For Marieke Walmelink, the answer is “without a doubt”. A meeting written by Maria Alejandra Cardenas for mindfuldesign.eu
Marieke Warmelink is a Dutch artist, creative and intuitive coach, founder of "Women with a Voice", a platform allowing women to gain autonomy and leadership through art. She has lived in Bali since 2017. The particular energy of “the island of the Gods” offered her a unique opportunity to develop her gifts and, quite naturally, to start sharing her talents with other women, in particular transforming its different activities into a real life mission.
Marieke describes herself as a woman with strong intuition and great sensitivity.
She firmly believes in the ability as individuals to transform us through art.
In the middle of a rainy afternoon in Bali, she agreed to take a moment to tell us about creativity and intuition.
mindfuldesign (MD) : Thank you for giving us this opportunity to talk about your life experience and your work. How do you define yourself: intuition coach or artist?
Marieke Warmelink : I think I'm an artist above all. Because I am my artistic heart, I always put it first and let it inspire me. Over the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to build a very diverse portfolio of artistic projects. What interests me is to see how I can co-create art with communities, especially with women, to allow them to express their needs and wishes in an artistic way. The projects aims to give voice to unknown minorities.
In Bali, I completely aligned myself with the real red thread of my work; I used both parts of me, the artist and the coach, to work to empower women, allow them to use their voice, make them want to empower themselves through art, enlighten their talents.
This is how I set up the “Women with a Voice” initiative. From that moment on, I saw much more clearly what my mission was.
And all of these things happened here in Bali. It was like putting all the parts in a washing machine and spinning it and what came out was vividly truthful.
I saw more clearly, I didn't have to choose between being an artist or a coach!
This allowed me to accept that I can be both a coach and an artist and that with my coaching approach, I could finance my own art, my projects and my films, because, we are always faced with the same problem: how to make money as an artist?
So it works in a new balance for me, but one that responds perfectly to my new reality: I have become a mother, the weather is different and I must also be at the disposal of my child.
MD : It also allows you to present yourself as an intuitive artist and a creative coach. Do you think intuition is important for people to explore their creativity?
Marieke Warmelink : totally! I think intuition is very important and I saw an example that becomes really strong with the information on the virus ( note: We met in the first weeks of March: the wave of Covid19 is preparing to submerge the world) . Because I think that if you are listening to your intuition, you are listening to what seems right to you: you are guided by the feelings that suit you and you stay guided in all circumstances. If people are listening to their intuition, they will not frantically seek information from outside, and learn to trust their own choices, in which thought and felt are aligned, simply because your spirit cannot go everywhere outside.
Now more people can learn to listen to themselves, to trust their feelings, to trust their experience and not spend too much time just developing complicated strategies based only on the past.
MD : but in fact, if we could combine the two, it will be perfect…
Marieke Warmelink: yes, indeed, because when you are really listening, you can learn about your past experiences and use your own resources and tools to resolve the current situation and find a new solution. It is also important, because sometimes we seek a single solution and wait until we are given what we want exactly, the solution as I see it. But what you need, on the contrary, is to be open, ready to receive something else and let it come. By doing so, you are more based on trust and you learn to live in the present moment, as it is and not as you want it to be. But it's a process that can seem boring!
MD : How did you develop your intuition? Is intuition self-sufficient, or is it necessary to work on it to strengthen it every day?
Marieke Warmelink: I have been practicing Buddhism since 2008, it's already been 12 years. This practice is my base, my spine. I make sure to devote an hour to it each day to start my day in the morning and I also do it in the evening. It is at this moment that I am with myself and I have the possibility of dwelling on questions which occupied me the day and I learn to trust again, by reciting sentences.
MD : How does a mantra?
Marieke Warmelink : yes, I recite and repeat mantras. And of course, I study and read old texts, I get to know my mind to better leave logic, as I learned it, behind me. This is my main interior job.
MD : And what did you do before discovering Buddhism for your personal development?
Marieke Warmelink : I think before, I was really looking: I tested, I tried a lot of different things. However I found that each time I went ahead, by taking a path or joining a community, something became excluded, prohibited: not to eat meat, not to drink alcohol, not not do this, not be like that ... something was always excluded. And then I discovered Buddhism and I found that in this path, nobody is excluded, nothing is prohibited, everything is welcome as it is, even if you are a monster. I understood then that this was my way and that it suited me very well.
MD: to finish, I want to ask you, what are the key moments in your life journey, those that brought you to this present moment?
Marieke Warmelink : for me, it's the discovery of art. Art is my mode of expression, the entire manifestation of desires. Art is the most intimate thing, I made the choice to follow this path, but it is also because I feel that art is a gift.
I arrived in Bali in principle to make my films but it turns out that I also found my partner there, who lives here. So I might also wonder why I find myself now in one of the most spiritual places on the planet? And the answer may be that this is the right place to put my intuition to work, here I can let it go out, let it live, let it live in me and take a part of my life.
I don't have strategies in my own artistic practice. I think the more you try to do it right, as it is expected, the less it can work.
It is more obvious to see these key moments by looking back, because generally they are not planned. If you can't see them, it's very frustrating.
MD : I think you are lucky to have art as a connector in your life: but how do people who are not sensitive to art or creativity? Have you met this type of people in your work?
Marieke Warmelink: yes, most of the time, when I give advice as a coach, I try to understand what inspires people! Anyone can be inspired by something, just be careful. Many people say that they did not know what inspires them and I suggest that they watch a good movie; or to listen to music, music is universal, a group or a song has the power to awaken feelings; or go to nature.
I always advise people, if you do not know what could inspire you, to go out, to go in nature, or listen to music, to be silent in it, listen, observe and sometimes write. It is very rare to feel nothing when you reconnect; even when you open a newspaper and pay attention, you might be touched by something,
I don't have a single method for working with people. Sometimes I will only be a coach; sometimes people do not ask for purely practical advice, on how to paint for example, but it could happen that the person comes to learn to paint, and while discussing, appear small fears, or a certain resistance. I know then that we will need to talk about this part; then I could assemble the two tools.
MD : Do you have three tips to share to increase our creativity?
Marieke Warmelink : Sometimes I advise people to make an appointment with yourself, a creative meeting. Social pressure is so high, especially in Western countries, that you don't have time to enjoy yourself. So I suggest that people take the time to be alone, to give themselves time. It is very unusual; because most people are not comfortable with being alone with themselves, going to a restaurant or a museum alone.
And I discovered that this opportunity to be alone with yourself, without friend or partner, is very rejuvenating, a practical reflection to come back to yourself and ask yourself “what are my limits”, “what is it that I really want ”?
I also note this difficulty, as a coach, especially with women: we have a harder time listening to ourselves, because we are more sensitive and have often been modeled by our parents' generation, with people who have difficulty expressing their injuries, sorrows, or any other type of problem.
They had to be strong, not complain and move on. So, for example, I think that we take a lot of this pain with us, and we feel responsible for the unhappiness of our father or our mother and that we thus maintain unhealthy relationships, very energy-consuming and it is very difficult for us to keep away from this connection.
We develop a form of guilt, we apologize for our own choices, we feel guilty for being in a pleasant place or having a good life, guilty for having followed our own path and finding happiness there that your parents never knew.
It’s very painful and our generation has to learn to overcome this, to follow and learn to express yourself. It is really difficult to find healthy foundations in a relationship, if we do not understand what we are wearing, if we do not observe ourselves carefully and if we do not express ourselves honestly, especially when a child arrives in addition.
So, it seems to me essential to find and make use of our voice , especially for our generation, and women must and can take the next step. With all that is happening, and that is going to happen, it is obvious that many women are taking a step forward towards this use of their voice.
But of course we have to feel safe to be able to express ourselves. So the challenge is to have real spaces to feel safe and be able to express yourself without constraints and find our own words to describe what we are going through, what we want and to learn that most of the time, all our fears do not necessarily come from us, but have been passed on and instilled by others.
It is precisely this type of space that I want to create and for which I mobilize myself, since it is a necessarily collective work and I am happy to participate with my talents and to help people to see it. .
MD : It's a real gift!
Marieke Warmelink : Yes, I am there this way, in the same way that I followed my art: I know that I am just an open channel and now I know where my value lies.
MD : everyone has the opportunity to develop their creativity and intuition
Marieke Warmelink : Yes! Unfortunately, they don't know how to access it or simply, they don't trust each other; people do not believe in their own strength and reject their own creativity and their own intuition, because we live in a rational system, and that intuition is not rational….
To learn more about “Women with a Voice”, visithttps://www.mariekewarmelink.com