Having obtained Master’s degrees in Languages and European Affairs, I used to work in leading positions at various international associations in Brussels. Amongst others I was the Director of the Brussels Office of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s biggest organisation for applied research and Managing Director of the European Venture Philanthropy Association, an organisation aiming at creating positive societal impact through venture philanthropy.
However, combining a stressful job with a lot of traveling and two small children led to a serious burn-out many years ago. At this low point in my life, mindfulness provided me with an opportunity to approach life differently than ever before. I learnt that I had been functioning on autopilot for most of my life and that I had been hardly aware of my personal needs. My mindfulness practice has been transformative to me in the sense that it brought me closer to who I really am, less driven by reactivity and automatic reactions. This increased awareness helps me to take decisions that connect to my deeper values and provides a choice when to act and when to let go. Upon my recovery, I decided to reach out and help others to better deal with the many challenges and demands that we are all faced with and lead a more fulfilled life.
I have been trained as a mindfulness trainer (MBSR) at Arbor Seminare in Germany and have studied intensely with leading international teachers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn, Christina Feldman, Chris Cullen, Mark Williams, Edel Maex, Florence Meleo-Meyer, Rebecca Crane, John Peacock, and Rick Hanson. I have also been trained as a teacher for mindfulness at school by the Mindfulness at School Project in London (teach paws programme).
Since 2018 I am authorised by neuropsychologist Rick Hanson to teach his method of positive neuroplasticity. This method teaches how to turn positive experiences into inner strengths hardwired into our nervous system which can help to heal old pain, deal with challenges, and have more to offer others (for more information see www.rickhanson.net).
Given my background in European Affairs, I frequently train at the European Institutions, especially the European Commission and the European Parliament and other international organisations. I enjoy giving retreats and trainings to an international audience and I am also responsible for our new mindfulness teacher training programme.
Upon demand, I provide executive trainings on mindful leadership where I use elements of theory U, servant leadership, mindfulness and positive neuroplasticity.
I work in English, German (mother tongue), French and Dutch. I am also member of the Belgian association for mindfulness trainers, vzw MOMENT.
Being a mother of two teenage sons I have the opportunity to practice every day how to stay grounded when being triggered and how to stay connected.