It’s the 9th March 2018. I am sitting on the first morning of the very first day of my coach training. I’d been toying with the idea of doing a training like this one for years. I am excited, ready to get going. One of the first things they ask us to do is write one of our self-doubts on a white Styrofoam board. I hesitate a moment. Are they serious?! This is a room full of people I don’t know. For a moment, I consider writing something fake. Then I catch myself and plug up the courage to write the truth: “I am not likeable”. It feels very uncomfortable, I sense my stomach churning.
I had a privileged upbringing in Brussels, Belgium, in a very international environment. My dad worked for the European Commission and, the youngest of three, I was given all the opportunities one could wish for.
In many ways my childhood was picture perfect. That is, until December 1997: I’ve just sat an exam at school. My older brother, who is back from university, picks me up. I happily chat about how the exam went. He is uncharacteristically quiet. We get home. My mother is waiting in the corridor. She looks at me and says “I have cancer”. She embraces me and tells me I don’t have to be strong for her. I can cry. But I don’t cry. Not then. Not later when she needs my help going to the bathroom, not when she is bedridden, talking gibberish on morphine. I also don’t cry as I walk up to the altar to do a reading at the funeral, which my brother tried to convince my dad not to let me do as he didn’t think I’d cope. But, looking into the congregation filled with familiar faces, friends, family, my entire class from school, I do the reading perfectly. Towards the end, my voice starts to shake. As I sit down in the first row, next to my dad and siblings, I finally sob uncontrollably.
Not for long though. Some school friends say I’ll go off the rails. From the A star good girl to drugs and drinks. I don’t. I just get on with life. Several friends of the family offer that I can spend afternoons at theirs rather than home alone. I don’t take them up on the offer. I just function. And, actually, I feel fine. If anything, I focus on the feeling of relief that the house is no longer filled with dread and mum no longer suffering or calling for help and I live what feels like a normal teenage life.
I make the grades to get into Cambridge University. There, I struggle to fit in. Culturally, intellectually. Or so it feels. I immerse myself in various activities, sports, societies, and thus a pattern is born:
stay on the straight and narrow, follow the path that is deemed successful and just keep busy, busy, busy.
I start to understand that we are all a continual work in progress
Step-by-step I realise it is my mission in this lifetime to be a guide for others, to help them shed their conditioning so they can find, and step into, their truth, their path, their passion.
To help them shine true so one by one we can light up the world, being who we are, doing what we love.
Life is good. The pattern serves me well, the busyness keeps any uncomfortable feelings at bay and I would describe myself as happy and successful. Yet, here and there the cracks start to show. On my first audit engagement with KPMG I am repeatedly in tears in the ladies because I’m feeling the pressure. Same when I change over to banking. Any perceived signed of me not doing things perfectly, or worse, straight out criticism, activates all the unprocessed emotions I keep buried deep inside. Of course, at the time, I have no idea that’s what’s happening. I'm struggling to understand myself and my emotional reactions. I don’t spend much time trying to either though. I just keep going. And life continues to be good. Sure, thoughts like "there must be more to life" start to surface and uneasy feelings come up here and there, yet I keep a lid on it all and anchor to the happy, successful life I've built for myself.
Then, my first born, George, comes along. I am head over heals in love. The first weeks are overwhelming but during much of the 11 months maternity leave I feel grateful and blessed. Things start to unravel a month or so back into my job. To start with I enjoy the freedom to drink a coffee while it’s still hot and being in an adult-only environment. Soon though, it becomes clear that it is next to impossible to live up to my own standards both in the job and at home. Again, I’m not able to see it in those terms at that time. At first, I look for blame outside of myself. Quickly, I do learn to turn inwards but I understand myself so little, it’s impossible to see the wood for all the trees.
I struggle on, accompanied by many tears, until I have my second child, Henry. This is when my journey into self-discovery really starts. I read book upon book to understand myself better, to uncover the icebergs that are causing my emotions, to understand who I am and what I want. I leave banking and do a three-year stint at a boutique consultancy where I learn a lot about how to run a small business.
In August 2017, I have a distinct feeling, a knowing, that it is time to move on. Never before have I acted on just a gut feeling. So, I soldier on, trying to find rational reasons why leaving my job is the right thing to do. Emotional and tumultuous months follow. When I finally quit, my body goes into melt down, forcing me into the recovery time that I haven’t given myself in years. Once I get my head above water, it is crystal clear to me that a coaching certification is the right next step.
And so, in March 2018, I find myself in the classroom writing “I’m not likeable” on that Styrofoam white board.
With it, the rollercoaster ride to truly get to know myself, who I am and what my path in this lifetime is, starts in earnest.
At first, I have a vision of a business I want to build, one that will look successful to the outside, including - or especially - my former banking colleagues.
As I go on, I finally release all the unprocessed grief and gradually I shed layer upon layer of the standards I had taken on, the “shoulds” and “have tos”, the need to be perfect, and with it more and more of the fear of not being liked, of being rejected or abandoned.
It’s a lifelong process really and I start to understand that we are all a continual work in progress. Yet, as I go deeper and deeper, I discover more and more of who I really am, what lights me up and the extent of my intuitive gifts.
Step-by-step I realise it is my mission in this lifetime to be a guide for others, to help them shed their conditioning so they can find, and step into, their truth, their path, their passion. To help them shine true so one by one we can light up the world, being who we are, doing what we love.
Drawing on over 15 years of experience across audit, banking, consulting and coaching, I combine an astute business mind with my innate intuitive abilities.
I started out with a science-focus gaining a Masters in Natural Sciences (Pharmacology) from Cambridge University but soon turned my attention to business with a Masters in Management at the University of Bath.
My professional career began as a Certified Chartered Accountant, for which I trained in Financial Services Audit with KPMG in London, UK.
The prospect of working pan-European, and being able to make use of my trilingual English, German and French skills, soon lured me into banking as Senior Credit Analyst with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), London.
While being intellectually stimulating, the role left me craving more social interactions. Therefore, when the opportunity arose I moved to Zurich, still with RBS, to take on a Relationship Manager for large and mid-range Corporates. I soon progressed to become a Senior Relationship Manager to some of the biggest companies headquartered in Switzerland (including Nestlé, ABB, Holcim (now Lafarge Holcim)).
Despite enjoying the fast-moving environment, I decided that banking isn't my life’s calling and moved to jallé, a boutique consultancy, as a Director for three years before setting up my own coaching and consulting business.
In addition to my work through ShineTrue, I also serve as an Executive Coach for IMD Business School. In this role I help senior leaders from different industries all around the world become more effective in their leadership.
I am a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-M) with the Institute for Professional Excellent in Coaching (iPEC). In addition, I am certified in iPEC's COR.E Dynamics for Leadership and Performance.
I am also a Level 2 Reiki Healer in traditional Japanese Reiki, have completed the BraveThinking Masters Plus program, as well as many energy healing trainings, including Silva Mind Control, the Anastasi System, Donna Eden's energy medicine, Jeffrey Allen's as well as Jennifer McLean's energy healing work.
VALUES, BELIEFS & COMMITMENTS
My mission is to help individuals who want to make a contribution, find and fully step into their truth, their passion, their path. I believe that one-by-one we can shine true and, together, light up the world, being who we are, doing what we love. To this end, I am committed for myself, and to help my clients, to:
Make a positive contribution. I believe we each have a contribution to make. That what we do and how we do it matters. I am committed to having a positive impact on the world and helping my clients do the same.
Consciously create our lives. I believe that we create what we focus on. I help people leverage the power of their mind so they can consciously create their life.
Follow our truest path. I believe a fulfilled life is rooted in following what’s true to us at our core. I am committed to helping my clients peel back and heal their conditioning so they can find their truest path so they can shine brightly, being who they are, doing what they love.
Anchor to curiosity and non-judgement. I believe we are each on our unique journey. There is no one size fits all. I am committed to curiosity and non-judgement in helping my clients find the path that is true to them.
Trust the process and path. I believe that we are each on a journey of growth and that everything happens for a reason. I help clients make sense of their life events and overall journey so they can make peace with their past and step into their future with confidence and resilience.