Bijgewerkt: 24 dec 2019
I can’t find the right words to introduce this incredible woman to you. She is like a special force. She always touches me when she listens to my stories and when giving advice. Before this interview I wasn’t aware of her background, which makes her even more special now. Please take time for her incredible words.
Foto: Anahi Clemens
Veronika, was there a specific moment in your life when you felt self-care is very important?
“Growing up in an unstable and unsafe environment, selfcare was difficult to define for me. If your mind and body are constantly in a survival mode, then it becomes internalized. Not having been taught by my parents how to look after myself, I became more and more trapped in a spiral of negative thoughts and insecurity. Change started on the day my twin-sister committed suicide. When we were born there were only minutes between us. We spent our lives together but we choose different paths. I realized that only I am responsible to define my life, and the first step was to take care of myself. Luckily, throughout the
year I had gathered inspiring people around me. They showed me a safe and stable side of life so I could create a different perspective and build new strength. Two of them where my aunt and stepmom. At a time in my life that was the hardest and loneliest they supported me, and helped me to choose for myself and my own freedom rather than to repeat the behaviors that had become so ingrained in my family life. An act of love I never thought would happen, but with their support I felt I could do anything. That was the power I needed to choose for myself and start my own life.”
What does taking care of yourself mean to you?
“For me self-care means taking responsibility of my own actions and to be the leader I needed when I was young. This means reflecting on my process and to observe the different ways of love inside of me, without judgements and with curiosity. This helps me to stay in touch with my vulnerability instead of thinking I have to be strong all the time.”
“When I see my strength and vulnerability as equal parts of me, it doesn’t feel like hard work. This makes me feel alive; and to feel alive is also to feel sad, happy and angry at times. Checking in with myself and giving myself time to self-reflect, as well as asking myself what I need to do, allows me to be responsible for my own healing process. Listening to whatever I or my body needs is important. This could be going out dancing, doing exercise, staying in or calling a friend.”
“My life story is teaching me to believe in my inner-compass and that everybody has their own pace in life. My circumstances brought me in situations where I had to grow up faster than usual but on the other hand it gave me life skills no book could teach me. Because of my situation at home I had difficulties studying and developing my own identity. My focus was more on making sure that the situation remained stable instead of playing and going to school. At one point I had to go to special needs education. The system made me believe that I was stupid and my parents didn’t support me in this. Therefore, I realize now that I didn’t have the space, energy and the encouraging environment for me to realize what I am capable of. I don’t take responsibility for the actions of my parents. However, had this not happened it would not have given me the opportunity to develop deep insight into who I am, where my roots come from, what shapes me and how I give this out to others. So I’m
“After my parents passed away I felt the freedom to create a new playground for myself, which included going back to school and graduating as a Holistic lifestyle coach and a facilitator in Systemic Constellations. Nowadays, I have my own company Stepping Forward where I work with youngsters and adults with unstable backgrounds who are in search of their identity and roots. Knowing where we come from and what the root of our existence is, gives us clarity, freedom, softness and the strength to build a strong foundation within our self.”
What do you do when you feel the need to take care of yourself?
“I enjoy being in a state of doing. It brings me in tune with my body and in contact with my soul and inner-compass. My mind likes to think, at times even overthink. Yes I can also be analytical, but I prefer a balance between the body, mind and soul. This state makes it effortless to choosing to step forward, to do the things I planned to do, to say yes to life and to experience the world with an open heart. When I fall down and my super power tools aren’t working, there’s only one option left….Playing hardstyle music!! Yes….my guilty pleasure, and that brings me back to life. Who’s with me?!"
What is your TCOYS tip to other people?
“Surround yourself with people who open their heart to you, who teach you about the different forms of love, even if it at times is tough love; people who support you but also tell you their truth and who are willing to see you for you. I believe you will find these people by opening your heart to them and inviting them in. You can do this in places where you feel safe, so find your playground and connect with others in that space.”
“Take responsibility of your healing process with the help of your loved ones. By doing this, you will inspire the people around you to do the same thing.”
Veronika Nab is the owner Stepping Forward where she helps youngsters and adults with unstable backgrounds who are in search of their identity and roots.