Text: Bart Bloemers, Photo: Marjolein Roeleveld

Here we are, the end is almost there!

It was a special journey to get here.

Looking back on the past two years, there`s one sentence that stayed with me.

That phrase is: Faith is the heart of love.

Love is the magical word from Betty. According to her, everything is all about love. The rest of it comes secondary. So lovely to have someone like that on your team.

So thank you Betty for this and for all your love.

I would also like to introduce the rest of the core team as well. Karlijn. I met Karlijn two and a half years ago at the first ESC meeting. We then organized two Shiatsu events together, one could say the rehearsals for the ESC. We surely needed them. The last few months we`ve had some friction. Friction is like the chong chi of yin and yang. We need it to live, to shine and to grow personally.

Thank you Karlijn.

Daphne is the youngest member of our team. Very nice that you joined, we needed you badly. Whenever Daphne said: ‘I don’t quite understand’ .. then I knew I had to pay extra attention.
She knew exactly how to point out the right decisions and arguments.

Thank you Daphne.

Actually the question is whether our core team consists of four or five people. We
mostly met up with the four of us, shiatsu practitioners.
But there was unmistakably a fifth member, Bas van der Paardt. Not formally, but he was always there when needed, in terms of marketing, communication and the beautiful design.

As he has no shiatsu background he could see things from a different angle and with a fresh perspective.

And of course our board of advisory: Joyce from Zen Shiatsu School and Norbert from the Iokai. We surely needed you.

Thank you.

What have we done?

Until March we have been building confidence.
The kick-off was two and a half years ago, with Mike. He gave us the complete confidence to organize this congress in our own way. And we did. In our unique way we organized this congress.

We’ve been building a European community, yes you, who are all here attending the congress or watching this on screen.

We did this by sending a monthly newsletter.
A lot of people have put effort and given attention to this newsletter. Japke, Lara,…. And also Adeline. she entered modestly, and did her thing more than perfect and ended up as coordinator of the newsletter and so much more. I like your energy a lot!

Also I would like to mention Mark, a friend. Too bad you can not be here. I hope that this talk will last less than 5 minutes, so you don’t have to drop out;

And now to all of you! I am grateful for all who have invested love, time attention and energy in the congress and created this wonderful vibe. Being together and being able to touch one another.

Trainers, volunteers, venue holders, schools, associations. But also people in our immediate vicinity and personal lives: my life partner and children, family and friends. Everyone was slowly drawn into the movement, the enthousiasm and the energy. A great flow.

Thank you and especially my wife Djoke.

And then came March. We had a very good foundation. I sometimes wonder what would have become of this foundation, if everything had gone ‘normally’. But living also means learning to live with uncertainties. Being challenged, living in the moment and adapt.

And I can tell you we’ve had plenty of those moments on our path

Covid came and the world went into a lock-down. Unique and unprecedented in its size. What now?

Firstly we slowed down. The core team meetings were held via Skype. It was difficult, because we all experienced Covid differently within the team. What I recall is that we didn`t align. I believed that if we could get together physically again, we would also find each other on other levels again. And so it happened.

Then our search started. What does everybody want- the trainers, the people who bought a ticket, the venues. It became a quest. Although the uncertainty remained, everyone remained positive. The only thing we could do was follow the energy. And trying to live with the uncertainty.

With the uncertainty came the many and many questions that were asked from the shiatsu community. So maybe Annemieke is the most famous among you

She has done a great job in answering all the questions that came in our inbox. Always a quick reply with love and attention.

Thank you Annemiek.

To save Annemiek some time: everybody will get a certificate by mail. So you know now.

With the covid came also new opportunities. The fact that we are in this beautifull venue is because of Covid. All international congresses were canceled and we needed more room to host this shiatsu event.

Futhermore I am also very enthusiastic about the camera work and technology in these workshops. This has so much added value and so everyone can see and hear what a presenter is doing. I think this is really great and I already call it shiatsu workshop 2.zero. Without covid we would not have managed this.

It was a journey full of bumps in the road. For me, but most certainly also for most of you.

That`s why it`s so special to be here, among the people who have had confidence in the outcome of this journey. If faith is the heart of love, then you are the core of this love.

So to all teachers who have kept their faith in this congress and and were present here A big Thank you
To all volunteers – more than 70- who gave the conference it’s unique flavor – Thank you!.

And to all participants – your trust, your shiatsu mind – has made this congress a unique experience.

I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everyone who is present here in Amsterdam and is with me at this moment. It is superbe that we were all able to be together, physically as well as in spirit.

Tao gives birth to one
One gives birth to two
Two gives birth to three
Three gives birth to the 10.000 things.

That`s how it felt the last couple of months. We started from nothing, from the emptyness. From there the movement started. And when Covid came we were walking the path of the Chong Chi. This line in the middle of the yin and yang symbol, separating the white and the black. We needed the right balance between yin and yang. And as you can image, That was not always easy. We kept visualising the congress, full of intention, making it happen.

And look at what is created here this weekend- thanks to all who made these 10.000 things happen!

So what next.

To be honest, I didn’t think about that until yesterday. My thoughts did not go further than this point.

For me personally, the burden to carry the ESC torch was very high. I gave everything what I have to protect the ESC flame en hold the open space. The space where we could share, build, adapt, laugh, work, admire and in the end manifest the 6th European shiatsu congress with each other.

In this difficult time I am really proud the the ESC flame is burning as a bright flame. My wish that the energy we have built, the open sharing space will continue and flow futher and even as far as the next ESC.

Have faith in what you do, and follow the stream as we did, and you will arive as we have now also arrived at the end of the congress