van der Linde
Coaching | Discomfort Training | Writing
Often, all it requires to take a hurdle is someone who listens. Someone who asks questions that help you uncover what you can't or perhaps don’t want to see. Someone who's also radically honest when your story doesn’t add up.
My experience is that such dialogues resolve most problems and I’m specialized this kind of sessions. It's a refined blend of Rogerian listening, Socratic inquiry and analytical counseling.
A session usually takes 1-1.5 hour and can be online or in-person, either in English or Dutch. The first 30 minutes are free of charge. Based on that, you can decide if you want to work with me. From thereon, my rate is €270 per 3-hr bundle of coaching.
| “For years I've searched for a solution for my chronic fatigue. Richard was the first to really see me and reach through. He helped me discover the root cause and resolve it. ” ~G.W.
| Discomfort training
Most of us have developed a habit to avoid uncomfortable feelings. However, my experience is that this often comes at a high price. Once we lose this natural ability, it becomes difficult to be authentic and to switch off our scanning for potential discomfort. The result is endless thinking, a need for distraction and/or pleasure seeking.
With some simple (but pleasantly challenging) exercises you can regain your ability within a few weeks. This enables you to step out of your comfort zone again when this feels authentic, for example by means of public speaking, making decisions or initiating exciting social interactions.
I offer Discomfort Training sessions, either privately or to duo’s. After the first session you can already practice on your own or with friends. A session takes 1.5 hour. This format is only available in-person. Contact me for options and rates.
| “I feel totally different now. I know now that I can be fully honest to anyone from now on, as I can be okay with any feeling it might bring up. This feels like the ultimate liberation.” ~M.B.
| Awakening Retreats
My point of view is that, sooner or later, no practice will improve one’s quality of life further unless the identification with thought – the ego – is dropped.
It’s the very essence you find in any book from writers such Eckhart Tolle, Alan Watts or Byron Katie, but the message often doesn’t come through. The books resonate, but somehow don’t liberate. That's because there's an egoic defense mechanism at play that takes an element of surprise to get past.
Since 2017 I’ve been offering private immersion programs with this as a primary focus. Clients usually wake up, if that turns out to be what they really want. The retreat is fully tailored to provide both the safety and stimulus one turns out to need for dropping the mind-made identity for the first time. This takes 3 to 5 days.
This is an individual retreat with an on-site tailored program of coaching, training, (close) reading, relaxation, and time to process insights and emotions. There will be little exposure to other people until the first moment of awakening; the optimal circumstances for it to take place. After we covered the basics, we expand our playing field to normal life.
If you like to know more, we'll first have a free 30-minute online intake. If we both feel that this kind of retreats suits you, we'll have a look at the practical side of things and design your personal retreat.
Locations I frequently offer programs are Utrecht Area, Normandy and Ibiza – typically for a budget between €1,600-€3,000 (all-inclusive). The actual total price depends on location, season, number of days and your preferences for accommodation and food.
| “I had a retreat with Richard in 2017. Without a doubt, this has been the best investment for my personal development in the last decade. The method is simple, yet it reveals everything you (unknowingly) struggle with in life. It liberated me from my (apparently) self-invented misery. I’d recommend Richard’s coaching to anyone, literally. ” ~L.d.W.M.
| “It's difficult to explain this. The retreat got me past my existential questions without answering them. I couldn't be happier.” ~R.G.
| The Book
Coaching or retreats are certainly not for everyone. The same results can come from simply reading (and applying methods from) books.
Since 2017 I’ve written a number of articles about this and how to find the book that gets you where you want.
In the summer of 2020 I embarked on a journey to turn this into a book. This project is now, one year later, in it's final stages.
| “While I knew it was just a silly exercise, the feeling of dying felt very convincing none the less. Thanks to the clear instruction, I figured: the hell with it, I'm going to sit through this. As a result, the fear disappeared! This changed a lot for me.” ~G.V.
| Stay up-to-date
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| “A happy life is one in which you can intuitively feel which challenges in life are authentic to take on and know how to expand into those areas outside of your comfort zone while enjoying the challenge.” ~Me
| About me
Many moons ago, I was trained as a management consultant and worked in offices where everybody wore a suit except on casual Fridays. It was a life which, once I experienced it, didn't feel natural or normal to me – it felt unreal. And so, I embarked on a long journey to find a more satisfying and exciting life.
I had exciting times as a freelancer, as co-founder of two companies, working in education and by spending all my savings on an idealistic banking reform project that made it all the way to parliament. But, never did the initial high feeling remain. After five years, I was still looking for satisfaction.
When I saw no more option to create a new high, I was forced to change my approach. I entered the minefield of self-development, which I had always tried to avoid, for it had felt irrational and rather unsubstantiated. And it was, indeed, but after a prolonged effort, despite the discomfort, I also discovered a blind spot within myself. There was a message in some of those books which I didn't get – the same one, every time. That giving up resistance to what is, is key. The only problem: you can't do it, as that would also count as resistance. A challenging paradox...
Eventually, I figured out that my rather strong ability to think conceptually was the problem. I'd been in that mode of thinking for a long time. The moment I shifted out of it for the first time, a few weeks later, I got beyond the paradox – the gateless gate of Awakening and much changed.
A few months after this shift, I received my first clients for coaching and training, and gradually specialized in inducing the initial awakening in others through a blend of Socratic questioning, listening and close-reading of self-development books.