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Lees in het Nederlands
The Journey @en
Kloof tussen hoofd en hart
Sandra Lensink

February 21, 2017

A gap between the heart and mind

Second day of the Tour Monte Rosa. Toiling away, I climb the second summit of Alagna towards Macugnaca. In the corner of my eye, I see picnickers take their time to devour the landscape, as if it was gold award-winning, red wine. My heart wants to take my legs and lay them down on the rug. My head violently pushes my legs forward. Hurry! Put your blinkers on. We have to perform. The finish: our goal. In a flash, a question lights up: ‘Why does ambition still lead your life?’.

Why does ambition still lead your life?

With this question buzzing through my mind, no later than two days do my legs step over the threshold of our apartment in Amsterdam. My heart heaves a sigh of relief and says: ‘Here, I’m going to lay my legs on the couch for a moment’. My head doesn’t understand this choice: ‘Hey, Europe lies at our feet, why stay?’ My heart does not flinch. Since my burn-out twelve years ago, I have examined every nook and cranny to see what keeps my body vital and how to listen to it. Filled with fire, I now live my passions that are fused together with my work. Just last week, a fitness test reflected my ‘youthful feeling’. My well-being age is far below my actual age. Nevertheless, I have more doubts than before.

What is it I try to hold on so desperately?

The deep gap between my heart and my head have caused spasmodic stiffness in my neck, shoulders, pelvis and legs these past couple of months. What is it I try to hold on so desperately? Devouring notepads, I started writing. Resting. To reflect on ‘my life’ and ‘life in general’. Is this a midlife crisis? Or ‘The shift from ambition to meaning’, which Wayne Dyer mentioned and what Jan Bommerez calls ‘The path of the caterpillar to butterfly’? My left writing hand showed me that the ‘full life zealous’ was still driven from a deep-rooted and caged fear of not ‘being good enough’. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. And shamefully I have to confess, not nimble enough, even though I know this has nothing to do with the essence of yoga. My head believed all these thoughts and pushed me forward. Yoga&Run became my new ambitions. My heart regularly knocked on the door; my head indicated ‘not being home’.

I don’t need to ‘do’ to be able to ‘be’

Until the scales fell off my eyes. I d0n’t need to ‘do’ to be able to ‘be’. I may rely on the flow of life. Everything that belongs to me, exists by itself with the right intentions on a time specified by the universe. I may love myself, just the way I am. After vehement objections, my head could temporarily give up on new planned workshops. With a great relief, my mind and heart fell in each other’s arms. My heart is now the commander of the ship. She is in no hurry and lets me, like a surprised child, meander through all the branches of the winding river. I relieved from stress like dropping a sack of potatoes. I can take time to find answers to existential questions such as: Why am I here on earth? What is my life’s mission? How can I contribute to society? What kind of change do I wish to see in the world? Now, my answer to that question is: rest.

My heart found recognition in the poem “Sometimes” by David Whyte.

if you move carefully
through the forest,

like the ones
in the old stories,

who could cross
a shimmering bed of leaves
without a sound,

you come to a place
whose only task

is to trouble you
with tiny
but frightening requests,

conceived out of nowhere
but in this place
beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what
you are doing right now,

to stop what you
are becoming
while you do it,

that can make
or unmake
a life,

that have patiently
waited for you,

that have no right
to go away.