Photo by Zac Durant

Blog Archive

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A dream for the future
A holistic approach to software development Read More ›

A leap of faith
The blog post I’m about to write requires quite some courage from me, and this might well have been the reason I haven’t blogged at all the past few months. I'm about to show a side of me that has been shining through all along, but that I haven't been that explicit about before. It feels vulnerable. Read More ›

Privilege and nonviolence
I have been struggling a lot with the issues of privilege, power, justice and diversity and how to address these topics in a way that doesn't do more harm than good. A friend of mine recently introduced me to nonviolent communication and to the work of Miki Kashtan. Suddenly I began to see new opportunities for change. I regained some hope and confidence that we can bridge the gap between groups and individuals if we really want to. Read More ›

It’s all a matter of interpretation. Or how to surf the waves of life
Life goes with ups and downs. We all know that and experience that. And while the ups are very enjoyable, don't underestimate the value of the downs. Read More ›

Are you giving away your power?
Have you ever thought about your own personal power? Are you giving it away perhaps, to your loved ones, your guru, or the government? Or maybe you are unknowingly taking it from others? Or are you empowering them? Read More ›

Events, projections and the human mind
At the time of this writing I am at the Domain Driven Design Europe conference. Modeling, event-sourcing, complexity and refactoring are terms you here a lot here. At the same time at work we were having an issue with a projection in our own event-sourced system. A projection that is trying to represent a certain view on our domain by processing streams of events using event handlers. All of a sudden I saw an interesting analogy with the human mind, and how we perceive the world. Read More ›

Balancing our masculine and feminine sides
As human beings, regardless of our gender, we all carry masculine as well as feminine energy within us. Are we comfortable with both sides or do we reject part of ourselves? Is one side over-developed and the other side under-developed? Let's look at how we can balance ourselves. Read More ›

What motivates us?
What motivates us? Are we motivated by what we want to avoid, in other words, by fear or by anger? Or are we motivated by what we want to create. By joy? Which kind of motivation yields the best results? Read More ›

Bye to the old, hi to the new
How can we live in the here and the now when we are preoccupied with regrets about the past, or fears of the future? It often requires a shift in our thinking. Read More ›

Shifting focus
Do you know those radios where you have to turn a wheel to tune in to a radio station? When you turn the wheel of your radio, then you receive certain frequencies. Sometimes the reception is good when you have tuned in to the exact frequency. Sometimes reception is a bit distorted. Read More ›

In this very moment: yes or no?
There is theory and there is practice. And my practice right now is to surrender to the here-and-now. I'm used to following my plans. To be 'in control' of my day. But I realize now that I should better listen to the present moment. To go with the flow. Read More ›

It might be strange to have a picture of a steam train with a blog post about silence. Especially when you also think about the noises that steam trains produce. The hissing, and the wistling. But this steam train was next to the place where I attended a silent retreat this weekend. Read More ›

Dealing with other people's emotions
So far we have talked about being present for our own emotions. And how to deal with them. But what if you are listening to someone, or being in the neighborhood of someone who is experiencing intense emotions, maybe even directing them at you? In my experience this is even more difficult. Read More ›

Loving yourself the way you are
We have been taught to love other people. And there is definitely nothing wrong with that. But how about loving ourselves as well? Can we even love others in a healthy way when we don't love ourselves? Read More ›

Mindfulness with kids
Mindfulness is not just for adults. Kids benefit from mindfulness exercises and meditations as well. It may even come much easier to them than to us. Read More ›

Being present for our emotions
What is our relationship with our emotions? Emotions can be beautiful and enjoyable when they are positive. But the negative ones can make us feel very vulnerable. Most of us push them away and hide them in a dark corner of our mind. Can we escape them forever? And if not, how do we deal with them? Read More ›

Green computing
Climate change, pollution, inequality... Wat does that have to do with our work, and with mindfulness? Read More ›

Total relaxation
During the day we accumulate tension in our body. Stress, the way we sit at our desks, some interactions we have, all of this can cause our muscles to become tense. Bringing our attention and our breathing back to our body can help us relax. Read More ›

Mindful eating
Food can be a source of joy and nourishment, or an addiction and a source of suffering. It can be a part of celebration and togetherness, but it can also be part of disconnection and pain. What is our relationship to food, and can we be aware of our motives surrounding food? Read More ›

Psychological safety in the team
Do you feel safe to be yourself in your team? Is it okay to ask 'stupid' questions? Are you being taken seriously? Do you feel accepted and respected? Let's dive into the topic of psychological safety. Read More ›

What impact will we have on the world as software developers?
Mindfulness is more than a practice to deal with negative emotions and stress. When we pay attention to what is present in the here and the now, we become aware of how we are connected with everything there is. And how our actions contribute to the state of the world we live in. Read More ›

Mindfully trying to find my way in the issue of diversity in tech
Diversity in tech is a topic that can lead to heated discussions. Discussions that sometimes lead to separation rather than connection. How can we look deeply at and talk about what is going on, while staying connected to each other? Read More ›

Being mindful of our energy level
Our body talks to us, but do we listen? Mindfulness can help us find out what our body needs, and what beliefs are preventing us from taking care of ourselves. Read More ›

The importance of practicing
Are you tempted to think 'I don't need to practice right now. I feel fine. I will practice when I feel stressed'? Practicing during good times however, will make sure your mindfulness is strong enough to cope with bad times. Read More ›

Mindful listening during meetings
When you communicate with others, do you feel that you get their full attention? Are you fully present when listening to others? What distracts us from true listening? Read More ›

(Code)writer's block
Do you know the feeling of wanting to write code, or write a blog post, and then to be stuck? Your mind goes blank and all creativity is gone? Let's explore how mindfulness could be of help in such a situation. Read More ›

WeCamp 2017 morning meditations
Morning meditations on an island, in a tipi-tent, together with other developers. Sounds good, doesn't it? That was exactly what happened on WeCamp last week. Read More ›

Debug your mind
I was pondering about the why of this blog. What do I want to bring about? What is it exactly that makes me so enthusiastic about mindfulness and that I want to share? For me, mindfulness is, among other things, about debugging the mind. The mind is like a computer, that runs many programs. Many of those programs are running in the background. The user of the computer (me!) is not aware of them. But they do influence the everyday experience. Read More ›

Letting go
Do you know what is a real challenge for me? Knowing when to pause or stop. I can be very focused and persistent when solving a problem, and I find it uncomfortable to stop before I reach a solution. Read More ›

Mindful walking
Do you know when it is easy to be mindful? When you are walking in the mountains. Not only will you be fully enjoying the beautiful views, but also, you will have to be mindful of your steps in order not to injure yourself. But you don't have to be in the mountains to practice mindful walking. Read More ›

What do we choose?
We are hard wired to take care of our survival. And so our mind looks out for danger. Which is good is some cases. You wouldn’t want to fall off a cliff, would you? Or get hit by a car. However, most of the time that automatic awareness of negative things is not serving us. We are staying trapped in worries and fears, and miss out on all the good things. These good things are also in our lives, but we either take them for granted, or completely overlook them. Read More ›

Antivirus software for our mind
In IT, when we don’t pay attention to security, we open the door for others to rule our world. They may for instance install a virus on our computer. I like the analogy of computer viruses because it is similar to what happens in our mind when we are not mindful. Read More ›

Who the f*ck has written this terrible code?
Haven't you thought this from time to time? I must admit that I have. But what does it mean when we react like that? Read More ›

What does stress feel like actually?
We know when we are stressed, right? We have all said many times: 'Oh I'm so stressed'. But what does stress feel like in your body? Or in your mind? How do you actually know you are stressed? Read More ›

Where to start if you want to become more mindful?
Although meditation is not required to be mindful, it is a good tool to practice our awareness of the present moment. When we dedicate a fixed amount of time at a regular interval to our practice, our mind will be more willing to go along. After all, when the meditation is over, it can go back to doing what it wants: thinking and analysing. However, especially for inexperienced practitioners, it can be hard to practice on your own. Therefore it will be really helpful to find a group of people to practice together. Read More ›

What is mindfulness
There are many definitions of mindfulness, but in essence they all boil down to being aware of what is happening in the present moment. Being aware of what is happening in our internal world of thoughts, feelings, emotions, bodily sensations. And also being aware of what is happening in the outside world. What we see, hear and notice in the here and now. Read More ›

Mindfulness and dealing with stress
I've been practising mindfulness for several years now and it has had many positive effects in my life. I'm much better able to deal with negative emotions like stress and fear, and I experience a lot more joy, ease and appreciation in my life. As I like to share what I learn, I want to give real life examples of how mindfulness benefits me so that maybe it can benefit others as well. Read More ›