Out with the altruism and in with the hatred

photo https://www.deviantart.com/babak/art/Written-in-Blood-7959470

 

(lengthy)disclaimer:
this post is a personal coping post, and it has a trigger warning for making you feel bad. Although it helped me get clarity and find meaning – 
it could end up making you feel sad or threatened.
Furthermore the post is not aimed against a person, nor an organization. I hope this post is clear I do not hold any individuals responsible, it is a system that is causing me stress.
But in particular because the Netherlands are going through a turbulent time, you may choose to not read.
If you are not from the Netherlands, I suspect it will be a way lighter read.

 

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned,
nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned”

William Congreve
The Mourning Bride (1697)

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

Dear Sara,

I took the wrong turn somewhere, because I am right back in the same hatred, the same destructive mood, the same all-consuming desire to speak in such destructive terms about my third vaccination experience, that I will go for a maximum impact of people who will now not get vaccinated, are halted in their compliance, or who will suddenly feel the vile of their cooperation as my words ruthlessly purge them of any positive emotions.

This post is in English, the experience described is in The Netherlands.
Maybe that is my compromise?
That I will not weaponize my own language, but will allow my destructive message that will rob you of your peace of mind, to be softened by a different tongue.
One slightly milder to your ears.

Isn’t it ironic that the word compromise means both a deal, a halfway agreement, as well as out of integrity?
And that maybe I should have thought of that before I made the decision to get my third vaccination, as “merely” a compromise with The Dutch who feel safer around me if I take this vaccination.
That I should have considered that compromising with them, with public opinion, cutting a deal with “them”, this fictional crowd of people I do not know, that I was at the same time compromising in the second meaning of the word, meaning I was compromising me?

My action, taking the booster, which until this afternoon I would have labeled as
1. Altruism
A desire to do something to help those who feel threatened by the new mutation and help us get Dutch healthcare through the January wave.
and
2. Loyalty with the majority
“Their sins will be my sins, and their fate will be mine.” is my adage for this pandemic.

But my decision to get a booster vaccination was in hindsight absolutely NOT in integrity, and it was compromising, and has compromised, everything I stand for.

Because when altruism means having your name shouted at high volume by a military, twice, when you are standing next to them – again twice, both occasions;
When you are already WELL AWARE that you paid for being part of the vaccination program by your classified home address ending up in the leaky as fuck computer system of national health services (a situation that has caused scandals in 2021 but which has since then been largely ignored. One imagines in order to not dampen the vaccination spirit);

Then altruism has crossed a motherfucking line.

And from now on they can stuff their altruism and me giving a fuck about anybody else but me, right where the sun does not shine.
We have an expression in Dutch when you refuse to cooperate and it’s that someone can “fall dead”.
They can fall dead.

Before I make my final cut, do you know what the biggest frustration is? That it is ALL MY OWN FAULT!
In November, when news of the booster came, I didn’t want to take it and easily calculated that my vaccinations were valid until April. And that I wasn’t getting vaccinated before that.

You see, we in the Netherlands have a polarizing, constitutional-rights -violating system in place, where only the vaccinated can get access to theatres, restaurants and so on. This was before the December lockdown, so now no one gets access. Which makes the lockdown kind of freeing and soothing. At least we’re all equal again.

Anyway, that system, the QR code, was not in place for the largest part of 2021. So it was no factor in deciding if you did or did not wanted to get vaccinated.
When in summer I got my jabs, it was not because I got those kind of perks.

So when in autumn they introduced this discriminatory system, that makes restaurants and theatres feel like ethically unsavory places where the more daring among us have not shied away from making 2nd world war comparisons, I changed my game play too.
From “vaccinating what feels right” to “vaccinating the minimal requirement”.
Because b
y taking my vaccinations in summer, I had wasted QR-free months. If I had not been such a complaint eager beaver pussy, and had waited for them to make their move forcing the population to get vaccinated, I would have won 3, 4 months!
Clearly I would not be making such a beginner mistake again.

Because I thought this was about solidatiry.
But if we’re playing QR code? Then the gloves are off, and I m upping my game.

So like I said; When in November news of the booster came?
I did not want it. 
At that time all European countries had agreed a double vax was 9 months valid.
It was clear as day to me, my QR would last me until April 2022, and I was not going to go for a booster which would not amount to any extra points in the QR game which the government had turned this into, the moment they introduced the pass.

But I must have watched a few too many press conferences, and I definitely browsed way too often on our Dutch news sites (just to illustrate: NONE of them have talked of the phenomenon of choosing your vaccination based on QR code validity. That’s how pro-government they are) and the propaganda did their evil work of brainwashing me into a fucking marter who thought whose job it was to become a human wave-breaker for the Omicron variant.

Fuck, Sara.
Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck.
I KNEW IT!!!! And I let it go, and let my mind be highjacked by government propaganda ending up in a crowded hall with mandatory 15 minute sitting after your vaccination.
Super spreader event, that’s what it is.
One with your name called out, your classified address in a leaky as fuck system, and they had separate entrances (entrances? Drafty doors without windows) for 45 year plus and minus.

The background story for the split was that the people over 45 get a different vaccine than those under 45. But both groups get a designated entrance and designated line outside
They do this by means of A4 prints stapled or stuck with sticky tape, on these doors.

Let me repeat this:
A government funded campaign that is supposed to draw in, and cater and satisfy (one assumes), as many people as possible, because we are dealing with a global health crisis, and you have A4 pRIntS sTapleD tO ThE dOOr.

So based on age, you either enter the building through drafty door 1, or through drafty door 2.
And I will get to the role the guards play here, but I assume you do not need me mentioning guards to understand the historic imagery that comes to mind when in front of a large intimidating building without windows, the people arriving there are separated without understanding what for.

Before I continue, I want to stress that this location in particular and the experience of going for a third vaccination in general, have been reviewed on my Twitter timeline as 100% positive.
And these praise, laughs, compliments, and solidarity those tweets conveyed, have convinced me that either
I am an absolute diva in my concerns for digital,  audible and visible privacy (did I tell you they literally cut privacy since last time? The booths are a quarter of the size and the screens half the size as what I had last summer), with an over-sensitivity to human or animal mass murder associations. The zig zag cattle trail was also back.

Or, alternatively; 

My fellow citizens are people with whom I have absolutely zero in common, and who, more importantly- will be absolutely fine without my help.

Because if you’re okay getting vaccinated by a military who finished his vaccination course last week, with your privacy violated, your younger family members brutally separated from you, at a location you visit with thousands of others, making it your Covid hot-spot for the month of January?
Then you definitely do not need me, to save you from this pandemic.

This place was clearly designed for people who were very happy to get vaccinated, and definitely not for people like me who did it out of concern for others.
And the place has effectively cured me out of any concern for others for the rest of my life.

So let’s wrap this up, moving back up.

About the guards to the line.
In front of me two people of mixed age approached the door, where the guard, loudly, interrogated them on their age.
When one of them said she was under 45, he told her off for being in the wrong line, or at least that is how I interpreted his demeaning tone of voice, and told her to go to the other line, where she would then of course had to start all queuing again.

I want to stress that we’re talking about a situation where the different entrances based on age was instructed on printed A4s, without any explanation of why the line only was for a certain age group. And without any instruction on what to do if you were a mixed party.
It was without hosts patrolling the line and keeping an eye on who started queuing so they could be quickly escorted to the other line and would not waste precious time, only to then be bullied and shamed before being sent away to the other door.
I thought it was important to stress that, and write an entire paragraph because this illustrates how little effort was being made to make the vaccination a pleasant or at least not totally degrading experience.

The same experience, like I said, Twitter was full of praise of how great it all was. 
So this is clearly just me, being sensitive.
And maybe just me, but who knows others, being turned from cooperative to ones who will speak ill behind your back until their dying breath.
Which could be tonight.
I would not be surprised if this one kills me. If it does I hope it helps people from ever taking one for the team ever again.
That is why I write tonight; So that if I die it’s not in vain.

The blogpost, I must say, contains even more hatred than even I thought I had in me. That my anger is stronger than I thought I could muster.
I thought I was just beaten, intensely sad, and that the endless crying meant I was defeated.
Now I realize it means that hell has been unleashed.

And that like the devil, who was once an angel, a demon of pure evil has unleashed itself within me.

My loyalty with the majority, is gone.
Your sins will no longer be mine.
Your fate will no longer be mine.

You re on your own.

And, thankfully, gratefully, and perhaps in a diabolical way even gracefully;
So am I.

..

~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.

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Nederlands blog:
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And just like that, I am traumatized

This post has a trigger warning for sexual assault and  contains spoilers for And Just Like That.

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

Dear Sara,

In my last post I told you I had decided to pick up teaching yoga to friends and find a venue to do this – which was supposed to benefit my social life, maintain or restore my teaching skills, have work that is meaningful and important to others, and it would be the minimal professional requirement to be able to pick up teaching an entirely new yoga to an international community post pandemic.
But then lockdown happened, and the future of the studio of my choice has become uncertain. As did my willingness to pay rent for a venue I will not be able to use every time we go into lockdown.

I also said I wanted to start doing yoga again, which I have not done.
I can’t decide which yoga to choose from (my own yoga schedules/ system? Yoga with Adriene? A memberships site? Study already acquired yoga courses?)
When I had finally decided on Ashtanga yoga, I found a very inspiring teacher who had also founded the yoga studios as we know them today, so I could see how her perfect understanding of all the moving pieces of a yoga business would be just the type of yoga teacher I would be able to relate to;

Only to find out she unexpectedly died age 55.

And she’s not the only Ashtanga practitioner to die so young, because the first ashtanga manual I had was also from someone who was praised for being a blessing to the teachings of Ashtanga, and he had developed his own style of it;
Yet he didn’t live to be 60 either.

So right now I feel committing to Ashtanga yoga is basically setting one foot in your coffin. Needless to say this kept me from starting.

The other two things I said I would do I also didn’t do; Restore my yoga database, with my recorded yoga videos, and to start practicing those.
The work did inspire me for a while, but perhaps because of the underlying buildup of my trauma, and a need for stronger medicine, the practicing never took off.
Also, the reposting/unlocking of the videos turned out more difficult because content that had never been on “public” got reposted with the current date.
So they lost their correct place in the archive, and cluttered the 2021 uploads.

Last time I wrote you, I also explained how I had fully nailed, and understood, the work and image that would be my international work under my real name.
Even though it would have an incredibly tough start because of Covid hardly allowing for any human interaction, I was grateful to understand what my endgame under my real name was.
What I could say “I was” or “I did” and even, ultimately, “what I do”, where do stands for what pays the bills.

So all those plans went down the drain, and something else, or so it seems, came out of the drain. Like a demon clawing its way up in opposite direction, and jumping through the sliding doors.

The first time I noticed its presence, was when I had a nightmare about friends who wanted to sexually assault me. The two friends do not know each other, and in my dream they were not in the same scene. But one had an unhealthy, passive aggressive poor-me, “mask” (I believe he definitely considered himself to be a poor-me in those moments), which flicked between that and a monstrous sexual clinginess and demandingness, at which times he laughed hysterically and his teeth were deformed.
The other was behaving like a classic pedophile, full of understanding for how difficult my life was right now, yet I knew he could not be trusted and that he would violate me.
I knew I had to avoid being alone with either one of them.

This nightmare was from around the time of our last letter, and that was also the time when the Sex And The City follow up And Just Like That started.
I was shocked that they killed Mr.Big because that was the character I had used to describe my secret lover, from 2015 and up.
I even have a book out Big, diaries and erotica, and I have many work still waiting to be published, that features him.

Fortunately, in 2019, I started a series taking place 25 years ago, and ever since then I m almost exclusively writing about him under the name Bear, and only in the fiction of my 1994-1996 life.
This series has made it possible for me to keep writing about my personal life, and, as it turned out, it has also provided a welcome separation of “my Big” with the Mr.Big from the series.
Because his death was not the only thing that gave me a blow.

The actor who plays Mr.Big is being accused of sexual misconduct (I m not sure if that is the correct term) by two women.
This is not just sad and disturbing because of the fact that this happened to these women, but to me personally this is also as if they have accused my Mr.Big, of such behavior.

As if the man I thought I knew, is an offender.

I think that is what caused the dreams about my friends, but I can’t be sure because I didn’t note down when it was, nor did I note down when I heard the allegations or about the death of Mr.Big.
I do know that I felt the relationship to my lover change, without him being in it.
I started to feel unsafe and exposed, having been his secret lover for almost 7 years now, even though I have not seen him recently.

And memories of the last time with my lover, which had been good, as well as the account of our entire relationship, which has always been complicated and has always involved emotional pain;
Those were mixed with Mr. Big dying in the series, my friends being sexually threatening, and the actor of Mr.Big being accused of sexual misconduct.

But all that was a walk in the park with what happened yesterday.

I visited a friend, and we watched a movie that had sexual assault in it. We knew we were taking a risk, and I think that if it had not been for the other things happening earlier this month, I would have been fine.
But this time I am not.

I feel very uncomfortable about having been in his house, us watching that movie, and I feel triggered by all the other friends I visit, or that come over to my place. And I feel threatened by the hugs I have been letting back into my life the last few months.

Since the beginning of December I ve opened up my life and arms (hugs), because if I don’t start doing that I am going to die of loneliness this winter.
But now it’s the end of December and I feel sexually assaulted by things that are not even there. By things that have not happened. And I cannot appreciate the memories of the things that did happen.

Even when masturbating, in my sexual fantasies, for the first time ever I feel assaulted. This started this month too. And this too, was something I had not considered a liability, just like I had failed to see my nightmares were a sign of my mental health collapsing and me no longer being able to distinguish friend from foe.

I should never have chosen that movie with the friend yesterday. But we did.

I tweeted about this feeling, yesterday. Trying to put it to words. And although they were inadequate, I think this blogpost, this more extensive story, is not necessarily better. So because I don’t have any answers, and because I do not intend to end this post with a punchline, the way I usually do, I will close by repeating the Tweet-length version of what it is that happened in December:

Tomorrow I m going to blog about my meltdown, which I attribute to Covid s loneliness and 2 year shortage or absence of real life interaction. Ever since I ve started seeing people in real life again, and have even touched and hugged, I m having nightmares and worse 1/

Consensual social interaction triggers a trauma response later when the moment is over. I no longer know my own desires, boundaries. After 2 y of covid I ve started creating abuse/ trauma internally, out of healthy situations Is there literature on this/a name for this? 2/2

I think the reason I have developed a sexual trauma response to social interaction is because of social isolation. I ve lost not just my capacity to enjoy social interaction (without feeling sick after) but also my sexuality. https://publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/effects-of-social-isolation-on-mental-health/

My sexuality was the only thing I knew how to handle, during the crisis. It was something I deliberately prioritized, protected, and nurtured.

And now it got contaminated, and its filth has been spreading throughout all my social interactions, hugs, my humanness, and my humaneness.

I feel like that demon, has already won.

..

~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/

 

 

All in and all down. And then all in again.

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

Dear Sara,

I m writing this from an offline computer, waiting for a mechanic to come. My internet connection is being changed today. I was supposed to stay online with my old provider, until they got a message from the new one the transfer and installation had been successful but that was all theory it seems.
So I woke up in a disconnected world, or the modern day equivalent of that, I woke up without wifi.

Last time we spoke about my assignment for these two weeks to see how I could develop my skill and build a new brand and career in yoga, and -more importantly- how to build the international community I think it’s for.

My estimate had been that it could take up to 5 years before the pre-Covid structures of yoga studios had been rebuilt.
Which would mean I would have to teach online for years, before a real life opportunity would come to see each other.

Before we can have as many people in a room as we want.
Before we can travel without restrictions.
Before we stop seeing the person next to us on the yoga mat as a friend, instead of needing confirmation first that person is vaccinated, tested, or require a medical explanation for every cough or sneeze.

Now that I had finally seen my vision and received my calling to bring yoga to an international community I was already bonding with, but also knew (or had concluded from dropping the activity like a hot potato) that I did not want to make public yoga videos to build up a community in anticipation of the post-Covid world;
Now that I knew I was dying of loneliness and craved for a larger circle of social interactions, and that this needed to be attended to before I could even think of investing in an online one;
Then what?

I recognized that after 20 months of Covid, my intimate connections had started to suffer from the unnatural vacuum they had been forced to exist.
Meaningful interaction can only be freely enjoyed by the grace of friendships and encounters that are more casual and less deep.

If I wanted my deeper friendships and family ties to survive, I needed to invest in creating a circle, locally, revolving around doing something lighthearted and fun.

Just thinking about these questions, and going over the scenarios in my head, was helpful.
This letter has clarity around the specifics of for whom etcetera, that I we did  not know when we talked.
And then I had two really big wins. Two wins in which everything I had always said I did, and wanted to do, came together.

The first was that I decided to start teaching yoga for friends again.
That I was not going to teach yoga as an official yoga teacher, and wasn’t offering courses or multiple series of classes because I never want to give money back, or reschedule when we have new Covid legislation.
For example, we’re currently on a 5PM lockdown.
All yoga teachers had to take their evening classes online or reschedule.

My focus for teaching will be real life connection.
Being a writer I spend so much time online and behind my computer, I crave real life human connection. My writing has suffered from real life interaction marginalizing due to Covid.

I need more than just the inner-inner circle I have kept contact with the past 1.5 years. And this real life connection will be to teach yoga to friends now, and once Covid regulations are released and we can have a bigger group and I can invite former students.
After that comes the building of the new yoga community; new people I do not know yet.
This is when strangers, or people with a common interest which does provide some familiarity, can be in a room together, without feeling uncomfortable.

So the first big win was seeing that I could start teaching the smallest of groups of friends, real life yoga, and I m looking for a yoga studio to teach it in.
This will probably be first week 2022 before it’s final, but it still feels like progress.  

* one groggy night and a full day later *

Copied and pasted this from Word to WordPress. 

I went to bed on time but had such a bad night the Wednesday is going down the drain again. And I feel restless. Less sure that I had the two wins, or less sure that they are enough….
Second win have not told you about. But I will!

There’s two things missing:
1. The new type of yoga, Rock Star Yoga, for the new community I want to teach post-Covid
There is no development, no yoga lab, there is no sharing of what I know, there is no teaching.
I get that being on YouTube in spandex, especially now that I am overweight and middle-aged, is making me uncomfortable.
But not sharing Rock Star Yoga in any form and leaving it not just on the back burner until post Covid, leaving it non-existent for years….. That’s not good either.
This needs to improve.
and
2. Any yoga for myself, is also dearly missing.
And my nights are haunted by hot flashes, anxiety disorders, and possibly a heart condition that cardiologists write hefty books about warning menopausal women that they need to go on meds.
I started getting the complaints in 2018 or 2019, but they disappeared entirely, until about 6 weeks ago they returned (although much milder than a few years back), making their comeback together with this year’s four month fallout of losing the first half of my day, compensating for horrible nights.

Damn.
And that was me thinking I had gotten over the first (the heart complaints) and that the Lost-Half-Days syndrome had ended in September.

So.
Honoring my resistance to showing up in spandex at this stage, yet also acknowledging my desire to not wait out the pandemic before I start my new international yoga career, I ve decided to get back to restoring my old yoga video database.

And honoring my own health which is in dire need of an upgrade, I m not just going to update and share those old videos, but also do them.

So that will result in posting something like:
“Today I practiced these 3 videos from 2017 and added them to the database.”

The plan of teaching online, which I abandoned around the time of our previous letter, was definitely rightfully abandoned.
Real life, local interaction teaching to friends and former students, will be my number one priority and I m not going to torture myself recording new yoga videos at this stage.

But starting by practicing yoga with my own videos and sharing them online, will suffice as the grassroots of my international yoga community.
And prevent an early heart attack.

And I still had to share the second win! 
It’s how I ve tied my yoga, business coaching, free agency, and my writing ALL together into a smoking hot international brand. Under my real name, the extrovert side of me.
I ll send you the business card in an email.

Trust me Sara, when I say that the setup of my new life, my new profession, my exterior to the world as people who know me real life see me;
That is all done.
And it’s exciting, I m going to rock it, and I have no regrets it took me so long, because now it is exactly what I need it to be.

Except we both know of course, that I am more this person here, LS Harteveld, than I am the real me.
The real me, is the stage persona.

And Lauren Harteveld, the introvert, private diarist, is the real me.

The past weeks I have not given Lauren anything to do or to write. The last thing was writing you, two weeks ago.
I have deprived her….

Let’s hope that just like the past two weeks were successful in getting my worldly life back on track, that the final two weeks of this year, I find her back.
Lauren.

Do you know what Harteveld means?
Field of hearts.

Saving my physical heart is one thing.
But there used to be a whole field of them, and I have no idea how they’re doing.

..

~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/

 

 

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/

 

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
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
https://zegmaarlauren.com/

 

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

NEW
TIME CAPSULES

Inspiration and personal stories 
exclusively on
my Facebook page and Twitter

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/

 

Yoga Teacher Me (2008) and three other personalities, each with their own skills

The photo as found by Baby Koala-Me, as it indulged in unlimited playtime with my hard drive when I was suffering from a headache

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

Dear Sara,

This is going to be the tiniest email I ever sent you.
It’s Sunday night, and I did not get any work done this entire weekend.
And I want to make YouTube yoga videos tomorrow, for two accounts!
But I also have a deadline tomorrow afternoon, which will require about four hours of work.
 
So that’s why I think this email will be smaller than usual.
.
The weekend went awol because I finally broke down when a week-long mostly one-on-one birthday fest, was finally punished with a headache on top of the Oh-God-I-Feel-Awfulness that seems to have become my standard Good morning.
And Saturday’s grogginess did not go away either.
It usually clears up after a few hours.
.
I wasn’t feeling sick with migraine, it was not that bad.
Just a mild headache and tired like when you have a hangover.
I quit drinking about six weeks ago. To no avail, except that I now know with certainty the grogginess never had anything to do with alcohol, but is my response to pandemic stress.
As is the sensitivity to headaches I ve had since spring 2020. 
.
Either way, Saturday was written off, and I started going through my old archives. Something I had been meaning to do for a very long time, mainly because there is a lot of double stuff on there.
This Saturday the repetition of going through the files and deleting things and moving them, had a numbing yet satisfying effect.

The task was appealing, and I was not bothered by my headache at all.
But when sorting it out, which I spent like 1.5 days on!, something interesting happened;
I discovered a whole new personality, which belonged to something I was going to start doing this week. Which was teach yoga on YouTube in Dutch.
.
And next to this Dutch yoga teacher personality, which was discovered by finding a photo of myself in 2008, I discovered a fourth personality.
Because today, I started drawing up a circle within circles scheme of the three personalities I had found so far.
.
The first two you know, I ve written about them frequently:
.
Catherine Tramell played by Sharon Stone, Basic instinct (1992)

 

1. Lauren Harteveld

.
My alterego under this name, writer, publisher, Catherine Tramell-fan (Basic Instinct). Signature era: The 90s!
Lauren96, the diary I keep as the 24 year old me, is one example of what I write under this name.
.
2. Rock Star Suzy
.
The English speaking alterego under my real name, who ties everything she does to Bon Jovi. Her identity matches Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan.
Decade: The 80s!
.
And then the third, as mentioned sparked by both my plan to start teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, as well as by the photo of 2008 me from when I was in my 15+ years of teaching yoga professionally.
.
3. Suzanne Yoga Teacher NL 2021 (YouTube only)
.
This was a really cool find, because although I knew I wanted to pick up teaching Dutch yoga on YouTube, it didn’t really have a vibe yet.
But the moment I found that picture, I connected back to the zeros 2000-2010, when yoga in America (I read Yoga Journal) was so damn cool.
With all the yoga studios, being super contemporary and having that happy brightly colored vibe!

.
And suddenly I also tapped back into the business coaching for yoga studios, but also the business coaching from Denise Duffield Thomas (I always kept following her, just far less actively than I used to);
And I rekindled the love for my first business coach that I really vibed with, which was Amanda Daley who taught marketing to health coaches.
.
I never made all the business training for yoga teachers/ local businesses “work” and in retrospect I SO understand why! 
Because the whole niche thing, and find your tribe thing, is very hard to pull off when you work locally.
Or at least: You have to be better at marketing/ finding your voice than I was!
.
I got stuck because I/ my yoga never got past being selected for “what time are your classes”  and “where do you teach”.
I was selected on location and service, not on niche or who matched with my personality.
They chose yoga, not me. 
.
And that doesn’t mean I regret it, in particular the final years were awesome and I had students I really liked. And they me. But at the same time, if I had known how to really attract people who vibed with me, instead of “ending”  with people who vibed with me, but being unable to move further into authentically being me and calling in my truest of clients?
Oh, well, then maybe I would still be a yoga teacher.
.
Or maybe it is simply impossible to do the niche thing, and someone should go tell the yoga teachers that market is simply not suitable to select your soul tribe unless you’re a marketing genius.
Which I, in that case, was clearly not.
.
But I loved the marketing around the studio, and I have marketing books about how to market your yoga studio. And like I said Denise Duffield Thomas and Amanda Daley, they were around 2015 really my go-to for inspiration.
.
After finding that yoga picture of 2008, and starting to see myself as a Dutch yoga teacher again, I connected with their study materials again as well.
They were the perfect marketing coaches to give me the feel of the Dutch online yoga teacher I wanted to be.
.
Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan

So Suzanne yoga teacher (2008) was the third personality which I discovered, on top of the other two (Lauren Harteveld and Rock Star Suzy) I wrote to you before.
And as I was drawing all these circles, about which personality did what, created what, and what coaches did they have and so on;
I also drew a circle of activities that did not seem to have any meaning, yet every now and then they took A LOT of time!

It were the activities you called my “happy place”.
Sorting my notebooks and diaries of decades and decades and lining them up on the shelves next to my desk.
Making a visionboard card deck, and every now and then spend a day making new cards. And I always laminate them.
And now the activity of going through my digital archives and spending the weekend there.
.
I didn’t quite know what the purpose was of this strange inner circle that had such luxurious concepts of time dedicated to whatever the f it wanted to;
But then it struck me!
Of course I knew who was in there!
 
4. the baby koala
.
It was the little baby koala.
The me who only wants to do cute things, and it makes drawings from love duckie, and takes photos of little bear Puux.
.
It was the little baby koala who was in the inner-circle at the truest core of who I was.
And who was absorbed in archiving and loved playing with stationary. It could bind and unbind anything and had hole punchers for three different types of ring binders. 
.
And then around this koala, so the personality who I thought was the most “me”; I had drawn the circle from Lauren Harteveld!
How fitting!
Of course, she was the perfect person to protect the little koala there.
.
And around that came Rock Star Suzy.
Whose main relationships are with other Bon Jovi fans (I forgot to put that in my final schedule I will post in a second)
.
And around that came Suzanne the new yoga teacher 2.0:
She had the most interaction with the real world. Her main relationships were with not so much clients, because I do not have a business and also do not aspire to get one;
But her main relationships will be the one created over teaching yoga.
.
She will be a yoga teacher without a studio, it will all be online on YouTube.
.
And that’s all for now, Sara!
 
Little baby koala has taken its blue and red pens, and as soon as I had figured out how all the circles should go, we made a schedule of it.

 

Because it was A4+ it required some work to get it into a file, but here it is.
2021 08 01 4 Different Identities And What They Create

And this weekend for sure, that little baby koala has been the most productive from all of us.
.
click the image to enlarge
..

~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/

 

One For The Tattoo On The Forehead Department

young-woman-in-black-hat-with-red-lips-on-black-stock-photograph_csp47739598This is a letter to my creativity coach Sara
Before our call I always give her a headsup.

Dear Sara,

Do you remember the iconic rectangular image of a woman’s red lips under a black hat, which was definitely not the photo I used for this blog post but it was the closest I could find?
.
Or, alternatively, is your mind flooding with an avalanche of 80s imagery where the entire visual art world of both graphic designers as well as photographers seemed to have kind of lost themselves in this thrilling combination, probably creating enough of black-hat red-lips “content” to last us well into the entire 21st century?
.
Because just like 80s filmers were obsessed with indoor scenes being lit by sun shining through blinds, the static arts (although also obsessed with lighting through blinds) had a thing for the woman with the hat and the lips.
The best was really a woman with a black hat and red lips AND lighted through blinds.
.
My obsession has been where to focus – yoga, Bon Jovi, diary writing or advocating sex.
Which medium to use: writing/blogging, YouTube, publishing books or showing up in the conversation on social media or real life.
What to monetize if any.
.
And most importantly, the question of questions and ironically a question that very few of us ever need to answer (rationalizing why it may have taken me 15 years to figure this out):
Who to be?
Which part of my work (which name) and therefor which part of my personality was going to be my professional persona?
Taking the punches but also making the money, and receiving the fame and the glory.
.
And which part of me was going to be leisure, socializing, fun, and taking down with it any activities associated with it, because they were now reduced to hobby or side-hustle at the most.
.
Like THE hat photo that popped to mind decades after it were en vogue, I could see it very clearly with my mind’s eye. Yet, probably because I never found that one exact image that had stood out for me vibrantly (I should probably check my agendas if it was cut and pasted in there), the vision who I was and what to do always faded.
.
I tried to “get” it, I tried to remember it, but because it wasn’t precise, because it wasn’t an absolute exact representation of what it was I was going to do, who I was, with an accuracy that could not be swayed;
The image failed.
.
Sometimes within days, but sometimes within hours.
And the past week I ve had the feeling the circles got smaller!
From prioritizing YouTube, to writing, to YouTube.
From going all in on Suzanne (my real name) to all in on LS Harteveld (my alterego)
And so on and so forth.
.
Which is why this time, today, as the vision revealed itself so clearly that just like that ONE photo with the hat, I knew all the other photos Google gave me for “big black hat red lipstick 80s” were NOT it?
.
That I m going to write that vision out, here, for you!
And I should probably tattoo it on my forehead.
.
I’m going to warn you, it may seem like nothing much. You’ve said it last time we spoke, that for yoga (for example) I m looking for ways to “teach” it that are different to the career in teaching I used to have;
I m looking for a different framing, but to the outside world it can easily look like the exact same thing as I taught for 15 years.
.
That’s the story of everything I m going to tell you.
It’s ALL framing.
And as life-giving and big and major this is to me, it could very well be the same thing I came up with before.
.
But having said all that, this is how I m going to work.
This is who I am.
.
WORK/ CALLING/ THE ONE THING I MUST DO 
AND THAT IF I HAD TO CHOOSE, I WOULD

1. Writing And Being LS Harteveld

80775404_2796264213728586_4106800861752066048_oWhite clothes, blonde hair pulled back, makeup with nude beige lips, that’s me when I m LS Harteveld.
Meaning:
That is how I look 99% of the time.
.
Reminiscent of Vertigo’s Kim Novak and of course Basic Instinct’s Sharon Stone, the writer Catherine Tramell.
.
It has been said by many and one of them is me:
I am more LS Harteveld (Lauren) than I am the real me.
Being her is definitely THE priority, the only right decision to make, because not being her would be a violation of my very existence.
.
So, in practice:
Writing/blogging as LS Harteveld is my priority, straight after brushing my teeth I’d say.
I will not just treat it as my day job, meaning seriously, but really step up to being her the proverbial 24/7. 
.
LS Harteveld is a writer and speaker, she is not a coach/ service provider and not even an online entrepreneur.
So there is no clear cut monetizable formula, and that is strange. I m so conditioned that if you’re not selling at the end of your blog post or videos, you re basically doing a disservice to your audience.
And not only am I conditioned that way:
I actually, and with my whole heart, believe it.
.
The total mf-ing discomfort of NOT having anything to sell…. man, that might have been a major contributor too, to why it took so long.
Now that I have overcome that, or know that despite the discomfort I m going to do what I came here to do regardless, I m going with what I ALSO know to be true!
That the number one thing you’re selling, is always you.
.
The purpose of a blog or a video is never to sell an actual thing but to sell people on an idea, and on  – well- to sell them on you! 
And that?
Oh, that I can do!
.
So my number one job, hustle, and also the person I will be the most often because it is so automatic,
is being LS Harteveld.
.

2. Being Suzanne! 

Okay, maybe I have to eat my words that I am Lauren 99% of the time!

Because I am still the girl from the black leather jacket photo from 1995.
And I have actually found a completely new look, for the work or for being there under my real name Suzanne. I call it the Independence Day look or colors, and it was inspired by a 1990 MTV interview from Jon Bon Jovi with Julie Brown. 
It was shot on Independence Day (well, prerecorded in advance) and Julie was sporting a blue dress, a red bolero and a raging crush on Jon!
All things that are inspiring me to “be” myself and actually enjoy it.
.
Ever since we last spoke, I ve been trying to get my head around how I can have fun being me (real me), and how I can create or recreate a social life, how does my love for yoga and Bon Jovi fit in.
And a series of meltdowns and run-into-walls in June taught me just randomly connecting over those topics, was not going to cut it.
.
And that the yoga, regardless of how eager I thought I was to return to the mat and start making yoga videos that would combine yoga and Bon Jovi;
That yoga was not going to run itself either.
.
I didn’t create any yoga videos and I have been yoga free for weeks now….
Damn.
Just when I thought I was going all in on yoga/ being Suzanne, nothing came from it!
.
This is probably the biggest Tattoo To The Head part!
.
The biggest takeaway, the one thing I could have, should have learned years ago, but didn’t:
I am an online creator, and I post immediately..
So videos that require me to first have an offline Bon Jovi yoga routine so I can show up properly prepared?
They’re not going to get made.
It will get stranded in those preparation hours.
.
I don’t have a daily Bon Jovi yoga routine and months of postponing and start-stopping tell me I’m not going to get one either.
I want to create something, and put it out there the same day. Period. The end.
I do not want to study and practice yoga on my own, before I create videos.
My desire to create and share immediately, also explains why publishing my books is so difficult.
Publishing my books asks me to invest into something that cannot be posted that same day.
There is no short cut there, but just to point out this is not new information.

Gratification on the same day is required.
.
My idea of doing my own Bon Jovi yoga on my own mat (off-camera) to then create videos and make blogs to share or teach it made it clear the problem was the yoga.
I no longer enjoy doing yoga;
It’s offline, there is no audience, I m not communicating. It’s not social.
.
So the thing I am going to do now, and I am so so happy about this, is that I am going to do all my yoga on-screen, making videos.
Just like the people watching, doing yoga is not my work.
I m just as stressed out and tensed up from being at my desk as they are.
.
“I am not your guru” the Tony Robbins documentary on Netflix says.
“I am not your yoga teacher” is what I will say.
I am just someone who creates Bon Jovi inspired yoga videos, and we talk Bon Jovi!
.
It’s yoga for Bon Jovi fans, and instead of trying to explain what yoga is, we’re going to use the framework already in everybody’s head, which is the Bon Jovi catalog.
And we simply ATTACH the yoga to that!
.
Starting with first album, first song, Runaway.
A song that was recorded years before the band came into being, by Jon Bon Jovi solo.
The song Runaway was done, it was due!
.
So in that first 30 minute yoga video Runaway, we re going to explore yoga moves looking for things that were ready years ago.
Poses that feel like home, like you’ve done them a thousand times, even when it is your first time on the mat.
.
And for one song on that album that was pushed onto them, not written by Bon Jovi, a song that still gives them the shivers if you as much as mention the title;
For that song we’re going to do yoga poses that we are certain do not belong in yoga and something is seriously wrong with them.* 
.
And I m going to wear red lipstick, and really rock it.
And it will be totally fun and lighthearted, and I m not going to do any yoga other than creating those videos.
.
I ve changed Sara.
.
There was a time when I did like doing yoga by myself.
There was a time when I was a yoga teacher, and toyed with being a coach, an online entrepreneur.
And a time when I did not see that publishing my books is going to ask the impossible of me.
.
Publishing is the one area where I m willing to go the extra mile to get the books that I REALLY want out there.
Such as The Mistress Speaks and my book about Catherine Tramell, Basic Instinct, called “The beach. C.”
.
I ve changed in now knowing that there is no such thing as having a regular, non-Bon Jovi induced social life as Suzanne, and actually enjoy it.
The only automatic/ group connections I can make are if we can relate over rock music/ Bon Jovi. Other socializing in groups will always be really hard.
.
Sometimes I ve literally changed.
Sometimes my insight into who I am and what I can or cannot do has changed.
.
But this feels right.
Working as Lauren.
Playing around as Suzanne.
.
The 19th of July 2021 feels like my Independence Day.
Maybe I don’t need tattoos for that.
.
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

[ * NB
If you’re reading this, and you think:
I would like to subscribe to that channel!
You can.
I normally don’t share my real name or work here, but in this case I ll make an exception because I ve talked about it in such vivid colors, it would feel wrong to not tell you.

Just remember I m Suzanne there, not Lauren, but then I m happy to give you a chance to sign up and see me there.
Subscribe here:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpNMsIFP2U34A0yBKk8PUQ ]

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/

June broke me and build me tf up in a way nothing else would

Brussels 1993
Jon Bon Jovi Brussels 1993

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

Dear Sara,

Who knew, who knew! 
I certainly didn’t.
In fact when last time I wrote you, over the moon that I was finally clear on my  calling as my alterego LS Harteveld, an identity that has long been more the real me than the real real me;
I thought this calling for this alterego meant I had figured out my professional life for 50 percent, if not more!
.
No, MORE!
More than 50 percent,  because when I knew “what went here”?

I knew it was also less difficult to figure out “which went there”!
.
If
– sexual wealth
– sex for solitary women
– and non-monogamy went here, under LS Harteveld.
Then yoga and Bon Jovi stayed “there”. Under my real name.
.
And also:
If I was the professional “here”, from the point of mutual exclusiveness it automatically meant my work under my real name would not be professional. It would be on the spectrum between leisure and side-hustle. A hobby.
Perhaps a profitable hobby or one that would make me world famous, but nevertheless; A hobby.
Nothing more.
.
I was very excited that my calling as LS Harteveld gave me permission to drop the last ambition under my real name. It was all fun and games now.
Or so I thought.
.
Because do you remember the assignment I got, not these two weeks, but the two weeks prior to that? The one I was supposedly done with, and that had not lead to massive shifts?
.
It was the assignment to take stock where I was out of sexual integrity.
Where was I sugarcoating, downplaying, or straight-up lying through my fucking teeth in order to keep the peace, not ruffle feathers and basically behave in a way that would not so much as scratch a two-thousand year old patriarchy of female sexual oppression? 
.
It bombed.
And it bombed hard.
.
And just like early June’s mind-blowing realization that I have little in common with people who accidentally run into me, connect with me in real life (not connecting to LS Harteveld);
That’s how the final week of June crashed and burned my “leisure” “fun” “hobby” work under my real name. As it turned out I had been out of sexual integrity there.
And now I was in it.
.
It burned more quickly than a polyester clothing, and all I can say is that it’s a good thing no one was wearing it. 
In fact, I was wearing a proverbial black motorcycle jacket that protects you even when you fall off onto the concrete so I m good.
Just that I realized that there had been things in my life that had needed clearing out and cleaning up, after all.
.
It was called:
A social life.
.
A part that had survived the pandemic and that had actually gotten better. It had proven one of those pandemic-proof spots in your social life that you didn’t realize how valuable it was until all else dropped out and this didn’t.
That’s where the bomb dropped.
.
And I realized;
Okay.
Thank you.
Goodbye.
.
And that stepping into full sexual and professional integrity here, as LS Harteveld, meant my social life would be cleared out of anything not that.
Anything not in sexual integrity or professional integrity, would be purged from my life.
Not by me, it would just be. Automatically.
.
It reminded me of the first day I was going to scout for yoga locations, in 2003. I had my first appointment at the end of the day.
My boss asked if I could stay longer, and I said No.
I lost my job right then and there, before I had even seen my first yoga space.
The moment I had determined my professional focus, and I was no longer willing to invest in my job what they had been used to, it blew.
.
And a similar thing happened now.
.
So the good news is that I am in total sexual and professional integrity. 
.
The bad news is that I realize my social life is not compatible with that.
Now in its defense: I already knew that being a writer is a huge strain on your social life too. I ve known that ever since I started writing 15 years ago.
It’s just that the being in sexual integrity part, seems to be the final blow.
.
So here I am….
.
Lonely road, Sara.
Lonely road. 
.
But I can’t remember I have seen her more clearly in my life. 
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Want to work with Sara too? Subscribe for updates on Sara’s upcoming Academy here,
or contact her through her Facebook page for a one-on-one coaching request.

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/

I received my sexual and professional calling

Basic_Instinct-593322829-large
Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) in the movie Basic instinct 1992 would become one of the most profound aspects of my sexuality as well as my identity as a writer

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

Dear Sara,

This post is based on a copy of my previous “Dear Sara” post, which has the added “benefit” that I inadvertently get a glance of what I wrote last time.
And I saw I ve come back on so much of it…
.
It was an extensive blogpost that must have taken me 5,6 hours, and to see it was so off in many ways, makes it seem like a waste of time.
I also just spent 50 minutes going back and forth through my notes for today’s blogpost, as well as rereading the last one.
50 Minutes!
.
But I also see that if I start at the beginning, the first topic I wrote you about last time (Summer of Love), and let it unfold from there;
That everything I want to tell you in this letter will unfold by itself.
.
So let’s.
.
.

summer of love                

.
This one still stands.
We came to the conclusion that I, just like many of us, am still dependent on a partner to validate my sexual identity and generate my sexual energy.
People like my lover are running around with their pockets filled with sexual gold, figuratively speaking.
But because it’s not real money other people, and that includes me, think it’s okay to live off their wealth.

And may even demand they become monogamous! I mean wtf, right?
First you let someone pay the bill and then you rob them of their income.
.
My decision was this year would be my summer of love, and that still stands.
I want to fill my own pockets.
.
It’s called a sexual odyssey and it’s a series that runs here on this blog, and my facebook page.
.
The absolute most important conclusion so far is that my creativity and writing in particular, are my default sexuality. That’s how I fill my pockets.
Not physical sex.
If I was to go for 40 days without writing, the effects would be severe, whereas I ve gone without sex with a partner for months or years and I was fine.
.
Another thing that I might as well share immediately! Since I want to keep this a short letter!
Is that I ve received my sexual calling.
It was through a dream where I told someone I respect highly, a theory of how sexual wealth is often not acknowledged. And how it is entirely normalized to live off other people’s sexual wealth instead of developing your own.
And how this plays out throughout marriages as well, because the sexual bank accounts are not properly managed, nor even acknowledged.
.
I told her, this business coach I respect the very highest, that you could use all vocabulary from everyday psychology as well as investment banking and personal finance, and you could apply them to sex and a whole new world would open up for you.
You would wonder how we managed to miss this.
.
Rereading the previous letter I sent to you, I encountered a book title from a book I was not going to write.
It had a word in there, that is one of those words from psychology, but applied to sex.
Sexual integrity
.
This book title was:
.
UNBOUND
Reclaim your sexual integrity by quitting monogamy today!
.
We learn that No means No, but as long as we are not allowed to say yes if we want to have sex (and so does the other party) we are no longer in sexual integrity.
.
But you can also apply the trick of adding the word sexual to terms like:
Capital, wealth, resilience, revenues.
And just like with money, the hardest is getting to your first 100K;
That is the level where you have to overcome the hurdles of your past, and whatever oppression you experience for being sexual.
But once you’re past your 100K mark, feeling that wealthy or secure sexually, then it becomes easy.
.
Just like self-made entrepreneurs, you know you could go bankrupt and you would build it all again.
That the assets can be taken away from you just like a partner or ideal lover can leave.
But someone who’s hit the 100K sexual mark, will rebuild their sex life. Always.
Someone like that will never believe their sex life is dependent on that one person. Well it is dependent on one person; Themselves! Ha ha ha.
.
I didn’t say that much in my dream, it was shorter but a coherent story came out that I cannot remember ever telling before. It was as if the topic came out “fully grown”.
The coach looked at me, and said I should go tell THIS to the world, and how she would set it all up with her clientele, and we’d run a program together.
.
I woke up and knew I had found my calling.
.
And also that a how long, four? Five?  month period where I thought I would start working under my real name and let Lauren Harteveld be just a worksop, a hobby project;
That had come to an end!
.
This topic about non-monogamy and sexual wealth was not meant to be shared with the world under my real name. I would lose tremendous momentum, and get caught up in the hiccups of crossovers between my private or past professional life, and this new sexual calling.
.
So my conclusion in my last letter to you, that I wasn’t going to write that book “Unbound” was correct, because 2,5 weeks ago I was still going all in under my real name and if that book gets written it will indeed not get written under that name.
My sexual calling is as Lauren Harteveld.
And although I do not have a business model it does make this a professional account. For the first time ever.
.
I am the writer and speaker Lauren Harteveld.
I still feel I will never be a coach and business owner Lauren Harteveld, but (contrary to what I said in the prior letter, where Lauren Harteveld was merely a hobby)
Lauren Harteveld does speak. This is more than a writing-only account.
.
I am very comfortable speaking about these topics and I will reboot my YouTube channel which I left about two years ago.
.
Lauren Harteveld is my main gig, and my real name has become the leisure account.
My work as Lauren Harteveld is to show up in the conversation about sexual wealth, non-monogamy,  and sexual integrity.
.
Although I am still frustrated I ve experienced so much resistance publishing my (own) books, a shift has taken place in how important I find them.
I m no longer letting this publishing hurdle stop my other work.
.
This conclusion is not entirely new, I ve talked about this before. But what I knew then was that postponing going all in on your work until the book is done, means you re saying your worth or credibility is in your book.
When my worth is in being present, and joining the conversation. 
.
I am not defined by a book people may or may not read and may or may not like. The message is simply too important. So I knew that part a while back.
.
But the reason I m even more “relaxed” today, about not being as far with the books as I wanted, is because I now see books as a medium, are so not me.
I live in the day to day conversation, and like this letter shows, even a blogpost I wrote 2,5 weeks ago feels entirely outdated. So much changes all of the time, most of all me! 
I m not someone who will come up with one system and one book, that they will expand on for the rest of their lives. 
.
My value is in BEING in the conversation NOW!
Books are what is left of you when you’re dead.
Or not.
When I m dying they will be the last thing on my mind.
.
After the dream I woke up and changed my bio.
.
This is what it said:
.
LS Harteveld
Advocate for sexual wealth, sex for solitary women & non-monogamy
Current diaries:
1996 series, The Covid Diaries
& NEW: 2021 A Sexual Odyssey
.
It felt like a milestone.
No;
It WAS, a milestone.
..

~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* Want to work with Sara too? Subscribe for updates on Sara’s upcoming Academy here,
or contact her through her Facebook page for a one-on-one coaching request.

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/