“Can I be happier than this?”
A rhetorical question, that is clear from the intonation. If you had to give an answer anyway, it would be ‘no’.

“Could I be happier than this?”
I hear myself uttering that question out loud as I sit snugly in my living room in Naxos. It makes me laugh. Because if that is not the highlight of being in the moment, of gratitude, then I don’t know what is.

After all, it’s only how you look at things. I’m in Naxos for only a week and it has rained almost continuously today. Very unusual, but still. My street has turned into a river again, so walking to the beach is not really an option. If I want to go into town, it is a perilous undertaking. I best make a detour via Mikri Vigla, which will take me about half an hour. But the alternative means a big chance of drowning my motor or getting stuck in the mud. (And believe me, I’ve been there: not much fun.)
The houses here are not built for cold winters, so a cosy warmth, as we know it in Belgium, possibly literally by the gas heater, is not an option here. The restaurants are closed except for a few. More than usual, because they have to work with a covid-pass and there are quite some self-willed islanders who do not choose for that and thus severely restrict their social activities. Coffee shops are partly closed for renovation. The bakers in Mikri Vigla is open when he thinks it is and so has left me standing at the door a few times. So no Freddo Cappucino.
And I am only talking about the local situation. Not to mention the rising energy prices or let alone the war in Oerkraïne.
When I think about that, I should almost be ashamed of my feelings. Or not. I hear myself saying to a friend who was cramped with fear at the doctor’s office: ‘It is indeed a terrible situation. But when we are afraind, it doesn’t help anyone. On the contrary. If we feel love and peace in our hearts, we radiate it and the world can only benefit from that.’

But so, I am happy.  I love those moments when I can feel it so intensely and especially, when I realise it. It clearly has nothing to do with the situation you’re in. (Or maybe it does, I am of course in Naxos. ;-)) It has mainly to do with an inner process. The feeling of being on the right path. Being able to make far-reaching decisions without it throwing you off balance. So no, it is not there by itself. Perhaps it is the result of years of inner work. But now I am reaping the fruits. And they are delicious fruits.

And so, at any given moment, I ask myself out loud: “Can I be happier than this?”

Manifesting… You hear a lot about it. And you can believe in it, or not. Work with it, or not. But today I manifested without consciously intending.

It was one of those days. You know: no appointments on the agenda, but a whole to-do list on the table, next to the computer. But I can’t get started. In the end, I go to the sea, because it is a nice late summer’s day. I make a tour with my board and meditate on the beach. I return home, make a salad and think: now I really have to! But it’s not going to happen. I tinker with the planning for next year, but have no inspiration nor overview.

I think: ‘Go for a walk, Suzanne, clear your head. Then it will come’. And yes, half an hour later, when I’m walking along the beach in Kastraki, ideas come to me. I suddenly know how to shape it. I see combinations…
I immediately upgrade the walk to ‘work’. Apparently, I need that for my ‘hard work-subpersonality’, because it is, after all, Monday. The fact that I also did some work on Saturday and Sunday has, of course, already been forgotten.
It is work, because I am collecting material for my clients next year. Small shells and pebbles. And heart stones too, for a new little project with Karen from Solsties.

I walk all the way to the end of the beach in Glyfada. Quite a distance, I think. But I don’t know how far it is nor how long or how many steps. Because when I arrived in Kastraki, I discovered that my Iphone is still charging at home. That is a setback. So no photos… No pedometer… No clock…
For a moment, I feel naked. Amazed by it. I remember the time when everyone I knew had a smartphone and I still consciously had an old mobile phone… I hear myself say: ‘what’s the use?!’ Look at me now. I can’t live without. It’s my alarm clock, my meditation tool, my camera, my health monitor, my contact with the outside world, my safety (when I go out on my board), my GPS, …. Well, you probably know what I mean.
But, apparently  I am off without my Iphone. At first I think ‘oops, that’s a shame, I would have photographed this normally’, when I see special sand formations, or when the clouds let in special rays of light… But then I let it go. It is what it is. And I enjoy it.
I enjoy my work. The walking, the shells, the thoughts in my head. The new workshop takes shape. The first questions for the ‘follow-up’ of Divine Discovery are ready, waiting to flow from my fingers on the keyboard…

So I walk. Two km, I have found out in the meantime. And so two km back. It is on this way back that I think:
Oh, I haven’t found a Naxian Eye yet. There aren’t many this year. Today I would like to find one!
Immediately another voice arises – I don’t know what to call it. One formed from humble Flemish clay, I would say. His motto: ‘Be content with what you have’.
You should be ashamed! So many beautiful shells you have found! Even those special ones Walter showed you, which are blue inside… Never enough…‘ I feel it immediately, it almost hurts.
Luckily my Inner Child is alert:
It’s not because I’ve found nice shells and pebbles that I can’t long for Naxian eyes! I am very happy with the shells, but I want Naxian eyes TOO!’
Luckily there was no one around, because I was laughing out loud. I even said out loud,
You’re right! You can ALSO have Naxian Eyes!’

I was still laughing inwardly when I saw them: the eyes. The shells… As if they had just been thrown on the beach. (Actually, I really believe that, that they had just been thrown on the beach, because I had not seen any when I passed there before!) If the word ‘glow’ had a counter, I would glow 1000!

So that’s manifesting,’ I thought. ‘Thank you!‘ And still more showed up. With each shell I found, I looked up to the sky, touched my heart and thanked the cosmos. Eight little eyes were offered. I can assure you that it gives me a special feeling.

Yes, sometimes I feel alone out here. Sometimes I despise the pandemic that makes travelling difficult and I am angry at all those (understandable) reasons that make people cancel. But on the other hand, tears of happiness run down my cheeks.

Manifesting leads to gratitude. Gratitude leads to manifesting.

And again it happens to me: I finally take a book with me to read and after – this time, only –  7 pages, I already feel like writing again (cfr. blog of 4 July). Luckily, I have my notebook with me.

That is what a good book does: it inspires.
It is not just any book. I received it as a gift from the couple who come to the couple’s retreat. The man had brought it along to read and it also inspired him. During our first session, he already quotes:

‘Aimer, ce n’est pas se regarder l’un l’autre,
c’est regarder ensemble dans la même direction.’

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

And that he did not entirely agree with this. That, perhaps, is the pitfall in a long-term relationship. Perhaps you look too much in the same direction (to keep the business called ‘family’ going) and too little at each other. Maybe people who have been together for a long time, need to learn to look at each other again. And that is exactly why they are here: to find that connection again. Two hearts, two souls that meet and choose to go on the road together. The road becomes clearer and clearer. There is a risk of losing the ’together’ along the way.
At the end of the week, I receive the book as a gift (including sand – lovely!) with a beautiful message written in it. ‘You have shown us a new way…’ Could it be more appropriate?
And so I take the book with me when I cycle to a terrace where the cedar trees offer some protection from the heat wave that is teaching me to appreciate air conditioning.

In the same first ode there is another quotation, this time from Rodaan Al Galidi. Dutch poetry.

I will go to the woman I love
And give her back her wings.

So beautiful.
And so recognisable: losing your wings in a relationship, maybe not so much because the other person short-circuits them or takes them away. But sometimes you are so blinded by the path of the other person that, without knowing it, you are walking more than you are flying. And there is nothing wrong with that either. Only, maybe you are simply a woman who is destined to fly. And if you want to be true to yourself, you should not even wait for the other person to give you your wings back, but stop to pick them up yourself.
No matter how painful it is to leave the cosy path you walked with two, once you feel the freedom of your wings again, once you float and fly, dive and soar, you realise that this is your true nature.

All good things come in threes, so let me throw in another one.

Love is the beginning and the end of everything.

I heard it yesterday in one of those romantic feel-good movies you sometimes watch during ’that period’. It touched me.
Yes, love is the beginning of everything and perhaps the end is also connected to love – self-love. A love that is treated somewhat stepmotherly. A love in which we are not standardly educated, in which we are often not stimulated but rather slowed down, in order to prevent unbridled egoism. But that too is love. Important love.

Love, a word that is often used, a word that has many layers.
Love in which we look at each other and at ourselves and move forward together.
Love in which we walk a path, but also fly high.
Love that hurts and love that heals.


I wish it for you. The love that is right.

Ouch, when I read Dirk De Wachter’s book (a famous Belgian psychiater), I immediately start to feel guilty about my happiness (I have to admit that I started writing this after only 25 pages, so maybe some of the reactions are a bit premature, but I couldn’t hold back). Not that I always feel happy. On the contrary. I just had two tearful days. South wind, my friend would say. Complicated relationships and unfulfilled expectations, is my diagnosis. So I decide to ‘get myself together’, after all I am responsible for my own happiness. That, by the way, is the reason I am sitting here on a terrace. I followed Deepak Chopra’s advice (step 5: release the emotion through physical movement (translated into jump on your bike) and step 7: do something nice for yourself (freely translated in drink a Freddo Cappucino and eat an ice cream).

When I leave, I grab the thinnest book from the pile and it turned out to be ‘The art of being unhappy’.

And I think I’m not very good at that. After an unhappy childhood and years of therapy and personal development, I have reached a state of being that I would describe as happy. Sometimes I put it this way: I used to be unhappy with happy moments, now I’m happy with unhappy moments. So I think I’m better in the art of being happy. There are a few things that help me with. Three principles, so to speak.




Everything is a matter of perspective – what do you focus on?

As an example I’ll tell you about my recent experience, when I was in Belgium… I came home after midnight and drove three rounds in the neighborhood to find a parking spot. Finally, I parked around the corner, just past a scaffold. That scaffold should have turned on a light, but my light was already out….
When I came around the corner the next morning with two heavy bags on my shoulders and a coffee mug in the hand, I found an empty parking space and a whistling workman on the scaffold. Towed away…
A passerby smugly remarked, “Yes madam, if there’s a sign, you’re not allowed to park! I immediately pleaded guilty. ‘I didn’t see it, it’s entirely my own fault.’ A neighbor explained that often towed cars can be found at spot X… It had happened to him as well. I asked for directions and told him that I would jump on my bike to go look for him, because I had to go to work. The man responded: “wait two minutes” and he hurried off, grabbed his lunch, put on his shoes and less then ten minutes later he had dropped me off at my car. I arrived at work on time.
For a whole day I floated on clouds – such luck I had!

If there is something that makes me very unhappy, I try to change it.

If you can, of course, that depends on what the issue is. But you’d be amazed at how much you can control yourself. It doesn’t always happen overnight, this change. Patience is helpful in that regard.
For example, I noticed that the overloaded agenda that I had ‘put on’ myself when I was in Belgium was exhausting and didn’t really give me any satisfaction. So I immediately took some decisions to make the next stop in Belgium a little more bearable and promised myself to reconsider my choices about work and commitments. I know it’s not something that can be changed completely tomorrow, but I think in five years time, I will get things sorted out!

Everything is relative

 Just because I (and by extension everyone else) post photos of the sun, doesn’t mean  she’s always shining. For every picture of a picturesque spot here, I could also post a picture of a run-down place, abandoned garbage or poorly cared for animals… But who needs that?
I have thought about it though, to make a ‘shadow-profile’ and challenge myself to post another photo every day, in addition to the beautiful/positive picture. Perhaps that is an even greater challenge: to picture them well
Sometimes I feel a bit guilty that I only show beautiful images. But I assume that people realize that this is only a part of reality (but definitely indeed a part of reality!).  It is as in a movie: you only get to see a part of life. You get to see people leaving and arriving, but not the long boring way. Or you see people kissing and recovering from a steamy lovemaking session immediately afterwards, but you don’t see ‘the going upstairs and discovering that your room is more messed up than you thought’ / taking off uncomfortable clothes / the ‘I have to go to the toilet first’ or ‘ouch, you’re on my hair’… And we all know that that might be in between too.

So yes, I am happy. And probably that makes it easier for me to bear misfortune in general. Because at the end of the book (yes, I am one of those people who already reads the end, even though she’s only on page 20;-)) it says in very large letters: ‘It is the ethical duty of the happy person, who comes from a warm nest and who is liked and who is doing well, to see the inconvenience of the world and do something about it’.
So I try to send some fractions of happiness out into the world. By posting my photographs. And sometimes through a little story or a blog like this one. I hope it may contribute a millimeter to your happiness! And I won’t feel guilty, but I’d like to share!