Welcome to the latest post in the Spirit Warrior Series in which I am featuring Spirit Warriors I know. These are men who have made the transition from very ‘normal’ careers to a more spiritual calling. Many men are making this shift from the physical to the meta-physical, and they have allowed me to share their stories with you, in the hopes it will inspire and uplift you, especially if you are thinking of doing the same thing.
The Spirit Warrior I would like to introduce you to is Dirk Terpstra. I was fortunate to meet Dirk in Vancouver, BC, whilst travelling this summer.
MG: Dirk, can you tell everyone what it was you used to do?
Spirit Warrior: Thank you Michelle, for inviting me to your inspiring Spirit Warrior Series. I feel blessed to have met you in Vancouver.
I grew up in a small town in The Netherlands, not far from Amsterdam. I worked for American Express and was responsible for the corporate divisions in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. It was fun work to do, but also quite demanding and stressful.
MG: What is it you currently do?
Spirit Warrior: In the winter of 2001, I left the company and moved with my wife and two young boys to a rural area in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. I currently host an online platform called ‘Soul Love’ for which I interview people who inspire me – authors, spiritual teachers and scientists. I am trained at the scientific Institute of HeartMath in California and I coach individuals and organizations to live a more heart-based life. I explain the amazing science of our hearts and help them understand how we can regulate our personal stress levels, which has an immediate impact on our relationships, performance and outlook on life.
MG: What inspired the shift?
Spirit Warrior: During my corporate career, I didn’t find the fulfilment in my work that I was hoping for. I needed a new adventure and a new challenge in order to make a deeper connection with my deepest wishes and desires.
MG: Were there financial implications?
Spirit Warrior: There were definitely financial implications since I was making a lot of money. I voluntarily left this career behind me and chose for living a more adventurous and meaningful life without any idea what I wanted to do. I had no work, no income and a lot of fun. It took me a few years in nature and losing three dear family members (my dad, brother and mum) to find my true purpose. What a spiritual journey!
Spirit Warrior: Our friends and family were not too happy that we left the country. They didn’t ask for this change. But fortunately, there are always people who keep loving you and supporting you, no matter what happens.
MG: Have you ever been judged, criticised or ridiculed for your decision to transition from the physical to meta-physical?
Spirit Warrior: You know Michelle, there are always people who judge or criticize us, but to be honest, those people don’t interest me. I strongly feel that when my decisions and actions are coming from my heart, I am unstoppable and nothing else bothers me.
MG: Have you ever considered returning to your old career?
Spirit Warrior: No! I am actually surprised that I have never really looked back. I must have found my purpose.
MG: What gets you through the tough moments?
Spirit Warrior: Gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for and that brings everything in perspective. I have also learned that the moments we don’t like, are the moments we learn and grow the most. I now also work with people who suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). But did you know that most people have never heard of PTG? It stands for: Post Traumatic Growth. Look at the most inspiring teachers in the world and notice what they’ve often been going through.
MG: Do you have any advice for other Spirit Warriors who are making the same transition, or are thinking of doing so?
Spirit Warrior: Picture yourself, being 80 or so and sitting on your front porch looking back on life. Did you do everything you wanted to do? Do you feel completely fulfilled or do you have some regrets? Write down these regrets and do them now! No matter what it takes!
MG: Can you share you favourite spiritual practice with us?
Spirit Warrior: Spending time in nature. Just being. We often forget that we ARE nature, and we need to connect with who we are, at the most fundamental level, in order to stay balanced and whole.
MG: Are you more in tune with your inner self? With your intuition?
Spirit Warrior: Yes, very much so. I used to be that when I was a young child but over the years I lost that. I slowly drifted away from that little child inside, because I listened too much to others and what they thought was important (for me). By slowing down, going through some difficult times, and following my passion, I feel restored and whole again.
MG: Do you express your feelings and emotions more easily?
Spirit Warrior: Yes, I believe that I am more present now and easily recognize what I feel. With my new circle of friends it’s easier to express these feelings. I usually don’t pay much attention to my emotions. They come and go.
Spirit Warrior: The best thing is that I DID it, despite my initial doubts. I fell in love, why would I stop that feeling? There’s nothing bad really about making this move. There’s nothing bad in life. All events are perfect lessons that make me more experienced, wiser and more resilient.
MG: If you could go back in time and change the past, would you choose to do it all over again?
Spirit Warrior: I would never change anything of my past. And YES, I would make this decision again tomorrow. I can’t tell you enough how much it made me feel come alive. This aliveness is crucial in life. That’s why we’re here.
MG: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Spirit Warrior: Follow your aliveness, no matter what others might think or say. When something feels good in your heart, trust it and go for it. Your heart is always right. It’s who you are.
MG: Thank you so much for sharing your story with me, and with my readers!
If you would like to check out what Dirk is doing his links are below. Thank you for reading, there will be another Spirit Warrior featured very soon!