I did not use these months well, Sara

2dffd19c179e100ab129c3e07073551eThis is a letter to my creativity coach Sara (new website!)
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I really thought this was going to be a different letter.
And that it mattered to get this out right.
To be exact in the layers, the systems, the vision, the manifesto, that I had created over the course of the last month, and that felt as if it was somehow making up for having wasted so much time.
So much career.

My second career in yoga was coming to life, and has come to life, and I am still excited by that. For this letter I looked forward to showing you that I had not let these past months where I would study and we only spoke to each other once, that i had not let them go to waste.
Except I have let them go to waste.

They were spent creating the thing I will be known for and that will allow fun and games (and money!) under my real name, without losing energy on explaining what my sexuality is, without complicated conversations about Covid cluster fucks.
It will be exactly the grounding new business I had looked forward to having.
And yet I am not excited at all to share it. It does not feel like an accomplishment, and that’s because I m realizing more than ever that Covid has taken both my careers.

Yoga. It is not preventing me from starting my second career in yoga, but it will limit how I can develop it as the free agent, entertaining, performing yoga teacher that I now am. Yoga classes 2021 are either digital (which does nothing for me), they’re forbidden, or they’re covered in imprecise rules or discriminatory laws, that make being together so stressful, I m not going there within a 10 mile radius.
I only want to BE there (teaching) when I AM there, and never again want work where I am obliged to pick up the phone afterwards. Not even if it’s health services reporting an outbreak. Especially not then.

In all likeliness I will never have an official business again.
If Covid taught me anything, in particular in the Netherlands where they have developed using small businesses as henchmen into an art form, it is that being a business gives you responsibilities that are not imposed upon citizens.
They let entrepreneurs police their own clients, which is cheaper and does not cost as much votes.

But I m getting side-tracked.
Because my big conclusion is that my two paths, the two sides of me, teaching yoga under my real name, and writing as my alter-ego LS Harteveld, worked in conjunction. But with teaching yoga, with real-life human interaction, taken off the table, my introvert writing as LS Harteveld no longer has the compensation it needs.
After a day of writing I needed to go out and teach.
You can’t have one, writing, without the other, teaching real-life yoga.

And I have doubled my writing, because I m now also writing under my real name, and I took on more desk work because I published a lot of books in the past few months.
For LS Harteveld I took one book down, since last time I wrote you.
I took the book about Basic Instinct down, because I discovered something wrong with it, and got just too much stress knowing that. I have it here on my desk and have been editing it for about two months but I just can’t.
I m going nowhere with publishing under LS Harteveld, nor with editing under LS Harteveld, nor with writing under this name.
I have not written one post as Lauren 1996, and that diary was supposed to start late October. My time-travel project seems dead.

The only thing I did do is come up with my entire new business model under my real name, the vision for it and three accompanying books, but for what?
To live in a world where Covid will prevent me from building a real-life business for months if not years, and until then it will only give me digital interaction. Which I know does not do the trick of satisfying what I need in conjunction with writing, and in particular writing as LS Harteveld.

I have not written Nikki in ages.
The last time sex with my lover, which was great sex, did not get written about either.
It’s like everything I build under my real name, has made me shut off “over here”.

The studying too, I ve started many programs, started so many books, and I finished none. If it was a six week program, I got to week 3. If it was a book I got to page 20. If it is an 18 day course, I got to day 3.
And I have realized that this was no coincidence;
It’s as if studying, like writing, is toxic.

The last thing I need is more knowledge, more thinking, more reflection, more time with my journal.

I need to start my new life as a yoga teacher, performer and public figure under my real name, but instead I m stuck between everything I wrote, need to edit, want to clean up, if only to ensure I do not have to do that when the world opens!

But I don’t want to. I can’t.

The Dutch were told that vaccination would get us out of the pandemic, and instead we’re in a 5 PM lockdown again. With a bunch of other ineffective measures.

It’s the second Covid winter, I m so lonely I want to burn all my work so that I can at least warm myself by its fire. Remove the websites, quit being a writer.
Kill my spirit by destroying all my work.

So no.
The months were not spent well.

I not just wasted them, but also managed to create my personal version of hell on earth, where life consists of rotten politicians, a dystopian technocrat state and all creativity and art are “safely” contained behind Zoom cameras or buried in legislation that polarizes, discriminates and knocks the fun right out of whatever it was you wanted to teach, give or do.

I think I need a mourning ceremony for throwing September, October and November away. Everything I was so proud of, and dying to share with you, feels like an illusion like the girl with the matchsticks.
It wasn’t real.

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

In Bed With | #2 BTS

Truth or Dare was internationally released as In Bed With Madonna

This is the 2021 behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
I describe the choices for my 1996 life and its diary posts.
Subscribe to this blog to receive both series in your Inbox.


Thursday 18 November 2021      

posted on Facebook

It s 2.45 AM here, and this may or may not be the appropriate time to type a small update about why I’ve had my Lauren 1996 project, where I live and write as if it is 1996;
As well as its twin real time project, or log “Behind The Scenes” (BTS),
bottom out before they had any momentum, or even before they had one word on record- as was the case with Lauren 1996.

Publishing book 1 and 2 1994-1996 also; entirely bottomed out.
I m glad the files/ work was saved, as far as I know.

Because the past week I’ve had an avalanche of major and minor very 21st century (not 1996) technical problems.
And that s not counting a change in internet cable providers, which is scheduled for December and buying a new mobile phone, I m typing this on my to-be-replaced one which is old and will soon start getting technical hiccups, incompatibility in apps etc

Yet that same geriatric phone is currently the only fully functional, connected computer in my house.
Although the number was changed a few days ago, but otherwise it s the same familiar, has-no-secrets-from-me, love-you-at-3 AM when I can t sleep, companion.

Now I did see how my forced time off from my normal/desktop 21th century computer could benefit my Lauren 1996 project, and it did for the first days.
But now the stress of all the things I can t do, have to postpone or remember to pick up when I have a computer that s online;
That stress is starting to accumulate.

I m now LESS in 1996 head space than before phone and computer problems started.

So that s it in a midnight nutshell.
I think in order to play-pretend it s 1996, I need my 2021 tech to be stable.
But things that need fixing, tweaking or learning, because I have new software/systems, those things take time.
Combined with not having a computer to blog with meant I d only be able to write on my phone anyway.

Which is great for 3.25 AM at night!

Because so far that has been the biggest cost;
Not the missed blog posts, not the delay in all the admin or correspondence, not the book publishing that didn’t get done.

The biggest cost is not sleeping, knowing you have to get up early.
And hoping tomorrow 2021 will be up and running, so you can go back to 1996 and forget it existed.

.
Saturday 20 November 2021      

1990 Madonna-DancersThe good news is my internet is working to the point that I can use WordPress, and have more options than making midnight Facebook posts.
The bad news that it still throws me off often enough to cause problems because the connection is frequently lost and I need it even more often than I did with the previous laptop because I need to personalize settings, download software, type full urls and enter my full usernames the first time I visit all my regular sites.

I just spent half an hour going back and fro to get an English spelling check here on this blog.
But regardless what I tried it kept being stuck in Dutch, underlining the entire post.

It turned out that downloading the English dictionary had failed which was why it was still in Dutch and kept underlining every English word.

And I m afraid the assignment of a mechanic has gotten lost with the provider, because it’s been 48 hours and they were going to call for an appointment.
So we’re on our own here!
With a glass fiber cable that is most likely hanging by a thread, or a modem that has a loose connection. But I’m here, and the hard earned spelling check is working, so I’m not complaining!

And there was more news, on the Lauren 1996-1997 front.

I’ve fallen prey again to not being able to sleep, feeling overwhelmed and suffering from anxiety.
I don’t wake up sick like I did for four months this year, nor have the 2020 migraines returned, yet I fear that if I get this wrong, they will soon be here to join the party.
It is key that I pick wisely;
What is worth getting upset over, losing sleep over?

In the final entries from my time travel project, dating from October, Lauren 1996 even more strongly, taps into being well-dressed, friendly and cool.
She does this by remembering a room mate who was an escort, and how she had always wanted to be so “together”, and she recommits to this vision.
But something else has happened, in 2021. An inspiration came by that I cannot pass on, which was the documentary In Bed With Madonna (1991).

It was the first movie I ever went to see multiple times, only to be matched shortly after by Basic Instinct. 
Even Fight Club and Lord of the Rings, many years later- I can’t remember seeing them more often than once in cinemas…

I read an analysis for the 30th anniversary of In Bed With Madonna, that how boldly she expresses her sexuality and her stardom, are unprecedented. 
Modern day music documentaries may attempt to portray their stars in the same authentic manner- but that it revolves much more about relatability and being vulnerable;
Not about being a super star and owning that!

In Bed With Madonna has got balls.
And so do I, which is why that movie appealed to me from the very beginning.

To give you a bit of background story: Although I AM a writer (meaning I need it like others need to breathe), my chosen profession for a long time was to be a yoga teacher.
In recent years I quit group classes, and I was still in the process of reinventing it when Covid happened.

If it wasn’t for Covid I would definitely have picked up teaching group classes again, but instead I quit my business and ended the lease of my yoga space.
But the quest for how to revive my old profession stayed.

The broad strokes of what it is I will be doing (and have started on and off) is to build a badass online yoga community through free YouTube classes, and then start teaching to that particular community in a one-off event style, locally as well as internationally, when Covid regulations have been lifted.

Watching In Bed With Madonna, gave me the missing piece both to framing my yoga, as well as to the identity or the energy to teach it with.
I saw with great clarity that what I like in her, and which has actually been the thing that turned me to yoga in 1998- was that she is a performer.
When I turned to yoga in 1998 after she had spoken about practicing yoga, it had never been yoga that had lured me in. 

I had bought into the idea of doing yoga because Madonna did yoga (1) 
And the reason I had bought into this was because she was a performer (2)

In other words the entire concept of teaching yoga, having a yoga teacher or being a yoga teacher, had never been part of why I started yoga.
I had yoga teachers, and I became a yoga teacher too, yet that was all unrelated to why I had felt drawn to yoga.

It stayed unrelated for two decades, until being in the yoga world became unbearable.
As far as I can pinpoint it, should being two decades off purpose and off path need pinpointing, then what I have felt happening on entering the yoga world, is that I lost my power.
I lost my authenticity, my sexuality, my joy.
I lost everything I stood for and what pulled me through was the Madonna / yoga connection that kept enchanting me, just thinking about it….

In 2000 Madonna made a movie The Next Best Thing where she plays a yoga teacher, and that movie too was imprinted in me.
It feels the closest to the real yoga, that I feel inside of me and that wants to be expressed, created, still desires to be brought into this world like a book or a story wants to be written!

The mistake I made was thinking the way “to bring it” was by following regular teacher trainings. Or, since I did learn good things there, the mistake I made was not realizing how much work and correcting I would need to do AFTER taking those trainings.
How many miles I would be OFF path, after the diplomas, and that my journey should have been to first go back, unlearn and restart in 2000, the last year when I knew I was still ON path!

In Bed With Madonna made me realize that it was HER energy, that had drawn me not just to yoga but to the entire concept of adult life.

I recall having five visions of being an adult, or being a professional, that I found powerful and alluring. They are in chronological order:

1. being Madonna (1985)
This started in 1985 when she played Desperately Seeking Susan.

2. being an escort (late 80s, early 90s)
I ve always felt attracted to this line of work because the women I knew who did this took excellent care of themselves and were far more sophisticated than other women my age.
As well as smart and independent.

3. being a writer/ Catherine Tramell (Basic Instinct 1992)
Even more so than just wanting to do yoga because of Madonna, it was clear that my desire to become a writer was preceded (and is defined) by wanting to be Catherine Tramell.
In my eyes the cool blonde was someone who knew how the game was played and did not waste time trying to be liked.
Catherine Tramell is a fictional character, just like Madonna’s yoga teacher was a fictional character,  yet she is the only writer I aspire to be, and she is the only reason I became a writer.

4. being a photographer (90s)
Although I started photographing in the 80s, it wasn’t until the 90s that I started toying with the idea of becoming a professional. I was inspired by female photographers Patricia Steur and Annie Leibovitz, and started an education I dropped out of. I just wasn’t that into it.
And I never felt any desire to go back to photography again. 

5. being a yoga teacher (Madonna in The Next Best Thing, 2000)
More or less discussed already.
Madonna turned me to yoga, and then this movie took that up a level by making teaching yoga the coolest job in the world!

What I recognized in In Bed With Madonna, was that I too am a performer.

That the reason only fictional characters inspire me, is because like an actor I play a role. My work, my profession, is to perform.
The reason I dropped out of BEING a yoga teacher, the reason I never was a photographer, a proper normal writer, nor an escort, is that I put those identities on like a coat.

And that what I had done by redesigning my yoga work to teaching for free online, as to lay the foundation to later go on tour and give one-off shows (really!);
Was me turning yoga into the performance art that had appealed to me from the start.
Just like performance art had pulled me to writing, to photography, to escorting, to being Madonna in 1985.

My work, my craft, is to be a performer.
That is what I am drawn to, can get better at, and will be known for.

However, there was a problem with fully adopting early 90s Madonna performance power to teaching yoga;
First of all because I am suffering from anxiety again, making it not very appealing to drop fully into madness and mayhem Blonde Ambition identity.
And secondly, because I had Lauren’s 1996 diaries identifying with Catherine Tramell and a resolution to add the cool and self-care level of escorts. Not to be Madonna.

And with the anxiety having returned, I d also rather commit to their cool.

But fortunately I have found that the two are actually quite alike, in other ways.
That In Bed With Madonna (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992) both portray powerful women with strong sexualities. 

But Madonna is “yang”, energetic, extroverted.
She is the performer of the two, which is why I will be in that energy when I “teach” yoga (as we know now I am actually giving a performance), under my real name.

The character of the writer Catherine Tramell, in Basic Instinct 1992, is poised, introverted, cool. She is “yin”.
Which is why, when I do yoga to ease stress and anxiety, and when I’m living my Lauren1996 life,
I will be in the energy of Catherine Tramell, and I keep my promise to “Lauren” to become more stylish and contained like the elegant sex workers she recalled in her last October chapters.

With that decision – and internet or no internet 😉 – I think we’re all set to travel time!

I therefor expect this post to be the last BTS, Behind The Scenes, for a while!

So the next post will be the first chapter of the new book from Lauren, 1996 – 1997.

Showtime.

~Lauren
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living
.
.

Subscribe to this blog to receive the new episodes of
– Behind The Scenes, about living offline (whether with help from my internet provider or not ;)),
– and its juicy 90s companion Lauren 1996-1997
in your Inbox

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

We have every right to be powerful, in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have. | #1 BTS

gettyimages-1186181988 klein
GQ Men of the Year 2019 – “Woman of the Year”: Sharon Stone. Full video at the bottom of this post.

We have every right to be powerful, in whatever form of sexuality we choose to have.
And no one is allowed to take that away from you.”

Sharon Stone GQ Awards 2019

This is the behind the scenes (BTS) diary, of my third time travel year 1996-1997.
Subscribe to this blog to receive them in your Inbox.

This first post starts a month ago, because BTS was originally intended to be an offline diary. 

OCTOBER – IT HURTS

Friday 15 October 2021           

For quite a few times today, a day spent only behind my computer because I had one blogpost { one of the final chapters to 1995-1996 } to take down and save, because its sexual explicit content had given me a panic attack, and I also wrote a closing chapter/ final blogpost to a series called The Covid Diaries, and I had an online workshop; 
During that day where I only sat, and worked, and was totally absorbed in basically setting up the basics to transfer my work from blogging, to writing, from online to offline;   
On that day I thought, “That new thing, BTS, is not really necessary. It will only make things more complicated. I will delete it tonight.”           

When now that it’s nighttime I know how crucial this new series is. BTS, Behind The Scenes.     
I need this for my own sanity.

So what happened to writing about my sex life that suddenly bit me in the butt?            
Why didn’t I coach myself to being comfortable with my sexually explicit blog post, called “Promotion”, a chapter to my fictionalized 1996 diary?      
Why didn’t I work through the resistance?         

First of all because the anxiety attack I experienced this morning, was particularly violent.       
I had clearly hit a nerve somewhere, and I felt that taking the post down was a solution that had a limited time window to being effective.         
If I wanted to stabilize with a quick fix, I had to act fast.

The second reason I decided quickly was because I am developing my work and media personality, under my real name.               
My alter ego Lauren Harteveld, now more than ever, needs to be a place of solace. A place of feeling nurtured.                
Not a place where I get stressed out over having sex blogposts.

I’ve known for a while that the nature of my work here would have to change, in order to step into this new role under my real name.  
I just had not thought it through yet.    

Waking up with a panic attack over the sex post was my cue the time had come to scale down on LS Harteveld, and transfer the intimate parts to offline.    
That was the price I was willing to pay for peace of mind, working under my real name and be the real me.

My future was not one where I would wake up suffering from a panic attack from a blog post for my alter ego I had posted the night before.

But thirdly, and this is why it was actually good news and I did not look further for reasons to keep the sex post up, because the final reason I decided I would go underground, was that I want to write so much more about sex!
More explicitly than the post that was already giving me panic attacks.

The post I took down was a 1996 fictionalization of a 2021 email I had sent to a man I correspond with. 
Now it had become a letter Lauren 1996 wrote to an English bootleg trader called Nikki. A blog post. And one that scared me so much, I changed my mind.

The real problem had been that the taken down blogpost was still just a fraction of the honesty and the intimacy I had shared in my email. The contrast had been stark. And confronting.            
Every time I reread my blogpost, I realized it lacked the level of truth and intimacy my email to the real life Nikki had.               
It felt like such a betrayal of something pure. I had censored myself.

Originally, meaning before taking it down, I had planned on writing a second blogpost this weekend.
A second fictional letter to the character of Nikki, but now including details I had left out. And to frame it as being a second letter Lauren in 1996 would write to her friend Nikki, because she had not been ready to share.             

But the panic attack showed me there was no way I would take it up a notch.
New professional-me under my real name, would not be able to write such scary blogposts under my alter ego.      

If I really desired the same level of intimacy in my 1996 diary, as I had displayed in my email to real life Nikki, and I also wanted to become a professional under my real name; 
Then after more than 10 years of being a blogger, the whole online thing had to go.

It’s 10.30 PM now. I feel totally raw, unhappy, overwhelmed, maybe even disappointed.           
If there ever comes a day my work life under my real name starts to make me unhappy, or if I see a way of doing it without feeling threatened by the sexuality of my work here, then I will return to being a blogger.

But for now, this is what it is.

I am no longer a blogger.            
And that hurts…

.
Saturday 16 October 2021      

It got worse before it got much better!  
Going to bed I checked my phone and found a browser open that offered access to yesterday’s Zoom call. It was a url that I had copy pasted manually because the link in the email had not been clickable.          
I usually attend calls both on my laptop to type, and on my telephone for a good camera angle.   
But yesterday, I only remembered being successful at logging in via laptop. As far as I recalled, the phone browser and link had not worked.
Yet here it was, a clear sign that at least the url had worked.

Had I used it, and clicked on an “Okay” to enter the call, without remembering doing it?
Had I been online thinking I was invisible and excusing myself for not being on screen, when all the time I was recorded?

The call was with a group I had not known, and the communication was not entirely in flow. But I had dismissed that, thinking it was because I was communicating through chat only, and that it were all people who did not know each other.           
Had it been because I was visible, in totally unpresentable fashion, and no one told me?

I got the absolute worst panic attack. That morning’s panic attack, triggered by the sex blogpost, was nothing compare to The Biggie that hit me around midnight.          
I was trembling all over my body, I felt sick and I wrote an email to the friend who had organized the call.           
I explained I was unsure if I had opened the Zoom app on my phone.   
“Was I visible?” I asked. “I’ve been crippled with anxiety all day, and thought is daunting! I hope you can help.”

For an hour I tried a variety of tactics from rationalizing the social fear, to projecting it, to ultimately befriending it and accepting its presence. Which was for this crisis situation the best option, although no miracle trick.    
An hour later I was still wide awake and had been checking my email at regular intervals, even though I thought I “should” be able to do without her reassurance.              
But boy, was I happy to read her reply that everything had been more than fine!            
I had not been online with my phone camera.  

Immediately the anxiety subsided and ever since then the return of my generic anxiety has looked like a walk in the park compared to the panic I felt for that hour.      
I can do that!

I slept exceptionally well, and I’m doing great today.

.
NOVEMBER – LET’S DO THIS!! 

Friday 12 November 2021           

In 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, I’ve half-in-half out participated in a performance project, living my life and keeping an online diary as if it is 25 years ago.
These two diaries A Letter From A Stranger (1994-1995) and Dear Nikki (1995-1996), are in their publishing stage, and it has been time to start writing book three for a while now.
Except I didn’t.

After the final chapters for Dear Nikki, which I never published online because it gave me too much anxiety, I did try to start the new book 1996-1997 offline, meaning safer and far less likely to push me over the edge, but to no avail.
I don’t write when it’s offline, I make the wrong choices, avoid adventures.
I am no longer inspired to live a full life, if I keep myself from blogging diary style, about its most meaningful, sexual parts (for one);
And I m also not inspired to live real-time, real pandemic 2021.

I need that extra layer of historical context of analogue (yes I do see the irony here) life, and the performance art based challenge of pretending I’m living my life from being a 20-something living in the 90s.
Not just for my sex life, sex posts, diary of the 90s as Lauren Harteveld;
But I need it for my work under my real name as well.

If I am not online “here” as my alter ego, and if I don’t have that secretive private life which I then share by blogging (and get freaked out about);
Well then I don’t live, write or work in the real world under my real name either!

My two personas really are like a Siamese twin, and if I m committing to creating massive impact, to having big results, and worldly success in every way for the real me?
Then it means I have to amp it up living as Lauren Harteveld too.

And I admit; The time travel projects 1 and 2 have been sloppy in their execution, the first two books have not been all in.
They were more a translation of real time events, to a fictional 90s past, but I wasn’t living it in the moment.
I never did business as if it was the 90s, never made love as if I was in my twenties, I was using the fictionalization of my past as a construct instead of as the performance art it was always intended to be!

For book 3 no more sloppy time travelling allowed.

So last night, I made a list. And I made it short. I left EVERYTHING out, that I knew was critical to feeling good, everything I knew that would frustrate me if I didn’t do it, and everything that would have to be in place before I could get to my core activities for which I wanted to be known.
Because for what has been somewhere between a week and a few years, I have tried to schedule my daily routine so that all the things that matter to me get done. And instead the only thing that got done – and very consistently! – was whatever I felt like doing! What inspired me. And the things that had to get done got done too, and if frustrations reached peak level or deadlines closed in, then all the other things got done as well.

In other words, both my personal preferences, my sexuality for sure (2021 was the best sexual year of my life!), my financial obligations, my social life, and everything else;
It had a way of getting done.
It took care of itself not because I had scheduled it, but despite of it.

However, what did not get done, was what I really want to be known for;
To be a world famous rock star writer, who does yoga.
Well technically the writing did get done, it always gets done because it’s what comes natural. Yoga didn’t get done at all, but that’s not my biggest worry to be honest.
But the part of rock star writer that didn’t get done, or not consistently, was the business side of it. Meaning publishing, selling, and speaking about my work, the being of the rock star writer did not happen.

There has not been a visible rock star writer, not under any of the two names, to relate to.

I have been invisible.

Which is why, I kept this list of what Lauren 1996 would be committing to every day, short.
Very short.

  1. do yoga or teach yoga
  2. publish books

I fell asleep thinking of myself as Lauren 1996. And as I type this, again, I can feel her living in me.

For the first time since 2019, the summer I started my time travel project, I can feel it is working.

This morning I worked on publishing my books. I took the book on Basic Instinct/ Catherine Tramell, which I pulled from publishing, and that has been on my desk for weeks now to get improved and republished.
I found a reference to the 2019 GQ speech Sharon Stone made, which was about how she dealt with feeling exposed after Basic Instinct came out, and although I had made up my mind and had decided to write the new time travel diary 1996-1997 online just like its predecessors;
This speech was exactly what I needed to hear at this time.

It was about making a conscious decision about what to do with that part that you fear, sometimes correctly obviously, others will use to shame you and try to destroy you.

“Time to decide what you do with the tender, important, beautiful, savage, passionate, most important part of yourself. 
What are you gonna do with it?
I ll tell you what I did with mine.

I respected it.”

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living
.

Subscribe to this blog to receive the new episodes of
– Behind The Scenes, about living offline,
– and its juicy 90s companion Lauren 1996-1997
in your Inbox

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

So far SO not good. So Lauren1996 will return!

EbTyNI-U0AA_U0E
Madonna earliest of 80s

A few weeks ago I quit blogging here, because the anxiety of writing my 1996 diary, which is my life now translated to 25 years ago, was getting in the way of what I must also do.
Of what is also, my life and destiny.
But, as is already implied in that sentence, naturally, I also have an obligation here.

I have not forgotten my art here, the time travel project and the diary.
Although at times I wished I could have forgotten it.

The whole writing offline and working in silence on publishing my books, fell to pieces when a few weeks ago I discovered mistakes in one of my books, which I had already tried to correct. When the “improved” test copy came in and I discovered I had actually made it worse, I decided to pull the book from publishing, and give it a proper review.
To not just correct the layout mistakes that had gotten in there (blank pages etc) when I made my corrections and added another chapter as well;
But to do a page-by-page review, really getting into the details and be sure I wanted them that way.

I wanted to make absolutely certain that when I received the next test copy, I would not find  any mistakes. 

Ever since I’ve started to publish my books last year, I ve been consumed with perfectionism. But it’s perfectionism with a vengeance, because in the initial printing process I can bypass it!
I KNOW done is better than perfect.
Not just because if I have the choice between doing 20 books with some minor errors or 4 books perfectly?
I have to choose the 20 good-enough ones.
I simply write way, way too much to do it otherwise.

So there is that practicality, that logic behind being a superfluous writer that anyone can understand, but there’s also a more primal emotion to it.
Because I like my work to be a bit raw and bloody, and have some errors.

If I regret anything then it’s reviewing my older books too often, because I felt it cost me both too much time as well as in some cases possibly the very soul of the book. 
I recall one in particular, and I never actively sold that book ever in the four years it’s been for sale.
So I knew very well not to go overboard with the editing.

Yet with the books I published afterwards and even (now) pulled from publishing, the opposite happened.
I don’t actively sell those either, because I’m afraid that there are mistakes in there!
So I ve learned from the past – I now do publish them without overdoing the editing. I do not make the same mistake twice and “Done is better than perfect” is my badge of honor really.
But then it bites me in the ass:
I read them and find mistakes, and feel uncomfortable selling them because of one little tiny mistake I saw.
Or I don’t dare to read them and then I don’t sell them because I didn’t read them out of fear.

Even though, and now you’re really going to see how badly I m doing in this area, way more often I read them and think:
“This is so good! How funny! How well written! I m so proud.”
Yet perfectionism just blocks it.
Not in the first editing and publishing round, like it does with other writers.
But afterwards.

I can’t get into the swing of selling.

And now, November 2021 or November 1996 as it is in my time travel project, I am no longer blogging a diary because it gives me anxiety;
Which has resulted in my love life and sexuality dying on me.
It has resulted in not writing.
And ultimately, I think you guessed it, in not living.

As desirable or even nessecary, a smoothed out life without any secrets and any reason for anxiety, seems at times (I ve taken Lauren 1994-1996 offline half a dozen times and counting!);
Ultimately it is not for me.

I will have to learn with my chaotic, fear-filled double life, like I have to live with books having rough edges.

My attempts at proper, worthy, perfect books are blocking my life’s force, just like my attempts at a proper worthy life is blocking it.

Yes, I am messy. 
Irresponsible.
Imperfect.
Loud.
And so are my books.

But for the past couple of weeks I ve been dead, and I can only hope it’s not too late for any of the things I lost to be saved.
To put my pulled book back online.
To slam those diaries into a cover and hit publish.
Pull myself up by my bootstraps and get back into the saddle of everything.
I hope my sex life is not dead for good.

I hope that underneath the cleaned up properness, something, is still breathing.

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living
.

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Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

I’m on it! (and it’s my best work) | diaries 1994-1996

 

photo from “1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/14/style/enjoy-the-silence.html 

I quit blogging this weekend, and simultaneously found out that publishing what I consider my Magnum Opus – or Magnum “Opi” as the first installment is already going to be two books, not one! – that publishing this most significant work is probably not going to be the “muscle through it”- sprint I hoped it would be.

The reason I want it done is so I can start curating and solidifying my websites, my online work.

But publishing those two diaries 1994-1995 and 1995-1996,  including the very sexually explicit final chapters, seems to be more accurately categorized as;
Things that are going to massively freak me out.

Things I’m going to lose sleep over.

Things that are going to impact and delay the more easy-going, less-intense career I want to establish under my real name.

Something that is going to bear the characteristics of a marathon and not a sprint.

And I am not an endurance athlete, endurance writer, endurance anything. I m only good at things that forcefully push themselves out of me, despite me not making an effort, despite me not setting time aside.
My projects need to take over my life, if they want to get done.

Instead of having my life taken over a few days, publishing my Magnum Opi could take over my life for weeks or even months.
Which is definitely more than I am willing to invest.

I want them done this week, order them on Friday, and then within two weeks I will have them ready for sale and can start curating the website. With those two books successfully published, my most important work has been converted to print.
If anything happens to my content or I don’t store it right or something, then at least they were saved.

How to go about this?
This little twin monster of my most important work, two books, at the verge of taking over my life? (I feel they’re negotiating who gets to sink their teeth in which part of me!)
I don’t know.
Maybe praying to a higher power, would be my best option.

Anyway, as I was preparing to write you this quick update, I started looking for a New York Times article about a time travel project of one week, to 1994.
But instead I found a music scene documentary of the beginning of this 90s era.

It’s available on YouTube.

1991 – The Year Punk Broke

And Generation X in a Time Capsule
a New York Times long read about this documentary and its context.

But the article I was looking for, before I found the 1991 music scene documentary, was this article.
It is about a journalist who lives for one week as if she’s in 1994:

1994 Was a Prison of My Own Making
25 years ago was yesterday and a million years ago.
By Caity Weaver | May 14, 2019

So with the extra documentary I found some pretty intense and grungy stuff about the time period I was investigating.
Which has only made me more adamant  that ultimately writing about 25 years ago, or writing about the 90s, is my jam.

Last weekend I stopped blogging, online writing for The Diary Project, or the time travel project, but only so I can give it more,  and be even more candid in my writing offline.

That first diary I am about to publish – the one I decided with 99% certainty needs to be two books, not one – that is only the beginning.
It is the first diary, or they are the first two diaries of my Magnum Opus.

I will keep writing.

The diary project, or the time travel project, is my deepest work as a writer, and ultimately all my work here will somehow be tied to that. 

The reason I consider my time travel diaries my most important work, is because it is my most layered project, consisting of all the aspects that is me or my work or interests.

They are at heart a performance project, or time capsule project.
I cultivate the mindset and experience of being 25 years younger and live as if it is 25 years ago.

The second reason is, they are done as diary writing and letter writing, which are my most developed forms of writing.

The third is because I get to play with elements that reflect my development, choices,  and difficulties, in being a writer, and/OR a yoga teacher.
My real life career choices are in the books.

But most importantly of course, I like the books because they are rooted in my sexual life.
I don’t think I would be able to fully express my  sexuality if it wasn’t for the fact that I can write about my experiences.

Since I was a teenager I’ve known I need high levels of tension and excitement, to get aroused. From a wider perspective I would say my sexuality was more comparable to those of boys, than those of girls.
I needed to feel safe with someone, and was aware being a girl made me vulnerable, but I was less inclined to pushing or looking for relational security. I didn’t need a relationship to feel sexually explorative.

Although I was often very much in love, when it came to sexual experimenting I needed friendly comradery, more than romance.

Ever since then the road has been rocky, and at times I have given in to fears that made the road flat. I have been in long-term relationships that were ultimately not just sexually unsatisfying because they didn’t carry enough tension and excitement;
They were detrimental for my personal growth.

To me monogamy, defined as both me but in particular my partner only having me/each other to be physically and emotionally intimate with, that monogamy is damaging.
It’s the quickest way to create a life of stability and perhaps even physical health, because the stress levels remain low.
But I don’t grow in monogamous relationships the way I do when I get challenged b
y the unpredictability of other, non-specified and more playful, relationship styles.
They bring me more pleasure, more satisfaction but in particular because of their counter parts of jealousy, fear, and uncertainty;
They bring me more growth.

Sure all those aspects of my life give me panic attacks, and more often than not I think I am NOT cut out for this.
That it’s too much and all the stress of never being in a normal boy meets girl, princess and prince charming relationship or marriage, is eating me alive.
That I can’t take it anymore.

But then I know:
Of course I can.

This is what I am here for.

My Time Travel Project, and its first two upcoming books
A letter from a stranger 1994-1995
and
Dear Nikki 1995-1996
are about capturing that life, in between lovers, in between careers, in between immobilizing fear and insatiable fascination.
All set to a backdrop of the 90s.

And not just for a week.

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including the time travel project books Letter from a stranger and Dear Nikki.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Choose IT | The Covid Diaries (closing Chapter)

MV5BZDVkZmI0YzAtNzdjYi00ZjhhLWE1ODEtMWMzMWMzNDA0NmQ4XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzYzODM3Mzg@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_“It” is a sex positive antidote, a way for King to tell kids that sex, even unplanned sex, even sex that’s kind of weird, even sex where a girl loses her virginity in the sewer, can be powerful and beautiful if the people having it truly respect and like each other.

That’s a braver message than some other authors have been willing to deliver.

Grady Henrix on Tor.com about the book It (1986) by Stephen King

Yesterday I wrote a blogpost, a sexual explicit one and the first one of its kind in two months.
But this morning I deleted it, and it will never be back online.
It will go straight to paper, and although I will keep writing on at least one sexually explicit series of books;
I don’t expect to blog anything sexual, ever again.

The reason for my decision was that I woke up with the worst anxiety attack since the 90s.
My phobia for hiv and aids, and the social stigma surrounding that, was back full force.
It is a social phobia, not a hypochondriac one.
But in a way that nuance is beside the point. In particular to the potential danger it holds to call it “social phobia” instead of “aids phobia”.
It’s like saying Pennywise is an extraterrestrial force and not a clown; It’s true, but is it relevant?
No.
Pennywise, It is evil, It is dangerous, and if you wake up with It in your bed, calling it by its correct name should be the least of your concerns.

So after I had decided I was not going to stay here, writing as LS Harteveld like I have for the past 16 years, I started wondering what had happened?
What had caused this fear that I had last seen in the 90s, to return? It was almost like It’s 27 year cycle to return, in the book and the movies It 1 and 2.

A fear so big I could feel the strength leaving my body and knowing with absolute certainty this would have the power to traumatize, immobilize, and to seal my fate of ending up in a coffin filled with regrets.

But how come now? After 27 years?
And what was it really about?
Because IT, your fear, is never what you think it is about.

And while fear of spiders and heights, will be met with an understanding that of course, you have some kind of mental projection short-circuit going on;
And of course, the solution can never be to lock yourself up in a spider sanitized box planted firmly on the floor and anchored with extra weights to make sure it doesn’t accidentally fly away and take you up;

That of course-ness is right out the window if the object of your fear is closer to home than dreading spiders and heights.

Fear, a shape-shifting force that is rarely beneficial, and in 99.9% of the cases tied to incorrect causes, becomes a lot more difficult to identify as the soul and life crushing monster that it is, once that fear is not tied to spiders or an irrational fear of heights, but to something everybody is allowed to worry about.
Like Aids in the 80s, Covid today, and cancer is timeless. You re always allowed, if not encouraged, to worry sick over that one. But let’s skip that for now, for clarity’s sake, an
d focus on Covid, because that is the Unlimited Fear of our days.
There is no such thing as worrying too much over Covid.

Of all the people who have expressed how they are giving fear of Covid a place in their lives – and it is of course never called out as “fear of Covid” but responsibility towards, et cetera – of all of those people none, a percentage of zero, have been met with:
“This fear is crippling you.You should start living your life.”

Everybody either has this fear of Covid, or they do not, but then they are aware that they are a minority and that it is inappropriate to ignore these fears in others.
If nothing else, we have reached consensus that although nothing has changed for the people who have uncommon fears, like the one for spiders, everything has changed for the ones who have attached their fear to Covid.
No one is questioning the nature of their fear, when it comes to this global pandemic.

And it gets worse!
Because Covid is an ideal host, the fear can spread in two opposite directions.
To pro- measures but against the virus or to the other end of the pole, against the measures and fearing conspiracies or unknown health risks of vaccination.
Fear can go both ways.

Both sides of this spectrum are afraid of different things, but they are both alike because neither one questions fear itself. They both project their fear onto aspects of life they have little to no control over.

I think this is the right time to take this characteristic by the horns and elaborate on it.
Because it is this aspect, to be afraid of something you cannot control (either a virus, and how badly people follow rules, or danger lurking from governments and big pharma) that brings out the sick, destructive nature of fear in all its disgusting glory.

It is once you give into THAT fear, of something you cannot control, that you are in deep trouble.

When we can all see that even dangerous spiders are relatively innocent and not worth turning your whole life around for; When it comes to intangible enemies most people cannot do that.

My social phobia or Aids phobia of the 80s, is why I started this diary about Covid. I was curious what the mass panic of this pandemic would do to me, and how fear, IT, would show itself.
Was the 2020-2021 fear of Covid identical to the fear of Aids?

Because I knew fear of Aids had had very little to do with an honest conversation about sexual risks, and all about not wanting to be confronted with sexuality at large and the sexuality of those at risk in particular.

So I was curious if fear of Covid was in fact also not fear of Covid at all, but of something far less tangible.

At least outside of the gay community and the sex workers community, fear of Aids in the 80s was an unhealthy one that served an entirely different purpose than to protect anyone from getting infected.
In the 80s, the discussion and even education, about Aids was never focused and definitely not limited (as it should have been) to things you could control.

Instead, it was heavy with moral judgement and inconsistent, imprecise and non-supportive with regard to the specifics of sex.

These are two topics I think a genuine education on safe sex should have covered;
-straight, homo, and bisexuality, and the sexual acts for each and every one of them indicating how to do them safer.
-dating styles, monogamy versus non-monogamy, and what types of people (and their sexual styles) you are attracted to
The nature of this conversation should be to illustrate that since your sexual orientation is largely a given, and even a fluid or adventurous style could be seen as a specific orientation, that we therefor all start out with a different base level of risks.
The word “Safe” sex implies something singular, a binary nature of safe sex=1, or not having safe sex=0
That is a lie. 

If we agree that suppressing who you are, and what your sexuality is, is unhealthy, then we also agree that for example I, a girl who felt attracted to sexually active, worldly men, and not to inexperienced boys, was more at risk than one who goes steady and they’re both each other’s first partner.
Generalizing what safe sex is, is harmful to anyone not going for a heterosexual monogamous relationship, and even for them it is less than ideal.

The base level of risk and your margin to play with, are already determined by your sexuality and can only be changed by suppressing, altering, and harming your sexual identity.

Now, why do you think conversations like this were not part of sex education in the 80s, nor will they every be?

Because the moment you acknowledge that the majority of risks are beyond your control, fear becomes manageable because it becomes specific. Suddenly the factors that you do get to choose are known.
This sounds great in theory, but the moment fear becomes known, specific, and manageable, you can no longer attach this huge chunk of unnamed lower-belly fear to it.

The desire to connect the primal sense of fear, that we all carry around inside of us, the desire and perhaps even THE NEED to project that onto something outside of us?
And preferably onto something other people agree on, and that you can bond over?
That urge is uncontrollable.

The desire to have some topic, group of people, some disease, to project this fear onto, will always be greater, and definitely easier, than to deal with this fear in healthier ways and resist demonizing something far less dangerous than what you are making it.

The desire for evil clowns in the sewer we can blame for everything, will always be bigger than our desire to investigate why we are so obsessed with finding things that scare us or could potentially harm us.

The reason 80s sex education was not about accepting the differences in base level risks, and then supporting teens on their journey of developing a healthy sexuality within their personal parameters, is because then parents, school, church, government, sex education centers, would all need to find something else to project that primal IT-sized fear onto, that was eating them from the inside.

When they could also just act as if they were educating, or act as if they were responsible because they told you to “be safe”, and you could just hear the “told you sos” that would be yours if you got hiv – or got pregnant for that matter, this style of sex education was definitely not reserved to Aids-
They could also do that, and then flock together as grown-ups and respectable institutions, all sailing in union under the same righteous moral flag of “Safe Sex”, which was code for Silent Sex, Don’t Bother Us Sex, Your Own Fault Sex.

They could pretend that the monster they were warning you for could be fought with a condom just like they pretend Covid can be fought with simplified rhetoric of either mouth masks and vaccinations as the holy grail on one side, and an array of concerns and conspiracy theories on the other.
The simplification is wrong.
The simplification then, just like the simplifications now, are what make it evil.

Today’s simplifications look practical, just like a condom advice in the eighties looked practical, but there is a disturbingly large element where that practical approach, is all just one big cover up of conversations we don’t want to have.

Under that simplified solution, under choosing a polarized or simplified perspective, we are able to hide our biggest fear.
We are able to hide IT.

My fear of Aids was able to hide my fear of being rejected by society.
Society’s fear of Aids, was able to hide their fear of sexuality.
Today’s fear of Covid, or the fear of the vaccination strategies, is able to hide unnamed, uncomfortable fears and truths, that we don’t want to face.

Covid is the biggest, global container of underbelly angst, the world has ever seen.
It holds all of our unnamed fears, and it is functional, in its own sick way. Because speaking of Covid, disagreeing on Covid, and arguing over Covid, is way easier and definitely more welcomed, than having a conversation about who does the real work in this world.
Who earns the money.
Who we pay.
Who we ignore.
Who has chances.
And who hasn’t.

There is financial violence, at least in The Netherlands, of a government that eats its poorest alive by ripping support systems out of still breathing families.
The housing market has been thrown to the wolves. Directors have left years ago, their pockets filled with money that was supposed to house the poor, leaving their organizations bankrupt.
The coops and the housing market at large, both intended for people who actually go live in the house they rent or own, both are taken over by private investing firms. 

In The Netherlands no one can get a new house anymore.

Just like the town of Derry, Main, in the movie It, the society where I live in, is rotten to its core. Evil has taken over.
I imagine everyone can judge if that is true for where you live, but that is The Netherlands.
And evil has a head start because for the past 18 months we’ve been bickering over Covid.
Oh sure, every now and then a politician is sent home, and our entire government is theoretically demissionairy. Seven months later and they re still all there. And based on the elections we had, they will probably rise from their ashes and become the exact same government.

Sometimes there are big reveals, national or European reports of exactly how ill-functioning our systems are, but they are as obsolete as the newspaper articles about the big fire in a bar, a historic event of Derry Main’s violent past. 
Papers that turned yellow and will be forgotten.
Or they are like Derry’s flyers with missing kids on them; No one reads them, even when the topic is so important.

The reason I am quitting blogging as LS Harteveld, the parallel universe where I could share myself, my thoughts and fears in their purest form, is because I am leaving this place. 
I have to move out of this town, just like they did.

In a way I was like the one boy from the gang of children that fought It, that I was the one boy who stayed in Derry, Main. All the others left, and lived their adult lives in different cities, and they forgot what happened to them. Until this boy called them back. 
His name was Mike Hanlon, he stayed in Derry and became a police officer and spent the rest of his time in the library, studying the history of Derry, and anything he could find on It.
He was the one who made sure that if It returned, they could fight it.

Just like I studied the Aids pandemic, as the root cause of my social phobia or Aids phobia. I have overcome those fears, they no longer haunt me. Or they didn’t until this morning.
Which is why it is time for me to leave.

This blog post is the final one to a book I will be publishing, called The Covid Diaries.
I expect to have it ready late this year.

This post is the only one that will stay up, as the rest of my work for this site is like the scrapbooks of Mike Dolan; They served a purpose, but it’s time to wrap up.

Was I successful in fighting It? 
No, not as clear cut as the adults in It, returning to their childhood hometown. 

But I hope that by having documented It, the fear of Covid and the fear of Aids, I have at least pointed out that fear is the real enemy.
That you must be very strict with yourself.

You carry that It sized fear monster inside of you. One that feels far less scary if you tie it to a simplified perception of what our common enemy is, tie it to the accepted root of all evil.
But you are feeding a monster.

I was feeding a monster when I was afraid of Aids in the 80s, and I have been feeding it the past days, in the form of social phobia.
I was afraid certain people would reject me, and this morning the fear had shape-shifted back to its classic 80s and 90s form, of a painful Aids phobic panic attack.
Others are feeding their fears directly into the fangs of Covid but I will never feed my fear to anything ever again.
I will resist with the mightiest of might.

In my kitchen I have a note, and if I had done what it said, I would not have been trembling with fear this morning.
It says: “Only one fear allowed.”
I am allowed to worry, I am allowed to have fear, but only about one thing, and I have chosen to worry about dying with my life still inside of me.
With a sex life, toned down, altered or even incomplete with experiences missing, because of fear of Aids.
Career,under my real name, toned down or kept safe, because of fear of social exclusion. 

I am going to choose life, choose sex, choose faith.
And if I feel fear, panic, anxiety, if my phobias get the better of me, I will be saying to myself:

“Remember you’re only allowed to have one fear. One.
Choose.”

It will not be Covid, and it will not be Aids.

My fear will be to die with my life still inside of me.
And nothing, nothing else.

.
Lauren

An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added, including The Covid Diaries.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

[ all posts will be deleted ] | 1996 Dear Nikki

ed9182b51537ecfcde4b802abeadedfe
Nikki Sixx as English bootleg trader and record store owner Nikki

I’m sorry, but I have decided to delete this post, and I will be deleting all my old work here.
I am suffering from anxiety attacks, something that was briefly mentioned in this blog post. My work lies elsewhere but my anxiety has been tied to what I share here,
I just can’t have my LS Harteveld work hovering over me or hiding under the bed.

I will stay active on 
my Facebook page
Twitter: @LSHarteveld
And I will continue curating and publishing the work I wrote online from 2010 – 2021.

Within three weeks I will have what I consider to be my magnum opus, ready for you for sale.
It is book 1 and book 2 in the 90s diary series, published in one cover.
The title will be A Letter From A Stranger.

And this site will stay online, and I will too!
Because the anxiety could pass, or because my work could switch to being LS Harteveld again one day, but mostly because I want to stay in touch.
By subscribing to this site, I will have a way to reach you. 

Let’s hope it all pans out, and that the anxiety stops. It’s crippling, and I don’t just mean to my websites 😉 

Speak to you soon.
Take care.
And subscribe!

Lauren
An Unexamined Life Is Not Worth Living

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Good for one thing | & 3 new juicy books available

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

Dear Sara,

“I m only good for one thing in life. That’s teaching.”
Michael Douglas in The Kominsky Method

Let’s be clear that I consider myself to be good at more things in life than just teaching yoga.
I am for example, if maybe not a good writer in the traditional sense of the word?
A prolific writer.
A not stopping at anything writer.
A not ever having had a writer’s block in her entire life writer.
So yes, there is that.

And also let’s be clear that I am writing this in a week where I am not doing any of those things. Not writing, not teaching yoga and not even publishing my books, even when I did manage to unlock three new books last Friday*, what in hindsight was the last day I didn’t know how badly I was thrown off track.

The Friday when I thought I was on a roll, and that nothing would stop me from going on publishing my books, writing my blogs, and rebooting my yoga career.

Except I had already stopped.
I was already taken out by an unexpected responsibility that considers multiple parties, and a desired outcome that I have no idea how to accomplish or what the costs would be if I did know it.
I have no idea how to fix this, or get the best outcome, and last Friday I had not realized yet, that I am in way over my head.

Oh, and it’s not just my problem of course, it’s something that will hurt a friend if I mess this up. 
And that’s also why I am not going to explain it, but either way:
I didn’t know all that Friday.

If you’d asked me last Friday what the things were I thought I was good at, I would have answered writing, publishing and teaching yoga, but I was also still actually DOING those things.
Or close to be doing them/ picking them up.

As opposed to now, when I m only writing you because I always do so before our call.
I have not written for what seems ages, I m off social media, and I would not have written this, if it had not been because that is what I do before our call.

And yet.
Even though this will go down as what others would call a holiday week, and what I call a “I can’t see myself doing any work” week, still the dialogue from an acting coach/ teacher/mentor played by Michael Douglas in the Netflix series The Kominsky Method, rung a bell.
A big one.

Because in season 1 he sees the reality that although he is a good teacher, who establishes great breakthroughs with his students; He is bad at everything else that has to do with running an acting studio.
Which is why he has hired his daughter Mindy, to take care of that a long time ago.

At the end of season 1 he realizes that she deserves to be in charge. Not him.
That the one who deals with the daily grind is the one who deserves the credit. Not the one who shines for a brief moment between 7 and 8.30 PM, teaching an acting class.

In the past few weeks, I have established a freedom-based format for any work I want to be doing for an extended period of time.
It came down to not wanting to commit to obligations that are going to limit my options.
So for example (and I m going to nuance this, but this is what I came up with last time I wrote you) I didn’t intend to ever commit to weekly classes, scheduled appointments/ calls and so on.

So my preliminary conclusion was that work that was gonna last, was work that could be chosen, time and time again.
Work that I was never obliged to deliver because it had already been paid for.

Now it’s not that there was necessarily anything wrong with that; It is definitely true.
But the scene with Michael Douglas and his daughter made me realize that the reason I feel trapped if I commit to scheduled appointments/ work, is not because I mind the REAL work to being scheduled!

The reason I seem so allergic to commitments is because it means the grey area of daily grind, is in the commitment.

But if I had someone else running my yoga studio, doing the marketing, answering calls and emails;
And me just showing up?
Oh, I could handle just absolutely anything!

So in this strange in-between week, where like I said I am offline and don’t write and have not picked up teaching yoga, and all I focus on is the situation that arose that is asking so much of my attention and that I do not know how to handle properly, it was great to find out that I have way more options than just doing one-off gigs.
I can do reliable, dependable, and I can do it consistently.

But ONLY of the things I am good at.
Writing.
Publishing.
Teaching yoga.
In their absolute purest, stand-alone form.

That it was never the work I did not want to commit to.
It was everything else.

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Yes! 3 New Books Added To The STORE !!! 

1. The Mistress Speaks
channeling a lost archetype

2. The Beach, C.
Diary, letters and essays inspired by Basic Instinct’s Catherine Tramell

3. Star Wars is finally telling women *cross out* everybody to start enjoying The Thing
And other deeply personal blogposts about the sequel trilogy that did not age well

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
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Nederlands blog:
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Three Stars Are Born

 

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

Dear Sara,

I have so much news, I don’t know where to begin!

(and I give everybody reading this blogpost, including Sara, permission to stop at any point, including now!)

I already sent you a private in-between email about me finding a way to work under the same terms professionally, as I have found as my relationship style.
How freedom needs to be the basis of anything in my life that is worth holding on to.

But I didn’t know why. 
Why was I so allergic to people claiming my time, and more specifically my future?

The good news is:
Now I know why.

The bad news is:
This is indeed a precarious situation, where I cannot afford to take my eyes off the ball.

And it doesn’t even matter, technically, how many or how little hours I have for my own freedom-based business model;
What matters is that I spend every minute I have exactly on the right thing.

What I learned since the last email I wrote you, is what a serious attempt and dedication to this free professional lifestyle looks like.
One where I do not have to look back on my deathbed and say “I wish I”.

So results are not guaranteed, but making an attempt is.
Do or die trying.

The picture I see before be, contains two parts which are not related, or perhaps loosely related.

1 Warhol

I ve totally fallen in love with the work of Warhol and its meaning. It’s such a coming home, and for the first time ever, I feel I have found an artist with whom I can relate.

His topics, his work, its meaning, his themes, but most of all his desire to let creation happen through processes he did not control. And share it without clearing it up;
That’s me.

By studying Warhol I now know how I want to publish my books, making use of the multiplicity and the prolific nature of my work.
And that vision of the artist that I am is so strong, unique and expansive, that it’s as if I can almost touch everything I thought I had to sell my soul for, and cut myself off, until I fit into some tight little prefab container.

This is a vision that is FULLY expansive, into everything I was, am, and will be.

After seeing and understanding Warhol, I feel I can create without the motherfucking handbrake on.
For the first time EVER!

.

2 My Daily Who Does What

Two weeks ago I wrote the blogpost about who I am;
Including an A4 drawing with circles, who my different creative personalities are and where they are “located”.

That schedule already contained the different creative expressions for every character/ side of me. But it didn’t yet have a strategy of how to manage them, or how to go about my days.
And I made that schedule today.

I have to warn you, it is messier, and asks way more effort to understand it (so feel free not to!).
But I will do my best to describe it/ guide you through it.

Here is the new drawing I made today: 
2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities

It has one non-negotiable (taking a shower) at the top left corner,
and from there it starts to indicate which daily activity should or will get done.

category I – all (social +work) interaction, commitments and agreements

This category also includes my entire work + social life.

But also things that have to get done.
It’s a very mixed category, but what they have in common is that they’re somehow promised to someone, or that I have to do them in order to live my life (f.e. your finances).

The general gist is:
When I have promised I will do something or to be somewhere, I will do it.

On such a day, I will not first do my own work or something: I will always do this.

I m pretty reactive here – I really need a clear agenda with no ending time to an activity, to do my own work.
Maybe I will be able to be more flexible, but I m not the one who hustles five minutes at a time.

The shower + category 1 are the top of the schedule and the only two things that will always get done.

The Three Hijack Arrows

2021 08 15 activity categories and priorities
activities categories and priorities large: https://laurenharteveld.files.wordpress.com/2021/08/2021-08-15-activity-categories-and-priorities.jpg

Three parts of my personality, the baby koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy, all have the capacity to hijack my life, when they are absolutely mesmerized by something.

The Baby Koala is seduced by crafting and archiving;
Lauren Harteveld by sexual adventures (which she processes by writing, but writing comes second here)
And
Rock Star Suzy by music, entertainment and (pop)art.

The schedule gives an indication of how to keep these sides satisfied, and somewhat under control, by feeding them regularly;
But ultimately I cannot control them, and these parts could hijack my life.

The upside to these personalities is that they have superpowers;
The Baby Koala, Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy can all concentrate for hours or days on end, hardly need sleep, are naturally thin and good natured.
They have no ailments, they are completely in flow with Life.

For example:
If the Baby Koala would start publishing my books, it would be done with so much joy!
Just that absolutely nothing else would get done.

When Bon Jovi came to the Netherlands and I forgot to pay the rent of my yoga studio, twice;
That’s Rock Star Suzy studying and being creative in the weeks leading up to the concert, and needing weeks to come down.

These three personalities in flow are both a gift, and a liability.
That’s why they are The Three Hijacking Arrows;
Once they have left the bow, the rest of the schedule will not get done.

.
category II – House & Body 

There’s three activities here:
Clean house, do yoga and cycle.

Cycle is last, because I will always do that, unless category 1 got out of hand.
So even if I would write all day, there is a chance I ll still cycle at 6 or 7 PM

And cleaning my house is first, because I detest doing yoga in a dirty house.
It’s as if yoga just doesn’t “work” if the house is dirty.

I also see my physical exercise as my work (because I m picking up my yoga career),
and physical exercise is the only thing you can’t redo if you’ve missed a day.

So providing the day is not full with category 1 and/or time for the three arrows whether planned or unplanned, category 2 will get done

.

category III – (Online) business hours 7-10 PM

This is the category that anyone wanting to create what Warhol called “Business Art”, the art of building a business from your art, MUST do.
It’s about connection, messaging, posting to social media, showing up for the conversation.

It’s about paying your bills, selling, adding calls to action, to what you put out.

This is hustling.

And this is what is the difference between hustling/III and what I called “Dead Writer Hours”,
which is the fourth category.

category IV – Art | Content| Curating| Legacy

(Dead Writer Hours)

Now WHY is it called Dead Writer Hours?
Because what you create here, is what is left of you after you’re dead.
Which illustrates both its importance as well as its utter unimportance.

Ideally the activities here, go straight to one of the Hijacking Arrows! 
Publishing books to the baby koala.
Making videos to Rock Star Suzy.
Writing to Lauren Harteveld.

But with this fourth category, being designated in the time window left open
between 1 (commitments, social life) and 2 (house and body)
and then 7 PM when the business hustle begins;

I finally understand why there always seem too few hours in the day for anything.

After category 1, worst case scenario the day is already gone. 
Or if I have a day without obligations, then I focus on 2, which could still not get done if the day is hijacked by one of the three arrows.

Baby Koala crafting.
Lauren Harteveld, writing.
Or Rock Star Suzy studying art, Bon Jovi or yoga.

And today that IS what happened!

I ONLY had Category 1 activities!
But they were fully in flow:
-7 hours making the drawing/schedule (Baby Koala) and writing this email (Lauren Harteveld)
-6 hours a date with a friend, call with another friend and grocery shopping (all Rock Star Suzy)
And I cycled (category 1) because I had to get to the cinema.

So I had a fantastic, fulfilling day.

And I think I now know what my definition of success is.
Which is a question I think you asked me in 2018 already…. I don’t know what I answered.

My definition of success is:
When ALL the categories, but IN PARTICULAR category 1,
Are done by the three hijack personalities Lauren Harteveld, Rock Star Suzy or the Baby Koala.

That’s when I am truly free.

Like today. .

..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

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TIME CAPSULES

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Books 

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New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary

Sunday August 8, 1996

10996657_679931672111769_717209370486383676_nWhy do I keep doing this?
Having sex with Bear and then refusing to write about it in my diary?

Is it still the fear I will freak out when I think/overthink letting him come in my mouth?
Are the Aids phobia and the panic attacks still haunting me, is that what this is?

As if I would not take any risk for him, for Bear.
Maybe it is because this fear has been with me for as long as I can remember, longer than Bear.
The fear is more a part of me than Bear is, that much is certain.

But was it really taking that step, about six weeks ago or something, that has made me so careless with cherishing the memories of us having sex?

Or is it the unease of being his mistress since we started having sex again this year?

Why do I throw away memories of something that is so precious to me..
If he decides to stop seeing me, I want to hang on to them, have them in a little box and caress them with my fingertips when he gets married, has his first child, moves to the other side of the country or possibly even migrates, given his work.
I need to build a memory of him, if I can’t build a life.

Yet just like last time, I didn’t.
I didn’t polish that memory and didn’t put it in a jewelry box.
But I did write about it to Nikki, and photocopied that letter before I mailed it out to him. So I have that here in front of me, hoping it will make me remember more.

In the letter, I compared Bear to a professional football player, able to score with the smallest window of opportunity.
Of course! It starts coming back to me now.

I didn’t feel like having sex, and he had made it into such a fun experience. The letter to Nikki was about my understanding that I had to get better at this.
I wanted to be the one who could do that, make things really good in bed and be there when the other is dropping out.
Yet my new year of life started off being just as flaky with sex as ever!

It was Bear who saved the day, and me feeling wishy washy and being totally dependent on his magic.
Even when I should be the one who is flexible and talented, because if I want to have more sex, more lovers, or who knows maybe even a man-
I was about to say “a man for myself” but that is of course not what I want at all.

But let’s say, if I want to have a boyfriend to whom I am the most important girlfriend;
Then I need to “man-up”! 

I can’t keep relying on Bear to warm me up with that deliciously long menu that he serves me a chef’s special of every time I m like:
“I don’t know, I m just not feeling it”, when we’ve already kissed, and I m in his arms and I can feel I m wet, but indeed telling the truth when I say I’m not feeling it.

His jam-packed box of tricks.
The way he pokes around in my head to see what angle I respond to…
We role-played for the first time since we got back together this year, and damn that felt good. It was just a light, exploring session that definitely did not have the emotional danger and intensity we had experienced in our best years.
But Christ, how good to be home.
To be doing this again, him and me.

When he hugged me goodbye at the top of the stairs, and descended to the front door, I stayed there watching, through the long rectangular window in my door.
I admired the determined way he took the concrete stairs to the street, and all I thought was;

“I m fucked”.

And not just literally.

“I asked him to take me in doggy,” I wrote Nikki.
“And that was risky, because it hurts. I could have ruined it all, but I think I was so into the role play that I really wanted to be taken like that. And he did.
I m not going to tell you how dominant he was, because it’s like it ruins it. Like I betray the moment.
But it was so good!
Bear said exactly the right things, everything I wanted to hear and needed to hear, to fully submit and let it come.
It hurt so much, I had forgotten all about it. You can’t remember pain, not like that. Yet I wanted it, and I definitely did not want him to stop. I was afraid that if I expressed the pain he would back down, but I couldn’t help myself.
I was totally into it, the pain, the agony, and a pleasure so deep and raw I had never experienced anything like it.
For the first time ever I came like that. And so did he.
In sports they’d probably call it a team effort.”

.
~Lauren96
An unexamined life is not worth living

New diary entries are posted on my Facebook page ;
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Undocumented Birthday Sex (NSFW) | 1996 diary
is the fifteenth chapter to
1996 diary 

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Archive:
1994 A Performance Project
and “1995-1996; book 2 of my performance project
.

.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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