Claiming my Way of Living

by Nico van Haastrecht, Warnsveld, The Netherlands

In 2006 I was presented with the Gentle Breath Meditation at a workshop with Chris James. At that time I was involved in several new age movements/modalities such as yoga, Steiner schools and a guru, and I visited ayahuasca (ayawaska) ceremonies – all in order to better my life, which I was not content with. I was missing the essence of life but could not grasp it at that time. I was desperately trying everything presented to me without first discerning where it came from.

Along with the gentle breath meditation, I started to read Serge Benhayon’s book ‘The Way It Is’. I felt a very strong connection with all that was presented by the book, it was like an “I know that” from deep within. Through reading the book and doing the gentle breath meditation, slowly, slowly I came into more connection with myself and allowed myself to feel what I felt.

The beginning was not easy because my wife started to react as I was providing her my love instead of fulfilling her needs, and for me there was no other way of being. I had my truth that I had to honour, and that for me was more precious than a relationship built on needs. She started to blame me for being selfish, not contributing etc. and I let her, accepting and appreciating who she was. Inspired by the way I was living my life, after about nine months she too started reading Serge’s book and listening to the audio presentations from Universal Medicine. I did not persuade her in any way but just inspired her by my way of living.

Later on our children also started to become more connected with their truth, which was not always easy because it required them to be honest with themselves, and to acknowledge the things they might have felt at the time but did not act on. It was also confronting to me as a parent, because I had told them, explicitly or implicitly, to do what I wanted them to do in exchange for my love and support.

After a few years I went to Serge Benhayon’s workshops in the UK where I learnt how it is to be in connection with a group of people living and expressing the same truth. The joy that that brings is amazing, since it unifies us as human beings. Instead of looking to another person’s skills and capabilities out of comparison, I could enjoy all the different aspects of human expression from other people that show us we are all important members of humanity. I do matter, and it is important that I am aware of that!

My life has improved considerably from where I started. I now enjoy life and feel a true purpose to it, instead of living towards goals that never, ever gave me true fulfilment when I met them. My life has become simpler, which for me as an engineer was, and is, challenging – as engineers we are expected to provide logical and complex solutions to the presented issues in life.

217 thoughts on “Claiming my Way of Living

  1. Love that one: “I do matter, and it is important that I am aware of that!”
    It is what we are longing for and what we are avoiding at the same time. I count and it is on me to live in a way that others can count on me. …by and by I discover how joyful this is.

  2. Great to read Nico. It can be very challenging for us and our surroundings to bring a change into life. Of course we’ve managed it before in a way and this way is familiar and did create a form of comfort. Even we are unhappy – it is in a way ‘safe’ to be like that because we know it and we know what will come out of our actions. With the Way of the Livingness and as a student of it, we do not know what will come up next because there is no control in it and so…we will see. That let my spirit freak out, but my body loves it. I and my life get space again and there is more room to breath my own breath and not a one loaded with stress and pushing tension. Lovely to live in a way that others get inspired to drop their angst, fear and guard and open up again for a responsible life.

  3. I believe most of us can relate to this Nico “I was missing the essence of life but could not grasp it at that time. I was desperately trying everything presented to me without first discerning where it came from.” As in the words of the song Amazing Grace “I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.”

  4. This is an inspiring testimony to the Gentle Breath Meditation and the work and presentations of Universal Medicine clearly demonstrating the ripple affect this can have on our family and friends when we live the teachings. It is also a testimony to you Nico and to your ability to put these teachings into practice.

  5. It’s inspirational to feel the simplicity with which you made the changes to connect to your essence, finding your true purpose in life, that gave you back to a simpler way of being. I understand the family wanting to be aligned to a living reflection of Love.

  6. Thank you Nico for a simply beautiful blog showing to us the power of connection to your inner heart and its healing effects of love on your family members.. Simplicity is clear, complexity is muddied.

  7. Nico you let us feel with your amazing blog that live can be very simple and easy if we are connected to ourselves. This is very inspirational and is an invitation to have a look inside and to stop to try to find a solution outside.

  8. Finding the ‘missing link’ is so true Nico.The constant search and then realising it all comes back to living life with such simplicity and the volume that others receive is priceless as a result.

  9. Thank you for sharing this blog with us Nico. It is so lovely to read how you simply inspired your family to embrace love and truth by you first living this yourself. ‘The beginning was not easy because my wife started to react as I was providing her my love instead of fulfilling her needs’ I am inspired that you didn’t react to your wives reactions but simply stayed steady in living with more love and truth inspiring others along the way

  10. Great to read your blog Nico, I appreciated your honesty as a parent relating to your kids and expecting them “to do what I wanted them to do in exchange for my love and support.” I can see that this form of manipulation can be part of any kind of relationship where we bargain for what we want instead of simply sharing the love that we are.

  11. A very honest account of the difference between needy love and true love. Feels uncomfortable at first as we transition, but then it opens us up to relationships that are based on equality without need. Pretty cool.

  12. Truly amazing the affect one will have on others when they simple connect to themselves and truth Nico. For your family to feel the changes you made for yourself and be inspired by them is headline news.

  13. Beautiful, your dedication and commitment has inspired others. It’s not about changing others, it’s about changing ourselves and it’s through our reflections others are inspired, just like you said your family was inspired by you.

  14. I like what you say about your life becoming simpler. Mine has too. Not in an ascetic, abstemious way, but away from the complexity we create around ourselves in the pursuit of life as we think it should be and strive for it to be. When we drop the need for all that, life is clearer, less racy, more self-supporting and far more intrinsically rewarding.

  15. “I felt a very strong connection with all that was presented by the book, it was like an “I know that” from deep within.” That is also what I felt when reading the books of Serge Benhayon, it connected me with something I already knew but was not aware of anymore. Serge’s book are the books where I have many ‘hmm that makes sense’ moments and that is really beautiful as in a way the truth he presents in his books has been something I have been looking for.

  16. Thank you Nico, I love how you didn’t choose to react to the reactions you received but chose to connect to your inner knowing. It is incredible who we can inspire when we commit to expressing truth and love. Very gorgeous Nico.

  17. “slowly, slowly I came into more connection with myself and allowed myself to feel what I felt.” I echo that Nico. When I first attended presentations by Serge Benhayon I convinced myself that I could not feel and at the same denying that I just felt that being at the presentations and workshops was where I had to be. Slowly, slowly choosing to be aware of all that I feel I know that the words of wisdom presented by Serge is the true truth as it has always been.

  18. “After a few years I went to Serge Benhayon’s workshops in the UK where I learnt how it is to be in connection with a group of people living and expressing the same truth. The joy that that brings is amazing, since it unifies us as human beings. Instead of looking to another person’s skills and capabilities out of comparison”. Beautifully expressed Nico. I have met such a great variety of people from all walks of life, whom I would never have come across in my life before – and to feel the unifying truth and love that inspires us all is unique.

  19. I agree just how different it feels to be around a group of really smart, gifted, capable people and hold them in deep respect rather than opting for either jealousy or superiority from comparison. To me, it underlines how each one of us brings an essence or expression that is needed in the world that only we can bring. That means we can truly appreciate someone’s uniqueness in the whole system and our own equally, alongside it.

  20. Nico, it always inspires me and brings more trust in people when I read blogs such as yours. I say this because it was truth that you felt and truth that you followed. You didn’t need it around you all the time to confirm this truth because the knowing in your body was confirmation enough. We all hold the spark of light and truth inside and we can all choose to follow and ignite the flame again.

  21. It is beautiful you shared this Nico, your love has inspired many to feel that which is true in themselves.

  22. Through your commitment and steady love Nico, your family were also able to see and eventually surrender to something that was true and loving and very inspiring. It is amazing how your wife and soon your children saw it as an inspiration and make it their own way of being through nothing more than their own choice and not your imposition. This is very different to how most present a truth to another and shows the power of a living way.

    1. Well said Joshua, this shows the power of commitment and our steady love can make inspiring changes. By simply living our truth and allowing others space and time to reach their truth it is unimposing and empowering.

  23. Thank you for sharing Nico. I love how you held steady with the more honest way you were learning to live in and let your family be, loving them without imposing, and how they were inspired by you to live more truly loving themselves. That is a miraculous story, and so simple. Imagine the whole world living like this.

  24. A true inspiration Nico – giving yourself time to ‘gently’ connect and make changes in your life but also in doing that allowing those around you to continue to live their lives on their chosen path. The love that supports that connection/foundation is very hard to resist and join in with and be a part of that too. As in the case of your family. Beautiful.

  25. This is a great blog Nico, and I experienced it all from up close.. it is beautiful to change as a family inspired by one, feeling that we are more. That what we do is inspiring all around, and surely our close family.

  26. Love this Nico. It’s very inspiring to hear what comes about when you stay strong in what you feel and claim the truth of your life.

  27. Really inspirational Nico. Amazing how you were able to see through the way relationships are often constituted, built on needs. With all the resistance your wife iniitially put up you stuck to what you felt was true and at the same time accepted and appreciated her without trying to convince her to see things your way. That is the only way to go.

  28. Nico your story is a testament to Serge’s books and what they can offer. I’m so impressed that you felt the truth from what was presented in the book and started to make the changes in your life, even without attending any workshops or presentations. I can feel the strength and connection you have to living your truth, so much so that your family could not resist the pull. Very inspiring.

  29. It is great that you could see the truth of the Teachings of Serge Benhayon and trusted yourself to follow through into the livingness of these, and in that, . inspiring your Wife and family by your Livingness. Thank you Nico.

  30. Thank you for sharing your story Nico, I love how your choice to feel and connect to truth inside you inspired others to do so as well.

  31. I can relate Nico to what you have said. I too was in search of answers for my unhappiness through the spiritual pathway to no avail until I came across Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. Like yours Nico my life also has changed for the better with me being more connected to the love that I am. I loved the way you were with your family choosing love over meeting anyone’s needs. What a blessing you are to your family showing them the true way of being.

  32. Thank you Nico, this is a great read. I love that you gently went about your way and allowed your wife and children to come to their own understanding in their own time. This is a perfect example to me of how love is beholding. You held it, your family felt it and everyone is lifted. And I love that you are bringing your simplicity to a complex job description!

  33. Thanks for sharing Nico. Loved reading it. Usually all the stories I hear are about a women making a change and the man reacting- it was great to have that turn around and note that it was pretty much similar.

  34. Nico you’ve really pulled the rug out from under the falsities of relationships, I really appreciated this line:

    “It was also confronting to me as a parent, because I had told them, explicitly or implicitly, to do what I wanted them to do in exchange for my love and support.”

    This is very true in many relationships, it’s unspoken but unmistakably felt. We know it’s not love, that there is something better but we settle for less. Understanding what love is and deepening that in our relationships (and with ourselves) is really essential.

  35. Beautiful Nico, you have shared so much wisdom and so simply – appreciated. Wow, what a huge step you took realising you had to change your life, to follow love from within you, and allow others to experience the upset of shifting the relationship from needs to love. I’m going through similar changes myself, feeling the needs and investments in myself and others and how they play out in relationships. Love is the great equaliser and ushers in a more simple way of relating. Love is a common ground but there is always an inequality when needs are at play.

  36. Lovely to read how your life has changed, and that by living in a way that is honouring of yourself inspires those around you.

  37. Nico, I really noticed the certainty with which you wrote your blog. Your steadfast determination to implement the changes you felt were true in your life helps to support me with my commitment to living in a way that feels true for me. Thank you.

  38. Thank you Nico for the reminder of the beauty of living and connecting with all of humanity with the purpose of reflecting and expressing the unified truth — we are all the Sons of God equally so.

  39. Thanks for sharing your journey so far, its a great point in life when we can say life is not working and to then tread the path you have and say – I now enjoy life and feel a true purpose to it. I love it , thank you Nico.

  40. I love your story Nico and the way you ‘held’ your family with no judgment instead allowing them the space to eventually connect to the one truth. I too was involved in many new age movements and modalities without discerning where they truly came from. After finally arriving at the work of Serge Benhayon I knew with every single fibre of my being that I had arrived home and the lifelong search was finally over..

    1. I was also someone who pursued spiritual interests, but like you Rob, when I met Serge Benhayon I knew completely that it was the real deal – I was met for who I am, without judgement or critique, just held, lovingly so – and from that moment I was on my way back to living my authentic self.

  41. Simplicity in how we live feels natural and a relief from how we make complication in life, in order to feel identified, worthy, and important.

  42. I enjoyed your story Nico. It would never have occurred to me that the road to discovering truth could include experimentation with ayahuasca. That must have taken a lot more bravery than I could muster and thank God that you realised that it was not the answer! It is beautiful to hear how your family evolved around embracing truth into your lives.

  43. Good to hear that your life has improved Nico. Enjoying life and feeling a true purpose to it is way better than living towards goals that never, ever gave you true fulfilment. It feels wonderful to move forward

    1. Agreed Fiona, it’s super inspiring. Just to know, by living from you, that people might react, but if you hold steady they begin to see what’s more. It was lovely to read about, especially the kids, that was cool.

      1. True Emily, hold steady and who knows the gems that will be uncovered. In my experience things turn out better than they were before anyway.

  44. Thanks for sharing your story Nico. It’s been amazing to see you transform into the truly gentle-man that you are with your openness and tender expression.

  45. Thanks for sharing you Nico, I could feel what a change you have made by really honouring yourself and living from a true love of self. It’s also great to feel how you can now truly appreciate the fact we are all equal in life and therefore there is no need for comparison, now choosing to truly appreciate that everyone has something to offer. Just beautiful.

  46. Thank you Nico for expressing so honestly and simply the transformation from how you felt you were ‘missing the essence of life’ to how you ‘now enjoy life and feel a true purpose to it’.

  47. Hi Nico, how beautifully simple. Reading this has touched my heart and my mind feels eased knowing that life can be so simple and reading of the beautiful transformation in your family as you held yourself with love as you interacted with them. Truly Beautiful!

  48. Thank you Nico, an inspiring blog that brings in the ‘Joy’ of being at Universal Medicine events in the UK. The amazing aspect of being in the ‘Joy’ as presented by Serge Benhayon is that it then flows into every aspect of the day!

  49. By living our love we inspire others to do the same. We become the change we want to see in the world, and we inspire others, such that we change the world. We live with honesty and integrity, an openness that others respond too. Thank you Nico, as I read your article I could feel myself almost choosing to go into jealously and comparison with what you have inspired in your family, as my family have not been inspired the same by me. Yet as I sit still, the truth is that of late there is change in my family and my interactions with all my relationships. The thing that I have to constantly watch is that I do not make myself less than or more than another. To simply know we are all sons of God, that we are all the same inside. There is no one alive who doesn’t know the truth of their soul, this so encourages me to live my love in full each and every day. To inspire others to connect to their love and do the same.

  50. When I read this one again Nico I got reminded of a quote from Serge Benhayon where he shares that “Love is an observation – a situation that allows another to be held no matter what, giving them time to get to their own amazingness.” ( It felt like this is what you offered your wife and it must’ve been great for her to experience a love that leaves you to be, to grow in your own pace, to connect if you feel to without wanting of needing anything.

  51. I too Nico, am claiming my way of living, slowy but surely, and I can feel a deep appreciaton for myself in all the loving consistent choices I have made in the last few years, which supports me to value all that I bring.

  52. To take those first steps in connectting to our love is not always easy and often causes reactions in those close to us. To have that commitment to truth and steadiness in yourself is amazing and obviously inspiring to your family. Thank you for sharing.

  53. It’s lovely that you have inspired your wife and your kids rather than told them what to do or judging them for what they are doing. By the sounds of this blog, they were allowed the space to react, to observe, and to feel it for themselves, what your way of life is bringing to them.

  54. Great read Nico, I too have found as I make true changes to/or let go of behaviours, so that my actions reflect more and more the Love that I am, then others Are inspired to do the same.

  55. When you wrote “Along with the gentle breath meditation, I started to read Serge Benhayon’s book ‘The Way It Is’. I felt a very strong connection with all that was presented by the book, it was like an “I know that” from deep within.” I got such a strong sense of how important it is to express our whole truth all the time, as we may be the one to remind another of the glory they are within.

  56. Nico, your story highlights the power of reflection as you live a life that is true for you. Beautiful.

  57. It is lovely to feel your unimposing way, of what feels right for you. Only then others can truly connect, if they are ready to look at their life and decisions with responsibility.

  58. That is a big step to take..: that I am needed in my quality in full – not me serving other peoples needs. That to truly serve means to serve from within, from my quality. From the understanding and knowing of what responds looking at the all. Thank you for that reflection!

  59. Even ayawaska couldn´t take away your gorgeousness that just needed to be confirmed, that is quite something! The spaciousness, stillness and tenderness of your very nature is very much felt in your words and resonates with delight in me – lecker.

  60. From ayawaska ceremonies and missing the essence of life to finding a purpose that brings you joy and inspires your family through your living is such an incredible transformation. Wow. What you have learnt about life and become aware of in yourself is so inspirational Nico, thank you for sharing your journey.

  61. Beautiful story Nico. Wonderful to read how you honoured what felt true for you and your powerful reflection inspired those around you.

  62. It seems that we have to be reminded that there is a truth, perhaps we’ve forgotten, even though it lingers forever within. Given the reflection that there is a truth is challenging for some since we’ve been fed truths over the years that have clearly not been truths at all. It also seems that in the lack of having a true truth available we create our own truth and suddenly we have a couple of billion truths that is separate from each other and can therefore hardly be seen as truly true since truth is one unifying. Great example here Nico that it’s possible to overcome a resistance in favour of truth.

  63. What you have presented is evidence of the fact that ‘it is simple’ when life is lived connected to your inner heart. The strength of this connection is very powerful and mentioned in relationship to your wife and children. You held onto what is true and it allowed space for those in your family to connect to their own inner knowing. Thank you Nico for sharing.

  64. It’s beautiful to feel how you claimed your way of living and at the same time allowed your family to make their own choices and claim more loving ways of being on their own accord.

    1. I agree Fumiyo, Nico’s approach towards his family was deeply loving and inspiring. When we allow people space and time to make their own choices in life we are being extremely supportive because we are not imposing on them but lovingly supporting them by just constantly reflecting our love back to them, knowing that they will eventually return to the love they are too.

  65. Thank you Nico for your beautiful blog and the changes you have brought to your life and your family . I have spent a large part of my life thinking that I did not matter now I know differently, we do matter as we all are important parts of the whole.

  66. Lovely to revisit your blog Nico and feel the power that choices made from truth and love have on all those around us. A beautiful and powerful reflection that you offered to you family.

  67. Wunderbarer Nico, thank you for your clear statement as a person whose profession is in being an engineer. I can imagine that in this kind of profession people expected logical and complex solutions and therefore I am inspired in how you find your way out of this “box” of being. You are now a living role model for all the other people to feel into what they are doing in their professional way of being.

  68. Thank you for your blog Nico. You are another proof that living from your inner truth changes not only yours but the life of those around you.

  69. Thank you Nico, this is a great blog and you have shared so much truth. I love in the beginning how you say – ‘I was desperately trying everything presented to me without first discerning where it came from.’ This is a powerful truth to realise and to honour once this truth is felt. I too can relate to the ‘knowing’ that you felt as you began to read Serge Benhayon ‘The Way It Is’. This was my first book too. And though connecting to my essence, my truth more and more I was able to discern what I wanted to continue with in my life and what I wanted to let go of, what was supporting my connection and what was not. Most definitely a more joyful way to live.

  70. Nico, I love hearing you say, as I and so many others have felt, that when you began to comprehend what Serge was presenting, that you ‘..know this already…I have always known this…”.

    I feel strongly that The Truth belongs to every one of us and must be, by Universal law available to each of us because we are PART of it, exactly like how every cell in our body caries a blue print to the whole rest of our body! If we live inside the body of God we must be able to personally know God in full.

    I choose to feel this, after denying it for so long, and I find that Serge Benhayon is the fast track to helping me wake up to the awareness of this wealth of Love & Truth that is within us all equally so.

  71. Thank you Nico for sharing your story which is deeply felt and appreciated.
    I can feel how you made choices to love and care for yourself first and this led to you having an understanding for your wife and children. It is great that you did not ask your family to change but they were inspired by your choices.
    I agree with you that when I attend Serge Benhayon workshops, I have the opportunity to connect with people who live and express the same Truth. The joy this brings is real and I take that away with me and get on with my life and I know I can make a difference.

  72. Hi Nico, I too get that “I know that” feeling when I read or hear Serge present. It is so totally exquisite to reconnect to the truth that Serge expresses as it is MY truth too. I just read on Unimedpedia Truth which presents what Truth truly is – that True truth unifies us and is the same for everybody equally. The other thing that struck me reading what you wrote was your great courage and integrity and how once you reconnected and knew the truth (which is the same as love) you honoured that and inspired everyone around you.

    1. Thanks for the link Nicola, I just listened to the audio on truth, it is a level way beyond what I had ever considered this word to mean in the past, hugely powerful to consider.

  73. This is very inspiring Nico. How you connected to truth and solidly committed and stuck to it. Not easy within a family dynamic where there are so many needs and roles to be fulfilled. A solid and inspiring foundation that your family all eventually responded to.

  74. Thanks Nico – I get a real sense of the shift in you so that you became the rock in the family, just being you (nothing more complicated than that). And the rest of the article describes beautifully how the other members of the family initially clash against that, but were then inspired by the solid foundation which allowed them to start making changes of their own.

    1. Yes Simon, I love how Nico shows that once he is connecting to the essence he truly is within he only needed to simply hold himself in that wisdom and stand steady with the love that is there and in this way he offered his family another choice, so gently and without any demands, rules or impositions being made.

      I find this very encouraging as I choose to stand by the love that I now recognize as my truth, instead of trading needs or making deals and calling that “love” as I used to do and accept in others, all the while feeling miserable for it.

  75. I too have observed amazing changes in myself and other students through studying with Universal Medicine. I love the simplicity of your sharing which has obviously had a massive impact for you and your family.

  76. A great sharing of how your life became more simple and joyful with your true connection to your inner self.

  77. Thank you Nico for sharing and this is an inspiring read for anyone who has doubted or neglected the truth we constantly feel within.

  78. It’s great Nico that you stayed true to your inner knowing. What a gift you now have given to your family, and I am sure to many others,by honouring and living your truth.

  79. What stuck with me the most about this blog was that consistency of living is the greatest inspiration for another.

    1. Yes absolutely leighoflight. Consistency is part of Love, it forms the rock that supports another to regain trust and surrender to their own love.

  80. Nico, I can relate to so much of your blog and like you I experienced family members who reacted to me making more loving changes, but gradually and from no initiating on my part, one of my family members has also begun making different choices such as no longer drinking alcohol, cutting right back on gluten and taking a pot of soya milk to the coffee shop with her for her coffee. These changes are huge and it is beautiful watching the ripple effect delicately unfold simply by changing the way I am living.

  81. Thank you Nico. Your blog title “Claiming my way of living” says it all, as this is exactly what you have been doing and it is beautiful to feel.

  82. Thank you Nico – it is lovely to see you all together as a family when at The Lighthouse (UK) for courses – an inspiration to us all.

  83. “The missing link” – the essence of life as you describe it Nico. I have read this sentence in so many posts and of course it is the one that I use to describe in a gist how I felt before I came across Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. We keep searching for it on the outside in all shapes and forms (alternative modalities, gurus, religion, work, relationships, sports, music…) without awareness that we are looking at all the wrong places and barking up wrong trees. So when we start to look inside ourselves like so many students have shared, the answers, one by one, little by little start to offer themselves to us.
    My life too has never been simpler but more joyous than it is now. Thanks Nico.

    1. Ditto for me too… that frantic searching outside for an answer, or a solution, or something that is going to make sense of it all when the only place to look is right there with us all of the time.

    2. Yes, life becomes much simpler. Once we have an idea who we are, truly are, it gets much easier as that is our yardstick – what is us and what is not us and then we have a choice.

  84. Very nice to read how it started with you from within, your realisation of ‘I know this’ and how you have walked your path reflecting your family your love. As I know you as a family and now how it all enfolded for you all, it’s even more a joy for me to see how your family as a whole is now a reflection for me how a family can be and live joyfully and lovingly together. Thanks for the example!

  85. Thank you Nico – what a catalyst towards change you have been for your family and that you are now all together learning to express that change towards love, as one which is wonderful!

  86. How powerful we are when we connect to our truth and live it for ourselves without any expectations of others joining us. Nico, your family connecting to their truth in their own time is a perfect example of this. Well done for being patient and offering them love.

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