Two introverts in Paris
Life’s journey is at times smooth and flowing and at other passages rocky and steep. It is always unpredictable with a splash of mystery; this is one element on which to rest assured.
A Californian and Uruguayan are seated next to one another at Paris English-speaking Toastmaster monthly meeting. One of the two, albeit introverted, is much more courageous than the other. At this meeting, her first-ever Toastmaster attendance, Marianela accepts the invitation to entertain the attendees with the ‘table topics exercise’. She draws the surprise topic, ‘flowers’ and speaks spontaneously for 2 minutes- timed. In fact, it is a competition. Competition forms part of the fundamental groundwork in implementing the tools of education and training for the organization. Toastmasters International is a US-headquartered non-profit educational organization operating clubs worldwide to promote communication, public speaking, and leadership.
The table topics exercise was training in creativity, communication and of course, courage. Though Marianela is an avowed collaborator and a skilled networking artist, she simply is not a fan of public speaking. She uncovered later that her purpose in attending was to confront her aversion to it as she knew that communication and leadership were meant to become an important part of her future and an underpinning force for her current work. Thus as the formula for following intuition goes, one remains alert and moves through certain activities and finds later what an optimal and necessary choice and action it was.
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Marianela was propelled by inquisitiveness to discover as well as the zeal to expand her life experiences. This state of curiosity and passion was enough for her to take the leap of faith to depart her beloved country to see the world. Since 2004 she has lived in Chile, Spain, Australia, Switzerland and France. She currently lives in Paris, although we know not for how long. She definitely is showing movement forward toward new levels of communication and leadership. As she loves Paris, “… I always make time to appreciate the contemporary art and photography in Paris museums, which I think are the best in the world!” She will not compromise her need to listen to her intuition and moreover to follow it. She shares her wisdom with her clients:
“When you stop following your intuition, you forget who you are. If you can’t do it completely, just remember: What is that voice telling you? If it’s not possible to do it right now the way you dream it, adjust it and take steps toward it. The moment you stop listening to that voice, you leave yourself and begin walking away from fulfilment.”
Her accumulated life adventures and experiences have extended to her many extraordinary opportunities to support her international toolkit of work/life capacities and skills. When asked to recall the first experience that jumps to mind, she shifts straight to her hobbies: walking in nature, spotting unusual birds, admiring sunsets in which she claims are her true connection to her spirit and intuition and of them all, she recalls, “I cherish these most simple moments walking Raani, a charming, keen, alert, gentle and brilliant Shiba-Inu, along Lake Geneva.“
“And, one of my greatest wishes is that no animals need ever to suffer. We are stewards of the planet and I am eager to see and to participate in our world at this time to move toward our ‘better future.’“
In her current personal project, Osadía, Marianela aims to inspire and propel women in leadership in her esteemed Uruguay.
She has compiled 9 interviews from Uruguayan women who work on their own terms and have evolved successful careers and lives. Her mission is to illuminate ‘possibility’ as a reference for younger generations. She affirms and accepts responsibility that we now must do our best to inspire them, and indeed believe in them, and turn over the baton so they can run free in all their youth, strength, idealism and evolving wisdom. The project is book-formatted, and the next steps to present the completed book are evolving.
The most salient lesson she received and wants to share is that, from the most famous to the most ordinary person, women are more similar than different.
This revealing experience is a true blessing of humanity connected. Additionally, it is clear that to elaborate in collaboration with that very connection, humanity reaches further and excels to uncharted heights – this is Nature’s reality. Clearly history has proven repeatedly that “we must ask to receive our desires” … as no person or thing will knock at our door and say,“Here you have it!”
Playa Brava, Punta del Este, Uruguay
She notes that many Uruguayan expressions speak to this belief, the most famous being, “el que quiere celeste que le cueste”. (Literally – one who asks for the sky must pay). I would express “Those with celestial desires must ask and self-advance to realize them. Below Marianela summarises herself.
“I ask myself as I asked the women in my book:
If I had to define myself: Today I would say, a big kid who sometimes can be very mature; very concerned about giving a voice to minorities and caring (very caring) of animals and nature. Surely this definition could change somewhat according to my mood, time of the year, or my living situation at the moment.”
And herein is the sensation of being tuned in, to be open to choices and change in order to live one’s best, to follow internal messages that lead to the most rewarding paths on which one can contribute and share one’s best talents and gifts, to allow curiosity to lead to discoveries and to develop new capacities. Perhaps intuition challenges one to receive actively and joyfully the great gift of life. In this era of general insecurity, even more women in leadership would be effective (This is not to say men cannot be intuitive or effective). It is to say that I think more women in leadership would be effective in implementing a better future for our planetary home.
Responding to the intuitive call is not impulsive in nature or simply jumping into capricious action – quite the contrary. Choice, to be open to change intrinsically, is to accept insecurity; it is to trust in general good faith in the essence of one’s being. In fact, it takes courage to move forward with the very characteristics of Raani: charm, keenness, alertness, gentleness and brilliance – the willingness to step by step find comfort in one’s personal power and to choose growth, move forward and perhaps be willing to shine. Support is anchored in unity and collaboration, less so in competition and division. The times are calling for strength in unity.
Thank you, Marianela. You are a gift amidst the blessings of human connection. I am so happy to have met you and to have you in my life. I am sure your courage, communication and leadership impact will continue with a great splash and ripples will reach far and wide.
Our deep friendship and the collegial alliance are based on infinite respect and appreciation. I will meet you next in Punta del Este – it always has been on my list.