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  • Tamara Catharina

Theory of change (what makes me come alive)

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” (Howard Thurman). That is the quote that I use under every email I write. It resonates with me deeply. When I follow the flow of life inside of me, I come alive. And when I am alive, I am full. I am energized. I am resourced. And whatever comes out of me will contribute to the world of my vision. To what the world needs.

My vision is not a story that I made up. It’s a world that already exists inside of me. A paradigm that was already alive in my inner universe from when I was a child and possibly when I was born. Now, because I am giving it attention because I am focusing on it, it comes to the surface. It shows itself to me. Giving it words is not more than the framing of that vision, which I do to communicate it to others and as a reminder for myself. My vision might never change but reveals itself more clear moment by moment. The framing in words becomes more precise through experience and reflection.

A significant source for me to contribute to the world of my vision is my life experience. Through my intention to live authentically, I experience life in an intense and challenging way that gives me insights, understanding and joy every day. I digest and process my experiences into energy to live my purpose. In the past three years, I have had more life events happening than I was able to digest in the time and energy that I had available. At times I thought I had sufficient energy. I now realize it was “recycled energy”. I want to prioritize digesting and processing life experiences as an act of radical self-care.

Another abundant place to source from is my creativity. I found that writing, filming, photography, and other creative forms help me digest experiences and clear the water. Creativity is a big part of my self-care. Through this energy source, I am not only taking care of myself but also contributing to my vision. A way to maintain my creativity is to take care of my body and my sexual energy through ecstatic dance, being in the forest, ayurvedic massage, swimming in the lake, running, yogic and tantric practices and making love.

The last thing that is a source of energy is supporting people. Teaching, coaching and community work helps me deepen my understanding of life by engaging and authentically relating with others. This, to me, is a source of energy and wisdom. Through teaching and supporting others, I continuously process my experiences and turn them into meaningful expressions that contribute to vision.

I navigate towards vision connected to three different channels:

  • Flow as surfing on a wave of ease and effortlessness

  • Intuition as listening to my inner compass

  • Thinking as an amplifier of my insights and understanding of life

I trust that when I am connected to those channels, I will automatically be guided towards my vision.

I see everything above as a completely integrated whole where my sources of energy can be serving my purpose at the same time. As a result of this insight, I want to make writing and teaching my priority in my “working” life. Even when it doesn’t bring me financial resources, I want to trust that life is abundant and that the energy in some form will flow.

Translating all of this, I come to write my theory of change as follows:

I source from life experiences, creativity and supporting people, and I navigate on flow, intuition and thinking to make the next step towards vision.

I understand now that as well as there is a natural cycle of life that I am part of, also, there is a natural cycle of life happening inside of me. And I am a processor of life flowing in and out of me. Expressing myself creatively and supporting others is my source of energy and self-care, as well as it is my contribution to the world. Life comes in, moves inside of me, and the product of that is my gift to the world. The circle is now complete.

I would love this to be a space for engagement, exploration and connection. Please practice nonviolence in your comments. If you have a request (for example, because you would like support or collaboration), you can send me an email:


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