How can we pursue our own dreams and manage to be great parents at the same time?
Parenting is a big deal for all of us, whether we are aware of it or not. If we have children of our own, this is an obvious fact. But even if we don’t have kids, we are part of this topic, one way or another. As business leaders we have team members that have children, many of our customers are dedicated parents, and we have all been on the receiving end of parenting ourselves. If our own upbringing was not optimal in all regards, we have the opportunity to consciously correct the mistakes, as parents to our own inner child.
The implications of parenting are endless, but (somewhat illogical) normally not considered to have much to do with the world of business and workplaces. However, we believe that the more constructive and informed we can all be on the topic of parenting, the better results we will also manifest at our jobs. The faster we will grow, the happier we will become, and the more long term sustainable our success will be.
Consider for a moment the importance of a good upbringing.
“Perceptions acquired before the age of 6, become the fundamental subconscious programs that shape the character of an individual’s life,” Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD.
To inspire us on this topic we have engaged someone who understands the conditions of the fast paced business world, in addition to having worked professionally with the topic of parenting for the past decade.
Ariane de Bonvoisin started her career as a Management Consultant at the legendary Boston Consulting Group (BCG), then became the Strategic Assistant to the CEO of media conglomerate Bertelsmann, followed by a role as Vice President for Online Ventures at SONY, before landing the massive responsibility of being the first Managing Director of Time Warner’s 500m USD venture capital fund, the Digital Media Fund.
Then Ariane realised that corporate life no longer made her happy, and she changed everything. Her new mission became to inspire others to live the life of their dreams, while being great parents, and for the past 15 years she has been doing exactly that as a Speaker, Author, Advisor, Executive Coach and Angel Investor. Google, Amazon, World Bank, Twitter, Nestlé, KPMG, Morgan Stanley are just a few of the companies that have engaged Ariane to be inspired by her message and insights. She has also keynoted the Oprah Conference, given a TEDx talk, and writes for Psychology Today on a range of topics including how to reduce the negative impact that the Covid-19 quarantine has on children who can no longer go to kindergarten and school.
Surprisingly to some, Ariane uses the word spiritual in combination with parenting, and when a friend recommended Ariane as a speaker for Heartful Academy we were excited to take a closer look. During a Zoom call a couple of months ago, we became convinced that here was a person with an important message, for parents and non-parents alike.
“Spiritual is about being connected to everyone else, the planet, your friends. Kids easily get that. They already are spiritual. For me it’s more about keeping this part in them alive, before life tells them the goal of life is about something else - good grades, being good at sports, getting into college, getting married… whatever.”
Ariane has written three children's books - Giggles & Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids; You Are Loved; and Being You - all with the purpose of teaching the next generation a number of life lessons that she believes are crucial, and mostly ignored by the school system.
“The lessons are really about remembering the child’s spirit. That part of them which is pure love, heart, light, beauty, presence. Not their behavior, or gender, or age, or grades, or talents,” Ariane explains. “It’s nothing on the outside. It is an internal place of joy. It can be a connection to a higher power, energy, grace, divinity, nature… but it goes beyond just little me.”
However, there is a word of caution before we all get too carried away by our role as a teacher to our young ones:
“You don’t really teach these skills. You are them. And you know you’re successful in teaching them when you have embodied them for yourself,” Ariane says. “The most important thing for a kid is for the parent to be happy. So, parents, are you focused on what brings you joy? It’s not selfish. The best thing you can do is give them a happy mom or dad…that will teach them so much.”
“All kids think they are amazing until they are told or believe they are not,” Ariane shares. “We need to get back to the magnificent part in all of us, where there is nothing wrong with us… that is the spirituality I am talking about.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and Ariane has so much wisdom to share - both on the topic of parenting and on one of her other favourite topics: navigating life changes. She has interviewed over 1,000 people for her book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier, published by HarperOne.