Let me share with you how I came to be doing what I do and why it’s so very important to me to help leaders, emerging leaders and high level decision-makers who have everything but feel miserable and lost to find their uniqueness and life purpose so that they can be thought leaders and live life on their terms.
My journey began with a question.
It was triggered by a self-development book I picked up just before boarding a plane at Sydney airport in the late 90’s—something to read on the way home. It was by Barbara de Angelis—she wrote about inner relationships and loving yourself.
Now being an analytical person and in my head a lot, so to speak, I asked myself: “What is this loving yourself? What’s it like to love myself?” It really seemed like an alien concept. When I got home, I asked my partner of 9 years if he loved himself.
“Yes,” he said.
“You do?” I said.
I wanted to discover what loving myself felt like, because I had no clue.
In the work I do with clients, I talk about “connecting with your untamed uniqueness.” That can have different meanings for different people, but at this moment, I want you to think about your favourite wild cat. Lioness, jaguar, cheetah, tigress, your choice. Imagine her walking along in her native environment. See how she moves. Observe how completely “cat” she is. There is no question of her trying to be a bull, or a bear, or a monkey. She is completely at home in her body, totally owns her power, releases her roar and she’s just plain gorgeous! That’s an excellent description of untamed uniqueness.
The first time I truly connected with my raw, uncut and untamed essence, I was on a week-long yoga holiday in Turkey. My relationship was shaky and I was experiencing corporate job trauma.
In my tree house in Turkey, while feeling pursued by the hounds of hell, I experienced a defining moment that changed the entire course of my life.
But let me tell you about my state during those 7 days and all that led up to it.
At the time, I was working for Oracle, a leading edge I.T. company, as a senior sales consultant—complete with company car, quota club and other great benefits—like the flexibility to take 8 weeks of paid holiday. In spite of these luxuries, there was really nothing feline about me or my life. I was fitting-in, had lost my identity and sense of uniqueness and was feeling stuck.
I felt deep inner conflict at work and was seriously stressed out and worn-out. I was torn between feeling that I should move up the corporate ladder and knowing that this wasn’t MY dream.
Every day, it felt like I was dying a little more inside.
I was feeling really miserable in my 9-year relationship, too. I felt caged in and my spirit felt stifled. I was being squeezed on all sides. The seemingly solid foundations of my life were crumbling fast.
So here I was, at a yoga retreat in Turkey.
I really needed to relax, to stop my mind from its incessant thinking. For the entire 7 days, I had the most relentless throbbing headache. Nothing would relieve it…
The final night, I went to bed in my tree house and could not sleep. My whole body was tense. My head throbbed. I felt desperate and despairing. I remember in the small hours saying to myself…”I’ve had enough. I’ve going to let go now,” and then I drifted off to sleep.
Next morning, I woke up and everything seemed different. Something had shifted. The headache had gone and I felt a deep peace and silence inside and around me—as well as an indescribable love for myself.
My untamed ‘feline’ essence had made her stunning appearance.
I felt completely at home in my body, whole, deeply peaceful and brimming with inner joy. I suddenly knew that I was love and that loving myself and others was one and the same thing. I was experiencing the world anew—colours were brighter, sounds sharper and I felt an all-embracing, inner and outer silence. Nothing was dull, merely utilitarian and boringly functional. Life, people and objects felt exotic, colourful, vibrant and joyful. My chattering, thinking mind had stopped. It was pure bliss.
This defining moment changed the entire course of my life.
My personal development journey began: yoga teacher training in Rajasthan, India, Vipassana meditation camps in Turkey and India, trekking to the source of the Ganges river. These all allowed me to connect more and more with my untamed essence and to connect with the feeling of unconditional love and sense of personal freedom sourced from within. What I now call the “embodied feline feeling.”
I began teaching yoga and meditation. I qualified as a life coach. I discovered Symbolic ModellingTM – a way of ‘cleanly’ facilitating individuals to explore their own inner world (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual states or ‘metaphor landscapes’ ), unearth patterns that keep them stuck and unhappy and find their own creative solutions, in their own unique way, for attaining change and deep healing.
I got certified as a Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling facilitator. I trained in another exciting and innovative approach called Systemic ModellingTM to facilitate individuals within groups to move from assumptions to curiosity and collaboration. I qualified as a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner and Institute of Leadership and Management Level 5 coach. I was doing work that I love.
However, I still felt a lack of clarity around my purpose in life.
And then one day in 2011, while at a marketing conference for women, in San Antonio, Texas, USA, I attended a presentation on life purpose. The presenter used a life purpose and personality profiling system called Scientific Hand Analysis to identify what we’re here on this planet to do. I was intrigued but very sceptical because I was envisioning palm reading and fortune telling. The presentation was nothing like that, though, and I decided to find out more by having my hands analyzed.
When I had my scientific hand analysis consultation via webinar, I was blown-away by how accurate it was. One of the markings in my hands showed that I was meant to help people with issues to do with core identity, meaning and life purpose. This was the kind of coaching and mentoring I was already doing.
My life purpose is astute practical leadership . This felt right as I had been leading workshops, retreats and running my own business for 8 years. Now, I believed it! The life purpose information decoded from your hands is archetypal. You have the free will and choice to decide how your purpose will unfold and in what domain or context. Life purpose is more about who you are being than what you are doing.
I’d love for you, too, to have your leadership fuelled by your purpose, to align with your uniqueness and be the lion/lioness you are meant to be.
If you are stuck between worlds or have fallen into the crevices and you are ready to dare to live your uniqueness, to communicate and collaborate from your untamed essence …