Title Image

Authentic living

Don’t judge the one who smells, you’re the one with a privilege

A little while ago, I spent several weeks road tripping and camping, hiking and trekking. A friend and I travelled from Tasmania to Perth (southern Australia) spending most nights in our tent on free camp sites and some nights in the car. It was great! However, hygiene was sometimes not prioritised or even possible to keep up. We simply didn’t have access to showers, sometimes for many days in a row. When the weather was warm we washed in the ocean, rivers or lakes, but some days that wasn’t too inviting. And since we only had the outdoors as our home, we didn’t want to swim on a could day and spend the rest of the day freezing… You can probably see where this is going, we were NOT CLEAN.

Despite having climbed a mountain and being all sweaty, we had to keep the same clothes on and keep on travelling the day after. We did smell. Not super bad (I think) but still. And I realised one of the most obvious things in a way I hadn’t thought of it before: being clean is such a privilege. Being dirty and smelly is the natural state for a human. This is what we all were, back in the days. We have been unclean (we probably didn’t even know the concept ”clean”, we were just getting on with our lives feeling completely normal) for most or our existence on Earth. We hade to get up and get on with our days without washing ourselves and without a clean set of clothes. Even today, a daily shower is a luxury only a small share of humanity have access to. So is being able to change into clean clothes.

Living (and currently traveling) in a part of the world where being clean and fresh is the norm, I realised how we exclude and judge people who fail to live up to those standards. How it is considered normal and fair to avoid people who smell and don’t look clean. As if that makes them less human. We don’t consider it being disrespectful to step away from them, we don’t care if they understand what we think about them – many of us probably even think that ”they should know because they should really do something about it” that ”it is not okay to be around others when you smell/look like that”. I’m not saying that I am any better, I have moved away from people on the bus because of their smell. I’ve stepped away from them. I am just like most of us. But from now on I am trying hard not to, because I realised that I am the exception.

Let’s break down the situation these people are in, according to what I can grasp from my perspective. If you don’t have a home (or sometimes don’t, or get beat up or in different ways suffer at home and need to stay away from it), you probably don’t have access to a shower. So, you would need a public shower. Those usually cost a few dollars. So does schampoo and soap. This means that even if you could swim and get clean in the wild (maybe not that easy if living in a city, or in the colder parts of the world), you would need to pay for something to wash yourself with – just water doesn’t do the trick. And you might not have clean clothes anyway, because laundry would cost you another couple of dollars. If even having enough food is a challenge, getting clean is naturally under-prioritised – that’s not where those few dollars would go.

Let’s face it: without the luxury of a shower and laundry possibilities, we all would smell! Thus, the natural state is to smell and be dirty, unless we have the privilege of treating ourselves with the means it takes to stay clean. This is not free, this is not something we should take for granted. If you can put on clean clothes after washing yourself up in a bathroom at home, you belong to the lucky ones. You are the exception, and you have no right to look down on others. Be grateful, and respect all humans, always.

Full of gratitude,
Hanna

10 days of silence, meditation and brain wrestling (Vipassana)

I’ve been trying to meditate on and off, sometimes making a successful 30 days in a row of 20 minutes per day, but never felt like I really reached the benefits I’d heard of. It was a paus for my brain, similar to a walk or a yoga session,  but I always felt like there should be another level to it. Based on the fact that uncountable studies and examples point out the benefits of meditation, I wanted to put a serious effort into the exploration of mediation practice.

I like to do things in projects, go deeper into something with focus and determination for a while, and see where it takes me. To just add an hour of meditation per day and e.g. use on of the dozens of apps or classes that popped up due to the trendiness of meditation and mindfulness wouldn’t work for me. I chose Vipassana because it would allow me to focus solely on meditation practice for ten days, instead of a short break from reality it seemed to be about hard work, discipline and deep practice. The center I went to was the Dhamma Papida near Perth, in western Australia, and this is my experience.

As a new student, you must start with a ten days course, a seemingly long time considering the challenging schedule and regulations. The rules of Vipassana are strict. During those ten days you are not allowed to speak or in any other way communicate or interact with the other participants. No gestures or sign language, avoiding eye contact and absolutely no physical contact. You are also not allowed to bring any books or writing material, so there is no reading, writing and no listening to any kind of (your own choice of) audio. That is, no information in or out and as little expression as possible (the teachings of Vipassana and the actual course are exempt, of course, and so is necessary practical information), it is about you and your brain ONLY.

The days begin at 4 with a soft but persistent gong waking everyone up, and at 4:30 the two hours long morning meditation begins. We tumbled out of our dorm the first morning, threading slowly the hundred meters to the mediation hall. The room was dimly lit and I am pretty sure we all fought hard not to fall asleep on our cushions that first day. At 6:30 we welcomed the sound of the gong, letting us know that it was breakfast time. A filling and very yummy meal was served as the daylight chased the darkness away and the day began (for the rest of the world). On the first morning, I learned that the ”no intoxicants” regulation included coffee (I could have guessed, but that was an aspect I just didn’t think of). Having travelled with a heavy coffee drinker, my past months I’d had something like five cups per day of strong coffee. Bulging two cups of black tea, I tried to fight the headache that I knew might terror me later that day.

At 8 mediation starts again, and with two breaks, we meditate until 11 when it is time for lunch. Again, the food (vegetarian only) was amazing and filling. However, this is the last meal for the day except for some fruit and tea at five o’clock. The old students don’t even get this, but are to sustain on only lemon water or tea without milk when the rest of us were having our fruit. The point of the food regulation is that we meditate better when our belly is not full, and also to realise that it’s ok to not always be full, we can live on less and hunger is just another sensation (although I didn’t feel hungry at all just light and healthy, the volume of food was for me well suited for the slow paced routine at the center). Anyhow, the lunch break continues to 1 pm when meditation starts again and goes on to 5 pm, then we had the tea and fruit and a one hour break, and then meditated again between 6-7 pm. At 7 was one of the highlights of the day; the discourse. This was a one hour class showed on video, that included the learnings, principles and philosophies that comes with Vipassana. The day ended with a half hour meditation session, and at 9 pm most of us went to bed, exhausted.

The instructions of the first days’ meditation is to focus on your breath and how it feels in your nose. That’s it. The simplicity in itself felt futile. When our minds moved from the awareness of breathing to thoughts (as it does – all the time) we just brought it back. And that’s how it went, for hours. To pick up that coffee-thread again, the dreaded headache caught me in the afternoon of the first day and the last part of the day was really hard. To just focus on breathing for hours was a struggle and it felt like I was either thinking of my pain or was about to fall asleep pretty much all day, and I literally crashed in my bed and was deep asleep within five minutes that first night.

Luckily, the withdrawal from my coffee addiction didn’t last any longer, and my second day was way easier. The first three days we were only focusing on our breathing, narrowing it down on the third day to the sensation of breath on the skin below the nostrils. I don’t know if you did the math, but each day consisted of about ten hours of meditation, and to focus on that sensation ONLY for ten hours is difficult and utterly challenging. The purpose of this narrow focus is to sharpen the mind to experience the most subtle sensation anywhere on the body. The smaller the area, the sharper the mind. These days were a practice in the sensitivity required for Vipassana.

On the fourth day we were introduced to Vipassana meditation. Vipassana stems from buddhism, but is secular in its’ nature in modern days. The father of Vipassana is the late N.S. Goenka, who was raised in Myanmar and learned it there from the monks. Mr Goenka is the teacher at all the Vipassana retreats which are similar everywhere in the world, and recordings of him talking and/or chanting are opening and closing the meditation sessions, and he is also doing the one hour discourse where you get to watch him on video. Despite the seriousness of it all, Mr Goenka is surprisingly funny – and I think we laughed out loud (a joyous relief considering the silence and non-interaction the rest of the time) at least once every discourse. Despite so much of the teachings being on audio and video and not live, the course is vivid and Mr Goenka feels present. At each course there is also an assisting teacher, and this is the person who will give the students more personal guidance and who you go to for questions regarding your practice. The assisting teacher is sitting in front of the hall and is in every way active in the teachings. On this fourth day as the Vipassana was given, Mr Goenkas voice guided us to Vipassana; sequences of long body scans in a specific order.

In addition to the body scans, day four marked the start of the ”Sittings of strong determination” three times daily. They were one hour long each, during which we were not allowed to move. Any itching, pain or sleeping limbs were just to be observed when scanning that part of the body, “observe them impersonally and know that they are just temporary” were the instructions. An example of Vipassana practice would be that you are focusing on your shoulders when scanning the body, and suddenly you are experiencing pain in one knee. Your mind will wander to that knee, and beg you to move it as to ease the pain. Instead you are to move your focus back to the shoulders, knowing that the pain will pass, and only observe it when you are getting to your knees in your scanning procedure.

The first sitting of strong determination, or ”long hold” as I started calling it in my mind, relating to holding a position or weight for a longer time during body exercise, was a real struggle. I suspect none of us new students made it all the way through without shifting our bodies at least a little. However – to my surprise – they rapidly got easier. On the third session I was able to sit still for the full hour, and after that I managed every single time for the rest of the course. The struggle wasn’t physical, it was mental. Despite kind of knowing this already, it was a realisation in itself that the physical challenge was a piece of cake compared to the mental one.

Honestly, our minds are crazy! Constantly nagging, always bringing something up that we didn’t ask for. Going through things that we thought we already solved again and again, or just ”showing” us something meaningless, or thinking about what kind of food we are going to get next… In the beginning I had sessions when I could stay focused for twenty seconds maximum before my mind took away with me. It got better, but even at the end of the course the best I could manage was to be in the meditative, focused state for like ten minutes before I had to call my mind back from some random thought.

The work on improving my meditation practice took me a long way, with the realisation that there is a lot left to work on before I can actually meditate for even half an hour without getting interrupted by sudden uncontrolled thinking.

What about the silence? Before the course started, I thought that being silent and spending all this time not doing anything but thinking and meditating would be really hard. To my and many of my fellow students’ surprise, it wasn’t hard at all. It was actually enjoyable. However, I think that if entering Vipassana with anxiety or other mental challenges, it might get really hard – for most of us the silence was the easy part.

On that note, the noble silence is broken by lunchtime on the last day of the course, and a loud, loving chatter takes its’ place (only during the breaks though). Having a last day when we where allowed to talk and share our experiences was invaluable! I am not sure how I would have made it the first days in the ”real world” if I wouldn’t have had those conversations, sharing what we’d been through.

What are my biggest learnings then?

As I am writing this, only one day has passed since the course ended. I am sure more learnings will pop up as I reflect further, but here is what I see at this point:

The major one: my mind is kind. There was a time in my life when I couldn’t sleep at night due to anxiety, my head panicking and criticising and blaming and fearing out of control. A time when I had to distract myself to not think negative thoughts, and when lone time usually involved crying. Since then years have passed and I have been working a lot on myself. I was expecting that something hidden would pop up during my ten days alone in my own head, but it didn’t. I feel like I am seeing all of me, everything inside of me, clearly. And it is all good, calm and taken care of. I am treating myself with kindness, trust and love, and I am so grateful!

The others:
– Controlling the mind is a constant challenge. The work will never be over
– Training to stop reacting to it helps in tolerating pain

Being an old student of Vipassana, I am now welcome to join any one day, three days or ten days retreat or to volunteer at any center. There are Vipassana centers all around the world, same teachings but completely different settings (and food, they say). I will definitely do Vipassana again, just spending that time with myself was really developing and fruitful for my productivity coming out of the course. Although, I am not going to do another ten days course any time soon, I am afraid that might drive me a little bit crazy.


As Mr Goenka said: may all beings be happy

Hanna

The too much woman

There she is. . . the “too much” woman. The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.

There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes.

There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.

She is dangerous.

And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.

Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much.

She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches. Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her.

Here I am. . . the Too Much Woman, with my too-tender heart and my too-much emotions.

A hedonist, feminist, pleasure seeker, empath. I want a lot—justice, sincerity, spaciousness, ease, intimacy, actualization, respect, to be seen, to be understood, your undivided attention, and all of your promises to be kept.

I’ve been called high maintenance because I want what I want, and intimidating because of the space I occupy. I’ve been called selfish because I am self-loving. I’ve been called a witch because I know how to heal myself.

And still. . . I rise. Still, I want and feel and ask and risk and take up space.

I must.

Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for ions—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.

And still. . . she thrives.

In my own world and before my very eyes, I am witnessing the reclamation and rising up of the Too Much Woman. That Too Much Woman is also known to some as Wild Woman or the Divine Feminine. In any case, she is me, she is you, and she is loving that she’s finally, finally getting some airtime.

If you’ve ever been called “too much,” or “overly emotional,” or “bitchy,” or “stuck up,” you are likely a Too Much Woman.

And if you are. . . I implore you to embrace all that you are—all of your depth, all of your vastness; to not hold yourself in, and to never abandon yourself, your bigness, your radiance.

Forget everything you’ve heard—your too much-ness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.

Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too much-ness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.

Don’t believe me? Check this: All of your favorite women, the ones who’ve made history, the ones who’ve lent their voices for change and have courageously given themselves permission to be exactly who they are. Some examples: Oprah, Ronda Rousey, Beyoncé, Kali, Misty Copeland, Janet Mock, Mary Magdalene . . . they’re all Too Much Women.

So please, Too Much Woman: Ask. Seek. Desire. Expand. Move. Feel.Be.

Make your waves, fan your flames, give us chills.

Please, rise.
We need you.

Author: Ev’Yan Whitney

Disclaimer: there’s nothing wrong with having a corporate job

These days, if you’re hanging out with people similar to me and my network, you could easily get the impression that there is something sacred about quitting your job. As if that is the one right thing to do if only you were brave enough, the one true path for every authentic and genuine human. When I left my last job that was the truth for me. It was the one right thing to do. And I know that there is a crazy amount of people out there who are in the wrong place, working for the wrong company or working for any company just because they don’t dare leaving. And for them, quitting is the right choice and I’m fired up about it because I know they really need to be motivated and inspired.
But not because HAVING A JOB is wrong. The mere reason is that everyone and everything is better when we are authentic, when we do what we do wholeheartedly. Are you having a job that you truly love, where you feel engaged and believe in what the organisation stands for? GREAT! Congratulations! Hold on to it! Hating your job but got your eyes set on another? Quit and aim for that new dream job. Do you like your job most of the time and feel like its worth keeping it to support you when you’re figuring some things out and maybe look for something else later on? Good, keep on evaluating, and as time goes by only stay as long as it is really serving you. We all have times in our lives when we are figuring things out and need some space before we know where we are going next. During those times changing your job or quitting just because you started thinking about maaaaybe moving on to something else may just put you in turmoil and not give you the space you need to hear your heart’s voice. Heck, you might just find that you really want to stay with your current employer. Thats fine.As long as you are listening to your truth.That is my one message. Be true to yourself. Break the norms, or stick to them. Forget all about the box society put you in, or bring a pillow in there and cozy it up with a life that looks similar to most people you know. Leave the job, pack your bag, bring your trombone and your gold fish and travel your heart out as a street artist if that is what you long for deep inside. Or get that house with the white picket fence, get married, cover the fridge with photos of your kids, adopt a stray cat and enjoy your life as settled down in the suburbs. As long as that is what you really want with your whole heart. I’m happy for you.Breaking the norms is harder though. People will question what the hell you’re up to (how are you ever gonna afford a house on the money from your travelling gold fish circus? And what kind of life is that for your future kids? You don’t want a house and kids? Your are going to get over that shortly, and then you will regret that you didn’t listen to me and kept your job as a lawyer!). Society wasn’t made for people like you. It’s not expecting us, because we’re not in their system. We don’t fit in the boxes, we’re building our own reality around our own truth. This causes friction, questioning and usually a lot of soul-searching because the programming from the norms is relentless. It’s not going to be easy, but if it is your truth – it’s going to be worth it.Additionally, leaving your job, doing a couple of years of WHATEVER and then go back to a corporate job is also not wrong. 
The only thing sacred here, the only thing I hold as holy, is that you stay true. Be authentic. Listen to your heart. Be all you want to be. Don’t chicken out, don’t live a lesser life because of fear. Remember what is really true, important and valuable to you and don’t let norms, expectations or fear steer you off your path.
For me, in this phase of life, the regular job and the life in the 9-5 (where are those numbers from anyway, who in the corporate world ever works as little as 9-5?) is not the right thing. If I happen to find a job I truly want with my whole heart and decide to go for that, it’s not a failure – it’s a win!
 
Do your thing,
Hanna

How my boss helped me quit my job

I really liked my last job. The company had values that I supported and shared, the colleagues were fun, leadership was authentic and strong (seriously, I have no patience with bad leaders anymore) and projects usually interesting. It was a really good workplace where I had flexibility and autonomy, and lots of fun. In general my life was pretty amazing and I knew I should be satisfied. I mean, I was happy(-ish), I did amazing travels during my vacation days, spent evenings and weekends climbing, practicing acrobatics, dancing and hanging out with smart, spontaneous, crazy-ass wild kids and go-getters like myself (LOVE YOU!). But I felt like life at its core was… wrong. Not completely out of place, just a bit… twisted. Like I was filling in the spaces of my everyday life with things I loved, but like the actual… direction of where my life was going was slightly out of place. What was supposed to be my main focus in life wasn’t right, but I could cover it up so that it was kind of okey anyway.It wasn’t until I got another job offer that I realised that things really needed to change. Suddenly it stood clear that change was unavoidable, and I needed to take control. The new offer talked to parts of me that had been under-stimulated for a long time, plus competition was hard and I was flattered that they wanted me. But I did really like my job, I was genuinely engaged and felt like I really mattered, and this other place was one of those huge enterprises where change happened slowly and hierarchy was all but flat. I had to make a decision, the potentially new place expected my reply. I was confused but knowing that I needed change I was tempted to take the offer just to shake things up and see something else. But I wanted to give my then current employer a chance and I wanted to be honest with them. So I called my boss. At first, I think she was a bit shocked that I hadn’t talked about it (the need of change) before. She was a preacher for transparency (a GOOD thing, mark my words, but complex – read my thoughts on why transparency at work is utopia in my previous blog post) and couldn’t see how I could’ve had this process going on without talking to her (however I think she understood that I needed to have my own process first during our upcoming conversations). Anyway, after some thinking about what kind of culture I thrived in, I decided to say thanks but no thanks to the new job offer. Moving from a small company where my words really mattered to a big enterprise was not a step in the right direction. But I still needed change.Our conversations about my future continued for a couple of months. Wanting me in the company, she opened up ways of changing my position and location if I wanted to. And here is the key, here is where my boss proved to be a leader and not just a manager; she only wanted me in the company if that was what I really wanted wholeheartedly. Not to make more money, not for her own pride of not loosing an employee, not to avoid messy changes within our projects. A couple of times during our talks she said something like ”as CEO I think this [advice], but as a friend and human I think [reflection/advice]”. Doing this I knew that she supported my decision no matter where it went. She didn’t try and talk me into a solution that would be seemingly better for the company (me staying), she tried to help me see and follow my truth. Our honest and authentic conversations lead to me not being able to dim the light shining on my dreams and my truth anymore. And I quit my job. And even though my boss probably saw it coming even before I did she waited for me to see it clearly myself. A manner I truly admire, and a bravery rarely seen amongst managers – but a sign of a true leader. 

“Our honest and authentic conversations lead to me not being able to dim the light shining on my dreams and my truth anymore”

Leaving my job was like graduating school. My feelings were mixed, I was excited to see what the future held, but I would miss what I had left behind. However, this was me surrendering to my truth and it was just no other way. It was time. I had amazing years at that company, I am so grateful for the people I met, everything I learned and for allt the laughters. But neither of us (me or the company) would gain from me staying when it was no longer my true path, when my heart wasn’t really there anymore. I learned what I needed and it was time to move on. I don’t believe in lingering when a phase served its purpose. Moving ahead doesn’t make what we had less important, its just a part of life. I know I would have come to the same conclusion even if my boss didn’t behave the way she did, the truth was inside of me all the time. But the detour would have been longer, I might have taken that other job offer and been stuck at another place before finally having enough of hiding my truth behind excuses and fear. I might have tried another position or location within my then employer and ended up failing because of not being wholehearted anymore. Even though me and my boss didn’t agree on everything, I truly respect and admire her. Leadership is all about leading people, not managing a company, and she gets that. For leading people, authenticity is the only way.I believe there is a shift happening right now, in me, in organisations and in the world, where anything inauthentic can no longer survive. Everything that is fake or false will come tumbling down. 
With gratitude. 
Hanna

Why transparency at work is utopia

When growing up, going to school and working at our first jobs, we learn to follow instructions and to do as others are telling us. This is not necessarily wrong, and in some situations it is even necessary, either way it is how it is and how we learn to behave. In modern leadership, transparency and authenticity are buzz words, a manager is supposed to be inspiring not instructing and working as in a team of equals with their subordinates (and they should certainly not use the word subordinate – we’re talking aspiring flat hierarchies). Following and giving orders is last century, and we are all supposed to be happily intrinsically motivated or speak up as soon as we experience an ounce of boredom, stress or hardship. As good as it sounds, this kind of culture is utopia. Strive for it yes – but as a leader you are making yourself a huge disservice if you believe you are all the way there.We all bring experience from school and usually a couple of more or less shitty jobs (being new to the job market you pretty much take what you get, right?). We all have our luggage of dysfunctional organisations and probably a couple of bad managers where being 100 % ourselves was a risk not worth taking. Even though some companies encourage their employees to speak up about anything; new ideas, suggestions, complaints – there is always the risk of stepping on the wrong toes. I’ve had managers telling their employees that they want transparency and are happy to be questioned as a way of developing; stating their values of high standards (because they learned that this is modern leadership) and yet not being able to live up to NOT taking it personal when being criticised. This is not surprising. Bosses are people too, after all, and learning how to handle critique in a good, productive manner takes practice. Not taking it personal and using criticism only as a tool takes hard work, and most leaders are to be honest not that mature. There are other reasons not to be fully transparent at work. Telling people about your shitty day might actually just put everyone in a bad mood, when it might be better for you and for everyone else if you just try to focus on getting stuff done and forget about that bill or whatever it is that put you in a bad place. You might not wanna talk about that you applied for your dream position at another place and didn’t get it. That makes sense, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t like where you are. Every healthy company and good leader understands that people have dreams and will want changes as they learn and develop, that is a good sign of having employees with ambitions. Actually, I think it is healthy to question what we are up to every now and then no matter what, and hopefully the answer to our question is that we are happy where we are. But when going through the mini-evaluation of the week/day/month finding out if we (still) like what we’re doing, we might not want to tell everyone. And that’s fine. Thus, even when working at The Perfect Company, as employees we will be careful. Even if you are The Perfect Leader at The Perfect Company, expecting your followers/employees to be fully transparent is not fair. What is crucial to understand is that it’s not about you allowing it or asking for it. Thats not how culture happens! People come with experiences of their openness being punished, and building a culture of trust takes time. The trust it takes to be transparent is interpersonal and for every new person in the company it must be reestablished. As a leader, you must lead the way to this openness and you are going to have to work to create the culture you desire. Its not only in your words or in your values, it is a relationship with each and every person in the company – including your relationship with youWhy am I writing this? I am and will always be a dreamer. There will always be ideas and plans on things I want to do that are not in line with any a company or with what I’m currently doing. I am a seeker and an explorer, and change is necessary for me. As I am trying to be wholehearted in everything and make active choices, if I am working with you I’m there for a reason. What we’re doing together is aligned with me and my dreams, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be longing for something else sometimes in the future. I might even plan for that future as I am working with you, as a visionary that is how I function.I have been criticised and judged as less trustworthy for having aspirations outside places where I worked. For wanting to be MORE than just that one label. For not wanting just one career. Something I think is frickin’ awesome! I’m multifaceted and learn fast, I am brave and creative. But most companies don’t seem to be able to handle this truth – their employees want MORE, they have dreams that don’t include them. They probably understand it secretly, but as long as it stays hidden and unmentioned we can all pretend that its not happening. But we are all more than work, we are all multifaceted and our workplace is just one piece in the puzzle, one phase in our lives. I really hope we will be able to be honest and transparent about those things in our workplaces in the future, but its not easy. Understanding this complexity is crucial for being a good leader.
Stay true,
Hanna