The Joy and Vitality of Living Life

I cannot remember ever being as joyful in my life as I feel now. Living in a vital body, having amazing, deeply loving relationships with my wife, my family and friends and enjoying my work throughout the day to the best of my ability in full conscious presence.

The joy that is felt from feeling an inner warmth in my body is so precious, and through my honouring that inner feeling thus expands and becomes more. This all started from the moment I met Serge Benhayon some 9 years ago and went to the Universal Medicine presentations, courses and retreats that he presents every year in the UK.

But my life has not always been like this as it was completely different before I met Serge and listened to the Ancient Wisdom he presents. I grew up in a family as the middle of three boys where my father was the provider of income and my mother took care of the household and all that came with that. It felt to me to be a functional family but lacking intimacy and true connection with one another.

I have learned from that upbringing that life is about working hard and trying your best to make something of it – but not loving and appreciating each other for the beautiful people that we are, or about enjoying life. All that was simply not there.

My voicing this is not to blame my parents or my brothers as it was what it was and it was a situation I equally was part of and contributed to. Nobody in our family had ever been told that life could be different and nowhere in our circle of acquaintances did we know people who lived this sort of joyful and appreciative life. We were a normal family, participating in a society where the belief was that life is hard and that “you have to do your best to make it work.”

I can now see what this growing up brought to me for my adult life. There was always an inner dissatisfaction and internal struggle between what life presented to me to be, and what I could feel inside of me. However, there was no reflection of that ‘other true life’ I innately felt, so I chose to work hard to maybe one day achieve that ‘other way of life.’

That lack of inner connection with the love I now know lives in all of us, made me go into the working hard as this brought me positive attention and from this, I built a certain level of self-respect and self-acceptance. Firstly, I put this working hard into my studies and into sports but was never able to sustain it. I always had to improve myself and it was never enough and so this pattern continued to permeate all aspects of my life.

In my professional life, this pattern of not feeling my inner self-worth made me strive to do my job as best as I could, and with that I tried to make everything perfect to the tiniest detail, never considering how much effort this required, nor how much strain I was putting on my body.

Although I was good at my job, I myself was not appreciative of that fact and because of that I did not value what I brought to my work, so I continued in “trying to do it better.” It was never enough and I was still insecure about any decision I made. I doubted myself by letting others advise me about what to do or to choose, although I had all the wisdom, knowledge and experience to know all of this myself.

This pattern also played a role in being a husband, a father and a friend, where I always came from this same lack of self-worth, constantly striving to do it better. These feelings of insecurity meant that I could never appreciate all the beautiful and loving connections I had with my wife, children, colleagues and friends and what I was already bringing to my relationships just by being me.

Thanks to Serge Benhayon, Universal Medicine, the Universal Medicine Student Body and not least, my lovely wife and children, I am, without perfection, on the way to fully living that lovely, sensitive, tender and wise man I naturally am. I am learning to surrender to the knowing that in my essence I am already everything and that I can bring all of this wherever I go in humanity.

I don’t have to prove myself anymore as I have rekindled that inner fire, the connection with Soul, the unwavering constant in my life and it will always be so. This reconnection has brought me the joy and vitality I knew was there, but had been looking outside of me to obtain it, while it was always there inside me, waiting for me to reconnect to.

Published with permission of my family.

By Nico van Haastrecht

Further Reading:
Returning to our essence
Learning to Find Me and Live My Life
Appreciation of Life and Ourselves

616 thoughts on “The Joy and Vitality of Living Life

  1. Nico, it is only recently that I have learnt that life can be truly joyful, that to do well in life does not equal struggle and that success has nothing to do with whether I have a family or how well or not I do in my career. Reading how you describe your family life from the delicate and tender man you are is inspiring as I can just imagine how lovely it would be to spend time immersed with in your home.

  2. From applying the teachings of Universal Medicine in my life I can now say that my life too is absolutely, imperfectly, amazing. Recently however I have not felt vital but run down and as I read your life before UM previously it would of been a moment of confirming that I am all those negative situations. Something has shifted as this has not happened today. It’s all down to how we choose to be in life. Just because some moments arn’t amazing doesn’t mean I am less than amazing.

    1. I love this comment Leigh – ‘my life too is absolutely, imperfectly, amazing.’ I can feel the celebration in your words, and the philosophical approach to when life doesn’t feel so great.

  3. Exquisitely beautiful and wise – indeed all that we could ever ask for is a known, living way within us all …simply awaiting us to express forth the truth we are.

  4. It is an interesting illusion that we have in today’s society, that we reach a certain destination we them get to ‘live the life’ so that we don’t really have to be part of life and simply sit back, relax and cruse. Yet ironically, it is in the living of life through our every single day, where the magic truly lies. Within us all we already are everything that we could ever want for, and in appreciating ourselves and the qualities that reside within we discover a real life that is joy-filled, extremely loving and forever fascinating. As through our connection to who we are within we can all live a life together that is truly magical.

    1. This is so true Carola, it certainly is an illusion aiming to live ‘the life’. When we fall for this illusion it takes us further away from our true path and we end up feeling lost. Yet life is so simple, like you’ve shared and it is through connecting to the magic of every day with deep appreciation that this reveals the grandness we already are.

  5. Serge Benhayon introduced a way of living with true love and care, totally alien to me in application at first yet touching something deep within my essence that felt so familiar that I had always been wanting to connect with yet seemed impossible to reach. Slowly I have learnt to change my way of living that I now feel a steadiness of connection within myself and enjoy how this supports me to handle the busyness of life.

  6. Beautiful blog Nico, I can very much relate to what you’ve shared. My life 4 years ago, from the outside looked ideal, loving and perfect but inside I was feeling a huge tension from living a life lacking joy, vitality and true love. I was so used to living with a measured level of love which in truth was not love because true love is not restrictive or controlled but expansive, limitless and always consistent, grand and not owned by us but it is expressed through us. Also learning to appreciate myself and life has ignited more joy and deep connection with myself and people. Thank you Nico for your amazing blog.

  7. “ I doubted myself by letting others advise me about what to do or to choose, although I had all the wisdom, knowledge and experience to know all of this myself.” I know the environment I grew up in has been an amazing fertile ground to learn the lesson for truly discovering myself worth. As I’m retuning more deeply to knowing I have the wisdom, insights and can trust myself fully there are lessons along the way that I’ve realised are essential to deepen my own knowing. Without my own experiments and experience how will I truly know what is absolutely true for me? If I go with other’s advice I’m actually living their truth in my body and this has never ended so well. I’m discovering embracing and being in wonder and observation of the lessons is fun, incredibly supportive and absolutely freeing from the fear of getting something wrong or making a mistake.

  8. Appreciating our selves for who we are and exactly where we are at from a place of wonder, observation and loving understanding and acceptance, starts to reveal amazing realisations. To me this is the foundation of re-claiming the deep qualities that may have been hiding under the layers of ideals and beliefs. The ones that have us doubting, worrying, looking for recognition, and thinking we have to work hard at something. When we are in full acceptance of who we are we don’t have to work hard at anything , what we need to know and do next is revealed.

  9. Nico, I can relate to what you shared about doubting yourself at work even though you bring great skill and care to your job. I used to be that way and used perfectionism to try to avoid ever making a mistake (a futile task indeed) so as to appear to be a super valuable and skilled mechanic. This was a very paralyzing and exhausting way to approach my work. But after finding Universal Medicine I have now come to appreciate what I bring to my work beyond the mechanical skills and have noticed that things flow more easily without the great pressure I had placed on myself to always be ‘more’ somehow.

    1. I can feel the joy this brings to your and your work Michael when you bring all of you to work and not only your skills.

  10. “We were a normal family, participating in a society where the belief was that life is hard and that “you have to do your best to make it work.”” I can completely relate to this, we also grew up in a community where the belief was life is hard and you have to work hard and make life work for you. With this belief I also was caught up in lack of self worth no matter how good I was.

  11. What you share is such a common theme in most peoples lives. We are set up from a very young age to search on the outside for confirmation of our love and what we offer. Re-discovering that it is only us that need give this confirmation is a game changer in life.

  12. The reconnection to our inner heart activates the particles in our body to say yes to movements that express who we are in full without question and that is truly breathtaking to behold and appreciate.

  13. Every action we have done to prove our self worth, true, it may have been harming to our bodies. But can we also appreciate the details we have developed in awareness throughout life? It is not what we do, but what energy propels us to do those things…so we are pretty amazing when we simply choose to live life in love, rather than in recognition.

  14. Funny – when we find what we have been looking for our entire lives, and its there inside of us all of the time. We can turn this into a lifelong journey that is arduous and complicated, or we can recognise what is there inside of us all of the time and simply choose that.

  15. Thanks Nico… Really… It would be so wonderful if we took on what was written about here… Imagine pausing every day, every morning and feeling and appreciating ourselves, expressing that to ourselves, and expressing appreciation of each other… what a foundation this would be for our lives.

  16. Thank you for sharing this Nico. What I am finding repeatedly is that when we share what we live rather than what we think with no lived experience to back it up it becomes more relatable and thus universally applicable. The teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine have also expanded my life in such a way where joy is and can easily be an everyday if not a constant in my life if I so choose.

  17. Nico, thank you, I can deeply relate to what you write.. It makes a lot of sense and brings me to a deep understanding of why I had chosen to be where I am , and why I am here. Understanding my choices : being loving choices but also loveless choices captured a very humble and sensitive feeling within me that I need to more deeper claimed. I am enough. Very deeply so.
    This sentence really captured for me the above revelation:
    ‘In my professional life, this pattern of not feeling my inner self-worth made me strive to do my job as best as I could, and with that I tried to make everything perfect to the tiniest detail, never considering how much effort this required, nor how much strain I was putting on my body.’
    All is said in that. Everything is in there I have felt for so long, did for so long and kept myself imprisoned in for so long.. until now. Almost brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, again.

  18. A beautiful sharing Nico and one I can relate to very well as I used to live in a constant state of looking for love and connection outside of myself whilst all the time ignoring the immense love within me that was waiting patiently for me to re-connect to it. I am forever grateful for Serge Benhayon presenting and living this truth consistently as it inspired me to also choose to live this as well.

  19. Thank you Nico. It is truly gorgeous what Serge Benhayon inspires through how he lives as well his teaching and healing modalities. Living with immense connection; love and joy, whilst also working hard with an absolute dedication to serving humanity at the deepest level.

  20. Thank you Nico, there is absolutely nothing more joyous than living in connection with our soul, for it takes far more work and drains on our bodies when we have to live life pushing through in disconnection and controlling our every movement in order to feel safe and secure. There is abundant love for all we just need to choose it and make it our true foundation.

  21. What stood out to me was the importance of choosing the values we want to be the foundation of our family and life. Once they were working hard and trying to make the best of it and now they are appreciation and enjoying being with each other whilst of course still working hard. Such a massive difference.

  22. True connection with another is more meaningful than any skill we may ever acquire or ideal we accept.

    1. Yes and yet this is not fostered in schools where the focus is becoming more and more on the importance of maths, English and computing (which are indeed important) rather than the quality of connection and relationships we have with one another.

  23. Its a revelation to know joy is always within, sitting with its brothers of love, and stillness, waiting for us to connect to it.

  24. No matter how we are raised and what our upbringing has made us to believe we are, there is always a choice to return to that love that resides in our inner hearts.

  25. There is great joy in paying attention to the details. Nothing is ever too small to bring our all to.

  26. “learning to surrender’, is something I am still learning, but when I do surrender, I can feel grace flowing through me. We do not have to fight, to push, to struggle and make life complicated, and there is so much support available to us when we surrender to whatever life presents us with.

  27. ‘I don’t have to prove myself anymore as I have rekindled that inner fire, the connection with Soul, the unwavering constant in my life’ As I read this line I could feel myself surrender and I realised how much I still feel I need to prove myself when there is absolutely nothing to prove in me just being me. I can feel the sadness with which I go through life still putting on a facade and believing that somehow I am not enough when I know that by being myself there is just simply nothing more to be.

  28. For years I have focused my life on doing and what needs to be done rather than the quality that I’m doing whatever it is that I’m doing in. By bringing connection to myself and my movements, the quality changes, I let go of the struggle and I feel a joy in the simplicity of the way that I am living.

  29. it is interesting to consider that as of young we can make either choises to live a life in denial of who we are or we can choose to live to our essence, the fire that lives in us and to not allow to let anything come in between but to nourish and appreciate this essence to become more instead.

  30. I can relate with what you share about valuing yourself in your work and with what you bring to life. This is a pattern that has been there in my own life too and it stems from the needs of security that we develop when we are at school. I am letting go of this too and standing more and more in the potential of what I can bring and the truth I feel in my body. In that way I can let go of tension, pressure, anxiety and stress and appreciate and enjoy myself in what I do knowing it will naturally be amazing anyway.

  31. Surrender is so under-rated. Humanity can be so ‘egotistical’ is believing that they know all that is to be known. To Surrender is to allow all that we are – the wisdom, love, tenderness and presence to be our way. Surrendering is the choice that brings deep truth and awareness.

  32. Valuing who we are plays a big role in how we see ourselves in life and how we then move with it or against it. When we value our every move we see just how precious and needed those movements are and the quality felt from the movements is pure heaven.

  33. Gorgeous, Nico. And gently consciousness-breaking, showing us a new way to be with ourselves, at work and in our families. Universal Medicine and all those who are choosing live in accordance with the philosophies it presents are pioneering something very special.

  34. Today I watched a woman today all bubbly and ‘happy’ she arrived at her workplace. She was just about to start work and was taking over the register where I was being served. What came out of her mouth next was the give away, as she shared that she didn’t want to be there. What was being projected on the outside did not match what was actually going on. When there is no appreciation for what we actually bring and share, nothing can actually hide this.

  35. Like your first two paragraphs I can say my life is amazing now, but it hasn’t always been. But through the consistent love and living example of there being another way of life through Universal Medicine I too have been inspired. The way we live is very powerful as we are all watching each other and confirming that theres only one way or that there is another way away from the ‘life is hard’ belief.

  36. Sometimes I see snippets of when people allow their joy to be seen. It is a pure delight to observe as it lights up not only their face but the whole room.

  37. It’s normal to just get by, it’s normal to be seen as doing it tough, it’s normal to exist in life and settle for less – this can only be because the majority are choosing it. We need a different reflection and new standard for life – one that reflects Joy and the lightness of our being in everything we do. Then the mundane settlers will be exposed for the lack they are living.

  38. There is nothing really fulfilling in what we do, but in what we are. Something very simple and sadly, very uncommon in our families and society.

  39. I too have grown up trying to prove myself and or identifying with the type of person or job I wanted to do and then excelled at it but the drive on my body was agonising. Appreciating and valuing who I am already, before I even set foot into my job and or family role allows me to truly see what makes me tick and that the very essence of who we are is worth far more than any job title, possession or picture of what we think brings us so much joy and yet it falls way short of the natural vitality, expression and love we are already by simply walking and connecting from our bodies. A great blog thank you Nico.

  40. A true reminder that we are already everything – there is no need for striving, trying or perfection…. simply to live the real and true us.

  41. This is so familiar – we can try very hard to be better and live better only to reinforce the lack of self-worth and when we learn to simply just be, true joy returns.

  42. I too have struggled with not feeling enough in life. It is wonderful to come to a place of acceptance where you can say ‘I am enough,’ and drop all the trying and striving for the unobtainable perfection.

  43. And my experience of reconnecting to the spark inside me is that this is the beginning of an enormous and forever unfolding relationship… the more I acknowledge and honour the truth of this spark (which we all have and is therefore our re-union) the more it gets to emanate.

  44. Thank you Nico, it’s a true blessing to receive the support of the work of Serge Benhayon and begin to live the way of the soul on earth. I could relate to this line “I doubted myself by letting others advise me about what to do or to choose, although I had all the wisdom, knowledge and experience to know all of this myself.” We don’t as a culture truly appreciate or confirm the amazing qualities we have, which I feel is part of allowing self doubt and unnecessarily looking outside of ourselves. Whilst it’s truly beneficial to seek support, we also need to feel how much we have to offer ourselves, and how much we can rely on our own wisdom and knowing.

  45. Reminding us all of the so called ‘impossible’, as we deeply but oh so deeply know that we can life from a joy and vitality in life, yet we also know that this has been not the way we are living – and that it needs a deeply made change. Meaning a quatum leap to what we have created to be ‘life’, we need to look honestly and drop that which we actually know that does not serve us and so naturally not others.

  46. Beautifully expressed and shared thank you Nico, ” I am learning to surrender to the knowing that in my essence I am already everything and that I can bring all of this wherever I go in humanity.” this too I am learning, simply allowing this knowing to be, and appreciating this is something I can go back to whenever I stray.

  47. When we lose our inner connection we choose to be at the mercy of the highs and lows of emotional life making living with joy a forever seeking outside ourselves. In now learning to look inside myself and to initiate true change in the way in which I am living I feel the innate joy within me which expands the more I nurture and cherish myself.

  48. I grew up with this idea too Nico that life had to be hard work to be worth it – like it wasn’t enough to just ‘be’ and enjoy being yourself, but that life was about proving yourself in some way, working hard to prove your existence and to not be ‘found out’, told off for being lazy or stupid. Turning the tables and starting to understand that nothing I ever do will be more than who I am, is like turning around an oil tanker in mid-flow, but it’s so totally worth it, because with that comes an enormous letting go, a freedom, simplicity, and so much joy.

  49. Like many others who’ve commented, I too recognise the idea that life has to be hard, and if it’s not we’re somehow not trying hard enough. I can joyfully write that this is no longer the case, thanks to the inspiration from Serge Benhayon and so many other incredible people in the Universal Medicine student body. I am really and deeply starting to feel and know that I am enough as me – period. No frills no caveats, being me is everything that is ever needed.

  50. ‘I doubted myself by letting others advise me about what to do or to choose, although I had all the wisdom, knowledge and experience to know all of this myself.’ Living life relying on others to advise us is exhausting, leaves us lacking in confidence and with more doubt.

  51. If we have chosen for a long time to better our lives based on the outside, like getting ahead in a job, this will put a strain on our bodies which is not just a switch we switch off. Like every behaviour, this behavior will ingrain itself in the body. By choosing love again – which is a switch – these effects will slowly disappear from our bodies.

  52. I would agree, life was more functional before meeting Serge Benhayon, and so missing many vital components like ‘appreciating each other for the beautiful people that we are, or about enjoying life.’

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