I asked Martine to speak to us about her journey because I felt it can resonate with a lot of us spouses who have to reinvent our lives and think about our competencies, passions and purpose.
Martine has a background in public health. After being laid off she did some consultency for the World Bank. Around that time she took part in the IMFFA coaching program. She discovered coaching and it planted a seed in her brain. She decided to take a break and have a child.
After becoming a stay at home mom she wondered what she could do. A friend spoke to her about starting a blog. She didn’t know anything about blogs but decided to have a try. She didn’t want to write about her daily activities. She wanted to bring something to it. She first blogged about music, books and food. The recipes were always a hit so she decided to concentrate on cooking.
Plato said “the unexamined life is not worth living” so she has been re-examining her life, a continuous journey of personal growth. Most people go through life, but for her it’s better to grow through life.
As she said : « In this day and age, for many of us (especially women) we constantly try to do so much—work, raise kids, manage homes and relationships, sometimes we recreate ourselves, while also trying to be the best that we can be. It’s not easy and part of the problem has to do with the disease of being busy. I used to think it was a great thing that I could multi-task, always having my brain operating on more than one thing at a time. Now, I really know better. Multi-tasking SUCKS! It’s hard to bring your best self and be present to any task or situation when your mind is divided.To live a purposeful and intentional life, you either accept your life or you lead your life, taking control of it. So I’ve taken some time to lead my life in the direction of living my purpose. For me, my purpose has meant using my talents and passions to add value to the lives of others.It’s one thing to know your purpose, but it’s another to develop it, to mature it, to make it meaningful, and to live it out ».
So she started studying again. She already had a master’s degree in global public health. She got certified in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. Afterwards, she took a course to learn more culinary techniques. She also enrolled in Rouxbe’s online Professional Plant-Based Culinary Certification Program.
She was maturing her purpose and finding ways to dive as deep as possible to explore her passions and possible talents so she could bring more value to others. So she decided to do something a little different and studied coaching.
In her own words : « It has really actually been a humbling experience for me. The coaching skills I’ve learned have inspired me to become a better and more empathetic communicator, a better listener, and to be more mindful and present in all that I do. As a result I find that I even parent differently, listening more than talking; reflecting more than commenting; and acknowledging (not praising, there’s a difference!) more than criticizing. Coaching has also helped me further develop the skills to navigate my own journey of personal growth and to live my purpose.
So like a squirrel collecting acorns for winter, I’ve been collecting learning opportunities to be used and shared with others. I also became a contributor to Badass + Living an online magazine and platform for women to share empowering content. With all the classes and training, I still felt there were a few missing puzzle pieces for me. One had to do with wellness. When I heard of Wellcoaches a health and wellness coaching program, I felt it was a perfect fit and I enrolled. I not only worked towards strengthening my own well-being, but also gained tools to help others achieve their own wellness goals. Wellness is so fundamental to me. But from diet to lifestyle, wellness can mean so many different things to different people. And, there’s a huge gap between wanting to be well and dealing with the everyday reality of living with busy and over scheduled lives, stressful work, raising kids, eating the wrong foods, and not having enough down time to recharge one’s batteries. Yes, I know this gap all too well and I’ve been working on ways to mind the gap.
In his book “Within”, Dr. Habib Sadeghi says we’re all searching and writes that what “we’re really looking for is a sense of direction when our personal world seems out of control—a knowingness that assures us that we have a purpose in this world and that we’re safe in it as we struggle to find that path.” Do you ever feel that need for a sense of direction? Have you discovered your purpose? Discovering your purpose is the anchor that holds you during a storm and it’s the bright star that can guide you when you’re confused or it seems everyone else around you is lost or confused. My journey of re-discovery has taught me so much about where I am, where I want to be, and how to get there. Still, the journey is not complete. There isn’t really a destination as I hope to continually grow, develop, practice and share my purpose ».
Her son has been her inspiration to start the blog because she wanted to find ways to bring the world home in order to raise a happy, healthy and kind little citizen of the world hence the name “petitworld citizen”.