Rift is a fact!

A sunny day in april 2013, while traveling throughout the USA in a RV for a project, I started to write a story. I drove over the roads of Arizona, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and California. My beloved was far away, working for a living, in the snow in Minneapolis. I missed him.

In order to make the missing less, and time pass faster, I created a story.

The story gradually developed, and it became a story about love, about missing, about wisdom and about mystery. The story started with a page, which turned into 20, more characters were added, a plot got developed, and before I knew it… it was more than a story. I was writing the book I always wanted to write.

I created an ancient society who held and used old forgotten knowledge. This knowledge had gotten lost between stressy days, demanding jobs and loudly screaming tv’s. Now it was time for it to resurface.

The book grew and became a 100 pages thick. More characters were added, the plot thickened, life lessons were inserted, and an intriguing romance developed.

The first book kept growing: 100 pages, 200 pages, 300… where was it going?

Gradually I started to realise that I wasn’t writing just a book. I was writing a series. I was writing a 3-novel trilogy.
All this time, I didn’t have a house. I lived on the road, took workshops all over the place, and was kindly received in many homes of many friends. Eventually, I made my way to Minneapolis, where I joined up with my love.
Book One, Rift, took me a year and a half to finish. I made illustrations, I outsourced the editing, and I did lots of it myself. While the story grew, my funds dropped. But what to do? I had no more time or space to do an office job… Rift had to be finished. I couldn’t stop! I was writing, inventing and dreaming a new reality every day! My bank account kept dropping while the pages multiplied.
That is when the trusts started to set in. I had to trust that I was doing the right thing.

Together my beloved partner, who at Burning Man had become my husband, we moved to Los Angeles. We stayed for almost half a year, and a small miracle entered our lives. No no… not a baby, a dog. A brilliant Golden Doodle was added to my small family and suddenly we became a pack.

Lieke and Luna

And after half a year of LA, we were pushed by coincidence and desire, to live on the road again. We moved into a van, and drove from LA, to Florida, up to NYC, into Canada, where we broke down.

From there we toed our little house-car to Minnesota where we spent a summer next to a lake. Fresh fish every day, and more writing happened.

With little funds and with lots of love, we kept creating our dreams. For me, there was the book, and not a lot more than the book. The book, the story, and the ancient teachings, were are all I lived for.

Today, half a year later, after crossing the Pacific Ocean twice, with the dog, I am so incredibly proud to present you, the first part of my life-work. I hope you enjoy, and I hope you are touched, just as I was while I wrote it.

I share with you:

RIFT.

You can purchase Rift in the Amazon Store:

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The Tumble of Media – Good night and Good Luck

Over a year ago, I got the movie Good Night and Good Luck. I never watched it. Perhaps it was lack of time, perhaps it was disinterest.
Yesterday, I finally decided to sit down and take this black and white movie of the shelf. Rotten tomatoes gave it  93%, a good reason to pay attention.

The movie has a unrivalled cast including George Clooney, David Strathairn (an absolutely amazing performance), Jeff Daniels, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson and Frank Langella.  The discussion are fast and extremely good.

The topic of the movie is something we deal with every day. The downfall of media.

In the mid 50′s, Edward R. Murrow and his producer, Fred Friendly, attack McCarthy’s procedures.  McCarty was creating a blacklist and leading anti-Communist hearings. During his CBS News program “See It Now,” Murrow challenged Joseph McCarthy on his claims about so-called Soviet spies in the U.S. government, in showbiz and basically, everywhere.

Murrow decided to raise his voice and talk about what was happening in their country, something that was rare for the time. And, needless to say, it didn’t go unpunished. Murrow was expected to talk about the mansions of movie stars, not politics… something that could upset the sponsors and friends of the network.

I was touched by Murrow’s analysis and his views on the downfall of the media. Murrow was a visionary and he was right. The media in the USA back then existed to entertain rather than to have a critical eye. And it is the same today. Nothing has changed. TV is… it is merely wires and lights — in a box.

Below here his rock-solid speech, which is very much worth reading. I think we can conclude… Media has become what Murrow feared it to be..

 This might just do nobody any good. At the end of this discourse a few people may accuse this reporter of fouling his own comfortable nest, and your organization may be accused of having given hospitality to heretical and even dangerous ideas. But the elaborate structure of networks, advertising agencies, and sponsors will not be shaken or altered.

It is my desire, if not my duty, to try to talk to you journeymen with some candor about what is happening to radio and television. And if what I say is responsible, I, alone, am responsible for the saying of it.

Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about 50 or 100 years from now — and there should be preserved the kinescopes of one week of all three networks — they will there find, recorded in black and white and in color, evidence of decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live. We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable, and complacent. We have a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information.

Our mass media reflect this.

But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television, and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.

I began by saying that our history will be what we make it. If we go on as we are, then history will take its revenge and retribution will not limp in catching up with us. Just once in awhile let us exalt the importance of ideas and information. Let us dream to the extent of saying that on a given Sunday night, a time normally occupied by Ed Sullivan is given over to a clinical survey on the state of American education. And a week or two later, a time normally used by Steve Allen is devoted to a thoroughgoing study of American policy in the Middle East. 

Would the corporate image of their respective sponsors be damaged? 

Would the shareholders rise up in their wrath and complain?

Would anything happen, other than a few million people would have received a little illumination on subjects that may well determine the future of this country — and therefore the future of the corporations?

To those who say people wouldn’t look, they wouldn’t be interested, they’re too complacent, indifferent and insulated, I can only reply: There is, in one reporter’s opinion, considerable evidence against that contention. But even if they are right, what have they got to lose? Because if they are right, and this instrument is good for nothing but to entertain, amuse and insulate, then the tube is flickering now and we will soon see that the whole struggle is lost.

This instrument can teach. It can illuminate and, yes, it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it towards those ends. 

Otherwise, it is merely wires and lights — in a box.

Good night and good luck.

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Tantric Workshop Amsterdam

I’m giving a Tantric Meditation Workshop in Amsterdam!

We are all on a path in our life. While we might not realize it, our paths are extremely similar; collectively we are on the road of growth.

And still, we don’t all have the exact same evolvement.

Why not? Where on our path are we as individuals? Do we understand our growth? Where is our road ending and where did we start?

In ancient times, people knew extremely well at what stage of evolution they were finding themselves; they used calendars, the stars and their intuition to understand their own journey. Today we are less aware of what is going on. It is not our fault; it has been a natural process of generations living in a material existence.

What have we done to no longer recognize our path?

Layers of memories and emotions lie draped around us like a thick silk robe. It can be beautiful; our human nature keeps us warm and comfortable. But do we remember what it feels like to be utterly naked and vulnerable? How are we our most honest, our most pure self?

The shedding of layers to uncover our existing path is not something a person does overnight. Peeling layers is a personal journey of dedication.

What we can do, however, in this workshop, is show you where to start peeling.

And Tantra is our tool…

To clarify: Tantra is not a sexually focused cult or religion, as some think. It is a lifestyle that allows you to uncover your personal journey and teach you about your deeper truth. Tantra, starts with… you.

In this workshop, we will guide you through a deep Full Body-Meditation session, which will revive every cell in your body.
This tool allows you to peel your layers faster.

There is no couple work, no nudity, not even touch. It’s all about you and your journey.

It could in fact be… your first step towards unfolding the strap of your silk robe.

Interested?

Bring comfortable clothes, a willingness to learn more about the ancient wisdom of Tantra, and a good amount of courage since you will be faced with a part of yourself you might have not seen in a while.

About:

Writer and Tantric Life Preacher Lieke Arends.
Lieke Arends was born in the Netherlands and moved to the United States to work in Silicon Valley, until… she got intrigued by the ancient teachings of Tantra. This was the beginning of the end of her tech-career

Lieke became a full time Tantra devotee and received various teacher trainings in California and Arizona. Now, while living in LA, she writes fiction novels and teaches workshops.

Workshop and Payment info:

Teaching language: English.
Price: 45,- (bring a friend = 10 % discount for both)
** Limited places available so pre-registration is advisable

Register with Liselotte Betist via email liselottebetist@gmail.com

What can you expect from the meditation:

* Learn about 4 Keys of Tantra: breath, movement, sound and visualization
* Feel your most creative and sexual energy throughout every cell of your body, purely with breath and movement.
* Learn to feel your individual energy center and learn how to energize them.

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Awareness comes with a Price

Living aware, living consciously doesn’t just happen to you.

You need to actively think about every choice you make. Your choices are responsible for the consequences on a large scale. Everything is connected.
Just look at the production process of a general pizza. Ingredients come from different farms all over the place. Hands and labor are involved, animals participate, and fields are being used for your need. Gas for transport, plastic for wrapping, cardboard for the box, ink for the letters… the process is incredible, and yet we do not really think about this ever.
And we can make this statement about almost every product you consume.

When aware of the process, you start to realize you have a choice with understanding the product you are going to buy. Read up on it!

Yes, a whole lot of work… I know how you feel, and then on top of it, more expensive.

This is for many people the exact reason why don’t even want to get started.

 

Every time I eat or purchase a new product, I check what the ingredients are. I avoid palm oil, non-organic dairy, ingredients that are numbers, gluten, synthetic detergents, clothes that are made in massive factories etc etc etc. It is an endless list.

Living consciously takes energy, the society is not set up for us to question things.

One thing I realized over the last weeks while being back in the Netherlands: You need to ask these questions in every country, not just the USA. Just a few weeks of ingredients checking and I also had to radically change my list of products I used to buy as a younger person. I never realized my favorite peanut butter had palm oil instead of peanut oil (palm oil is cheaper than the oil from the actual nut that is now sold for a higher price in different products).

I had a conversation with my parents the other day and they acknowledge the importance and also vented their exhaustion.
The generation of my parents are people that became conscious during the seventies; the age of the first organic movements. They did the same things we did. Many of that ‘hippy’ generation are tired. They do not check every label anymore. They don’t question every ingredient like I do.

And I understand, it’s been a long journey for them and the world didn’t change much during the 80’s/90’s.

Now though, I live in a different time. We live in a boosted 70’s feeling. It has gotten better for the consumer. There are options at least.

I understand it is indeed a huge investment to live consciously. My financial funds are not always the most suitable to buy the most expensive, chemical free, products. And still, I don’t give up.

We have another good 40 to 50 years on this earth, not to mention generations after us.

Do I want to be walk around every day, knowing that I am hurting others for my own pleasure?
On a moment-to-moment basis, I am careful with my words, I think about the needs of people around me. So why not care about the people and living things I indirectly affect?

Awareness is a muscle that can grow. And starting a new workout is always hard in the beginning. And it becomes easier.
Awareness becomes automatic once you have started.

Now… one problem I have when treading the path of awareness… is the obscurity of many of the production processes.

Watch this video about the things we can’t directly read on the labels. Watch it all, this video is heartbreaking:

Btw, I’d like to mention that the add for a smartphone right before this video, is an epic fail. Youtube? Hello??

So how do I say No when all our phones, monitors, laptops have anything but a transparent production process? What do I buy?

Chemicals make a very important part of our life. They are created for keeping us safe from bad harvests, for enhancing colors, flavors, and longevity. Chemicals make a huge part of our daily existence. And in food we came to the moment that we can say no. How is that in tech products?

Isn’t it time for a new brand, a ‘organic’ brand that has a higher price and saves valuable lives of people that now slave for our comfort? Or am I overlooking this new brand?

I’m starting a quest, and I am going to find out what is going to be done. When you have tips or pointers, please contact me!!

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Collective Evolution Video

Below I am pasting one of the best video’s I have seen about the shift of consciousness.

I love how the producers of this video connect the ‘wake-up’ call to the events of 9-11. I’d have to say though, I did not grow up in the USA and thus, the lies of the USA goverment weren’t immediately making an equal impact on me. And my government wasn’t necessarily manipulating its folk that openly (in the EU the corruption is taking place behind closed doors and they make sure it isn’t as obvious as in the USA. Holding a Masters Degree in European Policies I feel confident about this statement. Europe built a protective solid wall around its government officials).

I lived in the United States for the last three years, and my awakening has sped in that time, which is interesting. Now, after almost two years, I’m visiting the Netherlands, and I feel different than when I left. I am more militant about knowing where my food comes from, I want to know what ingredients are used and I am driving my parents nuts sometimes. The interesting result is that I do realize I have overlooked many things before I became completely aware of everything around me. For years have I been eating peanut butter with palm oil. I used detergents that were fluorescent pink (never a good sign) and I didn’t even flinch. Living in the USA makes you examen every move you make, since otherwise you might be eating poison, and the general awareness it gave me is incredibly important for the rest of my life.

Conclusion: Watch this video!

One little side note though… the earthship they use, doesn’t really give the right example. Most earth-ships are stunning. The one the docu zooms into is not convincing and I hope people will not reject the idea because of it. And when you pay attention, you do see a few examples of gorgeous earthships as well.

Enjoy!

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Book cover

The cover drawing of Rift.

I’m so excited and can’t wait to offer this book on amazon!

It’s been a bit crazy in the writing-world and am sadly enough not writing a lot on this blog. However, just bear with me and a book will be born.

 

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First Drawings

I just made the first few drawings for my book, and I have many more to make. One for each chapter.

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Strong Female Character

Today I discovered a good blogpost about the female protagonist in modern day stories.

In this post, Tasha Robinson poses an important question: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character of a story, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer – want to be her?

While writing my book Rift, this is exactly the question I ask myself. Rift is filled with strong female presence. I am very aware of the importance of the characters and pay close attention to their development throughout the story. The strong female voices I introduce, do not get pushed to the background so that they can be taken over by the male character who has to save the story. This is what too often happens in modern day storytelling, as Tasha states. And I do think that a story led by a woman, can be a fun read for a man. Why does everything have to be so segregated. Most of my male friends, enjoy stories with female protagonists.

We need more powerful women in the world. And when speaking of a strong character, I do not mean a women who mirrors the power aspects of the men. With strength, I don’t refer to muscle power, spitting on the pavement and saying harsh words (Tasha does tend to make that comparison). In my eyes, it is time that we discover the true strength of the female in story-lines. Im talking about a strength that goes beyond violence and foul words. It is a strength that thrives on vulnerability and honesty.

Check the blog-post here.

strong female characters

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Doing what you love – Jim Carrey

“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

*Jim Carry.

Doing what you love doesn’t mean that it comes with ease. Doing what you love, often means you need to face great fears, your own fears! Financial challenges are often a reason to opt for the ‘safer route’. However, there is no safe route. The current economical downfall is the best example of that. The funny thing is, this evidence makes people even more afraid.

This is your life, and you only live once (in this moment…). So you better make it worth it!

Doing what you love, often also means that people around you will have an opinion about it. You are doing, what they want to do with their lives! Just remember, deep down, in their envy, lies their admiration for you not giving up, for you not compromising, for you eating dust in the more difficult moments. You are doing, what others are most afraid of. And you do it with grace and trust. It is about trusting yourself. It is about knowing that following your heart is taking the right route.

writing in NYC

I’m writing a book, I’m compromising every day to get done what I want to get done. Though my life is upside down right now, I know that my heart is growing. My trust solidifies every day. I loved watching this video, it tells me I’m on the right path. Only good things lie ahead, no matter how hard the present can be. Because I do what I love.

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Living on the Road

What about falling asleep with a myriad of reds, pinks, yellows and purples in the sky, the sounds of rippling waves that scatter on the shore… and the person you love the most by your side.

Yes it is heaven, it is my life.

Did I mention we live in a van at the moment :)

I love that marriage for me means more adventure instead of less…

nomadic living

 

nomadic marriage

 

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