Post | September 2019 | Past workshops | 4 min read

12 September 2019 - "Create Your Life with Intention - Return to Your Heart"

Written by Gabriel Rodriguez

Moving through life, have you ever felt as if you were on autopilot? Or do you sometimes get the feeling that you're just a spectator in your own life, instead of the actor? At our fifth workshop of 2019, speaker Manuela Damant of Azkua taught us that this feeling has become common in modern society - but also that a new paradigm is possible. By taking the time to answer some important questions about what truly motivates us and why, we can find a way to stop living on autopilot and live our lives with intention and with purpose in order to achieve self-actualization. If you would like to learn more about the process of shifting to this new paradigm, please be sure to contact Manuela

Manuela Damant of Azkua facilitates "Create Your Life with Intention" on 12/09/2019

“What do you want?”

“What do you need?”

We don’t usually apply such big, broad questions when thinking about our own lives, but presenter Manuela Damant of Azkua made sure that these questions were front and center at our fifth workshop of the year, “Create Your Life with Intention – Return to Your Heart.” Building on some of the skills we learned at our previous workshop, where we dared ourselves to face our fears head on, Manuela challenged us to come up with a “new paradigm for life and for work.”

So what was the old paradigm? Manuela pointed to a steady evolution of human ways of living that has seen us go from being a people focused on our small inner circles to one where we as individuals are often guided or controlled by outside forces and outside pressures: modern societal and cultural pressures, corporations, advertisements, and even familial traditions. Especially over the last century, this has led us to things like rampant materialism (what she called “stuffocation”); a feeling of stagnation, as if we’re waiting for the “something” that will fulfill us to arrive; or, conversely, a feeling of needing to always be on the move in order to achieve our goals – many of which have been instilled in us by others, rather than being our own. A lot of this simply leads to regret at the end of our lives, and to drive that point home, we learned about the top five regrets people have at the end of their lives.

Finding Our Intentions

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Manuela argued that we need to break this paradigm down and build up another in its place, because doing so will allow us to nurture our own identities and to promote "evolution within ourselves." To do this, we need to focus on “being,” not just on “doing” as we move through our lives. How many of us have been able to achieve some of the things we want in life, only to find out when we get there that we really didn’t want that after all? To put this another way: Yes, actions are important. But we must first be thoughtful and deliberate about ourselves before we spring into action. This is creating one's life with intention, rather than being on autopilot. This is how we get to a place of self-actualization - the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

So we must think about those questions again: “What do you want?” and “What do you need?” In the workshop, our wonderful participants had time to consider these questions, to write out their own answers, and share. And then another important question was added: “How do I want to feel” when I achieve these wants and needs? Being able to name these feelings is an important step in gaining valuable insight into who we really are, what is really important to us, and what goals are worth pursuing to get ourselves to a place of fulfillment. By knowing these true intentions, we can finally move on and act in a way that leads us to where we want to be.

We want to express our gratitude to Manuela for her wonderful, thought-provoking, and life-affirming presentation. If you would like to contact Manuela for her services, or just to thank her for today’s workshop, please email her at [email protected] We also want to thank Stichting Present Den Haag and NL Cares for helping us to make this workshop happen! And finally – to all of our wonderful participants, a big thank you! We loved having you here to learn, to speak, and to teach us through the sharing your own experiences. We hope to see you at our next event!

About the Presenter

Manuela Damant is the Visionary Collective Leader at Azkua. Azkua helps organizations implement the collaborative, co-creative and meaningful workplace cultures of the future. Manuela spent ten years as Underwriter and Risk & Insurance Advisor at Shell International before she escaped the city to become a coach in 2004. She’s a Creator Connector. Enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic. She believes in the good in everyone and everything and keeps encouraging balanced and conscious individuals to embrace their role as unique leaders to help create a better world for all. She’s also a wife and a mother of three girls. She grew up in Switzerland and has lived in London, Melbourne and now in Delft. The book that changed her life trajectory at 25 was “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coehlo.

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