Authenticity, Trust and Following Your Heart

Last week I stood in front of around 150 students and spoke about authenticity. Today I stood in front of about the same number of managers in a large company, speaking about trust. Both times I felt completely connected with the subject and with my audience and had this very deep feeling that what I was saying to them was truly meaningful for me too. Now, thinking of the learnings from these two events I just realised how much my life has changed over the past two years because of these two simple words: authenticity and trust. Just over two years ago I was a corporate employee with many reasons for gratitude. The money was good, the job was nice – I was doing what I like best – creating and delivering workshops – and I was surrounded by a team of like-minded people, some of which I was and still am happy to call friends. Still I was miserable. I was dreading every single morning when that horrendous alarm clock would ring and make me reluctantly get out of bed for the dawn of a new day “at the office”. If asked, I could describe what I was so unhappy about: I disliked the rules and fixed schedules, the somber offices, the deadlines and procedures, the power-point templates that forbade me to put funny pictures in my slides. I hated the very idea of a dress code and, more than once, I received a warning from HR for shamelessly breaking it and wearing blue jeans at work. I definitely dreaded having to be there on time in the morning and leaving at a fixed time in the evening. I was saddened by the serious people all around me, seldom smiling, never seeming to have fun doing their jobs. I had a hard time sitting in meetings, doing “official” presentations and I could never really find my words when I had to speak “corporate”. But well beneath all these complaints that I had, there was...

read more

I Love You!

This is a love letter and a declaration of gratitude. It is a letter to myself, to my parents, sister, to the loved ones who left for the heavens, to the men who have touched my life, to all the friends I am blessed to have had, to all the people I have ever coached or trained, to all the teachers who have poured the water of wisdom over the seeds of my mind and soul, making them grow. It is a letter to all the people who have hurt me, lied to me, infuriated me or challenged me in any way. It is a letter to all those who have crossed my path and given me the gift of a smile or a kind word, to the children I have taught and who have taught even more in return and to all the people who have given me a hand when I most needed it. I love you! I have come to believe there are two emotions that drive our lives – love and fear. There are still so many things I fear, still so many lessons to learn and mistakes to make. Yet there are still even more things and people to love. Today I make a vow no to forget that love is always the best antidote for fear. I want to tell you all how grateful I am for your existence! I thank you for all the love you are giving me, for all the opportunities to learn, for all the challenges you are placing in front of me, which make me discover more of myself and grow to be a better human being, wiser, kinder, more patient, more confident, more forgiving, more in tune with my own femininity, more in touch with my own heart. I thank all the people who have ever hurt me for teaching me about forgiveness! I thank all the people who have ever loved me for teaching me about feeling! I thank all the people who...

read more

Facing Unhappiness

Why do people get resigned to being unhappy? Why do so many vehemently deny their own unhappiness and stubbornly convince themselves that everything is ok? Or worse, why do beautiful, resourceful people get stuck in the role of the victim and keep on saying that they have just been unlucky in life or that they are now paying for their old mistakes and nothing can be done about it? I have lived in the first category – of those unaware of their own unhappiness – for a long time. I have met and worked with countless in the second category – aware and resigned to being unhappy. The “WHY” in all this still intrigues me. Over the years, my own and others’ experience has brought some interesting answers, which I’m now sharing with you, inviting you to reflect on them. 1. The known unhappiness is much better than the unknown – whatever that “unknown” may be “I have many problems in my relationship, but at least I know my partner, with all the good and the bad. Who knows what other misfortunes I might run into if I leave?“ – this is the staple statement of those who choose to keep their current status-quo, although it makes them miserable, out of fear of the unknown. Not knowing what the future may bring might be scarier than suffering in the present moment. Actually, some hugely interesting experiments where volunteers agreed to receive mild to severe electric shocks, show that people prefer feeling severe pain now than expecting milder pain at some random moment in the future. The idea that pain, even mild one, might come unexpectedly, was simply scarier than the certainty of pain in the present moment. This explains why so many people are scared to leave their dead-end jobs or relationships. It doesn’t make these people right though. If you knew for certain that your brain is trying to trick you by painting the future in scary terms just to prevent you from...

read more