“Those who look outside, dream; those who look inside, awaken”

Quote from C.C. Jung, in: ‘Holy Fire’, The process of Soul Awakening, Thomas Yeomans, Ph.D

Wake up call

I know what it’s like not to be free. Not to be free from and not be free to. For almost half of my life I pretended to be different than I was or wanted to be and a life ‘in the closet’ felt safer and more familiar than a life ‘out of the closet’. I know what it’s like to live a life where the outside doesn’t match the inside. A life that literally made me sick a number of times and of which I can now say when I look back on it, getting sick and getting stuck over and over again, was a recurring wake-up call of not being in line with myself who I really was and wanted to be.

Becoming aware is not without consequences

When you get stuck in something, have recurring complaints that are difficult to explain or notice that the way you approach something no longer seems to work and does not deliver what you had hoped for, then it starts to seem that ‘life itself ‘lend you a hand to stop and wonder; What is going on? What am I not seeing? What am I not aware of? A consequence of becoming more aware of yourself is that you will increasingly ‘see’ what you are doing or not doing. You will experience more consciously what you do, think and feel. That’s nice when what you do matches how you think and how you feel. It is not pleasant and sometimes even very annoying if it does not match. In fact, it can be so annoying that it literally makes you ‘sick’.

Desire to feel free

It seems so easy to say what you want and do what you say. But believe me it is not. Because to say what you want and do what you say, you have to be free. Freedom from and freedom to. It is about a freedom that we are usually not aware of and therefore cannot live or live fully. In one way or another, I think we all have experience with ‘sitting in the closet’ with something and have the desire to break out. Desire for freedom

Lack of freedom and conflicts

When a client registers with the practice and asks for support in his or her personal process, it almost always turns out that there is a ‘battle’ between feeling and thinking, wanting and doing, fear and desire, life and survival. A struggle in which they feel they have no control over it and are therefore not free. A struggle that causes a lot of tension and where it is not always clear who or what is the cause of this lack of freedom. And although it is usually an inner conflict between the different parts of ourselves that are touched, most tensions are attributed to problems and conflicts outside ourselves in, for example, work, relationships, etc. The request for help often focuses on these problems and conflicts .

Most of the signals in the body are ‘afferent’

I understand that very well. Because we are more familiar with ‘outside’ than with ‘inside’. The focus of our consciousness is often on what is going on outside of us and less on what is happening inside us. Our senses have usually been trained and become familiar with what is perceived outside of ourselves. It is the information that is interpreted and processed through our senses in our brain, and then whether or not it prompts action. What we are not or hardly aware of is that more information is generated ‘inside’ than what comes in from the outside through our senses.


Our body (heart, head and abdomen) is one large database of information that influences our perception. According to Bessel van de Kolk, more than 80 to 90% of the information is ‘afferent’. This means that more signals go from the body (heart and abdomen) to the brain than from the brain to the body. It is therefore not surprising that we do not always understand the ‘conflicts’ we experience and that what we say and do is not always in accordance with what we really want. This is partly because we are only aware of part of what we perceive. And because we are not used to focusing our attention on the signals in our inner world. While the choices we make are largely influenced by our unconscious ‘data’.

Focus from the outside in

So in order to really feel free it is necessary to shift our focus from the outside to the inside every now and then. Become familiar with our own body, our emotions, our feelings and our thoughts. Become familiar with the different parts of our personality, which all play their own role and take their own place. And when we pay attention to that, we can experience that in addition to the outside world that we perceive with our senses every day, there is an almost unimaginably large and diverse inner world that we could compare to a country of which you are the King or Queen! Can you imagine? You are the….. King or Queen of your own kingdom? Responsible for what lives in you, for your own ‘inhabitants’, for the prosperity, care and education for your own inner landscape. And you only have to make a comparison with the situation in our own country to become aware of the versatility, divisions and contradictions that can exist and the desire for healthy and reliable leadership.

Inner Leadership

To say what you want and to do what you say, it is therefore necessary to be free. To be free from and to be free to. To realize that freedom you have to become aware of that which makes you unfree. This requires that you shift the focus from the outside to the inside and become familiar with what you perceive within. That requires someone who can direct that focus. (Inner leadership) And the one that is you. The moment you learn to consciously perceive you become aware of the observer within yourself. You are aware that while you perceive you do not coincide with what you perceive. You perceive and direct the focus. You can shift your attention from your body to your feelings and from your feelings to your thoughts. And every time you shift your attention, you realize that you are the one who directs this attention and sets the focus. Realizing and experiencing this makes you free! Free from and free to.

Become familiar with yourself

Whatever request for help a client applies in practice, becoming familiar with this ‘direction’ of the focus from the outside in, is an important first step in the process of inner growth and awareness. And an important first step on the way to clarification, healing and inner leadership. Become familiar with the inner world of the body, the emotions, feelings and thoughts. Become familiar with being present with yourself with an open and committed heart, without judgment. Perhaps that is the most important thing we do in guidance. Become familiar with yourself in who you really are or want to be and from there look at what prevents you from doing so. Becoming aware of where you have become entangled with parts in yourself that from ‘survival’ have started to lead a life of their own with a will and an own purpose that are often not in accordance with who you really are and what you really want. These often unconscious entanglements make you unfree, so what you say and do does not correspond to what you want. You are not free.

The presence of Soul

But there is also hope! Where the personality is usually impatient and willful, does not like change or letting go and is focused on control, there is your Soul, involved, patient and willing to let go. Prepare to take the place it ought to take, namely the place of yourSelf. And when you have taken your place where you are free from and are free until then you will notice that you will experience life in the outside world, for example in relationships and in your work. Outer world and inner world are more consistent with each other. You say what you do and do what you say. Your personality in all its versatility including its limitations and limitations becomes a means to express yourself. Free from and free to!

For me, a life in which we can express ourselves in who we are, in our possibilities and our limitations, in our light and our shadow sides, is an inspired life. A life that becomes visible through qualities that characterize the life of a free Soul such as: Authenticity, gratitude, love, peace, joy, kindness and harmony. Qualities that do not need to be learned in counseling or therapy but that are released when you free yourself from what makes you unfree.

“How do you know when the soul is present, both in yourself and in another? What are the signs and energies that mark its presence? It is an important question, for much passes for the soul that is not, and we can be fooled. Yet, at the same time, I think that each of us “knows” at a very deep level when the soul is present. The knowing comes from a resonance with our soul and a familiarity with its qualities, and also from what we actually experience in the presence of soul”

From: Holy Fire’, The process of Soul Awakening, Thomas Yeomans, Ph.D