What do you see? Good or bad? Is Humankind evolving or crumbling? Are we doomed or on the route for redemption? The further I go, the more evidence I collect that there are so many good people out there. Day after day, they make the world move forward, inside their families, jobs, social activities or by creating dreams with Playmobil.
When you meet people that are living their lives to transform the way we see and sense the world, ripples, and echoes are produced, endlessly. We might think that crossing our road with such souls is a matter of luck. But luck takes effort. Especially openness to show up to life every day and manage to listen. Such people are like songs. We know that unique melodies can lead the way into a more meaningful future.
In a world full of noise, you need to be attentive.
Otherwise, you will not hear correctly.
People like these don’t shout out loud and they don’t profess or sell an ideology. They take responsibility for their lives and do the right thing every day.
In the last weeks, while teaching in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to visit some extraordinary humans. By sharing these words with you, I believe it will help me to understand better how fortunate we are to have them around.
I hope you feel curious to discover more about their craft and if you happen to be around, you might even stop to say hello and carry a smile from me. You will never lose a minute of your time. Instead, you might open a new timeline of opportunities.
Let me start with my “Dutch version” of Bear Grylls. Gerard van den Berg is the Founder of X-ploregroup.com. At first sight an experienced wilderness guide, but that’s only his “cover job.” Gerard moves from training anti-poaching scouts in Tanzania, to impact corporate teams by placing them in deep contact with nature. Above all, he follows a set of values and moral imperatives that make him an example of self-development warrior. You might want to join him on an expedition far away from the traditional tourist paths.
Later in the week, I had the opportunity to walk around the natural park of Collserola with Concha Mayo and Odile Monroy. With Montserrat on one side and Tibidabo on the other, I learned how Concha keeps balance in her life by moving forward and not trying to resist or standing still. How logic and inspiring it is to me such an approach. Not only she coaches others to get across midlife challenges, but she also works with Rare Disease Patients in Europe (EURORDIS).
Odile is a paramount of resilience. Being away from home for so many years, she works as a coach with other expats and supports them to fine-tune and adjust to a different life and culture. The way she always smiles and “accommodates” change in her life is somewhat shocking, an excellent reminder to live life all in. Is there another way to live?
Time flies, it never stops, but somehow we can manage to slow it down and savor it, literally! Victoria Peel-Yates rekindle her life by following a path focused on nutrition, exercise, stress management, self-care, home cooking, and more. She founded Sundari Wellbeing where she coaches other people to attain a healthier life. Victoria is about to finish her book where she will share her journey. I am counting the days to read it!
The weekend also gave me the opportunity to catch up with Julie Cook, a specialist in the field of leadership and management development. I was amazed by the stories she shared about the programs she is doing with multinationals. How new models of custom made training are looking into ways to connect with nature, and ultimately helping to connect with ourselves. How promising it is to see the growing interest from companies in outdoor experiences and the role of individual purpose in shaping the future of business.
Did you ever hear about KaosPilots or the knowmads? Martin Cadée was one of the co-founders. Among other fascinating endeavors, he is the mastermind behind the Nature Quest. Martin guides individuals and teams on retreats, that always include spending time alone in wild nature to find inspiration for transformation and renewal. When I meet Martin I understood much better his purpose – contribute to “the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.”
Finally, my last week in Barcelona gave the opportunity to meet Miriam Lopez. If you come across the project clickamino, you will be able to follow the adventures of some incredible Playmobil characters. They tend to be walking non-stop in the Camino de Santiago making new friends and spreading peace. In Miriam´s words, she loves to meet people that are connected with life, because the act of sharing your life experience is unavoidable. What can I say? It is!
For me, these are genuinely the brotherhood of stars of our planet. With people like this, the “night” will never be frightening or too dark, but instead an immensity of beauty and hope.
When we have hope, we are always on the right track
to achieve the best version of ourselves.
No matter the road underneath our feet.
Like always, the end is always the beginning of something new. In between adventures, I will not miss the opportunity to “conspire” with these beautiful people, and find ways to help create a greater good.
🚶Keep walking with me
João Perre Viana
Founder of Walking Mentorship
*Brotherhood of stars – happens to be as well an incredible album by an incredible Galician musician going by the name of Carlos Nuñez – Listen to his music here.
** Pilgrim – A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey (usually on foot) to a special place.
*** Survival Kit – It is the name given in each program to the Walking Mentorship methodology.