From a New Author’s Fear of Criticism…to Thousands of Readers! by Chantal van den Brink

From a New Author’s Fear of Criticism…to Thousands of Readers! by Chantal van den Brink

It all started twenty-five years ago, when I spent a summer in Findhorn, a spiritual community in Northern Scotland, to recover from a burn-out. One night, after reading a spiritual book, a bright light appeared on my wall in my otherwise pitch-black bedroom. With a jolt, I sat up straight, staring, and before I knew it, I was sucked out through the top of my head and flying overseas back to the Netherlands, where I landed in my mother’s house.

It was, as I would learn later, my first out-of-body experience, which set me on a path of personal and spiritual development. I divorced my husband, sold my house, quit my well-paid ICT job and, with my new love, went on to study healing in the US, at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. There, I learned to develop my high sense perception, work with energy, and channel.

When I asked my spiritual guides about my soul’s purpose for this incarnation, they answered: writer, healer, teacher. Well, healing and teaching I did but, except for in my journals, I didn’t write. Something in me refused. In the regression, which I did to explore the source of this block, I discovered I had been executed for writing pamphlets during the French revolution.To write about material that matters meant death, so had been my soul’s conclusion.

Fast forward a few years. By now, I had a successful healing practice, had become a mother of three girls, and co-owned a business in personal development. At the same time, I struggled with chronic fatigue, a debilitating illness that had been plaguing me since adolescence. My guides were pressing me to take time off, to heal myself and write, which I still didn’t, despite that regression. Yes, I did write articles for various magazines, but no books. Until, in the weeks of my mother’s passing, my psyche brought up memories from early childhood abuse. From one moment to the next, I suffered from post-traumatic stress, no longer able to function, forcing me to drop everything and focus on my own healing. It was then when I started to write.

I had always thought I’d write a book about healing as a discipline, discussing theory and techniques. Instead, my fingers began typing my personal story, from being stuck in an old form, caught in a life that didn’t fit me, and struggling with chronic fatigue, to the intense healing journey required to recover from PTSS. I often wondered who would ever read this book, let alone understand my experiences.

Because of my love for language, I sought the help of a writing coach, who had me rewrite the first book about five times. She taught me the rules like ‘show, don’t tell; every chapter needs a beginning and an end; find balance between the different subjects.’ At the same time, she drew me out, showing me my tendency to hide the actual message and compartmentalise the different aspects of the story, traits that an abused child develops to survive.

When the first book was published, I hid in my hammock for two weeks, terrified of criticism. I needn’t have worried for my mailbox filled with letters of appreciation. By now, thousands of people have read my trilogy, finding courage and inspiration for their own healing journey. I had thought the books would mainly appeal to women in their 30s and 40s but, in reality, readers range from as young as 18 to as senior as 90. This made me realise that I had, after all, exactly written what I had always intended, a book that gives people an in-depth understanding of the process of healing. For, as our backgrounds and our stories may vary, in the end, the journey of healing and personal growth is Universal. Namaste.


The trilogy, Letters from my Soul is a remarkable, true story of healing and spiritual growth. It explores the transformation of a woman who has been suffering from chronic fatigue since she was a college student. It not only recounts her struggle to heal the pain hidden underneath the surface, but reveals the fundamental process of change in all aspects of her life.

The journey starts in her late twenties when Chantal van den Brink, a graduate from a prestigious business school and a corporate executive in ICT, receives the proverbial ‘knock on the door’. During a job interview, an executive searcher tells her that she does not seem to know who she is. He compares her to a chameleon, taking on the form that is expected of her, her true self being absent.

Rattled, she consults a psychic reader who teaches her to ‘go within’. A vision leads her to Findhorn, a spiritual community in Scotland, where she has several mystical experiences. Her illness turns out to be a call from her soul to change course. Determined to regain her health, she turns her life upside down; she divorces her husband, quits her well paid job, and sells her up-market house.

Together with her new love, she enrolls in the Barbara Brennan School of Healing and starts a consultancy for personal development. As she explores the energetic dimensions behind our earthly existence, an astonishing new world opens up, changing her consciousness about life and the cosmos.

Gradually, she comes to realize that the key to health and well-being lies within herself. But, old patterns prove to be persistent and the healing for which she so yearns, does not yet come as easily as she had hoped.

Chantal van den Brink is a shaman, who dedicated her life to the study of holistic healing and the energetic reality behind our daily lives. She trained in hands-on-healing , Jungian psychology, Sensorimotor psychotherapy, regression therapy, family constellations and shamanism. She is the author of the trilogy Letters from my Soul which has provided thousands of readers with ample inspiration for their own healing.

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How do authors get their ideas for books? And, at what point in their lives did these creative individuals decide they wanted to be authors?? 


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