Introverted explosive child, stubborn emotional teenager, mother, psychologist, wife, energy worker, lifecoach and yogi. I can assure you that this list will continue to grow until the day I die. My name is Karin Monster-Peters and I'm a highly sensitive multipotentialite with a passion to transform lives. I'm a huge believer of "My story is my resume" so read on if you want to see if I'm the person that can help YOU become who you are.
Where it all began
My life's journey began in the Dominican Republic where I was born to a Dominican mother and a Dutch father. I was my father's third child and my mother's first. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. As a child, people (especially my siblings!) described me as intense, stubborn, shy, explosive and very intelligent. My nickname was La Loba (She-wolf, kind of says it all). I did NOT enjoy being a child and was always in a hurry to grow up. I was a true daddy's girl and had a very turbulent relationship with my mother. My father was a highly sensitive gifted man as well and he recognized my 'being different' right away and set course to nurture my gifts and talents.
The early years
I started school (private and bilingual) when I was 3 years old and truly loved learning. I realize now that coaching others started then on the playgrounds: Somebody was being bullied? I stood up for them, made them my friend, showed them how amazing they were. Somebody being left out? Don't worry, I'm here and I think you're awesome, come play with me. Kids where attracted to me and I was always a very popular child. I did always refuse to belong to 'one' group. I wouldn't hurt others by excluding them and I didn't want to restrict my freedom of being friends with whoever I wanted.
Growing up in a extroverted, highly social country wasn't easy for me. I kept failing at wanting to be around people. I hid under the tables until guests where gone. I chose my books over playing outside. I watched in a corner while everyone was dancing the merengue and the bachata. I didn't fit in.
As a sensitive child, this culture damaged me quite a bit and it's taken me years to heal this. Dominican children are pretty much raised by the Devil (HE is everywhere and WILL come to get you) and shaming and spanking is how parents get their children to respect them. This resulted in deeply rooted fears and extreme nightmares. I've never slept through the night since.
Luckily, I got beautiful beliefs from this culture as well. Being a family, always helping each other (sharing your food, sharing your clothes, just...sharing), the merengue, the bachata, the openness, nobody being left out...you're always part of a whole and this really appeals to me.
By the time I was 12 years old, the relationship between my mother and I had worsened. The spankings where not only when I've done something wrong (which I could understand, all the Dominican children got spanked) but also just because she thought/felt I've done something wrong. Bag of groceries broke and groceries fell on the floor: slap in the face. Kitchen not clean enough: slap in the face. Friend fell while playing with me: irrational spanking until she was tired (by that time, I wasn't reacting anymore, just let her do her thing). I'm only now beginning to understand how deeply this has affected my life and my health.
This was doing nobody any good. My father thought, if I don't separate them quickly one of them will kill the other. Wise man. He decided to send me to Canada to spend a year with my aunt. I welcomed this trip. Not only as cooling down period but also as an experience. I've always wanted to live there!! So, I happily went. My mother did apologize before I left. She realized that she had failed me as a mother. It was a good moment for us. Our relationship is still problematic but we do try.
I spent a year in Canada and had a great time. In the meantime, my family had moved to the Netherlands. My father had lost his job as a geologist and he wanted to make sure that we could all get a good education (this being very affordable in the Netherlands). This would mean that my very gifted and talented father would live his last 15 years on social government support (he didn't need much luckily, he had books!!). It also meant that we had to work hard for our own expenses. I'm ever so grateful for the experience early on that I could take care of myself.
My new homeland: the Netherlands
I again, loved the change, more experiences for me! The biggest challenge was learning Dutch but after a few years I didn't even have an accent. My mother came with us initially but after 2 years she realized that she wasn't happy in the Netherlands and she went back to the Dominican Republic. We got to see her once a year when she would come visit.
I got through puberty without too much outer drama. I was a good kid, who would never want to dissapoint her father so I just pretty much made sure I never got caught! I did the jobs, the partying, the cutting school (loved to learn, but never understood why somebody else got to decide for me HOW and HOW long I did it), the dates, the wallowing in self-pity and the being totally conviced that 'nobody would ever love me beause I was so ugly".
Cancer, psychoses....why us?!
The situation at home was very problematic in these years. My father was diagnosed with throat cancer when I was 16. This had been my biggest fear all my life: losing my father. My father was an alcoholic; never actually fully recovering. He would stop for months and then he would drink for a week, until he's body gave out and then again stop for a few months. He had done this my whole life and I've had many scary episode when I thought he had died while he was unconscious. He was also a chain smoker. My father smoked his last cigarette an hour before his operation.
After the operation they found out that the cancer had spread so he had a few rounds of radiation and in the end remained cancer free for 9 years.
At the same time, my youngest brother had developed mental problems. He was psychotic and very aggressive. My brother went through a very difficult stage before we finally got the right diagnosis and medication. He was diagnosed with schizofrenia when he was 18. By that time I had fled our home and had gone to live together with my boyfriend. I had my father's blessings. He actually said to me: "If he weren't my son, I would leave as well. So go and don't worry about me." Easier said than done of course. I always worried.
My first crash...
So there I was, 18 years old and living on my own, with no money and still in high school. Within 6 months I had my first burnout experience. Screaming from the pain of being so tired, so out of touch with myself. I felt like a crazy person. My aunt and my mother rallied together to help me financially and I managed to cut a deal with school that allowed me to finish high school from home (homeschooling is actually forbidden in the Netherlands).
Got myself together, finished high school and went off to study Cultural Anthropology (because of my love of cultures and people and history and and and....) in 1998.
Yes, I'm 20, I'm a college student and I'm pregnant...
I met one of my best friends that year studying Anthropology and I got to visit Egypt, so the year was not a complete loss. I realized pretty quickly that it wasn't the study for me, I needed something a bit more practical. I had also become pregnant with my first child and needed to study something that would keep me closer to home. So I switched studies and went on to study Orthopedagogiek (Educational, Child Development and Parenting Psychology) at the Radboud University.
Just to make sure it's clear. I WANTED a baby. My daughter Kyra was born on the 13th of December 1999 and there it was: I was a mother. These years were certainly not easy: separation from Kyra's father, new (but very problematic) relationship, jobs, studies, a child and myself. I did find a passion that would drive me through college and years to follow: Giftedness. In the years in college I did everything I could to specialize in this subject. It felt like coming home!
Life keeps happening!
My brother had his second psychotic episode in this period of my life. He was very aggressive and he threatened me with a knife on my throat. I got away and had to call the police. It was up to me to press charges to get him hospitalized in a mental institution. He remained there for 4 years. My brother would never be the same after this psychotic episode: too much brain damage had occured. A big grieving period for my family: our beautiful, talented, gifted man will never realize his full potential. You can only imagine how much pain I was in for having to press charges, for this life he had to live.
2004 was not an easy year. I was well on my way to finishing my studies and finishing up my master's when my father called me to tell me that the cancer had returned. Now, not in the throat but on his tongue. Horrible. A few months later they had to remove his tongue. But, by then, it was too late, the cancer had already spread to his neck and the treatments they suggested would ruin the little quality of life he had left. My father decided "no more". I knew my father and totally supported his decision. My only request to him was to please include me in his process. I asked him to accept my help and my love fully. It was the only way I could let him go in the end. By totally being there for him in the now.
Graduation and my entrepreneurial beginnings...
I did graduate in 2004 and completed my master's at the Center for Study of Giftedness (CBO Nijmegen). After graduation, I left with my daughter for a 6 weeks trip to the Dominican Republic. Kyra celebrated her 5th birthday there. We had a great time and really got to connect.
At the beginning of 2005 I decided to start my own practice. This ended up in me taking over the Facta Foundation, which was then the only institution serving the needs of gifted children. This opened up many possibilities for me. In no time, I had made great connections, started Samen voor Zorg (in which I tested children and coached parents) and became vice-chairman of the Leonardo Foundation. This foundation would open up the possibility for full-time gifted education in the Netherlands. I was involved in the networking, foundations and training of the teachers of the first 8 "Leonardo Schools".
The first love of my life died...
But through all this professional growth, I was suffering personally. I lost my father in the summer of 2006. This picture below was on his last birthday. He died a month later. I was sure I would never survive this. I did, ofcourse. But this just illustrates how deeply I loved my father. His death was horrible and he suffered much more than was necessary (hate bureaucracy when we're talking about humanity!). His death opened up spiritual pathways in me. I so wanted to stay connected. This scared me as much as it intrigued me and I shut those paths down quickly.
Letting go to create space for new...
My relationship was also suffering. A lot of betrayal, a lot of pain. How often can one hear that she is a bitch before she starts to believe it? How much can one take? Well, 6 years of it for me.
2008 started in this black stage of despair. I mean it. Me having fled my boyfriend, sharing my sister's guest bedroom with my dughter, crying my heart out about why it all had to be SO damn hard. And WHY ME?! Happy New Year!
Things had to change! I ended my relationship in a glorious moment of deep connection with 'all that is': I AM worthy of love. I AM lovable. I AM a good person. I AM allowed to have everything I long for in life. There IS a man out there who wants the same things I want.
And yes, 2 days later I met my future husband: Mark. My favorite person in the world.
I was pregnant 3 months later. Unfortunately, this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. But we were sure of it: we wanted a family, we wanted it together. So we went for it! My daughter and I moved to Wijchen to live with Mark in May of 2008.
One more fall....
This deep love gave me the peace of mind to feel. To let the knowing in. My practice had grown into a business with 5 employees and a few freelancers. I was drowning! I HAD to make money, I HAD to survive. I was being a manager and not helping people the way I imagined. This was not how I wanted it! The financial blow that came from naieve business agreements (no papers signed, they liked me didn't they?) left me reeling in debts. I dismantled my practice as quickly as I could, dealt with the debts with the help of my husband and crashed into my second burnout. This was 2009.
Marriage and new life...welcome Nico!
By this time I was pregnant again so this was not an easy time. On the 4th of June of 2009 Mark and I got married and on the 20th of August of that year we welcomed our son Nico into our lives. He is amazing. A beautiful intense child full of energy and love.
When Nico was 6 months old I found out I was pregnant with Lynn (note to self: breastfeeding is not birth control!). My body had not even recovered from Nico's pregnancy. I was still breastfeeding him! He stopped growing because he only wanted me and no bottles. but the quality of my breastmilk wasn't good anymore. I was making one baby, feeding the other one and nurture myself as well. I had to cut him off cold turkey. Lots of tears, very difficult to see your child starving himself. He was almost admitted into the hospital twice. Yes, stubborness runs in the family.
I also developed hip problems by the time I was 30 weeks pregnant. My mother came to stay with us so that she could do the housework. I had to be really careful to make sure that I didn't cause permanent damage to my hips and end up in a wheelchair. Not an easy thing to do when you're used to an active lifestyle AND you have a very active one year old. But we got through it.
And here is my lovely Lynn!
Lynn was born on the 19th of October 2010. Fourteen months after her brother. Another intense and beautiful child that cried and cried and cried for months after she was born. Nico is a bit small and Lynn is average so people are always asking if they're twins. I don't know how I survived this period. No sleep (Nico was still not sleeping through the night by the time Lynn was born, so there I was, breastfeeding on demand, plucking Lynn from my breast to go to Nico...a this a few times a night for many many months). A husband who then worked 6 days a week and no help from family.
My last crash...
I broke. Again. My body just couldn't take it anymore. I couldn't even lift my arms. And there I was, trying to pick up my baby. I needed help and desperately needed to find myself again. I had to get out of my house.
So I got a nanny when Lynn was 8 months old and went to work for my husband. Can you imagine how much I enjoyed this?! ME time!
But I was very tired from the lack of sleep. I had developed a full blow sleeping disorder so I went to a sleep clinic. Yes, they could register that I woke up at least 10 times a night but the only help they offered were antidepressants. After 4 different types and no progress (just the side effects) I stopped and decided that it was up to me to heal myself. By this time, I was not only sleep deprived but had also developed chronic pain all over my body.
The turning point!
It's 2012, autumn (terrible time for me) and I was feeling stuck. I had picked up a leaflet at the library on Touch of Matrix. In 2007 I had read the Intention Experiment and the Field by Lynne Mctaggart. These are great books on the scientific side of healing and quantum energy. I loved these books. I felt like a kid in a candy store: all these facts! The science of intuition AND intention! The connection of my scientific mind and my intuitive mind in two books. That same year I saw the movies "The Secret" and "What the Bleep do we Know?" and I just knew this was it: If someone combines the scientific and the intuitive in a quantum energy healing modality, this will be my thing! So I googled Touch of Matrix, feeling very excited, this could be it...and yes, there it was!
I signed up for some healing sessions and I loved it. My husband and sister-in-law tried it as well and were amazed. Beginning of 2013 my husband and I tooked the Touch of Matrix and Qure Energetic Connections courses with the two 'creators' of this modality and after that, all channels have opened and I've no idea where I will end.
Touch of Matrix and Qure Energetic Connections create space in your system, space for growth, space for change and space for love. I went on to become a Touch of Matrix therapist, a Qure Energetics Professional and a Soul Body Fusion Practicioner. All quantum energy modalities based on the foundation that we are all connected and that EVERYTHING is possible. Just set the intention and see it happen.
In practice again!
I checked in with myself: I want to start my practice again: is this ego talking or is this soul? Do I think that I'm too highly educated to be doing nothing with it or is my calling to help others on their path? I can tell you that I was relieved when SOUL won that discussion. With passion and discipline I went for it! Kinderpraktijk Wijchen was born.
First I thought that I was going to be working with children 'in general'. I can help anyone! But that's just not how it works. EVERY parent that contacted me was highly sensitive or gifted or both. After a few months I surrendered to the fact that I'm here to help my tribe.
And when I combined coaching with energy healing, I ended up creating a new practice for highly sensitive people. Many other practicioners noticed that I was pretty good at making a practice succesfull, so I started coaching them as well!
I've succesfully combined my psychological knowledge with my intuitive knowledge and have been amazed at the changes people have made in their lives through this work.
I keep developing myself in any way I can. I've recently added hypnotherapy and NLP to my transformational work. I love to combine all this modalities into amazing breakthrough moments for my clients. Through this work I've also been growing on all levels. I've been specializing even more in the highly sensitive and the gifted. Recently I've been endorsed by Dr. Aron as a 'Highly Sensitive Aware Therapist'.
A few more wake up calls
In May of 2014 I experienced pain in my upper abdomen. After having a sonogram done, I got a call from my doctor. They have seen 'spots' on my liver and they needed more testing to see what this 'spots' were. Well, as you can imagine, fear kicked in. This could be the C word.
They got me in for testing quicker than they normally would because liver cancer can be very aggressive. We spent that month of not knowing staying centered in the faith that I was healthy. Through my network of energy healers, we worked on my liver and I was convinced that if anyone could heal herself, it was me. I know this works. When the results came, we were relieved! I have liver hemangioma. They were so big that they couldn't risk operating. They're advice, relax, no stress and we will see you in a year.
So....yeah...how do I do that? What is stress? What people can handle, can vary enormously. I really had to reflect on what 'relax' meant for me. I quickly realized that I relax by doing the things I love and I've set out to do exactly that.
The chronic pains in my body have continued over the years and I have discovered a pattern. Stress and feeling stuck trigger all the pain circuits in my body. Through the years I've tried many relaxations technique to help me deal with stress. I don't like quiet meditations, but I do enjoy guided ones and connect to my breath throughout the day. I love hypnosis for deep relaxation. But I mostly enjoy moving! Not a runner though, but I do love to walk and hike. I've also enjoyed tai chi, especially out in nature.
I wanted more though. I needed something that I could do myself everyday. So I went for yoga in december of 2014. And I must admit...all these millions and millions of people are right...yoga is amazing! In April of 2015 I even signed up for Teacher Training. I couldn't appreciate the dogmatic ways of this particular teacher though, so I just went for the experience and not for the certification.
And I can now say that yoga is my number one self-care practice. A day without yoga is a day that hasn't been fulfilled. Still waiting for the day that I'm able to do a full Uttanasa though...It's usually one step forward and two steps back! Yoga has taught me a lot. Just show up. Be consistent. Honour your body. And we all have our own paths to follow. Yes...Namaste.
On my way...
But really, through all this, I'm so thankful and feel so blessed when I see my children thriving. I can only do all the things I do because I see that my children are happy and full of joy. I believe that they thrive, because my husband and I have grown more and more into who we are. They feel a happy father and mother and they can let go and become who THEY ARE.
Don't think that we are perfect parents. I don't believe that these exist. BUT I do believe that we ARE the parents that our children need. I spent years feeling guilty that I wasn't baking cookies with my kids (or any other activity that imply that I'm patient). But after a while I realized that I was the only one beating myself up about it. They wanted a happy mother, so I let go of this guilt and it feels GOOD! And now, I do all those things with them that they like AND I like. No perfection in our family, just total acceptance about the people we are. We're CONSCIOUS parents and I think that THAT is the key.
"Being Karin" is really just the only way to go for me. I have accepted that I will never be able to tame my curls. Luckily, I married a man who loves them. All this stubborness in me, I know call Intuition. I will NOT do anything that doesn't serve me. I will NOT live my life according to 'what people say'. I will NOT feel guilty for taking care of myself. I will NOT stray from my beliefs just to fit in. I truly love myself. I know I'm a good wife. I know I'm a good mother. I know I'm a good 'me'.
All these experiences, professional and personal, have lead me to integrate all my talents, knowledge and gifts into this 'become who you are' package. A package which leads into powerful self-awareness and lasting self-love. In a moment of true alignment with my Higher Self, this message came to me. I call it the Calling Forth of the Parent.
I know I will always be on my journey of self-discovery. Every day teaches me more about who I am and who I am to become. Parenting has been the greatest challenge of my life AND my greatest joy. My children are my greatest teacher. They have brought of the worst in me to heal and they bring out the best in me to enjoy. They ARE the future and I'm highly conscious of what I want that future to be. They are my mirror and I've learned to look at it every day.
My husband is the love of my life, my life partner and on his own path of self-discovery. I can't be more proud of the life we have created together; he is my best friend and my biggest fan. We make sure to spend enough time together and take 'just us' trips as often as we can: a happy connected marriage is our legacy to our children.
When possible, we take our children with us (we're sadly constricted by Dutch law, which don't allow kids to miss school outside of school holidays). This picture was taken during our family vacation in Croatia in 2015. My two youngest children have already been to the Dominican Republic, England, Austria, France, Germany, Tunesia and Belgium. My eldest has travelled even more! In addition to that, she's been to Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. As you can see, I hope my children will grow up to be true world citizens.
Where will it end? Don't know...just following!
Every step I take is now in balance, discipline and dedication to this higher calling that has no direction map. It's one step at a time. In purpose, in the moment. Letting go of the outcome while moving forward into the life of my dreams. Through this work I aim to inspire highly sensitive parents into self-care, into awareness, into love, into being themselves and thus creating the life of their dreams.
Thanks for reading till the end!