Ruud Van Middelaar

Inspirational Optimist
Ruud's LightCatcher
A symbolic portrait of light for Ruud | Inspirational Optimist

Curiosity is always a direction-giver, what takes your attention. And then it’s optimism that keeps you moving on.

Ruud's Portrait of Essence

Optimism is the primary attitude that Ruud activates in challenging situations. By holding an intention and practising optimism, a way forward always presents itself, says Ruud.

This attitude of optimism is directly connected to his curiosity about how things work, which has been present in Ruud’s life for as long as he can remember. It was through the direct experience of following his curiosity that Ruud discovered the workings of electricity as a young boy.

When I encounter something for the first time, I am always interested in how it works. How can I find out more about it? How can I serve the meaning of it? And this is on all levels, from the mechanical up to light.

Apart from his interest in how things work, Ruud has always felt inspired to share what he has learnt. This impulse to inspire others to be and do better has been applied in every aspect of Ruud’s working life. It led him to found the democratic school, De Ruimte, in Soest in 2003.

For Ruud, learning means changing, which he views as an essential part of life. Change is a paradox which is as much about discovering what has always been present in yourself as it is about actively evolving, developing and improving. “It’s essential that we change as we become who we are and as we create ourselves.”

It is my belief that each individual needs to actively find out what they are here to do: to run the program that they are, as well as to add things so as to evolve the creation. 

Ruud enjoys meeting new people and prefers to engage them with direct eye-contact and a true desire for exchange.

Every breath we take is an exchange. Meeting someone it is like taking a breath; it enriches both of us, all of us.

Companion to Ruud’s activating force of optimism is value, “which is something that you always have”. In valuing those around him, the natural environment, and his own capabilities, Ruud feels he is returning an investment.

In moments when you don’t feel good you can remember yourself by asking: what do I value? A simple practise is to sum up in yourself what you value. Then you collect the essence of value which lifts you up from darkness into the light.

Follow Ruud's light

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De Ruimte