The Gift of Mindfulness

Happy Holiday Season

Happy Holiday Season

As Christmas is approaching and instead of rushing to the shops to find a last minute gift, why not giving mindfulness to somebody you love….?

Let me share how I came to work with and practice mindfulness:

At one point in my life, when children came into the family, my personal time became suddenly very scarce as I also continued to work full-time in positions with high responsibility involving international travel and dealing with everything else alongside. Up to that point, I had been able to manage my work-life balance quite well but suddenly without me noticing it, it changed. I did not take enough time out with and for myself anymore. This led to a heavy gall bladder incident in early 2009 where I was told that I was on the edge of burnout and that I had to stop running around.

I then saw an article about mindfulness and thought that it was very much in line with what and who I am. I decided to take up the challenge and found a MBSR teacher close to where I live and with whom I wanted to take up the journey. I actually gave it a try not knowing exactly what it was.

As a matter of fact, in a couple of weeks I rediscovered myself and wondered how I could have possibly been forgetting to take care of myself all this time. I began reading many books about mindfulness and at the same time engaged a lot in intercultural communications (which in fact is my specialization) attending courses etc. I discovered that mindfulness and the qualities of being open, non-judgmental, trusting etc. were exactly the same as what we would strive for when reaching higher levels of intercultural competence. This link (being myself a senior communications professional) struck my interest as well as the link to leadership.

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It is no surprise that I then fell on literature from Daniel Goleman and others writing about emotional intelligence as well from Otto Scharmer with his theory U. I suddenly found enormous pleasure at not only reading through all the literature on neuroscience, brain, leadership and interpersonal/intercultural communications I could get, but also deepening my own practice.

I attended many silence retreats and found them extremely nourishing and also kept looking forward every day to my own home practice. I began living in the present moment and saw colours, smelled things that I had forgotten. I also began being different with my children, showing them more things and being more patient. I subsequently decided to broaden my horizon by learning mindfulness for children, attending the training with mindfulschools.org in the US as well as with Eline Snel from the AMT in the Netherlands. I am now on my way to become a certified mindfulness for children teacher and am practicing with my own children as well as conducting interventions with other children privately for now. Training the leaders of tomorrow is wonderful!

Additionally, I took a  jump into the unknown and am now working with mindfulness in the workplace (designing programmes and workshops on mindful leadership for women for instance), coaching individuals using mindfulness techniques as well as integrating the mindfulness approach into my communications work, i.e. mindful listening training with teams, responding to emails mindfully etc.

Mindfulness has become the “umbrella” under which I offer my services and my state of being… I find it deeply rewarding and fulfilling to work with people, accompanying them on their path of finding themselves again (not to say becoming human again). It is like the discovery of something that has been lost for a long time.

I am also now working more in-depth on projects aiming at bringing mindfulness to the formal school education sector here in Switzerland. The effects of what the leadership theory calls VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) can be strongly felt here too. Everything is in disruption, people are running around without liking what they do, feeling insecure and unhappy with less time every month.

I am now following my gut feeling and my inner guidance and although it is not easy, I feel that I am at the right place at the right time.

So, now you know it all!

Here’s wishing you an excellent Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for being on this journey with me and looking forward to interacting and maybe seeing you again next year.

Jenny

Leading yourself

Jenny Ebermann Self-Leadership Services

… is not easy! In fact it is a major challenge and hurdle to many people. It starts by one simple thing: how many of you are able to look at yourselves in the mirror and give yourselves a virtual hug? It might seem simple but many of us did not grow up to like ourselves… there was always something missing or something not good enough.

In fact, we are our worst enemies as we continuously judge ourselves not seeing the little progresses we make but instead being stuck on all the things that could have been done better, different, more adequately….these things then keep coming back to our thoughts, moving along and influencing everything we do.

So here’s what to do:

  • First of all, start by seeing all the little positive things in your lives. Being present, moment by moment will help you.
  • Start writing down some objectives for yourself, these should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) and could be linked to any aspect of your life (professional, private, yourself…)
  • Write action plans for every single objective, identifying all little steps towards the attainment of your goal/objective (I am happy to share a template with you would like to see one)
  • Check-in with yourself at a regular basis and write down all the things that you did well and achieved in line with your action plan. I am sure that there are many; your brain needs to see that!
  • Stop judging yourself at a continuous basis, rather begin seeing the hurdles and “failures” as opportunities to grow.
  • Try smiling at yourself and liking yourself (if you don’t already do so) every day a little bit more. You deserve all your attention! and finally, remember:
  • We are all “imperfect” and that’s what makes us human!

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful rest of the week! Jenny

Mindful Leadership and Women

Jenny Ebermann Leadership Women ServicesRecently I was asked to develop a Mindful Leadership Programme for women. You might ask why women need a specific program. Well, being a woman myself and having worked internationally in various industries for many years, I have to say that I very often needed specific skills and competences. Actually, many of the women I worked for and with did so too.

Be it self-confidence or resilience, the capacity to be patient and take a project to the very end, dealing with emotions in an appropriate way, learning to lead using emotional intelligence and empathy (and that it is completely ok to do so)… and much more.

As women, we also often wear various different hats, juggling between priorities, needs and tasks. Usually, we end up putting ourselves last on the list of people and things to take care of. Right?

But in fact, I am no “super woman” and I don’t have multiple pairs of hands and heads. Instead, I had to learn to listen to myself and to grow into the different roles life made me play. And actually, if I look around the world, I feel very grateful that I have had the chance to receive an education simply because I grew up where I did. Many other women did not get the same opportunity, unfortunately…

I hence decided to put up a Mindful Leadership program for women in form of modular workshops. Depending on the target audience and the respective backgrounds and experiences, self-awareness (management) and self-leadership, interpersonal and intercultural communications as well as presentation and relationship management will be accompanied by dialogue, learning and discussion groups. Stillness, inner reflection and other mindfulness based techniques will be woven into the program in order to allow for the best possible outcome for the participants.

Leadership is firstly about being able to lead yourself in whatever situation you might be in; secondly it is about leading others, unselfishly and compassionately so that goals can be reached together, in co-creation. By doing that, one “eye” always keeps looking at oneself, whereas the other is looking at the people in front as well as the organizations or structure as a whole.

Interested to learn more? I am just a click away…

Jenny