I am a criminologist by education and have been fascinated by horses for as long as I can remember. Contact with these animals always brought me to a deeper feeling immediately.
After my criminology studies in 1999, I went to Japan to specialise. I lived, studied and taught languages in Tokyo for 4 years. Japan felt like a homecoming to me: I discovered Shinto and the oriental Tao tradition, which both framed and outlined some priorities for me. It wasn’t a huge leap when I took steps into taking courses related to these traditions. Working with the 4 dimensions
the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body were part of my daily life there. It brought me into better balance and I felt empowered to tackle issues from the past. I noticed how liberating it is to become your unique self more and more.
When I returned to Belgium in 2003, I dreamed of sharing the knowledge I gained, initially linked to my criminology studies. However, I noticed that the organisations I needed to work with were not ready for this step (yet). I was also forced to let go of the strict Japanese culture that had been familiar to me for years and that had actually made me feel good. I could not find my place here anymore and that resulted in project work, allowing me to accept new challenges regularly. Slowly I rediscovered my inner peace, making my heart’s call to work with people and horses sound louder than ever.
Initially it didn’t occur to me to combine the two. On the one hand I was focusing on working with badly neglected or mistreated horses. Using gentleness and tenderness to establish a connection with these animals who had often turned aggressive was a first step to show them that there was a different way. The bond growing from love from then on was always a moving and spectacularly beautiful experience. Parallel to this, I took courses which tied in with Taoism and were aimed at bodywork and energetic work.
When I became aware of the impact on myself when working with horses, I started looking for a course that would teach me how to incorporate horses when giving guidance to people. From the wide range available, I decided to opt for equicoaching: although I felt it wasn’t a perfect fit. I started the course in 2010; it was a good foundation course and my starting point for using horses to enable human growth. I established my own practice, where I offered the ‘reworked’ version of the methodology.
An acute health issue in 2011 with complications after surgery meant that I was forced to close my practice in 2012. My life came to a halt as it were, and the focus shifted to medical rehabilitation. Caring for horses gave me the strength to carry on despite the bad prognosis. First, I looked after the horses of one of my friends, which were stabled at my house. Later, it were my own horses who made me push forward and persevere, sometimes desperate yet hopeful. I taught myself once again to trust my feelings and to pursue what I personally thought was important and went back to learning. The first thing on my wish list was to pass my certificate of pedagogic competency, and nothing could stop me after that. In the meantime, I rehabilitated with my horse Sally, found myself in my horse Sasha, and I felt the love and bond from both in our daily contact. My life regained colour, and the desire to share this with others gained more and more momentum.
My recent courses for systemic constellation coach and sound-healer were the decisive factors for making specific steps towards realising my dream of my own practice. I was ready for a new start and - full of hope and confidence - I set up my new practice Heart to heart. Looking after horses enabled me to figure out and respect my own boundaries and limits. By maintaining my bond of love with them every day, I feel lifted and supported in following my heart. My heart, that is very clear in letting me know the guidance of others in their growth process - with or without the help of a horse or the herd - is the ultimate road I have to take.