Breakup, Breakdown, Breakthrough, Breakdance
Break ups…. Almost everyone have had to deal with one or more in their lives. I have had quite a good and peaceful childhood, excelled at school without really having had to do anything and was like the ideal son-in-law. I never really encountered or felt real pain, besides the loss of my dog. Until I got dumped in a few relationships. This is also the underlying reason I wanted to learn more about getting to know myself. Let me take you back to before I even knew anything about spirituality, healing or personal development. I was having a relationship with my girlfriend back then for a few months. We had a lovely time, felt the puppy love, went crazy on festivals and loved spending time together. This went on and on until that day arrived. I just went to a football match of Ajax with my dad. We often only went to the last game of the year where they could become champion, so we could enjoy the celebration, (it’s ok to call us occassion supporters ha-ha!). They won that year and we drove home. I was feeling quite uplifted and in the party mood, until I received a message from my girlfriend: “we need to talk”….
My heartbeat went in my throat, a nauseous feeling came up and I was preparing for the worst. She called me…. I felt afraid to pick up the phone, yet I wanted to know what was going on. I finally gathered the courage to pick up and we started with some chit-chat, avoiding the tension, until I pricked the bubble and asked what she wanted to talk about. She said that she could almost not tell me, because she did not want to hurt me. I said that it’s ok, but deep inside I was dying. She shared that her feelings for me had become less and that she had been so afraid to tell me for some time already. She didn’t know why though…. We talked for some more and we ended the conversation with respect for each other. I went out of my room into the living room and felt a bit confused and numbed. I couldn’t believe it. “Is this a dream? Did this just really happen?”. Then I shared with my parents what happened, still not really being able to reach my feelings. I needed some space and went down into my room again. A big anger started bubbling up inside me. In my head I was screaming: “HOW CAN SHE BREAK UP WITH ME?!”. “I AM SO NICE TO HER, INTELLIGENT, HANDSOME AND SHE DOESN’T DESERVE ME!!”. I became arrogant in order to suppress my insecurity….
Not long after the anger, the insecurity could not longer conceal itself and came up: “am I really not good enough? What did I do wrong?”. She must be seeing someone else! Why did she really break up with me? Perhaps if I hadn’t done this or that, she would still be with me….” I was torturing myself all over the place, questioning my self worth, anal-yzing everything, while making myself feel like an arsehole. It became even worse when I could not stop thinking of us together. “Oh it could have been so nice”, “I miss her, I want to be with her”. Checking her Facebook page constantly or looking on Whatsapp if she had been online, wasn’t really helping either to heal my broken heart…. This period went on for quite some time until I took the decision to improve. I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore and started working on myself and on the points I determined as weak.
I spent hours searching online until I came across a website about self development, which really clicked for me. I could very much resonate with the material and felt enthusiastic to apply the tools. The website had a subdivision on spirituality. I started reading about meditation and about stopping the mental chatter. This was such a wake up call for me, because I had never been aware of the fact that I even had a voice in my head that was constantly going on. When I became aware of the voice, it stopped for a brief moment. The moment was timeless, I became super aware of my surroundings. It was just like turning off the exhaust hood after cooking; that ‘hehhhhh feeling’. I started practicing meditation, where I put on some music for 10 minutes, sat in my bed like you see all the monks sitting and focused on my breathing. I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, but it made me feel better. So together with the things I learnt on the website about self development, I looked at life more positively and felt more confident.
The year after I had to work at the Amsterdam Fashion fair. I met Vincent Sanders, a Rainbow Tai Chi Chi Kung graduate now. He is an ex colleague of my mother who worked as a sales agent for a leather jacket brand and later became like a brother to me. We both worked together for that brand on that day while being dressed up with skinny jeans, a hip t-shirt, a cool leather jacket, hair styled and a big radiant smile. Our job was to connect to people, make them enthusiastic about the brand and be walking mannequins. From the moment we met there was an instant connection. After a couple of hours chatting with each other, it felt as if I had known him all my life already. We talked about spirituality, meditation, life, nature, the universe and of course sex. There was also another guy who had to work with us, but he couldn’t really mingle into the conversation. When we were talking about social conditioning and the impact of one’s belief system, he came in and said that he was going to work at the Winter Olympics, where they had free beer and 70% of his colleagues were girls!! This would have been a great topic for every other ‘normal’ guy, because which guy isn’t interested in that right? Wrong, Vincent and I were in a total different vibe. He shared about Rainbow Tai Chi and Taoism. I had already read some things about Taoism online before that interested me and I could really feel the words Vincent was sharing about nature and self-development.
He then asked me to come to a workshop in Amsterdam led by Rainbow Taoist Tai Chi Chi Kung Master Choy. I decided to give it a try because something inside me said go for it! The workshop was so amazing and for the first time, with the help of Master Choy, I could really connect to emotions, release them and even transform them in order to become more positive. It all made so much sense to me and I felt uplifted, I felt alive, in a state of bliss! Almost two years later I wanted to dive in even more and moved to the UK to be trained as a teacher myself in order to help other people. One of the biggest lessons and probably the most relevant one for me (as I personally only connected real pain to breakups) is that I learnt is how to heal yourself from broken relationships. Master Choy made me see break-ups in a different light. Especially by slowing me down and breaking down the break-up process into smaller bits.
Looking back on my break-up that led me to the path of self-development, I see that I had a huge lack of self-love and self-confidence. At first that was covered-up by arrogance, but it came out eventually. Besides that, I was making myself feel even more worthless and creating my own vicious cycle because of the initial sadness that I felt, the breakdown. Even though I had been doing thai boxing before to protect myself from beatings, I was still getting my ass kicked. By myself, using myself as a punching bag!!! I had no idea how to be or what to do with that sadness and judged it as something bad. Something that had to go away and something I did not want to feel. However, sadness is just sadness and it’s madness to judge it other than that it is, as something negative. It’s just an emotion nothing more, nothing less. The same as we often do with the rain. We resist to what is, which creates suffering. I’ve learnt to change my perception of the rain and to not judge it, but to just accept it as it is. One of my responsibilities at the Rainbow Tai Chi School is to water and take care of some outdoor plants. Normally that would take me half an hour and even up to an hour when the weather is really hot. However, when it rains, nature is helping me a bit, giving me an additional half an hour on a day. So every time it rains now you’ll see me dancing through the streets!
Of course you feel sad because you’ll miss someone and because you had an intimate emotional relationship. But when we judge sadness or any emotion as negative, we automatically do not want to feel it and tend to suppress it, ignore it or totally get caught into it and adopt a victim role. Like I did, when I beat myself up and making myself feel not good enough. But also when I went to the complete opposite side by escaping into personal development, still without really having acknowledged and released the sadness…. The advice that people often give is: “just go out and have fun! Have some get-over-it-sex and you’ll be fine.” It’s of course good to not get caught into negativity and to do some things you like, but without working with your emotions it will still be somewhere inside. Just like an old smelly dustbin in your living room, covered up by a blanket and some sprayed perfume all over it.
Here, I’ve learnt to love and accept myself how I am feeling to allow the emotion to be given the space and to express itself. Letting the heart express itself is beautiful and helps with the healing process after a breakup. To practice this you can hold yourself by placing your right hand on your heart and your left hand on your belly. Like you’re really giving yourself a hug. Then dive into the emotion, feel it and just be with it. You can encourage yourself by softly telling that it’s really ok how you are feeling right now, including using your name. Why with your name? Because firstly it is as if you’re talking to someone else (this may feel a bit weird in the beginning because you’re not used to it). Secondly, because subconsciously you have learnt to get triggered by your name and perceive it as important. Imagine you’re on a birthday party and that party is quite busy and loud. You’re having a conversation and suddenly someone mentions your name across the room. You wake-up and stretch your neck like a giraffe to look around what’s going on, while if it was someone else’s name, I bet you wouldn’t have heard it…. So what I normally say to myself with a soft, warm and loving voice in order to help myself expressing an emotion: “Tim, it’s really ok, I love and accept how you’re feeling right now”.
The next important thing to do is to flip the situation upside down. In nature there are always opposites everywhere in a beautiful harmonious balance. Think of day and night, rain and sunshine, water and fire, women and men. That’s exactly the same how it works inside of us all, as we are part of nature and finding balance between our opposites is in our nature! When we feel sad after a breakup, we often can’t see the other side of the story…. After you’ve released the sadness through healing tears and have worked with this sad part of you, you can actually begin to see a part in you that is grateful for the beautiful moments you two have shared together, which you could not see before. The crazy pillow fights till 2AM, the sneaky love making with your feet under the table of your parents in law. And again, not only think of it, but really feel it with your whole Heart Body Mind & Spirit. Dive into gratefulness. Bring balance by embracing the opposites. That’s the breakthrough!!! Now I’m actually grateful that I got dumped, as it brought me on the path of Rainbow Tai Chi! You can even thank the love that is present between you, as it’s because of love, that you miss the other person. And if you don’t feel that you love the other person anymore, then it had been most likely conditional love….
After you’ve worked with your emotions your mind can come in to start interfering. This usually leads to more suffering, especially when you see things from a negative perspective. A negative perspective is where you start beating yourself up for not being good enough, like I used to do. You start to think that there’s something wrong with you and that you have to change. Also how many times I told myself that would never find someone like her and kept replaying memories in my head of us being together. This can go on for weeks, months, even years…. and that first time you see her in a picture with her new boyfriend makes you want to stay in bed watching Netflix all day! So how can you adopt a more positive mindset? Well, you can start to realize that not everyone is made for each other and that perhaps you and your ex will find someone even more compatible and turn out happier eventually. Some of my ex-girlfriends have babies (hope not that they’re mine) now and when I see pictures of them with their new families, looking really happy, I get a warm feeling bubbling up inside me, creating a huge smile on my face! If you really love that other person unconditionally, you genuinely want them to be happy and release her or him into the loving light. Forgive them and yourself for past mistakes, release them and move on….
The final stage is to let go of all past relationships and to be in the present moment in order to allow qualities like peace, love and joy to flow into your life right now!!! From a peaceful place of acceptance you start to grow your self-love and self-confidence. You’re in love with yourself and are not dependant on the love from someone else to feel loved. Every time a thought pops into your mind in regards to past relationships, give thanks for it and shift your attention to the qualities that you felt in that moment. Be grateful for the things you have instead of feeling down for the things you don’t have. Enjoy life to the fullest! Take the risk and don’t let negatives from the past hold you back to open up for a new loving relationship. You are born a star, a light being who is worthy of love. You deserve to be happy, it’s your birthright! Awaken to the inner smile inside you and you’ll find that the whole world is smiling back at you. You are happily breakdancing through life!!
Maybe you just came out of a relationship yourself, maybe you want to prepare for a future breakup, maybe you recently lost someone or just want to learn more about working with your emotions. Then come and join Summer School this year. There are still some spots left of this amazing week full of joy, healing, peace, wisdom and so much more! You will learn the tools to really start to love and accept yourself unconditionally. You’ll learn how to flow with any obstacle in your life. You’ll discover your talents, craft your skills and start working on achieving your dreams!
The dates are from the 26th of July – the 3rd of August 2017.
Credit for the title and for all the wise lessons go to my teacher Master Choy!