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Follow Your Heart No Matter What Others Say!

Born in Holland Nadine emigrated to South Africa taught art therapy and had a spiritual awakening that influenced her whole outlook on life.

What if money was no object?

What if money was no object?

It took me 45 years to follow this video’s advice.

My parents loved me, but it was considered a complete luxury for me to spend my day playing. My mom perceived reading as a play time occupation, so the moment she saw my escape in a book, she would quickly find a chore around the house for me to do. Needless to say my mom never read a book!

I would often hide my book inside my school work folder and pretend to do homework, but she knew. The other trick was reading on the loo, but then my sister would tell on me. She too has never read a book in her life!

Hermien / Nadine

Hermien / Nadine



Was reading as a favourite pastime a clue about my heart’s desire?

My dad did read, but he was never home. Being a sea captain took him away from his family for three to six months at a time. We were brought up by my mom, who was lonely and looked for company in my sister and me. It was she who kept saying: learn a trade, or skill that pays money so that you can always be independent.

  • Was that because she was dependent on my dad financially?
  • Was reading for me an escape?
  • What made me so eager to learn through reading, since I could not write for toffee?

I hated school with a passion!

Being a rebellious child I often bunked school, especially grammar classes. My dyslexic handicap, called leesblind in Dutch was not yet recognized as treatable, so I was often made fun of in class. My parents were advised to send me to a special needs school. That made me so angry, I called everybody stupid, but deep down I believed that I myself was dumb.

Hating school

Hating school

Growing up

Growing up

Learning a trade, skill or being an expert in something.

Bringing up a family in Holland after the war must have been stressful. Many immigrated to Canada or Australia, but my dad remained a sea captain because that was how he could provide for his family. Both of us girls were prepared for marriage, not for learning a trade or profession. That was considered a wasted investment. Becoming a teacher or a nurse was OK for a girl, but since I was not the academic type, learning a household skill was considered preferable.

Leaving home

Leaving home



Leaving home at an early age

My first priority was to explore the world without my parents breathing down my neck. In the sixties nurses training was done as an intern, and that meant having to leave home! My grades were not up to standard but my determination was enough to get me through an oral interview. The people who questioned me were more aware that being a dyslexic did not mean I was incapable of studying. They did require me to have a passion for nursing. The romantic Mills and Boon type novels about hospital wards were enough for me to believe that my calling was in this field. I was 17 when I left home.

Seeing the suffering and experiencing what went on in an academic hospital, especial in a trauma unit, made me determined to study neurology during my first and second year. I wanted to understand what made people tick, but instead I found that we were the dog’s bodies of the third year students. I learned that not every nurse or doctor reflected the characters in the romantic novels

Story telling

Story telling

Story telling was one of my favorite times in the children’s ward.

I devoured during those teenage years. Turning to more intellectual works influenced me towards the creative arts for my escape. The works of Rudolf Steiner had a great influence on me. Studying Art therapy in my spare time was the result.

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Story telling through drawing was what kept me inspired on night shift. Most of my days were spent in the neurological wards; therefore telling stories through pictures was well received by the children there.

I was getting bored with the repetitive chores we were compelled to do as trainee nurses, so my next enthusiasm was traveling. My parents were not very impressed with me trying to find a job that would give me that opportunity, instead of finishing my studies.

Emigrating to Australia

Emigrating to Australia

Would emigrating give me the freedom I so longed for?

Reading about far away tropical places during the cold winters in Holland, and having found a boyfriend who wanted to immigrate to Australia was just the answer! Getting married at twenty was what my mother had prepared me for, but not becoming a mom at twenty one. It was an eye opener to arrive in Melbourne with a six month old baby girl, only to find that the promise that my husband was qualified to get a good job was not true. Here we were, thrown in Fishermans Bend Hostel in Port Melbourne. Our accommodation was in a large corrugated-iron hut divided into a living room in the middle and a bedroom at each end. Bathroom and toilet blocks were outside. The first eight months was a nightmare. We shared breakfast, lunch and dinner in the hostel canteen with many other immigrants from all over Europe.The only job I could get was as a waitress, and my husband ended up in a car factory as a laborer. During the next 8 months our focus was to earn enough money to get out of a situation we both never wanted to be in

Mother of two

Mother of two

Life’s directions can show us many things if we just listen

My break came while waitressing as a non- English speaking immigrant. My drawing ability was discovered by the MD of Myers. Instead of writing the orders for the kitchen, I drew them, since writing in English was impossible for me. I remember that my drawing of chicken a la king was doing the rounds. The next day I was transferred to the sign writing department. I was pregnant at that time and many days I was too sick to go to work, so I lost the first job I loved doing.

We had arrived in Australia with enough money for a down payment on a house, so my husband started a house painting business and could prove enough income to buy one. The four years we lived in Melbourne taught me to be responsible for my actions. Having two children and having to budget every cent awakened the entrepreneur in me. Going out to work and caring for two babies was impossible, so freelance work from home became my only option.

Back to Europe

Back to Europe

My education and life experience had not prepared me for much.

Our time in Australia was difficult and returning back to Holland felt like total failure, but we nevertheless emigrated back to Holland, since there were no other options available to us.
We both felt that we were not meant to be in Holland, so when the opportunity presented itself for us to immigrate to South Africa eight month later, we took it up with great optimism. This time my husband had a job to go to and we were a lot wiser.

Children growing up

Children growing up

What one wishes for one does attract.

I knew that our marriage was not what the novels portrayed, but I was still determined to make it work. I longed to be independent, but leaving my young children with a nanny was not an option for me. I knew that I wanted to work for myself, and that it would be in the creative field.

My husband was often away from home due to the nature of his work, which suited me very well. I taught myself the skill of working with leather. During the hippy times that was all the rage and I had a talent for original design. I started to make money! Here I was earning enough to support my family and what my husband earned we could save to buy a house again. What I never expected was that he wanted to be home more often, so he changed his job to one with less pay and we ended up in a coastal town living in a house of our own. I refused to go out looking for a job; choosing to stay home to building up my own business.

my library

my library

When does one start to question one’s reasons for living?

My children were growing up, my business went through ups and downs and I was again bored with life. Having just enough energy to hold down a dull job was what I saw in the people around me, but for how long could I myself continue in a tedious, brain-dead relationship?

I wanted change and attracted the experiences.

Reading was all I could do in those years to keep me sane. It taught me that our greatest accomplishments are achieved through the unconscious, intuitive mind. Learning that consciousness is a "reducing valve" that filters out the enormous amounts of information potentially available to us, that made me realize that I was the only one that could change my life.

South Africa 2013

South Africa 2013

Every life skill we learn over the years will come in handy

I started giving art therapy classes from home. I wanted to bring out in people what I wanted to know for myself. What was my heart’s desire? I was still running my leather business, and concurrently designed a drawing course to teach people how to see. I included my Art Analogue exercises. Later I enrolled for a marriage counseling course at a university, when my children were about to leave home. I also started to practice story telling by typing them out, but this time on a computer I had purchased from my son, who needed money to emigrate to New Zealand!

My English was still appalling, but having a spellchecker helped. Reading was still a passion but this time I wanted to challenge myself by writing my own novel! I was now following my heart’s desire that the video at the beginning so clearly suggested. If someone would have asked me that question, would I have known the answer?

It took me 45 five years to follow my heart. No my own novels and workbook do NOT pay the bills, but what it did and still does is that I can help others in publishing their book with the help of a partner who is both my dictionary and editor .
What we can imagine we can make real.


Nadine May

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Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on June 04, 2014:

Hi Moonlake, thanks for stopping by and read the story about me following my heart. Thanks for the voted up.

moonlake from America on June 03, 2014:

My grandparents on my Dad's side always had a book in their hands. My Dad read a lot. My Mom never picked up a book and I think she thought all of her daughters were crazy because we all love books. I enjoyed reading the story of your life. Voted up.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on March 22, 2014:

Thanks for your comment Graham, I only saw it now.

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on January 17, 2014:

Hi Nadine. Wow a lifetime packed into a hub. I really felt for your difficult time in Australia, such a shame it did not work out. Your photographs are unique and informative. Really good.

voted up and following.


Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 09, 2013:

Thank you for your kind words Kim

ocfireflies from North Carolina on December 09, 2013:


You are an inspiration. You have the kind of adventuresome spirit I so admire. Thank you for sharing your incredible journey that continues to allow you the freedom to be creative. You are truly awesome.


ocfireflies aka Kim

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 08, 2013:

Thanks for the address Mary. Had a look and yes there is a lot on the ascended masters out there. Its all very inspiring to read up about their teachings from a 5th dimension, and it is very uplifting and helpful for many. Personally I feel that we are the experts in this third dimension during these times. We need to follow our own inner guidance during these End times. By End I mean the End of a reality we know.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on December 06, 2013:

I actually haven't written that hub, Nadine, but the thought of doing so has crossed my mind.

There actually is a society called the Telosians who reside in the fifth dimension in the center of Mt. Shasta, California. These folks do not use money. There is no disease and they are claimed to live over 1,000 years. If you care to read about their beautiful lives, you can do so at It's wonderful stuff.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 06, 2013:

Dear Marie thank you for your kind comments.. I must read your hub "Help! I'm Allergic to Money!" tomorrow. It's now nearly midnight in Cape Town but if you have time you might read my hub about "What would a Money-less society be like?"

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 06, 2013:

Hi Jodah I'm always glad to inspire people who are dyslectic, or if they have a friend or a family member who is. Today with the technology at our fingertips a new world has opened up.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on December 06, 2013:

Dear Nadine, I felt I needed to read this article. I have a real hang-up with money, it seems. I even thought about writing a humorous hub called, "Help! I'm Allergic to Money!"

Intuitively, I know I'm happier being self-employed (if I could only get this money block cleared).

Part of my problem is enjoying too many things. What do I want to do? Everything! (Try forming a career out of that!)

Well, enough said. I loved this hub and thank you for sharing your personal experiences in relation to the video.

Voted Useful and Awesome.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 03, 2013:

Wow! Nadine. This is one of the most inspiring and best presented hubs I have read. I loved your story. Who would imagine you had dyslexia? it isn't evident, and I admire your courage and fortitude. My own daughter is dyslexic but has learnt to overcome it. Beautiful, voted up.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 03, 2013:

Thanks for your comment

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 01, 2013:

Fascinating story, thanks for sharing it with us. ^

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 01, 2013:

Thanks for your comment. Indeed we can not all pay the bills from our writings, but I say, so long as the "job" is conducive to your passion. A writer on the topic of being a vegetarian, should not really work in a butchery.

ologsinquito from USA on December 01, 2013:

I say follow your heart, with an eye toward reality. Maybe have a backup trade in addition to doing what you love.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on December 01, 2013:

Thank you Audrey. Indeed. Sharing our skills, experiences and knowledge is what will in the end give us abundance in many other ways, besides money!

Audrey Howitt from California on November 30, 2013:

I loved this video and thank you so much for sharing your story. There is so much to do in life besides make money.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on November 28, 2013:

Thanks for visiting my hub article Page

Mackenzie Sage Wright on November 14, 2013:

What a journey-- thanks for sharing.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on November 05, 2013:

What a great comment Iris. looking forward to your hubs! Let me know if you need any tips or help.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on November 05, 2013:

Thank you JPSO for your kind words.

JPSO138 from Cebu, Philippines, International on November 05, 2013:

Good luck on your works.. I know you can go a long way since you are doing a great job... This hub alone is very wonderful and interesting. Keep up the good work...

Iris Canham from Johannesburg, Gauteng on November 05, 2013:

What a beautiful story Nadine. The closest definition I could come up with to the name Hermien is to travel...I stand to be corrected. Well you did travel indeed! The traveler learns from experiences, gathers a strong soul story and when the traveler is ready, she becomes a teacher. Nadine means HOPE and in the way you project yourself through writing, community involvement, your work, you bring so much HOPE to the world that we can live in harmony with ourselves and each other. I once heard you say is that your wish for everyone is financial freedom so that we can all follow our hearts without reservation. So yes, Hermien had to become NADINE...the hopeful teacher has awakened! Thank you.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 30, 2013:

Thank you for your comment Chitrangada Sharan

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 30, 2013:

Great hub and I must tell you that I got engrossed in your story/ personal experience.

Thanks for following me and what an interesting profile!

Wish you happy hubbing at HP!

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 28, 2013:

Thanks for your comment JPSO - What does that stand for I wonder? I will share your hub page link to Jivanda (from the Netherlands) She would love to read all your hubs.

JPSO138 from Cebu, Philippines, International on October 27, 2013:

Story telling at its best, this is how I see your hub. You are definitely talented and I am very much entertained reading your hub. Well presented, yet very simple. Keep up the good work.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on October 20, 2013:

Too many of us start down this path in life. I found your story fascinating and I wish you the best. Great hub!

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 16, 2013:

I loved both your comments. We are living in very special times in which we learn to achieve a balancing act; to find ways to contribute to society that also pays for our bills, so long as our earning capacity supports our passion, and doesn’t contradict it. Thanks for your support by following me.

FullOfLoveSites from United States on October 16, 2013:

I agree with you that you should follow your dreams. But to me at least, I had to be practical too, you know "get my head out of the clouds" and be realistic. Otherwise I won't be able to follow my passion if I don't have the means to achieve it (money, for instance -- even a little would do much). I think it's good to have a balancing act. Thanks for your wonderful post (like you, I hated school too. I'm a scholionophbic!)

Tatum Rangel from Los Angeles on October 15, 2013:

I really enjoyed reading this article. In fact, I know how you feel when it came to school. I, too, loathed school when I was a kid. Every so often, I was told that it was important that I finish college and get a "really good job that provides benefits" because I'd be financially stable. Perhaps they've meant well; however, we all need to encourage and be encouraged to pursue our goals. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with going to college. It can benefit us all. Regardless, there are plenty of options. It's one thing to hold down a job while you're pursuing your goals. Nevertheless, we shouldn't settle. Thank you for this post.

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 15, 2013:

Thank you Kathy for your comment and for following me.

Kathy Henderson from Pa on October 15, 2013:


Lovely hub and the pictures really draw one in as well. Love the honesty and reflective nature of this peice. Have ana amazing day :)

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 15, 2013:

My dear friend thanks for your comments and your sharing. Yes many of us were told as children to life for others. I know that most of the time ignorance is our greatest enemy.

love from Nadine

Jivanda on October 15, 2013:

What a nice story about your life Nadine!

I too was not allowed to just read a book in my past. And I so much loooovvved reading! It was considered a waste of time and I had to do something useful instead and of benefit to others (chores like you had to do). I was not allowed to touch my stepmother's books (doctors and castle romantic novels), they had to stay nice and new for showing off on the shelves. But I was allowed to use the dictionary and encyclopedia (for schoolwork), so I literally spelled them...

I was brought up to follow orders, to conform and to live for others.

It also took me many years to learn to follow my heart.

Thanks for your story.



(from the Netherlands)

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on October 14, 2013:

...And now I have a lot of photos of you gaze upon...

Nadine May (author) from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on October 14, 2013:

Reynold and Billy thank you both for your encouraging comments. I was somewhat worried that my story was to personal and would not be acceptable. In the publishing business I've learned that personal stories do NOT sell, unless you are a well know celebrity, especially in sport! But seriously I would rather write in the third person, and make up the character, like I've done in my novels. It was the video that inspired me to write my own story. My main intent is to inspire others to achieve their highest potential. The video made me wish that I told my children to follow their dreams when they were growing up, instead of telling them to be practical! I mostly wrote it for them.

Reynold Jay from Saginaw, Michigan on October 14, 2013:

Wow!! You have an outline for an entire book right here. What a life you have led. It's pretty incredible to get it into a HUB. You could fictionalize your own story and probably have a great series of novels. Or just tell it like it is and do it as non-fiction. Just tossing this wild card idea out there as YOU ARE A WRITER. What a memorable HUB! Rj

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 14, 2013:

Personal reflections carry so much weight for a writer; you become a real person to your readers and as such your lessons learned are given much more contemplation. Well done, this!

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