Reflections for growth

Inside out

Many of you know got to know me through the activities for CRAVE Amsterdam. In CRAVE most of you have seen one side of me; the positive Yang side, full of beans and enthusiasm. But then we all have a Yin side, feminine and awaiting and more focused to the inside. Since Crave is all about growth I love to share my story with you, because I learned so much from some of you. Here’s my inside out story.

Seven years

I started my marketing business years ago when I felt it was more valuable to be an independent consultant than trying to innovate corporations that were not in need for change. Being an entrepreneur has given me so much personal and professional growth that I feel lucky to be in this position. But the naked truth is, that I have not always felt this happy. It were the downsides and the bottoms of things that happened that awakened me in lessons to learn before I could grow again. I learned years ago that our lives is all about phases of around seven years of personal development. In the phases of 7, 14, 21, 28, 35 and further we grow, discover and learn, connect.. But did you know we all have wakeup calls every seven years? Here are my lessons in life while being an entrepreneur.

CRAVE ambition

For years I felt I was the bull chasing behind the red piece of fabric. Ambition was my goal in life. To achieve the goals I told myself that that I had to work hard. I did everything in my power to realize my goals. Whenever I felt insecure I saw it as a sign that I had to overcome this insecurity. I loved to discover, trying new things in life, gain experiences, meet people, understand businesses and grow in knowledge in many ways. These goals were not only on a business level, my personal goal has been to expand our family with a second child over the past five years. After three years of natural attempts we started IVF treatments. In the time I was working for CRAVE I had two IVF treatments and yes it has been a very difficult time. Unfortunately it didn’t work out and for the first time in my life I was devastated,  because I always believed if you work hard for it you’ll get what you want. But unfortunately I learned that it does not always work like that and it was my first wake up call. Having a strong mind is great for ambitions, but you need to connect with your body too because your heart and your belly may tell you something else. And that was exactly what I was ignoring, my female strengths that is hidden inside all of us.

CRAVE recognition

In the modern and western world I CRAVE for independency, to be financially free so that I can be creative to make my choices in life. Over the past seven years I truly believed that it was my goal to achieve but thanks to many of you, CRAVE women, I now realize that it is not about targets but about having fun on the way. I have always liked the work I did, but my perseverance came from the intrinsic motivation that achieving goals was necessary in order to be able to move forward. In the process of connecting with CRAVE female entrepreneurs I felt that the CRAVE book and the Facebook online community was a necessary process of connecting in order to create chances for growth. But on the way so many connections came naturally, reflections were given and new business ideas have arisen that I could not even imagine to think of when I started the CRAVE Amsterdam project. Most importantly, I realized my second wakeup call; it was not about the goal but having fun all the way. I got to know great women, learned a lot of working internationally with the CRAVE team in Seattle and most importantly; the flow of work has brought me so many surprises! I see them as precious gifts and recognition of my personal identity. By initiating contact and being open minded I received so many personal insights, that I feel like a loaded millionaire in entrepreneurial growth.

CRAVE yourself

I admit, I fell in love with a lot of you. The connection in the female entrepreneur lifestyle, taking care of your own business initiatives, being self-supporting and taking care of your professional needs makes me happy and connected. I feel female friendship, business sisterhood and CRAVE for spending quality time with you! And while we were connecting I realized my third wakeup call: I was more connected to the goals I set in my mind than the goals I -as a person- CRAVED for. As a result, I felt unhappy on the way about myself. Being too busy, restless, dissatisfied with the progress I made so far instead of celebrating the great achievements on the way. It was then that I felt the need to turn inside. To listen to my body, the story my heart was telling and the wisdom my belly was carrying around without me paying attention to it. I left my position as an inspiring entrepreneur for a journey of inner wisdom. Girls, I felt the need but I had no idea what I would encounter, did I grow or surrender?

CRAVE growth

One week with many reflections. Things in life that made me sad, that I felt hurt of or that kept me from my personal strengths all came together, they were my wakeup calls. A journey of inner wisdom brings you closer to yourself. The true you. And I have to admit I have met a greater part of, even though I thought I was being me. For a part this is true of course, but for another part I am now new. Because I have met new pieces of me. I feel enriched by the inner wisdom and I dare to listen to my heart and intuition. Integrating the intelligence of intuition, feelings and knowledge may take a while but I already feel so empowered on the way! Not only do I CRAVE for the chances of being an entrepreneur, I now feel that it is a lifestyle that empowers us to grow and discover the true meaning of life.

CRAVE reflections

There are many people who give you reflections every day. Personally my focus has primarily been on the mind. Gaining knowledge, professional experiences and business skills. I would love to acknowledge the women who have guided me in my journey of personal discovery! Saskia Gerarts van Houten, founder of Finq and creater of The Leading Ladies workshop.  At the leading Ladies workshop you will become aware of your personal and professional strengths in life. The leading ladies workshop is all about leading the lady you are yourself. The one day course is a great gift to give yourself or ask others to give to you, because it brings you closer to your personal path. Did you know that are great women out here that have a spiritual connection who guided me towards the path for personal growth? The following women all contributed to the path of awareness and identifying my wake up calls: Faye Cossar of Junxtaposition who is using astrology to connect to your business and personal discoveries in life. Hadassa Voet of TOF Kindertherapie who was able to express my pain she felt by giving these feelings a name.  Caroline Waanders of Leven met Hart en Ziel who is using her spiritual side to open up hidden insights for healing the hurts hidden inside all of us. All these women prepared the path for the inner journey that I took with Vera van den Ven of InnEarth. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to learn, love and grow to the essence of life and happiness!

Would you like to experience some of my insights too? Send me an e-mail or come and join us on the CRAVE reflection day at December 9, 2010

Copyright: Athalie Stegeman | Ontwerp: DPid Ontwerp | Website: Piri Piri Marketing & Communicatie