When people ask me what I do for a living I often ponder if I should give them the short answer or the long answer.
The short answer is that I am an “environmental consultant”. Sometimes, I go a step further into explaining that environment has many meanings and that I have specialized into sustainable development and climate change, that actually have a lot to do with people, society and the way we run our economy.
Eventually, I give people the long answer. I tell them that I have started my career in engineering with ExxonMobil, that I actually can point to many positive aspects of Exxon’s environmental performance and that ironically it was in Exxon that I began my connection to the environment. I also tell them how I have worked with NGOs for three years and that their pace and democratic decision making processes (or lack of it) drove me crazy. I tell of my move back to the private sector to work in a multinational consultancy and how after 5 years the work environment I was in had such negative consequences on my health that I had to take time off-work.
The icing on the cake is when I tell people how I resigned from that high-paying job to become an integrator who applies Oasis’ Whole Person Approach to connect groups with their passion, people and the planet and how I use creative tools and methodologies to promote collaboration between various groups that may not be accustomed to working together.
The interesting thing is that the moment you speak from your heart and tell your full story, with the good and the bad, people connect with you in a more meaningful way. Since developing deep connections and relationships is more the exception than the rule in today’s world, it takes persistence to practice the aspects of Whole Person living in our daily lives.
So rare are the opportunities that we can be our whole-selves that Oasis now has a new programme on Living as a Whole Person.
It explores six areas for exercising our fullness:
- Mindful self-awareness and gratitude
- Authenticity and spontaneity
- Curiosity, joy, and creativity
- Compassion and empathy
- Courage and resilience
- Purpose and passion
During the course of the Whole Person Facilitation Programme I realised that in our fast moving society we get used to revealing to people only the short versions of ourselves – a “Facebooked” version of who we are that highlights only the positive aspects of our lives.
It takes courage to tell our full stories and expose our vulnerabilities.
As people say though, “practice makes perfect”. The more I tell my full story and live as a whole person the more it becomes natural – and difficult to live any differently.
Going deeper might take you longer, but it’s more rewarding in the end.
*Note: This Blog was originally published at Oasis.