Building Resilient Communities

During these 15 months in India at this interesting time on the planet, the topic of resilient community has become a real lived experience. Most foreigners who stayed behind, as repatriation flights left for their own countries, remained here because the possibilities of growth on a personal and spiritual level in India were enticing. Most of my time here so far has been sent in Rishikesh, also known as the yoga capital of the world.

During this year and a bit, I presented workshops for Women, workshops about Presence and Embodiment, Relationship Trainings, Intuition, and Trauma. Out of the many workshops that I ran in both Rishikesh and Goa, the work around trauma was the most profound.

In the Trauma Trainings, participants were given an opportunity to experience what their own systems feel like in regulation and learnt skills to regulate the nervous systems of others.

As more of this traveling tribe started doing the work, they became available to support one another and the community. A sweetness and genuine care unfolded.

I feel beyond blessed to be a part of this process with these brilliant beings.

Let’s create a world of care and community.

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Flexibility and Fabulousnesssss

Lockdown in RishikeshIMG_0442

Here we are.

In the last few months many of us had to face changes, some of them highly challenging. Existence has called on us to review our life choices and to stop and notice where we are in our lives, in our relationships and in our willingness to change.

Covid brought such a great opportunity to STOP. Our society has been consuming the world, consuming the resources of this lovely planet, consuming our inner reserves for decades, if not centuries. So much greedy grabbing in the pursuit of creating safety and stability, wealth and the plastic joy of owning the newest. We’ve eaten the world we created, and now it’s time to rest and digest.

This time has found me in Rishikesh. And one by one, in the midst of a global shut down and travel bans, my clients called to cancel my work for the year. No groups of people to train and develop, no trips to five star conference centers, and travel restrictions that limited our planning.

In the early days of lockdown, a client mailed and asked for a meeting to discuss online work. This seemed to me to be a great opportunity. I watched my ego brag about good internet here and my own zoom platform. We set up a time to meet online. Exciting! I wore my corporate clothes, did a full face of make-up and neatly tied my hair. I chose a setting with a blank background and positioned the myself and the webcam for the best visual effect.

There’s an old saying that “if you want God to laugh, tell him your plans”, and as it went. this meeting was a true comedy of errors. I couldn’t get my sound to work. And then as that resolved, the internet cut out. In a one hour meeting, the internet failed 5 times! My confidence became a bit apologetic and as I tried to convince the client that this was Very Unusual, they got “that” look. You know, the look that says: “we don’t really trust your promises – you’ve oversold your capability.”

I closed my laptop at the end of the meeting feeling exasperated. “Ok, God, you’ve closed this door. I am open and trust another opportunity will arrive. God or Existence or Life Force (whatever terminology you prefer) is a wonderful business partner!

Very soon things started moving and changing. A lovely young friend here spoke about wanting to run women’s circles and within a week we put together the first of a series of workshops. In two months more than 10 workshops and events happened. It feels easy, flowing and such a great joy to share in this space. A few people have asked me to do one on one sessions, and I love sharing in that way.

The most recent workshops have been focussed on trauma healing skills. After the first level one, so many more people wanted to learn the skill set and a repeat came a week after. On Sunday there will be a level 2 Trauma Training. I feel deeply blessed here!

This morning I remembered, over a cup of Masala Chai with a friend, the saying that: “in the eternal battle between water and stone, water wins”. Thanking my business partner for this gift of flexibility!

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Are you willing to listen? Really?

I loved this link … give it a click or enjoy the  flow chart posted below 🙂




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Making a difference

One of my creates moments this year was training a group of educators in Emotional Intelligence.

Do you feel like you want to make a difference? take a look at what you think needs to happen in the world around you and ask yourself – what can I do?

Some of the principals of schools who attended this course are trying to prepare 1200 students for their final exams with a mere 19 teachers (and some of those teachers don’t even bother to arrive for work). The fact that they facilitate a pass rate for maths and science of over 85% is miraculous. (not to mention the fact that the students have no desks and that one text book is shared between 20 learners)

Governments are not providing solutions. it’s time we step

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Emotional Intelligence

Today 36 beautiful diverse South African beings were part of my Emotional Intelligence workshop in Johannesburg. I was touched by their stories, their challenges, their insights and understandings.

This video clip is for them.

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Look up!

Sometimes we become bogged down by the trivialities in our daily life.

Take a moment to physically feel what happens in your body when you are “bogged down”. Feel the weight of your shoulders, the closed posture, the sunken jaw… It has been shown that this type of posture can affect your physical body by decreasing the release of endorphins and testosterone and increasing the release of cortisol – the stress hormone. (check out Amy Cuddy’s brilliant talk on

Likewise it has been shown that open, positive body language has a direct impact on the chemical system of your body. Not only do we feel better, but others have more positive perceptions of us. We appear to be more approachable, more confident and more engaging.

So, this is a reminder to look up!  Take some time today to go outside, throw your head back and look at what the sky has to offer you. Open that chest to all the possibilities around you.

My son, a budding entrepreneur and brilliant filmmaker created this time lapse of the African sky. Put on your headphones and watch in full screen and enjoy!



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Lovely ideas

Mondays are a great time to make positive changes!

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What to ask in a job interview

The part of the job interview where the prospective employer gives you an opportunity to ask questions is one of the most significant opportunities for you to differentiate yourself.

Here are some hints:

  • Don’t ask anything you could have found on their website or with the use of your friend Google. That will come across as sloppy preparation. Know as much as possible about what the company does.
  • Don’t use the interview as an opportunity to negotiate the job function, salary or possibilities of promotion.
  • DO ask questions that reveal your knowledge of their company. For example: “ When researching, I noticed that your company has gone through significant growth over the last year. Do you expect that growth to continue?”
  • This is the time for you to check if the job is a good fit for you. If you prefer to work on your own and the position requires you to be part of a team, you may have trouble fitting in. Ask questions that will help clarify your non-negotiable expectations.
  • Use strong questions and beware of coming across as desperate or needy. If you find that you are very nervous in interviews, it can be useful to practice these questions with a friend before the day.

Examples of questions you could ask:

  •  What would a typical work day look like?
  • What are the most important skills and qualities required for this role?
  • Who would I be reporting to?
  • Can you tell me a bit about the company’s culture and management style?
  • Does this position offer an opportunity for growth and/ or advancement? What is the typical career path for someone in this position?
  • Can you give me an example of the tasks or projects I will be working on?
  • Is this a new position? If not, what did the previous employee go on to do?
  • If you don’t have references in your CV, you might ask whether they would like a list of references.
  • Does the organization offer development and educational opportunities such as training?
  • If you offer me the position, when would l need to start?
  • Does the position involve overtime, relocation, or travel?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?

A few well considered questions will make a great impression.

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How much should you earn?

How much should you earn?

I’m giving my blogging series on corporate animals a rest. I promise there will be more on the animals, but I read this and found it very interesting. Having been a business owner, employer and employee at different times of my life, I find the diferent perspectives on this debate interesting.

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The corporate animal – 4 – The Elephant

This post is dedicated  to Ajabu, an orphan elephant who died recently

This post is dedicated to little Ajabu, an orphan elephant who died recently.

I became an foster mommy to a new born baby elephant that was found alone in the African bush in April this year. It was with sadness that I heard last week that little Ajabu had died. I dedicate this post on corporate animals to elephants.

Ellies inspire respect. Elephants are the largest land animals. We cant help but be impressed by their size. The beauty is that they don’t needlessly use their size in order to dominate. Corporate elephants don’t need to be bullies to get their way. They influence by their charisma.

In the wild elephants are very social and have very distinct relationships. Being part of a group and  being clear about their place is absolutely essential to them. Your ellie at work will care about the interpersonal relationships in the team and most likely be one of your most loyal employees.

Ellies in the wild or captivity often work together to achieve goals they are not able to accomplish on their own.  At work,  elephants are great team players.

So, how to manage the elephants in your office?

elephant herd on the bank of the crocodile river - july 2013

elephant herd on the banks of the crocodile river – july 2013

  • Try not to be frustrated by their slow and deliberate pace. Tasks do get completed – it just takes the ellie a bit longer, because they need to spend some of their time on social interaction in order to be completely happy.
  • Forget about using force or punishment to change the behaviour of your corporate ellie. Elephants respond very well to rewards and positive reinforcement. (And they can be very scary when they are angry!)
  • You may find it frustrating that your ellie spends so much time socializing. Remember that relationships are important to them and use the corporate elephants as part of functional teams.
  • Corporate elephants are keen observers. They gather and remember all kinds of useful information. If you want to find out about the underlying issues in a team, ask the ellie! Elephants never forget.
  • Set very clear roles and goals for ellie employees. They function best when they know where they fit and what is expected of them.
  • In English we use the metaphor “an elephant in the room” to indicate an obvious matter that is being ignored. Remember not to ignore the elephant in the office!

young elephant bull in the kruger national park

My previous few posts have been about some other corporate animals. You can view them here:

  •  The croc:
  •  The kingfisher:
  •  The owls:

As always I welcome hearing from you!

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