All posts filed under: Self Development

Enough

‘’Why can’t you be like all the girls your age?’’ he asked. ‘’Look at your cousin, she is doing normal stuff. Why can’t you be like her?’’ I was 13. My newly found passion for ballroom dancing didn’t please my father. He had a hard time understanding why I enjoyed spending all of my Saturday afternoons dancing with people who could be my grandparents. Sometimes I wondered whether I was making certain choices simply to annoy him. At least, that’s what he thought. Maybe he was right. I don’t know. Our relationship has always been complicated. I have always been different from the people my age, and that bothered him. He never missed an opportunity to remind me. I was never enough. Never good enough. Never funny enough. Never pretty enough. Despite my numerous attempts to please him, and be the perfect daughter, it was never enough. But he pretended. We pretended. We used to spend a lot of time in cinemas, supposedly to enjoy some father-daughter time. People thought that we shared a common …

Who am I? Past, Present, Future

When I was in high school, I spent a lot of time doing skill assessments. I had a hard time finding out what I wanted to study at university, and what career could suit me best,  so my mother thought that going through these tests would help. It didn’t really, as I was always more confused about my abilities and my choices. However, it was an enjoyable experience as I always discovered something new about myself. So when I had to complete a test on strengths as a homework for the second inner journey class, it was quite familiar and I thought I had an idea of what to expect of the session. The purpose of this class was to help us answer what could seem a simple question – who am I and what am I bringing to the table? If I had to answer this question at the beginning of the session, I would have probably talked about my multicultural background and my various work experiences. I am very glad no one asked …

Looking Inside for Truth and Guidance

What I particularly like about the curriculum of the SIM programme is the space we are given to reflect on the reasons that prompted us to embark on this changemaking journey. Why do I want to create change? To find the answer to this question, one must look inside. During our first inner journey class, we explored various concepts and framework that allowed us to reflect on this question; Jerry White’s alignment, fixed vs. growth mindset, mental models, personal values, etc. The last concept is the one that resonated with me the most. I believe that knowing what values you stand for is a crucial, and probably most important step when you want to create change. In order to figure these personal values out, we had to reflect on some of the major events in our lives, positive and negative. This exercise required to dig deeper than I thought I would have to do. So many emotions came to the surface, many of which I was not ready or willing to feel in a room …

Re-aligning with Nature and the Self

When I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of time helping my grand-mother in her immense garden; planting seeds, watering flowers, picking up mushrooms. I would also feed the ducks and the hens, gather the laid eggs in the morning, and pretend to clean the barn. In her garden, there was an oak tree. I was often the only kid at her house, so I would sit down in the garden and spend hours talking to that tree, imagining it was a human being. For a long time, that tree was my best friend.  Growing up, I lost touch with nature, and for a long time, I did not even enjoy leaving my busy city to spend time in the countryside. I could feel that something was missing in my life, but I never really took action. I became more and more interested about issues surrounding sustainability but, oddly enough, I did not connect the dots. Bio-empathy is the first course of the Social Innovation Management programme, i.e. 4 days away from …

Taking the leap

May 2017. I wanted change. I needed change. I was feeling stuck on a journey that I  had chosen, and I could not understand why. I was feeling lost and confused; I had committed to a life of purpose, of service, but I was having a mid-twenties crisis. I was in a complicated relationship with myself. I did not know who I was, what I felt or what I wanted anymore. I was feeling disconnected from myself, my dreams, the world around me. I had lost my drive, my power, my ambition. Every day I was hoping to find my way back. This is when I heard about the Amani Institute. After 6 years of intense studying, I did not think I would set foot in a classroom ever again. Not willingly, at least. But when I first looked at the curriculum of the Social Innovation Management programme (SIM), I just knew. It was the first time in months that I was so sure about something. It was the first time in months that I …

The road to myself

 When I was a child, my parents used to repeatedly tell me that I was “one in a million”. At the time, I hated it. It was a constant reminder that I was not like my friends, not better or worse, simply different. I would spend my Saturday evenings learning ballroom dancing with my grandfather; my free time, reading Victor Hugo’s masterpieces or figuring out ways to make the world a better place. Growing up, I realised that having trouble fitting in was, in fact, not a curse. Being an outsider gave me the space necessary to observe the world around me, as I was attempting to understand its people, struggling to decide which part I wanted to play, who I wanted to be. Finding myself has been an intricate task. I have travelled North to South, East to West to figure out who I am. Along the way, I have developed a curiosity for different cultures, and have learnt to accept my own, through an internalised approach of tolerance, respect and compassion. I have …