And now for something completely different

Kristen Steward Backstage magazine. This is how I imagine 1997 me would look

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I wrote my letter to you yesterday.
Except it wasn’t a letter; It was an analysis of the most recent Dutch Covid developments.
A drama in x parts that seems to be getting its season’s finale this week.
Man, so compelling!
By now I m ready to admit I’m absolutely hooked on this adventure with Games of Thrones sized betrayal.
Like this series that you don’t want to get hooked on, but then you watch one show, in this case last Tuesday’s press conference, and: Bam!
Hooked again!

This has happened several times since the start of the pandemic. When I watch the press conference this derails my entire week. I always lose two to three days glued to the screen, ending by writing a blogpost.

But yesterday the blog post came when I wanted to sit down and write you. So at the end I had this meta on Dutch Westeros, only to realize I had written a standalone piece and not a letter to you.
And although my seasonal obsession with the Dutch politics surrounding Covid has been a part of our correspondence before, this time it really was not what I wanted you to read before our call.

The piece was so heavy and thorough. It felt like an endgame and not like something I wanted to discuss.
I will admit I wasn’t happy with it, when I finally went to bed at 2 A.M.
I considered what was then 1.5 day, lost in the Covid rabbit hole, as wasted time and a disgrace for the creative and professional ambitions I had set for myself!
When I went to sleep with the feeling the blogpost was proof of my sins against time, God, and my purpose here on this earth, since I obviously should not have spent that time on the subject and become so emotionally invested in it.
My biggest aim when writing it, was hoping it would cleanse me and give me a fresh start.

That the piece would bring an end to another wildly irresponsible Covid news, discussion, and social media binge on a topic I did not consider one of my core interests. 

Except of course, I ve now realized that Dutch Covid politics are a core interest after all.
And unsurprisingly really, because my highest value is freedom. Freedom of expectations, and freedom to choose.

The past four years, ever since I slowly and gradually let go of my yoga business, have been all about understanding I needed to get out of every situation that tried to claim and chain my time and loyalty. Every bind that was structured, that was a given, everything that created unfreedom, had to be cut.
So of course Covid policies are and have been a genuine interest.
In hindsight it is not strange at all, that I fell down the Covid rabbit hole time and time again. I felt the measures were a threat to my freedom. 
And now that I believe they will hold on to the QR code, the digital pass that proves vaccination and gives you access to public life – It makes total sense that I m upset.

So that was one aspect I didn’t totally understand when I wrote the piece; That I was on topic, after all.

But another thing I was unable to predict, is that when I woke up this morning and reread it?
I absolutely loved it.
It’s the best thing I wrote during the pandemic, and it might be the best thing I wrote my whole life. About Covid politics! How dry can it be! It’s not even about sex!

So now I am even more confused. 
I hate politics and I don’t want to write about them. I want to write about sex, and then more sex, and then as dessert I want to write more about sex.
Yet rereading my meta on what promises to be the Grande Finale of Dutch Covid politics, I was compelled by my own writing.

In case you want to read it, it’s this one:
Ich Rieche Blut. And it’s not German. 

And an hour ago, the preview dropped of footage of official vaccination centers where they vaccinate teens without parental consent, incorrectly inform them, and teach them to lie to their parents. Filmed with hidden camera.
So the moment I thought I could let it go, this plot twist pops up.
I m not sure if I will be able to sleep tonight, and sleeping has been a big problem for weeks now.

Last night, after writing for 6 hours, I got to bed at 2 AM and got up at 10. But that was way more efficient as all the nights prior, when I went to bed at 11 PM, and ALSO got up at 10, because I couldn’t catch my sleep or it was interrupted and I lay awake for hours on end.

One of the most recent nights, I remember what the reason was I had been unable to sleep. I was just too excited, because I finally had my life figured out!
I finally knew what it was I wanted to do, and it was so clean, crispy, healthy. It was almost minimalist! I ll tell you what it was in a moment, but the irony of course, is that before I could get this show on the road, before I could get to work on the Plan of Plans for my life, I derailed completely and got lost in Covid land, and wrote the best piece of work and on a topic that was NOT part of my mission statement.

So I am terribly confused, and have no idea how valid my vision it. It seems like a bad omen that I fell off the wagon and got myself dirty rolling around in Covid politics instead.
That is a disclaimer, but nevertheless, I still like this idea.
Here it is:

I m going to work creating two yoga communities on YouTube, under my real name, one Dutch and one English – both tied to initiatives, blogs and channels that I ve been toying with the past few years. The yoga concepts are based on everything I ve thought about, developed, and decided on the past few years as well.
A book, schedules, themes; It’s all ready, and has been in the starting blocks for a long time.

When I received that part of the vision, I immediately understood what this meant in terms of self-care, daily yoga, daily exercise, diet, but also keeping my apartment clean to do yoga and to record yoga and other videos.
I felt myself transform into the Marie Kondo of yoga, so clean and pristine.

The two yoga businesses are tied in with the writing I do under my own name, but the way I “see” myself is as a yoga teacher because this is the part I want to take offline ultimately, although not in the form of going back to teaching weekly classes.
But teaching yoga really is one of the few ways I can interact with people, feeling we’re in an equal relationship. Talking about my books or my thoughts, will never have that fulfilment.
That’s why these two branches of yoga, the international one and a Dutch yoga channel, inspire me.

Next to that, I am going to build a, what I would call, publishing house, where I focus on publishing my LS Harteveld work, but I also see myself as Lauren Harteveld here.
This alterego Lauren Harteveld is not just a name on the cover of my books, but it really is a different me.
And this role as publisher, so the job I have as Lauren Harteveld, is also related to strategy and management of the entire business, including finance, sales and business development on the yoga side of things.
In a way, I (Lauren) will be my own agent.

On a side note: I still do not see Lauren Harteveld, or my work here, as something I want to speak about in the world.
I like the Lauren Harteveld project where I go back in time 25 years. I actually wrote the first chapter of the new year, 1997.
I can’t allow myself to care about you (NSFW) | 1997 diary

I feel by giving all, in my writing as Lauren Harteveld, I do something that discharges me from having to interact over it. It’s not like Covid policies, where I stay glued to my timeline. Pieces like Lauren 1997, are entirely solitary.
I write them in my own world, being in 1997, being offline.

I like pretending I am in 1997, and days I manage to pull that off, and I am only briefly online to efficiently do my business work as Lauren Harteveld headquarters;
Those days are the happiest.

So I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I knew what I would write you this week. About having the vision, about understanding how my two identities, and my two professions (yoga and writing) would go together, and that I was losing sleep over it because it was all so exciting, and that my house was still a mess, and my yoga routine non-existent;
But that it would all come.
Victory was near.

And then this week happened, and I got sucked into Covid politics mayhem. And even worse- before I could judge myself for having wasted so much precious time, I realized that the thing I had written was the best I had written since the start of the pandemic.
And quite possibly the best, or perhaps “the most authentic” thing, I had written in my entire  life.

And I checked the parts of my business: Yoga English, Dutch Yoga, Publishing house, Headquarters.

And sadly realized writing emotional, soul-searching longreads about current day events, were not my business.


An unexamined life is not worth living


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