One year ago, late August 2018, I returned to Brussels for a talk about Life Designing at the European Parliament. Exactly 5 years after I left my previous career and life.
My deepest wish back then: to inspire as many people as possible to go after their dreams and to allow themselves and their lives to take unexpected turns and new paths. To embrace change and befriend the unknown, and to become a Life Designer .
Amongst my listeners one young women, Lily, whose life story started to take a completely new turn from that day onwards.
Lily’s story is such an inspiring and powerful example, how much we can change and accomplish in one short year, so I want you to hear her story in her own words:
“I enrolled in Yvonne’s Life Designing Fundamentals Course exactly one year ago. So many aspects of my life have shifted and transformed since then.
A year ago, I was working as an economic adviser to a politician in the European Parliament in Brussels. I enjoyed the fast-pace high intensity tasks I was doing, but at the same time I had been emotionally burned out for a while and more often than not dreaded going to the office. I had wanted to see a change long ago. I had the rough idea to work with women, to work for women’s causes, to actively engage in women’s networks, but didn’t really know how to or what to do exactly.
Then Yvonne came to speak at an event in the European Parliament and I resonated so much with her story. I got in touch with her and eventually enrolled into the course shortly thereafter. Starting from week 1 of the course, I was required to systematically work on the areas of my life that I wasn’t satisfied with and write down how I actually wanted to see my life.
For the first time ever, I heard about “limiting beliefs” and how to “reframe” them. I saw that the exercises did not only have an impact on my professional, but also on my private life. The Facebook Group and active exchange with Yvonne encouraged me to go deeper and seeing that the other participants had very similar issues motivated me to reach for more.
Eventually, only several weeks after learning about the concepts of Life Designing, I resigned from my job. I didn’t know what exactly I was going to do, which job to take on, which field to work in. But I knew it was time to go. My role as economic adviser was draining me emotionally and it made me an impatient, unhappy person. Resigning was the best decision I could have possibly taken, and it still fills my heart with relief and strength, thinking about it now. My boyfriend resigned just 3 days after me and together we took the decision to move back to Berlin after Christmas 2018.
Before starting a new job, I needed time to put things into perspective, escape Berlin’s harsh winter and travel for a while. I flew to Thailand, initially for some weeks or months, my intention was to be back in Berlin for my birthday at the end of March. I came back at the end of July. For the first few weeks, I couldn’t stop thinking about my job, my boss, my colleague – on a daily basis. It was driving my insane. I hadn’t noticed before how deeply my job had affected me. I needed time, distance and space to heal. My healing journey started then: I spent 16 days in a silent meditation retreat, traveled Laos, did a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, a 60-hour Meditation Teacher Training, I learned to massage, I attended plenty of workshops on trauma release, inner child work, feminine embodiment work. I danced. I went to the beach. I studied Reiki. I started teaching Meditation. I traveled to Cambodia, I started to teach Yoga.
Throughout these months, I was always in touch with Yvonne, who was as curious and supportive of my journey as from the first day I talked to her. We had several Skype meetings of 1 to 1 coaching sessions, where I told her what I was going through and discussed future options and ideas with her. Again, these sessions required me to look at my plans from a different perspective, to put down into writing what was going through my head and to put it all in order. And somehow then it all came together.
During this time, I started planning a weekend retreat for women together with my friend Giulia, who I had met in Thailand. I wanted to create a community of and for women, where everyone contributes with her own idea, provides support to each other, non-judgmentally and unconditionally accepting, where everybody can grow. This had been a dream of mine long ago, but I didn’t have the tools for it or knew how to before. Suddenly I knew it was going to be by holding space for transformation and healing through breathwork, meditation, yoga, dance and feminine embodiment work. I wanted to bring back home what I had learned during my travels.
Fast forward to Berlin, October 2019: By now, I successfully hosted two women’s weekend retreats for 9-10 participants, and we have another workshop and retreat coming up in the next weeks. The feedback I got was overwhelming and motivating to further continue this work. I have long-term plans with two other women I met in Thailand that happen to live in Berlin as well, to set up a healing center in Berlin, focusing on meditation, Qi Gong, yoga and women’s work. On a daily basis, I teach Reiki, Yoga and Meditation.
I am still figuring out how my life will eventually look like. It is and has been a very rewarding journey. Yvonne and I are still in touch and I keep her up to date regarding my plans. She has been so supportive throughout this whole year, always asking about me, encouraging me, giving me feedback and advice on how to proceed, providing me with practical solutions for setbacks I encountered on my path. It has not always been an easy journey, but it developed organically, without forcing it, and thus has always been worthwhile. I have learned so much in this past year. I want to continue my Life Designing Course and go through the exercises again, this time from my current, very different perspective. Thank you so much, Yvonne!
More about Lily’s work and her retreats at: https://www.facebook.com/lilyinberlin/
I hope this story will inspire you to embark on your very own Life Designing journey and follow your heart’s inspiration. Whether this will take you to big life changes or smaller modifications, that’s your story to write and hopefully soon to share ✨