Life to me is an adventure, or: when it is an adventure then it is alive. I love change, uncertainty, and the unknown and struggle when life becomes predictable. I get fired up by the impossible and love radical heart-driven thinking and action.
I am a nomad and love traveling light. Having grown up in Germany, I have since lived & worked in many different countries and on different continents. I have two sons with whom I have shared many unforgettable adventures - such as living in Kathmandu/Nepal for two life-changing years, trekking in some of the remotest regions in the Himalayas, driving across Tanzania in -and sleeping on top of- land rovers, living in Malawi and Sri Lanka, and traveling in an American RV across southern Europe for nine months. I am currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
For much of my life, I worked as an artist exploring questions on the interface between science, philosophy, psychology, and art in wood. My work as a sculptor can be seen here: hylesophy.com. Being an artist to me is the epitome of self-leadership, responsibility, autonomy, and freedom, and art, back then, was my purpose, my passion, and my oxygen.
Then my life fell apart. Extremely challenging events exploded everything I had believed to be my identity and had believed to be safe, true, and certain. My mind was literally pushed beyond the limits of comprehension. I ended up suffering from PTSD with my brain stuck like a record player that played the same handful of thoughts over and over again.
Today I know that this deep crisis was a literal rebirth and fundamental renewal. I discovered that when we lose everything, we are invited to discover that which cannot be lost. And I have since rebuilt my life with that which cannot be lost. In an EMDR session with a therapist that was a turning point, I suddenly also realised that I was able to observe & look AT my own 'malfunctioning' brain - I realized that *I* AM NOT MY BRAIN .
Our brains are concerned with our external constructed identity that is all about HAVE-ing, DO-ing AND past/future THINK-ing - the 'horizontal' plane of our existence. This is where our suffering originates and triggers feelings of shame, fear, anger, and guilt which are part of the fight/flight/freeze survival mechanisms of the brain.
Instead, the *I* exists on a deeper level, as if beneath our thinking. It is our UNconstructed identity that is about pure BE-ing and presence. Here the feelings and qualities we experience are curiosity, creativity, connection, compassion, clarity, calm, love, empathy, purpose, and peace.
I have since been on a relentless journey of discovery. Today, having trained in some of the modalities that liberetd me form y and having developed my own tools
One : One Coaching
I do not believe in taking you just from A to B.
I am interested in assisting you in changing the alphabet and developing your own rules and grammar.
And I do not think anybody has ever been inspired by mediocre goals that lack vision and heart. Our world is what we think it is and exceptional things happen when and because we presuppose their existence, when and because we believe in, and exclusively filter for, the exceptional in ourselves and in each other. It is already there, at the core, deep inside each one of us - and deep inside of you. I enable you to connect with it and remove any internal obstacles that may be obstructing its, i.e your, brilliance and power. In my personal and my client's experience, exponential growth and success in the external world are then a natural consequence.
Teaching & Mentoring
I have worked as a guest lecturer at the University of Art Berlin, where I was in charge of the teaching programme for first-year art students.
I mentor and coach artists -and art students- to withstand the pressures and constraints of today's highly standardised and standardising art and culture industry, and support them in being fearless, self-determined and radical in their approach, find their unique artistic identity and measure their own work against the greatest achievements in the history of art - with the aim to create works that are a meaningful contribution to our collective culture and worth being passed on to future generations.
I have a special interest in and passion for the development of innovative educational methods which enable people to be fearless, autonomous, unmanipulatable, free and fully self-determined in their decision-making processes.
I am the co-founder of artistunderground.co.uk, a not-for-profit organisation concerned with updating art education to 21-st century challenges and potential.
I have an MA in Art and am a certified Life Coach, EMDR Coach, NLP Master Practitioner, Wingwave Coach, Integrative Change Worker/Life Coach certified by the Ethical Coaching Collective, and Integrative Hypnotist. I am a member of the Wingwave Quality Circle of the Besser-Siegmund Institute in Hamburg, Germany.
In collaboration with a Scottish charity, I ran a 9-month personal development/photography programme with women with extremely difficult/traumatic life stories, drug, alcohol and crime issues. This programme, called 'Women in Focus', included a one-week wilderness experience which was run by the charity. In weekly meetings, I created a safe space that allowed the women to relax, have fun, learn and also be vulnerable, connect deeply, and share and process traumatic memories. Below the surface of our vastly diverse life experiences and backgrounds, we touched deep common ground. Over time, with my focus on each woman's dignity, beauty, talents and strengths, all of these came to light; being heard, supported and seen in that light, their self-perception changed. They began to feel happier within and thus started to make positive life choices - they furthered their education, got back driving licences, found employment, built healthy relationships and families and began to live balanced lives free from crime.
Together we created a movie-like presentation with quotes from our conversations which I had recorded with their permission and the photographs they had taken, documenting their lives and positive development over the course of the programme.
The extraordinary success and transformational power of this project were acknowledged by the Scottish Parliament where an event was specifically hosted to present this movie to a select audience of MPs, journalists and professionals in the criminal justice system. Each of the women spoke in parliament about the life-changing impact of this project. This event impacted on the debate about women's needs in the criminal justice system.