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.
Kelly Weekers has a master’s degree in Clinical and Health Psychology and is an expert in her field helping people with burnout, anxiety and depression. She is also the author of three books: The Power of Choice: how to Hack Your Happiness, Happy Life 365 and, most recently, Choosing Me. And that is why we have collaborated with her to create our How to Be You masterclass that focuses on authenticity and how to start living a life you truly love. Kelly’s approach is about taking small steps every day that in the long-term make the biggest difference and imbue genuine change.
1. When in the day are you most reflective?
“At the end of the day, I think the last five minutes before we go to bed should be your most reflective part of your day. For two reasons, I think no matter how bad your day was, it's always good to end it on a positive note and with positivity towards the next day. And I also feel that during the night when we sleep, our subconscious is so open to creating new experiences for us. If you are reflective at the end of your day and focus on the right things and what you want and what you're proud of, it really takes you far in life. Taking positive lessons or thoughts into your subconscious is really important.”
2. Which one person, place or thing is guaranteed to give you joy?
“Ibiza. We just moved there, but I've been visiting for 12 years and when I set foot on that island, I just feel like a sense of peace and calm. It's my favorite place and its energy really empowers me.”
3. Do you think it's more important to forgive or forget?
“I'm not the type of person that would ever forget something if it was big to me. So, I would say it's more important to learn to let go. And for a lot of people forgiveness is a part of letting go. Not just forgiving other people but I would say also forgiving yourself - because you can hurt yourself and other people, too. I think forgiveness is really important to help you live in the present.”
4. Which moment in your life are you most grateful for?
“Becoming a mother. That was one big wish I always had when I was young. And it's a cliche, but it's true. They gave me a purpose in life that goes beyond me and what I do. And I always hope that they will be proud of the woman that I was, and that I'm a great example for them to also live their lives how they want to and to stay true to themselves.”
5. Have you found your life's purpose yet?
“Yes, I think so. I think I'm really on my authentic path teaching authenticity. This is really what aligns with who I am and what I'm good at and it gives me energy.”
6. Do you believe you can teach compassion?
“One of the most interesting lessons that I learned through psychology about compassion is that, as adults, we see so much negativity in the world and we can tend to get harsh because of that and we can feel less compassion for others.
But I think if you try to always see that in each and every one of us there is a small child that just wants to be seen or heard, it's so much easier to be compassionate. When they are shouting or when they feel they need to mistreat you, you know it’s likely because something happened to that kid.
I think for lots of people not being compassionate is also a survival mechanism, they need to learn their own lessons and open their hearts up, and that's not so easy, it takes work. Of course, sometimes you have to keep your boundaries up and say this is my energy and that is someone else's energy, but you can still practice compassion.”
7. What do you wish you could do more mindfully?
“I think it's always a question of just living in the moment, and I think I'm pretty good at it because it is my profession. Life gets so busy and there are so many different things to do that sometimes you just go through your day and at the end of it, you can think what happened? So, every day, I set a new intention of just living mindfully and trying to enjoy the present moment because it's all we have. If I am on my deathbed, I want to look back and think, I really enjoyed life.”
8. How would I know you love me?
“I take care of the people that I love, I shower them with attention. Mostly because I just really love spending time with the people I love. I put the needs of others first too easily sometimes. So it's also the people pleaser in me that I sometimes need to shut up! But, for me, it's really in the action of taking care of people, whatever they need, I make sure they have it.”
9. What was the last random act of kindness you did or witnessed?
“This is an intention I set every day. For me, a random act of kindness, is like when I woke this morning and saw my neighbor and I was like “hey, how are you?” I know he appreciates it. That's a small act of kindness. I believe if you throw kindness into the world, you will receive it.”
10. Which three words describe your authentic self?
“Down to earth, positive and sarcastic!”
11. Are you faithful or fickle with your passions?
“I'm very faithful and I'm very disciplined. I think everyone that knows me knows I'm all for routines, and if I commit to something, I could do it endlessly and with endless energy. I just have this energy in me - I wake up and I'm just go! I would only give up on something that really wasn’t right for me.”
12. What is always guaranteed to grab your awareness and keep you in the moment?
“The kids! That’s a positive and negative. I mean, we always talk about the positive sides, but kids really don’t give a sh*t about what you're doing! They're just like, “mom, I need this now”. That’s something I really had to learn. But they help me live in the moment because, for them, there's no other moment than now.”
13. When in your life have you most needed a positive mindset?
“I think when I lost people I loved. You don't know what grief is until you lose someone close. I just didn't know what to do with myself because I'm such a positive person. When I lost a friend, even when I lost my dog during an operation, I was so down. But what I learned is that you don't have to be positive right away. Sometimes life sucks and that's okay. It’s okay just to go with the flow and lay on the couch with Ben & Jerry's and cry. It's so important to let your emotions out, to just be and not try to change anything, because eventually you come back to yourself, back to your routines, and that positivity will also come back to you.”