I’ve grown up, lived and traveled all over the world. Hands down, that is the biggest gift I could have ever wished for myself. That, and the fact that the childlike hunger to discover the world and explore the meaning of life, eyes and heart wide open, has never left me.
Born in Germany, I moved to Belgium when I was 5. Eventually we moved to France, where I finished school and then I moved the London for university. At university, that deep rooted sense of curiosity about the world and an inquiring mind lead me to study Philosophy. Which I followed up later on with studies in Sociology to broaden my understanding and application of theory by putting it into a real-world context.
A bunch of degrees in my pocket I started work at a marketing agency, where I soon discovered I had far too much energy to sit behind a desk and type away at a computer all day. At this point I'm 25. That fateful year, feeling that I was lacking excitement, I signed myself up to run a marathon, eventually progressing to a mountain marathon and then an ultra marathon, a.k.a. 3 marathons back-to-back! I'm happy to brag, I completed them all. And somewhere along that same year I also found myself in a meditation class entwined with real snakes as part of a special fear-shedding practice. Needles to say, I was invigorated by all this excitment, and I knew then I was committed to living a life of adventure and to carving out my path on my own terms to make this possible, whatever it takes.
So I left my work. I did a lot of reading and traveling for the next few months. Most notably a road trip through California, during which I read two books, The Power of Now and The Art of Non-Conformity, that exponentially accelerated my thinking about the meaning of life, and what I wanted to get out of mine. That and my deepening connection to my own spirituality through the practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. And so, with a totally new perspective on the meaning of life, I was ready to embark on a new kind of adventure, although one in which I was not quite sure yet how to integrate all my newly found aspirations with the reality that was waiting for me back at home in the big city.
I had come too far to embark on something that didn't feel like I was being true to myself by this point. As I looked back through my photos of my travels to reaffirm my commitment, I thought to myself 'these photos are actually pretty good!' I'd always had a creative vein, but hadn't really considered the life of an artist as an option available to me. With nothing to lose, I put together a website of my travel photos and sent it around to a long list of London photographers, quasi-begging them to let me come and work as an assistant. And, lucky for me, it worked!
The experience I have gained through working as a creative and a freelancer since has been, and continues to, pave the road for my own journey of personal development, with all the highs and lows in tow.
And this leads me to the present, and to coaching.
One morning - this was during the year I lived on a boat on the canal, which I considered a personal experiment in minimalism - when I reflected back on the choices I had made so far in life - needing to feel a little better about myself by pointing out, or at least trying to, some of my successes - it became obvious to me that I wasn't able to measure my successes against the conventional definitions and benchmarks I had grown up, or even worse for my soul, by comparing myself to others. As I pondered for a good long while, I discovered, finally, that to me, my biggest success to date has been remaining true to myself when I could have taken the straighforward path, and this was the result of my consistent stream of consciousness, persistent interrogation and ruthless evaluation of every action and decision in every phase of my life.
Having found my strength, and my personal definition and vision of success, I now wish to share it with those who think it can inspire them to live a full, wholehearted and adventurous life too! I invite you to join me.
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