My life has been a quest from the beginning. Looking for alternatives for the society of my youth, being deeply disturbed by its impact on nature and other living beings, its superficiality and meaninglessness. And with a strong knowing deep within that there is more. Searching for the right to exist for the things that I seemed to know, even when others completely disagreed. Being a true (and - lets face it - often annoying) maverick.
One of my earliest discoveries was the attraction big trees and special places clearly had on me. Ever since this observation I have been figuring out why. When I travel, I visit as many powerful trees and places as possible. From Wéris and Hamoir to Mexico, La Gomera and Australia.
The quest itself feels more like a journey than a task. Some of the following items might seem irrelevant in understanding the forgotten ecosystem service of trees, but in fact everything was crucial in cleansing and managing my own energy to become a keen participative observer.
1977, 31 December: my birthday and the day of Saint Sylvester - For christians the 33rd pope, under whose pontificate the Roman emperor Constantine the Great was christianized and the christian church began its imperium. For me the festival of ‘sylva’, the forest.
1985: an innocent experience that summer that I would always recollect: I was already so influenced by the information that there aren’t any native conifers and that deciduous species are so much better, that I felt depressed on a summer camp simply because my team was located in a conifer forest and the other in a deciduous one during a game.
1995-2000: formation bio-engineer at the Catholic University of Leuven (CUL) in soil science and tropical forestry (and with many courses in forestry)
1996-2001: became acquainted with druid Chantal Hoyberghs through several workshops – first part of the druid formation from the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids
1997-2012: Egyptian belly dance with Amana Dance Theatre and other
(this may seem irrelevant, but when belly dancing energy flows - experienced belly dancers are also energy experts in some way)
1997: stage in Thailand with agricultural students and farmers thanks to the International Association of Students Agricultural and Related Sciences (I.A.A.S.)
1998: stage in Togo with small farmers thanks to I.A.A.S.
1999: field work for my thesis in Cuenca, Ecuador, about fertility gradients in terraces on the steep Andes slopes
2000-2001: Additional eduction in the social and cultural anthropology (CUL), a focus on religions and trees with a comparative study of druidism and other nature religions
2001-2002: Master in Tropical Agriculture at the CUL with an ethnobotanic study about the use of garden plants in a remote village (Coyula, Oaxaca) in Mexico
2003-present: coordinator with Forest Group (South-)Limburg – specialisations: member magazine, afforestations (mainly on damaged agricultural lands) and since 2015 responsible for the cooperation with the Jane Goodall Institute
2007-2009: thoroughly renovating the house of my dreams
2009-2011: education integrative massage
2010: regularly participating in family constellations
2010-2012: introductions in emotional bodywork, firewalk, sweat lodge
ceremonies, a traditional ayahuasca ceremony, adoula, alternative festivals, participating in full moon gatherings for women, visiting a festival of indigenous shamans,...
2010-2012: education light worker and initiations in healing, reiki
2013: becoming a mom
2014: start ashtanga yoga
2011-2014: guiding in the Cistercian abbey & brewery of Val-Dieu
2017-2020: desk and field research for my publications