I’ve lost the Lauren that gave me life

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.
.

Dear Sara,

I almost got a heart attack when I saw the list with previous blogposts. A list I always start with, because I copy the old post into a new one. 
But the titles and dates of publication were unfamiliar, they did not support the story of what I thought the past three weeks had been…

The good news was that I saw I had already written a Lauren 1997 diary post “Write a book, Lauren.” A sentence that has been haunting me for so long, I had already made my peace with the fact that I was not going to write a post about it, and in all probability, also not write a, or more accurately another, book.
That the calling or the inspiration, the angel whispering in my ear “Write a book, Lauren.” had caught me at a bad time, and their message got lost in all of November’s drama.
But no!
I had actually written that post “Write a book, Lauren.“, and in my favorite series, Lauren 1997! 
AND it was a #NSFW post.

So that was the good news, I had totally forgotten I had done that. But that title didn’t give me the proverbial heart attack.
No, what startled me is that I did not see any post that was the “mid-term” update, which I clearly remembered sending you.
Because of all the turmoil in my life, you offered I could write you an extra email in-between our coaching calls which are currently at a three week interval.

I wrote the post, and intended to use that one as a “copy” post.
But didn’t see anything that matched the description….
I immediately thought I had published it on one of the blogs under my real name, and I also linked this faux pas somehow to the #NSFW tag of the Lauren 1997 diary post! 

Emotionally, it felt as if I had already posted a #NSFW under my real name.
😱

Either way; I checked the link in my email to you, and saw it was a laurenharteveld.com link. So no harm done.
https://laurenharteveld.com/2022/11/16/dust-yourself-off-and-try-again/
When I got back to the dashboard, I saw it was indeed there. Just that the date and title were no longer familiar to me.

I do remember the topic: loneliness. And thank you for your reply which was lovely! 

So this Sunday night, I get ready to write you this update, thinking I am just SO organized, and the week will be so smooth and relaxed!
And that I’ll be in bed at 10 PM, calm and collected, because I know that I got  this letter out!
Only to get a heart attack, slash panic attack, because I thought I had mixed my accounts up.

I even briefly checked for a Carrie Bradshaw photo with her face in shock.
But the one I liked was a gif, and my blog often doesn’t display those correctly as a thumbnail.
So I did not choose a startled/ shocked Carrie Bradshaw with this post.
But I probably should have.

But the whole wrong blog – horror scenario, did shed some light on the real issue at hand here.
That I have lost myself over the past three weeks. 
Something dramatic happened in my personal life, that will probably leave its mark in years to come. I feel like I m walking around with a hole in my identity.
A hole I have effectively plastered over, when it comes to my real name and real life. A hole that has not prevented me from picking up the new business plans I had, and carrying on like nothing happened, to the best of my ability.

But that for the Lauren Harteveld work, it doesn’t work that way.
That the real damage, is HERE. Even though the blow, the event, was on the “other” side.
My alterego Lauren Harteveld and my work (and life) under my real name, are like one life being lived in two different dimensions that influence each other.

At the same time I started picking up my life under my real name -seeing friends, having appointments, welcoming developments around my new business, LIFE!, -the core of the problem slowly migrated…..
To here.

I could write you my new business plan, and all the aspects which I now understand, need attending to in order to rebuild my life;
Financially as well as socially.
I could tell you that my yoga will be at the heart of my local, or national, offerings, and that writing in English under both of my names, will remain untouched and not function as a business model whatsoever.
I could tell you that.

But what I realize now is that the scar, the sorrow, the inertia, the gif of Carrie Bradshaw clasping her face with both hands;
The shock of what happened and the not knowing what ripple effect it will have for decades to come-
That the shock was here.

And that even if I write an NSFW post, for my favorite series Lauren 1997, even then my attention and presence here is so fleeting, that 10 days later I totally forgot I wrote it.

Lauren Harteveld, or Lauren 1997, is not interested in becoming a yoga professional under my real name.
She misses her lover.
She misses going to concerts, she misses all the friends I have said goodbye to the last 5 years.
She misses hanging out in the city late at night, on a Sunday.

The only positive thing is that I got the message from the universe, the angel or Inspiration, long before the hammer fell.
Long before fate struck.
I was told, weeks before I would know why, what it is I needed to do.

“Write a book, Lauren.” 

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
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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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Nederlands blog:
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Dust yourself off and try again

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

The fact is, sometimes it’s really hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes.
That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.”

Carrie Bradshaw

Dear Sara,

Thank you for offering me an option to write an extra email, in between our calls. I appreciate it and to an extend I need it, in order to consolidate the results so far and not let it wash away at the first setback.

The good news is I am finding my feet again.
Although I do not expect to find anything remotely resembling stability after what happened.
The past few weeks have changed the perception about who I am, and how poorly understood my relationship with the world has been.
And in particular with my family.

There is a French novel which was made into a television series in the 80s: Sans Famille (Without Family), translated in Dutch to Alone in this World
And although thankfully I have not lost my family, and if all goes well the future looks brighter for all of us than if the line of the past two decades had been continued, I did lose the part of having a family that was natural and unquestioned.

I will no doubt have good relationships with individual family members, but I no longer feel part of any family as a group and I never again will.
And in that sense I did lose my family, and it has shed light on another aspect of my life that I managed to overlook.
And which all those giving me well-meant advice of how to create a career out of my talents, or how to build a new career in yoga from the ashes of the old, seem to have overlooked as well.

Nobody talks about this when in my case, and in the case of millions of singles out there, it should be the first thing we take into consideration when speaking / thinking/ analyzing/ planning anything!

The thing I managed to overlook in my whole writing/ yoga/ academic credentials/ entrepreneurship journey, is this;
I am single.

I don’t live with a partner nor do I have children and I don’t have a boyfriend or partner with whom I can interact with on a day-to-day basis, and talk with about work.
I used to have a really great friend but she migrated to the US in 2017, and although I love our weekly calls, it does not compare to eating muffins on the couch together and watching television series on Sunday morning.

This means that the first thing I need to “acquire”, in the outside world, is a social life, or more generally speaking:
Social context.
Because I am not someone’s mother, nor someone’s wife or girlfriend.

I have realized before that my social life is largely dependent on friends; 
But now recent events proved that the social belonging of a family too, was not as unchangable as I presumed it was.

Yet aside from all those painful truths, something bigger seems to be at stake.
Bigger than having or not having regular dinner dates or muffin moments with people who know you well and who are, or who feel like, family.

And that bigger picture is that as a single, you need to BE somebody.
And that somebody needs to be somebody people can relate to!
My realization (from 2020? 2021?) that my work under this alter-ego LS Harteveld/ Lauren Harteveld, would never give me social context, was correct.
My choice to put this account on the backburner and focus on my work under my real name, was/is the right one.

But what I didn’t understand was WHY no longer writing as LS Harteveld was the right choice.
Not fully!
I didn’t realize that being single is a defining and in many ways limiting factor, in any career and working life. And definitely in mine because it comes on top of all the other already conflicting factors:
My desire to work as an independent/entrepreneur versus my desire to work with peers, colleagues, and not be in charge as an expert.
And not wanting to put in hours a day in marketing and acquisition, building systems, and other aspects of working as an independent which are all lonely desk-sitting hours that are bad for your physical and mental health.

They say loneliness is as bad for you as 14 cigarettes a day.
As a single, working as an independent and thereby spending the majority of my time working alone would literally kill me.
I can already feel how the past 4 years have aged me, for no other reason than no longer having the social context of being a (fulltime) yoga teacher.
From being an entrepreneur in transition in 2018 to ultimately quitting being an entrepreneur full-stop in December 2020.

It is extremely frustrating that I feel I cannot do my highest work as a writer nor as a yoga teacher, because my first thought apparently needs to be-
Does this work provide social interaction and/or a social context?
Or does it isolate me even further, just like writing as LS Harteveld isolated me over the years?

Or if all this is true, should I just risk it?
Should I just accept that the work I really want to do will probably isolate and kill me like 14 cigarettes a day will kill me?

Is it time to realize that being an artist, having a purpose, being an entrepreneur AND being single and not sharing your life with someone, are isolating callings that determine what your life will look like?
But that they are callings none the less?

Should I attempt to re-create a sense of stability and belonging, now that the little I had has fallen apart?
And risk missing out on the life I know I am here to live?

Should I risk dying with my life inside of me, in order to attain the day-to-day sense of belonging, that is at the heart of almost everyone’s life?
And at what cost?

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

A Loss Like No Other

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

The incident happened the night before our call. All day long, I was sure it would come up in our conversation, because it was so overwhelming, and so knocked me off my feet.
But during our call it was surprisingly easy to not mention it. And it felt good. It felt good because although I had lost a day to worry, I had not lost a day AND a coaching call with you, to this incident.
Because that’s what I thought it was. An incident.
It had the markings of the same reckless hurt I had experienced before, when there had been just enough outer circumstances to excuse the behavior.
Except the behavior didn’t want to be excused, it wanted to be accepted as part of the deal.
I should have known this time was different, but I chose to ignore it. And managed to use our call what it is for:
Creativity coaching.
And boy did I feel mature for not hurrying in every aspect of my personal life, bleeding on a stretcher.
It was just a scratch, it would heal by itself.

Until it didn’t and I am in no contact with them, now.
The scratch was a poisoned wound that should have been attended to, for all those involved, many moons ago.
If they can heal, and if I can heal, from what this toxin has ravaged, then that is the best we can hope for. In fact it would be great.
We’re in a temporary no contact, but I do not see how our relationship will ever be …. anything.

Today was like the blow of all my heartbreaking moments all wrapped into one.

Speaking of heart: There was also a strange omen, the night before our conversation in which (I thought) we would be able to make amends soon.
I suffered heart ache.
I remember because I made a mental note, that I should not overextend myself in my work, should take plenty of rest, should take good care of myself;
Because at my age a heart attack is no longer a fictional thing. A few years ago, I was very aware of my heart being a weak spot.
Yet this felt different.
Sharper.
Unusual.
“Mental note, don’t work too heart.” I thought.

When it should have said:
“Mental note, your heart will be broken, beyond anything you have ever experienced.”

I never knew there was such a thing as hysterical crying. Nor did I ever consider myself a particular hysterical person. It sounds so 19th century.
And if you saw all the things I accomplished today, after a very long conversation with someone close to me who I absolutely cannot ask of to bear that load ever again;
Yes, if you saw all the things I managed to do, you would not have known I had learned new levels of hysterical crying heart break, that you would not wish upon your worst enemy.

But I did.

 .
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
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Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
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The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
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A U-turn of Y passion!

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I’m writing you almost high on some of those natural chemicals the body makes, when it’s happy. And I didn’t see my lover the past few weeks, so it’s not from sex or other physical affection. And actually, if you had asked me ten days ago, I would have said you caught me at the worst time of my life.
I would have shown you the aggressive red marker my agenda, my notebook AND my diary, crossing out entire pages and using the biggest capitals imaginable:
NO MORE YOGA!!
NO MORE BUSINESS!!

As I was wondering how the hell I had let it come to this, again. Why had I stuck my hand out to reach for yoga, only to be burned again?
And the burn seemed to get worse every time, but apparently I needed yet another round of getting burned!

The only thing I knew for sure, as I symbolically crossed out the days and yoga plans from my journals – because I wanted an external representation of this “thing” stealing time from my life, over and over. I wanted to destroy something because “it” (identifying as being a yoga teacher) was destroying my life!- the only thing I was sure of, was that I was never going to get burned again.

Yet here I am! 
Glowing like a newborn mom, and it would be impossible to knock me from cloud nine! 
I have a perfect understanding of how I will become a yoga professional again, and that business coaching and yoga will be part of what I do forever and always. 

Although I m keeping most of it under the wraps for now, also because I can feel it is still changing and I don’t want other people to interfere with its development, I would like to analyze what makes this time different.
And how small mistakes led to big problems!

Regardless of how dramatic it felt at the time and regardless of how SURE I was of myself that the problem with teaching yoga was coded into the dna of the yoga-industry, that it was a sociocultural flaw, or – this was my favorite one- it was a sexual thing.
That it was just impossible to teach yoga in a society where people were so reluctant to give into (or unable to organize) what their body craved at the most visceral level.
But I no longer believe any of that matters, not to the extend I thought it did.

Sure, I can see how those things heavily influenced my first yoga career getting stuck, and my inability to grow as a studio. I can see how it always resulted in feeling exposed making yoga videos.
But those aspects of the world we are living in, are merely indicators of where to put up some healthy boundaries.
And absolutely not a reason to quit teaching yoga.

And then there were the high costs of having a Dutch business. In particular if you do not want to use your home address for registration, you need to rent a place where your business is registered.
Even when that is a flexible working spot, and you’re never there, you re still looking at € 150 a month, just for an address.
Plus costs of insurance, and a mandatory business bank account because the Netherlands has made it practically impossible to do business without a business bank account. This easily adds up to € 200 a month for a business that only exists on paper.

So it’s not like I think I was wrong, after going through various cycles of frustration for five years. 
It’s just that I see how it never meant I was not meant to be a yoga teacher. And it surely was never a reason to get emotional about any of it, and take it out on stationary!

All it ever meant, was that I needed to see being a yoga teacher as a business. And not as an extension of me being a yoga practitioner.
Nor should I see being a yoga teacher as having anything to do with being a writer, a YouTuber, or even with me being * insert my real name* .

I got burned when I started thinking about yoga as a way to make my living, because I wasn’t seeing it professionally.

A mix up that was totally understandable since yoga was/is also something I liked to teach low-key. To friends, for example.
And despite the pages with the red markers, and deciding I was never going to make yoga videos again; I do like/ liked the idea of making YouTube yoga videos.
Now that I’ve calmed down, I can see that of course yoga will be be a part of my already existing YouTube channels.
When I got hurt, was when I thought those YouTube videos, were part of a bigger yoga-plan, or bigger yoga business.
Now I see those yoga videos as hobby. As something I like to do.
That has absolutely nothing to do with having a business as a yoga teacher.

After five years of frustration and three pages with red markers, I can see  teaching yoga is absolutely perfect as a purely professional career.
Providing it is setup in a clean way.
And that this yoga business has the potential to support my writing, and my other art.

In the past three weeks, I have claimed my identity as an artist, writer and a speaker – and this includes being on YouTube.
But I have rejected all the business models I came across to monetize your blog and so on.
I knew I would never be happy making money like that. In such an artificial, add-on way.
And even making money publishing my own books, or finding a publisher to work with, ultimately didn’t appeal to me the way it should have.
Before I committed to decades of desk-work.

All in all, the organic, authentic and real business models that I saw myself having access to as an artist and writer, were uncertain, time-consuming,  strenuous, and not particularly profitable!

One week after Red Marker Gate, where I vowed to throw out yoga and having a business, I saw light at the end of the tunnel.
And the path of a professional career teaching yoga, miraculously unfolded as if it had always been there.

It was so clear that it was strange I had missed it, all that time.
But I still thought that for my creative expressions, yoga and business were cancelled as topics. That I would never write or speak of it again, as a creative. Only when I had my professional hat on.

But yesterday, that changed.
Now that I understood how to separate my professional yoga teaching from what I did as a creative;
Yoga could return in my creative work as well.

Just that I was never going to sell in-person work, through my existing YouTube channels or through the blogs I have as a writer.

The biggest lesson, the most important characteristic of this new blueprint, is that because I am a writer and a creative first, I need to setup a service business as a separate entity.
My public, artistic self, will never have professional offerings. Professional offerings will be reserved to my business outlets, and only be visible and accessible, for that audience. 

What I learned is that internet at large, but YouTube and social media in particular, have made the consumer market for services a rocky road.
If you are a service provider that uses them, you are getting in front of people who in another day and age, would have to have been inside of a new age shop or an organic supermarket, browse through the flyers, and then select yours.
If you’re very visible on the internet at large, but in particular when you’re on YouTube or social media, you need to setup your yoga business in a new way.
And I have chosen mine.

The mistake I made as a yoga teacher was to combine social media and YouTube with the intimacy of fixed weekly group classes.
I had used modern media to be visible publicly, but my classes were still taught as if it was 1999. Except now everyone could come through that door.

My 20th century business model, had collapsed under the force of 21th century media.
Or
more importantly;
I had.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
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Books 

My diaries are available at LULU 
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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.

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Nederlands blog:
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I wasted somewhere between three weeks and three decades. And counting.

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

The first week after our call I was actually doing great;
My last mail to you concluded I should get back on my Sexual Odyssey, the call itself revealed what makes me tick  professionally and I vowed to move forward in full integrity to who I was.
And then;
Nothing.

I thought I was just dealing with one week of not being very productive, when yesterday I almost signed up for a line a work that would have taken over all my time, my identity.
It was like a less-dramatic version of signing up to the foreign legion, and I was THIS close! 
The appeal was so very big to sign up to doing this training leading to a new professional identity and a good salary, relieving me of the assignment to make money as a writer.

The irregular working hours, and inflexible holiday periods would make it a day job just to recover from work. My time to have friendships or connections to family let alone my time for creative endeavors would effectively drop to zero.
But the payoff would be, I could never return to teaching yoga, I would be able to take all my YouTube channels down, all my blogs, and all my books, and I would never have to deal with being a creative person ever again.

The payoff would be I would be a success to worldly standards, and everybody would understand writing had just been a fluke, sparked by not having a quite-right-for-me career in yoga.
The new line of work would also be self-explanatory that someone who did this would be thoroughly unhappy being a yoga teacher, I would never have to explain that again. Also a big perk.

And today I’m recovering from that one-day episode, and I feel a combination of guilt of betraying myself, and a not-so-certain it was a good idea to save myself.
If I should not have just get it over with, and throw myself on a path that is both productive and of service, in a traditional way.

Because I’m at my wits end.

I can open my phone and read my own mission statements, but it feels like betrayal.
All the topics I have decided on to become an expert at, and all the ones I m already an expert at, it’s just a matter of stepping into it publicly;
I only want to run away.

All the videos that need to be curated, all the books that need to be created from all the columns and articles (I don’t even have a Dutch book yet under my own name!);
It all chokes me just thinking about all the work I have to do to monetize what I created.
And this in turn paralyzes me to create anything new because I know that it will only weigh me down one day having to go over it and polish it properly and do something with it. More writing means more work for future-me.

I haven’t written, nor done yoga, nor wrote Nikki, nor worked on my book in three weeks.
I haven’t touched my Inbox for LS Harteveld in three months.
And I want to burn my yoga books and get rid of all other yoga material so that I never even consider teaching it again.
I want to terminate all my Dutch blogs and all my blogs (but one) under my real name, and I want to cancel all “her” YouTube channels.

I want to free myself of all the diplomas and work experiences  I have acquired for the last three decades. 

And be free.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

The forgotten odyssey

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I Googled whatever it was Odysseus set out to do (fight the Trojan war) and what kept him so long before he returned to his kingdom to find his house invaded by suitors for his wife and his dog waiting to die until his master had returned.
From what I remembered there were singing sirens, a trick with wax in his ears not working, and a narrow escape from a giant where Odysseus and his men were hanging on to the bellies of a herd of sheep. 
I had forgotten the other details.

First thing I learned was that I had also forgotten how to spell odyssey,(odyssee is Dutch, English should be odyssey) which was illustrative of how long it had been since I had silently abandoned my 2021 sexual odysseey.
And for far less clear reasons than sirens enchanting me with their singing.

Although if I count male singers and rock music, then I actually did abandon the sexual odyssey around the time my involvement in Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses music, deepened!! 
And by now, September 2022, I have stopped “mindlessly” listening to Bon Jovi concerts, because I have it in my head all the time.

Constantly hearing Bon Jovi live music in my head has become the new normal for longer than I can remember, so there has definitely been a moment when I switched from predominantly being the writer Lauren Harteveld, who did undertake a sexual odyssey in 2021, to working predominantly under my real name, in the field of yoga, art, and rock music.

I was indeed caught by a muse, enchanting me with his voice;
And I did forsake my Lauren Harteveld sexual odyssey.
Forsaking Lauren Harteveld – period.

Aside from my letters to you, and the very occasional Lauren 1997 diary post (about 5-ish a year?) this account has been lying dormant since August, September 2021….

In my letter to you, three weeks ago, I talked about removing another layer of service-industry put-on.
A residual but very persistent layer of seeing myself as a service provider, when on my deathbed all that’s gonna matter is if I made my art and spoke my message.

That it’s very okay to DO work for money, but it is absolutely not okay to mistake that work for your purpose, your identity, for what you came here to do.
My last letter to you, was about stepping into my identity as a writer slash artist, but I chose “writer” because that is the most recognizable aspect.
So the previous letter established that I was a writer.

But not what to write about, nor which of my two accounts should be dominant.
Lauren Harteveld or my real name.
And that, proved to be a question that could not be answered so quickly….
So WHAT to write about, and as WHOM?

After a year of all my creative work being almost exclusively under my real name; I have a good understanding of what it is I do there.
And WHY!
I did more than just being caught in a sheep barn, and more than just listening to enchanting singing, but nevertheless, my Lauren Harteveld odyssey was forsaken and I forgot who I was.
Or who I also, was.

Am I really only this person who goes by my real name, or am I Lauren Harteveld?

About a month ago, I confessed to a friend that if I had a choice, I would only be Lauren Harteveld.
My real name would just be one that existed on paper, did not exist on LinkedIn, a name that had no blogs and that could not be found on Google, except for perhaps having a yoga career that she apparently ended.

If I had migrated and lived abroad, I would not bother giving my real name a new career.
Instead, I would be Lauren Harteveld 100%.

Ever since I became less and less of a yoga teacher, a process that can be traced back as early as late 2013 when I signed the lease of a small yoga space and ended the expensive one (I had a 3 month notice period, it was nearly spring before I was freed from that expensive one), I have been grappling with the question of:

-who am I, my real name or Lauren Harteveld?

This was the easiest part, because every time I gave it serious thought, I knew I was Lauren Harteveld.

-what is my purpose work; yoga or writing?

This is still undecided. I’ve had the career teaching yoga, and also visions of my purpose being teaching yoga, I had vivid dreams, strong callings!
And I’ve had them from 1998 and upward, before I even DID yoga.
And they started returning in 2015, 2019, and have been consistently haunting me ever since.
The vision of me teaching yoga, under my real name, is so bright and clear I can almost touch it!
But I have lost so many years trying to bring it to life… 

Since this August I have installed a yoga sabbatical, I m putting it to rest, and will only pick it up if I ever do know, what it is.
Or what it wants from me.
So maybe despite all those powerful visions and all that history doing yoga and teaching it; that may mean I will Never, pick it up again.
It will have to return with a good and urgent story, if I am to ever touch it again.

I’m not ruling out the possibility yoga was never more than a siren on my way, that has effectively kept me from getting home, for twenty years.

With writing, I never had that doubt. I just did it.
And do it, for this account as well as under my real name. I love writing, I could do it all day, every day.

The only reason I never fully gave into it, is because very few writers make their living writing their true purpose work.
Their real truth.
And that is the only thing, I am interested in sharing.

Overviewing it, I can see how this all points to me being indeed a writer and not a yoga teacher. 
But I drew that conclusion last time already, so this whole paragraph is as redundant as my 20 year career in yoga.

Yet although I was certain that I AM Lauren Harteveld, and that my purpose is very likely to be a writer, at least for the upcoming year – I still found myself grappling with a third question:
-What is my purpose work writing?
Is it the work under my real name?
Or being Lauren Harteveld where I write about living in 1997 and used to be on a sexual odyssey?
Until I moved into my real-name account and forgot all about it.

And… back to the no-brainers!
Of course my purpose is this work, here under this name. 

Don’t get me wrong;
The topics and projects I have under my real name are amazing.
They’re better and more satisfying than I could imagine my relationship with the world, to ever be;
But they’re frickin’ coasting.
They’re just scratching the surface of what it is I’m capable of, and also what I need for full satisfaction.

I need to cut deep, and lay bare, the deepest of truths, and I can’t do that under my real name. For various reasons and none of them have anything to do with my reading audience. None.

But these reasons do have to do with ME not wanting to face the world on a day to day basis, real life, physically, and being known for my deepest message.
I m not going to discuss sexual freedom over buying oranges in the supermarket.

I know I would have the same problem if I had migrated to the French Riviera, but there I would not live among twenty years of personal history and people knowing me from other lines of work;
And here I do.

The strongest motive to keep coming back to working under my real name, seems to be finance.
I was reluctant to see my yoga career ending, and constantly picked it up in some form, over a hardheaded belief teaching yoga was a “real” profession that could make money, and writing what I want, is not.

Even now, three weeks after writing you I am going to identify as an artist – and for now rounded off to writer – I can see how there was STILL that layer  of coverup.
Similarly to mistaking yoga to be my purpose work.
Where I now mistook writing under my real name, as my purpose work.

Like I said earlier, there is absolutely no shame in working (including being an entrepreneur) for money;
But do not confuse it for your purpose work.
Similarly, there is no shame in setting up a superficial and therefor far more sustainable and predictable career as a writer under my real name!
The biggest mistake I have made the past three weeks, is that I have mistaken the career under my real name, for my truest work.  

When all it is, is work I am comfortable connecting over.
Work I would love doing 40 hours a week.
Comfortable explaining or talking about, even over buying oranges in the supermarket.

Both the yoga as well as writing under my real name was, and is, the work that has brought me love and connection, and a sense of meaning and belonging because it contributes something, and that does feel incredibly good.

I feel that work under my real name, is the work that if I get behind it a little bit more, and if I really choose to be a writer, now that I have finally let go of the yoga parts that held me up for so long-
that it is the work that can and will bring me the money, the glory, and all in a wonderfully sustainable way where no one gets hurt.
Least of all me. 

But after one year of writing next to nothing for this blog;
After completely forgetting about my 2021 Sexual Odyssey for this blog;
One year of Lauren 1996 moving into 1997, but writing so very little;
Not even touching my Lauren Harteveld 1994-1996 manuscript, which is still in the same stage I left it in 2021;

After that one year of working under my real name, I feel stranded on a mountain where Jon Bon Jovi as my Calypso, has effectively enchanted me.

And I can’t decide if I should be glad that all the STARS of my dreamlife are lining up, everything is going so smoothly, and the universe seems to be conspiring against me to give me all my heart has ever desired!

Or, alternatively, if here on this rock, proverbially – but who knows one day for real – sitting on Jon Bon Jovi’s lap, I am actually totally lost.

The furthest away from home I have ever been. 
And dangerously close, to forgetting who I am.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, my 1997 diary, and hopefully a return to open sea of my Sexual Odyssey!
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

Your ideas are your highest work | Creative Constellations Program | Sara Saltee, Saltee Academy

Click photo for this and/ or other available work from Sara Saltee

This is a letter of recommendation for my creativity coach Sara
I have had the honor of working with her for 4 years, and it is my intention to write a post so that other creative thinkers find her.

“Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.” – Rilke

Sara writes about the assemblage Cherry Love: 
“This sweet and juicy couple of cherries are poised on separate platforms (one grounded in roots, the other in flow) but their stems arc toward each other in a protective caring relationship.”
And it is that kind of relationship I have learned to appreciate, validate, and ultimately learned to understand as the only available relationship I am prepared to have, that I would call one of the most important fruits of our work together.

That although there are many reasons, why I have few longterm relationships in any area of my life, that it ultimately is because the cherry love just wasn’t there.
I ve had people coming over to my platform, telling me what to do.
I have seen platforms not being rooted in earth, nor flow.
I ve had people acting from a place of me needing to be saved from my platform, as well as people reaching out from a place of me needing to save them.
I’ve seen people eyeing me out if I was a good-enough candidate to unite their platform with mine, either professionally, in friendships, and of course, in love relationships.

I have left them all.
And anybody who is in my life, can be certain that if they cross a line somewhere there, my priority will be in keeping our platforms separated.
Always.
And when that fails, when I have failed in doing that, then it leaves me no option but to sever ties.

Because I do not believe in the union of the two cherries.
I believe only in two sovereign cherries,  who CHOOSE to reach out their stems asking:
“Do you want to play?”
“How is Friday for you?”
Two cherries asking consent, over and over.
Two cherries who never use, “abuse” what they built in the past, as an excuse to cut corners in connecting and in communicating.

Every time my 6 time coaching package with Sara expires, I say:
“I would love to keep working with you. Is that okay for you?”
And although my heart sinks at the thought of her saying No, I know it is giving somebody else the freedom to say No, that is the essence of any good relationship.
And it is the ability to be okay with that No, that is the essence of being good with yourself.

Because Sara is good being on her platform, she can let me be good on mine.
And where other’s irritation with my rants, my endless streams of thoughts, my multitude of passions, and in particular with my disruptive sexuality, rebelliousness, and ruthless demand to be heard in exactly what it is I say, and to not bring that bitch back to “but now let’s get practical”;
And to not bother me with your barely suppressed irritation of my wordiness, or kill it by giving me your homework assignment.
Do not betray my trust by measuring me by standards we never agreed on.

But see me.
See me on my platform, pit and all, stem and all, shining and glowing;
Or turning red as a pepper from all the things that frustrate me!
And BE on your own platform and to THEN have something insanely profound to say?
That is Sara.

I have often asked her how it is possible that she has succeeded where almost no one I know has been able to hold the space in situations like that. Or if they have, it was definitely not for such a long period of time.
And although she has shared that she came from “a large, intense family in Albuquerque New Mexico,”  (source, https://www.salteeacademy.com/aboutsara)
I attribute her groundedness and strength to her Creative Constellation Program:
A course where you can understand how you are as a creative.

The course is a joy for many reasons;
It’s profound!
Insightful.
Visually striking, with Sara’s assemblage art.
The Creative Constellation Program is like advanced astrology for creatives, where you get a powerful understanding of who you are as a creative, and how all aspects of yourself fit into the whole.
How, just like stars, those different aspects actually work in conjunction.

But the reason I think Sara Saltee has been such a great coach to me, is because the framework she created for The Creative Constellation Program, means that she has gone very far into the world of ideas and abstract concepts.
When you rage, when you think, when you flow, when you feel you’re onto something, and you’re almost there, and you know you need to keep following the white rabbit because otherwise you may never get this trail of thought again!
Then Sara knows where you are.
Because Sara, has a map.
Created it herself.

Where others, almost inevitably, fall off their map once you unleash your true line of thinking, once you show who you are as a thinker – and you are met with their professional or personal demand that you box that shit up and only tell the conclusion;
That you stick to their program, or to the job description;
Or that you pick a frickin’ lane! – 
Then Sara does none of those things.

Sara, hears you out and has SMART things to say!

Now if you made it all the way down here, and think you too may be in need of someone who meets you at your level, and who does not try to tell you how to live your life on your platform;
Who does not panic when you show them who you really are;
Someone who is deeply rooted in her values, who knows how to navigate in the abstract world of ideas, and who coaches from the solitude of her own platform without trying to influence what you do on yours;

Who coaches from a deep understanding that you two are equal,
and therefor respect each other, and keep asking the other for consent before you take the next step. And if you are able to hold yourself up so she can say no;

Then Sara Saltee is your coach.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

An understanding

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

During the time Sex and the City ran, people always wondered how Carrie could afford living on her own, in a Manhatten apartment, riding taxis, eating out and never cooking her own meals.
How she could afford Cosmopolitans – cocktails, not the magazine, although she probably bought those too.
How she could afford parties, fun, adventure, designer clothing and $40.000 worth of Manolo Blahnicks by season 4, from writing one column a week.

Fast forward to 2022 and we see her Podcasting and yes, she also writes a book, but it is clear the money is not coming from that.
Assuming the book from the original series, with her collected columns, didn’t turn into an evergreen well that keeps on giving, then any money coming in from work has to be what she’s been earning as one of the three hosts of the Podcast.

It is also clear that when she starts writing her book, in the follow up series And Just Like That, this is a routine outside of what she normally does.
So she has not maintained her writing routine, over the years.

Which raises many, many questions, and none of them have to do with money. Because money wise, we can assume that her marriage to Mr.Big has taken care of that.
We no longer need to figure out how she’s paying for her lifestyle on a padcaster salary.
Oh no.
The mystery we now have to solve is of an entire different nature;
Was she ever, really a writer?

I started making yoga videos in 2015, and as the years progressed they started to get more general. Be more about mindset, my life, business, and about topics that had to do with pop culture and not yoga.
Even now I feel I’m still struggling to understand what I want with it. It’s always been a struggle.

I can see how video makes for a more interesting medium for both myself as well as for an audience. There is so much more exposure and connection going on, if you film.

However, here’s what it has not and will not ever do;
Replace writing.
Speaking, whether on camera or in real life, or even if you would record only an audio or a podcast, doesn’t even come close, to what happens when you write.

The art of speaking is as different to writing, as painting is to sculpting.
They require different skillsets, satisfy different needs. They serve a different audience, and perhaps serve different times.
In history, they will have a different place as to how they are perceived.
And how you, the maker, are perceived.

But mostly, whether you ARE a writer, or you are not a writer, is not a matter of what’s in demand. Your “line of work”, if you want to call it that, changes with technology; The typewriter becomes a computer, and paper becomes a digital cloud.
However, writing does not become: Now we open our mouth and are speakers.

If Carrie, once financially safe, no longer writes but has become a podcaster instead, then was she ever a writer?
If the question, “When money is no object, what do you want to do?” is apparently answered with:
“I would make a podcast.”
Then in my opinion, she was never a writer.

She was never consumed from the inside out by what Writing and its muses, want from you. 
Or, even worse, she did have that passion but the writers for And Just Like That (SATC follow up, 2021) didn’t understand what motivated Carrie Bradshaw.

Maybe softening and generalizing her genuine, chosen art form of choice, which had been writing, into a current day, social, relatable, hobby;
Had been their choice.
To have her move away from this introspective and not very interesting art form.

Either that, or Carrie Bradshaw really was what she said she was, in her first episode:
A sexual anthropologist.
Technically speaking, she never claimed to be a writer.
And with her podcast she is still in the realm of sexual anthropology.

It is questions like this that have been haunting me for the last three weeks. And not so much for Carrie, but for me.

I identify three things, three separate areas, and I keep messing things up, because I identify as one of them, yet always come out on the other side that No!
I am NOT that.

It wasn’t until I am writing you now, and illustrate my trail of thought drawing a parallel to one of my two “writer idols” (the other one is Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct), that I think I have solved it!

There are only three options:
Payroll, entrepreneur, and artist.
And I KEEP mixing them up!
Which causes many confusion, but also one fantasy, that I want to share, before I continue:

I have indulged in the fantasy of how beautiful my career as a yoga teacher would have been, if it had been a salary job, or a job with an hourly wage.
Both options that do not exist for yoga teachers in The Netherlands. Or anywhere else in the world I reckon.

But the thought that the only thing I would have to do, would have been to get really good at my craft, take extra trainings, new certifications.
Start teaching teachers, and be successful, all with the lovely security of being an employee! 

Okay enough daydreaming. 
But it has been I would say “healing”, to realize that if my chosen area of work, had had a whole career path behind it, I would have loved to have gone the extra mile, and have been very motivated to be one hell of a yoga teacher!! 
But running your own business (which being a yoga teacher required) no longer allows you to actually be IN your real work.

A dynamic I did not understand, until recently.
But there are really only three options.

1. Either you are a professional, in a payroll job.
And can cater that monomaniac love and indulgence for your work and your craft!

Or
2. you are an independent, and in many lines of work, just like yoga, you can only do your work as an independent;
But when you are an independent, you are no longer a professional. You no longer have a profession to indulge in or identify with, because as an independent we all have the same job:
Entrepreneur.

Our only job is to come up with profitable business models, that change with technology, with markets, with time.
And our talents or skills are only relevant to the degree to which we can monetize them.

Carrie Bradshaw the entrepreneur, sold her columns around the turn of the century.
And twenty years later, Carrie Bradshaw the entrepreneur, sells her presence to a podcast.
But what is most likely is that she never did any of that for money, and that she was in fact:
3. an artist.

The artist, is not the professional from 1. because they do not have job security, nor are they the entrepreneur from 2. because the artist is committed to creating. Not to making money.
Carrie’s art form may have gone from writing to speaking, just like artists can move from painting to sculpting, but
what stays the same is the need to create.
Creation, for an artist, is as urgent as breathing.

We, as a society, do not learn to differentiate, between the responsibilities of an entrepreneur, versus on a salary/ payroll.
And we definitely do not learn about the third one.
About having a calling, a purpose, a passion;
About having a necessity to create.

Something that will breathe you, move you, and eat you alive and drive you to madness, if you don’t cater to it.
So you may as well make the best of its presence, a
nd go for it.
GO for that career as an artist!

And absolutely not because it is your best option of the three. I would say it is by far the worst of the three options employee, entrepreneur, artist.
If there was just an inch of bandwidth, I would not choose artist.

Jim Carrey’s father, was a gifted saxophone player. But instead of becoming a professional, he became an accountant. A job he got fired from, when he was 51, which caused the family to become homeless.
About this, Jim Carrey says:
“I learned you can fail, at what you don’t love.
So you might as well do what you love.”

It’s not success as an artist, versus success as an entrepreneur or even a career as a professional.

It is knowing, that even if I fail to make a cent, and no one will know my name;
That experience, the decades to come, will carry within itself, the deep satisfaction, the knowing, the understanding, that I am walking my path.

Proudly.

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

A day like no other

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara 
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

I know it’s still one week before our call, a week where I hope to regain my strength and the absolute joy and the high I have been on for two months, minimum.
So then why write you now, one might wonder.
Why not wait until Wednesday or Thursday, and have the starting point of our conversation at a point with the bar higher and the mood brighter?

Because I think something important is at play.
Something as important as that time I went in to get vaccinated.

It was my personal choice, in order to not make it a topic of discussion.
If it was possible to get passively aggressively vaccinated, then that’s what I did. It was the ultimate: “Well, let’s not give you the easy target of making that an object of discussion.”
And to a lesser extent: Taking one for the team, because we live in a society, and when in Rome – etcetera.

I went in and while most public responses to it were praise of how well it was organized, all I thought was:
Oh.
My.
God.

Let me rephrase:
Oh.
My.
FUCKIN’.
God.

I felt an ungrateful and overly sensitive citizen, yes.
But nonetheless: OMFG.

All I could see were rude bouncers, ill organization, and contagion wise unsafe situations with regard to holding social distances, indoor waiting time, questionable ventilation, and mandatory 15 minutes waiting time in that unsafe space, after the vaccination.

I did not praise the efficiency and instead thought the impersonal treatment, the windowless building or the tent straight from wartimes, and us being herded like cattle called for associations so horrendous that I thought about quitting all my artistic expression and all effort to contribute something to this world or make something out of my life.

Because if these vaccination locations were actually praised, and no one found them horrible;
Then what I said didn’t matter.
I, didn’t matter.

If a windowless building where parents and their teen children were separated, without hearing why, was enough – no, it was GOOD?
Then I had nothing.
Then I was bonafide done trying to contribute anything, ever.

That was the “me in the pandemic” story, that I ve told in different ways over the past two years.

But now I got a similar response to my own birthday, but the setup was of course entirely different!
You don’t celebrate your birthday because you re taking one for the team, because it’s expected, or because it makes communication easier.

And although initially, I did it because people around me started asking and making suggestions;
Ultimately, when I sent that email invite?
Man, it rocked!

It was a hundred percent personal, and it was a birthday celebration I looked forward to. 

Now between sending that invite and the birthday, a lot happened of course.
There were the problems I told you about, that made me cancel our last call.
Not reschedule.
Not ask: “Can you squeeze me in next week?”
No: Cancel. And then you followed up with some great emails, so I ended up getting coaching after all, but my initial plan was simply to cancel and cut my losses.
In the light of events, that money was not among the main things to worry about. In fact: I was so in distress I would not even feel the financial loss of one coaching session.
All I knew was that I didn’t want to lose you.
And that I was in such a bad mental place, I didn’t want to put myself in front of you, being such a mess.

So naturally those, here unnamed, events left their mark. At the time I even considered cancelling my birthday celebrations.
But after making peace with the fact that it was just going to be a toned down one, a not-letting-this-moment-drop one, and that it didn’t have to be perfect, since it was obviously never going to be perfect anymore, I got it back on track, and decided to continue as planned.

To hold the course of having a birthday party.

So there was that.
I know.
But that did not explain for what happened.
Something I can only describe as an experience that mimicked the vaccination tent one, as different as the situations obviously are.

Because I am feeling so disempowered by the interaction surrounding my birthday. Not all of course – but everybody matters equally.
I picked up a distinct Single Ride To Pension vibe.

As if the only thing I had achieved was my age, and I was never going to achieve anything.
And realizing that: They could be right. 
Which means I need to hurry as fuck to make even the slightest bit of the time that’s left of me count, now that even people who know me are starting to lose faith.
But also:
That to many, maybe even to most, even when I have achieved more, they may not understand.

That after a year of hardly writing anything here as LS Harteveld, to focus on working under my real name; My impact is zero.
Not just in terms of people not understanding what I HAVE done, but also in me still being in the dark about so many godforsaken things.

To then have this reminder that the people you love, and your next of kin, will in all probability NEVER see you in your power;
NEVER acknowledge your work;
NEVER understand who you were and will only remember you as the woman who once turned a certain age, and maybe died after a long life or died after a short one.

That, is disheartening.

Which is why I have decided to start writing everyday for LS Harteveld, and have another look at how I want to divide my time and resources.
If I really want to put all my eggs in one basket under my real name, and choose creative work that gives me an identity to the real world and to the people who are close to me.
Something they can relate to.

Or if I take all those sweet baby eggs back over here;
To LS Harteveld.
Where they motherfuckin’ belong.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/

 

 
 
 

 

The Shortest Mail

This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara 
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

Today was a bad day.

Where I have been in my zone of genius  for weeks, uncovering layer after layer of my purpose work, yet it has become clear to me that I have been working two jobs:
The one of doing my purpose work, and dealing with the financial insecure future that it brings.
And the one of managing the emotions of others.

In my love life, I have known for a while, that my demands are high with regard to a lover’s emotional self-regulation, to his ability to let go of the outcome, and to be with me in a potentially never ending dance.
And that I will never blame a man for choosing another over me, a woman who does help him and invest in the relationship in a more traditional way.
I would do the same thing if I were him.

But I am clear that I will never be that woman.
I demand of you, that you are your best and highest self, and will block access if you are looking for someone to blame, or play some other totally understandable yet totally unacceptable “game”.
And not even because I am worth more, but because we, are.

I cannot allow you to shit where we eat.
If you act out, it is my responsibility to keep the relationship safe. Just like it would be his responsibility to keep it safe when I act out.
To protect it from the damage from one of us touching it, with the wrong vibe, the wrong energy.

However, and I should have known this since 2019 when I ended two friendships, I have never had that standard in my friendships or with family.
Nor anything that came close to that dynamic, although I have become more mindful.
The past few months this has been causing problems, I have not told you about, but they could have been prevented, if I had just refused to show up even just energetically;
When someone was not being tuned in with their highest self, and could therefor also not see my highest self, or highest work.

I have absolutely been lazy, in the sense that if the mood was not one of highest of vibes on TWO sides, mine included, I have let that moment continue.

I have not been as dedicated to attend to the right vibes of these more low-profile relationships.
Relationships where safety, and being yourself, and being there for each other, go without saying.
I have let myself go.
I ve gotten better but I have talked with friends and family about my work, and also shared my enthusiasm for what I do! 
Only to have their worries come back.

Today was a very tough day, where both parties will have a lot of work to do, getting ourselves in check;
We need to stop showing up, unless we can hold the vision of both our highest self as well as the highest, most capable, vision we have of the other.
We must cancel, if we fail at either one.
And if one of us shows up, in a state of worry, the other one needs walk away or find another way to guard themselves and the relationship.
To stop that negativity from spreading.

And in my case, I need to never talk to people about my work and in particular about money, ever, and I mean ever, again.
Because it only results in bumping into their stress about money.
Just like I must stop talking to them about my relationship style with my lover (which will be the only style ever available) because people are so afraid of being cheated on, and are worried for me, that I get hurt. I never get across the excitement, of finally knowing what I want.

But it sucks letting go of the three areas where you know you have the best ideas and it is your most unique work (ideas on sexual relationships, ideas on money, and doing business).
To not be able to fucking share that with the people close to you.

That hurts.

And yet at the same time?
I would never talk about money or business with my lover, so apparently my best relationship can go without!!

If I want all my relationships to become as pure and high-value as the one I have with him (when we’re together, which is never certain, as is always the case in never ending dances!).
I must wall off, my work life.

Finance and career need to be cut from the conversation, for now and evermore, and in return I will show up with the same dedication to the moment, that I have when I am with my lover.

But it also means that bar one friend, who is also an entrepreneur which is no coincidence at all – bar her;
I will be alone in this.

And that is as sad as it is empowering.
And looking back;
Inevitable.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

Subscribe to this blog for my letters to Sara, and my 1997 diary.
The subscription button is on this page, most likely on the top right.

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/