Having obtained several Master’s degrees in Languages, intercultural relations and European Affairs (College of Europe), 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 CEO of the European Venture Philanthropy Association, an organisation aiming at creating positive societal impact through venture philanthropy and impact investing.
However, combining a stressful job with a lot of traveling and two small children at the time 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 and of my stress symptoms. Mindfulness did not only help me to heal and to prevent another burnout, but it also brought me closer to who I really am, less driven by reactivity and automatic reactions. It provided me with an increased awareness which helps me to take decisions that connect to my deeper values and to choose 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, Claude Maskens, Oren Jay Sofer 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). I love developing new skills and learning new methods and therefore continue my path with regular retreats and workshops. I also follow supervision and organise intervisions with my peers in order to remain grounded and self-reflective in my teaching practice.
Since 2018 I am the first authorised teacher in Belgium of Positive Neuroplasticity Training (PNT) by neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson. 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 grow more happiness and resilience. I am also part of an international network of PNT teachers who share their learning and grow together on this path.
Given my background in European Affairs, I frequently train at the European Institutions and other international organisations. I enjoy giving key notes, retreats and trainings to an international audience. I am also responsible for our mindfulness teacher training and the focused leadership programme. I also offer coaching sessions for individuals using the method of mindfulness and positive neuroplasticity.
I work in English, German (mother tongue), French and Dutch and I understand some Spanish and Italian. I am also member of the Belgian association for mindfulness trainers, vzw MOMENT.
As a mother of two teenage sons I have the opportunity to practice every day how to stay grounded and connected when being triggered and to also enjoy the many good moments of family life.