Barbara Van Kooten, Problem Solving Happiness Coach

I talk with Barbara van Kooten about what it’s like growing up with gifts that most don’t understand, and how she now brings these gifts into her coaching practice to help her clients find happiness.

Connect with Barbara:
Instagram @vankootenbarbara



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Full Show Transcript

Abby (00:00:00):

Hello, and welcome to the mindbodyfree podcast, where we unpack what it means to heal and be alive on this wild ride on earth. I’m your host, Abigail Moss. And today I‘m talking with a very special guest, a friend of mine who lives in Bali, Indonesia, and she has an interesting story of being born with gifts and navigating them through life, and being perceived as different than your average person who may or may not is tuned in with those gifts within themselves. And as healers, we often do feel a sense of not belonging. And while that is, it can be very painful as you heal that you can start to realize the power of that, of being different, of being able to be a change-maker in this world and bring light to dark places. So thank you so much for being here. Thank you for listening and without further ado, please enjoy.

Abby (00:01:03):

Thank you so much for coming in and talking with me today. I’m so excited to introduce you. It is such a pleasure to get to introduce you. I met Barbara last year in Bali when I went to get my first tattoo and she was this beautiful, charming woman that walked in and just lit up the room and was so openhearted and so warm-hearted. And she had all of this knowledge around, around helping my tattoo to heal faster around plants and wellness. And you are just a wellspring of knowledge and warmth. And I just find you incredibly fascinating, and it is such a huge privilege to get to talk with you today. So I’m speaking, my guest is Barbara von Kooten and she is a problem-solving happiness coach and, she is she’s many, many things and, yeah. Thank you for being here.

Barbara (00:02:10):

Ah, I’m so happy to be here. I’m feeling very blessed by that. Thank you very much.

Abby (00:02:16):

Thank you. It is a blessing for me too. And so you are living in Bali now, but where are you from?

Barbara (00:02:28):

I’m born in Belgium. I’m a bit of an international person because yes. When I’m here, I’m a bit of a stranger to everybody because I have a bit of mixed skin. They call me a peanut because my skin is not black, not white, but also not brown because I’m from mixed parents. My father is Indonesian, Chinese Dutch. And my mother is Dutch and from Holland. So yes. I’m mixed and yeah, so I’m a bit stranger everywhere even in the country I’m born in. But yes, I live, yeah, I’m born in Belgium, lived in France and then in Indonesia the last 10 years,

Abby (00:03:12):

I am sure that brings with it. It’s unique. Pluses, pros, and cons. You said not, you know, being home wherever you are, but that could also be a benefit in some ways. Yes, yes,

Barbara (00:03:28):

Yes. Sometimes it’s weird, you know like when I was born in Belgium and when people ask me, what’s your nationality? And I say, yes, Dutch, and then say, I thought Moroccan Spanish, Italian. Yeah. Don’t give it up.

Abby (00:03:52):

People. And it’s interesting. It’s not going to defend by the sea of the day. We try to put people, try to make it easy to label the mind, want to put people to categorize, to separate and make sense of things when something or someone is just their being. It’s like, this is disconcerting.

Abby (00:04:09):

The mind doesn’t know what to make.

Abby (00:04:14):

So tell me more about what it means to be a problem-solving happiness coach. How did you get into this?

Barbara (00:04:21):

I guess I’m born into it since I was a child. People already ask me for advice for as long as I can remember. And when I was a little child, I thought that was quite normal. I also had an opinion about everything. I was ahead of things, you know like I’m born in the sixties and I already questioned people why they took so many medications when I was still in, you know, like seven, eight years old. What, why do you give your child a bottle while you have breast milk? My mother is very embarrassing for my mother, but I questioned people and I don’t know their opinion about everything. And people ask me for advice. And sometimes it was embarrassing for them that they say, oh my God, I’m asking, and manage to be biased to a child of 11 years old. And then I realized also like, yeah, you’re weird.

Barbara (00:05:16):

But at the moment they ask, I told them it was a normal thing, you know, but I could not ask advice from my mother because she would say, Barbara, why you asked me if you’re older than me. She says I’m 30, you’re three hundred And I was like, my mother is weird, you know, but I’ve grown into it. Do you know? And because my life was not always that easy. I became quite self-experienced in problem-solving, you know, because number one in my life, and I think in everybody’s life is being just happy, you know, make life simple and happy. And then you find a way to, you know, to bring that happiness in, not with sadness or anger or fear or ego, you know? So

Abby (00:06:04):

Exactly. And that being in that life, that’s not always easy. That challenge that kind of pushes you to find the answers to find a way yes,

Barbara (00:06:16):

Yes, yes. Standing or falling, you know, that’s the choice.

Abby (00:06:22):

It’s always, it’s a choice or it isn’t until you realize it is you find the tools to stand. And so people were asking you when you were 13, for marriage advice.

Barbara (00:06:39):

Yes. All kinds of advice

Abby (00:06:43):

Of advice. So you’ve constantly, you’ve always been this kind of Royal spring of knowledge and you had the confidence to share it. Cause a lot of 13-year-olds wouldn’t be that confident to point out things that don’t make sense to them and the world.

Barbara (00:06:58):

I didn’t feel, I didn’t feel like that, but it was, it came naturally. I just felt responsible for everything that moved around me. I felt responsible for my mother when I was five years old. You know, I, if she didn’t know what to do, I knew what to do. I took responsibility. I just took responsibility from her. So she didn’t have to go put it on. I just felt responsible for everything that moved around me. And I felt also responsible that they were happy.

Abby (00:07:33):

It’s a big burden to bear.

Barbara (00:07:35):

Yes, it is. It is. But luckily I didn’t realize that.

Abby (00:07:41):

But you didn’t realize it was a burden at the time.

Barbara (00:07:43):

That came later. Of course, when you’re more conscious, more grown-up than you think, oh my God, you know, I began to get sick. And so, and because you upload too much and I didn’t realize that.

Abby (00:07:57):

That’s something that I think so many children do. We love the family we care about. And then we should try to take on that pain. And then of course, because that’s, it’s, it’s hard to carry someone else’s pain when it’s theirs to carry.

Barbara (00:08:16):

And for me, people were like glass. I could see them through them, like less, I could see their pain, their emotion. I could see their sickness before it even was a reality in life, you know? Like, so I, I felt always that I had to save everybody what I did. I could, you know, I always came home with stories to my mother, like in the supermarket, there was a man in front of me and he had children and his family. And then she says, did you talk to the man? I say, no, but I, I know, you know, I could just read the story that he was standing in front of me, you know

Abby (00:08:52):

So you have this, this sort of psychic and empathic sense to feel into what’s going on with people.

Barbara (00:09:04):

Yes. Yes. But I don’t have one, I don’t know where the on and off button, it pops up whenever it wants to. When I think I realized through the years that I think, oh, that we’re just, you know, spirits or something, that’s giving me this info or because, you know, how can I know, you know, how can I, so it’s a mixture. I think of intuition and, you know, like I have kind of contact with energies that speak to me, through me.

Abby (00:09:47):

Absolutely. It sounds like a gift you give to be able to send some to the subtle and to work with those energies to understand and help.

Barbara (00:09:57):

I heard that a lot, many times when, when I, I w since I’m 11, I get the one sickness after the other. And they would immediately elderly people sick. And, my mother understood very fast that doctors could not help me. So sometimes I end up with a paranormal gift to people and they say, you’re so gifted. You’re so gifted. Then I was like, yes, blah, blah, blah. I don’t feel like that doesn’t feel like a gift. Not. I felt like I was far, far from that. You know, I felt like this cluster of all kinds of things and far from gifted. So I was like, whoa, I don’t understand this idea of being gifted. Yes.

Abby (00:10:42):

What does it feel like now?

Barbara (00:10:45):

It will always be like something that probably, I will never accept a hundred percent because there are many people through the years who compliment me and, and, and tried to put me on a footstool. And I think the fact that I don’t see it completely, always as a gift that keeps me, you know, on the ground, you know, I think I needed to also because, but I, I accepted more. I accepted more, I accepted more and more,

Barbara (00:11:19):

But it was a process. I believe it has a lot to work with when you’re that young.

Barbara (00:11:28):

Yes. Because it was not only the people for me that were like glass, but I had a connection with, out of the world. You know, I have, multi-dimensional experiences since I was a child and I was hounded. I was very scared, very scared every day, every day I was scared. I was never scared alone at night outside of the house, I was scared in the house. So I had the opposite of other children, children locked themselves in and closed the curtains, and closed the doors. When I was babysitting my brothers and my parents left the house, I opened the front door so that I could find a gateway out. I opened the back door, I opened the curtain. So for me, it was escaping out of the house and not in the house, you know? So the fear was very, so I had to pick it back.

Abby (00:12:24):

I would imagine that the world that you were seeing was very different from the world that those around you are seeing. Yes. And it’s a common thing for people who do have those senses, those able to tune in with so much more, that is subtle to have that kind of be overwhelming, especially when you’re young and you don’t know how to work with it yet. And it’s there whether you look at it or not.

Barbara (00:12:52):

Yes. I had to deal with it practically daily and there was not somebody I could talk to. And if I tried to talk to my mother, she just makes me understand, Barbara. I don’t understand you. Don’t talk to me about that because you scare me. I’m already scared of you. So don’t scare me more, you know, you’re the weird child she said to me when you were born, I’d say this child comes from another planet or the devil. She said to me

Barbara (00:13:21):

I don’t know where she comes from.

Abby (00:13:23):

You felt different and you were different.

Barbara (00:13:26):

Yes. I felt Different, but I wanted to, I didn’t want to be different. I just wanted to be normal, but it didn’t work.

Abby (00:13:33):

We all want to be normal when we’re kids, we all want to fit in and it’s painful to feel different. That’s like part of belonging when you’re young is so important. And so you’ve, you’ve had this ability, this gift, and then it is, it’s interesting too because our society seems in so many parts of the world, there is that fear around it, that fear around understanding what that gift is, or even seeing it as a gift rather than just being afraid of the unknown and with people all over the world, when they have been like in different cultures, those who are seen as shamans, they are often kind of feared by people in the culture because they didn’t understand fully what was going on. They’re kind of living between two worlds or multiple worlds. And, it was so unfamiliar to people that they had fear of that. And then there are all of the stories around religions and religious fears that have been created around, you know, the witch hunt. And so there’s all kinds of stories, photographs of how we, whenever what we should experience perceive, but I don’t personally subscribe to most of those stories. I just kind of subscribe to what feels true and right to me and my body.

Barbara (00:14:46):

I think that’s also part of the process. You know, that you’ve been labeled, for example, since a child, that you’re weird, that’s a big part of the process that you learn fast about compassion. You know, that you see that people don’t understand you. They think you’re weird. And, from when I was little, I had compassion for them. You know, I was like, I could accept that. I had a conversation with God, mostly on the toilet. And then I told him, I asked, or I told God-like, God, it’s no problem. You know that my mom doesn’t understand. It’s no problem. Don’t be angry with her. I’m not angry with her. No, that’s, this is also this part of this process that needs to be, you know because somehow I know that being a coach is my calling and the number one is compassion. The number one is to have a love for anybody who comes in front of me, like unconditional love. Like, it’s my child, it’s my mother. It’s my sister. It’s my brother. It’s me, it’s my friend. Do you know? So, and, and this is needed. This is needed. So that was part of the process, you know, like being seen as the weird one and the outsider.

Abby (00:16:11):

I think what you said is so beautiful. It’s such a good point, you know, that having compassion for everyone. And I feel like when you are one of those people who are not easily put inside of a box who are not easily labeled, we don’t have an obvious place. As far as society is concerned, then it does push you to have that compassion because you know what it feels like to be different and, and to work through that and then find, come to a place of peace with that word. Oh, it’s okay to be different for me and for everyone kind of what makes us interesting.

Barbara (00:16:51):

It took me years to accept that I was a weird one, but I could accept it from others. That was the first lead for me, you know?

Abby (00:16:59):

Well, it’s, it’s a good question too. Like what is weird? You know, our society is pretty weird. We are weird, and then we live in different parts of the world and I can’t speak to the culture as much as I can to North America. But, you know, we have all kinds of beliefs and we do all kinds of strange things and dysfunctional and often destructive things to ourselves, to each other, to the environment. Maybe it’s okay to be weird and not just like everyone else in that. That’s a good thing.

Barbara (00:17:34):

I think, yeah, every first and half, you know, every person has something weird or special, you know, and you know, sometimes I see when you see the, for example, the most ordinary people and you keep looking at, then you see all kinds of these special gifts or special, you know, things popping up, the way they smile or the way they look, their eyes, you know, everybody has, you know, something going on, you know?

Abby (00:18:05):

It’s beautiful to see that if those are those things where people let their guard down and they just let some other spirits shine through and that’s what makes it so beautiful and interesting that everyone comes in with their gifts to share. And even then, you know, the people who think that they aren’t, they don’t have gifts, they aren’t gifted in any way. It’s like, oh my goodness, you just, you need to see, you just need to permit yourself to connect with that part of yourself. That is so powerful and beautiful. Exactly.

Barbara (00:18:35):

People don’t know I, with the, with the tattoo connects with tattoo guidelines and they are based on numbers. So I don’t, I will not go myself in the middle of it, but I make apps based on people’s numbers, their birthdays, their, their name. And then when I give the profile to the people and I say, this is who you are. They look at me like I’m a liar. Like, why are you so positive about me? And I say, I don’t think you’re here really. Right. Because I say negative things too. Yeah. But it’s so positive and says, it sounds positive because still, now you probably didn’t know who you are and what your talents are. I say, if I would ask you to write two columns on the whiteboard in red and blue, the positive things about yourself and the negative, I would surely know already upfront that the line of the red things will be much longer through the line, you know? And, and that’s why maybe it’s good that you hear it for once and for all, what are your talents to do that? You have no idea about people. They, yeah. They don’t know what kind of talents they have in genital the scene. I notice.

Abby (00:19:51):

It’s so, so true. I think our, our mind has this tendency to focus on the negative and is also part of this perceived humility to not take, you know, to not claim things that are good about you, but I think claim and the good things, you know, pay attention to the good things and things that are working because then your mind will find more of that and align with more of that’s self-love. And that gratitude is its frequency. And as we shift into that frequency, it opens, allowing the gifts to flow through even more easily as beautifully as you do. So you do tattoos with numbers with, with different, is it astrological numbers?

Barbara (00:20:35):

I calculate for numbers based on the people’s birthdays and their complete birth name, the official birth name. And then I have four numbers, about what is in there, what lives in their soul, what is their soul purpose? What is their life, but what is their personality and what, how do they express themselves in the outer world? And then I’ll make a connection between these four numbers telling them, you know, this talent goes against this talent, and that’s why sometimes you feel confused inside. So I made a profile that I showed them. Sometimes you have a little war going on. That’s because in this number you’re strong with that. And in that number, it’s, you know, you’re not that strong and it’s fighting and then people get, see very clearly, oh my God. Now I know why I fight with my ex-husband about that.

Barbara (00:21:31):

And that, because now I see, you know, or in this job, you know, and based on that, I let my intuition speak. And then I make a one-line drawing, a one-line drawing, it’s a kind of one-line abstract, and I can read the lines. I can say to people, listen, this line, this line is in your personality. And it’s a kind of personal symbol that people can choose to have tattoos or not or make a Juul out of it. But for me, everything is energy and it’s surely influenced them, energetically that they walk with their talents and the reminder energetically, and you know, maybe visual that they don’t forget who they are. And what, what are their possibilities? You know,

Abby (00:22:18):

I couldn’t imagine a more personalized tattoo. Yes,

Barbara (00:22:22):

Yes. But I say to people, you don’t have to get it. you can just keep it as a drawing on your wall, or you can make a Juul of it. You know, it’s, everybody’s wish, you know, everybody,

Abby (00:22:35):

You said though, how, you know, when they, if they do choose to get tattooed on them when they look at it, they can be reminded of all of these, you know, special things about themselves.

Barbara (00:22:46):

Yes. It’s not only looking at it. It’s also the field. I know people, they tell me after, you know, like even they are not aware that the tattoo is there because sometimes you just forget, you have a tattoo because you don’t feel it. It’s not like jewelry. It’s a part of, you know, and you know that. Yeah. So they say, but it changed my life. It works somehow for me, even, they didn’t come with that believer. So some people, they have great stories, you know, like, wow, you know, they connect with it energetically because it’s that tooth with a certain intention, you know, that the line has an intention. It started with a certain intention and they are also wondrous about it. So the whole, the whole, the sum of everything makes that it has an energetic value for the people who get it.

Abby (00:23:42):

That’s beautiful. It sounds like it’s a talisman tattoo form that has been given us intention. And the movement of a line is this flow of energy. That’s helping them to tune in with that frequency of, of this part Of themselves

Barbara (00:23:55):

Yes. And it’s, it’s sometimes really amazing. I want to tell you a little story. Can I?

Abby (00:24:02):

Yes, please.

Barbara (00:24:03):

There was a girl and she was in Thailand and she met a girl and she said, I’m going to go to Bali. And the girl says, oh, really, if you go to Bali, you have to visit Barbara. She made guidelines. And she told me about these guidelines and the girl says, oh yeah, maybe I do that. Then she moved to Bali and she went to Hulu and there, she met a guy from Australia and the guy said, what’s yours, what’s your next stop? And she says, if you go to Ubud, you should see Barbara. She makes guidelines. She says, oh my God, somebody already told me in Thailand. So she came and saw me. And I say, what a story? And she says, yes.

Barbara (00:24:42):

And then I made a guideline for her. And she was kind of shocked. And I say, I said, beforehand, I put in this line by intuition, what I see in your numbers. But the lines will also reveal things about you that I don’t know, which is personal for you, but you have to turn the abstract around and you will see things that are personal that I don’t know. And she got me the guideline and she was like, shocked at us. She says, Barbara, is that an L? And is that an F? I said, oh yeah, it looks like it. She says that’s my sister or sister who died a couple of years ago. Her name was Laura. And then something with an F. And I say, oh, she says, that’s so amazing because I have to tell you since my sister died, my friends say, she’s not gone.

Barbara (00:25:37):

You know, we know about it. If people die, you just have to ask them to give signals and then they will give you signals. And then, you know, your sister is still there. So every night she says, Laura, if I put my lipstick here, can you tomorrow morning? See that the lipstick is somewhere else. So I know you’re here. And yes, it happened. So every night, Laura, if I put me back a year, can you replace me there? Then I know you’re here. And one day the mother goes to a big meeting of a paranormal on stage, who connects with people who have people who are passed over to the other side. And she called out, the mother knows for sure and the mother says, oh, that’s me. She says, okay, it’s your daughter, but she won’t have a message for you. The message is, for her younger sister and the mother. Okay. She says, she says to my younger sister, that she’s stopped keeping me so busy. And leave me in peace, you know, she already knows more, knows she has foreseen that I’m here and stop making me move objects. And so, you know, and the mother was like, oh my God. And she says to her sister, you have to stop doing it. You’re doing your sister say that you, you, you don’t leave her in peace. And she says, I stopped doing it. And now she comes back here in the guidelines. So nice.

Abby (00:27:05): See my goodness. Well now her sister doesn’t have to do all that work of moving stuff around.

Barbara (00:27:10):  So fun. It’s so funny. So funny. Oh, that’s

Abby (00:27:15):

So interesting. That’s the message on the other side, have stopped bothering yourself.

Barbara (00:27:21):

I’m here now. I’m with you. I’ll walk with you everywhere you go. Yes.

Abby (00:27:27):

And how that’s so beautiful that she has that with her, this, this physical part of her with her now, the lunch just showed you that. So you just let that.

Barbara (00:27:36):

I had no idea. Yes. I had no idea because I’m making this line and I see abstracts, you know, and I can explain the lines, but I tell the people who the line is. I say, look at the interaction of the lines. You will see the connection now. And people say, for example, there was a guy who says, well, Barbara, this looks really like a sailing boat and sailing. It’s my thing. And there’s a girl that says, Barbara, look, if you turn the design to the other direction, you see I say, oh yeah, it’s a bird and a plane, but I didn’t draw a bird and a plane. She says birds and planes are so important to me. So everybody sees, not everybody, but most of the people see something in it that, you know, that it’s so personal for them, you know? But I have no idea about that. It just pops up.

Abby (00:28:29):

When they see what, what is important to them, what they need to see

Barbara (00:28:32):

On it. And for them, it’s a bit like the confirmation, like, oh my God, probably, you know, as I can rely, rely on the, on the guideline, on the explanation. I can rely on what is given to me because there’s something very personal in it that the woman that Barbara doesn’t know, probably it’s a little sign to themselves. Like you can take this information as Sylvia,

Abby (00:28:57):

Allowing it to be an abstract piece. It’s like you create space for the messages to come through. It feels like our minds, you know, we want to like when it’s so literal, there’s not as much room for people to find the meaning and the message inside of it. So where can people find your tattoo shop?

Barbara (00:29:14):

In central Ubud. And we are on Instagram. We are the Pink Lotus Tattoo and fine art shop. And, some people, they, they hear about the guidelines and they, they don’t see the possibility to come to Bali. And they come back to me on Instagram, through my Instagram, on my name, or to the @pinklotustattooandfineart Instagram. And they ask for a guideline online and that’s possible too. They just give me a small recording, a voice recording that I can connect with their voice. And they sent me a picture. So I can see who they are. They give me their full name, their birth date. And then I send it by email. You know, that’s also done because some people don’t have access to come here, but it’s not necessary. It works online too, you know? Yes. But, people can find us on Instagram, on @pinklotustattooandfineart, or under my name, by Van Kooten Barbara on Instagram. Yes,

Abby (00:30:20):

Yes. Yeah. We’re in a connected world now don’t need to physically be there to receive the benefits of

Barbara (00:30:27):

Exactly. Exactly.

Abby (00:30:29):

Thank goodness. And it’s, it’s funny like there’s suddenly magical energy there. As I remember, it was the very first night we got to Ubud. It was like our first day in Bali and we were walking by our tattoo shop. And, it was you and Joe CO’s tattoo shop. And I looked, I looked in and I was like, oh, it’s time for me to get my tattoo, my first tattoo. And I was like, this magnetic pull that just like I meant to go in here. And I think a big part of it was because I was meant to meet you like, and then getting to spend time with you and see Bali through your eyes was probably my favorite part of being in Bali. Because you have this beautiful connection with the land, with the spirits there and with the energy there that, you know, it’s not something that a tourist would be able to just pick up, you know, without, without that awareness that you have. So I’m so grateful to you for that. 

Barbara (00:31:30):

Thank you. Thank you. I will never forget that moment that we sat on the couch together and, you know, your husband was with us outside and I felt this, you know, like a strong connection with you. Like, I don’t have a sister in real life, but I felt like, oh, she’s my sister. She’s my sister. You know, like a soul sister, you know, as I felt so understood, you know, that I felt so completely understood by you within, within that moment, like the totality of everything felt so as a blessing. So as a blessing, it feels so comfortable to feel that you have, you know, somebody who comes from the other side of the world in front of you, and you feel completely understood. Like that was so nice.

Abby (00:32:24):

It was so nice. And it was such a gift for me too because I’m also a weird person. Yeah. I know. So understood by you. And I was like, oh, it feels like I am home with someone who I, who I can truly connect with unfiltered. And so freeing and just so heart opening to get to have that time together.

Barbara (00:32:48):

I will never forget the look on your husband’s face. I looked at him and the way he looked at us, like, wow, you know, like I saw that he was so happy. I saw that he was so happy because I could see that he knows you well. And he felt I could see how happy he was, wow, nice. Yeah. I never, I forget that

Abby (00:33:20):

He does know me well. And I can imagine him being just so happy for us getting to have that moment because yeah. It’s not, it’s not every day that you meet someone weird in the ways that you’re weird. Get each other. You get each other’s weirdness

Abby (00:33:41):

That’s cool. Yeah. I love that. And so you do so many things, Barbara, and you have so many gifts and you help people in so many ways. And so you do these incredible line tattoos. And then what else, what else do you do? Tell me more about your coaching.

Barbara (00:34:00):

Yeah, the coaching. I worked as a coach, frankly. As long as I remember, but it’s, it starts taking more forms since I’m maybe 20, 21 years old. And then I worked a lot with back flowers and I had backup groups. I didn’t study about them. It just came to me. And then through the years, when I got older, the information got so intense that I did not know what to do anymore with it. Like, it didn’t feel like a blessing, but more like a curse. When I knew that people were going to die, that something’s going to happen and I could not save them. You know, I see a woman die. I knew that she’s going to die, a sign of sickness that she knew about, but I already could see it. And I saw, you know, what’s going to happen and I could not save her.

Barbara (00:34:55):

And she left, you know, five children behind and I felt so frustrated. Why should I know things that if I cannot save them, I felt it haunted me, the woman showing up every day in my house? And I say, what do you want for me? Do you know? And when I went to somebody for help, she said, you should go to this kind of school. It’s a school of [inaudible] and they’re getting development. And there you aren’t intuitive. How you say, so you list yourself, you completely, you know, go through all the layers. Who are you and what are the other people? And what are you? What is from you? And we learn about, we learn about energy, greetings, healings, and all these things. And normally this school takes six years. After three years, they throw me out, because they say, Barbara, you’re finished here. And I say, what do you mean? And they say, we cannot, we cannot help you any further it’s you become a teacher or you step out of the program. I thought that was hilarious. Like, no, no, I’m not finished here. And they say, you’re on your own.

Barbara (00:36:19):

This is your way. So I accepted that. Wow. So, yes. So I didn’t use exactly the forums that I learned from them, but they pop up sometimes when people are in front of me when I need to, you know, I will not, not ever say for example, that I’m a healer or a reader. Because the information for me comes from so many directions that I cannot pinpoint it. And I don’t know where’s the on and off button, you know? So when the word coach came up through the years, because before people didn’t call me a coach, for example, they say, oh, she’s a therapist. Or they call me all kinds of names. But for me to go by the name, the coach was the most logical approach, you know, like not scare people or not make that person have too many expectations that I’m going to give them a future profile of what’s going to happen in love and money.

Barbara (00:37:23):

And so, but work more in the now what can we do in the now? So for many years, I worked for free because I had a job and I didn’t need the money and I didn’t do it for money. I did it because there was just a request and I followed it up. But when I came to Indonesia, I realized that I could not, could not do that anymore. I could not, you know, live, divided like that to be more. And I made a choice just to work as a coach. And then I approached it more professionally also because I, I guided many people through the years that, I saw that because they didn’t pay, like they had a lack of, you know, taking things seriously, you know, and other people who were in the same work like me, they say, Barbara is going to be very frustrating for you.

Barbara (00:38:24):

If you see that people don’t follow up because there needs to be a balance, a given date. And if they don’t feel that they have to do something for it, they take it for granted. And then, in the end, I felt so frustrated that they got sicker and didn’t listen. And, you know, I cannot live like that to take it all in my, you know, to my sleep or in my system to take responsibility. And therefore I also saw the necessity to make people understand this is needed. And I think it works well, you know?

Abby (00:39:04):

Absolutely. And I couldn’t agree more. It’s that, you know, this kind of work, this sort of like helping people to heal and connecting with your intuition and all of the intelligent consciousness around you, it’s a really old kind of healing. And, you know, there can be this sort of, almost expectation of altruism to do it for free, but you know, the problem with that is it doesn’t fill your cup up because you’re deserving of, abundant life. And then like you pointed out so perfectly, if they don’t invest in it, then they don’t make that choice to value it and to value themselves. It’s like, when they give that money, that energetic exchange, then they are choosing to take their healing seriously. Like their health and wellness. Seriously.

Barbara (00:39:59):

It works like that. It’s like when somebody buys a pair of shoes and they pay more money for it than they normally do, they cherish the shoes, they Polish them. And normally they don’t Polish shoes anymore these days, but then they will take care. But when they buy just cheaper shoes, they, you know, they just, you know, lie around and they will not keep an eye too much on their shoes. You know, I see it a bit like this, you know, they, they pay for something for themselves. Like I’m doing this for myself and they respected them. And I asked them to take notes because sometimes so many things are said to her session, take notes and they do that. And they follow up, you know, because, you know, they say, I paid for this and this is for me. And, I’m going to do this. I want to achieve, you know, results, you know, while I see a big difference in that, that it’s just a conversation, you know? That’s and yeah, it’s, it’s, I don’t want to say that people just always take it for granted, but sometimes yes, it happens like that. It’s nobody’s been

Abby (00:41:06):

Exactly, exactly. It. It’s about helping them to decide to, to work on their life and themselves. Cause that’s like, ultimately everyone does their healing and you guide them to that place, but it’s, it’s still a choice that they have to make.

Barbara (00:41:23):

Yes, yes. Yeah. I do see myself like that. Like, like I’m just a temporary tool in people’s lives, even another tool, you know, even, I don’t frankly know what I am, but you know, it’s 10, we’ll do everything. When they praise me like Barbara, you helped me. You did it. You make it happen. And I’ll say, I don’t think you understand the coaching well because you did it yourself. You decided to come and see me. You made the decision that you wanted to have changed. So you created me in your life as a tool. You know, it’s not that I popped up on your front door and said, I’m coming here to help you. Hello, I’m Barbara and I’ve come to change your life.

Abby (00:42:11):

Hey, great opening. Yes. Well, yeah, it’s true. And it’s

Abby (00:42:17):

Like that old saying, when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And it’s like, when when the person is ready to go on their journey

Abby (00:42:28):

And then there you were. Yeah. And I liked

Abby (00:42:34):

What you said too about, coaching

Abby (00:42:36):

And want to focus more on the now as opposed to the future. And yeah. Do you find it, a lot of people who are coming to you wanting to know about the future instead of, instead of looking at them now,

Barbara (00:42:52):

Especially in Indonesia, because the difference between the European people and Indonesian people is the Indonesian people can see and they can see the color of my aura, or they can see something with me and they will whisper to each other. She has a gift, a gift of cheese. She’s this or that. And it makes it, they will base their questions on what they think, what they think about me. You know, they label me already before they come and see me. So they will ask me about what is the future, what is going to bring you knowing they want to know. They want to know. And I always say, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. But at the moment I’m in refusal, like, I don’t know. I don’t know. Sometimes information comes through, and I start suddenly talking about things, but that’s because it’s permitted. So, maybe it’s a spiritual one. So, you know, because maybe something they have to know, but I’m not going to look for it. No

Abby (00:43:55):

Just open to receive if it wants to come. But yeah. Yes.

Barbara (00:44:00):

People are very anxious to know about love and money, you know? Yeah. But there was always a logic to it. You know, if people are in a lot of fear and doubt, then I say, wow, you don’t have to be a paranormal to know what is the outcome of your attitudes. If you put a lot of fear in your thinking, in your daily life, then you can know that you’re already creating your future with a lot of fear too. If you say I try, I try. I hope I hope. Yeah. Don’t expect to have results. But if you say, I want that for me and it’s going to happen, you know, I trust I trust. Then you can expect a result. You know, if you base your life on trust, you know, don’t see yourself as a, as a, sometimes I say to people, I think you think there’s somewhere a book written, with your name on it.

Barbara (00:44:55):

Everybody can be happy, have money, abundance, happiness, except for this girl. No, it’s not for her. It’s for all the rest of the world, but not for her. I think you think there is a book like that with your name on it. You know, you know, there is abundance and everything in love and everything for everybody. It’s just that we know how to tap into it with first acceptance and trust. You know, people put their trust in other people, but they forget that. Number one, trust is the first to trust with yourself and trust with life because you know, all these trusting people after they feel betrayal and they’re going to put the responsibility with that other person. But when you trust yourself and trust life, then you take responsibility. I trust that I married the right guy. I didn’t marry my man because I trusted him. No, I married him because I trusted myself that I married the right guy. And if he, after a while changes and something happens, I’m not going to hold it against him. I’m going to say, it’s fine. You know, but I’m going to still be very happy that I’m managing, but I will see it like, you know, process, you know, change, you know, but therefore I don’t have to hold him accountable for my happiness.

Abby (00:46:16):

Well said, and I love that you say, you know, it just makes sense. You know you can, you can tune into all of these things in psychic gifts. And then also just look at, you know, the life you’re living in the way that you’re taking ownership for it or not. And then just seeing how the natural effects that, that will be, that will be created from that.

Barbara (00:46:41):

Yes. How interested are people in their own lives to make their life? Like, it feels good to them. Everybody has that possibility, but it’s just the interest. How interested are you in your own life? How interested are you to feel happy? You don’t have to be happy 24 hours. You don’t have to be happy all the time, but that you feel every moment, this, this bliss, you know, this moment of happiness, I’m alive. You know, I can walk, talk, and eat with friends. I have loved, you know, that you feel like I have something to work with, you know? And I am interested in having this happy life. And if you, if people have that, that’s from there on, they can go anywhere, you know? And then everything will fall into place.

Abby (00:47:34):

Mm absolutely. Because a lot of people are interested in the problems. It’s like shifting that focus. Yes.

Barbara (00:47:44):

Well said

Abby (00:47:55):

Becoming interested in your happy life, becoming interested in a life that feels good. And then, you know, your mother, you mentioned too, like so many it’s, it’s not that everyone else gets to have all of these wonderful things and this wonderful life and happiness, but not you like nothing. I don’t know. I think the universe made that rule anywhere. It’s just realizing that people can have that, that they’re deserving of that worthy of that.

Barbara (00:48:25):

Yes, yes. Yes. I sometimes think that people underestimate, you know, the happiness that lives within people. Like, for example, when people see a child begging on the streets, they look at that child with, you know, with eyes of worry, like, oh, the child and nothing in groups will come from it and it has no love. And, but they don’t, they don’t see what that child already has. The child is healthy. You have two arms, two legs can talk, and have so much potential. And that child, for sure, also it’s moments in the day of happiness and our responsibilities to look with trust and with love at that child and say to that child and recognize it. They look at it and smile and say with our heart, you can be anybody who you want to, you know, and that for me is love.

Barbara (00:49:16):

But if we look at that child with worry, that is radically fear, sending fear to that child, like, yeah, you’re sitting there. There’s not much that game, you know, that comes from your life because you don’t have the possibilities. We cannot underestimate that. Every person that we meet, no matter what kind of situation will have their points or their moment in life, that they know what is happening, you know, and it’s not up to us to decide that, you know, it’s not up to us. If we don’t see it, maybe it has to move with, to do with us, you know, then, then with the person that we look at, you know?

Abby (00:49:55):

Well said, and it’s is that having that, that trust, that faith, that knowing that it isn’t up to us and just knowing that there’s so much more going on and life and the universe in each person’s life and on their journey that we couldn’t possibly know everything that’s happening or should happen or control. It’s just trusting that you know, life has been moving and living for a lot longer than each of us has.

Abby (00:50:27):

And just, it has

Abby (00:50:29):

That intelligence and knows what to do and knows how to move forward. Because look at this beautiful planet that we live on. Look at this incredible solar system we’re in, look at how intelligent life is to create this, to have created this experience that we get to be in. And then to have that faith in it. Look at it, look, look how much is around. Look how to look at what’s good around you, in you.

Barbara (00:50:54):

It’s exactly what you say. You know, like life was there before and after us, when people come and see me, for example, when they have a problem, but not immediately the solution, then I say the most precious key to hold at that moment is trust. You don’t see how it’s going to work out. You don’t know where the solution comes from, but if you base yourself completely, I trust that a solution will come. Life has seen more possibilities of what solutions are there for you and possibilities that we, we are so limited because of who we are, but life isn’t. So if we have this knowledge, that life knows better, life knows everything. And we don’t. Then we just put our trust in life and say, okay, I have this situation. And I accept that life will give me a solution. And I don’t have to look for it. I don’t have to look to the left or the right or looking how it’s going to look like I’m just going to be wondrous, how life is going to arrange this because it will be arranged and you will get confirmation very fast because that is, you know, connecting to this network of energies that clicks in that everything falls into place. And that’s magic, that’s magic and that’s life, you know,

Abby (00:52:18):

Beautifully said, I couldn’t agree more. And I love that. You said [inaudible], how much do we let ourselves have a feeling of wonder when we come into the world. So full of it. And we get busy and have obligations throughout life. And just coming back to that place that we come into of just the sense of pure wonder and how all the magic of life and when you allow it to be magical and you have that faith as you said, you don’t have to go looking forward or figure it all out. It’s just trusting that it will come and just seeing how it shows up and what way, and just being open, enjoying the magic of that, and working with life, to bring that to you. It’s beautiful. And I also love that you said, I love the analogy of, you know, if there’s a child that was begging on the street and that reflex would be to feel bad for them.

Abby (00:53:14):

And, but it’s like, well, they are a powerful being, and yeah, there’s parts of their life that struggle, but you’re right. Like, look at their healthy body. Look at how they’re having this experience of life. Good. There, they’re breathing, they’re moving, becoming incredible. They are. And I love that. You know, when you see that in them when you see the power of someone, it helps you to draw it out of them. When you said, you know, you’d say you could be anything you want and they could be, but if someone’s busy, pitying them, they’re seeing the worst. But when you’re seeing the powerful part of them, that they could be anything they want, it helps them to see that too. It’s like, if it’s like a frequency that you help them to come into their power, that’s a sign of a great coach to see the magic in someone and helping them to see that too.

Barbara (00:54:05):

I think every seed we plant in any kind of person, you know, we plant a little seed in a child that we see on the street or plant the seed of love. And, and from our heart, we say, you are everything. You can be everything that seed will grow. That’s it? Because that child cannot take that seat out with the ego and say, I don’t want that seat. You know, it’s, it’s planted there. And that seat will grow like a seed in the ground. It doesn’t know it’s going to be a flower or a tree that the seat will grow. And that’s where the seed of love to you plants a seed in, in a child or in somebody that you meet that seed will grow and will have its way, you know, to find its way. So it’s, for me, very important that we see people, the streets who are in bad situations, that we don’t see it only as a bad situation, but we see it as a part of their journey with compassion. And we’d send them love and say, I know you’re there, but I know that you have all possibilities because we are all rich and poor in something. There is nobody who’s reaching everything. And there is nobody who sports in everything that doesn’t exist, that doesn’t exist. That’s an illusion everybody’s rich and bore in something powerful

Abby (00:55:36):

Words beautifully said, and it’s so true. And when you, when you have that level of awareness of realizing that you’re planting seeds all the time, you know, and, and choose to plant seeds of love and support to let go of stories of petty or stories of seeing the worst of things and to instead send them love, that’s such seen more transformative energy and such a different way of engaging with the world that can, that, that lifts it instead of keeps, instead of keeping it the same or lowering it, it’s a way of seeing it and lifting it.

Barbara (00:56:17):


Abby (00:56:19):

Yeah. Beautiful. Because I think people forget just how they are. They forget that their thoughts have energy, electromagnetic energy that goes out and, you know, others can feel subtly. And when you magnify that with all of the people that perceive each of us, all of those feelings of other people can kind of feel like those layers, but what if we continue to send each other love to continue to see the best in each other? What kind of world would that be?

Barbara (00:56:51):

Wow. Yeah

Abby (00:56:55):

It’s powerful. This is why I’m, so to talk with you so much wisdom,

Barbara (00:57:02):

Thank you.

Barbara (00:57:09):

I don’t always feel like that, you know because I’m 54.

Abby (00:57:15):

You did not, I would not have guessed. You were 54

Barbara (00:57:19):

And that’s, I think a bit of the mix of the Asian blood that sometimes people also my size, you know, I’m not so tall. And then, people sometimes think I’m much younger, but then I say I’m far too young from far, far from young.

Abby (00:57:39):

You have that you were at 300 when

Abby (00:57:42):

You were 13, 18. So you’re a very old soul,

Abby (00:57:45):

But you look

Abby (00:57:46):

Young in this life. Yeah. You have that eternal youth and go and.

Barbara (00:57:52):

Emotionally, I still feel 12.

Abby (00:58:02):

It’s something I was going to say. I think it is part of what makes you see me if you have these Youthful, joyful spirits. I feel like that’s a goal, you know, so to grow in wisdom and then also to have that innocence and that wonder with life, that’s just, just being authentic and being in the moment. And it’s so beautiful to still have

Barbara (00:58:21):

Yes. And also risky. Like when you come on a podcast like this, then I say to myself, don’t say something stupid. Don’t say something stupid. You know, don’t do stupid. Don’t say something ridiculous, you know, because that’s possible.

Abby (00:58:38):

You Know, I think that’s what I love about you is that we would all have those thoughts. You know, we’d all think those thoughts before going into an interview or podcast. But you’re just so authentic and express yourself so clearly. And that’s just like, it’s the innocence there. And, you know, thinking about, you know, how much people will repress and filter what they’re feeling and thinking, and then it gets bottled up inside and creates all kinds of problems. But you can just be an expression as you think and feel it’s, it’s just a better flow to be in life. I feel.

Barbara (00:59:15):

Yeah, because the moment did go wrong. I think Barbara is going wrong and it’s like, train. I cannot stop myself anymore because I think it goes wrong. I say, stupid things, stop it. And it gets worse, you know?

Abby (00:59:30):

That’s, that’s the mind it gets, it goes down its rabbit holes and his patterns. And then it’s like, okay, well, how do I, how do I reign it back? Yeah. And I feel like that’s, like, it’s a gradual thing. You know, it’s like, okay. I reigned it in, within, you know, within, in a shorter period, it’s like, you know, instead of striving for the sense of perfection, it’s just noticing progress. And I, when I did the love of Hassanah meditation, they would say, oh, you’re doing good. If you realize your mind has watered within 20 minutes, instead of within an hour, I should know all the time. But like, no, no, no, just accept where your mind is at and just bring it back. When you realize it’s going off, it’s gone somewhere. It’s like, oh, just celebrate that. You have this awareness again. That is back. Cause that’s just, we all have these monkey minds. And we’re all, you know, most of us are working on training them and with our awareness. And it’s just, it’s a, it’s a gradual process.

Barbara (01:00:33):

I have a whole family of monkeys inside of,

Abby (01:00:41):

You live near a monkey forest too.

Barbara (01:00:43):

Yeah. Maybe

Barbara (01:00:49):

They wonder how it is in the city. Yeah. They wander the city. Now they pull out of the monkey forest.

Abby (01:00:56):

Are they not feeding them there as much anymore? Okay. No, no,

Barbara (01:01:01):

Yes, yes.

Abby (01:01:03):

Your monkeys there scare me. I keep my distance. They’re incredible to watch. What, I, I try not to bother them.

Barbara (01:01:12):

Yeah, Me Neither. I run from them, you know if I see them because they have like all kinds of diseases and so, and it is a fact, you know? Yeah.

Abby (01:01:22):

You don’t wanna have to go and get a shot or something after getting bit. Exactly. So with your coaching, how do people work with you? Do they like to come and see you as you work online? How does that work?

Barbara (01:01:42):

Yeah, in the early years in the earliest, people come and see me, but now in the last few years, I work most of the time online. And that is a bit also up to people. Some people even take a plane to come and see me when they come from Jakarta or so, or people that are on a holiday. And they know about me. They come and see me personally, but, some people, they sign up for, a one month by month coaching, like they want a month session and then, you know, see how it goes and to a couple of months, even up to a year, but other people, they just want, they haven’t very clear, problems, situation, you know, at work, in their household. And they need just one clear conversation about that. And sometimes I just have one session with people, if it can be efficient up to three, four hours, you know, sometimes we take your break and we pick up again that same day, but they are, they are done. You know, they are like, they say, I know what to do. And that’s also what happens also regularly, but this is people who say I’m okay, my life, you know, or why things go well, but this is what bothered me. And I need a solution for that. And they say people tell me that you always have an answer to everything. So I want to hear what you got to say, you know, like, like that, you know?

Abby (01:03:14):

You have a name out there, people flying in to come and get a session. That’s great. Yes.

Barbara (01:03:20):

I follow up people with, different situations, you know, some people have, pre-teens or they ask for things in their life, you know, that they don’t have trauma around, but you know, they, they still struggle with it with a debt of somebody, you know, like, or, you know, like personal attitudes in life, getting bullied, you know, it’s or, you know, have trouble with growing up kids, you know, not to know how to deal with the kids are, are now a couple helping them to divorce, you know? So they will not have a for that. Yes. So I’m a mediator between them. They, you know, they go to a nice divorce because there aren’t children, but I follow more, you know like it’s not that I have a schedule for people because we never know how it’s gonna work out. I just see what is in the moment the most, persistence, what needs to be looked at and talked about, you know?.

Abby (01:04:42):

So fluid. Yes. Yeah. And if someone, where is the best place for people to reach you for coaching, if they wanted to reach out to you?

Barbara (01:04:56):

Yes, I have a website called Or they can find me, Instagram @vankootenbarbara. And they can find my contact number or email address, or they can look on the website.

Abby (01:05:22):

And I’ll put that in the show notes as well. Thank you very much. Oh my goodness. Thank you. You have so much wisdom and you’ve lived such an interesting life and you continue to live such an interesting life. It’s such a pleasure to speak with you and just share your energy. Do you have anything else that you want to say for the world? Any messages that you want to share?

Barbara (01:05:43):

What, for me, feels very important at this moment is generally seen in people’s life. Is that everything, what was before, what worked for you before and doesn’t work anymore? Don’t try to fix it. Don’t try to see, like, it has to continue things what’s happened before the world is changing. So the most important thing for me is that people be flexible, be flexible, go with the flow, be flexible and follow your feeling, your feeling, and flexibility, trusting yourself. And you can trust life a hundred percent trust life, life created this platform with all possibilities, all that we want is there. So the most important is the acceptance of what your life is and the trust for what you want can happen. And trust is the biggest thing, you know, and always choose for love and not for fear, love, and not fear.

Abby (01:06:56):

Beautifully said why his words. I love it. Thank you so much for talking with me before.

Barbara (01:07:07):

Thank you. So, so, so, so very, very, very much for inviting me. I feel very honored and blessed, and I’m very happy to be here and thank you for your very interesting questions and for giving me space. Thank you very much.

Abby (01:07:28):

Oh my goodness. My pleasure. Thank you so much. It’s, it’s always just so fun getting the doc because it’s refreshing and it’s, you’re such a, you’re such a breath of fresh air because you’re just so open and honest and genuine, and it’s so lovely to be in that energy and to be in your energy and thank you for sharing your wisdom and thank you for all that you do, and the tattoos and the artwork and the coaching and all that you’ve been doing since you were a young child. All right, my dear. Thank you. And we’ll talk soon.

Abby (01:08:12):

All right. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for being you and thank you for listening. If you enjoy today’s podcast, I encourage you to leave us a review. We’re on Apple iTunes, and you can go ahead and like to share and subscribe while you’re at it. Thank you so much. I’m Abigail Moss and this is the mindbodyfree podcast.


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