Merlijn Kooyker (English)

Each month we proudly present one of our Coaches and let ourselves be inspired by them. This week we give the floor to Merlijn Kooyker, an HBO Life Coach based in Voorburg, the Nederlands. Merlijn is particularly interested in the relationship we have with everything around us and in the special interconnectedness between human beings. 

This interview was originally taken in Dutch, read the original here >

Could you tell us a bit more about your experience as a Coach?

A strong sense of the interconnectedness of everything that surrounds us is natural to me. I am fascinated by the way people, animals, plants and things interact and influence each other, at different levels.

Especially the interconnectedness between people interests me. From the very beginning of our lives, we need each other in order to survive and to feel good. The connection to others is a basic need; it is a prerequisite for being healthy and happy. Being aware of that is what drives my life and my work.

Just as we are connected, we are also separated as individuals from each other. Throughout your life, it takes time and effort to get to know yourself and to find your own way.

Life is wonderful. But it may also be confusing and hurt at times. 

To deal with this and to protect ourselves, already as children, we all developed our own unconscious strategies. Later on in your life, however, it may be necessary (or valuable) to reach a new and conscious balance within yourself, based on the abilities your developed as an adult.

What is the most significant thing you have achieved in your life? And how did you achieve it? 

To look at other people and smile at them. That is to dare to be open and present for the people nearest to me, and to strangers. During happy moments, but also —and especially— during more challenging times. What is helping me is the trust in love and the will to really see the other.

Could you tell us how we can grow awareness that would enhance our quality of life? 

The first step is the will to do so. To reflect on the fact that having more awareness of yourself and of your environment increases the quality of your life.

The next step is to go on exploring. Open your mind and try new things. Think of it as an adventure and find the guide and the methods that suit you best. Connect to someone who inspires you and who can support you from a professional point of view. 

Establish relationships with people with whom you can be yourself, and who encourage you to show more of yourself. Every now and then, take a moment to look at yourself from a distance. Evaluate what your are doing, how you are doing it and why. Go step-by-step. Enjoy the process, enjoy your journey.

Would you like to share one particular Tip & Trick for TeddyApp's users? 

Even though we are grown-ups, within ourselves still lives the fragile child we have been. It is a vulnerable child, with important needs, which have not always been and are not always heard or accounted for. Practice to recognise this child's voice. Within yourself as well as within others. Especially at tough moments, this voice may give important messages.

Learn to listen to and to care for your inner child. This will help you finding the peace and strength that you need to fully be yourself, to be fully present. Your gift to the world.


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