Similarities and Differences

Similarities and Differences

Someone once told me that in the beginning of a relationship, you see the similarities between you. Then, after some months and getting to know each other better (and I would say, attachment patterns kicking in) you start to notice differences. It's why many...

What’s the difference between relationships and friendships?

What’s the difference between relationships and friendships?

A question that I can ponder over for hours. Is it saying 'we are in a relationship'? Is it the person we expect to fulfill all our needs? I once read somewhere that we define our relationships by who we are having sex with. It's quite a monogamous approach. There...

Changing the Pace of Relationships

Changing the Pace of Relationships

I'm the type who is always in a rush. So much to do, so much to accomplish! But also that ever-repeating story that there are goals to reach, and they need to be reached fast! Preferably (thank you Calvinistic upbringing!) with suffering along the way - and beware of...

My Anxious/Avoidant Dynamics – Pt1

My Anxious/Avoidant Dynamics – Pt1

Relationships are such an interesting place for research. With the Wizard, I am diving deep into the details of how an anxious/avoidant dynamic plays out for us. Simplified: where the anxious-leaning partner needs proximity, the avoidant-leaning partner needs space....

Letting go of trying to be nice

Letting go of trying to be nice

What the fear of abandonment means to me, is an internalized conviction that people won't like me, unless I try really hard to be nice. It shows in behavior I often barely notice myself. Pausing, to notice what the other wants, and then 'suddenly' want the same. Being...

How not to let emotions escalate

How not to let emotions escalate

I'm slowly getting more clarity on how emotions can escalate without reason in my head. It starts with unease in the body. I may feel down, restless. There may be a reason for that: feeling a bit lonely, waiting for a message from a loved one, practical decisions...

Co-regulate first

Co-regulate first

Coregulate first... When there is something between you and your partner, or someone you love, and it's possible, coregulate first. The talk can feel urgent, words may burn to leave your mouth. But when it comes from a place of an active trigger, whatever you say may...

Dealing with an insecure, activated, nervous system

Dealing with an insecure, activated, nervous system

If you are insecurely attached, in this case, anxious or disorganized (aka the worst of both worlds), time separated from your partner(s) can be hard. Especially if there is trauma or harm involved too. My partner is gone for two weeks. Here's a bit on how I'm...

The Flip Side of Anxious Communication (spoiler: it’s a pitfall)

The Flip Side of Anxious Communication (spoiler: it’s a pitfall)

A pitfall in healing anxious attachment patterns. Feeling safer and more secure in my own body and life is a big topic for me. As the pain around it is connected to other people, healing also takes place in the interpersonal space. That makes it exciting, but also...

Our Choice of Words Matters

Our Choice of Words Matters

The words we choose to talk to ourselves and others with, matter. Over the last weeks, I kept saying that I didn't want a relationship and that when I met the Wizard I went in kicking and screaming. Until he, wisely, mentioned that I linked him to something I didn't...

Boundaries are always valid to have.

Boundaries are always valid to have.

Boundaries are always valid to have. It is an ideal idea that boundaries come from a place of calm, centeredness, and knowing our deepest truths. But boundaries coming from fear can be just as valid. Especially when we are recovering from a past of harm and trauma, we...

Dealing with Emotions when Close Relationships Change

Dealing with Emotions when Close Relationships Change

As I am moving through the processes of letting people go and letting people in, I realize again: emotions don't come in a linear fashion. Emotions come in waves, and those waves follow patterns. Now I see it, the pattern isn't very hard to recognize: when there is an...

How to Increase our Capacity to Receive Pleasure

How to Increase our Capacity to Receive Pleasure

What impacts our capacity to experience pleasure? I believe it's about noticing what our senses register, noticing how that feels in the body (interoception), and letting go of any thoughts, conditionings, shame, fear, etc that may limit pleasure. And when that's...

I’m in Therapy and Not Ashamed

I’m in Therapy and Not Ashamed

I'm in therapy, and I'm not ashamed of it. I'm not sure how it is in other countries, but here in The Netherlands, there's quite a stigma about it. 'When you're in therapy, something is wrong with you.' Well, we all go through things in life, and those things mess...

Turning Situations into Workshop Exercises

Turning Situations into Workshop Exercises

"If this situation was a workshop I carefully designed for myself, what is the lesson I can learn from it?" I love this question from Jamie Catto's 'Five Golden Keys for Alchemy'. It's all about turning a situation that is happening to us around, into something we...

Red Flags in Workshops: Bystanders

Red Flags in Workshops: Bystanders

Bystanders: they are there but don't do anything. Why is that problematic? Check the full brochure on different roles in situations of harm here.

Red Flags in Workshops: Enablers

Red Flags in Workshops: Enablers

What are enablers and how do they operate? Are you accidentally an enabler? Enablers are people who actively support a perpetrator, e.g. by organizing for them, opening their venue to them, co-teaching with them, assisting them, etc. Enablers may also shame or blame...

Red Flags in Workshops: Apologists

Red Flags in Workshops: Apologists

What are apologists, and why do they annoy me so? Apologists may not play an active role in harmful situations, but they are part of the problem and potentially perpetuate harm or abuse. It can be hard to stop apologizing and start listening to stories of targets...

My Insecure Attachment System Gives You the Benefit of the Doubt

The way my (disorganized) insecure attachment - the ways in which I relate to people - works is that I doubt myself a lot. Whether I'm too much, not enough, boring, demanding, avoiding, clinging, etc. Whenever I'm in a confrontation with someone, something in me sends...

Team pride

Team pride

COFFEE & CANES, LAUGHTER & RAINBOWS That's my team, before and after a weekend of Exploring Kink. Another sold-out room with such a lovely group from all over the world. Two days. Many experiences. Tears, laughter, and Belgian pralines. I keep telling how I...

Notes: Boundaries

Notes: Boundaries

Notes from your #intimacyactivist I can understand you without tolerating your actions. My compassion doesn't mean I have no boundaries. Over the last weeks, there have been many examples in my personal life and surroundings where these sentences felt like a guide. I...

Notes: Manipulation

Notes: Manipulation

Notes from your #intimacyactivist My last weeks have been marked by relationships defined by manipulation. Blaming someone too young to understand electronics for not asking for the right machine is gaslighting. Facilitators offering sex in exchange for trauma therapy...

Why I, as a Facilitator, don’t want People to Simply Copy my Work

Why I, as a Facilitator, don’t want People to Simply Copy my Work

Short answer: because it can be dangerous and expose your participants to potential harm. A longer answer: over the 10+ years of being a facilitator I have seen many people being inspired by my work, all the way up to copying workshop titles, complete frameworks for...

Happy Pride Month!

Happy Pride Month!

It's not my first pride month as part of the LGTBQ+ community, but 2022 is the first though where I'm visibly queer, as I'm in a relationship with another woman. It's funny how different things are, compared to being in a straight-presenting relationship. Just a few...

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