I love change, adventure, and the unknown. Life to me is an adventure, or rather: when it is an adventure, then it is alive. I struggle when life becomes predictable.
Art (my own and art made before the 1960s), travel, reading, learning about science and philosophy, meditation, yoga, teaching, and coaching -enabling others to lean fully into their fears and potential and create meaningful lives- are activities/areas in life that create my oxygen and give me a deep sense of joy and meaning. I love radical thinking and get fired up by the impossible. My work as an artist/sculptor can be seen here: hylesophy.com .
Having grown up in Germany I have since worked and lived in many different countries/on different continents. I am the mother of two sons with whom I have shared many unforgettable adventures such as living in a remote wilderness location on the West Coast of Scotland, and a five-year international journey that included two life-changing years in Kathmandu/Nepal, several treks in the Himalayas, living in Sri Lanka, driving across Tanzania and Malawi in -and sleeping on top of- land rovers, and traveling in an American RV across southern Europe for nine months. I am currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
When some years ago my life fell apart, my mind, utterly overwhelmed by events beyond my control, got stuck like a record player that played the same handful of thoughts over and over again. For over one year, I suffered from PTSD. It was in those darkest moments that I suddenly understood on a deep level that I am not my brain and discovered deep inner peace and joy -and thus liberation- as if beneath my thinking. I discovered that when you lose everything you are invited to discover that which can NOT be lost. I have since rebuilt my life with that which cannot be lost.
The discoveries I made during that time about the true nature and cause of suffering and about how to transcend it, followed by the richness and joy of my own so-called 'post-traumatic growth' I today know to be some of my greatest treasures.
My rich life experience informs my work as a coach; it allows me to hold the multifaceted experiences and identities of my clients and to hold open the door to their inner peace, freedom, agency, joy and power.
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 nourish and enable people to be fearless, autonomous, unmanipulatable, 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 trained in Positive Intelligence and 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 within the criminal justice system.