating herself up […]
I knew I was in for a ride; I knew life would be different; I knew I’d had to be flexible and adapt. I didn’t know EVERYTHING would be new. From exciting transportation, to a different sleep schedule, from new eating habits to a change in quantity of quality time, from the different temperatures to […]
You know how they say: “when one door closes, another one opens”? That’s exactly what will happen for me by closing the door to my dream home in Florence and opening my heart for a life with my dream man in the Tuscan countryside. In order to grow you must leave the old behind and […]
We were sitting on a plane to Paris, celebrating our anniversary and I was feeling miserable. I just didn’t know what I wanted anymore. I kept on thinking about it in my head, turning the thoughts over and over again. Journaling; asking myself the same questions, trying to understand myself and my feelings. I had […]
If I saw this title back when I still was stuck in anxiety disorder, I’d feel shocked. And I’d open the post and read it. And that’s why I named it so, because it’s the only way to reach women in a similar situation and share the following message of hope. Dear, dear precious, tiny […]
Having lived in Florence since 2010, I know my way around here pretty well by now and I know what places manage to maintain a high standard throughout time. I’ve come to make a selection of places that I just know are always there when you need them; a good cup of coffee, a perfect […]
I’m afraid I’ve become a little too Italian after eight years of living in Florence, Italy. I’m Dutch and we’re known for being fun, yet cold, extremely practical and straightforward (read: blunt). Italians are known for being warm, creative (a positive way to describe disorganised) with a great sense for aesthetics (they like fare una […]
I suffered from anxiety disorder for seven long years. Being stuck in your mind, battling your own scary thoughts and trying to stay sane is a condition I wouldn’t even wish my worst enemy. It literally sucks the life force out of you and I remember looking like a fraction of who I really was. […]
Saying no is a gift; both to yourself as to the other person. Now you might be wondering why The YES Woman in person is writing a post on The Art of Saying No. Well, because saying no to others means saying yes to yourself; and so it is a positive thing in the end. […]
Life in Italy is not for everyone. It requires a lot of psychological flexibility, perseverance and adaptation abilities. On the other hand, if you’re a woman on a mission and are willing to do whatever it takes to make your dream of living in Italy come true, then nothing can get in your way, right? […]
I’m writing this post to my past self. The girl that was stuck in severe anxiety and nearly killed herself by wanting to do everything perfectly. That girl that felt she needed to be special, to do her utmost best and be a kind of prodigy in order to be deemed normal, to be accepted, […]
So, you’ve finally admitted it to yourself: you want to move to Italy and start afresh there. It’s a place that lights you up like no other. You just feel happier there and can’t even explain why. You just feel good, really good. Bene. Now what? Well, let me share how I did it in […]
2017 has been a pretty spectacular year: I travelled to Hawaii, Mallorca and Paris. I found my dream home in Florence, I grew my business into a really enjoyable and successful venture and – last but not least – I found the man of my dreams. Now, this might sound like I was born with […]
Me at 9.30am, looking at my schedule for the day: English lesson at 12pm, coffee meeting at 2.30pm, walking coaching session at 4pm and an aperitivo with a friend at 8.30pm. Phone lights up: “Sorry my English teacher, I cannot do my lesson today, I have a meeting. I contact you. Good day.” Alright, I […]
It all started with a breakdown. A moment in which I crossed my own boundaries and betrayed my partner of six years. It was a painful wakeup call which showed me the crystal clear truth: that I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t enjoying life anymore. I wasn’t really living. This moment of turmoil turned a separation […]
When I decided to move to Florence, Italy in 2010 I had no idea how much it would impact not only my life, but also my personality. I’m a completely different person now because of everything I’ve been through. I’ve had to adapt, change and creatively find ways to survive here. I’ve had to do […]
“Wow, you live in Italy? That must be such a dream life!” “Why on earth have you moved to Italy from the land of perfection Holland?” Two things I hear often; the first from people who don’t live in Italy, but love it, the second from people who live here and hate it. They are […]
“Well, that’s just impossible.” How often have you heard your dear parents, your best friends or your kind colleagues say this when you were talking about your big, bold dream? Better question yet: how often have you heard yourself say this? My heart sinks when I think of how many dreams have died because of […]
Living in Florence is many people’s dream, but actually making it happen – and making it work is a whole different kind of story. I can tell because I’ve been making it work since 2010 and can call myself a rather weathered Florentine expat. And the weather hasn’t always been bright and sunny the way […]
That following your dream feels good as f*ck is an understatement – and also something that everybody can sort of imagine. But there are also many unknown side effects to following your dream, which I’ve experienced first-hand and would like to share in this post, so that you big leap takers know what kind of […]
Holland has never really made sense to me. Instead of lifting my spirits up, it took them down. Instead of nurturing me, it drained me. Instead of flourishing, I was wilting. I felt more and more out of place; I was that weird woman who didn’t fit in because she wanted more than the nine-to-five, […]
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” I could stop here. Leave you with this message. But had I read this while I was still imprisoned by my anxiety disorder, I would’ve thought: “Great, wonderful, another quote that rings true, but HOW do I get rid of the self-doubt so I can start going […]
Fear can either be your friend or foe – it totally depends on how you choose to look at it. It used to be my worst enemy while I was suffering from anxiety disorder for seven long years. I wrote all about that in this post and how it kept me stuck, circling round and […]
When he asked me to marry him, I said I had to think about it. When it took me a little bit too long to answer, I realised I wasn’t really into the relationship anyway and I broke up with him. This is more or less what happened when the people at my co-working space […]
You have one life so you might it as well live it to the fullest. But what does that mean, living life to the fullest? It means doing what you really want to do and being who you really want to be. It means being you and doing you – all the way. I am […]
It’s like saying: “I first need to believe in myself before I do anything at all. And since I don’t believe in myself I’ll just stay stuck.” That is creating an excuse, a block that doesn’t need to be there – at all. And what does it mean to believe in yourself anyway? To know […]
How to not let crabs – or anything else for that matter – get between you and your mission. After a two-hour train ride, walking down a very narrow path between rocks that functioned to cover up the sewers – yep, there’s the crap – I finally found a place where I could sit with […]
I remember sitting in the garden, head down, staring at my lap, stuck in my head, fighting my thoughts and feeling desperation taking over once again. I wrote the following words in my diary: “I wonder, what wonder will one day help me stop wondering.” Simple maybe, but it showed exactly how I felt. I […]
I felt inspired to write this post because many of the wonderful women in my network either live in or desire to live in the city that I can fortunately call my home: Florence. I wish to give them a perspective that might make their move to Florence or their Florentine life a little easier. Accept or […]
Women Are Weak Or so I thought. I thought being a girl was a synonym for being weak, I thought it meant being less than, being too sensitive and therefore a burden. I thought it was wrong to be weak, so at an incredibly young age I decided I wanted to be a boy. And […]
It felt like I’d been looking for the love of my life from the very moment I was born. Every face and every circumstance would provide me with another chance to find him; to finally feel complete, whole and give meaning to my life. My heart and soul were aching for it every step of […]
I Just Want to Be Fucking Free Free to roam the streets without anyone seeing me. Free to live out loud and to sit with myself silently. Free to ask for what I need and receive it unapologetically. Free to go to places and walk till I hit the sea. Free to fully let go […]
Because if you don’t, then you’ll never know. And if there’s one thing that people regret most on their deathbed it’s exactly that: regret. The thing is that in the present moment, our minds create huge mountains out of molehills and literally keep us stuck. They want to keep us safe, free from harm – […]
Many people have been asking me this question lately and, to be honest, I’ve been asking myself the same from time to time. In this vlog I talk about what the hell I’m actually doing & why. Enjoy watching it and let me know what you think!
Do you feel stressed on holiday because of all the things you feel you need to do? Do you feel guilty for not enjoying it enough or are you afraid to be missing out? Well, how about tending to your own needs first and then, only when you’re ready and have your energy back, start […]
This is the only thing that will actually get you going – and will eventually allow you to follow your dreams. Find out what it is in this vlog! Does it work like this for you too? Leave a comment & let me know! Ready to choose yourself & chase your dreams? Well, now you […]
Holding on tightly and forcing things to happen sometimes causes the opposite of what we want to reach. How can you try to let go of things and trust that whatever needs to happen will happen?
Hey from one of the biggest capitals of freedom in the world: Amsterdam! In this vlog I talk about how to find your own freedom through fear. Ready to get out of your comfort zone? Bring it on!
One of my favourite films is Yes Man with Jim Carrey. In the film he basically goes from avoiding life to saying yes to everything that crosses his path. The result is often absurd and hilarious – otherwise of course good ol’ Jim wouldn’t be in this film in the first place – but the […]
In this vlog I take you to my go to place in the Tuscan countryside to reflect away on the secret behind fear. We usually treat fear as our enemy, but what if being afraid could actually mean you’ve hit a pot of gold? Well, then it’s all about knowing how to deal with fear […]
In this vlog I’m not wearing any make up and I have bags under my eyes due to lack of sleep. To be honest, it’s pretty scary to put it out there, but I felt I needed to because I want to invite you to embrace your so-called ugliness, in other words, your uniqueness and […]
This is what happens when you say yes to things that make you go ‘yes!’, and no to things that make you go ‘no’.
This is my up close & personal success story of how I overcame fear and followed my dreams. Warning: high contamination risk. There I was, finally doing what I’d always wanted to do: teaching English at a secondary school in Holland. I was living together with my boyfriend in a pretty nice house in a […]
‘Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.’ This quote inspired me to shoot this little video and to ask you to reflect on what the value of being you actually is. Enjoy!
Dear fear, You always show up when I need you least of all. You always try to ruin my plans, make my dreams sound ridiculous and stop me in my tracks. All you seem to want to do is keep me stuck where I am, in that incredibly uncomfortable comfort zone. Your joy is in […]
What we believe about ourselves basically defines what our lives look like. So, consider this for a second: in what ways are you keeping yourself small? What beliefs do you hold about yourself that aren’t actually true? Pretty interesting to consider since it can bring about a great shift in your life! Coaching helps you […]
Feel your life is one big, endless to-do list? Well, consider looking at it from this refreshing (and relaxing) point of view!
Like some of you might know, I’m writing a book about my experiences of trying to become my own best friend forever – my own BFF. Why? Because I strongly believe that the relationship we have with ourselves greatly, if not totally, influences our happiness & well-being. This is because it helps us become much […]
I do something that people find very strange, but it helps me come up with great ideas. Any clue what it might be?
What do you do when you’re feeling a little down? Chances are you beat yourself up for it. Why don’t you try this approach instead, it will help you feel better.
I’d describe myself as a very conscientious person. I tend to take others’ needs into account, to be considerate, understanding and aware of what my actions mean to other people. I believe this is a great personality trait, but it also means that I might not always do what I feel like doing. I sometimes […]
What or who generates positive energy in your life?
‘My life sucks and I can’t help it. It’s just that my parents did a really bad job at raising me since they always put my siblings first. Then, at school I always got the worst teachers and they would never let me express my true potential. I had some friends, but they let me […]
Do you ever beat yourself up about feeling sad, angry, frustrated or jealous? In this video I explain how to deal with these difficult feelings. And it’s probably not what you think
‘Pretty Hurts’ by Beyoncé starts like this: ‘What is your aspiration in life?’ ‘Well, my aspiration in life would be… to be happy.’ Every time I listen to this song when biking around Florence it resonates with me. I have exactly the same aspiration and try to do everything with this thought in mind. The […]
Sometimes we feel as if our life is covered in a thick layer of fog and there’s no clarity to be seen for miles. Many little things mess up our daily routine and create stress that keeps us from being in our flow and getting stuff done. We keep going around in circles and getting […]
This is actually a very good question. Many people don’t have a clue of what a coach does exactly, so I thought it would be a good idea to shine some light on the matter. Now that I just wrote this last expression, I realized I already answered the question. Because ‘shining light on the […]