A Farewell to a Darkside Warrior

One of the things that struck me most, during this last month of the decade, is how I seem to have spent way more time processing The Rise of Skywalker, which presented me with the most unwelcome ending for the darkside warrior Kylo Ren, than I have processing the even more unwelcome breakup from my own darksider.

Which in itself, gave reason for endless analysis, but by that time it had become a meta question:
“Why am I so not okay with a fictional character not getting his happily ever, and not with me, not getting my happily ever after?”

Not being okay with the ending Disney had for us, bore the hallmarks of a dirty breakup.
All I could think of was: WHY?!
“WHY did you do this and that in (fill in Star Wars episode 7 or 8) and this and that in (fill in novelizations of 7 or 8)? And why did this and this actor say such and such about the movie; Only to have it end this way?”
“Why does the final 30 minutes of the movie not have any dialogue for Kylo Ren?
Was it really that last minute?
After three years of production, you don’t even have scenes with dialogue that support the ending of your male protagonist?
So you just mute them and copy past the entire ending to a 40+ years saga?”

Yet, I never asked any explanation to my lover as to why he did what he did. The thought didn’t even cross my mind.
If anything, I offered an explanation to him.
During our 5 years together, he liked what I did for him. But it was something extra.
Like sugar or alcohol, or even a la carte dining at the finest restaurants.
I was something that he would always enjoy and maybe even need at some points in his life, but he would never allow it to be the basis of his life.
So he never made the impression he wanted me to be anything more, because he didn’t see a future where I played a role he understood.

I don’t want to live together, nor get married.
I don’t want to be seen as a couple, unless it’s a super modern one, where people understand I am his equal. A woman who will win over his heart time and time again, and him a man who may spend time in your bed or your life.
If he stays with you, then good for you.
It was fair game and I lost.

But I m not going to pretend to be the traditional woman next to a successful man. I m not a trophy wife, nor a gold digger, nor am I half of a power couple who go to events together and are praised and admired by the other successful people around them.
The business man and his second wife, the writer.
Not going to happen, because then we become part of the people around us. We become owned, and I am free.

But I respect that he wants to play a bigger role, a more traditional one. He already had that when we met. I applaud that when he feels the time has come to focus on that, and he wants to leave his mistress.
“Goodbye. I will always love you, and miss you so much. But I understand, I really do.”
“wHaT tHe fLyInG fUcK dID yoU Do tHAt FOr?!”

As disturbed I was by Disney’s ending, and what it meant in the grand scheme of things – “Who was behind it? What purpose did it serve?” – that’s how easy I could let go when it was my own lover.
I have a couple of pages of notes next to me.
They cover a lot.
From all the plot holes in The Rise of Skywalker, to the symbolic meaning of The Emperor, the symbolism of killing off a dark and conflicted character who is loved by the female heroine.
The notes speak of ways in which Kylo Ren/ Ben Solo could come back, because the world where he died, Exogol, is part of the World Between Worlds.
The rules of life and death do not apply there.

There are many notes, but in the end I think the only purpose they really served was for me to understand we are never entitled to happy endings.
Not even if it’s Disney, let alone real life.
That people may or may not come back.
But that the most important thing is that you let them go, when they have to leave.
And never stop loving them.

An unexamined life is not worth living

coming soon: new books

1. Reboot – a hero’s journey. Diary 2017-2020
3. Big Mistress – confessions, columns and sex advice from the other woman
Blote Kont- (Dutch)
5. ALL THE THINGS – unpublished work 2010 – 2020

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White Heat

Erotica writer by day.
Yoga teacher by night.
That’s how LS Harteveld has lived her life for over a decade.
Which was all fine until she stopped being a yoga teacher and now two parts of her personality are at each other’s throats.

You don’t decide to end a fifteen year career as a yoga teacher overnight.
I had actually already made the decision last summer, but turned it back when I realized I needed the studio address, due to Dutch legislation.
Unless I looked forward to having my home address being made public by the Chamber of Commerce.
Eh… public address, while writing hot stories about my sex life?
Dutch legislation is pretty strict.
Writers too, have to register as entrepreneurs.
So I decided to stay on as a yoga teacher. That way I could make the money back on my business location. The only thing I changed was I switched from teaching group classes to privates.
And I was doing okay.
Or maybe I just didn’t really think about it and had made a pragmatic decision.
But last Wednesday I ran into a colleague and she asked how I was doing. 

“I don’t know really. I just realized my calendar is empty. I don’t have any appointments anymore.”
I could still give it an extra push and use the upcoming months to make my new business work. But if I would stop now I wouldn’t have to inform or disappoint anybody.
I could just sneak out.
There had already been enough drama and goodbyes when I had ended my group classes. And now after the initial bookings my calendar was open… 
I was free.
“I have no idea how I feel about this,” I said to my colleague.
But it was clear that the lack of clients wasn’t exactly crushing me.
And indeed, within a day after the conversation with my colleague, I made the decision to quit and this time for good. I was pretty relieved, maybe a bit numb.
Until the truth kicked in and I fell into a crisis.
It was as if every part of my personality had to be taken down before I could be rebuild.
After a few days I woke up still feeling sore, and with the same violent headache that had put me to sleep. But before I got up, I saw a vision.
Who I was supposed to be.

How I was supposed to look.
And what I was supposed to do.
The headache disappeared and I felt reborn.
From now on I would be a fulltime writer.
Which was honestly just a formality, a choice to call it by its name because I had been writing erotica and diaries under pen name LS Harteveld for over a decade.
And I had six years of writing for my studio, under my belt.
Writing had already been a fulltime job and every time I had been in the middle of a writing spree and had to go to the studio, I had felt where my loyalty lay.
And what could easily be suspended.
But from now on it was official, and I really was a writer.
I was going to keep writing under both names, both accounts.
Which was funny because up until now I had always assumed LS Harteveld had been my “real” writing. That the other stuff, under my real name, was just to position myself and sell the yogaclasses.
But I now realized that I liked that work too.
I could curate that, and create it into books, and make it even better by including some extra posts from LS Harteveld!
For example my pieces on Star Wars, Madonna or pop culture.
There was no reason to have a pen name or be secretive about those.
I looked forward to positioning myself as a rebel yoga teacher, under my real name. Who after fifteen years was going to share what she really thought.
And suddenly I was thinking along a line that was making LS Harteveld territorial. I could hear her growling every time I added a topic or a blogpost of hers that would look pretty neat in my rebel yoga teacher book.
But it wasn’t until I was considering including my pieces on Steve Holmes and pornography, that I felt I was crossing a line.
I was breaking the agreement that LS Harteveld would have the diaries, and sexually explicit content. Therefor I could not call my debut book under my real name:
How I was enlightened by Madonna, Kylo Ren and pornography.
Before I could consider how I would actually feel about discussing double penetration on national TV, that last word (pornography) would already have LS Harteveld stepping in.
“Sex is ME. Porn is MY PART!”
No matter how famous I would be, under my real name, it would always be the toned down version of me. The side everyone, from the mailman to the exes from a hundred years ago, could Google. A highly productive side, that had her own blog, published rebel yoga books, and was a true power woman.
But like Yin and Yang, it would still be just the light half.
Holding only a little spot of darkness.
And everybody would be all like:
“Oh wow! She’s showing her dark side. How brave!”
Not knowing that the real darkness, including Steve Holmes, pornography, and double penetration, were all kept somewhere else.
Like treasures.
Safely stored, on the dark side.

An unexamined life is not worth living

White Heat is the twenty-sixth chapter from Project M. 

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Both parts of my split writer personality are in love with
the dark side warrior Kylo Ren:

“You are still holding on. Let go!”

I never thought of myself as a particularly  good yoga teacher.
Not that there is anything wrong with my teaching skills.
I regard them very highly.

I know how to use my voice, and  my classes are calm and relaxing.
But my personality, my gifts, that which I really want to offer, could offer, and sometimes even do offer, is not what people expect of a yoga teacher.
At least not from a vegetarian, India traveling, retreats teaching, natural fabrics wearing, diligently AM morning practicing yoga teacher;
an image that has been dominating the media.

Nor do I live up to the standards yoga teacher training set for me.
In fact I made it a point not to.
I’ve always felt that there was something innately wrong with behaving the way a yoga teacher was supposed to behave. And yet I ve concluded a million times that despite my pointless efforts to get a daily AM yoga practice the last decade or so;
I would get up at 5AM and snap right into my yoga practice if I would have a corporate job!
And would quit drinking.
And could even go as far as becoming vegan.
Just to prove I was different and not an average corporate employee.

My last post here explains that this is a Rebel tendency.
When yoga is an act of rebellion, I want to do it. With a chance of adding the clean eating and the self-control that is associated with serious yoga practitioners.

{ If you are curious which personality type you are take the test here and/or read my post here }

So although I would probably join the 5 A.M. self-practice yoga class at a glamorous studio, if I worked in a corporate setting;
As a yoga teacher, I can’t possibly make myself do something that is considered best practice for my profession.
Nor adopt habits that are considered mandatory in my industry. In fact, like I said: I make it a point not to do that.

And even when I can see how the AM practice could be beneficial for me? Spending less time at my desk, getting really good at yoga? My 19 year old thighs back? Still not possible. Not going to do it. No matter how many challenges I embark upon.

Now that I know this, I think I have tweaked it for the rest of my life.
It’s something that I’ve toyed with on and off for the last couple of years. But after realizing I am the rebel type, I know I was on the right track, and that this is gonna stick;

My personal, rebellious way of doing a home practice is not normal yoga. But consists of making yoga and fitness videos. It’s monetizable. It’s work. It’s not a proper, moving inward, grown-up practice.
And it still might give me my thighs back too!

Because I ve calculated that at nineteen, I did four one hour workouts a week. Which is exactly the amount of practice I get now as well.

So knowing I had the Rebel tendency, helped me solidify that. But there was something else, beside the lack of self-practice, that was bothering me;
My view on things. My wisdom.

And for at least one whole day, I thought that having the Rebel label attached to them, was the definite verdict I was a bad yoga teacher.
Aside from the quality of my actual yoga teaching, which is good.

But I felt my Rebel status disconnected me from the other tendencies, who were far more common than mine. Sure, I knew I would be able to teach other Rebels how to live a good life. According to their unique set of values. But the system clearly stated Rebels were extremely rare.
So I felt my wisdom was useless to others.

Because my wisdom is based on something that only Rebels “can” do, or want to do; to be completely free of expectations.
To never expect a certain outcome, and instead only do the things which they want to do, on a soul level.
Never expecting anything in return.

And every time I meet a new frustrating situation, a person, a wrong doing, a disappointment, everything, I see it as a sign that I have inner work to do.
As Kylo Ren said it;
“No, no! You are still holding on!”

Frustration, to me, has become a sign I did something expecting a certain outcome. Not because I wanted to – at that moment – be with that person, do that work, spend that time, give that love.
But that I did it because I wanted to be rewarded for it.

“Let go!” Kylo Ren shouts.

So for a brief moment, I thought that my liberating insight was useless. Because I could suddenly see that it was only liberating for me. That the other types of the personality test, would probably not benefit from being free, the way I did.

So if my deepest insights into true happiness were useless to about 95% of other people, then I really was a bad yoga teacher.
I felt horrible.

Until, a little voice in my head reminded me of the great sages of history.
The wisdom of Tantra, Buddhism, Christianity. Had they not all said the same? To enjoy the work for the work.
To detach from the outcome.
To love and to open your heart because that is your way to enlightenment, not
 because someone will respond exactly the way you want them to.

Had not all of them said exactly the same thing as Kylo Ren?

“No, no! You are still holding on. Let go!”

And I realized that being a Rebel was far more compatible with being a yoga teacher, than I had ever imagined.

An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living


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