Woman Around The World, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona

Introduction

In the context of Corona I have taken the initiative to create a series ‘Women around the world, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona.’ I do that on a voluntary basis using the talent I have been given to host essential conversations in different contexts and languages.

The purpose of this series is to give female leaders the possibility to be heard, bring together various points of view from different sectors and co-create a new vision. Please note that a series implies that there is linearity to this conversation. Yet I call it a mosaic of impressions, preferring to see it as a hologram in which various systemic levels of our awareness are shown, as these dialogues will evolve in the next weeks.

Sometimes in leadership development, personal development is amplified as we do realise more and more that true transformation starts from within as a reaction on outside circumstances. Personal awareness of what and how we are sensing and structuring our acting is important and collaboration essential.

This series is a public dialogue with bold women who are prepared to talk about their intuiting and their insights on three levels that reflect the

o personal (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) impact Covid-19 has on them,

o professional (place of work, freedom of movement, choice of place, change in relationship)

o feminine vision of the chance we are being given to reflect on our own life, that of the communities and possibly our global society.

The women interviewed work in he domain of

Entrepreneurship
– Diversity & Inclusion
– Leadership
– Philosophy
– The arts
– Health & Safety
– Coaching

I would like to thank in this context Stéphanie Leonard who at the right time in the right place has encouraged me to hold these essential conversations. I also want to honour the mothers of all the women who have answered straight away to this request for an interview and the millions of mothers who initiated against all odds a new way of life no matter where.

We all stand on their shoulders and we are the result of our shared ancestral lineage in which some dialogues between men and women were held in a loving embrace and others in less loving circumstances.

These life interviews are not reedited, and are published with the trust that they will resonate with that which this Corona Virus wants to bring to our shared consciousness.

The voice of Emmy Galama from The Netherlands

Emmy is a permanent representative of the International Council of Women at the UN-HABITAT in Nairobi and Geneva (EU). She has more than 30 years of experience in sharing practices in various women’s organisations, both national and international including Het Zeeuws Vrouwen Platform, De Nederlandse Vrouwen Raad and the HUAIROU Commission. I had the honour to work with Emmy piloting a program to help survivors of domestic violence to fully participate in society and travelled with her in 2012 to The World Urban Forum in Naples.

Essence of this conversation

It is an illusion to assume that emancipation and women’s rights will continue to be respected; especially in Europe people are almost bored with these themes and all related issues. If we are not careful these legal agreements, that are human rights, will deteriorate again and laws that have been taken for granted will even less be applied. Women and men need to be attentive and stay on the ball. The Me-too movement has brought about some change, yet domestic violence against women, does not diminish as statistics show.

However on local and regional level women around the world, whether in the Philippines, Guatemala, the Bronx in New York or South Africa, are better prepared due to previous disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as wars and the HIV virus. They have learned to organize themselves and structure their impact in the caring sectors and around essential necessities such as food and water supply also thanks to international collaboration. These women, often united in various grassroots organizations, should be in the spotlight, heard and reinforced and celebrated for their positive impact on the communities rather then marginalised.

Because of her medical background Emmy is being asked to advise with regards to medicines in this crisis. She pragmatically states that it does indeed matter whether you live in the Netherlands or somewhere in a slum. Especially basic medicines such as Davitamon and Paracetamol are always in her suitcase when she travels as they are not as easily available as in The Netherlands.

According to Emmy this Corona crisis also shows that our way of working can be organised differently. Partly because of the current technical possibilities, people can work more from home with all the additional positive effects such as less driving, pollution and stress. If employers and employees then also make agreements about, wherever possible, fewer hours at the office, this could create a different balance between work and private life for many working parents and more shared quality time with the children.

Many thanks Emmy.

La Voix de Stéphanie Leonard

From power to presence

Stéphanie Leonard is an independent Consultant based in the region of Paris under the name aimotion. This interview is in French: https://youtu.be/UM8rcyJTAk8

The essence of the conversation

Stéphanie shares how the Corona Virus is impacting her directly as an entrepreneur and mother. Just now, end of March, she is still in the phase of ‘inhabiting her time’ in a calmer way. Staying at home means that she has the time to do the administration, cleaning out the house and take the time to cook a nice French meal that she then shares with her family accompanied by a good conversation. With other words this virus Covid-19 gives her also the chance to honour traditions of la douce France including the Christian and Jewish tradition of a spring clean that prepares us for Easter.

She points out that she is in a privileged position as she has a partner that from the very start of their relationship and parenthood has shared the tasks of the household and is used to take up a broom when necessary. However in many households this is not the case and indeed since the outbreak of Corona domestic violence in France has risen to 36% according to Stéphanie. This abrupt call to stand still is a great challenge to find new ways of co-habiting our time together and brings out the best and the worst in people.

She points out that she would prefer not talking from a feminist point of view. Rather then thinking in terms of conspiracy and opposites she would prefer to move inwards to see what would like to emerge from the inside out to impact positively herself, her direct family and the wider community. Yet collectively and systemically also look at what would like to emerge for the individual, the local and the global community.

She would rather speak of feminine or masculine energy present is both women and men to start a different conversation in the privacy of our homes or in the communities. She sees a co-responsibility of couples, independently of gender, to redefine the tasks.

Suggestions one: She suggests that we collectively look at the tasks at hand. When for instance domestic or entrepreneurial tasks need to be shared she used to say: ‘who would like to help me with …’ Today she would say: ‘This and this needs to be done, who picks up what?’

Suggestion two: Female experts in the media are greatly missed and she would appreciate if more expert women would speak up.

Suggestion three: Redefining leadership that is often associated to the notion of power, to a notion of presence. Had she a magic wand she would like to invite each individual to realise how s/he can positively impact self and others and to dare being present and take responsibility.

31.03.20 Interview by Cécile Masson

La voce di Myriam Ines Giangiacomo

This interview was held April 6th in Italian as part of the series ‘Women Around the World, a mosaic of impressions and inspiration in times of Corona.’

Myriam Ines Giangiacomo, founder of Bottega Filosofica based in Rome does consider herself to be a practical philosopher. To her, philosophy is a way of life in which to learn how to hold back judgment. A way to look at the reality through the eyes of a beginner, like the ancient and eastern philosophers did.

Looking at reality for what it is, critically yet also staying open for dialogue, active listening, imagination, that are useful skills and resources especially in these times.

In her boutique – a consulting company – she invites business to merge with philosophy to co-create and re-imagine new ways, just like the craftsmen did in their shops in Italy of the Renaissance period.

How does this crisis affect you personally?

I am surprised to find myself emotionally calm yet mentally preoccupied. I am surprised because usually an emotion triggers a certain agitation, yet now I observe that exactly the contrary is happening. However the preoccupation is a real one. I realise that not everybody is living the crisis in the same way, the actions undertaken are not necessarily the best, nor our personal ones nor the ones of our governments.

The governments have the responsibility to give guidance to the people of their own country yet also to people around the world in the greater community. In various countries the metaphor of the war is being used. I do not consider this to be a metaphor that is useful. It helps us to accept the gravity of the danger yet is totally useless in the understanding the nature of the crisis.

So if we do not understand its nature we cannot start to imagine escape routes. War is something that is visible and that one can fight, yet the virus is invisible and therefor one needs to learn to live with it. A war has a beginning and an end, yet this is a condition that will not disappear, with which we will need to learn to live with. So instead of using metaphors, we need to simply state that this is a planetary pandemic. It is a phenomenon that touches us all wherever in the world. It is serious enough. We do not need a metaphor.

However, as somebody else was saying, to use this metaphor invites the citizens to be more obedient.

As a philosopher and as a coach you look at this crisis systemically. What do you observe as patterns and other?

We have not yet understood that this is a systemic crisis. There are various levels on how to look at this systemically. Looking at it for instance purely from a point of view of a therapist that looks for remedies we lose the systemic angle of spirituality. Spirituality not intending religious practices, but spirituality in the sense of understanding that we are part of a bigger whole, to sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, within a whole on which our actions, to say the least, have an impact. So if I think of war, I think of an enemy that is outside of myself, so in some way I am save and I have been assaulted. But that is not the case at all. This is not an external enemy. It is a virus like many other organisms. Yet a virus that we do not know yet, of which scientist confirm to be jumping of one species to another, which implies that we have done something wrong. We have trespassed our own limits. The ecological system, of which we are part of, is reacting on this with a virus that usually would belong to another species in the wild. A wildness that we consider having the right to invade, to destroy and manage with a short-sighted capitalism that predominates all the rest. So if we would consider this a systemic crisis we also need systemic skills to re-establish the connections, the links, and the inter-connectedness that we have completely neglected robbing the earth of its natural balance.

Would you say that now we are practicing the social distancing we could speak of a different dialogue that needs to be re-established that asks for a deeper listening to re-invite back our own humanness into this conversation? Would that be the spirituality you spoke about earlier on? A spirituality that cultivates a certain depth of listening, a certain silence that allows access to another intelligence that is also ours, to be really human in the proper sense of the word? Is that what you mean with spirituality?

Yes, but also to really question our own of what really is important and what not. If you think of it, this crisis makes us think of what really is essential and that what is not, yet appears to be indispensable.

Essentials are the relations and the affective contacts we have because socially we exist as long as somebody else recognise us to exist. So the cultivation of our feeding and dressing, the cultivation of resting physically but also mentally is important to make better choices. Certainly now that we have realised that we have constructed an economy that is based on non-essentials, choosing is important.

Do you recon that this pandemic gives us the chance to reorganise and re-think and re-create our society on a local, national and global level to fit better the natural human nature?

Certainly. Maybe we could relook, for example, at the society Adriano Olivetti was dreaming of. He was a great entrepreneur. His vision has given us the occasion to look at a business not only from a production point of view but also from a spiritual and political point of view based on the community.

From a systemic point of view one could also consider to recreate the dimension wherein person could meet person and a community within certain settings that are not defined as regions because somebody has decided to give them a frontier but because naturally they are recognisable as such, due to certain types of vegetation, the quality of the ground etc.

Do you mean like a region such as the North of Italy could be a region?

All of Italy is a region, the entire Apennine is one region, the Alps would be another region, Islands obviously etc. Yet I would not want to adventure myself into territories I do know too little about in this conversation. Yet as a suggestion I would propose that we have designed artificial boarders, administrative areas, separated people and detached them from their natural habitat. As one says, ‘think global act local.’ The global aspect is economical, the physical characteristics is planetary. So we would need to rethink and be conscious that there is inter-connectedness on a planetary level and there is a socio-economical global system. But our action only makes sense when executed on the local level.

And then there is also this spiritual dimension of which you spoke earlier on that is also economically linked to the territories.

Yes, certainly. You know our Latin culture and in this culture we have what we call the Lares, that are guardian deities in ancient Roman religions, or genius loci that are minor deities watching over a particular place. The spirit or atmosphere of a place, especially conceived as a source of artistic inspiration. So the community could be defined by a certain characteristic, cultural, artistic, etc.

When I think of Italy I obvious think of the richness of the culinary habits of the Cucina Italiana, yet even in Switzerland that touches Italy it will not be the same. This characteristic that in French is called the Terroir, is not the same.

This is an excellent way to explain what I mean. These regions are not necessarily the political regions, yet the regions in which a certain dish will be prepared in a specific way that is recognisable as such to belong to that part of the territory. And then, you know very well, every family has its own recipe in how to prepare a certain dish.

So the small system is surrounded by a bigger system and yet another system.

Yes. And to be conscious when you look like that is becomes even more important because then we also speak of the ancestors that inhabited these places for centuries. And in todays society it seems that we lost that sense of ancestral belonging and thus a sense of loss also in the present moment. So if you do not sense it anymore it is difficult to perceive a possible future.

So we perceive life in two dimensions rather than in its roundedness.

Is there a practice however small that you would be willing to share that could be of use to others in these times?

Yes, any practice of presence. The habit of meditation, of gratefulness just standing still to appreciate in gratitude the day that is about to close, is one of my practices.

You live in Rome, and I do ask you also because you live there. There is the prayer and there is the meditation. What would be the difference between the two for you?

Again, on that I can only answer you from my own experience. I experience meditation as the creation of space; the prayer is the initiation of a dialogue. Meditation is a space in the sense of stillness, of a calm, of a possible. That space we access through various meditation techniques that will enable a prayer in the form of a dialogue, an internal dialogue, and a dialogue with a God outside of us but also inside of us. So the prayer and the meditation are not alternatives but complementary. Just think of the Pope praying on an empty St Peter’s plane, in the rain and that empty space around him also opened an empty space in the heart of non-Catholics to receive some form of blessing.

So you mean also the practice of spirituality independently of religion wherein you are free to access that inner space of calm?

Yes.

Had you a magic wand, what would be the first change that you would like to realise in your community, in Roma, in Italy and internationally?

That would be a major capacity of listening of oneself and the others. A listening that also means observation. Yes, the capacity to listen. That would be the change, yet it is not a practical change, it is an inner shift. A listening that embraces the self and the values important to the individual and the community that would be deep enough also to question the inner certitudes.

NB: Interview by Cécile Masson in Italian. This document is not pretending to cover all the details of the exchange. For that the original should be considered.

This is the third interview published.

Die Stimme von Béa Bieber

Since more than thirty years Béa Bieber is politically active in the German part of Switzerland. She is specialised in the social domain advising municipalities and care institutions on how to create, structure, and lead child care facilities. For more information on her person you may visit her personal website www.beabieber.ch

This interview was taken on the April 8th in English and Swiss German as part of the series ‘Women around the world, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona.’

In essence

Learning to sense differently to cultivate meaningful relationships

Béa notices that Corona invites her to work in different ways and to analyse a situation from a distance rather than being in direct contact with colleagues or sensing whether a physical space is suitable for children or not. This is a challenge she will need to learn and work with. When asked she confirms that much communication on which trust is build happens when meeting face to face and the kinaesthetic aspect of an encounter is something she is missing. However this encourages her to chose her words more carefully when meeting in digital ways with political colleagues. The lack of touch she would not necessarily call pain, but certainly an extra challenge that many face during this lock-down.

Because her colleagues in politics and in the municipalities are all in crisis management they are also happier to exchange knowledge, support and find solutions together. The great challenge for all, on national, regional or municipality level was to assemble some reliable facts to formulate clear guidelines and advise for all the institutions and organisations they are serving. Because of the crisis and the urgency however, there is much more readiness to collaborate. This crisis highlighted that coaching and advice will continue beyond this crisis to be very important and knowledge and know-how will need to be shared more openly with all.

This crisis shows a rising of drug and alcohol addiction and domestic violence. In many fields more coaching will be needed well beyond this crisis. Domestic violence is present throughout society in all parts of CH yet the confinement is challenging many on a very personal level. Education is of great importance on how to become more resilient to stress.

The care sector will need to be re-evaluated. Without a well-organised care-sector any society cannot cope with a crisis. To her it is not enough to clap hands, even though greatly appreciated, the appreciation should continue after the crisis in re-valuing these professions.

What we now sense and learn should be taken into consideration in the long run. The process of developing consciousness to learn and grow from this crisis will depend on all and will be needed. How many people really will want change, will be of great importance.

People are getting more sensitive, and are intuiting that a new way of doing things will emerge on personal level and also collectively.

The home schooling is another aspect Béa is raising attention to. The aspect of equality in accessing schooling and education is clearly very different depending on the home situation, marginalising certain groups of society more than necessary. Specific care and focus will need to be kept to ensure equal chances for all, which is a democratic right.

Diversity of teams are essential in these times, not only gender, also cultural background, language, etc. We do need diversity in teams to find sustainable solutions.

A virus is not an enemy one can declare the war to what some masculine world leaders are proposing. The feminine leaders have a very different take on the virus, mainly to educate and empower the weakest of society.

However a feminist leader is not necessarily a woman, some men have the quality needed to create a more balanced approach to politics and economy.

Self-care and appreciation of personal needs are important to contribute in positively to decision making in all realms of life. We are together in this, and not alone, even if it might sometimes feel like that.

De stem van Nenita la Rose

Nenita (1956) is the president of the Dutch Council of Women (NVR) since 2017. The NVR represents more than 50 women organisations within The Netherlands. In 2018 she became a board member of Amnesty International. In that same year she was elected City Councillor for the Social Democratic Party (PvdA) in the city of Amsterdam being the spokesperson for Diversity & Inclusion amongst others.

From 2007-2015 Nenita was Executive Director of Child Helpline International (CHI), a UN Recognised organisation that advocates for the Rights of Children and Young People around the world.

Born in Suriname and raised in the Netherlands. Studied Law at the University of Amsterdam and started her working career at the City Amsterdam lasting for almost 20 years, as Deputy director at the Mayor’s Office, Director International Affairs and Management Board member of the Southeast City District. She is happy and proud to be a mother and grandmother and a spouse.

This interview was taken by writer and leadership coach Cécile Masson on April 15th and is in Dutch.

The essence

Just now another pandemic becomes blatantly obvious

Nenita is troubled about the growing number of women and children that are victims of domestic violence in times of Corona.

This second global pandemic that has been amongst us for a while yet today cannot and should not be ignored anymore.

Domestic violence knows many forms. Psychological violence at home also has a major impact on life and so has physical abuse. The most serious form of violence against humanity is femicide. Women and girls are abused and murdered simply because they are women.

Domestic violence happens everywhere in all layers of the population, it is so large and widespread and in all countries…

The numbers of victims are growing in The Nederland’s and elsewhere. In average in the Netherlands, 100.000 children are witnessing or are victims of abuse every year and in 96% of the time a parent is the perpetrator and 74% of these perpetrators have also been victims themselves.

It is generational spiral of violence …

Last year in Amsterdam alone, 5700 reports of domestic violence were received in the first six months at an organization called Safe Home. The vast majority turned out to be very serious. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now with this crisis it is actually all hands on deck … the subject is so important, so intense, especially when children are involved, that you should not spare the resources. It is important to invest and take a good look at politics, make an analysis of where we are now, also in Amsterdam.

Ask serious questions:

– How come there is a yearly increase and that it is not being taken seriously enough to invest into prevention?

– What is the nature and origin of the violence?

– Is this acceptable at the heart of a democracy?

– How can we turn it around?

It is important that society should, as much as possible, know about this and be aware. If you have a suspicion try to be open to it, try to have a chat, no matter how difficult that will be, to see how you can help. Many women and their children benefit from being given that helping hand.

Accepting violence against women and children as a given is undermining the human rights and the very democratic nature of our society.

For more interviews of this series “Women Around the world, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona, visit www.cecilemasson.com/en/blog/

Stella Litton is a generatieve mBraining master coach.

This interview by Cécile Masson, Coach host and writer of Rose, letters of love to life was held on the 14th of April in English.

The essence of the exchange

Step forward wisely from a state of inner alignment

Women have a vital role to play. The feminine role is very different from the male role and it should take centre stage now.

Rebalancing the division of workload in business and in the home is key.

Using the full range of the physically present intelligences that are not only found in the head but also in the heart and gut can be of added value to inform any gender dialogue.

Care and self-compassion should also be part of our daily routine to appreciate guttural signals that indicate boundaries. Appreciating our body is vital to make wiser decisions, be that for women or men.

Stella reads from the book, Rose letters of love to life.

“I want to find a way to be a working woman contributing to the world of business with all the femininity I have in me. If all the talents women are making such an effort to hide worldwide could be liberated, not only would business benefit from it in terms of turnover but also the entire economy would take a very different turn. Maybe it is that paradigm shift which is so much needed to make this world a better place.”

This book is highly suited also for men. Men should also be more honest with themselves as a brother, father, husband or employer and ask themselves the following questions.

· Am I treating the women around me equally?

· Am I really honouring their birth right or paying lip service to it?

· What actions am I taking?

By dropping down into our bodies rather than staying in the head we sense what is really important for us now in these times of uncertainties and ask ourselves: what do we truly desire? And breath for that is an anchor.

Initiative and interview were taken by generative leadership mBraining coach and Trainer Cécile Masson

De stem van Nenita la Rose

Nenita (1956) is the president of the Dutch Council of Women (NVR) since 2017. The NVR represents more than 50 women organisations within The Netherlands. In 2018 she became a board member of Amnesty International. In that same year she was elected City Councillor for the Social Democratic Party (PvdA) in the city of Amsterdam being the spokesperson for Diversity & Inclusion amongst others.

From 2007-2015 Nenita was Executive Director of Child Helpline International (CHI), a UN Recognised organisation that advocates for the Rights of Children and Young People around the world.

Born in Suriname and raised in the Netherlands. Studied Law at the University of Amsterdam and started her working career at the City Amsterdam lasting for almost 20 years, as Deputy director at the Mayor’s Office, Director International Affairs and Management Board member of the Southeast City District. She is happy and proud to be a mother and grandmother and a spouse.

This interview was taken by writer and leadership coach Cécile Masson on April 15th and is in Dutch.

The essence

Just now another pandemic becomes blatantly obvious

Nenita is troubled about the growing number of women and children that are victims of domestic violence in times of Corona.

This second global pandemic that has been amongst us for a while yet today cannot and should not be ignored anymore.

Domestic violence knows many forms. Psychological violence at home also has a major impact on life and so has physical abuse. The most serious form of violence against humanity is femicide. Women and girls are abused and murdered simply because they are women.

Domestic violence happens everywhere in all layers of the population, it is so large and widespread and in all countries…

The numbers of victims are growing in The Nederland’s and elsewhere. In average in the Netherlands, 100.000 children are witnessing or are victims of abuse every year and in 96% of the time a parent is the perpetrator and 74% of these perpetrators have also been victims themselves.

It is generational spiral of violence …

Last year in Amsterdam alone, 5700 reports of domestic violence were received in the first six months at an organization called Safe Home. The vast majority turned out to be very serious. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Now with this crisis it is actually all hands on deck … the subject is so important, so intense, especially when children are involved, that you should not spare the resources. It is important to invest and take a good look at politics, make an analysis of where we are now, also in Amsterdam.

Ask serious questions:

– How come there is a yearly increase and that it is not being taken seriously enough to invest into prevention?

– What is the nature and origin of the violence?

– Is this acceptable at the heart of a democracy?

– How can we turn it around?

It is important that society should, as much as possible, know about this and be aware. If you have a suspicion try to be open to it, try to have a chat, no matter how difficult that will be, to see how you can help. Many women and their children benefit from being given that helping hand.

Accepting violence against women and children as a given is undermining the human rights and the very democratic nature of our society.

For more interviews of this series “Women Around the world, a mosaic of feminine impressions and inspiration in times of Corona, visit www.cecilemasson.com/en/blog/

The voice of Dorian Baroni

Dorian Baroni is an executive coach and a leadership team advisor. She is also the founder of Women Agents of Change

Interview by Cécile Masson, Coach host and writer of Rose, letters of love to life was held on the 9th of April in English https://studio.youtube.com/video/FcK-dHtLa3k/edit

The essence of the exchange

Imagine all the people…

I resource myself with a number of tiny practices to help me consider what are possibilities, the bigger, larger possibilities that intellectually and emotionally draw me forward into optimism. And then what are the pragmatic smallest next steps I can take whether it is just taking 60 seconds to breathe, whether it is writing an e-mail to a friend who I haven’t heard from a long time just to feel the connection, or taking a walk, applying some self compassion, or whatever else it might take.

Self-compassion?

This idea and practise (based on the great work of Kristin Neff and Nelisha Wickremasinghe) is to remind ourselves that we must care for ourselves and acknowledge that the joy, the pain, the hurt, whatever may show up, is natural, it’s occurring … So not to try to ignore it, but if it hurts, just give ourselves a little hug, metaphorically, and say: ‘it’s OK, it does hurt, this is not easy.’ Let us remind ourselves that this a sign of our common humanity, that there are others who are probably feeling this way in this moment and that we are not alone, whether we feel lonely or not, we are definitely not alone.

In a plane, in case of turbulence you put on your own oxygen mask first, in order to help others and this is very much the case with leadership. It is not self indulgent to grow our capacity for resilience, because it is that very capacity for resilience that is a generous gift to others. So yes, a little indulgence perhaps in the moment, but it has positive ramifications for everyone else as well.

I think that one of the gifts that is most prevalent in my mind right now in these days is the quadrated leadership model that is at the heart of the Coming Into Your Own programmes as well as so many other cutting edge leadership programmes. For me the four archetypes, the Sovereign, Warrior, Lover and Magician are examples of how to, in your day to day and in your person, manage polarities …

Sustainable, systemic solutions are never coming out of one polarity, it’s always an AND … that invites us into a model of wholeness … and the question is how can we embrace the full mature range of each archetype in ourselves.

It starts with the sort of the inner acknowledgement that any one reaction to the current level of crisis is a natural, well-meaning reaction. Then to invite a dialog in oneself and with others to help everyone to bring their truth to the table and see how to step up out of reaction and into creativity bringing the best of our various lenses, our various propositions to the issue at hand.

I think the world of work will change dramatically. Everyone has experienced the power of being able, if they their work allows for it, to work remotely and they don’t have to live in particular urban centres and drive to work or commute to work. They actually can leverage this new technology that is available to us … But it also reminds us that there are essential jobs and industries in urban settings and beyond, where people don’t have the luxury of working remotely from home. And these roles are critical to the survival of our civilizations, as we know them and they’re often the most underpaid and undervalued sectors of our society. So I think that it is becoming so blatantly clear to all of the rest of us who have the luxury of locking down at home, that grocery store clerks and nurses and bus drivers and truck drivers and farmers and people who manufacture the goods we need or the food we eat, they are not sitting at home, working remotely. They actually are the core, a foundational essential base of activities and sectors of work that we rely on every day without even noticing it. So I think that there has to be a way that this type of essential work might need to be reorganised and the value of that work needs to be re-imagined.

My last words… Questions more likely

How can you stay curious?
How can you stay hopeful?
How can you let go of old answers?
Trust that each of us will find our ease, our clarity and our knowhow in these times of change. We have been here (historical times of pandemics or wars or natural disasters) before and found our way.

De stem van Daniëlle Doeve

Daniëlle Doeve is founder and owner of two businesses. One is called Hartskracht, (The power of the heart) which offers systemic coaching, family and organizational constellation work. The other is called HeartFire. She runs it with her husband Jeroen van Kemenade. Together they organise heart-opening concerts. To Daniëlle Music is Medicine. She is a faculty in the Feminine Leadership Program Coming Into Your own. Daniëlle has the rare gift to discover new voices that move the heart, and her inner wisdom is based on a life journey that has know many challenges. It does take a brave heart to meet the dark sides of the severe mental illness of her mom and to keep the light of love shine no matter what.

This interview was taken 6 April in Dutch and for the full conversation you may go to this link https://youtu.be/RtlLuC4GWMM

Essence of the exchange

The abrupt stop of all her business activities has shaken her and many others. She faced fear and she shares how she daily practices to stay well rooted in her body, in her own breathing not to let the head take off on its own. Nature and rituals are most important and she stresses how important it is to take distance of the outer turbulence to feel the inner centre that resonates with the greater wisdom that surrounds us to keep resilient and focused.

She shares that if there could be a deeper meaning to Corona, it is the honouring

o of our own mother,

o honouring of self,

o honouring the feminine in both men and women,

o honouring our earth,

so that we return to a world that is in balance and in harmony and that can give life to everyone and everything that lives on it.

We are not bigger than “Mother Earth”. Humility is in order.

She tells of the Ancient Hawaiian Practice of Forgiveness.

Ho’oponopono: I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.

It all starts within. It does take courage to enter that path. It is the journey we are on now collectively, the inward journey.

Also for men this path of turning inwards is important. The male energy is so necessary to support and hold the feminine, for the world of humanity to come back into balance. How beautiful could it be if men would stand in a circle around the feminine, and say, ok women it’s time, you know, it’s time to show up authentically and to bring back balance to this earth.

Over a few months? I hope that people have really come into contact with themselves and their dear ones, with what is really important to them and have clarity of what their contribution could be.

– “What can I actively bring to this world instead of being on autopilot?”

– “What are the choices I am making with regards to living life more consciously?”

– “Why am I here on this earth? What do I have to bring?”

If we keep running, there is no time for reflection. Daniëlle hopes that this virus will wake us all up and contributes to this waking-up together with others.

Interview taken by Cécile Masson

La voix d’Isabelle Pujol

Isabelle Pujol is Founder and CEO of Pluribus Europe, a Global specialist of Diversity & Inclusion that helps companies to create and foster a culture of inclusion. At Pluribus, a global team of facilitators is deeply committed to inspire, include and support organisations, teams and individuals to help them value and leverage the diversity of their workforce. By addressing stereotyping and biases with her corporate clients Pluribus helps individuals to feel valued and encouraged to live their full potential.

This interview was taken in French on April 8th by Cécile Masson, leadership coach, host and writer of Rose, letters of love to life.

As a globetrotter used to being with clients around the world Isabelle finds herself in lock-down at home and was very much in the resistance in the beginning of this crisis. Now some weeks later she is in another rhythm.

Travelling is for her a way of being in contact with her clients. The difference to meet them now in a virtual space is revealing. She thought that in a face-to-face consultation the dialogue was more real, truer. Yet she now notices that the spirit of inclusion is improved by the smaller space of the virtual reality.

The need to be listened to is growing as all changes are happening at an increasing pace. A hunger for more authentic, generous and sincere dialogue is growing. Corona enables open exchanges and invites presence from the heart. The quality of presence, individual authenticity and true listening has much increased.

Isabelle observes that we live a unique moment in history and is fully conscious that she is in a privileged place with her husband, knowing that her children are well and that she can go into the garden whenever she pleases. Her heart and thanks go out to all the caretakers, shopkeepers, and cleaners and obviously more specifically to the corona patients themselves.

All levels of society are affected, emotional, mental, and economical.

– How can we not fall back into the old rat race and individually and collectively hold this gift of slowing down?

– How can we keep honouring our lost ones in the aftermath of this horrific crisis?

In leadership terms we do not necessarily speak of hierarchy but more of posture. So how each individual holds her life and how she can influence her life matters. We will always encourage to be centred in our self, and from within access different forms of leadership, of which one is performance leadership.

Performance leadership in the corporate world is the one that is mostly valued and has a speedy nature. Without wanting to fall into stereotyping, this masculine type of leadership is quite integrated in business. The relational leadership is slower, as it is a form that helps to reconnect with the intelligence of our body, the heart, and our intuitions. In companies this type of leadership has generaly been less valued. Isabelle again is careful not to fall into stereotyping, yet observes that women appear to have more facility in accessing this type of leadership.

In our feminine leadership programs Coming Into Your Own we also work with the strategic leadership stance that allows us to take distance and look at what is happening right in front of our eyes.

The visionary leadership stance holds an intention through time, looking at the past, seeing the present and envisioning a new future. So on an individual level and collectively, the art is to access again the centre and look at this unfolding reality from the varied positions to grow from an experience.

A pattern that she observes in corporates is the perpetual race, which is based on action, result, action, and result. That is what we all have been taught at school, in business and that many consider normal. Yet there is another approach possible. In our CIYO programs we call it the Creative Process. It can be used as a tool to break this pattern. It starts with a stop, with stillness. And that is exactly what we are experiencing just now individually and collectively.

So despite her knowledge of this tool, she is at this very moment being forced to slow down and to appreciate this state of immobility. The space of this interview is a gift as we are having a dialogue. Isabelle feels invited to listen to herself, to reflect and might come to a point where she can celebrate and let go of old patterns that do not serve anymore. In the time before the crisis she forgot about the immobility and celebrations of results as business was guided by action, result, action, and result. What Isabelle truly hopes these times will bring, is to reconnect with immobility and with the notion of true relationship.

So yes, we are in the performance and in war against a virus to protect ourselves, she states. Once this war is finished we need to learn to dance again, dance between the four leadership stances from an inner centre that accesses more the emotional intelligence connected to the earth. Planet Earth feels better today.

All the work that needs to be done in the context of inclusion, the respect of the other, is long-term work. Yet many companies with which Isabelle and her facilitators have the pleasure to work with have lived something unique and some leaders notice the raise of solidarity, of respect for each other and are confident that this contributes positively to team spirit.

In terms of gratitude and appreciation of the other, the appreciation of earth and the gift we are being given daily without necessarily realising it, this crisis might bring a new sense of recognition of the gift of eating in a restaurant, dancing, hugging family and friends, and seeing colleagues at work. The challenge will be to maintain this awareness. Appreciation of each single day is key.

To improve a quality of presence it is crucial to feel free to be entirely oneself, authentically present. The check-in for inclusion is a beautiful way to start any conversation with colleagues, friends or family. It is a practice that allows each one to express her of his very own truth. In terms of inclusion you might think that somebody is excluding another, but sometimes there is also the auto-exclusion. Not being self-insured enough, not to find one self legitimised to show-up that we call the impostures syndrome. So to encourage each other, women and men to speak up and tell her or his truth will help many to develop a sense of belonging and a sense of inclusion.