Are you interested in my personal story? Do you want to get to know the person behind better work for life? Nice to meet you, that’s me 🙂 .
I grew up in a charming part of Hamburg, which is a beautiful City in the North of Germany. My schooldays were quite unspectacular and I was let loose on the global economy directly after my exams. A teacher inspired me:“Nele, you have the makings of a really successful businesswoman!“ Today, looking back, it was exactly this advice which motivated me to study economics jointly with export and foreign trade. The future looked so bright!
Four weeks after prom night, I was donning a pinstripe suit, being addressed formally as Frau Kreyßig (up to then, a title I recognised as applying to my mother) and collecting business cards in a cute leather case. Later, I had my first frequent flyer account and everyday international negotiations and exciting foreign business trips became normal.
During these trips, I had the first awakening of a hidden passion: a joy of the unknown! Being where I can see, experience, discover, hear and feel something new. Making me feel so alive.
Exciting years followed, full of great deals, conflicts and achievements, from which I learned a great deal and for which I am very grateful. After 6 years I decided to leave .
I ended up in Southeast Asia, where I lived in Vietnam for a few months and travelled further. There followed an especially intense time in Bali, Indonesia. Asia changed me. I not only met amazing people from different cultures and backgrounds, I met myself there too. I discovered Buddhism and Hinduism, learnt how to meditate and that there’s more to yoga than “tree“ and “fish“.
I was in the middle of a Balinese rice paddy when I first asked myself the most important question: What are my core values? What brings joy into my life and a sparkle to my eye? How do I want to live?
Having cut myself off from social convention, “must-do“ thoughts and routines, I had the great opportunity to imagine my life as a blank sheet of paper. Nothing was marked out . There was no need to follow the painting by numbers rules. I realized I was free to choose anything! I could hold the brush, choose the colours and take creating ‘life’, my own piece of art, into my own hands. Follow and live by my own standards! Study medicine in Portugal? Become a Yoga teacher in Bali? Live and write in Southern France on a Vineyard? I managed to break free of my inner limitations and fears. So what was left? A intense feeling of freedom .
After 10 intensive months in Asia, I decided to go back to Hamburg. To my friends, back to my cute apartment with the tiny garden in the backyard, back to the typical grey and rainy weather. I love to be close to the sea and even love the wind & rain…
Jobwise, I chose to become a kind of bridge between people (which I wanted to get closer to) and the economy (where I came from) and had the great luck to work for 2 years on national and international high-level leadership projects for Europe’s leading HR consultancy .
Happy and motivated, I walked to work everyday, enjoyed my tasks, my expanding horizons and the company of great colleagues (and friends). I was filled with a pleasant feeling of satisfaction.
„2014: The year of change!”
A mix of curiosity and a need for Christmas escape brought me to India in December 2013, where I visited my school friend Jan and we spent Christmas, and New Year’s Eve together, sharing Indian Thalis, gallons of Masala Chai and hundreds of cows.
On New Years’s Eve, I woke up filled with unusual thoughts and feelings. Underneath my protective mosquito net, listening to the sounds of an Indian New Year’s morning, I felt “change“ within. Nothing more. Just change. And peace.
But I had no idea what this change could look like? … I liked my job and my private life. Everything was perfect!
Perfect? Was “perfect“ how I want to live and feel? Was there no room for improvement? What next step could ever follow “perfect“? What is the next step in my life?
I needed to explore these questions more.
I used the following weeks & months intensively to deal with this change in my thoughts. My yoga and meditation practice helped me to maintain the necessary inner focus on me.
In April 2014 I spent a week in wonderful Toscana with my friend Alina. The environment and peace I found there inspired me to think and write a lot. I started asking myself the same questions as one and a half years earlier.
What are my core values? What brings joy into my life and a sparkle to my eye? How do I want to live?
The answers hadn’t changed, they were not new to me, I could not find the root of this feeling of change. So I needed to go deeper…At some point the words “dream workshop“ appeared in my notes. And I remembered an evening with my friend Kimi. We were sitting together in my sun room, with a glass of red wine (ok… at least two) and talking about life for hours. At some point I said to her: “One day, I will run a dream workshop. And will help people to find and live their dreams.“ Kimi was thrilled . Me too. Totally!
Was that it? Was this “dream workshop“ triggering this feeling of change? Oh yes!
The following weeks were blessed with people and situations that helped me get even deeper in touch with my inner “dream workshop”. And the same questions came up again and again:
What are my core values? What brings joy into my life and a sparkle to my eye? How do I want to live? But one question was new: What is my purpose in life?
In May I found the answer!
I want to encourage people to experience and live themselves.
That is my purpose! In these words lay the seeds of bw4l. Suddenly everything made sense…
In autumn I left my job in HR Consulting in order to fully concentrate on bw4l. I wanted to nurture this tiny and weak seedling! Feed it, bathe it in water and sunlight . To help it grow into a strong tree with fruits of motivation and power to offer to many people. To you.
I’m looking forward to spending time with you and bw4l!