Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

How does your future self inspire you?

My future self is calm, wise, compassionate, open, exuberant, welcoming, peaceful, radiant with love. Yep, fun to be around with. I would love to have her as my friend. She is grounded in the truth that she matters and is valued and respected, even if no one else conveys that message. She knows she doesn’t have to do anything or be anyone to earn love, acceptance, and belonging. She knows she is good enough just by being who she is right now, no amendments needed.

Gosh, I would love to be her!

As I realize that I can be her, something changes in me. After all, I am talking about my future self. Not some heroine or movie star. This is not Julia Roberts or Mother Theresa. This is Elly van Laar, six months from now.

Wow. That means that it is in my power to manifest her in this world. Then the question is not “Is this possible, do I have this in me?”. The question is “What do I have to do right now, to get me one step closer to her?”

It might be that I catch myself, and stop myself from yelling. It might be that I try to see the world through the eyes of my friend, getting his perspective. It might be that I trust and relax in my husband’s love. Or that I sit and enjoy the sun and the Bougainvillea, or play at Barton Springs, or knit a Christmas bauble, or read a book.

Any of those would bring me one step closer.

When I connect to my future self, I am inspired by who she is, and all I want to do is emulate her example.

It is that simple.

I sit down. I follow my in-breath and out-breath, and notice whether it is shallow or deep, slow or fast.  I appreciate how it supports me. I notice my physical sensations, and accept them for what they are. I put my hand on my heart, and breathe in love and compassion. I imagine that my future self sits next to me. I look her in the eyes. I step into her world, and absorb her life. The friends she has, the activities she does, the house she’s in. I take a bird view and look at the six months between my current self and my future self. I see all the courage, commitment, and creativity it took to walk toward her. She looks me in the eyes and offers me a present. A precious gift to help me take the first step toward her.

I accept it and take the first step.

You want help to connect to your future self? Contact me 512-589-0482 for a free discovery session to see if and how I can help you.

Let your future self guide your steps

StepsVisualize your desired result

“Ik ben een kanjer!” I yell, as I park in the driveway last night. “I am a hero!”. Or something like that.

I had just succeeded driving home safely through 10 miles of sleet, freeze, and storm. Over bridges, through winding roads, down the 23% hill to our house.

I was scared all the way.

I am not used to drive through such weather on hilly, winding, unsalted roads. Dutch roads are flat, straight, and immediately taken care of by government agencies when it starts to snow.

I applied my battalion of fear-reassuring tricks. Singing, focusing on my breath, thanking God for a safe drive, visualizing my warm and welcome homecoming.

Take your first step

The funny thing was, I was a more responsible driver, because of that tenacious determination to arrive home safely. I was so intent on keeping myself from an accident and my car from wreckage, that I carefully took all the necessary steps to make that happen. My desired end result was so clear, that I only needed to reason back from that end situation to my now to find the steps that would get me there.

I am noticing it with my application for the Order of Interbeing too. I haven’t even applied, I haven’t told my Dharma teacher, I haven’t asked my Sangha. And my visualization of whom I want to be is so clear, my commitment so conscious, that I can track all the steps my future self took to get there. All the thoughts, words and actions my future self took to come into existence.

Isn’t it wonderful? It’s it simple? Imagine your future self, and track back the steps your future self took to come into existence. And take that first step. Just that first step.


You want help to figure out your first step? Contact me for a complimentary, discovery session 512-589-0482 or email me

Conversations about change: Future Self (5/6)

Future selfNo change is gonna happen, unless you have a vision of what you want more of in your life, that is positive and within you influence. Unless you have a goal, you’re not gonna move.

Saying “no” to your current situation is not enough.

Imagine your friend asks you to book a holiday for him. He tells you not to book a holiday to Syria. Now what? Do you have any idea what he does want? A sunny beach holiday in Mexico? A city trip to Los Angeles? A family visit to the Netherlands? It will be difficult to organize a holiday that he likes.

How can you do a don’t?

I like to share a visualization exercise with you, to help you connect with what you do want (gratitude to Francois Beausoleil).

Find a quiet, private spot.

Find a comfortable position. Relax. Maybe close your eyes. Bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it flows through you.

Let your attention drift into the future. Say, 6 months from now. You’ll find another version of yourself. Slightly different, in important ways. Feel what it’s like to be that future self. Breathe exactly as they would. See through their eyes. Feel how good their experience feels.

You might feel gratitude for the way they live their lives. The people they serve, the friends they have. It seems simple and obvious to them to share their deepest values, dreams and beliefs with those around them. They let go of some of the negative, old beliefs they had. Beliefs that limited them.

What have you done that led you to that place? You have learned some important key elements to get there. You have alignment between your vision, your inner world, and what you do.

As you keep breathing through your future self, you take three snapshots from your future life. Maybe feedback from someone who is grateful for how you served them. Maybe your friends and family, celebrating your existence. Maybe the house you always wanted. Maybe a feeling of joy, peace, love. Take three snapshots from your future life, and take them with you in this moment.

Now travel your attention half way and above the time line between the two versions of yourself. You see the entire 6 months. Feel appreciation for all the learning you achieved, all the actions you took, all the challenges you overcame.

Step again in the future version of yourself, and from that future version make eye contact with your current self. With a smile, pass a small gift from the future version to your current self. Something only known by the two of you. As your current self receive it with gratitude.

Relax. Breathe in and out. You are fully into the current version of yourself. You are connected to your current experience. You accept the smile, the gift, the insight you received.

You bring your attention back to this moment, this place. Open your eyes, and be here.

A happy new year!

Contact me if you want support to take a first step to your future self, 512 589 0482 

Self-Compassion, day 2: Your Future Self

Every day I go out for a walk. During my walk I imagine my future self, a year from now. I see how happy she is, how loving her marriage, how abundant and prosperous her financial situation. I see her walk around in a clean, organized home, where friends drop in and are welcomed with a big smile. She has clients who are satisfied, and changing their lives. She contributes to others from the fullness of her heart.

I call it the Future Self Process. It invokes the power of the subconscious mind to attract what you desire, and wholesome and beneficial to everyone.

You can do this for yourself too:

  1. Imagine what you want more of in your life that is positive and within your circle of influence. Imagine your future self having all the love, connection, acceptance, support, abundance and prosperity she longs for.
  2. Really feel into what it is like to be your future self. Feel it physically, emotionally, and mentally. Have the thoughts, physical sensations, feelings and experiences your future self has. Look at her environment, her home, her relationships, the steps she takes into her life. You see her reality as your reality.
  3. Repeat this process at least once a day, preferably more often.
  4. Do what you can do in this moment to take a first step towards your future self. You are committed to her becoming a reality, and not all the other versions of your future self. Chose love, peace and harmony for your future self.
  5. Give thanks for the abundance, prosperity, wholeness, love and connections that are already yours.
  6. Let go. Trust your subconscious mind to tap into the source of Life, Light and Infinite Love that brings her into existence.