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Laura La Barbera on Kosmopolites.org

S.: Thank you so much for your availability today. It is always an immense pleasure to me when professionals like you, show concrete interest in this project and they are willing to share their own experience and knowledge with other people.

L.: Thank you so much to you, Simone, it is an immense pleasure to me to be interviewed and be part of such an interesting project.

Your work has grown around individuals’ development, but you are also focused on career mentoring and companies.

What is it that brought you here? How has your career developed toward this exact path?

Actually, my career has developed in the opposite way, I have an international background in Human Resources at corporate level so until 1 year ago my focus was the individual development in the business and career environment.

I have experience in selecting, developing, training, coaching and mentoring others and the common denominator it has always been the attention and focus to the individual development and growth. Definitely, my experience at corporate level allows me to guide people during a career mentoring journey and to create a tailored made project for a company.

However, once I’ve started my career as a freelance I’ve decided to concentrate on the individual development from a different perspective, I felt I could do much more for people than what I used to do in my HR manager role within the career or leadership development, therefore, I’ve decided to gain the tools, as becoming a Meditation teacher and a Mental Training Coach, than now allow me to connect with people on a deeper level.

I truly believe that the personal and professional dimension are deeply connected, I’ve experienced it myself and once we start to ‘work on ourselves’ regardless if it is for a career or personal purpose we are going to ‘touch’ all areas of our lives.

You share on your website the following thought:

“I firmly believe in taking a holistic approach as I truly believe in the vision that each individual is made up of mind-body-spirit and that there is no real change if this change is not aligned at all levels”

Starting from this, could you describe your own approach?

As I mentioned above I truly believe all aspects of our lives are deeply connected and if we don’t’ work simultaneously at all levels we are not going to achieve the real change or the goals that we set for ourselves.

Achieving Personal Growth kosmopolites.org

I’ve seen many times people, (and I’ve done it myself), try to make changes in their lives or their careers just focusing in the ‘external’ goals, which means mainly in the practical or technical aspects, unfortunately, this usually leads to a temporary satisfaction.

The reason is that the change is happening only in the outside world. That’s while working with my clients I always combine different tools that allow them to connect in the inside and outside world.

Before going to the business or career level, I guide them to find the tools to go deeper on self-awareness, to learn how to listen to themselves and then from that perspective make the actions needed to achieve their goals.

What we think (mind), how we look after ourselves (body) and how we nurture our emotional and spiritual dimension have a huge impact on how and if we achieve our goals.

In terms of the tools that I use with people, I can mention a few as meditation, mental training, personality assessment, and various coaching and development tools.

Holistic meditation is one of the pillars of your approach. It seems that some of the basic elements of this type of meditation have something in common with Mindfulness.

In your opinion, what is it that differentiates a holistic meditation approach from pure mindfulness?

Holistic meditation® is a blend of concentrative meditation and mindfulness from the technique point of view and as a kind of experience is common to the transcendental meditation (TM).

The difference between Mindfulness and Holistic Meditation® is that Mindfulness is part of the practice but the in HM® recalling the sound/word (so using the concentrative practice) is an event of mindfulness, a moment of awareness. Mostly it will seem like an awareness of the sound/word, but at times it will bring awareness of yourself or the environment.

Sometimes, it will bring awareness itself.

Let’s say that Mindfulness it is like sitting on a riverbank watching things float by, observe them and then let them go; and HM® it is like riding the river (flow, transcending).

The purpose is to develop the meditative function which carries you along on this flow to a deeper, quieter, powerful and wider mind and heart. So, instead of seeing yourself sitting on the riverbank watching the flow, see yourself as out there flowing with it, in it. When you hear a sound or have a thought, you are experiencing your flowing mind and it’s helping. It’s carrying you in the right direction. 

HM®, allows the nervous system to access a special quality of rest that is uniquely different from normal rest and relaxation – and somehow deeper than sleep. This rest has been called the fourth state of consciousness, complementary to the states of waking, dream, and sleep. Transcending is the complete settling of the mind and it is a natural and spontaneous process, once the right conditions are established.

You have built your experience working together with companies and individuals.

Based on your experience, what are the most common reasons behind individuals’ searching to begin this program?

Mainly they are looking for support while dealing with changes either personally and professionally, during their career development and to better understand what path is more suitable for them and develop their potential. For those people who are more interested in meditation instead, they are looking for ways to look after themselves, get to know themselves better and ways to feel better and ‘slow down’.

What is Work-life balance for you?

First of all, for me, work-life balance means to have the great opportunity to do in my job what I love to do and what I am passionate about which means also don’t allow others’ expectations and models to influence what I am doing.

I truly believe work-life balance is also to do a job that matches my values and ethics and to have the chance to ask to myself while I am doing something if it is something that I really feel aligned with myself; to bring my nature and uniqueness and don’t try to be something different.

Work-life balance it is also to give value to our personal life as I believe it is necessary to take our ‘own space’ to give our ‘best performance’ and to avoid the risk to burn out. Be involved in your job but don’t let your job become your life. Take time to listen to myself, nurture my internal dimension and to do things I enjoy also spending time with people I love. In general, means to have the opportunity to look after me while I enjoy my job.

Over the last decades, work-life balance became one of the hottest topics and since then, individuals opened their minds and decided to undertake initiatives to improve their spiritual life.

One of the most accredited need is to get to know oneself and try to start over. Previously, the main battles were fought to increase benefits like parental leave, flexible working hours and many others.

Why these generations have been so much projected on a new type of work-life balance?

I believe that the people’s increasing need to improve spiritual life and in general to gain self-awareness is due to the fact that human beings in the latest decades have completely disconnected with their inner nature and with Nature in general. This has led people to live a life with the ‘auto-pilot’ bringing also all the illness coming from mental and emotional instability.

I feel that finally, people start to realize that ‘re-connection’ is the way to achieve work-life balance and in general to gain a deeper understanding of why and how we live our life, people start to understand how our behavior has actually an impact on our lives and life of others and moreover people start to desire to live a more ‘aware life’.

I think what we see now in terms of personal and spiritual growth is actually wonderful.

What is it your personal and professional suggestion to people who need to cope with lack of Work-life balance?

My first suggestion is to STOP and start to take time for themselves on a daily basis even if it is for 10/15 minutes it makes a huge difference. It can help to disconnect from mobile devices and also to allocate this ‘self-care time’ on their daily schedule just as another activity.

Find tools to start to listen to yourself and try to connect with your deeper needs, it can be practice meditation or yoga, go for a walk, read a page of a book or cook your favorite meal but the main thing is to be ‘present’ during this time. In the evening take 5 minutes before sleep to slow down, focus on the breath and write how was the day and what we have achieved can be a good exercise also.

What are your plans for the near future?

As I’ve recently launched my business definitely my plan is to strengthen it and always to improve my services thanks also from my clients’ feedback.

On top of that, as recently I’ve started to be involved in Women empowerment projects and I truly believe on the great value of being part of it, my plan is to pursue this direction and to create a Women mentoring program.

Want to get in touch with Laura?

www.lauralabarbera.com

info@lauralabarbera.com

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Holistic meditation courses

Personal Development

Simone Santarelli

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