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Reflections by Lysanne Sizoo on the rewards and challenges of life.


Stop Thinking!

So we can choose to walk around with cringing, fear based cells, that may or may not be attracting our worst nightmares, or we can choose not to jump on these negative, fallible outcome controlling trains of thoughts, let them pass the platform, sigh, and say ‘what will be will be’.
double rainbow

Peaks and troughs

Whether we like it or not. And we can chose to be the helpless victims of events, or we can chose to surf on the currents of change, using our fear as the surfboard upon which to ride out our emotions, and invite Life to bring it on!

Who can I trust?

The more I allow myself to patiently watch this process with curiosity and trust, the more my mind begins to understand that it can calm down and that in the absence of control surrender is actually the most economic use of our energy.

Shining your light

Shining your light: Shit happens in life. None of our fear based controlling behaviours will stop the shit from happening. There may be little bits of shit in your life that will seem huge to you. And there may be huge bits of shit in other people’s lives that will seem almost negligible to them. Because your contentment is not guided by the lesser or greater amount of poo in your life…. It is guided by your attitude to it.

The courage to stay in no-man's land

But why, why should we do that? Why not just fight for our own little patch of ground, our own little patch of ego, and that of tribe, our wives and our children? Why do we need courage to make peace? The courage to stay peaceful inside ourselves?
communications in the fog crop

Professional culture shock

And there will also have been some time for your mind to begin to miss the ‘mirrors’ from home that tell us who we are and how we should act. While being in a new environment is an excellent opportunity to have new aspects of ourselves mirrored back, we sometimes just need to be seen for who we know ourselves to be best.
recreatiebad 2010

Fooling around; from ponderous to playful

And re-learning how to play is part of that work. The fear of losing control can make us ponderous and serious, like a mental planning professional. As one of my friends said; “I don’t think I know what fun time looks like anymore.”

Betrayal and Forgiveness

One day I might realise that I have successfully met the fears that made me compromise my true self and allow betrayal into my life. One day I might be able to take ownership of my own part in the sorry affair. The triggers for shame and low self-esteem will have been bound up and anointed by an inner love that is forgiveness in its purest form. And when we realise that we become free.

Liberating hot summer passion

The passionate youngsters kissing and canoodling nearby are living in a place of passionate abundance. Their inner spirits are floating free and everything is still possible to them. But one day they too may forget that at any time in our lives we can open to the positive forces of our emotions, telling us of the infinite possibilities that are still within our reach, regardless of age, economic disposition, or relational status.
1993 Karl föds041

Failure is just a dirty word for learning

Listen As small people we learn to walk, talk and generally…
sanne swim1
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Rolling with the waves; control or surrender

Control and expectations march exhaustedly to the beat of their own drum, while surrender and curiosity skip along in the rhythm of life.

Ouch, it hurts!

Sometimes pain hits us out of the ballpark. Sometimes external life events impose a pain that seems unbearable. Scarlett Lewis found a way to bear it. For inspiration, read Scarlett Lewis' book. Read about facing the impossible finding courage when you think you have none and choosing love instead of anger, fear or hatred.

Celebrating Friendship

How lucky I am that as I enter my fifth decade I have a tribe around me of loving, loyal, generous and patient friends whose loving eyes teach me more about myself than I could ever learn alone.
boat speed regulators cropped
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So you think you need willpower?

The latest research shows why our willpower lets us down and also how much we can build up our willpower so we have more to fall back on. But before you head off to the will-gym to turn yourself into the willing equivalent of Silverster Stallone, reflect for a moment on how you plan to use this new found willpower.

Stop being a martyr!

Good clean communications are about stating your needs, hearing the needs of the other clearly and being honest about the extent to which you are able and willing to meet them. Compromise, driven by mutual generosity will feel more liberating and life enhancing than any self-imposed sacrificial demand ever could.

Expect nothing from 2015

  Listen instead But hope for everything...... As…

All nurtered out

If your mantra is; "If they're happy, I'm happy," then beware! Your needs are not their needs. Not solely. If putting others first is your default setting be careful, you may be driven to hit the 'off' switch for good.
Copyright: De Tekentafel wordpress blog

Discrimination and unintentional hurt

Each one of us, regardless of race, colour, creed, sexual orientation, mental or physical challenge has the job of becoming the best of who we can be. And then to help our fellow humans become the best of that they can be. To know we are all of equal value, though not all the same. To see that it is the very diversity of habits, behaviours and outlooks that together form the mosaic of our existence. Have the discussion, point out what is wrong, but at the same time, refuse to identify with the stereotype.

The therapeutic value of nostalgia

The challenge is to let go of what no longer serves, either yourself or the people on whose behalf you continued to love an object. To protect the next generation from having to sift through every single school report and essay that their mum or dad ever wrote, yet to keep enough to allow yourself, as well as them, a peek into the emerging person that you once were and are. Sorting through the past, dealing with what’s unfished, letting go, holding on, and really experiencing that life is an ever-changing journey. A journey we can scarcely control, but one that nevertheless, we are here to enjoy and learn from.
oyster pearl

The grit in my Oyster

Long term relationships can be the greatest teachers, if we let them. No one knows us better than the people we choose to share our lives with. If we want to relate deeply and meaningfully then we need to be prepared to get our hearts broken, our hands dirty, our noses put out of joint. If we accept that the other is here to teach us, to develop those inner pearls of wisdom that make every relationship worthwhile, then slowly but surely we may each move forward while serving the other
car parked wrong (2)
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Failure is good

Failing, or getting it wrong, just means that we are in the process of learning something new, trying something we've not done before. Perhaps even something other people haven't done before. Sailing in uncharted waters. And while that is scary, it's also the way we move life forward. And in doing so we join the explorers of new continents, the space missions, the inner space astronauts, the mystics, and every single toddler taking his or her first steps.

Parenting third culture kids

Parenting is hard enough at the best of times, and each developmental stage that our youngsters embark on stretch us a little further. Add into the mix the development of inter cultural, cross-cultural and international children, also called third culture kids and you find the challenges rise
i did it my way
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I am what I am

From childhood we do what we have to do to fit in. We know this from countless research studies as well as many hours spent with coaches, therapists and counsellors. More often than not, the song we end up singing in life is ‘I am what I’m not’. When life circumstances push us into a period of transition we very often bump up against our intrinsic need to remain acceptable and likeable to our tribe.

Back to work stress

How do you feel about getting back to work after the holidays.…
storming sky
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Please stop fighting

Please stop fighting! I heard a little boy shout this at his parents on a sunny terrace. I saw people tweet it when the middle east once more exploded in violence, and I heard my own prime minister ask it of the ukrainanian separatists so that we could bring home the bodies of the victims from flight MH17.
rocks and plants

Confident and insecure

How can you be confident and insecure at the same time? I don't…
willem sizoo marine officier cropped

Dealing with parental expectations

At Christmas and during the summer many of us go home to our…
stork nest

The homecoming blues

Do you suffer from the 'Home-comer's blues'? Or are you the one at the kitchen sink with two babies in your arms desperately waiting for some light relief after two weeks of single parenting?

Identity development

Part of our earliest confusion about believing external authorities, rather than our own internal wisdom, comes from the fact that we can’t, as babies, question the authority of those who hold up the ‘mirrors’ in which we see our ‘selves’ reflected.
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How do you use your freedom?

We imagine ourselves trapped, unfree, unable to direct our lives. We sit like caged birds; the door is wide open but we have forgotten how to fly. But I assure you that those who are truly, physically unfree at this point in time, will tell you exactly what they would with their freedom
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Growing old abroad

Intercultural couples might never have thought about whose 'home' will be the one where they rest their bones. Couples who share one culture, as well as individuals may face the prospect of reverse culture shock. And some of us may even find we lose our acquired languages.
guardian angel 2

Cosmic Interference

The trick is to know when to take up the oars in our little rowing boat that’s bobbing up and down on the river, and when to let it drift along with the tide. So often we fail to enjoy the ride for what it is. We think it should be smoother, fairer, more exciting, less painful. Or we want the ride that someone else is having. And of course we want our children to have the best ride possible. We drag things from the river bank and load them into our boat, instead of just noticing them and not weighing down our boat to the point of sinking.

Monkey Reasoning

Rather than clamour for the same, we should explore what our unique need is, and clamour for that. What is bananas to one, is peanuts to another and what seemed to be less attention for me, was the care and love that was more needed by the other

Self love and self doubt

If someone tells you, lovingly, that you think quite highly of yourself, is that a compliment or an insult? Isn't it okay to feel good about yourself and let that show? How complicated we've made things.
doolhof rectangels

Lost in transition

There will always be a period of transition, of being a little lost. Being lost in transition is part and parcel of the adventure.

Children and native identity

Native identity is often one of the hot potatoes that concern parents who are raising international children. What is cultural identity and what might be the new ground that our international youngsters might be capable breaking if we let them?
scales of judgement

Don't stop being judgemental

Judgement is a bit like the hammer. Good instrument, lazy application. When we talk about becoming less judgemental we have to make sure that we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Judgement is an important human trait.

International friendships

If you look at the friendships that survived your travels, you might notice that they are in a deeper, more lasting phase. Time and distance will have sifted out the one or two friends that are lasting, while others faded away. Just as there are different ways of making friends, there are also different ways of staying friends and expressing what we feel for them.
more than just fat

More than just fat

I am a healthy size 48, with big strong baker's arms that can…
dolls on fairground

Sick of being a trailing spouse?

If ever there was a description less befitting the hard work…
graffiti wall

Being anxious and afraid

However, what we have only just begun to understand is that the amygdala can't distinguish between an outside impulse or one that comes from within the brain. We are literally making ourselves sick with worry.
tied securely on land

Reflections on finding my roots

After thirty years of living abroad I am spending more time…
car dented

Perfectly imperfect internationals

When it relentlessly pursues us with its ‘must do and can do better’, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, something is out of balance. That's bad enough living in the comfort zone of your wn national identity, but for expats, who are already confused about the new cultural and linguistic paths they have embarked on, it can become a hinderance, rather than a help to settling in.
yellow deckchairs

Don't feel sorry for me!

After a tale of childhood woe, abandonment and grief, she lifts…
danger falling into a canyon

Changing identities abroad

Many people experience the changing of their identities abroad.…
japanese basket

Dealing with the death of a parent abroad

Reader Question: How can I better manage dealing with the death…

Separating shame from guilt

What is the difference between shame and guilt. Between 'feeling'…
international friendships

When international friends come and go

Q: I have made many wonderful, close friendships with other…
japanese rocks in pool

Why me?

As a young reporter, just making my way into the grown up world,…
sunset in harbour

Sharing my sense of the Transpersonal

Perhaps one of the hardest things to define and share is our…
high fashion

How sub-personalities are born

This is a story about how sub-personalities are born. They are…
Held hostage for the sake of the children (part of the Expat series)

Held hostage for the sake of the children

When international relationships end, one partner can end…

Is loneliness part of the expat experience?

No one likes to admit that they are lonely and yet, for most internationals, dealing with the loss of friends and family is always going to be part of the process of adjustment. Singles may travel abroad in search of adventure, to take up a new job, or just because that particular country has always exercised a particular pull on them

Embracing new horizons

One of my favourite albums is the Turn of a friendly card by…

Dealing with the in laws

Dealing with the in laws can be confusing and confounding and…

The helplessness of parenthood

We want to hold our children close and protect them forever,…

Another international relocation

For many expats their geographical location is more likely to…
bollen pijl

A loss of purpose

Sometimes we can be overcome by a loss of purpose. We look for…
cat in a lane crop

Not the only lonely expat

Even when we don’t move around the globe, being happy all the time is not a normal human condition. Life can be really tough sometimes, but when our need to grieve, to be angry, or to experience failure is inhibited we add insult to injury.

World peace and Third Culture Kids

There is a paradigm shift between the generations that reinforces this, as even today’s mono-cultural children are increasingly influenced by other cultures, and interact via the internet as easily with children from one part of the world as from another.

International relations

Companies need to become willing to embrace the 'liquid' nature of international relations. Rather than teach cross cultural theory by sticking to a teaching of cultural identities, it is the very loss of any cultural identity that points to the future.
boat with creche

Relocating is just the start

The day of relocation is just the start of a long journey of…

Subpersonalities and neuroscience

We are not one unified identity but rather a collection of subpersonalities, or different selves that struggle and strive for attention and power. This has been accepted thought in psychology for a long time, but now even neuroscience is coming aboard.

Happily unhappy

Today the website of Action for Happiness was launched. Their…

Latest poems

arab market
be still
waterfall (4)
claes misty lake
car ferry tynnig
crown of tree and sky
elk asleep baby
scary spider
airplane on stand
behind the smile
inside church ruin
claes misty lake
jealous of baby
sunset sad
letting go
Karl föds031
weer een hond
small sparks cropped

Storyline and lyrics

Our hope for the future

We’ve done what we can with the talent and the resources that we have, and we hope you wil enjoy the song cycle clips that follow.

What we now need is that someone, maybe you, has the vision and the skill to take La Viviana out to a greater audience.

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