I love diving. I love diving in the oceans, because it makes me really humble towards the earth: as a diver you are a guest in the underwater world, which is two thirds of our whole world. I am very much aware of that and the fact that we, as humans, overrate ourselves enormously, thinking we are the most important living species. I can be totally in awe watching a whale, coral or a seahorse: they are all great teachers in how to treat our surroundings...
For the same reason I love going on safari. Being a guest in wildlife also humbles me towards the irrelevance we, people, have for wildlife. On the contrary: the only things we add to wildlife are bad things. Animals don't destroy things out of self interest. I love observing their behaviour and learn from them.
So I love travelling, connect to nature and new people, jump into unknown oceans and I feel at home practically everywhere in the world. There is a special place in my heart for Texel and Africa, where I find it easiest to connect to my own nature in the overwhelming beauty of that nature. Although living in the small rural village of Kortenhoef, Netherlands, I truly feel a global citizen.
So when Mandela died end of 2013, like millions of people around the world, it almost felt I had personally lost a loved one. While watching his farewell ceremony on television I was deeply touched, in a way that is hard to give words to. When I heard people speak about the strong Ubuntu in Mandela, it was like many of my life experiences so far fell into place. Something shifted in me. Without knowing exactly what it was, I felt I belonged to this Ubuntu tribe. It was kind of a homecoming experience.
From that moment on, I was out of the 'Ubuntu closet' and it rooted very quickly in every aspect of my life. In 2014 I married to my dear husband Patrick and the theme of our marriage was Ubuntu. In 2015 I deep dived into purpose and values driven leadership and was finally ready to fully step into the greatness of my own purpose: serving the world and humanity by inspiring and connecting, in my own lovingly disruptive ways. In 2016, fully connected to my intuition by now, I felt I had to make myself available to a more global work field and VivU BuntU was born. Which, for me, means 'long live connection' and 'I am because we are' and is just a way of saying: hey world, Ubuntu tribe, I am here to collaborate wherever needed to make the world a better place again.
So with a lot of gratitude to Ubuntu and other native traditions, I feel I am now on my true path. That also means that 'work' is a word that shifted in meaning for me. I can be as inspired talking to my bonus daughter Nikita about the 'service in action' she is doing at school, or the reflections she has to write on her values, as I can be guiding people to bring out the best in themselves to truly start living their purpose. I enjoy a conversation with my bonus son Stach about spirits as much as I do with university students about the global goals for sustainable development. So for me work is life and life is work. And while walking your path, it starts feeling effortlessly.
Coming back to the diving, there is another reason why I love it. I believe that human beings are like the world: only a small part (even less than a third) is what you see and the most interesting part is under the waterline. The more people become conscious of that and start understanding their own behaviour, purpose and values, the more people will live their truths and walk their paths. And I think that is what the world needs.