Leadership back to its’ core: The first of the Seven Hermetic Principles

20171019_Henri Nestlé

Nestlé’s founder, German-born pharmacist Henri Nestlé, launches his ‘farine lactée’ [Photo credit: Nestlé S.A.]

Executive leaders are struggling. The world is breaking open[1] on all different levels. When we look at what is happening in the structures we are used to, whether it is the company we work in, the country we live in, on a global scale, or in our private lives, change is happening on every level. Moreover, this change is not going to stop until the message that wants to come through is heard. Until the pain and sorrow the world is suffering from, is healed. The world is evolving. One of my favourite quotes is this one, describing a different perspective on where we are in the world right now:

For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who does not understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.
—Cynthia Occelli, author

The volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous world where we find ourselves is a world nobody can close his or her eyes from. As it vibrates on every level. It took me back to the Seven Hermetic Principles. The answer in how to show true leadership in our vuca world might be there. This is the first of seven explorations of the way we are doing business and how we might use universal laws in our advantage. We might be able to navigate our leadership better when becoming more familiar with them.

The Seven Hermetic Principles’ are ancient writings, bundled in The Kybalion, by Hermes Trismegistus[2]. The first principle is the principle of Mentalism, in which is stated:

“The All is mind; the universe is mental” – The Kybalion.

It is the greatest of all seven laws and shows us that our manifestation on earth, the physical, tangible world we live in, is a manifestation of the mind. All that has ever been thought of by people, creates the world we find ourselves in right now. The phenomenal world is simply a mental creation and spirit lives in every single creation of our phenomenal world. It is a two way street. It brings us to the fact that whatever we create in our minds, either conscious or subconscious manifests through time. In short: Whatever you give attention to, grows. And this growth is, whether we are aware of that or not, on three planes: the mental, physical and spiritual.

Knowing this, how can we use it in our daily business? What is the invitation to the leaders of today? From this perspective, it is essential to act from an intentional place of creating value for everybody you connect with. Not just for you, your company, its’ stakeholders and employees, but on an even larger scale: for society, for the planet. Leaders have the possibility to give direction to large groups of people in a positive way. In politics as well as in business. Setting the intention to work from a place of bringing growth. Not just for shareholders, but for their employees as well as for the communities linked to them in the complete value chain, from source to consumer.

Nestlé is a great example for this. The company has this already centered in its DNA, Nestlé calls this Creating Shared Value. Values rooted in respect, they work alongside partners to create shared value – contributing to society while ensuring the long-term success of their business. It is embedded in everything they do. It is the companies fundamental belief that the business will be successful in the long term by creating shared value for both its’ shareholders and for society as a whole. What it creates for the worlds’ largest food company, is to work in a playing field that is always rooted in respect. Respect for the people they work with, for whom they engage with and therewith taking integrity as a central point.

This important basis, the companies DNA, surprised me in a positive way when I started working as an interim in their Dutch corporate communications department. Nestlé is a company that is open to learn, embrace challenges and keeps on working from a place of choice and opportunity. Embracing challenges while not being afraid to be with the not knowing, the uncomfortable, gives clarity underneath the drama and facts. It takes you back to the intentional place of creating shared value over and over again.

Now going back to the first Hermetic Principle of Mentalism, Nestlé’s raison d’être, her reason of existence, was founded 150 years ago by Henri Nestlé. He was a pioneer and an entrepreneur, motivated by the challenges and the needs of the society he was living in. He invented farine lactée and saved the life of a child. His mission was to reduce the high mortality rate amongst children due to hunger. Today, a century and a half later, this vision and pioneering spirit still define the companies’ impact area Individuals and families, in which they are committed to helping 50 million children lead healthier lives, as well its’ purpose: Nestlé. Enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. 344.000 people all over the world, are working on a daily basis to contribute to their purpose with this intention. With the intention to create shared value.

When we make ourselves go back there every time with intention, we find ourselves manifesting a world that allows growth in a positive way and that is exactly what leaders are asked to do in these challenging times. It means telling stories of the good things happening, although there is a lot of criticism. It opens up a dialogue with people. It means showing vulnerability and honesty, the fact that the company is on a journey, just like we all are. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes, as ‘perfect’ does not exist. It means becoming aware of what you are creating while thinking. Just that. Become aware of what you create while thinking. What you are creating while giving attention to something. Thoughts build things, a tangible world. The secret of growth is rooted in stepping forward with intention from a place of integrity. It comes from a pure place. That is the first thing leaders should become aware of.

[1] Alan Seale, Center for Transformational Presence, http://www.transformationalpresencebook.com

[2] Hermes Trismegistus (three times Great) is a representation of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth, bringing astrology, alchemy and theurgy together. His ancient writings were first published in 1908 by the Yogi Publication Society. 


How to bring head and heart together

Walking each other homeWe live in challenging times. Turning on the television makes the vibe in the room change completely. The world outside is rumbling and when the world is rumbling, it rumbles on all levels. In our work, in our families and in our private life. Nobody can escape the change in vibes. Some experience it more powerful than others, and still it happens on every level in our society. To me this is a huge invitation. An invitation to stay close to my heart, as only my heart can show me the true way.

When my heart shows me the way, I use my head to manifest what my heart wants me to do. Without my head, I wouldn’t be able to be in time at appointments, have them prepared, or do what my agenda is asking me to do. I need my head. And at the same time my head shows me how the world works on its’ rumbling outside. Because it is the place that feels spoken to most of the time. When someone gives me an opinion about something I choose to do, my head feels rejected. When I notice this rejection living inside of me, I visit my point of stillness and ask my heart if it is true. There is always an answer there. A loving answer, that makes me embrace the situation and the fact that something has shown itself to me. Giving me the opportunity to work with it.

My head reflects what is happening in our outside world. And in our inside world, our hearts, all bond together, there is nothing but love. Make sure you visit your point of stillness often, so you will be able to know what lives inside your heart and in all of us. As our hearts are all connected. It is what bonds us. Take care of your heart. As this makes you bring to the world what is yours to do. And I wouldn’t want to miss that.

Would you like some help in finding your point of stillness? Alan Seale has a wonderful tool in which he helps you find yours. Feel free to use it!

Thinking with your own mind, sensing with your own heart

About Boundaries & Ferocious love

Ferocious love. An incredibly powerful word that spoke to me the first time I heard about it. Is it possible to love ferociously? It means loving with the utmost power, in the most powerful way possible. Brene Brown shares it in this video in a beautiful way. And with that comes setting boundaries for what is ok and what is not. What you do and do not allow people to do. Be compassionate with people where they are, where they come from AND put boundaries to what is and is not ok. To lead them in love. Boundaries are rooted in love. Boundaries create respect AND boundaries are loving.

Loving ferociously is not about smothering someone in your love. It is about setting people free, making them find their own way in life. Standing next to someone and walk beside them in hard or dark times, without judgement. Touching people who are not supposed to be touched. Asking ‘how are you?’ to someone who you feel is in need of connecting. Ferocious love is about so much more than relationships. It is about the core of our being and screaming to be out there. A well known quote I’ve used in an earlier blog is: “Don’t walk behind me, I might not lead, don’t walk in front of me, I might not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

It is this years’ theme of the Transformational Presence Global Leadership Gathering: “Leading with fierce gentleness and ferocious love”. It couldn’t have been chosen better. Because that is what we need right now, leaders who set boundaries, rooted in love. So they create a safe space for you to built upon and become the best version of you. Enjoy the video!



A new Deepening: Sit down, stand up and show up

foto-leadershipA new year, a fresh start! A perfect moment for some reflection. Because our fast changing world requests a different kind of leader. Because in this vuca world circumstances change in a split second and leaders need to work with that. Because the challenges we face are sometimes to big to have an answer to. Because a linear approach doesn’t suit an exponential world anymore. That is why we need leaders who do things differently. Who don’t operate from ratio, but from their intuition and feeling. Who are able to embrace the ‘not knowing’. And we will only be able to this when we first know how to lead ourselves personally. That is why I invite you to have a closer look and what better moment to do so in the silence of the winter?

This Deepening is about Transformational Presence, based on the work of Alan Seale. In three nights you’ll learn to use certain instruments to expand your awareness, expand your knowledge of Transformational Presence and widen your horizon in your personal life and the role you play in that. Of course we can’t all start a restaurant at the beach,  but if you dare to look further to what life has in store for you, your personal journey can start!

Deepening Transformational Presence
Workshop 1: Sit down
The universe offers us ongoing possibilities to learn in life. Everyday again. How can you read those signals? Do you believe in coincidence? What would be an easier way to make decisions?

Workshop 2: Stand up
Do you fit in a box? In which box do you spend most of your days? Do you ever ask yourself why you are here? What does it mean to be alive?

Workshop 3: Show up
Have you ever met yourself? Your most successful self? Your most peaceful self? Who are you in your greatest strength? What can be one step in the direction of your greatest happiness?

Participating in the Series costs 150 euros (incl. VAT), participating in one single workshop 75 euros (incl. VAT). The Deepening starts on Tuesday 31st of January, with following evenings on the 7th and the 14th of February in Eemnes from 20.00 to 22.00 hrs. Let me know if you’d like to join us via judy@madepublic.nl

“Do you have a vision or a dream that won’t let go of you? 
Do you want to play a greater role in creating a world that works? 
Whatever your vision or dream, do it now. 
The world can’t afford for you to wait any longer.”
-Alan Seale

Who’s at the table? – The launch video

On the 25th of September the launch of ‘Who’s at the table’, a series of interviews with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs by The Round Table of Life, took place. We’ve had a wonderful afternoon, starting with lunch at Restaurant Fleurie and an interview with Alan Seale at the 17th century church in the heart of Bloemendaal. If you weren’t able to join us, but are interested in the main part of the interview, you can find it here. A big thank you to everyone who joined and especially to Guy Kerstens who created these beautiful videos!

The next WATT is coming Wednesday November 23rd where I will be interviewing Josine Peters, General Manager of The School of Life on Culture within organisations. Let me know if you would like to join us!

Sit down, Stand up, Show up

le-petit-princeOn September 25th the launch of ‘Who’s at the table’ took place. The first of a series of interviews with inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs at The Round Table of Life. The kick-off took place with Alan Seale, talking about our transforming world and what this is asking from all of us. Based on this interview, I have created a three evenings training, in which you can get more acquainted with Transformational Presence work: The Deepening.

In three sessions you’ll learn to use certain instruments to expand your awareness, expanding your knowledge of Transformational Presence and widening your horizon in your personal life and the role you play in that. Of course we can’t all start a restaurant at the beach,  but if you dare to look further to what life has in store for you, your personal journey can start!

Deepening Transformational Presence

Workshop 1: Sit down
The universe offers us ongoing possibilities to learn in life. Everyday again. How can you read those signals? Do you believe in coincidence? What would be an easier way to make decisions?

Workshop 2: Stand up
Do you fit in a box? In which box do you spend most of your days? Do you ever ask yourself why you are here? What does it mean to be alive?

Workshop 3: Show up
Have you ever met yourself? Your most successful self? Your most happy self? Who are you in your greatest strength? What can be one step in the direction of your greatest happiness?

Do you have a vision or a dream that won’t let go of you?
Do you want to play a greater role in creating a world that works?
Whatever your vision or dream, do it now.
The world can’t afford for you to wait any longer.
— Alan Seale

Who’s at the table? Alan Seale!

Alan by Nic Askew

In one of my spring blogposts, I announced that I would soon be organizing the WATT: Who’s at the table? WATT is to be a monthly program featuring inspiring speakers. I am proud to announce that the first speaker will be Alan Seale, a great inspirer of The Round Table of Life! 

Alan comes all the way from Boston to Bloemendaal to offer this introductory workshop on Transformational Presence. Later that week, he will be leading the five-day Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training here in The Netherlands. The following week, he will offer two one-day workshops and then the four-day Soul Mission, Life Vision workshop before returning to Boston. So make sure you don’t miss this–I’d love to welcome you to this first WATT! 

What: An introduction to Transformational Presence with Alan Seale
When: Sunday 25th of September
Lunch: 12.30 to 13.45
Start workshop/lecture: 14.00 
End: 15.30
Lunch location: Restaurant Fleurie, Bloemendaalseweg 4, Bloemendaal
Workshop / lecture location: Kerkplein 1, 2061 JC, Bloemendaal (walking distance from Fleurie)
Costs: 40 euro, excl. 21% VAT (lunch included)

Please join us for this first Who’s at the table!
You can subscribe by buying your ticket here.

An introduction to Transformational Presence
A powerful conscious living and leadership movement is now emerging in many parts of the world. It’s a movement built on the conviction that, in any initiative, all stakeholders can be served, all people and the environment can be honored and respected, and economic models can serve something greater than our individual selves.

Within this movement, there is also widespread agreement that, in order to lead the world forward in the most effective, impactful, and transformative ways, new skills and tools, as well as broader capacities for awareness and perception, will be required. These new skills and capacities require us to stretch far beyond the familiar, analytical, knowledge-based approaches found in traditional learning environments into more creative, discovery-based, transformational approaches.

Going forward, we need leaders who know how to be present with “what is” – to feel, sense, and listen to the energy and discover what wants to happen next. We need leaders who can be comfortable in not knowing the answers – and maybe not even knowing yet which questions to ask. We need curious, imaginative leaders who are willing to explore without knowing what they will find, yet trust that clues for next steps will appear. And leaders who, when they sense these next steps, are not afraid to take action.

We need leaders who are “at home in their own skin” – who are comfortable with who they are, and who fully embrace their own talents, skills, and gifts. At the same time, they thrive on continued learning through their leadership experience. They constantly seek to broaden their horizons of understanding and awareness. As they continue to learn and grow, they also create the best possible conditions for others to thrive and develop to their greatest potential – to experience their own breakthroughs in understanding, awareness, perception, and action.

We need leaders who recognize that everything is connected to everything else – who embody the understanding that the world is built on a matrix of relationships, and that everything that happens is a part of a larger flow. Nothing exists in isolation. Everything exists within a larger context. And at the most fundamental level, everything is energy in motion. When we approach circumstances, situations, visions, and dreams as energy, forward movement is greatly accelerated.

This is the leadership that will transform our world. And this is what Transformational Presence is all about.

I hope to see you on Sunday September 25th!

Happiness, gratitude and one year round

Be my friend.jpgLast Monday I turned 40 years old. Yes…40 years old…My god, it is quite a lifetime! My friends gave me a surprise dinner and I felt so carried by all of them, such an unforgettable and precious moment in one’s lifetime. I feel very grateful for being able to call these beautiful women my friends. One of them read this beautiful quote to me that night, describing our friendship. And I’m so happy that I’ve turned 40…it’s the new 20 they say, right? But moreover it’s because I feel like I am on exactly the path where I need to be. It is because I slowed down the last months and that made me think of this beautiful metaphor about happiness:

Once there was this man, who was well-known for his hard work. Day and night he worked, on and on, never allowing himself a break.

‘Why are you in such a hurry?’ asked a wise man once.

‘Because I want luck and fortune’ he answered. ‘And I don’t want to waste time.’

‘Ah, so you think happiness is right in front of you and you have to run hard to grab it?’ asked the wise man. ‘Now what if it is right behind you and you only have to stop and slow down in order for happiness to find you?

Now since I’ve slowed down everything is falling into place. What happened is that I have been doing a lot of work in ‘the vertical’ aligning myself, checking in with my head (thoughts), heart (truth / wisdom) and belly (intuition) and by that finding my way through. Alan Seale wrote a beautiful blogpost about how that works this week if you are interested. And now, one year and 52 blogposts later, I feel like I’m ready for the horizontal: the doing. So much is happening right now: I have encountered three great clients with whom I’m working in communication on a daily basis, finding a way that allows them to step into their full potential. I am on my way to Boston in a few weeks, to join the Global Summit on Transformational Presence and I’m in a try-out phase for an awareness workshop. And of course, I wanted to get back to you on the promised WATT…the Who’s At The Table?

If you like to join the WATT, the program for the coming fall is the following:

Tuesday 13th or Sunday 25th September (tbc): Workshop Expanding your awareness
Tuesday 11th October: Workshop Storytelling by Leo Kaniok, Zintenz
Tuesday 15th November: Introduction to The School of Life (to be confirmed)

You’ll be able to find details here on the Watt – page, but I will invite you via the social media channels as well and let you know location and possible costs, etcetera.

You have witnessed one year of weekly writing about my insights, things I encountered and worked with, when things were going wonderful as well as when the storm came up. I loved writing here and I loved our discussions about our insights. I want to thank you for walking beside me during this journey, for being you and all that you are bringing to the world. I invite you to keep exploring, as your soul is here with one mission and one mission only: to shine your light, as no one else can do it the same. In Alan’s words: the world cannot afford you not to!

Much love,


About Public Relations and Public Responsibilities



What an intense period in time we live in. You can feel the turnaround arising on every level. Things are breaking open. Last night the Panama Papers were made public. Showing again that people who are attached to power, vast conditions and greed start losing power. And the role of media in all this is vital. What is being asked from media now, is to forget about the ratings, even though the pressure is extremely high, and to communicate with an honorable and truthful voice.

Last week friends went to a Dutch theatre satire called ‘De Zender’ (‘The Broadcaster’). The show is about people working in media who are getting tired of the negative stuff they have to write or broadcast in order to let the ratings grow. But there seems to be a turnaround here as well. Sunday night Tegenlicht did a wonderful edition on the output of happiness. Showing great initiatives are arising, based on a purpose economy; purpose over profit. And this article from a young woman working at Oneworld for example. It shows there is hope in Burundi, a place filled with war, fear and anxiety. It shows the beauty and strength of people living in a suppressed environment. Within all this sadness, still seeds of hope are growing, words not allowed by their governments to be spread.

My career has been in PR the last fourteen years. Public Relations. And I know a lot of honorable journalists. But they have to work hard to keep their readers and are under an extreme pressure to make things work, swimming against the tide. Not exactly the natural flow of things. It makes them stressed and living under pressure. Of course the journalistic neutral stories should be brought, as that is the basis of journalism. And after that let’s choose hope over fear as the world is full of inspiring stories that would influence the public with possibilities, a feeling of positivity and maybe even a smile. It would help create a better world. There are so many initiatives that deserve to be heard. Give them a voice! Let’s make PR about Public Responsibilities, because that makes us all write from a point of integrity. And that will assure beautiful stories.

About children, education and connection

educationSitting at the beach on a beautiful morning last week, I spoke with a friend about connection. I called her, because her name just popped up in my mind and I wondered if she wouldn’t like to join me at my fantastic freelance work spot for the day. She answered the phone with the words, “Wow, I was just thinking of you!”. It happens to all of us regularly. And our conversation continued about the importance of connecting with yourself and others. Being connected with yourself, means being connected with others, who are in true connection with themselves as well. You find each other there, as all is one. Tapping into this, brings such happiness. In the end, it is the connection with yourself that creates the most balanced and happy you, telling others unconsciously they are allowed to do the same. As Nelson Mandela does in his inauguration speech, words of wisdom:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It’s our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually who are we not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightening about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people the permission to do the same.

Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Speech 1994

Now from childhood onwards, everything was about educating the mind. Yes, I say ‘was’ as times are changing. Making sure your grades are good, getting into a well-regarded university and do an education of high standing. In order to have the best chances offered to you in the labour market.

Last weekends’ Financieele Dagblad (Dutch financial newspaper) published a spread about the most famous business universities like Harvard and INSEAD, who are now offering more and more programs on life lessons instead of business education. Because there is a high demand for a more intuitive kind of education. In the primary schools around me I hear nothing but kids not fitting into the governmental standard education anymore, searching for other ways to be able to express themselves.

Our daughter, who went to another school this year, blossoms as she is allowed to write stories, create videos, design projects of her own imagination and all that in primary school. She came to me this morning, telling me she knew how her story would continue, a story she was writing for a school contest. Just before she fell asleep it got to her and she hoped she would be able to keep it with her during the night. I wish for every child to be offered these chances. As it is not about grades anymore, but doing what you are good at. Using your personal talent, by being fully connected. A connection with themselves, one that will never leave them, if they are trained to go back there day in and day out. Listening to their inner voice. And knowing from their true being what their share in the world is. So provide them with roots, instead of holding them in our grounded conditions and set them free, make them fly . Show them they are worthy of being in their essence. Believe me, they won’t disappoint you, but show you the beauty of their dreams in return.


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