Carlien never made a truly conscious decision about her life, until she was 30 years old. Instead she consulted the “Little Book of Expectations” for every choice. It determined what job she did, who she dated and even how she dressed. …


Becoming fearless is probably possible. The bad news is that it is as attainable as becoming enlightened. So that’s a slim chance. A much more realistic ambition is becoming conscious of your fears, so that they can’t take the lead of your life. Facing my biggest fears was key to living a life that I love. Scared to face your fears? All the more reason to do it!

Fear is deeply rooted in any animal’s brain, including humans. In the wild, fear is one of the most useful instincts for survival, so it gets a strong voice in our decision making.

For many people, like myself a two years ago, it has the loudest voice. For them, fear…


Nature has near-magical brain healing powers. Your productivity, mental health and hormone levels can be improved by spending time outdoors and reconnecting with nature. Simply put, mother nature is a great therapist. So when your mind feels cluttered, pay her a visit. She’ll welcome you with open arms.

Ecotherapy, grounding and mindful hiking have won major popularity points this last year.

Hippie scams, you say?

For someone with an open mind there is a lot of proof available. The best proof of all is your own experience. But let’s get into the serious science stuff first.

Studies have…


You have more important things to do than waste time playing? Well, maybe you’ll be convinced by our good friend Albert Einstein, who also did a couple of really important things in his lifetime.

“So can we kiss now?” he asked impatiently, his body rocking sideways. “Uhm… No,” she giggled; “First I want to go horse riding.” He sighed. “Ok. But after that, we kiss.” One second later, Barbie was riding a beautiful blonde horse which elegantly trotted around the room. After a few…


“Just be yourself,” might be the most frustrating advice ever. But it is true. When you decide to be truly, fully yourself, life becomes a lot more fun. And it all starts with focusing on your strengths.

School likes averages.

In traditional western education the average is the most important number on a report card. Schools are trying to create good “average” humans. Because society likes conformity.

But everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, most of the attention goes to the latter. From a young age, students are being…


Your time is all yours.

We spend time, invest our time, waste time and save it. We talk about time as a currency. Because it a currency.

“Time is the coin of your life,” says Carl Sandburg.

But for this coin there’s no banking app to tell you how much…


Just why is it so hard to explain what you matters to you the most? Rest assured, it’s not just you. Even the most charismatic extroverts struggle to convey the stories that truly, deeply matter to them. How can you make it easier?

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

The hardest story to tell is the one that matters to you most.

In our personal lives, we stumble over a marriage proposal, or during a teaching moment with our children. Professionally, you might have exprienced how difficult it can be to present your passion project to senior management. …


Your Stories are the foundation of your business. Build yours, then let them work their magic. A clear vision will motivate you. Choices will get easier. Your audiences become believers. If you need to grow your business, start with your Stories.

Photo by Tim Arterbury on Unsplash

Efficiency-focused marketing types — like me — are supposed to love Growth Hacking. I certainly do. What’s not to love? It is the breath of lean air that was long overdue to find its way into marketing.

And when you’re starting or growing a young company, a lean approach to…


One virus can bring humankind to a halt. In the slowness that follows, silver linings start to show.

My silver lining is quarantine dating. Unhurried, personal, easy-going conversation via digital channels makes me take a whole new perspective on dating. Even after the quarantine will be over.

Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

It has been 11 days since I have been in solo quarantine.

That would have been a crazy opening statement in…


Feeling overwhelmed by the decisions you need to make? You’re not alone.

Woman in front of two paths, deciding which one to take.
Photo by Burst on Unsplash

“Should I have kids? Where do I want to settle? Who with? What job is right for me? What is my purpose?”

At some point, life starts to catapult these big, impactful questions at you. …

Julie Vandermeulen

Story Builder at Story Flow. Exploring the unpredictable side of life, heart first. It can be scary. But somehow I can’t stop smiling.

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