This blog will be more like blobs of thoughts and feelings rushing through my head and heart, jotted down in a very unorderly fashion. Don't expect consistent and uniform content, otherwise you can leave now or be disappointed forever (you have been warned). I will (mostly) be writing this blob in English, because it's not my native language and I like a challenge.
If you are looking for the chaos in my head, you've come to the right place.
Instead of asking people you just met "So, what do you do?", rather ask them "So, who are you?" and the whole conversation will shift. Because what people do and who they are, is not always in alignment.
Wildflowers & Stardust
Your body comes from the earth and will return to it in due time. Your soul comes from the universe and will remain part of it for an eternity. If that doesn’t make you feel special and worthy, I don’t know what will.
Whenever you feel small and trivial, just remember that your eyes look like a constellation, your lungs look like roots of a tree, your veins are like rivers running life through your body. You are a miracle, made out of wildflowers and stardust.
What would your inner child do?
I have been trying to figure out for a long time now how to get through to people and how to help them be the best version of themselves.
After a lot of soul-searching myself, trying to figure out what my true passions are in life and how to use them to add value to other people’s lives, I came to a conclusion. Everything in life can be answered by asking one question: “What would your inner child do?”
I named my business Be Nattie, because it has always been my goal in life to be myself, something that isn’t always easy in today’s society. Peer pressure anyone?
So I decided to start making my dreams I had as a child become reality and I work on them every single day.
One of those dreams was having my own shop and thanks to Spreadshop, that dream already came true! I get to draw every day, make my own designs and do what I love with the help of the awesome Spreadshop team and community!
My vision is to inspire you to tap into your inner child again and in doing so, make you realise what you really want in life. Because you deserve to be the best version of yourself and your inner child deserves to see you happy!
Art isn’t about instant gratification. As an artist, it is a constant pursuit to stick out above the rest, while everyone is used to mindlessly scrolling on their small smartphone-screen. They don’t look at anything longer than a fraction of a second and will only pause, like, save or comment when something really catches their eye. But art isn’t about catching an eye, it’s about touching one’s heart, connecting to one’s soul.
What happened to savouring art? Savouring music, paintings, poetry, sculptures, movies or any other form of artistic explosions of an artist, laying bear their soul to the world, fragile and exposed after hours, days, weeks or even years of pouring out everything they had inside that needed to escape onto a canvas. Only to get a fraction of a second of your attention.
Art isn’t about instant gratification, it takes time and effort to understand it. You have to watch a movie in full to be able to understand the storyline. You have to read every page in a book in order to get to know the characters. You have to look at every inch of a painting, and even then, every time you’ll look at it again, you’ll discover a part you hadn’t noticed before.
Instant gratification is what kills the soul and upsets the mind. It breaks hearts and crushes dreams.
So let’s go back to savouring art. The way it was intended to.
I don’t like the society we are currently living in. It’s an ego-based society, driven by mindless consumerism. Having a lot of stuff you don’t need should not be considered wealth.
We have already lost so much of our humanity, I don’t even want to imagine what life will be like when A.I. takes over. In a way, it already has. The majority of the population is already dependent on devices that dumb them down. We have never been more disconnected from the natural world.
We know everything about celebrities that influence us to buy even more stuff we don’t need, we can’t afford, where we should be inspired by artists who try to make this world a better place.
As a tiny drop in the vast ocean
you will get your turn to reach the sandy shore
I promise it’ll be worth the wait
Don’t try and go against the flow
It will not be worth the weight
We are all tiny drops belonging to the same blue seas
So when we wave together,
we will all soon have our day
to sense the warmth of a pearly beach
A multitude of drops united by the surf
When one touches a grain of sand
we will all feel merely swell
As my mind wanders
and I wonder what it's like
to live among the trees
and sleep under the stars
The moonlight gently kissing
my hazel-brown hair
With rocks for friends
and a woodpecker to tell my secrets to
A rippling stream reminding me to stay calm
and a field of wildflowers patiently awaiting spring
Howling wolves would not scare me
but instil strength and loyalty in my heart
I wonder what it would be like
to walk among the trees
and dream about the stars
The moonlight connected to my soul
and my heart overflowing with love
When everything is perfect, there’s no room for improvement.
Don’t pursue perfection, keep looking for ways to grow.
A couple of days ago, Kamala Harris became the first female and POC Vice President of the United States of America. The first one since 1776, when the USA became independent. So sadly enough, this event is considered very special, as no other woman or person of colour has ever achieved what Kamala Harris has. Why are we so focused on a person’s race, a person’s gender, a person’s appearance? Some people have to fight harder, explain themselves more and a lot of times get a feeling of being left behind, just because of their gender, their race or their appearance.
I wish we could see souls in stead of bodies. I wish we could see worth in stead of ego. I wish we could see each other as we are, truly are on the inside, without bias because of a certain ‘look’ a person has.
Cry me a river
You made me cry a river, but I built a bridge out of all the bricks life had thrown at me.
A bridge that is leading me to places, where as your river would only end up in an ocean of sorrow.
Tap into your creative side. Let it flow. Pour it all out. The world needs your wave of uniqueness.
Creativity is hearing colours. Creativity is seeing music. Creativity is smelling shapes. Creativity is voicing your soul.
Question everything and don’t answer to anyone. The education system is based on remembering facts (whether they are true or not). IQ is measured by tests to determine if you are good at remembering those facts.
If you do well on tests, it means you have a good knowledge of facts, but it does not necessarily mean you are intelligent.
Intelligence to me means thinking for yourself, critical analysis of everything you hear, read and see. You can hold a degree and still be an idiot if you don’t implement the acquainted knowledge.
Don’t wait for the moon to make waves. Make your own waves. You don’t need permission, it’s your duty to make waves about the things you care about. You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the ocean. If you start making waves, all the drops near to you will be part of the wave and will be swept up by your determination.
Man on the Moon
Why do people talk about the man “on” the moon when referring to the face of the moon? The moon is the man.
Leap of faith
A couple of months ago I was watching a documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough about barnacle geese. They lay their eggs on top of high cliffs to protect them from predators such as arctic foxes. When the goslings hatch and are only a few days old, they have to jump off the cliff in order to stay close to their parents. A true leap of faith, terrifying and life changing all at once. If they stay on the cliff, they will surely die. If they jump, they have a much higher chance of survival.
Most people couldn’t be compared to these brave goslings, because most people stay on their cliff for the majority of their life. Only the bright and brave will take the jump, the leap of faith and thrive in newfound land. A land they would’ve never discovered by staying on their cliff, awaiting their slow death. By staying on the cliff, most people let their soul die a slow death, because they were too afraid of what lay beneath. Even if you can’t see what’s beneath you, and you feel like you’re on top of the world, I advise you to take the leap anyway. Make the jump and walk on greener grass for the rest of your life.
I’ve always figured one’s life purpose must be something big, like changing the world or finding a cure for cancer. The wiser I get (let’s not use the word older), the more I realise it’s in the small things. Your life purpose is to be kind to your fellow earthlings. Smile at a stranger, wave at a child in a passing car, feed a stray cat, look after your neighbour’s dog when they need to go to the hospital. By those small acts of kindness, you are changing the world more than you can imagine.
Don’t worry if you’re not understood. It’s because you’re ahead of your time. Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein weren’t understood in their time either.
Sometimes, just sometimes, something so life changing crosses your path, that it must be a sign from the Universe. I truly believe the Universe guides all of us, we just have to look closely and keep an open mind. Many moons ago I came across the book “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. That was one of the first books I read on spirituality and awakening. It affirmed my belief that everything happens for a reason and that the majority of people in what we call “civilised” society have lost their ways and their connection to the natural world.
A couple of months ago, I went to the bookstore to buy a Simon Sinek book, as I had just started my own business and I wanted to get deeper into his infinite mindset idea. As I was standing at the till to pay, my eyes caught “Women who run with the wolves”, written by Jungian analyst, author and poet Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. I had heard about it, read about it and seen flashes of it on my Instagram feed. So there and then, on the spot, I told the cashier I would take that book as well. Without a blink, without a second thought, I bought it. I did not regret it!
A couple of days ago I was supposed to load some extra designs on my web shops, but for some reason, I decided to watch a mindless Youtube video before starting. When I logged into Youtube, a suggested video caught my eye. “Down to Earth” is a 1,5 hour long documentary about a Dutch couple and their 3 kids traveling to all the corners of the world in search for the Earth Keepers. I watched the whole thing in one sitting. I highly recommend you do the same. It’ll change your life. Not a lot of work was done that evening, but a lot was learned, and sometimes, just sometimes, that’s an inspiration for future (art)work.
Don’t just manifest. Womanifest. Use your inner Warrior Goddess powers to make your stuff happen.
Don’t just manifest a house. Womanifest your home.
Don’t just manifest a job. Womanifest your dream occupation.
Don’t just manifest to be pregnant. Womanifest birthing your healthy child.
Don’t just manifest a car. Womanifest your roadtrip.
Don’t just manifest a destination. Womanifest your journey.
I’ve always loved the quote “The earth laughs in flowers” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
But we don’t seem to listen, because we keep picking wildflowers and expect them to survive in a vase.
Wildflowers don’t grow in a vase. And if you don’t understand this is a metaphor, you need to re-evaluate your life. Because you are the wildflower and the vase is your relationship, your cubicle at work, your mindset, your morning routine, your bad habits or whatever it is that makes you feel unlike yourself. It’s whatever steals your passion and zest for life. Get out of the vase and find your field of fellow wildflowers so you can bloom the way you were supposed to.
Make-up, straws, hairdryers, nail polish, TV’s, plastic cutlery, there are so many things in this world that exist, but have no purpose. People can live without so many things they deem necessary.
I’m quite a low-maintenance person, I can do without a lot of stuff and the things I do deem necessary, I try to replace as much as possible with an eco-friendly version if I can find one. I still have a long way to go and a lot to (un)learn, because society has created a norm where things are valued and people are used. Day by day life has created mindless routines where we don’t even consider the effect our actions have on the environment and the people around us. Fast fashion and plastic pollution are not only bad for the planet, but for every earthling living and depending on it. I wonder why it seems so easy to distribute oil/gas/petrol all over the world, but getting clean water to poor communities will only happen when pigs can fly. Why is there always money for wars, but not for healthcare? Man has walked the moon, but we have yet to accomplish walking peacefully on this earth. There are many ways of the human “kind” that I will never fathom, but all the beauty that I am surrounded by, keeps me going and keeps me hoping for better days.
Choose a niche, stick to your style, only post about your chosen topic, …
Seems like I’m breaking all the social media rules. I don’t have a niche, I definitely don’t have a style, because I like experimenting and my topics are all over the place.
But I do have a target audience: people with a sense of humour who want to change the world for the better.
People who want a worldwide ban on plastic and the worldwide right to marry your partner, regardless of gender(identity). People who think equal rights for women should be a no-brainer and people who realise men can also be the victim of domestic violence. People who forget about the box and think for themselves, research what they don’t understand and aren’t afraid to have uncomfortable conversations.
My target audience is basically anyone who wants to see others thrive and drink lemonade without a straw.
I don’t consider myself a content creator, I’m a constant creator. Always coming up with weird ideas or making fairy wings for my kiddo’s dolls. So if you want my totally non-professional advice: aspire to be a constant creator in stead of a content creator, whether you’re drawing, writing, thinking of new ideas in the shower, gardening, fixing up lunch, creating peace in your head while meditating, creating memories by reading your favourite childhood book to your kids, whatever it is you do that is enjoyable. Everybody, including you, is a creator. You don’t have to be the next Picasso to feel like a creator. Do what you love without feeling the need to broadcast it on every social media platform. Do what you are good at, do it wholeheartedly, do it often and be content about it.
The truth isn’t something you believe in. It’s true regardless of what you believe. The truth is like gravity, it exists, even if nobody believes in it. The truth is like science, the facts are there, proven to be true. So always tell your truth, for it is your legacy and your meaning of life.
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. Sounds like I always tell my truth, because I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast…
May your head be well rested in the morning and your heart be full of love in the evening. May your wildest dreams become reality and your worst nightmares disappear into oblivion.
Flickering and bright. Christmas trees and colourful light. Bubbling up feelings we keep hidden all year, only to explode in between decorations and wrapping paper.
When you lack inspiration, take a break from what you need inspiration for. Take a walk on the beach. Read a book. Get lost in a forest. Hike your heart out. Ride a bike or ride like the wind. Put your feet in the earth, and your hands in the dirt.
What’s your favourite colour? Animal? Car? Food? TV program? Movie? Band? The list is endless.
I’m a Libra, I have a hard time choosing favourites, it goes against my sense of justice. Why would one animal be more favourable than the next? Don’t they all have their specific characteristics that make them unique? And what about food? Don’t all types of food bring something to the table? (Pun intended.) My favourite car is the one that gets me from point A to point B, with enough space for my family. I don’t have a TV and my favourite movie depends on my mood and the company I’m with. And don’t get me started on bands, all bands/musicians have made great music and have made music that should be buried deep underneath the face of the earth.
So no, I don’t have favourites. I don’t idolise and I try to treat everyone and everything equally. Because everyone and all things have a purpose here.
I’m at war. Not the kind of war where I am out to killing people, the kind of war where I am out to killing bias, labels, obsolete ideas. I am at war with myself, with my culture, with the world I grew up in. I am at war with societal standards, with what a lot of people consider normal, but what goes against every fibre of my soul.
There’s a jittery feeling running all over my spine, a feeling of unease. The Great Conjunction better be the plot twist Mother Earth has been waiting for. I am ready for the Age of Aquarius, I am ready for change, I am ready for a world full of awakening. A world where we feed the poor and idolise trees and whales. A world full of possibilities, where you don’t have to fight harder for something because you look a certain way. A new world where the order is restored and the new order has crumbled.
I will keep fighting my inner war, I will keep bettering myself and the way I treat my loved ones, for a better world starts within, so you can vibrate the hell out of it.
I’m not a scientist, I’m not a historian, nor a psychologist. I’m an artist, a writer, a poet, a word wizard.
Anything I write might not contain factual truth, but it contains my truth. My thoughts, my passions, my concerns, my questions. The characters in my stories might not all exist in real life, maybe they do, and we just haven’t discovered them yet. But to me, they are real, they bring life and joy, and they depict a better version of who we, as humans, could be. Faeries protecting the forest, mermaids protecting the oceans and dragons protecting the skies. If only we lived in a world that doesn’t need protection.
I have this theory about newborns: when they are growing in the womb, they feel, hear and understand everything going on around them and remember every single bit of it. When they are born, they cry because they realise they are now part of the wicked world their parents brought them into. Lack of speech and fine motor-skills limit their means of communication and grown-ups are anyway too ignorant to fathom the fact their newborn is trying to tell them something.
Newborns know everything, all the secrets to the universe, they understand all the languages on earth and know every creature and seedling by name. But as they grow, their guardians not only guard them from harm, but also from expansion. Newborns get conditioned very early on and thus start forgetting all those secrets, all those languages and all those names.
Toddlers are still full of wonder and soak up knowledge like a sponge. But in this modern day and age, general knowledge isn’t the same thing as universal knowledge. So if you ever have the honour of communicating with a young infant, do so by listening in stead of telling. Do so by watching in stead of pointing. Do so by feeling in stead of feeding.
The only sound I hear is the ocean crashing against the sandy beach and car tyres screeching. The night is still, but I’m awake. The moon keeps me company and the stars light up my face. Maybe it’s my computer screen, maybe it’s the twinkle in my eyes.
I want to say I’m working late, but is it really work when you actually enjoy what you do for a living? Is it a job, is it a passion or is it just a means to an end? Being a mermaid or a faery is so much easier than being a human. Humans are so conditioned into thinking they need a career and a mansion to feel successful. Mermaids just need an ocean and faeries just need a forest. I think I need more ocean and more forest to feel more alive.
I don't know what to make of our relationship. My love and appreciation for you go deeper than a lovers' love.
I love you like a mother, wishing you to be safe and brave enough to be yourself.
Loving you like a sister, wanting to tease you for being different, but only so you are strong enough and prepared for the cruel world that awaits out there. And if that world hurts you in any way, you've always got a sister with a broad shoulder to cry on.
Loving you like a friend, not related by blood, but bound by soul-strings and universal dust particles.
And to the person asking for my friend's love. Don't.
Don't ask for his pure and unconditional love if you are not willing to return that love a thousand times and to never take away his freedom to roam the earth as only he was intended to.
Don't ask for his love if you are not willing to love him for him, not for the image you created in your mind. Because the mind does not know how to love, the heart gets the idea, but only the soul truly knows how love is supposed to feel.
There are a lot of things in life I will never understand. Call me weird, call me awkward, call me abnormal. Plastic soup and silicone boobs. Faces plastered with make-up and tuned-up cars. Grey cemented sky-lines and choosing greed over grace. Not wearing seatbelts and speeding to get nowhere faster. Trying to impress people by doing what you think they would like in stead of passionately pursuing your own dreams.
Why are people so scared of their own truth and so eager to please everyone else’s lies? Fakeness is a deadly disease, a soul-crushing habit in a lifeless existence. Don’t be afraid to disappoint your peers, don’t be afraid to walk your own path, it’ll lead you in the right direction.
My mind is blurry and my head is heavy. My thoughts are faded and my throat is sore. My nose and my creativity are blocked, but saline spray doesn’t seem to be a magic potion. Sleep is interrupted and in my dreams I am wandering off to lucid places. I am trying, I am resting, I am calming down, I am prioritising, I am healing.
Whey aren’t we more outraged about everything going on in this world? Everything we have accepted as normal. How come do people pay good money and stand together for a soccer team, but look the other way when it comes to poverty, abuse, corruption, animal cruelty, the list goes on and on.
Why are people not more outraged about the fact that major multinational corporations still use so much plastic in their packaging, when there are dozens of eco-friendly alternatives? Why do people consider it normal for a “lucky” few to own billions and the majority of the population has to work full-time just to get by.
Why are people not outraged by the fact that we are so disconnected from the natural world, that most of us don’t even possess the basic skills for survival: building shelter, growing food and purifying water. Convenience has become key over self-sufficiency. It’s time to disconnect our screens and reconnect with the greens.
You don’t have to re-invent yourself, you just have to take a pause, take a step back and re-evaluate what it is in life that sparks your soul.
I started my business, because I had finally found out what I want to do every day. I want to write, I want to design, I want to inspire people to be themselves.
Besides being a mom to the sweetest daughter, and wife to the most beautiful husband, I needed something for myself. A place where I can let my creative self play around and go wild.
I’ve always been fascinated by the moon and the stars. Worlds far away from the one I’m accustomed to. There was a time when I believed I didn’t belong to this earth, because I don’t fit in, I wonder too much about what other people regard as normal and I’ve always had a stronger bond with animals than with people. But some kind of force always pulls me back to earth (and I’m talking about something much stronger than your average gravity). It’s a force I feel whenever I put my feet in the ocean, whenever I inhale the fresh forest air and whenever I look into the eyes of the most innocent earthlings to walk amongst us. It’s the force that lets me know I do belong here, I am part of the natural world, I just got lost along the way.
There’s a saying “don’t be an echo, be a voice”. As if echo’s are a bad thing. As if echo’s are only from someone else’s voice. But echo’s are important, the echo’s of your own voice. Hearing what you just said from a different angle can put everything in perspective.
Imagine you’re in a dark place, a cave, damp and gloomy, not knowing where to step next. All of a sudden this desire to yell comes over you and you scream from the top of your lungs: “I’m lost!”
When those powerful words echo back to you, you finally realise you have to keep moving forward, even if it’s a little step, even more so if it’s a leap of faith.
People are born to conform, to fit into societal standards, so why do we idolise the ones who don’t? The actors who dropped out of college, the singer-songwriters who rely more on their guitar than on their degree. The ones who broke free from the chains of cultural imprisonment.
Why do we idolise the ones living their dreams, but accept our own life being lived by the rules of a game we will never win if we don’t break them? Why do we idolise people we don’t know, who were brave enough to take a leap of faith? Why do we doubt our close friends and family members when they too want to break loose? Do they remind us too much of the dreams we buried under our bed?
Everybody is a time traveler. Maybe not physically, but definitely mentally. Whenever you see the shade of red your mother’s lipstick looked like, whenever you smell the lavender fields you used to run through as a child, whenever you hear Herman’s Hermits sing ’No milk today’ and you reminisce how you and your dad always got the lyrics wrong.
Don’t dwell on the past, you don’t live there anymore, but the occasional visit to escape your daily hustle and bustle is allowed. Don’t forget to come back to the now, take a deep breath and be proud of yourself, how far you’ve come since that day in time, which feels like a distant memory, yet so near you can still touch it, smell it, feel it when you close your eyes for no longer than an instant.
I wish humanity was like a rainbow. When we look at humans, we see them as black or brown or white or small or big or male or female or anything in between. It creates division, bias and thus hate. But when we look at a rainbow, we look at it as one, not as a red bow and an orange bow and a yellow bow etc. that happen to be next to each other. No, we see the rainbow as one entity. So next time you look at people, try to see them as one and not as their colour, shape, gender or anything else that creates division. Labels are for clothing only.
My head is exploding
I don’t have enough time to do all the things I want to do. I am not just a designer who wants to sell T-shirts online. I am a thinker, an over-thinker, a nervous wreck from time to time. The chaos in my head keeps me restless at night and makes it hard for me to focus during the day. I have a thousand ideas and get inspired by a certain colour the evening sky looks like or by the shape of a leaf my daughter handed me. I am an artist, a writer, a poet and most of the time, I’m a mom, wondering if I’m doing it right.
I get overwhelmed by seeing other better artists on social media and sometimes I just want to hide away in a dense forest surrounded by wolves and faeries. But then I realise those artists were once beginners too, and I am proud of how far they’ve come and I am determined to practice every day to get better than my yesterself.
I am what I am
I am an artist, a creator, a writer, a poetic misfit, a home builder, and I am always a bit all over the place. A beginner in some art forms, a veteran in others, but an artist nonetheless. Yet most of all I like to believe I am the architect of my own life. I don’t like to be labeled as one thing, because I’m multi-faceted, as all earthlings are. It’s just human nature to put everything and everyone in boxes. But most of those boxes are too small to fit a whole person anyway. So when you get to this blob, leave your box at the door and just let yourself in as you are, the whole you.
Writing is so much easier than designing and drawing. I can just type/write the words down that pop up in my head and it will be the same as in my head. Whereas if I have an image in my mind and I try to draw or design it, it never quite looks the same as how I pictured it.