Welcome to our monthly series, “My Soulful Life”. Through 13 life-affirming questions – inspired by the points on The Art of Soulful Living compass - we ask one luminary we admire to reflect on and reveal their true self.
1. When in the day are you at your most reflective?
“When I sleep. I think our dreams are the only space where we can allow ourselves to be completely free, without judgement from other people. I love to nap before a concert, but I have to leave enough time to take a shower, dress and find my focus.”
2. What one person, place or thing is guaranteed to give you joy?
“The truth – in everything and every person.”
3. Do you think it’s more important to forgive or forget?
“Actually, I don’t think it’s really possible to forget. To forgive, though – that’s truly generous, and often impressive. I just watched the movie The Mauritanian about Mohamedou Ould Slahi, who was held in Guantanamo for 14 years without trial. He forgave everyone, and I imagine that’s a liberating thing.”
4. Which moment in your life are you most grateful for?
“I am where I am today, work-wise, because of the values that my mother and my late father instilled in me: respect for others, and a sense of humility.”
5. Have you found your life’s purpose yet?
“No, no, no.”
6. Do you believe you can teach compassion?
“No. I suspect it may be necessary to experience what it is to hurt someone before you can know what compassion is.”
7. What do you wish you could do more mindfully?
“So many things, some of which are going to take my whole lifetime and some of which can be dealt with almost instantaneously. But I think timing is the thing; recognising a moment in your life where you are really conscious, and holding on to it.”
8. How would I know you love me?
“Oh, that’s easy because I’m very, very demonstrative. First you see that in my eyes. If I love you, I will cherish you with my eyes as if you are the most extraordinary star that I can never reach.”
9. What was the last random act of kindness you did or witnessed?
“Unfortunately, the things that come to mind are the missed opportunities.”
10. Which 3 words describe your authentic self?
“Ask my family.”
11. Are you faithful or fickle with your passions?
12. What is always guaranteed to grab your awareness and keep you in the moment?
“Someone else’s passion, sensitivity or drive and their willingness to share it with me. When that happens, I can be absorbed by literally anything.”
13. When in your life have you most needed a positive mind-set?
“When I lost my dad at the age of 14, I realised it wasn’t a positive mind-set I needed, I just needed my dad. There are other kinds of heartbreak when you can push yourself, though. At the end of a relationship, you can use positivity to appreciate that maybe you didn’t lose anyone, you actually gained something.”
Photographer: Linda Stulic
Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest