13 Questions to Carolien

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Carolien by Suzanne Karsters

During the first episode of the 100 Day Warrior (in Sept 2014) I asked a handful of people from the creative industry to send me questions that they would like to be answered by the participants of the 100 Day Warrior. Out of approximately 30 questions I selected 13 that seem to cover most of the curiosity of most followers. Carolien is the first of the 100 Day Warrior IV to answer them. Want to know what the others said too? Before Carolien went Suzanne, BasMartijn (including video), and Noeska (including video). But now please read about Carolien’s experience:

1. What made you participate in the 100 Day Warrior? What did your perceive as obstacles and how did it turn out for you?

My good friend Erika had participated in the first edition of the 100 Day Warrior and for her it was the starting point of a positive change in her life. So her stories about the program had planted a seed in my head already quite a while ago. Meanwhile I felt like I was going around in circles in my own life. I couldn’t stick to my own good intentions. I would promise myself to give up certain behaviours but every time the bad habits would slip back into my life.

The 100 Day Warrior sounded quite intense to me. That was also one of the reasons why I liked it so much but also a very good reason not to do it. It brought up all these questions. Could I really do this? What if I would fail, again? I decided to join because I wanted to test myself, I wanted to see how physically and mentally strong I could become. I believed that if I would take on this challenge with others it would help me to stay focussed. What I liked about the 100 Day Warrior program is the fact that you have to make these drastic changes while living your everyday life. Being mindful, no alcohol, daily meditation, only healthy food, exercise and working on personal growth is easier when you are on a retreat in the mountains for a week than when you are still living a busy social and working life in the Dutch advertising industry for 100 days. At least that was my misconception before we started. I also thought that 100 days would take ages but it was such a positive experience that I felt even a bit sad when it ended.

2. How does the 100 Day Warrior affect you?

During the 100 days you cannot hide from your own thoughts, insecurities and fears. My emotions came more and more to the surface. Happy feelings, gratitude for my full and beautiful life and all the inspiring and sweet people around me. But also sadness, sometimes feelings of loneliness. I spent more quality time with myself than I ever did before and I realised that it helps to unwind and take it slow in order to find out what really is important to a person. The different aspects of the program helped me to deal with difficult life situations that occurred while I was doing the program (and oh boy, the Universe really slapped me in the face there) and to start making decisions with my my heart. 

3. How long before you started experiencing results?

The decision to join gave me an immediate feeling of empowerment. It felt good to start something new and explore my own thoughts and potential. The physical training was a bit uncomfortable in the beginning but it soon felt good to become stronger and to connect with my body more and more. My personal trainer Mike focussed a lot on straightening my back. This also had a surprisingly big effect on my state of mind. All the different aspects of the program work so well together. The meditation practice was very hard for me in the beginning because I fell asleep too easily. But after a while my overall tiredness started to fade and I started feeling really energised. My work as a producer can be quite demanding and I used to feel drained if I had been working like crazy for weeks. But after a couple of weeks into the Warrior program I didn’t feel energetically drained anymore, not even after a long and demanding workweek. It felt like the only way was up. When we were in the middle of the program I was going through some old “notes to self” and I suddenly realised two things: all the issues my ‘past me’ wanted to address were related to each other and.. I was working on all of them! Maybe they weren’t completely solved yet but I had definitely booked some real progress. 

4. What was your biggest misconception of the 100 Day Warrior?

 I thought that being on the program would cost me a lot of time but instead it gave me a lot of time.

I had expected that it would be very hard for me to incorporate the new, mandatory “warrior habits” into my life.  To my surprise it didn’t cost me time, instead it created more time and space. I had a lot of energy and needed less sleep. Waking up at 6 in the morning was a big change for me; I simply needed less sleep due to better quality of sleep. I also expected that I would have a real hard time not drinking alcohol but that was not a problem for me at all. Going out was still fun although I didn’t have the urge to stay till late. But that was fine too! I had so much more time for other things.

5. What impressed you most so far? 

What impressed me the most is the realisation that we all have our vulnerabilities and that we try to hide them because we think others don’t like our ‘flaws’ and ‘weaknesses’. But when somebody else shows their soft side and insecurities we always appreciate that. That made me change the way I look at my own “walls”.

6. What was most challenging, scary or demanding?

In general, the most challenging aspect was to do all the ‘homework’ and to keep writing in my diary. 

More specifically, my most challenging theme was Atonement. Every week has it’s own theme and Atonement comes near the end of the course. Atonement implies come clean with the people that I may have hurt in the past that didn’t deserve that at all.  It’s actually still on my To Do list. But this journey isn’t over yet. 🙂

7. What is your biggest revelation until now?

My main goal was to attain more inner clarity to be more able to define my goals for the future. The meditation practice made me realise that we have so many random thoughts everyday. A lot of these thoughts are not necessarily real. I think we can re-program our minds to feed it with the things you want to think about. That’s why I think we should surround us with positivity and knowledge.  We cannot change the thoughts that other people have about us and it also doesn’t really matter as long as you are doing the things you do with good intention. And we cannot walk away from our responsibility to face the less beautiful parts of life. 

8. Which part of the 100 Day Warrior program would you rather have started 10 years ago? 

I think the combination of healthy food, exercise, meditation and personal growth are all reinforcing each other but for me the weekly group sessions where we meditate together and share our insights and struggles with each other were the most valuable. While talking to the group about your personal issues and ideas you discover al lot about yourself but more importantly you learn from the others. In our everyday life we are usually not totally open about our thoughts and fears in groups. But I discovered that by being open with each other we developed a deep connection on a whole other level. I wish I had discovered that 10 years ago.

9. How does the 100 Day Warrior serve you in daily life and work?

It made me less restless because I am able to put more time in the things that truly matter to me. It also gave me more focus. I feel strong and stable and when I am in a challenging situation I have the tools to find a way to deal with it instead of walking (or running) away.

10. Does the 100 Day Warrior have an impact on the way you relate to your life?

It made me realise more that you cannot force anything. Things will come to you whenever time is ready and the only thing you have to do is to listen to your instinct and keep your eyes open when opportunities come along.  For me the only way to do that is to create space and silence by just spending time alone.

11. What do you expect from the 100 Day Warrior in the long run? 

I think that it started something fundamentally good that cannot be reversed and will only grow bigger. I don’t know yet where it will take me, but I am very curious. 

12. What does the term ‘warrior’ mean to you?

Instead of focussing on others and trying to ‘improve’ their lives with our advice, we can acknowledge that we can and should work on ourself first. This way we can actually help. By making an honest effort to truly become a more authentic version of ourself we will have a positive effect on others. Instinctually we all know what is good and wholesome for us and at the same time it can be so easy to go down the wrong road. Being a warrior means taking responsibility and being honest and kind with yourself and with others around you. 

13. What is your wish for the future? 

My wish for the future is that everybody will be more aware of their potential and will use it to bring positivity to the world.

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Carolien Eversdijk (35) is a warm hearted woman with a cheeky sense of humour. She is also the proud and successful owner of Carolien Eversdijk Production and has recently changed from producing commercials to exploring the field of documentary making. If you want to learn more about Carolien and her projects or are looking for a way to connect with an inspiring and kind professional, click here.

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