My personal journey

My life with Emma, moving mountains in silence

“This time a book about my personal journey, not my profession as a speaker’s mentor.
This book is a tribute to a beautiful soul! Emma. A grandmother who was an inspiration. It’s the story of the relationship between grandmother and me, her granddaughter. It is an amazing journey through time and love. I wish it inspires, encourages and blesses you by reading this beautiful book”.

My gran Emma started her personal development on a conscious level at the age of 90, when she became a widow. We had a soul-connection from the moment I was born. Emma had such a wisdom and compassion inside herself. Over the years, I became her vehicle to give her a voice in this world. After her death, I decided to share our life’s stories, woven together, to shine a light of hope and encouragement for all women struggling with challenges in life and how they can deal with this in another way.

I want to be a lighthouse for women. Shine light in seemly dark episodes in their life. I want to give them insights into Emma’s wisdom, how she and I overcame our difficulties in life. We became stronger, together, no matter our age difference. With this book, I share the warmth of my Gran Emma with to the world so they can feel enlightened by the words: honest and vulnerable, sometimes raw but always with compassion and love.

I declare this book to all women in the world who are willing to take the responsibility of self-reflection, self-development and who would like to get on a journey with me in the nearly hundred years of Emma’s life’s development. To me it is important to hear from my readers what they got out of this book and how we can create a ripple effect of Emma’s insights. If you ever missed a real, warm, supportive grandmother in your life; I share mine with you through this book.
Grab your copy here at Amazone


July 5th 2017
It is a warm day I feel restless and tired, despite all that I want to be out of this place, go for a walk, clear my mind. Together with Piet, I’m in the forest near our home. The sun plays with the sunlight through the summer leaves. I just want to scream your name, I conscious of all what is around me. Could it be a signal, your signal? You would appear as a sparrow. Sparrows don’t live in this forest.
The forest is quiet, so quiet I can only hear to pounding sound of my own blood in my ears.
I walk step by step. Without sound as I always do if I’m sad. Expressing feelings became too often a boomerang.
I fit was too much for me I would go to you. My anchor. My safe spot.
That is it.  Today I can’t visit you any longer. Today is the first day of my life without you in this world.
Silently tears drop over my face. I knew this day was coming. But now I don’t know what to do.
My thoughts in my stormy head are calming down as I rest my head on Piet’s shoulder. Slowly words come together, in a new way and shape. Writing, that’s the way to calm down. I want to write. Shape my life without Emma. I want to write a book. Are you OK with that? Am I allowed to write a book about you? I try to hear your voice inside my head. Our new way of communication.
Today is the first day of my new life. A life without Emma.

Where are you now?

I see you everywhere and can’t find you

Who are you now?

The sparrow?

The wind drying my tears?

The clouds or beyond?

The fresh leaf spiraling down from nowhere,

landing near my feet

Where am I now?

I search with open heart and can’t feel me.

I feel bruised and vulnerable

Who am I now?

In the calm after the storm it only matters




Today is the first day

The first after 50 years with you in my life

I just never had one before

I listen to my beating heart

I recharge I re-balance

It doesn’t matter where you are

It doesn’t matter where I am

Who you are

Who I am

We Are in all there is

You are not gone, just different —

Emma Emilie Spreksel was born in the year the WWI ended, 1918. Her cradle stood in Rotterdam, the main harbor city in the Netherlands also known as the port of Europe. The Netherlands stayed neutral in this Great War. From all over Europe refugees came to find a safe place to live.
Emma was the first born in the family. Born on a chilly summer day on the 25th of July 1918.
A troubled young couple as parents. Besides there was a war going on around the Netherlands, the impact was there in unemployment and poverty.
She stays an only child until 1937. Imagine this time, most transport was by horse, there were hardly any cars. There was the central place in town were you could have a bath one a week with the others in your neighbourhood.
No electricity, no taps with running water. Woodstoves and coal heaters. In the freezing cold winters they kept you warm, if you had the money to buy coal. The telephone wasn’t available.
Emma grew up in poverty.

Emma died in June 29th 2017, nearly 99 years later. She took her first selfie with her great-grandson Emiel in 2015. She looked for new shoes on the tablet of my mum, her daughter in law. Emma, she went along with all the times. She saw the world change, she saw the history repeating itself.

Who am I? I’m Nienke. I became her granddaughter 50 years ago. It changed her life.
In the last 8 years of Emma’s life I’ve  spend hours and hours just being with her. We shared what happened in my life and she share what happened in her life. From the moment she could remember until the day she died.

In 2012 I stared to work internationally. She loved it. I shared her insights and stories with my network and my clients. Emma created a fan base worldwide.
Emma moved mountains, from the background. I became her vehicle.
My dear gran, tears are running down while I write this. I feel privileged to write this book, a tribute to you, an inspiration to many to have courage, stamina, compassion and a loving heart.

To you,  reader of this book I will say:  I want you to read this book without judgment about any person. Emma would not want that. All situations are there with compassion.  Life hasn’t been easy, for her, nor for me. All persons in this book did the best they could, please keep that in mind.

Take the lessons from Emma with you, to your own world, in your own heart. A world with strength and compassion, dear gran, I’m honored to be the vehicle of your legacy.