Life doesn’t always go according to plan – there are ups and then there are downs – but what we can control is our manner of dealing with the circumstances that get thrown at us. However, sometimes, even that is easier said than done and what we’re left is a sea of negativity, uncertainty and fear.
When I was younger, I was exactly in that situation. I was in a totally different career, I had what it seemed to be a great life, but I wasn’t happy. It took me time, experiences and courage to find out who I truly was.
I talked about that in an interview I had with Marie France Asia ahead of the “Heal Your Life” workshop held in Singapore.
Being happy and leading a fulfilling life is possible for everybody.
Are you ready for it?
MARIE FRANCE ASIA: YOU HAVE WORKED IN THE FASHION AND MODELLING INDUSTRY IN THE PAST, SO WHAT MADE YOU CHANGE ROUTES AND BECOME A MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER?
Lucia Giovannini: In the 80s I started modelling by accident, initially just with the goal of paying for my education but soon it became a real job. I had the chance to travel the world. I made good money and met very interesting people. I had everything any girl could hope for. What else could I possibly desire?
Well, I was not happy – I felt like there was something more in life, a meaning, a deeper sense. And so I dedicated myself to find this meaning. And then I felt like I wanted to give my contribution by sharing with others what I had learned over the years. Slowly I started to help others to find their own way, live their mission, to discover and develop their talents.
In order to transmit the teachings I received, I made the most difficult decision of my life – giving up everything I had created up until then (including the ‘certainties’ I built for myself establishing 3 different companies: a fashion agency, a modelling school and one of the most successful studio in Italy who organized fashion shows and events) and decided to become a motivational speaker.
MFA: WAS THERE A DISTINCT TURNING POINT IN YOUR LIFE THAT DIRECTED YOU TOWARDS A MORE HOLISTIC LIVING?
L.G.: At a certain point I started to realise that the pleasure my travels and my successes gave me was a mere short term remedy that would eventually need a stronger substitute. For many years I was too caught up in discovering what was ‘out there’ and I stared to realise I should have been exploring my interior world instead. It was time to come full circle with my true identity, my mundane lifestyle, and my entire life. It was a complete departure from my comfort zone.
My restlessness in the meantime had become an unwelcome guest with no intention of leaving anytime soon. And so I accepted the responsibility of listening to it and catering to it. It was not easy.
I became a voracious reader, a habitual meditator and attended many self help seminars. I found time during my business travels to come into contact with indigenous peoples and their ancient wisdom. By this time I could no longer hide from myself. The moment had finally come to discover who I really was.
As the hectic pace I was so accustomed to slowed down, I began learning more about myself – fears, hopes, thoughts and dreams that had suffocated me for years. It was the shaky beginning of a transformation. I started to feel the need of giving meaning to my actions and truth to my relationships, and this in turn led to my new and unusual approach to the fashion and business worlds.
My body also underwent a transformation of its own. For instance, after spending months barefoot, any type of footwear had become unbearable. This feeling was amplified during fashion shows where I was required to don mile-high heels. And if that wasn’t enough, I had begun to loathe the usual layers of makeup. I had invented many strategies to coax the makeup artists into limiting their intervention to only blush. I admire the patience with which they handled me at that time.
I went about creating spaces and moments of peace in the quiet backstage; and despite the arched eyebrows of many, I did have followers. The sight of three models in the lotus position chanting ohms was certainly something to see.
MFA: YOU’RE KNOWN AS THE ‘ITALIAN LOUISE HAY’, HOW HAS LOUISE HAY CHANGED YOUR LIFE OR PERSPECTIVE?
L.G.: Louise Hay‘s method was one of the first self help method that I used in the difficult transition. It is simple and easy, yet so powerful. Louise, is a woman I admire very much and who is a role model for me.
In short, the most important gifts I got from her was the awareness that loving and accepting ourselves and others are the most important tasks we have on this planet and that what we believe about ourselves and life becomes true for us. This is why it is important to examine ‘what we believe’.
MFA: IN SHORT, WHAT ARE THE BASICS OF THE METHOD WHICH YOU ADVOCATE THAT PEOPLE WOULD WALK AWAY WITH AFTER THE WORKSHOP?
L.G.: One of the main points of this philosophy is that our thoughts are creative. One idle thought does not make much difference, but thoughts are like drops of water – they accumulate over time. As we continue to rethink the same thoughts over and over, they grow. If they are positive thoughts, we can float on the ocean of life. If they are negative thoughts, we can drown in a sea of negativity.
A second important point is that we are worth loving. All of us. You and me. We do not have to earn love.
We do not have to earn the right to breathe; we breathe because we exist. We are lovable because we exist. Another important point is that self-approval and self-acceptance are the keys to positive changes.
When we are angry with ourselves, when we judge and criticise everything we do, when we abuse ourselves, our lives never work. Old negative beliefs about ourselves are just old ways of thinking, and have no basis in truth. How can we expect others to love and accept us if we do not love and accept ourselves?
MFA: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH A BAD TIME OR WANT A POSITIVE CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES?
L.G.: I would say to disconnect the autopilot and activate awareness. To start to bring more attention to their inner processes, the mechanisms that make them react in the same way and take away the freedom to choose emotional responses. I would say to become aware of the constraints that block them and that prevent the full development of their potential. And I would say that when we have the courage to change, to get out of your comfort zone, to start to think in new ways and do new things.
You will definitely get new results in your personal and professional lives.
MFA: HOW EASY OR DIFFICULT IS IT TO GET RID OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS?
L.G.: We often find ourselves feeling utterly disempowered and overwhelmed by the situations and people in our lives. These triggers can push us into a reactive state, taking away the inner power to choose our response.
The idea is to manage negative emotions. Emotions are just energy in motion so the worst thing to do is fight them. When we do that, we end up fighting against ourselves. The secret is to become aware of our emotions, accept them and make small changes in our emotional routine so that we can reclaim our power zone as I explain in my book, ‘A whole new life’. In fact, among our most basic states is the power to Think, to Feel, to Say and to Do. These are our fundamental powers and our core abilities. And, as any other ability, we just need to learn how to train them.
MFA: TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR BOOK.
L.G.: Ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by the unexplored capacities of human beings. My books and the courses I lead are the result of my travels, of my search in the psycho-anthropologic field and of my experience of about twenty years in training and coaching. Above all, they are a reflection of my journey in personal growth and the ones of the thousands of people attending my courses.
My book ‘A whole new life’ already helped thousands of people to obtain profound changes in their lives and to lead a fully fulfilling and meaningful life. It is a book about dreams and how to turn them into achievable goals; how to develop flexibility without losing your sense of direction; how to identify mechanisms that bring us to a standstill, that evoke fear and anxiety and hinder our full self-realisation.
Together with my other books, it has already sold over 80.000 copies in Italy and is currently being translated to Spanish, German, Bulgarian, French and Romanian.
MFA: WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT AT YOUR WORKSHOP[HEAL YOUR LIFE]?
L.G.: In “Heal Your Life”, people experience a variety of practical exercises that are done individually, in couples and in group, positive affirmations and visualisations, work at the mirror and other simple yet powerful techniques, to increase their self-esteem, improve success and rediscover their power within.
During the seminar people develop awareness of negative beliefs, release old emotions, learn to love themselves more fully, release the emotions that block their zest for life and their intuition. This will result in using their creativity in a useful way, freeing their energy and vital force and transforming their existence to joy and awareness.
MFA: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR JOURNEY AND CAN PASS ON TO EVERYONE?
L.G.: Have the strength to believe in your talents and the ability, the patience and the courage to develop them.
And use them to give your contribution to the world.