I am well. I am here. I’m willing to help if needed. YOU need only ask.

It is time to write to you again. If I have remained silent in the last while it is because the turbulence of things got to me too.

I have made it through my own small storm to settle in the peace on the other side. And that peace is acceptance of what is. And gratitude for all of the miracles continuing to manifest.

Firstly, please know that I am safe and sound in a small hamlet near Gap, in the French Alps. I am more than OK, I am thriving. With nature, the forest and the mountains at my doorstep and the windows of my little hut which welcome in the Eastern morning sun – I am blessed. I am with a good family, and I have children around me, and WOW children are so much more practiced than most of us adults at living in the present moment. My previous volunteer exchange (more info here on how I create mini-retirements for myself) has simply been adapted to the new circumstances. I’m staying for longer than initially planned. It’s spring here so there’s plenty to do!

I help out in the housework and the garden-work as needed, and since the girls can’t go to school or to their regular extra curricular activities, I help when I can with teaching them English, piano and guitar. I was taught music in the anglo-saxon way (A+ major, D- minor and so on) and so I don’t know much about do, re, mi, fa, so, la system used by the French, but we make do. Rhythm is universal. So is slowing down and taking apart the more difficult parts of a musical piece before putting it all back together again. Staying disciplined and moving forward step by step is also the international language of learning. And so, day by day, we are finding our own new tempo of life. We may also be creating our own family theater production.. but more on that later 🙂

In terms of material tools I have everything that I need. Yummy, nutritious food, oodles of fresh bread and cheese (ha! the French!) and a warm, cozy bed. A wood-burning stove for when the evenings get chilly. A great Internet connection allowing me to feel close to loved ones. Books galore, paper to draw on, paper to write on, tissues to cry into if needed.

Internally, I also have everything that I need. Every retreat, every meditation, every yoga practice, every spiritual book, every single time that I have had the courage to be comfortable with the uncomfortable is now serving me more than ever. Oh yes!! My online habits of learning and creating and money-earning also serve me well. My travel and other work plans pre lock-down were disrupted, yes, and once I made my peace with these changes it feels like it’s back to square one.

And square one is also answering, yet again, the question: What can I do to serve others?

It turns out I’ve got quite a few skills and perspective-altering practices to share with you. Do you need these skills? Do you want to learn about them? Do you know how you want to experience this home-isolation? Do you want it to be a time of creativity? of peace?  of learning? or are you letting yourself get carried away in the panic and media frenzy?

Here are some topics that immediately come to mind:

1. Self-knowledge – understanding your inner world. Let’s connect about:

  • starting a meditation practice
  • starting your own yoga practice
  • what is mindfulness and how to practice this
  • managing difficult emotions (such as fear, anxiety, etc.)

2. Learning online. Chat to me about:

  • what do I want to learn and how do I find the course
  • how to stay motivated and disciplined
  • how and why online courses can add to your skillset (both professional and personal)

3. Earning money online. I’m happy to share about:

  • what is upwork.com and how does it work
  • what kind of work can I do online?
  • is working remotely for me? why or why not? (personality types and compatibility)
  • pros and cons of working online

4. Working remotely from home for the first time:

  • balancing structure and flow in your day – how to do this?
  • staying motivated and self-disciplined
  • keeping the feeling of connection with colleagues and direct-reports strong
  • using technology to aid (and not to hinder) you in your work

Why me? I’m a certified yoga instructor and coach. I’m also a manager and an entrepreneur. I move between many worlds and cultures (private sector, NGO sector, freelance online work) so I have a pretty good understanding of different professional and work contexts. I have over 10 years experience learning, practicing and implementing points 1, 2, 3 and 4 above. Because I am willing to share and I want to share this with you. Because I’m deeply committed to wellness and to compassionate leadership.

This is what I can do. It is an open offer – take it or leave it – it is OK either way! I have experience in these fields, and it’s something I naturally share about with the people I meet, all around the world, all the time. Except that recently my social gatherings got squished to zero 😉 (as did yours, I know) and so now I’m opening this up to the online sphere. I’m also aware that many of you have had less practice with the above topics, and you may need a hand. I get it. I really do.

FYI – I also work in Polish and in French. My Spanish is a bit rusty, but I’ll make an extra effort 😉

So please also share with your international friends.

Contact me. Message me here or on Linkedin or via my website. Send me an email (jestemat@gmail.com) and let’s connect.

What do I ask for in exchange? That you spread the word. That you come with an open mind and an open heart. That you open up to the idea that there is a friendly soul over here in the French Alps who would be happy to share with you. If demand is high enough I’ll organize free webinars to have groups come together with like-minded interests to learn together. so – PLEASE – share!

This is NOT some kind of money grab. I am sincere in my offer of free advice. Yes, I also charge for my coaching services. If you eventually become interested in hiring me as your coach, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. This post is not about that. It’s about waving a virtual hello and letting you know that you are not alone.

With peace and blessings.
p.s. Folks, it’s true that there are few, if any, guarantees in life. But I’ll tell you this – we will get through this. As a human family, we will be OK.

Stay strong. Remain in your inner peace. Connect with your own heart. Pray for everyone. For we are all, in one way or another, affected by what is happening.

With a full heart,
I bid you a very fond farewell for now, from the mountain top,

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