Workshop: Building together, and the work is what matters

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I gave a workshop on World’s Laughter Day on embodying your values. It was my first time being a workshop leader for the Museum of Happiness. Someone asked me how it felt to “give” this way and I said that it was not about giving, it was about building together. For me the experience was no difference from that of being a participant – giving or receiving, we were all there to connect to kindred spirits. We were there to be part of a community of shared values. Few things in life beat meeting people that get you and staying in touch with those that support you no matter what.

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I was also asked why I got involved with the Museum of Happiness. The answer did not come to me instantly, because there was nothing in the form of a result for myself that I was after. It was about joining force with others who shared my values to take action on what we were passionate about, in this case, compassion, community, creativity and mindfulness/consciousness.

I remember a time in the past when I thought that because I personally could not do anything about the big issues that really mattered in the world, there was no point trying at all. I now feel strongly that the value of work and life is in the expression of one’s purpose and beliefs, regardless of the scale of impact created.  I care about spreading kindness and joy so I do my part, whether that affects one life or a million. The work is the same. The work itself is what matters to me.

Talk: Sharing my failure with pride

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As I have become clearer about the people I want to work with, I feel more compelled to live the personal values that I want to share with my ideal clients – integrity, courage and compassion.

It was in that spirit that I signed up to speak at a Fuck-up Night event, sharing a painful business failure that was still raw. Having seen entrepreneurs talking about past mistakes without going into their personal pain, I felt that for me, a true connection with someone’s story could only come from feeling their emotions. My story was therefore told from a place of realness and vulnerability.

In the video below, I share my thoughts after the experience.

Training: The power of the body

Quite early on in my coaching training programme, I realised that it was my intellectual mind that kept me locked in a world of troubles. Coaching conversations mostly failed to “evoke transformation” in me, unless I was taken out of my head into my body. The mind that took me where I was could not take me further on the new journey that I had embarked on.

So I started looking into techniques and practices that helped me get to know my own body and its wisdom better. My daily life was enhanced by a heightened awareness of my body at all times and in times of emotional crises, it was always the body that saved me. When I let the body worked through my internal messes, my state was transformed without any rational explanation at all.

I went into 2016 with a resolution to go deeper in my work with the body and I have started on two completely different schools of training. I am getting bolder in taking my clients through coaching sessions that are almost entirely body-based and few things make me more excited than seeing how these work for them.

I have now developed a coaching programme that makes every entrepreneur an effective salesperson in their own way, with their body – no fancy techniques, just authenticity!

Writing: My e-book on everyday happiness

When someone gave me the idea of creating an e-book, I instantly knew what I would write about. I started working on the same day and finished the first draft in four afternoons – the writing took on a spirit of its own. It was never about creating a perfect product for sale. This work was about living a purpose.

Happiness is a saturated topic but it is never exhausted. In writing this book, I did not hope to impart wisdom that was not already out there. I simply wanted to share a personal story that in its full honesty, would be helpful to others. I spent years feeling that my directness was a shortcoming. With this book, I am owning that trait. I am also owning the vulnerability that defines authenticity. To acknowledge how my corporate experience did not have to be as miserable as it was, is to face my past denial and insecurity. This work is about the coach that I am and the writer that I am becoming.

If you are curious about the seven habits that bring me everyday happiness, you can purchase the book here. This is probably the shortest book you have ever come across so rest assured that you will have time for it :).

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Writing: Finding love without finding a partner

Last week Tiny Buddha published my article on finding love, which I had written two months before. I realised, upon reading my own words, that when it came to love, I was no longer the same person who had written the article. Finding self-compassion had profoundly changed my inner world.

From the comments I received, it changed others’ too.

In writing this piece, I learnt that to get published, an article needed a resolution. Although I provided the required ending to the magazine’s editor, I do not want my story to be seen as resolved. All I did in finding self-love was to open a new path for growth.

The journey continues.

You can ready my story on finding love here.

Talk & workshop: Own your authentic strengths

Having started my working life without a clear sense of self, I am passionate about inspiring young people to step into their authenticity, own their worth and make life decisions from a position of strength.

Earlier this month, I gave a talk on finding and owning authentic strengths to students at a career support event organised by the Vietnamese Professionals in the UK network. Today, I offered a follow-on workshop to a selected sub-group.

This was primarily a space for participants to reflect on their life experience with appreciation. They learnt to take pride in things that were personally important to them, not just externally validated achievements. They were taught to build a vision from a place of strength rather than to draw a plan for next-steps and must-dos. They learnt from each other and bonded from their shared stories of personal strengths.

Consistent across the feedback forms was an expression of new-found confidence in being proudly true to themselves. I was moved by their enthusiasm for individual expression and authenticity, something I had not seen much in my time at university, particularly amongst the Vietnamese. I was worried that they would be too shy to open up and they all wanted more opportunities to share and listen to others’ stories!

It is heart-warming to be a small part of these motivated young people’s  journey to discover and love what makes them stand out as individuals.

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TLC – The Listening Club

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I believe that everyone’s experience of relationships can instantly improve with one simple act that does actually does not require acting at all.

That is deep listening.

Deep listening is an act of kindness and a gift of generosity.

Being listened to with attention and compassion is a wonderful experience that can relieve some of the deepest emotional struggles.

I have therefore embarked on a journey to build a community of conscious listeners and spread kindness in the process. This mission started with my “Listening for connection” workshop, which helps people practise true listening with presence, attention and intention while also providing them with a safe environment to be deeply listened to. I hope to further develop the programme with regular sessions that explore the teaching of different listening teachers. If you are interested in this work, please get in touch!