What getting stuck on a bus in Vietnam taught me about life as an entrepreneur  

We were on an overnight bus from Hanoi to Hoi An. This was back in 2016, before my spiritual awakening, and I was traveling solo to discover the world (and flee from myself - but that’s for another post).



I found myself on an overnight bus that would take us on the 12 hour ride to romantic Hoi An from the chaotic yet charming Hanoi, where there are barely any traffic lights but everything is a never ending and fascinating DANCE between millions of scooters, a few cars and pedestrians. That’s maybe why I liked it! The city’s a dance!



Back on track: I was happy to board the bus and see that there were seats that you could fold all the way and actually lay down to sleep in. I felt like I’d won the lottery after having cringed over reviews from previous travelers on the route: the comments ranged from ”uncomfortable seats” to the less appealing “journey from hell”.



We stopped at a gas station when darkness fell. And that’s when something else started to fall: the rain.



Let’s make it clear: rain during the rain period in Southeast Asia is not those slowly falling, silent, caressing drops… rather taking the Pacific Ocean in a giant scoop and pour it all down again. Swooosh. I looked out through the bus window and wondered if we were on a bus or a boat.


People on the seats close to mine started to talk. “A whole bus tipped over and people died in the floods a few days ago on this road” and other comments that surprisingly didn’t make me feel better. I hugged my new, luxurious neck pillow tighter - luxurious here meaning made of velour instead of those horrendous inflatable ones, and that I had paid a fortune for it ($5).



We continued through the night. A part of me was horrified and mentally started to write my testament. The other was slowly getting more and more tired to the rhythmic sound of the rain drops aggressively hitting the window. You can apparently get used to anything, I noticed just before falling asleep.



When I woke up, daylight was back and we were at a standstill. I assumed we would soon be rolling again so I kept drowsing. An hour later, I realised we were not moving. At all. Looking out through the heavy rain, I could see we were in the middle of nowhere. A few houses on the other side of the road - then open fields. I decided to stay calm and use this time to read a nice pocket book.



2 hours later, I had finished the short book - it was a classic that I’ve forgotten the name of, about a 10 year old kid in New York who runs away from home and goes out partying and makes friends with call girls - and I started to become painfully aware of the fact that we were indeed standing still. People around me were talking. “The road is completely blocked, we’re not gonna move until tomorrow.” Wasn’t it that same guy who had spoken about the accident too? Why couldn’t he just sh*t up?!

Wanna manifest something slightly fancier than a long distance bus next time you travel? Click here!

Wanna manifest something slightly fancier than a long distance bus next time you travel? Click here!



At the front, the door was open and the driver was talking to someone in Vietnamese. Apparently the engine had broken down - or was it a wheel? - I could spot a group of men with a screwdriver trying to fix something.



And now I saw it: there was another bus standing still in front of us. I started to chew on a sweet rice cake. Then another one. Minutes went by. Someone tried to go and talk to the driver, but he didn’t speak English. An hour went by. I was hungry but couldn’t stand yet another sweet rice cake, so dry that drinking the water from the street seemed tempting.



Around this time, a less appealing odeur started to fill the bus. “The toilet is completely congested, it’s sh*t all over the floor.” Do I need to mention who said it..?! I tried to cover my nose and mouth and suppress the fact that I would have needed to use that toilet. Too late. Toi-let. Too-late.



Somewhere around here, I started to get annoyed. I had nothing to eat except for those way too sweet and dry rice cakes. It was barely possible to breathe because of the odeur and the fact that the air conditioning system was off. And I had no one to talk to - I had made friends before along the trip, but let’s say people weren’t exactly in the mood to socialize now. The doors were open and people started to go in and out. A nice girl offered me her rain jacket, so that I could go out and have some air. “You can go buy some food over there!”



When I came out, I could see farther ahead. In front of the bus in front of us, there was another one. In front of that… another one. And another one. And another one. You know those infinite tunnels when you’re in an elevator with two mirrors facing each other? That was what it looked like. The whole country of Vietnam seemed to be standing still. Unfortunately, my intestines didn’t.


Along the road, some entrepreneurial locals had put up tables with basic food supplies. I bought another packet of sweet rice cakes, in case that guy was serious about us standing here for another day and night. Someone pointed to the opposite side of the road. “You can get warm tea and use their bathroom!” Thinking back to it, it must have been an incarnated spirit guide.



And I was invited to the home of the sweetest family, with kids and grandma on the couch. They looked at me in a friendly way, with curiosity, and for a few cents let me have a noodle soup that I think (hope) was vegetarian. They also brought me tea. “Cha!” We couldn’t really communicate, but I remember that word. And the immense happiness of seeing a toilet again. The toilet was a separate tiny house where the rain poured in through the roof and consisted of a hole in the ground. I had never been more grateful for a toilet.



As I walked back to the bus, or rather surfed forward on my wet flipflops, I finally felt that gratitude filling my whole being. I fully accepted the situation and almost felt good about returning to the hot humid bus that smelled like… well, a bus with a broken toilet. I finally felt fine about feeding on way too sweet and dry rice cakes for the following 24 hours to the sound of yet another horror story from that guy…



Call it coincidence, but as I walked back, someone started screaming from the bus: “The road is open! Get back everyone, we’re moving!”



All in all, we were stuck for 13 hours by the side of the road. When the bus started moving again we all held our breath for the first few minutes out of fear it would stop. And when we, after 25 hours of traveling, finally reached Hoi An the first thing that happened when getting off the bus was that I dropped my brand new, pricy neck pillow in a petrol filled puddle. End of the neck pillow and this story.


Traveling is not so different from entrepreneurship. There will be people (and your ego) sensationally screaming when things don’t go as expected. Telling you’ll stay stuck for days. You might encounter economic situations making dry sweet rice cakes seem like the most delicious, juicy sourdough bread.



But you’ll also meet the girl with the rain coat: helping you, doing something that’s simple for her but can be life changing for you.



And you’ve gotta be like the locals: find a solution almost before the problem appears and fold up your tables with what you have to offer, despite the heavy rain. Go that extra mile by serving a complimentary cup of tea and teaching a few words in your language, that they might benefit from further down the road. And if nothing else works, go find that screwdriver and have a look at what’s going on inside.



Because when you do… before you know it, your adventurous entrepreneurial journey goes from apocalyptic bus ride to smooth private jet glide.



Are you ready to go all in? 

Me in the Vietnamese desert post rain

Me in the Vietnamese desert post rain

Why This 1 Phrase Made Me Quit My Job (+ powerful exercise inside!)

“Be careful so that you’re not chasing someone else’s dream.“

We were a group of about eight people, sitting around a too sharply lit table at a hostel in central Bangkok. Seven of us listened hypnotically to the guy who just uttered the phrase that might have been the beginning of the end for me. End of 29 years of chasing someone else’s dream.

It was my last night of traveling before going back to Europe again. Europe and corporate life. I should be excited to start my “real” life, but I kept frantically scratching that mosquito bite on my sun burnt leg, hoping it wasn’t gonna lead to dengue fever.

The guy was an American author and motivational speaker, and what he did at a cheap hostel in central Bangkok is beyond me. Maybe he just made that story up. His name has become dissolved in a cocktail of full moon parties and failed attempts to flee from my inner chaos. Long story short, I found myself in a frantic period where I questioned everything I thought I knew about life, relations and the nature of the universe itself - a crescendo that would lead to my spiritual awakening many months later.

There and then, however, I couldn’t even spell trust and anxiety was my constant companion. So of course the universe sent me this person to silently point out the right direction. Almost two years later, I would use this quote as a theme for one of my very first yoga classes that I taught. I remember this last night of traveling, how the American guy had us make an exercise around our personal values, an exercise that normally was solely for the attendees of his conferences. We all found pieces of paper and leftover pens from travelers. With a blunt pencil in my hand, forgotten by a traveler from God knows what distant country, I took a deep breath.

And I blanked. Values? Personal values? What were my values? Who was I? “Honesty” sounded good. Many sunsets have passed since this exercises and I frankly don’t remember it in detail, but I remember there was something about the foundation of the house, then the windows representing your image towards the world. Your mask.

What I wanna convey is how my palms went all sweaty despite the noisy air conditioning, because I didn’t know my values. I didn’t even know it was possible to have values - even less why it would be useful!

But this unknown American author opened up more than the sloppily sketched door on the house on my forgotten piece of paper from God knows what distant country.

Because I slowly realised I had been chasing someone else’s dream all along.

I hadn’t shown myself that oh so important honesty.

Let’s go back in time. I invite you to Central Hostel in Bangkok. It’s suffocating outside, and please turn your head away as you pass by the redlight district on a side road. We walk past one of the countless bars beside the hostel, where a group of British 19 year olds are singing way too loud for the early evening hour. Inside of the hostel it’s quite chill though, a friendly atmosphere and the owner’s wife cooks the best green curry in town. I’m buying one and the portions are enough for a sumo fighter, she refuses to give you less, so I ask for a doggy bag to take it with me to the airport the following morning. I wish I could say it’s because of the environment, but there and then I’m in such a state of confusion that the only one I can care about is myself. Barely. Not enough to figure out if I actually believe “honesty” to be one of my core values, or if it’s ratber someone else’s that I’ve copied.

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You sit down beside me around the table. There’s the girl from South Korea who’s obsessed with Paris and speaks seven languages. The shy guy with the dreadlocks who never speaks but has no fear around being the center of attention when playing his guitar. And that guy with too many tattoos who has become a perpetual backpacker. Who brags about having been to 10 pub crawls the last week. The cool British girl who has already drawn an artistic masterpiece though her pencil is even more blunt than mine - I think she was part of a circus back home - or was it a dance collective? - the guy that has to be Dutch because he’s so tall he has to fold himself all over the table or almost, and that annoying girl who’s constantly Skyping with someone from back home in the middle of the night.

And the unknown American author.

Without judgment I can say he was the only one with an abundance mindset. He radiated confidence, yet he was humble enough to share. That irritated me. Confident people were not humble in my world. I remember seeing him as some kind of exotic creature from another planet. I mean who works as a motivational speaker? And how is it even possible to live on Earth in 2016 and publish a book?!

That was where I was at. I had accepted that I was just not someone who:

  • had dreams

  • went for them

  • decided to make them happen no matter what.

But it only took one phrase to turn that around. Words are powerful. Life changing, even! Miracles happen every day.

So I hand the blunt pencil over to you. Or wait, scratch that! I go look for a knife in the kitchen. And I sharpen it for you. Because I’ve realised that life is too short for blunt pencils.

And I invite you to write down your values. Values are guidelines for decisions! Which makes life easier. Mmm.

  • What are your 3-5 core values? The most important things to you? (and yes you have the right to choose honesty)

  • Are these values yours, or did you copy them at some point in life? (been there done that)

  • When looking at the actions you’ve taken in your life during the last few days - are they in alignment with your values? For example: a value can be “being open-minded”, and you might have judged someone yesterday for their horribly bad taste in music.

  • Is your current job/business working on spreading these values in the world?

My number 1 value is FREEDOM. I wanna be free, I wanna set people free. I believe that’s what will make this world great again. That’s really what my abundance coaching business and personal brand is all about! (And yes, the yoga too - an open body leads to an open mind. Or something along those lines.)

If you feel stuck - don’t worry! If I could do this with my very limited mindset and my blunt pencil, and that itching mosquito bite that wasn’t dengue fever after all, then so can you!!

Leave a comment or tell me what came up for you. I read everything personally and I’m so curious!

Because awareness is always the first step. That’s why I’m so passionate about showing you what’s possible! Once you become AWARE that a certain lifestyle is possible, one that is completely aligned with your values, and that it’s possible for YOU because it is for all humans on this planet, and that you DECIDE to go for it no matter what…

Your values will go from building a house on a forgotten piece of paper to buying one on a tropical beach or a big city of your choice.

The decision is yours!

For more fun facts about abundance coaching, jump over here!

Thank you for investing your valuable, precious time in reading this. I seriously appreciate it.

And as always, remember that you are enough and deserve love! Peace <3

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This 1 Mindset Hack Will Have You Manifest ANYTHING!

Mindset. The buzzword that is thrown left and right. What does it mean?

When googling it, the first result that popped up on my screen was “The established set of attitudes held by someone“.

What established set of attitudes are you operating under? Are those attitudes supporting you?

If you’re reading this and are not living your abundant life in all areas - wealth, health, love, mission:

  1. I’m not happy before you’re happy - let’s change this around now!

  2. You’re probably still holding on to a mindset that is not serving your highest good. That is not high vibe and nice to hang out in, but imposing invisible prison walls around you.

And you’re so not alone! I believe we’re in essence truly unlimited, and therefore always holding back in some sense. We’re operating on a mere 10% or so of our full power. Let’s change that!

As usual, personal development is not an all or nothing game. It’s relative. It’s about increasing the fun and nice parts of life and decreasing the uncool ones.

What can be more worth allocating your precious time and energy to?!

Early in my journey, when I’d just went through my spiritual awakening - which felt like waking up to a whole new world (Disney reference intended) - I stumbled upon a theory that stuck.

It was by Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani, and it looks like this:

We see life as happening either:

  • to us

  • for us, or

  • from us.

Let’s dive into each of them:

 
  1. Life is happening to you - events that not go as expected are failures

The first one is the state in which the vast majority of people find themselves. Life is happening to me. We have no power over anything in life. We’re victim to our circumstances. We’re separated, limited, and things that don’t go as planned are failures.

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Seeing life as happening to you is our default state. I lived under that belief for a looong time, and guess what? Life wasn’t that nice. It felt like being in a tumble dryer. Sometimes you’re on top and life feels good (or rather OK since you’re under the constant threat of things being taken away from you), then you’re falling down and life’s not that good any more. You’re constantly worrying. Anxiety and depression are common side effects of seeing life as happening to you.

Besides, you’re living life far from your full power - and somewhere you sense that you’ve got so much more to give, but all you can do is wait for that next peak and hope it lasts.

Entering the power of mindset: you can CHOOSE to quit that state for good! You can choose a mindset that’s nicer. Just as if you’re at the optician and you’re trying different frames for your new glasses - it’s you who decides which ones you wanna wear and see life through! Amazing!

However, different glasses come with different price tags. And in this case, the currency is spiritual connection.

The more you work on your spiritual connection, the more trust you’ll gain and the more you’ll naturally shift into a mindset that’s serving you!

And you’ll swap “to” to “for”.

 

2. Life is happening for you - events that not go as expected are lessons

When life is happening for you, you’re way above the vibrational state of most humans. Failures no longer exist; when things not go as planned, they are lessons.

This mindset builds on the presumptions that there’s always something to learn. You see the universe as something external giving you exactly what you need right when you need it the most for your soul to grow and evolve. And when your soul evolves, you’re capable of living your mission on this beautiful planet, of supporting others to grow and evolve, too!

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This mindset is only possible for those who feel a spiritual connection of some kind. Seeing life as happening for you is not compatible with the strictly Cartesian/rational way of seeing us as separate entities, only here to do time and then pass away for good. If we only exist in our human costumes, within the limits of what our five senses can comprehend, what would be the meaning of learning things? They will be forever gone once you’re gone.

Also, the limitation with this mindset is that you are separate from the universe. There’s an imposed duality: the universe that is causing things, and you who are experiencing the effects.

The last one then? you might think. And that mindset hack you promised? Yes - now it gets really juicy! I hope you feel my vibe going up all the way across the digital dimension. Because we saved the best for last:

 

3. Life is happening from you - events that not go as expected are blessings

Seeing life as happening FROM you. Aaah! I know, I thought it was very far-fetched and way too out there when I first heard about it. Like holding a pair of glasses made of pure gold. I felt intimidated by their immense value, but also curious about what I could see through them.

And to me, curiosity always wins over caution. So of course I had to collect enough currency to go for that Rolls Royce version of seeing reality.

When life is happening from you, you believe that you’re manifesting EVERYTHING that happens. From drinking a glass of water to missing your train to getting yelled at by your boss to meeting the love of your life. Everything, big or small, is something you’re 100% responsible for and therefore in control of!

That’s it - with great freedom comes great responsibility.

Or, as I prefer to see it:

With great responsibility follows great freedom.

You have infinite power. You’re capable of experiencing whatever your wish to experience in this lifetime. The sky is not the limit - the mind is! How liberating and ecstatic isn’t this view of reality?!

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When life is happening from you, everything you get back is a blessing because you CHOSE for it to happen at some level. Manifesting often happens from our subconscious, so your task turns into tending your subconscious mind and having it manifesting in your favor.

This is the state I wanna hang out in. I believe that the ultimate freedom can only be reached if you take full responsibility for everything you experience in life. Including other people’s behaviour. Because when you see life as happening from you, you understand that this universe is a 360 degree mirror.

The currency of the universe is not expensive glasses but energy. The energy you send out is the energy that will bounce back to you. And quantum physics tells us that everything is vibration and frequency if we look close enough.

Also, you wouldn’t change the reflection in a mirror (= other people’s behaviour or events) and expect yourself to change.

You change yourself - then the reflection will follow!

See it as a radio: you have to tune into the frequency of what you wanna hear. Give to get. Align to attract. And you can’t tune into Metal FM and expect to hear classic music.

In terms of energy: When you raise your vibration to the frequency of love, by loving yourself, you will attract that love frequency in events and people.


All these metaphors to giving you the freedom to choose a mindset that serves you the most. That brings you and other people joy, freedom and abundance.

Most people get stuck on that responsibility part. It’s impossible to see yourself as a victim and be fully responsible. You have to quit victim mode and become the CEO for this life adventure, to see life as happening from you and learn to play with your frequency and attract back whatever you want.

Simple as that!


Who’s with me?!

3 Things I Do Daily to Manifest My Abundant Soulful Girl Boss Life! (and that you should do, too)

Manifesting. What is it even? What associations come up for you?


The simple answer: everything we experience in life is a result of manifesting. So why not use it intentionally? Why not go for the best version of life you could ever imagine?

If I could tell the world one thing it would be: you can have it all. The freedom. The finances. The fun. That’s abundance to me!

My own journey went from staring at a screen in a cubicle while building someone else’s dream and leaving mine until “some day when I feel ready”, to create my own dream.

Which includes enjoying a life of sleeping in on Monday mornings. Working with soul mate clients so amazing that I can’t wait to our next session together and still have to pinch myself in the arm to realise I get (well) paid to do this . Being a fully booked private yoga teacher less than a year after graduating. Going from laying awake at night trying to breathe through anxiety attacks and feeling “what if I’m just not good enough?” to trusting that I always will find a way.

And this is only the beginning! I’m currently manifesting to travel around the world to Tulum, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Australia, Bali and India before going to Ibiza. I’m so confident that this is gonna manifest that I share it with all of you. I’ve DECIDED for this to happen - it has no choice but to take physical form!

But… how?

Entering the juicy stuff. This is the framework that I use in my 1:1 abundance coaching program and that I’ve used myself to manifest:

  • a free yoga teacher training in Costa Rica, allowing me to quit my job and start my own business - stay tuned for the full story in an upcoming post! (Or read about it here if you can’t wait)

  • a business loan that chances looked very slim I would get… logically, that is

  • such an abundance of recurring private yoga clients that I’m now a fully booked private yoga teacher

  • coaching clients in ways only the universe could come up with

  • teaching yoga at a retreat location in Ibiza

  • and so much more! (like money coming “out of the blue” just when I ask for it)

Enough about me - OK one more thing: my addiction (besides chocolate) is having YOU step into your soulful girl boss life too!

Because fun is greater when shared. Because life is happening now. Because you deserve it. So why would you go for something less?!

Imagine all the things you could have today if you would have started a few months ago. Enjoying a life as your own boss, treating yourself with a massage on a Tuesday morning. Traveling whenever you want, wherever you want. Taking the bill when lunching with family and friends because money is not a problem.

Do you realise that this is so possible for you?!

I’m no different from you!

I was scared of literally everything. The last thing someone thought I would be was an entrepreneur. I’ve always identified as an introvert. I saw selling as anything but being of service. I’ve had panic and anxiety attacks and more odd jobs than there are grains of sand on a beach, because I didn’t know what to do when I grew up.

And when I finally got that full time job… I finished escaping into the hallway doing handstands against a wall every ten minutes.

My point is: if I can, so can you!

Pic cred  Sofie Melin

Pic cred Sofie Melin

Over to my framework for manifesting literally anything: Align, Act & Attract.

  1. Align: The mindset work or removing limiting beliefs. Your conscious mind is like the tip of the iceberg: even if you want something so badly you could stay away from chocolate for a month to have it (is it just me?! If so - replace with your fav vegetable!), but you don’t BELIEVE you can have it or you don’t feel WORTHY of having it… the major part of your being will repel it more than a whole tube of SPF50 does with the Australian sun. Like A LOT. The hack is to have your subconscious with you instead of against you - otherwise the next 2 steps won’t be as effective. And it all starts with awareness! Get aware of your perceived limits. This can be done by journaling or sitting in meditation, and in my 1:1 program we dive much deeper into this part to see how we can find practices that feel fun and just the right amount challenging for you!

  2. Attract: How to leverage the power of the universe or that something going beyond logics. I freaking love this! I mean I love all parts of course, but the Attract part has something magical and mystical over it. For my fellow astrology geeks, I’m a Cancer sun and Pisces moon which means i’m A LOT into everything supernatural and extrasensorial, especially in combination with the rational and logical - that’s where the magic not only happens but also manifests! Attract means to visualise your abundant soulful girl boss life and allow yourself to feel all the feelings you wanna have NOW! Everything is energy and vibrations in the universe, and as we tap into the emotional state of already having it, we’ll allow for it to manifest much quicker. Visualising practices are widely used by athletes and politicians to attain their desired results. Jim Carrey, Steve Jobs, Scott Dilbert, Kathrin Zenkina aka Manifestation Babe, Lady Gaga and Oprah are some amongst a ton of famous people who have used visualisation/Law of Attraction practices to attain massive success, so even if science hasn’t caught up yet this stuff is rocket fuel for manifesting!

  3. Act: Sometimes forgotten because it often requires you to do that uncomfy thing, but SUPER powerful and necessary is the art of taking action. We love to romanticise manifesting as thinking of something and having it drop down in your lap, but our physical reality works according to free will and therefore you must take action for things to happen. I believe that when things seemingly manifest out of thin air, we have taken action without being aware of it! I speak about inspired action here, which means doing that thing you feel called to do that might not always make sense rather than hustling and trying to do all the things. Abundance covers all areas of life - including an abundance of time, remember? To be able to take inspired action, you must be in tune with your intuition. Intuition facilitates decision. With my clients, we look at what actions feel aligned to achieve the desired abundance as well as practices to intuitively know, so that you can be independent in your manifesting! An example of action: I reserved a spot at a yoga teacher training in India and paid the deposit before I won my free spot, even though it didn’t make sense since I didn’t have the money nor the vacation days to go! This sent out a sign to the universe that I was serious about doing the training no matter what, and that I trusted that it would happen.

We wanna start by looking at the Align part, so that you can allow yourself to dream big and be sure that the dream is what you really want and not what you “should” want. That will give you your abundant vision for the Attract part, so that you can Act towards what your heart and soul truly desires!

After taking action, you will have a reaction in form of things manifesting physically. This reaction can often lead to new things coming up in your mind, so that we’ll look at the Align part again. And on it goes in a beautiful spiral!

I use all these parts daily to manifest. Align to check that my beliefs are working for me rather than against me. Attract to stay in the high vibrational state of having it already. And Act to push the gas pedal and move forward!

How can you use these parts in what you’re manifesting? Would love to hear about what you’re manifesting now in a comment!

And please reach out with any questions - I’d love to have a chat!

Happy manifesting friends